Jeez, amy goodman; again with the White Helmets propaganda?

She’s good on some issues, but others…my stars.  H/t to Tony Cartalucci on Twitter (3-parts) for the heads-up.

 “Inside Syria’s Secret Prisons”: A Harrowing Account of How Assad’s Torture Machine Crushed Dissent’, democracynow.org, May 16, 2019 

From the transcript:

‘A shocking exposé by the New York Times looks at how Bashar al-Assad’s government has jailed and tortured tens of thousands of Syrians since the uprising began in 2011. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, nearly 128,000 people have disappeared. They are presumed to be either dead or still in custody. The group estimates almost 14,000 individuals have died under torture. The detentions are continuing even as the fighting winds down. More than 5,600 Syrians were reportedly arbitrarily detained last year in a 25 percent jump from the previous year. While the Syrian government has denied running a secret torture and detention program, more evidence — including internal Syrian government documents — has emerged showing the extent of the torture program. A United Nations panel has said the conditions in the prison —including the paucity of toilet facilities, rampant illness, minimal and rotten food, and the absence of medical treatment — are tantamount to “extermination.” We speak with the report’s author Anne Barnard. She’s a reporter at The New York Times and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

CFR?  Okay, Amy; what.ev.er.  You can read or watch the rest for what it’s worth, but cripes, as I’d remembered it the NY Times had been forced to admit that the Syria Observatory for Human Rights (as it was called back in the day) was one guy in the UK who’d never stepped foot into Syria.

But although the name of the Chief Dude has changed, the psyop sure hasn’t.

From RT.com on Oct. 2, 2015:  ‘Who is behind Syrian Observatory for Human Rights? Nimrod Kamer investigates for RT’

“Since the start of the Moscow anti-ISIS campaign Russia has started featuring in its reports as well  – and it was quickly picked up by major Western media outlets. One of the latest wires from the Observatory that “Russian warplanes [killed] 30 civilians in Homs including women and children” quickly made it into major news sources.

“To the degree people choose to believe social media, they can be my guest. But quite contrary to what [US Secretary of State John Kerry] has said, it is a notoriously unreliable tool upon which to base judgments,” former CIA officer, Ray McGovern told RT.

‘I am not a media organization’ – Rami Abdel Rahman

RT decided to investigate who the man behind the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is and why the media outlet is so popular with MSM. Well-known journalist and prankster Nimrod Kamer took up the job.

The two-bedroom Coventry home of Syrian immigrant Rami Abdel Rahman has been the organization’s base and the source of information for major mainstream media on anything Syria-related from the past four years, including the death toll.

Nobody quite knows who Abdel Rahman has on the ground in Syria, but information just keeps flowing on and on, usually in a dramatic fashion and with little detail.”

here’s the 3-minute+ video.

On the The Syrian Network for Human Rights’ about us page, the claim is that the agency was started in 2011 ‘upon the initiative’ of Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, who is now the chairman of the ‘board of directors’.  As I can’t copy/paste from their site, you may be ticked to learn ‘who and what they depend on’ for their reports, although I’ll volunteer that they seem to be much like bellingcat and other online investigative serices.  Here’s their most recent Tweet; note the White Helmets.

To show how effective agitprop is, especially if it affirms confirmation bias, and remember, this is just days after MSM totally ignored the suppressed OPCW report on ‘the gassing of Duma’ was really faked by the White Helmets:

‘US ‘sees signs’ Damascus ‘may’ have used chlorine in Idlib, threatens ‘quick & appropriate’ response’, RT.com, May 21, 2019

“In a statement on Tuesday, Washington alleged that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is likely to be found responsible for allegedly using chlorine to attack civilians in militant-controlled areas of Idlib province.

“We continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19, 2019,” the statement says.

Despite the evident uncertainty, the State Department adopted the habitually threatening stance against Damascus.

“We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately.”

The State Department’s claims of a ‘new’ chlorine incident, uncorroborated so far, follow a fresh warning by the Russian military of a terrorist plans to stage a false-flag chemical attack in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria reported on Tuesday that the terrorist group Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham – formerly known the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate – had set up a special “chemical unit” and had enough chemicals at its disposal to carry out an attack it would frame on the Syrian government. The center said that the “chemical unit” is headquartered in Idlib and consists of three sub-divisions that would plan, execute and publicize the “attack.”

And as night follows day, from Bill Van Auken this morning: ‘Washington threatens new attack on Syria amid US war buildup in Persian Gulf’, May 22, 2019

There’s a lot more on Iran, but this is about the ‘report’ above:

“Even as this testimony was unfolding, the US State Department issued a statement claiming that it was gathering information about an alleged chlorine gas attack on May 19 in Idlib, combined with a threat that the “United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately.”

The State Department’s missive included a denunciation of a “continuing disinformation campaign by the Assad regime and Russia to create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks that the Assad regime itself is conducting.” [snip]

“In the midst of the provocative military threats against both Syria and Iran, a bipartisan Congressional group comprising the majority of both the House and the Senate signed a letter to President Trump urging an even more aggressive policy in the region and in particular in Syria.

The letter amounted to a demand that the Trump administration maintain a strong military presence in Syria, escalating confrontation with the government of President Bashar al-Assad as well as Iran and Russia and unconditionally supporting Israeli attacks on the country.

It was signed by nearly 400 members of Congress, including leading Democrats in both the House and Senate. The letter was issued in the names of the Representatives Eliot Engel and Michael McCaul, the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senators James Risch and Bob Menendez, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

While briefly referring to the continued presence of Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, the letter centered on charges concerning the “Iranian regime’s threatening behavior” and “Russia’s destabilizing role” in the country. It demanded that the administration “increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria” in order to “stop the growing threats to US interests, Israel, and regional security and stability.”

(The rest again, is here.)

These are from Part 3 of Tony Cartalucci’s Tweet: @TonyCartalucci May 18

The image used by Democracy Now! comes from older propaganda already long-since         discredited. Exposed in 2017: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/02/amnesty-international-admits-syrian.html …

Later recycled by WaPo: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/05/us-revives-discredited-syria.html …

All the News that’s fit to manufacture in aid of Empire.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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which completely discredited the OPCW report on the Duoma attack. I think the MSM have completely ignored this. (I admit that I quickly give up watching the MSM in disgust so I could be wrong on this.) I note that the White Helmets seem to have had a technical upgrade on their helmets and now have special shirts with their names on the back as well as matching trousers. I guess they have to do something with the money the US and allies have showered them with.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

news headlines, but it's not much, is it? but yes to the WH's new logos. vanessa beeley, who's reported from syria extensively had mentioned the name change in one of her reports on 21st century wire's white helmets tab. one brave lass, she is. plus as you say, new uniforms with so many bucks floating their way. al nusra to...i can't remember.

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because of this sort of crap.

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chuck utzman

TULSI 2020

wendy davis's picture

@chuckutzman

some sort of flow chart under cartalucci's featured tweet, but i couldn't make sense of it, nor do i know if it's accurate in any way. but this previously discredited rubbish was enough for me to abandon a project i've been working on for a few days and post this.

when 'alternative' media bats for the empire, it's disgusting. and as you know, this ain't her first rodeo on that score. and as with human rights watch and amnesty international...sometimes they even get things right. funding sources, i guess.

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I have over time seen that the timing of certain stories out of Syria seems to match up with setting events up. For example, Syrian government forces and Russians were on the verge of sweeping out Al Queda out of Aleppo, and then just a barrage of stories of children killed, every doctor killed, etc. I think one Western pundit said the bombing was worse than anything in history, etc. And of course, a plea for the US/West to stop Assad and Putin. The pattern seemed to be that every time the terrorists armies were on the verge of getting defeated anywhere, the Western press went into full press against Assad and the Russians and how evil they are. And of course, never mentioned about who they were fighting.

So this report by Democracy Now seems to be very suspicious. The secret prison story and claims have been around for a while now. So why suddenly out literally nowhere has this become so important. DN basically coordinated this story with the NYTimes.

I did hear the original radio broadcast and man did the NYTimesw reporter just go off on tying bunches of evils and ills to Assad and the Russians.

So I figure the NYTimes story and DN are an effort to pre-configure the propaganda battle to justify some sort of upcoming action against Syria/Russians.

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@MrWebster Yep, timing. Amy Goodman behaves exactly as controlled opposition should behave. Her stories fit in very nicely with establishment objectives, she subtly reinforces the establishment pov and there are people/ subjects she will not touch. She keeps her progressive cred by covering some longtime favorites of the left, but somewhere along the line, Amy sold out.

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wendy davis's picture

@laurel

is exactly what it is. at the Cafe i have a category 'dems as status quo gatekeepers', but i notice that sort of opposition with newly elected often: just fight the power just a wee bit, and you become a star overnight, and your brand is set for life.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

Here's an article by the master propagandist Luke Harding writing some BS about the Skripals and it's a doozy. Why are they in the news again after all this time?

Skripal poisoning suspects received mystery phone call following attack

Detectives think pair may have been awaiting signal that operation had been successful before returning home.

The Russian men suspected of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury received a phone call after returning to London on the day of the alleged attack, raising the possibility that a backup team played a role in the operation.

One theory being considered by investigators is whether the call, which has not been disclosed before, was a signal to tip them off that the operation had been a success.

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit said the inquiry into the poisoning was ongoing and detectives would not be drawn on any specifics.

But it is understood that investigators are sifting other pieces of evidence which suggest that the suspects – Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin – may not have been acting alone.

Detectives say they applied the lethal nerve agent novichok to the door handle of Skripal’s home and caught the train back to London. The Guardian has been told they then returned to their hotel in Bow, east London.

Investigators are working on the assumption that Skripal was likely under Russian surveillance on Saturday 3 March, when he picked up his daughter Yulia from Heathrow airport and travelled with her in a car back to Salisbury.

Police have also been struggling to make sense of another significant issue.

Detectives have been unable to determine how a bottle of novichok appears to have been found in a bin in Salisbury almost four months after the attack on the Skripals.

The discovery led to the death of Dawn Sturgess, a local woman who sprayed the chemical on her wrists, believing it was perfume.

I confronted Luke about his article on Assange and Manafort and he said that his sources were the CIA. I asked if he had seen Pompeo's tweet about how he lies to us? Heh..

RT has an op ed on the upcoming series on the Skripals. lol again. So yeah, why are we seeing a rerun of old news? What's happening or being planned?

Let's not make a drama about Skripal case before important questions are answered

IMG_3488.JPG

The Skripals house getting a new roof.

Lots of interesting information in the article, but I'll just post some tweets from it.

Alrighty then. If they put the Novichok on the front doorknob then why did they replace the roof? Hmm...

More lol. There were lots of rumors saying that no poison whatsoever was found on the Skripals and here's a quote from the treating doctor. lol....!

So we have Assad doing what Sun Tsu advises again. Just when he and Vlad are almost done mopping up our terrorists mess he poisons his people again knowing full well that FUKUSI will bomb his country again...lol!

IMG_2541.JPG
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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

never say die luke harding! i used some of neil clark's great stuff in my mid-april 'feel like a game of…Novichock?', but here it got exactly two comments, so i took it down. i thought it was a romp in the park funny, and boy, howdy, did i need some jocularity at the time!

but the parts you've bolded (quasi caveats? no, a different word) in little luke's new journalistic endeavor are the way he may have been ordered to roll now, post: manafort met with assange Three Times!!!

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@snoopydawg in the Skripal case. The only thing that I am confident of is that British intelligence is selling us a pack of lies.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

and media perception on timing w/ syria. same with: with the syrians just about to defeat isis/daeish, etc. in douma or idlib, why would assad 'gas his people'?

so stay tuned to what the US says it will find in idlib. bomb first, investigate later like it always is. come to think of it, i should have checked with bellingcat earlier.
; )

on edit from one of bellingcat's 'journalists':

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Presidents Assad and Putin have been putting Syria back together again for her people, after the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey at one point were recruiting, equipping and training terrorists. Remember during the presidential debates some news asshole asked - what if Aleppo were to fall to the Syrian Arab Army. Well it did and Syria with the help of Russia have been putting the city back together. Meanwhile the US policy is to not spend a dime on reconstruction. Oh, the sympathy for Syrians from the US is just overwhelming....not! Every statement in that letter from Congress is a lie, totally upside down. Not only that, but those congressionalassholes are directing the President to confront Russia militarily. Is this a death wish? The US fires Tomahawk cruise missiles at Russian assets. Russia then sinks the ships that fired them, within minutes. The congressionalassholes then consider that an act of war and demand retaliation with global thermonuclear war. Feeling better?

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

@The Wizard

Never discount the possibility that the Bolton neocons see the destruction of most or even all the American people as a price worth paying. With the exception of themselves of course.

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wendy davis's picture

@The Wizard

but only for some. export democracy, R2P, install US puppet leaders...and it's all good. yanno, just like libya.

okay, i found the cursed letter sent out after (back to bill va auken):

"The new US threats followed back-to-back closed-door briefings on the Iran war drive delivered to members of the US House and Senate Tuesday by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Patrick Shanahan, the acting US defense secretary, and US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford."

the text of the letter: Nearly 400 Lawmakers Call on Trump to Address Threats in Syria, mccaul.house.gov

i liked: ‘syria, particularly’, but don’t forget:

Hezbollah now poses a more potent threat to Israel as well. From Lebanon, Hezbollah has aimed more than 100,000 rockets and missiles at Israel that are increasingly more precise and of longer-range, giving the terrorist group the capability to strike anywhere in Israel. Just a few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Hezbollah operative who is accused of killing five American soldiers in Iraq may now be setting up a terror network on the border between Israel and Syria. Israel also recently discovered and destroyed six Hezbollah tunnels that made their way into Israel from Lebanon, all while Hezbollah has increased its rhetoric about its intentions of kidnapping Israeli soldiers and civilians.

those same weasel words and terms snoopy had bolded in luke's epistle.

in my recent gaza resistance diary, i'd used a tweet that pretended to reflect the legal reasons that bibi is claiming the golan heights for israel, but given that after the last day of ramadan (may 6?), the 'Deal of the Century; (kushner, bibi, sheldon adelson?) will be released. the leaked plan is out there, and it's terrifyingly horrid. i have notes to put together opinions on what's in it...brrrrr.

the signatories in a pdf.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

stay for Syria.

The State Department’s missive included a denunciation of a “continuing disinformation campaign by the Assad regime and Russia to create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks that the Assad regime itself is conducting.” [snip]

“In the midst of the provocative military threats against both Syria and Iran, a bipartisan Congressional group comprising the majority of both the House and the Senate signed a letter to President Trump urging an even more aggressive policy in the region and in particular in Syria.

The letter amounted to a demand that the Trump administration maintain a strong military presence in Syria, escalating confrontationwith the government of President Bashar al-Assad as well as Iran and Russia and unconditionally supporting Israeli attacks on the country.

I mean, as long as we're in the neighborhood....

Curious, do all those Congresscritters know the State Department is lying to them about the chemical attacks?

Or do they just not care either way?

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wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

simplicity of your 'as long as we're in the neighborhood...' crap, i didn't even both checking out the signatories once i'd found them (not that i'd recognize most of them anyway). but that little buried report wasn't mentioned anywhere in the MSM, and i'd hunted for a couple days. but no, they wouldn't care a whit even if they'd read it, although i do hope tulsi gabbard read it; she's long acquiesced to 'assad gassed his people, but no regime change'.

but did you read cartalucci's 'debunked' links? and now this from neocon CFR woman? gawd's blood, amy goodman. and what huevos to put 'related stories' 'Seymour Hersh on Torture at Abu Ghraib & Secret U.S. Assassination Programs'

wooot! what a great blues band and tune!

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Pluto's Republic's picture

... pushing timed propaganda. Amy Goodman is the Tokyo Rose of the Left. If only she had the ilting voice of the original. Instead, we get a nasal droning phlem bubble pushing fake news for hippies.

Great reporting, Wendy. Who knows what to think? They've been fire-hosing propaganda at Americans since the Ukraine overthrow. Personally, I believe propaganda spew like this is designed to suppress Leftist thought in the US. Goodman is a heat seeking missile for that audience.

I don't think they use it to prepare the American People for upcoming atrocities and war crimes. They needn't bother with that.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

to be the voice of the CIA? the intercept seems to be a pretty spooky outfit, and it's supposed to be 'alt-media on the (cough, choke) Left.

you may be right that amy's part of the leftist suppression hippie news, and in your formula here:

I don't think they use it to prepare the American People for upcoming atrocities and war crimes. They needn't bother with that.

but hoo-boy, zelensky-rule in ukraine is heatin' up after just a few days in office, esp. regarding: The Big Bad Bear. turns out the comedian...isn't so funny. ; )

thanks for weighing in, amigo.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

just after she sold out to the Ford and Carnegie foundations. Sibel Edmonds took her to task for doing that. I'm still dumbfounded that she sold out after so many years being the voice of reason for so many of us. Since I've never been in the position to sell out my values I don't know if I would do that or not. But I'd like to think I wouldn't.

If anyone is interested I'll try to dig out that article.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

she'd had on a 'more moderate al quaida' warlord? isn't that the term the hegemon uses?

dunno how hard it would be to find it, but as with the intercept, she'd celebrated the bravery of the White Helmets with relish; prolly even added their netflix video, maybe later, their winning an oscar....which is purrfect, as the are murderous, organ-selling according to vanessa beeley)...actors. "okay! cut! pull the kind out, put him back in...and Take II!'

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic
heh.

Hello you fighting orphans in the Pacific Progressive Movement. How’s tricks? This is “After her weekend, and oooh, back on the air, strictly under union hours.” Reception okay? Why, it better be, because this is All-Requests night. And I’ve got a pretty nice program for my favorite little family, the wandering boneheads of the Pacific Islands Left.

The first request is made by none other than the boss. And guess what? He She wants Bonnie Baker Bashar al-Assad in “My Resistance is Low.” My, what taste you have, sir Gina, she Amy says.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

digging, and remembering Things Intercept for a coming diary, and have come to the conclusion that Pierre's Palace is home to 99 fearless investigative journalists of the Cruise Missile Left.

more tokyo roses than you can shake a stick at, and some of them are even women! ; ) it's already too long, so i might have to bring extras in comments.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

There is something just awful about the atmosphere at the Intercept. [shudder] But then I read a Marcy Twitter threat you posted and it was even more awful and disturbing. I believe the "Left" is being re-engineered somehow. I was a liberal once, but now I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Ditto for Progressive; it's way too perky. I can see through the rest of their crap, but many of us are vulnerable to word framing. Maybe that's their gambit. They're going to label us out of existence.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

right about labels like progressive and librul, but there ain't many radical leftists left in the US of A by now. serious socialists (although another murky term with any number of definitions). but anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, this anti-war, and eco-socialist does be my stripe. the intercept: ptui.

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travelerxxx's picture

@wendy davis

...but anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, this anti-war, and eco-socialist does be my stripe.

Pretty good labels to hang one's hat on, wd. I've described myself as such to folk before.

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

amigo. but those predilections of mine are why i won't vote in the 2020 prez election for anyone but green howie hawkins if he wins the nomination, although i can't say i'm overly fond of a couple of his new 'positions', nor his version of the green party green new deal.

but still...

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Big Al's picture

Couple that with the "bipartisan letter to protect Israel", we can clearly see where Amy Goodman and DN are coming from.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

'protect israel from iran and hezbollah with lies about 'Hezbollah has aimed more than 100,000 rockets and missiles at Israel that are increasingly more precise and of longer-range, giving the terrorist group the capability to strike anywhere in Israel

is softening us up for the coming I/P 'Deal of the century'...as well, and what a deal it is.
Reality TV trump style. 'accept your bosses' dictates or you're fired!'

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wendy davis's picture

after a weird night with no electrical power, a few days of relentless rain and snow after 4 years of drought...the perennials in the garden are toast for the most part, but a small grey fox did scuttle through this morning, and hadn't even spooked the jack rabbit nestled inside the fence protecting a young camperdown elm...a tree reminiscent of a bonzai in the way it grows branches down toward the ground as they twists and turns.

it's pretty cool that a rare visitor here, a western bluebird likes to sit atop the tree in order to spot which bugs it might be interested in for meals. dunno if he's feeding a mate, as we haven't seen her for a couple weeks.

anyway, tonight's closing song is from the late, great alchemist AIM leader john trudell who’d turned the worst sort of poison into medicine, and healed himself (and many of us) by becoming a most glorious and truth-telling talking poet. he would have been in total solidarity with syrians, houthis, and palestininans, maori, really all of the oppressed second and third class marginalized of the earth.

he knew and honored the spirit of the earth well, and knew what genocide, sociocide, capitalist greed, and ecocide meant for indigenous cultures all over the planet. may he still be kickin’ ass on the other side. Mitakuye Oyasin (all my relations), brother john.

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