Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Iran Didn’t Create ISIS; We Did


Keynes is dead; long live Marx By Ismael Hossein-Zadeh

Many liberal economists envisioned a new dawn of Keynesianism in the 2008 financial meltdown. Nearly six years later, it is clear that the much-hoped-for Keynesian prescriptions are completely ignored. Why? Keynesian economists' answer: "neoliberal ideology," which they trace back to President Reagan. 

This study argues, by contrast, that the transition from Keynesian to neoliberal economics has much deeper roots than pure ideology; that the transition started long before Reagan was elected President; that the Keynesian reliance on the ability of the government to re-regulate and revive the economy through policies of demand management rests on a hopeful perception that the state can control capitalism; and that, contrary to such wishful

perceptions, public policies are more than simply administrative or technical matters of choice - more importantly, they are class policies. 

The study further argues that the Marxian theory of unemployment, based on his theory of the reserve army of labor, provides a much robust explanation of the protracted high levels of unemployment than the Keynesian view, which attributes the plague of unemployment to the "misguided policies of neoliberalism." Likewise, the Marxian theory of subsistence or near-poverty wages provides a more cogent account of how or why such poverty levels of wages, as well as a generalized predominance of misery, can go hand-in-hand with high levels of profits and concentrated wealth than the Keynesian perceptions, which view high levels of employment and wages as necessary conditions for an expansionary economic cycle. [1] 

Deeper than 'Neoliberal ideology'
The questioning and the gradual abandonment of the Keynesian demand management strategies took place not simply because of purely ideological proclivities of "right-wing" Republicans or the personal preferences of Ronald Reagan, as many liberal and radical economists argue, but because of actual structural changes in economic or market conditions, both nationally and internationally. New Deal- Social Democratic policies were pursued in the aftermath of the Great Depression as long as the politically-awakened workers and other grassroots, as well as the favorable economic conditions of the time, rendered such policies effective. Those favorable conditions included the need to invest in and rebuild the devastated post-war economies around the world, the nearly unlimited demand for US manufactures, both at home and abroad, and the lack of competition for both US capital and labor. 

Colonization by Bankruptcy: The High-stakes Chess Match for Argentina by Ellen Brown


Walt Whitman’s Secret History as a Barfly


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our Journey: This Pale Blue Dot In The Cosmos

We came to this pale blue dot as a speck of dust from the cosmos.

We will depart this pale blue dot as a speck of dust, and return back to the cosmos.

As they say " it is not the destination that matters.
Rather, it is the journey that matters ".

Have a safe and pleasant journey. 

Tao Dao Man.

You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia


Obama On Etiquette

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

US military destroys hypersonic weapon built 'to hit any target on Earth within one hour' – 4 seconds into test launch

The test in Alaska in the early hours of Monday morning was aborted after controllers detected a problem with the system, the Pentagon said, and the launcher is believed to have detonated before the missile was deployed.
Witnesses watched the rocket lift off at around 12.30am local time, before quickly turning nose-down and exploding, KMXT radio reported. Read More

Solar Flare 24th August

France's political crisis as Hollande plans new cabinet

France's political crisis as Hollande plans new cabinet - Channel 4 News
Hollande's government looks set to topple as French media are laughing at him in the latest of a line of debacles.

France's President Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls are due to unveil a new cabinet on Tuesday, which will make its debut just a few weeks ahead of tough negotiations at home and with EU peers on a 2015 budget widely seen breaking promises to Brussels over deficit cuts.
The reshuffle is the latest episode in a debate in Europe about how much budgets can be cut to reduce debt while the region's economies are still recovering from financial crises.

Libya's Descent Into Chaos

Monday, August 25, 2014

How the web lost its way – and its founding principles

How the web lost its way – and its founding principles | Technology | The Guardian
"There is some sense in which the internet is in danger of not meeting its potential," says Leadbeater, "the promise that was there in the mid-2000s, which was about collaborating to create better ways to do things." That promise was something Leadbeater and other Pollyanna-ish proselytisers for the web only a few years ago believed would be realised. In 2008, he published a book called We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production; at the same time in the US, fellow web evangelist Clay Shirky published Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. Both stressed the internet's genesis in 60s counterculture and its historic ethos of sticking it to the Man. Both revelled in the fact that new web-based social tools helped single mothers looking online for social networks or pro-democracy campaigners in Belarus. When I reviewed these books for the Guardianat the time, I worried that neither sufficiently realised that these tools and this rhetoric could just as readily be co-opted by the Man (by which I meant profit-based organisations and overbearing governments). But arguably that is precisely what has been happening in the intervening period.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

US Foreign Policy - The Chaos Spreads

There is now so much anarchy in the countries where America has 'intervened' that it is hard to keep up with the disastrous developments. Remember Libya?
Militants take control of Tripoli international... by euronews-en

Friday, August 22, 2014

​Iraq – a crisis for the Western elites? Or is it all going to plan? by Neil Clark

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014 (Reuters / Stringer)
A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014 (Reuters / Stringer)
It has all turned out rather differently from how those very distinguished neocon “experts”’ told us it would, hasn’t it?

In the lead-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003, we were assured “regime change” would lead to peace and stability and be good news for the whole region. The war on terror would be won, if only that great monster Saddam- with his world-threatening weapons of mass destruction- was removed from power. When asked by an interviewer: “If we go into Iraq and we take down Hussein?” the chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle replied: “Then I think it's over for the terrorists.”
“I have certainly made up my mind, as indeed any sensible person would, that the region in the world, most of all the people of Iraq, would be in a far better position without Saddam Hussein,” said Tony Blair.

The Ghost of Tom Joad Goes To Ferguson

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Open Letter to Israel’s Supporters: Where Do You Draw the Line Between 'Defense' and Atrocities?

Dear U.S. supporters of Israel in Gaza:
If you believed the IDF could destroy Hamas by employing portable gas chambers or chemical weapons to publicly gas over 1,400 Gazan civilians, including 400 children, chosen at random, would you favor doing so? I guess not. Perhaps you even feel insulted at the suggestion that you might. But this raises a basic question: if you would not favor gassing Palestinan civilians, how do you justify your support for blowing them to bits?
The controversial issue is not Israel trying to destroy Hamas tunnels. Nor is it the attempt to destroy rockets, as if the Israelis can claim that they reasonably suspected the 46-48,000 U.N.-estimated buildings they either partially or totally destroyed contained rockets. Nor is it rightfully condemning Hamas for rocketing civilian targets as well. As even long-term apologists for Israeli violence like the New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier acknowledge[3], the issue is massive Israeli bombing and shelling of the civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which is wholly disproportionate to combatting tunnels and/or rockets.
This raises the basic question: as a human being, where do you draw the line? How do you justify your support for mass misery inflicted on hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians? The bombing and shelling campaign, whatever its stated intent, has not only murdered 1,400 civilians and maimed thousands more, but destroyed hospitals, schools, businesses, and Gaza’s only power station, plunging 1.8 million Gazans into darkness and depriving them even of drinking water, created over 400,000 refugees, and traumatized a U.N.-estimated 373,000 children. Your own integrity requires that you at least acknowledge the facts rather than, as so many of Israel’s supporters do, accept at face-value Israeli claims that it sought to avoid civilian destruction.
I answered such questions for myself 45 years ago, when I discovered that civilians were well over 90% of the victims of U.S. leaders’ mass bombing of northern Laos. I concluded then that there is never any moral or legal justification for mass bombing or shelling of civilians. Period. 
The World Can’t Wait website has just posted a PowerPoint presentation on the years-long bombing of northern Laos, [4] perhaps the worst unknown crime of the 20th century. It combines an analysis of automated war, the writings of the rice farmers who suffered most and were heard from least, and my personal story in discovering  and trying to expose it to the world. A Lao mother summed up the nature of mass bombing of civilians for all time: “There was danger as the sound of airplanes led me to be terribly, terribly afraid of dying. When looking at the faces of my children who were losing the so very precious happiness of childhood I would grow in­creasingly miserable. In reality, whatever happens, it is the innocent who suffer.”
The question of protecting civilians in wartime far transcends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it is a basic measurement of the progress of human civilization. Not only Israel’s humanity, but yours is at stake in your support for Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza.
There are two basic questions regarding warfare: 1) whether a given war is considered legitimate, e.g. whether it is “aggressive war”; and 2) how civilians are treated once a war is launched. These are two distinct questions—even if you consider a given war legitimate there is no moral or legal justification for waging it in a way that mainly murders and maims civilians.
The evolution of international law on  this question,  beginning with the 1907 Hague Convention, has been slow and painful. But it is today unequivocal: waging war in a way that results primarily in civilian deaths and damage is a punishable war crime. Article 85 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions states categorically that “the following acts shall be regarded as grave breaches of this Protocol… launching an indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population or civilian objects in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects.”
That is a precise description of Israeli bombing and shelling in Gaza.
Israel claims it is justified in maiming and murdering civilians because Hamas is using them as “human shields.” But there is always a military and political rationale for bombing civilians. In Laos, Deputy CIA Director James Lilley explained that though North Vietnamese soldiers were not in the villages, they would hide there if the U.S. didn’t bomb civilians. Prime Minister Nethanyahu offers a similar rationale for mass civilian murder today.
Other rationales include hoping that mass murder of civilians will turn the population against their leaders, as when former Israeli General Amos Yadlin stated in the N.Y. Times that Israel must bomb partly so that “Gaza’s people (are) given the chance to elect new leaders." As the U.S. Senate Refugee Subcommittee concluded after visiting Laos, the bombing’s purpose was to hurt the enemy by destroying its "social and economic infrastructure.” This was also General Curtis Lemay’s basic rationale for burning alive over 100,000 Japanese civilians in the firebombing of Tokyo on March 9, 1945, an act for which Lemay acknowledged at the time, and his assistant Robert McNamara later also admitted, was a war crime. (See Note 1 below.)
It is precisely because there is always a rationale for bombing civilians that the progress of human civilization is largely measured by the extent to which civilians are protected in times of war from indiscriminate bombing and shelling, and that those who violate these rules are prosecuted for crimes of war. Protecting civilians against indiscriminate murder is not only a question of war. It is a measure of your own humanity.
Civilian Impact of Israel’s 2014 Attack on Gaza
CIVILIAN DEAD AND WOUNDED: A U.N.-estimated 1396 Palestinian civilians killed including  222 women and 418 children, thousands more wounded. (Source: [5]Information Management Unit in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, from “Month-long War in Gaza Has Left a Humanitarian and Environmental Crisis,” Washington Post. August 6, 2014)
CHILDREN: “Pernille Ironside, who runs the UNICEF field office in Gaza, said the agency estimates that roughly 373,000 Palestinian children have had some kind of direct traumatic experience as a result of the attack and will require immediate psycho-social support … (She) added that she's seen ‘children coming out of these shelters with scabies, lice, all kinds of communicable diseases.’” (Source:[6] “Amid Gaza's Ruins, Impact on Children Most 'Severe': UN Official”, Common Dreams, August 6, 2014)
ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE: “175 of Gaza’s most successful industrial plants had also taken devastating hits, plunging an already despairing economy into a deeper abyss” (Source: [7] “Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll”, NY Times, August 6, 2014)
MOSQUES, FARMING, INDUSTRY: “As many as 80 mosques have been damaged or destroyed. Many farming areas and industrial zones, filled with the small manufacturing plants and factories that anchored Gaza’s economy, are now wastelands.” (Source: [5] “Month-long War in Gaza Has Left a Humanitarian and Environmental Crisis,” Washington Post. August 6, 2014)
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: Oxfam said: “We’re working in an environment with a completely destroyed water infrastructure that prevents people in Gaza from cooking, flushing toilets or washing [their] hands.” (Source: [8]“Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power,” The Independent, August 5, 2014)
400,000 REFUGEES, 46-48,000 HOMES: “Frode Mauring, the UN  Development Programme’s special representative said that with 16-18,000 homes totally destroyed and another 30,000 partially damaged, and 400,000 internally displaced people, ‘the current situation for Gaza is devastating.’” (Source: [8] “Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power”, The Independent, August 5, 2014)
ELECTRICITY: “Mr Mauring said that the bombing of Gaza’s only power station and the collapse  at least six of the 10 power lines from Israel, had ‘huge development and humanitarian consequences’ (Source: [8]“Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power,” The Independent, August 5, 2014)
SCHOOLS, REFUGEE CENTERS: “United Nations officials accused Israel of violating international law after artillery shells slammed into a school overflowing with evacuees Wednesday … The building was the sixth U.N. school in the Gaza Strip to be rocked by explosions during the conflict. (Source: [9] “U.N. Says Israel Violated International Law, After Shells Hit School In Gaza”, Washington Post, July 30, 2014)
HOSPITALS: “Israeli forces fired a tank shell at a hospital in Gaza on Monday … It was the third hospital Israel's military has struck since launching a ground offensive in Gaza last week.” (Source: [10] “Another Gaza Hospital Hit by Israeli Strike,” NBC News, July 21, 2014)
HOSPITALS, HEALTH WORKERS: “There has been mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza … Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International (said) ‘the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes.’” (Source: [11] “Mounting Evidence Of Deliberate Attacks On Gaza Health Workers By Israeli Army,” Amnesty International, August 7, 2014)
1. Robert McNamara, from the Errol Morris filmFog of War [12]: "LeMay said, ‘If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.’ And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?"

Full text of the last email the Islamic State sent to the Foley family


Foley worked for the Global Post that is showing this email

IMHO this email was written by a Westerner.

The killer on the (Saudi) king's highway By Pepe Escobar

I still want to know where they got these trucks? ¿

There's danger on the edge of town
Ride the king's highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
The DoorsThe End
The killer awoke before dawn. He put his American desert boots on. He took a knife from the ancient gallery. And he walked on down the hall - bathed in desert sunlight. 

The killer spoke with a British accent (London's East End?) Father (Saud), I want to kill you. Mother (Langley?) I want to... 

yeeeaaahh, c'mon! 

Then the sartorially composed Man in Black beheaded American photojournalist James Foley. 

This is not the end, beautiful friend. It's just a new beginning in the never-ending Global War on Terror. Now starring Papa Saud's brand new bag - The Caliph and his goons. This is the way Shock and Awe morphs into "Assad must go" morphs into Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, morphs into The Caliph's Black Britannia goon responding to "humanitarian" bombing. I'm my own baby now. Watch me work. Bring it on.

Choice scenery. Good sound and vision production values. Careful editing. No unnecessary gore. No blood splattering. NoAllahu Akbar shrieks. "A Message to America", indeed - but most of all a message to the Ummah. As in we're the Men in Black badasses. We run The Caliphate. We're no mere death cult; we're winners. And we take no prisoners. 

And why did Islamic State, formerly ISIS, become winners? Because the "West" regimented, schooled, trained, logistically helped and weaponized most of IS's Takfiri goons with a mission at hand: to destroy Syria. The "West" lauded them as "Syrian rebels". Freedom fighters. 

Washington even promoted Jabhat al-Nusra (the official al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, and a "terrorist organization", according to the State Department) as "good" jihadis, as well as the preferred Saudi combo, the Islamic Front. 

No wonder after photojournalist James Foley was kidnapped in November 2012 the Washington-sanctioned version was that he was being kept by "Assad must go" forces in a prison near Damascus. 

Slouching towards Mecca 
The House of Saud, directly and indirectly, and the proverbial wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council donors are the Mom and Dad of ISIS. All duly vetted/approved by the industrial-military-Orwellian-Panopticon complex.


Who Is Angelo Mozilo? Former Countrywide Exec To Face Civil Case Amid Bank Of America Settlement

Angelo Mozilo
Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder and then-CEO Angelo Mozilo is sworn in to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 7, 2008. Reuters

Federal prosecutors are poised to pursue a civil case against Angelo Mozilo, the disgraced Countrywide Financial co-founder, according to multiple sources. Mozilo is widely regarded as the archetype of the corporate misbehavior that led to the 2008 U.S. financial crisis.

I remember him being interviewed saying that this will be the first time that housing will take America into a recession.
He and his fellow travelers knew exactly what they were doing.
They were financially raping and pillaging the home buyers.
Imprisonment is the only just punishment, not a token fine.
Their families should all live on skid row for the rest of their lives.
Millions of lives were ruined due to their greed and thievery.
Others have gone to jail for much less.
Why shouldn't he and his gang of criminals?
Tao Dao Man

Why Washington's War on Terror Failed: The Underrated Saudi Connection

Why Washington's War on Terror Failed: The Underrated Saudi Connection

So Many Wars. Obama Interested In Winning The Ratings War

Is the United States About to Ramp Up Its Fight Against ISIS? 
After the president’s speech Wednesday U.S. officials revealed that special operations forces conducted a secret rescue operation earlier this summer in a failed bid to free Foley and other American hostages held by ISIS. In a statement Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the mission “was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."
The president, who came to office on a pledge to pull troops out of Iraq, has avoided signaling any renewed military commitment in the country. But the reality in Iraq has never entirely matched the official rhetoric, and while it is apparent the president has no interest in signing on to an open-ended mission, military officials have suggested that current operations could be enlarged.

The F-35 vs. The VHF Threat


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Soviet-era Tesla Tower restarted with spectacular lightning bolts (VIDEO)


The Liberal Zionist Dilemma

Several decades ago, liberal Jews and African-Americans were at the forefront for the U.S. fight for civil rights, but the demands from Israel for Jews to support Zionism to the detriment of Palestinian rights created a rift that grows wider even today, as Lawrence Davidson explains.
By Lawrence Davidson

Former Marine Explains Ferguson Cops' Arsenal

A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson | The Nation 

What we’re seeing here is a gaggle of cops wearing more elite killing gear than your average squad leader leading a foot patrol through the most hostile sands or hills of Afghanistan. They are equipped with Kevlar helmets, assault-friendly gas masks, combat gloves and knee pads (all four of them), woodland Marine Pattern utility trousers, tactical body armor vests, about 120 to 180 rounds for each shooter, semiautomatic pistols attached to their thighs, disposable handcuff restraints hanging from their vests, close-quarter-battle receivers for their M4 carbine rifles and Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights. In other words, they’re itching for a fight. A big one. It’s a well-known horror that the US military greets foreign peoples in this fashion as our politicians preach freedom, democracy and peace. It’s an abomination that the police greet black communities in the States with the same trigger-happy posture. Especially on the occasion of an unarmed teen’s death by cop.

To Serve, Occupy and Repress

Police in Ferguson. Evening of August 19th.
These people thought a man with a knife near Ferguson was a 'threat to their safety'. The phrase 'bringing a knife to a gunfight' springs to mind. Although this seems to be bringing a knife to a war-zone more accurately. The victim, a still-unnamed black man, is dead now. Along with a few myths about the American dream, peace and security. Those of us resident outside the US worry that America still thinks it has some cultural values that it can export to the wider world. Iraq? Afghanistan? Syria? Libya? Yemen? Palestine? Thanks anyway. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Iraq Then and Now

Let's not forget where the current Iraq disaster came from. The figure for civilian casualties is very conservative. Just like the liar in the pic. Fox, CNN, CBS etc. still wheel him out as an 'authority'.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Here's how much aid the US wants to send foreign countries in 2015, and why (INFOGRAPHIC)


As Radioactive Water Accumulates, TEPCO Eyes Pacific Ocean As Dumping Ground

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the embattled owner of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors, has said it is running out of space to store water contaminated with radioactive materials and is proposing to treat the water and dump it in the Pacific Ocean.


US demands Israeli release of American teen


The rogue apartheid state of Israel can no longer be asked. They must be told.
They are the persecuted that have become the persecutors.
Their war crimes against humanity can no longer be ignored nor tolerated.
Tao Dao Man

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This Was One of the Little-Recognized Causes of the Civil War

I remember reading many years ago W. E. B. Du Bois’s complaint that Americans knew far too little of the decisive role blacks played in winning their freedom.  He pointed specifically to a biography of Ulysses S. Grant in which the author, W. E. Woodward, wrote of African Americans as “the only people in the history of the world . . . that ever became free without any effort of their own. . . . They twanged banjos around the railroad stations, sang melodious spirituals, and believed that some Yankee would soon come along and give each of them forty acres of land and a mule.”  I was in graduate school at the time and congratulated myself on knowing better – that blacks had served in the Union army.  But that was about all I knew of it. As the proud holder of a college degree in history, I thought that was just about all I needed to know.  There are none so ignorant as the educated ignorant. - See more at:


Germany Spied on Clinton and Kerry

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams:To Know the Darkness and the Light

To Know the Darkness and the Light

Ye must welcome the phantoms that scream through the night

Take heed to the visions and presences bright
Lest ye waste up your life with the weight of street
In fear of the banshees ye'd happen to meet...
- "Jo'rneyman's Song," Barleyjuice
I know about the darkness. I have seen it, smelled it, tasted it. I have felt it invade me through my pores, had it envelop and encompass every river and sea and valley of me. I have been staggered as it conquers and pillages me, I have choked on the soot of its burning, and I have wept tears of ash as the hoofbeats of its raiders tear my soil and thunder up the road to batter down my gates.
There is that. There is also this:
The wind in the trees. The sun on my skin. The taste of rain. The morning light dappling the ripples on the pond. The swell and crescendo of music. The caress of a lover. The coo of a child. A long embrace. A turn of phrase, a rhyme of verse, a finely-told joke. The taste of chocolate, or whiskey, or wine. The way wildflowers look in Spring, and the leaves in Autumn, the low susurration of snow in Winter, and the cobalt blue aftermath of sunset on Summer nights.
All of these, and so much more, and everything, are electric to me. For as long as I have had memory, the world around me and within me has left me gasping in a way that beggars the word "overwhelmed." I am in a state of perpetual astonishment, because I am wired that way. I came into this world a human tuning fork, humming with the tones surrounding me entirely against my will. I cannot stop it, and would not if given the chance. Mine is wonder, and awe, and I am overtaken by it, as if the air itself is transformed into high waves breaking on the beach. I drown daily, hourly, in minutes and in seconds, I drown in moments, and smile as I sink, because it is beautiful beyond words and space and time.
There is, however, a price. That price is the darkness, bleak and cold and forbidding, and I must make room for it as I also make room for the astonishment, because it comes relentless, remorseless, and it will have its way. When it comes to hold court - and it always comes, and always will - I cling to what is simple and good in this incredibly strange life I have been gifted to live. I hold tight the basics - my wife, my daughter, my family, my friends - and furiously remember that this, too, shall pass. It always does, I tell myself.
It always has, so far.
Such is the bewilderment of bipolar depression. It is both reaper and reaver, a joyful destroyer, a Technicolor wrecking ball. With one supple hand it gives you the whole wide world that thrums against every nerve and fiber of your being, the world like diamonds dropped on a gilded plate. The other hand is a taloned fist, crusted with old blisters and older blood, and that hand takes. And takes. And takes.
Balance is all. You come to see your life as a long sine wave, all valleys and peaks, which are to be ridden out. Chronic depression has a dreadful way of transforming you into a demented walking contradiction, a deeply empathetic narcissist, at once all-embracing and self-absorbed. You are a thunderstorm, beautiful and terrible, bringing rain to cleanse and restore along with wind and lightning to destroy and scorch. You ride it out. You tame yourself. You learn. You endure.
Most of the time.

Bombing the Caliphate

Bombing the Caliphate

Ottoman soldiers march through Iraq in 1915, the last time the country was ruled by an organized caliphate. By intervening in Iraq now, the U.S. could be unifying ISIS’ nascent caliphate just as internal divisions were starting to pull it apart. (Photo: Ottoman Imperial Archives / Flickr)
The last Islamic caliphate ended in 1924. Claimed by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the caliphate saw its fortunes rise and fall with those of its imperial protectors.
When the Ottoman Empire expired at the end of World War I, the caliphate’s days were numbered. Never recognized in far-flung areas like Somalia or Malaysia or by the Shi’a and other minority communities, the Sunni caliphate didn’t represent the entire Muslim world any more than the Vatican spoke for all Christians. But it had great symbolic value, promising a kind of universal Muslim order that fused the religious and political spheres.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BRICS are drifting away from US and European monetary structures


Top 10 Reasons to Hate Capitalism

Top 10 Reasons to Hate Capitalism » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

US airstrikes counterproductive in Yemen, Iraq

US airstrikes counterproductive in Yemen, Iraq | 
Abdul Salam Muhammad, head of ABAAD center for strategic studies, said the United States does not want to help the governments in Iraq and Yemen and airstrikes either by jet fighters or drones aimed to keep its influence and protect U.S. investments in the two countries.
Persistent violence in Iraq and the dominance of IS remains a direct result of the U.S. policies in this country which led the 2003 invasion on false grounds, he said, while adding that the problem of the U.S. drones is not only restricted to killing innocents but also violating Yemen's airspace.
"One of the most important effects of the drones is that the United States does not sincerely help countries where it sends its drones but focuses on possible dangers threatening its own security," Muhammad said.

Quiz: Who Said This? Hillary Clinton or Benjamin Netanyahu?

Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
Leave your scores in the comment section:
1) “Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command-and-control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.”
2) “Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets.”
3) On civilian casualties in Gaza: “That doesn’t mean, just as the United States [tries to] be as careful as possible in going after targets to avoid civilians, that there aren’t mistakes that are made. We’ve made them. I don’t know a nation, no matter what its values are — and I think that democratic nations have demonstrably better values in a conflict position — that hasn’t made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas.”
4) Asked about the bombing of UN schools and killing of Palestinian children: “It’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war. Some reports say, maybe it wasn’t the exact UN school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets. And I do think oftentimes that the anguish you are privy to because of the coverage, and the women and the children and all the rest of that, makes it very difficult to sort through to get to the truth.”
5) On civilian casualties in Gaza: “There’s no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict. … So the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.”
6) “When I asked [him/her] about the intense international focus on Gaza, [s/he] was quick to identify anti-Semitism as an important motivating factor in criticism of Israel: ‘It is striking … that you have more than 170,000 people dead in Syria. … You have Russia massing battalions—Russia, that actually annexed and is occupying part of a UN member-state—and I fear that it will do even more to prevent the incremental success of the Ukrainian government to take back its own territory, other than Crimea. More than 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine on both sides, not counting the [Malaysia Airlines] plane, and yet we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair.’”
7) Asked about worldwide objections to Israel’s attacks: “You can’t ever discount anti-Semitism, especially with what’s going on in Europe today. There are more demonstrations against Israel by an exponential amount than there are against Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner. So there’s something else at work here than what you see on TV.”
8)  “What you see on TV is so effectively stage-managed by Hamas, and always has been. What you see is largely what Hamas invites and permits Western journalists to report on from Gaza. It’s the old PR problem that Israel has. Yes, there are substantive, deep levels of antagonism or anti-Semitism towards Israel, because it’s a powerful state, a really effective military. And Hamas paints itself as the defender of the rights of the Palestinians to have their own state. So the PR battle is one that is historically tilted against Israel.”
9) On Iran: “I’ve always been in the camp that held that they did not have a right to enrichment. Contrary to their claim, there is no such thing as a right to enrich. This is absolutely unfounded. There is no such right.”
10) On Israeli efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza: “There is the surprising number and complexity of the tunnels, and Hamas has consistently, not just in this conflict, but in the past, been less than protective of their civilians.”
11) “As a U.S. official, you have to pay attention to anything that threatens Israel directly, or anything in the larger Middle East that arises out of the Palestinian-Israeli situation. That’s just a given.”
12) For a “prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security [on the West Bank], because even if I’m dealing with Abbas, who is 79 years old, and other members of Fatah, who are enjoying a better lifestyle and making money on all kinds of things, that does not protect Israel from the influx of Hamas or cross-border attacks from anywhere else.”
13) “Well, first of all, Hamas is responsible for the deaths of civilians. [Israel is] not targeting a single civilian. [Israel is] responding to Hamas action and [Israel is] telling the civilians to leave, Hamas is telling them to stay. Why is it telling them to stay? Because it wants to pile up their own dead bodies.”
14) “Hamas is making sure that they don’t go anywhere. Let me tell you about the UN school. Secretary General of the United Nations, before this incident took place, admitted that two UN schools in Gaza were used to stockpile rockets. And he condemned Hamas, he condemned Hamas for turning these schools into military targets, legitimate military targets.”
15) “The important thing to understand is that the reason … civilians are killed [is] not because Israel is targeting civilians, but because Hamas is using civilians as human shields.”
16) “I know what efforts the Israeli army takes to minimize civilian casualties, to directly target at terrorists. I think everybody understands that. The United States has been unequivocal in support Israel’s right of self defense and condemning Hamas for using the civilians as human shields. And I think that unequivocal support is necessary if we’re going to have a successful conclusion to this operation.”
* * * * *
Shillary strikes again.