Monday, December 09, 2013
NELSON MANDELA, MAY HE REST IN PEACE
Mandela and his organization suspended the armed struggle only once the apartheid regime conceded to democracy. He was no pacifist; on the contrary, he never hesitated to pick up arms when he perceived his people were confronted with the choice between submission to tyranny and armed resistance. But nor was he a militarist: He never hesitated to take the political path when that presented itself. And in that example, he has much to teach the world. --Tony Karon
And his struggles on behalf of his comrades in arms and his people in South Africa required a lot of sacrifice.
Mandela became a man of his people, the father of modern South Africa. This implied a solidarity with diverse people in the armed struggle, and a wider and equally profound support from peaceful demonstrators from across the world. For the fight to liberate South African people, black people, all people, from the oppression of minority rule, was one of the greatest tests and victories of moral conscience that we have seen in this world.
Mandela became the symbol of the resistance during his long imprisonment. Reflecting upon this history, not all that he wanted to achieve has been realized; but apartheid, compulsory racial segregation, and minority rule, was defeated; and every South African can be proud of that. And the world celebrates that, as it celebrates his life.
Friday, November 22, 2013
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY ON FREE INQUIRY AND SECRET SOCIETIES
Thursday, October 31, 2013
GETTING OFF THE ROAD TO PERDITION,--OR IS THAT FUKUSHIMA?
In the American-administered empire, everything continues to run on war, or the threat of war, or by those economic wars that presidents call sanctions. We are held by a paramilitary shadow government that includes organization steeped in criminal underworld business, and in the laundering of billions of dollars of crime money by major banks, and the collusion of our elected leaders in criminal wars, leaders who are amenable enough to a whole spectrum of other criminal activities that are run off the books.
How we come to this sorry situation must be obvious at this point, since the control of the power to issue money and to effectively regulate banking, is not really in the purview of the people or those we elect to run the government; and the transnational corporations have slowly but certainly gained the upper hand. These globalist powers have gone from seducing local government officials with money and the elixir of power, to that of obtaining the power to write the laws themselves, which they submit to the forgone approval of those who are bribed, and stay bribed.
And the regulation of campaign financing is a shambles.
If we allow this situation to continue; then it will have the effect of destroying us. It's possible to see how this new business model is working on the grounds of Fukushima Daiichi, in northeastern Japan, site of the world's immediate and devastating nuclear catastrophe. After two years the cleanup is still left to the corporation TEPCO, that is proven to lack the resources to deal with what has happened. The corporation has continually lied to the Japanese public about the extent to which the radiation has spread; and the most crucial immediate information about the meltdowns of three reactors has been filtering out only over time. As a story, we are left to our own curiosity and tireless alternate media; but the corporate news organizations and cable networks pontificate, with nothing better to do most of the time than to amuse their audience.
What is important to the leadership in both the corporate world and the governments they control, is to protect their investments. The public interest and safety is a distant concern to them. Corporate heads will ask government to change the rules about what level of radiation is mandated as safe in the food we eat, and it is done. That's all there is to it, as the sloshing over, and spills of radioactive waste water in Japan have continued, week after week, for two years.
The Fukushima story is indeed about the physical meltdown of reactor cores and the precarious position of over ten-thousand highly radioactive, and deteriorating fuel rods, which could mean sickness, or result in a terminal condition for tens of millions of people over the northern half of the world.
Well honestly, such a disaster is also about the broader story that ought to be told as well. There is a way in which corporate powers are trying to become immune to the established legal process of sovereign states.
The Japanese government, like the American one, is beholden to corporate interests; and it has papered over the insufficiency of this TEPCO operation to deal with the magnitude of the crisis at the reactor site. The government has been covering for the company and its lies, by the repetitions of those same lies; and it has worsened the disaster with its own propaganda and diversions. We can expect the same government performance here because the reactor design, by General Electric, exists in several instances in our own country; and under the same circumstances we would see the same feckless government cover up. In fact, we are seeing a diversion here too, in the way the story remains unreported.
Most Americans remain unaware that the crisis over there in Japan, around Fukushima Daiichi, is poised right now to become a catastrophe of global proportions. They are not even aware that the three melted radioactive cores are gradually driving a stake into the heart of Tokyo, which has over 10% of Japan's population, and which was tallied at over 13 million, in 2011.
There is a bigger story now that Americans had better wake up to. It was a story covered up by the mindless and economically self-destructive tirades of the budget-in-captivity, and the government shutdown of meat inspection, national monuments, public buildings, and other things.
For one thing, October had been earmarked for the passage through Congress of the TPP bill, and the certain signature of the president, whose administration has been pushing this treaty. The Trans-Pacific Trade Pact is notable as being a well kept secret, from the public; but in a more global sense of the word secret, than we have heretofore known. It has been from stem to stern (except for a few leaks) over a long period of foreign and corporate negotiation, a thoroughly secret law. Yes, a secret law in the United States. And when it's finally nudged under the noses of Congress, it will be too huge to read in a timely manner, and the members of Congress will have had no forewarning or previous chance to know much about it.
The very transnational corporate business model is being changed by treaty, in a way that will be fundamentally hard to undo; and the essence of the treaty is that it will upend and nullify national and local government authority to control, to regulate, or fine transnational business, whenever and wherever these companies might wreck havoc on local communities,-- for instance--polluting water, poisoning the citizenry, or doing anything that proves unlawful or dangerous to the public welfare. Undoubtedly, this breaks the covenant between the people and their government, it also blows democracy to smithereens; and it finally gives the powers of finance, through their henchmen, the power to nullify national, regional, and municipal control over anything those elites might wish do in the name of "the invisible hand of the market place".
Because legal liabilities would come into play, and there would be court proceedings, if a corporate entity was in any way responsible for a nuclear power core melting down in this country, no one should be surprised that the corrupt mainstream press does the bidding of Washington's political class, and is as quiet as the grave when it comes to the Fukushima story.
The largely unreported story from Fukushima is about the worsening of the situation there. This goes far beyond the existential threat to the City of Tokyo, and its millions of souls, the danger that is caused by the molten, and radioactive cores that are burrowing into the Earth's crust, an event which is bound to contaminate the city's water over time. No, it is the whole safety of all people in the Northern Hemisphere, those who are bound together and implicated in the unspeakable event that could happen if Reactor Building #4, or specifically the tank holding thousands of fuel rods, should collapse.
Beginning in early November, an operation to remove these rods, the ones that have already been damaged by excessive heat, is scheduled. The operation, if it goes without a hitch, is estimated to take about a year. But neither the US government or any of its big Media Dogs has explained the grave danger to the people, should there be a mishap, or another severe earthquake near Fukushima. If the Building #4 or the part that holds the fuel rods collapses,--what then?
TEPCO has not consistently been able to keep the rods from overheating, and the special metal cladding on them has become brittle. If the whole thing tips over somehow; then the rods burst into flames and burn fiercely. The compound in them contains Plutonium; and if this burns and goes into the atmosphere and circulates on the winds, we will learn what the word catastrophe means, to be sure.
In the worst case scenario, the entire Northern Hemisphere of the planet will be gradually irradiated with deadly isotopes. Instead of confronting this crisis, a threat to all humanity, an existential threat, our national leaders remain busy, tediously focused on bullying other nations, threatening some others with war, economic sanction, and violent regime change.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
copeland morris THE WHITE GOOSE
When my heart hangs low, how the white goose rises;
And brings to a hush, the careless, languishing sky.
In the shimmer of time that buoyant body is shaped;
Though how perturbed is its effort no one can say.
It enfolds the sacred language of blessing and loss,
And foretells the ripples where the river must fork.
And even a child can praise those joyous pursuits
In white flowing feathers as someone's good news.
And each stroke of wings, all strenuous and satin,
Must jar the four winds of yearning and caution.
Dreams are so pure enfolding the years before
Winter and summer bright in the white goose.
The summer left like a ghost and the city fades;
But the children raise their hands to celebrate.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
9/11 JUST DOESN'T GO AWAY
The word about 9/11 is a lot clearer after years of research.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
U.S. AND NATO LEADERS KEEP TO THEIR SCHEDULE OF WAR AND DECEPTION
A world at war? A general war? The US and its NATO allies seem to be edging us all in that direction, against Syria (or even Russia), with the most perfidious abandon and deception, not seen since George W. Bush and Tony Blair led the United States and Britain into war, torture, and crimes against humanity in Iraq, in March 2003.
The scene above represents the flight into exile of a huge chunk of Kurdish society, who are fleeing into Iraq to escape murderous persecution, the killing and harassment by the Islamic extremists, those zealots called takfiri, who are the Syrian rebels. Besides fighting government soldiers, these rebels, who are mostly from outside the country, have been making life impossible for other religious believers who live in Syria. Whenever whole peoples are driven out on the roads like this, and have to run for their lives, it's undeniable that something horrible, something on a most frightening scale has been set in motion.
War by deception is the mark of President Obama. Only a few days ago his rhetoric was styled with an abundance of caution; and he was reckoning and reasoning that the situation in Syria was just too complicated, and that jumping rashly into military action had to be weighed against the constraints of international law. But a short time later he decides to hell with international law. Don't bother with the United Nations or the Security Council. Russia would certainly veto a sudden and ruthless attack on Syria's armed forces. And what is worse--and contrary to Obama's stipulation for cruise missiles--is the detailed case that Russia would make before the Security Council, with proof and argument, pointing to the Syrian rebels as the ones who are responsible for the chemical attacks, and the stacked corpses of Syrian children.
The rebels, many of whom are religiously intolerant, and not unlike al-Qaeda in most ways, are terrorizing and killing Christians and Shi'a Muslims. And the rebels are repeating this false flag tactic, this trick they tried before in Allepo. Moreover, the rebel fighters got caught doing this on a smaller scale, months ago. It was a chemical attack they did themselves, as provacateurs, and tried to blame the crime on President Assad's government. Their intent was the same; and their strategy was the same. And most telling is the matter of their timing; which is typically set to coincide with visits to Syria by UN officials.
The American president is not going to seek the advice or any vote of approval of Congress, before firing up this madness and mayhem. And only ten percent of Americans, as measured by poll, want an attack on Syria.
The Big Lie in the hands of any government is the most insidious betrayal of the trust that people place in their leaders. The Assad government would have absolutely zero incentive to do a chemical attack on civilians, only five kilometers from the center of Damascus, just at the time when a UN diplomat is in the city for talks with Assad's people. But the US government, with the British and French, are the ones that are the most invested in removing Assad from power. And the fact is, that a return to negotiations for a peaceful settlement, the future round of talks at Geneva, has been shaping up well for the current Syrian government, because the Army has been winning the war against the rebels for months. When events are seen in this light, the possible coordination of this gas attack between desperate rebels and the true belligerent-in-chief of the United States, does not seem so outlandish.
Make no mistake about this: the United States, aided and abetted by the purse strings of the Saudi king, assisted by Britain and France, is gathering a task force in Cyprus, a hundred miles from the Syrian coast, where it is evident that the decision to attack Syria has been made. Obama and his criminal partners have no interest in waiting for any kind of investigation of facts by the UN or anyone else. They are counting on the emotional onslaught of events, the images of the dead, gassed children, and the propaganda that assigns blame for their deaths. Behind the scenes, behind all the authoritarian manipulation and the cynical and farcical ballyhoo about their "responsibility to protect" there lies the same deranged calculations of dominance and the blood of another war.
Russian officials have come to regard American war policy as "a terrible rush to judgment." The chair of the State Duma's international affairs committee, Alexi Pushkov, voices the Russian sense of dismay at these preparations:
"To us, it looks as though [George W.] Bush, [Dick] Cheney and [Donald] Rumsfeld never left the White House," ..."It's basically the same policy, as if US leaders had learned nothing and forgotten nothing in the past decade. They want to topple foreign leaders they regard as adversaries, without even making the most basic calculations of the consequences. An intervention in Syria will only enlarge the area of instability in the Middle East and expand the scope of terrorist activity. I am at a complete loss to understand what the US thinks it is doing,"(Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor)
THE ROAD TO WORLD WAR 3
UPDATE: I changed the link above from the Leaked Documents story, to this one, because Stormclouds Gathering had concerns of authenticity about the leaked e-mails on which their story was based, and they pulled that video.
UPDATE II: Bernhard, host at Moon of Alabama, has a humorous and amazing story that concerns a dead man (former Defense Minister) who has allegedly defected to the rebel side in the Syrian War.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
NOW THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS DRAWING HELLFIRE
As I ponder this painting by anna missed, it draws me into its engulfing shadows and the bright surreal suburban scene. And the longer I look at it the more I am reminded, in a strange way, of Pieter Bruegel's (circa 1558) painting, "The Fall of Icarus". But the humanity of Icarus, and the risk he took in that ancient myth: ignoring the warning of his father and flying too close to the hot sun, on wings that were fashioned of wax, is replaced by an apparatus, with its angular shadow, its wing's shadow parallel to the shadows of the trees. Its hellfire is descending into the living room.
The point at which it rhymes with Bruegel's masterpiece, is the way everything is faced away from the moment of disaster, like the impact of Icarus; where nothing can be seen of him, other than the small detail in the bottom right corner of the canvas, where only his legs are seen jutting out of the sea. Around Bruegel's 16th Century glimpse of this myth, he paints a shepherd and a plowman, and a sailing ship blown by a strong wind, moving away from the tragedy.
The painting that's featured above is done by an artist who favors wood panels for oil paintings; and is someone whose work I admire, and whose progress I follow. The poetry of W. B. Yeats is used to bring the scene into focus: "-turning and turning in a widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer" [...] "and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned."
During the last Bush administration, the US Republic was pronounced dead or at death's door, by writers as diverse as Lewis H. Lapham and Chalmers Johnson. And some of our best known men of letters (now departed) such as Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, and Gore Vidal, had conceded that the fate of our country and its governance had fallen into the hands of psychopaths and sociopaths. Only a few days ago, former president, Jimmy Carter, was quoted as saying that the United States "is no longer a functioning democracy".
So far, this has been a pretty bad year for democracy, and for freedom of the press in the United States, where the "ceremony of innocence" drowns. When the Bill of Rights is dead we will have no further defense, in law, against tyranny.
Throughout the Bush years, and well into the Obama presidency, Americans have tolerated the intolerable. But be aware that the airtight Surveillance State is the mortal enemy of press freedoms, for reasons that have become obvious now.
The current administration has been caught spying on journalists; and it is prosecuting James Risen, an NYT award-winning investigative reporter, who has been defending his right to protect the identity of his source,--going back to a story which was published during the Bush administration! His articles exposed a really harebrained CIA plot to put one over on Iranian scientists, by slipping them technically-sabotaged reactor blueprints. It was supposed to fool those scientists; but it was an especially shoddy forgery, and the scientists were on to the errors almost immediately; and they weren't about to waste resources and years going down some rabbit trail. This CIA caper turned out to be a tragic example of bungling, as well as a stupendous waste of taxpayers' money. And for this dead-as-a-doornail story, this story with a long white beard, Attorney General Holder,--at the pleasure of the president,--is determined to send a distinguished journalist to prison.
This is crude business for a government: killing the morale of real journalists by spying on them, and snooping on their contacts and sources. This kind of behavior signals the beginning of the end of a free society. The only stories left will be the ones the government packages and approves. We, the citizens of this country, aren't supposed to see the atrocities committed by our Drone President and his military subordinates, when they send hellfire into someone's living room, that rips through the bodies of women and children.
Americans are not supposed to look at the bloody images; and they have few sources that let them hear the broken voices as well, that come out of war, the living witness of a village elder who is dumbfounded and grief stricken, unable to understand why his little village in Yemen is singled out for destruction. But putting a clampdown on information is the obsession of governments that have a lot of corruption and crime to hide, and who need most of all, to put a screen between their public and all the killing that goes on. But what has become of our country? There are now even secret wars, to go with the lists of secret enemies. There are secret laws too--secret laws in the United States--can you believe it? Secret courts and kangaroo courts.
If Americans are faced away from the sight of their enslavement, turned by their own inclination from facing reality; then who else can be held responsible for the country's ruin?-- for the shadow of poverty spreading everywhere?
"Curiouser and Curiouser", said Alice. Yes, there is this too folks, which I shouldn't neglect to bring to your attention. Max Blumenthal just finished covering something called the 2013 Aspen Security Forum on the upscale side of Colorado, hosted by CNN's congenial Wolf Blitzer.
Blumenthal describes a confab of big military brass and top noggins from the CIA and FBI, "along with the bookish functionaries attempting to establish legal ground work for expanding the war on terror". Please follow the link and read the whole thing if you have the time, because it's amazing and totally spooky. Here's a prime excerpt under the heading Exterminating People:
John Ashcroft, the former Attorney General who prosecuted the war on terror under the administration of George W. Bush, appeared at Aspen as a board member of Academi [you remember, Blackwater]. Responding to a question about U.S. over-reliance on the “kinetic” approach of drone strikes and special forces, Ashcroft reminded the audience that the U.S. also likes to torture terror suspects, not just “exterminate” them.
“It's not true that we have relied solely on the kinetic option,” Ashcroft insisted. “We wouldn't have so many detainees if we'd relied on the ability to exterminate people…We've had a blended and nuanced approach and for the guy who's on the other end of a Hellfire missile he doesn't see that as a nuance.”
Hearty laughs erupted from the crowd and fellow panelists. With a broad smile on her face, moderator Catherine Herridge of Fox News joked to Ashcroft, “You have a way with words.”
But Ashcroft was not done. He proceeded to boast about the pain inflicted on detainees during long CIA torture sessions: “And maybe there are people who wish they were on the end of one of those missiles.”
Competing with Ashcroft for the High Authoritarian prize was former NSA chief Michael Hayden, who emphasized the importance of Obama’s drone assassinations, at least in countries the U.S. has deemed to be Al Qaeda havens. “Here's the strategic question,” Hayden said. “People in Pakistan? I think that's very clear. Kill 'em. People in Yemen? The same. Kill 'em.”
When I was a young man taking university classes, I especially remember reading this poem by W. H. Auden,
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just
walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood;
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Brughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
(from The Collected Poetry of W.H.Auden, fourth printing, Random House, New York, 1945, p. 3)
Friday, June 28, 2013
WAS MICHAEL HASTINGS' DEATH IN LOS ANGELES AN ASSASSINATION?
By one eyewitness account, the engine of Michael Hastings' Mercedes coupe landed 100 feet from the shredded, burned wreckage of his car. Friends of Hastings disclosed that the brilliant writer and journalist typically drove his car "like a grandma". He let a close friend know that he would soon be breaking the biggest story of his career, concerning the CIA.
How did his life end as it did, along the narrow lanes of an LA park, in the darkness among the palm trees, at around 4:00 AM?...
burned to death like that in the wee hours of the morning?
Hastings was only 33 years old.
His talent and his willingness to break with journalistic conventions brought him to well-deserved public recognition, for the interview he did with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the NATO commander in charge of Afghanistan, who eventually had to resign his command, when the interview published in Rolling Stone Magazine revealed the general's contempt and disdain for civilian authority.
The last published article by Hastings, appearing in Buzz Feed on June 6th, Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans, examined the White House obsession with surveillance and with prosecuting whistleblowers.
The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that [Glenn] Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems — including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry — have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008. [...]
Unsurprisingly, the White House has dug in, calling their North Korea-esque tools “essential” to stop terrorism, and loathe to give up the political edge they’ve seized for Democrats on national security issues under Obama’s leadership. The AP spying scandal — which the administration attempted to downplay at the time, even appointing Eric Holder to lead his own investigation into himself —was one of the unexpected consequences of one of two leak investigations that Obama ordered during the 2012 campaign.
It’s unclear where a possible third leak investigation would lead. However, judging by the DOJ’s and FBI’s recent history, it would seem that any new leak case would involve obtaining the phone records of reporters at the Guardian, the Washington Post, employees at various agencies who would have had access to the leaked material, as well as politicians and staffers in Congress—records, we now can safely posit, they already have unchecked and full access to.Later this month, Hastings confided to a friend, by e-mail, that he felt he was being pursued, that "the feds were interviewing his friends and associates". Much that has happened in the last few weeks seems to be punctuated by this man's death. The extent to which government intelligence services spy on journalists now, on the Associated Press, is a rude awakening for Americans. And what's more, Edward Snowden, the whistleblower, whose disclosures only emphasize the significance of the government spying on the press, has revealed the scale and ambition of this vast surveillance, the arrogance that lies at the root of it.
The hubris and the impulse behind it, aims to obliterate the privacy of everyone. It can't be described except as a nightmare being brought to life: global in the sense of covering the whole planet, but also global in another sense of the word, penetrating the private fabric of life, as people go about their lives. It's like a war that's been declared on everyone, an engulfing reality. Angela Merkel, the conservative leader of Germany, remarked that Obama's setup reminded her of the Stasi, the former East Germany's Ministry of State Security.
Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism advisor to two presidents (Clinton and Bush Jr.) said the technical knowhow exists now to hack the computers of more modern cars, taking over the control of the vehicle from the driver. This was covered in Huffington Post a few days ago. "There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers" -- including the United States -- know how to remotely seize control of a car", Clarke is quoted as saying.
The question has to be asked now. Who or what is really running the United States? Was Michael Hastings murdered because of the offense he gave to Gen. McChrystal, leading to the general resigning his command in Afghanistan? Did retribution come years later because this breach of journalistic code happened, a code that was presumed to mean that when the general was a little drunk, and running at the mouth about what he really thought of Obama, his civilian commander, the reporter doing the interview was not supposed to publish it, word for word? Or has the task of assassinating people, and targeting them, been parceled out to more than a few agencies--government/military/business--to select their own victims as they see fit?
Hastings had received death threats after the McChrystal interview came out.
Who is being served?-- and who is the master of this house? One of the most astounding facts revealed by Edward Snowden, employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, former analyst and systems administrator at the NSA, is that a corporation like Booz, a contractor working for the super-snooping NSA, has been granted the authority to issue top security clearances. And there are now something like 1.4 million Americans in our security state who hold top security clearances. Corporations can issue top security clearances; and as an example of how chummy this business and government relationship is, former Booz people have been put in positions of leadership in this intelligence service octopus we have here.
June 18th: an explosion was heard sometime after 4:00 AM, in an LA park among rows of palm trees; and the car's engine was thrown 100 feet from the vehicle, according to an eyewitness. And Michael Hastings died in the fire. But what he has sacrificed is yet to be appreciated; and what we have all lost who call ourselves American is yet to be understood.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
copeland morris MAY
When fate demands to be
Before the eye, it takes its voice
From a starling and catches the tone
Of her scolding, fussing with her nest,
Coaxing her fattening chicks
Before they fledge, before they
Are ready to fly. And she who filled
The nest with tokens of past years
Rewoven, drives them further with what life
Feels like; and all its heaving splendor
Comes full harvest. It is May alright,
May even so, with stabs of cold wind
That no one welcomes; but she is in
Fine voice, still there, scolding.
Monday, April 29, 2013
"FREEDOM....FREEDOM"..."NO WAR...NO WAR"
DemocracyNow! rebroadcast this performance by Richie Havens in 2003.
He sang Freedom in New York City on February 15th, as part of worldwide protests against the Iraq War.
You may recall the song from Havens’ performance at Woodstock, where he was the first act to take the stage, and did so quite dramatically. After a nearly 50-year career, Havens died Monday at age 72 in his New Jersey home after a sudden heart attack.At Tholos we say our goodbyes and express our thanks for the great music and life of Richie Havens.
So far, 2013 has been a time that is full of new shocks to the conscience. A long hunger strike by our prisoners at Guantanamo has been going on for
From RT on March 22 :
It’s going to take the American people to demand Guantanamo Bay prison facilities be closed, former Gitmo prison official Ret. Col. Morris Davis told RT. Until the issue catches the public’s attention, there is little hope for improvement, he says.
"A majority of the men at Guantanamo -- 86 of the 106 who have been cleared for transfer -- have been in confinement now for more than a decade in some cases," Davis said. "So to them... the only way to potentially call attention to it is to do something drastic like a hunger strike."In Washington, several weeks ago, a White House source claimed that President Obama was monitoring the situation.
Ten years of war up to now, including word on Friday from President Obama, of his willingness to use military force against Syria, shows that our leaders have learned nothing in all these years. Just the day before, Obama and the rest of our living presidents were observing a ceremony in Dallas, to dedicate to that war criminal, George W. Bush, his very own Presidential Library and "Museum".
If Richie Havens had been able to join the protest of a couple of hundred people, taking place just across Central Expressway from Bush's new monument to Empire, he would have gladly celebrated the occasion, taking the stage with Phil Donahue, with Medea Benjamin and the women of Code Pink, with Cindy Sheehan and other survivors who lost sons or daughters, parents or siblings, in these dreadful wars; and he would have sung out to activists and ordinary people, rallying all of us to inspire one another and hear his cry again...
"No War...No War"
PS:This month marks the tenth anniversary of Tholos; and I should take this opportunity to thank our readers for their kind attention.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
copeland morris BEES
Can you hear bees dancing? Their shuffle
Is all shimmy coming up to the hive,
The buzz of rehearsal before a melody comes
Back to the flower: those greatest hits,
The songs you can't stop humming, if you're a bee,
When the dew is yours on the road to school,
And the young at heart adore you.
What is with their magic? Don't bees boogie
Over our graves as well as they dance
When we put up our stores? The whisper
Released from the palms of kids who cupped
Hands for it, is another name for them.
They rock the tempo with a kind of wobble
When mockingbirds whistle the bobwhite's song.
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
IT STILL SOUNDS SO BEAUTIFUL AND SAD
Thursday, January 31, 2013
FROM OUR CULTURE OF FEAR TO A NEW CLIMATE OF HYSTERIA
One of the most unsettling sights of the pre-inaugural business, was video footage of the president's carefree, delighted and docile audience, just working their way through the ramparts of the New Power, right past the bright uniforms of the TSA, consenting to be felt up, brushed with the wand, and passed through the detection equipment, on their way to the universal raising of hands, to their rendezvous with the Disney King, where the total harmonics of make believe lay within their reach.
The speech sends one hell of a signal for the Second Inauguration, after a disastrous, and decadent four years,--those years of outrageous corruption in public office,-- permissiveness on behalf of fraud, virtual surrender to the central banks, insider trading, US Federal gun running to Mexican drug lords with no subsequent prosecution or real investigation. Historians will have to pursue the meaning of Barack Obama's goo-encrusted oratory, dripping with artificial sweetener, and its nutrient-free glut of pure fantasy.
The president announced that "a decade of war is ending"; and yet it looks like Africa is going to be the next war front. The continent is wide open now. Mali, especially, has veins of gold and uranium to be tapped, and is waiting to bleed luxuriously into the vaults of the Americans and the NATO countries.
Our own fixation with terror has become a psychological trap that controls behavior; where the new normality of terror becomes the "englobing narrative" of a totalitarian state. Some Americans have been lured into the exaggerated hysteria that can be produced out of the fear of ever more ridiculous threats. Terror in the hands of the State is all about the badlands of hysteria and how to manipulate emotion: for instance, with the creation of arbitrary thresholds: the world before and after 9/11, the world before and after staged events, and in the aftermath of false flag operations.
Empires resort to the same vile practices throughout history. As Cicero said of Rome: "In the midst of arms the law falls mute". And a kind of authoritarian disease is descending on Americans from the ranks of our civilian and military control structure. Stories abound these days, concerning police and paramilitary overreaction in our neighborhoods; where SWAT teams come out just because a firearm is seen in someone's hands. It comes as hysteria and overreaching force, and people getting tasered and killed too often by tasers. Their crime is lack of quick compliance.
Now there are places in the country where people are being acclimated--sometimes through unannounced drills, to the presence of military in the streets, --which goes deeply against the grain of our traditions. The line between military maneuver and policing is being blurred here; and this is an affront to the warnings of our country's Founders. As Americans, we were not meant to be placed under the thumb of our own army.
Commenting on the legacy of torture, Glenn Greenwald writes,
Those who ordered and implemented torture were never prosecuted. They were actively shielded from all forms of legal accountability by the current president. They thus went on to write books, get even richer, and live the lives of honored American statesmen. Torture was thus transformed from what it had been - a universally recognized war crime - into just another pedestrian, partisan political debate that Americans have.
Under Barack H. Obama, a lot of law has fallen mute, while we were presumably at war with terror. Among the casualties is habeas corpus; and due process--including judicial review itself--when the object this chief executive has in mind is targeted assassination. And torture has not been ended; but it is instead turned over to proxies, or hidden from scrutiny at ghost sites. We find decency and justice are being betrayed by our president who has sworn to "faithfully execute the laws".
City blocks of computing power, ranks upon ranks of servers, trillions or even quadrillions of bytes of information storage, unimaginable data mining, and the snooping power of the NSA, which was once prohibited by law to spy on us; and there it is, turned against American themselves, obliterating any expectation of privacy--or really any moment of respite--when one is hopeful of not being watched. But you see the government insists that it is the victim; and soon it will fall prey to prying eyes, and the penetration of its secrets.
And there is the automation of killing, the soon-to-be ubiquitous range of drones, a robotic destruction, with its further remove from human agency and from contact with those who are slaughtered. Those who keep abreast of events understand that drones will be policing our own movements before long, using deadly force too, provided that Americans passively accept the presence of these things over their heads.
In an unsettling, figurative sense, Barack Obama is our teacher. Like Cicero said, "In the midst of arms the law falls mute". What better way is this to be demonstrated than through the despotic power that is rising in the US? What better rhetoric for the job than the glittering facade of progressive piety that must shield the eye from the blood that Obama tracks into the White House?
Sunday, December 09, 2012
OBAMA SETS THE STAGE FOR HIS DAY OF INFAMY
Thursday, November 01, 2012
AN ENDORSEMENT OF JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY
The debates between the establishment contenders for president have finally ended; and the two men are still at pains to run on their public records. The foreign policy debate (which means war debate) as well as questions about the world's ecological crisis were constantly subject to evasion. Given the relationship of both these party mouthpieces to oligarchy, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that both men, Romney and Obama, would remain committed to letting the corporations have their way. The further plundering of exploitable societies along the path to global feudalism, goes hand in hand with the militarization of our own society; and under either man, this will surely extend the lawless and despotic methods we have already seen.
When Obama describes the United States as "the indispensable nation in the world" you can be sure that a principle like that is arrogant enough to satisfy the taste of any empire. Surely it is a provincial attitude not shared by any nation the US has savaged economically, or threatened with destruction, or delivered to chaos and madness. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree on these goals in the most fundamental ways. And the cockeyed framing of this empire's place in the world could not go on in its reckless way, if third party voices were admitted to our political debate.
The state's power of impunity, the regime of total surveillance, the slow dismembering of due process, and continual testing of the public tolerance for bullying and police state tactics, is more prevalent than ever at home. The authorities right up to the highest level are less and less answerable to our legal rights; for they prefer secrecy to transparency; and they are satisfied to levy token fines on the worst corporate offenders.
By endorsing Jill Stein, I am declaring my eternal opposition to the corporate takeover of my government. This is because certain refusals are crucial to being a citizen now. That means the rejection of war as a policy, and it means rejecting the globalist race for profit which has slavery as the ultimate model. This bad behavior defines global corporate despotism-- which is another name for a parasite that destroys and assumes the identity of its host--the former sovereign government of the people. These transnational corporations want to make it illegal to interfere with their profits in any way; and therefore we must act to protect our descendants' DNA, from those who would irradiate their genes, or tinker in dangerous ways with the genetic code of things we eat.
And with all of these necessary refusals it is good to endorse something, many things that are positive, such as political liberty and the ideals of justice. I endorse the campaign Jill Stein is making on behalf of us all. She is worthy of the presidency.
Chris Hedges has recently thrown his support behind Jill Stein. His warnings about the XL agenda should be heeded:
The XL pipeline, which would cost $7 billion and whose southern portion is under construction and slated for completion next year, is the most potent symbol of the dying order. If completed, it will pump 1.1 million barrels a day of unrefined tar sand fluid from tar sand mine fields in Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. Tar sand oil is not conventional crude oil. It is a synthetic slurry that, because tar sand oil is solid in its natural state, must be laced with a deadly brew of toxic chemicals and gas condensates to get it to flow. Tar sands are boiled and diluted with these chemicals before being blasted down a pipeline at high pressure. Water sources would be instantly contaminated if there was a rupture. The pipeline would cross nearly 2,000 U.S. waterways, including the Ogallala Aquifer, source of one-third of the United States' farmland irrigation water. [...]
Keystone XL is part of the final phase of extreme exploitation by the corporate state. The corporations intend to squeeze the last vestiges of profit from an ecosystem careening toward collapse. Most of the oil that can be reached through drilling from traditional rigs is depleted. The fossil fuel industry has, in response, developed new technologies to go after dirtier, less efficient forms of energy. These technologies bring with them a dramatically heightened cost to ecosystems. They accelerate the warming of the planet. And they contaminate vital water sources. Deep-water Arctic drilling, tar sand extraction, hydraulic fracturing (or hydro-fracking) and drilling horizontally, given the cost of extraction and effects on the environment, are a form of ecological suicide.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
IT'S COME TO THIS
Sunday, October 14, 2012
copeland morris ARCHIPELAGO
Old fishermen admit to dry mouth,
Perpetual brine soaking the seat
Of their pants, and never managing,
Absent some fish, or without
Fidgets and superstitions that
Mention the smell of land.
There is the regret of Ovid’s writing.
And his lines, mindful of correspondence,
Bubble suddenly in the busy waters--
Or churn with memories of banishment,
Remembered within the archipelago‘s
The sea describes miracles that confound all
Wherever boundless moments belong to men
When their catch overflowed with double
Bounties of shrimp; for as they hauled up nets
They slid uncertainly on the deck.
And what a flock of seagulls came!
The wild delight and swarming obscured
The long-sought messages of these friends,
These that had been forgotten in the mêlée
Of fishermen’s oaths and hands that
Couldn’t prevent the artful glee,
Pilfering through hungry beaks, the prize
Until an old mate says, “The way to be rid of
This nuisance is to kill one.” Then the seagulls,
The flock as one, forgot their hunger; they
Abandoned the chase at the moment, just as
Their flesh lay down in the water, trembling
Wing torn. So Ovid himself would have noticed--
Drifting off to port, the wings still pay homage,
Like a grimace above and away; and only
The new moon trails behind them
Singing of hunger and longing.
Out of your ignorance, you seek much more than
Even gods are able to control.
Monday, October 08, 2012
THIS HAPPENS WHEN THE BUSINESS MODEL AND THE CONSPIRACY MODEL ARE THE SAME
"The world is big enough to satisfy everyone's needs; but will always be too small to satisfy individual greed."
Friday, September 28, 2012
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF TERROR?
"They didn't know what America was, before drones."
A US president's primal obsession with military violence may soon be pursued with machines which operate under autonomous programming, with detachment; and divorced from war and its horror completely, the circuitry will at last be king, having taken over the scene of war crimes. And yet as far as the cold intelligences that authorize, and maintain, and program these appliances of murder are concerned, the meaning of terror has crossed into the domain of science fiction nightmare.
There are apparently some planners at the Pentagon who foresee this as an improvement over the remotely piloted drone bombers they have now.
Let me digress for a moment to explain or elaborate a little scene I witnessed while riding the bus home yesterday. The driver was pulling out of the downtown station, and stopped at a little open air concession, at the curb that comes just before the bus would merge into traffic. The door opened at the vehicle's front, and the driver wanted a snack, some chips for the road. This admittedly held up the progress of every bus behind us for a minute or two; and there was some peckish tooting of horns, little toots. Now it would be easy to imagine station supervisors barking orders to keep to schedule, or a policeman coming to unblock the snarl. Yet who should appear, instead, but a couple of Homeland Security uniforms?
This is a very odd example of the new and deformed chain of authority in our country. At least one of the two men was livid; and he was trying without success to flag down the bus. But speeding away, the driver just hollered back: "I don't know who you are!" Well this response is not surprising, since these agents of federal authority don't have real looking badges, but a kind of pseudo badge, that is not even a patch, but is printed on, like the transfer on a t-shirt. And worse, it appears rather crudely drawn, the way monopoly money is. Yet even a burlesque like this is preferable to some cyborg machine, in whose computer chips all options are on the table.
We are not being bombed by our own drones as of yet; but the militarization of our police is leading to the normalization and introduction of these machines in the States. In the far outback of Waziristan, segregated from Pakistan's influence, how could they know what America was, before drones?
The fantastic four-legged war machines, that most of us saw in the Star Wars trilogy, are being introduced in the real world, as prototypes: machines that lumber along and gallop with the gait of familiar animals. We are beyond the Twilight Zone now, outpacing the dystopias of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.
Coming back to my story, I recall a strong premonition that the bus would soon be halted by some means, as we were departing the station. And sure enough, it hadn't gone two blocks before the driver was called on the phone. Lifting up the clunky, huge handset, as big as those on our landlines of 40 years ago, our driver idled there for ten minutes at the light, showing visible distress, as she was being chewed out for disrespecting the Black Shirts. It was several stops later before her emotions could be put into words:
"They ain't nothing. It don't bother me unless they come after my kids."
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE GUNS OF AUGUST
Outside the Balkans, the assassinations made the headlines for a few days, then dropped from sight. In England, the early summer of 1914 was warm and bright, perfect for tennis at Wimbledon and for the upcoming Henley Regatta; the cloud that threatened to spoil everything was the growing likelihood of civil war in Ireland. The Continent seemed far off. It was "difficult to discuss foreign affairs freely," said one member of the House of Commons, "when our home affairs were in such a particularly evil plight."
--Adam Hochschild, TO END ALL WARS, p. 81-2Empires have come and gone; and after reaching their moment of pomp, they begin scratching in their death cycle, demanding more life blood as the end draws near. There were the Balkan wars of 1912, in the midst of the military rivalries: and in higher circles and even casually in public, there was talk about the General War in Europe that so many thought was inevitable, simply a matter of time.
If the Archduke and his wife had not been assassinated, might the war have been avoided? Possibly, but given Austria-Hungary's impatience to crush Serbia and Germany's ambitions to dominate Europe, it is hard to imagine a conflict of some sort not taking place--not when we listen, for example, to the Kaiser, at a court ball in 1913, pointing out the general designated "to lead the march on Paris," or asking, fruitlessly, two successive Belgian kings for the right to begin that march through Belgium, or when we read General von Moltke, in 1915, writing to a friend about "this war which I prepared and initiated."
Syria is under attack by foreign powers, in order to complete a process of softening up the battlefield, to open the way for war against Iran. The economic weapons are used first, followed by covert attacks, such as the recent assassinations of Iranian scientists, followed by an outright aggression against Iran's ally, Syria. And then, when the protections of the alliance are down, Iran will be attacked directly, and severely.
The real crisis, for the current Syrian government, is that it is up against an insurgency that is receiving communications and diplomatic help, as well as money and arms; and it has to cope with mercenary and jihadist soldiers entering the country, which is the most troubling aspect of foreign interference. Russia and China are opposed to direct military intervention and have vetoed Security Council Resolutions that might be used to depose the government by force.
Incredible as it seems, American officials have justified the recent terrorist explosion in Damascus, that killed senior Syrian cabinet officials; and they have further declared a willingness to assist, and arm, religious extremists; if that's what it takes to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. A statement out of the Council of Foreign Relations, praising the discipline of al-Qaeda, followed this! This could have been predicted in Tripoli, where the final result for Libya was possible only through sustained rounds of NATO bombing and air support,--with an assist from Qatari irregulars, Saudi money and arms, and the Special OPS. And not long after the dust settled, they moved on; and Syria was lined up as the next target.
The US doctrine of dominance is dangerous; if it means setting up missiles on Russia's border, that can be used for a first strike decapitation of their government; also announcing historic future expansion of US Naval Forces into Asia, pushing into China's sphere of influence. All of this will be happening at the end of a long process in which the Empire destabilizes and topples governments, like it did to Libya and possibly will Lebanon,-- playing out its hand of economic war and covert war already underway against Syria and Iran.
Journalist: I don’t know, Mr. President, if you followed Clinton’s statement in the press conference in which she said that she understood from what Kofi Annan said that President al-Assad should go. How did you understand what Clinton said?
President Assad: For us, what American officials say has no credibility in general. Second, the American position is already hostile to Syria in this crisis. They are part of the problem. They support the terrorists very clearly. That’s why we are not very interested in what this or that official says during this crisis.
Journalist: There was talk in the Geneva conference yesterday about a transition in Syria, with or without President al-Assad, and about internal, regional and international demands that should be implemented in order to complete the reform process. What is your position in that regard?
President Assad: Regionally and internationally they have nothing to do with us. We do not accept anything imposed on us from the outside. Everything will be decided internally. If I personally were interested in just holding this office, I would have implemented America’s dictates and the demands made through petrodollars, I would have accepted to sell my stances and principles in return for petrodollars, and what’s more important, I would have accepted the installation of a missile shield in Syria. --Cumhuriyet
George Galloway warns that we are on the eve of destruction. "Crusader intervention and occupation of Arab land" is unacceptable; and sectarian division that pits one religious faction against another is unacceptable; and these are the instruments of violence the empire is using to weaken the people. It is important to admit that the original uprising had every right to rebel against Assad; but they rejected foreign intervention, especially if it meant salafists, or al-Qaeda, or other mercenaries, might destroy the one thing that was best in Syria. The isolation of Iran, and the unending threats of war against it, are the costs to that country, for simply standing up to outside domination, and refusing to surrender to what Galloway calls "the big pirates, the big tyrants".
It's a surreal empire, where as many US soldiers are committing suicide as are being killed in the nation's wars. And a republican candidate for president recently ran on the promise to attack Iran, if elected.
Gideon Levy, the Israeli journalist, warns about the "Escalating Talk of a Military Attack on Iran" going around Tel Aviv at this moment. Levy was interviewed Wednesday, on DemocracyNow!
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Gideon Levy, before we conclude, is it the case that it’s been reported that a majority of Israelis are opposed to any Israeli action against Iran at the moment?
GIDEON LEVY: No, it changes. The public opinion here is quite brainwashed, like in any other place, and things start changing. It depends how you ask it. There was another poll which showed that, I think, 47 percent of the Israelis are already in favor of an preparation, that over 50 percent believe that if Iran will have nuclear weapons, this means a second Holocaust for Israel. I mean, I wouldn’t go for this, because there is so much information, misinformation in the media that people are really confused and people can be shaken very, very easily. The matter of fact is that almost the entire military and defense establishment of Israel, the present one and the former one, is united in opposing an attack in this time. But still, the decision makers—mainly two, the prime minister and the defense minister, Barak—seem to be very, very devoted to do something.
For 14 hours yesterday I was at work--teaching Christ to lift his cross by numbers, and how to adjust his crown; and not to imagine he thirst till after the last halt. I attended his Supper to see that there were not complaints; and inspected his feet that they should be worthy of the nails. I see to it that he is dumb, and stands at attention before his accusers. With a piece of silver I buy him every day, and with maps I make him familiar with the topography of Golgotha.
--Wilfred Owen, (letter to Osbert Sitwell, July 4th, 1918)
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
neil young LOVE AND WAR
When I sing about love and war
I don't really know what I'm saying
I've been in love and I've seen a lot of war
Seen a lot of people praying
They pray to Allah and they prey to the lord
But mostly they pray about love and war
Pray about love and war
I've seen a lot of young men go to war
And leave a lot of young brides waiting
I've watched them try to explain it to their kids
And seen a lot of them failing
They tried to tell them and they tried to explain
Why daddy won't ever come home again.
Daddy won't ever come home again
I said a lot of things that I can't take back
But I don't really know if I want to
There've been songs about love
I sang songs about war
Since the backstreets of Toronto
I sang for justice and I hit a bad chord
But I still try to sing about love and war
Sing about love and war
The saddest thing in the whole wide world
Is to break the heart of your lover
I made a mistake and I did it again
And we struggled to recover
Then I sang in anger, hit another bad chord
But I still try to sing about love and war
I've been in love and I've seen a lot of war
Seen a lot of people praying
They pray to Allah and they prey to the lord
But mostly they pray about love and war
Pray about love and war.
Listen to Neil Young's "Love and War"