Sunday, May 31, 2015

Truest statement of the week

Especially appealing, in a presidential election cycle where foreign policy is likely to be a major issue, is his purported opposition to our foreign policy of global intervention: his votes against both Gulf wars stand out in stark contrast to Hillary’s record.
Yet his real foreign policy record is closer to Hillary’s than he likes to admit. Yes, he opposed the Iraq war – and then proceeded to routinely vote to fund that war: ditto Afghanistan. In 2003, at the height of the Iraq war hysteria, then Congressman Sanders voted for a congressional resolution hailing Bush:
“Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.”
As the drumbeat for war with Iran got louder, Rep. Sanders voted for the Iran Freedom Support Act, which codified sanctions imposed since the fall of the Shah and handed out millions to “pro-freedom” groups seeking the overthrow of the Tehran regime. The Bush administration, you’ll recall, was running a regime change operation at that point which gave covert support to Jundullah, a terrorist group responsible for murdering scores of Iranian civilians. Bush was also canoodling with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a weirdo cult group once designated as a terrorist organization (a label lifted by Hillary Clinton’s State Department after a well-oiled public relations campaign).
Sanders fulsomely supported the Kosovo war: when shocked antiwar activists visited his Senate office in Burlington, Vermont, he called the cops on them. At a Montpelier public meeting featuring a debate on the war, Bernie argued passionately in favor of Bill Clinton’s “humanitarian” intervention, and pointedly told hecklers to leave if they didn’t like what he had to say.

As a Senator, his votes on civil liberties issues show a distinct pattern. While he voted against the Patriot Act, in 2006 he voted in favor of making fourteen provisions of the Act permanent, including those that codified the FBI’s authority to seize business records and carry out roving wiretaps. Sanders voted no on the legislation establishing the Department of Homeland Security, but by the time he was in the Senate he was regularly voting for that agency’s ever-expanding budget.

-- Justin Raimondo, "Bernie Sanders: The Ron Paul of the Left?" (

Truest statement of the week II

By equating the Zionist state’s racial and religious policies with the U.S. civil rights movement, Obama is committing the gravest slander against African Americans. You might call it a “blood libel.” Israel is a full-fledged apartheid state, the only such governmental deformity left in the world, since the demise of the white South African regime, Israel’s close partner in crime, two decades ago. Black and white South Africans are well aware that Israel is the last bastion of the racially-based state. Bishop Desmond Tutu, who supports boycotts and economic sanctions against Israel, says segregation on Israeli highways and in housing reminds him “so much of conditions” Blacks experienced under white rule in his own country. White South African John Dugard, a former United Nations Special Rapporteur, says “Israel’s crimes are infinitely worse than those committed by the apartheid regime in South Africa.” Indeed, an article in the popular Israeli newspaper Haaretz points out that the Zionist state has elements of both “petty” and “grand” apartheid – petty apartheid in effective segregation in public accommodations and transportation, and grand apartheid in terms of where people are allowed to live and work, especially on the occupied West Bank.

-- Glen Ford, "Obama Invokes U.S. Civil Rights Movement to Defend Israel" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday.  First, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

What did we come up with?

Justin Raimondo gets a truest. 
Glen Ford gets another truest.
On Twitter, Shi'ite militias can be called out.  But last week also saw AP begin referring to documented abuse as "alleged abuse."
Ava and C.I. take on Aquarius and Bernie Sanders.

Isn't it cute how the press portrayed Paul as the strange one.
The slogan that gets to the heart of the matter.
Benghazie will not go away.
The announcement. 
Choices inspired by the NBC show Aquarius. 

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them.

And that's what we came up with.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Where are the news outlets?

A Tweet can tell the truth:

  • So why can't any of the international news outlets?

    Where is there bravery?

    Where is their concern with human life?

    Have they confused themselves with the US State Dept?

    Are they of the belief that they too must stay silent to 'help' Haider al-Abadi?

    That prime minister hasn't done a thing to help Iraq.

    TV: The Age of New Media?

    One of the most remarkable accomplishments of NBC's summer series Aquarius is how often it manages to resemble Henry Diltz photographs. Visually, it's a winner.



    David Duchovny's portrayal of police officer Sam is all dripping, throbbing hard-on, it's all passion and eroticism aided by the best looking partner he's had since Gillian Anderson (The X-Files): Grey Damon as Brian Shafe.

    The series is set in 1967 and some reviewers have decided Sam is racist.

    The LAPD's reputation (see especially the Daryl Gates era) would make it difficult for the LAPD to be portrayed as anything but.

    Sam's partner Brian is married to an African-American woman and Sam's on board with not being opposed long before a real estate scheme finds Brian's family targeted with bricks and racist words painted on the garage door. The whole department has an issue with Latinos but it's Sam who the unknown Latino officer (people think Joe Moran -- Cuban Jose Moran -- is Irish) reaches out to and it's Sam who supports him.  Sam's also the one who recognizes Charmain (Claire Holt) has more to offer than making coffee.

    By 2015 standards, Sam's a racist.

    And Brian's a homophobe.

    But the characters inhabit 1967 so is it really that clear cut?

    Old hippie Bernie Sanders was a disaster as the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee -- at one point, he pointedly ignored a VA scandal (a real one, one that was later confirmed and one that saw veterans dying and veterans denied care) to explore, for an entire hearing, holistic medicine.

    Bernie was in the news last week when it was revealed that an article he wrote portrayed all women as having fantasies/desires of being gang-raped.

    Was it fair, in 2015, to judge Senator Bernie Sanders -- who is playing at running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- by what he wrote in 1972?

    On Sunday's Meet The Press (NBC), Bernie got asked about the article.

    This week you found out what it's like to become a nationally recognized candidate for potentially, and potentially, a threat to somebody. A leaking of an essay you wrote in the '70s from Alternative Weekly, your campaign described it as satire. I'll be honest with you, Senator Sanders, it's uncomfortable to read. The only excerpt I'm going to put up is, you wrote this in February of '72, was sort of a fantasy of men and women, you said, "A woman enjoys intercourse with her man as she fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously." Your campaign described it as satire. Can you explain this essay?

    Sure. Look, this is a piece of fiction that I wrote in 1972, I think. That was 43 years ago. It was very poorly written. And if you read it, what it was dealing with gender stereotypes, why some men like to oppress women, why other women like to be submissive. You know, something like 50 Shades of Gray, very poorly written 43 years ago.

    What I'm focusing on right now are the issues impacting the American people today. And that's what I will continue to focus on. And what I think the American people want to hear. And by the way, on broader issues, what I think when we talk about issues, Chuck, we need a lot more debates in this campaign. I hope very much that we can begin with the Democratic candidates at least as early as July, and also Republicans in those debates, as well. 

    Oh, okay,  It's 50 Shades of Gray.

    Which, for the record, is also deeply sexist.

    That's the best he can do?

    And where's the apology?

    He's not a fictional character trapped in 1972.

    He's a politician seeking votes in 2015.

    It's 2015 and so-called 'honor killings' take place around the world -- a woman can be killed for having sex or for having been raped.

    And Bernie Sanders thinks he doesn't have to apologize for a piece of trash article he wrote promoting the lie that rape -- that gang-rape, at that -- is a normal desire on the part of all women?

    The thing about fake-ass Bernie and his fake-ass supporters is they're all down with the pot and with this and the that but they're never really down with equality -- which is why you don't get much Whiter than Bernie's campaign and his supporters.

    Sam is a character trapped in 1967.  He's a World War II veteran.  A White male who's half-Irish and half-Jewish.  He's a man who, when he was drunk, beat his wife.

    He's also someone who's attempting to change.

    Another aspect of the show is Charles Manson.

    The psychopath is just emerging in the storyline which is about as factual as a Ken Burns' 'documentary' on PBS.

    But by not being tied to the facts, it is able to tie in a few elements that have always been whispered of -- such as the help Manson supposedly got from certain right-wing politicians in California.  Truly novel would be exploring the whispers that Manson was also part of a government program to discredit the left.

    Though Manson's potential government connections aren't explored, another aspect is touched upon.  Bunchy Cather (Gaius Charles) is a Black Panther and his brother Robert is killed.  He asks Sam for help.  Sam is able to track down the killer, an informer for the FBI.  In questioning him, Sam tricks him and makes him think he'll get a raise for snitching and the FBI agent who he snitches to will get a medal if the killed includes in his statement the fact that he went to see Robert with a gun (intent to kill) as instructed by the FBI agent.

    Silent film star Ramon Novarro's death turns up in a heavily disguised reinterpretation which finds him much younger, still acting in lead roles and in the midst of a fake engagement when two brothers -- male hustlers -- kill him.

    This is one of those confusing moments.

    Novarro's murderers were caught.  Why change the actor's name?  Why change the killers' names?  Why change any of it?

    Another question would be why is Michaela McManus cast in the role of Grace?

    We have no problem with her acting, she's outstanding.

    But she's playing opposite 54-year-old Duchovny and McManus is only 32.

    And Grace is supposed to be Sam's ex.

    See, 20 years earlier, in 1947, they danced and dance to "Time After Time" as they dated in the summer Grace was between high school and college.

    That would make her 38.

    A few weeks ago, 37-year-old actress Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed that she was told she was now too old to play the love interest of a 55-year-old actor.

    And here's 32-year-old McManus being cast as a 38-year-old woman who is the former (and current) love of Sam played by 54-year-old Duchovny.

    And, by the way, McManus is only 12 years older than the 20-year-old actress playing her sixteen-year-old daughter.

    It's worth noting.

    And even so, Aquarius is more than worth watching.

    It's riveting television and riveting streaming.  NBC is airing it on Thursday nights this summer but you can stream all the episodes on Hulu currently.   This new model has tended to be the focus of The Water Cooler Set and not the content of the show itself.  Even so, there's already talk of a season two and the network should explore that because it's solid entertainment.  But even while marveling over the look, grasp that it's not history and doesn't pretend to be.

    The press tries to flog Rand Paul


    TIME magazine proclaims "Rand Paul Kills Patriot Act, Boosts Presidential Campaign -- For the Moment."

    For the moment?

    A sycophantic press is a bitter press when things don't go their betters way.

    The bitches at Reuters -- Patricia Zengerle and Warren Strobel -- filed a report accusing Rand Paul of, among other things, standing against the PATRIOT Act in order to fund raise for his presidential campaign.

    Yet no where in their 'report' did Bitch Zengerle or Bitch Strobel ever note that Barack ran for the presidency himself on a campaign opposing the PATRIOT Act.

    It's interesting the way the bitches played it -- at every outlet -- pretending that Rand Paul was being strange or difficult.

    In 2013, Caroline Houck (Politfact) could note:

      "I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient," Obama said in 2007, adding that "the FISA court works."
    Again critiquing "the Bush administration's initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens," Obama promised to "update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law."

    He also vowed to "revisit the Patriot Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like national security letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision."

    Yet in covering the Senate show down, press bitches acted as though they'd been put in a muzzle.  Certainly, they couldn't have forgotten.

    After all, Paul raised the issue in his May 31st remarks:

    James Otis fought a famous case in the 1760's and he found against the British soldiers writing their own warrants. The interesting thing is part of the PATRIOT Act allows our police to write their own warrants. We have something called national security letters. These have been done by the hundreds of thousands. 
    Interestingly, when the president was in the senate, he was opposed to national security letters and said that they should have judicial warrants. Now it's kind of interesting that in this bill that will pass - it's supported by the president, supported by the Director of National Intelligence and now supported in a wide bipartisan fashion. 
    It concerns me that the president that supports the bulk data collection and has been performing it illegally for six years now supports this bill the devil's in the details and the question is, will the new bill still allow bulk collection by the phone companies? Will they be able to put into the search engine not an individual for whom we have suspicion but an entire corporation? This is what was revealed when we saw the warrant that was revealed that had Verizon's name on it. 

    For almost two weeks now, Rand Paul has been calling the shots forcing the White House to play defense just to hold their own.

    Can Rand Paul govern if elected president?

    He's already demonstrated he can as a US senator.

    And that's the story the press bitches have avoided as they've rushed to prop up faded flower Barack Obama.

    It sort of says it all


    Doesn't it?

    Are you ready for new leadership?

    Or do you want to fall back into the Clinton - Bush trap?

    Haven't we had more than enough of both?

    And hasn't the life gone out of Hillary as she tries, eight years later, to again win the party's nomination?

    Aren't you ready for new leadership?

    Susan Rice lied or Hillary Clinton hid -- figure it out

    Poor Bob Somerby -- old, ugly and oh-so stupid.

    He's spent three years defending liar and War Hawk Susan Rice.

    Alice in Barackland
    [Isaiah captures Susan Rice in one of her calmer moments in The World Today Just Nuts "Alice in Barackland."]

    Rice supported the Iraq War, took to NPR to declare 'case closed' when Colin Powell made his ridiculous blot on the floor of the United Nations and yet Bob Somerby defends her.

    He's been silent for a bit though.

    No talky-talky about Susie Rice.

    Despite the fact that Rice lied about Benghazi and Benghazi had stomped back into the news.

    Sidney Blumenthal, it turns out, sent an assessment to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 9/13/12 -- two days after the attacks and well before Susan Rice went on all four broadcast networks Sunday Chat & Chews to lie about the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi which left over four Americans dead.

    The known dead are Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Chris Stevens but as Hillary Clinton has revealed more died in the days after the attack.

    So, to be clear for the idiotic Bob Somerby, he's going to have to choose -- as will America.

    Susan Rice lied.

    Or you can go with Hillary Clinton having information that she refused to share.

    That would be a real dereliction of duty, not just insubordination.

    And it certainly wouldn't argue that Hillary was fit for the Oval Office.

    So Bob and company, figure out which it is: Susan lied or Hillary hid information from the White House.

    Martin O'Malley announces

      Saturday, Martin O'Malley announced he was seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    Announcement Speech

    1. Introduction

    My fellow Americans.
    I want to talk with you today about The American Dream we share…
    its powerful history,
    its current condition, and most importantly,
    its urgent need for rebuilding.
    Our nation was founded on two self-evident truths…
    That All of us are created equal.
    And that we are endowed by our Creator with the rights to Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    With these words, the American dream began.
    No fine print. No expiration date.
    All of us are included.
    Women and men.
    Black and white people.
    Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Americans.
    Young and old. Rich and poor. Workers and Business owners. Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and straight Americans.
    Every person is important, each of us is needed.
    In our idea of country, there is no such thing as a spare American.
    There is, however, a growing injustice in our country today.
    It is the gap between the strong and just country our children need for us to be,… and the country we are in danger of becoming.
    For today in America, seventy percent of us are earning the same or less than they were 12 years ago. This is the first time that has happened this side of World War II.
    Today in America, family owned businesses and farms are struggling to compete with ever larger concentrations of corporate power,…
    Fifty years ago, the nation’s largest employer was GM. An average GM employee could pay for a year’s tuition at a state university with two weeks’ wages.
    Today in America, with dreams of college, a decent paying job, and a secure retirement slipping beyond the reach of so very many,… the American Dream seems to be hanging by a thread.
    And yet, for America there is always a yet.
    The final thread that holds us just might be the strongest.
    It is the thread of the generosity, the compassion, and the love of one another that brings us together as One American People.
    For over 200 years we’ve been the architects of our own future. And now we must build anew today.
    My father and mother, Tom and Barbara O’Malley, were born to the Great Depression and grew up as part of that great generation that won the Second World War. My dad flew 33 missions over Japan in a B-24 Liberator, and went on to college only because of the GI Bill.
    My mom, herself, flew in the Civil Air Patrol at the age of seventeen.
    They raised their children — the six of us — to a middle class future secured largely by the sacrifices and better choices of their generation.
    But they would never accept the notion that somehow theirs was the “greatest generation.” For they believed and they taught us that every generation of Americans has the ability — and the sacred responsibility — to become great.
    And so we must. No matter how long the odds, no matter how large the challenge, and no matter how tough the fight.
    This is the urgent work calling us forward today: to rebuild the truth of the American Dream for ALL Americans. And to begin right now!

    2. Baltimore/Economy

    Last month, television sets around the world were filled with the anger and the rage, and the flames of some of the humblest and hardest hit neighborhoods of Baltimore.
    For all of us who have given so much of our energies to making our city a safer, fairer, more just and more prosperous place, it was a heartbreaking night in the life of our City.
    But there is something to be learned from that night, and there is something to be offered to our country from those flames.
    For what took place here was not only about race…not only about policing in America.
    It’s about everything it is supposed to mean to be an American.
    The scourge of hopelessness that happened to ignite here that evening, transcends race or geography.
    Witness the record numbers of young white kids killing themselves with heroin in suburbs and small towns across America.
    The hard truth of our shared reality is this: Unemployment in many American cities and in many small towns across the United States is higher now than it was eight years ago.
    Conditions of extreme and growing poverty, create conditions for extreme violence.
    We have work to do…
    Our economic and political system is upside down and backwards and it is time to turn it around.
    What happened to our economy — what happened to the American Dream — did not happen by chance.
    Nor was it merely the result of global forces somehow beyond our control.
    Powerful, wealthy special interests here at home have used our government to create — in our own country — an economy that is leaving a majority of our people behind.
    An economy that has so concentrated wealth in the hands of the very few that it has taken opportunity from the homes of the many.
    An economy where a majority of our people are unheard, unseen, un-needed, and left to conclude that their lives and labors are literally worth less today than they were yesterday,… And will be worth less still tomorrow…
    We are allowing our land of opportunity to be turned into a land of inequality.
    Main Street struggles, while Wall Street soars.
    Tell me how it is, that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown. Not. A. Single. One.
    Tell me how it is, that you can get pulled over for a broken tail light in our country, but if you wreck the nation’s economy you are untouchable.
    This is not how our economy is supposed to work!
    This is not how our country is supposed to work!
    This is not the American Dream!
    And it does not have to be this way!
    This generation still has time to become great.
    We have saved the world before and we must save our country now – and we will do that by rebuilding the American Dream!

    3. The Agenda

    As I look out here this morning over the original “land of the free and the home of the brave,” I see the faces of people who have done so much for so many in our City and our State.
    Together, we made our City a safer, healthier and better place for kids.
    Together, we made our city Believe again. We invented a new and better way of governing called CitiStat, and we got things done.
    Together, we made our State’s public schools the best in the United States. We made college more affordable for more families.
    We led our people forward through a devastating national recession. We took greater care to protect our land, our air, and the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
    We passed Marriage Equality and we passed the DREAM Act.
    Together, we raised the minimum wage and we sustained the highest median income in America. We achieved top rankings for innovation, entrepreneurship, and minority and women’s business development.
    Yes, understanding precedes action.
    And it took new leadership. New perspectives. And new approaches.
    But we believed in the dream,…together we took action to make it real,… and that is exactly what we must do as a nation today.
    Our economy isn’t money, our economy is people—all of our people.
    We measure success by the growing prosperity and security of our people–all of our people.
    A stronger middle class is not the consequence of economic growth — a stronger middle class is the cause of economic growth.
    Together, as one nation we must build an American economy that works again for all of us.
    That means good jobs and wage policies that allow hardworking families to actually get ahead. That means a higher minimum wage, overtime pay for overtime work, and respect for the rights of all workers to organize and collectively bargain for better wages.
    If we take these actions…the dream will live again.
    Climate change is real. We must create an American jobs agenda to build a new renewable energy future.
    We must launch a new agenda to rebuild America’s cities as places of Justice and Opportunity for all.
    And if we take these actions… the dream will live again.
    For the sake of our country’s security, and our country’s well-being, and our country’s economic growth, we must also bring 11 million of our neighbors out of the shadows by passing comprehensive immigration reform.
    Because the enduring symbol of our nation is not the barbed wire fence,… it is the Statue of Liberty.
    We are a nation of immigrants. We are a compassionate and generous people. And if we act according to our principles–and the better angels of our nature—if we return to our true selves, the dream will live again.
    Make no mistake about it — our ability to lead the world and be safe in this world depends on the strength of the American Dream here at home. The challenges we face in the world today are different from the challenges we faced in the 1990’s.
    Together, we must construct a New National Security Strategy and build new alliances that are forward-seeing and forward-acting.
    The center of this new strategy must be the reduction of threats. Fast-evolving threats — from violent extremism, pandemic, cyber attacks, nuclear proliferation, nation-state failures, to the drought, famine, and floods of climate change.
    Together, we must craft a New Foreign Policy of Engagement and Collaboration. We must join with like-minded people around the world — especially with nations here in our own hemisphere — for the cause we share of a rising global middle class.
    We must put our national interest first, we must put America first.
    But we cannot rebuild the American Dream here at home by catering to the voices of the privileged and the powerful.
    Let’s be honest. They were the ones who turned our economy upside-down in the first place. And they are the only ones who are benefiting from it.
    We need to prosecute cheats, we need to reinstate Glass-Steagall, and if a bank is too big to fail without wrecking our nation’s economy…then it needs to be broken up before it breaks us…again.
    Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest repeat-offending investment banks in America. Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton.
    I bet he would…
    Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street —
    The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families.
    It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States.
    The only way we are going to rebuild the American Dream is if we re-take control of our own American government!

    4. Conclusion

    The poet laureate of the American Dream, Bruce Springsteen, once asked:
    Is a dream a lie, if it don’t come true?…
    Or is it something worse?
    Whether the American dream becomes a lie, or becomes an ongoing truth that our children can enjoy,…can build upon,… can live,… is really up to you and me.
    It is up to all of us.
    It’s not about Wall Street, not about the big five banks, it’s not even about big money trying to buy our elections.
    It’s about U.S.
    It is about whether, together, We the People still have the will to become great Americans.
    I believe we do.
    My decision is made.
    Now you will all have a vital choice to make next year, for the good of your families, and for the good of the country you love and carry in your hearts.
    It is a choice that people will ask you about for years to come.
    And so, when a child with a world of learning ahead asks who you voted for, I want you to be able to tell that child, “I voted for you.”
    When you see a dad sweating through another long shift in order to give his daughter a better future, I want you to be able to tell him, “I voted for you.”
    When you see a mom working long hours at two jobs for the dream of sending her son to college, I want you to be able to tell her, “I voted for you.”
    When you see a young father who hungers for a decent job to support his family, I want you to be able to tell him, “I voted for you.”
    The story of our country’s best days is not found in a history book, because this generation of Americans is about to write it!
    And that is why today,… to you — and to all who can hear my voice — I declare that I am a candidate for President of the United States….and I’m running for YOU.

    May God Bless you and may God Bless the United States of America.

    This edition's playlist

    Jackie DeShannon

    1) Jackie DeShannon's Laurel Canyon.

    2) Diana Ross & The Supremes' Reflections.

    3) Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers.

    4) The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    5) The Doors' Morrison Hotel.

    6) Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul.

    7) Janis Joplin's Pearl.

    8) The Mamas & The Papas' Deliver

    9) The Kinks' The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

    10) The Mamas & The Papas' The Papas and The Mamas.

    Stop military intervention in Iraq under any pretext!

    BRussells Tribunal notes:

    The Stockholm Appeal from the I.A.O.N.:

    Stop military intervention in Iraq under any pretext!

    After decades of sanctions, war and occupation, attempts to dominate and control Iraq continue. The destruction of the country´s infrastructure, its army and its middle class has left a failed state that leaves its people in social misery and chaos. This has resulted in the collapse of the health and education systems, the weakening of the social fabric and the collective memory and national identity of the Iraqi people. Foreign plans to divide Iraq threaten its very existence as a state.

    1. The failure of the US-led occupation to achieve their goals has been followed by another war with massive bombings of civilians and the infusion of enormous amounts of military weapons.

    2. The regime in Baghdad which resulted from the imposed sectarian Bremer constitution is incapable by its very nature of achieving the inclusiveness of the different ethnic, religious and political groups that is required to guarantee Iraq´s continued existence.

    3. Outside interference and support to sectarian militia and terrorist groups has further worsened internal conflicts, giving birth to criminal ruling groups. It has led to serious violations of human rights and has caused widespread suffering for civilians.

    4. The government policies of massive imprisonment, torture, forced displacement and the exclusion of many from the political process have together provided fertile ground for all forms of extremism and terrorism.

    5. Millions of refugees have been caught between the US-led bombing and the attacks from the government and its militia allies as well as from the terrorist attacks by ISIS. A humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions continues to worsen with widespread sectarian ethnic cleansing .

    We re-iterate our stand that peace cannot be restored until the underlying causes of the conflict have been dealt with. The Iraqi people continue to resist foreign domination. Only their unity can guarantee the sovereignty of Iraq and defeat of terrorism and separatism. Only their efforts can guarantee good relations with all their neighbours based on strict non-interference in each other´s internal affairs. Iraq is not a pawn to be offered in regional or religious conflict. Its sovereignty and independence must be respected.

    In the present situation, our efforts should be intensified and co-ordinated to:

    - spread information about the underlying political nature of the conflict and demand an end to all foreign intervention.

    - support the efforts of the patriotic forces for unity against sectarianism and terrorism where all Iraqis are treated as citizens of one country rather than members of specific communities.

    - mobilize international efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people.

    - demand an end to the bombing and military intervention in Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

    - demand  justice for the victims and accountability by those responsible for the crimes committed and their responsibility for reparations and the reconstruction of the country. The UN must uphold international law.

    We call upon all anti-occupation, anti-war and peace loving people to maintain and continue solidarity with the people of Iraq and their struggle for an independent, unified and non-sectarian Iraq.

    Stockholm May 24, 2015

    Peter Kennard interview - How can we use political art to reclaim privatised spaces?

    This is a repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

    Peter Kennard interview - How can we use political art to reclaim privatised spaces?

    Artist Peter Kennard spoke to Socialist Worker about the latest exhibition of his works—and how we can make sure the arts aren’t only for a rich elite

    Published Tue 26 May 2015
    Issue No. 2455

    Our Financial Times—part of an installation at the exhibition
    Our Financial Times—part of an installation at the exhibition

    The Imperial War Museum’s new exhibition isn’t just a loose restrospective of Peter Kennard’s work—each of the five rooms makes a political statement.
    As soon as you walk in, you’re confronted with five canvases depicting medals. But instead of the shimmering gold of “glory”, a bandaged head hangs from one and a head in a black bag from another.
    The union jack and the stars and stripes remain, but a chargrilled corpse dangles from them. Peter made them in response to the reality of the Iraq war. 
    Running through the exhibition are the political events and movement’s Peter’s work has related to since he was politicised in 1968. It’s fascinating to look through it and ask, can political art make an impact? 
    Peter told Socialist Worker, “Political art by itself does not change anything. “I’ve always considered myself to be the ‘visual arm’ of different campaigns and protest groups. 
    “You can see that those groups certainly use it if you look around at this exhibition.
    “My art is part of that and is very direct, but you can’t measure the effect of it.”
    But for Peter his work is about more than just making a political statement. He said, “What it does show is that art can be about everyday life and that it’s not just for the rich.”
    The arts are under assault from the Tories—and the threat of privatisation at the National Gallery is an example.
    Peter said, “I’ve signed the open letter. What you have in the National Gallery is a group of people who are committed to the place and have a great love of art. But their skill as workers is not acknowledged. 
    “This is happening everywhere, where they’re trying to privatise security and other jobs.”
    He argued that art and culture should not be restricted to a spectator sport within the gallery walls—it should run through our lives and involve mass participation.
    “There’s still a sense that art is there for the elite,” said Peter. “Venice is full of political art, but it’s just so obscure. What’s the point in that?
    “The point of art should be to reach out to people. That’s why it’s good to have the exhibition here in a museum, instead of a gallery.
    “But more broadly than that, I want to show work wherever I can. You can see examples here, whether it is on posters or T-shirts.
    “That’s why the internet is important, because anyone can share and download the art.”
    While Peter’s work focuses on photo montage, the range of methods used is much broader.
    In the third room, charcoaled and photocopied hands scrape through the financial pages of newspapers.
    Peter explained that it was intentionally ambiguous, and tries to show the impersonality of the financial figures. One of the most interesting parts of the exhibition is where you can see his production process.
    Peter said, “I’ve never shown the originals before—it’s not what people are really interested in.
    “I now work digitally, but it’s good to show how it was done before. You would be working with ten different sizes of photographs and trying to piece together cut outs.” 
    Peter argued that there’s a flourishing of political art today.
    “Younger artists are much more concerned about making their art political,” he said. “They’ve been radicalised through their own experiences, partly by having to pay high art fees.”
    He’s always on the lookout for new ways art can connect with a broader audience. He said, “I run workshops for excluded kids, who can work on the computer and manipulate images. But they’re images of everyday life.
    “When I had a show at the Festival Hall I also worked with homeless people. They had an enormous subject matter—their lives.”
    “It’s a question of access,” he said. Peter praised the potential of street art. It’s very political and involves people—such as in Egypt—risking their lives. 
    “Even escalators have adverts these days.”
    For Peter street art is a way of “grabbing back public spaces that have been privatised”.
    “I hope this exhibition will make people look at war from a different perspective,” he said.
    Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist, Imperial War Museum, London SE1 6HZ. Until 30 May 2016. Free entry. 

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