Monday, September 1, 2014

True Face of American “values”

America must  care
for its own
not only its won
USA to Afghanistan
USA spends hundreds of millions on sport (and war) as it criminalizes people who are homeless 
Commentary, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

On January 22, 2014, the New York Yankees bought Japanese baseball player Masahiro Tanaka with a seven-year 155-million-dollar contract containing “an opt-out clause after the fourth year and a full no-trade clause.” The 2014 Major League Baseball season began March 22, the North American part of the season started on March 30 (ends September 28, 2014). Four months after the season began, on July 9, 2014, the 155-million-dollar-Masahiro Tanaka went on “the disabled list with right elbow inflammation” and has not played in a game since.

New York's
Yankee Baseball
Stadium

Among baseball’s highest-paid players, according to Forbes and Wikipedia are New York Yankees’ players Derek Jeter (#35) $24.3 million (including salary and winnings $15.3 million, endorsements $9 million); and Alex Rodriguez (#48) $22.9 million (including $22.6 million in salary and winnings, endorsements $0.3 million).

Among Americans of the highest paid (top 15) sports players in the world are: boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., #1 at $135 million; basketball player LeBron James, 3# at $72.3 million; basketball player Kobe Bryant, #5 at $61.5 million; golfer Tiger Woods, #6 at $61.2 million; golfer Phil Mickelson, #8, at $53.2 million; football (American football) player Matt Ryan, #10 at $43.8 million; and basketball player Derrick Rose, #13 at $36.6 million
America's homeless
Human beings are
still human
though down on luck

A
mericans on the idiot box (I don’t watch but I hear tell and often listening to radio I hear repeats) are often heard saying, “We are a ‘Christian’ people” or a “‘Christian’ nation.” Well, if the actions and values of these people are Christian then I want no part of Christianity -- EVER!

In its August 28, 2014, edition (online audio archived), Press TV's “Inside Out” program reports that the United States of America’s “problem with homelessness is one of the worst among [the world’s] developed nations.” In my mind, this is carelessness, failure to care. Time and again, in so many ways, Americans have failed to care for their own. Their “values” are turned around, upside down, or inside out.

Years ago without providing essential healthcare infrastructure and staffing, Americans turned out mentally ill people from care centers and threw them on to the streets.

Homeless
Human beings
in USA
Year after year these same makers of laws have taken America’s young to one after another war – and prolonged wars. The wounded in mind, body and spirit return to a privatized and otherwise daunting health careless system, to a depressed and cruel capitalist job market, no jobs or grossly inadequate jobs. These wounded, having been used and abused, are discarded onto the streets.

For many years reports have come through that the “good” people of California have been dumping sick people from hospitals onto the streets because these people couldn’t pay the capitalist-king’s price to have a chance of getting well.

U.S. ambassador
Eleanor Roosevelt
1948 Legacy
Universal Declaration of
Human Rights
Cities fail to do what I suggested in a column years ago when I saw homelessness in the shadow of the nation’s capitol, among all those rich and entrenched lifers in the U.S. House and Senate and their lackeys, handlers and lobbyists. I suggested not that we return to a medieval era of life sentencing to dark wards of mental institutions but that we build centers of care that heal, actively engage, help people transition to full independence, ensure training and meaningful work. Build places like libraries (instead of restaurants and gas stations) on every corner if need be. Uplift our people so that they might contribute to our country. Let this define our ethos as a country that truly cares for its own, for the benefit of our country.

But this hasn’t happened. America uses force – the very opposite of “care” -- in every sector of its policy and practice, at every level of government, at home and abroad.  

Homeless Syrians
In some U.S. cities today not only is being homeless a crime punishable on the spot by imprisonment, which leads to more problems – even as buildings are boarded up and left vacant and thousands of people are jobless and can’t afford shelter, which is a human right under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – being the giver of food to homeless people is also a crime. In some U.S. “Christian” cities, Inside Out reports, there are “officially instituted laws that ban the practice of sharing food with homeless people.”

T
hink force. Think hostility. Think of U.S. officials’ orders of an interminably hostile presence cross the world: against Iraq, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, China, Japan, the Koreas, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Congo, Libya, Egypt, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Pakistan, Afghanistan – to name only a few of the 150 countries where the United States is deployed.

Homeless Afghans
The world is brutally aware of American “values.”

Bangladeshi workers
What about these
women worker rights?
The United Nations comprised of 193 member states in its human rights report has noted what any sane person knows without an official report-- that the U.S. criminalization of homelessness “‘raises concerns of discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’” In its usual manner toward the United States, the UN minces its words. The truth is, what the U.S. is doing is both criminal and immoral and should be stopped; would be stopped if the country had not religious leadership, but competent, courageous, moral and ethical leadership.

Bangladesh
Garment Factory Fire 2012
111 workers died 
The portrait, the presentation and performance of our officials, their partisan or tribal followers, and a fair number of the masses show us, Americans, to be a violent people, an insensible, acutely selfish, immoral people -- who undermine even their own best interest.

T
oday on the calendar is "Labor Day" in the United States. This does not mean we celebrate labor or support laborers. As a matter of fact, it means just the opposite. . We celebrate war and waste. 

We like to shop, play the lottery, celebrity watch. We want cheap stuff and slave labor making and marketing cheap stuff. We want somebody else to suffer so we can photograph ourselves handing out “humanitarian” aid. We want “other” human beings to die so we can publicly thank gods we have created in our own image that we are not “those” people.

We can and we must do better – not only because of how the world’s peoples see and experience us but also because of the prior imperative, indeed our duty to build for ourselves and our posterity a better and stronger nation.


My latest on U.S. foreign relations NOW Available
UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us
World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations
Author Name: Carolyn LaDelle Bennett (edit profile)
 Pen Name: Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett
 Genre: POL040000
 Author: Bennett
Published 2014 by Xlibris  
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Sources and notes

The World's Highest-Paid Athletes, http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/2/#tab:overall
“Forbes’ list of world's highest-paid athletes” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes%27_list_of_world%27s_highest-paid_athletes
http://www.forbes.com/athletes/
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45eimdj/1-floyd-mayweather-8/

“Criminalizing homelessness in America: Many US cities officially instituted laws that ban the practice of sharing food with homeless people, August 28, 2014, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/28/376866/criminalizing-homelessness-in-america/


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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Crudity is not “diplomacy” -- Samantha Power’s uncouth outburst at UNSC

United Nations
Geneva
 “Confrontation through rhetoric” is not “conducive to mutual trust” -- world leaders to Washington

Editing, commentary by Carolyn Bennett

United Security Council considers Ukraine with several country delegations speaking to the issue: Lithuania, France, Jordan, Luxembourg, Chile, Australia, Chad, United States, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Nigeria, China, Rwanda, and the United Kingdom.

T
he crudest, most undiplomatic behavior rises from U.S. officials who hold a permanent seat (with France, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China) on the undemocratic UN Security Council and undue influence over the inordinately powerful Council and over the whole body of the United Nations.
Ukraine
highlighted

August 28, 2014, at UNSC
SAMANTHA POWER (United States)

“Russia is not listening” … Instead of heeding the demands of the international community, the Russian Federation at every step has come before the Council to say “everything but the truth”. It has “manipulated, obfuscated, and outright lied”.  It is hard for me to imagine a cruder outburst from a so-called diplomat. 

Destroyed by
U.S. "Diplomats"
U.S. Foreign Relations
Policy and Practice
Samantha Power, who seems to have worked mostly as a journalist, was born in Ireland and raised in Ireland until she was nine.  Her parents immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1979. From 1993 to 1996, Power worked as a journalist, covering the Yugoslav Wars for U.S. News and World Report, The Boston Globe, The Economist, and The New Republic (in 2007 for Time Magazine).  In 2005 and 2006, Power worked in the office of U.S. Senator Barack Obama as a foreign policy fellow and during candidate Obama’s 2008 run for the U. S. presidency, Power was one of his senior foreign policy advisers. She resigned the position and left the Obama campaign after calling one of the other contenders for the presidency “a monster.”

UN Security Council
5 Permanent
Member States
The person she called a “monster” also has revealed herself to be crudely undiplomatic. And neither of these people should have been given positions for which they are not only unqualified and inadequately credentialed; but also are lacking in human sensibility and respect for other nations and leaders. Nevertheless Wikipedia describes Samantha Power as an “American academic, author and diplomat” now working as U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

America can do better than this; and the world, including the United States of America, deserves better. 

August 28, 2014 at UNSC
UN General Assembly
193
Member States
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation)

The UN Security Council must remember, the Russian representative said, that “it was not designed to participate in guesswork or spread accusations, but rather was charged with finding a solution to the crisis.”   The proposed press statement on Ukraine’s crisis, Vitaly Churkin said, “should call for an inclusive political dialogue, while urging the international community to redouble its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”

In his statement, Vitaly Churkin wondered out loud what U. S. advisers were doing in Ukraine and questioned “how Ukrainian security forces had acquired such advanced weaponry.” He urged the international community to send a message to Washington

‘…to stop interfering in the internal activities of sovereign States and restrain your geopolitical ambition.’

August 28, 2014 at UNSC
CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile)

South America
Argentina
Chile
The Chilean representative called on all parties to cease combat immediately, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence; and “whoever [are] those responsible for violations of human rights and the rule of law,” bring them “to justice.” 

Cristián Barros Melet called on all parties to seek a peaceful solution through political dialogue. Refrain from carrying out activities incompatible with the United Nations Charter. And unless authorized by the Ukrainian government, withdraw all foreign troops from Ukraine.

August 28, 2014 at UNSC
MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina)

The Argentine representative also pointed to “the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council to maintain peace and security.”

María Cristina Perceval urged that “actors with the greatest influence” should “use constructive diplomacy and bring the parties to a constructive dialogue.” She urged UNSC members “to avoid confrontation through rhetoric.” 

August 28, 2014 at UNSC
WANG MIN (China)

People's Republic of China
The People’s Republic of China noted two imperatives.

All parties should make “good use of various mechanisms for dialogue” and all parties should act “in a manner that is conducive to mutual trust.”
  

August 29, 2014
RUSSIA TODAY reports

The Russian Federation’s proposed text on the Ukrainian crisis had substance but was met with hostility. The statement expressed serious concerns about the deteriorating situation in south-eastern Ukraine. It called for ‘immediate and unconditional ceasefire’ and the start of a dialogue ‘based on the Geneva Declaration of 17 April 2014 and the Joint Berlin Declaration of July 2, 2014’. It also called attention to the need to ‘multiply efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.’ However, under a frivolous pretext, the Russian delegation statement calling for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine was blocked at the UNSC. Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin reportedly tells Itar-Tass:

Russian Federation
‘The Russian delegation’s proposal on declaration of a ceasefire was blocked under a frivolous pretext … The Security Council as a result of destructive efforts of a number of its members was unable to play its role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.’


The Russians repeatedly drew attention to the casualties resulting from continued violence. More than 2,000 people reportedly have died in this conflict and the casualties are rising “exponentially,” Churkin said. But the fallout does not stop there: as is happening across the Middle East and so across the Mediterranean, homelessness, displacement, refugees are rising. “Russia,” the RT report says, “is on the receiving end of the crisis.” In addition to feeding and caring for Ukrainian military personnel, Russia is “handling over 814,000 refugees.”

Commonwealth of
Independent States
(CIS)
Appealing as brethren and neighbors, Vitaly Churkin reportedly says to Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Ukraine’s deputy representative to the United Nations, “Unlike Western governments, ‘you and I know our region’ and understand the ‘close relations’ between the two countries.’” Churkin went on to reflect that

any Western advisers who pushed Ukraine into demanding that separatists lay down their weapons ‘either did not understand what they were doing or they were just provocateurs seeking to completely destabilize the situation in Ukraine and to spite Russia.’


T
he American response, however, continued in the character of deliberate ignorance, insult, condescension, lecturing; fueling conflict by driving divisions among people and states, supplying and supporting lethal weaponry,  personnel and hostile forces; and expanding sanctions warfare against peoples and nations right across eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, with ricochet, negative consequences, right round the world. The practice and policy of U. S. foreign relations in the face of the world is boorish, criminally inept, and unconscionable.
U.S. Foreign Relations
Model
Violence
Hostility

Believing that one nation is right in whatever it does or says, believing that its leaders and/or other officials are all-knowing or know what is best for the world is lunacy. When large numbers of people, whether national leaders, populaces, or masses accept such lunacy -- we create and sustain a dangerous state of world and domestic affairs wherein no nation or people are safe or free. 


Sources and notes

GUARANTEE FRAMEWORK FOR UKRAINE: "Both sides must do their bit", http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/EN/Reiseberichte/2014/2014-08-23-merkel-kiew_en.html;jsessionid=7546BB2C1DAC5AC3EE3D4856A6473AD2.s4t2

Security Council, SC/11541, Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York, Security Council, 7253rd Meeting (PM): SENIOR OFFICIAL WARNS SECURITY COUNCIL OF DANGEROUS ESCALATION IN UKRAINE, CITING ‘DEEPLY ALARMING REPORTS OF RUSSIAN MILITARY INVOLVEMENT’ -- Members Urge Parties to Seek Diplomatic Solutions, August 28, 2014,  

The representative of the Russian Federation said everyone knew there were Russian volunteers in eastern Ukraine; no one was hiding that.  He urged other countries also to be transparent, questioning what United States advisers were doing in Ukraine and how Ukrainian security forces had acquired such advanced weaponry.

Speaking on August 28, 2014, were representatives of Lithuania, France, Jordan, Luxembourg, Chile, Australia, Chad, United States, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Nigeria, China, Rwanda, and the United Kingdom.

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2014/sc11541.doc.htm

Samantha Power, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Power

“Russia-suggested statement on Ukraine ceasefire blocked at UNSC under ‘frivolous pretext’,” published time: August 29, 2014 02:12 ; edited time: August 29, 2014 02:50 Get short URL
http://rt.com/news/183512-security-council-ukraine-russia/

“Russia Say West Doesn’t Understand Its ‘Close Relations’ With Ukraine,” by Anna Dolgov, August 29, 2014 13:15 Last edited 13:16, http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russia-say-west-doesn-t-understand-its-close-relations-with-ukraine-anna-dolgov/506123.html

Also:

Obama Says Russia’s ‘Invasion’ of Ukraine Not a Shift,” http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russia-say-west-doesn-t-understand-its-close-relations-with-ukraine-anna-dolgov/506123.html
“Corridor: Putin calls on Ukraine militia to let out surrounded Kiev troops,” published time: August 28, 2014 21:21, edited time: August 29, 2014 07:29, http://rt.com/news/183520-ukraine-russia-putin-militia/

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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bill Bennett’s Malicious Drivel

William John
(Bill) Bennett
What a person believes is his or her business; subjecting others to it can be detrimental. To speak one's views is a right guaranteed not just to one person but to all people, at least in the United States, under the Constitution of the United States. But to use positions of influence to spread false information and ignorance, to harm and disparage, to cause harm to be brought against others is criminally immoral. And it should stop.

Commentary by Carolyn Bennett 


A
UNIVERSAL
Declaration of Human Rights
1948 - 
 Brooklyn, New York-native and graduate of a Jesuit high school for boys, Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., and Williams College, a rural, originally all-male (until 1970) private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts; PhD (political philosophy) and JD degrees from University of Texas (Austin) and Harvard Law School -- William John (Bill) Bennett was U.S. Secretary of Education (1985–1988) during the Ronald Reagan presidency, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy during the George H. W. Bush presidency, and (in 2000) co founder of “K12, a publicly-traded online education company.” 


N
othing in his background qualified him to hold key positions in the U.S. government. 

Nothing in his training or education, character or contributions qualifies him to put forth credible opinions on U.S. foreign policy and practice or on any foreign country or any nationality of people or religious or ethnic group; or on American (U.S.) or any other country’s education or educational system.  

And yet William John (Bill) Bennett was allowed to hold critical positions in government and now holds forth on radio spouting nonsense, rabid ideology, about bombing other countries and people.

Wikipedia notes that ‘Bill Bennett’s Morning in America’ is the name of prominent conservative and Reagan cabinet member William Bennett’s radio talk show, a direct reference to the advertisement of the same name.

‘Morning in America’ was the common name of a political campaign television commercial formally titled ‘Prouder, Stronger, Better’ and featuring the opening line, ‘It’s morning again in America.’ The advert was part of the 1984 U.S. presidential campaign of Republican Party candidate Ronald Reagan. It featured a montage of images of Americans going to work and a calm, optimistic narration suggesting that improvements to the U.S. economy since Reagan's 1980 election were due to his and not others' policies.


B

ennett’s ascendancy reflects the height of irresponsibility all round – irresponsibility on the part of those who hire this man and irresponsibility on his part because, surely, they must know, as he must know, that he is unfit and unqualified. The man displays a deliberate ignorance, which he spreads – criminally so – among the populace, thus doing grave disservice not only to Americans but also causing deliberate harm (particularly in his disparaging and his cavalier calls for violent aggression) to varieties of people who are in no way a threat either to the United States or to its people but who happen to be, in one way or another, different from William John (Bill) Bennett. 

In my opinion, this is deliberate, unconscionable cruelty. And it should stop. 


Source Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_in_america
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bennett
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzaga_College_High_School
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_College

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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gaza’s “fight to live” is its Hope

“Normalization” nonsense—Palestinians 
Nour Joudah, 
Nisreen Zaqout
Excerpt, editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

As it is with most pathetic, easy-way-out shortcuts, transparent, often desperate and patently ineffective doing-anything-to-get-grant-money gestures – it seems so with something called a “Normalization” program for Palestinians and Israelis. Sounds to me like programming, a mind-manipulating measure cloaked in do-good-ism.

E
   xiled Palestinians Nour Joudah and Nisreen Zaqout
 
U.S. “‘Normalization’ programs attempt to build ‘harmony’ between Palestinians and Israeli Jews … without addressing underlying inequalities,” Nour Joudah writes.

This is a congenital malady in the USA, an epidemic condition among the “exceptional.” 

Americans wheedle themselves into key positions in which they pretend to be doing something constructive (“humanitarianism”) all the while deliberately or inadvertently making matters worse.

Nour Joudah quotes Gazan Nisreen Zaqout who was speaking to an audience in Washington, D.C., at the closing session of the 2014 “New Story Leadership” Normalization Program. Joudah writes --

Unlike the Israeli participants, Nisreen Zaqout’s ‘firsts’ were not meeting someone new or going sailing for the first time.

Nisreen Zaqout’s ‘firsts’ were: hearing ‘fear in her mother’s voice’; [hearing] ‘her brother cry over the death of a young friend’; [hearing] her grandfather say ‘no’ to evacuation --   ‘not again’ . 

The ethnic cleansing and dispossession Palestinians experienced in 1948 — the year of Israel’s establishment — was enough.
 
Turning “ ‘Normalization’s’ beloved rhetoric of hope” on its head,  Nour Joudah comments, Zaqout declares that “there is no hope to tout when we start talking about human lives in numbers and when we are so willing to focus only on the hundreds of women and children — as if every Palestinian man in Gaza were a legitimate target.”

wo insightful young women speak boldly the truth of Palestine

Joudah interprets Zaqout, “Hope comes when the will of Palestinians is respected and when their rights are affirmed and granted.” Hope derives from “Gaza’s fight to live.”

Sources and notes

“Palestinian student ‘wanted to quit’ normalization group over Gaza ‘torture’,” submitted by Nour Joudah, August 20, 2014, http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nour-joudah/palestinian-student-wanted-quit-normalization-group-over-gaza-torture

Nisreen Zaqout, who participated in 2014’s New Story Leadership program giving voice to her home and family, is a 21-year-old Palestinian woman from Gaza who is studying at Illinois College in mid-state Jacksonville, Illinois (Pop. around 19,000).

A Master’s graduate in Arab Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Nour Joudah had returned to Palestine and was teaching high school and living in Ramallah before she was denied reentry and banned from traveling to Palestine. She has since been re-exiled and is living and working in Washington, D.C.  Joudah has worked as the Assistant Editor for the Journal of Palestine Studies, is currently a researcher for the Arab Studies Institute and the Institute for Palestine studies; and blogs at isdoud.wordpress.com. Nour Joudah’s blog
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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

“Racist”, “Racism” epithet silly, counterproductive

Clarity looking back
By Carolyn Bennett

Yelling “racist,” “racism” is just too easy. Clearly, we have problems, serious problems. We as a nation of people, a race of people, as human beings we have problems; but we do not conceive them accurately or handle them appropriately by using disparaging characterizations such as “racist” and “racism.” How would you feel if someone belittled you or called you names?

Looking at name calling another way, only the defensive, the ignorant, the lazy resort to smoke screens and name-calling, tactics to avoid looking at themselves (ourselves) and or to divert attention from themselves (ourselves). To avoid ignorance, one needs to take an unblinking look at history and study the varieties of interpretations of history. 

For those preferring the easy charge of “racist”/“racism,” what do you call it when your tribe commits unspeakable cruelties against members of your tribe?  What happened to Fannie Lou Hamer in 1963 and the MOVE Organization in 1984 was unspeakably cruel.

I
   n the summer of 1963 (June 9), the Ruleville, Mississippi, native and American voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was traveling with other activists from a literacy workshop in Charleston, South Carolina. They stopped in Winona, Mississippi, and were arrested on a trumped-up charge and thrown into jail. While in the Winona jail, “Hamer and her colleagues were beaten savagely by the police, almost to the point of death.” History texts and various biographies have reported the horrors of what happened to Hamer:

She was taken out of one jail cell and transported to a separate cell.

Under orders of a State Highway Patrol officer, two Negro (black male) prisoners bludgeoned Hamer with a police blackjack.

The first prisoner beat her until he was exhausted.

The law enforcement officer then ordered the second prisoner to beat her.

Only after three days were members of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) allowed to take Hamer to a hospital.

These black men had a choice and they made the personal decision to follow orders and brutalize this black woman, one of their own tribe. Hamer later reported that in physiological terms the beating caused her “permanent kidney damage, a blood clot in the artery of her left eye, and a limp.”

In 1964 before the Credentials Committee at the Democratic Party National Convention convening in New Jersey, Fannie Lou Hamer, then founding member (along with Ella Baker and Robert Parris Moses) of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), spoke about the struggle to register and vote and about that June 1963 Winona jailhouse beating.

‘All of this is on account [of our wanting] to register, to become first-class citizens. If the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated [credentialed] now, I question America.

‘Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave -- where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives [are] threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings…?’

This occurred 50 years ago and, in the light of Ferguson, Missouri, I have to wonder what Americans of Missouri or Mississippi, Massachusetts, Maine or California have been doing together all these years for securing and cementing rights and justice for all of America’s inhabitants, citizens and noncitizens? Apparently not much: In 1984, twenty years after that New Jersey Democratic National convention, another black male committed and received accolades for committing a barbaric act against black people. This horrendous event happened in one of America’s 13 original colonies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “Racist”/ “racism” yellers take note.


P
  hiladelphia elected its “first black mayor,” Willie Wilson Goode, in 1984; and in 1985, Goode’s government presided over the bombing of a house and neighborhood inhabited by the MOVE Organization. MOVE is a Philadelphia-based group founded in 1972 of mostly black people who “lived communally and frequently engaged in public demonstrations related to issues they deemed important.” After this egregious act of violence (bringing to mind today’s U.S. federal officials’ bombings of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and others)  the citizens of this ‘city of brotherly love” granted Wilson Goode a second term in office. 

MOVE still exists and Fannie Lou Hamer (b. October 6, 1917-March 14, 1977) devoted a lifetime to securing constitutional rights, human rights, first-class citizenship. The United States of America, however, has failed to continuously progress and is today in a state of regress on human rights and constitutional rights – and a black male is into a second term as head of state. 

I
    often ask myself what I have done with my life. If all I can answer is that I have bought this or that – then the answer is I have done nothing with my life. If can measure my life only in terms of possessions, then I have nothing to show for my life. If I measure my life in comparison to others’ acquisitions, then I have wasted my life.

Yelling “racist” and “racism” shuts off conversation, denies relationship. Nothing moral, human, important or of lasting value is achieved through violence or inflammatory language. I know of no instance in which Fannie Lou Hamer -- whose life was a heck of a lot harder than my life -- yelled “racists.”  

Fannie Lou Hamer did not have much formal schooling – not of the Howard and Harvard varieties (quality education was denied in her era), certainly, no access to an Internet as there was none, or any similarly easily accessible information database – but she was never stupid, ignorant or inflammatory. She was never asking even for a single-party-line phone let alone “iphones” and “Blackberries”, even Fords and Chevrolets, or the “right” to buy these things. Her quest was fundamental, essential, never trivial. 

Fannie Lou Hamer (her last name pronounced as in “name r”) neither trivialized substantive issues nor disparaged other individuals. She set about working on the problems and documenting the struggle. She was a wise, civil, moral and nonviolent leader; she was a citizen who sought a place at the table for those denied to serve as an equal among a citizenry of equals.


Sources and notes

Fannie Lou Hamer

In 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer ran for Congress in the Mississippi state Democratic primary.  She participated in rallies and spoke to college and university students across the United States. In 1965, she led the cotton picker’s resistance movement and helped bring a Head Start program to Ruleville, Mississippi, her hometown, and was involved in other programs throughout Mississippi. From 1968-1971, she was a Democratic Party National Committee Representative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Lou_Hamer
http://www.projectblackman.com/GreatBlackWomenInHistory.aspx?notablePersonId=382

SNCC, COFO, MFDP

Participation in the state Democratic Party was “whites only” and generations of African-American (Negro, black American, colored) Mississippians had been denied voting rights. In 1961, SNCC and COFO began campaigns against what was often “violent opposition to register black voters.”

The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was a coalition of the major Civil Rights Movement organizations operating in Mississippi.

Formed in 1962, COFO’s mission was to coordinate and unite voter registration and other civil rights activities in the state and oversee the distribution of funds from the Voter Education Project.

It was instrumental in forming the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. COFO member organizations included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC; often pronounced "snick": /ˈsnɪk/) was one of the most important organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a student meeting organized by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in April 1960. SNCC grew into a large organization with many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to support SNCC's work in the South, allowing full-time SNCC workers to have a $10 per week salary. Many unpaid volunteers also worked with SNCC on projects in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Maryland.

SNCC played a major role in 
 sit-ins and freedom rides, a leading role in the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Smmer, and
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party 
Its major contributions: fieldwork organizing voter registration drives all over the South, especially in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. 

The U.S. state of Mississippi law in 1963 denied black (Negro, colored) Americans the vote so before the November general election, black Americans “organized an alternative ‘Freedom Ballot’ to take place at the same time as the November voting.” Approximately, “80,000 people cast freedom ballots for an integrated slate of candidates.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_Freedom_Democratic_Party
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COFO
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_Nonviolent_Coordinating_Committee

Wilson Goode
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_Goode

MOVE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOVE


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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shill lies under Sheep’s Clothing

Bruce Dixon calls out privatizer dressed up as public education champion
Editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

Another fraud

Sounds like a shill in Sheep’s Clothing. “…Why does Donna Brazile’s ‘Democrats for Public Education’ (DFPE) exist?” Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon asks, and answers, “Apart from possible interference in next year’s Chicago mayoral contest, [DFPE’s] only conceivable purpose is an utterly cynical one.”  It “will house surrogates for Hillary Clinton’s … campaign who will give the gullible an excuse to believe that [the stepping-stone senator-become-foreign-affairs disaster] -- unlike [candidate and president Obama] -- is not on the side of the privatizers and charter school sugar daddies, the same way that [candidate] Obama had unofficial spokespeople everywhere assuring those who wanted to believe that he was for net neutrality, against the USA Patriot Act and the Iraq war and torture; and wanted to renegotiate NAFTA and whatever else some people wanted to hear.”

Alas, “Democrats for Public Education” is no more than “the cynical sound bite that some self-deceiving Democrats need to hear.”

The shill’s president gave away – correction, sold – to the highest private bidder an American cultural tradition intended to ensure every child a fair chance and a hope of contributing to American society: public education.

B
   ruce Dixon calls out Brazile and he calls out Brazile's president and his co-conspirators in disestablishing nonsectarian U.S. education. The president’s education secretary and member of the president’s cabinet was former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan who “ravaged, savaged and privatized” that city’s schools. Duncan “fired thousands of mostly-black teachers with little or no due process, and handed big chunks of public resources over to the operators of private charter schools.” As FOP (friend of the president), Duncan was handed a seat at the president’s table as head of the U.S. Department of Education. And in six years in the position, Dixon recounts, the president, his education secretary, and the department set out on a mission of destruction.

[They] have let representatives of private charter schools, testing companies and consultants from the Walton Family, Eli Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates and other foundations ideologically committed to running schools like businesses and education like a market write the federal guidelines school districts must follow to receive federal funds – something they call ‘Race To The Top’.

The same consultants have been allowed to embed themselves deeply into the supposedly impartial private institutions officially recognized by the Department of Education that evaluate schools, school districts [sounds like weighting the market, ensuring profits for themselves; foxing the hen house].

Keeping up the bait-and-switch--what prompts Dixon’s commentary –is Democrats-toward-the-White House-shill Donna Brazile announcing the founding of something called  “Democrats for Public Education” when the destroyer in chief she serves is in reality, Dixon says, “the chief pusher of school privatization.” The breakdown of U.S. education. 

It is interesting how this regime's domestic ethos parallels its foreign relations ethos in the singular characteristic of destructiveness. 

T
he lie is in a shill (of course shill is itself the personification of liar) claiming advocacy for a cause that directly opposes her cronies who are footing the bill of her ascendancy. They own her. And as they own her, she knows full well that she will not oppose them. No matter what they do, she is theirs, their shill. 

Entrenching ascendancy

Louisiana-born American political insider, pundit, and television personality Donna Brazile is vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and has worked in several Democratic Party presidential and other campaigns and offices. 

These include contenders Jimmy Carter–Walter Mondale (1976, 1980), Jesse Jackson (1984), Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro (1984), Richard Gephardt (1988 primary). She was deputy field director of the Michael Dukakis general election campaign (1988) and in the 1990s, Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to District of Columbia Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, advisor for the Bill Clinton initial and reelection presidential campaigns (1992, 1996). In 2000, she was campaign manager for the Al Gore presidential campaign.


Sources and notes

“Is ‘Democrats For Public Education’ Just a Toothless, Cynical Sound [Bite]?”
Bruce A. Dixon, August 13, 2014, http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/democrats-public-education-just-toothless-cynical-sound-byte

Donna Brazile bio note, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Brazile
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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Rise of violent “extremists” – “Cry for Help”: Tommy Robinson

Afghan Refugees
A call to talk
Editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

With completely polarized communities and complete non integration and complete segregation, “it is terrifying to think of what’s next, what the next twenty to thirty years may hold for the next generation of youth in our country.… I want to work out a way that we can solve this” [founder and former leader of the English Defense League (EDL) Tommy Robinson]

USA/UK
 He’s addressing Britain but I hear America.

E
   xtremist to me is one who cannot see or sense the sense or a grain of truth in another’s argument, opinion or ideas on a question. 

Such a rabid position is by nature seriously flawed because extreme right or left or any other steel mindedness always leaves out something that is vital, important, essential to the issue and to understanding and the journey of making change to solve the problem for the public good.  
Refugees, Asylum SeekersFleeing war
Risking life
Crossing Mediterranean
  
There is also a view of the violent extremist, which Robinson points to. The interviewer asked about an Anders Breivik parallel with the EDL and Robinson’s thoughts were that “What bred Anders Breivik was a silence on [tackling] the issue” of immigration and societal conflict.

We “create monsters in this country as well as in Europe, monsters like Breivik," he said, "who, when they see no way out, see no one talking about these issues, no light at the end of the tunnel in solving these problems; and everyone [is] being criticized and called a racist and being beaten down with this big racist stick for even talking about them -- then that way of thinking is driven underground and it becomes more resentment, more anger, … a worrying trend that in the near future will become genuine threats from the far right.”

Syrian Refugees
Wikipedia note: Anders Behring Breivik was born in Oslo, Norway, February 13, 1979, the son of Wenche Behring, a nurse, and Jens David Breivik, a civil economist who worked as a diplomat for the Norwegian Embassy in London and later Paris. On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik bombed government buildings in Oslo that resulted in the deaths of eight people. Breivik then killed 69 more people, mostly teenagers, in a mass shooting at a Workers’ Youth League (AUF) camp on the island of Utøya. On the day of the attacks, Breivik electronically distributed a compendium of texts entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence in which he describes his far-right militant ideology.” In August 2012 Breivik was convicted of “mass murder, causing a fatal explosion, and terrorism” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik]
Kenyan Refugees

There is something essential in the former EDL member’s discussion with SophieCo.

Government separate and apart

“The government is not living in towns and cities” of the working classes, Tommy Robinson said; “they are miles apart and out of touch with what it’s like.” Those in government do not have “their finger on the pulse of the amount of resentment and anger.” Though parents “should have a duty to hand down a safe and prosperous [country] to the next generation, we are failing miserably in that duty.” 

What is happening to our country “hurts” yet “people are too scared to even speak about these issues.”

Yemeni Refugees
Conflict resolution through Dialogue

The current path inevitably leads to conflict and “we don’t want conflict…; we want to avoid that but to avoid it we need to really get to the deep root cause of the problems and at least be able to discuss them and work out solutions to them and not just bury them under the carpet and hope they will go away, as they won’t.…

“We are hoping create a platform to give an opportunity for people from working-class communities to bring these problems to the forefront with the government, from members of all different parties, and have dialogue with all of them.”

Cry for help

Syrian Refugees
Their activism on the streets over the past four years, Robinson said, was indicative of “a cry for help” trying to capture people’s attention to the way they are living. 

“We believe democracy can solve the problem,” he said, “and we … welcome people from Africa and different continents … to open up a healthy platform.”

L
istening to Robinson’s interview with RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze (SophieCo), we can agree or disagree, to any degree; but a core element in my opinion is indisputable. There are critical underlying issues tearing (domestic and global) society apart – he doesn’t even mention the underlying colossal cause rising from U.S./UK/Western wars in Asia and Africa, their outpouring of refugees -- which are being ignored by governments, by leaders and people in power, and by the populace. 

Libyan refugees
His argument, observations and solutions for resolving conflict have definite merit. We exist in a society in crisis – deliberately so. Governments are divisive, corrupt and inattentive. Mass media divide and deepen conflict as for entertainment. And people are deliberately oblivious, playing with their iPhones and Tweeting nonsense. Such a state of affairs is unsustainable and indeed troubling for countries, societies, and future generations.

We need neither extremism nor violence but we definitely need a wake-up call and cross-differences conversation.


Sources and notes

“EDL dissident voice from right a grain of sense Tommy Robinson” Guest Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defense League (EDL) “notoriously known for its anti-Islam stance,” RT’s SophieCo program, August 9, 2014, http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/134711-immigrationissue-eu-fascism/

Sophie Shevardnadze’s lead in:

Arab spring refugee tide has made the immigration issue yet more stretching for the European governments. In some towns the indigenous population is already in the minority.

Can migrants overflow breed new fascism?

Will Islam win politically?

What has to happen to ensure peacefulness of the seemingly inevitable Europe ethnic makeover?

Interview program SophieCo host Sophie Shevardnadze, Monday and Friday on RT

Anders Behring Breivik bio brief, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik




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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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