Donald Drumpf & Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto are political peas in a pod

After Drumpf’s meeting with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto today some may have expected to see Mexican troops massing on the US-Mexican border just a few miles south of here. But in fact the two men have deep political affinities, particularly their attitude toward Mexican working people.

Peña must share Drumpf’s view that Mexican workers are all criminals & rapists since under his regime beginning December 2012, over 70,000 civilians have been killed & at least 1,600 disappeared. Those figures include the 43 student teachers of Ayotzinapa disappeared by the Mexican army in 2014 & 12 striking teachers shot down earlier this year. It doesn’t include the dozens injured but not killed when soldiers shot at them.

Under the Merida Initiative & under the guise of the war against drugs, the US bankrolls the Mexican death squads with over $2.5 billion in direct military aid since 2008 & Obama has thousands of US troops deployed to Mexico. As Obama’s Secretary of State, Clinton was brokering all that on her 2014 visit with Peña.

Peña’s going to have to work with whoever is elected US president. That won’t be an issue.

Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of “American exceptionalism”

CNN is broadcasting Clinton’s speech to the American Legion today. It’s as nationalist & militarist a speech as ever Nixon, Reagan, or Bush gave & explains why the most reactionary figures & war criminals in US politics are endorsing her.

In a belligerent tone imitating George C. Scott’s ‘blood & guts’ movie speech, she insists that the sclerotic, stinking & discredited concept of “American exceptionalism” is the gospel truth, boasts of US military achievements, & promises the sky to veterans who now face a dilapidated Veteran’s Administration, homelessness, mental illness, suicide, incarceration.

Tell us again where the lesser evil is here.

The endearing thing about dogs is that their dependence on your constant love competes with their rascality.

When I leave them home to run an errand, mine cry & wail so loudly that a neighbor thought I beat them. But my most trusted little mutts take off at a gallop every time they find an opening in the barricades.

The role of children in political resistance

Belfast boy with lance

Reposting this from 2013 to show the role of small children in the British military occupation of Northern Ireland. It was my first experience with military occupation when I visited Belfast & Derry in 1981 & I found it terrifying, including being frisked down by soldiers, watching the constant caravans of armored vehicles with rifles on turrets pointed at pedestrians & on one instance with British rifles pointed at me when I tried to take photos.

There’s nothing so ardent as the indignation of children. This small boy in Belfast prepares to take on the British army with a home-made lance in 1981.

In 1981, the second hunger strike ended after ten Irish political prisoners, including Bobby Sands, had died in prison. The hunger strike was in response to the British government criminalizing political prisoners & eliminating the status of political prisoner (akin to prisoner of war status).

I visited Belfast (& Derry) at that time & asked a group of small boys in Belfast to show me the murals painted on walls in the Catholic neighborhoods to support the hunger strikers. The murals were extraordinary but as the 8 to 10 year olds guided me through the streets they would stop to lob rocks at constantly passing caravans of British armored vehicles. I, being no coward (at least all of the time) stayed with the boys though I was scared silly. Their bravado may have been partially to impress me–& that sure worked–but it was also heartfelt. When I parted with the group at the end of the day I asked them if they would like me to send them copies of the photos I had taken. “No,” said one young boy. “Use them to show people what is really going on here.”

(Photo by Ian Berry)

International Day of the Disappeared in Kashmir

APDP Kashmir

We should not let the International Day of the Disappeared pass without taking a moment to honor Parveena Ahangar & the mothers of Kashmir who founded the combative & very active Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) to educate about & protest this monstrous human rights crime.

These photo montages of those disappeared & murdered are an international phenomenon seen in dozens of countries going back decades–still displayed in Spain of those disappeared under Franco from the 1930s to Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, & Kashmir now, & so many other countries.

There is something so wrenching about the criminal character of enforced disappearances that survivors never let the crime be laid to rest until justice is extracted. It is the deceased haunting justice.

Our deepest condolences for the loss of their beloved & our fullest solidarity with the work of APDP to end this human rights atrocity.

(Photo is from APDP)

“The Stages in Life of a Kashmiri” by V Arun Kumar

Kashmiri #1

Kashmiri #2

Kashmiri #3

Kashmiri #4

Kashmiri #5

This extraordinary political cartoon, more wrenching than sardonic, by V Arun Kumar is from his FB wall called Rebel Politik by Arun. I asked V Arun if I could identify him as an Indian cartoonist so others would see how profound solidarity with Kashmir is among human rights activists in India. He said yes but that his identity was as a global citizen.

Those with such political & social vision, who stand with Kashmir & the oppressed in India & around the world are the very antithesis of small-minded nationalists who let borders established by British colonialism or by any tyranny constrain their understanding & humanity. The future of the human race rests with people of such depth of humanity & breadth of vision & not with two-bit nationalists like Narendra Modi, Ram Madhav, Trump, or Clinton.

The work titled “The Stages in Life of a Kashmiri” is a montage of five cartoons.

CBS News says criminal hackers possibly associated with the Russian government are tampering with US state election computer systems. Does that mean Putin could win the White House?

Rick Perry–a former governor of Texas, two time candidate for US president, one of the most reactionary dopes in the universe, & the very epitome of privilege makes you stupid–will be a contestant on this season of Dancing With The Stars.

If political cartoonists didn’t have bigger fish to fry this would be the opportunity of a lifetime.