The Evening Blues - 5-13-24



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Lowell Fulson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features West Coast blues guitarist Lowell Fulson. Enjoy!

Lowell Fulsom - Too Many Drivers

"When nobody in power will lift a finger to earn your vote but they’re falling all over themselves trying to stomp out a robust protest movement, that tells you what the powerful are actually afraid of and where you should really be focusing your political energy."

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

Using A Fictional Antisemitism Crisis To Support A Real Genocide

One of the most frustrating things happening in the world right now is the way people of conscience are doing everything they can to bring a stop to Israel’s US-backed atrocities in Gaza, and Israel supporters are responding to this by pointing at an epidemic of “antisemitism” which has no existence outside their own imaginations — but we’re all expected to pretend it’s real and worthy of respect.

TV’s “Dr Phil” McGraw flew to Jerusalem to give war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu an hour-long platform on which to justify his genocidal violence in Gaza to an American audience, shamelessly assisting the Israeli prime minister’s apologia with common hasbara talking points of his own.

The duo spent lot of time smearing anti-genocide protesters at US universities as evil Jew haters. At one point Netanyahu went so far as to advance the ridiculous suggestion that this sudden wave of support for Palestinians has nothing to do with Israel’s actions in Gaza at all, but is solely due to a massive “explosion” in antisemitism which just so happens to coincide with those actions.

“It’s not directed at what we do, it’s directed at who we are,” Netanyahu said of the protests, adding, “It’s an antisemitic explosion that threatens all of civilization.”

“Antisemitic activity has gone up 360 percent in America since October 7, and it was already high before October 7, and it’s gone up 360 percent,” McGraw responded in furious agreement.

This is a fiction. The TV man is citing a fake statistic from the Anti-Defamation League, who after October 7 began categorizing pro-Palestine rallies as antisemitic incidents, including rallies organized and attended by Jewish groups. This propagandistic manipulation allowed the Israel-friendly mass media to falsely report a massive spike in antisemitism in the wake of October 7 which had not actually occurred.

“One of the most spellbinding doublespeak contortions over the past seven months is this line that there’s just been this random, spontaneous outburst of vicious anti-Semitism which just happens to correlate 100% perfectly with Israel’s US-backed pulverization campaign in Gaza,” journalist Michael Tracey tweeted of the exchange.

Real antisemitism — by which I mean prejudice against Jews as a group — certainly exists. But it’s a fringe position in our society, and it’s almost never what you’re hearing about when Israel apologists are talking. In fact you very seldom see Israel apologists and institutions like the ADL, who are supposedly responsible for fighting antisemitism, going after actual antisemites who harbor actual ill will toward the Jewish people. What you typically see them doing instead is using the “antisemitism” label to falsely smear people of conscience who criticize the actions of the state of Israel.

Generally when you hear an Israel apologist use the word “antisemitism”, they’re actually talking about people like the campus protesters, or public figures like Jeremy Corbyn — lifelong anti-racists who are fervently opposed to prejudice and persecution against any group of people, including Jews. Their crime isn’t that they have an abusive hatred of Jews, it’s that they don’t share Israel’s abusive hatred of Palestinians.

During a recent congressional hearing some unbelievably stupid assertions were put forward by Florida Representative Aaron Bean, who chaired the meeting.

“It’s hard to grasp how antisemitism has become such a dominant force in our K-12 schools,” Bean said. “Some kids as young as second grade are spewing Nazi propaganda, which begs the question, who has positioned these young minds to attack the Jewish people?”

To be clear, nobody on planet Earth believes what Aaron Bean just said, including Aaron Bean. There is not one single person anywhere in this universe who sincerely believes that there is an epidemic of second graders across America being brainwashed to spout Nazi propaganda. It is not happening, and we all know it’s not happening. But people like Aaron Bean pretend to believe this complete work of fiction is an actual real-life occurrence in order to defend the very real atrocities that are being committed by their favorite apartheid state.

This freakish narrative push isn’t just happening in the US. Here in Australia there’s been a nonstop deluge of melodramatic concern trolling about a completely fictional epidemic of Jew hatred, one recent example appearing in an article for The Age titled “When uni students endorse terrorism, it’s time for political intervention”.

In it, The Age’s “chief political correspondent” David Crowe argues that Canberra must move swiftly to shut down the campus protests sprouting up in this country under the legal justification of stopping “hate speech” and fighting “terrorism”. The only examples of “hate speech” Crowe cites are protesters using the word “intifada” and the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” both of which only qualify as hate speech by the most tortured of mental contortions.

The only example of “endorsing terrorism” Crowe cites is some random student protester in Canberra telling the ABC “I actually say that Hamas deserve our unconditional support,” after which she quickly clarified “not because I agree with their strategy … (I have) complete disagreements with that.”

After making it absolutely clear that he is calling for the government to forcibly shut down and outlaw obvious political speech, Crowe writes that “Universities should be open grounds for free speech, not platforms for antisemitism and violence.”

Western empire managers and their propagandists are so freaked out by this new protest movement that they have to do this hilarious dance where they hop forward and go “Of course I support free speech and dissent is always legal in our country, BUUUUT” and then hop back and explicitly advocate government oppression of obvious political speech. They do this by pointing to a crisis of “antisemitism” which they invented inside their own skulls.


And it’s just so indescribably insane how people who care about humanity, truth and justice are talking about actual children getting killed by the thousands, and Israel and its apologists are responding to this by talking about an entirely fictional “antisemitism” crisis that exists nowhere outside the imagination.

It’s like responding to warnings of another holocaust by babbling about Sauron.

It’s like we’re going, “Oh my god, civilians are being massacred on a daily basis by a racist apartheid regime!” And they’re going, “Oh yeah well you know what we should really be worried about? Sauron, the Dark Lord.”

You’d be like, “What?? I’m talking about a real thing that’s actually happening to actual real-life human beings! You’re talking about a work of fiction by JRR Tolkien.”

“Oh so you’re just going to dismiss Sauron’s plan to overrun Middle Earth with orcish hordes as soon as he recovers the One Ring?” they’d say. “What are you, some kind of Mordor sympathizer?”

“What the hell are you on about?” you’d protest. “We’re talking about actual, physical people being ripped apart by actual, physical military explosives, and you’re talking about some imaginary fantasy land like it’s a real thing! How are we supposed to address this actual real-life problem when you keep trying to drag the conversation kicking and screaming into a debate about something that has no existence outside the realm of the imagination?”

“I guess you just hate hobbits,” they’d say.

I mean, how do you even argue with someone like this? How do you debate someone about a real-life problem of unparalleled urgency when all they want to talk about is a completely made-up crisis that absolutely is not happening on this material plane?

It’s the most frustrating thing in the world.

Mass murder and mass surrender

Whistleblowers Further Expose Israel’s Torture of Detainees

Three Israeli whistleblowers who worked at the notorious Sde Teiman prison camp in the Negev desert offered horrifying accounts of the treatment of Palestinians held there, telling that the facility’s doctors have amputated limbs due to handcuffing injuries, allowed detainees’ wounds to rot, and carried out vicious beatings.

A medic who worked at Sde Teiman’s field hospital said that Palestinian detainees there are stripped “of anything that resembles human beings” and that the harassment and torture are done not to “gather intelligence” but “out of revenge” for the Oct. 7 attacks.

Israel has detained thousands of Gaza residents since October, with many of them held under a recently amended law that empowers Israeli authorities to imprison people indefinitely without charge or due process.

Human rights organizations have documented Israeli forces’brutal and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees, including women and children.

At the field hospital, CNN reported, “wounded detainees are strapped to their beds, wearing diapers and fed through straws.”

One Israeli whistleblower took a photograph of a room at the facility, which the person said was filled with a “putrid stench” and the sound of “men’s murmurs” as they were “forbidden from speaking to each other.”

“We were told they were not allowed to move,” the whistleblower said. “They should sit upright. They’re not allowed to talk. Not allowed to peek under their blindfold.”


The whistleblower accounts, according to CNN,

“paint a picture of a facility where doctors sometimes amputated prisoners’ limbs due to injuries sustained from constant handcuffing; of medical procedures sometimes performed by underqualified medics earning it a reputation for being ‘a paradise for interns’; and where the air is filled with the smell of neglected wounds left to rot.”

The testimony provided to CNN is consistent with details that a doctor at the camp’s field hospital included in a recent letter to top Israeli officials. The doctor described unlawful and inhumane conditions; in a single week, the person said, “two prisoners had their legs amputated due to handcuff injuries, which unfortunately is a routine event.”

A report published last month by Al Mezan, a Palestinian human rights organization, also documented “harrowing accounts of torture and inhumane treatment” of people detained by the Israeli military.

“A 19-year-old detainee told an Al Mezan lawyer that he was tortured from the moment he was arrested,” the group said.

“He described how three of his fingernails were removed with pliers during interrogation. He also stated that investigators unleashed a dog on him and subjected him to shabeh — a form of torture which involves detainees being handcuffed and bound in stress positions for long periods — three times over three days of interrogation. He was then placed in a cell for 70 days, where he experienced starvation and extreme fatigue.”

Mohammed Al-Ran, a Palestinian doctor who was arrested by Israeli forces in December, told CNN that he was

“stripped down to his underwear, blindfolded and his wrists tied, then dumped in the back of a truck where … the near-naked detainees were piled on top of one another as they were shuttled to a detention camp in the middle of the desert.”

Al-Ran was held by Israeli forces for 44 days. Just before his release, he told CNN, “a fellow prisoner had called out to him, his voice barely rising above a whisper.”

According to CNN: “He asked the doctor to find his wife and kids in Gaza. ‘He asked me to tell them that it is better for them to be martyrs,’ said al-Ran. ‘It is better for them to die than to be captured and held here.'”

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, said in response to the new reporting that “what we know about Gaza is only tip of the atrocity iceberg.”

‘Gaza is one giant crime scene.’ Rania Khalek

Alastair Crooke: How Strong Is the Resistance to IDF?

Fierce battles in Gaza as Israeli forces attack Hamas militants

Fierce battles were under way across much of the devastated north of Gaza on Sunday, with heavy bombardment and airstrikes reported as Israeli forces attacked Hamas militants in areas that have already seen repeated rounds of fighting. The new clashes underlined the failure of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to secure much of the territory, analysts said, after a campaign that has brought massive destruction, the displacement of about 2 million people and the deaths of around 35,000, mostly women and children.

There were also clashes reported in the south of Gaza, where tens of thousands fled the city of Rafah on Sunday, following bombardment and warnings from the IDF to clear central and eastern neighbourhoods before planned offensives. Aid officials there believe the total who have now left the city may be about 350,000.

“The streets that were previously packed with [people] living in makeshift tents, most of those tents have been dismantled and people have fled. The area around the United Nations building [in the city centre] is unrecognisable … all of the people who were seeking some degree of sanctuary there have fled,” said Dr James Smith, a British medic currently in Rafah.

In the north, Israeli military officials said forces were operating in Jabaliya camp and Zeitoun, east of Gaza City, as well as in the far north of the territory in Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya.

Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007 [well sort of... -js], has been able to reimpose its authority in many areas of the territory in recent months, controlling markets, running Islamic courts and intimidating opponents. Militants have used remaining tunnels to ambush Israeli forces and have continued to fire rockets into Israel.

'Friday News Dump': Biden State Dept Report Accepts Israeli Assurances

Foreign policy and human rights experts on Friday sharply condemned the Biden administration's delayed report to Congress about Israeli assurances regarding U.S. weapons use in the Gaza Strip and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The historic assessment stems from National Security Memorandum 20, which President Joe Biden issued in February. NSM-20 requires Secretary of State Antony Blinken "to obtain certain credible and reliable written assurances from foreign governments" that they use U.S. arms in line with international humanitarian law (IHL) and will not "arbitrarily deny, restrict, or otherwise impede, directly or indirectly, the transport or delivery of United States humanitarian assistance."

The section on Israel—which spans about a third of the 46-page report—says that "given Israel's significant reliance on U.S.-made defense articles, it is reasonable to assess that defense articles covered under NSM-20 have been used by Israeli security forces since October 7 in instances inconsistent with its IHL obligations or with established best practices for mitigating civilian harm."

However, "we are not able to reach definitive conclusions on whether defense articles covered by NSM-20 were used in these or other individual strikes," it continues, listing examples that include the April strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen workers.

While noting that "Israel has not shared complete information" to verify U.S. weapons use, the report concludes that Israeli assurances are "credible and reliable so as to allow the provision of defense articles covered under NSM-20 to continue."

Israel also "did not fully cooperate" with the U.S. and international "efforts to maximize humanitarian assistance flow to and distribution within Gaza," the report states. While expressing "deep concerns" about Israel's action and inaction regarding much-needed relief, the document adds that "we do not currently assess that the Israeli government is prohibiting or otherwise restricting the transport or delivery of U.S. humanitarian assistance within the meaning of Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act."

The report was initially due to be sent to Congress on Wednesday. Calling its release a "Friday news dump," Palestinian American political analyst Yousef Munayyer said, "This would be comical, if it wasn't aiding genocide."

US politicians step up condemnation of Israel

Politicians in the US on Sunday stepped up their denunciation of Israel over its conduct in Gaza, with a leading Democratic senator accusing the key American ally of “strategic and moral mistakes” – and secretary of state, Antony Blinken, saying it was testing the boundaries of international law. In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, the Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate foreign relations committee, warned that Hamas was likely to become stronger if Israel waged an all-out assault in Rafah.

“I want Hamas gone,” Murphy said. “I don’t want them to ever have the ability to hit Israel again. [But] I worry that the number of civilians that are dying are ultimately going to provide permanent recruiting material to Hamas, and it will be a threat for years to come." ... Murphy’s comments amounted to some of the strongest criticism yet by a centrist US politician against Israel, which the Gaza health ministry said on Sunday had now killed more than 35,000 people in strikes since the 7 October attacks by Hamas.

Stronger condemnation came from Vermont Democratic senator Bernie Sanders, a member of the party’s progressive wing. “Any objective observer knows Israel has broken international law … has broken American law – and in my view, Israel should not be receiving another nickel in US military aid,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press, adding that Hamas was “a terrible, disgusting terrorist organization that began this war”.

Meanwhile, Blinken’s commentary was considerably more measured. In an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, the Joe Biden White House’s top diplomat said it is “reasonable to assess that in certain instances Israel acted in ways that are not consistent” with international humanitarian laws. ...

Blinken stopped short of explicitly accusing Israel of violating international law as it pursued its offensive against the Palestinian militant group Hamas. He said it was “critical” to note that Israel itself has accountability processes – and there were hundreds of active inquiries as well as criminal investigations into different incidents, showing Israel had “the ability, means and the actions to self-correct."

Israel FREAKS After Egypt Joins Genocide Case

South Africa Urges ICJ Action as Israeli War Cabinet Expands Rafah Assault

As Israel's War Cabinet voted Friday to expand the invasion of Rafah, South Africa filed an urgent request for the International Court of Justice to order Israel to stop its assault on Gaza's southernmost city, citing violations of the Genocide Convention and "particularly severe" risks to the 1.5 million displaced Palestinians and residents sheltering there.

"The situation brought about by the Israeli assault on Rafah, and the extreme risk it poses to humanitarian supplies and basic services into Gaza, to the survival of the Palestinian medical system, and to the very survival of Palestinians in Gaza as a group, is not only an escalation of the prevailing situation, but gives rise to new facts that are causing irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people in Gaza," South Africa's request states.

"This amounts to a change in the situation in Gaza since the court's order of March 28, 2024," the filing continues, referring to the ICJ's directive for Israel to stop blocking desperately needed humanitarian from entering the embattled enclave.

The March 28 directive also reiterated the court's earlier preliminary ruling that found Israel is "plausibly" committing genocide in Gaza and ordered the Israeli government to "take all measures within its power" to uphold its obligations under Article II of the Genocide Convention.

The new filing argues three main points:

  • Rafah is now effectively the last refuge in Gaza for 1.5 million Palestinians from Rafah and those displaced by Israeli action, and the last viable center in Gaza for habitation, public administration, and the provision of basic public services, including medical care;
  • By seizing control of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) crossings, Israel is now in direct, total control of all entry and exit to Gaza, has cut it off from all humanitarian and medical supplies, goods, and fuel on which the survival of the population of Gaza depends, and is preventing medical evacuations; and
  • The remaining population and medical facilities are at extreme risk, given the recent evidence of evacuation zones being treated as extermination zones, the mass destruction and mass graves at Gaza's other hospitals, and the use by Israel of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify "kill lists."
  • "The incursion followed a two-week intensification of Israel's military bombardment of Rafah, to which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had previously been ordered by Israel to evacuate for their safety," the South African filing states. "An estimated 100,000 Palestinians in eastern Rafah, many of them already displaced nine times over, were given less than 15 hours to evacuate. Many were simply unable to flee. None have anywhere safe to go."

    The document cites media reports of "the extreme brutality and indiscriminate nature of Israel's attack on areas of Rafah both within and outside the evacuation zone."

    "Videos posted on social media by Israeli soldiers record them firing directly on areas where tents are pitched by displaced Palestinians," the filing states. "Many, including large numbers of Palestinian children, have been killed or injured already. There is recently published testimony from Israeli soldiers who have served in Gaza that Israeli soldiers treat evacuation zones as 'zones of extermination' in which all remaining Palestinians are considered to be legitimate targets. Israel also relies extensively on AI to select its targets and 'kill lists.'"

    "Despite repeated orders by the court, Israel has not changed its conduct," the filing states. "It has doubled down on its genocidal aims and acts, including by invading Rafah. Members of the Israeli Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs (Security Cabinet) and the War Cabinet have continued their genocidal rhetoric."

    South Africa lodged its genocide complaint against Israel in December. Since then, more than 30 nations and regional blocs, and hundreds of advocacy groups have joined. The ICJ last month set October 28 as the deadline for South Africa's comprehensive submission in the case. Israel has until July 28, 2025 to respond.

    A final ruling from the tribunal is not expected for years. Israel says the case is "baseless" and has accused South Africa of "functioning as the legal arm of Hamas," which led the attacks in which more than 1,100 Israelis and others were killed—at least some by so-called "friendly fire"—last October 7.

    Palestine’s U.K. Ambassador Decries Israel’s Attack on Gaza & U.S. Complicity

    Rep. Mills Files Articles of Impeachment Against Biden for Threatening To Withhold Bombs to Israel

    Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) formally filed articles of impeachment against President Biden on Friday due to his recent comments about withholding deliveries of heavy bombs to Israel if it launches a major attack on “population centers” in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city.

    Mills compared his move with the 2019 impeachment of then-President Donald Trump for briefly delaying weapons shipments to Ukraine and claimed Biden abused his power by trying to leverage military aid to get Israel to change its military tactics.

    “In violation of his oath to faithfully execute the office of President and to uphold the Constitution, President Biden abused the powers of his office by soliciting a ‘quid pro quo’ with Israel while leveraging vital military aid for policy changes,” Mills said in a statement, according to Fox News Digital.

    Israeli Activists BLOCK Humanitarian Truck, DESTROY Aid for Gaza

    Sporadic pro-Palestinian protests staged during college commencements

    Small pro-Palestinian protests popped up sporadically on Saturday as colleges and universities from North Carolina to California held commencement ceremonies, including dozens of graduating students at Virginia Commonwealth University who walked out on an address by Republican governor Glenn Youngkin.

    While some of the estimated 100 students and family members who left during Youngkin’s speech showed support for Palestinians, others held signs signaling opposition to his policies on education, according to WRIC-TV.

    At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a small group of demonstrators staged what appeared to be a silent protest during commencement at Camp Randall Stadium. A photo posted by the Wisconsin State Journal showed about six people walking through the rear of the stadium, with two carrying a Palestinian flag. ...

    At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, pro-Palestinian demonstrators splattered red paint on the steps of a building hours ahead of the school’s commencement ceremony and chanted on campus while students wearing light blue graduation gowns posed for photos, the News & Observer reported. At the University of Texas, Austin, a student held up a Palestinian flag during a commencement ceremony and refused to leave the stage briefly before being escorted away by security.

    And at the University of California, Berkeley, a small group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators began waving flags and chanting during commencement and were escorted to the back of the stadium, where they were joined by others, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Putin's new administration & the Security Council of Russia

    Putin removes Sergei Shoigu as Russia’s defence minister

    Vladimir Putin has removed his longtime ally Sergei Shoigu as defence minister in the most significant reshuffle to the military command since Russian troops invaded Ukraine more than two years ago. In a surprise announcement, the Kremlin said Andrei Belousov, a former deputy prime minister who specialises in economics, will replace Shoigu. Putin, who was sworn into his fifth term as Russia’s leader earlier this week, proposed that Shoigu take the position as head of Russia’s powerful security council. It is currently led by Nikolai Patrushev, a hawkish former spy and one of Putin’s closest advisers.

    Shoigu, Russia’s longest-serving minister, assumed leadership of the defence ministry in 2012 after his tenure as the emergency services minister. He has been leading Russia’s military through its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began in 2022. As defence minister Shoigu was tasked with modernising Russia’s military and was believed to have direct access to Putin, going on regular hunting and fishing trips with him in Siberia. Shoigu’s popularity in Russia grew after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, which he was credited with orchestrating.

    But he has come under intense criticism for Russia’s military setbacks after the February 2022 invasion, as well as for his inability to root out the widespread corruption that continues to plague the army. Most dramatically, Shoigu was forced to fend off an armed uprising last summer by mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who had called for his arrest. Shoigu’s position appeared to have weakened last month when the security services arrested his long-term confidant Timur Ivanov, a deputy defence minister, and charged him with large-scale corruption.

    On paper, Sunday’s reorganisation places Shoigu in a position formally considered higher ranking than his role in the defence ministry in what some observers believe is a move by Putin that allows his old ally to save face. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Putin decided to appoint Belousov, a veteran economist, to lead the defence ministry after Russia’s war spending had vastly increased.

    Separatist parties set to lose power in Catalan regional election, polls show

    Separatist parties are in danger of losing their decade-long hold of power in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region, with the pro-union Socialist party poised to win the most votes in Sunday’s election, according to a near-complete count of the ballots.

    The four pro-independence parties, led by the Together party of former regional president Carles Puigdemont, were set to get a total of 61 seats, short of the key figure of 68 seats needed for a majority in the chamber.

    The Socialists, led by former health minister Salvador Illa, were on course to win 42 seats, up from 33 in 2021, when they also barely won the most votes but were unable to form a government.

    The Socialists will still need to earn the backing of other parties to put Illa in charge. Dealmaking in the coming days, perhaps weeks, will be key to forming a government. Neither a hung parliament nor a new election is out of the question.

    But Illa’s surge should bode well for the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the Socialists before European parliament elections next month.

    Watch Biden Economic Advisor’s HILARIOUS Fail Over Basic Money Question

    Top FBI Official Urges Agents to Use Warrantless Wiretaps on US Soil

    A top FBI official is encouraging employees to continue to investigate Americans using a warrantless foreign surveillance program in an effort to justify the bureau’s spy powers, according to an internal email obtained by WIRED.

    Known as Section 702, the program is controversial for having been misused by the FBI to target US protesters, journalists, and even a sitting member of Congress. US lawmakers, nevertheless, voted to extend the program in April for an additional two years, while codifying a slew of procedures that the FBI claims is working to stop the abuse.

    Obtained by WIRED, an April 20 email authored by FBI deputy director Paul Abbate to employees states: “To continue to demonstrate why tools like this are essential to our mission, we need to use them, while also holding ourselves accountable for doing so properly and in compliance with legal requirements.” [Emphasis his.]

    Added Abbate: “I urge everyone to continue to look for ways to appropriately use US person queries to advance the mission, with the added confidence that this new pre-approval requirement will help ensure that those queries are fully compliant with the law.”

    “The deputy director's email seems to show that the FBI is actively pushing for more surveillance of Americans, not out of necessity but as a default,” says US representative Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California. “This directly contradicts earlier assertions from the FBI during the debate over Section 702’s reauthorization.”

    Bob Menendez Corruption Trial HIGHLIGHTS Dems’ Foreign Influence Problem

    Bob Menendez corruption trial to begin

    The criminal corruption trial of Democratic US senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is scheduled to get under way in a Manhattan federal court Monday, with prosecutors preparing a colorful tale of a greedy politician with a fondness for gold bullion, fast cars, and almost half a million dollars in cash found hidden around his home.

    Menendez, 70, insists he is innocent of the 16 felony charges brought against him by the US attorney’s office of the southern district of New York, including bribery, extortion, obstruction, and acting as a foreign agent.

    But prosecutors allege he used his considerable power and influence as chair of the Senate foreign relations committee to illegally smooth over lucrative business deals for several associates with the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

    And they say the 13 gold bars – and money found stuffed into jacket pockets, closets and a safe during a summer 2022 raid on his house in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, as well as a gleaming new Mercedes-Benz in the garage – were his rewards.

    Menendez resigned his committee post but refused to stand down as a senator, even after a superseding indictment in January leveled new allegations, including that he took gifts of more cash and gold, as well as Formula 1 tickets and high-end wristwatches, for promoting Qatari interests.

    SCOTUS Rules Cops Can KEEP YOUR Stuff For MONTHS, YEARS Without A Trial



    the horse race




    PANICKED Dems Float ONLINE DNC To Avoid Protests



    the evening greens


    Afghanistan flash floods kill more than 300 as torrents of water and mud crash through villages

    More than 300 people were killed in flash floods that ripped through multiple provinces in Afghanistan, the UN’s World Food Programme said, as authorities declared a state of emergency and rushed to rescue the injured. Many people remained missing after heavy rains on Friday sent roaring rivers of water and mud crashing through villages and across agricultural land in several provinces, causing what one aid group described as a “major humanitarian emergency”. ...

    Since mid-April, flash flooding and other floods had left about 100 people dead in 10 of Afghanistan’s provinces, authorities said. Farmland has been swamped in a country where 80% of the more than 40 million people depend on agriculture to survive.

    Afghanistan – which had a relatively dry winter, making it more difficult for the soil to absorb rainfall – is highly vulnerable to climate change. The nation, ravaged by four decades of war, is one of the world’s poorest and, according to scientists, one of the worst prepared to face the consequences of global warming.

    Two Just Stop Oil protesters attack Magna Carta’s glass case

    Two Just Stop Oil protesters have smashed the glass around Magna Carta at the British Library. The Rev Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, targeted the protective enclosure with a hammer and chisel on Friday morning. Just Stop Oil said the pair then held up a sign reading “The government is breaking the law” and glued themselves to the display.

    The Metropolitan police said two people had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and were in custody.

    Parfitt said: “The Magna Carta is rightly revered, being of great importance to our history, to our freedoms and to our laws. But there will be no freedom, no lawfulness, no rights, if we allow climate breakdown to become the catastrophe that is now threatened.

    “We must get things in proportion. The abundance of life on Earth, the climate stability that allows civilisation to continue, is what must be revered and protected above all else, even above our most precious artefacts.”


    Also of Interest

    Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

    Over 520 Bodies Found in 7 Mass Graves – Gaza Health Ministry

    When Your Rulers Ignore Voters But Are Terrified Of Protesters, That Tells You Something

    “Living in Netanyahu’s America” – In More Ways Than One

    When Opposing Genocide Is Seen As Radical, Radicalism Becomes A Moral Imperative

    When it comes to Israel, this 'dissent channel' is broken

    The story of the northern California college that inspired campus protesters across America

    US Orders Troops to Leave Niger (dragging their feet -js)

    Ukraine SitRep: The 'Sanitary Zone' On The Northern Border With Russia

    Northern lights illuminate skies in US and Canada – in pictures

    Bitter Hillary TRASHES Young Voters: 'Don't Know History'

    Blinken: Israel Committing WAR CRIMES, But That's OKAY

    Billionaires Pay Lower Tax Than WORKING CLASS


    A Little Night Music

    Lowell Fulson – Reconsider Baby

    Lowell Fulson – I'm Glad You Reconsidered

    Lowell Fulsom(n) - Tramp

    Lowell Fulson – Guitar Shuffle

    Lowell Fulson – Shed No Tears

    Lowell Fulson - Low Society

    Lowell Fulson – Rock This Morning

    Lowell Fulsom - Why Don't We Do It In The Road?

    Lowell Fulson – Comin' Home Someday

    Lowell Fulson @ Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party


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    Comments

    -
    a great place to pop-in and absorb
    the evil empire ploys
    plus in depth blues music!

    up
    9 users have voted.
    joe shikspack's picture

    @QMS

    heh, where else are ya gonna get entertainment like this? Smile

    have a great evening!

    up
    4 users have voted.
    snoopydawg's picture

    .

    because it supports a certain type of genocide here at home.

    Americans can also be killed with impunity as long as the killer is from the right caste. Heck, the Sacklers can off a few thousand and write it off as the cost of doing business. Reading Matt Bivens recent piece on the opioid crisis at Racket News left me wondering if the difference is that while Israel resorts to killing with bombs, the US sticks with neoliberal despair.

    No discussion in congress about the increasing homeless population or how the feds quantive easing is allowing banks to buy up Americans dream of owning a home and all the other rotten neoliberal policies that adds more people to the poverty roll every year. No problem with the 19 million kids going to bed hungry every night. I bet no one in government thinks of those kids when they are at some state dinner or their fancy bars and lavish fundraisers. Congress is surrounded by luxury while 600,000 people are living on the streets.

    Biden is bringing out the big guns for fundraising. Obama, Clintons, George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Like all Biden needs is more money to win instead of passing any of the things he ran on that would help the working class. But to change any of this just vote harder this year!

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    joe shikspack's picture

    @snoopydawg

    heh, yeah genocide joe sucks, but which senile, pugnacious, arrogant jackass are you going to vote for? Smile

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    soryang's picture

    This ex-Marine tried to help North Korean diplomats defect. Now he faces decades in prison.

    How did Ahn wind up in this “situation”? He is an unlikely person to be treated as a criminal by his own government. Burly and bearded, he is described by family friends in court filings as a “happy-go-lucky guy who is like a teddy bear inside.” A son of Korean immigrants, Ahn has been taking care of his family since he was 17, when his father died of cancer. He now takes care of his ailing mother, who has a debilitating nerve disease, and his 97-year-old, blind grandmother, who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

    Sue Mi Terry, ex-CIA, was the co-author of the WP article in 2021 along with Max Boot.

    Ex-marine who raided North Korean Embassy asks US court to stop his extradition

    Several experts told NK News last year that they question whether Pyongyang is interested in targeting Ahn or even able to do so in Europe, with one commenter putting the odds of an assassination attempt at “close to zero.”

    Veteran faces assassination threat after plan to help North Koreans defect (60 Minutes CBS)

    There are so many inconsistent statements, omissions, and incredible assertions on behalf of Ahn in these presentations to oppose Christopher Ahn's extradition to Spain for breaking into the DPRK Embassy in Madrid, assaulting staff, tying them up, and stealing documents and digital sources of evidence, laptops, hard drives and hand phones. The latter were delivered soon after to the FBI in the US by members of the "independent dissident group." Earlier, Ahn just happened to be in the Philippines in time to help Adrian Hong in his cloak and dagger work in the aftermath of the death of Kim Jang-nam in Kuala Lumpur.

    In light of this how credible is the "faked kidnapping" cover the embassy break in team was using to cover their alleged attempt to conceal an effort to smuggle embassy personnel to a safe country for defection? What would the alleged purpose of a "fake kidnapping" be? Would it be credible in any way in North Korean ruling circles. Not in the least. What use does an alleged dissident group have of kidnapped hostages? Only a state actor actor could benefit from a hostage exchange and provide the logistics, intelligence and diplomatic support to pull it off. Has anyone ever heard of North Korea paying ransom for hostages?

    From the WP article-

    In 2017, at Hong’s request, Ahn interrupted a vacation in the Philippines to fly to Taiwan to help Kim Han Sol, the nephew of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. (According to the New Yorker, Kim Han Sol had met Hong in 2013 and was aware of his efforts to help defectors.) Kim Han Sol no longer felt safe living in Macao after his father, Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un’s half brother, had been assassinated with a chemical weapon by alleged North Korean agents in Malaysia. Ahn helped Kim Han Sol and his mother and sister find a flight to safety abroad.

    I can't imagine someone so busy supporting his mom and grandmother getting an MBA and taking a vacation in Asia.

    Regarding the assassination, the connection to North Korean agents was not proven in court, and the two foreign nationals from Southeast Asia participating in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, walked. One was completely acquitted, and the other took a plea bargain too sweet to pass up. Makes you wonder doesn't it? One high ranking Malaysian official said they weren't able to prove the North Korean state connection and weren't even going to try.

    Official sources in Spain originally said 2 US CIA assets were involved in the embassy break in Feb 2019. The former DPRK ambassador to Spain in 2017 Kim Hyok-chol was the chief working level negotiator for the summit talks (Stephen Biegun's counterpart) coming up in Hanoi within days. The alleged "independent dissident group" of which Ahn was a part, stole handphones, hard drives and usb's from inside the embassy. Those items were delivered to the FBI soon after. That's burglary at minimum. A conservative national security analyst from South Korea says Free Chosun / Choellima Civil Defense is not a North Korean group but has indications of a sophisticated intelligence operation. According to Ahn's own account of how he came to be involved with the evacuation of Kim Han-sol, Adrian Hong can contact the CIA with just a phone call, and get results. Go figure.

    So Hong Ahn supported his (ailing) mother and grandmother while getting his college degree and MBA, and then became a world traveler to assist North Korean "defectors." Quite a feat. Note the change in his appearance for his CBS appearance on sixty minutes; From muscle/thug appearance outside the embassy gate to gentleman.

    If the North Korean victims of the embassy break in were liars, wouldn't that be obvious from their inconsistent statements? If the acting ambassador were even suspected of cooperating with Hong and Ahn, would he still be working in the DPRK embassy in Madrid ("last year" according to the 60 minutes account)?

    A well regarded South Korean national security analyst has noted the CIA connection to the assassination victim Kim Jong-nam. He recounted as credible a Japanese news report that two CIA agents had contacted Kim Jong-nam right before he was killed. Theirs was an effort, with an objective quite consistent with the subsequent mission of Choellima Civil Defense to evacuate his son Kim Han-sol to safety away from Asia. South Korean analysts believe the latter is under US government protection in the US, and that the CIA participated in getting Kim's nephew out of Macao and ultimately to the US. The entire effort is to create the false impression of a court intrigue to present the image of a competing contender to the rule of Kim Jong-un. Such a scheme is largely a intelligence psyop against Kim Jong-un himself immediately before the Hanoi summit.

    The group claimed to be protecting Kim Jong Nam's son, Kim Han-sol, who apparently is in hiding. Kim Han Sol is the North Korean version of the sacred dynastic blood line claim to legitimate political rule (백두산 피줄 bektusan pi chul.) Ostensibly, this was the reason his father was killed.

    Interesting report from Yonhap, Tim Shorrock mentioned on twitter. Sure send propaganda balloons over the DMZ. Yoon's desperate need to generate some international tension with North Korea to distract everyone. Wonder how the North will respond? So the high court says "freedom of expression." No time, place and manner restrictions? People who live near the DMZ don't like this because of the obvious security risks. Does freedom of expression encompass going to the Joint Security Area and screaming FU Kim Jong-un? Shouldn't that be allowed too?

    Thanks for the all the news updates and blues Joe!

    (had to edit this some for clarity, misspelling, grammar etc.)

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    語必忠信 行必正直

    joe shikspack's picture

    @soryang

    thanks for the update! my the plot lines get convoluted (or perhaps we should say that the webs get tangled) when the cia gets involved in foreign policy.

    have a great evening!

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    snoopydawg's picture

    .

    This is a good point. On the UN decreasing the number of deaths.

    So I don’t understand how this works…

    If some group murders 15000 women and children and old men instead of 30000 they are magically some type of super moral group that is observing rules of war?

    When the signs first went up at Auschwitz, they said 4 million. Now they say 1 million. That’s a better reduction rate at 75%

    So does that mean the Auschwitz camp guards get a pass?

    Posted by: Archetypex | May 13 2024 23:26 utc | 122

    Eradon of Turkey says that they have treated 1,000 Hamas fighters and he doesn’t see them as a terrorist group, but resistance fighters.

    Yeah I spelled his name wrong.

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    joe shikspack's picture

    @snoopydawg

    yep, it seems that the change was due to the (hamas) health ministry re-assessing the rolls of dead that they could confirm with a name. all of the honest people agree that the health ministry's reports are conservative and that the real numbers of dead and wounded are much higher. predictably however, when syllables are uttered, they get twisted by those with agendas.

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    snoopydawg's picture

    @joe shikspack

    all the rubble in Gaza. Or finding out who the severed body parts belong to.

    The number has been stuck on 30,000 odd deaths for how many months?

    Chris Hedges latest is one of his best and the most disgusting thing I’ve read about this fcking cruel genocide.

    Jerry Seinfeld gave a commencement speech at some high up university and the people who walked out on him were booed.
    Shame on the people who kept their butts in the chairs and didn’t join the walk out. I just don’t get how people can look away from what’s happening.
    Well one day what’s happening is Gaza might hit America and I bet people will be singing a different tune when it’s their lives being snuffed out, their families killed and their friends buried in the rubble.

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    snoopydawg's picture

    .

    Apparently Prop or Not got exposed for being a state owned fact check site so the government created a new one.

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/new-lines-magazine-washington-weaponizes-m...

    Here’s what Tom says about this.

    Every time one of these fake-ass media "watchdog" (read: smear and censor) operations gets exposed and shut down, another one - with the same players - pops up in a more powerful/connected fashion like a game of Whack-a-Mole.

    Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 13 2024 0:05 utc | 62

    Maybe nuclear war would clean up the cesspool of the government because I think anything short of it will leave too many dregs stills standing. It’s all done to shape the narrative and get people on board with government actions. P-U.

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    snoopydawg's picture

    .

    Shitlibs gave her a standing ovation for this word salad.

    Heh, heh, cackle, cackle rotflma, rotflma….. Bad

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    joe shikspack's picture

    @snoopydawg

    who knew that kopmala was capable of such, um, profundity?

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    @snoopydawg well...things and favors with a governor, but how did she get through law school, become California Atty Gen?
    California's bar exam is about the hardest to pass in the US. Did drugs do this mush brain shit to her, or is she getting paid to be a fool?!!!
    aarrgh!!

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    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    snoopydawg's picture

    @on the cusp

    how did she get through law school

    I don’t know how she did that, but her promotions were probably through her acts with that governor who paved the way for her to reach her goals.
    I’ll always be forever thankful for Tulsi knocking her out of the race for president.

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    losing it's cache'.
    I was actually in Spain about the time the protests dust settled, but no diminishing of the the fact that Catalan, where Barcelona draws tourist from all over the world, every day, and collects sale's taxes that get taken from that region to support all of Spain. They were, and still are, pissed off and are tired of the tax system. I strongly relate to that!
    Well, joe, all I can say is, Ole'!
    Thanks for the ebs, friend. Lots of effort you put into informing and entertaining us.

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    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    joe shikspack's picture

    @on the cusp

    i suspect that the tides will again return in the separatists favor as the oppressive francoists cannot stop themselves from irritating the public and one day it will have political ramifications again.

    have a great evening!

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    enhydra lutris's picture

    @on the cusp

    they were never really part of España, always semi autonomoous at the least, hell, part of France for a bit even and even bad actors under Franco.

    be well and have a good one

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    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    @enhydra lutris Before we took off for the trip, I was reading about turmoil. Even my tour agency was sending warnings to avoid going into a protest, and assuring me the company tour guides and tour routes would avoid those areas.
    The tour guide/manager that stayed with the group from start to finish said Catalan could forget about separating from Spain.
    However, the local guide on the day tour I took as an optional tour, instead of staying in the hotel, told the story from Catalan's point of view. He did mention some history of the area, but focused on current economics which most prominently laid the ground work for getting the hell out of Dodge.

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    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    TheOtherMaven's picture

    @on the cusp

    Catalonia is the territory.

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    There is no justice. There can be no peace.

    @TheOtherMaven I kept thinking about that, kept up what popped up in the thread, to lazy to do a quick google search.
    My bad.

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    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    janis b's picture

    Thanks joe for the news and blues. I always enjoy Alastair Crooke’s broad perspective and experience.

    I remember it was not very long ago I/P issues were so ‘hot’ as to be verboten to be addressed on most online media sites. Now it’s everywhere. Does that mean its unnatural suppression is a thing of the past? Will the unfairly suppressed find justice? Will there be a greater universal understanding of the matters?

    I wonder what Dylans thoughts are today, as he plans a concert next month in Israel?

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    joe shikspack's picture

    @janis b

    i think that in the past, the i/p thing had hit a kind of dull background noise level. there were occasional outbreaks of enormous violence (generally from the iof) but they receded quickly and things resumed a level where people could pick up the pieces and hope that the international system would start working. the israelis slow depredation of the palestinian land mass and people seemed somehow not worth going to war about for the powers that be. now the violence has ratcheted up to a level that nobody can ignore and a resolution has to be imposed. the international system has to act or there will predictably be greater escalation that will be even less pretty than the genocide we see enacted before us.

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    janis b's picture

    @joe shikspack

    Your answer makes sense. The degree of desperation exhibited is enormous, and I hope the world can avoid the worst of the consequences.

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    usefewersyllables's picture

    @joe shikspack

    If the Israelis aren't stopped by the international community, I'm sure that their insatiable desire for more lebensraum will lead to more expansion into neighboring states like Lebanon or Syria, and in relatively short order. They don't seem to mind living in a constant state of war, after all. In that respect, they are kind of like the US- we don't seem to mind too much either. The only difference is that they receive return fire directly on their own soil rather more often than we have, at least to date. I do not expect that distinction to continue much longer, though.

    Meanwhile, to lighten things up a bit, here's my favorite comedy bit on the topic from the late Sam Kinison. I suppose that liking this is just another thing that makes me an antisemite...

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    Twice bitten, permanently shy.

    snoopydawg's picture

    @usefewersyllables

    I keep hearing that if Russia isn’t stopped in Ukraine then they will go to Poland next and then the Baltic states and then on into Europe….. but of course Israel just wants only Palestine.

    Blinken was allowed to fly into Kiev and he told Zelensky that the most incredible weapons are on the way and that they will make it so Ukraine can win the war. Any day now….
    However Ukrainians are ticked that Russia just drove over the border into Kharkiv because the no bid contracts worth hundreds of millions were embezzled by companies that had just been created after the contracts were offered. I wonder if Halliburton is working in Ukraine?

    Meanwhile here at home….

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    usefewersyllables's picture

    @snoopydawg

    wadded up in the fog of war, isn't it. The difference, at least to me, is that I don't see any direct evidence that Putin actually intends to continue his expansionism beyond the Donbas- whereas BooBoo Yahoo has been bombing pretty much all of his neighbors, all along.

    Now, if Putin were to Gazafy Kyiv, I might change my mind. But until then- you're right, one load of propaganda is pretty much the same as any other...

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    snoopydawg's picture

    @usefewersyllables

    surprised that even the shitlibs aren’t calling it out. Russia was accused of genocide because they were blocking food into Ukraine….I don’t remember them doing it, but Ursula said they did. Israeli government officials have plainly stated that they will not allow any food, water gas, ect and the media is silent.

    During the last massive Russian bombing 3 people were injured, no deaths. Meanwhile Ukrainians keep bombing civilian targets. The death toll in Belgorod has continued to rise.

    Putin does only plan on making the Donbas safe, but it’s NATO who have been putting words in his mouth saying the BS crap we keep hearing.

    ETA
    Belgorod

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    usefewersyllables's picture

    @snoopydawg

    I'd say that the hypocrisy represents a downright amazing feat of cognitive dissonance. But then again, that would require that cognition be present. That assumes facts not in evidence.

    I mourn the death of critical thought.

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    janis b's picture

    @usefewersyllables

    From what I've seen so far, I like his outrageousness!

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    usefewersyllables's picture

    @janis b

    If you want outrageousness, go no further. That was from a TV show, I think: he combed his hair, and isn't wearing a beret, so he cleaned that bit up. Ho *goes there* on most of his material. He was a Pentecostal preacher before going to comedy, so that should tell you a lot...

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    janis b's picture

    @usefewersyllables

    I watched Kinison's Family Entertainment Hour. It was great. The introduction was also very funny ...

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    lotlizard's picture

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_Sunday

    Then: one small KKK bomb killing 4 little girls = bad, sad, evil.

    Now, shipments of U.S.-supplied 2,000 pound bombs killing thousands upon thousands of little girls in Gaza = good, normal, okay. So say our “leaders” in Washington DC from both major parties. So say our state and city governments, media, university administrations, cultural elites and entertainers.

    To criticize months of nonstop bombings of defenseless men, women, and especially children is to be anti-Semitic, says the ADL.

    The so-called Southern Poverty Law Center on student protests and Gaza? Crickets.

    https://www.splcenter.org/

    What the hell happened to this country???

    Screw the SPLC.

    Maybe look into supporting this other SPLC whose website says it backs student journalists:

    https://splc.org/

    ——

    Come round by my side and I'll sing you a song.
    I'll sing it so softly, it'll do no one wrong.
    On Birmingham Sunday the blood ran like wine,
    And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.

    That cold autumn morning no eyes saw the sun,
    And Addie Mae Collins, her number was one.
    At an old Baptist church there was no need to run.
    And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.

    The clouds they were grey and the autumn winds blew,
    And Denise McNair brought the number to two.
    The falcon of death was a creature they knew,
    And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.

    The church it was crowded, but no one could see
    That Cynthia Wesley's dark number was three.
    Her prayers and her feelings would shame you and me.
    And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.

    Young Carol Robertson entered the door
    And the number her killers had given was four.
    She asked for a blessing but asked for no more,
    And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.

    On Birmingham Sunday a noise shook the ground.
    And people all over the earth turned around.
    For no one recalled a more cowardly sound.
    And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.

    The men in the forest they once asked of me,
    How many black berries grew in the Blue Sea.
    And I asked them right back with a tear in my eye.
    How many dark ships in the forest?

    The Sunday has come and the Sunday has gone.
    And I can't do much more than to sing you a song.
    I'll sing it so softly, it'll do no one wrong.
    And the choirs keep singing of Freedom.

    How many hours, how many verses would it take to name every child the collective wealth and weapons of the West have murdered in Palestine?

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    janis b's picture

    @lotlizard

    It pierces the heart.

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