HAPPY NOAM CHOMSKY DAY!!!
Politician's Stupid Statement of the Day:
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
—President George W. Bush, August 5th, 2004.
Mi ideal político es el democrático. Cada uno debe ser respetado como persona y nadie debe ser divinizado.
6 DIC 2016, © El País
Si hoy es martes, hay razones para el desasosiego. En los últimos tiempos no hay semana en que falte noticia de la extrema pobreza en que viven algunos españoles. No ha provocado escándalo la muerte de dos hombres que sobrevivían dentro de una furgoneta. Al parecer, la estufa que utilizaban para calentarse en las noches de frío terminó por envenenar el aire de su refugio improvisado. Antes fue una anciana que iluminaba su casa con velas y cada día historias anónimas de precariedad y desamparo. Son noticias de un tiempo cruel, que no reciben el sobrenombre de lunes negro o martes negro, y mucho menos de viernes negro, que viene a significar exactamente lo contrario, una invitación a consumir para demostrarte que estás vivo. En el país europeo que más dinero gasta en cocaína, hablar de los pobres es crítica fácil, ser el aguafiestas en la recuperación de unas décimas en la prima de riesgo. Así que mejor dejarlos de lado y que se arreglen como puedan. full article>
La democracia no es el silencio, es la claridad con que se exponen los problemas y la existencia de medios para resolverlos.
—Enrique Múgica Herzog
December 6, 2016, © OurFuture
The right-wing assault on the advances our country has made in the more than 70 years since the presidency of FDR isn't waiting for Donald Trump's inauguration.
The battle to take away our health care, retirement benefits, and even food aid has already begun, with the Republican right-wing in Congress conspiring to hand the federal budget over to big corporations and slip in devastating deregulatory measures before they adjourn this year, while few are paying attention. full article>
Man is born an asocial and antisocial being. The newborn child is a savage. Egoism is his nature. Only the experience of life and the teachings of his parents, his brothers, sisters, playmates, and later of other people FORCE HIM to acknowledge the advantages of social cooperation and accordingly to change his behavior.
—Ludwig von Mises
By Joan Walsh
December 7, 2016, © The Nation
If Democrats want to make the case that Dr. Ben Carson is unqualified to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, they can use the words of Carson himself: "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience; he's never run a federal agency," his friend Armstrong Williams told reporters, when rumors of Donald Trump's plan to put Carson at HUD first emerged. Carson told Trump, "I preferred to work outside of government as an adviser." But on Monday, Trump tapped Carson to head the $47 billion agency that oversees home-mortgage lending, public-housing administration, desegregation efforts, and fighting housing discrimination. full article>
In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.
Swindle of the Day
The Original Ponzi Scheme:
Charles Ponzi's swindle became so famous that the term "Ponzi scheme" came to define all other similar schemes that followed. The Italian native spent time in prison for forging a check before embarking on an even more ill-conceived scheme. Ponzi seized on the notion of trading to take advantage of different international postage rates, which was not illegal. Ponzi's plan fell afoul of the law when he began promising investors extravagant returns and paying those returns using the money from new investors. By the time the scheme was uncovered in late 1920, Ponzi had defrauded investors of around $20 million (roughly $225 million at 2012 rates). Six banks even failed in the wake of the swindle. Ponzi went on to serve more than a dozen years in prison before being deported to Italy. According to one account of Ponzi's post-American life, he talked his way into a government finance job in Italy, and later embezzled funds before fleeing to South America during World War II.
We hand folks over to God's mercy, and show none ourselves.
By Robert Parry
December 1, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Under the cover of battling "fake news," the mainstream U.S. news media and officialdom are taking aim at journalistic skepticism when it is directed at the pronouncements of the U.S. government and its allies.
One might have hoped that the alarm about "fake news" would remind major U.S. news outlets, such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, about the value of journalistic skepticism. However, instead, it seems to have done the opposite. full article>
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
Dec. 2, 2016 © MotherJones
President-elect Donald Trump still has about two months to go before he is inaugurated, but pockets of resistance to his mass immigrant deportation plan are already emerging across the country. Since his election, local officials in at least 18 major "sanctuary" cities have pledged to limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials. By one estimate, 12 of these cities account for roughly 20 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the United States. full article>
Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
12/04/16, © Crooks and Liars
Former Vice President Dick Cheney recently suggested President-elect Donald Trump's social media skills meant that the American people no longer needed the news media.
At the Reagan National Defense Forum, CNN's Barbara Starr asked the former vice president if Trump's casual tone on Twitter was dangerous. full article>
We have only one task, to stand firm and carry on the racial struggle without mercy.
Historical Misconception of the Day
"Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned":
When asked who fiddled while Rome burned, the answer "Nero" will get you a zero. Legend has it that in A.D. 64, mad Emperor Nero started a fire near the imperial palace and then climbed to the top of the Tower of Maecenas where he played his fiddle, sang arias, and watched Rome flame out. But according to Tacitus, a historian of the time, Nero was 30 miles away, at his villa in Antium, when the fire broke out.
Nero wasn't exactly a nice guy -- he took his own mother as his mistress, then had her put to death. Despite this, historians believe that the fire was set by Nero's political enemies, who were right in thinking that it would be blamed on him. Actually, Nero was a hero, attempting to extinguish the blaze, finding food and shelter for the homeless, and overseeing the design of the new city.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
dimecres, 23 novembre 2016, © Crítiq
Fa pocs dies Eoin Wilson, un periodista irlandès, fou deportat pel govern d'Israel després de ser interrogat per membres del Ministeri de l'Interior i les agències d'inteligència del país per un seguit d'articles que havia escrit sobre Palestina. Els agents també es van interessar pel seu suport al Celtic de Glasgow. El reporter, a qui han prohibit l'entrada a Israel durant un període de deu anys adduint raons de seguretat i ordre públic, es preguntava sorprès si el fet de donar suport al Celtic era sinònim de simpatitzar amb la causa palestina. full article>
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
by Yoav Litvin
November 25, 2016, © Counterpunch.org
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the quintessential Teflon politician. Though his many years as a statesman have been plagued by one scandal after another, he remains at the helm of Israel unscathed and unchallenged. full article>
No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
November 29, 2016, © The Progressive
In the mid-1980s, shortly after Ronald Reagan won a forty-nine-state landslide victory in his campaign for a second term, David Bowie had a top-forty hit with a haunting song from the soundtrack to the spy drama The Falcon and the Snowman. The song resonated with people who felt disconnected from their nation. It was titled "This Is Not America." full article>
Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else.
Aria of the Day
"Piangero, la sorte mia" from Georg Friedrich Händel's Giulo Cesare:
here sung by Cecilia Bartoli:
In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
by Andrew Levine
November 18, 2016, © Counterpunch
The good news is that Hillary Clinton won't be starting World War III. Also, at least for now and probably forever, we are rid of the two most noxious political families in recent American history, the Bushes and the Clintons. full article>
In the end, it's about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016, © International Rivers
As wind and solar power have taken off globally, the World Bank is far behind the curve in its continued focus on large hydro. Given its poor track record and recent failures in the sector, it's time for the Bank to catch up with the world and embrace new renewables. full article>
Why do you not practice what you preach?
November 17, 2016
Next to the Trump con job that won him the election, one of the greatest myths in American politics has been the presumed popularity of the Clintons. The Clinton myth was propelled by a Democratic establishment that thought having an Arkansas guy who went to Oxford was about as good as you could get. full article>
Now I believe I can hear the philosophers protesting that it can only be misery to live in folly, illusion, deception and ignorance, but it isn't -it's human.
Punk Rock Album of the Day
"Double Nickels on the Dime", The Minutemen
I couldn't wait to get on the ice. I couldn't wait to get to practice. As a kid, I couldn't wait to shoot pucks or play in parking lots, or play on the river or play on the bay.
Por: Raúl Kollmann
20 de noviembre de 2016, © Pagina12
La economía en su peor momento y cada vez más enojo de gran parte de los argentinos. Esta es una síntesis del cuadro de situación de la opinión pública en este noviembre y es lo que se reflejó en la movilización del viernes, con una parte de los dirigentes sindicales tomando cierta distancia de la Casa Rosada. full article>
There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
10 novembre 2016, © La Presse
Leonard Cohen, incontournable ambassadeur culturel de Montréal à travers le monde, n'est plus.
Véritable légende dans le domaine de la chanson et de la poésie, l'auteur-compositeur-interprète, reconnaissable au timbre grave de sa voix et à ses textes souvent sombres, mélancoliques ou dédiés aux femmes de sa vie, est mort aujourd'hui. M. Cohen avait 82 ans. full article>
Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act.
Michael Hann and Claire Phipps
Friday 11 November 2016, © The Guardian
Leonard Cohen has died aged 82. Here we round up tributes and reaction as they flood in for Canada's cultural icon full article>
If I knew where the good songs came from, I'd go there more often.
Pablo Ximénez de Sandoval
Los Ángeles 11 NOV 2016, © El País
Leonard Cohen, cantautor y poeta canadiense que sedujo a varias generaciones con canciones como Suzanne o I'm your man, falleció este lunes a los 82 años, aunque hasta el jueves 10 su familia no dio el anuncio en su página de Facebook. "Con profunda tristeza informamos de que el legendario poeta, cantautor y artista Leonard Cohen ha fallecido. Hemos perdido a uno de los visionarios más prolíficos y reverenciados de la música. Se celebrará un funeral en Los Ángeles en próximas fechas. La familia pide privacidad durante este momento de dolor". full article>
Everything established, settled, everything to do with home and order and the common ground, has crumbled into dust and has been swept away in the general upheaval and reorganization of the whole of society. The whole human way of life has been destroyed and ruined. All that's left is the bare, shivering human soul, stripped to the last shred, the naked force of the human psyche for which nothing has changed because it was always cold and shivering and reaching out to its nearest neighbor, as cold and lonely as itself.
By Azi Paybarah
11/09/16, © Politico
Walking down the Avenue of the Americas in Midtown this morning, ignoring the rain, was a downcast Dennis Kucinich, former congressman from Ohio who ran for president as a little-appreciated, anti-war, progressive in 2008.
What happened last night?
He said voters rejected all semblance of convention, and voted their rage — fueled by economic anxiety brought on by years of free trade agreements, Wall Street bailouts and expensive wars.
"This isn't about a victory of the Republican Party over Democrats, and it certainly wasn't a victory of conservatives over liberals, or right over left," he said. "This is a very clear demonstration that the American people are totally dissatisfied with establishment politics. ... Both parties held hands and bailed out the banks."
Kucinich said the issue of "bread or bombs" was overlooked.
"It was submerged in the primaries because Bernie Sanders did not take Hillary Clinton on, on her bad choices in foreign policies," Kucinich said. "She voted to fund those wars, to transfer the resources of the American people to more war and that's an issue that isn't resolved yet."
Kucinich demurred when asked who speaks to those issues better, who he would like to see step forward.
"Is there anybody out there picking it up? No," he said. "Because the political establishment has been more or less wed to the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex. That's the game that's played. That no matter who wins, they win." full article>
I hold a beast, an angel and a madman within me.
October 12, 2016, © Cracked
I'm going to explain the Donald Trump phenomenon in three movies. And then some text.
There's this universal shorthand that epic adventure movies use to tell the good guys from the bad. The good guys are simple folk from the countryside ... full article>
The line between inner and outer landscapes is breaking down. Earthquakes can result from seismic upheavals within the human mind. The whole random universe of the industrial age is breaking down into cryptic fragments.
—William S. Burroughs
Jill here - I am writing to share my thoughts with you as we grieve together this morning after Donald Trump's election.
I want to acknowledge the very real pain that so many Americans are feeling. We cannot and will not concede to what a Trump presidency represents for people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT folks, the poor and working people.
We call on all Americans to stand together with oppressed communities and demand that Trump respect the human rights and dignity of all people in our society and our world. We must stand with people of color, with immigrants and Indigenous people, with Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ people, women, and all whose rights are threatened. Solidarity must be our guiding principle. full article>
You think the end justifies the means, however vile. I tell you: the end is the means by which you achieve it. Today's step is tomorrow's life. Great ends cannot be attained by base means. You've proved that in all your social upheavals. The meanness and inhumanity of the means make you mean and inhuman and make the end unattainable.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 9 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Wednesday after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States:
"Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids - all while the very rich become much richer.
"To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him." full article>
This Revolution is genuine because it was born from the same womb that always gives birth to massive social upheavals - the womb of intolerable conditions and unendurable situations.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
I've been scolded by friends and strangers, sometimes mildly and sometimes with disdain, for supporting Jill Stein in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Some of the attacks I've received publicly and privately have been surprisingly angry and patronizing. I've been told that I'm a patsy for Donald Trump, that I'm naïve, misinformed, elitist, ignorant, and worse.
This has been an unusually carnivalesque election so far, from the primary season through to the "main event", with a premium on vitriol and mendacity, dominated by a frequently disheartening lack of profundity and objectivity from the mainstream media.
This is the poorest two-candidate race for the presidency that I have ever witnessed the corporate media/political Establishment attempt to ram down the throats of the U.S. electorate. full article>
The only thing that will really change global warming in the long run is if we radically increase the speed with which we get alternative technologies to deal with climate change.
Invasion of the Day
France invades Spain, 1808:
By Bécquer Seguín and Sebastiaan Faber
November 4, 2016, © The Nation
On October 29, four months after the most recent parliamentary elections, the Spanish parliament voted to reelect Mariano Rajoy, head of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), as the country's prime minister. Rajoy's minority government, sworn in today, is poised to continue a politics of austerity and privatization that, at its peak, left more than one in four Spaniards jobless. And it is thanks to the center-left Socialist party (PSOE), Spain's second-biggest party, that he will get the opportunity. While two smaller parties—Ciudadanos, a young right-wing party, and Coalición Canaria, the longtime ruling regional party of the Canary Islands—supported Rajoy, the key votes were abstentions. full article>
Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca
November 2, 2016, © The Progressive
Socialist rabble-rouser Eugene Debs received almost a million votes for President more than once—the last time was while he was in prison.
Bernie Sanders made the word "socialist" suddenly popular this year. But the Socialist Party was once a powerful third party here in the United States. It captured the hearts and minds of millions of working-class people and intellectuals who supported a serious challenge to the status quo. full article>
Even the alternative weekly newspapers, traditionally a bastion of progressive thought and analysis, have been bought by a monopoly franchise and made a predictable shift to the right in their coverage of local news.
by Alan Nasser
November 4, 2016, © Counterpunch
In the recent Wikileaks revelations confirming Hillary Clinton's duplicity, one of the clearest disclosures of her policy plans concerns her intention regarding Social Security. She stated that she would return to the position of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, charged with producing recommendations for reducing the deficit, i.e. cutting government social spending. full article>
I didn't mean to spend my life writing American history, which should have been taught in the schools, but I saw no alternative but to taking it on myself. I could think of a lot of cheerier things I'd rather be doing than analyzing George Washington and Aaron Burr. But it came to pass, that was my job, so I did it.
William D. Hartung
Oct. 30, 2016, © Mother Jones
Through good times and bad, regardless of what's actually happening in the world, one thing is certain: In the long run, the Pentagon budget won't go down.
It's not that the budget has never been reduced. At pivotal moments, like the end of World War II as well as the war's end in Korea and Vietnam, there were indeed temporary downturns, as there was after the Cold War. More recently, the Budget Control Act of 2011 threw a monkey wrench into the Pentagon's plans for funding that would go ever onward and upward by putting a cap on the money Congress could pony up for it. The remarkable thing, though, is not that such moments have occurred, but how modest and short-lived they've proved to be. full article>
Tree of the Day
The Bowthorpe Oak, Lincolnshire:
We have the best government that money can buy.
by John Pilger
October 28, 2016, © Counterpunch
The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda.
The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term "public relations" as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions.
In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade – behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, "Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!" full article>
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
By Robert Parry
October 27, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
The United States is so committed to the notion that its electoral process is the world's "gold standard" that there has been a bipartisan determination to maintain the fiction even when evidence is overwhelming that a U.S. presidential election has been manipulated or stolen. The "wise men" of the system simply insist otherwise. full article>
Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.
Football Player of the Day
In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.
October 24, 2016, © The Progressive
Tom Hayden is perhaps best known as the principal author of the Port Huron Statement, the central document of the Students for a Democratic Society, written in June 1962. It declared "we seek the establishment of a democracy of individual participation."
On the fiftieth anniversary of that document, Hayden, who died Sunday at age 76, spoke at numerous events, revisiting its history. "Recently," he wrote in 2012, "I saw the same spirit I had witnessed in the South fifty years ago—the spirit that inspired the Port Huron Statement—in the actions of undocumented undergraduates risking deportation to stand up for the Dream Act. I saw it in the Wisconsin movement to recall Governor Scott Walker, and in Occupy Wall Street's insistence that 1 percent of the population shouldn't control such a vast portion of the country's wealth." full article>
The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.
By Peter Dykstra
Oct 20 2016, © FAIR
On Wednesday evening during the final presidential debate of the campaign, Hell did not freeze over. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, where climate denial plays nothing but home games, passed on the final opportunity to ask Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton about climate change. full article>
In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing; from which it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only when all possess something and none has too much.
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract)
by Hiroyuki Hamada
October 25, 2016, © Counterpunch
Fear is the key word for this presidential election. There is the fear of the Republican candidate Donald Trump as we all know. But I also think there is another fear. It's the fear of accepting what this country has become. full article>
Three conditions are necessary for Penance: contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment; confession of sins without any omission; and satisfaction by means of good works.
Turtle of the Day
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it... You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.
Oct 20, 2016, © Disinfo
Big AG tech giants Monsanto – maker of Agent Orange, genetically modified seeds, weed whacking chemicals – and Bayer – famed for manufacturing poison gas forNazi concentration camp use, heroin, baby aspirin, and systemic pesticides – are merging, much to the horror of food security advocates, consumers, and non-zombies worldwide. full article>
Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
By Adam Johnson
Oct 21 2016, © FAIR
Russia, ISIS and taxes overwhelmed all other topics during the four presidential and vice-presidential debates, totaling 429 mentions from both candidates and questioners. full article>
Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build the big bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks
By Sarah Jaffe
October 20, 2016, © The Nation
Astra Taylor: You open your book with the Tea Party. Is the left taking advantage of the populist moment we find ourselves in?
Sarah Jaffe: I think part of what we realize now with the Trump upsurge is that there's a whole lot of people—many of whom are mad about some of the same things we're mad about—whom we haven't reached, and who are then reaching for solutions that we find just horrifying. Whether Trump loses or not, we have to deal with what they saw in (him) and whether we can offer them a better solution. full article>
If I can send the flower of the German nation into the hell of war without the smallest pity for the shedding of precious German blood, then surely I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin.
Emma Foehringer Merchant
Oct. 20, 2016, © MotherJones
Five minutes and twenty-seven seconds were spent on climate change and other environmental issues in the three presidential debates, 2 percent of the total time—and that was pretty much all Hillary Clinton talking. (Surprise, surprise.) full article>
We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
By John V. Walsh
October 20, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
According to Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, "On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary's policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump who does not want to go to war with Russia. He wants to seek modes of working together, which is the route that we need to follow not to go into confrontation and nuclear war with Russia." full article>
The poetry of heroism appeals irresitably to those who don't go to a war, and even more so to those whom the war is making enormously wealthy.
—Louis Ferdinand Celine
by John Wight
October 21, 2016, © Counterpunch
On October 20, 2011, Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi was brutally murdered by a mob of NATO-backed 'rebels', after first being beaten and violated in the most barbaric fashion. History leaves no doubt that not only was the Libyan leader murdered on this day but Libya itself. full article>
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Italian Football Player of the Day
Luigi "Gigi" Riva:
Par Nathalie Dray
14 octobre 2016, © Libération
"Le style n'est pas quelque chose qu'on peut dégager de l'œuvre d'art. Il la pénètre et l'imprègne tout en demeurant invisible et indémontrable." Ces propos de Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968), rapportés dans le documentaire que lui consacrait la série Cinéastes de notre temps en 1965, ont de quoi intimider mais aussi apaiser. Comment prétendre cerner le style de ce cinéaste de génie auquel la Cinémathèque française ouvre ses portes pour le bonheur d'une rétrospective si lui-même le renvoie à l'ineffable ? full article>
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
Javier Pérez Andújar
15 OCT 2016, © El País
La verdad es algo muy ligero. En el antiguo Egipto se la simbolizaba con una pluma, y para nosotros la pluma sigue manteniendo un carácter sagrado, pues con ella representamos la palabra escrita. Se espera de lo escrito que sea cierto; pero eso era antes de que nos volviéramos unos descreídos. De hecho, lo escrito está perdiendo popularidad, y puede que hasta prestigio, frente a lo audiovisual. Hoy lo escrito tiene valor por puro autoritarismo, porque mantiene la coartada del poder. full article>
What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it
By DECLAN WALSH
OCT. 14, 2016, © The New York Times
NOGALES, Mexico - A few hundred feet from the American border, José Manuel Talavera contemplated his challenge with the focus, if not quite the physique, of an Olympic high jumper. A stocky coffee farmer from Honduras, he was fresh off La Bestia, or the Beast — the freight train network used by migrants to cross Mexico. Now he was preparing to vault into the United States, for the third time. full article>
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Madrid 16 OCT 2016, © El País
Desde que existe, el oficio de historiador consiste en investigar y documentar actos, hechos, vidas, acontecimientos, instituciones, procesos, costumbres, mentalidades, culturas y, con más ahínco en los últimos años, representaciones o historias que se han contado como memorias del pasado. Esa es la primera tarea del historiador: indagar, documentar; eso es lo que le mueve a salir de casa, abandonar el tiempo que le ha tocado vivir, para adentrarse en un país remoto y extraño en busca de las huellas de lo que un día fue y ya no es, del pasado. El de historiador es un oficio para gente curiosa, capaz de salir de sí misma, gente que quiere saber cosas que la experiencia de cada día no le ofrece, quiere saber lo ocurrido en un tiempo que fue y a unas gentes que ya no son. full article>
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
by Gary Leupp
October 14, 2016, © Counterpunch
1. Syria is country about the size of Washington state, with an extraordinarily long, well-documented and glorious history, and central role in the emergence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Before the current war, it had a population of around 22 millions. It has never threatened and poses no threat to the United States. full article>
Only one thing is necessary: we should all have a pure heart, with no anger, hatred, irritation, or hostility in it. If you feel hostility toward another person, think about their inner state. Do not think about yourself, or that you want to prove yourself right. In your quiet, inner thoughts, try to find the good in others. Do not say anything bad about others, even in your own thoughts. When you interact with a person, try to find as much common ground as possible, the more the better, and try to nurture this feeling. To cease being angry with a person and instead to seek peace, forgiveness and love toward him, remind yourself of any sins you may have in common and compare them.
Philosopher of the Day
Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes; this is partly because it gets unobstructed hold of the hearer's mind without his being distracted by secondary thoughts, and partly because he feels that here he is not being corrupted or deceived by the arts of rhetoric, but that the whole effect is got from the thing itself.
Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio
14/10/2016, © Ahora
La idea de que las muertes sin odio, las eliminaciones, son muertes limpias suele aplicarse para acreditar la necesidad de unas muertes; donde no hay odio ni pasión no hay subjetividad, motivos irracionales, y hay, por tanto, objetividad, racionalidad; y quien dice racionalidad, dice necesidad, y quien dice necesidad, dice justicia. (No parezca tan caricaturesco, que aún los hay más insensatos.) El guardia se mata y se tira, porque no hay nada personal contra él; su muerte es solamente el medio de afrentar al poder que representa. full article>
Always tell the Truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said.
October 10, 2016, © ACLU
For the past six months, at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers, history has been made at one of the largest international gatherings of indigenous people in recent history. Representatives from well over 100 indigenous nations and thousands of people have camped, prayed, and taken action in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on and near the tribe's sovereign land in North Dakota. full article>
Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.
By Adam Johnson
Oct 13 2016, © FAIR
A review of topics mentioned and questions asked in the first three presidential/vice-presidential debates shows a significant emphasis on Russia, terrorism and taxes—pushing aside most other issues, including climate change, abortion, education, campaign finance and LGBTQ rights. full article>
If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Andrew Levine
October 7, 2016, © Counterpunch
Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize -for not being George W. Bush. This seemed unseemly at the time, but not outrageous. Seven years later, it seems grotesque.
As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. full article>
Bad Sport of the Day:
Nuestras convicciones más arraigadas, más indubitables, son las más sospechosas. Ellas constituyen nuestro límite, nuestros confines, nuestra prisión.
—José Ortega y Gasset
07/10/2016, © Ahora
El manifiesto del primer número de la revista Provoke, firmado por los fotógrafos Takuma Nakahira, Yutaka Takanashi, el crítico Koji Taki y el poeta Okada Takahiro, decía: "En este preciso instante, el lenguaje pierde sus referentes concretos —en otras palabras, su realidad— para flotar en el espacio. Como fotógrafos, debemos capturar con nuestra propia mirada los fragmentos de esta realidad que ya no puede ser aprehendida por el lenguaje y debemos producir activamente materiales visuales capaces de suscitar (un nuevo) lenguaje e ideas". full article>
Buscamos cada noche con esfuerzo, entre tierras pesadas y asfixiantes, ese liviano pájaro de luz que arde y se nos escapa en un gemido.
Oct 5, 2016, © Disinfo
According to a new crime report published last week by the FBI, the Drug War is still a pervasive cause for arrest in the United States. The data, which covers recorded arrests for violent crime and property crime as disclosed by local police departments, revealed that arrests for simple possession of drugs — mostly marijuana — are still widespread across the country. full article>
De querer ser a creer que se es ya, va la distancia de lo trágico o lo cómico.
—José Ortega y Gasset
By Robert Parry
October 6, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Most intelligent Americans – Republicans as well as Democrats – now accept that they were duped into the Iraq War with disastrous consequences, but there is more uncertainty about the war on Libya in 2011 as well as the ongoing proxy war on Syria and the New Cold War showdown with Russia over Ukraine. full article>
Creo que la actitud más lúcida, más sana, es tener presente que la vida y que el amor se acaban.
par Cécile Raimbeau
Octobre 2016, © Le Monde Diplomatique
"On veut du travail et du développement !" En ce jour d'avril 2016, une vingtaine de paysans brandissent leurs machettes autour d'un meneur, le pistolet à la ceinture. Face à eux, des Amérindiens Lencas, accompagnés d'écologistes de diverses nationalités, tentent de se rendre sur le site du barrage Agua Zarca. Ils veulent poursuivre le combat de Berta Cáceres, honorée par le prix Goldman pour l'environnement en 2015 et assassinée un an plus tard, ou celui de Nelson García, tué quinze jours après elle. Bientôt, la délégation internationale doit reculer pour échapper aux lames menaçantes et aux jets de pierres. Les policiers demeurent immobiles. full article>
La vida es una serie de colisiones con el futuro; no es una suma de lo que hemos sido, sino de lo que anhelamos ser.
—José Ortega y Gasset
di Fabrizio Dragosei
6 ottobre 2016, © Corriere Della Sera
tava tornando a casa con la spesa quel sabato pomeriggio di dieci anni fa Anna Politkovskaya, la giornalista investigativa di Novaya Gazetache tanto fastidio dava al potere con le sue inchieste. Ma nell'androne del numero 8 di ulitsa Lesnaya non era sola. Davanti all'ascensore, appostato da pochi minuti c'era un giovane vestito di nero con in mano una pistola automatica che la uccise con freddezza professionale. Tre, quattro colpi al corpo e poi un ultimo proiettile alla testa, mentre Anna cadeva in terra e i pomodori rotolavano sul pavimento. full article>
La noche no era el sueño, era su boca, era su hermoso cuerpo despojado de sus gestos inútiles.
By JP Sottile
September 30, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
The Israeli lobby wins again! That's the obvious takeaway from President Barack Obama's historically large, but not quite unprecedented $38 billion "aid package" to Bibi Netanyahu's supposedly intransigent government.
In Israel, the ten-year deal is seen as a solid, but not complete victory for Bibi. In the U.S., the deal looks like it's the cost of doing business with Iran. Sadly, the deal also looks like a bad sign of things to come for the Palestinian people. full article>
Bad Loser of the Day:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016, © InternationalRivers.org
Deep in the Amazon's central basin, one tribe is holding back the seemingly inexorable march of development.
It came in low, guns bristling through the open bay. Such a strange apparition, like a giant insect, almost familiar but for its unnatural sound and fury and the faces staring down at them, striped in the black and green warpaint of the pariwat (outsider). With school in session, no one thought to ask about the unwelcome intrusion by radioing FUNAI, the Brazilian government's agency for indigenous affairs.
As the shooting started it reminded some of carnaval firecrackers in Jacareacanga. But only for an instant. The Munduruku knew pariwat gunfire when they heard it, so they ran. The one young man not out hunting, Adenilson Munduruku, was killed by a bullet to the back of the head, execution-style. Could the Brazilian Armed Forces have mistaken Adenilson for an illegal gold miner as they hovered over a Munduruku village and gazed upon an indigenous culture engaged in its daily rituals? Any such explanation must be rejected given that a dozen people were injured in the November 2012 attack, children among them. One of the Munduruku villagers later told human rights activist Maíra Irigaray/Amazon Watch: "We knew immediately that this was intimidation because of our stand against the dams planned for Tapajós." full article>
We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.
30/09/2016, © Ahora
Dos de octubre de 1836, Falmouth, Inglaterra. "Llegué a casa a última hora de anoche. Mi cabeza está confusa con tanto regocijo." Después de haber llenado exhaustivamente decenas de bitácoras científicas, cuadernos de campo y diarios personales durante un lustro de navegación, al joven Charles Robert Darwin le cuesta describir su estado de ánimo una vez en tierra firme. Acababa de despedirse de su hogar flotante de los últimos cinco años, el HMS Beagle, navío del Almirantazgo en misión de exploración hidrográfica por los mares de medio mundo. No volvería a embarcar jamás. El futuro autor de El origen de las especies (1859) ignoraba cuán lejos habría de conducirle aquella travesía en adelante. Desconocía aún que sus observaciones en latitudes remotas derribarían al ser humano del pedestal de la creación divina, aunque quizá pudo intuir ya algo de su alcance transformador respecto de sí mismo. "El viaje del Beagle ha sido de largo el acontecimiento más importante de mi vida. Ha determinado toda mi carrera", subrayó en su autobiografía. full article>
In the literal sense, there has been no relevant evolution since the trek from Africa. But there has been substantial progress towards higher standards of rights, justice and freedom - along with all too many illustrations of how remote is the goal of a decent society.
Por Sandra Russo
Sábado, 01 de octubre de 2016, © Página/12
La realidad argentina está cruzada, en los medios, por un falso dilema entre la mentira y la verdad. Aceleradamente, los debates mediáticos sobre todos los temas se vuelven cotorreos en los que indefectiblemente dos polemistas, uno defendiendo a Cambiemos y el otro cuestionándolo, trepan a un punto insoportable en el que uno le dice al otro "estás mintiendo", y el otro le contesta "no mientas más". full article>
Congress is so beholden to the money that any solution in the general interest will be frustrated and subverted by the corporate interests who feel they will be damaged by progress, fair play and justice.
—E. L. Doctorow
Tree of the Day:
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
23/09/2016, © Ahora
Quiere ser secretaria general del PSOE y cree que puede serlo. Quiere porque es muy ambiciosa, siempre lo ha sido. Por eso está donde está. Y cree que puede porque tiene ideas suficientes y los respaldos necesarios. Por si esos dos requisitos, querer y poder, no fuesen suficientes, quienes conocen sus intenciones añaden otro más: debe hacerlo por el bien del partido. Y ahí es donde la decisión no admite vuelta atrás. Para ella no hay nada más imperioso que la llamada del partido. Así de claro lo tiene Susana Díaz a estas alturas de la batalla por la secretaría general del PSOE. full article>
Working in a garden calms me down.
by Ramzy Baroud
September 30, 2016, © Counterpunch
Former Israeli Prime Minister and President, Shimon Peres, was a very successful brand. He was presented to the world as stately, wise, a relentless advocate of peace, and a sane voice amidst a conflict deemed senseless and unending.
Now that he is dead at 93, international media are rife with touching tributes and heartwarming eulogies of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, one of Israel's most sagacious 'founding fathers', who was also seen as a 'giant among men'. full article>
It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
23/09/2016, © Ahora
En 1769 nacían, con apenas un mes de diferencia, dos personajes destinados a cambiar el mundo, uno desde las armas y la invasión; el otro, desde la ciencia y el diálogo. El primero, Napoleón, puso en jaque durante 15 años a las potencias absolutistas europeas con su desmedida ambición y construyó en Francia, país del que se proclamó emperador, un Estado tan avanzado que buena parte de sus restos se han integrado en las modernas democracias. El segundo, Alexander von Humboldt, fue un polímata prusiano educado en los ideales ilustrados que orientó todas sus capacidades al desarrollo y perfeccionamiento de distintas disciplinas. Napoleón y Von Humboldt tuvieron objetivos muy distintos y cuando sus caminos se cruzaron, se produjeron fricciones. El corso encajó mal la popularidad del naturalista berlinés y le tuvo siempre por espía; por su parte, el científico lamentó la deriva dictatorial de alguien a quien, como a Victor Hugo o Stendhal, había considerado un ídolo. Fueron distintos incluso en su muerte: cuando falleció Napoleón, en su exilio en Santa Elena, una parte del mundo respiró aliviada; cuando lo hizo Von Humboldt, en su Berlín natal, a los 89 años, el mundo se detuvo. Su funeral de Estado y las muestras de cariño desde cada rincón del planeta certificaron que se había acabado una época. Había muerto el hombre que revolucionó de forma drástica las ciencias y el pensamiento, la visión de la naturaleza y la manera de narrar textos científicos. full article>
It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.
par Michael Klare
Septembre 2016, © Le Monde Diplomatique
Alors que la course à la présidence américaine bat son plein et que les responsables européens étudient les conséquences du "Brexit", les débats publics sur la sécurité se focalisent sur la lutte contre le terrorisme international. Mais, si ce sujet sature l'espace médiatique et politique, il joue un rôle relativement secondaire dans les échanges entre généraux, amiraux et ministres de la défense. Car ce ne sont pas les conflits de basse intensité qui retiennent leur attention, mais ce qu'ils nomment les "guerres ouvertes" : des conflits majeurs contre des puissances nucléaires comme la Russie et la Chine. Les stratèges occidentaux envisagent à nouveau un choc de ce type, comme au plus fort de la guerre froide. full article>
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
by Robert Fisk
September 29, 2016, © Counterpunch
When the world heard that Shimon Peres had died, it shouted "Peacemaker!" But when I heard that Peres was dead, I thought of blood and fire and slaughter.
I saw the results: babies torn apart, shrieking refugees, smouldering bodies. It was a place called Qana and most of the 106 bodies - half of them children - now lie beneath the UN camp where they were torn to pieces by Israeli shells in 1996. I had been on a UN aid convoy just outside the south Lebanese village. Those shells swished right over our heads and into the refugees packed below us. It lasted for 17 minutes. full article>
Broken Treaty of the Day:
The Treaty of Fort Laramie
Also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868. It was an agreement between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota, and ArapahoNation signed on April 29, 1868 at Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territory, guaranteeing the Lakota ownership of the Black Hills, and further land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Powder River Country was to be henceforth closed to all chites. It was repeatedly broken by the U.S. government, a crime that has not been prosecuted or remedied in any significant way to this day.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
By Brenda Norrell
Standing Roc water protectors moved in mass today, by the hundreds, and halted construction at multiple sites of Dakota Access Pipeline where work was supposed to be halted.
'The roads were blocked -- the eagle guided us," said one of the Lakota women, among hundreds who rushed to the sites to halt construction today. full article>
Hay cosas encerradas dentro de los muros que, si salieran de pronto a la calle y gritaran, llenarían el mundo.
—Federico García Lorca
Tuesday 27 September 2016, © The Guardian
Do they understand what they have signed? Plainly they do not. Governments such as ours, now ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change, haven't the faintest idea what it means – either that or they have no intention of honouring it.
For the first time we can see the numbers on which the agreement depends, and their logic is inescapable. Governments can either meet their international commitments or allow the prospecting and development of new fossil fuel reserves. They cannot do both. full article>
Quiero llorar, porque me da la gana.
—Federico García Lorca
Sep 22, 2016, © Disinfo
In the wake of the Colin Kaepernick national anthem controversy, American nationalism has shifted from overdrive to hyperdrive.
Though internet temper tantrums and jersey-burning have dominated protests against Kaepernick's protest, the backlash is being felt in a different and more institutional way: in public schools. full article>
September 27, 2016, © Democracy Now
Syrian Fig Tree of the Day:
Abyad (White) ابيض
Our moral authority is as important, if not more important, than our troop strength or our high-tech weapons. We are rapidly losing that moral authority, not only in the Arab world but all over the world.
By Rick Sterling
September 23, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Manipulation of public perception has risen to a new level with the emergence of powerful social media. Multibillion-dollar corporate giants, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, influence public perceptions, often via payments for "boosting" Facebook posts, paid promotion of Tweets, and biased results from search engines.
Marketing and advertising companies use social media to promote their clients, but so do U.S. foreign policy managers who hire or enlist these companies to influence public perceptions to support U.S. foreign policy goals. full article>
Even in the 1950s, President Eisenhower was concerned about what he called a campaign of hatred of the U.S. in the Arab world, because of the perception on the Arab street that it supported harsh and oppressive regimes to take their oil.
by Mike Whitney
September 15, 2016, © Counterpunch
The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.
The main driver of the conflict is the country that's toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. (See: Bill Blum here.) We're talking about the United States of course. full article>
The idea of photographing an Arab man naked and having him simulate homosexual activity, and having an American GI woman in the photographs, is the end of society in their eyes.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Feb. 25, 2016, © EcoWatch
The fossil fuel industry's business model is to externalize its costs by clawing in obscene subsidies and tax deductions—causing grave environmental costs, including toxic pollution and global warming. Among the other unassessed prices of the world's addiction to oil are social chaos, war, terror, the refugee crisis overseas, and the loss of democracy and civil rights abroad and at home.
As we focus on the rise of ISIS and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores. full article>
The U.S. and its allies will do anything they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world.
September 22, 2016, © OurFuture.org
With the advent of Donald Trump, what was once covert in the Republican message has become overt. Yesterday's dog whistle is today's screaming siren. Case in point: anti-immigrant bigotry, which was most recently expressed in Donald Trump Jr.'s recent "Skittles"-themed Twitter attack on Syrian refugees.
Think about that. Don Jr. compared people who are fleeing horrific violence to ... tiny candies. This emotional inability to distinguish human beings from inanimate objects, and therefore to empathize with their suffering, seems to border on the sociopathic. Even Wrigley, the candy's manufacturer, distanced itself in a statement that said: "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it is an appropriate analogy." full article>
Brutal Dictator of the Day:
Islam Karimov (with John Kerry)
(Free trade agreements) are trade agreements that don't stick to trade...they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce.
by Andrew Levine
September 23, 2016, © Counterpunch
The news is full of it – literally and figuratively: Trump is surging in the polls, especially in so-called battleground states. Is it time to worry?
Indeed, it is, but not about Trump. The Donald has been headed for defeat from the moment he started trouncing his rivals in the Republican primaries and caucuses. No matter that the polls are now detecting a Trump surge (more like a trickle, actually) or that the know-it-alls — left, right and center — now think otherwise. Nothing has changed; he still is. full article>
The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war.
—Ludwig von Mises
By Dean Baker
Sep 23 2016, © FAIR
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has little to do with free trade. The trade barriers between the United States and the other countries are already very low, with few exceptions; in fact, the US already has trade deals with six of the 11 countries in the TPP. The TPP is primarily about installing a corporate-friendly structure of regulation, as well as increasing protectionist barriers in the form of stronger and longer patent and copyright and related protections. (It doesn't matter if you and your friends like patent and copyright protection; they are still protectionism.) full article>
By Anna Lekas Miller
September 23, 2016, © The Nation
"We weren't expecting to be here very long," Ayhan, a 28-year-old from Afrin, Syria, says, as she sits with her husband, Hozan, on a porch made of wood pallets outside their modest tent in the Nea Kavala refugee camp in northern Greece.
"I only have two changes of clothes," she continues, pouring coffee into a row of baby-food tins that have been repurposed as coffee cups for impromptu guests. "What I'm wearing right now, and what I wore when I crossed the sea in February." full article>
September 19, 2016, © Democracy Now
Poem of the Day:
"In the Desert", by Stephen Crane
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter -- bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.
16/09/2016, © Ahora
"Esto podría haberse quedado en un caso de un ser humano teniendo un mal día", dice la veterana periodista Christiane Amanpour en un vídeo que ha corrido como la pólvora en las redes sociales, en el que apunta que es normal que un candidato caiga enfermo alguna vez en una campaña electoral tan larga y dura como la estadounidense. "Pero no, como pasa con tantas cosas con Hillary, los medios se están divirtiendo", añade irónicamente, recordando la cantidad de crisis de salud que han vivido a lo largo de la historia los políticos estadounidenses con el visto bueno de los medios: desde los dolores de Kennedy, que no le impidieron "salvar al mundo de un posible armagedón nuclear durante la crisis de los misiles cubanos", a la ocasión en la que George Bush padre vomitó encima del primer ministro japonés en una cena de Estado, para desmayarse justo después. Pero nadie cuestionó su capacidad política entonces. "Si los hombres pueden hacerlo, por qué no las mujeres." full article>
The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!
By Michael T. Klare
September 15, 2016, © The Nation
In a year of record-setting heat on a blistered globe, with fast-warming oceans, fast-melting ice caps, and fast-rising sea levels, ratification of the December 2015 Paris climate-summit agreement—already endorsed by most nations—should be a complete no-brainer. That it isn't tells you a great deal about our world. Global geopolitics and the possible rightward lurch of many countries (including a potential deal-breaking election in the United States that could put a climate denier in the White House) spell bad news for the fate of the Earth. It's worth exploring how this might come to be. full article>
Squirrel of the Day:
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Saturday 17 September 2016, © The Guardian
America's leading playwright Edward Albee, the author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – the bleakest of black domestic comedies – has died aged 88 at his home in Montauk, East Hampton.
His shocking play about a decaying academic marriage marked him out early as what the New York Times has called this weekend "the playwright of a desperate generation". full article>
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sep. 13, 2016, © MotherJones
And then there were three.
On Tuesday, marriage negotiations between seed/pesticide giant Monsanto and its suitor, German behemoth Bayer, got hotter than a corn field at high noon in late summer. Bayer sweetened its offer to $56.5 billion Tuesday afternoon, just as Monsanto's Board of Directors was scheduled to meet to consider the offer, according to Bloomberg News. Monsanto's board consented Wednesday—resulting in "the biggest deal this year and the largest ever by a German company." full article>
I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest. There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is.
by Lauren Kirchner
Sep. 12, 2016, © ProPublica
The five teenage boys were sitting in a parked car in a gated community in Melbourne, Florida, when a police officer pulled up behind them.
Officer Justin Valutsky closed one of the rear doors, which had been ajar, and told them to stay in the car. He peered into the drivers' side window of the white Hyundai SUV and asked what the teens were doing there. It was a Saturday night in March 2015 and they told Valutsky they were visiting a friend for a sleepover. full article>
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cloud of the Day:
There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.
by Mike Whitney
September 15, 2016, © Counterpunch
The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.
The main driver of the conflict is the country that's toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. We're talking about the United States of course.
Washington is the hands-down regime change champion, no one else even comes close. That being the case, one might assume that the American people would notice the pattern of intervention, see through the propaganda and assign blame accordingly. But that never seems to happen and it probably won't happen here either. No matter how compelling the evidence may be, the brainwashed American people always believe their government is doing the right thing. full article>
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Sep 15, 2016, © Disinfo.com
The complete version of Abby Martin's three-part series covering Chevron's disaster in Ecuador, on teleSUR's The Empire Files.
Abby launches a deep investigation into Chevron Texaco's intentional spilling of 19 billion gallons of oil and waste in Ecuador's pristine Amazon rainforest–and the 25-year-long legal battle that followed. full article>
Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.
By Robert Parry
September 14, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 – and was to some of us – that the West's military intervention to "protect" civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous "regime change" operation.
The report from the U.K.'s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the "humanitarian" mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos. full article>
Crow of the Day:
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
By Jon Wiener
September 12, 2016, © The Nation
President Obama will grant his last pardons by January 20, 2017, his final day in office. With that in mind, and with Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden biopic slated for release this fall, I sat down with Ben Wizner in July to ask about the NSA whistle-blower's chances of coming home soon. Wizner is Snowden's attorney; he also directs the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. full article>
Be curious, not judgmental.
September 13, 2016, © The Progressive
In 1995, Oliver Stone directed and co-wrote Nixon, a film about America's wiretapper-in-chief and all the president's über-snoopers, with Anthony Hopkins as Tricky Dick, Bob Hoskins as FBI führer J. Edgar Hoover and a supporting cast of GOP dirty tricksters and "plumbers." full article>
Héroes del ayer y del hoy. En la noche más soñada, cuando la situación era límite, cuando había que sacarse la mufa en torneos internacionales después de la Libertadores 2014. Y justamente dos partícipes de aquel torneo inolvidable fueron los dos grandes personajes de una noche electrizante en el Gasómetro. Partidazo para ver, pero demasiado para cualquier hincha. Al palo, con tres goles en diez minutos, el descuento de Banfield y el sufrimiento hasta el final, con esos cuatro minutos eternos de descuento. El viento que empujaba en contra, la gente que alentaba desde afuera... y la descarga con la clasificación a octavos de final ya asegurada. full article>
Movie Director of the Day:
I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.
September 10, 2016, © Democracy Now
An arrest warrant has been issued in North Dakota for Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman. Goodman was charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor offense. A team from Democracy Now! was in North Dakota last week to cover the Native American-led protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.
On Sept. 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the Dakota Access pipeline company using dogs and pepper spray to attack protesters. Democracy Now!'s report went viral online and was rebroadcast on many outlets, including CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and Huffington Post. full article>
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
Sep. 11, 2016, © MotherJones
History is riddled with science denial. From Newton's law of gravitation to Hanaoka Seinshu's use of anesthesia, there's no shortage of discoveries that have been scoffed at, ridiculed, and wholly rejected by prominent thinkers before eventually settling into the human narrative. But too often, significant damage is done—and sometimes lives are lost—while these debates play out. After centuries of dismissing scientific discoveries, only to be proven wrong time and again, you'd think we'd learn to have a little more faith in the experts. full article>
All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.
By Dahr Jamail
Monday, 12 September 2016, © Truthout
It is August 30. I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, and it's hot. Very hot. In fact, it's the fourth straight day of record high temperatures, amidst a year that has seen record high temperatures becoming normalized across the entire state.
Two days ago, this city (the most populous in Alaska) saw a record high temperature of 78 degrees, which beat the previous record by a whopping seven degrees. full article>
Shark of the Day:
Jill Stein, © jill2016.com
"My Power to the People Plan creates deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.
It offers direct answers to the economic, social, and ecological crises brought on by both corporate political parties. And it empowers the American people to fix our broken political system and make real the promise of democracy.
This plan will end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society and our world. The power to create this new world is not in our hopes, it's not in our dreams - it's in our hands." full article>
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sep. 9, 2016, © MotherJones
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile conduit slated to carry crude oil from North Dakota to southern Illinois when it's completed by the end of this year. Since its approval in late July, the project has sparked outrage. Last weekend, protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota reached a boiling point, with reports of violent attacks on protesters by security dogs and numerous instances of macing. full article>
The end of confession is to tell the truth to and for oneself.
—J. M. Coetzee
by Andrew Levine
September 9, 2016, © Counterpunch.org
Labor Day has come and gone; the campaign season is now in high gear. Getting to this point was hard for anyone paying attention. It will soon be worse a hundred-fold.
The collective intelligence of the American people is about to be insulted even more shamelessly than it has already been — as the sales campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rev up, seemingly without budget constraints. full article>
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
By Dean Baker
Sep 6 2016, © FAIR
In pushing trade agreements, it is fair to say anything, even if it has no relationship to the truth. Therefore it is not surprising to see Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post, 9/1/16) pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by claiming that it will boost growth, and attacking Bernie Sanders for opposing "trade policies that have lifted hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people out of poverty." full article>
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
Pear of the Day:
Behind the deceptive words designed to entice people into supporting violence -- words like democracy, freedom, self-defense, national security -- there is the reality of enormous wealth in the hands of a few, while billions of people in the world are hungry, sick, homeless.
By Lawrence Davidson
September 6, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
It was on Aug. 12, 1949, that the nations of the world, with Nazi atrocities still in mind, updated what are known as the Geneva Accords. This constituted an effort to once again set limits on the wartime behavior of states and their agents.
Among other things, the accords set the range of acceptable behavior toward prisoners of war, established protections for the wounded and the sick, and the necessary protections to be afforded civilian populations within and approximate to any war-zone. Some 193 countries, including the United States, have ratified these agreements. Now, as of August 2016, they are 67-years-old. Have they worked? The answer is, in all too many cases, no. full article>
It's not right to respond to terrorism by terrorizing other people. And furthermore, it's not going to help. Then you might say, "Yes, it's terrorizing people, but it's worth doing because it will end terrorism." But how much common sense does it take to know that you cannot end terrorism by indiscriminately dropping bombs?
by Robert Maguire on August 24, 2016, © OpenSecrets.org
In the long debate over the changing nature of election advertising, one thing is now clearer than ever: Outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited money – sometimes without disclosing the sources of their funds – make up a larger portion of election spending than at any point in the last 16 years, by far. full article>
Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.
Player of the Day:
Science arose from poetry... when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
by Pratap Chatterjee
August 15th, 2016, © CorpWatch
Every four years, billions tune in to watch the Olympics on television. And every four years, major corporations pay millions for prime advertising opportunities as official sponsors. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are no different with Coca-Cola and McDonald's igniting a storm of controversy over their role. full article>
We ought to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its antecedent state and as the cause of the state that is to follow. An intelligence knowing all the forces acting in nature at a given instant, as well as the momentary positions of all things in the universe, would be able to comprehend in one single formula the motions of the largest bodies as well as the lightest atoms in the world, provided that its intellect were sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to it nothing would be uncertain, the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes. The perfection that the human mind has been able to give to astronomy affords but a feeble outline of such an intelligence.
Tuesday 6 September 2016, © The Guardian
Andrés Iniesta says he heard the silence and knew that all he had to do was wait for Isaac Newton. The ball sat up; gravity would bring it down again and, when it did, he would score. It was the 116th minute in Johannesburg and he did score, running to the corner and pulling off his shirt to reveal the message underneath, written in blue marker by Hugo the kit man: "Dani Jarque, always with us". Ten thousand miles away Spain erupted and Jessica cried. Through the tears she saw it: Dani, her Dani. full article>
Fox of the Day:
No legacy is so rich as honesty.
by Gary Leupp
September 6, 2016, © Counterpunch
What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?... There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity... You can smell it. It smells like death.
—Big Daddy to son Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Big Daddy might have been talking about the current U.S. presidential election, which currently wraps the nation in a putrid bubble that can be smelled around the planet. To call it a democratic process would surely be mendacious. full article>
There's an honesty to the wolf world that is liberating. There's no diplomacy, no decorum. You tell your enemy you hate him; you show your admiration by confessing the truth. That directness doesn't work with humans, who are masters of subterfuge. Does this dress make me look fat? Do you really love me? Did you miss me? When a person asks this, she doesn't want to know the real answer. She wants you to lie to her. After two years of living with wolves, I had forgotten how many lies it takes to build a relationship.
By Eric Grundhauser
Aug. 31 2016, © Atlas Obscura
Everyone has a favorite writer, but few take their love of literature as far as Flora MacDonald Denison, an Ontario-based inn owner who had her favorite poet's words etched forever (well, sort of), into a granite cliff. full article>
Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.
September 05, 2016, © Democracy Now
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
Ape of the Day:
By Daniel Lazare
September 3, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most right-wing presidential candidate of all?
The answer used to be Donald Trump, famous for his naked bigotry toward Mexicans and Muslims. But that was before Hillary Clinton supporters took a page from the old Joe McCarthy handbook and began denouncing their Republican opponent as "an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation" or arguing that criticism of Clinton and NATO somehow emanates out of Moscow. full article>
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
5 SEP 2016, © El País
La humanidad está exterminando a los seres más parecidos a ella: los grandes simios. Cuatro de los seis grandes simios están ya a un paso de la extinción, según la última actualización de la Lista Roja de Especies Amenazadas de la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN), publicada hoy. Son el gorila oriental, el gorila occidental, el orangután de Borneo y el orangután de Sumatra, clasificados en peligro crítico. El chimpancé y el bonobo, los otros dos grandes simios, se encuentran tan solo un peldaño mejor, en la categoría de en peligro. full article>
Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.
By Sam Husseini
September 4, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com
As several writers have noted — before and after the furor surrounding quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" — the national anthem is racist. Specifically, the third stanza, which references the British offering freedom to African-American slaves who would join with them in the War of 1812, says:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Even less well know, the song originates in slaveowner Francis Scott Key's "When the Warrior Returns" — which was set to the same tune. full article>
Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.
Duck of the Day:
American Black Duck
August 25, 2016, © Doctors Without Borders
BRUSSELS/NEW YORK, AUGUST 25, 2016 — On August 17, while conducting search and rescue operations off the Libyan coast, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) rescue vessel the Bourbon Argos was approached and attacked by a group of armed men onboard an unidentified speedboat, MSF said today, strongly condemning the attack. full article>
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
—Vincent Van Gogh
Aug. 11, 2016, © Commentary
IN 1938, THE OXFORD professor J.R.R. Tolkien published a bestselling book featuring wizards, elves, dwarves, kings, queens, and a curious creature for which the story is named: The Hobbit. The novel, which has sold more than 100 million copies since its publication, dramatically expanded the possibilities (and readership) of a genre that would come to be known as fantasy. Tolkien tells of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, whose utter indifference to adventure is upended by a visit from 13 hirsute dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf. full article>
The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Wednesday 24 August 2016, © The Independent
How the West would love to believe that Turkey's army in Syria – all 10 tanks of it – are striking at last at everyone's enemy, the blood-soaked cult of the "Islamic State". But few in Syria or Turkey will be fooled. Isis have been sitting in Jerablus for many months; it is the advance of the American-armed Kurdish YPG militia along the Turkish border towards Jerablus that worries Sultan Erdogan. full article>
Every positive value has its price in negative terms... the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.
People were already beginning to forget, what horrible suffering the war had brought them. I did not want to cause fear and panic, but to let people know how dreadful war is and so to stimulate people's powers of resistance.
by Rob Urie
August 26, 2016, © Counterpunch
The political establishment in the U.S. is rapidly moving toward a crisis of legitimacy as capitalist democracy is exposed as a system of insider dealing where war, manufactured social misery and environmental catastrophe are ever-more-implausibly posed as solutions to their own facts. With growing evidence, as if any more were needed, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton spent her time at as Secretary of State filling the coffers of the Clinton family slush fund, the Clinton Foundation, with the tainted money of special pleaders, despots and global misery mongers as she went about launching wars-of-choice against some fair bit of the planet. full article>
I think reconciliation is Obama's goal - but the fight with the Republicans is like a fight with pit bulls, they never let go. Even worse, now the Republicans feel they can keep pushing and he will keep giving. They have not seen a stiff resistance on his part.
26 AGO 2016, © El País
"Y al fin en un océano de irremediables huesos, tu corazón y el mío naufragarán", escribió el poeta Miguel Hernández a su esposa desde una trinchera de la Guerra Civil en 1937. El antropólogo forense Fernando Serrulla recuerda perfectamente aquel día de agosto de 2010 en el que recibió una llamada, se subió al coche y condujo desde su casa en Ourense hasta un monte de Burgos, para ver un corazón naufragado en un océano de irremediables huesos. Allí, en la exhumación de una de las mayores fosas comunes de la guerra, la de La Pedraja, habían aparecido cerebros conservados dentro de los cráneos de los asesinados. Y un corazón que dejó de latir en 1936. full article>
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
23 August 2016, © FourFourTwo
Despite being part of the Newcastle United furniture for eight years, a lifetime in the turbulent world of the Magpies, Fabricio Coloccini bade farewell to English football with little fanfare this summer. But over in Buenos Aires, his arrival at the club of which he is a passionate supporter was very different. full article>
I could never resist the call of the trail.
Museum of the Day:
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Potato of the day:
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
—Thomas A. Edison
Rep. Chris Taylor
August 10, 2016, © The Progressive
I walked into my sixth American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference just in time to hear the queen of ALEC, state Senator Leah Vukmir, tell one of two familiar Wisconsin myths.
It wasn't the one Governor Walker likes to repeat, where newly elected Tea Party politicians faced down thousands of school teachers, firefighters and high school kids (aka "the union bosses") and took away workers' right to organize.
It was the other, lesser known, but equally powerful myth the ALEC crowd adores: Wisconsin Republicans "shut down" a government investigation run amok that was suppressing the First Amendment rights of "free market supporters" (i.e., ALEC allies and supporters). full article>
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
15. aug. 2016, © Politiken
Da jeg landede i Nice tirsdag for tre uger siden, havde jeg naturligvis massakren 14.juli på Promenade de Anglais intenst i tankerne. full article>
We live by encouragement and die without it - slowly, sadly and angrily.
Our latest release
In Other Words
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.
Nothing is easier than to
denounce the evildoer;
nothing is more difficult
than to understand him.
I do not study in order to know more, rather to be less ignorant.
—SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ
We must make haste then,
not only because we are daily
nearer to death, but also
because the conception of
things and the understanding
of them cease first.
Words are like days:
coloring books or pickpockets,
signposts or scratching posts,
fakirs over hot coals.
Certain words must be earned
just as emotions are suffered
before they can be uttered
- clean as a kept promise.
Words as witnesses
testifying their truths
squalid or rarefied
But, words must not carry
more than they can
it's not good for their backs
or their reputations.
For, whether they dance alone
or with an invisible partner,
every word is a cosmos
dissolving the inarticulate
Hijos de la Selva
Perceval Press is pleased to announce the release of HIJOS DE LA SELVA/SONS OF THE FOREST. The book outlines the story of German Ethnographer and explorer Max Schmidt, and includes many of the remarkable photographs that he made in the field while studying the cultures of the Mato Grosso region of Brazil and remote areas of Paraguay between 1900 and 1935.
Conquered people tend to
$4 MONTHLY SPECIAL
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:
© PERCEVAL PRESS