PLAY

peaceful valley boulevard
Neil Young

play

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Seymour M. Hersh

.....over the past decade.....the corporate media has grown ever more fearful of a truly independent figure like Hersh. The potential reach of his stories could now be enormously magnified by social media. As a result, he has been increasingly marginalised and his work denigrated. By denying him the credibility of a “respectable” mainstream platform, he can be dismissed for the first time in his career as a crank and charlatan.
-- Jonathan Cook

“This was not a chemical weapons strike, that’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon – you’ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb – would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. Military grade sarin includes additives designed to increase toxicity and lethality. Every batch that comes out is maximized for death. That is why it is made. It is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?"
-- Seymour Hersh source

On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

Trumps-Red-Line

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

the FUBAR form of government

The generals are pushing -- and provoking -- war with Iran and Russia; their sometime ally, Tillerson, wants war with Iran but rapprochment with Russia to secure lucrative oil contracts; Trump backs any country that bribes him with business deals, like Saudi Arabia and China; and the Congressional extremists, along with their allies in the cabinet, continue their crusade to kill the sick, kill the old, rob the poor and the middle-class, poison the environment and leave the country a smoking, hollowed-out ruin, all to fill the coffers of their oligarch masters.

-- Chris Floyd

fubar-uber-alles

Sunday, June 25, 2017

beyond WTF?

The perfect path of wonder is to incite exploration seeking explanation and understanding but we now seem in every way caught in a wonder that freezes the mind, fixes us in place like Edvard Munch’s character on a bridge in his painting, “The Scream.” My reaction to Trump makes me that screamer, mostly discombobulated by a Mad Hatter and Humpty Dumpty takeover of words and meaning, reality and truth. How do you attend the Hatter’s Tea Party sensibly beyond remaining in a state of wonder?

-- Joseph Natoli

what-to-wonder-now

extreme Nation

I've said from day one -- even before Trump began stocking his cabinet with Goldman-Sachs alumni -- that the Establishment would line up behind him because he was going to give them everything they'd ever wanted, turning the country into one big neo-feudal cash cow for oligarchs and corporations. Wall Street loves him. The war profiteers and Pentagon berserkers love him, because he's drowning them in money and letting them do what they want (the same goes for the so-called "Deep State" security agencies, who are now more funded and more free from control than ever). The Congressional extremists love him because he will sign whatever nation-destroying, citizen-killing bullshit they pass. Even the mainstream media love him, deep down, because his antics have given them their highest ratings and profit margins in years. The idea that he is some kind of "anti-Establishment" figure is just ludicrous, as is the idea that the "Establishment" is going to bring him down. He cannot be removed from office unless the Congressional extremists decide to impeach him, and they are not going to do that. It's just not going to happen. They don't want to do it, and anyway, their corporate overlords and paymasters wouldn't stand for it.

-- Chris Floyd

Saturday, June 24, 2017

they may be terrorists, but they're our terrorists

The Obama administration’s Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the “Global War on Terrorism”—the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. The United States has instead subordinated that U.S. interest in counter-terrorism to the interests of its Sunni allies. In doing so it has helped create a new terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East.

how-america-armed-terrorists-in-syria

the last audience?

John Pilger has made yet another enthralling film. We may be part of its last audience.
Our military bases metastasize around the mainland in a further indication of the confusion of geography with genetics, of metaphor with actual terrain. The string of island silos aimed at China, the ‘noose’ of missiles and carriers, may turn out to be a string of targets rather than a garrote. True power deters by blind threat and a phantasmagoria of total war constructed for the public. Once it is actually used, it degrades to an erratic anti-strategy capable only of spreading chaos.

-- Martin Billheimer

white-mans-country-and-the-iron-room

What is to be done?

The only alternative......is the one that the Civil Rights and the subsequent anti-Vietnam War movements used when confronted similarly with a Democratic Party that had no interest in supporting their interests and demands. That alternative is to build a movement on the streets and in local communities that presents the political establishment with the untenable prospect of ongoing mass militant opposition to which it has to respond. I would argue that the demands of such a movement this time could and must be broad and inclusive — not single-issue based as in the past. It needs to be built around demands that virtually all Americans, or at least a solid majority, can agree with. 

-- Dave Lindorff

We Need a Mass Movement

Friday, June 23, 2017

the Republicans are coming, the Republicans are coming!

“They’re using this information to create political dossiers on individuals that are now available for anyone. These political data firms might as well be working for the Russians.”
-- Jeffrey Chester, executive director, Center for Digital Democracy
Detailed information on nearly every U.S. voter — including in some cases their ethnicity, religion and views on political issues — was left exposed online for two weeks by a political consultancy that works for the Republican National Committee and other GOP clients. 

The data offered a strikingly complete picture of the voting histories and political leanings of the American electorate laid out in an easily downloadable format, said cybersecurity researcher Chris Vickery. He discovered the unprotected files of 198 million voters in a routine scan of the Internet last week and alerted law enforcement officials.

every-voter-exposed

T. H.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

bill hubbard

dance!

the Indian dancers who practiced the Ghost Dance towards the end of the nineteenth century were all too effective in projecting resistance by entirely non-violent and mostly non-verbal ways. The dedication to their sacral act was such that the dances might last non-stop for as long as six days and the circle of dancers grow to a circumference of over five miles. At the same time, their Paiute Indian prophet known as Wovoka (a.k.a. Jack Wilson) clearly enunciated the demands they were making of the Great Spirit.

-- John Davis

lets-dance

Monday, June 19, 2017

Grenfell

The number of those reported killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in London’s West End is rising......This loss of life was preventable and there is a direct link from the Conservative Party’s guiding ideology to this tragedy. The Labour Party tabled a bill less than a year ago to upgrade the safety of residences like Grenfell Tower. The Conservatives with their majority voted against it and so the bill died.

ideology-of-bonfires

mr. fish

imaginary reality vs. real reality

Sunday, June 18, 2017

the Americans did it

There’s very few people on the Left who are willing to take on Russiagate as the pack of revolving lies that it is. You’ll be accused of supporting Trump or of being a shill for Putin if you do. We’ve all heard of “crowdsourcing”—well, this is “crowdstoning”. It’s ugly, but that’s partisanship for you. It’s never pretty.

    -- Paul Street


Friday, June 16, 2017

damn Commies!

Western reporting on Russia has always been garbage, but the so-called “Russia reporting” of the last year has taken the usual malpractice to unimagined depths — whether it’s from Mother Jones or MSNBC, or the Washington Post.....

-- Mark Ames

mother-jones-russia-bashing

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I wonder

In light of Trump-Mulvaney’s baby killing cuts in women and children’s support programs, women have a snarling dog in this fight.
-- Clancy Sigal
wonder-women

all in how you look at it

The notorious vulgarities of Johnson, Clinton and W were well hidden behind the chiseled image of a nation with its chest out, rippling, muscular, bicep rich. The indispensable Nation has preened itself for so long on this image that it is humiliated to have a fuller anatomy revealed: below and to the rear of a magnificent show stopping chest there is always an arse, an arse which has now taken over the show, an arse now the face of the greatest nation, a face apparently insistent on daily lowering its pants and doing its business, and doing it in public.

-- David Raeburn Finn

the-perverse-joy-of-trump

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Assange

“The most important development as far as the fate of human beings are concerned is that we are getting close to the threshold where the traditional propaganda function that is employed by BBC, The Daily Mail, and cultures also, can be encapsulated by AI processes,”
“When you have AI programs harvesting all the search queries and YouTube videos someone uploads it starts to lay out perceptual influence campaigns, twenty to thirty moves ahead. This starts to become totally beneath the level of human perception.”
-- Julian Assange

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

picture show

A Mocca man in a wigwam sitting on a Reservation.
With a big black hole in the belly of his soul
Waiting on an explanation
While the white man sits on his fat can
And takes pictures of the Navajo
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul.
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul.


propaganda blues

I happened to catch part of an NPR live broadcast from Moscow yesterday, something about demonstrations and the arrest of a prominent opposition figure. The tone of the report could be characterized as breathless- helicopters circling, busloads of riot police, impending violence- as if expecting a sudden outbreak of 'freedom'. 

It just struck me as odd. Why was NPR all of a sudden all over another Russia 'thing'? After some sleuthing around the picture became a little clearer.

Yesterday, June 12th was a public holiday celebrating modern Russia’s break with Soviet Communism in 1991, so there were several hundred thousand people out to celebrate. 

Alexey Navalny, another in a long line of right-wing nationalists (kind of like some of our politicians) and supposedly not that popular in Russia, was the opposition arrestee. It seems he had a rally scheduled on the very same national holiday, maybe figuring to take advantage of all the people about and pretending they were his supporters, but he didn't like his approved 'venue' claiming that the sound system or something didn't work. So at the last minute he decided to move his show over to a major avenue where all the holiday action was taking place. This didn't sit well with the police, so they arrested his ass.

So, no violence to speak of, some arrests, and many people enjoying a day off (except for Navalny and his supporters), watching parades, maybe even being free.

-- db desgnr

A link to an Irish journalist's take on this which of course may be more propaganda since its published in Russia Today:
navalny-protest-western-media

Monday, June 12, 2017

Corbyn

This is the first election Labour has won seats in since 1997, and the party got its largest share of the vote since 2005 — all while closing a twenty-four point deficit. Since Corbyn assumed leadership in late 2015, he has survived attack after attack from his own party, culminating in a failed coup attempt against him. As Labour leader he was unable to rely on his parliamentary colleagues or his party staff. The small team around him was bombarded with hostile internal leaks and misinformation, and an unprecedented media smear campaign.
Every elite interest in the United Kingdom tried to knock down Jeremy Corbyn, but still he stands.
-- Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor of Jacobin
The shocking election result in the United Kingdom – the Conservatives losing their majority and the creation of a hung Parliament; and Jeremy Corbyn being more successful than any recent Labor candidate – cutting a 20 point Theresa May lead down to a near tie – gives hope to many that the global shift to the right, fueled by the failures of governments to meet the basic needs of their population and growing economic insecurity, may be ending.
Corbyn is a lifelong activist whose message and actions have been consistent. He presented a platform directed at ending austerity and the wealth divide and was openly anti-war. There are a lot of lessons for the Labor Party in the UK from this election but there are also lessons for people in the United States.

that's pretty clear

“America is a terrorist country and backs terrorism... therefore, we cannot normalize ties with such a country,”

-- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran Supreme Leader

Bigly Climate

The overt hostility towards climate science has increased since the election. In fact, there is even new hostility towards climate scientists. If I practice what I preach, and depersonalize the attacks and avoid the emotional bait, I can go back to an article I wrote in 2014, Climate change: A fundamental shift of our place in the world. In that piece, I wrote, If we are to use the knowledge of climate change, then we challenge the familiar power structures of economies, politics, beliefs and perceptions. These challenges are consequential to a far larger portion of society than those of Copernicus, Galileo or Darwin.

-- Dr. Ricky Rood, University of Michigan

Lola



Sunday, June 11, 2017

the wind in the willows

An alpine breeze, a gift from The Sangre de Cristo Range, caresses my face as I sit here on the bank of Red Willow Creek, between Hlaauma (North House) and Hlaukkwima (South House). Milky glacial spring runoff babbles by enthusiastically, flanked by the two main structures at Tuah-tah (Taos) Pueblo.  Like the red willows for which the creek was named, the Tuah-tah People have lived on this land for more than a thousand years.  And like the willows, they’ve survived because they’ve been able to bend with the passage of time and the winds of change.

bending-like-the-willows

Saturday, June 10, 2017

our meta-story from Cafe Domenico

All the stories provided us by our society, that drive the wheels of our civilization, and by which we “navigate reality” such as, prominently, the myth of progress,  tend to undermine the natural strength we have as human beings; they teach us we are separate from nature and must fear it, that we exist in a reality that is limited to the material, they pit reason and feeling against each other and thus exile the upstart imagination, all of which discourage individual agency and initiative.  

A religious ideal would ground me outside conventional notions of  the world and my relation to it and put me into a different “meta-story” such as indigenous people have.  It would place on me an expectation that I – and everyone in the community – would undertake a  lifelong process of experience and learning from my experience.  Without such an outsider place to stand, there’s no way to step outside the civilization that is killing the planet, including for “the best and the brightest among us” (which our liberal establishment tends to be).

-- Kim Domenico

be-a-danger-to-yourself-and-others-become-religious

workin' man

Friday, June 9, 2017

FLW vs FBI

Why didn’t the Usonian design take off? Why are we left only with the barest elements of the design, the cookie-cutter ranch houses that came to dominate the lots of suburban America?
There’s no simple explanation. But one thing is clear. Wright’s plans to revolutionize the American residential living space ran afoul of interests of the federal government. Think about this: in his 70-year career Wright didn’t win one contract for a federal building. Not even during the heyday of the New Deal.
-- Jeffrey St. Clair

Fleetwood Mac, 1969

Thursday, June 8, 2017

50 years on

As a kid sitting atop that huge mountain in the midst of the most beautiful terrain imaginable, the Se San River winding its way through it like a golden snake, I could never have imagined the leadership of America that had sent me there to help kill Vietnamese would eventually lead us to the cataclysmic condition we’re now living through.......We’re being dragged into a Hobbesian world of war in which everybody is being pitted against everybody else. We’re no longer imperially hunting the Vietnamese in far-away forests. Leaders like Trump are now fighting for themselves first and planning to search out and destroy those weaker and poorer than they are. The Resistance is growing and reaching into the mainstream. Maybe it’s not too late to learn something from the Vietnamese about resilience and how to resist and survive the crushing of the cooperative spirit.

-- John Grant

my-vietnam-war-50-years-later


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

our rough beast

We are about to experience again the pleasures and perils of the frontier - where we can prosper, or not, under the broiling western sun, governed by no (climate) laws and unbothered by the disapproval of the wider world. The President, in his simple act of renunciation has rekindled our historical purpose: to stand apart and be the (coal-fired) beacon that lights the world.

-- John Davis

our-rough-beast

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Lennon in Cuba



On December 8, 2000 a statue of John Lennon by Cuban sculptor José Villa was dedicated in a park in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. The statute was unveiled by President Fidel Castro Ruz and singer Silvio Rodriguez.

dear-john-lennon

the knife's edge

Have we really, for the past decade plus, been on an environmental knife’s edge, and if so, at what point will we have gone past it? The answer, predictably, is not clear-cut. If you look at this period in reference to a long enough (perhaps geological) timescale, then yes, it seems fair to describe the past many years as a virtual instant of time in which decisions will have been made with magnificent, perhaps everlasting, consequences. We failed to make the drastic changes that the experts deemed necessary to avoid the drawn-out, one-time-only experiment that we now face, and the coming decades will increasingly reveal that to a public that will perhaps slowly come to accept the reality of the situation only as the metaphorical and literal floodwaters rise around them.

-- Austin Kizer

beyond-the-knifes-edge

pissin' in the wind

Well, I'm up in T.O.
keepin' jive alive,
And out on the corner
it's half past five.
But the subways are empty
And so are the cafes.

Except for the Farmer's Market
And I still can hear him say:
You're all just pissin'
in the wind
You don't know it but you are.

And there ain't nothin'
like a friend
Who can tell you
you're just pissin'
in the wind.


-- Neil Young

Monday, June 5, 2017

War, Inc. - Plan of Empire

“We’ve fought for the last 15 years with the 1st Infantry Division model. Now we should fight with an East India Company model, and do it much cheaper.”
-- Erik Prince, Blackwater founder
Prince’s recent appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight”.......The man who reinvented mercenary warfare described to Carlson a vision for a corporate military occupation apparatus that makes his infamous Blackwater look modest, despite its capturing of $1 billion in contracts during the Iraq war and occupation. Prince proposed nothing less than the revival of the British East India Company model of for-profit military occupation, wherein an armed corporation effectively governed most of India for the extraction of resources.

Prince’s plan to fund occupations by pillage would otherwise be simply an insane notion howled from the wilderness of policy thought were it not for Prince’s proximity to the president and Trump’s repeated assertion that the U.S. should have taken Iraq’s oil to recoup costs. Indeed in his first speech in his first full day in office, speaking at the CIA headquarters, Trump revived his campaign-season idea of taking Iraqi oil, even telling the audience, “maybe you’ll have another chance.”

erik-princes-dark-plan-for-afghanistan



Sunday, June 4, 2017

partners in Hell

Manuel Noriega, former president of Panama, died in prison this week at 83 after decades in custody. What exactly was his crime? He was a monster who turned on his enabler: George Herbert Walker Bush. Though Bush, 92, is not yet technically dead, he and Noriega will soon be chained together in Hell for all eternity.

-- James McEnteer

chained-together-in-hell

Sublime, reincarnated, sort-of



Saturday, June 3, 2017

the true face of empire

Thanks to the honesty of the Trump administration the foremost positions of hard U.S interests and deadly threats are now openly declared fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy. The neo-conservative chaperone in the White House, National Security Advisor General McMaster, and the Goldman Sachs veto holder in the White House, economic advisor Gary Cohn, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that reveals the new true face of the U.S. empire:

"The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, non-governmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.......those societies that share our interests will find no friend more steadfast than the United States. Those that choose to challenge our interests will encounter the firmest resolve."

Translation: "Power is with the strong. We feel strong. Screw you!"

trump-us-foreign-policy



Friday, June 2, 2017

we're good

Good Americans, as a general rule, are not overly concerned with what actually happened. Or what is actually happening now. Or at least they’re not too concerned with the details. History, politics, economics, not to mention the inner workings of the media, are complicated subjects best left to experts. Good Americans trust such experts (not implicitly, they’re not dupes, after all) to explain what happened, or what is happening, to them. They have no choice but to trust these experts, and government officials, and the mainstream media, and the general consensus among the members of their privileged socioeconomic circles, as they do not have the time or the energy to go digging through reams of declassified documents, or to check the facts of the stories that appear in The New York Times or The Washington Post, or on their National Public Radio affiliate, or to read a book about history or politics, or the dissemination of propaganda, written by someone who isn’t parroting the official narrative of the ruling classes. What with all the demands of work, family, Facebook, Twitter, yoga, shopping, keeping up-to-date with the latest dining trends, not to mention the new season of House of Cards, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to scrutinize everything their leaders are doing, or the “information” the media is feeding them.

-- c. j. hopkins

the-good-americans

Alien: Trump

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters.”
-- Antonio Francesco Gramsci
....whereas the 1979 and 2012 films both depicted a clever Marxist analysis of our neoliberal epoch, with a privatized spacefaring crew acting on behalf of a malevolent corporation with near-governmental powers, this new picture moves into the next layer of horrors bred by such political economy, the fascist epoch that is created by austerity, corporatism, imperialism, and militarism. This is the film for the Trump presidency......

ridley-scott-fascism-in-alien-covenant

Thursday, June 1, 2017

head-choppers coming to Texas

"The President’s Saudi trip was a bizarre Art of the Deal-esque foreign policy disaster: a sleazy mix of conflicted government-arranged corporate endorsement deals. Most troubling of all was Tillerson’s presence and role in accommodating Exxon’s deal with the House of Saud, thereby violating the former CEO‘s recusal agreement."
-- Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program
The agreement.....signed between ExxonMobil and the state-owned Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) to study a proposed co-owned natural gas refinery in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the deal, signed at the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum, the two companies would “conduct a detailed study of the proposed Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project in Texas and begin planning for front-end engineering and design work” for the 1,300-acre, $10 billion plant set to be located near Corpus Christi, Texas. When built and fully functioning, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures will be the largest cracker facility on the planet.

tillerson-exxon-major-deal-with-saudi-arabia