Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Miracle

Editor's note: I had a dream about this whole hot mess the world finds itself in. I wanted to share my vision, but I struggled to put it into words until I decided to write it as a short short story. Other than the odd poem (not very often and very odd), I haven't posted anything like a short story at the The Revolution Continues before. This is a first. I've not written much fiction in recent times because, frankly, I don't feel like writing anything funny or with a happy ending. My last novella is set in a dystopian world where an anarchist commune that practices mutual aid is struggling to survive alongside a fascist state. My publisher insisted it at least have a "happy for now" ending. (You can buy a copy of it here. It would make my publisher very happy. Or you can drop me a donation via my Paypal.me page here. That would make me very happy!)

If you decide you'd like to read more short fiction posts, let me know. I'll see what I can do. If you'd rather I didn't post fiction here, leave a comment stating your preference. Thanks for your feedback.
A must-watch short video:

The Miracle

by C.A. Matthews

“That’s my planet,” I confessed, trembling. I pointed to the big blue marble that is Earth through the spaceship observation port. The tallest of the grayish, bulb-headed, big-eyed, mouthless alien beings nodded in understanding. “You can tell it’s inhabited from the amount of pollution in the atmosphere detectable from this… height.”

I’d never believed in alien abduction before, but now that it was happening to me it didn’t seem all that bad. No anal probes. No poking or prodding of any kind really, unless you count the mental probing my hosts—I hated to label them “my captors”—had gently done to determine how best to communicate with me. I spoke out loud, but I realized fairly quickly that they were reading my mind and communicating me mentally, so using my vocal cords wasn’t necessary. Talking just made me feel less nervous in their presence, and they didn’t seem to mind.

The pollutants and toxins in your biosphere are slowly killing your kind and many other species. Do you understand? The tallest of the aliens sent its thoughts directly into my head. Its tone and intonation made me imagine it was coming from an older, wiser individual. It communicated slowly and kindly as if speaking to a lost child. Would you like them removed?

“The pollution, you mean, not the people, right?” I laughed and then gasped as what it meant hit me fully. “You’re saying that you all can actually clean up our polluted planet after all we’ve done to it?”

Yes, we have the means to return your planet’s biosphere to its state before the mass burning of fossil fuels began. We can purge the toxins from the atmosphere, the water cycle, and from the soil. Crops and forests will thrive. No longer will adverse climate effects harm food production or the wildlife. We can replace the engines that run your vehicles, machinery, and industrial plants that cause pollution and radiation with ones that do not. We can eliminate rogue viruses and bacteria that cause serious illness and provide your healers with instruction on how to cure through natural means, not through the use of synthetic chemicals. Allow us to demonstrate.

With a wave of its hand—or what I thought would pass as a hand on Earth—Tall Guy gave its compatriots the signal to start Operation Earth Clean-Up. I’m not sure if what I witnessed from the spaceship window happened instantaneously or was happening over a period of days, years, or centuries, but within what seemed only a few short minutes to me the face of the Earth looked much greener and bluer and...well, healthier.

“Wow…” I whispered. “Thank you! I am very impressed. No more bad air quality days? No more boil warnings for our tap water? I can actually swim in the lake now and not get covered with an outbreak of poisonous blue-green algae?”

We have purged the toxins that are hazardous to life on your planet, my host mentally informed me. Your kind can be cured of sicknesses now with simple medicines and techniques available to all.

No more need for bad health insurance that never covers what you really need? Cancer cured? It all sounds too good to be true.” I shook my head in disbelief. “In my country, big corporations make lots of money from keeping people sick and addicted to drugs.”

Tall Guy blinked. If it had possessed a mouth, it might have frowned. The concept of capitalism was probably as foreign and strange to my hosts as their spaceship and advanced technology were to me. If they were reading my mind at that moment, they might have regretted lavishing such kind gifts upon our selfish species.

Is there anything else we can do for your kind before we return you? Tall Guy asked.

I couldn’t wait to return to Earth—the beautiful, unpolluted Garden of Eden where sickness would be no more. I sighed. There was something niggling me in the back of my mind. I had to know if my hosts could grant me this one last, grand wish.

Can you rid our world of war? Can you remove all the weapons—that is, the tools of violence and destruction? Guns, cannons, nukes, tanks, submarines, bomber jets and the like that humans use to kill other humans?

Tall Guy blinked again. I was pretty sure this time it was frowning inside even without a mouth. I probably had asked too big of a favor. After all, extracting pollution out of the biosphere could be just an elaborate chemical equation to them, but taking weapons away from warmongers? If the concepts of capitalism and greed were incomprehensibly horrible and cruel to my hosts, can you imagine what they would have thought of humanity’s insatiable need to slaughter their neighbors and steal each others’ land and resources?

A few minutes later, after much discussion as I called my hosts’ method of communicating as a group by touching their foreheads together, I got my answer.

We will try.

It took more than a hand wave from Tall Guy to bring peace about on Planet Earth. Several different groups of gray aliens started to work out different aspects of the challenge. I was allowed to walk about and watch each team tackle their part of the problem. I watched a view screen with fascination as one group disintegrated the biggest and most obvious weapons of war. They focused what must have been a laser upon an aircraft carrier and then poof! It was vaporized. Gone. Likewise to nuclear subs and battleships. The sailors aboard were all magically transported to the closest port.

I couldn’t help but clap my hands with glee as another group took out an entire fleet of bombers and nuclear silos. Zap! They disappeared.

But my hosts didn’t stop there. Another group worked on eliminating all the small arms and automatic weapons on the planet. I’m not sure how their scanners could pick up on the millions of firearms, some of which were hidden in cellars and barns by the thousands in my country, but they did it. Abracadabra! They vanished.

Wars aren’t only fought on the battlefields, but in the cities and towns where the oppressed are helpless to defend themselves. Several groups of my gray hosts worked on tearing down barbwire fences and concrete walls that had imprisoned so many within their own homelands or kept them from entering a place of safety. I don’t know how they did it, but my hosts flung open the prison doors that had incarcerated freedom fighters and innocents alike, setting them free.

In turn, the politicians and the corporate war lords who had profited greatly from eternal wars for oil and similar land grabs were escorted by invisible forces to trade places with the unjustly imprisoned. Ta-da! What a brilliant move!

The destruction of homes, family farms, and small businesses, the results of the wars and genocides, was instantly reversed. Homelessness and hunger were no more. All who had been separated by violence and divisions were once again reunited with their family members and friends.

I wept tears of joy.

It is accomplished, Tall Guy communicated to me. Why do you experience sadness?

I’m not sad. I’m happy.” I wiped my tears away with the back of my hand and gazed upon one of the view screens where a neighborhood, once reduced to rubble by bombing, now stood whole and complete. “I am so happy with the results of your wonderful talents. How can we ever thank you?

And then I caught a glimpse of something on the screen that caused my smile to fade. “What the hell… What is he doing?”

A man picked up a rock and threw it hard at another man just about to enter his rebuilt home. The second man fell to his knees, blood pouring from a deep gash on his forehead. The first man and his group ran toward the second man’s home, throwing more rocks at it as well as the people of the rebuilt neighborhood.

I thought you had eliminated all war?” I whispered.

My hosts assembled and pressed their foreheads together in communion. After a long minute, Tall Guy approached, its appendages spread open in an imploring fashion.

We eliminated all the human-made tools of war and violence as you had asked us to, but we cannot take away the feelings of hatred and greed and fear from inside each human being. That is something humanity must do for itself. Do you understand?

I nodded and closed my eyes. “I understand. I appreciate all that you’ve done for us. I realize now that I can’t expect you to perform a miracle.”

A miracle? Explain.

“Something that seems impossible, but it can and does spontaneously occur on rare occasions.”

Tall Guy nodded. Its gaze appeared softer, more sympathetic. No, we cannot perform a miracle. We cannot change the minds of living beings set on hurting others.

How long will it take until humankind rebuilds all the weapons it had?” I sniffed. “Years? Months? Days?”

Not long. Tall Guy’s tone registered upon my mind as resignation.

I turned toward the window. The skies above the Earth were growing darker and dirtier by the second. Humans were already rebuilding the polluting factories to create instruments of death, to destroy each other and Earth’s fragile ecosystem without mercy.

Can we help? Tall Guy communicated to me.

I slowly smiled at my gracious hosts. “We’d all better start praying for that miracle, or else I’ve wasted your time.”

This meme of Israeli girls writing their names on bombs to drop on Gaza is a couple months old. Recent estimates say 15,000+ children have been murdered in the Israeli genocide of Gaza.

Related Articles and Other Interesting Links

We can put an end to this genocide. We have the power. https://youtu.be/ysZVQpTJVH8?si=1tIiR3JBSPbTKdBg

The Majority of Americans Now Disapprove of Israel’s Genocide, Polling Finds  https://truthout.org/articles/the-majority-of-americans-now-disapprove-of-israels-genocide-polling-finds/

'This Is Unforgivable': Israeli Airstrike Kills 7 World Central Kitchen Workers https://www.commondreams.org/news/world-central-kitchen-israel

Latest Huge Transfer of 2,000-Pound Bombs from U.S. to Israel Not Newsworthy to the New York Times  https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/04/03/latest-huge-transfer-of-2000-pound-bombs-from-u-s-to-israel-not-newsworthy-to-the-new-york-times/

The 'Human Shields' Lie Has Been Conclusively, Irrefutably Debunked  https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/the-human-shields-lie-has-been-conclusively

‘Lavender’: The AI machine directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza https://www.972mag.com/lavender-ai-israeli-army-gaza/

Doctor at Israeli Detention Camp for Gazans Blows Whistle on War Crimes https://scheerpost.com/2024/04/05/doctor-at-israeli-detention-camp-for-gazans-blows-whistle-on-war-crimes/

Biden Has Had the Power to Stop Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza Since Day 1 https://truthout.org/articles/biden-has-had-the-power-to-stop-israels-war-crimes-in-gaza-since-day-1/

US military veteran refuses to pay fine after being found guilty over Hamas sign  https://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/national/24226377.us-military-veteran-refuses-pay-fine-found-guilty-hamas-sign/

Israel Keeps Getting More Murderous https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/israel-keeps-getting-more-murderous

Six Months Of Hell On Earth https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/six-months-of-hell-on-earth

The Chris Hedges Report: Hamas: How Israel Created Its Own Nemesis https://scheerpost.com/2024/04/02/the-chris-hedges-report-hamas-how-israel-created-its-own-nemesis/

‘The machine did it coldly’: Israel used AI to identify 37,000 Hamas targets https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/03/israel-gaza-ai-database-hamas-airstrikes

Courageous Active Duty Air Force Airman On White House Hunger Strike For Gaza https://mark192.substack.com/p/a-true-patriotic-member-of-the-military

Will President Biden Pardon America's First Corporate Political Prisoner? https://stevendonziger.substack.com/p/will-president-biden-pardon-americas

International Court Issues First-Ever Decision Enforcing the Right to a Healthy Environment https://scheerpost.com/2024/04/03/international-court-issues-first-ever-decision-enforcing-the-right-to-a-healthy-environment/

The Key Bridge disaster was caused by the oppression of workers https://therealnews.com/the-key-bridge-disaster-was-caused-by-the-oppression-of-workers

Looking Back At The Flint Water Crisis  https://www.thebrockovichreport.com/p/looking-back-at-the-flint-water-crisis

Epic Fail: The Forever Failure of America’s Failed Forever Wars https://tomdispatch.com/epic-fail/

Chris Hedges: The Death of Amr  https://scheerpost.com/2024/04/03/chris-hedges-the-death-of-amr/

Stop Reporting On Biden's Angry Feelings Toward Israel. It's Not News. It's Not Interesting. https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/stop-reporting-on-bidens-angry-feelings

Israel Lets Some Aid Into Gaza So The US Will Keep Giving It Weapons To Kill People In Gaza https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/israel-lets-some-aid-into-gaza-so

As Support For Gaza Goes Mainstream, Don't Let The Empire Co-Opt The Movement https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/as-support-for-gaza-goes-mainstream

How World Central Kitchen serves Israel’s genocidal agenda https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-world-central-kitchen-serves-israels-genocidal-agenda

“Netanyahu’s Colonial Project”. Appropriation of All Palestinian Lands. Israel’s Plan to Expand into A “Greater State” https://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-quest-palestinian-free-palestine-continues/5853557

Big Oil Clouded the Science on Extreme Weather. Now It Faces a Reckoning https://scheerpost.com/2024/04/06/big-oil-clouded-the-science-on-extreme-weather-now-it-faces-a-reckoning/ 

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

When Is A Ceasefire Not A Ceasefire?

If you still have any doubt that we live in a profoundly sick dystopia as deranged as anything that’s ever been imagined in fiction, take note of the fact that the most powerful empire in history is currently trying to propagandize you into thinking an obvious genocide is fine. -- Caitlin Johnstone
When Is A Ceasefire Not A Ceasefire?

by C.A. Matthews

When is a ceasefire not a ceasefire? Recent headlines in the mainstream media confused me, so I did some research to find the answers.

US steps aside, allows 'non-binding' ceasefire https://youtu.be/wvuTyGROBZQ?si=gk82n6pl7hs6ZW9i

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations, emphasizes that the Security Council’s vote to approve a ceasefire in Gaza is “non-binding,” so that is why the US decided to abstain from voting no to a ceasefire resolution this time around. In her opinion, this ceasefire resolution is not really a “ceasefire,” and it can and will be ignored by the US and Israel.

Meanwhile, this is what the rest of the Security Council thinks about it:

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller on Tuesday characterized the United Nations Security Council resolution 2728 demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza conflict as “non-binding,” a phrase also used by US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

 The US was rebuked by China, according to Akmal Dawi at VOA: “‘Security Council resolutions are binding,’ Lin Jian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday.”

 Beijing is correct on the law, and the Biden administration is being disingenuous. If President Biden did not want a ceasefire resolution to pass, he should have vetoed it. By abstaining and letting the world community vote on the matter, Biden has elicited a binding decision, and his officials should stop dancing around it.

 The law here is clear.

 Article 25 of the UN Charter, to which the US, China and Israel are all signatories, says, “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”
Moreover, we could consider the actual language of the resolution, in which the UNSC:
“Demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain”
You’d have to twist yourself into a pretzel to avoid concluding that the Security Council sees the ceasefire as binding, given the use of the verb “demand.” The UNSC isn’t suggesting. It isn’t hoping. It isn’t imploring. It is demanding. --From Naked Hypocrisy: The US Cited UNSC Resolutions to Invade Iraq, Now Call Gaza Ceasefire Demand ‘Non-Binding https://scheerpost.com/2024/03/28/naked-hypocrisy-the-us-cited-unsc-resolutions-to-invade-iraq-now-call-gaza-ceasefire-demand-non-binding/

Even more confusing, Ambassador Greenfield-Thomas complained that this particular UNSC ceasefire resolution doesn’t mention the “mass rapes by Hamas on October 7,” although these lurid allegations have all since been dismissed due to lack of evidence. In fact, there is now ample evidence that these false rape charges were concocted by the Israelis to discredit Hamas while simultaneously downplaying Israeli soldiers’ own sordid war crimes—many of which IDF troops proudly have uploaded to TikTok and other social media platforms.

Israeli “commission” on 7 October rape claims exposed as fraud https://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-commission-7-october-rape-claims-exposed-fraud/45401

State Dept downplays reports of Israeli soldiers sexually abusing, slaughtering Palestinian women https://thegrayzone.com/2024/02/23/state-dept-israeli-soldiers-sexually-abusing-slaughtering-palestinian-women/

Apparently a “non-binding ceasefire” to the Biden administration means that the US will supply arms to Israel in defiance of the UN Security Council ceasefire resolution that just passed. Israel can continue to bomb, shoot, maim, torture, rape, and starve Palestinians with impunity, all because their good friend the United States of America will continue running interference for them in the United Nations and elsewhere.

Israel continues to bomb Gaza and block aid in defiance of UNSC ceasefire resolution https://peoplesdispatch.org/2024/03/27/israel-continues-to-bomb-gaza-and-block-aid-in-defiance-of-unsc-ceasefire-resolution/

If no other countries are willing or able to take on the US and Israel, this UNSC ceasefire resolution won’t be able to make Israel cease firing bombs/weapons at the innocents in Gaza. It won’t stop war crimes from being committed by Israeli troops. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinian civilians will continue unabated.

So, when is a “ceasefire” not a ceasefire? A ceasefire is not an actual ceasefire when there is no way to back it up (with the use of force, if necessary) to make the parties involved in committing war crimes stop. The bad guys will continue to do what the ceasefire resolution explicitly tells them to stop doing, that is firing upon a civilian population. Worse yet, the bad guys will continue doing what they’re doing without any fear of being charged with, convicted of, or locked away for their war crimes.

When is a “genocide” not a genocide then? You should be able to follow the logic of this conundrum easily enough after the first example.

United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Francesca Albanese, submitted her “report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967” this past week. She gave brief remarks in person about the report as well.

The official name of her report? “The Anatomy of a Genocide”. (You can download the report in full as a PDF file here.)

Independent UN Expert Alleges Israeli Genocide Against Palestinians in Gaza https://youtu.be/3XrwNGWF108?si=JenHXmT3HLdyA5iX

Here’s the scenario: We have a United Nations human rights special rapporteur calling what is currently happening to the Palestinian people in Gaza a “genocide”. The International Court of Justice at The Hague in January made a preliminary ruling that Israel is committing “plausible genocide” against the Palestinian people while it continues to weigh more evidence. Many human rights organizations and aid groups, such as Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders, who have witnessed similar situations up close and personal previously have also called what is happening to the Gazans a “genocide”.

ICJ Hearings to Examine 57 Years of Israeli Occupation of Palestine https://www.commondreams.org/news/israeli-occupation

ICJ Rules in Favour of South Africa and Against Israel https://joebrunoli.substack.com/p/icj-rules-in-favour-of-south-africa

International Court of Justice Rules That Israel Must Stop Killing Palestinians https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/24/international-court-of-justice-rules-that-israel-must-stop-killing-palestinians/

Even Israeli government officials and ministers have made public statements indicating that they are committing genocide: 22-Minute Speech Details Israeli Officials' Genocidal Statements at ICJ https://www.commondreams.org/news/israel-genocidal-statements-2666930604

During Holy Week, a US State Department employee, Dr. Annelle Sheline, resigned her position in protest to the “genocide” occurring in Gaza. In her statement, she uses the word genocide to describe what is happening there.

I Could Not Stay Silent: Annelle Sheline Resigns from State Dept. over U.S. Gaza Policy https://youtu.be/nRI-MtoSD_E?si=Msrr5qLuEicKt5yF

With a United Nations human rights rapporteur and the assembled justices of the International Court of Justice calling the ethnic cleansing of 32,000+ Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military a “genocide,” along with a US State Department employee with a conscience and many respected human rights agencies, how could anyone doubt that a genocide is indeed occurring in Gaza? All of the 13,000+ dead Palestinian children just didn’t run into those US-provided bombs dropped onto their homes on purpose, did they? This argument is a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Not to the brainless US government officials and mainstream media it isn’t!

A US State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, insulted Ms. Albanese, calling her “anti-semitic” because of her report findings. How diplomatic is that phrasing coming from an employee of the State Department!

Miller said they oppose mandate of this rapporteur, accused her of antisemitism and rejected allegations of genocide: https://twitter.com/AssalRad/status/1773039432867749927

Simply put, a genocide is not a genocide when the fact of legally designating it as such gets in the way of implementing US foreign policy. The Biden administration has enthusiastically aided Israel in the commission of genocide against the Palestinian people of Gaza by providing it with arms and political interference at the United Nations, but it doesn’t like the negative connotations of the word “genocide.” So the US State Department simply won’t use that word to describe what is happening in Gaza.

Let’s be honest. If the current administration could get away with calling what’s happening to the human beings currently trapped, starving, and dying in Gaza a “picnic”, then that is what it would be called. A picnic. And the public would believe it! Which leads us to our next question:

When is “journalism” not journalism?
What the mainstream media is putting out for public consumption recently cannot be defined as journalism. What they’re doing doesn’t even fit the basic definition of journalism I learned way back in high school. It’s all rather pathetic, isn’t it?

Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges laments how American mainstream journalism has become one big propaganda machine for the US and Israeli governments:
PEN America is a sock puppet of the U.S. and Israel… [It has] accepted funding from the Israeli government — which routinely censors and jails Palestinian journalists and writers in Israel and the occupied West Bank and assassinates them and their families in Gaza — for the literary group’s annual World Voices festival in New York. From PEN America Self-Destructs https://consortiumnews.com/2024/03/26/chris-hedges-pen-america-self-destructs/

I was taught that a journalist must answer the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of the situation in their reporting. This example shows how the “who” or the instigator of the famine in Gaza (the government of Israel) has been completely left out of the articles:
An entire Economist article on famine in Gaza doesn’t say the word “Israel” once. Not even when describing damage to farmland and water facilities or severely restricted aid deliveries. Saying *who* is destroying the farmland and restricting aid seems like basic info to include. https://twitter.com/AssalRad/status/1772862382462636150

The Western mainstream media is happy to manipulate the narrative in order to make their corporate owners (and our paid-off public officials’ biggest donors) happy. Jonathan Cook shows this to be the case in his article, We were lied into the Gaza genocide. Al Jazeera has shown us how: https://jonathancook.substack.com/p/we-were-lied-into-the-gaza-genocide

Basic information is ignored or cut out of reportage of events in Gaza altogether. One would think we’d witness some feeling from Western journalists for the tremendous loss of life of their fellow journalists in Gaza over the past six months (more killed than in the entirety of the Vietnam War), but there isn’t any. Many big name Western journalists are perfectly fine with not fully reporting the who, what, where, when, why and how of the situation. They’re making lots of money acting as “stenographers for the oligarchy.” Why let the truth or morals get in the way?

This sad fact leads us to this question: When is “censorship” not censorship?

If a so-called “journalist” working for a big news network has no problems with not reporting the entirety of what’s happening in Gaza, has no problems with repeating US or Israeli propaganda and talking points, then why would they care if the US government (or one of its private agents) shuts down social media platforms or bans freelance journalists from posting? It makes for less competition and fewer embarrassing situations when the "stenographers" are caught out in a lie. Who really needs free speech? (Answer: You don't.) Learn more at:

I was banned from Elon’s ‘free speech’ X app for offending power https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/19/banned-elons-free-speech-x-app/

Israel’s Shadow Over Free Speech: The Truth Behind the TikTok Ban Bill https://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-shadow-free-speech-truth-behind-tiktok-ban-bill/287113/

Last but not least, when is a “terrorist” not a terrorist? Maybe it’s when the terrorists are actually agents of the governments of the United States of America and Israel. These two nations are busily trying to shut down social media platforms for their own benefit, lying to, manipulating, and terrorizing people both at home and abroad in order to advance their agendas. They’re literally getting away with a genocide in Gaza. Don’t these nefarious actions fit the very definition of what makes a nation a "terrorist state?"

by Mark Taylor, DeMOCKracy Ink
Worse yet, these terrorists, these censors of free speech, these manipulators of the media, these murderers of children, they think they’ll get away with it. They don’t see any need to curtail what they’re doing. Ever.

Perhaps it’s time We the People who still possess a conscience and morals rise up and lock these war criminals away once and for all. 

But how? It won't be easy, but remember: We outnumber them. We are the workers and the consumers that make this corrupt imperialist-capitalist regime tick. We can shut the system down if we organize and act. But first we must decide that today's the day to end the terrorism.

Keep speaking out. Keep marching. Keep protesting. Keep striking and supporting the BDS movement. Don’t make life comfortable for the terrorists who won’t call themselves what they really are and use the correct terms to describe the evil they're really doing. 

Words are powerful, and we have the best ones on our side. We can and we must speak truth to power.

Related Articles and Other Interesting Links

Download the PDF of the Anatomy of a Genocide - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese (A/HRC/55/73)  https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/anatomy-genocide-report-special-rapporteur-situation-human-rights-palestinian-territories-occupied-1967-francesca-albanese-ahrc5573-advance-unedited-version

Ireland backs bid to include blocking of aid in definition of genocide https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/27/gaza-ireland-joins-battle-to-include-the-blocking-of-vital-aid-in-definition-of-genocide

Imagine If Russia Or China Did The Things Israel Is Doing In Gaza https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/imagine-if-russia-or-china-did-the

Stella Assange on the Assange Appeal Decision https://youtu.be/FMaLgiX-8a0?si=npBLwYVObXpJLDHH

VIPS MEMO: The French Road to Nuclear War https://consortiumnews.com/2024/03/25/vips-memo-the-french-road-to-nuclear-war/

Israeli “commission” on 7 October rape claims exposed as fraud hhttps://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-commission-7-october-rape-claims-exposed-fraud/45401

Released Hostage Reveals Oct 7th TRUTH! (It's Not What You Think.) https://youtu.be/NnJM9q6EHwA?si=LGRA5Ww9qR2RX5Cp

The Empire Slowly Suffocates Assange Like It Slowly Suffocates All Its Enemies https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/the-empire-slowly-suffocates-assange

Should Biden be tried for genocide crimes? https://youtu.be/HhyIxP7DTyg?si=gjyuaVQpYe1WQeEe

Israel lodges proposal with UN for dismantling of Palestinian relief agency  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/31/israel-plan-un-dismantle-palestinian-relief-agency-unwra
US State Dept’s favorite celebrity chef builds Gaza aid dock with stolen rubble https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/27/us-state-depts-chef-gaza-aid-rubble/

Dead and Divine and Brother of All https://matthewhoh.substack.com/p/dead-and-divine-and-brother-of-all

CARTOON: ISIS-K? Wake Up To The Many US Connections To Moscow Terror Attack!  https://mark192.substack.com/p/cartoon-isis-k-wake-up-to-the-many

Israel Lies About Being A Victim So That It Can Victimize

Violent Extremists Get Called "Moderates" By A Violent Extremist Empire https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/violent-extremists-get-called-moderates

Liberal Finger-Wagging At Netanyahu Is A Phony, Cynical Charade https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/liberal-finger-wagging-at-netanyahu

The Plan Is To Turn Palestine Into A Historical Footnote So It's Too Late To Save It https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/the-plan-is-to-turn-palestine-into

A Genocide Foretold  https://scheerpost.com/2024/03/31/chris-hedges-a-genocide-foretold/

The Nuclear Explosion That Makes US Aid to Israel Illegal
(Israel’s nuclear program has been in violation of international law for decades, rendering it ineligible for American assistance.)

A Human With A Conscience Award nominee Caitlin Johnstone has a new painting and video called "The Self-Immolation Of Aaron Bushnell" https://youtu.be/kAEc3qQloeQ?si=9N7UI1hSt4-0ftlT

On Easter Sunday, active-duty Air Force Senior Airman Larry Hebert began a hunger strike to highlight the plight of the starving children of Gaza.

Larry Hebert, age 26, from New Hampshire, and a member of Veterans For Peace, took authorized leave from his assignment at Naval Station Rota, Spain to participate in demonstrations demanding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and to visit Congressional offices to press for stopping weapons shipments to Israel, which violate several U.S. laws.

Hebert said, “I was deeply touched when I saw that Aaron Bushnell took his own life at the Israeli Embassy for the people of Gaza and knew that I had to raise my voice in opposition to the U.S. government supplying Israel the bombs and rockets to commit genocide in Gaza. Active-duty members are afraid to speak out and I hope that my example and that of others, like Aaron, can change that.”

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Deal With The Devil

by Mark Taylor, DeMOCKracy Ink

Deal With The Devil
by C.A. Matthews

About once a year, I feel compelled to write a post about the dangers and pitfalls of lesser evil voting in the US. So here it is, for better or worse.

If you add a letter “d” to the front of the word “evil”, you’ll get the personification of evil, that is, the “devil.” However lesser evil voting is being discussed, the end result is the same: The voter is being asked to make a deal with the devil or evil.

What is often left out of this old saying are what consequences you incur when you make a deal with the devil. Here’s the complete saying: “When you make a deal with the devil, be careful you don’t get burned.”

Dealing with the devil can get you burned. Lesser evil voting burns voters. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a closer look.

The Devil is in the Details

First, a definition of lesser evil voting is needed. In the lesser evil voting scenario, voters are informed that there are only two candidates running for each office. We’ll call them candidates “A” and “B”. Voters are told they have no other options, and they have been convinced of this fact. They feel compelled to vote for either A or B or stay home and not vote. That’s it.

But what if voters don’t care for either candidate A or B? What if they strongly detest and/or despise both A and B? Can they vote for candidate C, D, E, or F instead? In most states in the United States there are other candidates’ names printed on their ballots for each office. However, many voters have been programmed (brainwashed) into thinking those options simply do not exist for them, so they’re stuck with choosing between A and B or not voting at all.

But what happens when a voter decides to vote for C, D, E, or F, and their treachery to vote outside the box is discovered? Woe to that voter! The voter will be vote shamed and pressured to change their mind. The most common vote shaming method is to tell renegade voters that they have cast a wasted vote because they refused to vote for either A or B. They are informed by supporters of A and B that all voters who dare to vote for C, D, E, or F are stupid and foolish.

Other forms of coercion exercised by supporters for A and B can include ostracizing these rebel voters socially in-person and/or online, threatening the rebel voters’ careers or job positions, and sometimes even threatening or committing physical violence against the rebel voters or their property. 

All of these forms of lesser evil voting coercion tactics have been documented widely (and some of them experienced by yours truly). These are only but a few of the ways voters can get burned when making a deal with the devil called lesser evil voting.

I’m sure there are supporters/past-supporters of A and B out there whose ears are burning about right now as I expose their crimes. But I’ve found that lesser evil aficionados often are proud of their vote shaming tactics. They rarely get caught or charged with any criminal activity since fellow A or B supporters will cover for them, so I doubt they’ll ever stop the dirty tricks.

With that sort of pressure placed upon voters to consider voting for only A or B, what do you think happens to candidates C, D, E, and F? Do you think they receive as much attention in the mainstream media as A and B do? Lesser evil voting supporters for A or B cannot afford to allow voters to learn about other candidates and their platforms, so mainstream media spokespersons are generally kept in line and told to exclude all mention of other candidates as much as possible.

Can you see how this practical censorship would prevent C, D, E, and F from effectively advertising or fundraising? Without sufficient funds to campaign, what would you say are the chances of these alternative candidates being able to compete against the well-funded and well-promoted campaigns of A and B? Did you say zero to none?

It should be obvious by now that lesser evil voting isn’t really a strategy to help American voters choose a candidate who represents their values, needs, wants, or desires. Lesser evil voting is simply a method to get rid of A’s and B’s competition. 

Think about it: It’s much cheaper and easier for corporate lobbyists, wealthy individuals, and political action committees (PACs/Super PACs) to bribe two candidates to do as they command than a multitude of candidates who may or may not be open to taking corporate lobbyist cash. This legal bribery of politicians in the US is allowed under the 2010 Citizens United ruling. Money talks, and it talks much louder than average voters' voices, obviously.

How fair is lesser evil voting? Not fair at all unless you absolutely adore A and/or B. But it’s completely legal and acceptable by the parties of A and B who rather you didn't know you have more choices. Here’s an example of how it’s manifesting itself in this year’s presidential election.

The Devil You Know...

Americans worship stability and sameness. Life just seems safer that way. Even if their present lives are miserable or downright unbearable, Americans’ philosophy of life can be summed up thusly: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

Note once again how the letter “d” can be subtracted from “devil” leaving the word that describes the devil’s best known quality of “evil”. Americans rather put up with a known evil than radically change their lives by making a different choice, possibly for the better, because what if their choice proves worse than the one they’ve been told to make by supporters of A or B? Many American voters seem paralyzed by indecision. They seek guidance and are looking for someone else to make the decision for them.

If only Americans believed they needn’t be cornered into corner A or B! Think of all the possibilities for a brighter future voters might have by choosing C, D, E, or F. How can we break through such a lack of imagination and encourage American voters to invite change and consider non-duopoly (non-A or -B) candidates?

Let’s say you’re an American voter who wants the genocide in Gaza to end as soon as possible and all the war criminals punished. You’re sick and tired of the bloated US military budget and long for more funding for programs such as Medicare For All, free university tuition, student loan debt forgiveness, and programs to tackle the climate crisis. What are your choices for president who speak to your conscience?
Here in a nutshell are the options of the upcoming presidential election:

A – a current known evil who supports the genocide in Gaza and takes money from AIPAC and many corporations/PACs

B – a past known evil who supports the genocide in Gaza and takes money from AIPAC and many corporations/PACs

C – another candidate (with a famous last name) who accepts corporate cash and loudly supports the genocide in Gaza and takes money from AIPAC/PACs

D – a candidate who doesn’t accept corporate/PAC cash and doesn’t support the genocide in Gaza, supports Medicare For All and climate crisis actions, and will probably be on all 50 state ballots and the District of Columbia

E – a candidate who doesn’t accept corporate/PAC cash and doesn’t support the genocide in Gaza but probably won’t be on very many state ballots

F- a candidate who doesn’t accept corporate/PAC cash and doesn’t support the genocide in Gaza but probably won’t be on very many state ballots

(G, H, I candidates – some accept corporate/PAC cash, some don’t support the genocide or war, but most probably won’t be on very many state ballots)

Looking at the above chart, you’ll see that your personal choices do not include the A or B candidates that lesser evil voting strategists are going try to shame you into voting for. Your best bet to change the leadership the White House to a person who represents you is to vote for candidate D or possibly E or F or one of the other lesser known candidates if they're on your ballot. By voting for a candidate like D, you’ll feel proud of yourself that you aren’t perpetuating the genocide in Gaza and are helping to make the US a better place for all its people.

Sounds like a sound voting choice that reflects your values and speaks to your conscience, right? If only it was that easy in the USA!
The political parties of A and B will do all that they can to block your preferred candidate’s name from being on as many states' ballots as they possibly can. With huge war chests of campaign donations from military-industrial complex corporations and money from PACs such as AIPAC, these parties will use every legal and extra-legal trick in the book they can to prevent any competition from challenging them. Supporters of A and B who own the mainstream media outlets will block all mention of the other candidates and pass along the propaganda that teams A and B dream up to slander/libel their competition.

Many American voters, never knowing there are actually candidates who closely represent their own values because of the practical censorship, might choose to stay home and not vote. Voter apathy in the US is sky high, and with such a screwed up system, is it any wonder?

This is lesser evil voting strategy at its worse. These devils you’ve known for years are anti-democratic and bullies. And you will be forced to put your conscience to sleep and vote for A or B because you’re told these are your only options. 

You’ll be told that C, D, E, or F have no chance of winning, not realizing that in poll after poll the largest percentage of American voters consider themselves as independent. These voters don’t support the parties of either A or B and stay home more often than not if they don't have another option. If that large percentage of voters followed their conscience and voted for other than A or B, another candidate might actually win. The math speaks for itself.

Vote shaming can be intense, but it can be dealt with rationally as the above meme demonstrates. A candidate must earn your vote and stand for your values. Follow a litmus test like I do to pick your candidate, and you'll never suffer from a guilty conscience. You won't be tempted to sell your soul to the devils and their corporate masters. You'll help others to avoid getting burned as well.

The great Eugene Debs gave us this sage advice that voters should always follow:

"I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than to vote for something I don't want and get it."

Don’t be tempted to make a deal with the devil (d-evil). Don’t get burned. Stay away from lesser evil voting. Always vote your conscience, and encourage others to do the same. And may the best candidate win.

Related Articles and Other Interesting Links

Here's a way to turn lesser evil voting on its head: https://twitter.com/CallForCongress/status/1771242193438593153

The Democrats’ “all-out war” on third parties and independent candidates https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2024/03/23/bzsf-m23.html

UN Special Rapporteur finds Israel is committing genocide https://www.councilestatemedia.uk/p/un-special-rapporteur-finds-israel

The Chris Hedges Report: Halting Biden’s Weapon Shipments to Israel https://scheerpost.com/2024/03/22/the-chris-hedges-report-halting-bidens-weapon-shipments-to-israel/

"It's Not About Trump": American CJ Hopkins, Charged Again in Germany, Describes Global Censorship Effort https://www.racket.news/p/its-not-about-trump-american-cj-hopkins

Armed by Washington, Israel Trashes the Genocide Convention https://scheerpost.com/2024/03/20/armed-by-washington-israel-trashes-the-genocide-convention/

Flour Massacre Called ‘Aid-Related Deaths’—Rather Than Part of Israel’s Engineered Famine https://fair.org/home/flour-massacre-called-aid-related-deaths-rather-than-part-of-israels-engineered-famine/

Find Someone Who Loves You Like Israel Loves Attacking Palestinian Hospitals https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/find-someone-who-loves-you-like-israel

As Conflict Rages On, Israel and Gaza’s Environmental Fates May Be Intertwined https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15032024/todays-climate-gaza-israel-sewage-environment-debris-pollution/

British Surgeon Describes Children Suffering “Appalling Injuries” in Gaza, Demands Immediate Ceasefire  https://www.democracynow.org/2024/3/21/gaza_doctor_nick_maynard

After Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation, a Pentagon witch hunt looms https://therealnews.com/after-aaron-bushnells-self-immolation-a-pentagon-witch-hunt-looms

Just Seeing Through The Propaganda Isn't Enough - We've Got To Open Our Hearts As Well https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/just-seeing-through-the-propaganda

IDF General Admits War Impossible Without US Support https://rumble.com/v4kh2tc-system-update-245.html

Here’s What Canada’s Vote to End Arms Sales to Israel Means for Antiwar Effort https://truthout.org/articles/heres-what-canadas-vote-to-end-arms-sales-to-israel-means-for-antiwar-effort/

Israel Lobby DESTROYED On Mainstream Media! https://youtu.be/kQ_58cRZeaM?si=ITU3k366k5V3BnIO

Things That Have Been Discredited During The Destruction Of Gaza https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/things-that-have-been-discredited 

If you say this is a genocide and then you support the people who are backing this genocide, it means either (A) you’re fine with genocide or (B) you only called it a genocide to score progressive political points and don’t actually believe what you said.

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More nominees for "The Aarons"

Here are a few more names that were nominated for A Human With A Conscience Award (read about it here) this past week. These folks and organizations can post the above meme on their social media sites if they choose. Keep your nominations coming!

Banksy (Best Graffiti Artist with a Conscience)

Laura K from Normal Island News (Best Satirist with a Conscience)

Randy Credico (Best Podcaster/Indie journalist
with a Conscience)

Neil Oliver (Best Podcaster/Journalist
with a Conscience)

Toledo Area Activists with a Conscience:
Jomana Al, Walaa Kanan, Mike Ferner, Jasmin Nada Hummos, Yousef Baddar, Susan Kuehn, Terry Lodge, Omar Aysha, and Ahmed Amrou.

Suggested category: Best Poet with a Conscience 

Congratulations all!