THE ABSURD TIMES — STILL

ZIO TV SMEARS ROGER WATERS’ SUPPORT OF BDS

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 18, 2017

Desertpeace

Roger Waters brought his national tour to New York this week. Tonight he is on Long Island, and regrettably the New York media have given a platform to Israel fanatics to smear the songwriter/bassist. Local TV stations have passed on outrageous statements, that Waters is an anti-Semite and that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is bigoted.

New York TV stations smear Roger Waters– who praises BDS as ‘one of most admirable pieces of resistance world has seen’

Roger Waters brought his national tour to New York this week. Tonight he is on Long Island, and regrettably the New York media have given a platform to Israel fanatics to smear the songwriter/bassist. Local TV stations have passed on outrageous statements, that Waters is an anti-Semite and that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is bigoted.

WABC reported:

Waters is an outspoken critic of Israel, and critics believe his message is…

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‘NOT THE WAY TO END THE WAR’

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 17, 2017

Desertpeace

A BLAST FROM THE PAST …

Image by Latuff

And YOU are the ones paying for it!

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MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ THE OCCUPATION OF THE AMERICAN MIND

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 15, 2017

Desertpeace

Documentary Looks at Israel’s PR War in the United States

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The Absurd Times Occupation of the American Mind:

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 14, 2017

THE ABSURD TIMES

First, Trump won the south:

That’s why/

An example of idiocy above and our media, even reliable parts of it.

I recently saw a restored version of Lawrence of Arabia, and a quote from Anthony Quinn seemed to be appropriate for Trump: "You are a fool. Thank your God he gave you the face to match!"

Now, about Palestine and our mind control at work here:

AMYGOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. As we continue our conversation, we go now to an excerpt of—we are speaking with Roger Waters, the famous British musician, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd, Waters the narrator of the recent documentary titled The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.
ROGERWATERS: Over the course of 51 days, the Israeli military dropped nearly 20,000 tons of explosive on Gaza, a densely populated area the size of Philadelphia, killing over 2,000 Palestinians and wounding tens of thousands more. The overwhelming majority of these casualties were civilians.
HAMISHMACDONALD: This strip of land is being bombarded from the air, sea and land.
DIANAMAGNAY: Israel launched at least 160 strikes on the Gaza Strip.
RICHARDENGEL: And there’s one less hospital in Gaza now. Israel today flattened Wafa Hospital.
ROGERWATERS: The sheer scale of the attacks sparked outrage and condemnation around the world.
MARKBROOME: Israel’s month-long pounding of Gaza has shocked many people around the world. Mass demonstrations have been held in many of the world’s major cities.
ROGERWATERS: But in the United States, the story was different. Polls show the American people holding firm in their support for Israel.
ANDERSONCOOPER: This is the latest CNN/ORC poll of Americans, shows 57 percent of those polled say Israel’s action in Gaza is justified, 34 percent say unjustified.
ROGERWATERS: These numbers were striking, but they weren’t new. Over the course of a conflict in which Palestinian casualties have far outnumbered Israeli casualties, the American people have consistently shown far more sympathy for Israelis than for Palestinians.
PETERHART: It’s very difficult to divorce public opinion on any question from the media coverage that people rely on to form opinions. And I think the most prevalent lesson from looking at the coverage is that the coverage tends to see this conflict from the Israeli side.

AMYGOODMAN: That last voice, Peter Hart, the National Coalition Against Censorship. That a clip from the film The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States, narrated by our guest, Roger Waters, the musician.
Well, on Wednesday, Nermeen Shaikh and I interviewed Roger Waters and Sut Jhally, professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation, which produced the documentary. I asked Sut Jhally why he chose to make the film.
SUTJHALLY: Well, it started, actually, quite a while ago, and the reason for it is that American public opinion is so far outside the bounds of world opinion when it comes to—when it comes to Israel. As we talked before, I mean, the moment you start—you break—you start to talk about this, there’s an attempt to silence you. So you’re actually not allowed to—you’re not allowed to talk about it. And then, actually, once you do talk about it, you realize that Americans have a very warped sense of the conflict. I mean, I learned this from my own students, as well as from public opinion polls, that most Americans think that, in fact, it’s the Palestinians who are illegally occupying someone else’s land in the Middle East.
AMYGOODMAN: Well, talk about legally—talk about what in fact is happening in the Middle East.
SUTJHALLY: Well, it’s such a clear kind of instance of, you know, colonization. We’ve just had 50 years of occupation, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and, until recently, of Gaza. And that’s actually very, very clear, because there’s also this instant—Americans think it’s so complicated. That’s actually—when I talk to my students, they always say it’s too complicated. And I just actually explain to them, you know, in a few sentences, that this actually is a very, very simple conflict. And what—and when the conflict is that simple, what you have to do is you have to make it more complicated. And that’s the function of public relations.
And so, that’s what we focus on. We focus on the public relations campaign in the United States to essentially confuse the American public about what was going on, so there will be no pressure coming from the public on this. And in that sense, you know—and we say this in the film—the occupation of Palestine also depends upon an occupation of American public opinion, that unless the American government is aboard with this and acts as a protector of Israel, then that occupation is not possible.
NERMEENSHAIKH: Let’s turn to another clip from The Occupation of the American Mind, featuring our guest, Sut Jhally.
SUTJHALLY: Israel can saturate the media with its spokespeople, but there’s still the problem of massive Palestinian casualties showing up on television screens. You can’t make those images go away. An Israeli official actually said, "In the war of pictures, we lose. So you need to correct, explain or balance it in other ways."
Here, again, the Luntz document spells out which talking points have been most effective in spinning the brutal reality of Palestinian casualties. He says the first thing the pro-Israeli spokespeople should do is to express empathy for the innocent victims.
DANGILLERMAN: Unfortunately, innocents do get hurt. And we—we really grieve that.
PRIMEMINISTERBENJAMINNETANYAHU: We’re sad for every civilian casualty.
MICHAELOREN: The entire situation is tragic.
SUTJHALLY: Once you’ve done that, Luntz says, you also have to get people to empathize with Israelis, by describing what life is like for them living in constant fear of Hamas rocket attacks. So, again and again, we hear the focus-tested phrase that the rockets are raining down on Israel.
MICHAELOREN: We have thousands of rockets raining down on our civilians.
HILLARYCLINTON: Rockets were raining down on Israel.
NORMANSOLOMON: Any advertising executive will tell you the essence of propaganda is repetition.
GRETAVANSUSTEREN: Rockets raining down on southern Israel.
FOXNEWSANCHOR: Rockets raining down on Israel.
NEWSANCHOR: Well, Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli border towns.
SUTJHALLY: Then, Luntz tells PR spokespeople to turn the tables and ask the American people, "What would you do?"
PRIMEMINISTERBENJAMINNETANYAHU: So what would you do in the United States?
RONDERMER: Will you imagine what America would do if it were facing a similar threat?
NACHMANSHAI: We always try to ask you the question we ask ourselves: What will you do?
PRIMEMINISTERBENJAMINNETANYAHU: What would you do?
MARKREGEV: What would you do, if more than 3,000 rockets had been fired on your cities?
SEANHANNITY: What would you do? Three thousand rockets.
MARKREGEV: What would you do, if terrorists were tunneling under your frontier?
SEANHANNITY: What would you do if three kids are kidnapped because of a tunnel network?
YOUSEFMUNAYYER: What sort of question is this? Of course, anybody would act to defend themselves against unprovoked aggression. But it is a question that is completely devoid of any context. What drives a society to a point where, after multiple devastating wars, they continue to resist with these most feeble methods? They don’t want you to ask that question. They don’t want you to ask what is behind this, what’s the history here, who are these people, where did they come from, why are they so desperate. No, they want you to understand Israeli behavior. Israeli behavior is always characterized as a reaction to unprovoked violence.
NERMEENSHAIKH: So that’s an excerpt from The Occupation of the American Mind. And the last voice was Yousef Munayyer of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. We also heard from Norman Solomon. And this is another excerpt from the documentary.
ROGERWATERS: Two years after the Lebanon invasion, the American Jewish Congress sponsored a conference in Jerusalem to devise a formal public relations strategy, known in Hebrew as hasbara. Participants included PR and advertising executives, media specialists, journalists and leaders of major Jewish groups. According to a brochure from the congress, "No single event brought home the need for a more effective hasbara, or information program, more persuasively than the 1982 war in Lebanon and the events that followed." As one conference participant put it, "Israel is no longer perceived to be ‘little David,’ but Goliath steamrolling across the map."
The primary aim of the conference was to develop strategies to spin unpopular Israeli policies and to counter negative press coverage by shaping the media frame in advance. "News doesn’t just jump into a camera," a conference delegate said. "It’s directed, it’s managed, it’s made accessible." Israel-based advertising executive Martin Fenton would put it in even more blunt terms: "’Propaganda’ is not a dirty word," he said. "Face it: We are in the game of changing people’s minds, of making them think differently. To accomplish that, we need propaganda."
The conference was chaired by U.S. advertising executive Carl Spielvogel, the legendary ad man who created the highly acclaimed Miller Lite beer ads in the 1970s.
SUTJHALLY: The choice of Spielvogel makes perfect sense. He’s known as a master of image inversion and rebranding. The ad man responsible for transforming Miller Lite, which had been viewed before as a woman’s beer, into a manly beer the tough guys would drink.
MAN IN BAR 1: But the best part is that it tastes so great.
MAN IN BAR 2: The best part is, it’s less filling.
MAN IN BAR 1: Nah, tastes great!
MAN IN BAR 2: Less filling!
SUTJHALLY: His job with Israel would require the same kind of rebranding, only in the opposite direction: to help soften the image of a country that’s coming to be seen as a bully. So he recommends creating a Cabinet post dedicated exclusively to explaining policy, whose job would not be setting policy, but presenting it in the most attractive way to the rest of the world.
NORMONSOLOMON: Classic PR is to say the problem is not the policy, it’s the presentation. When the policies are so reprehensible that many people become critical, rather than acknowledge there’s anything wrong with the policy, there’s a doubling down on the PR effort.
NERMEENSHAIKH: So that was another clip from The Occupation of the American Mind. And that last voice was Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy, the film, of course, narrated by our guest, Roger Waters. But, Sut Jhally, I want to ask you about these clips, the way in which the Israeli state, working with different media organizations, has changed, as you argue, American public opinion, or swayed it in this way to be sympathetic only to the Israeli side. Now, this strategy of hasbara, the attempt to influence U.S. public opinion, Israeli supporters argue that such initiatives are attempted by practically all countries in the world, they all have lobbying firms in the U.S. What is it that distinguishes hasbara from the propaganda, in fact, that’s attempted by every country attempting to influence U.S. foreign policy?
SUTJHALLY: And that’s true. Everyone tries to mold perception in some way for their own—their own actions. The difference in this case is the public—is that Israeli public opinion—or, Israeli public relations is so closely connected to the interests of the American state. And so they’re not pushing against the American policy. And it’s American policy working hand in hand with Israeli policy, as well. In the film, you know, we try and we—because we really want to make clear that this is not about an Israel lobby that’s manipulating—you know, that’s manipulating politicians and the public. The reason why Israeli public relations works is because it goes hand in hand with American elite opinion. And if that didn’t happen, then the public relations wouldn’t work in that way. And we know that that’s—that those two things go together, because when American elite opinion differs from what Israel would do, oftentimes American elite opinion prevails, as in the discussion around the Iran policy. The Israel lobby really wanted to push a different line on that. But that was one place where the interests of the lobby diverged from the interests of the American state. And so, when we talk about this, it’s not about—it’s not about, you know, a lobby that has all this power. It’s about an Israel—it’s about a lobby that goes hand in hand with the interests of the state. And if that—
NERMEENSHAIKH: So, in other words, even—so, if U.S. elite opinion were to change, this precise strategy, hasbara, would be relatively ineffective.
SUTJHALLY: Well, it relies upon the American state to go along with it, which is why American public opinion is so important, which is why you have to control American public opinion. Not only do you have to control Senate and the House, which they do, but you also have to make sure there’s no pressure on politicians, which is why you have to control public opinion, which is why we say you need to occupy American public opinion to make the occupation possible, as well.
AMYGOODMAN: When it comes to this film, where was it shown?
SUTJHALLY: We’ve had a huge amount of difficulty getting this shown. It’s been shown almost nowhere in the United States.
AMYGOODMAN: Elsewhere?
SUTJHALLY: It’s been shown in other—we showed it in Mexico City. It’s been shown in Brussels. It’s been shown—I just came from a screening in Beirut. We showed it in London. It’s screened in—on television stations in Scandinavia, in Europe. Russia Today showed it. Al Jazeera showed it. So, it’s been shown outside of this country.
AMYGOODMAN: And the reaction to this film when you attempt to get it to play in the United States?
SUTJHALLY: I mean, it’s the way that censorship works, which is silence. We submitted it to film festivals, which is the first way you try and get some publicity and some visibility. We did not get it accepted into one film festival in the United States, and therefore that means it’s very difficult then to make the next step, which is how do you get it into theaters, how do you get it into television, how do you get media reviews. I mean, we’ve—there’s been, around this issue—and it’s not just this film, but on this issue. It’s like there’s a web of silence around it.
And it’s not just, you know, the right-wing media. It’s not just Fox. And it goes everywhere. I mean, it’s the one—it’s the one topic that even so-called liberal media won’t touch. In the film, you know, we had the example of Rachel Maddow, who is supposed to be the most, you know, progressive voice on television, and yet refuses to deal with this issue.
AMYGOODMAN: Let’s go to another clip from The Occupation of the American Mind.
SUTJHALLY: Look at how American media covered Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza. A keyword search of all the major networks showed that over the course of the 51-day assault, Israel’s ongoing military siege and blockade of Gaza were barely mentioned, compared to the thousands of times Hamas rocket attacks on Israel were mentioned.
JAKETAPPER: Why is Hamas launching missiles into population centers of Israel?
SUTJHALLY: The basic propaganda frame is built into the very assumptions journalists bring to the table.
JAKETAPPER: Since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, 8,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.
SUTJHALLY: This is how propaganda works. It works by getting your words in the mouths of other people, especially the mouths of supposedly objective media commentators.
DAVIDGREGORY: I’m wondering, though, whether you’re outraged by the conduct of Hamas, starting the conflict by firing rockets, building tunnels to kill and kidnap Israelis, being more than willing to sacrifice Palestinian lives by embedding them into—into their own kind of arsenal, and using them, as Israel contends, as human shields. Do you have a level of outrage at Hamas itself?
SUTJHALLY: It doesn’t seem like propaganda at all. It just seems like news. And this goes across all the major media, including the supposedly most liberal. Look at Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, who’s known as the leading progressive voice on mainstream television. She did only four segments on the war. And during these few segments, she never once mentioned Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank or its siege and blockade of Gaza, and never once mentioned the fact that the U.S. has armed Israel with the very weapons that were being used against a defenseless civilian population, instead choosing to frame the invasion as part of a senseless cycle of violence perpetrated by both sides.
RACHELMADDOW: It’s been a constant cycle of fighting between Israel and Hamas for the past several years in Gaza. And the fighting and the cause of the fighting feel terribly familiar, because this is basically a recurring war. And if it feels like déjà vu, feels like, "Ugh, I’ve heard all of this before," you are right, because this really does keep happening, over and over and over again.
RULAJEBREAL: Rachel Maddow, the most important woman on MSNBC, the leader when it comes to politics, in six weeks of war, never mentioned the word "blockade," "occupation," "illegal settlements," never mentioned the support that Congress have for Israel, unconditional amount of money, billions of dollars. What is that? What a disappointment! Our media operations, national media, is a scandal when it comes to Israel.
AMYGOODMAN: An excerpt from The Occupation of the American Mind, the documentary that is narrated by Roger Waters, that’s produced by Sut Jhally. That last voice, former MSNBC analyst Rula Jebreal, who is an Italian-Palestinian journalist. Let’s go for a moment to the contrast, Sut, that you bring into this film, which is the international media.
JONSNOW: Mark Regev, how does killing children on a beach contribute to that purpose? What was the point of bombing the al-Wafa Hospital, for goodness’ sake? … There are grave uncertainties—
MARKREGEV: No, no.
JONSNOW: —about whether you’re acting within the law.
MARKREGEV: No, no, no. I disagree.
JONSNOW: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You are deliberately targeting—
MARKREGEV: No, I reject that.
JONSNOW: —neighborhoods in which you know there are women and children. … You’ve tried everything with Gaza. You’ve besieged it for seven years. The people live an intolerable and ghastly life, and you know that better than anybody. Why don’t you try one other thing: talking? Why not talk? Why not be brave and talk directly with them? Why not?
AMYGOODMAN: That’s another excerpt from The Occupation of the American Mind. Sut Jhally, you produced this film. Talk about the contrast of the media coverage.
SUTJHALLY: I mean, the contrast is quite striking when you look at—when you look at—you don’t have to go to other parts, you know, really foreign parts of the world. Just look to the way it’s covered in the United Kingdom. That’s a striking difference. And part of the reason—and, I mean, the clip we show—that clip we use was of Jon Snow, doing what a journalist should be doing, which is asking questions. So, in the U.K., journalism actually still exists. On this issue, in the United States, journalism has ceased to do what it’s supposed to do, because it has just succumbed to public relations.

AMYGOODMAN: Sut Jhally, founder of the Media Education Foundation, which produced the film The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States. When we come back from break, we return to Sut Jhally and the musician Roger Waters, in a minute.
[break]
AMYGOODMAN: Roger Waters, performing "We Shall Overcome," accompanied by the teenage cellist Alexander Rohatyn, here in the Democracy Now! studios.
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Occupation of the American Mind:

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 14, 2017

THE ABSURD TIMES

First, Trump won the south:

That’s why/

An example of idiocy above and our media, even reliable parts of it.

I recently saw a restored version of Lawrence of Arabia, and a quote from Anthony Quinn seemed to be appropriate for Trump: “You are a fool. Thank you God he gave you the face to match!”

Now, about Palestine and our mind control at work here:

AMYGOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. As we continue our conversation, we go now to an excerpt of—we are speaking with Roger Waters, the famous British musician, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd, Waters the narrator of the recent documentary titled The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.

ROGERWATERS: Over the course of 51 days, the Israeli military dropped nearly 20,000 tons of explosive on Gaza, a densely populated area the size of Philadelphia, killing over 2,000 Palestinians and wounding tens of thousands more. The overwhelming majority of these casualties were civilians.

HAMISHMACDONALD: This strip of land is being bombarded from the air, sea and land.

DIANAMAGNAY: Israel launched at least 160 strikes on the Gaza Strip.

RICHARDENGEL: And there’s one less hospital in Gaza now. Israel today flattened Wafa Hospital.

ROGERWATERS: The sheer scale of the attacks sparked outrage and condemnation around the world.

MARKBROOME: Israel’s month-long pounding of Gaza has shocked many people around the world. Mass demonstrations have been held in many of the world’s major cities.

ROGERWATERS: But in the United States, the story was different. Polls show the American people holding firm in their support for Israel.

ANDERSONCOOPER: This is the latest CNN/ORC poll of Americans, shows 57 percent of those polled say Israel’s action in Gaza is justified, 34 percent say unjustified.

ROGERWATERS: These numbers were striking, but they weren’t new. Over the course of a conflict in which Palestinian casualties have far outnumbered Israeli casualties, the American people have consistently shown far more sympathy for Israelis than for Palestinians.

PETERHART: It’s very difficult to divorce public opinion on any question from the media coverage that people rely on to form opinions. And I think the most prevalent lesson from looking at the coverage is that the coverage tends to see this conflict from the Israeli side.

AMYGOODMAN: That last voice, Peter Hart, the National Coalition Against Censorship. That a clip from the film The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States, narrated by our guest, Roger Waters, the musician.

Well, on Wednesday, Nermeen Shaikh and I interviewed Roger Waters and Sut Jhally, professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation, which produced the documentary. I asked Sut Jhally why he chose to make the film.

SUTJHALLY: Well, it started, actually, quite a while ago, and the reason for it is that American public opinion is so far outside the bounds of world opinion when it comes to—when it comes to Israel. As we talked before, I mean, the moment you start—you break—you start to talk about this, there’s an attempt to silence you. So you’re actually not allowed to—you’re not allowed to talk about it. And then, actually, once you do talk about it, you realize that Americans have a very warped sense of the conflict. I mean, I learned this from my own students, as well as from public opinion polls, that most Americans think that, in fact, it’s the Palestinians who are illegally occupying someone else’s land in the Middle East.

AMYGOODMAN: Well, talk about legally—talk about what in fact is happening in the Middle East.

SUTJHALLY: Well, it’s such a clear kind of instance of, you know, colonization. We’ve just had 50 years of occupation, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and, until recently, of Gaza. And that’s actually very, very clear, because there’s also this instant—Americans think it’s so complicated. That’s actually—when I talk to my students, they always say it’s too complicated. And I just actually explain to them, you know, in a few sentences, that this actually is a very, very simple conflict. And what—and when the conflict is that simple, what you have to do is you have to make it more complicated. And that’s the function of public relations.

And so, that’s what we focus on. We focus on the public relations campaign in the United States to essentially confuse the American public about what was going on, so there will be no pressure coming from the public on this. And in that sense, you know—and we say this in the film—the occupation of Palestine also depends upon an occupation of American public opinion, that unless the American government is aboard with this and acts as a protector of Israel, then that occupation is not possible.

NERMEENSHAIKH: Let’s turn to another clip from The Occupation of the American Mind, featuring our guest, Sut Jhally.

SUTJHALLY: Israel can saturate the media with its spokespeople, but there’s still the problem of massive Palestinian casualties showing up on television screens. You can’t make those images go away. An Israeli official actually said, “In the war of pictures, we lose. So you need to correct, explain or balance it in other ways.”

Here, again, the Luntz document spells out which talking points have been most effective in spinning the brutal reality of Palestinian casualties. He says the first thing the pro-Israeli spokespeople should do is to express empathy for the innocent victims.

DANGILLERMAN: Unfortunately, innocents do get hurt. And we—we really grieve that.

PRIMEMINISTERBENJAMINNETANYAHU: We’re sad for every civilian casualty.

MICHAELOREN: The entire situation is tragic.

SUTJHALLY: Once you’ve done that, Luntz says, you also have to get people to empathize with Israelis, by describing what life is like for them living in constant fear of Hamas rocket attacks. So, again and again, we hear the focus-tested phrase that the rockets are raining down on Israel.

MICHAELOREN: We have thousands of rockets raining down on our civilians.

HILLARYCLINTON: Rockets were raining down on Israel.

NORMANSOLOMON: Any advertising executive will tell you the essence of propaganda is repetition.

GRETAVANSUSTEREN: Rockets raining down on southern Israel.

FOXNEWSANCHOR: Rockets raining down on Israel.

NEWSANCHOR: Well, Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli border towns.

SUTJHALLY: Then, Luntz tells PR spokespeople to turn the tables and ask the American people, “What would you do?”

PRIMEMINISTERBENJAMINNETANYAHU: So what would you do in the United States?

RONDERMER: Will you imagine what America would do if it were facing a similar threat?

NACHMANSHAI: We always try to ask you the question we ask ourselves: What will you do?

PRIMEMINISTERBENJAMINNETANYAHU: What would you do?

MARKREGEV: What would you do, if more than 3,000 rockets had been fired on your cities?

SEANHANNITY: What would you do? Three thousand rockets.

MARKREGEV: What would you do, if terrorists were tunneling under your frontier?

SEANHANNITY: What would you do if three kids are kidnapped because of a tunnel network?

YOUSEFMUNAYYER: What sort of question is this? Of course, anybody would act to defend themselves against unprovoked aggression. But it is a question that is completely devoid of any context. What drives a society to a point where, after multiple devastating wars, they continue to resist with these most feeble methods? They don’t want you to ask that question. They don’t want you to ask what is behind this, what’s the history here, who are these people, where did they come from, why are they so desperate. No, they want you to understand Israeli behavior. Israeli behavior is always characterized as a reaction to unprovoked violence.

NERMEENSHAIKH: So that’s an excerpt from The Occupation of the American Mind. And the last voice was Yousef Munayyer of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. We also heard from Norman Solomon. And this is another excerpt from the documentary.

ROGERWATERS: Two years after the Lebanon invasion, the American Jewish Congress sponsored a conference in Jerusalem to devise a formal public relations strategy, known in Hebrew as hasbara. Participants included PR and advertising executives, media specialists, journalists and leaders of major Jewish groups. According to a brochure from the congress, “No single event brought home the need for a more effective hasbara, or information program, more persuasively than the 1982 war in Lebanon and the events that followed.” As one conference participant put it, “Israel is no longer perceived to be ‘little David,’ but Goliath steamrolling across the map.”

The primary aim of the conference was to develop strategies to spin unpopular Israeli policies and to counter negative press coverage by shaping the media frame in advance. “News doesn’t just jump into a camera,” a conference delegate said. “It’s directed, it’s managed, it’s made accessible.” Israel-based advertising executive Martin Fenton would put it in even more blunt terms: “‘Propaganda’ is not a dirty word,” he said. “Face it: We are in the game of changing people’s minds, of making them think differently. To accomplish that, we need propaganda.”

The conference was chaired by U.S. advertising executive Carl Spielvogel, the legendary ad man who created the highly acclaimed Miller Lite beer ads in the 1970s.

SUTJHALLY: The choice of Spielvogel makes perfect sense. He’s known as a master of image inversion and rebranding. The ad man responsible for transforming Miller Lite, which had been viewed before as a woman’s beer, into a manly beer the tough guys would drink.

MAN IN BAR 1: But the best part is that it tastes so great.

MAN IN BAR 2: The best part is, it’s less filling.

MAN IN BAR 1: Nah, tastes great!

MAN IN BAR 2: Less filling!

SUTJHALLY: His job with Israel would require the same kind of rebranding, only in the opposite direction: to help soften the image of a country that’s coming to be seen as a bully. So he recommends creating a Cabinet post dedicated exclusively to explaining policy, whose job would not be setting policy, but presenting it in the most attractive way to the rest of the world.

NORMONSOLOMON: Classic PR is to say the problem is not the policy, it’s the presentation. When the policies are so reprehensible that many people become critical, rather than acknowledge there’s anything wrong with the policy, there’s a doubling down on the PR effort.

NERMEENSHAIKH: So that was another clip from The Occupation of the American Mind. And that last voice was Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy, the film, of course, narrated by our guest, Roger Waters. But, Sut Jhally, I want to ask you about these clips, the way in which the Israeli state, working with different media organizations, has changed, as you argue, American public opinion, or swayed it in this way to be sympathetic only to the Israeli side. Now, this strategy of hasbara, the attempt to influence U.S. public opinion, Israeli supporters argue that such initiatives are attempted by practically all countries in the world, they all have lobbying firms in the U.S. What is it that distinguishes hasbara from the propaganda, in fact, that’s attempted by every country attempting to influence U.S. foreign policy?

SUTJHALLY: And that’s true. Everyone tries to mold perception in some way for their own—their own actions. The difference in this case is the public—is that Israeli public opinion—or, Israeli public relations is so closely connected to the interests of the American state. And so they’re not pushing against the American policy. And it’s American policy working hand in hand with Israeli policy, as well. In the film, you know, we try and we—because we really want to make clear that this is not about an Israel lobby that’s manipulating—you know, that’s manipulating politicians and the public. The reason why Israeli public relations works is because it goes hand in hand with American elite opinion. And if that didn’t happen, then the public relations wouldn’t work in that way. And we know that that’s—that those two things go together, because when American elite opinion differs from what Israel would do, oftentimes American elite opinion prevails, as in the discussion around the Iran policy. The Israel lobby really wanted to push a different line on that. But that was one place where the interests of the lobby diverged from the interests of the American state. And so, when we talk about this, it’s not about—it’s not about, you know, a lobby that has all this power. It’s about an Israel—it’s about a lobby that goes hand in hand with the interests of the state. And if that—

NERMEENSHAIKH: So, in other words, even—so, if U.S. elite opinion were to change, this precise strategy, hasbara, would be relatively ineffective.

SUTJHALLY: Well, it relies upon the American state to go along with it, which is why American public opinion is so important, which is why you have to control American public opinion. Not only do you have to control Senate and the House, which they do, but you also have to make sure there’s no pressure on politicians, which is why you have to control public opinion, which is why we say you need to occupy American public opinion to make the occupation possible, as well.

AMYGOODMAN: When it comes to this film, where was it shown?

SUTJHALLY: We’ve had a huge amount of difficulty getting this shown. It’s been shown almost nowhere in the United States.

AMYGOODMAN: Elsewhere?

SUTJHALLY: It’s been shown in other—we showed it in Mexico City. It’s been shown in Brussels. It’s been shown—I just came from a screening in Beirut. We showed it in London. It’s screened in—on television stations in Scandinavia, in Europe. Russia Today showed it. Al Jazeera showed it. So, it’s been shown outside of this country.

AMYGOODMAN: And the reaction to this film when you attempt to get it to play in the United States?

SUTJHALLY: I mean, it’s the way that censorship works, which is silence. We submitted it to film festivals, which is the first way you try and get some publicity and some visibility. We did not get it accepted into one film festival in the United States, and therefore that means it’s very difficult then to make the next step, which is how do you get it into theaters, how do you get it into television, how do you get media reviews. I mean, we’ve—there’s been, around this issue—and it’s not just this film, but on this issue. It’s like there’s a web of silence around it.

And it’s not just, you know, the right-wing media. It’s not just Fox. And it goes everywhere. I mean, it’s the one—it’s the one topic that even so-called liberal media won’t touch. In the film, you know, we had the example of Rachel Maddow, who is supposed to be the most, you know, progressive voice on television, and yet refuses to deal with this issue.

AMYGOODMAN: Let’s go to another clip from The Occupation of the American Mind.

SUTJHALLY: Look at how American media covered Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza. A keyword search of all the major networks showed that over the course of the 51-day assault, Israel’s ongoing military siege and blockade of Gaza were barely mentioned, compared to the thousands of times Hamas rocket attacks on Israel were mentioned.

JAKETAPPER: Why is Hamas launching missiles into population centers of Israel?

SUTJHALLY: The basic propaganda frame is built into the very assumptions journalists bring to the table.

JAKETAPPER: Since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, 8,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

SUTJHALLY: This is how propaganda works. It works by getting your words in the mouths of other people, especially the mouths of supposedly objective media commentators.

DAVIDGREGORY: I’m wondering, though, whether you’re outraged by the conduct of Hamas, starting the conflict by firing rockets, building tunnels to kill and kidnap Israelis, being more than willing to sacrifice Palestinian lives by embedding them into—into their own kind of arsenal, and using them, as Israel contends, as human shields. Do you have a level of outrage at Hamas itself?

SUTJHALLY: It doesn’t seem like propaganda at all. It just seems like news. And this goes across all the major media, including the supposedly most liberal. Look at Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, who’s known as the leading progressive voice on mainstream television. She did only four segments on the war. And during these few segments, she never once mentioned Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank or its siege and blockade of Gaza, and never once mentioned the fact that the U.S. has armed Israel with the very weapons that were being used against a defenseless civilian population, instead choosing to frame the invasion as part of a senseless cycle of violence perpetrated by both sides.

RACHELMADDOW: It’s been a constant cycle of fighting between Israel and Hamas for the past several years in Gaza. And the fighting and the cause of the fighting feel terribly familiar, because this is basically a recurring war. And if it feels like déjà vu, feels like, “Ugh, I’ve heard all of this before,” you are right, because this really does keep happening, over and over and over again.

RULAJEBREAL: Rachel Maddow, the most important woman on MSNBC, the leader when it comes to politics, in six weeks of war, never mentioned the word “blockade,” “occupation,” “illegal settlements,” never mentioned the support that Congress have for Israel, unconditional amount of money, billions of dollars. What is that? What a disappointment! Our media operations, national media, is a scandal when it comes to Israel.

AMYGOODMAN: An excerpt from The Occupation of the American Mind, the documentary that is narrated by Roger Waters, that’s produced by Sut Jhally. That last voice, former MSNBC analyst Rula Jebreal, who is an Italian-Palestinian journalist. Let’s go for a moment to the contrast, Sut, that you bring into this film, which is the international media.

JONSNOW: Mark Regev, how does killing children on a beach contribute to that purpose? What was the point of bombing the al-Wafa Hospital, for goodness’ sake? … There are grave uncertainties—

MARKREGEV: No, no.

JONSNOW: —about whether you’re acting within the law.

MARKREGEV: No, no, no. I disagree.

JONSNOW: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You are deliberately targeting—

MARKREGEV: No, I reject that.

JONSNOW: —neighborhoods in which you know there are women and children. … You’ve tried everything with Gaza. You’ve besieged it for seven years. The people live an intolerable and ghastly life, and you know that better than anybody. Why don’t you try one other thing: talking? Why not talk? Why not be brave and talk directly with them? Why not?

AMYGOODMAN: That’s another excerpt from The Occupation of the American Mind. Sut Jhally, you produced this film. Talk about the contrast of the media coverage.

SUTJHALLY: I mean, the contrast is quite striking when you look at—when you look at—you don’t have to go to other parts, you know, really foreign parts of the world. Just look to the way it’s covered in the United Kingdom. That’s a striking difference. And part of the reason—and, I mean, the clip we show—that clip we use was of Jon Snow, doing what a journalist should be doing, which is asking questions. So, in the U.K., journalism actually still exists. On this issue, in the United States, journalism has ceased to do what it’s supposed to do, because it has just succumbed to public relations.

AMYGOODMAN: Sut Jhally, founder of the Media Education Foundation, which produced the film The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States. When we come back from break, we return to Sut Jhally and the musician Roger Waters, in a minute.

[break]

AMYGOODMAN: Roger Waters, performing “We Shall Overcome,” accompanied by the teenage cellist Alexander Rohatyn, here in the Democracy Now! studios.

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The Absurd Times What Once Was

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 5, 2017

THE ABSURD TIMES

The following is a version from only four years ago. It seems more timely today. These days, it is clear that almost nobody out there is capable of even READING IT; that they would understand it is even less likely, and agreement is out of the question.

That’s one reason no more of this.

Science v. Religion

I

I put these two terms together as if there is some essential war between them, or at least an antagonistic relationship, but both, we shall see, can be oppressive and dominating. In fact, in some sense, the German word "Verhältnis," meaning not only relationship but also love affair is more appropriate here — both share the love of truth and liberation, but both have been used for domination and oppression.

II

That, in short, is what a quote remembered from Nietzsche means, although it seems to have disappeared entirely as no one has been able to locate it. Still, the quote, as translated, is "Science has saved us from Religion; now what will save us from Science?" Few, if any can locate that quotation, a few can at least understand it, but the three aphorisms from Adorno reprinted below explain it in sufficient detail. I have eliminated the first sentence of the second aphorism as it unintentionally restricts the scope of the commentary and also shows the danger of referring to specific current even in philosophical discussions. To be fair, I am placing the sentence at the end of this entire post as a footnote.[i] Another statement by Nietzsche is "God is Dead," but it is repeated all too often by those who have no idea of what it means, where it came from, and who have never read Nietzsche at all. They merely quote what someone else had quoted. I will soon post my own version of his quote, along with the context, and explain not only that God died, but how He died (which I have not seen discussed elsewhere).

III

For centuries religion has served to subjugate individuality and free thought, one reason why Marx called it the "Opiate of the Masses." To some extent, the Scientific Revolution, or Cognitive Revolution, of the 17th Century liberated man as it relegated God to the role of some cosmic clockmaker who put things together, wound them up, and then left. At least the ominous warning that "God is watching" lost much of its authority amongst individualists and freethinkers.

IV

However, Science soon banished value from life and favored quantification. In many ways, the old barter system, which is still employed daily by many without awareness of it, was far more equitable as it was more concrete, less abstract. People traded services and objects based on their individual values, not on the basis on some abstract decimal system of valuation. When we hear the term "value" used today, almost always with refers to some monetary sum "owned" in one way or another by some person. Who, ultimately, has any meaning left when he says that one person is "worth" more than another? This is a subjective value judgment best left to each individual in relation to another.

V

We can see this rampant and manipulative quantification being used daily to manipulate the masses who have absolutely no concept of what is being done to them. In fact, some wealthy ideologues hand-pick their own statisticians to justify their own greed and economic elitism and actually wind up believing their own lies and are surprised when things do not transpire as their bribed soothsayers predict. The whole idea behind hiring these hacks was to fool the people, but the force of quantification was so great that the employers were actually convinced by their own lies.

VI

The brainwashing of the modern concept of science also banishes imagination or inspiration from the world, or discipline. Capra discusses this in his Tao of Physics. Allow me one small example: It is clear that electrons, orbiting a nucleus, can only be a specific, quantifiable defined, orbits, or energy states, or only so far from the nucleus. However, any electron may move from one state to another. The question is, where is it between one state and another? How does it travel from one level to another since there are no levels inbetween? Doesn’t this mean that time itself is quantum? These is no smooth time, but simply intervals of time between which time does not exist? If so, what exists when time is moving from one interval to another? No physicist even considers these questions lest he loose any chance of grant money or reputation. Imagination is banished from the universe. In fact, such imagination has long since been sucked from his system.

VII

The ignorant and willfully blind will stick to their preconceived notions, however, as they have their entire life invested in this ignorance. To them, rising up and above this stupidity would cost them too much and they will remain content in their chains of ignorance which perpetuate their domination by the unseen "Thou Shalt," which will persist until they system itself destroys any chance of its own continuance. It is well on it’s way with what is called "climate change," and uses religion, faith, patriotism, pseudo-science, and more simply to maximize its short-term profits while its long-term existence has already been self-assured. Perhaps in the 70s of the past century strong action could have prevented this, but that time has long passed. Here are Adorno’s reflections from a safer past:

79

Intellectus sacrificium intellectus. [Latin: Intellectuals sacrifice to intellectuals]. To presume that thinking would profit from the decline of the emotions through increasing objectivity, or that it would remain indifferent to such, is itself an expression of the process of dumbing down. The social division of labor recoils on human beings, however much the former may facilitate the accomplishments required of the latter. The faculties, which develop through reciprocal effect, shrivel once when they are torn from each other. Nietzsche’s aphorism, "The degree and kind of sexuality of human beings reaches into the furthest peak of their Spirit [Geistes]" strikes at more than just a psychological state of affairs. Because even the most distant objectifications of thought are nourished by the drives, to destroy the latter is to destroy the former’s own condition. Isn’t memory inseparable from the love, which wants to preserve, what nevertheless passes away? Doesn’t every impulse of the imagination arise from the wish, which transcends the existent in all fidelity, by displacing its elements? Indeed isn’t the simplest perception modeled on the fear of what is perceived, or the desire for such? It is true that the objective meaning of cognitions has, with the objectification of the world, separated itself ever further from the basis of the drives; it is true that cognition fails, where its objectified achievement remains under the baleful spell of the wishes. However if the drives are not at the same time sublated in the thought, which escapes such a baleful spell, then there can be no cognition anymore, and the thought which kills the wish, its father, will be overtaken by the revenge of stupidity. Memory is tabooed as uncalculable, unreliable, irrational. The intellectual asthma which results from this, which culminates in the breakdown of the historical dimension of consciousness, immediately debases the synthetic apperception which, according to Kant, is not to be separated from the "reproduction in the imagination," from commemoration. Imagination, today attributed to the realm of the unconscious and defamed in cognition as a childish, injudicious rudiment, creates alone that indispensable relation between objects, out of which all judgment originates: if it is driven out, then the judgment, the actual act of cognition, is exorcised as well. The castration of perception, however, by a controlling authority, which refuses it any desiring anticipation, thereby compels it into the schema of the powerless repetition of what is already familiar. That nothing more is actually allowed to be seen, amounts to the sacrifice of the intellect. Just as, under the unrestrained primacy of the production process, the wherefore of reason disappears, until it degenerates into the fetishism of itself and of externalized power, so too does it reduce itself down to an instrument and comes to resemble its functionaries, whose thought-apparatus only serves the purpose, of hindering thought. Once the final emotional trace is effaced, what solely remains of thinking is absolute tautology. The utterly pure reason of those who have completely divested themself of the capacity "to imagine an object even without its presence," converges with pure unconsciousness, with idiocy in the most literal sense, for measured by the overweening realistic ideal of a category-free actuality, every cognition is false, and true only if the question of true or false is inapplicable. That this is a question of wide-ranging tendencies, is evident at every step of the scientific enterprise, which is on the point of subjugating the rest of the world, like so many defenseless ruins.

80

Diagnosis. – A humanity is secretly emerging, which hungers for the compulsion and restriction, which the nonsensical continuation of domination imposes. These human beings however have, favored by the objective social arrangement, seized hold of the functions which by rights ought to generate dissonance against the pre-established harmony. Among all the cashiered slogans, one stands out: "pressure produces counter-pressure" – yet if the former becomes powerful enough, then the latter disappears, and society appears to want to contribute considerably to entropy, by a deadly equilibrium of tensions. The scientific enterprise has its exact equivalent in the kind of minds [Geistesart], which it harnesses: they need hardly do any violence to themselves, proving eager and willing administrators of their own selves. Even when they prove to be quite humane and reasonable beings outside of the enterprise, they freeze into pathic stupidity the moment they think professionally. Far from perceiving such prohibitions on thought as something hostile, the candidates – and all scientists are candidates – feel relieved. Because thinking burdens them with a subjective responsibility, which their objective position in the production-process prevents them from fulfilling, they renounce it, shake a bit and run over to the other side. The displeasure of thinking soon turns into the incapacity to think at all: people who effortlessly invent the most refined statistical objections, when it is a question of sabotaging a cognition, are not capable of making the simplest predictions of content ex cathedra [Latin: from the chair, e.g. Papal decision]. They lash out at the speculation and in it kill common sense. The more intelligent of them have an inkling of what ails their mental faculties, because the symptoms are not universal, but appear in the organs, whose service they sell. Many still wait in fear and shame, at being caught with their defect. All however find it raised publicly to a moral service and see themselves being recognized for a scientific asceticism, which is nothing of the sort, but the secret contour of their weakness. Their resentment is socially rationalized under the formula: thinking is unscientific. Their intellectual energy is thereby amplified in many dimensions to the utmost by the mechanism of control. The collective stupidity of research technicians is not simply the absence or regression of intellectual capacities, but an overgrowth of the capacity of thought itself, which eats away at the latter with its own energy. The masochistic malice [Bosheit] of young intellectuals derives from the malevolence [Bösartigkeit] of their illness.

81

Large and small. – One of the most disastrous transfers from the realm of economic planning into that of theory, which is actually no longer distinguished from the architectonic of the whole, is the belief that intellectual labor can be administered according to the criteria of whether what one is working on is necessary or reasonable. A ranking hierarchy of urgency is established. But to rob thought of the moment of involuntariness, is precisely to cashier its necessity. It reduces itself to detachable, interchangeable dispositions. Just as in the war economy, where priorities are decided in the distribution of raw materials, in the production of this or that type of weapon, so too is a hierarchy of importance creeping into the construction of theory, with a preference given for especially up to date or especially relevant themes, and disregard or indulgent toleration for what is secondary, which may pass merely as padding of the basic facts, as finesse. The notion of what is relevant is produced according to an organizational point of view, that of contemporaneity measured by the objectively most powerful tendency of the day. The schematization into important and subsidiary subscribes to the form of the value-order of ruling praxis, even when it contradicts such as content. In the origins of progressive philosophy, in Bacon and Descartes, the cult of the important is already at work. In the end, however, this latter reveals something unfree, something regressive. Importance is represented by the dog on a walk, which spends minutes sniffing at some random spot, unyielding, earnest, reluctant, and then satisfies its bodily needs, scrapes the ground with its feet and runs along, as if nothing had happened. In prehistoric times life and death may have depended on this; after millennia of domestication it has turned into a nutty ritual. Who is not reminded of this, when watching a serious committee determining the urgency of problems, before the staff of coworkers is given a carefully designated and time-tabled list of tasks. Everything of importance has something of such anachronistic obstinacy, and as a criterium of thought, it is tantamount to the latter’s ensorceled fixation, to the renunciation of self-constitution. The great themes however are nothing other than the primordial odors, which cause the animal to hold still, and where possible to produce them once more. This does not mean that the hierarchy of importance is to be ignored. Just as its philistinery mirrors that of the system, so too is it saturated with all the latter’s violence and stringency. However thought should not repeat it, but dissolve it through its completion. The division of the world into primary and subsidiary matters, which has always served only to neutralize the key phenomena of the most extreme social injustice as mere exceptions, should be followed to the point that it is convicted of its own untruth. It, which turns everything into objects, must itself become the object of thought, instead of steering the latter. The great themes will also appear, though scarcely in the traditional "thematic" sense, but rather refractedly and eccentrically. The barbarism of immediate magnitude [Grösse] remains philosophy’s legacy of its earlier alliance with administrators and mathematicians: what does not bear the stamp of the overinflated world-historical bustle, is consigned to the procedures of the positive sciences. Philosophy behaves therein like bad painting, which imagines that the dignity of a work and the fame which it garners, depend on the dignity of the painted object; a picture of the Battle of Leipzig would be worth more than a chair in oblique perspective. The difference between the conceptual medium and the artistic one changes nothing in this bad naïvété. If the process of abstraction strikes all conceptual formation with the delusion of magnitude [Grösse], then what is also preserved in this, through the distance of the action-object, through reflection and transparency, is the antidote: the self-critique of reason is its ownmost ethics [eigenste Moral]. Its opposite in the most recent phase of a thought which disposes over itself is nothing other than the abolition of the subject. The gesture of theoretical labor, which arranges themes according to their importance, neglects those doing the laboring. The development of an increasingly smaller number of technical capacities is supposed to suffice, to adequately equip them to deal with every assigned task. The thinking subjectivity is however exactly what does not let itself be fitted into a heteronomous set of tasks arranged from above: it is adequate to the latter only insofar as it does not belong to such, and its existence is thereby the prerequisite of every objectively binding truth. The sovereign matter-of-factness, which sacrifices the subject to the investigation of truth, rejects at once truth and objectivity itself.

[i] That the world has meanwhile turned into the system which the Nazis unjustly berated as the lax Weimar Republic, is evident in the pre-established harmony between institutions and those who they serve.


Posted By Czar Donic to The Absurd Times at 9/05/2017 11:01:00 AM

#NorthKorea ~~ ‘WASTE DEEP IN THE BIG MUDDY’

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 3, 2017

Here is a well-known and somehow controversial song for Pete. It helped the Smothers Brothers off of CBS in the late 60s. Remember Vietnam?

Desertpeace

North Korea confirms hydrogen bomb test

Pyongyang confirms its sixth nuclear test, after 6.3-magnitude tremor was recorded near nuclear test site.

FROM

North Korean state television announced the country has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, CNN reported.

The news came after an earthquake was recorded Sunday morning in North Korea near the country’s nuclear test site, South Korea’s Yonhapnews agency said, citing South Korean military officials.

The US Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.3.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed that the earthquake was “artificial,” and was “presumed” to be due to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. An announcement in China similarly said that an explosion was suspected to have occurred.

“The power is 10 or 20 times or even more than previous ones,” said Kune Y. Suh, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University, according to Reuters. “That scale is…

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The Absurd Times Our World Today

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on August 14, 2017

THE ABSURD TIMES

Time for a break.

Let us sum it up. We should start where we are, in medias rea, and then go back a bit. How far back is a difficult choice, but we will make it, somehow.

So, right now, we have an adult with the attitude of a puberty-ridden teenager as President of the United States. Let us think of it this way: Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust is 1,250,000 words long and consumes four to six volumes. No body that has ever read the entire thing has any real criticism of it. After all, if you sat down and read that many words of one work, you would look very foolish in saying it was bad. Well, I can confidently say one thing: it is a much more pleasant task than contemplating current events today, especially here in the United States, and we will return to Proust eventually. What has happened is similar to what would have happened if Barry Goldwater had been elected in 1964 instead of LBJ, and it should well known what happened with LBJ. At that time, Hillary Clinton was a "Goldwater Girl," complete with cheerleader’s costume, coming as she did from a politically retarded area of Chicago (Park Ridge).

Many voted for LBJ because he said "I don’t think American boys should be fighting a was that it is the job of Asian boys to do." After he had resigned, he said he did not lie. In an interview with Walter Cronkite he said "Now, Walter, I said SHOULD, not that they WOULDN’T". Goldwater, on the other had, promised to "Bomb North Vietnam into the stone age." Many people who voted for LBJ felt somehow responsible for the war in Viet Nam because it was turned into a wild slaughterhouse on the basis of a resolution that LBJ had in his coat pocket for 6 months before the Golf of Tonkin occurred. Never again.

The election of FDR was an easy choice after the Republican Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. No promise was made concerning Europe and its war, predicted after the treaty Germany was forced to accept after WWI. Henry Wallace was his Vice President until FDR was sick and dying and big business put pressure on him and he did not have the energy to keep him as Vice President. Truman was chosen as more acceptable to business, used the A-Bomb on Japan, and allowed the creation of Israel. All of this led to Eisenhower who left with a warning about the "Military Industrial Complex."

The next election was Kennedy vs. Nixon. Nixon was perfectly hateful and hating, paranoid and vicious, sneaky and persistent. Since JFK was an Irish Catholic, had a sense of humor, a Democrat, and a wife who looked good, he was elected. A great deal was done in Chicago to keep the paranoid who saw communism under every leaf from every tree and Kennedy won. The illustration gives you an idea of what happened to him. John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, and his brother Allan Dulles, Director of the CIA, set in motion many power plays around the world. To make things short, the so-called Warren Report should be called the "Dulles Report" as he was the panel, essentially, investigation the death of JFK about a year after he was fired by JFK. Our illustration explains why he had to be terminated.

At one time, during JFK”s Presidency, he held a dinner party with such people as Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman), Tennessee Williams (Streetcar named Desire), Leonard Bernstein (New York Philharmonic, and others. He reportedly said "This is the greatest assemblage of minds to dine here since Thomas Jefferson dined here alone." Who would we find at a Trump dinner?

A major force behind Barry Goldwater was the John Birch Society, financed by Koch, the father of the founders of the "Tea Party." The Tea Party made Trump possible — given Trump’s manipulation of the mass media. The other choice in the last election was Hillary Clinton. Many women favored her because she was a female and that was all. Wall Street favored her because she cultivated relations with them. Furthermore, the only opposition, Bernie Sanders, was popular and threatened single-payer health insurance (surely a Communist plot to subvert Capitalism). Still, Trump and Sanders both appealed to most votesr who quite correctly thought they were getting screwed. Sanders had to go.

We were given an unacceptable situation. The choice once again, or this time, was Hillary or Trump. This time, many followed Thoreau’s advice, and I paraphrase as closely as I can, "If you can not take direct action against a government’s unjust activity, the very least you can do is to have nothing to do with it." In other words, we were not again going to choose between LBJ and Barry Goldwater. The decision not to endorse these two in no way means an endorsement of the winner. Vietnam was painful for many who voted for LBJ based on his promises, but they will not accept that responsibility again. That would be illogical.

Ignorance rules the press, as well as the oligarchy. We are now hearing a great deal of bellicosity and fear-mongering over nuclear weapons. Are the North Korean Weapons Fission or Fusion? Makes a big difference. Also, have they been using enriched Uranium or Plutonium? I would like to know, but then the question has never occurred to any of our media.

Domestic terrorism is rising. While the focus continues to be anywhere else, hate groups, some of them, and only a few, are members of the law enforcement community. More than likely, they will be called upon to contain such groups. Some of them call themselves American Nazis, the press calls them neo-Nazis, and the white house put out a statement for a short time calling them "nephew Nazis," apparently some clerical mistake, or at least one hopes so. President 45 has refused to label them as such as the neo-KKK is also involved, as well as some rather insane low-level-IQ anti-abortionists that seems to target white focused clinics and scream "save the babies," as if these guys cared. So as as the so-called Nazis are concerned, any comparison between them and the fascist party of mid-century Germany is certainly misplaced. Simply ask even one of them who their favorite Valkyrie is (daughter of Wotan, you know), or to distinguish between Teutonic and Frank and see how how you get. A dangerous voice is that of David Duke (who would be able to answer all of those questions and more. He is far too intelligent and knowledgeable to simply dismiss. He is able to manipulate people and one suspects that he influences 45 to some degree as well. One example is when he was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer and introduced as a FORMER GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK. Duke asked why do that unless you point our that your are a former lobbyist for AIPAC? The problem is that most of these low lives feel liberated by 45 and will act accordingly.

Speaking of Proust, and attempting, woefully short of any hope of conveying the actual impact of his prolix and elliptical style, which has at best been described as both complex and periodic, so much so, in fact, that a favorite party game in French literary circles would, as the current situation is not established, be to attempt to diagram one of his involved sentences, it is necessary, perhaps that is not the proper word, appropriate might fit better at this point, to attempt to discuss his rather nebulous attitude towards sexual relations as there is a great deal of militancy today about LGBTQ issues, without any definite idea of what the "Q" stands for (although a usually reliable source tells me that it means "queer," thus making the word politically correct once more, and his reputed and, indeed avowed, sense of what is called homosexuality, although he never uses that term in his work, even in the section called Sodom and Gomorrah, with Sodom representing relations between men and men and Gomorrah between women, and since all of the sexual encounters he discusses are between himself and one of two women, in both cases attempting to recapture attitudes of feelings he had when he was much younger, although he does at one point describe observing secretly a sado-masochistic encounter between one man and another with several observers and one between two what he calls girls as they are youthful at the time, maintaining throughout an intense interest in painting or art without any real expression of overt sexuality, although one easily suspects that he is plagued by the thought of these two women having affairs with other women is a bit easier to understand in these terms, describing himself at one point as being an "invert," meaning having a woman’s mind or soul, if you will, inside of a man’s body, remembering all the while not disclosing this one bit to his mother or his beloved grandmother, for we should remember that he wrote at the beginning of the last century while attitudes are quite different at the beginning of this century.

Every other advanced society has universal health care, except the U.S. The people are overwhelmingly in favor of it if they are asked about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the same people who benefit most, are opposed to Obamacare which is the name given by the rich to subvert it. Right now, Trump is subverting it as best he can. Many will now have much higher rates simply because of Trump’s withholding of funds and many will die or face bankruptcy. Many Republican Representatives have gone home to face angry crowds, and many of them say those are outside agitators. Elections may make a difference for once. These other countries also have more than two established political parties. Short of armed rebellion, urged by Jefferson, we will always have only two. There will be no armed rebellion. So, it is all over.

On occasion, we may post an interview or article that seems important and of interest, but other than that, we need to pay attention to others things. Where’s Proust?

Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.


Posted By Czar Donic to The Absurd Times at 8/14/2017 12:56:00 PM

Our World Today

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on August 14, 2017

THE ABSURD TIMES

Time for a break.

Let us sum it up. We should start where we are, in medias rea, and then go back a bit. How far back is a difficult choice, but we will make it, somehow.

So, right now, we have an adult with the attitude of a puberty-ridden teenager as President of the United States. Let us think of it this way: Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust is 1,250,000 words long and consumes four to six volumes. No body that has ever read the entire thing has any real criticism of it. After all, if you sat down and read that many words of one work, you would look very foolish in saying it was bad. Well, I can confidently say one thing: it is a much more pleasant task than contemplating current events today, especially here in the United States, and we will return to Proust eventually. What has happened is similar to what would have happened if Barry Goldwater had been elected in 1964 instead of LBJ, and it should well known what happened with LBJ. At that time, Hillary Clinton was a “Goldwater Girl,” complete with cheerleader’s costume, coming as she did from a politically retarded area of Chicago (Park Ridge).

Many voted for LBJ because he said “I don’t think American boys should be fighting a was that it is the job of Asian boys to do.” After he had resigned, he said he did not lie. In an interview with Walter Cronkite he said “Now, Walter, I said SHOULD, not that they WOULDN’T”. Goldwater, on the other had, promised to “Bomb North Vietnam into the stone age.” Many people who voted for LBJ felt somehow responsible for the war in Viet Nam because it was turned into a wild slaughterhouse on the basis of a resolution that LBJ had in his coat pocket for 6 months before the Golf of Tonkin occurred. Never again.

The election of FDR was an easy choice after the Republican Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. No promise was made concerning Europe and its war, predicted after the treaty Germany was forced to accept after WWI. Henry Wallace was his Vice President until FDR was sick and dying and big business put pressure on him and he did not have the energy to keep him as Vice President. Truman was chosen as more acceptable to business, used the A-Bomb on Japan, and allowed the creation of Israel. All of this led to Eisenhower who left with a warning about the “Military Industrial Complex.”

The next election was Kennedy vs. Nixon. Nixon was perfectly hateful and hating, paranoid and vicious, sneaky and persistent. Since JFK was an Irish Catholic, had a sense of humor, a Democrat, and a wife who looked good, he was elected. A great deal was done in Chicago to keep the paranoid who saw communism under every leaf from every tree and Kennedy won. The illustration gives you an idea of what happened to him. John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, and his brother Allan Dulles, Director of the CIA, set in motion many power plays around the world. To make things short, the so-called Warren Report should be called the “Dulles Report” as he was the panel, essentially, investigation the death of JFK about a year after he was fired by JFK. Our illustration explains why he had to be terminated.

At one time, during JFK’’s Presidency, he held a dinner party with such people as Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman), Tennessee Williams (Streetcar named Desire), Leonard Bernstein (New York Philharmonic, and others. He reportedly said “This is the greatest assemblage of minds to dine here since Thomas Jefferson dined here alone.” Who would we find at a Trump dinner?

A major force behind Barry Goldwater was the John Birch Society, financed by Koch, the father of the founders of the “Tea Party.” The Tea Party made Trump possible — given Trump’s manipulation of the mass media. The other choice in the last election was Hillary Clinton. Many women favored her because she was a female and that was all. Wall Street favored her because she cultivated relations with them. Furthermore, the only opposition, Bernie Sanders, was popular and threatened single-payer health insurance (surely a Communist plot to subvert Capitalism). Still, Trump and Sanders both appealed to most votesr who quite correctly thought they were getting screwed. Sanders had to go.

We were given an unacceptable situation. The choice once again, or this time, was Hillary or Trump. This time, many followed Thoreau’s advice, and I paraphrase as closely as I can, “If you can not take direct action against a government’s unjust activity, the very least you can do is to have nothing to do with it.” In other words, we were not again going to choose between LBJ and Barry Goldwater. The decision not to endorse these two in no way means an endorsement of the winner. Vietnam was painful for many who voted for LBJ based on his promises, but they will not accept that responsibility again. That would be illogical.

Ignorance rules the press, as well as the oligarchy. We are now hearing a great deal of bellicosity and fear-mongering over nuclear weapons. Are the North Korean Weapons Fission or Fusion? Makes a big difference. Also, have they been using enriched Uranium or Plutonium? I would like to know, but then the question has never occurred to any of our media.

Domestic terrorism is rising. While the focus continues to be anywhere else, hate groups, some of them, and only a few, are members of the law enforcement community. More than likely, they will be called upon to contain such groups. Some of them call themselves American Nazis, the press calls them neo-Nazis, and the white house put out a statement for a short time calling them “nephew Nazis,” apparently some clerical mistake, or at least one hopes so. President 45 has refused to label them as such as the neo-KKK is also involved, as well as some rather insane low-level-IQ anti-abortionists that seems to target white focused clinics and scream “save the babies,” as if these guys cared. So as as the so-called Nazis are concerned, any comparison between them and the fascist party of mid-century Germany is certainly misplaced. Simply ask even one of them who their favorite Valkyrie is (daughter of Wotan, you know), or to distinguish between Teutonic and Frank and see how how you get. A dangerous voice is that of David Duke (who would be able to answer all of those questions and more. He is far too intelligent and knowledgeable to simply dismiss. He is able to manipulate people and one suspects that he influences 45 to some degree as well. One example is when he was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer and introduced as a FORMER GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK. Duke asked why do that unless you point our that your are a former lobbyist for AIPAC? The problem is that most of these low lives feel liberated by 45 and will act accordingly.

Speaking of Proust, and attempting, woefully short of any hope of conveying the actual impact of his prolix and elliptical style, which has at best been described as both complex and periodic, so much so, in fact, that a favorite party game in French literary circles would, as the current situation is not established, be to attempt to diagram one of his involved sentences, it is necessary, perhaps that is not the proper word, appropriate might fit better at this point, to attempt to discuss his rather nebulous attitude towards sexual relations as there is a great deal of militancy today about LGBTQ issues, without any definite idea of what the “Q” stands for (although a usually reliable source tells me that it means “queer,” thus making the word politically correct once more, and his reputed and, indeed avowed, sense of what is called homosexuality, although he never uses that term in his work, even in the section called Sodom and Gomorrah, with Sodom representing relations between men and men and Gomorrah between women, and since all of the sexual encounters he discusses are between himself and one of two women, in both cases attempting to recapture attitudes of feelings he had when he was much younger, although he does at one point describe observing secretly a sado-masochistic encounter between one man and another with several observers and one between two what he calls girls as they are youthful at the time, maintaining throughout an intense interest in painting or art without any real expression of overt sexuality, although one easily suspects that he is plagued by the thought of these two women having affairs with other women is a bit easier to understand in these terms, describing himself at one point as being an “invert,” meaning having a woman’s mind or soul, if you will, inside of a man’s body, remembering all the while not disclosing this one bit to his mother or his beloved grandmother, for we should remember that he wrote at the beginning of the last century while attitudes are quite different at the beginning of this century.

Every other advanced society has universal health care, except the U.S. The people are overwhelmingly in favor of it if they are asked about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the same people who benefit most, are opposed to Obamacare which is the name given by the rich to subvert it. Right now, Trump is subverting it as best he can. Many will now have much higher rates simply because of Trump’s withholding of funds and many will die or face bankruptcy. Many Republican Representatives have gone home to face angry crowds, and many of them say those are outside agitators. Elections may make a difference for once. These other countries also have more than two established political parties. Short of armed rebellion, urged by Jefferson, we will always have only two. There will be no armed rebellion. So, it is all over.

On occasion, we may post an interview or article that seems important and of interest, but other than that, we need to pay attention to others things. Where’s Proust?

Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.

ECHOS OF McCARTHYISM IN THE ANTI BDS CAMP

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on August 14, 2017

Desertpeace

Image by Carlos Latuff

“All human beings deserve human and civil rights, including the Palestinians,” Waters said. “And we’re winning it. This is why they want to silence me, this is why they call me an anti-Semite and this why they don’t want me on Charlie Rose or Stephen Colbert, speaking.” (FROM)

Also see the following post by Michael Rivero (Click on link)

THE NEW McCARTHYISM

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