Archive | November 14th, 2020

Escalating the Demographic War: The Strategic Goal of ‘Israeli’ Racism in Palestine


Photograph Source: ISM Palestine – CC BY-SA 2.0

The discussion on institutional Israeli racism against its own Palestinian Arab population has all but ceased following the final approval of the discriminatory Nation-State Law in July 2018. Indeed, the latest addition to Israel’s Basic Law is a mere start of a new government-espoused agenda that is designed to further marginalize over a fifth of Israel’s population.

On Wednesday, October 28, eighteen members of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) conjured up yet another ploy to target Israeli Arab citizens. They proposed a bill that would revoke Israeli citizenship for any Palestinian Arab prisoner in Israel who, directly or indirectly, receives any financial aid from the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Worthy of mention is that these MKs not only represent right-wing, ultra-right and religious parties, but also the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) ‘centrist’ party. Namely, the proposed bill already has the support of Israel’s parliamentary majority.

But is this really about financial aid for prisoners? Particularly since the PA is nearly bankrupt, and its financial contributions to the families of Palestinian prisoners, even within the Occupied Territories – West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – is symbolic?

Here is an alternative context. On Thursday, October 29, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, revealed that the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, plans to expand the jurisdiction of the Jewish town of Harish in northern Israel by 50 percent. The aim is to prevent Palestinians from becoming the majority in that area.

The contingency plan was formulated by Israel’s Housing Ministry as a swift response to an internal document, which projects that, by the year 2050, Palestinian Arabs will constitute 51 percent of that region’s population of 700,000 residents.

These are just two examples of recent actions taken within two days, damning evidence that, indeed, the Nation-State law was the mere preface of a long period of institutional racism, which ultimately aims at winning a one-sided demographic war that was launched by Israel against the Palestinian people many years ago.

Since outright ethnic cleansing – which Israel practiced during and after the wars of 1948 and 1967 – is not an option, at least not for now, Israel is finding other ways to ensure a Jewish majority in Israel itself, in Jerusalem, in Area C within the occupied West Bank and, by extension, everywhere else in Palestine.

Israeli dissident historian, Professor Ilan Pappe, refers to this as ‘incremental genocide’. This slow-paced ethnic cleansing includes the expansion of the illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the proposed annexation of nearly a third of the Occupied Territories.

The besieged Gaza Strip is a different story. Winning a demographic war in a densely populated but small region of two million inhabitants living within 365 sq. km, was never feasible. The so-called ‘redeployment’ out of Gaza by late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, in 2005 was a strategic decision, which aimed at cutting Israel’s losses in Gaza in favor of expediting the colonization process in the West Bank and the Naqab Desert. Indeed, most of Gaza’s illegal Jewish settlers were eventually relocated to these demographically-contested regions.

But how is Israel to deal with its own Palestinian Arab population, which now constitutes a sizeable demographic minority and an influential, often united, political bloc?

In the Israeli general elections of March 2020, united Arab Palestinian political parties contesting under the umbrella group, The Joint List, achieved their greatest electoral success yet, as they emerged as Israel’s third-largest political party. This success rang alarm bells among Israel’s Jewish ruling elites, leading to the formation of Israel’s current ‘unity government’. Israel’s two major political parties, Likud and Kahol Lavan, made it clear that no Arab parties would be included in any government coalition.

A strong Arab political constituency represents a nightmare scenario for Israel’s government planners, who are obsessed with demographics and the marginalization of Palestinian Arabs in every possible arena. Hence, the very representatives of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel become a target for political repression.

In a report published in September 2019, the rights group, Amnesty International, revealed that “Palestinian members of the Knesset in Israel are increasingly facing discriminatory attacks.”

“Despite being democratically elected like their Jewish Israeli counterparts, Palestinian MKs are the target of deep-rooted discrimination and undue restrictions that hamstring their ability to speak out in defense of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Amnesty stated.

These revelations were communicated by Amnesty just prior to the September 27 elections. The targeting of Palestinian citizens of Israel is reminiscent of similar harassment and targeting of Palestinian officials and parties in the Occupied Territories, especially prior to local or general elections. Namely, Israel views its own Palestinian Arab population through the same prism that it views its militarily occupied Palestinians.

Since its establishment on the ruins of historic Palestine, and until 1979, Israel governed its Palestinian population through the Defense (Emergency) Regulations. The arbitrary legal system imposed numerous restrictions on those Palestinians who were allowed to remain in Israel following the 1948 Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

In practice, however, the emergency rule was lifted in name only. It was merely redefined, and replaced – according to the Israel-based Adalah rights group – by over 65 laws that directly target the Palestinian Arab minority of Israel. The Nation-State Law, which denies Israel’s Arab minority their legal status, therefore, protection under international law, further accentuates Israel’s relentless war on its Arab minority.

Moreover, “the definition of Israel as ‘the Jewish State’ or ‘the State of the Jewish People’ makes inequality a practical, political and ideological reality for Palestinian citizens of Israel,” according to Adalah.

Israeli racism is not random and cannot be simply classified as yet another human rights violation. It is the core of a sophisticated plan that aims at the political marginalization and economic strangulation of Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority within a constitutional, thus ‘legal’, framework.

Without fully appreciating the end goal of this Israeli strategy, Palestinians and their allies will not have the chance to properly combat it, as they certainly should.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights, PoliticsComments Off on Escalating the Demographic War: The Strategic Goal of ‘Israeli’ Racism in Palestine

Tenant wins fight for council house after being hit with £170-a-month bedroom tax bill

Ann Ferriday, aged 59, from Stoke-on-Trent, has been living at her current home for nearly a decade because the property was suitable for a stairlift

By: Fahad Tariq James Rodger

Get all the latest politics newsSubscribeWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

A Staffordshire tenant who was controversially hit with a £170-a-month bedroom tax bill has won a legal fight for a council bungalow.

The triple stroke victim has been sleeping on the settee for months.

Council tenant Ann Ferriday, aged 59, from Stoke-on-Trent, has been living at her current home for nearly a decade because the property was suitable for a stairlift.

But seizures mean the triple stroke victim can no longer use the stairlift and she has been sleeping on the settee downstairs for months.

Now Stoke-on-Trent City Council has found a bungalow for Ann – after she turned down a room at a hotel, reports StokeonTrentLive.

Ann, who uses a walking stick, has a history of anxiety and depression, and is partially deaf.

She said: “My condition affects me badly because I can’t get up the stairs anymore. My social worker says I’ve got to move because I can’t climb the stairs – and I’m paying out £170-a-month in bedroom tax while I am here.

“The council offered me a place in The Crown Hotel which is not suitable for my needs. I have anxiety and depression and I can’t mix with people from there. The council was not understanding my needs.

“Then they offered me a room at Bradeley Village which is what I can’t understand. That room is £150 per week which they said they would pay the full amount for but they won’t pay the full amount on the house where I live now.”

She added: “The council has got a duty of care towards me. All I want is for them to move me into a bungalow so I am happy and can be safe. I am not safe in a three-bedroom house if I have to sleep downstairs.”

Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing, said: “We have been working closely with Ann Ferriday on her housing needs, including offering accommodation which was turned down.

“She had specifically asked for bungalow accommodation, but due to the demand for this type of housing, it is not always readily available. Happily we are now able to identify a suitable bungalow for Ms Ferriday which meets her needs.”

Posted in UKComments Off on Tenant wins fight for council house after being hit with £170-a-month bedroom tax bill

Trump’s Post-Election Power Grab Isn’t Just Selfish, It’s Dangerous to Democracy

The sun sets at the White House
The sun sets at the White House on November 11, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

BYSasha AbramskyTruthout

It’s been a full week since all credible media outlets concluded that Joe Biden had the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. And, in the last two days, those same outlets have called Arizona and Georgia for Biden as well, meaning he will end up with 306 Electoral College votes.

That is virtually identical to the number that Donald Trump received in 2016, which he insisted gave him a huge electoral mandate. But still Donald Trump is nowhere nearer to accepting the results, and close advisers such as trade envoy Peter Navarro are still insisting they are preparing for a second Trump term.

Biden has been congratulated by a range of world leadersInternational monitors have concluded there was no wholesale fraud in the election process. And elections officials from across the country contacted by The New York Times have consistently reiterated that there was absolutely no evidence of fraud in the 2020 elections.

Through it all, Trump has refused to concede, and, worse, has developed a fantasy narrative about massive levels of fraud, and a vast conspiracy to throw the election to Biden. It is, of course, an absurdity. Yet, shamefully, senior cabinet officials such as Attorney General Bill Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and most of the Senate Republicans — members of a party that has made voter suppression a key part of its electoral strategy in recent years, and that repeatedly refused to fund election protection efforts in recent months — have thrown their lot in with this historically unprecedented attack on U.S. democracy.

As a result, the U.S. is in uncharted waters, with a president-elect whom the current administration is refusing to acknowledge and refusing to cooperate with regarding preparations for a transfer of power.

The General Services Administration, which signs the paperwork necessary for a transition to begin, is balking at signing this paperwork. Trump appointees have been told that if they start looking for new jobs, thus signifying their sense that the game is up, they will be fired. And government agencies have been told to start working on a Trump-priorities budget for 2021-2022.

Astoundingly — yet all too predictably, given everything Trump has said over the past months and years about only accepting an election result that goes his way — experts are now wrestling with a very real question: Can Trump somehow orchestrate a coup through some combination of GOP intransigence, pressure on state legislators and governors not to certify election results and not to send Biden-voting electors to the Electoral College, a purging of the military’s civilian leadership so as to stack the Pentagon with “yes”-men, and armed paramilitarism to sustain him in power? And, if so, what would this look like?

Trump’s team is filing one frivolous lawsuit after another, in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona in particular. This strategy seems less about actually winning court victories — as soon as judges throw out one case, they add another one into the mix — than about muddying the waters, gumming up the vote certification process, and putting out a tsunami of lies to a political base that is ready to believe that a nefarious, national conspiracy is working to deprive their leader of his God-given right to rule.In breaking so dramatically with the tradition of conceding to one’s opponent, Trump is poisoning the well of democracy.

In Pennsylvania, in particular, GOP state legislators are falling in line, looking to establish all kinds of commissions of inquiry into the election, not in response to proven cases of fraud, but as a sort of catch-all fishing expedition. One assumes the ultimate intent of all of this is to reach a conclusion that the “true” will of the people cannot be known, and thus state officials should step up to the plate with their own electors

Meanwhile, Trump has “terminated” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who stood up to the president when the wannabe-strongman sought to send U.S. military forces against racial justice protesters in June. And he has also purged much of the Pentagon’s civilian leadership structure as well, and has forced the Energy Department official who has oversight responsibilities for the country’s nuclear arsenal to resign.

In Washington, D.C., rumors are rife that these purges will soon also extend to the CIA and the FBI. Now, this might all be nothing more than Trump using his last few weeks in office to settle personal scores, but a lesson I have learned in writing about Trump for four years is it’s always a safe bet to assume the worst. And the worst in this instance is… well, pretty bad.

And now die-hard Trump supporters, including assorted white nationalist groups and conspiracy-peddlers such as Alex Jones, are mobilizing for what they call the November 14 “Million MAGA March” on Washington, D.C.

While many of Trump’s recent efforts to draw out large nationalist street-fighting crowds have fizzled, as Trump grows more desperate, there’s certainly a real risk that he could embrace the sort of paramilitarism that he has been flirting with throughout his presidency. After all, Trump has, at various times, talked of having “the bikers” on his side; has given shout-outs to militias in Michigan, Virginia and elsewhere; and has played coy with the Proud Boys and other fascist outfits.

Now, cornered electorally, Trump is adding fuel to authoritarian fires by peddling a stab-in-the-back narrative to his most fervent supporters — many of whom have begun bringing weapons to political protests and who have, on occasion, used them). Trump’s narrative asserts that real Americans voted for him, but that an assorted set of phony Americans (people he sees as racially or politically or sexually suspect) got together, plotted with the media and with state officials, and ended up subverting the true popular will.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. But it’s nonsense that is rapidly acquiring a life of its own.

And there may lie the greatest danger to U.S. democracy. Trump’s lawsuits won’t overturn the election result. When push comes to shove, it’s hard to see how state political leaders in multiple states will select electors who don’t reflect the will of each state’s majority. Unlike Florida in 2000, when the result came down to a few hundred votes and a few hundred damaged ballots, it’s hard to see how the Supreme Court would get involved. Trump may try to declare some sort of national emergency and deploy U.S. troops against his opponents; but it’s not at all clear that the military brass would go along with such a clear attempt at a coup.

What’s more likely is that, in breaking so dramatically with the tradition of the losing candidate in U.S. elections graciously conceding to one’s opponent, Trump is poisoning the well of democracy, taking a gratuitous dump on his way out of the door. And the danger in doing so is that he doesn’t just stink up the place temporarily — he permanently damages the social and political fabric of the country.

That’s not just graceless, it is far more sinister. To satiate his need for adulation and attention, Trump is willing to peddle a lie to his 70 million-plus voters, telling them they have been cheated and that democracy has failed them

Germans went down a similar road of conspiracy peddling and stab-in-the-back musings in the 1920s and early 1930s, in the wake of the country’s defeat in the First World War. It’s a road that points toward fascism. It’s a road that creates a permanent divide, fissuring a country’s politics and making cooperation across party lines increasingly inconceivable.

I can’t think of another U.S. politician since Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis who has done such damage to the fabric of U.S. democracy. Trump might wrap himself in the flag, huffing and puffing about what a patriot he is. But it’s all guff. When push comes to shove, he’s always been in this only for himself. And now, in the twilight of his presidency, he’s showing the world that he’s willing to vandalize the entire democratic infrastructure of this country, simply as a coda to his four-year story of vanity and greed.

Posted in USAComments Off on Trump’s Post-Election Power Grab Isn’t Just Selfish, It’s Dangerous to Democracy

Yes, 55 Percent of White Women Voted for Trump. No, I’m Not Surprised.

A supporter of Donald Trump holds a “Women for Trump” flag outside Trump Tower on November 3, 2020, in New York City.
A supporter of Donald Trump holds a “Women for Trump” flag outside Trump Tower on November 3, 2020, in New York City.

BYJenn M. JacksonTruthout

Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” Her lesson stemmed from the notion that people know themselves better than any other individual ever could. When people express beliefs or exhibit behaviors that relate to their own commitments and ethics, we should take them seriously. It’s a wonder, then, why every election season, we express collective shock that a majority of white women voters have chosen patriarchy, white supremacy and anti-progressive values once again.

In 2016, the big takeaway was that 53 percent of white women voters cast their ballots in favor of Donald Trump, according to exit polls, helping cement his victory. But, in 2020, white women voters surpassed their 2016 levels of support as, according to exit polls, 55 percent of white women turned out to vote for the president who was recorded saying that men should “grab ‘em by the pussy,” who has referred to women as “horseface” and a “dog,” and who remains under intense scrutiny for the 19 sexual assault allegations levied against him. Maybe it’s time to start taking this massive failure to side with marginalized people as an indication of a widespread political orientation among white women, rather than as a shocking aberration.

Protectionism and White Femininity

As the majority of white women continue to support candidates whose policies stand in opposition to the concerns and experiences of vulnerable populations in the United States, there remains a proclivity among progressives to protect them from criticism.

This stems from a long historical trend and practice that allows for white women to actively engage in white supremacy while feigning helplessness. In the post-Reconstruction era, many Black Americans, especially men, were systematically targeted and hunted by white mobs in the name of “protecting” white women from the myth of the “brutish, sexually-uncontrollable” Black man.

The primary argument for lynching in the United States was about protecting white women from sexual violence. In 1892, Ida B. Wells, the most vocal and avid anti-lynching organizer in history, wrote in an editorial that, “nobody in this section of the country believes the old threadbare lie that Negro men rape white women.” But whether people believed the lie didn’t keep mobs from murdering Black people, especially Black men, in cold blood.White women have only voted in plurality for a Democratic presidential candidate twice since 1952.

There were no limits to the macabre violence. In 1955, 14-year-old Chicago resident Emmett Till was brutally lynched while visiting family in Mississippi because a white woman named Carolyn Bryant Donham claimed he grabbed and threatened her at a local grocery store. Three days later, the woman’s husband and brother abducted Till. They forced him to “carry a 75-pound cotton-gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head and then threw his body, tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire, into the river.” Bryant Donham later admitted that she lied about the events that led to Till’s murder.

To this day, it is not totally clear how many cases of the more than 4,000 lynchings in the United States were spawned because white women used their femininity and proximity to white men to inflict all manner of violence on Black people. What is known, though, is that white women remain stationed at the nexus of white supremacy, gender minority status and the privilege of perceived faultlessness, a position that has garnered them immense power both politically and socially.

Political Solidarity Is an Action, Not an Idea

It’s not like 2016 was the first time that white women cleaved to a Republican Party and candidate that didn’t represent feminist values and ethics. White women have only voted in plurality for a Democratic presidential candidate twice since 1952: once in 1964 for Lyndon B. Johnson and in 1996 for Bill Clinton. And only 43 percent of white women voters turned out in 2016 to elect the first woman president of the United States, another fact we haven’t discussed enough.

Political scientist Jane Junn explains that, “The elephant in the room is white and female, and she has been standing there since 1952. This result has been hiding in plain sight, obscured by a normative bias that women are more Democratic than men.” While voting is just one aspect of the U.S. political process, it is inherently tethered to the sorts of social welfare policies, institutional changes and political outcomes of minoritized people. And white women’s voting behavior tells us what the majority of them are prioritizing.

However, because so many people believe that women are inherently democratic voters and oriented toward justice, they don’t actually hold white women accountable to being democratic and oriented toward justice.Showing up to protests is simply not enough.

While safety pins and “pink pussy hats” have become popular markers of white feminist “allyship,” they also signal the performative nature and limitations of white women’s commitments to actually effecting change for those who most need it. Moving forward, we will have to demand more of white women than costume changes and props. Showing up to protests is simply not enough. White women have to disabuse themselves en masse of the notion that they are inherently good. They have to put themselves in harm’s way, disrupt the status quo of their own complicity in white supremacy and defer to those who are more vulnerable than themselves.

We can’t keep being surprised when white women choose whiteness over everything else. Rather, let’s shift our energy toward holding them accountable, acknowledging the failures of mainstream white feminism and pushing until the veil of protectionism falls away completely.

Posted in USAComments Off on Yes, 55 Percent of White Women Voted for Trump. No, I’m Not Surprised.

Women and Students Are Leading Thailand’s Fight for Democracy

Protesters stamp their feet on posters with Junta government leaders and the government-sided politicians during a demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand.
Protesters stamp their feet on posters of junta government leaders and government-sided politicians during a demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand.

BYAshley SmithTruthout

Amass movement for democracy has swept Thailand since July. Led by a new generation of students and workers, protests have taken place throughout the country. They are fighting for a profound transformation of Thai society. Thai socialist Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a former associate professor of politics at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He was forced into exile in Britain, after being charged with lèse-majesté (insulting the monarchy) in late 2008 because of his book, A Coup For the Rich, which criticized the 2006 military coup. In this interview, Ungpakorn discusses the uprising and how activists across the world can build solidarity with the Thai struggle.

Ashley Smith: Thailand is in the midst of a massive uprising against the government, military and monarchy. What are the underlying causes of these protests and what is the movement demanding?

Giles Ji Ungpakorn: The movement is led by young people, mostly students in secondary school and university. But it has attracted older ordinary working people; they’ve joined in very large numbers. Some of the demonstrations in Bangkok have been over 100,000 people.

The movement has raised three central demands. The first one is the resignation of the prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha. He is a former military general that seized power in 2014 in a military coup. He came to power through fixed elections last year.

The second demand is the complete re-writing of the constitution. It was drafted by the military and is not a democratic constitution. The third demand is the reform of the monarchy, specifically stripping it of new powers it was granted in the new constitution.

What is striking in these protests is the courage of young people, especially young women. They don’t carry the baggage of people who protested 10 or 20 years ago and were crushed, some of them brutally shot down in the streets by the military. The young people are fearless and determined to fight to democratize Thailand.

They are particularly angry about the behavior of King Vajiralongkorn. He spends all his time in Germany with his harem. He treats women in an appalling fashion. And even though he is the richest man in Thailand, his greed drives him to try to accumulate even more wealth.

What role has the pandemic and economic crisis played in driving wider layers of people to join the protests?

The pandemic mainly affected the economy. The actual number of cases and deaths is quite low. But the economy has been dramatically impacted because Thailand is so dependent on the world economy for export, services and tourism. All of these have been severely impacted by the global recession.

That’s why young people are worried about their futures. They don’t see much hope for getting good jobs, and it’s one of the reasons why they show no fear in the demonstrations. They don’t see what they have to lose.

The older generation actually share the frustrations and anger that the young people have. Millions of Thai people are very unhappy about what’s happening in the country.

They hate their economic conditions and despise the military’s domination of politics, fixing election after election. That’s why the parties that oppose the military actually won the largest number of the votes in last year’s election. That’s why the military had to fix it to ensure Prayut Chan-o-cha won.

This anger and resistance among young people, of course, is not something unique to Thailand. It is a global phenomenon. In the U.S. presidential election, it was young people who voted against Donald Trump. It’s young people who are organizing the Black Lives Matter protests. It’s young people who are rising up in Hong Kong, Chile and Nigeria. It’s young people who are organizing the global climate strike.

What is the nature of the Thai state and ruling class that the movement is fighting? How has the government, military, monarchy and their right-wing supporters responded to the uprising?

At the center of the Thai ruling class is the military. It has played a central role in the country’s politics since the 1930s. They have been supported by the middle class, especially since the protests in 2005 and 2006 against then-elected prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

On the basis of that support, they overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra. But the military is not all powerful. There have been at least two successful mass uprisings against military governments, one in the 1970s and another in the 1990s.

Another important part of the Thai ruling class is the capitalists just like in every other country. They have large conglomerates that dominate the economy like the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group as well as business moguls like Shinawatra.

Finally, there is the monarchy. Most of the activists believe that King Vajiralongkorn wants to bring back an absolute monarchy. They see him as all powerful.

This is a complete myth. Like his father, King Bhumibol, Vajiralongkorn is only on the throne because the military wants him to be there. The military in fact holds all the power. They use the monarchy in order to justify everything and strike fear into people’s minds.

The monarchy, like those in Europe and elsewhere, is a symbol the ruling class relies on to justify social inequalities as the “natural order” of things. It ratifies myths like there are people who are born to rule and others who are born to be ruled.

The monarchy itself doesn’t have any power. The current king spends most of his time in Germany living like a playboy and plays almost no role in decision making. Contrast this with actual dictators; they rarely leave their countries because they fear they’ll be overthrown when they’re abroad.

Then there is the character of this particular king. He’s proved himself completely incapable of ruling anything. Britain’s Channel 4 TV recently managed to corner him for an interview. They asked him some questions about the protests. His response was quite typical. He couldn’t string a sentence together. The idea that this man could somehow wield power is quite ludicrous. The monarchy is a powerful symbol that is controlled by the iron fist of the military.

This is important for the movement to grasp so that activists know what must be done to bring about democracy. We have to overthrow the military.

The movement is a direct threat to this Thai ruling class and its institutions. They have responded to the movement by threatening the protesters, enacting emergency laws and banning demonstrations. But young people simply ignored all of this and continued the struggle.

The regime then deployed the police to attack the protests. They used water cannons that shot water laced with chemical irritants onto the crowds in the hopes of driving them off the streets. But that only made people angrier.

At the moment, the ruling class and military seem to be waiting and hoping for movement to burn itself out. This is a real danger. If movements don’t go forward, they tend to go backwards.

Some journalists and activists have said that there is a possibility of yet another military coup to stabilize the country. Is that a possibility?

I am always hesitant to say that a coup is unlikely in Thailand. In 2006, I told a class of my students that there wouldn’t be a coup. And then the next day, the military overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra’s government.

That said, because there have been so many military coups, people in Thailand are always worried about another one. But the question for the military is: What would they achieve by overthrowing the current government?

They could stage a coup or just shut down parliament and rule by decree. But they almost rule by decree anyway. A faction of the military might be tempted to overthrow the government, but I do not see any evidence of that at the moment.

In reality, the military is already in power. They rule through Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government. I think they believe that the current façade or charade of democratic rule is their best option right now.

What are the kinds of social groups and classes involved in the struggle? What have been the kind of predominant strategies and tactics of the movement? What do you think the movement needs to do to take the struggle forward and win?

As I said before, the movement is led by young people, mostly students, and especially women. The students as a group come from a cross-section of classes.

It’s important to remember that the biggest class in Thailand is the working class. The students are ordinary, working-class kids. They may be the children of white-collar workers, but they’re still working class.

Some of them may be from middle-class backgrounds. This is a new development. In the past, the middle class in Thailand has tended to support the military and monarchy.

The movement has attracted large sections of the working class. There have been trade unions involved in some of the protests, for example, on the eastern seaboard in Chon Buri and to the north of Bangkok at Rangsit and also in Saraburi.

These have been organized by labor militants, but they remain a minority in the organized labor movement. Workers turn out to protests, of course, but not as organized forces at this point.

The strategy and tactics of the movement are very interesting. Since many leaders of the movement have been arrested and now face multiple charges, they are emphasizing that everyone is a leader.

They highlight the self-organization of the movement’s rank and file. They stress that the movement is democratic and that no one is instructed from above. This is a very good thing. It’s a breath of fresh air.

There is a downside to this, though. It makes it difficult to organize and strategize, because they don’t have a collective, elected leadership able to coordinate the struggle. It’s very decentralized, with all sorts of people organizing protests in different areas.

That makes the job of the police harder, which is good. But you can’t go on organizing flash mobs, week after week, with the hope that the government will just fall. If the movement is going to overthrow the military, it must make the country ungovernable.

There are only two ways of doing that. One is rioting in the streets. That would lead to terrible bloodshed. The military would come in and shoot people down as they have done in the past.

The more preferable option is that the young people and the militant trade unionists get together and visit organized workers in factories, offices, transportation hubs, and so on, and talk to them about the possibility of strike action to shut down the economy.

Strike action is the best way to make Thailand ungovernable. We’ve seen how strikes in other countries have played a crucial role in winning reforms and fundamentally social change. Unfortunately, people have not yet adopted this strategy.

What has been the role of the left and political parties?

There isn’t an organized left in Thailand. I tried to build a small grouping of organized socialists before I was forced to leave the country. That organization fell apart under the coup regime.

Today, though, there are a growing number of individuals who regard themselves as left-wing. They need to get together and talk about forming some kind of party.

They need an organized group of people in all the different arenas of the movement to win the argument for a turn to the working class and strike action. Uncoordinated individuals cannot do that.

Has the movement in Hong Kong had any impact on the Thai movement?

There are links between the Hong Kong activists and the Thai activists. One of the things that the current movement has learned from Hong Kong and the recent history of Thai struggle is that it’s dangerous to occupy areas overnight.

The previous Red Shirt movement, which was a large pro-democracy movement that arose 10 years ago, occupied key sites in Bangkok for days. The Thai military took advantage of that tactic and massacred activists in cold blood.

Wanting to avoid that at all costs, the current movement gathers people in large numbers, people make speeches, and then the crowd disperses and goes home. That is quite sensible. But such actions must be supplemented with strikes to win.

How have regional powers as well as the U.S. and China responded to the uprising? What impact will the movement have on similar struggles in the region?

The U.S. and China have not taken a public position. The two powers are rivals and each want the Thai state in their camp. The Thai regime is exploiting this situation by currying favor with both.

There are conspiracy theories that say the U.S. is backing the demonstrations. This is nonsense. The demonstrations are self-organized by young people for their own very good reasons. They are nobody’s puppet.

The U.S. government under Trump is hardly in favor of overthrowing the Thai state. It wants stability and this will not change with the incoming Biden administration. The Chinese government also wants stability.

It successfully pressured the Thai government to ban a visit by Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, who had planned to go and meet with Thai activists. The Chinese state doesn’t want the struggle in Hong Kong to spread out to the region then and back into Hong Kong.

The movement is very important for the region. The people in Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and other countries are closely following events in Thailand. If the protesters win, their victory would send shock waves through Southeast Asia, giving people inspiration to fight their own regimes.

What are the prospects for the movement?

We’re at a crucial moment right now. If the movement doesn’t increase the action one way or another to make Thailand ungovernable, then I fear it will end in a shoddy compromise.

What it is likely is that only one of the demands will be met, but not met in full. That will likely be the one about the military’s constitution. I think that the ruling class is prepared to amend the constitution.

That is not actually what the people want. They want the whole constitution scrapped and rewritten. The government will try and lure activists into accepting a rotten compromise on this demand and will ignore the other two — for the prime minister to resign and the monarchy to be reformed.

If the movement ends up kicking the ball into parliament and letting the parliamentarians sort it out then there will be a very shoddy compromise. Almost everyone in the current parliament would be happy with that result. But the people will not be.

What can activists outside of Thailand do to build solidarity with the Thai struggle?

One thing people can do is call for the release of all political prisoners. But, more importantly, activists throughout the world, especially in the United States, should build their own struggle to show to Thai activists that it’s possible to win.

For example, the Black Lives Matter struggle has been very inspirational to people in Thailand and throughout the world. If the Black Lives Matter activists turn toward organizing the power of the working class as they have done to some extent, they will provide a great example for activists in Thailand.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Posted in ThailandComments Off on Women and Students Are Leading Thailand’s Fight for Democracy

1 in 10 Go Hungry as Trump and McConnell Fixate on Challenging Election Results

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to the Senate floor to gavel the Senate into session on November 9, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heads to the Senate floor to gavel the Senate into session on November 9, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

BYMike LudwigTruthout

Despair and Disparity: The Uneven Burdens of COVID-19

Federal data shows nearly 11 percent of adults – including up to 14 percent of adults living with children — report their households do not have enough to eat. Hopes that Congress will pass another pandemic relief package before the end of the year are growing dim, as President Trump fixates attention on trying to overturn the election he lost.

Economic recovery is slowing as the United States experiences a surge of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, threatening to send cities and states with high infection rates back into lockdown to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The federal government estimates 10 million people – including 4 million children – will be pushed below the federal poverty line in late 2020 as unemployment benefits are set to expire in December without further relief from Congress.

However, Trump is now laser-focused on attempting to overturn the election, pushing disinformation and conspiracy theories as his campaign files failing lawsuits challenging the vote. Talks between the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on pandemic relief broke down last month, and administration officials have indicated they are unlikely to take the lead on negotiations now, leaving the job on the GOP side up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to The Washington Post. McConnell attempted to normalize Trump’s unprecedented behavior, arguing before the Senate this week that Trump has the right to challenge the election in the courts.

Congress has failed to agree on pandemic relief since passing a $2.2 trillion package in the spring that provided stimulus checks starting at $1,200. With all eyes on two upcoming runoffs in Georgia that could wrest the Senate from his control, McConnell has said that passing another pandemic relief package before the end of the year is a priority. However, McConnell is pushing for a “highly targeted” stimulus package similar to a $500 billion proposal that Democrats rejected months ago, arguing it did not provide nearly enough economic relief.

Democrats are doubling down on their proposal, the HEROES Act, a $2.2 trillion package passed by the House earlier this year that includes another round of $1,200 checks to each individual, along with badly needed assistance for state and local governments. McConnell has consistently refused to take up the package in the Senate, where conservatives wary of social welfare spending rebelled against compromise measures offered by the Trump administration and moderates. Democrats already cut $1 trillion from the HEROES Act since the House originally passed the legislation in May.

Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other top Democrats are now demanding Republicans drop their support for Trump’s effort to overturn the election and pass pandemic relief.

To Senate Republicans:

Joe Biden will be the next President.

Kamala Harris will be the next VP.

It is past time to get to work for the American people.

Americans need help to fight the COVID crisis. We don’t have time for games.

We must pass the Heroes Act in the Senate.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 12, 2020

“What are they thinking? People are suffering,” Pelosi said during a press conference on Thursday. “They seem to have a mental block to doing the right thing.”Nearly 80 million adults — about one in three — report not having enough money to cover basic expenses, such as food, rent and medical bills.

Analysts say Senate Republicans are not likely to embrace a strong stimulus now that Pfizer has reported preliminary data showing that its COVID-19 vaccine is 90 percent effective. However, a trial for the vaccine is ongoing and has yet to be approved by federal regulators. Consumer advocates warned this week that Pfizer’s preliminary data does not show whether the vaccine is safe or whether it will effectively prevent COVID-19 in vulnerable populations.

On Tuesday, McConnell pointed out that unemployment has fallen to 6.9 percent as evidence that only a “highly targeted” stimulus is needed. However, unemployment could spike again if the third wave of COVID-19 forces even more parts of the country back into shutdown mode. On Wednesday, Illinois issued guidance urging people to stay home, and the city of Chicago will enter an official stay-at-home advisory beginning Monday. Other states and cities will likely follow. A record 153,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the U.S. on Thursday alone, and the U.S. has seen over one million new cases in the past 10 days, more than any other nation.

Despite the positive jobs report cited by McConnell, about 1 million people applied for unemployment insurance last week, more than any time during the Great Recession, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Many workers are exhausting their state unemployment benefits as the pandemic drags on – the number of state claims dropped by 436,000 last week – and federal emergency unemployment benefits will expire on December 26 without congressional action.

Meanwhile, the economy has not recovered from the damage caused earlier in the pandemic as what little support is left from the initial relief package dwindles — and lower-income households and households of color are suffering the most, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Nearly 80 million adults — about one in three — report not having enough money to cover basic expenses, such as food, rent and medical bills, including 40 percent of households with children.

Nearly one in six renters are behind on rent, including 26 percent of Black families and 18 percent of Latinx families, according to the Center’s analysis of federal data. Some federal protections for renters are in place, but Democrats want a tougher eviction moratorium passed with a stimulus. Attempts by landlords to evict their tenants have been reported across the country.The Trump administration was in court last month attempting to block emergency food assistance for the nation’s poorest families.

Nearly 24 million adults — 10.9 percent of the population — report that their household sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week, according to data collected in mid-October. Between 8 and 14 percent of adults with children reported that their kids sometimes or often did not have enough to eat. Compare that to last year, when only 3.7 percent of adults reported their households going hungry during the entire course of 2019.

Rates of hunger are much higher among Black and Latino households, where workers are more likely to work in low-income industries that suffered massive job losses due to the pandemic. About 19 percent of Black households and 18 percent of Latinx households reported not having enough food to eat sometimes or often in the past seven days. The Trump administration was in court last month attempting to block emergency food assistance for the nation’s poorest families.

Back on Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans remained deadlocked over pandemic relief on Thursday, with Democrats pushing their $2.2 trillion proposal and attacking Republicans for focusing on Trump’s efforts to reverse the election results, according to reports. McConnell said he wants Congress to pass another stimulus but continues to stand by his $500 billion offer.

“I gather [Pelosi] and the Democratic leader in the Senate still are looking at something dramatically larger,” McConnell said. “That’s not a place I think we’re willing to go.”We’re worried

Posted in USAComments Off on 1 in 10 Go Hungry as Trump and McConnell Fixate on Challenging Election Results

Report Finds Over 100 Rebellions in Jails and Prisons Over COVID Conditions

An illustration of lames burning behind a prison watchtower. A covid motif is in the background.

BYElla FasslerTruthout

U.S jails and prisons, already death traps, have been completely ravaged by COVID-19. Crowded quarters, a lack of PPE, inadequate medical care, an aging population, and unsanitary conditions have contributed to an infection rate 5.5 times higher than the already ballooned average in the U.S. As of this writing, over 252,000 people in jails and prisons have been infected and at least 1,450 incarcerated people and officers have died from the novel coronavirus. Evidence suggests these figures are underreported, however. (The entire state of Wisconsin, for example, isn’t releasing any information to the public.)

In response, incarcerated people have shown strong solidarity, coming together to demand baseline safety measures and advocating for their release, only to be met with brutal repression and punishment.

According to a new report released by the archival group Perilous: A Chronicle of Prisoner Unrest on November 13, incarcerated people in the U.S. collectively organized at least 106 COVID-19 related rebellions from March 17 to June 15. Perilous, a volunteer collective project that tracks information on all prison uprisings, riots, protests, strikes and other unrest within carceral facilities, described this activity as “clearly one of the most massive waves of prisoner resistance in the past decade.”

Duncan Tarr, a researcher at Perilous, tells Truthout, “Since corrections departments and ICE contractors are unwilling to prevent the spread of the virus, prisoners and detainees have been taking action themselves to draw attention to the dangerous situation they find themselves in and to resist the system of incarceration that is killing them.”

Perilous’s analysis found that people rose up inside federal and state prisons, jails, juvenile carceral centers, and Immigration Detention Centers in 39 states. Immigrant Detention Centers rebelled most frequently, with 45 separate events. Thirty-tworebellions took place in private prisons (25 of which had contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement), a disproportionate response as less than 9 percent of prisons in the United States are privately operated. Louisiana, with a rich history of work stoppages, rebellions and an indefatigable support infrastructure, was the state with the highest frequency of COVID-19-related prison rebellions. California and Washingtonwere the second and third most rebellious respectively.

Common demands have included that guards wear masks and that departments provide individuals with protective items like soap, masks, and hand sanitizer.Over 252,000 people in jails and prisons have been infected and at least 1,450 incarcerated people and officers have died from the novel coronavirus.

In early April, an estimated 120 to 180 detainees inside GEO Group’s Adelanto ICE “Processing Center” in California went on hunger strike after two individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms were sent to the hospital. Striker Marcos Duran told Perilous that the private prison’s guards weren’t wearing masks. Detainees did not have access tosoap or shampoo, were forced to eat alongside 50-60 other detainees, and slept in the same room as seven others, Duran said. As of October 7, according to Desert Sun, nearly 20 percent of detainees at Adelanto had contracted COVID-19.

Beyond hunger strikes, Perilous documented 21 “uprisings” in American prisons, defined as collective acts of rebellion that exceed the usual scope of a protest through unpredictable or chaotic means.

In Monroe, Washington, after six incarcerated people and five staff members were diagnosed with COVID-19, an estimated 100 to 200 incarcerated people staged a protest over inadequate protective measures and a downplaying of the virus in the recreation yard at Monroe Correctional Complex on April 8. Joshua Vermaat, an incarcerated person at MCC, described his concerns in a letter to a friend, excerpts of which were published in KUOW, NPR. He said the Department of Corrections was transferring uninfected incarcerated people into contaminated tiers. He wrote, “We’ve been safe until now, but because of their lack of foresight and proper planning, now they need rooms for more vulnerable inmates and they want us to go into the ‘hot zone’ to make room for them.”Incarcerated people in the U.S. collectively organized at least 106 COVID-19 related rebellions from March 17 to June 15.

“They tried to bribe us with McDonald’s food. Are you flipping kidding … if you would do anything I ask you to tell this to the news and to the governor, this isn’t right.”

Some people refused orders to move. Their grievances were met with chemical weapons, rubber bullets and sting balls, according to the Department of Corrections. Demonstrators were ultimately forced to surrender.

The next day Vermaat said the resistance led to a change in tone from the DOC, but that the facility went on lock down. “No one here wants violence, NO ONE, but at the same time you’ve got 400+ … who are now being backed into corners.”

One month later, a guard at Monroe Correctional died from COVID-19.

Cook County Jail in Chicago, a site with the largest outbreak of any location in the state of Illinois, rebelled on six separate occasions including one uprising and several hunger strikes. On at least one occasion some detainees attempted or threatened to attempt suicide.

Over the course of April, the jail had released nearly a fourth of its population, decreasing it from 5,604 to 4,301. But, despite early resistance, Cook County Jail’s population has crept up again to nearly pre-pandemic levels.

COVID-19 flareups behind bars have undoubtedly contributed to the United States’ abysmal failure to control the virus. Despite urgent calls for action from public health scientists in The Lancet, the ACLU and countless other organizations, Democratic and Republican politicians alike, from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, have largely refused to reduce prison populations by any meaningful margin. In the ACLU’s evaluation of state efforts to prevent COVID-19 deaths behind bars, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia received the best scores, all with a “D-”. After sustained activism and a mounting death toll, on November 4, New Jersey released more than 2,000 incarcerated people who were already nearing the end of their sentences.

In the face of negligence, Ivan Von Staich, an incarcerated person at the notoriously brutal San Quentin State Prison, filed a lawsuit in May against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation alleging “deliberate indifference to the risk of substantial harm to inmates by failing to immediately reduce the prison population of San Quentin by releasing or transferring at least 50 percent of the population of the prison.” After the filing, San Quentin suffered an outbreak of at least 2,500 cases and at least 29 deaths. On October 20, the First District Court of Appeal in California ruled in Von Staich’s favor, ordering the release or transfer of nearly 1,500 incarcerated people. The court wrote, “If necessary to achieve this reduction, respondents are ordered to revise their expedited release programs to include inmates over 60, who have served at least 25 years of their sentences and are eligible for parole, such as life prisoners eligible for parole and second or third strike prisoners, even if such prisoners are serving a sentence for a violent offense.”

Incarcerated people and public health experts warn, however, that transfers increase the spread of COVID-19. San Quentin’s massive outbreak resulted from transfers. “The best way to help keep prisoners from contracting the virus would be mass releases,” Christopher Blackwell, an incarcerated man at Monroe previously told Truthout. “Absent those, it is essential to cease transfers and provide incarcerated people with adequate supplies.”

Instead of mass releases, as the U.S. enters its third wave, many departments’ chosen preventative measures continue to be “lockdowns,” or confining people in their cells for 21 to 23 hours a day. It’s estimated that 300,000 people incarcerated in state and federal prisons are in lockdown or solitary confinement conditions. Many incarcerated people have lost phone privileges and (already scant) programming. As budgets are slashed without complementary mass releases, healthcare services behind bars will continue to deteriorate, according to Perilous’ report.

Prior to COVID-19, experts considered U.S. prisons to be ‘ticking time bombs.’ Baseline volatile conditions remain and the virus is an accelerant. There is some hope that the virus will be better managed once Biden and Harris take power, although they have not yet released a plan that puts people over profit.

Tarr hopes that the Perilous report will bring some attention to the struggle behind bars during this chaotic time. “As the national political crisis continues to play out over the next few months, it is important that some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19 — those locked up by our government — are not forgotten and that their cries for help and freedom do not go unheard,” he said. “And a close look at the first few months of their resistance to the pandemic can shed some light on how we might move forward in preventing more unneeded deaths inside prison walls.”


Trumpism Can’t Be Voted Away. We Need Radical Social Transformation.

Trump Is Sowing Chaos in His Wild Bid to Cling to an Unsalvageable Presidency

Trump Is Attacking Critical Race Theory Because It Is a Force for Liberation

Poorer Countries May Have to Wait Years for a COVID Vaccine

Trump Fires Top Election Security Official Who Refuted Baseless Lies About Fraud

Calls Mount for Lindsey Graham to Resign Over Alleged Interference in GA Recount

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on Report Finds Over 100 Rebellions in Jails and Prisons Over COVID Conditions

In Promoting New Nuclear Power, Biden-Harris Back Fiction Over Science


Nuclear fuel assemblies being inspected before entering a pressurized water reactor in the United States – Public Domain

Although possibly a sad comment on his predecessors, incoming U.S. president, Joe Biden, is offering the most progressive climate policy so far of any who have previously held his position.

As Paul Gipe points out in his recent blog, the Biden-Harris climate plan uses the word “revolution” right in the headline — a bit of a departure from the usual cautious rhetoric of the centrist-controlled Democratic Party.

But ‘revolution’ is proceeded by two words which let us know we are still lingering in conservative ‘safe’ territory. They call it a “clean energy revolution”, which Gipe rightly refers to as “focus-group shopped terminology.” He goes on:

”Clean energy is a term forged by Madison Avenue advertising mavens in the crucible of focus groups. It ‘polls well,’ as they say. It means one thing to one interest group, something else to another. So it’s perfect for politics in America.

“To environmentalists, it means wind and solar energy, often only those two forms of renewable energy, and sometimes only solar. It also means good times to the coal and nuclear industry. (Ever hear of ‘clean coal’?)

“So clean energy is one of those misleading words that party leaders and, importantly, fundraisers can use to elicit money from donors of all stripes. Why say renewable energy, when you want to raise money from the coal and nuclear industries?”

The Biden-Harris energy plan hits all the right notes in its opening paragraphs, focusing on a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and emphasizing infrastructure, international collaboration and the protection of poor communities of color, who suffer the most harm from unfettered polluters.

As we know from his public statements, Biden will bring the US straight back into the Paris Agreement on climate and sees the climate crisis as the “number one issue facing humanity”. The Paris Agreement isn’t enough, but the US absence weakens it further.

Still on the right track, the Biden-Harris climate plan looks to the rights and wellbeing of workers and jobs creation. It will adhere to “science, not fiction” and recognizes that energy efficiency has an essential role to play.

And then it goes very badly — if predictably — wrong.

In the section entitled “Biden’s Year One Legislative Agenda on Climate Change,” the document proclaims “We have to get rid of the old way of thinking,” then reverts precisely to that, clinging on to nuclear power as a necessary component of its plan.

So the Biden-Harris agenda lists small modular reactors under its “game-changing technologies.” In a way, that’s correct. Diverting money into small modular reactors will be game-changing. It will put us firmly on the road to climate failure.

The good news is that nuclear power does not play much of a role in the Biden-Harris plan. But the bad news is that, when it comes to nuclear power, the Biden camp has indeed chosen fiction over science.

A bullet point called “Identify the future of nuclear energy” reverts right back to the failed Obama “all of the above” approach to “look at all low- and zero-carbon technologies”, instead of recognizing that nuclear power, a failed 20th century technology, does not have a future.

As Amory Lovins points out, this “low-carbon” approach is a perpetual mistake made by politicians and seized on and influenced by the nuclear industry — to look only at carbon savings, and not at cost and time as well.

“Costly options save less carbon per dollar than cheaper options,” Lovins writes. “Slow options save less carbon per year than faster options. Thus even a low- or no-carbon option that is too costly or too slow will reduce and retard achievableclimate protection. Being carbon-free does not establish climate-effectiveness.”

When you look at the precipitating drop in renewable energy costs versus the ever soaring nuclear ones; when you examine how you can reduce more carbon emissions faster and more cheaply with renewables than nuclear; and when you observe the real life examples of countries whose carbon reductions are greater after investing in renewables rather than clinging onto nuclear; then the only reason to include nuclear power in a climate plan is political.

The Biden-Harris platform will likely continue to listen to the old school. After all, it’s who they know. But if they really want that revolution, they should open their eyes to the reality on the ground.

A recent article in the Socialist magazine, Jacobin, pointed to an example in the Netherlands where a decision was made not to expand an existing nuclear power plant and instead build two offshore wind farms. Although the Fukushima disaster slightly influenced the decision, at the end of the day, as the article pointed out, it was all about “the law of value”, in other words, money. “With the declining cost of renewable energy, nuclear power simply does not make economic sense,” it said.

In an important new study out of Sussex University in the UK — Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewables versus nuclear power — the researchers concluded that choosing nuclear crowds out renewables and vice versa. This means that continuing to use old uneconomical nuclear plants — or investing in new ones — actually hampers renewable energy development, and thereby progress on climate change, and results in smaller carbon reductions and at a much higher cost.

The study notes that, “per dollar invested, the modularity of renewables projects offers quicker emissions reductions than do large-scale, delay-prone nuclear projects,” the same point made by Lovins. And, as the study also says, the more we use renewables, the more improved their performance, exactly the opposite of nuclear which sees “rising costs or reduced performance with the next generation of technology.”

This last is an important point for the Biden-Harris energy team to note. By including so-called new nuclear, they are dooming themselves to wasting both time and money better spent focused on renewables. Small modular reactors will not, as their plan asserts, come in at “half the construction cost of today’s reactors.” They will be far more expensive in relation to the electricity they would eventually produce. And of course they would arrive too late, and in too small a quantity and generate too little — and very expensive — electricity to make any difference to climate change at all.

Biden-Harris must look at empirical data, not listen to spin doctors and establishment cronies who will keep them anchored to the status quo, thus deferring the very energy revolution they claim they will lead. If Biden-Harris remain in favor of action on climate AND for nuclear power, then they are part of the problem, not the solution.

Posted in USA, PoliticsComments Off on In Promoting New Nuclear Power, Biden-Harris Back Fiction Over Science

Hey Joe: a Memo to Biden on Palestine


Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

Thou are not conquered yet, dear land,
Thy spirit still is free.
Though long the Saxon’s ruthless hand,
Has triumphed over thee.
Though oft obscured by clouds of woe,
The sun has never set,
Twill blaze again in golden glow,
Thou art not conquered yet […]

Through ages long of war and strife,
Of rapine and of woe,
We fought the bitter fight of life,
Against the Saxon foe,
Our fairst hopes to break thy chains,
Have died in vain regret,
But still the glorious truth remains,
Though art not conquered yet.

Thou art not conquered yet, dear land,
Thy sons must not forget,
The day will be when all can see,
Thou art not conquered yet

Michael O’Rahilly penned these words. Known simply as “The O’Rahilly” he was a republican and founding member of the Irish Volunteers. With some 64 other rebels, he gladly offered up his life to Irish freedom in the Easter Sunday uprising of 1916. Joe Biden would never know that.

Joe Biden takes pride in his Irish roots, as well he should. He finds comfortable repose in the romantic words of Irish tradition. He speaks of Irish bonds… words of warmth and love and hope. Irish is all that … but it is so much more. It is a journey of 800 years of occupation, of resistance at its finest, resistance at its purest, resistance at its deadliest. It is a chronicle Joe Biden has never lived nor learned.

Education is, for some, a privilege, for others a right, for more than a few a selective tailored read. Joe Biden is one such browser; a head-note sort of guy. Like his ignore of the necessarily militant, fierce chronicle of the Irish journey, Joe Biden prefers the packaged, heavily redacted narrative of another occupied people… Palestinians.

To Joe Biden, Palestinians are essentially little more than gate-keepers; visitors tasked by some biblical assign to safeguard the land awaiting the rightful return of relics from an Old Testament psalm long rewritten to serve the geopolitical needs of a Euro/Western colonial project. Of course, when it comes to Palestinians, like so many other political theists across the aisle, Joe Biden typically says all the right things: “except for Hamas terrorists, Palestinians are decent people… good people… honest people who must be treated with dignity and respect.” As for Israeli Jews, Biden’s cerebral tattoo is an echo of the crude international talisman that they are “entitled to live in peace and security.” How profound and deflective. And on those all too familiar occasions when the perpetual victim becomes the ever-lurking victimizer… by burning to death a Palestinian family, or running over a Palestinian toddler, or attacking farmers, damaging chicken coops and killing over 300 chickens or through “settler’ pogroms that ravage entire Palestinian communities… Joe Biden is among the first to denounce the deadly targeted assaults with the all too convenient preach “there are very fine people on both sides.”

It’s not difficult to discern Joe Biden’s myopic cheer for Israel over the course of almost half a century of his legislative applause. Anything but nuanced, or disguised, time and time again he voted aye for all pro-Israeli resolutions and nay for any that might begin to temper the systemic corrupt imbalance between the occupier and the occupied. To Biden and his generation of legislative pander, votes which might suggest, let alone facilitate, any modicum of equity or justice between Palestine and Israel were viewed as political surrender… if not suicide.

Yet, in the United States, political drive of legislative prerogative is far less indicative of one’s theological thirst than what they pursue when they wield the executive gavel of largely unfettered, unitary power. Here, eight years as vice president speaks volumes of Joe Biden’s heretofore zeal to protect Israel at all cost and to deny Palestine any safeguard of consequence whatsoever.

In the often uncomfortable world of reality, executive political power must be measured not by the echo of appealing words but, rather, the pound of deeds. Who better to measure the reach of Joe Biden when he reigned as the second most powerful man in the United States than Barack Obama. According to Obama, for eight years Biden was the last to leave the room of tough decisions and among the most active in shaping what they were to be and just where they were to go. And what were those decisions regarding Palestine?

With, by then, settled norm, Obama/Biden refused to accept the Israeli drive to annex land seized from the West Bank of Palestine. Likewise, the Zionist remake of al Quds into the recognized capital of a European implant went no further than their long standing holiday wish list… as did the transplant of the US Embassy to there from Tel Aviv. There was nothing remarkable about this political “intransigence,” nor did it slow the rapacious Zionist appetite to steal more and more occupied land in rank violation of settled international law. Indeed, in the half century since the on-set of Israel’s second wave of land snatch begun in 1967, American presidents have followed a fairly rote policy of “freeze” and wait while Israel, imbued with blanket U.S. legislative cover and a limitless checkbook, found little reason to pause in increasing its “settler’’ population in the occupied territories from the 10,000 of 1967 to more than 600,000 by 2016.

What, then, deciphers the political rhetoric of Obama/Biden to display the true nature of their largely unbounded support of a European colonial project committed to the eradication of an age-old indigenous population… whether by siege, violence, or categorical expulsion? During the eight years of Obama/Biden, that translate was not at all hard to find. There was, after-all, nothing subtle about Israel’s drive to punish Palestinians, for little more than their mere existence, during the time that Joe Biden readied himself to move from front row seat to oval office desk. Just several weeks before taking power in 2008, the future President got a primer on Israeli brutality through the lens of “Operation Cast Lead.”

With an opening salvo of war crimes on December 27, 2008, the first day of the operation, Israel bombed the main police headquarters in Gaza City, killing 42 police cadets standing in formation without weapons. Later that day, it bombed some 18 other police stations throughout the Gaza Strip. In total, 248 police officers were killed that day having not fired a single round at Israeli forces. Over the twenty one days of the Israeli onslaught that followed, it deliberately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure and made widespread use of prohibited weapons, such a white phosphorous, in highly populated areas in clear violation of international law. During the attack Israeli fire targeted 23 U.N. buildings and/or compounds killing numerous civilians who had taken shelter there. In the most deadly case, 43 Palestinian civilians were killed by an Israeli shelling in one such compound.

Palestinian schools were also targeted. On January 5, an aerial strike killed three men who had sought shelter at the Asma Elementary Co-Ed A School. On January 17, a military ordinance struck the Beit Lahia Elementary School while it was being used as an emergency shelter… killing two young boys and injuring 13 others. Human Rights Watch documented at least seven instances where Israeli soldiers shot and killed civilians… including five women and four children who were in groups waving white flags to convey their civilian status. In one such incident, Israeli soldiers shot and killed several members of the al-Najar family in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis. Following orders from soldiers to leave their neighborhood, and while waving white flags, Rawiya al-Najjar and her family were gunned down.

When the carnage ended, some 1440 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,000 injured… most of them civilians. According to the Israeli Human Right s group B’Tselem, 252 minors under age 16 (boys and girls) who did not take part in any fighting were killed along with 111 women and girls over 16. Nine Israeli soldiers were killed and 340 wounded.

Five years later, in the summer of 2014, Joe Biden got another stark, deadly reminder of just what it is to be a Palestinian in the cross hairs of a colonial fiend hell bent on relegating them en masse to the history of the disappeared. During Israel’s unhinged six week rampage on Gaza it dropped 40,000 tons of explosives on more than 5200 “targets”. At its end, some 2200 were slaughtered, including 550 children, and some 10,000 injured. Almost all the victims were civilians. More than 1900 children were orphaned, hundreds of thousands of civilians internally displaced with 20,000 homes, 26 NGO service providers, a half-dozen UNRWA facilities, 23 hospitals and health-care facilities, 133 schools, 360 factories, 50,000 acres of crop lands and half of Gaza’s poultry stock targeted and destroyed or damaged by Israel.

In the years since “Operation Protective Edge”, as so much a brazen dare to the rest of the world, Israel’s assault upon Palestinians has been as public as it has been relentless and diverse. In its 21 month-long attacks on tens of thousands of Palestinians during the Great March of Return, it met peaceful demonstrators in Gaza with tear gas canisters, some of them dropped from drones, or rubber bullets and live ammunition, mostly fired by positioned, hilltop snipers. The Israeli carnage resulted in the murder of 217 civilian protestors, including 48 children, 2 women and 9 persons with disabilities. Another 36,100 demonstrators were injured… including 8800 children. Of the 7,000 injured by live fire, 207 became permanently disabled with 156 requiring amputations. Among those killed and wounded were dozens of prominently identified journalists and medical staff.

Throughout Gaza, soon entering its fifteenth year of a choking siege, life remains a daily suffer for those living in one of the most densely populated areas of the world …all the while denied the minimal, essential guideposts of a healthy society. With large swaths of its infrastructure still in ruins and Israeli air attacks very much the norm, its two million residents live lives of isolated deprivation and despair subject to Israeli and Egyptian embargos of food stuffs, clean water, electricity and crucial medical supplies. For many in need of sophisticated medical treatment or equipment, the wait to exit the shuttered civilian prison becomes too little too late as they pass awaiting their turn. Others, including children, take their final breath alone in Israeli hospitals with families but 50 miles away denied passage with their loved ones not knowing if they will again see them alive.

In the West Bank armed “settlers” rampage daily attacking the young, the elderly, the frail, or those who dare to go for a walk or a drive. Not a day goes by without a report of another farm or grove attacked with century old olive trees destroyed for no reason but to tatter local economies and to devastate often elderly tree tenders, tasked with the protection of an age old tradition. According to the United Nations, 11,000 olive trees have been damaged or destroyed in a calculated settler strategy for dispossessing Palestinians of their land.

On November 3, 2020, the Israeli Civil Administration arrived suddenly at the Khirbet Humsah community, in the Northern Jordan Valley, with a military escort and two bulldozers and diggers. With but a few moments notice, they destroyed dozens of tents, sheds and livestock pens, water containers, solar panels, feeding troughs and tractors, and 30 tons of livestock fodder. By the time they moved on to the next village, they had smashed a community that was home to 74 people including 41 minors and numerous sheep and newborn lambs. Its destruction was ordered as one of 38 such villages that sit on land the Israeli military wants for training… training to destroy countless other villages, homes, lives with greater speed and proficiency.

Several day before Israel destroyed a water supply line in Masafer Yatta, South Hebron Hills, which provided water supply to the communities of Maghayir al-‘Abid and Khirbet al-Majaz. In late September of this year, Israeli bulldozers descended upon the community of She’b al-Batem, in the Masafer area of the South Hebron Hills. Before they left, they destroyed the home of two families… leaving 14 people homeless, including 10 children… one of them with a physical disability. Later that day, they proceeded to the community of Khirbet a-Rakeez where they demolished the homes of four families, leaving 17 people, including 10 minors and a woman with special needs, without any shelter. The week before, Israeli Civil Administration arrived at the community of Khalet Taha, in the Hebron District, accompanied by a military escort and Border Police. When they left, the homes of three families had been destroyed along with a large water reservoir, a well under construction, a power grid that stretched over 600 meters and razed land intended for building another water reservoir and a cattle pen.

These demolitions are by no means an anomaly. They occur daily throughout Palestinian Bedouin districts leaving countless families homeless, modern infrastructure destroyed, international development and improvement grants wasted and a tradition of the millennium struggling to see but another tomorrow. Yet they are not limited to distant desert outposts.

Very much the quiet, public face of an unbroken tear of ethnic cleansing, civil Israeli society aspires to undertake, in relative silence, what its military has long accomplished by unleashed bomb and bullet. Indeed, in its rush to erase generations of cultural and religious diversity, over the last few years Israeli demolitions in the greater East Jerusalem area have caused the destruction of several hundred residential and commercial structures… leaving hundreds of Palestinians homeless and dozens of businesses in ruins. This drive to turn Jerusalem into one huge Euro/American synagogue is but a continuum of the last fifteen years during which more than one thousand- five hundred residential and commercial units have been demolished by Israel… leaving more than three-thousand Palestinians homeless… including some one thousand- five hundred minors. But, then again, with history, at times, a precursor of what is yet to come and almost 10,000 Palestinian children detained… largely uncharged, unprosecuted and unrepresented over the last two decades… Zionists might argue, with straight face and determined purge, in Palestine there’s really no need for permanent housing.

Joe Biden has spent 50 years fleeing necessary friction; slapping backs trying in the name of some useless call for collegiality, to be all things to all people… that is, to those like him who find comfort in the myth of labor but, in reality, the privilege of birth. And now, Joe Biden, it is your time. What will you do? You are 77 years old, surely but a one term president who owes nothing to anyone or anything but to history. But for you that is a debt long overdue and riddled with the liberty and life of others. To get a flavor of your crossing, it would be easy to walk down the lane of history and stop at the headstones of your Criminal Justice Act of 1996, your pillage of Anita Hill, your support of an Iraqi sanction that starved the final breath from half a million children. These were your personal gold stars to own… ones that forged a political pathway which took a true believer to the apex of power… and, now, you are there.

To millions of Palestinians, their nightmare is a parallel travel in time to that of yours. Though you have felt the unfortunate sting of personal pain and suffer, imagine that of a stateless people, long abandoned, left to fend for themselves against an unbroken volley of Israeli violence and world indifference. You have played a role in that tragedy. Your votes have enabled and your silence empowered unspeakable and undeniable crimes. It is not enough to say “no” to Israeli plans to annex lands that are not theirs… and never have been. Money, once again, for UNRWA will be but crumbs on a table long smashed by an occupation now in its seventh decade. To reopen the shuttered Palestinian consulate in Washington D.C. will surely help thousands of Palestinians to navigate a world of documents yet do nothing to unfold a state that is no less legitimate, than the one you are about to lead.

Be daring, be bold, be decent, be humane. Israel must understand that until the siege on Gaza ends, the theft of Palestinian lands done, and political prisons shuttered, the US checkbook remains closed.

You speak often of your faith… one that welcomes all; a community of love, compassion and embrace. Words can become reality if only you dare.

In moving closer to the sage in action, as well toward a personal end of days, keep an eye and mind on Ecclesiastes for guidance.

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute,” (Psalm 82:3). “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17).

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Hey Joe: a Memo to Biden on Palestine

Trump’s Reichstag Fire


Photograph Source: vige – CC BY 2.0

This essay is part of a periodic series on the 2020 presidential election. Some earlier pieces can be found here.

An urban legend is beginning to spin: come January 20, 2021, President Donald Trump will wall himself into the White House, with a few of those gilded sofas wedged up against the Oval Office door, and refuse to come out when the Bidens come calling for the ceremonial ride to the Capitol and the presidential inauguration.

Remember the scene four years ago, when Don and Melania showed up gripping that egg-shell blue box from Tiffany & Co. (“Can’t we just give them that platter we got last year?”), with Trump leaving his wife behind to struggle with the limousine door while he did his bear-walk toward the waiting Obamas and, more to the point, White House power?

I have to say that I am indifferent as to whether Trump stays or goes on the morning of January 20, since barricading himself in the Oval office will simply add to the criminal charges that will come his way that afternoon or in the days that follow.

Mercifully, political power in the United States is based on faith, not the keys to the White House panic room, and I suspect that a few Washington Mall park rangers, experienced at handling trespassers mumbling to themselves that they are president, can remove him from office (once Comcast has cut his cable subscription).

Nor do I think that anyone, other than perhaps Eric and Don Jr. (Ivanka and Jared will have left on a ski trip), will answer the coup d’etat bell, should Trump choose to ring it. But since the specter of a Trump putsch (he is German, after all) is at least under discussion, let’s review whether if where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

The White Noise of the Recount Drama

For starters, ignore all the Twitter about vote recounting in places like Pennsylvania or Georgia as changing the outcome of the presidential election.

It was never the intention of Trump and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to claw their way into the White House on the back of some national recount, which is just a smoke-and-mirrors exercise to lay their entitlement claims before the court of public opinion.

If Trump were serious about his various state recount lawsuits, he might have organized better evidence than the affidavit of the convicted child sex offender/Trump poll watcher who saw some questionable ballot-counting practices in Pennsylvania, or he might have had a better plan than to send Rudy to the microphones in front of that Philadelphia dildo store (a “coals to Newcastle” exercise, I must say).

As a Reichstag fire, the great vote recount hoax isn’t very convincing. Even if a case or two lands in front of the wholly-owned Supreme Court subsidiary, none of them has any chance of overturning anything more substantial than those 53 contested votes in Georgia. So those gas cans, in the lobby of American democracy, will fail to ignite.

Trump’s Certifiable

Slightly more promising would be for the Trump’s hole-in-ballot-box gang to persuade some friendly state legislatures, in states where Biden has won, to intervene in the vote certification process and to appoint an alternative slate of Trump electors to make the case that they are the “real” electors when Congress counts the presidential votes on January 6, 2020.

The problem with this strategy, for example in Pennsylvania, is that while that legislature has a Republican majority, the governor is a Democrat, Tom Wolf, who appointed the secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, who has the job of auditor-in-chief of electoral fairness (something she takes seriously, as do thousands of other vote-counting officials across the country).

Without knowing either Wolf or Boockvar, my guess is that they would lie down in the streets of Harrisburg before they would allow the Republican majorities in the state legislature to vote in an alternate slate of Trump electors that would turn up in Washington with phony credentials.

For Trump and Giuliani, that leaves only Georgia and Arizona among the swing states where Biden has won or is winning the popular vote and which have a “trifecta” of the governor and both state legislatures under Republican control.

On paper anyway, those states could be susceptible to the appointment of rogue electors, although in Georgia and Arizona the legislatures would be breaking their own states’ laws if they were to ram through electors (11 in Arizona; 16 in Georgia) for Donald Trump (still not enough to turn the election).

Here’s the pertinent clause in the Constitution:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress…

And the legislatures in Georgia and Arizona have “directed” that a popular vote will decide who is chosen as a presidential elector.

As I said, it would be against the law to send in Trump-cloned electors (if the popular votes have been tabulated otherwise), but keep in mind that three of the current members of the U.S. Supreme Court (Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett) worked for Bush on Bush v. Gore in 2000, which shut down the recounts in Florida, gifting the presidency to George W. Bush. That case also left open the question whether state legislatures have absolute authority, according to the “original intent” of the U.S. Constitution, to appoint presidential electors, which might give Trump some hope here.

Hail Mary Pence

The reason why fiddling with presidential electors is more promising for a Trump putsch than recounting votes in Wisconsin is because it is a joint session of Congress on January 6, with the unctuous Vice-President Mike Pence presiding, that opens the electoral envelopes from each state, counts the votes, and resolves any disputes.

If the issue of electors (and their credentials) cannot be resolved by the House and Senate, then the House of Representatives (one delegation, one vote) would determine the election (in Trump’s favor).

It would be a Hail Mary for the god-fearing Trump, but perhaps one worth some genuflection, if the alternative to staying on in the White House is a stretch at Attica Correctional Facility.

Georgia on Mitch’s Mind

Here’s another dilemma for Trump’s Three-card Monte recount strategy: any attempt to strong-arm the Georgia legislature would probably doom the two Republican senatorial candidates in the special runoff elections in Georgia, scheduled for January 5, 2021 (the day before the electoral votes are counted in Washington, D.C.).

If Trump tries a sleight-of-hand game in Georgia, he would find himself fighting not only Biden and the Democrats, but also, ironically, Mitch McConnell, as the Senate majority leader needs to carry at least one seat there for Republicans to maintain their (and his) grip on senatorial power.

I don’t know whether you noticed it, but when Mitch gave Trump a high five to chase after fraudulent votes, he limited his enthusiasm only until the states “certify” their vote totals.

Here is what McConnell said in prepared remarks on the floor of the Senate:

Obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount. And I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states.

The core principle here is not complicated. In the United States of America, all legal ballots must be counted and illegal ballots must not be counted. The process should be transparent or observable by all sides, and the courts are here to work through concerns. Our institutions are actually built for this. We have the system in place to consider concerns, and President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.

It sounds fairly anodyne (blah, blah, blah…. “all legal ballots…”), and matches what Rudy was saying in front of the lawn, garden, and vibrator center. And Mitch is correct to say it is within Trump’s rights to ask for recounts and the like.

But his upbeat comments draw a line in the sand at certification (December 8, 2020), after which, when Trump’s court appeals will have failed, Mitch will be the top Republican dog in Washington, first in line to water down whichever fire hydrant he pleases.

Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

In the Senate runoffs in Georgia, Mitch is walking a fine line (although, I must say, he is doing it better than the Democrats, who decided the best way to win control of the Senate was to devour their own and blame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the losses in Congress).

What Mitch wants to do in Georgia—in order to retain his and Republican control in the Senate—is to turn out Trump’s base in the runoff election, by saying loudly, “Hell, ya, we wuz robbed.” That’s the red meat (okay, beef jerky) served up to Georgia’s MAGA Republicans.

Hence all the orchestrated Republican comments—from the likes of senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz—that imply Trump was cheated.

Actually all of them know that Trump is going down for the count in the presidential election, but they need the juice of his suicide mission (“…all legal ballots…”) to help Republicans turn out in Georgia.

Going forward, Republicans are happy to live their lives without Trump and to take their chances with Mitch lording over the Senate, Supreme Court, and Joe Biden, who loved nothing more than his racist colleagues in the Senate (see Thurmond, Strom, eulogy thereof).

Parscale Signs Off on Trump’s XXX Expenses

Another reason why Trump’s recount end-game is doomed to failure is that he’s broke and cannot pay for the multi-million dollar legal strategy that Rudy and Eric were blathering on about in the adult store parking lot.

For the last few years, Trump has treated the finances of the Republican party as if they were just another Deutsche Bank overdraft, for example, dipping into the re-election campaign fund to spend $80 million on personal legal expenses (all of his pussy-grabbing lawsuits, etc.).

The remaining campaign funds were spent, in part, on Trump vanity indulgences, such as ads on Fox in Washington, D.C., so that the president (while lying in bed with a few burgers) could bask in the glory of his reelection spots (in a city that would vote 93% for Biden).

Given that Trump was able to siphon off $80 million of Republican party money to pay his sexual assault defense lawyers, I do wonder what was the role of Brad Parscale (of late on suicide watch) in running the Trump reelection campaign. Was he put there as a Trump tap on Republican campaign money?

When recently Parscale’s wife called the cops to their Florida home (Brad was threatening to hurt her or himself), the campaign boss was surrounded by enough new cars, flat screen TVs, and boats to look like the winning contestant on a TV game show (“You, Too, Can Run a Presidential Campaign…”).

My take on the front-lawn swag is that it was the vigorish from the Trump gang for turning a blind eye to their own looting of party funds.

I saw Parscale in person at a Trump rally in Iowa, where his contribution to American politics was to shoot Trump T-shirts into the delirious crowd (as if it were a Heat-Raptors game).

Something tells me that T-shirt shooting, however well done, isn’t exactly the ticket to the Florida good life.

Let’s Make a Trump Legal Deal

Now that Trump has been schooled in presidential election, I would imagine that he’s lost his drain on party funds, and that Mitch McConnell and other Republican hierarchs are telling him that he can hunt all the fraudulent votes he wants, so long as he (Trump) is paying for the dogs.

Even in Trump’s fictional world of wealth, there are limits on the number of $25 million legal bills that can be paid, and my guess on the voter-fraud-recount pageant is that it would cost millions, if done on an expedited basis using big-time law firms.

At the same time I suspect these firms, unlike personal marital-aid lawyer and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm extra Rudy Giuliani, are not willing to work for free, and that the most interesting conversations these days in American politics are those between Eric or Don Jr. and law firm partners, who in calm, rational voices are telling the Trump brothers that they would “love to help out” in Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, or Georgia but that a retainer of $10 million will be needed “up front” to cover some “incidentals” that come with the stealing of an election.

I don’t believe that the vibrating Trumps have an extra $10 million at hand, which may explain why in Nevada the Trump campaign quietly dropped its lawsuit in a case involving alleged fraud over the counting of mail-in ballots.

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled against the Trump campaign, which declined to appeal the ruling, an indication that Trump’s pockets are probably not as deep as he once might have implied to Miss America contestants.

I have read all the stories about how Trump is planning to run again in 2024, how he’s the future of the Republican Party, and how any day now he will launch his own dog-whistling cable network that will rake in millions, but my guess is that when the history of the Trump presidency is written, it will be as a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions, in which Russians, Saudis, Deutsche Bank, and the Republican Party, among others, were played on a Madoff scale. Add in the recount claim to this world of illusion.

Posted in USAComments Off on Trump’s Reichstag Fire

Shoah’s pages