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Broken Spirits, Burnt Grass: Brief Notes From an American Journey

Mile after mile, the Maine countryside floated by, on a bright Saturday morning in the dying summer. Town after town, closed-up storefronts and makeshift shops hawking “antiques” and used books, over and over, trailing like kudzu along the speeding highway. It was like everybody in the whole country was doing nothing but selling their junk back and forth to each other. It was beautiful land — magnificent land, green and fertile, seeded with abundance, easy on the eyes — now reduced to tawdry struggle against final desperation. Degradation had already been accepted, long ago, been surrendered to without a fight;

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Debatable Matters: Firelight, Frost and the Dark End of the Street

I understand there is some kind of event scheduled for this evening that will feature two known and proven liars mouthing pious rhetoric, brazen falsehoods and scripted zingers in a process carefully crafted by their paid handlers to exclude any substantive examination of genuine issues of vital concern to the citizens whom the two known liars purportedly wish to “serve.” I understand this will be followed by an outpouring of fetid gas emitted by a series of third-rate intellects and clueless goobers in various media who will examine the body language and facial expressions of the two proven liars to

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Pay in Blood: The Bipartisan Terror Machine Stripped Bare

In the category of “the sky is blue,” “fire is hot” and “the sun rises in the east,” the Guardian reports on a new study showing that Washington’s murderous drone killing campaign in Pakistan is “counterproductive.” The sarcasm above is not meant to cast aspersions on the report itself — which is detailed, devastating, and very productive — but on the prevailing mindset in the ruling circles of the West (the self-proclaimed “defenders of civilization”) that makes such a study even necessary, much less ‘controversial.’ For of course even the denizens of the many secret services and black-op armies and

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In Aleppo Once: Old Allies Reunite in Syria to Foment Future War

The anguished Othello — fatally fouled in the puppeteer’s strings — pointed to his death-dealing work on behalf of empire in the Syrian city of Aleppo as one of the crowning achievements of his life. Indeed, he re-enacted this bloody imperial service — against Muslim infidels — in taking his own life: “And say besides, that in Aleppo once,/Where a malignant and turban’d Turk/Beat a Venetian and traduced the state/I took by the throat the circumcised dog,/And smote him thus.” One hears a great deal of talk about the civil war in Syria, most of it thickly greased with hot

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Tool Kit: No Choice Proffered in Election’s Poisoned Chalice

Rob Urie looks behind the giddy “gotcha” reaction to Mitt Romney’s comments on the “47 percent” of shiftless plebians he wants to abandon. Obama partisans have seized on the leaked remarks as glaring evidence of the “real choice” in this election: between a callous, clueless tool of the brutal financial elite and a genuine man of the people, fighting the good fight for all the people. But as Urie points out, despite this exciting new narrative in the campaign, there is actually more than one tool in the elite’s election toolbox: It was Spring of 2010, less than a year

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Fat of the Land: Empire’s Empty Offer

Here’s a short disquisition on the blandishments offered to us by the high and mighty: Fat of the Land by Chris Floyd Well, here’s the whipWe’ve raised it highDo what we sayAnd don’t you ask whyNow there’s the troughIt’s full of meatYou can have all you wantIf you just keep us sweet Do you get it now?Are you down with the plan?Just stay in lineAnd we’ll feed you the fat of the land Here comes old TigerThe smiling beastWith Boy WonderHolding his leashThey’ve got some businessWith what you ownJust pay what they askAnd they’ll leave you alone We know your

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The Howling: Embassy Riots Pale Next to State Terror Tempest

Sparked by a deliberate provocation put together by Christian extremists, riots by groups of Islamic extremists are spreading across the world — a convenient symbiosis for both groups, as they use each other’s actions to “justify” their hysterically constricted worldviews. There is an added layer to the reaction in the Muslim countries, as the extremists there can draw on the seething resentments built up by the depredations and atrocities inflicted indiscriminately on Muslims by the Western powers in recent decades, particularly since the launch of Terror War. But of course these depredations and atrocities are the work of yet another

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Great Expectations: Benghazi-Style Blowback an Integral Part of Terror War System

As protests against the Mohammed-bashing film now spread to Yemen — where the Peace Laureate is drone-bombing the hell out of the populace on a regular basis — Simon Tisdall has more on the bitter blowback of the Laureate’s much-lauded regime change in Libya. First, Tisdall notes that despite the effusion of shock and horror emanating from Washington over the attack on its diplomats, the American government had in fact anticipated the possibility of such an incident: The assassination in Benghazi of the American ambassador to Libya is an appalling act – and one foreseen by his employers. On 27

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Bred in the Bone: Another Round in the Cycle of Violence

Reading about the deadly attacks in Libya by religious extremists armed and empowered by the United States in the recent regime change operation there, I was reminded of something from a piece I wrote long ago, the day after 9/11:  “Murder is fertile: it breeds more death, like a spider laden with a thousand eggs.” One thing for certain: no matter which of the candidates now exploiting the latest incident for partisan gain wins in November (and oh what bitter comedy there is in watching the progressosphere sternly denounce Mitt Romney for “politicizing national security” by attacking President “I Killed

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Immune System: The Violent Afterlife of Atrocity in Iraq

When he was lambasted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu last week for the murderous debacle of the US-UK war of aggression in Iraq, Tony Blair pointed to the appalling human rights violations of the Saddam regime as one of his “justifications” for helping George W. Bush engineer the murder of a million innocent people. Of course, as we noted here earlier, Blair never evinced such concerns about, say, the extremist religious tyrants in Saudi Arabia (whom he protected by personally quashing a judicial case involving mammoth corruption in a UK-Saudi arms deal), or his later paymasters in Kazakhstan, or even his

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