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Examining My Head

I hit the pavement today, running a reel of the past few months through the windmills of my mind. I’ve spent so much time, lately, in rooms of joy and sorrow, and hotels, and towns where I catch my reflection in some store window and think: Who is she?

Everything’s askew.

I traveled with one son to visit another. Was sitting outside when the younger said, “Mom, you have beautiful feet. You have the feet of a sixteen-year-old.” Before I could tell him I know this, he continued, “It’s a shame I can’t say the same about your face.”
We laughed.

He and I had been discussing the dollar and what he calls my freak-ass economic doomsday tune. The whole foot thingy probably was an attempt to shift the subject.

Is the UK headed for a Break-Up?

By Ken Ferguson

The stunning victory in last week’s elections by the pro-independence
Scottish National Party was a result which was supposed to be
impossible.

Scotland, after all, ceased to be an independent country in 1707, when it was
forcibly joined with England to form Great Britain.

The union took place against a background of popular riots put down by
troops and has been controversial, to a greater or lesser degree, ever
since.

In 1999, following years of agitation and its endorsement in a
Scotland-wide referendum, the Scottish Parliament reconvened with
powers over a wide range of domestic matters such a health, education,
planning, etc.

The new parliament was designed with an electoral system designed so that it
would supposed be impossible for any one party to win a majority -- the explicit intention being to prevent the SNP from using it a stepping stone
to independence.

Stay Human Convoy in Gaza: So many things to see, so many people to meet…

From the Stay Human Convoy in Gaza:

14th May 2011- Gaza City

Everywhere in the world, the sea evokes the universal feeling of an endless expanse of water that stretches out to the horizon, as far as the naked eye can see...bearing evocations of limitless possibilities that fire the imagination, bringing forth dreams and desires of travelling beyond one's native turf.

In this land under military siege, however, where every attack is aimed at undermining the population's autonomy- thus rendering it dependent upon the ‘generous' concessions of the oppressors- the sea is first and foremost one of the few remaining outlets for survival and self-sustenance.

Investigating Iraq Detainee Abuse

The abuse of was done in our names as we still continue to condemn others for exactly same!

 

Inside the Detainee Abuse Task Force

 

Renegade Merc. Prince Back In Business

Continuing the lawless damage his private mercenary armies have already created, and greatly enhanced, in the name of the United States and citizens of! The equivalent of al Qaeda but in the U.S. brand and stamp!

Secret UAE Desert Force Set Up By Blackwater’s Founder

Documents show 800-strong mercenary force is aimed at UAE's external — and internal — foes.

May 15, 2011 - Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand.

Solidarity with Palestine

Solidarity with Palestine - by Stephen Lendman

Ahead of May 15 Nakba commemorations, massive crowds assembled in Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square in solidarity. They displayed banners, proclaiming, "The People want the Rafah Crossing opened," and "Palestine is a Arab state."

They also waved Palestinian flags, chanting "Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada" and "National Unity" ahead of a planned weekend march to Gaza. More on that below.

Domestic issues were also addressed, including ending recent sectarian violence and concerns about popular unaddressed issues under military junta rule. After Friday prayers, Sheikh Safwat Hegazy addressed the crowd, saying:

"(Appointed prime minister) Essam Sharaf: this is not your government. This is the revolution's government. You should kick out the six former (NDP ruling party) ministers from the cabinet. We won't accept (deputy prime minister) Yehia El-Gamal who's part of the former regime...."

Veterans For Peace Remembers the Nakba

Remembering the Nakba

About this time each year, millions of Israelis and Jews around the world celebrate Israel ’s independence in 1948. But what is a time of celebration for Jewish Israelis is a very different kind of anniversary for over one and a half million Palestinians in Israel, over four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza - 40% of whom live in refugee camps, some 650,000 in refugee camps elsewhere in the middle east, and over 3 million around the world with UN-registered property claims against Israel who are now living in what is known as the Palestinian Diaspora. For them - the largest and longest-standing registered refugee population in the world - March 14 marks the remembrance of their greatest collective tragedy.

Cuban SEALS for Florida?

By Victor Grossman

Berlin -- The debate continues: Was the killing of Osama bin Laden justified? Perhaps a rather useless debate since he is now most certainly dead. But despite their distance in time and space some flashbacks insist on recurring, right next to terrible images of those two planes and the two huge buildings collapsing in New York ten years ago. (No, make that three buildings!)

I for example still think about that Cuban plane which exploded on October 6th 1976 in the Caribbean, killing the 5 crew members and all 73 passengers, including the entire champion fencing team of Cuba, many of whom were still teenagers. All four men directly responsible for this horror had ties to the CIA which, it was later revealed, knew of the bombing in advance.

Voices that are resisting

From the Stay Human Convoy:

We are getting to know Gaza.

Chilcot Inquiry: The Case for the Iraq War

Secrets, lies and the case for the Iraq War

 

13th May 2011 - The Chilcot Inquiry into the disastrous Iraq War has been a largely depressing affair.

It has cost millions of pounds, dragged on for two years and – when the key players appeared before the inquiry panel – the questioning was unfocused and inadequate.

Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell were slippery, unrepentant and able to complete their evidence unscathed –much to the anger and disgust of the families of the 179 soldiers who gave their lives in this most bloody of conflicts.

Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed

Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed - by Stephen Lendman

Visual evidence now confirms what earlier was known: namely, that Tokyo Electric's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station experienced at least one core nuclear meltdown, perhaps much worse than now admitted.

An earlier article explained, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/fukushima-meltdown-confirmed.html

Nuclear expert Karl Grossman calls it the ultimate nuclear nightmare, a real time China Syndrome, portrayed fictionally in the 1979 film by the same name.

On May 12, Hiroshima Peace Institute Professor Robert Jacobs told Russia Today TV that plant conditions "are much more serious than we were told earlier."

In fact, confirming a coverup, he explained:

The Dude Abides For You and Me

By John Grant

I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn.

I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

"Tumbling Tumbleweeds"
-- Sons Of The Pioneers

_______________________

We live in frustrating times for anyone politically opposed to the relentless militarization and financialization of virtually every facet of life in America.

The idealism of the Sixties and Seventies was overwhelmed first by Reaganism, then by the tsunami of post-911 fear and, finally, by the momentum of two, now three, on-going foreign wars. We live in an enforced condition of permanent war and unfettered piracy.

Bill Hicks and the Place of Corporate Comedy

By Charles M. Young

I have three comedians on my iPod: Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Hicks. All of them evolved as much into prophets as comedians, and all of them died younger than they should have from maladies that probably had something to do with the stress of being a live performer on the road in corporate America.

Hicks died the youngest, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 32 in 1994. Perhaps his pancreas had had enough of his drinking, which started later than usual at the age of 21 but got excessive quickly. Or maybe it was road food from all that driving to comedy clubs around the country. He looked puffy by his mid-20s. If Hicks came back from the dead, he could do a good routine about government agents slipping some carcinogen (white sugar?) into his food because his routines had come too close to the truth.

Finally in Gaza

From the Stay Human Convoy:
The sun had not yet risen in Cairo, as the Stay Human convoy began to prepare the departure for Gaza. The journey about to be embarked upon was one filled with expectations and hope. The importance of the crossing the border at Rafah following the protests that brought down the Mubarak regime was on the minds of everyone, as well as the desire to remember Vittorio Arrigoni in the same place where he dedicated his life. The convoy will carry a message to the people of Palestine addressed to the entire world: Palestine is not alone, Vik's dreams are also ours, solidarity towards those who struggle against oppression and exploitation knows no borders.

An Obama Move on Libya That'd Make Dubya and His Lawyers Proud

Check this out. Obama is pretending to partially comply with the War Powers Act in Libya. He thinks he gets a 60-day pass for undeclared war, but the 60 days runs out next week. Among the ideas to weasel around this: PAUSE the war for a minute and then start with a fresh 60 days. Dubya would be proud. John Yoo will probably claim credit.

http://tinyurl.com/3cxqce3

Resurrecting the Bogus FARC-EP Files/Venezuela Connection

Resurrecting the Bogus FARC-EP Files/Venezuela Connection - by Stephen Lendman

The story surfaced in March 2008 after Colombia's military, with US Special Forces help, attacked a FARC-EP rebel camp in Ecuador. Over 20 people were killed, including 16 or more FARC-EP members while they slept. Key among them was Paul Reyes, the FARC-EP's second-in-command, their peace negotiator, public voice, and lead figure in the Chavez-led hostage negotiations with Colombia at the time.

Tensions rose when Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon said three laptops and other materials were found at the FARC-EP camp. Containing provocative evidence, he said, it showed a Chavez/Ecuadorean President Raphael Correa link to FARC-EP rebels, including Venezuela providing them weapons, munitions, and about $300 million.

Bahraini State Terror Continues

Bahraini State Terror Continues - by Stephen Lendman

Bahraini and Saudi security forces continue daily terror in Bahrain, human rights groups condemning the violence, including Amnesty International (AI), providing regular updates.

On May 11, AI reported more than 47 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, have been arrested, charged and may face trial before a military court for doing their job. All are Shias in a Sunni-run state.

Entirely bogus charges against them include:

-- refusing to help people in need;

-- embezzling public funds;

-- assaults causing deaths;

-- unauthorized possession of weapons and ammunition;

-- refusing to perform duties;

-- putting people's lives and health at risk;

-- illegal detention;

-- abusing authority;

-- attempting to forcefully occupy buildings;

-- incitement to forcibly overthrow the Khalifa monarchy;

-- incitement of regime hatred;

-- incitement of the hatred of a segment of society;

Numbers Racket: Why the Democratic Party is a Corporate Lickspittle and Cannot Be the People’s Party

By Dave Lindorff

A new Gallup Poll conducted for USA Today earlier this week reports that a majority of Americans (52%) say that they would prefer a third party instead of the two parties, Republican and Democrat, that have dominated American politics for nearly centuries.

The poll shows that one third of Democrats say there’s a need for a new political party, while 52% of Republicans say the same thing. Meanwhile, 68% of independents say they have no use for either Democrats or Republicans and would prefer another option (no surprise there--that’s why they are not registered with either of the two major parties).

Defense Intelligence Staff chief blows British cover for Iraq War

Paul Pillar, a senior CIA analyst who worked on the 25-page "summary of intelligence" presented to Congress in 2002, later told PBS, "The purpose was to strengthen the case for going to war...I regret having had a role in it." (see page 79 of my book, Blood On Our Hands). Now the former Director General of Britain's Defense Intelligence Staff has told the Chilcot Inquiry that Blair's "dodgy dossier" was fabricated in a similar fashion and with the same purpose. If our leaders ever told the truth in making a case for war, how would we know?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/12/iraq-dossier-case-for-war

Alastair Campbell's claim that the Iraq dossier was not about putting the case for war was strongly denied by a top intelligence officer.

Congressman Jim McGovern Promises a Public Whip List of Congress Members Who Will Vote No on Any More War $

I've been asking for a congress member to do this for years. This is the first time one has said they would.

http://twitter.com/#!/RepMcGovern/status/68772828631146496

I tweeted this: Will you form a public whip list of members who will vote against any more war $? If not, why not?

@RepMcGovern tweeted: @davidcnswanson We're working on putting a list together now.

Good news indeed.

In the name of Vittorio Arrigoni, the ‘Stay Human' convoy has entered Gaza

From the Stay Human Convoy:
12 May 2011,
After leaving Cairo this morning at dawn, the 80 activists of the ‘Restiamo Umani' convoy have entered Gaza at 4pm after crossing five Egyptian check-points.
The convoy, whose goal is to return to the place where Vittorio Arrigoni has spent his life, wrote a first report - posted on www.vik2gaza.org- “We are going to Gaza, Vittorio is with us”.
The convoy will remain in the Gaza strip until the 17 of May to meet the Palestinian people who day by day are trying to resist the Israeli military occupation. The convoy will also join the commemorations for the thirtieth day of Vittorio's death and for Nakba, the day of the Palestinian catastrophe, which will take place between the 14 and the 15 of May.

Afghanistan: war without end?

The Guardian

Obama promised no open-ended occupation – and to draw down forces from July. A 2.5% cut is hardly an encouraging start

General David Petraeus, commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, greets Robert Gates
General David Petraeus, commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, greets US defence secretary Robert Gates upon his arrival in Kabul, March 2011. Photograph: Pool/Reuters

Afghanistan was supposed to be the campaign promise that President Barack Obama actually kept. He said he would escalate that war, and sure enough he did. Is he now going back on promises he's made as president, by proposing to withdraw 2.5% of US forces in July?

Here are the relevant promises:

"After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home … [O]ur troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended – because the nation that I'm most interested in building is our own." – President Barack Obama, 1 December 2009

"I'm confident that the withdrawal will be significant. People will say this is a real process of transition; this is not just a token gesture." – President Barack Obama, 15 April 2011

"In July of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out, bet on it." – Vice President Joe Biden, quoted in Jonathan Alter's The Promise

But let's first review how we got here. When loyal Democrats heard candidate Obama say he would escalate the war as president, they mistakenly understood him to say he would end it. Progressive bloggers have planned a panel for next month to discuss their disappointment with this "broken promise" that was actually kept.

READ THE REST AT THE GUARDIAN

Stay Human Convoy on its way to Gaza

From the Stay Human Convoy:
Cairo.
Today marks the official start of the 'Stay Human' Convoy. 80 activists from all over the world, from Italy, Germany, England, the United States, France and Poland have gathered in Cairo.
The Egyptian capital, that is both a meeting place and a point of departure for the Convoy, has witnessed over the past few months huge mobilizations that led to the fall of the Mubarak regime.
A few days ago, and in response to popular pressure, the Egyptian government stated that the Rafah Border Crossing would be reopening. The capital is currently packed with demonstrators who are preparing 3 days of initiatives.

Human Trafficking in Israel

Human Trafficking in Israel - by Stephen Lendman

In February 2003, the Tel Aviv-based Hotline for Migrant Workers (HMW) published a report titled, "Modern Slavery and Trafficking in Human Beings in Israel," saying:

"In September 2002, a new 'Deportation Police' (Immigration Administration) was set up (to) expel 50,000 migrant workers" by year end 2003. Unprecedented in scope at the time, it reflected Israel's longstanding "official policy towards migrant labor."

HMW's report showed a pattern of denying migrant workers basic rights "to such an extent as to result in modern slavery and trafficking in human beings."

Ever since Israel allowed non-Palestinian migrant workers entry in the early 1990s, their rights steadily eroded. More recently, HMW said:

"Its primary manifestations include debt bondage, restrictions and violations of basic human freedoms, and renting and selling of workers," policies ongoing today.

Libyan Rebels Killing Civilians in Benghazi

Libyan Rebels Killing Civilians in Benghazi - by Stephen Lendman

In London, at a June 1999 anti-Yugoslavia war rally, Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter scathed US and UK leaders, saying:

"Let us face the truth....(N)either Clinton nor Blair gives a damn about the Kosovar Albanians. This action has been another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile....to consolidate....American domination of Europe."

Today, Obama doesn't give a damn about Libyans, any more than about Iraqis, Afghans or working Americans. At issue only is Washington wanting unchallenged dominance everywhere, including over the Mediterranean Basin, using two missiles - NATO and so-called rebels, enlisted, funded, trained and armed well before bombing began on March 19.

Pizzarotti should follow in Deutsche Bahn's footsteps

Italian construction firm Pizzarotti is stupefied, bewildered, stunned.
In an article on today's Corriere della Sera, Italy's top newspaper, covering Deutsche Bahn's withdrawal from the Israeli project for a high-speed train line that cuts through the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Michele Pizzarotti said "We are astonished to find ourselves involved in these protests."
Pizzarotti, through a joint venture with Israeli Shapir Engineering, has been contracted to build tunnels in section C of the planned A1 train route from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv; section C starts in the Latrun enclave and ends at Cedars Valley, both in the occupied West Bank.

Obama and Geithner - Back to the Future on Corporate Tax Breaks and Derivatives

Michael Collins

Speculation reigns supreme in your nation’s capital. Who is next in line after the bin Laden operation? The bipartisan coalition directing the war on terror forgot one important fact about the security of the United States of America. It doesn’t matter who they kill overseas, the assault on almost all citizens continues unabated at home. No one is doing anything to stop it. Only the financial and political elite remain immune. (Image-WikiCommons)

Obama's Terror War Misses Domestic Targets

By Linn Washington, Jr.

In the wake of the Obama Administration’s ballyhooed elimination of Osama bin Laden, thousands of government workers across the United States wonder when their president will provide them the ‘comfort of closure’ through his attacking a terrorism they confront daily.

This terrorism ravishing government employees working in entities from mega-federal agencies to small municipalities fits the classic dictionary definition of terrorism: using force or threats to demoralize, intimidate and subjugate.

This terrorism is a tyranny predating the birth of al Qaeda: institutional racism and its related deprivations like vicious retaliation against anyone objecting to unlawful institutional inequities.

Interestingly, a raging battlefield in the institutional racism wars is the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights, where numerous organizations have blasted that office’s director for his failures to enforce civil rights.

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