In an interview, Obama, playing the elder statesman, rued that so many of us get our news from social media & said it’s like ‘living in a bubble.’ Actually, many of us understand a lot of things a lot better from direct contact with each other rather than having news ‘translated’ & censored for us by vested interests. What would we know so well & so profoundly without Palestinians, Kashmiris, Rohingya, Syrians, Afghans, & others talking to us directly about what’s really going on? Fake news is not what concerns the status quo but the exposure of arrant media bias, especially on war, occupation, genocide. If that weren’t true, so many governments would not be trying so hard to censor activists & shut them out of social media.

On behalf of Irish-German Americans, I declare the Rhineland the homeland of my people since our ancestors left there over 3,000 years ago. Move over Germany, here we come with a pottery shard from your town with the words to “Danny Boy” written all over it. We’re coming home whether you like it or not.

A principled response to Assad propagandists

Usually I’m reluctant to post videos because I suspect few actually watch them. But this is a quite useful video done by Syrians opposed to the Assad dictatorship which takes on the little cabal of corrupt US activists who visited Assad, partially at his expense & under his control, & came back a Greek chorus for his regime. They all claim that the handful of people they spoke to in Damascus are ardent supporters of Assad. With infantile credulity like that, who would trust their political judgement on anything?

When they returned, they spoke at a Syrian government forum at the UN to give the cachet of UN authority. Eva Bartlett, Assad’s own Ann Coulter, is featured here & her professional propaganda deconstructed quite capably. What kind of politics is it that consider a handful of westerners the authorities on Syria & drums out Syrian voices of citizen journalists reporting from bombing zones?

Israel dropped equivalent of six nuclear bombs on Gaza in 2014

Photo of explosives in Gaza from 2014

Just so we understand the scale of US lies & cynicism about Palestinians refusing to participate in a peace process with Israel:

In the summer of 2014, in its seven-week carpet bombing offensive over Gaza, Israel (bankrolled & backed by the US) dropped the equivalent of six nuclear bombs on the enclave of 360 square km/139 square miles. Bomb & explosive experts say Israel used Drones, Apaches, & several other kinds of warplanes to carry out 8,000 air strikes (Israel admitted to 5,226) dropping flechette shells (illegal anti-personnel weapons), fuel-air bombs (which explode twice, including after impact), DIME shells (which produce shrapnel), & flechette shells saturated with uranium. They also used tanks & troops. More than 60,000 artillery shells of different sizes were fired at Gaza.

In August 2017, the UNRWA reported that 29 tonnes (64,960 pounds) of explosive materials have been removed from Gaza since 2014, including 149 unexploded aerial bombs. Israel continues to fly bombing sorties over Gaza. That’s called occupation & ethnic cleansing.

The last so-called peace process brokered by the US led to the Oslo Accords which surrendered Palestinian self-determination to Israel. Excluding the corrupt Mahmoud Abbas & the compromised Palestinian Authority leadership, Palestinians are not foolish enough to trust a US-brokered peace process to bring them anything but dispossession & apartheid.

Support Palestinians by checking every label to make sure its country of origin is not Israel & by demanding the end of all US & foreign aid of any kind to Israel.

(Photo is explosives littering Gaza from 2014 offensive.)

Rick Heizman, the dirtball apologist for the Rohingya genocide

There’s a guy named Rick Heizman who portrays himself as an expert on Burma & has made it his mission to discredit Burmese dissident Maung Zarni & deny the Rohingya genocide. Heizman is a guitar teacher married to a Burmese woman. They live in San Francisco & occasionally travel in Burma. I’m no stickler for academic credentials to render authority but this guy has nothing to show any expertise except a head stuffed full of hate & lies about the Rohingya people. I had an unpleasant visceral reaction when I first came across his videos several years ago while studying the persecution of the Rohingya people. Heizman is to the fascist Burmese junta what Vanessa Beeley & Eva Bartlett are to the Assad dictatorship: groveling, sniveling propagandists & haters of Muslims. He’s all over the place now trying to defend the Rohingya genocide. Don’t just give him the bum’s rush if you encounter his filth; kick his stupid ass.

When fascists go after Maung Zarni they better be packing more than silly memes

Magic potent MZ

At first, this image was amusing when I saw it on Maung Zarni’s Twitter feed. Judging by the “Prepared only by George Soros & Co.” on the label, it is the creative imputation of fascists of the Assadist kind who who see George Soros behind every struggle against barbarism, who constantly use this kind of jejune meme, whose stock-in-trade is political aspersions, & who campaign in support of the Rohingya genocide. They have no persuasive political defense of the Assad dictatorship with its gulags & execution of thousands of political prisoners, forced disappearances, or the massive daily bombing of civilians. They have no persuasive defense of the Rohingya genocide that anyone who isn’t completely deranged would accept. So they draw on the infantile & produce crap like this. It flies well in their circles based in Islamophobia & anti-Semitism.

On second thought, this isn’t funny at all. Not in a world where dissidence is punished by exile, imprisonment, execution; not when a dissident is opposing himself to the fascist military junta that rules his country. Maung Zarni responded by saying: “I’m dangerous if you are committing a genocide like my country of birth Myanmar that calls itself “Buddhist” & slaughters, loots, land-grabs & rapes Rohingyas. The killers call me “national traitor”, “Enemy of the State”, “fake PhD”, “fraud”, & now “Magical Truth Destroyer”.”

This is nothing to laugh about at all; it is an attempt to make the Rohingya genocide a subject of ridicule & those committed to standing against that genocide into objects of scorn. Always in politics, methods matter. But more important, if your politics are based on supporting genocide & vilifying champions of the oppressed, you can bend over & kiss your ass goodbye as a progressive because you are goose-stepping your way towards the new national socialism.

We are proud to stand with Maung Zarni on the side of the Rohingya people. That is the side of justice.

Mansplaining isn’t men offering an opinion about women’s rights. It’s about men fumbling through the repertoire of reasons to criticize, discredit, vilify, explain away, but mostly divide women from standing together to fight our common & monumental problems. The mansplainers try to make misogyny sound reasonable, concerned with due process, superior morally & intellectually but it always comes out patronizing & it’s always rubbish. Even when they use an ingratiating woman for a ventriloquist dummy.

There’s a backlash against the #MeToo movement. Big men & their female guppies in media whimpering like babies about due process, women going too far, misunderstanding seduction protocols, jumping on the bandwagon, exaggerating the problem, making false accusations, getting carried away over a little flirtation, being sex-negative & hating on men. They’re dragging out conflict between Black & white women, rich & working women, those date raped & those gang raped. Reminds me of nothing so much as the early days of feminism in the 1960s when we were all called ugly spinsters too ugly to get a man or lesbian man-haters. We’re gonna ride this bullshit out just like we have all the other attempts to destroy the fight for women’s rights & we’re gonna kick your ass when you try to vilify us & our movements. There’s a lot at stake for us & it’s called freedom from fear of violence–freedom for all women.