Tuesday, May 31, 2022

All Guns Are B*stards


All guns are bastards...

I was going to entitle this week's posting a bit more politely, but then something got the better of me. There is no such thing as a "good gun" like there's no such thing as a "good Nazi". (You can read why in last week's blog.) Guns--specifically AR-15 assault weapons--were designed with one purpose in mind and one purpose only: To kill human beings as fast and as efficiently as possible. 

That's it. AR-15s aren't for growing crops or helping you cross the street. They're for killing people.  (Only psychopathic mass murderers would be remotely interested in owning one.) They kill people so effectively it takes a DNA test to identify the remains. They serve no purpose for hunting because you can't eat a deer carcass riddled with lead. So, get it out of your head right now that any human-killing weapon has a dual purpose and that somehow it should be available for sale at your local Walmart. It doesn't, and it shouldn't.

As a parent, my heart is aching. I can't begin to fathom how the families of Uvalde, Texas, are coping with life without their dear babies, their school friends and teachers. What happened there was unspeakable and beyond comprehension. But Americans should have been prepared--we've been in this situation before. Only last week the bloodshed was in Buffalo, New York, and it involved a white supremacist 18 year-old shooting and killing innocents while they shopped for groceries in a predominantly African American area of town.

Why are we seeing this nightmare mass shooting scenario repeat itself over and over and over again? Why do police officers--or better called "publicly-funded security guards for the one-percenters' property"--act like chickens and cluck off whenever common folks' lives are at stake? Why does our government keep pouring billions into an institution that doesn't serve the people and, in the end, only serves the military-industrial complex's bottom line? What could we be doing to prevent this horror from happening again? 

My friend Sean Nestor explains it much better than I can, so please read his comments below. The article links provide good insights as well.

The time has come for more than just our "thoughts and prayers." We need faith in action in order to save lives. We need actual gun control and well-funded social services. Americans need to demilitarize the police and end our bloated military's senseless violence and resource grabs overseas. We need...

A Kind and Just Society

by Sean Nestor

There is a lot of high-profile gun violence local and nationally, but simply spending more money on more police and more weapons for police isn't going to change that. The only thing that will actually prevent violence is building a kind and just society, not one that gleefully throws people to the wolves.

There's a popular idea here in the United States that everybody's problem is theirs alone to deal with. It's appealing because it justifies us abdicating certain responsibilities. But the problem with it is that we wind up with a growing number of people leading miserable lives with no meaningful help who then turn around and make their problems everyone's problems by way of a violent tragedy.

We've also built an extremely dysfunctional economy, one where we give all our time to jobs that overwork and underpay us, leaving us little time for ourselves and our families, much less our communities. And because of that arrangement, we're all tired and moody and looking for easy answers, for quick solutions. 

Expect politicians across the aisle to line up and start pitching them to you in the coming weeks and months.

Unfortunately, reality is that there are no quick and easy solutions for the kind of extreme problems we're facing. We're either going to get serious about dramatically altering the nature and character of the country we live in, or we're going to suffer through ever-increasing violent tragedies.

If we really want to end violence, we need to accept that it will take a multi-generational effort of getting back to what the Constitution calls "promoting the general welfare." Keep people out of desperate states, and you'll keep people from acting out against innocent people in misdirected rage. 

In the near-term, that is going to look like a massive reinvestment in social programs--including universal healthcare--and a serious reevaluation of our cultural tendency to dump every social problem onto cops. In the long-term, that is going to look like moving away from militarism and capitalism as our predominant modes of operation.

These are political problems with political solutions. Whether we decide to enact them or not comes down to what work we're willing to undertake to make them happen.

Amen, Sean! Now...

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“More than 311,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine.” --Washington Post

 Related Articles:
The AR-15 Has No Business Being in the Hands of Civilians
Shootings Aren't a Sign America is Broken. It's Working Exactly As Intended.

Cops Didn't Stop the Uvalde School Shooting (And They Might Have Made It Even Worse) https://theintercept.com/2022/05/25/texas-uvalde-shooting-school-police/

Guns, Guns, Guns, Guns, Guns, Guns, Guns, ENOUGH!
To End Mass Shootings, We Need to Change the Deeper Structure of Life in the US  https://truthout.org/articles/to-end-mass-shootings-we-need-to-change-the-deeper-structure-of-life-in-the-us/
Uvalde Police Didn't Move to Save Lives Because That's Not What Police Do
AR-15s Were Made To Explode Human Bodies. In Uvalde the Bodies Belonged to Children  https://www.rsn.org/001/ar15s-were-made-to-explode-human-bodies-in-uvalde-the-bodies-belonged-to-children.html
Mass Shootings Are a Symptom of the Declining US Empire's Fascist Reaction

 Seen on Twitter:


Families Belong Together (Logo)

Dear friends, the shooting at Robb elementary in Uvalde, Texas has shaken us to our core. Just 60 miles from the southern border, the senseless murder of 19 children and two adults is yet another heartbreaking and infuriating consequence of lawmakers' failure to prioritize the safety of families over their political self-interest. These are the names of the confirmed victims:

Uziyah GarciaAmerie GarzaXavier LopezTess MataEllie GarciaRojelio TorresJose FloresJailah SilgueroJayce LuevanosNevaeh BravoJackie CazaresAnnabelle RodriguezEliahana TorresMakenna Lee ElrodLexi RubioEva MirelesIrma Garcia

We shouldn’t have to say it, but no parent should fear taking their child to school, afraid they’ll never come home. No parent should worry that the last thing we tell our kids in the morning is the last thing we’ll ever tell them. No parent should spend schooldays wondering “Am I going to see my kid again?”Families Belong Together was founded to fight for the safety of children – whether at the U.S. southern border or in a school fifty miles away. When we value children, we do everything in our power to protect them, keep them safe, and keep them with their families. We continue to fail them time and again when we default to violence rather than putting systemic, common sense and humane policies in place that would very obviously keep them safe. In our grief we commit to working collectively to seek justice for the children and families whose lives were stolen this week. Together we must build a country that prioritizes the health and safety of children, no matter where they’re born, the color of their skin, or what papers they hold.

In sadness and hope,

Erin Mazursky, Interim Managing DirectorFamilies Belong Together 


Uvalde. Sandy Hook. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. Pulse Nightclub. San Bernardino.

Every single one of those massacres was done with an AR-15: an assault rifle that the NRA called “America’s Rifle.”

At this moment, the ghouls of the NRA and gun manufacturers are celebrating and partying at a lavish NRA conference in Houston.

Gun manufacturers like Daniel Defense, the merchants of death that sold the rifles used in Uvalde and Las Vegas, make blood-soaked millions while children are massacred.

For the good of the republic, and to save our lives, those that profit off mass murder like Daniel Defense must be destroyed.

Congress has a choice: cowardice or courage. They must hear from us NOW in this critical moment that assault weapons MUST BE BANNED.

An overwhelming majority of Americans – 63% in a recent survey – want assault weapons banned.

No civilian should ever own one. They are so lethal, even police are afraid to stop mass shooters wielding them.

A tiny minority of armed lunatics and an evil gun industry protecting their profits spend millions buying off politicians who throw their hands up and blame anything but the guns for mass shootings.

It’s. The. God. Damned. Guns. And Congress needs to hear from thousands of righteous Americans like you that we have had ENOUGH of massacres, death, and grief.

Thanks for standing up.

– Progressive Reform Network


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Cognitive Dissonance

Update: Since this was published online, there's been yet another mass murder--this time at an elementary school in Ulvade, Texas. We'll talk about it in next Tuesday's post, but in the meantime, I believe this week's theme explains much about America's obsession with gun violence and sponsoring bloody warfare around the world.

This week we're all still reeling from the hideous massacre of ten African Americans by an 18 year old white boy. Shooter Payton Gendron drove three hours to predominantly Black East Buffalo to hunt down residents. His 180 page manifesto demonstrates that he idolizes the white supremacy philosophy of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion. Where did an American kid ever get such a horrific idea that actual Nazis are to be worshiped and glorified?

Could it be that our dumping of billions of dollars of weaponry into the current proxy war and the mainstream media's downplaying of the Nazi white supremacist attitudes of the Ukrainian militias is to blame?  Gendron made it clear that he sympathized with the Azov Battalion when he displayed their Nazi symbology, yet Biden and his neoliberal lackeys in the media continually downplay and actively try to rehabilitate their members' heinous reputations.

Our armchair historian gives us the following words of warning to those who would try to excuse fascism.

No Such Animal

by Coast Watcher

Knowing history as I do, I am continuously baffled by those who insist that there are "good Nazis."

People, there’s no such animal!

All those images of young men (and it is young men for the most part) sporting battledress badges and tattoos with Nazi symbols are exactly what they appear to be—Nazis.

Symbols have meaning. A "Caution: Contents will be hot after heating" symbol means the contents of a receptacle will be hot after heating. "Danger: Wet floor" means the surface of the floor is wet and dangerously slippery. Nazi swastika, SS lighting bolt, and black sun images mean exactly what they indicate—the person wearing them is committed to persecuting Jews, Gays, the Roma, the disabled—in fact anyone their extreme right-wing ideology tells them to, to the point of killing them in the most brutal way possible.

There. Are. No. Good. Nazis.

If somebody tells you otherwise, refer them to a history of Nazi German atrocities during the 1930s through to 1945. Don't forget to include those perpetuated in Ukraine and Russia following Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. The Azov Battalion people you are praising to the skies for defending Ukraine against Russia are ideologically no different to those SS folk 77 years ago. In fact they wear the same symbols to show their ideological connection and affinity with those fascist invaders. The "enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not apply to these people.

Get this through your head: There. Are. No. Good. Nazis.


What does this defense of fascism mean to America and the West in the long run? Peace activist and former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka states:

Zelensky talks about the need to “defend the West,” “Europeanness,” “Western values,” and the liberal/left does not recognize the inherent assumptions of white supremacy in those terms. But Payton Gendron did and is why he enlisted in Zelensky’s fight not in Ukraine but in the middle of an African American community.

An exaggeration?

History will determine that. But what some of us see is a racialized discourse operating just below the surface in which Europe and Europeaness that Ukrainians strive for is also connected to a racialized trope of Europe being ontologically civilized while the less-white Slavs are barbarians, prone to irrational violence, like the Russians who decided “out of nowhere” to just attack Ukraine!

We also understand that downplaying the threat of a resurgent white supremacist fascism in its most sophisticated form represented by Zelensky who has become that slick, right-wing politician with politics as racist as Trump but without the crudeness who many feared could emerge in the U.S. No one could have anticipated that person would emerge in Europe as the lovable face of fascism.

Buffalo closes the loop that connects crude white supremacy with its more polished and dangerous expression. Both of these versions represent a consensus that is committed to using force and violence to ensure that white power will not to be “replaced.” This new consensus has created the ideological foundation for the legitimation of a cross-class white supremacist defense of something called European values and the interests of Europe. The lack of concern for the consequences of the war and sanctions on the rest of the world confirms that this consensus and the interests it defends are in contradiction to the interests of the non-Western global majority.

For us, Buffalo is not a wake-up call but a declaration of war. 

--Ajamu Baraka, The New Supremacist Consensus Part Two

Related Articles:

Buffalo Shooter Wore the Same Neo-Nazi Symbol as Ukraine's Azov (video) https://youtu.be/sZDR7hsMOi8 

Massacre in Buffalo Highlights the Legacy of Racist Violence https://popularresistance.org/massacre-in-buffalo-highlights-the-legacy-of-racist-violence/

The New Supremacist Consensus Part Two--Shootings in Buffalo Solidify the Consensus https://popularresistance.org/the-new-white-supremacist-consensus-part-two-shootings-in-buffalo-solidify-the-consensus/ 

New Laws Make It Hard for Some Educators to Discuss Buffalo Shooting in Class https://truthout.org/articles/new-laws-make-it-hard-for-some-educators-to-discuss-buffalo-shooting-in-class/

Buffalo, The Tulsa Massacre and the Legacy of Anti-Black Violence https://www.rsn.org/001/buffalo-the-tulsa-massacre-and-legacy-of-antiblack-violence.html 

Cornel West: "White supremacy is as American as apple pie, as the latest killings in Buffalo show. Biden needs to take a stand against neofascists."  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/21/trump-black-white-supremacy-buffalo-joe-biden

Anti-Terrorism Bill Targeting White Supremacists  https://truthout.org/articles/anti-terrorism-bill-targeting-white-supremacists-puts-house-gop-on-the-defensive/

TRC's Ukraine War Series  https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/p/ukraine-war-series.html

Hunter Biden Raked in $11 Million from China and Ukraine (video)  https://youtu.be/9FznPmC84bY 

Seen on Twitter:

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Your Obedience Is Prolonging This Nightmare

"I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body." --Joe Biden, 1974

Your Obedience Is Prolonging This Nightmare

by C. A. Matthews

I participated in one of the thousands of Protect Roe v. Wade/Pro-Choice protest rallies held across the US this past Saturday. Our local outing was well-attended. Both the signage and the chanting protesters were creative and colorful. Passers-by honked their car horns and gave everyone a smile and a thumbs up. It's good to know that many Americans won't take this possible abridgement of their rights to privacy and bodily autonomy lying down. 

The saddest part for me was that some in this loud and boisterous crowd seemed oblivious to how and why the Roe v. Wade decision will be overturned. They seem content with supporting the corrupt status quo that created this dilemma in the first place. Whether this is intentional or unintentional makes little difference. The oligarchy that actually runs this country relies on the ignorance of the masses to promote their own purposes. 

 For every witty "Think Outside My Box" protest sign I spotted there was at least one sign proclaiming "Vote Blue in 2022 to Save Roe v. Wade." For every "My Body, My Choice" button there was a person carrying a clipboard, trying to sign folks up to become registered Democratic Party voters. 

Excuse me? The Democrats have been in power with a majority in both legislative houses of government during the Clinton, Obama, and now Biden administrations. They have done nothing to codify the Roe v. Wade ruling into federal law at any time in almost fifty years. What makes you think they're going to change their stripes now? 

Well, I guess Biden can point to the ill-timed attempt to codify Roe in the Senate this past week, but wouldn't you know it--it failed. That mean ol' senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, voted against it. What party does Manchin belong to? Why, he's a Democrat. He's also the head of many important Senate committees. 

And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was out campaigning this past week for a vocal anti-abortion member, a Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas. With these high level party examples of Sen. Manchin and Speaker Pelosi, why of course you would expect the Democrats to be the savior of Roe v. Wade. It makes perfect sense!

I got this bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you if you believe that line of bull hockey. No kidding. You can trust me. You trust the DNC, right? 

So, you can understand why I'm very worried that we are going to return to the good ol' days of back alley abortions and women bleeding to death trying to induce one at home. If seemingly intelligent women at the rally actually believe the lie that either faction of the establishment (or either one of the "wings of the same bird") is going to protect a woman's right to choose, then we're destined to live in the world of The Handmaid's Tale

I covered the whys of the duopoly's love affair with keeping Roe v. Wade only a ruling and never a law in last week's blog, so I won't repeat myself here. But I will repeat that this "magical thinking" that either the Democrats or Republicans give a hoot about you or your rights above their bottom lines is just that--foolish and nonsensical. You have become a part of the problem by not questioning their misinformation campaigns (also mentioned in last week's blog). You have become blindly obedient to following their directives. And, in doing so, you have become a part of this nightmare. 

Please stop. 

You're prolonging the misery of millions of Americans by mindlessly giving your time, money, or vote to either faction of the duopoly. Nothing will change if they remain in power. Nothing. You will never sleep well at night knowing a woman's right to choose is safe unless you elect and appoint persons to government who have nothing to do with the current system that produces "lesser evil" candidates. You just won't. 

All the magical thinking in the world can't make politicians (who make a good deal of money on the side doing what they're doing) change. You have to "think outside the box" of voting either Democrat or Republican if you want them to stay out of "your box" and not take away your right to abortion care if and when you need it. 

Luckily, there is one American political party that fields candidates that don't accept corporate bribes--uh, lobbyists' money--and also have it written into their platform that abortion care is health care and that all Americans have the human right to health care. It's the Green Party US. Here is it in black and white: https://www.gp.org/the_real_difference 

Attend all the Protect Roe v. Wade rallies you like, but never forget that voting "blue no matter who" just keeps this nightmare going and going and going…

 P.S. Same goes for endless wars for oil/natural gas. Voting "blue no matter who" got us into the current proxy war. (Update: The US has just invaded Somalia as well.) You have to admit that the "Orange Man" isn't in charge anymore, so we can't put this war on his tally, long as it is.  The Democratic Party (including the supposedly progressive "Squad") are pro-military-industrial complex and pro-war, as every single one of them voted for the $40 billion package to Ukraine. Biden is admittedly anti-abortion as the earlier quote attests. 

By listening to the propaganda from the "Ministry of Truth" (Disinformation Governance Board) that told you to "vote for the lesser evil" Biden, you installed Evil 2.0.  And nothing has fundamentally changed, has it? We're still living in a nightmare. Until you decide to step out of line, that is.

Related articles:

Thousands in US March Under "Ban Off Our Bodies" Banner for Abortion Rights https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-abortion-rights-activists-start-summer-rage-with-saturday-protests-2022-05-14/

The Ministry of Truth v. Roe v. Wade  https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/2022/05/the-ministry-of-truth-v-roe-v-wade.html

How the Democrats Are Culpable in the Erosion of Abortion Rights

Mass Protest Is Rising. Can It Confront Global Capitalism? https://truthout.org/articles/mass-protest-is-rising-can-it-confront-global-capitalism/

Obama and Liberals Killed Abortion Rights https://www.blackagendareport.com/obama-and-liberals-killed-abortion-rights

Nancy Pelosi is Still Supporting Henry Cuellar, the Only Anti-Abortion House Democrat  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/nancy-pelosi-is-still-supporting-henry-cuellar-the-only-anti-abortion-house-democrat/ar-AAXeoRX

The Bizarre, Unanimous Democratic Support for the $40 Billion War Package https://popularresistance.org/the-bizarre-unanimous-dem-support-for-the-40b-war-package-to-raytheon-and-cia-for-ukraine/

 Seen on Twitter: