Archive for the ‘Anarchist Cookbook’ Category

January 2017 World Turned Upside Down.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

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The world has been turned upside down, the English ballad written in the 1640’s as a protest broadside, was traditionally supposed to have been played when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington and Lafayette at Yorktown in 1781.

There a world of hurt coming to the American public when the Trump machine and the Republican apparatchiks sing their tune of trickle down economics, trotting out that old line, an excuse for further aggrandizement of the worlds wealth into the greedy paws of the super rich. I don’t like to use such heated polemical phrases but I have seen this game played before and as in the old Who song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” it seems that the line should be - we love to be fooled over and over again.

Identity and Progressive Agenda 2016 Notes

Monday, December 26th, 2016

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Testing the limits of tolerance in the post Coup Turkey.
Hundreds of Turks made a rare protest for LGBT rights in Istanbul Sunday after the murder of Turkish transgender icon Hande Kader, whose body was found burned in a forest earlier this month. Photo by Hande Kader/Facebook
From UPI article August 22, 2016 http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/08/22/Turks-join-rare-demonstration-for-LGBT-rights-after-transgender-womans-murder/3441471845290/

I have been fortunate this year. I managed to have surrounded myself with a family that is relatively loyal if somewhat dysfunctional, and my constant search for novelty in an ongoing campaign to give meaning to an otherwise seemingly meaningless existence, has got me in and out of a couple of problematic situations this year. One was my attempt at a truly transsexual alliance which turned out to be something of a pipe dream. Ultimately in my view relationships cannot be based on transitory sexual appetites. Commercial careers, perhaps, but not strongly based family ties. Poly fidelity, has its moments but I am probably more of a poor mans patriarch in the polygamous biblical sense of the word, than a trail blazer on the frontiers of human relationships, although I certainly do try to do my part in the romantic belief in the eventual progress of humanity into a truly trans-sexual-racial heterogeneity. The fact that in the US the discourse over the nature of human sexuality has been diverted to a conversation on toiletry is a bit discouraging though. Struggle in the world continues as post modernist struggles over liberation in identity politics continue in the face of repression such as is evident in Turkey. Whether identity issues have distracted from bread and butter issues of class struggle, is something that is being hashed out in the light of the on going right wing reaction around the world. Trumpism can be seen in the light of Nazi attempts to overcome decadence identified with sexual transgression of rigid sexual norms as was brilliantly portrayed in the 1972 film Cabaret.

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From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisex_public_toilet, distraction or battle for control of personal space?

The continued demise of my own personal sexual prowess has been paralleled by the increased ability to encounter and intercept the lives of younger souls aspiring to some kind of continuity in an unstable and chaotic post modern world in which institutions have become both increasingly omnipresent and yet unable to fulfill the somewhat futile goal of social stability. Capitalism doesn’t allow for social and interpersonal stability. It’s pressure to excel and exploit resources, of any and all kinds pinned to a monetary value, has eroded social solidarity to the extent that humans of the modern period have become a hodgepodge of flotsam in a sea of potential resources to be adapted and rejected as required by the mindlessly grinding efforts of the mega machine.

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From: http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2016/7/27/political-cartoons-july-27 Political Cartoon from Summer 2016 when US presidential elections were still in progress. The Russian factor was already in play as was the betrayal of the independent left push represented by the Sanders campaign.

The need for resistance and the creation of an alternative agenda to corporate capitalism as crystallized in the Bernie Sanders campaign showed that like in the McGovern campaign of an earlier generation, that there is in the USA an ongoing desire on the part of the young and the progressive thinking people for change at a fundamental level. It also shows how much better the system has gotten at eliminating such a challenge with old fashioned dirty politics and fear mongering. The left, liberal, minority alliance was unable to beat the right largely due to the decampment of labor and the white working class generally as those hurt by the modern economy abandon their intellectual allies who have shown them little gain. for the demagoguery on the right.

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Life’s little Ironies. From: https://warosu.org/lit/image/93GRPOG-N9CFTQSvI7XpVg

There needs to be a clear headed assessment of what we desire and how we wish to get where we want to go. Post Modernism although it has liberated many from the fetters of normative identity has muddied the waters in the struggle to unite humanity in a broad based movement to progressive evolution of the human condition. This has been enhanced by the severe disruption caused by modernism and its industrial megamachine over the last couple of centuries. People’s desire for community in the face of the disruptive and depersonalizing power of technological progress gives evidence of the lag between social evolution and our ability to manipulate the physical world around us. We are now just realizing that humanity has to come to terms with the balance between technology and the social mechanisms that allow this tail to wag the collective dog of humanity. Faced with the potential disruption of all life on the planet, humans need to create truly world wide networks of community that put technology firmly at heel and leash capitalism to the service of humanity or train the dog with some new socially progressive tricks.

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From: http://iacenter.org/racism/blm-pride100715/ BLM queer and trans people of color contingent, Sept. 26. Durham, NC, 2015.
The issue of identity will continue to be important but it must be in the context of ongoing progress or the right wing backlash will cause delays in progress for humanity and the planet as a whole.

Last Days of the Western Enlightenment

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

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Taken from a conspiracy site on reddit, the post was wrong, predicting 8 years of Clinton, the sentiment in the cartoon, greatly influenced by Crumb’s visual style, is a widely held fear on the part of civil libertarians

From: https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/4w2mde/prediction_of_whats_coming_in_the_next_8_years/

I have been reading The Age of Wonder By Richard Holmes, a scholar of the Romantic Movement in late 18th and early 19th Century England. I am struck by the optimism and hopefulness for the future of humanity expressed in the views of the scientific tinkerers and poets of the age. It was a time when a gentleman, or talented craftsman, and some women, could participate the exploration of the physical, intellectual, and poetic realms in a relatively democratic and free spirited manner. The old authority of the King, Church, and Gentry was being pulled down in so many realms, with the American and French Revolutions presenting political dramatic change. Even though in England the old regime was not destroyed, this was largely due, in my view, to the fact that England had undergone its own revolution and liberalization in the previous century. But there was a strong movement in England to expand the franchise and there were those who avidly supported the actions of the French and the Americans. A strong abolitionist movement to took hold in Great Britain which led to the forward thinking abolition of the slave trade, the development of industrial capitalism and the liberation of the middle classes from dependency on the gentry and patronage of royalty as independent centers of wealth emerged.

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Political cartoon by James Gillray (1757-1815)
From: http://web.utk.edu/~gerard/romanticpolitics/revolution.html Romantic Politics.

These ideals of liberty, and the Rights of Man come out of the period known as the Enlightenment. This period in which a more optimistic view of humanity arose, in which man became the measure of meaning and the ability of the intellect became predominant in finding a more just and affluent life for humanity came to the fore. Life, Liberty and Fraternity or the Pursuit of Happiness, became watchwords and represented the very real expectations of the mass of European humanity, as they spread and colonized across the planet. Not always seen as the bringers of light, often the bringers of oppression to the indigenous peoples to whom the Europeans purported to spread their enlightenment, but propelled by the newly released powers of the mechanical ingeniousness of the likes of James Watt, and the mechanisms of trade and capital concentration developed by adventurous capitalists, the imperial European age was impressed upon the world.

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Painting by Benjamin West
William Penn’s Treaty with the Indians when he founded the Province of Pennsylvania in North America, 1771
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
From: http://statemuseumpa.org/penn-treaty/creating/ and http://pluralism.org/encounter/historical-perspectives/first-encounters-native-americans-and-christians/

The industrial revolution and the enlightenment philosophy putting the desires of the individual in the forefront, combined with the Romantic ideals of the solitary genius extracting the secrets of life from a sometimes recalcitrant nature, provided a powerful force propelling the western Europeans into a predominance world wide that had been only preambled by the earlier European conquest of the Americas. Old civilizations in Asia, China, the Ottomans, and the Moguls in India, fabulously wealthy nations, run as empires in an older autocratic tradition were assailed and swept away under the force of the newly empowered Europeans of the relatively small nations of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal.

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The East offering its riches to Britannia, painted by Roma Spiridone for the boardroom of the British East Asia Company 1778.

What we are seeing now is in the post modern period, a designation that will probably be replaced by some other historical reference as we get further away from the Twentieth Century by something more appropriate, after all what will Modernism mean to someone a century from now? But I digress, in a era in which the benefits of the Western Expansion has become assimilated and digested by the traditional centers of wealth and power, China, India and the Middle East, we are now beginning to see the emergence of the Oriental repossession of their traditional dominance. The Obama pivot to Asia and Trump’s fear mongering denigration of American infrastructure when compared to the marvels being constructed in Asia, are reflections of an awareness of this reality. Thus we come to the end of the era of the western Enlightenment, and are entering into uncharted waters. Are we entering a period in which the individualism of the last two to three centuries will be subordinated under a technocratic autocracy with a new imperial examination system to sift out the deserving elite aids to the autocrats? Certainly trends in economic imbalance seem to be headed that way. What with the massive focus on education as if that were the solution, indicates an end to the quality and fraternity inherent in the Enlightenment approach. Now we have the dictatorship of meritocracy as the gateway to enter the garden of earthly delights. Woe unto you who don’t achieve the holy grail of high grade point averages or are not inheritors of great wealth. For you there will be the universal basic income, and meaningless lives at the bottom of the new pyramid of wealth and power. But again I diverge, the oriental nations are not by nature autocratic, but because of the necessity to create hierarchies of meaning that can sift through the mass of humanity, and the algorithms created by the power of computer technology, there will be a rather extreme and undemocratic process of winnowing unless there is a wise emperor like Vespasian who rejected the labor saving machines of the clever Greek engineers, saying, to paraphrase What will my people do to earn their bread if I take away their ability to earn a living?

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Textile Laborers in Lowell, Mass. early Nineteenth Century.
From: http://www.saltofamerica.com/contents/displayArticle.aspx?13_525 Opinions: American Technology and Human Welfare Part 2, Technology is Democracy 1800-1850
by Hugo Meier

Whether there is an alternative that is egalitarian, in which some pastoral or urban ideal can be implemented, whether in a form of cooperative industrial democracy as postulated by the IWW, the COOP movement or idealists in the sense of Owens, is to be seen. Certainly the pro-fascist protectionism and corporate nationalism proposed by the Trump group is predicated on a trade and probable war with China which is not going to be beneficial in the long run. Think of it this way, China is the international sleepy giant that the USA was before World War II. If they directed their industrial might to war industries, it might be impossible for the US to create an adequate embargo to prevent the oil and iron from reaching China unless the US can convince Russia to refuse access to its vast natural resources. I don’t think Putin is that stupid.

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Missiles are displayed in a parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing in this October 1, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

From: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-defence-idUSBRE88F0GM20120916

Asian-Mexican Breakfast Review

Saturday, September 6th, 2014


Wikimedia.org

Prickly Pear which is also known as Cactus Pear or Opuntia has a number of health benefits.

Today I woke up, read some Bio-geography, and then noticed I was dizzy. That is usually a sign of low blood sugar and sure enough mine was down to 52. Normal is 80-120, 200 means take insulin. I took a little glucose tablet and decided to make something to eat instead of taking a shower, my normal morning routine.
\

Hometestingblog.testcountry.com

Testing blood sugar levels

Still a little dazed, I rummaged in the fridge, pulled out some cactus leaf, cactus pear, Italian squash, chayote squash and began chopping and pealing. I turned the gas on the cast Iron pan and the tea kettle, rinsed some chana dal, heated a pot of water and started simmering the dal. I spiced it with the rest of the basil leaves from my wilted plant that I got at Trader Joe’s. I also added a good shake of turmeric, a lot more nutmeg than I planned and some asafoetida. This was an unusual mixture for me to use, a rather radical departure but I was in a daze as I said.


Wikimedia.org

Asafoetida plant

I then took some left over soup from the fridge, and threw that in with the veges, this had a paste like consistency due to my habit of constantly adding ingredients. It was based on an organic mushroom soup concentrate, Pacific brand, that I found in the discount bin at Ralph’s. The soup had been a mix of the base with organic carrots, organic celery, a gala apple, a couple of turkey sausages, a tomatillo, a couple of jalapeno’s, a little chopped yellow onion and a couple of pieces of garlic all chopped up together. This had already been on the stove twice and was about a week old, well seasoned.

Then I threw in a couple of strips of bacon, usually I get turkey bacon, but in this case I found some pork bacon that was on sale.
I used to get soy bacon but that got to be too expensive, I switched to turkey bacon, but that has gone up, so now I just look for what is on sale and isn’t loaded with sodium.

After that came a chopped up tomatillo, some yellow onion and 3 or 4 pieces of garlic chopped up. I threw in a hand full of fresh rosemary spears and let it all simmer some more, all together over half an hour of cooking time.

While this was on low burner, I noticed some fruit flies hanging around a honey dew melon I had bought a month ago that never really ripened. I have noticed lately that there is a lot of fruit that is like this. It is picked early, and often instead of ripening it simply sits and then goes bad. This honeydew had a corner that had become moldy. So I cut it off, scraped out the seeds. and chopped up the rest of the insides but kept the outer casing to form a gourd. I this left the chopped up bits of melon, added the contents of one of those Paige Yogurt cups, the kind with the fruit on the side. I poured in the yogurt sans the cherry fruit concentrate, added a healthy amount of sage, really poured it in, added a little clove powder, and a generous couple of drops of vanilla concentrate. On top of this I placed a dozen or so green organic table grapes, a little salsa and a spoon of honey then added a shake of hot sauce and it was done.

While all this was going on I poured the hot water from the tea pot into a single serving melitta style filter filled with Don Francisco’s fine grind expresso, which sat on my coffee cup in which I had placed a triangle of Ibarra Mexican style chocolate and the cherry jam from the yogurt container. Hand poured style of making coffee demands a fine grind that slows down the water percolation. If you use a regular grind, the water pours through and the coffee is weak, you have to pour it through the filter a couple of times and never tastes right. I always choose a fine grind and a bold or strong coffee to get maximum flavor.


Ranchionlinestore.com

Chana Dal

I replaced the water in the simmering chana dal as there was a lot of white foam. After that the liquid was clear. I should have soaked the dal in cold water for a while before cooking and as it was it was not done in time for breakfast, no matter, I will have it later with another couple of meals. As a habit I cook beans and broil potatoes on the weekend so that I will have them during the week. I also tend to make way more than I can eat on the weekends and save left overs for my week night meals. After a long day of work and school, I rarely have the energy to cook on weekday evenings.

The food on the frying pan was done so I threw in some olive oil, added a couple eggs, and threw a slice of Vogel Mixed Grain bread in the toaster. The bread had come out of the freezer, I buy it from the discount section at Ralph’s where the normally expensive loafs can be bought for a dollar or so. I freeze it because I don’t eat bread often, usually I have tortillas with my meals.

With every thing done I slices up a key lime, squeezed it on top of the fruit gourd, made a plate with the food from the frying pan, slicing the piece of toast in half after spreading some Philadelphia cream cheese with jalapeno on it, then placed the over medium eggs on the toast, added a squeeze of lime, some hot sauce, black pepper and a dash of sea salt on the eggs and the veges on the side of the dish, and I was ready to chow down.

The flavor was intense, acidic and a little hot, from the leftover soup most likely. It has a complexity and was balanced between soft and hard elements.Usually I add potato to cool out the flavor, or have some beans and a grain like rice, but in this case it was the veges that stood alone and once my mental expectations had adjusted to the flavor messages from my taste buds, I enjoyed the dish. It was not too dry or wet, hard or soft, in fact it was tasty. I had no more cilantro so that staple was missing from my plate. The egg on toast was a little more generic than I had expected, when I added some of the bacon it became more flavorful.


media4.onsugar.com

Honeydew melon

As for my gourd of fruit and liquified yogurt, it was very tangy. The clove, sage and vanilla flavor really stood out front and center. The yogurt made it taste like one of those savory Indian yogurt dishes. Most of the fruit sweetness came from the grapes as the honeydew was rather bland and woody, tasting more like chayote than honeydew. But it was a pleasant spiciness, not overwhelming. I deliberately did not add too much honey as I did not want the sweetness to drown out the spiciness. The sage added a nice savory flavor that made the whole dish an exotic and interesting combination for the palate.


smartkichen.com

Chayote squash

Some source info. Since I live in Southern California, I am blessed with access to abundant fresh food, and unlike Florida, the state doesn’t take the hell out of groceries. Chayote, tomatillo, cactus leaf and cactus pear can all be got cheap from Mexican markets, or the discount stores like Food 4 Less. Ralph’s has the organic produce, day old stuff, and especially day old organic meats, I always look for deals on that sort of stuff there. Indian food like asafoetida and dal can be found at some regular markets but most likely you will have to go to an Asian or Indian market. I found the chana dal on the street outside of a church where some kind soul left a bag full of Indian and Middle Eastern grains and legumes. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I grabbed some of the items. My daily walks often are productive like that.

Labor Day Port Truckers Organizing Meeting.

Monday, September 1st, 2014

(Photo)Striking port truck drivers labor action (Jabin Botsford / Los Angeles Times)

Today is still Labor Day in California. I went to a meeting at Banning Park in Wilmington down near the Port of Los Angeles. It was a group of organizers and truckeros who are attempting to organize the truckers at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles. The meeting was mostly in Spanish so I did not catch a lot of the conversation but I got the gist of the idea being that pressure needs to be brought increasingly on the Port Authority and the individual shipping companies to allow the truckers to switch back to employees from the independent contractor status they have had since the 1990’s. The Longshoremen union the ILWU and the Teamsters have begun to take an interest but because the truckers are not legally considered to be employees they have little legal room to maneuver, or at least have used that excuse to refrain from organizing a largely Hispanic work force.

Ernie from Port of Azatlan, a representative from the ANSWER Coalition, a representative of the Block the Boat Coalition Against ZIM Ships (Israeli shipping company) and members of the IWW were there as well as a group of truckers who had participated in past actions. All told about 30 or so persons were there.

Many spoke, mostly in Spanish but what I gathered was that some of them had been involved in actions since the 1990’s or before. There are plans for an action on September 13th or there about and if you are interested in labor action this is a good one to participate in, especially now as the Palestinian support groups are now focusing on boycotting the Israeli shippers, activists are again focusing on the ports and if they don’t repeat the fiasco of the Occupy port actions of a couple of years ago, a very powerful coalition may be in the making.

Block the boat for Gaza stops Israeli Zim ship in Oakland. August 2014. By Terri Kay on August 18, 2014 from Workers World

Photo: Ingrid Martin

Police Miltarization, Michael Brown Shooting, Egyptian Massacre Anniversary

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

From Economist editorial “Cops or Soldiers? America’s Police Have Become Too Militarized”
Posted by Predictable-History at 22.3.14

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, has resulted in several days of tension between the local almost all white police force and the majority black community. Police refusal to name the shooter, and confrontational style of handling protesters with a massive show of military like force, is not helping. Apparently participating in a government program to donate surplus Iraq and Afghanistan military equipment to American police forces, has resulted in a police force that looks and acts more like an occupying army that those sworn to serve and protect. What exactly are they protecting in Ferguson, other than themselves?

‘Don’t shoot us,’ the crowd cries at police in Ferguson, Mo., Saturday after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by an officer. - David Carson/MCT www.nydailynews.com

Michael Brown, according to the interview with his family I heard on Democracy Now, was preparing to enroll in college this fall. His father said he was someone who brought people together. He used humor to diffuse situations at home. According to the police story Michael was involved in an altercation in which he allegedly attempted to take a gun from a cop. According to an eye witness Michael was running away from the police, when he was shot, turned, raised his hands to surrender, and was shot repeatedly by the officer. Another eyewitness collaborated that story according to the Democracy Now piece. NPR reports that the refusal to turn over the name of the officer is fueling the hostility and suspicion of the police in the community. The story stated that many in the community already know who the officer is and that he has a reputation for hassling young black men.

Democracy Now story about Michael Brown murder, and interviews with citizens of Ferguson.

The link between state violence and the blueprints laid out decades ago by the Trilaterals in the 1970’s for restricting Democracy has been discussed in my previous blog posting. The issue of continued violence against minorities, shooting black people with seeming impunity and locking up poor Latin people simply seeking a refuge from violence in their own countries has become more and more important. The world of Capitalism is literally exploding and as social media increasingly exposes the state, it becomes more and more obvious that radical solutions are required. Radical in the sense that the powers that be may be discomfited by the pressure from the popular masses.

Michael Brown’s father shortly after the shooting.

From Suman Varandani for International Business Times www.ibtimes.com

It is incumbent upon us as citizens, not only of the USA, but of the world, to act to bring about peace and that can only come about with justice. Justice is not going to happen as long as increasing social-economic inequity drives people to despair. The militarization of society is an attempt to tamp down the desires of people for a better life.

The piece below is from a recent Newsweek article on the source of the recent military look of the police.

“How America’s Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program”
By Taylor Wofford
Filed: 8/13/14 at 10:47 PM | Updated: 8/14/14 at 1:21 PM

FergusonCops
Riot police clear a street with smoke bombs while clashing with demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

As many have noted, Ferguson, Missouri, currently looks like a war zone. And its police—kitted out with Marine-issue camouflage and military-grade body armor, toting short-barreled assault rifles, and rolling around in armored vehicles—are indistinguishable from soldiers.

America has been quietly arming its police for battle since the early 1990s.

Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

This whole War on Terror thing, after the War on Drugs, all a result of the military industrial complex looking for more profit centers in which to justify spending our tax dollars, has simply gone too far. Ferguson perhaps will cause Americans to wake up to what has happened to our country. It has become a police state in which minorities are treated like Palestinians are in Gaza, as target practice by the authorities.

President Obama has finally been drawn into the fray to make comments about the situation, and Attorney General Holder has sent Civil Rights lawyers and is doing a side by side investigation of the shooting along with the local authorities.

This is from the transcript of Obama’s comments on Ferguson in the Washington Post.

Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That’s part of our democracy. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law, basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us, and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-remarks-on-unrest-in-ferguson-mo-and-iraq/2014/08/14/c8ce971e-23c7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html

His comments are not strong enough and he spends too much time defending the local authorities in his brief commentary. Although I am glad that the Attorney General is getting involved it has taken almost a week of protests and violent confrontations to get the governments attention. Sometimes you have to hit the jackass over the head to get a response.

Protesters in Ferguson, MO.
www.blenderss.com

The poster below is based on the Wobblies old statement “Direct Action Gets the Goods” which was the preferred method of labor organizing a century ago when to be a Labor organizer meant taking your life in your hands. Direct action, done by an aroused population is a powerful means of getting a redress of grievances, especially in a liberal democratic state like the USA.


poasterchild.deviantart.com

Otherwise you end up with a world looking like this:


www.reddit.com
Ferguson, Missouri right now : pics

Or even worse like the poor people in Egypt who are now mourning their own version of Tiananmen square, on the one year anniversary. August 14, 2013 saw the most ruthless slaughter of protesters in modern history.

The dead bodies of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lie in a room in a field hospital at the Rabaa Adawiya mosque, where they were camping, in Cairo, Aug. 14, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-massacre-sisi.html#ixzz3ARLsNQ4A

The Human Rights Watch Report on the Massacre is Damning. This is from the Guardian.

Egypt massacre was premeditated, says Human Rights Watch
Rabaa killing of 817 people was a planned Tiananmen-Square-style attack on largely unarmed protesters, report argues

Patrick Kingsley in Cairo
The Guardian, Tuesday 12 August 2014 04.01 EDT

Egyptian security forces intentionally killed at least 817 protesters during last August’s Rabaa massacre, in a premeditated attack equal to or worse than China’s Tiananmen Square killings in 1989, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has argued in a report.

The 195-page investigation based on interviews with 122 survivors and witnesses has found Egypt’s police and army “systematically and deliberately killed largely unarmed protesters on political grounds” in actions that “likely amounted to crimes against humanity”.

This edition of Democracy Now focuses on the Massacre in Egypt and has an interview with Kenneth Roth, president of Human Rights Watch.

From Ferguson to Cairo, military responses to the concerns of humanity, shows more and more clearly how the elites ruing the world only care about maintaining control and power.

The Knives Come Out in Greece

Monday, November 4th, 2013


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Golden Dawn view of the world.

Fascism Revival in Greece

Last September a popular Greek anti-fascist was knifed to death by a neo-nazi. A few days ago two members of the Golden Dawn were executed by unknown assailants. This Greek neo-fascist party has grown at an alarming rate due to the collapse of the Greek economy, recently becoming the third most popular party in Greece. Below are a few excerpts from various viewpoints on recent events in the Greek crisis. The focus is mostly on the rise of the Neo Fascists and related issues. I have kept my own comments to a minimum but if I get requests for clarification I will gladly expand upon what is in this posting.


sofrep.com/28312/greek-sof-coup-detat/

The situation in Athens is described bluntly in this Op-Ed By Christopher Lawrence, in Truthout, “Greece’s Golden Dawn: A Wake-up Call for Europe.”

It is hard to convey the experience of economic and political collapse in Greece. In Athens, the city center is full of vacant, graffiti-covered storefronts. The only businesses that seem to be thriving are the pawn shops and the huge open-air heroin market that the police are apparently tolerating in the student neighborhood of Exarchia. For the first time since WWII, many Greeks are faced with hunger, homelessness and a lack of basic health care. Schools are struggling to provide lunch to the growing number of malnourished children. The public health system has collapsed, a sacrifice to austerity. HIV infection rates have doubled, and malaria is on the rise. Suicides have increased dramatically. The legitimacy of the political system, which was long dominated by two mainstream parties - the center-left PASOK and the center-right New Democracy - is under threat because of the parties’ inability to offer either an alternative to the current austerity regime or a plausible strategy for surviving it. In the midst of this crisis, the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn has become the fastest growing political movement in Greece, with some placing support above 20 percent.

truth-out.org/opinion/item/18239-greeces-golden-dawn-a-wake-up-call-for-europe

This is what neo-nazis have to say in a response to a story by Andy Dabilis on November 1, 2013 in Crime
“Shooting At Greek Golden Dawn Office, Two Dead” in the Greek Reporter.

Golden Dawn Rally after shootings

This is a direct attack using military style automatic weapons on the offices of Greece’s 3rd most popular political party. This is not a drunken street brawl were a knife is produced and a person suffers fatal stab wounds. This is a terrorist attack. The culprits are clearly Leftists of the SYRIZA - Antarsya type. Will the leadership of SYRIZA and Antarsya be arrested? Ofcourse not.
The true victims of violence and terror are the members and supporters of the nationalist Golden Dawn party. This is now very clear to the Hellenic people.
May God give strength and comfort to the families of these innocent victims of Leftist terrorism. The entire political-media establishment which has engaged in this witch hunt against Golden Dawn bears responsibilty for the deaths of these two Greek citizens. This is the same political establishment (which with full media support) now seeks to jail Golden Dawn members and MP’s for up to 3 years if they seek to provide free food to Greek citizens and not to illegal immigrants. Golden Dawn asserts that since state allocated funds (i.e. Greek taxpayer money) is used to fund these food charity drives then naturally the food should be given to Greek citizens, but the corrupt political-media establishment acting as always on the orders of the American Jewish Committee, the World Jewish Congress, the European Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and Tel Aviv seeks to pass legislation that will reward these food charity drives with 3 year jail terms. May the Lord Jesus Christ and the blessed Virgin Mary accompany the souls of the two young men aged 22 & 26 who have just been murdered by leftist terrorists. Let our thoughts and prayers be with their families.
We will never forget them.

greece.greekreporter.com/2013/11/01/shooting-at-golden-dawn-office-2-dead/


stringfellow.co.za/greece-election-poll/

Greek Election Breakdown, May 6, 2012, nothing like the USA where two parties have a gridlock on power.

SYRIZA or SYNASPISMOS - COALITION OF THE LEFT OF MOVEMENTS AND ECOLOGY is a coalition of Greek leftists below is a link to an English Language “Speech by president of the parliamentary group of SYRIZA-USF, Alexis Tsipras in London” they are hardly a terrorist group.

www.syn.gr/gr/keimeno.php?id=31419

Alexis Tsipras speaks at the headquarters of his Syriza party. Photograph: John Kolesidis/REUTERS

This is from an English language article in Le Monde Dipomatique

“Where Syriza stands
Syriza leads the left wing coalition in Greece, and the opposition to the external financial occupation of the country by the states and organizations that are at present keeping it from bankruptcy.”

by Baptiste Dericquebourg

Immediately after the elections, Alexis Tsipras, Syriza’s parliamentary leader, caused a stir by declaring: “Both resistance and solidarity are necessary in this time of crisis, but solidarity is more important.” This began the party’s “solidarity” line, which promoted action around the country to provide the needy with food, medicines or a roof, while Synaspismos (the Coalition of Left Movements and Ecology), one of the largest parties in the coalition, led the setting up of medicine banks.

The new strategy had several objectives. Syriza had to give its new members something to do. With a relatively older membership (especially in Synaspismos) and without a strong presence among workers, farmers or trade unions, Syriza had no real militant tradition or base. The Communist Party of Greece (Kommounistiko Komma Elladas, KKE) controls one of the three principal unions, the All-Workers Militant Front (Panergatiko Agonistiko Metopo, PAME), while the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) uses the others.

“Until last spring, Syriza had never really led any concrete actions,” said a militant. “But wanting to act and knowing how to go about it are two different things.” Syriza hoped that its solidarity policy would compete favourably with the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, which was receiving considerable media attention for organising soup kitchens “for Greeks” and “Greek blood” collections, and that working with the many new grassroots solidarity organisations, would help it reach out to people the crisis had alienated from politics.

mondediplo.com/2013/07/07syriza

Greek Left.
As for Antarsya, this is a news release from November 5th in English regarding a mass killing of Bangladeshi workers in Greece, directly juxtiposing the shooting of the two Golden Dawn member with this execution of some 200 workers. This is more militant than the polemics of the Syriza but certainly no glorification of blood letting.

“For the murderous attack against workers in N. Manolada-Greece”

ANTARSYA condemns yesterday’s murderous mafia-style attack of employers’ henchmen in New Manolada in Greece, who using shotguns, shot to kill in cold blood 200 Bangladeshi strawberry farm workers. They were demanding 6 months unpaid wages; wages of terror earned under sordid working conditions.

The employers’ terrorist attack against the Bangladeshi workers was the culmination of previous, frequent, brute and unpunished racist attacks by the henchmen of the same strawberries’ wholesaler in New Manolada. It is the nightmarish expression of the employers’ unaccountability and the government’s tolerance and complicity (recently it abolished the Labour Inspection Unit in the region). It is the result of widespread outbreaks of racist and fascist murderous attacks against immigrants, the effect of the policies dictated by the memoranda of the EU and the capital and implemented by the government.

It is the product of the Nazi inspired cholera spread by the fascist party of Golden Dawn and the supporting mass media. No effort is spared in order to divide the working people and thus exonerate the policies of the government, EU and IMF.

This is the “development” promised by the prime minister: profits for the banks and the capital, money steeped in the blood and sweat of the Greek and immigrants working people who are condemned into poverty and misery. This crime must not go unpunished. The immunity of the known workers’ exploiter and his henchmen has to be crushed.

The labour movement and the trade unions must embrace the immigrants from Bangladesh as well as every exploited Greek and foreign worker. They have to defend their rights and demand the punishment of the criminals.

No worker, no young person, no artist or scientist can remain silent. The labour and popular movement, the political and collective organisations have to take the initiative and protect the lives and dignity of immigrants. If the fascist ideology, supporting that there are people who do not deserve to have rights, is imposed, it will be forced not only on the immigrants but on all the workers, the unemployed and the poor people.

The struggle for the anti-capitalistic overthrow of government-EU-IMF is the only hope for a worth-living life for all, Greeks and immigrants.

www.antarsya.gr/node/1263


makanaka.wordpress.com/tag/syriza/

Poster of Antarsya

This is from the Wikipedia article on them

The Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow (Greek: Αντικαπιταλιστική Αριστερή Συνεργασία για την Ανατροπή, ΑΝΤ.ΑΡ.ΣΥ.Α., Antikapitalistiki Aristeri Synergasia gia tin Anatropi, Ant.Ar.Sy.A) is a coalition of radical left political organisations in Greece. The Greek word antarsia (which is pronounced the same as the acronym Antarsya) means “mutiny”. ANTARSYA describes itself as “Front of the anticapitalist, revolutionary, communist left and radical ecology”.

ANTARSYA was founded on 22 March 2009 in Athens by 10 organisations and independent militants involved in the Radical Left Front (MERA) and United Anti-Capitalist Left (ENANTIA) with the exception of the Workers Revolutionary Party (ΕΕΚ).[2] These organisations come from different left wing currents ranging from ex-Communist Party (KKE) and KKE Interior members to Maoism and Trotskyism.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_of_the_Greek_Anticapitalist_Left

Now where are the Anarchists?

This is from Znet “of the the stabbing death of Greek antifascist hiphop artist Pavlos Fissas, who performed under the name MC Killah P, at the hands of thugs affiliated with the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.”

http://www.zcommunications.org/anti-fascist-struggle-and-race-in-the-face-of-golden-dawn-a-greek-anarchist-responds-by-joshua-stephens.html

Pavlos Fissas image during protest after killing.

This is from a site Occupied London which has a decent and recent coverage of events in Greece called “From the Greek Streets.” Although nothing as yet about the shooting of the Golden Dawn members, it might not even be considered newsworthy by the anarchist or radical left in Greece. This is about the arrest of Golden Dawn leaders after the stabbing incident. Some analysis and background on GD (Golden Dawn) collaboration with government and history of right wing and government cooperation.

Now, to the breaking news: The leaders of the Golden Dawn were arrested in September 2013. The incident that triggered the arrests was the assassination of the antifascist musician Pavlos Fyssas in Nikaia, Athens. Fyssas was murdered by Roupakias, a local leading GD member, because he wrote and sang anti-GD hip-hop songs, according to the interview of a former GD member in a local newspaper. Police were present at the murder, allowing over twenty neo-Nazis to attack and for one of them to stab the 34-year-old antifascist to death. Police have been present at several other neo-Nazi attacks without intervening. But go one week before the assassination and you will see that when fans PAOK, a local football club, attacked the GD office in Thessaloniki, all 43 of them were arrested on the spot. In September 2012, when the antifascist motorbike patrols started in Athens, DELTA motorbike police (which has excelled in seriously injuring protesters since its foundation in 2009) attacked the antifascists, arresting, beating and later on torturing them. On the following day, police attacked those who had gathered at Athens’ courthouse to express their solidarity to the antifascists, arresting even more of them. This series of arrests brought to a temporary halt an action that was aimed at stopping what were daily racist attacks in those parts of the city. From that time on, lives of several immigrants – and now, that of one local antifascist too – have been claimed by neo-Nazis in the Athenian streets.


Fools Gold (repost from Schnews)

Exceptional kinship…

Just one week before the assassination of Fyssas, Babis Papadimitriou, a government-friendly journalist, declared live on a local TV station that the right-wing New Democracy party should enter into a government coalition with the GD. Prominent ND members like Byron Polydoras or Failos Kranidiotis have made similar statements in the past. Notorious neo-fascists like Adonis Georgiadis or Makis Vorides hold offices or are MPs in the current government. Obviously, the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas by GD and the arrest of GD leaders ruined all the joyous atmosphere inside the Right in the country, maybe postponing such collaboration.

The truth is that the extreme-Right parastate in Greece is explicitly embedded within wider activities and campaigns of the official state authorities and it was rarely an autonomous political force. Acknowledging that kind of relationship is precisely the reason that in Greek, the term parakratos (parastate) is used in order to talk about the extreme-Right.

Historically, since the 1920s, the far-Right parastate has functioned as the long arm of the State’s violent apparatus, targeting people with Left-wing affiliations (see Kostopoulos 2005; Mazower 2006, 353–4; Mouzelis and Pagoulatos 2002, 88–9; Panourgia 2009). Unsurprisingly, GD comprises a political and physical continuation of that tradition: in 1984, the leader of the colonel’s dictatorship (1967–1974) Papadopoulos founded the organization EPEN from his prison cell, where he had been sentenced for the coup. The founding and current leader of GD, Michaloliakos, was the first president of EPEN Youth Sector.

Greek Anarchist Poster

Anarchists have a tendency to take direct action seriously in Greece and are known for head on conflict with the Golden Dawn, but shootings would be a serious escalation, not sure that is in the picture. Just as likely there is some faction of the Government out to stir the pot or even immigrants out for revenge after attacks like that on the Bangladeshi’s. Or perhaps even more nefarious players related to the CIA and others in some kind of Black Ops. But I don’t want to speculate too much, the whole world is in a crisis of overproduction and capital recuperation by the Capitalist classes. They are spending like crazy, but keeping it in a small circle, the elite of the elite. Once they have punished the masses and beaten down expectations enough, then there might be some liberalization. Right now they are seriously trying to end Social Democracy in Europe, that model of a relatively socialist alternative. If the social welfare states of northern and western Europe can be dismantled, there will be no alternative viable to Neo-Liberal Capitalism in existence that has any credibility. That seems to be a major driver behind the deconstruction of Greece.

Heat, School, Couch Crasher, Surgery, Syria, Etc.

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Really, it is hot here in Long Beach. I have the fan on. That is hot for around here. Summer has finally arrived.

Crock

Real Concern or Just US Imperialism Light?

School is kicking my butt, no time for blogging. Sad but true. I would love to put up a nice argument against the invasion of Syria, and against the Keystone pipeline and many other things, but to tell the truth I have no time. I can barely find time to eat and sleep.

Pipelines

Pipelines

Food lately has tasted rather bland. I think the heat has caused me to need more salt and led me astray into the daily shake of sea salt on my food. When the heat subsides I will see if I have developed a salt addiction like most Americans. I still don’t cook with it and seek low sodium foods but in the end, no matter how I spice things up, the salt seems to be what I crave.

Rats and salt

Rats and Salt

Otherwise I make foods pretty much like always. Taco or egg on toast breakfasts, salads with the kitchen sink on lettuce, miso soup loaded with extras, and lately corn on the cob with lots of things. Basically I check the ads, stock up on what is on sale, and cook around it with a few staples like rice and pinto beans, corn tortillas, pasta and tomatoes or tomato sauce, fresh baked potatoes, fresh onions, garlic, nopales, various peppers, squashes, basil, cilantro, hot sauce, turmeric, cumin, thyme, Asian sauces from local Cambodian groceries, and finally a bulk source of sage! Protein comes from beans, eggs, some dairy like sour cream and yogurt, chicken, turkey bacon, and salmon. Fruit is seasonal at best mostly berries, grapes, apples, peaches, avocados, whatever is reasonably ripe and cheap.

I try to stay away from packaged and food industry processed foods, but budget determines how organic my diet can be, essentially it means no Whole Foods but the occasional trip to Trader Joe’s, lots of local Mexican, and Asian markets, Food 4 Less and rare visits to the yuppie farmers markets.

Industrial food

Bad Food Chart

Got to go back to the studies, oh and I seem to be recovering from my surgery last month reasonably well. My visiting friend from Mexico has been here for almost two months and my couch is suffering from the effects. He needs to get his act together and head back to the hacienda, or on to the next couch. It is time.

Couch sitter

Shadow of the Couch Crasher

All images from Google Images.

50th Anniversary of March on Washington, Breakfast, Syria

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Been busy with school, so the blog is going to be less than what it was during the summer break when I put several hours into each post. I will be lucky if I can get an hour in here and there.

Lettuce wrap

Somebody else had the same idea for a lettuce wrap,
Breakfast was sweet. Poached eggs on sourdough toast with sour cream and turkey bacon. The bacon had been cooked with canola oil with cumin and lemon grass powder on it. For my side I had sauteed 1/2 a chayote chopped with the skin pealed off, 1/2 a Roma tomato chopped, a small preboiled potato sliced, two green onions white part first, green part added later, then a quarter of a yellow onion chopped, and a jalapeno pepper chopped. Later I added a quarter of a bell pepper chopped, 4 pieces of garlic chopped, and cilantro stems chopped. For spice I had cumin, rosemary and chili powder, later I chopped up a couple of sprigs of fresh basil and added that. I dumped in a little sweet chili sauce, and some Japanese soy sauce, and a couple dollops of sour cream, I poured a little hot sauce on top, sprinkled a good amount of black pepper on and a dash of sea salt. I sometimes wrap in lettuce, sometimes in tortillas, sometimes not at all.

In a bowl I had some fiber cereal, with kefir and prune juice, lots of fresh blueberries and a bit of water. I made some tea but tossed it, too bitter.

Syria, its complicated

Syria, a complicated place.

Events, well Obama is going to bomb Syria, maybe, since he said that he would consult with Congress. The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. King gave his “I have a dream” speech was last Monday or Tuesday. I was too young at the time to go or even be aware of, and since it was in the summer, it was not mentioned in school, unlike the Kennedy assassination which was a major event of that year for even a nine year old such as I was at the time.

MLK

Martin Luther King “I Had A Dream” Speech in Washington, DC. 1963

Images from Google Images.

Obama Administration Flounders In Palestinian Peace Talks And Middle East

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Protests of Settlements

A Palestinian protester holds a placard in front of Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara near Bethlehem, marking the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by the United Nations. Friday Nov. 30
(photo credit: AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

US Policy In Middle East Caught Between Idealism and Real Politik, Results in Confusing and Mixed Messages

Immediately before the peace talks were about to start, Israel announced plans to build more settlements, immediately threatening the peace talks, which even if the Palestinians want to continue, would have to give up even the pretense of being an equal player. This seems to be a deliberate effort at sabotage, or if that is not the case then at least rubbing the Palestinians noses in their lack of power and playing up the American’s lack of sincerity in attempting to give the Palestinians a fair break.

I am not exactly saying that is the game plan, but well, what else can it be. The US is taking hits all over the Middle East as Obama’s policies are proven to be just verbiage from Libya, to Syria, most significantly in Egypt and even the propaganda ploy in Palestine is being shown up almost immediately as little more than pretense. It is hard to understand what exactly Kerry is planning here unless the US is going to use some real leverage and remove military aid to all these players. But Obama has claimed to want to try a soft diplomatic effort, which becomes mired in the Gordian knot of the politics of the region. If the US wants to pursue some wings of Al Qaeda in say Yemen, support for others such as in Syria seems to be the price that the Saudi’s extract for the US to play on their turf.

The sad thing is that Obama with his speech in Cairo lifted expectations of the peoples of the Middle East and then the real politics of the US long term politics would leave these people high and dry, or as in the case of Egypt in a descending spiral of violence and the Syrian people engaged in a civil war that will probably end in the partition of the nation. Libya has become an Al Qaeda base for moving into the West Africa, and leading to destabilization in Mali, Nigeria, Chad and others to be seen.

Unintended consequences or simply the result of the on going game of chess that is international politics? Lives are at stake and the conclusion is still that the US should withdraw or completely change from a capitalist exploiter to some kind of a socialist people’s republic and even then there is no guarantee that national interests won’t trump international solidarity. There simply are too many factors and factions in the world today. It would behoove the US policy makers to attempt to pull back as much as possible and let international policy to be made through the UN, but that would take real change. Right now we have a muddling policy after an aggressive and pointless one under the Bush administration.

The USA when it was clearly pro Israel and pro dictators was at least consistent. Now that it is giving lip service and pseudo support to democracy, it is confusing people and causing unneeded misery throughout the region. Capitalist priorities make it impossible to implement a true democratic policy. We need to reject the control of the elite interest groups and work seriously for change or not pretend and cause people’s unwarranted deaths.

From Electronic Intifada

Quit meddling, Kerry, leave the Israel problem to the proper authorities

by Stuart Littlewood

No sooner had peace talks restarted under the warped patronage of the United States than Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu published bids for the construction of more than 1,000 new housing units in Palestinian East Jerusalem and existing illegal West Bank squats.

This and all the other unpunished illegal squatter building by Israel should have caused any sensible Palestinian to walk away from the ‘peace’ table, and never to have sat down in the first place. Of course, no sensible Palestinians are taking part in this latest peace pantomime. Instead we have to suffer the antics of Abbas and Erekat, the most obliging negotiators on the planet, who think nothing of holding talks without a popular mandate and while the thieving, blockading, lethal military force and trashing of their country continue unchecked.

http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2013/08/quit-meddling-kerry-leave-the-israel-problem-to-the-proper-authorities/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+intifada-palestine%2FyTiY+%28Intifada+Palestine%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Kerry and Netanyahu

Wikimedia Commons
John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem, May 23.

From the Middle East Monitor

Kerry was aware of latest settlement plans

Friday, 16 August 2013 12:04

Israeli newspaper Maariv has revealed that US Secretary of State John Kerry scolded Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel’s latest plans to expand settlements; they will, Kerry said, reduce the country’s legitimacy in the international arena. The secretary of state’s telephone call was an attempt to deflect Palestinian criticisms of settlement expansion.

Maariv portrayed this news as if the US is capable of being an honest broker in the conflict, but the truth of the matter is entirely different. In reality, Secretary Kerry was well aware of Israel’s plans to expand settlements in Jerusalem prior to resuming negotiations and he did not object.

According to the newspaper, Thursday’s telephone call came after a three-way conversation between Kerry, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu on Monday. Kerry is alleged to have urged Netanyahu to halt all settlement expansion for the first nine months of negotiations. This, said Maariv, was despite the fact that he already knew about the Israeli plans for 1,200 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem as well as another 920 units in the Gilo colony-settlement.

According to Israeli officials, Kerry’s criticism of settlement expansion was lip service for the Palestinians’ benefit.

- See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/6939-kerry-was-aware-of-latest-settlement-plans#sthash.Y4Sbw1YQ.dpuf

Netenjyahu Approves New settlements

Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel announced Sunday that he has given final approval for the construction of 1,187 apartments in settlements
Photo: AP

From the Independent

Peace talks at risk as Israel approves 900 more settlement homes despite Palestinian prisoners release

Long-awaited negotiations near collapse before they start - even as release of Palestinian prisoners begins

Ben Lynfield

Jerusalem

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Close to 560,000 Israeli nationals now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel occupied those areas in the 1967 war and considers its rule of East Jerusalem as reflecting a “liberation” of the area and its Jewish holy sites.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior official with the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said the approval of thousands of homes for Jewish settlers could bring about the “collapse” of the talks. “This settlement expansion is unprecedented,” Mr Abed Rabbo said. “It threatens to make talks fail even before they have started.”

The surge in construction plans is intensifying Palestinian criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to return to peace negotiations with Israel without securing a freeze on further settlement.

The 900 homes will include an extension of East Jerusalem’s Gilo settlement towards the West Bank town of Beit Jala. Israel considers Gilo, which is built on land expropriated from the Palestinians of Beit Jala, an integral part of its capital.

Palestinians believe the new buildings will reinforce a wedge of settlement that separates Arab areas of East Jerusalem and the Bethlehem area in the West Bank. “This [move] means that Israel is determined to force its position,” said Jad Ishaq, director of the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, a non-governmental organisation that monitors settlement activity. “There is a shortage of land in Beit Jala and this should be land on which Beit Jala expands.”

Efrat Orbach, a spokeswoman for the Israeli interior ministry, confirmed that approval had been given to expand Gilo. She said more approvals were needed and it could be years before building began. But Israel’s Peace Now organisation disputed this, saying that construction could begin within weeks.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Palestinians should not be surprised by the plans since Israel had rejected Mr Abbas’s demand for a freeze on settlement building as a precondition for talks. “They knew that a freeze was unacceptable and they entered the talks nevertheless,” he added.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/peace-talks-at-risk-as-israel-approves-900-more-settlement-homes-despite-palestinian-prisoners-release-8760194.html

Israel Makes Palestinian homeland a non-starter

Map shows Disappearing Palestine

From the International Middle East Media Center

Israeli-Palestinian Officials Meet In Budapest

Sunday August 18, 2013
by IMEMC & Agencies Report post

Israel and Palestinian officials held a meeting, last week, in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, and discussed the efforts to ensure the continuation of the recently resumed direct peace talks, mediated by the United States.

Israeli daily, Maariv, reported Sunday that members of Knesset (MK’s) of the Yesh Atid Party (There is Future) Dov Lipman, Boaz Toporovsky, and Yifat Kariv, in addition to MK Moshe Mizrahi of the Labor Party, and David Tsur of the Hatenua Party, met with Fateh officials Qaddoura Fares and Sameeh Al-Abed, legislators Abdullah Abdullah, and Jamal Zaqqout.

MK Kariv stated that the meeting was held to help boost direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
“The sooner we achieve the two-state solution, the better it is for both sides”, she said, “I left the meeting knowing we can talk with them”.

“Any support to a one-state solution from the river to the sea harms the peace process”, Kariv added, “The Israeli government also needs to make some responsible and brave decisions”.

Responding to a question regarding the effects of political stances of her party on the coalition with the Jewish Home Party, she said that “the two parties helped form the current government in Israel”, and added that “whenever a difference in political stances emerge, we need to find common ground”.

The convening Palestinian and Israeli officials agreed on issuing a joint statement that would “pressure Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach an agreement”, and expressed support to the Geneva Initiative for peace.

On his part, Fares confirmed the meeting took place, but did not give any further statements or details.

http://www.imemc.org/article/65984

Netanyahu

Netanyahu

Netanyahu: “Israel Will Always Maintain Sovereignty On Settlements, New ‘Jewish Neighborhoods”
Saturday August 17, 2013 by IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated during his recent meeting with UN General-Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, that Israel will continue to build and expand settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, and that settlements, and what he labeled as “new neighborhoods”, and settlement blocs will always remain under Israeli sovereignty.

During his meeting with Ki-moon two days ago, Netanyahu said that there is nothing to discuss or negotiate on regarding Israel’s settlements.

“Everybody knows new Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, all settlement blocs, will always remain under Israeli control”, he said, “There is nothing to talk about, there will be no discussion on the issue”.

The Israeli Prime Minister also claimed that “it is clear everybody known that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not the core source of tension in the Middle East”, and alleged that “the fundamental issue, the core problem in the region, is not recognizing Israel is a state for the Jewish people”.

http://www.imemc.org/article/65981

Cookbook

After taking a break from describing my meals, I have decided to add them again. I would really like to figure out how to transfer images from my cell phone to my wordpress account. It would make this a lot more graphic.

I had an egg free breakfast August 18th. Chorizo, plantain, nopales, onion, garlic, two strips of Turkey bacon with hing and ginger, half a potato, a decent chunk of Panela cheese, chili powder, basil, Thai sweet chili sauce and turmeric. Corn Tortillas, fresh lettuce pieces, cilantro and New Mexican Salsa. Tastes good and has plenty of protein.


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