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2017 Peace Essay Contest

January 17, 2017

David Swanson via via

10:01 AM (24 minutes ago)

2017 Peace Essay Contest

The West Suburban (Chicago) Faith-Based Peace Coalition is sponsoring a Peace Essay Contest with a $1,000.00 award to the winner, $300 for the runner-up, and $100 for third place. Essays have to be directed to a person who can help promote knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact (KBP) and, from whom a response is expected. Essays will be judged not only on the quality of the essay but on the impact of the response. Everyone is eligible to participate; there are no restrictions regarding age or country of residence. Participants are required to take the following 3 steps:

1. To enter the contest send a Peace Essay
Request email to coordinator Frank Goetz at Provide your Name, Mailing Address, Email Address, Phone Number, and, if under 19, Age. Also, provide the Name and Position of the person or persons to whom the Essay will be directed. Your application acceptance as a contest participant will be acknowledged in an email containing your assigned 4-digit Essay Number. [If information is missing or confusing you will be contacted by email or phone.]

2. In 800 words or less write your essay on: How Can We Obey the Law Against War? As soon as possible but at least by April 15, 2017 send the essay to the person named in your application and a copy to with your Essay Number in the Subject line.

3. By May 15, 2017 send Essay Response documentation to with your Essay Number in the Subject line.

Some examples of impact:

The President agrees to explain the limitations placed on the government by KBP.
A member of Congress supports a resolution to make August 27 a Day of Reflection.
The ACT or SAT administration agrees to include questions regarding KBP.
A newspaper includes a KBP story.
A school board revises its curriculum to expand KBP studies.
A religious leader calls for nonviolent actions.
We will announce the winners at a festive event honoring the 89th Anniversary of the Kellogg-Briand Pact on August 27, 2017.

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Talk Nation Radio: Antonia Juhasz on Tillerson, Trump, and Oil

January 17, 2017

OpEdNews Op Eds 1/17/2017 at 19:26:52

By David Swanson Follow Me on Twitter Message David Swanson Permalink

Related Topic(s): Trump Against Climate Change; Trump Cabinet; Trump Diplomacy, Add Tags Add to My Group(s)
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Antonia Juhasz
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Antonia Juhasz is an energy analyst, author, and investigative reporter. She recently wrote a profile of Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for In These Times magazine. We discuss Tillerson and the oil spill he floated in on. See also:

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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For a peaceful 2017

December 28, 2016

David Swanson via via
9:28 PM (2 hours ago)

to me
Here are a few recent items:

Resolved: To Find Peace Advocates in Every Nation

Talk Nation Radio: Richard Cahan on the Forced Removal and Incarceration of Japanese Americans

VIDEO: How Will Trump Wield Obama’s Modernized Nukes?

Yes, Dubya, Now I Miss You

Talk Nation Radio: Vincent Emanuele on Wars for Oil Companies; Robert Alvarez on Department of Energy for Nuclear Weapons

What Racist Registries Look Like

Monday Morning Bernie Backing

Think Politicians Are Trying to Scare You? You’re Not Paranoid.

AUDIO: Talking Trump Appointments (Starts at Minute 40:00)

VIDEO: Militarizing Police and a Policelike Military

VIDEO: CrossTalk: Mainstream’s Revenge

AUDIO: I was on Black Agenda Radio

Talk Nation Radio: Craig Murray: Russia Didn’t Do It; Vincent Emanuele on Stopping Pipelines and Wars

If Phil Ochs Were Alive, Though I’d Not Wish It on Him

BREAKING: The CIA Never Ever Lies

AUDIO: California Should Secede

Black and Foreign Lives Matter: Ending Gun Violence Requires Ending War

Military Recruiting in the United States, and Planning its Decline and Fall

Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving

Talk Nation Radio: Chip Gibbons on Anti-Russia Committee and Censoring Criticism of Israel

AUDIO: I discuss the nomination of Mattis for Secretary of War War War

New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act

AUDIO: I discussed flag burning on Michael Slate show

Give Wes Bellamy a Break

VIDEO: The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War

75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies

Talk Nation Radio: George Lakey on Viking Economics

How I Produce Fake News for Russia

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Talk Nation Radio: Richard Cahan on the Forced Removal and Incarceration of Japanese Americans

December 27, 2016

OpEdNews Op Eds 12/27/2016 at 15:36:15

By David Swanson Follow Me on Twitter Message David Swanson Permalink

Related Topic(s): Japanese Internment, Add Tags Add to My Group(s)
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Richard Cahan
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Richard Cahan is a journalist who writes about photography, art and history. He worked for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1983 to 1999, primarily serving as the paper’s picture editor. He left to found and direct CITY 2000, a project that documented Chicago in the year 2000. Since then, he has authored and co-authored more than a dozen books, including Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows and Richard Nickel’s Chicago. He also works as a curator, creating photo and exhibitions at Chicago museums.
We discuss the new photo book co-authored by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.
Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at

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and at

View Ratings | Rate It
David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at and and works for the online (more…)

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Slacktivism for everyone: How keyboard activism is affecting social movements

December 25, 2016

SATURDAY, DEC 24, 2016 04:59 AM CST

Online petitions and other innovative methods to mobilize show of support is changing the civil disobedience game

Slacktivism for everyone: How keyboard activism is affecting social movements
(Credit: picmov via iStock/Salon)
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

In 2013, an online petition persuaded a national organization representing high school coaches to develop materials to educate coaches about sexual assault and how they could help reduce assaults by their athletes. Online petitions have changed decisions by major corporations (ask Bank of America about its debit card fees) and affected decisions on policies as diverse as those related to survivors of sexual assault and local photography permitting requirements. Organizing and participating in these campaigns has also been personally meaningful to many.

But, a nostalgia for 1960s activism leads many to assume that “real” protest only happens on the street. Critics assume that classic social movement tactics such as rallies and demonstrations represent the only effective model for collectively pressing for change. Putting your body on the line and doing that collectively for decades is viewed as the only way “people power” works. Engaging online in “slacktivism” is a waste, making what cultural commentator Malcolm Gladwell has called “small change.”

Should protest happen online or in the real world? Wherever people will get engaged.

This amounts to a debate over the “right way” to protest. And it’s bound to heat up: The election of Donald Trump is pushing many people who have not previously engaged in activism to look for ways to get involved; others are redoubling their efforts. People have a range of possible responses, including doing nothing, using online connections to mobilize and publicize support and protesting in the streets – or some combination of tactics.

As a social movement scholar and someone who believes we should leverage all assets in a challenge, I know that much social good can come from mass involvement – and research shows that includes online activism. The key to understanding the promise of what I prefer to call “flash activism” is considering the bigger picture, which includes all those people who care but are at risk of doing nothing.

Most people are apathetic

Social movement scholars have known for decades that most people, even if they agree with an idea, don’t take action to support it. For most people upset by a policy decision or a disturbing news event, the default is not to protest in the streets, but rather to watch others as they do. Getting to the point where someone acts as part of a group is a milestone in itself.

Decades of research show that people will be more willing to engage in activism that is easy, and less costly – emotionally, physically, or financially. For example, more than a million people used social media to “check in” at the Standing Rock Reservation, center of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Far fewer people – just a few thousand – have traveled to the North Dakota camps to brave the arriving winter weather and risk arrest.

Once people are primed to act, it’s important not to discourage them from taking that step, however small. Preliminary findings from my team’s current research suggest that people just beginning to explore activism can be disheartened by bring criticized for doing something wrong. Part of the reason people volunteer is to feel good about themselves and effective about changing the world. Shaming them for making “small change” is a way to reduce numbers of protesters, not to increase them. Shaming can also create a legacy of political inactivity: Turning kids off from involvement now could encourage decades of disengagement.

‘Success’ takes many forms

“Flash activism,” the label I prefer for online protest forms such as online petition, can be effective at influencing targets in specific circumstances. Think of a flash flood, where the debilitating rush of involvement overwhelms a system. Numbers matter. Whether you are a high school coach, Bank of America, the Obama administration or a local council member, an overwhelming flood of signatures, emails and phone calls can be quite persuasive.

Further, all that 1960s-era street-style protest is effective only in certain circumstances. Research shows it can be very good at bringing attention to topics that should be on the public or policymakers’ agenda. But historically protests are less successful at changing entrenched opinions. For instance, once you have an opinion about abortion access, it is fairly difficult for movements to get people to change their views. And, while the protests we are so nostalgic for sometimes succeeded, they also often fail where policy change is concerned.

The glass can be half-full

Online protest is easy, nearly cost-free in democratic nations, and can help drive positive social change. In addition, flash activism can help build stronger movements in the future. If current activists view online support as an asset, rather than with resentment because it is different from “traditional” methods, they can mobilize vast numbers of people.

Take, for example, the “Kony 2012” viral video campaign calling for the arrest of indicted war criminal Joseph Kony. Some hated the campaign; others highlighted its ability to draw attention to an issue many thought Americans wouldn’t care about. Think about the possibilities. Would Planned Parenthood be unhappy if 100 million Americans watched a persuasive short movie on abortion rights as civil rights today, and shared it with friends? Would the effort “matter”; would it help drive the direction of the public conversation about abortion?

And flash activism isn’t necessarily just a one-time game of numbers; MoveOn showed that with a big enough membership base, you could mobilize large numbers repeatedly. People who participate in one online action may join future efforts, or even broaden their involvement in activism. For example, kids who engage in politics online often do other political activities as well.

Many hands make light work

Critics often worry that valuing flash activism will “water down” the meaning of activism. But that misses the point and is counterproductive. The goal of activism is social change, not nostalgia or activism for activism’s sake. Most people who participate in flash activism would not have done more – rather, they would have done nothing at all.

Worse yet, when people denigrate flash activism, they are driving away potential allies. Critics of online efforts no doubt know that not everyone is willing to march or rally – but they miss the important potential for others to take actions that support and actually result in change.

Scholars and advocates alike should stop asking if flash activism matters. We should also stop assuming that offline protest always succeeds. Instead, we should seek out the best ways to achieve specific goals. Sometimes the answer will be an online petition, sometimes it will be civil disobedience and sometimes it will be both – or something else entirely.

The real key for grassroots social change is to engage as many people as possible. That will require flexibility on how engagement occurs. If people want larger and more effective social movements, they should be working to find ways to include everyone who will do anything, not upholding an artificial standard of who is a “real activist” and who is not.

The Conversation

Jennifer Earl, Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona

The Many Ways to Help Standing Rock

December 2, 2016

Published on
Friday, December 02, 2016
by YES! Magazine

Even if you can’t show up at the wintry encampments, you can join water protectors in other ways: from calling the North Dakota governor to breaking up with your bank.
bySarah van Gelder

Photo by Lori Panico.
The timing couldn’t have been more awful.

The day after Thanksgiving, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that people camped at the Oceti Sakowin Camp would be considered trespassers on that federally managed land after Dec. 5. With thousands of people, it is the largest of the water protectors’ camps. Next came the snow, which is piling up across the camp as I write. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered an immediate evacuation allegedly out of concern for the well-being of water protectors in the “harsh winter weather.”

“He gave a whole list of concerns … that we’re going to freeze to death and the solution is to cut off emergency services,” said Tara Houska, an organizer from Honor The Earth, at a news conference on Monday. The move evokes the “collective memory of Native people being pushed off land,” she added. “In 2016, that history is still happening.”

“The most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold,” Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement. “If the true concern is for public safety than [sic] the Governor should clear the blockade, and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings.”

An elder at the camp, Faith Spotted Eagle said, “It is so transparent that what they are doing is to protect the pipeline.”

What will you do? With these rapidly unfolding events at Standing Rock, what can you do? How can you support this indigenous-led nonviolent movement?

“We call on all people of conscience, from all Nations, to join the encampments and stand with us by Dec. 5 as we put our bodies in front of the machines,” says a statement from the Sacred Stone Camp, which also states: “We call on allies across the world to take action EVERY DAY starting December 1.”

How can we do something every day, as requested, to make a difference where we are?

When I interviewed Chairman Archambault earlier this month, he said this: “Follow your heart. If you want to be here, you’re welcome. If you want to pray from home, pray from home. If you want to send a letter of support, send a letter of support. If you want to send a contribution, send a contribution.”

Here are some things to consider as you decide what to do.

Show up

If you’re a veteran, consider joining the 2,000-plus veterans who are “self-deploying” to Standing Rock on December 4–7 to stand nonviolently with the water protectors.

People with skills like nurses and other medics are needed. Check with Oceti Sakowin camp or teams already on the ground to find out. And there is always work to do in the kitchen or chopping wood. People are also needed at the front lines to maintain a nonviolent presence; they risk arrest and attack from law enforcement’s “sub-lethal” weapons.

If you do go to Standing Rock, remember that this is a movement founded in nonviolence and prayer. Respect the indigenous leaders there and follow their requests about how to behave at camp in keeping with Lakota traditions.

But before you pack up your car and head out, consider the snow. You will need to be well-provisioned to avoid becoming a burden on the community there. Many of the organizers have asked White allies to consider whether the money spent to get yourself to Standing Rock would be better spent donating to the cause: covering mounting legal costs, provisioning an indigenous water protector, or helping the Standing Rock tribe pay for costs.

You may be a more effective advocate where you are, where you have easy access to elected officials and banks; at Standing Rock, access to phone and internet service is limited.

Break up with your bank

Banks are feeling the heat from the protests and from their own customers. One bank, DNB of Norway, has responded to pressure by divesting from Energy Transfer, the parent company of the Dakota Access pipeline. DNB is reportedly reconsidering more than $400 million in credit. The ING Bank of the Netherlands, which prides itself on its sustainability and human rights stance, posted a statement on its website expressing concern about excessive police force at Standing Rock.

If your bank is one of the direct investors in DAPL or one of the investors in its parent companies, Energy Transfer and Sunoco Logistics, ask them to withdraw support. Tell them you plan to close your account if their support continues. Photograph yourself cutting up your credit card, or share your letter on your social media networks. I posted my break-up letter to Chase Bank on my blog and on Facebook and Twitter—and was surprised by how many responded that they planned to do the same.

If you have a retirement fund or mutual fund, find out if it is invested in Energy Transfer Partners, Energy Transfer Equity, or Sunoco Logistics—or any of the 38 banks offering credit to the pipeline project. If so, let those investment companies know you object and tell them you would like the fund to divest or you’ll shift your account to a socially responsible investment fund.

Consider planning or participating in a nonviolent protest at a bank branch or headquarters. Sacred Stone Camp has posted a map to find bank branches near you and recommends actions beginning Dec. 1.

Banks are risk-averse, and this pipeline project has become quite risky because of public relations problems as well as the oil price bust and reduction of oil extraction in North Dakota. Banks and investors may be hoping for an excuse to back out. Your action could help tip the balance.

Call off the police

There are now dozens of law enforcement agencies participating in the multistate force that is shooting water cannons, pepper spraying, and shooting various “sub-lethal” weapons at unarmed water protectors.

If your police force is there, call them home. Although the police staffing is changing constantly, some sheriffs have responded to public pressure by refusing to send deputies. Contact elected officials, write to local papers and local blogs, and contact local media to object to law enforcement involvement at Standing Rock.

Complain to government decision-makers

Angry about the evacuation order? Talk to the person who made it:

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple

600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0100

Phone: 701-328-2200

“Where is President Obamaand why does he remain silent on this issue?” Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network asked in a statement responding to the governor’s evacuation order.

When he visited Standing Rock on June 13, 2014, President Obama said this: “I promised when I ran to be a president … who honors our sacred trust, and who respects your sovereignty, and upholds treaty obligations, and who works with you in a spirit of true partnership, in mutual respect, to give our children the future that they deserve.”

Remind President Obama of this and of the way his decision on DAPL will shape his legacy.

President Barack Obama

Phone: 202-456-1111

You can also call Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, at 202-456-3182.

Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is charged with making a decision about the permit to drill under the Missouri River. Tell them to reject the permit and order a full environmental impact statement.

The commanding general is Lt. Gen Todd T. Semonite

441 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Phone: 202-761-0011

Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of Army (Civil Works)

108 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310
(703) 697-8986

Col. John W. Henderson

Omaha District, USACE
1616 Capitol Ave., Ste. 9000
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: 888-835-5971 or

The Department of Justiceshould be concerned about the use of excessive force against the water protectors and alleged violations of civil and human rights.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

You can also call the Department of Justice Office of Community Relations, which offers mediation to communities facing racial and religious confrontations.

Federal office: (202) 305-2935

Regional office: (303) 844-2973,

Remember to speak politely and factually about your concerns. If you send an email, copy it to your social media account to inspire your friends, and to local media.

Call out the media

If media outlets are ignoring or distorting the news, call them on it. Send open letters and share them on social media. Ask major media to fully and factually cover the unfolding drama at Standing Rock.


There are many opportunities to donate cash or supplies. Here are three that I can vouch for:

• The Standing Rock tribe, which is using the funds for their substantial legal expenses and for providing facilities for the camp:

• Oceti Sakowin Camp is the largest of the water protector camps, the closest to the front lines, and is now facing evacuation:

• The Water Protector Legal Collective (formerly the Red Owl Collective), which has been providing legal support to the many who have been arrested at Standing Rock:

You can also support some of the key indigenous organizations that are leading this movement nationwide and worldwide:

• The Indigenous Environmental Network:

• Honor the Earth:

You can raise more money for these and others by organizing support events and fundraisers in your community. Invite people who are curious about the issues as well as people who are already passionately engaged. Make it a celebratory or prayerful event in whatever way makes sense to your community.

Other options

Phone a bank. Invite friends over to make phone calls and send emails. It’s more fun together.

Resist extraction where you live. Join work to stop the pipelines, coal trains, fracking, and export terminals in your city or state and include #NoDAPL and #WaterisLife messages to remind people of the link to Standing Rock.

Resist but also renew. Remember that as you resist the dystopian world of extraction, Donald Trump, violence, and racism, you can also use your activism to build up the world you want. Do your own “just transition,” switching to clean energy, conserving, protecting the water, rebuilding the soil—while including everyone in a way of life that is more soul-satisfying and joy-filled.

Resilience for the days ahead

When I talk to people at Standing Rock, I feel the trauma and pain but also the resolve. The young people speak of being the Seventh Generation, the ones that were prayed for. And many speak of the suffering they are prepared to endure to ensure the next generations has the clean water they will need to survive. That resolve is helped by the support that continues to flow in from more than 300 tribes nationwide, and from hundreds of thousands of allies, including next week’s arrival of thousands of veterans.

“We are not standing down,” said LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of Sacred Stone Camp, at a news conference on Monday in response to the governor’s evacuation order. “We are in our home, we are strong, and we have prayer.”

This article was written for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Sarah van Gelder
Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and editor-at-large of YES! Magazine, and author of The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America. Follow her blog and connect with Sarah on Twitter: @sarahvangelder

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No Discrimination, Oppression!

November 22, 2016

Friend —

Just a few weeks after my fifth birthday, in the spring of 1942, my parents got my younger brother, my baby sister, and me up very early, hurriedly dressed us, and quickly started to pack.

When my brother and I looked out the window of our living room, we saw two soldiers marching up the driveway, bayonets fixed to their rifles. They banged on our front door and ordered us out of the house. We could take only what we could carry with us.

We were loaded on to train cars with other Japanese-American families, with guards stationed at both ends of each car as though we were criminals, and sent two-thirds of the way across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas.

For nearly three years, barbed wire, sentry towers, and armed guards marked home. Mass showers, lousy meals in crowded mess halls, and a searchlight following me as I ran from our barracks to the latrine in the middle of the night — in case I was trying to escape — became normal.

So when I hear Donald Trump’s transition advisors talk about building a registry of Muslims and his surrogates using the internment of Japanese-Americans as their model, I am outraged — because I remember the tears streaming down my mother’s face as we were torn away from our home. And I am resolved to raise my voice and say, loudly and clearly, that this is not who we are.

My mother was born in Sacramento, my father grew up in San Francisco, and my siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. We were American citizens, as proud of our country as we were of our Japanese heritage. But in the fear and mass hysteria of wartime, none of that mattered. When our government allowed hatred and racism to overtake our values, nothing else mattered.

We cannot allow our country to be led down that dark path ever again.

I am committed to fighting for our values, our democracy, and the moral character of our nation. And I am committed to standing with the Democratic Party against bigotry and oppression for the next four years and beyond, no matter what form it takes. I hope you will do the same. Add your name today to stand with me:

Thank you,


All Governments Lie, The Movie

October 31, 2016

OpEdNews Op Eds 10/30/2016 at 20:13:09

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Picture, if you will, video footage of vintage (early 2016) Donald Trump buffoonery with the CEO of CBS Leslie Moonves commenting on major media’s choice to give Trump vastly more air time than other candidates: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

That’s the introduction to a powerful critique of the U.S. media. A new film screens in New York and Los Angeles this week called All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone.

The website has screening dates, a list of lies, and a list of good journalists who expose lies. The lists on the website are not identical to the content of the film, but there’s a good deal of overlap — enough to give you a sense of what this project is about.

I’d have made various changes and additions to the film. In particular, I’m tired of all the focus on Iraq 2003. This film touches on war lies since then, but still gives that one particular set of war lies prominence.

Still, this is a film that should be shown in cities, homes, and classrooms across the United States. It includes and is driven by Noam Chomsky’s analysis of how the media system is “rigged” without those doing the rigging believing they’ve done anything at all. It’s a survey of skullduggery by corporate media. It’s an introduction to numerous journalists far superior to the norm. And it’s an introduction to I.F. Stone. It includes footage of a presentation of the annual Izzy Award which goes to journalists acting in Stone’s tradition.

One of the lies listed in the film and on the website is that of the Gulf of Tonkin (non-)Incident. Anyone paying attention knows of it now as a war lie. And it was a transparent war lie at the time in a particular sense. That is: had the North Vietnamese really shot back at a U.S. ship off their coast, that would not have been any sort of legal, much less moral, justification for escalating a war. I’d love it if people could grasp that logic and apply it to the Black Sea, the Red Sea, and every other part of the earth today.

But the Gulf of Tonkin lies about Vietnamese aggression against the U.S. ships innocently patrolling and firing off the coast of Vietnam were not transparent to people with faith in the U.S. role of Global Policeman. Someone had to make the lies transparent. Someone had to document that in fact the Secretary of So-Called Defense and the President were lying. Sadly, nobody did that in the first 24 hours after the Congressional committee hearings, and that was all it took for Congress to hand the president a war.

And it was decades before White House transcripts came out and before the National Security Agency confessed, and additional years before former Secretary Robert McNamara did. Yet, those revelations simply confirmed what people paying attention knew. And they knew it because of I.F. Stone who just weeks after the (non-)incident published a four-page edition of his weekly newsletter exclusively about Tonkin.

Stone’s analysis is useful in looking at the incident or lack thereof this past month in the Red Sea off Yemen. And in fact it is to Yemen that Stone immediately turned on page 1 in 1964. The United Nations, including its U.S. ambassador, had recently condemned British attacks on Yemen that Britain defended as retaliatory. President Dwight Eisenhower had also warned the French against retaliatory attacks on Tunisia. And President Lyndon Johnson, even at the time of Tonkin, Stone notes, was warning Greece and Turkey not to engage in retaliatory attacks on each other.

Stone, who tended to look even at written laws that nobody else paid any heed to, pointed out that three of them banned these sorts of attacks: the League of Nations Covenant, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the U.N. Charter. The latter two are still theoretically in place for the U.S. government.

The United States in Vietnam, Stone goes on to show, could not have been innocently attacked but itself admitted to having already sunk a number of Vietnamese boats. And indeed the U.S. ships, Stone reports, were in North Vietnamese waters and were there to assist South Vietnamese ships that were shelling two North Vietnamese islands. And in fact those ships had been supplied to South Vietnam by the U.S. military and the good old American tax payers.

Stone did not have access to closed committee hearings, but he hardly needed it. He considered the assertions made in speeches by the only two senators who voted against the war. And then he looked for any rejoinders by the chairmen of the committees. He found their denials to be non-denials and nonsensical. It made no sense that the U.S. ships simply happened to be randomly hanging around in the vicinity of the South Vietnamese ships. Stone didn’t believe it.

Stone also filled in the background information. The United States had been supporting guerrilla attacks on North Vietnam for years prior to the non-incident. And Stone raised numerous suspicions, including the question of why the U.S. ships had supposedly made sure they were out in international waters for the (non-)incident to (not) occur, and the question of why in the world Vietnam would take on the United States military (something nobody could explain, though Eugene McCarthy proposed that perhaps they had been bored).

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Missing from the film and website of All Governments Lie is I.F. Stone’s work on lies about the outbreak of the Korean War. We’ve learned more since he wrote it, but seen little more insightful, relevant, or timely for our understanding of Korea and the world today.

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David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at and and works for the online (more…)


October 24, 2016

Suga, 2 other ministers admit filling out blank receipts received for payments

October 7, 2016

POLITICS OCT. 07, 2016 – 06:40AM JST ( 12 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and two other cabinet ministers admitted Thursday to having their staff write amounts on blank receipts received for attending fellow lawmakers’ fundraising parties.

Suga, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi denied the practice constitutes a violation of the Political Funds Control Law, under which political fund reports containing such receipts had been filed.

The issue was raised in a House of Councillors Budget Committee session by Japanese Communist Party secretariat head Akira Koike. Koike presented the copies of receipts included in the fund reports for each lawmaker that he said were filled out in identical handwriting.

According to Koike, a total of 270 receipts submitted with Suga’s reports from 2012 through 2014 were filled out in the same handwriting, covering around 18.8 million yen, while 260 receipts submitted with Inada’s reports shared the same handwriting, covering about 5.2 million yen.

In Takaichi’s case, some 340 receipts submitted during the same period had been filled out in the handwritings of three people, totaling about 9.9 million yen, according to the JCP lawmaker.

Koike claimed the practice is against the spirit of the funds control law and could potentially be used to collect funds off the books.

While acknowledging that they had arranged for amounts and dates of payments for attending fundraising parties to be written onto blank receipts, the three Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers said the practice poses no legal problem because the receipts were filled out with the understanding of party hosts.

They also said the practice was to avoid congestion that could arise at the reception area if receipts had to be properly filled out on the spot at a large fundraising party where many people attend.

Suga told the parliamentary session that his office has never padded amounts written on such receipts.

Takaichi, whose ministry manages the issue, told the same session that the funds control law has no provision on how issuers of receipts should create them, and that receipts filled out by payers pose no legal problem as long as they are filled out with the understanding of party hosts.

Submission of income and expenditure reports is legally mandated for politicians, and receipts for attending fundraising parties of fellow lawmakers must also be attached to the reports.

Suga said at a press conference after the session that he wants to think of a way to manage receipts so as not to receive such attention in the future.