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Friday, February 05, 2016

Two new articles: ISRAEL MOVES TO CHECK ITS ARTISTS & THE 'BERN' AND THE INTERNET @ This Can't Be Happening!

URL: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3031

Trying to make art support the Zionist cause:

Israel Moves to Check Its Artists


By John Grant

“A new thought occurred to Rami. It soothed him like a gentle caress. Not all men are born to be heroes. Maybe I wasn’t born to be a hero. But in every man there’s something special, something that isn’t in other men. In my nature, for instance, there’s a certain sensitivity. A capacity to suffer and feel pain. Perhaps I was born to be an artist.”

- Amos Oz, ‘Elsewhere, Perhaps,’ a 1966 novel of kibbutz life

As a writer/photographer and a tax-paying American citizen, a story in the New York Times about Israel’s culture wars made me cringe. It seems the powerful, militarist right in Israel -- so committed to expansion and settlements in the West Bank -- is now trying to suppress ideas among the nation’s artistic and literary minds.

Human creativity amounts to an individual human mind with its rich, active sub-conscious engaging in a dialogue with the outer realities of life. The mash-up that results is called Art. It’s a process that’s often infused with a subversive sensibility at odds with established power. In his perfect republic, Plato banned poets. Tyrants throughout history have been threatened by artists and writers. Hitler, of course, gave up on an artistic career in order to rule Germany and the world as his own personal work of art; he had men like Joseph Goebbels to assure artists and writers weren’t a threat. Art that didn’t promote Aryan purity and German superiority was “decadent” and banned; careers were destroyed. The impulse to attack artists and to cut off their patronage and funding is as old as tyranny itself.

It’s the perennial struggle between Power and Truth. In the short-term, Power can, and often does, run over Truth like a tank in the streets; while in the long run, Truth has the tendency to eat away at, and undermine, that Power. It’s at this juncture -- when Power has made its play and relegated Truth to writhing in the dust -- that the book burners and the state culture warriors begin to attack the arts for disloyalty, a failure of patriotism or in the end with trying to destroy the state.

In the novel Elsewhere, Perhaps, Amos Oz uses a mixture of third person and first person narration that ends up making the kibbutz called Metsudat Ram a character in his story. The character Rami, referenced in the quote at the top, is a sensitive young man. His father is dead and his older brother Yoash was killed in the Suez action. Part of him wants to be a hero like Yoash. He doesn’t want to be a mama’s boy. So he joins the infantry to fight Israel’s enemies. While away, his girlfriend Noga takes up with an older man. Rami’s artistic sensibilities haunt him. In the end, he becomes a synthesis of tough and sensitive and marries Noga...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3031


Article Two:

URL: www.thiscantbehappening.net/bernieinternet

He’s the best, but is he all we need?:

The ‘Bern’ and the Internet


By Alfredo Lopez

Bernie Sanders' stunning success in the campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, highlighted by what is effectively a victory in the Iowa caucuses this past Monday, provokes serious thinking about what a Sanders presidency would look like.

Were he to take office, he would be doing so at a moment where the human race is considering the possibility of its extermination and thinking about ways to survive. In that conversation about survival, the Internet takes part of the center stage. It is not only a critical tool for education and information on our present and future but the communications tool in the struggle to have a future.

It is here that Sanders can mark his progressive territory because the Internet is so important to people's lives and our movements of struggle. If Sanders is serious about this "political revolution" he talks about and has yet to really define, we're going to need the Internet to make it happen.

So the question is how good are Bernie's politics on Internet issues. The answer is better than any other candidate's. On issues of the Internet, Bernie is a vocal and public supporter of the Internet's progressive movement but he's not yet a leader. Whether he becomes a leader may impact the Internet's freedom and, in the process, his own presidential aspirations.

There are three major Internet issues that every candidate must take up: net neutrality, universal access and privacy. These issues define not only how we use the Internet (and how much we can use it) but what communications in our future world will look like: a question that will define what our world looks like.

None of the candidates speak much about these issues except Sanders and that alone makes him unique and way ahead of his opponents. That his positions and statements reflect progressive thinking on almost all the issues makes him even more attractive.

Net Neutrality

Sanders has been an advocate of net neutrality since the issue seriously arose.

To quickly summarize, net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should treat all data that travels on their networks equally. You pay for your connection -- and usually the amount you pay defines your connection's speed -- and then everything that flows into your computer should flow at that speed. If there's a variation, it should be due to network conditions, traffic or some other act of god or technology but never an outcome of a company policy. No website is allowed to pay more to stream content faster.

The principle (which the FCC made law last year) protects smaller websites since, without net neutrality, content providers could be charged for speed. Larger sites would be able to pay while smaller ones (like This Can't Be Happening!) probably wouldn't...


For the rest of this article by ALFREDO LOPEZ in ThisCantBeHappening!, the independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/bernieinternet


We're engaged in a major fund-raising campaign through Indiegogo. Please, even if you've donated to TCBH! before, go to our Indiegogo site at https://www.generosity.com/fundraising/investigative-reporting-online-news-site/x/4613685 and at least kick in a couple of bucks to help get the ball rolling! And even more importantly, please send the link out on any social media you use, an also send emails to family and friends who may not know about ThisCantBeHappening.net and about the work we do.

Thanks!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Charles Kaiser: 'DARK MONEY' BOOK REVIEW: NAZI OIL, THE KOCH BROTHERS AND A RIGHT-WING REVOLUTION" @ The Guardian

The Nation Editorial Board: "HE HAS SUMMONED A POLITICAL REVOLUTION' ENDORSING SEN. BERNIE SANDERS @ Democracy Now!

Lauren Gurely: WHY THE LEFT ISN'T TALKING ABOUT RURAL AMERICAN POVERTY @ In These Times

Associated Press Dispatch Jim Suhr & John Hanna: KANSAS UNCERTAIN STATE FINANCES WEIGHS ON SOME LAWMAKERS @ Yahoo! News

Duane Goosen: CAN THE LEGISLATURE FIND THE COURAGE TO BE TRUTHFUL? @ Hutchinson News Ed/Op

Jonathan Shorman: DOCUMENTS REVEAL 'APPALLING' OVERTIME AT LARNED STATE HOSPITAL @ Topeka Capital Journal

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Robert Parry: WHAT HILLARY KNEW ABOUT LIBYA @ Consortium News


Exclusive: In Official Washington’s propaganda world, the U.S. government and its “allies” are always standing for what’s right and good and the “enemies” are the epitome of evil doing the vilest things. But some emails to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton depicted a far different reality, writes Robert Parry. Read more at Consortium News. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ABORIGINAL NEWS GROUP STATEMENT ON THE BUNDY FAMILY SEDITION CRISIS IN HARNEY COUNTY, OREGON | Indiĝenaj Inteligenteco



A Communiqué from the ANG Public Information Bureau:


To the International Indigenous Community
To all Colonised Peoples of the Fourth World
To all Brothers and Sisters taking part in the Anti-Fascist Struggle


The Aboriginal News Group (ANG) wishes to acknowledge the following political absurdity:

As most of the international news-conscious public is now aware, a heavily armed group of right-wing Euro-Settlers in the United States who self-identify as ‘Sovereign Citizens’ and anti-government separatists functioning (they claim) as a Constitutionally-sanctioned ‘People’s Militia’ have illegally taken physical control of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (some 48 km south of Burns, Oregon) and its entire facility, (including government structures, vehicles and office computes). The seditionist group has been allowed (by the authorities) to erect roadblocks and have established a defensible perimeter overseen by two snipers watching guard from the installation’s fire-observatory tower along with several internal/external roving patrols provided by the equally neo-fascist Pacific Patriots Network and Three Percenter extremist domestic paramilitary organisations. (See: Jake Burman: ‘Armed anti-government protestors ‘in bid to overthrow US government’ after storming refuge‘ – Daily Express/Jan 4th, 2016 – and – Sam Levin: ‘Heavily armed men offer ‘security’ for Oregon militia at wildlife refuge‘ – Guardian UK/Jan. 9Th, 2016)


While the US press corps has described this situation as a protest, in point of fact, the Malheur ‘Operation’ was launched by a hodgepodge of loosely-affiliated, (and not very well-prepared) right-wing extremists seeking to overthrow the Oregon State and federal governments in accordance with their extremist-views of the Mormon religion and a self-centred, pro-European settlerLibertarian interpetation of the US Constitution. (See: Brian Tashman: ‘Ammon Bundy: Bible Supports Militia’s Seizure Of Federal Land‘ – Right Wing Watch/Jan 6th, 2016)


This most recent (equally unsophisticated) Bundy Family armed ‘Stand-off’ (as the press has generously termed these situations) against the federal government and has now entered its second week without any measurable intervention from local law enforcement, federal authorities or the White House to put an end the coup attempt. The US as well as international public is left to wonder why no action has been taken after Harney County sheriff David Ward announced in a press statement that the Bundy Group is not hiding the fact that they are trying to create a nationwide right-wing movement to overthrow the US Government:


‘These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers when in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.‘

(source: Nigel Duara, Molly Hennessy-Fiske: ‘Oregon refuge occupation: ‘It’s getting dark, and it is freezing‘ – latimes.com/Jan. 4Th, 2016)


Operating under the religious and political leadership of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, militant sons of anti-government, radicalcattle rancher Cliven Bundy – the Nevada State-based seditionists proclaim that they are forcefully taking possession of federal land by way of an armed paramilitary unit on the behalf of the Hammond Family, a father and son ranching outfit in Oregonwho were recently re-sentenced under (admittedly questionable) federal mandatory minimum guidelines to serve out (a second) prison term after being earlier convicted and imprisoned for arson on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas after decades of overt belligerence on the part of the Hammonds and numerous open provocations and threats of violence levied against federal authorities.

(See: Jeffrey St. Clair, James Ridgeway: ‘Showdown in the Malheur Marshes: the Origins of Rancher Terrorism in Burns, Oregon‘ – Counterpunch/Jan 5th, 2016 – and – David Edwards: ‘Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy: “The Lord told me” to fight a “civil war” with federal agents‘ – RawStory/Aug. 4th, 2014)


Despite the brazenness of this admittedly treasonous act and its staunch condemnation by Hammond family representatives and many local residents, as of this writing, there is (still) no sign of any willingness on the part of local or most notably, federal, law enforcement officials to re-take the property from the armed occupiers by force; or to surround the encampment with sufficient manpower/specialised assault (special weapons) teams, surplus-military vehicles and/or anti-riot equipment, air support and/or the (usual) establishment of a central command post, along with official representatives to the press, so as to ‘positively’ manage the situation; or, to (at the very least) dispatch surveillance (drone) aircraft to observe the seditionists and arrive at an effective (and permanent) end to the illegal takeover.

As we have mentioned above, none of the routine law enforcement exercises of civil control generally seen in less dangerous civil disturbances have been utilised in this particular situation (as of yet).

Which is notable, because in cases of (peaceful) organised civilian protest – such as the recent #Occupy Wall Street rallies and#BlackLivesMatter events (and historically during the classic Civil Rights Era) – which observe Gandhian principles of non-violence and unarmed action, protesters are regularly met with extreme and unapologetic brutality from local, state and federal law enforcement agents and (unfairly) accorded punitive and overtly biased reporting from mainstream press agencies and right-wing themed websites that demonise such activists as a threat to the social order. (See: ‘Law enforcement and the Occupy movement‘ – Wikipedia – and – Dave Id: ‘Interview with Scott Olsen About His Injury from the Police Attack on Occupy Oakland‘ – indybay.org/Nov 28th, 2011 – and – Alice Hines: ‘FBI Investigated “Occupy” As Possible ‘Terrorism’ Threat, Internal Documents Show‘ – huffingtonpost/ Dec, 23rd, 2012 – and – OllieGarkey: ‘They planned to kill us “if deemed necessary.”‘ – dailykos.com/Dec 30th, 2012 – and – justiceonline.org: ‘FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring‘ – PDF)


The military-grade armed Bundy Family action has not faced any such law enforcement attention. Because of this, we ask international observers to contrast this soft-glove treatment of domestic terrorism against the federal government’s militaristic response to the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee (situated within Pine Ridge Indian Reservation territory, South Dakota) by armed Oglala Lakota/Dakota tribal members and other followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the 1985 air-dispatched bombing of the (mostly African-American) MOVE Organisation compound in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (within a residential area of a major city) by civilian police forces. Excessive force was rationalised by both the authorities and the press as ‘necessary’ due to the fact that the protesters were assumed by law enforcement to be willing and able to defend their position(s) with firearms. (See: American Indian Movement Documents / Michigan State University Libraryaics.org – and –Laura Sullivan: ‘Philadelphia MOVE Bombing Still Haunts Survivors‘ – NPR/May 16th, 2005)


No such concerns have been raised in regards to the Malheur Reserve takeover despite the fact that the action is being carried out by an obvious anti-government, paramilitary outfit openly threatening to engage in battle with local and federal law authorities if they do not get what they want. (See: Dana Liebelson, Nick Baumann, Ryan J. Reilly: ‘Oregon Militants Vow To “Kill Or Be Killed If Necessary,” But FBI Isn’t Biting‘ – Slantpoint/Jan. 4Th, 2016)


Unlike the listed examples of unarmed protest cited in the cases of #Occupy and #BlackLivesMatter – and armed protest in the cases of AIM and MOVE – it has become unambiguously clear that armed right-wing sedition events and individuals are not always handled in a similar fashion. Although there are cases of politically far-right persons being victimised (perhaps) unfairly by over-eager federal law enforcement agencies – as in the Randy Weaver/Kevin Harris Incident with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) troops in 1992 – such incidents are quite rare. (See: Tom Boggioni: ‘Move over Oregon: Texas armed standoff ends after 15 years — one year after charges were dropped‘ – RawStory/Jan. 8th, 2016)


On the whole, Caucasian terrorists/mass shooters and far-right organisations are statistically given much more of a chance to survive a police/FBI encounter and explain themselves in a court of law than are non-Caucasians, non-Christians and/or leftist persons and groups. This happens in light of the fact that right-wing extremists are much more likely to engage in head-to-head violence against both law enforcement as well as the general civil society strictly motivated by anti-social animus. (Ben Mathis-Lilley: ‘White extremist murders: Killed at least 60 in U.S. since 1995‘ – Slate/Jun. 18Th, 2015 – and – ‘DHS Warns of the Greatest Threat Since 9/11: Homegrown Violent Extremism‘ – Public Intelligence/Feb. 9Th, 2011)


In the infamous case of the 2014 confrontation between the Bundy Family and federal officials which saw far-rightists aiming weapons at federal officers, not one of the Bundy clan or any of their supporters were shot; beaten; tased; arrested or ever charged with threatening government law enforcement agents carrying out their duties. (See: George Knapp: ‘I-Team: Police faced possible ‘bloodbath’ at Bundy protest‘ – KLAS-TV/Apr. 30Th, 2014)


In the case of the Malheur Reserve takeover, local law enforcement has gone so far as to agree to meet with the terrorists in private and cordial, non-threatening meetings. And when face-to-face with the offenders, law enforcement did not take the opportunity to take the leaders of the coup into custody nor was there any attempt made to remove their ‘security detail’ from the illegally-occupied refuge grounds or the property’s headquarters. Interestingly enough, it has been reported that the local sheriff actually offered the Bundy group ‘safe passage’ out of the state if they would leave peacefully. A ‘request’ (rather than an order) that the Bundy separatists have steadfastly refused, even after promising to leave if the local community asked themto end their occupation. The community has certainly made it known that they want the Bundy’s to go home to no apparent avail or interest to the zealous seditionists who say they plan to stay in the Malheur Reserve for ‘years’.

Moreover, local law enforcement is seems is unable (if unwilling) to handle the situation. Despite vociferous claims by the Bundy’s and their supporters that the Malheur Reserve seditionists are ‘peaceful and law-abiding’, local sheriff D. Ward has been forced to relocate his family members after receiving numerous death threats and at least one report of his spouse being followed home by persons unknown to her. And there is open speculation that the Bundy Separatists may be preparing to ‘arrest’ the local sheriff – David Ward – and charge him with ‘treason’ (See: Travis Gettys: ‘Here’s why Oregon militants might be planning to ‘arrest’ the sheriff and execute him for treason‘ – RawStory/Jan 08th, 2016 – and – John M Glionna: ‘Oregon sheriff has received numerous death threats since militia takeover‘ – Jan 07th, 2016)


Furthermore, the corporate-owned mainstream news media have accorded the illegal occupiers ample airtime to freely disseminate their anti-government propaganda; conspiracy theories; religious beliefs and to defend their open threats against law enforcement, (if they attempt to enter the Malheur Refuge and/or take them into custody). Mainstream media has gone above and beyond what is necessary to painstakingly present a sympathetic eye rather than objective reportage of what is in fact a right-wing coup d’etat attempt being made against the administration of Barack H. Obama.

This is simply outrageous on a variety of levels. First, the fact that a gang of right-wing coup plotters would dare an attempt within the heart of the United States Empire against the administration of the first African-American president is jarring enough. But the fact that an obvious act of sedition is taking place without a direct and concentrated effort by any relevant government authority to suppress an ostensibly anti-government event is (itself) telling and self-explanatory in relation to the public discourse concerning institutional White Privilege, US firearms culture and the conspicuously extremist political sentiments of the contemporary American right-wing.


Many around the world have noticed this paradox. And what is most egregious about the entire affair is the visible silence of the federal government, which is having the blow-back effect of encouraging like-minded far-rightists to step-up their efforts at pursuing similar rightist-led insurrections against the United States system of government. One does not have to ‘agree’ with the polices of the US Government to perceive that what is occurring in the US state of Oregon isn’t in ‘defence’ of anything (the Manchester Guardian records 1,134 deaths of young African males in police custody in 2015 alone) other than the determined will of a small number of hardcore neo-fascists seeking to impose their extreme concepts of ultra-nationalist White Christian hegemony; American Exceptionalism and settler control over federal lands to a larger audience. (See: David Edwards: ‘Ammon Bundy: Armed militia is ‘a defense mechanism’ so we can ‘unwind’ federal ownership of land‘ – RawStory/Jan. 4Th, 2016)


The Bottom-Line: The Bundy Family and their supporters are dangerous extremists who are trying to justify their actions by way of a far-right, Libertarian perspective that ignores the authority of the federal government in favour of ‘States Rights’ and denies any responsibility for acknowledging Native American claims to their ancestral and/or treaty-accorded lands in favour of unquestioned European settler occupation. Their call to ‘release the land’ to White farmers and cattlemen is nonsensical and entirely neo-colonialist, being that the lands in question have always belonged to the Northern Paiute Nation as explained by tribal member Jarvis Kennedy:


‘I’ve got a question for the world out there, because all the eyes are on this little tribe here. What if it was a bunch of natives that went out there and overtook that or any federal land? We weren’t removed; we were killed and ran off our land, marched in snow out there hundreds of miles to forts. When they finally let us go, we didn’t have no place to go. Our land was already taken. They gave us 10 acres at the city dump. Think about that.‘

(Source: ‘Oregon: Northern Paiute Tribe Condemns Wildlife Refuge Occupation‘ – DemocracyNow!/Jan. 7Th, 2016 – also – Ian K. Kullgren: ‘Burns Paiute Tribe: Militants need to get off “our land”‘ – oregonlive/ Jan. 06th, 2016 – and – ‘Oregon: Northern Paiute Tribe Condemns Wildlife Refuge Occupation‘ – DemocracyNow!/Jan. 7Th, 2016)


In all respects, the Bundy Family seditionists are attempting to strong-arm public lands away from the federal government, that in truth, actually still belong to the Northern Paiute who have been essentially (and historically) cheated out of their birthright by the same federal administrative authorities the Bundy group are railing against for their own selfish reasons. This ‘operation’ has nothing to do with ‘freedom’ in the United States. And the Bundy seditionists are – without any reasonable doubt – far-right racialist thugs and land thieves seeking to overthrow the US Government for the sake of individual profit under a false (and bizarre) rubric of White ethnic preservation, pious (if misguided) religious observances and a jaundiced view of the US Constitution.

If the lands incorporating the Malheur Reserve is to be ‘returned’ to anyone, it is only right and fair to return the territory to the people that have always ‘owned’ it in the first place, many centuries before European invasion and conquest, the Northern Paiute. Any suggestion (in 2016) that White Americans ‘deserve’ public lands or possess a ‘natural right’ to take federal lands by force – apathetic to the ancestral rights of Native American nations who are indigenous to North America – is politically and ethically no different than the original enforced dissolution, depopulation and dismissal of Indigenous nations by the first European settlers and their colonial descendants.

The Malheur Reserve occupation is intended to be the latest salvo in an ongoing neo-fascist coup d’etat against state and federal government. However, it is also an act of colonial violence towards the Northern Paiute people and all Indigenous Peoples within the continental United States. Nothing more, nothing less.

End the neo-Fascist Malheur Takeover (by force if necessary).


Respect Indigenous Human, Territorial and Legal Rights!
Respect the Ancestral and Legal Rights of the Northern Paiute Nation!
Join the International Fight Against Fascism!

– Editors of the Aboriginal News Group.

[2016-01-11 22:50:39]

For further inquiries please contact:
ANG Public Information Bureau / The Fourth World:
apnsnews@gmx.pt

###

Sean Penn: EL CHAPO SPEAKS @ Rolling Stone

Elliot Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists: KOCH BROTHERS SNEAK ANTI-WIND OP-ED PAST NEW YORK TIMES @ Eco-Watch

Associated Press: KANSAS GOVERNOR'S CAMPAIGN SPENT $167,000 IN LEGAL FEES @ Wichita Eagle

Stephen Foley: LUNCH WITH CHARLES KOCH @ Financial Times

Monday, January 04, 2016

Returning to the Hillary for president poll results ...


Friendly weather forecast
The Onion, number 1 source of news
Posted by Sassy Socialist Memes on Sunday, January 3, 2016