Cohen’s hearing before the Congressional committee turned into a fine display of Republican viciousness. Cohen, convicted of earlier Trump-associated crimes, i.e., lying to Congress to protect The Boss, made a fair target for discrediting, but the barrage of indictments and innuendo launched by Representatives Jordan, Green, Comer, Hice, and Gosar, among others, either served to deflect attention from President Trump or to provide a lasting display of the kind of persons the Republican Party has seen elected to power.
Below: C-Span’s live feed of the hearing.
Showing up on Twitter during the early portion of the hearing:
Start with the cassus beli on this long journey backward to barbaric feudalism and wars founded in religious animosity and contempt.
(SRINAGAR, India) — The death toll from a car bombing on a paramilitary convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir has climbed to 41, becoming the single deadliest attack in the divided region’s volatile history, security officials said Friday. A local Kashmiri militant rammed an explosive-laden van into the convoy along a key highway Thursday. In addition to the dead, the attack wounded nearly two dozen other soldiers, India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force spokesman Sanjay Sharma said.
Inspiration for this little bit of wisdom: another set-to about the God of Judaism and the God of Islam — or depictions, expressions, instructions, etc. seemingly attached to the construction or perception (in mind, of course) of each.
Basically: “Your God is not my God — and my rightness must be therefore more right than your rightness.”
And God must have put us here to prove how right we are about God.
Something like all of that plus the bloody historical baggage that has been dragged through time with that kind of thinking.
Ethnolinguistic cultures on earth: about 7,000 (fewer, actually). There are many ways of looking up at the stars and experiencing or interpreting the divine.
In the Torah, God hears Ishmael’s cries too.
The more true challenge of the present lies in handling the habits attending medieval politics and worldviews that better account for turning something we cannot know — God, as we think of God, is greater than our observational capabilities — into something we think we know. Judaism represents the Tribal Way of the Hebrews, an old People with a calendar to prove it and a distinct trail through time planted on or in the earth in built space or artifacts. Rather than mosey on to other civilizational uptake, adaptation, and competition, it might prove healthier to visit the present, take a deep breath, and have both a broad and long view backward, the better perhaps for considering and taking the next step forward.
Having given up the burning of witches and largely ejected “contra-lateral amputation” as inhumane (although there are some barbaric, malignant, primitive, and sadistic holdouts), we might do better than eternally trying to erase one another.
Call it a plea for peacefulness momentarily enshrined in a blog post . . . also a plea to perhaps stand together for a broad and great gaze backward from this extraordinary plateau in human communicating and social interaction — and then: think fresh; think forward; think next.
The “New Nationalists” — there’s a term that’s getting around — are old feudal reactionaries. Each — start with Erdogan in his White Palace — means to live as if in a castle socially surrounded by nobility and attended by peons and slaves.
BackChannels hopes they will one day find themselves left floating in their own blood-dimmed and greed-soaked clouds and the better world, broadly inclusive, culturally self-sustaining (we should be concerned with keeping and growing our 7,000 or so living language cultures), earth conscious, still in awe of the universe, and beautifully interwoven will look back on them with a shudder.
Asked of a child: “Who controls the camp?” — “Young militants control the camp, and when the Israeli army comes we throw stones at them. the army doesn’t come here a lot, and there is no authority here. We have nothing.” (05:38).
Oh, Palestinians — yon Jews never stole your land and ye shall know the 1948 and post-1948 truth about that war, about the Arab apartheid camps of your world, and about the “leaders” delivering the drugs, failing to sweep the streets, failing to guarantee the safety of basic housing and water and electrical supply.
Think about those words out of a child’s mouth: “There is no authority here.“
BackChannels has news for you: wherever the Soviet has meddled and Russia to this day maintains old criminal and feudal relationships, “there is no authority” but over and around the inner circles of absolute and capricious power.
For the feudal lords of the Gaza and the West Bank — and the handlers and greater powers of Moscow and Tehran — the Palestinian main base doesn’t really matter.
Money in their own pockets matters much more.
The streets of Shuafat have been left to become garbage strewn and rat infested while the minds of Palestinian children, generation upon generation, are made to entertain lies about their historic and political origins, about the Jews, the west, capitalism, democracy, humanism . . . everything.
“There is no authority here.”
In place of authority, what is there in Shuafat?
Vanity – a malign, merciless, and unyielding vanity on the part of those who would live well off the dispensing of misery to their communities.
What is good?
For the purposes of governance, perhaps start with authentic culture, education, opportunity, service.
The Palestinians have gotten the mind fuck of all times in the dishonest framing of their predicament — thank the KGB and some generations of middle east leaders and compliant local powers for that.
The Cold War, the Soviet Era, has been over for more than 27 years. In its place: a mash-up of Russian feudal and mafia-style power.
Perhaps in the Shuafat enclave in Jerusalem, some should demand of their “leadership”, UNRWA, of themselves — even so young as to be able to say, “There is no authority here” — and of Israel adequate basic services plus authentic education and information subject to each their own inquiry and independence of mind, i.e., the end of the political suppression of the lawful, moderate, and optimistic.
These days, as I bump into the limits of my debating skills and taste my failure at being, well, more convincing, I cannot help but think of my time in the kitchen. It is something I would recommend anyone, anyway: trying to dominate nature and all its elements. Alchemy, perhaps, but not to live an eternal life, but a human one. I used to call cooking the oldest art, and while my choice of the A-word was undoubtedly based on provocation value, I still believe there is a sense in which cooking is a step humankind took in definitive departure from the animal kingdom. Instincts! Pure utility! Who cares? At some point we decided we would artfully make our lives more pleasurable, and eventful, by combining foods and processing them by preference, by choice.
But before I let myself be dragged into an argumentative soup about concepts and percepts, about…
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, transports, or possesses a hoax bomb with intent to use the hoax bomb to: (1) make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device; or (2) cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies. (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
Official appeal on Twitter for Nigerian election incident reports —
And the election parade, as it were, from a so-far calm point of observation.
The world may be still a mystery online: where’s the action? 🙂 What’s coming off it in social media? What could do with authentication but for which the blogger’s desktop is rather out of the loop (for not being there)?
“They just burnt our votes!”
— APC Thugs With Help Of Securities Destroying Ballot Materials In PDP Strongholds.
This is how Buhari hopes to remain in power. Disenfranchisement, intimidation and burning of the Votes of thousands of voters in PDP Strongholds. – Hope For Nigeria (on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopefornigeria/ ).
The peaceful change of power by fair and free elections marks democracies, but what are these between states that year after year as corrupt and despotic beneath a veneer of civil democratic governance?
The civilizational narcissism associated with Islam in Nigeria, mostly in the north, has an incumbent Muslim president (Buhari) who has packed the top tier of his military and police services with Muslim officers, and the Christian communities know as much. Between widespread poverty and religious animus and the prospect of Islamic tyranny, the thugs seem to come out to ensure their side remains superior in political power, and generally speaking that has been the Muslim side.
One, two, three — Ukraine, Venezuela, Sudan — each dictatorship associated with Soviet / post-Soviet political methods. Yesterday, it was the great talk of communism and socialism that yielded so much power to so despicable a kind of peacock thug among leaders — Yanukovych, Chavez and Maduro, al-Bashir, leading their states not to greatness but into dependence on themselves, at best, and state practices that may be regarded as rule of the strong by way of brutality.
Two days earlier the 29-year-old was running through his neighbourhood with a wide grin, draped in a Venezuelan flag. “Maduro get out, you son of a bitch,” he cried in the empty road outside his home in a defiant a video uploaded to social media. Then the feared Special Action Forces (FAES) police unit came knocking. “The people who killed him were wearing uniforms and had ski masks,” a family member who didn’t want to be identified out of fear of more violence told The Telegraph.
If the world is able to look back on this period . . . it will be sick with its memories. Bashar al-Assad with the support of Vladimir Putin and Ali Khamenei managed to physically destroy half of his state while running about half of its population as well. Now that the he has regained some areas, the past has come knocking for the release of prisoners.
Scanning for news, rejiggering it, “scraping” as bloggers may call it — all takes time. Of late, BackChannels has been wondering what one has gotten back — or just created — from each days sail out into the sea of web-borne news. In the spirit of philosophy, one might enjoy the consolation of having seen and relayed a very small shard of time in the world.
This post has featured web artifacts dated February 20 and 21, 2019 having to do with four conflict-hot states: Ukraine, Venezuela, Sudan, and Syria. Central to the historical narratives of each: autocratic and still medieval Russia, Imperial, Soviet, Post-Soviet. The bereft and hungry of the North established tribes in Kiev around the 9th Century and lived and ruled in the feudal manner by way of the standards of the age. Contracts, expansions, hardships exceeding in excessive suffering practically every possibility short of the Holocaust — I have in mind the Mongol Invasion — and here . . . at the end of two modern revolutions and three distinct experiments with government unable to escape a paternal (and these days criminal) paternalism, . . . well here comes perhaps a different end to empire: Moscow has invaded Ukraine and Kiev is fighting back, making the sacrifices every day it must for freedom through democracy.
Venezuela’s “mafia state” will never be able to return Moscow’s “investment” in post-Soviet support — another more responsible government is needed for that.
Sudan has only this day to lose an ageing despot whose control of his state has come down to “shadow brigades” and the muzzling of truth-telling journalists. He doesn’t like the way he looks in Sudan’s newspapers. I wonder how he’ll feel when he sees himself in history.