Learn to use paragraphs

Let me make myself annoying & again suggest people learn to use paragraphs when they post. Your post is much more likely to be read & will be better understood if you use paragraphs. They were invented because of the way the mind & eyes work in reading.

You don’t have to be a whiz at using paragraphs. If you don’t know where to start a new one, just do it every few sentences. If you don’t know how to do it on Facebook, this is a tip I learned from a friend: when you want to make a new one, hold the “shift” & “enter” buttons at the same time.

Day 117 of Indian siege in Kashmir

Injured Kashmiri woman in Pulwama (AP) Nov 3 2016

Day 117 in Kashmir (40 civilians injured in Soura) Nov 3 2016

Day 117 of the military siege in Kashmir: almost four months of a brutal siege & the Indian army shows no sign of backing down. Nor do the freedom fighters. Thousands continue to protest; hundreds of youth are being targeted for arrest; hundreds continue to be injured, especially by the use of pellet guns.

This injured woman from Pulwama (top photo) in southern Kashmir is being admitted to hospital in Srinagar. Several were injured in that protest by pellets & tear gas, including three young girls partially blinded by pellets who, according to their families, were not part of the protests. As Mirza Waheed tweeted, “Now we talk about blinded young Kashmiris as though it’s the norm.”

Yesterday, residents of Anchaar & Soura, districts of Srinagar, protested when occupying forces went on door to door searches to arrest youth. “We didn’t allow the forces personnel to enter our homes,” a group of residents said. In that protest, 40 civilians sustained injuries, including a 70-year-old man battling for life after being struck in the head by a tear gas canister & four young people with serious pellet injuries to the eyes. This man (bottom photo) is one of the other 35 residents injured in the protest.

This is also Day 49 of the incarceration of human rights leader Khurram Parvez. Those who haven’t already can show solidarity by liking & sharing his defense page: https://www.facebook.com/freekhurram/?fref=ts

End the occupation. End the siege. Self-determination for Kashmir.


You have every right to believe Assad & Russia are fighting US-backed “head-chopping jihadists” in Syria. Many misguided people do so you have lots of company.

If you actually know anything about the paramilitary forces fighting in Syria & have a cogent analysis that doesn’t rely on Islamophobic hysteria & conspiracy crap, you’re welcome to include those in your comments. No opponent of Assad’s dictatorship ever said those groups were all champions of democracy.

But if you think you’re going to post demented rubbish from Global Research or other questionable sources on my wall, think again. There are plenty of places on Facebook & Twitter that eat that crap up but here we like to do politics–not crazy-pants, Muslim-hating war-mongering.

Russian flotilla enters Mediterranean: deranged progressives hail war ships as freedom fighters

Map of Syria with cities

Just over a week ago, a Russian flotilla of seven ships led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetzov entered the Mediterranean Sea headed for Syria. Dozens of Russian fighter jets & attack helicopters can be launched from the aircraft carrier or they may become based at the Khmeimim Russian Air Base built last year near the Syrian city of Latakia on the coast.

In the flotilla are a nuclear-powered battle cruiser (which can launch Kalibr cruise missiles), an anti-submarine destroyer, a destroyer, a tug, a surveillance vessel, & a tanker. Three submarines later joined the flotilla–all thought to be carrying Kalibr land attack cruise missiles which can be armed with nuclear or conventional warheads.

According to Russian state media reports, since Russia entered the war in Syria in September 2015, it has deployed Kalibr missiles dozens of times targeting Aleppo, Raqqa, & Idlib provinces.
In October 2015, some of those missiles traveled through Iraqi & Iranian airspace & anonymous US Department of Defense officials claimed four crashed in Iran. The Russian & Iranian governments, allies of Assad in Syria, both denied the crash occurred. US Pentagon & State Department officials refused to comment on the reports–just as they dummy up on Syrian & Russian bombing of cities despite the most sophisticated military surveillance equipment in the world. From Langley Air Force Base in Virginia they can watch Assad scratch his ass & from the White House can watch Osama bin Laden be assassinated so they damn well know who is bombing what in Syria.

This military build-up is what a significant section of progressive forces support in their demented scenario of Syria & Russia against US-backed “head-chopping jihadists.” Russian missiles is their idea of freedom fighters–just as another group of anti-Assad activists support US cruise missiles as a salvation army.

Where have they gone wrong? At what point did they decide there is humanitarian militarism as opposed to barbaric militarism? The role of principled antiwar activists is to oppose all military operations in Syria, including that of Assad, so that the Syrian movement against dictatorship has a clear field to finish the mission they began in 2011.

Shame on those who think missiles & bombers can accomplish the tasks of revolution & democracy. They don’t understand the first thing about politics & have no right to call themselves antiwar activists or progressives.

Once again: just so we know who Syria & Russia are bombing

Douma Syria after airstrike (REUTERS:Bassam Khabieh) Nov 3 2016

This little girl is running past a building recently bombed by Syria in the rebel-held town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus where nearly 110,000 civilians live. Because of opposition to the Assad regime, the area has been under military siege since 2012. But the Syrian government is now engaged in a several month offensive waging heavy aerial & ground shelling assaults on civilians & infrastructure, including hospitals & schools.

Much life in Douma is spent underground with basements used as schools & playgrounds, underground bombing shelters tunneled beneath homes, & even bakeries & medical facilities. On days following air strikes, only ambulances, rescue workers & paramedics are in the streets.

Assad supporters claim bombing of civilians is to take out “jihadist” groups controlling civilians & even that children like this little girl are being used as human shields. They are jubilant at news about the armada of Russian warships now in the Mediterranean Sea to launch missiles & airstrikes on cities like Douma which would kill far more civilians than paramilitary forces.

It can never be said strongly enough that if you support militarism & carpet bombing–US, Russian, Syrian, Iranian, or a combination of all of them–as a solution to the war in Syria, your political motives are suspect, your judgement deranged, & you become part of the problem.

The only principled response & only possible solution is to demand the immediate cessation of Syrian & Russian bombing; the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces, regular & irregular forces, overt & covert, air & ground & to actively organize internationally around those demands.

(Photo by Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)

Dakota Access Pipeline owners also own Sunoco, Petro-Canada, & Stripes gas stations

Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Cannonball ND (REUTERS:Stephanie Keith--Nov 3 2016

Concerning a consumer boycott of Sunoco, Petro-Canada, & Stripes gas stations, all wholly owned by Energy Transfer Partners, owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline:

This is a recent protest on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannonball, North Dakota against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Riot police are using pepper spray against protesters standing in the river.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a project that starts in North Dakota & travels 1,200 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, & ending at a terminal in Patoka, Illinois where it will be processed for distribution. Using eminent domain for land grabs, the route will pass near municipal water sources, residential areas, Indian reservations (defying tribal sovereignty & sacred burial grounds), wetlands, nearly 350 miles of farmland in Iowa, & will be tunneled under the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers.

This is classic neoliberal economic policy which has been devastating indigenous rights on every continent since the 1980s with accelerating military aggression against resistance. Multinational agribusiness & mining industries take over lands with the military assistance of national regimes. All over Latin, Central, & North America; Africa; South Asia. This is one of the chief causes of environmental destruction, climate change, the growth of urban slums, & the crises of dispossessed immigrants & refugees.

Energy Transfer Partners is a US Fortune 500 natural gas & propane company founded in 1995 & based in Dallas, Texas. It is the parent company of Dakota Access, the subsidiary developing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The fight against DAPL has already gone international because millions of indigenous peoples around the world know exactly what is going on in North Dakota & solidify with the Standing Rock tribe. It is going to be a long fight because the most powerful forces in US politics, including the White House, support the pipeline. It will have to be fought on many fronts & with a variety of tactics.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) wholly owns Sunoco retail gas stations with 4,700 outlets in 26 US states. In Canada, Sunoco outlets are branded as Petro-Canada. ETP also wholly owns Stripes, a chain of 580 convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico, & Oklahoma associated with retail gas stations.

Refusing to patronize Sunoco, Petro-Canada, & Stripes gas stations is the beginning of what could become an organized boycott in solidarity with the Standing Rock Indian tribe in North Dakota.

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Twitter has news all right–along with pissing contests

For so long I wondered if I was missing out on something in not having a Twitter account. People always said it was a good source for up-to-date news.

I opened an account but never used it until FB banned me twice for posting about the Kashmiri activist murdered by Indian soldiers on July 8th whose name & photo cannot be posted on FB though his funeral was attended by 600,000 people.

It is indeed an extremely useful source for information. But it is also a mine field of bickering, bullying, narcissistic snits that go on interminably. You have be disciplined in using it or you can get pulled into that crap & it will eat up your creative energies. You may even begin to think pissing contests are political debates.

Feudalism will be denounced under my presidency

A friend messaged me photos of US presidents visiting Betty Windsor & reminded me that would be among my duties if elected president. He got that wrong.

My first act as president of the US would be denounce feudalism where it exists, outlaw curtsying & kissing ass, & sever all economic & political ties with nations that still have a moochocracy. There’d be no need to end military alliances because my second act would be to dismantle the US Pentagon & start prosecutions of the CIA for crimes against humanity.

This pledge assures me I cannot win the US presidency but it does not stop me from denouncing up a storm.

Pope Francis says no women priests ever

Pope Francis

Some people wept & swooned when Pope Francis washed the feet of a couple refugees earlier this year. Pardon me if I don’t get swooning (& haven’t since I first saw it done over Elvis) or if that particular ritual seems a sort of feudal degradation to the recipients deemed lesser so who should feel honored at the great man washing their tootsies.

Will the weeping & swooning be so ardent when they hear he told a reporter the ban on female priests in the Catholic church is forever? I’ve never taken much to priests & think they’d be a lot better off if they could marry. It’s too hard to live without love. Since childhood, I’ve been uncomfortable around them & when I was in the convent outright resented their privileges compared to nuns. It probably wouldn’t go much better if priests were also female.

But what’s operating here is the continuing second-class status of women in the Catholic church. So if I ever have a weak moment of swooning, it won’t be over Pope Francis. Actually, if you ever catch me in a swoon over anyone, you’ll know I’ve lost my marbles.

Glamour magazine makes ass of itself: chooses Bono as woman of the year

Bono --Nov 2 2016

Glamour magazine just named Bono to its annual Women of the Year award. The honorific had more value than the Nobel Peace Prize but after this Bono fiasco, considerably less than a soiled snot rag.

Glamour editor Cindi Lieve said Bono was chosen because he used his celebrity & his One Campaign organization to launch his “Poverty is Sexist” campaign on International Women’s Day (March 8th) of this year.

The One Campaign, formed in 2004, is a coalition of NGOs including The International Rescue Committee (whose board of directors is a line-up of international serial killers, including Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, & before he croaked, Elie Wiesel); Save The Children US (which in 2014 gave Tony Blair a Global Legacy Award); along with other conservative NGOS like CARE & Oxfam. It is funded lavishly by the Gates Foundation.

One wonders if Glamour cleared up the financial questions about the One Campaign which has been under scrutiny almost from the beginning for using only 1.2 percent of its donations for programs to address poverty. In 2008, ONE received £9.6 million in donations, paid £5.1 million in salaries to 120 staff members, & allocated only £118,000 to practical programs. A spokesperson explained this by saying “We don’t provide programs on the ground. We’re an advocacy & campaigning organization.”

That advocacy & campaigning stuff means Bono gets to do gigs with all kinds of do-gooder celebrities & disreputable politicians who want good press. They commiserate about lack of education for young girls, high HIV infection rates, & maternal death rates. They don’t do a damn thing about it but they do whip up pity, especially for young girls in Africa, in order to garner donations.

These campaigns–& there are several–directed at the problems of young girls are not campaigns to promote female liberation & equality. They are end runs around feminist analyses & perspectives for improving the lives of women & girls. Feminism is the theoretics of female emancipation; these phony-assed do-gooder programs are attempts to control women & their reproductive lives & usually have deep connections to eugenics organizations..

One of the other recipients this year of the Glamour Women of the Year award was Christine Lagarde, the IMF head who orchestrates austerity programs all over the world to impoverish women & create massive inequality & misery for all.

Those who believe in the rights of women & in justice have an entirely different list of respected women beginning with the women of Palestine & Kashmir & the women of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota–but by no means does the list of our respected women end there.

Let’s not beat around the bush about this: Glamour magazine can take their award & stuff it where the sun don’t shine. In general, committed activists should eschew all honorifics that place them above others & accept them only if a trophy on their mantle will advance the struggles they are part of.

(Photo is Bono)