Winter Reading Tip

 

“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”

John Whitehead

Advertisements

BARCLAY SUB-BLOG

This evening I had the good fortune to learn something about my clown, Barclay.  For most of the last two or three years, my mentress Nettie Lu Lane has been my clown teacher and my clown tether, however tenuous, to the Earthen place where I and Barclay cohabit.  This is normal, everyone needs a clown mom, or a mom anyway.  Clowns need clown moms.  But tonight something special happened that I had been missing, which is Barclay found his own narrative, and some aspects of his character that had long remained recondite to understanding became clear.

Barclay is an alien. To say he is that is a bit misleading, because alienation, even for clowns, is an unstable state due to its endemic inertia in the search for a resolution outside of itself.  Have you ever known a baby that wouldn’t cry if left alone for more than 10 minutes?  To be two months old and to lie, inarticulate, untouched, and not eating or defecating, is to face a howling wilderness more infinite than the Pampas or the windward side of the Matterhorn.  Where O Where is the succor, the relief, which had appeared so long ago and disappeared so shortly after?  COME BACK!

Well, as any adolescent bear worth his salt knows well, the relief will eventually disappear for good, and you better remember where you and Mom found all those grubs last year, or you’re fucked.

Welllll…., that’s where Barclay and I have been.  We tried working with a cactus, Freddy, but he died at the hands of a disarmingly fiendish clown called Pistachio, and a little while later I stubbed my toe during a biographical skit, and I haven’t seen the clown stage since then.  It took six months for the nail to turn black and for a new one to grow under it so the old one could peel off.

It has been a worrisome time.  My human Mom, who could never get me to call myself anything but my nickname Wat or root for a different baseball team, died also, and things have been eventful since then, especially in that Barclay seemed to disappear over and over again, perhaps to the subterrain of postural idiosyncrasy that is the birth dimension of clowns.  Clowns walk before they can talk, generally.  If the clown is exceptional to this, prepare to be bored, frightened or confused to death.

I had intended to begin at a point of potential demise.  A friend I have known for a long time is mortally ill, and may not recover, partially due to an unacknowledged alienation; perhaps they are a clown that was aborted before it had a posture.  I’m not sure, but they gave me the gift of understanding of Barclay, and I am hoping he will come back to stay for a long time once I get his pajamas on again.

In addition to being an alien, Barclay IS an alien.  There’s nothing else he can do.  He and I have tried many different postures, narratives and positions but they all ended up corrupt and wrong unless we embraced, however reluctantly, a basic alienation and desire for surcease of it, neither of which would ever surcease.  Clowns are forever, I guess, although they may depart, and woe to the human who attempts to follow.  There are no flagstones that will form as a permanent path.  Even the best ones, completely glowing moments on the stages that are the only place where a clown may truly appear, and which can be laid over and over again, will fade into the mists of clown time if the concretization of any kind of permanent path is ever attempted.  Welcome to the quandary of the clown:  Carpe diem quam perdere.  Seize the day and lose it, little tit sucker.

Did I say Barclay can be a little nasty?

Where’s Lucy?

Well, perhaps the time has come.  I have shared this seldom, so most will not know that the political articles I’ve been posting here were merely placeholders for the time when I would be ready to write.

One of the main purported reasons I have been delaying is because so much has happened since I first decided I needed a blog, and in the decade(s) before then, that it might be impossible to unpack it all.  Just for a few highlights, I’ve been evicted at least three times, fired three, robbed, mugged, swindled — and the stolen bicycle count is over 13 now.  Time to talk, perhaps.  Meanwhile, teeth were decaying one day as I lay in my red Dodge van with a lame 7th cylinder, baking in a supermarket parking lot in July 2009.  I had cracked the rear French doors open, in hopes that a breeze from the driver window would wick away just a little of my sweat.  I heard a teenage boy exclaim as he and his family walked past me, unaware of my audience:  “Look Mom, it’s the Down By the River Van!”  I did know who Chris Farley was, but had no familiarity with his famous skit.  Nonetheless, I had a sinking feeling, the feeling…… of tooth decay.  Soon enough I would learn this feeling had metastasized to include leukemia.

Okay, chemo tomorrow, and I’ve been late to the clinic too often.

Jamal Kashoggi — What’s Really Going On?

Jamal Khashoggi: Where The Road to Damascus & The Path to 9/11 Converge


By WashingtonsBlog
October 16, 2018


By Kristen Breitweiser, one of the four 9/11 widows – known as the “Jersey Girls” – instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: .

Road to Damascus Conversion: Derived from the Biblical story of Paul, the term “Damascus road conversion” is commonly used to refer to an abrupt about-face on a serious issue of religion, politics or philosophy. In this type of change, a single, dramatic event causes a person to become aligned with something he or she previously was against or support a position that he or she previously opposed. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-damascus-road-conversion.htm#didyouknowout

As a 9/11 widow who has spent the last 17 years fighting for accountability with regard to the 9/11 attacks that killed my husband and 3,000 others, I find the recent uproar over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder interesting and out of character for many of those decrying his disappearance and demanding an investigation and accountability.

Frankly, 9/11 Family members keep a running list of all those in Washington who have proved by their past actions to be against U.S. victims of terrorism and in support of nations like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation with a long history of supporting global Wahhabist terrorism. As victims of terrorism, we are ever vigilant and watchful about all those named on our lists. We follow these folks actions, their speeches, their legislation, because we know that they are never looking out for our best interests as U.S. victims of terrorism. As a group, our institutional memory is broad and long. And we never forget.

That’s why we all happened to notice the uncharacteristic behavior of so many of those on our lists with the advent of Jamal Khasoggi’s disappearance. And it made us wonder why so many people, who had previously always blindly supported the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were now so vociferously jumping Saudi ship.

What had caused this Road to Damascus conversion?

Take for example those who fought against the release of The 28 Pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress(JICI) that detailed the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks for fear that The 28 Pages public release might harm the Saudi’s reputation and its very special relationship with the United States. A relationship, in large part, based on oil, weapons, money, and shared intelligence operations—things that have little to do with keeping American citizens safe. https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=27164

Regarding The 28 Pages, CIA Director, John Brennan once said, “releasing a classified section of

Continue reading.

Ecuadoran Amazon Poisoned for 50 Years; Chevron Refuses to Pay Judgment Despite Having Lobbied for Ecuadoran Legal Venue that Awarded It

Chevron Arbitration Ruling Against Ecuador ‘Completely Off Base’

By Yves SmithSeptember 18, 2018

Yves here. Due to having limited resources, we don’t spend as much time on smaller economies as I wish we could. This Real News Network story on Ecuador’s loss against Chevron seemed important in and of itself, and is also a compact illustration of how much the international order is skewed to favor multinationals.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: This is Dimitri Lascaris, reporting for The Real News from Montreal, Canada.

As the Real News has previously reported, in 2011, the courts of Ecuador rendered a nine point five-billion-dollar judgment against Chevron, one of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs persuaded the Ecuadorian courts that from 1964 to 1992, Texaco, which was later purchased by Chevron, dumped polluted wastewater into open pits across vast swaths of Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian jungle, contaminating the water used by locals. Locals call the area the Amazon Chernobyl.

Indigenous tribes have seen their cultures decimated by the pollution. Ecuador’s environmental judgment against Chevron is thought to be the highest ever to emerge from a court, but Chevron is doing everything it can possibly do to block collection. After Chevron sold off its assets in Ecuador during the trial there, the Ecuadorian plaintiffs sought to enforce the judgment and jurisdictions in which Chevron owns, directly or indirectly, substantial assets. Chevron has threatened the villagers with a “lifetime of litigation” and has vowed never to pay the judgment. So far, it has been true to its word. The plaintiffs’ attempts to enforce the judgement in The United States failed.

Early this year, the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the plaintiffs’ attempt to enforce their massive judgment in Canada, another country in which Chevron indirectly owns substantial assets. Then, on September 7, an international tribunal found that Ecuador violated a treaty with the United States by allowing its court system to issue a nine point five-billion-dollar judgment against Chevron in this case. Now here to discuss this with us is Steven Donziger, a human rights attorney based in New York who has been representing these indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador’s rainforest for more than two decades. He joins us today from New York.

Thank you for coming back on The Real News, Steven.

STEVEN DONZIGER: Sure, it’s good to be here.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: So, Stephen, echoing earlier U.S. court rulings, this international tribunal, which rendered a five-hundred-page decision in this case on September 7, said the Ecuadorian case was tainted by fraud and corruption and that the nine point five-billion-dollar judgment cannot therefore be enforced lawfully. The tribunal detailed conduct by a judge they called “grossly improper by any moral, professional and legal standards.” How do you respond to those statements by the tribunal?

STEVEN DONZIGER:They’re just, in my opinion, completely off base. If there’s improper court proceedings it was done by the tribunal itself. I think we need to take a step back and understand the big picture here. The communities in Ecuador won the case in their home country courts because Chevron insisted the trial take place there and accepted jurisdiction there and promised to pay any adverse judgment. As the evidence in that case mounted against the company- and I’m talking about tens of thousands of chemical sampling results from water and soil samples that showed massive amounts of pollution that were and continue to cause a slow genocide in Ecuador to the indigenous groups.

Thousands of people have been affected. Many have

Continue reading.

Turtles Have 22% Chance of Death from Eating One Piece of Plastic; Balloon Litter also a Problem — Don’t Let Your Child Participate in Balloon Releases

How much plastic does it take to kill a turtle? Typically just 14 pieces.

We know there is a lot of plastic in the ocean, and that turtles (and other endangered species) are eating it. It is not uncommon to find stranded dead turtles with guts full of plastic.

But we weren’t really sure whether plastic eaten by turtles actually kills them, or if they just happen to have plastic inside them when they die. Another way to look at it would be to ask: how much is too much plastic for turtles?Continue

This is a really important question. Just because there’s a lot of plastic in the ocean, we can’t necessarily presume that animals are dying from eating it. Even if a few animals do, that doesn’t mean that every animal that eats plastic is going to die. If we can estimate how much plastic it takes to kill a turtle, we can start to answer the question of exactly how turtle populations are affected by eating plastic debris.


Read more: Eight million tonnes of plastic are going into the ocean each year


In our research, published today in Nature Scientific Reports, we looked at nearly 1,000 turtles that had died and washed up on beaches around Australia or were found in nets. About 260 of them

Continue reading.

Russian Perspective, Relations with U.S.

 

Russia and the United States Don’t Need New Summits

13.09.2018

The first full-fledged summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump held in late July has not improved and, indeed, could not have improved the general atmosphere of Russia-US relations. And it has nothing to do with the US president’s indiscreet words about mistrusting his own intelligence agencies or seeing no reason to mistrust Moscow regarding its alleged meddling in the 2016 election, which made Russia even more of a domestic political football in the United States and further eroded the ability of the White House to pursue any policy toward the Kremlin other than confrontation. 

Deeply rooted domestic political processes in the US (the clash between old and new elites, the fierce opposition of the establishment and bureaucracy, bordering on sabotage, to any attempt to deviate from the foreign policy mainstream, and the use of Russia as a pawn in this conflict) as well as global trends (Washington’s reluctance and inability to accept the reality of a multipolar world and Russia as an independent global centre), which in the near future will only get worse – all this guarantees that the confrontation between Moscow and Washington will continue for at least several more years. In fact,

Continue reading.