His Name Was Ozzy and He Was Murdered by the Police 3

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

His name was Osaze Osagie, but everyone who loved him just called him Ozzy and everyone who knew him seemed to love him. He had such a peaceful way with the world around him. I rarely saw him without that gentle smile on his face. You could tell he was not like ‘normal’ people and not just because he was far kinder than those bestowed with that loaded label. Like me, Ozzy was different, the ‘normal’ world calls it mental illness. I got to know him at my local psych rehab and quickly found myself enchanted by his easy going sense of humor and borderline Zen-like demeanor. He looked like a hybrid of  Hannibal Buress and the Dalai Lama, which isn’t to say he didn’t have his bad days. When he did, it was well understood that he liked to be left alone, to sit quietly in another room until his calmer qualities overcame his demons. But even at his worst, Ozzy couldn’t harm a fly, he might hurt himself, but no one else.

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Keith Preston: US airstrikes in Somalia under spotlight Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

A prominent rights group says it has credible evidence that US drone strikes in Somalia are killing civilians.

Amnesty international says it carried out an extensive investigation. A team of researchers traveled to Somalia. There, they conducted forensics tests and interviews with more than 150 individuals. The group also analyzed corroborating evidence. This included satellite imagery, photos from the aftermath of airstrikes and munition fragments.

It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD 4

A good article from Matt Taibbi, though I don’t really agree that the Russiagate hoax is comparable to the WMD hoax (that Mueller was involved in perpetrating as well). The WMD hoax started a war that possibly killed over a million people, while Russiagate just makes the bulk of the media and political class look like idiots (which most people already know anyway).

By Matt Taibbi

Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete, I’m releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top.

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.

With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times:

A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.

Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to congress summarizing Mueller’s conclusions. The money line quoted the Mueller report:

[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

Over the weekend, the Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. As with most press coverage, there was little pretense that the Mueller probe was supposed to be a neutral fact-finding mission, as apposed to religious allegory, with Mueller cast as the hero sent to slay the monster.

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Kick the Puppy Episode 25 1

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Retired Florida cop punches old lady in the face over a parking spot, Florida woman accused of shoplifting and masturbating in front of teen on way to jail, why are there so many wild crime stories in Florida? The hidden costs of drug prohibition, nearly half of Americans have a close family member that has been incarcerated, the normalization of jail, 61% of Americans want weed to be legalized, New Zealanders have surrendered 37 out of 1.2 million private firearms since the Mosque shooting, Russia investigation concluded, Italy bans unvaccinated children from schools, artificial meat: UK scientists growing ‘bacon’ in labs, killing some chickens, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard, how the National Enquirer got Bezos’ texts: it paid $200,000 to his lover’s brother.

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You Can’t Be Pro-Life and Pro-War 24

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I’m a creature of sonic evolution, dearest motherfuckers. A hand grenade with Luna moth wings. It’s rather ironic for a diagnosed agoraphobic but the only thing that’s evolved more than my fluid gender identity is my equally fluid ideology. In thirty short years I’ve evolved from indentured Catholic to agnostic existentialist to Gnostic Christian witch, from juvenile anarcho-punk to Bolivarian Bolshevik tankie to panarcho-syndicalist gadfly. One thing that hasn’t changed throughout this intellectual metamorphosis however is a life long devotion to the sanctity of life.

Being a far-left pro-lifer has always seemed like a contradiction to most of my ilk but it has always made perfect sense to me. Egalitarianism in all its dimensions has always been about the stewardship of the weak in humanity by the strong. I actually believe that my early pro-life values are largely responsible for informing my radicalism rather than contradicting it. In a strange bid of karma, the Catholic Church may have accidentally created this church-burning commie-pinko by instilling those values in me at an impressionable age. I guess you could say I did a reverse Dorothy Day, from devout do-gooder to bomb-throwing heretic, sunrise, sunset.

This doesn’t mean that I’m on the same page with the pro-life movement at large, not by a long shot. I personally find your average pro-lifer to be a self-serving, single-minded, chauvinistic, pig-fucker with a severe penile Napoleon complex. As much as I despise the idea abortion, I’ve come to the hard conclusion that you can’t regulate someone else’s body without creating a berth for tyranny too wide for any self-respecting anarchist to tolerate. My approach to the issue has essentially become one of harm reduction. Combat abortion by making it irrelevant through the proliferation of affordable alternatives like the morning after pill. I feel that with this issue the bulk of the pro-life movement has revealed themselves to be puritanical hypocrites, more concerned with policing behavior than creating viable alternatives for desperate young women. As two thirds of a female and a feminist to boot, I find this hypocrisy to be particularly hard to swallow. You don’t have to be pro-choice to recognize that a rape victim doesn’t deserve to be polluted by a monster’s progeny, you just have to not be a dick. A tall order for too many of my fellow pro-lifers.

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Keith Preston: US foreign policy is about making money for military firms 1

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States foreign policy has always served the interests of the military-industrial complex and that is why President Donald Trump is actively trying to increase the Pentagon’s budget while also pressing allies to spend more on defense, says an American analyst.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, made the remarks while discussing reports that Washington was drawing plans to require allies with American troops stationed in their countries to pay for the deployment.

Under White House direction, the Trump administration plans to ask Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting US troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil, plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them.

“It is an interesting relationship because the United States on one hand pays the military bills and provides for the military defense of these countries in Asia and in Europe and also at the same time the Americans use this position… to maintain political hegemony,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.

PressTV-Trump to seek $750 billion for Pentagon: Official

PressTV-Trump to seek $750 billion for Pentagon: OfficialPresident Trump will seek funds for the Pentagon and his promised border wall next week, an administration official says.

Washington’ pressure on Germany, the UK and France to follow Trump in abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was one of the examples of this trend, the analyst said.

The Trump administration’s plan to maintain several hundred troops in Syria despite a promise to evacuate the country was another hint at this behavior, according to Preston.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, said Sunday that the US was in talks with the UK and France to prolong foreign military presence in Syria in order to prevent what he called a possible presence of the Daesh terror group.

“So clearly this is a move by President Trump to simply generate revenue for the United States and for the US military budget,” he said. “Much of what the American politics is about is simply making money for the so-called military-industrial complex.”

He said while the US military budget was around $700 billion annually, the military industrial complex’s real revenue was difficult to calculate “because there is so man different channels of revenue.”

Keith Preston: Trump trying to reverse ‘pink tide’ in Latin America 2

Press TV. Listen here.

The administration of US President Donald Trump is backing pro-American politicians in Latin America as a strategy to regain US hegemony and reverse the so-called “pink tide” movement in the region, says a political analyst in Virginia.

“I think that the American foreign policy at present is to try to reverse that, to try to roll back what was called the pink tide,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“This seems to be the general paradigm that’s evolving; that the Americans are trying to exercise hegemony over Latin America [and] reclaim influence that has been lost in recent decades,” Preston told Press TV on Friday.

Pink tide is a term used todescribe the rise pf populist movements in Latin America in the late 1990s that opposed American hegemony. The movement was led by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who was elected in 1998.

The shift also represented a move toward more progressive economic policies and coincided with the democratization of Latin America following decades of inequality.

PressTV-US ‘very strongly’ considering NATO membership for Brazil

PressTV-US ‘very strongly’ considering NATO membership for BrazilUS president Donald Trump says he is “very strongly” considering NATO membership for Brazil or some other formal alliance with the Latin American country.

Trump said on Tuesday he was strongly considering NATO membership for Brasilia as he met Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House, even though the South American nation doesn’t quality to join the Western military alliance.

Trump also said he supported Brazil’s efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a club of the world’s advanced economies.

Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics”, ran an unabashedly pro-Trump, pro-American campaign last year, emulating Trump in tone and style. It seems to have paid off for Bolsonaro on his first official trip to Washington.

Bolsonaro is an avid admirer of Trump and his policies, particularly those with regard to opposing anti-imperialist governments in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

In January, Bolsonaro also said that he is open to considering the establishment of a US military base in Brazil as a way to “counter Russian influence” in neighboring Venezuela.

Solid Reasons Not to Vote 1

By Will Schnack

Even if we were to vote, where is the line drawn? We all know that Ralph Nader gave Bush the election, and we know that Bernie and the Greens and Libertarians did the same thing. So, what are we to do? Press that even the exposure of these people is a good thing? That they put pressure on the others to bend their policies a bit, to appeal to more people? Or are we just supposed to run into the pen that the sheepdog leads us into every time we realize that the sheepdog was never going to win in the first place? And if we’re voting for people who aren’t going to win, why aren’t we all just writing in our disparate but favorite candidates, and our friends and neighbors? Where is the line drawn with useless voting?

The working class often votes Right-wing, because some of the working class is composed of the small property-owner or the owner-operator and sole-proprietor of their business, or are working to get there. Others are white trailer trash who see affirmative action and other programs as privileges that they themselves don’t have but are being punished for. Some are just rural folks. There are tons of demographics among the working class, and not all of them white, that supported Donald Trump.

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Keith Preston: Algeria president says to stay in power after term ends Reply

The Algerian president says he will stay in power beyond his term expiring next month, despite growing calls for him to step down. Abdelaziz Bouteflika issued a statement on Monday which confirmed his plan would see him stay in power beyond his tenure. He said he hopes the county will witness a new government and a harmonious transition. While Bouteflika gave no timetable for such transition, he said the shake-up of Algeria’s political, economic and social systems would start in the very near future. Algerians have been protesting for weeks against Bouteflika’s rule and his plan to run for another term. The ailing leader withdrew from his next presidential bid but scrapped the upcoming election. He also said that he would stay in office until a new constitution is adopted.

Iran’s Axis of Resistance Rises Reply

 

An important article in Foreign Policy from 2017.

The “solution” for the Middle East: The US should cease its “regime change” operations and support for jihadis. Israel should withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies should be isolated and contained as pariah states.

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By Payam Mohseni and Hussein Kalout

Foreign Policy

“In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” She was right—but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “axis of resistance,” a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine.

But the 2006 war was only one in a series of developments that significantly transformed the geopolitical and military nature of the axis—from the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which first opened the door to greater Iranian regional influence, to the more recent fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014, which led to the proliferation and empowerment of Shiite militias. These changes have prompted a fundamental reconfiguration of the contemporary Middle East order. Arab elites, grappling with the consequences of an eroding Arab state system, poor governance, and the delegitimization of authoritarian states following the 2011 Arab Spring, enabled Iran and its partners, including Russia, to build a new regional political and security architecture from the ground up. With the support of Tehran as the undisputed center of the axis, Shiite armed movements in Iraq and across the axis of resistance have created a transnational, multiethnic, and cross-confessional political and security network that has made the axis more muscular and effective than ever before.”

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The Next Ron Paul? 7

I almost never endorse politicians. I generally regard all elected officials, from the President to dogcatchers, as employees of the real ruling class (C. Wrights Mills’ “power elite”). Voting is merely participating in the king’s coronation rituals in a way that conveys legitimacy on the state. However, there are times when political campaigns can be used for propagandistic purposes. Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 are examples, and Tulsi Gabbard’s present campaign is another potential example.

I doubt she will get the nomination. The Democrapic party will either find a way to block that from happening (i.e. cheating), or she will simply fail to do well in the primaries because, in my experience, most of the kinds of people who are likely to be voters in the Democratic primaries are not people who consider foreign policy to be a primary issue. What passes for “the Left” in the US is, with some exceptions, pathetic when it comes to international relations. They’re far more interested in idpol, expanding the welfare state, and environmentalism (i.e. advancing the interests of the left-wing of the First World middle class). However, a Tulsi vs. Trump contest in 2020 would be a highly interesting turn of events for a range of reasons.

I think she would actually do better in a general election than in the primaries, though I don’t know if she could beat Trump or not. I think not because not only are there the standard issues like incumbent’s advantage but also because, given her views on international relations, the overlord class would pour money into the Republicans to keep Tulsi out of the White House, and the media would work overtime to ensure her defeat. Notice the only time the media (other than FOX) ever said anything good about Trump were the two times he attacked Syria. It would be a highly interesting and comical situation because the political class, capitalist class, deep state, media, etc would suddenly rally behind Trump after years of endless hating on him because they would view him as objectionable though more easily contained and less immediately threatening to the empire’s interests. It would be a true “memory hole” moment. Such a situation would also greatly exacerbate the cleavage between neoliberals (most of whom would move to Trump) and progressives (most of whom would stay with Tulsi). Certain dividing lines would become clearer among the center (radical center vs. establishment center) and right (neocons vs nativists vs populists vs non-interventionists) as well.

Of course, even if she won Gabbard would be constrained by the wider ruling class, political, and deep state apparatus. At best, she would be another Jimmy Carter, i.e. a moderate who is a generally decent person but essentially unable to maneuver within the framework of a system of overwhelming opposition by elites. The “Trump hate” that has been piled on by the wider ruling class is nothing compared to the “Tulsi hate” that would come about if she were elected (the same would be true of a Republican with similar views).

Any US president who seriously moved against the interests of the oligarchy would meet the same fate as Mosadegh, Arben, Suharto, Diem, Sihanouk, Allende, Saddam, Qaddafi, so many others.

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Iran main force against US-Israel-Saudi alliance in Mideast Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the Middle East is yet another attempt by the United States to shore up support for anti-Iran projects it has long been running with help from its “Zionist and Saudi” allies in the region, an American analyst says.

Pompeo will fly to the Middle East on Tuesday, stopping first in Kuwait before heading to Israel and Lebanon.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Washington was trying to strengthen the alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel — what he referred to as the “Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi” alliance– in order to push back against Iran, which is the main force keeping them from taking full control of the region.

Saudi Arabia and some other Arab governments in the Persian Gulf region “have a common objective in opposing the influence of Iran in the region.”

“Obviously Iran is the primary bulwark against the greater Israel, against Israeli expansionism and of course, the (Persian) Gulf states have wanted to expand the region a well and at this point they see Iran as the primary obstacle to that,” he added.

That is how those countries have been running all sorts of plots such as financing Daesh and other Takfiri groups to take out Syria, their other rival in the region, the analyst argued.

“So once again, there is a convergence between the interests of the Gulf monarchies, between the Israelis and between the Americans in trying to eliminate any kind of political autonomy that nay Middle Eastern nation might have,” he added.

The reason, according to Preston, is “because the Americans, the Saudis and Israeli have been largely successful in destroying many other nations in the region.”

Pompeo made a similar trip to the region in January to try to forge a unified Arab front against Iran, a dream that has brought together even Saudi Arabia and Israel.

PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next week

PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next weekUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will start a five-day tour of the Middle East next week, where he will discuss security issues in the region.

Pompeo’s main objective in the tour was laying the groundwork for the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a concept similar to an Arab NATO. Trump first floated the idea of forging MESA during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017.

The US hosted an anti-Iran summit last month in Warsaw, Poland. However, US efforts to build pressure against Iran faced a setback after ministers from several European Union members opted out of the summit.


Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party Reply

By Nicky Reid

Exile in Happy Valley

Do you remember the Democrats, dearest motherfuckers? Not the neoliberal, gutter capitalist, Clintonista kind or even Bernie’s brand of drone-strike socialists, but the peace loving hippie kind. The doves who tried to end the Cold War and marched against the draft and stuck flowers in the barrels of National Guard rifles. The liberal lions who took on the war machine, who made love not war, who couldn’t hug their children with nuclear arms, and braved the perils of grassy knolls and brainwashed Arabs to bring just one ounce of sanity to Capitol Hill. Sure they were corny and preachy and a little grabby in cocktail party coatrooms but they had character and cojones and conviction. What ever happened to those liberals, before their bleeding hearts were eaten whole by those nasty neos? Where have all the flowers gone? Tell me, dearest motherfuckers, do you remember the Democrats?

Yeah, me neither, and here comes another one of my famously merciless reality checks. With the exception of few fantastic McGovern hiccups, they never actually fucking existed. The Democrats have always been a war party, even back when the Republicans were still Lindbergh worshiping isolationists. Don’t get me wrong, the Dems were always big on that Feed the World-style, Kumbaya charity shit, but there chief staple was usually more white phosphorous than whole grain granola. Both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam; all started by Democrats. Even the Republican crusades in the Persian Gulf initially passed with broad Democratic support and lingered into holocausts with broad Democratic indifference. Much like the Republicans relationship with putting America first, the Democrats only get in touch with their hippie-dippie side when it serves their partisan needs, with Yemen as your latest rule-proving exception.

Lately, though, it seems to be getting worse. Since the Sixties, the Dems have at least generally payed lip service to ideas like detente and diplomacy, particularly atop their ivory soap boxes of the legacy media. But if you turn on NPR or CNN these days, you would be forgiven for believing you were interrupting a less than clandestine meeting of the John Birch Society. According to such bleeding brains as Rachel Maddow and Wolf Blitzer, Vladimir Putin is responsible for everything from Hillary’s biological unelectability to the ravages of climate change. Donald Trump makes the rare intelligent decision to simply meet up with Kim Jong-un for pho and playful banter and he’s appeasing the Axis of Evil. John Bolton throws a monkey-wrench into the goddamn thing and suddenly he’s the latest neocon “adult” to be proclaimed a progressive folk saint. The Donald firebombs an orphanage in Crimea and he finally becomes a “real” president. OK, I made the last one up, but these are some sick sick fucks.

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