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*edit, February 22, 2017 – Reviewing my post, I realize that it’s confusing due to my having left out a snippet of Kim Petersen’s article dealing with the Bible and homosexuality. Kim relays a back and forth he had with William Blum over Blum’s comments on Islam and mentions the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality. Since much of my online response dealt with that, I should include that snippet. The second excerpt will include that snippet.
Two excerpts from the above linked-to article by Kim Petersen follow:
Respected writer William Blum understands US hegemony and imperialism on a global scale. In his important book Rogue State, he provided a comprehensive account of US imperialism around the world.
Recently, Blum wrote a trenchant article that compellingly ridiculed the nonsense that Donald Trump is a greater evil than Barack Obama. Blum tore the veneer off the Democratic Party and corporate media’s hypocritical demonization of Trump. As a clincher, Blum finishes his piece with sarcasm: “And if you like Barack Obama you’ll love Hillary Clinton.”
Trump, Obama, and Clinton are three evils. Of the three, Trump is the lesser evil. What is important is that come election time, the ballot is not confined to a lesser-evilist choice. The Green Party’s Jill Stein is not evil.
In the otherwise excellent piece by Blum appears a paragraph that I find superficial, void of historical validity, and above all, it seems to be repeating indoctrinating patterns typical of Islamophobia:
Obama’s declaration that ISIS “has nothing to do with Islam”. This is standard political correctness which ignores the indisputable role played by Islam in inspiring Orlando and Long Beach and Paris and Ankara and many other massacres; it is the religion that teaches the beauty and godliness of Jihad and the heavenly rewards of suicide bombings.
Kim Petersen: I just have to add since you took on Islam that your article would have read less tendentious if you had noted that the Bible’s God smites first born children, urges God-fearing people to commit genocide, condemns homosexuals, etc, etc — the point being that Christianity has nothing over Islam.
The Left uses the term “Islamophobia” to refer to anti-Islamic thinking and behavior. I do not. Phobias are fears. You can’t argue with genuine fears. You can’t call them good or bad. They are neither. What Kim Petersen is talking about when he uses the term is anti-Islamic thinking and behavior. It may be less convenient to not use the single term “Islamophobia,” but better that than something that is actually not apt.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Jehovah God certainly indicts religions. Just read Revelation chapter 17. We are now, in fact, into a time of the separation of the sheep and the goats. As with much that the Christian Bible (which I’ve read in it’s entirety but when I was young and lacking the sophistication to process it better) reveals, details are not provided. But the Bible also reveals (it is my opinion that Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom I am not associated with, have this right) that the nations, collectively, ran out of time in 1914. That is when their leases on planet earth were up. Israelis can carry on their murderous politicide and spout dark fantasies about having God’s blessing when they murder all the Palestinians in the land they claim God has given them, but it’s utterly, profoundly meaningless. All of the nations comprising the wild beast of corporatocracy (that’s my formulation, in harmony, I believe, with the Bible’s revelations) are godless and slated for destruction. As for the individuals within them, They have to make up their minds about what is actually, despite what godless Leftisists would claim, the greatest issue of our time, namely the Issue of Universal Sovereignty (http://bit.ly/2hkknEL).
Note, When you misrepresent God, He will not violate his standards and bless you for that. He will not abandon those who are loyal to him, which they show by defending his standards, including being peaceable, but he cannot bestow blessings, and therefore protection, upon groups that abandon him. We shouldn’t expect that.
I write this not as someone who is fair-minded, principled and capable of good judgment, only (which I hope is the case), but also as someone who possesses faith, which the Bible notes involves more than just a feeling or a way of looking at things.
Those, like Noam Chomsky and Kim Petersen, who find fault with the Christian Bible due to its seemingly genocidal and violent passages are thinking rightly, at least at a glance. Was Chomsky already someone who rejected a creator God when he decided that those passages were what he says they are? (I do not know Kim Petersen) Chomsky told me personally, and respectfully and politely, that he can’t believe in anything that can’t be measured. Fair enough. I can’t measure, physically, Chomsky’s mind. Does that mean that he can’t be measured? I measure Chomsky’s mind by what it creates. I have a huge pile of his books and that certainly makes it possible for me to ‘measure’ Chomsky’s intangible, unmeasurable mind.
Always factor in bias.
The condemnation of those who were created and want to self-modify (which isn’t approved but is allowed and will result in negative consequences), in the area of homosexuality, is perhaps not as severe as it appears. If you actually believe in God, and accept his inspired word (which I confess I have issues with) as inspired and true, then why would you not expect him to give those who are born gay ‘and’ even those who choose to experiment with their sexuality, an ‘out’ upon condemning that deviation from his design for humankind? And sure enough, What those who bring up the condemnation of homosexuality NEVER also bring up is that ‘out’, which ‘out’ is evidenced by 1. scriptures that reveal that until the death of the last apostle, divine guidance sometimes involved personal miraculous healing and 2. the apostle Paul’s mentioning of those who ‘practiced’ homosexuality but put it behind them (presumably with divine assistance). 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
We are all born imperfect, although we are basically good until we choose (under pressure from a dark, godless world) not to be. God knows our limits. We can’t know when someone who lies, or steals in order to survive, or when someone does more terrible things than that, has passed the point of no return, from God’s standpoint. If you kidnap my family and threaten to kill them unless I do something wicked, I’m going to feel the greatest pressure.
Today – and I wish the Christian Bible took today more into account, in some ways, than it does – we are further than ever from the state of perfection enjoyed by our first human parents (before they sinned, but not under pressure). We have all inherited imperfection and it manifests in many forms. My half brother has Down syndrome. Others are gay, not by choice. Does God condemn them? At this time, He can’t cure them. Therefore, Why would he condemn them? Personally, I believe that we – who survive Armageddon – will all be corrected. We must be. That includes homosexuals. Until then, though, I believe that the only thing God wants from homosexuals is loyalty to him and his standards, which standards include honesty and a love of truth.
As for the passages where it seems genocide is being commanded, one needs to weigh those passages against other passages (and admonitions which the Hebrews would be aware of) that talk about war in more compassionate terms. (This is a project for me, I see. I don’t study the Bible anymore, even though I remember it’s main message. I’ve forgotten much and can’t readily summon from memory pertinent scriptures.)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Daniel Dale follows:
NAFTA’s been a catastrophe for our country,” Trump said at the White House. “It’s been a catastrophe for our workers and our jobs and our companies. They’re leaving our country. I want to change it. And maybe redo it.”
He suggested an “extra F” could be added to the revised deal, for the word “fair.”
“Free and fair trade. Not just free trade, free and fair trade. Because it’s very unfair,” he said.
When I listen to Trump talk, I cringe. (“I will be so good at the military your head will spin.”) I’m hearing Homer Simpson. I cringed when I listened to Obama, as well. But that’s just because I was listening to pure evil. Trump, while funny, is every bit as dangerous and evil as any of his predecessors in the Oval Orifice, mind you. Does nuclear holocaust or Idiocracy go down better if the lunatics sending us to hell give us a chuckle while we’re on our way? Speaking of Idicocracy, the great, funny flick by Mike Judge, that, like the Matrix, managed to say so many true things about our society, Check out the recent Real News Network show in which Jaisal Noor interviews Diane Ravitch, who also makes an appearance in the fantastic documentary titled “Killing Ed – Charter Schools, Corruption, And The Glen Movement In America,” by Mark S Hall. Diane and Jaisal talk about the confirmation – too close to call at this point – of Betsy DeVos (as Education Secretary) who has never taught in a public school and hates public schools.
The changes to NAFTA haven’t happened yet. In fact, Trump’s still got time to alter the name further. He just might realize that his version of NAFTA will also be ‘great’. And ‘awesome’. And ‘nice’. And good for the environment, which is to say ‘green’. And ‘simple’, so even the children can understand it. And ‘terrific’, because it will be. And ‘excellent’, in case some people miss great, awesome and terrific. And ‘right’ because it’s the right thing to do, wink, wink. Hmm. Will he settle on NAFFGANGSTERTA?
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Zero Hedge follows:
As reported yesterday, Mexico is not at all looking forward to starting the process of renegotiating NAFTA with Donald Trump, explicitly warning the US that “there are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start.”…
And while subsequently Bloomberg reported that Nieto will visit the US as planned after all, the fury in Mexico is palpable and the Mexico News Daily reported that Trump’s border wall order sparked fierce backlash among Mexican lawmakers. The National Action Party’s Margareta Zavala called Trump’s order “an offense to Mexico” ahead of Peña Nieto’s trip. Jorge Castaneda, who served as secretary under former Mexican President Vicente Fox, also blasted the measure Wednesday. “This is an insult to those Mexican officials, to the president of Mexico and to all Mexicans,” he said, referencing two Mexican officials who met Trump administration staff on Wednesday.
Whatever. Those ‘leaders’ who are so incensed by Trump’s disrespect toward “Mexicans,” don’t seem to mind disprespecting their own people, which they’ve done forever, via partnering with murderous uncle Sam to allow rightwing forces in Mexico, as elsewhere, to prevail over the people and their champions, who, if they possessed political power might want to keep their country and it’s resources for themselves rather than see army-backed foreigners take them. By their deeds, notably the buying of elections – those leaders have shown what they think of democracy, and by extension, their people who could really use democracy but find it utterly out of reach, not mysteriously. “The incorporation of Canada within a US-dominated free trade system in 1988 is a step towards consolidation of the dollar bloc, which is also intended to incorporate northern Mexico with its supply of cheap labor for assembly plants and parts production, and whatever else may be viable economically in Latin American,” notes Noam Chomsky (on page 92 of “Deterring Democracy”). And such was okay with too many of Mexico’s leaders, who preferred and prefer to show solidarity with powerful (domestic and foreign) interests rather than their people. Whereas, as John R. MacArthur pointed out (on pages 288 & 289; bolding is mine) in his book titled “The Selling Of Free Trade – NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy:
Wall Street Journal editorials about the Clinton administration should be viewed with skepticism, especially given that concern about ordinary Mexicans has never been a top priority at 200 Liberty Street, in Manhattan’s financial district. But in this case, I think editor Robert Bartley’s point was well taken. If, as the conventional wisdom had it, Salinas used up precious dollars to prop up the peso for purely political reasons and for his own vainglory – in part to give the appearance of Mexican stability during the NAFTA debate in Washington; in part, according to Bodering on Chaos author Andres Oppenheimer, to be the first Mexican president to leave office without instituting a devaluation – then shouldn’t the Clinton administration have acted more boldly and much earlier to maintain the value of the peso, if for no other reason than to say thank you to the Mexican people and their government? It was the Mexicans, after all, who would bear the brunt of NAFTA’s supposed benefits. It was the Mexicans who would work for a dollar or less per hour in the American-owned factories. It was the Mexicans who would continue tightening their belts to advance the “free market” neoliberal economic policies of President Ernesto Zedillo, who continued on Salina’s path of “reform” by further cutting Mexican social spending so that he could continue to pay off his foreign loans. Everyone in the administration who cared to know, Summers included, was aware of the imminent foreign exchange crisis in Mexico in 1994. But what was needed to help Mexico was neither NAFTA nor cleverly orchestrated emergency loans. Internally, Mexico needed a new government that cared about its citizens. It needed real democracy – more than would be provided by the still-too-feeble opposition, the pro-business National Action Party (PAN) and the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Externally, it needed, as Senator Ernest Hollings suggested to me, a disintered Marshall Plan of truly Marshall Plan proportions. “Mexico is not our problem, it’s our opportunity,” said Hollings. “If we treat it like an opportunity and really put some money into it – we bring up its standard of living – then all of these other problems will disappear. We clean up the drug culture and bring about labor rights, and start cleaning it up on a step-by-step basis. Really, a Marshall Plan is the only way to clean up Mexico.””
What the Mexicans needed, and need, is leadership that shows solidarity with them. That’s what MacArthur tells us, because that’s what they don’t have.
Maude Barlow helps us to know what Mexico’s ‘leaders’, in their desire to do business with American exploiters, have meant for Mexican citizens’ welfare. From (pages 122-125) “The Fight Of My Life – Confessions Of An Unrepetant Canadian,” we get the following:
I had numerous trips to Mexico, but two stand out in my memory. In October 1990, a delegation from the Action Canada Network held the first informal meeting with our counterparts in Mexico to share information and plan a joint strategy to fight NAFTA. Our encuentro (Spanish for “gathering”) was the beginning of a process in which, every time governments gather to advance their free trade/ free market agendas, a “People’s Summit” is held close by to spotlight the issues – poverty, human rights, labour conditions, and the environment – our elected representatives refuse to deal with in their meetings. From the G-7, to APEC, to the World Trade Organization, wherever governments and their corporate advisers gather to plan the next stage of globalization, the emerging global citizens’ movement is a heartbeat away and growing.
One of the rewards of my work is the quality of immediate friendship I am able to form with people who might otherwise be total strangers, but whose value systems and world view are totally compatible with mine. The Canadian delegation met the Mexicans in the modest headquarters of the FAT (Frente Auténtico del Trabajo, “Authentic Workers’ Front”), the independent union in Mexico (the main union is government-controlled and does the bidding of the ruling party, the PRI, the Party of Institutional Revolution, which has governed Mexico for sixty-five years), and over the week formed bonds that would last a lifetime. One was with economist Carlos Herédia, now a member of Congress working closely with Mexico City mayor Cuahtemoc Cárdenas, who, when he was opposition leader, has his 1988 election victory fraudulently taken from him by Salinas and his paid thugs. In 1993, I brought Carlos to Canada to “testify” for me against NAFTA when CBC’s The National put the deal “on trial” and I was defence for the prosecution. Another person we met in Mexico was Berthe Luhan, a vibrant and courageous labour leader, who would go on to become the first woman to lead the Mexican coalition.
Between our intensive meetings, the Mexicans showed us the reality of their lives. One-quarter of Mexicans, including most of Mexico’s indigenous people, live on the streets. If no one gives them money for food, they don’t eat. Wages in Mexico dropped by 60 per cent since the country was first forced to undergo “structural adjustment” by the International Monetary Fund in the early 1980s. During those same years, Mexico developed twenty-four billionaires. No statistics, no matter how startling, however, can express the horror of seeing dead-eyed street children permanently stoned from sniffing glue, fighting one another for a scrap of food, holding terrified pigeons to kill later if nothing better presents itself, alongside the newly wealthy consumer class lined up at the fancy night clubs and driving hot American cars.
We were taken to Tijuana for an intensive tour of the free trade zones – low-wage, industrial ghettoes used by transnational corporations to assemble components for cars, appliances, computers, and other goods for export. The factories were full of young women, mostly teenagers, who were worked so hard they usually only lasted a few years. We stood beside one fifteen-year-old who was handling DDT – long banned in North America – without a face mask. Another was making batteries; the acid produced by the process poured into an open bucket whose poisonous stench gave us headaches within moments. Human rights workers told us the women were sexually harassed regularly and raped by North American company executives who expect a “good time” when they come to inspect their operations in the area. In many factories, they had to show monthly proof of menstruation, or be fired – a humiliating experience.
Journalist Charles Bowden of Harper’s magazine has recently published another photo-essay of another maquiladora town, Juarez, which depicts in stunning images the gruesome reality for the young women who work in the factories there. Adriana Avila Gress was a sixteen-year-old who worked in the plastics factory six days a week for five dollars a day. Each morning, she rose at 3:30 a.m., ate a cold tortilla, walked into the darkness with her few possessions – a pan, a plate, knife, fork, spoon, and cooking oil – and then buried them secretly in a hole (for otherwise, they were sure to be stolen) and then walked two miles to work. Every evening, she made the long trek back in the dark to her cardboard shack where she lived with her family of seven. One night, like 520 other inhabitants of Juarez in 1997 alone, most of them young women, Adrianna didn’t come home. She was found in the desert – raped, tortured, and murdered; Bowden’s photo shows her now-mummified face contorted by the scream she had on her lips at the moment of death. Her murder was not reported in any press and no one was ever charged for the crime.
We were taken behind one industrial park where we saw bulldozers ploughing raw industrial waste into a toxic cesspool where it was then diverted into the local water supply. (This happens all over northern Mexico. Later that year, Stephan Chemical of Chicago was filmed by the AFL/CIO discharging the toxic poison xylene into the canals of Matamoros at 53,000 times the allowable limit in the United States.) We met families who lived along a stream that, only ten years before, was a pristine water supply for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Now it was an open sewer, filled with toxic sludge, and animal blood and carcasses from a nearby slaughterhouse, as well as raw sewage from the shantytown that had grown up to house the workers for the new factories. Now and then, local authorities came along to spray diesel fuel on the water to kill the mosquitoes that bred in abundance in such conditions.
Someone gave me a pencil and told me to dip it in the river: it came out stripped of its paint. Sitting at the edge of the water was a little boy, covered in open sores, drinking Pepsi out of a Pepsi-Cola baby bottle. This is a common sight in northern Mexico, where there is no clean water left and people can’t afford juice or milk for their children. The cola wars are a reality in the Third World and are rotting the teeth of an entire generation. At least these children were alive. They took me to meet a woman who had become pregnant while working in a factory that makes pesticides; her baby was born with the not-uncommon deformity (for Mexico), anencephaly. Frog-like, with no brain, its internal organs encased in a liquid-filled sac on its back, the baby died within hours. The young mother buried it out back and reported to work the next morning.
Donald Trump says people like Adriana Avila Gress, who escape her hellish existence, made Hellish by people like Donald Trump, by coming to the United States are a threat. I say Donald Trump et al are terrorists.
My online response to the top of linked-to top of post article follows. I couldn’t very well drop this monster into the comments section, so I gave a link to my Box version:
———— — +
Angling For The People’s Narrative
The predators in this world, who are those who have self-modified themselves (as they are free to do) into believers in inequality and violence are those who embrace this world’s dark paradigm, or operating principle, of ‘riches for the strongest’. Neoliberal-neoconservatives are the best example. Neoliberalism, simply, is a social economic system with inequality at it’s core. It’s rules are for a few and against the many. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy. The idea of neoconservatism is that one (who rules or assists those who rule) must take an approach, as expained by it’s founders, notably Leo Strauss, that involves deceit and manipulation, including helping people to cling to their chosen religion which can then be used to manipulate them. Aggression, which people must be deceived into supporting, must be marketed as something that will make a nation strong. It’s so important, that if there’s no foreign enemy, then one must be created.
Apparently, Leo’s ideas were a reaction to the barbarity of nazism, but it’s not easy to understand how one can call support for violence and deceit the proper response to violence and deceit. But it does occur to me that those wanting to profit from war would find a philosophy that gives that some sort of justification appealing, especially if the packaging is nice. The foreigner Leo Strauss, we can believe if we wish to, has special insights due to his experiences. Important people think so and maybe that’s because even ‘more’ important people (seem to) think so. (The first targets for indoctrination by the 1%, as Noam Chomsky points out, are society’s cultural managers [journalists], educators and certain professionals.) Some of this is me speculating. (I’m not an expert on Leo Strauss, but I have read Shadia Drury’s book “Leo Strauss and the American Right.”) And there’s a whiff of the exotic about him owing to his desire to not be known. Was that for desire for real? If it was, Was that seen as a positive by those who might want to use Strauss and his ideas?
Does a nation – not just the ‘defense’ contractors and so forth – need aggression? The people, of course, can be encouraged to believe that. Many won’t, but it seems that it’s not necessary that everyone believes that fairy tale for things to move ‘forward’. The motives of the people who are compelled to accept their leaders’ embrace of aggression, will be national (‘all’ the nation) self-defense and national security. As for the motives of the king class, namely the 1% and it’s tools, including the military/intelligence industrial (which you could also call the military/intelligence/security industrial complex if you want to push it), those are profits and glory. And maybe some of those bright bulbs believe, fully, that they must be aggressive in order to be strong. Who knows? The American planners who devised Gladio, the ‘stay behind’ program that saw US soldiers and assassins stay behind in European countries post World War II in order to deal with a nefarious Soviet Union that might think to take advantage of allies who were weak from warring against Hitler, were possibly projecting onto the Soviet Union their own sick thinking. (I also wonder about ‘leftists’ who rail against neoliberalism but are okay with a money system. It seems to me that if you truly desire to see a world at peace, you wouldn’t want any kind of money system.)
The predators are those who have found that they can get ahead of, and on top of, others (who are sane enough to want ‘actual’ law and order) by strategically breaking written ‘and’ unwritten rules. By following that method of survival and advancement, predators come to find themselves in positions of dominance in society. And from positions of dominance, they can dictate and thereby guarantee economic and other outcomes. And they can guarantee the survival of themselves and theirs. A good example is the security/prison industry, which acquires political power with which it can then bypass the democratic system (or what’s left of it) that includes democratic political representation, so as to essentially make it’s own laws that will lead to more profits for it’s businesses, as Aviva Chomsky notes in “Undocumented – How Immigration Became Illegal.” She quotes from a report by Paul Ashton, who’s with the Justice Policy Institute: “[w]hile private prison companies may try to present themselves as just meeting existing ‘demand’ for prison beds and responding to current ‘market’ conditions, in fact they have worked hard over the past decade to create markets for their product. As revenues of private prison companies have grown over the past decade, the companies have had more resources with which to build political power, and they have used this political power to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration.” Aviva also quotes Laura Sullivan, who said that Michael Hough, a staffer with ALEC who was asked “if private companies usually get to write model bills for the legislators,” responded that “‘Yeah, that’s the way it’s set up. It’s a public-private partnership. We believe both sides, business and lawmakers should be at the same table, together.'” (Laura’s NPR article titled “Prison Economics Helped Drive Immigration Law” -http://n.pr/2kxeIyb)
Bottom line: The existence of laws doesn’t mean that you are looking at law and order, as in law and order for all. That is primarily because the pedators, who are very involved in the lawmaking, not only (carefully and strategically) break the laws on the books, but they also break so many other, general moral and unwritten, rules, in the course of upholding law and order that they can easily resort to plausible denial. There are the elementary precepts of the Christian Bible, for example. They are laid out in ‘that’ book (which officially democratic governments may say they respect but can’t allow to become the law of the land) and they are also laid out in the ‘book’ of our conscience. And yet, obfuscation is too easy when unwritten rules (that don’t come to be on governments’ books) having to do with fairness and compassion are broken and when mores can be said to be not what critics would like them to be. (With the intensification of nazism globally, we are seeing more far right leaders rightly pointing to the anti-immigrant sentiments of their citizens for justication of their own positions, which citizenry was, over years, ruined mentally and spiritually by evil, influential people. Which isn’t to say that an individual doesn’t possess the freedom to reject or choose darkness.) Mores are morals and moral attitudes specific to groups and susceptible to change over time. It’s just too easy, precisely because the rest of us are civilized, for predators to exploit and evade accountability. What are we going to do? Shall we murder all the murders?
Even researchers like Aviva, in showing in scrupulous detail what the immigration laws are and how they are being used to criminalize and exploit the vulnerable, including many who have no desire to be lawbreakers and criminals but are forced to do things that the state says make them criminals, leave out of their discussions, mostly, the many unwritten rules that astute people can easily see are being broken by the predators. In a way. What’s mostly left out here is on a certain level and not easy to weave into a detailed, technical report dealing with on-the-book laws and so forth. But in another way, the reportage of good investigative researchers like Aviva Chomsky allows us to see clearly the whole picture, including the explictly laid out on-the-books rules, their origins, their victims and those who profit from them ‘and’ the many ways all kinds of other rules are broken by the pedators as they seek out their prey.
Without further adieu, here are Aviva’s words about the exploitative, evil, security/prison industrial complex in the United States from pages 101, 102, 106, 107 & 108 of her book “Undocumented – How Immigration Became Illegal”:
…Employers of low-wage labor benefit from the illegal status of some workers, as do consumers of low-cost goods and services. State and local budgets face costs that result from the economic marginalization of the undocumented, while federal programs like Social Security benefit handsomely from payments into the system by undocumented workers who will never be eligible for benefits.
Illegality also has significant benefits for the prison system, in particular, the new and mushrooming private prison system. Immigration enforcement creates jobs in the prison industry…
…Politicians and talk-show hosts have zeroed in on the issue to whip up audiences and support. Anti-immigrant sentiment and, especially, the demonization of the undocumented can bring votes and attention.
What Leo Chavez calls the “Latino threat narrative” overlaps with anti-undocumented sentiment, as “Mexican immigration, the Mexican-origin population, and Latin American immigration in general [came] to be perceived as a national security threat” in the 1990s…
In addition to attracting votes or increasing ratings, the Latino threat narrative serves the more subtle purpose of channeling national anxieties about social inequality; environmental crisis; economic downturn; lack of access to jobs, housing, health care, and education; deteriorating social services; and other real issues facing the US population away from their real causes. Those who benefit from the status quo would rather have people blame immigrants than fight for real social and economic change…
In early 2010, James Chaporro, director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO), wrote an internal memo – later obtained by the Washington Post – noting that while the number of removals of criminals so far that year had been satisfactory, the agency’s numbers in removing “non-criminal aliens” were too low…
Chaporro insisted that field agents increase the average daily population in ICE detention facilities to 32,600 and “[i]ncrease the number of Tier One Non-Criminal Fugitive alien arrests along with Tier Two arrests (Re-Entry/Reinstatement) in every field office.” He recommended that each office process thirty to sixty noncriminal cases per day in a “surge” aimed at meeting deportation quotas. Basically, the memo instructed ICE officers to increase the detention and deportation of noncriminals and of “criminals” whose only offense was reentry into the country, in the interest of meeting the annual deportation goal…
In addition to ICE itself, there are powerful interests supporting the detention industry, ranging from private prison companies to elected officials who see prisons as a boost to local economies. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (precursor to today’s ICE) started to contract out its detainees to private prisons in the early 1980s when the detention system started to exceed its capacity of beds. By 1989, the agency was holding about two thousand people a day, with five hundred in private facilities. Over the past three decades, immigration violations served as a reliably increasing source of revenue for private prisons.
+ — ————
“Any kind of illegitimate authority that exists, whatever it may be, from interpersonal relations up to huge states and transnational corporations, every such form of authority has to demonstrate legitimacy. They have the burden of proof, and we should understand that usually, very often, almost always that burden can’t be met. When it can’t be met, it should simply be dismantled.” – Noam Chomsky, from “Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tom Morello”
*edit, January 28, 2017 – I left out a small piece of the quote I used, from Stephanie’s article, and have now added that in. In my original version of this post, I only mentioned Stephanie’s reference to the Kremlin below my quote from her article.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Stephanie Maclellan follows:
How, the critics argued, could Obama expect people to take WikiLeaks’ meddling seriously as a security threat to America at the same time as he released its most famous source?
There are several answers to that question.
The first is that the WikiLeaks that released Manning’s documents in 2010 is not the same WikiLeaks that rose to new infamy in 2016. The former worked with reputable journalistic outlets such as The New York Times and The Guardian to bring to light Manning’s revelations about civilian deaths and detainee abuses during the Iraq war.
The latter has largely shunned Western media in favour of Kremlin mouthpieces such as RT and the occasional interview with sycophants such as Sean Hannity.
There’s so much wrong with Stephanie’s foul article, I hardly know where to start. I will not sweat over this clearly evil bit of reportage. For one thing, Just thinking about the number of ways this report is twisted exhausts me and I’m already tired. Let me just note that a lot of the commenters, perhaps most of them, see this article as being the garbage it is and say so. My online response to it, which may or may not survive scrutiny by whoever is tasked with that, follows:
“How, the critics argued, could Obama expect people to take WikiLeaks’ meddling seriously as a security threat to America at the same time as he released its most famous source?” Having fun Stephanie?
If one pays attention, it eventually becomes clear that much of what major and establishment (like The Hill) media cranks out is in accordance with a doctrinal system that is meant to protect the 1% by helping the people to better swallow propaganda.
Obama knows, as does all of his class (Democrats, Republicans, ruling classes everywhere) that the real purveyors of fake news are spokespersons attached to the White House, Pentagon, CIA and all of the think tanks and assorted institutions of the US government. He knows who he serves and it’s not the people, unless you’re talking about the people who comprise the 1%. And he knows that finger wagging at him by the Right outside of the Democratic Party (which is standard and not genuine) is meant for the people, not him personally. The people are the enemy and Obama has demonstrated that he’s loyal to his class by attacking the people. He has warred against purveyors of real news, jailing whistleblowers and attacking journalism itself, so that the rise of real news with the rise of the internet can be contained and rolled back. The problem isn’t with ‘socialist’ Obama, but rather with anyone who gets an idea that maybe socialism – as in socialism for ‘all’, rather than the 1% and its tools – is a good idea can shut up, keep it down and go back to working, consuming and nodding with approval at the continuing exploitation and oppression, and regime changing, that can be easily traced back to the needs and wants of the 1% and its tools. Taking that kind of caustic criticism from rightwingers (who don’t self-identify as Democratic Party members/supporters) comes with the job, which Obama knows. Like other ‘leaders’, Obama simply calculates that it’s a good career move, coming with fame and fortune, to sell his soul this way. What a great example he sets for his kids eh?
Why do godless, evil people use language like ‘redemption’? (And why do Leftists do ridiculous contortions in trying to avoid the word ‘evil’? Could it be because they don’t want the oppressed, exploited people to turn to God, instead of those on the Left, for relief from the rightwing loons who own and run the world? Maybe those ones should just concentrate on making the world, while it exists in it’s present configuration, as good a place as they can.) It’s pathology, or illness. My belief is that some of those who have rejected God and sought to replace him think that they would like to know that he’s actually not there. For one thing, If he’s actually there and here’s a bunch of clowns acting like they’re God, it can’t be something that would please the real God. I believe that those who have ventured down the path of darkness, otherwise known as the road to destruction (Matthew chapter 7, verses 13 & 14 of the Christian Bible), who also see themselves as God, acquire a ‘need’ to prove to themselves that there is no God. (Generally, Those who make choices that they have an inkling of an idea are wrong but have no intention of changing their minds about, which the lacking of humility would make easier, will rationalize and self-justify their actions and overall course.)
With some – My guess would be that this is something more or less specific to powerful exploiters – that (failure to resist darkness) leads to a situation where the exploiter (manipulator, liar, killer) wants to test God, to call him out, as it were. For if he is tested, which you do by completely disregarding his (well known) standards, and he doesn’t respond, then surely he isn’t really there. Except that, when God doesn’t show – because he has his own timetable that no one, evil or good, is going to change – this makes the tester only ‘temporarily’ satisfied. He will eventually need another fix. There’s still a fairly efficient human brain at work here and so the tester has the idea, perhaps not very front of mind but still there, that just because God didn’t show when he (or…) wanted him to, that’s not proof that he’s not there. And so the sick tester takes it further by improving the test. How? By being more evil, in a (useful) word. I think much of the world’s chaos and destruction can be traced to that pathology. And I think that that is why one angel who spoke with the apostle John, long ago, told him “Let the one who is unrighteous continue in unrighteousness.” That passage can be found in the last chapter of the last Bible book of the Christian Bible.
It’s a free universe. But there are laws and consequences. Do not fail to grasp that. People can and must, sooner or later, make a decision in regard to the Issue of universal sovereignty. That is how it is. If people want to reject Jehovah’s Sovereignty, they must be allowed to. When people, including powerful people, reject God and his standards, then God (not us) will respond to the requester’s decision to exit life. For now, folks, Keep your heads low, stay clean and stay safe. Be wise.
I’m not familiar with The Hill, but it’s one in a stable of stellar, pro establishment media outlets. The resource-rich Right (including the fake Left) has many of these sorts of fake news outlets (as well as the old, established behemoths like The New York Times and The Washington Post) that it’s politicians have the power to stamp ‘approved’. The people are going to have to get it together a lot more than they have (which is almost zilch) in order to have a chance at resisting it’s influence. But the people, victims of abusive Benefactors in power or not, have proven to be not up to the challenge. And then there’s those who claim to be fighting the power of the 1% and it’s tools on behalf of the people. Any reader of this blog is beginning to see that there’s problems on that front.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Steven Rosenfeld follows:
Alex Jones, the extremist right-wing conspiracy promoter, has either lost his mind entirely, is reading from a really bad political comedy script, or is telling his fans—many of whom voted for Donald Trump—that he not only loves Russia’s Vladimir Putin, but loves that Putin is telling others to say hi to Jones for him.
This banter is what passes for an inane mix of infotainment, dark messaging and pro-Putin propaganda earlier this week on Jones’ InfoWars show. His guest was a host from Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded TV network singled out by the White House’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election as a key propaganda venue, who laid it on thick, telling Jones how much Putin loves what he does—and by the way, Putin sends his regards.
I guess ‘Kremlin funded’ is supposed to pack a punch that simply ‘state funded’ can’t. Is that pathetic or what? What is the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), the SBS (Australia’s Special Broadcasting Services)? They are all state funded media. The American Corpration of Public Broadcasting (CPB) funds numerous American local tv and radio stations, including NPR (National Public Radio) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). Here’s an RT article, “Is RT State-Run?” that addresses the charge. It’s like charging a human being with being an air-breather. The only reponse is, “Yes. What’s your point?”
My online response to the above linked-to post follows:
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Alternet: You may carry articles by Noam Chomsky, and harbor the indispensable Max Blumenthal, but you’re 100% establishment. It couldn’t be clearer if you had hung a hundred foot high neon light message on your building saying “ESTABLISHMENT.” Joining hands with the government (and it makes no difference whether it’s Obama, Trump or Hillary) to shut down real news makes you the enemy, clear as day.
I am saddened to see so many progressive orgs turn out to be fake. I’ve been following politics since the mid 80s and I learned after a couple of years that some were just not for real. I think the first fail that I realized, on my own, was The Nation. They are all about getting ‘their’ monster elected. And I got a much clearer idea about that when I stumbled upon John Stauber’s article laying it all out (http://bit.ly/2dkbE6V). And it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve watched them fail in relatively large numbers. Democracy Now and The Intercept’s pro White Helmets propaganda was hard to watch and hear. Before that, I had discovered that Canada’s leftwing org, Rabble, harbored a pro imperialist and Rwandan genocide propagandist in the person of Gerald Caplan. Common Dreams, a real faker, vacuuming up everything, left and very fake left (Jeffrey Sachs, CIA asset Graham Fuller), got tired of me pointing that out and banned me. Someone at Alternet is probably thinking to his- or herself “There’s a good idea.”
I actually figured you guys out a while back, but I keep my links. Not always, but often. For example, I recently discovered Newsbud, started by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. But it came to my attention that one of her editors, Kurt Nimmo, worked with Alex Jones. Kurt has his own website called Another Day in the Empire (ADE). It’s excellent, except for what appears to be an unbalanced, pro Trump attitude. I have no use for Hillary (whose allies are Alternet’s allies), Obama or Trump and I am not a fan of Putin, who’s got a lot more going for him than the psychos who want war with Russia, Syria, Iran and China. For one thing, he shows solidarity with his own people, as far as I can tell. And he certainly didn’t ‘hack’ the US election that was already hacked by both wings of the same bird of prey (Upton Sinclair), namely the Republican ‘Party’ and the Democratic Party. I deleted my link to ADE, but not Newsbud. I will monitor Newsbud and if it proves to be unbalanced the way ADE is (nothing critical of Trump) and the way Alternet is (pro establishment and anti real news), then I will address that by deleting my link and/or simply telling people. I do have my own (non celebrity) blog. And I can speak to people in my daily life. It’s not grand, but that’s because I’m nobody special. Jeffrey St. Clair made that clear to me when he responded to my email pointing out to him that a link on his site that was supposed to lead to a book he wrote and published led me to a site that had something to do with casinos. He emailed me back to spit in my face and call me Mr Deep Researcher. My jaw dropped to the floor. What the hell did I ever do to him besides buy his book and tell everyone what a great site CounterPunch is?
The darkness is spreading and deepening. And it’s worse than just class warfare. It’s like the 1% is composed of vampires and it’s victims just as often become vampires themselves.
*This site is so abusive. That’s one reason I never link to good articles I find here. I wouldn’t subject people to this horrible, busy site that you are invited to give feedback on only to be so bogged down with whatever it is that the site does that cuases your typing to take forever that you want to scream. Losers!
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I didn’t look at them all and in fact only glanced, but right away I saw posters, like myself, commenting on Steven’s article who weren’t buying his anti Putin crap. And like them, I won’t be buying the pro Trump crap wherever I find it, even if I otherwise find the information on those websites useful. Let’s stay sharp people. Betrayal is rampant.