Over the years, people have brought me wild birds they rescued–usually babies who fell out of the nest. You can’t do much for them except try to feed them but they’re so distraught they don’t last long. They fight for their lives & die from grief very quickly. It’s wrenching to witness.

One time I read it was illegal in Texas to rescue a wild bird so I took a frantic bird back to its tree hoping its parents would rescue him/her or it would die in peace. It was attacked by crows & I have never obliged the law since.

Yesterday while watching my dogs play, I saw a tiny little bird under my car. My dogs would have killed it so I picked it up but couldn’t find its nest. He/she is such an admirable feisty little creature. I no longer take my own birds to vets since my survival rate in treating them with homeopathic remedies is almost 100% & the vet’s failure rate is about 100%. (They’re good with dogs & cats; they don’t know birds.) So I’m treating the little one & hoping to bring it to a wildlife rescue center on Tuesday (tomorrow is a holiday). I’m calling on some blessings from my FB friends. You get a lot of blessings in life; you gotta give some.

Am researching poverty & hunger in the US after Bill Clinton’s 1996 destruction of the welfare system–a destruction endorsed & shilled by Hillary Clinton. That so-called reform massively increased starvation in the US among children, women, disabled, elderly, & weighs heaviest on Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, & undocumented immigrants because racism is built into the reformed system.

That post is forthcoming & isn’t just a condemnation of the Clinton candidacy but of the whole damn system where official, & certainly conservative, estimates of chronic hunger in the US are 16% of the population–about 50 million people.

In the process of researching, I learned incidentally about the origins of the electoral college which we now see is an oligarchic contraption to control elections. But originally the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention devised the thing to give slaveholders greater weight in national politics. It was to protect slavery.

In a direct election system, northern states would have outnumbered the South where slaves could not vote. The electoral college prototype let each southern state count its slaves (with a two-fifths discount) in computing its share of the overall electoral college.

Legal historians have pointed out that for 32 of the Constitution’s first 36 years, a slaveholding Virginian was elected president–including slaveholder Thomas Jefferson who won the 1800 election against northerner John Adams “in a race where the slavery-skew of the electoral college was the decisive margin of victory.” Observers at the time said ‘Jefferson rode into the executive mansion on the backs of slaves.’

The more you know about US history, the more you realize we didn’t get to where we are by accident. The more you know, the more you understand the two parties are central to the problem & no part of the solution.

Greek riot police move in with bulldozers to raze refugee camp at Idomeni

Refugees being evicted at Idomeni (REUTERS:Yannis Kolesidis:Pool) May 27 2016

Greek police, most of them in riot gear, moved in on the refugee camp at Idomeni on the Greek-Macedonia border where an estimated 14,000 people lived in squalid conditions. As bulldozers razed the camp, police escorted refugees to buses to take them to “organized refugee centers.” This photo is a family being evicted by the police operation.

Media reported that organized refugee center thing like it was the gospel truth when Greek refugee centers are notorious for being more like concentration camps without sufficient food & water, lacking sanitation, forcing refugees to stay put without right of movement. They are so bad that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) actually withdrew from them saying they wanted no part of such barbaric treatment of refugees.

That would explain why some refugees fled on foot rather than be herded on to the buses where they could just as well be deported to Turkey, as per the European Union agreement.

According to media & more reputable sources like Doctors Without Borders, most of the forcible eviction went without incident. It was probably not difficult to persuade people to leave squalor, especially after their tents were mowed down.

Immigration is a human right & one of the most urgent issues of our historic period. Open the damn borders. Oppose the wars & sweatshop economics that create refugees.

(Photo by Yannis Kolesidis/Pool/Reuters)

The hapless politics of Fred Kaplan

Fred Kaplan

Fred Kaplan has an Ivy League education & is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who’s written for all the most prestigious media including the Boston Globe & NY Times. He’s intellectually akin to Thomas Friedman, also a Pulitzer Prize winner & writer for the NY Times.

Saying Kaplan is intellectually akin to Friedman is as low a blow as one can afflict. Friedman’s Zionism & writings on the Middle East have elevated idiocy & dreadful writing in the NY Times to the stature of intellectual discourse when it would better be used as toilet paper in an outhouse. They’re that bad.

Kaplan has a regular column on war & US foreign policy in Slate magazine which is owned by the Washington Post. In an article on Obama’s visit to Vietnam, he said the trip is about “shifting the focus of foreign policy away from the stagnant battles of the Middle East, more toward the dynamic promise of the Asia-Pacific—which Obama has wanted to pursue since the onset of his presidency but which the old world’s ceaseless crises have thwarted.”

“Stagnant” has lots of meanings, most indicating stasis, inaction, sluggishness, dormancy. Do any of those terms describe the killing fields of the Middle East where there is massive bombing going on? And what’s this “old world” crap? Old world usually means associated with the past, especially things quaint & charming. What’s so charming about millions of people being displaced & bombed to death? Or is it meant to suggest backwardness & avoid being openly racist? As for that “dynamic promise of the Asia-Pacific,” is he speaking of the militarization of the region & of the increasing possibilities for war with China?

Our man elaborated on US lethal arms sales to Vietnam: “With the United States selling caches of weapons worth hundreds of millions (in some cases, billions) of dollars to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, & Azerbaijan, it doesn’t make much sense to deny a place on the list to Vietnam—whose record is no worse &, compared to some, much better.” Kaplan obviously doesn’t think human rights crimes in any of those countries is worth concern. But of course if you think the Middle East is politically stagnant & building up arsenals all over the Asia-Pacific as a phalanx for US power is dynamic promise, then you probably have your head stuck up your rightwing ass.

So the question remains: who the hell is handing out those Pulitzers & are they worth as little as the Nobel Peace Prize? If he walks like a fool & talks like a fool, he’s probably a fool.

(Photo of sorry-assed Fred)