Daily Archives: May 30, 2021

Paradise on Earth. Some thoughts on European images of non-European man. by Baudet, Henri.: Good Hardcover (1965) | Book House in Dinkytown, IOBA


Opinion | The Way of the Conscientious Objector – The New York Times

By Rowan Moore Gerety

Mr. Moore Gerety is a freelance reporter and audio producer.

It was a book of Buddhist parables that put Michael Rasmussen over the edge. In March 2017, Mr. Rasmussen was living near a naval base in Japan, six years into training as a Marine pilot, reading and experimenting with meditation.

One morning as he prepared for a supply flight to Hawaii, Mr. Rasmussen kept returning to the story he’d read in bed the night before in “Path of Compassion,” by Thich Nhat Hanh, in which the Buddha was out begging when he was nearly mugged by a notorious criminal. Instead of robbing the Buddha, the mugger confessed to a life of murder and mayhem and asked him for advice: “What good act could I possibly do?”

“Stop traveling the road of hatred and violence,” the Buddha said. “That would be the greatest act of all.”

Mr. Rasmussen got in his car to drive to the hangar, overwhelmed with what he called an “immense feeling of dread.” The story haunted him: “Am I on the road of hatred and violence?” he wondered. He decided then and there to leave the Marines.

But there was a catch: He still had six years left on his contract. In the weeks to come he would embark on the path to becoming a conscientious objector, a status that allows soldiers to leave the military early because of a change in their beliefs about war.

Some 2.7 million American service members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since the start of our “forever wars” in 2001. Tens of thousands have gone AWOL. Countless others have finished out their service disenchanted and depressed, or turned to drugs and alcohol to ease re-entry into a society that would rather ignore war’s moral injuries, often losing their benefits in the process. After seeing the horrors of war and the contradictions of American foreign policy up close, many enlisted men and women are compelled to re-examine the ideals that first drew them to military service.

Very few soldiers, however, take the path that Mr. Rasmussen eventually did.

The military has been reluctant to publish official figures on conscientious objection. The most recent numbers available are from a Government Accountability Office report published in 2007, which found that on average fewer than 100 applicants a year from 2002 to 2006 — roughly half of them were approved. After that, the data is hard to find. The Center on Conscience and War advises only a subset of applicants for conscientious objector status, but as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq dragged on, the caseload of the center doubled, its executive director, Maria Santelli, told me. She believes the actual number of annual applicants in recent years is closer to 200.

Though the act of conscientious objection arose historically in response to conscription — a mandatory draft — both Mr. Rasmussen’s story, and the vanishing scarcity of conscientious objectors overall today, raise an important question about the notion of our ostensibly all-volunteer military: How many American soldiers would become conscientious objectors if the process was more transparent, if they were more aware it was actually an option?

Military contracts require 18-year-olds with little knowledge of war to make commitments that sometimes last more than a decade. At the height of the Iraq war, the Pentagon offered signing bonuses as high as $50,000, and enacted a “stop loss” policy to extend service for tens of thousands of troops, prolonging their deployments just as their contracts were set to end.

…(read more).

Erupting Congo Volcano Is Latest Crisis for DRC as It Faces “Largest Neglected Emergency on Earth”

Democracy Now!

Published on May 28, 2021

We go to Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where tens of thousands of people are evacuating the city of Goma after a volcanic eruption killed dozens on May 22 and amid warnings that Mount Nyiragongo, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, could blow yet again. We speak with Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, who says the volcano is worsening an already acute crisis in the country, where rising violence and displacement have left more than 20 million in need of humanitarian aid. “It’s the largest neglected emergency on Earth,” he says. “We need to talk about the war, the misery, the hunger and the whole looting of DRC from strong capital, from all over the world, that want to have the minerals that is in the ground under here.” He also discusses the war in Yemen, how relatively small investments in humanitarian aid can help millions of people around the world and why rich countries have a responsibility to make vaccines accessible.

Three Killings in Kampala – BBC Africa Eye documentary

BBC News Africa

Premiered 2 hours ago

In November last year, more than 50 people were shot and killed during a government crackdown on the streets of Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Officials defended the use of live fire, saying the police were responding to rioters. But a new investigation by BBC Africa Eye documents a killing spree on Kampala Road, and shows damning evidence that Ugandan security forces, firing from the back of a police truck, shot at least seven unarmed people.

*** Africa Eye brings you original, investigative journalism revealing secrets and rooting out injustice in the world’s most complex and exciting continent. Nothing stays hidden forever.

Michigan Teacher Gives Scathing Resignation Speech

NowThis News – May 24, 2021

This teacher’s fiery resignation speech is a must-watch.

BBC World Service – Newshour, Mass grave of 215 children found in Canada

Released On: 29 May 2021
Available for 29 days

A mass grave containing the remains of 215 children has been found in Canada at a former residential school set up to assimilate indigenous people. We’ll hear from a native Canadian tribal chief and the Canadian Heritage Minister.

(Picture: The Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia once housed 500 children Credit: Reuters)


China’s competition for living space | DW Documentary

DW Documentary

Published on May 30, 2021

More than 60 percent of China’s population of 1.4 billion currently lives in cities. Within a decade, the share of urban dwellers is expected to increase to 75 percent. Construction is booming and competition for residential land is fierce.

But the right to live in a city in China is conditional. Authorities want their modern cities to be peopled with well-educated, highly-qualified or politically well-connected residents. As a result, certain standards have to be met to be eligible for a modern, urban home. Only members of China’s political classes and the financially successful have a hope of qualifying. Yet more than half of the people who live in cities are so-called “migrant workers.” They come from rural communities and have no official rights to settle in cities. They are there to work. With no proper rights, they are merely tolerated while they serve as merchants, servants, waitstaff, cleaners, construction workers and tradespeople. But while they are indispensible to daily life in the cities, they are unable to afford their exorbitant rents. This documentary looks at how and where these workers live, and asks whether middle and working class Chinese even figure in the official vision of shiny, high-tech cities. The filmmakers also look at what happens to those who oppose official plans, or stand in the way of the building boom.

Macron threatens to pull troops from Mali if ‘radical Islamism’ takes hold

FRANCE 24 English

Published on May 30, 2021

President Emmanuel Macron warned in comments published Sunday that France will pull its troops out of Mali if it lurches towards radical Islamism following the second coup in nine months.

What Diet Helps Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease? – By Author Joel Kahn

The Real Truth About Health

Published on May 30, 2021

“Joel Kahn, MD, of Detroit, Michigan, is a practicing cardiologist and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Michigan Medical School and trained in interventional cardiology in Dallas and Kansas City. Known as “America’s Holistic Heart Doc”, Dr. Kahn is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and maintains sub-specialty board certification in Cardiovascular Medicine. He was the first physician worldwide to complete the Metabolic Cardiology curriculum in conjunction with A4M.com/MMI and the University of South Florida.

Dr. Kahn has authored scores of publications in his field including articles, book chapters and monographs. He writes articles for MindBodyGreen, Thrive Global, and Reader’s Digest and has five books in publication including Your Whole Heart Solution, Dead Execs Don’t Get Bonuses and The Plant Based Solution. He has regular appearances on Dr. Phil, The Doctors Show and Fox 2 News. He has also debated plant diets on the Joe Rogan Experience and has been featured with Larry King Live in a recent heart special. He has been awarded a Health Hero award from Detroit Crain’s Business. He owns 3 health restaurants in Detroit and Austin, Texas.

Dr. Kahn can be found at http://www.drjoelkahn.com.

What is BDS? (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) | Omar Barghouti interviewed by Yanis Varoufakis


Published on May 30, 2021

Learn about the history of BDS, its rejection of antisemitism and racism, and its current successes, from the person who should know best, Omar Barghouti, co-founder of this movement and recipient of the 2017 Gandhi Peace Award. This is an excerpt from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n76IA… – a one-hour DiEM25 TV interview in which Omar talks about all issues Israel and Palestine.

For DiEM25 TV, DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis and other DiEM25 intellectuals invite interesting people onto their virtual “couch” in order to discuss politics, economics and activism.