Archive | February 1st, 2012

Palestinians need high calibre leaders – urgently

NOVANEWS

By Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood singles out Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas’s recent visit to Britain as another example of his administration’s public relations incompetence and argues: “If Palestinians are to retain worldwide sympathy and support, build additional strength and galvanize the whole movement into action against the corrupt political class, they will have to find leaders of a much higher calibre – and fast.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in London recently.

Did anyone know? Did Western media care?

No. Not until reports appeared that Jewish community leaders cancelled a meeting with him after intervention by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Office and Israel’s embassy in London, and Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi condemned the move as “seeking to suppress and manipulate Jewish public opinion”.

It was also typical of Netanyahu’s “persistent efforts” to prevent dialogue, she said, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

Even then, Western media were not much interested.

The Palestinian London embassy’s “smart new website carries … nothing journalists can get their teeth into. It doesn’t introduce us to Palestinian chiefs and their ‘team’. It offers no strategic briefing material on current events. And, crucially, there is no attempt to set the news agenda.”

I put it to the Palestinian ambassador in London, Professor Manuel Hassassian, that such a blunder by Israel was a gift to any alert Public Relations/Public Affairs team. Why didn’t the Palestinian Authority seize it?

Hassassian denied the Palestinians asked to meet with the Jewish community.

It seems odd that Ashrawi, a shrewd, well respected politician and close colleague of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, could have got it wrong. Or indeed the normally reliable Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which reported that Hassassian himself, together with British diplomats, had pushed for Jewish leaders to meet with Abbas.

Confused? Me too. Whatever the truth, the Palestinian administration is in the habit of missing open goals. It has dumbed right down. The London embassy’s smart new website carries a selection of items from news agencies but nothing journalists can get their teeth into. It doesn’t introduce us to Palestinian chiefs and their “team”. It offers no strategic briefing material on current events. And, crucially, there is no attempt to set the news agenda.

Information the embassy sends direct to people like me is mostly notification of social events and similar “froth”.

After all these years, and with momentous opportunities and threats looming, Ramallah still fails to give a good account of itself. Is that by accident or design?

If it was never Abbas’s intention to meet Jewish community leaders, what exactly did he come to the UK for?

What passes for “success”

The embassy says his “successful visit” included meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. President Abbas also met opposition leader Ed Miliband and other parliamentarians. In addition, he met the archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders to brief them on the ongoing violations of places of worship and the Judaization taking place in East Jerusalem.

Cameron told him:

Obviously, as a friend of Israel and a friend of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, we want to see a strong, democratic, peaceful Israel alongside a strong, democratic and peaceful Palestine. We believe that is achievable, but we can’t achieve it without the two parties coming together and talking and discussing. In the end, this two-state solution can only come about from the two parties talking to each other. We cannot want it more than you want it.

So, we wish you well … and we say that as a friend of Israel but also a very strong friend of the Palestinian people…

To which I understand Abbas replied:

Of course, nothing can be achieved without negotiations … we hope that there will be something tangible as a result of these negotiations.

“Of course, time is of the essence; there must be speed, we must be fast in achieving those things because the settlements and the whole thing will go on – seeing the settlements going on, is going to help everything; it’s what stands in the face of everything at the same time. So, settlements have to stop. Settlements have to stop in order for us to be able to continue our negotiations; to come to some sort of solution and a solution which will encompass the vision of the Palestinian state to come in the future.

I personally know very well that you have a very balanced relationship, be that towards Israel or the Palestinian Authority. This at the same time is of great importance because you could play a political role, so to speak, so that we can find the balance that we all want to seek. We always need your help, sir.

Good grief, is that the best Ramallah’s speech-writers can do? And what was that about Britain’s Israel-firster government having “a very balanced relationship”…?

“Where was Abbas’s concern for Gaza, or isn’t Gaza part of Palestine any more? Doesn’t the blockade of Gaza have to end before Palestinians even think about getting once again embroiled in futile negotiations?”

Where was Abbas’s concern for Gaza, or isn’t Gaza part of Palestine any more? Doesn’t the blockade of Gaza have to end before Palestinians even think about getting once again embroiled in futile negotiations?

The idea, voiced by Zionist Cameron and repeated by Abbas, that nothing can be achieved without negotiation is of course utterly false. There’s no mention – on either side – of international law enforcement and the essential role it must play before any negotiations can be considered fair or honourable.

Hague said after his meeting with Abbas: “I stressed the importance Britain attaches to a secure and universally recognized Israel living alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states, and a fair settlement for refugees.”

Only weeks earlier Hague, a fanatical Israel flag-waver, was preparing to betray the Palestinians by abstaining if their quest for statehood was pushed to a vote at the UN.

More pretty words devoid of meaning were paraded in the archbishop of Canterbury’s press release:

We continue to share the hopes of the Palestinian leadership for a lasting and just peace in the Holy Land, and we pray for the courage on all sides to break the current deadlock. Young people in Israel and in the Palestinian territories long for justice and stability and they must not be let down. We were deeply grateful to President Abbas for taking time to share with us his concerns and aspirations.

The only genuine boost he received was a remark by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, referring to Israel’s illegal settlements:

Once you place physical facts on the ground which make it impossible to deliver what everyone has for years agreed is the ultimate destination, then you do immense damage.

It’s an act of deliberate vandalism to the basic premise upon which negotiations have taken place for years and that is why we have expressed our concerns as a government in increasingly forceful terms.

He prefaced his comments by saying there was “no stronger supporter of Israel than myself as a beacon of democracy in the region”. It’s a sad reflection on the Westminster scene when Clegg, a Liberal Democrat and supposedly possessed of certain principles, feels obliged to say such a silly thing when it’s tantamount to defending the indefensible.

“This dreary ‘grey suit’ of a man might have done better to just meet ordinary people – people like the 40,000 or so displaced Palestinians living in the UK and longing to return, and the numerous activist organizations that devote much time and energy putting across the Palestinian case…”

Didn’t Abbas remind him about Israel’s abduction and imprisonment without trial of the 26 elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including its head, Dr Aziz Dweik? Dweik is reported to have been arrested by Israel three times since 2002 and twice held without formal charges. This wholesale kidnapping of democratically elected officials underlines yet again Israel’s disregard for international law and the absurdity of its claim to be the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

So, does Abbas seriously believe his visit was “successful”? This dreary “grey suit” of a man might have done better to just meet ordinary people – people like the 40,000 or so displaced Palestinians living in the UK and longing to return, and the numerous activist organizations that devote much time and energy putting across the Palestinian case, slapping down Israel’s propaganda lies and generally doing the job that Abbas and his lacklustre Fatah outfit have failed to do.

That’s if he wanted their ongoing support. Maybe he’s not bothered.

Under orders not to rock the Israeli boat?

Some time ago Hamas complained that the Palestinian Authority was not getting its message across thanks to “poorly qualified or unqualified spokespersons with inadequate political and linguistic abilities”. Diplomacy had failed and Palestinians needed “professional spokespersons with excellent knowledge of the world and mastery of foreign languages, especially English, to tell the world in a straightforward manner that Israel is a murderer, liar and land thief…”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, who ran rings round the Palestinians while ambassador in London, recently addressed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. He said:

And how many times have members of this Council – and many others – repeated: “settlements are the primary obstacle to peace”?… The primary obstacle to peace is not settlements. The primary obstacle to peace is the so-called “claim of return”. Let me repeat that: the major hurdle to peace is the Palestinians’ insistence on the so-called “claim of return” [he means the “right of return”].

Any press team worth its salt could make mincemeat of Prosor. A competent Palestinian administration would have had a news release in every activist’s inbox and on every mainstream editor’s desk within hours and made spokespersons (speaking perfect English) available to follow through with additional briefings and further comment. It would have gone worldwide via all embassies and missions. But Prosor broadcasts his toxic nonsense non-stop, knowing there will be no effective rebuke from the Palestinians.

It is six years since the Palestinian Authority/Palestine Liberation Organization was urged to have all their key people professionally trained in media skills. They haven’t done so. Consequently, for the last six critical years the Palestinian people have continued to lose ground.

“Will the Palestinians ever seize the opportunity and gear up properly for the communications struggle to win justice? If it’s left to the likes of Abbas the answer is no and the outcome will be disastrous.”

The Palestinian high command behaves as if under strict orders not to rock the boat and not to make waves or even the slightest ripple. They continue to squander their chances and make little impact, even though truth and justice are on their side. So Israel has been the undeserving winner in the propaganda war.

Will the Palestinians ever seize the opportunity and gear up properly for the communications struggle to win justice? If it’s left to the likes of Abbas the answer is no and the outcome will be disastrous.

As campaigner Robert Stiver commented a few days ago, we need “ideas and commitments on how we can finally get serious, via a mass uprising, to ‘out’ Zionism beyond the choir and bring an end to the Palestinians’ unbearable torment”.

But hopes of mobilizing the necessary numbers are thwarted by the continuing presence of Mahmoud Abbas. His presidential term ran out long ago and he’s clinging to power unlawfully. He needs to step down or be removed. Someone with unquestionable legitimacy and true leadership qualities must fill the void and deploy skilled resources.

On Abbas’s watch disunity has triumphed. He rides roughshod over the Basic Law and has a crime sheet as long as your arm. He’ll be remembered mostly for doing the Israeli occupation forces’ dirty work.

Another problem is chief negotiator Saeb Erekat who has occupied that vitally important position for nearly 20 years and achieved – well, what? He must be the most unsuccessful negotiator on the planet. Why is he still there?

If Palestinians are to retain worldwide sympathy and support, build additional strength and galvanize the whole movement into action against the corrupt political class, they will have to find leaders of a much higher calibre – and fast.

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The BBC censors its own report on Tunisia’s Jews saying “No” to IsraHell!

NOVANEWS

By Alan Hart

Alan Hart views an instance where, as a result either of pro-Zionist bias, Israeli pressure or cowardice, BBC television censored a report by one of its own correspondents, originally broadcast on BBC World Service radio, cutting out from an audio clip a passage in which a Tunisian Jew stated that it would be crazy of him to emigrate to Israel.

There was a moment in a report from Tunisia by the BBC’s Wyre Davies when I could not stop myself laughing. I was listening to it on the Corporation’s generally excellent World Service radio. (In my view this particular BBC service is generally excellent because, unlike all other BBC news and current affairs outlets, radio and TV, it often reflects some of the truth about what is happening in and over Palestine that became Israel.)

“Go to Israel? I’m not crazy!”

Tunisian Jew: &ldquoGo to Israel? I&rsquom not crazy!&rdquo (mp3)

Jacob Lelouch, a Tunisian Jewish restaurant owner, says: “Go to Israel? I’m not crazy!” This passage was removed from the BBC TV version of the report, which you can see here.

Davies was in Tunisia to find out how its remaining 2,000 Jews (down from 300,000 once upon a time) were responding to a call from an Israeli government minister for them to move to Israel. The case the minister made was, apparently, that their security and wellbeing were no longer guaranteed in an Arab country with an Islamist government in place of what Davies called a “sectarian dictatorship”. In other words, Tunisia’s Jews were in danger and would be safe in Israel. (My guess is that the greatest concern of the Israeli minister and his colleagues was less the fate of Jews in Tunisia and more the need for Jews from anywhere to go to Israel to help defuse the ticking demographic time-bomb of occupation.)

The story as told by Davies for the BBC’s World Service radio was honest reporting at its best. Its explicit message was that Tunisia’s Jews have rejected the Israeli call.

One of those interviewed by Davies said to him and a listening world: “No one here is afraid.”

Another said, “Go to Israel? I’m not crazy!”

That’s what made me laugh.

A subsequent development wiped the smile from my face.

A friend in Italy sent me a web link for the television version of the Davies report from Tunisia. I opened the link to check that it was the same report I’d heard on the World Service radio. It started in exactly the same way so I assumed it was, and I tweeted it as “MUST WATCH: Tunisia’s Jews reject [Israel’s] call to leave”.

Bias or censorship?

An hour or so later I made the time to view the complete television version. The Jewish gentleman who said, “Go to Israel? I’m not crazy!” had been edited out.

On past BBC form there are four possible explanations.

1. Driven by a personal commitment to Zionism and support for its monster child right or wrong, a senior BBC executive ordered the quote to be dropped on his own initiative.

2. Senior BBC executive received a telephone call from the Israeli embassy in London, or possibly the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, telling him or her that Israel would not be pleased if the BBC gave more air time to a Tunisian Jew who was saying “No” to Israel in a way that suggested he had some contempt for the Zionist state and thought that many Israelis were crazy.

3. A senior BBC executive anticipated that giving the Jewish gentleman in Tunisia a wider audience would provoke Zionism’s wrath and decided (as BBC excutives often do) that it was better for the Corporation to censor itself than provoke that wrath.

4. For reasons of limited space in a television news bulletin, the report for the World Service radio had to be edited, shortened.

I have to say that I consider the fourth possible explanation as summarized above to be the least likely one. Why? There are many very good journalists in the BBC and they know as well as I do that the single most revealing and therefore newsworthy statement in the original Davies report was that of the Jewish gentleman who said, “Go to Israel? I’m not crazy!”

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Point Counterpoint: Aim to Promote Human Rights of the Palestinians

NOVANEWS

No real change can occur in the undeniable reality of the ruthless oppression practiced on all Palestinians by Zionist Israel without US support.  So, how do we change the subservient attitudes of 70% compromised American Congress?

Here is what Ali Abunimah, wrote this weekend in the  Philadelphia Inquirer:

 

By Ali Abunimah

Point Counterpoint: Aim to Promote Human Rights of the Palestinians

I am coming to the University of Pennsylvania this week to incite violence against the State of Israel – pro-Israel groups and commentators have contended – and, along with hundreds of students and other speakers who will attend the 2012 National Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference, to engage in an “act of warfare.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, we are coming together to push forward an inclusive movement that supports nonviolent action to promote the human rights of the Palestinian people, because only full respect for these rights can lead to peace. Today, millions of Palestinians live without basic rights under Israeli rule. This intolerable situation is at the root of problems that affect the whole world.

People everywhere, whether they consider themselves “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestinian” or both, want to see justice and peace. Yet, in recent years, the U.S.-brokered peace process has seen failure after failure.

Amid election-year politics, President Obama and his Republican rivals are pledging ever more unconditional support for Israel, even as Israel openly flouts U.N. resolutions and U.S. policy by building Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land and depriving Palestinians of their rights, including hundreds of children who languish in Israeli military prisons.

There’s no chance that the United States will use the billions of dollars it gives Israel in aid as leverage to compel an end to these practices and respect for Palestinian rights. So should we just give up?

The answer from Palestinian civil society is a clear “no.” All of us can play a role in ending this terrible situation and securing equal rights for Palestinians rather than superior rights for Jewish Israelis.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the wall Israel built across Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank was illegal and was aimed at confiscating more land. Frustrated by the inaction of governments, 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, including labor unions, student groups, and cultural and social organizations, came together to issue the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel in 2005.

Modeled explicitly on the tactics used to help end apartheid in South Africa, Palestinians urge that Israel be sanctioned until it respects Palestinian rights and international law in three specific ways: an end to the occupation of all Palestinian lands seized by Israel in 1967; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and full respect for the rights of Palestinian refugees.

This call doesn’t prescribe a specific political solution – for example, a single democratic state, or a two-state solution – but it recognizes that full rights have to be at the core of any resolution. And implementing these rights does not threaten any legitimate rights of Israelis, unless one considers discrimination against Palestinians simply because they are not Jews to be a “right.” In just the same way, granting full legal and political rights to African Americans in the United States did not threaten any legitimate rights of white citizens.

The all-too-frequent claim that the BDS goal is to “destroy Israel” or “incite violence” – rather than win rights – or that it is motivated by “anti-Semitism,” is just as offensive and simplistic as saying that participants in the Montgomery bus boycott wanted to “destroy Alabama” and simply “hated white people.”

And just like that celebrated bus boycott, BDS is not an end in itself; it is a tactic designed to bring about change. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote in support of a divestment effort on behalf of Palestinian rights, “We could not have won our freedom in South Africa without the solidarity of people around the world who adopted nonviolent methods to pressure governments and corporations to end their support for the apartheid regime. Faith-based groups, unions, students, and consumers organized on a grassroots level and catalyzed a global wave of divestment, ultimately contributing to the collapse of apartheid.”

But let us remember that in the 1980s, not everyone supported sanctions on South Africa. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were strongly opposed to sanctions and insisted on “constructive dialogue” that went nowhere, just like the U.S.-brokered Middle East peace process. What helped turn the tide in the United States was a young member of Congress who broke ranks with Reagan to support boycott and sanctions on the apartheid regime. His name was Newt Gingrich.

Tragically, Gingrich today notoriously contends that the Palestinians are an “invented people” – a way of suggesting they have no rights, and certainly no claim to the land they’ve tended since long before Israel existed.

As the growth of such extremist rhetoric diminishes the chances for a constructive U.S. role, it is all the more important that we as citizens take action. That’s what our conference is about, and everyone who shares a belief in human equality is welcome to attend.

Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. The BDS conference is scheduled for Friday to Sunday at the University of Pennsylvania. To attend Ali Abunimah’s keynote address at 7 p.m. Saturday, visit pennbds.org. Admission is free to members of the Penn community; $5 for others.

The agenda for the overall program is at: pennbds.org/about/program

 

Excerpted from Ali Abunimah‘s article titled: How Barack Obama learned to love Israel.

“The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

“As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.” He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, “Keep up the good work!”

Read the full article here

From left to right, Michelle Obama, then Illinois state senator Barack Obama, Columbia University Professor Edward Said and Mariam Said at a May 1998 Arab community event in Chicago at which Edward Said gave the keynote speech. (Image from archives of Ali Abunimah)

It should  come as no surprise that the much-missed  late Edward Said  Palestinian advocate  and close observer of American politics remarked during his time:

“I have tried to impress on the PLO leadership, and every Palestinian or Arab I have met, that the quest for a protector in the White House is a complete chimera, since all recent presidents have been devoted to Zionist aims, and that the only way to change US policy is through a mass campaign on behalf of Palestinian human rights, out-flanking the Zionist establishment and going straight to the American people. Uninformed and yet open to appeals for justice as they are, Americans are capable of reacting as they did to the ANC campaign against apartheid, which finally changed the balance of forces inside South Africa.” – Edward Said, 2002 (See: America’s Last Taboo)

No real change can occur in the undeniable reality of the ruthless oppression practiced on all Palestinians by Zionist Israel without US support, we think though, that the international community has the ability to pressure the United States. If Europe, Australia and Canada were to recognize Palestine and voice support for Palestinian human rights this would exert considerable pressure on the US to shift its position by first and foremost withdrawing its massive financial support for Zionist Israel.

So, how do we change the subservient attitudes of 70% compromised American Congress?

The best way to combat the absurd attitudes of these elected American representatives, as Edward Said adviced — to take the case directly to the American public by relentlessly educating the public about the massively aggressive behaviour of Israel, the powerful influence of its Lobby (AIPAC) and the costs to the American interests for supporting Israeli aggression.

The Council for the National Interest is a recently launched well designated website and resource now available to activists for Palestine and those activists and activist writers and editors that seek to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that contributes to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Australia and Canada are also experiencing undue influence of the Israel Lobby right now, the recent vote against Palestine’s membership at the UN is a glaring example.

It is my contention that the situation described in most of what we see today describes the nature of the cancer which corrupts and is killing peace in the Middle East. Walls, Wars, Political Parties, Treaties, Road Maps, Plans, petty wars, and pretenses of War, Assassinations, bombings and kidnappings, Military actions, and “historical” arguments are all merely manifestations of the symptoms of the cancer, the bursting boils and pustules, if you like! And that, until the source of the illness is recognized, diagnosed, and treated, that all the Band-Aids, punditry, bullshit, conferences, hearings, Summits and Tours of Heads of State and other important trollops,liars and deceivers, Band-Aids, are not going to cure a damned thing.

Every written analyses, description, plaint, complaint, plan, solution, or pitiful lament, must come to grips with this major issue, open the wound for inspection, show it to the public for what it is, and demand action which bears directly on the problem, not on its peripheral fallout. Treat the disease, not the dandruff!

Otherwise, we will go around and around, in ever tightening circles, much as Zionist Israel has intended, and led, us to do these past decades and centuries.

Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  (BDS) movement is playing a major part in spreading awareness and exerting public pressure on Israel and activists respective governments.

In his speech below Ali Abunimah articulates meaningfully the importance of the BDS Campaign strategy :

Ali Abunimah – BDS Campaign – Freedom, Equality & Return

 

Part 5: Ali Abunimah: Campus BDS Conference keynote speaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The State of The Union is…Well… Really Awful!

NOVANEWS

by Ed Mattson

 

“It was awesome, powerful, the best speech yet”. Those were just a few of the accolades afforded President Obama for his first real election speech of the 2012…Sorry, I mean the state of the union speech. Those words, by the way were from the Democrats and liberal much-biased media pundits who one would expect would applaud the President when leaving the head!

My thoughts as I watched the speech took me to the movie, The Dirty Dozen, which ironically was playing on the Military Channel this past week. Lee Marvin, who by the way was a Marine, Purple Heart recipient (got a bullet in the rear end at Iwo Jima) was taking his band of ne’re-do- wells, to jump school and was asked to put his troops on display for one of the film’s antagonists, Col. Breed played by Robert Ryan. Col. Breed and the rebel Maj. Reisman had previous run-in’s and Breed was out to torpedo any “secret” mission in which Reisman might have been involved.

Upon arrival, Reisman had indicated his mission included a General, but for security reason was not allowed to disclose his name, so naturally Breed wanted Reisman to ask the General to review the base’s squared-away honor company. Reisman chose Pvt. Vernon Pinkley (play by Donald Sutherland) to impersonate the General. With the Major accompanying him, Pinkley provided a quick review of one of the squads and had one of the movie’s most memorable lines when he told Col, Breed, “Very pretty. But, can they fight?”

This brings me back to president Obama’s speech. It was smooth and articulate, to the point one would imagine the United States had very few problems, and those who might believe otherwise,  well…we we on the right course and everything was safe with Obama at the helm. He never once mentioned the $15,000,000,000,000.00 national debt ($5,000,000,000,000.00 added while he’s been behind the wheel), or that our ship had no rudder, no engine, and no one with an ounce of common sense or integrity running the country. It was the same-o, same-o.

In this world of sound-bites, bumper stickers, and photo-ops, we seem to forget that words have meaning, and our elected officials aided by a mainstream media, hasn’t done any serious investigative journalism since the days of McCarthyism, with the exception of Watergate. The once great bastions of the free press which are now rocking backward on their heels, near bankruptcy, and have forgotten what the words “unbiased” means, become the equivalent of a junior high school cheerleading outfit at the Friday morning pep rally for a team with an 0 and 10 record, in Spruce and Goose, Montana. Their pitch is irrelevant, and their shtick is to perpetuate the status quo of inefficient and corrupt governance.

There probably isn’t one in ten who can name 2-3 Supreme Court Justices, their US Senators, their local US Representatives, the Speaker of the House, or what state is due North of South Carolina. Nine out of ten on the other hand can tell you who Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Charlie Sheen are, and live in a one world vocabulary with the word “like”.  I blame this on the educational system and the media who make heroes out of rap music “stars” who couldn’t carry a tune across the street; sport “superheroes”, who look and act like prison inmates, cannot speak proper English despite a college education, who glorify bad behavior on and off the field, and think nothing of using performance enhancing drugs (cheating) and constantly disappoint us when they are caught red-handed with cocaine, pot or other controlled substances.

In his state of the union speech Obama breaks out his usual arsenal of class envy and warfare about the “rich paying their fair share”. What a CROCK!  The top 1% of the wage earners already pay 35% of the total federal tax revenue; the top 3% paid nearly 60% of the burden; and the top 10% of the earners paid 70% of the tax burden. I think that’s MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE, when the bottom 48% of the wage earners paid no income tax. President Obama and others playing the class warfare game, when asked< “what is the FAIR SHARE” you expect the top earners to pay?”…they never give you a percentage, which to me means, the government wants it ALL! By the way, I am not in any of the top wage earner categories, but I can recognize fairness when I see it.

He goes on to say, “We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake aren’t Democratic values or Republican values, but American values.  And we have to reclaim them”.

I agree…playing by the “same rules” is the right thing to do. It is really simple to see and it doesn’t take a Rhode Scholar to understand that what made America great is that we guarantee everyone an equal opportunity at success; we don’t guarantee all will succeed. We reward success to those who earn it by staying in school, studying hard, getting a meaningful education, and applying what you learn. If you drop out of school at 15, do drugs, run on the wrong side of the law, we the taxpayer should have no obligation to bail you sorry butt out of the hole you dug for yourself. All those office lights that are still on late into the night when people drive home from work to watch “WWF” or “Dancing with the Stars”; those parking lots full of cars in office complexes across the country while you’re at home watching “the Big game” on Saturday; those are the one’s Obama and the class warfare folks are attacking. They are paying their dues to earn the American dream.

I found it almost hysterically funny when a interview was conducted by one of the major new stations asking two of Wall Street Protestors about their issues… they were carrying signs protesting that the government should forgive their school loans. In the course of the interview it was revealed one of the protestors was majoring in Black Studies and the other was majoring in something like Horticulture, both with a dismal futures and hiring opportunities, and definitely not on the top income level charts. My question I would like to have asked these two individuals is why they expect the taxpayer to pay their way. I had to pay my own way, my sons and daughters paid their way with loans, grants and scholarships, and if they think they deserve a free ride they have certainly started life out on the wrong foot.

Getting back to Obama’s address he stated, “Let’s remember how we got here.  Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores.  Technology made businesses more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete.  Folks at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most hardworking Americans struggled with costs that were growing, paychecks that weren’t, and personal debt that kept piling up… In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly 4 million jobs.  And we lost another 4 million before our policies were in full effect.”

Under the current administration some 3 million jobs have been created. But with the growth of the labor market, we need job growth created by the private sector at a pace 2-3 times faster than is happening, but those jobs won’t happen until the administration can proved the US market is stable with a tax policy that make sense and without all the new mandates and regulations coming down the pike. Additionally these numbers are misleading because they only count those fitting the Labor Department’s narrow definition of “employed” and “unemployed”. We should add to that the net gain or loss from the size of the actual labor force–the actual number of people able to work.

139,779,000 (total labor force 5-31-2011)
142,201,000 (total labor force 1-31-2009)
—————
2,422,000 jobs have been permanently lost in the labor force

These numbers also assume the population hasn’t grown, but that’s not the case. The population is always growing, and the definition of the labor force is anyone over the age of 16. Proportionally, if the labor force was the same percentage in 2011 as it was when Obama took office, the total job losses are more like 11 million because Obama has actually shrunk both the number of jobs available and the number of people willing to work. But these are only numbers and as I have stated on many occasions in my writing, liars figure and figures lie. The fact that the stimulus legislation dumped about 1.2 trillion dollars into the economy, that boils down about $400,000 for each job created. Is that a good deal for the taxpayer? I’ll let you decide; our children and grandchildren will have to pay that bill.

Anyway, “class envy” will be the war cry by the administration as we ride off to the November elections. If you believe America has been made great by punishing those who work hard and rewarding those who do not take responsibility for the results of their life-style choices, then your pathway to the voting box is clearly defined.  There are however, a few little tidbits you show be award of as were pointed out to me in an email that was forwarded over the weekend.

Those in Washington DC along with many of those working for our government speak from both sides of their mouth when the issues of taxes, tax revenues, tax collection, or any and all uses of the “T-Word” come into play.

  1. The tax rates paid by the likes of Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney are mostly on capital gains from investing money into companies or financial products that create revenue for the growth of business. If they invest big and lose money, they are doubly punished in that they can only write off $3000, per year; hardly a dent in a million dollar loss. Additionally, they already paid income tax on the creation of that investment money at rates higher that 35%…far more than their fair share.

  2. Those sitting in judgment and on the side of the class enviers are the like of Tim Geitner, Charlie Rangel, Tom Daschle as well as hundreds of state county and city government officials that seem to have an adversity to paying their taxes when due. He is backed up by his own administration employees, an number which has swelled 13 percent on his watch, and the amount they owe in back taxes is now over $1 billion. Talk about double dipping: These bureaucrats take your tax dollars and then scurry like cockroaches when it comes to paying their fair share to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

  3. Obama want you to believe he is the “Jobs President” when in fact he hired General Electric’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt, to be the Jobs Tsar, the one responsible for “job creation”, when in fact GE has shipped tens of thousands of jobs to China in just the last couple of years and the last four months he’s been campaigning full speed ahead.

  4. His calls for more government intrusion into the private sector with your tax dollars to create a green energy program (I guess he sees it as a way to hire people), after just losing a half billion dollars when Solyndra went bankrupt, is absolutely absurd and yet he still calls for more.

And after all is said and done he talks about how the success of our military is brought on by teamwork and the spirit of working together, which is what he’s asking all Americans to do by giving him another four years in office. My fear is that at the pace he’s on, we may be on our way to another civil war, particularly when our house of cards goes belly-up.

 

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What – Who is a Neocon? Ron Paul Speech Exposed Them in 2003

NOVANEWS

by Tom Valentine

 

Since the media whores are so eager to expose Ron Paul’s past public writings, why don’t they “out” his long speech on the House floor in 2003 as the nation was prepping for a “cake walk” of shock and awe against Saddam Hussein?

This C-span video with transcript is one whale of an education for confused Americans.

You can do two things with this: turn up the sound to hear better, Treat it like radio and absorb the entire 51 minutes while dusting or doing chores.

Two, those with better Internet search skills than me, can get the transcript that accompanied the original tape, then pass it along; this is vital information for voters to get at this time.

Ron Paul Exposes The Neocon Agenda

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Is IsraHell on the Road to Self-Destruction?

NOVANEWS

Our current leaders have made Israeli Judaism just a post-traumatic syndrome, while they lead us to self-destruction.

 

Merav Michaeli

by Alan Hart

 

One very well informed and courageous Israeli who thinks the answer is “Yes” is Merav Michaeli, a radio and television presenter who also writes for Ha’aretz. She is completely without fear when it comes to telling it like it is. On 2 January this year, for example, she wrote:

The Israeli government doesn’t want peace. There’s nothing new in that. It has been the proven way since the establishment of the state.”

The headline over her latest article is Israel’s never-ending Holocaust. One of her main points is that Israel has never confronted the trauma of the Nazi holocaust and has “turned it into a placard in the service of the national trauma, to reinforce the constant existential fear and the aggressiveness that comes with it.”

Because what she wrote is so important, and in my view ought to be read by all peoples of all faiths everywhere who want to understand why the Zionist state is what it is, I am going to quote her at some length.

She wrote:

Israelis mark Holocaust Memorial Day in Jerusalem

The Holocaust is the primary way Israel defines itself. And that definition is narrow and ailing in the extreme, because the Holocaust is remembered only in a very specific way, as are its lessons.

It has long been used to justify the existence and the necessity of the state, and has been mentioned in the same breath as proof that the state is under a never-ending existential threat.

The Holocaust is the sole prism through which our leadership, followed by society at large, examines every situation.

This prism distorts reality and leads inexorably to a forgone conclusion… that all our lives are simply one long Shoah (experience of persecution and extermination – my amplification not Merav’s).

The ‘Hitlers’ are always there:

Just a week ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said for the nth time that there is no shortage of those who want to exterminate us completely. In other words, there is no lack of reasons to continue to reinforce the fear of the Holocaust – which, according to his father, historian Benzion Netanyahu, has never ended.

So it is that we don’t have any rivals, adversaries or even enemies. Only Hitlers. This is how the Holocaust is taught in school, this how it is that Israeli students are taken to visit death camps – and how it came to be that, as Ha’aretz reported on Friday, just 2 percent of Israeli youth feel committed to democratic principles after studying the Holocaust.

That’s the way it is with traumas. Because of our human limitations, a trauma that is not dealt with makes us constantly see yet another trauma approaching – even when whatever is coming has no connection to the previous trauma and may even be a good thing. Trauma leads to belligerence and a strong tendency to wreak havoc on one’s surroundings, but first and foremost on oneself.

What we consider rational is actually a frightened, defensive, aggressive pattern. Our current leaders have made Israeli Judaism just a post-traumatic syndrome, while they lead us to self-destruction.

I imagine that most if not all Arabs and other Muslims everywhere would welcome the prospect of Israel self-destructing, but in my Gentile view it is not actually a prospect to be welcomed. Why not?

If there comes a time when it seemed to them that the Zionist state’s self-destruction was imminent, Israel’s leaders would respond in the same way as they would if their state was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield.

Allan Hart – Still Working After All These Years

As readers of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews know, that response was put into words by Golda Meir in the course of one of my BBC Panorama interviews with her when she was prime minister.

In a doomsday situation, she said, Israel “would be prepared to take the region down with it.”

The question arising is something like this. Is there any power on Planet Earth that could assist Israeli Jews to save themselves from themselves – perhaps I should say save themselves from their deluded leaders?

The more I think about this question, the more I am convinced that there is only one power that could do it – the Jews of the world. But that must be the subject of another post and I will welcome thoughts from others before I write it.

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The Fruit that Did Not Fall

NOVANEWS 
It’s never too late to learn.

Current news from Spain, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, England, the Malvinas and several other parts of the planet are serious and all foretell political and economic disaster due to the foolhardiness of the United States and its allies.


By Fidel Castro

 

Cuba found itself forced to fight for its existence against an expansionist power located a few miles off its coast that had declared the annexation of our island and that believed our destiny was to fall into their lap like a piece of ripe fruit. We were condemned to cease to exist as a nation.

Memorial José Martí — “Apostle of Cuban Independence”

Jose Marti was among the glorious legion of patriots who throughout the second half of the 19th century fought against the loathsome colonialism brandished by Spain for 300 years.

Marti most clearly foresaw such a dramatic destiny and expressed this view in the last lines he would write prior to engaging in tough combat against a well-equipped and battle-hardened Spanish column.

He declared that the primary objective of his struggles were “… preventing in time, by Cuba’s independence, that the United States should expand through the Antilles and pounce with that added strength on our lands of America. Everything that I have done up to now and will do in the future shall be done for this purpose.”

Today one cannot be a patriot or a revolutionary without thoroughly understanding this profound truth.

Without a doubt, the mass media, the monopoly of technical resources, and the substantial funds earmarked for misleading and making the masses mindless today represent considerable but not insurmountable obstacles.

Havana’s most fashionable residence street and driving thoroughfare extends from the gloomy Punta fortress along the line of the ancient city wall, past the Central Park to Colon Park, shaded with laurels and lined with handsome homes and clubs. In 1907 a hurricane wrecked many of the great laurels, as well as the royal palms of Colon Park, but in the genial climate of Cuba the ravages of the elements were rapidly repaired. The Prado was officially renamed by the Cuban Republic the Paseo de Marti, in honor of José Marti, but the old name still clings inseparably to it.

Cuba showed that —despite being a factory of Yankee colonialism with widespread illiteracy and generalized poverty— it was possible to stand up to the country that threatened to definitively takeover the Cuban nation. No one can argue that at the time there was a national bourgeoisie that was opposed to the empire. In fact, the Cuban bourgeoisie at the time had developed such close ties to the empire that, shortly following the triumph of the Revolution, it sent 14,000 unprotected children to the United States based on the horrendous lie that Cuba was to abolish parental authority. History would come to remember this event as Operation Peter Pan and as one of the worst manipulations of children for political ends ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Barely two days after the triumph of the Revolution the national territory was invaded by mercenary forces —made up of former Batista soldiers and sons of landowners and the bourgeoisie— armed and escorted by the United States with ships from the US Navy fleet including aircraft carriers with equipment ready for action. The defeat and capture of almost the entire force of mercenaries in less than 72 hours, and the destruction of their planes that were operating out of Nicaraguan bases and naval transportation means, represented a humiliating defeat for the empire and their Latin American allies who had underestimated the Cuban people’s capacity to fight.

Responding to the stoppage of oil supplies from the US, the previous total suspension of traditional Cuban sugar quotas in the US market, and the ban on trade in place for more than 100 years, the USSR began to supply fuel, to buy our sugar, to trade with our country and, finally, to supply the arms that Cuba could not acquire in other markets.

Nikita Jrushchov

The idea of a systematic campaign of pirate attacks organized by the CIA, sabotages and military actions by groups created and armed by the US, before and after the mercenary attack and that would culminate with the United States’ military invasion of Cuba, gave rise to the events that pushed the world to the brink of total nuclear war that no sides or even humanity itself would have survived.

Those events no doubt cost Nikita Jruschov his job. He had underestimated his adversary, ignored opinions and information, and did not consult his final decision with those of us who were in the frontline. What could have been a significant moral victory became a costly political setback for the USSR. For many years the US continued to commit the worst crimes against Cuba and many, such as its criminal blockade, are still carried out today.

Jruschov made extraordinary gestures to our country. At the time I did not hesitate in strongly criticizing the agreement reached with the United States without consultation. But it would be ungrateful and unjust to not acknowledge his extraordinary solidarity at difficult and decisive junctures for our people in their historic battle for independence and their revolution in face of the powerful US empire. I understand that the situation was extremely tense and that he did not want to lose a minute when he made his decision to remove the missiles and the Yankees, very secretly, agreed to not carry out their invasion.

Despite all the decades that have passed and make up more than half a century, the Cuban fruit has not fallen into Yankee hands.

Current news from Spain, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, England, the Malvinas and several other parts of the planet are serious and all foretell political and economic disaster due to the foolhardiness of the United States and its allies.

I will limit myself to just a few topics. I must point out that the campaign to select a Republican candidate as the possible future president of this globalized and far-reaching empire has become —I say this in all seriousness— the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been heard. But as I have things to do, I cannot dedicate any time to this topic. I knew it would be like this.

I prefer to analyze some other press dispatches that show the incredible cynicism generated by the decadence of the West. One of these reports, with amazing tranquility, tells the story of a Cuban “political prisoner” who, according to the article, died after a 50-day hunger strike. A journalist from Granma, Juventud Rebelde, radio or any other [Cuban] news agency might make a mistake writing on any given topic, but they would never make up a news story and fabricate a lie.

The article published in Granma confirms that the 50-day hunger strike did not take place. The prisoner was in jail for committing a common crime and sentenced to four years for an assault that left his wife’s face battered. The man’s own mother-in-law went to the police to request their help. All family members were aware of all the procedures taken regarding the medical care he received and were thankful of the efforts carried out by the specialist doctors who attended him. The article goes on to say that he received care at the best hospital in eastern Cuba, as any other citizen would have received. He died as a result of secondary multiple organ failure associated with an acute respiratory infection.

The patient had received all the available medical care from a country that possesses one of the best medical systems in the world and that provides these services free-of-charge, despite the empire’s blockade against our country. It simply represents a duty in a country where the Revolution proudly respects, as it always has for more than 50 years, the principles that gave it its invincible force.

Given their excellent relations with Washington, it would be best if the Spanish government went to the United States to take a look at what happens in Yankee prisons, their ruthless treatment of millions of prisoners, their electric chair policy, and the horrors committed against prisoners and public protesters.

Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz and President Raul Castro Ruz at the Communist Party of Cuba Congress held in April 2011. The revolutionary brothers have contributed decades of struggle on behalf of the humanity.Image : Pan African News Wire File Photo

On Monday, January 23, Granma published a full-page, hard-hitting editorial entitled Cuba’s Truths. The article details the exceptional degree of shamelessness in the latest campaign of lies launched against our Revolution by some governments “traditionally committed to anti-Cuban subversion.”

Our people are well aware of the standards that have governed over the irreproachable conduct of our Revolution since the first combat and that has never been sullied throughout more than half a century. They also know that they can never be pressured or blackmailed by their enemies. Our laws and regulations will invariably be abided by.

This is worthwhile to point out with total clarity and openness. The Spanish government and the beat-up European Union, in the midst of an acute economic crisis, should know what to abide by. It is a disgrace to read declarations from both regions in news reports that are full of shameless lies attacking Cuba. Try to save the Euro first if you can, try to resolve chronic unemployment that increasingly affects young people, and respond to the indignados who have only received attacks and constant beatings from the police.

We cannot ignore that those who currently govern in Spain are admirers of Franco, who sent members of the Blue Division along with SS and SA Nazis to kill Soviets. Close to 50,000 of them participated in the bloody attacks. In the most cruel and painful operation of that war, the Leningrad Blockade where one million Russian citizens died, the Blue Division were part of the forces that attempted to strangle the heroic city. The Russian people will never forgive that horrendous crime.

The rightwing fascists led by Aznar, Rajoy and other servants of the empire must know about the 16,000 fatalities suffered by their predecessors of the Blue Division and the Iron Crosses that Hitler awarded the officials and soldiers of that division.

It is not a surprise then to see how the Gestapo police are treating the Spanish men and women who demand the right to work and bread in the country with the highest unemployment in Europe.

Why do the mass media outlets of the empire lie so shamelessly ?

Those who control those media outlets are determined to deceive and make the world mindless with their gross lies, maybe believing that they represent the main recourse necessary to maintain the global system of domination and plunder, especially against those victims close to the mother country —the close to 70 million Latin Americans and Caribbean people who live in this hemisphere.

The fraternal republic of Venezuela has become one of the main targets of this policy. The reason is obvious. Without Venezuela, the empire would have imposed its Free Trade Agreement on all of the people of the continent living south of the United States; an area that holds the planet’s largest reserves of land, fresh water and minerals as well as great energy resources, which, when managed in solidarity with the other people in the world, constitutes resources which cannot and must not fall into the hands of transnationals that impose a suicidal and despicable system.

David Cameron and President Hamid Karzai to sign agreement on Afghanistan’s future

It is enough, for example, to look at the map to understand the criminal dispossession carried out against Argentina of a piece of its territory in the far south. In the Malvinas, the British employed their decadent military apparatus to assassinate inexperienced Argentine recruits dressed in summer clothing in the middle of winter. The United States and their ally Augusto Pinochet shamelessly supported England in this endeavor. Currently, with the London Olympics on the horizon, British Prime Minister David Cameron is once again proclaiming, as did Margaret Thatcher, his right to use nuclear submarines to kill Argentines. The British government is unaware that the world is changing and that the disdain felt in our hemisphere by the majority of the people against the oppressors is growing with each day.

The case of the Malvinas is not alone. Does anyone know how the conflict in Afghanistan will end? A few days ago US soldiers committed outrages against the bodies of Afghani combatants, killed by NATO drone aircraft.

Three days ago a European news agency published an article stating that Afghani President Hamid Karzai gave his support of a negotiated peace settlement with the Taliban, stressing that it must be resolved by citizens in his country. Hamid Karzai added that the peace and reconciliation process belongs to the Afghani nation and that no foreign country or organization can take away this right from Afghanis.

An article in the Cuban press written in Paris reported, “Today France suspended all its military training and support operations in Afghanistan and threatened to move up the date for the withdrawal of its troops after an Afghani soldier killed four French military officers in the Taghab valley in the province of Kapisa…Sarkozy gave instructions to Defense Minister Gerard Longuet to immediately travel to Kabul, and warned of the possibility of an early withdrawal of troops.”

When the USSR and the Socialist Camp disappeared, the United States government thought that Cuba would not be able to support itself. George W. Bush had already prepared a counterrevolutionary government to preside over our country. The same day that Bush began his criminal war against Iraq, I requested that our authorities stop with the policy of tolerance towards the counterrevolutionary leaders in Cuba that had been hysterically calling for an invasion of Cuba. In reality, their actions constituted an act of treason against the Homeland.

Bush and his stupidities reigned for eight years at a time when the Cuban Revolution had already lasted for more than half a century. The ripe fruit has never fallen into the lap of the empire. Cuba will never become another force used by the empire to expand over the people of the Americas. Marti’s blood will not have been shed in vain.

Tomorrow I will publish another Reflection article to complement this one.

Fidel Castro Ruz – January 24, 2012 – 7:12 p.m.

Source: Information Clearing House

Editing: Debbie Menon

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Forecasting Economic Decline

NOVANEWS

by Stephen Lendman

Economic analyst Harry Dent’s 2009 book, titled “The Great Depression Ahead” became a national bestseller. He predicted the current crisis and worse ahead.

His new book, co-authored with Rodney Johnson, predicts “The Great Crash Ahead.” He calls it inevitable and sees protracted trouble worse than 2008. It’s coming between 2012 and 2014 he believes.

In 1992, he correctly forecast the decade’s economic/stock market surge in his book titled, “The Great Boom Ahead.” He’s now Dr. Doom, predicting harder than ever hard times. He blames sharply falling incomes and aging Boomers among other factors.

He may or may not be right. He called the 1990s boom accurately but wrongly thought Dow values would reach 40,000. Now he sees massive money creation buying time but little else. Housing crashed. Major banks are dead. He calls Europe a “retirement community in debt.”

He forecasts “economic winter” and advises:

  • avoid chasing short-term gains;

  • stress capital preservation;

  • choose high quality income streams;

  • pay down debt sooner, not later;

  • rent, don’t buy; and

  • keep your day job until promising alternatives arrive.

Recent IMF and World Bank forecasts also spell trouble.

On January 18, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects said world economies teeter “on the brink of another major decline” with “anemic growth” at best through 2013.

Predicting “significantly downgraded” prospects from months earlier, it warned that ‘”the world economy has entered a dangerous period” as Eurozone turmoil spreads globally.

“The downturn in Europe and the slow growth in developing countries could reinforce one another more than is anticipated, (causing) further complicating efforts to restore market confidence.”

Moreover, “the medium-term challenge represented by high debts and slow trend growth in other high-income countries has not been resolved and could trigger sudden adverse shocks.”

It calls world growth less than 3% recession. Europe’s already experiencing it, and high-income countries are expected to grow only 1.4%, signaling decline. Moreover, given unaddressed excesses, greater trouble than 2008 is possible “on both sides of the Atlantic….”

In other words, despite massive money creation, nothing’s been resolved. In fact, conditions now are worse than when trouble began. For the moment, they’re contained by throwing money at them.

That only works so long. Longer-term, it’s a losing strategy doomed to fail, especially as unemployment rises, wages and benefits fall, safety net protections erode, public anger grows, and politicians offer no solutions.

The IMF’s nearly as glum. It’s predicting 3.3% growth in 2012, down 0.7% from months earlier. It also warned about “intensifying strains in the euro area” and fragilities elsewhere. They suggest “weaker underlying growth” ahead.

“(D)ownside risks (have) risen sharply,” especially from “the intensification of adverse feedback loops between sovereign and banking pressures in the euro area.”

The combination of high bond rates, massive debt levels, eroding consumer purchasing power, and troubled banks pressure governments to help. Moreover, Europe’s trouble assures spillover.

Overall, the IMF sees the “current environment – characterized by fragile financial systems, high public deficits and debt, and (short) interest rates close to the zero bound – provides fertile ground for self-perpetuating pessimism and the propagation of adverse shock, the most critical of which is the worsening of the crisis in the euro area.”

But trouble there spreads it everywhere. Unless “healing” occurs, a “1930s moment may arrive….where trust and cooperation break down and countries turn inward. (A) downward spiral….engulf(ing) the world” could result.

Meanwhile, China’s slowing. Japan’s in recession, and Europe’s sickest of all. It’s sinking while real Japanese GDP is expected to contract by 0.4% in the year ending March 2012. Headwinds may force down the Bank of Japan’s 2% 2013 growth forecast because of protracted economic weakness.

New McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Report

Titled, “Debt and Deleveraging: Uneven Progress on the Path to Growth,” it suggests systemic unresolved problems.

It calls deleveraging begun in 2008 “proving to be long and painful.” Moreover, it’s “in its early stages in most countries.” In fact, debt’s risen in the “ten largest mature economies….due mainly to rising government debt.” It exploded but MGI glossed over a major problem getting worse, not better.

Among the world’s 10 largest economies, debt increased by $7.8 trillion. In fact, it’s more because information’s suppressed. US household debt shrunk $584 billion (or 4%) since 2008. Home mortgage defaults accounted for up to 80% of the total. Jingle mail’s been heavy and promises to increase.

Historical precedence suggests years more deleveraging to go. When it ends, US consumers “won’t be as powerful an engine of global growth as they were before the crisis.” Why? Because excess mortgage refinancing is gone. It added $2.2 trillion in spending power.

In its mid-January report, the Bank of Canada was just as glum, saying:

Europe’s recession is “expected to last longer and be somewhat deeper than anticipated.” B of C blamed tight credit and fiscal austerity reducing consumer purchasing power.

Modest US growth is expected at best. At issue is “ongoing household deleveraging, fiscal consolidation, and negative spillover” from Europe’s crisis.

So far, fallout from Europe’s crisis “has consisted mostly of a general retrenchment of risk-taking. (Ahead), the impact is expected to become more widespread (in) the form of increased funding pressures, adverse confidence effects and reduced availability of credit.”

Europe and US bank deleveraging will reduce credit and restrain investment. Yearend 2011 baseline trend in real GDP was 1.6%. B of C sees Europe’s crisis erasing half of it. It suggests rosy scenario forecasts are misguided.

Both McKinsey and B of C explain that today’s environment is far different than any experienced since the 1930s. Other post-WW II recessions were short and shallow during decades of secular credit expansion. No longer.

Noted investor/market analyst Jeremy Grantham explains that positive market conditions unleash “animal spirits.” They’re carried to extremes using credit as fuel.

Trouble always follows. Every bubble bursts. On the upside, markets overshoot and do the same coming down. They mean reverse and then some. It happens every time. In fact, the more extreme going up, the greater the fall.

Grantham calls it a “principal truth….(W)e live in a mean-reverting world in investing. (A)ll bubbles eventually burst.” The most recent occurred in 2000 in America. It’s second phase began in fall 2007 and remains ongoing.

Secular market declines always feature sharp rallies. The overall trend doesn’t end until a final mean-reversed bottom based on sustained better prospects. Achieving that benchmark’s years away.

Economist David Rosenberg agrees, saying the “multi-decade debt boom….will take years to mean revert.” McKinsey said deleveraging’s got a long way to go. Moreover, when governments and business act together, powerful headwinds risk crashing economies.

The seeds of trouble are planted. No one knows when they’ll sprout. Often it’s when least expected. It’s why Rosenberg says market upswings should be rented, not owned.

Progressive Radio News Hour regular Bob Chapman believes the euro is living on borrowed time. France’s April presidential election could be decisive. If Sarkozy loses (he trails in recent polls), “the euro is history and perhaps the EU as well.”

French and German voters want their currencies back. “They want change.” Their citizens “no longer want the euro and all the responsibilities (and headaches) that go with it.”

At the same time, dollar supremacy is threatened by other countries trading bilaterally in their own. China, Japan, Russia, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and many others do it. At issue is long-term dollar decline and eventual loss of its world reserve currency status.

The implications are immense. With dollar supremacy comes power. It fuels investment, speculation, corporate takeovers, imperial wars, and America’s ability to influence global policies.

Replace the dollar with another currency and things change. It won’t happen soon but bears watching. Chapman believes its dethroning is happening. “Over time, the US dollar will lose its preeminent position.” China’s yuan and Japan’s yen will strengthen. If the euro fades as Chapman expects, they’ll be more important.

“Without a euro, the dollar” faces greater pressure. It’s “acted as a blocker and cover for the dollar,” but that’s ending.

So is America’s century. It’s ebbing as China rises, Washington makes more adversaries than friends, and eventually perhaps they have none except their axis of evil partners Israel and Britain. It can’t happen a moment too soon.

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ACTA: Worse Than SOPA and PIPA

NOVANEWS

by Stephen Lendman

 

Internet freedom’s on the line. SOPA and PIPA threatened Net Neutrality and free expression. So does ACTA. More on it below.

For now, the largest online protest in Internet history got Congress to abandon SOPA and PIPA for now but not permanently. Expect resurrection in modified form. Language may change but not intent. ACTA’s worse.

Launched on October 23, 2007, America, the EU, Switzerland and Japan began secretly negotiating a new intellectual property enforcement treaty – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Other nations got involved, including Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Singapore, and the UAE. Ostensibly for counterfeit goods protection, it’s about fast-tracking Internet distribution and information technology rules at the expense of Net Neutrality, privacy, and personal freedoms.

It establishes unrestricted supranational global trade rules. In the process, it tramples on national sovereignty and personal freedoms. Moreover, negotiations were secret until WikiLeaks reported in May 2008:

“If adopted, (ACTA) would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime, with new cooperation requirements upon (ISPs), including perfunctionary disclosure of customer information.”

“The proposal also bans ‘anti-circumvention measures which may affect online anonymity systems and would likely outlaw multi-region CD/DVD players. The proposal also specifies a plan to encourage developing nations to accept the legal regime.” Those opting out face retaliatory measures.

On April 22, 2010, Electronic Frontier Foundation writer Gwen Hinze headlined, “Preliminary Analysis of the Officially Released ACTA Text,” saying:

“The text (leaves no doubt) that ACTA is not just about counterfeiting.” It’s far more. It covers copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property forms, including the Internet.

It’s also about the ability of users to “communicate, collaborate and create” freely. In addition, it imposes obligations (on) Internet intermediaries (and), requir(es) them to police” cyberspace and its users. As a result, it raises serious questions about open affordable access, free expression, personal privacy, and “fair use rights.”

On May 27, 2011, the Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) said the European Commission published a final ACTA text with few changes from its last known version. Since introduced, major media scoundrels reported little about its destructive provisions.

Last October, Washington, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea signed ACTA. US deputy trade representative Mariam Sapiro hailed the occasion, saying:

“As with many of the challenges we face in today’s global economy, no government can single-handedly eliminate the problem of global counterfeiting and piracy. Signing this agreement is therefore an act of shared leadership and determination in the international fight against intellectual property theft.”

Public Knowledge attorney Rashmi Rangnath called the deal the Obama administration’s “attempt to foist US law on other countries.”

It also broke another candidate Obama promise to “(s)upporte the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.”

In fact, doing so lawlessly circumvented Congress. On October 1, 2011, Obama acted by “executive agreement.” He falsely claimed ACTA’s not a treaty requiring Senate approval. Constitutional issues remain unresolved.

By law, executive agreements apply only to sole presidential authority issues. Treaties must be ratified by a two-thirds Senate supermajority. As a result, a circulating petition demands Senate consideration. By February 21, 25,000 are needed. So far, thousands are recorded. Dozens of legal scholars support it.

So far, the administration’s stonewalling. It’s circumventing the law like it always does and breaking a campaign pledge in the process. Post-SOPA/PIPA, Obama diktat authority rammed it through illegally.

In contrast, the Mexican Senate rejected it in a non-binding resolution. On January 26, Poland’s Japan ambassador, Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska, signed it. It’s yet to pass parliament.

Public anger raged across the country against it. The hacktivist group Anonymous targeted signatory countries’ official web sites. It threatened to reveal sensitive information about officials in countries passing it.

Anti-ACTA sentiment affected Poland’s parliament. Opposition MPs wore masks to reflect their refusal to back it. Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he’ll submit the treaty to parliament and sign it provided “the government is sure Polish law guarantees freedom on the Internet….”

On January 26, infojustice.org headlined, “EU Signs ACTA, But Treaty Remains in Doubt,” saying:

The European Parliament (EP) has final say. Consideration begins late February or early March. Committee voting follows in April or May. In June, Parliament decides.

After SOPA and PIPA’s derailing, expect a close vote.

On January 23, 2012, FFII headlined, “EP (European Parliament) legal service consistently overlooks known issues with ACTA,” saying:

In a letter to members of the European Parliament, FFII said:

“The legal service fails to see major issues with damages, injunctions and provisional, border and criminal measures. The legal service consistently overlooks known issues.” Clearly, “ACTA goes beyond current EU law, the acquis.”

According to FFII’s Ante Wessels:

“ACTA will negatively impact innovation, start up companies, mass digitization projects, access to medicines and Internet governance. ACTA threatens the rule of law and fundamental rights.”

FFII asked Parliament to reject ACTA. Issues cited included:

(1) Violating EU law.

(2) Unjustifiably discriminating. Threatens access to generic drugs and local foods.

(3) Criminalizes “everyday computer use.” Liability extends to private individuals, newspapers, web sites, office workers forwarding files or documents, and whistleblowers revealing information in the public interest.

(4) Civil measures also apply to the digital environment. ACTA pressures ISPs to preemptively censor online communications. It also “incites privatized enforcement outside the rule of law.”

“The ARTICLE 19 organization” said ACTA’s “fundamentally flawed from a freedom of expression and information perspective. If enacted, it will greatly endanger the free-flow of information and the free exchange of ideas, particularly on the internet.”

(5) Endangering public health by restricting access to medicines. It cracks down on generic drugs, makes food patents more extreme, enforces global standards on seed patents, empowers agribusiness, and threatens small farms and food independence.

(6) Global pricing and cultural life issues aren’t addressed.

(7) Violates Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), stating:

“The Union’s action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles (of) democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms….”

Negotiations were conducted secretly. Civil society, public interest groups, and legislatures were entirely shut out. Major decisions were made extralegally. They violate established laws and fundamental freedoms.

On December 27, 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said:

ACTA threatens personal and digital freedoms. It creates an extralegal “global IP enforcement institution to oversee its implementation.” It turns ISPs into enforcers.

The agreement requires signatories “promote cooperative efforts within the business community” on issues regarding copyright and trademark infringement.

As a result, Internet access, censoring, and lost freedom may result.

“ACTA suffocates collaborative creativity and innovation, and less explicitly, but just as gravely, threatens free speech through provisions that may lead to Internet access restrictions for the ‘sake’ of combating ‘imminent violation’ of intellectual property laws.”

Worst of all, secret negotiations facilitate similarly drafted future international agreements, benefitting powerful interests at the expense of personal freedoms. For ACTA, heavy-handed Washington pressure forced through draconian provisions.

Civil society organizations are outraged. In addition, some nations exposed gross political treachery in back-room dealmaking. For example, Brazil called ACTA “illegitimate.” The Dutch Parliament refused to consider it. India strongly opposes it. So do other emerging economies saying it stifles their development.

Other nations are undecided. They all have until May 2013 to vote up or down. As a result, Washington’s exerting immense pressure to bring opponents on board.

EFF calls back room dealmaking “an affront to a democratic world order.” It’s committed to work with other anti-ACTA groups to defeat ACTA.

The Inquisitr calls the agreement worse than SOPA and PIPA. It “takes a fairly bland idea – the right of companies to profit from their own intellectual property – and turns it into a governmental power grab and an excuse to weaken” Internet privacy.

La Quadrature du Net (Internet & Libertes) says ACTA “has absolutely no democratic legitimacy.” Unelected bureaucrats drafted it. It urges mass actions to defeat it.

A Final Comment

ACTA potentially criminalizes almost anything online. It lets government and corporate predators censor, shut down sites, and prosecute owners if they object to posted content. Imagine the effect on free thought and opinion.

Criticize government or corporate lawlessness and be silenced behind bars. That’s why stopping ACTA is crucial. SOPA and PIPA outrage was round one. ACTA’s the main event.

A truth emergency exists. So far, it’s mostly below the radar. Exposing it widely is crucial. Now’s the time to act before it’s too late.

Internet freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination unless mass public outrages stops it. EFF cites other plurilateral deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). It’s more draconian than ACTA.

Secret negotiations again drafted it. Bureaucrats alone were involved. Civil society, public interest groups, and lawmakers had no say.

Internet freedom’s on the line. The stakes are immense. Jefferson understood by saying that:

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

Now’s the time to assure it doesn’t happen. Spread the word! Mobilize! Agitate! Involve Congress! Stop this monster! It’s our Internet! Get in the fight to save it!

Posted in USAComments Off on ACTA: Worse Than SOPA and PIPA

An Evening with Helen Thomas and Flashback to John Lennon and Mordechai Vanunu

NOVANEWS 

by Eileen Fleming

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Washington, D.C.-When I heard the call to “Move Over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy” I immediately became one of over 100 organizations to endorse it; but I didn’t commit to attend the event until I learned that journalist Helen Thomas was to be the keynote speaker.

By the time I booked my flight, Ms. Thomas had been “disinvited” because of the pressure from a few particular people who had still not gotten over her flaming honesty expressed on 27 May 2010, in a courtyard at the White House.

As “life is what happens while you are making other plans” [John Lennon] their shortsightedness led to one of the highlights of my 57 years of life.

On 20 May 2011, I enjoyed an evening with Ms. Thomas and was introduced to my new favorite aperitif; a mix of Vodka, Lemoncello and strained raspberry juice which was followed by an exquisite dinner prepared in the home of Ms. Thomas’s friend and assistant, Michelle Cohen, who is in the middle of Rich Forer and Helen Thomas:

Only because of my new best author friend, Richard Forer, was I even invited to that dinner!

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Ms. Thomas had recently reviewed Rich’s book, “Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict.”

 

Ms. Thomas wrote, “People need to be informed so we can make good decisions regarding our involvement in the Middle East, and ultimately support the right governments. Forer offers a viewpoint that is not available in the mainstream…I admire Forer’s courage to not being silent. He openly shares his personal transformation, and encourages the reader to be willing to ‘assess one’s beliefs with honesty and to follow wherever the facts lead’. The truth cannot be silenced.” [1}

This member of the New Fourth Estate-Internet muckraker and activist reporter not only admires Ms. Thomas for her truth telling, I contend that she is in the same league with Edward R. Murrow!

Eileen fleming with Helen Thomas-her new best friend of the old Fourth Estate

In 1958, Murrow warned that as television became more about entertainment and not about shows of enlightenment, this republic would be dumbed down; but only an informed and engaged citizenry can preserve a democracy, which thrives on dissent!

During Jewish Heritage Month in 2010, in a courtyard at the White House, blogger and Long Island Rabbi David Nesenoff approached Ms. Thomas and introduced her to two young boys with him who were interested in a career in journalism.

Nesenoff asked, “So what do you think of Israel? Got any advice? Go for it” as he pointed his camera at Ms. Thomas like a “jackknife” and she readily replied, “They should get the hell out of Palestine.”

In an interview with Playboy, Ms. Thomas elaborated, “I knew I’d hit the third rail. You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it?” [2]

Flashback to John Lennon


In the summer of 1966, it was reported that John Lennon made a comment to a friend and reporter that the Beatles were more popular with my generation than Jesus was.

Lennon endured a firestorm of media attacks, but none inquired as to WHY kids like me who went to mass every Sunday and catechism every Wednesday afternoon, never quoted Jesus but knew every lyric to every Beatles song.

Because of Ms. Thomas’s truth telling the ‘occupied’ media relentlessly attacked her and although she issued an apology, Ms. Thomas abruptly “resigned” from Hearst Newspapers on 7 June 2010. Her speaking agency dropped her, journalism schools and organizations rescinded awards named in her honor and she lost her front row seat in the White House press-room; and it was all because she audaciously spoke her heart and mind as did John Lennon!


YouTube – Veterans Today –

The old Fourth Estate spins the illegal colonies/settlements as ‘neighborhoods’ and never mentions such things as Aliyah, which I learned about during my first of seven trips to Israel and occupied Palestine in June 2005 from an American Jewess who had taken the deal. She informed me:

“I get fifteen hundred shekels or about thirty-six hundred dollars a year in increments to help with my expenses. I can apply for unemployment benefits after seven months, as long as I look for a job. I just completed Ulpan, which was five hundred hours of Hebrew language immersion studies that took five months, five hours a day, for five weeks. I get subsidized rent and just moved out of the Absorption Center Projects. All the new immigrants get room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months in Israel. We also receive free medical care and all the doctors here are dedicated. We can go to the university with 100 percent of the tuition paid by the government. College is much cheaper here; it’s about three thousand to four thousand dollars a year. Until I am thirty years old, I can receive up to three years of education for my master’s degree.”[3]

Any Jew without any historical connection to the so-called Holy Land is encouraged by the state of Israel to colonize legally owned Palestinian property.

On 16 July 2007, while I was in Jerusalem, I learned from an Israeli citizen and volunteer with ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions:

“There is an advertisement that runs in the USA that reads: ‘Have a Holiday Home in Jerusalem.’ The ad does not mention this home is 100% ILLEGAL! There are forty-two illegal settlements in the Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters of Jerusalem. The only green area for [Palestinian] children to play will soon have a high rise for the settlers, which will be 7 meters taller than the walls of the Old City! The Wall has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice [in 2005] but America continues to allow it to grow. The wall is way over the Green Line proving it is not about security but about grabbing Palestinian land. Israel’s policy of Quiet Transfer: getting rid of the Palestinians is a huge humanitarian crisis. It is clear how the wall zig zags that it is not about security but about grabbing the maximum land with minimal Palestinian occupation.” [IBID]

During my conversation with Ms. Thomas I filled her in on my distress over Amy Goodman’s failure to follow up on her 2004 interview with Mordechai Vanunu which resulted in his being sentenced to 6 months in jail in 2007 and then enduring 78 days back in solitary in 2010, just because he dared to speak to foreign media after he was released from 18 years in jail for telling the truth and providing the photographic proof of Israel’s WMD Program.

My view from a rooftop in Aida Camp, in the little town of Bethlehem which is Occupied Territory, June 2009

In April 2007, I had lunch with Amy Goodman-not because we have ever been friends, but only because I had once been a generous donor to Democracy NOW! was I invited to have lunch with Amy.

I accepted the invitation only so I could fill Amy in on the fact that her 2004 interview with Vanunu was major testimony against him in his FREEDOM of SPEECH trial-which began the same day Hamas was democratically elected on 25 January 2006- and also to ask her to follow up asap!

Amy acted interested and jotted down notes in her Blackberry, but she didn’t bother to call Vanunu until July 2007 after he was sentenced to 6 more months in jail essentially for speaking to foreign media in 2004!

Vanunu refused to speak to Amy because she –like all THE MEDIA-hadn’t done anything to raise awareness about Israel’s continuing persecution of him and to this day Vanunu is still waiting for his inalienable right to leave Tel Aviv and fly to freedom.

After I filled Ms. Thomas in on my anger with Amy she replied, “She used to be better.”

I then brought up Ms. Thomas’s first and last question to President Obama regarding Middle East nuclear weapons when he blew her off claiming he didn’t want to ‘speculate’ and her ‘peers’ remained mute, although the State Department has reams of documentation about Israel’s WMD.

Ms. Thomas replied, “They have no conscience.”

I also claim their lack of integrity borders on treason!

I was not a reporter when I met Vanunu for the first time in June 2005, but I knew I had to become one when he told me:

“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace”.

“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.

“The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground.

“In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

After cheese cake for desert I asked Ms. Thomas what she would advise anyone who wanted to go into the field of journalism and she stated:

“Go for it! It’s the greatest profession in the world because you are always learning and you are aware of the world, so you just might be able to affect change.

“You cannot have a democracy without an informed people.

“Information is everything; it enlarges your intellect and that guides you.

“The job is to follow the truth and report where it leads you!

“Right and wrong is not relative. Empathy is fine but kindness and sympathy do not change the facts and conscience is everything!

“Leaders are suppose to do the right thing and we should back up the president when he does the right thing; but drop him when he doesn’t.

“The WHY is the most important question-not that something happened- but WHY did it happen?

“Somewhere along the way America lost its soul.

“People have to rise up but Americans have become so passive and power overwhelmingly abusive.”

I responded, “So how do we fix this situation?”

Ms. Thomas replied, “It’s being done!”

And when I asked Ms. Thomas if she had always wanted to be a journalist, her persistent smile broadened and the gleam in her eyes sparkled with unshed tears as she replied, “When my first article was published in the high school paper and I saw my byline, I was hooked!”

I shot back, “I had a similar but opposite experience!”

I explained that when I was a child, my dream was to grow up and become Brenda Starr, the red headed, ace investigative journalist and star reporter for the metropolitan daily, The Flash. The fictional Brenda traveled the world solving mysteries and unearthing scoops and she intuitively knew when somebody was not telling the truth.

But when my first assignment for the high school newspaper was edited beyond my recognition but my name was attached, my Irish temper erupted and I immediately confronted the faculty member on the paper and inquired, “Why did you publish an article with my name but with words I did NOT write?”

I was told that it was just standard procedure for the faculty to edit all of the student’s work and I replied, “Not mine you don’t! I quit!”

Ms. Thomas pointed her finger at me and said, “That’s ethics!”

And that comment is the second highest compliment I have ever been paid in my life!

The first remains the one Mordechai Vanunu graced me with when he said, I was always good to remind him of JC/Jesus Christ.

JC was never a Christian, but a social justice radical revolutionary nonviolent Palestinian devout Jew who rose up against a corrupt Temple and taught the people there was no need to pay the high priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already loved just as they were.

What got JC crucified was agitating the status quo of the Roman Occupying forces, for Rome’s method of capitol punishment was to crucify all dissidents, rebels and agitators.

And that leads me back to John Lennon:

“Christ, you know it ain’t easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going; They’re gonna crucify me!

“The struggle is in the mind. We must bury our own monsters and stop condemning people. We are all Christ and Hitler. We want Christ to win. We’re trying to make Christ’s message contemporary. What would he have done if he had advertisements, records, films, TV and newspapers! Christ made miracles to tell his message. Well, the miracle today is communications, so let’s use it.”

For love for all of the people on this one small planet, this little sister is doing just that!

Rabbi’s and Mahdi Al-Husseini, a Palestinian American Muslim who still has family in Occupied East Jerusalem with his sons in D.C on the street outside of Congress, 24 May 2011.

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Rabbi’s and Mahdi Al-Husseini, a Palestinian American Muslim who still has family in Occupied East Jerusalem with his sons in D.C on the street outside of Congress, 24 May 2011.
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  1. http://wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2049&Itemid=245

  2. http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/03/18/playboy-interview-helen-thomas/

  3. “THIRD INTIFADA/UPRISING: NONVIOELENT But With Words Sharper Than a Two-Edged Sword” by Eileen Fleming

Posted in USAComments Off on An Evening with Helen Thomas and Flashback to John Lennon and Mordechai Vanunu

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