December 5th, 2022 Global issues,Iran,Israel,June 2009,News,Non-Violence,Palestine,Racism,refugee
Secretary-General calls again on Israel to ease Gaza blockade
Palestinian women walk near Israel’s barrier near Ramallah in the West Bank
19 June 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated his call on Israel to ease its blockade on Gaza during a meeting today in New York with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Mr. Ban also called for a freeze on all settlement activity, including natural growth, and for Israel to allow the resumption of stalled United Nations projects in Gaza, according to information provided by his spokesperson.
On Wednesday, a group of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called for an end to the blockade on Gaza, which has now been in force for two years and has left the population of 1.5 million almost totally dependent on international aid.
In addition to Gaza, the Secretary-General and Mr. Liberman discussed a number of regional issues including Lebanon. Mr. Ban briefed the Foreign Minister on his upcoming report on Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah.
On the Middle East Peace Process, the head of the UN reiterated the need for a political process based on the two-State solution and negotiations on all core issues, as envisaged in international law, Security Council resolutions, and existing agreements.
The two men also discussed Iran, with Mr. Ban reiterating his belief that the nuclear issues can and should be resolved through peaceful means, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.
December 5th, 2022 Censorship,Global issues,July 2009,News,Racism,refugee,Regions,Religion,Video
In Gaza journalist had been banned from reporting on the human rights abuse and murders at the hands of indiscriminate Israeli soldiers. In Iran after the election all media was banned from reporting but pictures of Neda death reached the world. The truth about oppressive governments never stays hidden for long. Repressive governments are warned that regardless if you attack a refugee camps in Gaza or abuse prisoners in Iraq, or silence peaceful protest in streets of Tehran the truth will always reveal itself.
December 5th, 2022 News,Racism,September 2010,USA
From Rand Paul in Kentucky to Carl Paladino in New York, Tea Party candidates have swept Primary races knocking aside the establishment candidates of the Republican Party. Their political pronouncements and policy platforms represent a shift to the far-right in American politics. Rand Paul is on record stating that he believes the Title II section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in private business, is an infringement of Constitutional rights. Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle has suggested armed insurrection and revolution against the government. Carl Paladino has called for the poor on welfare to be sent to prison in order to learn “personal hygiene.”
What connects all these Tea Party candidates is a disdain for minority rights and immigrants, as well as a sharing a view that the federal government has no role as a protector and guarantor of civil rights and equal justice. The Tea Party calls itself a movement of “Patriots” and “Constitutionalists “. The Second Amendment, which provides the legal protection to carry and use firearms, is the most important for the Tea Party. However, there are other amendments which they seek to overturn. The Tea Party is the reconstitution of Confederate politics.
The social layers which support the Tea Party movement are at best confused and at worst delusional. “Birthers”, the name given to the political movement that insists that President Obama was not born in the US and thus not eligible to hold elected office, represents both poles at once. Given that Obama has an East African Islamic name, the “Birthers” are confused about his name and origins. Since he does not have an “American”, read Anglo-Saxon Christian name, he must not be a real American. Since his father was from Kenya, Obama therefore he can’t be a legitimate President. The “Birthers” are delusional to believe that a person in the era of the Internet and 24 hour cable news can get elected to both the US Senate and the White House if the candidate was not legitimate. If Obama wasn’t born in the US, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation would have exposed the truth long ago and Obama’s political career would never have taken off.
Alongside the confused and delusional social layers of the Tea Party movement are xenophobes that fear that the US is no longer a majority white and christian country. This explains the angst regarding the President and calls for sealing the border with Mexico and the institution of a police regime in Arizona against Latino people. This is why, on first glance, the Tea Party wants to repeal the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution which states at any person born in the US is automatically a citizen. The argument goes that illegal immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America, come to the US to give birth to children who automatically become citizens in order to remain. The language employs the use of the term “Anchor Babies“.
The real logic of the repeal of the 14th Amendment is to strip people of color; Blacks, Latinos and Asians of civil, legal and constitutional rights. The 14th Amendment was one of a series of post Civil War amendments to give the newly emancipated Black slaves the full protection of the citizenship. It was to correct the fatal compromise in the original constitution which held that Blacks slaves in the Southern states were only 3/5 of a person and therefore not eligible for the rights and protections of citizenship. Prior to the Civil War, Blacks slaves were less than human and therefore not entitled to legal protection. This was most brutally affirmed in the notorious 1857 Dred Scott decision of the US Supreme Court which stated unequivocally that Blacks ” had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” The Dred Scott decision lit the fuse which exploded with the Civil War.
The most important clause of the 14th Amendment is the “equal protection clause“. Prior to the 14th Amendment, there was not any legal or constitutional provision of protection which stated that all citizens of the country were equal. Though Jefferson famously wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men were created equal”, this language was nowhere to be found in the original Constitution nor any of the first 13 amendments.
The 14th Amendment is arguably the most important of the entire Constitution. The equal protection clause has been used to overturn discriminatory laws both on the Federal and State level. Most recently, various state courts across the country have cited the 14th Amendment to overturn prohibitions against same sex marriage. Moreover, the 14th Amendment ensured that constitutional rights applied to the States. Previously, the US Constitution only offered protection from the Federal government. The individual States routinely infringed on individual rights claiming that the Constitution only applied to the Federal level but not to the State level.
The movement to repeal the 14th Amendment is one of the gravest threats to American democracy since the end of the Civil War. The repeal of the 14th Amendment would legalise discrimination. It would be the establishment of Orwell’s Animal Farm. Some citizens will be less equal than others. Plessy v Ferguson, the Supreme Court decision of 1896, which legalised racial discrimination still upheld the Equality clause of the 14th Amendment. “Separate but equal” was the legal argument to justify racial segregation. It took nearly 60 years before the Supreme Court overturned that decision in Brown v. Board of Education of 1954. The repeal of the 14th Amendment would allow for the States and the Federal government to implement laws and policies which will set into place the legal doctrine of separate and unequal.
December 5th, 2022 News,October 2010,Racism,USA
With less than 3 weeks left before the upcoming Midterm elections, the US political scene resembles Wonderland as described by Lewis Carroll. One cannot help but to think of the Mad Tea Party scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Moreover, it seems as if politics have fallen down the rabbit hole which began Alice’s delirious trek into a world of madness.
There seems to be a common denominator to many Tea Party Republican candidates during this election campaign. That common denominator is sociopath and in some cases psychopathic behavior. In other words, they seem to inherit chronic anti-social pyschotic tendencies. From New York to Arizona Tea Party endorsed Republican candidates have been exposed as persons who have neither the sense nor value for human beings.
Carl Paladino, the Republican gubernatorial candidate for New York State, has campaigned on a platform of social destruction. He has bluntly promised to cut Medicaid, the government health insurance scheme for poor citizens unable to afford private health insurance, to the tune of twenty billion dollars during his first year as governor. He has also suggested that welfare recipients be placed in prison where they will “learn personal hygenie.” Earlier this week, as he addressed a Hasidic congregation, he lashed out against homosexuality. Contrasting himself against his Democrat opponent, Andrew Cuomo, Paladino boosted that he hadn’t attended the Gay Pride parade. “That’s not the example we should be showing our children.” He elaborated further saying that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option.” Paladino would have been the most distinguished foreign guest had he attended the anti-Gay Family March held this past weekend in Belgrade.
Jim Russell, another Tea Party candidate running for a congressional seat in the Empire State was discovered to have written an essay in 2001 for journal where he denounced racial integration with the concern that mixed raced schools and neighbourhoods encouraged interracial dating. “One wonders how a child’s sexual imprinting mechanism is affected by forcible racial integration and near continual exposure to media stimuli promoting interracial contact.” Note how both Paladino and Russell wish to instill sociopath tendencies in children in the name of protecting children!
Meanwhile, a Tea Party congressional candidate in Ohio has been outed as a closet Nazi. Rich Iott for years participated in re-enactments of Nazi military operations during the Second World War, where he dressed in a SS uniform. Rather than resigning from the election, Iott defended his actions and that of the Nazis. Iott claimed that the Nazi’s offered to protect Europe from Communism and therefore, the Nazis were defenders of European freedom. If that isn’t alarming enough, despite denunciations from the Republican National Committee, the Toledo and Lucas County Republican party have not denounced Iott nor have withdrawn their endorsements.
It appears that the East Coast Tea Party candidates are much more liberal than their comrades in arms on the West Coast. Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for Nevada‘s Senate race, has a political background more deranged than Paladino, Russell and Lott combined. Angle not only wants to deny abortions to 13 year old raped by their fathers (family values at their very best!), but she also wants to abolish the Federal Department of Education. Moreover, she wants to bring back Prohibition of alcohol. Like Paladino, she’s not only an incorrigible homophobe, but at one time proscribed to the notion that Sodomy lead to the ruin of the country but also HIV could be spread through the water .Before entering politics as a Republican, Angle was a member of the Independent American Party during the 1990s. While a member, the party undertook a campaign to legalise discrimination against gay and lesbian people in employment and housing.
In Colorado, Tea Party politician Ken Buck believes that rape isn’t a crime, so long as the rapist is neither Black nor Latino. As a District Attorney in 2005, Buck refused to investigate or prosecute an alleged rapist despite repeated appeals from the victim. “A jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer’s remorse,” he told the Greeley Tribune in March 2006. He went on to publicly call the facts in the case “pitiful.” Earlier during the Primary campaign against his female Republican candidate, he boasted he was more qualified simply because he didn’t “wear high heels.” Like Angle, his views on abortion are psychopathic. “I am pro-life, and I’ll answer the next question. I don’t believe in the exceptions of rape or incest. I believe that the only exception, I guess, is life of the mother. And that is only if it’s truly life of the mother.”
Try as hard as their members and supporters to deny it, the Tea Party movement is nothing less than fascist. These are not just a few isolated examples. There are many more. However, many of the high profile Tea Party candidates are running in important races which will impact millions of citizens and residents of the country. The Tea Party movement is reactionary to the core. American voters should think not only twice but thrice before pulling the lever for the Tea Party candidates. In spite of the frustration and disappointment many Americans feel about President Obama and the congressional Democrats, voting for the Tea Party will place the United States on a direct path to disintegration.
December 5th, 2022 January 2011,Racism,USA
Twenty people were gunned down at a supermarket in Arizona on Saturday. Six were killed, including a nine-year-old girl. Fourteen others were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was the main target of the attack, and who was shot through the head. She is currently lying in a hospital bed with half of her skull removed because brain swelling from her bullet wound could kill her.
Twenty people shot.
And guess what?
It appears Sarah Palin is the principal victim of the shooting.
Don’t believe me? Watch the video she posted to her Facebook page. There she sits, in front of a fireplace and beside an American flag like some cruel joke on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wreathing herself in pity because people are coming to the conclusion that politicians like her – the ones who have spent the last two years talking about guns and civil war and reloading and such – should bear some of the blame for what happened in Arizona.
How on Earth could anyone come to such an irresponsible and reprehensible conclusion?
In a message posted on her Facebook page Sunday afternoon, Sarah Palin reiterated her call for supporters to “reload” in the battle against health care reform, a term that provoked controversy last week after critics accused her of inciting violence against members of Congress. Presenting her message as an exhortation to college basketball teams competing in March Madness, Palin stood her ground in using firearm imagery against the administration.
“The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons – your Big Guns – to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win,” Palin wrote. In the headline of her update, she mockingly predicted that the message would be “subject to new politically correct language police censorship.”
That was supposed to be about basketball, and as usual, all sorts of mean people jumped up and down on her for once again vomiting gun-violence rhetoric into the political debate. Yup, she was the victim then, and is now the victim once again.
Poor, poor Sarah.
Before you start spluttering and staggering in an attempt to comprehend the sheer galactic magnitude of this new round of idiocy – “Who the what the where the when the why the how the what?!” was my initial response – stop a second and remember that this is how people like Sarah Palin operate. This is how they get others to follow them. They make themselves out to be victims, and convince their followers that they, too, are victims.
Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, O’Reilly and the rest of the right-wing media machine have turned professional victimhood into a license to print money, and people like Sarah Palin are all too happy to jump on that bandwagon. You’re losing your country, your rights, your guns, your family, your religion, the sanctity of your marriage, the supremacy of your heterosexuality, my God, you’re losing Christmas, for the love of God! You’re losing everything (…psssst…they’re talking to White Christians when they say this stuff, by the way, which just cracks me all the way up…), and if you don’t “take up arms” to stop it, well, it will just make the Baby Jesus weep bitter, bitter tears.
Speaking of “taking up arms,” here is Palin’s explanation for such rhetoric: “When we say ‘take up our arms,’ we are talking about our vote.”
Of course. How could we have missed such an obvious reference? Silly us.
Poor, poor Sarah.
Since we’re on the topic, here’s another hoot from another professional victim: Sharron Angle, the only living human who can make Sarah Palin seem sensible and coherent by comparison. In her own comments on how awful it is that people who think her “Second Amendment remedies” talk might have something to do with politicians getting shot in the head, Angle said, “The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger.”
Let that one sink in for a second.
The twenty people who were shot on Saturday were gathered peacefully with their elected representative to petition for a redress of grievances when they were mowed down like grass. But they are not the victims. Angle, Palin, the Tea Party are the ones in danger here. They are the ones whose rights are in peril. They are the victims.
Something else happened here, however, speaking of victims. In her puling, self-pitying video rant, Palin accused her critics of committing a “blood libel” against her. From the New York Times:
The term blood libel is generally used to mean the false accusation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos for passover. That false claim was circulated for centuries to incite anti-Semitism and justify violent pogroms against Jews. Ms. Palin’s use of the phrase in her video, which helped make the video rapidly go viral, is attracting criticism, not least because Ms. Giffords, who remains in critical condition in a Tucson hospital, is Jewish.
So was Gabriel Zimmerman, who died on Saturday.
The geometry of all this is a little bewildering, so let me try to sum it up. The victims of Saturday’s shooting have caused Sarah Palin and her ilk to become the real victims, so Palin decided to further victimize Saturday’s victims by framing her own victimhood with the use of perhaps the sickest anti-Semitic slur ever to exist on the skin of this Earth.
But guess what? It wasn’t even her line. She used it, sure, but lifted it from a Wall Street Journal headline and article by right-wing columnist Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a.k.a. “InstaPundit.” So she’s a victim as well as unoriginal. Contain your shock.
Poor, poor Sarah. We weep bitter tears for your travails.
Not. I will save my tears for the real victims here, for the living and the lost, and the America that people like Sarah Palin have been tearing apart for ambition and profit.
December 5th, 2022 October 2012,Racism
Occupy Forum in the Park with Connie Field Monday, Oct. 15th 6-9pm at Bradley Manning Plaza
Occupy Forum in the Park continues Monday October 15th at Justin Herman/Bradley Manning Plaza – Occupy’s 2011 protest camp – across from the Ferry Building. We assert our right to have political discourse in the commons and seek the fullest possible citizen participation in the ongoing creation of a better world. Information, Education, discussion, snacks & community! Monday Night Forum in the Park!!R&B Gospel with Earl and Roy at 5:30
Topic: Strategies & Tactics of the Anti-Apartheid Movement: Bringing Down an Immoral System
No one thought it could be done. The Apartheid system in South Africa was so entrenched, the power imbalance so stark, it appeared impossible to create a wedge to dismantle the system. Yet the enormity of the injustice sent out a signal to people across the globe who began the process of bringing Apartheid down. How did they do it? Connie Field, documentary filmmaker and historian who spent 15 years creating the 10-part series “Have You Heard from Johannesburg?” will deconstruct the spectrum of strategies and tactics applied, and how they succeeded in making a change most believed could never happen. What worked? What failed? How can the Occupy Movement learn and adapt methods to make radical change in our society? Join us at Forum in the Park to find out!
We oppose governments that don’t represent the People!!! Another world is possible!!!
All are invited to join in the discussion!
The last half hour will be reserved for Occupy Working Groups and Affinity Group Announcements. Location: Bradley Manning Plaza (formerly Justin Herman Plaza), conveniently located near the Embarcadero BART Station and the Ferry Building. We will have seating, blankets to keep you warm, amplified sound, and peacekeepers to keep it alcohol, interruption, & smoke-free.
December 5th, 2022 January 2011,News,Racism,USA
No American state has received as much negative publicity over the past 20 year as Arizona has. The last time a state received as much derision was Mississippi back during the 1960s. In the post-civil rights era, Arizona alone has surpassed the entire Deep South for having a government and populace contemptuous of civil and human rights. In less than a span of one year Arizona has been the centre of legal and political controversy. From its xenophobic anti-immigrant laws up to this month’s political assassination attempt of Congresswoman Giffords, Arizona has been branded as a region of social backwardness and reaction. This begs the question why? What is wrong with Arizona?
This southwestern state west of the Rockies is less than 100 years old as a US state. It’s the 48th State admitted into the Union and the last of the mainland states to have joined. Because of it’s relatively young age as a state, its social and cultural development has lagged behind the rest of the country. The primary reason for this is due to its geography. Arizona is mostly desert. Both practically and metaphorically speaking, Arizona is a vast desert in the United States. Even it’s geography is contradictory as 27% of the land is forest.
The area received the first European explorers with the Spaniards at the end of the 16th century and was subsequently colonised by Spain. Due to its remoteness from the seas and being a landlocked desert, it was sparsely populated by European settlers and their descendants. Most of the inhabitants of the region were indigenous people with the Navajo, Hopi and Apache being the three largest groups. Arizona has the largest American Indian population of any state of the US. After Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, most of the southwest from Texas to California became part of Mexico. After the Mexican-American War of 1847, the US snatched control of all the territories of Texas and Nueva California. During the Civil War, Arizona had joined the Confederacy as a territory. The reason why Arizona achieved statehood late was due to the Democrats in the territory legislature that wanted statehood to coincide with the anniversary of joining the confederacy.
Arizona remained sparsely populated until the end of the Second World War. After Florida, it became the choice state for elderly retirees. Phoenix, the state capital and seat of Maricopa County, remained barely more than a small provincial city up in the 1970s. Like many other cities in the “sunbelt”, such as Atlanta and Dallas, it experienced a population boom of migrants from the Northeast and Mid-West. The city expanded exponentially out into the desert. As the population expanded, so too did big business. Scores of new skyscrapers were erected. Unlike the older cities on the Eastern seaboard, its expansion wasn’t hindered by estuaries, bays and oceans. Phoenix became typical of post-industrial sprawl with a central business district and suburban residential areas.
Issues of Diversity
Given its history as a former colony of Spain and being a territory of Mexico, Arizona has long had a large Hispanic population. As mentioned above, Arizona has a significant American Indian population. (Upon seeing a recent documentary on Russell Means, in which he states his preference for the use of “American Indian” over “Native American”, the former will be used for this essay.) Latinos make up 30% of the population yet have very little social and cultural visibility and their political influence is weak in proportion to their numbers. American Indians are even more deprived as most of them live on Reservations where they lack all civil, legal and constitutional protections and rights. According to Russell Means, American Indian Reservations are to this day classified by the Pentagon as “Prisoner of War Camps”. Despite having the highest population of American Indians in any state, the percentage is only 4.5%. Even more surprising for a midsized American state in 21st Century US is the near absence of Blacks and Asians. Individually there are fewer Blacks and Asians than there are American Indians with 3.4% and 2.3%.respectively.
It was the lack of sensitivity to issues of diversity and of concern for civil rights, which first brought negative controversy to the State of Arizona. Along with New Hampshire, Arizona did not recognise the federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. U.S. Senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, John McCain voted against the measure, though he later he did support the measure to pass on a referendum voted on by state residents in 1990. This measure failed the pass. The failure to recognise Dr. King’s holiday brought national condemnation. The controversy spread internationally when the rap group Public Enemy released the song and video “By The Time I Get To Arizona“. Many Arizonans were defiant and perplexed by the national outcry. Many of them pointed out the fact that since the Black population was negligible, there wasn’t a need to have a “Black holiday” in the state. However, given the history of Arizona’s support and attachment to the Confederacy, one logically concludes that Arizona would not only have kept racial segregation but slavery as well.
In August of 1994, I along with another French artist travelled to Arizona. We had been invited to attend the World Unity Festival which was held outside of Flagstaff in the North of the state. As our plane descended into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport just before sunset, we fly through a heavy haze of smog which was unexpected. From my position, I was unable to see any signs of human habitation on the ground. I saw some mountains and the desert but I not any homes or other indications of human settlement. This fuelled my perplexity as to the source and reason for such heavy pollution.
Upon landing, we took a limousine Downtown. I was to see the strangest sites my 22 year old eyes had ever witnessed. The highway we drove along had 6 lanes in each direction. As a native New Yorker, I had never before seen a 12 lane highway. Robert Moses, with his grandiose mind and proclivity for monumentalism has only designed 6 land Expressways with 3 lanes in each direction. What made the experience all the weirder was the emptiness of the highway. There were hardly any cars anywhere. Why were there 12 lanes for such little traffic? It was shortly after 7 o’clock on a Thursday evening. In New York, the highways are still packed like fat rats at 7 0′clock on an evening workday.
The first truly surreal sight to behold was Downtown Phoenix. Then suddenly, while driving along a deserted 12 lane highway in the middle of a flat empty desert, there appeared a shiny metropolis with sparkling blinking skyscrapers. It really appeared as a mirage in the desert. The last thing one expects to find in the middle of a desert is a post-modern metropolis. We were suddenly out of the desert and racing through wide tunnels with high ceilings, thrust in the canyons of glass and plastic. We turned off the highway and were driving through Downtown. The streets were deserted. Nary another car drove on the streets and not a living soul walking around. Phoenix was silent. Or at least, it seemed so at first.
Our driver asked us where we wanted to go. My companion and I were exhausted from the 7 hours of flying travel we had endured including a layover in Pittsburgh. We had thought about staying the night in Phoenix but neither my companion nor I got the good sense about Phoenix and instructed our driver to take us to the bus terminal. We were keen to get out of that city as quickly as possible.
At the bus terminal, we were informed that we had just missed the bus which departed for Flagstaff. The next bus was scheduled to leave at 3:30AM. We stepped outside to smoke cigarettes. The city was still. Not the zen stillness of nature in the forest or mountains but rather an unnatural stillness. The stillness made me unsettled. That wasn’t all. The city was wasn’t silent per se. I heard a high frequency pitch in my ear. I ignored it at first thinking it was an auditory hallucination. However, it wouldn’t go away. My companion and I locked eyes. “Do you feel it?” She asked. “Yes,” I replied and then asked her: “Do you hear it?” She replied in affirmative. We realised that we had to get out of Phoenix as soon as possible. We thought of alternatives to get out quickly. I considered the train but given that we were in a provincial city in the middle of the desert, it was a long shot. She went in to ask for directions to the train station and to obtain information about transportation out of the city.
There were only Black people at the bus terminal. There weren’t people of any other colour around. The stillness of the atmosphere began to choke me. I observed the Black men sitting around. I have seen down and out Blacks in Harlem, The Bronx and West Philadelphia but there was something special and unique about the particular disposition of these men. Usually Black men are very lively. Conversations, jokes and laughter are usually heard among Black men on the East Coast. These men were silent. Moreover, they seemed afraid to speak. I made eye contact with one middle aged man. I saw fear. It was fear I had never known. A fear that I had never seen. A fear which I didn’t want to know. I looked at the other men and they all had the same fear. Then it struck me what it was. It was the same fear which permeated in Germany during the 1930s. It was the same fear and silence which reigned over Central and Eastern Europe after the Second World War. It was beyond fear. It was terror. A terror that only a totalitarian social system could produce. Instantly I knew that this was even worse than that. I was in a high-tech totalitarian system of terror. That high frequency pitch was a part of it. We had to get out of Phoenix and fast!
At that moment a taxi drove past with the words Quick Silver on its side. The driver asked if anyone needed a ride. My companion returned and reported that there was no way out of town until the bus at 3:30AM. We then negotiated a fair price with the taxi driver for a ride to Flagstaff. Before we left Phoenix, he stopped by his home. He invited inside where his 5 dogs were sitting in front watching the television with the lights out. When we left, I suggested that he turn off the TV. “No. I always keep it on. The dogs like to watch TV.” Even the animals are under Thought Control in Phoenix.
As we drove North on the interstate out of Phoenix, I noticed a large compound next to the highway. It was surrounded with barbed wire and fences. The first thought that came to my mind was a concentration camp. I pointed my companion to it. We asked the driver what that was. He informed us that it was a prison for children between 7 to 15 years of age.
On the road the driver and his friend whom he enlisted as a co-pilot rolled a couple of spliffs. Just before entering Flagstaff, they become nervous. The driver spoke with the utmost alarm. “We’re almost at Flagstaff! Put out the joint! Put it out! We can’t be smoking in Flagstaff!” I was rather curious as to why they were suddenly so afraid. I found out why minutes later. After we crossed the city line into Flagstaff I observed police brutality. On the other side of the highway, a police officer was thrashing a motorist within an inch of his life.
December 5th, 2022 Central America,Global issues,Haiti,Iran,Israel,January 2010,Palestine,Racism,refugee,Religion,USA,World
It is unbearable to watch, let alone experience, the latest tragedy that has struck Haiti. The religious evangelist and the host of The 700 Club Pat Robertson describes how these poor Haitians have made a pack with the devil for wanting independence from the French therefore god has now struck them with this tragedy. I adhere to a different view. That is I believe the devil has designated Pat Robertson as its spokesman.
It is heartwrenching to see the tragedy that has unfolded in this Caribbean country for the past several hundred years. Under the French Colonial rule, Haiti was subjected to the worst form of human exploitation possible. The same kind that the religious leaders practiced in the Untied States at the time. With the blessing of the Christian church leaders, a system of eradication, subjugation, slavery and exploitation of natives and Africans took place. The Haiti of today is the product of the religious establishments of the west that Pat Robertson and others adhere to.
The ideology of racism, intolerance, and lack of respect for all human life by the imperialists has created a country in despair-a country that does not have a single roof over its people and can not provide shelter, food, and safety for its citizens. Shame on the west and civilized world for letting a place like Haiti exist while spending trillions on unjust wars and corrupt financial institutions.
It is in places like Haiti that corruption, extremism and violence can breed. In another corner of the world you can see the impact of another religious extremism. Look at Afghanistan as an example. War and poverty in the past 50 years has produced a land where parents have no choice but to send children to ideological Islamic fundamentalism boarding schools for a loaf of bread. You can never fight the brainwashing when its done by the person that feeds you through a barrel of a gun. Or how Yemen, a country with over 50% of the population living in poverty, is the new breeding ground of terrorists and hate. Look at the conflict in Gaza and the West Bank. 60 years of occupation has produced economic despair and created the largest open-air prison in the world in the hand of Zionist extremists and Pat Robertsons. The tragedy that is taking place for half of the world’s population living on less then 2 dollars a day can not be resolved through military industrial complex, but through creation of sustainable nations with viable economies and governments.
No country or people can exist in a state of hopelessness and despair for long. If dictators can not be overthrown through nationalistic democratic movements then the population gravitates towards the next outlet, in most cases the religious institutions. Religious governments and institutions are more oppressive compared to the dictators that they replace. Look at the current religious government of Iran. Unfortunately, as we see in countries all across the globe, the price of installing friendly dictators may cost the West its national security, or at least its wealth through unjust wars.
It would be much more beneficial if our politicians and religious leaders conducted business through diplomacy and nation building rather than through war, conflict, and exploitation by religious institutions or the military industrial complex.
December 5th, 2022 Global issues,March 2010,News,Racism,Religion,USA,World
When I was a high school student in New York during the 1980s we used to say the following to others who behaved foolishly: Hey! Act your age, not your IQ! In other words, behave like a mature adult rather than an infant. Nearly 25 years later on I find myself wanting to say that to more and more people. Europe is suffering from a debilitating identity crisis. It doesn’t confront its issues rationally as mature and responsible adults. While North America doesn’t suffer from an identity crisis (apart from Canada’s permanent questioning of itself ), Western civilisation is in the process of de-evolution to infantile regression .
In 1996, the American poet Robert Bly wrote a book entitled “The Sibling Society “. In that book, he wrote that the United States and Americans were no longer adults. Rather, the society had regressed back to adolescence. He cited the partisan battles between then President Bill Clinton and the Republican leadership of Congress as case examples of an adolescent society. He said that American society had become conformist adolescence competitors and warned of the danger of fascism. Four years later, another middle aged adolescent by the name of George W. Bush was seated in the White House.
How quickly things degenerated over the past decade! The terror attacks on 9/11 caused further regression. The President and media reacted with infantile claims about terrorist hating our freedoms. The contagion spread across the ocean to the UK. Rather than acting like responsible adults, politicians acted like infants and expected the people to do the same.The movement of infantile regression crossed the English channel and infected continental Europe. From the Alps to Scandinavia, xenophobia, islamophobia and right wing violence is on the rise. Within the past decade, European countries have found themselves embroiled in hysteria and controversy regarding the role and place of immigrants, in particular Muslim immigrants within society. From the murder of Dutch filmmaker Van Gough on the streets of Amsterdam
by a Muslim angered by his films perceived to be anti-Muslim, to the debate about the hijab and burka in France , an atmosphere of fear and loathing permeates Europe.
Why this identity crisis now? Europe has not been the centre of the global system since the end of the Second World War. The United States has long eclipsed Europe as the leading economic and military global power. Europe lost most of its colonies during the 1960s. Yet, Europeans never felt an inferiority complex during the real decline of their power for 40 years after the war. Why now the sudden identity crisis about what makes a person French, German, Swiss and British? Why now the sudden nostalgia for a past which disappeared in the previous century? What happened to European rationality and soberness? Bly compared Europeans to Americans stating the former were by and large mature adults compared to the latter. That might have been so 15 years ago, but sadly Bly has been proven wrong.
In France , President Sarkozy owes his election by playing the race card and whipping up anti-Muslim fear. The Swiss Peoples Party won the largest number of seats in the last election with a campaign poster of white sheep kicking out black sheep. (See title image above) In Italy , Silvio Berlusconni swept to power promising to clear the streets ofGypsy people . The story repeats itself more or less the same in every country in the EU.
Opportunistic politicians are encouraged by tabloid newspapers out to sell copies. From Austria to the UK, the daily tabloids scream about the flood of asylum seekers swamping their countries. There are lurid reports how asylum seekers are simply economic migrants who simply make up stories about repression just in order to get a free flat and money from the state. Hardly a week passes without an columnist or editorial calling for more border controls or cracking down on the “high” number of illegal immigrants. There are calls for debates on national identity coupled with demands that immigrants integrate themselves better into the society. There are concerns that national cultures and languages are endangered of being extinct. The atmosphere is that of impending doom and the end of the world. I think someone needs to have their diapers changed.
On the other hand, religious fundamentalists fare no better. The death threats against artists who defame the Koran or Mohammad are also examples of infantile regression. Why not organise campaigns to boycott offensive works of art? Instead of making angry denunciations, why not educate the public about Islamic culture? Instead of holy wars and calls to arms, why not initiate sober and serious public discussions and forums. Are there any adults left? If so, please rise up!
The most pertinent question is why there aren’t any politicians or intellectuals making mature and rational debates or at least demanding a more sober debate? Why do election campaigns resemble more like adolescent popularity contests rather than serious and dignified debates advancing policies to the advantage of all. Why are so many middle aged media and political figures having temper tantrums in public? Why do people vote for political parties and politicians who treat them like little children offering them nothing substantial other than candy and sugar?
Europe has no reason for an identity crisis. The only region in Europe to have an excuse to have an identity crisis in the former Yugoslavia . Yet, despite the traumatic shock of civil war and a violent break up, most people living in the former Yugoslavia do not suffer from the same identity crisis as their better off neighbours. When Serbs endured 78 days of NATO bombing , they dusted themselves off and carried on with life. They didn’t react hysterically or degenerate into adolescents or infants. The NATO campaign was an attack much worse than what the U.S. endured for a few hours during one day. Neither immigrants nor the Americans are to blame for the woes of Europe. Europeans need to grow up. Americans must stop blaming “socialism” for their problems. If they are not satisfied with the political order, then they should agitate to create an alternative. If they are no happy with the European Union, then they should organise a movement to withdraw. On the other hand, they must accept the reality. Now only must they act like adults but they should demand to be treated as adults rather than fall for cheap gimmicks proffered by insincere politicians who scapegoat members of the community. There is no doubt that the West is in crisis. The crisis is internal rather than external. The crisis will only be solved by responsible adults. Otherwise the crisis will degenerate hand in hand with social infantile regression.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — The thugs used bricks and bottles to drive more than 100 Romanian Gypsies from their homes in a wave of attacks. On Wednesday, the victims were sheltering in a community center after a church plucked them off a Belfast street.
The grim images from this week — families carrying possessions in bundled blankets, a mother clutching her 5-day-old baby — are more evidence of rising anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe, but also of a situation unique to Northern Ireland: new fault lines in its tragic history of ethnic divisions.