We’ve been waiting now for nearly seven years to uncover that progressive streak hidden deep in the heart of President Barack Obama. But one drone strike after another, one dead child piled upon another and any glimmer of hope that Obama would put the breaks on US extremism has finally come to an end.
Not only has Obama refused to alter the bloody foreign policy of his predecessors, he has vowed to continue its most extreme elements. In no other instance has this been more true than with the case of Israel and Palestine.
This reality has likely come as a surprise to many who placed their aspirations in our first black president, a man who at one point early in his career believed Palestinians had a right to not only exist, but to reside in their own country.
Yet, time and again President Obama has put his foot down when the global community was ready to honor a Palestinian state, as he did at the UN Security Council in 2011 and again when the US vetoed a UN resolution that would have condemned Israel’s illegal settlement building. Now, as bombs fall on innocent Palestinians, Obama reasserts the US role in defending Israel.
MOSCOW, Russia, July 14, 2014 – Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko is trying to make good on his announcement on July 11 that his army or the fascist militias fighting alongside it will kill “dozens and hundreds” of people in the east of the country for every Ukraine soldier dying in the war his regime is waging there.
Since his pronouncement, his armed forces have been bombarding cities and towns in southeast Ukraine. Fighter aircraft, tanks and other armoured vehicles are engaged.
Aftermath of Ukraine gov’t attack on Kramatorsk - photo Ukraine gov’t
The heaviest shelling in recent days has been directed at the city of Luhansk and surrounding villages. A leader of the self-defense forces there, Igor Strelkov, told RIA Novosti (quoted in Russia Today) there is fierce fighting in the suburbs of Luhansk, which is located not far from the Russian border. “The enemy has thrown in about 70 tanks consisting of two compact armored groups. There is unconfirmed information that a helicopter with a SWAT team landed in the city,” he said.
Strelkov says some 30 civilians have been killed by shelling and fighting in the last several days.
Massacre of the Innocents: Slaughter in the Gaza Ghetto by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque The horror of Israel’s latest slaughter in Gaza speaks for itself — despite the mountainous flow of media sludge designed to obscure the reality of the aggression.
Even the New York Times has been forced to print a few stories about the high number of civilian deaths being caused by the Israeli assault on the “Warsaw Ghetto” they have made of Gaza, noting the hospitals and mosques and private homes where dozens of innocent people have been blown to pieces by Israel’s weaponry (much of it American-made).
Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels.
The creatures of our oceans are under attack like never before by the rapaciousness and stupidity of the planet's largest predator, We humans.
And, it's not just the large fish floating on the brink of extinction. While it's true, the Blue Fin Tuna, Sharks, Sword and Sailfishes, and all of the Whale and Porpoise species, waver on the edge of viable survival, the small reef inhabitants of the worlds seas, fish you may find familiar sights at your doctor's or dentist's office, too face an uncertain future.
The negative effects driving the extinctions are many, but central to them all is the human penchant to love the wild things of this earth to death.
I wrote that introduction four years ago, and the situation in the World's oceans, and especially on its diminishing reefs, is worse now than then.
Robert Wintner is an environmental defender, author, and the wildly successful entrepreneur behind Hawaii's Snorkel Bob's reef outfitter company. He is also the engine behind the Snorkel Bob foundation, whose myriad charitable projects help to bring the appreciation of the oceans and all its inhabitants to humans who would otherwise remain ignorant of the workings of the Planet's single-most essential biosphere.
Some of Robert Wintner's book titles include: 'In a Sweet Magnolia Time', 'Toucan Whisper, Toucan Sing', 'The Modern Outlaws', and his latest, 'Dark Hobby: Some Fishes I Have Known.' Snorkel Bob is also the author of the popular 'Snorkel Bob's Underwater and Get Down Guide to Oahu', and it's companion 'Get Down Guide to Maui', and he's compiled several books of short stories. He is also vice-president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and skipper for its recently launched 'Operation Reef Defense.'
Robert Wintner in the first half.
And; nothing accommodates the despoliation of the land, air, and waters of our fragile blue home in space more than the ascendancy of corporate power. In every sphere of our lives we are connected in a web of interests we know little about, the strands of that web all inexorably connected to one corporation, or more probably a matrix of interlocked trans-national corporations. Nowhere is the power of this system more evident than in the so-called alphabet soup of "free trade" agreements.
Most Canadians remember well the "national debate" over the FTA that culminated in the election of Brian Mulroney, but knowing the profound effect that agreement and subsequent agreements has had on the nature and character of our nation is a more nebulous proposition. Those citizens entirely in the dark about these dealings can be forgiven somewhat given the super secrecy with which meetings between the corporadoes and "our" representatives are conducted.
Scott Harris is Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians, the organization formed specifically to battle that original Free Trade Agreement, and kept busy on myriad campaigns to preserve Canadian democracy from the encroachment of corporate power ever since.
Scott Harris and facing the next of the corporate Hydra's heads, the Trans Pacific Partnership in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with what's good going on, and otherwise, on Victoria's streets and beyond in the coming week. But first, Robert Wintner and the dark business behind the "dark hobby" of live fish collecting.
“A liberal world order, like any world order, is something that is imposed, and as much as we in the West might wish it to be imposed by superior virtue, it is generally imposed by superior power.”'Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire: What Our Tired Country Still Owes the World' Robert Kagan, Brookings Institute, May 26, 2014
This sentence from Kagan’s Neo-Conservative Manifesto reads like so much flotsam in a cesspool of scattered feces. It emanates from a mindless, bloated root chakra that has abandoned all except instinctive self-survival.
It is deficient in understanding and wisdom, a mind surviving in an isolated tribe, a being guided only by fear of everlasting victimhood. How does one read this flotsam?
We don’t need to read it, we are witnessing its last throes today in Gaza as the consequences of neo-conservative “superior power” unfurls before the world once again and the desperation of neo-conservative idiocy splashes over the screen for the world to witness. What is it that we witness?
Israel garbed in the armor of the American flag, fielding America’s weapons of mass destruction, protected by the investment of the American taxpayer in the “iron dome,” and marching with the impunity that comes from America’s veto of censure, reveals to the world two nations that willingly impose their “superior power” on a defenseless people displaying in the enormity of their invasion unleashed evil without compassion, without mercy, without sense, a mindless act of uncivil barbarity no different than that displayed by the Mongols or Visigoths of ancient days.
Kagan’s is a simple sentence, “A world order is imposed by superior power.” It does not advance by justice, it mocks justice; it does not consider morality, it laughs at morality; it does not reflect rights of people anywhere, just its rights; it is the rule of those who can and who do not care to care for any but self; it is ruled by a pathological fear engendered by victimhood because they know their own power rests on the destruction of others and hence on the fear that they will infect their victims with the same loathsome mentality that guides them.
The other night, I saw George Orwells’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”
Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.
As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in 1984. “Democracy” is now a rhetorical device. Peace is “perpetual war”. “Global” is imperial. The once hopeful concept of “reform” now means regression, even destruction. “Austerity” is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few.
Pablo Picasso - Homme a l'epee
In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith. “Picasso’s red period,” says an Observer headline, “and why politics don’t make good art.” Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso’s lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell’s radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name.
by Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch Bedawi Palestinian camp, North Lebanon - Perhaps, but for a number of reasons, some suggested below, it’s not a happy picture and won’t be a walk in the park.
The long tentacles of the DAASH (IS) recent “victories” in Syria and Iraq have not taken long to start to move around Lebanon. The gauntlets for Lebanon to avoid all-out war and the possibilities for its partial dismemberment or its substantial subjection to elements of extreme Islamism are many.
One ISIS leader, Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari recently declared the expansion of the IS to include Lebanon. He declared, “Our war will no longer be confined to Syria and Iraq. Soon, Lebanon will ignite” Meanwhile, Lebanon’s branch of al-Nusra Front posted on its Twitter feed its fourth official statement to date, titled “Urgent appeal to Sunnis in Lebanon.” The statement declared, “Our war will no longer be confined to Syria. Soon, Lebanon will ignite. Iran’s party [i.e. Hezbollah] and all its bases and strongholds are a legitimate target for us wherever they may be found.”
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch Indonesians has voted and what votes they have cast! Either they have chosen an outright Nazi, or a populist supported by a bunch of Nazis!
The results are actually too close; it appears that almost half of the active Indonesian voters have endorsed either the Mayor of Jakarta – a former furniture salesman and populist known as ‘Jokowi’ – or a former general of the National Special Forces – Prabowo Subianto.
Great Marxist Indonesian painter Djokopekik and his
crocodile representing elites plundering their country.
Incompetent according to some, populist, if you listen to others, or fierce ‘reformer’ for quite a substantial group of his supporters, not long ago Mr. Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo appeared to be running almost unopposed. But then the state, intelligence and corporate apparatuses went into gear and the gap ‘miraculously’ closed.
The ‘military camp’ deployed nationalist speeches, insults, and flag waving…
World of Resistance Report: Part 4: Financial Institutions Fear Global Revolution
by Andrew Gavin Marshall - Dissident Voice In Part 1 of the WoR Report, I examined Zbigniew Brzezinski’s warnings to elites around the world of the “global political awakening” of humanity.
In Part 2, I looked at the relationship between inequality and social instability, and in Part 3 I examined the World Economic Forum’s warnings of growing inequality and the “lost generation” of youth who pose the greatest threat to oligarchic interests around the world.
In this fourth installment in the series, we turn to reports from top banks and financial institutions warning about the growing threats to their interests posed by an increasingly disenfranchised and impoverished population – manifested in protests, strikes and social unrest.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon walking through central Simferopol, the administrative capital city of Crimea. You may know Crimea as the former region of Ukraine that recently voted to join the Russian Federation. It was a warm and sunny day with a strong breeze blowing.
I get the impression that I’m the only tourist in town. I kept my ears acutely tuned all day to the sound of a foreign-language conversation. ничего (nothing).
The 25th Hour: Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World
by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch Once upon a time, if a character on TV or in a movie tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes.
From 24 to Zero Dark Thirty, it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living in a post-9/11 world, we’re stuck with Jack Bauer in the 25th hour.
In 2002, Cofer Black, the former Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, tolda Senate committee, “All I want to say is that there was ‘before’ 9/11 and ‘after’ 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves come off.”
He wanted them to understand that Americans now live in a changed world, where, from the point of view of the national security state, anything goes. It was, as he and various top officials in the Bush administration saw it, a dangerous place in which terrorists might be lurking in any airport security line and who knew where else.