~Virtual Virtuosity~

Food for thought, served daily, as a couple of quotations
Known as al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State, modern jihadism was invented by US and Britain, assisted by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The original aim was to use and develop an Islamic fundamentalism that had barely existed in much of the Arab world in order to undermine pan-Arab movements and secular governments. By the 1980s, this had become a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The CIA called it Operation Cyclone; and a cyclone it turned out to be, with its unleashed fury blowing back in the faces of its creators. The attacks of 9/11 and in London in July, 2005 were the result of this blowback, as were the recent, gruesome murders of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
John Pilger, ‘Breaking the last taboo - Gaza and the threat of world war’
Developing countries accept nine of 10 migrants. A million Syrians currently live in Lebanon, a country with about 4 million people. In the EU, only 81,015 refugees from Syria applied for asylum in the last three years. Immigration to Europe is far lower than to countries like Lebanon.
Volker Türk, the UNHCR Director of International Protection
Look at the American administration - they are really angry at you. If our government gives subsidies to our farmers, the American government is angry. If we restrict American products in our markets, they get angry again. Where is this America situated? Is it on the other side of the globe? No, it is right there in our homes. It is in the form of toilet soap brands , toothpastes, shaving creams, and now, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The Americans get angry if our unemployed youth protest. If anyone asks you what is your qualification, you will tell them: "High school - first class, graduation - first class, post graduation - first class, Ph.D. - first class..", and you still can’t find a job… The American administration is the proponent of capitalism. Capitalism is the enemy of humanism. We have to defeat it.
Gaddar (Gummadi Vittal Rao), Maoist revolutionary and balladeer, performing a street play
In relation to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the term ‘peace process’ is a standard Orwellism used in the US and much of the world. In practice, the term refers to whatever the US leadership is doing at the moment - often undermining the peace process in the literal sense of the term.
Noam Chomsky, ‘Powers and Prospects’
The Maoists are demanding, basically, the enforcement of the directive principles of state policy - like the right to statutory minimum wages. The question is: why do we need a militant movement to enforce legal or citizenship rights of people? Obviously, there is something lacking - the state offers people political democracy, not economic democracy.
Nandita Haksar, civil rights activist, and Supreme Court lawyer
Today, the ghettos of Detroit and St Louis, like the townships of Johannesburg, resemble open-air prison camps, in which the police permanently act as sovereign, and in which poor blacks - and male youths in particular - are free game for the racist fantasies of white officers.
Jerome Roos, ‘What Happens in Ferguson Does Not Stay in Ferguson’, teleSUR
By shutting down the Citizens’ Initiative on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the European Commission has made a huge mistake. The Commission is actively disenfranchising precisely those people who displayed some belief in the European institutions. It is sowing seeds of discontent instead of integrating NGOs into the process of policy-making.
Mark Bergfeld, ‘TTIP: Is the European Commission digging its own grave?’, RT
I’ve reported on surveillance all over the world and many governments disliked what I’ve said, but I’ve never seen a head of government lose their dignity and start chucking names to discredit the journalist in order to discredit the journalism.
Glenn Greenwald, on John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister
Good nutrition is essential to a patient’s recovery from illness and an operation. It has been proved that poor nutrition in hospitals is a risk factor for the patient having to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge because their dietary needs have been neglected during their initial stay.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, cardiologist and obesity campaigner
The Assange case is a matter of principle in a time in which information and secrecy have become ever more the tools of the most powerful. Justice must be done for those who have sacrificed their liberties to warn us of these dangers.
Eva Golinger, ‘A Defiant Ecuador Seeks Solutions in Assange Case’, teleSUR