Lost in America's Miasmic Electoral Blather: Dances with Mules, Or; They Shoot Elephants, Don't They?

The Greatest Show on Earth: How Billions of Words, Tweets, Insults, and Polls Blot Out Reality in Campaign 2016

by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch

August 7, 2016

Yep, it finally happened. In early May, after a long, long run, the elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were ushered into retirement in Florida where they will finish their days aiding cancer research. The Greatest Show on Earth was done with its pachyderms.

The same might be said about the Republicans after Donald Trump’s version of a GOP convention. Many of them had also been sent, far less gracefully than those circus elephants, into a kind of enforced retirement (without even cancer research as an excuse).

Their former party remained in the none-too-gentle hands of the eternally aggrieved Trump, while the Democrats were left to happily chant “USA! USA!,” march a barking retired four-star general and a former CIA director on stage to invoke the indispensable “greatness” of America, and otherwise exhibit the kind of super-patriotism and worship of the military usually associated with... no question about it... the GOP (whose delegates instead spent their time chanting “lock her up!”).

And that’s just to take the tiniest of peeks at a passing moment in what continues to be, without the slightest doubt, the Greatest Show on Earth in 2016.


Add a comment
Read more ...

Purge Splurge: Erdoğan’s New Turkey

Erdoğan’s Coup: Purging Domestic Critics, Gaining External Allies

by James Petras ICH

August 07, 2016


“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prepared a list of targets for arrest even before the coup (sic) was launched - European Commission official on Turkey (FT 7/19/2016).


For the past decade, the US intelligence agencies operating in Turkey have worked closely with the increasingly influential parallel government of Fethullah Gulen.
Their approach to power was, until recently, a permeationist strategy, of covertly taking over political, economic, administrative, judicial, media, military and cultural positions gradually without resort to elections or military coups. They adopted flexible tactics, supporting and shedding different allies to eliminate rivals.
In 2010 in support of Erdogan, they played a major role in arresting and purging 300 Kemalist – military officials. Subsequently the Gulenists moved to prosecute and weaken the Erdogan regime via revelations of family corruption uncovered by their intelligence officials and publicized by its mass media outlets.
The Gulenists shared several important policies with Washington which favored “the convergence” that led up to the July 15, 2016 coup.


Add a comment
Read more ...

Agrippina on the Potomac: The Mythic Hillary Presidency

The Elective Affinities of Hillary Clinton

by Luciana Bohne - CounterPunch

August 5, 2016


God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. . . . He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples.”
— Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, during
the US annexation of the Philippines, 1898.

A grotesque power-fest at the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia left me feeling about Hillary Clinton the way P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster felt about his Aunt Agatha—“the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth.” There is something disquieting and secretively lascivious about her open-mouthed cackle. She doesn’t so much laugh as lusts.

She reminded me, too, of the mythical basilisk in the bestiary at the convention—the queen among the serpents.

The basilisk of legend, wearing a king’s crown on his head, is only twelve-fingers long, but his venom withers all living plants in his wake. His gaze is enough to kill, according to Pliny the Elder.

Only the droppings of a weasel have the potent odor to kill him, but it didn’t work with this basilisk. Her weasel endorsed her, embraced her, kissed her. His odor and her venom neutralized each other and merged into the unity party of the Serpent and the Weasel.


Add a comment
Read more ...

Hiroshima's Abiding Reckoning

Hiroshima: the Crime That Keeps on Paying, But Beware the Reckoning

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch

August 5, 2016

On his visit to Hiroshima last May, Obama did not, as some had vainly hoped he might, apologize for the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the city. Instead he gave a high-sounding speech against war. He did this as he was waging ongoing drone war against defenseless enemies in faraway countries and approving plans to spend a trillion dollars upgrading the US nuclear arsenal.

An apology would have been as useless as his speech. Empty words don’t change anything. But here was one thing that Obama could have said that would have had a real impact: he could have told the truth.

He could have said:


“The atom bombs were not dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘to save lives by ending the war’. That was an official lie. The bombs were dropped to see how they worked and to show the world that the United States possessed unlimited destructive power.”

There was no chance that Obama would say that. Officially, the bombing “saved lives” and therefore, it was worth it. Like the Vietnamese villages we destroyed in order to save them, like the countless Iraqi children who died as a result of US sanctions, the hundreds of thousands of agonizing women and children in two Japanese cities remain on the debit side of the United States accounts with humanity, unpaid and unpunished.


Add a comment
Read more ...

'The Coming War on China': Scanning the Horizon with John Pilger

A Preview of The Coming War on China: Noted journalist John Pilger talks about China, Okinawa, and U.S. policy in Asia

by Maki Sunagawa and Daniel Broudy -  "Information Clearing House" - "FPIF"

August 04, 2016

Pilger Coming WarJohn Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, documentary filmmaker and author. He has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism. His films have won television academy awards in Britain and the US. Two of his films, on Cambodia and East Timor, are rated with the most important of the 20th century. The Coming War on China is his 60th film.

-Daniel Broudy: You’re now finishing up work on your latest project the title of which, it seems, can also trigger feelings of considerable dread. The Coming War, maybe you’d agree, is pretty heavy. Can you describe the impetus for this particular look at world events, especially as you see them unfolding in East Asia?

John Pilger: The film picks up the theme of much of my work. It will set out to explain how great power imposes itself on people and disguises itself and the dangers it beckons. This film is about the United States—no longer sure of its dominance—rekindling the Cold War. The Cold War has been started again on two fronts—against Russia and against China. I’m concentrating on China in a film about the Asia-Pacific. It’s set in the Marshall Islands where the United States exploded 67 atomic bombs, nuclear weapons, between 1946 and 1958, leaving that part of the world gravely damaged—in human and environmental terms. And this assault on the Marshalls goes on. On the largest island, Kwajalein, there is an important and secretive US base called the Ronald Reagan Test Facility, which was established in the 1960s—as the archive we’re using makes clear—“to combat the threat from China.”


Add a comment
Read more ...

Going After "Israel's" Palestinians

Palestinians inside Israel are under attack 

by Jonathan Cook  - The National

1 August 2016


Was it meant as an epic parody or an insult to his audience’s intelligence? It was hard to tell. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to social media to apologise for last year’s notorious election-day comment, when he warned that “the Arabs are coming out to vote in droves” – a reference to the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian.


In videos released last week in English and Hebrew, Mr Netanyahu urged Palestinian citizens to become more active in public life. They needed to “work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,” he said. “I am proud of the role Arabs play in Israel’s success”. Pointedly, Ayman Odeh, head of the Palestinian-dominated Joint List party, noted that 100,000 Bedouin citizens could not watch the video because Israel denies their communities electricity, internet connections and all other services.


Swiftly and predictably, the reality of life for Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinians upstaged Mr Netanyahu’s fine words. In a radio interview, Moti Dotan, the head of the Lower Galilee regional council, sent a message to his Palestinian neighbours:


“I don’t want them at my [swimming] pools.”
Sounding like a mayor in the southern United States during the Jim Crow-era, he added: “Their culture of cleanliness isn’t the same as ours. Why is that racist?”
Add a comment
Read more ...

Orwell Is the Order of the Day in Occupied Palestine

In news of the Orwellian world we live in

by Mazin Qumsiyeh - qumsiyeh.org

August 4, 2016

But how do we keep sanity?

The key is to focus on the positive locally. Think globally and act locally is still good wisdom.

For every person who sells his soul to the devil, there is a person acting in good conscience to help make this a better world. For every person who is corrupt, there is a person working hard with good work ethics. For every free loader, there is a volunteer. For every dishonesty there is someone honest who calls it out.

I know because I interact with dozens of people daily of different backgrounds. 


Add a comment

Read more ...

If Russia Didn't Do It, Who Leaked Hill's E-Mails? Who Cares!

Who Leaked the Damning DNC Emails? What Difference Does It Make?

by Gary Leupp - CounterPunch

August 2, 2016

The Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz in fact served as the Hillary Clinton Coronation Organizing Committee, operating, step by step, to ensure that the front-runner would become the party’s nominee.
Some of us assumed all along that it was all preprogrammed. But then, on the eve of the coronation itself, leaked emails revealed to everyone that, indeed, top DNC officials conspired to defeat the Sanders campaign.
Just as the party leaders were lavishing praise on Sanders for bringing in so many new, enthusiastic activists—and stressing how close Clinton and Sanders have become programmatically—somebody released these emails that cannot but arouse further indignation among Sanders’ supporters (among others, who care about fairness).
How do the party leaders caught with their pants down respond? Not even bothering to pull them up, they point a finger. Russia hacked us. Putin is trying to influence the U.S. election in favor of Trump.



Add a comment
Read more ...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Terry Wolfwood, Susanne Hare, Janine Bandcroft Aug. 3, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

August 3, 2016


Congratulations contemporaries for having the good fortune to be living in a time of renaissance. To be sure, the World's a marvelous place, and this an astonishing time to be a part of it, no matter how passingly.

But, with great Yin comes more than a little Yang.

Just as we witness, almost daily it seems, the miracles of technological developments that edify and enhance human existence, there is too another side to our Janus-faced modern reality. As the new century dawned it brought with it the notion of 'Nuclear Renaissance.'

It was the hope of the atomics industry to inter past disasters like Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island, and to bury forever the terrifying collective memories of our lives lived at three minutes to midnight during the long Cold War. And of course, obliterate from history the twin atrocity of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Listen. Hear.

Long-time Victoria-based activist and organizer, and local coordinator for Victoria's Women in Black, Terry Wolfwood will, with the Women in Black, be at Victoria's Inner Harbour this week, standing determined vigil in remembrance of the August 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Terry is also the Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation, and her articles on peace and social justice are featured in Briarpatch, Peace News, and Third World Resurgence among other places.

Terry Wolfwood in the first half.

And; from Black Rain to the lack of same; the West Coast of Vancouver Island, renowned for its massive annual rainfall, is parched. Following last year's drought, and prior years seeing a diminishing rainfall pattern, the land is beginning to show signs of distress.

Susanne Hare is a long-time resident of the island's wild west coast. The Wickaninnish Island-based artist, environmental activist, and former co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Network has been at the heart of the battles to save Meares Island and Clayoquot Sound from clear-cut logging, fish farming, and a mining industry determined to level mountains if needs be to get at the gold they believe lies beneath the forests of the international recognized UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 

And now, as the sky will not rain, the ecological threat posed by continuing business as usual in the rainforest is greater than ever. Of the persisting clear-cuts, Hare says, "This logging and removal of the blue print of the forest that was inherited by all should be considered a crime against the planet and future generations."

Susanne Hare and threats old and new in and around Clayoquot in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things planned for the streets of our city and beyond in the coming week. But first, Terry Wolfwood and bringing an end to an unthinkable nuclear future by remembering our atomic past.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
Add a comment
Read more ...

Toys in the Attic: Homicidal Playthings and the Children Who Learn with Them

“Pow, Pow, Yous Are Dead!” Children, Toy Guns, and the Real Thing
by Frida Berrigan - TomDispatch
July 30, 2016
It was a beautiful evening and the kids -- Madeline, two; Seamus, almost four; and Rosena, nine -- were running across a well-tended town green. Seamus pointed his rainbow flag with the feather handle at his sisters and “pow-powed” them, calling out, “Yous are dead now, guys. I shot yous.”

Madeline and Rosena laughed and just kept on running, with Seamus at their heels. I hid my face in my hands. It wasn’t just that he was playing guns, but that he was using a Pride flag as his gun at a vigil to mourn those killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. My pacifist husband Patrick ran to redirect their activities, replacing the flag with a ball and glove and beginning a game of catch.

Vigil organizers were taking turns reading the names of those killed into a microphone.

“... Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Luis S. Vielma, 22...”
Add a comment
Read more ...

Good Governor Pence's Bad Example: Vote Suppression in Black and White

Mike Pence walks 10 Nuns out of the Voting Booth

by Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein for Reader Supported News

July 30, 2016

Mike Pence is the poster boy for voter ID laws. No one has benefited more from this legalized form of vote theft than the Republican nominee for VP.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last Wednesday, Pence said he “wants every American to succeed and prosper” — however he certainly doesn’t want every American to vote. Indeed it was thanks to Indiana’s voter ID laws — the first of their kind in the nation — that he squeaked into the governor’s office.

These seemingly benign laws, requiring voters to show approved photo ID, have a sinister and very deliberate effect: they suppress black, brown, young, old, poor — and, above all, blue votes.

In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein gets the lowdown on the sleazy practice of vote-rigging-by-ID-law from political hanky-panky expert Greg Palast. They also discuss how these racist-by-design laws tap dance around voting rights and discrimination protections, and could ultimately help Pence and Trump waltz into the White House.

Add a comment

Read more ...

Building Myths for the New Cold War

Rep. Rick Larsen Bases Russia Policy on Myths

by David Swanson - Let's Try Democracy

July 24, 2016

Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and an occasional writer at Consortiumnews.com which has covered recent U.S. propaganda re Russia as well as any media outlet out there.
Murray has recently returned from a trip to Russia organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives which has resumed the sort of U.S.-Russia cultural exchanges that it organized during a previous peak in the cold war.
Murray was invited by Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR) to attend and speak at a small meeting in Everett, Washington, with Congressman Rick Larsen on Friday, July 22nd. Here is an account from Murray of how it went.


Add a comment

Read more ...

Page 6 of 1210