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Israel Banned Renowned Doctor and Human Rights Activist Mads Gilbert from Entering Gaza for Life

Israel has banned Norwegian doctor and human rights activist Mads Gilbert from entering Gaza for life.

Gilbert, a professor at the University Hospital of North Norway, where he has worked since 1976, earned international renown for his philanthropic work in late 2008, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, an attack that, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, killed roughly 1,400 Gazans, including almost 800 civilians, 350 of whom were children.

The aid worker, along with fellow Norwegian doctor Erik Fosse, decided to volunteer in Gaza as soon as he heard that bombing had started, on 27 December 2008. Thanks …

Obama and the Convention Against Torture

A Tortured Relationship

On November 12—thirteen years after the onset of George W. Bush’s dirty underground war against “unlawful combatants”—the Obama administration finally told the United Nations Committee Against Torture that the United States believed, in the words of Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski, “that torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are forbidden in all places, at all times, with no exceptions.” Finally! Not so fast.

Torture is as old as human civilization. Assyrians skinned victims alive. Torture was a routine feature of Greek and Roman interrogations. Execution by torture took the form of crucifixion for the Romans, stoning for the …

Spain’s Unfinished Revolution and Its Minorities

Spain’s deeply rooted distrust of popular participation in democratic processes is reminiscent of the swift, top-down transition some forty years ago. As such, it is a painful reminder of Spain’s unfinished revolution.

Spain’s peaceful transition to democracy has been extolled as a model to emulate for democratizing nations across the globe. Following the death of General Franco in 1975, King Juan Carlos transformed the authoritarian regime into a European democracy, and did so without shedding a drop of blood. And yet Spanish democracy nowadays is not without its critics. The Catalan movement for independence unveils just what’s amiss in Spain’s celebrated …

What We Truly Learned from the Great War

The Absurdity of Remembrance Day

No matter what high-blown claims the politicians make each year on Remembrance Day, The Great War was essentially a fight between two branches of a single royal family over the balance of power on the continent of Europe, British foreign policy holding to a longstanding principle that no one nation should ever be permitted to dominate the continent.

It was also a war between the world’s greatest existing imperial power, Britain, and another state, Germany, which aspired to become a greater imperial power than it was.

To a considerable extent, it was a war resulting from large standing armies and …

Democrats: Did You Get the Message?

After getting clobbered on November 4, the Democratic Party needs to ask itself some tough questions and come up with honest answers. If it doesn’t, it’s going to continue to lose elections because it lacks credibility with its own voter base.

The 2014 election was a disaster for Democrats. Any Democratic partisan who tries to explain it away is doing a disservice to their party. When the Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown loses to an unknown Republican in a state where the Democrats have a 2-to-1 registration advantage, the Democratic Party better look in the mirror and ask: Why didn’t people …

Et tu Poitras?

Laura Poitras Omits Corporate Spies and State Capture

A couple of days ago Laura Poitras, the filmmaker who directed the movie Citizenfour, gave an interview to the Dutch news outlet NRC Handelsblad. For those in the audience who don’t speak Dutch there’s a rough English translation available at Cryptome.

Readers following the Snowden affair won’t encounter much in terms of new material but there are certain statements that Poitras makes near the end of her interview that are astonishing. For example, Poitras comments that both Google and Apple have made great strides towards protecting users:

I think certainly a change in consciousness has come after Snowden. Google’s servers

Leaving da Camera On: Manual Labor

Merkel’s Wall of Hypocrisy

“The Berlin Wall, this symbol of state abuse cast in concrete, took millions of people to the limits of what is tolerable, and all too many beyond it.”

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a speech of sublime hypocrisy when juxtaposed beside the illegal Apartheid/Annexation Wall and beside the blockade ‘wall’ constricting Gaza constructed by Israel, which she once vowed, “Germany will never abandon Israel but will remain a true friend and partner.”

Merkel rhapsodised,

The fall of the Berlin Wall showed us that dreams can come true — and that nothing

Leaving da Camera On: Word

Word: writers reading from their work to the accompaniment of imagery to set the mood.

Or perhaps it’s something else entirely. Why these images, for ‘audio A’ and those other images for ‘audio B?’ The image sequences don’t seem to be ‘literal’ interpretations of the spoken text.

But, as Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till be be finale of seem; then we can all go out for ice-cream, my treat…’

That is, it ain’t like this stuff is set to ‘program music.’

Unless, possibly, it is, or something along those lines. Perhaps the images are hieroglphs, a new ‘lingo’ to emerge from the …

The Age of TV Jokers: Arab Media on the Brink

As I was finalizing my research for this article, I found myself browsing through a heap of hilarious videos by mostly Egyptian TV show hosts Tawfiq Okasha and Amr Adeeb.

In one of his numerous videos on Youtube, Okasha, the star and host of the Cairo-based privately funded al-Faraeen channel, tries to explain the differences between the brains of humans and water buffalos. Along with Adeeb, they occupy a large space of Egyptian media discourse, wreaking so much havoc with their mostly unsubstantiated claims, frequent incite and outrageous claims.

Their demagogic discourse presented through daily campaigns of misinformation and vilification of …

Emissions Accomplished: Australia, Climate Change and the G20

The Australian delegation has provided the comic relief in diplomatic circles for some time now.  Its pugilist humanoid of a prime minister, Tony Abbott, has made inane remarks about “shirt fronting” Vladimir Putin, something which distinctly did not happen at the APEC summit in Beijing.  Photos were taken showing a disinterested Putin feigning interest in some zygotic life form.   And Canberra’s toadies have been doing their utmost best to keep climate change off any meaningful agenda ahead of the G20 gathering in Brisbane.  Why discuss something that, in the shallow minds of most of Tony Abbott’s front bunch, doesn’t exist?

The …

Leaving da Camera On: People Who Know Stuff: Eric Larsen

Real interviews with Real People who know stuff…

People Who Know Stuff: Eric Larsen: Inside Existence

People Who Know Stuff: Eric Larsen: Subversion

Eric Larsen, Publisher and Founder of Oliver Arts and Open Press, is a native of Minnesota who has lived in New York City since 1971. He taught writing and literature for thirty-five years at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. He is now retired and devoting himself full time to writing and to The Oliver Arts & Open Press. Up through the 1980s he published fiction, essays, and reviews in numerous magazines, from quarterlies like The

Body and Booty Count — Body of War and the Continuing Murder Inc., Veterans’ Day Profiteers

This is the shits of America, the more and more irrelevant prattlers of Democracy Now  as we see this pig of a human, three-star general, retired, now getting his triple dipping blood money for a book full of fluff, lies, in this shit story of his shit life as a Murder Incorporated General — Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account Of The Iraq And Afghanistan Wars by Three-star Criminal General, Daniel Bolger, worth 502 pages of forest-killing propaganda, a faux memoir. This general who’s been to war college after war college on how to bomb, destroy, drone, blast humanity. So Amy …

The Six Jesuit Scholars and the American War on Self-Determination

Twenty-five years ago this week, six Jesuit scholars at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in El Salvador opened the doors of their residence to members of a government death squad, who had been armed and trained by the United States. The soldiers marched the priests to the back garden. They were ordered to lie face down. They were shot and killed like dogs along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

Father Ignacio Ellacuría Bescoetxea, one of the six Jesuits executed that night, had been a vocal advocate for a negotiated political settlement to the war that had devastated the small Central …

Tai Chi, Thai Stick: Roger Golden’s Viet Con

Roger Golden began studying Tai Chi and other martial arts forms after graduating from high school in the mid-1960s. A classic ‘clown,’ in the folk-lore sense of the cunning trickster who gets over on Power, as opposed to collaborating with, endorsing and representing it, he laughed his way from low-level street deals of the then ‘new thing,’ marijanna, to become one of the major ‘importer-exporters’ of this particular herb, in the United States (after the CIA, of course) until his incarceration for ten years in the early 1990s. With ‘Tai Chi, Thai Stick,’ the various lives …

Cassandra sed Phoenix: Odysseus in Vietnam

Presented by Douglas Valentine.  Douglas Valentine is author of The Phoenix Program, a meticulously researched, ground-breaking history of the CIA’s complex ‘neutralization program’ used in Vietnam; the comprehensive, two-volume history of United States drug policy from 1900 through 2010, The Strength of the Wolf (1900-1968) ,  The Strength of the Pack (1968-2010) and The Hotel Tacloban. Valentine’s unique oeuvre of books and articles includes the widely acclaimed, With Our Eyes Wide Open, an anthology of international poets who ‘bore witness,’ translating personal accounts of war and related …

Leaving da Camera On: Introduction and Contents

Listed below are the ten quercks slated for this first dec of  Leaving da Camera On.   As-yet to be completed and uploaded quercks will be listed under ‘TBA’ until further notice (i.e. they’re completed — a relative term — and  uploaded):

1. Cassandra sed Phoenix: Odysseus in Vietnam

2. Tai Chi, Thai Stick: Roger Golden’s Viet Con

3. People Who Know Stuff (real interviews with real people who know stuff): Eric Larsen on Existence and Subversion

4. Word: Eric Larsen reads from

Russell Brand’s Revolution

Part 2: The Backlash

From Messiah To Monty Python

If Julian Assange was initially perceived by many as a controversial but respected, even heroic, figure challenging power, the corporate media worked hard to change that perception in the summer of 2012. After Assange requested political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the faux-feminists and corporate leftists of the ‘quality’ liberal press waged war on his reputation.

This comment from the Guardian’s Deborah Orr summed up the press zeitgeist:

It’s hard to believe that, until fairly recently, Julian Assange was hailed not just as a radical thinker, but as a radical achiever, too.

A sentiment …

Fluffy Fever Dream Symphony

Contrarian values escalated to the highest peak.  Uppercased and placed on a silver pedestal.  Super human friction fundamentals scratch against the metal spike, working out all the rough edge elementals.  Flashpoint of retardation as the species takes a high voltage dose of vaccine liquidation straight to the head.  Recalcitrance flows through the muddy stream until reaching a waterfall of sludge and scrap iron plating.  Pencil neck, bureaucratic, chicken hawk, fuck faces fudge numbers to get a bigger budget for their war profiteering schemes of madness.  Evaluation ceremonies in the high loft take place on the backroom casting couch.  Sell your …

How to Stop an Oil and Gas Pipeline

The Unist'ot'en Camp Resistance

For the past four years we have been visiting the Unist’ot’en camp and since then, we just can’t shut up about them. Why? Because their form of protest is beyond words and it’s manifested in direct action. They have created a real physical wall of opposition to all the proposed pipelines that could bring oil from the tar sands and fracked gas to world market in the Pacific ocean. We introduced them to the world with our “Oil Gateway” video back in 2011, and then with “The Action