In the News


Kushner and Trump: Taped At Secret Trump Tower Meetings With Russians?

March 28, 2017, © patribotics

On March 3rd, Donald Trump made a series of tweets. Three were about a wiretap at Trump Tower. Two, however, were about Jeff Sessions meeting the Russian ambassador. Those tweets got lost in the resulting storm.

Over the past week, Devin Nunes obstructed justice on TV, both announcing that one White House staffer was under investigation and that a transition team member was recorded in a FISA intercept.

As we exclusively reported, that staffer was almost certainly Boris Epshteyn, named by Comey in his first failed FISA application in June.

Also as we exclusively reported, Michael Ellis is suspected of having leaked this material to Nunes.

But what would be so bad that it would cause Nunes to rush to the White House to illegally receive top-secret FISA evidence?  full article>


XL Keystone Pipeline ~ New CIA (Cowboy Indian Alliance)


The Trump Administration photo-op "XL Keystone Pipeline" March 24, 2017, once again demonstrates the failing power of the Office of the Presidency to represent and lead the broad deep concerns and bottom-line will of the majority of the people. It appears from the media frenzy, fearfulness happening in the Trump Administration, that the administration is owned and operated by the fossil fuel industry, Wall Street Investment Bankers, and the health and well-being of citizenry is of no real concern. The administration cloaks privatization of public assets as a job creation solution when facts contradict rhetoric in every domain investigated. The G20 Finance chiefs met in preparation for July 2017 meeting and failed to pledge their support to finance steps to prevent climate change because of intimidation by Trump Administration skepticism labeling the science as a "hoax." The Administration is currently cutting EPA funding by 31% in their planned budget.


Effective leaders offer appreciative conversations with others that inspire moods of trust, confidence, ambition by offering solutions to human concerns within networks of historic conversations. The Trump Administration is like watching an American wrecking ball creating distrust, confusion, resentment and resignation in a moment of truth requiring unified actions of all nations and peoples in building the earth for future generations. We Americans operate in a mood of joyful concerns not fear, intimidation or demands for obedience. So, in the deepest sense of ourselves we are questioning the meaning of our own democracy.


We are witnessing outright indifference to creative climatic solutions applying Moore's Law to Carbon and empowerment of American ingenuity in leading the world. The millennial generation is not buying into old patriarchal myths in current institutional discourses. The startling fact today is that only 17% of Americans were in favor of Trump's Repeal and Replace Healthcare. While 70% of Americans are concerned about climate change and want effective actions from Congress. The claim made by President Trump during the photo-op is that the XL Pipeline is a job creation story for American workers. Nothing could be further from the truth in reality. Applying "Moore's Carbon Roadmap for Decarbonization" the world can technically in economics meet or exceed agreed upon goals of the human community of nations.


The American society started debating a new energy policy in 1980 with the notion of full employment of citizenry in building efficiency in usage of energy within a renewable energy policy framework. The fact that we as a people in 2017 are witnessing the EPA budget slashed by 31% in a moment when the fossil fuel industry needs restrained in growth for National Security, Commercial Large Loss Events, Climate Terrorism, and the health and well-being of our citizenry future productivity is insane. The real public debate long overdue is a civil triadic appreciative inquiry and dialog about people, water and our human responsibility to earth changes occurring based in the facts not belief systems.


Climate change is not a belief system. My plea today is that the Trump Administration at all levels of government respond in public to the recommendations for a Carbon Fee Dividend by the "Climate Leadership Council Treasury Report" benefiting 70% of Americans in a proactive economic solution and job creating initiative. CLC is led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State George P. Schultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr. former Secretary of the Treasury. The fee structure on carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is a conservative climate solution based on free-market principles that benefits all peoples, conserves the waters of life as essential to our future happiness on earth, and cares for the imminent changes on the horizon requiring responsibility for our human activities by initiating new possibilities and disclosing new worlds in building the earth for future generations.


Oglala Lakota Chief Mel Lone Hill's proclamation today invites global citizenry to unite in solidarity to serve the next seven generations of humanity as a joyful concern by enacting a "Carbon Fee Dividend" in creating a new circular economy. We are the new and improved CIA Cowboy Indian Alliance. Children and millennials in universities are becoming activists in "Put a Price On Carbon." The Citizens Climate Lobby is a International grass root organization supporting the CLC notion of a Carbon Fee Dividend. The Climate Reality Project is releasing a Carbon Fee Dividend Report in the near future that will substantiate the immediate benefits in mitigation of carbon on the health of Mother Earth, and the long-term deliberate intentional consequences of the Carbon Fee Dividend to unleash creative solutions by people, serving the earth and designing a future world together.


Let's make the change in 2017 in a mood of joyful concerns embracing this ancient manner of wolakota. Wolakota is a covenant person to person of peace and friendship enacting appreciative inquiry and dialog in our shared human concerns. Join MSTi Carbon Fee Dividend Passport "Back Into The Future." Our primitive ecological knowing is hard-wired into our passionate desires to become human beings in a biology of love created by our creator in the web of life.






















The undersigned, acting in my capacity as CHIEF of the OGLALA LAKOTA SIOUX TRIBE, and member of the OCETI SAKOWIN, Seven Fires Council of the LAKOTA NATION, and fully aware of the responsibility bestowed upon me by MY PEOPLE, I hereby




The LAKOTA NATION is still awaiting the day when the Government of the United States will show willingness to abide by the FORT LARAMIE TREATY which recognized our PEOPLE and ITS REPRESENTATIVES as their counterparts in the signing of this formal document; and consequently, recognized our NATION and its TERRITORY as the moral and legal limit to its power and to US sovereignty.

It is in such capacity that I dare speak out on behalf of our LAKOTA NATION to denounce the fact that in the approval of the building of the XL Keystone PIPELINE (DAPL Standing Rock et al) our PEOPLE have not been taken in consideration at all, in spite of the many overt manifestations of our opposition. Today, I am leaving no doubt that the pipeline traverses OUR territory; and expressly condemning the fact that it is being built WITHOUT OUR CONSENT.

Nevertheless, in full recognition of our limited strength to physically and legally impede the construction of the XL Keystone Pipeline, at the same time we seek to do the RIGHT THING. So, in the name of the OGALA TRIBE and the LAKOTA NATION, the very least I can do is to fully endorse the immediate creation of a CARBON FEE DIVIDEND, urging the US CONGRESS to ACT and by doing so, help raise awareness at a world level of the fact that preserving life comes at a cost to all of us; that the exploitation of Mother Earth's irreplaceable resources should demand our full attention; and that those who will benefit privately from carbon energy should do their part in creating a future where the four R's (recycle, recover, restore and reuse) of a new CIRCULAR ECONOMY will be commonplace. The Carbon Fee Dividend is a first step in uplifting our commitment to protect people and water as sovereignty in action that stands in solidarity with peoples throughout the world.

Last but not least, I give the outmost importance to the wisdom found in the words of the great Gregory Bateson, one of the distinguished founding fathers of Cybernetics and a friend of all living things when he said: "The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."




The peoples of all Nations, and all other Friends of Life, and in our manner of wolakota peace and friendship in all beings be related. The Lakota people lived for millennia in this ancient scientific life way of wolakota and this root experience owns us and also gives us the right to speak honestly regarding the impending cataclysmic crises on the horizon with our Mother Earth. I invite you to join me in circulating this message of sovereignty in action contained in our commitment to serve the welfare of the "next seven generations" of all peoples by enacting a CARBON FEE DIVIDEND in 2017.



Message to the world from the Pine Ridge Reservation

March 24, 2017





"Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war. The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another's throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose--especially their lives."

Eugene Debs, the 1918 speech for which he was sentenced to ten years in prison


NYT Says Congress Has 'Duty' to Make War - Rather Than the Right to Reject It

By Adam Johnson

Mar 27 2017, © FAIR

As reports come in detailing the degree to which Donald Trump has escalated the "War on ISIS"—and killed hundreds more civilians in the process—this would seem like a good time for the country to sit back and examine the United States' approach to fighting "terrorism" and its recent iteration, the so-called Islamic State.  full article>


We're no longer in the Cold War. Eavesdropping on friends is unacceptable.

Vladimir Putin


How US Flooded the World with Psyops

By Robert Parry

March 25, 2017, ©

Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that - over the past three decades - have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.

The documents reveal the formation of a psyops bureaucracy under the direction of Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was assigned to President Reagan's National Security Council staff to enhance the importance of propaganda and psyops in undermining U.S. adversaries around the world and ensuring sufficient public support for foreign policies inside the United States.  full article>


Literature is eavesdropping.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Trump's policies are not the answer to London terrorism

By Matthew Dunn

March 26, 2017, © CNN

I'm a former British Intelligence officer who combated terrorism for six years. Counter-terrorism is a nasty, complex and often frustrating job. It's not for the faint-hearted. Sometimes terrorists slip through the net, but often they are stopped in their tracks by the use of arrests or absolute force.

All of us who've worked on the front lines know that gunning down a terrorist is only one part of the solution. We don't want violence, because the bottom line is that we're fighting violence. We want other solutions.  full article>


There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.

Thornton Wilder


Most Dangerous Animal of the Day:


Human beings may not stand to win in a fair fight against the world's other most dangerous animals but, thanks to their ingenuity, they have learned how to arm themselves with weapons and tools which have placed them at the top of the food chain (at least for the time being). They also get extra points on the deadly scale for their aggression, not only toward other animals but toward each other. The scale to which they take their destructiveness is unique. No other animal starts worldwide wars or blasts whole regions of the earth into total ruin with nuclear weapons. Without a doubt, the most dangerous animal in the world is the face you see in the mirror each day.



Coywolves are Taking Over Eastern North America

By Marissa Fessenden

November 3, 2015, ©

People living in Eastern Canada and U.S. are probably familiar with the smart, adaptable wild canine that lives in their forests, neighborhood parks and even cities. What they may not know is that eastern coyotes aren't true coyotes at all. They might better be known as hybrids, or coywolves.  full article>


The 'pathology of normalcy' rarely deteriorates to graver forms of mental illness because society produces the antidote against such deterioration. When pathological processes become socially patterned, they lose their individual character. On the contrary, the sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology and arranged the means to give satisfactions which fit the pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation, in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic.

Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness


Un anciano carpintero de Minnesota, identificado como un terrible comandante nazi


14 MAR 2017, © El País

Llevó la calavera y las runas con orgullo. Mató a hombres, mujeres y niños. Arrasó poblaciones enteras. Era la bestia de Chlaniów (Polonia). Durante décadas se ocultó en Estados Unidos, buscó un hogar y tuvo seis hijos. Ahora, tras una larga peripecia periodística y judicial, su identidad ha sido confirmada por las autoridades polacas. El anciano y tranquilo carpintero Michael Karkoc, de Minneapolis, fue comandante de la Legión de Autodefensa Ucrania, encuadrada en las letales SS de Adolf Hitler.  full article>


The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.

George Orwell, 1984


Scott Pruitt vs. the Entire Scientific Community

by Mrill Ingram

March 10, 2017, © The Progressive

It's been a bad week for those of us still clinging to an ever-thinning veil of hope regarding the pathology of climate denial. You know, the kind of hope that includes Trump Administration officials suddenly applying their vaunted business acumen to a green economy based on renewable energy. Or maybe even just a few Republicans relocating their faith in the Enlightenment, and crossing party lines to defend the scientific process.  full article>


We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our body, which is doomed to decay..., from the external world which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless force of destruction, and finally from our relations with other men... This last source is perhaps more painful to use than any other.

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents


México halla restos de 250 personas en el mayor cementerio clandestino ubicado hasta ahora


14 MAR 2017, © El País

En apenas siete meses, las autoridades mexicanas han encontrado restos de al menos 250 personas en el mayor cementerio clandestino descubierto en México hasta la fecha. Así lo ha confirmado esta mañana el fiscal del estado, Jorge Winckler, en una entrevista con el canal principal de Televisa. "Veracruz", ha dicho, "es una gran fosa, quizá una de las más grandes del mundo". Winckler ha informado de que hasta el momento solo han explorado el "30%" de la zona, un área boscosa a las afueras del Puerto de Veracruz. El número de personas enterradas allí, ha dicho, podría ascender considerablemente.  full article>


Any foolish boy can stamp on a beetle, but all the professors in the world cannot make a beetle.

Arthur Schopenhauer


Act of Civil Disobedience of the Day:

The Salt March

(Gandhi led the Salt March protest against the government monopoly on salt production. Image: Central Press/Getty Images)

Gandhi's defiance of British colonial laws over the empire's salt monopoly, beginning in March 1930, sparked a wave of civil disobedience that contributed to expelling the British empire. Salt laws taxed the production of Indian salt so that the country had to import British salt. Gandhi and his supporters began a long, expanding march to produce salt and transport it without paying the tax. It did not stop the practice: the British suppressed the march fiercely, arresting tens of thousands, and refused to make any concessions. It was also limited by its failure to win Muslim support.

However, the campaign had long-term effects that weighed against its failure to win its immediate goals. In the first instance, it was inspiring for those taking part, since many had never been organised before. Second, it announced to the world that the Indian masses were a serious force, and that the British authorities had been forced to negotiate with their leader. Third, it stimulated further waves of civil disobedience. Finally, the Salt March had a tremendous influence on the thinking and strategy of other insurgents, such as Martin Luther King.

(source: The Guardian)


Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves and the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem.

Howard Zinn


The Democrats' Undemocratic Strategy of Smearing the Green Party

by Nat Parry

March 8, 2017, © Essential Opinion

Four months since the upset election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, one of the primary scapegoats of the Democrats for its stunning electoral failure remains the Green Party and its 2016 presidential nominee, Jill Stein. Pointing to final vote tallies in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that showed Trump's margin of victory as being below the total vote count for Stein, Democrats have coalesced around the conventional wisdom that Stein voters flipped the election by failing to unite behind the Democratic nominee.  full article>


Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

Frank Zappa


'We Are Conditioned by Mass Media to Choose Up Sides'

By Janine Jackson

Mar 9, 2017, © FAIR

Janine Jackson: "Sessions Met With Russian Envoy Twice Last Year, Encounters He Later Did Not Disclose," was the Washington Post and other media's spin on what others didn't hesitate to call a lie: Attorney General Jeff Sessions' denial, under oath, of the kind of meetings he now acknowledges he had. That bit of damage control came off elite media's startlingly generous, you might say, reception to Donald Trump's speech to Congress, in which the New York Times actually credited him for "following the written text on the teleprompters more closely than any major speech of his presidency." "Trump Advocated White Nationalism With an 'Indoor Voice,' and Pundits Loved It," was how Media Matters put it.  full article>


A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor.

William Wordsworth


Israel se enroca en sus fronteras e intenta silenciar a las ONG pacifistas

Juan Carlos Sanz

12 MAR 2017, © El País

Dos años después de las elecciones que desembocaron en la formación del Gobierno más derechista en la historia de Israel, una batería de reformas legales amenaza con amordazar las expresiones de disidencia, en especial las de las ONG pacifistas y grupos que aspiran a ser la conciencia crítica del Estado Hebreo sobre la ocupación de territorios palestinos, próxima a cumplir medio siglo. La última muestra de esta legislación restrictiva se ha plasmado esta semana en la aprobación por la Knesset (Parlamento) de una enmienda que deniega el visado de entrada al país a los extranjeros que llamen al boicot de Israel o de los asentamientos judíos.  full article>


And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Friedrich Nietzsche



March 11th, 1PM

85 N 15th St., Brooklyn, NY 11222

Filmmaker Alix Lambert will lead a discussion with journalist Richard Behar on Trump-Russia connections and a free press.

Since 2012, Behar has been the Contributing Editor of Investigations for Forbes magazine, where he recently wrote an exposé (based on internal emails he obtained) of Donald Trump's business dealings with a Russia-born, mob-connected felon. From 1982 - 2004, Behar was a staffer at Forbes, Time and Fortune. In 2005, he launched Project Klebnikov, a media alliance committed to shedding light on the Moscow murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov.

Behar was interviewed by Lambert for her book, The Silencing.

SOON TO BE RELEASED: Digital Edition of The Silencing on Ibooks, contact us for more information.


Poisonous Frog of the Day:

Golden Poison Dart Frog

Some of the most beautiful things on this planet are also some of the most deadly. But that's the point -- by standing out with vibrant colors, a species can ward off potential predators. This is the strategy of these tiny, vibrantly colored, and highly toxic frogs.

The golden poison frog is one of the most toxic of all poisonous frogs, and perhaps the most poisonous animal in the world. Even its scientific name, Phyllobates terribilis, shows that small things can be incredibly harmful. The poison it carries is derived from its diet, and depending on location and diet, the average wild golden poison frog contains about one milligram of poison, which is enough to kill somewhere between 10 and 20 humans. Despite having this staggeringly powerful self-defense, it is still an endangered species.



Our Political Economy Is Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality

By Dennis Kucinich

March 6, 2017, © The Nation

Let me begin by sharing with you the story of an inner-city Cleveland family of seven, two adults and five children all under the age of 11.

The family did not own a home. They were renters. As the family grew, it became ever more difficult to find rent. At one point the old car in which they roamed the city in search of rent became their living quarters. Evenings, the father and mother and a newborn slept in the car's front seat, and the four other children, in the back.

They found rent by understating the number of children, which, when discovered, led to eviction and the same cycle of wandering as urban nomads. The father, a truck driver, had a war-related injury that occasionally required medical treatment, taking him out of work. Bills piled up, which led to garnishments. The mother suffered from post-partum depression, compounded by noisy, rambunctious children.  full article>



In 1991, Shell Produced This Alarming Video Warning About Climate Change Dangers

Inae Oh

Feb. 28, 2017, © MotherJones

A 1991 public documentary produced by Shell, in which the oil giant acknowledged the dangerous effects of climate change and the fossil fuel industry's role in accelerating "ferocious" climate patterns globally, has resurfaced this week.  full article>


By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.

Adolf Hitler


Israel's Anti-Semitism Smears Backfire

By Ann Wright

March 1, 2017, ©

An often-used tactic to squelch criticism of Israeli state policies toward the Palestinians is to call the criticism anti-Semitic. The sponsors of the event become afraid of the label, anti-Semitism, false as it is, and cancel the event to avoid any controversy. The tactic is used widely across Europe and the United States.

This week, the talk that I was to give in a room at the Rome City Hall about the Women's Boat to Gaza and the conditions in Gaza was cancelled 24 hours before the event by the council member who had agreed to arrange for the room. His staff revealed that he had gotten intense pressure from the Israeli Embassy and Rome's Jewish Community Association to stop the presentation.  full article>


The truth is the best picture, the best propaganda.

Robert Capa


Another Hatchet Job on Snowden

By Ray McGovern

March 3, 2017, ©

In depicting National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden as a Russian spy, author Edward Jay Epstein acknowledges his debt to the CIA's famously paranoid counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton, who specialized in counterintuitive thinking that surely smeared more honest CIA officers than it snared actual spies.  full article>


All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

Adolf Hitler


These 5 Trump Cabinet Members Have Made False Statements to Congress

Eric Umansky and Marcelo Rochabrun, ProPublica

Mar. 4, 2017, © MotherJones

As most of the world knows by now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not tell the truth when he was asked during his confirmation hearings about contacts with Russian officials.

But Sessions isn't the only one. At least four other cabinet members made statements during their nomination hearings that are contradicted by actual facts: EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.  full article>


There is something very wrong when a nation divided politically has one major network operating as a propaganda arm of the Republican Party and 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists.

Bernie Sanders


Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia

by Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin "Chuck" Spinney

February 24, 2017, © Counterpunch

The Nuclear Question is becoming increasingly obfuscated by spin and lobbying as the West sleepwalks into Cold War II — a walk made all the more dangerous when the loose lips of the U.S. tweeter-in-chief announced that another nuclear arms race is a great idea (see link and link). Two Cold War II issues are central and almost never addressed: What will be the Russians' understanding of all the propaganda surrounding the Nuclear Question and the looming American defense spendup? And how might they act on this understanding?  full article>


In the early 1940s, as a young teenager, I was utterly appalled by the racist and jingoist hysteria of the anti-Japanese propaganda. The Germans were evil, but treated with some respect: They were, after all, blond Aryan types, just like our imaginary self-image. Japanese were mere vermin, to be crushed like ants.

Noam Chomsky


Trump Versus the Media: How to Cover a Hostile President

By Nic Dawes

March 1, 2017, © The Nation

This is a time of testing for American journalism—will it rise to the occasion? Today's media environment faces dangers as threatening as our physical environment faces from climate change. Journalism's operating model has been under siege for more than a decade; now it confronts an existential risk as an authoritarian populist attacks democratic norms once taken for granted. But this moment of peril is also a moment of opportunity. Much depends on how a media system already under stress from the epochal changes in technology, economics, and audience behavior responds to this new challenge. And much is at stake: not only a renewal of the journalistic vocation, public trust in the media, and its commercial potential, but also the accountability architecture of American democracy itself. Securing these things will mean returning to some old principles: fairness, accuracy, rigor, and, above all, a position outside of power, exerting pressure on it, rather than inside, transmitting its message. And even that on its own may not be enough. To truly confront this moment and emerge strengthened, the press will require new and sometimes uncomfortable strategies.  full article>


Stick it to the man.



Statement by all Nominated Directors, Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2017:

On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.

The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a meansto justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly "foreign" and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.

So we've asked ourselves: What can cinema do? Although we don`t want to overestimate the power of movies, we do believe that no other medium can offer such deep insight into other people's circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies.

Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.

Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.

Martin Zandvliet – "Land of Mine" ( Denmark )

Hannes Holm – "A Man Called Ove" ( Sweden )

Asghar Farhadi – "The Salesman" ( Iran )

Maren Ade – "Toni Erdmann" ( Germany )

Martin Butler, Bentley Dean – "Tanna" ( Australia )



Parasite of the Day

Mind-Manipulating Fungi:


So you're a fungus that lives in a tropical forest that experiences fluctuating humidity and temperature, but you can only thrive within a specific range of these variables. What do you do? Parasitize an ant, turn it into a zombie and make it seek out your perfect environment, of course. Oh, and then kill it and grow a big fungal pole out of its head, just for good measure.

The fungal parasite Ophiocordyceps is a spectacular example of host manipulation. Numerous different species have been described which differ in their host choice and death location. O. unilateralis, for example, infects carpenter (Camponotus) ants. The fungus then manipulates the host so that it abandons its usual habitat and heads for the sheltered underside of a leaf with ideal conditions for the fungus to grow. Here, the ant bites down on the leaf, usually on a vein, performing what is known as a "death grip." The ant then dies and the hyphae (tubular fungal structures) grow inside the host, eventually tearing through the back of the head, looking like something out of Game of Thrones. Spores are then released from the fungus into a small area below the leaf referred to as an "infectious killing field," ready to start the process over again. Lovely.

O. unilateralis infected ant with hyphae growing out of the head.

(Image credit: David Hughes, Maj-Britt Pontoppidan, PLoS ONE‚Äã, via Wikimedia Commons)


Mental Health Professionals Warn About Trump

FEB. 13, 2017, © The New York Times

To the Editor:

Charles M. Blow (column,, Feb. 9) describes Donald Trump's constant need "to grind the opposition underfoot." As mental health professionals, we share Mr. Blow's concern.

Silence from the country's mental health organizations has been due to a self-imposed dictum about evaluating public figures (the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 Goldwater Rule). But this silence has resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time. We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.

Mr. Trump's speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump's speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Dr. Dodes is a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Schachter is a former chairman of the Committee on Research Proposals, International Psychoanalytic Association. The letter was also signed by 35 other psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.


The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787


"We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less"

By Matthias Kolb

February 7, 2017, © Süddeutsche Zeitung

SZ: Donald Trump has been president for three weeks. How would you describe his start?

Timothy Snyder: The first thing that we have to notice is that the institutions have not thus far restrained him. He never took them seriously, acts as if they don't exist, and clearly wishes they didn't. The story that Americans have told themselves from the moment he declared his candidacy for president, was that one institution or another would defeat him or at least change his behavior – he won't get the nomination; if he gets the nomination, he will be a normal Republican; he will get defeated in the general election; if he wins the presidency will mature him (that was what Obama said). I never thought any of that was true. He doesn't seem to care about the institutions and the laws except insofar as they appear as barriers to the goal of permanent kleptocratic authoritarianism and immediate personal gratification. It is all about him all of time, it is not about the citizens and our political traditions.  full article>


Neofascism in the United States takes the form of big money, big banks, big corporations, tied to xenophobic scapegoating of the vulnerable, like Mexicans and Muslims and women and black folk, and militaristic policies abroad, with strongman, charismatic, autocratic personality, and that's what Donald Trump is.

Cornel West


Worst Joke Ever? U.S. Spy Chief Gives Saudi Prince Highest Award for "Fighting Terrorism"

by Mike Whitney

February 14, 2017, © Counterpunch

On Friday, the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, used his first trip abroad to present Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with the CIA's highest award for fighting terrorism, the George Tenet Medal. Although the ceremony wasn't covered by any of the major media, it was picked up on various blogsites where the news was greeted with predictable howls of outrage. Not surprisingly, most American's still see Saudi Arabia as the epicenter of global terrorism, a point which was underlined in a recent article at The Atlantic titled "Where America's Terrorists Actually Come From".  full article>


Social conservatism and neoconservatism have revived authoritarian conservatism, and not for the better of conservatism or American democracy. True conservatism is cautious and prudent. Authoritarianism is rash and radical. American democracy has benefited from true conservatism, but authoritarianism offers potentially serious trouble for any democracy.

John W. Dean


Are U.S. Agents Carrying Out Trump's Muslim Ban at Airports in Canada and Ireland? We Aim to Find Out.

By Sarah Mehta

February 13, 2017, © ACLU

As part of our multiple tactics to keep up the pressure against President Trump's Muslim immigration ban, on Friday the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request with U.S. Customs and Border Protection demanding records on the implementation of the executive order at all 15 CBP "preclearance" airport locations abroad. These are facilities at airports in other countries where people coming to the U.S. go through U.S. immigration and customs before being allowed to get on their flights.  full article>


The relative freedom which we enjoy depends of public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.

George Orwell


Brutal: Los hinchas de San Lorenzo versionan el 'Despacito' de Luis Fons

Una vez más, la afición de San Lorenzo volvió a confirmar que es una de las mejores del mundo. Se hace unos meses adaptaron la canción 'Duele el corazón' de Enrique Iglesias, ahora han hecho lo propio con el último éxito de Luis Fonsi y Daddy Yankee 'Despacito'.


The way things are supposed to work is that we're supposed to know virtually everything about what they (the government) do: that's why they're called public servants. They're supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that's why we're called private individuals.

Glenn Greenwald


Surrender of the Day

Egyptian-Hittite Peace Treaty:

Likely signed sometime in 1259 BCE, the Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty is the oldest known written peace treaty in history. It was probably negotiated by representatives of both Egypt and the Hittite Empire, and the two monarchs never met face to face. While there is no record of a ceremony to go along with the signing, there is text in the recovered versions of the treaty that includes descriptions of elaborate figures and seals carved into the tablets given to the other side.


Amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it. It has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides.

Victor Hugo


Roaming Charges: Big Boss Man

by Jeffrey St. Clair

February 10, 2017, ©

When Trump speaks these days it's usually in a strictly-controlled environment, before a self-selected (if not always compensated) crowd that bows, laughs and applauds on cue, like the "live studio audience" of a sit-com.

This week Trump cloaked himself in a pack of gung-ho sheriffs summoned from Trump-devoted counties across the country. The mutual backslapping and banal banter between the President and the cops took an ominous turn when Harold Eavenson, Sheriff of Rockwell County, Texas, complained to Trump that soft-on crime politicians were threatening the financial firepower of the war on drugs by trying to enact minor reforms in asset seizure laws, which allow police departments to confiscate the property of suspects in drug crimes, sell it off and keep the money to fund their own operations.  full article>


Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.

Arthur C. Clarke


Canada, Leading the Free World

Nicholas Kristof

FEB. 4, 2017, © The New York Times

President Trump's harsh travel ban reflects a global pattern: All around the world, countries are slamming the doors shut.

One great exception: Canada. It may now be the finest example of the values of the Statue of Liberty.  full article>


The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


NYT: Unlike Russian Wars, US Wars 'Promote Freedom and Democracy'

By Adam Johnson

Feb 9 2017, © FAIR

The New York Times, in its recent rebuff of comments President Donald Trump made about Russia, seems not to have evolved its understanding of US geopolitics past an 8th grade level. Trump had been asked by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly (2/5/17) why he wouldn't condemn Vladimir Putin, whom O'Reilly called a "killer."  full article>


All cruelty springs from weakness.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca


"Great News!": White Nationalists See Sessions' Attorney General Confirmation As Major Step Toward Achieving Their Racist Goals


February 9, 2017, © Media Matters

White nationalists cheered the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, claiming that "we are one step closer to solidifying Trump's authoritarian dictatorship," and "we finally have an AG who will defend decent American people - rather than thugs," and predicting that Sessions "will truly make our country great" and target "domestic terrorist groups" like Black Lives Matter.  full article>


The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don't ask for their love; only for their fear.

Heinrich Himmler


Military occupation of the Day

Israel's Occupation of Palestine:



Israeli-occupied territories

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967. Originally, those territories included the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip and Jordanian-occupied West Bank. The first use of the term 'territories occupied' was in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 following the Six-Day War in 1967, which called for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles: ... Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict ... Termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.

From 1967 to 1982, the four areas were governed under the Israeli Military Governorate (also named as Occupied Arab territories 'citation needed' by the UN). The IMG was dissolved in 1982, after the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. In the process, Israel handed the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, the Golan Heights was incorporated into the Northern District by the Golan Heights Law, and West Bank continued to be administrated via the Israeli Civil Administration. Despite dissolving the military government, in line with Egyptian demands, the term Israeli-occupied territories remains in use, referring to the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and Western Golan Heights. Between 1998 to 2012, the term Palestinian territories, Occupied was used to refer to territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The International Court of Justice, the UN General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council regards Israel as the "Occupying Power". UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called Israel's occupation "an affront to international law." The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that Israel holds the West Bank under "belligerent occupation". According to Talia Sasson, the High Court of Justice in Israel, with a variety of different justices sitting, has repeatedly stated for more than four decades that Israel's presence in the West Bank is in violation of international law. Israeli governments have preferred the term "disputed territories" in the case of the West Bank. Officially Israel maintains that the West Bank is disputed territory.

Israel asserts that since the disengagement of Israel from Gaza in 2005, Israel no longer occupies the Gaza Strip. However, as it retained certain control of Gaza's airspace and coastline, as of 2012 it continued to be designated as an occupying power in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly and some countries and various human rights organizations.




The significance of the designation of these territories as occupied territory is that certain legal obligations fall on the occupying power under international law. Under international law there are certain laws of war governing military occupation, including the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention. One of those obligations is to maintain the status quo until the signing of a peace treaty, the resolution of specific conditions outlined in a peace treaty, or the formation of a new civilian government.

Israel disputes whether, and if so to what extent, it is an occupying power in relation to the Palestinian territories and as to whether Israeli settlements in these territories are in breach of Israel's obligations as an occupying power and constitute a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and whether the settlements constitute war crimes. In 2015, over 800,000 Israelis resided over the 1949 Armistice Lines, constituting nearly 13% of Israel's Jewish population.


Sinai Peninsula

Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War. It established settlements along the Gulf of Aqaba and in the northeast portion, just below the Gaza Strip. It had plans to expand the settlement of Yamit into a city with a population of 200,000, though the actual population of Yamit did not exceed 3,000. The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in stages beginning in 1979 as part of the Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty. As required by the treaty, Israel evacuated Israeli military installations and civilian settlements prior to the establishment of "normal and friendly relations" between it and Egypt. Israel dismantled eighteen settlements, two air force bases, a naval base, and other installations by 1982, including the only oil resources under Israeli control. The evacuation of the civilian population, which took place in 1982, was done forcefully in some instances, such as the evacuation of Yamit. The settlements were demolished, as it was feared that settlers might try to return to their homes after the evacuation.(citation needed) Since 1982, the Sinai Peninsula has not been regarded as occupied territory.


South Lebanon

Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon took place after Israel invaded Lebanon during the 1982 Lebanon War and subsequently retained its forces to support the Christian South Lebanon Army in Southern Lebanon. In 1982, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and allied Free Lebanon Army Christian militias seized large sections of Lebanon, including the capital of Beirut, amid the hostilities of the wider Lebanese Civil War. Later, Israel withdrew from parts of the occupied area between 1983 and 1985, but remained in partial control of the border region known as the South Lebanon Security Belt, initially in coordination with the self-proclaimed Free Lebanon State, which executed a limited authority over portions of southern Lebanon until 1984, and later with the South Lebanon Army (transformed from Free Lebanon Army), until the year 2000. Israel's stated purpose for the Security Belt was to create a space separating its northern border towns from terrorists residing in Lebanon.

During the stay in the security belt, the IDF held many positions and supported the SLA. The SLA took over daily life in the security zone, initially as the official force of the Free Lebanon State and later as an allied militia. Notably, the South Lebanon Army controlled the prison in Khiam. In addition, United Nations (UN) forces and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were deployed to the security belt (from the end of Operation Litani in 1978).

The strip was a few miles wide, and consisted of about 10% of the total territory of Lebanon, which housed about 150,000 people who lived in 67 villages and towns made up of Shiites, Maronites and Druze (most of whom lived in the town of Hasbaya). In the central zone of the Strip was the Maronite town Marjayoun, which was the capital of the security belt. Residents remaining in the security zone had many contacts with Israel, many of whom have worked there and received various services from Israel.

Before the Israeli election in May 1999 the prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, promised that within a year all Israeli forces would withdraw from Lebanon. When negotiation efforts failed between Israel and Syria—the goal of the negotiations was to bring a peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon as well, due to Syrian occupation of Lebanon until 2005—Barak led the withdrawal of the IDF to the Israeli border on 24 May 2000. No soldiers were killed or wounded during the redeployment to the internationally recognized border of Blue Line.


Golan Heights

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. A ceasefire was signed on 11 June 1967 and the Golan Heights came under Israeli military administration. Syria rejected UNSC Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967, which called for the return of Israeli-occupied State territories in exchange for peaceful relations. Israel had accepted Resolution 242 in a speech to the Security Council on 1 May 1968. In March 1972, Syria "conditionally" accepted Resolution 242,(citation needed) and in May 1974, the Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria was signed.

In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Syria attempted to recapture the Golan Heights militarily, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement in 1974 that left almost all the Heights under Israeli control, while returning a narrow demilitarized zone to Syrian control. A United Nations observation force was established in 1974 as a buffer between the sides. By Syrian formal acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 338,which set out the cease-fire at the end of the Yom Kippur War, Syria also accepted Resolution 242

On 14 December 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli administration and law to the territory. Israel has expressly avoided using the term "annexation" to describe the change of status. However, the UN Security Council has rejected the de facto annexation in UNSC Resolution 497, which declared it as "null and void and without international legal effect", and consequently continuing to regard the Golan Heights as an Israeli-occupied territory. The measure has also been criticized by other countries, either as illegal or as not being helpful to the Middle East peace process.

Syria wants the return of the Golan Heights, while Israel has maintained a policy of "land for peace" based on Resolution 242. The first high-level public talks aimed at a resolution of the Syria-Israel conflict were held at and after the multilateral Madrid Conference of 1991. Throughout the 1990s several Israeli governments negotiated with Syria's president Hafez Al-Assad. While serious progress was made, they were unsuccessful.

In 2004, there were 34 settlements in the Golan Heights, populated by around 18,000 people. Today, an estimated 20,000 Israeli settlers and 20,000 Syrians live in the territory. All inhabitants are entitled to Israeli citizenship, which would entitle them to an Israeli driver's license and enable them to travel freely in Israel.(citation needed) The non-Jewish residents, who are mostly Druze, have nearly all declined to take Israeli citizenship.

In the Golan Heights there is another area occupied by Israel, namely the Shebaa farms. Syria and Lebanon have claimed that the farms belong to Lebanon and in 2007 a UN cartographer came to the conclusion that the Shebaa farms do actually belong to Lebanon (contrary to the belief held by Israel). UN then said that Israel should relinquish the control of this area.


Palestinian territories



Both of these territories were part of Mandate Palestine, and both have populations consisting primarily of Palestinians Arabs, including significant numbers of refugees who fled or were expelled from Israel and territory Israel controlled after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Today, Palestinians make up around half of Jordan's population.

Jordan occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from 1948 to 1967, annexing it in 1950 and granting Jordanian citizenship to the residents in 1954 (the annexation claims and citizenship grants were rescinded in 1988 when Jordan acknowledged the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole representative of the Palestinian people). Egypt administered the Gaza Strip from 1948 to 1967 but did not annex it or make Gazans Egyptian citizens.

West Bank

The West Bank was allotted to the Arab state under United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, but the West Bank was occupied by Transjordan after the 1948 war. In April 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, but this was recognized only by the United Kingdom and Pakistan. (see 1949 Armistice Agreements, Green Line)

In 1967, the West Bank came under Israeli military administration. Israel retained the mukhtar (mayoral) system of government inherited from Jordan, and subsequent governments began developing infrastructure in Arab villages under its control. (see Palestinians and Israeli law, International legal issues of the conflict, Palestinian economy)

Since the Israel – Palestine Liberation Organization letters of recognition of 1993, most of the Palestinian population and cities came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and only partial Israeli military control, although Israel has frequently redeployed its troops and reinstated full military administration in various parts of the two territories. On July 31, 1988, Jordan renounced its claims to the West Bank for the PLO.

In 2000, the Israeli government started to construct the Israeli West Bank barrier, within the West Banks, separating Israel and several of its settlements, as well as a significant number of Palestinians, from the remainder of the West Bank. State of Israel cabinet approved a route to construct separation barrier whose total length will be approximately 760 km (472 mi) built mainly in the West Bank and partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or "Green Line" between Israel and Palestinian West Bank. 12% of the West Bank area is on the Israel side of the barrier.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion stating that the barrier violates international law. It claimed that "Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall". However, Israel government derived its justification for constructing this barrier with Prime Minister Ehud Barak stating that it is "essential to the Palestinian nation in order to foster its national identity and independence without being dependent on the State of Israel". The Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, stated that Israel has been holding the areas of Judea and Samaria in belligerent occupation, since 1967. The court also held that the normative provisions of public international law regarding belligerent occupation are applicable. The Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 were both cited.

About 300,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank along the Israeli West Bank barrier (and a further 200,000 live in East Jerusalem and 50,000 in the former Israeli–Jordanian no-man's land).(citation needed) The barrier has many effects on Palestinians including reduced freedoms, road closures, loss of land, increased difficulty in accessing medical and educational services in Israel, restricted access to water sources, and economic effects. Regarding the violation of freedom of Palestinians, in a 2005 report, the United Nations stated that: is difficult to overstate the humanitarian impact of the Barrier. The route inside the West Bank severs communities, people's access to services, livelihoods and religious and cultural amenities. In addition, plans for the Barrier's exact route and crossing points through it are often not fully revealed until days before construction commences. This has led to considerable anxiety among Palestinians about how their future lives will be impacted...The land between the Barrier and the Green Line constitutes some of the most fertile in the West Bank. It is currently the home for 49,400 West Bank Palestinians living in 38 villages and towns.


Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip was allotted to the Arab state under United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, but Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt after the 1948 war.

Between 1948 and 1967, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian military administration, being officially under the jurisdiction of the All-Palestine Government until in 1959 it was merged into the United Arab Republic, de facto becoming under direct Egyptian military governorship.

Between 1967 and 1993, the Gaza Strip was under Israeli military administration. In March 1979, Egypt renounced all claims to the Gaza Strip in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.

Since the Israel – Palestine Liberation Organization letters of recognition of 1993, the Gaza Strip came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

A July 2004 opinion of the International Court of Justice treated Gaza as part of the occupied territories.

In February 2005, the Israeli government voted to implement a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip. The plan began to be implemented on 15 August 2005, and was completed on 12 September 2005. Under the plan, all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip (and four in the West Bank) and the joint Israeli-Palestinian Erez Industrial Zone were dismantled with the removal of all 9,000 Israeli settlers (most of them in the Gush Katif settlement area in the Strip's southwest) and military bases. Some settlers resisted the order, and were forcibly removed by the IDF. On 12 September 2005 the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip. To avoid allegations that it was still in occupation of any part of the Gaza Strip, Israel also withdrew from the Philadelphi Route, which is a narrow strip adjacent to the Strip's border with Egypt, after Egypt's agreement to secure its side of the border. Under the Oslo Accords the Philadelphi Route was to remain under Israeli control to prevent the smuggling of materials (such as ammunition) and people across the border with Egypt. With Egypt agreeing to patrol its side of the border, it was hoped that the objective would be achieved. However, Israel maintained its control over the crossings in and out of Gaza. The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza was monitored by the Israeli army through special surveillance cameras. Official documents such as passports, I.D. cards, export and import papers, and many others had to be approved by the Israeli army.

The Israeli position is that Gaza is no longer occupied, inasmuch as Israel does not exercise effective control or authority over any land or institutions in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni stated in January, 2008: "Israel got out of Gaza. It dismantled its settlements there. No Israeli soldiers were left there after the disengagement." Israel also notes that Gaza does not belong to any sovereign state.

Immediately after Israel withdrew in 2005, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stated, "the legal status of the areas slated for evacuation has not changed." Human Rights Watch also contested that this ended the occupation. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs continues to consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza Strip's airspace, territorial waters and controls the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs maintains an office on "Occupied Palestinian Territory," which concerns itself with the Gaza Strip. In his statement on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories" wrote that international humanitarian law applied to Israel "in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war." In a 2009 interview on Democracy Now Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) contends that Israel is an occupying power. However, Meagan Buren, Senior Adviser to the Israel Project, a pro-Israel media group contests that characterization.

In 2007, after Hamas defeated Fatah in the Battle of Gaza (2007) and took control over the Gaza Strip, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza. Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli raids, such as Operation Hot Winter continued into 2008. A six month ceasefire was agreed in June 2008, but it was broken several times by both Israel and Hamas. As it reached its expiry, Hamas announced that they were unwilling to renew the ceasefire without improving the terms. At the end of December 2008 Israeli forces began Operation Cast Lead, launching the Gaza War that left an estimated 1,166–1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

In January 2012, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General stated that under resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, the UN still regards Gaza to be part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


East Jerusalem

Jerusalem has created additional issues in relation to the question of whether or not it is occupied territory. The 1947 UN Partition Plan had contemplated that all of Jerusalem would be an international city within an international area that included Bethlehem for at least ten years, after which the residents would be allowed to conduct a referendum and the issue could be re-examined by the Trusteeship Council.

However, after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jordan captured East Jerusalem and the Old City, and Israel captured and annexed the western part of Jerusalem(citation needed). Jordan bilaterally annexed East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank in 1950 as a temporary trustee at the request of a Palestinian delegation, and although the annexation was recognized by only two countries, it was not condemned by the UNSC. The British did not recognize the territory as sovereign to Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. On June 27, Israel extended its laws, jurisdiction, and administration to East Jerusalem and several nearby towns and villages, and incorporated the area into the Jerusalem Municipality. In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which was declared a Basic Law, which declared Jerusalem to be the "complete and united" capital of Israel. However, United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared this action to be "null and void", and that it "must be rescinded forthwith". The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem and considers it occupied territory.

UN Security Council Resolution 478 also called upon countries which held their diplomatic delegations to Israel in Jerusalem, to move them outside the city. Most nations with embassies in Jerusalem complied, and relocated their embassies to Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities prior to the adoption of Resolution 478. Following the withdrawals of Costa Rica and El Salvador in August 2006, no country maintains its embassy in Jerusalem, although Paraguay and Bolivia once had theirs in nearby Mevasseret Zion. The United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, stating that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999." As a result of the Embassy Act, official U.S. documents and web sites refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since passage, the law has never been implemented, because of opposition from Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who view it as a Congressional infringement on the executive branch's constitutional authority over foreign policy; they have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.



International law violations

The establishment of Israeli settlements is held to constitute a transfer of Israel's civilian population into the occupied territories and as such is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. This is disputed by other legal experts who argue with this interpretation of the law

In 2000, the editors of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Palestine Yearbook of International Law (1998–1999) said "the "transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory" amounts to a war crime. They hold that this is obviously applicable to Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Arab Territories."

In 2004 the International Court of Justice, in an advisory, non-binding opinion, noted that the Security Council had described Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in the occupied territories as a "flagrant violation" of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Court also concluded that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established "in breach of international law" and that all the States parties to the Geneva Convention are under an obligation to ensure compliance by Israel with international law as embodied in the Convention.

In May 2012 the 27 ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union published a report strongly denouncing policies of the State of Israel in the West Bank and finding that settlements in the West Bank are illegal: "settlements remain illegal under international law, irrespective of recent decisions by the government of Israel. The EU reiterates that it will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties."The report by all EU foreign ministers also criticized the Israeli government's failure to dismantle settler outposts illegal even under domestic Israeli law."

Israel denies that the Israeli settlements are in breach of any international laws. The Israeli Supreme Court has yet to rule decisively on settlement legality under the Geneva Convention.


2012 UN report on settlements

The United Nations Human Rights Commission decided in March 2012 to establish a panel charged with investigating "the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem." In reaction the government of Israel ceased cooperating with the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and boycotted the UN Human Rights Commission. The U.S. government acceded to the Israeli government demand to attempt to thwart the formation of such a panel.

On January 31, 2012 the United Nations independent "International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" filed a report stating that Israeli settlement led to a multitude of violations of Palestinian human rights and that if Israel did not stop all settlement activity immediately and begin withdrawing all settlers from the West Bank, it potentially might face a case at the International Criminal Court. It said that Israel was in violation of article 49 of the fourth Geneva convention forbidding transferring civilians of the occupying nation into occupied territory. It held that the settlements are "leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination." After Palestine's admission to the United Nations as a non-member state in September 2012, it potentially may have its complaint heard by the International Court. Israel's foreign ministry replied to the report saying that "Counterproductive measures – such as the report before us – will only hamper efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The human rights council has sadly distinguished itself by its systematically one-sided and biased approach towards Israel."


2013 EU directive for 2014 to 2020

Following a decision by European Union (EU) foreign ministers in December 2012 stating that "all agreements between the state of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967," the European Commission issued guidelines for the 2014 to 2020 financial framework covering all areas of co-operation between the EU and Israel, including economics, science, culture, sports and academia but excluding trade on 30 June 2013. According to the directive all future agreements between the EU and Israel must explicitly exclude Jewish settlements and Israeli institutions and bodies situated across the pre-1967 Green Line – including the Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. EU grants, funding, prizes or scholarships will only be granted if a settlement exclusion clause is included, forcing the Israeli government to concede in writing that settlements in the occupied territories are outside the state of Israel to secure agreements with the EU

In a statement, the EU said that "the guidelines are ... in conformity with the EU's longstanding position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied territories, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law. At the moment Israeli entities enjoy financial support and cooperation with the EU and these guidelines are designed to ensure that this remains the case. At the same time concern has been expressed in Europe that Israeli entities in the occupied territories could benefit from EU support. The purpose of these guidelines is to make a distinction between the State of Israel and the occupied territories when it comes to EU support."

The guidelines do not apply to any Palestinian body in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, and they do not affect agreements between the EU and the PLO or the Palestinian Authority, nor do they apply to Israeli government ministries or national agencies, to private individuals, to human rights organizations operating in the occupied territories, or to NGOs working toward promoting peace which operate in the occupied territories.

The move was described as an "earthquake" by an Israeli official who wished to remain anonymous, and prompted harsh criticism by prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu who said in a broadcast statement: "As prime minister of Israel, I will not allow the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in the West Bank, Golan Heights and our united capital Jerusalem to be harmed. We will not accept any external diktats about our borders. This matter will only be settled in direct negotiations between the parties." Israel is also concerned that the same policy could extend to settlement produce and goods exported to European markets, as some EU member states are pressing for an EU-wide policy of labelling produce and goods originating in Jewish settlements to allow consumers to make informed choices. A special ministerial panel led by prime minister Netanyahu, decided to approach the EU and demand several key amendments in the guidelines before entering any new projects with the Europeans. A spokesperson for the EU confirmed that further talks would take place between Israel and the EU, stating: "We stand ready to organise discussions during which such clarifications can be provided and look forward to continued successful EU-Israel cooperation, including in the area of scientific cooperation."

Palestinians and their supporters hailed the EU directive as a significant political and economic sanction against settlements. Hanan Ashrawi welcomed the guidelines, saying: "The EU has moved from the level of statements, declarations and denunciations to effective policy decisions and concrete steps, which constitute a qualitative shift that will have a positive impact on the chances of peace."



Lesson in Observation


Pay attention, the world which appears now
at zero point zero and one degree
as far as is known, the only one
that strayed from the silence.


It hovered inside a blue bubble, quite large:
and sometimes there were clouds, sea breezes,
occasionally a house, maybe a kite, and children,
and here and there an angel,
or a large park, or a city.
Beneath these were the dead, and beneath them
the rock, and beneath it the prison of fire.


Clear? I'll say it again: Outside there were
clouds, cries, air to air missiles,
fire in the fields, memory.
Deep below these, were houses, children. what else.


And that point on the side? This it appears
is the sole moon of that world.
It extinguished itself well before then.


Dan Pagis

(translated from Hebrew by Jane Medved)


Israel passes bill retroactively legalising Jewish settlements

Peter Beaumont

Monday 6 February 2017, © The Guardian

Israel's parliament has approved a controversial bill to retroactively "legalise" illegal Jewish outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land, setting up an inevitable confrontation with the international community.

The so-called regulation bill paves the way for Israel to recognise thousands of illegally built Jewish settler homes constructed on privately owned Palestinian land in what opponents have dubbed a "theft" and "land grab".  full article>


Khamsin* on the Hills


Do you remember that
khamsin on the hills? The branches
full of thorns sent to us by
the thirsty wild plums? The
blazing rocks and the scent
of toasted pine needles?
The blush that rose on your cheeks, and the drops
of your gentle sweat? My soul
reached out to you then my love.
And I did not guess there that such
would be our lives: crowns of thorns,
and the heat of the khamsim, and the blush of
the sweat of love. And the sorrow that eats
at us from inside for the speed of elusive
time and the lightning vision of
painful memory, flying away.


Elisha Porat

(translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner)

*Khamsin, from the Arab language, a hot dry and windy day in Israel and the Levant.


Explained: Israel's New Palestinian Land-grab Law and Why It Matters

Israel's parliament voted on a bill that expropriates private Palestinian land in the West Bank. What does the new law change, who is affected and why is it such a big deal?

Allison Kaplan Sommer

Feb 07, 2017, © Haaretz

What exactly does the new law change?

The law allows Israel to expropriate private Palestinian land in the West Bank where Israeli settlements or outposts have been built. It allows Jewish settlers to remain in their homes, even though it does not grant them ownership of the land they live on. It denies the Palestinian owners the right to claim the land or take possession of it "until there is a diplomatic resolution of the status of the territories."

Wait – back up – what is the name of the law?

Good question. Part of the confusion surrounding the bill is its name. In Hebrew, it has been given a misleading moniker with confusing translation options – most commonly, it is translated as the "Regularization Law."  full article>


As He Walks Away


The enemy who drinks tea in our hovel
has a horse in smoke, a daughter with
thick eyebrow, brown eyes and long hair
braided over her shoulders
like a night of songs.
He's never without her picture
when he comes to drink our tea
but he forgets to tell us about her nightly chores
about a horse of ancient melodies
abandoned on a hilltop.
Relaxing in our shack, the enemy
slings his rifle over my grandfather's chair
eats our bread like any guest,
dozes off for a while on the wicker couch.
Then, as he stoops to pat our cat on the way out,
says:'Don't blame the victim.'
'And who might that be?' we ask.
'Blood that won't dry in the night.'
His coat-buttons flash as he walks away.
Good evening to you! Say hello to our well!
Say hello to our fig trees! Step gingerly
on our shadows in the barley fields.
Greet our pines on high. But please
don't leave the gate open at night.
And don't forget the horse's terror of airplanes.
And greet us there, if you have time.
That's what we want to say at the doorstep.
He hears it well enough,
but muffles it with a cough,
and waves it aside.
As long as the earth turns around itself inside us
the war will not end.
Let's be good then.
He asked us to be good while we're here.
He recites Yeats's poem about an Irish Airman:
'Those that I fight I don't hate,
Those that I guard I don't love.'
Then he leaves our wooden ramshackle hut
and walks eighty meters to our old stone house on the edge of the plain.
Greet our house for us, stranger.
The coffee cups are the same.
Can you smell our fingers still on them?
Can you tell your daughter
with the braid and thick eyebrows
she has an absent friend
who wishes to visit her, to enter her mirror
and see his secret.
How was she able to trace his age in this place?
Say hello to her, if you
have time.
What we want to tell him
he hears well enough, but muffles with a cough
and waves aside.
His coat buttons flash
as he walks away.


Mahmoud Darwish

(translated from Arabic by Sargon Boulos)


Israel's New Land Law: Clearing the Path to Annexation

by Jonathan Cook

February 8, 2017, © Counterpunch

The Israeli parliament passed the legalisation law on Monday night – a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the final fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank that were supposed to be off-limits.  full article>



(After Ezekiel)


Only good things. Best wishes roll off your forked tongue
surrounding me, limp, to do me good.
Your evil eye sways the walls. There's no
current from the fire. The world will end in this room.
I'll still hear from you. I won't escape. Then with a bang
mountains crumble, stairs collapse, every wall will
fall to the ground.


Navit Barel

(translated from Hebrew by Adam Seelig)

First published on Poetry International, 2013


Israel's settlement law: Consolidating apartheid

By Ramzy Baroud

February 8, 2017, © Aljazeera

"Israel has just opened the 'floodgates', and crossed a 'very, very thick red line'." These were the words of Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations' Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in response to the passing of a bill at the Israeli Knesset on February 7 that retroactively legalises thousands of illegal settler homes, built on stolen Palestinian land.  full article>


I Come From There


I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland.....


Mahmoud Darwish






Movie of the Day

Movie of the Year








Movie Director of the Day

Yasujirō Ozu (小津 安二郎)

Ozu was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He began his career during the era of silent films. He first made a number of short comedies, before turning to more serious themes in the 1930s. Marriage and family, especially the relationships between the generations, are prominent themes in his work. His most lauded films include "Late Spring" (1949), "Tokyo Story" (1953), "Floating Weeds" (1959), and "An Autumn Afternoon" (1962). Ozu's reputation has continued to grow since his death, and he is widely regarded as one of the world's most influential directors. In the 2012 Sight and Sound poll, his "Tokyo Story" was voted the greatest film of all time by world directors.


I don't try to guess what a million people will like. It's hard enough to know what I like.

John Huston


How many working-class populists are in Trump's new government?

December 8, 2016, © Jim Hightower

Actor Jack Nicholson says he finally understood the meaning of the word irony when his mother called him a "son of a bitch."

So let us consider Donnie Trump, who campaigned as the populist champion of the working-class, promising that – by gollies – he was gonna take on Wall Street and the corporate elites. But the bitter irony for the working-class is that they now see what the SOB meant – he's literally "taking on" the moneyed powers by taking them on-board his administration. For example, he's brought in Wall Street billionaires to fill the three top economic policy positions in his cabinet!  full article>


The only safe thing is to take a chance.

Mike Nichols


Trump Has Created a Constitutional Crisis

By John Nichols

January 30, 2017, © The Nation

Richard Nixon was a miserable excuse for a president who appears credible only by comparison with several of his more miserable successors. But, as bad as Nixon was, it took the former president the better part of five years to get into a fight with the Department of Justice and fire a top lawyer for following the rule of law rather than the dictates of an out-of-control and unconscionable White House.

It took Donald Trump ten days.  full article>


The more opinions you have, the less you see.

Wim Wenders


Sen. Angus King: Trump's Muslim Ban Is 'Worst Foreign Policy Decision Since Invasion Of Iraq'

By John Amato

1/31/17, © Crooks and Liars

Sen. Angus King (I) told CNN this morning that Trump's travel ban is "the worst foreign policy decision since the invasion of Iraq."

On CNN's New Day this morning, host Alisyn Camerota asked Senator King why he disagreed with Trump that the ban will make America safer.

"It will make America much more dangerous. I think this is probably the worst foreign policy decision since the invasion of Iraq."  full article>


I'm like a navigator and I try to encourage our collaboration and find the best way that will produce fruit. I like fruit. I like cherries, I like bananas.

Jim Jarmusch



10 Classic (U.S. Studio) Political Movies -

Power, Money and Politics on the Silver Screen

By Laurie Boeder

(Updated March 02, 2016 - classic

Hollywood has always been fascinated with politics - and vice versa. Here are 10 great old movies about politics, money, and power, from political thrillers to screwball comedies.


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington:

Patriotic, smart and stirring, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the story of a political innocent who comes to the Capitol full of ideals and reverence for democracy, and who meets with corruption and dirty dealing. Its sharp insights on the political process are as valid today as they were in 1939, and Jimmy Stewart is irresistible as Mr. Smith. An antidote to cynicism about the sorry state of politics, and a reminder that public servants have a lot to live up to.


All the King's Men:

A brilliant film from a brilliant novel, All the King's Men is a fictional re-telling of the life of Louisiana Governor Huey Long, the Kingfish, and his rise to power as a populist. Country lawyer Willie Stark builds his own empire as he builds roads, schools and hospitals for the poor, and plays bare-knuckled politics with the remnants of the political aristocracy in his old southern state. The role of a lifetime for Broderick Crawford, it's a clear-eyed look at a man striking the uneasy balance between public service and the corruption of power. Remade in 2006 with Sean Penn.


Citizen Kane:

Another thinly veiled biopic, Citizen Kane is among the best films of all time. It traces the rise of publisher William Randolph Hearst, in the guise of Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), and included a failed run for governor of New York. Less a movie about the inner workings of politics than a biography, Citizen Kane is a portrait of the kind of American icon who seeks power in all the arenas of American life -- through wealth, fame, the voice of the media and the votes of the public.


Dr. Strangelove:

An incisive black comedy and the best movie ever made about the Cold War, the 40-year standoff between the Soviet Union and the United States that threatened to wipe out every living thing on the face of the planet. Bleak and funny, it features Peter Sellers in an astonishing three roles, George C. Scott as a testosterone-charged general, and Sterling Hayden as the bat-guano-crazy base commander who brings the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation.


Fail Safe:

The dead-serious counterpart to Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe is another Cold War cautionary tale about what might have happened if any of our bomb-laden B-52s had ever flown beyond their "fail safe" points, and were about to drop their nukes inside the Soviet Union. Henry Fonda stars as a president trying to find a way out of a hopeless situation, and somehow prevent global Armageddon. Long before he was J.R. in "Dallas," Larry Hagman was affecting as the interpreter between the President and the Russian leader, with the fate of the world in the balance.


Seven Days in May:

Another Cold War "what if" scenario, Seven Days in May posits a coup by the military to take power away from a President who was being insufficiently warlike in the face of Communist aggression. Possibly inspired by General Curtis LeMay and other right-wing military leaders' sharp disagreements with President John F. Kennedy, it's a tense political thriller with a brainy script by Rod Serling and an outstanding cast. Kudos to a film that makes the viewer consider -- and care deeply about -- civilian control of the military.


The Manchurian Candidate:

There's never been anything quite like this chilling, surreal Cold War piece. Angela Lansbury is the stone-cold evil tool of the Communists, manipulating her weak McCarthy-esque Senator husband and serving as the "controller" for her own son, a Korean War hero turned into a robotic assassin by sinister commie brainwashers. With Frank Sinatra as another brainwashed soldier, some bizarre dialog, and just plain trippy scenes of the brainwashing, the film is nonetheless gripping. The Manchurian Candidatewas remade in 2004 with Denzel Washington.


Advise and Consent:

The melodramatic story of a President's nominee to be Secretary of State (Henry Fonda) and the political skullduggery that ensues when a southern senator (Charles Laughton in his last role) attempts to undermine the choice. Real Washington locations and great sets highlight Advise and Consent, showing what the city and the Senate really looked like in the 1960s. From a best-selling novel, it was the first mainstream film to depict a gay bar in pre-Stonewall New York, where a Utah senator confronts his blackmailer.


Born Yesterday:

From a Broadway hit, Born Yesterday is the sweetly funny story of a gangster's girlfriend (Judy Holiday) who comes with him to Washington as he attempts to bribe a congressman to the benefit of his junk-dealing business. The junk-dealer (Broderick Crawford) hires a journalist to help teach her about the finer things so she'll make a more presentable date -- but unfortunately for him the "finer things" she takes to heart include ethics and a sense of civic responsibility. Remade with Melanie Griffith in 1993.


His Girl Friday:

His Girl Friday is a terrific movie about the newspaper business and its pursuit of crooked government officials. The second movie version of the Ben Hecht play "The Front Page," the film pits reporter Rosalind Russell and editor Cray Grant against a crooked city and state administration, as politics swirl around the fate of a mild-mannered prisoner about to be hanged. Rapid-fire, overlapping dialog and a clever and complicated plot, it will make you laugh out loud.


If there's specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can't change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.

Kathryn Bigelow


Genocide of the Day

Armenian Genocide:

The Ottoman Empire, whose center point during its declining years was modern-day Turkey, was responsible for a great many human rights violations—none more horrifying than the Armenian Genocide. Beginning in 1915, while the rest of the world was distracted by World War One, the Ottomans turned fiercely on the Armenians, a Christian minority. Although not so nearly well known as the Holocaust, this genocide was every bit as horrible. Able-bodied men were slaughtered, and women and children were forced to embark on death marches through the Syrian desert. Entire villages were burned to the ground with their inhabitants still inside, and boatloads of Armenians were taken out into the Black Sea and sunk. There were at least two dozen concentration camps established, where poisoning and gassing occurred. Innocent children were injected by Turkish doctors with the blood of typhoid fever patients. Again, the true death counts are up for debate, but estimates of between 600,000 and 1.8 million dead Armenians have been advanced.


You can talk about Holocaust denial, but it's really marginal for the most part. What is compelling about the Armenian genocide, is how it has been forgotten.

Atom Egoyan


Lawmakers Warn of a 'Constitutional Crisis' as Refugees and Green-Card Holders Remain in Detention

By Alex Kane

January 30, 2017, © The Nation

Airports around the country were transformed into ad hoc legal centers over the weekend, as attorneys continued furiously to file petitions to free detained clients who were ensnared by President Donald Trump's executive order restricting entry into the United States. Attorneys and politicians charged that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents were flouting the federal judiciary by not allowing lawyers access to detainees, not releasing the names of those in detention, and pressuring those in detention to sign papers to speed up their removal from the United States.  full article>


A genocide in Africa has not received the same attention that genocide in Europe or genocide in Turkey or genocide in other part of the world. There is still this kind of basic discrimination against the African people and the African problems.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali


The Case for Impeachment: Donald Trump's Islamophobia and the Threat to the Constitution

by Anthony DiMaggio

January 30, 2017, © Counterpunch

The ink on Donald Trump's executive order barring Muslim immigrants from the U.S. is barely dry, but that's all the more reason to begin calling for his impeachment. If it only took a week for him to issue a blanket ban on immigrants, how much damage he can do to civil liberties and the Constitution over the next few months or year? As the New York Times reported on January 28th, Trump issued an executive order banning all Muslim refugees from Syria, in addition to all immigrants from numerous countries, including Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The order mandates a 120-day ban for refugees, and a 90-day blanket bank from the countries above.  full article>


Genocide begins, however improbably, in the conviction that classes of biological distinction indisputably sanction social and political discrimination.

Andrea Dworkin


I'm an Iranian Woman Whose Dream Is to Study in America. Here's My Message for Trump.

Samantha Michaels

Jan. 29, 2017, © MotherJones

My name is Shadi Heidarifar—in Persian, Shadi means "happiness." I'm 23 years old, and I've lived my whole life in Tehran, the capital of Iran. My father recently retired from his job as a manager at a gas station, my mother is a housewife, and I have a younger brother in high school.

I was the first in my family to go to university—I finished my bachelor's in philosophy at the University of Tehran—and I recently got admitted to NYU's philosophy department, where I planned to get a master's degree. It was very difficult to come up with the money for the application. Most American universities have an application fee of around $70 to $100, which is enough for a month of living expenses in most cities of Iran. Money can be tight sometimes, so I worked part time at a bookstore near my university for more than a year to pay the application fees.  full article>


If we do a little bit of insight into history, how many times have there been people doing hate discourse, blaming everything on a certain group of people. That really is the genesis of genocide, where it kind of sparks.

Gael Garcia Bernal


MSF: Suspension of U.S. Refugee Resettlement Endangers People Fleeing War Zones

January 28, 2017, © Doctors without Borders

NEW YORK, JANUARY 28, 2017 - President Donald J. Trump's executive order suspending refugee resettlement to the United States is an inhumane act against people fleeing war zones, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today, calling for a resumption of refugee resettlement.  full article>


I have issued the command - and I'll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad - that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness - for the present only in the East - with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

Adolf Hitler


Trump's Incoherent Anti-Terrorism Policy

By Paul R. Pillar

January 30, 2017, ©

Donald Trump's efforts, during his first week in office, to give substance to his campaign rhetoric have involved executive orders that have generated reactions ranging from bemusement over their vagueness to worried waiting for other shoes to drop. But the previous orders do not do as much quick damage, both to individual U.S. persons and their families and to broader U.S. foreign relations and national security, as the grossly mistitled order, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."  full article>


You Are Not Equal. I'm Sorry.


A post is making rounds on social media, in response to the Women's March on Saturday, January 21, 2017. It starts with "I am not a "disgrace to women" because I don't support the women's march. I do not feel I am a "second class citizen" because I am a woman...."


This is my response to that post.


Say Thank You


Say thank you. Say thank you to the women who gave you a voice. Say thank you to the women who were arrested and imprisoned and beaten and gassed for you to have a voice. Say thank you to the women who refused to back down, to the women who fought tirelessly to give you a voice. Say thank you to the women who put their lives on hold, who –lucky for you — did not have "better things to do" than to march and protest and rally for your voice. So you don't feel like a "second class citizen." So you get to feel "equal."


Thank Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul for your right to vote.


Thank Elizabeth Stanton for your right to work.



Thank Maud Wood Park for your prenatal care and your identity outside of your husband.


Thank Rose Schneiderman for your humane working conditions.


Thank Eleanor Roosevelt and Molly Dewson for your ability to work in politics and affect policy.


Thank Margaret Sanger for your legal birth control.


Thank Carol Downer for your reproductive healthcare rights.


Thank Margaret Fuller for your equal education.


Thank Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Shannon Turner, Gloria Steinem, Zelda Kingoff Nordlinger, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Malika Saada Saar, Wagatwe Wanjuki, Ida B. Wells, Malala Yousafzai. Thank your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother who did not have half of the rights you have now.


You can make your own choices, speak and be heard, vote, work, control your body, defend yourself, defend your family, because of the women who marched. You did nothing to earn those rights. You were born into those rights. You did nothing, but you reap the benefits of women, strong women, women who fought misogyny and pushed through patriarchy and fought for you. And you sit on your pedestal, a pedestal you are fortunate enough to have, and type. A keyboard warrior. A fighter for complacency. An acceptor of what you were given. A denier of facts. Wrapped up in your delusion of equality.


You are not equal. Even if you feel like you are. You still make less than a man for doing the same work. You make less as a CEO, as an athlete, as an actress, as a doctor. You make less in government, in the tech industry, in healthcare.


You still don't have full rights over your own body. Men are still debating over your uterus. Over your prenatal care. Over your choices.


You still have to pay taxes for your basic sanitary needs.


You still have to carry mace when walking alone at night. You still have to prove to the court why you were drunk on the night you were raped. You still have to justify your behavior when a man forces himself on you.


You still don't have paid (or even unpaid) maternity leave. You still have to go back to work while your body is broken. While you silently suffer from postpartum depression.


You still have to fight to breastfeed in public. You still have to prove to other women it's your right to do so. You still offend others with your breasts.


You are still objectified. You are still catcalled. You are still sexualized. You are still told you're too skinny or you're too fat. You're still told you're too old or too young. You're applauded when you "age gracefully." You're still told men age "better." You're still told to dress like a lady. You are still judged on your outfit instead of what's in your head. What brand bag you have still matters more than your college degree.


You are still being abused by your husband, by your boyfriend. You're still being murdered by your partners. Being beaten by your soulmate.


You are still worse off if you are a woman of color, a gay woman, a transgender woman. You are still harassed, belittled, dehumanized.


Your daughters are still told they are beautiful before they are told they are smart. Your daughters are still told to behave even though "boys will be boys." Your daughters are still told boys pull hair or pinch them because they like them.


You are not equal. Your daughters are not equal. You are still systemically oppressed.


Estonia allows parents to take up to three years of leave, fully paid for the first 435 days. United States has no policy requiring maternity leave.


Singapore's women feel safe walking alone at night. American women do not.


New Zealand's women have the smallest gender gap in wages, at 5.6%. United States' pay gap is 20%.


Iceland has the highest number of women CEOs, at 44%. United States is at 4.0%.


The United States ranks at 45 for women's equality. Behind Rwanda, Cuba, Philippines, Jamaica.


But I get it. You don't want to admit it. You don't want to be a victim. You think feminism is a dirty word. You think it's not classy to fight for equality. You hate the word pussy. Unless of course you use it to call a man who isn't up to your standard of manhood. You know the type of man that "allows" "his" woman to do whatever she damn well pleases. I get it. You believe feminists are emotional, irrational, unreasonable. Why aren't women just satisfied with their lives, right? You get what you get and you don't get upset, right?


I get it. You want to feel empowered. You don't want to believe you're oppressed. Because that would mean you are indeed a "second-class citizen." You don't want to feel like one. I get it. But don't worry. I will walk for you. I will walk for your daughter. And your daughter's daughter. And maybe you will still believe the world did not change. You will believe you've always had the rights you have today. And that's okay. Because women who actually care and support other women don't care what you think about them. They care about their future and the future of the women who come after them.


Open your eyes. Open them wide. Because I'm here to tell you, along with millions of other women that you are not equal. Our equality is an illusion. A feel-good sleight of hand. A trick of the mind. I'm sorry to tell you, but you are not equal. And neither are your daughters.


But don't worry. We will walk for you. We will fight for you. We will stand up for you. And one day you will actually be equal, instead of just feeling like you are.


Dina Leygerman, 2017




Female Resistance Fighter of the Day

Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya:


She was barely 18 years old when she was executed for her guerilla activities in World War II. She was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the first woman to be named so in World War II. In October of 1941, she had volunteered for a class of guerrilla fighters known as the Red Army Western Front sabotage and reconnaissance force. Her unit was sent behind enemy lines, near Moscow at the time, to set land mines and to cut off German supply lines. Ordered to burn the village of Petrischevo, Kosmodemyanskaya set fire to a stable and a couple other buildings and was caught by locals. Some accounts say she was betrayed by one of her compatriots, Vasily Klubkov, after he was captured and interrogated. German forces tortured Kosmodemyanskaya by stripping and whipping her and marched her around naked in the cold. Still, she gave no information on her unit. The next day, she was hanged in a public ceremony, a sign on her chest reading "arsonist." Her body was left hanging, displayed for a month before burial. A Pravda article about Kosmodemyanskaya published in 1942 says she died still pledging her loyalty to the Soviet Union. Be warned that if you search for photographs of Kosmodemyanskaya, there are graphic pictures of her dead body.

(source: mental


Against legitimacy is arrayed usurpation; against modest,

single-minded, righteous, and brave resistance to encroachment

is arrayed boastful, double-tongued, selfish, and treacherous

ambition to possess.

Charlotte Brontë


The Guardian view on Donald Trump's inauguration: a declaration of political war

Friday, January 20, 2017, © The Guardian

In its outward details, the orderly transfer of American presidential power accomplished in the inauguration-day scene on Capitol Hill today felt time-honoured. The ceremonial essentials of the occasion – the stars and stripes banners, the dignitaries and the prescribed rituals of the swearings-in – were familiar and traditional. Political rivals took their places on the podium as they do every four years, shook hands and applauded one another, offering gracious compliments and providing a show of national dignity.  full article>


Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Le Pen anuncia el nacimiento de un nuevo mundo con el ejemplo de Trump


21 ENE 2017, © El País

Más de 2.000 años después de que los romanos bautizaran como Confluentes el lugar donde se unen los ríos Rin y Mosela, esta ciudad alemana sirvió el sábado como escenario de confluencia de las fuerzas populistas antinmigración de Europa. En Coblenza, los líderes de la ultraderecha de Francia, Alemania y Holanda dieron la bienvenida a la oleada de cambios que comenzó con el Brexit y continuó con la victoria en EE UU de Donald Trump.  full article>


Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

Thomas Paine


Media Should Report That President Trump Is Violating The Constitution -- And It's An Impeachable Offense


January 20, 2017, © Media Matters

According to experts, President Donald Trump's continued ownership interest in the Trump Organization means that he is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from personally benefiting from actions taken by foreign governments and their agents. Will media hold Trump accountable for this impeachable offense or will they normalize his flagrant violation of the supreme law of the land?  full article>


Big oil, big steel, big agriculture avoid the open marketplace. Big corporations fix prices among themselves and thus drive out of business the small entrepreneur. Also, in their conglomerate form, the huge corporations have begun to challenge the very legitimacy of the state.

Gore Vidal


Has America Ever Elected a 'Legitimate' President?

By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson

January 20, 2017, © The Nation

Civil-rights icon Congressman John Lewis, in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, indicated he didn't think President-elect Donald Trump would be a "legitimate" president and that he would not be attending his inauguration because Russia conspired to interfere in America's presidential election.  full article>


Most centrist Democrats... try to distance themselves from controversies that recall the 1960s. There are journalistic centrists as well, who avoid hard truths for the sake of acceptance and legitimacy.

Tom Hayden


Great Pianist of the Day

Clara Schumann:

(Young German soldier, 1916)

One of the few female pianists to compete in the largely male world of 19th-century music, Clara Schumann (1819-1896) was a superstar of her day. Her talents far outshone those of her composer husband Robert. She wrote her own music as well. One critic of the time said: "The appearance of this artist can be regarded as epoch-making... In her creative hands, the most ordinary passage, the most routine motive acquires a significant meaning, a colour, which only those with the most consummate artistry can give." (source:


Media populism means appealing to people directly through media. A politician who can master the media can shape political affairs outside of parliament and even eliminate the mediation of parliament.

Umberto Eco


How the NYT Plays with History

By Robert Parry

January 19, 2017, ©

Whenever The New York Times or some other mainstream news outlet holds itself out as a paragon of professional journalism – by wagging a finger at some pro-Trump "fake news" or some Internet "conspiracy theory" – I cringe at the self-delusion and hypocrisy.

No one hates fake news and fact-free conspiracy theories more than I do, but the sad truth is that the mainstream press has opened the door to such fantasies by losing the confidence of the American people and becoming little more than the mouthpiece for the Establishment, which spins its own self-serving narratives and tells its own lies.  full article>


No chord in populism reverberates more strongly than the notion that the robust common sense of an unstained outsider is the best medicine for an ailing polity. Caligula doubtless got big cheers from the plebs when he installed his horse as proconsul.

Alexander Cockburn


The Media and Martin Luther King

Jan 20 2017, © FAIR

Quite a few newspapers carried conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg's complaint that the inauguration boycott by Rep. John Lewis and others "is exactly what the Russians probably wanted from the beginning." (Goldberg's proof that Lewis' stance is mere partisanship is that he also boycotted George W. Bush's 2001 inauguration.)  full article>


There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore more needs elucidation, than the current one: that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong. Taking the word "interest" as synonomous with "Ultimate happiness," in which sense it is qualified with every necessary moral ingredient, the proposition is no doubt true. But taking it in the popular sense, as referring to immediate augmentation of property and wealth, nothing can be more false. In the latter sense it would be the interest of the majority in every community to despoil & enslave the minority of individuals; and in a federal community to make a similar sacrifice of the minority of the component States. In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right; and in this light the Western settlements will infallibly view it.

James Madison,
letter to James Monroe on "interest and happiness", 5 October, 1786


When Was America Great?

by Andrew Levine

January 20, 2017, © Counterpunch

Donald Trump ran for President on the slogan "Make America Great Again," implying that America had been great once, but no longer is.

True to form, Hillary Clinton's rejoinder was clueless. America is great now, she would insist every chance she got — indispensably great, "exceptional" even.  full article>


Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.

H. L. Mencken


Just about ready to take over:


Bloody Battle of the Day

The Battle of the Somme:

(Young German soldier, 1916)

Also known as the Somme Offensive, it was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November, 1916, on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies and was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front. More than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.


Why Did the US Drop 26,171 Bombs on the World Last Year?

By Greg Grandin

January 15, 2017, © The Nation

The United States started bombing Iraq on January 16, 1991, and, except for a few brief intervals, hasn't stopped since. Twenty-six years this Monday, more than a quarter of a century, and four US presidents, all of whom have bombed Iraq. Last year, the rate of bombing increased over 20,105. The lion's share of the 26,171 bombs dropped by the United States on the world was split evenly between Iraq and Syria, though we did reserve a dollop for Yemen. And the United States dropped more on Libya, about 500, in 2016, than in 2015. Trump, and Trumpism, is a symptom of the sickness, not the source.  full article>


War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.

Ambrose Bierce


The Ugly Specter of Torture and Lies

By Jonathan Marshall

January 18, 2017, ©

January 17 was an unusually good day for truth and human rights on both sides of the Atlantic. Even before President Obama commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning's long prison sentence, the British Supreme Court ruled unanimously that government ministers cannot claim "state immunity" or other specious grounds to avoid legal accountability in cases of abduction (rendition) and torture. The decision was heralded by Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, and other human rights groups.  full article>


A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


El agua que entra en el suelo no puede salir

Por Nicolás Romero

19 de enero de 2017, © Pagina12

"El cambio climático nos sigue pasando factura", había declarado el presidente Mauricio Macri, en conferencia de prensa, al referirse al drama de las inundaciones. Los especialistas opinan otra cosa, y no simplifican.  full article>


Hay suficientes recursos en el mundo para satisfacer las necesidades del ser humano, pero no para satisfacer su codicia.

Mahatma Ghandi


Agroecology Is Booming in Argentina

By Fabiana Frayssinet

Tuesday, January 17, 2017, © truthout

Organic agriculture is rapidly expanding in Argentina, the leading agroecological producer in Latin America and second in the world after Australia, as part of a backlash against a model that has disappointed producers and is starting to worry consumers.  full article>


The practical importance of the preservation of our forests is augmented by their relations to climate, soil and streams.

John Muir


The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump's Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)

by Gary Leupp

January 18, 2017, © Counterpunch

It is an extraordinary situation. The ruling class seems by and large quite shocked by the election result. Donald Trump is surely a representative of the class—in that he's a billionaire for god sake—but, for the majority of the richest and most powerful, not their preferred choice as chief executive of the USA. This is apparent by Trump's treatment at the hands of the corporate media (that he continues to insult), by the foreign policy establishment, by the intelligence agencies (which he sometimes disparages), by Congressional leaders of both parties who generally regret that he won. The Deep State seems to have its knives drawn for him.  full article>


Coup d'État of the Day

The Egyptian Revolution of 1952:


Also known as the July 23 Revolution, began with a military coup d'état that took place on July 23, 1952 by a group of young army officers who named themselves "The Free Officers Movement". The revolution was initially aimed at overthrowing King Farouk I. However, the movement had more political ambitions and soon moved to abolish the constitutional monarchy and establish a republic. The success of the revolution inspired numerous Arab and African countries to undergo a similar process to remove what they believed to be corrupt regimes. The significance of this coup is that not only did it inspire other countries to revolt, it also lead to the suez canal being nationalized which caused the suez crisis which forced France and Britain to decolonize.



There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as 'moral indignation,' which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.

Erich Fromm


The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us

by John Pilger

January 17, 2017, © Counterpunch

On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. "In order for us to heal and move forward ...," say Writers Resist, "we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy."  full article>


The best things in history are accomplished by people who get tired of being shoved around.

Robert A. Heinlein


The Persistent Racism of America's Cemeteries

By Atlas Obscura Contributor, © Slate

In 2016, the city of Waco, Texas issued an order to remove a fence in the city's public burial ground, Greenwood Cemetery. But it wasn't just a cosmetic change: Using a forklift and power tools, City of Waco Parks & Recreation staff cut apart the chain-link fence that had been used to divide the white section of the cemetery from the black section.  full article>


Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Bertrand Russell


The new founder

November 29, 2016, © Hightower Lowdown

When you think of America's great Constitutional originators, names like Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin come to mind. And, of course, Abbott.

Last January, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed that he has penned NINE new amendments to the US Constitution. Abbott is proposing a Bill of Sale, effectively transferring our national government from The People to The Plutocrats. His "tweaks" would outlaw government actions that restrain corporate abuse of workers and consumers, while also preventing future Congresses from meeting crucial public needs such as health care, voter rights, and restoration of our national infrastructure.  full article>


I think that change happens, typically not because somebody on high decides that it's going to happen, but rather because at a grassroots level enough people come together that they force the system to change.

Barack Obama


Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats' Game of Thrones

by Yoav Litvin

January 13, 2017, © Counterpunch

Shame is an emotional state that is felt when a behavior does not match up with a person's expectation of him/herself and/or societal standards. One normally feels shame in situations of embarrassment and humiliation, which ensues from being exposed either physically or otherwise, as in the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

Shame evokes a series of physiological responses that are universal and include activation of the sympathetic nervous system and stress response. According to psychoanalytic theory, chronic feelings of shame are coupled with a sense of inferiority, are incredibly agonizing and evoke the construction of narcissistic defenses. This makes sense, as when a person feels shame and insecurity at the inner self, s/he seeks constant emotional support, fortification and justification from the outside.  full article>


Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.

George Orwell


Snow Storm of the Day

Lhunze County, Tibet -- 2008


Tibet is known for some of the world's tallest mountains, including Mount Everest. It gets bitterly cold there in the winter, but the climate is generally very arid. Some passes through the Himalayas remain passable throughout the year because of the low snowfall rates. For that reason, the snow storm that hit Lhunze County in October 2008 was a shock to its citizens.

Chinese officials reported an average snow depth of 59 inches (1.5 m). Some villages experienced continuous snow for 36 hours, dropping five or six feet (1.52 or 1.83 m) of snow on the ground (source: China Daily). The amount of snow was so great that many buildings collapsed, resulting in seven deaths. Roads were closed for days as rescue crews fought to clear them and bring food to people trapped by the storm.

The economic effects of the storm were particularly harsh, as many locals were forced to slaughter or sell off large parts of their yak herds, or lost them entirely in the storm's aftermath.



The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

Thomas Jefferson


My President Was Black

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

January/February 2017 Issue, © The Atlantic

In the waning days of President Barack Obama's administration, he and his wife, Michelle, hosted a farewell party, the full import of which no one could then grasp. It was late October, Friday the 21st, and the president had spent many of the previous weeks, as he would spend the two subsequent weeks, campaigning for the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Things were looking up. Polls in the crucial states of Virginia and Pennsylvania showed Clinton with solid advantages. The formidable GOP strongholds of Georgia and Texas were said to be under threat. The moment seemed to buoy Obama. He had been light on his feet in these last few weeks, cracking jokes at the expense of Republican opponents and laughing off hecklers. At a rally in Orlando on October 28, he greeted a student who would be introducing him by dancing toward her and then noting that the song playing over the loudspeakers—the Gap Band's "Outstanding"—was older than she was. "This is classic!" he said. Then he flashed the smile that had launched America's first black presidency, and started dancing again. Three months still remained before Inauguration Day, but staffers had already begun to count down the days. They did this with a mix of pride and longing—like college seniors in early May. They had no sense of the world they were graduating into. None of us did.  full article>


Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.

Mahatma Gandhi


Colombia: Sexual Violence, Hidden Violence

January 13, 2017, Doctors without borders

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams treated 645 survivors of sexual violence in two Colombian cities in 2016.

Though sexual violence against women and girls is one of the most frequently committed forms of assault in Colombia—and around the world—each year, it remains a largely underreported and unacknowledged crime. In some places, this abuse is so common, it's actually considered acceptable or part of the norm.  full article>


Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Playing Politics with Terrorism List

January 16, 2017, ©

By Paul R. Pillar

Legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) is regrettable on multiple counts. It represents a perversion of the FTO list and reflects an attitude that is likely to increase rather than decrease Islamist terrorism.  full article>


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


An Enemy of the Kremlin Dies in London

Jeffrey E. Stern

January/February 2017 Issue, © The Atlantic

In November 10, 2012, Alexander Perepilichny was feeling a little under the weather. He decided to try to shake it off by taking a few laps around the gated community southwest of London where Russian émigrés like him lived in multimillion-dollar mansions alongside members of the English elite. Perepilichny jogged through a neighborhood of homes once owned by Elton John, Kate Winslet, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr.  full article>


I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage.

Friedrich Nietzsche


Crumbling Reactors and Other Nightmares of a Trump-Perry Energy Policy

by Harvey Wasserman

January 13, 2017, copy; The Progressive

In the area of energy policy under the presidency of Donald Trump, two concerns loom above all others.

One is Trump's support for nuclear power and fossil fuel energy, at a time when other powerful countries are going renewable. Trump's economic commitments to nuclear energy and fossil fuels contrast sharply with China's massive new commitment to energy sources including solar and wind. If China, the world's number-two economy, joins Germany (number four) and possibly Japan (number three) in converting to 100 percent renewable sources, the U.S. economy will be left in the dust.  full article>


Poet of the Day

Federico García Lorca:




Sólo tu corazón caliente,
y nada más.


Mi paraíso un campo
sin ruiseñor
ni liras,
con un río discreto
y una fuentecilla.


Sin la espuela del viento
sobre la fronda,
ni la estrella que quiere
ser hoja.


Una enorme luz
que fuera
de otra,
en un campo
de miradas rotas.


Un reposo claro
y allí nuestros besos,
lunares sonoros
del eco,
se abrirían muy lejos.


Y tu corazón caliente,
nada más.


Federico García Lorca


The Crimes of Seal Team 6

Matthew Cole

January 10 2017,© The Intercept

Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL Team 6 is today the most celebrated of the U.S. military's special mission units. But hidden behind the heroic narratives is a darker, more troubling story of "revenge ops," unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities — a pattern of criminal violence that emerged soon after the Afghan war began and was tolerated and covered up by the command's leadership.  full article>


I have always thought of poems as stepping stones in one's own sense of oneself. Every now and again, you write a poem that gives you self-respect and steadies your going a little bit farther out in the stream. At the same time, you have to conjure the next stepping stone because the stream, we hope, keeps flowing.

Seamus Heaney


Obama Belatedly Says No to Israel

By Marjorie Cohn

January 10, 2017, ©

For the first time in his eight-year presidency, Barack Obama said no to Israel. When the Security Council voted to condemn Israel for building illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, the Obama administration abstained, allowing the resolution to pass.  full article>


The Foundation



Watch me, I'm running, watch me, I'm dancing, I'm air;
the building I used to live in has been razed and I'm skipping,
hopping, two-footedly leaping across the blocks, bricks,
slabs of concrete, plaster, and other unnameable junk . . .


Or nameable, really, if you look at the wreckage closely . . .
Here, for instance, this shattered I-beam is the Bible,
and this chunk of mortar? Plato, the mortar of mind,
also in pieces, in pieces in me, anyway, in my mind . . .


Aristotle and Nietzsche, Freud and Camus and Buber,
and Christ, even, that year of reading "Paradise Lost,"
when I thought, Hell, why not? but that fractured, too . . .
Kierkegaard, Hegel, and Kant, and Goffman and Marx,


all heaped in the foundation, and I've sped through so often
that now I have it by heart, can run, dance, be air,
not think of the spew of intellectual dust I scuffed up
when in my barely broken-in boots I first clumped through


the sanctums of Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, and the Areopagite,
even, whose entire text I typed out—my god, why?—
I didn't care, I just kept bumping my head on the lintels,
Einstein, the Gnostics, Kabbalah, Saint This and Saint That . . .


Watch me again now, because I'm not alone in my dancing,
my being air, I'm with my poets, my Rilke, my Yeats,
we're leaping together through the debris, a jumble of wrack,
but my Keats floats across it, my Herbert and Donne,


my Kinnell, my Bishop and Blake are soaring across it,
my Frost, Baudelaire, my Dickinson, Lowell and Larkin,
and my giants, my Whitman, my Shakespeare, my Dante
and Homer; they were the steel, though scouring as I was


the savants and sages half the time I hardly knew it . . .
But Vallejo was there all along, and my Sidney and Shelley,
my Coleridge and Hopkins, there all along with their music,
which is why I can whirl through the rubble of everything else,


the philosophizing and theories, the thesis and anti- and syn-,
all I believed must be what meanings were made of,
when really it was the singing, the choiring, the cadence,
the lull of the vowels, the chromatical consonant clatter . . .


Watch me again, I haven't landed, I'm hovering here
over the fragments, the remnants, the splinters and shards;
my poets are with me, my soarers, my skimmers, my skaters,
aloft on their song in the ruins, their jubilant song of the ruins.


C. K. Williams


Al Franken Tears Into Sessions Over Civil Rights Claims

Pema Levy

Jan. 10, © MotherJones

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) tore into his colleague Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) during Sessions' confirmation hearing on Tuesday to be the next attorney general, suggesting that Sessions has not honestly portrayed his record on civil rights to the public.  full article>


A Walk


My eyes already touch the sunny hill.

going far ahead of the road I have begun.

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;

it has inner light, even from a distance-


and charges us, even if we do not reach it,

into something else, which, hardly sensing it,

we already are; a gesture waves us on

answering our own wave...

but what we feel is the wind in our faces.


Rainer Maria Rilke

(translated by Robert Bly)


Return of the Flat Earth Society

Jud Lounsbury

January 5, 2017, © The Progressive

"The topic today is... Is the Earth Flat?"

That's what I heard yesterday surfing radio stations while driving home in rural Wisconsin. It was the hook for a national broadcast called the Brannon Howse Show, which airs weekdays on hundreds of religious radio stations across the country on a network called Worldview Radio. Not that the show's content is religious—topics last year included "How Hillary Clinton and the United Nations Want to Destroy Parental Rights" and "Could it Be that Hillary is Suffering from Parkinson's Disease?" The show is really more of an alt-right, fake news channel (Howse even has his own page over at Right Wing Watch!)  full article>


Bee of the Day

Orchid Bee, Belize:


The Repository of Depravity: Dismembered Animals Line the Shelves of a Federal Warehouse

By Randy Malamud

December 27, 2016, © Truthout

It is hard to describe the array of confiscated animals and animal parts that fills the shelves of the National Wildlife Property Repository, a federal warehouse on the fringes of Denver, Colorado. With multiple representatives of every species imaginable, it seems at first a bit like an ark, but a perverse one: perhaps fittingly so for our precarious ecological situation.  full article>


In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.



I look forward to seeing more and more people willing to resist the direction the world is moving in, a direction where our personal experiences are irrelevant, that we are defective, that our communities are not important, that we are powerless, that our future is determined, and that the highest level of humanity is expressed through what we choose to buy at the mall.

Rachel Corrie


We Do Not Live in "Post Truth" World, We Live in a World of Lies and We Always Have


DECEMBER 30, 2016, © Counterpunch

We do not live in a "post-truth" world, neither in the Middle East nor in the West – nor in Russia, for that matter. We live in a world of lies. And we always have lived in a world of lies.  full article>


Boldness be my friend.

William Shakespeare


Francis Hallé "Une plante n'a ni queue ni tête, c'est pour cette altérité que je suis devenu botaniste"

Par Catherine Calvet

29 décembre 2016, © Libération

Ce n'est pas vraiment un atlas, plutôt un herbier qui incite au voyage. L'Atlas de botanique poétique qui vient de paraître chez Arthaud a pour auteur le botaniste français Francis Hallé, également biologiste et dendrologue (spécialiste des arbres). Les dessins et les aquarelles qui illustrent chaque plante sont son ≈ìuvre. Le dessin est pour Francis Hallé le meilleur moyen de se souvenir de tous ces végétaux qu'il rencontre depuis un demi-siècle en parcourant le monde, et surtout les forêts tropicales. Une simple photo prise en moins d'une seconde ne suffirait pas à cette mémorisation.  full article>


Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.

Theodore Roosevelt


The tragedies of Syria signal the end of the Arab revolutions

Robert Fisk

23 December 2016, © The Independent

Just as the catastrophic Anglo-American invasion of Iraq brought an end to epic Western military adventures in the Middle East, so the tragedy of Syria ensures that there will be no more Arab revolutions. And it's taken just 13 bloodsoaked years – from 2003 to 2016 – to realign political power. Russia and Iran and the Shia Muslims of the region are now deciding its future; Bashar al-Assad cannot claim victory – but he is winning.  full article>


The social inefficiency of capitalism is going to clash at some point with the technological innovations capitalism engenders, and it is out of that contradiction that a more efficient way of organising production and distribution and culture will emerge.

Yanis Varoufakis


Sensible Statement of the Day:

Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0


Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

Mahatma Gandhi


No Man Will Shake Me From This Land

Dr. Bones

Dec 23, 2016, ©

The spirit of my people is wedded to this land.

The bones of my Ancestors lie in a small churchyard in rural Kentucky, a place without cell phone reception and filled with people who may have never seen a plane fly over their heads. There, among those secluded stones, rest nearly every one of my Kin that walked the clays, sand, and dirt we now label the United States.  full article>


The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

Albert Camus


The Pathologies of War: Dual Propaganda Campaigns in Reporting on Syria

by Anthony DiMaggio

December 28, 2016, ©

The travesty of war in Syria represents a defining political issue today. The Pew Research Center estimates that by 2016, as many as six in ten Syrians were displaced from their homes due to the civil war between Syrian and Russian government forces and rebel groups (Connor and Krostad, 10/5/16). This represents an astounding 12.5 million people. Estimates vary, but when taken in total suggest that deaths from the conflict are in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps as large as half a million (Barnard, 10/11/16).  full article>


If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

Albert Einstein


Civil Rights Lawyers Are Vital under Trump

Jonathan Markovitz

December 19, 2016, © The Progressive

Social movement lawyers never fight individual battles. When we fight, we're using weapons forged through decades of struggle.

42 U.S.C. Section 1983, one of the major statutes used to fight for people's constitutional rights, is also known the "Ku Klux Klan Act"; it was borne out of Reconstruction-era civil rights battles. The Voting Rights Act is a product of the modern civil rights movement and would not exist if people hadn't been willing to fight and even die for it. Lawyers waging legal battles over reproductive or sexual freedom rely on the efforts of feminist and LGBTQ activists.  full article>


A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Oscar Wilde


Here's wishing all Happy Holidays and a great start to 2017 from Perceval Press!



Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Mary Oliver


36 Hours in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


DEC. 22, 2016, © The New York Times

Despite its reputation for numerous Señor Frogs and lowbrow all-inclusive resorts, Puerto Vallarta — and especially the older part known as Viejo Vallarta — was actually once one of the country's most glamorous getaways, with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton among the A-list fans. Now the destination is drawing a new set of stylish devotees for its vibrant local community and charming architecture, as opposed to the coastal towns built in the last decades just for tourists. Because of this authentic but still party-happy vibe and the excellent beaches, Puerto Vallarta has become one of the country's preferred getaways, both for snowbirds and for visitors looking for a long weekend escape. But it is not just sun and sand that make "P.V." (as it is known locally) a draw, but the new generation of shops, restaurants and galleries that have grown up in the old town's storefronts.   full article>


Tyranical Leader of the Day


Maximilien Robespierre:

He was the leader of the French Revolution, but when he gained power he became obsessed with guillotining people. He saw everyone around him as an enemy. He suspected even his closest friends. He killed people for not supporting the Revolution, for hoarding, rebellion and other things he saw as crimes. He guillotined entire families of aristocrats as well as ordinary people with no trial. In 1794, he was guillotined without trial.


Si eres orgulloso conviene que ames la soledad; los orgullosos siempre se quedan solos.

Amado Nervo


Extracting Aleppo from the Propaganda

By Dennis J Bernstein

December 20, 2016, ©

It's rare for Americans to hear any version of the Syrian conflict other than the simplistic accounts favored by the U.S. government and the mainstream news media that rely heavily on rebel sources and their international supporters who often traffic in propaganda.

One of the few independent Western journalists covering the horrific conflict is Eva Bartlett who has traveled to Syria six times in the last two years and just returned from a six-month stint in the war-torn country where she investigated human rights violations and terrorism against Syrians.  full article>


L'orgueil est un des vices le plus jaloux de se venger des abaissements qu'il éprouve.

Abbé Roubaud


Declassify the Evidence of Russian Hacking!

December 21, 2016, © The Nation

The revelations of a CIA assessment charging that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, and Trump's contemptuous dismissal of the charge as "ridiculous," have set off another round of ugly, divisive commentary regarding both the legitimacy of the election and Trump's alleged ties to Russia.  full article>


La senda de la virtud es muy estrecha y el camino del vicio, ancho y espacioso.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra


Lies of Paul Ryan; Medicare is going broke

December 21, 2016, © Progressive Review Undernews

Center on Budget & Policy Priorities - House Speaker Paul Ryan is repeating a myth that we and others have debunked before: that Medicare is running out of money. "Medicare goes bankrupt in about 10 years," he said on CBS' "60 Minutes," adding that "for the X-Generation on down, it won't be there for us on its current path." That's just not true.  full article>


That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy

Norman Solomon

DEC 20, 2016, © disinfo

This week began with a mass email from the head of the Democratic National Committee, who declared: "By now, Americans know beyond any reasonable doubt that the Russian government orchestrated a series of cyberattacks on political campaigns and organizations over the past two years and used stolen information to influence the presidential campaign and congressional races." DNC chair Donna Brazile went on: "The integrity of our elections is too important for Congress to refuse to take these attacks seriously."  full article>


L'orgueil est le vice qu'on pardonne le moins ; il blesse essentiellement l'amour-propre. L'orgueilleux ne peut être ni affable ni reconnaissant, ce n'est qu'en nous abaissant qu'il cherche à satisfaire sa hauteur.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


America Goes Insane


DECEMBER 16, 2016, ©

The charge of 'fake news' currently at the fore of American political chatter is held forward on its own and is tied to the related charge that the Russian government 'hacked' the recent presidential election. Both charges proceed from the oppositional premise that some functioning state of affairs, some normalcy, preceded these onslaughts. The follow-on premise is that this hallowed state of affairs was diminished by 'external' malevolent forces.  full article>


In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.

John Ruskin


EPA Concludes Fracking a Threat to U.S. Water Supplies

by Patrick G. Lee

Dec. 14, 2016, © ProPublica

Starting in 2008, ProPublica published stories that found hydraulic fracking had damaged drinking water supplies across the country. The reporting examined how fracking in some cases had dislodged methane, which then seeped into water supplies. In other instances, the reporting showed that chemicals related to oil and gas production through fracking were winding up in drinking water, and that waste water resulting from fracking operations was contaminating water sources.  full article>


My pride fell with my fortunes.

William Shakespeare


In Memoriam: John Kim


Bea Edwards

December 08, 2016, ©

We were profoundly saddened to learn of John Kim's death on November 27th. John was a deeply ethical man who worked at the World Bank for nearly 30 years and was identified as a source for a journalist who criticized then Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. As a result of the exposure of wrongdoing by Wolfowitz, he and his top aides resigned in 2008.  full article>


Isabel y Fernando

por Bernardo Sánchez

Yo me fío más de un español justito, moderadamente español, de un español de menos de cinco de minutos que de un patriota a tiempo completo. Prefiero un 'mal español'; en el sentido en el que, por ejemplo, Franco calificó de 'mal español' a Luis García Berlanga tras ver en el Pardo El verdugo. Porque lo llamó 'mal español', sí. Pensando que era peor que llamarle rojo. No me cabe duda que Berlanga se lo debió tomar como un elogio. Un 'mal español', Berlanga, que era ex-divisionario y había realizado la mejor película del cine... español. Si un mal español hace El verdugo, me pregunto qué dejas entonces para un mal español. No es descartable que Franco, como guionista de Raza que era, le tuviera celillo profesional a Berlanga. En La Reina de España, por cierto, el caudillo se presenta en el rodaje, como quien visita a sus colegas, pero la reina no lo tiene para ruidos y le asesta una réplica mortal, más disolvente que el juicio histórico más adverso. No les digo qué le espeta la reina al caudillo. Tendrán que verlo. Hablo de Macarena Granada, no de Isabel I de Cifesa, que ésta no lucía ese remango. Yo creo que en esto de ser español, o kantiano, o athlético, ¡o incluso berlanguiano!, menos es más. Y que no conviene despilfarrar, porque entonces lo sustancial se devalúa. Hay dos formas de demostrarse español: o se puede sacar pecho, sobrao, o se puede reconocer públicamente que no te has sentido español ni cinco minutos. Sobre todo si se trata de investirte como una gloria nacional. Léase un Premio Nacional de Cinematografía. Y si tienes cinco minutos de modestia. Porque se es español en la medida de las posibilidades de cada uno. Además, 'ser' y 'sentirse' no es la misma cosa, y quién puede mandar en esto. Yo estoy seguro que Fernando Trueba, en ese mismo momento en el que advertía a las autoridades que igual no se sentía suficientemente nacional, estaba preparado para que el propio Ministro, de motu propio, le hubiera retirado el premio y le hubieran acompañado a la salida. Y Fernando Trueba lo hubiera entendido. Hasta le hubiera aliviado. Qué se le va hacer, si no llegas al minutaje medio de españolidad; si te ringlas al minuto... tres, pongamos, porque anda baja la moral de la tropa, por lo que sea. Tampoco le hubiera extrañado en 1994 que tras declararse ateo ante la televisión de un país en el que hasta la moneda cree en Dios, alguien de seguridad le hubiera quitado el Oscar que le acaban de entregar por Belle Époque. Pero él, ya lo dijo, sólo creía en Billy Wilder; qué se le va a hacer; si hay algún problema con esto, pues ya se les devuelve el muñeco y tan amigos. Lo extraño, para lo que Fernando Trueba no estaba preparado, ni nadie, es que un año y medio después, al cabo de haber dado, con La Reina de España, trabajo a muchos compatriotas –¡y a súbditos del imperio austro-húngaro! pues en parte se rodó en Hungría-, y de jugarse hasta las pestañas para hacer industria española, llenar de público las salas españolas (con sus empleados, etc...); hacer comedia española (crítica, hilarante y a veces doliente, de la que tan necesitados estamos); pues que tras ese riesgo, alto riesgo, muchos buenos españoles -no como él: un traidor, un subvencionado, un desagradecido, el villano de la película- intenten ahora por todos los medios y todas la redes causarles la enésima avería a esos desafectos del cine, hundir una empresa española y difamar y arruinar a un ciudadano. Pero esto sí que es muy español. Tendría ya aquí Fernando asunto para una tercera parte de la historia: como, años más tarde, ya en democracia, el público español boicotea las películas de Macarena Granada. ¿Qué ha pasado en medio? He vuelto a ver, por si en su día se me escapó algún matiz ofensivo, el dichoso discurso de la entrega del Premio, no sea que ahora me tenga yo también que cabrear con Fernando e incitar desde esta columna a un boicot para que nadie vea, por segunda vez, La Reina de España. Y me sigue pareciendo lo mismo: que yo que el ministro, y que cualquier español medio, me hubiera quedado muy tranquilo sabiendo que lo recogía un tipo que se declaraba anti-fronteras, 'sin fronteras', como el cine y la música que ha producido siempre; un tipo que reconocía no albergar sentimientos nacionales (con el peligro que hay últimamente en este negociado); un tipo que, metidos en guerra con el vecino, su estrategia estaría más cerca de Miguel Gila, pasándose al bando del vecino. En fin, todo lo contrario de invadir Polonia. Y una cosita, para acabar: no es por desilusionar a los que llamaron al boicot contra La Reina de España escandalizados por la escasa tasa de españolidad de su director -felicidades, majos, objetivos militares cumplidos- pero los directores de las películas extranjeras que batieron a La Reina de España el fin de semana pasado, David Yates (Animales fantásticos y dónde encontrarlos), el bueno de Robert Zemeckis (Aliados), Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn (Trolls) y Denis Villeneuve (La llegada); si les preguntas, pues son gente que también te dirá que nunca se han sentido españoles ni cinco minutos.




Below is the excellent poster for Fernando Trueba's new movie, "La reina de españa", which is the long-awaited sequel to his much-lauded "La niña de tus ojos" (1998). The poster is actually a beautifully-detailed oil painting by Joaquín Risueño that harkens back to the mid-1950s era depicted in the movie.



As the article above this text by Bernardo Sánchez, and the one below it point out, Trueba has been unjustly maligned in his country for being a free-thinking Spanish artist and citizen of the world. Whatever one's opinion of Trueba as a person or a Spanish citizen might be, these factors have absolutely nothing to do with the movie. Very few people in the media and in the country's movie business circles have come to Trueba's defence. For the record, I have seen the movie twice this week on the big screen, and I am certain that it will have an important place in Spanish film history once the hypocrisy and cowardice of the media and the national film community fade from memory. Much has happened with "La niña de tus ojos", many of the same critics that initially gave "La reina de España" such a cold shoulder will adjust their evaluation of the movie in a year or two - of course without acknowledging their about-face. In keeping with the alarming extreme rightward swing of much of the voting public throughout Europe, a boycott of the movie by a minority of fascists in Spain has been organised because the director had the temerity to express his admiration for the culture of France. Joaquín Risueño's beautiful poster art was also savaged on the internet, by self-appointed art critics displaying an equally provincial mind-set. Universal, the distributor of the movie, bowed to the cyber-bullying shortly before the release of the movie, changing the poster for the "safer" one shown below. Judge for yourself as to their relative merits, of course.



In any case, the public poster "debate" as well as the questioning of Fernando Trueba's patriotism have undoubtedly handicapped the launch of the movie in the forum of public opinion. Gossip is king, in Spain as in other countries, now more than ever in our brave new world of internet lynch-mobbing.




Que no hable ni Dios

06/12/2016, © infoLibre

Bueno, Dios sí. De las subvenciones que recibe la Palabra Revelada nunca hablan los que tanto gritan.

La polémica creada por el rescate de unas palabras que pronunció Fernando Trueba con motivo del estreno de su película La Reina de España significan el triunfo moral de la extrema derecha de este país. Un triunfo que viene avalado con la toma de sus consignas, de sus proclamas, por parte de la llamada "centro derecha", que asume sus postulados suavizando las formas, con lo que se permiten decir las barbaridades a las que nos tienen acostumbrados desde "el respeto y la tolerancia", ocupando un espacio que correspondería por sus reivindicaciones y su esencia a fuerzas extraparlamentarias. Lo mismo ha ocurrido en Francia con Fillon, el nuevo candidato a las elecciones presidenciales de 2017. Se ha celebrado mucho su victoria cuando sus planes en poco o nada difieren de los del Frente Nacional, salvo que estos los plantean con una retórica visceral cuya puesta en escena implica una militancia que sonroja a los republicanos franceses que ven en Fillon el justo término de lo que sería el signo de los tiempos.  full article>





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.

Albert Einstein



David Trueba

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


Families Have a Lot to Lose – and Protect – Long Before Inauguration Day

LeeAnn Hall

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



With Ben Carson at HUD, America's Cities Really Could Become Hellholes

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.

George Eliot



The Orwellian War on Skepticism

By Robert Parry

December 1, 2016, ©

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.

Joseph Campbell


Here Are the Sanctuary Cities Ready to Resist Trump's Deportation Threats

Sara Rathod

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.

Milan Kundera


Ministry Of Propaganda: Dick Cheney Tells CNN 'We Don't Need You Guys Anymore' Because Trump Has Twitter

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.

Heinrich Himmler


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.

Mark Twain


El Celtic i la causa palestina: una història d'afinitats ambivalents

Carles Viñas

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.

Joseph Campbell


Netanyahu's Divine Intervention

by Yoav Litvin

November 25, 2016, ©

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.

Abraham Lincoln


The Electoral College Lets Losers like Trump Become President

John Nichols

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.

Will Rogers


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.

Dalai Lama


Trouble Ahead: With Trump and For Him

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.

John Wooden



The World Bank and Dams Part 4: Behind the Times on Renewable Energy

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?

St. Jerome


Causes of the disaster: The Clinton myth

Sam Smith

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.

Desiderius Erasmus



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.

Bobby Orr


De los ricos, por los ricos, para los ricos

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.

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen meurt à 82 ans

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.

Leonard Cohen


World mourns the death of Leonard Cohen – as it happened

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.

Leonard Cohen


Muere Leonard Cohen a los 82 años

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.

Boris Pasternak


Kucinich: Public 'totally dissatisfied' with both parties

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.

Dylan Thomas


How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind

David Wong

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


Unite and Fight: Empathy, Appreciation, and a Call to Action

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.

Wilhelm Reich


Sanders Statement on Trump

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.


Viggo Mortensen - Why am I voting for Jill Stein?

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.

Bjørn Lomborg


Invasion of the Day

France invades Spain, 1808:


Spain's Socialists May Have Destroyed for Years the Chances of a Left-Wing Government

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


Eugene Debs Got 1 Million Votes For President–As Convict Number 9653

Brandon Weber

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.

Bernie Sanders


The Coming Plague of Poverty Among the Elderly: Clinton's Plan For Gutting Social Security

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.

Gore Vidal


Why Can't We Rein In This Ridiculous Military Spending?

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.

Mark Twain


Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump

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.

Mark Twain


The Modern History of 'Rigged' US Elections

By Robert Parry

October 27, 2016, ©

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.

Mark Twain


Football Player of the Day



In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.

Albert Camus


Remembering Civil Rights and Peace Activist Tom Hayden

Norman Stockwell

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.

Marcel Proust


October 2016: The Month Political Journalism Died

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)


Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power

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.

Thomas Aquinas


Turtle of the Day

Green Turtle:


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.

Will Rogers


Monsanto Bayer: Two Destructive Corporate Conglomerates Become One

Maryam Henein

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.

Thomas Merton


Media's Debate Agenda: Push Russia, ISIS, Taxes; Downplay Climate, Poverty, Campaign Finance

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

Bob Dylan


From Black Lives Matter to the Fight for $15: Why Americans Are in Revolt

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.

Adolf Hitler


Climate Change Got Exactly 2 Seconds of Time in the Final Debate

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.

Albert Einstein


Jill Stein: On War, Trump Is Safer Than Clinton

By John V. Walsh

October 20, 2016, ©

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


Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi

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.

Thomas Jefferson


Italian Football Player of the Day

Luigi "Gigi" Riva:



Dreyer, l'épuré de poids

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.

Søren Kierkegaard


La verdad es de mal gusto

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



'The Wall Is a Fantasy'


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.

George Orwell


Certezas en la historia


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.



An Urgently Necessary Briefing on Syria

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.

Leo Tolstoi


Philosopher of the Day

Arthur Schopenhauer


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.

Arthur Schopenhauer


Una nota sobre el terrorismo

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.

Mark Twain


The Surveillance State Descends on the Dakota Access Pipeline Spirit Camp

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.

Mahatma Gandhi


Russia, Terror and Taxes Dominate Debates; Climate, Poverty, Abortion Barely Mentioned

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


Needed Now: a Peace Movement Against the Clinton Wars to Come

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:

Lewis Hamilton


Nuestras convicciones más arraigadas, más indubitables, son las más sospechosas. Ellas constituyen nuestro límite, nuestros confines, nuestra prisión.

José Ortega y Gasset


Provoke. La ruptura radical y la crítica audaz

Érika Goyarrola

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.

Idea Vilariño


Americans Are Still Getting Arrested for Marijuana Possession at Staggering Rates

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


The Forgotten Libyan Lessons and the Syrian War

By Robert Parry

October 6, 2016, ©

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.

Idea Vilariño


Qui a tué Berta Cáceres ?

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


Politkovskaja, a 10 anni dalla morte una lunga catena di delitti all'ombra del Cremlino

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.

Idea Vilariño


Obama's Gift to Israel - and Lockheed

By JP Sottile

September 30, 2016, ©

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:

Valentino Rossi


Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.

Walt Whitman


To Keep a River Running | Earth Island Journal

Robert Walker

Tuesday, September 6, 2016, ©

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.

Bill Nye


Evolución. La teoría que llegó por mar

Arantza Prádanos

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.

Noam Chomsky


La pulseada por la verdad

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:

Silver Birch


If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero


Susana Díaz, historia de una gran ambición

José Bejarano

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.

Sean Bean


Shimon Peres: Israel's Nuclear Man

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.

Wangari Maathai


Von Humboldt. El científico total

Joaquín Torán

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.

George Eliot


À Washington, scénarios pour un conflit majeur

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.

Oscar Wilde


The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker

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.


Water Protctors led by ceremony, moved in mass to halt pipeline construction

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


No fracking, drilling or digging: it's the only way to save life on Earth

George Monbiot

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


Native American High School Student's Grade Lowered for Not Standing for Pledge

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>


Expanding the Debate: Jill Stein "Debates" Clinton & Trump in Democracy Now! SpecialPart 1

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.

Robert Reich


How US Propaganda Plays in Syrian War

By Rick Sterling

September 23, 2016, ©

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.

Noam Chomsky



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.



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.


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



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



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