Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Untouchable": Ferguson & the American caste system

     When I was in India several years ago, I learned a lot about its historic caste system and the role of its "untouchables".  But I never put two and two together -- that we might have "untouchables" and a caste system here in America too -- until I saw photos of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, this August.

     When I was in the Peace Corps in South Africa, I learned all about its grim apartheid practices in the past.  But I never actually figured it out -- until Ferguson -- that America practiced apartheid too, and that the old apartheid bantustans of South Africa strongly resemble modern African-American bantustans like Ferguson; deliberately kept isolated, controlled and apart from the rest of America until there is almost no hope of ever getting out of them except by doing hard time in prison.

     When I visited the slums of Kampala, I was struck by what a third-world country Uganda was, with many of its poorest citizens being jobless, homeless, hopeless and living a bleak hand-to-mouth existence.  But it never occurred to me that parts of America have similar unemployment rates, sparse education systems and the hopelessness of a third-world country too -- until Ferguson gave me that new perspective.

     In Israel/Palestine, I saw people constantly discriminated against "not by the content of their character but by the color of their skin," to paraphrase Martin Luther King.  But not until Ferguson, where whites clearly hold all the power and use it corruptly, did I realize how deeply ingrained institutional racial and economic prejudice was in America too. 

     When I was embedded in Iraq, I saw American tanks and weaponry like you wouldn't believe, used on Iraqi civilians to keep them in line.  But it wasn't until I saw videos of Ferguson that I realized that the use of tanks and military weaponry have become standard warfare procedure against civilians here in America too.

     When I was in Burma, I saw minorities being labeled as inferior, being called insulting names and constantly being accused of laziness, stupidity, immorality and violence to the point where in some cases the minorities actually started suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome and becoming all the things that they were constantly being labeled as -- but I never really brought this connection back home until Ferguson.
    When I was in Honduras, I heard tales about how Ronald Reagan funded his brutal death squads there by having the CIA fly whole plane-loads of drugs into secret airfields in Arkansas via "Air America" and then sell all those drugs in the ghettos here at home.

     I knew that, back in the 1980s, the sudden availability of cheap crack cocaine had hit America's Black communities like a ton of bricks -- but I hadn't really realized how much this crack epidemic had hurt these communities, even decades later, until I saw what the results of this evil agenda of deliberately choreographing drug sales in America's ghettos had done to the societal fabric of American cities and towns like Ferguson back in the 1980s -- and how hard, even today, that "authorities" are still fighting to keep the residents of places like Ferguson from ever putting their lives back together again.

     When I was in Afghanistan, I constantly heard all kinds of stories about how American military planes would arrive there all loaded up with military supplies and then fly back to America loaded down with heroin, and that the dirty-money made on these ventures would help finance the American military-industrial complex's Forever Wars. 

       But I never thought to associate all of this foreign drug trafficking with the breakdown of African-American cultural norms due to the sudden availability of huge amounts of heroin in ghettos all across our own nation -- at least not until Ferguson caused me to see that the break-down of cultural norms in American ghettos had been carefully orchestrated and planned to do just that.  And while turning a profit too -- so that our own impoverished ghetto bantustans here at home are actually helping to finance the American military-industrial complex's grim slaughter-for-empire abroad.  Think about it.
     When I was an election observer in Syria last June, I soon learned not to trust anything that the American and British mainstream media claimed about election fraud there.  There was no election fraud there.  Period.  So why should I believe anything the MSM says about an American bantustan called Ferguson.  Hell, many residents of Ferguson are victims of election fraud themselves.

     Shame on me for so easily seeing all the bias, racism, apartheid, military brutality, corruption, caste systems and just down-right immoral behavior by ruling-class Brahmans that routinely happens in other countries -- but failing to see that all these grim tactics are being used right here at home too.

     And shame on America for letting all this profiling, perfidy, pilfering and prejudice go on for so long back here at home -- where we Americans are supposedly civilized and moral, and supposedly hold ourselves to the higher ideals of liberty, equality and democracy.

     What a waste of human resources, human compassion and human life.

    Something drastic must be done immediately to rectify this grim situation if we are ever going to pull the emergency brake on America's rapid downward descent into feudalism and fascism -- starting with using the trillions of dollars that we will save when we put a stop to ruthless military adventurism, and instead use that money to open world-class schools in every ghetto (and even in every non-ghetto) in the land, and to provide decent, chemical-free non-mutated food on every table too.  And to change America's reality away from what it is now:

We now live in a nation where
doctors destroy health
lawyers destroy justice
universities destroy knowledge
governments destroy freedom
the press destroys information
religion destroys morals
and our banks
destroy the economy.
       --Chris Hedges

PS:  Can American taxpayers really afford to pay for the occupation of Ukraine, Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Ferguson?  Plus why would we want to?

     The American military-industrial complex is currently spending 1.5 million dollars a day on military operations in Iraq.  Imagine if that money was being spent to send Black kids to college -- or to supply a college education to all American kids too for that matter.

     Every single patriotic American who loves his or her country needs to immediately get on the phone (and not even just go on FaceBook either) and make calls to Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court -- bluntly telling them, "I'm sick of war!"

PPS:  "But Jane," you might say, "those people in Ferguson blatantly stole stuff and looted and defied the law."  Yeah they did.  But then so did Cliven Bundy -- and nobody seemed to object to that.  Angry Ferguson-Americans obviously need to learn how to steal and loot and defy the law Bundy-style!  Fox News will probably even make them heroes.   And maybe Bundy could even give them some tips.

     Or maybe the citizens of Ferguson can get some tips from the primitive horde of neo-Nazis that the American military-industrial complex has recently hired (for five billion dollars) to shoot up and loot Ukraine -- including but not limited to that Malaysian airplane that we never read about any more after it became public knowledge that Ukrainian neo-Nazis, not Putin, shot it down.

     When I was in Ukraine several years ago, everything was peaceful -- but just look at it now.  It's a war zone.  And just another example of our tax dollars at work abroad destroying people's lives rather than fixing people's lives here at home.

     I wouldn't mind at all if that five billion dollars had been spent here at home instead.  It could have bought Ferguson a new library, several new schools and probably a new hospital too.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wall Street & War Street need to keep their pants zipped

     In almost every country in the world where America's notorious "Wall Street and War Street" gang of thugs have tampered and interfered with its internal workings, things have always turned out badly for each country involved.  Almost every country that this infamous WSx2 gang has tampered with so far has pretty much seen their way of life turn to dookie.

     You want some examples?  I've got them!

     Take the Spanish-American War for instance.  Wall Street and War Street drummed our country into that war with their torrid yellow journalism, and as a result both Cuba and the Philippines were so devastated and destroyed that they are still trying to recover from it -- and from being muscled around afterwards by WSx2's mob bosses Batista and the shoe lady.

     During World War I, Britain, France and the Kaiser were all sick of fighting and pretty much ready to throw in the towel and make nice.  But then Woodrow Wilson got a bee in his bonnet over the forged Zimmerman telegram (the Wall Street and War Street gang at work again?) and forced America to join in the fight by suspending freedom of speech, curbing civil liberties, muzzling the press and sending even mild dissenters to jail for years.  And Hitler was the indirect (or direct) result.

     In Congo, Wall Street and War Street destabilized that country completely when they overthrew Patrice Lumumba.  Over ten million dead since then.  Ten million.

     Iran used to be a democracy until the CIA, aka Wall Street and War Street's dread enforcer, tampered and interfered.  

     In Haiti, Papa Doc and his dread Tonton Macoute invited the Marines to come join the party and Wall Street and War Street immediately sent their RSVP to this gala zombie jamboree, giving ordinary Haitians nightmares for decades.  Then WS&WS hung around for the after-party, the bloody and illegal ouster of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. 

     I swear, I'm not making this stuff up!  Don't believe me?  Go Google it yourself.

     Iraq used to be a democracy too -- until the WSWS gang installed Saddam Hussein.  And then they deposed him too, scoring themselves a trillion dollars worth of "vig" in the process.

     Vietnam?  We all know what happened there.  "3.1 million violent war deaths."

     Cambodia?  Millions dead in what used to be a sweet and lovely country.  A whole country suffering from PTSD, thanks to tampering by the US military-industrial complex, who just couldn't keep their bombers and bombs in their jeans.

     The Arab nations of the Middle East used to be friends with America before Wall Street and War Street started using Israel as a wedge.  Now nobody over there likes us -- not even the Israelis.

     "Humanitarian intervention" in Libya by WSx2 was yet another disaster, even worse than when Al Capone took over Chicago.  Libya today is officially a "Failed State".
        And now the WSWS gang that can't shoot straight is using its buddies in ISIS as an excuse to interfere and overthrow Syria's legitimate government under Bashar Assad.  And despite all the New York Times' incredibly false lies that Assad and ISIS are buddies, the real truth is that Assad is the only obstacle standing in the way of Syria becoming just yet another WSx2 Failed State.    

     Does Turkey really want to have a failed state overrun by crazies right across its border?  I think not.

    Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan?  The label of "Failed State" is hovering over their heads too, thanks to WS&WS.

     And let's not forget Latin America.  Chile was almost destroyed after the CIA and Kissinger interfered.  Honduras today is a killing field, with men. women and children being butchered like cattle by Wall Street and War Street's government of choice.  And the terms "Death Squad" and "The Disappeared" came into popular use in Central America under Reagan's watch.

    Ah, Ronald Reagan, the WSx2's best friend.  And the dread John Negroponte was its chief henchman and capo.  He still is.  Just check out his current efforts to interfere in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.  He just loves him some snipers -- firing at both peaceful protestors and police until war erupts.  It's a wonder he hasn't tried that in Ferguson too.  Or maybe he has.

     Tiny Grenada was ruthlessly (and illegally) invaded in 1983 -- even Margaret Thatcher and the Queen were pissed off!  And today Grenada's foreign debts equal 35 percent of its GDP and Red China is paying for its cricket pitches.  Yet another WSx2 interference failure.  Yawn.

     And Mexico, another victim of becoming close compadres with WS/WS, has now become the drug-lord capital of the world.  Er, maybe not.  Perhaps Columbia holds that title.  Or is it Afghanistan?  I'm confused.  Burma?  Wall Street and War Street would know for sure.

     Panama's democratic leader was assassinated and that country got Manuel Noriega instead.  Thank you, WSx2.

     In central Asia, Charlie Wilson viciously fought to support WS-WS's right to tamper with Afghanistan's fate -- and look how badly that interference turned out, handing Afghanistan to Al Qaeda and the Taliban on a platter.

     And Europe wasn't spared any WSWS gang-related action either.  Take Ukraine for instance.  Do Americans even know what horrors are being perpetrated there in our name by WS&WS even at this very moment?  Gangland-style murders, extortion, turf wars, goons, thugs, the works.  You don't even want to know.

     Wall Street and War Street happily tampered with Yugoslavia.  Years of killing resulted.

     And even Ronald Reagan's greatest tampering triumph on behalf of the Wall & War Boys, the fall of the USSR, resulted in dookie.  With Gorbachev gone, the poor Russians were stuck with heartless oligarchs and drunken Yeltsin -- and they died by the thousands from cold and starvation as a result.  But, fortunately, Putin today is much better than that.  And so WSx2 hates him.

     I started out trying to write all these horrors down in chronological order, but now I'm just writing them all down willy-nilly because there are so many examples floating around in my brain right now of WSx2 tampering that has turned into dog poop for the countries involved, that I am totally overwhelmed.

     Let's look at Egypt next.  It's gone from Nasser, the people's choice, to military despots like Mubarak and Sisi, thanks to WSx2.  Yuck.  Please give me a moment here to hold my nose.

     And the Wall Street and War Street gang also propped up that brutal fascist apartheid regime in South Africa and Angola -- just as they are currently propping up that brutal fascist apartheid regime in Israel now.  For example, when Americans picketed the Port of Oakland the other day, to prevent an Israeli ship from unloading its cargo there, in protest of Netanyahu's brutal slaughter of women and children in Gaza, over a hundred police showed up to help protect the Israeli ship -- not the protesters.

     And speaking of fascists, there is always Saudi Arabia to consider.  Wall Street and War Street just love tampering there, encouraging a despot government and looking the other way (and even contributing weapons, training and financial support) as the Saudis happily bankroll ISIS thugs in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.  And see how badly that interference is turning out.  Not to mention how badly Saudi Arabia's contributions to 9-11 turned out either.

     But the most disastrous tampering of all has occurred when Wall Street and War Street turned its deadly sights on interfering back home, right here in America.  The result for us?  Just look around you.  At your jobs, your infrastructure, your schools, your healthcare, your militarized police, your disappearing freedom of speech, your rigged elections, your lying media, your hate.

     The Wall Street & War Street Gang needs to stop screwing with our world and zip up its pants.  And we true patriotic Americans need to make them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Greater Israel: "I wanna be a super-power too!"

    Americans keep making the big mistake of thinking that Israel is a "Jewish state".  Tel Aviv is no more Jewish than Washington, Moscow or Beijing are Jewish.  It's not about religion here, guys.  It is about grabbing and holding onto power.

    Sorry to bust your bubble here, but wearing a yarmulke does not make you Jewish any more than wearing a cross makes you Christian or getting up at sunrise makes you a Muslim.  Actions always speak louder than words.

    Israel's leaders want to play hardball, not dreidels.  Israel's leaders are not interested in singing "Hava Nagila".  They are interested in singing "From the Nile to the Euphrates".

    In today's big super-power competition, you have America; you have Russia; you have China.  And you have Israel.

    "But Jane," you might ask, "how can that be?  Israel is too small to compete!"  Now it is.  But those aren't menorahs that Israel's leaders are lighting these days.  Those are missiles -- deadly missiles.  And those are nuclear weapons that they store in their cupboard, not candles. 

And missiles can buy you a whole bunch of land.
    And it's not Hanukkah gelt that is buying all those missiles and nuclear weapons either.  It's American taxpayers' money that is supporting our latest rival in the super-power game.
    And it's not Shylock who is demanding a pound of flesh here either.  It is Israel's leaders.  And it's two pounds of flesh that they are demanding -- one pound of flesh from the formerly Arab Middle East and one pound of flesh from America, "
to be cut off and taken in what part of your body pleaseth me".
    Screw all that talk about the Promised Land and the Ten Commandments.  Israeli leaders are not looking to become rabbis.  They are looking to make Israel the next United States.

    "But how can they do that?" you might ask next.  Easy.  Just think of the Middle East as a chessboard and Israel's leaders as master players who are trying to wipe that board clean and then take it home with them.  Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Iran?  All pawns.  Even Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.  That's a hecka big chunk of land to make over into a super-power -- and good land it is too.  Arable.  And with oil.  And almost the size of the European Union.  A very nice start.

    Greater Israel.  "I wanna be a super-power too!"  Hey, don't we all.

PS:  "But what about the European Union?" you might ask next.  "Isn't it powerful too?"  Ha.  Glad you asked.  The EU has been successfully neutralized by the American-funded invasion of Ukraine.

    With its hair on fire, the EU can't go thinking about anything else besides, "How can I keep the fire from spreading to my dress!"

    And the irony here is that the EU is actually paying NATO to hold the match to it -- just like America is paying Israeli leaders to light the Middle East on fire; while actually thinking that Washington is too far away to get burned.

    You just gotta love keeping up with super-power politics these days.  They are just like some insane horror movie that you clearly know is bound to end badly for the whole human race (if for no other reason than because all these bombings are rapidly escalating climate change) -- but horror movies are so much fun to watch.  As long as they don't become too real.

PPS:  Why am I so pissed off at Israel?  For the same reason that I am so pissed off at America:  Hypocrisy.

    Washington keeps yapping on and on about its "humanitarian efforts" with the Yazidis in Iraq.  But no one ever hears on the TV news today about Washington's "humanitarian efforts" to pay for the slaughter of 1600 civilians in Gaza, many of them children.  That fact is conveniently swept under the rug.

    Or take ISIS.  The Islamic State?  It's no more Islamic than George Bush was a Christian when he bombed Iraq.  No real Christian would ever become the willing architect of the slaughter of one million human beings.  And if ISIS is as Islamic as it claims to be, then why is it accepting so much money and training from the "Great Satan," the CIA?

    Plus here's even more hypocrisy:  Israel's main rationale for having the "Right to exist" is because of Jewish suffering during the Nazi holocaust, right?

    Yet 90% of Israelis today passionately support the bloody holocaust in Gaza, done int their name.  To me, that is hypocrisy personified -- and also totally forfeits Israel's claim to have a "Right to exist".  Fascist Germany had no "Right to exist".  And Saddam and Gaddafi apparently didn't have a "Right to exist" either.  So why should Israel, who is happily committing genocide like crazy, be allowed to claim that right? 

    I hate hypocrisy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tired of writing about genocide? Then write about FOOD!

   OMG, I am so sick and tired of writing about American-sponsored neo-Nazis in the Ukraine, American-financed genocide in Gaza and American-backed ISIS murderers in Syria and Iraq.  Geez Louise.  It's enough to make me sick!

    But not sick enough to stop eating. 

    Even though women and children are starving in Gaza and refugees in Erbil are hunkering down in city parks and Ukrainian babies are being shot by swastika-waving skin-heads, I still gotta have three or four square meals a day. 

    And all the average American can say about this insane world situation is, "Where the freak is Erbil?"  It's in northern Iraq, stupid.  "Oh yeah?  So where is Iraq?"  It's that rat-hole where three trillion of your tax dollars have been pounded down in the last 20 years.  Iraq is the reason you have no jobs, no infrastructure, no schools -- and no solar heating.

    "But what's a Gaza?"  Huh?

    "It's that charnel house in Palestine where Netanyahu practices being a fascist."

    "Who is Netanyahu?"  He's that guy in Israel that you pay billions of dollars to every year so he can commit genocide.  Oh, good grief. 

    I need comfort food!  Now! 

    Forget about genocide and dead babies.  Let's talk about sushi!  And mac 'n' cheese.  What is your favorite food?  I think mine is ice cream.  But I'm not sure.  Chocolate cake sounds good too.

    I once ate a beef stroganoff MRE in the Green Zone.  It was delicious.  And they had deep-fried tarantulas on offer at a roadside stall in Cambodia.  Yummers!

    Got caught in a massive five-day storm off of Antarctica one time and popped Dramamine like it was candy -- but still managed to eat.

    Was stuck in Shenyang, China, for three weeks while waiting for my visa to North Korea to come through.  Thirteen million people in that city and only ten of them spoke English.  So I just drew a picture of a chicken and showed it to waiters.  That worked fine until one waiter brought me a live chicken.  Er, no.

    And about a year later, when I finally did manage to get into North Korea, it was amazing to discover that Pyongyang featured luxury hotels, casinos, golf courses and elaborate 150,000-person choreographed mass games, all geared toward European tourists -- who came in droves.  The food there, however, was on the level of mediocre California Chinese take-out -- but I still felt guilty eating it, knowing how many North Koreans had starved to death in the past.

    In Uganda, a young girl was selling homemade flour-and-grease chapatis on the street that were so good that I still dream about them.  "What's a chapati?"  Oh shut up.

    The hummus and matzos in Israel/Palestine were great, served under an olive tree in Hebron.  Loved Bethlehem and old Jerusalem -- but why do people still keep accusing me of being anti-Semitic when I'm actually only anti-fascist and anti-apartheid?  I just don't understand.  As Barb Weir is always fond of saying, "How come they never accuse the brave people who fought against apartheid in South Africa of being anti-white?"

     On the beach in Yelapa, Mexico, an hour's boat-ride south of Puerto Vallarta, friendly ladies will sell you lemon meringue pie right there on the beach.  But now you don't even have to go to Yelapa to get it, you can buy lemon meringue pie right there in Puerto Vallarta.  Definitely worth the flight down if you can afford it -- and if you can't, there's always the chocolate cream pie at the Sweet Adeline bakeshop here in Berkeley.

    In Motswedi, in northern South Africa, their potato fries are the best.  Just ask for Mma Peter if you go there.  Everyone knows her.  And give her a big hug from me if you do.

    In Damascus, the oldest city in the world (I think), they had fabulous ice cream for sale in the souk.  That's ICE cream, not ISIS cream.  If it had been ISIS cream, I wouldn't have had to pay for it myself -- Congress woulda footed the bill.

    In al Anbar province, Iraq, I accompanied a U.S. Marine colonel and his staff to a "goat pull" thrown by the local sheik.  You gotta love goat meat.  But now that whole area is overrun by ISIS thugs, thanks to Bush, Obama and Hillary Clinton and their grand competition to see who can destabilize the Middle East best.

    At a sidewalk cafe in Cairo, a waiter jokingly offered me 200 camels for my daughter Ashley's hand in marriage.  At least I think he was joking.  And in the Caliphate of Saudi Arabia, biological mother to ISIS and Al Qaeda (America's military-industrial complex is the father, but insists on keeping that fact on the down-low), I lived on KFC and Cinnabons at a high-end mall in Mecca.

    In Haiti, you just gotta love their pumpkin soup.  In Afghanistan, their chicken kebobs were the best -- unlike in Iran, where the kebobs tended to be rather dry.  Burma offered up excellent hand-made noodles.  Argentina had empanadas and beef.  Berkeley has the Berkeley Bowl, best produce store in the world.

    I love food!  I love to eat!

    So why do I keep thinking about all those poor starving children in Gaza and those poor slaughtered babies in Syria and Ukraine -- thanks to the Yankee dollar?