THOLOS OF ATHENA

Monday, December 01, 2014

FEAR IS NOW THE MAIN INSTRUMENT OF ENSLAVEMENT


The fabric of jurisprudence, the law that governs and constrains presidential power, and the covenant that binds the will of the people with those who are presumably elected, has become dangerously weakened; and now, after thirteen years of this corruptive process, we are clearly in for hard times.

Looking at this power projected overseas, as the nation's foreign policy, even watching it as it gradually brings psychological insecurity and fear to our own cities and countryside; we end by observing the same undeniable strategies at work. The longest continuous period of war in our history is happening now; and it is matched by the longest chapter of war propaganda that the people have ever had to endure.

Considering the repetitious and absurd series of scares, the never-ending cast of new bogeymen, the multiplicity of  "Hitlers", of which there never seems to be an end; only a gullible people, or a people driven into a stupor by endless propaganda, would pay any mind to such tactics. The repeated  lies have worn down the will of some, and leave so many numb, or in an unsettled state of fear.

Fear is the driving force of the oppressive war propaganda, fear is used as a marketing tool, and is used to gain the acceptance  and normalization of the NSA Surveillance State. Fear is finally omnipresent when one has become a slave, or is acting as a good citizen in a fascist state.

As James Risen has written in his new book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War:
Fear is hard to question. It is central to the financial well-being of countless federal bureaucrats, contractors, subcontractors, analysts, and pundits. Fear generates funds.
The Intercept has an interview of James Risen by Glenn Greenwald, which I recommend to readers.

But when fear is a means to an end, and the goal of US policy is the fragmentation and destruction of other people's societies,--even to the undoing of their culture;-- then going past war's previous destruction,  to a new stage of chaos, is also a more corrupt and vicious kind of aggression. This is what has been done, and is still being done, to what remains of Iraq and Syria.

The US leadership, congressional and presidential, is implicated in a history that has continued for years. This is a process of subversion, carried out on the Dark Side, beyond public scrutiny, and abetted by cable and broadcast networks, with the falsification of events by these propaganda organs.

Libya's society has been cast into the outer darkness, by nations whose leaders have expressed no remorse, and who have used the breakdown of authority in that land, as a cover, in order to move arsenals of weapons into the hands of real extremists, the same extremists to whom our hypocrite president refers, in public, as America's sworn enemies.  The former president of France, M. Sarkozy, one of the schemers behind this double war crime, first attacked Libya, and then covertly transfered the aggression toward Syria. He has only recently resumed his post as the leader of French conservatives, instead of being brought to justice for these crimes.

Turkish authorities continue to facilitate transfers of supplies to Islamic extremists,  funneled like the arms the CIA previously smuggled out of Libya into this very dirty game; but it is nothing new. The United States has been busy training  those religious extremists whose mission is to destroy a lawful government in Syria. The most terrible of the bogeymen, the multi-national ISIS, or ISIL, as Obama insists on calling it, has been receiving converts from the ranks of those the US trained, in Jordan, and has been armed from many sources, the Gulf States and Saudis, as well as by having weapons which the Americans have spread around.

The United States has a history of promoting state terror through proxy armies, using zealots and psychotics who are happy to do what they are inclined to do. From arming the Contras in Nicaragua, which was done illegally in the 1980s, we come to  the latest craze of advancing sectarian, or religiously inspired terror, as Obama's policy of lies and hysterical claims permits.

Andre Vitchek, a novelist and war correspondent, brings us to an understanding of the ends our country has been pursuing in Iraq. At personal risk, he traveled deep into the Kurdish land of northern Iraq, where the Kurdish Peshmerga has pushed back against ISIS troops, regaining their villages to the west, coming within 15 kilometers of Mosul. He writes:
In the evening I am having a cup of tea with an old scientist, a nuclear physicist, Ishmael Khalil, originally from Tikrit University, now a refugee. We are in the ancient tearoom in the center of Erbil.
“All that I had was destroyed... I have no idea what is left of my university... Western allies supported the IS: Saudis, Qataris, and Turks. Americans are the main reason for this insanity – for total destruction of Iraq. Not just me, ask any child and you will hear the same thing... We all used to belong to a great and proud nation. Now everything is fragmented, and ruined. We have nothing – all of us became beggars and refugees in our land,” Khalil says.

To take what has been fragmented by violence and terror, and to use fear
in a canny way to further atomize and divide a society, can be a means to an extreme where society breaks down, and a nation's culture is wounded. And what empires inflict on their prey, they bring back with terrible results to their people at home. 
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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

william blake THE HUMAN ABSTRACT


PITY would be no more
If we did not make somebody Poor;
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase:
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the Catterpiller and Fly
Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree;
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human Brain.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

WHO ARE THE REVOLUTIONARIES?

By Grayson

Grant Wood's most famous painting features an iconic farmer, his prim daughter and a pitchfork. His most satiric painting was Daughters of Revolution. Three white-haired ladies pose with raised teacup before a recreation of George Washington Crossing The Delaware. With their hatchet mouths and squinty, almost feral, eyes, they seem to gloat over the mere fact of their birth.

Wood completed the painting in 1932 when the country was deep in depression, thousands out of work, homeless. Breadlines were common. Wood makes the point—still relevant today—that the robber barons surely had nothing to fear from the polite, pampered ladies of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who are about as far from real revolution as one could get.

I often wonder how a country so enamored of its revolutionary origins could produce so many obedient apostles of the status quo, which always aligns itself with wealth and power against those who have neither.

For example: all those who sided with the insurance industry against universal health care, including the so-called “Tea Party” Republicans, who have been known to dress up in the costumes of their revolutionary idols.

As I understand it, the kinds of revolutionaries celebrated by the DAR and the Tea Party don't usually side with the well-fed and complacent at the top, but arise from below, when the have-nots begin to suspect the political and economic cards are stacked against them.

This seems to be where we are now: record numbers of people in poverty, who, in spite of their best efforts, even working full time, still struggle to get ahead. Among them are many former middle class people—nice, decent folk who woke up one morning to find they couldn't send their kids to college. Now many of them can't even adequately feed their families or keep a roof over their heads.

In Detroit, where the price of tap water has soared above the average and many are jobless, the city has cut the water off for thousands of people, mostly black, who can't pay their bills—a move condemned by the United Nations as an international human rights violation.

Hard to believe this is the U.S.A.! In fact, it's what happens when you have a small cadre of multimillionaires deciding the fate of the rest of us—which campaign to back, which legislators to buy, whether or not we'll have health care or keep Social Security, and where the next war will be. Literally life and death decisions, rarely motivated by decency or ethics, but strictly driven by profit.

The result is a wholesale attack on the Commons—to wipe out pension funds, destroy unions, slash public education, and turn everything, even the right to clean water, over to corporations.

And rest assured, if it succeeds in Detroit, it can happen anywhere.

A stellar example of this mentality is Texas' own Greg Abbott, candidate for Governor, and enthusiast for privatizing just about everything, including education. In 2011, Abbott supported cuts to Texas schools by $5.4-billion, resulting in job losses for 12,000 teachers across the state.

As Attorney-General, Abbott ruled to keep confidential the locations of dangerous chemicals, like ammonium nitrate, the stuff that blew up the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, obliterating dozens of homes, a middle school and a fifty-unit apartment complex.

Abbott's campaign receives funding from the billionaire Koch family, which has interests in the chemical-fertilizer industry.

Clearly, the playing field is out of plumb. And it's not apt to change for the better so long as those in power remain virtually indistinguishable from the robber barons they serve.

Nor can we expect much support from the likes of the “Daughters of Revolution” or the Tea Party, those stalwart celebrants of our first war for freedom, who, had they actually been there, likely would not have been throwing tea in Boston Harbor, but would have sided  with the Tories, just as they side with those in power today.

Indeed, there's nothing particularly honorable or noble in polite conformity. It would be hard to name a single positive change in our world achieved by that crowd. Conformists did not cross the color line to occupy lunch counters in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960, nor did they risk their lives registering blacks to vote in Philadelphia, Mississippi in '64. Conformists did not end child labor laws or bring women the right to vote. They had no hand in creating Medicare or Social Security. And just as they were absent in the marches to end the Vietnam War, they're now missing in the struggle to end our current wars, including the latest senseless provocations toward Russia.     

If somehow we manage to get workers unionized, if we succeed in raising pay to a living wage, if we start making corporations pay their fair share, and make college available to all, you can bet it will be the conformists—the power-brokers and their apostles—who will stand in the way, as they always do.

As most revolutions start from below by people without wealth or power, so this one will, too. The Occupy Movement was the beginning. Let the conformists stay home.
 
First published in Fort Worth Weekly.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CHRIS HEDGES AT NYC GAZA RALLY: "GODS COVENANT IN THE PROMISED LAND"

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ISRAEL IGNORES WORLD OPINION, AS IT CONTINUES ITS MASSACRE IN GAZA

AFP Photo/Marco Longari

London's Telegraph has reported that Israel's IDF has killed more children, more than the total of Hamas fighters killed, during the latest outbreak of carnage in Gaza.

Well over 1,000 people have been killed by IDF forces.

The Israelis have bombed hospitals, and paramedics,--and  grade schools,-- even those under the protection of the UN, serving as shelters for civilians. Drones and snipers, tanks, have pushed deep into Gaza, and it is as though the population of Palestinians is being squeezed in a vise. The Israeli government seems incapable of hearing about, or assuming any responsibility for bombing UN monitored facilities, or other civilian structures. They have become deaf to accusations.

There is always cruelty and sadism performed by the occupier over a subject people; and it exists in the hearts of those who cheer and pull up lawn chairs, to watch high explosives turn Palestinians and their dwellings into rubble and blood. Israel's barking voice, Netanyahu, its strange leader, has admitted recently that there will be no two state solution, There was never going to be such an agreement. And really it must be concluded that all Israeli negotiations have been examples of bad faith,--a deception undertaken  in order to steal Palestinian land. It was always about building more settlements for Israelis, while cornering the Palestinians into ghettos, into places where water is scarce, where farmers come under sniper fire as they try to till their land, where fishermen are harassed and bottled up close to shore.

Most Americans are unaware of the harsh and arbitrary limitations placed on foodstuff that is allowed to enter Gaza. Israel puts a stranglehold on the allotted calories that each person is Gaza is expected to consume. They have bragged about putting Palestinians "on a diet". This is no joke. It has been calculated scientifically; and this stingy allotment of nourishment has been coldly calculated.

The worst element of the massacre is that Netanyahu manufactured his obscene case for bombing and ground invasion; and it turns out that he was in too much of a hurry to wait for Israeli police to get to the bottom of the investigation into the killing of the three Israeli teenagers. The fact persists, that Netanyahu manipulated events and prolonged uncertainty about the kidnapped kids, even though he had been informed, privately, that they were killed soon after being taken.

The Israeli leader drove his country into its present tantrum of destruction. And it turns out that political Hamas, the party elected to govern Gaza, was not responsible for the deaths of the Israeli teens.


These events have come to shatter a relatively quiet period in Gaza, that has existed for a while between Hamas and the Israeli authorities. But now, the terrifying destruction of civilians cannot be called war; for it is primarily a slaughter. It is murder. No comparison exists between the arsenal of US arms, that Israel has, and the homemade rockets Hamas uses. What an occupied people has done, is to resist, to face the colonial power that will not allow their underlings any foothold of sovereignty, or any allowance of dignity. Colonial Israel doesn't offer them even second class citizenship; it will only administer the lives of its subjects.

Netanyahu did not let out that the kidnapped teenagers were dead; and he stirred up anxiety and public dread, and used the uncertainty as a pretext to commence attacks on Hamas , in Gaza, on July 1st, before an investigation could have properly identified the perpetrators. And this was prior to the Hamas retaliation, with its rudimentary, unguided rockets.

 Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were killed in a car that was abandoned later by their kidnappers; and their bodies, as reported by The Guardian, were found in a valley near Hebron.
Following the discovery of the bodies the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, blamed Hamas for the murders, warning the militant group will pay a heavy price for the deaths. "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay ... [They] were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts," Netanyahu said in a statement.
 But Netanyahu went with collective guilt, once more,  which he managed to heap upon Hamas and the people of Gaza; and he never intended to rein in the revengeful power he was unleashing. At the funeral of the slain Israeli youths, he cried out, "They sanctify death, we sanctify life...They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength."

But the Prime Minister was painting a target on Gaza again.

But needless to say, the duly elected government in Gaza is not using those whom it serves as human shields; and Palestinians love their children as much as Israelis love their own kids. And yet the corrosive propaganda would have us believing the absurd.  Chris Hedges recently wrote that Israel cannot seem to self-correct:
When all this does not work, when it becomes clear that the Palestinians once again have not become dormant and passive, Israel will take another step, more radical than the last. The “process of destruction” will be stopped only from outside Israel. Israel, captive to the process, is incapable of imposing self-restraint.
When Palestinian leaders reject passivity, and respond as soon as the community is attacked, Netanyahu calls them terrorists.

What kind of terrible judgment  is being enacted when Israel's huge fragmentation bombs obliterate whole families? How will killing four little boys who are playing on the beach,--all of them wiped out by an Israeli airman who takes special care to pick them off, --how will this settle accounts with God? After Israel saturates Gaza with a deluge of blood, how will the garden grow? They are clearly insane if they think the climate will improve.

This kind of behavior is in no way moderated by self-reflection. A different leader with a different mindset, whose goals were really expressions of compassion, could have included some remorse for the tragic killing of the other teenager, 17 year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The Palestinian boy was forced to drink gasoline, and then burned to death, by a couple of Israeli teens, who thought they were exacting revenge for the deaths of young Frankel, Shaar, and Yifrach.

The opportunity was never grasped by Netanyahu (who called the killing of Khdeir "loathsome").  But the Prime Minister was focused on ending a great many Palestinian lives; and he did what he could to whip up the rage of the Israeli public.


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Trembling

by Hilmy Salem

We can resist the sectarian kings
With a single turn in the opposite direction.
But given how nimble we are
The strong ones tremble
Every time two people exchange a smile.
But for those who trade in doubt
Before love, and after it,
Our gift to them: a crutch.


--translated from the Arabic by Dima Hilal and Idra Novey
 






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Monday, June 30, 2014

O SAY CAN YOU SEE BY THE DAWN'S BURLY BLACKWATER?


An article today,  in The Voice Of Russia, points out the inclination of the US administration to abandon any path to improve relations with Russia. The new US candidate for ambassador to that country comes with some interesting diplomatic baggage. John Tefft, now awaiting Moscow's approval, has had previous service as US ambassador to Georgia and Ukraine, when US meddling in the domestic politics of those two countries was at a critical stage.
Though summoned out of retirement, Tefft's diplomatic career is also somewhat interesting. Under Barack Obama's presidency, from 2009 through 2013, he was US Ambassador to Ukraine. Under George W. Bush, from 2005 through 2009 – to Georgia. These two countries have recently signed association agreements with the EU, one of the main points of discord between them and Russia.
Experts unanimously believe the new appointment will bring no improvement to relations with Russia. In fact, Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of comprehensive European and International studies at the Higher School of Economics, says many already call it a new cold war.
"I think that relations are at their lowest point since the end of the cold war. Many observers in the US and Russia are talking about a new cold war," he told Radio VR.
These prior appointments put Tafft on the spot.  During the war started by Georgia's president, Saakashvili, there was a surprise attack against Russian peacekeepers; and Moscow had to swiftly send in its military to thwart the aggression. It was a piece of history that was blacked out, in 2008, and smothered under an avalanche of lies in the mainstream US press and TV.

The news of the past few weeks is astonishing. After a coup in Ukraine was  sponsored and paid for by the US government, in secret, and the payment for its logistics confirmed later, by Victoria Nuland, a high State Department official, we have seen Russia accused of intervening there, though there is no evidence whatsoever of that.  On the contrary, the thugs who have taken the reins in Kiev, have been blasting away with artillery at eastern Ukrainian cities, where people oppose the coup d'etat, and a presidential election that basically reflected only the will of the western region, where the forcible takeover was organized.

There was a public rally in Kiev yesterday, with the Right Sektor, the fascist cadre that spearheaded the seizure of power, crying for the blood of those Ukrainians who oppose the new regime.
The protesters held a “people’s assembly,” during which they warned Poroshenko that “this Sunday campaign may be the last peaceful one,” Itar-Tass reported.

The demonstrators called on the newly-elected president to “listen to the real holder of power – the Ukrainian people.”

They added that if the president didn't “hear [their] demands,” they would “consider him a traitor of the country” and “he will share the same fate as [ousted President Viktor] Yanukovich.”  --RT

The Obama administration has been committing crimes and covering up the wrongdoing with lies and distortions. There is even confusion about who is calling the shots in this Empire run amok. Is it the CIA?--the president?--the State Department?--or the peculiar Hydra-head mercenaries, like Blackwater, operating in Baghdad?

This picked up speed under President G. W. Bush; and the descent of the United States into hell seems to be accelerating. Read the article,

How Blackwater Survived Iraq Probes Of Being "Above The Law" - By Threatening To Kill Investigators
Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, The NY Times reports that the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. However, as James Risen reports, a senior official of the notorious private security firm allegedly threatened to kill a government investigator leading the probe into the firm’s Iraqi operation. Stunningly (or not), the US embassy sided with him and forced the inspector to cut the visit short.
 What the Obama Team has been pushing since they conspired with the British and French to destroy Libya, and then by continuing on against Syria, is the empowerment of extremist Islamic radicals, jihadists--or whomever they find in the rank of mercenaries, to do the dirty work for them. That is to say, to cause the destruction of governments, if not societies; and they don't seem to care if it is one or the other.
 
Now there is the open conspiracy to force NATO into Russia's sensitive borderland, to threaten Russian naval installations in Crimea, to interrupt Russia's commerce and energy trade with Europe,--in other words to screw with that country--while simultaneously vilifying it.

Washington no doubt is inviting a proxy war in Iraq. Look at this new batch of over-ambitious, gleaming, well-provisioned, supremely confident rogues, who are tearing through the Iraqi countryside! There they are: crucifying the "moderate" extremists who were fighting Syria's president, making videos as they execute prisoners in Iraq, driving in long convoys of shiny new Toyota trucks.

I wonder who is paying for all those spiffy uniforms? Obama just recently asked Congress to fork over $500 million for weapons, to be given to the so-called moderates who are attacking Syria. If those weapons end up in the hands of the new killers, the glory-seeking, self-styled rulers of the whole Muslim world, it's probably just another installment on America's extended mercenary army.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

"A BIRD DOESN'T SING BECAUSE IT HAS AN ANSWER, IT SINGS BECAUSE IT HAS A SONG."

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

--Poetry Foundation:
Angelou’s most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), deals with her early years in Long Beach, St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas, where she lived with her brother and paternal grandmother. In one of its most evocative (and controversial) moments, Angelou describes how she was first cuddled then raped by her mother's boyfriend when she was just seven years old. When the man was murdered by her uncles for his crime, Angelou felt responsible, and stopped talking. Angelou remained mute for five years, but developed a love for language. She read black authors like Langston Hughes, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, as well as canonical works by William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe. When Angelou was twelve and a half, Mrs. Flowers, an educated black woman, finally got her to speak again. Mrs. Flowers, as Angelou recalled in her children’s book Mrs. Flowers: A Moment of Friendship (1986), emphasized the importance of the spoken word, explained the nature of and importance of education, and instilled in her a love of poetry. Angelou graduated at the top of her eighth-grade class. 
I once saw Maya Angelou on stage, where she was giving a lecture on poetry and retelling her life experience. She was a fascinating and beautiful person, a unique American poet, linguist, a gifted raconteur, and had a remarkable knowledge and appreciation of history. Her presence before us was quite powerful; and her soul seemed to embrace the whole audience. It is a cherished memory for me.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ARE WORLDS ABOUT TO COLLIDE IN EUROPE AGAIN?... WHO IS THE AGGRESSOR?



That morning they lifted above their heads
what appeared to be a doll in a christening gown
and we stood in the blasted haze waiting for long white
plumes to stanch the fires quickening through
carpets and bedclothes, a tea service, a tender curtain,
and we did not turn away, nor did we photograph the child,
—except at the moment of its being raised—
but later we walked to the Place des Martyrs
where a stillness had been created entirely
by small arms-fire that had blistered walls, blackened shops
and taken from the movie-house all but its blank screen,
where once all manner of figures had shone,
wavering, composed of light through what was
now nothing: a country. Or such was the hope.

--Carolyn Forché,  Place des Martyrs

Tholos now marks an anniversary of eleven years, on the 23rd of April. What counts as the result of our labor, and the labor of others like us, has to be measured in terms of awareness across the realm of readers, and  among the ripples that spread from that awareness.

But the war hysteria and thunder being raised against Russia during this month has gone to the heads of liberal and conservative alike, even beyond the usual circles of corrupt media. Eleven years ago, our attention was focused with horror on George W. Bush, and his invasion of Iraq, in which he often sputtered, and struck his warlike poses, to the praises and exultation of a news media that was eager to join him and play their part. This war on Iraq was not undertaken to go after those responsible for the 9/11 attack;  but went to the wild edge of the furious spectacle, whose primitive, bloody urges, and barren language, worked with its criminal abandon and profane show of force. This was the road to American war crime, to  full-throttled, global war making. The empire can be defined, or described now,  by the curse it leaves on the land: all the lasting bitterness, torments and hatred, scenes of murder, and poisoned land, for which it will be remembered.

Neither Americans, nor anyone else, should ever forget what that debacle was about, because it destroyed the nation that was invaded, and ruined as well, the United States, the nation that committed the crime. Iraq is in ruin, still, and is wracked by political killings, if not smoldering urban war. But the US, too, is become a lean shadow, a long spineless shadow, of what it was when we were growing up. The war of absurd rhetoric on "Terror", and the other war of "Full Spectrum Dominance" (to use the language of empire) are two different things. The first is the silly, cartoon version; and the second is the real state of affairs.

Insane and endless war will bankrupt a nation, and our country is no exception. More dangerous, more desperate and foolhardy gambles, are history's messages, scrawled on the walls by dying empires. The diplomacy of Obama and his Secretary of State, Kerry, has a most terrifying logic: the logic of unrelenting confrontation, the bankrolling of mercenaries, stooges, and extremists of various stripes, in the overthrow of elected and legitimate governments, in bribery and blackmail, and targeted assassinations. And then there is the hallmark of aggression, that leads ominously to war: bad faith in negotiations, and signatures on agreements that are soon disowned by the signers. This bad faith and deception has happened twice in a few weeks.

Coincidence? No way.

History has proceeded so madly during the Bush and Obama years, that in terms of the hell we're in, looking forward and looking back seem almost indistinguishable now. And the lies that have lodged in the mouths of  corrupt leaders and news people, give consent to the architecture of military aggression, which is the central point of the empire. We live in a basically fascist oligarchy, in an airtight surveillance society; and we are practically suffocated during this Ukrainian crisis by the most childish propaganda.

Some fools, such as U.S. Senator John McCain, are saying that we should already be in military conflict with Russia.

When the United States appears with its European sidekicks, small nations start dropping like flies. And nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, in which the US exhausts itself with long military occupations, are not fixed ever, but are left in chaos, and finally just abandoned in the hands of warring militias, or in the care of armed drug cartels, or under the protection of white slavers, --or for instance-- in the case of the coup government in Kiev, under the thumb of fascist street thugs.

 The Obama administration mirrors the interests of the Central Banks and the blood-sucking IMF, that methodically rapes entire nations, with its  debt-schedules and predatory interest rates. But the real muscle behind the shakedown comes along later, when economic sanctions are not persuasive enough.

Of course, economic sanctions in the hands of an American president, adds up to an act of war by itself.

Nothing else is revealed by our exaggerated image of ourselves, except our moral collapse as a society, in our trance-like  fingering and thumbing of the infernal cell phones, as Obama, the president, boasts that our army can lick Russia's army.

It was Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote:
 "Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences."

Americans and Europeans, we are still in the prison of our own device, this empire that is bankrupt now. Where is our sense of humility, in consideration of our nations' crimes? Where is our sense of history as we approach the 100th anniversary of World War One?





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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

copeland morris HORSES WATCH MY DREAMS

 
There were millions of years, at least
Of petite horses, slipping inconspicuously

Beneath primordial fronds, hiding in
The ground cover, peeping from under
Bromeliads, almost as shy as chameleons.
When did their articulate little hooves begin
To thunder?--filling out their long strides?

We inherit some movement known to them,
Their noble way of standing idle, gazing
Into the pasture. Their need to dream exists,
A fragrance of grass on which they feed.
May they watch your dreams, my dear one,
As they have watched mine. And may they ever
Approach your open hands, in peace. 







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Sunday, March 16, 2014

REFERENDUM IN CRIMEA MAKES HISTORY


People sing the Russian national anthem as they celebrate in Simferopol's Lenin Square on March 16, 2014 after exit polls showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

The celebrations were widespread throughout the Crimea today; and despite the claims by nations in Europe, backed  with the threat of consequences to Russia by the US, their spirits were not dampened. They voted for association with the Russian Federation. Those in favor numbered around 93%.

The White House is  scowling today, declaring that a principle of self-determination which is set down in the United Nations Charter should be ignored; and that instead, we are to respect a rump, illegal clique of fascists, who overthrew a legitimate, elected government, in Kiev. But it is madness to satisfy the greedy ends of a small collection of neocons and central bankers. These seem to be the people who are using the military muscle of the US , and presidents, who are nothing but hollow creatures, who will willingly murder anyone and overturn any society, if there is a profit down line for this morally decrepit Empire.

This recent crisis which forced Russia into a defensive position, next to its coastline, and its primary naval defense installation, in the Crimea, is something that concerns the essential Borderland, in Ukraine, that reaches back to the foundational beginnings of Russia, deep into its history. But our public has been told lies about this crisis. Those lies have been told and repeated in almost every major US and European news media. They will tell the people that the coup is not crawling with fascists at all. They don't tell the people about the horrific fascist sympathies embedded in the World War II history of the region of Western Ukraine. American audiences didn't get to hear about how, during the recent coup d'etat,  the sniper shootings of both police and protesters, turned out to be the work of the same snipers.

President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and all the pusillanimous  leaders of the Empire's vassal states, will tell you with one voice, that it's only the Ukrainian Constitution that matters now, without mentioning how those fascist freaks of the Right Sektor and the Svoboda have crashed the party. The United States can now apparently void diplomatic agreements within days after the paper is signed. The February 21st agreement, said that the Ukrainian president would remain in office for an interim period, as those from the Maiden Protest and the opposition were eased into a power-sharing arrangements, pending a scheduled election. All the parties to this document were responsible for its implementation.

But what happened? Ukraine's president had to run for his life, people just came into Parliament, tossing the regulars out of their seats; and in an undignified haste they didn't even follow constitutional procedures for impeachment. When Russia asked the US about its responsibility for seeing that the party in power live up to the agreement, whose ink was still virtually drying, the US position was, "different facts now on the ground, forget it".

One astonishing fact after another came to light. Victoria Nuland (who is married to a bona fide PNAC neocon) and who is, herself, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, has admitted  that $5 billion from our US Government had been the seed money for this "revolution".

And John Kerry rattles on about consequences. There will be consequences for this and that, and consequences over the referendum.

 But there will be no consequences for Russia that will not also land heavily on the backs of Americans and Europeans. And this has been the most desperate overreach and the most wicked foreign policy initiative thus far, by the Obama Administration, one which might have led to the mutual destruction we have always feared, if it had been further bungled.

So all hail the Constitution of a country, the poor Ukraine, whose broken legitimate government, the United States had a big hand in breaking. This is not the first country that has been broken and brought to despotism, chaos, or ruin, by the CIA and those fraudulent NGOs who provide cover for acts of subversion. Nothing Obama or Kerry has done has been for the benefit of Ukraine's people. And people in the US are beginning to wise up. They are not interested in this kind of absurdity any more. All of us who understand are beginning to hate all this hollow military posturing, this repulsive war making, which is ever advanced by the deception of our corrupt President and Secretary of State.

Hooray for the people of the Crimea today! At least they have the freedom of the ballot box, and can decide and celebrate their choice, one at which they have freely arrived.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

copeland morris SWEET RESOLUTION

Repair is going on under moonlight.
But what is the moon?--her holiness now
Linked to imagination? Fireflies flash;
But where is the fine control of my instinct
While this wildfire burns my heart?

From sparks of appreciation, light expands
Upon this moon that has risen at dusk.
From such cold fire comes flame.
She is the bride that holds white roses;
And when she wanes I still see
The dark of her. Forever her precise,
Hurried words, explain the tide going out,
Where I dreamt I knew what peace meant.
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

copeland morris EARLY SNOW

Soon Eurydice, there is early snow,
When the nightingale puts down her head.
Whenever bobbie pins mark the places in Auden,
A suitcase is snapping shut. A taxi signals.

Ribbons of narrow cursive begin to print,
A sleepless cigarette in your other hand,
The snow, my ghostly sense of falling back,
Jumping overgrowth with wheels on my feet.

Later, in your arms, I have dreamed of skating;
And where we turn into autumn, words appear,
A poem beside a sidewalk buried in snow.
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Friday, December 20, 2013

IT'S ALSO A GRAVEYARD SMASH, A CASCADE OF BLOOD, AND EMPTY PLACES AT THE TABLE


If we are not transformed for the better in our hearts, how can all the political theater in the world save us? If we are not able to do better as individuals to prevent the hurt that is being inflicted on helpless humans; then desperate, last ditch appeals to common sense will not be enough to save us, either. For if human beings can not, or will not, prevent the poisoning of their own bodies, the genetic damage being done to their children,...and if people remain apathetic when shown the ruinous and reductive effect of war on their own society; then all that's been shown is a stupid acceptance of war as an integral part of capitalist organization, and the future holds nothing good for any of us.

But a change is coming, whether any of us likes it or not. Even the scandals now, that have taken over the headlines, concerning the unbridled power of the state or empire to spy on everything and everyone, is only a symptom of our dull bondage to the present system. We are collectively the prisoners of a throwaway society, in which human beings are thrown away, in which the rule of law is thrown away, in which decency toward others is increasingly forgotten and discarded.

And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about. --Haruki Murakami

The miracle has happened if you are no longer afraid. And the healing of the world is in your hands.


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Monday, December 09, 2013

NELSON MANDELA, MAY HE REST IN PEACE

 “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
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

 Nelson Mandela opposed racial injustice, apartheid, colonialist, and imperialist power, with his whole being.
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.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY ON FREE INQUIRY AND SECRET SOCIETIES

And there is President Kennedy's important speech about peace:
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

GETTING OFF THE ROAD TO PERDITION,--OR IS THAT FUKUSHIMA?

Each of us is capable of being the weakest or strongest link in this present struggle for our world. At issue, is whether this world's affairs will be arranged on any principles of moral agency and compassion ; or,  if we are so irresponsible, that we will tolerate our own subservience upon a Global Plantation, under an unlimited, and eventually armed surveillance, where everything rests finally on the blood and misery of slaves. And yes, this implies our blood too, our misery. Our slavery.

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.





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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.




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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 JUST DOESN'T GO AWAY

The word about 9/11 is a lot clearer after years of research.
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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)

***

Addendum:

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.




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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NOW THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS DRAWING HELLFIRE

"and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned" (after G. Wood/Yeats), 24″ x 34″, oil on panel, 2013, by anna missed

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,
Musée des Beaux Arts

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
  torturer's horse
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)
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Friday, June 28, 2013

WAS MICHAEL HASTINGS' DEATH IN LOS ANGELES AN ASSASSINATION?

The ancient and tyrannical power, the despotism beginning to take its distinct shape again, depends most of all on a climate of fear, which it hopes to sustain. With the uncertainty and edge of chaos, the psychological element is more suitable to its success than the occasional act of domestic terror. But if it reaches out destructively to kill a persistent journalist, and does so as brazenly as it seems to have done; then we have fallen a long way down, indeed, into the well of fascism.

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.


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UPDATE:  I highly recommend James Corbett's video and commentary, in order that readers here may better put together the information surrounding Michael Hastings' death. 
Crashes of Convenience: Michael Hastings (video)
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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.


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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 two three months already. The latest reports from RT show that the deepest grievance among hunger strikers is mostly in response to the unchanging reality of indefinite detention itself. There is no day in court for these men: no habeas corpus, no trial, no real review of any kind. This treatment amounts to the worst kind of psychological torture.  Those resisting the horrible reality are being force fed right now; and the military, the administration, and our big media have been repeatedly downplaying these events, or not bothering to report at all. Some men whose innocence has even been conceded are still not about to be released. Prolonged incarceration without trial is nothing less than a nightmare.

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...
"Freedom...Freedom"...
"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.




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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.


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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

IT STILL SOUNDS SO BEAUTIFUL AND SAD

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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?



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