Obama is touring Asian countries this week as part of military negotiations over what US politicians & media call a US “pivot” toward Asia. This so-called pivot is a strategic military shift involving a massive build-up in the region with land troops, air bases, & ship docking facilities. Obama will be visiting Japan, South Korea, Malaysia on this trip but Australia & other countries are also implicated in this pivot to a more bellicose stance in the region. He isn’t scheduled to arrive in Manila, Philippines until next Monday to negotiate an agreement allowing extensive access for US troops, ships, & planes but the Filipino antiwar movement wanted to give him an early bum’s rush.
A rally today at the US embassy in Manila by the Filipino antiwar movement is making headlines as part of several protests against Obama’s visit & against US military presence in their country. Media reports try to downplay the importance of these protests by saying it was only about 100 left-wing activists. That doesn’t explain why riot cops showed up full force with truncheons, shields, & water hoses to back down a mere 100 people–that is, if they count left-wingers as people.
Many in the US claim there is no antiwar movement here. Certainly compared to previous wars, it is a weak & paltry one; that can’t be argued. But that is no reason to sit on our asses, rueing the failure of people to mobilize against the war. There are small actions all over the country by committed activists who stand their ground even if it’s with just a handful of others. Stop the rueing, grab a placard, & join them. Bellyaching doesn’t change the world; action does.
We laud our Filipino counterparts & express our deepest respect & solidarity. And hats off to their wonderful placards demanding no US military presence in their country.
(Photo by Bullit Marquez/AP)
Earth Day 2014 is looking more like Armageddon. This scene in Gauhati, India is repeated in every country around the world where tons & entire mountains of dead animals, decaying food, animal & human poop, rotting unmentionables like diapers & sanitary napkins, & heavens knows what else, is dumped in the vicinity of slums. Not only are residents expected to pick through this crap for recyclables to sell but they are subject to all sorts of respiratory, infectious, & dermatological diseases. It’s called neoliberal waste management. For those who like to call a spade a spade, it’s called barbarism.
The Greater Adjutant Stork flying overhead & competing with the woman scavenging for recyclables was once common all over Asia but is now endangered. Some speculate that’s due to greater sanitation since they favor dead things & excreta. That’s the least likely explanation since they could well be the mascots of neoliberal waste management. Unless we do something quick to rid this planet of plunder, these storks are likely to outlive the human race.
(Photo by Anupam Nath/AP)
In the abortion rights movement of the 1960s & 1970s, feminists needed to disassociate from population control organizations with a eugenics agenda. This issue was particularly important because forced sterilization of Black, Latino, & Native American women was so rampant a problem & included population control programs in US colonies & other countries. As an example, it was determined at that time that over 30% of Puerto Rican women had been sterilized without their knowledge or consent. The original demand put forward by the feminist movement was for abortion rights & an end to forced sterilization–a demand which cleaved any possible entente cordiale between feminists & eugenics proponents.
The women’s movement was soon corraled into the Democratic Party by leaders like Betty Friedan & Gloria Steinem but the well-financed population control/eugenics groups continued to thrive without the pedagogical & political impediments of women’s rights. These groups, however, learned something from their accidental association with feminism & that is to mask their racist, ethnic cleansing agenda in the political rhetoric of feminism–in the same way the US masks its colonial wars of plunder in the rhetoric of Islamophobia & feminism.
One of the best examples of this fraudulent political posturing is the group called The Girl Effect, an organization that has roped in many under the guise of championing the political interests of young women. The Girl Effect is funded primarily by the Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation (Warren Buffett’s family foundation), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Rescue Committee (Kissinger’s foundation), & all of the major organizational players in the eugenics movement. The financial & political forces behind The Girl Effect are a regular “Who’s Who” in eugenics today.
Nike, the chief promoter of The Girl Effect, is also one of the oldest operators in sweatshop capitalism, leading the way in exploiting female & child labor. It would not be over the top to state that the foundation is funded by the super-exploitation of young girls & children & that their vested interest in getting them sterilized is to have a more controllable workforce not requiring pregnancy leaves.
Those who support reproductive rights but oppose racist ethnic cleansing need to vet the groups that promote racist eugenics under the guise of feminism & disassociate from their nefarious & repugnant agenda.
(Photo is logo of The Girl Effect)
Top news this morning: Tila Tequila is pregnant; Kim Kardashian wore a pink jump suit; George the umpteenth visited an Australian zoo; & a brief history of jambalaya. Now do you see why US kids don’t know where Alaska is!?
PS: Where’s Jambalaya?
Willy & KKKKaty Windsor’s trip to Australia is really doing the British moochocracy proud–especially if you’re the kind of person who believes everything you read & your critical faculties have been blunted by too much Murdoch media.
Yesterday, our duo, without George the umpteenth as a prop, toured a children’s hospital in Sydney. When they met a seriously ill little boy, it is reported they “visibly struggled to keep it together.” Willy claims he welled up with tears & was really worried he would start crying. Odd that, since there’s an immense library of media reports describing how the austerity cutbacks in England are affecting thousands of sick, disabled, & poor kids. When Willy & KKKKaty collect their welfare checks there’s no evidence of any tears welling up in shame. They seem to have complete peace of mind in putting kids back in England at risk to bankroll their indolent lifestyle.
The bad news is KKKKaty appears to be back on her one biscuit a day starvation rations; the good news is it appears George the umpteenth is actually being fed whole meals. In a week or two he’ll weigh more than mama. Reports claim KKKKaty made sport of a growing bald spot on Willy’s head. If she’s not careful that one biscuit a day will be cut in half.
We cannot let April 21st pass by without acknowledging Betty Windsor’s 88th birthday. Our girl actually has two birthdays including an extravaganza on June 14th paid for with monies stolen from the national health care service. Let’s hope this time she skips the flotilla up the Thames. Her longevity is entirely due to a life of being waited on hand & foot &, of course, the delight she derives from horse racing since her children & spouse have certainly been no blessing.
It’s been proven in many studies, including one at Harvard Medical School, that wealth positively correlates with longevity. They call it “the wealth gradient in mortality.” These repeated studies have likely cost a bundle but their necessity eludes us entirely. There’s no need for lengthy longitudinal studies to tell you what millions would give you an ear full of if you just asked: if you eat well & regularly, if you have a roof over your head with electric power & sanitation facilities, if your larder is stocked with healthy foods & you don’t have to dumpster dive to get it, you’re likely to have good health & long life. Good healthcare might factor in there too, n’est-ce pas?
The Harvard study should have stopped there but they went on to claim income alone has little effect on longevity. They said those with college degrees tend to drink less, smoke less, & are likely less likely to be obese. How do they correlate that with the Harvard-Yale study that claimed women with college degrees are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than find a spouse? Does this mean single women don’t need vices to cope with all that love married women are getting?
One evaluator of the studies says educated people are more forward-looking & plan for the future, unlike uneducated people. There is a ring of truth to that; if you’re scrounging through dumpsters for your next meal you’re not likely to be doing estate planning. One can hardly keep up with the silliness.
(Photo of Betty from hellomagazine.com)
Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas threatened last week to dismantle the PA & dump the Oslo Accords if the phony peace talks with Israel fail. Abbas is, of course, just blowing hot air but it’s impossible to think of a single down side to his threat. The Oslo Accords formalize the terms of Palestinian surrender to Israeli apartheid & employ the PA as enforcers against intifada without meaningful jurisdiction over occupied territory: they establish a bantustate solution; legitimize Israeli occupation & terrorism of Gaza & the West Bank; facilitate Zionist settlements.
This past week an estimated 125,000 tourists poured into Jerusalem to celebrate Easter & Passover. Many of these “tourists” are Zionists (including Christian Zionists) & come as provocateurs. The al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem (per the Oslo Accords) is a focus of Israeli aggression against Palestinians. Worshippers from the West Bank & Gaza are restricted access & no males under 50-years-old are allowed to pray there but must instead kneel on the public pavement in adjacent areas. It is frequently under attack by Israeli soldiers. So that’s the first place the pious pilgrims head for to stir up more violence against Palestinians.
Zionists have fabricated quite a mythology about the religious history of the al-Aqsa site & Judaism to get around the mosque that’s been there over 1,300 years. There are even knuckleheaded Christian evangelists who claim the site has a history for Christianity. Soon enough Scientology will be laying claim to the site.
On Monday, April 14th, five Zionist “worshippers” smuggled a goat through strict bag inspections at al-Aqsa, intending to re-enact an ancient Passover sacrifice ritual. Does anyone seriously believe you can smuggle a live goat past military checkpoints or that their intentions were religious!? It was an attempt at the political level of a frat house prank to disrespect & make a mockery of the mosque. Strict inspections administered by Israeli authorities apparently only apply to Palestinians.
This past Wednesday, 1,000 Israeli special forces & a sniper squad escorted buses of these pious tourists to al-Aqsa. To believe they were going there to worship would tax credulity beyond redemption. The military story is that “fierce clashes erupted” when they responded to “stones & firecrackers” lobbed by Palestinians with stun grenade canisters & rubber-coated bullets. At least 20 Palestinians were injured & dozens were arrested. The pious tourists were apparently hussled back on to their buses safely & we can only wish some of them caught some buckshot up their butts while boarding.
This travesty is apartheid; it is the legacy legitimized by the Oslo Accords & enforced by the PA. Support the right of Palestinians to worship at al-Aqsa; support Palestinian justice by honoring the boycott of all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); supporting the cultural boycott of Israel; & demanding “No military aid to Israel!”
(Photo of Abbas blowing hot air from Israel National News)
While waiting for my car inspection to be completed yesterday, I thumbed the May issue of Vanity Fair supplied by the auto dealership. It features a cover story on Scarlett Johansson by a reporter named Lili Anolik. Anolik is a well-schooled writer throwing away an expensive education at Princeton on purple prose & groveling. Apparently incapable of shame or self-reflection & reduced to putty before Johansson’s charms, Anolik has done her writing ambitions no service with this regrettable piece. Even celebrity hounds must feel some discomfort at reading a panegyric elevating a mere mortal to goddess-like status.
Last month New Yorker magazine also profiled Johansson & I’m wondering if it’s conspiratorial to think her publicist (& possibly the Israeli embassy) have played a role in all this coverage since her recent achievements in film don’t seem to warrant such lavish attention. But restoring her reputation after the Oxfam-Soda Stream flap certainly does.
Anolik took a brief moment from slobbering all over Johansson to address the controversy of shilling for Israeli apartheid. Our goddess became overcome with emotion as she protested becoming “the face of apartheid” & said she had done careful homework about Soda Stream to determine they were an ethical enterprise worth shilling for. So there you have it! Johansson knows exactly what she is doing. So she can hold the bloody-assed tears; nobody but star-struck reporters & paid publicists are buying it. If you’ve done your homework on what Israel is doing in the West Bank & continue to draw income from supporting it, you deserve opprobrium. Goddess, my ass!
To prevent any unseemly spitting at the “face of apartheid,” I am instead posting this photo of Israeli soldiers throwing grenades at Palestinians rallying In Hebron, West Bank in defense of Palestinian political prisoners on April 17th. This is what Johansson fully & knowingly supports.
Support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott of Israel; demand “No military aid to Israeli apartheid!”
(Photo from Reuters)
This is another immigrant arrested yesterday along with 79 others in McAllen, Texas. Media reports the border patrol “swooped” in on their encampment, handcuffed them, & took them off to detention before deportation. Swooping is a thing fully-armed US cops do to scare the hell out of people. Is such machista peculiar to US cops or do the rest of you also have to suffer this crap? This guy is a US Border Patrol but Texas Rangers have a machista style all their own, including never removing their foolish 10-gallon hats, even when they’re using the loo or making love. That’s why their divorce rate is so high. Nobody can tolerate them, least of all their spouses.
This young man doesn’t seem to be impressed with all the machista. But he must be very scared & uncertain of his fate. Our fullest solidarity with him since it is scary as hell to get caught up in an unjust & rotten judicial system, pickled to its gills in racism. We aren’t told this man’s name or his country of origin. We don’t give a damn where he’s from. He’s one of ours, he’s a brother. Our land is his land. Open the borders!
Immigration is a human right!
(Photo by Gabe Hernandez/The Monitor/AP)
This man is Everado Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras who was arrested yesterday near here with 79 other immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, & Guatemala. Most of them traveled nearly 2,000 miles, some paid thousands of dollars, & most have gone through unspeakable suffering to find work in the US. Many have come to locate or reunite with family members.
US immigration arrested 132 others this week in a location just miles from where the others were found. They were living in what is called a stash house until their transportation further north past border patrol stations on the highway could be arranged. Senor Sanchez & the others were living in the scrub under tents camouflaged by cacti & mesquite trees, sleeping on cardboard, & with little food or water for at least a week. After being arrested, they were all handcuffed & herded on to buses as though they were criminals.
All in all, the US border patrol boasts of over 154,000 arrests last year in this part of Texas–mostly immigrants coming from Central America, & thousands of them unaccompanied minors. Most of the children will be stuck in detention centers, including abandoned military bases; most of the adults will be dumped back in Mexico to fend for themselves. Every morning you can see border patrol buses dropping them off on the Mexican side of the bridges. Most of them have exhausted their resources for survival & wouldn’t be coming here if they could find work in Mexico or in their home countries. Many will attempt to cross the Rio Grande again but on their own, without “coyotes” to guide them. If they are picked up a second time, the border patrol will simply dump them further south in Mexico.
This is barbarism. If neoliberal plunder, including US corporations, were not laying waste to their livelihoods they would not be forced to leave their families & cultures to move here. The grief on Senor Sanchez’s face says everything we need to know about US immigration policy. Let it be damned! And let us do our utmost to join with immigrants in demanding the US open the damn borders. This land is our land; this land is their land. Immigration is a human right!
(Photo by Gabe Hernandez/The Monitor/AP)