While objective, ethical, non-tabloidy CNN blasts Kellyanne and Ivanka clickbait at us nonstop here’s some real news we might have missed this week. Afghanistan’s US commander Gen. John Nicholson has asked the Senate for about 30,000 additional troops. We’re 15 years into this so-called war — and this is only one of our wars in that region — and it’s going backwards while countless Muslim civilians suffer and die for no apparent reason.
Not only that, Nicholson also says the Russians are now secretly backing the Taliban there. Yikes. Now why, why, would Russia back the Taliban? Think this through with me. First, as always with government, we follow the money. The Russians aren’t Islamic fundamentalists so why support the Taliban?
It’s the heroin, y’all. Read it and weep. This is why the CIA keeps supporting the Taliban even as our military tries to defeat them. Out of the billions (with a B) we’ve spent fighting in Afghanistan a whopping $8 billion of that has gone directly to stopping opium production but instead, somehow, production has skyrocketed to the point that today a whopping 90% of the world’s illegal opium originates there (UN figure).
In short, we have turned Afghanistan into a narco state by accident or design. This is a fact, not a conspiracy theory. The conspiracy theory would be that this is no accident and we did it on purpose, but that’s another conversation. Oh heck, let’s have it now.
The heroin trade has been aided and abetted at the top levels of our government. ‘Almost everywhere in the world I worked, I had static with the CIA,” says ex DEA agent Edward Follis in his memoir The Dark Art: My Undercover Life in Global Narco-Terrorism. “We’re often working the same terrain, but with different legal and moral parameters … They exist completely in the shadows.” And let us not forget the CIA’s history of profiting from the opium trade using Air America.
So, who is profiting from selling all this Afghan opium? The Taliban who control the fields, the farmers and the crops. Also anyone who works with the Taliban must surely get a hefty return on their investment. This is CIA v. SVR in a drug lord smackdown with billions of dollars of profits at stake on the world market. It’s worse than laughable, it’s diabolical. I say let the Russians have the freaking heroin but no one’s gonna walk away from that much dough, so here we are.
A Shaheb’s Guide to India
I realize there are numerous examples of horrific cruelty in our history — the Middle Passage and Concentration Camps always come to mind first and foremost — but here’s one more. We might want to call such crimes unspeakable but they need to be spoken.
Look up Reginald Edward Harry Dyer for the full scoop. The thousands of citizens, including entire families, who gathered were attempting a Gandhian peaceful protest and also during a religious festival when the city of Amritsar was packed. This is just down the hill from the Sikhs’ Golden Temple.
The protest was on rented private property in a back alley courtyard. Dyer had stupidly issued a Jim Crow-like order barring Indians from congregating in groups of 6 or more (in their own country) and decided to make an example of this particular group that included children. British sources gave a figure of 379 killed with 1,100 wounded. The Indian National Congress counted more than 1000 dead and 1500 injured.
Churchill later called it a “monstrous” and UnBritish act. Dyer was also all about half-naked public floggings of private citizens and his soldiers fond of stopping pedestrians and making them slither down the street like worms at gunpoint. The British parliament viewed Dyer as a hero. By the way, it’s reenacted in the movie Gandhi as one of the watershed moments leading up to the widespread popularity of the independence movement.
“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks the question, “Is it popular?” But, conscience asks the question, “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Does anyone remember Hollywood actress Jean Seberg? She made the mistake of supporting the Black Panthers and going against the FBI. Here’s what they did to her, straight from the NY Times, 1979. The lie caused her to miscarry and commit suicide.
“WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 — The Federal Bureau of Investigation acknowledged today that its agents plotted in 1970 to besmirch the reputation of Jean Seberg, the actress who committed suicide last week, by planting a rumor with news organizations that she was pregnant by high‐ranking member of the Black Panther Party.
The action against Miss Seberg, part of the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence program COINTELPRO, was intended to discredit her support of the black nationalist movement.
According to a document dated April 27, 1970, the Los Angeles office of the F.B.I. requested permission from J. Edgar Hoover, then Director of the bureau, to publicize Miss Seberg’s pregnancy, saying it was “felt the possible publication of Seberg’s plight could cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her image with the general public.”
Former Husband Assails Bureau
Romain Gary, the prominent French author and diplomat who was Miss Seberg’s husband in 1970, said at a news conference in Paris last week that the baby was his and that the F.B.I. had destroyed the actress’s life. (continue reading…)
If anything comes from this new round of media attention about racial incidents I hope it’s a fostering of dialogue among teachers, parents and kids about the wrongness of racism and bullying.
I am, though, troubled by the major media’s using racist attacks as click bait and making it appear that racism suddenly started happening in the past two days or that there’s been an “uptick” (stats proving that, please).
I’m concerned about well-meaning white people posting such news stories online with ominous comments like “it’s starting” and “so it begins” which is laughable to any person of color I know. Talk about speaking from a position of privilege! For many, and I include those closest to me, racial slurs, attacks and graffiti have been a fact from childhood on, so no, it isn’t starting, it’s ever present.
Even now, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that in my daily travels through NYC and Philly I regularly encounter racist graffiti that far predates Trump. Has anyone counted the swastikas and tested for the age of the spray paint and determined that there really are more of these per capita in the past two days? This is an absurd proposition, yes?
If we go back to 2015 and before, we can easily find a slew of local news accounts and youtube stories about these same kinds of incidents, and since when is racist graffiti in a middle school worthy of national news coverage? My god, when I think back to my middle school, probably yours too, a small group of rabble-rousing minors chanting a cruel slur was a typical day for some students (and teachers) of color. Swastikas, the n-word, and every other slur you can think of, carved into desks and scrawled on bathroom walls was sadly the norm.
Were these childish acts Reagan and Bush’s faults? I never saw any news trucks outside my school to cover it. This doesn’t mean it’s acceptable and that it should be disregarded; again, I hope this week’s media spotlight fosters dialogue and teaching opportunities.
My fear is that what’s happening is that profit-driven major media news editors are finding it of interest to cull every local story they can find about racists acting out (mostly minors but I realize not entirely) and cobble them into a sensational front page news story. (continue reading…)
Mitt Romney video leaked in September 2012: “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”
Hillary Clinton video leaked in September 2016: “There’s just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel. Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don’t see much of a future. If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.
And the last thing either major party wants is a political revolution.
One thing is clear. Both Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton really can’t stand Barack Obama.
[photos via biography.com]
“It’s not a revolution to watch a president drop a mic then drop a bunch of bombs on people.”
“Look past this moment. Build pressure. [That] checks the abuses of government.”
“A vote is only wasted when you vote against your conscience.”
“We understand the difference between a neofascist catastrophe and a neoliberal disaster. But we reject both.”
“The system is rigged. My people have known that for a long time.”
“I’ve been committed to independent politics all my life. The electoral process is a way that we build power for the people.”
Trump insults Muslims. Hillary kills ‘em. Although she does have better manners, I’ll give her that. I’m not voting for either of these reprehensible people. 150,000 dead Iraqi civilians and counting, and Hillary remains staunch in her vote to invade while a New York Senator (more on that below). She should woman up and give an earnest mea culpa like Tony Blair and she might have my ear. Then there’s her 2011 Libya disaster. Also, “top Pentagon officials, and even one of the most progressive Democrats in Congress, were so wary of Clinton’s warmongering that they corresponded with the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in hopes of pursuing some form of diplomacy. Qaddafi’s son Seif wanted to negotiate a ceasefire with the U.S. government, opening up communications with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Clinton later intervened and asked the Pentagon to stop talking to the Qaddafi regime.” And her post-war Libya plan was to “play it by ear” which is why ISIS invaded and why we’re back there now bombing the country some more. President Obama calls the aftermath “a mess” and admitted that “failing to plan for the day after” was the worst mistake of his presidency. I admire the President’s honesty, but even Hillary’s supporters concede she’s “more hawkish” than Obama, and that’s a terrifying proposition. Sorry, y’all, I’m with Malala. Seven wars, people. Barack Obama has involved us in seven military actions in sovereign nations during the past eight years. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen. How many Muslim civilians and elected leaders is Hillary planning to kill? How many more Muslim nations are we planning to help devastate?
The Home Front
Hillary voted for the Patriot Act. She also supports NSA surveillance, calling Edward Snowden a criminal. She also supports the Trans Pacific Partnership about which I remain highly suspicious. She has no record on LGBTQ rights other than the fact that she spent years openly opposed to gay marriage. She also accepts campaign funds from Middle East regimes that publicly execute homosexuals. I say this as a New Yorker who voted for her as Senator. Her stance against gay marriage was extremely disappointing to me. Then there was the time she made the racist remark about men sometimes getting angry and going “off the reservation,” in other words behaving like a bunch of drunk Native Americans. Lovely. She next offended the Indian-American community by joking that she thought Mahatma Gandhi “ran a gas station.” Then there was the time she thought it would be cute while addressing a black congregation to quote a Reverend James Cleveland spiritual at length in a Jim Crow accent. (continue reading…)
To follow up on yesterday’s post…
“I’m telling ya, this is going to be the death of liberals. this nit-picky, intramural attacking of friends for insufficient purity. Compulsively cleaning up a little corner of the room, that’s already quite clean…while there are giant piles of shit everywhere else.” – Bill Maher
I guess Bill Maher considers Libya a “little corner.” Ditto the deportation of children back to Central American war zones. Bill Maher won’t tell you any of those things about Hillary Clinton because he’s a Muslim-hating white nationalist who will do everything in his power to keep you ignorant about her foreign policy. His strictly “America first” discussion of his pal Hillary betrays a virulent racism underneath. It’s worse than Trump’s isolationism. It’s giving Hillary carte blanche to do as she wishes abroad because pundits like Bill Maher will help ensure it won’t get discussed at home. Even on her domestic policies he won’t discuss her support of fracking and her years of anti-gay marriage rhetoric, not to mention her painfully racist remarks. See here for the full scoop on what Bill Maher doesn’t want you to know about. He’ll make sure you stay focused on how much you hate Trump.
I indeed felt picked apart, shouted down and ridiculed by my own party’s speakers and leadership this week, and I know there’s a huge pile of shit in Libya for one place. It troubles me to no end than neither Bill Maher nor my (formerly) fellow liberal Democrats want to address it. They’re really okay with thousands of dead Muslim civilians and more to come under Hillary (most likely Tehran if she’s elected president). They just won’t talk about it, sort of like CNN. Even Bill Clinton skipped right over Libya last night during his pep rally. US Prez is the most powerful person in the world so we can’t just say yes but she says pretty things about Muslims here at home, and all we care about is what happens here at home. We’re okay with thousands of dead civilians as long as they’re brown and live far away, and as long as Hillary says she’s pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights here at home. How disturbingly narcissistic are we? This is its own kind of isolationism and she too is a demagogue.
Hillary was also pro-TPP until 5 minutes ago to appease Sanders supporters and I still don’t believe she won’t switch right back if elected. Trump is also pretending to be anti-TPP. Trump is also now pretending to be pro-LGBT.
All of my liberal Dem friends have spent years opposed to the Iraq invasion even though under Bush it labeled us pro-Saddam. Hillary fell right in line with Bush back then and we disliked her for it. Now that Trump is saying the same thing we’re all siding with Bush and Hillary Clinton by default, or just saying nothing and avoiding the subject.
If we take the stance that politicians say all kinds of crazy things during an election year, then all we can go on is their actions. Let’s try it. Trump might say horrible things. Clinton does them. Trump might want a temporary ban on Muslims. Clinton attacks a sovereign nation and murders thousands of them. And when they devolve into a 3-way civil war and ISIS invades she can only call the situation “unfortunate” as we send in 250 Special Forces troops to keep the oil roads open. Don’t forget that’s what this is still all about, y’all. The oil.
Hillary’s got until election day to win me back and only one thing will work: promising to name Bernie Sanders her Secretary of State. Until that fairy tale occurs I’m a Jill Stein supporter right along with Cornel West and I hope you’ll check out his inspirational and factual words here –
A sampling: “This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an ‘outstanding president’. Her militarism makes the world a less safe place…Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen…The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on.”
And here’s what Jill Stein herself had to say this week –
A sampling: “Despite her penchant for flip flopping rhetoric, Hillary Clinton has spent decades consistently serving the causes of Wall Street, war and the Walmart economy. The policies she fought for – along with her husband and political partner, Bill Clinton – have been foundations of the economic disaster most Americans are still struggling with: the abuses of deregulated Wall Street, rigged corporate trade agreements, racist mass incarceration, and the destruction of the social safety net for poor women and children. The consistent efforts of the Democratic Party to minimize, sideline, and sabotage the Sanders campaign are a wake up call that we can’t have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party. Sadly, Sanders is one of a long line of true reformers that have been undermined by the Democratic Party…Each time a progressive challenger like Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Jesse Jackson has inspired hope for real change, the Democratic Party has sabotaged them while marching to the right, becoming more corporatist and militarist with each election cycle. Millions are realizing that if we want to fix the rigged economy, the rigged racial injustice system, the rigged health care system, toxic fossil fuel energy and all the other systems failing us, we must fix the rigged political system, and that will not happen through the rigged Democratic Party. Right now we have a real chance to change our rigged political system, and we must not squander this opportunity by pledging allegiance to a corrupt political insider who the majority of Americans do not like, trust or believe in.”
My Tweets last night–
were the dying embers of a liberal Democrat. Yes, I was already on the precipice but the ridiculous display from Franken and Silverman at the Wells-Fargo Center less than a mile from my Philadelphia home were the final shove I needed.
Do you think the DNC has learned anything from the leaked emails? They’re going to be neutral in future elections because, boy, they sure did learn their lesson? No, the lesson they’ve learned is that it worked. Hillary will win the nomination. They just need to be more secretive the next time around and have better email security; that’s what they’ve learned. This thing has been rigged against Sanders since the word go, and it’s not just at the highest levels with DWS. It trickles down to the Democratic poll workers across the country who were called out and investigated for destroying Sanders votes and de-registering likely Sanders voters in advance of primaries.
Pro-Clinton pundits have been coming on TV all week saying yes, Hillary and the DNC played dirty pool but the primaries speak for themselves — Democrats voted mostly for Hillary. That’s a disingenuous claim given the aforementioned DNC’s voter fraud against its own members, and the fact that the leaked emails show the DNC’s direct collusion with major media in manipulating public opinion during the primaries. So no, the primary votes don’t mean Hillary won fair and square. And have you noticed that DWS got raked over the coals but none of the pundits are going after CNN and the like for proactively playing along? I’m talking about fools like Maria Cardona and Donna Brazile.
Now what we’re being told in summary is this: yes, Hillary is crooked and the DNC operate a rigged system to silence liberal Democrats like myself, but you don’t want Trump to win do you? What a cynical and disgusting game they’ve resorted to playing. It means that nothing, absolutely zero, will change in the DNC. What they’ve learned from all of this is that their tactics work.
One day my child will ask who I voted for in life and why, and I’m going to have to look him in the eye, and look at my own self in the mirror, and give an honest answer. I want to tell my child that I voted my conscience. My child is approaching school age and I’ve taught him not to be bullied, and to stop bullying when he sees it. I am now being bullied by the DNC, and even Bernie Sanders, into voting for Hillary Clinton. This is what the DNC thinks of liberal Democrats such as myself.
Therefore I’m with Julian Assange, who told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman this week that choosing between Clinton or Trump is like having to choose between cholera and gonorrhea:
“Well, you’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea? Personally, I would prefer neither. Look, I think—you know, we know how politics works in the United States. Whoever—whatever political party gets into government is going to merge with the bureaucracy pretty damn fast… So it doesn’t make much difference in the end. What does make a difference is political accountability, a general deterrence set to stop political organizations behaving in a corrupt manner. That can make a difference.”
I’m out. I’m done tolerating blatant, unapologetic corruption in my political party. I’m hearing you loud and clear, DNC. You don’t want people like me. You will continue to proactively squash liberalism in your ranks, so I’m heading for Greener pastures. It doesn’t mean I’ll never again vote for Democrats but I’m done being treated by the DNC like a poor relation.