BartBlog

July 21, 2014

Bibi Netanyahu, Palestine’s next King Herod?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:56 am

How can I say this politely? Not really sure, but here goes. “Bibi Netanyahu certainly has killed a whole bunch of children in Palestine lately. Does that remind you of anything that happened in the Bible, in this same Palestine, except years ago? ‘When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old or under.’ Does Matthew 2:16-18 come to mind?”

How many kids has Netanyahu killed in Palestine over these past five years? I have no idea. Has he killed more babies than Herod? Is this some sort of competition to see how many mothers’ tears can be shed? It certainly looks like it.

“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Has Netanyahu outdone even Herod? We may never know, but from the latest reports on NBC and CNN, it looks like Bibi has won this competition for sure! http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/jul/16/gaza-israeli-strike-kills-four-children-beach-video

“But, Jane,” you might say, “Bibi Netanyahu has such a strong advantage. Herod didn’t have access to Patriot missiles or whatever those phallic-looking ICBM thingies that Bibi has.” All too true.

According to the Global Security Netwire, “Israel manufactures and deploys technologically sophisticated and diverse ballistic missile, cruise missile, and missile defense systems. Several overarching themes characterize Israel’s missile program. First, Israel’s strategy of maintaining a ‘qualitative military edge’ over potential adversaries motivated the country to rapidly develop one of the region’s [and the entire world's] most capable missile production infrastructures, and to deploy the region’s [and the world's] most advanced missile systems.” http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/israel/delivery-systems/

And with American taxpayers paying for all these hot new baby-killers, Netanyahu is sure to have the edge. Roman-era swords simply can’t compete with all that. Old Herod had better step up his game!

And Hamas’s funky short-range bottle-rockets also suck eggs. They haven’t even killed not even one child. But then Hamas isn’t out to kill kids like King Herod was — or like Bibi.

But actually, my money is on Netanyahu for winning the baby-killing contest right now. Back in Herod’s day, Jesus, Joseph and Mary were able to escape off to Egypt — but now even the Rafah crossing is closed. For Bibi right now, “slaughtering innocents” is like shooting fish in a barrel. If you are a child in Gaza today, you are trapped — and it’s not a matter of if you are going to die but when. I’d say that Bibi definitely has the edge. http://electronicintifada.net/content/egyptian-press-repeat-israeli-lies-sisi-keeps-gaza-border-closed/13581

To quote Seumas Milne in The Guardian, “For the third time in five years, the world’s fourth largest military power has launched a full-scale armed onslaught on one of its most deprived and overcrowded territories. Since Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip began, just over a week ago, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed. Nearly 80% of the dead are civilians, over 20% of them children…. The idea that Israel is defending itself against unprovoked attacks from outside its borders is an absurdity.” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/16/gaza-shameful-injustice-israel-attacks-occupied-people

Yet how come Herod is considered a vile and cowardly villain for killing so many babies, yet Netanyahu is considered a hero for doing the exact same thing? I truly do not understand.

PS: I also don’t understand why so many Americans are always complaining about “baby-killer” abortions — yet are totally happy when their representatives in Congress pass laws that cheer Netanyahu’s “Slaughter of the Innocents” on. Huh? At what stage of in their growth, exactly, does it suddenly become okay to kill babies?

PPS: And these same anti-abortion Americans who cheer on their boy Herod also cheer mightily when innocent children are forced to languish at America’s southern borders, putting a whole new spin on the phrase, “Suffer little children…” King Herod would be so proud of them too.

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July 18, 2014

Are 12 Senators better than 2?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:29 pm

crop lifeguard station

An initiative that qualified to be on the ballot in California this fall will get little, if any, coverage in the national media which is operating on reduced staff status because of austerity budgets. In the era of the “smaller is better” philosophy becoming ubiquitous in the political arena conservatives will be obliged to ridicule the idea of dividing (like the loaves and fishes shtick) the California state government up into six groups. The conservatives will be quick to remind voters that mom and pop businesses will need to print new stationary if the change is approved and therefore the little guy can save a few bucks if he (and his wife since women got the vote) defeats this change which is bound t be labeled as just another nutty California idea.

California sends a large contingent of representatives to Congress along with two Senators. If the change is approved, there would be twelve Senators representing the same geographical area that now gets only two.

Isn’t California always depicted as a “stronghold” for the Democratic Party? Obviously if one of the new states included Orange County, they wouldn’t send Democrats to the Senate, but statistics for the whole of California tend to indicate that over the long haul, most of the new Senators would be Democrats thus urging small business owners to save a few bucks and staying with their old stationary would be an economically appealing way to let selfishness determine a difficult and complex issue.

On Wednesday, July 17, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle, which was once owned by Presidential hopeful William Randolph Hearst, was featuring a story headlined “State of confusion over 6 Californias” on its front page.

Conservative media owners are not going to let the voters become convinced that California needs more Senators than Delaware or Rhode Island, so don’t waste any money betting on the measure passing.

Initially, Berkeley and Venice Beach may seem like identical twins separated at birth but don’t jump to any conclusions before you take a closer look. Political activists in the Venice Beach area are very concerned with the activities of the California Coastal Commission, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and the effect global warming will have on raising the tide line. Berkeley has other issues to concern political activists. The Coastal Commission is ignored in Berkeley as an irrelevant diversion. UCB students can vote for a politician who wants to be a Berkeley City Council representative. Decisions regarding the University have a large influence on local residents in Berkeley. Folks in the Venice Beach area let the schools (such as Pepperdine, UCLA, Santa Monica College, and USC) tend to their own business.

Sports fans in the San Francisco Bay area are very different from sports fans in Southern California.

Conservatives who believe less government is best, will want to maintain the status quo so that the huge state has only one government entity to worry about shorelines, forests, prisons, highways and the state parks.

People from outside the area (such as the ones that work on the staff at the New York Times) would do well to skim through Curt Gentry’s book, “The Late Great State of California,” and Jon Winokur’s collection of quotes about the vast and very diversified state (“The War between the State”) before they sit down to write (ex cathedra) an editorial telling California voters what to think on this complex issue.

Literature from California is as diverse as the people and geography. Many critics consider “Grapes of Wrath” to be the greatest novel written in America. Mystery novelist established a cottage industry genre based on a lone detective. Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade worked in San Francisco; Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe worked in L. A. County.

A driver can leave San Diego head North and after a full day of driving still be in California. People who live at Lake Tahoe refer to going shopping as “go into the City.” It takes (if memory serves) about four hours to get from the casinos to the cable cars.

Music in Cali is also very diverse. The L. A. sound is best exemplified by the Doors and the San Francisco sound means “crank up the Jefferson Airplane.” What country music fan doesn’t think Bakersfield and Buck Owens are synonymous? Doesn’t Merle “Oakie from Muskogee” Haggard live somewhere in California? In Santa Monica an apartment house once owned by Lawrence Welk dominates the skyline.

Ansel Adams was born and raised in San Francisco.

Didn’t Clint Eastwood become mayor of Monterey? Didn’t Sonny Bono wind up as a Congressman from So Cal? Wasn’t Richard Nixon born and raised in Southern California? St. Ronald Reagan changed American politics starting with his manipulation of the protesters at Berkeley. They were a convenient foothold for his climb to the White House.

Innovation and growth are important when it comes to the people known as corporations, but as far as administering the services needed by the voters in California the conservatives will dust off the references to the wishes of the founding fathers and stress that a lot of expenses for new stationary can be avoided with a “No” vote in November.

If less is more, maybe political activists from California should urge the consolidation of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia into one state?

Dividing California could have dire repercussions. Are there ten local politicians in Delaware or Rhode Island who wouldn’t be glad to become a repetitive in the United States Senate?   If a state is so small that it gets only one Congressional district doesn’t it make sense to divide it into six smaller states so that the same geographical area will suddenly have six people in Congress?

The media in New York can’t completely ignore this developing political story because the conservative media owners will want to stifle innovation at the git-go and sending a top notch reporter to cover the bowl of granola aspect of the story will be as good as giving them a big cash Christmas bonus.

People in flyover country (such as Concordia Kansas) love the jokes that make fun of California such as: Why is Los Angeles like a bowl of granola? (It’s all nuts, fruits, andf flakes!)

Since California would (most likely) fit into the Southwest corner of the W. A. (AKA Western Australia), it might be best to quash this break it into smaller pieces political trend right here and now before the voters in Kalgoorlie start to get some strange ideas from America.

[Note from the photo editor: we dug into the archives to find some photos from the Venice Beach area and some tourist type pictures from Frisco to illustrate the point that both areas are far apart physically and (upon closer inspection) politically too.]

William Hjortsberg has written: “The future remains an unwritten book, its cryptic pages blank, and no crystal ball wizard, palm reader or Tarot deck manipulator can accurately provide a sneak preview of what’s coming in the next chapter.”

The disk jockey will play the Doors “L. A. Woman,” the Jefferson Airplane’s “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” and the CCR (from “near” Berkeley) song, “Run Through the Jungle.” We have to go see where the Buffalo Springfield is playing this weekend.   Have a “Point Break” type week.

crop of SF heart

 

July 17, 2014

Screw that Middle East nightmare, I’m off to the mall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:36 pm

All of that screaming and pain pouring out of the mutilated throats of murdered children in the Middle East that I constantly hear in my nightmares has finally gotten too much for me. Can’t stand it any more! So now I’m going to do what every other patriotic American I know does instead: Tune it all out and go off to the mall.

Who cares if my Social Security pension doesn’t give me enough money to actually buy anything. That doesn’t matter. When you are at the mall, nothing really matters here — except for the retail stores and the food court. At the mall, I can’t hear the screams of dying children in Gaza, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq any more. http://blackagendareport.com/content/witness-international-crime-israeli-state-terrorism-gaza

And I can’t hear the screaming children of Ukraine any more either, as American-supplied bomber jets blow up their homes — and their arms and their legs too.

I can just think happy thoughts about the clothes that I can no longer afford to buy instead — because I didn’t get a COLA this year because that money all went to buy the airships that are blowing up the children of Ukraine.

And I won’t have to listen to the ghosts of the children being tortured and imprisoned in Syria by ISIS either.

According to journalist Patrick Cockburn, “There is no eyewitness information about the [kidnapped middle school] children but a report in the al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper said some of those abducted by Isis may have been tortured. It added that they were being held in two schools and that families living nearby said they could not sleep because of the sound of children crying and screaming as they were tortured. They said they heard three shots from the direction of one of the schools, leading them to fear that children may have been killed.” http://www.unz.com/item/syria-crisis-isis-marches-further-into-syria-tipping-the-balance-of-power-in-the-civil-war/#comment-608380

Hey, we all signed a national campaign to rescue those Nigerian school girls. Where is the national campaign to rescue the Syrian kids too?

Screw that. No more thoughts about dying children for me! At the mall, all I have to worry about is whether or not my debit card will be declined. https://news.vice.com/article/israeli-airstrikes-kill-4-children-on-gaza-beach

American oligarchs and neo-cons and Wall Street and War Street have covertly financed and/or have actually opened up “wars” on so many fronts lately I can’t even count them. There’s the war on Syria, the war on Ukraine, the war on Gaza, the war on Iran, the war on Iraq (redeux), all those minor wars in Africa, the continuing war on Afghanistan… My head hurts just thinking about it. Where is a good mall when you need one? http://www.globalresearch.ca/israels-atrocity-and-the-wests-ignorance-the-tide-of-media-lies/5391156

It’s as if Wall Street and War Street are deliberately provoking and encircling Iran and Russia; deliberately trying to provoke them into a world-wide war to the death, and perhaps throwing in a war on China as well. Reliving the old Cold War glory days, guys? Or perhaps Hiroshima? Or are you just plain acting insane?

To paraphrase a Disney princess doll currently on sale here at Target, “Are you out of your [freaking] minds!?!”

No unsettling nightmares like this ever recur to me while I’m window-shopping at Old Navy or The Gap. Or while having an ice cream cone at Barnes & Noble afterwards — and maybe taking in a movie at the AMC multiplex too. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” would be a good choice. Or how about “Transformers: Age of Extinction”.

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July 13, 2014

The war on Islam: Sewing yellow crescents on Muslims comes next?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:44 pm

How can you possibly declare war on an entire religion? Hey, the Nazis did it — and so did the Romans. History has demonstrated again and again that anything’s possible, even the most bizarre stuff.

Christ was crucified because he was a Christian — and later his followers were fed to hungry lions.

Remember Ann Frank? She was a Jew.

And now Muslims are slowly but surely being herded toward the coliseums, concentration camps and ovens as well. http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4850389ae3e2d55804103e6af&id=b0cc95b1f8&e=2e3ccbfdc8

“But who exactly is doing all this herding?” you might ask. American neo-cons, Israeli neo-cons and their capos in Al Qaeda and ISIS — “The Coalition of the Willing”. http://www.deliberation.info/barb-weir-apologizes-diane-sawyer/

Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. But 50 years from now, when the Middle East has been stripped of its Muslims as neatly and cleanly as the American prairies have been stripped of its Indians, and powerful neo-con oil companies and neo-con weapons manufacturers own all the real estate from Mauritania to Pakistan, history will believe me. Who would have ever thought that the Cherokee and the Sioux and the Cheyenne would some day be gone? Or marched along trails of tears like the Nakba trail? Or be warehoused in reservations like Gaza.

And the ghosts of over a million Muslims who have already died in places like Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Palestine and Lebanon and Libya and Egypt and Yemen will believe me too. And so will the PNAC. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

“But what exactly is a neo-con?” you might ask next. A neo-con is anyone who puts greed and dominance and power over any other consideration — and thinks that kindness and morality are only for fools like me (and hopefully you too). Religion? Patriotism? Forget that. http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2014-07-04/article/42256?headline=Be-a-Patriot-for-a-Change–Join-the-Democratic-Parade–Becky-O-Malley

God, Allah and even Jehovah means nothing to these creeps, and the Stars and Stripes have become nothing but a clever propaganda tool. Neo-cons will do anything for money and domination — even sell America out (again). http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/us-state-department-rejects-gazas-right-self-defense-israeli-aggression

Get out your sewing kits, Muslims. Start sewing those yellow crescent moons on your shirts. Kristallnacht has already arrived. http://www.roitov.com/articles/defeat.htm

First they came for the Muslims over in the Middle East (and also for any moral Christians and Jews who stood in the way of the slaughters). So will they be coming for us here in America next?

PS: And while we’re already on the subject of Islam, let’s talk about the holy month of Ramadan too — where you are supposed to fast from sun-up to sundown for 30 whole days so that you can experience what it is like to go without food and then feel more compassionate for those less fortunate than us.

Sorry, guys, but for me that’s just not gonna happen. I start starving to death after going without food for just 30 minutes — let alone daily for 30 days.

However, apparently there is also some good news for Ramadan food-wimps like me. If you are sick, a traveler or elderly, you are granted an automatic out from the requirement to fast. “You can feed a poor person each day instead.”

Hey, that works. I’m elderly — and just celebrated my 72nd birthday at Chez Panisse to prove it. Going to Chez Panisse each year for one’s birthday is a pure-genius idea. Then instead of dreading getting older each year, you can look forward to something wonderful instead. Plus they served salmon, and had an author come and talk to us diners about how Bristol Bay in Alaska (and the lives of 11 million salmon) are currently being threatened by Sarah Palin and her greedy neo-con friends — but I digress. http://www.amazon.com/American-Catch-Fight-Local-Seafood/dp/1594204489

So now I am feeding a poor person each day — which, in America, is definitely not hard to do. There is at least one hungry and homeless poor person (and usually more) on every single street corner in beautiful downtown Berkeley where I live.

“If I give you some money, will you spend it on food?”

“Yeah, sure.” Mission accomplished for another Ramadan day.

PPS: What in the world is that ISIS terrorist group in the Middle East thinking! ISIS is going around killing both Sunnis and Shias. That’s crazy. You are not supposed to kill fellow Muslims. That is a definite no-no according to the Koran.

“But only members of ISIS are Muslims,” their leaders reply. “You don’t even have to pray to be one of us. You don’t even have to observe Ramadan.”

What then, exactly, is the requirement to be a member of ISIS? “You just have to be mindlessly angry. And if you are a psychopath, that also helps.” And if the American, Israeli and Saudi neo-cons are paying you to wreck havoc in the Middle East, that’s pretty much the main requirement for being an ISIS Muslim as far as I can tell. PNAC is at it again? Another of their fond wishes for a second Pearl Harbor? Yep.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5nigZzgf4Y&feature=youtu.be

True Muslims honor the values of compassion and justice above all else. According to Canadian journalist Zafar Bangash, “No Islamic State can be erected on the skulls of innocent people or by shedding rivers of blood. This is the hallmark of [neo-cons]. Islam has nothing to do with such conduct. There can be no compromise on this point. Muslims cannot allow misguided and deviant characters to hijack the deen of Islam.” http://www.crescent-online.net/2014/07/how-to-establish-the-khilafah-zafar-bangash-4538-articles.html

PPPS: You can also celebrate Ramadan by purchasing my book on the Haj! That too would help feed a poor person — namely me. http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=cm_rdp_product

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July 11, 2014

San Francisco values proliferating

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:27 pm

 

crop of Hometown touristsIn mid-July of 1939, few Americans had international events on their minds. A century ago, by mid summer, the war to end all wars was inevitable. Fifty years ago, as the class of 1965 prepared to start Senior year, only worrywarts were concerned about the future of South Vietnam. To some, ignoring this summer’s tense world situation may seem foolhardy, but for the connoisseurs of nostalgia, a whimsical innocuous column about a holiday weekend in San Francisco (AKA Fog City) seems mandatory.

“Carsick (John Waters hitchhikes across America)” became available as an autographed new item at Pegasus Books in Berkeley at the same time that a high school classmate called and said he had bought that book and thought we would enjoy reading it, so we’ll read it and review it after he sends us his used copy. It will be the latest installment in a literary genre that has fascinated us since Jack Kerouac went on the Tonight show to plug his latest endeavor titled “On the Road.” (Do you remember: Marilyn Monroe was also on that episode?)

The World’s Laziest Journalist has, like Ricky Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), been to both Casablanca and to Paris France. We prefer Paris. Going on the road usually is made to sound like an impulsive lark.

Our illusions of grandeur have been taunting us with some delectable possibilities for going on the road this month or next. Bastille Day, July 14, is like the overture for the festivities that will accompany the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris that will be happening there next month.

Realizing that we can’t just run out onto the center field in Yankee stadium for the opening day game, we decide to do a bit of “Spring training” by paying AC Transit the senior fare that would get us to San Francisco to see “What’s the haps” there on the Forth of July weekend in 2014. Is it just a co-inky-dink that one of this summer’s new songs is “I’ve got a lot of Travelin’ to do” by Willie Nelson? Or is it a sign? (Because of the line “I can’t forget the sh** you’ve put me through,” you’re never gonna hear that song on the radio.)

Recently the news reported the results of a survey done to find the best hamburgers in America. Sam’s Pizza in the North Beach area of Frisco serves burgers that have been proclaimed by a cable TV food critic as one of the top three in the world. Since chain burgers were the only eligible candidates for selection for the newsworthy survey. Nothing like stacking the deck in favor of the people known as corporations, eh/

Whist in the vicinity of the Beat Museum, we stopped by. Full Disclosure: our goal of becoming one of the guest lecturers there is rapidly approaching “scratch that off the bucket list” status. More Full Disclosure: Since the Beat Museum doesn’t charge admission to attend an installment of their guest speakers lecture series and since that means we shouldn’t expect a speaker’s fee, our agent is rather skeptical about being enthusiastic about this career opportunity (some time this fall?). Hangfire! If we get a good column from the experience; why not give a go?

We encountered a wide variety of tourists in the North Beach area over the Forth of July weekend. For a family from Melbourne, a trip to Fog City, where it was a cloudless day with balmy temperatures, was a chance for them to get away from the howling winds and deep snow drifts of the Australian Winter. Later we learned that FBi radio down under was going to give a listener a trip to up to Iceland in the Northern Hemisphere were it is time for a summer vacation. (Google hint: FBi radio. [Note the lower case is used for the last letter.])

On Sunday, of the July Forth weekend, we decided a return to Golden Boy tavern was a good lunchtime decision. We arrived at opening time and had a few minutes to chat with the bartender slash pizza slinger duo known as Lisa Pizza and Killah K. (Is she a Jerry Lee Lewis fan?) Then when the clock struck noon, things got too hectic to hold a conversation. (We shouldda asked what ever happened to the ubiquitous tavern pastime called “Liars’ Poker”? It seemed to be everywhere in the Sixties.)

Recently at Pegasus bookstore, we noticed copies of “Another Great Day at Sea,” by Geoff Dyer, which tells about the author’s experiences aboard the U. S. Navy aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush. It is one of the best sellers for the summer of 2014. If the Dyer book is brand new, why did it sound “old hat” to the World’s Laziest Journalist?

Ernie Pyle, who wrote a book of road adventures titled “Home Country,” became a Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent whose name was synonymous with coverage of the soldiers and Marines who fought WWII. Pyle had included a chapter titled “Life on a Flat-Top,” in his last book, “Last Chapter.” We pulled out our copy to refresh our memories of Pyle’s version of life at sea. Pyle gives only veiled hints as to the ship’s name: “She was known in the fleet as “The Iron Woman,” because she had fought in every battle in the Pacific in 1944 and every one to date in 1945.” Subsequently, we did some fact checking online and found out that Pyle was referring to CVL 28, the Cabot.

Recently Dan Saltzstein wrote an article for the Sunday New York Times Travel section that looked at San Francisco through the eyes of a noir mystery fan. Our default viewpoint is from the eyes of a Beat writers fan. While we were gathering material for this column, we spotted some people doing the Go-car tour of Fog City. We asked them where they were from and they said they lived in San Francisco.

An ambitious writer would find plenty of material to review for inclusion in a book about the history of column writing in San Francisco. America’s (the world’s?) oldest radio station is just part of The City’s history. Much to the consternation of the World’s Laziest Journalist, Bruce Bellingham has authored a book about being a Herb Caen wannabe in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Dang!)

No one challenged the accuracy of Don Sherwood’s claim to have been the greatest disk jockey of all time. If you find world events unavoidable, then you might like to know what part Frisco played in the history of the United Nations. Did the music world have a category just for “the San Francisco sound”?

San Francisco values, which seem to cause great distress for the conservative pundits, seem to be becoming ubiquitous in the USA. “We don’t wear our hair long and shaggy like the hippies out in San Francisco do.”

In “Bellingham by the Bay,” Bruce Bellingham wrote (on page 12): “Later the White Line sent bills to the families of the musicians (on the Titanic), demanding payment for the players’ uniforms.”

Now the disk jockey will play Tony Bennett’s “I left my heart in San Francisco,” Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair),” and the Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to love.” We have to go back to reading “The Dain Curse.” Have a “save water, shower with a friend” type week.

crop of 3 Dot J column

 

July 7, 2014

Comedy central: America’s foreign policy is laughable!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:16 pm

Almost nobody remembers the Keystone Kops any more — those hilariously bewildered, confused and zany silent-movie clowns who ran around in circles like chickens with their heads cut off and whose crazy antics were shown on theater screens all across America, exactly 100 years ago today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVNSQ72wvlc.

But I remember the Keystone Kops because they used to be on TV in the 1950s when I was a kid. Boy did I laugh!

And now, one hundred years later, the Keystone-Kop-wannabe antics of America’s crazy, bewildered and confused foreign policy is making me laugh too — at least when it isn’t making me cry.

How easy would it be — to develop a whole new stand-up comedy routine based solely on America’s foreign policy in Ukraine. http://rt.com/news/170104-ukraine-lugansk-shelling-airstrike/ And describing America’s foreign policy in the Middle East would surely be funny enough to land me a spot on Saturday Night Live.

My first joke about America’s Middle East foreign policy will surely have you in stitches! “America’s foreign-policy Keystone Kops’ opening gig in the Middle East was first on the marquee in Jerusalem back in the 1940s — when those crazy, zany and confused foreign-policy Kops mistook the Palestinian holy land for a perfect site for the latest Neo-Con Condominium Development Association project.”

Get it? Holy Land? Condo development? That’s hilarious! Although even most Israelis these days are not laughing at this pratfall any more either — especially after some Israeli neo-con storm troopers just made a Palestinian child drink gasoline and then set him on fire while he was still alive. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.599318. Looks like this whole Israeli neo-con Occupation skit has fallen flat.

But wait! I still gots tons of other great jokes about America’s crazy, confused and zany foreign policy in the Middle East.

“Did I ever tell you the one about how America had trained and weaponized Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, back during Charlie Wilson’s War — until, oops, AQ made a wrong turn at Kabul and blew up the World Trade Center instead?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBQ-IoHfimQ&feature=youtu.be

“Not very funny, Jane.” Yeah, yeah — but wait for the punchline.

“THEN America went on to weaponize and train Al Qaeda terrorists to invade Syria — but only after Americans had bombed Iraq in 2003 in order to defeat Al Qaeda terrorists there, but then, big surprise, wait for it — it turned out that there WERE no Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq! However, there soon would be plenty of Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq after all those bumbling Keystone Kops in DC left the doors wide open for them to drop in.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEuJ5v3AbJg&feature=youtu.be

Do I hear any belly-laughs out there? Not yet? Damn, you’re a hard audience to please.

Then how about this joke? “America spent almost a trillion dollars invading Afghanistan in search of Al Qaeda terrorists — who had by then joined up with the Taliban terrorists and/or moved on to Pakistan and Iraq.” Hey, I thought that was funny. Get it? America chasing Al Qaeda terrorists all through the Middle East like Al Qaeda terrorists were the bad guys and all the while Al Qaeda terrorists were America’s very own crazy and zany country cousins?” Can’t get much more like Keystone Kops than that!

I’m laughing my head off here! So — why aren’t you?

To paraphrase Father Dave Smith, “I thought the Americans were trying to wage a war ON terror, not a war to CREATE it.” Funny how that all got twisted around, right? http://prayersforsyria.com/why-its-ok-to-arm-moderate-jihadists-in-syria/

But perhaps this next schtick will be the money-shot joke? Let’s give it a try.

“Then after tearfully telling Al Qaeda, ‘Come home, all is forgiven,’ America’s DC Kops once again started training and weaponizing AQ in Jordan, and then sent a bunch of Al Qaeda terror-creating operatives off to Syria to do what they do best — and once there, they apparently broke into two groups.” Al Nustra and ISIS.

“But then Al Nustra terrorists started demanding to get paid the same wages that ISIS terrorists are getting from the Americans, who are funneling ISIS’s paychecks to them through the Saudis. So the ISIS terrorists chop off the Al Nustra terrorists’ heads — and then run off to Iraq where ISIS then gathers its minions on the Saudi border.” More Keystone-Kop antics here — only these Kops are brandishing AK-47s and machetes, and the costume department has gone bananas with the new black-bandana look. But they still run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

“So then the Saudis have to send 30,000 of its own Keystone Kops to their border to keep the ISIS terrorists out of Arabia — and that’s ISIS we’re talking about, the group of terrorists that the Saudis had originally funded themselves in the first place, by using money laundered from America.”
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article4137451.ece

But wait. This stuff gets even funnier. Honest.

“America then sends in its own Keystone-Kop special forces to Iraq in order to stop the ISIS terrorists, who were spozed to be our own Keystone Kops in the first place. Or is it Al Qaeda’s terrorist Keystone Kops that America now wants to stop?” Now even I am confused. There’s gotta be a killer punchline in here somewhere. Oh yeah. Now I remember. “And so America’s Keystone Kops end up setting the whole Middle East on fire — but then blaming the whole frigging mess on Iran and Russia!” LOL.

Meanwhile back in Ukraine, America’s foreign policy has now weaponized and trained another bunch of pseudo-Ukrainian neo-Nazi terrorist Keystone Kop wannabes who are happily blowing up everything in sight too — but mostly blowing up Ukrainians. I guess that America must have thought that the siege of Stalingrad by the Nazis was so funny that they wanted to do it again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlMw8CjyV80

And all these hilarious American Keystone-Kop foreign-policy routines — where everyone is running around crazily and blowing things up — have got me just rolling in the aisles, laughing it up. So why aren’t you laughing too?

“Because American taxpayers are the ones that have been forced to pay for all this bloody, crazy, and confused carnage…” Oh hell. Even Jon Stewart couldn’t get a laugh out of that one.

The joke is on us.

100_3365

July 3, 2014

Mugwumps, high jumps, and speed bumps

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:30 pm

crop of Godfathe Goldr

When and where was it decided that the Republicans would be given sole possession of the right to be considered patriots while the Lefties would be portrayed as Commie Curmudgeons? As this year’s Forth of July weekend approached, the World’s Laziest Journalist was skimming through “Documentary Expression and Thirties America,” by William Stott and searching for a column topic. In the early thirties, writers fanned out across America to document the effects that the Great Depression was having on Americans in the middle and poor classes. Photographers, such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lang took photos that inspired action to be taken. Later in the Thirties, many writers took President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s suggestion (page 241 – 242) to go see America and listen to what the Americans had to say. Stott describes (on page 255) a change happening in the USA: “As the war drew nearer, it was rare that a book documenting America did not have a passage, usually in the final pages, where the enumerated glories of the land aroused the author’s confidence in the nation and its destiny.” Stott sees the trend as “conservative ‘documentary’ reportage.”

Why must liberal writers sound like disgruntled commies and conservatives get subsidized extended vacations to gather material to bolster their views?

Ronald Reagan’s flippant attitude toward giant sequoia trees (“Once you’ve seen one giant redwood tree, you’ve seen them all.”) apply to Hollywood’s annual awards ceremony? Any columnist who attended both the 47th and 48th installments of the Oscar Awards knows that’s not true. When the awards for 1974 were handed out early the next year, very few of the nominated actors and actresses (two separate awards two different words) were in the audience at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to accept the award if they were named. Fred Astaire, nominated for his supporting role in “The Towering Inferno,” and Valerie Perrine, nominated for her leading role in “Lenny,” were there but they didn’t win. Mario Puzo and Frances Ford Coppola were there and won awards for “The Godfather Part II.” For anyone who had never covered the Oscars it was quite exciting.

A year later, the Oscars for 1975 received much better news coverage because “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” swept the awards and many of the nominated the actors and actresses were there to see if their name got called. That was the year that the only member of the Carradine family ever to win an Oscar got one for writing the Best Song, “I’m Easy,” from “Nashville.” The excitement level in the press area was perceptibly higher. The two successive years were quite different events.

Fast forward to forty years later: 2014. Have things change? You bet. Now, it’s rather rare for a nominated actors in the Best Actor and Best Actress (It’s complicated; don’t ask.) categories not to be seen on TV’s around the world, waiting anxiously for the winner’s name to be called. Land-line telephones, teletype machines, and ash trays are (we expect) quaint reminders of the past missing from the press rooms in the digital era.

If Berkeley does anything to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Mario Savio’s speech on top of a police car (he took off his shoes so as not to scuff the paintjob), the World’s Laziest Journalist will probably take some photos and write a column about the symbolism of the event.

Where was it established that only conservatives can run a list of things that make the country surrounding the White House such a great destination for those seeking a better life?

In the time between taking a photo of a lone anti-war protester in the Times Square area of New York City in late1966 and taking some photos in Dorothea Lang’s home town (Berkeley CA) of some homeless kids, the World’s Laziest Journalist has been gathering a long list of items which (if we ever get around to it) can be included in a modern version of the conservative’s “I’ve seen America” genre of books that are a prose version of the song “God Bless America.”

If (big IF) we can get a press pass to go back and see how much the Oscars ceremony has changed in the last forty years, that would be a marvelous addition to the list of memories that sound rather like a typical bit of Forth of July rhetoric.

At the Sebring race, the disk brakes were glowing red hot in the dark. At a Hollywood premiere our reaction to seeing Paul McCartney arrive was: “OMG, he’s not dead!” When we heard John Carradine’s voice coming from a person within a yardstick away from us, we wished we had a cassette recorder so that we could have asked him to say something for our phone message. Seeing Jack Nicholson hold up his Oscar was more fun that seeing him portraying a drifter asking for an order of toast. If you are going to see the United States Grad Prix auto race, a press pass that gets you into the pits makes it so much more enjoyable. (Particularly if James Garner is there getting second unit shots for a Hollywood film.)   What was so special about the parties at the “A-frame” in Hollywood? The Goodyear blimp climbs at the same angle as a jet intercept, but just not as fast. Nicole Kidman is remarkably tall.

Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes made a person realize that no photographer (not even Richard Avedon) could accurately depict their effect on anyone lucky enough to see them less than a yard away.

People all across the United States (and some regular readers in the W. A. [“It’s so big you could stick the state of Texas in a corner.”]?) should be informed about the long range implications of the recent changes in the Ellis Act. Stories about that topic need to be filed in the Marina Tenant Association’s reference library and archives and probably some day soon we’ll do that.

For the July Forth weekend in 2014, we will forget about the long list of political activists urging columns about their pet cause and we will kick back, visit San Francisco, and dream some Fred C. Dobbs type dreams while trying to do some fact finding for our latest example of gonzo punditry. We want to know: What was the event that caused Democrats to concede the point that only conservatives can sound patriotic?

Listening to the radio lately, we have begun to wonder: Is all the constant criticism of the President of the United States part of a concerted Communist plot? The phrase “patriotic Liberal” is not an oxymoron. Are all these voices of doom and gloom being patriotic when they make it sound like a lynch mob rules the airwave?

Do the conservatives really believe in Democracy, elections, and the peaceful transfer of power? How would the conservatives like it if Bill Clinton was still the President who had to confer periodically with Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin?

What could be more American than a cable TV show about a journalist (with a Go-Pro camera?) driving around the USA (in a 1959 Cadillac convertible?) looking for barn finds while talking to various folks about the current state of the union?

If given a binary choice of a press pass for either: A. the Oscars or B. the final game of the World Cup; which event would a true red-blooded American patriot choose?

Mark Twain (do they still have a jumping frog contest in Calaveras County) seems to have anticipated the Fox in the journalism henhouse when he proclaimed: “A man who doesn’t read a newspaper is uninformed. One who does, is ill-informed.”

Now the disk jockey will select some of his favorite “proud to be an American” tunes. He will play Arlo Gutherie’s “City of New Orleans,” Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” (wasn’t that recorded in Santa Monica?), and the entire “Best of the Mamas and Papas” album. We have to go see (we missed him in Sydney) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Warfield (Monday or Tuesday). Have a “sitting in the club car” type week.

Fred Astaire

crop of Astaire arriving

Valery Perrine

crop Perine waves

 

July 2, 2014

Gun-A-palooza: Bet you can’t buy just one

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 5:11 pm

There was a gun show in San Francisco last weekend and hundreds of people were already lined up at the door and waiting, hours ahead of the opening bell. Why? “We want to buy guns, of course, but we also want to buy ammunition.” Of course. What is the use of having a gun if you don’t have any ammunition?

And what is the use of buying just one gun when you can buy two? Or three or four — or a hundred.

And what is the use of owning a derringer when you can own a pistol? And why own a pistol when you can easily trade up and buy a semiautomatic weapon instead? And why just have a semiautomatic weapon when you can get your hands on an AK-47? Or a rocket-launcher — better yet!

I just finished reading Henry Chang’s excellent new murder-mystery novel, “Death Money” http://www.amazon.com/Death-Money-Henry-Chang/dp/1616953519. And on page 67, Chang wrote, “[Detective Yu] had considered switching over to a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic, a nine-millimeter piece, with a polymer frame and a fifteen-shot magazine, but most cops were favoring the new Glocks.” And the more that the bad guys on his beat increased their firepower, the more that Detective Yu wanted to up his firepower too.

And Detective Yu’s attitude is the norm among real cops as well as fictional ones. And it’s not just him or most cops that think this way either. In fact, the more firepower almost anyone has, then the more firepower almost everyone wants. This is true. And pretty soon, even a rocket-launcher won’t do the job and we will all be wanting to upgrade to bazookas and tanks. And then cannons. And drones. And who knows what all else. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38967.htm

“They’ve got one. I need one.”

Pretty soon, if America’s current trend toward weaponization keeps spiraling upward, then who knows. We’ll all be walking down Main Street locked and loaded like ISIS does in Iraq. And we’ll all be wearing black scarves wrapped around our heads and carrying pirate flags and ranting about law and order and God and shooting down everything that moves — ISIS-Al Qaeda-Taliban style.

And gun manufacturers will be happily raking in big bucks all this time — that is, until all of their customers end up shooting all of their other customers dead.

PS: And apparently Americans are currently trying very hard to start resembling ISIS-Taliban-Al Qaeda bad guys in more ways than just weapons and guns. We are also about to sink to their level in other ways too.

After the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby, American women may be about to start living the Taliban life-style as well — and be forced into purdah like it was 2014 (in Afghanistan) http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2014/6/30/supreme_court_hobby_lobby_can_refuse.

Better start getting ready to go off to the harem, ladies — and that is no veiled threat! http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/30/1310577/-One-thing-the-Hobby-Lobby-justices-all-had-in-common

PPS: Basically, Republicans, neo-cons and/or the Tea Party have been in charge of America since the year 2000 — through their control of the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the military and/or ownership of the mainstream media. And anything that Republicans haven’t controlled during this period of time has been controlled by the RepubliDems and/or Democrats who act like neo-con wannabes.

So. Ask yourself. “Has anything in America — anything at all — gotten any better since the 2000 election?”

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June 28, 2014

Ye Olde Scribe Presents: FOX “News” Through History

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 6:48 am
Announcer for Queen and the Empire: Lush Dimbulb

Announcer for Queen and the Empire: Lush Dimbulb

What if FOX had been around since the revolution?

“Welcome to Colonial Edition of the one hour The Perpetually Piss Ewe off News Service: the official service for sheep. At PPN we put a LOT of effort behind pissing sheeple off about anything that won’t help the 1%. Or isn’t supportive off extremely hateful fundamentalist, militia member, Christians. Dare to disagree with us? PISS OFF! All for the glory of the Empire which supports job creators like The East India Tea Company.”

“More tea sailed into Boston Harbor to help make the job creators richer, however flea bitten, need to get a job, socialist, Occupy group members,led by the likes of hippies like George Washington, dumped the job creator’s tea into the harbor. They will be hanged, if found. If pepper spray had been invented yet true Patriots would plan to use that too.”

“Meanwhile Colonialist turned true patriot, Benedict Arnold, is currently informing the leaders of the Empire’s pro-corporate troops of the movements of these lazy ass no traitors.”

(more…)

June 27, 2014

No Buffer Zones?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ye Olde Scribe @ 8:48 pm

Memeground

Are Hemingway and Obama beatnik writers?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:37 pm

Crop of LInda King

“Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski,” by Linda King, has been revised and the author was featured in a reading at the Beat Museum in San Francisco on the evening of Friday June 20, 2014. That, in turn, caused one member of the audience, who had been a North Beach resident in the late Fifties, to question the validity of the choice. Purists say that a writer had to have belonged to the coterie of novelists who drank with Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg to merit the right to be described as a beatnik writer (scriba beatnikus).

Defining who exactly can accurately be described as a “beat” writer and who can not has provided the academic community with many lively discussions concerning the correct application of the “beatnik” label. The word was coined by legendary San Francisco columnist Herb Caen.

A excerpt of Charles Bukowski’s “Notes of a Dirty Old Man” is included in “The Portable Beat Reader,” edited by Ann Charters.

Hunter S. Thompson, who for a time worked with and hung out with the crew at Ken Kesey’s home near La Honda, specifically identified himself with the Sixties journalists who insisted on having their own identifying label (scriba gonzo).

According to “Memory Babe,” by Gerald Nicosia, (based on an interview with one of Kerouac’s ex-wives) Ernest Hemingway (scriba nobeli) and Kerouac met and chatted at a party in Greenwich Village in the late forties. Is that sufficient evidence for calling Hemingway a beatnik writer?

Since knowing Kerouac and Ginsberg is such a limiting qualification, perhaps someone who has all the other necessary hallmarks, such as a love of peace, brotherhood and a disdainful attitude regarding the government (such as the Republican dominated do-nothing Congress) means that the Beat Museum could extend an invitation to speak and promote a (hypothetically speaking) new book to President Obama after he terms out.

As we were writing this column, when we got to this point a lighthearted attempt to write a whimsical report on a group of writers who were pop culture icons fifty years ago seemed absurdly inappropriate during a week when it was obvious that the threat of total anarchy was being used for a high stakes game of chicken involving Maliki and Obama and the countries they lead.

The mainstream media in the USA seemed to agree that Maliki had reneged on a promise to have an inclusive government and Obama indicated that a broken promise by Maliki was the basis for withholding the crucial military support that would be needed to keep Maliki in power.

Expecting Maliki to become cordial to Sunni Iraqi citizens is about as realistic as expecting the Republicans to give President Obama an award for outstanding achievement in the realm of conciliatory bipartisan negotiations.

If the Republicans can win a majority in both the House and the Senate in the November 2014 mid term elections, how long will they wait to start an effort to impeach Obama?

What we had not seen or heard in all the superfluous coverage of the diplomatic confrontation between Maliki and Obama was any speculation about how the events might have reached irreversible trend level that means the fall of Baghdad will soon be inevitable. All the coverage we encountered hinted that a siege might occur and that volunteer Shiite warriors were being rushed to meet the Sunni rebel troops. No mention was made about “the point of no return.”

All the high paid retired officers who offer “expert” commentary skipped over any comparisons with past wars. Was the current situation analogous to the Spanish Civil War? Would the Sunnis take Baghdad as effortlessly as the Germans took Paris in 1940? Would current events in Iraq be a replay of the fall of Saigon?

News broadcasts on TV and radio told the audience of the latest cities to be captured by Isis forces, but listing towns that have been captured when Iraqi troops ran away from any potential battle is just a bit like hearing the final score of last night’s baseball game.  (It has been more than a hundred years since a Giants pitcher has thrown two no hitters.)  Was it a pitchers’ dual? Was it a slug fest. What about the time the pitcher threw a perfect game for nine innings and then lost the game in extra innings?

If the World’s Laziest Journalist offered some wild speculation about what could possibly happen and guessed correctly, he might find himself explaining the lucky guess to some very skeptical folks rather than being in Too Fat City examining job offers from various world famous news media. It would be a noir version of Evelyn Waugh’s war novel “Scoop.”

During the week, we acquired a copy of Max Hastings’ book “All Hell Let Loose (the World at War 1939 – 1945)” and learned that early in the conflict Poland was left in the lurch. France expected more help and was disappointed in the British strategy. Norway and Finland expected more help from the Allies than they received. Has Maliki read this book? Did you know that after British troops were evacuated from Dunkirk, some were sent back to France and were subsequently evacuated a second time? Speaking of broken promises how is the investigation into the care of wounded veterans going?

Did you know that after the fall of France, (for about five weeks) British troops fought Vichy French troops in Syria?

Reluctantly we turned our attention back to the beatnik philosophy and the potential for column topics that could be found on the road. We noticed that Blazing Kat Productions is doing some fundraising to sustain their effort to document the lesser known efforts of activists all around the USA. Their itinerary, which is posted on their web site and promoted on their Facebook page, includes Mendocino and Oakland and perhaps we can do an interview and full length column about their efforts later this summer.

When will the mainstream media notice that the tsunami of adolescent aliens along the southern border might become a landlocked version of the Mariel boat lift debacle? Do the Democrats want that? Are the Republicans encouraging a potential humanitarian crisis just for political gain?

Is the Beat Hotel still open in Paris? Is the Hotel Scribe still in existence? Should we subsidize the necessary expenses that would be needed to provide some gonzo punditry about the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris? (If so, we’ll need a copy of “Europe on $5 a day.”) Can Hemingway be considered a Beatnik prototype? We are continuing our debate with Beat Museum proprietor Jerry Cimini on this topic and may devote an entire column to this question later in the summer.

We promised a young lady, newly arrived in Berkeley from Ireland, that we would plug the Human Rights Campaign in this column. (Google hint: HRC dot org)

[Note from the photo editor: A symbolic image of the North Beach area being reflected in the lens of a pair of sunglasses augments photos take at the Beat Museum on Friday, June 20, 2014 for this week’s column.]

Due to a National Holiday, next week’s end of the week column will be posted a day early, in the usual places.

The Beatniks who endorse the legalization of marijuana will have a difficult time refuting the implications of the article that appeared in the New York Times this week under the headline: “Cool at 13; Adrift at 23.”

For doing everything that infuriated the members of the Democratic party when George W. Bush was President, President Obama is causing the Republicans to discuss impeachment proceedings and all that the network news programs can say is that America is mesmerized by the World Cup Games in Brazil. WTF? The weirdness has only just begun.

Some soccer fans think that one word of dialogue should be added to the “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”sound track: “Go-o-o-o-o-o-ld!”

Now the disk jockey will play Johnny and the Hurricanes’ “Beatnik Fly,” and the song of the summer for 2014 Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” and Willie Nelson’s new album, “Band of Brothers.” We have to go see if we can catch a ride to this year’s installment of the Hemingway Days festival in Key West, Fla. Have a “Bite me!” type week.

Beat Museum photo intern at work

Intern at work

June 26, 2014

Whose Garden Was This?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ye Olde Scribe @ 11:48 am

Russell Brand 1 bomb

SAY NO TO PRO-BOMB PLANTERS.

Not another article on Syria? Well, yeah

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:02 am

“Just exactly how many articles on Syria and Iraq can you actually churn out?” a friend of mine asked me recently. “You were only over in Damascus for five freaking days. And you haven’t been to Iraq since 2008. So what makes YOU such an expert on these two countries?”

Even after less than a week spent in Damascus and after only having been to Iraq four-and-a-half times, I apparently already know more about Syria and Baghdad and Al Ambar than all those dingbats in the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA combined. Unfortunately.

Washington neo-cons and their neo-con counterparts in Tel Aviv have really gotten the Arab world totally wrong. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38908.htm

So, even though I would really rather be writing about almost anything else right now, it is still my civic duty to set these fools straight. Sorry about that.

What I really want to be writing about this week is the exciting new Freedom Summer 50th-anniversary conference in Jackson, Mississippi, where a bunch of folks are getting together to celebrate having survived the heroic summer of 1964 when so many civil rights workers poured their hearts out in an attempt to finally bring justice to the Ol’ South — and some of them lost their lives while doing it too http://freedom50.org/.

But apparently justice in the Ol’ South will have to wait a bit longer. Right now we need to talk about justice in the Middle East first.

After the fall of the U.S.S.R., Washington neo-cons needed a new boogeyman to scare Americans into handing over our hard-earned tax dollars to the military-industrial complex. And so the military-industrial complex came up with the idea of making Islam the bad guy. But then apparently Washington neo-cons actually began to believe their own hype — and even went so far as to actually start creating “Islamic Militants” where none had existed so far.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38914.htm

According to journalist Finian Cunningham, “The biggest recruitment office for such groups [as ISIS] is the British government and its criminal militaristic foreign policy, which has been destroying countries for years, overtly and covertly. That same destructive British state-sponsored terrorism, alongside that of its American and other NATO allies, is also why millions of Syrians and Iraqis are living in tents, unable to feed their families.” http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/22/368055/the-western-media-goldfish-bowl/

The thumbscrews were not only put onto various Islamic countries until “militants” actually did start to emerge, but then Wall Street and War Street — bound and determined to sell as many weapons as possible — actually started creating and financing “Islamic Militants” themselves (and of course all the while praying for another “Pearl Harbor”) http://awdnews.com/top-news/8831-obama-administration-has-been-training-syrian-jihadi-terrorists-since-2012.html

According to a recent article in Information Clearinghouse, “Key members of ISIS it now emerges were trained by US CIA and Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, according to informed Jordanian officials…Former US State Department official Andrew Doran wrote in the conservative National Review magazine that some ISIS warriors also hold US passports.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38908.htm

Neo-cons began manufacturing these Frankenstein monsters left and right. Actually paying thousands of poor unfortunate souls in the Middle East to go on “jihad”. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/24/did-obama-know-that-isis-planned-to-invade-iraq/

Even way back in the 1970s I could have warned the military-industrial complex that these acts of folly would eventually start leading to blow-back — not to mention the sky-rocketing cost of gasoline as a result of all this footsie-playing in the Middle East.

According to journalist Juan Cole, “During the past ten years, American drivers have seen their gasoline bill go up tremendously – though not as much as it by all rights should have – and stay there.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/24415-focus-will-isis-control-iraqs-oil

Apparently, The M-IC’s money-making scheme in the Middle East was that various U.S. and Israeli neo-cons would be constantly stirring up the pot there, turning Arab against Arab until they all freaking started to butcher each other like so many crabs in a barrel. And then the U.S. and Israeli neo-cons would steal everything that wasn’t nailed down while no one over there was looking. It sounded like a good plan. Until the rest of us Americans and Israelis finally began to realize that there was nothing in this witches’ brew for the rest of us except danger to ourselves.

According to me, ISIS is nothing but a bunch of pirates, the Taliban are murdering wife-beaters, the idiots in charge of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Iraq are dictators and Libya is overrun by barbarians. And who created all these proto-zombies? Neo-cons in Israel and the U.S. Of course.

According to Franklin Lamb, who seems to be legendary in Damascus for fabricating stories and mooching off of the Syrian government, ISIS, Syria’s arch enemy, is practically a freaking benevolent organization who succors the poor, has nukes of its own and whose goal is to unite all the downtrodden Arabs in the Middle East into one coherent version of the freaking Red Cross and then liberate Palestine and wash Israel into the sea. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/20/will-isis-create-al-sham-caliphate-liberate-palestine/.

However, Palestinians in Syria did not support ISIS’s brutality and refused to be drawn in — so ISIS bombed the crap out of them instead. And the Palestinians in Israel already have neo-cons killing their kids — and don’t need any more neo-con-backed pirates adding even more “creative chaos” to the mix.

Huh? No. Forget about the sparkling clean Red Cross wannabe image. These ISIS guys are down and dirty pirates. And that’s “all she wrote” about that. And apparently we American taxpayers are paying for all of ISIS’s new Toyotas, rocket-launchers and Nikes as well.

“You talk as though the military-industrial complex may finally be starting to get its comeuppance for generating such a devious plot — but, frankly, it is not,” you might comment at this point.

No, it is not. Not yet. But if Wall Street and War Street continue to play their cutesy little “Divide and Conquer” games in the Middle East, keep on messing with its political eco-system, breaking down its civil society in this bad way, and creating and financing even more Al Qaedas, Talibans and ISISs and driving world gas prices sky-high, then eventually it will suck to be you! http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/06/19/my-dinner-in-homs-on-election-day/

Even against all odds and proof, I still have faith that the rest of us Americans, us average decent salt-of-the-earth types, will finally put a stop to all these nefarious neo-con schemes and finally start bringing our money and our troops home from the Middle East instead — and stop picking on all these poor Arabs before they end up going completely freaking nuts as they see their parents, wives and children constantly being blown to bits before their very eyes by these neo-con monsters.

Not sure why I keep holding out hope that this will happen. But do I really have any other choice?

PS: Another thing that has made me hopeful is to just observing what 50 years of fighting for justice and civil rights has done in the American South.

“But, Jane,” you might say, “50 years of fighting for justice and civil rights has done nothing.” No, there really have been some big changes there — even despite so many neo-con efforts to stop that change. But just imagine how much better the South would be now if the neo-cons had just kept their mouths shut. Schools, factories, integration, far less hatred and division, a better quality of life for all.

And this same thing could have happened in the Middle East too.

PPS: I just heard that Pope Francis has excommunicated the Mafia. Good for him. “But the Mafia has changed,” you might say. “They are legitimate businessmen now.” Not even close. They are just getting better and better at laundering money.

And speaking of laundering money, I finally figured out how those all those ISIS pirates and barbarians in the Middle East can afford to pay for all their new Toyotas, rocket-launchers and sneakers. Saudi Arabia pays for them! http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/24/the-rise-of-isis/

“But where do the Saudis get all that money,” you might ask. “Brand new Nikes are expensive.” No problem. The U.S. military-industrial complex gives the money to the Saudis. The Saudis buy the Nikes. That’s called “money-laundering” too.

Perhaps Pope Francis will excommunicate Wall Street and War Street as well!

We can only hope.

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June 23, 2014

Syria, Iraq, Captain Phillips & the ISIS pirates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:09 pm

 

On my recent really-long plane ride back from Syria where I had served as an election observer, I must have watched at least six different inflight movies — and one of them was “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4FDRlBJNjg. It was all about being attacked by brutal pirates brandishing deadly weapons — and about looting and fear.

And then it suddenly occurred to me that the ISIS invasion of Syria (and now Iraq) was also all about being attacked by brutal pirates brandishing deadly weapons — and about looting and fear. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2658286/Return-Mosul-Days-Iraqs-second-largest-city-fell-feard-Isis-fighters-Iraqis-heading-promise-food-gas-water.html

The only difference seemed to be that Captain Phillips’ Hollywood pirates were basically just poor schmucks with no other available job opportunities — whereas the Al Qaeda-backed and American-financed ISIS pirates are killers to the bone http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/20133.

I just learned that 15 of the ISIS pirates killed while plundering in Syria were from Malaysia. Huh? They came all the way from Malaysia to loot and burn and kill Syrian women and children and also desecrate Syrian churches and mosques while they were at it? I wonder who paid their airfare to Syria — and if their inflight movie was “Captain Phillips” too?

American taxpayers paid for their airfare.

I also just learned that, “The Malaysians who go to Syria and Iraq to fight will be arrested when they return home.” Of course they will be. They are pirates! Pirates belong in jail.

And America, the country that pays these ISIS pirates’ salary and writes up their job description, is not about to let any of these monsters come over here after they’ve been thrown out of Iraq and Syria either. These guys are not ever gonna be allowed to get jobs chauffeuring tourists through the “Pirates of the Caribbean” at Disneyland. Why? Because you definitely do not want to let these marauders and butchers anywhere near your kids!

In America, criminals like these would be jailed for life in an instant — or even made to walk the plank.

But apparently it’s okay with our State Department if they butcher Syrian and Iraqi kids. http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/2013_04_01_archive.html#3554538807908354245#3

One other thing I learned the other day is that Saudi Arabia is paying a $300-a-head bounty for every Alawite Syrian these pirates kill. One ISIS pirate bragged that he has chopped off 350 Syrian heads. So far. And played soccer with them. (Please don’t let this guy play in the World Cup!) And apparently there’s even a video of this guy eating one of his victim’s hearts out on live TV. Who the freak in their right mind would ever do that? Pirates.

And another thing I would like to make perfectly clear. You can’t blame all this blood-lust on Islam either. These ISIS butchers and boogeymen are not Muslims. Muslims venerate compassion and justice. ISIS venerates booty and loot.

PS: When I spoke at a press conference at the United Nations last week, I first planned to make a simple speech about how the elections that I observed there were honestly conducted. See the text of that speech here: http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-speech-at-un-press-conference-1-my.html

PPS: But as jet lag set in and the horrible news of all the looting in Iraq came pouring in and I got tired and cranky, here’s the speech that I actually gave, outing the ISIS pirates for what they really are. Here’s the text of that speech: http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-speech-at-un-press-conference-number.html

PPPS: Then later that evening I gave another speech — and being even tireder and more cranky than ever after a very long day, I said to myself, “Enough already about pirates. I want to talk instead about all those covert bad-guy Bluebeards and Barbarossas who are funding and encouraging all this looting and pillaging.” And that would be us.
http://prayersforsyria.com/iraq-and-syria-whats-going-on/

Back in the 1660s, French pirate captain Francois I’Olonnais used to cut off his victims’ heads and eat their hearts out. Sound familiar? Perhaps that’s the kind of thing that America is now teaching ISIS in pirate school? Yeah. But I digress.

My third speech of the day dealt with the American military-industrial complex’s last 100 years of failed foreign policy — and how weaponizing and training pirates to invade Syria and Iraq seems to be the dumbest foreign policy of all!

Here’s the text of that speech:

“I have read somewhere that there are four things that human beings need in order to survive: Air, food, water and to feel good about themselves. Yet despite this excellent information, I’m afraid that, in the name of truth, I’m going to have to ignore it and make a whole lot of people on Wall Street and War Street feel very bad about themselves. Sorry about that.

“Lately, everyone on the news has been talking constantly about the 70th anniversary of D-Day – but I have yet to hear even one talking head mention the recent 100th anniversary of World War I, probably the most unnecessary and, well, er, just plain stupid war ever fought.

“But, sadly, America’s foreign policy has just gotten dumb and dumber ever since.

“Next up, the badly-designed Treaty of Versailles led to a very preventable World War II. And then we lost China. And Korea. And just what dummy dreamed up the Cold War? Then came Vietnam, a really stupid war. A ten-year-old could have designed a better foreign policy than that. Trillions of dollars wasted and millions of lives destroyed.

“Then came the loss of South America’s hearts and minds, the shambles that is Africa today and disaster after disaster in the Middle East – as our State Department just keeps on riding their express train to Stupid Town.”

With regard to America’s brutal (and dumb) foreign policy of creating chaos in the Middle East wherever it can, it’s been a humongous success — costing millions of lives. Libya is now in total chaos (just think Benghazi), Afghanistan will take a century to recover, Pakistan is a hot mess, Egypt sucks eggs, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are fascist dictatorships, Yemen is in a constant state of civil war, Palestine is a gulag, Israel is a joke balanced on top of a weapons factory the likes of which have never been seen since the USSR went bust, and Maliki in Iraq is as mean as a snake, far worse than Saddam Husein ever was http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/04/28/140428fa_fact_filkins?currentPage=all. Have I left anything out?

“But this new war on Syria has just got to be America’s foreign policy’s all-time low (unless of course you count their support of the neo-Nazis in Ukraine).

“Isn’t it about time for America’s foreign-policy makers to stop being so stupid?” Nice ending to a nice speech, if I do say so myself.

Everything — EVERYTHING — that the U.S. has done in the Middle East since most of us were even born has been wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. And apparently the powers-that-be in Washington have done it all deliberately, in order to sow chaos.

From Paul Bremmer to what’s-his-name Maliki, Iraq has been a disaster. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/04/28/140428fa_fact_filkins?currentPage=all

And apparently Israeli neo-cons have been the major recipients of this huge gift of chaos in the Middle East http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/20/its-all-for-israel/. Or have they? If I were living in Israel right now or even in America (which I am), then I would be afraid, be very afraid (which I am) with all these incompetents, sadists and dummies at the helm.

But has any of this long-term stupidity — of setting so many blood-thirsty pirates loose on the world — made you and me feel any safer? To quote Bluebeard, “Har har har har”.

So. What can we do about stopping all this bloody nonsense? For starters, let’s cut America’s military budget by SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT. Why give these misbehaving miscreants such a big reward all the time when what they actually need is a time-out and a dunce cap?

True American patriots need to look Wall Street and War Street in the eye and say, “Look at me. Look at me. I’m the captain now.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnpeOTLgyKs

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June 22, 2014

Ye Olde Scribe Presents: Short Blatherings from the Bunker

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 6:54 pm

Poor Liddle Idems

The baby cried: translated the cry means, “Wah, I pooped my diaper! It’s Obama’s fault! Clean it up!”
Or, “Wah, I sucked another tit dry, another ‘mommy’ is dead, shriveled up. I want ANOTHER war NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Gay marriage! That’s why I keep puking all over you! Stop it or I’ll puke more! You’re violating MY religious rights by even considering it.
On and on it goes, with “Baby” who is supposedly an adult. And the worst thing to do is to give baby what he wants because it will simply encourage Baby to have more tantrums. Continue to have tantrums.

leadership stinks diaper
Courtesy Politicalgates.blogspot.com

(more…)

June 20, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: UN blocks Syrian Ambassador’s UN press conference

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:35 pm
    On June 18, 2014, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, H.E. Bashar Jaafari, held an official press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, with regard to the recent Syrian elections and how they were conducted in an above-board and transparent manner.
 
     Also present and speaking at the press conference were five neutral election observers from the United States, telling what they had seen in various polling locations throughout Syria on June 3, 2014.  election observers present were Dr. Paul Larudee, Joseph Iosbaker, Scott Williams, Jane Stillwater and Judy Bello.
 
    It is the universal practice of the United Nations to broadcast every press conference held on its premises on its website.  However, five minutes into this particular press conference, the UN’s live feed was cut off.  
 
     For your further information, here is a link to this important video that was blocked by the United Nations.  I think you will find the statements made here by the conference’s participants to be both fascinating and enlightening — as well as highly newsworthy in this crucial news cycle revolving around the recent attack on and invasion of Iraq by the same foreign-fighters and Al Qaeda-related pirates who had previously attacked and invaded Syria:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnFQd4wBXnk
 
      Later that evening, Ambassador Jaafari joined the five election observers in a roundtable discussion regarding the elections and the origins and supporters of ISIS, a non-Muslim organization of terrorists and pirates related to Al Qaeda that is paid for and supported by American taxpayers.
 

      Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark also spoke at this roundtable.  

     Here are the links to that roundtable:  

     Part 1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQrMprZk9Rs  

    Part 2 (Q&A):  http://youtu.be/OX2gEx_lHq0

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