“It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.”
– Bertolt Brecht
Daily, a thus distracted public is told that the financial patsy for the growing worldwide economic disaster is simply a virus. As Americans fearfully watch passively as the US Congress throws the ever-mounting trillions in Bail-out funds so quickly at the feet of their puppet masters, the paltry cash reserves of all American bank depositors have never been more at risk.
“I’m sorry, Sir. We are unable to cash this check,” were the rather ominous words delivered to me by a fresh-faced, none-too-friendly, Wells Fargo Bank assistant manager. He had just kept me waiting ten minutes while in consultation with others about my pending transaction. Returning to his Wells’ colored cubicle he sat down quickly, straightened in his chair and then looked at me intently through narrowed eyes before delivering the bad news.
Four feet away, between us and in front of him, were three forms of my personal identification face up. Looking down, this budding banker particularly glowered at two personal checks, also laying on the desk before him, written to me as payment by a client and drawn on his bank. Not being a “Wells” customer I had expected a shake-down, hence I had brought with me multiple forms of ID including passport.
These two checks totalled the small sum of almost US$8,000.00. Not expecting this much difficulty I insisted on a reason, to which he now looked up from once again carefully considering the two checks and replied, “I’m sorry, but the bank does not have sufficient funds on-hand to cash these checks.”
“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn
To divorce one’s self- finally- from nationalistic illusionary comfort. There is no harder decision any world citizen will ever make. To “up and go” is a decision that pits one’s developed reason against that propaganda; self-preservation against nationalism, fact against friend, and history against ignorance. These conflicts boil together night after night when one’s mind wrangles throughout with this grinding web of conflict thus further inspired by an acute understanding of past deeds and surreptitious capitalist motives perpetrated by an Empire gone mad.
Within another sleepless night, whilst again wrestling with the incredible facts of this new “crisis” being incubated by an acute understanding of the draconian history of “exceptionalism,” in the dead of night one’s own faculties also come into question within the all-enveloping gloom.
5:05 AM. February 4, 2012. It’s almost pitch dark. No one has slept this night. The only morning illumination comes from scores of dimly glowing dots of blues, greens, yellows, reds or orange inside a patchwork of hundreds of still standing tents. Most sit empty for the first time in months; a lamp left on during their vacancy. Nearby, the tall, jet-black and ornate sidewalk lamp poles lining the concrete walkways of McPherson Park here in Washington D.C. provide a few additional stage lights, their bright-white cones casting a single spotlight on their foreground.
Under these spotlights, peering nervously across this scene into the depths of the grey-on-black streaks of the approaching morning, many small groups of protesters stand huddled together, as if for warmth, against the brisk, sub-zero February morning as the first warning flashes of dank sunrise announce this day. The night’s silence is broken as the voices from these groups slowly rise. There is anxiety in the sound. Nervousness. And…
Fear. Fear of how bad this day would turn out to be. Yes, the tents were all still there, for now. The stalwarts had stayed out of principle. Their hearts and minds would not be swayed. This morning, they huddled, shoulder to shoulder in their groups, hot tea, coffee or a freshly light cig cupped in hand; finding support within their waning numbers. All knew as they glanced about the fringes of the park, second-by-second… today was going to be a very bad day.
Eighteen more Palestinians were unapologetically murdered this past “Good Friday” by the Israeli military. They were unarmed. They were on their own land. They were desperate. They screamed their desperation as they marched. Then, they shouted their daily reality of personal horrors too close to Israel’s attention. So, they were killed.
These innocents were shot like fish in a barrel: No place to hide, no place to run, no chance of escape. The hunters all around them. Easy targets. In what now seems like a national sport, Israel has picked up the pace beyond tormenting Palestine…because it can!
For the record, it is important to accurately understand the current Israeli imposed rules of engagement for this latest round of unjustified violence. A synopsis is in order:
As any rational person should know well, Israel has been slowly- since the complete blockade of Gaza eleven years ago- torturing, by choking, what little is left to be stolen from Palestine. Thanks to the Israel friendly inhabitants in the US White House, Israel has been given carte blanche to increase this inhuman stranglehold.
“A Leader should be like a father… he helps the country grow, teaches it, provides for its future. Erdogan? He is no father to Turkey.” – Turkish citizen on the streets of Istanbul.
Author’s Note: This is Part One of an on-scene investigative series direct from the streets of Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria.
On the streets, cafes, and carpet shops of Istanbul a very different story than the one presented by western media is developing about the true allegiance of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While he continues to play a dangerous international game between Russia and the NATO/ Israeli/ US alliance his biggest future enemy walks the streets of his realm… the Turkish people. And he knows it.
One generation later, madmen have returned. They bring with them the madness of… M.A.D.
Again, absolutely all politics are reduced to White or Black. There is no gray. All peoples of our world again exist within a fateful clash between only two distinct ideologies, best summed-up as; Good vs. Evil. Right vs. Wrong. Life or… death?
A mere generation ago the colors of worldwide military polarization were then thrust upon the innocent by mad politicians with similar delusions of empire who, then, portrayed their geo-political expansionism in the easily understood colors of Red vs. Blue: East vs. West. The Cold War. The once Soviet empire vs. the ever-since burgeoning US contra-empire. The multitude of issues separating the two supposedly separate...
Deflating the American Bully- The World Raises It’s Fists.
-“Once you strip away that feeling of invincibility, he can be had.” – Rocky Marciano.
Bullies historically, nationally, and American have all suffered from an arrogance born from remaining unchallenged after vanquishing weaker foes. Flush with the illusion of invincibility the world-wide bully, America, has reaped its terror on scores of the world’s countries and their citizens. What all bullies fear most is a challenger. One that can expose his weaknesses, thereby giving renewed strength to his victims.
Since the people of south-east Asia threw them out in 53,000 body bags, post cold war USA has so far only picked on countries having little ability to defend themselves.
In a matter of mere hours, a new election will take place. Unlike seemingly all other national elections worldwide, this election will bring real “hope” to a needlessly impoverished country. This election will see real “change” come to a country far too long restricted and controlled by external foreign powers. For this is an election that is steeped in real democracy; not the US-inspired definition – the one based solely on the archaic shards of what little is left of a desperate empire struggling to hold onto its waning influence. This election will showcase, finally and thankfully, a return to the true definition.
This Sunday, May 6, 2018, is the most important election in the world!
Proving the point, why is this election is being swept under the rug of worldwide US media control? Here, unlike the remaining hapless world, there is a very bright future awaiting for all… an example for an anguished world begging to finally be set free. It will be this democracy, correctly re-defined and judiciously administered, that will, on this coming day, succeed for all.
Ah, the “Sorrows of Empire.” Its lies these days so easily exposed. Yet, too often ignored.
This past Saturday morning, April 14, 2018, the world released a collective sigh of relief after a week of collective, anguished hand-wringing at the too-likely possibility of our own utter annihilation. US President, Donald J. Trump, a man of massive ego, reportedly small hands and apparently insignificant phallus, had failed, despite direct attempts by the Big Bad Wolf of American military madness, to blow down the retaining walls protecting human conscience… and reality.
Or fatally damage Syria.
Having witnessed this failed attempt to blow the world to pieces via the winds of war, we, the remaining civilized world, were instead treated to worldwide giddy, heel kicking and side-splitting laughter at the ultimate tepid US military inspired results. Yes, despite a week of US hegemonic huffing and puffing- and tweeting- many of us were amazed to actually wake-up once again.
This past Saturday, we all discovered that the latest triumvirate of self-serving, sadistic and socially challenged world leaders (US/UK/ FR) had suffered a storied defeat…one caused by two little pigs- guinea pigs really- and one black cat.
Thanks to these three demur little mammals, who spoke not a word of English, but were likely – if the UK media folly is to believed- secretly taking Russian language lessons, these three accurately summed up current Western foreign policy:
” You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time, but… You can’t fool all of the people all the time.”
This sage advice off course was not within the full understanding of Messrs. Trump and Macron, nor Ms. May who instead preferred to believe in their own weakening hearts and minds the much older capitalist mantra:
With the last shot of the 2006 war fired and the IDF moving back into Israel, Lebanon began to heal its wounds. At the same time, Hizbullah, that had so successfully turned back the tides of war, began to rebuild- this time in new ways.
Using the respect it had gained by fighting for all of Lebanon, while the Lebanese army looked on from safe havens to the north, Hizbullah began the decade-long process of moving from purely a defensive military to a full faceted political organization. Leader Nasrallah has been consistent, methodical and unwavering in these nationalist goals and by doing so has dragged the previously western aligned Lebanese political parties into having to similarly support their country first or die at the ballot box. All signs point to resounding success.
The memory of the 2006 war- and its resulting horrors- lives on daily in the minds of all, here. However, without exception, the dozens of Lebanese interviewed for this article made it very clear that they want peace above all else. However, a thorough understanding of Israeli expansionism- past and present- temper their optimism.
“This is not good!” cautions a new Lebanese friend in a stern tone of warning, clutching this reporters arm for emphasis. “This, where you are going.. it is their neighbourhood… Hizbullah’s neighbourhood. They control this completely!”
Protesting that this quest is well-intentioned, no secret and no threat, this friend provides probably the most important council, and most accurate statement, in properly understanding today’s modern Hizbullah.
“You do not understand well about Hizbullah,” he says, the seriousness of his face indicating his sincerity. “You do not see Hizbullah… they see you!”
His caution and commentary prove to be a very accurate description of today’s Hizbullah. The western media would have those reading about today’s Lebanon from a distance believe that Hizbullah is only a fighting force and therefore easily identifiable in a uniform such as with their invited presence in Syria. The reality is that today within Lebanon, Hizbullah is an army of the people, by the people, and for the people. These people are doctors, teachers, accountants, taxi drivers, shopkeepers, manual labourers and all other professions, but their common denominator is their love of their homeland. And defend it again they will, leaving their clinics, desks, chalkboards, cars, shops or shovels behind the moment Lebanon is attached again.
So. The US economy is just fine. The post-recession 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation has cured all. Banks have lots of cash. Congress is your friend and that certain-to-pass Tax Cut and Jobs bill will finally allow you, your family and America to… MAGA.
“I’m sorry, Sir. We are unable to cash this check,” were the ominous words delivered to me by a fresh-faced, none-too-friendly, Wells Fargo Bank manager. He had just kept me...
“This is the biggest nuclear blunder of all time!” – Ray Lutz, Founder/Citizens’ Oversight.
A corruption of human conscience has permitted 3.6 million pounds of highly radioactive nuclear waste to be put in thin-walled steel drums and buried forever – out of sight – in faulty concrete … one hundred feet away and inches above the high tide line of … the Pacific Ocean.
Yes. The latest and perhaps most egregious American example of public health, safety, and local democracy being sacrificed maliciously to unseen corporate masters is ongoing in the courts and on the streets of San Diego County, California. The fight has begun anew on behalf of 8.7 million southern Californians who, thanks to media complicity, know little to nothing about another pending nuclear disaster at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), mere miles away. This is not the first episode in this saga, but the third: Public Good vs. Southern California Edison Company (Edison) and its allied minions of supposed public servants.
Are there any limits to American blood lust? This week America answered, “No!”
The shrill penetrating screams of innocent foreign children, in their death throes at the hands of an America gone mad, has become all too common – and under-reported. A self-absorbed nation cares not to hear the screams of the innocent.
As of this week the unheard cries of dying infant victims is no longer limited to human kind.
Now, the inherent evil that is the American Congress wants more of the blood of babes! If not stopped, this malignancy of conscience seeks new murders: within the tranquil silence of a mother bears winter lair and the peace and love of a momma wolf’s den! Just to enjoy the thrill of spilling the guts of these...
A Brexit Lesson In Greek- Votes and Hopes Trashed on Parliamentary Floors.
So…you, the UK voter, favored the Brexit! You, the EU voter, see the Brexit as the pendulum of democracy swinging away from un-elected central rule and returning to sovereign national priorities? You… will be proved wrong.
Sadly, yours is an optimism without memory of corrupt Members of the European Parliament (MEP) or of EU evils past and their backroom methods of dealing with the whims of free will, voting power and democracy. You must realize that these are anathema to the tenants of centralized rule. Indeed. History is about to repeat itself- less than a year later. Like the failures of Greece in June 2015, last week’s UK referendum is doomed.
Three-hundred-and-sixty-one days before the Brexit victory night of this past Thursday, Alexis Tsipras boarded a plane to Brussels with a confident smile on his face and a new populist referendum under his arm. As head of Syriza, the fledgling opposition movement avowed to stop EU hegemony over a positive Greek financial future, Tsipras had roared to power. In an attempt to fulfill this promise he scheduled a referendum- a non-binding popular vote requiring parliamentary approval- refusing troika financial demands of additional austerity that would further gut and sell-off his country to its core. Getting onto the plane Tsipras was all confident smiles and waves to his supporters. The world press was abuzz with the possibility of a Grexit from the EU.
“No pictures!” growls a burley Lebanese army captain, looking me deliberately in the eyes from not three feet away across his Major’s desk, while pointing directly at my Nikon. “No pictures!” he repeats, now staring at my translator. Since we are both seated in his office deep within the heavily armed perimeter of the army’s southern command, scores of heavily armed soldiers all around us, and these being the only words of English so far spoken by him, there was no doubting his sincerity on this point.
“ We have seen war… too much war. We desire peace. To have peace we must live together as one people. The new government says so. We support our government.”
– Taxi driver on the streets of Beirut.
Author’s Note: This is Part Two in a multi-part series direct and on-scene from the Mid-East. For background info. not repeated here, please see Part One.
Indeed the people of Lebanon have seen too much war. Though their military has not in its history set foot on foreign soil, remaining in the minds of the Lebanese are one bloody civil war and three separate wars of invasion in 1982, 1999, and 2006. Now it would appear that a new war is brewing again on its southern border.
In the ravaged streets of Gaza and the shrinking hills of the West bank, Palestinians- in desperation- scream his name. On the walls of the twelve Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon his name is spray painted-in hope- beneath yellow flags baring the logo of Hamas. In prayer services across Palestine his name is invoked, begging for his return, the return of Palestine and… salvation from the increasing horrors of occupation.
For far too long voters, political pundits and presidential opponents have never asked the most important question of any recent presidential campaign. The results are shown today. After repeated four year cycles of a full set of only the wrong questions, the voter is now faced with a Hobson’s choice between arguably the two worst qualified presidential candidates – ethically, socially and politically – in US history.