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Friday, May 29, 2015

“Progressive” as a three-dollar bill

Don’t Invest
Editing and commentary by
Carolyn Bennett

Status quo

Don’t invest in Bernie Sanders in bed with weapons industry Lockheed Martin ● or Hillary Clinton with hands on, direct and indirect, killing and taking her (foundation-laundered) cut. 

Endless war can be expected from these candidates—evening gowned or tuxedoed. An associate or friend of the legislator in interview today on KPFA spoke of “Bernie” in military terms: “Bernie’s ‘insurgency’”, he called the Senator's run for the White House, “with nothing to lose.”

Aside from the continuing culture and ethos of belligerence, militarism, imperialism, nuclear armament, global arms sales and violent aggression (together with gross neglect of domestic issues such as immigration, education, human rights and relations, general health and welfare)—serious times call for serious candidates. 

With U.S. “leadership” recklessly waging scores of wars and other aggression in Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa—no thoughtful person in the twenty-first century would consider someone addressed down as “Hillary” or “Bernie” (“Bill” or “Billy”).  
Same Coin

We know where Hillary was but where was Bernie when bribes were being handed out? Politician Bernard Sanders had been ensconced in the legislature of the United States for just short of a quarter century and when he is through the quarter century mark will have passed (his tenure in U.S. House of Representatives January 3, 1991-January 3, 2007, in U.S. Senate 2007-2015 current term ending in 2019).

Lockheed F-35
In his long tenure, what benefit has Sanders brought to the American people as a whole? 

What has he done for the general welfare of this country? 

What has he done to end U.S. wars and occupation abroad?

US DOD missile launch
Partnered with Military Industry Leader Lockheed Martin

The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets file calls them Heavy Hitters ● one of the heaviest Lockheed Martin: the United States’ “top defense contractor, the brains behind high-tech military hardware such as the F-16 jet fighter and a variety of land and sea missiles. 

Lockheed in 2001 “landed the biggest defense contract in history when it was named the main contractor for the Joint Strike Fighter.”  

Lockheed 2014 “LOBBYING: $14,581,800” ● REVOLVING DOOR: “73 out of 109 Lockheed Martin lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs” ● Lockheed Martin PACs’ [Political Action Committees’] total contributions to U.S. candidates for public office “is 7 times larger than contributions from individuals…: Contributions to candidates $3,001,933, Contributions to Leadership PACs $865,875, Contributions to parties $223,216, Contributions to 527 committees $5,812, Contributions to outside spending groups $10,373”
 
Nuclear-Lockheed “Bernie”

Greg Guma writes this week under headline “Between the Lines—Will Sanders’ Run for the White House Help Build a National Progressive”?  

A fair question considering another faker

The “progressive” military-industrial-complex-supporting Bernard Sanders, Guma reports, is a flip-flopper on a seriously dangerous domestic and global issue. 

“Despite his (Sanders’) past criticisms of the corporation’s serial misconduct and excess,” by 2011 Sanders was “supporting the Pentagon’s proposal to base Lockheed-built F-35 fight jets at the Burlington (Vermont) International Airport…. Sanders “joined with Vermont’s most enthusiastic booster, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, signing on to a joint statement of support.”
Concerning the Vermont partnership with the energy company Sandia, “managed by Lockheed Martin for the Department of Defense”, the state’s governor reportedly described Sen. Sanders as being “like a dog with a bone” in his enthusiasm.

Judge for yourselves

I think America needs—and has for a long time needed—“freshness”. New people and new ideas, human sensibility, true independence of thought and action, principled leadership; people who don’t engage in getting by and fooling, hoodwinking, the American people, but who enable Americans—by supporting substantively good public education (not “race to a top or bottom”) for all—to think for themselves; not to succumb to propaganda, yield to manipulation; but to regularly ponder and act on the notion that we Americans must end the inherently regressive status quo, end legacy and dynasty, and put the “lifers” and the “old guard” out to pasture.

On its website “Presidency 2016”, Politics1 points out that “a large crowd of candidates will likely compete for the Democratic and Republican nominations—plus LOTS of likely third party and independent P2016 hopefuls.” And “if a person is running or thinking of running—regardless of party, ballot status, or chances of winning (incumbent party, main opposition party, third party candidates, independent and write-in hopefuls)” —Politics1 will list all of the candidates at its site. 

Why not check it out?

I
magine beyond elephants and donkeys. Anybody can be an “arse” or “heavy-footed”, even a great orator, a convincing propagandist. 

However, not anyone should be trusted with the leadership of a (potentially) great country. There is a whole world of truly progressive thinkers and doers, competent and principled people, not propagandists or counterfeit, waiting for a turn at the helm. Waiting for a chance to progressively help right this ship of state.



Sources and notes

“Upfront” May 29, 2015 episode, KPFA, https://kpfa.org/episode/upfront-may-29-2015/

Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets, http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000104
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00000528#ind
Bernard Sanders bio, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S000033

Sanders, Lockheed, Nuclear armament: TRUST ME

Wednesday, May 27, 2015: Greg Guma: “Between The Lines - Will Sanders’ Run for the White House Help Build a National Progressive … Lockheed in Vermont: Sanders’ Corporate Conundrum Progressive Eclipse – Chapter Ten; Sandia, Citizens United and Smart Meters: December 2011, http://gregguma.blogspot.com/2015/05/lockheed-in-vermont-sanders-corporate.html

“The growing influence of corporations made the emerging relationship between Sandia Laboratories and Bernie Sanders somewhat perplexing. Sandia was managed by Lockheed Martin for the Department of Defense, had roots in the Manhattan Project and a history of turning nuclear research into weapons. Most of its revenue still came from maintaining and developing defense systems. … [Sanders’] position hadn’t changed that much. Sandia’s nuclear associations were never a major obstacle: Sanders had once been pro-nuclear power and his criticisms were restrained. His stalwart alliance with labor had always outweighed his skepticism about military spending and his corporate criticism, which focused on fairness and inequality, rarely prevented him from making an alliance that furthered ‘bold’ initiatives or burnished his record of leadership. … By 2011, Sanders was … supporting the Pentagon’s proposal to base Lockheed-built F-35 fight jets at the Burlington International Airport. Despite his past criticisms of the corporation’s serial misconduct and excess, he joined with Vermont’s most enthusiastic booster, Senator Patrick Leahy, signing on to a joint statement of support.”

“Lockheed Martin in Vermont: Senator Bernie Sanders’ Corporate Conundrum” by Greg Guma
Global Research, May 28, 2015, Theme: Environment, Global Economy, Oil and Energy, Politics and Religion, http://www.globalresearch.ca/lockheed-martin-in-vermont-senator-bernie-sanders-corporate-conundrum/5452106

Presidency 2016 Politics1

A large crowd of candidates will likely compete for the Democratic and Republican nominations plus there LOTS of likely third party and independent P2016 hopefuls.


If a person is running or thinking of running—regardless of party, ballot status, or chances of winning (incumbent party, main opposition party, third party candidates, independent and write-in hopefuls) —Politics 1 lists all of the candidates at its site. http://www.politics1.com/p2016.htm

_____________________________________


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

From a music lover: Happy Birthday, Beverly Sills


Her life, her art, her attitude in thoughts
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

We remember American treasure Beverly Sills whose birthday fell on this year’s U.S.-celebrated Memorial Day. Her life spanned May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007; her peak performing years as a soprano on the stage of opera 1950s -1970s.

Art 
“A primary function of art and thought is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of his culture in the environmental sense and to permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.” ―Beverly Sills

Her professional stage debut came in 1945 “with a Gilbert and Sullivan touring company produced by Jacob J. Shubert, playing twelve cities in the United States and Canada, offering seven different Gilbert and Sullivan operas.” Her performance as Cleopatra in the New York City Opera’s revival of Handel’s opera seria Giulio Cesare in 1966 made her an international opera star.

Born of parents who had immigrated from Odessa, Ukraine (then part of Russia) and Bucharest, Romania, Beverly Sills was multilingual before entering the arena of opera—her signature roles on stage including  title roles “in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, in Massenet’s Manon, Marie in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment, the three heroines in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, and Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux. In an operatic career spanning thirty years, she “recorded eighteen full-length operas”, “nine solo recital albums of arias and songs, and “was soprano soloist on a 1967 recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.”

Roles beyond opera stage performance 
“My voice had a long, nonstop career. It deserves to be put to bed with quiet and dignity, not yanked out every once in a while to see if it can still do what it used to do; it can’t.” ―Beverly Sills
  
Beverly Sills retired from the stage of opera in 1980 and assumed the roles of general manager of the New York City Opera; chair of Lincoln Center (1994) and the Metropolitan Opera (2002), and lent her celebrity to charities “for the prevention and treatment of birth defects.”
 
In television, Beverly Sills starred in eight opera productions televised on PBS and several more on other public TV systems.  In television specials she appeared in “A Look-in at the Met with Danny Kaye” (1975), with Carol Burnett in “Sills and Burnett at the Met (1976), the Emmy-Award winning “Profile in Music” (recorded in England in 1971, showing in the United States in 1975). Some of the televised performances were commercially distributed on videotape and DVD.

Lincoln  Center
Honor honored 
“I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity... I didn't feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not--more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.” ―Beverly Sills

New York City Opera House
inside
Beverly Sills received many awards including Grammy and Emmy nominations. Some of the honors included the Handel Medallion from New York City for artistic achievement (1973); Recording Industry of America Cultural Award (1979); Golden Baton, American Symphony Orchestra League (1980); Kennedy Center Honors (1985); Induction into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007); Pearl S. Buck Women’s Award (1979); 

The Presidential Medal of Freedom (1980); Barnard College Medal of Distinction (1981); Honorary doctorates in music: Temple University (1972), New York University and New England Conservatory of Music(1973), Harvard University (1974), California Institute of the Arts (1975);

Approachably plain speaking 
Sills
Burnett
Walters
far left?
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. …  
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.” ―Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills has been described as “down-to-earth and approachable,” one who “helped dispel the traditional image of the ‘temperamental opera diva’.” In the late 1970s’ Sunday morning on network television she hosted “Lifestyles with Beverly Sills”, her talk show that won an Emmy Award. In her talk show appearances on programming shows such as Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, David Frost, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, she “popularized opera.”

New York's
Brooklyn Bridge
Beverly Sills co-hosted American television’s “The View for Best Friends Week (November 9, 2006) as Barbara Walters’ best friend. She appeared on screen in movie theaters during HD transmissions live from the Met and as a backstage interviewer in February and April 2007. 

Beverly Sills was born “Belle Miriam Silverman” in Brooklyn, New York, May 25, 1929.


Sources and notes

Beverly Sills—biographical information at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverly_Sills

Beverly Sills—biographical information on a website dedicated to preserving the artistry and humanity of Beverly Sills, offering an in-depth look at her life and career through print, sound and video, http://www.beverlysillsonline.com/

Quote Links: http://izquotes.com/author/beverly-sills
http://www.famousquotesandauthors.com/authors/beverly_sills_quotes.html
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/beverly_sills/2.html 

Coloratura soprano: a type of operatic soprano who specializes in music that is distinguished by agile runs, leaps and trills. Coloratura refers to the elaborate ornamentation of a melody, which is a typical component of the music written for this voice. Categories within a certain vocal range are determined by the size, weight and color of the voice. Within the coloratura category are roles written specifically for lighter voices, “lyric coloraturas”, others for larger voices, “dramatic coloraturas”; some roles may be sung by either voice.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coloratura_soprano


Soprano: “a type of classical female singing voice”, the highest vocal range of all voice types. Vocal range (using scientific pitch notation): approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to ‘high A’ (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to ‘soprano C’ (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soprano

__________________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Monday, May 25, 2015

“More than absence of war”—the Young with maturity raise Movement for Peace

JANE ADDAMS (1860-1935)
"one of the most
prominent reformers
of the
Progressive Era"
Dellums, Schroeder Insight at conference “Vietnam: The Power of Protest ● Telling the Truth. ● Learning the Lessons”
Editing, excerpting by 
Carolyn Bennett

Beyond mere absence of war… what if…
American activist and politician
Former Member of U.S. Congress Ron Dellums

What was “principle for our generation is imperative” for the current generation “because we know that the price of war is too high. We know that the price of neglect of the issues that affect the human condition—we do it at our peril—so that we have a responsibility now to address the imperative.…

“We say to this generation of young people, out of a sense of urgency, out of a sense of the imperative—You now must emerge.

 
…It is not that this generation does not get it; it’s that they don’t always hear it. But when they do hear it, they get it, because they listen carefully. And if I had to bet my last dollar, I would bet it on this generation of young people, because they’re not carrying the same baggage we carry; and if they ever stand up, they will change America and change the world for their children and their children’s children.

In photo
Schroeder center
Dellums far right
then
“‘Peace is more than simply the absence of war; it is the presence of justice.’ I interpreted that to mean … the peace movement is the ultimate movement. Peace is the superior idea, that the umbrella movement for—of all movements; the peace movement because to come together under the banner of peace forces us to challenge all forms of injustice.

“Peace is more than simply the absence of war—it is the absence of conditions that give rise to war. … If we stayed together, what would the international community look like [today]?

“What would the world look like globally?
Protests now

“What would America look like? Would we still be seeing the Baltimore(s), if we had challenged on these issues?

But it’s not too late.”


Protest with Civility, Maturity
American former politician and author 
Former Member of U.S. Congress 
Pat Schroeder

“I think about where we’ve been and where we haven’t been of late…

More than
absence of wa
r
Justice for all
“When people say to me, ‘…but things are different now, because the issues are so hard’—I keep saying ‘Are you kidding me? We had Vietnam, the 1973 [Israeli-Palestinian] war, impeachment [of former President Richard M. Nixon]; how many more things can you juggle at one time?’

Protests now
And, yet, we were treating each other, even if we disagreed, with respect and decency; and debating on the facts.”

Today “I don’t see that [civility, rigor, rationality] at all. I see name calling, [which] reminds me of the junior high school lunch room. One food fight after another and it’s very sad.”

In photo
Schroeder center right
Protests then
Peace (anitwar) Movement mattered then, matters now

Protests now
While in the Oval Office President “Nixon said, ‘That peace movement … doesn’t have anything to do with me; I’m president, and I’m doing what’s right.’ In a book written after his presidency “he said the peace movement kept him from escalating the war.”

Schroeder continues. 

“Now, none of us want to say anything; but it really did make a big difference. It made a huge difference. … 

“Let’s go out and get young people thinking about it [the Peace Movement] in the environment we’re in today…: Iran, and how many people seem to want to go to war with [Iran]…; what we’ve done in Iraq and Afghanistan…. 

“We need to spread what we have learned.”




Sources and notes

Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935): pioneer American settlement social worker (and founder of the social work profession in the United States), public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women's suffrage and world peace. “In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists—Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped turn America to issues of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Addams

“Vietnam: The Power of Protest ● Telling the Truth. ● Learning the Lessons” May 1 - May 2 event in Washington D.C.: weekend gathering commemorating “the Vietnam Antiwar Movement,” addressing unlearned critical lessons of that war, and building opposition to today’s contemporary wars ● Featured speakers and performers: Phyllis Bennis, Julian Bond, Ron Kovic, Ron Dellums, Amy Goodman, Tom Hayden, Holly Near, Pat Schroeder, Susan Schnall and Peter Yarrow; a march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.
http://vietnamfulldisclosure.org/index.php/event/vietnam-the-power-of-protest-telling-the-truth-learning-the-lessons/

“Former Congressman Ron Dellums: Organizing for Peace Forces Us to Challenge All Forms of Injustice,” Monday May 25, 2015, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/25/former_congressman_ron_dellums_organizing_for

Ronald Vernie (Ron) Dellums: American activist, veteran, politician, born of labor organizers, native of Oakland, California, where he also served as mayor (2007-2011) and held positions on the Berkeley City Council; elected to thirteen terms (1971-1998) as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Northern California’s 9th Congressional District after which he worked as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Dellums


“Former Rep. Pat Schroeder: The Peace Movement Made ‘Huge Difference’ in Ending Vietnam War,” Monday May 25, 2015, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/25/former_rep_pat_schroeder_the_peace

Patricia (Pat) Nell Scott Schroeder: American former politician who represented Colorado in the United States House of Representatives (1973–1997). She had also been On the National Labor Relations Board (1964-1966), attorney for Planned Parenthood and a public school teacher in Denver. In her position as member of the U.S. Congress she was involved in reform of that body— “working to weaken the long-standing control of committees by their chairs, sparring with Speaker Carl Albert over congressional ‘hideaways,’  and questioning why Congress members who lived in their offices should not be taxed for the benefit.” Schroeder served on the House Armed Services Committee and was a major supporter of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and the Military Family Act of 1985. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Schroeder


____________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

____________________________________________________

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Unraveling race, rioting, disproportionate rich: Jay Johnson connects pieces

Crime against society: Media shill for power elite
Editing, brief comment by
Carolyn Bennett

Media’s divide-and-shill masks sinister deeds. And considering Baltimore and similar incidents, Jay Johnson asks: “Will the riots lead to more people calling for the State to normalize the situation?  What role do media play in shaping the narrative?

Trayvon Martin in Florida, Eric Garner in New York, Michael Brown in Ohio, Freddie Gray in Baltimore—Media Tool of Distortion: repeat it often enough and…

Though all of these young men “had troubled pasts, the entire debate [focuses] on how the police interact with the public.” However, Johnson points out, what is happening in all of these cases is not happening to the public in general; it is happening to “a very specific group of people who happen to be poor and from a minority ethnic group and who live in a certain area.”

To smear any general group (the public, Americans, Russians, Muslims, Jews, a race of people, police departments) is to manipulate and distract from what is really going on.

Slanting, coloring, blow-drying, falsifying  

The media employ “catch-phrases and slogans.” They “manipulate imagery and audio” and employ “selective fact reporting” purposely leaving out information. Media shape the narrative, Johnson says, but toward what end?

Media's Case of Trayvon Martin

The repeated image of Martin, Johnson reports, was of a “young smiling preteen” but “in reality [Martin] was a nearly full-grown 17-year-old … [whose] Facebook pictures were anything but smiling.” Zimmerman was portrayed in a variety of images depending seemingly on the whim of the reporting organization.

Media's Case of Michael Brown

Again the repeated image was of a young Michael Brown but a different picture of Brown surfaces in results of a Google search.

But after all the media repetition and misleading images, “after the media trial and a grand jury” the result is a society divided, not better for the truth; “what really happened on that fateful day [of the Zimmerman-Martin encounter remains] unclear.”

From the Michael Brown case rose the “‘#handsup hashtag’” but “it is [also] unclear how [Brown] could have had his hands up since he was apparently shot in the back while running away.”

J
ohnson is not trying to suggest, nor would I, that these cases are not tragedies. Of course, they are tragedies all round. But he is suggesting that the public has been denied the true facts while the media employ tactics that distract and cover up other parties and forces.

Questionable online chatter, incitement re Missouri and Maryland cases

Johnson reports other sources’ discovery that 20 to 50 “social media accounts in Baltimore” (Maryland) were “tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson” (Missouri) … suggesting “the presence of ‘professional protesters’ or anarchists’ taking advantage of Freddie Gray’s death to incite more violence.”

Agitators, professional provocateurs: Other sources, he reports, were questioning the appearance among Baltimore “rioters” of “six-foot tall white guys with bandannas over their faces” and speculating that these people were “professional provocateurs … trying to stir up young kids, make it look like [this is] right.”

Life imitating fiction: “The Purge”

A brief on this film says it is a set-in-the-future story of “a wealthy family held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized.” The Purge, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2184339/

It seems that in the Baltimore case, the mayor decriminalized crime for her own sinister motives. After a weekend of rioting, police were called off on Monday. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is quoted saying — “…We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”  Why would a mayor seemingly condone violence and destruction of her city?”The background on the mayor is interesting. Johnson points to infowars.com notes showing that

“‘Rawlings-Blake was one of three mayors who provided broad input into President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which advocates the federalization of police departments across the country. … This could explain her inaction to stop the rioting when it began.
“‘By allowing it to spiral out of control, the mayor and her friends at the [US Department of Justice] could use the unrest to justify the expansion of federal power into local law enforcement, which would also allow her to receive more funding.’”

Cynically Sinister: Motivation Camouflaged: fear-mongering, federalization, militarization

Dialing for dollars: The Feds in the past few years have “given surplus military gear such as machine guns, drones, MRAPS (light tanks) to local, state and federal agencies.”

SWAT units, Johnson says, are now part of federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, even the Department of Education. Reportedly federal agencies such as the IRS and Social Security Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (overseer of the National Weather Service) are purchasing ammunition and weaponry in bulk.

A
pparently, just as the FBI reportedly creates “terrorists” to arrest “terrorists”, and in so doing boost its budget and justify its existence; so too do government agencies in general create crime to combat crime.  

Fear mongering in domestic affairs as in US foreign affairs covers what is really going on and justifies force, violence, the militarization of municipalities.

Looking at underlying causes including the continuing collapse of the US economy, the criminally widening gulf into “third-world” inequality—largely because higher ups are essentially getting away with murder, robbing not only the nation’s wealth but the world’s wealth without putting back or investing in substantive and sustaining resources for human independence, advancement and uplift—the oppressive arm of militaries and weaponry are set loose on communities, as on underdeveloped countries, to protect power elites, the higher-ups and their partners, the ruling plutocracy and its plunder.
As voices and actions rise in resistance, the voice of the plutocracy demands “order”, that the State protect and preserve this cabal by military force. Jay Johnson question is, “Will Americans welcome with open arms the coming police state?

Sources and notes


“Will Americans Welcome the Coming Police State With Open Arms?” Jay Johnson [Connecting the Pieces], April 30-May 2, 2015, http://sputniknews.com/radio_connecting_the_pieces/20150430/1021566260.html

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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

North American Disconnect from reality Endangers World—Ca. high school student sounds alarm


Apathy’s consequences are borne by the “less powerful…”
Excerpt and ending comment by 
Carolyn Bennett

From the mind of the young—HEAR! HEAR!

Responding to an international affairs, war and peace segment on last week’s “The Sunday Edition” with Michael Enright and Peace Studies Professor Paul Rogers, Heather Mitchell penned a message to Canadians which might equally have been addressed to their southern neighbors and their educational leaders and learners.   

Indented are Heather Mitchell’s words pegged to questions raised in the earlier program and the issue of endless western aggression in the Middle East: “How do we change? How do we get Canadians more politically involved? How do we return to a peacekeeping role, rather than acting as a U.S. WAR ally?” She writes:

As someone who has spent her entire life as part of the Canadian educational system, it is not surprising to me that Canadians are mostly indifferent when it comes to politics. Apart from being a generally wealthy and safe population, which in itself often leads to political disinterest, the most obvious problem to me is how devoid our public education system is of any sort of world issues, politics or current events discussion.
World issues  are
Domestic issues

From ages 5 to 18, the young people of Canada are being brought up in an environment largely devoid of any interaction with the rest of the world.

We are not graduating with strong political knowledge, awareness, or any value for activism. There is generally no space or time during the school day to discuss what’s in the news—what Canada is doing militarily, politically or socially, other world events, or even any current issues in our local communities.
  


The result is that young people are being raised with the idea that these are not important or necessary to learn about, an attitude I think has a high chance of carrying into their adult lives.

Along with the U.S., due to our power and wealth, we have the luxury of being apathetic citizens without dealing with the results. Largely, it seems to me, we export the consequences onto other, less powerful countries.

As a young person now beginning to enter adult life, and soon eligible to vote in the next federal election, I feel wholly unprepared to participate in Canadian politics. Judging by Canada’s abysmal youth voting numbers, I am not alone.

Hearing the announcement of our plans to bomb Syria was the last straw of my country acting in ways I do not endorse. I do not feel proud to be a Canadian, when I hear of our government acting this way.

However I feel lost and disconnected from any means of having my voice heard. I would be very interested in hearing how I, as a Canadian citizen, can learn more about my country. As high school students, I think our contact with reality and the outside world, is limited to the point of being dangerous.”

I know as much as anyone how hard it is to convince young people to learn anything they are not interested in. I want to figure out how we might be able to change the culture of our public schools from one of disconnected, theoretical, text-book learning, to one of participation, involvement, and interest in Canada and the world. [End quote]

W
ell said, wise words, critical warning to a sleeping, chronically distracted, sadly obliviously dangerously ignorant people of North America let loose upon the world.

Alone among global masses one cannot rise from an economic poverty imposed and perpetuated by inordinate power, armed power and wealth, such as that which rises from Western nations; it’s like a giant iron foot being placed on the necks of the vulnerable. But alone a people can surely rise from the poverty and destructiveness of deliberate ignorance.


Sources and notes

“Upper v. lower; Jihadi Town; Listener mail; The untold story of psychiatry; Reciting poetry,” The Sunday Edition April 26, 2015, http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/upper-v-lower-jihadi-town-listener-mail-the-untold-story-of-psychiatry-reciting-poetry-1.3045391

Last week The Sunday Edition’s Michael Enright spoke with University of Bradford (UK) Peace Studies Professor Paul Rogers about “Canada’s decision to embark on an expanded campaign against ‘ISIS,’” which involves Canada in “the intractable civil conflict and humanitarian disaster that is Syria.” Among the e-mail responses to that episode was one from Ottawa high school 12th-grader Heather Mitchell. On invitation from The Sunday Edition, she recorded her letter at the CBC studio in Ottawa.

Listener Mail, Sunday April 19, 2015, posted April 26, 2015, http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/borgen-armenian-genocide-listener-mail-robert-harris-on-the-great-american-songbook-1.3037372/listener-mail-1.3037516

William Thomas Gaddis, Jr. (December 29, 1922 – December 16, 1998) was an American novelist, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gaddis

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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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