Thursday, October 29, 2020
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Two Saturdays ago, a theater company near me presented a reading of the play, “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” with four young women speaking Rachel’s words on a simple stage 50 feet from commuter rails.
About 60 people were in the audience, and there was none of the political drama that accompanied the play’s New York premiere in 2006. Israel’s friends did not succeed in shutting down a progressive theater company‘s production of the show… When the show did get staged, no one handed out flyers outside the theater.with pictures of Israeli girls killed in suicide bombings
Yet in a way the play had more raw power last Saturday night than it did when I first saw it 14 years ago. Director Christine Bokhour chose the work because she was looking for a piece that would tie into Black Lives Matter and other protests. “[Rachel Corrie’s] passion for social activism, and willingness to put her own life on the line for it, is what is inspiring to me,” Bokhour wrote in the program. “I cannot imagine a time when I would have had the courage to do what she did.”
For anyone who doesn’t know: Corrie was an Olympia, WA, writer who died at 23 in 2003 in Rafah, Gaza, as a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement, when an Israeli bulldozer crushed her as she was trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.
Her words are familiar to me. Her published journals, letters and poems helped propel me into this work in the first place. I can see her book on my shelf as I am working now: “Let Me Stand Alone“.
But Rachel Corrie’s words were new to my wife and two friends in the audience that night. And at the end of the show they all sat quietly with their eyes on the ground. My friends were both too upset to talk that night, so I caught up with them later.
Each said the play’s power lay in the fact that we get to reimagine the conflict through an young American’s idealistic eyes.
“It resonated in a small town way,” said Sheila Rauch. “The seriousness of what she was doing came through because of the four small town girls on the stage. I thought, Rachel Corrie could have been just like them. No, not every person is as socially conscious as Rachel Corrie was. But all those girls were relating to her.”
Rauch went on, “All the things you have heard before about this conflict — they were in the play, but through the eyes of someone so young, so unprotected, and so American, whose whole understanding is American. When she said, I’m so pathetic, how can I be the best hope for these people who are being so hospitable to me — I was overwhelmed by the tragedy of it.”
My second friend, Celia Barbour, also said she was familiar with Israeli army demolitions, but overcome by hearing about them in a young woman’s sometimes awkward voice.
“The early portions of her diary are almost wincingly personal in places, like when she’s in middle school and high school,” Barbour said. “But the silly parts just make her story more devastating at the end. It makes her more human, which is the real strength of the piece.
“The way she grappled with her privilege also had huge impact on me. A lot of us have been thinking about these issues lately. The choices we make to support our comfort and safety, they don’t feel like political acts. But just maintaining your own comfort and safety can have enormous political implications.”
And Palestinian hospitality also touched Barbour.
“I was moved by her description of the hospitality of her Palestinian hosts, especially the fact that they wouldn’t accept money from her, their generosity of spirit and simple kindness. Because we seldom experience that kind of open-heartedness here in America, we are so defended and protected against one another. We don’t welcome strangers into our houses, share our homes and tables with them. Here in the US it seems that the more you have, the more you close your doors.”
The tensions between the child’s innocence and the activist’s worldly awareness gave the play its power to Barbour.
“What you see in the late correspondence with her parents is that she becomes so articulate in her understanding of the politics. The assurance in her voice in those pleas to her parents– we’ve all been in that position; we were once that kid engaged in that discussion, finding our voice and strength, standing up for what we believe. And it adds more emotion to the piece. Her parents argue from what they’ve heard in the news: there are terrorists on both sides. But by this point she has grown to have not just an emotional and personal engagement, but an intellectual engagement that makes her voice so much stronger. You’re feeling the entire complexity of a person engaging in a struggle. And all the pieces come together in a wallop. That is quite beautiful.”
Corrie herself was angered that her white Westernness protected her, and the fact that it doesn’t in the end of course helped put the story in headlines around the world. And led in time to this play (Corrie’s words edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner) and to streets in Palestine being named after Rachel Corrie.
I can’t help tearing up whenever I think of Rachel Corrie. I imagine what she would have done with a longer life. But it is clear that she made the most of what time she had… and her words will echo for a long time in our country.
Monday, October 19, 2020
"MAYOR is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city's Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and a surprising amount of humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don't have a country?"
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Dr. Jacob Granville: Covid-19 cures and post-Covid chaos. Magid Magid: Refugees and radical politics -- Afshin Rattansi and Going Underground
?In this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Dr. Jacob Granville, who starred in Netflix’s Pandemic and is the CEO of Distributed Bio. He discusses the treatments Donald Trump underwent for coronavirus; the reports that the antibody cocktail he was given uses tissue from aborted foetuses; how a vaccine would work, and how close we are to getting one, including Russia’s Sputnik V; and why Covid-19 chaos will reign for a while yet… Next, we speak to Magid Magid, former mayor of Sheffield and Member of the European Parliament. He discusses his new book, ‘The Art of Disruption: A Manifesto For Real Change’; fleeing Somalia as a child refugee; his time as mayor of Sheffield; his respect for the city’s tradition of radical politics; why he vetoed an official visit from Trump; the points-based immigration system Boris Johnson’s government is aiming to implement, and why we should oppose it; the health threat posed by air pollution, and more."
I drank up my brother,
Waiting at his bedside in the hospital.
I brought his music, thinking this musical man
Might find it comforting.
When he almost imperceptibly lifted a finger,
I turned it off.
A nurse, clinical yet not unkind,
Urged me to talk with him
Although he seemed lost (or was it me?).
So I asked him if he was up on a cloud
With John and George (not Mom & Dad?).
I really hope he was.
When I came back from lunch,
He was gone.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
DRATTED BLOGGER WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO POST THE YOUTUBE DIRECTLY!
BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY YOU WILL NOT REGRET WATCHING THIS FASCINATING DISCUSSION.
Friday, October 16, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Monday, October 12, 2020
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Friday, October 09, 2020
H/T to commenter YvonneBB on Naked Capitalism blog
Thursday, October 08, 2020
Wednesday, October 07, 2020
Tuesday, October 06, 2020
Monday, October 05, 2020
Sunday, October 04, 2020
Saturday, October 03, 2020
Friday, October 02, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Monday, September 28, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
"On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump, with much fanfare, hosted a ceremony for the signing of the so-called peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. With smug smiles plastered on their faces, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Foreign Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif Al Zayani together hailed the dawn of a new period in the region. According to the poetically-titled Abraham Accords, the aforementioned heads of state and their representatives will work together to achieve a “stable, peaceful and prosperous” Middle East."
"On Tuesday, we were afforded the spectacle of religious extremists signing a futuristic manifesto for zealots."
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Monday, September 07, 2020
Julian Assange has been held in isolation (23 hours per day) at Belmarsh high-security prison since he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, April 11, 2019.
The United States government claims he violated its Espionage Act of 1917 and committed illegal computer hacking. U.S. authorities requested England’s government arrest and extradite him. He would be tried in Alexandria, Virginia. It is there that a secret grand jury began gathering a case against him on May 11, 2011.
The extradition trial which starts today at Old Bailey, the central criminal court of London, is expected to last three or four weeks.
Following his arrest, the court’s first legal proceedings against Assange dealt with his breach of bail conditions; he had sought asylum in Ecuador’s embassy to avoid imprisonment in the U.S. Assange had only 15 minutes to prepare with his lawyer and the hearing lasted only 15 minutes. As has been widely reported, one judge said that Assange was a “narcissist who cannot get beyond his own self-interest.”
The judges, including Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, ruled that he should be held in “custody” for 50 weeks. Bail violations are usually punished by a fine, and/or a few days in jail. Assange’s “custody” for such a minor offense resulted in isolation. He has long since served that time, but the government won’t release him pending results on the extradition matter. The U.S. government’s original charges against Assange would have netted a maximum of five years imprisonment.
In June, Magistrate Arbuthnot ruled that a full extradition hearing should begin February 25, 2020, then expected to last five days. The trial was postponed while the U.S. initiated more charges against him, which now amount to 18 counts with a possible sentence of 175 years imprisonment.
When there are court hearings, Assange is usually too sick to attend, and participates via video. He is allowed few visitors and even his lawyer is often not allowed in, or is limited to a few minutes. Julian is not even allowed to have materials pertaining to the case in his cell.
Assange’s Alleged Crimes
As CAM readers are well aware, Assange is the founder of Wikileaks, a non-profit organization that claimed to have published over 10 million classified documents in the first ten years of its operations starting in 2006. The most explosive revelations include war logs from the Afghan War and the infamous “Collateral Murder” video from July 2007 in which U.S. troops opened fire and killed over a dozen people in a Baghdad suburb including two journalists. Two children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
While many herald the Wikileaks’ exposure of government atrocities and corruption, others have criticized Assange and Wikileaks for inadequately curating its content and violating personal privacy. Notwithstanding, Brigadier General Robert Carr, the counter-intelligence officer who had overseen the investigation by the U.S. Defense Department, admitted under oath in 2013 that “I don’t have a specific example” of any person who came to harm due to the publication of the leaks. The claim that Assange collaborated with the Russians to leak emails that depicted Hillary Clinton in a negative light in the 2016 election has also not been substantiated.
The U.S. government has pursued a vendetta against Assange and Wikileaks because they have been repeatedly humiliated by them.
Whistleblowers have historically been treated very harshly not primarily because of the content of the information that they have helped leak, but because they challenge the legitimacy and authority of the state. The Assange trial should be viewed in this context.
No Fair Trial is Possible
Counsels for the U.S. government contend that Assange has committed the largest “crimes” of compromises of information in U.S. history. It was irrelevant to the U.S. government and England’s magistrates that the “compromises of information” exposed truths of many types of governmental crimes, including war crimes punishable by years to life imprisonment.
If Assange is sent to Alexandria, he has no chance of a fair trial.
According to Alexandria’s demographics, the city of 159,000 people is located 12 kilometers from downtown Washington D.C. Of 96,500 employed persons, 24,000 work directly for the government, mainly for intelligence services (CIA, NSA) and defense departments, and many private company employees are government contractors.
Grand Juror selection always has government employees or private workers associated with the government. That is why the government always prosecutes accused violators of national security and espionage laws there. No journalist has ever been so tried. The Espionage Act was made in wartime to prohibit U.S. residents/citizens from supporting U.S. enemies in times of war. Julian Assange does not fit those criteria.
According to the UN rapporteur on torture, Nils Meltzer, even more Alexandria residents—more than the demographics agency stated—work for the U.S. government. He told interviewer Daniel Ryser:
The most contentious exposés for the U.S. and England are connected to the downloading of a “vast amount of classified documents” by Chelsea Manning when she was a U.S. army intelligence analyst. She subsequently served seven years in prison. These files included approximately 90,000 reports about the war in Afghanistan, 400,000 Iraq war reports and 800,000 Guantánamo Bay detainee assessments, as well as 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. Many daily newspapers published information and documentation provided by Assange-led Wikileaks. Many of these newspapers, which published Wikileaks exposures, such as, The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, and BBC TV and radio have since abandoned Assange and this historic case against freedom of the press.
A 2019 study by John O’Day in Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that even muckraking journals like Mother Jones made a point of dismissing Assange’s claims to be a journalist, and denounced him for helping leakers to break the law.
In Denmark, the daily Politiken also published some of Wikileaks documents. Yet both it and state-sponsored DR media headlined news articles of the upcoming extradition trial as an outgrowth of earlier rape charges” against him, which Swedish authorities dropped in November 2019 When this reporter confronted the media with this error, they did nothing to correct the falsehood. This is a typical example of how the Western mass media in most countries demean and dismiss the Assange-Wikileaks publications as a legitimate medium.
Sweden Joins the Witch-Hunt
Two Swedish women, Anna Ardin and Sophia Wilén, had consensual sex with Assange when he visited them and held talks in Stockholm, in August 2010. Ardin invited Assange to her home and bedroom. After hosting a party for him at her flat, she tweeted friends that she was with Assange, one of the “world’s coolest, smartest people; it’s amazing.” After several days of sexual relations, Ardin and Wilén went to police to ask that Assange be tested for venereal disease. They said he had not always worn a condom and that one had torn. There was no question of use of force. Assange did go to the police station on his own. He was cleared of any illegality by prosecutor Eva Finne, who said, “There is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever.”
Only after the government changed prosecutors, following
encouragement from the CIA, did the new one issue a warrant for simply “questioning”
him. By then, Assange was in England. He agreed to return to Sweden if
the government would guarantee that it would not extradite him to the
U.S., as he realized the Obama government wanted his scalp. Even though
that is frequently granted, Sweden refused to do so for this
In the summer of 2012, an English court ordered Assange’s extradition to Sweden for “questioning.” Assange, his staff, and lawyers were fearful that Sweden would send him further to the U.S. Assange then sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy when Rafael Correa was president. Correa granted him asylum and later granted him citizenship.
It took Sweden five years before they finally interviewed him after his lawyers had suggested dozens of times they come to the Ecuadorian embassy where he awaited them. Finally, Sweden wanted to drop the case, but Britain kept urging them not to.
In Ryser’s interview with Nils Meltzer, he asked, “Why were the British so eager to prevent the Swedes from closing the case?”
Sweden finally dropped the case in November 2019. By that time, Russiagate was in full swing. So, that replaced the Sweden “rape” card. The Democratic Party National Committee, with Hillary Clinton in the lead, claimed Russia hacked into its server and had Wikileaks publish emails, revealing corruption by Hillary Clinton and sabotaging the primaries.
Democratic leaders and the CIA saw a good chance to blame Putin and Assange, their two main enemies, for what was a probable disenchanted insider’s leak.
Authorities didn’t even do forensics on the equipment. No proof was found, not even by the anti-Trump, anti-Putin Robert Mueller inquiry. Probably in an effort to compromise, Trump and cohorts decided to blame Julian Assange alone for exposing state secrets, i.e. “espionage.” By that time, Wikileaks had disclosed millions of documents exposing crimes and corruption of scores of governments.
The new Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, withdrew Assange’s asylum and revoked his Ecuadorian passport overnight, without consulting or even informing Assange. Moreno did so after assurances that the U.S. would guarantee loans, increase trade and investments. USAID funding for U.S. propaganda programs returned to Ecuador after its new president betrayed his fellow citizen.
After a decade of internment, either in jail, under house arrest, or
seven years in a small area of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the
efforts to undermine Assange intensified. The CIA even had a Spanish
company, Undercover Global, spy on him while in the Ecuadorian embassy.
The Spanish National Court has opened an investigation into this.
“Undercover Global is suspected of having installed microphones in a fire extinguisher at the embassy as well as in the women’s toilets where Assange used to meet with his lawyers for fear of being spied on…´Meetings which Assange held with his lawyers, as well as medical visits and those of other nature were recorded,’ the court said.”
The information, including video film, was then transferred to computer servers that were accessible to both the Ecuadorian and U.S. intelligence services, the court added.
Judicial Conflict of Interest
Judge Arbuthnot’s husband, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, “a former defense minister, is a paid chair of the advisory board of military corporation Thales Group,” and was an adviser to arms company Babcock International. Both companies have major contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence.
British judges are required to declare any potential conflicts of interests to the courts, but Emma Arbuthnot did not excuse herself from judging the Wikileaks publisher. Lady Arbuthnot began presiding over Assange’s legal case in 2017. She remains the supervising legal figure in the process. According to the UK courts service, the chief magistrate is “responsible for…supporting and guiding district judge colleagues.”
There is more than a mere “appearance of bias.” The judge’s husband was part of a delegation, including a former chair of the British joint intelligence committee, which co-ordinates GCHQ, MI5 and MI6, who met with Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and energy minister Berat Albayrak, PM Erdoğan’s son-in-law. In 2016, WikiLeaks published 57,934 of Albayrak’s personal emails, of which more than 300 mentioned Çavuşoğlu, in its “Berat’s Box” release.
Britain Tortures the Messenger
Assange is still isolated in Belmarsh prison despite torturous conditions described by UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Meltzer. He and two doctor specialists in torture, examined Assange in prison, and concluded that he is a victim of “psychological torture.” Meltzer went so far as to compare what was being done to Assange with what the Nazis did. They realized that using psychological torture is more effective in breaking victims than physical torture.
The Convention on Torture—to which the U.S., UK, Sweden and Ecuador are parties persecuting and/or prosecuting Assange—requires that member countries conduct investigations into such charges by the UN rapporteur. They all refused to do so.
Several politicians have publicly stated that Assange should be “hunted down” (Sarah Palin), or “assassinated” (Tom Flanagan). Flanagan was a senior adviser to the Canadian PM Stephen Harper when issuing “a fatwa against Assange,” on the Canadian TV station CBC. “I think Assange should be assassinated…I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.”
Hillary Clinton said the same to her staff on November 23, 2010: “Can’t we just drone him?”
Wikileaks disclosure of U.S. diplomatic cables between 1966 and 2010 are an extreme embarrassment to the U.S. government. Among the disclosures were various Hillary Clinton orders to U.S. diplomats, U.S. ambassadors’ complaints about U.S. allies and other embarrassing commentary and revelations:
- British troops in Afghanistan are not very good at the job. This angered British politicians who always stand beside U.S. warmongers.
- The U.S. is working with Sweden’s military and secret services inside NATO, although Sweden is not a member and the majority are opposed to NATO membership. Cables revealed this “real politic” in which Sweden’s parliament was in the dark.
- Secretary of State Clinton ordered diplomats to steal personal material information including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card information. She also requested tapping phones from UN officials, even its general secretary, as well as human rights group leaders.
- Britain’s Iraq inquiry was fixed to “protect U.S. interests.”
- Cables further show that the U.S. supported Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese governments’ massacre of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians over decades, even before a civil war broke out. During the last days of the civil war, April-May 2009, when guerrilla forces surrendered, thousands of civilians were massacred, and surrendering fighters were executed.
So yes, a truly free press can be dangerous to criminal politicians. That is why a free press must be turned into a servile adjunct.
Jonathan Cook explains how the media has failed in its mission to inform the public honestly.
He went on to say: “Assange did not just expose the political class, he exposed the media class too—for their feebleness, for their hypocrisy, for their dependence on the centers of power, for their inability to criticize a corporate system in which they were embedded.”
Meltzer concluded his in-depth interview with Republik thusly:
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to the author of ‘The Monster Enters: COVID-19, Avian Flu and the Plagues of Capitalism’, award-winning author...
Sunday, September 06, 2020
Kevin Zeese has walked on, leaving his partner in life and good trouble, Margaret Flowers. Met them both when I went all the way to DC when they initiated Occupy Freedom Square right before Occupy began.
His legacy is a life well lived involved in work to straighten out our messed up planet. We will miss you, Kevin. Courage and comfort to Margaret.
Saturday, September 05, 2020
Excerpt (article at about link):
On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio aired an interview with Vicky Osterweil, author of a book called In Defense of Looting.
The white trans daughter of a science professor, Osterweil told a credulous
NPR interviewer that looting was justified because it “strikes at the
heart of property, of whiteness and of the police,” and also “provides
people with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure.” She added
riots reveal how “without police and without state oppression, we can
have things for free.”
I was so sure the Osterweil book was satire — a clever comic doing a Marxist Andy Kaufman routine — that I bought it. It’s not a joke! In Defense of Looting is supposed to be the woke generation’s answer to Steal This Book, another anarchist instructional published in an epic period of unrest. But the differences between the books are profound.
Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
of empire. He has ripped back the veil that covered our failed
democracy. But no matter how hard the elites try this veil cannot be
restored. The mask is off. The façade is gone. Biden cannot bring it
staggering inability to contain the pandemic, which now infects over 5
million Americans, and the failure to cope with the economic fallout the
pandemic has caused, has exposed the American capitalist model as
to look at other social and political systems that serve the common good
rather than corporate greed. The diminished stature of the United
States, even among our European allies, brings with it the hope for new
forms of government and new forms of power.
mount sustained acts of mass civil disobedience to bring down the
empire. It poisons the world as it poisons us. If we mobilize to build
an open society, we hold out the possibility of beating back these
crisis cults as well as slowing and disrupting the march towards
Beirut, that our kleptocracy, like Lebanon’s, is incapable of being
salvaged. The American system of inverted totalitarianism, as the
political philosopher Sheldon Wolin called it, must be eradicated if we
are to wrest back our democracy and save ourselves from mass extinction.
Friday, August 07, 2020
Wednesday, August 05, 2020
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
Monday, August 03, 2020
Saturday, August 01, 2020
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Friday, July 24, 2020
This is what happens when the War on Terror is turned inward, on America | Hamilton Nolan | Opinion | The Guardian
A strange and necessary ingredient of America’s descent towards fascism is that it will have little impact on the majority of people. As militarized federal agents are deployed into major cities to snatch protesters and charge them with harsh federal crimes for daring to deface the ruling party’s monuments, most Americans will continue living their normal lives with no discernible changes, at least for the time being. People wake up and eat breakfast and spend their days doing mundane tasks in fascist countries, too.
If there was ever a tipping point, we are past it. Trying to stare hard at the daily news to determine the exact point at which we slip into fascism is like staring at a baby to see when it turns into an adult. By the time you perceive it, it’s already happened. It is important to understand that the crackdown phase that we are now in – the unaccountable government forces, the riot police, the teargas, the targeted political prosecutions that will come next – are not something new, but something old. This isn’t about Donald Trump. This is about America, baby. This is what we do.
Fmr. Seattle Police Chief: Police Culture “Toxic” | Video | Amanpour & Company | PBS:
Norm Stamper says positive change is coming to policing. 17 min video tells why.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
In this episode, Dr. Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss the continued increase in cases throughout much of the United States, how other countries have managed the pandemic, the latest on aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the just released CIDRAP Viewpoint on COVID-19 surveillance. Email us your questions: OsterholmUpdate@umn.edu
In this episode, Dr. Michael Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss the continued increase in cases throughout much of the United States, how other countries have managed the pandemic, the latest on aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the just released CIDRAP Viewpoint on COVID-19 surveillance. Email us your questions: OsterholmUpdate@umn.edu
The church’s haul may have reached -- or even exceeded -- $3.5 billion, making a global religious institution with more than a billion followers among the biggest winners in the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts,
15 Years Ago, Doug & I Were in Texas at Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey--We made the "Bush, Talk to Cindy" Banner
to ask him "What Noble Cause Did My Son (Casey) Die for?"
Hundreds of people from everywhere followed her there & stayed for weeks.
BUSH OF COURSE NEVER ANSWERED HER.
Thursday, July 09, 2020
Friday, July 03, 2020
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The story of the song in the GUARDIAN: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jul/01/martha-reeves-dancing-in-the-street-motown-protest
Hollowed Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus--Associated Press [#PublicHealthNotMoreStealths]
The Affordable Care Act established the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was supposed to reach $2 billion annually by 2015. The Obama administration and Congress raided it to pay for other priorities, including a payroll tax cut. The Trump administration is pushing to repeal the ACA, which would eliminate the fund, said Carolyn Mullen, senior vice president of government affairs and public relations at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat who championed the fund, said he was furious when the Obama White House took billions from it, breaking what he said was an agreement.
“I haven’t spoken to Barack Obama since,” Harkin said.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
Saturday, June 27, 2020
How Racism Is An Essential Tool For Maintaining The Capitalist Order - Richard WolffPopularResistance.Org
Why were African Americans “chosen” to be key (but not the only)
cyclical shock-absorbers in the United States? One factor concerned the
racist legacies of U.S. slavery. They included beliefs that slaves were
either not fully human or inferior humans. Even the U.S. Constitution
had counted a slave as merely three-fifths of a full (i.e., white)
person for census purposes. Accommodation to slavery before the U.S.
Civil War had already shaped a racialized consciousness in both masters
and slaves. And because U.S. slavery entailed different skin colours for
masters and slaves (unlike many slaveries in world history), a readily
identifiable minority had already been defined in racial terms in the
slave portions of the United States. Moreover, that definition had
spread to other parts of the United States as well. U.S. capitalism
used, absorbed, and built on slavery’s legacy by inserting large
portions of the African American community into the shock-absorber role
that the system required. The racism developed by U.S. slavery thereby
both facilitated U.S. capitalism and was reinforced by it.
A significant portion of the white working class in all capitalisms
has always also been forced into the shock-absorber role. “White trash”
in U.S. capitalism was never far from the African Americans similarly
situated. There thus arose possibilities of class solidarity between
these Black and white working-class communities. U.S. history displays
moments when those possibilities were realized, as C. Vann Woodward
documented so well. It also displays moments of intense racist violence
used to block the realization of those possibilities. Employers played
on racialized differences to keep employees from unifying against them.
In bitter competitions between Black and white shock-absorbers for
cyclically scarce jobs, whites could and often did use racism to gain
advantages in access to those jobs. In multiple ways, then, capitalism
fostered and benefited from racism; it thus settled deeply into the
Fundamental injustice characterized the relationship between police
and prisons, on the one hand, and the African American and other
communities (Indigenous, people of color) condemned to play capitalism’s
shock-absorber role, on the other. The solution was and is not better
training or more funding; both have been tried repeatedly and both have
likewise failed repeatedly. A real solution would provide a decently
paid job to everyone who wants one as a matter of right. Unemployment
would then be outlawed much like slavery, child abuse, etc. Taxes levied
on capitalist enterprises would provide the funds needed to find jobs,
private or public, for those laid off by an employer (much as such taxes
help fund unemployment insurance now). Those funds would include wages
or salaries paid for each worker’s time between being laid off and
rehired. Minimum wages, applied universally, would cover reasonable
housing, transport, health care and other living costs.
If such a solution were deemed to be incompatible with capitalism as a
system, capitalism would have to give way to a system that made
adequately paid employment a basic right for all. Enterprise profit
would then finally be ejected from its throne as capitalism’s number one
Such a solution would finally free African Americans, Indigenous, and
Brown people from long-standing abuses in and by police and prisons. It
would thus reduce the racism that those institutions have exemplified
and reinforced. It would also reduce pressures on police and prison
personnel to behave in ways that self-destructively rob them of their
humanity as well as oppress others. Police and prisons in the United
States today serve an inherently unstable capitalism by means of
systemic racism. The logic of the alliance between anti-racism and
anti-capitalism could not be clearer.
Friday, June 26, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood
A finger fired the trigger to his name
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man's brain
But he can't be blamed
He's only a pawn in their game
A South politician preaches to the poor white man
"You got more than blacks, don't complain
You're better than them, you been born with white skin" they explain
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game
The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
And the marshals and cops get the same
But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool
He's taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
'Bout the shape that he's in
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game
From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
And the hoof beats pound in his brain
And he's taught how to walk in a pack
Shoot in the back
With his fist in a clinch
To hang and to lynch
To hide 'neath the hood
To kill with no pain
Like a dog on a chain
He ain't got no name
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game
Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
They lowered him down as a king
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
That fired the gun
He'll see by his grave
On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain
Only a pawn in their game
Monday, June 22, 2020
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Democratic President Bill Clinton opened the door wide for this police militarization in the 1990s with the National Defense Authorization Act which created a program, the 1033 program, through which police departments are given surplus military equipment. As recently explained by Michael Shank in an article in The New York Review of Books, entitled “How Police Became Paramilitaries,” pursuant to this program, “local law enforcement began to adopt the type of military equipment more frequently used in a war zone: everything from armored personnel carriers and tanks, with 360-degree rotating machine gun turrets, to grenade launchers, drones, assault weapons, and more. Today, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment—most used, some new—has been transferred to civilian police departments.”
And, once the police receive this equipment, they must use it.
As Shank explains, the 1033 program “requires that law enforcement agencies make use of such equipment within a year of acquisition, effectively mandating that police put it into practice in the public space.” In other words, the police are actually required to turn the military’s high-tech guns against their own people.
The militarization of the police, moreover, can be seen as a
by-product of the US’s over-reliance on the use of military force and
war to solve all of its problems, to the near exclusion of all other
alternatives. Indeed, the US has given up on trying to lead the world
through economic and technological prowess, or through moral suasion.
Instead, our leaders have decided that brute military force alone will
allow the US to dominate the planet, and our nation’s coffers are being
looted to the tune of over $1 trillion a year to do so. The result is
the starving of our educational system, our social safety net and our
nation’s vital infrastructure. This, of course, then leads to mass
deprivation and despair which then leads to mass unrest. And, just as it
deals with the rest of the world, our rulers have decided to deal with
the unrest at home, not by solving the social ills plaguing this nation,
or by fixing a few bridges or dams, but by beating us down with
Military force, indeed, has become the only instrument in our
government’s toolbox, as quite starkly illustrated recently by the White
House’s decision to give our valuable medical workers military flyovers
costing $60,000 an hour instead of providing these workers with the
protective equipment they have been desperately demanding. As with all
things, our government has money and resources for instruments of
violence, but none for human needs. This is literally killing us, just
as surely as it is killing hundreds of thousands of people – nearly all
people of color, not coincidentally – in foreign lands. The fight
against police brutality and racism must therefore be linked to the
fight to de-fund our military and to the broader fight to de-militarize
our very society and culture.
Monday, June 15, 2020
Angela Davis on Black Lives Matter protests, Trump vs Biden & defunding the police (E891) — RT Going Underground
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to legendary Black Panther, communist politician and activist Angela Davis. She cites the strength of the Palestinian struggle and their solidarity with her and U.S. resisters.
Saturday, June 13, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020
By signing on to this document, you are endorsing the following statement:
reform efforts—from Minneapolis to Seattle—have failed. To stop police
violence, the police must be reduced in size, in budget, and in scope.
The police have never served as an adequate response to social problems.
They are rooted in violence against Black people. In order to protect
Black lives, this moment calls for investing and expanding our safety
and well-being beyond policing. To that end, we demand:
Seattle's Mayor and City Council must immediately defund Seattle Police
Department (SPD). The city faces a $300 million budget shortfall due to
COVID-19. Seattle City Council should propose and vote for a 50% cut
from the $363 million already budgeted for SPD.
Mayor and City Council must protect and expand investments to make our
communities safe, prioritizing community-led health and safety
strategies. Full access to affordable housing, community-based
anti-violence programs, trauma services and treatment, universal
childcare, and free public transit are just a few of the non-police
solutions to social problems.
3- The Seattle City Attorney must
not prosecute protesters, including those arrested violating curfew, and
those living in encampments. Protesters took to the streets to call for
the end of the murders of Black people by police, and SPD unnecessarily
escalated tensions and violence.
Our schools, workplaces, and
government offices frequently collaborate with police. The police are an
occupying force in Black communities. Their brutality towards Black
people is condoned and accepted as business as usual. We urge all local
governmental and non-governmental entities to cut ties with the SPD.
When they put on their badges, police officers cease to be members of
the working class. In fact their primary role is to surveil, control,
and silence all forms of dissent to support the continuity of a racist,
harmful, murderous status quo.
#DisarmSPD #DismantleSPD #DecriminalizeSeattle #CareNotCages
#FreeThePeople #FreeThemAllWA #DecriminalizeSeattle #CharleenaLyles
#ShawnFuhr #TommyLe #CheTaylor #JTWilliams #IsaiahObet #JesseSarey
*These demands are
prepared by COVID-19 Mutual Aid Seattle, a network of organizations and
individuals who came together in response to COVID-19 to demand an
abolitionist, anti-racist public health response to the COVID-19 crisis.
You can reach us at email@example.com.
You can follow us on Instagram at @covid19mutualaid, on Facebook at
@covid19mutualaid, and on Twitter at @covid_mutualaid. Thank you for
supporting this important effort.
Want to sign on behalf of an organization? Sign here: tinyurl.com/defundSPDorg
Pundits have been taking it upon themselves to tell the Black Lives Matter movement that the demand to abolish the police is the wrong one. Sarah Jaffe argues abolitionism has been making gains for decades - and now it’s breaking through.