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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Alternative site: Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

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Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

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The Daily Sceptic

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The post There Can Be Only One Winner Now appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link In the Latest Weekly Sceptic, Nick Dixon and Toby Young Talk About Trump?s Courage Under Fire, the T... Wed Jul 17, 2024 07:00 | Toby Young
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The post In the Latest Weekly Sceptic, Nick Dixon and Toby Young Talk About Trump?s Courage Under Fire, the Tsunami of Bad Takes by the MSM and J.D. Vance appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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offsite link The Appalling Lucy Letby Judgment Ignores Vital Legal Precedents of Wrongfully Convicted Mothers Tue Jul 16, 2024 18:43 | Dr Peter Hayes
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The post The Appalling Lucy Letby Judgment Ignores Vital Legal Precedents of Wrongfully Convicted Mothers appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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The post Former SNP Equalities Officer Who Wanted “to Beat Up Terfs” Jailed for Sexual Assaults appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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Tortured and Murdered by Empire - Stations of the Cross through Westminster, London

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Saturday April 07, 2012 08:33author by LCW Report this post to the editors


27 people associated with the Catholic Worker communities based in Harringay, Rickmansworth and Oxford, undertoook a five hour contemporary Stations of the Cross procession through downtown Westminster/ London on Holy Thursday.

Processing behind a banner reading "Tortured and Murdered by Empire", the group carried a cross, images of the crucified Christ, victims of the UK wars on Iraq & Aghanistan, Jimmy Mubenga killed by GS4 at Heathrow during his 2010 deportation, Bradley Manning & Julian Assange of WikiLeaks presently in the crosshairs of empire for exposing war crimes.

The procession paused for prayer, shared reflection and song outside of Downing St., Ministry of Defence, Dept of Energy, MBDA, BAe Systems, Qinetiq, Defence Export Services Organisation, Rolls Royce, Home Office, MI-5, Arms Export Committee, Treasury Office, Parliament, Foreign Office before returning to Downing St.

By the time the group had left the MI-5 building they had picked up an armed response unit tail. Their return to Downing St was greeted with a van load of armed offices tumbling out of their van The government is presently seeking 10 year ASBO's banning two Catholic Workers, Chris Cole and Fr. Martin Newell C.P, from Westminster in relation to their nonviolent anti-war activity.

Catholic Workers based in and around Giuseppe Conlon House/ Harringay, St Francis House/ Oxford and Farmhouse/ Rickmansworth are involved in nonviolent resistance to war and war preparations and the daily acts of mercy as a form of solidarity with the homeless and destitute refugees.

One of the participants Ciaron O'Reilly stated, "Our life and work with homeless refugees informs our anti-war resistance. The anti-war resistance in turn informs our practice of the "acts of mercy" as another form of nonviolent direct action in resistance to the institutions we have visited and named today as purveyors of wholesale crime and terror. In modern warfare, all that is asked of us today at the centre of empire is to avert our gaze as these institutions get on with the killing and our brothers and sisters out of sight and mind get on with the dying! The toruture and state murder of Jesus at the extremity of the Roman empire is echoed today in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo......."

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author by Maria Albrecht - The Catholic Worker Farmpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2012 18:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors







author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..the fact that it was the temple priesthood who set him up...Pilate was a reluctant paticipant according to the accounts.

It was Caiaphas, high priest of the Sanhedrin who didn't like the competition from this upstart...and initiated the fiasco...just as its been the Roman priesthood who have always persecuted, tortured and executed their particular sets of heretics.

The loop continues.
Each new set of self-righteous hierarchical and exclusive dogmatists of monopolised Troot solidifies its power structures by erasing challengers and resisting the exercise of individual intelligence. Totalitarianisms tend to rest on religious faith in mantras, and denial of contradictory evidence.

author by NRpublication date Mon Apr 09, 2012 08:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Streamline is the contemporary Passion of Jesus"

On Good Friday, April 6, two men vigiled on the steps of the Tucson,
Arizona federal courthouse plaza entryway with a sign that read,
"Streamline is the contemporary Passion of Jesus". Quaker and
Catholic Worker John Heid and Catholic priest Bob Carney, both members
of the Sonoran Desert affinity group, read Passion narratives and held

Eventually the pair was told they had to move, since gatherings
without a permit are illegal in the courthouse plaza. Fr. Carney
moved to the nearby sidewalk. Heid was ordered to put down his sign.
When he declined, he was cited for "failure to comply" and awaits a
court date.

See statement below.

Their statement:
Good Friday at Streamline

Today, Good Friday, Christians around the world commemorate the
crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. An execution that began with
proceedings in a court of law. That event took place 2,000 years ago
and is replayed daily in this very courthouse in a process called

Men and women, bound and shackled, are herded in groups, assembly
line style through a legal gauntlet. Their offense: being in the
United States without the sanctioned paperwork. Their reality is one
of poverty. Their hope is to live a dignified life and in many cases
reunite with family. Nearly all are condemned and deported.

Today we grieve both the passion of Jesus and the contemporary
passion of Streamline.

Today we stand outside this courthouse to honor the humanity, the
dignity, the courage of our brothers and sisters who are subjected to

Today we stand in witness against the indignity, the inhumanity, and
the illegality of the gristmill process called Streamline.

Today we stand in acknowledgment of our kinship with brothers and
sisters who execute Streamline in our names, without our consent.

By our witness today we appeal to your sense of humanity. Stop
Streamline. Cease the deportations. Free our sisters and brothers.

author by CW Rochester NY, USApublication date Mon Apr 09, 2012 09:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Stations of the Cross for Migrant Workers" from Rev Chava Redonnet, St. Joseph’s CW House of Hospitality, Rochester NY, USA

If we could do a Stations of the Cross for Migrant Farmworkers, here’s
what it might look like:

We would start at their damp and tiny house, and notice the enormous
jug of clean water that the guys filled at some source outside the
house and carried in together, because they don’t trust the water from
the tap to drink or cook with. We would notice the lack of privacy,
the torn up linoleum, the bare concrete floor in the bathroom, the
shower orange with something that won’t come off with hard scrubbing
(I tried). We would repent that we accept such housing for our
brothers and sisters.

Our second station would be just 200 feet from the house, where two of
the guys were stopped by immigration officers last week, four or five
cars surrounding them when they pulled out of the driveway. Our men
were allowed to leave, because they are already in the system and have
court dates. We would pray for the men the ICE officers had expected
to catch, that they are safe and well wherever they are, and we would
repent of causing our sisters and brothers to live in fear.

Third, we would go to the bodega where our folks punch in at 7:30 am
and out at 7:30 pm, and recognize how our government’s removal of two
of their number has made their already hard lives even harder. We
would repent a system that sees such captures as accomplishments and
does not count the human cost.

We would go to the fields, and for a while we would work. We would
bend over, planting onions, until our muscles ached and we wept with
recognition of the daily realities of our friends, the work that they
do that puts food on our tables.

For our fifth station we would go to the migrant health clinic in
Brockport, and learn that medication that used to be available for
free, now requires a social security number. We would repent the
meanness of our government that would deny necessary medication to
those without documents. We would repent our ignorance of the
indignities faced by our sisters and brothers.

We would go to the Mexican grocery store and ask how often they
routinely overcharge their customers, as I was overcharged when I was
there. Are they profiting from the simplicity of people who would
never think of challenging a receipt as I did? We would weep for the
vulnerability of our sisters and brothers, for the ease with which
they are exploited.

Seventh, we would stop by Walmart, and repent of the economic systems
that have the poor in our country buying products made by the
exploited poor in other countries. We would question the systems that
keep us all bound, and ask God for help in breaking out of them.

Our eighth station would take us to Buffalo, on the journey that those
in the Alternatives to Detention System must take every second week.
We would experience the humiliation of proving, yet again, that we are
cooperating with the system that oppresses us, showing ID, answering
questions, trying to communicate with officials who don’t speak our

While in Buffalo we would stop by a school, and grieve for our sisters
and brothers who never received basic education, who live with the
shame of their ignorance, and weep for the loss of human potential.

Tenth, we would go to immigration court, and watch as person after
person goes before the judge, to be lectured for not carrying with
them papers that they had no idea they were supposed to have. We would
see the fear as people wait to hear their fate, feel the hearts
pounding, the anxiety in the breath of each person as they wait to see
the judge. We would repent our complicity in a system that excludes
those who now try to do exactly what our own ancestors did, to come to
the land of opportunity to find a better life.

For our eleventh station we would stop by the little store where the
guys and I get coffee after checking in at the immigration office,
and, like Jesus having his face wiped by Veronica, give thanks for the
little moments of respite that give us the strength to go on.

Twelfth, we would go back to work, to be yelled at for missing time
when we went to Buffalo. We would feel the powerlessness of workers
with no recourse, no voice, no union, no leverage. We would recommit
ourselves to standing with workers, to justice for those who are
excluded from labor laws as are farm workers.

We would work again beside our brothers and sisters, and listen to
their stories. We would hear of separation from families, of funerals
missed, of grandchildren never seen. We would repent of ever summing
up the lives of other people with terms like “illegals,” and ask for
help in seeing the human face of every person.

Our fourteenth station would be at the grocery store. We would stand
in the produce section and realize that every vegetable, every fruit,
was planted and picked by human hands, most of them likely
undocumented. We would repent our indifference, our blindness, and
recognized the holiness of each person and of the work of their hands.

And at the last we would pray and ask, how do we turn this system
around and create a way that is life-giving, respectful of human
dignity and worth, a system where everyone has reasonable hours,
opportunities for rest, a decent place to live, education and health
care. How do we get our sisters and brothers down from the cross?

author by d.c., u.s.a.publication date Mon Apr 09, 2012 09:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Report on Holy Week Faith and Resistance Retreat--
Eleven Arrested at the Pentagon Good Friday Witness
by Art Laffin - Dorothy Day CW Wash DC

Focusing on the theme: "Put Away the Sword--Follow Jesus in Nonviolent
Revolution," about 50 people from the Atlantic Life Community, the
New Jerusalem Community in Philadelphia, Loras College in Iowa and
other peacemakers gathered in Washington, D.C. from April 4-6 for the
annual Holy Week Faith and Resistance retreat sponsored by Jonah House
and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. Remembering the Last Supper, arrest,
torture, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, the retreat included time for
prayer, reflection, community building and nonviolent public witness.

To begin the retreat, Cathy Breen, a member of the Maryhouse Catholic
Worker in NYC, offered a compelling talk and slide presentation about
the plight of Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria since the US-led
invasion of Iraq, and how being in Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness
during the 2003 "Shock and Awe" bombing campaign changed her life
forever. Recently returned from Jordan and Syria, Cathy reflected on
the horrors of war and the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing
Iraqi refugees in these countries, especially families, and also
shared some of the ways she and others are helping them. She began and
ended her talk with reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. as April 4
marked the 44th anniversary of King's assassination. Following her
talk, The New Jerusalem Community offered a powerful prayer/reflection
about our need to continue to live in the spirit of Martin Luther
King, Jr.

On Holy Thursday, the retreat community engaged in an early afternoon
nonviolent witness at the Israeli Embassy to appeal to the Israeli
government not to attack Iran. The witness included reading a
statement outside the gates of the embassy (see below), a period of
silent prayer, an offering of the Our Father in Hebrew, and singing
the "Vine and Fig Tree" song. Following some serious and respectful
negotiating with the Secret Service and Israeli security

about delivering a copy of our statement to Embassy officials, the
statement was accepted by an embassy security guard. On Holy Thursday
evening a moving Liturgy was held centering on Jesus' washing the
disciples feet, the works of mercy and war, and the Eucharist.

On Good Friday, the community engaged in public witness both at the
Pentagon and the White House. At 7:00 a.m. the community, held a
"contemporary crucifixion" in a newly designated "protest zone" near
the Pentagon metro entrance (see below the reflections that were read
for each of the ten crucified victims as they, wearing black robes,
took turns with arms outstretched on the cross). Simultaneously, on
the sidewalk leading to the Pentagon metro entrance, eleven
retreatants prayed in silence around a cross that had the inscription
"Victims of War." They also held a sign "Put Away the Sword," and
another sign that had the names of the 17 Afghan civilians who were
massacred by US military violence on March 11th in the Kandahar
province of Afghanistan. Chris Spicer tried to deliver a letter to
Secretary of Defense (War) Panetta but was denied by police. After the
third warning to leave the sidewalk or be arrested, Pentagon police
arrested all eleven (see names below). They were charged with "Failure
to comply with a lawful order," and given a May 18th court date. At
noon-time, the community, joined by other local peacemakers, repeated
the contemporary crucifixion witness at the White House as hundreds of
tourists looked on.

Let us pray for each other during this most Holy Week, and for all
those in our world who are experiencing now the passion and death of
Jesus. And let us be transformed by the cross and resurrection of
Jesus as we seek to practice resurrection and be living signs of hope
for our world.

*Those arrested at the Pentagon were:
Bill Frankel-Streit, Little Flower Catholic Worker in Virginia
Amber Mason, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, DC
Kevin Mason, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, DC
Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, DC
Chris Spicer, White Rose Catholic Worker in Chicago
Sr. Margaret McKenna, New Jerusalem Community in Philadelphia
Rosemary Thompson, Peace Activist from Baltimore, MD
Nancy Gowen, Peace Activist from Richmond, VA
Taylor Reese, Intern with Pax Christi USA
Helen Schietinger, Peace Activist from Washington, DC
Brian Hynes, Peace Activist from New York City

***Proclamation before the Israeli Embassy

We, members of the Atlantic Life Community, come to the Israeli
Embassy today to stand with the “Women in Black” who witness at sites
world-wide pleading for an end to wars between nations and civil wars
within nations. Our presence in prayer speaks a loud and clear " NO "
to planning, preparing for, or ever bombing Iran. We believe deeply in
putting away the swords – all nuclear weapons – ours, yours and other
countries' – as total implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation

We agree with Meir Dagan, your former chief of Mossad who has stated
publicly, “bombing Iran is the stupidest idea ever heard." We reject
the position of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that more killing
and destruction in Iran will build a Middle East at peace.

We are pleading these same causes during this Christian Holy Week at
the Pentagon and White House, and we join with our Tikkun sisters and
brothers who say, “No War on Iran, and No First Strike!”

We vigil here and pray for a change of hearts (our own included), and
of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, Pime Minister Netanyahu and
President Obama for understanding that the only way to peace is with
peaceful means.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here are another collection of religiously convinced Christians...what do you make of their beliefs?

Maybe you should confront them and clarify the would help clear things up for us sceptics.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Mon Apr 09, 2012 20:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Easter Monday 2012: Might it be possible for the Resurrection of Natural Justice, as represented by Bunreacht na hEireann Article 6.1 Principles (for example), and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights concepts (for instance) now deeply embedded (but NOT practised in many important respects) in so much national and international law, to begin today?"

"Easter may be symbolic of Christ's unshakeable passion for Natural (God Given/Driven) Justice, as a form of spiritual safety and/or healing for the vast array of injustices and injuries caused by governments and lawyers of the "tin-god", bullying, and criminal kinds?"

"They knew Christ was not guilty of any crime, but note what these grossly corrupt, despotic, criminal bullies did to Christ; how Christ stood up to his tormentors in the uncompromising and unflinching way that he did: despite the fact that almost EVERYBODY, including most of his closest friends and associates, completely abandoned Christ at the very time their help and support was most needed."

The above excerpts are from an e-mail sent today to (among others) Republic of Ireland President Dr Michael D Higgins. The full text of the e-mail in question can be viewed at the following location:

author by Solidaritypublication date Tue Apr 10, 2012 22:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* Susan Crane is serving a U.S. prison sentence as consequence of her participation in the Disarm Plowshares action on the Trident nuclear submarine warfighting system.

"This first part of my sentence (15 months) is almost over... It’s
possible that I’ll be released from the prison on Wednesday April
25th. It will come as no surprise to Judge Settle when I eventually
come before him for not cooperating with the next part of my
sentence–a year of supervised release" .Susan Crane
Dear Friends,

Thanks for your prayers, letters, books and encouragement. Your
support means so much to me. And thanks for your work that brings us
all closer to the Beloved Community.

I was walking back to the housing unit from dinner the other day,
talking to a friend. She was reflecting on how contagious yawns are.
Yes, I said, and violence is just as contagious as yawns! Here, in
prison, it’s a matter of honor and respect; if someone hits you, you
hit them back. And in our national dealings, the same is true. The
exchange of violence is expected, accepted, and considered virtuous
and reasonable. At least I can introduce the idea that there are
people who think there are better solutions to problems than the use
of violence and revenge.

I’ve fallen behind answering your letters…letters that bring news of
peacemaking around the world, greetings and encouragement, and
glimpses of daily life. The number of stamps I can buy each week is
limited. And, I am using these same stamps to mail out some pottery.
Moreover, we aren’t able to send more than one letter per envelope,
not to mention that the label making process is tedious, and at times
very slow. The number of labels we can make is limited. So my hope is
that you will consider this letter a personal one.

It’s Easter Sunday, a day to celebrate life, a day of hope and
resistance to war making and death dealing. We woke up this morning to
find ourselves on full lockdown. Are the authorities afraid the angels
will roll away the fence? Ha Ha. Poor humor, I suppose; but I find it

I’m becoming more and more allergic to fundamentalist Christians,
including fundamentalist Catholics. I’m finding it harder and harder
to go to religious services here. The intolerance of others is
overwhelming and in some perverse way brings out my increasing
intolerance of Empire-based Christianity. “We have no king but
Caesar,” the people and the religious authorities cry.

Dennis and Tensie, Rozella and Tommy, from the Guadalupe Catholic
Worker house in Santa Maria, CA, were visiting yesterday. Dennis is
back from his trip to Jeju Island, where Korean people are resisting
the building of a naval base on their island. Dennis said that over
3000 Catholic priests came to say Mass on the building site and say NO
to the military base. I was thinking what it would be like to have
3000 Catholic priests go over and through the fence to say Mass on the
Naval Base at Bangor where the nuclear armed Trident submarines are
home ported, and where there is a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons.

This first part of my sentence is almost over. Thank you for
accompanying me on this part of my journey. It’s possible that I’ll be
released from the prison on Wednesday April 25th. It will come as no
surprise to Judge Settle when I eventually come before him for not
cooperating with the next part of my sentence–a year of supervised

I am praying along with you for Bradley Manning, Leonard Peltier, Yang
Yoon-Mo, Theresa Cusimano, Norman Lowry, Rafil Dhafir, and all our
brothers and sisters in prison. More importantly, we pray for peace,
especially our own ability to be peaceful and follow the nonviolence
of Jesus.

Peace and Easter Blessings,

Susan Crane 87783-011 (15 months – out 4/25/12)
FCI Dublin, 5701 8th St. – Camp Parks, Dublin, CA 94568.

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author by W. Finnertypublication date Wed Apr 11, 2012 08:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The following excerpt is from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

"Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction." (The full text of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be viewed at: )

Question 1: Allowing for massive amount of influence the Catholic Church has had, and continues to have (as far as I know), over education in many parts of the world, such as the Republic of Ireland for example, why is it that the Vatican appears to have completely ignored the "teaching and education" issue contained in the above UN excerpt?

Question 2, and far more importantly (as far as I'm concerned): Is there any possibility that the Vatican might change its policy regarding the matter of "teaching and education" connected with the basic human rights principles contained in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights document itself, and in all of the vast amount of national and international law that has been produced since 1948 (which is based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights principles), but which is being completely ignored -- with impunity -- by some of the world's most powerful governments (and their legal professions) at the present time?

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