Robin Hood in reverse: today’s Republicans

In 1968, following hundreds of inner-city rebellions over the span of four years, the President Lyndon Johnson’s 11 member panel to study civil disorders in this country Kerner Commission warned Americans: “

Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, one White–separate and unequal.” And so it was. So it is.

Instead of having the affect of arousing public support to save Johnson’s Great Society, that announcement seems to have signaled to the plutocrats in this country that it was time for them to come together and reclaim the nation’s wealth that had been redistributed among the poor, first by President Roosevelt’s New Deal, and then by Johnson’s Great Society, with its civil rights, and its gender equality, and its Skirmish (War) on Poverty. Continue reading

Libya: Mafia ‘hit’ not a rebellion

I think I’ve figured out what really happened in Libya over the last seven months or so. This was a Western European “Mob Hit,” like in the gangster movies, and it was carried out in broad open daylight, with full media coverage–and Al Jazeera was in the lead to give the takedown the air of diplomatic legitimacy.

It was a “thug operation” pulled off by NATO, and sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and those Libyan so-called “rebels” are not independent, freedom-loving, “patriots.” They are not even “clients” of NATO. They are nothing more than “employees” who can be hired or fired by NATO. They are the real “mercenaries” in this scenario, and their every move is bought paid for by the Western European powers. Continue reading

USA-9/11: Ten years of endless war

Like most people in this country I remember distinctly what I was doing on September 11, 2001. I was on my way back from the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. I was sitting in BJ’s at the Johannesburg airport–that’s tucked between the “Juicy Lucy” and the “Chicken Licken” franchises there. The South Africans seemed to have perfected the U.S. gimmick of cutesy names for food franchise business names…but I digress.

I saw something on a nearby television monitor that made me spring to my feet. It was about 3:30 p.m. local time–9:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time–and it was a Tuesday. Over and over again CNN was showing an airplane crashing into the World Trade Center. Panic and confusion were the order of the day, soon even in South Africa. Continue reading

Hurricane Irene: Americans are Talking About the Weather and Saying Nothing

There may be some debate among folklorists about whether or not Mark Twain originated or borrowed the expression: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

But there is no doubt about the James Brown version: “Talking Loud and Saying Nothing.” Mr. J.B., “Soul Brother No. 1” and Bobby Byrd recorded that anthem in 1970, although they did not have the topic “climate change” on their minds at the time. “Like a dull knife, just ain’t cutting. Talking loud and saying nothing.”

Residents of New York City’s Manhattan and some other areas in the path of Hurricane Irene feel like they “dodged a bullet” when the storm spared them from torrential winds and floods. But just a little north of New York, the storm wreaked havoc of Biblical proportions. In Vermont, even after being downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm status, Irene caused the worst natural disaster since the Great Flood of 1927, with waters washing away bridges in the state that have withstood the forces of nature for more than 200 years. Continue reading