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Dear President Trump,

We are journalists, activists and citizens from the United States and around the world who care about press freedom and are writing to you in response to the latest threat of prosecution against WikiLeaks for its journalistic work. We ask you to immediately close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop any charges against Julian Assange and other Wikileaks staff members which the Department of Justice is planning.

burning constitution

Chris Hedges | May 22, 2017| Truth Dig

The deep state’s decision in ancient Rome—dominated by a bloated military and a corrupt oligarchy, much like the United States of 2017—to strangle the vain and idiotic Emperor Commodus in his bath in the year 192 did not halt the growing chaos and precipitous decline of the Roman Empire.

Commodus, like a number of other late Roman emperors, and like President Trump, was incompetent and consumed by his own vanity. He commissioned innumerable statues of himself as Hercules and had little interest in governance. He used his position as head of state to make himself the star of his own ongoing public show. He fought victoriously as a gladiator in the arena in fixed bouts. Power for Commodus, as it is for Trump, was primarily about catering to his bottomless narcissism, hedonism and lust for wealth. He sold public offices so the ancient equivalents of Betsy DeVos and Steve Mnuchin could orchestrate a vast kleptocracy.

Hanoi.- The best homage of the Vietnamese people to Ho Chi Minh is to have amply fulfilled his dream of building a nation ten times more beautiful, after the destruction unleashed on the country by the U.S. Army.

Today, 127 years since the Vietnamese leader’s birth, his nation is characterized by rapid economic growth and a great capacity for transformation, which put it in an advantageous position in the face of 21st century challenges.

Ed. Note:  Another gem from a great little blog, this brief article omits two points which seem vital to the discussion. First, there was an American Dream for a brief period from 1945 to 1960 -- just enough to create another Camelot myth. David Hapgood lucidly explained in the 70s why that period was a nonrecurring fluke, though Reagan exhumed a zombiefied version during the 80s using credit. Second, oil. Richard Heinberg, Peak Oil's most thorough chronicler, has detailed why the party is now completely over.

Bernie Edwards | , 201

For fuck’s sake, why?

misguided notions

“Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed than with the truth or falsity of their content.” — Richard Hofstader

“Imperial privilege is this strange ability on the part of the U.S. public to ‘shrug off’ the consequences experienced by people impacted by the direct and indirect result of U.S. militarism.” — Ajamu Baraka

The recent firing of James Comey is interesting more for the reaction from liberals than what it means in substance. First off…lets harken back to the early days of post WW2 America. The Dulles brothers, and Henry Cabot Lodge and the like. Max Forte wrote a very comprehensive piece on his site.

J. Michael Springmann| May 19, 2017 | Global Research

The Gauche Really Is Sinister    The Left in the United States is fond of saying one thing in support of its programs, yet, generally does something entirely different. It also seems to have strange bedfellows. Here are a few examples:

The Left Forum brings together national and international politics, people, ideas, and activism for a just, equitable, free, sustainable world beyond capitalism. 

Originally founded in the 1960s, the Left Forum is holding its annual meeting June 2-4, 2017. Its situation is symptomatic of the American Left and its self-created problems. Embroiled this year in a vicious controversy over speakers and panels, the Forum is struggling with censorship, religion, and political correctness –- but refuses to acknowledge its problems or explain its actions.

caution beware gatekeeper

There’s a battle going on among some of my politically awake progressive friends.  In one camp, there is the view that we need leaders who can work inside the system, who have access to the traditional power structure of the partisan duopoly and can use it to mobilize the masses.  And so when they take positions that are clearly awful, they should be given a pass, or at least not written off altogether.  Perhaps they are being made to do so by the establishment powers-that-be, and need to play by their rules in order to make any progress whatsoever.

Daniel Read | January 19, 2017 | Uncommonsense Me | A version of this article also appeared with the Greanville Post.

Editor's Note:  This article is 4 months' old as of this post May 17, 2017, but remains timely and accurate.

Trump is bad. Trump is mean. Trump said this. Trump said that. Trump likes Russians. Russians are awful. Trump is too. Trumpity Trump Trump. Trump.

This is essentially a summary of much of the western “liberal” media since November, or perhaps even prior. A tiresome bombardment of personality-fixated “news” coverage, much of which amounts to more of a botched character assassination than any real analysis of US politics. It’s beyond boring.

Death

Stephen Berk | May 12, 2017 | Hipfish

Several years ago I wrote a Hip Fish column applying the biblical proverb, “There is a way that seems right, but the end thereof is death” to industrial civilization. Now, as commitment to the present urban high tech civilization continues unabated, we stand at the precipice of mass annihilation. We continue to kill some 200 species of our once fecund earth per day, as we cut down rain and old growth forests, converting them to industrial commodities. As we continue pumping planet warming gases into the air and acidifying the seas, we begin to witness the earth’s sixth great extinction. While other industrial countries like Iceland and Germany have been moving toward sustainability, US leadership either drags its feet, as did the Obama administration, or voices outright denial, as the Republican Party and its leader, President Trump, do in proclaiming human caused climate change a hoax. Amazingly our leaders remain more committed to the specious profitability of business as usual than to the preservation of the planetary biosphere.

athlete running

Richard Reese | May 4, 2017 | What Is Sustainable 

For at least four million years, our ancestors have been bipedal, they moved around on two legs. This ability evolved on the African savannah, tropical grassland. Being upright exposed less of their bodies to hot sunbeams, and their bushy head hair provided extra protection. Their nearly furless bodies, combined with three million sweat glands, allowed them to shed body heat better than other savannah mammals.

Being bipedal prohibited lightning fast bursts of speed, but it enabled steady long distance running in roasting temperatures. Other mammals could make quick getaways, but they soon had to find shade and chill out. Our ancestors were able to chase large animals in the heat of the day, hour after hour, until their prey collapsed from exhaustion or heat stroke.

The person you see in the mirror has a body that is optimized for running, not walking. Your toes and heel tendons provide a bounce when your foot hits the ground, improving energy efficiency. Your legs and spine are fine-tuned for jogging, keeping your head and eyes steady. Skilled runners seem to move with elegant smoothness, effortlessly gliding along, lightly skimming across the land.

weapons of mass deception

Samer Hussein | May 4th, 2017 | Fort Russ News

Attempting to further spread its tentacles, the global multinationalist octopus often has to resort to baiting the masses in order to attract them, so that it can gain confidence in an approval of its actions. Globalisation is a complex and difficult process and demands a lot of effort while normalizing its deeds.

As such, measures that would instantly appeal to the masses are needed. Hollywood, video games, bestsellers, popular music, cultural and even religious trends are just some of the many ways how the ruling world order is trying to penetrate people’s lives and keep them under control, making sure they will not “slip” to the other side.

John Oliver Net Neutrality

John Oliver again called on viewers of “Last Week Tonight” to flood the FCC with calls and comments to urge the agency to retain net neutrality.

Oliver’s show went so far as to take out a domain name — gofccyourself.com — to give users an easier way to post comments to the FCC site. On Sunday, it appeared that the site’s page for comments was already overloaded. [emphasis added]

In 2014, as the FCC was considering a new set of net neutrality rules, Oliver did an extended segment on his show. The next day, the FCC’s website crashed, and Oliver’s attention helped give public attention to the issue. Almost 4 million comments were received, leading to the commission’s decision in 2015 to reclassify internet service as a common carrier and to pass a robust set of net neutrality rules.

Banksy Brexit

May 8, 2017 | Telesur

Editor's Note: Banksy is one of the best contemporary artists in the truest sense of "Art": insightful, sensitive, awakening, uplifting commentary.

Banksy posted pictures of the work, which appeared overnight, on his official Instagram feed on Sunday.

British street artist Banksy has taken on Brexit with a mural of a workman chipping away one of the 12 gold stars on the flag of the European Union on a wall in Dover, the ferry port that connects England with Calais in France.

Banksy, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, posted pictures of the work, which appeared overnight, on his official Instagram feed on Sunday, the day of the French presidential election.

His representative also confirmed it was by Banksy.

Sold out America

Paul Craig Roberts | May 2, 2017 | Institute for Political Economy

Trump’s “sell-out,” as it is called, coming on top of Obama’s eight-year “sell-out,” is instructive. We have now had a Democratic president who sold out the people who elected him and a Republican president who has done the same thing. This is a very interesting point, the meaning of which most people miss.

But not Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. At the Valdai discussion club, Putin summed up Western democracy, which I paraphrase as follows:

Ubu Trump

Chris Hedges | April 30, 2017 | Truth Dig

The idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor, and project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles and impose crippling debt peonage on the citizens. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy. Idiot intelligence operatives orchestrate the overthrow of foreign governments to create lawless enclaves that give rise to enraged fanatics. Idiot professors, “experts” and “specialists” busy themselves with unintelligible jargon and arcane theory that buttresses the policies of the rulers. Idiot entertainers and producers create lurid spectacles of sex, gore and fantasy.

Guy McPherson | May 1, 2017 | The Weekly Hubris

The evidence is gaining increasing clarity: We’ve reached a crossroads unlike any other in human history. One path leads to despair for Homo industrialis. The other leads to extinction, for Homo sapiens and the millions of species we are taking with us into the abyss. I’d love to choose Door Number One. Unfortunately, we collectively selected Door Number Two long ago.

We do have a chance to rescue humanity. I’m not considering merely the continued persistence of our own species.

deep state men in shadow

Dan Sanchez | May 1, 2017 | DanSanchez.me

Many observers, especially among his fans, suspect that the seemingly untamable Trump has already been housebroken by the Washington, “globalist” establishment. If true, the downfall of Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn less than a month into the new presidency may have been a warning sign. And the turning point would have been the removal of Steven K. Bannon from the National Security Council on April 5.

Sleep walking on roof

John R. Hall | April 30, 2017 | Greanville Post

Lately I find that my frustration with the level of idiocy on the part of this planet I call home is so great that writing has become an extremely painful task. Here in the belly of the beast, among the zombie-fascist, gun-totin’, flag-wavin’ hordes of fellow Americans I spend my days in fearless loathing. Fearless because after living more two-thirds of a century I have little to fear other than a long painful death, being shot full of lead, or a terminal case of disgust. Truth tellers rarely make friends. The messenger risks life and limb or at least a good tongue lashing, including an invitation to leave this great country. God Bless Amerika.