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Something for the Homeless (A memory)

When I was a kid, I managed a pizza/sub shop. There was a young boy, 9 yo, who showed up each evening around 8pm to sweep the floors in exchange for a pizza for his family (mom, dad & sis). Dad was disabled and could not work. Mom did laundry by hand, baby sat, sewed and any other “job” she could find.. often working 14-16 hrs a day… to cover rent on a 3 room shed (that my godfather rented to them for $9 p/wk + utilities) and the medications her husband needed.

This boy would not take charity. There were 2-3 other stores on the main street who gave him a dollar each night for sweeping and taking out the trash. He went home with a few dollars in his pocket and “dinner” each evening. At that time, it cost roughly 68 cents to make a cheese pizza that sold for $3.50. He was reluctant to take a dollar along with the pizza. When business was good, I slipped a few extra dollars into the pizza box.

My heart was heavy the day I left that job. New owners refused to continue the “tradition”. I can still see that little boy’s face when I told him there would be no more pizzas or dollars. I gave him an envelope with $100 to take home to his folks. It was sealed so he could not see what was inside. He was instructed to just hand it to his mother. There were two notes inside. One explaining what had happened and the other a letter of introduction that the boy was to take to a small breakfast & lunch shop a few blocks away owned by an old family friend. I had called Jimmy, the owner, in advance and he had promised to give the boy some work.

While I was working at that shop, I also used to make subs from the day old bread and meats/cheeses that had only a day or two before being dated. A few of the homeless who lived in cardboard boxes behind an old train station would wait at the shops delivery door for these subs. One, who I called “Pops” (his choice) used to take that sub to a nearby park and share it with the birds and a scruffy feral cat who lived in a hollow behind a music store abutting that park. I offered to give him an extra sub but he said one was enough. He could not eat very much, being sick. The cat and birds were happy for what he shared and that made him happy.

One horribly cold and blustery winter night, as I shoveled snow from the front of the shop, “Pops” appeared, looking very weak and pale. Though he protested, I stuck $50 into his pocket and prodded him to get a room at a dive hotel just up the street. He started to walk away and got as far as across the street where he fell into the snow bank and died. I’ve never forgotten that night.

The police used to roust the homeless behind the old train station, put all their shelters and belongings into a single dumpster and set them afire. This happened maybe every two months or so as a few of my friends and I would deposit bedding, blankets, boxes and whatever else we could gather behind that station right after the assaults. That station provided them a decent barrier against the weather. Eventually, the cops began to patrol nightly and forced these people to move on and out into the woods.

We weren’t rich, by any means, but we did what we could at the time. We were just kids from abusive homes living on our own. We did something. Never enough… but something.

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such power (poem)

Oh to have such power that I might wave an arm and millions of human lives will fall, devalued, as so many grains of sand. In such morality I illusion immortality and rest with dreams.
—M. Dennis Paul

Can A Congress Of Nations Grow A Spine In Time To Save The World

Can A Congress Of Nations Grow A Spine In Time To Save The World

“The US no longer sees the world as a global community, but as a fighting arena where everyone has to seek their own advantage,” Mr Gabriel told the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum, according to German newspaper Deutsche Welle.

Germany can no longer simply react to US policy but must establish its own position… even after Trump leaves the White House, relations with the US will never be the same.”

Ignorance… The State of Ignoring

Prior to 1939, world leaders were witness to a gradual buildup of militarization within a nation previously brought to surrender in a world war prefaced by a gradual buildup also witnessed by world leaders. The outcome of such buildup was, of course, another world war and another surrender. A portrait of history ignored until the last moment… too late to prevent the massive destruction of cities and states and the deaths, dismemberment and deprivation of millions of innocents.

Since that time, a Congress of Nations, attempted following the first world war, was reconfigured into the birth of the United Nations (Oct. 24, 1945). The current Congress of Nations, the UN, allowed to exist with a small cabal of nations holding sway above the vast majority of nations, presents itself as woefully weak, if not more so, than its predecessor, the League of Nations.

Decade after decade, the UN has witnessed successive buildups to lesser wars and “actions” across the globe and, in large part, allowing the small cabal to define the causes, characters and, in final address, the outcomes they expect.

Decade after decade, the UN shied away from telling the world about the cabal’s real place in these buildups, wars and “actions”. The UN, at the direction of the cabal, lead the world to believe in repetitive false narratives while the cabal grabbed up one nation after another as colonies, economic and otherwise, to be used and abused at will. In each instance, it was not the colonizers who suffered; for they had learned how to profit by both “wins” and “losses”. It was, again and again, the innocents who suffered immeasurable losses without any benefit.

Since its inception, the UN has been the empty voice of global pretense toward peace. Leaders gather with each new crisis and point fingers, wag fingers, place fingers in ears and sit on their thumbs. They vote on hundreds of resolutions, more often than not blocked by the cabal. Those that manage to pass are posted, filed and ignored. Unable to productively negotiate untethered by the ever looming denial of the cabal, unable to effectively block actions long deemed illegal by a majority of nations… more often than not, actions of the cabal, whether cloaked in subterfuge or blatant in disregard for human culture, human rights, human dignity and common sense, the UN adjourns each meeting with a hope, a sigh and a whimper.

Ever afraid to open the shades and shed light on the backers, suppliers and cheerleaders of turmoil, the UN presents itself as a moral arbiter from on high while it cowers in the dust and ruin of its charter.

Knowing that the world is guided by economies and saddled with greed and taking by the most powerful, the UN, and the nations who represent themselves in its corridors and chambers pay lip service to justice and the rights of the common… never using the power of the common and the power of nations in unison to support and act in concert with the common to rein in the abuse of power by the self-indulgent global debt producing and gluttonous, thieving members.

It is, and has always been, the common which speaks truth to power. As every despot has arisen on this planet… and there have been too many in its history with man… it has been the innocent who have been the bellwether of suffering to come while the leaders of nations either remand themselves to closets or prance about as sycophants waiting for the crumbs to be tossed. It is the common man who resisted… even to his own peril. Pronouns regretted, it is largely women who toss the first projectile at the front of dissent’s line.

Life Is Just A Game

Risk, a board game, was invented by French film director Albert Lamorisse and originally released in 1957 as La Conquête du Monde (The Conquest of the World) in France. It was later bought by Parker Brothers and released in 1959 with some modifications to the rules as Risk: The Continental Game, then as Risk: The Game of Global Domination. With a suggested age range from 10 years old to adult, and 60 years of popularity, Risk is highly symbolic of reality. It is hard to ignore build ups to war on the game board. Why then is it so hard for real nations to recognize real build ups and act to end them rather than bleat and bray? The eventual domination of the world by one player is modeled by the history of the world.

We may change car styles, dress styles, music and art but we seem wholly incapable of changing the desire and designs for domination.

Patriotism

One of the, if not the premier, deceptions conceived by the gluttons of earth is the division of the common through fear of each other division. Through fear and separating of one mass from another based on religion, ethnicity, race or politic, a false sense of right arises in a single word… patriotism. Patriotism can best be defined as adherence to the words, deeds and goals of the gluttons at the expense of all else.. even self. In our age, there are no greater examples of moronic self sacrifice under the guise of patriotism than in the US and Israel. There are, of course, others but these two epitomize the same allegiance and demand for sacrifice that signaled the buildup for war evident prior to the world wars and ignored by the nations of the world until it was too late.

Despots Succeeded By Despots

Inevitable, the emergence of despots such as the successions of Prime Ministers of Israel and Presidents of the US would lead to the level of gluttony embodied in Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. Entitlement, unchecked, only expands, like a sponge, as more and more of the perceived wealth of the world is absorbed.

Less Than Friends

For the long term sycophants of the US, bowing and curtseying to its pet boa constrictor, Israel, has been a ritual of evangelical zeal. For the supposed allegiance of Arab nations to assuage their guilt for blind eyes to the oppression of an indigenous Arab peoples by Israel, the closet dwellers make Palestine a pet which they point to, make brief fawning gestures toward… and otherwise ignore.

Media is no different. When the heat is on, they are present to report with confused logic, evangelical bias and a persistent urge to blame the victims for the assaults upon them. When the heat seems to die down, the media moves on. The real conditions once again ignored.

Ignorance Leads To War Leads To Ignorance Leads to…

The long stretch of history since the first world war is a series of mistakes lazily repeated. The world is now at the hardened edge of yet another grave mistake. To a degree different than previous wars, there is no mistaking that both the US and Israel are the hand in hand antagonists threatening a wobbly mass of gelatin formed from the boiled bones of the last great conflagration.

The leading global despot nations have created sufficient chaos, fear and economic instability to embolden cataract affected patriots in search of fire and fury against an enemy… to be determined… or two. The common enemy of the US and Israel are, with no surprise, the nations that geographically stand in the way of the gluttons’ march toward long planned theft of all the sands… and everything beneath them… of the Middle East, Gulf and Africa.

The leading US despot, Donald J Trump, who postures like his hero, Benito Mussolini, with arms crossed, chest puffed and chin prominently pointed upward, believes that by taking more future away from the Palestinians he can further threaten them to accept “peace” based on the Israeli construct of peace by surrender, peace by subjugation, peace by obeisance, peace by servitude and peace within defined reservations… something learned by America’s construct of peace with the Indians. Glutton Netanyahu, who flagrantly chips away at Palestine, believes that any motion not against Israel is a sign by the US & world to chip away even more. Of course, with Gluttonyahu, any motion by anyone against Israel is taken as a sign to chip away faster.

The gluttonous sheiks of Saudi Arabia have joined the cabal and now do the bidding of the US and Israel in building up war chests. The UK is rapidly burying itself in irrelevance but is still in the game.

Under past presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, the world saw, but ignored, the buildup and expansion of war until, under Obama, 7 war fronts were prominent and nearly another dozen were fomenting. In retrospect, while there was some revulsion expressed by entrance to both Afghanistan and Iraq, it was marginal and remains as such. Now, under Donito Trumpolini, more fronts are being added and, in bellicose fashion, he prods his minions in office and global sycophants to accept the total destruction of North Korea (and likely South Korea). Like Mussolini, he alienates traditional allies and marginal supporters without concern. He has the codes to the nuclear football and itchy fingers.

To all of this, the Congress of Nations spouts its too often repeated watered down condemnations, holds its “emergency” chamber pot meetings and returns to thumb-sitting.

Will The Congress Of Nations Grow A Spine?

It must be reiterated that the world has reached the hardened edge. The buildup to global war is functionally complete. The militaria has been set aside and the militaries are in formation. Navies are policing the oceans and the air roars with jets, bombers and drones. The missiles are primed, and the forward troops are deployed and taking casualties, and the Generals are lighting their serious cigars and pipes.

It is time for the Congress of Nations to act… not the bluster they have convinced themselves to be action… not the wagging fingers and empty resolutions. It is time for the UN to take first a symbolic posture of visually turning its back upon the despots and despot nations. It is time to empty the chambers when representatives of Israel and the US raise their voices. Time to refuse acknowledgment of their votes, Time to fully ostracize them for the detriment they have posed to the progress of the world.

The next step is to sanction. Turn the tables and create chaos to their economies. Time to use the power known best by the common… Boycott, Divestment and Sanction. It is time to cease collusion through arms sales and purchases, time to shop elsewhere for ships, commercial jets, engines, etcetera. Concrete actions as opposed to endless hot air. Isolate the cancer to cease its spread. The commons will act in support and there will be nowhere to turn and no one for them to turn.

The Congress of Nations must harness the real power of nations and the power of people. Reliance on empty words and the wind created by wagging fingers insures only that in a year, in a month, in a week or a day… at any moment it will surely be too late.

The reality? Expect war.

Irma by Anthony Tarrant

{Originally published Sept. 21, 2017 in Dissident Voice}

Irma

I’m twelve feet away from the northern eyewall of Hurricane Irma.  Seated behind floor to ceiling panes of glass that can’t be thick enough. “Are they thick enough?” I wonder while staring at the murderous velocity of rain and wind that just a few steps away would lift me whole and launch me into the lake, a tree or another house. With death defying, tornadic ferocity the wind drives rain sideways in every direction at once.  I hear tree trunks and limbs snapping like firecrackers off in the distance.

There’s still running water, but the electricity went off hours ago. There’s no internet. Comcast has opened up thousands of free WiFi hotspots for anyone whose service is down.  You can log on for two hours at a time. Two hours at a time in the teeth of an historic maelstrom.  I enter a username and password and hit a fucking pay wall. Comcastic!

The changes in air pressure are making my ears pop as the wind lives up to its cliché;  it really does sound like a freight train.  130, 140 miles per hour but still not the Cat-5 death dealer that scoured 100% of Barbuda’s housing stock down to its concrete foundations.  Not the 185 miles per hour that would take paint off a car, put the car in a hole and blow the hole away.  This isn’t that, but it’s impossible to say exactly how fortunate I am beyond the fact I’m still sitting here watching the world get ripped apart.

I’m glad I boarded up my house and came to my in-law’s ground floor condo 20 minutes northeast.  In a storm 600 miles wide that’s a difference without a distinction but this condo is better built and stronger than my tract home constructed in 1976 by contractors on acid.  I’ve moved to the kitchen, away from the glass, where I’ve paired off a peanut butter and honey sandwich against a muscular Cabernet/Zin/Sarah blend.  I’m out of milk.

Suddenly the wind dies down and the rain stops. We’re in the eye. I step outside.  I’m told there’s blue sky in the center of a hurricane, but not in this one. Irma’s core is deck plate gray and the driveway is a carpet of leaves, branches and uprooted trunks making the way impassable.  What’s the difference?  I’m not going anywhere anyway. The southern half of the eyewall is coming.  I snap some pictures and go back inside.  The wind picks up fast and the rain with it.  My cats have slept through the whole thing.  One in the master bedroom and two others, a mother and her adult spawn spooned into an indistinguishable pile of warm fur on my bed in the guest room.  I wish I could be that cool and follow their lead. The howling begins and once again I hear tree trunks snapping.

If my in-law’s home suffered cosmetic damage, my own home was a different matter.  Driving south along main arteries through intersections of cockeyed traffic lights, blacked out and dangling, I finally made it to the badly flooded stretch of road that is the only way in or out of my neighborhood.  I drove through sheet flow up to my doors and managed to get through to my street and driveway.  The front yard was strewn with pieces of other people’s houses, tree limbs and branches: the back yard the same, only under water.  Mature shade trees split down the middle and a one story aluminum pool cage now a twisted skeleton of support and cross beams, half thrown up on my roof while the rest lies in and around my pool at strange angles as if gravity hadn’t quite finished its conversation.

The wooden front door gave way under protest, swollen as it was against the jam.  I was greeted with the thick, warmishly fetid organic musk of a diaper pail.  Irma had blown water into my house through every conceivable fissure and crevice a house built in 1976 invariably has.  The baseboards and sheet rock had wicked up the puddled sweat like a sponge, expanding and separating from each other. Everything twelve inches off the deck will have to be cut out and replaced; every square inch of tile, every grout line, will have to be painstakingly scrubbed with soap and bleach. Somehow my paperback copy of Antonia Juhasz’ great work, The Tyranny of Oil sits bloated and destroyed on the bedroom floor.  How ironic.

The $120 in cash and credit cards in my pocket are worthless.  There is nowhere to spend money.  No supermarkets selling food, no gas stations selling gas, no hardware stores selling tools or propane. People everywhere are living off stockpiled meat, water, beer and soda stored in ice chests and everyone seems to have their grills fired up. Checking to see how others close by are doing, one kindly offers 5 gallons of gas when I tell him I’m down to a quarter tank.  Another offers a grilled sausage on a hot dog roll.  I’m a vegetarian, but not today.  Yet another provides a half loaf of sliced bread and cold Gator-Aide.  Everyone has been hit hard, so these spontaneous acts of proximal kindness are meaningful, unexpected and palpable.  In the coming days, waiting for power to be restored, much generosity and cooperation was on offer in this working class neighborhood. Far more than any expressed or received from family or friends of long standing with the means to do more, something – or anything.  And I know why this is so.

We live in a realm of hungry ghosts, a trance state mistaken for normative, acceptable – even civil – society.  But it’s not a society, in the strictest sense, as there is so little that is social about it.  It’s an economic construct marked by disregard, disdain, incivility utterly drained of unity, community or any sense of individual obligation to the whole or the other.  No matter how much one has, insatiable hunger for more persists.  A mind where spaciousness is emptiness; an inversion of abundance into a perception of scarcity and lack.  A Dickensian box where those working for scraps live in an ahistorical matrix deprived of the vocabulary to even describe their reality while those that have real wealth live in a richly textured movie starring themselves in a mythological place where they are generous, compassionate, deserving, loving and kind. It is an abattoir.  An extremely violent gun culture of dog loving infantile grandiosity.

The ballet of my neighbor Juan and his two chainsaws makes me sorry I didn’t record it.  He owns a landscaping business, and he and his crews had been working their asses off since dawn clearing downed trees in a gated community near my open neighborhood.  It was getting on sunset when he came over offering to chop up the last eight feet of a fifty foot shade tree blasted from its moorings in my back yard.  It was an unbelievably kind gesture after the kind of day I’m sure he had.  I watched him cut the trunk and lower limbs into a pile of manageable chunks inside of about 20 minutes. It would have taken me at least an hour if I knew how to do it without killing myself.  All he wanted was a cold beer.  The next day I brought him a case.

It made me think about the current administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the millions of Latinos deported by President Obama.  I grew saddened and furious.  In the wake of Hurricane Irma in SW Florida, the road back from neighborhoods turned medieval under tons of fallen trees is being led by thousands of undocumented Mexicans, Hondurans and Guatemalans with chainsaws.  The next time I hear anyone slandering Latinos in any way, especially with the canard that they’re “taking our jobs”, I will step up to them and publicly shame them.  I will describe them and, if practical, strangle them while I whisper in their fucking ear.

As of this writing I’ve had my power back for 6 days.  Six days of hot showers, fresh laundry and air conditioning.  There are still thousands without power in homes inundated with water that has nowhere to go in the super-saturated soil of SW Florida. Overpriced slumlord shit boxes and the homes of retirees on or near the Imperial River less than a mile from my house now experience tidal flow in their kitchens. I turned back from paying my water bill in person when confronted with a quarter mile sheet flow of indeterminate depth blocking the road between me and their office.  This is a major disaster I’m in the middle of and yet I’m one of the fortunate ones.  Had Irma tracked a bit further west sucking up water and energy instead of making landfall in Collier County when and where it did, this disaster could easily have been a much worse and wider catastrophe.  The 10 to 15 feet of predicted storm surge did not happen in the Gulf Coast city of Naples, although they received more than their fair share of flooding and wind borne destruction.  That city will virtually bounce back. Naples on the Gulf contains more private wealth than Beverly Hills and Jackson Hole combined.  They have little need for government assistance there.  They never did.  For them government is an impediment.

East Naples, where the sprawling 55 years old and up trailer park communities are located, jammed with elderly folk on low fixed income living side by side with undocumented aliens is another story.  The undocumented get to live in what’s left of their condemned trailers with the stench of standing water and sewage in the air – ineligible for federal assistance. Immokalee, FL, still further east where Oaxaca meets Port-au-Prince, covered brilliantly in the tome Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt co-authored by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, is still another poor, traumatized sacrifice zone.  And few are discussing, far less writing, much about Everglades City, an hour’s drive south of Naples where it took FEMA five days to get on the ground there.  Storm surge and wind have wiped that city off the map; its residents wallow in muck and filth with nowhere to live and nowhere to go.

Irma struck Collier and Lee Counties on Sunday, September 10th. According to an article in the Naples Daily News of September 19th about the situation in Everglades City:

The scores of volunteers who have set up in the city handing out food, water and clothes along with Federal, state and local medical providers was a far cry from the almost-deserted scene in the city for the first week following the storm.

Residents had been left mostly on their own, spending hours each day working in the mud and sludge, often barefoot or in flip-flops, trying to salvage what was left of their homes.

In Everglades City and surrounding communities struck with 10 feet of storm surge, a man scraped his leg picking up a piece of aluminum debris on Monday, the day after Irma passed.  His wife put a Band-Aid on it and by Friday a raging bacterial infection had attacked his vital organs, threatening renal failure and the doctors amputated his leg. The mayor’s mother is in the hospital fighting an infection.  Full time medical assistance from the County only began on Sunday, seven full days after Irma.  According to the same article, health officials administered only 80 tetanus shots to residents before running out of supplies.

Having learned nothing from Katrina, the stench of neo-liberalism’s 40 year death march across America and the world has seeped like carbon monoxide into every gear of the machine we live in.  Capital and its wholly-owned subsidiary, government, can no longer respond effectively to crisis.  This is the fossilization and atrophy of end-stage capitalism, a violent socio-economic bifurcation describing a zombie state eating its own with nothing on the horizon to replace it. “American politics”, as Dr. Manuel Garcia, Jr. aptly puts it, “is how money talks to itself”.

The indiscriminate savagery of Irma is about far more than this unemployed writer’s freezer full of rotted food, shredded roof line and collapsed pool cage.  The path of Irma draws upward into bas-relief the majority of American society’s precarious decline into an irreconcilable cultural and economic abysm.  Radical social change is coming, but not until many hundreds of thousands, likely millions, of American lives are lost.  Not on the romantic front lines of populist revolt at the barricades, but as the unheralded, withering, long term consequence of declining standards of living.

Profound social ferment and revolutionary social restructuring is inevitable, but it will not simply emerge as the result of what it must and has always been – an impulse from the street.  It will also be coincident with a top line driven reconfiguration of titanic pools of capital beginning, perhaps, with the structures of power that have more money than anyone outside of international drug cartels, the fossil fuel juggernaut or the military industrial complex – the insurance industry.  Say what you may about them, but insurance is perhaps the greatest civilizing force in mankind’s entire meteoric footnote.  Without insurance to mitigate against risk, your brand new crane manufactured in South Korea designed to lift cargo out of the holds of container ships in the Port of Los Angeles never gets shipped trans-Pacific to the buyer.  A bank holding a mortgage note on a single family home in SW Florida will insist the owner carry Home Owner’s Insurance and Flood Insurance to mitigate the risk of an unlikely, but catastrophic event.  Like, say, a hurricane.

The question is this:  As anthropogenic climate change throws actuarial calculations out the window and the profitable business of hedging anomalous risk becomes an open ended economic implosion of the rare turned commonplace, how many $150 billion dollar hits do you suppose global insurance consortia and their reinsurers remain willing and able to take?  My guess is not many.  Insurance companies have been generating very public warnings of climate change since at least the mid 1990’s.  When elephants do battle, only the grass suffers, but it will be interesting to see how the insurance industry responds to paying the crippling freight for the fossil fuel industry and how that might contribute toward progressive realignments.

As weak carriers fold, risk portfolios redistribute into stronger hands. Policy deductibles rise insurmountably and covered percentages over and above that drop leaving only the rich able to self-insure and the masses of life long premium payers left with payouts insufficient to make them whole.  Does an utterly sclerotic government lost in a miasma of climate change denial step in to assume a role the private sector no longer deems profitable?  That seems unlikely as well.

At the civilizational fork where far too many obscenely stupid, venal and greedy annihilists are in charge, what will it take to rip the zombie’s head off the deep state?  Hurricanes Andrew, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Harvey, Irma and perhaps Maria haven’t seemed to do the trick.  Likewise, eight geriatrics warehoused in a for-profit Hollywood, FL nursing home dying of heat exhaustion when the air conditioning went out caused little more than a momentary stir in the media when the hook became the location of the human dumping ground – right across the street from a Level-1 trauma center.

As we all enter the leading edge of a largely irreversible negative feedback loop of a warming planet, the strength and frequency of hurricanes seems likely to increase.  What happens when they’re all Cat-3 or Cat-4 when they make landfall?  How will capital and government respond?

The only dialectic worth exploring is this:  Russia and China are committed to a $20 trillion/20 year plan to build out continental networks of high speed rail to swiftly transport raw materials, finished goods and people as part of the One Belt One Road initiative, together with new, modern port systems to pull up hundreds of millions of people out of penury as part of the next industrial age of man. America spends a trillion dollars a year on bombs, death and dismemberment. One of these plans has a future.  The other does not.

As a low, slow flying entourage of military aircraft containing the Governor of Florida, an exonerated plunderer owing his fortune to an historic Medicare fraud, and the President, who learned his ethics at the knee caps of Roy Cohen, flew by just east of my house, I took cold comfort as I swept dank pools of bacteria rich sludge out of my garage.

““““

Anthony Tarrant no longer toils for healthcare in retail fashion’s corporate mills. He lives and writes in Costa Rica, a poor country filled with incredibly happy people with no standing army since 1948. He can be reached at: anthonytarrant2@gmail.com.

Day 557 NH residents waiting on Matt

Matt DeHart is a hero. Paul & Leann are heroes. Welcome to NH. Forget the “Live Free or Die” motto, though. Long ago proven to be 12 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag.

Humanity not Commodity

Today is Sunday. Today, Paul and I are
official residents of New Hampshire. Today, we have an address for Matt. Today, we will renew our pledge to keep fighting for one of the sweetest, bravest, and quite humble of guys who also happens to be my son.
Tonight I will sleep on my own bed; a gift from Paul’s longtime friend. I can hear the crickets chirping. The air smells so clean. We have the windows open.
Tomorrow I will start unpacking boxes.
Life is really really hard for many many people, but if you look hard enough you will find some moments that sparkle like diamonds.
To my dear readers and friends, I hope you have moments in your lives that make the noon day sun pale.
Much love..💕

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Attica At 46: A Horror In Upstate New York And Why It Still Matters.

Anthony Tarrant

Chronicling our country’s disintegration in what feels like a futile attempt at waking a comatose lover, my attention turns to this coming Thursday, September 9th, the 46th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising in upstate New York.

The ripples of Attica still resonate today in the most incarcerated country on earth where 2.2 million human beings, disproportionately black and brown, rot encaged in gulags from Rikers to Honolulu.

Attica stands as the monumental, historic flash point in America’s shift from the formalized structures of  private chattel slavery on plantations to the institutionalized repression of peoples of color through the instrument of the carceral state.  White capitalist supremacy simply morphed from private hands to the state sponsored terrorism of the prison industrial complex.  And the slaughter at Attica 46 years ago this Thursday was the catalyst for all that came after.

For those old enough to have forgotten, those that suffer…

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Why the Case Presented by Rowan Clarke Regarding Vaxxed (Pensive Quill Aug 29, 2017) is Highly Misleading

Why the Case Presented by Rowan Clarke Regarding Vaxxed (Pensive Quill Aug 29, 2017) is Highly Misleading

by M. Dennis Paul, PhD

{M. Dennis Paul is a retired Counselor and ADR Specialist with 30 years practice; 12 of which in direct work with Autistic children. He is also a lifelong activist who has worked with the BPP, WU and other groups of the 60’s and 70’s, has composed articles and cartoons for underground papers of that era and more recently for Salem-News.com and his own blog, rebel.lio. He also edits articles for, and maintains the excellent blog of, International Human Rights Attorney, Stanley L. Cohen… Caged but Undaunted}

With considerable disapprobation, having read through Rowan Clarke’s severely misinformed editorial regarding the controversial film “VAXXED”, I find myself responding to clear up much of his espoused nonsense.

I reject, based upon his comments, the claim that he viewed this film with an open mind and that he has any genuine knowledge of the issues it presents.

To begin, he states the film is centered around the “anti-vaccination movement” and that it’s writer is the “progenitor of the anti-vaccine phenomenon”. Had he any knowledge of anti-vaccine movements, he would have acknowledged their existence since the time of Jenner (1796). I can assure that Wakefield et al are not that old… though some have retired. This movement began in response to fears and concerns about small-pox vaccination and, as important, compulsory vaccination. VAXXED is hardly “centered” around any movement beyond that which seeks the following (from the Producer’s own statement):

  1. That Congress subpoena Dr. William Thompson and investigate the CDC fraud.
  2. That Congress repeal the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and hold manufacturers liable for injury caused by their vaccines.
  3. That 3 separate, univalent vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella be made available immediately.
  4. That all vaccines be classified as pharmaceutical drugs and tested accordingly.

Dr. William Thompson is a whistleblower at CDC who disclosed that the CDC both lied about MMR study results and went so far as to destroy documentation. Due to increasing reports of vaccine injury, disability and death, Congress passed an industry protection bill limiting, and ending (in some instances) liability by the manufacturers. The title of the bill is markedly deceptive. Far from being “anti-vaccine”, both Dr’s Wakefield and Thompson fully support vaccination in the prevention of disease. Common sense dictates that there be a rational and reasonable oversight of vaccines and vaccine production. Further, it is essential that new and ongoing research be conducted and protected and that scientific concerns regarding formulae, potential underlying and unobserved concomitant weaknesses in immunity, as well diseases, be more cautiously studied and reported, that timing and scheduling of vaccines be more cautiously regarded and, among numerous other cautions, issues with live component vaccines be more thoroughly studied and reported upon.

I strongly urge parents to study the very real and potentially disastrous direct and side effects of any drug they place inside their, or their children’s, bodies. Many, if not most, reactions to vaccines are inflammatory… effecting major organs… especially the brain. The layman might not associate such reactions as breathing difficulty, shaking, etc. with the brain. They are, however, deeply connected.

It is also exceptionally important to know, as in the case of flu vaccines, how effective any current offering might be. Year after year, the CDC reports the overall ineffectiveness of the previous season’s vaccine which means millions of dollars wasted and millions of people misled into believing they were protected. (There is only one way to accurately test the effectiveness of a vaccine, any vaccine. It is by challenging every individual inoculated with the antigen for which it was designed. This is never done which leaves widely disparate formulae for statistical rendering of effectiveness).

I have been wearing an elephant talisman for 60+ years and have yet to be harmed by an elephant.. Therefore, the elephant talisman affords a consistent 100% protection. Of course, I was only challenged once by the presence of a caged elephant while visiting a zoo as a child. He took a peanut from my hand.

Mr. Rowan goes on to claim that Dr. Wakefield (having earned his degrees, he is fully entitled to be called “Doctor” regardless of any intended slights by Mr. Rowan and others) claimed there was “…a link between the MMR vaccine and Autism”. This is inaccurate and misleading. Dr. Wakefield et al conducted an initial study to see if they could find a link between MMR, bowel disorders and Autism based on observations related to presenting symptoms post inoculation. That is what studies are for. Researchers see a possible link, investigate it through studies and report on their findings… most often with conclusions that offer recommendations for further studies.

None of the authors of the study stated that there was a causal link between the MMR and Autism. It appeared there may well be some connection but all the participants knew the study, as small as it was, would prove inconclusive yet might point them, and others, in directions which might either prove or disprove this hypothesis. I suggest that Mr. Rowan gain some understanding of what “hypothesis” means. What Doctor Wakefield acknowledged on his own, was that he, personally, could not disregard the close relationship between time of inoculation and disease symptoms and, compared to studies of effect from mono-inoculation, could not stand behind the MMR at that time. Far from being “anti-vax”, he was cautiously recommending a return to a known, safer, method.

First, do no harm.

Mr. Rowan continues that Dr. Wakefield was found to have acted unethically with other charges levied against him. Neglecting to relate any of his comments to the co-author (lead) of the study, Dr. John Walker-Smith, who was also wrongly discredited for the same charges and subsequently exonerated is another instance of misleading readers. By association, Dr. Wakefield, the 2nd researcher/author, is technically also exonerated. However, by law, Dr. Wakefield would need to personally challenge his case to receive the same official result. At the time, he could not afford to do so as he was not funded for appeal by his carrier. Dr. Walker-Smith was covered. If one reads the appeal findings, it becomes clear that the authors were singled out by a single journalist who, it becomes apparent, was inaccurate and largely incorrect in his interpretations of medical reports.

The BMJ has stood by this journalist despite his own recession from statements made and continues to ignore that not only this journalist, but BMJ itself, are compromised by association either financially (through advertising and grants) or through administration (Murdoch Publications, whose owner sits on GMC boards as well reliant on Pharmaceutical advertising) with the manufacturers of vaccines.. including MMR. BMJ and this journalist have consistently accused Dr. Wakefield of fraud. He has never been charged with fraud and were he to be charged, Dr. Walker-Smith would also have been so charged. The false allegations have lead to further false allegations and the myths about the study and Dr. Wakefield have been played and replayed throughout the largely Pharma reliant media… and resurface whenever the topic of vaccines and autism arise. Again, I strongly urge all to investigate the effects, direct and indirect, of vaccines and to take a close look at the MMR. At the same time, look at the accepted defining symptoms of autism and other forms of PDD. It is difficult to dismiss the seeming correlations in need of much further investigation. (BMJ often displays seemingly absurd studies such as this.)

Further, the depth of false allegations against Dr. Wakefield extend to blaming him for a decrease in vaccinations in the UK. No such decrease occurred as people initially took Dr. Wakefield’s opinion for a return to mono-vaccines to heart and did so… thus the vaccination rates did not, as claimed, drop precipitously upon the publication of the MMR study. It was, in fact, a later act of the UK which made the mono-vaccines unavailable and that lead to a drop in rates. The linked video also offers Dr. Wakefield’s response to false allegations regarding financial gains resulting from his work on the study.

I suggest that Mr. Rowan also research the history of false claims against doctors and researchers throughout history and the resultant damage to reputations such false claims produced. Beriberi, SMON, scurvy and pellagra immediately come to mind. Were it not for the tenacity of such doctors and researchers, we would still be in the dark ages of these conditions.

It is notable that Mr. Rowan claims debunking and disreputation of facts presented in VAXXED yet apparently had watched something else as he did not realize the film was centered on a CDC whistleblower, apparently did not know that the researchers on the study, the doctor at the center of the film and Dr. Wakefield are not anti-vaxxers. He also made no effort to name any of the professionals whom he follows behind.

As his casket was lowered into the cruel earth, all his wife could recall was the practitioners words as she and her husband left his clinic. “Trust me… I’m a doctor”. Cures are not determined by edict. They are discovered through inquiry.

What many are as yet unaware… and perhaps shall remain so… is that communicable diseases have cycles of growth and recession which are entirely natural… no proven links being providable through belief in vaccines. It has been claimed that polio was eradicated, small-pox, and other diseases, by vaccine. I direct the reader, and Mr. Rowan, to the following from an old friend, Jon Rappoport . Mind Boggling FDA Confession About Small-Pox Vaccine. Variably, vaccines are, by their manufacturers and by researchers, NIH, CDC, WHO, considered viable in 30 to 70% of those inoculated… and the duration of effect varies from person to person. It is therefor impossible to make any claim to 100% eradication of an antigen. Further, it is well known that live vaccines, once injected into a body, can be communicated to surrounding susceptible bodies and that injectees can, and do, come down with symptoms of the disease for which they were inoculated. Things to consider.

Mr. Rowan continues his missive with ramblings about his personal experience with autism and I feel for him. Having 12 years of providing counseling, therapy and care for Autistic children, I do know the ups and downs quite well.

From there, he selects a few supporters of anti-vax groups in Ireland and the UK. I ask if there were more reputable and noteworthy proponents that were purposely not listed. Still, this is not really about anti-vaxxers but about rational vaxxers. Those who believe the “professionals” Mr. Rowan believes vs. those who question the timing, formulation and scheduling of vaccines… such as Dr. Thompson, Dr. Walker-Smith and Dr. Wakefield.

From this point, Mr. Rowan delves into alternative treatment. Many, I will agree, are bollocks. However, Mr. Rowan, had he a background in science or medicine, would be aware that chelation is a widely used and approved therapy for the removal of heavy metals from the human body. It’s most common use is for removing lead in heavily exposed children and adults. It is also used to remove a myriad of heavy metals from machinists who inadvertently consume sizable amounts through handling lubricants used in machining. It involves the injection of a synthetic amino acid into the blood stream. Other uses are controversial only in that there are differing schools of though as to how it acts in the body. Many, many people attest to its efficacy and their well being post treatment. Vaccines have, variably, as components, forms of aluminum and mercury which are questionable with regard to vaccine damage. The concern increases as ever greater clusters of inoculations occur and combination vaccines come into market.

Bleaching is a very bad idea which evolved from a good one. Food grade peroxide has been used with no ill effect for generations Neutrophils in the body produce hydrogen peroxide as a first line of defense against infection and disease. The MMS “bleach” sold by hucksters should be removed from the market place. There are numerous other therapies that have been tried and rejected over the years with regard to autism. It is a strong caveat to do the research before trying anything.

With regard to Mr. Rowan’s fear message about a return of TB, TB vaccines are not required in the US due to overall ineffectiveness in the population. BCG vaccine has a claimed effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in 20% of children. Further, in children who do become infected, it is said to prevent roughly half from developing the disease. It is not proven to prevent primary infection and, more importantly, does not prevent reactivation of latent pulmonary infection, the principal source of bacillary spread in the community. Like most diseases, TB tends to disappear as environments for living improve. Bernard, from whom Pasteur stole most of his work, understood that “it is not the germ but rather the terrain”.

The remainder of Mr. Rowan’s missive I will disregard as it is extraneous babble in my honest opinion. I may be a bit harsh in presenting my rebuttal but it is not my intention to belittle Mr’ Rowan. I do wish him to see that he is vastly unqualified and unknowledgeable in too may areas to go on the attack of someone who rightly questions science and conducts appropriate research to help move the discussions forward. The doctor under attack for purportedly being an anti-vaxxer and a fraud is the exact opposite. It is dishonest and irresponsible to present such claims absent any genuine comprehension of the subject(s) or the nature of science and research. I sincerely hope Mr. Rowan will truly open his mind and understand the errors of his perceptions and claims. Perpetuation of myths and other forms of misinformation, intentional or otherwise, is a disservice to everyone. [2323 wds]

Palestinians have a legal right to armed struggle

**Originally published in Al Jazeera July 20, 2017. The below is the unedited version with original title & links**

For Some, History is a Failed Recollection

Stanley Cohen

Long ago, it was settled that resistance… even armed struggle… against a colonial occupation force is not just recognized under international law but specifically endorsed.

In accordance with international humanitarian law, wars of national liberation have been expressly embraced, through the adoption of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as a protected and essential right of occupied people everywhere.

Article 1 (4) of Additional Protocol I provides that “international armed conflict” include those in which people are fighting against “colonial domination, alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination.”

Finding evolving vitality in humanitarian law, for decades the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA)… once described as the collective conscience of the world… has noted the right of peoples to “self-determination… independence… and human rights.

Indeed, as early as 1974, resolution 3314 of the UNGA prohibited states from “any military occupation, however temporary” and included bombardments, blockades, or forced annexations of any lands by an occupying state as examples of gross international transgressions.

In relevant part, the resolution not only went on to affirm the right “to self- determination, freedom and independence of peoples forcibly deprived of that right, particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes or other forms of alien domination” but noted the right of the occupied to “struggle… and to seek and receive support ” in that effort.

The term “armed-struggle” was implied without precise definition in that resolution and many other early ones that upheld the right of indigenous persons to evict an occupier [See, i.e. resolutions 2649 (1970), 2955 (1972), 3070 (1973), 3246 (1974), 3382 (1975), 33/24 (1978), 34/44 (1979), 35/35 (1980) and 36/9 (1981), as well as Security Council resolutions 418 (1977) and 437 (1978)].

This imprecision was to change on December 3, 1982. At that time UNGA resolution 37/43 removed any doubt or debate over the lawful entitlement of occupied people to resist occupying forces by any and all lawful means.

In short, the resolution held: “This House reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle”.

Though Israel has tried, time and time again, to recast the unambiguous intent of this precise resolution… and thus place it’s now half -century occupation in the West Bank and Gaza beyond its application… it is an effort worn thin to the point of palpable illusion by the exacting language of the declaration itself.

Thus, in relevant part, section 21 of the resolution strongly condemned “the expansionist activities of Israel in the Middle East and the continual bombing of Palestinian civilians, which constitute a serious obstacle to the realization of the self-determination and independence of the Palestinian people”.

Never ones to hesitate in rewriting history, long before the establishment of the United Nations, European Zionists deemed themselves to be an occupied people as they immigrated to Palestine… a land to which any historical connection had long since passed through a largely voluntary transit.

Indeed, a full 50 years before the UN spoke of the right of armed struggle as a vehicle of indigenous liberation, European Zionists illegally co-opted the concept as the Irgun,  Lehi and other terrorist groups undertook a decade’s long reign of deadly mayhem. During this time, they slaughtered not only thousands of indigenous Palestinians but targeted British police and military personnel that had long maintained a colonial presence there.

Perhaps, as Israelis sit down to mourn the loss of two of their occupation forces shot dead, this past week, in Jerusalem… in what many consider to be a lawful act of resistance… a visit down memory lane might just place the events in their proper historical context.

Describing the British as an occupation force in “their homeland,” long ago Zionists targeted British police and military units with ruthless abandon throughout Palestine and elsewhere.

Thus, on April 12, 1938, the Irgun murdered 2 British police officers in a train bombing in Haifa. On August 26, 1939 two British officers were killed by an Irgun land mine in Jerusalem. On February 14, 1944 two British constables were shot dead when they attempted to make arrests for pasting up wall posters in Haifa. On September 27, 1944 more than a hundred members of the Irgun attacked 4 British police stations injuring hundreds of officers. Two days later a senior British police officer of the Criminal Intelligence Department was assassinated in Jerusalem. On November 1, 1945 another police officer was killed as 5 trains were bombed. On December 27, 1945 seven British officers lost their lives in a bombing on police headquarters in Jerusalem. On November 9–13, 1946 Jewish underground members launched a series of land mine and suitcase bomb attacks against railroad stations, trains, and streetcars, killing 11 British soldiers and policemen and 8 Arab constables. Four more officers were murdered in another attack on police headquarters on January 12, 1947. Nine months later four British police were murdered in an Irgun bank robbery and, but three days later, on September 26, 1947, another thirteen officers were killed in still yet another terrorist attack on a British police station.

These are but a few of many more attacks directed by Zionist terrorists at British police who were seen, by mostly European Jews, as legitimate targets of a campaign they described as one of liberation against an occupation force.

Throughout this period, Jewish terrorists also murdered hundreds of British military personal as they undertook countless attacks that spared no part of the British and Palestinian infrastructure.

Financing these terrorist attacks through bank robberies, extortion, and some private donations, the “underground” assaulted British military and police installations, government offices, and ships… often with bombs. They also sabotaged railroads, bridges, and oil installations. Dozens of economic targets were attacked… among them, 20 trains, which were damaged or derailed, along with five train stations. Numerous attacks were carried out against the oil industry including one, in March 1947, on a Shell Oil refinery in Haifa which destroyed some 16,000 tons of petroleum.

Zionist terrorists killed British soldiers throughout Palestine, using booby traps, ambushes, snipers, and vehicle blasts. British armored vehicles were bombed by remotely detonated IED’s disguised as milestones which blew apart vehicles and killed or injured their occupants.

One attack, in particular, sums up the terrorism of those who, without any force of international law at the time, saw no limitation to their efforts to “liberate” land to which they had, largely, only recently immigrated.

In 1947, the Irgun kidnapped two British Army Intelligence Corps NCOs threatening to hang them if death sentences, passed on three of their own members, were carried out.

When their own men were executed by hanging, the two sergeants were themselves hung… with their booby-trapped bodies left in a eucalyptus grove.

In announcing their execution, the Irgun stated the two British soldiers were hanged following their conviction for “criminal anti-Hebrew activities” which included: “ illegal entry into the Hebrew homeland; membership in a British criminal terrorist organisation… known as the Army of Occupation… which was responsible for the torture, murder, deportation, and denying the Hebrew people the right to live; illegal possession of arms; anti-Jewish spying in civilian clothes; and premeditated hostile designs against the underground.”

Well beyond the territorial confines of Palestine, in late 1946-1947, a continuing campaign of terrorism was directed at the British. Thus, acts of sabotage were carried out on British military transportation routes in Germany. The Lehi also tried, unsuccessfully, to drop a bomb on the House of Commons from a chartered plane flown from France and, in October 1946, bombed the British Embassy in Rome… injuring three. A number of other explosive devices were detonated in London, including one at the Colonial Club… an establishment catering to soldiers and students from British colonies in Africa and the West Indies. The bombing injured some servicemen. On another occasion, an attempt was made to destroy the Colonial Office in London with a large bomb which malfunctioned after its timer broke. Some 21 letter bombs were addressed. at various times. to senior British political figures, including Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin. Many were intercepted, while others reached their targets but were discovered before they could go off. An Irgun explosives factory was also discovered in London.

Self determination is a difficult, costly march for the occupied. In Palestine, no matter what the weapon of choice… whether voice, pen or gun… there is a steep price to be paid for its use.

Today, “speaking truth to power” has become very much a popular mantra of resistance in neo-liberal circles and societies. In Palestine, however, for the occupied and oppressed it is an all but certain path to prison or death. Yet, for generations of Palestinians stripped of the very breathe that resonates with the feel of freedom, history teaches there is simply no other choice.

Silence is surrender. To be silent is to betray all those that have come before and all those yet to follow.

For those who have never felt the constant yoke of oppression, or seen it up close, it is a vision beyond comprehension. Occupation sits heavy on the occupied, ever day in every way, limiting who you are and what you may dare to become.

The constant rub of barricades, guns, orders, prison and death are fellow travelers for the occupied … whether infants, teens in the spring of life, the elderly, or those trapped by the artificial confines of borders over which they have no control.

To the families of the two Israeli Druze policemen who lost their lives while trying to control a place that was not theirs to command, I extend my condolences. These young men were, however, not lost to the ring of resistance… but willingly sacrificed by an evil occupation that bears no legitimacy whatsoever.

Ultimately, if there is grieving to be done, it must be for the eleven million occupied, whether in Palestine or outside, as so much stateless refugees, stripped of a meaningful voice and opportunity, as the world makes excuses built largely of a political and economic gift box that bears the Star of David.

Not a day goes by, now, without the chilling wail of a Nation watching over a Palestinian infant wrapped in a burial shroud… stripped of life because electricity or transit have become a perverse privilege which holds millions hostage to the political whims of the few. Be they Israeli, Egyptian or those who claim to carry the mantle of Palestinian political leadership, the responsibility of infanticide in Gaza is theirs and theirs alone.

The three young men, cousins, who willingly sacrificed their lives in the attack on the two Israeli officers in Jerusalem, did so not as an empty gesture born of desperation, but rather a personal statement that follows a long line of others who well understood the price of freedom can, at times, mean all.

For seventy years, not a day has passed without the loss of other young Palestinian women and men who, tragically, found greater dignity and freedom in martyrdom than they did in obedient, passive living controlled by those who dared to dictate the parameters of their lives.

Millions of us worldwide dream of a better time and place for Palestinians… free to spread their wings, to soar, to discover who they are and what they wish to become. Until then, I mourn not for the loss of those who stop their flight. But applaud I do for those who dare to struggle… dare to win… and by any means necessary.

There is no magic to resistance and struggle. They transcend time and place and derive their very meaning and ardor in the natural inclination, indeed drive, of us all to be free… to be free to determine the roll of our own lives.

In Palestine, no such freedom exists. In Palestine, international law recognizes the fundamental rights to self- determination, freedom and independence for the occupied. In Palestine, that includes the right to armed struggle, if necessary.

Long ago, the famed abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, wrote of struggle. These words resonate no less so today, in Palestine, than they did some one hundred and fifty years ago in the heart of the Antebellum South in the United States:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

 

Oscar López Rivera. The Puerto Rican Day Parade. Y Nosotros.

Oscar López Rivera. The Puerto Rican Day Parade. Y Nosotros.

by

Pablo Guzmán

Oscar López Rivera 17 May 2017 (Carlos Giusti/AP)

I first wrote a shorter version of this for an unsolicited NY Times Op-Ed which I submitted 24 May 2017. It was not accepted. Almost immediately though it was soon eclipsed by rapidly moving events: more sponsors dropping out, more BS from politicos. And finally, Oscar’s “Enough.” So, I’m updating and expanding here.

The second Sunday of June. As every New Yorker knows that means, The Ricans are coming! The Ricans are coming! (from 1958 through 1960, the Parade was in April). This year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade is probably the most controversial yet. Because Parade organizers at first chose to honor Oscar López Rivera as its first “National Freedom Hero.” Within days, Goya Foods dropped its sponsorship of the Parade. That seemed to signal both talk about some Latinos boycotting Goya (a company whose founding family is from Spain, though even many Latins believe it’s from one of the Islands); and, other American businesses going, “Well if Goya’s out…” providing cover for corporations like the New York Yankees and JetBlue (though each will continue scholarships for Puerto Rican students) and AT&T and Coca-Cola. Then came those giants of free speech, Univision and Telemundo, followed by the departures of politicos like Gov. Cuomo. Plus several law enforcement organizations, including the NYPD, and the Fire Department’s unions. In addition, musician Willie Colón who is also a Sheriff Sergeant with Westchester’s Department of Public Safety, has blasted the decision.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio whose senior advisor Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez is also Chair of the Parade Committee, had been outwardly trying to appear “pro” López Rivera while everyone knew he was growing increasingly nervous with every defection leaving him more “exposed” to charges of supporting “terror.” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had been outfront for some time calling for López Rivera’s release from prison, and was a major supporter of honoring him at the Parade. But since she is hitting term limits this year, her political status is different than the Mayor’s. He’s up for re-election, and though the front runner, is hoping for a wide victory margin to boost whatever move he makes after City Hall. Without the taint of having “supported a terrorist.”

Finally, López Rivera graciously gave everybody breathing room, saying he would decline “the honor” and just march like every other “humble Puerto Rican.” A couple of weeks out of prison after 36 years, no wonder Oscar decided, Who needs this mess? No one profited more from Oscar’s “thanks but no thanks” than de Blasio. Which of course now has even casual observers wondering who was twisting what arms behind the scenes. Like, de Blasio also threatening to pull out unless López Rivera stepped back.

Stir in to this Parade controvérsia the “debate” regarding López fueled by corporations, mainstream media, individuals, and associations that also happen to absolutely hate the notion of Puerto Rican independence. Not just as affirmed by the FALN. But, by anyone. My former Young Lords colleague Juan Gonzalez wrote in a Daily News op-ed on June 4th “The boycott campaign was quietly organized by a right-wing conservative group in Washington, D.C., the Media Research Center, that receives major funding from donors close to both President Trump and to Breitbart News.” Gonzalez is a master at research. I will bet most people still have not connected those dots. It reminds me of when I was in Federal prison because I was a Young Lord, and my two organized crime connected uncles passed the word to “look out for the kid.” After wise guys asked if I was all right or needed cigarettes (I’m not a smoker) somebody would say, “Ay, what’s the matter with you? This is a great country!” “Maybe for you!” So, this is not really about Oscar López Rivera for this bunch. It is about stopping ALL the damn open-minded or proud or inquisitive Puerto Ricans. Who might also ask, Just what is all this history between PR and the United States? Is Puerto Rico really a colony? Who else besides Oscar López and the FALN ever stood up for independence? Just how free are we? No, those are not questions some folks want Puerto Ricans to ask.

Frankly, the only people with a legitimate animosity, in my view, to López Rivera in the Parade are the families of those killed or injured in FALN bombings. And the comrades of police officers injured. That, I understand. The fact that López Rivera was not charged for example with the January 24, 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing near Wall Street which killed four innocent people and wounded fifty-three others is, understandably, a moot point to them.

That bomb went off about 1:20 on a Friday afternoon. Lunch time. My mother worked nearby. And was nearly hit by debris, including broken glass. She got to a phone and called her son. My phone. My tapped-five-ways-from-Sunday phone. Though I had recently left the Young Lords and was still on parole. “You tell your friends I could have been killed!” “MOM!” “We are innocent people! It’s lunchtime! Do you know how crowded it is?!” “MOM WE CAN’T TALK ON THE PHONE!” “You listen to your mother! I’m all for our people, I was with you at the Church, I was at your trial, but this is not right!” “MomIloveyougottago.” First time I ever hung up on my mother.

That the FALN took credit had not been widely known yet. But boy, she knew.

At the time, I had been looking desperately for work. Any time it seemed I might catch a break, like once with the phone company, the FBI would show up and scare off prospective employers. A couple of days after that call with my mother, I trudged back home to my Bronx apartment, tired from the job search. I came back to life when I saw my door was a bit open. Inside was Detective Joe Wiscovitch, who had been assigned to “liason” a few years earlier with us. Actually, he could be pretty funny. He went on to become a VP at Banco Popular, and then set up his own firm.

“Why are you here?”

“They think you leaving the Lords was a smokescreen. That you’re really joining the leadership of the FALN.”

“WHOA!”

I wondered if Joe really thought that himself while he was feeling me out.

Oscar López Rivera was awarded a Bronze Star in Vietnam. For years, he did the hard work of community organizing in Chicago. Creating educational and health spaces, and protesting police brutality. If you’ve never done it: it IS work. You can’t fake it or half-step. He had a life of service BEFORE the FALN connection. So, he had a history. For his country. And, for his community. Clearly, something happened. But just what, most of us on the outside don’t fully know.

Oscar López Rivera was convicted — for “seditious conspiracy” — primarily on the word of an informant. And the mostly circumstantial evidence the FBI and police in Chicago and New York presented. Anyone with even casual knowledge of the use of informants in mob cases, Black Panther trials, or drug takedowns knows these informants will say anything to make a deal or get a buck or inflate their worth. Alfredo Mendez, originally an FALN defendant, got his sentence reduced from 75 years to 20 and was put in witness protection.

What the government did manage to do was build a sense that Oscar was up to something. That may have involved transporting weapons. Perhaps explosives. That, maybe, he showed people how to build a bomb. I’m not belittling that. Those are quite serious charges. And if true, hard to defend. Yes: I know the comparisons to everyone who has FOUGHT for freedom. Whether Mandela, or Begin. Over time, and depending on whom you support, things have a tendency to be cast in a different light. There is mucho truth in “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.”

And if my father, my daughter, was killed by a bomb for Puerto Rican independence. That would bring me up short. If my mother had lost an eye or a leg outside Fraunces Tavern…I’d be frozen for more than a little bit.

Yes. I would prefer Puerto Rico to be free. Most folks want their country free. Why the hell not? If you think a million Puerto Rican flags are waving on Fifth Avenue because people are mainly expressing Am I glad to be Americanyet not also shouting I love being Puerto Rican; or because the desire for independence is some Stateside romance that is not consistent with Island reality; you are either insane, or the Latino equivalent of Ben “Poverty is a state of mind” Carson. Anyone who raises that nonsense about “independence has never had a strong showing in a vote in Puerto Rico” — do you also run three card monte games to put your kids through school? First, none of these plebiscites (including the one taking place this second Sunday of June) is BINDING on the U.S. Congress. They don’t mean squat.So, they’re not taken seriously. By the voters or anyone. And, Congress will NEVER approve Statehood for Puerto Rico. Get real. Years ago, most of the Statehood people were really, false pride people. “We’re as good as they are” “We’ve proven ourselves.” Now, more people going for Statehood are motivated by fear. Fear that the empty truth about “Commonwealth” has been exposed. Fear that the Great White U.S. Father will “abandon” us. That we have to cement our status quickly. Before a window that was never really open for us closes.

Quite honestly, many Puerto Ricans are scared about Independence. What the hell is out there? Maybe the world is flat. Maybe we can’t build creative, sustaining, businesses and an economy. Maybe we can’t shrink corruption. Maybe these are the only politicians around.

I don’t believe any of that. And I don’t think most Puerto Ricans do.

I was born and raised “here;” my parents, “here.” Three of my grandparents, “there.” And one from Cuba. Somehow, at 18, I became a founder and leader of a Puerto Rican radical group. The Young Lords Party. We built an organization still talked-about and — I say this as humbly and as honestly as I can — still admired. Around two main organizing principles. Equality for Puerto Ricans within the United States. And, Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre. Oh yeah: and if we had to, we’d fight for it. The government soon made it pretty clear, You spics gotta fight for every. Damn. Thing.

You want respect? Fight for it. You want a claim to the laws that are already on the books? Fight for it. You want a future for your kids? Fight for it. Hell, you live in those stinkin’ neighborhoods with so much crime and health problems and bad food and no services and failing schools because YOU PEOPLE want to live that way!

Our Young Lord compadres in Chicago were a year ahead of us in wising up and already knew, asking for reforms wasn’t going to cut it. As we got started in New York, just going to a local Sanitation office to get brooms to clean up the block was met with “You spics get the fuck outta here.” We had to fight for every inch. Free breakfast programs, Puerto Rican studies, lead poison tests, TB tests, a new hospital, clean streets, no heroin sales near schools, representation on city agencies, cops busting any Puerto Rican’s head just because they could, airplay for Latin music, safety for welfare mothers marching, even flying the Puerto Rican flag — speaking out about all those things whether major or minor, were met with waves of police swinging clubs at us, or infiltrating us.

We were militant, certainly, If hit, we fought back. That alone got us branded. Who do you think you ARE, fighting back?! Lie down and take it! I know for many of you this is strong stuff. Shocking, perhaps. But I am not exaggerating. The greatest compliment I ever got about the Young Lords were from folks from a generation before us: “You did what we should have done.” That also meant, the crap thrown at us did not begin when we started in 1969.

We were called “terrorists” and “a gang.” “Thugs.” “Crooks.” Spanish media said we wore Afros because we were really “Black” not “Hispanic.” One Spanish-language newspaper said we raped young women as we brainwashed them to become members. That we got checks from Fidel Castro.

The FALN announced themselves just as an unfortunate combination of internal and external events culminated in the end of the Young Lords. As the Lords were fragmenting at the end of 1974, the FALN was getting started. The second known action police believed to be done by the FALN was on October 26, 1974. Five bombs placed outside five banks. A “communique” said it was both for the five Puerto Rican political prisoners held at the time (Oscar Collazo, Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero and Irving Flores). And also to commemorate the October 30, 1950 independence uprising in Jayuya and other towns in Puerto Rico led by Albizu Campos’ Nationalist Party.

However, something about all this made many of us in the Lords suspicious, and we made those suspicions public. Flying glass does not discriminate. Bombs alone do not organize resistance; they scare people. Hurting innocent people only makes people stand with the innocent. As we should. Even though FALN “communiques” tried to link their actions to the Puerto Rican “cause” there was way too little “groundwork” done for the average person to go, “Oh, THAT was because of THIS” and throw up a clenched fist in support. The third known “attack” on December 11, 1974 sealed it for us. A phony 911 call to a booby trap at a building in Spanish Harlem. And the first officer inside “happened” to be a rookie Puerto Rican cop, Angelo Poggi, who lost an eye. Police later displayed a piece of the front door. The NY Times described “a crudely drawn hammer and sickle with the words ‘The W.A.S.P.S. own this country and we the minorities must change it.’ ”

Could anything BE more full of crap? No one talked that way. Certainly not in the movement. “The W.A.S.P.S.?” “Minorities?” A hammer and sickle?

The subsequent “communique” claimed the phony 911 call was retaliation for a suspicious death ten days earlier at the 25th Precinct in Spanish Harlem. Tito Perez, a member of the artistic collective Taller Boricua, had been arrested for “disorderly conduct” — playing congas at a subway station. Somehow, while two friends who had also been picked up were in the front of the station house, Tito was beaten in the back of the precinct; his larynx was broken. Police said he killed himself. Few believed that.

NYPD Officer (Ret.) Angel Poggi today (Rose Davis/Daily News)

However, far more people learned about Officer Poggi in our community citywide than they did about Tito Perez, which was understandable. A bomb. A Puerto Rican cop. And NOT the cop who may have killed Tito Perez. Our community was rightfully indignant. And so were we. This smacked of J. Edgar Hoover’s subversive COINTELPRO program. Ultimately, we learned that there were a few within the FALN whom we had once considered honest supporters of independence. But we wondered if as well any law enforcement agencies had undercovers or informants stirring the pot.

Our own organization had such spies, and it was not uncommon. Every group had the virus. In fact, we had a slew of them from the very beginning: the New York Young Lords were the coming together of three smaller groups. One from the Lower East Side turned out to be composed primarily of cops who had been placed in the area that was long known for being a radical hotbed. Those cops accidentally hit the jackpot when they joined us.

Across the board, “things were different then.” Many African-American police officers, fed up with the racism in their own ranks, sometimes gave us tips. The NYPD “beat” the FBI because Hoover’s racism was such that the Bureau didn’t have enough Puerto Rican agents to blend in, and encouraged white agents with that “Italian” or “Mediterranean” look to grow mustaches and let their hair grow. But the NYPD had Latinos and Blacks in Narcotics, and transferred that crew to groups like ours, under the aegis of the Bureau of Special Services or, yes, BOSS. But that bunch were often cowboys, loose cannons and corrupt from their time in Narcotics. Many were more interested in sleeping with female members, getting a couple pregnant. But we were from the streets too, and were able to work drug circles and compare notes. Exposing this scum in particular was tricky: last thing we wanted to do was maim an undercover cop. However, if a sister slugged a guy on the way out…

We would all like simple, cut and dry stories. Bad guys and good guys. Black and white. Up. Down. Yes: there is no excuse for taking innocent lives to make a political point. There is no excuse for using a bomb to substitute for the work that should be done to organize more people on the side of “Enough!” But I am no naive dreamer. And critics of López Rivera’s presence at the Parade have to see the larger picture and not discard it. Understand being furious about the U.S. squeezing Puerto Rico till it is dry. Understand that those hedge funds got away with creating this debt without any watchdog screaming “Jail!” And corrupt or at best inept politicians were either on the take or clueless. Pardon us if we don’t expect relief at the ballot box. Pardon us if we don’t believe in “reforms” we’ve already seen do nothing. Pardon those of us who can disagree with López Rivera on lives taken or destroyed but who are also furious about how we are kept to a second class status. And if by some cataclysm of popular disgust eighty per cent, say, of the Puerto Ricans on the Island and in the States got so fed up we were all at the barricades demanding meaningful and thorough change — we would be met with bullets batons tear gas imprisonment without trial and assassination. We’ve seen all these things on a smaller scale. We know history. And we know the U.S. apparatus. It should not have to get to that point. Enlightened minds on all sides should create meaningful change. Should. And way overdue. But don’t harrumph and tsk and get all self-righteous when people rise up. Don’t be “shocked” if you did nothing to truly improve a situation. Don’t claim ignorance. Don’t put “trouble” on some small group of armed independentistas.

When a truly sizable group, armed or not but ticked off. Comes walking down the block.

Show me your papers

Show me your papers

The President of the “United” States, Donito Trumpolini, has empowered hundreds of thousands of racist police to racially profile all non-whites as potential “illegal” humans who are subject to deportation ostensibly for criminal activity. Such activity, believe it or not, might be as simple as jay-walking or spitting on the sidewalk. Technically, the “crime” of entering the US “illegally” is sufficient criminality warranting detention/deportation. Worse, it can be at the discretion of the police that an individual might, in his/her opinion, pose a threat to citizens and/or “National Security”. This amounts to “Stop & Frisk” on steroids nationwide. “Show me your papers.”

Since Donito took office, thousands of immigrants with varying status have requested church sanctuary and/or headed to the “welcome arms” of our Northern neighbour, Canada. Doors are being knocked and kicked in by ICE and Border Patrols are chasing down anyone who looks like he/she may have once picked grapes or strawberries or cleaned a rich man’s house. Mothers and fathers are being separated from their children (and even children are being detained) and either held in unsanitary cages called “detention” centers or deported to the countries from where they escaped in fear for their lives… countries torn apart by US interference in their elections and economies: often supporting the regimes brutalizing these immigrant humans.

In recent days, incidents of ICE agents waiting outside churches and church shelters to grab handfuls of Latinos… and stalking schools in wait of parents dropping off their children only to be pounced upon and shackled to the sound of frightened tears have surfaced. And Donito, while it is actually happening, suggests he is “considering” separating children from their parents as they cross the US Mexican border.

This, on top of Donito’s “Travel Ban” dictates, which target Muslims (and those who look like they might be Muslims), and that have been temporarily shut down by numerous federal judges across the nation, now supposedly rewritten yet essentially the same, are, despite the claimed urgency of “National Security”, a month later, again delayed for at least another week. Apparently not so urgent, these dictates, but no less a hovering threat to hundreds of thousands of immigrant humans and potential immigrant humans.

And if there is any doubt that racism is behind all of this, one need only look at the “White Power” advocates surrounding Donito as advisors. Stephen Bannon of the “alt-right” (White Power) Breitbart hate site and avowed racist, Stephen Miller, recently shown flashing, despite claims by Snopes to the contrary, White Power hand signals (a stretch by Snopes to suggest he was adjusting his suit and the ADL in believing Jews embracing White Power are not accepted by this “movement”). The histories behind these two close advisors to Donito as well as Donito’s own history and recent examples of racism (ranting at a black reporter to schedule a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus as if it were her job to do his bidding and the assumption that all blacks know each other… and his blasting a Jewish questioner for asking a, to Donito, complex question and barking at him to sit down).. let alone comments made during his campaign toward Hispanic/Latino people, Muslims and others as well his total disregard for Native Americans… speak volumes.

Donito Trumpolini, who professes to be the great uniter who will end the divisions of race, color, religion, national origin etc has, in one month in office, done more to enhance existential divisions and, in so doing, create an atmosphere of fear, distrust, hatred and nationwide anxiety.. and panic.

Historical Prejudice and Migration

In the history of the United States, there have been several occasions where individuals and groups of individuals have had to flee either the states or territories in which they lived… and even the US, itself. Many people, having been taught limited perspectives of US history mistakenly believe a famous mechanism for such escape, the Underground Railroad, began with Harriet Tubman. In fact, such a mechanism began shortly after white immigrants “illegally” entered the Turtle Island and declared it’s ancient inhabitants “heathens” subject to slaughter or slavery. Leaders of tribes and the tribes, themselves, were often declared wild animals subject to hunts. Some were so severely persecuted that families sought help from distant tribes as well as empathetic settlers (though there were few) to safely gain passage to lands away from the hunters. Natives from the colonies were forced to move both West and North.

The Underground Railway of Harriet Tubman was a series of passages, deceptions and safe houses used to help fleeing black slaves gain safety in the relatively less racist North where, as opposed to being viewed as animals, they were perceived as partial humans.

The Vietnam travesty of corporate/military imperialism saw a resurrection of the Underground Railroad where were used some of the very same churches, safe houses and passages used by Harriet Tubman and others… this time to aid deserters and conscientious objectors. Further found and created were passages into Canada … some once used as prohibition era back roads and trails for the smuggling of illegal alcohol.

Most every ethnic peoples having, over the history of the US, entered this land as an immigrant, legally or not, has had to use some form of escape from the hatred of others… most often created through the manipulations of politicians and wars. Each group would wind up in segregated areas such as The Acre in Lowell, Ma., where Jack Kerouac was raised, or the Five Points in Manhattan, to name just two. Persecuted in the lands from where they came or forced by economic hardships and wars, millions of immigrant humans entered the US with a promise and a belief that circumstances would be better. The US was not, and never has been, the land of milk and honey. It was, and remains, the land of avarice and bitter unwarranted hate toward the “other”. From the settlement centers such as the 2 above, further escape eventually became necessary as jobs became scarce due to recessions… and one ethnic population grew larger than the others or newer ethnic migrant groups arrived. This lead to a false perception of a homogeneous population and culture as the various groups thinned out into other towns and states. Propagandists have called this the Great American Melting Pot. This “thinning”, in reality, merely spread the prejudices and resulting turmoil to other towns and states.

As example, having supplanted the Irish, French Canadians became dominant in The Acre… and with the immigration of Greek families moving into The Acre, eventually diminishing job prospects in the factories there, French Canadians moved to New Hampshire… and as newer groups of immigrant labour moved to The Acre, Greek families moved across state lines in their search and found that factories were again dominated by French Canadian workers and so the process of supplanting the French Canadians began anew.. creating fear, dissension and hate.

But then came the “niggers” (Southern Blacks, Jamaicans, Haitians, Dominicans) and the “spics” (Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Central & South Americans)… and the “gooks” (Cambodians, Laotians,Hmong and Vietnamese). All who had been fairly recent arrivals to the settlement areas and were slowly infiltrating white suburbia and inner cities. History repeats. Ignorance repeats. Hate repeats.

As Northern labour markets decided cheaper labour was needed, Central and South American immigrant humans were sought out and moved to the region. Viewed as hapless beasts of burden, the factories and farms took great advantage. An area of lush orchards, Jamaicans were also sought (taller than the Hispanic/Latinos). What was once the mainly South Western Bracero under a limited agricultural worker exchange program became a blind eye undocumented factory worker program in the North and North East.

By the late 80’s and early 90’s, Central and South Americans were a common work force in these regions… then the factories closed one by one and the farms and orchards failed. Only a few survived. The migrant humans took whatever jobs they could possibly find and many fell prey to the drug dealers and cartels… many of whom were ruthless Colombian cartel soldiers and Salvadorians with long established gang affiliations.

Gangs and Criminality

There were always gangs. Whether it was the French Canadian migrant, the Irish, the Lithuanian, Greek, Jew, Vietnamese or whomever, there were always gangs. Criminality afforded a perception of survival and protection. Such offerings and acquaintances were, and likely always will be, easier and more common to experience than one might believe. It comes as no surprise that many who left Central and South America were hoping to escape gangs as well as rogue governments only to find more and different gangs (as well as those they ran from) and only slightly less repressive government.

Human nature is to survive. The dream is to thrive. Gangs offered the desolate an opportunity to make money where little existed… and very little exists in the inner city enclaves where the no longer needed nor wanted are pushed to hide and be hidden. Too, they offered the hospital, jail or the grave. The police and government, not surprisingly similar to the gangs, offer the same.

America has now been fed the perception, bolstered by a racist president, that these gangs represent the immigrant… that the immigrant brings the crimes of these gangs across the border and threaten the lives of everyone (meaning every white one). And those who are not in gangs are, there being no longer an existing Bracero Program and so few factory jobs, a threat to the labour force in America.

Snake Oil, Jobs and Immigration

The Great Divider, Donito Trumpolini, believes he can muster enough factory jobs by blackmailing companies who, rather than import labour, set up factories to the South and to lesser developed countries across the globe. Automation guarantees the opposite. More jobs have, in the last few decades, been lost to automation as opposed to immigration. Yet, even with the historically low southern migration of the last 8 years (due in part to the 2008 recession, Obama’s silent mass deportations and the growth of jobs in the South), Donito has stirred up a hornets nest of fear and anxiety… along with hatred about the possibly 11 million migrants still living here… many far too old or too young to throw a gang sign if ever they knew one.

Based on the images bandied about in the media and the constant imbecilic refrains from Donito, one might think the majority of those currently migrating to the US or overstaying their visas are primarily Mexican. Big mistake. It may surprise that one of the largest groups of “illegals” who have overstayed their visas in recent years are Canadians. From the Southern border, the makeup of immigration is from Central and South America as well as sub-Saharan Africa. While over half of all undocumented humans in the US currently are believed to be Mexican, they have been steadily returning South on their own due to increased opportunity there as opposed to here. Those remaining here do so mostly as a result of having children born here. Most have now been here for 20 years or more. Despite Donito’s “clarification” of deportable humans being those, undocumented, for less than 2 years, the media is finding no shortage of cases where mothers and/or fathers, here for decades, are shackled and deported.

The Result of Negative Policy

In the past eight months, the Underground Railroad has reopened for business… and some unscrupulous individuals are viewing it as a business as they charge anywhere from $50 to $500 per head to take undocumented humans, and those with expired visas or possibly past or present criminal charges, to the Canadian border and, in some cases, across.

There are numerous locations along a still porous north and northwest border used to attempt avoiding the unnecessary hassle of US Border Patrol trying to enforce apprehension/deportation prior to families attempting the 3rd Safe Country Passage Protocol at major US-Canadian Border centers. People make the mistake of going to monitored US-Canadian crossings in the belief this program will protect them. They will still be subject to US Border controls and given the royal run around. If, by some chance, anyone in the party has an unpaid parking ticket, are on some list, or appear, to the agent, a threat they are likely to be held for deportation and not allowed to continue on to Canada. Should they make it through to Canada, they will be subject to the Canadian Border Customs policies… although they will likely be allowed to apply for refugee status.

People brought to the porous border, know, or should know, that if not first apprehended by local police, ICE or US Border Patrol, they will be arrested immediately in Canada. The US Border Patrol, when asked, give a standard political response that US and Canada Customs work closely together to insure all crossings are conducted legally. News reports show Canadian Mounties assisting illegal crossers with luggage and children at various foot path areas. No attempts are made to turn them away with orders to enter only at official crossings. Humanity and civility do exist.

No agency, on either side of the border, can give accurate numbers of those crossing illegally but estimates range in the thousands from the West Coast to the East. Prior, it was a trickle. For a time, it was more likely that Mounties would be greeting Central and South Americans, however, with the advent of the Trumpolini Executive Order, increased numbers of people from the notorious 7 banned states have been noted. The Canadian side does not record data on origins at the border. Services inside Canada will have a better grasp on this.

From various sources, very little intrusion exists once arrested. Phone dumping is rarely reported. Papers are examined, Criminal records searches are made. Charges are brought for illegal entry and a court date is set. Depending on case loads, this can take 2 weeks to 2 months. In the interim, immigrant people are assisted in filing for refuge status and housing/shelter is found. Other services such as health are also provided. No detention cages and children remain with their parents. Refuge status can be a very lengthy process when done from outside Canada… as long as five years. Once inside Canada, it is a relatively short process to obtain determination of status. Some, such as Syrians and Eritreans can get immediate status with exceptionally few being turned down.

Fear and Choices

A fearful refugee family has to make a choice. Stay in the US and likely be scooped up at some near point by either police, ICE or Border patrol, try to exist in sanctuary for indeterminable amounts of time with little to no ability to sustain themselves, risk passage to, and likely failure at, an official border crossing, spend high dollars amounts per head in an attempt to be smuggled through an official border crossing or port, spend high dollar amounts per head to be transported to a known Mountie patrolled/manned foot path, risk doing so on foot, risk passage to unmanned territory where they can then try to cross and assimilate much as they have in the US. This latter choice presents extreme health risks such as loss of digits and limbs, even life, to harsh weather conditions.

Under the Canadian system of services, it is likely, having chosen the last option, they will eventually wind up detained. Canada is pretty forgiving so they may still be able to apply for refugee status but there are no guarantees. Once detained, however, they become eligible for health and housing services which, while now becoming stretched due to the ever increasing numbers of people crossing the border, remain available.

Guidance and Actions

It is essential that travelers attempt to locate responsible and respectable assistance to make safe journeys from where ever they may be. One who might accept cash for gas but no more. Many sanctuaries can help to locate such individuals.

Preparation is needed and based largely on the choice families/individuals make as to how they will attempt refuge. Special concerns regarding the needs of children, weather, communication are important. Sanctuary helpers are rapidly becoming savvy to such needs and can be most helpful in preparing for refuge seeking.

Every day, more people join the sanctuary movement. And despite any oddball claims coming from the mouth of, or administration of, Donito Trumpolini… Canada has indicated no intentions to limit the number of refuge seekers crossing the border regardless of the route they may take to do so.

Still, more people need to come forward. The US, and the world, has at least 4 years of the madness from Donito Trumpolini and his White Power government (Unless he somehow strangles himself in his own stage rigging). That means more families needing help, more compassionate and savvy assistants… and lots of common sense.

Get friends and family to support sanctuaries, organize and attend town meetings and Representative Town Hall Meetings and speaking engagements. Go to Trump campaign rallies.. Yes.. he will continue to do these rallies. They boost his sagging ego. Confront and question. Demonstrate. Run as independents against both Democrats and Republicans in every open Congressional and Senatorial Race. 2018 will come quickly… so get going. Let everyone know that the only way to stop Trumpolini is to stop the Republican advantage. Democrats are a bunch of corrupt, useless idiots who only know one game. Stop the game. Stand up! Be independent of the corporate parties. Be clear on why you are independent.

Trumpolini investigated the possibility of unleashing 100,000 National Guard troops to carry out his sadistic immigration policies. The realities of that plan caused him to retreat. He still threatens withholding of funds from sanctuary states and cities. These entities can either buckle under or sue and/or threaten right back with notice that all supports will no longer be afforded to federal agencies and representatives. Think of what it might look like if a town or state suddenly refused protection for one of Trumpolini’s campaign rallies or Federal agency requests for data or support in investigations. NYC, on the East Coast and Several cities on the West Coast are likely to be a first test as their mayors have refused to allow the city’s police to act as immigration officers. Governors have also begun announcing their refusals. (Sadly, NYC’s, DiBlasio’s twisted thinking still supports the Broken Windows policing that criminalizes immigrant humans making them more susceptible to detention and deportation).

Last Thoughts

No government is perfect. Man is an imperfect being… something not likely to ever change. However, man has the capacity to grow.. to further civilization… to advance. History shows us that dark periods arise… and do so under our own neglect to support advancement… usually when someone emerges to exploit the basest fears and ignorance of man… the deeply rooted prejudices of centuries man has failed to extricate from his heart and mind. Donito Trumpolini is just such an historical character. Quoting, with a fondness, the words of Benito Mussolini, Donito stands in stark comparison. Larger than life obfuscators of political perceptions and abusers of the fragility felt by the masses …with the goal of imposing their delusional wills and being loved and respected for so doing. It is notable that Trumpolini, like Mussolini, appears happiest when surrounded by obedient minions… but more so when embraced by large crowds echoing his oddness. Il Duce was killed along with his minions and had a very large crowd present as his brutalized body was hung upside down from a metal girder above a service station. The crowds that once supported him, gathered to cheer his demise. Not wishing upon him a similar fate, still pondering, how large will be the crowd that ushers in, and cheers, whatever fate has in store for Il Douche.

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