Here I laugh at Hillary Clinton’s new position on banks and the financial crisis

As Hillary Clinton has shown during her 2016 Presidential campaign, as well as her 2008 campaign and every move in her political life, everything is calculated to follow public opinion.  If she was a real leader she wouldn’t have to wait to make these decisions.

Recent examples include TPP, Keystone XL, and Black Lives Matter, where after a second meeting she decried racism as America’s original sin and vowed (after Bernie Sanders issued his policy) to ban private for-profit prison corporations.  Here is me laughing about that!Before I learned that private prison corporations are funding her campaign

// after


// 29 Hillary Clinton won’t answer Keystone XL pipeline question

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday declined to say whether she supported the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, telling a New Hampshire voter that if the matter is still undecided by the time she becomes president, she will give him an answer then.


The question came from Bruce Blodgett, a software developer from Amherst, New Hampshire, who told CNN he identifies as a Republican and supports building the pipeline, the 1,179-mile-long project that would move oil from Canada to refineries in the United States.


During a town hall in Nashua, Blodgett asked, “As president, would you sign a bill, yes or no please, in favor of allowing the Keystone XL pipeline?”


“I thought she avoided the question completely. Her excuse was she didn’t want to step on President Obama while he was still in office,” he said. “I just thought that was a very weak answer. I just wanted to know where she stands on it one way or another.”

Then in September after Clinton finally decided to answer the question Chris Cillizza wrote well in The Fix about why this hedge was wrong, especially when she has come out strongly on other issues still up for debate, like the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which was her excuse on Keystone.

Look. When you are running for president — whether or not you served in the current administration — you are going to be asked to take positions on issues that the current president is dealing with. As long as we hold elections that begin two years (or more) before the current president is set to leave office, that’s going to be a thing candidates need to contend with.


just because it’s politically disadvantageous to take a position doesn’t mean Clinton should be allowed to avoid doing just that.


This was pure politics by Clinton. It was a gamble based on the idea that the disgust over her failure to answer a direct question would be far less damaging than the fallout if she did offer her opinion.


Now this week, it’s banks and the 2008 financial crisis. Remember that it was Bill Clinton’s 1999 repeal of Glass–Steagall that lead to the “too big to fail” phenomenon.  Otherwise the banks would have simply failed for making bad bets.

Clinton courts left with promise to break up risky banks

Hillary Clinton lets big banks off the hook for financial crisis

While Bernie Sanders is not perfect, Jill Stein is not allowed in the debates, let alone is she or Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb or Lincoln Chaffee getting any media coverage.

I forgot that Jim Webb was running for President until I saw an ad for the debate on CNN.
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Update on shooting of Dontre Hamilton by Officer Christopher Manney

On April 30, 2014, 78 days before Eric Garner was killed and 101 days before Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown in Ferguson Missouri, Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney shot and killed Dontre Hamilton.

Watch Dontre’s brother react

After Dontre Hamilton was spotted sleeping in Red Arrow Park across from City Hall, two police officers showed up after being called, looked at the situation and then left.

Hamilton, an unarmed man with a history of paranoid schizophrenia, was killed April 30.

Workers at the nearby Starbucks called police to complain about Hamilton, 31, sleeping in the park. A pair of officers checked on him and found he was doing nothing wrong.

Manney, the beat officer in the area, was not aware the other officers already had been to the park when he retrieved a voice mail regarding Hamilton’s presence there.

then officer Christopher Manney arrived

Police Chief Edward Flynn said the 38-year-old officer, a 13-year veteran of the department, had been dispatched to the park about 3:30 p.m. after a call involving the suspect.

When he arrived, the suspect was lying on the ground near the park, Flynn said at a news conference outside City Hall.

Flynn said the officer helped the suspect to his feet and began to speak with him. As the officer began patting the man down, a struggle ensued. The officer withdrew his wooden baton and began to defend himself, Flynn said. During the struggle, the man took the baton from the officer and began to beat the officer in the head.

“The officer withdrew his sidearm and fired several shots at the individual, striking him numerous times and ultimately causing his death,” Flynn said.

Flynn said he did not know how many of the shots struck the man. An autopsy has been scheduled.

In October 2014, Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Officer Manney, not for excessive, unjustified use of force against a mentally ill unarmed black man, but for not following police procedure during the stop and after the shooting occurred

fired because he did not follow department procedures for dealing with emotionally disturbed people, Chief Edward Flynn announced Wednesday.

The officer, Christopher Manney, did not use excessive force when he shot Hamilton 14 times, Flynn said; rather, the officer did not follow department rules in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Chief Flynn added 

“We’re not talking war crimes here. We’re not talking that every cop that makes a mistake has to face grand juries and go to jail, but there has to be a consequence,” Flynn said. “We don’t need to demonize this officer in order to hold him accountable for his decisions.”

Manney is entitled to appeal his dismissal to the civilian Fire and Police Commission.

No one on either side of the issue was happy that Officer Manney was fired

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn’s decision to fire the officer who fatally shot Dontre Hamilton at Red Arrow Park has not satisfied people on either side.

Not the Hamilton family, who see the firing as a good step, but want the officer, Christopher Manney, criminally charged. Not local protesters, who support the Hamilton family and believe the shooting is symptomatic of larger issues within the department.

Not the police union and many of Manney’s fellow officers, who decried the chief’s decision as cowardice. And certainly not Manney himself, who “vehemently” disputed the dismissal and filed for duty disability retirement, saying the April 30 shooting and its aftermath resulted in severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

After claiming severe PTSD resulting from the media coverage of the shooting of Dontre Hamilton, Officer Manney filed for disability benefits.  Because he filed for disability before he was fired in October, even though Dontre was shot in April, Officer Manney could still get his benefits.

Two days before the firing, Manney filed for disability retirement, a program designed as a safety net for Milwaukee police and firefighters who suffer physical or psychological injuries on the job. If approved, Manney’s retirement — which would include about 75% of his salary, tax-free — will take precedence over his dismissal because he applied before he was fired.

Manney is among an increasing number of officers suspected of misconduct who have applied for duty disability claiming debilitating stress — sometimes even citing the department’s investigation or media coverage as the cause of that stress.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation published last year found at least five police officers had received duty disability during or after a disciplinary investigation since 2006. Because the former officers don’t have to pay taxes on the money, their take-home pay is about the same as when they were working. Manney, who was hired in 2001, received total pay of about $72,000 in 2012.

I had originally remembered that Manney was claiming PTSD from media coverage of the shooting, but in his response to the charges he says his PTSD is from the actual shooting (or it’s not clear which “incident” he refers to)

He also talks about how “dangerous” it is to be a police officer

The reason cops “fear for their lives” is that they are trained that way.  They don’t watch videos of unarmed people being killed by police the same way we do.  They’re reaction is that no one wants to be arrested so they all say “take me to the hospital instead” or “I can’t breathe.”  They don’t see it as a cry for help, they see it as resisting arrest.  When asked about police brutality they deflect onto “black on black crime

They watch police being killed at traffic stops instead.

what is less-known outside of law enforcement circles is that police officers have their own canon of disturbing videos: a collection of widely viewed and much-discussed field recordings in which their fellow officers are killed or gravely injured in the line of duty.

And if that wasn’t enough, Officer Manney then sued to get his job back (and luckily lost). The hearing was the first time he had been heard from in public since the shooting in April 

“I want to return to duty,” Manney said. “I want to return, it’s who I am. I’m a cop. The doctors, they say I can’t, but that doesn’t hide the fact that I was wrongfully terminated.”

Manney was not criminally charged in the shooting, nor was he disciplined for the use of force. 

Manney testified during the fourth day of his disciplinary appeal, which is similar to a trial with a panel of three Fire and Police Commission members taking the role of jurors.

During the first phase of the hearing 

the panel must determine whether Manney broke a rule. If so, the appeal moves to a second phase in which the panel determines whether the discipline imposed is appropriate.

Manney’s defense then called Robert C. Willis, who is considered an expert in Defense and Arrest Tactics.

“I believe the pat-down was lawful and there were many, many reasons the pat-down was lawful and as I said earlier, I’m not even sure the pat-down even commenced,” Willis testified.

Willis is a frequent expert witness in police misconduct cases and has a history of backing police officers.

And Officer Manney is still allowed to appeal this decision as well 

Manney can still appeal his termination in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The panel’s decision does not affect his pending application for duty disability retirement because he applied before he was fired.

In May he filed his appeal to get his job back

Manney has filed an appeal in an effort to get his job back.

The appeal was filed Tuesday, May 5th with the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office and the Fire and Police Commission.

In final and unanimous decisions, a Fire and Police Commission panel ruled March 23rd Manney would not get his job back. The decisions came after a five-day appeal hearing. The panel ruled Manney violated MPD policy and procedure when he performed that pat down, and also that Manney’s use of force on April 30th was a violation of policy. The panel then decided to uphold Manney’s permanent termination from MPD.

Phase one of Manney’s appeal hearing involved two questions: 1) Did Manney violate MPD’s protocol and code of conduct in his pat down of Dontre Hamilton — and 2) Did Manney’s use of force violate MPD’s protocol and code of conduct?

The Fire and Police Commission panel said “yes” to those questions — with all three commissioners on the panel signing the ruling. In phase two, the commissioners ruled that Chief Flynn’s firing of Manney was appropriate and justified.

In his firing of Manney, Chief Flynn said Manney’s actions escalated the interaction with a mentally ill man to the point deadly force was necessary. In his closing statements during the appeal hearing before the FPC panel, Chief Flynn’s attorney argued Manney should be held responsible.

The case now goes back to the court system. A judge will decide whether Manney will get his job back.

The Fire and Police Commission has five days to notify the circuit court that an appeal has been filed. Once the court is notified, the appeal will be assigned to the court and a judge.

In December, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Manney wouldn’t face criminal charges in this case.

In June as part of the larger Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act (H.R. 2578) Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore introduced an amendment related to the killing of Dontre Hamilton that 

transfers $2 million into the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act for the purpose of expanding and improving police training to safely and appropriately respond to mentally ill individuals.

Mr. Chair, indulge me for a moment while I tell you a story about a 31-year- old man in my home district of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who, unfortunately, is no longer with us today. His name was Dontre Hamilton. Dontre, like many people in this country, suffered from a mental illness. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia 1 year prior to the incident and had been off his medication due to an insurance issue. On April 30 of last year, Dontre was taking a nap on a public park bench when employees of a nearby Starbucks called the police. Two police officers came and did a wellness check and left the scene, discerning that Mr. Hamilton was no threat to himself, nor to anyone in the park or the public. Soon thereafter, yet another call came from the Starbucks employee because this gentleman was sleeping on the public park bench. Another police officer, Officer Manney of the Milwaukee Police Department, arrived and started to pat down Dontre. This pat-down turned into a struggle, and Officer Manney pulled outhis baton to help him subdue Mr. Hamilton. The struggle escalated, and Dontre got control of the baton and swung it at Officer Manney. This caused Officer Manney to draw his firearm and shoot 14 bullets into Dontre Hamilton. Officer Manney was terminated for conducting a pat-down in contravention of his training on dealing with mentally ill individuals but faced no charges in the death of Dontre Hamilton. Mr. Chair, perhaps this tragedy could have been prevented. Too often, our mental health infrastructure is woefully inadequate for many Americans. A lack of treatment can turn a treatable mental illness into a severe debilitating condition. Many can’t hold a job or pay rent. Many end up homeless on the streets. In fact, more than 124,000 of the 610,000 homeless people in the United States suffer from a severe mental illness. As a result of many failures in our system, our Nation’s police officers have de facto become our country’s first responders to crisis calls, including those individuals experiencing mental illness. Too often these calls, many intended to be out of concern for the individual in crisis, become a tragic fatality. As we know, mentally ill persons are not generally dangerous, Mr. Chair. In fact, they are actually more likely to become victims themselves than actual perpetrators of violence. Many of these tragic encounters could be prevented if police officers are trained and follow proper procedures.

Then in July Representative Moore and Senator Baldwin sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch regarding the Department of Justice investigation into the shooting of Dontre Hamilton

In response to mounting frustration over the Department of Justice’s lack of expedience in the assessment of potential civil rights violations in the officer-involved shooting death of Dontre Hamilton,Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) sent the following letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

Attorney General Lynch,

We write to express our concern about the slow pace of the federal review of potential civil rights violations in the officer-involved shooting death of Dontre Hamilton, and federal “pattern and practice” review of the Milwaukee Police Department. We respectfully encourage the Department of Justice to expedite these reviews and to provide the Hamilton family with an update on the status of its efforts around Dontre’s death. It has been more than fourteen months since that tragedy occurred. It has been more than six months since Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm declined to file charges against Office Christopher Manney in relation to the shooting and U.S. Attorney Jim Santelle announced a federal review of the case. However, according to the Hamilton family, they have not received any updates as to the status of this review. Furthermore, U.S. Attorney Santelle began to solicit information from members of the Milwaukee community as early as October 2012 in support of a potential “pattern and practice” investigation of the Milwaukee Police Department. This announcement came after the July 2011 in-custody death of Derek Williams, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide. While we understand that the Justice Department continues to solicit community complaints about the conduct of the Milwaukee Police Department, we share the concern and frustration of the Milwaukee community with the pace of this review. We continue to hear from Milwaukee constituents who are fearful and distrustful of law enforcement, particularly after the deaths of Derek Williams and Dontre Hamilton. We believe tangible progress on these federal investigations will help to restore trust between the Milwaukee Police Department and the broader community and can lead to the implementation of policies and practices that will better protect our officers and better serve the people of Milwaukee. Law enforcement personnel have extremely difficult jobs and they put their lives on the line every day to help keep our communities safe. In Milwaukee, there has been an alarming increase in violence in recent months and, now more than ever, we must ensure that there is trust between police and the people they serve to help reduce crime and strengthen this community. Thank you again for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to working with you going forward.


Senator Tammy Baldwin
Representative Gwen Moore

We will not stop until we get Justice for Dontre Hamilton and the too many more unarmed black men and women and transgender people killed by police with no accountability! 


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Nathan Ener Finally Makes the Mainstream News!

Nathan Ener, the former prison guard who threatened Black Lives Matter activists who came to Texas is finally making national news!!

Next we need to hear that he was arrested for his death threats.

Another example of social media forcing mainstream media to cover an important story.


Shotgun-toting Texan calls for violence against activists to avenge cop’s death in racist rant: ‘A thug’s life don’t matter’

Police News

The Houston Police Officers Union has asked the FBI to investigate viral videos posted online that call for violence against officers, KCPR reported.

One video posted on YouTube by a man named King Noble states, “It’s open killing season on cops.”

Another video posted by Louis Farrakhan, a Nation of Islam leader, tells audience members to “rise up and kill those who kill us.”

On the other side of the spectrum, another YouTube video by Nathan Ener blames the death of Deputy Darren Goforth on African-American protestors and threatens to hunt them down, saying “a thug’s life don’t matter,” while brandishing a shotgun.

Yolanda Smith, a member of the Houston chapter of the NAACP, said she would like to see federal agents investigate Ener’s statements as well. She said the NAACP does not condone violence against anyone.

Powder keg! Texas community leader: Attack anti-cop activists

East Texas community leader, former jailer issues call to attack anti-police activists

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Black Lives Matter more than being polite even to our so called allies

It’s now been one year since the killing of Michael Brown brought #BlackLivesMatter into the national spotlight almost a year after it was created following the Trayvon Martin killing and trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman.  (who enjoys gloating about his freedom while waiting for “karma”)

While it has brought needed attention to a national audience about the issue of police brutality that the black community has known about since slavery, recently #BlackLivesMatter has upset it’s allies in the Democratic party by interrupting Bernie Sanders at an event in Seattle celebrating the anniversary of Medicare and Social Security (and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley at Netroots Nation and Bernie Sanders’ response–I thought Jose Antonio Vargas’ questions were tough until I heard Tia Oso!)

But it is the fact that Black Lives Matter interrupted Sanders that has gotten the most press.

Here is Daunasia Yancey of BLM Boston speaking about Hillary Clinton’s record and why BLM activists are interrupting Democratic “allies” first instead of the criticism heard about why they are not going after Republicans

AMY GOODMAN: And in what capacity was she responsible? Talk about her history, how you hold her responsible.

DAUNASIA YANCEY: Well, she advocated for, as FLOTUS and as senator, for policies that have increased the penalties for minor drug offenses and things like that. Back in ’94, there was $17 billion divested from HUD, from public housing, and $19 billion put into prison construction. And so, with situations like that, that we’ve seen her publicly support, we really wanted to hear from her what has changed in her that she would not continue to promote practices like that.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And how do you respond to folks who say that, well, the Black Lives Matter now has been confronting several Democratic candidates, but the Republican candidates, of which there are many more, have largely been so far unscathed on the question of answering their policy issues in terms of the black community and of police violence and on mass incarceration?

DAUNASIA YANCEY: Yeah. But, well, every presidential candidate should expect to hear from us and expect to be held accountable. It’s actually a practice called “power mapping,” where it’s similar to lobbying, where you actually map who’s closest to you on the issue and go to those folks first in order to force them to articulate their stance and then hold them accountable to it. So this movement is very strategic, and that’s what we’ve been doing.

Here is a discussion of Black Lives Matter from Left Forum. It is an important discussion.  (Sorry I cannot embed it)

What seems to be forgotten is the history of protest in the fight for civil rights.

Today, the March on Washington is remembered as a historic event where people gathered peacefully and heard speeches about civil rights.  Martin Luther King is almost entirely remembered for his “I Have a Dream” speech.


But what has not been a legacy of the march is the correlation to Black Lives Matter interrupting their “allies” today, considering that the March as well was aimed at the Democratic President who had spoken favorably for civil rights in June of that year, sent federal troops to protect James Meredith as he faced rioters at the University of Mississippi.  Two people were killed and more than 300 wounded, including 1/3 of the US Marshals.  So Kennedy’s actions on civil rights, while not enough and certainly criticized by many, was to an extent an ally of the cause and it was seen as impolite to lead a march in Washington calling for him to do more.

LBJ, who actually got the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Acts passed, was angry when Martin Luther King turned against the Vietnam War in 1967.  King gave the speech against the war in Vietnam twice that I know of and have heard, April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church, and April 30, 1967 as a Sunday sermon (audio).

His friends advised him against giving the speech and antagonizing an ally in the fight for civil rights, President Johnson

One of his great advisers and great admirers, Stanley Levison, who was always with Dr. King in his corner, was against Martin giving this speech. So practically everybody in his inner circle was against him giving it – one, because they knew the kind of pushback he was going to get. And secondly, so many civil rights leaders were opposed to him giving it because LBJ had been the best president to black people on civil rights. He passed the Voting Rights Act. He passed the Civil Rights Act. And so the question was, Martin, why would you antagonize the president who has been our friend?

Martin Luther King brilliantly linked civil rights, economic justice and fighting imperialism and war as 3 parts of the same fight.  The fight for civil rights was useless without fixing the economic inequality that was a legacy of institutional racism as King famously asked

“What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?”

“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums”

The mainstream press viciously attacked King for speaking out against the war, and said he tarnished his role as a civil rights leader.  The New York Times, Washington Post and more than 160 other papers wrote against King’s speech against the war.

Speaking on April 30, 1967 here was King’s response to the media that attacked him for his April 4th speech against the Vietnam War

They applauded us in the sit-in movement–we non-violently decided to sit in at lunch counters. The applauded us on the Freedom Rides when we accepted blows without retaliation. They praised us in Albany and Birmingham and Selma, Alabama. Oh, the press was so noble in its applause, and so noble in its praise when I was saying, Be non-violent toward Bull Connor;when I was saying, Be non-violent toward [Selma, Alabama segregationist sheriff] Jim Clark. There’s something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that will praise you when you say, Be non-violent toward Jim Clark, but will curse and damn you when you say, “Be non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children. There’s something wrong with that press!

The media attacked his speech against the war in Vietnam just as fellow preachers had told King to wait to fight for civil rights.  King responded with A Letter from Birmingham Jail

A Call for Unity

Just as we formerly pointed out that “hatred and violence have no sanction in our religious and political traditions,” we also point out that such actions as incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be, have not contributed to the resolution of our local problems. We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified in Birmingham.


We urge the public to continue to show restraint should the demonstrations continue, and the law enforcement official to remain calm and continue to protect our city from violence.

We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham.

A Letter from Birmingham Jail

I think I should indicate why I am here In Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.


I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place In Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. We have gone through an these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.


As in so many past experiences, our hopes bad been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community.


You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: “Why didn’t you give the new city administration time to act?” The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society


when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you no forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” – then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may won ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Malcolm X was even tougher on the civil rights leaders and on politicians and the March on Washington which he criticized as tamed down by white leaders

Malcolm X

delivering his “Message to the Grass Roots” speech in November of 1963, less than three months after the March on Washington. In that same speech, he goes on to criticize the, quote, “Big Six,” the six leading civil rights organizers at the time: Martin Luther King, James Farmer, John Lewis, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young.


This is what they did with the March on Washington. They joined it. They didn’t integrate it; they infiltrated it. They joined it, became a part of it, took it over. And as they took it over, it lost its militancy. They ceased to be angry. They ceased to be hot. They ceased to be uncompromising. Why, it even ceased to be a march. It became a picnic

Black Agenda Report wrote about how Malcolm X would denounce those black leaders today who have sided with capitalist “bloodsuckers” and has asked where Black Lives Matter criticism of our current leaders, just like Malcolm X would do, is.

Last month folks whom Alicia Garza described as “part of our team” disrupted two minor white male candidates at NetRootsNation, the annual networking event for paid and wannabe paid Democratic party activists, embarrassing them with demands over structural racism and “say her name”. If they were positioning themselves for careers inside the far-flung Democratic party apparatus, it was a smart move, because Hillary wasn’t there. Hence they got noticed in that crowd of Democrat operatives without antagonizing the people with the real money and connections.

still, the protests worked

This was Bernie Sanders after Black Lives Matter interrupted him.

Statement on Racial Justice

Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Samuel DuBose. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry.

BLM Seattle statement on Bernie protest

Today BLM Seattle, with the support of other Black organizers and non-Black allies and accomplices, held Bernie Sanders publicly accountable for his lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and his blatantly silencing response to the ‪#‎SayHerName‬ ‪#‎IfIDieInPoliceCustody‬ action that took place at Netroots this year.

Bernie’s arrival in Seattle is largely significant in the context of the state of emergency Black lives are in locally as well as across America. The Seattle Police Department has been under federal consent decree for the last three years and has been continually plagued by use-of-force violations and racist scandals amongst their rank and file. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has refused to push any reform measures for police accountability, not even the numerous recommendations of his self-appointed Community Police Commission. The Seattle School District suspends Black students at a rate six times higher than their white counterparts, feeding Black children into the school-to-prison pipeline. King County has fought hard to push through a plan to build a $210 million new youth jail to imprison these children, amid intense community criticism and dissent. The Central District, a historically Black neighborhood in Seattle, has undergone rapid gentrification over the past few decades, with Black people being displaced from the only neighborhood that we could legally live in until just years ago. While white men profit off of the legalization of marijuana, our prisons are still filled with Black people who are over-incarcerated for drug offenses.

This city is filled with white progressives, which is why Bernie Sanders’ camp was obviously expecting a friendly and consenting audience for today’s campaign visit. The problem with Sanders’, and with white Seattle progressives in general, is that they are utterly and totally useless (when not outright harmful) in terms of the fight for Black lives. While we are drowning in their liberal rhetoric, we have yet to see them support Black grassroots movements or take on any measure of risk and responsibility for ending the tyranny of white supremacy in our country and in our city. This willful passivity while claiming solidarity with the #‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement in an effort to be relevant is over. White progressive Seattle and Bernie Sanders cannot call themselves liberals while they participate in the racist system that claims Black lives. Bernie Sanders will not continue to call himself a man of the people, while ignoring the plight of Black people.

Keep up the protests, and don’t forget the leaders in power, even when they do what we want.  If we let the pressure fade they will go back to ignoring us. 

Black Lives Matter Seattle protests timeline

A few articles discussing the Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton protests

Black Agenda Report on BLM and Hillary Clinton

BAR on Bernie and Netroots

BAR on disruption and collaboration

self determination

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Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and Caribbean Bananas

While many are discussing Hillary Clinton’s role in the 1990’s “tough on crime” laws thanks to Black Lives Matter protests, few know about a small trade issue in the Caribbean when Bill Clinton was President.  It was referred to as the Banana Wars. (all puns aside for the moment)Newsweek

Brawl Over Bananas

WHEN A UNITED STATES trade delegation arrived on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia two weeks ago, the visit seemed like a perfect escape from Washington: no more snow, no more scandals, no more tales of shadowy quid pro quos. But the Americans walked into an enemy camp in the middle of an all-out banana war. When they stopped at the rickety, dockside offices of the St. Lucia Banana Growers Association, its managing director, Rupert Gajadhar, lashed out at the Clinton administration’s “diabolical” campaign to abolish European preferences that have kept the Caribbean banana trade–and the islands that depend on it–from going bust. “You are conducting the worst kind of economic warfare against a defenseless people,” he said. “You take away our bananas and leave us with no alternative but misery, strife, suffering.” After a 30-minute tirade, Gajadhar abruptly ended the meeting. The Americans filed out in stunned silence.

So much for a warm Caribbean welcome. When Bill Clinton arrives in Barbados the week after next to meet with Caribbean leaders, his reception will surely be more diplomatic. But throughout the Caribbean, there is a strong undercurrent of resentment against the United States. After years of nourishing democracies in the islands, economic assistance is drying up even as walls of protective tariffs come tumbling down. U.S. economic aid to the Caribbean has fallen by 90 percent, from $226 million in 1985 to $22 million in 1995. Even more damage has been done to the region by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The “great sucking sound” that Ross Perot warned about has been loudest in the Caribbean, which has lost jobs, markets and investment to Mexico. Clinton promised the islands benefits similar to those of NAFTA, but Congress has quashed his proposal twice, and its prospects look dim. Suddenly the region feels neglected. As Vaughn Lewis, St. Lucia’s prime minister, told NEWSWEEK: “We have dropped off the geopolitical map.”

The banana war is the latest, and most worrisome, sign of a relationship on the skids. The dispute began in 1993, when the European Union (EU) implemented a policy that favored the small banana growers of its former colonies in the Caribbean. It imposed trade barriers on the cheaper bananas grown in Latin America by Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte. Those U.S. companies control some two thirds of the world banana market, compared to just 3 percent for the Caribbean growers. Last year, after heavy lobbying from the Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International, which claimed the restrictions cost the company $400 million in lost revenues, Washington took the case to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The United States had little direct interest in the issue: it does not export bananas, and only a handful of U.S. jobs were at stake. Could there be another reason the White House pursued the case? Between 1993 and 1996 Chiquita and its chairman, Carl Lindner, donated more than $1.1 million to the Democratic Party–enough, evidently, to earn him a night in the White House in early 1995. The contributions were legal, and both sides deny there was any quid pro quo. But Chiquita will soon get at least part of what it wanted: next week the WTO is expected to issue a final report striking down the European preferences, which could have disastrous consequences for the eastern Caribbean.

Washington has a history of protecting American fruit companies. In 1954 the CIA helped overthrow a socialist government in Guatemala, partly to defend United Fruit Co. plantations. Today United Fruit, reincarnated as Chiquita, still exerts influence in Washington. The company lodged its complaint about Europe’s banana preferences with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in September 1994. Lindner, who contributes to the GOP as well (more than $1.4 million since ’92), also contacted Bob Dole, who flew in a Lindner-owned plane during his presidential campaign. USTR records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show that Mickey Kantor, Clinton’s trade rep at the time, met Lindner on three occasions to discuss the banana issue. The first two were breakfast sessions at the Watergate hotel, hosted by Dole. “Dole was just rabid on the issue,” says a former USTR official.

“Lindner wanted the administration to do a lot more than we did,” Kantor said last week. Instead of imposing sanctions on the Europeans, as Lindner requested, Washington filed a complaint with the WTO. USTR spokesman Jay Ziegler said his office has a “legal obligation” to protest unfair trade practices “whenever there are U.S. corporate interests at stake.” Kantor said the case was based on recommendations by USTR civil servants, not Lindner’s contributions to the Democratic Nation- al Committee. Says Chiquita spokesman Joseph Hagin: “The charge that Carl’s contributions were linked to policy changes simply does not reflect reality.”

The WTO’s interim report, which would require the EU to dismantle its preferences, leaked last month. Caribbean growers and their U.S. supporters were outraged. Last week a dozen protesters led by Randall Robinson of TransAfrica, a lobbyist for Third World causes, dumped a ton of bananas in front of the USTR office near the White House. (Bemused passersby took advantage of one of the town’s truly free lunches.) “After the fall of communism, we are all dispensable now,” says John Mederick, who works for the growers’ association on St. Lucia. “For the sake of a single company, the U.S. is threatening to destroy the fabric of a society. Chaos will be the result.”

Some Caribbean leaders warn that if the banana business goes bust, the drug trade may increase. Already about 40 percent of the cocaine and heroin sold in the United States comes through the Caribbean, according to U.S. figures, and the eastern steppingstone islands are the fastest-growing conduit for traffickers. “If no alternative is found for bananas, these islands are going to have some big problems with drugs,” says St. Lucia police commissioner Vernon Augustine.

Finding viable alternatives to bananas will take time and money. But a short-term disaster may still be averted. Despite a year of heated rhetoric and cold shoulders, U.S. and Caribbean officials say in private that they want to reach a compromise to keep the banana trade afloat. That, in fact, was what the U.S. trade delegation wanted to explore in St. Lucia two weeks ago–if only Gajadhar hadn’t gone bananas.

Here is Randall Robinson talking about his book The Debt on Democracy Now

I think it’s unforgivable that Clinton, who has enjoyed more support in the black community than Jesse Jackson and Colin Powell, according to polls done in the early nineties, would do what he has done to Caribbean banana-based economies. Democratic-friendly countries to the United States have been devastated by Clinton, who sold the administration to Chiquita Bananas for a campaign contribution.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain that further. I don’t think people really understand what this is about.

RANDALL ROBINSON: Countries like Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, depend on the export of bananas for 70%, 80%, 85% of their foreign exchange earnings. They’re small economies, and so they can’t diversify. These are small islands, and they’re volcanic islands, and so economies of scale mean that it takes a little more to grow a banana in those places per banana per unit than it does on the vast acreages of Central America, where Chiquita and the large fruit growers grow bananas.

And so, because of this, the former colonial powers — the English in this case — have carved out a tiny share of the European market. These countries don’t sell any bananas in the United States, and so they depend on this European market, which is just 3% of the world market, 6% of the European market, to buy their bananas on a preferential basis to sustain these democratic economies.

AMY GOODMAN: Is it a kind of reparations for these countries because they’re former colonies?

RANDALL ROBINSON: It’s an acknowledgment of what the metropol country owes to these countries. And, of course, Carl Lindner of Chiquita Bananas wants that market share. And so he made an enormous contribution to the Democratic Party, to the Republican Party, as well, slept in the Lincoln bedroom, flew on Air Force One.

Clinton went to the WTO, after Mickey Kantor told us that we would do nothing that would be harmful to the interest of these democratic friendly countries — went to the WTO and got a ruling, which means that these countries will find their economies destroyed, making them more vulnerable to the drug trafficking, the drug traffic that comes from the countries of supply in Latin America to the market in the United States, because these countries have become more vulnerable, because of the economic policies of the US. And so, we’ve got farmers now in St. Vincent ingesting insecticide, committing suicide, because of what the Clinton administration has done. And this is the reward we get from a president who was elected, one could argue, by the black community.

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Racist Former Texas Prison Guard Nathan Ener Threatens Black Lives Matter Activists over death of Texas Sheriff Darren Goforth

Former Texas prison guard Nathan Ener took to Facebook after the killing of Texas Sheriff Deputy Darren Goforth to rail against the Black Lives Matter movement, Black Panther Party and “thugs” and threaten any activists who come to Texas to “kill cops”

// is the full video, which he has since deleted


The Mysterious Death of Alfred Wright


Luckily this is what happened when Nathan Ener was actually confronted by Black Panther members at a rally for Alfred Wright, at least last year before Darren Goforth was killed and Black Lives Matter was a national movement.

A short clip

Here is a longer video


He also tells people to prevent Black Lives Matter/Black Panthers from naming a street after Sandra Bland.

Cassandra writes over at PINAC News

OPINION: Hypocrisy of Racist Texan’s Video Threatening to Shoot “Thugs” Over Dead Cop

documenting how every time a cop is killed, right wing fanatics go nuts, but shed no tears over the many more innocent, unarmed people killed by cops.

If you’re not following @Cassandrarules yet, do it now.  You won’t be sorry.

Anonymous adds what they have collected so far on Nathan Ener

Fuck this racist prick. Here’s the text from my doxing. Screencaps don’t save on pastebin, links provided.


Related Names:
• mammie ener
• winfred ener
• grandma patsy clarke
• tammy and greg ener of lufkin texas
• tammy seems to support the cops too, might just be a redneck thing
• hubby greg has nathan ener on his friendslist
• also f inds chelsa ener (see twitter id chelseanate) :

Nathan’s Daughter:

Ashley Ener (Nathan’s Other Daughter)

– not a cop, a former prison guard:
– Enjoyed beating inmates:
“Those were some of my best days, I really loved working there, loved beating those inmates too. Kelp me in shape.”

– likes the Harris County Sherrif’s Office, Tx
– supports American Rancher Cliven Bundy

– supports Israel
– keeps basset hounds & a germal shepherd
– likes fishing at Toledo Bend Lake
– participates in old west reenactments
– enjoys taking the race-baiting, “Police Lives Matter” new favorite slogan

Was cited in 2009 for not adding a kill to his hunting card, but was subsequently let off the hook in a case of judicial favoritism. Big uproar.

Full case is an interesting read:
“On November 24, 2009, Texas Park and Wildlife Game Warden Randy Button (“Button”) cited Nathan Ener (“Ener”) for failing to complete the harvest log on the back of his hunting license after killing a buck white-tail deer.   “

Also see ..

Apparently he found some of the Columbia wreckage. Pic is 12 years old, he’s shaved and gotten greyer since then.

Was involved in a standoff with the Black Panthers….
“YouTube video shows a standoff between Quanell X and Hemphill resident, Nathan Ener.  The New Black Panthers were in Hemphill protesting and wanting answers from Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox.  Wright’s family believes the sheriff knows more about his disappearance.  “

More lulz on this matter including video:

… and
… and

.. wrote a positive review of

August 8, 2006

Thank you, Frank Romano for the best truck at the best price, you are one of the nicest guys I have ever done business with. I will be back again when I get ready to buy another truck. Thanks Again. Nathan Ener, Hemphill, Texas.

Nathan Ener
Hemphill Texas, TX

Wrote a positive review for the Texas Rangers:

Possible Geneological record:
CLARK, TAMMY D who was 25 (born ABT 1969) married 19 JAN 1994 in POLK COUNTY, TEXAS, U.S.A. a groom named NATHAN ENER who was 31 (born ABT 1963). 4928100  
Check the source file (free) and then check Archives for TAMMY CLARK.  
– not many hits for a “Tammy” on his FB
– might be referring to Nathan Junior, as I found a Nathan Ener married to Tammy D Ener in Hemphill tx that is 50-54

 Phone number 

•    409-787-3406  
• Windstream Communications Landline


•     PO Box 511  Hemphill, TX 75948-0511 

### possible secondary number 409-787-3407

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Justice for Nate Wilks

Police shoot and kill someone every single day.  So far in 2015 there have only been nine days where that was not the case. Every day we have to learn about a new name, and details of what happened.  One recent name I heard was Nate Wilks. Police say he was an armed robbery suspect and during a chase turned towards cops and refused orders to drop gun. According to the family, eyewitnesses at the scene disagree and say he was simply running away from police.  Oakland police showed the video to reporters on the condition that they don’t release it to the public (because that’s how to regain our trust!)

Although some witnesses said Wilks raised the gun at the officers, the videos do not show him making such a move.

“Remember, a gun can be fired from any position,” [Lt. Roland] Holmgren said.

East Bay Express discusses California transparency laws with regards to when footage is shown

Oakland Police Department officials came under fire last week for showing police body-camera videos to a group of select journalists, while refusing to release the footage to the general public. First Amendment experts widely agreed that OPD’s actions likely violated the California Public Records Act, and that, at minimum, the department should now show the videos, which involved the two recent deaths of local citizens, to anyone who wants to see them. And while those criticisms are valid, last week’s video disclosures also raise numerous questions about how and when police departments will reveal video footage at a time when law enforcement agencies around the state are increasingly mandating that all cops use body cameras.

Rapid News Network adds

Body cameras also captured the deaths of two other men, Demouria Hogg and Antonio Clements, who have been shot and killed by police since June. Hogg was killed during a confrontation near Lake Merritt after police said he was found asleep in his auto with a loaded gun on the passenger seat.

The deadly shooting of 24-year-old Nate Wilks led to protests in the streets of Oakland. It also drew criticism from prominent civil rights attorneys upset that the department limited the viewing to select media members and refused to show footage of other men recently shot and killed by police. “They should not just be released when the shootings from a police point of view are justifiable”.

I was glad that the fundraiser for an independent autopsy reached it’s goal.  I am also reaching out for more information on the case, since I have had trouble finding information after the fundraiser.  I am also trying unsuccessfully to find more information on Tyronne Harris, shot on the anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown

// A second look at the autopsy of Mansur Ball-Bey shows why we need independent autopsies conducted in police shootings.

Mansur Ball-Bey, shot last week by police, suffered a severed spinal cord, officials disclosed Wednesday, leading to questions of whether such a wound would have permitted him to run a short distance, as officers have said.


Dr. Michael Graham, the medical examiner, arranged a re-examination of the body Wednesday and told a reporter that Ball-Bey’s spinal cord may have survived the impact but unraveled as he ran. In any event, the bullet also pierced his heart, which still would have been fatal.


Attorney Jermaine Wooten, who is representing Ball-Bey’s family, said the second examination at Graham’s office is “suspicious.”


“That’s a clear indication to me that given the initial results they learned from the initial autopsy, it doesn’t support the position the police laid out at first as it relates to Bey being shot and running, so they want to take a second look to modify those findings,” Wooten said. “These things should have been addressed early on and I don’t see why they are taking a second look when it should have been thorough and complete the first time.

Ball-Bey’s family attorneys have said that he wasn’t even in the house when it was raided.

Police have said Ball-Bey and a 14-year-old ran out the back door of the residence and encountered two officers in the alley. They say Ball-Bey pointed a stolen handgun with an extended magazine at one of them.


The second-story flat at 1243 Walton Avenue has a long, steep rear staircase that leads to a door secured with a board. From there, attorneys showed how Ball-Bey would have had to run across the backyard, hop a fence into the alley, then run through another nearby backyard to the south and down a gangway before collapsing from a single gunshot wound to the back.


“The police narration isn’t plausible at all,” Jermaine Wooten, an attorney for Ball-Bey’s family, said at the scene. “That’s a lot of running he would have had to do to get to this point.”


Ball-Bey’s cousins live at the residence, but they told attorneys he wasn’t at the home when police arrived. They said he was coming there from work at FedEx shortly before the shooting.




I was very excited to see that the goal was reached with 21 hours left to raise more funds


I also noticed that a Scott Olsen had donated $100.  I later confirmed that it was in fact Iraq War vet Scott Olsen injured by police at the Occupy Oakland protest

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A Character Letter on Jason Flannery, cop who killed VonDerrit Myers

I am posting this here because I don’t like Scribd.  The original is here.  I tried to do the formatting the same as well as I could.  Any errors are mine.

A Character Letter on Jason Flannery

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Fewer Israelis killed in 22 years of terrorism than Palestinians killed in 51 days

Terrorism is usually described as violence with a political goal, and it is meant to be a cheap form of fighting, for example set off one bomb and make society spend lots more preventing next attack. Before 9/11, I would say that two societies, Israel and Ireland, were the best known examples. It is generally acknowledged that terrorism is not really about killing people, but more about striking fear into the rest of the population.

I just found this on the website of the Jewish Virtual Library, a list of every victim of terrorism in Israel since 1993 when the Oslo peace agreement was signed.

Here are the total number of victims for the last 22 years.

From the Oslo Accords (Sept. 1993) until September 2000 – nearly 300 Israelis were killed in attacks.

During the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Intifada (Sept. 2000 – Dec. 2005) another 1,100 Israelis were killed.

Since December 2005, Palestinian terrorist attacks have claimed at least another 154 Israeli lives.

300 + 1,100 + 154 = 1,554 Israelis killed by terrorism in 22 years.  

2,310 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza in 51 days of 2014 war

Compare that to the number of people, mainly civilians and more than 500 children killed in last years 51 day war in Gaza.

Governments focus on terrorism, but rarely acknowledge how few people it actually kills.

Since 9/11, an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots against targets in the United States. Most were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.

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Unfortunate choice of words for Jon Stewart day before final show

I love Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show.  His criticism of politicians and the media is great, and he will mention issues and policies in 10 minutes that you cannot hear in the 24 hour Mainstream media, as Democracy Now! summed up as Jon left the show

Jon Stewart, known as “the most trusted name in fake news,” bid farewell to “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central Thursday night after 16 years. The satirical news show transformed the media landscape, revealing and reveling in the hypocrisies of politicians and their media bedfellows. Thursday night, Stewart said goodbye to his viewers, warning the audience not to believe misinformation.

There is some criticism of his show as Luke Rudkowski examined a few of them here

He also praised NAFTA recently as good for Mexico when interviewing Bill Clinton.

Look up the Zapatistas.  Nettie Wild, a filmmaker from Canada noted that “in Canada we debated NAFTA, but in Mexico they went to war over it.”

Zapatista National Army of Liberation

The group takes its name from Emiliano Zapata, the agrarian reformer[2] and commander of the Liberation Army of the Southduring the Mexican Revolution, and sees itself as his ideological heir.

Democracy Now! 20 year anniversary of Zapatista uprising

On the same day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army and people of Chiapas declared war on the Mexican government, saying that NAFTAmeant death to indigenous peoples. They took over five major towns in Chiapas with fully armed women and men. The uprising was a shock, even for those who for years worked in the very communities where the rebel army had been secretly organizing.

NAFTA at 20 with Lori Wallach on Democracy Now!

The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect 20 years ago this week on January 1, 1994. The massive trade pact was signed into law by President Bill Clinton amidst great promise that it would raise wages, create jobs and even improve health and environmental safety standards. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs have vanished as companies sought lower-wage workers in Mexico. Meanwhile, NAFTA has generated more poverty in Mexico, forcing millions of citizens to migrate to the United States in search of work.

VICE News video 20 years of Zapatista

Film on Zapatistas

The conversation starts talking about Mexico almost from the start as they discuss Donald Trump running for President and his remarks on immigrants as criminals

Clinton’s quotes and statistics that he is famous for start at 2:24

“between 2010 and 2014 there was no net in migration from Mexico”

“all we read about is the violence of the drug war”

“the previous President built 140 tuition-free universities”

“2 years ago the Mexicans produced 113,000 engineers we produced 120,000”

“they’ve had very brisk growth and except in the narco centers the crime rate the murder rate has gone down”

Jon says

“so here we’re going to talk about trade.  So NAFTA has been very beneficial I think for Mexico I think you would agree it brought a lot of jobs to Mexico it changed the political climate down there it brought them.  NAFTA is being used as an example of why we shouldn’t do the TPP.  So tell me why are these trade agreements these free trade agreements good for American workers?

Clinton well let’s first of all explain what happened with Mexico.

Stewart OK. how far back are we going?

[audience laughs]

Clinton just to NAFTA.

so what happened after NAFTA was they had almost a total collapse of their currency

Stewart right peso collapse

Clinton so I gave them a loan back in 1995 which they paid back 3 years early and taxpayers earned $570 million in interest.  $560 million.

Stewart it was 562.  go ahead.

[audience laughs]

Clinton they earned the money.  but as a result of that their economy was weak.  plus they were one of our biggest oil suppliers before we were self sufficient in oil.  so we did have a trade deficit there.  and the analysis of all of our trade agreements with countries with lower per capita income then we have shows that on balance the countries we have trade agreements with we tend to have balanced trade much more then let’s say with China with whom we have no trade agreement with and we have a humongous deficit.

Stewart but that was well some would say that the larger problem was not NAFTA but China joining the WTO.

Clinton well the larger problem whether they joined or not we had a huge trade deficit with them before they joined WTO and at least when they got into WTO they has to agree to rules and if we vigorously enforced trade deals we had a forum to enforce it.

There is more that I cannot type right now

anyone want to help me with transcripts? LOL

Stewart goes to commercial break and says when the show returns they will discuss “what that sensible economic policy looks like.”

How about Marxism as a sensible economic policy? Turns out Jon Stewart is no Jon Stewart.  (I was confused at first seeing his name here)

I’m in favor of Marxism, or more specifically, Democracy at work.  shared profits among all workers.  Not an end to private property and 5 year plans, just real fairness in who gets what from the economy.

I wrote a little about that here discussing the fight for $15 an hour minimum wage.

So while Jon Stewart and the Daily Show can be a news source for college kids and a source of satire and an excellent resource on hypocrisy, there are issues with Jon and his political stance and mainstream liberal ideas.

Counterpunch points out some problems Jon has with the Left in a piece on his “Rally to Restore Sanity” which talks about Stewart’s criticism of the Left and his “non-ideological” positions.

There is also his friendship not only with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama but also Bill O’Reilley.

And now that there is some background, the main point of this post, a simple bad choice of words, unless it turns out Jon knew what he was saying all along, the day before his final show and the day before the 70th anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima, a war crime bombing a civilian population in order to scare off Russia.

Jon poked fun at the media calling his monologues “eviscerations” of his targets.  He called the segment “The Daily Show: Destroyer of Worlds”

Embedded image permalink

Which was J. Robert Oppenheimer’s comment on nuclear weapons.

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that one way or another.

You can watch the full documentary from 1965 here

Just one more thing I won’t miss about Jon Stewart


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