The Safe Train to Aleppo

A remembrance by my friend, Mark Johnson, who attended the American University in Beirut and lived in Lebanon for several years during the 70s. This is what I continue to see Through the windows of a train Pulled as if off the movie screen Large and isinglass a pane full Of desert stretching to the horizon Doors thrown open boxcar-like […]

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Peace not War

 

Guest post by Rob Mulford, cross-posted from the News-Miner Community Perspective
The Daily News Miner of Interior Alaska, Jan 3, 2016

Editor’s note: I met Rob in Pakistan where we both participated in a peace delegation which took us into Waziristan and gave us an opportunity to talk to people from different segments of society in Pakistan.    Rob has been watching the growth of the drone program in Alaska, and his initiative to infiltrate the planning has resulted in an inside perspective on the overweening hubris behind US militarism and the imperialist drive to rule the world.

An Inside View of the Military Planners

In December 2011, I attended the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) Special Operations Summit in Tampa, Florida, a yearly event held for the military, private contractors and government agencies involved intelligence and special operations. I did this surreptitiously as a control systems integrator. The conference forbade members of the press from attending, and we were assured that no one was recording the sessions so the attendees were free to openly discuss their clandestine programs.

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POTUS in SOTUS Refs MLK Jr

Let me say this about the State of the Union. As usual President Obama is spot on when he celebrates the inherent beauty of diversity and openly rejects the sinister nature of identity/tribal politics. I also appreciate his call for American citizens to wake up and finally retake control of their nation. As he powerfully reminded us, “We the people” are the three most important words in our Constitution.

That said I am perplexed by the President’s invocation of Dr. King and his call for a nonviolent revolution based on the power of “unarmed truth and unconditional love.” These words are absolutely meaningless in light of what he said about hunting down and destroying human beings who engage in terrorism  . . . .  please stop summoning the name and legacy of Dr. King to endorse a worldview that advocates justified warfare. “Unarmed truth” does not mean having “the strongest military in the world. Period.”

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Rochester Free Radio and My Interview on the Broken Spear Vision

Rochester Free Radio has been airing the internet at RochesterFreeRadio.com  where they loop  scheduled programming daily.  In a week or two Rochester Free Radio will be going live on the air as WRFZ-LP at 106.3 FM.    This is very exciting!    Rochester will finally have a real community radio station.  In the meantime, George Payne has been interviewing local activists on The Broken Spear Vision, which is a regular component of  WRFZ programming.  I have been interviewed on The Broken Spear Vision a number of times, most recently last Sunday.

You can hear my interview on the player below:

If you like what you hear, I am archiving episodes of The Broken Spear Vision.  Click here or click the Broken Spear Vision Tab above.   And tune into Rochester Free Radio for more great shows.

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Starvation in Syria: An Interview with Vanessa Beeley

The reports currently in the news about starvation in Syria are quite devastating.  The story has spread rapidly from social media to the mainstream news.    Today the New York Times published an article called:  Starving Syrians in Madaya Are Denied Aid Amid Political Jockeying.   The claim is that  the government has denied food to the people of Madaya, which is in an area where there has been intense fighting since last summer, This story has been a big scandal recently, with unidentified Syrians posting pictures and videos of emaciated starving people, including children on the internet.

Also this morning, Russia Today featured a story on Aid Convoys Entering Madaya about the food being delivered to the town by the United Nations.  RT also identified sources of some of the images which had been borrowed from other times and places.    According to the article in TeleSUR, Aide Convoys Leave Lebanon for Syrian Town Under Seige. some people in Madaya were indeed suffering from malnutrition and lack of medical care.  Other ‘rebel held’ towns in Syria not targeted by the government are also suffering from starvation.  This is the nature of war.

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Fed at Fault: What Goes Up Must Come Down

 

The Market tanked last week. This especially significant because it was the first week of the new year. Is this event rooted in the dark days of the past. Experts believe it is.

While we were sleeping.  In 2009, you and I were having a nightmare.    We were pretty busy dealing with lost jobs and trashed 401K accounts at that time.    In fact, nothing has been quite the same since.

 

According to Richard Fisher, recently retired CEO and President of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas:

“What the fed did, and I was a part of that group, what we did was, we front loaded a tremendous market rally staring in 2009, in March of 2009.”

 

The banks were bailed out, the Fed dropped lending rates to zero and started printing money, and the market roared back to life.   The rest of us lost our jobs and our savings and were reduced to debt peonage with our short term zero percent credit cards that will turn into pumpkins this year when the Fed starts raising the rates for the banks.

According to Fisher,  the Piper has now come for his payment.    It isn’t a big deal.

“We had a tremendous rally and I think there’s a great digestive period that is going to take place now.  And it may continue.”

Is he sorry for what they did?

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The Interfaith Holiday Sing-A-Long

Just before Winter Solstice go I received an event notice for an Interfaith Holiday Sing-A-Long.  Seemed like an odd name but I love to sing along.   Hoping to do some caroling but the evening was more than that.  I went down to meet the group at the public market, a relatively large space with lots of parking, nestled in one of the old neighborhoods in the city.  …………….

When we returned to the Public Market, there were people there, and we could also hear various groups of carolers singing in the dark streets beyond.    There were some kind of preparations under way, and some of the men were standing around the back of a pickup truck where they were setting up a sound system.    Sheikh Ismet Husny Ahmad Akcin, the Imam of the Rochester Islamic Center began to chant the evening Call to Prayer and my mind stalled for a moment as the beautiful chant permeated my consciousness.   Then I began fumbling for my phone to record him.

If you have a few minutes, it is just nice to listen so as to have a feeling of the moment. So much of it was music.

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