open menu; add what you’d like

my sole offering:

‘Hotel Intercontinental Siege: Is Kabul Falling?’, by Andre Vltchek,, January 27th, 2018

“Afghanistan is now facing mortal danger. It has to survive, but it is not clear how it can manage.

Hotel Intercontinental in Kabul, which was attacked by gunmen last Saturday, used to fit like a glove, like a grandmother’s couch. Outside, the war has been raging. Millions of Afghan lives were aimlessly broken, hundreds of thousands lost. The price of more than 16 years of NATO occupation has exceeded $1 trillion, but instead of bringing peace and prosperity, it has reduced Afghanistan to rubble.”

on edit: with great regret, i’ll add this far more important and distressing news:
Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews’, January 28, 2018

“Robert Parry, editor and publisher of, died peacefully Saturday evening. In this tribute, his son Nat Parry describes Robert’s unwavering commitment to independent journalism.”

This is the background of his pariah/outcast status as a true journalist, and what may have led to his stoke:  ‘An Apology and Explanation’ December 31, 2017

It’s really taken the wind out of my sails; may he rest in peace and power.


26 responses to “open menu; add what you’d like

  1. greyson smythe put up several links to herr schmuckerberg & his homies having said many times that they’d hired multiple thousands of ‘brave new world’ spies to see who’s bringing terr’ist speech to FB, and they chop their hydra-heads off or something… to the nov. 22 open menu just as i was posting this new one. under the psyop: “That’s why we support a variety of counterspeech efforts.”

  2. 1. At the local level, homeowners are fascinating contradictions–socialist ownership of common grounds of multifamily housing and common outside maintenance in the midst of capitalist alienation of ownership from actual living with each owner buying the absurdity that their house is an asset not a monthly sunk cost. Board fights and lawsuits are inevitable; nonsense rules abound as do power trips and drama.

    2. Michigan State University has two claims this week. The resignation of several people including the university president (female) over the failure to protect 300 female athletes from sexual assault by Dr. Nassar over years; Nassar was sentenced to 175 years for rape.

    But more important is the study that showed that the Pentagon spent over $21 trillion (not known the study time period) that was unauthorized by Congress, causing DoD to do an audit that found $2.3 trillion in one year and prompting calls that DoD finally do the audit requested 20 years ago.

    That’s how many times the national debt — $21 trillion?

    • well holy crow, good on skidmore and fitts! far more than nick turse ever found. hadn’t heard about nassar and rape, but: good.

      as for your #1, for now i’ll have to take a pass on reading more carefully. robert parry’s death has hit me hard, and jason’s homeless encampment in olympia was raided, folks evicted, ‘cleaned up’ by local prisoners (as the seatlle city council was ‘shocked, i tell you, shocked!’ to discover) yesterday. haven’t heard a word, may not fow sometime, but i hope all his belongings weren’t tossed into trash bins as in occupy days.

      nice to see you, darlin’, by the by. my best to miz thd, as always. save a bit for yerownself. ;-)

    • oh, bother, thd. your #1 is still too (unintentionally) enigmatic for me to parse.

      but ha! is the official ‘national debt’ a con (case of creative book-keeping) as well?

      on edit: arrgh; here’s the nassar story. includes video; haven’t watched.

  3. In my zest for Commentary, I challenged French, a consummate writer for the National Review regarding his misguided approach to “nationalism” with my approach to Chicano “nationalism.” And surely enough, the response was not from French or the National Review but from the Trump White House’s minion for an approach to “ethno-nationalism.” Of course I responded accordingly and from the standpoint of military vets–‘wrapped in our national flag’ and which has discombobulated these ambidextrous ‘minions’ and their tangential approach to today’s toxic politics.

    Of course this subject matter is a waste of my time, and yet, finding a tad of fun for poking the centralized ‘eye of conservative’ politics, provides my daily chuckle of enjoyment. And yes, I can be a timid jouster with a consecrated head bandana and thusly, today;s Art of Becoming, has to be addressed accordingly.


  4. Between the Chicano Veterans Organization and White House. In the past, ‘third parties’ have been utilized to demean the folks who deliver the unwanted critiques that are deemed annoying/

  5. From, Jan. 25, 2018: ‘Akicita’: What is the legacy of the #NoDAPL movement at Standing Rock?’; In our final look at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, The Stream explores a new documentary about the fight to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline across Native American lands.

    A movement against the construction of a multi-billion-dollar oil pipeline across Native American lands last winter spurred solidarity indigenous peoples and civil rights activists. Now, a new documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival explores the trials and tribulations of the “Water Protectors” who gathered to say “No” to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

    “Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock” chronicles the widespread opposition to DAPL, which drew thousands of people to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the US state of North Dakota. According to local tribes, construction of the pipeline through their territories would contaminate the water supply, rendering it impure and unsuitable for use in religious ceremonies. Tribes also argued that the US government failed to consult with them before the project was allowed to proceed.”, etc.

    The above video is at this link.

    Watch ’Akicita’ Live 12:30 PM / 19:30 GMT Every Monday through Thursday on Al Jazeera English or stream, download it here, requires free registration ) about 2 hrs.

  6. wooot!

    i’d gotten mr. wd a t-shirt w/ this alternative logo:

  7. the moon was lovely last night but I couldn’t really see anything extra special.

    anyway, there are trucks rumbling thru town from dawn till dusk loaded with lumber that make me wince every time I see them. now i’m sure that bill gates & co at Davos are working on a device that harnesses the natural properties of trees so that, in effect, cutting down trees becomes the same thing as planting & growing trees. here’s how it works:
    before the clear cutters come in to remove that wasteful do nothing old-growth forest for something beautiful & useful like tar sands production, we put devices on the trees that stimulates their natural responses to trauma, warning other trees of what’s coming, what that buzz saw noise means, which of course helps trees reproduce. b/c, under stress, they produce chemicals to make rain & other cool stuff that helps little saplings grow. If we can get the right balance of cutting trees down & stimulating tree growth, cutting down forests will become the most efficient means of new forest growth.
    (applause all around)
    thank you world economic forum! I mean, everything coming out of that gilded scum pond is about this speed, ain’t it? the owners of technology, who brought us to this eco-nightmare have only one thing to say: more of our technology will fix the problems our deployment of technology has caused.

    (comments getting lost…)

  8. Fight for $15 is organizing? announcing? a fast-food workers strike across the South. At this moment of intense racism and white assumptions that they don’t need African-Americans and Hispanics, this will be an interesting gauge of whether there is change afoot under the surface in the South. Not expecting anything but the taking of the temperature of worker dissatisfaction in the world of “right-to-work” ,,,for less.

    Also note that the IT world in RTP has evolvend into one major market segment — security (business, national, personal). Everybody’s protecting; nobodies doing. That’s heading toward a hell of an economy.

    What happens when those two trends meet?

    • what’s ‘RTP’, thd? whoa, typing that was funny. a one-day strike? more? and isn’t $15 a small ask not that bidness thinks so. but barely a living wage, and not even close in some states, esp. where housing is soaring to the skies.

      • Right on both counts. But expectations of the ability to organize in the South are low to nil. They last major movement was Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement, and as someone mentioned about what Martin Luther King did, it was getting an entire black community across the South to stand up to the terror in a political climate that turned out to end the surface boldface legality of terror. Getting workers to face the terror of the enforcers is by far the biggest task in successful strikes. And having either overpowering numbers or actual friends within the government. None of which is visible right now and some of which might be questionable, but that is where the slim hopes are centering. If it happens, it will be as unexpected as the defeat of Roy Moore.

        • thanks, but still: what’s RTP, please, and is Rev Barber and social gospel allies organizing? most cities, states that have acquiesced to $15 are doing it very incrementally over several or more years, iirc. baby steps, iow.

          also, i thought you might be interested in the entry on akicita, standing rock, and:

          Watch ’Akicita’ Live 12:30 PM / 19:30 GMT Every Monday through Thursday on Al Jazeera English or stream, download it here, requires free registration ) about 2 hrs.

          long for me, and i dunno how to stream nuttin’, but when i have time to sit in this cursed chair for some length of time while not busy on other quests, i may register and watch. might be srsly good.

          • maybe not; first i’d tried ‘into the breach’, i was wrong about the meme on twitter, but even rev barber on twitter: did he call out obomba’s similar shit? that’s one of the major disconnects i see in the current zeitgeist. as in: no antiwar movement under a D prez, no issues now under the pink pussyhat mcresistance™. not issues per se, just #assholeTrump.

          • Sorry. Research Triangle Park, the research office park that put the trianglel of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill on the map.

  9. At the most expansive, we are living in the chaos of the collapse of the American empire and the collapse (or radical realignment) of the US two-party system. Both are very risky processes with lots of contradictory trends and little clarity.

    This by emptywheel hits on the intersection of both processes.

    “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…”

    Yes, I’ve become a little less real worldy and a little more looney because realists do not have a clue about collapses and realignments; in fact, nobody does, even those pushing their agendas. Might as well cut a Gordian knot or two along the way.

    • yep,i’d just read it, and i guess i don’t trust her ‘trusted sources’ much for one thing, and for another, her bitter take on putin. but i did think your comment was the best on the thread (save fr repurposing nuke for electrical power) , asking all the most pertinent Qs. bravo!

      myself, stephen cohen’s take on trrn is the most cogent take on it all, not only in the disgusting internecine warfare, but his report on whassup in russia among the oigarchs. sorry to be in a tear; busy morning.

      i’d been trying to brush up on what ‘memo’ everyone was all a-twitter about (pun unintended), but assange had re-tweeted this:

      • Nukes for nuclear power are the altogether best way to dispose of nuclear weapons as long as nuclear weapons are indeed being built down. Think how you would dispose of nuclear weapons materials in the absence of running the transition phase of renewables development. But it depends on enough folks with your attitude to not let off the leash. I did not say and typically do not assert what I prefer. And it was a bit of a wry comment anyway, given the complete ambiguity of the Trump-Putin relationship. Too many are too sure about what is going on.

        So I thought, “Why not test the relationship by trying for world peace?” Reagan rattled his staffers that way. Afraid of disarmament.

        • thanks for reminding me/us about RTP.

          ‘But it depends on enough folks with your attitude to not let off the leash.’ not sure what you mean there, but of course i get no say-so in the matter. given my ignorance as to ‘how’ it’s accomplished, though, including risks, i went a huntin’, followed many different false leads, and finally found info from npr re: ‘Soviet-era nuclear warheads provide 10 percent of US electricity’, dec. 2013 the work was done in the soviet union, a great boon to workers, and hell, the shit was just lyin’ around unprotected. dunno what the truth is of that, but i remember a west wing episode claiming it was so. ;-)

          also ran into ‘Nuclear Fallacies: the Problems With James Hansen’s Promotion of Generation IV Reactors’ (at cop21, iirc) by Jim Green at counterpunch, as well as a few articles by the union of concerned scientists on ‘reprocessing’, not ‘repurposing’ nuclear material. but what i’d imagined might be one the problems was that it would lead to more nuclear plants, thus meltdown dangers, plus the dangers involved while turning bombs into fuel rods. but as i say, my ignorance as to how it’s accomplished is almost total.

          given history, i’d rather nuclear power stations were all shut down.

          on feb. 6 edit: much worse than i’d imagined but should have: ‘Nuclear Reactors, Bankrupting Their Owners, Closing Early’ by John Laforge

  10. What You Need To Know?

    At present, I am writing a political column in which I am addressing the mind-boggling effort to establish the Latino Certification Board to be utilized in our nation’s urban areas and where progressive-oriented candidates seeking either to become an Elected or Appointed Official status, can be effectively addressed. And in doing so, a large segment of volunteers are going to be needed, and that’s just for starters.

    And I am open to and I am welcoming of and for any ideas that will concretize this Latino Board of Certification, and in particular, the politics that animates the Progressive Coalition consisting of Latinos, European Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans.

    And if anyone here at Café Babylon wants to participate, feel free to post to this thread. Thanks!


    • thanks for offering café denizens a chance to help, although i admit i’m not getting the gist of ‘ a Latino Certification Board’, and even bingling kicked up nothing. but a rainbow certification board, rather. kewl.

  11. hint: i’m befuddled and disappointed that there’s only One comment on my alternate state of the onion diary. i have a mind to let it sit there and turn to dust before i post another one. glad i’d at least cross-posted it as the ‘left leaning’ (who can say as to that?) we’ll have to see how that goes, there’s so much to write, but so few here to read.

  12. I Liked Your Onion!!!
    And give me more.
    In today’s environment, expressing a tad of humor, is always most welcomed and from regardless of who has the moxie for the crafting.

    Keep up the good work.

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