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Bedtime Story For Gilad

by Taxi

In a recently published article, Gilad Atzmon wondered where the concepts of ‘chosenness’ and a ‘vengeful god’ come from.  Here below, I posit a plausible answer to his poignant questions.

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Imagine it’s four thousand years ago and you are the chief elder of a small pagan tribe living in what is now known as Yemen.  You have chosen to pitch your tribe’s tents near an oasis that’s also shared by, say, half a dozen small Arab pagan tribes.  Paganism, with its orgiastic sexual promiscuity, its lawless blood-sacrifices and hyper-irrational superstitions is the zeitgeist of the day – and you, as tribe leader are becoming more concerned for the safety of your tribe because the new four-horned pagan god of your nearest neighbor’s tribe is an aggressive god who instructs his worshipers to raid and kill what they can by night to appease him.  You stoically start to wonder how best you can insure your tribe’s safety: you spend all day performing pagan protection rituals and prayers; and your nights you spend sleepless in nerve-knotting anxiety: over-thinking everything and hitting one mental wall after the other in search of a solution to your security crisis.

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Fake News, Flake News And The Rise of The Electronic Town Crier

by Taxi

It is a linguistic curiosity that the word ‘fake’ has suddenly taken such a prominent hold of our collective global consciousness.  Inside a handful of recent months, this universally catchy buzzword has been stretched and bent sideways and downwards; uttered in every language under the sun a billion times an hour and turned into an elastic prefix that fits just about every noun and verb on earth.  We now have fake news, fake views, fake peace and fake war, fake inquest, fake protest, fake leader, fake lackey, fake friend, fake enemy, fake innocent, fake guilty, fake facts and fake honesty – we have fake Langley, fake leaks, fake angry, fake freaks, fake men, fake women, fake air, fake water, fake dinner, fake blood, fake army, fake soldier, fake good, fake evil, fake victors, fake losers and oh so very many fake schmoozers brown-nosing kingmakers down the halls of power.  We have plenty of fake history, fake future (only the present is real!) – we have fake intelligence and fake intellos, fake analysts and fake experts, fake saviors, fake survivors, fake vandals, fake scandals, fake right, fake left, fake election, fake protection, fake freedom, fake resistance, fake vows and fake commitments – we even have fake actors and the double fake whammy of fake fakers!  We’re presently so inundated with fake victims and dictum, fake healers and fake spielers, fake pollsters and statistics, fake winners, fake sinners and all them so very Botoxed fake grinners in our vast, fickle, hapless, illusory-culture world.  Why everything around us is suddenly looking so faux, fake, false, phony, bogus, sham, artificial and eerily staged: recalling the parallel universe here of The Truman Show.  Fake just about everything conceivable and all leading up to the big fake Red Scare: the most dangerous of all the fakes: disseminated by fakesters with shameless gusto – zapping like perpetual lightening across humanity’s gazillion brain wires.

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Disco For Cynics

by Taxi

Image result for music of the spheres
2016 – and what a year – don’t know whether to laugh or cry – some good, a lot of bad for the world – and we’re still in the belly of the tailspin.

But so what?!  Sticks and stones!  Perceived as fucked up, the world was always forever thus.

Today is the last day of the year and tomorrow will be no different.  It’s a little vacuous therefore to blow whistles and bells at midnight.  For me at least.  Rationalist.  Big cynic here.  And I’m inviting cynics of all sizes to get away from the din in the den of fools and join me for a moment or two of sheer cynicism and beauty.

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He Came, He Saw, She Died

by Taxi

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By now, we’ve all had time to digest Trump’s presidential victory and a chunk of its implications.  To those who are still surprised, nay devastated at the election’s outcome, I offer my sincerest commiserations and a bucket of ice poured over their heads to shock them back into reality.  For the winners, I offer my sincerest congratulation and a bucket of confetti and thorns rained over their heads to remind them that regardless of Trump’s victory, our nation is still teetering on the same gaping precipice and worse.  To the disgraced mainstream media, I offer them a bucket of feces in their faces – they honestly do not deserve better – I’m sure most of you here will agree.  And to the leaderships of both parties, to the nefarious, self-serving Zionist Washington Establishment itself, I offer them much raucous mockery and my woohoo happy dance.  It is truly a poetic justice that it took an upstart insider billionaire, who’s been buying and selling the very same Establishment politicians himself for some three decades, to sucker-punch the whole lot of them incompetents, traitors and foreign agents.  Nobody ‘important’ has been shielded from the Trumpian fist.  Not the dynastic Clintons.  And certainly not the bullshit Bushes.  Even the normally duck-and-dive Deep State is in a deep panic.  In fact, everywhere you look, instruments and beneficiaries of the current and corrupt Status Quo are quaking in their unmentionables at the imminent prospect of Trump receiving the diamond-and-platinum keys to the White House.  The very same archenemy of the Establishment’s cultish and lucrative Order has handily smashed them all and will now become their prestigious and all powerful master and Commander in Chief.  Thus begins their living political nightmare – thus begins their current decent into political madness and filth.

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Election Impressions

by Taxi

Image result for american flag artwork
By now, after a long presidential campaign season marked by shocking levels of corruption scandals and salacious smut – and the election right now being a mere handful of days away – there’s really no need to repeat or parse information that everyone already knows.  But if you’ll kindly indulge me here, I will share below some random, haphazard, stream of consciousness impressions of this election, which I’ve been quasi following from the faraway hills of the Levant:

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… And Goodbye To All That

by Taxi


I was halfway writing about how fury is now the opium of the masses, but then I changed my mind and discarded the piece because I felt that I’m just repeating what myself and others have been saying for a good six months – albeit, I may use more acrobatic prose than what the norm is in news media.   Fact is, I am not a journalist and I do not wish to be one or to write like one. This, my natural lack of interest in the practice of journalism is actually the topic and purpose behind this personal article.

When I started Plato’s, it was really for four reasons.  First, to be able to share through Plato’s daily Newsstand some selected articles of worth that would educate and further enlighten the reader.  Second, to allow commenters their freedom of expression when blogging, so long as they were not rude, crude or derailing.  Thirdly, to share with readers my insights and analysis of American Empire and its geopolitical shenanigans in the Middle East.  Fourthly, and dearest to my heart, is to give uber support to the liberation of our congress and of Palestine, whom as we all know are symbiotically connected by both being under the criminal occupation of the Zionist invaders.

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Plato’s Infinite Scroll

by Taxi


So here it is:  your very own eternal ring of fire.  Feel free to hang here anytime and share your thoughts and links to your heart’s content.

The mic is yours, the stage is yours – everything and nothing here is yours heh.  Think of it as visiting a garden of knowledge and delight.  Or think of it as an asylum where the doctors have left the building.  Think of it even as a quaint refuge or as a goddamn inconsequential hellhole.  So long as you’re ‘thinking’, then that’s all that matters.

Enjoy your life and your freedom of speech!

US Aid to Israel Is ‘Too Much’ Say 61.9% of Americans – Grant E. Smith/Antiwar.com

by Newsstand

A majority Americans say US foreign aid to Israel is excessive – either “much too much” (32.5 percent) or “too much’ (29.4 percent). The single-question March 10, 2016 opinion survey, fielded through Google Consumer Surveys, reveals only slight changes since it was first asked on September 27, 2014. (For details on sample size, bias and other findings, see the survey data links above).

While Adult Internet users believing US aid to Israel is either “too little” or “much too little” increased a net 1.5 percentage points overall, those believing it to be “too much” or “much too much” rose 1.2 percentage points. Americans believing aid was “about right” declined 2.6 percentage points.

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Free Expression on Campus: A Survey of U.S. College Students and U.S. Adults – GALLUP

by Newsstand

students

A Gallup survey of American universities was recently conducted – questions concerning free speech, race relations and the First Amendment Rights, views of the press and social media were put forth.  The full Gallup survey is here (pdf 36 pages).  And below is the conclusion of the survey:

CONCLUSION:

This study leaves little doubt that college students believe First Amendment rights remain strong in this country — but raises questions about how they interpret those rights. College students are more likely than the U.S. adult population overall to believe First Amendment rights are secure, and they tend to view their student cohort as more respectful of free speech than the broader population. They also believe First Amendment  rights are stronger now than in the past, and believe a free press is more important to democracy today than it was 20 years ago, even as newer information sources challenge the press’ once-dominant position as Americans’ primary news source.

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Hillary’s emails confirm France and US killed Qaddafi for his gold and oil – Bob Fitrakis/SignOfTheTimes

by Newsstand

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With the recent release of Hillary Clinton’s emails by Wikileaks, the public now knows exactly how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) went from a collective defense organization to the new Barbary Coast Pirates of imperialism.

During the 2011 Libyan uprising, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 which called for a ceasefire and authorized military action to protect civilian lives. A coalition formed, centered around NATO with the March 17, 2011 passing of the Resolution. Its purpose — a so-called “no-fly zone” over Libya.

The irony that the U.S.-dominated NATO military organization would be concerned with “protecting” Arab civilians is all too obvious since the United States is the nation most responsible for killing Arab civilians.

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Why erasing California’s anti-Semitic, racist history from public display is the wrong move – Cora Granata/LA Times

by Newsstand

I am a German-American and Southern California native. While other kids watched Saturday morning cartoons, my German-born mother sent me to German school, where I learned how to build extremely long sentences with verbs placed at the end. I grew up with Grimm’s fairy tales — not the watered-down Disney versions — but the crazy originals in which Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off their heels to fit into the glass slipper. I liked being a German-American kid in Southern California, and I am now a professor of German history at Cal State Fullerton. But when I learned that a German American organization had recently erected a sign in a part of Crescenta Valley Park welcoming visitors to “Hindenburg Park” in gothic German script, I couldn’t help but cringe.

This new marker isn’t something that should be celebrated.

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Florida Governor Rick Scott shamed at Starbucks by angry citizen

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The Greatest CON In U.S. Electoral History – Editorial/State Of The Nation

by Newsstand

zionist hilary and donald co9yz7swuae58mi

Why were they each deliberately set up to be the lesser of the two evils for this 2016 election?

Why are Americans so addicted to deception?

And in this corner we have a criminally insane, psychopathic career politician who fraudulently advocates all the politically correct causes … HILLARY R. CLINTON

And in that corner we have a sociopathic and compulsive salesman who is much more showman than anything else, much more barker than leader … DONALD J. TRUMP 

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What you are about to read constitutes the single greatest CON in U.S. election history. This CON is so calculated and premeditated, so purposeful and deliberate, and so complicated and convoluted that very few will choose to believe it.  Trust us!  You will believe it when you see the results after January 20th of 2017.  However, what most may completely fail to believe — at the end of the day — is who the real con man really is.  We’re talking about the greatest CON MAN alive today.

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Disrespecting Obama: Race, Class, Empire, and Identity Politics – Paul Street/CounterPunch

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A Rap Sheet Fades Behind the Extravaganza

I wonder if anyone is enjoying the current endless quadrennial presidential electoral extravaganza more than Barack Obama. With the United States’ corporate-managed media and politics culture fixated on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, the Republican National Committee, Ted Cruz, and even sometimes the nominal socialist Bernie Sanders, Obama’s ongoing criminal record on behalf of corporate rule and American Empire has gone under the radar like no time in recent memory.

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How Iran’s Strategic Drift Emboldens Its Enemies – Yoel Guzansky, Ron Tira/The National Interest

by Newsstand

Historically, Iran’s military strategy has been defensive, based on deterring potential rivals, developing restraining leverage over enemies, keeping adversaries pinned down in secondary theaters and undermining the will of potential enemies, while attempting to create influence as well as a defense zone that will provide it with strategic depth beyond its borders. The goal of this essay is to consider whether, as a result of the upheaval in the Middle East, Iran has been drawn into a regional policy with new characteristics, and whether its “strategic toolbox” is appropriate for this new policy.

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Susan Sarandon Crucified For Making Sense On Hillary Clinton

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Rating the Candidates: Who Wants War – Philip Giraldi/The Unz Review

by Newsstand

Cruz

Everyone sees what they want to see in the candidates for president. A recent survey on their foreign policies rated them with letter grades, but “foreign policy” is itself a bit of an elusive concept and the results tended to favor what the authors considered to be important. In my opinion the issue is actually much simpler: who among the candidates would be the most likely to lead the United States into another war or wars? Who would be least likely to do so?

The sovereign ability to go to war is the dark side of a nation’s foreign policy. It means in practice that the government has been unable or unwilling to use non-violent means of suasion to deflect perceived threats coming from a foreign nation or group of nations. The Nuremberg Tribunal established the principle that initiating a war is the ultimate crime against humanity as it brings with it every other imaginable evil. Those like America’s own neocons who consider war as politics by other means fail to understand that war is a breakdown of civilized norms and is in a sense a type of anarchy in which the weak and helpless are inevitably the principal victims.

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American Gladiator (violent content)

by Newsstand

*Video made by Trump fan. 

Israel prepares for #OpIsrael cyberattack – Dennis Mitzner/TechCrunch

by Newsstand

April has arrived, which means that Israel’s cybersecurity community has its eyes set on the now-annual April 7 cyberattack by Anonymous and a group of anti-Israel hacktivists known as #OpIsrael.

While the country is prepared for a variety of scenarios, most Israeli cybersecurity experts are unperturbed by the threat, since previous years have resulted in minimal damage.

The attack has taken place every year on April 7 since 2013 and was first launched on the eve of the Holocaust Remembrance Day with a stated goal of erasing Israel from the Internet.

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A Realistic Solution To The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – Avi Melamed/Forbes

by Newsstand

old palestinian man with passport poster0731464b61f5

A generation has passed since the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians. The Oslo Accords were guided by the concept that the two-state solution would finally resolve the conflict—but two decades later, Israelis and Palestinians remain caught in a sad, frustrating and vicious cycle that must be broken. Dramatic events in the Middle East offer unprecedented conditions for such a breakthrough, because today, for the first time, Israel and major Arab states share long-term strategic interests: blocking Iran’s expansion; fostering stability; and diminishing militant Islamic momentum.

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Killing the US Republic — and Empire – Chas W. Freeman/ConsortiumNews

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Through its dysfunctional politics and over-reliance on military force, the United States is destroying both its Republic and its imperial reach, a problem made in the USA, said former Ambassador Chas W. Freeman Jr. in a recent speech.

I’m here to talk about the end of the American empire. But before I do I want to note that one of our most charming characteristics as Americans is our amnesia. I mean, we are so good at forgetting what we’ve done and where we did it that we can hide our own Easter eggs.

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Israeli army encourages ‘sticky fingered’ soldiers to return souvenir grenades – Ruth Eglash/The Washington Post

by Newsstand

JERUSALEM — For most citizens, Israeli military service is an important, albeit a compulsory, rite of passage. And often, those drafted feel like they want to hold onto a little army booty as a “keepsake” from their years of service.

In fact, it’s not totally unusual to find Israelis using military garb in everyday life situations — think army-issued sleeping bags on camping trips, night goggles on midnight hikes or even a grenade or two decorating a bookshelf.

But holding onto military equipment — whether by accident or on purpose — is illegal and, if caught, could have serious consequences. It could also be dangerous, and the items could fall into unsavory hands, the Israeli army says.

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Why Are Oberlin’s Students So Silent About Anti-Semitism? – Emily Shire/The Daily Beast

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Students on campus are quick to protest incidences of supposed cultural insensitivity—even over sushi—but not when it comes to a professor’s anti-Semitism.

Oberlin College in Ohio currently employs Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, who publicly professed on Facebook that ISIS was run by the CIA and Mossad, the Israeli counterpart to the U.S. agency.

Karega also posted on Facebook a (doctored) photo of a terrorist with a Jewish star tattooed on his arm, pulling off a mask to reveal his face as Israeli Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

Inside Higher Education reported that Karega has also previously shared a “picture of the Jewish banking heir Jacob Rothschild with the words, ‘We own your news, the media, your oil and your government.’”

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Who will be the next President of the United States? – Thierry Meyssan/Voltairenet.org

by Newsstand

Thierry Meyssan analyses the political and electoral system of the United States. He believes that the only true issue of the Presidential election is the maintenance of power in the hands of the WASPs, which has never been contested since the Declaration of Independence. While Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton are the guarantors of this status, the candidacy of Donald Trump announces a profound upheaval of the system which will only occur once the Anglo-Saxons become the minority.

A large number of candidates play off against one another in the primaries. The media pay attention only to the Democrats and the Republicans, ignoring all the others, given that the system is devised so that they can never win.

The US primaries offer a depressing spectacle during which the main candidates do not seem to be aware that their reckless judgements and demagogic declarations will have consequences, both interior and exterior, if they should manage to become President.

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Protesters shut down CIA chief’s university talk – Julian Hattem/TheHill

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CIA Director John Brennan was forced offstage during a Friday evening discussion at the University of Pennsylvania after a series of sustained interruptions from protesters.

At least three groups of protesters successively stood up to chant condemnations at the CIA for long stretches during Brennan’s appearance at the Penn Museum, according to reports and videos of the incident.

After the third interruption, moderator and Penn Professor Marjorie Margolies decided to end the event.A video of the incident shows that the crowd twice gave Brennan a standing ovation, at Margolies’s request.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis : Russia Prepares for a Big War: The Significance of a Tank Army – Patrick Armstrong/Sic Semper Tyrannis

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Part 1. How armies are put together

One of the things that I find irritating about battles in movie is that the director seems to think that battles are about getting an inchoate mass of soldiers together, giving a rousing speech and yelling “Charge!” That is absolutely not how it works nor ever has worked. Real armies are assembled out of groupings made from smaller groupings, themselves made from still-smaller groupings and so on down to the smallest group.

The smallest group is about ten soldiers. This is the fundamental bonding size – these are your buddies, the people you will really remember, the ones you depend on and who depend on you and for whom you will fight and sacrifice. Yes, you’re fighting for Freedom or some other Large Cause, but it’s really your buddy you’re doing it for. So we start with about ten soldiers.

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Rabbi Boteac wants Clinton to denounce Max Blumenthal – Patrick Goodenough/CNSNews (double article)

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One of America’s best-known rabbis, Shmuley Boteach, has called on Hillary Clinton to “repudiate” comments reportedly by anti-Israel writer Max Blumenthal – the son of her close confidante Sidney Blumenthal – referring to the armed wing of the Hamas terrorist group in complementary terms.

Boteach, executive director of the World Values Network, was reacting on Twitter to reports quoting Blumenthal as making the comments during an pro-Palestine event at the London School of Economics early last month.

In a covertly recorded audio clip obtained by London’s Sunday Telegraph, a man said to be Blumenthal describes a July 2014 attack by Hamas’ Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades on Israeli soldiers guarding a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip, and comments on the propaganda value of a video clip, of the attack released by the terrorist group.

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Who Occupies Whom in Israel-Palestine? Don’t Ask an American – Eric Schuler/Antiwar.com

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Figure 1: IRmep Google Consumer Research polls

A new poll published by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, shows that a plurality of Americans misunderstand a fundamental fact about the Middle East. Specifically, a statistically representative sample of Americans and three other nationalities were asked a simple question about Israel and Palestine. The wording of the question and the results are shown {above}.  (Note that respondents were allowed to give their own custom response as well; those that did are included within the Other category.)

As you can see, the American responses differ significantly from the other countries’. America is unfortunately unique in having a plurality of Americans, 49.2%, who answered the question wrong, believing that Palestinians occupy Israeli land.

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How Congress members earn their money – John Oliver

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9/11: The FBI Report and the Dancing Israelis Standing Truth on its Ear – H. Gaffney/InformationClearingHouse

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On the morning of September 11, 2001 a Jersey City, N.J. housewife named Maria was making coffee in her kitchen when she received a phone call from a neighbor who excitedly told her to look out the window. When Maria looked she was shocked to see a plume of smoke rising from the World Trade Center about a mile away across the Hudson River. Quickly Maria grabbed some binoculars and stepped out onto the balcony of her high-rise apartment, known as the Doric Towers, which afforded an excellent view of lower Manhattan. Maria did not yet know that a commercial airliner had plowed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, but it was obvious that an ugly tragedy was in progress.

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