...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



Weekly Report On Israeli Violations in Palestine: 21- 27 Nov

Israeli forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property
in the occupied Palestinian territory

Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians in Yatta, south of Hebron.
A Palestinian child was wounded in Qarawet Bani Zaid village, northwest of Ramallah.
Israeli forces have continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces have continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank.
Israeli forces conducted 64 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • At least 46 Palestinians, including 10 children, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 3 children were arrested in the Gaza Strip, but released after being interrogated.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

Israeli navy forces have continued targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea.
Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (21 – 27 November 2013).
The full report is available here.
 Palestinian,writing from Palestine
Considering the above week's menu, a valiant soul

They are as natural to men and women as breathing


The United States has long championed these rights domestically and internationally,
 and as we have said before:

The United States remains firmly committed to working with all States to promote freedom of expression and privacy online. And we applaud this resolution’s recognition that full respect for the right to freedom of expression requires respect for the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information.
Mr. Chairman, human rights defenders, civil society activists, and ordinary citizens the world over are using the Internet and online resources in new and innovative ways, to protect human dignity, fight against repression, and hold governments – including mine – accountable. It is imperative that they can use these tools freely without inappropriate censorship and fear of reprisals, to continue their vital work to protect and promote human rights worldwide. Thank you.
United States Mission to the United Nations
Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens
ScoopNZ 26.Nov.13
Yeah well. The US is not now if it ever was a monolithic single-consciousness. The disjunct between the common people's ideas and wants - when they can be heard at all through the noise of artificial thought - and the ideas and wants of an elite that's surrounded by chromatically sliding degrees of the partial elite, out to the voiceless and mostly powerless mass, that's the US.
So the people believe in and champion freedom of expression, sort of, in theory, while the real power sets aside "free speech zones" and limits the dominant voice, the media, which is still, in spite of the atomization of the net, the big sound, to a self-censoring bank of sycophantic chancers with career-driven values that have little or nothing at all to do with truth or justice.
But okay, freedom of speech - with some dweeb just sitting there reading your free speech, monitoring your free speech, cataloging it, archiving it, but not actually doing anything directly to stifle it. Just watching.
Disney-fascism, cartoon tyranny, pastel-colored jackboots that don't break down your door, because they're already inside, just sitting there.


...from the October 7th [2011] New York Times, 
"For some Occupy Wall Street is Occupy Main Street" (slightly retitled online)...spoke of the put upon neighbors. There were a few items of concern, but behold:

Heather Amato, 35, a psychologist who lives near the protest area, said she felt disturbed by some of the conduct of the protesters. She said she had to shield her toddler from the sight of women at the park dancing topless. “It’s been three weeks now,” Ms. Amato said. “Enough is enough.”
Nigel Parry 14.Oct.11
Women used to get arrested for breast-feeding, which is starkly insane. But insanity is not failure, clearly. Crazy people are still running the world.
It's not  failure in the short run.
School teaches us that crazy people fail. Can't pass the test if you're cuckoo.
 But school's full of shit about quite a few things.
The source of what is, what has to be, core anti-life irrationality is the sex-pathology we inherit from...uh...from...crazy-people-back-there-somewhere.
Everyone knows that boobs are evil dirty nasty. That's not crazy.
Then the next level of insanity in is, "Well they're not evil - but sex is dirty, and boobs are sexy."
We're talking about the main food source for babies, the most innocent of all humans, and that's according to the crazy people that used to arrest hippie women for feeding their babies in public. Like in restaurants where people complained of nausea, because hippie mom was exposing her tit so little Cranberry Vishnu could get at the milk delivery
Making people feel guilty and ashamed about natural things is a great way to dominate them.
It's also evil. Really really evil..

our hearts are leading this

They called the company:

At the time of the Stratfor hack I was working for Wired covering Anonymous — notably the antics of Antisec anons much of the time. I had missed the Lulzsec period, which I spent under federal investigation myself. From February to July of that year I stayed away from the hacker world, unsure if my computer would be seized and unwilling to draw my sources into a possible fishing expedition
Quinn Norton/Medium



Language is a strategy, but it does not eclipse the totality of who we are and what we do. The words that have gained global currency — LGBTQ — are used with great caution in our grassroots movements. Simply because such words emerged from a particular context and political moment does not mean they carry that same political content when deployed in our context. The language that we use is always revisited and expanded through our work. Language catalyzes discussions and pushes us to think more critically, but no word whether in English or Arabic can do the work. Only a movement can.
Eight questions Palestinian queers are tired of hearing
Ghaith Hilal
  The Electronic Intifada 27 Nov. 13


Physicists have long known that plants and bacteria convert light into chemical energy in a way that is hugely efficient. But only in recent years have they discovered that the molecular machines behind this process rely on quantum mechanics to do the job.


pinks and blues:

The result of harsh gender policing isn't upstanding masculine sons and submissive feminine daughters. It's kids who are hurt, confused and alienated from their parents.
Jill Filipovic/

deliver us from evil.


and I don’t say that lightly:

CS: Why do you feel that you need to break the news to the American public?

MB: The horrors that I expose in my book, which could have filled up 10 more volumes, are never conveyed to the American public or rarely conveyed. And if they are, they’re whitewashed or suppressed. There was a full-scale race riot in the heart of Tel Aviv on May 23, 2012 and it was buried in The New York Times. The interior minister of Israel said, "Most of those people arriving here are Muslims who think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man."

And that quote, which was just a shocking quote and distilled the entire mentality or sensibility of the government-lead campaign of incitement against non-Jewish Africans, was buried deep in the article by Isabel Kershner. So there’s clearly a fear of exposing the real Israel, that Israelis experience, and an attempt to present it back to Americans in a soft-peddled way so that they — mainstream journalists — never get accused of being insensitive to the Israelis.

In the case of Africans, there couldn’t be a more clear vision of the racist foundation of the state and its ethnocracy because the 60,000 non-Jewish Africans pose no security threat to the state of Israel, and have never been accused of doing so. They simply pose a demographic threat. This is never challenged.
Christian Stark iv Max Blumenthal/PolicyMic - 22.Nov.13

an opportunity to reflect on the evil that man can do:

Eighty years ago, the Ukrainian people were subjected to unimaginable suffering as a result of the deliberate policies of the regime of Joseph Stalin
White House on Holodomor Remembrance Day
Office of the Press Secretary
 November 21, 2013
A significant, though relatively obscure in the West's media-history, member of that regime, an evil treacherous man indeed, had a role in a few of its other "deliberate policies", such as the Katyn Massacre; and plausibly killed Joseph Stalin, by poisoning him.

The Long March for the Baloch missing persons has entered its 27th day after completing 690 KMs AHRC/ScoopNZ 21.Nov.13

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation TigerTime


The Energy Department now says it hopes to have a repository by 2048.


Poisoning with polonium alone does not prove it was Israel that did it. But it certainly makes it the prime suspect. Polonium is lethal doses is expensive to produce artificially, and only a small handful of states have the nuclear facilities to do so. Israel is certainly one of them. The others had no interest in killing him.

"If we were to eliminate the possibility of a simultaneous accidental heavy metals exposure to the sample donor then the only logical explanation would be an exposure to these metals (toxins) administered by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent."


Vigilantism is dangerous because it feeds on visceral rage and because it comes with few safeguards. Rage is a powerful tool for activism, but not a very good one for justice. Group rage, in particular, heats quickly and perpetuates itself; and it's difficult to cool. It's also difficult to control, especially when there are a great many anonymous actors in play who are only loosely accountable to each other and certainly aren't answering to anyone else.
Unchecked authority is a dangerous thing, and we should always be wary of powerful actors whose actions are largely unfettered by oversight or accountability...
Jill Filipovic/Guardian 18/Nov/13


bringing opiates to Afghanistan


But the Tamils who live there tell another story. They speak of continuing misery, of military occupation, of a climate of fear. A place where thousands remain homeless while army land-grabs continue unabated. Where thousands are still missing – and many women who remain are subject to the systematic use of sexual violence as a weapon of repression.
 Of course, the way for journalists to get to the truth is to go there and see for themselves.


William A. Doyle’s syndicated advice column, “The Daily Investor,” on August 14, 1961:

Q.  I bought some shares of Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust a couple of years ago. This stock was listed on the American Stock Exchange but I never see it quoted there any more. What’s the trouble?

A.  The trouble is spelled C-a-s-t-r-o. When that bearded dictator took over the government in Cuba, he started kicking American investors smack in the pocketbook. The Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust story is somewhat involved.

The Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) was established by Presidential Directive of April 4, 1951, "to authorize and provide for the more effective planning, coordination, and conduct within the framework of approved national policies, of psychological operations."
The government consultant said, "I was told that the purpose of the photographs was to create an army of informants..."

life in prison for his poetry

PEN Center Day of The Imprisoned Writer
 Well, the way things are going that's going to be all of us pretty quick here.
  Danny Martin hit it back in the days of ink and unbroken skies
George Jackson wrote from prison in 1970


Besides Byrd’s far-right politics, his founding role in the Civil Air Patrol, and his ties to de Mohrenschildt, he evidently rejoiced in Kennedy’s assassination – as suggested by the macabre fact that he arranged for the window from which Oswald purportedly fired the fatal shots to be removed and set up at his home.


Renisha McBride wasn't shot in the back of the head as reported here previously.
 She was shot in the face.
 And in other police blottery news:

“Unless, like many people, you consider trying to create a deadly weapon out of thin air as foul play, but it’s not the Austin Police Department’s role to make those kinds of decisions.”
Above that is a spokesvoice for Solid Concepts, the innovators:
“However, anybody who has ever dealt with a printer jam knows that frustration can take over and lead to poor choices. A 3D printer jam is no different, except that the results can be deadly. When something goes wrong, it’s more than just ink stains and torn paper.”
And above that, the lede:
A Texas manufacturing company’s technological innovation turned tragic on Tuesday when a 3D printer jammed while printing a metal pistol, killing two technicians and injuring an intern.
The story is presented as the gun was magically appearing in the 3D printer fully loaded.
Then blam blam!
 Dudes are dead of gunshot, dudes were printing handgun on printer, ergo printing handguns will kill you. Case closed.
An attempt to "create a deadly weapon out of thin air" killed two and injured one, because the printer jammed.
Multiple gunshot wounds.
Headline is factually accurate, I guess, but the story is insanely whack.
Contempt is the key invisible here.
Contempt in law enforcement, contempt in government, contempt in the upper ranks of business, contempt in media.
 Contempt for the people.

non-satirical non-ironic Mission Accomplished:

Afghan opium cultivation has reached a record level, with more than 200,000 hectares planted with the poppy for the first time, the United Nations says.
The UNODC report said the harvest was 36% up on last year, and if fully realised would outstrip global demand.
Most of the rise was in Helmand province, where British troops are preparing to withdraw.
One of the main reasons the UK sent troops to Helmand was to cut opium production.
BBC  13.Nov.13
Most regular folks are dubious to disbelieving of the claim NATO is still in Afghanistan, years after any rational justification viz. terror-hotbed, to lock up the world opium supply.
 But all you need to tie it together is the concurrent claim that world heroin traffic is in the same corporate portfolio as behind-the-scenes direction of contemporary American foreign policy and domestic criminalization prohibition yadda-yadda crap.
 A tough case to make, but we slog on.
Because American soldiers and Afghani children are dying for this evil horseshit.


what the kids are doing
according to grownups whose jobs are talking about what the kids are doing:


As mentioned in our previous blog post, Snaps are deleted from our servers after they are opened by their recipients. So what happens to them before they are opened? Most of Snapchat’s infrastructure is hosted on Google’s cloud computing service, App Engine.        Most of our data, including unopened Snaps, are kept in App Engine’s datastore until they are deleted.
Twerky sends vagi-snap selfie to Berky, thinking:
Twerky > Snapchat somethingware > iCloud server > Berky!

But really:
Twerky >NSA > Snapchat > NSA > iCloud > NSA > Berky

NSA in this graph standing in for any Frankensuck groupclot with access to...


ShelterBox after Typhoon Haiyan

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

Iran's deputy minister of industry, mines and commerce _ Assassinations of officials are not unheard of in Iran

Survivors 'walk like zombies' Ahem, and you know what I mean


Love in its anatomical connections:

o, the seat of love, in the female head
from Artwork Archival Objects list
at EugenicsArchive 
 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement
Francis Galton's right hand print
Wild men within commuting distance
Carrie and Emma Buck at the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, taken by A.H. Estabrook the day before the Buck v. Bell trial in Virginia 1924
(Buck v. Bell was the occasion for Oliver Wendell Holmes' infamous "three generations of imbeciles are enough")

Reading "Against Their Will" by Hornblum, Newman, and Dober
( firedoglake book salon with authors/brief review at
One of the more unsettling, and personally interesting, facts presented in the first couple chapters is that while the Nuremberg Doctor Trials were happening, while they were happening, American doctors were conducting human experiments on a large scale, invisibly, using the institutionalized populations of prisons, mental asylums, and orphanages. Orphanages.
 The German doctors had mixed fates, seven acquitted, seven executed, and nine got ten to life in prison. Joseph Mengele, the most heinous, escaped, twice.
The American doctors made bank and professional status, and kept on with their research and experimentation.
The confluence of the behaviorist data garnered by the inhuman science of the Nazis, transferred in bulk to the US and its Allies post WW2, with the eugenic philosophy that was seemingly unfettered by personal or collective conscience, and evidently rampant in the 50's and 60's US medical research community - "Think of the lives we're saving!" - is most interesting to those of us who grew up during that time.


 “Who the fuck does he think he is, who’s the fucking superpower here?”

Renisha McBride:
The wound was to the back of the head, leading investigators to believe she was leaving the porch when the shot was fired.

“You want to tell God he doesn't know what he's talking about?"

what we’re seeing now is America’s Jewish community trying to save a weak and incompetent executive from himself.
“Publicly funded institutions do not have the right to spew hatred without permitting an equal response,”
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
Yup. Though techinically, not quite so blasphemously, it's more that your idea about what God knows and where and when God is speaking, and if God is speaking, is pure self-interested bunk.
Also I can't figure out how to get to Ben White's twitter feed for May 26 2012 to see the Jacobson tweet in context


Yucky update: the hospital is billing him

Yucky days in law enforcement:

1. Eckert's abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.
2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
4. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
5. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
6. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.
KOB4 05.Nov.13
via cryptogon
Even not having drugs is bad for you, that's how bad drugs are.

the largest detention center in the world


thanks to Anonymous, which responded to the verdict by "doxing" Preska, releasing personal information on her as well as her husband, Thomas J. Kavaler, a partner at the Manhattan law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel. According to the leaked material, Kavaler, through his firm, was a client of the intelligence firm Stratfor and a victim of the Anonymous attack, all of which raises significant questions about Preska's objectivity
lengthy background on Hammond in Rolling Stone
Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild which is putting support behind Hammond’s defense, said, “The conflict of interest here is clear cut … Judge Preska is required to avoid the appearance of bias so that, even if she owned one share of Stratfor stock, she would be obligated to recuse herself. How can she be impartial when the case directly affects the man she wakes up to every morning?"
  Natasha Lennard/Slate

“If Jeremy Hammond would have been found guilty of the crimes he is alleged to have committed in Iceland, his actions would have been considered an act of bravery. His maximum sentence would have been counted in months, not decades.” Birgitta JonsDottir Icelandic Member of Parliament
 “Jeremy’s treatment by the government, unfortunately, is in line with that of other political prisoners where guilt, innocence, proportionality, and the constitution itself are disregarded in the pursuit of politicized convictions. Heidi Boghosian Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild
 “Hammond knowingly took a risk for a political cause he passionately embraced and has taken responsibility for his actions. If justice is to be served the courts must distinguish between principled activity and nefarious, criminal acts. He has already spent enough time behind bars; time-served is sufficient punishment.” Gabriella Coleman Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, McGill University
  Free Jeremy Hammond

more you asked for it:

Policy makers throughout the industrialized world generally assume that humankind can solve serious global problems by adopting better technologies and regulations—without questioning the viability of consumer-capitalist societies. This faith is mistaken. The big problems, particularly climate change, are so serious that they cannot be solved without unprecedented and extremely radical change, including abandoning the obsession with economic growth, market systems, and high living standards.
The fundamental cause of the global problems threatening humanity is a grossly unsustainable level of over-consumption. The per-capita rates at which people living in rich countries are using up resources are far beyond levels that can be kept up for long or that could be extended to all the world’s nations. Yet most people fail to grasp the magnitude of the overshoot or its significance. The reductions required are so big that they cannot possibly be achieved within a consumer-capitalist society. Among the factors that policy makers are ignoring are standards of living, available land, carbon emissions, and economic growth.
Ted Trainer/Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 04.Nov.13
James Hansen et al. meet Ted Trainer et al.

In March, Medellín received the title of the world's most innovative city in the City of the Year competition organized by The Wall Street Journal and Citigroup, beating out Tel Aviv and New York:

... there is a complete circle where children and adolescents are involved, not only because they are exploited but because they are part of this micro-trafficking chain. They are the ones that supply the sexual abuser with drugs plus they also consume them, whether it is to take part in the [sexual] activity or to gain access to the drug
Most of these children have to earn money to support themselves and their families, says the study. According to the Medellín mayor’s Grow with Dignity program, some 274 children have been identified in La Candelaria district, which is located in the center of the city, as being sex workers.
fined five times and dead from suicide:
Adriana's pimp was her own husband, whom she married at the age of 16 and with whom she had a child, now aged four. She was part of a group of 200 women who were being abused by the same clan of procurers. Last week, a police operation busted this ring, and Adriana's husband was arrested. But it was too late for her — she had already jumped off the bridge...


you asked for it:

      Top US climate scientists support development of safe nuclear power
Open letter to environmentalists and world leaders says wind and solar power are not enough...
The letter signers are James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia.
Environmentalists agree that global warming is a threat to ecosystems and humans, but many oppose nuclear power and believe that new forms of renewable energy will be able to power the world within the next few decades.
That isn't realistic, the letter said."Those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough" to deliver the amount of cheap and reliable power the world needs, and "with the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology" that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.
AP/Guardian 03.Nov.13
 Elephant in the room?
Pachyderm in the patio?
 Mammoth in the den?
 Jumbo in the kitchen?
A sudden drop in human population numbers, great enough, lowers every danger signal currently on the table. Not all danger. Just the immediate, weirdly numerical, intangible turmoil of thermal disruption of a balance in the sky we didn't even know was there. Until it began to go out of whack.
"We" being the particular segment of the human presence on earth that at the same time didn't know and did the disrupting. Whatever you want to call that. It wasn't the Guarani or the Bushmen of the Kalahari. No reasonably intelligent logical mind can look at the facts as presented and not consider that lessening carbon footprint could be more easily achieved by shrinking the foot itself, the size of it being the numbers of consumers of things that create the carbon release. But it's the taboo of taboos. Leading directly to eugenic solutions that have hideous precedent and no clear examples of how-to that are morally as well as strategically successful. So it can't be talked about. So what can be talked about is the "harnessing" of contained nuclear fire. By the same clueless technocratic fools that got us into the mess, Stewart Brand is on it, Hansen, lots of lesser lights as well. No one, that I'm hearing, anywhere, is pushing the controlled reduction of human population numbers, even though it's as rational as reduction of consumption and alterations of technologies away from unlimited carbon release. Lots of folks in the aghast community are nervous about conspiratiod elites with eugenic plans and schemes. For good cause. And as long as the discussion is hidden, taboo, it takes place only in the toxic fermentation tanks of private discourse, or in marginal uncritical hysteria-covens.
The thesis is that the disregard for well-being in so many areas of the contemporary news landscape proceeds directly from the confidence of hard-minded clear-sighted recognition of that numerical inevitability.
Not to say there's a weakness in the visible speakers, Brand, Hansen et al. It's responsible engagement. They can't talk about massive scaleback in human numbers publicly. No one can, without great personal risk.
And something has to be said about the immediate problem.
So let's nuke up! Because, because, because we have to!
" and reliable power the world needs..." to continue in the hell-bound blindness that got us to the bring of this awful verge to begin with.
Because the alternative is Death Panels, and Vonnegut's Monkey House, and the social acceptance of genocide, and the way things are set up that means the least responsible for the disaster members of the present company eat shit first. And people who have benefited most from the wrong-way power-thrust of how we got in the climate mess will then emerge from the chaos of pop-drop with a happy future intact.
Thus the intense meta-systemic grab for total info, social network map and diagram, the metastisizing technology of control. Ominous gathering of potential ability with no clear statement of intent.
The knee-jerk immediacy of "The NSA's doing it to preserve their(invisible masters') status quo", a common assumption of motive about that, versus they're doing it to get ready for the big elimination frenzy.
Wouldn't you want to start the population diet from the bad and unnecessary, then move up? Instead of random non-Darwinian selection?
Kesey said it eloquently and wittily and compassionately in '74. If you agitate for pop-drop, the first casualties will be us, the gadflies, the rebels, the non-consensus refusers and critics and weirdos, and a whole lot of voiceless-in-this-wilderness folks.
 The immune system of centralized greed is powerfully ready for that, and discussion of pop-drop feeds that readiness, So it's understandable, and good, that it remains off-camera. But it's there, and in its absence placing nukes center-stage is disturbing as hell.
Reducing the human population from 7 billion clueless and governed by a few hundred thousand greedhead assholes, to a half-billion clueless governed by a few hundred thousand greedhead assholes won't fix things.
 But enabling the present set-up with nukeshine replacing petropuke won't fix it either.
Solutions, solutions.
Change your attitude about life.

USGS 1 day Magnitude 2.5+ worldwide


"That we forbid cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns, that is our first demand," 

Newborn babies can remember melodies played to them while they were in the womb

Myth:  Everyone is circumcised.
Reality check:  Actually, world-wide, only 30% of men are circumcised, and most of these men are Muslim (WHO 2007).   Most modern, Westernized countries have rates well below 20%.  In the United States about 25 years ago, around 85% of babies were circumcised. The rates have dropped substantially to 32% in 2009, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control (El Becheraoui 2010).
Myth:  Circumcision is an important tradition that has been going on forever.
Reality check:  In the United States, circumcision wasn't popularized until Victorian times, when a few doctors began to recommend it to prevent children from masturbating.  Dr. Kellogg (of Corn Flakes fame) advocated circumcision for pubescent boys and girls to stop masturbation:  "A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anæsthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment... In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement" (Kellogg 1877).  Circumcision caught on among the sex-negative Victorians, but only wealthy parents could afford it.  In 1932, only 31% of men were circumcised; this peaked around 85% in 1980, and has been dropping ever since (Laumann 1997, Wallerstein 1980).  Far from an ancient tradition, it was only popular in post-war America; think of it as "your parent's body mod."


signaling its superiority:

RT: But if these strikes are targeting Hezbollah - which Israel considers a terrorist organization - isn't that a justification?
JP: I think this is ridiculous. Hezbollah did not invade Israel, Israel invaded southern Lebanon. Israel violates the skies over Lebanon. They violate the borders of Lebanon, and not vice versa. Everything points to an aggressive Israel. Normally, these kinds of acts of war by Israel would receive sanctions and strong criticism.
RT: If it is proven that Israel has attacked another sovereign state without provocation, would that constitute a war crime?
JP: Exactly right, and the only way Israel can act with impunity is because in the United States, the Israeli Fifth Column is so influential on Capitol Hill and, in particular, it is influential within the Obama regime. There is hardly an appointment that goes on in the Obama regime which doesn’t result in a pro-Israeli official. Look at Commerce, look at Treasury, look at Trade. All the appointments - [US Trade Representative Michael] Froman, [Dept. of Treasury Secretary Jack] Lew, [Dept. of Commerce Secretary Penny] Pritzker - are all pro-Israel zealots. I think this is one of the problems. The US does not act in accordance with international law when it comes to Israeli war crimes.
Petras/rt  01.Nov.13

New Venezuelan Ministry Focuses On 'Supreme Social Happiness'
Mérida, 28th October 2013 (

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has created a new government agency to coordinate social programs and further reduce poverty.
 Since the launch of the first mission programs a decade ago, these have formed an important role in the improvement of social and health indicators in the country such as the reduction of poverty from 

                                        50.4% in 1998 to 25.4% in 2012.

 Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has created a new government agency to coordinate social programs and further reduce poverty. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has not had a great year. After a winning a disputed election, he faces inflation near 50 percent. Supplies of basic goods like toilet paper have run low. Now Maduro is acting. He created a new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness. It's ... More from
 Huh? Venezuela creates Vice Ministry of Supreme Social ... CARACAS, Venezuela - Americans may have the constitutional right to pursue happiness, but Venezuela now has a formal government agency in charge of enforcing it. President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the "mission ...
 Venezuela government creates a Deputy Ministry of Supreme ... Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of a new ministry known as the Vice Ministry of Supreme Happiness. ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge CARACAS, Venezuela
 At first, many Venezuelans thought it was a joke: President Nicolas Maduro is creating a Deputy Ministry of ... More from
 Government of Venezuela created Vice Ministry of Supreme ... The government of Venezuela on 25 October 2013 created Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness to deal with sadness More from
 Venezuela creates Social Happiness ministry - Telegraph Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's president, creates Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, despite chronic shortages of basic goods like toilet paper More from
 Venezuela Creates Gov't Agency of "Supreme Social Happiness ... Americans may insist on the right to pursue happiness, but Venezuela now has a formal government agency in charge of enforcing it. President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the "mission" programs created by the late President Hugo Chavez to More from

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