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Mark Udall and the Unspeakable

President Obama, who is just now un-ending again the ending of the endless war on Afghanistan, has never made a secret of taking direction from the military, CIA, and NSA. He’s escalated wars that generals had publicly insisted he escalate. He’s committed to not prosecuting torturers after seven former heads of the CIA publicly told him not to. He’s gone after whistleblowers with a vengeance and is struggling to keep this Bush-era torture report, or parts of it, secret in a manner that should confuse his partisan supporters.

But the depth of elected officials’ obedience to a permanent war machine is …

The Donkey in Rehab

(Transcript of Therapy Session Number 3)

First one’s always free. As universal a rule as you’re going to find.

That’s what they say.

When did you start? Was the first taste so attractive? So irresistible?

You don’t get it. It was always this way. Somebody makes a donation. You do them a favor. And if somebody owned you, well, that’s the way it is.

So, you think being bought is a good thing?

Listen, it’s like anything else. It’s like drinking. A couple of cocktails now and then. Nobody cares. Some people can drink like fish and not stumble. Others, a few belts and they’re butt …

Let Them Eat Hors D’oeuvres

Detroit car workers have it in the form of the unionized pact — or had; Wall Street shysters have it in the form of lust for filthy lucre; competitive sport has it in the form of glorified accomplishments rewarded with accolades; Australian aboriginals had it before the power of the Anglosphere removed their right to identify with their land; religious extremists have it by virtue of their pathological belief systems; the British Royal Family have it in the blueness of their blood — or so the narrative goes; the untouchables of India have a unique form of it, because they have long forgotten why they were disenfranchised in the …

Rogue Capitalism Running Rabid on the World’s Playground

Oh say can you see by the star spangled machine, with modern weapons in hand it conquers foreign lands. If uninhabited, these lands would be up for the taking. And while the U.S. Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal” with “inalienable rights”, the U.S. has a history of internal conflicts arising from violating those principles domestically and through foreign policy. Since the event of 9/11 the U.S. government has become the undisputed champion bully unleashed on the world as though it was a children’s playground – while they decide who lives and dies to enhance their personal …

When Food is the Medium: Enjoying the Lunch Box

Food is always more than the thick line of culture. It lets people communicate.  Bad food causes the conversation to sour with indignation; good food stimulates and thrills.  It is both medium and message, allowing individuals to engage, to discuss, and even to joust.

This year has seen this theme explored.  There was Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey, which sees an improbable effort to open an Indian establishment opposite a one star Michelin restaurant in provincial France.  The effort does not only succeed, but the rivals – Helen Mirren’s stuffy Madame Mallory and Om Puri’s determined father of the protagonist, Hassan …

Police Violence in Toronto’s Jane and Finch Community

Cops Act Like “Military Police in Occupied Territories”

Random stops of people who are not suspected of having knowledge of any specific crime under investigation is not a ‘recognized policing reason,’ except for military police in occupied territories.

Peter Rosenthal

The racialized, working-class community of Jane and Finch in the northwest area of the city of Toronto, especially residents of the high rise public housing and private rental buildings, have long complained about police brutality and racist policing. Glen Stuart, a former lawyer with the Community and Legal Aid Services Programme at York University’s law school, states, “Concerns around policing were one of the focal points (25 …

All-Out War in Ukraine

NATO’s "Final Offensive"

There are clear signs that a major war is about to break out in Ukraine: A war actively promoted by the NATO regimes and supported by their allies and clients in Asia (Japan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia). The war over Ukraine will essentially run along the lines of a full-scale military offensive against the southeast Donbas region, targeting the breakaway ethnic Ukraine-Russian Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk, with the intention of deposing the democratically elected government, disarming the popular militias, killing the guerrilla resistance partisans and their mass base, dismantling the popular representative organizations and …

Israel: Human Rights Abuser Writ Large

Israeli policy is longstanding. Reflecting anti-Palestinian state terror. Institutionalized racism writ large. Vicious repression.

Brutalizing Muslims for not being Jews. Enforcing militarized occupation harshness. Denying Palestinians rights everyone deserves.

According to Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) director Jeff Halper:

…(T)he ‘Zionist answer’ to the downward cycle of senseless violence in which Jerusalem finds itself” includes:

house demolitions, mass arrests, revoking the ‘residency’ of native-born Jerusalemites, closing Palestinian neighborhoods with concrete blocks, arming Israeli Jewish vigilantes and cheap shots at the last person who believes in a two-state solution, Abu Mazen (Abbas).

Everything, that is, except an end to occupation and a just political solution.

This

Apocalypse: GOP Style

The Republicans and their news outlet, Fox News, are lockstep in calling up all the demons of the Apocalypse: Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. In the New Testament of the Bible, in the Book of Revelations, they are actually the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, most accounts deeming them a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment – which is the tenor of the Republican response to Obama’s executive action plan.

Use whatever it takes to control and conquer our country: war on the Democrats and the vulnerable, suppress income for the 90%, and suppress benefits for …

UN Resolution on Iran Mockery of Justice

The not-very-independent UN body has made a mockery of justice by soldering a resolution on the so-called human rights violations in Iran.

The farce becomes more markedly absurd when you consider the plethora of human rights abuses going unpunished in the world with the UN laying a lid of ignorance on these blatant violations.

Late Tuesday, the United Nations voted to slam “Iranian human rights abuses”, singling it out for “executing upwards of 1,000 political opponents and prisoners in the past year”.

Iran has strongly lambasted the UN resolution, saying that “the UN’s legal mechanisms have turned into a tool in the hands …

The Spirit of Progress

The Order Responds to Transhumanism

The interplay of science and matters of spirit is at the heart of change in the world today. As bloggers and catalysts for change, we in the Mont Order like to consider the interplay of the domains of science and spirit as well as their misguided state of conflict, and our findings have been constructive.

Through a 2012 booklet called The Praxis, noted technology enthusiast and Order participant Dirk Conrad Bruere presents a valuable thesis for what he terms as “the most important spiritual movement in history”: the advocacy of technological solutions to remedy all suffering in the world. This …

Uncomplicated, in Afghanistan

On November 7, 2014, while visiting Kabul, The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, that noted that NATO will soon launch a new chapter a new non-combat mission in Afghanistan. But it’s difficult to spot new methods as NATO commits itself to sustaining combat on the part of Afghan forces.

Stoltenberg commended NATO Allies and partner nations from across the world, in an October 29th speech, in Brussels, declaring that for over a decade, they “stood shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan.” According to Stoltenberg, this international effort “has contributed to a better future for Afghan men, women and children.” Rhetoric from …

WSJ Reports: Bank of North Dakota Outperforms Wall Street

While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state’s bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry.  So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks. Chester Dawson begins his November 16th article:

It is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003. Meet Bank of North Dakota, the U.S.’s

Greenwald Blames the Hostage

Silicon Valley Sells the Illusion of Security

Yesterday the USA Freedom Act was blocked in the Senate as it failed to garner the 60 votes required to move forward. Presumably the bill would have imposed limits on NSA surveillance. Careful scrutiny of the bill’s text, however, reveals yet another mere gesture of reform, one that would codify and entrench existing surveillance capabilities rather than eliminate them.

Glenn Greenwald, commenting from his perch at the Intercept, opined:

All of that illustrates what is, to me, the most important point from all of this: the last place one should look to impose limits on the powers of the

Russia invades Ukraine. Again. And again. And yet again … using Saddam’s WMD

The Anti-Empire Report #134

“Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday [August 27], sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory. The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week.”None of the photos accompanying this New York Times story online showed any of these Russian troops or armored vehicles.“The Obama administration,” the story continued, “has asserted over the past week that the Russians …

Colombia’s Labyrinth of Violence

On May 16 of this year, in the rural Colombian town of Jardines de Sucumbíos (In the department of Narino), farmer Leonardo Obando offered the first floor of his home to four guests who had spent the day preparing for the town’s mother’s day festivities. The four men were: Brayan Yatacue Secue, Jose Antonio Acanamejoy, Jose Yinder Esterilla, and 15 year-old Deivi Lopez Ortega, all members of the agricultural union FENSUAGRO.

Around 4am, Obando and his family were awakened by the sound of gunfire as members of the Colombian military forcibly entered the house. Upon being …

Shifting Blame: The Grand FIFA Cover-Up

It [the Garcia report] must be made public. That is the only way FIFA can deal with the complete loss of credibility.

— Reinhard Rauball, President of the German Football League, November 16, 2014

It seemed cheeky of them, but it could not have been any other way. Football’s governing body, FIFA, is a creature that is beyond reform. Solidly entrenched, heavily overgrown, and incapable of brooking an approach that might refresh its functions for the broader goals of football, it resists change with fundamentalist commitment. Every effort that has been made thus far has fallen. …

Keystone XL Pipeline: Down but not Out

On November 18, Senate Democrats derailed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline plans. For now. Republicans controlling next year’s 114th Congress vowed to continue fighting for passage. It remains to be seen what follows.

Obama is veto-shy. Twice only so far. Compared to GW Bush’s 12. Including pocket vetoes. Clinton’s 37. Reagan’s 78. Dwight Eisenhower’s 181. Truman’s 250. FD Roosevelt’s astonishing 635. Overriding presidential vetoes seldom happens.

Throughout US history, presidents vetoed legislation 2,564 times. Overridden 110 times. Around 4% of the time.

Tuesday’s Senate roll call fell one vote short of passage – 59 to 41. One additional vote approves …

Talk of a Third Intifada: Where to from Here, Palestine?

When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. Now imagine if that journalist was not dependable to begin with, even more than it being “interesting”, the outcome runs the risk of becoming a mockery.

Consider the selective historical views offered by New York Times writer Thomas Freidman – exposed in the book The Imperial Messenger by Belen Fernandez for his pseudo- intellectual shenanigans, contradictions and constant marketing of the status quo.

In an article …

Chances Are the FBI Has Files on Your Favorite Human Rights Activist

Yale University American historian Beverly Gage was sifting through the US National Archives in the summer of 2014, doing research for a book on J. Edgar Hoover, when she came across a letter historians had been searching for for many a decade. Written from the perspective of an imaginary yet disappointed admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr., the missive encouraged the leading civil rights, anti-war, and socialist activist to kill himself.“There is only one thing left for you to do,” the anonymous author warned, “before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” “…