There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Nota Bene: Criticism of Israel does not constitute antisemitism.

Matti Friedman argues that “There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” — from the perspective of a Canadian-Israeli, a soldier-poet, an apologist for Israeli rightwing family values: a kindred spirit for those who think of Palestinians in terms of cardboard cutouts, and a considered belief that they are a waste of cardboard. He works words with great economy, clarity and imagination — a Western writer living in a Middle-Eastern geography . Mr. Friedman is currently residing in Palestine’s capital city: Al Quds.

…a kindred spirit for those who think of Palestinians in terms of cardboard cutouts…

A Palestinian demonstrator from the West Bank village of Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah, waves his national flag as he sits on a pile of rocks during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a march against construction on Palestinian land by members of the Jewish settlement of Ofra on April 26, 2013. Photo by Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

Friedman’s opinion piece “There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is a study guide on how to look through both sides of a pair of binoculars in order to begin understanding that non-conflict. The article uses fifteen paragraphs to house fifteen straw men. I had intended to critique each, but have discovered that it might take a multi-part series to adequately address them, so here are the first couple straw men.

Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman), a contributing opinion writer, is the author of “The Aleppo Codex,” “Pumpkinflowers” and the forthcoming “Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel.”

JERUSALEM — If you are reading this, you’ve most likely seen much about “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in the pages of this newspaper and of every other important newspaper in the West. That phrase contains a few important assumptions. That the conflict is between two actors, Israelis and Palestinians. That it could be resolved by those two actors, and particularly by the stronger side, Israel. That it’s taking place in the corner of the Middle East under Israeli rule.

They brought house keys along, planning to unlock their doors upon their return home.

West (orientalists): Palestine is in the Middle-East, it was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1918. The League of Nations — a short-lived and long defunct Western (orientalist) attempt at world order — The League unilaterally granted the British a legal instrument termed “Mandate for Palestine.”  They colonized Palestine until May 1948, when 700,000 unarmed Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes, their neighborhoods, their ancestral homeland with only what they could cart or carry. They brought house keys along, planning to unlock their doors upon their return home — a right, ironically enough, guaranteed in that same catastrophic year by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1948.

Not surprisingly, Palestinians lived in greatest number along the Mediterranean Coast.

Particularly by the stronger side: The only armed forces — unless you consider rusty Ottoman-era weapons, unreliable and inaccurate mortars, and rocks from the rubble of demolished homes to be forces rather than farces — has always been the occupier.

Let me be clear: there is no “both sides.” There is a terrorist org that endangers civilians, and there is a state that protects them. Soon, the world will stare reality in the face and finally condemnation.

— Ambassador Danny Danon

https://twitter.com/dannydanon/status/1070796719066136577

Let me be clearer: Hamas has no army, no navy, no air force, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no armored vehicles, no missiles, no bombs, no nothing but rocks and a few crude unguided rockets which land with a thud. From the bottom of my heart, shut the fuck up.

Abeer Khatib

https://twitter.com/abierkhatib/status/1070824222648352771

Corner of the Middle East: a feint that reminds me of Goebbel’s Ministry of Propaganda — Lebensraum defined in terms of population density, where British “living space” included Canada and Australia.

Under Israeli rule: Not surprisingly, Palestinians lived in greatest number along the Mediterranean Coast. See Mahmoud Darwish’s famous poem “Unfortunately, It was Paradise.” Palestine is comparable to Southern California in terms of climate and real estate value. Displaced refugees were driven into Gaza, and the West Bank of the Jordan River. Ironically, again, the number of “settlers” in the West Bank is now greater than the 700,000 granted diaspora in 1948. That corner of the Middle East.

Let me be clearer: Hamas has no army, no navy, no air force, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no armored vehicles, no missiles, no bombs, no nothing but rocks and a few crude unguided rockets which land with a thud. From the bottom of my heart, shut the fuck up.

Presented this way, the conflict has become an energizing issue on the international left and the subject of fascination of many governments, including the Trump administration, which has been working on a “deal of the century” to solve it. The previous administration’s secretary of state, John Kerry, committed so much time to Israeli-Palestinian peace that for a while he seemed to be here each weekend. If only the perfect wording and map could be found, according to this thinking, if only both sides could be given the right dose of carrots and sticks, peace could ensue.

To someone here in Israel, all of this is harder and harder to understand. There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think, and this perception gap is worth spelling out. It has nothing to do with being right-wing or left-wing in the American sense. To borrow a term from the world of photography, the problem is one of zoom. Simply put, outsiders are zoomed in, and people here in Israel are zoomed out. Understanding this will make events here easier to grasp.

International Left: A political leaning so distasteful in Israel that the Left is nearly extinct. Netanyahu, a perfect storm of a politician, remarks that his opponent Benny Gantz “leans to the left.”

Deal of the Century: Trump is a fellow White Supremacist, “subject of fascination of many governments…” Trump’s interests do not include any measurable intellectual curiosity. Trump is just another convenient tool — Obama was considerably too melanin-rich, but he delivered the 3.8 billion in funding to allow the largest per-capita military prowess to eke along, to scrape a respectable secure “defense” that now includes the ethnical-cleansing maiming marvel: butterfly bullets.

John Kerry: He knows what war is, he knows who Trump is, he successfully completed the difficult negotiations with Iran — a country without nuclear weapons. Israel gets to have it both ways: nuclear weapons? Yes, No, Maybe, Meh. “Hey, what’s happening over there?” No, it’s what’s happening here, we’re picking your plump wallet. 

Perfect Wording : Who is your new friend there? I hear he comes from a good Saud family (the only country in the world run by a single family.

… a political leaning so distasteful in Israel that the Left is nearly extinct.

I include myself among those who sense that a long, deep and deadly conflict has extended into the longest and most threatening conflict in at least the last several centuries. I was eight-months old in May 14, 1948, but have only been paying close attention to the conflict/non-conflict since the mid 1960s.

The population of Palestine/Israel has reached parity, there are as many Palestinians as Israelis within the same geography. Israel has managed to eliminate any remote semblance of a two-state solution with a divide and occupy strategy:

  • Maintaining an apartheid wall
  • “Withdrawing” from the Gaza Testing Range and Petri dish
  • “Settling” the West Bank
  • An 800 state solution (to paraphrase Mordechai Kedar)
  • Demolishing homes, occupying homes, uprooting ancient olive trees, terrorizing children of any age…
  • Tracking and imprisoning children over the age of 11.
  • Using overwhelmingly overwhelming force and security equipment possessing advanced technological capabilities, such as those butterfly bullets.

Fencing commuter highways along the length of both shoulders, thereby fracturing Palestinian populations into an 80-state solution

Recommended reading on the topic by someone who knows Palestine inside-out:

A Short History of Collective Punishment by Stanley Cohen

Nota Bene Too: The phrase “security for the Jews” has been consecrated as an exclusive synonym for “the lessons of the Holocaust.” It is what allows Israel to systematically discriminate against its Arab citizens. For 40 years, “security” has been justifying control of the West Bank and Gaza and of subjects who have been dispossessed of their rights living alongside Jewish residents, Israeli citizens laden with privileges. — Amira Hass

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/amira-hass-the-holocaust-as-political-asset/

As always, opposing viewpoints are welcome on this blog. Please try to limit your comments to 500 words.

Thanks for reading.


Auschwitz Survivor on Independence

 

— From The Electronic Intifada, 6 December 2018

Esther Bejarano was part of a group that traveled by boat from Marseille to Palestine. “We wanted to develop the country together with the Palestinians,” she recalls. “In general, the Palestinians helped us…We wanted to develop the land together. But it was different with David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir,” she says, referring to Israel’s founding Zionist leaders. “They turned Zionism upside down and then the Zionists said ‘we are the ones who own the land.’ That was not our idea.

She is appalled that when young Palestinians protest near the boundary fence – as they have been doing regularly as part of the Great March of Return rallies since last March, “They are simply shot” by Israeli snipers.

But in my opinion, Palestinians have a right to oppose what the Israelis do to them. They have a right to do that,” she asserts. “Or should they just be killed by the Israelis?

They say ‘Hamas sent its rockets to Israel and they are responsible for the war,’” Bejarano states, recalling Israel’s excuses. “But who started it? Not the Palestinians. It’s the Israelis who sent all the Palestinians out of the country.

Nota bene: Palestinians played absolutely NO part in The Holocaust. NONE.

Hamas vs. Likud

Roughly 12 million persons live in Palestine/Israel — half are Israeli, half are Palestinian. They both live within a single de facto state, but only one is a de jure state. That was true in 1948, it is true in 2018.

Resistance is the inalienable right of the occupied.

“When the British ruled Palestine, the underground Jewish army prided itself on hiding arms factories in grammar schools and synagogues. And as we know, in any besieged ghetto there will be ghetto fighters, and they will be treated as heroes by those on the inside, and terrorists by those on the outside. But if there are certainly men of violence among the masses of protestors, let us not forget that alongside the many Israeli soldiers who surely suffer some pangs of conscience, there are some, as we have seen on videotape, who high-five one another for using fancy sniper rifles to put big holes in human bodies hundreds of yards away.” 

Israel’s Massacre of Palestinian Civilians Should Spark Horror—and Action

Gaza is a prison with walls above its perimeter and barriers below those walls. Details available at Israel and Stuff.

Israel officially admits that it officially does not admit ownership of nuclear weapons. Iran is direct and truthful, it has no nuclear weapons.  

All secret information eventually surfaces. Recently among them: a plan to set off an atomic bomb on Sinai in the event that the six-day war took more than six days. Just to send a message to the neighbors, of course.

Hamas represents Gaza. If you want to negotiate with Gaza you have to negotiate with Hamas, the elected party of Gaza. Abbas is not even a puppet. The Palestine Authority has no authority. I understand that Israel possesses a tidy panoply of “defensive” military resources.

Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, never hesitates to demonize Hamas. Danny doth protest too much, methinks.

Danon vs. Hamas

 

 

 

A Short History of Collective Punishment: From the British Empire to Gaza

Reblogged from Caged But Undaunted, written by Stanley Cohen

Q.What do lawyers and sperm have in common?
A: A one in a million shot at being human.

-Stephen Fry

Stanley Cohen is that one in a million.

caged but undaunted

Originally published August 24, 2018 in Counterpunch

As old as war itself, collective punishment has long been the most damning and destructive weapon of all. Not satisfied with engaging combatants alone and directly, historically, it has fueled state reprisal against families, communities and entire populations in a drive to “win” a given conflict, military or otherwise, at all costs.

With roots that trace, literally, to the start of time, reprisal has evolved as modern warfare has became more proficient and popular resistance more prevalent. Nowhere has collective punishment proved more evident and systemic than it has in the West where it has long run the gamut from civil sanctions, to population displacement, to political penalty, to imprisonment, to outright slaughter. Of late, it has grown more subtle, yet no less pernicious, through state censorship that seeks to control the narrative of the day.

In the American Civil War, during his…

View original post 8,118 more words

What’s an Empire without an Emperor?

The US chief executive has long kept all Earth inhabitants under his imperious thumb — it’s the thumb that presses the scale of balances down. An empire requires an emperor. Every four years we get to meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

But what’s an empire without an emperor?

Stanley Cohen‘s recent article “From War to More War” addresses the role of the US military in preventing the threat of peace.

stanley-1-600x399-sarah-ferguson

From wingtip to shining eagle wingtip. One wing to rule them all. One wing to find them. One beak to snatch them all and in the darkness bind them.

10-000-mile-eagle

I watched the Nixon-Kennedy debate in real time 1960, not yet knowing that both candidates stood on the shoulders of an ever stronger military incarnate — sow the seeds, harvest the weeds. 

U.S. bombs dropped in 2016.

I see dead people.

The School of the Americas is located near Columbus, Georgia. The other Georgia (the one in Eurasia) had a favorite son: Joseph Stalin, seminary dropout.

The SOA is a training site for staffing all the tyrants needed to maintain global control in the “Free World.” Graduates are groomed to play the part of imperiously moved  chess pieces. Sing the national anthem while waist-deep in the Big Muddy for the land of the Atlanta Braves and the home of the free (from freedom fries).

In the 1940’s the radio sports broadcaster Bill Stern aired a tribute to a certain regular Joe, a guy who hailed from Georgia (hint, hint). Stern’s weekly radio program Colgate Sports Newsreel produced serial hacks — fake news of the day. Fake news is another phrase for propaganda. A country never reveals to its patriots that propagandists are prevaricators. 

bill-sterns-sports-book

I like Ike famously warned of the military-industrial complex in December 1960, but it received little attention in a country focussed on Camelot —that was before a Bay of Pigs epic fail of 1961. Guantanamo is one of many bases enforcing Pax Americana.

American celebrations anchored by celebrities reside in the culture’s marrow. Saying “thank you for your service” is as mandatory as standing for the blood-spangled banner. It’s a pledge of compliance. Freedom fries are not free. Football is a metaphor for war. And what are sport metaphors?

What if you rage against the military-industrial complex and its close relative, the prison-industrial complex? You become a valued resource of some isolated prison “campus.” Prisoners are human resources that yield “GREAT” profit.

teddy-big-stick

Here is a link to my other 16 posts on Mr. Cohen.

Thanks for reading.

Stanley Cohen: 2016 Person of the Year

Stanley Cohen was a bright silver lining in 2016 — and now in 2017. By simply being himself he bestows hope to the most fiendishly exploited  and he always buoys the spirits of his worldwide supporters.

I flip the calendar back to 2015 and remember when Stanley spent 11/12ths of 2015 in the Canaan PA prison ‘campus’ — down in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. Imprisoned without cause. His voice temporarily muffled, but he witnessed Prison America firsthand. And so his full-throated voice is back and he’s upped the volume 🙂 Certainly made my 2016 — and not just mine. Click More on Stanley for more on Stanley.

stanley-cohen-haaretz

Trumped up charges raised over the years by a convenient and expedient arm of federal government (IRS) repeatedly found nothing. Investigators found no basis for charges because none exist. So they sent him to Canaan (aIn’t the promised land) anyway.

Wait a minute you may say, this is America.

Read about Kalief Browder. Then discover how he died.

Did the IRS find Stanley Cohen’s secret rumored lucre?

No.

It’s what happens when you speak up for the über disenfranchised on this planet. People such as Palestinians.

See my blog category Palestine for complete details.

How does Israel get away with the longest occupation in modern history? You can stay up to date on that question by following Stanley Cohen on Twitter. He’s eloquent, he’s prolific, he’s been at it for 50 years.

A quick unrelated aside. Does white phosphorous demonstrate characteristic trails?  On Gaza for instance.

white.phosphorous
Distinctive white-phosphorus trails in Gaza

Fortunately, Stanley’s Twitter-feed nourishes the humane soul daily. Click Caged but Undaunted. #UpTheRebels

Stanley Cohen is a dedicated, determined and honest human-rights attorney, a man of integrity — that rare endangered specie of homo sapiens known as Menschen. No vested interest has ever owned Mr. Cohen and none ever will. Truth guides him, honesty defines him.

Few even know that Stanley Cohen exists. Electoral results confirm insatiable ignorance.   

We teeter at the edge of impending dystopia. Thinking critically is passé. Unthinking is the more modern way. I find it curious that George Orwell is the antithesis of Orwellian, but in proper NewSpeak fashion, his very name now defines it.

warispeace

Oddly timely that my favorite  NewSpeak website is no longer available.

 

What is Winston Smith’s job. Where does he work? What does he do?

Winston Smith works as a clerk in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, where his job is to rewrite historical documents so they match the constantly changing current party line.

Wikipedia

“To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken. — Caged but Undaunted 

Thanks for reading.

anon
Source

Chris Hedges Interviews Stanley Cohen

I now report back on my favorite human rights attorney (bar none), Stanley Cohen. I am here to put his name forward. A good place to start is his blog: Caged but Undaunted. Chris Hedges interviewed Stanley on RT last month and it’s posted at On Contact.

So what’s new? Attica lives, written 4 days ago, is. Here we have a retrospective from 2016 on the prison riot of 1971.  This Friday, September 9, marks the 45th anniversary of the rebellion. Long penetrating read. Five stars.

attica-stanley-cohen
In Caged but Undaunted

You can tune in to @StanleyCohenLaw for live coverage and commentary first hand. I have not posted much on Twitter recently, but what I’ve written and recommended there is @billziegler1947

Possession of a human soul is the resource Stanley uses to represent super marginalized people (like Palestinians) trapped by powers that still be. His clients are people who speak truth to power, I recommend that muchly. 

stanley-cohen-haaretz

The IRS is still a go-to place in the federal government for expedient rulings requested by other arms of the federal government.  Their long arm searched for secreted funds but found nothing. That did not stop them from incarcerating Mr. Cohen in the Canaan PA prison-industrial facilities while they continued their search. By the way, they still haven’t found anything on him. 

No one touches the thief with multiple billion dollar caches and über high-level positions. Think large in this environment and expect things to come your way, such as the Presidency.

The idea was to silence him. Instead they gave Stanley Cohen insight into the inside. His witness is invaluable for all of us out there who believe that justice is not deferrable in a human society.

attica
Attica 1971

 

To paraphrase Joe Friday “Just none of the facts ma’am, just none of the facts.”

#UpTheRebels

Thanks for reading.

The Tyranny of the Majority

Majority rule is an expedient way to exercise authority over the unwanted and to marginalize unpopular ethnic groups, such as Native Palestinians in Palestine.

That guy on the $20 bill made the South safe for democracy. Somewhere in Jacksonian Democracy lies a lesson, one learned by 10,000 despots: if undesirables are out of the picture, they are not a problem. Future generations can safely and comfortably observe “mistakes were made.”

After the Trail of Tears, America was made safe for slaveholders again. Cherokees are for westerns or in teepees next to a Stuckeys. Have you heard this one: “I’m 1/24th Cherokee.” Really?

trail.of.tears
Look up Nakba for a similar trail of tears.

America was great I hear. But them Indians got it made now, every tribe has a casino. Sad to say, they’re fat and lazy and coddled by Washington. Things never change, I guess. Wink. Nod.

Grocery stores near reservations are food deserts. If a vehicle becomes available a real supermarket is only 70 miles away. While you are 70 miles away from home you can stock up on health care services and relax a while at the local casino. Chill with your fellow ingrates.

Native Americans are number one in death by police.(The Counted: 2016) among all ethnic groups.

The Guardian compiles this database, but for some reason such information is not collected in the US.

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-12-38-31-pm

DJT is not a reader, but profound ignorance is no barrier to enormous wealth or monstrous feats of racism. Just a casual side note.

Ethnic cleansing silences voices of dissent.

Israel expelled 700,000 native Palestinians in 1948. Today the growth of settlements in the West Bank make population distribution look a lot like reservations in the formerly unoccupied American West.

Ethnic Cleansing Begins At Home

Nazi ethnic cleansing began with a single unknown undesirable, but within a decade the 1 became the 6,000,000. To observe that number from the perspective of coincidence, it’s the number of Palestinians alive today: each a refugee still. There is no statute of limitation for war crimes. Just ask someone on the receiving end of genocide.

bilal.kayed

Have I mentioned that the Palestinians are from Palestine? Roots matter to olive trees and to Palestinians. Water, hummus, olives. An incomparable Mediterranean coastline. Countless cities and villages cleansed of long-established inhabitants.

Viva Palestina!

The time for Israel to stop Palestinian home demolition and pacification was 68 years ago; both demolitions and executions are crimes against humanity, against an indigenous people living under occupation today or as refugees in planet-wide diaspora.

Daily life for the indigenous Semitic people of this land: constant torment by mostly non-Semitic settlers indigenous to Europe. IDF and IOF combatants may commit any crime of their choosing, without fear of consequence or inconvenience. Any day, every day, all day. Which Semites are not included in a blanket inditement: Antisemitism! Antisemitism!

celtic.fans.for.palestine

A strange celebration of Sparta and ungodly decadence: a failed experiment, a way of life that requires several billion dollar annual infusions from the United States and the Marshall Islands.

A land-based aircraft carrier with a hundred nuclear weapons, a laboratory for testing weapon systems and conducting security experiments. Well chosen people? Well…

From the layout of the house housing a 12-year-old rock-throwing terrorist. IDF soldiers show up at 2:00 A.M. No proverbial knock on the door, just break it down and rattle the sleeping. Rattle and curse the ugliest phrases a fighting man can muster. And, so a final enough solution: indefinite incarceration for the kid, a house removed by a wrecking ball or dozer, a homeless family. But it doesn’t matter: they are annoying Arabs. Ptui.

settlers_znet

Some sources for guidance in non-violent resistance. Think Warsaw Ghetto.

Jews Against Genocide

Jews for Justice for Palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace

Thanks for reading.

Taking BDS Viral: Stanley Cohen OpEd

Just when will an article on Palestinian human rights ever go viral? My hope is NOW.

with.bds.and.palestine

It is not cheap to make all the news that’s fetid to print. You have to make it palatable while erroneous. American media giants are like Wonder Bread, not remotely wonderful but they knead a profit. What else matters?

A few days ago an Op-Ed written by Stanley Cohen popped up on Al Jazeera.

Here is my reaction:

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 5.15.12 PM

Stanley Cohen is major league.  Whenever perplexed on the state of the State of Palestine and the refugees living there, listen to someone who has been well informed for something like a half-century.

During that time he has not wavered from representing real Palestinians. Universal human rights belong to all 7 billion individuals on this battered orb. Pleas are not just for the chosen.

Expedience is not the name of the game today, it’s a character flaw that Mr. Cohen doesn’t have, and he is not about to change. Stanley is not a political animal, and that doesn’t play well among multicrats gazing at the weather vane and thinking about trial balloons.

As hard as they have tried the powers that be have never been able to pin a single charge on Mr. Cohen, it’s not the wonders of teflon at play. Actually just simple human integrity at work: rare mettle.

The injustice system of Prison America sent him to Canaan Prison for eleven months in 2015 while they looked for some evidence they could find or that they could convincingly plant. They have never found any, but that’s the genius of the Patriot Act. Make the prison industrial complex the heartbeat of America.

Through 2015 Caged but Undaunted kept his voice alive.  A tip of the hat to Marion Heads., another Mensch out there lighting candles for every fellow traveller suffering under the drang of fascism.

It’s expedient to imprison without cause. Today it’s Orwellian patriotism, though I don’t like calling it Orwellian. The word itself peals like something out of the NewSpeak Dictionary. George Orwell saw it coming point blank.

orwell.1984
Source

Previous stuff on Stanley Cohen that you won’t read this on NYT or NPR. Unfortunately they follow the expedient.

#UpTheRebels

Editor note: I am humbled by my readers. That’s as it should be. However, I published my last article before it could be properly edited and several of you read the more hapless early version, and so I Speak Arabic Openly and Joyfully.

Reporting from the land of the fête and the home of the Atlanta Braves. BDS USA BDS USA!

Thanks for reading. Opposing viewpoints welcome.

Incarceration Industries and US

Prisons, Portfolios and Humans as Resources

Prisons are like factory farms: in an American mindset they are just there. Small town employment opportunities depend on their existence, it’s what holds many small communities together: the jail, the slaughterhouse, the slightly trained health services workers, the armed-services recruitment center.

The occasional cow (one of a billion) breaks out and wanders onto the local highway. It makes the local news, the cow gets its fifteen minutes and an unlikely pardon. Prisoners are like cows, a link in the foodchain.

Let’s get in contact with a money manager and ask about prospects for spare dollars. Begin with questions:

How can I get in one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy? Do I have to sell my soul to make the biggest bucks? Should my portfolio include prisons? Are there any risks to me personally? What are the long term prospects? Could growth slow down?

But not everyone is butt-ignorant. There are people who speak honestly of “business ethics” as two words that should go together well. They deserve your ear.

Read what Berna writes.

from Berna’s Vibe: THREE STRIKES LAW

blackmenprison

From Leo Tolstoy: I sit on a man’s back. Yes, we’re still riding that guy with every assurance that “getting with the program” is a good idea and  in full keeping with the best system ever created by man or beast.

Taking a look now at our record since bellying up against the Soviet republics and their union. Who is number one? Who is standing atop a heap of bison skulls?

incaration.rates.nato

PrisonPolicy.org has well presented, well researched information.

Around 1963 I sat in the doctor’s office waiting room. I picked up Esquire and read an aritcle by Gore Vidal on the consequences of stringent controls on certain prescription drugs. He warned of its potential societal harm. It was an introduction to critical thinking.

Welcome to Jail, Inc. from The Guardian

Unless our course is changed, the prison-industrial-complex conjoined with its mighty twin the military-industrial is the future of America. Conceived and directed by our jailer mentality.

Repeat these three words three times: We’re Number 1

prison.pie

Repeat these three letters three times: USA

Post late-stage capitalism has its growth industries. Last month gentle souls seeking gain gathered in Texas.

late.stage.capitalism

American Jail dot Org has a bright red banner stating “I need to be a part of this.” Dystopias need allegiances, selling out is an American tradition and the fourth of July is just behind the corner.

The human body consumes its own molecules when it starves. Its decline is marked by accelerating and seemingly sudden changes (like hitting the pavement after jumping off the top floor), such as viewing the explicable in the rear-view.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, nor is Kansas. Noth the Kansas I knew in 1970 at Kansas State.

Let’s take a drive through Syria from the perspective of the journalist behind the wheel: Mad Max Redux in progress.

Reality shows morph into reality, and back again. The morphed becomes a morpher.

Is anyone watching this? Stanley Cohen is one of the one in a million. He was quite literally in Canaan (a prison complex in northeast PA). It isn’t the Promised Land. Your best source for accurate detailed information about Mr. Cohen is Caged but Undaunted. Soon to leave New York for the Middle East.

Bertolt Brecht posed a question for the audience in Der gute Mensch von Sezuan. (The Good Person of Szechwan) The question his play seeks to answer:

Is it possible to simultaneously exist in this world, yet remain a good person?

The jury is out, perhaps for the count.