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Archive for the month “June, 2016”

BREXIT… Good

Although corrupt politicians and media worked extra hard to promote xenophobia and racism as the context through which to view the exit of Britain from the EU, the valid reasons for having exited will gradually emerge and will come as an awakening to reality by the Brits and the world.

Far from the repetitive diatribe leading the unthinking to see foreigners and migration of labour as causative of the ills workers face, and have been facing for decades, the sadly overlooked reality is far more daunting.  The bankers and global elites have been aware of this issue for generations and have firmly detached themselves from any human concern essential to assisting  workers and the economies of states in comprehending and working with a rapidly emerging reality…  a reality in which, as the elite and bankers well know, the once needed and relied upon swarms of manufacturing labour are no longer needed.

As technologies advanced over the past 75 years, manufacturers realized increased productivity using fewer and fewer workers, diminished wage value, fewer hours and decreased benefits.  Today, machines handle the larger share of production with labour providing minimal staff in programming, servicing of equipment and material handling.  Even material handling is increasingly achieved mechanically.

Since the mid 1970’s, job loss resulted in some retraining of workforce to serve the modernizing manufacturer.  However, numerous corporations, rather than outlay capital to retool facilities for modern manufacturing techniques, decided it would be initially more cost effective to ship entire facilities to 3rd world countries and exploit not only very cheap labour but bask in the absence of humane and ecological standards existing in the once home nation.  In comparison to loss, retraining was marginal and seldom afforded comparable wages.  Inter-state migrations of labour occurred but soon the chase for same or similar work dissipated and service economies emerged.  At the same time, factory stores.. those places where low wage workers could barely afford purchases to maintain some level of subsistence (a modern take on the once notorious “Company Store” where workers had no choice to go to purchase minimal provisions as their factory chits were only spendable within them), and employees increasingly in need of greater government aid due to pitifully low wages and short hours disallowing common benefits such as health care (in the US), sick days, leave, vacations, etc., emerged and created another conundrum… the forced denouement of the once abundant mom & pop businesses.

From this, emerged the great Ponzi economy that became so prominent and appearing prosperous. Kids were exiting colleges and heading straight to the financial arenas where they could con and otherwise scam whomever was ripe and willing. Politicians, such as Bill Clinton, were prominent architects of the Great Lie.  These con artists promoted and passed into law some of the worst deregulation measures imaginable and gave free reign to the money lenders and very high stakes gamblers who perfected usury to such an extent they could make investors and borrowers feel that they were being done a grand service by allowing the manipulators to fleece them of percentages every few years.  The Great Lie was the sense of security that could come from investing in things which did not actually exist. Mike Milken and Bernie Madoff are two prominent names in this era of con-artistry.  Junk Bonds, non-existent investments existing on the ‘take from Peter to payout to Paul” were their fortes.  Too, the investment reality of the cyclical culling of tribute to the money lenders came in shorter cycles as the vaporous wealth grew at ever increasing degrees (corrections, recessions, market down-turns…)

Community colleges began tooling up the suckers with courses on how to buy and sell commodities, stocks, bonds and other “products” seen as the gold rush of the times.  Risk taking was everywhere and students soon became investors and many soon became bankrupt has-beens as the teachers fleeced them a second and even a third time.  The 1st time being the courses they taught and from there it was feed the suckers enough to give them a real investment bankroll, feed them an inside tip or two and then drive them to the front steps of the poor house.

Now, some of these hucksters worked small time with rube investors wanting to become players. Others, however, were deeply entrenched banksters with an eye on corporation buyouts and hostile takeovers where assets were sold for scrap and workers handed pink-slips.  Still others realized they could scam other banks, cities and on to global market investments… and they did… bankrupting entire economies while buying more jets, boats, islands, high-rises etc for themselves… and, of course, greasing the wheels of all the useful tools in government who helped them along the way. Some were so bold as to even run for high office while others opted for appointments to the agencies of regulation that could internally be raped.

I’ve yet to mention the EU so now might be a good time.  Part of a post war gambit to create a secure market in the emerging global economy, international con-artists proposed the European Union.  The 1st steps in creating this “union” were the exercises of fear mongering along the lines of imagined external threats from Russia, China and anyone else who could easily be exploited as an existential enemy.  Post war indebtedness of states to the banks who financed the “great wars”.  The aim, stated as a common desire to make wars future impossible, was a great sales pitch that required both indebtedness and fear to herd the states into acceptance of what was, in reality, a route for successful control of the European economy and peoples where Fascism had previously failed and the others, such as the Ottomans, had failed before them.  The idea to form a United States of Europe was destined to fail from the start and treaty after treaty could not adequately respond to the various needs of each state and region.  The only glue that continued to bind these distinctly different states (nations) was debt… as the debt became ever more centralized in the hands of secret banking cartels who, it would emerge, designed even more secret “commissions” to create the rules, regulations and laws governing the “union”.

The opening of borders was not, in reality, a means to offer greater employment opportunity (loudly promoted even to this defining moment in the history of the EU). Recall that these banksters and industrialists had long foreseen the inevitable end of usefulness for the majority of the working class. The true purpose was homogenization and eventual de-culturization of the masses into an amorphous blob of drones beholden to the corporate nation, “EU”.  In time, the hope was that their allegiance would shift from their homelands to the new land called the “EU”.  This, it was thought (most incorrectly) would end centuries of nominal enclaves of ethnic and religious nationalism.  Further homogenization, it is believed, would come from the massive redistribution of refugees exiting the Middle East and African war zones.

Far from putting an end to wars, the EU marched in support of more wars… just not within its own borders.  The capturing of Middle Eastern/African nations.. or investment in the wars that would insure this… wars committed by the US and pseudo-EU member, UK, along with Middle East terrorist nations such as Israel and KSA… were desirable for economic expansion necessary to continue financing the schemes of the EU con-artists.  And, importantly, war would provide jobs, as such, for thousands of otherwise useless drones (one problem with this is that some of these drones would join the “wrong” armies [by the EU perspective] and would, in some instances, return to the EU to enact punishment against it.

Hucksters come to the EU in droves as the income from wars grows.  The market con-men begin selling junk.. and loads of it… to nations within the EU.  Instability occurs and debt grows. Interest becomes impossible to cover and so phony structures set up, ostensibly, to alleviate this issue step in and offer even more irrational loans adding further debt and more interest. Austerity .. or the destruction of all socialist benefits to the masses… are required to end before these further debilitating loans can be applied.  Planned destruction of national economies begins as a route to creation of the total EU economy controlled by a select few un-elected tyrants of industry and finance. Calls begin for a European Monetary Fund or Federal Treasury. Proof enough.

It is, then, a fact that right wing parties promoted the exit from EU through their political lenses fraught with racism and xenophobia.  Those negative qualities did not, however, emanate from thin air.  There has always been racism and xenophobia among the ignorant and selfish and their numbers historically rise and fall.  It is a failure of educators to counter inherited and promoted negatives with clear explanations, truthful explanations, of reality and a despicable tool of politicians to promote and exploit this very undesirable inheritance.   It is also a fact that such expressions have so very little to do with the realities of the EU and its exploitation of European nations for the benefit of the banksters and corporatists, who, by the way, have become so lofty in their sense of self that it is now beneath them to contribute a fair share towards their own creation.  They exist, now, only to take.

Rather than take an honest appraisal of the imminent failure of the EU, the stakeholders and puppet media expectedly embark upon the blame game, pointing to the racists and xenophobes (who they were instrumental in arousing) and to Russia’s Putin, who had virtually nothing to do with either the corruption or failure of the EU.  It just sells the news to go this direction as opposed to helping the masses understand important realities.

While many voted to exit based upon media fed false perceptions artfully crafted by corrupt politicians, so did many vote to remain based upon equally false perceptions.  The unfortunate outcome from this is that, while the right decision may have come from errant perception, getting through the consequences will be nigh impossible if some truth does not make its way to the surface and the UK fails to respond with feasible and prudent care for itself and its people.

One of the first steps should be a bold national decision to collect due taxes from corporations and elitists. There is enough out there to significantly help move the nation forward.  An unencumbered national basic income and living wage should be established with all other social services factored in the amount of such income.  Once accomplished, job sharing becomes a very real safeguard for the future and a healthy step toward alleviating false theft of jobs perceptions.  Making a very real commitment toward ending the reliance on war economy also needs to happen. as does putting end to the allowing of financial hucksters to continue falsifying economies.

A very real outcome of such an effort is the setting of example for the rest of the EU which will, inevitably, collapse in the very near future.

 

Media Activists Needed in Palestine

Media Activists Needed in Palestine

ISM is looking for media interns to come and join us in Palestine. This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring journalists or media workers to engage directly with the Palestinian struggle and to utilise and enhance their existing skills to humanize the voice of the struggle by reporting on events ranging from anti-occupation demonstrations to house raising demolitions.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement
committed to resisting the Israeli occupation in Palestine by using nonviolent,
direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of primarily
Palestinian and Israeli activists in August 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen
the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two
resources, international solidarity and an international voice.

You will be based in the West Bank, experienced and interested activists may be
placed in Gaza. Apart from gaining reporting and photography experience, you will
also be networking with existing media outlets and develop skills during media
meetings on reporting the occupation of Palestine. ISM is seeking a minimum 3
month commitment, and will provide accommodation during your stay.
ISM is a non-hierarchical solidarity movement. Consequently, you will not be
treated as a classical intern but rather as a fellow voluntary member of the activist
group. In this role you will establish contacts with local Palestinian and international media and help to define the ISM media strategy.

In order to apply please email palreports@gmail.com with the following information:

1. Please send in any relevant information about yourself and experience or
background you may have in reporting and journalism.

2. Express why you are applying for this voluntary internship and what you
hope to gain from it.

Want To Write In “Dr. Jill Stein” For POTUS…State By State Rules.

The Militant Negro™

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!mrmilitantnegroJill_Stein_announcement

Did you know only 43 states allow write in candidate votes to actually be counted?

From a blogger friend of mine, Ms. JoAnn Chateau ….hipped me up on write in voting….

Just a bit of clarification on why write-in votes might not be counted: Write-in candidates must register with each state that allows write-in votes (about 43, and the deadline dates and requirements vary from state to state) Votes for aregistered write-in candidate are counted (barring election fraud).

Requirements for write-in candidates

Although a write-in candidate is not entitled to ballot placement, he or she may still be required to file paperwork in order to have his or her votes tallied (or to be eligible to serve should the candidate be elected). In 35 states, a write-in presidential candidate must file some paperwork in advance of an election. In seven states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted. The remaining…

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Muhammed “Rebel” Ali Leaves The Ring

“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

ali 10

The world, today, pays tribute to a man who, beyond being one of the greatest boxers and showmen of all times.. a man who brought the sport out of the dingy gyms and into the living rooms of millions.. was uniquely individual in standing up for himself and for his convictions, the oppressed and downtrodden, family and faith, love and compassion, for right and for rights and for the raising up of the human spirit through every thing he did and tried to do throughout his life.

Muhammed Ali was a cocky young man who conquered the world of Boxing by the age of 22. He began his career training from age 12.  A vision and focus that was to propel him to become the World Heavyweight Champion against the formidable Sonny Liston in 1964. Ali became, at that time, the youngest Boxer to ever take that title from a reigning heavyweight champion. Floyd Patterson attained the title at age 21, however, the champ, Rocky Marciano, had already retired.  Years later, Mike Tyson would take the tile at age 20.

Ali did not become Muhammed Ali until a few days after this epic bout. He was born, and initially boxed under, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.  He and his younger brother, Rudy, were attracted to the “Black Muslims” when Ali was about age 18, much to the dissatisfaction of his father, Cassius Sr.  Ali began studying Islam and became a faithful Muslim taking, initially, the name Cassius X (The name, Clay, being considered a “slave name”) before formally announcing his membership with the Nation of Islam and his new name, Muhammed Ali.

I recall the excitement of that 1964 bout with Liston and how Ali instantly came to fame. Prior to this bout, he had some less than spectacular fights and controversial decisions.  He was heavily defined as the underdog, both by media and the bookies, going into his bout with Liston.  The cockiness he displayed prior would soon come to be a signature attraction where it was once the focus of disdain.

"Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat, 
If Liston goes back an inch farther he'll end up in a ringside seat.
Clay swings with a left, 
Clay swings with a right, 
Just look at young Cassius carry the fight. 
Liston keeps backing but there's not enough room, 
It's a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom. 
Then Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing, 
And the punch raised the bear clear out of the ring. 
Liston still rising and the ref wears a frown, 
But he can't start counting until Sonny comes down. 
Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic 
But our radar stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic. 
Who on Earth thought, when they came to the fight, 
That they would witness the launching of a human satellite. 
Hence the crowd did not dream, when they laid down their money, 
That they would see a total eclipse of Sonny."

It had only been a few months earlier, in late November, when the world was struck by the assassination of President Kennedy.  The depression which had settled upon so many after that moment in time began to lift somewhat as a nation turned its gaze toward the rise of Muhammed Ali.  His youth and vitality, his passion and flare and even his cocky humour had an effect which brought hope out from hiding. At least, for some of us.

“People don’t realize what they had till it’s gone. Like President Kennedy, there was no one like him, the Beatles, and my man Elvis Presley. I was the Elvis of boxing.”

It was a time of great frustration and anger over racial divides in the US.  A mere 18 months post the Ali triumph, the US would see the devastation from the Watts Riots.  For Ali, the realization of how quickly tides can turn came with the threats to cancel the boxing match because of Ali’s association with Malcolm X and affiliation with the Nation of Islam (Malcolm had been removed from the Nation at that time but was Ali’s chosen spiritual advisor. Malcolm  agreed to distance himself from pre-publicity events but not the actual match.) … and then a few days post with announcement of his name change.  The media were rabid in their attacks against the Nation, and against Ali.  The level of vitriol from supremacists and a growing cadre of ignorant young followers was deafening.  Ali, steadfast in the awareness of who he was and was becoming, used humour, wisdom and faith to respond.  Without regard for the type of publicity it would bring, he responded to reporters with brashness and mocking humour, often catching them off guard, exposing their racism, and generally showing them up to be the fools that they were.  Martin Luther King Jr. , displaying his own bias and misunderstanding, chastised Ali for his association with Malcolm and with the NOI, calling him the “champion of racial segregation”.

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Three years later, in 1967, Ali would again stand up for himself and his beliefs.. and at great cost to his career. Faced with the draft, Ali announced that he would refuse conscription as a conscientious objector to the illegal and racist war in Vietnam.  Cheered on by those of us who, by that time, had begun our “radicalism” and joined anti-war movements.. and jeered by those who thought “patriotism” meant running off to kill people (who never harmed, nor intended harm to, any American) just because the government said so.  Ali would be arrested, charged with evasion and stripped of his rightfully earned title.  His appeals traveled all the way to the Supreme Court where his conviction was, in 1971, overturned.  Still, the media attacked him and he was shunned by many opportunities which otherwise would have presented.  He lost nearly four prime years of his career as a boxer yet remained focused and determined: enough that he would go on to win the title a second time in 1974 and again  for an unprecedented 3rd time in 1978.

The road to return was not without more difficulties for Ali who remained in control of himself and his future in his chosen career.  Claims of mob involvement in fixing fights and investigations by FBI and Senate committees as well having a ban placed on his boxing by one of two boxing commissions and the refusal of venues based either upon his association with NOI or his conscription refusal did not stop Ali.  He came out on top again and again and showed the world that they could not beat him.

“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

After a falling out with the NOI which was experiencing considerable inner turmoil, Ali converted to Sunni Muslim practice and took a break from boxing.  Later, in 2005, Ali would begin practice in Sufism. It was 1975 and Ali had recently gone through a string of matches where he took considerable punches and a number of troubling injuries.  Ali would come back again to win his 3rd crown but his health was showing signs of deterioration.  His kidneys were damaged, gate and voice had begun to falter and  a tremor had begun to show in his hands.  He resisted calls to retire, loosing a manager in the process but announced retirement in 1997.  It was short lived and he fought again in 1980 against Larry Holmes. The fight was stopped in the 11th round. Ali did not win. He fought one more time approximately a year later in a 10 round decision to Trevor Berbick.

Ali continued to remain active and outspoken. In 1984, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, said to have been caused by the many head punches he had taken over the years.Undaunted, he would become an ambassador, of sorts, traveling to Iraq, where he attempted to negotiate the release of prisoners in a meeting with Saddam Hussein,  and Afghanistan among other countries and regions.  He lit the torch for the 1996 Summer Olympics and was the flag bearer in the 2012 opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics. He would go on to meet and greet dignitaries from around the globe representing peace and human rights.

Some may recall an earlier “retirement” in 1974 when Ali traveled to the Middle East.  Ever outspoken, Ali would, while in Beirut,  proclaim,  “the United States is the stronghold of Zionism and imperialism.” Visiting two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Ali would announce, “In my name and the name of all Muslims in America, I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders.

”Showing the ultimate in rebel spirit, in 1985, Ali traveled to Israel in an attempt to gain freedom for 100’s of Lebanese and Palestinians captured during the occupation of a portion of Lebanon.

“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”

Today, people in Palestine and throughout the Middle East are expressing their celebration of the life and works of Muhammed Ali… and mourning his passing.

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Muhammed Ali…  “The Greatest” …January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016

The Road Home for Prisoner 19846 052

Important article from good friend Stanley Cohen. Please also read 7 prior pieces in series “It Ain’t The Promised Land” & “Prison America I & II”

caged but undaunted

{The following is the final chapter in the 8 part series “It Ain’t The Promised Land”}

The Road Home for Prisoner 19846 052

by Stanley L. Cohen, Attorney

“I don’t give a shit about your dog. You pay us in full by the end of the day or report here with your clothes… home confinement is done. If you don’t show… you’re a fugitive.”

With these words Katasha R. Artis, the dramatically under trained ex jock who serves as the Director of the GEO halfway house that I called home for some 10 weeks after being released from the Federal prison camp at Canaan, slammed the phone down; discussion done. As I had learned over the previous 10 weeks, that’s the way Ms. Artis — a former WNBA player and junior college coach — runs the house; the way she deals with its staff and residents. It’s her way or…

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