Archive for the 'Race' Category

Nakba Remembrance Day! 05/15/23

At least 530 Palestinian villages destroyed in 1947-1949 : r/MapPorn

2023 marks 75 years since the Nakba (“catastrophe”), the violent ethnic cleansing of nearly 800,000 Indigenous Palestinians.

In 1948, violent militias destroyed hundreds of villages, massacring and forcefully removing two-thirds of the Palestinian population. For 75 years, stateless refugees have been denied the internationally-recognized right of return to their homes.

The Nakba never ended. To this day, the Israeli government is still trying to erase an entire people by systematically displacing and dehumanizing Palestinians.

In violation of international law, Israel’s government continues to massacre, imprison, and steal land from Palestinians—all while denying Palestinians basic freedoms and needed resources such as water and electricity.

The U.S. is the top provider of military aid to Israel, using billions of taxpayer dollars each year to support this apartheid system. As far-right Israeli officials in power call for “another Nakba” and escalate human rights abuses against Palestinians, we cannot look the other way. We cannot allow this unbearable status quo to continue.

Israeli propaganda denies that the Nakba ever happened. We must tell the truth about the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people.

Educating U.S. lawmakers and residents is an important step toward Palestinian liberation.

Now is the time to speak out: May 15th is the 75th commemoration of the Nakba. Representative Rashida Tlaib just re-introduced a resolution in Congress to recognize the Nakba and support Palestinian rights.

The resolution calls on the United States to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency—which provides social services to millions of Palestinian refugees—and to support the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ rights as enshrined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”   —   Rashida Tlaib

The More You Know!   —   YUR

Can We Just STOP? Please!

cry baby | Meme Generator

This story is, or was, pretty much dead and buried already.  But only because one party was unjustly suspended, and forced to apologize, for engaging in a little friendly trash talk during a baseball game!

I think that most of you know me by now, as a very liberal individual, who supports voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and most of all civil rights.  I’m a firm believer in the Black Lives Matter movement, and I truly believe that our police systems should be reformed.  And, some of you may know – but for those of you who don’t, I’ll tell you – I hate the New York Yankees.  I can’t even get behind those who say you have to root for the home team!  Nonsense!  When you’re a New York baseball fan you have to make a choice.  Mine was, and is, the New York Mets.  The cross town rivals are my nemesis, and I always take great pleasure when they lose.  But when it comes to their individual players I’m generally pretty ambivalent.  The only one that I would ever really say I actually “hated” would be Roger Clemons, because he was a psycho-bitch.  But he has long retired – thankfully – and I have actually mellowed in my old age.

With that being said, I’ve always been ambivalent about Josh Donaldson.  He never played for my Mets.  This is his first year as a Yankee, but he has had an admirable career.  He’s been in the big leagues since 2010.  He’s a three time All Star, a two time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he won the AL MVP in 2015.  He’s now on his sixth team, and everywhere he’s gone he’s been considered a “team player”, and the antithesis of a trouble maker.

A couple of weeks ago the Yankees were playing the Chicago White Sox, and Josh Donaldson teasingly called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie”, because in a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated Mr. Anderson made the statement:  “I kinda feel like today’s Jackie Robinson.”  He has been in the bigs about half the time Donaldson has.  He’s been in one All Star game, and won one Silver Slugger Award, and he was the AL Batting Champ in 2019 – the year he made the statement – so I guess you could say he’s an up and coming star.  Truth is I’d never heard of him before this happened, as I don’t pay too much attention to the American League, being a Mets fan.  So, I didn’t have ANY opinion of him . . . until now.  The Yankees had recently taken 3 – 4 games in Chicago, and then the White Sox were losing the game on Saturday, in New York, so I think Anderson was mainly frustrated with their efforts.  He went back to his bench and started complaining that Donaldson was “disrespecting” him.  Donaldson considered the calling him “Jackie” an “inside joke”, as he had also done so back in 2019, after Anderson had made his statement to SI.

In my mind, if you make a statement comparing yourself with one of the game’s greatest players you have to expect a good amount of blow-back.  I think that is why most rational people do not make these kind of statements, because it just opens you up to criticism . . . especially when you don’t live up to that comparison.  Jackie Robinson was in the MLB for only 9 seasons, and during that time he was the MLB Rookie of the Year – 1947, the NL MVP – 1949, a 2X NL stolen base leader – ’47 & ’49, and he was SIX time All-Star, with a batting average of .313!   You definitely have a ways to go, young man!

Josh Donaldson did not call Tim Anderson:  Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Willie Stargell, Ozzie Smith, or any of the other African American baseball players of renown.  Why?  Because Tim Anderson never made any statement comparing himself to any of them.  Only to Jackie Robinson.  And, Josh Donaldson has never called Josh Bell, Mookie Betts, Dee Gordon, Dom Smith, Michael Brantley, or any other current African American baseball player “Jackie”, because they never compared themselves to Jackie Robinson.  He very likely has called Jackie Bradley Jr. “Jackie” . . . but of course that IS his name.

Taking offense to someone calling you a name – that isn’t yours – is the furthest thing from being racist.  In this case it was just a well-deserved dig.  It’s playful trash talk, that he has set yourself up for with his own words.  To whine to your manager (Tony La Russa) about it, and then agree with him – publicly – that it’s disrespectful AND “racist” is just deplorable.  There is more than enough actual racism and hatred in this world, and besmirching a fellow ballplayer’s reputation with this kind of allegation helps no one whatsoever.

And, the fact that everyone seems to have fallen in line with the all too eager to condemn PC police is just as disgusting.  All the players that Josh Donaldson has played with, and against, over the years know that he is not a racist.  The fact that none of his current teammates have come to his support is just plain sad, and that MLB had the temerity to suspend him for a game is just a cowardly act of weakness and injustice.  And, to think that Tim Anderson got a pass for calling Brad Keller a “weak-ass f—— n—–“, after getting hit by a pitch, is the irony that takes the cake.  He can call a fellow player the “N-word”, but someone teasingly calling him “Jackie” is racist?

I have no affection for either of these players, as they’ve never really affected my Mets.  But this is a gross injustice!  Josh Donaldson does not deserve this kind of treatment/character assassination.  And, Tim Anderson has made a mockery of a very serious subject.  Maybe worst of all?  MLB, our media, and all who remain silent – or agree with this utter nonsense – have allowed this to happen!  Shame on us all.


The Media’s Denial

Matt Lauer interviews Chief Warrant Officer Ra...

Image via Wikipedia

Jared Loughner is a mentally disturbed individual.  There seems to be a consensus on that point.  But the questions of why Gabby Giffords, and why now, seem to be less important to our national corporate media.  To the extent that they’re bending over backwards trying to downplay, dismiss, and even deny that cause and effect might have come into play.

On the Today Show, Monday morning, after showing the clip of Pima County Sheriff  Clarence Dupnik voicing his opinion that “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous”, Matt Lauer took exception to these words and said that he didn’t think there was any cause and effect here.  This saddened and angered me, because before even knowing what might have been Jared’s motivation we’re being told that there is no cause and effect.  He (Jared) was/is just a paranoid nut-job.  End of story.  And then, seconds later, the lovely and lanky Ann Curry is fawning all over Matt Lauer, agreeing with him.  Meredith and Al also nodding their heads in approval.  What was up with that?  Is Matt Lauer THAT powerful that he can’t be disagreed with?   Or . . . did this directive come down from the head honchos at GE, and were they all just playing their parts?  At least Charlie Rose raised his eyebrows and questioned the assertions of Ezra Klein, who also said that there was no cause and effect.  And, even Diane Sawyer asking Sheriff Dupnik, in disbelief, “That it is somehow linked???”  Why is there so much resistance to to a very plausible possibility?  Dupnik didn’t name any names, or cite any specific rhetoric.  But boy, was there ever swift condemnation of his words.  And where did this come from?  From the right-wing pundits, whose very bread and butter is vitriolic rhetoric.  Now, the sheriff is forced to respond to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sara Palin, because they are threatened by his opinion.

The corporate media loves the tawdry, tragic and sensationalistic.  That’s what grabs the attention.  That’s what sells.  Careful contemplation, as to what are the underlying causes, is besides the point to them.  With the Jared Loughner case I’ve even heard some reporters say: We may never know.  Really?  Is the guy dead?  Did the police cut his tongue out?  Why deny cause and effect?  And why set up the premise that ‘we may never know’ what his motivation was?  They will milk the story for all that it’s worth, without really telling us anything new or substantive.  They need to be ready to jump onto the next shocker of the moment.  What seems to matter most to the corporate media is the hype, the sincerity (acting job) of its anchor people, and – bottom line – the ratings.

None of us live in a vacuum. To a large extent, we are all products of our environment.  This is true of the sane, and the not so sane. When the Glenn Becks of this country say that “Barack Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people” and that he’s a “racist”, or the Bill O’Reillys and Sean Hannitys keep saying President Obama is a “socialist”, it resonates with all sorts of people.  When Sara Palin puts out her Congressional map with gun-sight cross-hairs on certain districts, and says things like “don’t retreat, reload” most people pick up on the shooting references . . . one way or another.  The sane, but gullible, eat it up and regurgitate it.  Who knows what kind of catalyst these words of violence and hatred might be to the not so sane!  We do know that this very kind of rhetoric has inspired some to kill abortion doctors over the years.  So, why be so dismissive, of the effects that words of hate might have, in this instance?

No one is saying there is a straight line, from any specific piece of vitriolic and hateful rhetoric, to the actions in Tucson last Saturday.  We don’t know, yet, why Jared Loughner did what he did, and why he targeted Gabby Giffords.  Even if his lawyers go with an insanity defense it’s very likely that we will, eventually, know those whys.  To completely rule out the possibility of some kind of cause and effect, at such an early stage of the story, by our corporate media, is more than irresponsible, it’s downright . . . reprehensible.


A Wounded Knee Remembrance

Collage of Lakota people from various public d...

Image via Wikipedia

Today is a very solemn day of remembrance.  120 years ago today, the U.S. 7th Calvary Regiment, commanded by Colonel James W. Forsyth, massacred perhaps 300 Lakota Sioux men, women and children, near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota.  It was clearly one of the darkest days in U.S. history.

There are conflicting stories as to how the massacre unfolded.  The 7th Calvary had surrounded the encampment of the Lakota Sioux, for the purpose of disarming them.  Some say, during the process of “disarming” the Lakota, a deaf tribesman resisted having his prized possession – his rifle – taken from him.  There was a scuffle, and somehow a shot rang out.  From here the 7th Calvary opened fire on the entire surrounded encampment, killing just about anyone, and anything, in the line of fire, including a number of soldiers.  A few warriors, who hadn’t yet been disarmed, fought back in defense of their people.  But, they were quickly killed, and likely heightened the chaos and mayhem on the part of the troopers.  There were some who initially survived the “battle”, but as they attempted to flee the troopers pursued and killed many of them.  The vast majority of the Lakota who were killed that day were unarmed.

Regardless of how the events that day unfolded, it demonstrated a total lack of respect and compassion – on the part of representatives of the U.S. government – for the lives of Native American people.  This will live on as truly one of the darkest days . . . of infamy, in all of American history.


2010 Mid-Term Election Message

2010 Elections

A response to: The Letter Everyone is Talking About

(I’m not about to reprint the letter.  If you’re reading this you’ve probably already read it.  If not, then feel free to Google: The Letter Everyone is Talking About!)

A lot of things bother me about this letter.  I find it to be very disingenuous.  I also see a lot of not so thinly veiled racism in it.

1.  A lifelong Democrat switching her allegiance to the Republican party in the very year that the Democrats run a Black/African-American Presidential candidate??? (I don’t think I buy the notion that she was supporting a “native son”, or that she was a disgruntled Hillary supporter.)

2.  Leading off this diatribe with the complaint about illegal immigration – any time someone feels they have to state: “I’m not a racist” very often means (not always, mind you) that they are.  (Although, I personally DO believe that there has long been a big problem with illegal immigration in the US.)

3.  Jumping all over ACORN.  The things I’ve read about the ACORN “scandal” point more to individual misdeeds than to any systemic issue/problems.  ACORN has become one the right-wing’s favorite whipping boys, for a quite a while now.

Things that make me doubt the veracity of this letter:

Complaining about “buzzwords” when most of her letter is filled with the currently popular right-wing buzzwords (and phrases):  Czar, states rights, redistribution of wealth, speed-reading (or not reading) bills, politically correct, and we have the best health care system in the world.  What does this tell you about the writer?

It’s pretty clear that she does NOT believe in global warming, and that she is AGAINST real health care reform.

Insinuating that TARP and the Stimulus Bill were all Obama’s ideas, when this whole mess started before the 2008 election took place.  Sure, Obama voted for TARP, so did McCain, and almost everybody else in Congress.  (I personally thought it was a huge mistake, back in October of ’08, and I wrote so on my blog, on more than one occasion.)  But, that was only phase one.  We all knew that phase two would come late winter/early spring of ’09.  How was Obama supposed to renege on what had already been decided?

The general timing of her letter is very questionable.  And why to Glenn Beck?  Of the FOX News network???  They just happened to be the only network to air this?  Just about everything she cites screams of conservatism, and not of someone who was (supposedly) a lifelong Democrat.  Saying that she no longer feels the Republican Party represents her views is just a ruse, in my opinion.  I think the entire letter was carefully crafted to paint the Obama administration, and the so-called Democratic congress * (it’s a very simple majority really), in a very negative light.  These tea-baggers, and health care reform opponents, and congressional bashers (what-have-you) are the furthest thing from being grassroots movements.  They are well funded, and managed, by conservative republican interests.  These highly organized obstructionist tactics are only delaying our economic recovery, and fostering increased divisiveness.  I don’t see how this kind of negativity can be viewed as constructive.

If this letter arrives in your e-mail I suggest deleting it, as opposed to forwarding it.  It’s neither productive, nor healthy.


* (There IS a Democratic majority, but what I should have said was:  Less so a majority, when you discount the Blue Dogs, sellouts and turncoats.)   Sorry.  My head was still with the 110th U.S. Congress!  (Edited 11/23/09)

Update to an Update

As of 4:00PM EST, per AP reports, the numbers now stand at 460 Palestinian deaths to 4 Israeli.  So, now we’re looking at a kill ratio of 115 to 1What will the final ratio be???  Maybe I should start a kind of a Dead Pool!  The winner gets . . . nothing.  We already know who the losers are. —   YUR

Update to – The Price of Human Life in Israeli Terms

According to new figures from an AP report the death toll from Israel’s decision is up to 430 Palestinians, while the Israeli death count remains at 4.  And, it only looks to get worse for the Palestinians, as the Israeli ground forces are crossing into Gaza.  Troops seldom move without artillery cover, and it is being reported that Israeli artillery has joined the offensive, to add to the carnage from their warplanes and gunboats.   Artillery fire is far less precise and discriminating, so the Palestinian civilian casualty rate is very likely to increase significantly.

U.N. humanitarian coordinator, Maxwell Gaylard, has estimated that 1/4 of the Palestinian dead are civilian, with a “significant number” of them being women and children.  He also estimates that some 2000 people have been wounded in Gaza.

107.5 to 1 seems to be the latest ratio on the value of Israeli life over Palestinian life.  107.5 is also the estimated number Palestinian civilians who have joined the ranks of collateral damage.  If you just look at the civilian deaths, and assume that the 4 Israeli deaths were civilian, then we’re looking at a ratio of 26.875 Palestinians equaling 1 Israeli life.  Wow.  The Old Testament used to call for “an eye for an eye”.  That’s 1 life for 1 life.  How does one justify taking nearly 27 lives for every one life taken, let alone 107?  It boggles the mind, and sickens the stomach.

It would seem that Israel is making hay while the sun still shines.  The U.S. is in a transitional phase, with a lame duck President, who won’t take any definitive action, due to a large number of reasons, and a new President Elect, who can’t afford to overstep his boundaries before he takes the oath of office, on January the 20th.  The international community is outraged over Israels’ disproportionate use of force, but as always, is hesitant to actually do anything, because Israel has become a kind of sacred cow.  You can’t touch it, without the fear of violating various alliances, and of being labeled anti-Semitic.  Israel feels that they effectively have carte blanche right now.  No one is likely to enter the fray, on behalf of the Palestinians.  The world is, once again, watching passively as the Israeli government reinforces the age old notion of might makes right.

Happy New Year, Gaza!


The Price of Human Life – in Israeli Terms

Currently it’s at about 374 Palestinian lives for every 4 Israeli lives.  I guess to some that sounds fair!  I don’t know, though.  It sounds a little iffy to me.  I wonder who decides?  Hmmm!

Maybe a conversation, somewhere in Jerusalem, went something like this (with all due apologies to The Untouchables):

Ehud Barak: You said you wanted to get Hamas. Do you really wanna get them? You see what I’m saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Shimon Peres: Anything within the (cough) law.
Barak: And *then* what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms (you know – MUCH less than humans) you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they’re not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
Peres: I want to get Hamas! I don’t know how to do it.
Barak: You wanna know how to get Hamas? They pull a stick, you pull a gun. They throw some rocks, you fire grenade launchers.  They fire some rockets, that rarely hit the broadside of a barn, you send in air strikes with F-15l Ra’ams and F-16l Sufas, firing Raphael Python 5 missiles, and of course, your Apache Longbow attack helicopters armed with AGM-114 Hellfire and Hydra 70 rockets.  He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send ninety-some of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Israeli* way! And that’s how you get Hamas. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I’m offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Peres: I have sworn to take down this organization with all legal (and otherwise) powers at my disposal and I will do so.
Barak: Well, HaShem hates a coward.
[jabs Peres with his hand, and Peres shakes it]
Barak: Do you know what a bloodbath is, Mr. Peres?
Peres: Yes.
Barak: Good, ’cause you just started one.

Sounds feasible to me. —   YUR

PS.  I’d go into detail on my personal views on Zionism, but no doubt someone would jump to that popular (via indoctrination) assumption that I must be some kind of Anti-Semite.  Because that’s how narrow minds work.

The New 3 “R”s?

Rush, Republican and Racism?

Wow, Rush!  “Barack The Magic Negro”???  All in good fun???  Boy oh boy, Big Fat Idiot doesn’t even begin to cover it, does it, buddy!  Was it the Vicadin that told you it was alright to play that on the air?  Or, was it the methane-madness, from permanently having your head up your ass?

When is the RNC going to realize what a liability this guy is to the image of the Republican party?  He just reinforces the old stereotype of Republicans being the party of racists, the party of intolerance.  Don’t you think it’s time they put him out to pasture?  Maybe the punishment could be more severe.  (Hey!  They shoot horses, don’t they?)

Sure, Rush didn’t write it or record it.  (That distinction belongs to some clown named Paul Shanklin)  But, he’s the great humanitarian who deemed it worthy of the national airwaves.  What a hoot, right Rush?  It’s all just a “political parody”, right?  What a maroon!  What a nincom . . . poop!

Of course, the RNC will probably do nothing about it.  At least not Rush-wise.  They’ll just slap the wrist of some guy named Chip Saltsman(?).  (Ooh, you’re a baa-ad boy, Chip!)  Rush is too valuable a tool for the RNC, in their program of divisiveness.  Divisiveness is the best way to keep the people in their place.  Ignorant, cowed, and down . . . and nearly out.

What a pleasant way to exit 2008.  NOT!  Goddammit!!!


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