Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hello Again to our friends in Cuba. Today, December 17, 2014, we normalize relations. History has absolved Fidel Castro.


Cuba was used by the U.S. as a haven for gambling, alcohol, prostitution, and corruption.  Much of it was run by the Mafia with the aide of the puppet president Batista.  Fidel Castro led an uprising of Cuban people to try to overthrow Batista with an attack on a military base called the Moncada, but that initial effort was unsuccessful.
In 1953, Fidel Castro was put on trial and convicted.  He gave his own closing statement at the end of the trial, what is now called "History Will Absolve Me," a speech as famous in the world as the Martin Luther King, Jr. speech "I Have A Dream."  Today, December 17, 2014, the U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the U.S. and Cuba will renew diplomatic relations, and try to move forward as friendly neighbors. 

What were the revolutionary proposals of Castro?  Turn control of much of the land over to peasant and tenant farmers.  Give every single worker 30% of the profits of any large business in which they work.  Confiscate the wealth of those who have acquired their wealth through crime and fraud.  Use the money taken from the rich to fund retirement programs for all Cubans, hospitals, and other charitable organizations.

Excerpts from "History Will Absolve Me": 

In terms of struggle, when we talk about people we're talking about the six hundred thousand Cubans without work, who want to earn their daily bread honestly without having to emigrate from their homeland in search of a livelihood; the five hundred thousand farm laborers who live in miserable shacks, who work four months of the year and starve the rest, sharing their misery with their children, who don't have an inch of land to till and whose existence would move any heart not made of stone; the four hundred thousand industrial workers and laborers whose retirement funds have been embezzled, whose benefits are being taken away, whose homes are wretched quarters, whose salaries pass from the hands of the boss to those of the moneylender, whose future is a pay reduction and dismissal, whose life is endless work and whose only rest is the tomb; .... 

"... the one hundred thousand small farmers who live and die working land that is not theirs, looking at it with the sadness of Moses gazing at the promised land, to die without ever owning it, who like feudal serfs have to pay for the use of their parcel of land by giving up a portion of its produce, who cannot love it, improve it, beautify it nor plant a cedar or an orange tree on it because they never know when a sheriff will come with the rural guard to evict them from it; the thirty thousand teachers and professors who are so devoted, dedicated and so necessary to the better destiny of future generations and who are so badly treated and paid; the twenty thousand small business men weighed down by debts, ruined by the crisis and harangued by a plague of grafting and venal officials; the ten thousand young professional people: doctors, engineers, lawyers, veterinarians, school teachers, dentists, pharmacists, newspapermen, painters, sculptors, etc., who finish school with their degrees anxious to work and full of hope, only to find themselves at a dead end, all doors closed to them, and where no ears hear their clamor or supplication."

These are the people, the ones who know misfortune and, therefore, are capable of fighting with limitless courage! To these people whose desperate roads through life have been paved with the bricks of betrayal and false promises, we were not going to say: 'We will give you ...' but rather: 'Here it is, now fight for it with everything you have, so that liberty and happiness may be yours!'



What Child Is This? (Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner)

All across the United States, citizens are now called "enemies," oppression is called "homeland security," and murder of citizens is called "justified."  The biggest targets, as has always been true, are black males.  When they are murdered by cops, the politicians, the media, the officials of government all rally round the police, even send the killers money.  Because they want black men to be killed.  It's a way to keep them in line.  Why do they need to go outside, anyway?  Southern lynchings, plantation beatings, have nothing on the modern U.S. police state which simply guns down black men in the streets, then lies about it, claiming they had a weapon, or at least the package of cigarettes looked like a weapon. 
Anyone who speaks up to protest the murders will be attacked.  Andrew Hawkins, a black football player, wore a T-shirt with the names of just two of the most recent murder victims, gunned down by the cops in his community.  He was attacked.  The police union spokesman came out and demanded that his team apologize to the police.  I think the police should apologize to the citizens, for murdering so many unarmed black children, including the two named on Hawkins' T-shirt:  Tamir Rice (12) and John Crawford III (22).  Both black, both unarmed.  Both murdered by the police.
The police spokesman said that if citizens want to know how to avoid getting shot and killed by a cop, they should just listen to the orders from the cops, and do what they are told.  This guy's got it all backwards.  I have no duty to obey orders from the police.  Put differently, the police have no right to order me around, to tell me where to stand or walk, or what to say.  Or what T-shirt I can wear.  They are confused.  They seem to think this is a police state, a dictatorship, in which the citizens are enemies, and the police are working in a free-fire zone with authorization to gun us down if they don't like where we choose to walk.  Or what T-shirts we put on in the morning.
It didn't start with Emmett Till, but his name frequently is raised by people beginning to make connections, beginning to realize that when the politicians tell us how much things have changed, how much better we are -- it's just a bunch of lies. 
We heard the details about Trayvon Martin, that young boy who walked to the store to get a soda and some candy, and was stalked, terrorized, pursued, and gunned down in cold blood by yet another deranged racist thug member of the police state.  At least that cop, Zimmerman, was put on trial, although he was acquitted by the racist jurors who seemed to agree with Zimmerman's view that black people are scary, so it's best to just kill them.  Trayvon Martin wore a sweatshirt with a hoodie when he walked home from the store, with his can of soda and bag of fruit candy.  Some commentators suggested that he deserved to be killed because a black male in a hoodie is just too darned scary.
Michael Brown was murdered by the police in Ferguson, Missouri, for walking in the street.  It used to be that "driving while black" was considered a crime.  Now walking is too.  The cop who killed him shot over and over again at the unarmed young Michael Brown, who was running away at the time.  Then the cop and the local prosecutor worked together to make sure the cop would not be indicted, make it harder for the Brown family to sue the city.  They claimed that Brown was the aggressor -- Michael Brown, unarmed, was "charging" the cop.  This story was fed to the grand jury by Witness No. 40, who is a crazy racist white lady cop groupie who volunteered delusional and patently false testimony to help out the cop.  After the cop shot Michael Brown, they left his body lying in the street for four hours.
Eric Garner was a little older than the others, at 43.  Looked kind of like a big teddy-bear.  Not a violent person at all.  Just selling single cigarettes on the corner in State Island when some racist, brutal, aggressive, sick little prick of a cop jumped on Garner's back, grabbed from behind in a choke-hold, while five other cops grabbed from the front, drug him to the ground while he gasped eleven times "I can't breathe; I can't breathe."  He couldn't breathe because the cop had him in a choke-hold, and they sat on top of him, and he had asthma.  So he died right there on the street.  That cop wasn't even charged with anything.  He says he's really sorry about that.  But he's not. 
 Akai Gurley, 28, was just gunned down in his own apartment building.  Unarmed.  Again, his crime was walking while black.   Walking down the stairs.  When the cops saw him, a black man, they just shot him.  Because he's black, and that's just too scary.  They wouldn't have shot him if he was white.
Tamir Rice and John Crawford III were the two names on Andrew Hawkins' (the football player) T-shirt.  Tamir was a 12 year old little boy sitting in a park all by himself, playing, wandering around, with a toy gun.  Two cops drove up and shot him dead.  In Cleveland, Ohio.  They never gave him a chance.  Just shot him dead, that little boy.  John Crawford III was 22, inside a Wal-Mart playing with the toys in their toy aisle.  Some security guards saw him and shot him dead.  Also in Ohio -- this one in Dayton.
I won't take the time to write about Sean Bell, the young man murdered by police in Brooklyn the night before his wedding.  Unarmed, at a bachelor's party with his friends.  The police opened fire and killed him.  Amadou Diallo, also gunned down by the police, unarmed.  Abner Louima was drug to the police department and taken into a cell by a gang of cops and repeatedly raped, anally, with a broom stick.  The cops stuck items up his ass, raping him as punishment for being black. 
The official word out of government is that we need to find a way for the police and communities to learn to respect each other.  That's their conclusion?  How stupid are these people, or how stupid do they think we are?  This isn't a question of somebody forgot to say please-and-thank-you.  This is mass, institutionalized murder of citizens who have been defined as being enemies of the state.  This is police out of control, believing the hype from D.C. that their job is to protect the "Homeland" from its enemies, which includes all the citizens of this country.  They've got it all backwards. 
The job of any government employee, which includes cops, politicians and prosecutors, is to protect us, which means protecting us from corporations who take our jobs to other countries.  Protecting us from corrupt politicians who take bribes to allow corporations to do what they like.  Protect us from financial predators who steal our homes, jack up the rents, throw too many of us out onto the streets.  Protect us from cops who gun down citizens in cold blood and get away with it.  We don't need more manners.  We need jobs, housing, an investment in infrastructure, an increase in minimum wage, education, and free healthcare.  And we need justice. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We're All Palestinians Now


            Don't bother paying a financial adviser to tell you how to get rich.  Just do what the white European Jewish invaders of Palestine do:  steal everything, lie about it, and kill anyone who tries to stop you.  That is, in a nutshell, the history of modern-day Israel.  The rest is just details.  Unfortunately, this same blueprint is now being used inside the U.S. by groups of rich white men who are stealing our national treasures starting with stealing our cities, lying about it, and killing anyone who gets in their way, anyone who "does not belong."  Just ask Michael Brown or Eric Garner. 

            Going back to 1948, some white European Jewish men (calling themselves "zionists") decided they could probably get away with stealing land in Palestine because (1) so many Jews had just been killed in Europe, so the world felt a little guilty; and (2) who cares about a bunch of Arabs anyway?  The European invaders and thieves bet right.  They attacked a series of villages and towns throughout Palestine, brutalized the people, engaged in barbaric slaughter to terrorize the citizens, ran them out, then proclaimed to the world that the land belonged to the Jews and to nobody else.

            Since that time, Israel has stolen most of the rest of the land of Palestine, using the same formula time and again.  First, they proclaim that God intends them to have the land.  Then they knock down the homes and buildings, run off the people who live there, build walls to prevent the remaining residents from having access to jobs, land, sustenance, and wait for them to leave.  Or die.

            Did anyone believe the zionists really had a longing to own some desert in the middle east, or that is the be-all and end-all of their ambitions?  A little piece of desert to call home?  Of course not.  They have perfected the formula inside Palestine, and now they, and their friends, are applying it throughout the world.

            When we look at Chicago, with Rahm Emanuel at the head, what comes to mind?  He is shutting down public schools, eliminating public services to poor, black neighborhoods.  For what purpose?  Apparently to push the poor black people out of the city so their neighborhoods can be taken over and "redeveloped," taken over by real estate developers, and flipped for billions in profits.
            Look at New York City.  It is no longer a city that belongs to the people of the U.S.  The blueprint has been applied to NYC, neighborhood by neighborhood, buildings taken over and removed from rent control by "privatizing" rental units through condo and co-op conversion.  Then the rents are jerked up so that entire areas are unaffordable, and the poor people (including the black and hispanics) are forced out of the city.  Temporarily, they may find rentals in Brooklyn or Queens, but those properties are next.  Brooklyn, in fact, has now become more unaffordable, as one neighborhood after the next is taken over by developers and the working people are forced out.  This is ethnic cleansing without a sole racial focus, since anyone who is not rich is forced out.  These redevelopment plans are financed partly by the city, by government funds, which are essentially used to benefit the rich who are forcing out everyone else.

            Look at Detroit.  First, the Wall Street-run "free trade" associations wrote up a law that would ban tariffs, and encourage U.S. corporations to take American jobs to third world countries to be done by slave, child, and prison labor.  The jobs were taken away, which means the tax base of the city is gone.  The city has more social service costs are more of the residents are in need of assistance, so Wall Street moves in, makes government loans, then throws the city into bankruptcy and "forecloses" on everything.


            Most of the people of Detroit have been driven out of that city.  For the few who remain, those who are too poor to move, the sick, the elderly, the city is shutting off residential water, just like Israel shut off electricity, blockaded the water access, restricts fishing, bans Palestinians from having access to the land where they grow food, and restrict food imports, to either force the Palestinians to leave or to kill them off. 


            Every ruined neighborhood, each dilapidated home, represents one family whose life has been destroyed by Wall Street and the U.S. politicians it owns.  Detroit once was a successful manufacturing hub, a place where people could find decent-paying jobs that allowed them to buy a home, send their kids to school, participate in our country with hope for the future.  All of that has been taken destroyed by Wall Street.

            It's working.  So many people have left Detroit now that the plan is near success.  Wall Street funds, investors representing rich people, including Israelis, are moving in and buying up whole blocks of buildings in Detroit, so it can be re-built, and all the value of that city, all the land and the homes, driven into ruin by these predators, will now be stolen by the same vultures.


            What were the alternatives, by the way?  The same thing the federal government did to save the banks, save the rich, save Wall Street:  help them.  Save Detroit, a major American city.  Save the people of that city.  Their jobs have been taken away, so the government should move in, create tribunals to get the community involved in laying out plans for the future.  If the people need training, then set up more community colleges and give them training.  The federal government could certainly provide incentives to businesses and industries to locate to Detroit.  We need solar and wind, so why not build it in Detroit?  These things could have happened, and should have happened.  Instead of the U.S. government giving away billions of dollars of working people's money to guarantee the bonuses of the scum that run Goldman-Sachs, they should have helped the rest of us. But they didn't.    

            It's also happening in San Francisco.  Same blueprint, same pattern.  They take over housing, eliminate rent control, drive the working people out.  People who have lived in San Francisco for decades are forced to leave, often in old age, because their building has been bought by some speculator. 

It is a simple matter, by the way, to stop this devastation of the lives of the majority of the American people.  First, all cities must have a large percentage of housing subject to rent control, regardless if the unit is owned by a hedge fund or by an individual.  Second, we need a living wage for all our people regardless of where they live.  And third, we need a full employment law so that any American who is willing and able is guaranteed a job. 

            The major cities of this country are being taken over by the rich, and U.S. working people are being driven out into the suburbs.  All of the benefits of the cities which were funded by working people -- the schools, public transportation, hospitals, culture, art, museums -- are being seized by the rich, while the rest of us are forced to move further out of the cities, into the impoverished suburbs.  The suburbs are now becoming the centers of poverty and crime.  The rich, with the wealth they stole from the rest of us, will not suffer from the problems, and will not contribute to improve the lives of people in the suburbs because they don't live there anymore.  They are turning our major cities into gated communities from which we are excluded.  Don't be surprised if there are armed police patrolling the borders, in time, to keep us out unless we have a special permit to enter. 

            We're all Palestinians now. 

Grand Rapids real estate investor representing Wall Street and Israel hedge funds buying up local properties: