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Talk Nation Radio: Do Ethics Professors Behave Ethically? Someone Checked.

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talknationradio-20150728

Eric Schwitzgebel is Professor of Philosophy at University of California at Riverside.  His most recent book is Perplexities of Consciousness. We discuss his article "Cheeseburger Ethics" on his research into whether ethics professors are any better behaved than anyone else. See http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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Help Prevent a War on Iran! Public Forum in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 5, 2015

PUBLIC FORUM ON IRAN DEAL

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Print and distribute flyer.

To be held exactly 70 years after nuclear age opened in Hiroshima (including time zone difference).

7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2015

At The Haven, 112 W. Market Street Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by World Beyond War, Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, RootsAction.org, and Amnesty International Charlottesville, (more welcome to join).

Video of event to be widely distributed.

Speaker: Gareth Porter, independent investigative journalist and historian who specialises in U.S. national security policy. He is the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, and the winner of the Gellhorn Prize for journalism in 2012 for exposing lies and propaganda about the Afghanistan War. Porter spent two weeks in Vienna covering the final round of negotiations and is now writing the definitive account of the how U.S. and Iran finally reached agreement.

Also invited, not confirmed (so please invite them!): Rep. Robert Hurt, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner.

Tomgram: Eduardo Galeano, The Previous Sole Superpower

 Recently, Susan Bergholz, the devoted literary agent of the late Uruguayan writer and planetary great Eduardo Galeano, sent me this brief email: “A friend of Eduardo's and mine called yesterday to tell me, ‘Now we know where Eduardo went: he became pope!’” Somehow, that thought raised my spirits immeasurably.

Turkey News - July 27, 2015


Turkish Jets Hit Kurdish Militant Camps Again, Security Sources Say - huffingtonpost.com


Kurdish Separatists End Cease-Fire After Turkish Airstrikes - VOA


Merkel urges Turkey to continue Kurdish peace process despite violence - DW.COM


EU’s Mogherini urges Turkey to keep Kurdish peace process alive - BasNews


Here's what the US has to say about Turkey and the PKK - Al Bawaba


NATO: North Atlantic Council to meet at Turkey's request - US News


Iraq’s Kurdistan slams Turkish airstrikes on PKK - Al Arabiya News


In a phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu Barzani urges Turkey to Stop Attacks on PKK - BasNews


Barzani's statement on Turkish airstrikes contradicts Davutoğlu's remarks - hurriyetdailynews.com


The Kurdistan Parliament condemns the Turkish air campaign targeting bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory - NRT English


HDP slams operations targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party: AKP is setting Turkey on fire - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Erdogan’s shift on Islamic State linked to Kurdish gains in Syria, implementing a safe-zone project controlled by Turkey-supported Syrian opposition forces - Al-Monitor


Le Monde publishes indictment claiming MİT involved in Paris murder of 3 PKK women - todayszaman.com


Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds - gatestoneinstitute.org


Report: Seized USB drives reveal Turkey’s links to ISIL - todayszaman.com


Report: Turkish President Erdogan's daughter heads ‘covert' medical facility for treating injured Isis fighters, These claims however could not be independently verified - IBTimes


ARCHIVE: Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List - huffingtonpost.com

 

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Turkey policeman killed during clashes with protesters in Istanbul district of Gazi - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey: Clashes erupt as activists protest Turkish airstrikes, dozens arrested - YouTube


Turkey bans 'peace march' on security concerns - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish police break up anti-IS march in Ankara - theSundaily


Protesters, police clash in eastern Turkey - The Journal of Turkish Weekly

 

Hundreds detained in operations across Turkey and North Kurdistan - ANF


Turkey blocks Kurdish websites as Twitter and Facebook slows down - hurriyetdailynews.com


People march from Ranya to Kandil to protest Turkish airstrikes - ANF


PHOTOS: Kurds are marching to Qandil to prevent Turkish attacks on PKK - International Brigades of Rojava


VIDEO: Hundreds of French Kurds stage demonstration in Paris against the attack by ISIL that killed 32 people, but also against the government’s bombing of PKK - euronews


Politicians, protesters in Germany condemn Turkey attacks on PKK - rudaw.net


Kurds and others protest against Turkey in Washington - rudaw.net


Jailed prosecutor says complacency towards Salafists made Suruç bombing possible - todayszaman.com

 

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ISIS on retreat as Syrian Kurdish forces make more territorial gains in - rudaw.net


Syrian army, Kurds advance against IS in Hasakeh - Yahoo News


Syrian Kurds: Turkish army tanks shelled our positions - International Brigades of Rojava


PYD Leader Muslim: Iraqi Kurdistan is Our Main Provider of Weapons - BasNews


KRG Releases Details of Weapons Sent to YPG in Rojava - BasNews


Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov


Syrian President Bashar Assad makes rare speech, vows to crush enemies - CBS News


VIDEO (English):  Assad's Damascus speech (Full) - Al Bawaba


Syria's Assad announces amnesty for draft dodgers -Syrian TV - Yahoo News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Israel Sees Nazism in Mirror it Mistakes for Window

Israel is trying to expel the population of a village for the crime of not being Jewish, the same crime for which Israel bombs the people of Gaza for a month or so every few years and blockades them in between these bursts of violence.

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee declares that making peace with Iran amounts to marching Israelis "to the door of the oven."

Guess which of the two stories will get more coverage!

A crime of over 70 years ago, part of a war that in my unscientific estimate forms the single most common theme of U.S. historical fiction -- whether print or film -- is more important news in the view of U.S. editors than is a crime of right now.

And that was true 60 years after World War II and 50 years after and 40 and 20 and even 3 years after World War II.

Eve Spangler has just published a wonderfully well documented book that should be the text for universal history classes, called Understanding Israel/Palestine: Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict. Spangler, the U.S. child of two holocaust survivors, was a college professor before she had the slightest idea what had happened in Palestine during the twentieth century. When she found out, she went all-in and found out as much as could be known.

Spangler takes students to Israel/Palestine every year. When visiting the Arab market in Hebron, she learned that the heavy metal mesh screen overhead was hung there to protect shoppers from bricks and chairs thrown down from balconies by Israeli settlers. However, Spangler was struck with the contents of one of the objects settlers had learned could penetrate the screen: a plastic bag of human excrement. Israeli settlers behave like prisoners gone mad from confinement even as they steal the land and homes of non-Jewish people with impunity.

How can this be? What went wrong?

Well, at least a part of what went wrong went wrong from the start, from even before the 1948 Nakba in which Israelis-to-be ethnically cleansed the land without a people for the people without a land. The land without a people was more densely populated than the United States, but was seen as populated by subhuman non-people, not even Untermenschen.

"Clearly, the aspiration to creating a 'new man,'" Spangler writes, "defined by a hyper-masculine ethos of physical and military strength and by 'clean and pure blood' (and a 'new woman' defined by fecundity) had echoes of fascist ideology and profoundly racist implications. Consider, for example, the iconic photo of an Israeli soldier gazing reverently at the Western Wall on the day that the Israeli army conquered East Jerusalem in 1967. He is startlingly Aryan in appearance. Nor did the preference for blondes end in 1967. Recently social workers told an Israeli friend of mine who is waiting to adopt a baby, that her family could have a 'defective' baby immediately, but would have to wait about a year for a 'normal' baby or up to five years if they insisted on having a blond, blue-eyed child. 'Defective' children, this family discovered, were dark-skinned."

Two years after the liberation of the concentration camps in Europe, Jewish militias besieging the town of Beisan (Bet She'an), Spangler notes, "required some Arabs to don yellow armbands, and marked Arab stores with yellow decals, targeting them for looting." Spangler, whose book covers many subtopics other than the one I'm focusing on, is infinitely careful to stress the obvious, namely that similarities are not exact equivalencies. Her point in noting the similarities is, I think, clearly and legitimately enough to expose the imperfect yet startling mimicry and the motivation of misdirected revenge in the basic policies of the Israeli government from that day to this toward the people who lived in the "uninhabited" land.

Lillian Rosengarten's forthcoming Survival and Conscience: From the Shadows of Nazi Germany to the Jewish Boat to Gaza is an account by a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany for the United States as a little girl with her parents. "Nationalism revisited," she writes, "is now twisted into a parody of the Nazi credo, 'Deutschland über alles,' extolling Germany over all others with only pure Germans as inhabitants. Get rid of the undesirables who are beneath contempt. I must not make such a comparison, you say. Yet I must, for I fear a Jewish State that belongs only to Jews is a dangerous road. I must question the profound psychological impairment suffered and internalized by generations of Jews that follows the Nazi Holocaust. The cycle of paranoia and abuse is playing out its destructive course: this is how I understand Palestinians as the last victims of the Holocaust."

I would question only how Rosengarten can see into the future and find the last victims of the influence of Nazism. After World War II, the military of the United States -- which, of course, arms the Israeli military free of charge while whining about how it can't afford luxuries like schools, housing, and bridges that don't collapse -- hired sixteen hundred former Nazi scientists and doctors, including some of Adolf Hitler’s closest collaborators, including men responsible for murder, slavery, and human experimentation, including men convicted of war crimes, men acquitted of war crimes, and men who never stood trial. Some of the Nazis tried at Nuremberg had already been working for the U.S. in either Germany or the U.S. prior to the trials. Some were protected from their past by the U.S. government for years, as they lived and worked in Boston Harbor, Long Island, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and elsewhere, or were flown by the U.S. government to Argentina to protect them from prosecution. To observe and note the Nazification of the U.S. military is neither to absolve the U.S. military of its pre-WWII crimes nor to pass blame off to the Nazis instead of blaming U.S. officials of later generations for their own actions. Blame is not a limited quantity.

I don't think we can dismiss Huckabee's comments about ovens as simply a bid to be dumber than Donald Trump and win the pro-stupidity vote in the Republican primaries. Transforming Iran from devil to negotiation partner victimizes Israel precisely by stripping Israel of some of its victim-status. Without the status of eternally current victim of the fantasized reenactment of long-past crimes, Israel has to be viewed through a filter of actual facts. Were Jews victimized by Germany? Of course! Did Palestinians deserve to suffer for it? Of course not! Did Iran have anything to do with it? Of course not! Would I support pulling all the U.S. military bases out of Germany and turning all of their land over to Jewish settlers? Sure!

But only those who want to leave Palestine should leave it. Only those who want to stay in a nonviolent, pluralist, secular, democratic, state with equal rights for all and compensation for Palestinians harmed over the past many decades should remain.

Photo above is from MiddleEastMonitor.

Hey, I Have an Idea Where They Can Stick the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia campaigned on green energy (and I hear some people may have believed him, though I haven't met one) and then immediately backed the proposed construction of a giant fracked-gas pipeline through the mountains and farms of Virginia to carry fossil fuels from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Dominion Virginia Power paid $1.3 million this year in legal bribes to candidates' election campaigns, more than anyone else in Virginia except the two Parties. Every single bill Dominion opposed in the legislature died. Dominion, according to the dictionary, is "the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; rule; control; domination."

In Virginia it's easy to think of the evictions of the poor farmers 80 years ago to create Shenandoah National Park as something ancient that civilization has outgrown and would never do again. (And the old lyrics of the song Shenandoah, about giving the Native American chief liquor in order to steal his daughter, are not celebrated in this day and age.) But at least the injustice of the 1930s evictions created a park. At least there was some sort of public interest involved.

Now here comes the Virginia government as the bought-and-paid-for servants of their corporate masters at Dominion to claim a 40-yard-wide path of destruction and potential catastrophe right through the middle of numerous private properties and public properties for the sake of escalating the collapse of a livable climate on the planet, not to mention facilitating the destruction in West Virginia where the fracking frackers will do their fracking. What's the public interest to justify it? It's going to ruin parks and not create any.

A good short documentary on the growing resistance, called Won't Pipe Down, shows the owner of Silverback Distillery explaining that he supported the Keystone Pipeline but opposes this one because it impacts his own personal private property and his business. The correct response to that attitude is not "Serves you right," but "Glad you're now with us." Because NIMBYism keeps getting the proposed path of the pipeline moved, and if those who succeed in moving it stick with the struggle to keep it from getting built at all, perhaps it can be prevented entirely.

The pipeline is also proposed to cut right through a communal farm property, where an existing sense of community may aid the movement.

In fact the movement is doing well. Check out FriendsofNelson.com. There are big protests. Driving through Nelson County, or even through Charlottesville, one sees lots of "No Pipeline" signs. Some 69% of Nelson County landowners in the proposed path have refused to allow surveys on their land.

The film, Won't Pipe Down, uses a quote from local hero slave-owner, rapist, coward, sadist, and father of States Rights, Thomas Jefferson, to emphasize the supreme value of "private property." But the pipeline is not going through the private property of most of the people opposing it, or of most of the people who ought to be opposing it and who will have to start opposing it if it is to be stopped.

The U.S. government fights wars for oil and gas, for godsake. It bombs people's homes for this stuff. If we only protest when our own personal property is impacted disproportionately, we're going to see the climate severely impact each and every piece of private property on earth. This pipeline needs to be opposed by everyone in the area and everyone in the world. Help out, won't you? FriendsofNelson.com and AugustaCountyAlliance.org

Oh, and here's my idea for where to stick the thing if it can't be stopped. Governor McAuliffe is living in public housing in Richmond, Va., and I suspect that Thomas F. Farrell II is able with his personal $12 million per year from Virginians' utility bills, to afford some sort of residence in that area. McAuliffe must bow before the $2500 Farrell gave him for his campaign, even knowing that Farrell gave his opponent $5000. Why not build a pipeline from the sewer beneath each of these two gentlemen's houses, connecting them, and let the question of which produces more filth, the public or private realm, finally be answered when we see which house's plumbing backs up first?

"We Don't Want Your Pipeline" By Robin and Linda Williams from Richard Adams on Vimeo.

Protest Song about proposed Dominion Gas Pipeline coming through
West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Robin and Linda Williams (copyright 2014)
www.augustacountyalliance.org

Image above shows the results of building a leaking pipeline in another state, what Virginians can look forward to if the ACP is built.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - July 25, 2015

 

Federal investigators discover classified information in Clinton emails, say those secrets should never have been on Hillary server - New York Times


GOP Lawmakers renew calls for probe of Clinton's private server - Washington Examiner


Statement by Chairman Gowdy on Reports of Classified Information in Secretary Clinton’s Emails - Select Committee on Benghazi


Hillary Clinton: The New York Times Report of Email Probe Has 'a Lot of Inaccuracies’ (VIDEO) - NBC News


Cummings Responds to Inaccurate Leaks to New York Times on Clinton Emails - Select Committee on Benghazi, Democrats


Text of the State Department and Intelligence Community inspectors general’s memos on Clinton emails - documentcloud.org


Inspectors General's joint statement explaining that the referral was not criminal in nature, “it was a security referral made for counterintelligence purposes” - Mediaite


Text of the Intelligence Community Inspector General's letter to congressional committee leaders on Clinton emails - images.politico.com


VIDEO (at minute 3:00): Press Briefing of State Department spokesman Mark Toner who says they did not believe that Clinton sent classified information through her personal email - YouTube


Judge: State Department Will “Answer For” Any Destruction of Clinton Emails - judicialwatch.org


State Department Hid Clinton Aide’s Special Job Status, Grassley Charges - The American Spectator

 

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POLL: Sanders Surges While Clinton Sags in U.S. Favorability, Hillary is at its Lowest Level Since 2007 - gallup.com


Dem fears over Clinton’s strength grow after new Quinnipiac poll - TheHill


POLL: Clinton In Trouble In Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds - Quinnipiac University


Hillary Clinton focuses on economy amid email controversy - CNNPolitics.com


VIDEO (Full): Hillary Clinton Remarks on the Economy - C-SPAN.org


Hillary Clinton Isn’t Going As Far As Her Democratic Rivals on Minimum Wage - ABC News


Wall Street Is Putting Money Behind These Presidential Candidates: Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio - huffingtonpost.com


Hillary Clinton's Biggest Campaign Bundlers Are Fossil Fuel Lobbyists - huffingtonpost.com


Lobbyists for Monsanto, ExxonMobil Raise Money for Hillary Clinton - Bloomberg Politics


Does Hillary Clinton have a small donor problem? - theweek.com


Top Hillary Clinton Fundraisers Also Big Donors to Foundation - WSJ


Most Hillary bundlers also gave to Clinton Foundation - Washington Examiner


Clinton Foundation Tax Records Raise Questions About How Funds Are Used, Salaries of Executives Total $30 million in 2013, $8M in Travel Costs - Radar Online


Bill Clinton’s Limo Service to Hermès Cost Taxpayers $8,852 - Washington Free Beacon


Bill Clinton's half brother Roger was paid $100k to influence the president - Daily Mail Online


Arms dealer: Obama DOJ prosecuting me to protect Hillary, Claims administration covering up 2011 scheme to arm Libyan ‘rebels’ - WND

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Elephant In The Room: The Pentagon's Massive Carbon Footprint

(Image: Anthony Freda. Used with permission)

It’s not news that climate change threatens the security of every person on planet Earth. The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts 6-16 inches of sea level rise by the year 2050. The threat is apparent in the Marshall Islands, which just set its own ambitious goal for reducing carbon emissions in the wake of catastrophic storms and coastal flooding in the South Pacific. The threat is apparent in California, where prolonged drought has led to wildfires like the one that crossed a busy highway and caused several vehicles to explode in flames.  The threat of weather extremes is apparent in Sydney, Australia, which saw snowfall this winter for the first time since 1836.

George Clooney Opposes War Profiteering While African

George Clooney is being paid by the world’s top two war profiteers, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, to oppose war profiteering by Africans disloyal to the U.S. government’s agenda.

Way back yonder before World War II, war profiteering was widely frowned on in the United States. Those of us trying to bring back that attitude, and working for barely-funded peace organizations, ought to be thrilled when a wealthy celebrity like George Clooney decides to take on war profiteering, and the corporate media laps it up.

“Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause,” said Clooney — without encountering anything like the blowback Donald Trump received when he criticized John McCain.

Really, is that all it takes to give peace a chance, a celebrity? Will the media now cover the matter of who funds opponents of the Iran deal, and who funds supporters of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.?

Well, no, not really.

Tomgram: Pepe Escobar, The Pivot to Eurasia

 This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com.

Greece News - July 23, 2015

 

Greece PM Tsipras Wins Parliamentary Backing For EU Bailout Reforms - ekathimerini.com


ECB provides $980 million cash Injection to Greek banks ahead of the key vote in parliament on judicial and banking reforms - VOA


Moscovici says Greece, creditors seek to finalise bailout deal by mid-August - AFP


Greek companies forced out of business because of restrictions on foreign transfers even after banks reopened: Chamber of Commerce - Independent


Thousands protest as Greece votes on bailout bill - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Greece: Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at riot police in front of parliament - YouTube


VIDEO: Athens anti bailout deal protesters set TV van on fire - YouTube


Standard & Poor's upgrades Greece's credit rating to 'CCC+' as fears of collapse dissipate - Associated Press


Eurostat: Greek govt debt decreased compared to the first quarter of 2014, dropping by 5.5% - GreekReporter.com


It's Not Just Greece: Total European Debt Hits New All Time High - Zero Hedge


Government debt rose to 92.9% of GDP in euro area, First quarter of 2015 compared with fourth quarter of 2014 - EUROSTAT


Can Greece Get A Handle On Its Notorious Tax System? - NPR


German media eyes Greek public assets sell-off in privatization push - protothemanews.com


Greece's EU Migrant Crisis: Thousands Of Refugees Flock To Islands As Greece Sinks Under Debt - ibtimes.com


Greek PM Tsipras Allegedly Asked Russia for $10 Bln to Print Drachmas - GreekReporter.com


Drachma? Never heard of that: Tsipras never addressed Russia with a request to provide Greece with financial assistance in order to print its own currency, Kremlin spokesman - Cihan Economy News


Greece is more useful to Russia inside the EU than out - blogs.ft.com

 

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German coalition in turmoil over Schäuble, Vice Chancellor Gabriel accuses the finance minister of being unreasonable over Greece - EurActiv


Awkward Alliance Running Germany Exposed by Greek Crisis - Bloomberg Business


The Man Behind the Iron Chancellor - Foreign Policy


Pierre Moscovici pushes Angela Merkel on debt relief for Greece - Irish Examiner


There is little legal basis for Wolfgang Schäuble’s claim that debt restructuring is incompatible with euro membership - EUROPP


Bernanke seeks long term Greek solutions, says Germany succeeding in a monetary union at the expense of others - valuewalk.com


Bernanke blog post: Greece and Europe, Is Europe holding up its end of the bargain? - Brookings Institution


New IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld is a euro visionary - Bloomberg


IMF Brings in New Enforcer Delia Velculescu to Deal With Greece - EconomicPolicyJournal.com


Sachs blog post: Germany, Greece, And The Future Of Europe - socialeurope.eu


Krugman blog post: Europe’s impossible dream: the euro has turned into a Roach Motel, a trap that’s hard to escape - The New York Times


This is what economists, like Krugman, don’t understand about the euro crisis – or the U.S. dollar - The Washington Post


EU launches € 315bn investment fund to boost Europe’s economy - RT Business


Press release: Investment Plan for Europe: European Fund for Strategic Investments ready for take-off in autumn - European Commission


VIDEO: 'Juncker’s plan' to boost EU investment - euronews


8 Projects of 6 EU Countries among First Batch to Get Funding under ‘Juncker Plan’ - Novinite.com


Europe’s Economy Could Grow 1.7% in 2016 - Barron’s


Why 2016 may be Europe's best year in decade - cnbc.com


French business confidence hits four-year high - The Guardian


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Jon Stewart Blew Last Chance to Ask Obama a Question

Jon Stewart interviewed President Obama for the last time and told jokes instead of asking questions.

If Stewart retires, where will we find someone willing to let Obama spew nonsense at such length unchallenged?

I discussed Obama's interview on RT on Wednesday, and someone asked me to post the Youtube, but RT has to do that, not me. So here's the gist of what I think.

Stewart said to Obama: you've tried bombing and overthrowing leaders and arming rebels and ... what's that new thing ... oh yeah, diplomacy.

Everybody laughed.

Obama talked up the Iran deal.

Stewart should have asked Obama a question, such as, "If you prefer diplomacy in this case, why not in many other cases where you seem to prefer war?" He could have followed up by asking about each war.

Panem et Presidential Elections

I know you like the elephants and the acrobats, but we really do not have time for this.

The U.S. presidential election is very far away. There's a measurable rise in the ocean, the construction of numerous new military bases, a decision on peace or war with Iran, a push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, intense antagonization of Russia, and more than likely another month-long bombing of Gaza between now and then.

We should be engaged in intense, all-out, creative, nonviolent resistance. We should be reforming or revolutionizing the election process, among much else. Even when elections have not been financed and reported on primarily by a wealthy elite with debates run by two parties, they haven't tended to be the means by which important social change has come.

We need radical change, and the election process isn't even advertising it. One of the chief sources of U.S. election funding, Sheldon Adelson, dismisses the idea of democracy because it's not in the Bible. And of course Adelson is up-to-date compared with some of the people he funds. At least 32 Republicans are running, apparently with a collective IQ that hardly reaches three figures. For them I'd be willing to revive the Confederacy, give it lots of flags, and locate it in the portions of the Southeast expected to fall below the rising ocean (as long as Donald Trump is charged extra for beach properties!).

Of course Jill Stein has great positions, but let's face it, the Democrats are not up to the task. Hillary Clinton has replaced FDR's four freedoms with "the four fights." It turns out she's in favor of families, America, democracy, and economics (who knew?), or at least she wants to fight with them. Oh, and she also wants to fight with Iran, ISIS, China, and Russia -- each of which is apparently somehow harming our "values." Then there's Bernie Sanders who pretends that the 54% of federal discretionary spending that goes to militarism just doesn't exist. Military? What military? Martin O'Malley has the same approach. Lincoln Chafee claims very briefly and vaguely to oppose wars. Jim Webb adds a bit more to his claim to oppose wars, but makes clear that he wants to fund militarism while expecting doing so not to produce more wars. Chafee and Webb are the worst on non-war issues, unless you compare Clinton's and O'Malley's actual records to their stated desires. Sanders is the best on non-war issues but might do little to slow the rush toward bigger and more frequent wars.

A decent candidate with a basic grasp of the problem of war addiction would say something like this, and no Democrat or Republican is anywhere close to saying it:

Tomgram: Engelhardt, A Message in a Bottle from My Mother

Requiem for the Home Front
A Cheer for Irma the Caricaturist
By Tom Engelhardt

Greece News - July 21, 2015


Greece Adjusts to New Normal as Banks Reopen - US News


3 week bank shutdown cost Greek economy €3 billion: report - The Property Gazette


New Data Show How Bad Things Were for Greek Banks the Week Capital Controls Were Introduced - Bloomberg Business


Greece repays crucial €4.2bn to ECB and €2bn to IMF - Reuters


Greece does about-face, pledges privatization push - AP


Greece becomes more expensive after VAT hikes, Low VAT rates remain in medicine, theater tickets and books - GreekReporter.com


Greek VAT rises: what they pay compared to other European countries - World First Blog


Greece’s Tsipras Shakes Up Cabinet in Bid to Rebuild Government - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


VIDEO: New Greek ministers sworn in after Tsipras reshuffle - YouTube


Merkel opens the door to cutting Greek debt burden by extending maturities and reducing interest rates, but not writedowns - Bloomberg


French President Francois Hollande calls for creation of eurozone government after Greece crisis - Reuters


IMF names advocate of eurozone integration as chief economist - FT.com


Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn addressing “German friends” on Greece - fr.slideshare.net

 

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Goldman Sachs Facing Heat As Greek Crisis Mounts - valuewalk.com


How Goldman Sachs profited from the Greek debt crisis - CSMonitor.com


Did Wall Street Enable Greek Debt Crisis? - Al Jazeera America


Goldman Sachs could be sued for helping hide debts when Greece joined euro - The Independent


Greek debt crisis: Meet the Goldman Sachs banker Antigone Loudiadis who got rich getting Greece into the euro - The Independent


Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein has become a billionaire - Crain's New York Business


UK Treasury minister was managing director at Goldman Sachs which ‘cooked the books’ for Greek government - Political Scrapbook


Plenty Deserve Blame for Greece’s Woes, but Maybe Not Goldman Sachs - The New York Times


ARCHIVE: Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels (2012) - Bloomberg Business


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Goldman Sachs, Eurostat, and cooked Greek books - BBC


EuroZone Profiteers: How German and French Banks Helped Bankrupt Greece - Common Dreams


A Greek default would have massive repercussions for Deutsche Bank and by implication the entire European banking system - Irish Examiner


Greece’s 2010 assistance program was largely a bailout of European banks, initiated to prevent a wider banking crisis - interfluidity


ARCHIVE: It is not the people of Greece who have benefitted from bailout loans, but the European and Greek banks which recklessly lent money to the Greek State (Jan, 2015) - jubileedebt.org.uk


ARCHIVE: Greek Bail-Out: 77% went into the Financial Sector (2013) - Attac Österreich

 

ARCHIVE: The Greek Debt Restructuring: An Autopsy (2013) - scholarship.law.duke.edu


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Talk Nation Radio: Ukraine and the Checkmating of the West

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-ukraine-and-the-checkmating-of-the-west

Natylie Baldwin and Kermit Heartsong are the authors of Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated. We speak with both of them about the book and the current crisis in Ukraine.

A review of Ukraine by David Swanson is here: http://davidswanson.org/node/4799

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or  LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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Actually There Is One Problem That's Solved by Starting Wars

Walter Kloefkorn tells me a story from 24 years ago: 
 
"Near the end of my Silicon Valley career in manufacturing I was Materials Director for Biomation Corp, which made logic analyzers. (We may still have been a subsidiary of Gould Inc - some other subsidiary of which was the originator of the infamously expensive coffee pots, hammers, and toilet seats, I don't recall.) We got a contract with the military, somewhat to our amazement because we could figure no good reason for them to buy 100 of our $30,000 logic analyzers. They were mostly used to design integrated circuits, not something the military did. They could be used to repair electronic equipment, but it would have been a lot cheaper and easier for their techs to just use digital oscilloscopes. Our honest assessment was that we'd just sold some to the FAA (we couldn't figure out what they were going to do with them either), and the Air Force wanted to have some too.  

"In any event, I had to get involved with the shipment as I was the only person who had any experience with the military's arcane procedures for packaging and shipment. We were approaching the first shipment date, so I called the supply sergeant, who I had carefully cultivated with lunches and beers so there wouldn't be any problems on that end. We'd had a problem, however, with a mandatory engineering change making the cost of getting new PCBs made and replaced in time to meet the schedule hugely expensive. And then Saddam invaded Kuwait. So I called the sergeant up and asked him (without too much desperation in my voice, I hoped) whether the outbreak of hostilities would impact our schedule. To my relief he replied that he did want to delay our shipments, that he'd been trying to get a chance to call me, he was insanely busy at the moment. I replied that yes, it must be quite a job to get ready for the invasion and keep our brave troops supplied after. (I was bicycling the 18 miles to work with a sign on the back of my bike that said, "Runs on US beer, not Middle East Oil, No War for Oil.") He said, 'Hell, no, that's not it. We've got warehouses full of stuff stored that we don't need or want. Now that hostilities have broken out, I've got to get it all shipped to the war zone so we can declare it destroyed in action and get it off our books.' I was pretty much speechless, muttered something about I wish he hadn't told me that."

New TCBH! poem: 'Holding the door'

I watched a man whipping an apple tree.
I held the door open to him.
I knew that when he got tired
he would turn around and see me
holding the door for him.
And maybe he would come inside and we could talk.
I could see that many of the trees in his orchard
bore the scars of the whippings
they had received over the years.
Some of the older trees were bent over and knotted
as if riddled with pain.
Finally he turned around.
Who are you? he asked.
I am your door-man, I said.
I never saw you before, or that door.
Has that ever helped, I asked?
Whipping your trees?
It helps quiet my demons, said he.
And then I saw that the grass was crawling
with a nasty host of creeping and flying
and buzzing creatures of hideous appearance.
Anyone might have thought they were insects.
Nothing will make them go away, he said,

Clinton Days Are Here Again!

See if you can spot the mistake in this activist email I received recently:

"In 2001, the Clinton Administration handed George Bush peace, prosperity, and record budget surpluses. Eight years later, Bush handed Barack Obama two disastrous wars and a global economic crash that destroyed over 8 million American jobs. Now that President Obama has finally brought those jobs back - in the face of vicious GOP opposition - Bush's brother Jeb is now blaming American workers for not working hard enough. If you're as outraged as we are, please click here to sign Hillary Clinton's petition telling Jeb Bush that Americans need a raise, not a lecture."

OK, it was a trick; there's more than one mistake. Let's list a few:

Here are things Bill Clinton is now apologizing for: mass incarceration, Wall Street deregulation, the drug war, and corporate trade agreements. Here are a few of the things he should also be apologizing for: destroying welfare, creating media monopolies, expanding NATO toward Russia, creating a precedent for illegal NATO wars without Congressional or UN authorizations, and 500,000 children killed by sanctions in Iraq.

Here are a few little-known facts about President Barack Obama: the war on Afghanistan is more his than Bush's by any measure, he had regularly voted to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senator, he broke his promised schedule for ending the war on Iraq and never fully ended it and soon revived it, he's supported coups in Honduras and Egypt and Ukraine, he's claimed the power to murder anyone anywhere by drone, he's expanded the military into numerous nations laying the groundwork for future hostilities, and his war on Libya followed the Clinton model of blatant illegality rather than the Bush Jr. approach of at least bothering to lie to Congress and the United Nations.

Another activist group sent me an email this week reading, in part: "The truth is, Republicans don't want diplomacy to work. They want another costly war like the one they started in Iraq in 2003." In reality, a Republican House and a Democratic Senate voted for the war on Iraq in 2002. The same parties hold the same branches now. There's a wise saying that goes something like this: those who convince themselves of a bullshit version of history may be condemned to repeat what actually happened.

Those who study what actually happened may be less shocked to discover how grotesquely corrupt Hillary Clinton is, how murderous, how fervently she promoted that war on Iraq, how very long she has been so disastrous, how she out-hawks almost any hawk, how awful she is for feminism, how brutal she can be, how close she is to Wall Street Republicans and oil barons and Henry Kissinger, how hard it would be to actually elect her, how she used the State Department to market weapons and fracking and pushed weapons on governments she called soft on terrorism while waiving restrictions on sales to brutal governments that donated to her foundation, how she backs mass surveillance, how she believes in representing banks, and how greedy she is.

So long sad times, go long bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times, cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
Clinton days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So lets sing a song of cheer again
Clinton days are here again

Yall Are Talking About War Wrong

Former head of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lt. General Michael Flynn has joined the ranks of the many recently retired officials openly admitting that what the U.S. military does generates dangers rather than reducing them. (Flynn didn't explicitly apply this to every recent war and tactic, but did apply it to drone wars, proxy wars, the invasion of Iraq, the occupation of Iraq, and the new war on ISIS, which seems to cover most of the actions the Pentagon engages in. Other recently retired officials have said the same of every other recent U.S. war.)

Once you've admitted that the means of mass killing is not justified by some higher end, once you've called the wars "strategic mistakes," once you've accepted that the wars don't work on their own terms, well then there's no way left to claim that they are excusable in moral terms. Mass killing for some greater good is a tough argument to make, but possible. Mass killing for no damn good reason is totally indefensible and the equivalent of what we call it when it's done by a non-government: mass murder.

But if war is mass murder, then virtually everything that people from Donald Trump to Glenn Greenwald say about war is not quite right.

Here's Trump regarding John McCain: "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." This is not just wrong because of your view of the good, bad, or indifference of being captured (or what you think McCain did while captured), but because there is no such thing as a war hero. That is the unavoidable consequence of recognizing war as mass murder. You cannot participate in mass murder and be a hero. You can be incredibly brave, loyal, self-sacrificing, and all kinds of other things, but not a hero, which requires that you be brave for a noble cause, that you serve as a model for others.

Not only did John McCain participate in a war that killed some 4 million Vietnamese men, women, and children for no damn good reason, but he has been among the leading advocates for numerous additional wars ever since, resulting in the additional deaths of millions of men, women, and children for, yet again, no damn good reason -- as part of wars that have mostly been defeats and always been failures even on their own terms. This senator, who sings "bomb, bomb Iran!" accuses Trump of firing up "the crazies." Kettle, meet pot.

Let's turn to what a couple of our best commentators are saying about the recent shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn.: Dave Lindorff and Glenn Greenwald. First Lindorff:

"If it turns out that Abdulazeez was in any way linked to ISIS, then his action in attacking U.S. military personnel in the U.S. and killing them has to be seen not as terrorism but as a legitimate retributive act of war. . . . Abdulazeez, if he was a combatant, deserves credit really, at least for following the rules of war. He appears to have focused his killing remarkably well on actual military personnel. There were no civilian casualties in his attacks, no children killed or even wounded. Compare that to the U.S. record."

Now Greenwald:

"Under the law of war, one cannot, for instance, legally hunt down soldiers while they're sleeping in their homes, or playing with their children, or buying groceries at a supermarket. Their mere status as 'soldiers' does not mean it is legally permissible to target and kill them wherever they are found. It is only permissible to do so on the battlefield, when they are engaged in combat. That argument has a solid footing in both law and morality. But it is extremely difficult to understand how anyone who supports the military actions of the U.S. and their allies under the 'War on Terror' rubric can possibly advance that view with a straight face."

These comments are off because there is no such thing as a "legitimate retributive act of war," or an act of mass murder for which someone "deserves credit," or a "solid" legal or moral "footing" for the permissibility of killing "on the battlefield." Lindorff thinks a high standard is to target only soldiers. Greenwald thinks targeting only soldiers while they are engaged in war is a higher standard. (One could make an argument that the soldiers in Chattanooga were in fact engaged in war.) Both are right to point out U.S. hypocrisy regardless. But mass murder is neither moral nor legal.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact bans all war. The U.N. Charter bans war with narrow exceptions, none of which is retribution, and none of which is any war that takes place on a "battlefield" or in which only those engaged in fighting are fought. A legal war or component of a war, under the U.N. Charter, must be either defensive or U.N.-authorized. One could fantasize a United Nations without its Western bias accepting an ISIS attack in the United States as somehow defensive against a U.S. attack in what used to be Iraq or Syria, but it wouldn't get you around the Kellogg-Briand Pact or the basic moral problem of mass murder and of the ineffectiveness of war as a defense.

Lindorff might also consider what "in any way linked to ISIS" means for the U.S. side of the war, in terms of whom the United States claims the right to target, from those guilty of "material support" for trying to promote nonviolence in Iraq, to those guilty of assisting FBI agents pretending to be part of ISIS, to members of groups with ties to ISIS -- which includes groups that the U.S. government itself arms and trains.

Lindorff ends his article discussing actions like the Chattanooga shooting in these terms: "As long as we diminish them by calling them acts of terrorism, nobody's going to demand a halt to the War on Terror. And that 'war' is the real act of terrorism, when you come right down to it." One might exactly as well say: that "act of terrorism" is the real war, when you come right down to it, or: that governmental mass-murder is the real non-governmental mass-murder.

When you come right down to it, we have too much vocabulary for our own good: war, terrorism, collateral damage, hate crime, surgical strike, shooting spree, capital punishment, mass murder, kinetic overseas contingency operation, targeted assassination -- these are all ways of distinguishing types of unjustifiable killing that aren't actually morally distinguishable from each other.

Ukraine News - July 19, 2015


'Normandy Four' leaders agree to implement Minsk accords on Ukraine by end of 2015 - UNIAN news


Russia calls Ukrainian constitutional changes inadequate, decentralization does not include defense, foreign policy, national security - rferl.org


Putin stresses the establishment of direct dialogue between Kiev authorities and representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk - Sputnik 


Moscow: West should persuade Ukrainian authorities to start real national dialogue instead of encouraging Kiev’s irresponsible policy - TASS


Poroshenko: Constitutional changes stipulate no special status for Donbass, “There isn’t a single hint on federalization" - Sputnik 


Ukraine calls local elections but not in rebel-held east - US News


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland sees no ground to talk about Ukraine's way to federalization, only decentralization - interfax.com


Russia says US Nuland ‘jumping to conclusions’ backing Ukraine constitutional law - TASS


Nuland: In case of escalation in Donbas costs for Russia will go up - interfax.com


Victoria Nuland Press Conference in Ukraine - Embassy of the United States Kyiv, Ukraine


US to punish Putin by stepping up financial sanctions if Russia does not fulfil commitment to Minsk agreement - The Independent


Separatist: Kiev didn't submit new draft law on constitution to Contact Group for discussion - TASS


Statement Of The LNR Chairman of the Government Plotnitsky On The Draft Amendments To The Ukrainian Constitution - Voices from Russia

 

Ukrainian law on local elections has nothing to do with the DPR: Pushilin - Novorossia Today


Lavrov and Steinmeier call for soonest Ukrainian troops’ withdrawal from Shyrokino - TASS


Ukraine Rebels Claim Readiness To Pull Back Tanks, Smaller Arms - rferl.org


Strelkov Reportedly Says that Motorola, Givi Out; Zakharchenko Stripped of Guard; DNR Defense Ministry Dismantled after Moscow VIP Visit - Interpreter_Mag


Savchenko moved to Russia's Rostov region: lawyer (VIDEO) - uatoday.tv


Right Sector to hold popular assembly in Kyiv on Tuesday - interfax.com


Right Sector doesn't believe in unbiased inquiry into Mukacheve events, ready to defend its fighters - interfax.com

 

-----------------------------------------------------

MH17 investigators to analyse footage of Russian-backed rebels at crash site in Ukraine - news.com.au


The moment Russian-backed rebels realise their momentous mistake after shooting down flight MH17 - news.com.au


VIDEO: Footage reveals Russian-backed rebels arriving at the wreckage of MH17 - news.com.au


TRANSCRIPT: Russian-backed rebels ransack the wreckage of MH17 in shocking 17-minute video - news.com.au


MH17 Victims' Families Suing Igor Girkin, AKA Strelkov, For $900 Million - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: MH17 investigator: ‘Buk Missile strike most credible scenario' - BBC News


Chemical examination found submunitions from Boeing corresponding to Russian Buk missiles: Butusov - EN.Censor.net


Unraveling the mystery of MH17: A full recount of the event (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - mashable.com


MH17 In Their Own Words: Witness Testimonies on Social Media from July 17th, 2014 - bellingcat


A local resident describes seeing a rocket flew from south of Snizhne towards MH17 - MH17 Live on Twitter


SBU intercepted conversation between separatists discussing the downing of Flight MH17 - MH17 Live on Twitter


Separatist communications discussing the Buk intercepted by the SBU - MH17 Live on Twitter

 

Russia’s Colin Powell Moment – How the Russian Government’s MH17 Lies Were Exposed - bellingcat


Zaroshchens’ke Launch Site: Claims and Reality: A Bellingcat Investigation - bellingcat


Evidence the Russian Military Supplied the Type of Missile Used to Shoot Down MH17 - bellingcat


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Lila Garrett’s CONNECT THE DOTS. Guests include:

Monday morning  at 7-8AM  tune in (KPFK 90.7 fm)  or log on: http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd

Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Swanson on the virtues of the American-Iranian diplomatic deal.  Will it pass this hawkish Congress or will they reject diplomacy for another war. 

Ben Beachy Research Dir of Global Trade Watch for Public Citizen on the future of the TPP, the trade agreement that gives corporations final say over government rule.  Can this assault on democracy be defeated in this right wing Congress?

Dr. Paul Song, Chair of the Courage Campaign joins us with facts & myths about Obamacare.  Is it another gift to the insurance companies and big pharma or can it actually lead to Medicare for All.

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)

KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;
99.5 China Lake
Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.

Link to my program page
http://www.kpfk.org/index.php/programs/67-connect-the-dots-with-lila-garrett

Link to my podcasts
http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd

Each show is online for three months.

It's not terrorism if it's retaliation: Chattanooga Shooting, If Linked to ISIS, is a Legitimate Act of War

By Dave Lindorff

 

I'm not a fan of war or of killing of any kind, but the labeling of the deadly attack by Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez on two US military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee as an act of terror is absurd.

Are Nuclear Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements of Any Value?

The recent announcement of a nuclear deal between the governments of Iran and other major nations, including the United States, naturally draws our attention to the history of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements.  What accounts for their advent on the world scene and what have they accomplished?

Ever since 1945, when the atomic bomb was built and used by the U.S. government in a devastating attack upon Japanese cities, the world has lived on the brink of catastrophe, for nuclear weapons, if integrated into war, could cause the total destruction of civilization.

Join Me and Kathy Kelly in Chicago on the 87th Anniversary of Kellogg-Briand Pact

From David Swanson:

Please indicate you're coming here and share it widely:https://www.facebook.com/events/1451800825124185/

Here's a webpage. Here's a flyer.
 
Here's the book I wrote that alerted people to the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the Chicago activist who made it happen and put forward, with others, a vision that could help us actually eliminate war: http://davidswanson.org/outlawry
 
In that book I advocated celebrating August 27. St Paul, Minn., has taken that up. There's an event this year in Albuquerque. But I'll be at the third-annual award ceremony for a related essay contest created by Frank Goetz and others in Chicago.
 
And if you can't be there, you can organize your own event to mark the day evoked in "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" when nations said they'd never fight again (ask me to help!).
 
The Kellogg-Briand Pact bans all war, is acknowledged as in force by the U.S. State Dept on its website -- and by the Pentagon just last month in its new publication.

We have a long way to go to end war, and one way is to learn from the model of Kathy Kelly's work. Join me and her in Chicago where Outlawry of War was born.

And make sure you're part of World Beyond War.

Greece News - July 17, 2015


Europe moves to restore funding to Greece after bailout vote - Reuters


ECB's Mario Draghi Confirms: Greece Is Saved, Debt Relief ‘Necessary' - thestreet.com


VIDEO: Press conference with Mario Draghi following the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (Full) - ECB


IMF's Lagarde sees hope for Greek debt restructure - AFP


VIDEO (and transcript): IMF chief Lagarde: Europe must do much more to help Greece, accept debt adjustments - PBS


Greece needs debt relief far beyond EU plans: Secret IMF report - Reuters


Text of the IMF’s four-page Greece debt sustainability analysis - IMF


Eurozone chief Dijsselbloem: EU loan to Greece allows the country to pay debts it owes to the International Monetary Fund so the IMF can rejoin negotiations on a third bailout - sigmalive.com


France's Sapin says on same line as IMF on Greek debt relief - Reuters


US Treasury's Lew Presses German And French Finance Ministers on Greek Debt Relief - WSJ


Readout from a Treasury Spokesperson on Secretary Lew’s Meetings in Europe on Greece - treasury.gov


German parliament seen clearly backing talks on Greece aid - Reuters


Germany's Schaeuble casts doubt on chance of Greek bailout success, still thinks temporary Grexit a good idea - Reuters


Greek parliament backs bailout deal amid protests - usatoday.com


After a night of rioting quiet acceptance in Athens, despite protests Greece is largely supportive of Tsipras and the bailout deal - ibtimes


VIDEO: Riots in Athens over Austerity Measures & Bailout Plan - YouTube


Tsipras says Greece needs debt restructuring to exit the crisis - Channel NewsAsia


VIDEO: Alexander Tsipras' speech to the Greek Parliament: 'We had a choice: A deal we disagreed with or a chaotic default’ - The Independent


Tsipras: Early Elections Unlikely Despite Weakening Syriza Support - Sputnik International


PM Tsipras hit out at lawmakers in his leftist Syriza party for breaking ranks over the terms of Greece's bailout - Reuters


Former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis Calls Bailout Deal Reforms 'Fiscal Waterboarding' - huffingtonpost.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Tomgram: Max Blumenthal, The Next Gaza War

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com.

NBC Dares Mention Climate in Spread of Lyme Disease, But Not Who Created Lyme Disease

Climate change is apparently encouraging the spread of Lyme disease, and a report by NBC News dares to say so. This may seem like a fresh breath of honest sanity in a media context in which even the weather reports usually avoid the topic of human global destruction.

However, another topic is clearly still off limits: the topic of who created Lyme disease.

Who created it is not in any real doubt. The facts have been well reported and never refuted.

The relevance of the disease's creators to this and numerous other news reports about Lyme disease is indisputable. If you're going to report on what's facilitating the disease's spread, you should report on what started it, and how it was intentionally created to spread and why.

That NBC News knows the information is easily shown. In 2004 Michael Christopher Carroll published a book called Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory. He appeared on several television shows to discuss the book, including on MSNBC and on NBC's Today Show (where the book was made a Today Show Book Club selection). Lab 257 hit the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list soon after its publication.

And what did that book say? Well, the wonderful thing about books is that you can still go and read them. But I'll give you a brief summary of the part about Lyme disease. For a wide array of other diseases, some far worse, you'll have to read the book.

Less than 2 miles off the east end of Long Island sits Plum Island, where the U.S. government makes biological weapons, including weapons consisting of diseased insects that can be dropped from airplanes on a (presumably foreign) population. One such insect is the deer tick, pursued as a germ weapon by the Nazis, the Japanese, the Soviets, and the Americans.

Deer swim to Plum Island.

I wasn't aware that deer swam at all, but apparently they are ocean swimmers. A quick internet search finds plenty of reports and photos and videos of deer swimming, miles from shore, including in Long Island Sound. And people are often so surprised (and kind hearted) that they rescue the deer -- which may in some cases not actually be needed. Deer frequently swim between Long Island and Plum Island; there's not any dispute about that fact.

Birds fly to Plum Island. The island lies in the middle of the Atlantic migration route for numerous species. "Ticks," Carroll writes, "find baby chicks irresistible."

In July of 1975 a brand new disease appeared in Old Lyme, Connecticut, just north of Plum Island. It wasn't a disease that gradually grew and finally attracted attention. It was 12 cases of a disease that, as far as anyone knows, had never been seen before. Scientists' efforts to find it in the past haven't gotten any further than the 1940s in the areas right around Plum Island.

And what was on Plum Island? A germ warfare lab to which the U.S. government had brought former Nazi germ warfare scientists in the 1940s to work on the same evil work for a different employer. These included the head of the Nazi germ warfare program who had worked directly for Heinrich Himmler. On Plum Island was a germ warfare lab that frequently conducted its experiments out of doors. After all, it was on an island. What could go wrong? Documents record outdoor experiments with diseased ticks in the 1950s. Even the indoors, where participants admit to experiments with ticks, was not sealed tight. And test animals mingled with wild deer, test birds with wild birds.

By the 1990s, the eastern end of Long Island had by far the greatest concentration of Lyme disease. If you drew a circle around the area of the world heavily impacted by Lyme disease, which happened to be in the Northeast United States, the center of that circle was Plum Island.

Plum Island experimented with the Lone Star tick, whose habitat at the time was confined to Texas. Yet it showed up in New York and Connecticut, infecting people with Lyme disease -- and killing them. The Lone Star tick is now endemic in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

So, by all means blame ExxonMobil and all the other climate liars, and their servants in government, for the spread of Lyme disease, among other horrors. But save a little blame for the military industrial complex. Either it murdered the victims of Lyme disease, or -- if you believe in the nobility of its mission -- then perhaps we'd better say they are collateral damage.

Speaking Events

2015

September 22, DC

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