...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



When did Palestine become central to your writing?

I've only been actively concerned with Palestine as a writer for about seven years. But the crisis, the injustice, the suffering of the Palestinians, have coexisted alongside my whole life as a writer. The length of this injustice, the lack of recognition of it by the rest of the world, while Israel pursues its own logic, totally regardless of the views of the external world - all this I was not conscious of then, but I am now. I look back on the young man I was in Paris in 1948, with Jewish friends who were thinking of going to Israel. They all wore strident blue shirts, and they gave me one, and I wore it with pride. We had an idea of what a kibbutz was to be - an ideal of a co-operative, with a healthy link to the land, a collectivity, a questioning of individuality, all of which appealed to me.
John Berger intv./New Statesman

and it is gone in the sense you can't see it.

hear no evil, because, essentially, there's no brain there to receive anything:

...hours after a poll showed that nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim. That was up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009. The survey also showed that just 34 percent said Obama is Christian, down from 48 percent who said so last year. The largest share of people, 43 percent, said they don't know his religion.
Alan Fram/Yahoo/AP

BBC No Evil:

And so it is that the BBC, absent of integrity, contemptuous of humanity, attempts in this program to turn disarmed, helpless Israeli commandos into heroic self-rescuing commandos who managed to Superman their way out of a circle of well over 100 very motivated men whose brothers lay murdered with multiple gunshot wounds. That is what we call a bald-faced lie. Big time lie, in your face lie, you in the audience are a bunch of drooling idiots lie.
Ken O'Keefe/Pulse


Never let a serious crisis go to waste:

Clues to the Obama Administration’s Passive Response to the BP Disaster
BP is primarily owned by very wealthy individuals.

The "marketplace", the "economy", whatever you want to name it, has no moral character. None. At all. It's an organism. It acts like one because it is one, and it is not a human organism - though it's progenitors appear to have been some form of human - so it doesn't care about human beings. Unless it's made to act as if it does - food labeling, cigarette package labels, seat belts etc., forced on a whining industry by do-gooders in political office, in response to citizen agitation etc.
The marketplace doesn't "care" about anyone or anything but itself, like most non-social organisms.
Social organisms care about each other to greater or lesser degrees depending on where they are in the Darwinian parade.
People care about each other, termites not so much.
So it's really not smart to expect the "economy" or the "marketplace" to somehow start "caring" about human beings.
In addition to not "sharing" our human moral values, the "marketplace" is structured so that "caring" individuals are filtered out of its food chain pretty early, leaving the field to increasingly ruthless, inhuman actors.
My hypothesis is there's a kind of genetic emotional autism functioning in a lot of guys that get to the top of the heap, marketplace-wise.
It's a good fit - heartless assholes in an inhuman system. But of course that fit leads to progressively more disastrous events and conditions for the human folks, which would be, loosely and optimistically, us.
So over time you have a filtration system that's selecting for the most egregious power-hungry greedheads, in a society that now elevates anyone the "economy" or the "marketplace" has elevated.
This was not always the case, viz. the sanctions and exclusions visited upon "trade" and "merchants" by various aristocracies in times previous. Now big money is as big as it gets on all fronts.
So not only are these egregious power-hungry greedheads driving the "economy" with their heartlessness and their inhumanity, they're also driving society. Such as it is.
Which means in a very real sense, the course of human destiny. In the hands of ruthless inhuman assholes.
Which may be a big part of the reason things are not going so well, generally, for most human folks. At present.
BP happened because of the pressure on the employees - CEOs et al. - to produce bottom-line profits, the bigger the better, no matter what.
Larry Fink, far more than anybody else in the BP chain of command, created the conditions for and executed the Gulf Oil spill, and he's walking away from it virtually unscathed. And not surprisingly, he's connected in all kinds of ways to the guys that did the "Financial Crisis".
Meanwhile Hayward and Dudley dance through the mediated room like paid escorts - now with the US, now with the oligarchs.


the impact of a major mutagenic event:

Uno studio rivela infatti che a Falluja, in Iraq – teatro, nel 2004, di due offensive dei marines americani – la percentuale di tumori è cresciuta di 4 volte, quella di cancro nei bambini di 12 volte, quella di leucemia di 38 volte, la mortalità infantile è di 80 bambini su 1.000 nascite (contro i 17 nella confinante Giordania e 9,7 in Kuwait), le malformazioni infantili sono in costante aumento (una bimba è nata con due teste, altri con gli arti malformati o paralizzati). Solo per fare un paragone, a Hiroshima la percentuale di leucemia salì di 17 volte dopo il bombardamento nucleare. Secondo il dottor Chris Busby, professore dell’Università dell’Ulster e co-autore, insieme ai dottori Malak Hamdan e Entesar Ariabi, della ricerca (intitolata “Cancro, mortalità infantile e rapporto tra sessi alla nascita a Falluja – 2005-2009” e pubblicata sul Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health di Basilea), le varianti di cancro individuate a Falluja sono “simili a quelle riscontrate a Hiroshima, tra i sopravvissuti esposti a radiazioni ionizzanti della bomba e all’uranio del “fallout” (la ricaduta di sostanze tossiche al suolo dopo l’esplosione)”
Giraviti del Mondo
A new epidemiological study published by the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH) reports that "the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by U.S. atomic bomb strikes in 1945," WSWS said Friday.[1] -- "In a study of 711 houses and 4,843 individuals carried out in January and February 2010, authors Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, Entesar Ariabi and a team of researchers found that the cancer rate had increased fourfold since before the U.S. attack five years ago, and that the forms of cancer in Fallujah are similar to those found among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors, who were exposed to intense fallout radiation," Tom Eley reported...
further here
Cancer rate in Fallujah worse than Hiroshima
The report concludes that the Federal Reserve Board’s intimate relations with the leading powers of Wall Street—the same banks that benefited most from the government’s massive bailout—influenced its strategic decisions on AIG. The panel accuses the Fed and the Treasury Department of brushing aside alternative approaches that would have saved tens of billions in public funds by making these same banks “share the pain.”

Bailing out AIG effectively meant rescuing Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch (as well as a dozens of European banks) from huge losses.
Alternet via cryptogon
The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.

The technique is called a "roving bug," and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
cnet via cryptogon
In Los Angeles, in 1997, a major local, state, and federal drug investigation suddenly collapsed. The suspects: Israeli organized crime organizations composed mostly of Russian Jews, with ongoing operations in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Canada, Israel, and Egypt.

The allegations: cocaine and ecstasy trafficking and sophisticated white-collar credit card and computer fraud. A DEA report under date of December 18 stated that there existed serious security breaches in DEA telecommunications by unauthorized "foreign nationals" -- and cites an Israeli-owned firm with which the DEA contracted for wiretap equipment.

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