Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hydra Painting

From a collection of fairy tales illustrated by two artists, Gordiychuk and Galinskaya.

- source

James C. Christensen

- source

The Many Faces of Palestine

3P-057 Show Information (includes MP3 download link) to the 57th episode of Third Paradigm, entitled "The Many Faces of Palestine." Last week, my family and I watched a film called "Occupied Minds." It tells the story of two journalist-friends who live in San Francisco. Both are originally from Jerusalem but one is Palestinian and one is Israeli. 

They go back together and interview a number of people, including a militant leader of Zionist settlers, a militant young Palestinian, an Israeli soldier for truth, a young woman changing Palestinians self-perception as victims, an Israeli mother whose son had been killed as a soldier, a Palestinian farmer walled off from his land, and an Israeli surgeon half-blinded by a suicide bomber.

The Israeli mother writes a letter to the General asking him to look her in the eye and tell her that her son died for a good cause. Getting no response, she ends up becoming an advocate, helping sick and injured Palestinian children get medical care. Jamal, the Palestinian journalist, asks why, for other Jews, their history of victimization doesn't make them more sympathetic to the Palestinians. She compares it to a child who sees their mother beaten, but grows up to beat their own wife. She also says that being a victim doesn't make someone good. 

The Jews killed in the holocaust weren't all good. People aren't good or bad, she says, they're just victims; that's what she focuses on.
In a rare interview, the militant Palestinian tells of his early work for Israeli-Palestinian peace, love, and understanding. In Jenin, he led youth groups and held co-religious workshops, brunches, and dialogues. But on the day that Jenin was attacked, none of his Israeli friends even called. Those who his mother had cooked for suddenly didn't know him. At that point he realized that words meant nothing. He holds his six-month-old baby and hopes that true dialogue would be possible in his era.

The interview with the injured Israeli surgeon was the first he'd ever given. He talked about the suicide bomber who blinded him – a girl standing in line ahead of him at the store that day, only 22-years old with all of life ahead of her. The Palestinian journalist pressed him to compare her to the Israeli soldiers, who kill for a cause they wouldn't die for, and ask what would motivate someone to take their own life. The surgeon took his point but felt that some things were beyond forgiveness. Yet the film ends with his statement that he envisioned some day when both sides would be able to laugh and dance together.

Let's pause for three poems from Palestine. These are by Mahmoud Darwish, Ibrahim Nasrallah and Hiyam Noir. These are dark poems – not as graphic as images or videos, but hard-hitting nonetheless. Hiyam Noir's blog, Palestine Free Voice, quotes from Kahlil Gibran, "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most worthy characters are seared with scars." The music is Djivan Gasparyan, "I Have Planted an Orchard in Yerevan".

Photo Fady Adwan/PalestineFreeVoice Images

I Am There

I come from there and remember,
I was born like everyone is born, I have a mother
and a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends and a prison.
I have a wave that sea-gulls snatched away.
I have a view of my own and an extra blade of grass.
I have a moon past the peak of words.
I have the godsent food of birds and an olive tree beyond the kent of time.
I have traversed the land before swords turned bodies into banquets.
I come from there, I return the sky to its mother when for its mother the
sky cries, and I weep for a returning cloud to know me.
I have learned the words of blood-stained courts in order to break the rules.
I have learned and dismantled all the words to construct a single one:

Mahmoud Darwish ~

* * * * * * * *

Photo Fady Adwan/PalestineFreeVoice Images

A Beautiful Morning

A beautiful morning is one that passes and I am not killed. A city street following the sun at sunset is obstructed by a roadblock and soldiers. Another street runs after her and never returns.

A beautiful morning...
On the road I embrace an old woman's sadness and woo her. Yesterday laughs inside her as she whispers: Am I still youthful? Then she smiles and prays for me.
I ruffle the hair of a small boy selling newspapers and ask: Anything new? Like every other morning he hands me the chronicles of thirty years and a thousand moons. He argues with me, then goes away shouting: Newspapers. The inspectors kill him, but it is his habit to return to the streets selling newspapers the following morning.
A beautiful morning...
At the abyss of long waiting I slip into a restaurant on a side street and turn my eyes to the faces of passersby and as I lean back in my metal chair the fear of her not showing up gnaws at me. With my last bite of bread she surprises me briefly in the face of an excited young woman, but I realize the difference between them. At the abyss of waiting the road branches out in my body and traffic lights blink on and off. Many people cross but no one is here.
Her sorrow makes her come at last and like a flower she bids me good evening. I say: You are late. - You know the wide streets are clogged with security points. We walk together with her hand in mine. She permeates the pores of my flesh. The street becomes noisy: Soldiers, soldiers! They surround me and shoot at my forehead, then read out my rights! I am left in her arms like a corpse on an open road. A beautiful morning...
Tomorrow, when the sun touches my forehead, I will ruffle the hair of a young boy and like every other morning he will hand me the chronicles of thirty years and a thousand moons and together we will sell his wares.My beloved will pass buy the daily paper for me.She will ruffle my hair and like the seasonal trees go to her appointment.

A beautiful morning...

Ibrahim Nasrallah ~
From Rain Inside

* * * * * * * *
In the Toxic Garden
those dead uncountable

The impossibilities
of my dreams
did not discourage me
from continuing to believe
so I am returning

as in my worst nightmares
I entered the toxic garden
surrounded by dirt-yellow walls

I could feel I could smell
the sinister presence
of the predators

the brand of human beings
who are mindless brutes
self-hating socio-paths

whose only language
divulges in deception
their hard fists
and killer machines

their language
have wallowed
in consuming
and humiliating
this very Holy
godforsaken place

I entered the lines
in a secret revenge
to erase those forces
who is trying to erase
the entire existence
of my people

I have been taught
to stay confident calm
not to move my face

in my new face
the stitches are gone
healed are the scars

my eyes cold observes
fearless I use caution
and maintain in silence

empty streets are littered
with remnants of lives
invisible remnants of lives

lives transformed
into tiny molecules

left from the predators
toxic uncollected trash
and human feces

traces of INN and MDMA*
in small plastic"5"bags
shattered every where
still remain as a reminder
of their unwanted presence

preying eyes behind glass
of broken windows
gaping holes in walls
from missiles fired

missiles made to explode
into human flesh and bones
into the brain and heart
of the Palestinian resistance.

Gaza 2005
~ Hiyam Noir ~
From Poetry4Palestine
The music was Djivan Gasparyan, "I Have Planted an Orchard in Yerevan" from his Apricots in Eden CD. Djivan is an Armenian master of the dudek, a wooden wind instrument like a flute. Thank you for to David Anton Savage, who does the Middle Eastern music program Unfiltered Camels, for recommending him.

The poems were "I Am There" by Mahmoud Darwish, "A Beautiful Morning" by Ibrahim Nasrallah and "In the Toxic Garden" by Hiyam Noir.

"A Beautiful Morning" is from a collection called Rain Inside: Poems by Ibrahim Nasrallah, translated by Omnia Amin and Rick London. It's is a very cinematic poem – I keep seeing it in scenes and camera angles. In 2006, Ibrahim republished a 1984 collection of poetry called Anemone Regains Its Colour. It was suddenly banned in Jordan, being seen as referring to Black September, which he had lived through at sixteen. He faced charges of insulting the state, inciting dissent, and reporting inaccurate information to future generations.

In an interview with The Guardian, Ibrahim commented on the charge, saying: "I was completely shocked, I did not know how to respond... I was confused and angry and also afraid." Due to pressure from other Arabic writers, the charges were eventually dropped. But Ibrahim says he always expects trouble, because Muslim writers face a trinity of taboos – sex, religion, and politics.

I first heard of Mahmoud Darwish on Democracy Now, just after his death in 2008. Besides being the Poet Laureate of Palestine, his poetry and prose transcend issues of place and time, and include tragedies of other indigenous people, including Native Americans. In an interview in Jean-Luc Godard's film, Notre Musique, Mahmoud says,
"Truth has two faces. We've listened to the Greek mythology, and at times we've heard the Trojan victim speak through the mouth of the Greek Euripedes. As for me, I'm looking for the poet of Troy, because Troy didn't tell its story. And I wonder, does a land that has great poets have the right to control a people that has no poets? And is the lack of poetry amongst a people enough reason to justify its defeat? Is poetry a sign, or is it an instrument of power? Can a people be strong without having its own poetry? I was a child of a people that had not been recognized until then. And I wanted to speak in the name of the absentee, in the name of the Trojan poet. There's more inspiration and humanity in defeat than there is in victory. If I belonged to the victor's camp, I'd demonstrate my support for the victims."
Another world-renowned voice for the silenced has died – Howard Zinn, who changed the game we call history forever. He changed it from a polite private club sport, like golf or badminton, to a gladiator event with the ruling class in the center ring. Bring on the lions!
In The Optimism of Uncertainty Howard writes:"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. 
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
Let's break for a song by the Scottish musician Dougie MacLean called Turning Away.

That was Dougie MacLean with a song called Turning Away. It says,
"There's a well upon the hill from our ancient past,
where an age is standing still, holding strong and fast.
And there's those that try to tame it and to carve it into stone, Ah, but words cannot extinguish it however hard they're thrown."'ve been dipping into my own well of the past with a radio show called History Counts. So far, I've downloaded my way back to 2007 of this excellent monthly series. Ken McDermottRoe does in-depth interviews of authors who've challenged the conventional view of people and events. 

Ken's thorough understanding of the topics is reflected in his questions, which set the authors up to explain their finer points.

He includes many of my favorite topics – Michael Parenti on Julius Caesar, John Taylor Gatto on Dumbing Us Down, and James Loewen with Lies Our Teachers Tell Us.

I'd just brought out Loewen's book from my library to see if memory served that Haiti was Christopher Colombus' first exploit. Indeed, it was. He enacted genocide on over a million Arawaks by cutting off their hands if they didn't bring their quarterly quota of gold dust or cotton. Haiti therefore signifies the beginning of slavery in the European's so-called new world, and the beginning of its end with the Haitian revolution. With luck, the earthquake may shake off the last chains of neo-colonialism, ushering in a new phase for Latin America.
[History Counts – Assault on the U.S.S. Liberty part 3/3]

Most of the books Ken reviews are about things I never heard before – and can't believe I've gone this long without knowing. One is called The Opium Wars, or How the West Hooked China. A Peace to End All Peace is the role of the West in creating the modern Middle East. There's How to Pull Off a Coup. I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here. If you prefer an island theme, the show Plum Island talks about a facility two miles from Long Island used to create bioweapons. Some were against livestock, for the purpose of starving out an enemy, with suspicious evidence that Lyme disease escaped from here. The Creature from Jekyll Island looks at the history of the Federal Reserve. There's one that we can hope crawls back into the swamp. Another one that really intrigued me is called Populism: Not Right, Not Left. In this quote, it describes a third way:
Populists, ancient and modern, believe that a truly democratic government cannot be based on any model in which power is concentrated at the top. Rather, they argue for a decentralized system of government and, equally important, a decentralized monetary and economic system which leaves real power with individual citizens.
So I guess the third paradigm has been around at least since ancient Greece. I'll be looking for the book by Adrian Kuzminski, called Fixing the System, A History of Populism, Ancient and Modern. We don't have to reinvent the democratic wheel to make it round. Viva la history!

But back to our poems for Palestine. I was surprised to discover that the hardest-hitting poet, Hiyam Noir, is a beautiful woman. I had pictured the author as grizzled and sinewy. Her blogs are Palestine Free Voice and Poetry4Palestine. The latter has one softer poem telling of a man watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon. After several hours of watching it struggle, the man takes a pair of scissors and snips the cocoon. The butterfly emerges easily but with a swollen body and shriveled wings. The struggle of pushing through the opening was needed to force fluids into the wings. Struggle, goes the moral, is God's way of making us strong enough to fly.

The website also has a post on Haiti with two of the most evocative photos I've seen of the earthquake – eerie and surreal, posted on the website.

haitisurreal1 (52K)
haitisurreal2 (35K)
Photo Zoriah in Courtesy to PalestineFreeVoice

I've been thinking about the comparison between Haiti and Palestine. Haiti defeated three imperial armies to win their independence. If they'd marched in the streets and practiced nonviolent resistance, would it have shamed France into freeing them? I don't think so. France wasn't ashamed to still punish them for winning by collecting five generations of debt servitude as their blood price.

Can Israel be shamed into freeing Palestinians? A Counterpunch article by Jonathon Cook looks at how it treats its own Jewish Holocaust survivors. He investigates the potentially billions of dollars that Israeli banks, companies, and state bodies may have withheld from the families of Holocaust victims. In the pre-war era, European Jews invested heavily in British-ruled Palestine, opening bank accounts and buying land, shares, and insurance policies. During the war, Britain seized them as enemy property because the owners were living under Nazi rule. In 1950, Britain paid the new state of Israel $1.4 million to make reparations to Holocaust survivors. But little effort was made to find them. After the war many Israelis showed little sympathy for the European Jewish refugees who arrived in Israel. An Israeli investigative journalist said, "David Ben Gurion notoriously called them 'human dust', and I remember as children we referred to them as sabonim, the Hebrew word for soap. In fact, I can't think of any place in the world where [Holocaust] survivors are as badly treated as they are in Israel."

Their lost assets included some of the most desirable real estate in Israel. In the 1950's, the finance ministry destroyed its real estate files, apparently to conceal the extent of the state's holding of Holocaust assets. Welfare organizations say that 250,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, with a third in abject poverty. If this is how Israel treats those whose victimization it hides behind, what chance do Palestinians have? A Radio Islam article describes how Israel is also behind the holocaust in the Congo, which has taken six to ten million lives, through a web of faith-based diamond czars, off-shore tax havens, and "security forces" for ruthless dictators in exchange for mineral monopolies.
All this leads me to agree with Hiyam Noir, who says: "A people under siege by an illegal occupier, are entitled in international law to take up arms against the oppressor. NOBODY have the right to interfere and deny the Palestinian people it's right to self defense."

And I agree with a project called Face2Face, which took silly close-ups of Israelis and Palestinians, made them billboard size and plastered them together in public places. The perpetrators, who work for Israeli and Palestinian NGO's, say, "These people look just the same, like twin brothers separated at birth. So why are they fighting?"
israelpalestinefaces1 (33K)
israelpalestinefaces2 (35K)
Bethlehem, Palestine
GILLES, Israeli ONG: Life is worth being lived only if we struggle to make tomorrow's world better than today's world. We must be utopian. That's how the world progresses.
ISHTAR, Palestinian ONG: Do what your first feeling tells you to do.
Ken MacDermotRoe
For Third Paradigm, 

Tereza Coraggio

Thanks to Skidmark Bob for sound production, and to Mike Scirocco for all things web.

Thanks to Ernest Gusella for the Jonathan Cook article, to Ken MacDermott Roe of History Counts, and to David Anton Savage of Unfiltered Camels.

Thanks also to the poets and bloggers quoted, and to the unknown photographers.
Our closing song is "Mars Declares" by Makana. 

Although we couldn't find a video of the song, you might enjoy Makana's video for his CD Different Game, from which "Mars Declares" comes. I'm looking forward to buying it myself.
[Makana – Different Game]
Thank you for reading and listening.

© PalestineFreeVoice Copyright reserved 2003 - 2011
Intellectual Rights Retained

A New Capture of a Mossad Agent in Lebanon

By Kawther Salam • Jun 29th, 2010 at 23:24

Lebanese security arrested a newly uncovered Mossad agent (Charbel Q.) who had a sensitive post at “Alpha”, the Lebanese telecommunications sector company. The Lebanese authorities described the capture of the new Mossad agent as a big catch saying that we are in the vanguard of uncovering a very precious treasure in terms of the services and information which was provided during the past 14 years to the Israelis and the Mossad, including information that helped the Israeli army to identify their targets during the criminal war of 2006.

Another Hollandese Mossad agent, Anneke Potter, served as executive director of the “Alpha” company. She escaped from Lebanon at the end of 2007 just a few hours before the implementation of the arrest warrant against her.

Mr. Charbel Q. was born in 1954 in Alma- Al-Shouf. In details revealed about the arrest of this Lebanese Mossad agent, the directorate of the intelligence of the Lebanese army, proceeding on preliminary information about him, monitored him and collected evidence about his collaborating with the Mossad, and Israel. In coordination between the intelligence assessment, the Attorney General and the Lebanese army commander, General Jean Kahwagi, decided to capture the spy (Charbel Q.). The spy (Charbel Q.) admitted his collaboration with Mossad and Israel since 1996.

On Friday June 25 2010, the Lebanese Attorney General authorized the directorates of intelligence in the army to raid the building of "Alpha" company in the “Cheveroleh” in “Furn Al-Shabak”. They confiscated the computer of Charbel, some documents which were found in his office and other communication equipment which was found with him.

The preliminary investigations showed that Charbel Q. enabled the Israeli enemy to enter the Cellular Communications Network and in wire-tapping and monitoring the people who they wanted to spy on during the July criminal war of 2006. Alpha Communications services was able to determine the whereabouts of any person carried on its communications lines throughout all of Lebanese territory, as well as giving access to the names, numbers, addresses, and biographies of the people. Charbel Q. allowed the Israelis access to all these services during the past 14 years.

“Charbel Q.” was responsible for a particular section of the company (BTS). A section that all the communication passes through in the first phase in the company. It controlled more than 650 sending stations in the Lebanese regions and maintains their connections to each other.

The preliminary investigations with Charbel, show that he planted technical equipment in all the stations of the company, through which he provided Israel with the working frequencies which are used in the stations. Through this theft, the Mossad and Israel were able to control all the processes from the cellular company's Alpha. The investigators are trying to find out who “Charbel Q.'s” partners are. They are expecting that his arrest will lead to uncovering new spying network(s).

Kawther Salam is a Palestinian journalist. She had a career of over 20 years working for various newspapers and TV stations in Palestine. She forced to live in the Exile in Vienna since 2002.

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Intellectual Rights Retained

Hamas: Don’t Give In On Shalit

Commentary by Khalid Amayreh
1 July, 2010

The cruel Israeli regime is organizing a fresh campaign to demand the release of one of its occupation soldiers, detained in a secret Gaza location.

The new campaign, publicized by the Jewish-controlled media in Europe and North America, is assuming many expressions, including protests led by the soldier’s family, a propaganda ship organized by the American Jewish followers of the Nazi-minded rabbi Meir Kahana, and a call by happy-go-lucky French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the unconditional release of the Israeli soldier.

This is the same Sarkozy who kept silent during the murderous Israeli onslaught against the defenseless people of Gaza eighteen months ago. He is now invoking humanitarianism and charity as if the thousands of Gaza children, men and women, annihilated or maimed by the Israeli army were non-humans.

It is true that Gilad Shalit is not being accorded a five-star treatment. But this is not due to any presumed sadistic urges on Hamas’s part to torment the young soldier who is likely to have the blood of many children on his hand.

In Israel, it is difficult to find an adult Israeli male whose hands have not been stained with Palestinian blood. After all, Israel is a society of murderers and child-killers. It is a society whose members Zionism has transformed into racists, cannibals and Nazi-minded murderers and child killers.

Indeed, were it not for the fact that Israel has been making constant and meticulous efforts to discover his whereabouts and liberate him by force, there is no doubt that Hamas would allow the International Commission of the Red Cross, even his family, to visit him.

But Israel, a country that murders peace activists on high seas and then calls the cold-blooded murder “armed confrontations with terrorists,” can’t be trusted.

Palestinians have had a long and bitter experience with Israeli treachery. This is why Hamas can’t allow itself to make the slightest risk in this regard. Yes, one might sympathize with Shalit at a certain human level. However, Shalit is only one person while the entire Palestinian people are held hostage by an evil regime that can only be compared with history’s worst.

There are, of course, other aspects to this sensitive issue. Israel detains thousands of Palestinian political and resistance prisoners in its dungeons. And as the recently-freed Palestinian Islamic leader Sheikh Nayef Rajoub revealed, many of these prisoners are being subjected to Medieval savagery at the hands of those claiming to be “a light upon the nations.”

For those who have forgotten, Shalit was taken prisoner in battlefield. Moreover, had Israel succeeded in carrying out a rescue operation, he would have most likely got killed.

This is probably the endgame that Israel wishes for its imprisoned soldier. A dead Shalit would be a Hasbara bonanza for the Zionist propaganda machine. On the one hand, it would allow Israel to torture and kill more Palestinian political prisoners (several Palestinian prisoners died recently due to torture, medical negligence and other causes). It would also absolve Israel from freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as demanded by Hamas and insisted by the vast bulk of the Palestinian masses, irrespective of their political orientation.

To be sure, Hamas had been negotiating in good faith with Israel, hoping to reach a dignified breakthrough that would see the repatriation of Shalit to his family in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian detainees to their families. That would be a win-win formula for everyone.

However, the Israeli government consistently and arrogantly rejected this logical proposal, making racist arguments which even the leaders and ideologues of the Third Reich didn’t dare to make.

For example, Israeli leaders routinely invoke the mendacious canard that the Judeo-Nazi state cannot free prisoners who have Jewish blood on their hands. Well, what about the thousands or tens thousands of Israelis who have Palestinian, Lebanese and now Turkish blood on their hands? Is non-Jewish blood less red than Jewish blood?

Israel doesn’t dare indulge in a genuine argument in this regard. The reason is simple. Israel views the blood and lives of non-Jews as insignificant, at least in comparison to Jewish blood and Jewish lives. Just try to have a brief conversation with a rabbi and you will be more than shocked hearing what he will be saying in this regard.

In any case, Hamas must not show the slightest sign of fatigue vis-à-vis Israel because the lives and freedom of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are at stake. Hamas has been successfully managing this Shalit affair for over three years. Israel committed untold massacres and has been imposing a manifestly criminal siege on 1.7 million human beings, in the hope of creating a crack in Hamas’s wall of steadfastness. But neither Israeli pressure, nor western conspiracy, nor Arab collusion and Palestinian Authority treachery, have succeeded in pressurizing Hamas to give in or give up.

In the final analysis, Hamas has a huge moral responsibility toward thousands of Palestinian families whose children are languishing in Israeli concentration camps and dungeons.

Needless to say, these people have spent the prime of their lives in Israeli prisons so that their people will be able to live in dignity and in order to maintain the hope for freedom and liberation from evil Zionism.

Hence, we must not hesitate to proclaim and reassert the Palestinian position in this regard, namely that Shalit must stay behind bars as long as Israel insists on keeping our men, and women and children behind bars.

This position may not be popular in New York and Paris. But why show the slightest concern about what Paris and New York think in the firs place. They have always been and continue to be our direct or indirect tormentors. Our responsibility is first and foremost toward these tortured Palestinian prisoners and their suffering families who have kept our national just cause alive.

In a nutshell, our prisoners are not children of a lesser God.



Editors comment:

An anti-Sarkozy "Wanted" poster casting Sarkozy as "Sarkoleon Bonapartheid" saying; Be careful.
Despite his nice looks, this is a dangerous individual. Do not vote for him!

The " happy-go-lucky French President Nicolas Sarkozy" is of Sephardic Jew descent. Sarkozy's dealings with Israel should be a cause for concern, not only for Palestinians but for the world.
Hiyam Noir


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holy Spirit, Mental Illness Linked

Some get it. Some don't.

Paul of Tarsus was hung over and had been smoking opium when he was overcome with it. Joseph Smith was 18, drunkenly praying that God would forgive him for sins of debauchery when he got it. Metanoia, visions, angels, the Holy Spirit--God's work on Earth, Right?

Maybe it's all in your head.

NPR's religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, went looking for the "God Spot," that place in the human brain that receives the Holy Spirit then compiled her results in a book she called "The Fingerprints of God" where she describes Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with a scientist's fascination in exquisite detail.

In July of 1997, two and a half years after my younger sister was killed in a car/bicycle accident (she was on the bike), I was drowning my sorrows on the beach at Orman Dam.
The full moon nuzzled Bear Butte as a thunderstorm erupting on the western horizon directed the remnants of sunset at the Hills; slashes of fire, then blood splashed the mirror in the south. My sister, out there dancing with Terry Peak in that crescendo of existence-or-not-epiphania said to me, “I am Living Rock, I am Water. All Life begins here.”

So hey! Call me crazy. I got it, too!

The Conservatives: Tough On Wisdom, Tough on the Causes of Wisdom

Tories scrap mandatory long-form census W. T. F. ???!!! I coined that "tough on wisdom" line in a Macleans comment* a while back, but even I...well, there's always a new hitherto unimaginably pig-ignorant low for the Harperites, I suppose. Final straw. CPC must be defeated. ASAP.
Insiders who spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity decry a new world order within the agency since the Conservatives came to power in 2006 and legendary chief statistician Ivan Fellegi retired.

Employees were told a little over a year ago that there would be less emphasis on analysis. A highly praised survey on immigrants to Canada, for example, has been axed. Other analytical jobs, in areas such as business and trade statistics, and the aging population, have been eliminated.

Some employees say the agency will lose its status as the best statistical office in the world.

One Statistics Canada source said the move could have a negative impact on the dozens of provincial governments, community groups and other organizations that depend on the data for developing policy.

“It will be a disaster. A lot of policy across Canada has been based on that long form,” the source said.
*EFL re. Shelly Glover & Cons 31/03/10:
If she was going to say these things, she could at least have had the wit to claim we Liberals "have the prison inmate vote locked up". Or that Dion lost because "he couldn't get prison inmates out to vote".

I'm sorry to learn, pace Teneycke, that numbers are in the tank for the Liberals. Also statistics. And empirical evidence.

But luckily, the Cons have locked up these dangerous offenders. "The Conservatives, tough on wisdom, tough on the causes of wisdom."

Join Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20

Join here: Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20. Info reproduced below. Good initiative. I'll only add that with time and further information, I suspect a certain paradox will appear. The G20 organisation and security was bad and unjustifiable, wasteful and badly abusive of basic rights and liberties, AND ALSO, completely understandable. Understandable doesn't mean excusable, it isn't and wasn't. I've never believed in that "comprendre c'est aimer" thing. Comprendre, c'est comprendre, c'est tout. Aimer, c'est aimer, même si on comprend ou on ne comprend pas. But as we get a fuller picture from all sides, it will be clear there is no way any decent fairminded person can excuse the waste and abuses. A fuller picture will, at the same time, paradoxically, make it clear that given the circumstances, it is all very understandable and human. Wrong, bad, must be condemned, and lessons learnt to forestall future rights abuses and waste. But understandable. Let's get authorities to admit they were wrong in a lot of ways and did bad unjustifiable things, first, then, and only then, will fairminded also admit that the authorities' actions were understandable. Wrong, unjustifiable, but understandable. Paradoxical, I know, but true.

As an aside, G20 will probably push some centre-left from McGuinty to NDP, winning NDP seats in metro Toronto, and increased NDP will help PCs steal some seats from LPO elsewhere. Means increased chance of minority, next time. Harperwise, will motivate both pro- and anti-Harperites. A wash? 2/3 anti-Harper, a supposed wash of increased motivation actually works against him more than for him, despite CPC demographic targetting. More informal and formal cooperation to avoid vote-splitting than ever, and more coordinated formal/informal anti-Harper counter-propaganda.
Canadians Demanding a Public Inquiry into Toronto G20
A public inquiry is an official review, ordered by government, of important public events or issues. Its purpose is to establish the facts and causes of an event or issue, and then to make recommendations to the government. All levels of government (federal, provincial, and territorial) have the power to call public inquiries.

Several issues have been raised this weekend: Consultation with the City of Toronto and it's citizens, Security build up, the Fence, the treatment of Toronto's homeless, mass damage, no relief fund for shop owners, innocent people and journalists detained, detainee conditions and much more.

This is something that police say we have "never faced in Canada." We agree! Let's learn from this weekend instead of trying to ignore it.

To every story there are many sides, and then there is the truth. Lets get as close to the truth as we can so that protesters, police and politicians a like can answer to the weekends events.

The United States of North America

The United States Constitution is the finest instrument ever created by the human hand. The Preamble is the body, the Bill of Rights is the neck, the Amendments are the strings. It is a fluid universal execution of human and civil rights.

It's time for all Americans to enjoy the protection of law by being part of one nation: erase the artificial borders and grant Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness to all the people of North America...Mexico, Central America, Canada, even the Caribbean if they'll have us.

ip is not a New World Order guy, does not support the North American Union (god bless you please, Mr. Roddenberry) and believes that the US Constitution is a big enough canvas in order to paint a more perfect masterpiece, a big enough score for all to sing. No violence. No more drug wars.

Let's debate it and draft a dream referendum to be delivered by and for the people.

Christ announces He smokes medical marijuana at legislative hearing

From the Helena Independent Record:

"Christ, who is also a medical-marijuana patient, encouraged lawmakers to tread lightly into stiffer regulations, even as he said more government involvement is needed in the industry.

“It’s going to take an army of people to regulate this,” he said.

Christ, who said he has two intestinal disorders that make sitting down uncomfortable, particularly praised Montana’s law that allows medical-marijuana users to smoke in public.

“After this speech, I am going to go outside and smoke a bowl,” he told the panel.

Shortly after, he produced a large, glass pipe and left to do just that."

Lieberman’s “Peace" Plan: Strip Palestinians of Citizenship Blueprint Requires Pure Jewish State

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

29 June 2010

Jonathan Cook reports on Israel’s Moldovan bouncer-cum-Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman’s so-called “peace plan”, which entails stripping Israel’s Arab citizens of their citizenship and expelling them from the country.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, set out last week what he called a “blueprint for a resolution to the conflict” with the Palestinians that demands most of the country’s large Palestinian minority be stripped of citizenship and relocated outside Israel’s future borders.

Blackmailing the international community

Warning Israel faced growing diplomatic pressure for a full withdrawal to the Green Line, the pre-1967 border, Mr Lieberman said that, if such a partition were implemented, “the conflict will inevitably pass beyond those borders and into Israel”.

He accused many of Israel’s 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of acting against Israel while their leaders “actively assist those who want to destroy the Jewish state”.

Mr Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party campaigned in last year’s elections on a platform of “No loyalty, no citizenship” and has proposed a raft of loyalty laws over the past year targeted at the Palestinian minority.

True peace, the foreign minister claimed, would come only with land swaps, or “an exchange of populated territories to create two largely homogeneous states, one Jewish Israeli and the other Arab Palestinian”. He added that under his plan “those Arabs who were in Israel will now receive Palestinian citizenship”.

Unusually, Mr Lieberman, who is also deputy prime minister, offered his plan in a commentary for the English-language Jerusalem Post daily newspaper, apparently in an attempt to make maximum impact on the international community.

Making room for Jewish squatters

He has spoken repeatedly in the past about drawing the borders in a way to forcibly exchange Palestinian communities in Israel for the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

But under orders from Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, he has kept a relatively low profile on the conflict’s larger issues since his controversial appointment to head the Foreign Ministry more than a year ago.

In early 2009, Mr Lieberman, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Nokdim, upset his own supporters by advocating the creation of “a viable Palestinian state”, though he has remained unclear about what it would require in practice.

Mr Lieberman’s revival of his “population transfer” plan – an idea he unveiled six years ago – comes as the Israeli leadership has understood that it is “isolated like never before”, according to Michael Warschawski, an Israeli analyst.

International isolation

Mr Netanyahu’s government has all but stopped paying lip service to US-sponsored “proximity talks” with the Palestinians after outraging global public opinion with attacks on Gaza 18 months ago and on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla four weeks ago in which nine peace activists were killed.

Israel’s relations with the international community are likely to deteriorate further in late summer when a 10-month partial freeze on settlement expansion in the West Bank expires. Last week, Mr Netanyahu refused to answer questions about the freeze, after a vote by his Likud party’s central committee to support renewed settlement building from late September.

Other looming diplomatic headaches for Israel are the return of the Goldstone report, which suggested Israel committed war crimes in its attack on Gaza, to the United Nations General Assembly in late July, and Turkey’s adoption of the rotating presidency of the Security Council in September.

Worms turning in the can

Mr Warschawski, a founder of the Alternative Information Centre, a joint Israeli-Palestinian advocacy group, said that, faced with these crises, Israel’s political elite had split into two camps.

Most, including Mr Lieberman, believed Israel should “push ahead” with its unilateral policies towards the Palestinians and refuse to engage in a peace process regardless of the likely international repercussions.

“Israel’s ruling elite knows that the only solution to the conflict acceptable to the international community is an end to the occupation along the lines of the Clinton parameters,” he said, referring to the two-state solution promoted by former US president Bill Clinton in late 2000.

“None of them, not even Ehud Barak [the defence minister and head of the centrist Labour Party], are ready to accept this as the basis for negotiations.”

On the other hand, Tzipi Livni, the head of the centre-right opposition Kadima party, Mr Warschawski said, wanted to damp down the international backlash by engaging in direct negotiations with the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank under Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Lieberman’s commentary came a day after he told Ms Livni that she could join the government only if she accepted “the principle of trading territory and population as the solution to the Palestinian issue, and give up the principle of land for peace”.

Mr Lieberman is reportedly concerned that Mr Netanyahu might seek to bring Ms Livni into a national unity government to placate the US and prop up the legitimacy of his coalition.

The Labour Party has threatened to quit the government if Kadima does not join by the end of September, and Ms Livni is reported to want the Foreign Ministry.

Mr Lieberman’s position is further threatened by a series of corruption investigations.

However, he also appears keen to take the initiative from both Washington and Ms Livni with his own “peace plan”. An unnamed aide to Mr Lieberman told the Jerusalem Post that, with a vacuum in the diplomatic process, the foreign minister “thinks he can convince the government to adopt the plan”.

Undermining Israel’s Arab citizens

However, Mr Warschawski said there were few indications that Mr Netanyahu wanted to be involved in any peace process, even Mr Lieberman’s.

Last week Uzi Arad, the government’s shadowy national security adviser and a long-time confidant of Mr Netanyahu, made a rare public statement at a meeting of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem to attack Ms Livni for “political adventurism” and believing in the “magic” of a two-state solution.

Apparently reflecting Mr Netanyahu’s own thinking, he said: “The more you market Palestinian legitimacy, the more you bring about a detraction of Israel’s legitimacy in certain circles. [The Palestinians] are accumulating legitimacy, and we are being delegitimized.”

Mr Warschawski doubted that Mr Lieberman believed his blueprint for population exchanges could be implemented but was promoting it chiefly to further damage the standing of Israel’s Palestinian citizens and advance his own political ambitions.

In his commentary, Mr Lieberman said the international community’s peace plan would lead to “the one-and-a-half to half state solution”: “a homogeneous, pure Palestinian state”, from which Jewish settlers were expelled, and “a binational state in Israel”, which included many Palestinian citizens.

Palestinians, in both the territories and inside Israel, he said, could not “continue to incite against Israel, glorify murder, stigmatize Israel in international forums, boycott Israeli goods and mount legal offensives against Israeli officials”.

International law, he added, sanctioned the partition of territory in which ethnic communities were broken up into different states, including in the case of the former Yugoslavia. “In most cases there is no physical population transfer or the demolition of houses, but creating a border where none existed, according to demographics,” he wrote.

Surveys have shown that Palestinian citizens are overwhelming opposed to “population transfer” schemes like Mr Lieberman’s.

Critics note that Mr Lieberman has failed to show how the many Palestinian communities inside Israel that are located far from the Green Line could be incorporated into a Palestinian state without expulsions.

Legal experts also point out that, even if Israel managed to trade territory as part of a peace agreement, stripping Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship as a result of such a deal would violate international law.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is

A version of this article originally appeared in The National, published in Abu Dhabi. The version on this website is published by permission of Jonathan Cook.

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Intellectual Rights Retained

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spies in the USA, sure, but it doesn't happen here, of course...

Fadden, Solberg and every expert wrong, Obhrai surely right, such things unheard of in Canada. Those nasty foreign governments only try to infiltrate the USA, they like Canada too much to try that here. Besides, what do we have that they'd want, other than 1st class technology, economy and deep links to USA, UK, NATO, etc...
Colin Freeze:
Massive Russian spy operation busted in US. 10 arrested. SVR illegals.

Their job? Shaping US policies.I wonder if Canada ever is targeted similarly ... If only someone would speak out about the problem ... ;)

RT @dangerroom Alleged Russian spies arrested in... Montclair, New Jersey!??!

"Their job, according to the court papers in the case, was ''to search and develop ties in policymaking circles'' -- NYT.

NYT: "Secret Russian agents assigned to live as married couples in the United States, even having children to further their cover....

...Spies swapping identical bags as they pass each other in a stairwell. Invisible writing and codes. Money caches buried for years..."

Russian spies allegedly posed as Canadians to Infiltrate the United States.

The McMurtry Precedent: Cops vs. Rosenfeld = Flyers vs. Salming

Remember this and consequences: "Ontario Attorney General Roy McMurtry steps in and charges Mel Bridgman for assaulting Salming". Surely we can expect at least as much justice for journalists and innocents as for hockey players. Paikin describes cops become "Broad Street Bullies" here and below:
i saw police brutality tonight. it was unnecessary. they asked me to leave the site or they would arrest me. i told them i was dong my job. they repeated they would arrest me if i didn't leave. as i was escorted away from the demonstration, i saw two officers hold a journalist. the journalist identified himself as working for "the guardian." he talked too much and pissed the police off. two officers held him....a third punched him in the stomach. totally unnecessary. the man collapsed. then the third officer drove his elbow into the man's back. no cameras recorded the assault. and it was an assault. the officer who escorted me away from the demo said, "yeah, that shouldn't have happened." he is correct. there was no cause for it.

Tom Friedman - Yarn Dog

- source

Artist previously mentioned here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

#G20: WTF? #Fakelake Civil Liberties? #Fakelake Democracy?

It's time for plastics to be diverted from US landfills

Packaging, packaging, packaging!

ip has joined the global
boycott of plastics used for packaging, especially of food for commercial sale.

Biomass Magazine:
Estimates suggest 200 billion pounds of plastic is produced every year. Due to the technical limitations or inconvenience of recycling, only a fraction of that material resurfaces in new plastic products. It takes no imagination whatsoever to throw away plastic and doom it to the fate of a thousand years in a landfill, but plastic waste doesn’t just threaten terra firma.

The Pacific Ocean is home of the world’s biggest landfill: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Air and ocean currents form a huge, slow-moving spiral of debris—mostly plastic—accumulated from all corners of the globe through decades. And unlike biological material, plastic doesn’t biodegrade and decompose. Instead, plastic photodegrades, meaning it shatters infinitely into smaller and smaller pieces without actually chemically breaking down. Because of this, the amount of plastic debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch only grows.
The tiny plastic bits, called nurdles or “Mermaid tears,” are reported to outnumber plankton in the vast region six-to-one and are mistaken as food by bottom feeders and other filter feeders, which poses a threat to the entire food chain. The water-bound garbage dump has gotten so large it has split into eastern and western patches. Reports indicate the eastern patch, located between Hawaii and California, is twice as big as the state of Texas.

If the BP calamity leads to the use of the stranded wind that Doug Wiken suggests to convert plastics to fuel in this process, currently being developed in India (incidently still recovering from Union Carbide's crime at Bhopal),

"... a much bigger opportunity obviously shines under the bonnets of cars. And the Zadgaonkars say it’s only a matter of time. “We’ve had a couple of vehicles running on our fuel for the last two years and they’ve been performing just fine,” says Umesh, who points to a list of reasons why their fuel should power your vehicle. “It has all the properties of motor spirit, even better flammability, can be calibrated to meet Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms and vehicle performance improves with use of plastic fuel. It also scores points on the emission front: vehicles run on the plastic fuel have successfully passed PUC tests. "

Shadow Comics Covers - 1940's