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Goat Hill and Our Lady of Visitation Parish: Part Two: Remarks of Federico Pena – Former Denver Mayor at a Press Conference at Our Lady of Visitation Parish (actually outside of the Parish), Protesting the Archdiocese of Denver’s Decision to close the Parish.

April 27, 2017

Parishioners at Our Lady of Visitation Parish listening to Parish member and former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, criticizing the Archdiocese of Denver’s decision to close their parish.

Federico Pena: I am going to begin with an apology. I apologize for having you stand here in the cold – let’s hope it doesn’t rain because yesterday we were informed that we could not use the parish hall. We were denied permission to use the facility. Very early this morning I called a good friend, Rudy Gonzalez, and he brought these chairs, a temporary podium, the microphone – so we could have our press conference outside.

So I apologize for the cold weather. Here we are and we are going to have the press conference nevertheless.

Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Federico Pena. For those of you who do not know me, I have been coming to this church for thirteen years. My wife Cindy and I have been working the pickle booth at the bazaar for thirteen years. Many of you have come and given your hard-earned money to a worthy cause (Our Lady of Visitation = O.L.V.) – we appreciate that. Over the last several years my wife and I have made significant financial contributions to this church. We do so lovingly and because we believe in the mission here. My father-in-law, Cindy’s father, Lloyd Quintana, is the deacon here and has been so for almost thirty years. We drive fifty miles to come here to watch him celebrate to watch him celebrate mass because it gives us a special joy. That is how much we honor him and everyone here who comes to this church. Read more…

Nuclear Breakthrough Endangers The World by Conn Hallinan

April 27, 2017

Nuclear Breakthrough Endangers the World Dispatches From The Edge March 20, 2017 At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers—Russia and NATO in Europe, and the U.S., North Korea and China in Asia—Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, “exactly what one would expect […]

via Nuclear Breakthrough Endangers the World —

The Life and Work of Robert Merle: A Lecture by Rob Prince at the Alliance Française of Denver. April 4, 2017 – Notes

April 12, 2017

Script – Merle Talk


Thank Martin Lafitte, Director, Alliance Française of Denver

Mention late Carole Ashkinaze, Judy Johnson, Dr. Oliver Andrews, Dr. Robert Carlisle..

It is interesting – if one doesn’t dwell on it too much – to look back on one’s life at the age of 72. It struck me a few years ago that there were a number of experiences in my youth which to some degree shaped a good part of my life in one way or another.

– Of course, there is my family and class background
– Where and when one grows up – myself, in Brooklyn and Queens New York in the 1950s and 1960s
– My education in the NYC public schools of those years – PS 170 Queens, Van Wyck Junior High School 217 and Jamaica High School, where I would argue, a person got the best education public education had to offer anywhere in the country, now or then.

There were two other experiences that it is only later, I realized, had an influence on the rest of my life. They were

1. A year (August, 1964 to late July 1965) spent in Paris and Rouen France at St. Lawrence University’s first Junior Year Abroad program in France. Especially important was a class I took on the poetry of Robert Frost, taught by none other than Robert Merle.

2. My two and a half years spent in the Peace Corps in Tunisia as a volunteer and later staff member in both Tunis and Sousse, Tunisia.

I mention all this because as the 50th anniversary of the year spent in France came and went, I decided I wanted to show my appreciation – a kind of intellectual payback if you will – to those last two experiences. As a part of that I decided to read the entire thirteen volume epic series that Robert Merle work – his masterpiece – Fortunes de France – and read it in French, which I did over the course of two years.

I have written some about Merle, his life and work. This is the third public presentation that I made on Fortunes de France. The fact that the first three volumes of this series have been translated into English by Pushkin Publishers made my remarks more timely.

Robert Merle


Why give a lecture on Robert Merle?

– The series “Fortunes de France” – well-known in France – is an extraordinarily rich portrait of 16th and early 17th Century France – historically, sociologically, religiously. As a whole, the series sold more than 5 million copies. Read more…

Trump’s Middle East Policies – The Blind Leading The Blind; The Military Takes Over Foreign Policy, Diplomacy Out The Window: KGNU Hemispheres “Middle East Dialogues” with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Part Two

April 11, 2017

Partition of Syria as envisioned by the United States. Zone A in the north by some combination of Turkish-Kurdish control. Zone B in the East, a safe area for ISIS, Al Qaeda across the Syrian-Iraqi border. Zone C in the south, joint controlled by Israel and Jordan, leaving Syria, should it succeed little more than a rump state, no longer a major geo-political player in the region. The recent liberation of Aleppo from ISIS hands through a monkey wrench into Washington’s plans. The U.S. “lost a battle” but has not given up on the plan (the Doha Plan) and is reorganizing its allies for another round of fighting.

KGNU – Interview, March 28. 2017 – Part Two

Part One of the Interview.

Now fast forward comes Iraq. After the initial honeymoon period after which the United States thought they were going to receive red roses and a red carpet welcome. Who pops up in Baghdad as U.S. ambassador to Iraq in 2004-2005, but the same John Negreponte accompanied, as in Central America with Robert Ford. When the Sunni resistance began to develop, they started – the first thing that was done under Negreponte – they started establishing death squads in Iraq. The idea was exactly the same (as in Central America): hit squads of Kurdish and Shi’a fighters to target leaders of what they called “the Iraqi Insurgency” in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against the leftwing guerillas in South America twenty years or so earlier.

Rob Prince: With that said, let’s look at some of the developments taking place in the Middle East itself. Ibrahim where do we begin looking at how all this (unfolding Trump foreign and Middle East policy) is playing out on the ground in the Middle East?

Ibrahim Kazerooni: It’s a good question Rob. To answer it we have to make a few things crystal clear.

Remember during the Iraq War how everyone was talking about, searching for a single reason why the United States went to war against Iraq and occupied it. I believe that approach is limited in scope because to understand the dynamics of many of the “operators” in Washington one has to consider that each one has different objectives and goals. The military has different objectives from the oil industry or the supporters of different religions. The same goes for the politicians.

So when it comes to American foreign policy and how it unfolds. its effects and ramifications within the Middle East, I think we have to downplay whether there is a specific policy or goals. They vary. Rather, it is better to focus on the strategy and, quite rightly, Rob, you alluded to it.

The strategy has not changed. Read more…

As Trumps Standing in the Polls Crumbles, the U.S. Attacks Syria with 60 Cruise Missiles –

April 7, 2017

circled area – region around Homs where the Tomahawk cruise missile attack took place.

The timing of the Cruise missile attack closely followed up by the ISIS attack on the Shayrat air base suggest a high level of coordination between the Trump Administration – and as implausible as it might sound to American ear – ISIS itself. This has all the earmarks of a coordinated strategy, coming as it does only a few weeks after a major strategic gathering in Jordan that included the main backers (known or unknown) of the mercenaries fighting the Syria government. Present at the meeting were representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Turkey, the Emirates, Jordan and the United States.As Trumps Standing in the Polls Crumbles, the U.S. Attacks Syria with 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles.

What is not worth explaining because most of you know anyhow – and have it down pat

  • That like in so many other U.S-led military misadventures in decades past – that you, the U.S public has been lied to
  • That one of the goals of the operation, is to take the attention off of Trumpty-Dumpty’s domestic blitzkrieg on any federal program that is environmentally or socially useful, anything whatsoever that might help Americans of poor or modest means, women, off of the racist garbage against Latinos, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, and moderate Christians…this is a diversion, an awful, horrid, bloody diversion.

Most of what needs to be said about this air strike, was said so eloquently by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He issued a statement Friday following President Donald Trump’s missile strike in Syria Thursday night. Sanders expressed his concern over the airstrikes, calling them “disastrous” and urging peace and stability. Read more…

A Hundred Centuries Off…

April 4, 2017

Humans arrived in the Americas 24,000 years ago. A butchered horse mandible shows human activity in the Yukon circa 22,000 BC. This upends everything we know, and suddenly my camping at Blackwater Draw doesn’t hold the same meaning it once did. That tribe may have been stranded there for a hundred centuries, blocked by the […]

via A Hundred Centuries Off — Neal Rauhauser

Trump’s Middle East Policies – The Blind Leading The Blind; The Military Takes Over Foreign Policy, Diplomacy Out The Window: KGNU Hemispheres “Middle East Dialogues” with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince: Tonight, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 6 pm, Mountain States Time – Part One

April 1, 2017

Jim Nelson, co-host of KGNU’s Hemispheres

KGNU – Interview, March 28. 2017 – Transcript – Part One

What we can say at this point, unquestionable: it will be a diet of more guns, less butter. That’s the Trump program. Cutting human services to feed the military budget – all these trends which have existed in the past until now have become exacerbated. I would add here, that from the point of view of people living in the United States, the connection between cutting the military budget and redirecting those funds for human needs has never been greater. It’s an old focus for the peace movement, but it’s day has come.


Jim Nelson: If some of you have been listening to BBC at the bottom of the hour Guy Erikson gave an introduction to tonight’s program. Ibrahim and Rob will be discussing Trump’s Middle East policy now two months into his presidency. We’ll begin with Rob

Rob Prince: We titled this talk “Trump’s Middle East Policies – The Blind Leading The Blind; The Military Takes Over Foreign Policy, Diplomacy Out The Window.”

That segment “Diplomacy out the window is only a slight exaggeration. What is happening to U.S. foreign policy – in the Middle East and elsewhere is that an already militarized foreign policy is becoming that much more so.

The Blind: Trump – who knows less about Middle East policy than he does about healthcare, suggesting that in the end it has little to do shaping M.E. policy – and that to a great degree that is the charge of the generals around him, Mattis and others. Trump doesn’t have much to do with shaping Middle East policy.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: That goes for everything, Rob.

Rob Prince: Yes.

The Blind that is being led by “The Blind Trump” – are the Generals themselves, who think that at its heart and soul, U.S. Middle East policy can be furthered by dropping more bombs and using diplomatic initiatives less. It’s a still more militarized foreign policy in the Middle East, one in which diplomacy is playing a continually shrinking role.


Two months into this presidency the political blitzkrieg that is the Trump presidency continues.

For most people in Colorado, the US in general, the focus has been on the dramatic cuts in environmental regulations, the attack on the Affordable Care Act, the gutting of the Dept. of Education, the EPA, labor rights, and tax reform that give tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the poor, working class and professional classes of the country…

In the media, and in the minds of many in the United States, foreign policy issues have taken a back seat in the news – but not in the plans of the Trump Administration which is “forging ahead” toward Armageddon… Flashes, an outline of these policies, have come to light. What can we say about Trump’s Middle East policy in the Middle East in general, a framework for what is happening on the ground in the region? Read more…