Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Greg Hinz: Rauner budget chief blasts 'irresponsible' spending that 'skirted the law'

Greg Hinz wrote of Guv R:  Perhaps because he's having second thoughts about his plan to repeal the entire income tax hike pushed through by Mr. Quinn.
Perhaps you could have asked?
Perhaps it's facts we like to read?
Perhaps 'cause any ole fool can wonder?
And a pundit ought to know.

Economics Professor on Rauner Situation | Alton Daily News

Economics Professor on Rauner Situation | Alton Daily News

Sometimes we work best with a bayonet at our backs.  Rauner's tight spot may be just the poke in the rear Springfield needs.

STATE AFFAIRS: Rauner and education in New Year - The Times: Columnists

STATE AFFAIRS: Rauner and education in New Year - The Times: Columnists

Films on World War I, Cold War to be screened at Pune International Film Festival | Business Standard News

Films on World War I, Cold War to be screened at Pune International Film Festival | Business Standard News

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Look Inside the Anti-Police Protest Movement

A Look Inside the Anti-Police Protest Movement

The President, Al Sharpton, and the Corruption of Modern Liberalism

Al Sharpton is a person who lives for the purpose of stoking racial hatreds. He was convicted of defaming a New York prosecutor, Steven A. Pagones, in the notorious Tawana Brawley affair, in which Brawley falsely accused Pagones of raping her. During the 1991 Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn, Sharpton fueled black rage after a Hasidic Jewish driver accidentally killed a seven-year-old black child with his car. (A young talmudic scholar, Yankel Rosenbaum, was stabbed to death by a mob shouting “Kill the Jew.”) Sharpton has made numerous anti-Semitic comments. He’s characterized black people who disagreed with him as “yellow niggers” and called white people “crackers.” He constantly casts the police as racists when there’s no evidence to support the charge. And on top of that he’s a tax cheat, having been convicted of tax evasion and, according to the New York Times, with more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses. 
Sharpton, then, is a notorious and demagogic figure. He’s anti-cop. He’s anti-Semitic. And he’s an enemy of racial reconciliation, having done incalculable damage to race relations in America. That such a loathsome individual would be allowed into the White House is itself stunning; and the fact that he’s Barack Obama’s “go-to man on race” is shameful and discrediting. These are the depths to which modern liberalism has descended.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cindy Gorn, Unity and Struggle, and In Support of the Ferguson Rebellion (Black Rose / Rosa Negra)

Seems Gorn spoke as an affiliate of an outfit called Unity and Struggle back in 2011 at Common Struggle's Left Forum.

Here's the Left Forum's recent statement on Ferguson,

'The colonized subject discovers reality and transforms it through his praxis, his deployment of violence and his agenda for liberation' 1

We are writing to express our unconditional support of the Rebellion in Ferguson, MO, a working class city of 67% Black residents and 94% white police force. On Saturday August 8, 2014 Michael ‘Mike Mike’ Brown, an unarmed 18 year old Black teenager, was executed by an unnamed police officer. Following the execution by multiple gunshots, the people of Ferguson— friends, neighbors, and family of Michael Brown— converged to mourn their beloved and express their rage in a uprising that began with powerful, documented analysis and agitation.1

We support the rebellion and uprising of the people of Ferguson, MO because, in the words of DeAndre Smith2, this type of response is “exactly what’s supposed to happen when injustice is happening in your community.”

We want to be perfectly clear that we believe resistance to police is always justified. The police exist to protect and serve whiteness, an ideology of supremacy that needs to be abolished in order to obtain freedom. Ferguson has given us evidence of this straight from the horse’s mouth, as police with riot gear and barking dogs yelled to demonstrators: “All you fucking animals, bring it.”

We reject the notion that the unnamed officer who shot dead Mike Brown was a bad apple, a case to be reviewed. The problem is not of a rogue police officer acting out of line; the problem is the police. The modern police force evolved from slave patrols in the 1700s and continue to systematically control, assault, and murder Black communities. As DeAndre Smith recognized, this is a problem rooted in economics. This country was built by enslaved Blacks on the plantation and made possible by the theft of Indigenous land, and continues to thrive in the neoliberal present day with more Blacks now in prison or confined in ghettos, being killed by police. Indeed, as Frantz Fanon says, ‘the colonist derives his validity, i.e., his wealth, from the colonial system.’

Furthermore, we reject the bourgeois myth of respectability that claims Michael Brown’s life is not worthy of being mourned unless he was in some way ‘innocent’, when our racist society has systematically stripped Black bodies of innocence and marked them as ‘criminal’. We celebrate each existence and mourn the death of every Black life lost. We stand against the ideology of whiteness that allows for the devaluing of Black lives.

The government response in Ferguson has been to create a barbaric, militarized police state working to sustain itself and quell the people. They have been trained by the Israeli Defense Force which maintains an Apartheid state and a genocidal program of forced removal of Palestinians from their historical land.3 Media blackout, rubber bullets and teargas deployed on assemblies of people and directly into residential neighborhoods, warzone gear, ear piercing crowd control tactics, cancelling the first day of school. These responses are the direct responsibility of the police, and we strongly reject media claims that state otherwise. Police declared a no fly zone in Ferguson for the reason of “providing a safe environment for law enforcement activities” —- they have made their interests clear. That is why the people of St. Louis and Ferguson have not backed down. They militantly retain their dignity and continue to fight back with efforts resulting in St. Louis Police having been pulled from the ground in Ferguson.

How many more black lives? — Michael Brown, shot dead by police on 8/8/14; Ezell Ford, shot dead by police 8/11/14; John Crawford, shot dead by police 8/7/14; Eric Garner, killed in a chokehold by police on 7/17/14: lives stolen, Black August.

 Renisha McBride, Islan Nettles, Trayvon Martin: killed in the name of white supremacy, misogyny and transphobia. Lives stolen, Black August.*

The lines have been drawn, we refuse to turn down in the face of racist, capitalist violence. The people of St. Louis are standing up, this rebellion is part of an agenda for liberation— and through organizing, rebellions can become revolutions. Communities everywhere are working against violence, criminalization, and displacement of working class people; this is the time to build connections in struggle. Once again we look to DeAndre Smith, “I mean, I don’t think it’s over, honestly. I think they just got a taste of what fighting back means.”

1) Quote from Frantz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth”. Photo of Ferguson protestor returning a teargas canister to sender
2) Link to video of pre-riot agitation
3) Link to video of Smith’s analysis & transcription

”I’m DeAndre Smith. And this is exactly what’s supposed to happen when injustice is happening in your community. When you have kids getting killed for nothing, when they’re out here minding their business… you can lock ‘em up, you can teach them, you can mold them, at the same time, you ain’t got to kill them. He ain’t got no gun in his hands. Why you kill him? You said Trayvon had a hoodie on, you didn’t know what was going on with him. He didn’t have no hoodie on. His hands was up when you shot him! So what’s your excuse?”

“I was here, I was out here. That’s all I can say. I was out here with the community. That’s all I can say. I was out here standing side-by-side with the community. I mean, I don’t think it’s over, honestly. I think they just got a taste of what fighting back means. I think they got a taste of… (other voice inaudible) … IN St. Louis. The last state to abolish slavery. And they think they still have power over certain things? I believe so, cuz they doing stuff like this, and getting away with it. People ain’t sayin nothing! They not doing nothing, across the country. They not going for it here! Saint Louis ain’t going for it!

“This is how they eat here. This is how they receive money. Businesses. Taxes. Police stopping people. Giving ‘em tickets, taking ‘em to court, locking ‘em up. That’s how they make money in St. Louis. Right? Traffic…everything is all about money in St. Louis, right? So when you stop their flow of income. When you stop their…their, their, whole everything, their business, what they organized, they have certain things in a certain way. Right, (making quotation marks with fingers) “secret society” type of deal, right? We’re gonna eat and you guys are gonna starve. Gentrification, put you in a certain neighborhood by yourself, and see if you can starve in a proper way. It’s not gonna happen, not in St Louis.”

4) Report on St. Louis Police Department visit to Israel
5) Sentence structure referencing Marilyn Buck’s poem ‘Black August’



Cindy Gorn on Occupy Wall Street

Found this on a Dutch Website.  Gorn's one of those arrested for assaulting a cop in NYC. I translated to English using Google Translate.

CINDY Gorn, 26 YEARS: "OWS stands at a crossroads"

OWS has opened a space in which people talk about their everyday lives. Before they did that but it was just bitching (groan). OWS since they make the connection between their personal problems and what happens to society. In particular, I speak from my experience in the student movement. I was there already actively began to OWS.

I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. I studied geography and spent a year in Vietnam, where I worked on a project about landmines. Currently I am both student and teacher. I do my doctoral studies and to help defray those I teach a course in "Urban Affairs' at Hunter College. Since the beginning of OWS, I am particularly active in coordinating the actions of OWS and the students. The student movement is an important part of OWS and not only because they provide many foot soldiers for demonstrations. She also has a lot of raised. The students keep their own GI (general meetings) which they use direct democracy techniques that they have learned from OWS. They have their own requirements, but which fit seamlessly with what OWS stands for. For the students of the private universities, the problem is that they have to go deeper into debt to finance their studies while their job prospects are getting worse. The average debt of a recent graduate of NYU (New York University) is 37 000 dollars. Together, student borrowers for more than $ 800 billion in debt. The students of the much cheaper CUNY (City University of New York, with 480 000 students) where Hunter College is part, have that problem less. But they suffer the consequences of the budget cuts that affect the quality of their education. Both groups are confronted with the consequences of the breakdown of society but in a different way. That difference in experience playing with. So we have to give up the occupation of a building of the New School after a week because of opposition from students that private univ. The Cuny students who come from disadvantaged environments, identify more with OWS.

The disagreements in the student movement and OWS are the same. Usually it is between radicals and conciliationists. After a brutal police action against the violent resistance of students at Baruch College you had a discussion in the student GIs which advocated one camp for training in self-defense and tougher actions and the other for their own security forces and cooperation with the police. OWS is now at a crossroads. Either the movement refuse to be pinned down to specific requirements and continues to harden her criticism of the whole system of injustice. Either let them recruit by the Democrats and their union partners who have their own system-perpetuating agenda and in 2012 absorbed by the election circus.

And here's a screen scrape of the page in Dutch,

The more things change ... |

The more things change ... |

Dec. 18 Airstrike on Da'ish VBIED in Iraq