che koko













rall snowden














  salmonConfidential block


floyd book






























andre exposing lies












  This Can't Be Happening




  vltchek indonesia













 bear coast tours big cedar













Sites of Interest

(courtesy Empire Burlesque)

 Arthur Silber
Angry Arab
A Tiny Revolution
William Blum/Killing Hope
Baltimore Chronicle
Magnificent Valor
The Distant Ocean
Informed Comment
Vast Left
Welcome to the Sideshow
Andy Worthington
Mark Crispin Miller
Dennis Perrin
Booman Tribune
Crooks and Liars
Black Agenda Report
LRB Blog
The Raw Story
James Wolcott
European Tribune
Iraq Vets Against the War
Blues and Dreams
Bright Terrible Spirit



Culture as Casualty of Syria War

Confronting "Looting to Order" and "Cultural Racketeering" in Syria
by Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch
Damascus  - One of the many gut-wrenching dimensions of the soon to be five-year Syrian crisis is that whenever one surveys the conflict on the ground and concludes that the maelstrom can’t possibly get any worse, it plummets deeper into the abyss. The condition of people in Syria has never been worse in modern times.

This is also the case with the spreading cultural cleansing of our shared global heritage in Syria which this observer views as a precursor to ethnic cleansing. This scourge has been documented in detail by studies from the UN, EU, Archaeologists, Syria’s Directorate General of Museums and Antiquities (DGAM) and others who closely monitor the desecration, looting and destruction at archaeological sites.
According to the Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology (APSA) and other surveys, more than 1/3 of Syria’s 10,000 archaeological sites are currently under the control of Da’ish (ISIS) who are looting them on an industrial scale for sale globally on the black market.

Homecomings: A Personal Message to the 6,000 Prison Releasees

Coming Home: An Open Letter to 6,000 Soon-to-be-Released Prisoners from an Ex-Con
by Anthony Papa - CounterPunch
For those 6,000 prisoners who will soon be released, I want to share with you my story of being released from prison when I received executive clemency after serving 12 years. I hope it will give you some insight on what to expect.

Being released from prison was not what I expected. The freedom was swift and furious. I felt as though I had been slapped on my face with it. There was no preparation, and because of this it brought on an array of emotional highs and lows. During that time I had struggled with the most mundane tasks, like using a cell phone or flushing an automatic toilet. Its cumulative effects were psychologically devastating. The way of life I once knew was now gone, along with my friends and support base. I then discovered I was alone in a new world that had drastically changed without me.

The days leading up to my release from Sing Sing prison were full of anticipation and my mind was riddled with doubt. To be honest, I was really scared. My main concern was the same as that of everyone who had done a long stretch in prison as they approached their release date. I questioned myself and asked if I would be able to survive life on the outside. The question haunted me.

Syria: Imagining a Media That Cares and Listens

Listen to Syrians: The Media Jackals and the People’s Narrative
by Ramzy Baroud -
Imagine the Syrian war from the point of view of ordinary Syrians from a variety of backgrounds. They are most likely to offer a different perspective and to hold entirely different expectations than most other parties involved.

A resident of Idlib, a villager from Deraa, a housewife, a teacher, a nurse or an unemployed ex-prisoner from anywhere else in Syria would distinguish their relationship to the war in terminology and overall understanding that is partially, or entirely, opposed to the narrative communicated by CNN, Al-Jazeera, Russia Today, the BBC, Press TV, and every available media platform that is concerned with the outcomes of the war.

These media tailor their coverage and, when necessary - as is often the case - slant their focus in ways that would communicate their designated editorial agendas, which, unsurprisingly, is often linked to the larger political agenda of their respective governments. They may purport to speak in accordance with some imaginary moral line, but, frankly, none of them do.

Bravado and BS: Dissecting Obama Speech to the UN General Assembly

Lies and Truth - Obama's UNGA Speech Dissected
by F. William Engdahl - NEO
To those who bothered to listen to President Obama’s UN General Assembly speech without falling asleep like Secretary John Kerry clearly wished to do, there was a stark contrast to that speech which followed from the Russian President. First before Barack Obama completed his first sentence we could feel his emotion. It was projecting a contempt and arrogance of a special variety: “We have the biggest, baddest military; we call the shots, you peons of the nations of the world.”
Going through the official Obama text it’s difficult to find even one sentence where he speaks honestly. It’s an example not of grey propaganda but black. I cite several of the most egregious instances.

Israel Charting a Course for the Next Intifada

14th Intifada on the Way and Its Global Ramifications
by Mazin Qumsiyeh -
Below I discuss briefly why I think Israel is intent on ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, the recent upheaval here and the killing of children, who is Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) behind the spate of recent war crimes including murdering a 13 year old child (pictures below), ask whether a 14th Intifada on the way and its global ramifications, and progress in building something positive in Bethlehem.
There has been a significant escalation of violence in the apartheid country in the past few days. If this is a new uprising it is expected as we have one on average every 10 years (we had nearly 14 in the past 140 years of Zionist onslaught). When we analyze the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for this particular wave of unrest, we see the arson attack 31 July 2015 on the Dawabshe family (father, mother and child murdered) and the calls for revenge.
Since then some 30 Palestinians and 4 Israelis were killed.

Raw Deal: Big Trees and the TPP

Are raw log exports part of the TPP trade deal?
by Peter Ewart - News 250

October 7, 2015

The Harper Conservatives need to answer a simple question. Are raw log exports part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal? This, along with any other changes to Canada’s forestry policy, is something that British Columbians and Canadians need to know, and they need to know before the October 19 election.
Throughout these negotiations the Harper government has been hyper-secretive about the TPP negotiations, but has indicated that, even though a deal has been signed, the full text and fine print will not be revealed until long after the election.
Why is this a concern? As noted in an earlier column this summer in 250 News (1), a secret memo was leaked from the Foreign Affairs department of the federal government acknowledging that, as part of the TPP process, intense negotiations were taking place on the issue of lifting forestry tariffs put up by member countries.
However, in return, the memo says, “discussion with Japan are ongoing but have been difficult. Japan has very clearly linked the elimination of forestry tariffs to B.C. eliminating or significantly modifying log export controls” and that Canada’s efforts to delink the two [issues] “are becoming increasingly difficult” (2).

Kidnapped: Israel's War on the Next Generation

Eleven Palestinians, Including Children, Kidnapped In Jerusalem And Nablus
by IMEMC and Agencies
October 07, 2015 

Nablus ransacked homes 15At least eleven Palestinians, including children, have been kidnapped, on Wednesday at dawn, after Israeli soldiers invaded several Palestinian communities in occupied Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian media sources in Jerusalem said the soldiers invaded several homes, and violently searched them, and kidnapped four children and a young man.

Photo By Silwanic
The soldiers kidnapped Ahmad Atiyya, Rami Obeid, Qusai Dari and Mahmoud Mustafa, from their homes in the al-‘Eesawiyya town, while resident Khaled Jadallah was taken prisoner from his home in Sur Baher town, southeast of Jerusalem.

Anatomy of a Hospital Bombing: Killing the Healers

22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
by Kathy Kelly -

October 5, 2015

Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, a group of activists living in Baghdad would regularly go to city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being in Baghdad, such as hospitals, electrical facilities, water purification plants, and schools, and string large vinyl banners between the trees outside these buildings which read: “To Bomb This Site Would Be A War Crime.”
We encouraged people in U.S. cities to do the same, trying to build empathy for people trapped in Iraq, anticipating a terrible aerial bombing.

Tragically, sadly, the banners must again condemn war crimes, this time echoing international outcry because in an hour of airstrikes this past Saturday morning, the U.S. repeatedly bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, a facility that served the fifth largest city in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

U.S./NATO forces carried out the airstrike at about 2AM on October 3rd. Doctors Without Borders had already notified the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces of their geographical coordinates to clarify that their compound, the size of a football field, was a hospital.

A Hard Sell for the Deal Canadians "Can't Refuse"

Time share tactics – Is the TPP trade deal being rammed down our throats?
by Peter Ewart - 250 News

October 6, 2015

Prince George, B.C.Anyone who has been to Mexico has likely had experience with the notorious “time share” sales people who use high pressure tactics to get you to sign a contract on-the-spot that will allow you to book an apartment or condo for part of the year for a price. Those who do sign up often find to their great dismay that they have been taken for a huge financial ride, that the housing and booking arrangements are not what they expected, and that they can’t get out of the deal.
And so it is that, in the middle of an election campaign, the Canadian people are having maximum pressure imposed on them, “time share” style, to accept a huge trade deal, the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has many unknown implications.
More than that, maximum pressure is being exerted for Canadians to vote for either the Conservatives or Liberals who will usher in this massive trade deal, which, like the “time share” apartments and condos looks so wonderful – at least as being sold by its slick promoters.

The Precariat Also Rises: Getting Firm with Labour "Flexibility"

Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
by Murray Dobbin - CounterPunch
Just three weeks before the Canadian federal election comes a report from Morgan Stanley that should remind everyone, especially the parties running for office, that it’s still about the economy. The the message of the paper is as unambiguous as it is surprising: the era of cheap labour is over. It all has to do with demographics, which are changing, and public policy which so far has not.
I have written more than once over the years about the devastating impact of so-called “labour flexibility” policies – devastating to employees, families, productivity, equality, communities, the birth rate (yes, the birth rate) and the economy as a whole. What is stunning to me is that almost no one in the Canadian media, and few in the labour movement seems to have a clue about to its importance.
For all the talk about what will grow the economy – and leaders’ debate on the topic was worse than useless, it was embarrassing – the key component to future economic growth is rising wages and salaries. We are programmed to dismiss such claims as “far left” nonsense but that handy epithet doesn’t work when the observation is made by the likes of co-author Charles Goodhart, a former member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee.

Select Fruits and Nuts: "Lone" Killers, Loaded Guns, and a Restive Russia

In Brief: 'Lone Nuts' and Natural Fruit; Moscow Murk
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

October 5, 2015

"Lone nut" gunmen: natural fruit of the system

Hypercapitalism destroys social, family, community and economic bonds; it sews division, isolation, competition, greed; lauds force and violence and war as supreme values; turns rape and murder into nightly entertainment; dehumanizes and commodifies human beings at every turn ... and then we wonder why our society produces so many troubled, isolated, violent souls out there. A system set up on dehumanization and moral insanity is bound to produce the kind of damaged psyches we see falling prey to the hate that fills the nightmind of the internet -- and the broad daylight of Establishment violence and brutality -- and who then go walking into schools and churches and workplaces to act out the destructive chaos they hear in their heads ... and see in the world.

Sudden, murky tectonic shifts going on in Moscow; unreported in the West

From a friend in Moscow in last week: "Stuff is happening in Moscow. I'm not putting it together yet, but "things have changed." Putin is suddenly pulling out of Ukraine. TV has suddenly stopped ragging on the US. Russia bombs ISIS, oops, no, the other opposition; then bombs ISIS. Yesterday I watched for 4 astonishing hours as Putin listened to dozens of speakers in the human rights council tell him straight to his face how his government has failed in the courts, in lawmaking, in finance - virtually everywhere. I don't ever remember seeing Putin take so much public criticism in one fell swoop (TV Rain ran it). Today this tidbit - that Putin has signed an order to put up a memorial - a Wall of Grief - to victims of repressions. Almost none of this could have happened over the last 2 to 3 years. Something has changed to make this particular stew of events possible now."

Seen anything about this in the Western press? No. They're not interested in what is really happening in Russia, only in their fantasy version of Putin and Kremlinland, which they chop and change as they please to suit whatever their agenda is at any given moment.

Media Furies Focus on Corbyn

Nuclear War and Corbyn: The Fury and the Farce
by Media Lens  - Dissident Voice

October 5th, 2015  

Last month, 250,000 party members voted Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour party, ‘the largest mandate ever won by a Party Leader.’ The combined might of the political and media establishment had fought and lost its Stalingrad, having bombarded Corbyn with every conceivable smear in a desperate attempt to wreck his reputation with the British public. The more extreme the attacks, the more people caught on. Social media surely played a part in this awakening; but the public simply needed to compare the cynicism with Corbyn’s obvious decency and common sense.
Long lines of media futurologists, having all dismissed Corbyn’s prospects, shuffled back to their keyboards in defeat and disarray. The tide truly had turned; something like real democracy had once again broken out in Britain.
So what to do when your bias has been so naked, so obvious, that it backfires? The political machine knows only one way – carry on regardless!
Thus, the focus has been on Corbyn not singing the national anthem, on whether he would wear a white poppy or a red poppy, or a tie, or do up his top button, or refuse to promise to kneel before the Queen and kiss her hand; all this has been granted national news headlines and incessant coverage.
‘At the heart of his dilemma’, opined a Times leader (‘National Insecurity’, October 1, 2015), ‘is a reluctance to shift from protest to leadership’. Translating from Murdochspeak, Corbyn has shown a reluctance to shift from principles to obedience in the customary manner.

Rupert's Propaganda Priors

Rupert Murdoch: Propaganda Recruit
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

October 5, 2015

In February 1983, global media magnate Rupert Murdoch volunteered to help the Reagan administration’s propaganda strategy for deploying U.S. mid-range nuclear missiles in Europe by using his newspapers to exacerbate public fears about the Soviet Union, according to a recently declassified “secret” letter.
Murdoch, then an Australian citizen with major newspaper holdings in Great Britain and some in the United States, had already established close political ties with British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and was developing them with President Ronald Reagan, partly through one of Murdoch’s lawyers, the infamous Red-baiter Roy Cohn, who had served as counsel to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s investigations in the 1950s.
President Reagan meets with publisher
Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency
Director Charles Wick, lawyers Roy Cohn
and Thomas Bolan in the Oval Office on 
Jan. 18, 1983.
(Photo: Reagan presidential library)
By February 1983, Cohn had already arranged a face-to-face meeting between Reagan and Murdoch (on Jan. 18, 1983) and had brokered a collaborative relationship between Murdoch and Charles Z. Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency who oversaw U.S. propaganda operations worldwide.

More Articles...