BartBlog

September 23, 2016

NOLA’s French Quarter & the roots of Black Lives Matter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:55 am

“We ain’t no second-line club!” one of the drummers in a New Orleans marching band on Canal Street shouted at me in disgust. I was obviously a tourist who was too ignorant to be able to tell the difference. Oops.

In a voodoo shop a few blocks away in the French Quarter, I saw an incense-laden alter covered with offerings to some long-ago African god. https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/voodoo-authentica-new-orleans

Over by St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street, you could see where the famous Iberville red brick housing projects were being converted into what appeared to be high-end condos. http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/bill-quigley/4301/the-public-housing-struggle-in-new-orleans-a-tale-of-two-sisters

That’s just like what is happening now in my home town, Berkeley — only our mayor doesn’t need no stinking Katrina for an excuse. http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-03-25/article/44301?headline=How-the-Bates-Development-Plan-Would-Destroy-Flatlands-Berkeley–Steven-Finacom

At night in the Vieux Carré, hordes of drunken ex-college boys try to relive their cherished memories of past spring breaks as they stumble from bar to bar, holding plastic cups filled with beer and booze, barely aware of the hard-rock music that blasted their ears.

On the corner of Chartres and St. Louis, there was a bronze plaque on a building that read, “Within this historic structure slaves were sold…”

By day the French Quarter is a charming place — happy people strolling past boutiques, beignet cafes and the Napoleon House (built to shelter the Emperor himself after his exile http://www.napoleonhouse.com/history/), and always with the mighty Mississippi River rolling along in the background.

But by night the entire French Quarter turns into one gigantic and raucous block party, the Big Easy For Dummies.

I love the French Quarter. What’s not to love! But there was one thing there that did horrify me — the magnificent St. Louis Cathedral, an awesome and moving homage and tribute to a powerful and benevolent God, father of the Prince of Peace.

And as I sat in a front pew, surrounded by stained glass windows, arches and candles, I could just imagine the smug plantation owners and their families worshiping there back in 1794 — while right down the street from them human beings were being branded, whipped and sold off like cattle.

Apparently Black lives didn’t matter back then — either.

PS: Even today, righteous pseudo-Christians still sit in their church pews and smugly proclaim themselves to be keepers of the faith — while America bleeds from the heart from all its extra-judicial and war-crime slaughter of their fellow human beings both here and abroad.

Millions have been butchered in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East by these so-called Christians who have the audacity to sit in their church pews on Sundays and proclaim themselves to be more than just plain serial killers. http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-coalition-intelligence-operations-room-inside-syria-destroyed-by-russian-missile-attack-thirty-israeli-american-british-turkish-saudi-qatari-intelligence-officials-killed-report/5547099

“Let the good times roll.” And the heads.

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September 20, 2016

Museum of Death: More than just a New Orleans tourist attraction…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 6:41 pm

Boy did I have fun in New Orleans this week — at a convention for murder-mystery readers and writers being held in the French Quarter. http://www.bouchercon.com/ I ate muffuletta sandwiches, muffuletta salads and muffuletta-flavored mac-cheese (an idea whose time has definitely come).

Then I ate beignets, danced my way into two Mardi Gras parades and got my fortune told by a gypsy in front of the St. Louis cathedral. “You will come into riches soon and you are popular and happy.” Yeah right.

Then I lost ten dollars in the slot machines at Harrah’s, went to a fabulous book-signing after-party hosted by publisher Soho Crime and chatted with Soho authors Lisa Brackmann, Cara Black, Henry Chang, Stewart Neville, Ed Lin and Kwei Quartey — while reading a Peter Lovesy murder mystery at the same time. Any mystery novel published by Soho Crime will keep your pages turning for sure. https://sohopress.com/soho-crime/

But then I did something really spooky — went to the French Quarter’s infamous Museum of Death. It basically offered viewers a running record of all America’s serial killers, weird death practices, morbid fascinations with dead bodies and love affairs with War — definitely not for the faint of heart. http://www.museumofdeath.net/nola

Which instantly reminded me of America’s current endless war on people who happen to live in the Middle East (and almost everywhere else in the world too) — America’s very own Museum of Death. And this special all-American museum’s admission price is only five (5) trillion dollars! What a steal. https://theintercept.com/2016/09/14/latest-estimate-pegs-cost-of-wars-at-nearly-5-trillion/

And after looking over the real-life American museum of death’s future expansion plans that involve nuclear bombs, police militarization, fracking, wars on minorities, climate change and anti-Russian false propaganda, it appears that America also plans to put you and me in its Museum of Death too — just as soon as it possibly can. http://www.globalresearch.ca/we-are-the-new-nazis/5546623

And here’s even more good news for America’s military-industrial serial killers. Gaza is no longer the world’s largest open-air prison — or even the world’s largest open-air death row either. Now Yemen owns that dubious distinction. And here’s even better news for American fan-boys of blood and gore: Somehow American taxpayers have been conned into paying for this endless supply of electric chairs, gas chambers and jails to both Gaza and Yemen. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45485.htm

According to a friend of mine who has family members still trapped in Yemen, “My mother’s city is the only one in Yemen that has only been bombed twice by Saudi F16s. For this reason, refugees from all over Yemen have come there for sanctuary and are living in the streets, schools and anywhere else they can find. The refugees’ conditions are horrible there — but at least they are still alive.” So far.

And all that American/ISIS serial-killing going on in Syria is also sick too. According to Gerry Condon, vice-president of Veterans For Peace, “Almost everything we read about Syria in the US media is wrong. The reality is that the U.S. government is supporting armed extremist groups who are terrorizing the Syrian people and trying to destroy Syria’s secular state. In order to hide that ugly reality and push violent regime change, the U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare campaign to demonize Syria’s president, Bashar al Assad. This is a classic tactic that veterans have seen over and over. It is shocking, however, to realize how willingly the media repeats this propaganda, and how many people believe it to be true.” http://mltoday.com/article/2514-us-peace-delegation-to-syria-reports-back/91

And to quote Oliver Stone, “Americans are not under threat. Americans are the threat.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/oliver-stones-american-history-were-not-under-threat-we-are-the-threat/5546363

But other than that, New Orleans was to die for!

PS:  Here is a link to journalist Vanessa Beeley’s extensive report on what is really going on in Aleppo and Syria these days.  After reading this, we Americans ought to be so ashamed to be Americans that every single one of us will sit down during the national anthem.  First we fought the Nazis — and then we became them.  http://www.mintpressnews.com/journey-to-aleppo-exposing-the-truth-buried-under-nato-propaganda/220563/

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September 12, 2016

Invasions: Big oil, Syria — and Standing Rock

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:08 am

It’s really hard to explain the concept of US-supported “moderate rebels” in Syria when trying to describe them to your average American. Trust me, I know from experience, having tried and failed to convince friends that the ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria are simply al Qaeda goons paid for by American taxpayers, and that Syria’s president Assad is not an evil dictator who should be overthrown but rather is merely someone whose country happens to be sitting on a shite-load of oil.

“Big oil companies just want to take over Syria’s natural resources — and they are using their ‘moderate rebel’ goon squads to do it,” I keep telling people. But no one ever believes me. So I try to think up an example. Here’s one.

“It would be as if suddenly oil was discovered on land that you yourself own here in America and then suddenly Big Oil starts noticing your land — but in a bad way. And then the next thing you know, Big Oil’s ‘moderate rebel’ goon squads are attacking your children and seizing your land.”

“Can’t happen here, not here in America,” you might reply. Oops, it already has — in a place in North Dakota called Standing Rock.

PS: And speaking of getting attacked, I too just got arrested the other day — but only as an actor in a music video. Acting is fun. Being invaded by ‘moderate rebel’ goon squads is not.

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September 11, 2016

This is what happens when you go on Hajj…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:39 pm

The House of Saud has made it really clear that anyone who disagrees with them is pretty much toast — even if you are on Hajj. Here’s my video tribute to past Hajj disasters. Let’s hope that this year’s Hajj is not as screwed up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKuuCBBytCQ&feature=youtu.be

Hajj 2016 — September 9 through 14.

PS: You can sing it to the tune of “This is What Happens when you Call the Cops”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlY9C6pzxKc

September 7, 2016

GMOs, apple pie, cannibalism & a smoking gun

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:22 am

When I was a kid, I was totally fascinated by the Donner Party. How could they possibly do that? Eat their own kin? And if I had been in their shoes, would I have eaten my fellow Americans too?

“But Jane,” you might ask, “What does cannibalism have to do with GMOs?” Isn’t it obvious? You are what you eat.

Right now, more and more of my fellow Americans are starting to eat gluten-free. Me too. No more croissants, birthday cake or apple pie for us. Rats. However, if I was stuck in the High Sierras in the middle of winter with only chocolate-chip cookies and cheese danishes to eat, would I have been tempted to eat them too? Perhaps? Maybe? Yes! But my stomach would have grumbled and my gut would have complained.

We all know why the Donner Party switched to cannibalism. But does anyone know why suddenly so many Americans are now switching to gluten-free diets? Here is my theory, based on solid research. My son Joe never eats wheat. Never. Not even in soy sauce or beer. But when he went to Paris this summer, he discovered, to his amazed delight, that he could safely eat wheat again while over there. Wow. How’s that for research!

So. What’s the big difference between French wheat and American wheat? GMOs! France has banned GMOs. There’s the true smoking gun. The cards are all stacked against us by Monsanto and friends. I rest my case. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-gmo-idUSKCN0RH1BV20150917

Guess we really are what we eat.

PS: And speaking of smoking guns, that reminds me of America’s current lousy choice between guns and butter. If the American military stopped their farting around in the Middle East and making a big muck of things over there in order to keep the oil companies happy, then we’d all have enough money back home here to even build Donald Trump’s precious Wall — or else to even buy things that really matter to us personally instead of the usual tanks, guns and bombs. https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/24/the-bogus-humanitarian-war-on-serbia/

We could even clean up all the flood horrors in Louisiana with that huge amount of cold hard cash. https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/clinton-versus-trump-how-it-might-matter-for-the-middle-east/

Moral of the story? You can’t eat bombs — not even GMO bombs! https://www.sott.net/article/325238-Western-corporate-media-disappears-over-1-5-million-Syrians-and-4000-doctors#

PPS: And speaking of Louisiana, I’m leaving for New Orleans on September 14, to attend the annual BoucherCon convention for murder-mystery writers and readers, “Blood on the Bayou”. Perhaps I’ll see you there too, trying to resist the GMO-enhanced muffalettas and beignets. http://www.bouchercon2016.com/

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August 31, 2016

Truth & reconciliation in South Africa, Syria & my housing co-op

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:55 am

After South Africa finally realized that apartheid was a bad thing, the main action that country took to pull itself together again was its new and unique “Truth and Reconciliation” program — based on forgiveness. And Syria now has a Truth & Reconciliation program too, which seems to be working as well as the program in South Africa did. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2014/04/engineering-chaos-mother-agnes-miriam.html

The main big difference between South Africa and Syria, however, seems to be that most of the Syrian “rebels” are either foreign fighters or paid mercenaries, imported there and/or paid for by America, the House of Saud, Turkey and Israel. Truth and Reconciliation just doesn’t seem to work all that well on foreign fighters and mercenaries however. Sorry about that. http://www.muslimpress.com/Section-opinion-72/105721-the-reporting-on-syrian-conflict-is-unusual-for-the-extent-of-fabricated-information

“Screw T&R,” the so-called rebels yell. “We just wanna behead people, blow stuff up, get paid big bucks and get our hands on Assad’s oil. Show us the money!”

And speaking of Israel, a “Truth and Reconciliation” program would really be a good idea in Israel too — except that Israel also has too many foreign fighters and/or mercenaries for it to work right.

And apparently my own housing co-op here in Berkeley also needs a “Truth and Reconciliation” program as well. Frankly, it’s out of control. For instance, our fifteenth management company has just quit. And why is that? For the last 25 years, there has been two factions here. One faction dreams of having a real co-op where people help people and it’s all sweetness, light and a lot of friendly potluck dinners. The other faction seems to want to use our co-op as a stepping stone to personal power. But still. I am still an idealist. We could still work this stuff out. 25 years isn’t such a long time, now is it? Surely we too could forgive and forget?

Truth and Reconciliation. It really is possible. In John Gray’s book entitled “Children are from Heaven,” the author stated that children are born with an innate need to cooperate with their parents — but that sometimes this need gets beaten, verbally-abused or shamed out of them. https://www.amazon.com/Children-Are-Heaven-Cooperative-Compassionate/dp/0060930993

I hear that. My mother was the original Tiger Mom and my father usually had a belt close at hand. But beating and shaming your kids was the chic thing to do back when I was growing up. But still. Even now, I still long to cooperate with others and have others cooperate with me. Give and take — not dominate. This too is the human way, also a part of our own human DNA. It’s not all just “Might is Right”. Plus don’t you just hate it when other people try to boss you around? What’s the use of becoming an adult if people are still always trying to tell you what to do?

From the world-wide international level to the very smallest local scene — exactly when are we humans ever going to finally realize that cooperation is better and even gets better results? Hopefully before it’s too late?

PS:  If there was ever any doubt that the US and the House of Saud sponsored ISIS, just look at the orange jumpsuits that ISIS victims are forced to wear in the latest ISIS video — same as those that street sweepers in Saudi Arabia and prisoners in Guantanamo are forced to wear.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3761940/First-Cubs-Caliphate-s-Daesh-Dad-s-Army-Grey-haired-ISIS-fanatics-execute-prisoners-days-terror-group-turns-boys-killers.html?ito=embedded

     Coincidence?  I think not.

 

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August 27, 2016

US bombs Syria while California burns

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:57 am

What in the freak has gone wrong with America’s priorities these days? I keep asking myself this question — but never get an answer that makes any sense.

Here we go, spending trillions of dollars on killing women and children in the Middle East, hopelessly maxing out America’s credit card on some stupid, immoral and bloody overseas shopping spree — buying stuff that we don’t even need at a time when our infrastructure is crumbling dangerously, giant corporations have invaded the sacred halls of Congress like stage-four cancer, homeless people have become a common sight in every American city, and California is burning. http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-08-19/article/44786?headline=ECLECTIC-RANT-Homeless-encampments-may-be-here-to-stay-until-adequate-shelters-for-all-are-provided–Ralph-E.-Stone

In 1935, Mussolini’s fascist Italy invaded the helpless country of Ethiopia while the world watched in horror. Now Americans happily cheer on a similar invasion as the fascist House of Saud drops thousands of deadly explosives on helpless Yemen. How times have changed. http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/38765-us-ok-with-surgical-strikes-on-yemen-hospitals

And, worse still, nobody in America these days even seems to notice that our priorities have turned upside-down and our “Christian” morality is now all shot to shite. Why aren’t Americans protesting? Why don’t they even care? http://www.globalresearch.ca/provoking-nuclear-war-by-media/5542176

417,000 acres of California forest have gone up in smoke this summer — in 4,900 different fires. http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents And what are we spending our money on during this horrendous holocaust crisis? Firefighting equipment and new water resources? No. We’re spending trillions of dollars on butchering women and children instead. https://www.c-span.org/video/?414279-1/green-party-nominee-jill-stein-holds-news-conference

We could be spending those trillions on rebuilding our infrastructure so that millions of Americans will be safe. Or on finding a cure for cancer so that we won’t die painfully long before our time. Or on creating solar power so we won’t go extinct. But are we? No. We continue to spend as much money as we possibly can on stupid, inhuman and blood-thirsty stuff like supporting ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria and bombing hospitals in Yemen. https://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/pentagon-decides-to-officially-support-al-qaeda-in-syria-sets-up-exclusion-zones-to-shoot-down-syrian-and-russian-jets/

America’s current priority truly sucks eggs.

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August 24, 2016

Oliver Stone: Americans have become truly barbaric

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:49 pm

Did you know that Oliver Stone was a Vietnam vet? That explains a lot. No wonder he has come out so strongly against all the various American “war” fiascos since then. If you had suffered through all the shite that he did while fighting in Vietnam, you would most likely be anti-war as well. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/01/americas-devils-game-extremist-islam

Stone recently spoke at the annual Veterans For Peace convention here in Berkeley — and he had a lot to say too. “America’s crackpot realists create the terror for which they then provide the antidote.” Apparently it’s the American thing to do.

“In Vietnam, every time we took fire, we went berserk. We’d blow up everything. The mentality of absolute destruction. But when I came back from Vietnam, I thought that intelligence would finally start to reign. Didn’t happen. Reagan’s warning to the world was that Americans could be truly barbaric. That was the lesson of Hiroshima too — to let the Soviet Union know that America was capable of anything.”

Then Stone cited various American public relations campaigns that got us into a whole laundry-list of barbaric wars after Vietnam. Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Even Reagan ran a PR campaign to convince Americans that we had actually won the Vietnam debacle — and never had our asses whipped by a bunch of underfed farmers. http://www.globalresearch.ca/provoking-nuclear-war-by-media/5542176

“It is mind-boggling for us Vietnam vets to have to go through all this again. It’s Kafkaesque. And now the crackpot realists are back with Hillary Clinton, worse than Reagan. But putting pressure on Russia just isn’t going to work. At great expense, Russians fought back against Hitler during World War II. Five out of every six Nazi soldiers were killed by Russians. They are a proud people who will defend themselves to the end.” http://blogs.umb.edu/joinercenter/2012/05/29/across-100-miles-of-ocean/

And then Stone added, “At home, the war is now happening here too. Our policemen are doing the same thing here now that Americans did in Vietnam — escalating. Like Americans did in Afghanistan. Going berserk. Blowing things up. It’s sick. We have to learn how to calm down.”

Then Andrew Bracevich also spoke about how the military-industrial complex is screwing us over. “War has become a permanent condition — yet we don’t even talk about it. Neither Clinton or Trump have mentioned Afghanistan, America’s longest war. War has become the new normal. But here’s the rub: Our appearance of abundance is rapidly eroding. Endless war has become a diversion that Americans can ill-afford.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/38688-focus-cow-most-sacred-why-military-spending-remains-untouchable

And then Ann Jones brought all this information down to the personal level — regarding how endless war is screwing our individual vets. “When our soldiers came back from the wars, that was where the trouble started. VA hospitals were not prepared for this new rush. They had become geriatric wards. So they changed gears.

“But another bunch of war profiteers also sprang into action, providing all our vets with magic pain-killers. ‘Provide all patients with pain medications,’ came down the orders. And vets soon discovered that heroin was cheaper and started on that too. And the death rate among vets increased dramatically. The vets were sitting ducks to support this drug scam.” And Big Pharma started raking in the profits at the cost of our vets’ lives. http://annjonesonline.com/they-were-soldiers/

But wait, there’s more. The Koch brothers then got involved too. Why? Because the VA provides a singularly successful single-payer healthcare delivery system, that’s why, according to Jones. “The Kochs even created their own veterans’ organization, ‘Concerned Veterans of America’. They claimed to want our vets to be able to have the ‘freedom and prosperity’ to find healthcare on their own.”

Privatization of the VA? The Koch brothers think this is an idea whose time has come. They are trying to pass laws to give veterans “choice cards” instead of having VA hospitals — but the sad truth is that “no one takes the choice cards. No hometown doctor takes them.” And our vets are left out in the cold with no medical care at all.

The ultimate moral of these three speakers? That war is bad for all Americans — but especially for our vets.

PS: Being a war correspondent is not easy these days because I only have time to do it on weekends! Gotta spend the rest of the week taking care of baby Sofia. “No problem,” says my friend Bob. “There are currently war zones all over America you could easily visit in one or two days.” Now there’s a thought. Baltimore, Ferguson, Milwaukee, Washington DC… Hell, they even gots a war on the homeless going on right here in Berkeley.

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August 22, 2016

Disneyland or Yemen? Where to go over Christmas vacation…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:42 pm

Between Christmas and New Years Day this year, I get one whole week off from taking care of baby Sofia and I want to make my plans early. But where to go? Good question. Any suggestions?

I would really love to go to Yemen and visit the ancient, unique and irreplaceable World Heritage Site at Sanaa. Plus my war-correspondent DNA is also dying to go there too. “The key word in that sentence, Jane,” you might say, “is DYING.” Everyone in Yemen is dying these days. The House of Saud wants Yemen’s oil — and by gosh they are going to get it even if it means killing every man, woman and child in Yemen. When it comes to genocide, Saudis are never shy. http://www.democracynow.org/2016/8/18/green_partys_jill_stein_us_should?autostart=true

Trout fishing in Yemen has obviously been replaced with baby-killing.

But I still wanted to go there — so I went to Expedia and typed in my dates and the destination airport “SAH”. Nothing. I got nothing. Not deterred, I then tried typing “SAH” on Travelocity, Kayak, CheapoAir, Priceline and a bunch of other travel sites. Still nothing. So I Googled Sanaa International Airport. “Sorry, it doesn’t exist any more. The House of Saud blew it all up.”

And apparently even the city of Sanaa itself doesn’t exist any more either. Rats. Where is UNESCO when you need it.

So where else can I go during my one week off this year? All suggestions are welcome. But it looks like I’m just going to end up taking an overnight MegaBus down to Disneyland instead. Hey, the Pirates of the Caribbean is a war-zone, right? http://blackagendareport.com/obama_clinton_created_isis

PS: “Yemen is bad! The Saudis are good!” we constantly being told on the evening news. “Saudi leaders are saints and Yemeni leaders are war-mongering terrorist despots!” But, hey, weren’t we also told that about popular leaders in Vietnam, Chile, Palestine, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Honduras, Russia and on the USS Liberty? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-14/true-story-how-war-broke-out-syria

And pretty soon we will probably be hearing the same thing about, say, California or North Dakota — any excuse at all to sell guns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pducRLyDmiY

PPS: The MSM is really going completely whole-hog out on this “Syrian boy in an ambulance” stuff! Obama and Kerry must REALLY want to steal Syria’s oil — except that little transparency-freaks like us (who only want the truth to be told) keep getting in their way.

But this intensive media campaign of lies does tell us two things — First, that Russia, Syria and Assad are winning their boots-on-the-ground war against ISIS. And, second, that the boy’s face paint is getting all smeared and he needs to be sent back to hair-and-makeup ASAP. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/08/the-wounded-boy-in-orange-seat-another-staged-white-helmets-stunt.html

Time, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Huffington Post, etc. should all be truly embarrassed by all this immoral reporting but I bet that they’re not — just sorry to get found out so fast.

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August 17, 2016

Helen Caldecott: “America still thinks it can win a nuclear war”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 7:47 pm

I just attended the 31st annual national Veterans for Peace convention here in Berkeley and was truly inspired by the hundreds of vets who attended it, and by their organization’s heroic stand for peace. As one vet put it, “Been there, done that — war doesn’t work.”

And while wandering around the grounds of the convention center before the festivities began, I ran into Helen Caldecott, an Australian doctor who has bravely spoken out against the use of nuclear weapons ever since the terrible days of America’s Cold War. I’m not sure what I was expecting that she would look like — perhaps Super Girl in a cape? But she was just an ordinary-looking person, like someone you would meet on the street. Until she started speaking to an audience of 300-plus veterans. And then her eyes flashed, her voice rang out like a warning bell and her passion came alive.

“I am a pediatrician,” she told us, “and if you love this planet, if you love the next generation of babies, you will change the priority of your lives — because right now, America’s top priority seems to be for us to come as close to nuclear war as we possibly can.”

“A baby is a baby is a baby — born with that beautiful purity of soul. We have to tap into that. But instead our political representatives have become corporate prostitutes. Americans hold the golden key to the future. But instead, Americans are holding the world for ransom with their guns and their bombs.” And according to Caldecott, what a lot of bombs we do have!

And as if all those mega-stockpiles of bombs we have now aren’t enough, “the government is currently planning to spend one trillion dollars more on replacing every single bomb, tank and missile we own.” http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/68527 And if that’s not scary enough for ya, America still thinks it can fight and win a nuclear war. No no no and no! The powers that be think that dropping 100 nuclear bombs on 100 cities will win the current war-de-jour for us. “But all that will do is end life on earth.”

And the most scary part of all is that, “It could happen tonight. It could happen right now. We are closer now to nuclear annihilation than ever, even closer than we were during the Cold War. North Korea and Iran cannot end the world. But the sociopaths in charge of our nuclear weapons can. For instance, Clinton has never seen a war that she doesn’t like.”

And Americans don’t clearly understand what a nuclear war will be like either. “Everything throughout the world will be vaporized and burned.” If we understood this, we would all be taking to the streets in protest right now. Perhaps we think that American exceptionalism will save us? “What exactly are Americans exceptional at? Nothing. They don’t even have kangaroos.”

Every single city in America is targeted by the Russians right now. “Twelve H-bombs are targeted on New York City alone. Every city in America is targeted with at least one nuclear missile. And Russian cities are targeted the same way by America. And all this insanity is at the mercy of human fallibility too.”

And fighting with Russia is crazy. Continuing to stock Europe with nuclear weapons pointed at Russia is like waving a red flag at a bull. It would be as if Russia was arming Canada with nuclear missiles aimed straight at Washington DC. Not cool at all. “The Russians will fight to the last person to defend themselves, just like they did against Hitler. Putin is being set up as the evil one in this scenario, but it is the USA that is the evil one,” by even thinking that they can actually win a nuclear war.

Caldecott spoke passionately about her motivation for trying to stop nuclear war — motivated by her love of our babies who will grow up to be our next generation. And we can only hope that these babies will grow up to be wiser than us. Or at least that they will even get a chance to grow up!

Next up to speak at the convention? Andrew Bracevich, Oliver Stone, Roy Scranton, Rhodessa Jones, Ann Jones, Antonia Juhasz, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Patrick McCann, Gerry Condon, Col. Ann Wright, David Cobb, Brian Willson, Kathy Kelly, Zahra Billoo, Jonathan Hutto and Daniel Ellsberg — among others. Dr. Caldecott is a hard act to follow but let’s see what they have to say.

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August 13, 2016

Everyone in the Middle East knows where terror comes from: Made in America

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:27 am

It seems like almost nobody in the Middle East these day dies peacefully in his or her sleep. If you live anywhere between Afghanistan and Libya right now, your chances of getting blown up, beheaded, starved, raped, tortured to death and/or “disappeared” are really really good — almost as good as any chance you might have of dying of old age.

But let’s just take a look at who is doing all this killing.

The Taliban? You would think that the Taliban was an evil creation of weird Islamicists that go bump in the night — but you would be wrong. It was an American creation — born from cohesion with Pakistan, “Charlie Wilson’s War” and all those Northern Alliance training camps that flew red, white, blue and greenbacks for years. http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/pak.htm

Gaza? Almost every bomb dropped there is stamped “Made in America”. And the rest are financed by American taxpayers, AIPAC and various Las Vegas shills. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/04/under-american-bombs-in-gaza.html

That hell-hole Libya? Another American creation. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/united-states-libya-qaddafi-worse-presence

“But what about ISIS?” you might ask. Nope, ISIS is made in America too. http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terror-group/5402881

Iran today is merely a product of years of American foreign policy gone horribly wrong. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/01/americas-devils-game-extremist-islam

Pakistan? Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Israel? America is ultimately at fault for financing and glad-handing the dictators there who help make all this bombing possible, thank you very much.

And don’t even get me started on Syria. The Goebbels-style propaganda war of lies that Washington is forcing down Americans’ throats here in the MSM makes me ashamed to even turn on the TV. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/08/10/pers-a10.html America’s scary-bad propaganda lies have resulted in over 200,000 dead Syrians so far — and still counting. Not to mention all those American-made bombs. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2015/07/syria-where-america-drops-barrel-bombs.html

Yemen? The chances of dying of old age in Yemen are especially bad right now. Thank you, Saudi Arabia and the 1.5 billion dollars in weaponry that America wants so badly to sell you even as we speak. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/11/the-u-s-will-rearm-saudi-arabia-to-the-tune-of-1-5b-as-airstrikes-resume-in-yemen/

And then there’s Iraq. The 1991 Gulf War was a trumped-up American lie that left thousands dead. The 2003 War on Iraq was a trumped-up American lie that left millions dead — and Iraqis are still being killed right now by American bombs. http://www.globalresearch.ca/syrian-army-captured-major-isis-daesh-warehouse-weapons-made-in-usa/5539123

How many millions of tons of American bombs have been dropped on the Middle East since 1945? You cannot even begin to imagine. Terror? If you or I lived in the Middle East instead of here, we’d be terrified 24/7 — multiply our terror during 9-11 by a thousand at the very least. And you can rest assured that every man, woman and child in the Middle East all know exactly where all this terror comes from. “Made in the U.S.A”.

We Americans may be fooling ourselves with all this talk of our being Good Guys and White Helmets and Humanitarians. But every single person who lives in the Middle East knows the truth. To paraphrase Pogo, “They have met the enemy and it is us.”

Seal in Green Zone

August 10, 2016

What FBI director Comey said to the American Bar Assn last week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:01 am

It was one of the main events of the convention. FBI Director James Comey strides up to the microphone and starts telling a sea of attorneys, a wall of media guys and a bunch of special agents in black suits all about the FBI’s new plans for combating cyber crimes and its newly-discovered love of transparency.

“Regarding cyber crimes, we have two policies: Imposing costs and shaming. We shame the Chinese to get them to stop criminal activity.” Sounds like an unlikely plan — but go for it. And perhaps if the FBI also shames the American military-industrial complex, said complex will stop its war crimes in the Middle East as well. But that’s really unlikely.

“Regarding the Clinton e-mail issue,” he says, “Our process was unprecedented — to show such transparency regarding our facts and our recommendations. We wanted to reassure the American people.”

And then the moderator asked for questions from the floor, thus creating a dilemma for me. Imagine you were me — in a huge auditorium with the Director of the FBI himself, national media, a lot of special agents and over 250 attorneys in suits. Then imagine that you had a burning question to ask Director Comey. What would you do?

a) Shrink down in your seat and be quiet (like most of the rest of America);

b) Realize that you have a very important question to ask Director Comey but are too shy and embarrassed to ask it;

c) Struggle into your Big Girl pants, take a deep breath and raise your hand to ask the Director, “How come you gave Hillary Clinton a pass on her cyber crimes against Americans, but didn’t even try to give a pass to Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange — who actually were trying to make our corporate-controlled government more transparent?

d) None of the above.

If you had chosen d), none of the above, then you would be right. Only two people in the audience were selected to have their questions answered — and both of them appeared to be obvious plants. Your question will never get answered.

PS: On a happier note, I also got to attend an excellent break-out section at the convention — on the Ferguson question and what attorneys can do to help level the playing field for racial minorities. “We don’t need more jails. We need more education and jobs. America cannot incarcerate itself out of this problem. We’ve had 100 years of incarceration already and it hasn’t worked,” said one speaker.

“Lawyers have always been leaders,” another speaker pointed out. “We have to step up and make changes ourselves. We have a moral duty. Blacks have always had to depend on the court system in America, and our court system has failed them since Day One. It is time to humanize people — all people. And to also get the ABA to take a stand.” http://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=227839539

It was then pointed out how much power the American Bar Association actually wields — and how they can use their power for good. For instance, the ABA could advocate for a national standard for the use of lethal force by police only if less deadly forces aren’t available.

The ABA also gave a really nice reception after Director Comey’s speech — and it involved shrimp cocktails from Fisherman’s Wharf, antipasto from North Beach, quesadillas from La Mission and spring rolls from Chinatown. Now that’s a level playing field for minorities that I can really get behind. I’d advocate for that. And next time perhaps they will serve soul food from the Fillmore as well.

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August 7, 2016

Trump: A shill for the Clintons?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:09 pm

Author’s note: I wrote a draft of this article over a week ago — but after reading Yahoo News today, it looks like I was either actually right all along — or else someone out there is playing an awesome practical joke on The Donald before he can play one on us!

According to a Charlotte Observer article reproduced in Yahoo News, “In a turn of events that shocked the political world and threw the presidential race into unprecedented turmoil, Donald J. Trump announced yesterday that he is quitting the race and endorsing Hillary Clinton. Trump said the only point of his campaign was to show how stupid and gullible many Republican voters are. ‘I’ve been a Democrat all of my adult life,’ Trump told a packed and boisterous news conference. ‘But I knew if I ran as a Republican and said increasingly ridiculous, idiotic, racist and sexist things that I would get a lot of votes.’” http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article94019107.html

In any case, here are my own thoughts on the subject:

Trump, a shill for the Clintons?

Even after all of that highly-televised sincerity at the RNC and DNC conventions recently, why do I still get the feeling that we are all being conned? All of us. Again. “Americans are so easy to fool, best suckers yet!” There’s one born every minute. That’s us.

And I bet you anything that this year’s biggest (and most successful) political con job at the DNC convention was to make Donald Trump look so scary, insane and freaking nuts that everyone in America will vote for Clinton instead. And I bet you anything that Trump is in on the con too — he’s that bad of an actor.

Then when Clinton wins by a landslide, both the Trumps and the Clintons will laugh themselves all the way to the bank.

Not since John McCain picked that scary Miss Alaska as his running mate has a con job worked so well — when Americans ended up with a Nobel Peace Prize winner who stuck us with a deadly and bloody quagmire in the Middle East which is now spreading to Europe. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/08/the-larger-context-of-the-jihadi-attack-on-aleppo-.html

Not since we American suckers all became convinced the Goldwater was so much worse than Johnson — and then we ended up with the Vietnam War (which was also totally scary).

People are probably gonna hate me for saying this, but I wouldn’t vote for Clinton for dog catcher — even if she was running against Attila the Hun. There is just far too much blood on her hands. But then it really doesn’t matter who any of us vote for, does it? Not really. Our votes will be sliced and diced by the highest bidder no matter whose name we place a check-mark next to on our ballots. The blank-checks have already come in.

But the biggest con of all is that American democracy has already been plundered and no longer exists. And you know what they say about con jobs. “The bigger they are, the easier it is to pull them off.” So long, suckers. In 2016, it’s gonna be a Hillary/Trump win. And guess who is gonna lose. That would be us.

PS: Here’s a poem by Steve Fournier that pretty much sums up what we Americans are gonna be stuck with after the Clintons and The Donald finish with us:

Trump don’t owe the Kochs nor Richard Cheney or George Bush
They’re all backing Clinton now that shove’s come down to push.
Trump could make an entrance with his trophy decked in bling,
Or Clinton’s randy Billy could launch one more bawdy fling.

Bernie says he’s frightened that a clown could get elected.
“Stop the revolution! This chump’s got to be rejected!”
Screams the crowd of bankers, pols and weapons profiteers.
They’ll stir up your basic mix of hatreds, dreads and fears.

She’s amused to talk about the odd assassination,
Willing to drop bombs on any dark-skinned population.
She’s a snarling pit bull. Her opponent’s more a terrier.
Which of these two snarling mutts unleashed is likely to be scarier.
http://www.currentinvective.com/wp/?p=208

PPS: Still think that the Clintons are our saviors from the evil Trump and his bad hair? Then just ask the Haitians about that. Everyone in Haiti despises the Clintons for what their Foundation has done to that nation. If Hillary dared to run for Prez in Haiti, she would lose bigtime. And now the Clintons are set to do the same thing to us that they did to the Haitians — make hecka bling while the con shines. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=16427

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August 6, 2016

Historic candidacy in Hawai’i goes unnoticed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 4:25 pm

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About two years ago while covering student unrest at the University of California in Berkeley, the World’s Laziest Journalist took a break and in the process of visiting the men’s restroom was confronted with several coeds protesting … something.

Now this year the issue of access to restrooms is a wedge issue that has gained a great deal of traction.

A candidate in Hawaii seeking a seat in the US Senate may become the first transsexual to be elected to the US Senate.  We wonder where the Democratic incumbent’s stand on this issue is.

Is it true that that Gender Verification Agents will be appointed to inspect  all patrons as they come?

The candidate who was an intern at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory has hinted that there is some secret polling results showing that she has a 15% lead over the Democratic incumbent. At election time does anyone ever fact check polling results?

Apparently Trump does not know the difference between a Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart.

Not a single one of our classmates, in the college class of 1965, wanted a Purple Heart.

Did The Donald who was not going to be drafted with his 1-Y classification want a million dollar wound to get out of combat or did he really want a few fingers, a hand, an arm or a leg or foot or … blown off?  The highly paid pundits seem to have issued The Trumpster a pass regarding questions about this inexplicable claim.

Trump blunders egregiously and a serious effort to win a net gain of one senate seat in Hawai’i goes unnoticed.

If saint Hillary trounces Trump the Republicans will wallow in guilt and the blame game.

Oh, well, elections are not supposed to be funny but it sure seems that the 2016 presidential election will be the funniest ever.

Perhaps voting has become irrelevant in the golden age of spin with lookism providing the tiebreaker.  The shame of it is there are many pressing issues which deserve debate and fact checking but Americans are easily distracted.

(Note: the photos from the past  with the encounter with the coeds were unavailable as this column was being prepared for posting.  We used a photo illustrating a low-tech method of gender verification which should be familiar to all adolescent boys.)

Now the disk jockey will play the Che Guevara song ” Hasta Siempre Commandante” and we will flip a coin to decide between the Lady and the Tiger.

We hope the voters in Hawai’i seize this historic moment in history and write a new chapter in the saga of the Senate-Good luck, Karla!

August 4, 2016

The American Bar Assn convention in SF: Legally fun?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:11 pm

“Whatever you do, always avoid the corner of Third and Howard!” my mother used to warn me when I was a little girl. “It’s the worst skid row in all San Francisco.” Not any more.

Now the intersection of Third and Howard is the site of the fabulous Yerba Buena Gardens, the chic Museum of Modern Art and the deluxe Moscone Center — and is also my current destination, the American Bar Association convention, a huge annual gathering of attorneys from all over the U.S.

All I originally knew about the convention itself was that, after signing up for it, I suddenly started getting bunches of e-mail advertisements for BMWs, top-of-the-line golf courses, bespoke tailors and luxury resort hotels. Way above my pay grade.

So how did I end up here? That’s easy. Worked for a law firm for 20-odd years. Began to miss seeing all those guys wearing grey flannel suits.

I registered, ate a complimentary breakfast, snagged a handful of free ballpoint pens and waited around for FBI director James Comey to speak. That man surely has a lot of ‘splaining to do. I wish somebody would ask him, “Why did you give Clinton a free pass and not Chelsea Manning?” Or Edward Snowden or Julian Assange? And if Comey answers that it wasn’t his job, perhaps someone should mention the Nuremberg trials. After all, the ABA’s slogan is “Defending Liberties, Pursuing Justice”. And many attorneys actually do that. However, not so sure about the FBI.

But first I wandered around San Francisco, checked out the flea-bag hotel I was booked in for Saturday night to make sure the elevator still worked and then attended a seminar for insurance-defense attorneys at the historic St. Francis Hotel (its elevators work nicely). What could be more fun than that! San Francisco is a wonderful town.

PS: If the American Bar Association is sincerely interested in defending liberty and pursuing justice, I would highly recommend that their members all vote for Dr. Jill Stein for President instead of those two funny clowns who are also running. http://www.jill2016.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7mpnkgYrX8&feature=youtu.be

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July 31, 2016

The UN and NATO: Buyer beware!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:12 pm

In 1970, Nixon bombed the hell out of Cambodia. Absolutely no good came of that. In 2003, Bush bombed the hell out of Iraq. Nothing good was accomplished there either. In 2011, Obama bombed the hell out of Libya. Another disaster as well.

And now Trump and Clinton are both claiming that if we elect either one of them to the presidency and give them a chance to bomb the hell out of Syria, Russia and Dallas, everything in America will magically become totally chill. http://johnpilger.com/articles/silencing-america-as-it-prepares-for-war

In 1970 I found a twenty-dollar-bill on the ground and was elated. “Should I take all my friends out to dinner at Sizzler or just pay half my rent? Or both?” I asked myself.

In 2003, I made twenty bucks at a garage sale, enabling me to buy a nice steak at the Berkeley Bowl and go see “Whale Rider” at the Shattuck.

In 2011, I lost twenty dollars. It must have slipped out of my back pocket when I reached for my library card. $20 gone? No big deal.

In 1970, the UN and NATO at least pretended to be working toward world peace. In 2003, the UN and NATO finally showed their true colors as pawns of the American wannabe empire. In 2011, it was crystal-clear to anyone with even toosh knowledge of American foreign policy that the UN and NATO were merely minions of Wall Street and War Street.

In 1970, 2003 and 2011, America continued to spend at least half of its national budget on the defense of corporate interests. But did that huge amount also include paying for keeping NATO and the UN running too? And for all their overt and covert military operations as well? And also for their humongous shopping list of bombs, tanks, bribes and who-the-freak knows what all else on the side? Probably not.

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I think that it’s fairly safe to say that America’s “wars” of empire have pretty much gutted our economy in the past 35-odd years — but do we Americans really need to spend all that extra money on supporting the pretense that the UN and NATO are impartial peacekeepers who are benefiting mankind — and not just gross tools for corporate interests, war dogs and gun clubs?

Just think of what all else we could have been spending all those billions (or even trillions) of dollars on for all these years.

“Buyer beware!”

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