Sunday, July 5, 2020

Rebellion in Search of Revolution



Last week I read a statement by a BLM protester. “They know we will get tired of protesting and go home.”

Well, yes.  You will get tired as you got tired of Occupy because so far nothing exists beyond the acting out of protest, and protest bows to inconvenience. In the U.S. there is no historyof revolution, no memory, no ideology, no tradition of political and philosophical thought, no leaders (they have been assassinated) and no tradition of education through generations to expose our structural dilemmas.


 

I started out as a theater-maker. In my own lifetime, I have encountered one, and only one American institution that has demonstrated the kind of legs that has kept it going for over 60 years now: The San Francisco Mime Troupe. Why is that? Because from the beginning like no other theater, the Mime Troupe has had as its spine a clear sense of the political ideology that motivates it. It has skirted the anti-intellectualism of the mainstream culture; reading political theory is part of its practice. It has refused to bow to the U.S. propaganda bugaboos of anti-socialism, anti-communism, and anti-thought. It has refused the notion that art must somehow be “pure” and never tied to political ideology.

At present the U.S. suffers from an ongoing and exacerbating pandemic, a laughably incompetent head of state, a collapse of its financial system, and the servility of both the media (the fourth estate) and the judiciary (the Supreme and lower courts.)  The popular response? Rebellion, but not revolution. For revolution, as the Russian model has shown us, time, history, philosophical and ideological background are necessary, plus long-term education of a populace and recognition of deep divisions of class, economics, and race (race being a quintessentially deeply unscientific American construct).

 

 Some understanding of other models is part of that kind of awareness. A life of Plekhanov, for example, the father of Russian Marxism can be read in The Jewish Bund in Russia by Henry Tobias. The death of apartheid in South Africa, provides some valuable lessons. There the birth of African National Congress could be grafted onto an already existent Communist Party, clear in its history, ideology and methods. A useful book to read is  Slovo: The unfinished autobiography of ANC leader Joe Slovo. Joe Slovo, married to Ruth First, was one of the apartheid resistance’s chief exponents. 

The struggle to end apartheid

Slovo came to activism through a working class background. His autobiography outlines the thrilling adventures, life-threatening risks, and sacrifices required in overthrowing the apartheid regime. Another case worthy of study is the take over of political institutions by Israelis when the British left Palestine in 1946. The British allowed the Jews (but not the Palestinians) to establish self-governing institutions such as the Jewish Agency in anticipation of their withdrawal. When that day came in 1948, the State of Israel came into being because the groundwork had been laid well ahead of time.

It is essential that we hit the streets now to voice our displeasure with a system that has stressed violent militarism at home and abroad (where it consumes over 60% of the national budget and where it destroys life on Earth by consuming more fossil fuel than many countries) at the expense of services which other industrialized states take for granted, such as universal health care and universal education based on thinking and not the mindless testing that prepares our youth for nothing other than functioning as cogs in the corporate machinery, in prison, or out.

But what of the larger questions: What might a new constitution free of the founding father’s racism, look like? What form of government might be more responsive to human needs, and less malleable by corporate interests? What governing bodies might be preferable? How would a Parliamentary system function for a truer Democracy? Should the bicameral system and an electoral college be things of the past? How might a judicial system and a public health system be set up independent of political hackery? How might the media remain independent bodies, not blathering to the news du jour or slathering to the lure of the Golden Calf? How could our political landscape undergo significant change starting with voting by paper ballot? What ministries might represent a new style of government: A Ministry for the Rights of the Earth, for example, a Ministry for Peace, a Women’s Ministry, a Ministry for the Rights of Children? A Ministry Addressing Racial, Ethnic and Sexual difference? How might we confront the need for reparations to Native Americans, and to Black people who still wait for their 40 acres and a mule? A Ministry of Labor that would represent the rights of the working class, a class which this pandemic has revealed to be the real backbone of this country?

Yesterday I received this message from a friend who, because of her employment, lives half the year in Berlin.
[On arrival I got] a cheap handout from the health ministry saying we should enter a 14-day home quarantine. So I did. My GP… across the street… gave me a virus test [after 5 days]… The test would have been free if I had had any symptoms. Without symptoms, it cost 65 euros ($73) so I was "free" the following day when the negative result arrived.

I had forgotten what a reasonably functioning government/ administration looks like. On receiving the negative result the first thing I did was go cycling through the city. Everybody is out and about, no one wears a mask outside, almost all stores are open and no lines are evident, people pull a mask out of their pocket upon entering shops and put it back in their pocket upon exiting, restaurants are open (no masks) and tables are supposed to be distanced but this rule doesn't look terribly strict. The city-state of Berlin has about 750 active cases (recorded) which is not bad for a population of around 3.5 million (the equivalent would be 75,000 total U.S. cases). Cinemas opened yesterday… with restricted entry. But there are no restrictions on inter-household contact. No one does the evasion dance on sidewalks, and I've seen a lot of people shaking hands. This relaxed atmosphere will almost certainly make the population more willing to accept stricter measures if needed in the winter.

The other great difference is that the news consists of descriptions and analyses of events instead of ad hominem screeds. No one is calling people racists or supremacists or snowflakes or deplorables or whatever, I don't have to steel myself to turn on the radio. Actual problems are discussed, stridently at times, yes, but not in a blizzard of invective.
It's not even civility, just a functioning society. I had also forgotten what that is like.

To understand fully the background behind the fairly normal atmosphere in Berlin, it’s necessary to understand that epidemiology is not politics. That politics has no business dictating how people are to manage their health, their bodies, or their abortion rights. Epidemiology is both a science and an art.  To get a perspective of what has gone terribly wrong in America, I suggest reading “The Pandemic Protocol” by Charles Duhigg in the May 4, 2020 New Yorker which contrasts West Coast Seattle and Governor Inslee of Washington State, who got it right, with very few cases, with Gov. Cuomo of New York and Mayor de Blasio, who got it terribly wrong at the expense of the lives of many New Yorkers, because rather than allowing scientists who had trained for years in the realities of epidemiology to speak, they micromanaged the issue from a political perspective, playing amateur to professionally trained people whom they silenced or sidetracked at every turn.




 


Iran issues arrest warrant for #45 over Suleimani assassination and asks help from Interpol.

EU should reflect on possible U.S. withdrawal from role of world leader,
Merkel says.

World rebukes U.S. over Iran embargo.

‘We shouldn’t settle for crumbs’: Palestinian Americans stage virtual walkout of Biden meeting.

Even thugs have red lines in the sand: Johnson warns Israel against plans to annex part of occupied West Bank.

New ICC complaint filed over U.S. Israel war crimes in Palestine.

Progressive lawmakers call on U.S. to suspend military aid if Israel carries out ‘illegal’ annexation.

100 Jewish lawyers and judges call on Israel to halt annexation plans.

DNA damage, and brain cancer: 34 doctors and 900 Belgian professional sound alarm over 5 G.

Bayer settles glyphosate cancer lawsuits for $10.9 billion.

Bernie Sanders calls on Congress to expand Medicare coverage ruing the pandemic.

Sanders files amendments forcing Pentagon to pass audit, and mass produce masks.

Markey bill backed by  Sanders and Warren moves to abolish qualified immunity for cops once and for all.

More than 300 law professors agree Congress should pass bill ending qualified immunity for police.

Fair housing advocates celebrate passage of AOC’s repeal of Faircloth Amendment.

More than 60 groups demand Senate pass Sanders Amendment to slash ‘out of control’ Pentagon budget by $74 billion.

U.S. judge strikes down #45 border ban aimed at Central Americans.

Citing unconscionable and irresponsible omission, ACLU demands equal COVID-19 protections for immigrants.

Trump-appointed federal judge throws out administration’s inhumane asylum ban.

Appeals court deals blow to #45 on border wall, ruling his money grab from the Pentagon illegal.

In Canada people with jobs are sharing their stimulus checks with out of work people.

Toxin Free USA supporters donate 400 pounds of food for the needy in Butte Cnty, California.

Houses passes DC statehood, anticipating House will do same.

Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana’s dangerous abortion restriction.

California Governor Newsom signs AB 350 giving state protection that PG&E will be transformed into a safer utility.

Shell latest oil company to flounder, writing down $22 billion on balance sheets.

Poster company for U.S. fracking fails as Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy.

Activists deliver Formosa Plastic pollution to lobbyist’s homes, and get slapped with felonies.

Activists shut down cancer-causing Willowbrook, Louisiana Plants.

Katie Porter demands resignation of #45 small business chief for enabling abuse of COVID-19 relief funds.

Coast-to-Coast rallies demand keep U.S.P.S. viable.

Civil rights groups sue NC city over law that effectively bans any protest.

The #StopHatefor Profit Facebook advertising boycott hits Zuckerberg in the pocket of ad revenue with more than 500 companies, including Verizon, Coca-Cola, Ford, Starbucks and Target pulling ads.

Amid pandemic, Oklahoma residents vote to expand Medicaid coverage.

Southern Poverty Law Center announces  successful suit allowing people in Alabama to have absentee and curbside voting.

Workers stage 540 wildcat strikes in support of BLM in the first half of month of June.

Families of deceased workers sue Tyson over outbreak at meatpacking plant.

King County Labor Council expels Settle police union, SEIU considers disaffiliation if police unions don’t reform, and National Writers Guild proposal receives its first serious discussion by the AFL-CIO executive council.

Detroit Fiat Chrysler workers halt production for days.

FCA Toledo workers support call for rank-and-file safety committees.

Mathematicians urge colleagues to boycott police work in wake of killings by cops.

116 California DNC delegates demand Pelosi hold floor vote on Medicare for All.

Grassroots movement led by Gwich’in people delays  oil leasing and discourages prospecting in the Wildlife Refuge.

U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. blocks the federal govt. from revoking the Massachusetts Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s reservation status.

Treaty defenders block road to #45 Mt. Rushmore event before being arrested.

Corporate sponsors finally join native American call for Washington Redksins name change.

No more ‘lesser of two evils’ as Maine passes ranked choice voting.

Housing activists unite to fight mass evictions and defund police.

Protesters attacked by police are suing to vindicate their constitutional rights.

In LA, Supervisor Solis imagines closing Men’s Central Jail, a proposition the County will vote on July 7.

In S.F. Councilman Yee moves forward with ballot proposition reallocating funds destined for cops to community before 2022.

 

Mars Officially Bans All Flights From Earth, Says It Will Review Policy In 5,000 Years




Sunday, June 28, 2020

TWO WAY STREET


(Special ask: Please call Governor Newsome at 916 445-2841. There are now hundreds of cases of COVID at San Quentin. Identify yourself, and leave a message for the governor. Ask him to declare clemency for those prisoners who have only a short time left to serve to be sent home to relieve the 190% overcrowding.)


TWO WAY STREET

Thursday of this week a navy destroyer, the U.S.S. Carl Nitze sailed into Venezuelan waters on what it called in new-speak a “freedom of navigation” operation, which means freedom for just-us, and blip for you. This action is just another of the dying Empire’s bullying tactics that have been its predictable practice since the signing of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.       

Knee to neck and neck to knee, who could ever have imagined that specific choke hold would become the spark that would ignite a rebellion already smoldering with massive job and housing loss and the twin plagues of COVID 19, and a bogus president?  It’s that knee to neck suffocation I hope to train my lens on today: the import - export of a commodity called murder.



Here at home, it is the violence of our police shored up by qualified immunity and by repeated re-hiring of fired violent cops that triggers our attention. And what is the origin of that occupying-level of violence?

Location of police violence in the U.S.
For the past twenty years, ever since 9/11, and the Project for the New American Century which advocated for the conquest of seven Middle East countries in seven years, domestic municipal police have grown dependent on the Israeli Defense Forces, the IDF to train its domestic police. Captains from cities like Ferguson have gone to Israel, and Israeli trainers have come here to train whole squads.

The goal of the IDF, its recruits drawn from the Israeli civilian population, has been annihilation of Palestine, and Palestinians, by shooting, torture, imprisonment, home demolition, obliteration of over 400 villages, and murder. It’s culture is that of an occupying force licensed to kill and deprive Palestinians of life, liberty and happiness. This is where our police goes to train. Is it any wonder that the IDF culture of occupation has metastacized to these shores and that municipal police forces and other so-called law-keeping bodies are behaving like occupational forces in their own country?

Export - Import of Murder

While this movement from East to West continues, equal forces have been going from West to East.  Specifically I refer to the beginnings of Middle East distabilization in Gulf I, where General ‘stormin Normin’ Schwartzkopf decimated the retreating Iraqi army as it fled the Kuwaiti border ‘like shooting fishin a barrel.’ Followed by the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, eventually igniting war in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, as well as repeated violation of Pakistans’s sovereign territory.  

Shock & Awe: invasion of Baghdad
 
This wave of conquest meant to be a dying Empire’s show of force required a constantly self-enriching munitions industry to the great benefit of the elite, many of them members of Congress, and a poverty draft which ensures that, unlike during the Vietnam War era, the American public remains relatively aloof and unconcerned because it goes on in someone else’s backyard, and its army consists of poor farm boys, and boys (disproportionally people of color) recruited from the ghettoes of its megalopolises. Once their tour of duty and forced redeployments are concluded, these poor boys come home to their families and communities either wrecked by PTSD and its crippling anxieties, or they join the municipal police force where their taste for combat can continue to be expressed. (Chauvin, George Floyd’s killer, served for eight years in the army reserve.) Make no mistake, the lust for power, and killing can become an addiction. (See Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Give Us Meaning; Joseba Zulaika’s anthropologist’s perspective in Fire at Paradise Ranch; and Robert Fisk’s Great War for Civilization.) 


Miami officer sits in armed vehicle watching protesters

A third force is at work here with the glut of over-designed weaponry that munitions makers keep churning out, their overflow often devolving via the 1033 program onto municipal police forces who buy bargain-basement tanks, armored vehicles, sound canons, tear gas, and assault rifles, this last movement representing our wars coming home to roost.

In conclusion, it might seem as though both movements, one from East to West, the other the reverse, have become a feedback loop

To disarm one will require disarming the other. And if we are to disarm our police, as a people we just might  have to consider declaring peace.







 





Progressive activists help stop Pentagon’s attempt to weaken lobbying rules.

To shift funds from “endless wars” to “human needs,” Sanders unveils amendment to slash Pentagon budget by $75 billion.

Police under pressure to end training programmes with Israel.

ACLU files federal lawsuit over police use of force during anti-racism protests.

Super victory for ending police violence: new Colorado law ends qualified immunity for police.

Seattle police union expelled from large labor group because the guild failed to address racism within its ranks.

911 services that dispatch mental health counselors instead of cops gain traction.

Nationwide Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue long quest for environmental justice.

Black Lives Matter protests shift to racial justice dialogues in pro sports.

Three men accused of hunting down, killing Ahmaud Arbery are indicted on murder charges.

ACLU demands lawmakers act after Michigan man wrongfully arrested ‘because face   recognition can’t tell black people apart.’

Boston City Council bans facial recognition surveillance.

In Minnesota, Ellison announces climate lawsuit against Exxon, Koch, and API.

DC follows Minnesota in launching fossil fuel lawsuit alleging it “mislead consumers and discredited climate science in pursuit of profits.”

California passes historic rule that puts more electric trucks on the road.

States passing vote-by-mail see record breaking turnout.

Huge victory for Alabama voters as appellate court okays curb-side voting for COVID-vulnerable voters.

Calls to defund and abolish police departments fuel movements to dismantle them on college campuses.

Oakland, Seattle and San Francisco School Boards vote to disband its own police,

House passes D.C. statehood bill.

After years of advocacy, Chicago Police Department policy removes to-called school resource officers from involvement in day-to-day disciplinary matters.

Mindful of Brenna Taylor’s murder, City of Louisville bans no-knock warrants.

Uber drivers protest outside CEO’s home to demand labor protections.

Barnes and Noble warehouse workers organize to protect themselves from the pandemic.

As of June 19, 540 worker-staged wild cat strikes support BLM.

Cost-to-coast rallied insist on keeping U.S. Postal service viable

After attacking Medicare for All as “unrealistic” during primary, Biden now says healthcare amid pandemic is a “right for all”.

Protesters blockade central N. Carolina prison.

Administration’s request to bock Bolton’s book is denied.

“No one is above the law,”: Federal Court rules #45 effort to seize Pentagon funds to build border wall is illegal.

Tulsa #45 comeback tanks.

Arizona AG sends cease & desist order to Phoenix church hosted #45

Barr agrees to testify on politicization of DOJ as judiciary chairman slams AG as #45 fixer.

U. Florida announces it will no longer use unpaid labor.

House Dems introduce bill preventing Big Pharma price-gouging during pandemic.

Bayer Settles glyphosate cancer lawsuits for $10.9 billion.

Armed protesters peacefully march on Oklahoma Governor’s mansion.

Protest at Rutgers against austerity response to pandemic.

’60 Minutes’ give Assange fair shake.

‘Workers First’ car caravans drive mass turnouts nationwide.

Palestinian citizens of Israel protest land grab in Negev Desert.

Thousands of Palestinians protest against Israeli annexation plan.

UN chief calls on Israel to abandon illegal annexation plan.

Over one million view Poor People’s Assembly and moral march on
Washington.

Homeless Philadelphians move into vacant city-owned homes.

Be cause COVID leaving detention centers ‘on fire,’ judge orders release of children held by ICE.

#flattenICE campaign announces the release of 12 immigrants at risk from COVID-19 from ICE custody.

Nicaragua achieves millennial development goal of cutting undernutrition in half to 1 million in 2014-16.

Venezuela sure UK over frozen gold.

AOC trounces Wall Street-backed Democratic primary opponent with the fake address.

Progressives Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones and Julia Salazar win primaries.

Booker takes lead over McGrath in Kentucky



Sunday, June 21, 2020

Even cats can count to three


Three simultaneous issues may have exceeded human mental capacity to count. While human attention seems to be focused globally on a cocktail of racism and pandemic, no one seems to have noticed that the children’s crusade for the climate seems to have vanished into thin air. Is that because global warming was just another issue du jour?  And, following close behind, will racism and its consequences become yet another issue du jour?

This week, ABC News published a surprising story, “Zombie Fires and Fire Thunderstorms hit arctic,” surprising certainly to someone who’s been following the science of global warming, including its feedback loops, trade wind patterns and ocean gyre changes. It spoke of an entirely unreported and apparently new phenomenon. You  may ask, what are “zombie fires” exactly, and why haven’t Scientists been at work legitimizing yet another feedback loop with a more dry-as-dust terminology?  Maybe because few could anticipate that a Zombie fire might take place, let alone what it might be.

Infrared image shows Arctic wildfire June 8
A zombie fire very simply is a peat fire, one that winters under arctic snow, to re-emerge after it has continued burning underground through the winter. It follows upon an Arctic heat wave lasting for the past six months, and its year-round release of CO2 assures a permanent feedback loop.

Why counting to three matters

During BLM and COVID time, Greta Thunberg has not exactly been idle (according to the Guardian,  she has begun producing a radio program.)  Asked to reflect on the worldwide racial justice issue, she stated that humans have shown they are no longer willing to tolerate injustice and that “the climate and ecological crisis cannot be solved within today’s political and economic systems.” She neglected to add that the latter observation applies to the Movement for Black Lives as well.


But although Greta as the citizen of an intelligent country—more than this one at any rate—is still under lockdown, aside from the Guardian, the media seems to want to forget her. Why?

 


Shelf life

And what can we learn from such co-option about the durability of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) as the hot button issue it’s presently showing itself to be?

Here, I want to draw on an impressive article, “Syria in Seattle Commune,” by Pepe Escobar, a Brazilian journalist, which highlights the deep contrast between today’s plantation  mentality M4BL, which highlights the deep contrast between today’s plantation  mentality M4BL, which so far carries on without an articulated program, and the deep analysis which characterized the movement in the 60s as articulated by the Black Panthers, and by theoreticians like Malcolm X. Escobar points out that movements without deeply articulated analysis, like Occupy, tend to lack legs. And that movements backed by elitist elements which have no profit to gain from them, such as the Youth Climate Movement headed by Greta Thunberg, may be one of them. And that the Movement for Black Lives, bankrolled by a  $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and by Morgan Chase among others, may become yet another.

Without articulating a deeply revolutionary program, how much shelf life will the M4BL show?

Moving ahead

Most noticeable still is the tendency of white do-gooders to decide what’s best for folks other than white folks. (I have always considered that the phrase, “Ve know vots best for you” to be the distinguishing mark of fascism.)

Structurally, what ought a program focused on racial justice look like?

The environment

The planet is where we live (at least for the moment). Living with the understanding that all its man-made ugliness and pollution needs to  be in someone else backyard has to change to share and share alike.

Environmental degradation would suggest to some that as a species, none of us would be willing to share such a legacy of a dying system. If we followed that newly recognized aversion, we would have to abandon the system that created the nightmare to begin with: the oil and gas and fracking and nuclear industries would become things of the past. As would the chemical industry (no more chemistry for better living, no more energy “cheap enough to meter”).

Human recovery

Human recovery does not even begin to address species recovery.
But assuming human recovery could imagine itself beyond its present economic arrangements, to ease people over such a radical transition, they would need a guaranteed minimal income capable of caring for their basic needs: health, housing, nutrition and education. If such a development is hard to imagine, let us point out that Spain, a capitalist country-in-transition has already implemented it. Spain benefits from still being able to bind a relatively homogenous Catholic population together—more or less.

Human recovery implies some kind of economically equalizing recognition that the willed legal structures that allow certain population sectors barely to survive after hundreds of years imposed on them of wage theft and slavery, must be abandoned at once. To replace it, policing structures, incarceration structures, prison-plantation structures, below life sustaining wages, must all be abandoned. Yet the economies that exist now, many  of them, depend on exactly that outworn system. A guaranteed minimum wage would make such a transition possible although inacceptable to many.

One of the biggest all-time mistakes in the history of attempted U. S. worldwide dominance was Bremer’s discharge of the Iraqi army. You can abolish an army, but you cannot abolish the people who once occupied those existential slots.  And those people are trained to respond exactly to those controlling stimuli, and no others. Calls to retrain police, or to defund police lose sight of the fact that all of those so trained to their oppressive roles, once discharged, still occupy the same planet as the rest of humanity. Not only are they trained, they are acculturated, A one year “course” of retraining, can’t begin to change an oppressive culture that has been inculcated over a period that is now almost 20 years old—a whole generation.



The language presently used, words like “defund” for example, overlook the very existence of a number of people, some of whom (like Berkeley’s captain of police for example) expect to continue receiving a half million dollars a year for the rest of their active careers. Rather, the emphasis needs to be on community control of budgets, of priority re-allocation.  The revolution can be lost with the thoughtless use of its very first word.

That is why careful analysis must be the benchmark of any change which hopes to be successful, successful in the sense it does not lead to utter chaos from which absolutely no one can hope to benefit.

The third leg

Lest we overlook it, there must be a third leg to this discussion. Ideally it has no name. So-called “religion” as it is popularly understood, is mythology, the McDonald’s of the unnamed thing at best. For discussion’s sake, let us give it a place holder. Call it how a people explains itself from the beginning. It is a way of viewing the world.

And for that some ritual is required by Existence’s very nature. Even wolves know that when they circle up and howl before embarking on the hunt. Humans must find their equivalence of that circle. They must find their way to howl. They must howl for the centuries upon centuries of pain they have inflicted on one another. They must learn how to forgive.  And how to forgive with grace, as black folk have learned. They must learn again how to laugh and sing and dance, and celebrate. But before celebration can occur, they must learn to forgive themselves.



None of this can begin to happen until #45 is cashiered: Click to sign up to volunteer with Daily Kos and Vote Forward to write personalized letters to voters in swing states who lean Democratic, but need that extra “noodge” to encourage them to vote. 



Think. Stay safe and locked down, no matter how many uninformed people holler “open now!” Use the gift of slow time to think.


Election analysts say if we flip enough state legislatures, we could abolish slavery-preserving electoral college by 2024.

Night rally in Seattles’ West Precinct takes over I-5.

U.S. admits it’s to blame for Syrian hunger.

German party calls for sanctions on Israel after Netanyahu declares he will take over West Bank by July 1 with Trumpie’s approval.

UN expert denounce Israeli apartheid and call for sanctions.

Historic breakthrough: House Oversight Committee sends D.C.  statehood bill to House floor.

Activists and  courageous plaintiffs win their case by taking Trumpie to court for trying to end DACA.

Under pressure from activistds, Atlanta cop who lynched Rayshard Brooks charged with felony murder.

Under pressure from activistss, Louisville police chief finally moves to fire one cop involved in Breonna Taylor killing.

Boston declares racism a public health emergency. Diverts police overtime funding to community.

S.F. supervisor plans to ask voters to authorize 10,000 units of social housing.

People are not willing to work for slavery wages any more: Striking McDonald’s workers block entrance and shut down store. McDonalds in Oakland at 45 and Tgraph stage longest fast food strike in U.S. history.

Pittsburgh black woman reporter sues newspaper for prohibiting her coverage of protests.

UAW stops work on Junteenth to end racism.

Community-focused gardening takes root in Alaska.

Pitchfork Union strikes Condé-Nast over racist power structures.

“Why do you keep hiring wackos and liars?” Woman reporter finally asks Trumpie the question many of us have been scratching our heads about.

New York City Bar Association calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department to “immediately investigate” alleged targeting of nine legal observers earlier this month during a protest against police brutality in the Bronx.

One way to abolish them: NYPD cops threaten strike on July 4.

iPhone announces app allowing users  automatically to record their interactions when stopped or pulled over by cops.

Oakland restraining order restrict teargas, flashbangs, and projectiles.

Chicago Korean storeowner reconsiders closing his business after 6,000 people donate after he lost $350,000 from looting.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Severance Procedures


Severance ounds like a dry subject out of Personnel, but maybe not so much when the candidate is  an obsessive compulsive megalomanic.  Not anyone we readily identify, of course, but just in case it ever comes up. A few strategies suggest themselves. The problem is which approach  best applies to the individual quirks of the particular candidate.

Golden Parachute


Money helps is a time worn cliché, but it carries several grains of truth, 7 billion to be exact, which is roughly what a golden parachute costs these days.  Several caveats are suggested, things like non-disclosure clauses, cease and desist clauses, and prohibition of employment in any competing concern located less than hundreds of miles distant. Most candidates state their price, but for sticklers, this route may not be paved so much in gold, as obstacles. There are alternatives.

Re-Assignment 


This time-worn strategy works for certain candidates who badly need evading prosecution once their tenure comes to a close. Motivation is 9/10th of the law.  Just because the strategy names Chad does not mean the candidate needs reassignment to Chad every time, or anytime, for that matter.  It simply needs to be a very poor country which needs the play of billions to build more boondoggles, and other expensive but useless infrastructure, and whose president-for-life is short of bricks needed to stretch the presidential palace three more blocks, and install gold toilet seats throughout.  Any number of shit hole countries qualify, provided they’re appropriately needy.

Canonization


This time-worn strategy works well when vanity needs to become statuesque. Regrettably, it requires several steps, beatification being one of them, by-passing the Congregation of Saints is another. But with time, patience, and emoluments for indulgence of the candidate’s photo opportunities, it can be done at stratospheric cost. But there is one last strategy that remains untested.

Deification


Deification is sure balls of fire, but tricky.  Essentially it requires globalization of the godhead.   

Viareggio carnival balloon
But not just any godhead, the godhead of the personnel candidate who requires severance, but who is loathe to call the fleet of moving vans to empty all the desks located on all the golf courses, and in spas, and casinos, not to mention camera-studded hotel rooms. Although all bets are off, here the results can lord it over all others, yielding entirely more celestial bang for the buck. But Pageantry is required, a flare for suggestive costuming, large medals preferred, and above all, parades and military bands. Fences, Walls and Staircases are part of the mis en scene, requiring the candidate to mount them without any display of the sad hesitation he may have shown of late. But this minor detail can be faked by installation of a solid gold escalator to further dazzle the faithful.

Et Voila!

Our candidate has safely ascended to command his rightful place. As he’s fired into Space, he elbows aside the make-do gods of innumerable world cultures: Chinese gods, Japanese gods, African gods, Western gods, Protestant, Catholic, and Aboriginal gods, indigenous gods, the entire Indian pantheon, Arabic, even Tuvalese gods. Sound sacrilegious?

It works! To quote mot-juste Madeleine Albright: It’ll be worth it.

Other news from the week:


This article by a foreign correspondent contrasts black lives matter, and the deep analysis of black panthers and other radical programs of the 60s. Black Lives Matter, founded in 2013 by a trio of middle class, queer black women very vocal against “hetero-patriarchy”, is a product of what University of British Columbia’s Peter Dauvergne defines as “corporatization of activism”….Follow the money. Black Lives Matter profited in 2016 from a humongous $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic capitalism stalwarts such as JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation.








If you wanna vote in November, support the P.O.


After years of wasted spending, congresswomen Lee, AOC and Jayapal call to cut Pentagon budget and  reprioritize programs that keep us safe.

California sanctuary law stands after Supreme Court refuses to hear #45 appeal.

Buffalo Police Benevolent Association forced mass resignation of ERT squad.

West Coasts Ports to shut down for George Floyd.

Louisville Metro Council votes to ban no-knock warrants as advocates demand arrest of three officers (murderers) who killed Breonna Taylor..

Seattle protestors take over city blocks to create cop-free autonomous zone.

Thousands of activist phone calls and emails prompt Louisville Metro Council to vote unanimously to pass Breonna’s law.

U.S. Senate panel passes amendment baring use of troops against protestors.

Dem primary voters reject yet another sheriff (in Ohio) who helped ICE deport immigrants.

Senate committee votes to strip Confederate names from military bases, defying #45.

U.S. court tosses $1.4 billion judgment against former Venezuelan oil minister claiming he was not properly notified.

Chinese medical team kicks off mission to help Palestine’s anti-coronavirus fight.

Scottish Parliament votes for immediate suspension of “weapons of oppression” exports to U.S.

Spain vetoes security equipment sales to Israel  over human rights violations.

Calls to eliminate school police intensify amid protests

Court of Human Rights deals major blow to Israel’s war on Palestine solidarity.

UN Human Rights Council agrees to hold hearing focused on racial inequality and discrimination that characterizes American society.

San Francisco Bay Bridge blocked by Black Lives Matter activists.

Berkeley Mayor introduces proposal to ban use of chemical weapons by police.

Gangs in abandoned LA communities arrange black/brown truce.

Over one thousand cyclists take over NYC streets on solidarity protest ride over Williamsburgh Bridge.

ACA, restoring affirmative action in California, passes State Assembly bringing it closer to November ballot.

Richmond VA de-statues, toppling confederates and Chris Columbus.

Expert say $17.5 billion writedown by BP proves oil giant knows ‘reserves of oil and gas increasingly worthless.’

To support ‘urgently-needed clean and just energy transition’ 450 groups demand federal regulators rebuff attack on community solar.

DNC’s climate council urges party (what party?) to go beyond Biden plan, calling for fracking ban and $16 trillion renewable energy investment.

Enormous victory for LGBTQ equality as U.S. Supreme Court affirms workplace protections.

44 journalists of color at 200-year-old Phily Inquirer stage sick-out after forcing public apology from editorial staff for blatantly racist headline.

Schechter Award for journalism goes to Winona LaDuke.

Citing known and potential risks, FDA yanks emergency approval of hydroxycloroquine touted by #45 as COVID treatment.


  
The National Guard Hits Atlanta!