In the News

 

Duck of the Day:

American Black Duck

 

Central Mediterranean: MSF Condemns Attack on Rescue Vessel

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 Fronti√®res(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

 

The Secret Jews of The Hobbit

Meir Soloveichik

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

 

The predictions have come to pass: Turkey is now in Syria and this is what it means for the Middle East

Robert Fisk

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.

Pablo Picasso

 

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.

Otto Dix

 

Crisis and Opportunity

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.

Jesse Jackson

 

Hallado el primer corazón conservado en una fosa de la Guerra Civil española

Manuel Ansede

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.

Mark Twain

 

San Lorenzo: Forced out of their own back yard - but now being carried home by their fans

Will Dalton

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.

Buffalo Bill

 

Museum of the Day:

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

 

Potato of the day:

Fingerling

 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Thomas A. Edison

 

ALEC's War on Clean Government

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

 

Frankrig er ikke i krig

Bjørn Bedal

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.

Celeste Holm

 

What Was Wrong With 16th Century Europeans That They Didn't Like Tomatoes?

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.

Anatole France

 

Velfærdsarkitekten

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>

 

Snake of the Day:

California Red-Sided Garter Snake

 

They succeed, because they think they can.

Virgil

 

Dagbøger afslører topnazists inderste tanker: "Alt dette jøderi. Hvornår vil denne pøbel dog rejse?"

Bent Blüdnikow

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.

Tim Finn

 

Here Are 7 Terrifying Charts That Show Exactly What We're Doing to the Planet

Oliver Milman

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.

Albert Schweitzer

 

Of Mercury & Sulphur

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:

The Trimaran

 

War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, the lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Lurching Toward World War III

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

 

Amerikanerne tager skydevåben med i lufthavnen som aldrig før

Poul Husted

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

 

The War That Won't Go Away

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.

Sun Tzu

 

Politics is the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex.

Frank Zappa

 

Monkey of the Day:

Olive baboon

 

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.

Athanasius

 

The Obama Administration Has Brokered More Weapons Sales Than Any Other Administration Since World War II

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.

Salman Rushdie

 

Lammens: "Lo que más me entusiasma es el poder como herramienta para transformar la realidad"

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

 

Pillory Hillary Now

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.

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Will NYT Retract Latest Anti-Russian 'Fraud'?

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.

Ani DiFranco

 

Money Talks: Trump Does a U-Turn on Israel

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.

Bob Dylan

 

A Lesson in Constitutional Illiteracy: Lamar Smith and the Climate Science Witch Hunt

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.

Albert Camus

 

US-Backed Syrian 'Moderates' Behead 12-Year-Old

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.

Buddha

 

Dog of the Day:

African Wild Dog

 

 

The Mermaid

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.

 

W.B. Yeats

 

 

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

Bertrand Russell

 

Green Party Platform

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.

Thornton Wilder

 

Admiral Fabuloso: Hillary, Syria and the Destructive Career of James G. Stavridis

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.

Garry Trudeau

 

The fight for family planning

Brigitte Ireson-Valois

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

 

Indian businessman famed for $240,000 gold shirt 'beaten to death'

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.

Marshall McLuhan

 

 

 

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.

Karl Liebknecht

 

US Still Ducks Iraq Accountability

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.

Rachel Maddow

 

USA Today Ducking the Question of Militarism

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

 

The Clinton Contamination

Maureen Dowd

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.

Publilius Syrus

 

"No nos trajeron libertad, sólo dejaron destrucción"

FRANCISCO CARRIÓNE

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.

Khalil Gibran

 

What the Democratic Party Platform Tells Us About Where We Are on War

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.

John Burroughs

 

Tree of the day:

Quercus Alba (North American White Oak):

 

Ambition is the immoderate desire for power.

Baruch Spinoza

 

Hillary Clinton's Wanton Disregard for US Laws and National Security

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.

Confucius

 

Tony Blair unrepentant as Chilcot gives crushing Iraq war verdict

Luke Harding

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.

Jim Hightower

 

ISIS Bombs The Prophet's Tomb In Medina, Second Holiest Site In Islam

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.

Theophrastus

 

F.B.I. Director James Comey Recommends No Charges for Hillary Clinton on Email

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

 

Google Is Not What It Seems

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

 

Noam Chomsky on Globalization, Inequality and Political Alienation

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

 

How Hillary Clinton Ignores Peace

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.

William Blake

 

Hillary Cheated

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

 

A Brief History of America's Massive Gun-Buying Spree

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.

Aldous Huxley

 

Procesados en Chile siete exmilitares por el asesinato del cantautor Víctor Jara

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.

Maureen Dowd

 

Greg Palast on US Election Fraud and Neoliberalism Gone Amok in Latin America and Greece

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.

George Orwell

 

Gaza's plight matters to the world

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.

George Orwell

 

Congress Seeks to Expand Warrantless Surveillance Under the Patriot 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.

George Orwell

 

Why Can't We Do Anything About Guns?

Frank Smyth

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.

Benito Mussolini

 

 

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

 

Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU

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.

Lao Tzu

 

 

I don't regret anything.

Amy Winehouse

 

How NRA Dark Money Impedes Gun Control Reform

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>

 

To sum it all up, I must say that I regret nothing.

Adolf Eichmann

 

 

 

Messi. No necesita hablar de cuidar la pelota o de no mancharla. Pasa la pelota mejor que nadie, la acaricia, la castiga, la ve, la sigue, la ama como nadie. Maradona tuvo una extraordinaria visión y una magia parecida, pero nunca fue tan consistente como Messi. Lo mismo Cruyff. Pelé no tuvo que jugar contra tantos buenos equipos y contra tantos defensores fuertes y rápidos como Messi lo ha hecho año tras año. Es un jugador total. Lo más notable de todo es que nunca ha habido un gran goleador tan generoso. Hoy pudo marcar 3 o 4 goles, pero prefirió pasarle la pelota a Higuaín, a Lavezzi, hasta a Mascherano intento regalarle un gol. Cuando le preguntaron después del partido sobre lo de haber batido el récord de Gabriel Batistuta con ese tiro libre infernal, dijo "...es gracias a mis compañeros". Alucino. Me hace tan feliz verlo jugar, ver como se mueve en la cancha. Es obvio que es el mejor jugador del mundo y que es un enamorado del fútbol. Los madridistas, brasileños, argentinos amargados y otros ciegos que se niegan a reconocerlo dan pena. El comentarista norteamericano en la tele de acá, Alexi Lalas, que fue un buen defensor (y también fue parte del equipo USA que le ganó a Argentina 3-0 en la Copa América de 1995) le tiene tanta manía a Messi que sigue insistiendo que Cristiano Ronaldo es mejor jugador. Penoso lo de este burro. Los celos son muy feos. Me sigue preocupando que a la Pulga no le devuelvan los favores sus compañeros. Lamela no se la devolvió en el área, aunque Messi se la pidió, por ejemplo. Quizá no le funcione tan rápido el cerebro a ese pibe como para darse cuenta que lo lógico para el bien del equipo era pasarle la pelota al genio en vez de hacerse el morfón. No importa. Messi seguirá ayudando a la Selección, como la hace con el Barcelona, de cualquiera manera posible para que su equipo triunfe. Ya debería tener un Mundial y una Copa América. Si fueran la mitad de generosos sus compañeros, ya las hubiera ganado. Espero que el domingo pueda alzar la Copa. Se la merece este artista inigualable, este canto celestial al fútbol. Que sigan hablando mal de él Cristiano y Maradona. Da igual. Messi no necesita autoproclamarse ni menospreciar a sus rivales. Él tiene su camino, y los mortales tienen los suyos.

—V.M

 

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Marcus Aurelius

 

"Podemos aprendió de los procesos latinoamericanos"

Por Ignacio Kostzer

Martes, 21 de junio de 2016, © Página/12

A menos de una semana de las elecciones, la últimas encuestas ubican en ascenso a la alianza entre Podemos e Izquierda Unida, consolidada en el segundo lugar a apenas tres puntos del Partido Popular de Rajoy. Si se confirma en las urnas, el desplazamiento del PSOE significaría una verdadera reconfiguración de la izquierda española. El psicoanalista y politólogo Jorge Alemán, hasta hace pocos meses agregado cultural de la embajada argentina en España, acompañó el surgimiento y evolución de esa organización y ahora la analiza como expresión del cambio en la cultura política española.  full article>

 

Rapid urban growth in the context of structural adjustment, currency devaluation, and state retrenchment has been an inevitable recipe for the mass production of slums.

Mike Davis

 

Bernie's Capitulation and Hillary's Syrian War to Come

by Gary Leupp

June 21, 2016, © Counterpunch

In his quasi-concession speech last Thursday, broadcast without a live audience (probably due to the fear of loud boos), Bernie Sanders began with the observation, "Election days come and go. But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end."  full article>

 

How can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?

Howard Zinn

 

Trump, Reagan and Fascism: Frank Rich and the Pitfalls of Historical Analogy

By Mike Lofgren

Friday, 17 June 2016, © Truthout

Analogies are one of the most seductive and misleading of all expeditions into historical interpretation. Analogies can be an imaginative form of reasoning, as they enrich insight by connecting seemingly disconnected topics. But they can also be deceptive. For a certain type of American political commentator, every minor vicissitude in foreign relations is another Munich, and every blow up in the Balkans a replay of the Guns of August, with dire consequences for us all. Pathetic third-world caudillos always represent a new Adolf Hitler, and Western statesmen who warn against them are hailed as another Winston Churchill.  full article>

 

Capitalism works better from every perspective when the economic decision makers are forced to share power with those who will be affected by those decisions.

Barney Frank

 

90-year-old Idaho Democratic delegate hasn't given up hope for Bernie Sanders

By Jonathan Brunt

THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2016, © The Spokesman-Review

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho - On one side of her jean jacket, Faye Morris wears a "Bernie" button. On the other, a button says "wage peace."

In the months before Idaho's Democratic presidential caucus in March, Morris would stop people on the sidewalks of Bonners Ferry.  full article>

 

From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That's what I believe, and it was very, very strong in the forest.

Jane Goodall

 

True Fraud: The New Battle Over Voting Rights, State By State

Tanner Jean-Louis

June 15, 2016, © The Progressive

With the primary season over, and Clinton and Trump having almost certainly secured their respective party's nominations, attention is turning to the election in November.

Though Trump managed to cruise through the primaries, his campaign now faces a much rockier road. Demographic changes and geographic challenges pose serious barriers to any Republican presidential candidate in 2016, especially one as staggeringly unpopular as the party's presumptive nominee.  full article>

 

Although it costs taxpayers more than twice as much to send an 18-year-old to prison as to university, politicians reap greater rewards from lobbyists and conservative voters for building cells than for building classrooms.

Mike Davis

 

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

Isaac Asimov

 

Samantha Power, Henry Kissinger & Imperial Delusions

by Daniel Kovalik

June 16, 2016, © Counterpunch

Quite revealingly, the self-proclaimed crusader against genocide, Samantha Power, was awarded the 2016 Henry A. Kissinger Prize in Berlin. That Power would be awarded a prize named after one of the world's great génocidaires, and that she would happily accept it, proves what many of us have believed all along – that she is more the clever apologist for U.S. crimes than a bona fide human rights advocate.  full article>

 

The only thing that's been a worse flop than the organization of non-violence has been the organization of violence.

Joan Baez

 

Samantha Bee Doesn't Want Your Prayers, Politicians

"Is it okay if instead of making jokes, I just scream for seven minutes?"

Grace Wilson

Jun. 14, 2016, © MotherJones

In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, Samantha Bee opened Full Frontal Monday night without the usual music and applause. She began her show by saying that although protocol after a mass shooting is usually to offer well-meaning words of support, she was too angry.  full article>

 

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them!

Albert Einstein

 

CIA Releases New and Gruesome Details on Its Torture Program

By Dror Ladin

June 15, 2016, © ACLU

The CIA released 50 new documents yesterday relating to its post-9/11 torture and rendition program. Despite the many disclosures that have come in the course of our decade-long fight to reveal the details of the program, the new revelations still have the capacity to shock.  full article>

 

Power is not sufficient evidence of truth.

Samuel Johnson

 

Big Money's Conquest of Democratic Party

June 8, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

Return with us now to the saga of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the soul of the Democratic Party. First, a quick recap: Rep. Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, chair of the Democratic National Committee, also has been an advocate for the payday loan industry. The website Think Progress even described her as the "top Democratic ally" of "predatory payday lenders." You know — the bottom-feeding bloodsuckers of the working poor. Yes, them.  full article>

 

In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning and cruelty.

Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

 

Enduring Syria's War While Also Treating Its Victims

June 02, 2016, © Doctors without Borders

Yahya Jarad is a nursing supervisor at MSF's Al Salamah hospital, and a 2007 nursing graduate from Aleppo University. Last Friday, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)had to evacuate the patients of Al Salamah hospital and close the facility as front lines drew too close. An estimated 100,000 people are trapped in northern Syria's Azaz district with battle lines approaching.  full article>

 

Righteousness acts never in its own interest, but in the interest of fellow men.

Thaddeus of Vitovnica

 

Política, manual de instrucciones

"Política, manual de instrucciones" adentra al espectador en los debates internos de Podemos, el partido que lidera Pablo Iglesias, en los momentos claves en su constitución y diseño de su estructura orgánica, "reflejando los tropiezos, los éxitos, las contradicciones, los buenos momentos y las crisis". Para ello, Aranoa ha recopilado 500 horas de filmación durante 15 meses, los que separan el nacimiento de Podemos de su llegada al Congreso. (FILMAFFINITY)

 

 

The United States of America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln

 

PZP vaccine is best way to stave off BLM's pending "billion-dollar" fiscal crisis

June 2nd, 2016, © Return to Freedom

38 wild horse advocacy groups press BLM for increased use of humane fertility control as alternative to costly roundups

Santa Barbara, CA (June 1, 2016) ...Today, Return to Freedom joined with 38 wild horse advocacy, rescue and humane organizations representing more than 10 million citizens, stand united in calling on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to make greater use of the humane fertility control vaccine PZP as a way to stave off its "billion-dollar" fiscal crisis caused by wild horse roundups in the American West.  full article>

 

Poverty wants some, luxury many, and avarice all things.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

Hillary Comes Out as the War Party Candidate

by Diana Johnstone

June 3, 2016, © Counterpunch.org

On June 2, a few days before the California primary, Hillary Clinton gave up trying to compete with Bernie Sanders on domestic policy. Instead, she zeroed in on the soft target of Donald Trump's most "bizarre rants" in order to present herself as experienced and reasonable. Evidently taking her Democratic Party nomination for granted, she is positioning herself as the perfect candidate for hawkish Republicans.  full article>

 

The lust of avarice as so totally seized upon mankind that their wealth seems rather to possess them than they possess their wealth.

Pliny the Elder

 

Blatter, Valcke and Kattner awarded themselves £55m, say Fifa lawyers

Luke Harding

Friday 3 June 2016, © The Guardian

The spectacular scale of greed at the top of Fifa was revealed on Friday when lawyers said that three high-ranking former officials – Sepp Blatter, Jérôme Valcke and Markus Kattner – had secretly given themselves pay rises and massive World Cup bonuses totalling 79m Swiss francs (£55m).  full article>

 

Five enemies of peace inhabit with us - avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.

Petrarch

 

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, America's Sinkhole Wars

Posted by Andrew Bacevich

May 31, 2016, © TomDispatch

Here's last week's good news on America's war fronts: finally, there's light at the end of the tunnel!

From one end of the Greater Middle East to the other, things are looking up for Washington. A U.S. Air Force drone struck for the first time in Baluchistan province and took out the leader of the Taliban with two Hellfire missiles (whereupon the Pakistani government denounced Washington for violating the country's sovereignty). The action was taken, President Obama later announced, as part of "our longstanding effort to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan." (Admittedly, you may not have heard much about such peace and prosperity recently with fierce fighting raging on Afghan battlefields, the Taliban gaining ground, the government in its usual pit of corruption, and the country maintaining its proud position as the uncontested global leader in the production and sale of opium.)  full article>

 

There is no bad time for good news.

Stephen King

 

París se rinde a Garbiñe Muguruza

Joan Solsona

04/06/2016, © Marca.com

La tierra de Roland Garros es sinónimo de éxitos para el tenis español. Primero fue Manolo Santana, después vinieron otros como Andrés Gimeno, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Sergi Bruguera, Carlos Moyá, Albert Costa y Juan Carlos Ferrero, hasta llegar a Rafael Nadal.  full article>

 

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!

Anne Frank

 

Tribute: Muhammad Ali, What Made Him the Greatest (1942—2016)

Thomas Curwen and J. Michael Kennedy

Jun 4, 2016, © Good News Network - Los Angeles Times

After defeating Sonny Liston in 1964, an ecstatic Muhammad Ali declared: "I shocked the world."

Thrusting his arms into the air, he treated the victory as if it had been a knockout. Never mind that Liston denied him that honor by refusing to step into the ring for a seventh round. Ali's win gave America a first glimpse of the young man who for the next 50 years would never stop shocking the world.  full article>

 

Hear me, people: We have now to deal with another race- small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule.

Sitting Bull

 

OAS Threatens to Suspend Venezuela While Ignoring Recent Ouster of Brazil's Dilma Rousseff

June 01, 2016, © Democracy Now

 

American imperialism is often traced to the takeover of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii in 1898.

Noam Chomsky

 

The National-Security Exposé So Secret Even Edward Snowden Didn't Know About It

By Mark Hertsgaard

June 1, 2016, © The Nation

Three years after Edward Snowden's revelations regarding the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program, Eric Holder has decided that Snowden may have done the right thing after all. His whistleblowing was "a public service," the Obama administration's former attorney general said on a podcast released May 30. Snowden should still be prosecuted, Holder added—leaking top-secret documents is illegal, after all—but his disclosures helped in "raising the debate."  full article>

 

What I fear most is power with impunity. I fear abuse of power, and the power to abuse.

Isabel Allende

 

From U.S. Ally to Convicted War Criminal: Inside Chad's Hissène Habré's Close Ties to Reagan Admin

May 31, 2016, © Democracy Now

 

 

The truly powerful feed ideology to the masses like fast food while they dine on the most rarified delicacy of all: impunity.

Naomi Klein

 

Forgetting the Crimes of War

By Gary G. Kohls

May 30, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

One of the many heroes of the peace movement who came out of the Vietnam War was Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson. Just like millions of other draft-age Americans, law student Willson had been drafted into that illegal and genocidal war – against his will – and came back disturbed and angry.  full article>

 

There are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, 'That person I see is a savage monster;' instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do.

Noam Chomsky

 

Welcome to the Jungle: The Shocking Story of Another Animal Planet Reality Show

James West

Mar. 18, 2016, © MotherJones

A popular Animal Planet reality show about a family-run zoo is going off the air, after Mother Jones presented the network with evidence of animal welfare violations dating back nearly 20 years—a decision the show's creators said was connected to "new programming directions at the network."

Yankee Jungle stars Bob and Julie Miner, a loveable, down-to-earth couple tending to 200-plus animals at DEW Haven, a roadside zoo outside Mount Vernon, Maine. "At this sanctuary, the animals are family," the show's tagline reads. But what audiences of the series—whose first season averaged 900,000 viewers—didn't hear about was the zoo's long record of animal welfare problems, conditions a state investigator once described as "deplorable" and "untenable."  full article>

 

All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

George Orwell

 

New Nukes for a New Cold War

By Chuck Spinney

May 28, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

With the passage of time, the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima (a uranium bomb) and Nagasaki (a plutonium bomb) in August of 1945 has become more controversial among historians but not in the public mind. Was the destruction of these two low priority targets necessary to end the war with the Japan?

In 1945 and thereafter, beginning with the Truman Administration, politicians and milcrats convinced the public that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war quickly and thereby saved American and Japanese lives. Against the background of the brutality and racism of the Pacific War — and especially the just completed battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima, and the overwhelming psychological effects of the Kamikazes — this justification was easy to believe by those troops designated for the invasion of Japan as well as by a public anxious to end the war.  full article>

 

We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.

Howard Zinn

 

Tony Blair Admits Mistake of Invading Iraq, Wants to Do It Again Anyway

May 26, 2016, © AntiMedia

(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Weeks before the long-awaited Chilcot investigation into the Iraq war is published, the brains behind Britain's role in it, Tony Blair, is calling for ground war again — this time against the Islamic State. Speaking at an event sponsored by Prospect Magazine in Westminster, Blair said his understanding of the Middle East is much deeper now than it was when he was Prime Minister. At the same time — in what could be the understatement of the century — the former Prime Minister admitted he "profoundly underestimated" the problems in Iraq after the United States toppled Saddam Hussein.  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

Bob Dylan

 

Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta

by Porfirio Quintano

May 30, 2016, © Counterpunch.org

Just one year ago, I had a joyous reunion in San Francisco with a high school classmate from my native Honduras. Social justice campaigner Berta Caceres came to the Bay Area to receive the prestigious Golden Environmental Prize for her leadership among indigenous people opposed to mining and the construction of hydro-electric dams that would destroy their communities.  full article>

 

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.

Joseph Campbell

 

Pentagon Whistleblower's Disclosures Put a Lie to Obama, Clinton Claims About Snowden

May 23, 2016, © Democracy Now

 

 

I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.

John D. Rockefeller

 

Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy

by Eric Draitser

May 25, 2016, © Counterpunch

President Obama heads to Japan this week for an historic visit to Hiroshima, site of the world's first use of a nuclear weapon, and one of the United States' most enduring shameful acts. The corporate media has hailed the visit as an important step in strengthening bilateral relations between the US and Japan. Indeed, it certainly is that as the US seeks to reassert its hegemony in an Asia-Pacific region increasingly being seen as the sphere of influence of China.  full article>

 

Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.

Seneca

 

Labor's Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign

by Paul Buhle

May 23, 2016, © Counterpunch

Early last Fall, I received a surprising circular email from a high union officer and erstwhile leader of SDS, way back in the early 1960s. It contained an urgent appeal: get behind Hillary, because this is an era for defensive struggles. The letter-writer had also been an early and articulate opponent of the US invasion of Vietnam. I puzzled at his conversion to the War Candidate. I winced, some months later, as his union staffers crossed the border from my own Wisconsin to work feverishly in Iowa against....the labor candidate, Bernie Sanders, who lost by a hair (perhaps a hair that did not exist!). And again back in Wisconsin, where the best or worst efforts of his union, joined to the purported idealists of the labor movement, SEIU, failed somehow to keep the state in line for Hillary. They could not carry the working class vote.  full article>

 

The inside operation of Congress - the deals, the compromises, the selling out, the co-opting, the unprincipled manipulating, the self-serving career-building - is a story of such monumental decadence that I believe if people find out about it they will demand an end to it.

Bella Abzug

 

Chomsky: Today's GOP is a Candidate for Most Dangerous Organization in Human History—Part 2

May 16, 2016, © Democracy Now

 

 

I think that there's something in the American psyche, it's almost this kind of right or privilege, this sense of entitlement, to resolve our conflicts with violence. There's an arrogance to that concept if you think about it. To actually have to sit down and talk, to listen, to compromise, that's hard work.

Michael Moore

 

Noam Chomsky: Climate Change & Nuclear Proliferation Pose the Worst Threat Ever Faced by Humans

May 16, 2016, © Democracy Now

 

 

Fascism is capitalism plus murder.

Upton Sinclair

 

Naomi Klein criticises lack of global action on climate change after Sydney Peace prize win

Paul Karp

Sunday 15 May 2016, © The Guardian

The Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein has criticised Australia's climate change policies after winning the Sydney Peace prize for her work exposing the structural causes of the planet's climate crisis.  full article>

 

Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.

Al Capone

 

NYT's Glass Is Half Full of Half-Truths

By Jim Naureckas

May 13 2016, © FAIR

"When Did Optimism Become Uncool?" wonders a New York Times Sunday Review piece (5/12/16) by Gregg Easterbrook. "The country is, on the whole, in the best shape it's ever been in," Easterbrook writes. "So what explains all the bad vibes?"   full article>

 

The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.

Bodhidharma

 

The Great Leap Backward: America's Illegal Wars on the World

by Luciana Bohne

May 13, 2016, © Counterpunch.org

Can we face it in this election season? America is a weapons factory, the White House a war room, and the president the manager of the neoliberal conspiracy to recolonize the planet. It exports war and mass poverty. On the economic front, usurious neoliberalism; on the military front, illegal wars. These are the trenches of America's battle for world domination in the 21st century.  full article>

 

Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.

Bernie Sanders

 

None of the Bankers Think Hillary Clinton Believes Her Populism, a Financial Journalist Wrote

By Thomas Frank, Book Excerpt

Thursday, 12 May 2016, © Truthout

As Hillary Clinton has no doubt noticed, the circumstances of 2016 present a striking similarity to the ones that put her husband in the White House in 1992. Again Americans are outraged at the way the middle class is falling to pieces and at the greed of the people on top. The best-seller lists are once again filled with books about in equality. Today Americans are working even harder for even less than when Bill Clinton made "working harder for less" his campaign catchphrase. Hillary Clinton -- the way any Democrat -- will play such a situation is extremely easy to guess.  full article>

 

Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist.

José Ortega y Gasset

 

 

 

 

What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.

Ellen Burstyn

 

"Durante 15 meses sufrimos todo tipo de sabotaje"

Por Darío Pignotti

Sábado, 14 de mayo de 2016, © Página/12

Dilma está apostada en una trinchera de cristal. Pasaron sólo 26 horas desde que fue notificada que debía apartarse interinamente de la presidencia cuando conversó con un reducido grupo de corresponsales extranjeros, incluído Página/12. El encuentro tuvo lugar en el Palacio de Alvorada, con sus columnas delgadas como cuellos de garzas y altísimas paredes de vidrio. Rouseff acusó de sabotaje a los políticos que impulsaron su salida del poder, empezando por los legisladores que bloqueron sus iniciativas económicas en el Congreso y luego votaron en favor de hacerle un juicio político. "Durante 15 meses sufrimos todo tipo de sabotaje para impedirnos gobernar. Primero cuestionaron que los votos fueron mal contados, cuando se demostró que estaban bien contados pidieron que se verificara si las urnas eran adecuadas. Fue creado un ambiente de inestabilidad. . . para después llegar indirectamente a la presidencia, ellos no tienen condiciones de llegar al gobierno por el voto directo. . ." comenta la presidenta suspendida en obvia alusión al mandatario interino Michel Temer, a quien las encuestas le otorgan dos por ciento de aprobación.. Partidos y personalidades progresistas de varios países criticaron el putch parlamentario perpetrado el miércoles pasado en el que se abrió un juicio político que la obligó a licenciarse del cargo por hasta seis meses.  full article>

 

The best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.

John Milton

 

DESA Employees Arrested In Honduras For Murder Of Activist Berta Cáceres

by Pratap Chatterjee

May 2nd, 2016, © CorpWatch

Two employees of Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA) have been arrested and charged with the murder of Berta Cáceres, an activist who was fighting the Agua Zarca dam on the territory of the indigenous Lenca people in Honduras. DESA was awarded a permit to build the 22 megawatt dam in 2011.  full article>

 

True friends stab you in the front.

Oscar Wilde

 

Hillary Clinton, the Conveniently Negligent Queen

by Pepe Escobar

May 12, 2016, © Counterpunch.org

As a bewildered, polarized nation awaits, may Attorney General Loretta Lynch lay down the law – sort of; "We do all our reviews, investigations of any matter carefully, thoroughly, and efficiently. And when the matter is ready for resolution, a recommendation will be made and we'll come to a decision at that time and I'm not able to give you a prediction. Sorry."

Sorry indeed. Spare a thought for the army immersed in the Hillary Clinton subterranean server FBI saga, dissecting a web of tens of thousands of cyberspace "transactions". Yet the True Detective-style plot boils down to two investigative highways: mishandling of classified information; and those eyebrow-raising sums – tens of millions of dollars – feeding the Clinton Foundation's piggy bank while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, a phenomenon Clintonistas would arguably define as a "grey area".  full article>

 

Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.

Euripides

 

John Doe's "Psychadelic Soul Record" From the Desert

By Jon Young

May 9, 2016, © MotherJones

First heard almost 40 years (!) ago as a member of the great LA punk group X, John Doe never fit the clichés of the genre, intertwining his voice with bandmate Exene Cervenka's in wailing harmonies that sounded more like hillbilly laments than nihilist diatribes. As a solo artist, he's compiled a striking body of work that spans the 57 varieties of roots music. Dedicated to his late friend Michael Blake (author of Dances with Wolves), The Westerner is billed by Doe as his "psychedelic, soul record from the Arizona desert," which is another way of saying he's delivered a dusty, sure-handed set of vibrant down-home rock'n'folk full of longing, sympathy, and hope. Joined by guest vocalists Debbie Harry of Blondie and Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power), Doe remains a stirring singer who embodies weary determination and impassioned grace on the heart-tugging ballad "Sunlight" and the greasy foot-stomper "Go Baby Go." Tough and tender and once, The Westerner is a genuine old-school treasure.  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.

 

Israel brings fresh charges against nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu

Sunday 8 May 2016, © The Guardian

Israeli prosecutors charged nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu on Sunday with violating the terms of his release, more than a decade after he completed an 18-year jail term.

Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was slapped with a series of restraining orders, some of which he has violated in recent years, the justice ministry said.  full article>

 

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.

Cesare Pavese

 

Les Etats-Unis sont fatigués du monde

par Benoît Bréville

Mai 2016, © Le Monde Diplomatique

Le candidat républicain à l'élection présidentielle américaine de novembre 2016 sera vraisemblablement moins favorable aux interventions militaires que son adversaire démocrate — une situation inédite depuis la seconde guerre mondiale. Mais la tentation du repli, qui hante la politique étrangère de M. Barack Obama depuis 2009, concerne désormais les deux grands partis.   full article>

 

It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.

Molière

 

When Liberals Run Out of Patience: the Impolite Exile of Seymour Hersh

by Dave Wagner

May 6, 2016, © Counterpunch.org

Seymour Hersh's The Killing of Osama bin Laden a pocket-size collection of stories written for the London Review and printed during the second Obama administration arrives at an awkward moment for the expatriate journalist who not so long ago was esteemed as the finest investigative reporter in the United States. Hersh now publishes abroad because his talent, though undiminished, no longer fits into the publication plans of the nation's newspaper and magazine publishers. He has, it appears, failed to adapt to the times. His revelations about deceit and brute force in the conduct of foreign affairs that delighted his editors when he raised a torch over Dick Cheney lost its shine when he reported on President's Obama's not-so-different Cold War liberalism.  full article>

 

The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that—whether from fear, careerism, or conviction—uncritically recites false government claims and reports them as fact, or treats elected officials with a reverence reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function.

Glenn Greenwald

 

Senate Republicans Are Breaking Records for Judicial Obstruction

By Patrick Caldwell

May 6, 2016, © MotherJones

There's a growing judicial crisis created by Senate Republicans, and it's not the one that's been making headlines. While Democrats have publicly hammered the GOP's refusal to consider Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court, Republicans have mounted an equally important, if quieter, effort to block President Barack Obama's nominees to other federal courts, creating widespread vacancies in courts across the country.  full article>

 

One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible.

Daniel Berrigan

 

Edward Snowden's introduction to The Assasination Complex:

 

'I've been waiting 40 years for someone like you." Those were the first words Daniel Ellsberg spoke to me when we met last year. Dan and I felt an immediate kinship; we both knew what it meant to risk so much – and to be irrevocably changed – by revealing secret truths.

 

One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice.

 

But unlike Dan Ellsberg, I didn't have to wait 40 years to witness other citizens breaking that silence with documents. Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971; Chelsea Manning provided the Iraq and Afghan war logs and the Cablegate materials to WikiLeaks in 2010. I came forward in 2013. Now another person of courage and conscience has made available the extraordinary set of documents published in The Assassination Complex, the new book by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of the Intercept.

 

We are witnessing a compression of the timeframe in which unconstitutional activities can continue before they are exposed by acts of conscience. And this permits the American people to learn about critical government actions, not as part of the historical record but in a way that allows direct action through voting – in other words, in a way that empowers an informed citizenry to defend the democracy that "state secrets" are nominally intended to support.

 

When I see individuals who are able to bring information forward, it gives me hope that we won't always be required to curtail the illegal activities of our government as if it were a constant task, to uproot official lawbreaking as routinely as we mow the grass. (Interestingly enough, that is how some have begun to describe remote killing operations, as "cutting the grass".)

 

A single act of whistleblowing doesn't change the reality that there are significant portions of the government that operate below the waterline, beneath the visibility of the public. Those secret activities will continue, despite reforms. But those who perform these actions now have to live with the fear that if they engage in activities contrary to the spirit of society – if even a single citizen is catalysed to halt the machinery of that injustice – they might still be held to account. The thread by which good governance hangs is this equality before the law, for the only fear of the man who turns the gears is that he may find himself upon them.

 

Hope lies beyond, when we move from extraordinary acts of revelation to a collective culture of accountability within the intelligence community. Here we will have taken a meaningful step towards solving a problem that has existed for as long as our government.

 

Not all leaks are alike, nor are their makers. David Petraeus, for instance, provided his illicit lover and favourable biographer information so secret it defied classification, including the names of covert operatives and the president's private thoughts on matters of strategic concern. Petraeus was not charged with a felony, as the Justice Department had initially recommended, but was instead permitted to plead guilty to a misdemeanour. Had an enlisted soldier of modest rank pulled out a stack of highly classified notebooks and handed them to his girlfriend to secure so much as a smile, he would be looking at many decades in prison, not a pile of character references from a Who's Who of the Deep State.

 

There are authorised leaks and also permitted disclosures. It is rare for senior administration officials to explicitly ask a subordinate to leak a CIA officer's name to retaliate against her husband, as appears to have been the case with Valerie Plame. It is equally rare for a month to go by in which some senior official does not disclose some protected information that is beneficial to the political efforts of the parties but clearly "damaging to national security" under the definitions of our law.

 

This dynamic can be seen quite clearly in the al-Qaida "conference call of doom" story, in which intelligence officials, likely seeking to inflate the threat of terrorism and deflect criticism of mass surveillance, revealed to a neoconservative website extraordinarily detailed accounts of specific communications they had intercepted, including locations of the participating parties and the precise contents of the discussions. If the officials' claims were to be believed, they irrevocably burned an extraordinary means of learning the precise plans and intentions of terrorist leadership for the sake of a short-lived political advantage in a news cycle. Not a single person seems to have been so much as disciplined as a result of the story that cost us the ability to listen to the alleged al-Qaida hotline.

 

If harmfulness and authorisation make no difference, what explains the distinction between the permissible and the impermissible disclosure?

 

The answer is control. A leak is acceptable if it is not seen as a threat, as a challenge to the prerogatives of the institution. But if all the disparate components of the institution – not just its head but its hands and feet, every part of its body – must be assumed to have the same power to discuss matters of concern, that is an existential threat to the modern political monopoly of information control, particularly if we're talking about disclosures of serious wrongdoing, fraudulent activity, unlawful activities. If you can't guarantee that you alone can exploit the flow of controlled information, then the aggregation of all the world's unmentionables – including your own – begins to look more like a liability than an asset.

 

Truly unauthorised disclosures are necessarily an act of resistance – that is, if they're not done simply for press consumption, to fluff up the public appearance or reputation of an institution. However, that doesn't mean they all come from the lowest working level. Sometimes the individuals who step forward happen to be near the pinnacle of power. Ellsberg was in the top tier; he was briefing the secretary of defense. You can't get much higher, unless you are the secretary of defense, and the incentives simply aren't there for such a high-ranking official to be involved in public interest disclosures because that person already wields the influence to change the policy directly.

 

At the other end of the spectrum is Chelsea Manning, a junior enlisted soldier, who was much nearer to the bottom of the hierarchy. I was midway in the professional career path. I sat down at the table with the chief information officer of the CIA, and I was briefing him and his chief technology officer when they were publicly making statements such as: "We try to collect everything and hang on to it for ever," and everybody still thought that was a cute business slogan. Meanwhile, I was designing the systems they would use to do precisely that. I wasn't briefing the policy side, the secretary of defense, but I was briefing the operations side, the National Security Agency's director of technology. Official wrongdoing can catalyse all levels of insiders to reveal information, even at great risk to themselves, so long as they can be convinced that it is necessary to do so.

 

Reaching those individuals, helping them realise that their first allegiance as a public servant is to the public rather than to the government, is the challenge. That is a significant shift in cultural thinking for a government worker today.

 

I've argued that whistleblowers are elected by circumstance. It's not a virtue of who you are or your background. It's a question of what you are exposed to, what you witness. At that point, the question becomes: "Do you honestly believe that you have the capability to remediate the problem, to influence policy?" I would not encourage individuals to reveal information, even about wrongdoing, if they do not believe they can be effective in doing so, because the right moment can be as rare as the will to act.

 

This is simply a pragmatic, strategic consideration. Whistleblowers are outliers of probability, and if they are to be effective as a political force, it is critical that they maximise the amount of public good produced from scarce seed. When I was making my decision, I came to understand how one strategic consideration, such as waiting until the month before a domestic election, could become overwhelmed by another, such as the moral imperative to provide an opportunity to arrest a global trend that had already gone too far. I was focused on what I saw and on my sense of overwhelming disenfranchisement that the government, in which I had believed for my entire life, was engaged in such an extraordinary act of deception.

 

At the heart of this evolution is that whistleblowing is a radicalising event – and by "radical" I don't mean "extreme"; I mean it in the traditional sense of "radix", the root of the issue. At some point, you recognise that you can't just move a few letters around on a page and hope for the best. You can't simply report this problem to your supervisor, as I tried to do, because inevitably supervisors get nervous. They think about the structural risk to their career. They are concerned about rocking the boat and "getting a reputation". The incentives aren't there to produce meaningful reform. Fundamentally, in an open society, change has to flow from the bottom to the top.

 

As someone who works in the intelligence community, you've given up a lot to do this work. You've happily committed yourself to tyrannical restrictions. You voluntarily undergo polygraphs; you tell the government everything about your life. You waive a lot of rights because you believe the fundamental goodness of your mission justifies the sacrifice of even the sacred. It's a just cause.

 

And when you're confronted with evidence – not in an edge case, not in a peculiarity, but as a core consequence of the programme – that the government is subverting the constitution and violating the ideals you so fervently believe in, you have to make a decision. When you see that the programme or policy is inconsistent with the oaths and obligations that you've sworn to your society and yourself, then that oath and that obligation cannot be reconciled with the programme. To which do you owe a greater loyalty?

 

One of the extraordinary things about the revelations of the past several years, and their accelerating pace, is that they have occurred in the context of the United States as the "uncontested hyperpower".

 

We now have the largest unchallenged military machine in the history of the world, and it is backed by a political system that is increasingly willing to authorise any use of force in response to practically any justification. In today's context that justification is terrorism, but not necessarily because our leaders are particularly concerned about terrorism in itself or because they think it is an existential threat to society. They recognise that even if we had a 9/11 attack every year, we would still be losing more people to car accidents and heart disease, and we don't see the same expenditure of resources to respond to those more significant threats.

 

What it really comes down to is the reality that we have a political class that feels it must inoculate itself against allegations of weakness. Our politicians are more fearful of the politics of terrorism – of the charge that they do not take terrorism seriously – than they are of the crime itself.

 

As a result, we have arrived at this unmatched capability, unrestrained by policy. We have become reliant upon what was intended to be the limitation of last resort: the courts. Judges, realising that their decisions are suddenly charged with much greater political importance and impact than was originally intended, have gone to great lengths in the post-9/11 period to avoid reviewing the laws or the operations of the executive in the national security context and setting restrictive precedents that, even if entirely proper, would impose limits on government for decades or more. That means the most powerful institution that humanity has ever witnessed has also become the least restrained. Yet that same institution was never designed to operate in such a manner, having instead been explicitly founded on the principle of checks and balances. Our founding impulse was to say: "Though we are mighty, we are voluntarily restrained."

 

When you first go on duty at CIA headquarters, you raise your hand and swear an oath – not to government, not to the agency, not to secrecy. You swear an oath to the constitution. So there is this friction, this emerging contest between the obligations and values that the government asks you to uphold, and the actual activities that you are asked to participate in.

 

These disclosures about the Obama administration's killing programme reveal that there is a part of the American character that is deeply concerned with the unrestrained, unchecked exercise of power. And there is no greater or clearer manifestation of unchecked power than assuming for yourself the authority to execute an individual outside a battlefield context and without the involvement of any sort of judicial process.

 

Traditionally, in the context of military affairs, we have always understood that lethal force in battle could not be subjected to ex ante judicial constraints. When armies are shooting at each other, there is no room for a judge on that battlefield. But now the government has decided – without the public's participation, without our knowledge and consent – that the battlefield is everywhere. Individuals who don't represent an imminent threat in any meaningful sense of those words are redefined, through the subversion of language, to meet that definition.

 

Inevitably, that conceptual subversion finds its way home, along with the technology that enables officials to promote comfortable illusions about surgical killing and nonintrusive surveillance. Take, for instance, the holy grail of drone persistence, a capability that the US has been pursuing forever. The goal is to deploy solar-powered drones that can loiter in the air for weeks without coming down. Once you can do that, and you put any typical signals-collection device on the bottom of it to monitor, unblinkingly, the emanations of, for example, the different network addresses of every laptop, phone and iPod, you know not just where a particular device is in what city, but you know what apartment each device lives in, where it goes at any particular time, and by what route.

 

Once you know the devices, you know their owners. When you start doing this over several cities, you are tracking the movements not just of individuals but of whole populations.

 

By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets. It sounds like fantasist paranoia, but on the technical level it is so trivial to implement that I cannot imagine a future in which it won't be attempted. It will be limited to the war zones at first, in accordance with our customs, but surveillance technology has a tendency to follow us home.

 

Here we see the double edge of our uniquely American brand of nationalism. We are raised to be exceptionalists, to think we are the better nation with the manifest destiny to rule. The danger is that some people will actually believe this claim, and some of those will expect the manifestation of our national identity, that is, our government, to comport itself accordingly.

 

Unrestrained power may be many things, but it is not American.

 

It is in this sense that the act of whistleblowing increasingly has become an act of political resistance. The whistleblower raises the alarm and lifts the lamp, inheriting the legacy of a line of Americans that begins with Paul Revere.

 

The individuals who make these disclosures feel so strongly about what they have seen that they are willing to risk their lives and their freedom. They know that we, the people, are ultimately the strongest and most reliable check on the power of government.

 

The insiders at the highest levels of government have extraordinary capability, extraordinary resources, tremendous access to influence and a monopoly on violence, but in the final calculus there is but one figure that matters: the individual citizen.

 

And there are more of us than there are of them.

 

(The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of the Intercept, with a foreword by Edward Snowden and afterword by Glenn Greenwald.)

 

 

The arms race is worse than it ever was, the dumping of creation down a military rat hole is worse than it ever was, the wars across the earth are worse than they ever were.

Daniel Berrigan

 

The free expression of the hopes and aspirations of a people is the greatest and only safety in a sane society.

Emma Goldman

 

WATCH: Tavis Smiley Interviews Amy Goodman About Her New Book & 20 Years of Democracy Now!

April 13, 2016, © Democracy Now

On Tuesday, Amy Goodman appeared on the PBS show 'Tavis Smiley' to talk about her new book, "Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America."  full article>

 

Today it is becoming harder to speak out, with the inception of the Patriot Act, the president has legislated free speech to be a crime.

Frank Serpico

 

Hiding the Indonesia Massacre Files

By Jonathan Marshall

April 29, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

Now that the Indonesian government has officially opened a probe into what the CIA called "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century," it's time for the U.S. government to come clean about its own involvement in the orchestrated killing of hundreds of thousands of Communists, ethnic Chinese, intellectuals, union activists and other victims during the mid-1960s.  full article>

 

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

Frederick Douglass

 

Why Bernie will, should, and must stay in the race

Thursday, April 28, 2016, © Jim Hightower

Surprisingly, this week's prize for Stupidest Political Comment in the presidential race doesn't go to Donnie Trump or Ted Cruz.

Rather, that honor goes to the clueless cognoscenti of conventional political wisdom. They've made a unilateral decision that Bernie Sanders must now quit the race for the Democratic nomination. Why? Because, they say: "He Can't Win."  full article>

 

All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.

Tacitus

 

Hillary: Wall Street's Golden Girl

by Pepe Escobar

April 27, 2016, © Counterpunch

So it's a go for Zeus to launch the thunderbolt. Neo-Athena – minus the wisdom – Hillary Clinton, Queen of Chaos, Goddess of War, Empress of the Perma-Smirk, will finally have her shot at the U.S. presidency. After the Battle of New York, she's on top on number of votes; number of states; number of pledged delegates; number of superdelegates.  full article>

 

At the present moment, with little or no detail to hand, it is difficult for me to make any comment, beyond the expression of horror at the shameless haste with which the government appears to be pressing for our liquidation.

Ethel Rosenberg

 

Trampling Science to Boost Nuclear Power

By Jim Naureckas

Apr 21 2016, © FAIR

When the Washington Post and New York Times are making the same corporate-friendly point, it's safe to assume that some PR agency somewhere is earning its substantial fees.

In this case, the subject is the need for nuclear power—and, for the Post editorial board (4/18/16), for fracking as well. Standing in the way of this in the Post's version is favorite target Bernie Sanders, while the Times business columnist Eduardo Porter (4/19/16) blames the "scientific phobias and taboos" of "progressive environmentalists."  full article>

 

It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too.

Douglas Adams

 

How CBS News Aided the JFK Cover-up

By James DiEugenio

April 22, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

In the mid-1960s, amid growing skepticism about the Warren Commission's lone-gunman findings on John F. Kennedy's assassination, there was a struggle inside CBS News about whether to allow the critics a fair public hearing at the then-dominant news network. Some CBS producers pushed for a debate between believers and doubters and one even submitted a proposal to put the Warren Report "on trial," according to internal CBS documents.  full article>

 

The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful.

Noam Chomsky

 

Stop war drills and we'll stop nuclear tests, North Korea tells US after missile launch

Sunday 24 April 2016, © The Guardian

North Korea will halt its nuclear tests if the US ceases its annual military exercises with South Korea, Kim Jong-un's foreign minister has said in a rare interview with western media.  full article>

 

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

Aeschylus

 

Marinos offshore

Por Alejandra Dandan

Domingo, 24 de abril de 2016, © Página/12

Las investigaciones sobre los Panama Papers reactivaron un capítulo del botín saqueado a los desaparecidos de la Escuela Mecánica de la Armada. Los archivos de acceso público consultados por este diario muestran sociedades offshore aún activas a nombre de integrantes del Grupo de Tareas de la ESMA, hermanos de ellos y civiles asociados a las Armada. Hay registros en Panama, Miami y Sudáfrica a nombre de Ricardo Miguel Cavallo y de Norma Radice, hermana de Jorge Radice, el marino contador de ESMA, investigada por el robo de bienes en Argentina. También aparecen sociedades a nombre de uno de sus viejos socios: Miguel Angel Egea. En 2014, la Unidad de Información Financiera (UIF) logró probar que una serie de empresas radicadas en paraísos fiscales del exterior "inyectan" dinero a empresas argentinas vinculadas a los marinos: entre 2001 y 2013 fueron 20 millones de pesos. Al entender que podía tratarse de lavado de dinero del robo de bienes a los desaparecidos, pidieron información a los organismos financieros de esos países y a la Justicia que avanzara en una investigación.  full article>

 

One wanders to the left, another to the right. Both are equally in error, but, are seduced by different delusions.

Horace

 

One Small Step for Bernie, One Giant Leap for Humankind

by Andrew Levine

April 22, 2016, © Counterpunch

It used to be taken for granted that Social Security was "the third rail" of American politics. This was before Reaganites, and then Clintonites, set out to privatize some or all of it.

Hillary Clinton now finds it expedient to present herself as a defender of Social Security, distancing herself from her husband's administration and from "the nineties."  full article>

 

The Iraq War was the biggest issue for people of my generation in the West. It was also the clearest case, in my living memory, of media manipulation and the creation of a war through ignorance.

Julian Assange

 

Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires: The eyes wink at the hand; yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see

William Shakespeare (Macbeth)

 

Nothing About the 1994 Crime Bill Was Unintentional
In the '90s, Bill Clinton exploited fears about crime in the same way that Donald Trump uses immigration today.

By Bruce Shapiro

4/12/2016, © The Nation

"I know those young people were just trying to get good television," said Hillary Clinton's husband as he reflected on his earlier decision to go horns-first after Black Lives Matter protesters. Imagine, for a moment, if George W. Bush had said those words after being confronted by angry Iraq War veterans. Instead, the ex-president is Bill Clinton, and the protesters were young African Americans whose parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors still endure the consequences of his 1994 Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act.  full article>

 

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.

Benjamin Disraeli

 

Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude.

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

AUGUST 2016

$4 MONTHLY SPECIAL

In Other Words

 

Nothing in life is to be feared.

It is only to be understood.

—MARIE CURIE

 

Nothing is easier than to

denounce the evildoer;

nothing is more difficult

than to understand him.

—FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

 

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.

—MARCUS AURELIUS

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come.

Words

 

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

inevitable, irrefutable.

 

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

 

Yahia Lababidi

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

be witty.

Saul Bellow

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:

 

Sailing ships, stars, angels and executioners, The Mark of Cain chronicles the vanishing

practice and language of

Russian Criminal Tattoos.

© PERCEVAL PRESS