...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



A truckload of cut flowers made it out of Gaza today
Whacking Grandma:

Children, it is suggested, are being shortchanged by their grandparents. This line of argument has attracted financial support from some leading foundations usually associated with liberal social concerns--Annie E. Casey, Charles Stewart Mott, William and Flora Hewlett. Peterson has teamed up with the Pew Trust and has also created front groups of "concerned youth."
Trouble is, most young people did not buy this pitch when George W. Bush used it to sell Social Security privatization. Most kids seem to think Grandma is entitled to a decent retirement. In fact, whacking Social Security benefits, not to mention Medicaid, directly harms poor children. More poor children live in families dependent on Social Security checks than on welfare, economist Dean Baker points out. If you cut Grandma's Social Security benefits, you are directly making life worse for the poor kids who live with her.
Greider/Naion 11.feb.09
Guatemala has apologized for allowing the United States to use the country as a platform for the bungled Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.
targeted, banned:
Doctors say wounded Sri Lankan civilians are dying for want of proper medical treatment as they lie trapped in a makeshift hospital in the last rebel-held pocket in the north-east of the island.
This weekend, hundreds of injured civilians poured in to the improvised medical facility in Putumattalan village, which has been repeatedly targeted by artillery. Earlier in the week 16 patients were killed in shelling.
Both government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists have been accused of war crimes during the conflict, although confirmation is impossible because independent journalists are banned from the conflict zone.
GuardianUK 15.feb.09
AMY GOODMAN:Here in the United States, Reuters, the New York Times, BBC and other publications also have complained to the Israeli prime minister. Why are journalists not allowed in Gaza?
DOV KHENIN: Well, I think that journalists are not allowed into Gaza, in order to not—to not make it possible for people around the world to see whatever is happening in Gaza right now. The situation in Gaza is terrible. You know, the people are doing surgery without, you know, any tools, without anything needed to take care, medically, of people wounded. The situation there is really terrible.
Only the pigs and their journalistic servants use the passive voice now and expect it to work.
People from lower down have long since learned that honesty of intent and clarity of statement are their most reliable weapons. Playing the game of deception from necessity along with the pigs and their journalistic servants means only loss.
Which is why we very seldom read anything directly, in the big-screen news outlets, from those people from lower down - people like the Tamil, or Hamas, or those crazy abajos from the Lacandan jungle.
Journalists "are banned from the conflict zone", and that's all you need to know about that.
By whom? you must not ask too forcefully or you'll be in trouble yourself, though a fairly bright 12 year old could see it's the Sri Lankan military that's decreed and is enforcing the ban.
But that would make them look bad and the journalistic servant who wrote the Guardian article is pretty obviously under orders to not make the Sri Lankan government look bad.
Either "the improvised medical facility in Putumattalan village" or Putumattalan village itself "has been repeatedly targeted by artillery". A medical facility where "Sri Lankan civilians" are dying.
The artillery targets the medical facility, as if those big guns are aiming themselves and firing when no one human's looking - a sad and dangerous by-product of sophisticated military hardware these days.
So if you don't know that one side of the conflict doesn't think of itself as, and would never call itself "Sri Lankan", that what they're fighting for and about is their identity as Tamil, as part of Eelam, fighting for their independence from the US-backed and US-financed Sri Lankan government, well, then you're probably left with the sense, because you don't know, that, as in Gaza, the losers in the fight, in this case the Tamil, are just as responsible as the better-equipped and more numerous, and provably, demonstrably, inarguably more vicious, just as in Gaza - and just as in Gaza these are US-backed government forces, in this case Sri Lankan as opposed to Israeli - for the shelling of hospitals and the killing of innocent civilians.
Even more responsible really, because if they would just give up and stop fighting there would be peace.

Blog Archive