Open Menu; feel free to contribute… just about anything


the last Open Menu is here; it was getting rather long.  the monkey was found in Congo in 2012; it’s called ‘lesula’. by locals.  what a face; my stars.


Michael Hudson: Ukraine’s “Operation Vulture” and Labor Protests

How the China’s New Silk Road is Shifting Geopolitics, by Yves Smith

“Yves here. I thought this would be a useful companion post to our update today on the TPP, since the TPP is one of the US’s answer to China’s efforts to stand at the center of a new geopolitical web of alliances. Notice in particular how some of China’s new ties are fragile and how the US is dialing down its efforts to foment a new cold war with Russia.”

US won’t accept idea of global ‘spheres of influence’ – Biden

“The US rejects the idea of any nation claiming a sphere of influence, Vice President Joe Biden told a Washington think tank, arguing that the crisis in Ukraine was about the principles and values of the West and international order.

We will not recognize any nation having a sphere of influence,” the vice president said during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday. It remained unclear whether the remark applied to US influence around the globe, or referred only to Russia, China and other countries.

No; NATO hasn’t seemed to have gotten John Kerry’s memo on Ukraine.

Oana Lungescu @NATOpress  ·  3hrs ago: #Russia’s presence in #Ukraine is “hiding in plain sight”. New @AtlanticCounci report here:

51 responses to “Open Menu; feel free to contribute… just about anything

  1. More Dem betrayal: Obama’s “USA Freedom Act,”
    …” is not different in its essentials from the original Patriot Act…. All the Democrats voted in favor of Obama’s phony reform.”

    • “Since the government has not been able to produce any convincing data that such surveillance has protected the U.S., one might well ask why Obama is so frantic, almost hysterical, to keep it alive”
      Why indeed. Why is he insisting on mass surveillance. Cui bono? Who’s he working for?

  2. You know, ’cause calling it by another name will make it acceptable.

  3. BS (Bush Shadow) Company man Barry-0 is Bush-diving for Poppy, as are Billary. The 11/22/63 burning Bush putsch Uber ALLES!

  4. hmmmm. to say i haven’t kept upon this would be an understatement, nomad. but a few random thoughts:

    john walsh is right in respect to his thesis that it seems to be a partisan issue, with a few exceptions. for my ownself, this is not the issue that i’d like to see unity between the two branches of the duopoly, but i do see why he does. he speaks of ‘reform’, but i am an abolitionist altogether, but had come late to the notion, then had also written about the shiny NSA ‘reforms’ as a bit of a distraction, given all the many other security snooping apparatuses at play (both public and private) in the nation.

    but who benefits and why is obama frantic? well, spying is a critical for the empire, whether on trade secrets, who ‘our’ enemies are, and what they might be doing, who’s funding whom, and all that jazz. who can be extorted, of course, is a biggie, as walsh implied, whether financially, policy support, tra la la.

    (by the by, my understanding was that Parliament’s veto of war on syria was the reason, but i do know many antiwar folks credit the USian calls to Congress for it. Oh: and russian diplomacy,iirc.)

    but *domestically*, in aid of the expected burgeoning of insurgency, legal snooping would be a valuable tool, no? the back doors and exploits built into cell phones, computers, and other tools of internet access are…er…rather important to the PTB. but those seem to have been built in *by the tech industry moguls*, from what i can tell, although that issue is debated here and there.

    but given that the DHS, FBI, big banks on wall street, the DEA, scores of private security agencies and their spying, warrantless wire web, phone searches, and so on, aren’t even at issue, what does that mean?

    but yeah, fook the dems for their complicity while they act all noble and caring about supporting the Free-dumb act. the sole vote that some dems did right was rejecting obama’s signature issue: fast track authority.

    one thing: is walsh even close to correct that the public cares about it (if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide)? i might add that he’s right: declaring 215 illegal didn’t mean much to the organization, but hell, even if there is ‘a victory’, who will know if anything changes, really?

    oopsie; dinnae mean to rant… ;-)

  5. Visualizing Tomorrow’s Future Today

    Here at the Chicano Veterans Organization our traditional Friday’s column focusing on the Odds and Ends and which emphasizes “the crazy” in national politics, is being dispensed with, and done with the following and which ‘circumvents’ the “nuance, subtlety and sophistication” that animates our National Debt and which effectively demonstrates and subsequently rejects this loss of their future.

    Back in 2002, we crafted our version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and which we called it the Five Planks, and in our Fourth Plank, we established a systemic that was predicated on the Trans-National Technology Centers (TTNC’S) established on our southern border with Mexico. Consequently, the incoming migration flow would be coordinated thought these TTNC’s and thusly, our seminal foreign politics and the resultant policies, would have its germination and accomplishment at “the local level” of civic engagement. And furthermore, Congress would allocate an approximate $500 million annually the small or rural communities here in the United States and in which these American municipalities would “adopt” some of Mexico’s smaller municipalities and done under the rubric that a “better” Democracy could and would be achieved in Mexico.

    And of course, our self-interest would be on full display, given that we, the former Privates, Corporals and Sergeants and for having served in the military, would not be ‘swayed’ in supporting the facile direction that the usual suspects continue to tout privately and where America needs to “invade” Mexico with the tagline for “corruption” and “drug cartels” would win the day when it come to the overall meme of Nixon’s War on Drugs. And today’s version is now effervescently titled as “border security” notwithstanding, the meme that “the military” can protect all of its citizens from “terrorism” both foreign and domestic.

    And now our future intrudes.

    To wit, a small group of “middle school” students and born of Spanish-speaking families and which these families and the respective families have successfully undergone their Citizenship Regime. And because the students return to the parents’ municipalities in Mexico during summer vacation and for visiting the grandparents, they too have “matured” beyond their ages, and have come recognize that their grand parents are living in hovels and where the dirt floors can never be cleaned appropriately.

    And with this in mind, the grandkids have taken to establish their like-minded approach to “individualized” economic development. As such, they have—earlier this year, created a charitable non-profit foundation and to date, have went onto Facebook and will be leaving Phoenix, Arizona in the next few days. Thusly, their “results” have consisted of a “bob tail truck” of canned food goods and a bank account of over $25,000 that will distributed in their selected municipality in Mexico and where their grandparents continue to reside.

    In summary, these Middle School students have never encountered our version of the Five Planks that encompasses our concern for Comprehensive Immigration Reform—then and now, have taken their future into their own hands and will begin to show us, the oldies as well as the hippies of the 1960s and that a “better” Democracy can be achieved, both here in the United States.


  6. wendydavis,

    My apology, and to wit, the “edited” version is now posted on our web site.

  7. these dear students are exemplifying the credo: “and the youth shall lead!”, aren’t they. is it just one village//town in which they will distribute their largesse, or multiple ones? good on them, and the best fortune to them. wish i had anything to give them.

    did you ever try to register here, jaango? it’s at least my understanding that it’s the first step to being enabled as an author. here are the instructions again, and i won’t create a hyperlink this time, just in case you miss it.

    on edit: i should have added that this form of bringing news and opinion is fine, if the other is too much hassle.

  8. I’m fond of Putin, but I really love Lavrov:

    ” , , , Ensuring everybody’s accord that world problems can be solved neither single-handedly nor only by two sides is the most important thing for us.”

    • I could hardly agree more, juliania! Lavrov seems like an alien in this crazy world… and then *snap* he is a lonely human voice in a reptilian zoo.

  9. he sure refutes the neo-cons such as biden, doesn’t he, with that? but they say that as empires are in the process of going down the drain (even if the players don’t quite see that yet), they become frantic in their hegemonic beliefs, and therefore: ever so dangerous, as loose cannons are known to be.

  10. blowback, lol. i forgot leon, but i need to bring a younger version.

  11. I haven’t done this in a long, long time. Just contacted Bernie Sanders to stop him from voting for the ‘Freedom Act’ – he should be supporting NO surveillance of ordinary citizens, whether by government or by the phone companies!

    (I know, doesn’t do much good to e-mail. Oh well.) They’re debating it in an hour today, Sunday, four something pm ET. Patriot Act expires at midnight.

  12. pretty funny that rand paul might save the day, eh? i didn’t grasp the time frame, but this particular bernie sanders video and/or read at ‘the hill is almost funny, especially his praise for da president. ;-)

    sometimes the voice mail boxes are full, though, juliania, so email is the only alternative.

  13. BB King Beale St Funeral procession – 2015 Memphis

    Rip, BB, and keep playin’ Lucille in the afterlife to inspire us all

  14. wendydavis,

    I have followed your directions as per wordpress, and thusly, I have given up on being an “author.” Consequently, I will continue posting on your Open Menu. And I hope this doesn’t become a inconvenience for you. If so, speak loudly. BTW, thanks.


  15. i’m at a loss to understand why your registration hasn’t taken, but goodness no! there will always be an Open Menu on the right sidebar, although i’ve been looking into a different layout that might be more readable, and if i change it, it may be somewhere else. ;-)

  16. hi, been reading all the stuff here, thanks… here’s a tune for you

    • o good to see you, mark; i was jus thinking of you earlier, and how you’d had to remind me what that chickpea/lemon/garlic/olive oil thang was called, ya know, that ya could make into balls for falafel? (no, i cannae think of its name even now…) ;-)

      that was gorgeous enough to play three times, and look up the band. whoosh, what fine sentiments are here:

      and not just:(speaking of the new album “the light”) :

      “At its heart his message is self-determination, escaping the traps of learned behaviors, or studied reactions, in favor of reawakening the power within us. Obscured though it may be, there remains a light within all of us, just waiting to be rediscovered.

      “Age of Reason,” written by founding bassist Hal Vorpahl, conceals a call to arms within the Stax Records-influenced vibe. “We’re just scared of what we don’t know,” Galloway sings, and part of pride is resistance and resentment in the face of change. “It’s a call to let go of limitations,” said Galloway, and among these barriers are religion, tradition, and tribe, for no matter their power in shaping us, “where we come from will never mean as much as where we’ve been.”

      my goodness; more! more!

      oh, but as they mentioned ray wylie hubbard, i’ll go fetch: (and with jerry jeff, to boot)

  17. funny tune thanks….. I probably posted Hayes Karl “she left me for Jesus” but if not you should have a listen to it too for a chuckle.

    keep writing

    • i embedded it before i listened, and oh, my…did they seem…inebriated. we went to see jerry jeff in durango decades ago, and he was almost incoherently drunk; sad.

      the child in ‘wolves’ was magical; did you notice him on the floor by the door as daddy left?

      here’s hayes, though; it’s great. mr. wd just said it’s like the tunes we used to hear at the long-gone ‘silver peaks’ in town. ;-)

      added on edit: i remember thinking you might like this man when i first heard this tune; i sure do:

  18. Just to report on the ongoing ramp up on the Rio Rancho policeman’s killing – it’s front and center on every newscast still, but I can’t report what is being said as I keep it muted till the weather. I have, however had two ‘important’ robocalls to inform me that today (Thursday) will be the funeral procession. (Again, I didn’t listen to the whole thing.)

    I shopped down in the area as usual yesterday, noticed nothing out of the ordinary until arriving at Walmart (I know, but it’s where I catch the bus). There at all entrances inside a special welcomer was stationed to check all baggage – I had plenty stacked on my trundler since I shop other places (picky me). She informed me I would have to depart from her station or be subject to a search. When I complied, she waved me through, was checking all other outgoers’ receipts. And outside the store were stationed two burly security guards, also fire truck and ambulance, parked where the bus usually comes.

    I was glad to come home.

    • i’m sure you were, juliania. i binged out of curiosity, and is live-streaming the service as i type. in cortez, walmart is now the only place one *can* buy certain things by now. most of the downtown businesses closed when wally world came to town, and a couple big box western/agriculture stores. all of them are sheet metal in the main.

      i wonder who in the world did the robo-calls? the fop? that site said that ‘several hundred mourners’ were expected. perhaps they wanted more? i get threatening calls all the time from one of the state police organizations lookin’ for lucre.

  19. wikipedia is good on Sankara “Sankara seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup at the age of 33, with the goal of eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power. He immediately launched one of the most ambitious programmes for social and economic change ever attempted on the African continent. To symbolize this new autonomy and rebirth, he even renamed the country from the French colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (“Land of Upright Man”). His foreign policies were centred on anti-imperialism, with his government eschewing all foreign aid, pushing for odious debt reduction, nationalizing all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. ”

  20. liked the Joe Purdy tune

  21. he sounds like the enormous breath of fresh air needed. i went back to the BAR article i’d given nomad on some thread or other, to see if his name, or the man he replaced post-revolution were mentioned, but no.

    it concerned the different scales of justice used by the US to (ahem) allow, or not, leaders to install themselves for third terms extra-legally. it looks as though when sankara’s predecessor tried it, the people revolted. good on them.

    but i brought the link in case you’re interested. so many tyrants allowed to stand, and like the saudis, become US partners in peace….or is that…crime?

  22. I mean to say, I read it.

  23. well if you can remember even half the names, that’s far and away more than i can/have. i just feel so sad that so many are plundering subsaharan africa’s resources by way of destabilization on purpose™. but that’s AFRICOM’s stated mission. i was glad to see some of the nations marching against monsanto (and their ilk) recently, but many feel it’s already too late in most nations.

    dunno if you’ll like this, but i heard in on a kewl film about a musical kid genius: august rush.

  24. I guess because I stayed up late to watch “The Russians are Coming” (Why do they show the best movies after midnight?) I found the following from one of New Zealand’s smaller cities rather hilarious:

  25. Here’s another nice chuckle – was Putin watching “The Russians are Coming” also? [Theodore Bikel is wonderful – well, they all are. What a movie!]

  26. ” Girls as young as eight in Mozambique and Zambia are forced to go to camps where they are shown how to please a man in bed in order to prepare them for married life, activists said at an international conference on ending child marriage.”

    • when i saw your comment come in via email, i looked to see if female circumcision is still practiced in either of those nations. the page said neither, but i guess that’s cold comfort when one thinks of ‘the sticks’, isn’t it? or ‘the cutting’. church leaders or not, it will be a long hard pull to change those customs. i will hope that as the parents and communities learn at what risk they’re putting their children, they may say no to the practice, but the poverty, the poverty…oh, my.

  27. misery. “child marriage which affects some 720 million women worldwide.”

    and….thanks for taking the time to read it.

  28. welcome, but…if pressed to respond more fully, i’d offer that in all likelihood those numbers are inflated. now i’ve read alice walker’s ‘possessing the secret of joy’ about african female genital mutilation, and also a lot of margaret meade’s work as an anthropologist in samoa. both are excellent, and inform my…conscience/understanding, but in different ways.

    more key for me was reading one of my favorite authors, barbara kingsolver’s book on her life in africa as a christian missionary’s daughter, and all the attendant horrors produced by their ‘testimonies to christ’. she’s written shorter essays than her book, although i’d have to google to find its name.

    but: the figures and pleas come from ‘world vision’, which wiki notes (and others object to, read the talk section):

    “World Vision International is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization.[5][6] It was founded in 1950 by Robert Pierce as a service organization to meet the emergency needs of missionaries.[6] In 1975 development work was added to World Visions objectives.[6] It is active in more than 90 countries with a total revenue including grants, product and foreign donations of $2.79 billion (2011)”

    yes, they’ve apparently done some good things about clean water, etc., but their own website is here, much akin to ‘save the children’ and other christian organizations who kinda…don’t give bang for the bucks.

    and yes, i am a missionary bigot. it was western christian nations that colonized africa, taught them shame for their free bodies, and indeed were responsible for impoverishing the continent, that once was village centric sustainability in practie. but when agribusinesses needed land and water, or highways needed built to aid the plunder and pillage…villages were wiped out in their entirety many times, creating diasporas and massive homelessness and privations. when the indigenous fought back, oh, my…they were subdued in the manner of slave rebellions in the US.

    so…i have some small problems in accepting their diagnoses and their fixes. because…they are profiting from saving children in their own images (that’s not quite what i mean). but for instance, in our culture, rape has been made into the worst crime against women, and until very recently, it’s carried a sexual stigma for the victim that is nigh onto impossible to erase because of that. when really, it’s a crime of violence and power, and (imo) should be seen as just that, with no stigma attached to a woman’s innate attractiveness, sexuality, and so on. or taint, which happens in the minds of so many men in relationships with those women. see what i mean?

    were i not so knackered, i might express myself better. and kingsolver’s book was: ‘the poisonwood bible‘. please, i don’t mean to harsh your mellow when you care so very much for the children, as do i.

  29. ‘Twin twisters: Stunning photo shows tornadoes dancing across Colorado’, at RT. truly incredible images from a couple days ago (eastern plains CO)

  30. quite a picture thanks

  31. Drive-by warning, from the smartest gender, bravest I would submit too. Lots to do, one day of sun between rain and several forecast for heavy rain. The best to all.

    • i wonder if their profit is $3, what the units cost communities or households? their website doesn’t say, but their ‘about us’ page mentions the banks/corporations they partner with in various projects.

      lotta brave and dedicated third-wold women, nonquixote, but the masaai are indeed some of them..;-)

      good luck beatin’ the rain; it finally started here half an hour ago. lighting and thunder, even, from hurricane blanco (not blanca?) on the left coast. woot!

      @bruce: what a wretched thing to do to some gorgeous burro pix! ;-)

  32. Too bad US’ Domkeys don’t have such bright ideas!

  33. Infuriating and more than tragic: ‘43 years in solitary: Federal court blocks release of last imprisoned Angola 3 inmate’

    “A federal court blocked the release of the last imprisoned member of the Angola 3, after a Louisiana judge ruled the state must release Albert Woodfox. The 68-year-old has spent 43 years in solitary, arguably the longest term of such confinement.

    The ‘Angola 3’ ‒ Albert Woodfox, Robert King and Herman Wallace ‒ were inmates accused of murdering a guard at Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison, during a prison riot in 1972. Though they maintained their innocence, the three men were convicted of murder and spent decades in solitary confinement. Woodfox and Wallace insisted that they were implicated solely for their involvement in a prison chapter of the Black Panthers.” [snip]

    “Teenie Rogers, the widow of slain prison guard Brent Miller, has said she believes the two men were not involved in her husband’s death, and previously called for the release from prison, the Times-Picayune reported.
    “If I were on that jury, I don’t think I would have convicted them,” she wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2008.
    King was exonerated and he was released in 2001, while Wallace’s was overturned in October 2013. Wallace died of liver cancer three days after he was released, even though a Louisiana grand jury re-indicted him on his death bed. He was never retried.
    Woodfox was first convicted of second-degree murder in 1973, a verdict that was overturned in 1992 by a state court due to “systematic discrimination.” He was re-indicted by a different grand jury in 1993, then reconvicted in 1998.”

    and it went on: over-turned, re-indicted. because: black panther.

  34. wikileaks just published the leaked TPP health care annex, and the analyses are beginning to flow in.

    several link to pdf’s, but this is assange’s overview:

    Public citizen:
    The December 2014 draft of the “Annex on Transparency and Procedural Fairness for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices,” which sets rules and procedures TPP country health authorities would be required to follow regarding pharmaceutical and medical device procurement and reimbursement, is only the latest of several draft texts from the TPP negotiations published by WikiLeaks. Other draft sections of the pact have drawn the ire of public interest advocates due to threats presented to a host of issues ranging from financial regulation to tobacco control to environment to terms allowing corporations to challenge U.S. laws in foreign tribunals. More than 25 chapters remain shrouded in secrecy.

    “This leak reveals that the Obama administration, acting at the behest of pharmaceutical companies, has subjected Medicare to a series of procedural rules, negotiated in secret, that would limit Congress’ ability to enact policy reforms that would reduce prescription drug costs for Americans – and might even open to challenge aspects of our health care system today,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program.”

    Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill

    friday *may* be the house vote; still some critters to bribe, it seems…

    • hey, that town has fewer folks than mancos. yeehaw!

      FL turnpike: is it possible that mr. wd and i were the only humans ever to have been chased down the turnpike by a furious gator? (we did manage to get away, but for a time it was…nip and tuck, so to speak.)

  35. Prolly got too close to mamagator’s nest (or were y’all baiting it with marshmallows?).

    Coulda harshed Your MELLOW, since they’re known to outrun humans!

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