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Staying Sane in a Mad World

Jun 29, 2014 Dahr Jamail
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Whose UN in Lebanon?

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
Whose Mission is it fulfilling?      
by Franklin Lamb
In Lebanon, almost nobody, and certainly not UNIFIL, drinks the local water and I have not seen anything remotely resembling Tijuana; certainly not in my Hezbollah neighborhood, Dahiyeh.

Rather, from Naquora to Kafr Shuba, along the 75 mile 'blue line' fine French, Spanish and Italian wines are, understandably, the preferred default UNIFIL boire.

What has UNIFIL been doing in Lebanon?

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Bailing out Again the Billionaires

Billionaire Bailout: Central Bank Socialism
and America's True Values
by Chris Floyd     
It is not exactly news that the Western world's fetishized "free market" is actually a mixed economy, combining cradle-to-the-grave socialism for the rich with ball-breaking, bomb's-away capitalism for everyone else.
This truism was on naked display once again this week as the central banks of the United States, Britain, Switzerland, Canada and the Eurozone announced plans to provide almost $100 billion in taxpayer money to save their banking brethren from the consequences of their own greed and stupidity.
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The Salvador (re) Option

GWOT: El Salvador
by Wes Enzinna
In September 2006, after the Salvadoran Congress passed the Special Law Against Acts of Terrorism, then-US Ambassador H. Douglas Barclay congratulated the Salvadoran people.
"The US and El Salvador are [now] partners in the war on terror," he beamed.
The law, modeled on the USA Patriot Act, establishes a special terrorism tribunal and allows for anonymous witnesses and undercover agents to participate in those trials. It also criminalizes acts such as public protests, street blockades and "publicly justifying terrorism" with punishments of up to eighty years in prison. More than a year later, this law has turned scores of Salvadoran citizens into fugitives.

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Your One-Stop Tour of Hell for Xmas

A Tomdispatch Holiday One-Stop Shop from Hell
by Nick ("Tongue Firmly in Cheek") Turse
It's that time of year, again. Time to wander the web searching for Holiday gifts for all those hard-to-buy-for folks, the usual cast of characters who make the holidays especially nerve-wracking.
Well, have no fear and wander no more. 
This year Tomdispatch takes care of all the fuss and muss. We've scoured the web and assembled a one-stop-shop that will make your gift-buying a breeze. So forget about that already over-the-Hillary Clinton nutcracker or the Rudy Giuliani head that you affix to a tree so it appears the Republican front-runner is a stalker lurking in your yard -- both so last year -- and enjoy the Fifth Anniversary TomDispatch Holiday List from Hell. Because if you don't, the terrorists win.

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Toxic Trailers: FEMA to Test Formaldehyde

CDC to Begin Tests on 500 FEMA Trailers and
Mobile Homes in Louisiana and Mississippi
by Shelley Bluejay Pierce
After delays lasting nearly two months, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will begin indoor air-quality tests on the FEMA issued trailers and mobile homes deployed to hurricane victims.
FEMA Administrator, R. David Paulison and Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director for the National Center for Environmental Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at CDC held a press conference Thursday to discuss the upcoming tests.
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Torture Today: Normalizing the Appalling

Torture and torment in 2007 AD      
by David Halpin
On this the 59th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights by the UN one can hear the thuds, splutters and screams in a good many of those united nations.
When did man first start applying physical and mental pain to his fellows? I doubt those artists and masons who made the beautiful cave paintings at Lascaux 20,000 years ago did this to neighbouring peoples.
No, this expression of the worst in homo 'sapiens' came with political power and religious belief. It has been used more for confession and subjugation perhaps than the extraction of supposed information.

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Jagging Justice at JAG

Undermining Military Justice
by Scott Horton
It’s a cliché to say that “military justice is to justice as military music is to music.” It’s also far from fair to the American military. Over the last fifty years, the American military justice model evolved into something that—while always short of perfection, as all human works—nevertheless accurately reflects the basic values of a democratic society.
In fact, the American court-martial system has long been something that Americans could be proud of. And more than anything this is thanks to the diligent work and professionalism of the uniformed lawyers who make that system work, the JAG corps.
Within two years of its arrival in Washington, the Bush Administration began to take a crow bar to the American military justice system.
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Chalk River, Ontario: Nuking the Natives

Why are We Blue About “Blue Wolf” and “Bold Eagle?”
Canada votes to reopen deadly leaking nuclear reactor
in unceded Algonquin Territory
by Jennifer Tsun
When something happens at 6 Nations Iroquois territory, there is usually an echo at Sharbot Lake in Algonquin territory [28 miles north of Kingston Ontario].
What do these two unconnected places have in common?
The struggles are both about our land. Since the Cabot Charter of 1496, the common goal of the colonial system has been and continues to be the elimination of the Ongwehonwe/ Nishnaabe people.
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Destiny Un-Manifest

Resistance and Hope
by Charles Sullivan
If we Americans are nothing more than hopelessly addicted consumers who think of ourselves as an exceptional people with special entitlements; if we see ourselves as god’s morally superior chosen people; if we are selfish and greedy beyond redemption—then we are complicit in all of the horrible crimes that government commits in our name.

The United States has a violent history of atrocity and exploitation that began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the shores of North America in 1492. It extends all the way to the present and is guided by the same poisoned ideology—Manifest Destiny.

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Resistance and Radical Evil

Why We Resist
by Chris Hedges
The refusal to pay my taxes if we go to war with Iran, and the portion of my taxes spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if we do not cut off funding for these two conflicts, is not a means. It is an end.
I do not know if my refusal, and the refusal of others, will be effective in halting these wars. All I know is that it is worth doing.
The alternative, a complacency bred from cynicism and despair, is worse. Refusing to actively resist injustice and flagrant violations of international law, refusing to attempt to turn back the tide of American tyranny, is surrender.
It is the death of hope.

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The Truth of Immigration

The Truth about Immigration
by Mickey Z.
Everything negative you've heard about immigration is true. In fact, all the election cycle talk about lazy parasites pouring over borders to leech off another nation's resources doesn't go far enough in explaining the gravity of this ongoing crisis.
Scream it from the mountaintops (or at least on your blog): Immigrants are destroying any and all hope of for planetary survival. Illegal aliens are Public Enemy #1. Foreigners are terrorists.

If you don't believe me, just ask any sweatshop worker in, say, Vietnam...

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