Saturday, July 06, 2019

Celebration Fasting the Fourth: Hold the Rocket's Red Glare, Easy on the Bombs Bursting in Air

What's to celebrate?  - US is a Classic Empire and Is Becoming a Repressive Police State at Home

by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening

July 4th, 2019

July 4 celebration of war and actual war 
(the 2003 US ‘Shock and Awe’ attack on Iraq)

As I set out to fly home from the UK on Monday following a short film project in Cambridge, I found my boarding pass, which I had been blocked from obtaining online the night before, carrying a bold-faced SSSS stamp in the lower right corner. Asking about it I was told by the British employee at the United check-in counter, “That is because you are on a US Department of Homeland Security list, sir.”

Later, after my son and I got the boarding gate, my name was called and I was ushered through a door in the wall behind the gate desk where two British security agents pawed through my bag and ran a cloth over computer, phone and all the zippers on my suitcase and computer bag looking for traces of explosives. After that I was politely told that I and my son (whose luggage was left uninspected) could board the plane. When I asked why I, a journalist with no criminal record, was being treated like a suspected terrorist, they laughed and said I would have to inquire of the DHS.

It’s not the first time this has happened to me. The same thing happened when my wife and I flew to Vienna in March where she was playing a concert on Vienna State Radio. That time at a checkpoint between Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and Terminal 2, my boarding pass was rejected, and when I got it reprinted a red stamp saying “ICE Security” was added. As on Monday, I was subjected to a special search in a separate location near the gate by an apologetic British security officer.

Today is July 4, and many American citizens will be bringing blankets and lawn chairs to local fireworks displays to celebrate American independence. Of course, those fireworks really hark back to the “rockets’ red glare” referred to in Francis Scott Key’s racist national anthem, which was largely a condemnation of the freed black slaves that the British employed in their effort to conquer Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812.

Art Kunkin Memorial/Riot Today in LA

Greg Palast to Incite Riot at Memorial for Art Kunkin of LA Free Press

by Greg Palast

July 5, 2019

Saturday, July 6 – 2pm (open to public)
Echo Park United Methodist Church,
1226 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles

Art Kunkin founder of the Los Angeles Free Press, was the most visionary, most influential journalist in the history of Southern California since Lincoln Steffens. In 1965, Art founded the Free Press as an antidote to the Enslaved Press, the LA Times and other, now-forgotten, rags.

In the midst of the War in Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement, only The Freep, as we called it, gave us raw news and photos banished from the LA Times and TV network boob tube news.

I’ll never forget, though I was only 14, the evening of June 23, 1967. LA police beat the crap out of peaceful antiwar demonstrators.

The city’s TV news pretended it didn’t happen, and the LA Times said that the poor police were attacked by demonstrators. In a special edition handed out in the street, Art Kunkin had the balls to publish the photos of the police batons coming down on the heads of bleeding protesters. Art Kunkin called it what it was, “a police riot.”

(The LA Times is so ashamed of their cover-up of that bloody police assault, they’ve removed the original story from their archives and covered it up with a “new” story.)

The Rise of Black Hillary: A Darker Shade of Blue Militarism

‘More AIPAC Than J Street’: Kamala Harris Runs to the Right on Foreign Policy

by Stephen Zunes - Information Clearing House 

July 4, 2019

The California senator’s hardline positions on Israel-Palestine point to a dangerous disregard for international law.

California’s junior senator Kamala Harris has announced her presidential candidacy, joining what will likely become an unusually large field of Democrats seeking the nomination. Harris is being embraced by many progressive Democrats, and she’s branding herself as a progressive. Yet in the course of her little more than two years in the U.S. Senate, she’s taken some foreign policy positions that should give pause to supporters of human rights and international law.

In her very first foreign policy vote in January 2017, for instance, Harris sided with President Trump in criticizing the outgoing President Obama’s refusal to veto an otherwise-unanimous, very modest, and largely symbolic UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.

An Unpromising Start

Among other things, that resolution reiterated previous Security Council calls for Israel to stop expanding its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and a landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice.

The Senate resolution, on the other hand — which Harris herself co-sponsored — challenged the right of the United Nations to weigh in on questions of international humanitarian law in territories under foreign belligerent occupation.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Activism Beyond the Actors

Remember: The Goal Is Always To Make Dissident Ideas Mainstream

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist 

July 3, 2019

It’s amazing how many people confuse egoic masturbation for revolutionary political activism.

We talk a lot about how you can discern the real intentions of a given politician, plutocrat or official by ignoring their words and watching their behavior, but this principle can be applied equally to everyone. And if you were to ignore the words of the people you see sharing dissident ideas in revolutionary-minded circles today and watch their behavior instead, you’d come away with the impression that most of them are actually interested in drama, conflict, social climbing, accolades, and scoring points on social media.

They want dominance and approval from their tribe, in the same way our evolutionary ancestors wanted dominance and approval in theirs. It’s the same primitive, hardwired impulse. The majority of the people who find themselves moving in circles that are dedicated to upheaving the status quo in some way are primarily motivated first and foremost by this impulse, no different from anyone else in any other clique.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Challenging Assange Stonewall: Italian Journa's Access to Information Case Goes to Britain's Upper Tribunal

Stefania Maurizi: Julian Assange 'Paying Price' for Exposing WAR CRIMES+TORTURE

by Going Underground - RT

July 3, 2019

We speak to Stefania Maurizi on taking her 4 year legal battle to access Assange’s extradition files to the UK upper tribunal, why this extradition case is a case against journalists everywhere, how Julian Assange’s heath has been systematically ‘destroyed’ and why a fair trial cannot occur for Assange without full access to these extradition files.

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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

At Optimism's End: The West Running Out of Future

US - If It Cannot Be Loved, It Will Rape!

by Andre Vltchek - NEO

June 29, 2019

No one is talking about it openly, but, let us face it: those U.S.-made planes are crashing; the performance of Apple phones and computers is falling far behind those made by Huawei and other Chinese companies. Lenovo took over IBM and is doing extremely well. NASA is absolutely incapable of building decent rockets that would be able to deliver people or even satellites to space, cheaply and safely.

In the field of electric automobiles, China is far, far ahead. In fact, anyone who visits a major or secondary Chinese city, would be shocked to see that the implementation of ‘zero emission’ vehicles there is not something that is in the planning stage, it has for several years been a dream come true, reality: dozens of Chinese cities already have an excellent network of metro trains, of ecological electric buses, and of enormous public sidewalks that encourage people to stroll and remain healthy. Even police cars in China are electric.

Russia is doing extremely well, in several fields. In fact, it is at the vanguard, when it comes to such grounds as science and culture. Those days of ‘humiliation’ of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin era are far back, when Moscow naively believed Thatcherites and Reaganites! Russia is rolling: now producing and exporting excellent, often organic food. Its icebreakers are opening new paths for both people and goods. Russian space rockets are second to none, and its passenger airplanes are back in the skies. Nuclear and other power plants are helping to supply energy to many countries, all over the world.

You name it; China and Russia are producing it, developing it, helping to create it! Both nations are cooperating, scientifically, working for people, not just for business.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Home of the Hemorroid, Land of Teevee: A Journey to the Center of American Journalism

The Journalist as Hemorrhoid 

by Christopher Ketcham - CounterPunch

June 24, 2019  

Occasionally I am subject to the hysterical stupidity of cable news, as when, for example, my father and I spend time together. He is 80, and likes to watch drivel such as CNN, Bloomberg Business and the like.

It is always a stunning experience to see the performing monkeys who masquerade on camera as journalists, since I get to see it so rarely.

First off, on this miserable morning of June 20, is the perfumed cheerleading squad at Bloomberg, who are prattling on and on about an IPO by a tech company called Slack.

“We are on tenterhooks,” the little minstrels tell us.

Me too – I’m waiting for the moment when someone blows up Bloomberg Business with a Molotov cocktail.

But alas, it doesn’t happen, and onward they race, in rapt attention to issues of total insignificance (this Slack being a company that…well, I don’t know what it does, but it probably doesn’t feed, clothe, or house the poor and the needy, or protect wild creatures and wild places, or educate our children – it probably does something totally useless, which is the reason the IPO is doing so well and the executives will be multimillionaires by day’s end).

Tanks for the Memories; Rolling Out the Hardware for the Fourth

Tanks on the streets of Washington, DC for the Fourth of July 

by Eric London  - WSWS

2 July 2019

On the morning of July 4, the military bases on the outskirts of Washington, DC will be humming with activity.

If Donald Trump prevails in ongoing negotiations within the military over plans for Independence Day, M1A1 Abrams tank squadrons will be gearing up to roll over the Potomac toward the National Mall, while the Navy Blue Angel fighter demonstration squadron, Marine helicopter squadrons and F-35 stealth fighters prepare for afternoon fly-overs of Capitol Hill.

Before dusk, with the roar of attack jets in the background, Trump will deliver a nationally televised speech to the gathered crowd of his supporters.

This display of military force in the strip of land separating Congress from the White House is a deliberate political provocation long planned by Trump and his fascistic advisors. By replacing the traditional Independence Day fireworks with a campaign-style rally featuring what will effectively be a military parade, Trump is testing his strength.

By asserting the personal power of the executive branch over the military, Trump is following the historic path to authoritarian rule and the abolition of constitutional rights.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Danny Haiphong, Esteban Servat, Janine Bandcroft July 4th, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

July 4th, 2019

And a Happy Fourth to our friends south. You know, the Greatest American, (besides the official title-holder, Ronald Reagan) once wrote of the founding of America,  

"1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them."

Listen. Hear.

Kurt Vonnegut's words are as true today as when he wrote them, sometime in the last century. But, the winds driving Big H "history" seldom blow in the direction of objective truth; which is why marginal chroniclers, or more properly, chroniclers of the marginalized, like Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, and Howard Zinn are vital if we are to remember who we are and where we came from.

If, that is, we care to do so.

Danny Haiphong is a journalist and regular contributor to Black Agenda Report. He's co-author with Roberto Servent of the new book, 'American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A Peoples History of Fake News From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror', the text of which no less a luminary than, Dr. Cornell West says, "lay bare the hidden realities and concealed miseries of poor and working peoples even as revolutionary fire remains strong!"

Danny Haiphong in the first half.

And; inspired by WikiLeaks, an American journalist and Argentine biologist founded EcoLeaks, an organization with the same goals and principles Julian Assange adopted for his groundbreaking efforts. And, it didn't take long for the upstart muckrakers to find trouble, taking on Argentina's frackers. Having beaten back harassment and bogus criminal charges in a fiasco court case litigants failed to show up for, it took good old-fashioned death threats to chase EcoLeaks from the fields of battle, Argentina's agricultural heartland.

Esteban Servat, is an environmental-activist refugee, running for his life for daring to serve biology in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Event Bulletin of some of the good things to get up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Danny Haiphong and America, still exceptional after all these years.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Monday, July 01, 2019

Attention! It's Time to Pay It

The Only Thing Worse Than the World Dying Would Be If It Died Unseen and Unappreciated

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

July 1, 2019

ABC News put an article out the other day titled “Was Tulsi Gabbard’s nuclear war warning during Democratic debate hyperbole, or all too real?“, which makes a surprisingly reasonable appraisal of just how close we all are to losing everything all at once.

It’s a mainstream media piece, so of course it ends with a couple of think tank denizens claiming that Gabbard’s dire warnings during the debate are hysterical nonsense, but the first half of the article quotes authorities on nuclear disarmament confirming that we may very well be as close to nuclear annihilation as we were at the height of the last cold war.

Gabbard’s claim during the Democratic debate that we are at greater risk of nuclear war than at any time in history is entirely reasonable given the relentless escalations against Russia that this administration has been mounting, and is a perspective shared by experts like leading US-Russia relations authority Stephen Cohen.

In the face of mounting escalations, continuing US military expansionism, and flirtation with the possibility of hot war around the world, the possibility of a nuclear warhead being deployed by either side in the chaos and confusion due to malfunction or miscommunication grows ever greater. The increasingly desperate flailings of a weakening empire could set everything off in an instant. It is entirely possible that, when all is said and done, getting this very real danger into mainstream attention will end up having been Gabbard’s single most important contribution to the American political conversation.

EcoLeaks Faces Down Frackers in Argentine Courts

The government launches a criminal prosecution to silence EcoLeaks co-founder, and loses 

by EcoLeaks

June 29, 2019

As the movement to stop fracking in Mendoza gathered momentum to become the largest environmental movement in Argentina, the government began a desperate attempt to contain the growing unrest by prosecuting the leading figures and trying to install a climate of fear in the population.

A criminal prosecution was launched against EcoLeaks co-founder Esteban Servat to silence him. The charges were brought forward by the Mayor of General Alvear – where Servat resides- by command of his political boss, the Governor of Mendoza Alfredo Cornejo.

The goal was to scare Servat and force him to apologize over his public assertions that the government was betraying the people and that the advance of fracking would mean the end of the wine industry and agriculture in Mendoza, along with numberless illnesses for the population due to the contamination of the province aquifers, soil and air.

The first public hearing was scheduled for May 29th, where both Servat and the Mayor, Walther Marcolini, would have to attend and during which Marcolini was expecting Servat to give in to the scare tactics apologizing to have the charges lifted. Instead, Servat called on all the people of General Alvear to attend the hearing if they wanted to finally see somebody telling their politicians the truth in their face.

Marcolini was by then under heavy pressure by the people of Alvear (a city with a strong environmental awareness and history) to pronounce himself against fracking and demand its prohibition, but instead he had been hiding away from his people and remaining loyal to the governor, allowing fracking to go on.

So, when Servat invited everyone to the public hearing, the scare tactics the government was trying to use turned against themselves, and when a large crowd of people showed up at the hearing, it was the Mayor himself who became scared and did not attend. This, in turn, forced him to give up the charges and lead to the closing of the case.

Partying Like It's 1939: G20 Bonhomie Can't Hide Global Animosities

Platitudes at the G20 can’t mask a world on the brink of war 

by Nick Beams - WSWS

1 July 2019

During the 1930s, known as the “disastrous decade,” there were all kinds of twists and turns in relations between the great powers on the diplomatic and international front as well as in the economic and trade spheres.

This frenzied activity, characterised by the making of agreements one day to be broken the next, had an essential objective content. It was the form taken by the manoeuvering of the imperialist powers before the deluge of the world war that erupted in September 1939.

Changing what needs to be changed, there are direct parallels with the present period. The gyrations of the Trump administration on Iran, North Korea and China—threatening war one day, announcing a deal the next, to be followed by more threats the day after—have the same logic. They are an expression of a crisis-riven geopolitical order tending inexorably toward a new outbreak of war.

This was underscored with the passage last Thursday of the massive $750 billion Pentagon authorization bill that went through the US Senate in an 86-8 bi-partisan vote. The aim of the legislation was set out by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

So, It's Over...Now What? Paul Kingsnorth on the Myths of Purchasing Environmental Redemption

The Battle Against Climate Change by Paul Kingsnorth

by Wrong Kind of Green 

Jun 30, 2019 

Humanity has lost the battle against climate change. That is what Paul Kingsnorth thinks. The former environmental activist believes that we can´t stop climate change anymore. How should we live on knowing that climate change is a fact that can´t be denied anymore? A documentary that gives thinker and writer Paul Kingsnorth the time to explain how humanity still can be hopeful although the battle against climate change in his eyes has been lost.

Former environmental activist and writer Paul Kingsnorth has withdrawn to Ireland on an unspoilt part of the earth. You could say that he lives now at the end of the world. A portrait of an end-time thinker who nevertheless does not give up hope and continues to believe in the power of nature.

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2018. 
© VPRO Backlight December 2018

Video Published April 26, 2019
[Running time: 49:32]

Original titel: De aarde draait door

Thinker and writer Paul Kingsnorth stood early on the barricades as a conservationist. He resisted the insatiable hunger of the globalized world for more land, resources and things in England and on the other side of the world in Papua New Guinea. Kingsnorth was one of the leaders of the environmental movement and reached a large international audience with his passionate speeches. But at some point, he came to terms that he had to revisit his belief that humanity could save the world.

In his bundled essays “Confessions of a recovering environmentalist” (2017) he describes how some weak-kneed accountants of this world hollowed out the green movement from the inside and exchanged the barricades for ties and conference tables. Limiting CO2 emissions became the new gospel because it was measurable and countable. But according to Kingsnorth, that is an illusion. He thinks that in his victory rush, the green movement of today exchanges the remaining wild nature for a wind or solar panel farm. The battle is lost.

Kingsnorth withdrew with his family to the Irish countryside to live self-sufficient. He founded the “Dark Mountain Project” in which writers, poets and artists are looking for a different view of the end of the world, based on the connection between man and nature. He exchanged his clenched fist and protesting voice for an inner, literary search for the question of what makes us human and what our place is on this magical planet.

Unmasking the Fraud Behind Continuing Assange Persecution

Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange

by Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

June 26, 2019
On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, 26 June 2019

I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like most of the public, I had been subconsciously poisoned by the relentless smear campaign, which had been disseminated over the years.

So it took a second knock on my door to get my reluctant attention. But once I looked into the facts of this case, what I found filled me with repulsion and disbelief.

Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence.

True, soon after the US had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, two women made the headlines in Sweden. One of them claimed he had ripped a condom, and the other that he had failed to wear one, in both cases during consensual intercourse — not exactly scenarios that have the ring of ‘rape’ in any language other than Swedish.

Mind you, each woman even submitted a condom as evidence. The first one, supposedly worn and torn by Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure. The second one, used but intact, supposedly proved ‘unprotected’ intercourse. Go figure, again.

Making an Offer Palestine Can't Accept

In Manama, the horizon of peace stretched further away from Palestinians

by Jonathan Cook - The National AE

June 30, 2019

The Peace to Prosperity workshop, held in Bahrain, is just the latest in a long-running series of impossible propositions 

Donald Trump’s supposed “deal of the century”, offering the Palestinians economic bribes in return for political submission, is the endgame of western peace-making, the real goal of which has been failure, not success. For decades, peace plans have made impossible demands of the Palestinians, forcing them to reject the terms on offer and thereby create a pretext for Israel to seize more of their homeland. The more they have compromised, the further the diplomatic horizon has moved away.

Even Jared Kushner, (left) Mr Trump’s son-in-law and architect of the peace plan, cannot really believe the Palestinians will be bought off with their share of the $50 billion inducement he hoped to raise in Bahrain last week.

That was why the Palestinian leadership stayed away.

But Israel’s image managers long ago coined a slogan to obscure a policy of incremental dispossession, masquerading as a peace process: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

It is worth examining what those landmark “missed opportunities” consisted of.

The first was the United Nations’ Partition Plan of late 1947. In Israel’s telling, it was Palestinian intransigence over dividing the land into separate Jewish and Arab states that triggered war, leading to the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of most of the Palestinians’ homeland.

But the real story is rather different.

Canadian Political Intolerance: Adopting Israel's Definitions of Anti-Semitism

Canada adopts Israel lobby’s contested definition of anti-Semitism

by Nora Barrow-Friedman -  Electronic Intifadah

June 28, 2019

Canada has announced that it will formally adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that could characterize Palestinian rights campaigning as anti-Jewish bigotry.

The definition is contained in the Canadian government’s new strategy to “combat racism and discrimination in its various forms.”

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says the definition is “is extremely vague, open to misinterpretation” and a “threat to freedom of expression.”

Israel lobby groups hope however that by adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition” in full, it will be easier for Canadian authorities to demonize and crack down on campaigners who call for Israel to respect Palestinian rights or who oppose Israel’s state ideology, Zionism.

Israel lobby groups – which have pressured Canada and other governments and institutions around the world to adopt the IHRA definition – celebrated the news.

B’nai Brith Canada claimed that the IHRA definition is “universally accepted” and “enjoys unprecedented consensus” – but human rights and civil liberties advocates in Canada, the UK, the US and elsewhere have long challenged IHRA’s conflation of Zionism and Judaism in order to suppress speech critical of Israel.

Divide and Divide: US Deal Hopes to Follow Ukraine "Success" in Cyprus

The Second Cyprus Partition - American Promises versus Turkish Arms versus Russian Money and Missiles

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

June 29, 2019

This week a group of US senators has proposed to leave Turkey in control of the northern part of Cyprus, and force Greek Cypriots to choose between the US and Russia for the economic and political future of the south of the island.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed by a large bipartisan majority on June 25 to put into law a new Eastern Mediterranean strategy. If the bill is enacted, Cyprus will be required to decide that in exchange for American protection from Turkish military threats, including Russian-made S-400 missiles to be based in southwestern Turkey, the Cyprus Government must not allow Russian naval vessels to dock at Cypriot ports, and should block all Russian money and investments on the island.

At the same time, Greece has been told the US military intends to expand its occupation of Crete around the Souda Bay base; at Larissa Air Force Base, midway between Athens and Thessaloniki; and at other Greek locations.

The proposed new law is the most comprehensive plan for American military occupation of Cyprus and Greece since the Greek civil war of the 1950s. The US plan also establishes State Department censorship of the Greek-language media in Cyprus and Greece, and threatens US sanctions against the Orthodox Church bishops of the two countries.