Pakistani refugees in Europe

Pakistani refugees landing at Kos (- Dan Kitwood:Getty Images) August 31 2015

The tsunami of refugees entering Europe through the Greek islands & the barbarism they’re facing as they seek sanctuary take all our attention. But there are patterns within immigration that are important to note. We understand why Syrians, Afghans, Palestinians are fleeing for their lives. Their flight for refuge from war includes entire families–small children to elderly. However one substantial group of refugees is reportedly single men from Pakistan hoping to travel to the UK & Ireland.

It isn’t often noted but Pakistanis have shown up on all the major immigration routes for a long time–including to Australia & through the southern US border via Mexico.

Ireland is attempting legal maneuvers to deport them & it isn’t clear why they would go to Ireland since so many native Irish are emigrating to find work. But then Pakistanis are also fleeing to Afghanistan, a war zone which millions of Afghans fled for Iran & Pakistan. Such are the sarcasms of modern war.

In the past year over 210,000 Pakistanis, including tens of thousands of children, crossed into Afghanistan, mostly from the North Waziristan province where the US has long been drone bombing & the Pakistani military launched its own bombing offensive against the Taliban.

There are many other reasons for Pakistanis to flee, including massive flooding & political conflict in the cities. European authorities don’t have the right to interrogate the reasons why they want asylum. Immigration is a human right.

What this points out more than anything is the imperative of re-building the international antiwar movement to demand the US & its proxy allies stop the bombing, end the occupations, & end the wars turning the Middle East into a killing field.

The photo is Pakistani refugees landing at Kos.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The redoubtable Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi

Palestinians fighting IDF soldier over boy (Abbas Momani:AFP:Getty Images) August 29 2015

From Feb 2015 (Photo by Abbas Momani:AFP:Getty Images)  August 30 2015

The photo (on the top) is of young women defending a small boy being assaulted by an Israeli soldier in the West Bank. A video & several photos of the incident have circulated because it displays almost iconic toughness against the barbaric occupation. All of these women stand a chance of being arrested with the boy & put indefinitely in the Israeli gulag subject to torture & abuse.

But unless the eyes deceive, this isn’t the first time the young girl in the pink & yellow tee-shirt has gone up against IDF soldiers. The photo (on the bottom) was taken in February 2015 also in the West Bank. The girl in the black tee saying “Palestine” is her spitting image.

We stand in awe of the spirit of Intifada; we are also outraged that young people grow up having to fight military occupation & dispossession.

Build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel. Demand no military aid to Israel.

(Photos by Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

George Bush revisits the scene of one of his crimes against humanity

Bush in New Orleans (Gerald Herbert:AP)

This photo of Bush in New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina falls under the rubric of re-writing history. It’s how scoundrels, psychos, & mass murderers get resurrected as heroes.

For one week, people around the world witnessed on live television that the Bush regime did absolutely nothing while hundreds of Black residents of New Orleans were on rooftops waiting for rescue & thousands were crammed into a sports stadium without food & water crying for help. A regime that has taken out whole countries with sophisticated, state-of-the art military equipment would not deliver emergency aid to people because they were Black–& then vilified them as looters.

We don’t know who these young women are that they would participate in this dog & pony spectacle. Hopefully they will study Katrina & understand how compromising & dishonest this image is–especially because retrospectives on Katrina point out that New Orleans is back as a tourist haven but that the 9th Ward where the poorest Black residents lived remains a shambles & un-rebuilt.

All power to the emerging civil rights & Black power movement. May they kick ass & set the historic record straight as the first civil rights movement in the 1960s began.

(Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP)

Human beings are born perfect just the way they are

Albino in Tanzania (Patrick Gries) August 29 2015

This photo is from a pictorial on albinism in Tanzania which has the highest rates of albinism in the world & where they suffer extreme violence & persecution.

Disability of every kind is not always persecuted elsewhere so much as made invisible so as not to discomfort. That’s why people with disabilities organize social justice movements–like the self advocacy movement for those with learning difficulties–to change institutional practices, social prejudices, & end discrimination & marginalization.

After the scientific explanations are rendered, medical opinion elaborated, & social hatred analyzed, what it comes down to is the simple mantra of the oppressed everywhere: no human being is alien; none is defective. Every human being is perfect just the way they are.

(Photo is portrait of Milu Kujaga by Patrick Gries)

Misogyny for a good cause, my ass!

When I posted about Mariah Carey & Barbra Streisand supporting Israeli apartheid I was criticizing their politics, not their musical talents nor their beauty. Their talents & beauty are irrelevant if not also beyond dispute. So imagine my horror to see people using those posts to ridicule & abuse both women in the most misogynist mean-spirited way. They were called ugly, “hoes.” “effing bitches,” whores for Israel, & terms too vile to repeat.

Many of those dishing out this crap were women. All such comments dropped on my wall were deleted because I am a feminist & cannot tolerate women–even those with stinking rotten politics–being abused for their gender.

In my political life being vilified as a woman activist has been preeminent so I understand exactly what is going on. Apolitical women-haters (of both genders) give vent to social hatred & claim it’s for a good cause. All that’s left to say is this is pathetic, rancid, grotesque.

Streisand & Peres

Streisand and Peres

Barbra Streisand was on TV tonight promoting her new album of duets. She has such a lovely voice–but it’s hard to listen to her without thinking of her ardent support for the Israeli military in its murderous assault on Gaza last summer.

Every year she heads up a glitzy fundraiser in Beverly Hills for the IDF. The one last November–just three months after the IDF bombed Gaza to smithereens–raised $33.5 million from over 1,200 celebrity guests including Chris Tucker, Pamela Anderson, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, & even Ricky Martin. So much for that “la vida loca,” Ricky, when you support carpet bombing & apartheid.
A couple years ago she carted all her relatives to Israel to perform for the 90th birthday of then president Shimon Peres–whose obituary I look forward to writing. She called Israel “a shining beacon of hope in the world.”

It’s a pity. All that talent. All that amorality when it comes to Israel.
This regrettable moment of Peres & Streisand was at his birthday party. It looks like she’s giving his corpse mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Hold the criticisms fellows for someone who wants to hear them!

Nearly 71 years old & my adrenalin still shoots sky high when some guy decides to criticize me–like women are waiting around for men to pronounce judgement on our work & groveling for a sign we pass muster. It isn’t the criticism that rankles–who doesn’t want to improve their work?–but the language used always is a dead-give-away that what’s going on is put-down, not constructive, & because they wouldn’t think to critique other men’s work.

Obama regime ordered to release undocumented children from prison

Immigrant kids in detention (Getty Images) August 28 2015

It’s easy to be confused by Obama’s immigration policies because he talks out of both sides of his ass. That’s the politician’s way & why the rule of thumb in politics is always “the deed before the word.”

We can put aside the largesse offered to undocumented youth of deferred amnesty since Obama made it conditional, made no commitment to amnesty, & then let a federal court overrule his executive order. So now the government has the names & addresses of undocumented youth & knows just where to pick them up–along with their undocumented family members.

Deportations of the undocumented increased dramatically under his regime, dwarfing all previous regimes, including Bush. That’s an ignominy & one that forced thousands of children into the US foster care system which is already in a shambles & a disgrace to child welfare.

According to immigration officials, between 7,000 & 8,000 unaccompanied children were taken in by the US Department of Health & Human Services every year after being detained crossing the border. In 2014, that figure was 70,000 unaccompanied children–& 60,000 more with one or more parents. There weren’t enough facilities to house the children & process them to reunite them with families already here or provide families to take them in. In one instance federal officials put children in an abandoned air force base in Texas. Mostly they were stuck in prisons without beds or minimal sanitary conditions.

On July 24th, a federal court chastised the Obama regime for this & ordered the release of 1,700 children from three facilities in the next 90 days. There are so many problems with this ruling. Of course they should be released from squalid prisons where they should not have been put in the first place. But then what!? You can’t just release children to the streets. They have to be provided for. If there are no provisions in the ruling for social workers, families to live with, officials to process their papers & reunite them with families, the Obama regime will simply deport them.

Which brings us to the next problem. What happened to the other nearly 68,000 kids detained by border patrol last year? Were they let go to find their way in life, simply putting small children on the street to be preyed on? Were they deported? Are there other prisons for kids not covered by the federal ruling? You don’t just disappear 68,000 kids without an explanation.

Not long ago, a couple of Texas politicians proposed deporting the children & publicly suggested the kids were operatives in drug trafficking & prostitution. One was a Democrat & the other a Republican. So much for that lesser-evil crap.

Immigration is a human right. Open the borders. Provide sanctuary & support to undocumented children. Enough with the neoliberal barbarism of the Obama regime!

Photo is detention facility for children in Texas.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Political effigy of Donald Trump

Effigy of Trump August 28 2015

This is an April 2012 post I did about Donald Trump in Scotland campaigning against wind farms. Since we have to contend with his campaign we may as well have some fun at his expense.

He’s a buffoon but his campaign legitimizes racism & xenophobia. Mocking him is not just for laughs but to expose his idiocies for what they are: social hatred on the cheap.

Only in America can such an ass be president. And that is not testimony to the character of our democracy.


Now here’s a story just chock full of belly laughs because it involves one of the biggest buffoons on the planet: Mr. Donald Trump. Followed by his entourage of sycophants, our man stormed into the Scottish Parliament yesterday to testify to the committee on renewable energy against a wind farm of 11 turbines to be built offshore near a £750m golf resort Trump is having built in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Now we all know full well why he wouldn’t want wind anywhere near that coif of his but the main objections he voiced were aesthetic & xenophobic: wind turbines he pouted, are “horrendous”, “monsters”, & made in China. He responded to questions in the bullying & omniscient style for which he is regrettably known since he certainly isn’t known for his intelligence, wit, or insight. (We understand he watches Charlton Heston reruns to channel Moses but only comes off like a schoolyard bully.)

It’s difficult to make politicians look intelligent but in contrast to our man, the Scottish ministers disported themselves splendidly & must have had a barrel of laughs doing it. When asked what evidence he had to prove his assertion that wind farms destroyed tourism, he responded, “I am the evidence”, & when told that most Scots polled favored wind farms, he answered no one knows more about polls than him, that he knows more about the effects of turbines than any expert, & that he’s also an expert on tourism with “many, many awards” to his name (probably from tourist boards & chambers of commerce hoping to snare his bucks).

Trump claims he had a sweetheart deal with a Scottish politician who he’s now had a falling out with–testifying at once to the corruption & good sense of that politician. He ended his vituperations threatening to pull out of the deal & move his operation to Ireland if the Scottish Parliament doesn’t get cowed by his wrath. (Ireland, you better hope our man gets his way or you’ll have to contend with all this too.)

Two groups of protestors greeted Trump outside the Parliament: the first was assembled entrepreneurs hoping for concessions at the golf resort. The other were environmentalists holding up this effigy & a sign saying, “Scotland wants wind-power, NOT an old wind bag.”

(Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell)