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Gaza Changed Everything

Things Cannot Stay the Same after Israeli Genocide in Gaza

After every bloody episode of violence perpetrated by Israel, media spin doctors are often deployed with one grand mission: to absolve Israel of any responsibility in their acts of carnage.

Not only do these apologists demonize Palestinians, but anyone who dares to take a stand on their behalf. The main staple of this Israeli strategy has been blaming the victim. Such a tactic is nothing new in the way the so-called “Arab-Israeli conflict” has been presented in Western media, whose narrative has been much closer to that of Israeli official and media discourses than that of Palestinians. This continued despite the …

Railroad “Bomb Trains” Speeding to Disaster

It’s 3 p.m., and you’re cruising down a rural road, doing about 50.

A quarter mile away is a sign, with flashing yellow lights, alerting you to slow down to 15. It’s a school zone.

But, you don’t see any children. Besides, you’re going to be late to your racquetball match. So, you just slide on past.

You’re an independent long-haul trucker. You get paid by the number of miles you drive. If you work just a couple of hours longer every day than the limits set by the federal government—and if you can drive 75 or 80 instead of 65, you can …

Political Duopoly in Washington Encouraging Ongoing Killing

From Missouri to Ukraine

…in what manner does tyranny arise? –that it has a democratic origin is evident…But when [the tyrant] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader…Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him?: Clearly….And if any of them are suspected by him of having notions of

In 2008 Israel Agreed to a Protocol for the Port of Gaza

Why not now?

In August, 2008, I and forty-three other participants motored into Gaza by sea in two converted fishing boats, becoming the first to openly succeed in doing so since 1967.  The entry stamp in our passports reads “Gaza port” and was created for the occasion.  We carried a modest cargo of hearing aids for the children of the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children.

Israel tried multiple means of preventing us from succeeding, including threats, jamming of communications, and pressure on the Greek and Cypriot governments, but it did not send naval or coast guard vessels to intercept us, and did not attack …

A Map to Robin Williams’ End

For most of us, being funny, especially extremely so, leaves us looking like a shaded relief map: The funny part juts out, while the rest falls into shadow. When we make another laugh, the catharsis the listener experiences is realized viscerally, like twitching funny bones. Even when comedy takes darkness as a subject (such as Williams’ musings on the Grim Rapper), the listeners see the pain inherent to their lives decontextualized enough to hold close to the heart, and from it, they heartily guffaw, feeling recalibrated. They are healed, if but for a moment. What lies underneath the surface is …

Freedom to Live Ordinary Lives

That's all the Gazans want

I have just received a very disappointing reply from my true-blue Tory MP to pleas for real government action over the slaughter in Gaza.

A similarly worthless response has been received in other parts of the country so I conclude that the ex-Etonian didn’t pen the twaddle himelf. More likely it was the work, as usual, of a Foreign Office scribbler trained by Mark Regev’s hasbara unit in Tel Aviv.

“Israel has a right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks”, it said. But no such right can be claimed when Israel is the illegal occupier inflicting collective punishment on its victim …

All in Its Place

Be not deterred by the overall labor of the challenge before us. Seek only to take those actions in this very day that would move us one step further along toward the desired goal we intend.

And what goal is that?

Resistance of tyranny toward a Renaissance of spirituality and complete Revolution of the soul.

To wit: Taking Mad Scientists and Power Bankers to the cleaners to get their souls washed. And while these foes are away, we can go to work on all the Owned Politicians and Kept Media Propagandists. Then move on to the Religious Charlatans and False Idols.

It is not …

Organization Is the Weapon of the Oppressed

Ferguson, Mobilization, and Organizing the Resistance!

Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.

– Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri, against the killing of unarmed Afrikan American teenager Michael Brown has inspired me to reflect on the question of the organizing model versus mobilizing or mobilization model in the struggle for Afrikan liberation in North America as well as the broader humanistic fight for liberation from various forms of oppression. Organizing the oppressed for emancipation is the preferred approach …

War Is Good!

The two major known threats to our continued existence as a species today are global warming ((One should keep in mind that the term “global warming” is not a single phenomenon but, rather, is shorthand for a number of related phenomena:  Not only a global trend in atmospheric warming, but also, e.g., (a) an increase in the number of storms, (b) an increase in their severity, and (c) increased variability, at any given location (more at some locations than others, of course), in weather conditions.  An implication of this latter fact is that the very concept of “climate” is becoming …

Robin Williams, Mental Health, and Social Insanity

We are made miserable … not just by the strength of our beliefs, but by the weight of hard and all-too real situations, as they bear downward, robbing us of control … unhappiness treated by clinicians has much more to do with the sufferer’s situation than with anything about themselves, and for those with few privileges, this unhappiness is pretty well beyond the reach of therapeutic or any other conversation.

– Paul Moloney

Robin Williams’s body was scarcely cold when liberal commentators …

Ten Facts About Police Violence in Ferguson Sunday Night

While the Governor of Missouri is sending in the National Guard to Ferguson, it is worth considering where the real violence is coming from.

One.  Hours before the 12 pm Sunday night curfew went into effect, peaceful nonviolent protestors were legally marching in Ferguson.  Then without warning the police turned on the marchers.  Purvi Shah, a human rights lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, was marching with hundreds of others and reported just after 10 pm:  “Just got tear gassed.  Eyes burning.  No warnings.  People running with someone in wheelchair. This is lawlessness.  Police fired on peaceful protestors.”

Two. …

Borderfree

Here in Kabul, Sherri Maurin and I are guests of the Afghan Peace Volunteers recently formed live-in community for young women. Hollyhocks in the garden reach as high as the second floor of our living space.  Rose bushes, morning glories and four-o-clocks have bloomed, and each day we eat tomatoes, mint and green onions plucked from the well-cared for garden. The water source is a hose and tank outside, (there’s no indoor plumbing) so that’s where dishes and clothes are cleaned. The latrine is also outside, –and unfortunately we’re sharing it with playful neighbourhood cats, but otherwise  Zarghuna, Zahidi and …

Pre-empting Imperial Wishes

Australia Reading the United States

There is a thesis in it.  Versions of it certainly circulate: smaller, and weaker powers, tend to pre-empt the wishes of their masters or those who would promise to protect them.   If performed successfully, rewards might issue from the mighty protector, be it in the form of dispensations and further guarantees of security.

The political environment of a democracy is peculiar in that regard, given that political pre-emption tends to be the internal province of police states.  (To be in the dictator’s special invitations list, best try to predict what his wishes might be.)  The democratic system adds the complication of …

Hillary-The-Hawk Flies Again

“Hillary works for Goldman Sachs and likes war, otherwise I like Hillary,” a former Bill Clinton aide told me sardonically. First, he was referring to her cushy relationships with top Wall Street barons and her $200,000 speeches with the criminal enterprise known as Goldman Sachs, which played a part in crashing the U.S. economy in 2008 and burdening taxpayers with costly bailouts. Second, he was calling attention to her war hawkish foreign policy.

Last week, Hillary-The-Hawk emerged, once again, with comments to The Atlantic attacking Obama for being weak and not having an organized foreign policy. She was calling Obama weak …

Killing the Unarmed

We have become blasé about fearsome media images. One such image is police in SWAT gear, assault weapons trained on peaceful demonstrators, and huge armored vehicles with gun turrets at the ready, pointed toward activists. In tiny Ferguson, Missouri, peaceful citizens reacting to the alleged killing of a young, unarmed black teenager by a local police officer, are the enemies, the apparent target of militarized weapons.

What is the outgrowth of such scenes? Most likely, further polarization and thick tension among citizens.

Such warlike demonstrations seem to mock the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right …

Quantrill’s Raiders Come to Ferguson

What is clear about the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is that the cop murdered Michael Brown pretty much in cold blood. What is also clear is that if Michael Brown was a suspect in this shoplifting case and regular procedures were followed, then he should have been arrested and gone to court. What is less clear is whether or not this killer cop will ever see justice. Indeed, whether he will even go to court. I bet many people reading this have shoplifted. I bet some have even been arrested for shoplifting. …

Inconvenient Truths about Military Air Shows

The Big Oil cartels have, for decades, been poisoning the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf and many other ocean floors with millions of gallons of toxic crude oil via their risky, and very leaky deep water oil wells. It wasn’t just the crime against the planet that British Petroleum and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton perpetrated in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. There are many other things that have contributed to the mortal wounding of the Gulf. A good example of the damage done to the Gulf by corporate entities includes the Mississippi River delta’s massive dead zone that has …

Manipulate and Disseminate: Massaging the Narrative

How liberal media shape reality to fit a preferred narrative

Few groups can massage a dubious forecast into a decidedly optimistic one more readily than liberal Democrats, whose role in the American doctrinal system is to play the lesser of two dire and terminal evils. This banal, tepid, pulseless kind of faux-activism is perfectly suited to the habitués of this giant demographic, many of who exhausted their political passions cheering civil rights and picketing Vietnam in the Sixties. But they inhabit a curious and inviting place along the register of U.S. politics. Liberals know they will always be marginally better than the Republican right, which is caught in a nasty, …

House Committee: No Benghazi Scandal

The House Select Committee on Intelligence, following almost a two-year intense investigation, unanimously determined there is no basis for what has become known as the Benghazi Scandal.

The Committee consists of 12 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

The pretend-scandal began Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists raided the U.S. consulate, and killed the ambassador and three others.

Although there was confusion, and the Obama administration didn’t have all the facts when it began to inform the American people about the events and the causes, there was no evidence of anything even remotely linked to a scandal. However, as expected, the blathering mouths …

If the East Bay Was Gaza How Would You Feel?

If Shoe Were on the Other Foot

The Palestinian enclave known as Gaza is approximately 25 miles long by 5 miles wide. It is about the same area as the East Bay from Oakland in the north to Fremont in the south. To the west is open water; to the east are the hills (heavily-reinforced razor wire fence for Gaza).

What would life be like if the East Bay of San Francisco was Gaza?

Imagine that is where you were born, where you will spend all your years, where you will die. Your world will be confined to that narrow …