Thursday, June 30, 2016

Benjamin Zephaniah - Rong Radio

I thank Don DeBar for adding this great work of spoken word to our interview today.

Black Agenda Report and CPR News Interview: the Good News of Brexit

Today Don DeBar and I discussed my latest Black Agenda Report column, The Good News of Brexit. Simply put, the chaos that the Brexit vote cast on British politics is a positive development. The U.K. will be less likely to assist the U.S. in its next imperialist adventure, and Brexit stops the TTIP, the latest trade deal monstrosity. Of course the U.S. was opposed to Brexit. Washington only had to negotiate with the European Union on TTIP. Now it will have to do two deals and both are in jeopardy. Chaos can be a good thing especially since the left in Britain didn't know how to deal with the Brexit vote.

I want to thank Don not only for today's interview but for adding the great spoken word artist Benjamin Zephaniah. Rong Radio is a classic of political spoken word.

Zephaniah is a righteous man indeed. When he had the opportunity to get a knighthood from the queen, he said no thanks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Good News of Brexit

You read correctly. The hand wringing from the New York Times and the white house and the pundits must be ignored. Brexit creates instability for finance capitalists and that is very good news. Brexit puts at least a temporary halt to NATO mischief making against Russia. Brexit exposes American control of the European Union which destroyed Greece, tore Ukraine apart and paid bribes to Turkey to keep the refugees who wouldn't exist without U.S./NATO/EU connivance.

My column in today's Black Agenda Report says all of that and more. Netfa Freeman discusses how Africa has been oppressed by European and American finance capital and how Brexit may be the beginning of a new paradigm for that continent. Netfa says that Brexit could be The Nail in the Coffin of Neo-colonialism in Africa. We can only hope.

Of course Glen Ford delivers the tour de force with House Negroes International Defend European Union. Colonized people have a warped world view and crises like these bring it all out into the open. 

Wednesday is more than hump day. It is Black Agenda Report day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

White Settlement, Texas

My addiction to the internet sometimes provides me with information I would rather not have. Today I was perusing social media, twitter I believe, and I came across a story about a cat in a library. It seems this cat was allowed to live in a library for six years but the city council decided that he had to go.

Who cares? Well I didn't until I noticed that the town is called White Settlement, Texas. So I indulged my addiction a little more and did a Wikipedia search. Sure enough there is a town called White Settlement.

"The name of White Settlement originated as a result of there being two settlements in the area: one occupied predominantly by Native Americans (near where Fort Worth is located today), and the other one being occupied by white settlers. The latter settlement received the name 'White Settlement' as a way to distinguish itself from the Native American settlement. The city was incorporated in 1941."

Ok, so why keep the name? Did anyone ever consider changing it? No worries. Wikipedia has an answer there too.

"On October 14, 2005, city leaders announced a plan to have local voters decide on a possible name change for the town from White Settlement to West Settlement. In the November 8 election, the name change was overwhelmingly rejected by a vote of 2,388 to 219."

The town in 89% white and just .05% black. The mayor's name is Ron White. 

It is fine with me if Texas really wants to secede from the rest of the country. Good-bye and good luck.


When George W. Bush was president I dropped the F bomb with great frequency. Bush was fascist, Cheney was a fascist, the Iraq war was fascist, the patriot act was fascist,etc. I don't take back what I said but I am rethinking how fascism would look in the 21st century.

Donald Trump is a racist. He is vulgar. He is misogynistic. But he isn't a fascist. We already have fascism in this country. The government goes to war without declaration of congress. Police kill with impunity. The mass incarceration system rolls along with little political opposition. Public education has been privatized. Free trade agreements which make governments the servants of corporations are fascistic and democratic presidents are the ones who get them passed in congress.The ruling classes get what they want from municipal legislatures right up to congress and the white house and the corporate media are in the tank for all of it.

It seems that everyone expects a Hitler like figure to emerge, hence the panic about Trump. You don't need a guy on a balcony giving speeches to fanatical followers in order to say that a system is fascist. Every political issue is turned into a diatribe against what many people are quick to label as fascism when we really need useful analysis of our current condition. Neo-liberalism is fascism and it is causing tremendous suffering around the world. It will exist whether Trump is president of the United States or not.

By the way, the Brexit vote isn't fascist either. The European Union is fascistic. It destroyed a poor country (Greece), tore another in two (Ukraine) and paid off another (Turkey) to stop the flow of refugees who wouldn't exist if the U.S./NATO/EU hadn't destroyed the nations of Libya and Syria.

So don't lose sleep over Donald Trump. For one thing he is toast. He can't raise money because the republican party has turned its back on him. Last week Hillary Clinton had $40 million on hand and Trump had just $1 million. She will win and it isn't going to be close. But even if he did have a better chance of winning he wouldn't bring fascism into government. It is there already. We have a president who invented a right to assassinate us without charge or trial. Now that sounds pretty fascistic to me.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Democrats Gun Control Sit-in a Cynical Election Year Stunt

Read what Bruce Dixon has to say.

"Since John Lewis and his hypocritical crew are just as much the party of the one percent as Republicans, their disputes with Republicans are confined to carefully staged food fights between meaningless brands. This is the party that wants to control Congress instead of Republicans. This is why it's time to chuck both the one-percenter capitalist parties, and do something completely new."

"Sanders Supporters Need to Split or Get Off the Pot"

So says Glen Ford in our latest edition of Black Agenda Report. If the Sanders people meant what they said about having a revolution, they need to drop Bernie like a bad habit. If not they need to stop crying and admit their guy was the sheep dog that Bruce Dixon predicted more than one year ago.

"Putin Derangement Syndrome"

Eight minutes well worth your time. I had never heard of Patrick Armstrong but he makes good sense with words like these. "The last days of a declining empire are always very dangerous." Listen here.

Say No to NATO

On June 22, 1941 Hitler's armies invaded the Soviet Union. At first their path to victory seemed easy. They quickly penetrated far into Soviet territory and took millions of prisoners of war. An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens died before their country emerged as the winner in 1945.

Fast forward 75 years. The United States and other NATO nations, including Germany, are massing troops on the borders of the Russian Federation. The corporate media keep up a steady drum beat of lies about Russia but say nothing about the slide to war.

The next NATO summit will be held in Warsaw, Poland on July 8th and July 9th. It is imperative that we protest against NATO's threats against Russia that could trigger World War III.

On Saturday, July 9th the United National Antiwar Coalition and other groups will protest at the U.S. Army Recruiting Center in Times Square in New York City. Please join us there at 2:0 p.m.

Black Agenda Report and CPR News Interview: Orlando Massacre and U.S. Foreign Policy

The killing of 49 people in Orlando, Florida is the subject of my Black Agenda Report column this week. In Orlando Massacre and U.S. Foreign Policy I discussed the difficulty in acknowledging killer Omar Mateen's apparent mental illness, his closeted sexuality and also his evocation of jihad. He was the son of an Afghan exile and existed in that peculiar world of people who have been officially elevated but who also live through years of unresolved grievance and paranoia. The corporate media have also ignored the fact that the FBI reportedly tried to turn Mateen into an informant.

I talked about all this on Community Public Radio News today with Don DeBar. Don also reports on U.S. policy in Syria, comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin on NATO's threats against his country and the uncounted ballots from California's recent presidential primary. I start at about 7:00 minutes into the program.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Search for the Truth: Massacre in Odessa Horrifies Americans

This is a Russian news story about the UNAC panel on Ukraine (see previous post). We will get it translated.

What's Happening in the Ukraine?

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) sponsored the panel What's Happening in Ukraine on May 21st at Left Forum 2016. Phil Wilayto, Bruce Gagnon, Irina Kovel and Greg Butterfield speak. This panel was the first public forum in America for the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, a project of UNAC.

Wednesday is Black Agenda Report Day

This week we have an excellent issue of Black Agenda Report. We feature three different articles on the hell of mass incarceration, America's history of domestic terror, the destruction of Muhammad Ali's legacy, Green party access, American attempts at regime change in Eritrea, and the horrors to come with the second president Clinton.

Black Agenda Report and CPR News: September 9th Prison Strike

Today I had my weekly interview with Don DeBar on Community Public Radio (CPR) News. Don reported on the U.S. intervention in Syria, European Union sanctions against Russia, China's reaction to Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, the continued vote count in the California primary, and a chilling phone call between Richard Nixon and New York governor Nelson Rockefeller after the 1971 massacre at Attica prison. I discuss that subject at about 7:25.

On September 9th, prisoners across the nation will take part in a work stoppage to protest the modern day prison slavocracy. The mass incarceration system runs on low wage or no wage work for the 2 million people locked behind bars in this country. There is a call for a nation wide strike and for support and solidarity outside of prison walls. September 9th will be the 45 anniversary of the Attica uprising. The strike is the subject of my latest Black Agenda Report column.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

GIAnalytics is "On Hold"

I wrote two pieces of commentary for the website GIAnalytics. The first was called The 21st Century Slavocracy: Why Black Lives Don't Matter on December 15, 2015 and  Hashtags Won't Stop Police Murder on January 19, 2016.

Today editor Joshua Tartakovsky announced that GIAnalytics is "on hold" for now. Too bad but you can still access articles. This site is a great resource of commentary from around the world. Hopefully it will return.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Worst Mass Shooting in American History?

Contrary to press reports, the killing of 50 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida is not the worst mass shooting in American history. Where to begin?

On December 29, 1890 the U.S. army killed 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee, in South Dakota. On April 13, 1873 between 62 and 153 black men were shot to death in Colfax, Louisiana. But wait. There's more. On November 29, 1864 between 70 and 163 Cheyenne and Arapaho were killed by the Colorado militia at Sand Creek. On May 31, and June 1, 1921 between 55 and 300 black people were killed by a white mob in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There are more atrocities like these, but I thought of these first.

And here is a bit of historical trivia you probably don't know about either. Between September 7 and September 11, 1857 a Mormon militia killed 120 other white people traveling by wagon train through Mountain Meadows in Utah. The only known attack on a wagon train was carried out by white people, not Indians. That phrase "circle the wagons" needs to disappear.

I could go on and on and on. But you get my point. This guy in Orlando was a piker.

ISIS in Orlando, Florida

Early this morning a gunman killed 50 people at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. The suspect, Omar Mateen, is among the dead. We are told that Mateen was interviewed by the FBI several times because of alleged terrorist sympathies. We are also told that he called 911 before the shootings began and claimed responsibility in the name of ISIS.

President Obama, the killer of many thousands of people, gave a press conference expressing condolences, disavowing terror and babbling about American greatness. In the coming days he'll visit Orlando to hug grieving relatives and will look like a normal person instead of the criminal that he is.

I posted this screen shot of a tweet I sent six days ago. Glen Ford explained in Black Agenda Report that American claims of wanting to fight ISIS and other jihadists are a lie. They are his foot soldiers, an imperial asset just as they have been for past presidents who want to destroy secular governments from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya and on to Syria. 

ISIS thrives wherever America has intervened. Their continued existence is a direct result of U.S. foreign policy and so is the mayhem they cause. All of the public statements about fighting terror are phony. Our government doesn't care about people being beheaded or burned alive or shot in Florida for that matter. It isn't clear if Mateen was a member of ISIS or just inspired by them. He's dead so we don't know why he chose that location or that date. We don't know if he hated gay people or acted because of Ramadan. Of course common sense won't stop the corporate media nor will it keep foolish people from expressing their opinions. 

The 140 character limit prevented me from explaining as well as I wanted to. The United States is responsible for terrorism in Brussels and Paris and Orlando. Our government knows that ISIS can strike anywhere and kill anyone but doesn't care. Maintaining a crumbling but increasingly violent empire is their only concern. Party goers in Orlando are just collateral damage. So when Obama arrives there looking sad and spewing platitudes just remember that the blood is on his hands too.

I forgot to add this photo. The Black Agenda Report panelists at Left Forum on May 21st. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Raymond Nat Turner, Glen Ford, Ajamu Baraka, yours truly, Jemima Pierre and Danny Haiphong.

Our panel Forging the Radical and Principled Black Movement of the 21st Century was pretty awesome.

Odessa Solidarity Campaign

Here in the belly of the beast, otherwise known as the United States of America, we are lied to on a regular basis by the government, the ruling classes and their friends in the corporate media. One of the worst foreign policy lies in recent years concerns the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014.

This coup took place under the direction of the Obama administration. It was part of a 20-year long effort to weaken and dismantle the Russian federation. The first point of attack was continued NATO expansion and then the destruction of a neighboring, pro-Russian government.

Ukraine was taken over by fascists and oligarchs like billionaire president Petro Poroshenko. Unlike Vladimir Putin who was implicated in corporate media reports of offshore bank accounts, Poroshenko has hidden his personal fortune in order to escape public disclosure.

On May 2, 2014 a demonstration in the city of Odessa led to clashes between pro and anti government groups. The anti-government group were chased into the Hall of Trades Unions building which was set on fire. More than 40 people were burned to death. Some who managed to escape the inferno were also killed. Despite the existence of ample photographic evidence, no one has been prosecuted for this crime.

At the invitation of the Council of Mothers of May 2, the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) sent a three person delegation to commemorate the massacre and join in the call for an investigation. The newly formed Odessa Solidarity Campaign is a UNAC effort to fight for justice for the martyrs of May 2, to fight fascism and to oppose U.S. interventions around the world. I serve on the advisory board of this campaign and I urge you to stay informed about our work. Thanks.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Black Agenda Report and CPR News: World War III

You can hear my latest discussion with Don DeBar on CPRNews. Don reports on Kenya/China relations, United Nations reports on ISIS, and conditions in Fallujah, Iraq. My interview on my latest Black Agenda Report column, "World War III" begins 7 minutes into the program.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

My Interview on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

I'm a guest on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox this week. We discussed my latest Black Agenda Report column Who's a Fascist? and other issues. It was great to be on again.

What Real Journalism Looks Like, a Lesson from Russia

I have no recollection of seeing John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Henry Kissinger or any of their ilk taken to task like this. I don't know who is correct in this exchange but I am impressed that Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was put on the defensive. It is good for people in positions like that to have to answer in public forums. But as I said, you never see that here.

Hat tip Russia Insider

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Black Agenda Report and CPR News: Trump is Not a Fascist

No, Donald Trump is not a fascist. I point this out in my latest column, "Who's a Fascist?" at Black Agenda Report. Having said that, he will be a fascist should he become president of the United States. It is in the job description after all. I discussed the issue with Don DeBar today on CPR News. My interview starts at about six minutes into the program.