In the News

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

Daniel Berrigan

 

Edward Snowden's introduction to The Assasination Complex:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

Daniel Berrigan

 

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

Emma Goldman

 

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

April 13, 2016, © Democracy Now

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

 

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

Frank Serpico

 

Hiding the Indonesia Massacre Files

By Jonathan Marshall

April 29, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

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

 

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

Frederick Douglass

 

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

Thursday, April 28, 2016, © Jim Hightower

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

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

 

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

Tacitus

 

Hillary: Wall Street's Golden Girl

by Pepe Escobar

April 27, 2016, © Counterpunch

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

 

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

Ethel Rosenberg

 

Trampling Science to Boost Nuclear Power

By Jim Naureckas

Apr 21 2016, © FAIR

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

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

 

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

Douglas Adams

 

How CBS News Aided the JFK Cover-up

By James DiEugenio

April 22, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

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

 

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

Noam Chomsky

 

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

Sunday 24 April 2016, © The Guardian

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

 

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

Aeschylus

 

Marinos offshore

Por Alejandra Dandan

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

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

 

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

Horace

 

One Small Step for Bernie, One Giant Leap for Humankind

by Andrew Levine

April 22, 2016, © Counterpunch

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

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

 

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

Julian Assange

 

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

William Shakespeare (Macbeth)

 

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

By Bruce Shapiro

4/12/2016, © The Nation

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

 

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

Benjamin Disraeli

 

Meet the Panama Papers Editor Who Handled 376 Reporters in 80 Countries

by Eric Umansky

April 11, 2016, © ProPublica

As the Panama Papers continue to embarrass leaders across continents, one thought has kept occurring to me: How the hell did the organizers pull it off? I mean, how did they corral hundreds of reporters? How did they make sense of so many documents? And, most importantly, how did they stay sane during it all?  full article>

 

I lay it down as a fact that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.

Blaise Pascal

 

Bernie Sanders Smacks Down Man Who Doesn't Seem To Like Jews Very Much

4/11/16, © Crooks and Liars

A Bernie Sanders event in Harlem turned into an ugly moment Saturday after a man shouted questions about the Democratic candidate's religion.

"As you know, the Zionist Jews – and I don't mean to offend anybody – they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign," the man said, according to The Hill.  full article>

 

A traitor may betray himself and do good he does not intend.

J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King)

 

Más de 200 refugiados heridos por gases lacrimógenos en Idomeni

María Antonia Sánchez-Vallejo

10 ABR 2016, © El País

El campamento de Idomeni ha vivido este domingo una situación límite. El último intento de centenares de refugiados de atravesar la frontera entre Grecia y la Antigua República Yugoslava de Macedonia (FYROM, en sus siglas inglesas) ha estado a punto de provocar una tragedia cuando la lluvia de gases lacrimógenos y balas de goma de la policía macedonia para dispersarlos ha provocado escenas de pavor entre la multitud, infinidad de niños incluidos, y dejado un reguero de heridos. Médicos sin Fronteras ha atendido a casi 300 refugiados, 200 de ellos por exposición a los gases y 30 por el impacto de balas de goma. Entre los heridos había tres niños menores de 10 años con heridas de estos proyectiles en la cabeza, según la ONG.  full article>

 

So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice.

Arundhati Roy

 

The One Piece of Writing Every Hillary Supporter Should Read

Apr 1, 2016, © Memo Salazar

You keep hearing the same refrain from several of your friends: Bernie Sanders is America's savior. The Facebook posts are everywhere, the tweets, the memes. You've heard his impassioned speeches, and, yes, they are definitely fiery and exciting. The young liberal inside you applauds when you hear him speak out for justice, and if you were twenty years old right now, perhaps you'd even be convinced. But you're not twenty years old anymore, and you've seen enough in this world to know that the idealism of youth falls short when dealing with the messy reality of human beings- especially in the world of American Politics.  full article>

 

There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.

Charles de Montesquieu

 

There's Never Been a Drug Law That Wasn't Tied to Race

By Janine Jackson

Apr 6 2016, © FAIR

Janine Jackson: Here is the quote, if you haven't heard it, attributed by a recent story in Harper's to John Ehrlichman, domestic policy advisor to Richard Nixon, referring to Nixon's declaration of a war on drugs:

You want to know what this was really all about? The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies, the anti-war left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.  full article>

 

Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.

Pope Francis

 

Wife Imagines Future With Husband Who Stays Put

Apr 04, 2016, © uexpress.com

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband is in poor health, and when his time comes, I would like to have him stuffed. It would be comforting to see him sitting in his favorite chair in the living room. That way I'd always know where he is, plus he wouldn't be asking me for another beer all the time. My kids don't like the idea. What about you, Abby? -- DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIF.

DEAR D.H.S.: Grief makes people do strange things. I'm not sure you are thinking this through. Once you are finished grieving, you may meet someone you want to watch a game with and need that chair.  full article>

 

To die, to sleep -
To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come...

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

 

Hightower introduces Bernie Sanders after the Wisconsin primary win

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, © Jim Hightower

We thought you'd like to hear the rousing speech that Hightower gave in Laramie, WY last night (4/5/2016) after Bernie won the Wisconsin primary. Enjoy!   full article>

 

To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.

Socrates

 

Trump's Big Mouth Reveals What Abortion Foes Prefer to Hide

Mrill Ingram

April 5, 2016, © The Progressive

People may have finally had enough of Donald Trump's big mouth—especially women. Seven in ten women voters have an unfavorable opinion of the Presidential candidate, according to a recent Gallup poll. Trump dug himself even deeper into the gender gap when he declared that women should be "punished" for having abortions. (He later walked back that statement.)  full article>

 

As a tactic, violence is absurd. No one can compete with the Government in violence, and the resort to violence, which will surely fail, will simply frighten and alienate some who can be reached, and will further encourage the ideologists and administrators of forceful repression.

Noam Chomsky

 

Cuanto mayor es la dificultad, mayor es la gloria.

Cicerón

 

 

       FCB 1 - RMCF 2

 

 

Some people are filled by compassion and a desire to do good, and some simply don't think anything's going to make a difference.

Meryl Streep

 

Human Rights Advocates: U.S.-Backed Saudi Offensive in Yemen a "Dark Mark" on Obama's Presidency

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Yemen this week to protest the first anniversary of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led offensive against Houthi rebels. The protests were said to be the largest in Yemen since demonstrations in 2011 forced the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since last March, more than 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen, about half of them civilians. "Yemenis are asking me, 'Why is there no global outrage when our schools, our universities, our hospitals, our clinics, when football fields, when playgrounds are bombed with U.S. bombs?" says Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division.  full article>

 

 

The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.

Emma Goldman

 

Jordan: MSF Opens new Clinic to treat Chronic Diseases near Syrian Border

March 31, 2016, © Doctors without Borders

New York/Amman, March 31, 2016—Doctors Without Borders/Mèdecins Sans Frontières (MSF) officially opened a new health center in the northern Jordanian town of Al Ramtha on Thursday, to meet some of the chronic health needs of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in the town.  full article>

 

The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.

Dian Fossey

 

New York Top Court Revives Suit Against Hospital That Let Man's Death Be Filmed

by Charles Ornstein

April 1, 2016, © ProPublica

New York's highest court on Thursday revived a lawsuit filed by the family of a man whose death was filmed without permission and then broadcast on a popular medical show. The case raises fundamental questions about whether hospitals and doctors can and should allow TV crews to film their patients before consent has been given.  full article>

 

Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

Hubert H. Humphrey

 

108 AÑOS

 

¡FELÍZ CUMPLEAÑOS!
1 DE ABRIL, 2016

 

 

People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.

Bob Dylan

 

Here's The New Research That Finally Tells the Truth about the War on Drugs

Mar 31, 2016, © disinfo.com

A crucial new study says the ubiquitous and dubious war on drugs has, in actuality, been detrimental to public health - and should be laid to rest in favor of decriminalization.

Laws and policies criminalizing drugs have had "no measurable impact on supply or use," according to the study as noted by the Independent, and serve no purpose either scientifically or in terms of public health.  full article>

 

The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view.

Albert Einstein

 

Selling Out Palestinian Rights

By Lawrence Davidson

March 30, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

In early March, Professor Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wrote an essay explaining that American foreign policy generated by Democratic Party presidents has been much to blame for the disastrous fate of the Palestinians.  full article>

 

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

Thomas Jefferson

 

Bernie Sanders as Commander-in-Chief

By Robert Parry

March 28, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders's landslide victories in Washington State, Alaska and Hawaii on Saturday coincided with a long-awaited signal that he may finally be ready to challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the "Commander-in-Chief" question, which has been regarded as one of her key strengths.  full article>

 

If the goal of health-care reform is to provide comprehensive, universal health care in a cost-effective way, the only honest approach is a single-payer approach.

Bernie Sanders

 

Islamic Extremism is a Product of Western Imperialism

by Garry Leech

March 30, 2016, © Counterpunch

As we struggle to come to terms with the latest terrorist attacks in Brussels, it is important that we understand the causes of such extremism. After all, Islamic extremism was virtually unknown fifty years ago and suicide bombings were inconceivable. And yet today it seems that we are confronted with both on a daily basis. So what happened to bring Islamic fundamentalism to the forefront of global politics? While there are many factors involved, undoubtedly one of the primary causes is Western imperialism. Western intervention in the Middle East over the past century to secure access to the region's oil reserves established a perfect environment in which Islamic fundamentalists could exploit growing anti-Western sentiment throughout the Islamic world with some establishing violent extremist groups. The most recent consequence of this process is the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, which emerged out of the chaos caused by the US invasion of Iraq.  full article>

 

What do I care about law? Ain't I got the power?

Cornelius Vanderbilt

 

Agua que cambia la vida

Chema Caballero

29 MAR 2016, © El País

Lpetpet está en medio de una gran explanada desierta. Hacia el horizonte se divisan las colinas y algún árbol. A veces una manada de cebras o varias gacelas atraviesan la pista que hace las veces de carretera una vez que se deja atrás Kisima. Ese pequeño pueblo que constituye el punto de referencia de esta aislada zona en el distrito Samburu, en el noroeste de Kenia.  full article>

 

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

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Isis?

Robert Fisk

Sunday 27 March 2016, © The Independent

The biggest military defeat that Isis has suffered in more than two years. The recapture of Palmyra, the Roman city of the Empress Zenobia. And we are silent. Yes, folks, the bad guys won, didn't they? Otherwise, we would all be celebrating, wouldn't we?  full article>

 

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

Buddha

 

El hospital que da esperanza a los animales más olvidados

Víctor Usón

30 MAR 2016, © E País

Desde hace un tiempo, le cuesta respirar y apenas puede mantenerse despierta. La vida de esta gata corre peligro y por eso está internada en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. A pesar de vivir conectada a un gotero, es una afortunada. Está hospitalizada en uno de los centros que cuenta con los mayores avances tecnológicos para el cuidado de animales de México.  full article>

 

As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.

Vaclav Havel

 

Glenn Greenwald: Hillary Clinton Has Embraced Some of the Most Brutal Dictators in the World

March 24, 2016, © Democracy Now

With the Republican establishment attempting to stop real estate mogul Donald Trump from receiving the GOP nomination, a new anti-Trump ad produced by the Emergency Committee for Israel alleges that Trump supports dictators. But what about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's record on dictators? Earlier this week, Clinton addressed the annual AIPAC conference, seeking to cast herself as a stronger ally to Israel than Donald Trump. We examine her record on Israel and U.S. foreign relations at large with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept.

 

 

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

Confucius

 

New photos of Oregon wildlife refuge reveal damage done by Bundy standoff

Sam Levin

Thursday 24 March 2016, © The Guardian

The US Fish and Wildlife Service released new photos from the scene of the 41-day standoff at a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon, showing that protesters left behind trashed buildings, damaged facilities, a compromised septic system and government offices with missing possessions.  full article>

 

Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

 

Native Americans Are Taking the Fight for Voting Rights to Court

By Edwin Rios

Mar. 25, 2016, © MotherJones

On Tuesday night, the long lines of Arizona primary voters highlighted the potentially disastrous fallout from a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  full article>

 

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

Thomas Paine

 

Joseph Brodsky, Darker and Brighter

By Cynthia Haven

March 24, 2016, © The Nation

In June 1972, a young poet from Leningrad stepped off a plane in Detroit and into a new life. His expulsion from the Soviet Union had won him international fame; yet he didn't know how to drive, how to open a bank account or write a check, or how to use a toaster. His English, largely self-taught, was almost incomprehensible. He had dropped out of school at 15. Nevertheless, at age 32, he would soon start his first real job, and at a world-class institution: He was the new poet in residence at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Within a few years, Joseph Brodsky would be a colossus on the New York literary scene. Within 15, he would be awarded a Nobel Prize.  full article>

 

We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living

Confucius

 

Sergio "Sapo" Villar: el crack que vive en la pared

Pablo Calvo

19/03/16, © Clarin.com

Esta es la historia de un sapito que se convirtió en príncipe. Sergio Bismark Villar, nombre intermedio de acorazado alemán pero contextura física de barquito de papel, andaba a los saltos por los charcos de Cerrito de la Victoria, barrio de Montevideo, cuando una vecina le puso el apodo.  full article>

 

The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.

Kurt Cobain

 

The Clintons' $93 Million Romance with Wall Street: a Catastrophe for Working Families, African-Americans, and Latinos

by Richard W. Behan

March 16, 2016, © Counterpunch

For 24 years Bill and Hillary Clinton have courted Wall Street money with notable success. During that time the New York banks contributed:

    *$11.17 million to Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992.

    *$28.37 million for his re-election in 1996.

    *$2.13 million to Hillary Clinton's senatorial campaign in 2002.

    *$6.02 million for her re-election in 2006.

    *$14.61 million to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008.

    *$21.42 million to her 2016 campaign.

  full article>

 

What causes terrorism is disrespect, a lack of justice, and poverty.

Jodie Evans

 

Humillante trato de los hinchas del PSV a mujeres que pedían limosna en Madrid

Manu Barrena

15 Marzo 2016, © Los Replicantes

Los hinchas del equipo de fútbol PSV Eindhoven han protagonizado un triste y repulsivo acto en pleno centro de la capital este martes. Un grupo de fans de Países Bajos se encontraba en la Plaza Mayor cuando han empezado a humillar a unas mujeres que pedían a escasos metros lanzándoles monedas y riéndose de ellas.  full article>

 

Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.

Cesar Chavez

 

Aficionados del Arsenal imitan a los del PSV y se mofan de mendigos de Barcelona

17/03/2016, © Huffingtonpost.es

La bajeza del ser humano volvió a reflejarse en un grupo de aficionados del Arsenal que imitaron a los del PSV holandés al mofarse de mendigos de Barcelona.  full article>

 

War is politically profitable, financially profitable, morally depraved.

Dennis Kucinich

 

The Electoral Choice from Hell

By William Blum

March 11, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

If the American presidential election winds up with Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, and my passport is confiscated, and I'm somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I'm PAID to do so, paid well ... I would vote for Trump.

My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I'd call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted.  full article>

 

This is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, which in too many cases has become so corporate and identified with corporate interests that you can't tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Dennis Kucinich

 

A Nurse in Michigan Helps Explain Why Working People Are Behind Bernie Sanders

Brandon Weber

March 11, 2016, © The Progressive

The pollsters, including Nate Silver of 538 Blog, famously got this state wrong—dead wrong. Predicting a 99% chance of a Hillary win, reality struck the Democratic party establishment across the face on Tuesday, March 8 when the Sanders campaign pulled a win in the state's primary.  full article>

 

This is a nation that has lost the ability to be self-critical, and that makes a lie out of the freedoms.

Joni Mitchell

 

Who Is the US Killing With Drones?

By Marjorie Cohn

Thursday, 10 March 2016, © Truthout

As the news broke on March 7, 2016, that US drone strikes had killed 150 people in Somalia, the White House announced it will reveal, for the first time, the number of people killed by drones and manned airstrikes "outside areas of active hostilities" since 2009. The tallies will include civilian deaths. This is a critical first step toward much-needed transparency. But it will not go far enough.  full article>

 

A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour.

Jonathan Swift

 

Clinton Stalls on Goldman Sachs Speeches

By Chelsea Gilmour

March 7, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

One of Bernie Sander's standard attack lines against Hillary Clinton has been to call attention to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in paid-speaking fees and donations that Clinton has received from Wall Street during her career, including $675,000 for three paid speeches to Goldman Sachs (at $225,000 a pop) after she left the State Department in 2013.

Sanders has even taken to keeping track of how long it's been since Clinton vowed to release the transcripts but hasn't. Clinton now claims that she is being held to a different standard than other candidates and will release the speech transcripts only when others do the same, "if everybody does it, and that includes Republicans."  full article>

 

People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.

Otto von Bismarck

 

The Six Questions Missing From the 2016 Election Debates

By Andrew J. Bacevich

January 26, 2016, © The Nation

To judge by the early returns, the presidential race of 2016 is shaping up as the most disheartening in recent memory. Other than as a form of low entertainment, the speeches, debates, campaign events, and slick TV ads already inundating the public sphere offer little of value. Rather than exhibiting the vitality of American democracy, they testify to its hollowness.  full article>

 

The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives.

Mark Twain

 

What did we learn from Antonin Scalia's death?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016, © Jim Hightower

How curious that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in, of all places, an exclusive, West Texas hunting lodge.

Curioser yet, all expenses for hizzonor's February stay were paid by the lodge's owner, John Poindexter. He's a Houston manufacturing mogul who had won a favorable ruling from the Court in an age-discrimination case last year. In another curiosity, the names of some 35 other people who were in Scalia's hunting party are being kept secret. Moreover, the late judge (an ardent promoter of corporate supremacy over people's rights) was flown to the Texas getaway for free aboard someone's or some corporations' private jet, but the name of this generous benefactor has also been withheld. Curious, huh?  full article>

 

Noam Chomsky: 2016 Election Puts US at Risk of "Utter Disaster"

By C.J. Polychroniou

Wednesday, 09 March 2016, © Truthout

We live in critical and dangerous times. Neoliberalism is still the supreme politico-economic doctrine, while domestic societies continue to deteriorate as public investment and social programs and services are scaled down further so that the rich can get richer. Concurrently, political authoritarianism is on the rise, and some believe the United States is ripe for the emergence of a proto-fascist regime. In the meantime, the climate change threat intensifies as political leaders continue to lack the courage and vision to move forward with alternative energy systems, putting at risk the future of human civilization.  full article>

 

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.

Thomas Paine

 

Snowden: FBI's claim it can't unlock the San Bernardino iPhone is 'bullshit'

Samuel Gibbs

Wednesday 9 March 2016, © The Guardian

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower whose NSA revelations sparked a debate on mass surveillance, has waded into the arguments over the FBI's attempt to force Apple to help it unlock the iPhone 5C of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

The FBI says that only Apple can deactivate certain passcode protections on the iPhone, which will allow law enforcement to guess the passcode by using brute-force.

Talking via video link from Moscow to the Common Cause Blueprint for a Great Democracy conference, Snowden said: "The FBI says Apple has the 'exclusive technical means' to unlock the phone. Respectfully, that's bullshit."  full article>

 

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.

Aristotle

 

The West's desire to 'liberate' the Middle East remains as flawed as ever

Robert Fisk

Sunday 6 March 2016, © The Independent

As General de Gaulle set out for the Middle East in April of 1941, he famously wrote that "towards the complicated Orient, I flew with simple ideas". They all did. Napoleon was going to "liberate" Cairo, and Bush and Blair were going to "liberate" Iraq; and Obama, briefly, was going to "liberate" Syria.

A magnificent book by the French Saint Cyr Military School historian Henri de Wailly, Invasion Syria 1941, has just been published for the first time in English – and at what a moment. As Stalingrad-size casualties mount in civil war Syria today, here is the story of how the French – and the British — thought they could create "modern" Lebanon and Syria by driving across the border from what was then Palestine and taking over the Levant from the 35,000 demoralised Vichy troops who had been forced since the summer of 1940 to serve Marshal Petain's pro-German collaborationist regime.  full article>

 

I don't agree with the slogan (speak truth to power). First of all, you don't have to speak truth to power, because they know it already. And secondly, you don't speak truth to anybody, that's too arrogant. What you do is join with people and try to find the truth, so you listen to them and tell them what you think and so on, and you try to encourage people to think for themselves.

Noam Chomsky

 

Corporate Campaign to Ditch Workers' Comp Stalls

by Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes

Feb. 29, 2016, © ProPublica

A campaign by some of America's biggest companies to "opt out" of state workers' compensation — and write their own plans for dealing with injured workers — was dealt a major blow Friday when an Oklahoma commission ruled the alternative system unconstitutional.

Company plans were supposed to provide equal benefits to workers' comp. But in its unanimous ruling, the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission compared that notion to "a water mirage on the highway that disappears upon closer inspection."  full article>

 

Dare to be honest and fear no labour.

Robert Burns

 

"Esta mañana me van a fusilar"

JORDI RIBALAYGUE

05/03/2016, © El Mundo

"Estimada 'tieta': ha venido el juez y ha decretado la pena de muerte, y me ha dicho que así lo había decretado el Generalísimo y esta mañana a las cinco me van a fusilar. Tú ya sabes que matan a una inocente".  full article>

 

Remembering Jeff Buckley: 'People would listen with their mouths open'

Interviews by Harriet Gibsone

Tuesday 8 March 2016, © The Guardian

Emma Banks of Creative Artists Agency, and Jeff's UK live agent

I worked with Jeff from the beginning of his career until the end. We first met while he was staying with a friend in London during the Christmas holidays in 1992, at what was once the Dome cafe on the corner of Kings Road in London. He was a fairly penniless musician at the time, so I bought him lunch. The first meeting was almost like going on a blind date, not romantically, but we got on so well immediately. He wasn't the most gregarious person, but we clicked and connected: we were similar ages and were both just starting out. I think we were in the cafe for about four hours.  full article>

 

"We Must & Can Aim High": Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Endorsing Bernie Sanders

March 01, 2016, © Democracy Now

 

The Cult of the Reagans

by Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn

March 7, 2016, © Counterpunch

The queen of head is dead. At 94, the life of Nancy Reagan, the pin-up girl for the genocidal War on Drugs, finally blinked out. Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford, who frequently appeared on Ronald Reagan's General Electric Theatre, wrote in his memoir that Nancy gave the best blowjobs in Hollywood. It's one of the most benign things you could say about the woman who saw herself as a kind of Catherine the Great for the American Imperium.  full article>

 

History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth.

E. L. Doctorow

 

US Contribution to Death of Honduran Activist Goes Unmentioned in US Coverage

By Adam Johnson

Mar 4 2016, © FAIR

Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres was shot and killed in her home in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Wednesday. While the killers' ID remains unknown, activists, media observers and the Cáceres family pointed to the increasingly reactionary and violent Honduran government, which has frequently clashed with Cáceres over her high-profile activism against land dispossession and mining, and her defense of indigenous rights.  full article>

 

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

Eugene V. Debs

 

Why would anyone celebrate the "joy" of war?

Friday, February 26, 2016, © Jim Hightower

War is hell.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a global corporate peddler of rockets, drones, bombs, and all the other hellish weaponry of military conflict. In that case, war is literally "manna from hell." So bring it on! Indeed, it seems as if Beelzebub himself is in charge these days, with US military forces enmeshed in at least 135 countries in 2015 alone. Plus, such chicken hawks as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are maniacally beating their flabby chests and screeching for even more military adventurism.  full article>

 

The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.

Albert Camus

 

The Mortal Danger of Opposing a Dam

Sarah Bardeen

Thu, 02/25/2016, © International Rivers

In Sudan last week, dozens of peaceful protesters were injured when Sudanese police used force to break up a protest against the Kajbar and Dal dams.

For some, it was deja vu – a painful echo of 2006-07, when Sudanese security forces took the lives of at least seven people who were opposing the Merowe and Kajbar dams.

For others, the protests in Sudan reminded of a stark truth that's seldom talked about: opposing a dam project can get you killed.  full article>

 

The Enlightenment view of mankind is a complete myth. It leads us into thinking we're sane and rational creatures most of the time, and we're not.

J.G. Ballard

 

El barrio porteño de Boedo en la obra de Fabián Casas:
un análisis desde
Rumble Fish y Permanent Vacation

CAROLINA ROLLE, UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE ROSARIO

"A mí me gusta pensar la literatura

como una constelación fuera del tiempo

donde conviven las obras más diversas"

Fabián Casas, "Nadie, safa, nunca"

A partir del año 2000 se produce en la literatura argentina contemporánea un retorno a lo referencial. En esta línea, Fabián Casas inscribe su obra entre lo ficcional y lo referencial y se define por su pertenencia a un espacio urbano que es el barrio de Boedo; ligado en la crítica literaria argentina al realismo. Al revisitar este espacio, al reinventarlo en los textos, se reactualiza esa tradición (Contreras "Literatura y realidad"). En "Por un realismo idiota", Graciela Speranza lee la obra de Casas, cercana a Beatriz Sarlo, desde la noción de etnografía y sostiene que "nuestras ficciones (...) parecen haberse abierto a lo que se ve y se oye en las calles deBoedo, la bailanta o el chat".  full article>

 

Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons. It must have been the scarcity of detail in that tawny landscape that made detail so precious.

Willa Cather

 

La expansión de las colonias en Jerusalén cerca a los beduinos

Juan Carlos Sanz

Jerusalén 24 FEB 2016, © El País

Nómadas, pastores del desierto, los beduinos son los gitanos del mundo árabe. Huyeron del ardiente Negev en 1948, cuando nació el Estado de Israel, para instalarse en una Cisjordania administrada por Amán. De nuevo el Ejército israelí les expulsó tras la Guerra de los Seis Días de 1967 de sus pastos en los pedregales. Tenían que dejar sitio a los asentamientos hebreos que han surgido desde entonces.  full article>

 

The basis of bureaucratic rule is the poverty of society in objects of consumption, with the resulting struggle of each against all. When there is enough goods in a store, the purchasers can come whenever they want to. When there is little goods, the purchasers are compelled to stand in line. When the lines are very long, it is necessary to appoint a policeman to keep order. Such is the starting point of the power of the Soviet bureaucracy. It "knows" who is to get something and who has to wait.

Leon Trotsky

 

Hippy

Es hermoso saber que el estado y las empresas tienen imaginación y tratan, de tan diversas formas, que uno se sienta bien

Leila Guerriero

23 FEB 2016, © El País

La semana pasada me fui de casa y empecé a vivir en un hotel. Estaba harta de ser tan hippy. Estuve desde el 5 y hasta el 8 de febrero lavándome con un jarrito, fregando platos en un fuentón, y sin trabajar. No sucedió en un campamento sino en mi casa, porque cuatro días después de que el Gobierno dispusiera un aumento del 600% en la tarifa eléctrica (para actualizar, al menos en capital, montos que rozaban la ridiculez para sectores medios y altos y que dejaron, en consecuencia, desinversión y una red eléctrica en ruinas), en el barrio donde vivo, Villa Crespo, como cada verano, se cortó la luz.  full article>

 

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.

Erich Fromm

 

The New Global Financial Cold War

by Michael Hudson

February 19, 2016, © Counterpunch

The Guns and Butter Interview

Suppose a country owes money to another nation's government or official agency. How can creditors collect, unless there's an international court and an enforcement system? The IMF and the World Bank were part of that enforcement system and now they're saying: 'We're not going to be part of that anymore. We're only working for the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. If the Pentagon tells the IMF it's okay that a country doesn't have to pay Russia or China, then now they don't have to pay, as far as the IMF is concerned.' That breaks up the global order that was created after World War II. The world is being split into two halves: the U.S. dollar orbit, and countries that the U.S. cannot control and whose officials are not on the U.S. payroll, so to speak.  full article>

 

Por nuestra codicia lo mucho es poco; por nuestra necesidad, lo poco es mucho.

Francisco de Quevedo

 

Tzvetan Todorov: "Las cualidades morales pueden convertirse en un arma política"

JACINTA CREMADES

05/02/2016, © El Cultural

A pocos pasos de la Universidad de París 7, en pleno barrio Saint Victor, entre las Arenas de Lutecia, y una de las entradas más escondidas del Jardin des Plantes, se dibuja un barrio de París multicultural a la vez que intelectual. Entre las diminutas librerías y las editoriales especializadas, aparecen tiendas con olor a té, colores multiétnicos y físicos mezclados. Es un París de edificios más bajos, blancos, viejas casas de pueblo convertidas en apartamentos con vigas del siglo XII, en donde viven profesores universitarios, artistas y escritores. Se respira tranquilidad y hay resonancias de una época desaparecida.  full article>

 

There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

How corporate bamboozlers intend to widen inequality in America

Friday, February 19, 2016, © Jim Hightower

The basic problem facing the corporate and political powers who want you and me to swallow their Trans-Pacific Partnership deal is that they can't make chicken salad out of chicken manure.

But that reality hasn't stopped their PR campaign, which pitches their "salad" as good and good for you! For example, a corporate front group called the Peterson Institute for International Economics recently issued a study blaring the happy news that TPP will increase real incomes in the US by $131 billion a year. Even if that was true (and plenty of other studies show that it's not), it's a statistic meant to dazzle rather than enlighten, for it skates around the real bottom line for the American Public: An increase in income for whom?   full article>

 

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

Bernie Sanders

 

Estoy viendo la Supercopa. San Lorenzo ha jugado todo el primer tiempo bastante mejor que Boca, con más intención, más firmeza, por el suelo. Aparte de dos pelotazos para Tévez que casi pagamos carísimo, las llegadas, las recuperaciones y el control del mediocampo de los Cuervos ha sido notable. Cauteruccio, como contra Patronato, se perdió un gol mano a mano contra Orión que me hizo gritar al cielo. Salió bien Orión, la verdad, pero por favor Caute, por favor, sos mejor que eso. Está nervioso el uruguayo, me parece. Cerutti muy bien, y Ortigoza armando con inteligencia, Buffarini jugando como una fiera en su Córdoba natal, Angeleri y Belluschi enchufados. Uy, se viene Ortigoza, se la mete atrás a Belluschi... ¡GOLAAAAAZO de Fernando Belluschi! ¡No lo puedo creer! ¡Qué ZURDAZO! ¡Una volea para enmarcar, un control bárbaro! No se descuiden, muchachos. Así nomás, apretando. Se acabó el primer tiempo. San Lorenzo 1-El Hijo 0. Me gusta que los dos equipos se están arriesgando, yendo al ataque con sus defensas inusualmente adelantadas.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaoAMwNqCPc

 

Segundo tiempo. San Lorenzo sigue apretando. Un poco retrocedido, pero busca el segundo. Sale Cerutti, fundido, y entra el Pipi Romagnoli. Casi media hora jugada. Me gusta la ambición. Me gusta. Vamos para adelante. Acertados, hambrientos. Barrientos había entrado también, y Blandi. Buenas ideas de Guede. Y ahora el Pitu tiene la pelota, se la dio Belluschi. La va a centrar... no, la para, tira zurdazo al palo y ¡GOL, GOL, GOOOOOOOOOL! 2-0, ¡Sí señor! Genial la sangre fría del Pitu! 32 minutos ya. ¡Vamos San Lorenzo! Queremos el tercero. Que lo meta el Pipi. 36 minutos. Seguimos atacando. Falta. Buen sitio para hacer un gol, 26 metros de distancia. Tiro libre a los casi 38 minutos. Lo tira Barrientos. ¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! ¡Comba loca, palo y adentro! ¡GOOOLLLAAAAAAZZZZOOOOO! 3-0. 39 minutos. ¡Hijo mío! Tiro libre para Boca. 42 minutos. Lo tira Tévez, desde unos 24 o 25 metros. Nada. Torrico la abraza. 43 minutos. Sale San Lorenzo. A por el cuarto. Vamos. Bajó los brazos la Bosta. Jugada iniciada por el Pipi, pelota para Belluschi. Se la da a Blandi, Solito, la para, se acomoda y ¡GOOOOOOL! 4-0. No lo celebra, claro, siendo un ex-Xeneize. Queremos el quinto, queremos el quinto, Papá. Se acabó el partido. Supercampeón de Argentina, el Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro. Enorme la conquista. Contundente. Todos los goles fueron lindísimos. Habla con el del Canal 13 el Cata Díaz, capitán de Boca. Dice que no merecimos ganar por tanto. Llorón. Igual que el año pasado con nuestro 0-1 en La Bombonera. Hay que saber perder.

 

Los goles y la celebración:

 

http://www.argnoticias.com/deportes/futbol/item/45963-supercopa-boca-y-san-lorenzo-se-disputan-el-primer-t%C3%ADtulo-del-año

 

 

—Guido

 

FOLLOW THE MONEY

The affirmative action that the U.S.A. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seems about to undertake early in 2016 in order that the ethnic composition of its membership might more accurately reflect the racial diversity of that country's population is commendable. Hopefully, it will also be at least a small step in the direction of more fairly recognising the best work of artists and technicians in the movies, regardless of whether they are Native Americans, or of African, Indo-European, Asian or of any other ethno-racial origin that anyone cares to define. People are people. People who make movies are people, first and foremost. Talent contests, beauty contests, or any sort of competition purporting to determine pecking orders of artistic merit, are necessarily divisive, in the long run. They do not, in and of themselves, improve, negate, or justify anyone's work. Art is about communication, not about winning and losing. These competitions are very popular and often quite lucrative for the chosen few, however, so they will never disappear. As in almost any instance of racial, class, or ideological discrimination, it bears keeping in mind that the underlying problem of discrimination in the arts, politics, or in any other sphere is one of misinformation, censorship, and the promotion of disunity of human beings based on economic interests. Follow the money. In any case, the best righteous positions, with or without prizes given, are lived, regardless of the consequences, not preached.

Viggo Mortensen

 

Red Horse: Native American drawings shed new light on Battle of Little Bighorn

Jordan Riefe

Friday 29 January 2016, © The Guardian

The concept of manifest destiny began to show cracks the day Lt Col George A Custer met his end at Little Bighorn, outnumbered by Lakota Sioux and other warriors by an estimated 10 to one. Like all self-deluding notions, both he and it were bound to fail, and did so on an operatic scale. Walt Whitman wrote of Custer's tawny flowing hair in battle, despite the fact he had shorn his famous locks days earlier in preparation for what he knew would be a bloody campaign.  full article>

 

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Nelson Mandela

 

The 94-Year-Old Civil-Rights Pioneer Who Is Now Challenging North Carolina's Voter-ID Law

By Ari Berman

January 25, 2016, © The Nation

On Monday, January 25, a federal court will hear a challenge to North Carolina's voter-ID law. Ninety-four-year-old Rosanell Eaton will be a key witness against the law.

In 1942, the 21-year-old Eaton took a two-hour mule ride to the Franklin County courthouse in eastern North Carolina to register to vote. The three white male registrars told her to stand up straight, with her arms at her side, look straight ahead and recite the preamble to the Constitution from memory. After she did that word for word, they gave her a written literacy test, which she also passed. Eaton was one of the few blacks to pass a literacy test and make it on the voting rolls in the Jim Crow era.  full article>

 

Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.

Arthur Schopenhauer

 

Denmark's selfish stance does nothing to help the global refugee crisis

Michala Bendixen

Wednesday 27 January 2016, © The Guardian

Last August I wrote an article for The Guardian under the headline: "Refugees should head for Denmark – here are five reasons why". It created a media storm here in Denmark; within 24 hours I had appeared on every national broadcast media. On the political TV programme Deadline I was confronted by the host: "Do you not acknowledge that a majority of the Danish voters are in favour of a strict asylum policy?"

I received emails and Facebook messages accusing me of being "a traitor" for listing the advantages of my country, and mentioning the fact that many refugees have told me how they have met welcoming, open-minded and helpful Danes. Inviting people to come to your country and praising your country's benefits is usually called patriotism. But things have been turned upside down and Denmark is now in competition for the title to be the least attractive country for asylum seekers.  full article>

 

"Aferim!" Explores the Cross-Generational Transmission of Cultural Bigotry

By Eleanor J. Bader

Saturday, 23 January 2016, © Truthout

Aferim! - winner of the Silver Bear prize for best direction at the Berlin International Film Festival, grand prize winner at the City of Lisboa Film Festival and an official selection at New York City's Tribeca Film Festival - is a brutal look at the ways hateful attitudes become ingrained as truth.

Shot in black and white and set in 1835, the film charts the multiday search of Constable Costandin and his teenaged son, Ionita, as they traverse the Wallachia region of what is now Romania in search of a runaway slave named Carfin. As father and son move from village to village, forest to forest, they encounter a wide array of people and their conversations and interrogations give both Costandin and the people he questions an opportunity to vent, rant and rave about the perceived cause of their oppression. For the most part, Ionita simply listens and is quickly schooled in the invectives reserved for Romani people (sometimes spelled Romany or referred to as Roma or Gypsies), Jews, women and anyone from outside their ethnic and racial fold.  full article>

 

Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.

Muhammad Ali

 

Ted Cruz Trumpets Endorsement From a Man Who Thinks God Sent Hitler to Hunt the Jews

By Miles E. Johnson

Jan. 26, 2016,© Mother Jones

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas proudly announced the latest endorsement of his presidential bid. It came from Mike Bickle, the founder and director of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City. Bickle is a controversial pastor who has attacked same-sex marriage as a sign of the End Times and seemingly blamed the Jews for the Holocaust.  full article>

 

El fascismo se cura leyendo y el racismo se cura viajando.

Miguel de Unamuno

 

The Five Lamest Excuses for Hillary Clinton's Vote to Invade Iraq

By Stephen Zunes, January 26, 2016, © Foreign Policy in Focus

Former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination who supported the invasion of Iraq.

That war not only resulted in 4,500 American soldiers being killed and thousands more permanently disabled, but also hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, the destabilization of the region with the rise of the Islamic State and other extremists, and a dramatic increase in the federal deficit, resulting in major cutbacks to important social programs. Moreover, the primary reasons Clinton gave for supporting President George W. Bush's request for authorizing that illegal and unnecessary war have long been proven false.   full article>

 

Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist... There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.

Moshe Dayan

 

The Chilling Rise of Islamophobia in Our Schools

By Kristina Rizga

Tue Jan. 26, 2016, © MotherJones

"WHAT DO YOU MISS about Syria the most?" I ask Nour on a rainy December afternoon in 2015, as we board a train after school. The soft-spoken 17-year old has invited me to join her at "I Stand with Arabs and Muslims," a rally in San Francisco organized in the wake of the biggest spike in anti-Muslim violence in a decade, following deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.  full article>

 

People know about the Klan and the overt racism, but the killing of one's soul little by little, day after day, is a lot worse than someone coming in your house and lynching you.

Samuel L. Jackson

 

Bernie Sanders' Underappreciated Interview With Ebony Magazine

Isaiah J. Poole

January 28, 2016, © Campaign for America's Future

Given the importance of the African-American vote in the Democratic primary and the questions around whether Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – a self-styled "Democratic socialist" in a state that is 1 percent black – can effectively compete for the black vote, it's surprising that a recent Ebony magazine interview with Sanders has remained under the radar.  full article>

 

Weakness is what brings ignorance, cheapness, racism, homophobia, desperation, cruelty, brutality, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.

Henry Rollins

 

Politics of Fear Devouring Human Rights Worldwide

Posted By: Nadia Prupis Jan 28, 2016, © Disinfo.com

The politics of fear has consumed the world.

Fear of terrorism and fear of refugees, which have grown alongside ongoing global conflicts, fueled many of the biggest human rights developments—and failings—worldwide in 2015, including in the U.S. and Europe, according to a new report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).  full article>

 

Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike.

Ban Ki-moon

 

Seeking Justice for Guatemalan Slaughter

By Dennis J Bernstein

January 27, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

Comedian-turned-politician Jimmy Morales, who was sworn in as Guatemala's president on Jan. 14, appears to have close ties to some of the country's most notorious death squad leaders responsible for killing thousands and uprooting tens of thousands of indigenous people from the Guatemalan highlands and the rest of the country in the 1980s.  full article>

 

Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of the little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.

Black Elk

 

The Guardian: UN whistleblower who exposed sexual abuse by peacekeepers is exonerated

January 19, 2016, © Whistleblower.org

The UN whistleblower who exposed the sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers in Central African Republic has been completely exonerated after an internal investigation.

Anders Kompass, the director of field operations for the office of the high commissioner for human rights in Geneva, was suspended and faced dismissal after he passed confidential documents detailing the abuse of children by French troops in CAR to the authorities in Paris because of the UN's failure to stop the exploitation.  full article>

 

Since the time of Homer every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric.

Edward Said

 

The Invisible Asian

By George Yancy and David Haekwon Kim

October 8, 2015, © The New York Times

This is the latest in a series of interviews about philosophy of race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week's conversation is with David Haekwon Kim, an associate professor of philosophy and the director of the Global Humanities initiative at the University of San Francisco and the author of several essays on Asian-American identity. — George Yancy

George Yancy: A great deal of philosophical work on race begins with the white/black binary. As a Korean-American, in what ways does race mediate or impact your philosophical identity?

David Haekwon Kim: In doing philosophy, I often approach normative issues with concerns about lived experience, cultural difference, political subordination, and social movements changing conditions of agency. I think these sensibilities are due in large part to my experience of growing up bicultural, raced, and gendered in the U.S., a country that has never really faced up to its exclusionary and often violent anti-Asian practices. In fact, I am sometimes amazed that I have left so many tense racialized encounters with both my life and all my teeth. In other contexts, life and limb were not at issue, but I did not emerge with my self-respect intact.  full article>

 

Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadowed livery of the burnished sun,
To whom I am a neighbor and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles,
And let us make incision for your love
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

 

Esclavas para solaz del guerrero por la gracia de Alá

Milagros Pérez Oliva

27 ENE 2016, © El País

Hacía tiempo que los indicios estaban ahí, pero ahora hay documentación y testimonios que lo acreditan: allí donde el Ejército Islámico pone su bota, resurge el cautiverio y la esclavitud sexual para disfrute y solaz del guerrero. Una vuelta atrás de siglos al más oscuro e ignominioso de los pasados. Amnistía Internacional ha recogido el testimonio de varias jóvenes yazidíes esclavizadas que fueron liberadas en la operación liderada por Estados Unidos en Siria para capturar a Abu Sayaf, uno de los dirigentes del Estado Islámico, que murió en el enfrentamiento. Poco después, la agencia Reuters difundió un edicto emitido por el denominado Departamento de Investigaciones y Fetuas del EI, en el que se detallan las condiciones del cautiverio y las normas de utilización de las esclavas. Resulta esperpéntico, alucinógeno, pero es real. En la sociedad reglamentista y absolutamente controlada que impone el EI allí donde gobierna, todo está regulado. También quién y cómo, "por la generosidad y misericordia de Dios" puede "disfrutar" de una cautiva.  full article>

 

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.

Chief Seattle

 

The Volcanic Core Fueling the 2016 Election

Robert Reich

MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2016, © Robert Reich

Not a day passes that I don't get a call from the media asking me to compare Bernie Sanders's and Hillary Clinton's tax plans, or bank plans, or health-care plans.

I don't mind. I've been teaching public policy for much of the last thirty-five years. I'm a policy wonk.

But detailed policy proposals are as relevant to the election of 2016 as is that gaseous planet beyond Pluto. They don't have a chance of making it, as things are now.  full article>

 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who will watch the watchers?

Juvenal

 

Threats to Whom? The Insider Threat Program's Chilling Effect on Whistleblowers

Matt Fuller, January 15, 2016, © Whistleblower.org

Foreword

In the aftermath of classified disclosures to Wikileaks, the Obama administration created an Insider Threat Program tasked with identifying the "malicious insiders." In practice, however, we have found that the Insider Threat Program is really a threat to insiders who commit the truth – whistleblowers.

According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, "An insider threat arises when a person with authorized access to U.S. Government resources... uses that access to harm the security of the United States. Malicious insiders can inflict incalculable damage. They enable the enemy to plant boots behind our lines and can compromise our nation's most important endeavors."  full article>

 

It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what.

Stephen Fry

 

Turkey Detains Academics as Chomsky Takes Aim at Erdoğan's Hypocrisy

January 16, 2016, © Disinformation

Global outcry over academic freedom and human rights has erupted following news on Friday that the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has arrested at least 18 academics and scholars for signing an open letter last week calling for the end of Turkey's brutal treatment of the country's Kurdish people.  full article>

 

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.

Noam Chomsky

 

A US Media Lost in Propaganda

By William Blum

January 9, 2016, © Consortiumnews.com

There was once a time – perhaps just a brief moment in time – when American journalists were cynical and responsible enough to resist being jerked around by U.S. government propaganda, but that time has long since passed if it ever existed, a reality that William Blum describes.

Vulgar, crude, racist and ultra-sexist though he is, Donald Trump can still see how awful the American mainstream media is.

I think one of the main reasons for Donald Trump's popularity is that he says what's on his mind and he means what he says, something rather rare amongst American politicians, or politicians perhaps anywhere in the world. The American public is sick and tired of the phony, hypocritical answers given by office-holders of all kinds.  full article>

 

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

Salman Rushdie

 

Where the Oregon Militias Came From

Spencer Sunshine

January 7, 2016, © The Progressive

Contrary to the impression you may get from recent media coverage, the occupation of the Oregon Malheur Wildlife Refuge is not led by ranchers who are tired of being pushed around by the federal government. Instead, the armed occupiers are self-selected militants from the Patriot movement's paramilitary network—known for invading rural communities and staging armed protests that distract from local attempts to fix real economic problems.  full article>

 

Censorship feeds the dirty mind more than the four-letter word itself.

Dick Cavett

 

Ben Carson: The World Was Created in 6 Days. Literally

By David Corn

Thu Sep. 24, 2015, © MotherJones

Ben Carson, one of the top-tier contenders in the GOP presidential primary, has long been known as an ardent creationist. He has debated prominent scientists who defend evolution, and it's no secret that his advocacy of creationism springs from his deep faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Christian religion established in the mid-1800s. Creationism is a core belief for many Seventh-day Adventists, and one of the religion's founders, Ellen White, was one of the first purveyors of the notion that the Earth is merely 6,000 years old.  full article>

 

The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.

George Bernard Shaw

 

Why the GOP's fence fantasy is a farce

Friday, January 15, 2016, © Jim Hightower

A proper wall, we're told, makes good neighbors, But an 18-foot high, 2000-mile long wall goes way beyond proper, antagonizes your neighbor, and shows your own fear and weakness.

Yet, this is what self-described conservatives running for president propose to build to stop migrants from coming across our country's southern border. Simple, right? Just fence 'em out!   full article>

 

If you can't say "Fuck" you can't say, "Fuck the government.

Lenny Bruce

 

Response by Jason Cone, MSF-USA Executive Director, to President Obama's State of the Union Address

January 12, 2016, © Doctors Without Borders

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is gravely concerned about the impact that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have on access to medicines around the world. In his comments on the TPP tonight, the President continued to promote a trade deal that will export the policies that have made medicines unaffordable in the US to close to half a billion people around the world.  full article>

 

There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.

Frank Zappa

 

Guantánamo is entering its fifteenth year. Here are 5 people waiting for President Obama to keep his promise to close it.

By Elizabeth Beavers

January 8, 2016, © Amnesty International

On January 11, 2016, the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will enter its fifteenth year of existence. The "forever prison" is perhaps the most infamous icon of the human rights abuses resulting from the global war on terror. Instead of justice for the September 11 attacks, Guantánamo has given the world torture, indefinite detention and unfair trials.  full article>

 

Why did they devise censorship? To show a world which doesn't exist, an ideal world, or what they envisaged as the ideal world. And we wanted to depict the world as it was.

Krzysztof Kie≈õlowski

 

A Year of Bloody Repression in Saudi Arabia Since Flogging of Raif Badawi

January 8, 2016, © Amnesty International

The human rights situation in Saudi Arabia has steadily deteriorated over the year since blogger Raif Badawi was publicly flogged for exercising his right to free expression, said Amnesty International the day before the first anniversary of the flogging.

The past year has seen the kingdom's human rights record go from bad to worse. Most recently the mass execution of 47 people in a single day, including Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, sent shockwaves across the region.  full article>

 

Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.

Eugene O'Neill

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2014/15: THE STATE OF THE WORLD'S HUMAN RIGHTS

The Amnesty International Report 2014/15 documents the state of human rights in 160 countries and territories during 2014. Some key events from 2013 are also reported. While 2014 saw violent conflict and the failure of many governments to safeguard the rights and safety of civilians, significant progress was also witnessed in the safeguarding and securing of certain human rights. Key anniversaries, including the commemoration of the Bhopal gas leak in 1984 and the Rwanda genocide in 1994, as well as reflections on 30 years since the adoption of the UN Convention against Torture, reminded us that while leaps forward have been made, there is still work to be done to ensure justice for victims and survivors of grave abuses. This report also celebrates those who stand up for human rights across the world, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances. It represents Amnesty International's key concerns throughout the world, and is essential reading for policy- makers, activists and anyone with an interest in human rights.  full article>

 

"We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil."

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Wounded Knee, 1890 – 1973 in photos

Posted Jan 02, 2014, © Denverpost.com

On December 29, 1890 members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment opened fire on hundreds of Lakota men, women and children, killing over 150 people.

"The regrettable and tragic clash of arms at this site on December 29, 1890, the last significant engagement between Indians and soldiers on the North American Continent, ended nearly four centuries of warfare between westward-wending Americans and the indigenous peoples. Although the majority of the participants on both sides had not intended to use their arms—precipitated by individual indiscretion in a tense and confused situation rather than by organized premeditation—and although the haze of gunsmoke that hung over the battlefield has obscured some of the facts, the action more resembles a massacre than a battle. For 20th-century America, it serves as an example of national guilt for the mistreatment of the Indians." – National Park Service.  full article>

 

"We preferred our own way of living. We were no expense to the government. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone."

Crazy Horse

 

Era of climate science denial is not over, study finds

Graham Readfearn

Thursday 7 January 2016, © The Guardian

Is organised climate science denial finished?

After global heat records were continually broken over the last decade, and as sea levels rose and scientists reported the accelerated melting of polar ice sheets, you might be forgiven for thinking the debate over climate change had shifted.  full article>

 

Think of how it all started: America was founded by slave owners who informed us, "All men are created equal." All "men," except Indians, niggers, and women. Remember, the founders were a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding slave owners who also, by the way, suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. To my mind, that is what's known as being stunningly--and embarrassingly--full of shit.

George Carlin

 

The Many Hypocrisies of the Oregon Standoff

by Pete Dolack

January 6, 2016, © Counterpunch

When an environmentalist takes action to defend a forest in the United States, she risks being labeled a "terrorist." When an armed right-wing militia member commandeers a forest for his personal profit, he is "standing up to tyranny." The Oregon standoff that began over the weekend demonstrates this hypocrisy, and not only that hypocrisy.  full article>

 

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

Sigmund Freud

 

Tearful Obama tightens gun control and tells inactive Congress: 'We can't wait'

Dan Roberts, David Smith and Ben Jacobs

Tuesday 5 January 201, © The Guardian

A tear-stained Barack Obama marked his final year in office with a last-ditch call for US gun control on Tuesday as he outlined new rules that will close important background check loopholes but leave much of the political heavy lifting to his successor.  full article>

 

Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man.

Archibald MacLeish

 

Benítez: "Gracias por todo, ha sido un honor"

05/01/2016, © Marca.com

Rafael Benítez quiso despedirse del Real Madrid y del madridismo tras ser destituido por Florentino Pérez este lunes. "Quiero que todos los que forman esa entidad, desde su junta directiva al último de sus aficionados, pasando por dirigentes, trabajadores, seguidores y simpatizantes, sepan que para mí ha sido un honor ocupar ese cargo en el club que me vio crecer como futbolista, como persona y como entrenador de las categorías inferiores hasta llegar al primer equipo", aseguró.  full article>

 

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.

Aristotle

 

El Real Florentino

José Sámano

4 ENE 2016, © El País

El conspiranoico Real Madrid de estos tiempos ha despedido a su último acusador de campañas ajenas. No ha quedado claro por cuál de ese presunto sinfín de conchabanzas se ha producido la cesantía de Rafa Benítez. Según el técnico, existía una cruzada contra él y el presidente, Florentino Pérez. Para el dirigente, como denunció el pasado 23 de noviembre, la víctima de la conjura era él. Por lo tanto, si se atiende al entrenador, el mandatario se ha rendido al complot contra el propio Benítez. Un señalado más para evitar que prospere la supuesta confabulación contra el empresario que ha desatado los gritos de la hinchada contra la autoridad. ¡Qué galimatías!  full article>

 

How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.

Benjamin Franklin

 

Palestine's Lost Present

by Vijay Prashad

January 4, 2016, © Counterpunch

Magic hangs in the air above the Jordan Valley.

It is here that the ancient prophets went mad in the desert. They spun their yarns of encounters with God, and produced stories that calmed the fears of people at the mercy of nature.

If you squint your eyes, you can imagine John the Baptist, shrouded in camel hair, walking towards the Jordan River, followed by a swarm of locusts. Roads slice the landscape now, but the mystery of the rock and the shrub remains.  full article>

 

The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.

Leo Tolstoy

 

Evading Death and Immigration Checkpoints

Timmy Matlock

December 31, 2015, © DSSK Press

Crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is only the beginning for the estimated half a million immigrants that enter the United States illegally every year. Once inside the U.S., there is still a 100-mile trek to be made through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "constitution-free zones" in which their law reigns supreme. The majority of major U.S cities are all located within this 100-mile no rights technicality. Detailed in this article are a few methods for avoiding checkpoints, not dying, and an account of our idiocy in the venture to discover these things within the eighty miles of the Texas-Mexico border.  full article>

 

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.

James A. Baldwin

 

Sacrificing Human Rights for Development on Lake Turkana

By Narissa Allibhai

Tue, 12/15/2015, © International Rivers

The hot sun rises on another long day in scorching Turkana county. Meanwhile the rays graze over the greener, but also marginalized, Marsabit county. These two counties sandwich Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, nestled in the Cradle of Mankind and containing three national parks that are World Heritage Sites. The lake is a sparkling gem and source of life in the dry northern deserts of the beautiful country of Kenya.  full article>

 

Rare is the union of beauty and purity.

Juvenal

 

Spain's ancient olive trees under threat from market for garden ornaments

Ashifa Kassam

Thursday 31 December, © The Guardian

They have witnessed - and withstood - much of Spain's rich history; their thick, gnarled branches steadily supplying olives to a changing roster of Romans, Moors and Christians. But recent years have seen Spain's thousand-year-old olive trees face one of their biggest threats to date: a growing demand for unique garden ornaments that has led to the trees being uprooted and transported around the world, from northern Europe to the US and the United Arab Emirates.  full article>

 

Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit.

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

 

Middle East still rocking from first world war pacts made 100 years ago

Ian Black

Wednesday 30 December 2015, © The Guardian

In an idle moment between cocktail parties in the Arab capital where they served, a British and French diplomat were chatting recently about their respective countries' legacies in the Middle East: why not commemorate them with a new rock band? And they could call it Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration.

It was just a joke. These first world war agreements cooked up in London and Paris in the dying days of the Ottoman empire paved the way for new Arab nation states, the creation of Israel and the continuing plight of the Palestinians. And if their memory has faded in the west as their centenaries approach, they are still widely blamed for the problems of the region at an unusually violent and troubled time.  full article>

 

Security is not a license for people in authority to hide the tactics they would never openly admit to using.

Jack Campbell

 

I revealed the truth about President Erdogan and Syria. For that, he had me jailed

Can Dündar

Monday 28 December 2015, © The Guardian

In Turkey, a debate as old as government itself is on the agenda again. This time, it is the Turkish government's secret arms transfer to Syria that has revitalised the subject.  full article>

 

There are no secrets that time does not reveal.

Jean Racine

 

Turning human misery into corporate profits

Monday, December 28, 2015, © Jim Hightower

Good news, people: The "boom" is back! Good times are here again, thanks to an economic boom generated by (of all things) bad times.

Tens of millions of Americans have been knocked down and held down in recent years by the collapse of jobs and wages. This calamity has led to a second blow for millions of the same families who now find themselves buried in overdue bills for credit card charges, student loans, and other consumer debt.  full article>

 

One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.

Lewis Carroll

 

U.S. Air Force Hires Private Companies To Fly Drones In War Zones

by Chris Thompson, CorpWatch Blog

December 16th, 2015

U.S. Air Force officials has begun to hire private companies to fly drone aircraft operating over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The unprecedented move is in response to demands from the Obama administration to dramatically expand the drone war just as the Pentagon faces a critical shortage of military pilots.  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

 

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be."

Voltaire

 

Navidad con Assange

Por Santiago O'Donnell

Domingo, 27 de diciembre de 2015, © Página/12

Navidad en la embajada de Ecuador con Julian Assange, que lleva más de tres años de encierro en ese lugar. Navidad discreta, cálida, con risas pero sin algarabía, alcohol pero sin excesos, amigos y familia pero no todos, ni siquiera muchos. Nochebuena con su padre John, arquitecto exitoso y australiano como su hijo. También están un documentalista australiano, con un cineasta greco-francés, con una abogada de derechos humanos guatemalteca. Y este cronista que pidió y obtuvo permiso para venir, estar y contar la historia, la de cómo pasa Navidad un hombre que lleva tres años casi sin ver la luz del día ni respirar aire fresco ni sentir una brisa ni alcanzar con su mirada la línea que forma el horizonte. Salmón relleno con mascarpone y verduras, cocinado por la abogada con la receta que la madre le dicta por teléfono desde el otro lado del Atlántico.  full article>

 

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

John Adams

 

America's Dying Democracy

By Bill Moyers

December 23, 2015, © Consortiumnews.com

In the fall of 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11, as families grieved and the nation mourned, Washington swarmed with locusts of the human kind: wartime opportunists, lobbyists, lawyers, ex-members of Congress, bagmen for big donors: all of them determined to grab what they could for their corporate clients and rich donors while no one was looking.  full article>

 

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"

Mahatma Gandhi

 

What Will Become of the Wild Horses?

John Fine

December 22, 2015, © Epoch Times

There are few places on Earth that are truly free. Those wilderness areas that remain are so isolated or inhospitable that the land will not sustain life. Where visionaries have set aside natural reserves they have been beset by poachers, pollution, and human entry for economic gain. In a world of economy competing for natural resources, what will become of public lands in the United States that are now home to wild horses?  full article>

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ONE AND ALL!

 

 

 

De Boedo vengo...

23-12-2015, © Olé

Hay fechas imposibles de olvidar para el hincha de San Lorenzo si de su cancha se trata. El 7 de mayo de 1916 se inauguró el Viejo Gasómetro con un triunfo por 2 a 1 ante Estudiantes. El 2 de diciembre de 1979, en un 0 a 0 contra Boca, se disputó allí el último partido. En 1981 comenzó la demolición. El 28 de febrero de 1994 se inauguró oficialmente el Nuevo Gasómetro, en el Bajo Flores. Y este 23 de diciembre de 2015 quedará en la historia como el día de la vuelta a Boedo. La empresa Carrefour decidió aceptar finalmente la oferta realizada por el club para adquirir esos metros cuadrados que le pertenecían originalmente. Un día de gloria...  full article>

 

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Los sirios que escapan del infierno

David Grossman

14 DIC 2015, © El País

Estos días, en un café de Jerusalén, con un televisor sin sonido colgado de la pared, escucho a una mujer detrás de mí decirle a su amiga: "Esta oleada de refugiados, estos sirios, no sé yo...".  full article>

 

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.

Aristotle

 

Chelsea sack José Mourinho and line up Guus Hiddink to replace him

David Hytner

Thursday 17 December 2015, © The Guardian

José Mourinho has been sacked by Chelsea, with the club's former caretaker manager Guus Hiddink lined up to take over for the rest of the season. The Portuguese has paid the price for the team's dismal Premier League form and he has become the latest casualty of the Roman Abramovich era.  full article>

 

To be a good loser is to learn how to win.

Carl Sandburg

 

Why Chelsea's players have a right to feel betrayed by José Mourinho

Daniel Taylor

Tuesday 15 December 2015, © The Guardian

Inside the entrance to Chelsea's training ground there is a framed photograph, going back to the evening of 19 May 2012, of the G8 summit at Camp David as the world's leaders interrupted their talks on Syria, at the request of Angela Merkel, to gather round a television in the Laurel Lodge because she had just been told the Champions League final had gone to a penalty shootout.  full article>

 

What Orwell can teach us about the language of terror and war

Rowan Williams

Saturday 12 December 2015, © The Guardian

At first sight, it seems hard to imagine a more unlikely pairing than George Orwell and Thomas Merton. Orwell had a profound dislike of Roman Catholic writers (though he accorded a grudging respect to Evelyn Waugh as a literary craftsman), and, had he encountered Merton – especially his earlier work – he would undoubtedly have recoiled. Not that Merton, whose centenary is this year, was a conventional religious writer. He became a Catholic in 1938 after a distinctly rackety youth, and spent most of the rest of his life as a Trappist monk in the US. But he wrote copiously, corresponding with a wide range of literary figures, including Henry Miller, James Baldwin, Czesław Miłosz, Boris Pasternak and several Latin American poets, some of whose work he also translated; another surprising friend was Joan Baez. He left behind him, in addition to a huge amount of journal material and many books on prayer and monasticism, a couple of incomplete drafts for novels and a fair quantity of poetry, published and unpublished, some of it dramatically "experimental" in style. By the mid 1960s, he was vocal in his criticisms of the Vietnam war, of the stockpiling of nuclear arms and of racial segregation and injustice in the US. And a central element in his critique of militarism was a stinging analysis of the language of war and weaponry.  full article>

 

"The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship."

George Bernard Shaw

 

"Un tema de derechos humanos"

Sábado, 12 de diciembre de 2015, © Página|12

Dos importantes especialistas en libertad de expresión resaltan la gravedad del ataque informático sufrido por este diario. Alertan sobre el momento en que se produce y reclaman respuestas sociales y judiciales. Telefónica se sumó a los trabajos de mitigación.

El bloqueo a la edición digital de Página/12 "es un tema de derechos humanos ya que a través de una interferencia técnica se restringe la libertad de expresión, es como si se interfiriera el acceso al papel en un medio impreso", señaló Luis Lozano. "Ninguno de estos acontecimientos pueden ser evaluados fuera de contexto. Es llamativo que suceda en la semana del cambio de gobierno", opinó Santiago Marino. Lozano y Marino son dos destacados especialistas en derecho a la información que alertan sobre las implicancias de los ataques informáticos contra este diario.  full article>

 

Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of North Face, dies after Chile kayak accident

Jonathan Franklin

Tuesday 8 December 2015, © The Guardian

Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of the North Face outdoor company who poured millions into conservation, has died after falling into near-freezing waters during a kayak accident in southern Chile.  full article>

 

I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

John Muir

 

How Climate Change Deniers Are Trying to Derail the Paris Talks

By Jonathan M. Katz

Tue Dec. 8, 2015< © Mother Jones

Monday began what's supposed to be the final week of the climate talks, the one where top-level negotiators hammer out an accord to stop the deadly march of global warming. To troll this momentous event, the climate change deniers at the Heartland Institute came all the way from Chicago to stage a "counter-conference" at a central Paris venue called, seriously, the Hotel California.  full article>

 

The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it. ... So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.

John Muir (speech at Sierra Club, 1895)

 

Watch This Navy Admiral Destroy Ted Cruz's Climate Myths

By Jeremy Schulman

Tue Dec. 8, 2015, © Mother Jones

Ted Cruz is certain that global warming stopped 18 years ago. He said that repeatedly during a Senate hearing he chaired Tuesday afternoon devoted to examining what he described as "the science behind claims of global warming." Satellite data, insisted Cruz, shows that "there has been no significant global warming for the past 18 years."  full article>

 

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.

Henry David Thoreau

 

This is a Dumb War

by Serge Halimi

December 4, 2015, © Counterpunch

A little-known US senator named Barack Obama said in 2002: "I don't oppose all wars. (...) What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. (...) A war based not on reason but on passion." Americans were angry after 9/11 and President George Bush Jr chose to channel their anger not against Saudi Arabia (most of the Al-Qaida terrorists involved came from there), but against Iraq, which the US invaded six months later. The media wanted the war and most Democratic senators, including Hillary Clinton, favoured it too. But the invasion of Iraq created the chaos that produced so-called Islamic State (ISIS).  full article>

 

 

 

Walls

 

With no consideration, no pity, no shame,
they have built walls around me, thick and high.
And now I sit here feeling hopeless.
I can't think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind -
because I had so much to do outside.
When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!
But I never heard the builders, not a sound.
Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

Constantine P. Cavafy

 

Somaliland: A parched earth

Ashley Hamer

02 Dec 2015, © AlJazeera.com

Swaths of Somaliland, a fragile, internationally unrecognised nation-state in the Horn of Africa, have been racked by one of the harshest droughts in two decades which is destroying livelihoods and pushing families into destitution.  full article>

 

Where The Mind is Without Fear

 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

 

Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

MARCH 2016

$4 MONTHLY SPECIAL

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

This month the selection is

 

Using found imagery - often from Hollywood's Golden Age - White layers image upon image to create paintings that are at once surreal and hyperreal. A limited supply of signed copies are available. Unsigned books will be shipped when signed copies have run out.

Back in stock!

In Other Words

 

Nothing in life is to be feared.

It is only to be understood.

—MARIE CURIE

 

Nothing is easier than to

denounce the evildoer;

nothing is more difficult

than to understand him.

—FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

 

I do not study in order to know more, rather to be less ignorant.

—SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ

 

We must make haste then,

not only because we are daily

nearer to death, but also

because the conception of

things and the understanding

of them cease first.

—MARCUS AURELIUS

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

Words

 

Words are like days:

coloring books or pickpockets,

signposts or scratching posts,

fakirs over hot coals.

 

Certain words must be earned

just as emotions are suffered

before they can be uttered

- clean as a kept promise.

 

Words as witnesses

testifying their truths

squalid or rarefied

inevitable, irrefutable.

 

But, words must not carry

more than they can

it's not good for their backs

or their reputations.

 

For, whether they dance alone

or with an invisible partner,

every word is a cosmos

dissolving the inarticulate

 

Yahia Lababidi

Hijos de la Selva

Perceval Press is pleased to announce the release of HIJOS DE LA SELVA/SONS OF THE FOREST. The book outlines the story of German Ethnographer and explorer Max Schmidt, and includes many of the remarkable photographs that he made in the field while studying the cultures of the Mato Grosso region of Brazil and remote areas of Paraguay between 1900 and 1935.

Conquered people tend to

be witty.

Saul Bellow

© PERCEVAL PRESS