“Death is CERTAIN”

Christopher Hitchens
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“I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information.”  Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died December 16, 2011,  at the age of 62.

Hitch is remembered for many brilliant accomplishments.  The following example is not the most notable.  It does, however,  showcase  his sheer intestinal fortitude for exposing hypocrisy; even if it meant calling out the now defunct commander-in-chief and the entire industrial military complex (bravo, Hitch!).

Christopher Hitchens, after subjecting himself to waterboarding in 2008, was one of the first outspoken critics of this type of particular torture.  He lasted for all of 16 seconds:

“It’s annoying to me now to read every time it’s discussed in the press or in Congress  that it simulates the feeling of drowning,” he said at the time. “It doesn’t simulate the feeling of drowning. You are being drowned, slowly.”

Hitchens’ exposure to waterboarding was brief and intense- similar to his legacy… that will, without a doubt, out live us all.

READ MORE ABOUT CHRISTOPHER:

NATION

VANCOUVER SUN

UPCOMING MEMOIRS

NEW YORK TIMES

Occupy Demands Answers. Do you?

And, on the eighth day the Earth shook, the heavens parted, and mankind was split into two warring political factions:  Us…and, them (the 99% vs. the 1%).

Humanity is under attack.  The enemy is misinformation.  The attack is brief, but consistent. The preferred method of delivery is through intermittent blasts of twisted propaganda; the battleground is the human psyche; the weapon of choice, the media.  A movement so profound cannot (and should not) be reduced to thirty second intervals.  This sound bite mentality does not inspire thought; it only serves to polarize and excite. The collateral damage of these unfettered attacks is chipping away at the ideas, debate, and discussion borne of the Occupy movement.

Occupy is what happens when people decide enough is enough. It is an act of extremism born of frustration.  Extremism is not a foreign concept.  As a matter of fact, America has made going to extremes its national identity.  It could easily be stated that our founding fathers were extremists- liberty seeking extremists who turned the simple question: “What if?” into a national motto.  Yet, the Occupy movement takes the ‘what if’ question a step further, asking ‘why’… and demands an answer.

The Occupy movement is the catalyst for discourse underscoring the egregious disparities between the laboring 99% and the ruling 1%.   Productive discourse, tempered with reason, gives birth to ideas; ideas give birth to dreams; and dreams that come to fruition through determination and perseverance, challenge and inspire others.

The proliferation of merit less ideas or arguments for the sake of personal gain, ratings, and/or profit pollutes the Occupy message. The conversation began with the Occupy movement.  The American Dream is under attack. But, if the proverbial American Dream is to be realized by 100% of the people, credence must be given to the concerned voices of the 99%.  Don’t let the dream die…Occupy EVERYWHERE.

Annie Walker-Leonard (@JCDP18)

Who’s Wrecking America? Meet Your 1% Nominee

Now you can vote on some of the most infamous members of the 1% — financial fraudsters, union-busters, weapons contractors, and more.

 The Occupy movement has drawn attention to how too many in the 1% get to play by their own rules while exploiting the 99%. But who’s doing the most to damage our economy and democracy?

We at Brave New Foundation have launched a website where you can vote on some of the most infamous members of the 1% — financial fraudsters, union-busters, weapons contractors, and more. Then we’ll make a series of videos exposing the ones that you rank as the very worst. As our friends at Fox News might put it: We film. You decide.

TIME TO ELECT A NEW CONGRESS REFLECTIVE OF THE 99%

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Beckel, 202-354-0108 or press@crp.org

These days, being a millionaire typically qualifies you as part of the one percent. But in Congress, it only makes you average.

About 47 percent of Congress, or 250* current members of Congress, are millionaires, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of lawmakers’ personal financial disclosure forms covering calendar year 2010. The Center’s analysis is based on the median values of lawmakers’ disclosed assets and liabilities.

That lofty financial status is enjoyed by only about one percent of Americans.

“The vast majority of members of Congress are quite comfortable, financially, while many of their own constituents suffer from economic hardships,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

“It’s no surprise that so many people grumble about lawmakers being out-of-touch,” Krumholz continued. “Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushion maintained by most members of Congress — or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal financial gains.”
READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

Blood Soaked, Tattered, and Torn…

Veteran’s Day is designated as a national day of commemoration honoring peace and sacrifice:

‘November 11, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory… and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

America and her sympathy with peace and justice are failing. Peace is now an afterthought.

Soldiers (some far nobler than our country’s war mongering profiteers) are marched into horrific circumstances with a stroke of a bureaucratic pen. Many brave men and women enlist with honorable intentions; many left to die… abandoned by the Government, of the country they swore to protect. Freedom, it seems, diminishes profit margins. War is good business to the real tyrants-the war profiteers. On the horizon, the silhouette of a once great nation remains, reduced to a nation divided, misguided, and woeful. A nation subdued by the ills of war, blinded by the industrial military complex as it wages perpetual wars for profit at the expense of humanity.

A Government’s wars, cloaked in the blood soaked sacramental cloth that bears the stars and stripes of our heritage. Yet, as fate would have it, history inked with the blood of the noble, the innocent, and the evil, is of great consequence to those who hope to one day acquiesce to a peaceful state of existence.

Wars are a part of history that should not be repeated. If only our leaders would concede that mistakes have been made, damage has been done, and lessons were learned. But, lessons have not been learned, history repeats itself, and the wars continue.

Today as we contemplate sacrifice, contemplate the reflection in the mirror of humanity. – Annie

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” D. Lama

W.E. Whitmore

“Who stole the soul-And who stole the heart
And who took the spark from inside of me…
Why can’t I breathe…

And I’m afraid they won’t stop…’til all the poets have failed;
Til all the good men are jailed for nothin’ at all
Who let them take the fall…

And they’ll bring devastation; And call it diplomacy…
But an occupation won’t bring a nation to peace

Oh and I’m so ashamed, in these things beyond value; that we cherish so dear
I won’t let them go. No I won’t let them go…”

Neither will I…

Neither will I

– Annie

When Ann Coulter tells the truth – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

“I stepped in a pile of Ann Coulter’s insignificance and tracked it in the house. Here’s whats left of the mess.”- Annie

 

 

Via Al Jazeera:  Everyone’s going after Ann Coulter – and rightly so – for her racist comments on the “Hannity” show. Asked why liberals and Democrats are up in arms over the sexual harassment allegations that have been levelled against GOP candidate Herman Cain, Coulter said:

“Our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican, you don’t just roll into it. You’re not going with the flow…”

That “our blacks” is especially gruesome. Sounds like the proprietary claim a fancy housewife would make, ca. 1960 (or 1860), about her black maid: “my girl” or something like that.

But if you can suspend disbelief – or disgust – for a minute, there’s something in what Coulter is saying that’s worth paying attention to, for it unwittingly reveals a deep truth about conservatism. Not its racism, but something else. Read more…

When Ann Coulter tells the truth – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

Cemeteries are Peaceful…

Hugo Chavez may not be the perfect president, but anyone who can tip their hat to the IMF with a thanks, but no thanks attitude, deserves a bit of respect. And, while I may not embrace all of Hugo’s politics, I am quite fond of him.

In September, President Hugo Chávez’s statement was delivered by Venezuela’s foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro at the 66th UN General Assembly .    I printed the entire speech from the website listed below.   I began reading…and, I couldn’t stop.  Soon, the symbolic, powerful words penetrated my thoughts, plunging down into the black , depths of my intellect.  The simple (and painful) truth of Hugo Chávez‘ s statement cannot be denied. Truth be told, with respect to America, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

“Peace, peace, peace… We do not look for the peace of the cemetery, as said Kant ironically, but a peace based on the most zealous respect for international law. Unfortunately, the UN, through all its history, instead of adding and multiplying efforts in favor of peace among nations, ends up supporting, sometimes through its actions and other times by omission, the most ruthless injustices.”

Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? Because, Hugo, if we give them enough rope they will hang themselves….The imperialists have a people’s revolt on their hands. Yet, I do not hope for the peace of the cemetery. If we’re in the cemetery, we didn’t work hard enough for PEACE. The occupation continues.
The statement continues: ” I want to call on the governments of the world to reflect: since September 11th, 2001, a new and unprecedented imperialist war began, a permanent war, in perpetuity.”

It’s true, Hugo, the U.S. war-profiteers continue to feed their blood thirsty appetite, manufacturing fear in the hearts of the castle dwellers. The imperialists bankroll the propaganda peddlers, and there is no end in site. The war on terror is a front created to justify perpetual war.

It should always be remembered that “saving future generations from the scourge of war” is mentioned in the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations – it’s just a dead letter. From 1945 on, wars have done nothing but inexorably increase and multiply themselves. We see, once again, Libya destroyed and bloodstained by the will of the powerful. We have to look directly at the terrifying reality of the world we live in. It is necessary to ask a series of questions on the basis of the risks and threats we face: Why is the United States the only country that scatters the planet with military bases? What is it afraid of to allocate such a staggering budget for increasing its military power? Why has it unleashed so many wars, violating the sovereignty of other nations which have the same rights on their own fates? How can international law be enforced against its insensible aspiration to militarily hegemonizing the world in order to ensure energy sources to sustain their predatory and consumer model? Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? If we answer these questions sincerely we would understand that the empire has awarded itself the role of judge of the world, without being granted this responsibility by anyone, and, therefore, imperialist war threatens us all.

Washington knows that a multi-polar world is already an irreversible reality. Its strategy consists of stopping, at any price, the sustained rise of a group of emerging countries, by negotiating great interests with its partners and followers in order to guide multipolarity along the path the empire wants. What is more, the goal is to reconfigure the world so it is based on Yankee military hegemony. Mankind is facing the very real threat of a permanent war. The empire is ready to create the political conditions for triggering a war anywhere, and the case of Libya proves it. Within the imperial view of the world, the well-known Clausewitz’s axiom is being reversed: politics is the continuation of war by other means.

What is behind this new Armageddon?: the absolute power of the military-financial leadership which is destroying the world in order to accumulate ever more profits; the military-financial leadership which is subordinated, de facto, to an increasingly larger group of States. Keep in mind that war is capital’s modus operandi: the war that ruins the majority and makes richer, up to the unthinkable, a few people...

Humanity is on the brink of an unimaginable catastrophe: the world is marching inexorably toward the most devastating ecocide; global warming and its frightening consequences are announcing it, but their perspective on the ecosystem, which resembles the ideology of the conquistadors Cortés and Pizarro, as the influential French thinker Edgar Morin rightly pointed out, pushes them to continue degrading and destroying. The energy and food crises are sharpening, but capitalism continues to trespass all the limits with impunity.

Given such a meager outlook, the great U.S. scientist Linus Pauling, awarded the Nobel Prize on two occasions, continues enlightening our path: “I believe that there is a greater power in the world than the evil power of military force, of nuclear bombs — there is the power of good, of morality, of humanitarianism. I believe in the power of the human spirit”. Let us mobilize all the power of the human spirit: it is time now. It is imperative that we unleash a great political counter-offensive in order to prevent the powers of darkness from finding justifications for going to war, from unleashing a widespread global war through which they attempt to save the western capital….

I want to conclude by remembering the great Venezuelan singer, Alí Primera. In one of his songs he asks us: “What is man’s struggle to achieve peace? And what peace, if they want to leave the world just as it is?” Today more than ever before, the worst crime against peace is to leave the world as it is: if we leave the world as it is, the present and future will be determined by perpetual war. On the contrary, to quote Alí Primera, achieving peace involves radically reversing all that impedes humanity from being humane.

Read the entire speech here:

http://www.voltairenet.org/Statement-by-Hugo-Chavez-at-66th

Watch Oliver Stone’s Award Winning piece:

http://southoftheborderdoc.com/

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TEXAS’ SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT IS AT IT AGAIN

The Compost Heap, commonly referred to as the Republican dominated Texas House has produced some ‘fertile’ legislation this session.  A few notable bombs include an assault on Texas school children; Poll-Tax-revisited and Voter Suppression, via Voter ID; the Loser Pays “tort reform”; along with funding cuts to the Volunteer Firefighter’s Assistance Program (during a record drought season).   These Good ‘Ol Boys aren’t bothered by the petty, unimportant things like the economy, unemployment, education, or uninsured Texan’s, because they’ve got some fishing to do.

Yes, it’s true.  It is now a 3rd Degree Felony for anyone caught cheating in a Fishing tournament with a prize of $10,000 or more (HB 1806).  Rockwall Republican Dan Flynn wrote the awe-inspiring bill.  The House passed it 142-4, the Senate unanimously.  Bobby (friend of John Wheat Gibson)  said, “I guess we will need a new agency or sub-agency and a new Assistant Attorney General to monitor, enforce, and litigate fishing tournaments.”   Cheating in a fishing tournament could land you in jail for 2-10 years, and carries a fine of up to $10,000.  Wow.

Surely, this sinful act of SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT REGULATION is not endorsed by the Tea Party or their Tea Stain constituents.  Or, perhaps when the Republican controlled House  authors,  endorses, and passes  laws to regulate  and monitor, it’s good public policy, and not some evil attempt by the by the Socialist Left-Wing Conspirators to promote BIG GOVERNMENT.

           Seriously, A FISH CZAR?

Ref: Texas Penal Code, Sec. 12.34.  THIRD DEGREE FELONY PUNISHMENT.  (a)  An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for any term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years. (b)  In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/10/3065952/somethings-fishy-down-in-austin.html#ixzz1YonZsEbB