Max Blumenthal Shows His Stripes

Henry Herskovitz

Five members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended a panel presentation which showcased Ben White and Max Blumenthal, both signatories to an on-line document which attempts to marginalize and silence Gilad Atzmon. This document is entitled "Not Quite 'Ordinary Human Beings'—Anti-imperialism and the anti-humanist rhetoric of Gilad Atzmon", and prompted this writer to contact Gilad to ask him for a few questions of these gentlemen.

The student organization who hosted this event, SAFE (no acronym really necessary, because that's how they want to play this game), threw the usual curveball: no live questions from the audience, just write your questions on a card and we will screen them. So that meant my question -- Why will neither Mr. Blumenthal or Mr. White debate Gilad Atzmon? -- was given the deep six and never saw light of day.

Now, running concurrent with this event was the Michigan v. Kansas NCAA basketball game, shown one flight down from the SAFE event. After the final seconds of the game ticked away, Max came down and was interested in its outcome. I invited him to our weekly vigil at Beth Israel, a mere twelve hours away and was told he had an early morning flight. Asking what time the flight departed got no response.

South Korea’s threats heighten danger of military conflict

Peter Symonds

South Korean President Park Geun-hye salutes during
a joint commission ceremony of 5,780 new officers of
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines at the Gyeryong
military headquarters in South Korea, last Friday.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye yesterday gave her country’s military the green light to take any action that it saw fit in response to a threat from North Korea. Her comments escalate the danger of conflict on the Korean Peninsula amid ongoing joint war games between South Korea and the US, and warnings of war by North Korea.

Park, the daughter of former military dictator Park Chung-hee, told a defence ministry policy briefing that she regarded North Korea’s threats as “very serious”. She added: “If the North attempts any provocation against our people and country, you must respond strongly at the first contact with them, without political consideration.”

While Washington and Seoul portray their stance as purely defensive, the Yonhap News Agency reported that the South Korean military had unveiled a new contingency plan of “active deterrence” at yesterday’s briefing. The plan would allow the military “to launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if the North shows signs of an imminent nuclear or missile attack on the South,” Yonhap explained.

A presidential spokesman told Yonhap that Park had emphasised the need for “strong preparedness” in a special video call to the commander of the South Korean navy’s second fleet, which is based in the Yellow Sea, where disputed maritime boundaries have led to clashes in the past.

The US is intimately involved in these military preparations against North Korea. During the briefing session, the South Korean defence ministry reported that the drafting of a joint “tailored deterrence strategy” with the US was well underway and would be finalised by October.

Park won the December presidential election in South Korea, promising to hold dialogue with North Korea. Far from easing tensions, she has set the stage for a provocation by the South Korean military that could be followed by a rapid escalation of conflict. Park’s Saenuri Party, previously named the Grand National Party, was the political organisation of the US-backed military dictatorship, which only relinquished power in the late 1980s.

Monsanto Protection Act

Stephen Lendman

Agribusiness giant Monsanto's the world's leading GMO seed producer. They're hazardous to human health. They should be banned. They proliferate.

GMO foods and ingredients are toxic. They're unsafe to eat. Independent studies prove it. Monsanto and other agribusiness giants want all animal and vegetable life forms patented. They want worldwide food control.

Obama's a partner in crime. He promised GMO labeling. He's done nothing to mandate it. It gets worse.

His food czar is former Monsanto executive Michael Taylor. He serves as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods. He believes unsafe ones are fit to eat.

On March 26, Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act. It's the Farmer Assurance Provision rider in HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013. It permits circumventing judicial decisions. If courts rule GMOs unsafe, Monsanto's free to ignore them. So is the Secretary of Agriculture. Legislation permits "continued cultivation, commercialization, and other specifically enumerated activities." Safety's a non-issue.

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