Sibling day: taken with my mother at the death of my father in 1984. These are 15 of the 19 kids. One sister who has since died was not present; three had already died. The sister & brother on far right have also since died.

Last month, Trump tweeted a threat to have Saturday Night Live on NBC investigated by the Federal Election Commission or the Federal Communications Commission for the ongoing Alec Baldwin sketches mocking him. Carol Sughrue has just mocked Trump’s brain as a black hole & we want to assure her that we will defend her, or join her in rolling on the floor laughing, when Trump starts threatening legal action against her.

(Photo on top is Alec Baldwin & Trump; photo on bottom is Trump’s brain)

No one can be faulted for lacking enthusiasm about defending Assange against US prosecution. The guy’s a creep with stinking rotten politics who still faces prosecution for two outstanding rape charges in Sweden. But he’s not being hunted down for being a dirtball. He’s going to be prosecuted because Wikileaks exposed US war crimes in Iraq.

Loath is anyone except his Assadist & fascist supporters to build a defense case around him when high-principled journalists like Kashmir’s Aasif Sultan are sitting in jail for months with no international defense at all & Palestinian journalists are being executed by Israeli snipers at the Great Return March without any international outpouring of solidarity. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported last month that there are 251 journalists, including 33 women, in jails around the world–most of them subject to beatings, torture, invasive body searches, & sexual violence. Among the worst, but certainly not the only, offenders are Syria, Mexico, Russia, Colombia, Brazil, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Philippines, Vietnam.

What the Assange case highlights is the almost complete lack of support that imprisoned & disappeared journalists get. Rather than turn Assange into some kind of hero that he isn’t or turn our backs on defending him because he is so personally repulsive, we should use his case not to apotheosize Assange but to defend freedom of the press & to educate about the importance of defending all journalists from arrest, disappearance, & murder by tyrannical & repressive regimes.

(Photo of Aasif Sultan by CPJ Asia, November 2018)

Trump’s ‘black hole’

“A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it.” — Wikipedia

An elderly Palestinian woman tries in vain to protect her olive trees as Israeli settlers, protected by the Israeli army, cut down 800 Palestinian-owned olive trees near the town of Shuyukh, east of Hebron.

The general who tried to preempt & outsmart the Sudanese Arab Spring by assuming power, as the generals did in Egypt against the Egyptian Arab Spring in 2011 & 2013, is out within 24-hours as a result of mass protests in the streets. The military has not been defeated but is temporizing & is almost certainly rethinking its strategy so it can eventually crush the popular movement for democracy.

Two young men were traveling in a car today near Rafiabad in the Baramulla district of north Kashmir when Indian paramilitary soldiers stopped their vehicle & checked their fingers for the stamp proving they had voted. When they didn’t find it, they interrogated the men about why they didn’t vote in the Indian elections & then beat the living daylights out of them for not voting. Adil Ahmad Rather & Tariq Ahmad Rather both ended up in a hospital for their injuries.

Soon after residents of the area heard of the assault, they took to the streets in protest, blocking the Handwara-Baramulla National Highway which is the highway closed down to Kashmiris on Sunday & Wednesday so Indian military convoys can travel through. The protesters demanded harsh action against the occupying soldiers, saying “we are not even safe in our own localities.” Who knew that in Kashmir one could be beaten to a pulp for not voting in an election rigged top to bottom against them?

One news agency reported that a FIR (a formal accusation of a criminal offense) has been registered against the soldiers & that a criminal investigation will be pursued. That would be at odds with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which gives the Indian occupying army complete impunity for human rights & war crimes committed in Kashmir. The odds that these young men will get justice for being beaten up are in the realm of fat chance.
End the occupation of Kashmir. Self-Determination for Kashmir.

(Video is one of the young men after the assault.)

The presentation of Black culture in American movies is absolutely deplorable & of Black women doubly deplorable: fools, hyper-sexual, vulgar, jiving. It must be humiliating for Black actors to participate in these travesties.

Since George Clooney has so often publicly war mongered against Sudan, it would be good to know if he stands with the Sudanese Arab Spring. Or is popular resistance to dictatorship not what he meant? Did he have US military intervention more in mind?