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Saturday, Dec 20th

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Bob Alexander: By My Clock It’s Always 9/11

9/11I wrote this about 4 years ago:

We were in a canoe paddling towards the middle of the lake. The sky and water was blue as the blue in a Maxfield Parrish painting. I looked down and it seemed I could see forever into the depths of the lake. And I wondered … What would it be like to lose something … Something of great value … Right here in the middle of the lake? What would it be like if my wedding band slipped off my finger into the lake?

It would be lost the moment it hit the water.

Even if I immediately dove in after the ring it would sink faster and deeper than I could swim. But I would be able to clearly see it as it sank … for a long time. That’s the terrible part. To see it fall away with absolute clarity … sunlight glinting off the gold as it rapidly receded farther and further into the depths … finally passing deeper than light can penetrate … and then … wink out of existence.

Lost.

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Bob Alexander: Postcard From Another World

British ColombiaA friend recently wrote me:

Remember the realization back in the early 70's that the whole country was insane? Could it be true, could a whole country go insane?

Way back when, in the dim distant past, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and pterodactyls swooped through the skies - You know - the 70s - my friend and I were trying to get a sense of What’s Going On. Here we are, millions of years later, still trying to map out a strange land. The only difference now is he still lives in that strange land, and my family escaped across the border into Beautiful British Columbia. In fact August 22nd, marked our Third Anniversary in Canada.

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Bruce Enberg: Are you Pent-up?

federal reserveFederal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen just introduced a new term into Fed Speak', "pent-up wage deflation". This seems to be an effort to explain away the problem of stagnant wages in the US economy that are not allowing the Fed to meet its 2% inflation goal by blaming it on the "inability or unwillingness of US firms to drastically cut wages" after the Bush collapse in 2008.

This, according to the Fed, is making it possible for companies to now expand employment without raising wages. Ms. Yellen did acknowledge that real wages had been declining for some time prior to the crash (real wages have been declining for 33 years, but who's counting).

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race

Kareem Abdul JabbarWill the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?

The answer can be found in May of 1970.

You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.

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Alex Baer: Endings

Endings: Bacall and WilliamsYes:  Lauren Bacall.

A landmark, watershed moment of loss, finality.

End of an era much adored.

End of a storybook, starry-eyed romantic pair.

End of a warm, playful, and sly sort of style, grace, wit, charm.

End of a role model and path-maker for women, for people.

Too many ends.

Too many irrevocable lines drawn in the sand.

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The Bombs of August : In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Crew of Enola GayOn Monday, August 6, 1945, after six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the United States  dropped a nuclear weapon nicknamed "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima , Japan.  This attack was followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. To date, these are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.

In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

When the bombs were dropped I was very happy. The war would be over now, they said, and I was very happy. The boys would be coming home very soon they said, and I was very happy. We showed ‘em, they said, and I was very happy. They told us that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed, and I was very happy. But in August of 1945 I was only ten years old, and I was very, very happy.

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Chris Hedges: Why Israel Lies

Why israel LiesAll governments lie, as I.F. Stone pointed out, including Israel and Hamas. But Israel engages in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic and totalitarian regimes. It does not deform the truth; it inverts it. It routinely paints a picture for the outside world that is diametrically opposed to reality.

And all of us reporters who have covered the occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories—required under the rules of American journalism—although we know they are untrue.

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