You could see it coming like a Mack truck if you base your trust in the Democratic Party on its history. When Obama issued an executive order giving deportation protection to those brought to the US as children & later to their undocumented parents, it was certain to be a matter of time before they found a way to reverse that order. And when they did earlier this year, they had the names & addresses of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants so they know just where to pick them up.
Twenty-six US states sued to undo the Obama order & today an appeals court upheld an earlier court injunction to block the plan while it works its way through the courts.
You can parse the legalities of this maneuver till the cows come home. And when you finish it all adds up to a con job. Deportations under Obama have dwarfed those under earlier regimes–including George Bush. Why the hell would he deport tens of thousands at the same time he is offering something less than amnesty with no commitments?
Hillary Clinton, whose career has taken her from legal counsel for Walmart to brokering sweatshops in Haiti & elsewhere, is now trying to position herself as a populist. She’s made millions in speaking fees, primarily for addressing corporations, & avoids accountability by turning fees over to the Clinton Foundation.
According to her speaking contract (obtained by a news agency in Utah when she spoke there), she controls the rights to videos & transcripts of her speeches. That would explain why none of her corporate speeches appear on YouTube & those which do are campaign speeches defending Black, women’s, immigrant rights–something she has never actually done in over 35 years of being a politician. Unless words now equal deeds. Because it’s damn hard to defend women’s rights & also promote Walmart & sweatshops. And the same goes for her vaunted role in children’s rights.
The Clintons are irredeemably corrupt, reflected in the finances of their Foundation. It appears many US power operatives are concerned this will boomerang on & discredit the office of US president. Otherwise we wouldn’t know much about it. But the Clintons & their powerful supporters are not going down without a fight. They’re calling out the big guns of capitalism to defend them & the first volley was fired yesterday by Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild (phony-assed aristocratic title included for emphasis) in the Huntington Post in an article titled “Back From Africa With Eyes Wide Open.”
Lady Lynn isn’t much of a thinker; she’s an entrepreneur & a fixer for modern capitalism. So the article in defense of the Clinton Foundation charities in Africa is sentimental white savior crap. Rothschild has long connections to the Clintons as a functionary in the Clinton regime & a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.
The question is, how do the Clintons expect to maintain a populist image when they have to draw on European aristocrats to defend them? This photo is Lady Lynn with Chuckles Windsor & Christine Lagarde of the IMF at the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism last May in England. Going to Africa for a few photo ops with Black children is an old trick of the British moochocracy which the Clintons are now using to clean up their image. Does it get more damning than that!?
(Photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images)
There aren’t many light moments in the immigration crises but humans will be humans. This Syrian refugee disembarking from the dinghy just crossed with her family from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos & in a moment of triumphalism is taking a selfie. Probably to confirm that she hasn’t drowned.
There’s little current information on what immigration policy the Greek government will pursue. The previous regime was barbaric with a barrier wall along the Turkish border, filthy overcrowded detention centers, assaults on immigrants & raids of their neighborhoods. The regime fomented xenophobia & ethnic nationalism–emboldening neo-Nazi extremists like the Golden Dawn party–in a country devastated by neoliberal scorched earth austerity policies.
In 2012 the regime instituted an anti-immigration strategy called Operation Xenios Zeus which unleashed police using ethnic profiling to accost thousands who looked “foreign” for identity checks. In the first seven months of its existence, police rounded up nearly 85,000 “foreigners” & took them to police stations to verify documents. Many dark-skinned tourists were caught in the dragnets. One human rights official said the number of people stopped & detained was “mind-boggling.” According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), 45,500 refugees were arrested by Greek police just in 2014.
Greece is the first line of European Union (EU) defense against immigrants entering Europe & it’s certain the regime colluded with the EU in its draconian immigration policies–particularly in the arduous process of applying for asylum. Greece had the lowest acceptance rate of asylum requests in the EU when for thousands of refugees safe deportation to their home countries was impossible & many remained locked up in stinking jails or destitute on the streets.
On its election in January 2015, SYRIZA promised different policies for immigrants. The SYRIZA minister for immigration announced reforms including the immediate release of unaccompanied minors & “their safe removal” (whatever that means); abolishing the compulsory 18-month detention of refugees & closing down all detention centers; granting Greek citizenship to second generation immigrants born in Greece; simplifying & expediting the asylum application process; ending deportations; & “disrupting” Operation Xenios Zeus. Disrupting Operation Xenios Zeus is of course, not enough; it needs to be dismantled. Otherwise none of the other reforms hold water.
Now that SYRIZA is bending to the EU on continuing austerity measures, it is certain beyond a shadow of a doubt the EU is putting the screws on Greece to maintain the immigration barbarisms of the former regime. The EU will not be militarily assaulting refugees trying to enter Spain & Italy while letting tens of thousands enter Greece & proceed on to other European countries because the immigration route would just shift to Greece. This suggests Greece may need more than a new parliament to address austerity & immigration; it more likely requires a social revolution beginning with SYRIZA mobilizing its people against the EU & IMF.
The EU can take their agreements & stuff them. Immigration is a human right. Open the borders.
(Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)
Three of my brothers & several uncles & cousins are war veterans. They were all working class kids not eligible for draft exemptions dispensed to the well-heeled. They all paid a hefty price emotionally & some physically; only one became antiwar.
My brothers were naive rookies who went to war with heads stuffed full of patriotism & the romance & machismo of war portrayed in John Wayne movies. They came back with heavy hearts & great confusion from killing–& in some undefinable way, corrupted. The brothel, attached like a barnacle to the military, will do that.
It’ll be a cold day in hell before I ever condemn my brothers for participating in war but I’ll be damned if I’ll ever glorify military service as “fighting for our freedoms.”
Memorial Day is not a time to celebrate the slaughter of other peoples or to vilify (or glorify) veterans but to commit to building opposition to US wars. That is the least young men & women deserve from us.
The state legislature of Illinois has passed a bill to blacklist companies from state pension funds if they honor the economic boycott of Israel. Please sign & share the petition because the fight for BDS has now become a fight for civil liberties & the Bill of Right.
Did you ever feel like this? There’s an allegory here & if that lion gets out of there alive he can tell us his side of the story. This photo of a lion escaping an angry herd of buffalo is taken in Maasai Mara, Kenya. Buffaloes are the primary prey of lions, tigers, & crocodiles. So it looks a lot like the allegory is all about the power of unity & numbers against the guy with the bigger jaws. At least some prefer to read it that way.
(Photo by Charles Comyn/Barcroft Media)
This is a bird covered in oil from the 100,000 gallons spilled by an abandoned pipeline into the Pacific Ocean off Goleta, California (near Santa Barbara). There’s always a different reason for oil spills: ruptured pipelines, sabotage or piracy on the line (by criminal gangs, & even the drug cartels in Mexico), typhoons & hurricanes, war & bombing, drunken captains, lack of maintenance. It’s always something with those oil companies, isn’t it!?
These oil spills have happened all over the world, on every continent, in every ocean. Plunder usually disastrously affects just the plundered countries but the oil companies have changed all that. They saw no reason to leave the plundering countries out of their catastrophes–not just with oil spills but with fracking contamination. And that would be the hallmark of neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism: “chickens coming home to roost”.
There is an urgency to removing stewardship of our glorious mother Earth from the neoliberal oligarchs & their minions so blinded by greed that they carry us & all of animal & vegetative life headlong to extinction. It’s a mighty historic challenge but the future of humanity depends upon it. We need a world where life is not sacrificed to greed.
(Photo of Refugio State Park beach by Justiin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The CBS drama Madam Secretary does such a good job of cleaning up how the US Secretary of State conducts business with foreign governments. A down-to-earth woman played by Téa Leoni wrestles with her conscience in negotiating treaties while spatting with her kids & necking with her high-principled professor husband.
Are they modeling the character on Secretary of State Madeline Albright who said the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi kids were “worth it” to achieve US policy goals? Or are we talking Hillary Clinton who collaborated with Bill Clinton to turn Haiti into a sweatshop haven for US businesses & a personal ATM machine for themselves? Who turned a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar to advance US investments in the country? Who brokered arms to the Egyptian military to use against the Egyptian uprising & advocated US military intervention in Libya? Who supported Israeli carpet bombing in Gaza last summer claiming Hamas “provoked” Israel?
It likely doesn’t make a difference that Leoni comes from a family connected to the highest levels of US power–corporate & political. But it might suggest why she’s willing to participate in this fairytale-farce.
This is a little Rohingya boy waiting to take a shower at the temporary shelter in Bayeun, Aceh province, Indonesia. It takes a goofy kid with what looks like a sauce pan on his head to highlight how irrational social hatred is–& to make us laugh at a very somber moment in time. Thank heavens for the kids.
(Photo by Tatan Syuflana/AP)
Zionism is a right-wing ideology which in its inception rejected the broader struggle against racism & colonialism. It’s an elitist doctrine which cannot resolve issues of persecution or address the problems of Jewish working people because social hatreds like racism & antisemitism can only be rooted out of human society through solidarity. That’s the iron law of social transformation which Zionism rebuffed.
Now in an interview with Atlantic magazine, Obama pulled one of his fast ones by linking Zionist Israel’s colonial right to exist by dispossessing Palestinians to the struggle for Black civil rights in the US–a movement he has no credentials in as an activist or supporter.
The US Pentagon just approved a $1.9 billion arms deal with Israel–the very same Pentagon which armed US police departments with the most up-to-date armored vehicles & weaponry against the Black community. And the very same police departments trained in violence by Israeli security firms who honed their skills on ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Zionism is a supremacist doctrine, racist at its core.That is being violently played out within Israel against Palestinians & Ethiopians; in the incarceration & deportation of African refugees; in the occupation & ethnic cleansing of the West Bank & Gaza; in its neoliberal projects in African countries, most especially in the blood diamond industry.
Activists in Gaza & in Ferguson recognized their affinity last summer when both were under violent siege & reached out to each other. The oppressed understood what Obama’s manipulations cannot efface. But his comments clearly show the US & Zionist movement will be directing a campaign within the Black community to garner support for Israel. Palestinians & their supporters in large numbers have stood with the Black community against the denial of civil rights & civil liberties–standing on opposite sides of the barricades from the Pentagon tanks & Israeli-trained troops.
This photo is a Palestinian activist at a West Bank protest against Israeli settlers expropriating Palestinian land. While Israel receives 14,500 missile guidance systems, 750 bunker buster bombs, 4,100 glide bombs, 3,000 precision-guided Hellfire missiles, & 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles in the $1.9 billion deal, Palestinians are armed only with rocks, sling-shots, & burning tires. Tell us again Mr. Obama, that Zionism is the anthem of freedom!
Palestinians & their supporters will continue to support & help build the emerging civil rights & Black power movement in the US as we continue to build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel. Our loyalties & commitments are undivided: we stand against racism, antisemitism, & every form of social hatred.
(Photo by Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images)