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Saturday, July 04, 2015

4 July 2015 - Israel’s Repression Against Free Speech and War Against U.S. Universities



(Repost C in Portland, Oregon
Friday 5 June 2015 

The American gambling magnate and major Republican party donor Sheldon Adelson is hosting a closed-door meeting of pro-Israel billionaires and activists at his Las Vegas casino this weekend, to combat the burgeoning movement on US university campuses to boycott the Jewish state.
The gathering comes amid growing Israeli alarm at the rise of the decade-old Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the US and Europe which the government in Jerusalem contends is antisemitic. It says the movement is intent on the destruction of the Jewish homeland because, among other things, some of its leaders support the “one-state solution” of combining Israel and the Palestinian territories into a single country with equality for Jewish and Arab citizens.
However, BDS supporters say Adelson’s involvement highlights their cause because he is a vocal supporter of a single state – albeit one in which Israelannexes the occupied territories and denies equal rights to Palestinians who he has derided as “an invented people”.
After years of dismissing the BDS movement as marginal and irrelevant, pro-Israel lobby groups have recently promoted laws against it in the US Congress and state legislatures. They include legislation to block the EU from imposing measures against illegal Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.
The issue was also injected into presidential politics last week as a Republican candidate, Ted Cruz, denounced the boycott movement at a dinner with Adelson.
“BDS is premised on a lie and it is antisemitism plain and simple,” he said.
Cruz, like other Republican candidates, is seeking financial backing from Adelson, who poured $150m into the Republicans’ failed effort to get Barack Obama out of the White House in 2012.
The boycott movement has drawn inspiration from the sanctions campaign against apartheid South Africa and has support in several countries from trade unions, artists such as Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, and religious leaders such as former Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. But Israeli officials are particularly concerned about its rise on US university campuses because they fear the erosion of support among future leaders of the one country Israel regards as a solid ally.
Pro-Israel groups claim the rise of BDS on campus is linked to radical Islam, that it “de-legitimises” the Jewish state and is making Jewish students feel unsafe. But BDS leaders say support is driven by the growing perception of the occupation as a civil rights issue in the face of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s rejection of a Palestinian state and revulsion at Israel’s periodic military assaults on Gaza.
Resolutions in support of universities divesting from Israel have passed on seven campuses this year and been rejected on eight others. In December 2013, the American Studies Association voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The BDS movement is particularly strong at the University of California, which has about 240,000 students.
Yousef Munayyer, director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, said that the Las Vegas meeting and increased political pressure on the BDS movement is a reflection of its growing strength.
“You see a trajectory that follows that famed Mahatma Gandhi quote. First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Now we’re at the third stage which is, then they fight you,” he said. “We’re seeing it in the public pronouncements of Israeli officials. In the adoption of some of those positions by American officials. We’re seeing it in legislatures both at the state and federal level in the United States where there are initiatives to pass laws that would make it more difficult to advance BDS victories.”
The meeting of what the Forward, which first reported plans for the Las Vegas summit, described as “leading Jewish mega-donors” is to be held at Adelson’s casino and hotel, the Venetian. The Forward said that the billionaire organisers include the Hollywood entertainment mogul Haim Saban and an Israeli-born property developer, Adam Milstein.
Several strongly pro-Israel organisations are expected to attend, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of North America. But the increasingly influential J-Street, which opposes BDS, was not invited, probably because it is also strongly critical of Netanyahu.
Pro-Israel groups say the BDS movement is a threat to the existence of the Jewish state because it not only calls for an end to the occupation but wants millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, now living in Arab countries, to return to their ancestral homes in Israel.
Munayyer said the attempt to paint Israel’s existence as threatened is at odds with how it is seen by many young Americans.
“I think it’s very counterproductive what they’re doing,” he said. “The younger generation sees Israel as a powerful oppressor using these massive weapons of war against a stateless people. For billionaires to get together and throw massive amounts of money to try to counter an essentially grassroots movement that is being supported by civil society and by student activists only reinforces that message that it is the strong attempting to strangle the weak.”
Munayyer described Netanyahu as one of “the movement’s best allies” after the Israeli prime minster campaigned for reelection on his opposition to a Palestinian state. 
Netanyahu attempted to backtrack on his rejection of a Palestinian state in the face of strong international criticism, including from Obama. But his original comments were widely seen as reflecting his true position and the White House made it clear it did not believe his retraction.
This week, Obama warned Israel that it “risks losing credibility”, adding that “the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution”.
That perception is strengthening calls for sanctions as a means to pressure the Israeli government. Pro-Israel groups are pushing back by promoting new laws to combat BDS on university campuses and beyond.
Several state legislatures are debating legislation to deter universities from making a stand against Israeli government policy, including through threats to funding. Illinois has already banned state pension funds from investing in companies that boycott Israel. The Tennessee and Indiana legislators passed resolutions condemning sanctions as antisemitic.
Members of Congress are attempting to attach a bill to a trans-Atlantic trade deal to block European governments from requiring the special labelling of goods produced in illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel is concerned that the EU measure – which then foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman likened to the Nazis forcing Jews to wear a yellow star – will add legitimacy to the sanctions campaign.
The influential pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) – whose $100m headquarters was paid for by Adelson – is pushing the legislation which effectively forces the EU to recognise the settlements as part of Israel for trade purposes.
Senator Ben Cardin, the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from pro-Israel groups, introduced the legislation saying the European move is discrimination against the Jewish state.
“The United States should take a stance to make sure other countries that want trade agreements with the United States do not participate in BDS against Israel,” he told an Aipac conference.
Jewish Voice for Peace, a US group which supports sanctions, condemned the legislation for “encouraging illegal settlement building while strengthening the far right in Israel”.
“From South Africa to the grape boycott to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) tactics have been essential tools used to create a more just society,” it said.
Although the focus is now on the BDS movement, the political battle over the Middle East on US campuses has been going on for years.
The University of Illinois is facing a lawsuit for withdrawing the offer of an academic position to Steven Salaita over tweets critical of Israel. The university said the problem was not Salaita’s views but his “lack of civility”.
In 2011, the board of trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) rejected an honorary degree for the renowned Jewish playwright, Tony Kushner, because his criticisms of Israel were unacceptable to one of the trustees, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld.
Under a tide of criticism, CUNY reversed the slight to Kushner.
The writer Naomi Klein has said “that far too many academic and cultural institutions, critics of Israel find themselves on an invisible blacklist”.
Last month, a new website, Canary Mission, was launched to pressure pro-Palestinian students by naming them and threatening their job prospects.
“It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” the site warns.
Conservative thinktank the Middle East Forum has targeted university lecturers considered too critical of Israel by encouraging students to report teachers, books and lectures they regarded as hostile to the Jewish state. The forum runs a website, Campus Watch, which has been accused by academics of “McCarthyesque” intimidation.
James Gelvin, a University of California history professor on the so-called “Dirty 30” list of “radical and antisemitic professors”, has accused pro-Israel activists of “trying to shut down debate” and ensure “one viewpoint is going to be presented on campus”.

169 comments:

  1. 4 July 2015

    Freedom of Speech


    “American values” without the freedom of speech is nothing but an empty slogan. Limiting the speech and ideas of others based on the content of that speech or idea is fundamentally anti-American.

    The most powerful foreign lobby in the US is AIPAC. It is anathema to basic US values. It and organizations like it do not belong in a free country.

    AIPAC is the Confederate Flag oppressively flying over the entire US political system.

    It would be AIPAC-like to ban AIPAC as it is entitled to make its case for Israeli First causes. The Ku Klux Klan is protected under the concept of Free Speech but it is prevented from intimidation and oppression. AIPAC has a far more deleterious impact on the US than the Klan. It is way past time to put AIPAC where it belongs, a foreign imposition of Israeli values in conflict with US values.

    Celebrate Independence Day and be independent.

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  2. Listen to a real American, Chris Hedges, at the 22 minute mark of the video.

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    1. He names names and takes on the smug sophistry (Lies) of the AIPAC bullys and smear artists in their grinding away and erosion of real basic US values.

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    2. If the 4th of July is more meaningful than a picnic, then it is about the promotion of US values and not the degradation of those values to those of The Israeli Likud.

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    3. You left being an American a long time ago.

      You are now an official supporter of Iran, what would you know about freedom of speech?

      you delete and censor comments here, at will, that make you look bad..

      Delete
  3. An unknown group has launched a website that profiles people affiliated with pro-Palestinian student groups – publishing their names, photos, occupations and sometimes universities and majors – in an effort to dissuade potential employers from hiring them.

    Canary Mission went live in mid-May and includes profiles of 54 people, primarily university students and professors, with photos and links to their social media profiles.

    “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a video explanation of the project warns.

    Canary Mission said it created the website out of concern for “the rise of antisemitic hate crimes on college campuses, and the dangerous Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement”.

    But some members of the movement say that posting names on the website is harassment and “driven by deep hatred and prejudice”.

    The decade-old BDS movement encourages organizations and institutions to boycott and divest from Israel until “the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel” have been recognized. Student groups have been pushing BDS initiatives at US universities in recent years, often led by groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

    The movement has been especially strong in California, where student governments at UC Irvine and UC San Diego passed resolutions urging schools to divest – though the UC system has said that it will not do so.

    Most of the people profiled on Canary Mission are students or recent graduates with affiliations to SJP and Muslim Student Associations (MSA). While the site’s profiles list people’s affiliations and occupations, the majority of the text is about the history of student groups that they are tied to.

    Film-maker Rebecca Pierce first learned that she had been profiled on the site, when it highlighted her as “Radical of the Day”.

    As a student at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), Pierce was part of a campaign to have the school condemn remarks made by professor Tammi Rossman‐Benjamin that some believe to be Islamophobic .

    “The website is filled with racist stereotypes about our activism, and intentionally tries to tie a diverse non-violent student movement to antisemitism and terror,” Pierce said in an email to the Guardian. “I do worry about future employers potentially seeing this and getting the wrong idea, but I stand behind my activism and won’t allow racist extremists to intimidate me.”

    Pierce accused Canary Mission of using “McCarthyist tactics” and employing “open racism”.

    “They even went out of their way to mention my African American and Jewish heritage in my profile,” Pierce said. “This is clearly a website driven by deep hatred and prejudice, masquerading as some sort of ‘Canary in the Coalmine’ on antisemitism. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

    It remains unclear who is behind Canary Mission – right-leaning, pro-Israel groups have denied having a relationship with the group: the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Daniel Pipe’s Middle East Forum, the AMCHA Initiative and StandWithUS told the Forward that they were not connected to Canary Mission.

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    1. Freedom of speech..

      What the promoters of savages are now ashamed of their leanings?

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  4. THE US GOVERNMENT”S CONTEMPT FOR FREEDOM

    An Attack on Press Freedom: SPIEGEL Targeted by US Intelligence

    By SPIEGEL Staff


    Walks during working hours aren't the kind of pastime one would normally expect from a leading official in the German Chancellery. Especially not from the head of Department Six, the official inside Angela Merkel's office responsible for coordinating Germany's intelligence services.

    But in the summer of 2011, Günter Heiss found himself stretching his legs for professional reasons. The CIA's station chief in Berlin had requested a private conversation with Heiss. And he didn't want to meet in an office or follow standard protocol. Instead, he opted for the kind of clandestine meeting you might see in a spy film.
    Officially, the CIA man was accredited as a counsellor with the US Embassy, located next to Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate. Married to a European, he had already been stationed in Germany once before and knew how to communicate with German officials. At times he could be demanding and overbearing, but he could also be polite and courteous. During this summer walk he also had something tangible to offer Heiss.

    The CIA staffer revealed that a high-ranking Chancellery official allegedly maintained close contacts with the media and was sharing official information with reporters with SPIEGEL.

    The American provided the name of the staffer: Hans Josef Vorbeck, Heiss' deputy in Department Six. The information must have made it clear to Heiss that the US was spying on the German government as well as the press that reports on it.

    The central Berlin stroll remained a secret for almost four years. The Chancellery quietly transferred Vorbeck, who had until then been responsible for counterterrorism, to another, less important department responsible dealing with the history of the BND federal intelligence agency. Other than that, though, it did nothing.

    {...}

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      Making a Farce of Rule of Law

      Officials in the Chancellery weren't interested in how the CIA had obtained its alleged information. They didn't care to find out how, and to which degree, they were being spied on by the United States. Nor were they interested in learning about the degree to which SPIEGEL was being snooped on by the Americans. Chancellery officials didn't contact any of the people in question. They didn't contact members of the Bundestag federal parliament sitting on the Parliamentary Control Panel, the group responsible for oversight of the intelligence services. They didn't inform members of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the agency responsible for counterintelligence in Germany, either. And they didn't contact a single public prosecutor. Angela Merkel's office, it turns out, simply made a farce of the rule of law.

      As a target of the surveillance, SPIEGEL has requested more information from the Chancellery. At the same time, the magazine filed a complaint on Friday with the Federal Public Prosecutor due to suspicion of intelligence agency activity.

      Because now, in the course of the proceedings of the parliamentary investigative committee probing the NSA's activities in Germany in the wake of revelations leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, details about the event that took place in the summer of 2011 are gradually leaking to the public. At the beginning of May, the mass-circulation tabloid Bild am Sonntag reported on a Chancellery official who had been sidelined "in the wake of evidence of alleged betrayal of secrets through US secret services."

      Research conducted by SPIEGEL has determined the existence of CIA and NSA files filled with a large number of memos pertaining to the work of the German newsmagazine. And three different government sources in Berlin and Washington have independently confirmed that the CIA station chief in Berlin was referring specifically to Vorbeck’s contacts with SPIEGEL.

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      An Operation Justified by Security Interests?

      Obama administration sources with knowledge of the operation said that it was justified by American security interests. The sources said US intelligence services had determined the existence of intensive contacts between SPIEGEL reporters and the German government and decided to intervene because those communications were viewed as damaging to the United States' interests. The fact that the CIA and NSA were prepared to reveal an ongoing surveillance operation to the Chancellery underlines the importance they attached to the leaks, say sources in Washington. The NSA, the sources say, were aware that the German government would know from then on that the US was spying in Berlin.

      As more details emerge, it is becoming increasingly clear that representatives of the German government at best looked away as the Americans violated the law, and at worst supported them.

      Just last Thursday, Günter Heiss and his former supervisor, Merkel's former Chief of Staff Ronald Pofalla, were questioned by the parliamentary investigative committee and attempted to explain the egregious activity. Heiss confirmed that tips had been given, but claimed they hadn't been "concrete enough" for measures to be taken. When asked if he had been familiar with the issue, Pofalla answered, "Of course." He said that anything else he provided had to be "in context," at which point a representative of the Chancellery chimed in and pointed out that could only take place in a meeting behind closed doors.
      In that sense, the meeting of the investigative committee once again shed light on the extent to which the balance of power has shifted between the government and the Fourth Estate. Journalists, who scrutinize and criticize those who govern, are an elementary part of the "checks and balances" -- an American invention -- aimed at ensuring both transparency and accountability. When it comes to intelligence issues, however, it appears this system has been out of balance for some time.

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      Government Lies

      When SPIEGEL first reported in Summer 2013 about the extent of NSA's spying on Germany, German politicians first expressed shock and then a certain amount of indignation before quickly sliding back into their persona as a loyal ally. After only a short time and a complete lack of willingness on the part of the Americans to explain their actions, Pofalla declared that the "allegations are off the table."

      But a number of reports published in recent months prove that, whether out of fear, outrage or an alleged lack of knowledge, it was all untrue. Everything the government said was a lie. As far back as 2013, the German government was in a position to suspect, if not to know outright, the obscene extent to which the United States was spying on an ally. If there hadn't already been sufficient evidence of the depth of the Americans' interest in what was happening in Berlin, Wednesday's revelations by WikiLeaks, in cooperation with Süddeutsche Zeitung, filled in the gaps.

      SPIEGEL's reporting has long been a thorn in the side of the US administration. In addition to its reporting on a number of other scandals, the magazine exposed the kidnapping of Murat Kurnaz, a man of Turkish origin raised in Bremen, Germany, and his rendition to Guantanamo. It exposed the story of Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who was taken to Syria, where he was tortured. The reports triggered the launch of a parliamentary investigative committee in Berlin to look also into the CIA's practices.

      When SPIEGEL reported extensively on the events surrounding the arrest of three Islamist terrorists in the so-called "Sauerland cell" in Germany, as well as the roles played by the CIA and the NSA in foiling the group, the US government complained several times about the magazine. In December 2007, US intelligence coordinator Mike McConnell personally raised the issue during a visit to Berlin. And when SPIEGEL reported during the summer of 2009, under the headline "Codename Domino," that a group of al-Qaida supporters was believed to be heading for Europe, officials at the CIA seethed. The sourcing included a number of security agencies and even a piece of information supplied by the Americans. At the time, the station chief for Germany's BND intelligence service stationed in Washington was summoned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

      The situation escalated in August 2010 after SPIEGEL, together with WikiLeaks, the Guardian and the New York Times, began exposing classified US Army reports from Afghanistan. That was followed three months later with the publication of the Iraq war logs based on US Army reports. And in November of that year, WikiLeaks, SPIEGEL and several international media reported how the US government thinks internally about the rest of the world on the basis of classified State Department cables. Pentagon officials at the time declared that WikiLeaks had "blood on its hands." The Justice Department opened an investigation and seized data from Twitter accounts, e-mail exchanges and personal data from activists connected with the whistleblowing platform. The government then set up a Task Force with the involvement of the CIA and NSA.

      Not even six months later, the CIA station chief requested to go on the walk in which he informed the intelligence coordinator about Vorbeck and harshly criticized SPIEGEL.

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    4. That's something Berlin would like to prevent. Despite an unending series of indignities visited upon Germany by US intelligence agencies, the German government continues to believe that it has a "special" relationship with its partners in America -- and is apparently afraid of nothing so much as losing this partnership.
      That, at least, seems to be the message of a five-page secret letter sent by Chancellery Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier, of Merkel's Christian Democrats, to various parliamentary bodies charged with oversight. In the June 17 missive, Altmaier warns of a "grave loss of trust" should German lawmakers be given access to the list of NSA spying targets. Opposition parliamentarians have interpreted the letter as a "declaration of servility" to the US.

      Altmaier refers in the letter to a declaration issued by the BND on April 30. It notes that the spying targets passed on by the NSA since 2005 include "European political personalities, agencies in EU member states, especially ministries and EU institutions, and representations of certain companies." On the basis of this declaration, Altmaier writes, "the investigative committee can undertake its own analysis, even without knowing the individual selectors."

      Committee members have their doubts. They suspect that the BND already knew at the end of April what WikiLeaks has now released -- with its revelations that the German Economics Ministry, Finance Ministry and Agriculture Ministry were all under the gaze of the NSA, among other targets. That would mean that the formulation in the BND declaration of April 30 was intentionally misleading. The Left Party and the Greens now intend to gain direct access to the selector list by way of a complaint to Germany's Constitutional Court.
      The government in Berlin would like to prevent exactly that. The fact that the US and German intelligence agencies shared selectors is "not a matter of course. Rather, it is a procedure that requires, and indicates, a special degree of trust," Almaier writes. Should the government simply hand over the lists, Washington would see that as a "profound violation of confidentiality requirements." One could expect, he writes, that the "US side would significantly restrict its cooperation on security issues, because it would no longer see its German partners as sufficiently trustworthy."

      Altmaier’s letter neglects to mention the myriad NSA violations committed against German interests, German citizens and German media.



      http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-nsa-and-american-spies-targeted-spiegel-a-1042023.html

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  5. “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it…. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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  6. It was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.

    This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, when we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.

    Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, reading is banned and books are burned in order to suppress dissenting ideas, while televised entertainment is used to anesthetize the populace and render them easily pacified, distracted, and controlled.

    In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, serious literature, scientific thinking, and experimentation are banned as subversive, while critical thinking is discouraged through the use of conditioning, social taboos, and inferior education. Likewise, expressions of individuality, independence, and morality are viewed as vulgar and abnormal.

    And in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.” In this dystopian vision of the future, the Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defense; the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation); the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing); and the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education, and art (propaganda). The mottos of Oceania: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

    All three—Bradbury, Huxley, and Orwell—had an uncanny knack for realizing the future; yet it is Orwell who best understood the power of language to manipulate the masses. Orwell’s Big Brother relied on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary. To give a single example, as psychologist Erich Fromm illustrates in his afterword to1984:

    The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as “This dog is free from lice” or “This field is free from weeds.” It could not be used in its old sense of “politically free” or “intellectually free,” since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed as concepts….
    Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts, and expressions that challenge their authority.

    This is the final link in the police state chain.

    Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go. Our backs are to the walls. From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends, and ourselves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

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    1. - How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.

      http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-emergence-of-orwellian-newspeak-and-the-death-of-free-speech/

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    2. disputed territories are now called by the uneducated "palestinian" territories..

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  7. I have been calling a spade a spade for the past forty years, and I see no reason to discontinue the habit. If it pisses people off, so what? With any luck, I'll have blasted them out of the rut they've been put into, and made them THINK FOR THEMSELVES - which is, as always, my ultimate goal. Whether they like what they think or not is moot - the fact that they THINK it is the important bit.

    You've been given (at least) a small, but useful, brain, so let's put it to service as something other than shoulder ballast...

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  8. 33-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir stood outside the Shuafat girls secondary school where the commemoration of the kidnapping and murder of his teenage cousin (who had the same name) was taking place. Down the street was one of several heavily armed Israeli Border Police units strategically placed throughout the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat.

    “It has always been about intimidation,” Abu Khdeir told me.

    The Israeli Border Police – a paramilitary unit tasked with enforcing occupation – were stationed near the light rail stop close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, and appeared ready to launch a full-scale military operation. One unit was deploying an aerostat surveillance balloon. Among several military and police vehicles, a skunk truck idled, ready to blast the neighborhood with its putrid mix that smells of decaying flesh and feces. Overhead, an Apache attack helicopter passed by. Locals said it had been making rounds all day.

    “It was the same thing a year ago,” Mohammad Abu Khdeir continued. “Instead of going to look for my cousin, Mohammed, they stayed in Shuafat taking cameras and harrassing us. They brought a big show of force instead of going to look for him. We still believe that they may have had a chance to find him if they had gone to look for him instead of harassing us here. When we found out that he [Mohammed] was dead, all hell broke loose. But that’s how it is out here. That’s how it is with them. They want to show you that they’re in charge and it doesn’t matter if we are right or wrong. It’s their house. It’s the way they want to do it.”

    July 2nd marked one year since the brutal murder of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir at the hands of three Israeli settlers. As the rail thin boy sat on his steps in front his home, he was forced into a car, bludgeoned, forced to drink gasoline and burned alive. Israeli police planted a rumor that Mohammed was murdered by his family in an honor killing, and brought family members in for questioning and demanded they take responsibility. Hours later, Mohammed’s charred corpse was found in a forest a few miles away.

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      While the trial drags on, the Abu Khdeir family fears that Yosef Chaim Ben David, the 30-year-old former eyeglass shop owner who led the attack, will be declared insane and unfit for trial.

      Meanwhile, the pain of Mohammed’s brutal murder has not subsided. I recently visited the boy’s grieving parents, Hussein, 50, and Suha Abu Khdeir, 45. “They burned Mohammed once, but we burn every day,” Hussein Abu Khdeir told me as he watched CCTV recording of the kidnapping on his iphone. He scrolled through Facebook, showing me a screenshot from the latest gruesome ISIS video. “I was at the funeral for the Jordanian pilot they burned alive,” he said. “There’s no difference between these killers and my son’s.”

      A couple of meters away from the steps where Mohammed sat when he was kidnapped, an estimated 300 Palestinians gathered. Holding signs, they chanted demands of justice for Mohammed. As their calls echoed throughout Shuafat, the light rail passed by, shuttling bewildered Israelis back to their Jewish-only settlements that have strategically limited the growth of the indigenous neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

      Four boys sat on the railing in front of the Abu Khdeir’s house. Like most Palestinians in Shuafat, they boys did not want to identify themselves for fear of Israeli Border Police reprisal attacks. One boy was a 12-year-old cousin of Mohammed. “We are very scared in the morning during Fajr prayers,” he said, referring to the Ramadan morning prayer during which Mohammed was kidnapped. “We expect there to be confrontations with Israeli soldiers,” the boy explained, wearing a shirt with an image of his dead cousin. His friend, 15, sat next to him on the wall. “I was arrested and forced to stay in my house for one month,” he said.

      The families are scared, but they kids are brave,” 28-year-old Ansam Abu Khdeir remarked to me.

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    2. {...}

      This would make sense as the attacks on the Abu Khdeir family a year ago were vicious. 15-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abu Khdeir was handcuffed and nearly beaten to death by three Israeli police on film, and denied proper medical treatment, leaving him unrecognizable to his mother. Throughout the next several months, dozens of boys from the neighborhood were rounded up as the Israeli Border Police launched raids and collectively punished the neighborhood.

      Local youth vented their frustration by destroying Israeli infrastructure in the neighborhood which remain in disrepair. The Israeli police attacks on the Abu Khdeir family was so egregious that the U.S. government told the Israeli government to refrain from targeting the Abu Khdeir family.

      After the crowd gathered, they marched down the main arterial road and along the light rail’s path, before heading up a hill to the secondary school. The family led the procession and held banners bearing their dead son’s image, while a marching band featuring horns, drums and bagpipes played the Palestinian national anthem. Inside the courtyard, large banners were hung on the walls. “They kidnapped, tortured and burned you” and “Story of burning childhood,” they read. Hundreds of people filed in and sat down.

      Local leaders spoke including, including Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and a leading figure of Palestinian Christians. “Religion will not divide the Palestinians. We all have one cause,” he boomed.

      “Our children’s lives are not owned by the occupation,” Hussein Abu Khdeir declared to the cheering crowd.

      Aside from a few journalists, the support that the Abu Khdeir family saw immediately after the murder from the margins of Israeli society had disappeared. The only Knesset member to attend the memorial was Osama Saadi from the Joint List.

      {...}

      Delete
    3. {...}

      A traditional dance troupe did a macabre and moving performance. Young women swayed over a representation of the boy’s corpse, some of them unable to hold back their tears as they performed. Their male counterparts picked up the body and the females joined in as family members burst into tears.

      After the speeches and performance, the Abu Khdeir family had spent tens of thousands of dollars on an Iftar dinner for the hundreds of people who came to the memorial. In a last minute move, Fatah political representatives attempted to pay for the dinner. However, the Abu Khdeir family rejected the move, dismissing it as an attempt to save face and make political gains.

      During the procession went on, a small explosion was heard outside the school courtyard, sounding similar to the flash bangs the Israeli Border Police typically use during attacks. Young men and boys jumped out of their seats and rushed out, but it was a false alarm.

      Down the hill, Israeli forces were stationed on the corner. There, 65-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir, was frustrated with the Border Police presence. “Thanks for coming! See you later,” he sarcastically shouted at them as one vehicle drove away. “They are instigators!”

      Abu Khdeir pointed to a group of boys on the corner. “These little kids grow up on their brutality and aggression. You look at me? I look at you with ten eyes. You push me? I kick your ass!”

      Born in Shuafat, Mohammad Abu Khdeir now lives in Baltimore, Maryland. I asked him how the racism he witnesses in Baltimore compares to his experience in his native Jerusalem. “Even with the white and black racism, this is worse,” he shouted. “This is Zionism!”

      Aware that Border Police were waiting for pretext to attack the neighborhood, Abu Khdeir instructed the local youth to go home. “They is exactly what’s happening with these kids. Just leave them alone! If you go to the Israeli areas there are places to play soccer and ping-pong. These kids have nothing. They play soccer in the streets. Why don’t they [Israelis] do something equal? You treat me [right], I treat you [right]. But to treat Israelis different than the Palestinians? This is a no-no!”

      Visibly upset, Abu Khdeir’s family members asked him to leave the area. “I say, ‘No justice no peace,’” he shouted as he walked away.

      - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/mohammed-murder-khdeir#sthash.heIGZZHZ.dpuf

      Delete
  9. Dear Donald,

    You've said some pretty offensive things about Latino immigrants recently, and I think they're worth addressing. Because, you know, this is the United States of America, where I have a right to speak up even if I'm not a billionaire. Isn't that awesome?

    Anyway, I heard what you said about the kind of people you think Latino immigrants are -- people with problems, who bring drugs, crime and rape to America. While your comments are incredibly ignorant and racist, I don't want to spend my time chastising you. I'll leave that to your business partners like Univision and NBC, who have the power to scold you where it hurts. Instead, I'm writing to say thank you!

    You see, what you just did with your straight talk was send more Latino voters to the polls than several registration rallies combined! Thank you for that. Here we are pounding the pavement to get American Latinos to the polls, while your tactic proves most effective. Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric.

    Do you know why that's such a big deal, Donald? Because Latinos are the largest, youngest and fastest-growing constituency in the United States of America. That's right! You are running for President in a country where the Latino population grew by over 49 percent from 2000-2012, while the rest of the country grew by 5.8 percent. What's more, we are the future. The median age of the average Latino is 27 years old, compared to 42 years old for white Americans. In case you need a translation, that means there are a whole lot of Americans who are Latino and have the right to vote. And, we're not going anywhere.

    This is the America we are actually living in. I hope by now you understand that without the Latino vote, there is no chance of you ever winning this election. If you don't believe me, you could ask President Bush or you could even ask President Obama.

    You, Mr. Trump, are living in an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America. Last week, America celebrated some amazing milestones -- marriage equality, universal healthcare, removing of the confederate flag -- making it clear in which direction the country is moving. That is why racist remarks that play to extremists won't change the tide, no matter how hard you try. They will only serve to rally more Latino voters to the polls. Your negativity and your poorly thought out speech ignited a fire in our community. Thank you, Mr. Trump!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reminding us that there remains an antiquated and endangered species of bigots in this country that we must continue to combat. Thank you for reminding us to not sit complacently at home on election day, but to run to the polls and proclaim that there is no place for your brand of racial politicking in our government. Thank you for sending out the rallying cry.

      You have made your thoughts on the Latino community clear and you continue to stand by them. And in return, we will do more than tweet about our indignation and beat piñatas of your likeness. We will silence you at the polls. We will vote and use our growing position in U.S. politics. Our fellow Americans who understand and value our contributions will join us. We know there is nothing that scares you more.

      The truth is, Mr. Trump, that your comments mean that you fail to see that immigrants are what have made this nation. They are at the core of our ideals, and they are the foundation that keeps us afloat. No, Mr. Trump, you may not reduce us to drug dealers and rapists. We are moms and dads, sons and daughters. We are valedictorians and honor students. We are college graduates, bankers, police officers, entertainers, teachers, journalists, politicians and we are the future of America.

      Thank you for helping us in our work to energize the Latino vote and to usher in our shared future! Keep it up!

      Sincerely,

      America

      If they didn't have you, they'd have to invent you, Bozo

      Delete
    2. The Money Shot:

      That's right! You are running for President in a country where the Latino population grew by over 49 percent from 2000-2012, while the rest of the country grew by 5.8 percent. What's more, we are the future. The median age of the average Latino is 27 years old, compared to 42 years old for white Americans. In case you need a translation, that means there are a whole lot of Americans who are Latino and have the right to vote. And, we're not going anywhere.

      This is the America we are actually living in. I hope by now you understand that without the Latino vote, there is no chance of you ever winning this election. If you don't believe me, you could ask President Bush or you could even ask President Obama.

      Delete
    3. Rufus: I have never seen more comments on a story than the one you posted. This small comment got 4,140 ·”Likes”:

      Thank you Ms America Ferrera. This blog brings a tear to my eye and hope for the future. Signed; an old white American that doesn’t buy into the GOP hate parade.

      Delete
    4. Signed; an old white American that doesn’t buy into the GOP hate parade.

      Sounds kinda familiar. :)

      Delete
    5. How important is it?

      If Romney could have matched Bush's 44% of the Latino vote he would be President, today. Is that important enough?

      Delete
    6. That's why I think Jeb! is the Republicans' only shot.

      Delete
    7. Actually, at 44%, Romney would have still lost by just a tisch. 45% would have probably done it.

      Delete
    8. The thing is, with their share (percentage) of the vote growing larger every election, the percent that you can give up becomes less, and less. :)

      Delete
    9. Christian Latinos for neighbors are infinitely preferable to the likes of Muslim Libyans or Syrians. So count your blessings.

      Delete
    10. Christian? Muslim? I could give a shit - as long as they keep their nonsense out of my face.

      Delete
    11. Rufus, the perfect American....

      Isolationist.

      Delete
  10. So illegals are now immigrants in America,

    But Illegal Jews, in your mind, are illegals in Israel.

    Hypocrites.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy 4th of July when the American squatters beat the snot out of the original occupiers for the natives land...

    Funny...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sealing a nuclear deal will allow the west and Iran to face the common challenge of violent extremism, the Iranian foreign minister said in a video message on Friday evening.

    Mohammad Javad Zarif released the video at a crucial moment in long-running negotiations in Vienna aimed at concluding a comprehensive and enduring agreement on the future of Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran and six major powers, led by the US, have given themselves until Tuesday night to complete the deal. After that they could face increased intervention by the Republican majority in the US Congress, who are hostile to a compromise with Iran that would leave it with part of its nuclear infrastructure intact.


    The AIPACers and their bitches in The GOP Likuds Force are terrified that the US public may find out what a real ally can be in the Middle East.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allies who hang gay dudes from a crane and flog grandmothers. Nice.

      Delete
    2. Iran creates violent extremism, in fact Iran and it's lackeys?

      Have murdered 100 times the numbers ISIS could have dreamed of...

      From the 300,000 syrians to the 550,000 sunni iraqis... plus more..

      but they don't count...

      Delete
  13. Obama has until 9 July to submit details of a final accord to Congress, triggering a 30-day review period before it can be signed and any US sanctions waived. I expect Israel will show no bounds in its attempt to sabotage the deal and cause immense damage to the US and the real interests of the American people.

    Here is Netanyahu giving instructions and marching orders to Mitch the Bitch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=18&v=hw6okXyGAgk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And when the deal is signed, even Rufus will be short on oil.

      Delete
    2. Israel has every right to defend it's own interests.

      Obama is doing damage to the USA and it's interests in paving the way for Iran to get nuclear weapons.

      Personally? I think Israel should allow iran to sign a deal with America, then declare war on Iran.

      Of course, America will be blamed by Iran.

      Then America will have to address Iran once and for all.

      :)

      Delete
    3. The Iranians can hang all the gay dudes they want, as long as they're not OUR gay dudes (or, dudettes.) :)

      Delete
    4. Israel can declare war on Iran anytime they want. Of course, that will mean the immediate suspension of military aid from the US, because I didn't sign on to that war and I don't want to pay for it. Also, Israel better hope they wrap it up with supernatural speed, and the Hezbos and Hamas don't weigh in, because there won't be any C-17s flying out of McCord with fresh ammo.

      Delete
    5. Ms T, Israel has learned it's lesson. America cut off resupply during the last war, (not the 1st time America has cut off ammo during a war). Israel now has stepped up both domestic production of essential ammo and also has now entered into partnership with others.

      As for Hamas and Hezbollah? Hamas can be, and will be dealt with real prejudice. No more playing nice. Blowing up the tunnels (with natural gas) should and would cause Hamas a major set back.. Of course all those civilians sitting on top will be killed or injured, but whose counting?

      Of course, like a scene from a hollywood movie, watching the tunnels explode and collapse (taking with them the buildings on top) will be something out Sci-Fi movie...

      As for Hezbollah? They are deeply involved in Syria, dying for Assad under Iranian orders. Likewise, the 1,200 hezbollah bases will be hit almost immediately.

      Iranian hardened targets will be hit, as well as command and control and other revolutionary guard assets.

      Of course all Israel has to do is wait 492 days, 23 hours, 27 minutes, and there will be no cut off in any way shape or from from the USA :)

      Change is coming and it doesn't include Obama

      Delete
    6. Rufus IISat Jul 04, 09:51:00 AM EDT
      The Iranians can hang all the gay dudes they want, as long as they're not OUR gay dudes (or, dudettes.) :)

      Rufus doesn't count the kidnapped Americans by Iran as "real" Americans

      Delete
  14. What is "Occupation"Sat Jul 04, 07:52:00 AM EDT

    You left being an American a long time ago.

    You are now an official supporter of Iran, what would you know about freedom of speech?

    you delete and censor comments here, at will, that make you look bad..

    **************

    Mega Dittos, that.

    With me, I get the 'evaporated' treatment, not just deleted, but zappo, gone, evaporated

    Deuce is the last guy that ought to be talking freedom of speech.

    Rather, he should get some sort of Censor of the Year Award.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We've got the first American to die of measles in twelve years because anti-vaxxers (Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul) are assholes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't know anything about that issue Miss T.

      How would you feel about a forced sterilization vaccine campaign for illegal immigrants and welfare mom democrats ? To fight global warming perhaps ?

      Delete
    2. Why should Uncle Bob continue to pay for someone else's kids ? He's got his own children and his Niece first on his agenda.

      Delete
  16. In Iran, one of Deuce's favorite countries, you can get KILLED for expressing the wrong political opinion.

    I like the way things are in USA where you can say "Fuck You" to anyone at anytime anywhere.

    Happy Fourth of July !!!!

    I'm sorry your ISIS free Iraq prediction didn't work out for you, Rufus, or for the Iraqis.

    It was a really dumb dumb dumb dumb prediction, but your heart was in the right place.

    (Rufus has never been right on anything, but he is such a dear- Trish)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wrote my Niece late last night letting her know that we here in USA now have a Hindu/American running for our President.

    She hardly ever takes any note of politics, again, showing her uber smarts, and we've never really talked about it. I also sent a pic of our Hindu/American Miss America.

    I told her I liked Jindal a lot and the Republicans have a whole stable of wonderful race horses this year, and the horse race was entirely up in the air, and the Democrats only have a Criminal, a demented old sex pervert, and, now, a decent guy in Jim Webb on their side.

    Next week I am going to start looking to book passage to Europe.

    Was going to the Casino today buy my wife stole her car from me.....

    So, delete me, censor me, vanish me or banish me, I'll probably hang around today.

    As long as we can say FUCK YOU to one another without fear, we still got a good country.

    William Blake, the great poet, almost got sent to the Tower for whispering "Damn the King" in his own garden, you know.

    It's not such a bad place, the United States of America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote my Niece late last night letting her know that we here in USA now have a Hindu/American running for our President.

      Many of us had an imaginary friend growing up. Bob is all grown up but he has an imaginary niece from India.

      Delete
    2. She is getting an unimaginary Ph.D from Max Planck.

      Rather it's the real deal.

      The police report was not an imaginary police report. My real lawyer really advised her, and she really is one of the best things ever to have happened in my life.

      She really has true, not imaginary, grit.

      And people like her really are beating Americans at the international intellectual contest.

      Our society is losing.

      She really is fab in all ways.

      She knows more about the muzzie than anyone here save WiO perhaps.

      "The ones in the Middle East are the worst, Uncle Bob"

      Are you trying to pass for gay or straight these days, Miss T ? Or some other new category I wouldn't know about ?

      Delete
    3. Everyone really wants to know, as you have really lied your ass off in the past about it so many times.

      Delete
    4. It's really important to all of us here, Miss T, to really know once and for all, are you really sucking or are you really sucked ?

      Come really clean now, dear Miss T.

      You've really lied your ass off in the past.

      Delete
    5. It's why no one really takes anything you say really seriously, though it's really wonderful to have you back as a diversion, and a kind of odd conversation piece.

      Delete
  18. Rufus doesn't pay his gambling debts.

    ReplyDelete

  19. Buzz Aldrin: USA Losing in Space......Drudge


    We are losing.......everywhere


    The Judgements of the Lord Are Righteous Altogether


    We deserve to lose, we have lost our grit, competition is beneath us now, we are resting on our laurels which never lasts............

    Life, finally, is a serious affair - Joseph Campbell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apollo 11 was just a cold war stunt to stick it to the Russkies, we can't afford to do that shit anymore. Meanwhile, one of our drones is getting close to Pluto:

      1324394308954722224.jpg

      Delete
  20. LYNCHBURG, Va. — A dozen politically active pastors came here for a private dinner Friday night to hear a conversion story unique in the context of presidential politics: how Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled from Hinduism to Protestant Christianity and, ultimately, became what he calls an “evangelical Catholic.”

    Over two hours, Jindal, 42, recalled talking with a girl in high school who wanted to “save my soul,” reading the Bible in a closet so his parents would not see him and feeling a stir while watching a movie during his senior year that depicted Jesus on the cross.

    “I was struck, and struck hard,” Jindal told the pastors. “This was the Son of God, and He had died for our sins.”

    Washington Post

    ReplyDelete
  21. Who was it Miss T was taking it from for awhile.....Miss Philly, or some such.......Miss, Miss...dang it's on the tip of tongue.....it's been so long ago I can't recall......then all of a sudden we are informed she's taking it from Husband Hank or whoever.....one day she is Catholic Woman, before that an adherent of of some eastern off shoot of the perennial philosophy......one day a Republican, one day a democrat....here she is, this is SHE,WOMAN(?) on the left hand of the fireplace mantel, dear tourists, our prime conversation piece....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Husband Hank was a big bruiser......Miss What was her name was soft and kind..................

      Delete
    2. This place is like a monkey cage at the zoo, and all Bob can do is throw shit and make faces.

      Delete
  22. The list of recent Moslem terrorist attacks in India is endless.

    Look it up sometime.

    Through the centuries, and estimated 80 MILLION Hindus have been slaughtered by Moslems.

    And she says -

    "The ones in the Middle East are the worst, Uncle Bob"

    I submit, this is a woman who knows whereof she speaks.

    In comparison, we have our Deuce......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear she's been optioned to star in a new show on the Hallmark Channel, "Touched By An Uncle"

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    3. It was nice having you around for.....fifteen minutes

      Delete
    4. T, I apologize for posting what I just deleted. I am posting it to show what a creep this bigot is.

      daho BobSat Jul 04, 12:25:00 PM EDT
      FUCK OFF ILLITERATE QUEER GIRL

      Delete

      Delete
    5. He is the perfect ignoramus, ignorant of his level of ignorance.

      Delete
    6. "As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know." -- Rummy

      Delete
  23. .

    Not big on soccer but I will likely be watching the women's finals tomorrow night when the US women's team takes on Japan for the Women's World Cup.

    Seems appropriate for the US team to take the cup on the Fourth of July weekend.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know nothing about soccer either but I'm all for USA kicking ass on the Fourth of July.


      And if you don't agree with, well fuck you too, I got my rights.

      Delete
  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. You did yourself a real favor not going into the military. Although it would have been fun to watch your dumb ignorant ass get handed to you.

      Delete
    3. Your daddy sent you to the green fields of England.

      My daddy did not look out for me.

      I stood for the draft, like millions of HONEST Americans.

      Delete
  25. The Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia said they had launched a major ground and air assault on the rebel-held Syrian city of Zabadani on Saturday and were closing in on insurgents holed up inside.

    The army, with its Shi'ite ally Hezbollah, has long sought to wrest control of Zabadani from Sunni rebels who have held it since 2012, a year after the start of the Syrian civil war. The city is near the Lebanese border and the Beirut-Damascus highway that links the countries, and so capturing it would be a major strategic gain for Syrian President Bashar al Assad's government.

    Footage released on Hezbollah's TV channel al Manar and Syrian state TV showed large plumes of smoke rising from the city, and the sounds of aerial bombardment and heavy artillery shelling could be heard. New footage showed artillery rounds being fired from high ground in a mountain range that surrounds the Zabadani towards the center of the city.

    The once popular resort city, northwest of the capital Damascus, is one of the rebels' last strongholds along the border. It was part of a major supply route for weapons sent by Syria to Hezbollah before the 2011 outbreak of the Syrian conflict, which has killed over 200,000 people.

    The Syrian army said it had inflicted heavy casualties on "the terrorist groups fortified inside the city" and was advancing from several fronts towards their positions.

    A hilltop west of Zabadani that overlooks rebel positions, known as Qalat al Tel, was also captured, the army said.

    The rebels said they had planted mines around the city, which is now mostly deserted, and were well prepared to repel the assault.

    The assault began at dawn with a heavy barrage of missiles accompanied by dozens of aerial bombings raids and a large deployment of ground troops, rebel sources said.

    The insurgents, using ex-Russian army tanks and long-range artillery, pounded army positions and prevented any advance, said Abu Ado from the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham brigade.

    "The bombardment is not stopping from the air, from helicopters, and missiles fired from artillery vehicles, and they are trying to advance, but God is with us," the rebel commander told Reuters from the battlefield.

    The Syrian military and pro-government fighters have regularly clashed with insurgents in the mountainous area north of the capital, and violence from the four-year-old civil war has regularly spilled over into Lebanon. The rebel groups in the area include al Qaeda's Syrian wing, the Nusra Front.

    Iranian-backed Hezbollah - which has been a crucial ally to Assad, sending fighters to bolster his forces - has in recent months stepped up its assault on rebel outposts along the Qalamoun mountain region straddling the Lebanese Syrian border.

    The aim of the campaign was to cut rebel arms supply routes along the rugged border terrain.

    A major military campaign by the Syrian army and the Lebanese group to capture Zabadani, which is part of Assad's effort to shore up his control over western Syria, had been expected in recent days.

    The Syrian army is fighting on several other fronts; as well as battling rebels around the southern city of Deraa and the northern city of Aleppo, it has been fighting Islamic State as the militant group attempts to seize government-held areas of the northeastern city of Hasaka.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Who stoked the flames and armed the rebels that got all those people killed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remind me, again; just what was it that Assad did to Us?

      Delete
    2. Assad was a saint....

      LOL

      Forget the Americans he tortured and murdered, the helping of the PLO hijack TWA and Pan Am...

      oh yeah...

      nice guy..

      you two are blind twits..

      Delete
    3. Yep Hezbollah in Syria...

      LOL


      Hope they all die a horrible death.

      Delete
  27. Of the conflicts in the world right now, over 90% involve the Moslems over
    against their neighbors.

    Look it up.

    And yet, we have our Deuce, blaming every last thing on the Jews............

    Our Noble Deuce, who has switched from Ayn Rand, insanely, to Bernie
    Sanders, refuses to see.

    He blames the Jews, for, everything.............they control the US
    Congress, don't you know

    Delusion


    >>>>>>According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, in its List of Wars
    in the Muslim World, since the death of Mohammed there have been 63
    major Islamic wars of conquest involving over 201 major battles. It
    also documents 18 current conflicts involving Muslims, which
    represent over 95% of the world's armed conflicts. Historians have
    estimated that Muslims killed over 270 million people during the
    last 1400 years in their wars of conquest, plunder and
    enslavement.<<<<<

    What a farce Deuce has become, all over a little whiff of perfume from a
    Persian skirt....

    Believe me, my Niece knows better

    This post has been forwarded to my email address for safe keeping

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The USA has been at war 93% of the time of its existence since 1776 - 222 years Out of 239.

      Delete
    2. Depends on what you definition of war is. In my book, war is all hands on deck, gas rationing, speed limit 35 MPH, no new tires at Firestone, caps on war profits, the works. Bush starts some shit in Iraq, and tells Americans to go out and consume more, lest the terrorists win. That's not a war. So in my book, the US has been at war for twenty years, tops.

      Delete
  28. Another example of why Hillary Clinton is unfit to govern.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Friday said that Iran poses an “existential threat” to Israel, and that she hoped the US and world powers would strike a deal which curbs Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

    Clinton addressed 850 people at an outdoor amphitheater at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. The former secretary of state touched on foreign policy and the upcoming deadline for negotiations with Iran over the country’s nuclear program. She said she hoped the US would “get a deal that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” but cautioned that it was “too soon” to know if that was possible.

    Nonetheless, the presidential hopeful said Iran would still pose problems because of its sponsorship of terrorism and the “existential threat” it poses to Israel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The comment is so idiotic on so many levels.

      Delete
    2. What is either naive of you, or just specious, is your stating that Iran is NOT an existential threat to Israel.

      How can you, with a straight face, say that Iran is not wishing, wanting, planning, helping, supporting and trying to destroy Israel?

      Delete
    3. Whether or not Iran is an existential threat to Israel is not a concern for the United States.
      It would save US at least $3 billion per year, if Israel were to stand on its own.

      Delete
    4. Ayn Rand would define Israel as a looter.
      Any libertarian would have to agree.

      Delete
    5. Actually if the USA cut the 3 billion a year in aid to Israel?

      America would lose.

      It called an investment Jack (aka the "jew hater") Hawkins.

      America get's it's money's worth by it's investment in Israel

      To argue with facts with you? Is useless as you already are a Israel bashing, Zionist trashing, Jew hating whore....

      :)

      As for Ayn Rand?

      She supported the State of Israel

      Delete
    6. No small wonder, since Ayn Rand was really Alice Rosenbaum.

      Delete


  29. Hi Teeks

    On our Independence Day here, I wish to express that our two countries
    strengthen our ties, and always be friends.

    Love from you Uncle Bob, ever and ever and ever....

    Your American Uncle, bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is of the highest class even though she grew up in poverty on a concrete floor in an apartment in Ahmedabad.

      She knows five languages, is getting her Ph.D from Max Planck in Dresden, Germany.

      She is the best the world has to offer.

      She is my Niece, and I love her so, and am so proud of her, and feel so lucky to have met her.

      "The ones in the Middle East are the worst, Uncle Bob"

      She knows.

      Delete
    2. India has begun to reset its ties with Iran, notwithstanding the uncertainty surrounding the negotiations between the Persian Gulf nation and the P5+1 (the U.K., China, France, Russia and the U.S.; and Germany) as the June 30 deadline for clinching a nuclear agreement draws near.

      After cutting down oil imports from Tehran in the recent past following sanctions, India is now keen on pushing for connectivity with Iran, which will pave the way for its entry into Afghanistan and the Central Asian region. An inter-government memorandum of understanding signed in May for the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran, a recent visit by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar for Foreign Office discussions, and the impetus being given to the North-South Transport Corridor are perceived as attempts to mend ties.

      New Delhi has also ignored cautionary voices from the U.S. not to rush into doing business with Iran till it firms up the nuclear deal with it.

      After its meeting on June 12, members of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) reviewed the status of the dry run study between India, Iran and Russia via the Caspian Sea, a follow-up meeting to further streamline work related to the corridor has been scheduled for July.

      The international transport corridor across Nhava Sheva (Mumbai) through Bandar Abbas (Iran) to Astrakhan (Russia) and Baku (Azerbaijan) is expected to substantially reduce cargo transport time between India and Central Asia and Russia.

      Experts, however, point out that India must look beyond trade and economic ties. Aftab Kamal Pasha, Professor at the Centre for West Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, said India must vigorously pursue relations with Iran with an eye on possible cooperation to fight the emerging terror groups in Central Asia.

      “The disturbing developments in Afghanistan, the penetration of militants into Central Asia, and the continued expansion of IS in Iraq, all necessitate better India-Iran ties,” he said.

      Former diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar pointed out that India would need to work doubly hard to undo the damage caused by toeing the U.S. line.


      He said despite the sanctions, India should not have allowed its relations with Iran to decline.

      Delete
    3. We are losing.

      We are smoking too much dope.

      Delete
    4. I can walk to the nearest dope store here in Washington. But Stars 'n' Bars waving "states rights" Republicans want to shut that down because cannabis is federally defined as a narcotic.

      Delete
    5. That is why we should strengthen our ties with India.

      It really doesn't matter a damn though.

      I have learned, long time ago, there are those who have a chance to get it and there are those who don't.

      My Niece gets it.

      She is a star in the midnight sky, regardless of her background, which means nothing at all.

      You might take a lesson about Islam from her, though, Deuce.

      She knows, you do not.

      Nor does she ever criticize Israel.....she KNOWS what they are up against.

      They are up against INSANITY.

      Delete
    6. Fish don't know what water is, and you don't know what insanity is, for the same reason.

      Delete
    7. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson wants the US to be tied o the largest slave holding nation in all the world.
      His niece thinks having slaves is neat.

      Delete
  30. Go smoke your dope, Teresita.

    You ain't Max Planck material.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Max Planck dealt with the dreams that stuff is made of.

      Delete
    2. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson lives in a fantasy world all his own.
      His only contact with reality, here at the Elephant Bar.

      So, so sad, I haven't missed a thing.
      Playing polo in Burbank is so much more interesting.

      Delete
    3. :) :) :) :)

      Boy, when your only contact with "reality" is the Elephant Bar . . . . . .

      :)

      Delete
  31. It was decision time, it was Huck Finn time -

    (alright, I'll go to hell)

    She had no money, she was half a world away.

    All she had was landlord Bob, and Susan Wilson, the lawyer I got for her, and her foreign student adviser

    On the other side all the pressure from home

    "You come back her and marry him now it's your DUTY

    Her mother and father finally went with me....

    Her uncles, no, nor any of the others..

    Huck Finn time......

    Crunch time.............

    I don't give a damn what any of them say, I'm going to Germany

    Now, she is a free woman, soon to have a Ph.D from Max Planck Institute of Brain Research, Dresden, Germany

    I am just waiting for my passport now.

    I am taking this Winning Heroine of my Monomyth to Portugal on vacation.............


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last time Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson made a decision, he institutionalized his aunt, after ripping off her identity.

      Delete
    2. bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback. …

      Delete
  32. Rufus threatened Quirk with death, ratsass threatened Wio and I with death, many times, and, bragged about killing people in Central America.

    Rufus is a lame brain, ratsass claims to be a killer, Miss T is certified nuts, and Deuce is a disgusting anti semitic pos, now in love with Iran.

    I've had it for the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had it for the day.

      Promises, promises.

      Delete
  33. And Rufus doesn't pay his debts, nor does ratsass, which is to expected, cause he's never ever paid Child Support either.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Dirty rotten fuckin' stinkin' Police, bastard first responders, fucking Jews, fucking Christians,dirty fucking Republicans I've had it with this SHIT !!

    ReplyDelete
  35. .

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just quotin' Deuce Man, having woken up from a nap.

      Delete
  36. Heh, I see Deuce, who avoided fighting the yellow man, by going to
    england on daddy's advice, is now sucking up to Miss T, perhaps his remaining support.

    See this:

    Deuce ☂Sat Jul 04, 12:36:00 PM EDT

    T, I apologize for posting what I just deleted. I am posting it to show what a creep this bigot is.

    daho BobSat Jul 04, 12:25:00 PM EDT
    FUCK OFF ILLITERATE QUEER GIRL


    Our Miss T has bragged about her sexual perversions her entire life here.

    You are sucking the bottom of the barrel now, deuce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She even posted, once, a wonder picture or her taking it in the middle.

      This was, thankfully, and in good taste, immediately taken down.

      Remember that 'incident' Missy Tee, you screwball ?

      You may have enjoyed it but we straights didn't.

      Go back to you perverse hole in the ground.

      Delete
    2. It was the claim of illiteracy that was so upsetting.

      Delete
  37. I don't mind you being an ignorant fucker so much, you fit right in here with that, but please keep your clothes on, and nix with the apparatus, you ain't that attractive.

    ReplyDelete
  38. VIENNA (AP) — World powers and Iran have reached tentative agreement on sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, among the most contentious issues in a long-term nuclear agreement that negotiators hope to clinch over the next several days, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday.

    The annex, one of five meant to accompany the agreement, outlines which U.S. and international sanctions will be lifted and how quickly. Diplomats said senior officials of the seven-nation talks, which include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, still had to sign off on the package.

    Still, the word of significant progress indicated the sides were moving closer to a comprehensive accord that would set a decade of restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for tens of billions of dollars' in economic benefits for the . . . . .

    One Down

    ReplyDelete
  39. Is everyone else as disgusted and as tired of this loathsome pathetic human sewer as I am?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naw, Deuce, it's just Bob having a nervous breakdown.

      Delete
    2. Of course, it'll probably get worse, first. :) :) :)

      Delete
  40. I know too much, but will bite my tongue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do.

      I'm pretty much sure I don't want to hear it. :) :) :)

      Delete
    2. .

      The obvious is plenty bad enough.

      .

      Delete
    3. No. No! Spill the beans please deuce!

      Delete
  41. VIENNA — World powers and Iran have drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for the Islamic republic in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday.

    Written by technical experts, the document still must be approved by senior officials of the seven nations at the table, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the foreign ministers of the five other countries expected to join Kerry and Zarif in Vienna this weekend for a push to meet a July 7 deadline.

    The development indicated the sides were moving closer to a comprehensive accord that would set a decade of restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in economic benefits for the Iranians.

    Officials had described sanctions relief as one of the thorniest disagreements between Iran and the United States, which has led the campaign of international pressure against Iran's economy. The U.S. and much of the world fears Iran's enrichment of uranium and other activity could be designed to make nuclear weapons; Iran says its program is meant only to generate power and for other peaceful purposes.

    The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on this past week's confidential negotiations, said the sanctions annex was completed this week by experts from Iran and the six world powers in the negotiations: the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. They did not provide details of the agreement.

    A senior U.S. official did not dispute the diplomats' account but said work remained to be done on "Annex II" before the issue could be described as finalized. And beyond a political agreement that was still in the draft stage, details also needed to be finalized on tough issues contained in four other appendices.

    They include inspection guidelines, rules governing Iran's research and development of advanced nuclear technology and the nuts and bolts of reducing the size and output of Iran's uranium enrichment program.

    As part of a deal, the Obama administration also wants Iran to fully cooperate with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency's investigation of allegations that Tehran worked secretly on nuclear arms — something Iran vehemently denies. But chances of progress on that issue appear to be dimming.

    IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told reporters on Saturday that "more work will be needed" to advance the probe, in a statement similar to previous ones from his agency, which has struggled for nearly a decade to resolve its concerns.

    While saying he could wrap up his investigation by the end of the year, Amano said he needs Tehran's cooperation to do so. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said after Thursday's meeting in Tehran with Amano that the agency now understands that the "pointless allegations" are "baseless."

    Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have made repeated demands for economic penalties to be lifted shortly after a deal is reached. Washington and its partners have said they'd take action after Iran verifiably complies with restrictions on enrichment and other elements of the nuclear program.

    Much of the negotiation on the matter has concerned sequencing, so that both sides can legitimately claim to have gotten their way.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jews and Catholics in the northeast put their alliance to the Democratic Party above their religion, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's father said on Saturday.

    According to TPM, Rafael Cruz told a gathering of the Palm Beach County Tea Party that "unfortunately, in the northeast, the Jews are Democrats first and Jews second. This is what has happened to a great 'many in the Catholic Church. They are Democrats first and Catholics second."

    The older Cruz – who, according to TPM, is not officially part of his son's presidential campaign but is frequently seen with him at events and has a reputation for making controversial statements – also evoked the Holocaust. Hitler told the pastors to preach what they like about religion, but to leave governing the state to him, Cruz said. "As a result, six million Jews were massacred," while the Church turned a blind eye to Adolf Hitler's actions.

    "We have a responsibility," Cruz said, adding later: "Whether you are a pastor or a priest or a rabbi, as a leader you have a greater responsibility than the people in your congregation and we need to assume that responsibility."

    Americans "need to put principle above tradition," Cruz said. "There are people voting Democrat because, 'My grandfather or my father voted Democrat.’ Let me tell you something. The Democratic Party today is not the Democratic party of John Kennedy. John Kennedy would be a Republican today."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're damned right he'd be a Republican today, get us mixed up in some damn fool crusade like Bay of Pigs or Vietnam.

      Delete
  43. Miss T, I must be so wrong.

    Please then spread your delights again for all of us old geezers to see.

    Rufus, Deuce, Quirk all seem to be drooling at the thought for it.

    Please then don't let me stop you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remembered, just now I remembered, it was

      Miss Feely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You were always telling us about your experiences with Miss Feel !!!!!!!!!

      Please, the above mentioned perverts are dying to hear more............

      Delete
    2. Miss Feely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The above mentioned perverts being

      Deuce
      Rufus
      Quirk

      Old geezers and gazers each and one

      Delete
    3. Miss T, you put up the most disgusting photo of some woman (you I think) having at it with some device or other that I have ever seen.

      Thankfully Deuce took it down within the day.

      You really think the average man likes that kind of crap ?

      Delete
    4. The answer is no, not the sane among us.

      Delete
    5. Quirk, maybe, and maybe Rufus out in Mississippi.

      But not suave Deuce, as he took it down immediately.

      As he should have done.

      Delete
  44. I'm all for women's rights.

    But I am for dignity, restraint, and good manners too.

    You would have been hung from a crane in Iran - which is fighting for civilization - for that little show of yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of the above saved for posterity in my new EB Quotes File

      Delete
    2. I recall also WiO was utterly put off and disgusted by Miss T's truly disgusting display.

      Delete
    3. I remember now, it was two women, one possibly you, sharing a big whong dildo twat to twat for all the world to see.

      Thankfully Deuce took it down as soon as he became aware of it.

      Delete
  45. Deuce: Is everyone else as disgusted and as tired of this loathsome pathetic human sewer as I am?

    Yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Only Rufus and Quirk seemed interested.

      Deuce, to his credit, took it down.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    4. Here you are making shit up again Bob.

      You are a sad sad old man.

      Delete
    5. No real sense in deleting a few of the delusional rants if the twisted sick mind of Bob. Either delete all he writes and drive him away or expose him for the depraved fool that he is.

      Delete
    6. I say leave the shit up, make Bob go back and delete 'em when he gets twitterpated by some young thing that comes in here and flutters her eyes at him, before she goes back and sees how he really is around womenfolk.

      Delete
  46. Thereby assuring himself a place in at least a lower level of the Catholic Heaven.

    Which is o so much better than some of the other levels, to be sure.

    See:Dante

    (only a young fool would not take this seriously)

    ReplyDelete
  47. No one really wants to see a middle aged Phillipino twat, Miss T.

    Certainly not in the wide spread share the dildo position, which is what you put up

    Keep it to yourself, and Miss Feely

    Deuce is a redeemed man for taking it down, whatever his other faults.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How does one post a picture here Bob?

      Delete
    2. Bob is confused, he was surfing some twat and thought it was the Elephant Bar.

      Delete
  48. AIPAC can have their most ardent supporter from Idaho.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's deep....

      think that up all by yourself?

      Delete
    2. Anyone on this site can outthink you genius.

      Delete
  49. Jack HawkinsSat Jul 04, 02:34:00 PM EDT
    bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

    But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback. …


    Notice how, as on cue, the instigator, the jew hater, the liar, pops up and cuts and paste garbage to no value?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A post that Jack WROTE himself....

      how pathetic

      Delete
    2. Jack didn't write it Bob did. Bob has admitted it and tried to defend his actions.

      Delete
    3. Bob is easily outed when he tries that because he doesn't know Jack.

      Delete
    4. The quote is not a quote. It was not written from an account.

      It is well known the hack creates statements and claims tge are written by others.

      Delete
    5. Bob admitted it in the last thread:

      "Idaho BobFri Jul 03, 12:03:00 PM EDT

      ...

      I did not defraud the bank. My lawyer said it was legal. They got left with a bad loan, which they deserved."

      Delete
    6. Bob wrote it himself in his voice, not DR.

      Delete
  50. We'd only be traitors if we'd lost the Revolutionary War. Winning cures a lot of ills.

    ReplyDelete