Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 966 (since 2009-11-22 01:46:18)

composer, educator, political, environmental and arts blogger from Wasilla, Alaska


Showing comments 966 - 901

  • How Chris Van Hollen learned to love Israel
    • A mutual friend told me he was more skeptical of Israeli policy after Cast Lead. I haven't brought it up the few times we have met since he was elected late last Spring.

    • Back in early 2008, I contacted Rep. Van Hollen regarding a PAC run by then- Rep. Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel's PAC was called "Our Shared Values PAC." Emanuel had just begun donating large amounts of money to former Alaska State Legislature Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz's primary campaign war chest. I was working on the campaign of Ethan's main opponent in the 2008 primary, the very progressive Diane Benson. (Benson has often been compared to Donna Edwards). I questioned whether the DCCC approved of backing one Democratic Party candidate against another in a primary, especially since Benson had given Alaska's sole US Congressman a scare in 2006, nearly beating him on less than 10% of what he had spent.

      Van Hollen said he didn't approve of Party affiliated PACs getting involved in primaries. He claimed he would "look into it."

      I ran this by my blog guru, Howie Klein, from "Down With Tyranny." He laughed, and described some of what Phil Weiss has written about above, plus some other juicy tidbits about Emanuel, who Klein did and does truly, deeply despise. Howie told me that most of the donors to Emanuel's PAC were bloodthirsty crooks who should be in jail for one financial misdeed or another.

      Ethan won the primary and didn't do any better against Rep. Young with $2 million than Benson had two years earlier on $200K. In 2010 Berkowitz and Benson ran as partners on the Democrats' Alaska Governor-Lt. Governor ticket, and lost to Sean Parnell. Last year, Ethan won the Anchorage mayoral race. He is beginning to look like an excellent mayor, especially for what are severe financial shortcomings in the Alaska economy. Diane Benson is now a recovering politician. Berkowitz is more skeptical of the benefits of "our shared values" with Israel than he used to be.

      I followed Rep. Edwards' Senate primary campaign, and donated a small amount. The racial undertones that came out in the Edwards-Van Hollen contest warrant a serious, long article.

  • Shocker: 'NYT' forum on anti-Zionism tilts toward equating Zionism with racism
    • Phil Weiss:

      "This forum suggests that I wasn’t smoking weed when I said so."

      So, why would that have made your point any less valid?

      I don't smoke weed, but recognize it can serve to open ones eyes to seeing through layers and layers of bullshit. Or not.

  • Michael Bloomberg has been a fervent supporter of Israel, to a point
  • Extremists vandalize Jerusalem church with Hebrew threats: 'Death to heathen Christians'
  • ‘If it doesn’t have risk it is not worth doing’: Rachel Corrie's family remembers Alan Rickman
    • I have long hoped that somehow this powerful play would make it to the broader public through a film or TV version. It was very hard to get it staged over insane opposition, so I suppose the hurdles in the face of mass distribution are even greater. However, virtually every time a theatre company produces the stage play, we get to do a reality check on how another community learns of the dubious methods of censorship deployed by Zionists worldwide, and then deals with it. The results aren't always satisfying, what with many cancellations over the decade, but the play usually serves as a valuable community educational tool.

      Glad to see the Guardian remembrance by my friend, Craig Corrie, reprinted here at this bastion of inconvenient truths.

  • United Methodist Church pension fund rules 5 top Israeli banks off-limits for investment
    • one would establish a screen to preclude investments in companies doing business in illegal settlements anywhere in the world.

      Do any human rights agencies already maintain such a list? One would hope so.

  • Palestinian source for feel-good 'NYT' story on Haifa says newspaper censored his political views
  • Merry Christmas and get out of Israel, you blood-drinking Christian vampires
    • I was thinking the same.

      On a strange Christmas road odyssey, visiting longtime friends in Washington and Oregon, en route to a Christmas ski holiday with my kids in Bend Oregon.

      I've been staying over with one longtime friend after another, all of whom are militant, strident atheists. They aren't all knowledgeable about Israeli politics and what Zionism really is, but all are aware that we need to end Israeli and militant Zionist influence on our national and international policies, ASAP.

  • Trump proposal to ban Muslims from US relies on debunked poll from pro-Israel think tank
  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
  • President Obama wants us to argue about the special relationship
    • If the American conversation were truly diverse, you would have a real discussion of Hamas’s roots in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine: and Max Blumenthal would be debating Senator Brian Schatz about Hamas on MSNBC. Blumenthal spent weeks in Gaza last year and he writes in The 51 Day War that Hamas militants are the resistance that we saw in “anti-colonial struggles throughout history, from Vietnam to Algeria to South Africa.”

      I am reading The 51 Day War right now. Having read and reviewed Max's first two books already, I am delighted to say that his new one is even more readable, more compelling in its portraits and sketches, than "Gomorrah" or "Goliath" are.

      To go beyond Philip W's assertion here, that Max would be a worthy torch bearer for this debate, is anyone willing to go out on a limb and predict when or if that might actually happen? Max is perhaps the most articulate active spokesperson for Palestinian rights who isn't Palestinian. Additionally, his grasp of the history of Zionism is approaching the profound, as he appears to learn more and more, and to forget nothing.

  • Israel vs the Violin
    • Thanks, just.

      I'm currently working on a commission for a piano concerto for Juliana Osinchuk. Subject of the music - global warming running amok. I would love to have it performed in Gaza, Ramallah, Hebron or Jenin.

      I am writing it in the Trinity Mountains in northern California. Right now, the place where I am staying is surrounded on all four sides by forest fires that were started by lightning strikes last Thursday and Friday. Over 1,000 firefighters are battling the scores of separate blazes. Last night was the first one since Thursday when I didn't go to sleep to the sight of fires lighting all the horizons. Too much smoke to see them. The local fires are only 5% to 10% contained. More dry lightning storms predicted for later in the week.

      Sadly, it makes for great inspiration for my subject.

      In the evenings, I am reading Max Blumenthal's newest book on the 2014 Gaza War.

  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
    • Not criticizing Helena's kudos for some excellent accounts of how people dealt with the 2014 Gaza war crimes, but Max's newest book is worthy of the kind of note Phil W has here given it. And Blumenthal's critics' absurd notions about "Goliath" were a monument to mendacity. Undoubtedly, when the Altermans get around to this book, we will see more.

      As I have said after each of Max's three books, his best work is ahead of him,

  • Pro-Israel wealthy Jews feature in 'Forward,' Christie roast, and U of Michigan censorship
    • from the article:

      A survey by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law found that 54 percent of Jewish college students experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism on their campuses during the 2013-14 school year, including incidents of harassment, violence or a “hostile environment.”

      54%, eh?

      As opposed to 100% of my Alaska Native students at UAA experiencing some similar or worse level of a hostile environment every fucking week. Of their lives.

      These kids in the recent spate of articles on growing anti-Semitism on US campuses are mostly wusses.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • I've always thought a big part of the 1990-91 Gulf War was to clearly illustrate to the world that the USA could put together, mobilize, supply and use a war coalition rapidly, just as the dust from the debris of the USSR was finally settling.

  • 'NYT' public editor faults paper for failing to quote Jews who support BDS
    • On November 1, 2005, there were three demonstrations outside the Hackney Empire Theatre in London, where a performance of my remembrance of Rachel Corrie, The Skies Are Weeping, was about to be performed. All three were Jewish-led.

      However, two of the demonstrations were in favor of the music and its premise. Only one, perhaps the smallest, was protesting my art, and Rachel Corrie as an icon. I spoke to some of them over a barricade, offering free tickets to anyone who might consider attending.

      The BBC ran a TV story on the demonstrations, making it appear there had been a solid Jewish front against my art. Several Jews individually, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, protested the story's premise to the BBC. Eventually, they got written apologies.

      This was a pretty rapid response by the NYT.

  • In Israel, racism is standard procedure
  • Ilan Pappe on the western awakening and what it means for Israel/Palestine
    • From the comments at the Forward article:

      The current tactic of the Netanyahu cabal and its American lackeys is to align being pro-Israel with being pro-Republican. This is a sure way to work against Israel on American college campuses. The campuses where most Jewish kids go tend to be liberal and pro-civil rights. Telling them that the likes of Sheldon Adelson and John Boehner and Ted Cruz are the saviors of the Jewish people is like telling them to join BDS. In the US, as in Israel, the right-wing is the single biggest enemy of Jewish and Israeli interests. So, even if your only concern in the whole world is the well-being of the State of Israel, and even if you're a died-in-the-wool Likudnik, you should encourage the opening of mainstream organizations to progressive Zionist voices and organizations. This is the only way, the only way, to try to stem the tide of anti-Israel activism on campuses. Only when Jewish kids see that you can be Zionist and still oppose racism and militarism will the majority of them be anything other than apathetic or actively hostile to Israel.

  • 'NY Review of Books' says Tony Judt didn't really mean it when he called for the end of a Jewish state
    • I subscribed the the NYRB for over 25 years. I loved the highbrow reviews and essays, especially on classical music, and their comparative reviews of several books recently published on similar subjects.

      But it is stuff like this, that Phil Weiss writes about, that got me to just end the subscription after the last one ran out, probably four years ago.

  • Night of horror at Ben Gurion airport for two French music students
    • Thanks for the comment and clarification, Tom.

      I'm a university music professor in Alaska. Today I gave my last final exam before the end of the spring term. Then I read this latest episode of petty harassment.

      The Israeli government touts its support for and excellence in the arts. Yet we see instance after instance of their repression of artistic expression in the Occupied Territories.

      I teach my students that art unifies, that it creates ties that universalize what humanity is and can be.

      Please share more, if you think it is appropriate, on what they did while there that helped raise the human spirit at a conservatory that somehow survives, even thrives, under such repression.

  • Obama's role model to journalists -- Dorothy Thompson -- turned against Zionism and was silenced
    • In the mid-1970's in a multi-party conversation on my commercial fishing boat, with a guest reporter on board, and friends chiming in over the VHF radio, I confused Dorothy Thompson with Dorothy Parker.

      Boy, did I get lambasted, most of all by the female guest reporter, who was also named Parker. She turned out to have done a college paper on Thompson, and shared her books by Thompson with me, after we got back to port. Some of the other commercial fishermen in on the radio back-and-forth also knew who Thompson was. And Dorothy Parker.

      Thompson, from what I remember of To Who Does the Earth Belong and The Crisis in the West , was hard to grasp overall, but very easy to read. I'm glad to see her being brought back up!

      Having read a couple of her books, and admiring her for what little I knew about her career as an iconoclastic journalist, a friend compared her to Pierre van Paassen. My friend, having read her early Zionist articles, assumed she was still supportive of Israel.

      That got me to read van Paassen's Days of Our Years, which was one of the most powerful bullshit books I've ever read.

      hophmi probably has a point that Thompson was already past her prime in terms of audience and relevance at the time when she woke up to Zionist racism. But what she wrote and said then about that probably sealed her fate as a marketable journalist commodity.

      I think Obama's use of her in his comments was self-serving, shallow and somewhat pathetic. Just watched Citizen Four last night.

  • In defense of Cornel West's prophetic voice
    • West's listing of "ecological catastrophe" at the bottom of his list bothers me. Planet rape is a serious matter, and might be given more consideration for being put far higher on such lists.

    • Prof. Dyson has entrapped himself in a labyrinth of his own making.

      Pure bullshit:

    • Dr. West has posted a response of sorts to Dr. Dyson's article:

      The escalating deaths and sufferings in Black and poor America and the marvelous new militancy in our Ferguson moment should compel us to focus on what really matters: The life and death issues of police murders, poverty, mass incarceration, drones, TPP (unjust trade policies), vast surveillance, decrepit schools, unemployment, Wall Street power, Israeli occupation of Palestinians, Dalit resistance in India, and ecological catastrophe.

      Character assassination is the refuge of those who hide and conceal these issues in order to rationalize their own allegiance to the status quo. I am neither a saint nor prophet, but I am a Jesus-loving free Black man in a Great Tradition who intends to be faithful unto death in telling the truth and bearing witness to justice. I am not beholden to any administration, political party, TV channel or financial sponsor because loving suffering and struggling peoples is my point of reference. Deep integrity must trump cheap popularity. Nothing will stop or distract my work and witness, even as I learn from others and try not to hurt others.

      But to pursue truth and justice is to live dangerously. In the spirit of John Coltrane’s LOVE SUPREME, let us focus on what really matters: the issues, policies, and realities that affect precious everyday people catching hell and how we can resist the lies and crimes of the status quo!

      link to

      link to

  • White House 'trolls' Netanyahu by co-opting infamous UN cartoon to sell Iran deal
  • Now Obama needs to 'compensate' Netanyahu -- NYT pipes Israeli propaganda (Update)
  • Netanyahu says US is part of new 'axis'!
    • If the US aid, armed, and supported the Nazis, protected them from world condemnation...

      We actually did that up until the fall of France. IBM, Ford, GM, oil companies, bankers, chemical and drug companies, and so on. GHW Bush's father wasn't forced to divest from his Nazi holdings until 1942.

      Americans who served on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War were later labeled "premature anti-Fascists" by the State Department and FBI.

  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • First read of this list: Awkward. Took me 400 words before I caught the tone and perspective. Yet a compelling read.

      Second read: Brilliant. As gracie fr wrote above, "poignant."

      Philip W's voice is becoming more resonant. He has always been a first-rate journalist. He is 3/4 of the way to being one of the most important commentators in print of our generation.

      Now - for a third read.

  • Tipping point?
  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • Never seen nor heard of "No Dogs or Jews" signs, but somewhere, sometime, there probably has been one. Or more.

      When I first came to Alaska in 1973, a couple of the bars in Cordova had their old "No Dogs or Indians Allowed" signs tucked away back in the storage rooms. I saw my first one, when I went with a bartender and my deckhand back to look for a fresh bottle of Bushmills on St. Patricks Day.

      By the time I moved there, none of the businesses in town still displayed them, but they had been common in many Alaska towns into the early 1940s. Perhaps later.

      link to

  • American Voices: What lies ahead for the rocky US/Israel relationship?
    • There are no bilateral treaties between the United States of America and Israel. There are, however, a number of signed agreements on strategic cooperation, some of which obligate the Israelis to actually cooperate and provide information and materials.

      They have never been a true ally of the United States, nor of any other country. I doubt they ever will be. I cannot see a change possible there that might bring about anything more than increasing isolation for that untrustworthy nation.

  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • Mooser: Yes, the story has been embroidered over the years. And it was the first sockeye season post-Judge Boldt decision.

    • Perhaps.

      Ethan is still a liberal Zionist, but the day before I left on the vacation I wrote about above, I went by his campaign office - he is running for Anchorage mayor- and handed him a generous campaign contribution. When, in the near future, the mask of what Israel is can't be hidden any longer, Ethan may be there with Phil Weiss and Max Blumenthal, albeit with less conviction and foresight.

    • Mooser - the last time I was in the Quileute-Forks area was August, 1974. Got into a bar-room fight between two groups of commercial fishermen. I was with the outsiders against the locals. It was a mess. And the fight was over Native American fishing rights. Long story.

    • Mooser - I read some of his essays in "Native American Fiction: A User's Manual," and was impressed. I'll put his new book on my list.

      He's been criticized by Sherman Alexie for, uh, criticizing Sherman Alexie. My friend, Diane Benson, who is also a writer (playwright, poet, essayist and textbook contributor), raves about how accurate his critiques are. Another friend-colleague, Larry Merculieff, has high praises for David Treuer.

    • Sorry - too late to edit. It was the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

    • I recently took a nine-day vacation to visit my son in Northern California. I stayed a night in Yreka, before heading down California Highway 3 the next morning.

      I was approached as I left my motel room by a man, asking me for a ride to Fort Jones. He was a Karuk, a northern California tribe that has resided along the middle Klamath River for thousands of years. He had been visiting his daughter in Sacramento, had taken the train as far up the Sacramento valley as it goes, and had been hitchhiking since.

      Among the topics we discussed, I asked him how recently he felt he had been discriminated against. The most recent event was a few minutes before he approached me, when he was yelled at, having been called a "fucking redskin" by another person he had approached for a ride. He related three more pathetic episodes on the train and highway the previous day.

      "This stuff happens all the time," he said plaintively, but with a deeply resonant dignity.

      He told me of his tribe's decades-long struggle for Federal and other governmental recognition, and his struggles for his ancestral land.

      The ride I gave him seemed far too short, as we pulled up to his cousin's small house in Fort Jones. I'm sure that if I had taken him all the way to San Francisco, he could have continued to relate one more story of abuse and discrimination per ten miles.

      I live in Alaska, where "this stuff happens all the time" to my friends. The last political campaign on which I worked intensively was the 2012 gubernatorial campaign on which a Jewish male, Ethan Berkowitz, headed the ticket, and my longtime friend, Diane Benson, a Tlingit, was in the second slot. They both could tell stories of slights, indignities and insults.

      But, unlike Diane, Ethan was not hauled off to a Federal school when he was a child, to have the Injun beat out of him. Don't get me started on what this courageous American woman has been through! She can tell her own story quite well.

      Believe me, it does not start or end with a spoken insult over bling by the side of a swimming pool.

  • Oberlin students highlight plight of Palestinian political prisoners with week-long installation
    • I'm an "Obie." I was a "Connie" (for the Conservatory), rather than a "Collie" (for the College). I was only there for my freshman, year, as I left to serve in the US Army in 1966.

      At the time, the Ivy League schools all had Jewish quotas. Oberlin did not. Every night, I sat at a round dinner table (dressed in sports coat and tie) with a very mixed group of American and foreign kids. I was far more conservative than 90% of my classmates. I was also from a far less advantaged economic background than over 2/3 of the other students.

      Oberlin was way ahead of its time in terms of admitting blacks, women, Puerto Ricans, continental Latinos and Latinas, and Jews. One student in my dorm was a Saudi prince.

      At the time, I wrote awful poems about my feelings that the Obie students' liberal and anti-war activism was either shortsighted or fake. I've changed my mind on that, through infrequent visits, and through observing students I've since seen pass through and graduate, and colleagues who have taught there.

      Glad to see these kids challenging ignorance and apathy on campus.

  • In praise of Mr. Netanyahu’s political theater
    • Iraq cost $1T some say

      --- a lowball figure. And it is far from over. I work with and teach Iraq War vets. If as many congressmen and women committed suicide every day as Iraq War vets do, Congress would be empty within weeks. Let us see our legislators applaud that heartily, eh?

      Other than that, great comment.

  • Abunimah's book on justice for Palestine soars in readers' poll
    • Shortly after The Battle for Justice in Palestine came out last spring, I had the opportunity to read the book and to host and interview Ali at Firedoglake's (now defunct) Book Salon.

      link to

      Glad to see it doing well in this poll. The book is just as relevant now as it was when it came out. I highly recommend it as a reference, particularly on BDS and on campus activism issues.

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • We are as I like to remind readers the wealthiest American group by religion and we took over many establishment perches in the last generation. We are three of the four Democratic appointees to the Supreme Court, and whenever I turn on the news, I see influential Jews, lately Andrea Mitchell the wife of Alan Greenspan interviewing Kenneth Pollack, Matt Lauer interviewing Lorne Michaels. Last night I watched a panel on CSPAN about the Charlie Hebdo murders at the French-American Foundation and it appeared that all four speaker were Jewish.

      Imagine if it were this:

      [Native Americans] are as I like to remind readers the wealthiest American group by religion and we took over many establishment perches in the last generation. We are three of the four Democratic appointees to the Supreme Court, and whenever I turn on the news, I see influential Native Americans, lately Winona LaDuke interviewing Kenneth Pollack, Sherman Alexie interviewing Lorne Michaels. Last night I watched a panel on CSPAN about the Charlie Hebdo murders at the French-American Foundation and it appeared that all four speaker were Navajo, Apache and Tlingit.

      There are virtually no prominent Native Americans in our national security infrastructure. Very, very few Native American men and no Native women have served in our U.S. Senate or House. None on the High court.

      With 2.9 million Native Americans alive now, and a U.S. Jewish population of just under 5.3 million, more than twice as many Native Americans serve in the American armed forces.

      Several of my Native American friends my age down to being in their mid-50s now, were forcefully carted off as kids to boarding schools, where the "Injun" was beaten out of them. My wife works in small Native American communities, whose only tie to white civilization is a weekly airplane. These communities have no political clout here in Alaska, or elsewhere. They do know, though, that whenever the Alaska or American economy get hit, their services and infrastructure are the first to get saddled with significant cuts.

      I've recognized since high school in the 60s that some American Jews suffer from multi-generational PTSD, whether to not they had close family lost in the European Holocaust. But Native Americans suffer far more living, enduring, debilitating and humiliating incidents. And they extend all the way back to 1492.

      Native Americans daily put up with racial insults, slights and epithets that would make headlines if they happened to young American Jews.

      That being said, the Israel Lobby is under a lot of stress in the wake of Netanyahu's upcoming visit. Fascinating essay.

      2015, and the pressures of the upcoming national election contests, will soon show if there is a diminution of funding from the "our shared values" kind of PACs to those who don't attend the joint session.

  • Netanyahu flips off Harry Truman
    • "Is there no end to Netanyahu’s hubristic delusions? An inciter, and an egomaniacal and inveterate liar."

      Well - at least he isn't claiming he saved his camera man from getting beat up in "a war zone" in the Falkland Islands.

      They're a lot alike, Bill O'Reilly and Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Mike Huckabee's 'welcome to Israel' bash was in a settlement
    • "I’m not a Jew. I didn’t even play one on TV. But you’ll be hard pressed to find a more full-throated defender and supporter of the Jewish state than me."

      So, there was a donkey tethered for him behind the winery's tent?

  • The left needs to stop hounding Elizabeth Warren on Palestine, says Warren supporter
  • 'She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice and peace': American hostage killed in Syria remembered for work in Palestine
    • I am interested in knowing whether or not she actually did any relief work in Israel.

      She was in Palestine with the ISM. In their commemorative article about her, the ISM only mentions actions she took part in in the West Bank, including greater East Jerusalem, none of which are in Israel.

      Obama stated she worked in Israel. But I can't find any articles yet to corroborate his claim.

    • NPR kept Ms. Mueller's death in their 2X an hour news updates all morning here. Not one mention of:

      A Syrian airstrike
      Her work for ISM
      Palestinian refugees

  • The New England Patriots and Israel
  • Since when is the Southern Poverty Law Center a pro-Israel organization?
    • I've never regarded Rachel Maddow as genuine.

      This episode from the despicable Bill Maher from almost five years ago is telling. Beginning at 6:48, Maher and Oliver Stone start getting at each other. Maddow, who up to this point has been contributing to the segment, sits on her thumbs.

  • The betting line on Netanyahu's speech to Congress
    • Hopefully, at some time in the future, Netanyahu won't be able to set foot outside of Israel, let alone in the US Congress, and his response will be "I'm just here [in Israel] so I don't get fined arrested."

      Netanyahu is less worthy than the sweat Marshawn Lynch scratches out of his jock strap.

    • During Netanyahu's last address to a joint session of congress, Boehner wore a pink salmon-colored tie. The President of the Senate, Vice President Biden, wore a silvery sky blue tie that matched Netanyahu's

      Here is a link to the twenty-nine lines Netanyahu delivered that got him his 29 standing O's.

      link to

      He will go for over 30.

  • Finkelstein on Joan Peters's legacy (and Dershowitz's legal troubles)
  • Tell your congressperson: Don't attend Netanyahu's speech
    • I emailed a copy to Sen. Murkowski already. Sen. Sullivan's contact page hasn't been set up yet, and Rep. Young makes it almost impossible to email his office. So I'm printing out, folding, sealing, stamping and mailing hard copies to all three. Tempted to send them certified, as I am informing them of a set of serious crimes that may not have already been aware of.

    • Here's the letter I am sending to Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young:

      Dear Sen. Murkowski,

      U.S. House Speaker, John Boehner, has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in March. This would only be the second time in our history that a sitting foreign leader has been bestowed such an honor three times. The other person to be so honored was British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

      Mr. Churchill’s appearances were pre-cleared by the executive branch of the U.S. Government, as have been all such appearances before a Joint Session by foreign leaders. However, Speaker Boehner has broken with precedent, and has possibly violated the Logan Act, by extending this current invitation in a unilateral manner.

      In the 1980s. as part of his involvement with the illegal front company, MILCO, Benjamin Netanyahu directly participated in efforts to illegally obtain and transport high tech kryton switches and other nuclear-related materials from the United States to a foreign government. The resulting nuclear weapons were then offered for sale to the apartheid government of the Union of South Africa. These acts were prejudicial to the interests of the people of the United States of America and to your constituents. They also violated several U.S. laws, and were serious felonies.

      I urge you to call for an investigation of Mr. Netanyahu’s involvement in espionage against the American people. Short of that, I urge you to not attend his address.


      Philip Munger

  • US calls ICC decision to investigate Gaza 'tragic irony'
  • Israeli education minister calls refuseniks 'radical element of reality,' but they're in the 'NYT'
    • I think "millions" is inaccurate, perhaps highly inaccurate. Abby Martin's session with Amit Gilutz is another example of her fortitude in interviewing people on the forefront of resistance, including I/P. She is an adventurous visual artist. Her husband (or boyfriend) is an experimental electronic composer. Maybe that gives her an edge in interviewing Gilutz, whose mixed media music has attracted me for some time.

      link to

      From over 50 years of observing and knowing contentious objectors, they are generally far more heroic than our sanctified "warriors." It is always tough branding one's entire life with such a label as contentious objector. However, a far smaller number or percentage of contentious objectors end up blowing their brains out or sleeping under bridges than do our combat veterans.

  • Dershowitz named in lawsuit alleging abuse of underage sex slave
    • Are you assuming guilt in absence of proof? The presumption of innocence should apply even to Dersh.

      I absolutely agree.

      However, I've been following this case (Jeffrey Epstein's ability to turn a serious felony into a serious misdemeanor, and yet continue to cultivate the rich and powerful, using the same M.O) for a long while, waiting for more women to come forward. Beyond what we read here, there will be more, unless some serious threat against the young women emerges.

      The plain truth is that this happens a lot. The main reasons are for those who offer such "services" to the rich and powerful to gain unstoppable access to and influence over those serviced. No doubt copies of images taken or audio recorded are proffered and sold.

      This is blackmail, pure and simple. It may be hard for some to believe powerful people are susceptible to falling into what may so obviously seem to be a honey trap, but ......

      One of Jeffrey Epstein's young personal masseuses claimed she sat on Prince Andrew's knee and allowed him to put his hand on her breast for a jokey photograph.

      Johanna Sjoberg had met the Duke of York over Easter 2001 at Epstein's seven-storey townhouse in New York, where she was paid to answer the phones, serve drinks and later carry out massages.

      She said: 'Prince Andrew was there. Andrew was very charming. I didn't know exactly who he was but felt that I knew him'.

      She was was with another girl, Virginia Roberts, and as a gift she said that the Duke of York was given a Spitting Image puppet by Epstein, and the girls were invited to sit on Andrew's lap.

      She said: 'We had a picture taken. Virginia, another girl there, sat on a chair and had the puppet on her lap. Andrew sat on another chair, I sat on his lap – and he put his hand on my breast.

      'Ghislaine (Maxwell) put the puppet's hand on Virginia's breast, then
      Andrew put his hand on mine. It was a great joke'.

      She said she witnessed Epstein ordering 'girls' to be dispatched thousands of miles to his friends, who were nearly always incredibly rich, powerful

      On one occasion she recounted an incident in Palm Beach in 2004 or 2005 in which she overheard the disgraced financier instructing an assistant to sort out two girls for a friend.

      Miss Sjoberg would not identify the friend but said he was someone 'very famous' in the beauty industry.

      'The conversation went: 'So-and-so's in Hawaii, can we find some girls for him',' she said.

      'I didn't realise Jeffrey even knew this person but the thing that shocked me most was that it seemed so normal for him to ask someone to find a couple of girls and send them over.'

      Miss Sjoberg worked for Epstein for four years, often massaging him as he lay on a couch in his giant bathroom making phone calls to friends such as Bill Clinton and Cate Blanchett.

      He kept a little black book, containing the numbers of all his masseuses by a phone in the bathroom, she said. She left after he started becoming 'more aggressive' in his demands that she 'do sexual things to him'.

      She said she was aware that the girls recruited by Epstein and his acolytes were not paid just for massages but for 'sexual favours'.

      Virginia Roberts revealed that as a 17-year-old 'erotic masseuse', she was flown by Epstein to London to meet Prince Andrew,
      Miss Sjoberg said: 'I'm not surprised he was sending girls abroad. I just did not think they were so young.'

      What is it with Epstein? Is he a contractor for one or more intelligence agency?

      Bill Clinton was also named dozens of times in lawsuits against Epstein and was alleged to have flown on his private jet more than 10 times.

      Flight logs in lawsuits detailed that between 2002 and 2005 the former US President traveled around the world courtesy of his friend and stopped at Epstein’s Caribbean island Little St James where young girls were supposedly kept as sex slaves.

      Clinton was deemed to be so close to Epstein that he was nearly deposed during the investigation into his paedophilia.

      Before he was jailed Epstein’s other acquaintances are said to have been former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak; former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

      link to

  • Chris Hedges is blackballed by Penn after likening ISIS to Israel
    • The Middle East is the only place that is more religious today than 20 years ago

      1. The rise of Protestant fundamentalism in Brazil is becoming an important political factor.

      2. There are more Christian fundamentalists among GOP US Representatives and Senators than 20 years ago. The GOP has just taken control of the US Senate, and their House leadership is rife with superstitious fundamentalists.

      3. At the state and local level, Christian fundamentalists show no sign of releasing their grip on school boards, city councils, county and state governments, and so on.

      4. Nigeria, where Christian vs. Muslim violence is rising, is seeing more participation in organized religion.

      5. These just off the top of my head.

      Maybe your argument has less to do with politics than with daily life, but I don't see it as any sort of a slam dunk.

  • Sony email chain on behalf of Israel joined Russell Simmons and Michael Lynton with rightwing Zionists
    • Replying to tree's

      I’ve come to the realization that separating out the Holocaust from the rest of WWII, of which it was a part, is wrong and in fact dangerous, especially since the Holocaust is usually invoked in support of war and has resulted in large numbers of civilian deaths, rather than preventing deaths.

      The Red Army began liberating concentration and extermination camps in eastern Europe in the summer of 1944, long before the UK and US forces entered the much smaller camps in Germany itself. When the Soviet government invited reporters to visit Majdanek in August 1944, the USSR had already taken the view that the Nazi crimes were against Jews, Slavs, disabled people, Roma and communists/socialists, with Jews being particularly heavily targeted.

      The initial Soviet estimate of Jews (and others) killed at Majdanek was quite high, but even then, the Soviet position was that though the Nazis went first for the disabled, Jews and Roma, they would have eventually gotten around to other groups, using the same means of labor and/or extermination.

      At the time, American journalist and author, Alexander Werth, reporting on Majdanek for the BBC, filed reports describing both the horrendous nature of the place, and the USSR's insistence that Nazi death camps weren't just about Jews. Initially, BBC refused to believe the scale of death Werth described could be possible.

      As Soviet forces moved into central Poland, more and more of these places were discovered.

      It should be remembered, though, that the Red Army had been aware since the winter of 1941-42 that the Germans were starving millions of Soviet soldiers to death in camps far less sinister or methodical in their mechanization than the labor-death factories, merely by not feeding them at all. They were aware that of millions of Russians, Ukrainians and other Soviet citizens enslaved into the Nazi war machine, hundreds of thousands were perishing.

      OTOH, soon after the Red Army liberated Majdanek, the NKVD took up residence there.

      Re Ryan Kavanaugh's sense of history - Producing movies in Hollywood seems to erode most producers' acuity toward historical perspective, so he has lots of company.

  • Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center -- after staging Nakba play
    • LBJ once said, when asked why he kept someone in his administration who was openly critical of policy, "Better to have him inside the tent, pissing out, than outside the tent, pissing in."

      The Zionists in Hillel, the performing arts, higher education, publishing and so on who keep on ostracizing, exiling and firing people of Ari Roth's caliber are about to be deluged in the pissed off rain of many good people who didn't deserve what has been dished out to them.

  • Rep. Israel endorses speech saying Europe failed Jewish people in 40s and is 'failing us again today'
    • I was going to highlight the "prematurely" too, but I see it used so often by apparatchiks like Prosser that my eyes gloss over.

      The use of prematurely here is absurd, but the arrogance of claiming that unilateral recognition of Palestinian sovereignty of any sort is somehow wrong, even when such recognition is merely symbolic, is disturbingly arrogant. It seems to imply some sort of assumption of "chosen people" superiority. This chills me every time I encounter it.

    • Every European parliament that voted to prematurely and unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state ......

      What does "unilaterally" mean in his statement?

      Voting without OK'ing it with the Knesset beforehand?

      I'm not sure. But Prosser's not making any friends by uttering such an over-the-top, inaccurate and inconsiderate speech, especially when other European parliaments are considering moves similar to those recently voted upon.

      As to Rep. Israel, he has been one of the most ineffectual chairs in DCCC history, which was a very difficult feat to perform, given the line of hopeless bozos he succeeded.

  • AIPAC seeks to blow up negotiations between Iran and US
    • replying to yonah @ 1930:

      The USS Liberty did not receive any messages from 6th Fleet or any other controlling authority that would have forced it to amend orders to stay close to the Levantine coast. On the 7th, orders were sent on a frequency the Liberty did not monitor. So, your statement about a "command" not being adhered to by the ship is incorrect. It was in international waters on a mission with clear orders, and had every right to be where it was.

      IMHO, the attack orders had to come from Generals Dayan and Hod, or higher up.

    • Anyone who was 10 or older in 1981 was left with a bad taste in their mouths from the experience of the hostages in Iran.

      yonah - the Iran hostage crisis began on November 4th, 1979, and ended minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President. If the latter event is what you mean by "a bad taste in their mouths," I am in agreement with you.

      I fully agree with amigo, below, in regard to closing down the CIA because of past experience. Far fewer Americans were hurt by what happened in Tehran in 1979-81, that you feel should have left a bad taste in our mouths, than were intentionally killed, crippled or maimed by another foreign power, on June 8, 1967. Did the latter action leave a bad taste in tour mouth, or does it taste good?

  • Pssst! Is Israel going crazy?
    • I just re-read portions of Blumenthal's "Goliath" this past week, before loaning it out. It strikes me as more prescient than when it was written. In no facets of Israeli life have politics or public affairs moderated in the intervening 15 months. Dozens, if not hundreds of statements by Israeli politicians and pundits reinforce the drift into more odious aspects of racism and hyper militarism, just as Mr. Blumenthal predicted would happen.

      Yet not one of the book's early detractors has revisited her or his initial claims of inaccuracy or lack of context or whatever, to apologize, or to recognize the book's initial and growing importance. I wondered if that might begin to occur soon, as I handed the book over to a person who has just come to realize, since Gaza 2014, what a loathsome "greatest ally in the Middle East" we are saddled with.

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