February 2016 Archives

Shaming Silence

A false choice posed to young activists, "the same argument they hear from the police: Allow us to operate in your communities with impunity and abandon or the criminals will do so to even more devastating effect. Following this line of reasoning, silent absorption of pain and suffering is the only option. I wholly reject that," says Op-Ed Columnist Charles Blow. 

"Young, proudly queer, black activist" Ashley Williams made a statement of her own at a private Clinton fund-raiser in Charleston, S.C., "confronting the candidate about her support of policies -- specifically the 1994 crime bill -- that contributed to the explosion of racially tilted mass incarceration in this country."

"America's social progress is, first and foremost, a story of the courage and sacrifice of ordinary women and men willing to put their bodies on the line to face down injustice. From slave revolts to suffragettes, Selma to Stonewall, from the epic mining and railroad strikes of the late 19th century to the Delano farmworkers' strike of the 1960s and more, it was the courage of ordinary Americans willing to defy injustice that earned us the rights and dignity we take for granted today," laments Tony Karon, Senior Executive Producer of Al Jazeera America upon shuttering of his online site...

"The core principle driving the journalism that distinguished Al Jazeera America online as a unique voice in a cluttered news landscape was the simple -- yet radical -- proposition that no single human life is worth less than any other."

"As the Al Jazeera America operation shuts down in the 20th year of the history of all Al Jazeera services, it is worth recalling that three of its four branches -- the Arabic and English global services and its online website -- have been successful," notes Rami G. Khouri, a Jordanian-Palestinian national, a senior public policy fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and a senior fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School. "That's 3 for 4 -- batting .750 -- which in the world of news, as in baseball, is pretty impressive.

"Al Jazeera media continue to report news the region and the world need."

"What can I say? It's America"

"The world is obsessed with the U.S. elections because the outcome of those elections will have an impact on every person on Earth," writes Laurie Penny at Information Clearing House. "So, let the world have its say. Why not? Even limited voting rights for everyone affected by U.S. foreign, environmental and trade policy might restore a measure of sanity, or at least oblige the U.S. to acknowledge the existence of several billion non-American human beings who would really prefer not to be blown up or under water...

So THAT'S How It's Done!

Immigrants and Latinos rocked Madison, Wisconsin today, and it was a beautiful sight:

Photo by Joe Brusky, Voces de la Frontera

An estimated crowd of at least 20,000 chanted "yes, we can!" to stop pending legislation to legitimize racial profiling and block identification cards to non-citizens.

The "Day Without Latinos and Immigrants in Wisconsin" event demonstrated the power to resist, by people living in the U.S., many independent of subscription to a two-party system, exploitation by the ruling class.
We raise our sights on political possibility when we reject the 
lesser-of-two-evils game of 
the American electoral system, and "muster the courage," as The New Jim Crow author Michelle Alexander puts it, "to join together in a revolutionary movement with people of all colors who believe that basic human rights and economic, racial, and gender justice are not unreasonable, pie-in-the-sky goals... 

"After decades of getting played," she concludes, "It's time to reshuffle this deck.

Candidate platforms come as a package. We don't get to pick and choose the parts we like and should avoid projecting desired qualities on undeserving contenders. Sometimes, candidates actually mean what they say. When President Obama unleashed an escalation of the "good war" in Afghanistan, he held true to his promise.

Fact: Bernie would adopt most of the trappings of Obama's war of terror on the world, including use of killer drones to enforce U.S. hegemony in the Middle East. 

Sanders said his counter-terrorism policy would include drones, special forces 'and more,' in a "Meet the Press" interview. "Though drone warfare remains controversial because, critics argue, they are often used to launch inaccurate attacks that accidentally target civilians, Sanders said he'd continue the practice as president," reported Alexandra Jaffe.

Fact: Despite "excellent policy proposals on healthcare, education and social services... no issue rises above the moral, political and financial emergency of war and militarism. The code red alarms are ringing and flashing throughout the world as the bombs fall, the refugees seek asylum, and the body count increases, but liberals are forever prepared to grant Sanders immunity from his complicity in the creation of instability and misery under the red, white, and blue banner," notes David Masciotra at Salon...  

"[Sanders] has an incestual relationship with defense contractors in Vermont, and he is an unblinking and unwavering supporter of Israel's worst assaults on Palestinian people. Contrary to his rhetorical opposition to wars, he consistently voted to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout the Bush and Obama years." 

U.S. rulers (still) depend on public sanction of an imperial spoils system, preying on the "third world." Exploitation at home should give cause to empathize with the interests of humanity as a whole. 

Imagine they gave an election and nobody came. There's power to non-compliance with business as usual; I don't presume voter abstinence for others, but I do encourage people to beg off complicity with the U.S. war of terror. My conscience prohibits me from endorsing a political campaign for endless war on the world, but requires me to contribute to determined mass resistance to the crimes of this government.

-- Curt Wechsler, member of the National Steering Committee of World Can't Wait

Military recruitment efforts, whether societal or sponsored directly by the US military, reach children as young as preschool, priming them to think of war and soldiering as cool and exciting, without any discussion of the trauma and death they bring...

The body count is staggering: Researchers at the Costs of War Project at Brown University estimate 92,000 deaths in Afghanistan, 26,000 of them civilians, with more than two-thirds of Afghans now experiencing mental health problems. At least 165,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the Iraq war since 2003. US drone strikes have also killed about 3,800 people in Pakistan, most of them civilians. That's in addition to the estimated 6,800 US soldiers and 7,000 contractors who have died.

Photo: Kindergarten worksheet 

"I am not happy about this," writes Sarah Grey at Truthout.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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