The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.
—J. William Fulbright
Tuesday 12 December 2017, © The Nation
One hundred years ago, on 11 December 1917, the British army occupied Jerusalem. As General Allenby's troops marched through Bab al-Khalil, launching a century of settler colonialism across Palestine, prime minister David Lloyd George heralded the city's capture as "a Christmas present for the British people".
In a few months' time, we mark another such anniversary: 70 years since the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, the catastrophic destruction of the Palestinian polity; the violent dispossession of most of its people with their forced conversion into disenfranchised refugees; the colonial occupation, annexation and control of their land; and the imposition of martial law over those who managed to remain. full article>
The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.
By Dennis J Bernstein
December 12, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
Protests have broken out across the Middle East against President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital — and Western critics complain that the move adds one more brick in the wall against the prospects for peace.
Professor Francis Boyle, who teaches international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and served as a long-time legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), calls Trump's announcement a "symbolic but still critical step in Israeli designs to control not just Jerusalem, but all of historic Palestine." I spoke with Boyle on Dec. 6. full article>
The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.
Dec. 12, 2017, © Mother Jones
The Arctic is warming faster than at any point in the past 1,500 years, according to a federal government report released Tuesday. The report, led by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also found that maximum winter sea ice coverage in the Arctic was the smallest ever recorded. full article>
Life is an unanswered question, but let's still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.
By Robert L. Borosage
December 12, 2017, © The Nation
The Pentagon wants a lot more money, and Donald Trump is eager to meet the demand. He has promised the largest military spending binge since Ronald Reagan and recently told soldiers they would soon enjoy "beautiful new planes and beautiful new equipment." full article>
By a lie, a man... annihilates his dignity as a man.
By Derek Hawkins
December 13, 2017, © The Washington Post
Democrat Doug Jones made history Tuesday with his stunning upset over Republican Roy Moore in the Senate election in Alabama, but one of the most memorable moments of the day came during several seconds of dead air on CNN. full article>
The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.
by Erik Ness
December 1, 2017, © The Progressive
Candidate Donald Trump never made a secret of his contempt for the Environmental Protection Agency. Asked by Fox News what he would cut from government, Trump responded, "Environmental Protection. What they do is a disgrace."
Trump's pick to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, had sued the agency fourteen times before taking the helm. The President called for cutting the EPA's 2017 funding by $3 billion and trimming staff by 3,500. Congress balked, mostly funded the EPA, and restored full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an ambitious long- term regional agenda with roots in the second Bush Administration. full article>
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
—Henry David Thoreau
By Eleanor Cummins
Nov. 20 2017, © Slate
There are thought to be about 10 million distinct species of plants and animals on Earth. That number is incomprehensibly large, not least because most species are still undiscovered. But now the Biodiversity Heritage Library, an open-access repository for some of the most stunning images collected of life on Earth, is helping to make these ecological wonders all the more real: It's made more than 2 million images of our planet's biodiversity available online for free. Anyone can explore the expansive collections, study the digitized materials, and even download the images for whatever scientific—or artistic—project you have in mind. full article>
My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.
November 22, 2017, © Amnesty International
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the sustained and systemic attacks on the Rohingya population by the Myanmar military "ethnic cleansing" today in an acknowledgment of the nature of the humanitarian crisis. He also called for an independent probe into north Rakhine State. The announcement comes a week after promising an additional $47 million in humanitarian aid. full article>
To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.
By BRENDAN JONES
NOV. 24, 2017, © The New York Times
It is almost winter again here. The days shorten and the furrows of the volcano that looms over our town steadily fill with snow. At night my daughters and I watch northern lights dance green across a mountain ridge as we wait for our salmon to thaw for dinner. In the courts there is a case in which the defendant, a fisherman, claims his cloth measuring tape constricted in the cold, causing him to mismeasure his halibut. In another case a fisherman blames his freezer for shrinking a king salmon. Alaska state troopers disagree. Life continues apace.
When I'm not working on our tugboat, I fish with Eric Jordan, a second-generation troller whose parents, like those of so many seasoned fishermen around here, fought for Alaskan statehood so salmon could be better managed. We work the winter line, stretching between Cape Edgecumbe Light and Point Woodhouse. The salmon, chromatic shifts of light prowling the kelp forests, have slowed down by this time of year. Smoked, canned, stacked in the freezer like cordwood, their pumpkin-orange meat sustains us, as it has sustained the Tlingit community on this island for 10,000 years. full article>
On Thanksgiving Night, 1942, when I was fifteen years old, white racists burned our house to the ground.
—Coretta Scott King
Nov. 23, 2017, © Mother Jones
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office issues hundreds of pedestrian citations a year, drawing on an array of 28 separate statutes governing how people get around on foot in Florida's most populous city. There is, of course, the straightforward jaywalking statute, barring people from crossing against a red light. But in Jacksonville, pedestrians can also be ticketed for crossing against a yellow light, for "failing to cross a street at a right angle," for not walking on the left side of a road when there are no sidewalks, or alternatively for not walking on a sidewalk when one is available. full article>
From too much love of living, From hope and fear set free, We thank with brief thanksgiving Whatever gods may be That no life lives for ever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne
22/11/2017, © The Huffington Post
Vehemently anti-gay conservative organization MassResistance opened a conference last week with an interpretive flag dance that has us all wondering ... Are we being trolled? full article>
By Randall Balmer
November 17, 2017 © The Washington Post
I first encountered Roy Moore in 2002 in a Montgomery, Ala., courtroom, where I was an expert witness on the separation of church and state in what came to be known as the Alabama Ten Commandments case. Moore, then the state's chief justice, was the defendant. He had installed a granite block emblazoned with the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Judicial Building in Montgomery, declared that the event marked "the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and the return to the knowledge of God in our land" and then refused to allow any other religious representations in that public space. full article>
The work of woman is not to lessen the severity or the certainty of the penalty for the violation of the moral law, but to prevent this violation by the removal of the causes which lead to it.
—Susan B. Anthony
Thursday 16 November 2017, © The Guardian
Spot the difference. The allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama politician Roy Moore, who is running for the US Senate, have revived interest in the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Donald Trump. full article>
The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent.
—James T. Walsh
By Adam Federman
November 17, 2017, © The Nation
One day in Mid-March, James Cason, the associate deputy secretary at the Department of the Interior, convened an impromptu meeting of the senior staff of the Bureau of Land Management. Cason, whose office is on the sixth floor, rarely wandered the halls, and some career civil servants still had never met him. A soft-spoken and unassuming man, Cason has cycled in and out of Republican administrations since the early 1980s and has largely avoided public attention. But people who have worked with him know him as a highly effective administrator and a disciple of some of the department's most notorious anti-environment leaders in previous years—a "hatchet man," in the words of one former DOI employee who worked with him during the George W. Bush administration. full article>
Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being.
—Michel de Montaigne
November 16, 2017, © Media Matters
Steve Bannon would have you believe that he stands at the crossroads of history, directing traffic. Ever since he emerged as a national political figure in the latter stages of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Breitbart.com chairman has cultivated a reputation as a wily tactician, the leader of a nascent nationalist revolution, and a visionary whose dreams of a new political order are just beginning to come to fruition. During his brief tenure as chief adviser to President Trump, his various power grabs and heavy-handed policy maneuvers led to the perception that "President Bannon" was the real power in the White House. full article>
At a time when opportunism is everything, when hope seems lost, when everything boils down to a cynical business deal, we must find the courage to dream. To reclaim romance. The romance of believing in justice, in freedom, and in dignity. For everybody.
Thursday 16 November 2017, © The Guardian
Harry Truman once demanded to be given one-handed economists because he became so frustrated with his advisers meeting every demand for answers with "on the one hand, on the other hand".
Truman would have liked Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist who worked for a later Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and who does not mince words when talking about the current incumbent of the White House, Donald Trump. full article>
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
By Nicolas J S Davies
November 16, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
Seventy-seven million people in North and South Korea find themselves directly in the line of fire from the threat of a Second Korean War. The rest of the world is recoiling in horror from the scale of civilian casualties such a war would cause and the unthinkable prospect that either side might actually use nuclear weapons. full article>
Sadistic brutality and mystical feeling go always hand in hand when the normal capacity for orgastic experience is lacking. This was as true of the inquisitors of the medieval church, of the cruel and mystical Philip II of Spain, as it is of any modern mass murderer.
—Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
14.11.2017, © Jyllands-Posten
Aldrig har 50.000 irere været mere stille. Korslagte arme, lange ansigter, ikke en lyd. Deres blik rettet mod en 25-årig fynbo ved navn Eriksen, der midt i sin 75. landskamp blev opslugt af ni holdkammerater i en stor rød-hvid klynge i det ene hjørne af Aviva Stadium. full article>
October 10, 2017, © The Globe and Mail
After every horrific mass shooting and disturbing terrorist attack, the reflex is the same: The attacker(s) must be mentally ill.
The shocking randomness of these acts is destabilizing, so simplistic conclusions may provide comfort, but you can't explain away violence by saying the perpetrators are "nuts."
Doing so does a grave disservice to those who do suffer from mental illness – the vast majority of whom are not violent – and it prevents us from discussing the complex personal, political and social drivers that create angry, young (for the most part) men. full article>
To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.
—Martha C. Nussbaum
November 7, 2017, © Democracy Now
Estas son mis últimas palabras y tengo la certeza de que mi sacrificio no será en vano, tengo la certeza de que por lo menos será una lección moral que castigará la felonía, la cobardía y la traición.
—Salavador Allende, 11 de septiembre, 1973
© Amnesty International
Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses. It is also one of the most hidden. It takes place in intimate relationships, within the family and at the hands of strangers and it affects women in every country in the world.
This report focuses on sexual violence against Indigenous women in the USA. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that women are able to enjoy their right to freedom from sexual violence. As citizens of particular tribal nations, the welfare and safety of American Indian and Alaska Native women are directly linked to the authority and capacity of their nations to address such violence. full article>
By John Nichols
November 8, 2017, © The Nation
If there is an American elected official who is the opposite of Donald Trump, it could well be Ravinder Bhalla. A Sikh-American lawyer with a record of fighting discrimination, Bhalla says, "I'm everything that Trump hates. A brown man wearing a turban, and a proud American with the know-how to stop his assaults on our country's values."
And while Trump is losing, Bhalla is winning. On Tuesday, when voters across the country rejected the president's Republican allies in what political analysts referred to as "nothing less than a stinging repudiation of Trump on the first anniversary of his election," Ravi Bhalla was elected mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. The win in the city of 55,000, located just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, was celebrated by the Sikh community in the United States, which has frequently been targeted by racists who know little about the 500-year-old religion that has produced many political leaders in India and Canada. full article>
Cada nueva esperanza que sentimos nos hace ver de manera distinta el pasado.
By JESSICA BENNETT
NOV. 5, 2017, © The New York Times
Forty years ago this month, Ms. magazine put sexual harassment on its cover for the first time. Understanding the sensitivity of the topic, the editors used puppets for the cover image — a male hand reaching into a woman's blouse — rather than a photograph. It was banned from some supermarkets nonetheless.
In 1977, the term sexual harassment had not been defined in the law and had barely entered the public lexicon. And yet, to read that Ms. article today, amid a profound shift in discourse, is to feel haunted by its familiarity. full article>
Las especies que sobreviven no son las más fuertes, ni las más rápidas, ni las más inteligentes; sino aquellas que se adaptan mejor al cambio
November 03, 2017, © Democracy Now
President Trump and House Republicans have unveiled their long-promised proposal to reform America's tax code, with Trump calling it a "big, beautiful Christmas present" for the American people. Critics say the gift is a tax cut for the richest Americans. We discuss the proposal with economist and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who argues, "It's an out-and-out class war waged against the poorest, the weakest, the disenfranchised—the very same people that Donald Trump appealed to in order to get elected." full article>
A light here required a shadow there.
—Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
At a press conference Tuesday, Donald Trump doubled down on his vile refusal to condemn white supremacist terrorism in Charlottesville, VA. He said that there were "fine people" in the white supremacist rally and blamed "both sides" for the violence and hate witnessed on all of our TV screens. full article>
LA FERIA DE LOS PÁJAROS
Sentí que se desgajaba tu corazón lentamente como la rama que al peso de la nevada se vence,
y vi un instante en tus ojos aquella locura alegre de los pájaros que viven su feria sobre la nieve.
By Norman Eisen and Fred Wertheimer
November 4, 2017, © cnn.com
In recent weeks, President Trump and his allies have been desperately seeking to divert attention away from the Russia/Trump investigation by ginning up an alternative review of a Democratic scandal. The latest effort came in response to reports that Hillary Clinton had gained control over the Democratic National Committee during the primaries by entering into a joint fundraising agreement with it. full article>
Acepta perderlo todo.
Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Mark Berman
November 1, 2017, © The Washington Post
President Trump's lawyers argued in a new court filing late Tuesday that he was expressing a political opinion last year when he called accusations of sexual misconduct against him as false and the accusers "liars," seeking to dismiss a defamation complaint by a woman who said he groped her.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality television show "The Apprentice" and now a California restaurant owner, filed her lawsuit against Trump in January, three days before his inauguration. full article>
Naces solo y mueres solo, y en el paréntesis la soledad es tan grande que necesitas compartir la vida para olvidarlo.
By C.J. Polychroniou
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, © Truthout
In an increasingly unequal country, the stakes are high for debates over student debt and the prospect of free higher education. Driven by neoliberal politics, our current educational system is both a product of and a driver of deep social inequities. In this interview, world-renowned public intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin take on the question of who should pay for education -- and how a radical reshaping of our educational system could be undertaken in the US. full article>
Lo que de raíz se aprende nunca del todo se olvida.
October 31, 2017, © Whistleblower.org
Last week, the Trump Administration's sustained attack on federal scientists studying climate change science and impacts escalated when US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued last-minute gag orders preventing several EPA research staff from giving planned presentations at a workshop about the overall health of the Narragansett Bay. This is the first such documented incident of speech censorship at the EPA of which we are aware. It is possible, if not likely, that there have been other similar instances that have gone unreported and relatively unnoticed. full article>
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
—George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
by Jeffrey St. Clair
October 27, 2017, © Counterpunch.org
Nobody knows anything. Trump can't recall the names of the slain soldiers. Mad Dog Mattis can't explain what the soldiers were doing when they were killed. Lindsay Graham and Chuck Schumer had no idea the US had 800 boots on the ground in Niger, even though they had both repeatedly voted to appropriate money for Africom's operations in the Lake Chad Basin and in the Saharan Region, allegedly to target ISIS and Boko Haram. full article>
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
—Carl von Clausewitz
Oct. 26, 2017, © MotherJones
About a year ago, I met a man named Christopher David Steele. It was unusual for him to be speaking with a journalist. He had spent most of his adult life in the shadows, as a counterintelligence officer for MI6, the British foreign intelligence service. His specialty was Russia.
More recently, he had been something of a spy-for-hire, running a corporate intelligence business based in London that did hush-hush work for private clients. He was, he told me, not accustomed to chatting with outsiders. But Steele was worried. He had spent several months, as the world now knows, researching connections between Donald Trump and Russia, and he had unearthed information (which was then unconfirmed) indicating that Russia had been trying to co-opt and cultivate Trump for years, that the Trump camp had been trading information with the Russians, and that Vladimir Putin's regime had gathered compromising material on Trump. (Yes, including the infamous supposed "pee tape.") full article>
Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.
29/10/2017, © La Vanguardia
El que tenía que ser el primer día de la República catalana amaneció tranquilo y soleado. La bandera española seguía ondeando en el Palau de la Generalitat, y Girona, cuna del presidente que había proclamado la independencia el día anterior, se lanzaba a las calles a disfrutar de las fiestas de Sant Narcís. Salvo en las redes sociales, es evidente que Catalunya no forma parte desde ayer del concierto de estados del mundo. El reconocimiento internacional ha sido nulo. Entre los cuadros políticos intermedios más confiados cundía el estupor por la escasa eficacia de la labor desarrollada por el conseller Raül Romeva, el Diplocat y las embajadas en el exterior. full article>
One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.
Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.
—Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
G.PRUNA / N.ORRIOLS / M.TORO / M.ROGER / X.TEDÓ
27/10/2017, © ara.cat
La República Catalana ja camina. El Parlament ha aprovat aquest divendres amb 70 vots a favor, 10 en contra i 2 en blanc la proposta de resolució que assumeix la declaració d'independència signada el 10 d'octubre pels diputats independentistes i que afirma que "la República Catalana es constitueix com a estat independent i sobirà". full article>
When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.
—Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
LA MEJOR OPCIÓN PARA SAN LORENZO ES
Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got.
by Andrew Levine
October 27, 2017, © Counterpunch.org
The Republican Party is home to many a vile reactionary, but its principal function is, and long has been, to serve the most odious wing of the American ruling class.
Before Hillary Clinton threw away a sure victory last November, Donald Trump was well on the way to blowing that dreadful party apart. full article>
He says that there can be no high civilization without enslavement of the masses, either nominal or real. There must, he says, be a lower class, given up to physical toil and confined to an animal nature; and a higher one thereby acquires leisure and wealth for a more expanded intelligence and improvement, and becomes the directing soul of the lower. So he reasons, because, as I said, he is born an aristocrat;—so I don't believe, because I was born a democrat.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe, (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
By Paul R. Pillar
October 25, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
The newest issue of Foreign Affairs features the theme of "America's Forgotten Wars," with a cover illustration that juxtaposes a carefree scene of Americans enjoying a picnic with a scene of American soldiers fighting and incurring casualties in some sandy and desolate battle space.
The picture depicts truthfully the detachment between, on one hand, the daily interests and attitudes of most Americans and, on the other hand, the disturbing reality of the United States being engaged continuously in a variety of lethal military operations in multiple lands overseas. full article>
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Elective Affinities)
By Samantha Schmidt
October 25, 2017, © The Washington Post
About three years ago, a married Portuguese woman began seeing another man. The affair was brief — and after two months, the woman wanted to end it.
In response, the woman's former lover turned to her husband, telling him his wife had been unfaithful, according to Portuguese media outlets. The couple divorced. But the two men, both enraged, worked together to plan an attack on the woman. full article>
Mental ghettos are not mirages; they actually exist in palpable reality: being "open" inside one's mental or intellectual ghetto does not open its door but simply allows one to harbour the illusion that there is no ghetto and no door. The most dangerous prisons are those with invisible bars.
October 24, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
By Phil Rockstroh
Human sexuality mirrors human culture. Mating dances of seduction and refusal, and acts of non-consensual aggression cannot be separated from traits witnessed, practiced and internalized by the people of a particular society. It is impossible to close the bedroom door to the culture at large. Eros not only inhabits the genitals and the heart but Anima mundi as well.
Sexuality is not going to go away because its nature, which is sublime in the sense of the beautiful and the monstrous, makes people uncomfortable. The phenomenon brings all things human to the fore of consciousness. Therefore, it is imperative we talk about it all, and without mind-negating shame and heart-freezing hysteria. full article>
Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.
By Andrew Roth
October 23, 2017, © The Washington Post
MOSCOW — An assailant stabbed a senior editor at Russia's Echo of Moscow radio Monday in a brazen break-in and attack at one of Russia's most prominent and politically outspoken talk stations. The assault was the latest in a series of attacks, some with political motives, on prominent journalists in Russia. full article>
The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.
—Otto von Bismarck
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
October 22, 2017 © The Washington Post
The United States is in the middle of a very unfortunate experiment in how disoriented a great nation can become before it loses its moorings entirely.
At times, politics seems fairly conventional with Republicans and Democrats arguing about health care and tax cuts, as they long have done. But former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reminded us last week that there is nothing normal about this moment. They issued searing, overlapping condemnations of Trumpism without naming President Trump. Former commanders in chief of opposing parties don't do this sort of thing unless the country faces an emergency. full article>
The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring.
by Farhang Jahanpour
October 19, 2017, © Counterpunch.org
As was expected, President Trump has decertified Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal or, to give it its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the fact that he certified it twice before. As recently as 14 September 2017, Trump also waived certain sanctions against Iran as required under the terms of the deal. Yet, in an extremely belligerent and hostile speech he put out his new policy towards Iran. full article>
It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.
19/10/2017, © ara.cat
Assegura que no va sentir cap dolor mentre rebia violents cops de porra per tot el cos, ni quan els agents de la Guàrdia Civil el van tirar a terra i el van arrossegar uns metres, ni quan el trepitjaven deliberadament amb les seves botes, ni quan, sense forces per aixecar-se, es va quedar blanc i s'ofegava. Josep Maria Nadal, exrector de la Universitat de Girona, professor i catedràtic de filologia catalana, explica que el dolor el va sentir just quan els guàrdies civils abandonaven el collegi electoral d'Aiguaviva amb crits de "¡Viva España!" De l'1 d'octubre encara li queden marques al cos, però no li dol tant el mal físic que va patir sinó el dany moral que li provoquen les veus que neguen o justifiquen les brutals càrregues policials d'aquell dia, com ara la de l'escriptor Javier Cercas, exprofessor de la UdG. full article>
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday October 31, 2017
Just imagine – the audience screamed or fainted at the now-famous unmasking of the Phantom (Lon Chaney in his ghastly, self-created makeup). The 1925 thriller remains one of the most unforgettable horror films of the silent era. full article>
I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.
17/10/2017, © ara.cat
Té 88 anys, és alemanya i va estar casada amb un funcionari nazi. Ursula Haverbeck, coneguda com 'l'àvia nazi' ha tornat a ser condemnada per haver negat l'Holocaust i l'existència de les cambres de gas al camp d'extermini nazi d'Auschwitz. La dona ja compta amb altres sentències inculpatòries per delictes similars que no s'han executat, a l'espera que es resolguin els recursos plantejats per la seva defensa. full article>
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
16/10/2017, © ara.cat
El camí de la llibertat no és sempre fàcil. Però quan es fa amb tanta gent és sempre agradable. L'actuació de l'Audiència Nacional ha arribat en un moment on algú potser ha pensat que podria ser determinant per capgirar la voluntat d'un poble expressada a les urnes. full article>
October 15, 2017, © Los Angeles Times
I'm probably not the only one who may find it a bit disconcerting — albeit thoroughly engaging — to wander through the Grammy Museum's newest exhibition, which is devoted to the 40-year career of L.A. punk band X.
I've seen the group in all manner of dive clubs over the years and have been a long admirer of songs that question many forms of institutional conformity. full article>
The New World
(lyrics by Exene Cervenka and John Doe)
"Honest to goodness The bars weren't open this morning They must have been voting for a new president or something Do you have a quarter?"
I said yes because I did,
"Honest to goodness The tears have been falling All over the country's face."
It was better before Before they voted for what's-his-name This was supposed to be the new world
Flint, Ford, Auto, Mobile, Alabama, Windshield wipers, Buffalo, New York, Gary, Indiana Don't forget the Motor City This was supposed to be the new world
All we need is money Just give us what you can spare Twenty or thirty pounds of potatoes Or 20 or 30 beers A turkey on Thanksgiving Like alms for the poor All we need are the necessities and more
It was better before before they voted for what's-his-name This was supposed to be the new world
Don't forget the Motor City This was supposed to be the new world (REPEAT)
Lluís Companys i Jovernota nació en Tarrós el 21 de junio de 1882 y fue asesinado por el gobierno del dictator fascista Francisco Franco en Barcelona el 15 de octubre de 1940. Fue un político y abogado español, de ideología catalanista y republicana, líder de Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ministro de Marina de España durante 1933, y presidente de la Generalitat de Catalunya desde 1934 hasta 1940.
Exiliado tras la Guerra Civil, fue capturado en Francia por la Gestapo, a petición de la policía franquista, y trasladado a España, donde fue torturado, sometido a un consejo de guerra y finalmente fusilado en el castillo de Montjuic.
(Ficha policial de Companys de 1940)
La entrega al gobierno del general Franco la realizó el policía español Pedro Urraca Rendueles a través de la frontera de Irún. Fue trasladado a la Dirección General de Seguridad en Madrid, donde permaneció hasta el 3 de octubre de 1940, siendo torturado. Desde ahí fue enviado al castillo de Montjuic, que servía de prisión. Allí fue juzgado en consejo de guerra el 14 de octubre. Su defensor de oficio fue el capitán de Artillería Ramón de Colubí. Como había sido juzgado en rebeldía en aplicación retroactiva de la Ley de Responsabilidades Políticas por un tribunal especial de Barcelona, sólo fue juzgado y sentenciado por "Adhesión a la rebelión militar", en una única jornada por un tribunal militar sumarísimo sin garantías. Tras un juicio que duró unas pocas horas, fue sentenciado a morir fusilado. El dictador Franco dio el "enterado", ‚Äãpor lo que el fusilamiento tuvo lugar al alba del día siguiente, 15 de octubre de 1940, en el foso de santa Eulalia del castillo de Montjuic. No quiso que se le pusiera una venda en los ojos y murió diciendo: "Per Catalunya!".
En la década de los noventa, el alemán Helmut Kohl y el francés François Mitterrand pidieron perdón en nombre de sus respectivos países por haber colaborado en la detención y deportación de Lluís Companys. En junio de 2013 Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya se querelló en Argentina contra el Estado español, con motivo de los crímenes del bando franquista contra cargos republicanos.
JORDI GUIXÉ COROMINES
14 OCT 2015, © El País
Els serveis secrets dels estats no s'improvisen. Darrera les accions novel¬∑lesques de vigilància, persecució i transmissió d'informació o secrets hi ha macrobjectius, geoestratègies i planejaments molt ben estudiats. La vigilància i seguiment de líders polítics és una pràctica habitual. També ho era en la època d'entreguerres i ja no cal citar l'augment d'agències d'espionatge i d'informació a partir de la Guerra Civil i la Segona Guerra Mundial. full article>
Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
—G. K. Chesterton
I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17. I assumed it would be in a conference room, which was very common. When I arrived, reception told me to go to his room. He opened the door in his bathrobe. I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him. After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left, uneasy but unscathed. A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realized he couldn't remember if he had assaulted me or not. I had what I thought were boundaries - I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a cunt and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh "Kate lives to say no to me ." It speaks to the status-quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things, while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself, undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family. I would like to applaud the women who have come forward, and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers, managers, executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said "well, that's just Harvey (/Mr X/insert name here)" will realize that we in numbers can affect real change. For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in. I had a male friend who, based on my experience, warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful. He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film ; the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off. Let's stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder, and let's remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do.
One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.
VIETNAM '67 OCT. 13, 2017, © The New York Times
"So where do these stories come from?"
The reporter was asking about accounts that soldiers returning from Vietnam had been spat on by antiwar activists. I had told her the stories were not true. I told her that, on the contrary, opponents of the war had actually tried to recruit returning veterans. I told her about a 1971 Harris Poll survey that found that 99 percent of veterans said their reception from friends and family had been friendly, and 94 percent said their reception from age-group peers, the population most likely to have included the spitters, was friendly. full article>
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.
By Dennis J Bernstein
October 11, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
More than two-and-a-half weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory continues to face a humanitarian crisis with people lacking basic needs, such as food, clean water, electricity and medical supplies. Doctors say they don't have what they need to save lives, with unnecessary deaths occurring especially among the elderly, the infirm and those on respirators and other kinds of electronic life support systems. full article>
A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out. ... The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant when women begin to take part.
—L. Ron Hubbard
By Pepe Escobar
October 9, 2017, © Asia Times
What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally. full article>
Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.
By John Nichols
October 11, 2017, © The Nation
Donald Trump has decried, derided, and dismissed reporters and news outlets since he emerged as a presidential contender in 2015. Even after he swore an inaugural oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" that guarantees a free press, this president has continued to attack major newspapers, magazines, cable news networks, and the major broadcasters of the United States. full article>
Wednesday 11 October 2017, © The Guardian
Somehow this is where we find ourselves in America in 2017: the president of the United States uses race to drive a wedge between football players and their fans while the world's most-lucrative sports league caves to his tweets.
NFL players are sacrificing their brains for a league that will make at least $14bn off them this year. Many are shorting their memories, breaking their bodies and forgoing any hope of walking normally past the age of 45. The majority of them do not have guaranteed contracts and while the very best are paid well for the tiny window that is their professional career, they remain among the most exploited of American professional athletes – their sports lives dangling by the sturdiness of their ACLs. full article>
Whoever is detected in a shameful fraud is ever after not believed even if they speak the truth.
By Lawrence Davidson
October 8, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
If you go to the Wikipedia page that gives a timeline of U.S. foreign military operations between 1775 and 2010, you are likely to come away in shock. It seems that ever since the founding of the country, the United States has been at war. It is as if Americans just could not (and still cannot) sit still, but had to (and still have to) force themselves on others through military action.
Often this is aimed at controlling foreign resources, thus forcing upon others the consequences of their own capitalist avarice. At other times the violence is spurred on by an ideology that confuses U.S. interests with civilization and freedom. Only very rarely is Washington out there on the side of the angels. Regardless, the bottom line seems to be that peace has never been a deeply ingrained cultural value for the citizens of the United States. As pertains to foreign policy, America's national culture is a war culture. full article>
A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.
By Heather Digby Parton
September 21, 2017, © Alternet
After torch-bearing white nationalists marched in Charlottesville last month and a peaceful counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was murdered by a neo-Nazi, the leaders of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses in Congress sent a letter to President Trump. They asked that he fire White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. full article>
It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.
For which taxpayers picked up the tab.
By Dave Zirin
October 8, 2017, © The Nation
Vice President John Nance Garner once said that being the vice president was "not worth a bucket of warm piss." (Many know this quote as "bucket of warm spit." It's "piss".) The current holder of that office, Mike Pence showed on Sunday that Garner, if alive, would owe an apology to piss buckets everywhere.
Pence used the NFL to star in a cheap, transparent political stunt. The narrative Pence tried—and failed—to sell was that he showed up at the Colts-49ers game in Indianapolis and then supposedly left in a huff after being shocked—SHOCKED!—at seeing the San Francisco 49ers kneel. After assumedly taking a whiff of his personal smelling salts, he immediately released a statement that magically was already prepared, which read in part, "I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem." full article>
In a false quarrel there is no true valor.
There is no war scenario that ends in victory.
By HAN KANG
OCT. 7, 2017, © The New York Times
SEOUL, South Korea — I cannot turn my thoughts from the news article I happened to see a few days ago. A man in his 70s accidentally dropped two thick wads of cash in the street. Two people who happened upon this bundle of money and shared it between them were caught by the police, made to give up the money and charged with theft.
Up until here, it is still an ordinary story. But there was a special reason this man was carrying so much cash on him. "I'm worried that a war might be coming," he told the police, "so I'd just taken my savings out of the bank and was on my way home." He said that it was money he had saved — a little bit each month — for four years, intended to send his grandchildren to college. Since the Korean War broke out in 1950, war would have been the enduring experience of this man's adolescence. I imagine what he would have been feeling, a man who has lived an ordinary middle-class life ever since, on his way to the bank to take out his savings. The terror, the unease, the impotence, the nervousness. full article>
나무를 심는데 가장 좋았던 때는 20년 전이었다. 두 번째로 좋은 때는 지금이다.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
El ánimo que piensa en lo que puede temer, empieza a temer en lo que puede pensar.
—Francisco de Quevedo
DANI SÁNCHEZ UGART Madrid Actualitzada el
03/10/2017, © ara.cat
La Zarzuela surt de la inacció. El rei d'Espanya, Felip VI, ha dirigit aquest dimarts al vespre un discurs als espanyols en el qual s'ha situat sense embuts al costat de l'estratègia del govern espanyol de Mariano Rajoy i ha obviat demanar diàleg per resoldre el conflicte, com han fet diversos actors internacionals. full article>
People love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me.
By Jenna Johnson and Ashley Parker
October 3, 2017, © The Washington Post
President Trump arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the territory struggled to recover from Hurricane Maria, which has left nearly all the island without power and most residents without water nearly two weeks later. full article>
My whole life is about winning. I don't lose often. I almost never lose.
Tuesday 3 October 2017, © The Guardian
On Sunday, I watched innocent people being beaten up, pulled by their hair and thrown down stairs – just for trying to express their opinion in a ballot – people back home in Catalonia who could easily have been neighbours or school friends. I was glued to my screen for 12 hours with tears in my eyes, sitting in my room in London. full article>
Cuanto peor mejor para todos y cuanto peor para todos mejor, mejor para mí el suyo, beneficio político.
—Mariano Rajoy (13/6/2017)
Strictest possible G-U-N C-O-N-T-R-O-L.
"Nevada state law does not require the registration of firearms. Following the passage of SB 175, handgun registration (or registration of any kind), is no longer required in Clark County or anywhere in the state of Nevada for handguns or long-arms (which already did not require registration). Governor Brian Sandoval signed this bill into law on June 2, 2015."
By RAPHAEL MINDER and ELLEN BARRY
OCT. 1, 2017, © The New York Times
BARCELONA — Catalonia's defiant attempt to stage an independence referendum descended into chaos on Sunday, with hundreds injured in clashes with police in one of the gravest tests of Spain's democracy since the end of the Franco dictatorship in the 1970s.
National police officers in riot gear, sent by the central government in Madrid from other parts of Spain, used rubber bullets and truncheons in some places as they fanned out across Catalonia, the restive northeastern region, to shut down polling stations and seize ballot boxes. full article>
What then is freedom? The power to live as one wishes.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.
by Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
September 29, 2017, © Counterpunch
Puerto Rico is not large enough to stand alone. We must govern it wisely and well, primarily in the interest of its own people. –Theodore Roosevelt
Puerto Rico is dying.
Let those words sink in.
Three and a half million people are without power, water, fuel, food, and support. This isn't some uninhabited atoll. This is where I grew up. This is where my family lives. This is my home.
And my home is dying. full article>
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe
30/09/2017, © ara.cat
Com totes les dates marcades en vermell en el calendari, l'1 d'octubre ha arribat lentament. Culmina una fase de la política catalana, i la lectura que se'n pugui fer dependrà del que cadascú íntimament decideixi avui i com s'interpreti a l'Estat i a la Unió Europea. Tothom ha de ser conscient que el món està mirant, i que potser trigarà a tornar-ho a fer per la volatilitat de l'agenda mediàtica. El procés sobiranista es juga ara al carrer i la lectura de la jornada d'aquest diumenge condicionarà el futur del país per als propers anys o dècades. full article>
To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
29/09/2017, © Público
Es difícil darse cuenta. El mensaje llega a nosotros envuelto en una bandera rojigualda con toques de sentimentalismo. Apela a tus emociones. Trata de noquear tu razón. Se camufla entre datos, cruces de acusaciones y expresiones grandilocuentes como 'golpe de Estado' o "sediciosos catalanes'. El 'España se rompe', la AntiEspaña y el discurso de los enemigos de la patria. Otra vez. La idea que se desprende de ese mensaje es que, por un lado, aquel que defiende la celebración de un referéndum en Catalunya es antiespañol, rojo, separatista. Sea de Madrid, de Huelva o de Vic. Por otro, que la única manera de entender España y de sentirse español es la negación a ultranza de una España plural y diversa. Te lo venden como sentido común, como la normalidad, pero es el mensaje de la extrema derecha. Y lo tienes ahí, delante de ti, envuelto en la bandera de España. full article>
Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment.
—Pearl S. Buck
Thursday 28 September 2017, © The Independent
I like the idea of war crimes trials. Make an example of the monsters, is what I say. "Collar the lot," as Churchill demanded in a somewhat different context. And if Nuremberg was victors' justice, I'd prefer the imperfect trials they did hold than the version we would have got if Hitler had won and Roland Freisler, State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Justice, was still running the Nazi People's Court. full article>
Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.
Saturday 30 September 2017, © The Guardian
Donald Trump lashed out at the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital city on Saturday as the row over his administration's response to a hurricane and humanitarian crisis escalated. full article>
I compose most of my tweets with care, as if they were aphorisms - they are not usually dashed-off. Sometimes I'm surprised by the high, poetic quality of Twitter - it lends itself to a surreal sort of self-expression.
—Joyce Carol Oates
by Geoff West
September 29, 2017, © The Guardian
Another Obamacare repeal bill is dead, and wealthy conservative donors aren't happy.
On Tuesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) canned a Senate vote on health care legislation drafted by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
"It still lies ahead of us," McConnell told reporters. Just not this week. full article>
Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
September 26, 2017, © FAIR
For over two years, many in corporate media have been trumpeting the looming threat to a free press posed by Donald Trump. "Would President Trump Kill Freedom of the Press?" Slate (3/14/16) wondered in the midst of the primaries; after the election, the New York Times (1/13/17) warned of "Donald Trump's Dangerous Attacks on the Press," and the Atlantic (2/20/17) declared it " A Dangerous Time for the Press and the Presidency." full article>
Dennis J. Kucinich
On Behalf of the Basil Peace Office
The United Nations General Assembly
High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Your Excellency, President of the General Assembly, Distinguished Ministers, Delegates and Colleagues:
I speak on behalf of the Basel Peace Office, a coalition of international organizations dedicated to the elimination of nuclear weapons
The world is in urgent need of truth and reconciliation over the existential threat of development of and use of nuclear weapons.
We have a shared global interest in nuclear disarmament and nuclear abolition, deriving from the irreducible human right to be free of contemplation of extinction.
This is the place and now is the time to take confidence-building measures, new diplomatic steps towards averting a nuclear catastrophe, to enact the new ban treaty, to refrain from precipitating nuclear showdowns, to begin anew the quest to eliminate nuclear weapons through reciprocal trust-building.
We from Civil Society insist upon structured, legally-affirmed nuclear arms treaties compelling non-violent conflict resolution, mindful of the founding principle of the United Nations to "end the scourge of war for all time."
Today's world is interdependent and interconnected. Human unity is the first truth.
Technology has created a global village. When a greeting can be sent to the other side of the world in a matter of seconds, this represents the constructive power of global citizens, affirming our commonality.
Contrast that with a nation sending an ICBM missile with a nuclear warhead.
There is a thin line between deterrence and provocation.
An aggressive expression of nuclear sovereignty is illegal and suicidal.
The threat of the use of nuclear weapons nullifies our humanity.
Let us hear and heed the demands for peace and nonviolent conflict resolution from the peoples of the world community.
Let the nations of the world affirm the evolutionary potential of technology for peace. This great institution cannot do it alone.
Each one of us must disarm and abolish any destructive force in our own lives, our own homes and our own communities which breed domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, gun violence, racial violence.
The power to do this is in the human heart, where courage and compassion reside, where the transformative power, the conscious willingness to challenge violence anywhere helps to tame that beast everywhere.
If we are to eliminate nuclear weapons we must also eliminate destructive rhetoric.
Here we acknowledge the power of the spoken word. Words create worlds. Harsh words, the exchange of threats between leaders, begins a dialectic of conflict, breeding suspicion, fear, reaction, miscalculation, and disaster. Words of mass destruction can unleash weapons of mass destruction.
The ghosts from Nagasaki and Hiroshima hover over us today, warning us that time is an illusion, that the past, the present and the future are one and can be obliterated in a flash, proving nuclear weapons are a fact of death, not life.
Nations must explicitly abandon designs for empire and nuclear dominance.
The brandishing of nuclear weapons triggers the inevitability of their use.
In the name of all humanity this must stop.
Instead of new nuclear nations and a new nuclear architecture we need new, clear action to create a world with freedom from fear, freedom from violent expression, freedom from extinction, and a legal framework to match.
On behalf of the Basel Peace Office and Civil Society, we say let peace be sovereign. Let diplomacy be sovereign. Let hope be sovereign, through your work and our work.
Then we shall fulfill the prophecy that "nation shall not take up sword against nation."
We must save our world from destruction. We must act with a sense of urgency. We must destroy these weapons before they destroy us. A nuclear weapons-free world is waiting to be courageously called forth. Thank You.
Website: Kucinich.com email: email@example.com Dennis Kucinich represents The Basel Peace Office and Civil Society today. He served 16 years in the US Congress and was Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. He has twice been a candidate for President of the United States. He is a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
—Henry David Thoreau
SEPT. 25, 2017, © The New York Times
On Saturday pretty much the entire medical sector — groups representing doctors, hospitals, and insurers — released an extraordinary open letter condemning the Graham-Cassidy health bill. The letter was written in the style of Emile Zola's "J'accuse": a series of paragraphs, each beginning with the bolded words "We agree," pointing out the bill's many awful features, from the harm it would do to people with pre-existing conditions to the chaos it would cause in insurance markets. full article>
Market moralities and mentalities-- fueled by economic imperatives to make a profit at nearly any cost-- yield unprecedented levels of loneliness, isolation, and sadness. And our public life lies in shambles, shot through with icy cynicism and paralyzing pessimism. To put it bluntly, beneath the record-breaking stock markets on Wall Street and bipartisan budget-balancing deals in the White House lurk ominous clouds of despair across this nation.
Painting of the Day:
"Autumn, Crotona Park, Bronx" (circa 1922-1925)
by Abraham A. Manievich
Good is positive. Evil is merely privative, not absolute: it is like cold, which is the privation of heat. All evil is so much death or nonentity. Benevolence is absolute and real. So much benevolence as a man hath, so much life hath he.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saturday 23 September 2017, © The Guardian
John and I were living on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles. I had wanted to revisit the South, so we flew there for a month in 1970. The idea was to start in New Orleans and from there we had no plan. We went wherever the day took us. I seem to remember that John drove. I had not been back since 1942–43, when my father was stationed in Durham, North Carolina, but it did not seem to have changed that much. At the time, I had thought it might be a piece. full article>
The lowest form of popular culture - lack of information, misinformation, disinformation and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people's lives - has overrun real journalism.
September 22, 2017, © Media Matters
Republican senators took to the airwaves this week to shore up support for the so-called "Graham-Cassidy" health care bill, the latest GOP proposal that aims to dismantle much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a series of proposals adopted from previously failed legislation. The often contentious interviews frequently devolved into stonewalling and deflection when reporters pressed lawmakers for answers about the ways the legislation would affect tens of millions of Americans who rely on programs such as Medicaid, live with pre-existing medical conditions, or have gained coverage under the ACA. full article>
At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation and prejudice.
Thursday 14 September 2017, © The Independent
Under a broiling hot midday sun on the south Lebanese-Israeli border this summer, an extraordinary and very angry meeting took place between two major generals: the 60-year-old Irish UN force commander in Lebanon and the 54-year-old deputy chief of staff of the Israeli army. Listening to them was the ambitious, pro-Israeli – but very inexperienced – US ambassador to the United Nations. The row between the two men appears to have been pre-planned by the Israelis to impress the highly impressionable Nikki Haley. It worked. full article>
The real danger we face is not from terrorism but what is being done under the pretext of fighting it.
23 de septiembre de 2017, © PÁGINA 12
Las vueltas a las casas de los represores generan nuevas prácticas de denuncia contra la impunidad. Desde hace varias semanas un grupo de víctimas de la Brigada de Investigaciones de San Justo recorre uno de los barrios de La Matanza en compañía de un grupo de HIJOS de esa localidad. Cada por casa van contando a los vecinos de la calle Albarracín 985 de Rafael Castillo que allí vive uno de los represores recordados por los sobrevivientes entre los más violentos y agresivos del antiguo centro clandestino. Es Rubén Alfredo Boan, entonces suboficial de la policía bonaerense, torturador y secuestrador del campo, que luego de estar seis años detenido regresó a su domicilio en el contexto de un juicio oral cuyo inicio está demorado y en un proceso en el que está por caer la prisión preventiva. La acción incluye un escrache que se realizará hoy, con salida a las 14 horas desde la Plaza Atalaya de Isidro Casanova. Y la solidaridad de los feriantes de la Plaza Atalaya que están impidiendo que alguien rompa los afiches de las calles con el anuncio. full article>
I am conscious of my inability to grasp, in all its details and positive developments, any very large portion of human knowledge.
Sock Puppet of the Day
The Red Heel Rockford Original Sock Monkey:
A sock puppet is a puppet formed and operated by inserting a hand inside a sock. The hand is opened and closed to simulate the movement of the puppet's "mouth" and give the impression of speaking. Sometimes eyes and other facial features are added to the sock in order to make the puppet more realistic. Sock puppets are popular in many puppet performances, as they are simple to make and easy to use. They are mostly used in satirical or children's works. (source: wikipedia)
Sock monkeys are perhaps not, technically, sock puppets. They have been around for centuries, but became popular in the United States during the Great Depression. In 1955, the Nelson Knitting Company was awarded the patent to the iconic sock monkey that most of us are familiar with. This company is based in Rockford, Illinois, where there is a Sock Monkey Museum and an annual festival takes place, including an official lecture and Sock Monkey beauty pageant.
Carried away in a sort of dream, he smiled, then he began to hurry back towards the lady; he was walking faster than usual, and his shoulders swayed backwards and forwards, right and left, in the most absurd fashion; altogether he looked, so utterly had he abandoned himself to it, ignoring all other considerations, as though he were the lifeless and wire-pulled puppet of his own happiness.
—Marcel Proust (Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove)
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
SEPT. 19, 2017, © The New York Times
The United Nations isn't the venue one would expect for threatening war. Yet that's what President Trump did in his first address to the General Assembly. full article>
If you look at Iraq and Afghanistan's situations, they are quickly becoming much like our reservations. They will have puppet governments funded and controlled by a U.S. Government that siphoned off their resources. You don't have to be an English major to read the writing on the wall; I am in here as a warning to others, just like those men who are in Guantanamo are a warning to others - if you stand up to us you face these same consequences.
By J.P. Sottile
September 19, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
President Trump opened his big United Nations week ... and his famous mouth ... with a predictable plug for one of his properties and some playful glad-handing with French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump also scolded the U.N.'s unwieldy scrum for "not living up to its potential." He made a passing reference to the U.N.'s wasteful use of American money. And he called for "reform" of the much-maligned international forum. full article>
Horace was a nice little guy who looked like one of his own baboons; he turned me over to a Doctor Vargas who was a specialist in exotic biologies--the same Vargas who was on the Second Venus Expedition. He told me what had happened and I looked at the gibbons, meantime rearranging my prejudices.
—Robert A. Heinlein (The Puppet Masters)
by Ajamu Baraka
September 20, 2017, © Counterpunch
Libertarian U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) declared from the Senate floor last week in anticipation of the vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2018:
"I rise today to oppose unauthorized, undeclared and unconstitutional war...What we have today is basically unlimited war, anywhere, anytime, any place upon the globe." full article>
When I was a kid, I never saw a puppet show. I never played with puppets or had any interest in them.
Everyone's quick to blame the alien.
Sep. 16, 2017, © Mother Jones
When filmmaker Lynn Novick signed on to co-direct The Vietnam War, the new 10-part, 18-hour PBS documentary, with Ken Burns, she advocated incorporating a large dose of Vietnamese perspective into the project. Novick—who, at 55, came of age in the war's aftermath—had long sensed that the United States' failure in the conflict hinged in part on our country's ignorance about the Vietnamese and their priorities. "What was at stake for them? Who were they?" Novick says. "These are questions that we've never really, as a society, been able to understand." full article>
To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.
—Hubert H. Humphrey
By Scott Colvin
September 15, 2017, © Truthout
In a December 2011 article, Noam Chomsky noted that in addition to those preaching skepticism of climate change, there exists another group of climate commentators whose input is ignored by the mainstream media: those who insist that the dangers of climate change go far beyond what we are told is the scientific consensus. full article>
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
by Paul Street
September 15, 2017, © Counterpunch
Numerous correspondents sent me the latest lengthy Atlantic essay by the brilliant and eloquent but bourgeois Black Identitarian Ta-Nehesi Coates and asked for my reflections. I reluctantly agreed to read and comment on Coates' long treatise.
"The Mind Seizes"
There is plenty to concur with and even applaud in Coates' prolonged reflection, which bears the provocative title "The First White President." The author is, I think, quite correct to note that that Donald Trump is a vicious white supremacist dedicated to denigrating and even erasing the legacy of the nation's first technically Black president Barack Obama. full article>
The sad souls of those who lived without blame and without praise.
9.11.17, © The New York Times
Don't mess with Miss Texas. That's not exactly the famous saying, but maybe it should be after last night.
Margana Wood may not have won the crown at the 2018 Miss America pageant in Atlantic City on Sunday night, but she won the hearts of many on social media during the question-and-answer portion of the competition. Wood had an actual substantive question tossed her way by pageant judge Jess Cagle, the editor-in-chief of PEOPLE magazine. full article>
Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events.
By Paul R. Pillar
September 6, 2017, © Consortiumnews.com
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that limits Iran's nuclear program, is for Donald Trump one more of the Obama administration's achievements to be trashed. It goes alongside the Affordable Care Act, the Paris climate change agreement, and other measures (most recently the "dreamers" program involving children of illegal immigrants) as targets for trashing because fulfilling campaign rhetoric is given higher priority in the current administration than whether a program is achieving its purpose, whether there are any realistic alternatives available, or what the effects of the trashing will be on the well-being of Americans and the interests and credibility of the United States. full article>
No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
By Sam Jackson
September 8, 2017, © The Washington Post
A few weeks ago, the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" demonstrations – where violence wounded at least 34 people and killed one counterprotester — drew a tremendous amount of national attention. Much of the discussion focused on two opposing groups: the white supremacists who call themselves the alt-right and the counter-demonstrators who came to oppose racism. But a third group was there as well: militia members, wearing camouflage, carrying long guns and claiming to be there to keep the peace and protect free speech. full article>
It's great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later.
04/09/2017, © La Vanguardia
El fotógrafo Joan Colom falleció ayer a la edad de 96 años, dejando tras de sí una destacada obra gráfica en la que ocupa un lugar especial una visión de la Barcelona más realista en los años cincuenta y sesenta. Una Ciudad Condal alejada de la postal oficial, de perfil duro y marginal que se extendía por el Barrio Chino, el Born o el Somorrostro. Considerado uno de los pioneros del fotoperiodismo, Colom fue uno de los grandes renovadores de la fotografía de posguerra española así ... full article>
04/09/2017, © La Vanguardia
"Yo trabajo de la plaza Catalunya hacia abajo, este es mi territorio. Cuando empecé a hacer fotos vivía en el barrio de Sant Antoni y cuando me asomaba a Ciutat Vella era maravilloso, era como entrar en la escenografía de una obra de teatro, con personajes peculiares: putas, travestis, borrachos... aunque eran los niños los que verdaderamente me motivaban a la hora de hacer fotos". full article>
My poetry is often criticized for a failure to communicate, but I take issue with this; my intention is to communicate and my feeling is that a poem that communicates something that's already known by the reader is not really communicating anything to him and in fact shows a lack of respect for him.
by K. Jessica Hsu - Mark Schuller
September 5, 2017, © Counterpunch
Yes, to not ask questions about climate change is indeed dumb, as Senator Bernie Sanders pointed out.
It is dumber to not also question the current global economic system and policies perpetuating racial inequalities. The conversation must shift toward climate justice. full article>
In history, the moments during which reason and reconciliation prevail are short and fleeting.
September/October 2017 Issue, © Mother Jones
Novelist Robert Stone once likened the Vietnam War to a piece of shrapnel "embedded in our definition of who we are." Who better to extract that shrapnel than Ken Burns, America's preeminent documentary filmmaker? Ever since his definitive 1990 series, The Civil War, attracted a record 40 million viewers to PBS, Burns has been tackling historical topics ranging from jazz and the national parks to World War II, often in collaboration with director Lynn Novick. Ten years in the making, The Vietnam War, Burns and Novick's 10-part journey into the most divisive of our 20th-century conflicts, premieres September 17 on PBS. full article>
We live our lives, made up of a great quantity of isolated instants So as to be lost at the heart of a multitude of things.
By DAVID ORR and DINITIA SMITH
SEPT. 3, 2017, © The New York Times
John Ashbery, a poet whose teasing, delicate, soulful lines made him one of the most influential figures of late-20th and early-21st-century American literature, died on Sunday at his home in Hudson, N.Y. He was 90. full article>
Chimps are very quick to have a sudden fight or aggressive episode, but they're equally as good at reconciliation.
August 18, 2017, © Democracy Now
Walnut Tree of the Day
Juglans Nigra (Eastern Black Walnut):
Family: Juglandaceae Native Range: Eastern United States Zone: 4 to 9 Height: 75 to 120 feet. Under forest competition, it develops a tall and straight trunk. When grown in an open area it has a short trunk and broad crown. Spread: 75 to 100 feet Odour: Most parts of the tree including leaves, stems, and fruit husks have a very characteristic pungent or spicy odor. This odor is lacking in the nut itself. Bark: The bark is typically grey-black and deeply furrowed into thin ridges which gives the bark a diamond shaped pattern. Pith: The pith of the twigs is chambered and light brown. Buds: The buds are pale silky and covered in downy hairs. The terminal buds are ovate, and 8 mm long, and slightly longer than broad, the lateral buds are smaller and superposed. Leaves: The leaves are compound and alternately arranged on the stem. They are 30–60 cm (1–2 ft) long, typically even-pinnate but there is heavy variation among leaves. The stems have 15–23 leaflets, with the largest leaflets located in the center, 7–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The leaflets have a rounded base and a long pointed (acuminate) tip as well as having a serrated edge. The leaves are overall dark green in color and are typically hairy on the underside. Leaf scar: The leaf scar has 3 prominent bundle scars and has a notch on the side which points toward the tip of the branch (distal side) Flowers: Black walnut is monoecious. The male (staminate) flowers are in drooping catkins 8–10 cm long. These are borne from axilary buds on the previous year's growth. The female (pistillate) flowers are terminal, in clusters of two to five on the current year's growth. Fruit: Ripens during the autumn into a fruit (nut) with a brownish-green, semifleshy husk and a brown, corrugated nut. The whole fruit, including the husk falls in October or November; the seed is relatively small and very hard. Bloom Time: May to June Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Black walnut is primarily a pioneer species similar to red and silver maple and black cherry. Because of this, black walnut is a common weed tree found along roadsides, fields, and forest edges in the eastern US. It will grow in closed forests, but is classified as shade intolerant, this means it requires full sun for optimal growth and nut production.
The nuts are food for many rodents and make up to 10% of the diet of eastern fox squirrels.The nuts are also eaten by species of birds. The leaves are browsed by white tailed deer,although they are not a preferred food. Squirrels benefit this species by distributing and burying the seeds; if the seeds are not reclaimed by the squirrel, they will germinate and help disperse the species.
Where the range of the eastern black walnut overlaps that of the Texas black walnut (J. microcarpa), the two species sometimes interbreed, producing populations with characteristics intermediate between the two species. J.nigra and J. cinerea often grow in the same range as well but they do not hybridize naturally.
The tree's roots often form endomycorrhizal relationships with fungi in the genus Glomus. Some endomycorrhizal relations improve the plant's growth.
Species often associated with J. nigra include yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), white ash (Fraxinus americana), black cherry (Prunus serotina), basswood (Tilia americana), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), oaks (Quercus spp.), and hickories (Carya spp.). Near the western edge of its range, black walnut may be confined to floodplains, where it grows either with American elm (Ulmus americana), common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), and boxelder (Acer negundo), or with basswood and red oak (Quercus rubra) on lower slopes and other favorable sites.
(Sources: missouribotanicalgarden.org and Wikipedia)
By Harrison Smith
August 25, 2017, © The New York Times
Cecil D. Andrus, a former logger and self-described "political accident" who served a record four terms as governor of Idaho, and who as President Jimmy Carter's interior secretary spearheaded conservation efforts including the protection of millions of acres of Alaska wilderness, died Aug. 24 in Boise. He was 85. full article>
Storms make trees take deeper roots.
By John Washington
August 25, 2017, © The Nation
Between 2013 and 2015, more than 100,000 unaccompanied child migrants showed up at or crossed the US-Mexico border, seeking asylum or some other form of legal status. Numerous articles and reports documented these children en masse, pointing out the violence they were fleeing and the violence of the policies that met them. And yet misperceptions still abound: Though classified by the US government as "unaccompanied" because they arrived without their parents, most of the children—they continue to arrive—are not actually traveling alone, but are accompanied by family members or trusted guides. And though the numbers and the media reports may conjure images of small children toddling across the border, an overwhelming majority of these children are teenagers. Even if some Americans have warmed to their plight, images of raucous protesters shouting at the children to go home, as well anti-immigrant rhetoric and draconian policies still spewing from the Trump administration, continue to haunt our national immigration conversation. full article>
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
Friday 18 August 2017, © The Independent
I don't know what the people of Barcelona think about Trump's demented and repulsive tale of bullets and pig's blood – but I know what Mark Twain would have said. He was the finest American political writer of his time – perhaps of all time – and he wrote with bitterness, sarcasm and disgust about the US military's war crimes in the Philippines in 1906. No doubt Trump would have approved of them. full article>
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
By Mike Ludwig
Friday, August 25, 2017, © Truthout
He has come for Mexicans, Muslims, Black people, trans people, Democrats, the news media, activists and even leading members of Congress from his own party. Few have been spared Donald Trump's scorn, but when it came time to condemn white supremacists for inciting deadly violence last week, the president was quick to argue that it wasn't entirely their fault.
A storm of media controversy followed, but Trump refused to back down, defending his initial remarks about the racist invasion of Charlottesville, Virginia. Then he held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona this week where he threatened to shut down the government over funding for his unpopular border wall and flirted with pardoning former Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a known racist who is facing jail time because he refused to stop racially profiling Latinos. full article>
To such an extent does nature delight and abound in variety that among her trees there is not one plant to be found which is exactly like another; and not only among the plants, but among the boughs, the leaves and the fruits, you will not find one which is exactly similar to another.
—Leonardo da Vinci
By Brent Millikan and Christian Poirier
08/18/2017, © International Rivers
In a major victory for indigenous peoples, Brazil's Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week in favor of indigenous land rights in two separate lawsuits, setting an important legal precedent.
"This is a very important victory for our people and our family...who are fighting for health and territory," said Adilio Benites, a Guarani Kaiowá leader celebrating the decision in Brasilia, after holding an all-night vigil outside of the Supreme Court. Indigenous tribes and allies had protested around the country for several days before the Court's decision, and international allies from around the world lent their voices to the call for land rights. full article>
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
In Other Words
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.
Nothing is easier than to
denounce the evildoer;
nothing is more difficult
than to understand him.
I do not study in order to know more, rather to be less ignorant.
—SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ
We must make haste then,
not only because we are daily
nearer to death, but also
because the conception of
things and the understanding
of them cease first.
Words are like days:
coloring books or pickpockets,
signposts or scratching posts,
fakirs over hot coals.
Certain words must be earned
just as emotions are suffered
before they can be uttered
- clean as a kept promise.
Words as witnesses
testifying their truths
squalid or rarefied
But, words must not carry
more than they can
it's not good for their backs
or their reputations.
For, whether they dance alone
or with an invisible partner,
every word is a cosmos
dissolving the inarticulate
Conquered people tend to
Hijos de la Selva
Perceval Press is pleased to announce the release of HIJOS DE LA SELVA/SONS OF THE FOREST. The book outlines the story of German Ethnographer and explorer Max Schmidt, and includes many of the remarkable photographs that he made in the field while studying the cultures of the Mato Grosso region of Brazil and remote areas of Paraguay between 1900 and 1935.
In our effort to publish and distribute texts that otherwise might not be presented we are offering a three book special purchase of:
The ebook examines six cases of murdered Russian journalists and pairs photos of the murder sites with first-person accounts of the journalist's work and life – from the people who knew and loved them. Now more than ever it is important to understand the silencing of journalists.
2017 Edition with additional text & art
© PERCEVAL PRESS