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Good Stuff to Read
The LogoPhere Reading Room

Round-up of  long-reads worth the effort
for March 2017, Part B


Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Mar18|17   

Trump Administration Ousts UN Official to Protect Israel from Criticism

Glenn Greenwald provides a real public service in this piece by laying out DTDuck's twisted position on the Government of Yisrael (GoY), and it ain't pretty. GG builds his story around a UN agency's report accusing GoY of apartheid and the way the USG/GoY tag-team forced the resignation of UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf. because of the accusations of Yisraeli apartheid. 

But the UN report and Khalaf's resignation are just pretexts GG uses to reach larger questions about the USG/GoY Siamese twin relationship.  GG doesn't even identify the report.  It's titled  Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid and is authored by Richard Falk and Virginia Tiley.  See links below.

GG's primary complaint is not GoY apartheid per se but, rather, the special status of GoY in the USG's universe.  Here's GG making that point: 

Trump convinced millions of people to vote for him by promising to prioritize American interests over those of other nations. Yet what Trump is doing at the U.N., and in the Middle East more broadly, is exactly the opposite. He is empowering exactly the ideologues who have long venerated a defense of the Israeli government over all other considerations — not just the human and political rights of Palestinians but also the concrete security interests of the U.S.

It seems to me that GG's position is, essentially, the same as many American military honchos who have no love of GoY.  But then, they don't take GoY shekels hand-over-fist the way US politicians do.  Secy of Defense James "Mad Dog" Mattis, like virtually all the top brass I have ever heard, is an objective skeptic on GoY. They know the difference in the way friends and enemies smell, and when it comes down to it, GoY is no friend of the US.  GG quotes Mattis: 

I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CentCom because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel, and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.

What GG neglects  to do is provide sufficient description, or even any links to, the Report, and since the UN has scrubbed the report from its webpages it can take some digging to find it. Perhaps the following will help: 

Link to pdf of the full report, 74 pgs. 

Link to pdf of Exec Summary, 6 pgs.

Ruth Eglash, WaPo, Mar16|17, Is Israel and "apartheid" state? This UN report says yes

Middle East Monitor  Mar17|17, UN ESCWA chief resigns over report on "apartheid" Israel

Peter Rugg, Thrillist, Mar21|17   

America's Greatest Living Hobos Share Their Secrets to Riding the Rails

Hobos riding the rails are still out there, apparently. And that's good to know.

Although I, personally, haven't ridden in or on a rail-car since about 1977, having once been a short-term, amateur hobo, I still scan passing trains carefully trying to spot the hidden hobos, like ticks on the dog.

But it's been decades since I've seen any -- hobos, not ticks. One reason is that there are so few RR crossings anymore. And a second reason is that in these days of cell phones hobos are a lot more discreet because they know that people who see them are likely to call 911 and report them, at least according to Rugg's article. When I rode, I'd sit in the doorway and wave to cars waiting at the crossings. Back in the 70's what were they going to do, run to a phone booth? Course not . . . they waved back.

Rugg has written an interesting piece about a subject most kids today don't even know exists, which makes me wonder whether the old saying still holds: Everybody has a little bit of hobo in them. Probably not everybody, not any more.  But a lot of us still do. 

John A. Farrell, Politico, Mar26|17   

The Year Nixon Fell Apart

I was a lot closer to Richard Nixon than most . . . at least on Oct19|1970 at about noon. Coulda' put a knife in his dark heart, if I'd had one handy. Coulda' kissed him if I'd been gay and really hard up. At the time I was just your normal ole' college freshman, not that long out of the combat zone and Philly naval hospital, taking classes at Ohio State and getting antiwar-radicalized in Cowtown, Ohio, post-Kent State.  Nixon had come to Columbus to stump for Republicans in the off-year election and I rode down High St. toward the state capitol in a beat up old car with a few others to jeer him. 

As we were heading back north on High St. toward the campus after the speech and jeering were over, Nixon's convoy passed us and we realized it was headed to the campus.  So we tailed the convoy as close as we could and when we got to 15th Ave we saw the convoy turn left into the campus. This was totally unplanned, one of the idiot Nixonian stunts the Secret Service hated.  Farrell cites a few more in the Politico article, which is a chapter from his new Nixon bio, Richard Nixon, The Life

The Secret Service had totally lost control of the situation by the time I got out of the car and ran over to where Nixon had gotten out of the limo and was wandering around on the east end of the Oval, surrounded by cheering students. I had no idea there were that many Republican students on the whole campus. No boos, no cat-calls . . . just cheers. I was amazed. You'd think it was Jimi Hendrix or some other rock star.

In order to get control of the situation, Secret Service guys and Cowtown cops formed a circle around Nixon and sort of herded him back toward his limo. I was close enough to him by then to get caught inside the circle and was shoved right up against the most powerful, and possibly most crooked, man in the world. A few of us were pushed into the limo with Nixon.  Somehow he got a seat but at least two of us ended up face-down on the floor.  What I remember most of all about those few moments was how polite Nixon was -- he kept laughing and apologizing to us for the way we were all being pushed and shoved.  He was clearly having a great time. The limo went about half-a-block and stopped. The door was opened and those of us not on the president's staff were unceremoniously pulled out and dumped on the curb.  

And the reason I tell you this story is that it is so consistent with Farrell's retrospective of Nixon, which is to say, it is so consistent with who Nixon was: a freaking enigma. As much as I despised the man then and over the rest of my life, what I remember of "my personal time with him" is that he seemed like a pretty nice guy. And that was 1970, the year Farrell describes as being the one when Nixon fell apart. But then, it was one in which we all did -- the whole freakin' country.

What is troubling is the realization that now we have another totally whacked-out president, and when "they" say that the past is prelude, "they" never say it in a good way.

Quincy Larson, freeCodeCamp, Mar27|17   

How to Set Up a VPN in 10 Minutes for Free
(and Why You Urgently Need One)

None of us really want to go through this, but it's time to tech-up and secure your devices. Our butt-for-brains Congress has determined that everything we do and everywhere we go in cyber-space is fair game.  And not just fair game, but a commercial product. So if you ever needed just a bit of a push to secure your internet devices, you just got it.

And Larson does a pretty good job at explaining what it is you have to do. This guy has been on us all for a long time to make our surfing more secure, and he's got the links for what you need, including free virtual private networking. 

Do it.  

Philip Giraldi, Unz Review, Mar28|17   

AIPAC is Back in Town

This guy Giraldi is always worth the time.  And with AIPACs annual pork-roast this week, Giraldi is about the best person I know to call the insanity for what it is.  Another recent article of his on this theme is Cheerleading for Israel.

As I have already opined, AIPAC is one of the most fascinating and terrifying organizations in the world. It controls Wall St.  It controls Congress. But scariest of all, it controls the minds of Main St. Americans. And it looks like some of these vicious iJews at the AIPAC convention will get good and busted for hate crime. 

You don’t have to connect many dots to see that the real source of the Palestinians’ problems is Main St. America’s support for GoY, or that Main St. Americans have been brainwashed by the MSM that is largely controlled by Yisrael-firsters. If Americans ever wake up to WTF is going on and force Congress to do the right thing and quit with this mindless support of apartheid, it will be the end of GoY as we now know it. When AIPAC becomes a "dirty word" politically speaking and a liability for American politicians, we'll know we're on the way to finally achieving peace in the ME and getting America back on the road. 

Is there any hope that Congress will ever be shamed into putting America first?  Maybe. I recall how Senator Chuck Hagel used to talk straight about Yisrael.  It was Hagel who shocked Washington by announcing: "“The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here…. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator.”  Given the way the iJews control Congress and given Hagel's attitude toward the iJews, it was not a coincidence that Hagel was to become the first nominee for Secretary of Defense ever to be filibustered. And because of his conscience and his America-first attitude, Obama did not keep him for long.  

If the Senate had 60 senators who, like Hagel, demanded to put America first, it would be a far better country, and Yisrael would be on the ropes. 

John Solomon & Sara Carter, Circa, Mar29|17   

Obama's Rule Changes Opened Door for NSA Intercepts of Americans to Reach Political Hands

Americans -- particularly liberal Americans -- are slowly waking up to what a disaster the Obama administration was. After being swept into office with control of both houses of Congress, by 2011 he had blown his political largesse and would spend the next six years getting next to nothing done.  

And so the jive-talker from Chicago was thrown against the political wall hard, and he would end up governing not by consensus or leading Congress, but by executive edicts, thereby setting a horrible example for his successors, whatever their party or politics.  

And no where was the example more horrible than in the manner in which the privacy and freedoms of Americans were decimated by the perceived intelligence needs of government. Much of the drama evolving today regarding leaks, flaws, and failures of the intelligence community originated in Obama's style of governing by decree instead of proper Congressional oversight and legislation.  

Solomon and Carter do a pretty good job in this piece explaining what all the hooting and huffing is about, particularly with respect to "masking" of intelligence, why it is done, when it is done, and who does it. To be blunt, it's a mess, and with major parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act up for renewal late this year, it's a mess who's time has come.  

Many people who follow these intelligence issues are fans of Marcy Wheeler at EmptyWheel. She undoubtedly has a rep as being a brilliant person, but I have never been able to follow completely what she is trying to say. I when you are trying to cover-up the faults and mistakes of your favorite president, you are naturally going to make the subject sound a lot more complex than it is. By comparison, this piece by Solomon and Carter is very clear and they have done an expert job explaining what turns out to be not nearly as complicated as Wheeler makes it out to be

If you don't know the difference between Executive Order 12333 and FISA, this article is for you, too.  It's gonna' be a wild ride throughout the rest of the year as far as these intelligence issues go.  If you want to follow the action, this article is a good chance to educate yourself.     



Denis R. O'Brien, PhD/Esq.
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