Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Israel’s Role in Creating Hamas

Review of:
Hamas: The Islamic Resistance Movement
Beverley Milton-Edwards and Stephen Farrell
Polity Press, 2010 (340 pp.)

Beverly Milton-Edwards is Professor in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast. Steven Farrell, who has dual British-Irish citizenship, is Middle East Correspondent for The New York Times.

By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Hamas is about the militant Palestinian group which was democratically elected to run the Palestinian Authority in 2006. The main value of the book is the rich context it provides regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which is totally absent from the mainstream media. Hamas clearly documents the role Israel played in promoting the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in Palestine. The book also emphasizes the essential role foreign financial assistance plays in perpetuating this war – with the US heavily backing Israel and other Islamic states backing occupied Palestine.

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The Smothers Brothers and I

By TheOncomingStorm

Our household has spent several nights watching compilations of the “best” of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, courtesy of Netflix and the E channel. Some things struck me as, well, funny. Verrry funny. I was always a fan of their show, and was sorely disappointed when it was cancelled for pissing off the censors. Then again, a whole lot of things struck me as sad, and I am sure that some of these pissed off the censors as well.

These were the kind of compilations in which Tommy and Dick Smothers give you a scripted studio introduction to what you are about to see (with dates and guest list) and then after the show’s “best of”, come back and give us a trip down memory lane for the two of them regarding what one has just watched.

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Libya’s Palestinian Refugees and the current crisis

Smoke rises from explosions as NATO airstrikes hit Tripoli. The alliance is stepping up their air campaign in the country. [More images here.]

Guest blogged by Franklin Lamb

As Tripoli’s Palestinian Refugees awakened the morning of 7/17/11, like the rest of us here, they saw in the western sky over the Mediterranean a vast swatch of black stratocumulus clouds of acrid smoke from last night’s NATO bombing.
This latest attack, in the Ain Zara and Tajoura districts in the eastern suburbs of Tripoli killed 3 more civilians increasing the more than 1,100 total civilian deaths by NATO, according to Libyan Ministry of Health statistics. This latest attack is believed to have employed four US MK-83, 1000 lb. guided bombs and four US hell fire missiles.

Two weeks ago, on June 23rd, the Abdullah Muhammad Ash-Shihab Palestinian refugee family of four which included Abdullah, his wife Karime and their six-month-old twins Khalid and Juanah were among civilians killed in a NATO bombing attack. The family had lived in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus, Syria but came here seeking Libya’s well known security and quiet life.

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Down the Rabbit Hole with Democracy and Three Urgent Pleas

By Sheila Parks


Who used to have it in the USA, and who has it now? People with white skin privilege? People who were born male? People with piles of money, much of it stolen from other people’s labor?

I often hear European Americans from all walks of life talking about democracy in the USA – how they want to reclaim it, like in the good old days – and I wonder about how differently from one another we experience this country. This is not our land; not my land nor your land. When European Americans arrived over 500 years ago, we murdered with bullets and small pox blankets – that we intentionally gave to them – the Indigenous people who had lived in balance here for thousands of years. Then we enslaved people of African descent to build the country’s wealth, and kept women – who did not even get the vote until 1920 – second class citizens and the property of men for even longer.

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Are Vaccines Obsolete?

By P. Daniels

In reporting on an explosive new meta-analysis of the vaccine-autism link by Dr. Helen Ratajczak, CBS has opened questions surrounding vaccinations:

“The article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology is entitled Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review. The author is Helen Ratajczak, surprisingly herself a former senior scientist at a pharmaceutical firm. Ratajczak did what nobody else apparently has bothered to do: she reviewed the body of published science since autism was first described in 1943. Not just one theory suggested by research such as the role of MMR shots, or the mercury preservative thimerosal, but all of them.

“Ratajczak’s article states, in part, that ‘Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis following vaccination [emphasis added]. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain….

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911 whistleblower blasts Patriot Act renewal


By Susan Lindauer
(9/11 Whistleblower indicted on the Patriot Act)

I confess that since November I’ve been holding my breath, watching the clock for how long Tea Party newcomers could hold out against the entrenched Republican elite on Capitol Hill. Collapse was inevitable, however I admit to feeling bitterly surprised at how rapidly they have thrown in the towel.

For the record, most of the Tea Party quit their principles of liberty on February 14, 2011—20 days into the new Congress—when Tea Party leaders abruptly abandoned their opposition to the Patriot Act and voted to extend intrusive domestic surveillance, wire tapping and warrantless searches of American citizens.  In so doing, they exposed the fraud of their soaring campaign promises to defend the liberty of ordinary Americans, and fight government intrusions on freedom. All those wide eyed speeches that flowed with such thrilling devotions, all of it proved to be self-aggrandizing lies.

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Let It Burn?

By TheOncomingStorm

We are at that crossroads yet again, where we must make a firm, courageous decision about whether to let it all burn – or put out the flames. We as a species have been here before, many times. However, as our species’ timeline has marched on, we have grown weak and frightened of change and acts of heroism. Now, we are reaping what we have sown in past decades, and we are reaping bushels and bushels of nothing. My heart is filled with sadness at this.

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Hands off Assange

Guest blogged by M. Washington

Dear Pres. Obama and Congress:

I want to publicly state my outrage at our government’s public assualt and obvious desire to punish Julian Assange, the spokesperson for WikiLeaks.

Mr. President: You promised a lot of things when you were campaigning, and I believed you to the point that, for the first time in my voting life, I contributed to a campaign fund.  It wasn’t much, as we are one of the statistics that have fallen below the poverty line in this Depression (I refuse to call it a recession, as I huddle here in a cold house that I will soon lose).

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Right Side Up

By Chris Pratt

I always seem to find confirming evidence that things are horribly wrong. Nightmares about corruption and control have crept into my consciousness and are now giant objects of reality for me. I firmly believe that by controlling money and media a very small cadre of ultra elites are also controlling an unsuspecting public. They are marching us into a stark Orwellian future, a world of elite rulers and a sea of debt slaves totally dependent upon government for their very existence.

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Dissing the Holy Thorn Tree

By TheOncomingStorm

Alright, all you Pagans out there: this is a newsflash if you have not already heard: The Holy Thorn Tree at WearyAll Hill, in Glastonbury, Somerset, England was vandalized on Dec. 9. The Holy Thorn Tree is allegedly, in Christian myth and legend, the place where, upon arriving in England, at the Holy Isle of Avalon, Joseph of Arimithea plunged his staff into the ground and it took root, to become the Holy Thorn of renown. It is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Pagans alike. WearyAll Hill is also known as a site of the Ancient Apple Isle of Healing, Avalon, or Afallon in Welsh. For the Sisters of Avalon, it was and is a site of respite and peace, meditation and solace.

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Laureate Liu: The internet is God’s present

By John Kusumi

Almost as if he were here to debate this week’s Wikileaks stories, the following is an essay from Liu Xiaobo, who remains in prison even while the Nobel Prize committee awarded him today with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

As one can see by reading this, Liu is very, very grateful for the internet.

Essay by Liu Xiaobo:

Today there are more than 100 million internet users in China. The Chinese Government is ambivalent towards it. On the one hand, the internet is a tool to make money. On the other, the Communist dictatorship is afraid of freedom of expression.
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COICA Could Be Voted out of Committee This Week: Scary Stuff

By Chris Pratt

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you

— Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Masque of Anarchy” (1819)

My film deceptions and the works of others document the many lies and the hypocrisy that our politicians and government have foisted upon us. However, the public has begun to wake up. They are beginning to realize that 9/11 revelations will be the first of many cascading dominoes as conspiracy theory will morph into cover-up, over and over again.

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COICA kills free speech: Write Sen. Leahy

By Chris Pratt

Blacklisted domains and terminated websites are both possibilities if bill S.3804 becomes law. It is called “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) and it was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy on September 20, 2010.
Hard to imagine that the same man who could say:

“I commend Secretary of State Clinton for reaffirming our nation’s deep commitment to openness and freedom of expression on the Internet. The Internet has become a vital tool to protect and ensure the rights and basic freedoms of Americans and the human rights of people everywhere.”
Released by Leahy’s Office in January 2010


“Why did 9/11 happen on George Bush’s watch when he had clear warnings that it was going to happen?…. Had there been an independent congress, one that could ask questions, these questions would have been asked years ago. We’d be much better off…..”
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy — interview with Amy Goodman, 9/29/2006 

is now proposing legislation that will allow the government to blacklist and close down websites engaged in “infringing activities.”
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Drugs and vaccines are in trouble

By Hugh Reed

There isn’t a day that goes by that drugs such as anti-depressants, Fosamax, hormone replacement therapy, Avandia or Vioxx, all once strongly touted, are now being questioned for their side effects from psychosis and suicides, to spontaneous bone fractures, to cancers, to heart attacks, to deaths.  Even aspirin is now being questioned as a possible cause of deaths, as well as the bizarre effects of the 1918 flu. The list of withdrawn drugs is long but it does not include drugs still on the market which are known to harm or kill (of the drugs listed above, only Vioxx has been removed).  Prescription aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-imflammatories routinely kill more than 16,000 people a year.

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10 Riveting Reads about the Iraq War

Guest Blogged by Corrine Smith

The horror of war has the weird ability to produce moving and conflicted works of literary art, as writers work through the best and worst of human emotion to come to grips with what they’ve seen, heard, and experienced. Novels have played a major role — the Civil War gave us The Red Badge of Courage; World War I gave us All Quiet on the Western Front — but works of on-the-ground reporting like the Vietnam-era Dispatches and The Things They Carried offer readers an immediacy and reality different from that found in fictional works or the nightly news.  The current war in Iraq is no different, having inspired dozens of worthy titles since the 2003 invasion.  Continue reading

How many things could a child find wrong in this vaccine picture?


Guest Blogged by S. Stone

Recently, an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control unanimously voted to mandate vaccines for all those over six months of age. The H1N1 vaccines are not “just like regular flu vaccines” as the government insists, but contain nanoparticles, making them highly experimental. Mandating their use means forcing people into a medical experiment in violation of the Nuremberg Code.

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Okay. I filled it out. Now, can I go?


Guest Blogged by Mikel Paul

Silly me. I thought it was best to be sincere.


Good Citizen Evaluation Part I

9/11 was carried out by 19….okay.

JFK was killed by the lone Oswald….okay.

Bobby was done in by Sirhan….okay

MLK was taken out by James Earl Ray….okay.

NAFTA is free trade….okay.

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Istina: Like a Fire in the Fireplace


Guest Blogged by Mark Sashine

There are two words in the Russian language addressing the same issue: Pravda and Istina. Pravda means the Truth. Istina- something more than just the Truth. It is the Truth at the Higher plane of existence.

Here are some examples:

1.   It is the truth that the American war for Independence was not really a Revolution. It was a craftily designed colonial secession, orchestrated by a group of wealthy people frustrated with the fact that despite their wealth they were still treated as second-rate citizens by their British patrons. Yes, that’s Pravda. But if you read the Declaration of Independence, if you find out about Saratoga, about Benjamin Franklin, about Nathan Hale, about all those thousands who fought in the Continental Army, about Lafayette and about Benedict Arnold you understand that in the process, that war became something bigger than just a simple successful mutiny, that its cause became the good one, the cause of progress of Humanity. American war became an American Revolution, it earned the title fair and square. And that’s Istina.

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The neo-liberal assault on Bhopal


Guest blogged by Anil Sadgopal

India’s ruling class refuses to learn any lessons from the biggest industrial genocide in human history that took place in Bhopal more than 25 years ago

Within two days of the Bhopal verdict amounting to burial of justice, the Government of India, at Washington’s request (read ‘US nuclear corporations’ insistence’), agreed to dilute a key provision of the draft Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, now before the Parliament. This related to Section 17 (b) of the Bill, the only provision that had the teeth to deter the nuclear industry from taking its safety obligations lightly. Not that the rest of the Bill had drawn any lessons from Bhopal either. The Bill provides for only a limited liability of the operators of the nuclear plants by putting a ‘cap’ of Rs 500 crores for the compensation to be paid by them, the rest of it to be borne by the State out of public funds. If the Bill is passed by the Parliament in its present shape, the people of India would be required to pay for being killed and maimed by transnational corporations! This is the latest government model of Public Private Partnership (PPP).

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The End of the World As We Know It

By John Kusumi

I’ve recently discovered the videos of Warren E. Pollock. Thus far, I like what I see. Pollack is a former VP of a Wall Street technology firm. That does not mean a trading firm. That means he’s looked at Wall Street from the I.T. / information systems angle, as well as business angle. Continue reading