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Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi speaks with Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Eliot Engel

I wish we had journalists in NA that would conduct interviews like this! Make sure you watch the second half when he questions Engel about his support of Israel's actions in Gaza. Engel doesn't know what disproportionate force means (??!!) and Rattansi presses him for a definition.

Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi speaks to two congressman with very different views on the Gaza crisis.

Dennis Kucinich, Democratic member of the US House of Representatives and former presidential hopeful on why he feels Israel is violating international law with its invasion of Gaza. And secondly Eliot Engel, US congressman from New York, on why he supports the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

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Mayor Bloomberg Flying to Israel In Show of Support, US In No Hurry For Ceasefire, Obama Has No Advice

I caught my first mainstream coverage of the Gaza assault just now. It was on CNN and I watched it because they had a telephone interview with a doctor from Gaza. I turned it off at the point when they were about to interview some military expert about how long we could expect this to last. The whole segment was a split screen with looped video of the 'fireworks' going on in Gaza on one side. The headline they were hawking was not about the interview with the Gazan doctor, nor was it about a report from Israel by Christian Amanpour which also aired during the segment. It was that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is flying to Israel in a show of support for the state. I felt like vomiting. They also reported that the US is in no hurry for a ceasefire (these things take time to be done right ya know), they had a clip of Bush blaming Hamas for the carnage and a bit on Obama's reaction to recent events in Gaza (he apparently doesn't have one and he also doesn't have any advice).

I have been wondering over these past few days about the reasons for the scale and horror of this attack. Are they simply bloodthirsty psychopaths driven by a radical ideology or a need for power and control? I have learned through reading excerpts from Political Ponerology that psychopaths will keep doing the same things over and over again as long as they have worked in the past. They are not really capable of predicting the complicated outcomes their actions may have. So, could this be just more of the same old, same old to them, just a bigger and better version? Is this, as has been suggested by many on the left, all about which politician can prove to the Israeli voters they are the biggest bad ass on the block? I don't have any good answers to those question but my suspicions are that they are doing this to provoke an attack from other Arab countries (ie. Iran or Syria). If you think about it, how awful must this be for Arabs in neighbouring countries to watch this. And they don't get the sanitized, rah rah Israel version of events that we in North America do. How can they sit back and allow this to happen? They are seeing the video below which is of the bombing of a Gaza street market. I believe the Israeli's said they were targeting a truck they suspected of carrying Hamas rockets. Turns out, it was just some guy who owns a welding shop moving some oxygen tanks that he was afraid would be looted from his business after his building was damaged when they bombed the Mosque next door. His son was killed in the attack.

How would you react to this if you were them?

Note: You Tube has already removed the video but it is still up on Google video as well as several other places including Blip TV and Muslim TV. I suspect the masters will be working overtime to scrub this footage from the internet. It is exactly the kind of coverage they won't want anyone in America or Israel to see.

UPDATE: From Glenn Greewald at Unclaimed Territory.
There's good reason to believe [this video footage is] not from a [recent]Israeli attack, but it's certainly reflective of the carnage in Gaza. It's much easier to undervalue the suffering imposed on The Other when you don't have to see it.

It may be from this 2005 incident.

The Israeli's did however use a drone to bomb the truck carrying oxygen tanks (mentioned above) which killed 8 people including the truck owner's son. One can imagine the carnage would be similar.

WARNING: This is extremely graphic footage!!!

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Qassam Rockets

Over the past few days, I've done a lot of reading on the ongoing massacre in Gaza. I was heartened to read a number of articles that were highly critical of the Israeli actions. (A commenter at Empire Burlesque highlighted a few of them at his blog, Disquiet Reservations.) I haven't been able to bring myself to watch or read any of the mainstream news coverage but after reading hundreds of comments I think I have managed to glean the major talking points. sad It really appears evident there is a small army of propagandists working this story. What I have read over and over (and over and over and over) from the pro Israel crowd is how Hamas has been lobbing rockets at some of the Israeli border towns that are situated near the Gaza strip and that they broke the ceasefire (which isn't true). They never mention these are towns that were built on land that was forcefully and brutally stolen from the Palestinians who are now imprisoned in that embattled hell hole. This is the 'supposed' justification for the Israeli actions. I am aware that everyone that reads this blog knows that is total bullshit however I found myself wondering about these rockets. As I know next to nothing about weapons, and there was so much talk about how Iran or Hezbollah or any other number of 'bad guys' are allegedly supplying Hamas with the material to make these things, I imagined they were a somewhat sophisticated weapon. I don't know what exactly I had in mind but I was astonished when I saw some of the pictures of these things. I read a comment by some Israeli official who admitted the rockets were more of a 'symbolic threat' than anything else and after seeing them I'm inclined to think that may be an understatement. They look like some kind of large fire cracker made out of stovepipes and scrap metal. I realize they have managed to kill or injure a few people with these things but it was interesting for me to note how effective the propaganda is in convincing people they are a major threat that must be countered by this horrific bombardment (using the latest and greatest US weaponry) of the people of Gaza. I imagine when most people hear the meme about the Hamas rocket 'barrages' they picture something much larger and more deadly than this.

More of these pictures are juxtaposed against the damage caused by the firepower of the IDF here. It is a very effective display and I was thinking someone could put this to music and post it on youtube. The public needs to see this because as one commenter noted "they tell the truth better than words".
(Warning: Some pictures are very disturbing.)

On a different note, I watched the documentary Occupation 101 last night. I recommend taking the time to watch it. It does a good job of explaining some of the history of the occupation as well as showing what it has been like for the Palestinians to live under this brutal occupation.
You can watch it on Google Video here or in the comment below.

I embedded the video in the comments because it doesn't like my code for the pictures when I embed the video in this post using Full HTML.

The Maan News Agency a news agency from Palestine is reporting that thousands of leaflets have been dropped on the Gaza strip by Israeli airplanes asking the Palestinians to inform them of the whereabouts of rocket launchers in return for aid and assistance. I am a little dubious about the content (which I have pasted below) that they are reporting. I don't know anything about this news agency, however AP did report it was a major independent news agency in a 2007 article at regarding the arrest of one of it's executives. Heres a link to the Wiki entry on it.

The leaflet reads:

Dear people of the Gaza Strip,
Bear the responsibility for your fate!

The projectile launchers and the terrorist elements pose a threat on you and your families.

If you wish to provide help and assistance to your people in the sector, call the number below to provide us with the needed information.

The future of the massacre is in your hands
Don’t hesitate!

We will be glad to receive any information you have and it is not necessary to give us your personal information.

We will keep it as a secret.
Call us at the following number:
Or e-mail us at:

To provide us with any information on the terrorist factions.

Note: To protect your safety we ask you to be secretive when you call us.

Head of the Israeli defense forces

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Texas grand jury indicts Cheney, Gonzales of crime

Ya gotta love this headline!! smiling

Texas grand jury indicts Cheney, Gonzales of crime
Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:49am EST
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A grand jury in South Texas indicted U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday for "organized criminal activity" related to alleged abuse of inmates in private prisons.
...The grand jury in Willacy County, in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border, said Cheney is "profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty," according to a copy of the indictment obtained by Reuters.
The indictment cites a "money trail" of Cheney's ownership in prison-related enterprises including the Vanguard Group, which owns an interest in private prisons in south Texas.
Former attorney general Gonzales used his position to "stop the investigations as to the wrong doings" into assaults in county prisons, the indictment said.

Cheney's indictment in south Texas moves forward

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Shiva is not welcome at weddings

This is the latest post from Les Visible. It was so good I decided to post the whole thing here. I think Les Visible is one of those very few bloggers ( like our WP smiling )who is sincerely after the truth and not afraid to tell it like he sees it. I also really like his style. If you haven't read him, I recommend you check out some of his posts at Smoking Mirrors. This post is about truth, and who's telling it, and who's not and why it's important. Truth telling is something we don't see very often and something we never see from our politicians.

He notes that the Hindu God Shiva is often not invited to weddings because he's considered bad luck. Turns out that's because he is the Destroyer (of things that are not real).
It's a good thing for Shiva he is not invited to them Afghani weddings.

Wednesday, November 12
The Obama Drama, Osama and Al Qaeda Marching Band.

I want to give Obama a chance. I really do but then he put that Mossad Capo with short man’s disease in charge of who sees Obama and what Obama hears …and now comes another curious thing which actually should be put in the “None of Obama’s Business File” and I’m starting to think that Ozzy Osborne may be singing “Chosen One.” to the tune of “Fortunate Son.” at the inaugural ball.

Look, the truth is that Lieberman is a neo-con who puts Israel first before the interests of the United States. That is a given. He should be stripped of his committee chairmanships at the very least because he is a traitor to the party he is supposed to serve. I don’t want to hear about how he is now an Independent. He promised certain things and then didn’t do them. He’s a weasel. If he isn’t punished for what he’s done then it’s just one more example of who controls America and one more example of why America is going down the tubes. It’s none of Obama’s business what Congress does in its internal workings. I seem to remember that that was why they separated the branches of government and we’ve seen what has happened over the last eight years when those lines were muddied to the point of no longer being visible at all.

From what I can see so far… it’s business as usual. Everything that the founders argued and warned about has come to pass and you don’t need a map to see where that road leads.

Now we’re getting those boogeyman alerts again. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t make some comment about activity from Osama or Al Qaeda. It seems that no matter how many times it gets said or how many ways it gets said, that there is no Al Qaeda, we’re still hearing about Al Qaeda. People in the know; know who Al Qaeda really is. Al Qaeda is a complete fabrication and the CIA admits it.

Then there is Osama Bin Laden. Here is a fascinating take on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Once again you see the same players and the same scenarios. Bin Laden is dead. There’s no Bin Laden and there is no Al Qaeda and, people… you are being played. You seem to want to be played.

I’ll tell you this about President Obama. If he doesn’t call for a new and thorough investigation into 9/11 then he’s a puppet on a string. Do yourself a favor and read these links. Go to the search engine of your choice and insert the relevant words and look at the sheer weight of argument and evidence. For 9/11 you can start here. I’ve given you plenty to read and there is more than you can ever absorb out there. Yes, some of it is wack and some of it is intentional disinfo masquerading as truther-speak but around six million tons of it is from legitimate sources who, more often than not, come to the same conclusions when they’re not too chickenshit to stand for or reveal the truth.

Now there are a lot of so-called liberal sites out there like Huffington Post and Daily Kos and there are a lot of so called, courageous deep thinkers and journalists who are disinfo tools like Noam Chomsky and Greg Palast who damn well know what the truth is and slither all around it like horny centipedes and who do tell the truth about a lot of other things so as to make you think they’re telling the truth about everything… which they are not. These sites and personas are just another part of the scam that utilizes confusion and misdirection as instruments of control.

There are some really fine bloggers out there and some of them are more gifted and articulate than anyone writing in the Main Stream Media; more in possession of the facts and much more interesting to read than the ranks of paid whores who write drivel with all the romantic passion and capacity of an old drunk on a park bench trying to chat up an invisible bag lady. You don’t see these bloggers anywhere near the high traffic zones. You see and hear people telling the truth about as often as you see a corporation play by the rules. This seems to de-legitimize the truth as if its lack of presence and popularity were the result of the truth being undesirable or lacking enough interest to entertain the common mind.

The truth doesn’t have pricey press agents or deep pocket sponsors. The truth doesn’t have conventions and corporate retreats. The truth doesn’t have a babe on each arm and a limousine at the curb, therefore the truth isn’t successful and heeled and so there must be something wrong with the truth because it doesn’t seem to have many powerful friends and hasn’t been on Larry King or Leno lately.

In the Hindu tradition, Lord Shiva represents the truth. Very often Shiva is not invited to weddings and celebrations because he’s considered bad luck. Shiva is also known as The Destroyer (of what is not real). The truth is death on illusion and because people prefer illusion to the truth, the truth is not welcome. Well, sooner or later the truth shows up whether it is welcome or not and that’s no fun at all. It’s much better to keep the truth close and to run after the truth and constantly alter your course to follow the truth than to tell yourself the good times are never going to end.

I realize that saying things like this makes people’s eyes cross or gives them an itch in the back or one in the crotch while they’re standing in line at the supermarket checkout. I realize that when you mention the truth, fundie antennas go up and you get a lot of people yelling that Jesus, or Mohamed or Ron Hubbard is the truth. I realize when you talk about the truth the first thing people do is to seek to accommodate the truth to their own self-interest. I realize this and it could well seem that the truth is a sucker’s game and a waste of time and a magnet for bad vibrations. I guess some of us are just made different. I would feel so uneasy buying into a lie that I wouldn’t be able to eat or sleep.

From my point of view, you might as well kill yourself now if the truth is an inconvenience because you have already killed everything that made you valuable and life meaningful when you turned your back on what was real in the service of your ambitions and your appetites. The world of material excess is just the place for you but I will tell you this. It’s a cruel world. It is a very cruel world and there is no hiding place. No matter where you go and no matter what you do and no matter how alone you think you are or how little evidence of your actions and presence may remain, the truth is, you were always there. You witnessed it even if no one else did.

What goes around comes around. What you do and what you are comes back on you and defines you. It’s some mysterious law of Nature or something. You may not understand how and why electricity works but you can see that it does. Everyone’s face becomes a road map for where they’ve been and what they’ve done. For some reason, people believe that if they don’t cut and hack their way through the jungle of each other that they won’t survive or that they will miss out on the good things in life. It never occurs to them that when they behave like a beast they become a beast and are in no position to enjoy the good things in life or even to know what they are.

Bin Laden is DEAD! There IS NO Al Qaeda as you understand it. There is no mysterious Spectre organization of Arab terrorists with a cutting edge communications network with centers in every city in the world. There is no organization like that. The organizations that are like that should be self-evident. Think about who has the means and the motive. Think about who benefits. Open your eyes or continue to victimize yourself with your refusal to see what is right in front of you. As Sherlock said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

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The Clergy Response Team and Other Scary Stuff

I have been busy scaring the the crap out of myself today. So I thought I would share. smiling Not that any of this is news to readers of WP's blog...

Video: Martial Law. US Army prepares to invade the US
"The plans to implement martial law in America have been taking shape for decades, hidden behind "Continuity of Government" contingency planning. Now, with public outcry over the banker bailout bill at fever pitch, all of the pieces are in place for the U.S. Army to start policing American citizens."

Starting at 5:27 min into the video:
If marshal law were enacted in the US a Clergy Response Team would be used. In many cases the clergy would already be known in the neighbourhoods where they would be "helping to quell fears and ease dissent". According to CBS they already helped to accomplish this in Katrina. One of the "biggest tools at their disposal" is Romans 13. A cleric they interviewed says it means "the government is established by the lord". It also says other scary stuff such as "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil... [they are] the minister of God to thee for good...[they are] a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (like, for instance, those 'evil doer' government dissenters).

Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State? -by Naomi Klein
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites (”the heart of America is on display”) and realized Bush’s speechwriters were writing her — not McCain’s — speeches. I heard her tell George Bush’s lies — not McCain’s — to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners — this is Rove-Cheney’s enthusiastic S and M, not McCain’s, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit — but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain.
I went to John McCain's official website after reading this article by Klein and interestingly, the first thing you see is a video of Sarah Palin welcoming you to the website. I thought that was strange but then I don't frequent presidential campaign websites.

Death Becomes Her: Let's Make Her President -by Jason Miller

As is befitting of a huntress extraordinaire, Palin provides an endless supply of red meat for the benighted, socially conservative American masses to devour with the ferocity of the hungry wolves she loves to annihilate:

- Life begins at conception.
- No abortion (including in rape and incest cases) unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother.
- Abstinence only.
- Our war crimes and genocide in Iraq are God’s will.
- Cut government spending on socially beneficial programs but keep underwriting the squatters in Palestine and pumping obscene amounts of cash into our murderous military machine.
- Islamic extremists are “hell bent on destroying our nation.”
- Russia invaded Georgia “unprovoked” and war with the Russians is a viable option.
- Israel would be justified in launching a nuclear strike against Iran to preserve its “security.”
- US military incursions into sovereign nations like Pakistan are necessary and permissible.
- Shooting any non-human animal that moves, asking questions later, devouring their flesh in a delectable stew, wearing their skins and furs, and mounting their heads on our walls as macabre “trophies” are our - God-given rights as red-blooded Americans.

The Alaskan wilderness, over which she presides, is a repository for OUR precious oil and we must “drill, baby, drill,” regardless of how many species we drive to extinction and how much damage we do to the environment.
She is so rife with idiocy, devotion to “normalized violence,” and a river of venom that froths and seethes under her guise of “Christian compassion” that it is virtually impossible to pinpoint her most loathsome and dangerous trait. However, her zealous adherence to Western culture’s paradigm of dominionism, meaning dominion over the environment and nonhuman animals, demonstrates and encapsulates most of Sarah Palin’s myriad sociopathic tendencies that readily qualify her to occupy the Oval Office.

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