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The latest uproar from the Trumpian led Republican Administration down South:

    ” -Washington (CNN)  President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday and announced plans to relocate the US Embassy there, a move expected to inflame tensions in the region and unsettle the prospects for peace.

     “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do,” Trump said from the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room.”
    It is surprising to find nuggets of truth in what comes out of the current American Republican presidency.  US policy has always been one of obstructionism toward any sort of reasonable peace between Palestine and Israel.  Having this truth out in the open must be somewhat uncomfortable for many Americans and other supporters of the official historical narrative.  Noam Chomsky has been reporting on the false “peace process” for decades:

    

      “Many of the world’s problems are so intractable that it’s hard to think of ways even to take steps towards mitigating them. The Israel-Palestine conflict is not one of these. On the contrary, the general outlines of a diplomatic solution have been clear for at least 40 years. Not the end of the road—nothing ever is—but a significant step forward. And the obstacles to a resolution are also quite clear.

     The basic outlines were presented here in a resolution brought to the U.N. Security Council in January 1976. It called for a two-state settlement on the internationally recognized border—and now I’m quoting—”with guarantees for the rights of both states to exist in peace and security within secure and recognized borders.” The resolution was brought by the three major Arab states: Egypt, Jordan, Syria—sometimes called the “confrontation states.” Israel refused to attend the session. The resolution was vetoed by the United States. A U.S. veto typically is a double veto: The veto, the resolution is not implemented, and the event is vetoed from history, so you have to look hard to find the record, but it is there. That has set the pattern that has continued since. The most recent U.S. veto was in February 2011—that’s President Obama—when his administration vetoed a resolution calling for implementation of official U.S. policy opposition to expansion of settlements. And it’s worth bearing in mind that expansion of settlements is not really the issue; it’s the settlements, unquestionably illegal, along with the infrastructure projects supporting them.

    For a long time, there has been an overwhelming international consensus in support of a settlement along these general lines. The pattern that was set in January 1976 continues to the present. Israel rejects a settlement of these terms and for many years has been devoting extensive resources to ensuring that it will not be implemented, with the unremitting and decisive support of the United States—military, economic, diplomatic and indeed ideological—by establishing how the conflict is viewed and interpreted in the United States and within its broad sphere of influence.”

-Noam Chomsky Speaking to Amy Goodman

So really, this latest ham-handed announcement should not be a surprise when viewed in context of the historical precedents on record.  So, what we are seeing is really the fruition of guided US policy in Israel regarding the one-state solution that moving the embassy to Jerusalem implies.

    “Except in stages, the one-state option is an illusion. It has no international support, and there is no reason why Israel and its US sponsor would accept it, since they have a far preferable option, the one they are now implementing; with impunity, thanks to US power.

     The US and Israel call for negotiations without preconditions. Commentary there and elsewhere in the West typically claims that the Palestinians are imposing such preconditions, hampering the “peace process.” In reality, the US-Israel insist upon crucial preconditions. The first is that negotiations must be mediated by the United States, which is not a neutral party but rather a participant in the conflict. It is as if one were to propose that Sunni-Shiite conflicts in Iraq be mediated by Iran. Authentic negotiations would be in the hands of some neutral state with a degree of international respect. The second precondition is that illegal settlement expansion must be allowed to continue, as it has done without a break during the 20 years of the Oslo Accord; predictably, given the terms of the Accord.

     In the early years of the occupation the US joined the world in regarding the settlements as illegal, as confirmed by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice. Since Reagan, their status has been downgraded to “a barrier to peace.” Obama weakened the designation further, to “not helpful to peace,” with gentle admonitions that are easily dismissed. Obama’s extreme rejectionism did arouse some attention in February 2011, when he vetoed a Security Council resolution supporting official US policy, ending of settlement expansion.

     As long as these preconditions remain in force, diplomacy is likely to remain at a standstill. With brief and rare exceptions, that has been true since January 1976, when the US vetoed a Security Council resolution, brought by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, calling for a two-state settlement on the internationally recognized border, the Green Line, with guarantees for the security of all states within secure and recognized borders. That is essentially the international consensus that is by now universal, with the two usual exceptions – not just on Middle East issues, incidentally. The consensus has been modified to include “minor and mutual adjustments” on the Green Line, to borrow official US wording before it had broken with the rest of the world.”

“The one state/two state debate is irrelevant as Israel and the US consolidate Greater Israel” – Noam Chomsky

The reason for this post is that I had to get some context out there as I’m hearing, even on my beloved CBC, about America’s “concern” over the what will become of the “peace process”.  It is such a crock of shit.  There has not been and nor will there be any sort of “peace process” with US acting as an “honest broker” in the proceedings.

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The fight to maintain Net Neutrality has been raging.  You have not heard about it because it is not in the big companies interests for you to know about it.  Think it isn’t a big deal?   Please partake in the observed behaviour of said companies and remind yourself that these infractions happened during the time when the regulations were still in full force with the FCC enforcing the rules.

 

The best predictor of future outcomes is past behaviour…  Stop this shit.  Canada is waffling at the moment, but it is better than the free for all that will going down in the US.  If you happen to be a US citizen spend some time filling out a form and/or making a call to your congress critter here.

I’m not sure what exactly goes on in the American psyche when it comes to regulations that make the shit-kettle we know as life better for everyone.  Romanticizing the ‘good ole days’ is pretty much just bug-fuck crazy, unless you enjoy eating tainted meat, breathing polluted air, and having the female half of the population as sex slaves.  Regulation is necessary in a democratic society, libertarian fap-happy wet dreams aside.

 

As the cheery title of the post suggests we can see the one universal maxim that all of humanity can get behind in action – “greed is good”.

“Trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery are big business generating profits estimated at $150 billion a year, the UN labour agency said Tuesday.

The report by the International Labour Organization finds global profits from involuntary workers — an estimated 21 million of them — have more than tripled over the past decade from its estimate of at least $44 billion in 2005.”

So friends, the number of slaves, or those in debt bondage is growing in our world.  I really need the optimistic technology orientated futurists to shut the fuck up about our supposedly rosy future and how supposedly, technology “x” is going to fix things.

“We need to strengthen social protection floors to prevent households from sliding into the poverty that pushes people into forced labour,” he said. “We need to improve levels of education and literacy so that household decision-makers can understand their own vulnerability to forced labour and know their rights as workers.

It says 55 per cent of the victims are women and girls, primarily in commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work, while men and boys were primarily in forced economic exploitation in agriculture, construction and mining.”

 

Futurism and its variants ply one of the most earnest of human vulnerabilities namely, “hope”.  We can look past all of the evil that is currently being perpetrated against humanity, to gaze on a brighter world where the fundamental inhumanities we face now have been solved and all is peachy-fracking-keen.  What is missing though, is the intermediary steps that get us to said bright rosy future.

We have more than enough resources to properly feed, clothe, and shelter all of humanity.  With poverty reduction and education we might be able to stop one of the drivers in our keen drive toward human extinction – overpopulation.

With regards to population control finally giving women full human being status the world wide would be huge stride toward preserving human civilization, that should go without saying, but again it is the world we live in.

My optimism about our collective future is quite low at the moment.

[Source:cbc.ca]

 

Quiet Time, by Marc Levy.

 

“Imagine this: after a blistering hot day marching up and down mud slicked hills, or tramping wide open fields, or steamy jungle, imagine setting out booby traps on enemy trails, laying in wait, then ever so carefully, breaking them down.

At dusk, after planting trips and claymores round the NDP, after finding a spot for your pack and gear, after eating tinned c-rations of beans and franks, imagine curling up on the cold wet ground.

Now, fast asleep, being woken twice in the night by a man gently tapping your resting arm. “Your guard,” he whispers, for the first of two one hour shifts.

Leaving that foxhole the second time, grenades, machine gun, claymore detonators all in place, imagine two hours sleep, rising at dawn, shrugging off bugs and wet bamboo, rubbing rheumy eyes, brushing sticky teeth.

Before the grueling day begins, there is the welcoming taste of GI coffee. Here is how to make it:

Seated crossed legged, take a chunk of C4 the size of a thumbnail, shape it into a ball, set it carefully down.

Tear open the packet of instant coffee saved from last nights c-ration meal. Pour it into a canteen cup half filled with water.

Tap the brown powder over the cup, stir with a c-ration white plastic spoon.

Strike a GI match and light the C4. Do not breathe in the white smoke; the fumes, it is said, are harmful.

Hold the canteen cup over the burning explosive until the water boils, about thirty seconds.

Remove the cup from the bright yellow flames. Let the C4 burn itself out. Those who step on it risk losing a foot.

Tear open and pour in one or two packets of non dairy creamer. Repeat with sugar. Use the white plastic spoon to mix and stir. With eyes closed, inhale the savory vapours; cup to your lips, feel the hot inky brew flood your mouth, scourge your tongue, roll down your willing gullet. The taste is awful, but it will do.

Grunts savor this quiet time, before every inch of our bodies are salty with sweat. This quiet time before seething mosquitoes, snapping ants, creeping leeches bite or sting or drink our blood.

This quiet time before sudden shots fill us with dread that is always new. This quiet time before the shrieking air sings of the wounded, smells of the dead.

It is the all too fleeting quiet time, which ends with the softly echoed ‘zero two,’ followed by the dim rustling of one hundred packs, helmets, weapons reluctantly lifted, slung, shifted to place.

See how the flock of helmeted cranes slouch against their rifles, feel how the sweat drips down narrow cheeks, collects at the chin, free falls, forming small dark spots on half bent knees.

Listen, as moments after the hushed command, one hundred grudging soldiers, one by one, reluctantly trudge forward, into the grim unwinnable jaws of Vietnam.”

 

I value my quiet time, I think everyone does.  Because silence time can mean peace and stillness, a time to be away from the thoughts that drive us.

  William Astore writing for Tom’s Dispatch.   

 

      “I first came across the phrase “using a sledgehammer to kill gnats” while looking at the history of U.S. airpower during the Vietnam War.  B-52 “Arc Light” raids dropped record tons of bombs on parts of South Vietnam and Laos in largely failed efforts to kill dispersed guerrillas and interdict supply routes from North Vietnam.  Half a century later, with its laser- and GPS-guided bombs, the Air Force regularly touts the far greater precision of American airpower.  Yet in one country after another, using just that weaponry, the U.S. has engaged in serial acts of overkill.  In Afghanistan, it was the recent use of MOAB, the “mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon the U.S. has ever used in combat, against a small concentration of ISIS fighters.  In similar fashion, the U.S. air war in Syria has outpaced the Russians and even the Assad regime in its murderous effects on civilians, especially around Raqqa, the “capital” of the Islamic State.  Such overkill is evident on the ground as well where special ops raids have, this year, left civilians dead from Yemen to Somalia.  In other words, across the Greater Middle East, Washington’s profligate killing machine is also creating a desire for vengeance among civilian populations, staggering numbers of whom, when not killed, have been displaced or sent fleeing across borders as refugees in these wars. It has played a significant role in unsettling whole regions, creating failed states, and providing yet more recruits for terror groups.

     Leaving aside technological advances, little has changed since Vietnam. The U.S. military is still relying on enormous firepower to kill elusive enemies as a way of limiting (American) casualties.  As an instrument of victory, it didn’t work in Vietnam, nor has it worked in Iraq or Afghanistan.

     But never mind the history lessons.  President Trump asserts that his “new” Afghan strategy — the details of which, according to a military spokesman, are “not there yet” — will lead to more terrorists (that is, gnats) being killed.

     Since 9/11, America’s leaders, Trump included, have rarely sought ways to avoid those gnats, while efforts to “drain the swamp” in which the gnats thrive have served mainly to enlarge their breeding grounds.  At the same time, efforts to enlist indigenous “gnats” — local proxy armies — to take over the fight have gone poorly indeed.  As in Vietnam, the main U.S. focus has invariably been on developing better, more technologically advanced (which means more expensive) sledgehammers, while continuing to whale away at that cloud of gnats — a process as hopeless as it is counterproductive.”

One can imagine the US military as a toxic convoluted ouroboros.  This particular snake creates its own problems and then has to fix them by creating more problems and then has to fix them…

But hey, as long as the right people are making profits its all sunshine and rainbows.  Right?  :/

 

This story courtesy of Meghan Murphy writing on The Feminist Current.

This story highlights exactly the narrative of what the business end of transactivism is – male violence against women.  There is nothing ‘progressive’, ‘inclusive’, or any other lefty bullshit word appropriated by the transactivists that apply here.

This is a story of violent men being violent toward women, stalking, harassing, and beating women (and if you haven’t fucking guessed by now when I say woman I mean adult human female) for having the temerity to want to have a discussion about Gender.

“To Allen’s surprise, her Momentum group declined to host her proposed meeting, wherein she suggested people “get off the internet,” speak face to face, and debate the issues. She decided to move forward anyway, inviting an equal number of people from both sides of the gender identity debate to participate. She and her co-organizers arranged for the event, called “What is Gender,” to take place at the New Cross Learning, a community library in London, on September 13th. “

Oh hey look, this is how people that are not part of cult that promotes delusional thinking, approach a contentious issue.  They set up debates, invite speakers from both sides to promote a dialogue, to promote argument, to look toward a finding a shared ground and commonality.

This whole civilized debate thing goes straight out the window once males perceive a threat to their gender narrative though.

“It wasn’t until Sisters Uncut, a British direct action group advocating for domestic violence services, caught wind of the event, that things became chaotic.

 

“[People] started harassing the library,” Allen told me. “I went in [to New Cross Learning] and heard phone call after phone call, email after email, tweet after tweet.” New Cross Learning was inundated with demands they cancel the talk. Fearing for the space and safety of those in it, the library cancelled the event on September 12th.”

Yep, because debating women seems to be quite outside the wheelhouse of transactivists – much easier to threaten them and deplatform them.  The usual tactics and behaviour of threatened violent males.

“Between 20-30 protestors who had gotten wind that women were meeting at Speaker’s Corner before heading on to the talk showed up to harass attendees and follow them to the venue. Some yelled “Kill all TERFs” and held signs reading “No Debate,” according to witnesses. A group called “Action for Trans Health London” had posted the location of the meeting, despite knowing some protestors were threatening violence. Miranda Yardley, one of the scheduled speakers, told me that one man who commented, “Anyone idea where/if this is happening. I wanna fuck some terfs up, they are no better than fash,” on the Action for Trans Health London Facebook page, did in fact show up at Speaker’s Corner and tried to steal Yardley’s phone.”

Yep.  Kill all TERFS – No Debate.  Defenders of the transpoltics this is what you and other self-identified “progressives” are defending.  Your bullshit is terrible for feminism and women and should in no light be viewed progressive.  Unless of course your lexicon of inclusive progressive feminism includes punching women in the face, and putting the boots to her once she’s on the ground.

“The man, who calls himself “Tara Flik Wood,” didn’t only attempt to steal a phone. He was also allegedly involved in a violent attack on Maria MacLachlan, a 60-year-old humanist funeral celebrant for Humanists UK.

When I spoke with her over email, MacLachlan told me she had been trying to film the protest when some of the trans activists began to shout, “When TERFs attack, we fight back.” She asked them, “Who’s attacking?” At this point, MacLachlan says a young man in a hoodie tried to grab her camera. “I think he knocked it out of my hand but it was looped to my wrist. He turned back and tried to grab it again. I hung onto it.” As the two struggled, MacLachlan pulled back the hood of the man holding her camera, so onlookers could photograph his face, and another man — identified by numerous witnesses as Wood — ran over and began punching MacLachlan. Wood and a third man pushed her to the ground, where she says she was kicked and punched. The police were called, but have not yet followed up on the assault.”

 

Reprehensible.

 

“MacLachlan says she is “utterly bewildered at the behaviour of these young people.”

“They behaved like a brainwashed cult and seriously seemed to think that we are the haters, the bigots, the misogynists, the violent ones. But all we wanted to do was have a peaceful meeting and discussion and all they wanted to do was try to bully and intimidate us. They behaved like fascists and the irony seems to be totally lost on them. I’m sad because I’ve been a feminist for 45 years, I’ve always been left wing and I feel my generation of women and those that fought before us have been betrayed by this generation.”

Yeah.  There is no room in feminism for men – transactivists through their violence keep proving this statement.

“The women went on to the event venue in small groups, taking different routes in order to lose the protestors who were attempting to follow them. A number of attendees said they felt “stalked” as trans activists assigned to pursue particular individuals followed them very closely. Yardley told me, “We were being intimidated, in plain daylight, by a group of people who outnumbered us by about three to one.”

Julia Long, a feminist activist and lecturer, and Yardley, who identifies as a transsexual and is critical of gender identity ideology, presented to an audience of approximately 50 people, while protestors yelled outside. The talk was cut short as police arrived at the venue and shut down the event.

In a statement following the talk, Action for Trans Health London did not apologize and stated they were “proud” of the protestors’ actions.”

 

“Since the events circulated online, numerous trans activists have not only condoned the assault, but celebrated and encouraged it. One young woman who attended the protest said, “I’m happy for them to hit her.”

 

I heard a TERF got punched so it’s my duty as commander of Armchair Violence Enthusiast Twitter to say: good job, nice work, keep it up

— sexuall cruz (@AliceAvizandum) September 14, 2017

Imagine if twenty people had punched terfs.

Imagine if every terf had left bruised and bloodied.

Every one would stop organising.

— ada (@drcab1e) September 13, 2017

Especially trans people. Like, get on the TERF-punching train or get out of the way, a whole lot of us are ready to ride.

— Ms. Transistor 💘 (@SuddenlyLucy) September 14, 2017

I’d rather throw a punch and be accused of male violence than not and be the victim of transphobic violence. That’s it. The end.

— ME • RI • SA (@cambrian_era) September 14, 2017

 

“While silencing, no-platforming, and threats against feminists are not new, this violence takes recent efforts to shut down women’s speech to another level. Many of those defending the violence have predictably compared feminists to Nazis, an accusation that has been embraced by anti-feminists and men’s rights activists for decades. Indeed, it was right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh who popularized the term “feminazi” in the 90s — a man who, like these young activists, believes gender is innate and unchangeable, and feels feminists present a danger by challenging that idea.

That trans activists have adopted this comparison to Nazis with particular enthusiasm of late is intentional, contextualized within antifa defenses of violence against white nationalists. By painting feminist speech as dangerous and bigoted, trans activists have set up a political defense of male violence against women. If violence against Nazis is justified, and feminists are Nazis, violence against feminists is not only acceptable, but politically righteous. Ironically, it is the protestors themselves who have adopted practices endorsed by fascists, including censorship; misogyny; the forcible suppression of opposition and criticism; an opposition to democracy; and the use of violence or threats to build their movement, gain power, and impose their views on others.

Considering the context and history of Hyde park for women’s rights activists and social justice movements, more broadly, the violence and harassment that occurred on Wednesday is ever more emblematic. A century after women fought for their right to participate in public life, they are being silenced once again — smeared and harassed for speaking and meeting in public. Indeed, the behaviour is wholly contrary to the spirit of Speaker’s Corner, and an affront to women’s rights.”

Thank you Meghan Murphy for writing this piece, may it serve as a clarion call to for people to see the misogyny that is transactivism and see the abject male violence against women on display.  Transactivsm is not enlightened, it is not ‘progressive’, and sure as fuck it isn’t feminist.

    I am playing catch up with the recent dust-up around the choice of tactics used by Antifa in the United States in it’s struggle against the proto-fascist elements energized by the current Republican Administration led by Trump.  There are several sources in this brief overview, first from a academic journal to help with the context of state violence, then a rough sketch of the position taken by Hedges and Chomsky, and finally the reply found in Counterpunch.  The last article from Counterpunch, is a retort to Chris Hedges, a voice on the credentialed left who has taken a stance against the violent tactics used by Antifa.

We’ll be visiting Hedges’ article (and criticism)on Truthdig in a later post, but for now, examining the question of violence and how it is used, and by who it is used by in society provides a stepping stone toward providing a more nuanced entry into this debate.  To better understand how (in just one way) the state uses violence to arrange society we turn to an article written by Carol Nagengast, in the Annual Review of Anthropology titled Violence, Terror, and The Crisis of the State (p. 24): 

“The state must be a state of mind that divides people into the purified and honest who do legitimate work and a politically suspect or criminal,
deviant underworld of aliens, communists, loafers, delinquents, even thieves, killers, and drug lords who do not. The violent dissident must be positioned
and repositioned as necessary, “in a negative relationship with middle-class rational masculinity, a model that ensures a relationship of dominance and
subordination … by locking the two into a mutually defaming relationship”

     (16:15,21). In the United States, the presumed idleness of the unemployed, the poverty-stricken, the drug user or gang member, the single parent, gay man or
lesbian woman (all the latter with overtones of promiscuity and contagious disease) is also seen as violence against the social body. It cannot be just any
old work; it must be work that contributes to what dominant groups have defined as the common good (153).

     The hegemony of respectable culture and good taste and the denigration of what is represented as the disgusting, degenerate, worthless, criminal lower
parts of the social body is so strong that, according to a poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News in September 1989, 66% of those surveyed
favored random searches of peoples’ houses, cars, and personal belongings, even if the police had no suspicion of any wrongdoing. Seventy-two percent
said they approved of censorship of any film depicting illegal drug use. People have been so inoculated with the fear of evil and with the myth of an essential
relationship of repression to the cure of society, that they are willing to give up some of their own rights for what has been defined as the good of the social
body

The questions the fascist/antifa situation embodies goes back to the genesis of why we have states in the first place and the techniques used (see the myth of the relationship between the use of repression to cure soceity) to maintain order in said States.  The use of fear to discipline society is nothing new, case in point, consider the the fear cultivated in the buildups to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.  The use/misuse of fear as a cultural motivator in Western society is being replayed yet again on the national (within the US) instead of international stage.   Looking toward answering the question of who gets to legitimately use violence in society with regards to the fascist/antifa question Noam Chomsky opines:

     “As for Antifa, it’s a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were,” Noam Chomsky told the Washington Examiner. “It’s a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant.”  Many activists affiliated with the loosely organized Antifa movement consider themselves anarchists or socialists. They often wear black and take measures to conceal their identity.  Chomsky said, “what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive.”  “When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it’s the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is,”

So, it would seem that Chomsky and Hedges, who cites this interview, believe that the antifa use of violence is not the correct course of action.  The counterpoint to their assertion comes in with

     “One crucial question in this regard is why the conversation about violence that is continually re-staged in the media overwhelmingly focuses on tactics of resistance by the underclasses. Among those who are vociferously proclaiming a pure form of “non-violence” as an unquestionable moral principle, who of them is arguing that this principle should be applied to the corporate state and all of its imperial endeavors? Alongside the countless statements reprimanding anti-capitalist activists for street scuffles, where are the articles calling for the dismantling of the military-industrial complex, the dissolution of the police force, or the abolition of the prison system? Why isn’t the debate around non-violence centered precisely on those who have all of the power and all of the weapons? Is it because violence has actually worked successfully in these cases to impose a very specific top-down agenda, which includes shutting out anyone who calls it into question, and diligently managing the perception of their actions? Is violence somehow acceptable here because it is the violence of the victors, who are the ones who presume to have the right—and in any case have the power—to define the very nature of violence (as anything that threatens them)?

     Clearly, the fetishization of non-violence is reserved for the actions of the underlings. They are the ones who, again and again, are told that they must be civil (and are never sufficiently so), and that the best way to attain their objectives is by obeying the moral dictates of those above. Let us recall, in this light, James Baldwin’s powerful statement in the context of the black liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s: “The only time non-violence is admired is when the Negroes practice it.”

So, what is the answer here?  How effective will violent leftist action be, and will the backlash further empower state repression?   Will the backlash continue to inoculate the citizenry with fear of violent ‘leftist violence’ thus justifying an increase in state use of coercive and repressive force against the left even though the initiators of said violence (aka the proto-fascist/nationalist Right in the US) are ultimately responsible for the situation in question?

 

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