We'll start this morning with Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) reflecting on the media circus that was the breathless John McCain is still dead coverage:
The gathering at the memorial service was a who’s who of mass murder. As Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, Obama, and Bush all joined in lifting up one of their confederates the coverage became more and more maudlin. The more sickening the better and the more the public ate it up.
The site of Barack and Michelle Obama among the evil doers was too much for a politically immature black community to handle. When Bush handed Mrs. Obama a cough drop the corporate media pounced. Black people got the vapors along with others who once said they hated McCain and Bush.
The sight of black people eulogizing a man whose politics were so antithetical to their interests was difficult to watch.We have been transformed in the rightward shift too and erase our history and our consciousness in a sad effort to identify with a system which should always be understood as an adversary.
In one of the ironies of this story Donald Trump is vilified for avoiding the draft while McCain was bombing the Vietnamese people. Of course this means that Trump didn’t kill anyone. McCain did and is now the hero to those who want to love the good guy. A cough drop from Bush can melt hearts, but Trump’s lack of a Vietnam body count is condemned.
New content is up at BLACK AGENDA REPORT and that includes a must-read by Ann Garrison about the sorry state of KPFA and PACIFICA.
In Iraq, the protests continue. Lack of jobs, lack of public services, a corrupt government and so much more kicked the protests off in July. They continue. Aqeel Najim, Ben Wedeman and Lauren Said-Moorhouse (CNN) report:
Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition Wednesday as demonstrators took to the streets for a third day in the southern city of Basra, activists said.
One person died and 21 others were wounded by forces using live rounds, health and security officials in Basra said.
At least five people were killed Tuesday in clashes and 68 others injured, including 41 civilians and 27 military personnel, health ministry spokesman Dr. Saif Al-Badr told CNN. One protester died Monday in clashes with Iraqi authorities.
The killing of protesters does not appear to matter on the international stage. Early last month, the International Crisis Group noted:
50 killed. We noted it several times, starting August 11th. August 18th, Dirk Adriaensens noted it in a piece for GLOBAL RESEARCH:
But the International Crisis group reported in its Global Overview for July 2018:
“Protests swept across southern Iraq, with demonstrators bemoaning poor services and unemployment and attacking government and party offices. Security forces responded harshly, in some places shooting at protesters, and killing around 50.”
Again the western press has been guilty of serious undercounting.
Who else is noting it?
KPFA isn't. We can't have coverage on KPFA when its become an organ for centrists in the Democratic Party -- yes, PACIFICA listeners, everything you once feared Mary Ann Berry was going to do less than 20 years ago has been done to PACIFICA today and it's taken place with few even registering it -- let alone objecting.
We can't cover Iraq and the suffering that the US government has inflicted on that country because we're too busy rallying around Hillary The Killer Clinton. Urine man Philip Maldari is still on KPFA and that's probably the funniest thing in the world. He now laments Hillary, his gal. But in 2008, he wouldn't play fair, would he. He didn't just savage Hillary, he lied about her. He even spent two hours lying about her and Ava and I called him out. But today, Urine Man is part of the 'resistance' and embraced. Philip, if you don't remember, is among those who accused Hillary in 2008 of calling for the assassination of Barack Obama.
Those of you who can't let go of 2016 and can't let go especially of Hillary need to grasp that her outcome in 2016 had a lot to do with 2008 and you couldn't have Urine Man and Keith Olbermann and all the rest painting Hillary as a racism and calling for the assassination of Barack and then, eight years later, have her elected.
She ran a lousy campaign in 2016, no question. But she was never going to win. Some of that was due to her own past actions but some of that was due to what so many said about her in 2008. She did not suffer from sexism in 2016. She did in 2008 and many of us, whether we supported her campaign or not, defended her from that sexism. If you've forgotten what the response to that was, DAILY KOS ran off all Hillary supporters. Female bloggers were savaged and, in e-mails, they were threatened. Then Kathleen Hall Jamieson, after the campaign, tells the press she needs to think about whether Hillary suffered from sexist coverage.
That would be the same bitch -- and, no, I don't feel bad for calling Kathleen a bitch -- who used sexism to join Bill Moyers in trashing Hillary on his PBS program.
I will never take the 'resistance' seriously because they are so damn stupid and so woefully uneducated.
You have embraced the very people who lied about Hillary and who helped give her such a lousy image to the American people. This was not one month in 2008, it was months and months and months.
Yet you embrace these people. And now you've let them take over KPFA. This year, Kilu Nyasha passed away. Ahead of the 2016 elections, she wrote:
The vast majority of Americans regardless of background or ethnicity agree that this electoral campaign gives us no choice but to vote for someone we don’t like or want to govern us. The perennial “lesser evil” has become more malevolent, even ridiculous in the current presidential election.
Some folks want to “hold their noses” and vote for the “lesser” evil on the belief that one will be worse than the other. However, we’ve been doing just that for at least 50 years; that’s why we’ve come to this level of corrupt silliness with candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dodging the issues and reducing the process to trivialities, backbiting, and nonsense.
The reality is that these races have become selections not elections. No one who is not obscenely rich or has the backing of such can run for president, let alone win office.
[. . .]
Black folks often say, “We fought and died for the right to vote.” Yes, we have. We've always been on the front lines of struggle in this country. From Sojourner Truth to SNCC, Fannie Lou Hamer, and all the valiant freedom fighters of the civil rights movement, we honor and revere their uncompromising fight for our right to vote.
However, while we got a Voting Rights Act passed in1965, the reactionaries in power initiated new ways to suppress and vacate our vote -- new rules and laws of redistricting, registration procedures, vote tampering, rigged voting machines, denying prisoners and felons the vote, and ID policies to disenfranchise voters, especially those of color.
Eric Nielson writes that since 2010, 11 states have passed laws that make it more difficult to vote. The Sentencing Project reports that 6.1 million people are now barred from voting because of a felony conviction, about 3.9 percent of the total population compared with 13 percent of adult black men. I wonder what the tally would be if Black women were included.
That's the heart of KPFA -- or should be. Instead, it has become the weakest cup of tea -- Brian Edwards Teacup? -- on the radio dial.
It should be covering Iraq. There's no excuse not to. The illegal war continues. People continue to die. The US government is yet again attempting to install a prime minister with no regard for the Iraqi people's preference. More to the point, coverage is not what it was in terms of cost. They can get on a cell phone with any number of Iraqis. But KPFA, which once did solid coverage of Vietnam, can't even do that.
KPFA should be opening the world for its listeners. Instead, it's become a tight circle jerk.
In Iraq, people are being killed for protesting but KPFA is more concerned with Donald Trump offending the memory of John McCain. War Monger John McCain. Killer John McCain.
KPFA has strayed far from its mission and it's not the only one.
People need to get centered again and focused on what truly matters. Let's note this from
"(G)et (O)ut (T)he (V)ote (GOTV) by Cindy Sheehan:"
Early at the beginning of this year, when we announced that we were organizing a Women's (peace) March on the Pentagon for October 21st, I received many panicked messages from loyal Democrat voters that we couldn't do that because it's "too close" to the midterm elections and we would "harm" the chances of the Democrats.
First of all, if you think that a peace march is going to harm your party, maybe that's a hint that you need a new party. However, if peace is not your thing, like it's apparently NOT the thing of the bourgie Women's March, then you wouldn't come to our march, anyway.
Secondly, if this millennium of rigged voting, purges, and hanging chads has taught us anything, it's shown us that voting is at best compromised and at worst useless. This quote has been attributed to many people, so I won't attribute it to any specific person, but it rings truer than ever: "If voting changed anything, they wouldn't let us do it."
Finally, there are many ways to "vote," and we at Women's March on the Pentagon are literally choosing to vote with our feet.
When we gather to march on the Pentagon in about seven weeks from this writing we are choosing to GOTV for:
A country and planet free from US imperialism;
A country and planet free from patriarchy;
A country and planet free from environmental devastastion;
A country and planet free from economic terrorism and inequality;
A country free from police state oppression, etc.
A vote at the ballot box for a member of either party of the duopoly is a vote in favor of war, patriarchy, environmental devastation, economic terrorism and police state oppression, period.
We USAians have voting shoved down our throats from an early age as the way to be involved in "our democracy" and as the way to "change" things if we don't like them. How has this essential American myth worked out for us? Politicians from both sides of the aisle are owned by special interests that are not our own and are so far away from us in geography and reality that voting is the lowest common denominator for our participation in democracy.
Vote with your feet and your commitment to human decency and positive core values by joining us for the Women's March on the Pentagon on October 21st. No worries if you cannot make it to WashedUp, DeCeit---you can organize a solidarity activity in your own community---even if it's you and your kids holding signs on the corner.
Go to: Women's March on the Pentagon for more information.
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That's not 'from' her post, that ended up being the entire thing. Because it's too important and it's real. That's what we need to be focusing on. Not the garbage that corporate media and its fools (Susan Glasser!) tell us we should focus on. The world's not going to change by focusing on nonsense or by cheering on 'brave' Meghan McCain -- daughter of a racist, sexist homophobe that she's decided to celebrate.
We need to focus on the issues that matter. That especially includes people protesting occupation and corruption. ALJAZEERA notes:
Iraqi authorities have declared curfew in the southern city of Basra hours after demonstrators blocked the Umm Qasr port, considered a lifeline for Iraq, forcing it to halt all operations.
A city-wide curfew will be imposed from 3pm local time in Basra to quell weeks-long protests, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday, quoting an interior ministry spokesman.
One protester succumbed to his wounds after being shot in the head by security forces with a smoke grenade the night before, bringing the death toll this week to eight people. At least 25 people were also injured on Wednesday.
The Iraqi people continue to suffer.
What locals in Basra had coming through their public water service this morning , Tanoma district, Basra, southern Iraq. One of the richest oil cities in the world lacks fresh water.
The Iraqi people are suffering. The US government doesn't care. The US continues to occupy Iraq. The American people should care and, yes, we are responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi people.
Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "No Hero" went up earlier this morning.
The following community sites -- plus Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKER -- updated: