Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Greek King's Questions (Milindapanha)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; John Kelly (trans.), Questions of King Milinda (excerpt, Miln 3, PTS: Miln 71-72; 82-83; 84BUDDHISM IN ANCIENT AFGHANISTAN
Kapilavastu, capital of Shakya-land, was beyond the northwest frontier of ancient India, which later became an ancient Greek empire, the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom of King Milinda.

 
Questions on Distinguishing Characteristics
Miln III.5.5: Transmigration and Rebirth {Miln 71}
Afghan Buddha (Gandhara)
KING MENANDER'S PALACE, Bactria (Afghanistan) - The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, is it so that one does not transmigrate [sankamati, to transmigrate, pass over; go, cross over] yet one is reborn?" [patisandahati: to be reborn, rebirth, undergo reunion, relinking.]
 
"Yes, your majesty, one does not transmigrate yet one is reborn."
 
"How, Venerable Nagasena, is it that one does not transmigrate yet one is reborn? Give me an analogy."
 
"Just as, your majesty, if someone kindled one lamp from another, is it indeed so that the lamp would transmigrate from the other lamp?"

Shakyan/Bactrian princess, gold
[In other words, Would the flame die from the first candle, transmigrate, and be "reincarnated" in the new candle?]
 
"Certainly not, venerable sir."
 
"Indeed, your majesty, just so; one does not transmigrate yet one is reborn."

"Give me another analogy."
 
"Do you remember, your majesty, when you were a boy learning some verse [lesson] from a teacher?"
 
"Yes, venerable sir."
 
"Your majesty, did this verse transmigrate from the teacher?" [Did it go from the teacher to be reincarnated in the student?]
 
Hindu Kush is part of Himalayan range
"Certainly not, venerable sir."
 
"Indeed, your majesty, just so; one does not transmigrate yet one is reborn."
 
"You are clever, Venerable Nagasena."

[Is there a "soul"?]
Miln III.5.6: Soul {Miln 71}
"Soul" of Tibet is Hindu (fashionstinks.com)
The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, is a soul [vedagu, a "knower," a permanent subject of experience, a permanent self or soul] to be found?"
 
The elder Buddhist monk replied: "According to ultimate reality, your majesty, no soul is to be found."
 
"You are clever, Venerable Nagasena."
COMMENTARY
 [One may make an argument for it in conventional reality, and it indeed exists in normal terms of our experience. But what in the ultimate sense is being referred to?
 
Afghan monks discovered America
[That is what prevents liberating insight, "sainthood" (arhatship), enlightenment, and nirvana -- clinging to notions of a self. And what is the self in conventional terms? The Buddha talked about it the atta (a idea central to the concept of anatta, not-self), in terms of the Five Aggregates of Clinging.

These are the five composite categories of something regarded as unitive, unitary, noncomposite: form, feelings, perceptions, formations, and consciousnesses. Whereas form is the physical, the remaining four aggregates or heaps are mental or psychological, matter and mind, body and "soul," self as these four invisible processes.]

Vedagu is an interesting word, originally a Brahminical term related to mastery of the Vedas [the ancient sacred texts inherited by India and Central Asia from the much more ancient Indus Valley Civilization].

The Buddha appropriated the word to mean, "one who has attained highest knowledge," that is, synonymous with "arhat" [fully enlightened, accomplished disciple of the Buddha]. However, as the PED notes: "A peculiar meaning of vedagu is that of "soul" (lit. attainer of wisdom) at Miln 54 & 71."

Remembering Past Lives; American Monsters

Pat Macpherson, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly;host George Noory, guests Dr. Brian Weiss, Linda Godfrey (coasttocoastam.com, 8-27-14)
Vajrayana: Tibetan Buddhist Master Simon Wong conducts a "Padmasambhava Hindrance-Removal Blessing and Soul Delivery Ceremony" (mastersimonwong/flickr)
.
Dr. Brian L. Weiss, M.D., does past-life regression therapy. With it he has seen cases of people -- more than 4,000 so far -- who were healed of psychological or physical problems when they recalled their past lives and thereby resolved issues from those previous experiences.
 
The "soul" (that part of us that seems to go from life to life, the gandharva and atman in Buddhism, the consciousness that does not travel but nevertheless relinks past and present, the ongoing process of consciousness/knowing) has a multidimensional quality.

It may exist as one level or one energy (as a concept of an "oversoul" of co-migrating group), but in our plane it is perceived of individually. That is what is reborn, or in conventional terms "reincarnates" (enters a new body, new flesh, new carne) in a new body after a person dies, Dr. Weiss notes.
  • Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories
  • Same Soul, Many Bodies
  • In his revolutionary book Miracles Happen, Brian Weiss M.D., the New York Times bestselling author of Many Lives, Many Masters, examines the physical, emotional, and spiritual healing that is possible when you freely accept and embrace the reality of reincarnation. Trained as a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Weiss began to explore how reincarnation and past life regression can lead us to our higher selves after a startling encounter with a patient. Now a leading proponent of past-life therapy, Dr. Weiss shows us that, indeed, Miracles Happen, with seemingly incredible but true stories that demonstrate how, by getting in touch with and understanding our past lives, we can dramatically improve the present.
As for accounting for the increasing population of Earth, one explanation the doctor has repeatedly heard from patients during their hypnotic regressions is that, "This is not the only place where there are souls. The Earth is just one school of many, many schools." That is, there are many places in the solar system, the universe, other universes, other "dimensions" to be reborn. The Buddha spoke of 31 general "Planes of Existence" where one might be reborn. The "Human Plane" is one, but that is not limited to Earth; they are not the same. Earth is one place where "humans" (manussya) are.
 
Dr. Weiss uses hypnosis -- relaxed concentration -- as the method to bring out the memory and information, regressing into past lives. This method serves his patients, helping them access recall of their past lives.
 
"Go through the door, and tell me what you find on the other side," he suggests to them. And sometimes the person comes up with very specific and verifiable experiences: "They're using all of their senses -- visual, smell, sounds, feelings, emotions, and taste, and...describe these scenes in great detail that seem to come from other times," he shared. (Dr. Weiss offers a set of CDs with techniques for meditation, healing, relaxation, and past life regression).
 
"I'm finding that we're here to learn, teach, and help others, and that's what we take with us when we die. We don't take our houses and our cars and our bank accounts; we take our knowledge and our wisdom, and how we've lived," Dr. Weiss observes. (See more at brianweiss.com).

American Monsters
americanmonsterscoverAuthor and investigator Linda Godfrey investigates and writes about the history, sightings, and lore surrounding the most mysterious "monsters" in America. What is a "monster"?

They are the strange creatures that people have witnessed on land, air, and water. A number of gigantic (pterodactyl) birds have been seen. Some have the appearance of raptors, like some kind of mutated eagle or vulture, Godfrey explained.

There was a sighting by a 6 foot man a few years ago in northern Wisconsin in very tall weeds. The somewhat stork-like appearing bird must have been around 11 feet tall since it was so far above the weeds. Its wings had an immense rolling motion, and he estimated its wingspan to be around 18 to 20 feet.

Godfrey revealed that there are various types of sea monsters and lake creatures, including "drowned-sters," her term for bizarre looking corpses that wash up on beaches. Sometimes it turns out these odd looking bodies are known creatures, such as raccoons that lose their hair or undergo changes while underwater, she explained. But sometimes they are inexplicable cryptids.

Speaking of the legendary Native American Windigo, often portrayed as a Dogman, Wolfman, or Bigfoot-type creature, Godfrey explains that tribes vary in their descriptions combining human, animal, and demon or dimensional-spirit qualities.

She also touched on the Jasper County Ear Eater, a baffling case involving a large predator that was never seen. The creature attacked hog pens and was known for tearing the ears off hogs and killing wantonly. (See more at lindagodfrey.com).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

World's Largest Buddha: Afghanistan (video)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; National Geographic; Rhys Davids
"The Buddhas of Mes Aynak" (Copper Well, Afghanistan) by Prof. Brent E. Huffman
(National Geographic) "Lost Treasures of Afghanistan," where the Buddha was really raised.
.
This is the Land of the Shakyas (Indo-Scythians, Central Asians, Gandharans), called from ancient times not the Middle East as we label it now but the "Middle Country" (Majjhima-desa, see Rhys Davids' translation of The Story of the Lineage). Follow the story of Afghan-American archeologist Nadia Tarzi (Nado Gamazin), who was raised in Europe, as she visits Afghanistan for the first time to uncover its ancient Buddhist past. 
 
The world's largest Buddha -- reclining at nearly 1,000 feet -- is in Afghanistan (AFP/TBC)
.
Wander in nomadic Scythia, the ancestral range
The original "Middle Country" (Majjhima-desa) as nomadic/wandering Central Asia or Scythia touching India, which means Gandhara, Kamboja, the land of the Asavakas, the West beyond. All of this amounts to more evidence that the Buddha was certainly from Afghanistan/Indo-Scythia, Central Asia NOT Nepal or India -- and that the Future Buddha will be, too, at least according to The Story of the Lineage, which systematically states all buddhas come from here.
.
Central Asia of the "Aryans" (Iranians, nobles)
[See Part 1]. But an interesting thing is said by Shakyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) at the conclusion of this sutra about Metteyya/Maitreya the "Future Buddha":
 
"Monastics, I do not see (envision) any other single strength so hard to overcome as this, the strength of Mara."
 
This last passage is related to the opening passage of the sutra, in which the Buddha declares:
 
"Wander, monastics, in your proper range, your own ancestral territory. When one wanders in one's proper range, one's own ancestral territory, Mara finds no opening, Mara gains no foothold. And it is because of adopting skillful actions that this merit increases." (See also SN 47.6-7). "And the adopting of skillful actions is what causes this merit to increase."
 
This is the refrain repeated with each stage in the account of how human life will improve in the aftermath of the sword-interval. Here, "merit" seems to have the meaning it has in Iti 22:
 
"Do not be afraid of acts of merit." This is another way of saying what is welcome, blissful, desirable, pleasing, endearing, charming -- that is, acts of merit (punya), of profitable karma (kusala kamma), of good deeds.

The CIA/Taliban did not succeed in destroying the largest Buddha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, even after detonating the tallest ones built into the cliffs of what is likely the real Kapilavastu near Kabul and Mes Aynak (Boys with bicycles in Bamiyan, 2012, wiki)

 
The world's largest Buddha is underground in Afghanistan
SAFE (Saving Antiquities for Everyone)/archeologist Nadia Tarzi (savingantiquities.org)
.
Kapilavastu as Bamiyan, Afghanistan
We see, however, not only in populist Mahayana Buddhism, but also in Protestant Christianity and reformed Judaism how much people fear and condemn "good works," good deeds, in favor of mysterious "grace" (a debatable and fuzzy term that seems to mean "results that have nothing to do with your own deeds") or some higher good of pretentious complete unselfishness.
 
Achieve actual unselfishness by becoming a stream enterer -- one who directly knows-and-sees anatta -- rather than patting yourself on the back going around condemning merit/good deeds. If one feels good for doing a good deed, do it again and again; this is the historical Buddha's advice. The sutra concludes, "That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monastics delighted in the Blessed One's words."

"New Bamiyan Buddha find amid destruction"

Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; "New Bamiyan Buddha find amid destruction" (AFP, Nov. 9, 2014) via the Buddhist Channel (BuddhistChannel.tv)
Discoveries keep being made in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, the real Kapilavastu (AFP)

(Brent E. Huffman) "Saving Mes Aynak" teaser trailer
 
Bamiyan (afghantreasures)
BAMIYAN, Afghanistan - "We got him!" screamed Afghan archaeologist Anwar Khan Fayez as he leapt from the pit beneath the towering sandstone cliffs, where the Bamiyan Buddhas once stood.

Seven years after Taliban militants blew up the two 1,500-year-old statues in a fit of Islamist zealotry, a French-Afghan team in September uncovered a new, 19-metre (62-foot) "Sleeping Buddha" buried in the earth.

The largest is known but still in the ground. Will the CIA's "Taliban" blow it up, too?
.
Mes Aynak, Bamiyan, Kabul, Afghanistan
The news that a third Buddha escaped the Taliban's wrath has caused excitement in this scenic valley, where the caverns that housed the ruined statues are an eerie reminder of Afghanistan's past and present woes.

"It was a happy moment for all of us when the first signs appeared. Our years-long efforts had somehow paid off," Fayez told AFP.

The team, led by France-based archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi, made the find while hunting for a lost 300-metre reclining Buddha mentioned in an account by seventh-century Chinese monk Xuan Zang.

Scratching out an existence on sacred ground
The Afghan-born Tarzi began mapping the site nearly 30 years ago, but decades of conflict and the rise of the [CIA-sponsored, Pakistan-collaborated] 1996-2001 Taliban regime put the search on hold.

Then in March 2001 came the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, until then the world's largest standing Buddha statues.

The Buddhas of Bamiyan
The 300 meter (1,000 ft) reclining Buddha was buried, covered in earth by age or invaders.
 
World suddenly outraged: send in the troops!
Hewn into the cliffs in the sixth century by Buddhist pilgrims [or more likely the Shakyan-Scythians proud of their heroic son, Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha] on the famed Silk Route, the statues had survived attacks by several Muslim emperors down the ages, while even Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan had spared them.

But with the backing of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda movement, [someone with the CIA convinced] Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar [who] declared that they were idols that were against Islamic law.
  • [In this way worldwide anger was engendered at "the Taliban," serving as a pretext for the U.S. to illegally invade and occupy Afghanistan, commit war crimes and atrocities, and engage in the U.S. longest running war in history. What the U.S. did not know or believe was that "Afghanistan is where empires go to die," just like the Russian, British, and other invaders before them. But soon we will leave, and the reemerging Chinese Empire will step in to try to strip this long contested strategic land of rare earth minerals, gold, copper, and more. Why? It is necessary to the geopolitical reasons as a crossroads between the Middle East and Asia, and we already have our military bases established there and all around Central Asia.]
Defying international appeals, the Taliban spent a month using first anti-aircraft guns and then dynamite to obliterate them.

Saddened but with renewed determination, Tarzi and his team returned soon after US-led forces and the Northern Alliance ousted the Taliban in late 2001 to renew their search for the giant missing Buddha.

What they found instead, in September this year, were parts of a previously unknown, smaller Buddha figure, including a thumb, forefinger, palm, parts of its arm, body and the bed on which it lay.

"This is the most significant find since we started here," Abdul Hameed Jalia, the director of monuments and historical sites for Bamiyan province, told AFP at the excavation site of the new 19-metre Buddha.

"At first they found part of the leg but they weren't sure what it was," said Jalia. "But when they found more, Mr Fayez screamed out of happiness and ran to our office to find Mr Tarzi."

Amazing stupa where part of the Buddha's remains are interred, Mes Aynak, Shakya-stan

Fayez said the head and other parts were largely destroyed, possibly by Arab invaders in the ninth century.

"We have not found the whole statue. But we can tell from other parts that it appears to be 19-metres long," Fayez said.

The site has now been covered with earth to protect the Buddha from both the ravages of the harsh Afghan winter and from the attention of antiquities thieves.

Tarzi told AFP in an e-mail that he and a number of French colleagues aimed to return next summer to dig out the rest of the statue.

Meanwhile, there are fresh clues about the 300-metre Buddha, officials say.

What appear to be the remnants of a gate complex that may have led to the statue have been discovered under an apparently collapsed section of cliff between the two holes left by the Taliban.

"Mr Tarzi's team has found signs that indicate that the big lying Buddha is there and has 70 percent hopes that they will find it," said Najibullah Harar, head of Bamiyan's information and culture department.

Amid hopes that they could one day be rebuilt, Afghan, Japanese and German teams are also stabilising the sites of the destroyed statues -- the bigger 55-metre figure known as Salsal and the 38-metre statue known as Shahmama.

Boulder-sized chunks of the Buddhas still lie where they fell, each individually labelled. Ghostly outlines of the two figures are still etched in the rockface and twisted metal shell casings litter the ground.

Archaeologists' efforts have been helped by the fact that Bamiyan -- inhabited by Shia Muslims from the Hazara ethnic minority that was once persecuted by the Taliban -- has been a relative oasis of calm.

But ongoing debate over whether to reconstruct the Buddhas reflects the uncertainties that haunt post-Taliban Afghanistan.

"It is the desire and the wish of the Bamiyan people to see, if not both, then at least one rebuilt," Habiba Sorabi, the governor of Bamiyan province, told AFP in an interview at her office overlooking the statues.

The amazing Afghan-Buddhist treasures of Mes Aynak being excavated before China's MCC mining concern destroys them. However, there has recently been a possible reprieve.
.
Rebuilding the Buddhas could help foster a tourist industry in the desperately poor region, which lies 200 kilometres (124 miles) northwest of the relatively prosperous capital Kabul, she said.

UNESCO declared Bamiyan a World Heritage Site in 2003 and there have been discussions with international partners about using the process of anastylosis, by which ruined monuments are reassembled from old fragments and new materials.

"But unfortunately the central government does not want to work on it," added Sorabi, who is the only female provincial governor in Afghanistan. "It is a shame."

Amazing history of Arabs and Math (audio)

Dhr. Seven, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Mitch Jeserich, J. Lyons (KPFA, Berkeley); IJSN
From algebra to algorithms, science to precise astronomical observations, the "West" starting with ancient Greece got higher math and logic from Arabs. It then began to take credit for it then to erase their contributions. Islamophobia is a terrible thing.

If math is a religion, it's Islam/'Induism
ARABS, ISLAM, MATH: Jonathan Lyons, an independent scholar and author of the book The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization. talks to host Mitch Jeserich about the amazing contributions from Arabs to our culture. While they are demonized and set up as the ultimate enemies of Christians and Jews, when it seems as if it were more Christian Crusaders and Catholic papal aggression from Europe and Christendom, all in the name of peaceful Christ and the tribal war-god Jehovah, attacking the "East."

Listen to AUDIO sample (amazon.com)
For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was a benighted backwater, a world of subsistence farming, minimal literacy, and violent conflict.
 
Meanwhile, however, Arab culture (next to the former astonishing Indus Valley Civilization and what remained of it in India) was thriving, dazzling those Europeans fortunate enough to visit cities like Baghdad (the great seat of paper making) or Antioch.
 
There, philosophers, mathematicians, and astronomers were steadily advancing the frontiers of knowledge, as well as keeping alive the works of the ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle [influenced by Buddhism -- some arguing that it was in fact the Buddha who introduced parliamentary democracy to Greece via the Vinaya rules and detailed voting procedures for running the Sangha, the massive monastic community that spread across the Buddhist world].
 
Are you a mathophobe?
When the best libraries in Europe held several dozen books, Baghdad's great library, The House of Wisdom, housed 400,000. Jonathan Lyons shows just how much "Western" ideas owe to the Golden Age of Arab civilization.

Even while their countrymen waged bloody Crusades against Muslims, a handful of intrepid Christian scholars, hungry for knowledge, traveled East and returned with priceless jewels of science, medicine, and philosophy that laid the foundation for the Renaissance. In this brilliant, evocative book Jonathan Lyons reveals the story of how Europe drank from the well of Muslim learning.
ISRAEL: Darwin Bond Graham talks about the intertwined economies of Israel and California's Silicon Valley (home of Google, Apple, and other high tech U.S. government-spying partners).
 
Islam overran and displaced Silk Road Buddhism throughout Central Asia and India.
AFGHANISTAN: In the second half Diana Preston shows how Afghanistan is where empires go to die. The once great British Empire learned its lesson during the tragic first Anglo Afghan War when it underestimated the Buddha's homeland, the nomadic Indo-Scythian kingdoms and territories now called Afghani-stan.

The Dark Defile
Listen to AUDIO (amazon)
Convinced in 1838 that Britain's very valuable empire in India was threatened by Russia, Persia (Iran), and Afghan tribes, the British government ordered its Army of the Indus into Afghanistan to oust from power the independent-minded King Dost Mohammed.

It was then going to install in the capital of Kabul the unpopular puppet-ruler Shah Shuja, who would be friendly to the West while growing rich selling out his own country and people(s).

Afghan Buddha, first statues
Expecting a quick campaign, the British found themselves trapped by unforeseen circumstances; eventually the disparate Afghan tribes united, and the seemingly omnipotent British Army was slaughtered in 1842 as it desperately retreated through the mountain passes from Kabul to Jalalabad.
 
Only one Briton survived uncaptured, while 15,000 were killed. Diana Preston vividly recounts the drama of this First Afghan War, one of the opening salvos in the strategic rivalry between Britain and Russia for supremacy in Central Asia.
 
As insightful about geography as she is about political and military miscalculation, Preston draws on rarely documented letters and diaries to bring alive long-lost characters -- Lord Auckland, the weak British governor-general in India; his impetuous aide William Macnaghten; and the prescient adventurer-envoy Alexander Burnes, whose sage advice was steadfastly ignored.

A model of compelling narrative history, The Dark Defile is a fascinating exploration of 19th-century geopolitics and a cautionary tale that resonates loudly today.

Gov't spies, gives the info to POLICE (1984)

Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly; The Intercept (FirstLook.org/TheIntercept); Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan (Democracy Now, Aug 27, '14)
"The Very Naughty Whistle-blower" (Tom Tomorrow/thismodernworld.com)
Theintercept-icreacharchitecture
NSA creates Google-like search engine (ICReach) engine to distribute your information to other agencies: Access to collected self-purchased GPS tracker and conversation monitor (aka cellphone) data, email records, and much more

A new report by The Intercept news site reveals that the NSA (U.S. National Security Agency) is secretly providing troves of data to nearly two dozen government agencies using a "Google-like" search engine.
 
I do believe I told ya so, tried to warn y'all.
Documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden offer proof that for years the NSA has made data directly available to domestic crime investigation agencies like the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and FBI. [Goodbye, Constitution, we hardly knew ye.]
 
The search tool, known as ICReach ("Icy" or "I see" Reach), contains information on millions of U.S. citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing and were not being investigated for anything, as well as unaccused foreigners.
 
Big Brother is watching using more than screen
ICReach is designed to share more than 850 billion records -- which is more than twice the number of stars in our Milky Way. Democracy Now! speaks to The Intercept's Ryan Gallagher, the reporter who broke the story.
 
And Gallagher is asked about his report on how the U.S. military has banned all employees from reading The Intercept and has begun blocking the new website on work computers, purportedly because it has published classified material.
 
Pfc. Chelsea Bradley Manning is heroic! (DN)
"That kind of policy in the age of [Chelsea Bradley] Manning, in the age of Snowden, just is totally archaic, and it doesn’t fit the modern world," Gallagher says. "You can have a situation where an intelligence analyst in the government with a top-secret security clearance is in a position that [s/he] can’t read public news reports."

Gazarebuilding
"The damage [caused by Israel's war crimes] is beyond imagination in Gaza": on the ground journalist Mo Omer on ceasefire deal and rebuilding

Should Facebook, Twitter, and Google execs decide what we see and read? 

Should Twitter, Facebook and Google Executives be the Arbiters of What We See and Read?
I don't even do anything but listen to my gov't handlers, and I'm rich! - Young, too.

There have been increasingly vocal calls for Twitter, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley [government-partner] corporations to more aggressively police what their users are permitted to see and read. Last month in The Washington Post, for instance, MSNBC host Ronan Farrow demanded that social media companies ban the accounts of “terrorists” who issue “direct calls” for violence. More

U.S. Military bans The Intercept
(The Intercept, Aug.
U.S. Military Bans The Intercept

The U.S. military is banning and blocking employees from visiting The Intercept in an apparent effort to CENSOR news reports that contain leaked government secrets [now in the public domain]. According to multiple military sources, a notice has been circulated to units within the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps warning staff that they are prohibited from reading stories... More

The Ghost of Dred Scott Haunts the Streets of Ferguson
Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan (democracynow.org)
Amys_column_defaultThousands are protesting the police [execution] of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Four miles south in the quietude of Calvary Cemetery, lies Dred Scott -- the man born a slave who famously fought for his freedom in the courts.

ANALYSIS 
Now it is 1984 (George Orwell)
(WQ) There was a pause in the ten shots fired at the unarmed teenager -- indicating premeditation.

The officer, Darren Wilson, intended to execute (and thereby silence) Mike Brown. There was no struggle at the time, no danger to himself, no need to kill -- other than to preserve his own freedom.

Wilson knew the Ferguson P.D. (and coroner and District Attorney) would have his back to cover up what really happened. Will he be convicted? Will he ever even be charged?

The racism and implicit bias of the court suggest he will go free to kill and deprive citizens of their civil rights again. So killing works: It keeps police out of jail for their crimes.

One Apology in Ferguson
One Apology in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Missouri - A grand jury heard evidence for the first time Wednesday in the case of the shooting death of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown at the hands of white Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson. Protesters and clergy members, meanwhile, descended on the Buzz Westfall Justice Center to call for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert... More
 
Fergusonprotestpoliceharassment
Ferguson feeds on poor? City disproportionately stops, charges, fines [jails] people of color

HEADLINES
“How Can You All Fix This?” Painful Questions in Ferguson After Another Police Shooting
(The Intercept, Aug.
“How Can You All Fix This?” Painful Questions in Ferguson After Another Police Shooting
[Still a "Slave Culture"?] A muggy evening of peaceful protest in Ferguson gave way to a dramatic display of raw emotion on Thursday night, as police were confronted with the collective pain of the black community. More

    Israel levels Gaza; Hamas accepts going to ICC

    What remains of one portion of the overpopulated Gaza Strip, an Israeli reservation (UR).
    Listen up, Israel. We're tired of repeating ourselves (palestina.tumblr.com)

     
    Stop crying, [expletive]! US sides with Israel
    While the eyes of the world turn to Syria, Iraq, and Libya, Israel has resumed its crimes against humanity and military operations against Gaza (Palestine).

    Airstrikes this morning severely damaged one of Gaza’s tallest apartment and office buildings, killing two people and wounding 20.
    .
    Peace activist devastated by Israel's crimes against humanity (palestina.tumblr.com)
    .
    [The targeting of occupied buildings marks a new low in Israel's genocide, leveling whole civilian structures under the pretext that if there is a Hamas member anywhere near it -- or if Israel merely claims later that they "really thought" there was one close by -- it is all right to destroy it. Whole buildings will be targeted with precision missiles and everyone inside, every old man, desperate woman, and helpless child will be murdered, while the world applauds Israel for killing innocents and condemns Hamas for being Arabs and indigenous inhabitants of an occupied land, one of the worst things a people can do.

    Tiny and shrinking
    Helpless? What about all those "Hamas missiles"? The unreliable, homemade, unguided firecrackers and smoke bombs, and bottle rockets, or the ones fed to it through proxies so it can be targeted 1,000 times over for lobbing over the New Berlin Wall? Of course, to say Palestinians elderly, female, and young are helpless is misleading. All Gazans helpless, and the people concentrated in refugee camps and "occupied territories" like the West Bank are essentially helpless. There is nowhere to run even if they were actually warned as Israel claims to do, a claim it makes to later defend itself in the Hague, the world court, trying to protect itself against war crimes charges it levels on Hamas, which is legally attempting to defend itself in alignment with international standards while everyone blames it for being the victim of U.S. and Israeli industrial-level military aggression. What about running to U.N. safe sites like schools or hospitals? Israel illegally blows them up, too. But Americans, and a surprising number of racist Israelis look the other way nowadays; the propaganda and public relations are just too powerful for most people to overcome.]
    Bordering Egypt, Gaza is tiny reservation
    More than a hundred Palestinians have died in a new round of about 350 horrific air strikes since last week, bringing the total death toll to over 2,000. The dead include a 27-year old journalist and a 3-year-old toddler since last week alone.
     
    Meanwhile, [U.S.-controlled] Egypt has proposed a new ceasefire agreement, which according to a Palestinian spokesperson, “opens the crossings, [and] allows aid and reconstruction material.” The reference to the crossings is the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing. As of this morning it appears both sides may have agreed.

    Israel continues to blame Hamas for [making them kill children and other innocents as well as] stoking tensions with its [laughably ineffective] projectile retaliations, which are said to have continued in recent days.
     
    Israel's New Berlin Wall. Wait, this just in from Public Relations. It is actually not an offensive wall built on Palestinian land and lined with fully armed Israeli technology and troops shooting Palestinians but merely a "security fence." (TimesofIsrael.com)
     .
    "Israel," next to Egypt, is Africa
    Hamas has also been in the news for a few war crimes of its own, namely, publicly executing 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. [If they collaborate, it is because Israel has forced them to by imprisoning them indefinitely, threatening their families, and only releasing them when they commit to spy and inform for Israel.]

    And a Hamas spokesperson recently admitted to the media that, unbeknownst to him, it was members of his organization that did in fact kill the three Israeli teens whose deaths were used to justify Israeli strikes.

    Palestinians forced to endure conflict
    [The killings were used as a pretext for a preplanned invasion nonetheless; Israel knew very early on that the teens had been killed. But in a pinch, any pretext will do, even if Israel has to arrange the killing of its own citizens or cows to justify ground invasions, air strikes, gunboat barrages, illegal blockades, harassment, false imprisonment, starvation, assassinations, new weapons experimentation, genocide, ethnic cleansing, torture, beatings, and thefts.]
    Welcome to the B-Boy's club, Bibi!
    The group’s top leadership was apparently not informed of the killings, however. Hamas has also joined in calls to take Israel to the International Criminal Court even though, if such a move takes place, it could also open Hamas to accusations of war crimes.

    [This is fine, Hamas claims, since it is defending itself in accord with every peoples' right to self-defense and Israel has much more to worry about for the enormity of its crimes and continued aggression, displacement, occupation, stealing of land, and other internationally-sanctioned crimes.] More

    GUEST: Simona Sharoni, professor of gender and women’s studies at SUNY Plattsburgh and the author of Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance.

    Civilian Palestine burning, bombed by Israel, where people are concentrated into camps, open air prisons, reservations then attacked from the air in U.S. planes flown by Israeli soldiers (UPI/electronicintifada.net)