...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



The ancestors of the Jarawa and the other tribes of the Andaman Islands are thought to have been part of the first successful human migrations out of Africa...


The Global Warming Debate
A Layman's Guide to the Science and Controversy
7. Attributing Mankind
Pointing the finger
Declaration on Cetacean Rights
5. Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
Landslide lake in Pakistan
Wheat harvest met with live ammunition in Gaza "buffer zone"
Emily Henochowicz was shot directly in the face with a tear gas canister
And then some guff about Afghanistan sitting on top of trillions of dollars in unexploited minerals which I'm not going to link any of because it's just too enervating to think about besides being dispiriting and contributing to my already disabling levels of desuetude and anomie.


this is the small crime of Israel

The iceberg calves:

In the name of US national security, a number of morally questionable and illegal activities were carried out in the years following September 11, 2001. The use of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment in interrogations of detainees in US custody has been well-documented by Physicians for Human Rights and others. The role of health professionals in designing and participating in illegal interrogations has also been investigated and publicly revealed. This current report addresses another morally troubling yet unreported aspect of the role of health professionals in the “enhanced interrogation” program. Our research and analysis demonstrates that the program also involved doctors and other health professionals in conducting unethical research using detainees as human subjects.
Physicians for Human rights
related precedental iniquity

Coincidences of valor and integrity:

Diane Wilson,(a high school–educated fisherwoman with a pile of kids and a broke-down truck) distraught shrimper :

I am a fourth generation shrimper from the Gulf. With this BP disaster, I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged. I am also seeing elected representatives like Senator Lisa Murkowski blocking BP from being legally responsible to pay for this catastrophe. She stopped the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act and wants to keep the liability cap at a pitiful $75 million [as against the Act's proposed $10 billion]
U.S. Park Police on June 2 identified the woman arrested for tying herself to a White House fence as actress Q’orianka Kilcher.
Authorities said the 20-year-old Kilcher chained herself to the fence June 1 and her 41-year-old mother, Saskia, poured a shiny black substance over her, according to charging documents.
Native Times

We know where you live:

This followed a week in which Rabbi Lerner received several verbal death threats on the phone and lots of hate mail to him and to Tikkun.
The attackers used a powerful form of glue to attach posters to his door and around the property of his home attacking Lerner personally, and attacking liberals and progressives as being supporters of terrorism and "Islamo-fascism." They posted a printed bumper sticker saying "fight terror--support Israel" next to a caricature of Judge Goldstone whose UN report on Israel's human rights violations in its attack on Gaza last year has been denounced as anti-Semitic


possibly everyone else already knew this:

The chief executive of BP sold £1.4 million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused its value to collapse

Venezuela Led Latin America in Reducing Military Spending in 2009
Venezuela Continues to Expand Free Public Higher Education Programs

When considered even-handedly, the arrest of Judge Afiuni for illegally allowing a wealthy banker to be released from custody and thus flee the country reflects the government’s efforts to establish the rule of law in the historically corrupt banking sector and justice system.

Venezuela Analysis
on another, less even hand:
Since Judge Afiuni’s imprisonment, a dizzying sequence of other high-profile arrests has taken place, pointing to Mr. Chávez’s recent use of his security and intelligence apparatus to quash challenges to his grip on the country’s political institutions. The arrests come at a time of spreading public ire over an economy hobbled by electricity shortages and soaring inflation.

Senior officials in Mr. Chávez’s government here, including Attorney General Luisa Ortega, say the most recent arrests were necessary to suppressconspiracies or to prosecute people whose comments were deemed offensive to Mr. Chávez.

possibly everyone else already knows about this:

Douglas H. Brown, Transocean's chief mechanic on the Deepwater Horizon rig, said key representatives from both companies had a "skirmish" during an 11 a.m. meeting on April 20. Less than 11 hours later, the well had a blowout, an uncontrolled release of oil and gas, killing 11 workers.

as detailed by Gisha, an Israeli human-rights organisation

this is shockingly missing from mainstream aboveground non-progressive media, for instance NPR:

Former US Ambassador Edward Peck was on the Gaza aid flotilla that came under attack by Israeli forces.

lots of ditto for DemNow!:

...chained herself to a fence, her body covered in black paint to represent oil. She was forcibly removed, and the police had to use a saw to cut through her chains.

It’s 2010, and we still live the same way that we did centuries ago.

and reportedly attacked veteran Israeli activist, the eighty-six-year-old Uri Avnery:

...the mood is incredibly disturbing here. I’m witnessing it every day.
And most of the anger and most of the violent threats are being directed and channeled against the Israeli Palestinian population and members of Knesset who represent Arab parties, like Hanin Zoabi. There’s an Israeli Facebook group that has hundreds of members, and it’s dedicated to the assassination—to inciting the assassination of Hanin Zoabi, the member of Knesset who was physically attacked in the Knesset for attempting to relate here experience on the Mavi Marmara ship. And this Facebook group is where a lot of these right-wing spontaneous demonstrations are being organized.

My heart is breaking; but I do not mind.

For one thing, as soon as I wrote those words I was able to weep
Alice Walker

directly involved in the disarming of two Israeli Commandos:

Ken O’Keefe, former US Marine, Gulf War veteran, and now survivor of the Mavi Marmara massacre, has issued a remarkable and searing statement from Istanbul. “While in Israeli custody I, along with everyone else, was subjected to endless abuse and flagrant acts of disrespect. Women and elderly were physically and mentally assaulted. Access to food and water and toilets was denied. Dogs were used against us, we ourselves were treated like dogs. We were exposed to direct sun in stress positions while hand cuffed to the point of losing circulation of blood in our hands. We were lied to incessantly, in fact I am awed at the routineness and comfort in their ability to lie, it is remarkable really. We were abused in just about every way imaginable and I myself was beaten and choked to the point of blacking out… and I was beaten again while in my cell.

In all this what I saw more than anything else...


Both NPR/KQED and the BBC, the only news via radio I get in the mountains besides the NBC/ABC/CBS mainline pap which now that I have FM I don't spend much time with, though sadly unable to access Democracy Now! and other progressive radio on KPFA or KUSP where was I? Ah, both are using the "pro-Palestinian" formula to describe the attacked parties in the latest Israeli debacle/atrocity.
It is an interesting term in this context. Functionally it's the obverse of anti-Semite, not opposite to but the positive to the negative. Against the Jews and for the Palestinians. Therefore invalid, wrong, and immoral.
Add in the very real impression most Americans have of terrorist/Palestinian synonymy, so that the semantic difference between "pro-Palestinian" and "pro-terrorist" is very thin if not non-existent in most minds in their respective audiences, and what this term moves forward is much darker than its superficial content.
Both news agencies were also describing the attacked as primarily Turkish which I don't doubt the possibility of but also without any research I'm confident there were people from many countries on board, at least 50 according to one unconfirmed report.
We're all a little stunned I think, and wondering what next, because clearly the US has nothing to bring but the Israeli dictates of its diplomatic actions and postures, and who else in the world is big enough to push back? China? Russia?
That I am capable, and by extension many others are capable as well, of fully supporting, or being "pro" both Israelis and Palestinians at the same time, that in fact it is that very support that is so troubling and painful here would seem to have escaped the news editors at NPR and the BBC.
Because I do, of course I do, support, feel concern for and solidarity with, Israelis who have no voice in their own government's hysterical cowardice and panic and its cruel manifest, as well as Palestinians with no food or water and very little tangible prospect.
Pro-them yeah.
Vicious thugs with no moral compass but their own hive-minded survivalist pathologies, nah, pass on that. Survival through dishonor, no.
What's his face said "Give me liberty or give me death" somebody else said "Death before dishonor". It echoes. It's been around for a long time, that attitude.
These are not marginal statements, rare as they come to us. We hear them and thrill, because we recognize what they mean, that we have that, that choice, that spirit, that chance. Now. Here.

He has been injured in the head. We think he may die if he does not receive medical treatment immediately. Another person being taken past in front of me right now has been seriously injured. We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades. We have navy ships on either side and helicopters overhead. We are being attacked from every single side. This is in international waters, not Israeli waters, not in the sixty-eight-mile exclusion zone. We are being attacked in international waters, completely illegally.

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