Finding humanity

Kill Anything That Moves
Nick Turse Describes the Real Vietnam War

Nick Turse Describes the Real Vietnam War from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

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Israeli Myths & Propaganda
Israeli Historian, Ilan Pappe reveals the truth about the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Because of his work he eventually had to leave Israel.

This is an important Exposé, that contradicts the official Israeli narrative.

Israeli Myths & Propaganda from Global Information Services on Vimeo.

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When Everything You Know Is Not True

Miko Peled Debunking Jewish Myths

This is an heroic man who bravely stands up for truth in Israeli history, a must watch.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32739.htm#idc-cover

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Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories . . . Soldiers who serve in the Territories witness and participate in  military actions which change them immensely. Cases of abuse towards  Palestinians, looting, and destruction of property have been the norm  for years, but are still explained as extreme and unique cases. Our  testimonies portray a different, and much grimmer picture in which  deterioration of moral standards finds expression in the character of  orders and the rules of engagement, and are justified in the name of  Israel’s security.”

http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/testimonies/database

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War Is Betrayal Persistent Myths of Combat
By Chris Hedges
July 17, 2012 “
Boston Review —  We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites.  Read more http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31892.htm

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JUDGE RULES AGAINST INDEFINITE DETENTION

By Glenn Greenwald

May 17, 2012 “Salon‘ — A federal district judge today, the newly-appointed Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York, issued an amazing ruling: one which preliminarily enjoins enforcement of the highly controversial indefinite provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last December. This afternoon’s ruling came as part of a lawsuit brought by seven dissident plaintiffs — including Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Birgitta Jonsdottir — alleging that the NDAA violates ”both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

The ruling was a sweeping victory for the plaintiffs, as it rejected each of the Obama DOJ’s three arguments: (1) because none of the plaintiffs has yet been indefinitely detained, they lack “standing” to challenge the statute; (2) even if they have standing, the lack of imminent enforcement against them renders injunctive relief unnecessary; and (3) the NDAA creates no new detention powers beyond what the 2001 AUMF already provides. Read more:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31349.htm

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“The Real Terrorist Was Me”

A speech by a war veteran
Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us – Mike Prysner Posted july29th 2012.

 

Watch the video and read the transcript here:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26047.htm

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Zionist MP compares Israel to Nazis

“Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism” Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist” Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.

During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel  .  .  .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8&feature=player_embedded#!

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15 Responses to Finding humanity

  1. bluepilgrim says:

    OK. I hadn’t hit the ‘nothing delay’ before and they seemed to have posted right away. I didn’t see a ‘waiting for moderation’ message until I tried posting it in Firefox — Opera was jusy silent. Maybe a difference in the way the cookies are handled (or mishandled).
    You may notice I dropped a few comments at ICH, but that place is like mud wrestling in a zoo. Huge amounts of polarization there, some from haters, some furious, and I guess a lot of trolls, but no matter which side they take it all feeds into war fever. I’m thinking they may get much more than they wish for.

    I can almost hear the shouting from the mass graves, and the dead lying in the streets for want of anyone to bury them: “You see — we were right, and look what you caused. It’s all YOUR fault.’, from both sides. They forget that no one wins a war — as someone said — no more than anyone wins an earthquake. ‘Winning a war’ is a deadly meme, indeed.
    That’s not to say that one side can’t be significantly more responsible and evil than the other, but the shouting dead are still dead, as well as the innocent and the children.

    • jo mchenry says:

      Sorry I took so long to reply. Outlook froze whenever I tried to. I seem to have fixed it but would it be paranoid to say that it has been working perfectly but today it worked fine under my birth but didn’t when I started my first reply under my nom de plume. Zilch. !End

  2. bluepilgrim says:

    I’m having trouble posting this — some sort of software problem. It’s not showing, but it says I already posted it when I try to repost. Maybe this comment will make it work. If it shows up twice, just delete one of them, I guess. (I’m glad I saved it).
    ———

    Understand that a meme is not a slogan or a phrase, but an idea. It’s the linguistic and cognitive parallel to a gene, which reproduced, and can mutate.

    For instance, I sent a message to Randi Rhodes, and some other places, about the government being run by gangsters. She talked about that over several shows, comparing the Bush administration to the Godfather movie. I don’t know if she even read my email; one rarely knows for sure if a meme one tries to spread is picked up, or when or where.

    It’s hardly new, of course: ‘bankster’ is an old term, Smedley Butler’s ‘War is a Racket’ includes the idea of racketeers, and I heard someone mention that the best thing a criminal gang could do is not to take over just a neighborhood or city, but the whole government. And that idea was and is very relevant to what we are seeing, so the idea ‘gangsters are running the government’ is likely to be picked up, in one form or another, to act as an easy way for people to understand and express their thoughts. A meme has to be able to fit in with public’s feelings or thinking.

    For the phrase you mention, I would try to go with the idea that it’s THEIR wars, not OUR wars. The song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqUoROVcvcA We don’t want your war (great song!), can be invoked. It is not only anti-war, but highlights the schism between the people and the government/fascists/oligarchy. It also brings up the idea of the propaganda (you keep telling us we do want war). This could even be extended, maybe, to ‘we don’t want your austerity’ or poverty, or environmental destruction, GM crops, etc. — all based on the idea of the division between the people and the plutocracy. A phrase used responding to a right wing post might be something like ‘you want to balance the budget but we want to balance the world’. (We — the mass of people, as opposed to ‘you’ representing the minority). Once the basic idea is out there it, hopefully, grows, changes to meet the circumstances, takes on a life of it’s own. This may help counter the propaganda where the bandwagon effect is tried, with the polls, which may well be phony, about how most of the people agree with the destructive policies of the oligarchy, and the name-calling, etc., portraying those who oppose the government as hippies, wacko. extremist, and such.

    Recall also Goering’s quote, ‘Why of course the people don’t want war’ http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/33505-why-of-course-the-people-don-t-want-war-why-should and consider tying that in. And see what can grow from simply not wanting war (or whatever), which is passive but necessary first, to actually standing against it, taking action, which is a further step, needing some commitment and thought, after simply not wanting it. First, though, people have to decide they don’t want something before they will resist it. Also, not wanting does not require current actions, so a counter such as ‘no one is out in the streets now, and have given up’ won’t work. No organization is needed to not want something, or to want something else — and ‘we want justice and peace’ is an alternative expression with a positive note. ‘We’ does not need to be defined or supported by a poll, and anyone can join in with ‘we want (or don’t want).

    Along the way we need to put out information too. No, people don’t want austerity, but they have to know it doesn’t work to improve the economy, but makes everything worse except for the banksters, war industry, privatizers, and big corporations. It can’t be ‘we don’t want austerity (or war) but we have no choice’ because there are many choices, and it is very possible to do things better than what we are being handed. (‘Being handed — not ‘what is happening’ — again invoke the idea that the oligarchy is imposing on people what people don’t want and don’t need).

    To do memes one wants to get down to the roots of the issues and the thoughts that are floating around — to the basic reality (and even to the metaphors which Lakoff talks about).

    • Fitzhenrymac says:

      Sorry, it was a hot day and I didn’t check my emails. WordPress has this approval process. So far I have not unapproved any comment except obvious ads and spam but I do need to physically approve them. I enjoy your posts and the education on memes I am getting. It seems to me that so much of the worlds pain is based on memes that contain false information and new memes could really help.
      Fitz

  3. bluepilgrim says:

    Understand that a meme is not a slogan or a phrase, but an idea. It’s the linguistic and cognitive parallel to a gene, which reproduced, and can mutate.

    For instance, I sent a message to Randi Rhodes, and some other places, about the government being run by gangsters. She talked about that over several shows, comparing the Bush administration to the Godfather movie. I don’t know if she even read my email; one rarely knows for sure if a meme one tries to spread is picked up, or when or where.

    It’s hardly new, of course: ‘bankster’ is an old term, Smedley Butler’s ‘War is a Racket’ includes the idea of racketeers, and I heard someone mention that the best thing a criminal gang could do is not to take over just a neighborhood or city, but the whole government. And that idea was and is very relevant to what we are seeing, so the idea ‘gangsters are running the government’ is likely to be picked up, in one form or another, to act as an easy way for people to understand and express their thoughts. A meme has to be able to fit in with public’s feelings or thinking.

    For the phrase you mention, I would try to go with the idea that it’s THEIR wars, not OUR wars. The song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqUoROVcvcA We don’t want your war (great song!), can be invoked. It is not only anti-war, but highlights the schism between the people and the government/fascists/oligarchy. It also brings up the idea of the propaganda (you keep telling us we do want war). This could even be extended, maybe, to ‘we don’t want your austerity’ or poverty, or environmental destruction, GM crops, etc. — all based on the idea of the division between the people and the plutocracy. A phrase used responding to a right wing post might be something like ‘you want to balance the budget but we want to balance the world’. (We — the mass of people, as opposed to ‘you’ representing the minority). Once the basic idea is out there it, hopefully, grows, changes to meet the circumstances, takes on a life of it’s own. This may help counter the propaganda where the bandwagon effect is tried, with the polls, which may well be phony, about how most of the people agree with the destructive policies of the oligarchy, and the name-calling, etc., portraying those who oppose the government as hippies, wacko. extremist, and such.

    Recall also Goering’s quote, ‘Why of course the people don’t want war’ http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/33505-why-of-course-the-people-don-t-want-war-why-should and consider tying that in. And see what can grow from simply not wanting war (or whatever), which is passive but necessary first, to actually standing against it, taking action, which is a further step, needing some commitment and thought, after simply not wanting it. First, though, people have to decide they don’t want something before they will resist it. Also, not wanting does not require current actions, so a counter such as ‘no one is out in the streets now, and have given up’ won’t work. No organization is needed to not want something, or to want something else — and ‘we want justice and peace’ is an alternative expression with a positive note. ‘We’ does not need to be defined or supported by a poll, and anyone can join in with ‘we want (or don’t want).

    Along the way we need to put out information too. No, people don’t want austerity, but they have to know it doesn’t work to improve the economy, but makes everything worse except for the banksters, war industry, privatizers, and big corporations. It can’t be ‘we don’t want austerity (or war) but we have no choice’ because there are many choices, and it is very possible to do things better than what we are being handed. (‘Being handed — not ‘what is happening’ — again invoke the idea that the oligarchy is imposing on people what people don’t want and don’t need).

    To do memes one wants to get down to the roots of the issues and the thoughts that are floating around — to the basic reality (and even to the metaphors which Lakoff talks about).

  4. Fitzhenrymac says:

    So you don’t mind if I put your quote up under anonymous? I did do a quote search but it didn’t find anything. I do think though that credit is due where credit is deserved and you or whoever wrote it deserve credit for this quote.

    • bluepilgrim says:

      I don’t mind — or even tell people you said it (which you will if you print it). Credit means nothing to me. Just feeds the ego — although I do get a little charge when I see one of my memes being repeated, or even have quoted back to me to ‘educate me’, which happens at times. 🙂

      There are still some from years back floating around, sometimes morphed or developed, like a joke. I once invented a joke and told at a boy scout training session campfire. Ten years later it was listed as the best pun of the year — credited to some comedian, of course. Now THAT made me laugh! But a great many other things are invented by someone no one remembers (maybe the student, or the cab driver) of some professor, and credited to the person who is well known.

      Individual… don’t need ego. Hard to not be an individual. If my ego or identity is destroyed (and it’s all changing all the time anyway) another one wants to pop up right off, and it doesn’t matter — I’m still here, for now. This is actually a rather Western thing and some other cultures don’t make such a fuss about it. It’s not like I am getting paid and not getting credit takes food out my cats’ mouths (feeding the cats is a truly meaningful act).

      Steal this meme!

      • Fitzhenrymac says:

        I have a picture of a meme hanging over a fence just waiting to be plucked like mulberries and mangoes. Thank you.

        Did you ever read the Hundredth Monkey, a little book with one big idea. I think it is still possible for the allegedly smarter monkey to practice it’s theory. We should try a new meme on ICH. Something like “We, the people stand together against war”

  5. bluepilgrim says:

    Everything I write is like a message in a bottle thrown into the sea of the collective consciousness for whoever wants it — or maybe like bread cast upon the waters for the ducks to eat. No attribution is necessary — in fact it’s better without it because memes should be in the public commons, the better to travel. Besides, the CIA doesn’t need to find out who is making this stuff up. 🙂
    The ideas are not strictly mine, of course, but things I assemble from the collective mind and the ideas of who knows how many others.

  6. Fitzhenrymac says:

    I was impresseed with your posts on the Intermind collective. Belief is the root cause of so much that is wrong in the world. Particularly the belief that a consensus in belief makes it true.
    I loved your last line. I’ve turned it into a quotable quote to put on my true words page, with your permission of course. You might have an even better way of expressing it too.

    Most people don’t think; they just find the label they want and plug it into their habitual ideology. – Bluepilgrim

  7. bluepilgrim says:

    I think the work of Alfred Korzybski, with his ‘general semantics’ (not the same as ‘semantics’) is very important. The idea of levels of abstraction is a powerful cognitive tool, and cuts through much of the problems with ideas about framing as well.
    (Also see Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — even the weak version is important when people are not skilled in thinking beneath or outside of the formalism of language.)

    With the abstractions in use now, and the distortions and manipulations of language, many terms have lost virtually all meaning for many people, or mean different things to different people to such a degree that it’s almost impossible to communicate. This is especially problematic when extended discussion is cut off, and name-calling and trolling becomes the norm. Similar problems are rampant in academia, especially text books, and ‘teaching to the test’. .

    Couple distortions of abstractions with ‘believing’ things, and limited ideology, and propaganda, of course, and critical thinking goes out the window. Often when someone says ‘that’s just arguing about semantics’ it’s like saying ‘that’s just arguing about what numbers mean when we just want to do mathematics — who cares if 37 and 45 are or aren’t the same quantities?’. Sure we have trouble finding meaning and truth in the world when doublethink and new-speak takes over.

    Semantics and semiotics is a tough subject in any case, but are likely more important now as they have ever been. That’s what we have when using verbal, and especially written, communication. And to a great degree that’s most all that people use in their thinking: just find the label they want and plug it into their habitual ideology.

  8. Fitzhenrymac says:

    Semantics is annoying isn’t it. Most of us on these forums speak English but I often feel we speak a totally different language. You talk about capitalism, I often find myself defining the Left on forums. The left in America seems to be anyone the far, far right disagrees with. I always laugh when they call Obama a communist.

  9. bluepilgrim says:

    On the general topic:

    (I will put in a plug for distributed leadership, as opposed to the need for hierarchy and a ‘leader’ except as temporary tools, as part of an organized social anarchical structure, but he makes some good points. We do need balance between individualism and collectivism: neither despotic warlords nor a ‘Borg Collective’.)

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/individualism-and-the-failures-of-liberalism-in-america/5313830

    Individualism and the Failures of Liberalism in America
    By Dr. Robert P. Abele
    Global Research, December 03, 2012

    There is a common question being asked today in liberal and activist circles: “Why, in the face of all the deeply immoral actions engaged in by the U.S. government regarding its domestic and foreign actions, can liberals not organize themselves enough to push back against the economic-political managers of the totalitarian surge of the U.S. government?” This essay is an attempt to answer this question, at least in part.

    There is a common denominator between traditional liberals and conservatives that engages one camp and immobilizes the other. That common denominator is the philosophy of individualism—i.e. subjective relativism. In its extreme form, it is the adolescent level of narcissism, in which one is concerned with only oneself. When one combines this individualism with the moral relativism of a capitalistic philosophy which denies the objective moral values that would limit individual desires (in this case, the desire for money), one finds a philosophy that is shared by both traditional liberals and conservatives. Both are combined in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, who makes a virtue of selfish individualism, the “all for me and my interests” syndrome. For example, in her book The Virtue of Selfishness, Rand says that “the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action” (p. x).

    [… see the rest at link …]

    • Fitzhenrymac says:

      Yes I agree, the worst form of government has a presidential system. They keep trying to bring one into Australia but I hope we continue to fight it off. If you want someone to represent the country you just need a spokesperson, an actor would do. Oops! that’s already been tried.

      I also agree about the danger of individualism. It was even used as a positive personal characteristic on school report cards here. I suspect that those children who really were individualistic probably got a poor mark for it because they might have been the discipline problems in class.

      I see two serious problems with individualism – one is the narcissism expressed in your link. Cs Lewis described his mind as
      “And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was legion.” This type of narcissism is not accidental. Whole industries are engaged in filling your mind with rubbish, ‘I must have the new iPhone; I’m not a success unless I make a million dollars; I’m fat; the Arab family down the road might be terrorists; my mind can’t stop thinking about it all. My life is out of control.

      “All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” – Noam Chomsky

      The other problem is even more deliberate – a concerted effort to isolate people. To prevent co-operative action such as unions, social movements, communes, mass movements for political change.

      Individualism is the brother to competitiveness. It makes people believe it’s a dog eat dog world out there. It causes huge stress to many people and incredible loneliness.

      This is a good topic Bluepilgrim, I’ll see if I can put together another article with it in the blog home page.

      • bluepilgrim says:

        Individualism is too broad a term.

        I just looked at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualism and there are contradiction in the definition. It should be broken into two aspects or paths: one is selfishness and the other diversity, roughly, but with critical thinking and independence straddling those.

        What is it that lets one resist the propaganda and consumerism? Individualism. What is that impels one towards selfish consumerism and xenophobic fear? Individualism. The word is underdefined (or maybe overdefined?), and ‘tries’ to unite significant contradictions. So does capitalism, and it too has internal contradictions (as well as overdetermination in the neoMarxist sense of being more chaotic than the ideology would have people believe).

        Capitalism has the problem of having a potential for creativity, efficiency, and increased production, but it’s always ruined by selfishness, excess competition, monopoly, and lack of cooperation, coordination, and long term and social thinking. In that sense, capitalism is the economic manifestation of individualism’s dark side. It is contrary to diversity, creativity, and other such attributes it’s supposed to support. Capitalism and individualism, in practice, are NOT very self sufficient at all, but depend greatly on societal institutions and structures.

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