Category Archives: Propagandists

War Blog Infinitum: What Weapons System Would Jesus Buy?

Been missing Democracy Now (intentionally), Been Listening to Faux Left, and Seeing the House of Mirrors and Cities of Cards that Are the USA-UK-EU-Klanada-Israel-et al.

I have a friend who is into Jesus. He’s so into Jesus, that he even pisses off the traditional Jesus folk by challenging their doctrines (he cites the hypocrisy and lies of the Pharisees), and he likes to talk to Mormons (LDS) to question their “weird” religion, and he likes to say how Christ is the original son of god, and that all other religions have stolen from Christianity. He knows I am more than just an atheist, and he says that’s what he likes about me, that I am passionate about helping people, that I know a lot and that I can at least listen to him.

He’s all about how the bible is all the (the only) news fit to print, from above, both literal and predictive. You know, Ukraine and Russia, all in the bible. You know, the war will be China-Iran-Russia-Syria against Jerusulem. It all gets rather comic book-like, but then, people who have gone 67 years living in the USA, like he has, in a scattered life, with a childhood full of ADHD, and he has had years of depression, and years of anger, and years of working in used car sales, well, the time is now where he believes he has a calling to serve the poor. But through JESUS!

Except he thinks he is immune from politics, immune from the world, and he has it all down, like most fundamental and simplistic Christians do — the earth will end, by god’s will, prophesied in the bible, before climate change will do any destruction.

He’s a white Southern guy who ended up in New York, and worked with a lot of Black musicians, and he likes that music, jazz and all of that, but he gets really hateful when talking about Black Lives Matter. He says all news is fake, that “they” are all liars, but then in the same breath, he tells me about the person who started BLM and how she has several million dollar homes somewhere as if that news is somehow going to sink why black lives matter as a movement is real and righteous. I tell him that capitalism corrupts all, and the intent of BLM was and is good, but the leadership, like ALL leaderships, are corruptible, and they love the luxuries, man. In fact, my Jesus Man loves his nice house, though he has been homeless, and he says, if it weren’t for his spouse, he’d just pick up and go, live out of a van, if necessary, and serve the poor. Maybe, or maybe not. Yet, he is so tone deaf to movements, to the racism of this society, that he is an injured conservative, leaning for Christ, but not understanding that there millions of other Christians who have nuanced and looked at the teachings and the Bible and all of that, well, err, mostly crap. He believes that Christ existed/exists. Oh well.

Here, from USA Today, looking at the dirt on this BLM co-founder,

Khan-Cullors pointed out the myriad jobs she has held. She has two book deals, including authorship of a New York Times best-selling memoir. The Los Angeles Times reported last year that Khan-Cullors signed a production deal with Warner Brothers “to develop scripted dramas and comedies, docuseries and animated programming for children, young adults and families.”

Khan-Cullors also noted that she is a public speaker, owns a gallery, has a deal with YouTube and teaches at a private liberal arts college in Arizona.

The claim that Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors bought four luxury homes is MISSING CONTEXT, because without additional information it could be misleading. While some social media users suggested that the purchases were evidence that Khan-Cullors had been enriched by the movement, our research revealed no evidence that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation funds were used to purchase property. Khan-Cullors has held several other jobs in addition to her work as the organization’s volunteer executive director, including writing a memoir and developing content for Warner Brothers. (Source)

This is how people in the USA fly. My friend may want a life as simple as possible, but he has a home on the coast, purchased two years ago with the sale of an over-priced Calif. home (What Would Jesus Say About Housing Flippers?) which got he and his wife, both on Social Security, a house with a million dollar view of the Pacific. However, their savings are going, they paid full price on the house, a new roof might be upwards of $20K, and the regressive property taxes in this shit-hole county are going up and up and up.

So, the Jesus-Is-My-Friend guy is looking to sell the place for a profit (he got it for $425K and now they, the realtor, say $560K is easily one first offer possibility). He’s looking in Washington, around Gig Harbor and Port Angeles, but the prices are way too high. He’s looking to go back to country southern roots, Lewisburg, where he says that cool $600 K in cash can get he and his wife a home of $200K or so, and then the rest will be in the bank.

The point is that even a communist like myself can sit down and have a beer with a fellow who believes in a second coming, believes in the literal translation of the bible, believes in a holy war a’comin’, and this is someone who professes he is not concerned about the worldly things, yet, he gets checked up by the VA, he does like to drink beer, he also likes to comment on a few things he says he somehow gets from that news he says is all lies.

Trying to talk to someone who believes that nothing counts but the holy ghost is problematic. How can I point out that, yes, BLM has an impetus that was spot on, and that, yes, BLM leadership supports Democrats with a big “D.” It’s as if we have three different languages utilized in our discourse. He can swoop down and attack BLM leadership, based on a faulty story, and then (a) I have to defend the principle of the matter, but then (n), I also am a communist who despises capitalism coming from the right and the center right, and now, of course, I despise the left and its rah-rah for Goldman Sachs, Raytheon, Mercenaries ‘R Us.

I try and discuss what White Lives Matter is, but then he defers to, “Yes, White lives do matter.” Then, the issue of, Blue Lives Matter comes up, and he then comes back with, “Yes, our policemen do matter.” Tone deaf. Broken thinker. Misunderstanding culture!

This is the blockheadedness of the American, even for some guy who wants to feed the poor and help the homeless, though he is still in that period of his life of, “Well, when we get settled, I want to do the work of Jesus . . . buy an old warehouse . . . get clothes and food in it . . . have the poor and homeless come in and help them. Turn it into a Christian Center for the Homeless.”  He’s turning 68 soon.

See the source image

He believes if there is a will, there is a way. I attempt to inform him that it takes codes, legal advice, a non-profit status, or a religious status, political connections, and, well, there has to be some training of both he and whomever he wants to help give “mutual aid.” Again, in principle, we should be able to do all sorts of things in this country without the code and law and financial enforcers interfering, but alas, we have allowed the country to turn into mush, where every aspect of our lives is controlled by fines-penalties-contracts-taxes-tolls-add-ons-tickets-fees-licenses-certifications-control boards-enforcement agencies. And more. He believes god and Jesus will take care of us.

Why was there a movement for black lives? Hell, the Jesus Freak thinks they got it wrong, and that Jesus-thinking people know the low down: Jesus is All-Knowing.

And, of course, my friend would never understand the movement against racism and overt hatred of Blacks and the dirty DNA of the USA’s white class in killing Indians, Mexicans, Africans here on Turtle Island.

A very schizophrenic or bipolar or simplistic way of seeing the world, looking to Jesus in/of/for the bible, and even calling me ‘Paul,’ like Paul of the bible. Bizarre. Here you go, Jesus freak, nuanced stuff about BLM —

We speak often about Cointelpro, the FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program. We must also study COIN, the US government’s program on Counter Insurgency. You know the difference between covert racism and overt racism? That’s the difference between Counterinsurgency and Cointelpro. Rather than an extreme violence that creates martyrs, the “Host Government,” as they referred to themselves in their own manual, uses methods of cooptation. Their approach is to take revolutionary forces, deradicalize them, and reroute them from a force against governmental violence and oppression into a force for the government. They gain “the support of that relevant population through political, psychological, and economic methods.”

When we examine the actions of the so-called “founders” of the “BLM Movement” we must also identify the ways those actions were supported and elevated by media and social media applications (tools of the government). We should remember that there has never been a time when there weren’t protests against their actions by organizers on the ground in all the communities they swooped into including Ferguson and Los Angeles, the very first city they received national recognition through and the city they operated from, respectively. There is a common theme in the narrative of organizers in cities across the country and in other countries: the streets were hot, the “founders” showed up and redirected attention from the organizers on the ground, they left and took the visibility with them, the streets cooled down. Subversion. Counterinsurgency. They practiced it at the local level repeatedly and had perfected it by the time the state murdered our siblings George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. They took over every moment of deep, passionate, fearless, heartfelt radicalization and used it to transform the primary, mainstream “liberation” narrative into one that is focused on registering voters and winning seats for the democratic party. Our radical, abolitionist, revolutionary response to them killing our family in the streets on behalf of the state is to vote. It’s Black Votes that now Matter to Black Lives Matter. Except, only, actually, to a small few. Minority rule. Very radical.

The rest of us now had another entity to protest and organize against. As we wrestled with the question: reform or abolish this entity, we had the responsibility, also, to not undermine the movement with public facing critique. This is why we worked so hard, quietly for years. When we spoke out, we had to. Not because of the money. Because of the deradicalization of one of the most revolutionary moments in generations. Because while people were setting police stations on fire, BLM was sending newsletters that said we’re moving from Protests to the Polls.

–-YahNé Ndgo is a Freedom Builder in Ubuntu⇔Freedom, which publicly launched on April 24, 2021 with the sharing of the Principles of Freedom . She is also a lead strategist with the #LoveNotPhear Campaign to bring Mumia home, a Steering Committee member of the Free Kamau Sadiki Now Campaign , and a member of the Black Alliance for Peace . A mother, singer and writer, she received her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in Vermont. She is the lead caretaker of the Revolutionary Care Space . (source = Black Agenda Report)

Yet, well, I can’t put the onus just on a Jesus Freak, because at the core, he is following a white man’s stuck-in-the-USA version of the Golden Rule, for sure, and he does decry the false prophets, all the hypocrisy of organized religions and churches, but he is still trapped in Capitalism, though he says he hates any “ism”! We can argue about my work with Catholic priests and nuns fighting and dying for the poor in Central America, or my work with ministers in Arizona to give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants from Central America, and in the end, he can’t just let it go and insists that “their” religion is not the “true” religion of Christ. I say that those friends of old were amazing people, and alas, I was the atheist, but it didn’t matter to them.

He’s in a gotcha world, for sure, and he continues to state there are no truths except Christ’s truths. A most despicable patronizing of the rest of us in the world who work on social-environmental-cultural-gender-arts justice. It’s as if all the work we do is for naught, since the second coming will be the lifting of the holy and the believers. However, he states my heart is in the right place, vis-a-vis the Golden Rule of the bible.

The maxim — Golden Rule — may appear as a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:

  • Treat others as you would like others to treat you (positive or directive form)
  • Do not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form)
  • What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathetic or responsive form)

The idea dates at least to the early Confucian times (551–479 BCE), according to Rushworth Kidder, who identifies the concept appearing prominently in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and “the rest of the world’s major religions.” 143 leaders of the world’s major faiths endorsed the Golden Rule as part of the 1993 “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.” According to Greg M. Epstein, it is “a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely,” but belief in God is not necessary to endorse it. Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be “found in some form in almost every ethical tradition.”

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Forget about talking about Ukraine and the Nazis there, and the unholy war of military financial AI thieving industrial complex leading the charge, leading the Biden Bumblers, leading the mental hijacking of the average American and average white European. My Jesus is My Friend, friend, wants nothing of this earthly world (except jazz, dance, beer, good food, art). But, the profits of real estate, banks, and where that “In God We Trust Money” goes, both and all vitally important to Jesus is the Only Path, friends, how do the holy ones square investing in any Fortune 5000 company? Or this now money money money, taxes for, military murdering madness:

According to Robert Young Pelton, an expert on private military companies (PMCs), there is “a frenzy in the market” for private contractors in Ukraine today.” A House bill proposed by Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) would provide a 10-year exemption to current law that forbids U.S. citizens from fighting on behalf of another nation.

Mullin introduces bill allowing U.S. citizens to volunteer to fight for Ukraine | KTUL

In introducing the Volunteer Fighters Exemption Act, Markwayne Mullin, featured above, ludicrously claimed that “what we are seeing from former KGB officer and Russian President Vladimir Putin is an attempt to spread communism throughout the world and bring back the Soviet Union.” (Source)

The Biden administration has allegedly launched a campaign to recruit private military outfits such as Academi, Cubic, and DynCorp. This is part of an effort to keep a “light American footprint” while trying to bog down the Russians in a quagmire. (Source)

This is the Empire of Lies and Chaos. This is the Country of the Chosen Few, the ones who have the shekels and dollars entwined in dirty and perverse legalistic mumbo-jumbo ways . . . a world of dirty arts and entertainment, a world of sexually rotten psychology, a world of racism against brown-yellow-Slav-black. At the top of the pyramid in almost every sector, the Brother and Sisters of Elites, the ugly purity of chosenness.

For now, we have the Jewish Chancey Gardiner, ZioLensky, using his thespian skills (billions and billions of shekels behind him) to pull the wool over Goyim and Gaul.

Take a look at the optics, the video-making style:

The news not fit for Jesus Freaks or for the mainstream blob? — “’One less traitor’: Zelensky oversees campaign of assassination, kidnapping and torture of political opposition’ by Max Blumenthal, Esha Krishnaswam

Oh, that Middle East, the middle world of Zion:

Cycle of Violence: Israeli Authorities Prod Extremist Militias into Seeking ‘Vigilante Justice’: “All of this is part of the Jewish-supremacy ecosystem — the pro-occupation, pro-settlement, xenophobic hate, and violent right wing in Israel.” – Eran Nissan, Mehazkim COO by Jessica Buxbaum

It is the constant discussion with my Jesus Friend about the rich, and he believes there are good rich people. He talks of friends in California who buy clothes at Walmart and drink cheap wine out of jelly jars. They’ve got tens of millions. Inherited. And, we talk about how that money, which is about buying homes for relatives, in California, in the millions of dollars each, is not exactly what his Jesus had in mind.

This is how the rich get rich and stay rich — investment portfolios. Which dirty industry, or rotten offensive military corporation, or thieving war profiteering company do they invest in? They leave matters to the men and women in Dante’s fifth circle of Hell, investors, money makers:

Barton Biggs, the well-known former Morgan Stanley strategist, who sadly passed in 2012, asks an interesting question at the beginning of his book, Wealth, War & Wisdom: “How do you preserve wealth in times when the Four Horsemen are on the loose?” (By Four Horsemen, Biggs refers to “pestilence, war, famine and death.” See also Revelation 6:8.)

Would my friend’s Jesus like the concept of “gales of creative destruction” these various residents of those Circles of Hell profess are great opportunities during war?

Some advantages last longer than others, but all are temporary. Furthermore, there is overwhelming evidence that the duration of corporate competitive advantages has shortened, which is not surprising in a world where the rate of change is accelerating. It’s the nature of business evolution. Also bear in mind that wars, as Joseph Schumpeter might have said, are “gales of creative destruction” and in the aftermath lead to accelerated technological progress.

In the end, living and dying by the credo of “Christ is the Center of My Life/My Universe” is a tough one when a person still navigates quite profoundly in the real world of governments, corporations, taxation, price gouging and entitlement programs. (source)

Yep, which country would Jesus Bomb or Invest In or Invade?

Sure, we can have any number of slides down the relativism scale, but in the end, the Prince of Peace that fellow is called, would indeed, I think, if real, be out hammering the words — “No More Bombs-Bullets-Bodies for Capitalism’s Wars.”

Flag of Russia and Ukraine painted on a concrete wall

Shit, it’s now Biblically Responsible Investing!  “The whole concept behind BRI is this is God’s money and we’re only using God’s money to own businesses in our portfolios,” Ben Malick said. “I haven’t gotten any, ‘Whoa, that’s crazy!’” (source)

Oh, the hypocrisy of the entire investing spectrum. Socially Responsible Investing, Faith Based Investing, Green Investing! Oh, well, I think what Jesus Would Do is all up to the relative nature of this or that religion or this or that screening, as these bible investors mostly look at LGBTQA rights and abortion and pornography and fetal cells as their big screens to NOT invest in that fund or corporation. War or military or policing and surveillance? Despicable corporations for which there are literally hundreds of thousands? The Bible Thumpers are okay with them.

Investing in any company on a stock exchange is investing in people who believe in those who have and those who do not have. Dog eat dog. Survival of the fittest. Come on, they — Faith Based Investors — are not screening out the real culprits of capitalism.

The Original Impact Investing: Faith-Based Funds, Factor Tilt or Marketing Ploy? | by Aaron Chow | The Startup | Medium

And, so that axiom, How Would Jesus Invest His/Her/Their Money, hmm, maybe invest in all the technologies that help with the lifting up of drones?

Israeli forces used remote-controlled drones to drop dozens of tear gas canisters on crowds of worshipers, including women and young children. Video footage taken at the scene showed a number of worshipers being carried off in stretchers by medics. (Source)

Israeli forces dropping tear gas from a drone onto the Al Aqsa compound, April 22, 2022 (Screenshot: Twitter)

Well, Would Jesus Go to a Xmas Party During Covid Lockdown?

General accuses UK PM of disclosing military secrets

Well, wondering if “Jesus Would Go With BDS, All the Way, Moses!”

“Over the past eight days, Israel has stormed the holy site seven times, injuring dozens of worshipers and arresting hundreds of Palestinians in the process. Meanwhile Israel has facilitated the entrance of thousands of Jewish settlers for the Passover holiday.” (Source)

But whatever you say about WWJD, the fact is that almost every nut-washer-bolt, wire, capacitor, motherboard, optic, ounce of paint, PR brochure, uniform, tire, belt buckle, rucksack, meal ready to eat, house, tent, A/C unit, all of that, all part of the Military Industrial Complex, and yes, a millionaire here and a millionaire there, he/she/they will invest in whichever mutual fund or ETF or what-have-you to keep those millions sparkling. Jesus or not, Bible or Naught.

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And, to put a bow on this screed, how can I NOT discuss the continual destruction of, well, those of us who play outside the sandbox, who blur those comic book lines, who are willing to look into the belly of the beast without being consumed by the beast’s bile.

It goes without saying, Alice Walker is remarkable on so many levels. Her work has inspired millions of young writers. Her story, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is Self,” is a touchstone for many young women looking at themselves through their own deep “other” self while pushing through the ugly reality of cultural marketing of what it means to be a pretty or beautiful girl/woman/elder.

Alas, Alice has been yet again cancelled. Read Chris Hedges’ latest piece, “Alice Walker was disinvited to the Bay Area Book Festival after Zionist groups threatened to carry out protests. The public and presenters are complicit in her blacklisting if they attend” in Scheer Post.

Hedges interviewed Alice via phone. Her words at the end of this quote are profound:

The Bay Area Book festival delivered the latest salvo against Walker. The organizers disinvited her from the event because she  praised the writings of the New Age author David Icke and called his book And the Truth Shall Set You Free “brave.” Icke has denied critics’ charges of anti-Semitism. The festival organizers twisted themselves into contortions to say they were not charging Walker with anti-Semitism. She was banned because she lauded a controversial writer, who I suspect few members of the committee have read. The poet and writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who Walker was to interview, withdrew from the festival in protest.

Walker, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has been a very public advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel for many years. Her friendship with Icke has long been part of the public record. She hid nothing. It is not as if the festival organizers suddenly discovered a dark secret about Walker. They sought to capitalize on her celebrity and then, when they felt the heat from the Israel lobby, capitulated to the mob to humiliate her.

“I don’t know these people,” Walker said of the festival organizers who disinvited her. “It feels like the south. You know they are out there in the community, and they have their positions, but all you see are sheets. That’s what this is. It’s like being back in the south.”

This is the never-ending story with Neocons and Neoliberals. We have so many elephants in the room when it comes to the chosen people, now, or throughout history. To bring to the attention their words and their rule books and their own very racist DNA is to be labeled anti-semetic goyim:

Hedges goes for the throat here, and Chris is already in the drain spiral in his own world of cancel culture and retribution from the higher ups, the chosen ones.

I worked for two years as a reporter in Jerusalem. I listened to the daily filth spewed out by Israelis about Arabs and Palestinians, who used racist tropes to sanctify Israeli apartheid and gratuitous violence against Palestinians. Israel routinely orders air strikes, targeted assassinations, drone attacks, artillery strikes, tank assaults and naval bombardments on the largely defenseless population in Gaza. Israel blithely dismisses those it murders, including children, as unworthy of life, drawing on poisonous religious edicts. It is risible that Israel and its US supporters can posit themselves as anti-racists, abrogating the right to cancel Walker. It is the equivalent of allowing the Klan to vet speakers lists.  (Source)

I have a friend who I helped extricate herself from an abusive marriage. She’s in New Mexico, living in a shit-kicker town. Luckily, her former counselor and his wife took her in and she’s in the back mother-in-law’s unit recovering. Good of them to assist her.

Both are Israeli, living in New Mexico. They are liberals in the Harris-Hillary sense, which means, they are conservative. They consider Israel their mother-ship, even though their are in their forties.

Around the fire, drinking wine, my friend says they speak Hebrew a lot, around her, a woman who speaks three languages, but not Hebrew. They go into Hebrew when the topic of Ukraine and that murderer Zelensky come up (they do not see Zelensky as a murderer,  but rather a hero).

My friend is learning what it means to be a real socialist, and she sees how a narrow group of people have controlled her life on many financial and cultural levels. But she is healing, and the counselor is giving her the advice he should to keep her on an even keel to not return to the abuse.

But it is indeed ironic that Ukraine and all topics about the Middle East are coded in Hebrew.

Hedges writes (Source) , “Walker excoriates this religious chauvinism and mythology. She warns that theocracies, which sacralize state power, are dangerous. In the poem, she highlights passages in the Talmud used to condemn those outside the faith. Jews must repudiate these sections in the Talmud and the Old Testament, as those of us who are Christians must repudiate the hateful passages in the Bible. When these religious screeds are weaponized by zealots —Christian, Muslim or Jewish — they propagate evil.” Walker writes:

Is Jesus boiling eternally in hot excrement,
For his “crime” of throwing the bankers
Out of the Temple? For loving, standing with,
And defending
The poor? Was his mother, Mary,
A whore?
Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only
That, but to enjoy it?
Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?
Are young boys fair game for rape?
Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?
Pause a moment and think what this could mean
Or already has meant
In our own lifetime.

My own situation has put me in disagreement with a writing community on the voracity of their crocodile tears for “Ukraine.” I have poet friends writing poems with lines like, “one day we shall be pissing on Putin’s grave . . . .” That’s fine and dandy; however, when another poet, me, who happens to be highly actualized in politics as a systems approach to the world, my own beingness, pushes back a bit, then the poets just say, “well, I am not fully versed on the entire situation in Ukraine . . . how could anyone be . . . ”

The very act of using poetry to make a political point is great but tricky. My poem,  “Tears of Rage Captured in a Poem and Harmonica Riff,” published here at Dissident Voice will not make it into the next issue of the journal for which the editors say they have a “special section on Ukraine . . . to give voice to their plight.”

Another form of cancel culture — just not publishing. For Alice, she has been banned from the Bay Area Book Festival. For god’s sake, boycott these Zionists’ projects.

 

 

The post War Blog Infinitum: What Weapons System Would Jesus Buy? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Kamila Valieva and Eileen Gu:  Young Women Athletes as Enemies of Empire

Kamila Valieva

As one who has followed Olympic women’s figure skating, especially since Michelle Kwan (ironically a Chinese-American), I was—as an egalitarian feminist when it comes to sports—excited to learn that there was a 15-year-old Russian woman skater, Kamila Valieva, who could do effortless quad jumps.  Waiting in anticipation of her first Olympic performance, I listened to commentators and former US skaters Tara Lipinsky and Johnny Weir rave about her spectacular talent.  They told the audience that we were about to see “the best skating in the world”…that “a talent like this comes around once in a lifetime.”  They found her first performance in the short skate “incredible… flawless… perfect in every way.”  It was, they said, a rare privilege to watch her perform:  “she will have an amazing legacy.”  Days later they would say nothing watching her perform.

Weir and Lipinski were disgusted.  They said she should not be there.  It was so unfair to the other skaters.  They were too sickened to even watch her.  What happened?  The Empire and its allies, based on a highly questionable positive drug test, declared her a “doper.”  She was booed, harassed.  And she finally (literally) fell.  The Russians should obviously not have the first female Olympic quad jumper.  The Russians were taking far too many gold medals.  This whole spectacle was an intersection of hegemonic American world politics and ruthless patriarchy.  Women athletes had become enemies, and thus victims, of Empire. USA!  USA!

The US has always had a need to be first—to put it mildly.  Any coverage of Olympic or international games I’ve ever watched features US athletes and almost never anyone else.  President Jimmy Carter got the ball rolling with his 1980 boycott of the Olympics in the Soviet Union.  Under Carter the Cold War had worsened because of factors like American criticism of Soviet alleged abuses of human rights and the Afghan crisis—therefore the controversial move to ignore the Olympics’ so-called non-political philosophy.  American views of Russian athletics did not improve:  the alleged Russian Doping Scandals began around 2008 and are still going. In 2008, Russian track and field athletes were suspended from competition because of supposed doping, cheating, cover-ups, even “state-sponsored” doping.

A 2015 New York Times article cited an ex-chief of a so-called Russian anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who claimed that samples were doctored so that several Russian gold medal winners in the 2014 winter games in Sochi could be victors.  Members of the Russian Sports Ministry thought it an April Fools’ joke, done for “purely political reasons” and threatened to sue the Times. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had asked the accuser, Mr. Rodchenkov, to resign years before, for taking bribes, and since 2012 he had lived in L A.  Because of such allegations, the World Athletics Federation suspended the Russian Athletic Federation in 2015, but let “clean athletes” participate under “neutral status”:  no Russian flags or anthems.  In 2019, 2020 and 2021, more accusations were brought against various Russian sports officials for “falsifying documents” and etc., and thus the suspensions continued.

President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have strongly denied the allegations, calling them a political weapon of the West.  Any appeals from Russian athletes have been denied.  Some argued all countries cheated, why single out Russia?  Others thought the Russians were being framed to keep their very strong athletes from competitions.  It does seem odd that once your athletes were so scrutinized you would be careful to stop “doping.”  In fact, the stated goal of the Russian Sports Ministry at the end of 2021 was –once again—to have the Russian Athletic Federation and Anti-Doping Agency reinstated.  The “West” has remained hostile toward Russian athletics.  And this most certainly included Russian ice skaters:  a sport where Russia has been at the very top for years.

Kamila Valieva had to skate under the same restraints that all Russian athletes face.  But because she was so incredibly good, the skating world simply had to acknowledge her.  In looking at her biographical data—there’s not much!  She’s only 15; born in April of 2006 in Kazan, Russia.  And she has a Pomeranian named Lena, a gift from a fan.  Before she was five years old, her mother had her in gymnastics, ballet and skating, but after age five, it was only skating.   In her first season out of junior ranking she had risen far above her opposition.  She is the fourth woman to land a quadruple jump in competition and the first to do it in Olympic competition.  Valieva set world records on her path to Grand Prix titles in Vancouver and Sochi, and the European Championships in Tallinn in January of this year.  In Beijing the expectations for Kamila Valieva were very high.  As one Russian journalist put it, she was so good in her short skate routine in Beijing that “even some western media outlets often so begrudging with their praise of Russian athletes were forced—perhaps through gritted teeth—to lavish praise on Valieva.” And when she competed next, for the Russian team, she did become the first woman to land a quad in Olympic history. But very soon after that, it was rumored there were “doping allegations” against Kamila Valieva.  A test taken in December was only revealed just then—in the midst of the March Olympics.  It seemed the Russians may not fare so well after all.

Of course, the US also insisted on besting the Chinese athletes in Beijing, but added a nasty political narrative about their host.  Sports analysts like Mike Tirico were pressed into service as experts on alleged Chinese abuses vs. Uyghurs (abuses debunked by reporters like Max Blumenthal), their “authoritarian” government, misguided Covid protocols, etc.  American politicians and media had already prepped the US audience to be anti-Asian generally, by these supposed abuses and the potential of China becoming an even greater economic power—and unapologetically socialist as well.  The COVID pandemic was their fault too; President Trump calling it “Kung Flu” or the “Chinese virus.”  It was embarrassing to listen to the vitriolic commentary by US “analysts” with their long recanting of Chinese faults and crimes.  Our ugly history with China started with the US involvement in the Opium War through the dangerous gradual encirclement of present-day China with US warships and bases placed on numerous unwilling Pacific islands, as John Pilger’s brilliant film The Coming War on China illustrates.   And the US had tried to help their bad faith anti-China Olympic campaign with a “diplomatic boycott” (which didn’t really catch on).

Eileen Gu

Another young woman athlete, Chinese-American Eileen Gu, also became a victim of the Empire’s anger.  Gu is 18; she has a Chinese mother and was raised in San Francisco.  A brilliant world class freestyle skier, she has medalled in X Games, the World Championship and the Youth Olympics.  Gu announced in 2019 that she would represent China in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.  But she wasn’t called a traitor until the Olympics drew near.

Gu has said that she welcomes the opportunity to draw people to winter sports.  The Chinese cheered her everywhere, but Americans not so much.  She was derided for taking advantage of “premier training” in the US and then abandoning the US for China.  Tucker Carlson said she had betrayed her country and “renounced” her citizenship.  The New York Times portrayed Gu as an “anti-hero of the feminist ideal” since she chose China which supposedly oppresses women.  At the other end of the political spectrum, right-wing social media echoed Carlson’s sentiments in calling for Gu to leave the country for her betrayal.  Gu won three Olympic medals in freestyle skiing, two gold and a silver.  Unfortunately for USA her three medals added to China’s total of 15 (with nine gold), best ever for China in a winter Olympics.

Eileen Gu also faces anti-female prejudice since extreme sports has always been male-dominated, although women do compete alongside the men.  Gu thinks “as a young biracial woman, it is super important to be able to push boundaries. . . those of the sport and those of the record books because that’s what paves the paths for the next generation of girls.”  So why does the country where she lives give her an incredibly hard time?  As professor of sport Simon Chadwick said, “Her success is being weaponized and used for geopolitical purposes.  This is incredibly unfair because she’s an 18-year-old athlete with a dual heritage family who just wants to try her best and make her parents proud, and yet she’s being turned into a geopolitical weapon.”  Journalist Danny Haiphong has argued that Eileen Gu has chosen the “wrong” side by choosing to compete for a non-white, communist country.  She is assaulting “American exceptionalism” –being a traitor to the “empire’s civilizing mission.”  She should not be skiing for the “Chinese devils.”   But Gu insists (on her Instagram) she hopes “to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendship.”  And she has said:  “I am also a teenage girl.  I do my best to make the world a better place, and I’m having fun while doing it.”  Not what the Empire is about.

Vietnamese-American Haiphong also has pointed out that some American athletes were not going for the Empire’s narrative that the Chinese were being bad hosts—inferior food, lodging, unreasonable COVID protocols, and so on.  Snowboarder Tessa Maud refuted American media’s narrative and talked of the warm welcome she’d received by Chinese volunteers and how she loved the local cuisine.   Skier Aaron Blunk went so far as to criticize American media coverage of the games on Twitter as often “completely false.”  He called Beijing one of the better Olympics he’s been in, including the COVID protocols, the hosting:  “It’s been phenomenal.”  So Twitter suspended his account.  As Haiphong put it:  “Humanizing China represents a direct threat to the new Cold War Agenda.”  The US must control the narrative, and that included not allowing China, or Russia, to shine.

The Empire certainly succeeded in taking the shine from the great Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.  Commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, who had just called Valieva the “best skater in the world” with a “talent that comes once in a lifetime,” were about to change their minds.  At Beijing, Valieva’s performance in the short skate was “a thing of great beauty.”  Weir and Lipinski thought it “incredible.”  Weir gushed about the interview he had been granted by the young Valieva.  Her second performance was a free skate for the Russian team.  She fell once but the skate was historic because as noted, she became the first woman in history to land a quad at the Olympics.  She finished 30 points ahead of second place Kaori Sakamoto.  Weir and Lipinski could not find enough superlatives.

All awaited what would no doubt be another historic performance by Valieva in the ladies singles event.  But then rumors began that the medal ceremony, with Russia winning gold and the US silver—would be delayed.  And then that “a Russian skater” had a positive doping test.  Then it leaked it was Kamila Valieva, in spite of IOC rules that any accusation against a “minor” must remain secret.  A test taken on December 25, sent to a Swedish lab, showed minute traces of trimetazidine, an “illegal” heart drug which may have some positive effect on athletic performance, although many argue it would not help skaters.  Valieva’s family and coaching team believed she may have been exposed to it through her grandfather, who took the drug.  The Russian team also said she had repeatedly tested negative before and after the positive sample.  They said she was innocent.  The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel ruled she would not be suspended from the competition.  A further investigation would happen later, now scheduled to conclude by mid-August.

Kamila Valieva rallied to lead the field in the ladies short program.  This was when stalwart patriots Lipinski and Weir were too disgusted to watch.  I remember these stalwarts as being very nasty in speaking of the Russian skaters both during the Sochi (Russia) Olympics in 2014, and the 2018 PyeongChang  (South Korea)  games (where “cleared” Russians could skate).   Some observers found them “a breath of fresh air,” but others as “mean, obnoxious, distracting.”  At any rate, they were outraged Valieva was allowed to perform.  She was “ruining everything.”  Their only comment after her performance was “she skated.”  Getting their wish for her downfall, the scandal finally impacted her free skate and she finished fourth after stumbles and falls.  Unfortunately for USA! Russian Alexandra Trusova won silver.  Former Russian ice dancer champion Alexander Zhulin has said that international sports authorities will have to live with “ruining” Kamila Valieva’s Olympic dreams.  He had never “seen Kamila so lost.”  The IOC and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) “destroyed and removed the biggest star of figure skating.”  The December 25 test was revealed after team Russia’s brilliant performance, capped by Valieva’s skate, won gold.  It does seem like an American Empire kind of move.

Valieva’s coact Eteri Tutberidze, who, along with Kamila’s team, was (incredibly) criticized by the IOC’s Thomas Bach, for being “too cold.”   Tutberidze said Kamila was “our star.”  “Those who smiled yesterday—today left the stands demonstrably ignoring and pouncing like jackals.”  There were reporters, especially the British, who followed her around at practice, yelling “Are you a doper?”  Valieva addressed her Beijing experience in two “emotional instagrams” in late February.  She thanked her coaches for “helping me to be strong.”  And she thanked all who “were with me during this tough period . . who did not let me lose heart. . and who believed in me.”  A few weeks later she was on the ice again.

Kamila participated in the “Channel One Cup”  Russian skating (competitive) exhibition, since Russian skaters were banned from the Worlds.  Valieva skated a “simplified” program, but said the experience of being out on the ice was “exhilarating.”  Anna Shcherbakova won the women’s event.  Valieva has said that the Olympics should not be “idealized” and her “journey is just beginning.” In a recent interview with “People Talk” she said she can be “cocky, obnoxious, stubborn, insecure.”  But also “sociable, cheerful, active, and of course, romantic…”  In skating programs, her coaches see her in “lyrical images,” but she wants to be “different in programs:  a hooligan, daring, bold.”  She is a typical teenager, but also very intelligent, a brilliant athlete and a targeted enemy of Empire.

Sportswriters can be very effective operatives for Empire.  My favorite is probably Christine Brennan.  I had admired Brennan as one of the team of reporters on HBO’s “Real Sports,” although unfortunately now they seem more apt to take a corporate line than do the critical reporting they used to do.  Brennan accused Valieva, and Russia, of turning the Winter Games “into a bizarre and troubling fiasco” because of their “state-sponsored doping.”  She said Valieva “would have been favored to win” the Worlds in Montpelier, but she “crumbled under the scrutiny of her positive drug test.”  When Americans won the pairs skating title at Worlds, their first since 1979, Brennan wrote:  “No Russia?  No China?  No problem.”  And “few will miss them.”  The Beijing medal count had USA with 25 medals, behind Norway, Russia, Germany and Canada, much like their finish at PyeongChang.  The Russians had 32 medals, with six gold; the Chinese had 15, with nine gold; USA! had a paltry 25, with eight gold, well behind Russia.  Totally unacceptable.

Of course, by the World Championships, more than Valieva and her fellow skaters were ousted from competition.  It was all Russia, all the time—everyone Russian was out because the World Federations of all the sports, influenced and/or bludgeoned into it, had banned them all because of the Russian military action in Ukraine.  This was the Russian response to being encircled with troops and NATO forces, and a Nazi-led government provided by the US in Ukraine in 2014, which had been attacking the Russian-language population of eastern Ukraine since that 2014 coup.  An unprecedented campaign of Western propaganda and lies is in full swing, definitely McCarthyite in its depth and with parallel lasting and dangerous results to come.  In the 1950s Ethel Rosenberg was executed for being a communist wife—a wife who either evilly influenced her husband Julius to reveal atomic secrets to the Russians or did not, as was her duty, stop him from doing so.  Julius Rosenberg, executed with his wife, was reputedly worried that if the US gained too much power without a balance from the Soviets, it would lead to a dangerous situation.  And he was right.  The US government has become an Empire that will tolerate no state competitor, nor even states who will not line up and stay with the American Empire’s plans.  This is very clear in the world of sport—certainly in the supposedly apolitical Olympic world.

To punish Russia, the US/Europe have gone totally insane with their bans and sanctions.  Many sanctions such as Russian energy, will only punish Europe; others involve outright piracy as in US allies helping themselves to Russian yachts.  The list goes on, but in the world of sport—athletes from Russia and its close ally Belarus are banned “until further notice” from international skiing, track and field events, tennis, basketball, aquatic sports, volleyball, curling, hockey, rugby, football (soccer), and of course, skating.  Many of these sports have Russian champions, and they, as Christine Brennan put it, “will not be missed.”  A few officials have objected, and paid for it.  Russian sports officials say they will “temporarily” develop their own competitions, with foreign athletes.  They say the western world is committing “sporting genocide” against its athletes.

So Kamila Valieva and company will skate at home, and Eileen Gu will still be considered a traitor by many Americans.  The hate expressed by Tara Lipinski and Christine Brennan is too easily tapped by the American sports world.  Here is hegemonic politics, and ruthless patriarchy and racism, coming together.  And here are two remarkably strong and level-headed young women athletes who are braving the results of being who they are.  In its overwhelming power, the US Empire has made evil all things Chinese and Russian, and women athletes have not been spared the weaponizing of that hate.

The post Kamila Valieva and Eileen Gu:  Young Women Athletes as Enemies of Empire first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Deconstructing Preemption, De-Nazification, Right to Protect . . . In the Eyes of Empire of Lies (and Hate)

Interesting Teach-in, well, discussion, with the speakers below. You will hear Scott Ritter divert from some of these speakers saying that the actions by Russia in Ukraine are legal, ethical and necessary.

Here is Ritter, just interviewed, Strategic Culture. Note that Ritter is called a traitor (for looking at the Russian military and political angles) and a Putin Stooge (this is it for Western Woke Culture) and he’s been banned on Twitter for a day, and then back up, and the seesaw of social media continues (more McCarthy: The New Democratic Opperative). You do not have to agree with militarism, but here we are, so the Western Woke Fascist Media and the Mendacious Political Class want nothing to do with, well, military minds looking at Russia (Ritter studied Russia big-time, and studied their military big time, both Soviet Union and Russia). He also is married to a Georgian. But again, this is it for the Western Intellect (sic).

Like we can’t watch Graham Phillips work, without being called, well, Russian Stooges. The Mainlining Mendacious Media calls him a Russian Sympathizer. Imagine that. For years,, he’s been a sympathizer (he is British, speaks Russian and goes to the actual places with camera in hand. Look at the one on Ossetia, the breakaway republic of Georgia. It is delightful (note the dinner he is served by the typical family):

Here, from, “The Ukrainian Conflict Is a U.S./NATO Proxy War, but One Which Russia Is Poised to Win Decisively – Scott Ritter” by Finian Cunningham, April 9, 2022

Question: Do you think that Russia has a just cause in launching its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24?

Scott Ritter: I believe Russia has articulated a cognizable claim of preemptive collective self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The threat posed by NATO expansion, and Ukraine’s eight-year bombardment of the civilians of the Donbass fall under this umbrella.

Question: Do you think Russia has legitimate concerns about the Pentagon sponsoring biological weapons programs in laboratories in Ukraine?

Scott Ritter: The Pentagon denies any biological weapons program, but admits biological research programs on Ukrainian soil. Documents captured by Russia have allegedly uncovered the existence of programs the components of which could be construed as having offensive biological warfare applications. The U.S. should be required to explain the purpose of these programs.

Question: What do you make of allegations in Western media that Russian troops committed war crimes in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities? It is claimed that Russian forces summarily executed civilians.

Scott Ritter: All claims of war crimes must be thoroughly investigated, including Ukrainian allegations that Russia killed Ukrainian civilians in Bucha. However, the data available about the Bucha incident does not sustain the Ukrainian claims, and as such, the media should refrain from echoing these claims as fact until a proper investigation of the evidence is conducted, either by the media, or unbiased authorities.

While one may be able to mount a legal challenge to Russia’s contention that its joint operation with Russia’s newly recognized independent nations of Lugansk and Donetsk constitutes a “regional security or self-defense organization” as regards “anticipatory collective self-defense actions” under Article 51, there can be no doubt as to the legitimacy of Russia’s contention that the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass had been subjected to a brutal eight-year-long bombardment that had killed thousands of people.

Moreover, Russia claims to have documentary proof that the Ukrainian Army was preparing for a massive military incursion into the Donbass which was pre-empted by the Russian-led “special military operation.” [OSCE figures show an increase of government shelling of the area in the days before Russia moved in.]

Finally, Russia has articulated claims about Ukraine’s intent regarding nuclear weapons, and in particular efforts to manufacture a so-called “dirty bomb”, which have yet to be proven or disproven. [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a reference to seeking a nuclear weapon in February at the Munich Security Conference.]

The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction.  (Ritter, Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression)


[Nuremberg Trials. 1st row: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Heß, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel. 2nd row: Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel. (Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality/Still Picture Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S)]

All the speakers, except maybe excluding John Kiriakou, have great points to make: Andrei Martyanov, expert on Russian military affairs, author The Real Revolution in Military Affairs; Chris Kaspar de Ploeg, author Ukraine in the Crossfire; James Carden, Adviser U.S.-Russia bilateral commission during the Obama administration & Ex. Editor of The American Committee for East-West accord; Scott Ritter, former U.S. Marine Intelligence officer, UN Arms Inspector, exposed WMD lie in U.S. push to invade Iraq; John Kiriakou, CIA whistleblower and Radio Sputnik host; Ron Ridenour, peace activist, author The Russian Peace Threat; Gerald Horne, historian, author, Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston; Jeremy Kuzmarov, CAM Managing Editor and author of The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.

Imagine, the provocations.

The US government invoked self-defense as a legal justification for its invasion of Panama. Several scholars and observers have opined that the invasion was illegal under international law.

Watch, Panama Deception here: C-Span!

Oh, those Freedom Fighters, the back-shooting, civilian-killing, village-burning Contras:

Appendix A: Background on United States Funding of the Contras

In examining the allegations in the Mercury News and elsewhere, it is important to understand the timing of funding of the Contras by the United States. The following dates explain the periods during which the United States government provided funding to the Contras or cut off such funding.

  • Anastasio Somoza Debayle was the leader of Nicaragua from 1967 until July 1979, when he was overthrown by the Sandinistas. When President Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, he promptly canceled the final $15 million payment of a $75 million aid package to Nicaragua, reversing the Carter administration’s policy towards Nicaragua. On November 17, 1981, President Reagan signed National Security Directive 17, authorizing provision of covert support to anti-Sandinista forces. On December 1, 1981, Reagan signed a document intending to conceal the November 17 authorization of anti-Sandinista operations. The document characterized the United States’ goal in Nicaragua as that of interdicting the flow of arms from Nicaragua to El Salvador, where leftist guerrillas were receiving aid from Sandinista forces.
  • In late 1982, Edward P. Boland, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 1983 Defense Appropriations bill that prohibited the CIA, the principal conduit of covert American support for the Contras, from spending funds “for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua.” However, the CIA could continue to support the Contras if it claimed that the purpose was something other than to overthrow the government. In December 1983, a compromise was reached and Congress passed a funding cap for fiscal year 1984 of $24 million for aid to the Contras, an amount significantly lower than what the Reagan administration wanted, with the possibility that the Administration could seek supplemental funds later.
  • This funding was insufficient to support the Administration’s “Contra program” and the decision was made to approach other countries for monetary support. In April 1984, Robert McFarlane convinced Saudi Arabia to contribute $1 million per month to the Contras through a secret bank account set up by Lt. Col. Oliver North.
  • In October 1984, the second Boland amendment took effect. It prohibited any military or paramilitary support for the Contras from October 3, 1984, through December 19, 1985. As a result, the CIA and Department of Defense (DOD) began withdrawing personnel from Central America. During this time, however, the National Security Council continued to provide support to the Contras.
  • In August 1985, Congress approved $25 million in humanitarian aid to the Contras, with the proviso that the State Department, and not the CIA or the DOD, administer the aid. President Reagan created the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (NHAO) to supply the humanitarian aid. In September 1985, Oliver North began using the Salvadoran air base at Ilopango for Contra resupply efforts.
  • On October 5, 1986, a plane loaded with supplies for the Contras, financed by private benefactors, was shot down by Nicaraguan soldiers. On board were weapons and other lethal supplies and three Americans. One American, Eugene Hasenfus, claimed while in custody that he worked for the CIA. The Reagan Administration denied any knowledge of the private resupply efforts.
  • On October 17, 1986, Congress approved $100 million in funds for the Contras. In 1987, after the discovery of private resupply efforts orchestrated by the National Security Council and Oliver North, Congress ceased all but “non-lethal” aid in 1987. The war between the Sandinistas and the Contras ended with a cease-fire in 1990.
  • Although the Contras were often referred to as one group, several distinct factions made up the Contras.
  • In August 1980, Colonel Enrique Bermudez, a former Colonel in Somoza’s National Guard, united other former National Guard officers and anti-Sandinista civilians to form the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN). This group was known as the Northern Front because it was based in Honduras. In February 1983, Adolfo Calero became the head of the FDN.
  • In April 1982, Eden Pastora split from the Sandinista regime and organized the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE) and the Sandinista Revolutionary Front (FRS), which declared war on the Sandinista regime. Pastora’s group was based in Costa Rica and along the southern border of Nicaragua, and therefore became known as the Southern Front. Pastora refused to work with Bermudez, claiming that Bermudez, as a member of the former Somoza regime, was politically tainted. The CIA decided to support the FDN and generally declined to support the ARDE.

Again, let’s think about what is actually happening in Ukraine, and where the country is, and what the Russians in that country are facing, and, gulp, where is Ukraine? Thousands of miles away, like Panama and Nicaragua are from USA?

Here, a Dutch journalist:

Sonja at the place of the rocket attack in Donetsk, the ATM machine. [Photo Courtesy of Sonja Van den Ende]

Read her work:

As the war in Ukraine rages on, I visited the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as an embedded reporter with the Russian army.

Both of the republics are the trigger of the current conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared their independence on February 24, 2022, something a lot of people were waiting for since the CIA backed coup in Ukraine of February 2014. That coup had resulted in the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and new laws forcing the Ukrainian language on Russian-speaking residents. Luhansk and Donetsk consequently voted on their independence and Ukraine attacked them, precipitating the war.

European support for the so-called Maidan coup was considerable: the Dutch MP Hans van Baalen from the ruling Dutch VVD party (Mark Rutte), for example, was at the protests that helped trigger the coup, as was the former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt. Both were seen cheering on the crowds, surrounded by right-extremists on the stage, shouting “democracy.”

So what is preemptive defense? Right to Protect? What is big ugly history of Nazi’s in Poland and Ukraine? What is that all about, uh, Americanum?

At least 32 countries have sent direct military aid to Ukraine this year! US and NATO Allies Arm Neo-Nazi Units in Ukraine as Foreign Policy Elites Yearn for Afghan-style Insurgency

So, plans by ZioLensky for Dirty Bombs from the wasteland of Chernobyl, not a provocation?

How many were immolated in Waco? Why? Mount Carmel Center became engulfed in flames. The fire resulted in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, two pregnant women, and David Koresh himself.

Oh, the impatience of the USA, FBI, ATF, Attorney General, Bill Clinton, the lot of them.

Or, dropping bombs on Philly, to kill, well, black people:

How many died, and what happened to the city block? Bombs dropped on our own people, again! Police dropped a bomb on a West Philly house in 1985. The fire caused by the explosion killed 11 people, an atrocity that Philadelphia still grapples with today.

 

Oh, the irony.

Black Lives Do Not Matter, here, or in Ukraine. Below, representation of those lives killed by cops, of all races, in one year. Many of these in a year, 60 percent, did not involve a person with a gun, and a huge number, 40 percent, involved people going throug mental health crises.

More than one thousand people are killed by police every year in America

Oh, being black in Ukraine:

[Foreign students trying to reach the Ukrainian border said they were thrown off trains, not allowed on buses, and made to wait hours in the cold before crossing over.]

Yes, the first casualty of war is truth, and with the USA as the Empire of Lies and Hate, the casualty is now a larger framework of a Zombie Nation of virtue signalers and those who want the fake news to be real, please!

So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission — most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.

There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all.

There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.

This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations — NPR, the BBC — serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.

Before proceeding to Bucha, the outrage of the moment, I must reproduce a quotation from that propaganda-is-O.K. piece The Times published in its March 3 editions. It is from a Twitter user who was distressed that it became public that the Ghost of Kiev turned out to be a ghost and the Snake Island heroes didn’t do much by way of holding the fort.

‘Why can’t we just let people believe some things?’ this thoughtful man or woman wanted to know. What is wrong, in other words, if thinking and believing nice things that aren’t true makes people feel better? (Patrick LawrenceSpecial to Consortium News)

Daniel Boorstin’s The Image: A Guide to Pseudo- Events in America, has been cited by yours truly several times. It is a completely amazing work, sixty years ahead of its time, and it is almost completely ignored!.

boorstin daniel - the image - AbeBooks

I describe the world of our making, how we have used our wealth, our literacy, our technology, and our progress to create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life. …. The reporter’s task is to find a way to weave these threads of unreality into a fabric the reader will not recognize as entirely unreal. (Boorstin)

The post Deconstructing Preemption, De-Nazification, Right to Protect . . . In the Eyes of Empire of Lies (and Hate) first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Fabricating Putin Quotes and Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia

Mobilizing a population to vilify and hate a targeted enemy is a tactic that leaders have used since before the dawn of human history, and it is being used to demonize Russia and Vladimir Putin in the current conflict. If we want to join the march to war, we can join the hate fest.  But if we want a more objective and honest assessment of events, we must rely upon facts that our government and its cheer-leading mainstream media are not anxious for us to view.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,  all things Russian are being punished. Russian athletes, including paraplegics, are barred from international sports competition. Century old Russian writers and musicians such as Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky are being removed from book shelves and concerts. Even Russian bred cats are not exempt.

If such actions are justified, why was there no such banning of US athletes, musicians or writers after the US invasion of Iraq?  Moreover, why are so few people outraged by the bombing and killing of 370,000 Yemeni people?  Why are so few people outraged as thousands of Afghans starve because the United States is seizing Afghanistan’s national assets which were in western banks?

Why Ukraine?

There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons.

Maintaining this image requires propaganda to promote it, and censorship to prevent challengers debunking it.

This has required trashing some long held western traditions. By banning all Russian athletes from international competition, the International Olympic Committee and different athletic federations have violated the Olympic Charter which prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality.

Censorship

The West prides itself on free speech yet censorship of alternative viewpoints is now widespread in Europe and North America.  Russia Today and other Russian media outlets are being blocked on the internet as well as cable TV.  Ironically,  numerous programs on RT were hosted by Americans, for example journalist Chris Hedges and comedian Lee Camp.  The US is silencing its own citizens.

Censorship or shadow banning is widespread on social media. On April 6, one of the best informed military analysts, Scott Ritter @realScottRitter, was suspended from Twitter. Why?  Because he  suggested that the victims of Bucha may have been murdered not by Russians, but rather by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and the US and UK may also be culpable.

The 2015 Netflix documentary titled “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” deals with the Maidan (Kiev central square) uprising of 2013-2014.  It ignores the most essential elements of the events: the management provided by the US  and the muscle provided by ultra-nationalists of the Right Sector and Azov Battalion. The attacks and killing of Ukrainian police are whitewashed away.

By contrast, the 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire provides the background and essential elements of the conflict.  It is not available on Netflix and was banned from distribution on YouTube for some time.

Most people in the West are unaware of the US involvement in the 2014 Kiev coup, subsequent US funding and training of ultra-nationalist and Neo Nazi battalions, and the eight year war in eastern Ukraine resulting in fourteen thousand deaths.

Sensational Accusations

Backed by US and UK intelligence agencies, Ukraine knows the importance of the information war. They make sensational accusations that receive uncritical media coverage. When the truth eventually comes out, it is ignored or buried on the back pages. Here are a few examples:

– In 2014,  eleven civilians were killed in eastern Ukraine when an apartment was hit in rebel held territory.  Ukraine tried to blame Russia even though no bombs were coming from Russia and the population is ethnically Russian.

– At the beginning of the current conflict, Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed that soldiers on Snake Island died heroically rather than surrender. Actually, all the soldiers surrendered.

– Ukraine and western media claim a maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed by Russia. Evidence shows the hospital was taken over by Ukrainian military forces on March 7, two days before the bombing on March 9.

– The latest sensational accusations are regarding dead civilians in Bucha,  north of Kiev. Again, there is much contrary evidence. The Russian soldiers left Bucha on March 31, the mayor of Bucha announced the town liberated with no mention of atrocities on March 31, the Azov battalion entered Bucha on April 1,  the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published video of  “Russian” atrocities on April 3.

In most cases, western media does not probe the accusations or use simple logic to ask if they make sense.  However, in the case of Bucha story, the NY Times had to acknowledge they were “unable to independently verify the assertions by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.”

Self Censorship

In addition to actual censorship, there is widespread self-censorship. Instead of reading what the Russians are saying, western political “analysts” engage in outlandish amateur psychology and speculation. With no factual basis, they speculate about what Putin wants and his mental state.

This is convenient if one does not want to deal with the real issues and arguments.

Most western analysts and journalists are afraid or unwilling to read or listen to what the Russian leaders say. That is unfortunate because those speeches are more clear and direct than those from western politicians who rely on public relations, spin and platitudes.

Fabricating quotes

Ignorance of Russian foreign policy is such that Truthout online magazine recently published an article which contains a sensational but completely invented quote from Putin. It says,

Putin here is clear enough: “Ukraine has no national rights that Russians are bound to respect. Prepare for reunification, reabsorption, or some other euphemism for subaltern status with Mother Russia.”

Putin said no such thing and any moderately knowledgeable person would recognize this to be fake.

When I emailed the co-author, Carl Davidson, asking where the quotation came from, he admitted inventing it. This is significant because the statement goes to the core of what the conflict is about. Is Russia trying to absorb all of Ukraine? Do they intend to occupy Ukraine?  Anyone who reads the speeches of Putin and Lavrov, such as here, here and here,  knows they do not. Davidson’s fabricated quote suggests he has not read the speeches himself.

Ukraine in the Global Context

The article with the made-up quote contends that “Putin is part of a global right-wing authoritarian movements that seeks to ‘overthrow’ the 20th Century.” This analysis is close to that of the US Democratic Party, which sees the major global division being between “authoritarianism” vs “democracy”.

It is highly US-centered and partisan, with Putin somehow lumped with Trump. It  is also self-serving, with US Democrats as the embodiment of “democracy”.  It is completely contrary to a class analysis.

This faulty analysis has major contradictions. It is well known that Biden is unpopular. Biden’s latest approval rating is under 42%. It is less well known in the West that Putin is popular in Russia. Since the intervention in Ukraine his approval rating has increased to over 80%.

Also largely unknown in the West, most of the world does NOT support the Western analysis of the Ukraine conflict.  Countries representing 59% of the global population abstained or voted against the condemnation of Russia at the UN General Assembly. These countries tend to see US exceptionalism and economic-military domination as a key problem. They do not think it helpful to demonize Russia and they urge negotiations and quick resolution to the Ukraine war.

Cuba said:

History will hold the United States accountable for the consequences of an increasingly offensive military doctrine beyond NATO’s borders which threatens international peace, security and stability…. Russia has the right to defend itself.

South African President Ramaphosa blamed NATO saying:

The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.

The Chinese representative said:

The final settlement of the Ukraine crisis requires abandoning the Cold War mentality, abandoning the logic of ensuring one’s own security at the expense of others’ security, and abandoning the approach of seeking regional security by expanding military bloc.

Many western anti-war movements are critical of Russia’s invasion. Others, such as the US Peace Council, see the US and NATO as largely responsible. However, they all see the necessity of pressing to stop the war before it gets worse.

In contrast, the western military-industrial-media complex is fueling the war with propaganda, censorship, banning, demonization and more weapons. It appears they do not want a resolution to the conflict. Just as they supported NATO pushing up against Russia, knowing that it risked provoking Russia to the point of retaliation, they seem to be pushing for a protracted bloody conflict in Ukraine, knowing that it risks global conflagration.  Yet they persist, while crying crocodile tears.

The post Fabricating Putin Quotes and Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Economic Tectonic Shifts: Letters from Russia

Note to our readers: These are letters from a comrade of ours who currently lives in Russia. English is not the first language of HCE so please be understanding. In order to preserve the integrity of these letters, we kept the original phrasing as best we could.

March 11th

Hello Barbara,

Thank you for your message and concern. My wife and I are passing through a difficult phase in our lives. After our second vaccination in December, we, for some reason or other, went through a period of being sick, myself in a light form while my wife gave me a scare. Anyway, that is behind us.  Barbara, I thought that in my late years, being 80 years old now, we would settle down and I would take good care of my wife, go for long walks in the forest-parks of Moscow. Fate, however, had other plans for us, and here we are in the midst of another war and sanctions surrounded by nations led by clowns, comedians, lunatics, and obsessed madmen. Allow me to give you my opinion on a number of issues.

The dependence of Europe on Russian natural gas

The US tried all the possible tricks to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Generally, they want this energy market for US companies, in spite if the fact that gas will be in liquid form and transported by ships. The port that has to receive the liquid gas must have a very expensive plant. Besides the market factor there is the geopolitical factor of having Europe depending on the US for their energy. Russia has always delivered through thick and thin and always will. I wonder whether the US and their companies will be just as trustworthy.

Zelensky’s dirty bomb threat

Chernobyl, the place where the terrible catastrophe happened, is located in the Ukraine.  Zelensky declared that he would consider making an atom bomb if not given the security guarantees that he was asking for from Europe and the US on the second day of the war. He had in mind using materials from the damaged reactor and make a “dirty bomb”. I think that was the last straw. Russian special troops immediately moved to occupy Chernobyl. Thank goodness not a single shot was fired as the Ukrainian troops laid down their arms. The 8 years that the people of Donbas served as a shooting gallery for the Ukrainian nationalists and fascists has finally come to an end. Chernobyl at the present is being patrolled by joint Russian – Ukrainian units. There is a huge Sarcophagi covering the damaged reactor (if you see a clip or pictures, it is so ominous and awe striking. It makes you shiver).

The Mood of the Russian people

Now let me discuss the mood of the Russian people who I see on the street, the people who I talk to, and what I read and watch on local tv. Russians differ in their assessment of the war. By far the broadest section supports their president, and especially their armed forces. They are mainly working class, solid people, nationalists, and the majority of the left including CPRF.

Since the nomination of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats’ obsession with Russia’s and Trump’s supposed ties with them, these Democrats have played a terrible role in pushing the Russian people more to the right. Anything that is seen as part of the Democrats, like BLM, MeToo, or LGBT is derided here. White supremacy is on the rise. I have tried on many occasions to explain, for example, BLM. The conversation usually begins with “I don’t take a knee before a N.” So, I have to explain the rules of US football, who Colin Kaepernick is and the conditions of his kneeling during the national anthem. Presenting the subtleties of this is not easy when Russians are already riled up. The Communist Party in Ukraine was prohibited many years ago and in this void came nationalism and religion. Both cards were used to divide the Russians and the Ukrainians. Russia has officially declared that the aim of their operation in the Ukraine is demilitarization and denazification.

Then there is a loud minority of very young people guided by NGOs financed by the West, part of the humanitarian intellectuals, artists, and actors. They are against their army and its operations in the Ukraine. The Russian Government has started taking measures against openly anti-Russian channels like Echo Moscow and Dozhd/Rain.

The situation in Russia is characterized by a retreat of the liberals and pro-western opposition. The polls show that the support for the president is 75% as of today, March 11. The street is calm, my apartment is near a university and campus and I see hundreds of young people going about their studies. I see people shopping, and I go shopping too. No panic, no rush. If the West thinks by imposing draconian sanctions it will change the mood of the people, then it is right but exactly in the opposite direction, instead of the critical and quite often satiric attitude towards the authorities. In fact, they are consolidating and supporting it.  A new world is being born and Russia with all her faults and problems is the midwife and godmother. I will stop here but I have lot more to say. Please let us continue with the dialogue

With affection and respect

HCE

Dear Bruce,

Before writing on my observations on religious hostilities, allow me to make some notes on what the Ukraine fascist and ultra-national ideology is based on and where it comes from.  I will not go too far back in history but pick it up after WW2.

Nazi collaborators and their role:

The Ukrainian government after the disintegration of the Soviet Union till today, with V. Zelensky have tried their best to whitewash and portray these collaborators as heroes and founders of the Ukraine State. I have chosen to describe Stepan Bandera, who probably is the most popular among the fascists who march with his portrait. Kindly find below my translation from Russian about Bandera. I have taken extracts from an article and what seemed to me important that would provide an idea of the basis for fascism.

The History of S. Bandera and the rehabilitation of fascism in Ukraine including by V. Zelensky

Bandera Stepan Andreevich was a leader and organizer of the Ukrainian national movement in Western Ukraine and considered a terrorist. He was a member of the Ukrainian military organization (from 1928) and the Organization of the Ukraine nationalists (OUN) from 1929, and organizer of a series of terrorist acts. Bandera was condemned by the Polish authorities to life in prison and his memory has not been rehabilitated till now. He was considered a criminal. 

Stepan Bandera and his supporters sought “independence” through violence, revolution, and genocide. The theoretical activity of the Bandera supporters started in Poland, their most notorious terror cases was the killing of government personalities Soviet Cousul Andre Mailov in 1933. In 1934 he participated in the organization in the killing of the Polish minister of interior Bronislav Peratski and the director of the Ukraine academic gymnasium Ivan Babi. He organized an explosion in the offices of the “Pratsia” newspaper.

In the summer of 1934, polish authorities arrested Bandera. On January 13, 1936, Stepan Bandera and his accomplices were sentenced to death for the murder of Peratski. Then the death penalty was changed to life in prison, which he spent till 1939 in Polish prisons. After the Nazis occupied Poland in 1939 he was freed.

During the German occupation, Bandera and his supporters cooperated with Hitler’s Germany and they terrorized the population. Poles and Jews were killed most of all. Immediately after the capture of Lvov the Bander, supporters jointly carried out mass pogroms.

In our days in Ukraine one of the dates that is commemorated as the “liberation movement for the independence of Ukraine” is 30 June 1941, when the Bandera supporters in Lvov declared the restoration of the Ukrainian state. In the “Act of the declaration of the Ukraine state”, there was the following point:

“The newly created Ukraine state will closely cooperate with the great National –Socialist Germany under the leadership of its leader Adolf Hitler, who is creating a new order in Europe the world and helps Ukraine to free itself from the Moscow occupation”

After the war, Stepan Bandera lived in Munich and worked for the British security services. A Soviet agent executed him in 1959.

The Ukraine authorities and V. Zelensky personally make a hero out of Bandera. Monuments are erected and marches take place in his honor in which the participants call for the killing of Russians. The original text of the link above contains pictures of the fascists in Ukraine during their marches, as well as a document in Ukrainian and its Russian translation, where Bandera and his supporters glorify Hitler and fawn over the Nazis, I recommend taking a look at it.

This is the ideology of a minority that has managed, with the financing and support of the West, to create an atmosphere of hate and terror, Russophobia, and xenophobia. The forces that could have stood up to them were either banned (the communists), or brainwashed and tempted by the dream of EU and NATO.

Fascist and nationalistic ideology in Ukraine is not a phenomenon that is purely local. it is part of the populist ultra-right ideas that have swept Europe and the US. These include the appearance of fascist movements that rode on the wave of capitalist austerity instability, lack of steady employment, to scapegoating refugees for the lack of capitalist prosperity.

Place of Religion: Ukraine Greek Orthodox vs Ukraine Greek Catholic Church  

There is another card that has been played by the west, the card of religion. Little has been said in the western media about this, but the fact that religion started to play a big role in the life of the people of the countries who were living in what was the  Soviet Union is undeniable. People of various classes and occupations became religious, some even fanatics.

Very briefly, historically in Ukraine there were two main religious tendencies. Ukraine Greek Orthodox in the East and Ukraine Greek Catholic in the West. Relations are not the best. The Ukraine Greek Catholic Church actively cooperated with Nazi Germany during its occupation of Ukraine. Moreover, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Greek Orthodox Church in Ukraine from being part of the Moscow Patriarchy split into different parts mainly along nationalistic lines. This hatred was built not only on theological differences, but on property, including churches and land.

Economic self-sufficiency                                                                                                                             

I do not know whether you have heard Sergei Lavrov’s interview. There were the following words that made an impression on me:

“As for our economic problems, we will deal with them. We have coped with difficulties at all stages of our history when these difficulties arose. But this time, I assure you, we will get out of this crisis with a completely healthy psychology and a healthy consciousness. We will have no illusions about the reliability of the west as a partner. We will not have any illusions that the West, when it talks about its values, does not really believe in its promises and spells, and we will have no illusions that the West is capable of betrayal at any moment. It will betray anyone and betray its own values.” TASS reports Lavrov’s words. (My translation)

With affection and respect

HCE

•  First published at Socialist Planning Beyond Capitalism

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War Crimes, Mental Molestation and Language Rape

The incredible market for human slaughter called war existed thousands of years ago but it was a corner grocery store compared to the multi-trillion dollar moral sewer that represents modern mass murder. Part of what enables imperial and even lesser powers to slaughter at will is a rule book drawn up long ago when there might have been a possibility to just have military personnel chopping one another to bits while leaving the general populace out of the bloodletting. That certainly ended before the 20th century but what has transpired since then and up to the present is, to cite a couple of over-used therefore recognizable labels, a genocidal holocaust that has burned, bombed, shot, stabbed, smothered and shattered bodies, reducing humans to unrecognizable bloody pulp by the hundreds of millions.

The hideous reality of war and its public relations and adverting departments that allegedly inform us about it has people accepting its horror as some sort of natural occurrence like sunset, tides, weather, rather than seeing it as caused by ruling powers battling over their wealth struggles which reduce humanity to commit mass murder under the pretense of it being the natural order of things. Further, rules have been drawn by upper class educated folks with doctoral degrees legalizing mass murder who teach us just what is the proper way to bash in skulls, burn people to death and rape and murder in a supposedly civilized way.

The alleged morality of humans accepting one form of insanely hysterical murder as long as it adheres to a guidebook on the proper form of slaughter should make us all grateful there is no judgmental, vindictive old testament deity or we’d all have been destroyed after the second world war let alone after our profitable feasts of death since then when we’ve murdered even more.

This closely guarded secret that humanity suffers in wars but only when rationalizations of bloody filth called “war crimes” are committed is currently being used and abused in a form of language, thought and moral degeneracy that may finally end when human consciousness, especially American, rejects the degenerate advertising and public relations blitz posing as reporting to blame Russians for what is called by language perverts their “war crime” against the Ukrainian government. Said government is a product of a U.S. financed insurrection that dumped an elected president who favored Russia for a western political pimp favoring market forces, which include some modern Nazis.

While he has become a celebrity among morals free political employees of ruling power by informing everyone to send him weapons so that there can be more bloodshed of the loving, violence free western kind, the western world has increased military spending to record breaking figures. Our rulers, media employee shepherds, see to it that our population is reduced to sheep as much of the world is angrier than ever at the machinations of the warfare business though you’d never know it if all you had was the western media called a free press. They create mentally brutalized souls into paying hundreds of dollars for taco-pizza-burgers and calling it free food.

While Ukrainians have been dying by the thousands for the past eight years, subject to a US/NATO financed and controlled assault, Americans and the west have known absolutely nothing of what was going on and not until Russian retaliation have we heard repeated use of words like brutal, savage, slaughter and worse, to condemn what under normal American circumstances would be called a form of legal police action to purify the world and see to it that peace, love and tranquility would prevail as we slaughtered. Maybe after everyone was dead?

A nation that leads all others in conducting wars against weaker countries and murdering hundreds of thousands, at the least, and millions, at the worst, is not only bellowing murderous nonsense but manipulating good, well meaning people into swallowing editorial garbage that has some decent folks almost ready to pawn their pets to send money to suffering Ukrainians. Even worse, some perverted by venomous outpourings of what would be called vicious hate speech if conducted by anyone else, are ready to accept the potential of nuclear war in order to stop the horrible slaughter which mostly exists between the ears and comes out of the mouths of our thought police working overtime for our ruling powers.

A recent story headlined a murderous, bloody, brutal assault by Russians, which had killed two people at the time the story was filed. Sadly but horrendously over-stated in a nation which kills 4-5 Americans every hour in our private transport system of undeclared road wars to get us to work, shop, school, and conduct other freedom loving democratic economic action. This while the sanctions against Russia are causing serious economic pain the world over, including to Americans, while military spending and the mass murder business that is the backbone of our incredibly gross national product is growing faster and more dangerously and fossil fuel interests profit more than ever as environmental destruction proceeds at a more menacing pace.

This assault on reason, combined with the rape of language and the reduction of public consciousness to the level of a nation of insects, is really only an update of what has been going on for more than 100 years concerning Russia. The assault on that nation began in 1917 when the Russian revolution threatened capitalism, its global center then as now in the United States. America immediately invaded along with a group of its future lapdogs which eventually became NATO after the Second World War. The idea of a return to humanity’s roots by building a society based on communal cooperation rather than competitive actions which created wonderful benefits for some but only by reducing others to dreadful lives was too much for fanatics of the fundamentalist church of capital.

Our primitive communistic survival in the days before we destroyed hunter-gatherer people meant that when the hunt was successful, everyone ate meat and when it wasn’t, everyone ate what was gathered. This was thousands of years before vegan diets and anti-meat worship among good people who comfortably house 136 million pets in a nation where more than 500,000 humans are without shelter. The pet business was good for more than 104 billion in 2020, a mass of economic clout but still chump change compared to the 778 billion for war, which involves 750 American bases in 80 foreign countries for something calling itself “defense”. This protected folks like George Floyd from the brutal, savage, bloodthirsty fiend Putin, but was totally helpless to defend him from a few Americans with badges.

A communist ideal which held that a thousand people and a thousand loaves of bread should mean a loaf of bread for everyone sickened rich capitalists who insisted that some should get ten loaves each and the rest be damned, which is the gross foundation dressed in economic jargon that would make a house of prostitution a citadel of love. Capital said that just as sex workers made a decent living by using their private parts to make private profits for their pimps, workers of all kinds could live comfortably if they just did their jobs and didn’t ask any questions. Their media saw to it that unquestioners became everyday people.

The social seeds planted by people like Marx and Engels in the 19th century came to fruition early in the 20th in Russia, and the vicious assault on that nation began, then as now, from its headquarters in America. After 70 years of continuous physical and mental assault finally helped cause a breakdown of the Soviet Union and a return to capitalism, that was still not enough and the U.S. and its imperial lackeys kept up the war and its present experience which threatens the worst outcome for humanity. This will hopefully not only bring China and Russia closer but the people of the USA and global humanity together to transcend the danger by helping to end the degeneracy of warfare and create peace via the end of an imperial crusade to further enrich billionaires and their upper class servants while increasing mass poverty and the environmental threat to us all.

With daily by the minute assaults on consciousness reducing other wise good people to hateful idiocy demanding death for the savage Putin and evil Russians, there is glee among the perverted political economic leadership of the war business. They number a tiny group with power supposedly democratic while they brainwash people into believing autocracy – a term most hardly understand – is in charge everywhere but where it exists; in what we have been taught to believe is the free world. Benign (?) America billionaires become malevolently evil (ominous background music) Russian oligarchs, according to our mind shapers who neglect to point out they keep their wealth in the same banks – mostly American or at least using American dollars – to perform as charming space travelers or deranged killers, depending on national origin.

This perverse market freedom continues to mean imperial abuse by one nation, ours, while taxpayers absorb a debt of 30 trillion dollars paying for the empire which is bringing us all closer to a point at which we will have little time left as a human race. We need to begin acting like one very soon. That means far more than waving a Ukrainian flag and sending paychecks to the pimps of war, but no longer accepting their crimes against nature and beginning to act like what we are: a human race badly in need of global democracy to stop all wars, not just those we are told are the wrong way to butcher humans, and begin life. That calls for the end of the post World War II domination of the American empire and this present horror is hopefully a sign that it will be so. We need to turn off the anti-social media that insure further private profit and ultimate public loss and turn on humanity’s original instinct for cooperation. And hurry.

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The Next Step in Palestine’s Anti-Apartheid Struggle is the Most Difficult

When Nelson Mandela was freed from his Robben Island prison on February 11, 1991, my family, friends and neighbors followed the event with keen interest as they gathered in the living room of my old home in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip.

This emotional event took place years before Mandela uttered his famous quote “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.  For us Palestinians Mandela did not need to reaffirm the South African people’s solidarity with Palestine by using these words or any other combination of words. We already knew. Emotions ran high on that day; tears were shed; supplications were made to Allah that Palestine, too, would be free soon. “Inshallah,” God willing, everyone in the room murmured with unprecedented optimism.

Though three decades have passed without that coveted freedom, something is finally changing as far as the Palestine liberation movement is concerned. A whole generation of Palestinian activists, who either grew up or were even born after Mandela’s release, was influenced by that significant moment: Mandela’s release and the start of the official dismantling of the racist, apartheid regime of South Africa.

Even the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 between Israel and some in the Palestinian leadership of the PLO – which served as a major disruption of the grassroots, people-oriented liberation movement in Palestine – did not completely end what eventually became a decided anti-Israeli apartheid struggle in Palestine. Oslo, the so-called ‘peace process’ – and the disastrous ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian leadership, exemplified in the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Israel – resulted in derailed Palestinian energies, wasted time, deepened existing factional divides, and confused Palestinian supporters everywhere. However, it did not – though it tried – occupy every political space available for Palestinian expression and mobilization.

With time and, in fact, soon after its formation in 1994, Palestinians began realizing that the PA was not a platform for liberation, but a hindrance to it. A new generation of Palestinians is now attempting to articulate, or refashion, a new discourse for liberation that is based on inclusiveness, grassroots, community-based activism that is backed by a growing global solidarity movement.

The May events of last year – the mass protests throughout occupied Palestine and the subsequent Israeli war on Gaza – highlighted the role of Palestine’s youth who, through elaborate coordination, incessant campaigning and utilizing of social media platforms, managed to present the Palestinian struggle in a new light – bereft of the archaic language of the PA and its aging leaders. It also surpassed, in its collective thinking, the stifling and self-defeating emphasis on factions and self-serving ideologies.

And the world responded in kind. Despite a powerful Israeli propaganda machine, expensive hasbara campaigns and near-total support for Israel by the western government and mainstream media alike, sympathy for Palestinians has reached an all-time high. For example, a major public opinion poll published by Gallup on May 28, 2021, revealed that “… the percentages of Americans viewing (Palestine) favorably and saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than the Israelis in the conflict inched up to all-time highs this year.”

Moreover, major international human rights organizations, including Israelis, began to finally recognize what their Palestinian colleagues have argued for decades:

“The Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians,” said B’tselem in January 2021.

“Laws, policies and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power and land has long guided government policy,” said Human Rights Watch in April 2021.

“This system of apartheid has been built and maintained over decades by successive Israeli governments across all territories they have controlled, regardless of the political party in power at the time,” said Amnesty International on February 1, 2022.

Now that the human rights and legal foundation of recognizing Israeli apartheid is finally falling into place, it is a matter of time before a critical mass of popular support for Palestine’s own anti-apartheid movement follows, pushing politicians everywhere, but especially in the West, to pressure Israel into ending its system of racial discrimination.

However, this is where the South Africa and Palestine models begin to differ. Though western colonialism has plagued South Africa as early as the 17th century, apartheid in that country only became official in 1948, the very year that Israel was established on the ruins of historic Palestine.

While South African resistance to colonialism and apartheid has gone through numerous and overwhelming challenges, there was an element of unity that made it nearly impossible for the apartheid regime to conquer all political forces in that country, even after the banning, in 1960, of the African National Congress (ANC) and the subsequent mprisonment of Mandela in 1962. While South Africans continued to rally behind the ANC, another front of popular resistance, the United Democratic Front, emerged, in the early 1980s to fulfill several important roles, amongst them the building of international solidarity around the country’s anti-apartheid struggle.

The blood of 176 protesters at the Soweto township and thousands more was the fuel that made freedom, the dismantling of apartheid and the freedom of Mandela and his comrades possible.

For Palestinians, however, the reality is quite different. While Palestinians are embarking on a new stage of their anti-apartheid struggle, it must be said that the PA, which has openly collaborated with Israel, cannot possibly be a vehicle for liberation. Palestinians, especially the youth, who have not been corrupted by the decades-long system of nepotism and favoritism enshrined by the PA, must know this well.

Rationally, Palestinians cannot stage a sustained anti-apartheid campaign when the PA is allowed to serve the role of being Palestine’s representative, while still benefiting from the perks and financial rewards associated with the Israeli occupation.

Meanwhile, it is also not possible for Palestinians to mount a popular movement in complete independence from the PA, Palestine’s largest employer, whose US-trained security forces keep watch on every street corner that falls within the PA-administered areas in the West Bank.

As they move forward, Palestinians must truly study the South African experience, not merely in terms of historical parallels and symbolism, but to deeply probe its successes, shortcomings and fault lines. Most importantly, Palestinians must also reflect on the unavoidable truth – that those who have normalized and profited from the Israeli occupation and apartheid cannot possibly be the ones who will bring freedom and justice to Palestine.

The post The Next Step in Palestine’s Anti-Apartheid Struggle is the Most Difficult first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Fear Not to Be

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the theologian Paul Tillich’s famous book, The Courage to Be.  Widely read in the days when an educated public read books, it is long forgotten.  In it, Tillich surveys the history of anxiety and fear and their relation to courage, religious faith, and the meaning of life.  His closing sentence – “The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt” – became acclaimed as an astute description of the existential need to find a foundation for faith and courage when their foundations were shaking.

His writing profoundly influenced many, even when they didn’t wholly agree with him.  This included Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who, commenting on Tillich’s death in 1965, said, “His Christian existentialism gave us a system of meaning and purpose for our lives in an age when war and doubt seriously threatened all that we had come to hold dear.”

I mention The Courage to Be not to engage in a recondite theological and philosophical analysis, which is the last thing we now need, but to contrast his call for spiritual courage with what we have been experiencing pouring forth from the mass corporate media for years  There is a drumbeat of fear-mongering so intense and constant that it is almost comical if it weren’t so effective in reducing people to quaking, frightened children.

Primarily about Covid and the need to obey the authorities and submit to being jabbed with mRNA Covid “Vaccines” – the idolatrous religion of bio-security – this  religion of fear goes much further and much deeper.  Scenarios of fear have been rehearsed and produced for decades by the intelligence/IT/media giants on a multitude of issues, large and small.  They are rooted in a spiritually nihilistic political propaganda campaign that is exponentially increasing fear, anxiety, and despondency on a vast scale, which is its intent.  Fearful people are easily cowered and controlled.  The elites know that regular people throughout the world are fed up with being subjected to violence and abuse in multiple forms, and if courage triumphs over their fears, they might join in worldwide solidarity and revolt, as they have been doing in various places recently. To prevent this, the authorities must use terror tactics to divide and conquer them. If people dare to rise up and even question the propaganda, they have been and will be called terrorists for doing so.  Dissent is now equated with terrorism and thus it must be censored.

All this fear-mongering draws on people’s normal fears of “not to be,” meaning dead. It is, of course, understandable not wanting to be dead, but living in constant fear is a living death.  Tillich, who suffered deep trauma as a chaplain in the trenches of WW I and was later dismissed from his teaching position in Germany when Hitler came to power, wrote that courage is rooted in the spiritual acceptance that underlying our individual lives is the power of Being, by which he meant God, and that fear and anxiety about our fates can be confronted only through the courage to accept in faith this foundational reality.

I think it is self-evident to anyone who glances at the mainstream media that fear is their staple.  In just the last week or so, I have seen The New York Times, an official organ of propaganda if there ever were one but known historically as the Grey Lady for understatement, tell its readers in a hyperventilating style that anxiety about climate change has spawned a growing field of therapeutic treatment for sufferers, how deer in your back yard are infected with Omicron, how the Russians are coming, etc.  This is the typical fear promoting propaganda that headlines all the media sites every day and has been doing so for years.  Any casual observer can list them on a daily basis, from major to minor matters to fear.

Yet despite this constant, blatant propaganda, governments flip the truth and warn that anyone who questions this are conspiracy theorists intent on causing trouble and therefore must be watched and refuted. Just the other day the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a “Summary of Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland,” saying:

The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.

After twenty years of such obvious propaganda, you would think these people would be embarrassed, but they obviously are not and intend to propagate this bullshit for years to come.  They and their media accomplices have taken their lingo lessons straight from Nineteen Eighty-Four.

On the bio-security religious front alone, Kit Knightly of Off-Guardian has recently reported that the authorities have warned us that there is a vast underdiagnosis of heart disease that may stealthily be coming to get us (not from “vaccines,” of course) and that HIV testing and vaccines look to be the next big push, for there is now the claim that a new variant of HIV is spreading in Europe.  President Biden declared in December 2021 that his administration was aiming to “end the HIV/Aids epidemic by 2030.”  While Covid restrictions may be easing, the mRNA “vaccine push” is not, and their promoters will only find different germs to defeat with “vaccines” and tests to ease the fears of the propagandized public, so many of whom have been turned into hypochondriacs.

The promulgation of the fear of germs and disease and foreign and domestic “threat actors” is permanent.  For anyone naively thinking that there will be an easing of this elite war of lies, I would suggest they rethink that assumption.  The state of siege that is the Covid crisis will be followed by many more, and this germ warfare includes a vast array of foreign variants, led by Russia and China.  We are in a permanent crisis and emergency engineered by the ruling classes to maintain their control.

This elite war against regular people has no end in sight.  The elites know that people get worn down over time and lose hope; thus, they plan for the long haul and keep hammering away.  Paul Tillich’s book is important because of its stress on the need for courage in the face of the fear-mongering.  Without a spiritual foundation to sustain one for the long haul, depression will lead to despair or surrender.  History should teach us this. The evil ones often win, at least in the short run, and each of us doesn’t have a long run.  Our time is brief.

The great dissenters and rebels of the past, even when not overtly religious, kept faith with their comrades and causes because they felt a deep, unbreakable, invincible connection.  It is called different names or none at all.  Maybe faith is the best word.  Faith in what?  Some call it God, as I do. Words can’t explain it; I feel it. Others say nothing and just carry on, sustained by the invisible. Some call it faith in human solidarity.  The names don’t matter.  It is not about naming but experiencing. The poet D.H. Lawrence said wisely that we are transmitters of life, “and when we fail to transmit life, life fails to flow through us.”  And he added in his inimitable style: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  But it is a much more fearful thing to fall out of them.”  It is not easy, but fear helps us fall out.

There were those who called Tillich an atheist because his philosophical explanation sounded too abstruse, which is true.  But he made a fundamental point about how as human beings we participate in Being, which is the ground of our existence.  We are part of something that is far larger than our puny selves –  beings in the sea of Being.  Who can deny that?  His call to courage hit a resonant cord with believers, agnostics, and atheists alike.  Not a poet but a German trained immigrant scholar who emigrated to the U.S.A., his language was steeped in heavy philosophical verbiage, yet it found a wide audience in its analysis of fear, anxiety, and especially courage because it was about fundamental truths.  Courage is fundamental, as is faith.

The Spanish poet Antonio Machado put it less philosophically and more elegantly:

I talk always to the man who walks along with me;
– men who talk to themselves hope to talk to God
Someday –
My soliloquies amount to discussions with this friend,
Who taught me the secret of loving human beings.
….
And when the day arrives for the last leaving of all,
And the ship that never returns to port is ready to go,
You’ll find me on board, light, with few belongings,
Almost naked like the children of the sea.

We are children of the sea and courage keeps us afloat.

Humor also helps, for we are funny creatures.

It is not often that one escapes an unintended assassination attempt.  I am glad to say that I have.

This is an example of the power of fear. Where I live, the winter has been quite cold and there was a recent ice storm with thick ice everywhere on top of snow.  My wife was fearful of falling and so had bought hiking poles for herself and me as Christmas gifts.  I said I didn’t want them and wouldn’t use them; that I wasn’t afraid, that I had faith in my ability to sustain myself.  So I didn’t use them, which angered her.  One day when the ice in the driveway and on the car was inches thick, she cajoled me into using the sticks to reach the car.  She set them for me with their clips at the proper height, since they are adjustable.  We toddled down the pathway to the car, setting one pole out ahead of the other in turn.  I exaggerated my need for them, bending far over as if I were in great need of the crutches.  Approaching the driveway, I extended my right hand pole out in front and it collapsed because the clips weren’t set tight and I went flying face forward onto the ice.  She looked at me in fear, not sure if I was dead or hurt or if her fear had made her into an accidental assassin.  She needn’t worry.  It was funny.

We all fall eventually, but in the meantime, worrying about it is self-defeating.  It is a reaction to fear.  Worrying is a form of preying on oneself (etymology: to seize by the throat with one’s teeth and kill), and it can be induced – and is – by the campaigns of fear that we are being subjected to.

The courage to be was Tillich’s way of saying that we are upheld by far more than we know.  Call it Being, Tao, the Great Spirit, or God.  Courage is contagious and will carry us on.  It is what we need to resist the fear-mongers who are at our throats.

The post The Fear Not to Be first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Are We the Sum Total of Our Life, Theirs, Inside Our Darkest Thoughts?

There is no such thing as an ending. At the conclusion of any work of art, just like at the conclusion of any experience, what we arrive at is a site of interpretation. Every reader commits a creative act at that site. Every reader creates a version of their own artwork within their act of reading. No author can ever succeed at holding a singular ending in place, stable, unwavering.   — Lidia Yuknavitch, Rumpus Interview

Telling one’s story is never easy. But it is the staff of life. A story, a memoir, anti-memoir, a story of a people, of a tribe, of a family, of a nation. We can have stories that are collectively anthropological, like Guns Germs and Steel (The Fates of Human Societies — previously titled Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years — a 1997 transdisciplinary non-fiction book by Jared Diamond. In 1998, Guns, Germs, and Steel won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book, and produced by the National Geographic Society, was broadcast on PBS in July 2005)

We can have Debt: The First 5,000 Years (David Graeber lays out the historical development of the idea of debt, starting from the first recorded debt systems in the Sumer civilization around 3500 BC. In this early form of borrowing and lending, farmers would often become so mired in debt that their children would be forced into debt peonage).

Or, Das Kapital, also known as Capital: A Critique of Political Economy  is a foundational theoretical text in materialist philosophy, critique of political economy and politics by Karl Marx. (Marx aimed to reveal the economic patterns underpinning the capitalist mode of production in contrast to classical political economists such as Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. While Marx did not live to publish the planned second and third parts, they were both completed from his notes and published after his death by his colleague Friedrich Engels. Das Kapital is the most cited book in the social sciences published before 1950.)

But we all have read famous and not so famous people’s accounts of their lives, with some autobiographical hitching post, or some life changing event or series of events to define that person as an individual. With that, we hope as writers that we can find audience.

That the reader(s) will infer their own place in the world around what events and what creative expression of those events have done to shape us, the writer.

It is a given almost to a tee that places like Dissident Voice and myriad other places on the Internet or once just in print have facilitated the concept of story, of narrative, of frames. Here, just reading Edward Curtain’s pieces, one can see that narrative for him ties into commentary and philosophical musings in the current societal dynamics.

Story is all we have, really, and memory is what we attempt to reclaim, even though memory is faulty. Forgetting is part of the human condition, or should be, as a way of not going crazy with all the bad and horrible things that have happened to us, that we have perpetrated and that are befalling the world.

We are in our own funhouse, or madhouse. We are the sum total of all events. However, we do not deal with the sum total, that is for sure. I remember the time with John Francis, and I read his books, talked to him on the phone and interviewed him in person as he was brought to Spokane to some of the colleges I was associated with as a speaker.

Planet Walker he called himself, and he decided early on, witnessing an oil spill under the Golden Gate bridge, to stop using fossil fuel transportation and to stop talking, a vow of silence, but that went on for almost two decades. Please, watch below.

Or, if you have bandwidth, listen to some of my old radio shows put up on my personal blog, here — Podcasts, including John Francis.

I’ve been with hundreds of people as a journalist and writer, and many more as a young person who has had the benefit of growing up and traveling around places like BC, Canada, Azores, UK, Ireland, many parts of the USA, before age 13. I took those early days of listening to elders’ stories into my own avocation and beat-up career as a writer. My work may have featured their work on some environmental or social justice issue, or even in my beat reporting as a newspaper journalist. But the drilling down, and the real conversations were always about “me,” the person in some state of evolution. So many wanted to give life to their previous lives, to families, to their own trauma and lamentations. They always wanted to frame themselves, and to give me, a writer, some sense of depth to who they are.

Here, some narratives of mine still alive on the worldwide death net:

Finding Fringe Portland, including this one — A Letter a Day for 15 Years

Real Change News, Seattle, including this one, “Two souls, nine lives.”

Only partial list of my magazine beat, “Metro Talk,” Spokane Magazine.

The Pacific Northwest Weekly Inlander. Again, partial list.

I certainly have had great people like Terry Tempest Williams and David Suzuki and Winona LaDuke provide me and millions of their readers collectively their narratives, their own steps in their very multilayered and dynamic lives. Those three are global people, and that adds to the shine of their pedigrees and their own place in our lives as readers and participants of their work, words and sightlines to the future.

Scroll down on my blog here and listen to my interview of Suzuki.

See the source image

See the source image

 

That is it, a future understood by ground truthing the past, and that is gathered through our pasts, “their” pasts, through the connectedness of their own lives, young and now, and with our own collective interconnectivity no matter how disconnected the powers that be want us to live in their own chaos.

Reclaiming the Sacred, Reclaiming the World, Reclaiming Land, Language, History. Reclaiming Ourselves. This is the process of living in the world, living inside the hell hole of Capital, but being part of the world around us, understanding the history of so much denigration, holding the amazing amounts of pain inflicted by governments, families and societies. Doing that is where story begins, even if it stays as foundational and never ends up in the actual literature of memoir writing.

I am teaching a memoir writing class, upcoming. Here on the Oregon Coast, during a time of the Omega-cron, under the gray clouds of the fear project of Capitalists and the Felons of Profits. It is a community education class, and I get a few shekels for the class of six currently signed up right now. Below is an Op-Ed just published in the Local Rag, Newport News Times.

I have hitched my own writing to my own life, the journeys, the far off worlds in my mind tied to the walkabouts, the odd journeys I have undertaken to live in the world.

Here, “Bird Stamp,” a short story, but while made up, there is so much memory and memoir-like inflections. It’s won some awards. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Here’s the text from the old newspaper where I worked — Pacific Northwest Weekly Inlander. 

I am always collecting people, themes, their words, their lives, and that is through their rag-tag, sometimes, stories. Here at DV, I have had readers take the effort to send me a note, via email, sometimes in snailmail, about something I wrote that triggered their own push to tell, to story-tell. The emails have come from around this continent and the world. Seventeen years thus far.

Here is one that just came in:

“Naive Documentary (-ies) Makers Barely Scratch the Surface!”

Hey Friend! I used to live in Portland. I emailed you once. Thought we might meet up. Never happened. I’ve returned “home.” Frankfort KY. Trying an unlikely reconciliation with my brothers, both ‘trumpetateers.’ Oh well. It’s late. Very late. I’m 77. I’ve not got long, or at least not as long as I had. I haven’t been reading you recently. You lay it on thick, brother. If I may … today, though, I liked the catchy title and didn’t see your name on it. Read it though and thought: shit! this sounds like Paul. And there was your name at the bottom. Pure poetry. I thought hell this should be a pome–poem. You’re a cage rattler. Mine. I owe 1/4 million in student debt; declared bankruptcy 3 times and could another, but I’m so poor the debt collectors can’t seem to touch me (only in america!); a convicted felon (fighting with NYC cops back in the ’70s)–of course if I’d been black I’d be dead or … at least spent my suspended sentences on Rikers; jail bird, nonetheless: a year in military prison for refusing orders to the US war on Vietnam; a sight for sore eyes: a former transwoman–now a non-binary something or other; definetly a member of the 20%.

John

Ah-ah. The life captured in one paragraph, and if John was here and had the inkling, he’d be one hell of a student writer in the class, someone who could teach me a thing or two.

And, of course, how do we, the Americans, get those people like John above captured in the hearts and minds of us, the citizens, when the media is controlled by six companies, publishing is controlled by even foreign monopolies, and most movies ever

made now are perverted, broken down things, poor written, and right there at the warped end of things? People with a Hollywood or East Coast bias who see the John’s of the world as, well, useless, never want their real stories. Yet those stories are of us, the 80 percent, and need to be aired, read and discussed. Those elites deeming what is not of storytelling worth. Great survivors who might even not end up as minor characters set on a street, riffraff, homeless, poor and broken.

That is what Studs Terkel fought against, and he went into the lives of the people of his time, of his city, of this country.

Paperback Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression Book

That memoir writing is also couched in struggle, overcoming it, and in rare memoirs, not overcoming it. Anti-memoir memoir — fictionalized.

Fictionalized Memoir

Memoirs are different from autobiographies because they are about specific moments in time instead of offering a look at a chronological period of time. Fictionalized memoirs are different from standard memoirs because of the inclusion of fiction or fictional writing techniques. If the names or places of a memoir are changed to protect those involved, then this would be classified as a fictionalized memoir. (Source)

+–+

I think we understand our own life experiences in narrative terms. If you consider that idea for a moment, we are walking novels. No one has a pure identity. Everyone has an identity made from everyone they’ve ever known and loved or hated, and from every experience they could process and withstand, happy or sad, arranged in memories, otherwise known as stories.

So writing my anti-memoir meant creating a composition and inventing narrative forms to convey some experiences from my life.

And writing a novel meant creating a composition and inventing narrative forms to convey some experiences—some imagined, some real—from life. The only difference involved the fact that some content doors remained closed in nonfiction, but even that’s a hoax. I opened them anyway.

I’m thrilled the two books can co-exist now. In some ways they complete one another. Fiction multiplies the possibilities of nonfiction. Nonfiction deeply informs the fiction writer’s desires and impulses and limitations. In a way, nonfiction is simply a snapshot of the edges around any given writer’s imagination. —   Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water,

My own story collection, fiction, is all about fusing memoir and new journalism with hard hitting fiction. Order it from Cirque Press — keep our press alive. At Cirque Press, you will see 28 books by writers, and many books are poetry collections and novels and some memoirs. All are tributes to finding self.

Building community is so important, especially at this time. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to publish with Cirque. You do so much more than publish books. You support your authors individually and collectively and work hard to create connection. Leah Stenson, author, Life Revisited

My work there, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam. Review here at DV by Linda Ford and Street Roots by Emily Green.

The art of remaking-retelling a story

Paul Haeder, Newport News Times, 1/19/22

The last few years on planet Earth have been pregnant ones: People facing existential crises and a world seemingly going to hell in a hand basket. SARS-CoV2 and lockdowns are SELCE’s in all our lives: significant emotional life-changing events!

As a writer on the coast, I’ve found subjects for a column, “Deep Dive – Go Beneath the Surface with Paul Haeder” (Oregon Coast Today) endless. We have deeply interesting people.

That’s my wiring. A young journalist of 17 who “hard-scrabbled” into desert haunts in Arizona and throughout Mexico, discovering people’s narratives — wherever they are in their proverbial walkabouts — highly compelling.

It’s a form of biographical parachuting, and a kind of thievery — entering people’s worlds, getting to know them fast and furiously, and then capturing those facts and memories in creative nonfiction.

I’ve been doing this stealing for almost 50 years. With that eclectic pedigree, I hope to see a few interested writers here in Lincoln County signing up for my community education class, Memoir Writing, at OCCC’s Waldport campus.

The title is just one stone in the cairn of stories I hope we as a class can share.

My first gig teaching the art of creative memoir writing occurred when I was young, 29, with the Center for Lifelong Learning at UT-El Paso. In that community/continuing education class, I helped shepherd amazing life forces of 15 students in the first session:

• a Dachau survivor who ended up in El Paso as a doctor;

• a former colonel in the Army who was in the Bataan Death March;

• a criminal defense attorney who defended rough dudes, including narcotraficantes along the U.S.-Mexico border;

• a female truck driver of over 50 years who saw all of the U.S., Canada and some of Mexico as a long-hauler;

• a young guy who won $1.5 million in a state lottery but ended up opening up two clinics in Juarez to treat the poor;

• a doctor who worked in Guatemala and El Salvador performing cleft palette operations pro bono.

We came together as survivors, and some of the better memoir and anti-memoir pieces flowed from regular folk: a farmer of chilies, a lady who raised seven kids who all went on to college, a construction company owner who learned how to read after he made his first million, at age 50.

For this Tuesday, 2 to 3:30 p.m. class, we will explore how people in this neck of the woods got here at the edge of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. I believe in the Mission Impossible opener as a frame for this laid-back class: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to uncover some of the layers of your spiritual-intellectual-emotional-historical life onion.

I like what Lidia Yyuknavitch says about the process of writing self: “I think our identities — the ones we live in the real world — are really made partly from stories that we build up around ourselves, necessary fictions, so that we can bear the weight of our own lives. We like to call these ‘truths’ or ‘facts’ or ‘selves,’ but I maintain that they are fictions. Fictions for instance called ‘mother’ or ‘wife’ or ‘lover’ or ‘teacher’ or ‘writer.’”

For my premiere long-form column, Deep Dive, I went into the life and aspirations of a great white shark scientist who did open water research of these sharks in waters off South Africa, Dyer Island. Then, the column took off because, a) I was open to any sort of human being living in Lincoln County who had a story to tell. The stories came at me like a tsunami. Not all were of made-for-TV-movie intensity. However, the common theme in these more than 35 pieces is “perseverance under adversity.”

And, b), it takes time to listen in order to uncover. Carol Van Strum is another gem I wrote about — she fought the aerial spraying of herbicides in her Five Rivers’ area and wrote a book, “A Bitter Fog,” to capture this battle.

We will work on each student’s individual projects — some will want book length tell-alls, and others will want a life compressed into a few dozen pages. The best part of this memoir writing course is we will experiment.

There are other ways to skin a cat, so to speak. We can resist the universal desire to uncover a dirty pile of secrets. We can write with a level of frankness, and candidness.

That sort of writing can “welcome talk, but not cover all the personal details.”

The “I” in this form of expression is fluid: we have to discover ways to bring in the reader, and deliver the reader a conversation. Some in the class will want to capture a life SELCE. That’s fine. Others will want to explore the meaning of life through their own eyes.

This includes how we all “get through” by deploying universal truths. For some of us, we need to get that down on paper: an essay, fiction story, an entire book? The goal is the same — writing “self.”

Our mission is to share and wordsmith, so the class gets down to brass tacks — writing ourselves into something others might respond to positively and with a keen sense of their own lives.

**For information, go to Oregon Coast Community College

The post Are We the Sum Total of Our Life, Theirs, Inside Our Darkest Thoughts? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Naive Documentary (-ies) Makers Barely Scratch the Surface!

W.E.B. DuBois: ‘To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.’

This documentary (see below, first one linked) is not news, and then, of course, it’s Trump in office blather, too. As if UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal are havens for social and people and environmental justice.

How Poor People Survive in the USA — vapid.

The documentarian is done, really, through the auspices of Euro trash context, POV, narrative framing. Contrarily, you have to be in the mix, in the middle, from the chambers of power, schools, colleges, social work, to real journalism, and into the mess personally, with daily fear of losing the job and seeing savings go go go. That is the slippage in the death spiral of USA. 

This is a Reservation/Rez Society. Boarding School Society. Celebrity Cults. Internment Camp FEMA Village (Soon). This entire unfolding of history the past 70 years has been this big time military propaganda operation embedding into all systems. Confusion creator. Mystical hatred or subservience  while praying for that blue-eyed, blond hippie Jesus. Dirt poor, and loving Trump. College student loans over $100K,  and loving AOC and Biden.

The enemy for me, and I’d say for 80 percent of USA, is that grouping — colonized Eichmann’s, the upper classes, the dream hoarders, the intelligence/knowledge workers, the higher ups in education-medicine-incarceration-pharma-medicine-energy-banking-data collecting-surveillance-real estate-Chamber of Commerce-AI-science-ag-retail-logistics-transportation, and then, MIC, congressional military complex. Join the mercenary forces, and lucky you, get your teeth pulled and a GI Bill.

Bullshit.

Ahh, my old platform to rail against the system — LA Progressive! Terminal Velocity no More! Or here! Paul Haeder. 

I’ve asked why the stuff I send and publish elsewhere is no longer getting up on LA Progressive. No answer! Again, this documentary is broken (above), but that is documentary making, most times — focused, rarified, gatekeeping on steroids, with people on the projects not deep systems thinkers, and a willingness to leave out a lot.

Stan Brock memorial remembers founder of Remote Area Medical, Wild Kingdom  star

Missing:

  1. Tens of millions on the edge of the cliff of eviction, foreclosure, endless bad jobs, in the car or van, bunking up with family or friends, while working for middle managers who do not care, and the upper management and the billionaires and millionaires.
  2. Inflammation — Capitalism is a complete, holistic, top-down disease, creating inflammation in the veins, brain, organs, belly. But worse — cuts the thinking process, deforms the mutual aid ethos, destroys collective action, kills the ability to squat and reappropriate wealth, land, whatever.
  3. The rat race of those with a roof over their heads that continue to fuel prescriptions, Disneyland la-la-land thinking, buy-buy-buy, watching sports-stars-musicians, I got mine, you better fight to get yours
  4. This country, USA, is the rotting roots and DNA of Europe, of that narrator above. These are not real people, and they are so sculpted in news speak, in priviledge.
  5. This documentary doesn’t get to the fabric of colonization of cities, schools, the bullshit of privatization, and this wacky religious and wacky elitist country of Indian Removal, Enslavement then and now, and Nomadlands.
  6. Americans are children, and that is thanks to the Media, the Boss, foolish k-6 education, and, well, we are here now, 355 million, and this is pre-covid crazies. Now? Complete imprisonment!

Oh, hell, the list is a thousand points long: Stan Brock, Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom. This is one fellow, and great heart, but in a world of Space Suits, Billionaires and Yachts, Lies Casted in Media-Banking-Digitalization, well, one guy. “He founded Remote Area Medical in 1985 to give people in need essential health care. Since then, RAM has provided free dental, vision and basic health care to more than 740,000 people.”

 

Here, the documentary on RAM above, description: During the U.S. debate about healthcare reform, the media reporters and news crews and filmmakers failed to put a human face on what it means to not have access to healthcare. Remote Area Medical fills that gap; it is a film about people, not policy. Focusing on a single three-day clinic held in the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, Remote Area Medical affords us an insider’s perspective on the ebb and flow of the event, from the tense 3:30 a.m. ticket distribution that determines who gets seen to the routine check-ups that take dramatic turns for the worse, to the risky means to which some patients resort for pain relief. We meet a doctor who also drives an 18-wheeler, a denture maker who moonlights as a jeweler, and the organization’s founder, Stan Brock, who first imagined Remote Area Medical while living as a cowboy in the Amazon rainforest, hundreds of miles from the nearest doctor. But it is the extraordinary stories of the patients, desperate for medical attention, that create a lasting impression about the state of modern health care in America.

This can’t be ramped up, taken to the ultimate level? It’s socialism, brothers and sisters, the only way forward. Forget the hate that the right and the middle of the road have against socialism. They will ply the words of “one world government.” Or, the “government controlling us.” They will talk about Universal Basic Income. They will say it is brainwashing, and communism, and, well, that socialism means all rights are taken, managed, given to and taken away by some master groups of dictators. So we are dead in the water with capitalism by any means necessary: predatory, parasitic, casino, dog-eat-dog, shock therapy, zombie, trickle down nothingness.

That is, you know, vaccine passport, no. But, there is no Forced Healthcare for All. No, Massive Take Over the Empty Lots and Buildings for Massive Rehousing. No guerrilla farming everywhere. Nothing. Because, well, Capitalism is All about “We are all champions. We are all the New Eve and Adam. You can rest assured that the masters will NOT take care of you, but at least you have the stars and bars, god almighty, baby-land.”

This exceptionalism is what has detroyed many in the 80 percent. Many. They will work and think and do things against their own well-being. When you are a lost dog in this country, a limping stray, a hungry desperate pooch, well, you will jump to the master, run for the beasts of slapping, kicking, yelling, and hitting. Under the table, curled up, belly and organs exposed as its tail is between the legs.

Heartbroken Senior Dog Cowering At A Shelter Just Wants To Be Loved
Inflamed — Moreover, they point out how modern medicine has often missed these necessary connections—to our global detriment. What is needed is “deep medicine,” which, according to the authors, “requires new cosmologies, ones that can braid our lives with the planet and the web of life around us.”
 
Rupa Marya and Raj Patel spoke to YES! about the ravages of colonialist capitalism, the failures of modern medicine to treat them, and, most importantly, how a “deep medicine” approach can heal us all.
 
*This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
 
Sonali Kolhatkar: Is the title of the book, Inflamed, a metaphor for what is happening to our planet and its living systems?
 
Rupa Marya: It’s not at all a metaphor. It’s a description of what’s happening inside of our bodies and around us on the planet and our societies. The inflammatory response is the body’s ancient evolutionarily conserved pathway to restoring its optimal working condition when it’s been thrown off by danger or damage or the threat of damage. (Source, Yes Magazine)
 
No jobs, no good jobs, decayed systems, penalties, bad credit, criminal offenses, drugs, booze, and bodies torn at a very young age with multiple chronic diseases, many many diseases.
 
https://youtu.be/YrEwPp2bG48
 
This is the system that the beautiful people in the sciences, in technology, in the Reset Star Chamber, all of those hoarding money and the opportunities have set loose, and these fascists want these people — us, we the people — on UBI, held as data pools — body snatchers, mind snatchers, attention snatchers, activity snatchers, all part of mining people, putting us, them, the 80 percent, in the cloud, in algorithms, in data banks, all mashed up for social impact — do as we say, follow what we command, eat-drink-think like we say, and you will get the tokens, man, the money, the slice of a 200-square-foot-per-person habitat. No pets allowed.
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