In the News



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


Assad's Death Warrant

by Mike Whitney

September 15, 2016, © Counterpunch

The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.

The main driver of the conflict is the country that's toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. (See: Bill Blum here.) We're talking about the United States of course.  full article>


The idea of photographing an Arab man naked and having him simulate homosexual activity, and having an American GI woman in the photographs, is the end of society in their eyes.

Seymour Hersh


Syria: Another Pipeline War

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Feb. 25, 2016, © EcoWatch

The fossil fuel industry's business model is to externalize its costs by clawing in obscene subsidies and tax deductions—causing grave environmental costs, including toxic pollution and global warming. Among the other unassessed prices of the world's addiction to oil are social chaos, war, terror, the refugee crisis overseas, and the loss of democracy and civil rights abroad and at home.

As we focus on the rise of ISIS and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores.  full article>


The U.S. and its allies will do anything they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world.

Noam Chomsky


Immigrants Don't Steal Jobs or Wages. Billionaires Do.

Richard Eskow

September 22, 2016, ©

With the advent of Donald Trump, what was once covert in the Republican message has become overt. Yesterday's dog whistle is today's screaming siren. Case in point: anti-immigrant bigotry, which was most recently expressed in Donald Trump Jr.'s recent "Skittles"-themed Twitter attack on Syrian refugees.

Think about that. Don Jr. compared people who are fleeing horrific violence to ... tiny candies. This emotional inability to distinguish human beings from inanimate objects, and therefore to empathize with their suffering, seems to border on the sociopathic. Even Wrigley, the candy's manufacturer, distanced itself in a statement that said: "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it is an appropriate analogy."  full article>


Brutal Dictator of the Day:

Islam Karimov (with John Kerry)


(Free trade agreements) are trade agreements that don't stick to trade...they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce.

Ralph Nader


The Meaning of the Trump Surge

by Andrew Levine

September 23, 2016, © Counterpunch

The news is full of it – literally and figuratively: Trump is surging in the polls, especially in so-called battleground states. Is it time to worry?

Indeed, it is, but not about Trump. The Donald has been headed for defeat from the moment he started trouncing his rivals in the Republican primaries and caucuses. No matter that the polls are now detecting a Trump surge (more like a trickle, actually) or that the know-it-alls — left, right and center — now think otherwise. Nothing has changed; he still is.  full article>


The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war.

Ludwig von Mises


NYT Promotes Protectionism in Guise of 'Free Trade'

By Dean Baker

Sep 23 2016, © FAIR

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has little to do with free trade. The trade barriers between the United States and the other countries are already very low, with few exceptions; in fact, the US already has trade deals with six of the 11 countries in the TPP. The TPP is primarily about installing a corporate-friendly structure of regulation, as well as increasing protectionist barriers in the form of stronger and longer patent and copyright and related protections. (It doesn't matter if you and your friends like patent and copyright protection; they are still protectionism.)  full article>


In Greece, the Refugee Crisis Worsens While the World's Attention Turns Elsewhere

By Anna Lekas Miller

September 23, 2016, © The Nation

"We weren't expecting to be here very long," Ayhan, a 28-year-old from Afrin, Syria, says, as she sits with her husband, Hozan, on a porch made of wood pallets outside their modest tent in the Nea Kavala refugee camp in northern Greece.

"I only have two changes of clothes," she continues, pouring coffee into a row of baby-food tins that have been repurposed as coffee cups for impromptu guests. "What I'm wearing right now, and what I wore when I crossed the sea in February."  full article>


A Debate on Empire: Is Donald Trump One Terrorist Attack Away from the Presidency?

September 19, 2016, © Democracy Now



Poem of the Day:

"In the Desert", by Stephen Crane


In the desert

I saw a creature, naked, bestial,

who, squatting upon the ground,

Held his heart in his hands,

And ate of it.

I said, "Is it good, friend?"

"It is bitter -- bitter," he answered;

"But I like it

Because it is bitter,

And because it is my heart.



El difícil momento de Hillary Clinton

Dori Toribio

16/09/2016, © Ahora

"Esto podría haberse quedado en un caso de un ser humano teniendo un mal día", dice la veterana periodista Christiane Amanpour en un vídeo que ha corrido como la pólvora en las redes sociales, en el que apunta que es normal que un candidato caiga enfermo alguna vez en una campaña electoral tan larga y dura como la estadounidense. "Pero no, como pasa con tantas cosas con Hillary, los medios se están divirtiendo", añade irónicamente, recordando la cantidad de crisis de salud que han vivido a lo largo de la historia los políticos estadounidenses con el visto bueno de los medios: desde los dolores de Kennedy, que no le impidieron "salvar al mundo de un posible armagedón nuclear durante la crisis de los misiles cubanos", a la ocasión en la que George Bush padre vomitó encima del primer ministro japonés en una cena de Estado, para desmayarse justo después. Pero nadie cuestionó su capacidad política entonces. "Si los hombres pueden hacerlo, por qué no las mujeres."  full article>


The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!

Tennessee Williams


What's the Greatest Threat to Action on Climate Change? Nationalism.

By Michael T. Klare

September 15, 2016, © The Nation

In a year of record-setting heat on a blistered globe, with fast-warming oceans, fast-melting ice caps, and fast-rising sea levels, ratification of the December 2015 Paris climate-summit agreement—already endorsed by most nations—should be a complete no-brainer. That it isn't tells you a great deal about our world. Global geopolitics and the possible rightward lurch of many countries (including a potential deal-breaking election in the United States that could put a climate denier in the White House) spell bad news for the fate of the Earth. It's worth exploring how this might come to be.  full article>


Squirrel of the Day:

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel


Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? playwright, dies aged 88

Vanessa Thorpe

Saturday 17 September 2016, © The Guardian

America's leading playwright Edward Albee, the author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – the bleakest of black domestic comedies – has died aged 88 at his home in Montauk, East Hampton.

His shocking play about a decaying academic marriage marked him out early as what the New York Times has called this weekend "the playwright of a desperate generation".  full article>


Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Monsanto Now Belongs to Bayer

Tom Philpott

Sep. 13, 2016, © MotherJones

And then there were three.

On Tuesday, marriage negotiations between seed/pesticide giant Monsanto and its suitor, German behemoth Bayer, got hotter than a corn field at high noon in late summer. Bayer sweetened its offer to $56.5 billion Tuesday afternoon, just as Monsanto's Board of Directors was scheduled to meet to consider the offer, according to Bloomberg News. Monsanto's board consented Wednesday—resulting in "the biggest deal this year and the largest ever by a German company."  full article>


I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest. There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is.

Edward Snowden


DNA Dragnet: In Some Cities, Police Go From Stop-and-Frisk to Stop-and-Spit

by Lauren Kirchner

Sep. 12, 2016, © ProPublica

The five teenage boys were sitting in a parked car in a gated community in Melbourne, Florida, when a police officer pulled up behind them.

Officer Justin Valutsky closed one of the rear doors, which had been ajar, and told them to stay in the car. He peered into the drivers' side window of the white Hyundai SUV and asked what the teens were doing there. It was a Saturday night in March 2015 and they told Valutsky they were visiting a friend for a sleepover.  full article>


Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Cloud of the Day:

Nimbus Cloud


There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.

Thomas Hardy


Assad's Death Warrant

by Mike Whitney

September 15, 2016, © Counterpunch

The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.

The main driver of the conflict is the country that's toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. We're talking about the United States of course.

Washington is the hands-down regime change champion, no one else even comes close. That being the case, one might assume that the American people would notice the pattern of intervention, see through the propaganda and assign blame accordingly. But that never seems to happen and it probably won't happen here either. No matter how compelling the evidence may be, the brainwashed American people always believe their government is doing the right thing.  full article>


Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Erich Fromm


Chevron vs. the Amazon – Special Report by Abby Martin

Abby Martin

Sep 15, 2016, ©

The complete version of Abby Martin's three-part series covering Chevron's disaster in Ecuador, on teleSUR's The Empire Files.

Abby launches a deep investigation into Chevron Texaco's intentional spilling of 19 billion gallons of oil and waste in Ecuador's pristine Amazon rainforest–and the 25-year-long legal battle that followed.  full article>


Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.

John Ruskin


Getting Fooled on Iraq, Libya, Now Russia

By Robert Parry

September 14, 2016, ©

A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 – and was to some of us – that the West's military intervention to "protect" civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous "regime change" operation.

The report from the U.K.'s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the "humanitarian" mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos.  full article>


Crow of the Day:

Hooded Crow


Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.

Stephen Hawking


What Should Happen to Edward Snowden? A Q&A With His Lawyer

By Jon Wiener

September 12, 2016, © The Nation

President Obama will grant his last pardons by January 20, 2017, his final day in office. With that in mind, and with Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden biopic slated for release this fall, I sat down with Ben Wizner in July to ask about the NSA whistle-blower's chances of coming home soon. Wizner is Snowden's attorney; he also directs the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project.  full article>


Be curious, not judgmental.

Walt Whitman


Oliver Stone's Snowden, a Hero for the Ages

Ed Rampell

September 13, 2016, © The Progressive

In 1995, Oliver Stone directed and co-wrote Nixon, a film about America's wiretapper-in-chief and all the president's über-snoopers, with Anthony Hopkins as Tricky Dick, Bob Hoskins as FBI führer J. Edgar Hoover and a supporting cast of GOP dirty tricksters and "plumbers."  full article>


Héroes de Boedo

Héroes del ayer y del hoy. En la noche más soñada, cuando la situación era límite, cuando había que sacarse la mufa en torneos internacionales después de la Libertadores 2014. Y justamente dos partícipes de aquel torneo inolvidable fueron los dos grandes personajes de una noche electrizante en el Gasómetro. Partidazo para ver, pero demasiado para cualquier hincha. Al palo, con tres goles en diez minutos, el descuento de Banfield y el sufrimiento hasta el final, con esos cuatro minutos eternos de descuento. El viento que empujaba en contra, la gente que alentaba desde afuera... y la descarga con la clasificación a octavos de final ya asegurada.  full article>


Movie Director of the Day:

Preston Sturges


I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Ernst Fischer


Arrest Warrant Issued for Amy Goodman in North Dakota After Covering Pipeline Protest

September 10, 2016, © Democracy Now

An arrest warrant has been issued in North Dakota for Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman. Goodman was charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor offense. A team from Democracy Now! was in North Dakota last week to cover the Native American-led protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

On Sept. 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the Dakota Access pipeline company using dogs and pepper spray to attack protesters. Democracy Now!'s report went viral online and was rebroadcast on many outlets, including CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and Huffington Post.  full article>


Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

Jonathan Swift


Here Are All the Ways That Politicians Lie About Science

Erica Langston

Sep. 11, 2016, © MotherJones

History is riddled with science denial. From Newton's law of gravitation to Hanaoka Seinshu's use of anesthesia, there's no shortage of discoveries that have been scoffed at, ridiculed, and wholly rejected by prominent thinkers before eventually settling into the human narrative. But too often, significant damage is done—and sometimes lives are lost—while these debates play out. After centuries of dismissing scientific discoveries, only to be proven wrong time and again, you'd think we'd learn to have a little more faith in the experts.  full article>


All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.

Iris Murdoch


Toxic Slime Spreads Across World's Oceans as Climate Disruption Continues Apace

By Dahr Jamail

Monday, 12 September 2016, © Truthout

It is August 30. I'm in Anchorage, Alaska, and it's hot. Very hot. In fact, it's the fourth straight day of record high temperatures, amidst a year that has seen record high temperatures becoming normalized across the entire state.

Two days ago, this city (the most populous in Alaska) saw a record high temperature of 78 degrees, which beat the previous record by a whopping seven degrees.  full article>


Shark of the Day:

Leopard Shark


Power to the People Plan

Jill Stein, ©

"My Power to the People Plan creates deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.

It offers direct answers to the economic, social, and ecological crises brought on by both corporate political parties. And it empowers the American people to fix our broken political system and make real the promise of democracy.

This plan will end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society and our world. The power to create this new world is not in our hopes, it's not in our dreams - it's in our hands."  full article>



Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


A History of Native Americans Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline

Alexander Sammon

Sep. 9, 2016, © MotherJones

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile conduit slated to carry crude oil from North Dakota to southern Illinois when it's completed by the end of this year. Since its approval in late July, the project has sparked outrage. Last weekend, protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota reached a boiling point, with reports of violent attacks on protesters by security dogs and numerous instances of macing.  full article>


The end of confession is to tell the truth to and for oneself.

J. M. Coetzee


For Clinton v. Trump: Blame Corporate Media

by Andrew Levine

September 9, 2016, ©

Labor Day has come and gone; the campaign season is now in high gear. Getting to this point was hard for anyone paying attention. It will soon be worse a hundred-fold.

The collective intelligence of the American people is about to be insulted even more shamelessly than it has already been — as the sales campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rev up, seemingly without budget constraints.  full article>


People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


At WaPo, You Can Say Anything to Support TPP–or to Smear Sanders

By Dean Baker

Sep 6 2016, © FAIR

In pushing trade agreements, it is fair to say anything, even if it has no relationship to the truth. Therefore it is not surprising to see Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post, 9/1/16) pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by claiming that it will boost growth, and attacking Bernie Sanders for opposing "trade policies that have lifted hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people out of poverty."  full article>


It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.

William Blake


Pear of the Day:

Bartlett Pear


Behind the deceptive words designed to entice people into supporting violence -- words like democracy, freedom, self-defense, national security -- there is the reality of enormous wealth in the hands of a few, while billions of people in the world are hungry, sick, homeless.



America and the Plague of 'Moral Idiocy'

By Lawrence Davidson

September 6, 2016, ©

It was on Aug. 12, 1949, that the nations of the world, with Nazi atrocities still in mind, updated what are known as the Geneva Accords. This constituted an effort to once again set limits on the wartime behavior of states and their agents.

Among other things, the accords set the range of acceptable behavior toward prisoners of war, established protections for the wounded and the sick, and the necessary protections to be afforded civilian populations within and approximate to any war-zone. Some 193 countries, including the United States, have ratified these agreements. Now, as of August 2016, they are 67-years-old. Have they worked? The answer is, in all too many cases, no.  full article>


It's not right to respond to terrorism by terrorizing other people. And furthermore, it's not going to help. Then you might say, "Yes, it's terrorizing people, but it's worth doing because it will end terrorism." But how much common sense does it take to know that you cannot end terrorism by indiscriminately dropping bombs?



STUDY: Outside groups, secret money far more prominent than ever before

by Robert Maguire on August 24, 2016, ©

In the long debate over the changing nature of election advertising, one thing is now clearer than ever: Outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited money – sometimes without disclosing the sources of their funds – make up a larger portion of election spending than at any point in the last 16 years, by far.  full article>


Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.



Player of the Day:

Andrés Iniesta


Science arose from poetry... when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Coke and McDonalds Host Carnival of Junk Food Marketing At Rio Olympics

by Pratap Chatterjee

August 15th, 2016, © CorpWatch

Every four years, billions tune in to watch the Olympics on television. And every four years, major corporations pay millions for prime advertising opportunities as official sponsors. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are no different with Coca-Cola and McDonald's igniting a storm of controversy over their role.  full article>


We ought to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its antecedent state and as the cause of the state that is to follow. An intelligence knowing all the forces acting in nature at a given instant, as well as the momentary positions of all things in the universe, would be able to comprehend in one single formula the motions of the largest bodies as well as the lightest atoms in the world, provided that its intellect were sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to it nothing would be uncertain, the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes. The perfection that the human mind has been able to give to astronomy affords but a feeble outline of such an intelligence.

Pierre-Simon Laplace


Barcelona's Andrés Iniesta: 'I was a victim of something that terrified me'

Tuesday 6 September 2016, © The Guardian

Andrés Iniesta says he heard the silence and knew that all he had to do was wait for Isaac Newton. The ball sat up; gravity would bring it down again and, when it did, he would score. It was the 116th minute in Johannesburg and he did score, running to the corner and pulling off his shirt to reveal the message underneath, written in blue marker by Hugo the kit man: "Dani Jarque, always with us". Ten thousand miles away Spain erupted and Jessica cried. Through the tears she saw it: Dani, her Dani.  full article>


Fox of the Day:

Kit Fox


No legacy is so rich as honesty.

William Shakespeare


The US Election: an Exercise in Mendacity

by Gary Leupp

September 6, 2016, © Counterpunch

What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?... There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity... You can smell it. It smells like death.

—Big Daddy to son Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Big Daddy might have been talking about the current U.S. presidential election, which currently wraps the nation in a putrid bubble that can be smelled around the planet. To call it a democratic process would surely be mendacious.  full article>


There's an honesty to the wolf world that is liberating. There's no diplomacy, no decorum. You tell your enemy you hate him; you show your admiration by confessing the truth. That directness doesn't work with humans, who are masters of subterfuge. Does this dress make me look fat? Do you really love me? Did you miss me? When a person asks this, she doesn't want to know the real answer. She wants you to lie to her. After two years of living with wolves, I had forgotten how many lies it takes to build a relationship.

Jodi Picoult


Bon Echo Walt Whitman Monument

By Eric Grundhauser

Aug. 31 2016, © Atlas Obscura

Everyone has a favorite writer, but few take their love of literature as far as Flora MacDonald Denison, an Ontario-based inn owner who had her favorite poet's words etched forever (well, sort of), into a granite cliff.  full article>


Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.

Lao Tzu


Chris Hedges vs. Robert Reich on Clinton, Third Parties, Capitalism & Next Steps for Sanders Backers

September 05, 2016, © Democracy Now



The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.


Groucho Marx


Ape of the Day:

Bonobo Ape


Hillary Clinton's 'Exceptionalist' Warpath

By Daniel Lazare

September 3, 2016, ©

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most right-wing presidential candidate of all?

The answer used to be Donald Trump, famous for his naked bigotry toward Mexicans and Muslims. But that was before Hillary Clinton supporters took a page from the old Joe McCarthy handbook and began denouncing their Republican opponent as "an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation" or arguing that criticism of Clinton and NATO somehow emanates out of Moscow.  full article>



No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.

Emma Goldman


Cuatro de las seis especies de grandes simios ya están al borde de la extinción

Manuel Ansede

5 SEP 2016, © El País

La humanidad está exterminando a los seres más parecidos a ella: los grandes simios. Cuatro de los seis grandes simios están ya a un paso de la extinción, según la última actualización de la Lista Roja de Especies Amenazadas de la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN), publicada hoy. Son el gorila oriental, el gorila occidental, el orangután de Borneo y el orangután de Sumatra, clasificados en peligro crítico. El chimpancé y el bonobo, los otros dos grandes simios, se encuentran tan solo un peldaño mejor, en la categoría de en peligro.  full article>


Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.

Horace Mann


Troubling Origins of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'

By Sam Husseini

September 4, 2016, ©

As several writers have noted — before and after the furor surrounding quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" — the national anthem is racist. Specifically, the third stanza, which references the British offering freedom to African-American slaves who would join with them in the War of 1812, says:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Even less well know, the song originates in slaveowner Francis Scott Key's "When the Warrior Returns" — which was set to the same tune.  full article>


Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.

Tom Stoppard


Duck of the Day:

American Black Duck


Central Mediterranean: MSF Condemns Attack on Rescue Vessel

August 25, 2016, © Doctors Without Borders

BRUSSELS/NEW YORK, AUGUST 25, 2016 — On August 17, while conducting search and rescue operations off the Libyan coast, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) rescue vessel the Bourbon Argos was approached and attacked by a group of armed men onboard an unidentified speedboat, MSF said today, strongly condemning the attack.  full article>


I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.

Vincent Van Gogh


The Secret Jews of The Hobbit

Meir Soloveichik

Aug. 11, 2016, © Commentary

IN 1938, THE OXFORD professor J.R.R. Tolkien published a bestselling book featuring wizards, elves, dwarves, kings, queens, and a curious creature for which the story is named: The Hobbit. The novel, which has sold more than 100 million copies since its publication, dramatically expanded the possibilities (and readership) of a genre that would come to be known as fantasy. Tolkien tells of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, whose utter indifference to adventure is upended by a visit from 13 hirsute dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf.  full article>


The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


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

Robert Fisk

Wednesday 24 August 2016, © The Independent

How the West would love to believe that Turkey's army in Syria – all 10 tanks of it – are striking at last at everyone's enemy, the blood-soaked cult of the "Islamic State". But few in Syria or Turkey will be fooled. Isis have been sitting in Jerablus for many months; it is the advance of the American-armed Kurdish YPG militia along the Turkish border towards Jerablus that worries Sultan Erdogan.  full article>


Every positive value has its price in negative terms... the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.

Pablo Picasso


People were already beginning to forget, what horrible suffering the war had brought them. I did not want to cause fear and panic, but to let people know how dreadful war is and so to stimulate people's powers of resistance.

Otto Dix


Crisis and Opportunity

by Rob Urie

August 26, 2016, © Counterpunch

The political establishment in the U.S. is rapidly moving toward a crisis of legitimacy as capitalist democracy is exposed as a system of insider dealing where war, manufactured social misery and environmental catastrophe are ever-more-implausibly posed as solutions to their own facts. With growing evidence, as if any more were needed, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton spent her time at as Secretary of State filling the coffers of the Clinton family slush fund, the Clinton Foundation, with the tainted money of special pleaders, despots and global misery mongers as she went about launching wars-of-choice against some fair bit of the planet.  full article>


I think reconciliation is Obama's goal - but the fight with the Republicans is like a fight with pit bulls, they never let go. Even worse, now the Republicans feel they can keep pushing and he will keep giving. They have not seen a stiff resistance on his part.

Jesse Jackson


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

Manuel Ansede

26 AGO 2016, © El País

"Y al fin en un océano de irremediables huesos, tu corazón y el mío naufragarán", escribió el poeta Miguel Hernández a su esposa desde una trinchera de la Guerra Civil en 1937. El antropólogo forense Fernando Serrulla recuerda perfectamente aquel día de agosto de 2010 en el que recibió una llamada, se subió al coche y condujo desde su casa en Ourense hasta un monte de Burgos, para ver un corazón naufragado en un océano de irremediables huesos. Allí, en la exhumación de una de las mayores fosas comunes de la guerra, la de La Pedraja, habían aparecido cerebros conservados dentro de los cráneos de los asesinados. Y un corazón que dejó de latir en 1936.  full article>


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

Mark Twain


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

Will Dalton

23 August 2016, © FourFourTwo

Despite being part of the Newcastle United furniture for eight years, a lifetime in the turbulent world of the Magpies, Fabricio Coloccini bade farewell to English football with little fanfare this summer. But over in Buenos Aires, his arrival at the club of which he is a passionate supporter was very different.  full article>


I could never resist the call of the trail.

Buffalo Bill


Museum of the Day:

Buffalo Bill Center of the West


Potato of the day:



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

Thomas A. Edison


ALEC's War on Clean Government

Rep. Chris Taylor

August 10, 2016, © The Progressive

I walked into my sixth American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference just in time to hear the queen of ALEC, state Senator Leah Vukmir, tell one of two familiar Wisconsin myths.

It wasn't the one Governor Walker likes to repeat, where newly elected Tea Party politicians faced down thousands of school teachers, firefighters and high school kids (aka "the union bosses") and took away workers' right to organize.

It was the other, lesser known, but equally powerful myth the ALEC crowd adores: Wisconsin Republicans "shut down" a government investigation run amok that was suppressing the First Amendment rights of "free market supporters" (i.e., ALEC allies and supporters).  full article>


Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Frankrig er ikke i krig

Bjørn Bedal

15. aug. 2016, © Politiken

Da jeg landede i Nice tirsdag for tre uger siden, havde jeg naturligvis massakren 14.juli på Promenade de Anglais intenst i tankerne.  full article>


We live by encouragement and die without it - slowly, sadly and angrily.

Celeste Holm




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



In our effort to publish and distribute texts that otherwise might not be presented we are offering a monthly book selection available for $4.

This month the selection is: