All posts by BabakJoy2014

Alan Dershowitz doesn’t like being identified as a child rapist

Alan Dershowitz complained to the Jerusalem Post today that “anti-Israeli zealots are loving” accusations against him. Actually we’re sickened that he would rape young girls. We’re outraged this degenerate creep would touch innocence to harm. We’re just not surprised.

What we do love, without apology, is that one of his victims is bringing him down. And we love that henceforward he won’t be able to show his ugly face & spew his rancid lies about Palestinians without the stench of child molestation filling up the venue.

British sitcom on genocide in Ireland

A British network has commissioned a sitcom about the Irish “famine” to be titled “Hungry” written by an Irish halfwit named Hugh Travers. Travers defended his monstrous idea by saying “Ireland has always been good at black humour.” Let’s hazard a guess that such insularity is due partly to privilege (which often makes one stupid) & partly to sucking up to British prejudice to achieve fame. He wouldn’t be the first to sell his paltry soul.

The potato famine in the 19th century (1845-52) was while Ireland was a British colony. It is now recognized as genocide & called that by historians not wedded to idiocy. It killed one million people & forced two million to emigrate. It was not a famine since plenty of other crops were grown beside potatoes. The water mold that attacked the potato crop devastated because it was the cash crop used by peasant farmers to pay their English landlords & (to show the affinities between colonialism & neoliberal plunder) while the Irish suffered starvation & disease, other crops were exported to England & elsewhere–including wheat, oats, barley, butter, eggs, beef, pork.

British landlords evicted starving tenants & whole villages were taken out with cholera & typhus when they ate the rotten potatoes; many resorted to eating grass. People died on the side of the road. We haven’t seen such horrors since the last news report on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. (Another affinity between colonialism & neoliberal predation.)

Entire families were sent to overcrowded, squalid workhouses which was considered a death sentence. Ships carrying diseased & desperate immigrants became known as “coffin ships” because often over a third of passengers died on the voyage.

Any Irish writer who can find humor in that history has to have their head examined–or has their head stuck so far up the butt of the British elite they can no longer think. And there is that privilege thing again. Travers is playing the Paddy to get laughs from a British public still steeped in hatred of the Irish & likely taught as malformed a view of English colonialism as kids in the US get of Black, Mexican, & Native American history.

What’s most monstrous is that the historic record has not been sufficiently corrected & the terminology of famine replaced with genocide. What is needed is not foul humor at the expense of history but excoriation, including in the form of satire, not sitcom banality. The world doesn’t need more court jesters like Travers; it needs more satirists like Jonathan Swift who wrote “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, & for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick” (1729) satirically suggesting Irish babies be plumped up for the British meat market. The difference between Travers & Swift, between groveling & satire could not be more damning.

(Photo of “Burying the Child” by Lilian Lucy Davidson is provided by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut)

US and UK governments cover for sexual predators of children

We are accustomed to reading of scandals involving sex abuse & pedophilia among the British elite, including politicians & the moochocracy–most notoriously Betty Windsor’s kid, Andrew. We are also accustomed to police investigations of the elite pedophile rings going nowhere even though accusations include murder of children used as sex slaves.

The US ruling elite has been more effective in covering up such crimes. Most politicians here are ridiculed (in the wink-wink way) for getting caught with prostitutes, not children. A recent federal lawsuit in Florida against the US government may change that–though the outcome of a coverup will be the same. Four women allege the US government violated the rights of crime victims when it made a plea deal in 2008 with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sexually abusing minors & providing them to powerful figures. The charges were criminally serious but as a result of the plea deal Epstein only spent 13 months in jail.

Andrew Windsor & rabid Zionist Alan Dershowitz are exposed in the Florida suit for having sex with minors provided by Epstein. Bill Clinton & Kevin Spacey have been cited in other lawsuits involving Epstein. None of those creeps face criminal charges in the suits.
As ugly as this stuff is, the protection of children demands we pay attention because the courts & cops will no more address justice than the British courts or Scotland Yard. The women’s movement of the 1970s was the first to put the spotlight on sexual crimes against children & skewer the “Oedipal conflict” promoted by Freudians as a dismissal of claims by men & women of childhood sexual assault.

The protection of children from sexual predation is the responsibility of all & the exposure of these crimes, as hard as they are to face, must be demanded. It’s not sufficient that the perpetrators rot in hell; they need face justice & shame in a court of law.

Major mining spill in Mexico

Sonora river basin (Photo- Regeneración) Jan 1 2015

If you live a cloistered life in an ashram or monastery in the Eastern Hemisphere it’s understandable you wouldn’t know about what is called the worst environmental disaster in Mexico’s history on August 6th, 2014 in the state of Sonora about 40 miles from the US border with Arizona. But it doesn’t make sense for those of us who follow news. For the media to bury this story behind celebrity gossip about Kim Kardashian’s butt speaks to everything that is contemptible & dishonest in corporate journalism.

The story of that mining spill is extraordinary: 11 million gallons (42 thousand cubic meters) of sulphuric acid, arsenic, cadmium, copper, chrome, & mercury was spilled into the Bacanuchi & Sonora rivers, contaminating the water supply for several municipalities (including the downstream capital city of Hermosillo with one million people), destroying the local ecology along the river & the livelihood of thousands of farmers, making the area uninhabitable for local flora, fauna, wildlife & for birds on a major north-south migration route. The story involves the wrenching battles fought between Mexican corporations & the labor movement to impose a neoliberal business model & culture.

The spill happened at the Buenavista del Cobre mine in Cananea which played a role in the Mexican Revolution of 1910 & has a long history in the labor movement. Mining was not nationalized & placed under government control like the oil sector but was included in the process of expelling foreign investors & “Mexicanizing” industry. The Mexican state owned controlling shares & had monopoly control of what was then named the Cananea Mining Company. Mexico was a capitalist state & its mining operations still routinely dispossessed small farmers & Indigenous peoples for mining expansion, controlled the unions mafia-style, & did not implement environmental regulations. But neoliberalism is the barbaric phase of capitalism

Under the whip of an IMF-World Bank restructuring program in the 1980s, the Cananea Mining Company was put up for sale by the regime of Carlos Salinas. They sold it in 1990 at less than a quarter of its market value to Grupo Mexico, half owned by Germán Larrea whose father was well-connected to the Salinas regime. The three richest men in Mexico today were the main beneficiaries of privatization. One of them, Carlos Slim, is the richest man in the world. Larrea’s fortunes now include Grupo Mexico (GM), the largest mining company in Mexico with subsidiaries in the US & Peru; a majority of the rail lines in Mexico, including the infamous La Bestia which Central American immigrants ride north (Larrea’s ownership explains why the trains do not stop so immigrants can board & discharge safely & many are killed or maimed); a stake in an airline; & he’s now bidding on a new TV network. His personal worth is over $15 billion & he ranks #67 on Forbes annual list of the richest people in the world.

It’s worth noting that Asarco, the GM subsidiary in the US (based in Arizona) has been cited multiple times for violations at 20 superfund sites & is the subject of considerable litigation. In 2009 alone, Asarco paid the US government nearly $2 billion to settle hazardous waste pollution claims in 19 states. It’s Peruvian subsidiary, which controls two mines opposed by local residents, flew past Peruvian regulators with favorable environmental impact reports prepared by a company GM hired & likely a lot of greased palms.

Miners in the Cananea mine resisted the neoliberal way of doing business which cannot coexist in harmony with even company unions. There were immense labor battles at the mine, including extreme violence, to lower wages & sabotage safety regulations. Striking miners were fired wholesale, the regime sent troops to break the union, & many miners became undocumented immigrants to the US in fear for their lives. The name change to Buenavista Copper Mine signals a new regime where no locals nor family members of those in the former union are hired, & the union is completely controlled by Grupo Mexico.

When the spill happened on August 6th (& again in mid-September), the neoliberal grand-master president Enrique Peña Nieto, the Mexican Congress, government regulatory agencies were all talking tough & calling for sanctions because Grupo Mexico failed to report the spill, lied about its causes to the authorities, failed to carry out an industrial cleanup, & attempted to bribe & bully mayors in the municipalities affected by forcing them to sign affidavits the cleanup was conducted & threatening to withhold clean water from residents. When the mayors did refuse, state officials in Sonora began withholding water delivery services from tanker trucks. The truth of the matter is, a company as reckless as Grupo Mexico hasn’t a clue how to proceed with cleanup & isn’t willing to pay for the expertise or necessary industrial equipment.

At first Grupo Mexico suffered on the stock exchange but when it weathered the fallout–that is, the plaintive whimpers of the Mexican regime–neoliberal plunder was good to go. It’s now recovered & considered prime stock. GM, which has an annual net income of $2 billion (half from the Buenavista mine) was able to walk away with a nominal fine of $150 million (which may or may not be dispersed) & an offer to give 2,000 pesos (US$150) to each person affected on the banks of the rivers. One report says the state officials are doling out 804 pesos (US$61) per week to those affected along the river banks. It’s not certain what that means since the disaster reaches far beyond the river banks & those who live adjacent to it.

Sinaloa Collective Actions & their lawyer Luis Manuel Perez de Acha are preparing a lawsuit against Grupo Mexico but the way neoliberalism works, Grupo Mexico has the courts all wrapped up in deals at the country club. The only way out of neoliberal predation is to overthrow it.

This is a photo of the Sonora river basin after the Buenavista spill.

(Photo from Sonora river basin from Regeneración)

Giant chasm opens up in desert of Sonora, Mexico

Mexican chasm  Jan 1 2014

This 3,300 feet long & 25 feet deep (one kilometer & 8 meter) chasm opened last August in the desert outside Hermosillo, Mexico in the state of Sonora (on the US border with Arizona). The Washington Post published an article claiming “scientists” said it was nothing to sweat about. Turns out the “scientists” are just one guy who chairs the geology department at the University of Sonora named Inocente Guadalupe Espinoza Maldonado. Professor Espinoza called the chasm a “topographic accident” & “no cause for alarm” because “These are normal manifestations of the destabilization of the ground.” He might reconsider that judgement if it went through his living room or interrupted one of his lectures.

He considered it unlikely to be tectonic or seismic activity & more likely due to decades of over-pumping groundwater for agricultural irrigation which caused the surface to collapse. He claimed large-scale agriculture is going on in the area of the fault though you wouldn’t know it from this picture. There isn’t a shrub in sight.

It well may be from excessive extraction of water & intrusion of saltwater from the nearby Gulf of California, as the good professor claims, but that sure as hell is not “normal” or “no cause for alarm.” As we can see in this video, the fault went right through a highway. He might enlighten the residents of Hermosillo by explaining if local geologists were monitoring the situation & warning public officials that faulty irrigation methods could cause “topographic” problems. It would also be important for him to explain how the August 6th mining spill of copper sulfate acid into the Sonora River 183 miles (294 kilometers) upstream interacts with all this. The Sonora River supplies water to nearly one million residents of Hermosillo & hundreds of thousands of people along the river & empties into the Gulf of California. Upstream the water is orange, mucky, undrinkable, & unusable in every other way. And it’s likely to stay that way since the mining company & Mexican government are colluding & obstructing cleanup.

There is crescendoing alarm about the relationship of fracking, sinkholes, & earthquakes & the connection of all that to climate change. These are important questions that cannot be left to conspiracy theorists & other crackpots. Responsible geologists & other scientists cannot be cavalier because people are asking serious questions involving the survival of the human race. The planet will survive neoliberal depredations. The question is, will we?

(Photo is screen shot from video of Sonora fault. Please view the brief video to see how scary the damn thing is.)

The phony US-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan

It’s regrettable to start 2015 with bad news but are US-NATO pulling another Iraq War-style withdrawal from Afghanistan? They held a military ceremony with lots of saluting & a flag lowering but they’re leaving 20,000 troops in Afghanistan. What about the massive drone operation?

At this time last year, the US was arm-twisting & threatening then president Karzai for refusing to sign a security agreement that would negate Afghan sovereignty by allowing US troops to stay with impunity for criminal acts committed. He accused the US not only of fostering conflict with the Taliban but of playing both sides of street. Karzai was never anybody’s hero but even he couldn’t stomach the subservience to the Pentagon.

The new president, Ashraf Ghani, who won office through election fraud, is as sycophantic to the US as Karzai when he won office through election fraud. Ghani was in office for only moments before he signed the security agreement which sanctions continued US occupation under the guise of “counterterrorism operations against the Taliban & other insurgents.” What a multitude of crimes are contained in that vague formulation, including US military involvement in drug trafficking, drone bombings of civilians, terrorizing of the population, massive homelessness & millions of war refugees.

You gotta hand it to Ghani: he’s handsome, a spiffy dresser, & credentialed up to his eyeballs with academic honors but he’s as corrupt as everybody else in Afghanistan who makes league with the US government against the people of Afghanistan.

The US-NATO war in Afghanistan has not ended & frankly we’re tired of Obama’s (speaking of handsome & spiffy dressers with academic honors) grotesque shell game. The antiwar movement has only one response to the news of US-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan: we continue marching to demand US out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq!

Neoliberal waste management

Neoliberal waste management (Pablo Blazquez Dominquez:Getty Images) Dec 31 2014

Neoliberal waste management: solid waste disposal, once a public service, has now been privatized across the globe–driven by austerity programs, especially IMF-World Bank policies & bullying. Those who argue for privatization claim it’s cost effective for cities & that private companies exhibit more innovation in waste disposal methods. How much innovation does it take to turn planet Earth into one stinking, toxic landfill? The only innovation made is the introduction of racism & neoliberal colonialism into waste management so that the biggest mountains of waste are on Native American reservations in the US (one such dump on a reservation in southern California is a mountain of stinking human feces from San Diego) & adjacent to the biggest slums in Africa, Central America, & South Asia so that the poor can earn pennies a day recycling & suffering terrible health consequences, especially respiratory & skin infections.

This tire graveyard is in Sesena Nuevo near Madrid, Spain but it could just as well be near Des Moines, Iowa. They’re all over the place–raising the question why isn’t the tire industry responsible for their disposal & recycling? And also, why hasn’t the tire industry been mandated to produce a tire with a life span longer than five years?

The class that administers neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism, can’t help itself. It feeds on plunder & profiteering & is caught in it’s own deadly system. We need to form an emancipation army to help extricate the poor murderous fools from their seats of power & send them packing. There’ll be no need for revenge because there’ll be plenty of work for them to do dismantling the mess they made of this world. That way slum residents can find suitable employment & get health care for their maladies. In the US, the marauders can begin with that pile of poop outside San Diego where they will be provided with respirators.

(Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Neoliberal health care

Neoliberal health care:Ebola (John Moore:Getty Images) Dec 31 2014

This photo which should be entitled “Neoliberal health care”, was chosen by the Wall Street Journal as among the best for 2014. It is a Liberian health care worker in Monrovia disinfecting the body of a man who died in a schoolroom serving as an Ebola isolation ward (in August). Can you imagine a more bereft way of dying? Can you conceive of how it felt for a deathly ill man to be dumped alone in such conditions?

Meanwhile, the notoriously corrupt government of Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner educated in the US Ivy League) accepts billions of dollars in US military aid & dishes out billions of dollars in concession agreements to multinational corporations to plunder Liberia’s considerable natural resources. Liberia is fully committed to the neoliberal way of doing business which includes agribusiness plantations for palm oil & the largest rubber plantation in the world owned by Firestone Tire. It has the highest ratio of foreign investment in the world so foreign plunder of iron ore & timber resources for export is legally sanctioned.

Liberia also shares a shameful distinction with Israel: it operates as a major trader of Sierra Leone’s “blood diamonds.” Blood diamonds are also called conflict or war diamonds (& that includes all diamonds sold today) because of the violence & civil conflict involved in their extraction & trade. In 2001, the UN banned Liberian diamond exports because of the human rights violations involved in the trade. But when Liberia signed the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme agreement in 2007, the ban was lifted. Of course the Kimberley Process is a scam by the diamond industry (which includes all the big jewelers) to clean up the image of the diamond trade based in neoliberal plunder & war. Think not only Sierra Leone but the DR Congo where the war over diamonds & other minerals has caused the deaths of over 6 million people since 1998.

As for why there is an abandoned school to use as a clinic in a country with a high illiteracy rate–part of neoliberalism involves privatizing & reducing public funds to sustain public education by providing supplies & paying teachers. In many areas children must pay for school in a country where thousands have been dispossessed, displaced, & their livelihoods destroyed by agribusiness plantations.

Our fullest solidarity with the working people of Liberia. Solidarity, if it is to mean anything, begins with boycotting diamonds & doesn’t end till neoliberal barbarism is removed from the face of the earth.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Police whimper and feign fear to discredit emerging civil rights movement

This might be the time to pee on the sidewalk in NYC if you ever wanted to. The NYPD is on an undeclared & illegal work stoppage with ticketing down 94% for public drinking, peeing, & other minor offenses. The coast is still not clear for shoplifters so keep your sticky fingers off the goods.

The police Benevolent Association has mandated two patrol cars must respond to all police calls so this means slower response times to non-emergencies like burglaries or car crashes without injuries–or whatever in their petulant state cops deem non-emergency.

One cop said he’s not writing tickets because he ‘won’t stand there & let someone shoot him or hit him in the head with an ax.’ Another said, “I’m concerned about my safety. I want to go home to my wife & kids.” What a contrast to their reckless disregard for the lives & human rights of Black teens. File those complaints under “Cry me a River.”

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is feeling emboldened enough to hit the media trail. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” he claimed the NYPD is suffering low morale & that cops across the country “feel under attack,” including from the government. All that big-assed military equipment & no one to shoot without a civil rights movement in your face!

Bratton addressed the conflict as if were between the NYPD & Mayor de Blasio. That’s where the cops are focusing their fury when the real tension is between the NYPD & Black community & its supporters. Cops want their old impunity back. But police don’t run NYC or any other city in the world. They’re guns for hire by the political forces that do control things.

It’s a dangerous course to let the cops run wild & call the shots. And it’s a danger mostly to the emerging civil rights movement. The only way to defend the right of public protest & support the Black community in defense of their children is to make the new movement massive & mighty & intransigent. The police suffer no threat whatsoever to their lives or safety from this historic movement for social justice. But it is the end of the line for their reign of terror in the Black community.

Tribute to the Black community of Ferguson, Missouri

Ferguson (Jewel Samad:AFP) Dec 20 2014

This photo from Ferguson, Missouri was also chosen by the Guardian-UK as one of the best from 2014. The photojournalist doesn’t give a date but because the protester is wearing mittens we can assume it’s part of ongoing protest this winter & not from last summer. The photographer also doesn’t seem to get what is going on in Ferguson since she said, ““I took this picture the day after the violent protest turned into riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The police were trying to disperse a crowd & warning they would arrest anyone gathering on the street.” What interested her in the shot was the contrast between the iconic gesture of “Hands up, don’t shoot” & the police lights. Maybe one ought not cover such events if aesthetics are of more concern than the momentous & historic.

This woman protester defied police orders & moved into the middle of the street before the police advance & was arrested. Protests which stand on the Bill of Rights to defend Black youth from police violence don’t get violent or riotous until militarized riot cops attack them. If the photographer doesn’t get that, she should stick with kitty portraits.

We should take a moment to honor the Black community in Ferguson for changing the political landscape in this country, for exposing for all the world to see the crimes being committed against Black teens by police, government, & school officials. The NYPD & media are now crying crocodile tears that the emerging civil rights & Black power movement is endangering the cops. That movement in Ferguson, NYC, & elsewhere is responding to the charge with the derision & contempt of a Bronx cheer (Also called a raspberry & done with the mouth it makes the sound of a fart. Nothing could be a more appropriate response.). They aint seen nothing yet.

Judging by our selection of political leaders & US military policy, many people around the world think the US population not just slow on the uptake but genetically & politically damned in some way. Ferguson has changed that too, showing that opposition to injustice & tyranny is not just part of our history but is possible again.

(Photo byJewel Samad/AFP)