And while we’re engaged in this orgy of contrition, I think Muslims should collectively own up to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Previously it was thought to be from a meteorite event or possibly mischief from the House of Rothschild. Space exploration has proven the former unlikely & the latter has been exposed as anti-Semitism. Now scientists are seeing Islam written all over the event.
There is also accumulating evidence of Muslim involvement in global warming & male pattern baldness. Where will this all end!?
Aren’t there a lot of Bible quotes about how you “reap what you sow,” & “by their deeds you shall know them”? Or was that Mark Twain? Anyway, judging from the fallout of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons (increased attacks on Muslims) & the twitter-storm of racist comments after viewing “American Sniper” it’s looking like some obituaries need to be re-written. If your sorry-assed legacy is social hatred you might better have served the world in a cloistered monastery.
There is no reason in the world why those who believe in women’s reproductive rights should give Pope Francis a free pass for his comments about birth control on his trip to the Philippines. Quite frankly, he disgraced himself.
Out of all the massive problems faced by Filipino working people, including militarism & massive homelessness, the Pope chose to focus on birth control. The most ardent feminist can understand, even if they don’t accept, the scruples of some about abortion. But birth control is what they call a “no-brainer.” He was protesting the Filipino Responsible Parenthood & Reproductive Health Act passed in 2012 that gives women access to contraception (but appears to have links to the Gates Foundation & eugenics campaigns).
The Pope had the temerity to equate the population control of eugenicist practitioners (like the Gates Foundation) with reproductive rights advocates. Which is exactly what the US right-wing does to oppose reproductive rights.
He should have left well enough alone but on the plane back to Rome he ad-libbed his way to infamy when he said the Church advocated “responsible parenthood” & that to be good Catholics they needn’t ‘breed like rabbits.’ He cited a woman he recently met who had seven children by caesarean section & put her life at risk by becoming pregnant again. He said he chided her for “tempting God” & for being irresponsible. You don’t have to be a feminist to stand aghast at the arrogance.
He told reporters the Church allows natural family planning (nothing kills sexual spontaneity faster) & abstinence during a woman’s fertile period. Before he keeps pronouncing on sexual matters someone needs to send him a copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” so he can get educated on human physiology.
Let’s say it outright: the Pope’s comments are an outrage insulting to those many Catholics who took the birth control ban seriously but still wanted to have sex. His comments demean human sexuality & women in one fell swoop. Maybe he’d better stay put in the Vatican for awhile.
(Photo of Pope Francis stepping in horse manure on the plane to Rome by Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)
No need to do an exegesis of Obama’s speech last night–so earnest, so pompous, so absolutely meaningless. He had nothing to say on the several US wars, & less to say on Ferguson & civil rights or immigration rights. That is, he had nothing to say on the life & death issues facing millions of working people.
In an attempt to be inspirational he spoke of equality. But his words are so at odds with his deeds–& now he gets to blame it all on the Republicans. What a bait & switch operation it all is.
Let’s do a simple fact check on his claims the economy is growing. (Though, to be fair he never did say who it was growing for.) If employment levels are looking so good why are food banks around the country reporting soaring demands for food assistance? Is it because the new minimum wage jobs don’t cut it if you want to have housing & eat too? Why are schools having to deal with starving kids before they even start the day’s lessons?
A little over two years ago the government cut the food stamp program $5 billion across-the-board & are gradually implementing $6 billion more cuts through 2016. Through all sorts of new restrictions which have nothing to do with hungry kids, they expect to cut food stamp recipients by one million hungry people. Such is the character of Obama’s compassion. He could try to blame this on the Republicans too but the cuts were implemented in 2013 when Democrats were the majority. So much for that baloney.
And one last point about that speech. It was a masterpiece of xenophobia. At what point do you grow up & realize the US is not the be-all & end-all of human civilization? Or is neoliberal barbarism just not capable of making that judgement? (PS: it isn’t & it’s gotta go.)
(Photo by Mandel Ngan/AP)
Now that the furor over the Charlie Hebdo massacre has abated we can appreciate some of the comedy involved. Like people arguing with great umbrage that the satire of the cartoons is very French & not racist & xenophobic as they appear to the rest of the world. Are the French really that backward politically? Imbecility is not a flattering defense. It’s the kind of political defense you expect from Brigitte Bardot or Gerard Depardieu & that should give pause.
We can also cut the crap on that free speech stuff. The demand for free speech is something you direct at governments, not three dead gunmen. Reportedly, France is cracking down on people who make smart cracks & arrested a kid who did a satiric post about CH on FB, accusing him of defending terrorism. Is that French sarcasm too?
What’s not comical is that attacks on Muslim businesses & mosques in France have increased (60 since the CH event); that an Islamophobic march in Germany attracted 20,000 thugs; & that the Belgian police had a shootout against what they called an Islamist terrorist cell. They took them all out by claiming they were conspiring to commit acts of terror. Since when do you summarily execute people on an allegation? Why didn’t they arrest them, interrogate them, prosecute them instead of killing them all? What about that free speech thing?
This Islamophobic stuff is going to crescendo & the only way to respond to it is to build the antiwar movement & Palestinian solidarity (which both involve Islamophobia). You can’t talk people out of this rubbish. You have to answer it with power–which if it doesn’t persuade does silence the haters & intimidate the thugs.
There’s only one thing to say about Obama’s State of the Union address to the US Congress: I see dead people.
We salute the thousands of protesters across the globe today facing tear gas assaults for defying tyranny: this man in Port-au-Prince, Haiti against the Martelly regime; in Manama, Bahrain protesting political prisoners; in Nairobi, Kenya protesting land grabbing & education cutbacks; in Lima, Peru protesting cutbacks in unemployment benefits for young workers; in Sao Paulo, Brazil protesting new increases in public transportation.
We stand in solidarity with you as the political & social forces that will bring change by challenging neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism.
(Photo of Haitian man being treated for tear gas by Jeanty Junior Augustin/Reuters)
Today Nairobi, Kenyan cops with attack dogs, truncheons, & firing tear gas attacked & chased schoolchildren protesting the seizure & land grab of their school playground by a property developer. The children, who were between 8 & 13-years old, pushed over the newly-built wall separating the playground from the school buildings. Several children required medical treatment & two were arrested.
For the past several months, there have been protests in Kenya against the austerities imposed on higher education–with riot cops chasing protesters into classrooms with tear gas canisters. This is the first time 8-year-olds are reported as entering the fray. There is probably no more promising development in Africa against the depredations of neoliberal plunder & IMF-World Bank austerity programs.
To whichever Hollywood celebrity is covering Kenya for the US State Department, we say “Eat that, buster!”
(Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP)
In January 2012, on the 2nd anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, Oxfam issued a report saying reconstruction was moving ahead “at a snail’s pace,” that 500,000 Haitians were still homeless, most didn’t have running water, a toilet, or access to a doctor in a cholera epidemic caused by UN troops–but there was progress because half of all earthquake rubble had been removed. Unicef issued a similar report about the evidence of “meaningful & positive change.”
This photo is Port-au-Prince taken nine days ago. There are still 400,000 homeless living in tent camps without water or toilets, & it’s reported that 91 out of 250 cholera treatment centers have been closed. The Martelly regime, associated closely with the Obama regime, is now forcibly evicting people from the tent camps to live on the streets so land developers can take over. This might be the time for Oxfam & Unicef to make a further accounting–since we don’t expect any accounting from the US & other international donors.
Most of the billions of pledged international aid was never delivered. USAID is hardly a model of transparency but what they did report is that nearly 90% of aid delivered to Haiti was to US companies & NGOs for “agriculture, infrastructure & other projects.” Projects like the $300 million sweatshop complex set up by the Clintons, the power plant that dispossessed hundreds of Haitian farmers, & the airport so Haiti can develop its tourist industry. But no homes or toilets or clinics.
US companies actually set up a lobbying group called the Council of International Development Companies (CIDC) so they have a voice in the US Congress to drown out the voices of the Haitian people. But there have been many protests in Haiti which UN troops & Haitian riot cops have fired on. So much for that UN peacekeeping crap! The UN refuses responsibility for the cholera epidemic & doesn’t even have the elementary decency to maintain clinics for those afflicted.This is what you call plunder & colonialism & it would be good if the hundreds of NGOs operating in Haiti would speak out about this. Or is the aid they receive from USAID nothing more than hush money?
Our fullest solidarity with the people of Haiti. It’s long-since time we get off the schtick & make it an active solidarity.
(Photo by Gregory Bull/Dieu Nalio Chery/AP)
“American Sniper” is Clint Eastwood’s new film based on the 2012 biography of Chris Kyle, a US Navy Seal from Texas. Kyle, who served four tours in the Iraq War, has several combat medals from the Navy & Marine Corps. He claimed with pride to have taken out more than 255 people in long-range kill shots & described killing as fun & something he loved to do. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He also bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina. He & another guy were murdered on a gun range by a Marine Corps veteran with PTSD in 2013.
Reviewers tell us “American Sniper” is a morally ambiguous, emotionally complex film. Morally ambiguous, my ass! You don’t have Bradley Cooper, Hollywood’s hunk du jour, play Kyle unless you’re trying to whip up sympathy with him–& quite frankly with his racism & Islamophobia.
Eastwood is a right-winger & in no way distinguishes himself from the spate of films & TV series glorifying US assassins & spies & misrepresenting US military policy. You can look for nuance in this damn thing but that doesn’t raise it above the level of propaganda. How many shades of psycho are there?