The never-ending dead end of lesser evil politics

The pity of those campaigning for Bernie Sanders today is that, driven by the same panic, they’ll switch to campaigning for Clinton when Sanders loses the nomination. That’s the never-ending cycle of lesser evilism.

Panic is a poor guide in politics since it’s trajectory is a circle leading nowhere. You can’t substitute panic for political principles & think you’ll change things that way. What’s that cliche about insanity: ‘doing the same thing over & over again & expecting different results”?

Whatever will those Palestinian solidarity activists now campaigning for Sanders do when Clinton remains the choice? Is there any way in hell to parse her groveling support for Israel as the lesser evil?

Rescuing a mother dog

Camilla the dog

A few days ago, I picked up this soulful little girl skulking down the street, looking bereft. She weighs a lot but I managed to get her into the car despite my dogs yapping at her out of fear.

She appeared at first to be pregnant but then I realized she had already given birth & that her teats were bloated with milk.

None of the usual rescue groups could take her & my little scruffy group was unreconciled to her presence. They constantly circled her & barked, though she only once displayed annoyance by snapping back. She was a beautiful, even-tempered girl.

It wasn’t possible to keep her & excluded that I would release her. So today I took them all to the dog park where I was sure to find someone who would know exactly what to do.

The only person there was Christina, a retiree, with her two rescue dogs. She & her husband also have 31 rescue cats. That’s her mission in life. She suggested I take the dog on a leash to the place I found her & let her lead me to her puppies. I could learn that way whether she had been abandoned or simply lost.

I took Christina’s advice & followed our girl until she stopped & wouldn’t go further.There was no gate on a rather shabby house so we walked to the backyard where a family was playing with six black puppies. Immediately, they recognized our girl as the mother & put the puppies on her to suckle. They think she may be a reluctant mother. They may not be so enthusiastic themselves since they had no name for her. But I’m hoping this rescue has a happy ending. They don’t all. Which is why I have 7 more dogs looking for a loving family.

Picture is our girl who we can call Serene.

Israel’s forced relocations of Palestinian Bedouins

Bedouin outdoor school (REUTERS:Ammar Awad)  Mar 2 2016

Zionists take great umbrage at comparisons between Israel & Nazi Germany so they’ll probably really get bent out of joint by more than apt comparisons between forced resettlement policies of Palestinians by Israel & those of colonization in the Americas & of Joseph Stalin in the former Soviet Union. Bristle or not, the comparisons are inescapable in describing Israeli policy since the founding of the state of Israel toward Palestinian Bedouins, increasing after the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

Bedouins were nomadic people making their livelihood by seasonal migration & grazing livestock when the new state of Israel began forcibly relocating them to the West Bank & restricting their access to grazing lands. They had no recourse but to develop permanent settlements. There are many instances in the history of colonialism where nomadic peoples have been forced to abandon their way of life. It’s a profound cultural & economic devastation. Palestinian Bedouins have given wrenching testimony to that.

After the 1967 military occupation of the West Bank, Israel began moving in Zionist settlers to the region occupied by Bedouin settlements & displacing whole communities once again. After the massive swindle & outright betrayal of the Oslo Accords in 1995, Israel accelerated forced relocations of Bedouins. For the past several years, after Israel took over 60 percent of the West Bank, designated as Area C in the Oslo Accords, their treatment of Bedouins has been one ruthless human rights crime after another.

This is a photo of Palestinian Bedouin school children being taught al fresco since Israeli bulldozers demolished the caravans & shipping containers they used as school rooms. The Israeli army told school officials the containers were removed because they did not have an Israeli-issued construction permit to be in the area. What a mockery of international law since under several of its provisions, Israel has no right to occupy any part of Palestine. It is also in violation of the Oslo Accords which mandated Area C be handed back to Palestinian jurisdiction by 1999. But this class room is in Al-Eizariya, a village in Area B, which is under Israeli occupation but according to the Oslo Accords is administered by the Palestinian Authority. So why do Palestinian schools here require an Israeli building permit?

In the background of this photo is the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim founded in the 1970s by Gush Emunim, a rightwing Zionist movement committed to setting up Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands & committed to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. They claimed God deeded them Palestine in the Torah & as nuts as that claim is, it does not distinguish itself from justifications given for exterminating Native Americans or for Stalin’s massive relocations of entire nationalities.

Tens of thousands of Bedouins are being forcibly evicted to make room for expansion of Maale Adumim which is only a few miles from Jerusalem & has become a commuter suburb. For many years, at least twenty Bedouin communities near Maale Adumim have been demolished & residents forced to relocate to near the Abu Dis municipal garbage dump for Jerusalem in the village of Al-Eizariya, which is of course also occupied by Israel. What kind of corruption & cynicism would relocate people to near stinking mountains of trash!?

The apartheid wall crosses the main road of Al-Eizariya, affecting commerce & social life in a town which has become overcrowded as a result of Bedouin relocations. Palestinian agricultural land in the area has been confiscated or cut down by Israeli authorities to accommodate the expansion. But it isn’t explained whether that’s the expansion of Israeli settlements or that caused by forced relocations.

Honoring & building the economic & cultural boycott (BDS) of Israel is the most effective way to oppose Israeli colonialism. Buy nothing with barcode beginning 729.

(Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Je suis Calais

Protests at Calais (Pascal Rossignol:Reuters) Mar 1 2016

Je suis Calais.

In solidarity with the refugees being made homeless & the English & French immigration/refugee rights activists helping them stand ground against the violent dismantling of their camp.

(Photo by Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

French riot police attack unarmed refugees at Calais to demolish camps

Riot police at Calais ( Philippe Huguen:AFP:Getty Images) Feb 29 2016

European Union refugee policies condemn that institution as politically & morally bankrupt. Over 25,000 drowned in the Mediterranean in the past several years (& still drowning) & tens of thousands fleeing the killing fields of European & US bombers now stranded on borders, barred from moving forward. The violent eviction of refugees from their camp in Calais, France is part of EU policy but executed by a regime practiced in such barbarisms by their treatment of Roma. They are policies that stink of racism which if not massively defied will bring political ruin for working people.

Last week, a French kangaroo court ruled it legal for authorities to raze a portion of the refugee camp at Calais known as “the jungle.” Media reports are fairly sketchy about what is going on but photo journalism combined with refugee protests at the camp & the testimony of French & English immigration rights activists tell a story of ruthless disregard for human rights & international law governing the treatment of refugees. The question is: where are the international human rights groups? Where is the UN refugee agency? Why aren’t they howling bloody murder against what French officials are doing?

France moved in bulldozers & orange-vested work crews with sledge hammers to demolish & torch the makeshift shacks where people live as stateless refugees since no government will allow them entry. They moved in riot police with tear gas grenades & water cannons against unarmed people. There are no suitable provisions for alternative shelter.

A question is raised: were those French work crews union workers? Because there is nothing more despicable than working people in one country allowing themselves to be used against working people fleeing from war & sweatshop economics. If they are union workers, did their leadership sanction this barbarism against refugees? Or at least not oppose it? Because if that is so, the political dry rot in France goes a lot deeper than its regime.

It’s a disgrace US working people are all too familiar with in our own xenophobic, nationalist, anti-immigration, pro-war union leaders–reflected in the current US presidential campaign where candidates compete in social hatred for immigrants & refugees & support the wars & plunder that create them.

The photo is a riot policeman at Calais throwing a tear gas grenade at unarmed refugees during the dismantling of the camp. Refugees held up signs saying “We are not terrorists” & signs listing the number of elderly (13), of children (445, including 305 without caretakers), families (145), women (169) & men (2,841) who are mostly being made homeless. It’s another instance of the savagery inflicted by neoliberal colonialism coming home to the metropolitan centers of Europe. The last time that happened there were holocausts.

Immigration is a human right. There should be rallies around this world at French embassies demanding they cease the violence against refugees.

(Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)