Lawlessness / Ruined – part 33

“Neoliberalism’s Dark Path to Fascism” by Chris Hedges (TruthDig via Canadian Dimension)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Neoliberalism as economic theory was always an absurdity. It had as much validity as past ruling ideologies such as the divine right of kings and fascism’s belief in the Übermensch. None of its vaunted promises were even remotely possible. Concentrating wealth in the hands of a global oligarchic elite—eight families now hold as much wealth as 50 percent of the world’s population—while demolishing government controls and regulations always creates massive income inequality and monopoly power, fuels political extremism and destroys democracy. You do not need to slog through the 577 pages of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century to figure this out. But economic rationality was never the point. The point was the restoration of class power.

As a ruling ideology, neoliberalism was a brilliant success. Starting in the 1970s, its Keynesian mainstream critics were pushed out of academia, state institutions and financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and shut out of the media. Compliant courtiers and intellectual poseurs such as Milton Friedman were groomed in places such as the University of Chicago and given prominent platforms and lavish corporate funding. They disseminated the official mantra of fringe, discredited economic theories popularized by Friedrich Hayek and the third-rate writer Ayn Rand. Once we knelt before the dictates of the marketplace and lifted government regulations, slashed taxes for the rich, permitted the flow of money across borders, destroyed unions and signed trade deals that sent jobs to sweatshops in China, the world would be a happier, freer and wealthier place. It was a con. But it worked.

Benjamine Netanyahu (a war criminal many times over and a psychopatch and a good friend of people like Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump)

“Netanyahu angling to institute capital punishment for Palestinians just in time for elections” by Nicholas Vincenzo Barney (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Early Sunday morning five Palestinian citizens in Al-Khader village south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank were detained by Israeli Occupying Forces without charges leveled against them, a common enough occurrence in the quiet village which just last month saw 100 athletes sequestered, searched, and interrogated at gunpoint in its soccer stadium after practice. But now, on top of the characteristically violent and indiscriminate means of detaining Palestinians, there may be even more reason besides Israeli contempt for due process to fear for prisoners’ fates.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets his way, Israel will be able to add among its repertoire of an unwritten constitution and ethnonationalist Basic Laws the right to put Palestinians to death…

Formerly less gung-ho on the bill, Netanyahu has now changed his tune, and what a wicked tune to change to.

This came some weeks ago after the Education Minister Naftali Bennet called for the advancement of the bill in the Knesset. The issue has become a lynchpin of political jockeying, with recent weeks seeing Leiberman and Bennet taking to the issue to better position their separate nationalist parties in upcoming elections, to say nothing of their true convictions on the matter.
= == ===

The author takes a contradictory position on the death penalty, which is his problem. I just want to note that I’m not against the death penalty, which the Christian Bible commands. But if we can’t get it right, and we can’t (for all sorts of reasons), then it becomes an unacceptable form of punishment. Criminals can always be dealth with by societies willing to deal with them. For me, killers and rapists need, at a minimum, to be isolated from society. Obviously, There’s many issues here. It would be cruel to keep family members from having contact with their incarcerated family member or members. But we don’t have to let the serious criminals out to visit and that’s not what’s done. Nor do I believe in torturing prisoners. I don’t believe in torture other than the ulcers I hope I give to evildoers with my words.

“Saudis Continue Killing Civilians During Yemen Peace Talks in Sweden” by Randi Nord (Geopolitics Alert)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A statement from the spokesman of Yemen’s Armed Forces reported that the US-backed Saudi coalition dropped 38 airstrikes just over the course of Saturday. At least 12 of which targeted various areas of Hodeidah which constitutes a direct violation of the peace negotiations calling for a ceasefire.

Airstrikes killed at least 15 civilians since the peace negotiations began last week — including seven women and three children. Meanwhile, 28 sustained injuries, eight of whom were children as well as five women.

““Alexa, Drop a Bomb”: Amazon Wants in on US Warfare” by Nick Mottern (Troutout)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Amazon is seeking to build a global “brain” for the Pentagon called JEDI, a weapon of unprecedented surveillance and killing power, a profoundly aggressive weapon that should not be allowed to be created.

Founded in 1994 as an online book seller, Amazon is now the world’s largest online retailer, with more than 300 million customers worldwide, and net sales of $178 billion in 2017.

Amazon has built a vast, globally distributed data storage capacity and sophisticated artificial intelligence programs to propel its retail business that it hopes to use to win a $10 billion Pentagon contract to create the aforementioned “brain” that goes by the project name Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, a moniker obviously concocted to yield the Star Wars acronym — JEDI…

JEDI will do what is being done now on a less coordinated scale and with a smaller volume of surveillance data, but JEDI, The Guardian reported recently, “promises to find those enemies faster – even if all it takes to be considered an enemy is exhibiting a pattern of behavior that a (classified) machine-learning model associates with hostile activity. Call it death by big data.”

In addition, JEDI will very likely to be at the heart of managing the first generation of operational US robotic land, sea, air and space weaponry.

Decisions on who and when to kill based on human and JEDI’s massive, fallible artificial intelligence will almost certainly be significantly guided by the concept of pre-emptive killing — that is, assassination or larger attack based on suspected threat.

Gilad Atzmon

“Fiasco In Islington, Part 2” by Richard Hugus (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

More facts have come to light in the case of Gilad Atzmon and his banning by the Islington Town Council from performing at a jazz concert on December 21, 2018. The original scenario was that one e-mail from one person calling Atzmon an antisemite somehow persuaded the Islington council to take the drastic step of removing Atzmon from a town-owned venue. Many who heard the story felt this was a rash decision which would surely be reversed when the facts were brought to light. But the Council voted to uphold its decision and Atzmon was indeed not allowed to play.

Now it appears that the single complainant – Martin Rankoff – was not just an anonymous fan of Israel but the UK director of Likud-Herut. Herut (or ‘freedom’) was Israel’s founding nationalist party from 1948 until it later merged with Likud. It is a militant and extreme Zionist organization whose roots go in a straight line from Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin up to Benjamin Netanyahu today. Jabotinsky and Begin helped form the Irgun terrorists in 1937. Irgun committed notorious massacres in Palestine leading up to and during the Nakba (or ‘catastrophe’) of 1947-1948. These include the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing 91 people, and the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948 in which 254 unarmed Palestinian villagers were brutally murdered as an incentive for other Palestinians to leave. On its web site Likud-Herut UK lists Jabotinsky and Begin as “visionaries.” Likud-Herut is a member of the World Zionist Organization and the Zionist Federation of the UK who believe in “the inalienable right of all Jews to live and settle in all parts of the Land of Israel.”

From +972:
Israeli soldiers escort and protect Israeli settlers who attacked Palestinian activists in Hebron, occupied West Bank, December 24, 2018. (Issa Amro)

“Seven hospitalized in settler attack on Hebron activists” by Edo Konrad (+972)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinians who were attempting to rebuild part of a local youth center in the occupied city of Hebron over the weekend, sending seven of them to the hospital with minor injuries.

On Saturday, according to eye witnesses, the settlers had demolished parts of a storage room being constructed at the home of local Palestinian activist Issa Amro, which also serves as a community center run by Youth Against Settlements…

On Monday night, Amro, several of his family members, and volunteers from Youth Against Settlements began rebuilding the walls settlers had demolished. While they were working, Israeli settlers showed up and began kicking the activists and throwing stones at them. The settlers were able to demolish what the Palestinians had built.

Amro and other eyewitnesses told +972 Magazine that Israeli soldiers and police officers who arrived on the scene did nothing to stop the attacks. Seven of the Palestinians were hospitalized, including one who had been bitten by a settler.

“How Israel’s Conscription Law Assaults its Own Ultra-Orthodox Community” by Miko Peled (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Mea Sha’arim, Jerusalem – “Nazis, Nazis,” that’s what I thought I heard. I was driving down the main road near Jerusalem’s Ultra-orthodox Me’a Sha’arim neighborhood where hundreds of young Haredi Jews were blocking the road. Dumpsters were burning and the traffic came to a halt. I jumped out of the car and ran to see what was happening. I asked a young Yeshiva student what was going on and if they were really shouting “Nazis.” He confirmed to me that they were calling the Israeli riot police Nazis and that this protest was because the police had just arrested several Haredi girls for refusal to serve in the Israeli army.

Nazis? I asked him, really? He then went on to describe the abuse and violence with which the police treat the young men and women in this community, particularly since Israel’s draft law had changed, making them all potential deserters…

This issue was always understood to be an explosive one. For the Haredi Jews, the demand to serve in the Israeli army is no less offensive than a demand to serve a false god, one of only three demands where Jews are commanded to choose death over surrender.

In 1949, by order of then-defense minister David Ben-Gurion, the Haredi community received a deferment that eventually became an exemption from military service. Over the years the order was renewed by consecutive ministers of defense and at the same time, the numbers grew to include thousands of you Haredi boys and men.

The truth is that the army never wanted – and still doesn’t want or need – the Haredi Jews. The Israeli Army’s disdain for religious Jews can be seen by the fact that even the Orthodox Jews who do serve in the IDF, Orthodox Jews who have embraced Zionism in all of its violent manifestations, the Orthodox Jews who today make up the settlers in the West Bank, rarely rise in IDF ranks…


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