Archive | March 3rd, 2020

Netanyahu Boasts That He Destroyed Free Speech in America

Benjamin Netanyahu at a podium in Congress.
Caleb Smith / Flickr

Israeli caretaker prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted for corruption and is facing an election soon, just boasted that his ministry of strategic affairs has managed to undermine First Amendment protections for free speech in the United States by lobbying state legislatures to pass laws forbidding the boycott of Israel.

Anti-boycott laws of the Old South were used against Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists in the civil rights movement to keep African Americans subordinate and segregated. The right to boycott establishments over civil rights was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1982 in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware.

It was also not for nothing that the American administration has taken this step together with us. In recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Lebanon is under the American blockade … and unprecedented sanctions

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

After the specific sanctions on the environment of the resistance in Lebanon, the Americans moved to restrict the Lebanese in general, especially in European banks, in a manner similar to the measures that were imposed on the Syrians in the middle of 2011. At the same time, Washington threatened Lebanese officials with “accountability”, under the pretext of ” Anti-corruption ”, coinciding with“ unprecedented ”sanctions against companies in the pharmaceutical sector.

The Americans were not satisfied with the financial crisis triggered by Tbilisi, “Jamal Trust Bank” in Lebanon, due to the sanctions they imposed on it. On the contrary, they continue to renew and renew their sanctions in close periods of time, the last of which was yesterday against Lebanese entities and personalities, within the framework of the new siege war open against Lebanon after Syria and Iran, and many other countries of the world.

While the American focus was in the past on the close environment of Hezbollah, in an attempt to pay it the price of confrontation and isolate the resistance from its popular incubator, the American focus also began to expand to include all the Lebanese without exception, this time from the gateway of European banks.

For years, Lebanese people who own business between Europe and Lebanon or in Europe have been subjected to restrictions in regards to opening accounts and money transfers. The restrictions were usually restricted to Lebanese Shiites. In the past months, with the explosion of the financial and economic crisis in the country, a large number of Lebanese began to transfer their business abroad and seek to open bank accounts in more than one European country, the first of which is Cyprus, which is receiving the attention of the Lebanese these days, due to its geographical proximity. During this stage, more than one indicator emerged of the presence of auditing and harassment of the Lebanese with their various religious and political affiliations, and significant difficulties related to opening bank accounts, without showing where these restrictions could reach.

According to Al-Akhbar information, a clear American decision was directed at several European countries, for the Americans to have a great influence on them, and for central banks, to start dealing with Lebanese and Lebanese companies in a manner similar to the one that started dealing with the Syrians and Syrian companies in 2011. According to what banking sources say Knowing about the developments, a decision issued by the Cyprus Central Bank to restrict Lebanese companies that want to open accounts in the island on the understanding that these companies fall under the category of “high risks”, as well as with regard to old accounts and accounts that deal between Lebanon and Cyprus, Bo Set a ceiling for this deal.

Lebanese businessmen who have been active in Cyprus for years have stated that they have had difficulties opening new bank accounts for them. She also talked about the difficulties that the Lebanese faced in many European countries, such as France, Switzerland and Belgium, both with regard to personal accounts or those of their companies. The sources say that “these measures mean classifying Lebanon and the Lebanese in the same category in which the Syrians and the Iranians were classified before them,” saying that “Washington is preparing Lebanon for a higher level of sanctions.” A Lebanese investor in more than one European country in the tourism sector emphasized that “it is very difficult now for any Lebanese to open a bank account in Europe, even old accounts are being tracked,” adding that “European banks sometimes ask their country’s embassies in Beirut for information about people Those who ask to open accounts.

Penalties and threats

And yesterday, after the American Treasury announced a list of new sanctions against Lebanese institutions and citizens, the sanctions included this time institutions concerned with medicine and hospitalization. As the Americans did not stop at the old sanctions imposed on the “martyr establishment” close to Hezbollah, but yesterday they included its “Atlas Holding” group, then listed the subsidiaries of Atlas, among them the International Company for Medicines and Medical Equipment (Medicec) and “Shahid Farm” »City Pharma SAL and Sanoferra Farm, in addition to other companies and institutions concerned with tourism and trade, including Al-Amana Gas Company.

The US decision to punish companies operating in the pharmaceutical sector is considered to be an increase in the level of US sanctions against Lebanon. As Washington previously intentionally not imposed sanctions on medical, hospital, medical, and educational institutions, under “humanitarian” pretexts. Its decision yesterday has two dimensions: The first is political, and it means sending a “violent” message that indicates the extent to which Americans threaten to reach it.

The second, economical, is related to preventing Lebanese companies from resorting to alternative options from western options in trade, which can alleviate the economic burden on Lebanon. The decision takes on a clearer meaning with the threats made by two American officials to Lebanese politicians to impose sanctions on them under the pretext of “fighting corruption”, provided that these sanctions include figures from outside Hezbollah, and from “various sects, sects and political forces.”

At the joint press conference between the US Treasury and State Department, held in Washington yesterday, in the presence of US Assistant Secretary of Treasury Marshall Blingsley and US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, he announced the sanctions, with a high level of threat.

Blingsley, known as the “bank thug” in Lebanon since the bankruptcy of “Jamal Trust Bank”, claimed that “the sanctions will not have an impact on the Lebanese access to medical supplies and medicines, but will have an impact on the decline in Hezbollah’s ability to smuggle drugs from places like Iran” And he violated Lebanese laws by distributing potentially harmful drugs. ” He accused Hezbollah of “trying to control the Lebanese economy in the same way that it tried to control politics in Lebanon.”

Schenker hints sanctions against politicians from outside Hezbollah, “from various sects, sects and political parties.”

He expected that “the Bank of Lebanon will engage in a more effective way to control the Lebanese banking system against Hezbollah,” stressing that “Washington relies on the Bank of Lebanon and its executive tools to ensure that all assets associated with the Amana Company and other classified companies have been permanently frozen.” In a clear threat to Lebanese officials under the title “fighting corruption”, Billingsley stressed that “the United States intends to hold political officials accountable if the situation continues as it is, and the Lebanese government must act quickly to address the concerns of the international community about the continuing corruption in Lebanon.”

As for Schenker, who was supposed to visit Lebanon months ago to follow up on the maritime border file with occupied Palestine, he continued his colleague’s attack, claiming that “Hezbollah is exploiting the banking system in Lebanon and we will hold them accountable for that.” Hezbollah is an organization that thrives and continues based on corruption. It is a listed terrorist organization and we will take the necessary measures to ensure that it is not able to raise funds and operate institutions freely on Lebanese territory or anywhere else in the world. ”

Schenker said, “Corruption and resistance to reform are not only the prerogative of Hezbollah, but there are other groups between the various sects, sects and political parties that oppose reform and have engaged in acts of corruption.” He added that “several reasons led to the current financial situation,” and “all of them are the result of Lebanese decisions.” It was taken by Lebanese politicians and the banking sector. ”

For its part, confirmed the former US ambassador in Beirut, Elizabeth Richard, on a farewell visit to the Baabda Palace, after a meeting with President Michel Aoun, that “Lebanon stands before a turning point.”

Posted in USA, Campaigns, Lebanon0 Comments

Roaming Charges: Knives Out

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

Abbey TV, Mojave Desert. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ In response to criticism from Democratic Party centrists that Sanders didn’t do enough to help Hillary in 2016, the Sandernistas are touting the fact that Sanders did 3 times as many campaign events for Hillary as Hillary did for Obama in 2008. I guess that’s one way to look at it. The other is: why the hell was Bernie campaigning for Hillary, the walking distillation of every neoliberal policy he purports to loathe, at all?

+ Only a few months ago, the New York Times was busy denying the existence of a “Democratic Party Establishment.” Now these shadowy powerbrokers have stepped into the daylight, knives out to gut Bernie Sanders at all costs, even if it means the re-election of Trump and the opening of an ideological schism inside the party that may (and perhaps should) never heal.

+ One scheme being openly floated by these would-be kingmakers is to hobble Sanders enough in the primaries that he is denied a majority of delegates on the first ballot at the convention, whereupon Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown rides in as a “white knight” candidate with Michele Obama riding shotgun as his VP candidate. Really…

+ “If you could get to a convention and pick Sherrod Brown, that would be wonderful, but that’s more like a novel,” said Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee. “Donald Trump’s presidency is like a horror story, so if you can have a horror story you might as well have a novel.”

+ Biden said a few hours before the South Carolina debate that he was running for US Senate: And if you don’t like me, vote for the other Biden!”  The other Biden? The demyelination process is almost complete…

+ The South Carolina electorate looks more like the Democratic Party electorate than any other state. It’s also a state the Democrats will never win. Go figure…

+ Over or under, 75 mentions of ‘socialist” tonight…?

+ Bernie will be forced to repeatedly demonize the socialistic policies of Putin, Xi, Castro, Allende, Mao, Lenin, Trotsky, Marx and Jesus, after which he’ll be called a Christ-killer….

Sanders: “Let me tell Mr. Putin, OK, I’m not a good friend of President Xi of China. I think President Xi is an authoritarian leader. And let me tell Mr. Putin, who interfered in the 2016 election, try to bring Americans against Americans, hey, Mr. Putin, if I’m president of the United States, trust me, you’re not going to interfere in any more American elections.”

+ Bloomberg is the most aggressive red-baiter on the stage, probably because he was friends with some of the original McCarthyites.

BLOOMBERG: I — I think that Donald Trump thinks it would be better if he’s president. I do not think so. Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States. And that’s why Russia is helping you get elected, so you will lose to him.

+ Klobocop, merciless prosecutor of black teens, quoting Martin Luther King is like David Duke quoting H. Rap Brown…

Klobocop: “I think that what we need to do instead of just reviewing everything from the past is talk about where we’re going to go forward. Martin Luther King once said that we are all tied in a single garment of destiny, and that what affects one of us directly affects all of us indirectly. So when there is racism in the criminal justice system, then we need to fix it.”

+ Like Rudy, Bloomberg uses 9/11 to evade responsibility for every depraved act on his resumé.

Bloomberg: I have been training for this job since I stepped on the pile that was still smoldering on 9/11. I know what to do. I’ve shown I know how to run a country. I’ve run the city which is almost the same size — bigger than most countries in the world.

+ Elizabeth Warren is the Bloomberg-killer…

Warren: “I mean that Mayor Bloomberg — let’s think of it this way. We’re here in Charleston, and you know who is going to be in Charleston later this week is Donald Trump. He’s going to be here to raise money for his buddy Senator Lindsey Graham, who funded Lindsey Graham’s campaign for re-election last time? It was Mayor Bloomberg And that’s not the only right-wing senator that Mayor Bloomberg has funded. In 2016, he dumped $12 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race to help re-elect an anti-choice, right-wing Republican senator. And I just want to say, the woman challenger was terrific. She lost by a single point. In 2012, he scooped in to try to defend another Republican senator against a woman challenger. That was me. It didn’t work, but he tried hard. I don’t care how much money Mayor Bloomberg has. The core of the Democratic Party will never trust him.”

+ In audio at a closed door event at in June 2016, Mike Bloomberg said his presidential campaign platform would be to “defend the banks,” joked about droning his personal enemies, and called the progressive movement and Elizabeth Warren “scary.”

+ Who could have predicted that the most violent exchange would be between Biden and…Tom Steyer over private prisons, which Biden made possible in the Clinton Crime bill and Steyer profited off of, like the predatory capitalist he is.

+  Too bad Andrew Yang isn’t around to do the math tonight…

O’DONNELL: Senator Sanders, the cost of your agenda. Yesterday, you released information about how you will pay for your major proposals, but not all of your details are clear. You’ve proposed more than $50 trillion in new spending.

SANDERS: Over a 10-year period.

O’DONNELL: You’ve said Medicare for all will cost $30 trillion.

SANDERS: Over a 10-year period.

O’DONNELL: But you can only explain how you’ll pay for just about half of that. Can you do the math for the rest of us?

SANDERS: How many hours do you have?

KING: Two.

***

BUTTIGIEG: I think we were talking about math, and it doesn’t take two hours to do the math.

SANDERS: No, no, well, let’s talk about math.

BUTTIGIEG: Because let’s talk about what it adds up to.

SANDERS: Let’s talk about math.

BUTTIGIEG: Let’s talk about math, indeed. OK, so here’s the math…

SANDERS: If we do nothing is what…

BUTTIGIEG: No, here’s the math.

+ Tom Steyer: “Hey, I started a bank!”

+ Warren is presenting herself as the “progressive” who millionaires, if not billionaires, can safely get behind…

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, look, the way I see this is that Bernie is winning right now because the Democratic Party is a progressive party, and progressive ideas are popular ideas, even if there are a lot of people on this stage who don’t want to say so.

(APPLAUSE)

WARREN: You know, but Bernie and I agree on a lot of things, but I think I would make a better president than Bernie.

+ Daniel Mendelsohn: “I haven’t heard so many old guys with such thick New Yawk accents since my great-uncle Julius died in 1977.”

+ Warren repeats the term “progressive” like a hypnotic mantra to differentiate herself from the scary “socialist”….

Warren: Getting a progressive agenda enacted is going to be really hard, and it’s going to take someone who digs into the details to make it happen. Bernie and I both wanted to help rein in Wall Street. In 2008, we both got our chance. But I dug in. I fought the big banks. I built the coalitions, and I won Bernie and I both want to see universal health care, but Bernie’s plan doesn’t explain how to get there, doesn’t show how we’re going to get enough allies into it, and doesn’t show enough about how we’re going to pay for it.

O’DONNELL: Thank…

WARREN: I dug in. I did the work. And then Bernie’s team trashed me for it. We need a president who is going to dig in, do the hard work, and actually get it done. Progressives have got one shot. And we need to spend it with a leader who will get something done.

+ It’s been more than 3 debating hours (all of Las Vegas and 1 hour of Charleston) without one question on foreign policy…

+ Steyer apparently thought his “I started a bank!” line was so effective he repeated it 20 minutes later…

+ Biden abruptly bursts into the back and forth between Sanders and Buttigieg with one of his patented non sequiturs…

BIDEN: Here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. Look, a guy who’s a friend of mine down here named Fritz Hollings — he passed away — he said, you want to know what a woman will do, look what they have done. Look what they have done…!

+ Who did Bloomberg hire to write his insipid jokes, Louis CK?

Bloomberg: Let me also say, because just — since I have the floor for a second, that I really am surprised that all of these — my fellow contestants up here, I guess, would be the right word for it…(LAUGHTER)

… given nobody pays attention to the clock — I’m surprised they show up, because I would have thought after I did such a good job in beating them last week, that they’d be a little bit afraid to do that.

+ His jokes have always been coarse. Last year, Bloomberg poked fun at a father and son who died from heroin overdoses at the same Brooklyn party, calling them “not a good family” eliciting laughs from a crowd of business executives.

+ Did Bloomberg pay people to hoot and clap at his stale punchlines or is he just piping in an applause track?

+ The criminal justice system is not “broken”, Bernie, it was designed, by people like Biden, Bloomberg and Klobocop, to work exactly the way it’s working–to demonize, criminalize and warehouse the poor and minority populations.

+ In the past Bernie has made a rational & understandable explanation for his vote to exempt gun manufacturers from civil liability for mass shootings. Looks like he’s abandoned that strategy in favor of saying he made a bad vote & the NRA now hates him. I respected his initial position, even if I disagreed with it…

+ However cagey Bernie has become in obscuring his record on guns it couldn’t possible match the gonzo ranting of Biden, who seemed to blame Sanders for the 2015 shooting at  Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston  and the “150 MILLION” gun deaths since the Vietnam War ended…

BIDEN: Because I’m the only one that ever got it done nationally. I beat the NRA twice. I got assault weapons banned. I got magazines that could not hold more than 10 rounds in them. I got them eliminated. Except we had a thing called an election with hanging chads in Florida and it was not reauthorized.

In addition to, that I passed the Brady Bill with waiting periods. I led that fight. But my friend to my right and others have in fact also gave into the gone manufacturers, absolute immunity. Imagine if I stood here and said we’d give immunity to drug companies. We would give immunity to tobacco companies. That has caused carnage on our streets, 150 million people have been killed since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability. More than all the wars, including Vietnam, from that point on…

+ Warren is spewing some dense fog about her position on the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan…

Warren: We need strong alliances. We need to know the difference between our friends and between dictators who would do us harm. And we need to be nicer to our friends than to dictators. We need not to cut and run on our allies. And we need to be nicer to our friends than to dictators. We need not to cut and run on our allies. We need an approach that keeps us safe by using all of the tools in a measured way.

+ How does one “restore the credibility” of the United States? When was it credible? What’s the credibility benchmark, PeteBot…?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, the first time I ever set foot in South Carolina, it was stepping off the bus that brought me to combat training near Fort Jackson. And that was to get ready to go to Afghanistan, where I saw that one of the things that kept me safe, just as sure as my body armor, was the fact that the flag on my shoulder represented a country that was known to keep its word. Our allies and our adversaries knew it. The president has torn that to shreds. And so the first thing we’ve got to do is restore the credibility of the United States.

+ Apparently, Biden wants to invade China over coronavirus…

Biden: And here’s the deal. I would be on the phone with China and making it clear, we are going to need to be in your country; you have to be open; you have to be clear; we have to know what’s going on; we have to be there with you, and insist on it and insist, insist, insist.

+ The ever-diplomatic Biden: “Xi is a thug.”

+ Every time Bloomberg gets off the mat and on his knees, Warren stomps flat again…

Warren: “We know that Mayor Bloomberg has been doing business with China for a long time, and he is the only one on this stage who has not released his taxes. He plans to release them after Super Tuesday. It is not enough to be able to say, just trust me on this. We have a president who said he was going to release his taxes after the election and has refused to do this.”

+ What did Cuba ever do the US to make our government hate them so viciously? Refuse to submit?

+ Sanders using Obama as a human shield on Cuba, which he referred to as “an authoritarian dictatorship,” is despiriting.

SANDERS: I have opposed authoritarianism all over the world and I was really amazed at what Mayor Bloomberg just said a moment ago. He said that the Chinese government is responsive to the politburo, but who the hell is the politburo responsive to? Who elects the politburo? You have got a real dictatorship there. Of course you have a dictatorship in Cuba. What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba, that Cuba made progress on education. Yes, I think…

+ Sanders seems to think that the main problem with Israel is that it’s run by Benjamin Netanyahu, who Sanders slammed as a “a reactionary racist.” This begs the question: If Netanyahu is a “reactionary racist”, what was Ariel Sharon? Maybe it’s the state of Israel which is racist, not just its leaders.

+ Pathetically, Bernie won’t even commit to moving the US embassy back to Tel Aviv.

+ One of the best things Obama ever said was that he’d meet with any world leader at any time without any preconditions (he never followed through, of course), a pledge that Biden is now furiously repudiating…

+ I’m getting the prickly sensation that the world would have been safer without any foreign policy questions…

+ Biden: “You don’t negotiate with a dictator – thug – and give him legitimacy…. we weakened sanctions … I would be in Beijing … reassigning the relationship between Japan and South Korea … if we don’t… why am I stopping, no one else stops?”

+ Bloomberg wants a permanent US presence in the Middle East to prevent another 9/11, apparently unaware that it was the near permanent presence of the US in the Middle East that provoked the 9/11 attacks…

Bloomberg: If we learned something from 9/11, people plan things overseas and execute them here. We have to be able to stop terrorism. And there’s no guarantees that you’re going to be able to do it, but we have to have some troops in places where terrorists congregate, and to not do so is just irresponsible…But this is a dangerous world. And if we haven’t learnt that after 9/11, I don’t know what’s going to teach us what to. This — we have to do something, and I think the budget that we — the things that I’ve seen recently convinced me that the military today is better prepared than they have been in an awful long time, and that the monies they are spending on the war of weapons we need for the next war and not for the last, a common mistake that they’re not making now.

+ If Paul Wellstone was really Klobocop’s mentor, it’s no wonder he gave up education for politics…

+ PeteBot, the passionate droid…

BUTTIGIEG: Well, I think the biggest conception — misconception is that I’m not passionate. I get that I’m kind of level, some say unflappable. I don’t think you want a president who is flappable. But it’s precisely because I’m so passionate about the things that are going on in this country. That I consider it important to approach all of that with discipline.

+ NBC reporter: “It seemed like you were almost arguing & debating with the crowd.”

Sanders: “Ahh, interesting question! You know how much a ticket to the debate cost? $1,750. Most working people I know don’t spend $1750 on a debate.”

+ Radley Balko: “Bloomberg may want want to ban sugary drinks, but if Bernie is elected, all the sweeteners will be Equal.”

+ In another life, PeteBot would be hitting you up on M Street to take a “free personality test”, after which you’d disappear, your bank accounts mysteriously drained…

+ Given the Democrats’ bellicose bluster on foreign policy last night, perhaps it’s a good thing they weren’t asked any questions about climate change, despite Tom Perez’s vow that it would be central to each debate…

+ Malcolm X: “I am not anti-American or un-American. I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power.”

+ Even by his own wretched standard, it’s been a pretty awful week for MSDNC’s Chris Matthews, who was forced to apologize on the air for repeatedly referring to the Sanders movement as Nazi-like. Matthews followed this up by crudely badgered Elizabeth Warren over why she believes a female employee who sued Mike Bloomberg for telling her “kill it” when she was pregnant over Bloomberg. “You believe he’s lying? …Why would he lie? Just to protect himself? …You’re confident of your accusation?”

+ I’ve been re-reading presidential campaign books and there are few better than Timothy Crouse’s The Boys on the Bus. Crouse chronicled the the 72 campaign with Hunter Thompson for Rolling Stone…“You could effectively say that Richard Nixon has abolished the Presidential press conference as an institution. He may grant two or three a year, but when they’re that infrequent they don’t really mean anything.”

+ Whatever scheme the DNC comes up with to sabotage the Sanders campaign, they’re going to pay a big price with Hispanic voters…

+ Biden wasn’t asked one question regarding his outrageous fabrication about being arrested in South Africa while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island. Still it’s remarkable that all of the Democrats want to do a group hug with the corpse of Mandela, who was a committed communist before he was imprisoned, and yet vilify Sanders for his faint praise of the Cuban government’s literacy program. Mandela’s radical legacy has been transformed into a fairy tale of tolerance and forgiveness of colonial oppressors. To his credit, it remains impossible to sanitize Fidel…so far.

+ So Biden lies about being arrested in apartheid South Africa and his poll numbers in South Carolina, especially with black voters, soar. What outlandish fabrication will he concoct for Super Tuesday?

+ During CNN’s Town Hall session in South Carolina, Joe Biden described the Anita Hill testimony as a case of “he said, she said.” This remark prompted one of Biden’s most prominent feminist supporters on Twitter to say, “This might be it for me.” Really? You stayed with up till now, eh?

+ It turns out that the NSA’s massive data-hording system that stored and analyzed logs of Americans’ domestic phone calls and text messages from 2015 to 2019, but prompted only one significant investigation and only twice did it only twice during that four-year period did the program generate information that the F.B.I. did not already possess. “Based on one report, F.B.I. vetted an individual, but, after vetting, determined that no further action was warranted,” according to a report by the the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. “The second report provided unique information about a telephone number, previously known to U.S. authorities, which led to the opening of a foreign intelligence investigation.” of course, “unique leads” weren’t really the point of this mass domestic spying program…the FBI could fabricate or inflate enough of those at will. Putting the entire country under NSA mass surveillance was. That and the $100 million in contracts…

+ What was happening on the “dark side” at CIA rendition and torture sites: “An Interrogation Program Worked Out on the Fly. Testimony at Guantánamo Bay shows that C.I.A. black sites, where some detainees were tortured, amounted to test labs for unproven techniques, with shifting rules shaping operations.”

+ My “malarkey” detection meter just blew a fuse…

+ According to former New York Governor George Pataki’s new memoir, Beyond the Great Divide: How A Nation Became A Neighborhood, Rudy Giuliani secretly asked  Pataki to cancel New York City’s 2001 mayoral election so he could remain in office following the Sept. 11 terror attacks…

+ Giuliani forgot to hang up on a Daily News reporter and, believing he was off the line, started trash-talking Pataki, while complaining he only has “five friends left.”

+ After Trump and Modi spent a couple of days stoking anti-Muslim violence in India, the State Department was forced to issue this warning to US travelers…

+ Just look what Trump and Modi can do when they work as a team…””They brought batons and stones inside the mosque and the people outside had guns as well. We had to stop praying and run away…”

+ Trump gears up to kill, starve and torment more Venezuelan civilians. The previous round of sanctions killed an estimated 40,000 people, man of them women and children.

+ Florida cops handcuffing 6-year old girls, as they scream for help! Hey, Rubio, show me one instance of Cuban cops doing anything remotely like this…

+ Sen. John Kennedy, of Louisiana, who usually makes Polonius look succinct, enabled all of these idiots to rise far above the level of their competence, which is the check-out lane at Wal-Mart, lays into Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, who claimed that DHS would have a vaccine for coronavirus in a month and a half (will take at least a year, probably more)…

KENNEDY: Do we have enough respirators?

WOLF: To my knowledge we do

K: We just heard testimony that we don’t

W: Okay

K: You’re supposed to keep us safe. You don’t know the answer, do you?

W: You’re asking me medical questions

K: The people deserve some straight answers

+ President Salo…According to House Democrats, the Trump administration wants to fund Coronavirus response in part with money taken from low-income home heating funds.

+ Trump, of course, was relentless in his fearing-mongering about the Ebola outbreak. When I was calling Obama a psycho for not banning Predator drone flights over Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, Trump was calling him a “psycho” for not banning flights from Africa

+ Don’t fret, Mike Pence, who took a laissez-faire approach as governor while Scott County, Indiana experienced one of the worst HIV outbreaks in the nation, is now in charge of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response team.

+ Pence’s plan for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment could charitably be described as repent, convert to heterosexuality or die…”Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

+ As late as 2000, Pence was still downplaying the health risks of smoking: “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”

+ Some are openly speculating that it’s a set up. Trump picked Pence to head the Coronavirus response team, knowing he will fail, giving Trump the excuse to replace him on the 2020 ticket with Nikki Haley.

+ Is there a more Trumpian way to fight an epidemic than with … TAX CUTS?

+ Except for budgets cuts, of course: The Trump administration forced the CDC to cut its epidemic prevention efforts by 80 percent in 2018.

+ So Stephen Miller and his new wife, Katie, couldn’t do one thing for the good of their country…like take an extended honeymoon. Instead, Katie is now in charge of all government information about coronavirus. I think we can see how this is going to play out…

+ Philip K. Dick your Lyft has arrived…ICE has run facial recognition searches on the faces of MILLIONS of drivers in Maryland alone.

+ The man who supervised a decade-long reign of terror against black youths in NYC for possessing small amounts of pot was eager to go to bat for the country’s biggest drug pushers: the Sackler Family.

+ Maryland hospitals sued their patients over unpaid bills more than 145,700 times in the 10 years that ended in 2018, leading to wage garnishments, liens and bankruptcies…

+ Trump’s demand that Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayer recuse themselves from any cases involving him tell us everything we need to know about the two neoliberal justices he doesn’t mention…Breyer (the deregulationist) and Kagan (defender of rendition and torture).

+ On the same day Trump fumed about the bias of Ginsberg and Sotomayer, the NYT publishes this account of Ginny (spouse of Clarence) Thomas’ campaign to conduct a loyalty purge of the administration…

+ Who will Trump replace the disloyal with?  The White House has hired a college senior to be one of the top officials in the influential Presidential Personnel Office. His name is James Bacon, 23. According to Politico, Bacon is a senior at George Washington University. At least he’s not from Yale or Harvard…

+ Among the calls to a coronavirus help line taken by the Tokyo-based Japan Union,  there were people saying that their work wouldn’t let them wear a mask on the job and others reported that they were being told to stay home without pay.

+ Has the U.S. military under counted civilians killed in Somalia strikes by …. 6800%?

+ 91 of America’s richest corporations paid $0 in taxes on $100 billion in profits.

+ The Dow’s 2020 loss–as of Thursday’s close–is greater than any year since 2008.

+ The 8 Largest Dow Jones single-day point drops in history…1) Trump: -1,191 2/27/20
2) Trump: -1,175 2/5/18
3) Trump: -1,032 2/8/18
4) Trump: -1,031 2/24/20
5) Trump: -879 2/25/20
6) Trump: -831 10/10/18
7) Trump: -800 8/14/19
8) Trump: -799 12/4/18

+ How long before Trump starts referring to the big board as the Fake Dow Jones (which, of course, it is as any measure of the real economy)?

+ According to a new study by EPI, part-time workers in the US are paid 19.8% less than their full-time counterparts, the gap rises to 25.3% when benefits are included.

+ Fred Hampton: “We’re going to fight racism not with racism, we’re going to fight it with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with Black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism.”

+ Bloomberg, the equal-opportunity-racist: “There’s a Native American tribe right near where I live, the Shinnecock Nation, and it is just a disaster, it’s all sorts of problems … I will help them as well b/c we can’t have a group where’s there’s all the domestic violence, and drugs, and alcoholism.”

+ Two statisticians from MIT dug into the Bolivian election results and determined that their was “no reason” to suspect any fraud in Evo Morales’ victory last October: significant difference in the margin before and after the halt of the preliminary vote. Instead, it is highly likely that Morales surpassed the 10-percentage-point margin in the first round.”

+ A few months ago, Trump invited Turkey to invade Syria, as he pulled US forces out of Kurdish held territory. Will Turkey now demand that NATO invoke Article 5 in response to Russian airstrikes hitting Turkish troops? It’s only been used once before, after 9/11…

+ Hypersonic weapons are a textbook example of weapons that don’t work to meet threats that don’t exist. Andrew Cockburn reports on the U.S.and Russian MICs’ joint scam.

+ It’s time for the UN to issue a travel alert for people who plan to visit Idaho…”Bailey is carrying a loaded AR-15,” Charles Nielsen told lawmakers about why his granddaughter came to a legislative hearing with an AR-15 slung over her shoulder . “People live in fear, terrified of that which they do not understand. She’s been shooting since she was 5 years old. She got her first deer with this weapon at 9…”

+ Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has ordered all Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from Marine Corps installations. The Marines high command was copacetic with open displays of racist memorabilia until now?

+ Pope Francis urged Catholics to give up trolling for Lent. This was directed at Benedict, right?

+ What will Tipper (Sticker) Gore make of this?

+ A just your average javelina running through downtown Tucson…

James Felton@JimMFelton

Added rom-com chase through the airport music9,65210:57 PM – Feb 25, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,905 people are talking about this

+ David Palumbo-Liu: “My (amazing) activist students at Stanford worry about how they can do political work with their ‘privilege.’ I say—it’s precisely because you have privilege that you have to do something. But (a) listen and (b) listen.”

+ The Border Patrol detonated explosives on sacred Native American lands in Organ Pipe National Monument, while tribal leaders were testifying against the desecration in Washington, D.C. It invited the press to watch.

+ The shale oil boom is running out of steam at last. The decade-long oil expansion failed to boost profits, which has discouraged investors. The shale industry was  hit by an OPEC price war that began in 2014, sending U.S. crude prices below $30 per barrel at one point and it has never really recovered.

+ It couldn’t happen to a more deserving company…The stock of Peabody Energy, the largest coal miner in the US, took another battering today and is hitting new lows after news that the FTC would block its joint venture for PRB/Colorado assets. Stock just at $5.62/share, down 88% off a recent high of $46.86 in June 2018.

+ Planned oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight will not go ahead after company Equinor decided to end the $200 million project.

+ A report from JP Morgan, the world’s largest financier of fossil fuel expansion, warns that climate change could lead to “catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened.”

+ Oil and gas companies spent $84 million on congressional campaigns in 2018. Not surprisingly, researchers found a strong correlation between an increase in anti-environment votes and an increase in contributions.

+ The economics of the oil and gas industry may be flatlining, but that didn’t stop the Trump administration from proposing so many new oil and gas drilling operations near Grand Teton National Park that they may completely block a vital migration corridor for the ecosystem’s declining population of pronghorn.

+ It’s denning season for polar bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where Trump is rushing to begin drilling for oil as early as next year. The oil industry has boasted for years about the capacity of overhead imagery shot with FLIR cameras to detect denning sites beneath the snow, so that harm to denning mothers and cubs can be minimized during seismic testing and oil drilling. But ground-testing of the technology by scientists at at BYU has discovered that the instruments often miss denning sites and yield false positives for others. We froze our bleeps off out there,” said Tom S. Smith, a study co-author and associate professor at Brigham Young University. “I mean, it’s rough. When someone is telling us there’s a den here and we invest a lot of time and a lot of effort and there’s nothing there, and then we’re going down the sea ice 10 miles away and there’s a den when they said there wasn’t any, we took it kind of personal. We said this is useless. This is not working.”

+ Socialism, Trump-style…The Interior Department announced this week that it plans to resume coal mining leases on federally-owned lands, asserting that the environmental consequences will be entirely benign!

+ Fortunately, there are still a few federal judges out there with fortitude and guts, like U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush in Boise, Idaho, of all places, who just struck down the Trump BLM’s scheme to offer oil and gas leases across nearly 1 million acres of land crucial to the survival of the endangered sage grouse. Bush shredded the the BLM for its biased environmental assessment which sought to maximize extractive activities at the expense of all other values. Here are a few choice excerpts from the judge’s scathing opinion…

The record contains compelling evidence that BLM National made an intentional decision to limit the opportunity for (and, in some circumstances, to preclude entirely) contemporaneous public involvement in decisions [wrt] and gas leases on federal lands.

The “Instruction Memorandum” was a mechanism for unharnessing prior constraints upon oil & gas leasing by specifically reducing or eliminating public involvement in the oil & gas leasing process because such public involvement hindered the oil and gas production industry.”

BLM National jettisoned prior processes, practices, and norms in favor of changes that emphasized economic maximization ….

+ Washington state will become the first state in the country to put a total ban on new bottling operations looking to suction the state’s natural resources.

+ The Park Service has gone from killing grizzlies and bison to hiring contract killers to gun down Mountain Goats in Grand Teton…

+ The John Coltrane house in Philly is in such disrepair that it faces the prospect of demolition. Yet this brownstone building is at least as important to the City’s cultural history as the Liberty Bell or Betsy Ross House.

+ Speaking of houses, I was able to navigate the twisty narrow roads of the Brentwood Hills to find one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most dramatic houses, built in 1939 for a Lockheed engineer named George Sturges (the home was later owned by Jack Larson, who played cub reporter Jimmy Olsen in the Superman TV series). With its cantilevered redwood deck and red brick foundation, the house, which juts out from a hillside over a sharp ravine, is one of Wright’s most dazzling Usonian designs.

+ Rock bands and musicians who never had a #1 single on the Billboard charts…

AC/DC
Bad Company
Black Sabbath
Bruce Springsteen
The Clash
Bob Dylan
Grateful Dead
Green Day
Jimi Hendrix
Journey
The Kinks
Kiss
Led Zeppelin
The Moody Blues
Nirvana
Pearl Jam
Ramones
R.E.M.
Supertramp
Tom Petty
Van Morrison
The Who

His Habits are Predicta-Bull…

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

The Bomb: Presidents, Generals and the Secret History of Nuclear War
Fred Kaplan
(Simon & Schuster)

There Was a Time: James Brown, the Chitlin’ Circuit and Me
Alan Leeds
(Post Hill Press)

Facebook: the Inside Story
Steve Levy
(Blue Rider Press)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Maria Maria/Ultimo Trem
Milton Nascimento (Far Out)

From This Place
Pat Metheny
(Nonesuch)

Blacktop Run
Sonny Landreth
(Provogue)

Fatally Flawed

Manning Marable: “Simply because one is Black or Latino or lesbian or gay or whatever does not guarantee the person’s fidelity to a body of politics that empowers the particular constituency that they supposedly represent. The number of black elected officials has risen from 100 in 1964 to more than 9000 today. The number of African Americans who were in congress 30 years ago was about five; today it is over 40, an 800 percent increase. But have Blacks experienced an 800 percent increase in real power? It hasn’t happened. So, I think the emphasis of this liberal notion of social change by working solely within the established electoral system is just fatally flawed.”

Posted in USA0 Comments

Witnessing the Hell a Migrant Can Face

by VIJAY PRASHAD

Photograph Source: Raimond Spekking – CC BY-SA 4.0

At Obock, Djibouti, 2,000 migrants gather each day along the waters of the Gulf of Aden; they look for boats to get them to Yemen. Over the past two years, more migrants from Africa have used the “Eastern Route” rather than go across the Mediterranean Sea; according to the UN’s migration agency—International Organization for Migration—this Eastern Route is now the “busiest maritime migration path on earth.” Roughly 11,500 people got on boats at places like Obock and Bosasso, Somalia, to go into Yemen, and then overland to Saudi Arabia, where they hope to get employment.

Ethiopia

Outside the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is typically thought of as a country of distress due to the 1983-85 famine that wracked the country. But over the past few years, according to World Bank numbers, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest-growing countries in the world (after Myanmar and China). On July 18, 2019, the director of the International Monetary Fund’s African Department Abebe Aemro Selassie gave a presentation at the Ethiopian Economics Association. In his presentation, Selassie said that the key reasons why Ethiopia has seen such high growth have been improvements in the productivity of labor and increased investment in capital stock (factories, infrastructure). To make these gains, Ethiopia had to borrow, which has now put it in a position of debt vulnerability.

If you just look at the numbers, Ethiopia is doing great. But, not for people in the rural districts, where agrarian distress remains a fact of life. Of those who use the Eastern Route to migrate, over 90 percent come from Ethiopia, and most of them from the rural districts of Amhara, Oromia, and Tigray. The World Food Program and the Ethiopian government’s data shows us that these districts face terrible food insecurity and that there is a high level of food energy deficiency per adult in rural Ethiopia, with Amhara and Tigray leading the way. There has been barely any exit from the long-term crisis of agriculture in Ethiopia, whose lands are now increasingly threatened by corporations from India and Saudi Arabia and by shifts in the climate.

Neoliberal policies have enabled Ethiopia to grow quickly, but this growth has not been pro-people, certainly not the people of the rural districts of Amhara, Oromia, and Tigray, from where the main migration has been taking place.

Djibouti

Djibouti, at the tip of the Horn of Africa, within sight of Yemen, is one of the smallest countries in the world. But it is located at a strategic vantage, at the entrance of the Red Sea. That is the reason why it has been home to a very large United States military base—at Camp Lemonnier. But the U.S. base is no longer the only one; there are substantial bases for the militaries of China, France, Italy, and Japan.

For years, there was concern about the rise of piracy in the water off the Horn of Africa, with pirates from Somalia being seen as a major threat to global shipping. But, over the past decade, piracy here has decreased in these waters as it has decreased worldwide. It is clear that none of these bases are in Djibouti to deter piracy, which is their stated goal. They are there because of the geopolitical tensions around the Gulf region.

India and Saudi Arabia are building their own bases in Djibouti, with the Saudis even looking at Obock for land. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is prosecuting the war in Yemen with Saudi Arabia, already has military bases in Eritrea, Somaliland, and Somalia.

Despite the presence of these forces in such a small country, there is no effective way to prevent the migration of thousands of Ethiopians through Djibouti to Yemen. Neither the ports nor the waters are barriers to this human exodus.

Yemen

The Saudi-UAE war on Yemen has been going on for five years. On February 23, the parties to the conflict met in Jordan to agree on a prisoner exchange; this fulfills some of the commitments made in the Stockholm Agreement of 2018. A medical air bridge has allowed a handful of critically ill patients to be taken out of Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, while the port of Hudaydah is largely left free for necessary humanitarian goods to enter the country. Almost all of Yemen’s people are reliant upon these humanitarian goods for basic survival.

Despite this relatively good news, violence has escalated in certain key districts of Yemen over the past two weeks. Since January, 35,000Yemenis have been displaced from their homes, an indicator of the dangerous situation in the country.

It is into this cauldron that the Ethiopian migrants come. Crossing the Red Sea is not easy, since the boats are insufficient and overcrowded; migrants who make it to Yemen report that they have seen people leap off the boats to certain death because of the terrible situation that they face. In March 2017, a UAE-Saudi helicopter fired at a boat carrying Somali migrants—killing at least 42 people; there are additional reports of this kind of activity along the Yemeni shoreline.

In Yemen, the migrants are held in detention camps, where they are abused by human traffickers and by other gangsters. Migrants in these camps, including in Aden, face extortion—if they cannot pay the guards, they are beaten, raped, and held indefinitely. When the spotlight is shone on any one of these camps, it closes and another opens elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia

If the migrants somehow make it to Saudi Arabia, the terror continues. Smugglers take the migrants into Saudi Arabia’s Jizan Province; often the migrants are made to carry qat (a stimulant grown in Eastern Africa) across the border. They are often shot at by Saudi border guards and—if caught—are either ransomed or held in places such as Jizan Central Prison (which might as well be a detention camp).

Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia have a strangely symbiotic relationship. Saudi Arabia relies upon at least 400,000 Ethiopian workers, who come to do a variety of jobs in the kingdom. But, every few years, Saudi Arabia deports these workers. In 2013, the Saudi government removed 100,000 Ethiopian workers; they were deemed to be “illegal,” arrested, and removed in chartered flights. Then, slowly, Ethiopian workers returned, now with lower wages and almost no rights. In March 2017, Saudi Arabia deported 260,000 Ethiopians. These deportations are a disciplinary mechanism, a way to keep the Ethiopian migrants on their toes.

Ethiopia conducted agreements with Saudi Arabia (2017) and the UAE (2018) to ensure protections for their citizens, but there is little evidence that this is helping. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been putting billions of dollars into the National Bank of Ethiopia and into its government, part of the foreign direct investment (FDI) that has heated up the Ethiopian economy. Given this money, it is impossible to imagine the government of Ethiopia standing up for its citizens in the Gulf.

The boats from Obock, Djibouti, will continue to ply their trade; Ethiopians will continue to travel the Eastern Route into Saudi Arabia. No plans are afoot inside Ethiopia to be able to generate employment to hold the population in place, and there are certainly no plans in Saudi Arabia to improve the conditions of its workers.

There is a demonstration of values here: when workers come to Saudi Arabia, they have to travel by the dangerous waters and through war-torn Yemen; when they get deported, they are flown home by aircraft.

Posted in USA, Human Rights0 Comments

Forever-Chemicals Tap Water

by ROBERT HUNZIKER

Photograph Source: Hash Milhan – CC BY 2.0

Throughout the history of Western Civilization there are times, but only on rare occasions, when people en masse feel compelled to run into the streets, similar to the storming of the Bastille 1789, screaming at the top of their lungs: “Stop the Madness!”

Now is one of those times, as only recently Feb 2020 the Trump administration signed a regulation to remove America’s water resources from federal protection. This is the largest rollback of the Clean Water Act since passage into law in 1972. No other administration over the past 50 years has removed federal control over certain key aspects of the all-important landmark legislation known as the Clean Water Act.

“This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” according to the Southern Environmental Law Center.

“This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.” (Source: EcoWatch, Jan. 23, 2020)

Trump’s disgusting and kinda creepy reversal of one of America’s longest-standing policies protecting the public from environmental muck, crud, slime, sludge, oozing glop and most significantly “manmade chemicals” affects every citizen all across the land. It goes right to the heart of the morality of the country.

Still, many Americans are already drinking chemically laced water, aka: Forever-Chemicals, straight out of the tap, yet they don’t know.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Washington, DC, for the first time: Toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS (a family of manmade Forever Chemicals – lasting forever in the environment) have been discovered in drinking water in dozens of cities, including the major metropolitan areas of America. These studies have not previously been reported to the public at large.

Accordingly, the number of Americans exposed to toxic chemicals has been drastically underestimated in prior studies by both the EPA and by EWG’s own research. This is not good news.

Making matters more challenging, recent tests exposed multiples of festering problems that include newly discovered toxic chemicals

“… that are not commonly tested for presence in drinking water.” (EWG)

In other words, testing for drinking water toxicity has been deficient for years. By all appearances, governmental rules and regulations should be greatly enhanced and expanded, not diminished or abolished, as has been the case over the past couple of years.

America’s president (Trump) comically boasts: “America is the cleanest. Our air is the cleanest. Our water is the cleanest in the world.” Trump’s misinformed, deeply disturbing blatant lying proves that he is the most dangerous uniformed ill-equipped president of all time.

Not only that, across the board, Trump has reversed decades of solid, established policies designed to safeguard U.S. citizens. Yes, he actually abolishes policies that protect the health of the very same voters who belly up, squeezing into tiny voting booths, to blindly vote for him. It’s horrific on the scale of Greek tragedies where the main character is eventually brought to ruin as a consequence of: (1) tragic character flaws, (2) moral weakness and (3) inability to cope. Trump scores on all counts.

Only recently, the self-congratulatory tragi-comic Trump pounded his chest for being the first president to successfully open up drilling to America’s most pristine wildlife refuge, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). For decades, Congress steadfastly forbade drilling on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Anybody with the slightest sensibility and moral courage would fight tooth and nail to prevent despoiling ANWR, which Trump flailed while admitting he’d never heard of ANWR, but he had no compunction whatsoever about removing restrictions for drilling and mining and/or private development, even though he’d never heard of ANWR. Presidential?

Trump’s lack of sensitivity, awareness, consciousness borders on the absurd and exposes a deep level of stupidity or maybe just plain ole ignorance that is seldom, if ever, exposed in the highest echelons of political office.

And, even worse, much-much worse, without giving a second thought, “congressional Trumpers” voted to reverse the long-standing policy of protecting America’s most pristine wilderness. Members of Congress achieved it via attachment to an “unrelated” 2017 tax bill, which is the weasel-out methodology for underhandedly killing policies that Americans are sensitive about. Hands down, ANWR is one of those.

Meanwhile, as for toxic water, EWG’s testing found 44 locations in 31 states; all but one had detectable PFAS in public drinking water with some of the highest levels found in Miami, Philadelphia, New Orleans, northern NJ, and suburbs of NYC.

Not only that, it gets worse, as 34 locations that tested positive for PFAS toxic contamination had not been previously reported to the public by the EPA or by state environmental agencies.

Coincidentally, but not at all surprising since toxic chemicals disrupt, alter, and destroy healthy human cells, the number of Americans (150,000,000) diagnosed with chronic illness in America is off the charts. (Source: Rand Corporation 2017 Study – Chronic Conditions in America: Price and Prevalence)

Along those same lines, it’s instructive to consider that the top three causes of death in 1900 were infectious diseases pneumonia and flu, tuberculosis, and gastrointestinal infections. Chronic diseases were not prevalent. Antibiotics led to dramatic declines in those infectious diseases. Whereas today, it’s no longer an infectious disease that kills, its chronic disease like heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death which are not caused or spread person-to-person, not infectious, and not fixed with antibiotics.

By all appearances, humanity’s modern-day surge in chronic diseases is due to alteration/destruction of bodily cell structure, which brings to mind somber troublesome questions about life environments.

According to Earthjustice, a San Francisco-based nonprofit environmental law org: “Toxic chemicals known as PFAS are found in everyday products… They’re linked to cancer, and they’ve contaminated drinking water sources across the country.” (Source: Breaking Down Toxic PFAS, Earthjustice, Feb. 12, 2020)

PFASs are chemical substances that don’t easily break down and persist in the human body, similar to ionizing radiation, where accumulation occurs over the years and leads to a series of chronic conditions in people, for example, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Studies are just now starting to show links, connecting the dots for the first time, to chemical substances like PFAS to testicular cancer (every male’s biggest nightmare), kidney cancer, and endocrine disruption. Clearly, somebody somewhere should take responsibility for diligently cleaning up America’s water systems with more restrictive rules, not less enforcement.

Good news, bad news: The good news: PFASs have proven so toxic that manufacturers phased them out entirely by 2015, but (bad news) the contamination of water supplies is already a fait accompli, no turning back after decades of toxic exposure.

More bad news: Against the protests of 200 scientists, chemical companies have replaced older PFAS with new chemicals in the PFAS family called GenX, which, unfortunately, act a lot like the old PFAS and may be equally dangerous. (Source: Earthjustice)

The industrial release of PFAS is one major source of water contamination. For example, in 2016, researchers discovered “troubling levels of GenX in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River. The source was a PFAS manufacturing plant owned by The Chemours Company, a spin-off of DuPont.” (Earthjustice)

PFASs also accumulate in the human body via food and food packaging, as discovered in a 2017 study when PFASs were found in 1/3rd of all fast food wrappers.

As for America’s Trump-crippled-EPA, more bad news: There are no PFAS listed on the EPA’s important “Toxics Release Inventory,” which is the primary tool for alerting communities across the country to toxic problems.

Not only that, and possibly making matters much worse (other than having Trump as president) on Feb. 14th, 2019 the EPA unveiled a long-delayed Nationwide Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Action Plan. “However, the plan is too little, too late, and falls short of what is needed to protect communities from a class of chemicals that are polluting drinking water and air, while exposing families, particularly children, to a myriad of heath risks, including cancer.” (Earthjustice)

All of which highlights gross incompetence, carelessness and/or heartlessness via governmental regulatory agencies under leadership of the White House.

EPA was first alerted to the toxic drinking water problem 20 years ago but ever since has failed to set an enforceable nationwide legal limit. In 2016 (pre-Trump) the EPA issued a drinking water advisory of 70 ppt, whereas, in sharp controversial contrast, independent studies and labs say the recommended safe level for PFAS in drinking water should be 1 ppt, and certainly, absolutely not 70 ppt!

EWG has already mapped PFAS toxic contamination of drinking water or groundwater in 1.400 sites in 49 states. Older EWG studies concluded that 110 million Americans were drinking toxic water, an estimate that is probably way too low based on the more recent findings.

All of which, not alarmingly, coincides with the aforementioned Rand Corp study indicating that 150,000,000 Americans have chronic illnesses, like Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, bipolar mood disorder, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Henceforth, by slashing environmental rules and regulations (ninety-five [95] so far according to the New York Times, as of Dec. 21, 2019) the Trump administration is stimulating/enhancing the likelihood of a veritable outbreak of chronic illnesses, well beyond the current massive numbers; expect multiple (2-3) chronic illnesses per person to mushroom, creating a drug-infested nation full of Mad Hatters.

Postscript: The EPA’s outside scientific advisory board issued a negative draft report (Dec. 2019) stating the Trump water rule proposals were “…in conflict with established science… and the objectives of the Clean Water Act.” The majority of those members of the advisory board are handpicked Trump appointees. Will they be fired?

Post-Postscript: “This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Blan Holman told The New York Times. “This puts drinking water for millions of Americans at risk of contamination from unregulated pollution. This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.” (Source: EcoWatch, Jan. 23, 2020)

Posted in USA, Health0 Comments

The Real Modi: Do the Killings of Muslims Represent India’s Kristallnacht?

by PATRICK COCKBURN

Photograph Source: Ankur Jyoti Dewri – CC BY-SA 4.0

On 9 to 10 November 1938 the German government encouraged its supporters to burn down synagogues and smash up Jewish homes, shops, businesses, schools. At least 91 Jews – and probably many more – were killed by Nazi supporters egged on by Joseph Goebbels, the minister for public enlightenment and propaganda, in what became known as Kristallnacht – “the Night of Broken Glass”. It was a decisive staging post on the road to mass genocide.

On 23 February 2020 in Delhi, Hindu nationalist mobs roamed the streets burning and looting mosques together with Muslim homes, shops and businesses. They killed or burned alive Muslims who could not escape and the victims were largely unprotected by the police. At least 37 people, almost all Muslims, were killed and many others beaten half to death: a two-year-old baby was stripped by a gang to see if he was circumcised – as Muslims usually are, but Hindus are not. Some Muslim women pretended to be Hindus in order to escape.

Government complicity was not as direct as in Germany 82 years earlier, but activists of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, were reported as being in the forefront of the attacks on Muslims. A video was published showing Muslim men, covered in blood from beatings, being forced to lie on the ground by police officers and compelled to sing patriotic songs. Modi said nothing for several days and then made a vague appeal for “peace and brotherhood”.

The government’s real attitude towards the violence was shown when it instantly transferred a judge critical of its actions during the riots. Judge Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court was hearing petitions about the violence when he said that the court could not allow “another 1984” to happen, referring to the killing of 3,000 Sikhs by mobs in Delhi in that year after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. He said the government should provide shelter for those who had been forced to flee and questioned if the police were properly recording victims’ complaints.

The government says that Judge Muralidhar’s transfer had already been announced and claims that its speedy implementation of the move had nothing to do with his remarks.

Accusations of fascist behaviour by present day political leaders and their governments, similar to that of fascist regimes in Germany, Italy and Spain in the 1930s and 1940s, should not be made lightly. Such comparisons have been frequently levelled in recent years against nationalist, authoritarian populists from the US and the Philippines to Poland to Brazil. Often the allegation is believed by the accuser and, at other times, it is simply a term of abuse. Yet Modi and the BJP appear closer than other right-wing regimes to traditional fascism in their extreme nationalism and readiness to use violence. At the centre of their agenda is their brand of Hindu nationalism and a relentless bid to marginalise or evict India’s 200 million Muslims.

The rest of the world has been slow to grasp the gravity of what is happening in India because the Modi government has played down its project to shift India away from its previous status as a pluralistic secular state. The sheer number of people negatively affected by this change is gigantic: if the Muslim minority in India was a separate country then it would be eighth largest state in the world by population.

The violence in Delhi this week stems from the fear and hatred generated by the government-directed pincer movement against Muslims in India. One pincer is in the shape of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), under which non-Muslim migrants can swiftly gain Indian citizenship but Muslims cannot. Even more threatening is the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is likely to deprive many Indian Muslims of their citizenship. It was the non-violent protests and demonstrations opposing these measures that provoked the Hindu nationalist mobs into staging what was close to a pogrom earlier this week.

Just how far Modi and the BJP will go in their anti-Muslim campaign is already in evidence in Jammu and Kashmir, the one Indian state with a Muslim majority. It was summarily stripped of its autonomy last August and has been locked down ever since. Mass detentions and torture are the norm according to the few witnesses able to report what they have seen.

For 150 days after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the internet was cut off and it has only been restored to a very limited degree since January. The security forces detain who they want and distraught family members complain that they cannot find their relatives or that they are too poor to visit them in prisons that may be 800 miles away.

The isolation of Kashmir has largely worked from the government point of view in sealing it off from the outside world. But would it make much difference if events there were better known? The burnings and killings in Delhi this week are well publicised, but regarded with a certain tolerance internationally: Modi can trade off India’s reputation as a ramshackle democracy and a feeling that “communal violence” is traditional in India, like hurricanes in Florida or earthquakes in Japan, and nobody is really to blame.

There has been an encouraging, though fiercely repressed, wave of opposition in India to the degradation of its non-sectarian traditions. The danger here – and the mobs in Delhi may be a sign of this – is that Modi and his government will respond to these protests by playing the Hindu nationalist card even more strongly.

Dealing with foreign criticism, the government may say that, regardless of its domestic political programme, it is supercharging economic growth and this excuses its other failings. Authoritarian regimes, with control over most of their own media, often make such claims and, when economic statistics show the opposite, they simply fake a new set of figures. A recent study of the Indian economy noted that, while overall economic growth had supposedly risen strongly, the growth in investment, profits, tax revenues, imports, exports, industrial output and credit had all weakened in recent years.

In one respect, Modi is in a stronger position than Germany after Kristallnacht. President Roosevelt responded with a statement denouncing antisemitism and violence in Germany and promptly withdrew the US ambassador. President Trump, on a two-day visit to India at a time that Muslims were being hunted down and killed a few miles from where he was sitting, said he was satisfied that Modi was working “really hard” to establish religious freedom.

Posted in Human Rights, India0 Comments

Billionaire Power and Politics

by EVAGGELOS VALLIANATOS

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

I watched the last two Democratic presidential debates with heavy heart. Not a single question about the engulfing catastrophe of climate change. The warming waters of Lake Michigan are no longer hospitable to perch. However, the billionaire owners of ABC and CBS are not interested if the restaurants in Milwaukee frying perch. They feel uncomfortable reminding the American people of the coming anthropogenic storm and potential hunger. They like the money they make from advertising fossil fuels and the massive industry they spawned: petrochemicals, pesticides, electricity power companies, and the car economy. Besides, Trump, the Republican Party and the executives of the largest fossil fuel corporations deny global warming. Only Senator Bernie Sanders and billionaire Tom Steyer mentioned climate change.

The television oligarchs running the “debates” ask divisive and misleading questions about the economy and health care, trapping the Democrats in guessing how many trillions it would cost to implement Sanders’ imperative that health care is a human right, and that all Americans deserve medical services.

Then the television media sponsoring the debates turn their arrows against Sanders who won the Nevada contest. They call him socialist and radical, epithets Americans associate with the Soviet Union, China and Cuba.

Steyer agrees with Sanders about corporate and billionaire corruption. He avoids slandering Sanders. But the other politicians running for president (billionaire Michael Bloomberg, vice president Joe Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, and former small city-mayor Pete Buttigieg) bite the TV bait and follow up with insults. They cannot grasp why the senator from Vermont would take pride describing himself as a socialist with democratic vision for an economy working for all, rather than the 0.1 percent of Americans who are billionaires. They seem to be oblivious to the political reality all around them: that America is a plutocracy.

Both Plato and Aristotle denounced the rule of the rich – plutocracy. A few rich men grab political power, becoming oligarchs and, eventually, tyrants.

An oligarchy of rich Athenian farmers (equivalent to our billionaires) enslaved so many family farmers in sixth century BCE, that Athens faced the prospect of civil war. Cool minds prevailed and politicians invited Solon to extricate Athens from the tyranny of the rich. Solon, a lawgiver and poet, forgave debts and mortgages and abolished serfdom. He wrote he removed the boundary stones of slavery and freed those who had been thrown to shameful servitude, trembling before their masters (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens 12.4).

Aristotle was not exactly an admirer of democracy in Athens. The Peloponnesian War in late fourth century BCE had tarnished its reputation. Nevertheless, Aristotle was a keen observer and student of power and politics. He said the heartbeat of democracy was its virtue of rule and be ruled (Politics 1317b17-1318a10).

This virtue defines democracy to this day. But how can Americans trust their government and democracy under the control of Trump? They rightly demand the end of his presidency, though they have yet to appreciate the threat of the billionaires. They are still confused by socialism and capitalism.

The billionaires probably make up less than 0.1 percent but own most of the wealth of the country. They are running America and are determined to maintain their monopoly of power. Most of them like Trump because he bribed them with tax cuts. They plan to buy the presidency for him.

Anand Giridharadas, an editor at Time Magazine, has thought about the American schizophrenia over socialism and capitalism, rarely making sense of the political importance of the concepts and economies and power they represent. He describes the 2020 election as the “billionaire election” and the billionaire referendum. He is right that “billionaire power is excessive and is suffocating the American dream.”

Myths die hard. The oligarchs of television and newspapers like the existing political parties. They make tons of money from the policies compromised politicians enact in support of privilege. Billionaires are the greatest beneficiaries of tax cuts, tax havens, paying no taxes, the export of well-paying American jobs, freezing workers to the salaries of the 1970s, and environmental deregulation and ecocide.

Yes, pollution kills and deforms people and wildlife. But who is watching? Not the corporate-funded large environmental organizations. Not the doctors and health experts who make billions from a sick society. Not the political appointees of Trump at EPA. Their sole responsibility is to keep environmental and public health harm under wraps. Trump keeps saying we have the cleanest air and water.

The Republican Party looks at Trump as another Reagan who promotes “conservative” values. I often wonder if these well-heeled rich Americans look at their children and  grandchildren in the eyes assuring them of a healthy future in the midst of the tornadoes of climate and political change.

Giridharadas says the billionaires are even stealing the future:

“When… the future, progress, rains on us, who gets it? Who harvests the rainwater?…. the future has become a thing that is privately gated and enjoyed and monopolized by very few people, which means that you can be living in an age where extraordinary things are being invented, the internet is being invented, medical advances are happening, but if you are not in the gated community that enjoys the fruits of the future, you are stuck in 1979. And that’s true as a matter of wages for many people. It’s true as a matter of health access for many people. It’s true as a matter of information access for many people, who are listening to media that is distorting their minds. And I think what’s at stake in 2020 is we wake up to the idea that either we are going to resign ourselves to living in a country that billionaires rule, or we’re going to actually muster the gumption to remind billionaires that they are living in our country.”

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Primary Notes from a Shit-Hole Superpower: Crashing the Party from the Top Down

by PAUL STREET

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

12 noon: Just to be clear, the Dem establishment will gladly enable a second fascistic and ecocidal Trump term before it will get behind a progressive Dem/Sanders nomination. The neoilberal Dem masters will do everything they can, including sabotage of Sanders, to sustain the party’s status as a thoroughgoing ruling class institutional asset. They are the ones with ideological purity tests, and they are loudly and clearly announcing their preference for Trump over Sanders in 2020 as in 2016.

You will not get a popular revolution through electoral politics under the U.S. party and elections system. Sorry if that makes me sound “negative.” Always start with the truth.

1:17 pm: I glanced at “liberal” MSNBC host Stephanie Class-Ruhle (SCR) this morning. Her theme: voters will not support a democratic socialist. What else? This woman, a former leading global derivatives trader who lives in luxury in East Central Park, is obsessed with demeaning and defeating Bernie Sanders. She regularly invites on experts from Third Way and a bunch of non-Trump Republicans like Jeb Bush’s former 2016 campaign director. SCR is just a caricature of herself at this point. She would never admit it, but she wants Trump back for a second term. Demented Orange is very profitable for right-wing fake progressive MSDNC and CNN chattering skulls like SCR.

2:18 pm: Go to 3:15 of this CNN clip and look at how insanely ORANGE this fascistic dip-shit Trump’s head is compared to all the other whites up on the stage. How bizarre. As someone wrote me, he looks like he broke out of a mental hospital and locked himself in a make-up room.

2:49 pm: No surprise here: “Superdelegates ‘Willing to Risk Intraparty Damage’ to Block Sanders at Contested Democratic Convention.” I keep saying it here and to anyone who will listen: the Democratic Party’s corporate-imperialist establishment would rather lose to the right-wing capitalist party, even to an increasingly apocalyptic and fascistic right, than to the progressive, moderately social-democratic and environmentalist left wing of its own party. That was the basic story of 2016 – a tragedy the bourgeois Democratic Party leadership is trying to re-enact in 2020.

3:37 pm: The two most remarkable things I’ve seen in the last 24 hours: : (1) the New York Times report on how the Dem super-delegates will be perfectly happy to throw the election to Trump by screwing over Sanders at the Democratic National Convention; (2) footage of Malignant Orange trying to blame the Coronavirus-caused stock market drop on the “radical Left Democrats.”

6:20 pm: Demented Orange is muzzling govt. scientists on c-virus, making them clear statements with Christian Fascist Pence. He’s such an Antichrist.

7:31 pm: Many of us on the Left have been trying the crash the Democratic Party for a long time. It looks like super-rich oligarchs like Bernard “Stop Sanders” Schwartz may do it for us.

Just Shoot Me

9:18 pm: So neoliberal globalist guru Thomas Friedman just went on CNN to call for a post-Trump “government of national unity” ala “Team of Rivals.” Friedman then proceeded to trash the shit out of Bernie Sanders, the front-running progressive Dem presidential candidate adored by tens of millions. As was clear from his conversation with Chris Cuomo. Friedman sees the Coronavirus as a great opportunity for his friend Mikey Moneybags Bloomberg to emerge as the leader of this coming “national unity” state. Friedman thinks Bloomberg will arise as the “crisis manager” we the people need. You can’t make shit like this up. Well, you can, but I didn’t.

9:50 pm: Thomas Friedman and Steve Bannon are both stuck five feet apart in the middle of a busy street with an out of control bus bearing down on them. You have been ordered by a man with a gun to run out and save just one of them by knocking the one you choose out of the bus’s way (hopefully keeping yourself clear from the bus). The man with the gun will shoot you in your left leg if you don’t try to save one and just one of them. So do you: (a) let them both die and take the bullet; (b) save Friedman and let Bannon go under the bus; (c) save Bannon and let Friedman go under the bus?

My answer is (a): just shoot me

10: 15 pm: Corn Pop-a-bin-Biden bin clown’n and ly’n agin: “Joe Biden Admits He Did Not Get Arrested Trying to Visit Nelson Mandel During Apartheid.”

What Would it Take?

February 28

9:15 am: In a surprise announcement this morning, Donald Trump cited concerns that “the Coranavirus will return next November due to cold weather” after it “magically disappears this April due to warm weather. It goes away but then it comes back. Because of this disease, developed by China and the do-nothing Radical Left Democrats, the 2020 presidential election will have to be cancelled until further notice.” Trump added that “the spring and summer of 2021 are looking very chilly from what my weather people are telling me. They are unbelievably good at what they do and according to them the whole year, maybe the whole decade, is looking like sub-zero. So we’ll just have to see.” (I made this up, but the scary thing is it almost sounds believable.)

10:53 am: U.S.-Americans, your ruling class pushes the envelope a little bit more each day: “what can we get away with before you’ll get off your asses and take to the streets?” So far, so good for them. What in the name of God (or whatever) would it take? Is there ANYTHING that would do the trick? Please let me know so I can decide whether or not to try to flee this shit-hole Superpower — not that you can ever completely escape the long dark shadow of Uncle Sam.

12:13 pm: Like the noxious and practically illiterate and innumerate predator Trump or not, many in the upper bourgeoisie are contributing to his record-setting re-election campaign finance war-chest ($253 million raised by January 31st of this year, more than half from large donors). If the Lords of Capital were seriously offended by or worried about his fascistic and ecocidal conduct and policies, they could easily end his presidency with weapons they would certainly use against a Bernie Sanders presidency: capital strike and a constant propaganda war on how the administration was crippling prosperity. Expressing sentiments common across the commanding heights investor class, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, a lifelong Democrat, has voiced preference for the neofascist Trump over the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders, a moderate social democrat advancing policies that qualify as centrist in capitalist western and northern Europe. The corporate-captive Democratic Party’s openly authoritarian, anti-democratic Wall Street-friendly “super-delegates” are ready to hand Trump a second term by super-voting to deny Sanders their party’s nomination even if he comes to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) with a large plurality of primary delegates. Deep-sixing the highly popular progressive Senator at the DNC will likely wreck the party, crippling it for the general election – a risk that the super-delegates are perfectly willing to take. So what if Trump is a malignant hyper-narcissist and an at least instinctual fascist, racist, sexist and eco-exterminist who the world’s leading intellectual (Noam Chomsky) reasonably describes as “the most dangerous criminal in human history”? And so what if another corporate-Democratic presidency of the kind some of Trump’s ruling class detractors would prefer would be likely to give rise to a 2025 Republican presidency even more horrific than Trump’s? The oligarchs don’t care.

Read the Times Between the Lines

12:39 pm:  Is there a problem with a Marxist or left anarchist intellectual reading the New York Times and citing it? Only in Idiot World. The Times is tasked with providing accurate information on what’s actually going on in the world to business and professional-class elites who the system needs to be reasonably informed. It has astonishing resources and covers a broad swath of developments and events often in great detail. Its own class-and Empire-slanted coverage and commentary is itself part of the story of how the ruling class and its Empire rule. Of course, one must control for its bourgeois and imperial filters and, as Lenin used to say, “read between the lines.” Of course, one must supplement, correct, and criticize its ideologically slanted coverage and commentary. Bit its’ moronic to denounce a lefty for reading and citing the NYT or for that matter the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post or CNN, etc.

Fascism Treadmills On

2:07 pm: Not often am I transfixed by the talking heads on CNBC: “Dow Slides 350 points As Wall Street Caps Worst Week Since 2008.” I pray for capitalism’s collapse daily, in the name of Mother Earth.

2:10 pm: Please tell anyone you know in South Carolina that they have to be a complete moron to vote for Joe Biden. Please email/FB/tweet/smoke-signal/passenger pigeon these pieces (in this post and in my first 3 or 4 comments) into South Carolina. Joe Biden is a ridiculous LIAR, PLAGIARIST, CORPORATIST, IMPERIALIST, RACIST, SEXIST, BUFFOON, and sadly, a dementia victim. I have written a number of pieces about this: here’s just one among many.

5:06 pm: See corporate bootlicker James E. Clyburn’s top campaign contributors here.

6:33 pm: Fascist Hate Rally happening now in Charleston, SC. Tangerine Antichrist whipping his demented Amerikaner Trumpenvolk into a frenzy after the stock market’s worst week since the Great Recession —- this while the nation stands on the verge of a major public health crisis that he says will disappear like “magic.” The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse await the nod from the fascist Antichrist. Coronavirus Czar Mike Pence prepares for Rapture.

Putting Mike Pence in charge of the federal Coronavirus response is like making Richard Speck a live in Sorority Dad.

8:49 pm: My FOX News-White Male survey at the X-Sport Fitness gym in the 800 block of South State St. in Chicago’s South Loop is now at 31 for 31. I am not joking. Since I started paying attention last week sometime, I have seen FOX News on active treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals 31 different times. In each and every case, the person using the machine is a white male. Now bear in mind, this gym’s users are half female and at least 2/3rds nonwhite. All kinds of folks watch the televisions when they work out. But nobody other than a white male ever watches FOX News. 31 for 31. Just because the city is blue doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a nice big chunk of racist-sexist-fascist white male FOX News watchers. Of course it does.

10:09 pm: So, Chicago police shot a guy for moving between cars on the L today. Here’s something amazing: the victim wasn’t Black.

Learn Where They Live

Assignment: Find the home and work addresses and phone numbers and emails of each one of these people…..the DNC “superdelegates.” These agents of abject authoritarianism, primed to subvert the will of the people, are going to need to know that we know where they live and work.

Wash Your Hands

February 29, 2020

11 am: Is this for real (I’m guessing yes): “FOX News is showcasing coronavirus analysis from a guy who said he hadn’t washed his hands in years and doesn’t believe in germs”? So, he’s one of those guys who walks straight out of the public toilet stalls without a stop at the bathroom sink and then goes and shakes your hand at the conference right before you reach for a croissant?

11:45 am: Sanders is way ahead of Elizabeth “Capitalist to my Bones” Warren in Massachusetts. What a richly deserved humiliation that will be for her after she joined Beavis, I mean Buttigieg, in accusing Sanders of valuing ideological purity over “getting things done” (the standard neoliberal insult against anyone left of the Center for American Progress).

12:52 pm: Going to make a point of grabbing some lunch in Chinatown today. Coronavirus is being used to feed anti-Asian nativism and fucking over Chinatown(s).

1:30 pm: Demented Orange Antichrist wants Americans to know that “Starbucks is open again in China.” And he’s “looking at closing off the southern border.” Pence is scary nuts: look at his vapid star. He’s dreaming about the apocalypse. The Trump-Pence regime has to be forced out now, not next January.

3:57: Trump is signing an Executive Order telling California it has been refused admission to the Electoral College for the fall semester of 2020. He says it can “re-apply in the spring if it sweeps its forest floors and makes its people wash their hands after touching railings.”

Unconventional Surplus Extraction

4:41 pm: Just found this while researching a piece I’m doing on Trump and the ruling class: “a Mercer associate was quoted as saying [hedge-fund billionaire and big 2016 Trump backer] ‘Bob [Mercer] thinks the less government the better. He’s happy if people don’t trust the government. And if the president’s a bozo? He’s fine with that. He wants it all to fall down.’” And this in an undated Canadian (?) report on Mercer: “’The ultra-wealthy of today differ from the ultra-wealthy in past eras in that they have, a lot of them, no stake in the infrastructure of society,’ [a former top Mercer associate] said. He’s seen that their wealth does not depend on the health and stability of the country. In fact, they get rich on volatility and instability.’”

“Money from algorithms created to identify patterns in financial market chaos,” Terry Thomas writes: “These guys are not involved in conventional surplus extraction, so it’s just numbers that produce money, a sort of capitalist nihilism. And Mercer wants to keep it that way: spends millions buying politicians to implement his extreme right-wing agenda. Jane Mayer in her frightening book Dark Money has Mercer right up there with the Koch boys in terms of buying the political system in order to implement Hobbesian dystopia. They like the current administration.”

Indeed. These hedgers need no functional societal infrastructure or at least they need it far, far less than old-fashioned capital. Hence their attraction to Bannon’s dream of “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” I remember Chomsky some many years some many years ago talking about how the U.S. was “a developing society” (the pioneering New Left historian Marty Sklar used to use that phrase in connection with corporatizing America I seem to recall) maybe through the 1970s. Since the onset of neoliberalism, it has been getting de-developed from the top down.  Of course, they don’t really want to tear down the police state…as it shreds the left and regulatory hands of the state, the ruling class relies more and more on the right and repressive hand of the state to control the population.

Soul Brothers

5:44 pm: The above-the-law rapist Donald Trump on his good friend and arch-pedophile/pimp Jeffrey Epstein in 2002: “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.

Tangerine Beelzebub was a soul brother with Epstein. (Here’s where a comrade on the Left needs to tell me that Bill Clinton was too……10, 9, 8, 7, 6…bingo, there it is. Thanks, I already know.)

South Clyburnia

7:42. pm: Has Biden won South Clyburnia yet? Indeed he has. James Clyburn is on television talking about studying and teaching history. He should be ashamed of himself, sheep-herding Black voters into marking ballots for the racist corporate imperialist Joe “Never Called Me Boy” Biden — giving that ridiculous right wing clown a sense of life. Disgraceful.

Resignations, Please

March 1

9 am: Slimy Pete had better think about picking his moment to sell out to Bloomberg, if he hasn’t already. As I’m sure Buttigieg knows, Mike can make him very rich. But the moment can pass and may soon.

11:08 am: MSDNC is trying to make the news it hopes to “objectively” report as if it had nothing to do with it: the defeat of Sanders. I’m not saying it will succeed, but it could, and it couldn’t be more transparent about what it’s trying to do. They don’t even hide it, really. I think if Sanders wins the nomination (which is going to be very tough to pull off without a majority of delegates pre-Milwaukee), people should demand mass resignations: the ridiculous Stephanie Class-Ruhle, Moan’n Joe and Mika, Williams, Reid, O’Donnell, Matthews of course. Nicole Wallace, others. I don’t need Chris Hayes or Steve Kornecki axed, personally. Maddow can stay to do fact-checking in a cubicle off camera. Sanders gets more love on FOX News than he does at MSDNC.

Correction: demand the resignations no matter what.

“The Most Dangerous Criminal in Human History”

11:26 am: I am as strung out on electoral shit-shows as anyone and I think it would be shall I say useful and instructive for the Sanders thing to go as far it can, but I must hasten to add: (1) we are insane not to be in the streets in large numbers right now under the presidency of a ruling class/ruling class-backed monster that Noam Chomsky rightly calls “the most dangerous criminal in human history;” (2) anyone who thinks we’re going to get the big and revolutionary change we need through major party electoral politics (culminating in 2 minutes in a voting booth once every 1,460 days) and without millions in the streets and staying there is just plain high. Enjoy the high but get real when the crash comes. We will have no choice but to make an actual revolution and not just a political one.

It’s a little depressing that Noam (for whom I have undying and deep respect) could say that about Trump (accurately by my estimation) but not couple it with a call for mass action in the streets, going instead with the notion that the Sanders phenomenon isn’t just electoral but is also a great popular movement. I’m afraid the Sanders thing is about 96% electoral (that could change and needs to). When the world’s most powerful office is occupied by “the most dangerous criminal in human history” (yes), we just wait around for our two atomized minutes in a voting booth (okay four minutes if you add the primary) once every 1,460 days!. For what it’s worth, the coronavirus does not care about the strictly and savagely time-staggered dates of the endless election cycle.

1:30 pm: Big money super-PACS – America First Action, Future 45, Great America PAC, Rebuild America Now, and the Committee to Defend the President – function as vehicles for super-wealthy donors to funnel money to keeping “the most dangerous criminal in human history” in the planet’s most lethal job.

Talk’n Down My Generation

3 pm: How about that super-progressive and left Baby Boomer generation? Sanders’ lowest popularity is with seniors. Well, you know who seniors are now? A big chunk of them, those between 55 and 75 are Boomers, Big swaths of the Democratic Boomer demographic prefer right-wing imperial corporatists like Biden, Buttigieg, Klobocop, and Bloomberg over the moderately social-democratic Sanders. All hail the progressive-liberal Dem boomers!

I don’t usually go generational, which is silly and stupid, but sometimes I can’t resist. I’m a late-to-the-party boomer (1958) — a literal child of the 1960s — who has always been darkly amused by the selling out and rightward drift of folks who lived in their late-teens and early adult years through the Civil Rights and anti-“Vietnam War” movements. (I think of folks like Sean Willentz, a once promising Marxian labor historian who “grew up” to become a Clintonite. As a young man, Willentz did excellent work on the making of New York City’s 19th Century working-class and the class relations of the antebellum era. Then he ascended in so-called higher education and sickeningly affixed his lips to the giant, deeply conservative and neoliberal ass of the Clintons. Only in America: imagine a young E.P. Thompson turning later into a Tony Blair fan.

I am naturally aware that many people in my generation did not cash in, like most of the kids who lived on the wrong side of the Midway (south) and 47th Street (north) and Greenwood (west) in the Chicago neighborhoods (Hyde Park and Kenwood) where I grew up. The justifiably angry ghetto kids who chased me all over Hyde Park trying to steal my bike and UNICEF money (which never made it to Africa, just Woodlawn!) — often succeeding — were Baby Boomers too.

No Ideology Here

7 pm: So Buttigieg is done: Is there a nice at a think-tank (Center for American Progress? Brookings? Council on Foreign Relations? American Enterprise Institute?) in the works for this young gay lion of globalist “get things done” neoliberalism”? Money promised from Bloomberg? Both? Maybe Alfred E. Wine Cave, aka Wall Street Pete, can get in some last militantly ideological neoliberal-capitalist shots against Sanders, socialism and so-called “ideological purity.” He’s competing with Zion Williamson and LeBron James for my attention right now, but I just heard him say he wants the Dems to run a campaign against “division,” for “unity” and beyond “ideology.” Because Pete doesn’t have an ideology, a divisive ideology – a ruling class neoliberal ideology. No, no “ideology” for Buttigieg, the naughtily neoliberal son of a recently deceased Marxian Gramsci scholar.

So now failing Joe Biden? How absurd: he was a terrible politician even before the dementia kicked in.

8:15 pm: Just 10,000?: Kenneth Peres, “Here Are 10,000 Words Detailing Why Mike Bloomberg Embodies Everything Wrong With the US Plutocratic Political System.”

Cold-Blooded

March 2, 2020

9:15 am: At “left” MSDNC, Moan’n Joe and Mika and Stephanie Class-Ruhle were practically in tears over the death of the rapacious capitalist and former GE CEO Jack “Chainsaw” Welch, a malevolent bastard who took delight in amassing vast personal wealth and ruining other peoples’ lives. Mika referred to Welch and his wife as close friends.

Former leading global derivatives trader Class-Ruhle then tried to tell the top Sanders campaign spokesperson Nina Turner that Bernie really needs to release his medical records. Turner, a brilliant force of nature, told Class-Ruhle that Sanders has released everything he needs to and then called little miss MSDNC “cold-blooded.” (“That’s cold-blooded, Stephanie.” Damn straight).

Marketing

Ms. Class Ruhle brought on the openly ridiculous Anthony Scarmucci on to say that “Sanders will lose a general election against Trump because Trump will call Sanders a communist.” Ruhle said that Sanders is a “socialist, not a communist” (true) but “the Mooch” was ready for her: “that’s right but it’s marketing,” he said.

Marketing. Well, that – and neo-McCarthyism.

Marketing rules: it’s what candidate contests are really all about, as Neal Postman tried to tell us in his classic Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.

10:00 am: Okay, we’ve gotten rid of Butthead, now what about Beavis-Biden and Bloomberg?

Trumpenproletarian Mythology

11:15 am: Just sent off a piece eviscerating the shockingly widespread and false notion of Trump’s base as the white proletariat and detailing different ways in which the real base that matter for malignant president —- yes, “the most dangerous criminal in human history” —- is the American ruling class.

Stephen Blobaum writes from Des Moines: “The average household wealth and income of a Drumpf voter was $76,000 ‘meriKKKan. The gated white suburbs of Central Iowa by far had the most Trump/Pence 2016 banners displayed on all their redwood privacy fences. I saw few if any Trump/Pence 2016 yard-signs in the poor and working-class neighborhoods.”

Indeed. I saw lots of Trump signs on big Southeastern Iowa farms on the way down to fight the “long black snake” (the Dakota Access Pipeline) in the fall of 2016. Some of those farmers have bitched about Trump’s tariff games but white supremacism, anti-cosmopolitanism, sexism, and federal payoffs have helped keep them on board against those Marxist-Leninist Democrats like Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Put Her on the Board

12:11 pm: Stock market jumping back a bit. So I guess everything’s okay. “Awesome,” John Crisman writes: “My boss will be able to take that extra week vacation after all.”

12: 26 pm. Amy Klobocop, meet Black Lives Matter. You gonna stick around?

12: 50 pm: Nope: she gone, put her on the board (to paraphrase Ken Harrelson). Amy, we hardly knew ye. (What did she get in departure negotiations?) It’s the three Bs (Biden, Bloomberg, and Bernie) and Liz Warren now. Does Warren have a plan for leaving the stage after an epic humiliation in her home state?

1 pm: So what time does the Super Bowl kick off tomorrow? I’ve got to shop for the party. Bloomberg should have some good commercials. Everyone loves the Super Bowl commercials.

Tell the Berners: Man-Up

1:20 pm: Just found this: Sanders would have done much better against Trump than Hillary in 2016…. Sanders was “the better bet” (NBC News). Vivek Jain writes me: “Sanders made a choice to declare that he was going to support the party nominee. That’s on him.” Indeed. And he’s already announced it for 2020, of course. Imagine Bernie trying to rally his backers for the billionaire Bloomberg! Big mistake.

Someone please tell Bernie Sanders: promising in advance to back a mega-billionaire oligarch like Bloomberg or a right-wing corporate-captive clown like Biden is (a) shameful and (b) unilateral pre-emptive self-disarmament. Capitalist media and politicos are perfectly happy to advance-pronounce Sanders “un-electable,” making it clear that they will f*#k him over in the general election. They are announcing their determination to make Bernie’s non-election a self-fulfilling prophecy, okay? This is capitalist mafia shit. Capiche? So, are Berners going to bring a knife or a napkin to a knife fight? Say it’s Bernie or Bust and that Bloomberg and Biden are un-electable because you say so, Berners: that’s right, because you fucking say so. Whooooh: what a concept: “You run either one of those right-wing assholes and we are out, period.” Not complicated.

Not to get too hyper-masculinist about things, but some of these Sanders need to man-up.

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Bloomberg & Occupy Wall Street

by JOYCE NELSON

It is strange, to say the least, that Michael Bloomberg’s role in shutting down Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been overlooked so far during his presidential campaign. While his “stop-and-frisk” racist policies as New York City Mayor have rightly been the focus of critical attention, nothing seems to have been said about his hostility toward the Occupy movement, which galvanized New York City and subsequently the rest of the country in autumn 2011, during his contentious third term as mayor.

Indeed, such a focus might highlight the glaring ironies of this Wall Street-connected billionaire wanting to become president, or at least stop a “democratic socialist” from winning the Democratic nomination.

In early October 2011, with OWS protesters camped out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park since September 17, Mayor Bloomberg complained on his weekly radio show that OWS protesters were “trying to take the jobs away from people working in this city,” from “the people that work in finance”. A week later, Bloomberg claimed: “It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress, who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp [financially].”

Trying to shift the blame for the 2008 Great Recession from the banksters, Bloomberg pushed the idea that the real culprits were Congress and government-sponsored housing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody,” Bloomberg claimed.

Bloomberg’s friends on Wall Street made billions by “securitizing” those loans, slicing-and-dicing the mortgage derivatives and selling them off to pension plans and banks across the world. As a result, the “contagion” spread around the planet, with many billions of dollars lost, while millions of people lost their homes to foreclosure and their jobs to huge layoffs.

This massive fraud in the private financial sector was the focus of OWS, whose meme “We are the 99 Percent” resonated widely and brought many out to their demonstrations. OWS was basically calling on elected governments to work on behalf of ordinary citizens rather than for the wealthy elites.

Within weeks, however, Michael Bloomberg had shut down Zuccotti Park, and a violent crackdown was unleashed against OWS protesters.

Documents later obtained in 2012 by a non-profit NGO revealed that the FBI considered OWS a “terrorist threat.” As I wrote in my book Beyond Banksters, the documents showed a “close partnering” among the banks, the New York City police, the New York Stock Exchange, the FBI, a branch of the Federal Reserve, and the Department of Homeland Security to “target, arrest and politically disable peaceful American citizens”. We need to know more about Mayor Bloomberg’s role (if any) in coordinating this partnering.

The OWS meme about the 99% still resonates – maybe even more strongly than in 2011 -which is a key reason why Bloomberg is using his billions to run for president. OWS members need to shed more light on Bloomberg’s 2011 role in shutting them down.

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Indigenous Rights Are Human Rights! RCMP Out of Wet’suwet’en!

by ALISON BODINE

In the dark early morning on February 6, 2020, the RCMP violently raided Wet’suwet’en territory in Northern British Columbia, Canada.

“They’re invading our people again, starting in the wee hours of the morning, arresting people who have been providing food and medical supplies to our camps, who are camped out along the side of the road doing amazing and righteous work. And right now, they’re being arrested, and they’re being removed,” –Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham), spokesperson for the Gidimt’en land defenders camp, reported through a video on Facebook.

The people arrested that morning are supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are opposed to the construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) natural gas pipeline on their territory.

Over the next five days, the RCMP continued to send heavily armed officers, supported by RCMP tactical teams dropped from helicopters, to arrest and forcibly remove peaceful, unarmed land-defenders. This was an armed invasion of unceded, sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory by the Canadian state.

The brutal invasion was an escalation of the ongoing RCMP occupation of Wet’suwet’en territory that intensified at the beginning of January 2020.  At that time, the RCMP increased their presence on the territory to attempt to enforce an injunction order against peaceful land defenders who had set up camps along the Morice Forest Service Road. These camps were organized by Wet’suwet’en people and their allies to prevent CGL from access to Wet’suwet’en territory without the permission of the hereditary chiefs, who, under Wet’suwet’en law, have the right to control access to their lands.

With this occupation came continuous harassment and aggression by the RCMP. This includes the imposition of an arbitrary and ever-expanding exclusion zone which the RCMP uses to control the entry of supplies, media, lawyers, doctors, and Wet’suwet’en people into their own territory and the support camps. This RCMP blockade, as well as the brutal raids beginning in February all go far beyond the boundaries of the injunction.

The shamefulness of this attack on the land defenders is further intensified because the CGL pipeline project does not have all the permits that they need to proceed with the project. They are missing one permit from BC’s Environmental Assessment Office. The question is if the project is still delayed, then why the violent urgency?

However, in the face of this violence by the RCMP, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters have continued to oppose the CGL pipeline project and defend their rights and sovereignty – simply put, their right to decide if, how and when the CGL pipeline project can proceed.

Who Defines “Rule of Law”?

The Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan, has justified this continuing RCMP occupation and brutality by claiming the supposed necessity to uphold the “rule of law.” Of course, the “rule of law” that Horgan is referring to is the enforcement of the injunction and the construction of the CGL pipeline without the consent of the Wet’suwet’en heredity chiefs. However, this is not the only law that must be considered in any honest discussion about resource extraction and development projects in Canada.

Wet’suwet’en territory, as with over 95% of land in British Colombia, was never surrendered by Indigenous people to the government of Canada. Therefore, Indigenous nations have rights and title to their traditional territories, as has been proven in the Supreme Court of Canada case of Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa.

In their “Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan Re: Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ Opposition to Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project,” 40 lawyers and academics from across Canada explained about this landmark case, which happened in 1997:

“The Hereditary Chiefs, not the band councils, were the plaintiffs in the landmark Delgamuukw Gisday’wa case before the Supreme Court. The Court confirmed that the Wet’suwet’en never surrendered title to their ancestral lands, and accepted extensive evidence outlining their hereditary governance system. The fact that band councils have signed benefit agreements with Coastal GasLink cannot justify the erasure of Indigenous law or negate the Crown’s obligation to meet with the Hereditary Chiefs.”

If the government of Canada’s “rule of law” therefore recognizes the territory of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, certainly it would be logical for there also to be the understanding that Wet’suwet’en laws are to be followed on Wet’suwet’en territory.  Therefore, Anuc’nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law) is the law that applies on Wet’suwet’en territory. It is clear that John Horgan does not believe in this law, which existed long before the colonization of Canada.

Another “rule of law” that Horgan and the government of Canada are willfully ignoring is Indigenous rights, which are fundamental human rights. The United Nations has created a framework for these laws with the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). UNDRIP calls for “free, prior and informed consent” of Indigenous nations regarding development projects on their territories. It also speaks against the forceable removal of Indigenous people from their land. The federal government of Canada claims to be currently working on UNDRIP legislation, while legislation to implement UNDRIP in B.C. passed in 2019.

Fundamental human rights must form the basis of any just law, and it is clear the laws that the federal and provincial governments attempting to impose are trampling all over Indigenous rights. This should not come as too much of a surprise as this is the same “rule of law” that colonial settlers have imposed on Indigenous people for 500 years and especially after the formation of Canada in 1867. This is the same so-called rule of law that facilitated and facilitating stealing Indigenous lands, and their children from their families, installed torture and brainwashing camps called residential schools, and attempting to erase language and culture, as well as exterminating millions of Indigenous people in Canada. This is the “rule of law” that is useless when it comes to the over 100 Indigenous reserves in Canada that don’t have access to clean drinking water, sanitation or basic health care and housing.

As recently uncovered by the Narwhal, this is also the same “rule of law” that tried undermine the Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision almost immediately after it was released over 20 years ago. Provincial negotiators for benefit agreements between development projects and Indigenous nations suggested “using federal funds intended for the healing of residential school survivors to advance treaty negotiations,” in desperation to “sweeten the deal” so that Indigenous people wouldn’t be tempted to invoke the Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision in defense of their rights.

Indigenous Rights Are Human Rights

According to the Yellowhead Institute, LNG Canada, of which the CGL pipeline is one component, received $5.35 billion in subsidies from the provincial government and an estimated $1 billion from the federal government.

As Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Dsta’hyl explained in a press release on January 15, 2020 – “The problem we are faced with is that the Horgan government has invested billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to subsidize the CGL project. This investment is being used to undermine Wet’suwet’en authority and empower CGL to proceed using the full force of the RCMP and judicial system.”

The struggle of the Wet’suwet’en has once again laid bare the empty claims of “truth and reconciliation,” spoken by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Although the federal government attempted to shuffle the responsibility for the CGL pipeline off to the provincial government, Trudeau can call the RCMP off Wet’suwet’en land and put an end to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

What this comes down to is that once again, the government of Canada is putting the interest of capitalist profits ahead of fundamental Indigenous rights. Chief Dsta’hyl has rightfully placed the responsibility for the current violence, and any economic impacts from ongoing solidarity actions, squarely where it belongs, on the shoulders of the provincial and the federal government of Canada. Trudeau and Horgan alike continue to promote, subsidize and approve mass resource extraction projects with no regard for Indigenous rights and Mother Earth.

Coast to Coast Action is Growing!

In response to the attack on Wet’suwet’en land defenders, there have been hundreds of actions organized calling for RCMP out of Wet’suwet’en and in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fight for their sovereignty. This struggle is much bigger, and more fundamental to the colonial foundations of the state of Canada then a struggle against a dirty, climate killing pipeline alone.

Across Canada, there have been rallies and marches, street and intersection protests and blockades, rail blockades, occupations in government offices, and fundraisers. Most of these actions have been Indigenous-led solidarity actions, including a strong rail blockade by the Mohawk nation at Tyendinaga.

However, these actions for Wet’suwet’en are as powerful, spontaneous, independent, and continuous as they are because they are not only about Wet’suwet’en rights or the CGL fracked-gas pipeline. This is about 500 years of colonialism, colonial settlement, genocide, and 150 years of repression since 1867 by the settler state of Canada.

As Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham) said in an interview on the Los Angeles-based radio show Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod, on January 16, 2020, “We see this fight as bigger than just us as one nation within so-called Canada. This is really a struggle for Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous rights globally.”

Keep Building the Movement for Indigenous Rights & Climate Justice

In the face of the oppression and racism Indigenous people confront every day, the struggle of the Wet’suwet’en for sovereignty and their rights has reached a critical point, one that threatens “business as usual” in Canada. The climate justice movement must recognize this and join in the struggle for   Indigenous rights.  Poor, working and oppressed people must unite to demand that the RCMP end their occupation of Wet’suwet’en territory immediately and stand with the Wet’suwet’en nation in its fight to assert its rights against the government of Canada, TC Energy and the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline.

Whether it is the struggle in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en, or the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (TMX), which is planned to bring toxic tar sands oil from Alberta to the coast of B.C., what the government of Canada is most afraid of is our unity as poor, working and oppressed people.

Mass media, the RCMP and government officials initiated their campaign of lies and manipulations about Wet’suwet’en and the actions to defend Indigenous rights as soon as this struggle began. What they are most afraid of is that Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers, students, and immigrants, will unite in defense of Indigenous rights. The capitalist ruling class in Canada is fully aware that our unity for Indigenous rights is a further expansion of rights for all oppressed people in Canada. This unity has the potential of developing the mass of working-class and oppressed people into people who think socially and act politically for change. And this will be a fundamental change, nothing short of dismantling capitalism.

The government of Canada has spent untold millions of tax-payer dollars occupying and invading Wet’suwet’en to try to teach Indigenous people in Canada a lesson about that what will happen if they assert their fundamental human rights. This violence and intimidation are not only used to target Wet’suwet’en land defenders and their allies, but also to try to convince non-Indigenous people in Canada that Indigenous people are against the rest of Canada – that they are against our jobs, against our comfortable life, and they are violent and dangerous and must be suppressed with a great force. The capitalist ruling class in Canada is reinforcing the law of the jungle, which exists only for animals; that means comfort for one must mean inconvenience and an insubordinate life for others. We must remind all these capitalist thinkers and politicians that human rights are based on equality in fundamental rights, law, and life.

To build a movement for Indigenous rights, we need sustained campaigns and mass actions based on the demand for self-determination for all Indigenous nations and Indigenous rights in Canada. All this means constant and consistent coordination and mobilization between Indigenous people and climate justice organizations and activists. Together we are stronger, and we will win.

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