Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza

Jeff Nguyen:

This is what it must be like waking from a dream only to find yourself living in a nightmare…
Per the article: “In its 2009 report, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) found, “During Operation Cast Lead no type of property was left untouched: residences, hospitals, schools, mosques, factories and agricultural fields were demolished by the IDF.”

Originally posted on Uprootedpalestinians's Blog:

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu knows he has Official Washington so deeply in his pocket that he can get away with almost anything including the stealing of Palestinian land and the slaughtering of civilians in Gaza. Whatever his war crimes, Netanyahu will be excused, as Marjorie Cohn notes.

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The giant and the boy who threw stones

Jeff Nguyen:

Once more with feeling…Israel is a nuclear powerhouse, Gaza is a ghetto. Shoulder fired rockets ≠ F-15 fighter jets. Talk about deconstructing myths, check out: Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks. Peace and solidarity to all of the Palestinian and Israeli people caught in the crossfire.

Originally posted on Deconstructing Myths:

(Photo credit: al-saber)

(Photo credit: al-saber )

Most American Christians are familiar with the biblical story of David and Goliath. This story has all the features of the underdog coming out on top that Americans love to lap up with their New York Times and morning cup of coffee. Alas, the government of Israel also knows all too well how Americans love their mythologies from the one about how the early settlers (murdering conquerors) had a bountiful feast with the Injuns (rightful land dwellers) at Plymouth Rock to how an African American POTUS represents the culmination of the civil rights era and not the co-opting of it. For most of my naive, apolitical life I passively bought the story hook, line, and sinker of how Israel represents poor, little David standing up to the Philistine Goliath’s who would do them no little harm. In the Bible, when the two face off in the…

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Jeffster Awards #31

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

This is the next installment of an ongoing series at Deconstructing Myths…the Jeffster Awards! This award will be given on an ongoing basis to five outstanding blog posts that caught my wandering eye. There are no strings attached or requirements for reciprocation. I don’t have time to comment on other blogs as much I’d like to so the least I can do is direct readers to some of these outstanding writers, poets, and visual artists. Please direct all feedback (likes, comments, follows) to the blogs themselves. I hope you enjoy these exemplary posts as much as I did. So, without further ado, here are the recipients of this week’s Jeffster Awards…hot off the (Word)presses.

Ice Books by Basia Irland at Lead Paper Ink

Being Carried by the Words at Oscar Hokeah

I Fear at Explorational Situations

Out of the Shadows at ADAM S.I. GOODMAN

The Named, The Nameless at Vox Populi


Peace and solidarity to all readers.

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Gaza, where you have 58 seconds to live

Jeff Nguyen:

For the oppressed, history repeats itself with a frequency and intensity the privileged will never know. The Israel/Palestine genocide gives lie to the falsehood that Americans love to root for the underdog. The reality is that many Americans enjoy the privileges that life affords them by having the biggest guns and baddest bombs on the global block. For further reflection…see the fable of The Giant and the Boy Who Threw Stones.

Originally posted on Sixteen Minutes to Palestine:

The sky is clear. There are no clouds to hide the drone coasting above your home. Despite being thousands of meters above you, its camera sees everything. You wonder if the drone operator, who sits comfortably in an air conditioned room in a remote Israeli military base, is making eye contact with you.

You hear a faint scraping sound. And then you hear a loud blast. Israel has just knocked on your roof.

Quick. You have fifty-eight seconds to make it out alive. The missile that hit your home wasn’t equipped with an explosive warhead. It’s purpose, you’ve been told, is to warn you that your home is slated for destruction. Your neighbors poke their heads out of their windows and urge you to run.

You have forty seconds left. The warning blast knocked in your roof. What good is a warning that kills you before you’re actually meant to die?

Your neighbors…

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“operation” bomb-the-hell-out-of-Gaza-this-has-nothing-to-do-with-security

Jeff Nguyen:

Well, it looks like Israel has invoked the blessed doctrine of asymmetrical self-defense once again. Word is that Israeli intelligence covered up the kidnapped teens’ deaths to milk public sympathy. Where is the public outrage in the U.S.? That’s a rhetorical question.

Originally posted on In Gaza:

People gather around a vehicle targeted in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on July 8, 2014 that killed four Palestinians. (Photo: AFP - Mohammed Abed)

People gather around a vehicle targeted in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on July 8, 2014 that killed four Palestinians. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed)

The Zionists are again bombing Gaza, in another sadistically-named “operation” which I will not repeat, out of respect for the Palestinians of Gaza. Why bother with the names, just be honest: bomb-the-hell-out-of-Gaza-this-has-nothing-to-do-with-security # XXX

[on that note, please re-read this important article:Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks]

Also very relevant:Netanyahu government knew teens were dead as it whipped up racist frenzy

Some updates from folks in/following Gaza:

Bloody aftermath of Israeli airstrikes, Khan Younis, Gaza,  RT

Al Akhbar updated:

Twenty-three Palestinians have been killed and 130 injured in a massive Israeli air and naval assault against the besieged Gaza Strip Tuesday, bombing dozens of targets, including homes.

Five children are among those killed in…

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Blurred lines

(Photo credit: glennshootspeople)

(Photo credit: glennshootspeople)

 “Fascism is capitalism plus murder.”

-Upton Sinclair

Well, now that I’m done scarfing down mom’s apple pie, furling up old glory for another year and retrieving my chihuahua/pug from under the couch, where he’s been hiding since the fireworks commenced in my neighborhood, it’s time to get back to the real business of all red, white and blue-blooded Americans…making wealthy people wealthier. Recently, I engaged in a dialogue taking place over at Systemic Disorder that has helped me to gain some perspective on the nagging sensation that a new brand of fascism has come to the sweet land of liberty. Pete Dolack, the blog’s estimable author, responded to one of my comments, “Fascism need not (and in the U.S. would not be) jackbooted militarists parading down the street, it merely needs a social base fooled by rhetoric into acting against its own interests.” Pete cited the Tea Party, a “grassroots” movement that just happens to be financially backed by the Koch-booger brothers, as an example of this confluence of corporate and collective power. I must admit that for some time when the topic of fascism arose, “jackbooted militarists parading down the street” were precisely what I visualized but it’s been slowly dawning on me that the U.S.’s long and winding road to a neofascist state has been a long time comin’. In America, we’re witnessing a perfect storm of corporate influence and state power that has captured the public interests from education to healthcare to the justice system. The American gen pop has witnessed the bankers and billionaires operating with impunity, the public schools being decimated and the healthcare insurers billing anything that moves.

(Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

(Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

On the international stage, the corporate-capitalists have brought democracy death and destruction on previously unimaginable scales to any country which finds itself in the crosshairs of the global elite. Breaking events in Iraq have done a good job of diverting attention and public scrutiny from breaking events in Ukraine which helped us forget about breaking events in Syria which distracted us from breaking events in Libya which was…well, you get the point. The neoliberal, disaster capitalists have controlled the public discourse from start to finish and stoked the glowing embers of neofascism from Greece to Spain to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the mission accomplished creeps have continued to profit from the mass destruction they have unleashed in the Levant while spinning tales of sectarian violence and corruption. Iraqi writer, Sami Ramadani, has deftly deconstructed the sectarian violence myth that the Western powers used to justify “democracy building in the Middle East, as they conveniently ignored the very real sectarian fissures in their own backyards. In the homeland, the multibillion dollar security apparatus is in place to manage dissent and ensure that a constant state of fear and loathing is maintained towards anyone who dares to think critically or question the narratives of the dominant/power culture. The recent rulings by the SCOTUS have simply codified the deeply held resentments the elite have towards dues-collecting unions and uppity women. I only hope in my lifetime to see the day when women are declared people, too.

(Photo credit: Atelier Teee)

(Photo credit: Atelier Teee)

The massive security and surveillance state in America is an all too predictable succession of events for an elite grown increasingly anxious that the people, whose labors they have profited off of immensely, will soon demand a raise in their allowances…with pitchforks. Capitalism might collapse under it’s own oppressive weight by then, once the planet or the people say “no más” to going another round in this neofuedal, death match that was fixed from the start. America, on it’s best days, has had a hard time actualizing the dream of racial, gender and economic equality espoused to it’s citizens and has settled for the reality of material comfort, social status and reality television as a measure of it’s collective worth. The struggle against neoliberalism, disaster capitalism and neofascism is global in nature and the architects of austerity use borders, ethnicity and ideology to keep us divided and conquered. Therefore, those who dream of a world without borders must be willing to link arms in solidarity in a manner that transcends borders, ethnicities and ideologies. My own children have grown up thinking that mass surveillance, decades upon decades of war and an increasingly militarized, police state are the new normal. Americans would be hard pressed to remember the last time the U.S. wasn’t at war with it’s neighbors. The road to fascism is not built overnight but, eventually, there may come a day when one looks out the window and sees the wing-tipped corporatists “parading down the street”. May the road rise up to meet their smug countenances…hard.

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

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Douglass v. Key redux

May the rocket’s red glare

the bomb’s bursting in air

give proof through the night

that our drones are still there

Full text: The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro


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Mic check: Peter Schreiner

Force Be Damned

by Peter Schreiner

“How I wish I could surrender my soul; Shed the clothes that become my skin; See the liar that burns within my needing.” Tears and Rain – James Blunt

Some of the planet’s smartest, caring, and aware people write the blogs I read and follow, and so it is that they have shown and taught me a thing or two, quite a many thing or two. But that’s how things should be, learning from each other. —Where else are we supposed to go? We have a platform that present us—for the time being—an opportunity to share ourselves freely and openly. The things we offer, the things we gather, are things too often unpleasant. And we expose these things; some do at a personal risk.

Armed with awareness and the light of knowledge we hope to do our part in shaping the world to the better, the better of all. And when I say all, I don’t mean the watered-down version of all; I mean all.

Theirry and the gorilla: – Jo-Anne McArthur

(Photo credit: Theirry and the gorilla: – Jo-Anne McArthur)

We’re not looking for fame, power, or riches. Although the proper application of these things might further our goals, it is not who we are. Our aspirations are for the explosion of truth, justice, peace, and the release from oppression and slavery. In this our lofty goal we are The Vanguard of Noble Endeavor, with mission we cannot turn our backs on. I say vanguard because in spite of our persistence and our unwavering dedication I don’t see us making any radical world changing progress during our short time on earth, nor with any of the near to follow generations, perhaps for that matter in this whole epoch of Homo sapiens sapiens.

I dislike coming across as negative and I don’t mean to diminish our vigor, but I believe there is only little we are capable of, little ground we can realistically hope to gain. But rather than letting that discouraging sentiment give rise to acquiescence it should, I hope, stir you to dogged defiance. For just at that moment when all seems lost, our efforts futile, should we reach deep into our fiber our spirits and rise up with all we have we will at least know there was no more we could have done; and who knows what may follow from that in years to come.

The point of this letter is simply that I would like to share with you my perspective—suspiciously unpopular and wildly controversial, I hold it as truth. You decide.

Something holds us back. That should be obvious. By this time in our existence, we should have reached a near utopian plateau. But we haven’t, we’re nowhere close. In fact, I’d say we’re moving in the opposite direction. We have the whole of history to reflect and to have learnt. Yet what have we learnt?

There is a controlling force. Be it the momentum of eons, the gods, aliens (I’m serious, stop snickering), the elite, the government, our culture and traditions, religions, ourselves, or more than likely a poisonous combination of these ingredients. I don’t know exactly what, but whatever it is it is real and really powerful—existing beyond our imaginations—something that keeps us inebriated with trivialities—think sports, porn, television, electronics, booze, drugs, anything to keep us unaware and distracted. And worse than that, it keeps us at odds with one another, and it does it most expertly. This force pays lip service to harmony while it enlivens our fear, hate, lust, racism, prejudice, supremacy, and here’s the real kicker, speciesism.

Hence forth, I’ll simply call this force, Force.

Force holds sway and dominance over most of us by appeasing and nurturing our selfish and violent genes. We’ve all fallen captive to Force early in life and whilst only a few have loosened their shackles, we remain chained. Force has captured kings, priests, and politicians; rich, poor, and the fading middle classes; simpletons and intellectuals; the philosopher and the apathetic alike; the sympathetic and the hardened, all enchanted by its beauty and charm; its sweet and addictive enticements and promises.

And so, we carry on as we have always done.

Force satisfies us. Our greed, comfort, and security, but most of all the satisfaction of our palate while compromising our compassion. Our whole history of existence continues to focus on food and drink—it’s the constant; lunch in our day-to-day slavish grind, our celebrations and holidays, our gatherings, the little rewards we like to afford ourselves. And after all, why not, food and drink is what keeps us alive and nourished. We give thanks to the gods, the earth, the sun, the moon, the rain, the farmers, the neighbors, and even to ourselves for its life-giving pleasure.

We should enjoy it and be grateful for it.

(Photo credit: The Australian bull:

(Photo credit: The Australian bull:

But should we kill for it?

And, if we choose to kill, what effect has that on our psyche, our disposition?

Has our genome advanced or degraded to point where we can kill without compulsion or consequence to ourselves, our spiritual entity?

I believe not.

In whichever direction our DNA has taken us we still have compassion, somewhere locked within. And therein lie the key.

Force understands this; threatened by it.

Compassion is its Achilles heel.

Force knows that if it can keep us so ruthless as to confine, torture, abuse, and kill the least helpless of creatures among us, we’ll have no limits to the atrocities we lend ourselves to, for we are a myopic species that tends to extremes. Not to mention the contamination of our spirit, our love, and the distortion of our perception that bloodshed and violence imparts to us, whether we give it, received it, or simply condone it—and not just from the violence itself but from the ingesting and absorption of traumatized flesh into our systems.

Thus, I am vegan anarchist.

I offer Force no allegiance.

Force be damned!

And again damned!

I have chosen to honor the dignity of all sentient life on earth, all to be free of enslavement, fear, and oppression. It doesn’t matter if they be human or animal—suffering and oppression are the same to the victim. The struggles of all the oppressed are my struggles, their pain is mine, their freedom or servitude is mine. And in this, I stand with them against Force. And Force be damned!


Peter Schreiner can be found at his outstanding blog: Crows Head Soup – A Vegan Stew. This work is part of the Mic check guest blogger series.

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Jeffster Awards #30

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

This is the next installment of an ongoing series at Deconstructing Myths…the Jeffster Awards! This award will be given on an ongoing basis to five outstanding blog posts that caught my wandering eye. There are no strings attached or requirements for reciprocation. I don’t have time to comment on other blogs as much I’d like to so the least I can do is direct readers to some of these outstanding writers, poets, and visual artists. Please direct all feedback (likes, comments, follows) to the blogs themselves. I hope you enjoy these exemplary posts as much as I did. So, without further ado, here are the recipients of this week’s Jeffster Awards…hot off the (Word)presses.

The Overwhelming Present: On Having Too Much To Write About at Decolonize Chris!

‘Unconventional’ Life (educational) Paths at Think Pot

Existence is Resistance at Daniel Ibn Zayd

Take a Walk with Me at Sylvia Fitzgerald

Is Leonard Peltier a Dangerous Man? at Under the Pecan Leaves


Peace and solidarity to all readers.

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The occupation will not be televised

Jeff Nguyen:

It was only last summer that emergency management officials shut off the power during a heatwave just because they could. This is an act of war akin to Israel’s cutting off water supplies in the occupied territories which is a good description for Detroit, an occupied territory run by unelected officials subservient to the bankers and corporate shot callers.  The residents of Detroit know all too well that wars can be waged without firing a single shot.

A scrapbook of the damage done: Detroit in ruins: the photographs of Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog:

This video from the USA says about itself:

Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands

24 June 2014

Activists in Detroit have appealed to the United Nations over the city’s move to shut off the water of thousands of residents. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says half of its 323,000 accounts are delinquent and has begun turning off the taps of those who do not pay bills that total above $150 or that are 60 days late. Since March, up to 3,000 account holders have had their water cut off every week.

The Detroit water authority carries an estimated $5 billion in debt and has been the subject of privatization talks. In a submission to the United Nations special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, activists say Detroit is trying to push through a…

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