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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Chris Hedges, a must

Christopher Lynn Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction; Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009);Death of the Liberal Class (2010); Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), written with cartoonist Joe Sacco, which was a The New York Times best-seller; and his most recent Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015). ‘America, The Farewell Tour’ (2018)
Hedges is a columnist for the progressive news and commentary website Truthdig.He is also a host for the television program On Contact on RT. Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, West Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).
In 2001, Hedges contributed to The New York Times staff entry that received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, the University of Toronto and Princeton University, where he is a visiting lecturer in African American studies.
Hedges has taught college credit courses for several years in New Jersey prisons. He teaches a course through Princeton University in which the class is composed of half prisoners and half Princeton undergraduates.He has described himself as a socialist and more specifically as a Christian anarchist,identifying with Catholic activist Dorothy Day in particular.

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HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO BRETT KAVANAUGH?

Opinion | The country deserves an FBI investigation

We should apply a higher standard to Supreme Court nominees. Nobody deserves to be on the bench, says editorial board member Stephen Stromberg.

Columnist

September 27

HOW DARE YOU?!
HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO BRETT KAVANAUGH?
HOW DARE YOU DENY HIM THIS SEAT?!

Listen, NO, YOU listen!
Do you know who Brett Kavanaugh is? Brett Kavanaugh went to Georgetown Prep!
BRETT KAVANAUGH IS AN OPTIMIST WHO LOOKS ON THE SUNSHINE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN!
BRETT KAVANAUGH IS NOT YELLING!
YOU’RE YELLING!

If Brett does not secure a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, this country will be IN SHAMBLES! THIS IS HIS BIRTHRIGHT! Do you know how embarrassing it is for a Georgetown Prep graduate to NOT be on the Supreme Court? They are literally 12 PERCENT of the court! THIS IS PROBABLY THE WORST INDIGNITY YOU CAN INFLICT ON A HUMAN BEING!

ALL BRETT IS ASKING FOR IS DUE PROCESS! DUE PROCESS BEFORE HE IS DEPRIVED OF HIS GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO A SEAT ON THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND, WHERE HE WILL DETERMINE THE FATES OF MILLIONS!

Apply the standard you want to apply to your husband-brother-son. He should be allowed to be careless. He should be allowed to like beer.
BRETT LIKES BEER!
WHO DOESN’T LIKE BEER!
BRETT ISN’T YELLING!
YOU’RE YELLING!
THIS IS A CON JOB!
THIS IS A FARCE!
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!
THIS IS BRETT’S SEAT!

The Founders did not break from Britain so a landed white gentleman accused of sexual misconduct could NOT be given FREE REIN over the lives of millions!

If you give this woman credence, you will start a terrible trend. THINK OF ALL THE CARELESS PREP SCHOOL BOYS WHO WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO SIT ON THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND! WOMEN WHO HAVE SUFFERED TRAUMA WILL BE ALLOWED TO GET ON PLANES WILLY-NILLY — EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE FRIGHTENED!

You are going to deny a qualified man. The treasurer of Keg Club — DO YOU HEAR HIM, HE WAS KEG CLUB TREASURER! AND A RENATE ALUMNIUS! HOW DARE YOU DENY A KEG CLUB TREASURER AND RENATE ALUMNIUS A SUPREME COURT SEAT?!

ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE HER, AMERICA? OVER HIM, AMERICA?

YOU HEARD THE WOMAN! SHE DOESN’T EVEN LIKE TO FLY! YET SHE FLEW HERE! SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER ALL THE DETAILS OF THE EVENING, WHEREAS HE KEPT A CALENDAR, LIKE HIS FATHER BEFORE HIM!

HE IS NOT EMOTIONAL!
YOU ARE EMOTIONAL!
NO, YOU LISTEN!

If this is how you are going to behave, if you are going to believe this woman, if you will let her stand there and destroy his life (well, not his life, technically, nor his freedom, just his chance of a seat on the highest court in the land), then what kind of country is this going to be?

They are going to drag him here in front of all these OTHER MEN and deny him a seat on the Supreme Court, and he will have to walk home confused and disoriented, and he will have to live with the feeling that he is NOT ON THE SUPREME COURT for as long as he lives. Whenever he gets on a plane and sits in his seat, he will think of the seat HE IS NOT IN.

This is OPPRESSION! TO BE DENIED POWER OVER OTHERS! IF THAT IS NOT WHAT IT IS, DO NOT TELL ME.

He should be given exactly as much benefit of the doubt as we would not give a black man shot in his own apartment by police. HE DESERVES IT! IT IS HIS BIRTHRIGHT. HE WENT TO GEORGETOWN PREP.

As President Trump said, “This is beyond Supreme Court. This is everything to do with our country. When you are guilty until proven innocent, it’s just not supposed to be that way. Always I’ve heard you’re innocent until proven guilty. I’ve heard this so long. It’s such a beautiful phrase. In this case, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very dangerous standard for our country.”

IT IS TRUE! No man should be deprived of his life, liberty or the deciding seat on the highest court in the land without DUE PROCESS. THIS SHOULD BE HIS. The right to decide the fates of millions is one a man like him is born with, ONE OF THOSE INALIENABLE RIGHTS, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN FROM HIM WITHOUT BEAUTIFUL DUE PROCESS!

NOW HIS WORLD IS FALLING APART! NOW HE IS BEING FORCED TO GO OVER HIS HIGH SCHOOL BEHAVIOR WITH A FINE-TOOTHED COMB! THIS IS NOT FAIR! THIS SCRUTINY! THIS DEMAND TO ACCOUNT! HE DESERVES THIS POWER! GIVE IT TO HIM! STOP ASKING HIM THESE QUESTIONS! STOP TRYING TO SLOW THIS TRAIN DOWN! THIS TRAIN HAD BETTER GET WHERE IT IS GOING, OR SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN!

STOP SAYING THINGS! SHHH! BE QUIET! STOP RESISTING BRETT KAVANAUGH. STOP TRYING TO STOP HIM.
NO, LISTEN! LISTEN!

HE DESERVES THIS!

LISTEN, YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS. AMERICA DOESN’T DESERVE BRETT KAVANAUGH ON THE SUPREME COURT.

IF THIS IS HOW AMERICA IS GOING TO BEHAVE,
IT DOESN’T DESERVE BRETT KAVANAUGH AT ALL!

Mark LaGanga 9 /11 remembered

President Trump is unfit for office. Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’ confirms it.

Exclusive: Listen to Trump’s conversation with Bob Woodward
President Trump and Bob Woodward discuss Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” before its publication. (The Washington Post)

By Max Boot
Columnist
September 4 at 3:09 PM
If you take seriously the revelations in Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” — and how can you not, given Woodward’s nearly half-century of scoops about Washington’s elite? — then it’s time for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment because he is clearly “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That will never happen, because the Cabinet is packed with Trump toadies who compete with each other to deliver the most fawning praise of their supreme leader. But on the merits, it should happen.

Of course, it doesn’t take Woodward’s revelations to demonstrate Trump’s unfitness for office. Trump demonstrates it on a daily basis with his campaign-rally rants and Twitter tirades. Just in the past day, the president has demanded that the Justice Department drop criminal investigations against his supporters because it could cost Republicans House seats, and suggested that NBC lose its broadcast license because, in essence, he objects to the criticism he receives on MSNBC. A senior Justice Department official told Axios: “It shows how POTUS thinks DOJ should be used: As a weapon against enemies and a tool to win elections.” In a normal world — a world where Congress was not controlled by blind Republican partisans — the fact that Trump continues to make demands so at odds with the rule of law would be cause for his impeachment and removal.

read on here

Stephen Colbert is back !

Russia and Syria vow to ‘wipe out terrorists’ in Idlib

source www.aljazeera.com

Humanitarian fears grow as Russian and Syrian FMs signal all-out attack on last rebel-held stronghold is imminent.
The Syrian government and its major ally Russia have signalled that an all-out offensive to retake the last rebel-held province in Syria is only a matter of time, raising fears of a major humanitarian crisis.
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem following a closed-door meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the majority of Syria had been “freed of terrorists”, save for Idlib, a northeastern province bordering Turkey.
“What we need to do now is to wipe out those terrorist groups which persist, particularly within the de-escalation area of Idlib,” he said.
“It is unacceptable that those terrorists particularly al-Nusra Front are using the de-escalation area of Idlib to attack the Syrian army and to also attack through drones the Russian military bases in the area,” he added referring to Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is dominated by a rebel faction previously known as al-Nusra Front before renouncing its ties to al-Qaeda.
For his part, al-Muallem said the Syrian forces will “go all the way” in Idlib but added that the army will do everything possible to avoid civilian deaths.
Humanitarian concerns
Idlib is home to nearly three million people, up to half of whom are rebels and civilians transferred en masse from other areas such as Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta and Deraa after they fell to Syrian pro-government forces following heavy fighting.
The situation on the ground is further complicated by the direct presence of Turkey, which backs certain rebel groups in the area and operates as a guarantor power to ensure a “de-escalation zone” agreed upon with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s allies Russia and Iran at a meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
In recent weeks, Turkish-backed opposition groups in Idlib have attempted to unify into a new coalition, with some 70,000 fighters pledging to fight against forces loyal to Assad. But HTS, the most dominant rebel force in Idlib and in control of about 60 percent of the province, has not joined the coalition.

A major military operation in Idlib would pose a particularly threatening humanitarian situation because there is no opposition territory left in Syria where people could be evacuated to. Observers have previously warned as many as 2.5 million Syrians could try to flee to the closed Turkish border, creating a new refugee crisis.
“The question is how costly the assault on Idlib is going to be,” said Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow.
“It’s not a question of if it will happen, it is a question of when and the severity of it,” he added, noting that the Russian and Syrian governments believe that the seven-year war will largely be over if they capture Idlib.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
Warnings and reconstruction
Speaking at the press conference, Lavrov called on the international community to join in the reconstruction process of Syria and “actively get down to work on modernising the infrastructure which has been devastated”.
“We can see that there is a very swift mobilisation of the international community taking place particularly with regards to the return of the refugees and the revival of socioeconomic assets and facilities to make sure the country gets back to working order,” he said.
“The Russians know that as the pre-eminent military force in Syria, some of the responsibility of rebuilding Syria falls on them,” Challands said, “but they don’t want to shoulder all the bill, so they’re encouraging as many foreign powers as they can to chip in essentially and get the country back on its feet.”

Syrian oppositions prepare defence line due to Assad government’s potential military offensive against Idlib [Anadolu Agency]

Al-Muallem said Russia and Syria are united in their views regarding the next stage of rebuilding Syria.
“It’s natural to think about Syria to find a reconstruction programme and to find a role for our partners in Russia to play a key role and priority in this,” he said, adding that both countries are very near to “putting an end to terrorism” in the country.
Both ministers warned against any “act of aggression” from Western countries, particularly from the United States, citing staged chemical attacks by “provocateurs” such as the Syrian civil defence group the White Helmets being used as a pretext for such assaults.
“This kind of provocation is being staged as to complicate the whole issue of combatting the terrorists in Idlib,” Lavrov said. “We have warned our Western partners clearly that they should not engage in this kind of activity.
Al-Muallem accused the US and its allies of preparing for “another aggression to save al-Nusra Front” and protract the Syrian conflict.
“We will practise our legitimate right in defending ourselves, but the consequences of the aggression will hit the political process definitely and everyone will be [affected],” he said.

Nature of offensive unknown
Turkey, which hosts some three million Syrian refugees, has already stated that it will not open its borders to accept further refugees in the event an assault takes place.
The Syrian government said that it will open “humanitarian corridors” for civilians to evacuate, but according to Al Jazeera’s correspondent Zeina Khodr, many of the residents do not trust the government and remain fearful of their fate.
“Many of these people are considered terrorists or are wanted by the state simply because they engaged in opposition activities,” Khodr said, reporting from Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. “Being a medic according to the Syrian government is terrorism.”

Earlier on Thursday, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warned that a potential “perfect storm” is looming over Syria’s Idlib province, and expressed his willingness to “personally and physically” involve himself to ensure a corridor to evacuate civilians would be feasible.
While it is not yet clear what kind of offensive the Syrian government will engage in Idlib, Khodr said that there are still “behind the scenes negotiations between the Russians and the Turks” on this matter.
“What we understand from some sources is that Turkey is trying through its contacts in Idlib to convince Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham to disband itself to prevent this all-out offensive,” she said.
“We even heard Lavrov tell the Syrian government ‘we are talking about the need to reconcile with some groups’ telling them in one way or another that there will not be a wide-scale attack.”
Russia pushing forward
According to Alexey Khlebnikov, an expert with the Russian International Affairs Council, creating another refugee crisis will be contrary to Russia’s main priorities and interests.
“This is why Russia is now trying to negotiate with Turkey to reach a compromise on the deal to minimise damage inflicted on the population in Idlib,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Now, Russia’s message to the West is to get on board and join in the reconstruction process and humanitarian aid [which] basically goes in line with that message of retaking Idlib and not creating another refugee flow.”
But Khodr said that Western countries are not prepared to join in the reconstruction, insisting first on a “meaningful, credible, political transition” to Syria.
“[The Russians] have sidelined the political transition which will involve the Syrian government sharing power with the opposition,” she said, noting that Russia is trying to cement Assad’s hold onto power.
The narrative for Russia and Syria is that they have won the war and now want to talk about rebuilding the country and returning the refugees, she said.
“They’ve appealed to the international community, particularly to the West, to give them money to rebuild the towns so that refugees will return and leave Europe but it seems they do not have the support as of yet,” Khodr said.

to be continued here

Sam and Ammar.. Special episode in the Holocaust Museum

Define the Holocaust, explain why it happened.
Why focus on Jews?
The most important events of the Holocaust
The importance of the event and the reaction of the Arabs
What we learned from the Holocaust.

Gideon Levy at the National Press Club

Jaw dropping

No fan of Sacha but this is unbelievable !

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