Thursday, September 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street action grows & grows; solidarity march next Wed

Occupy Wall Street growing rapidly by Chris Bowers on Daily Koz.

This entry could be more positive. But how big the action gets & how long it lasts is up to us. Bowers doesn't seem to take any responsibility for growing it. But we can Bowers concludes At this point,
how long Occupy Wall Street lasts, and how big it gets, is anyone's guess.
Come on man. Get off your ass & help to make it last.

First African Woman to win Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai dies at 71

Nobel Peace Prize, Right Livelihood Winner Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)
From yesterday's Daily News (by Erin Einhorn) "[City Council Speaker Christine] Quinn is expected to win the backing of close ally Mayor Bloomberg [in the 2013 mayoral election] but the poll found that might backfire. Nearly half - 47% - of Democratic voters said a Bloomberg endorsement would make them less likely to support a candidate"

New Yorkers may be smarter than they get credit for

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The lynching in Georgia

Last night's state-sponsored lynching in Georgia reminds us of many things we've known for a long time, particularly how little human life means in the U.S. (except when it's still in the womb). And how much less it means if it belongs to a person of color. Troy Davis your name will not be forgotten. It will become a battle cry for life not death.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Palestine at the UN

In its earliest days, the battle cry of the Zionist movement was "A land without a people for a people without a land." Sometime this week, the people who weren't on the land will most likely apply to the UN for admission as a member state. Yes Mr. Netanyahu, they are still there. The Israelis, with the help of another nation that knows all about stealing land and resources from people they cannot see, will oppose the Palestinian application for statehood in the UN. The Israeli and U.S.foolish opposition to Palestinian statehood will surely heighten tensions in the region and endanger the safety of all Israelis and Americans. This is really simply a matter of recognizing reality. The Palestinians are a people and deserve the same sovereignty of all people. All I can say is if the Palestinians succeed in this endeavor, Mazel Tov.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Koch's pooper scooper law will come in handy after his intervention in Queens

I have always believed that Ed Koch's only accomplishment in 12 years as Mayor was the pooper scooper law, which is lucky given his "contribution" to this week's special election in Queens. It's interesting that his only constituency is now in Israel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

U.S. Poverty at Record High; Uninsured Hits 20-Year Peak

Here are some of the results of the last 40 years of U.S. Government economic policies. It's just not possible to enable inequality of the proportions it exists here w/o at the same time throwing more-and-more people into poverty.

U.S. Poverty at Record High; Uninsured Hits 20-Year Peak

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept. 13: Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! will spend the hour with Noam Chomsky on Tuesday, Sept. 13 [WBAI-FM (radio) or MNN 1 (TV) @ 8AM]

As the nation commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11, he will discuss, among other topics, the new edition of his book, 9/11. Published more than a decade ago, it is still one of the most uncompromising assessments of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

In Memory of Akil Al-Jundi on the 40th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion

On this the 40th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion just a word in memory our friend & comrade Akil Al-Jundi (Minister of Information for the Attica Brothers) who died in 1997. At a National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality rally (in 1996) Akil said:
We, the poor and oppressed people in this country, we are only our own liberators. Nobody can protect us but ourselves. We have to stick together and forge a strong alliance. I end by saying to you, self-respect, self-defense and self-determination
Those words are as important, if not more, today than when they were spoken.

[Quote from Revolutionary Worker, #920, Aug. 17, 1997]

UN to accept Palestine as a member state, U.S. still obstructing

Photo by Mohamad Torokman/MaanImages

At the UN, the funeral of the two-state solution
by Ilan Pappe
(The Electronic Intifada
12 September 2011)

We are all going to be invited to the funeral of the two-state solution if and when the UN General Assembly announces the acceptance of Palestine as a member state.

The support of the vast majority of the organization’s members would complete a cycle that began in 1967 and which granted the ill-advised two-state solution the backing of every powerful and less powerful actor on the international and regional stages.

Even inside Israel, the support engulfed eventually the right as well as the left and center of Zionist politics. And yet despite the previous and future support, everybody inside and outside Palestine seems to concede that the occupation will continue and that even in the best of all scenarios, there will be a greater and racist Israel next to a fragmented and useless bantustan.

The charade will end in September or October — when the Palestinian Authority plans to submit its request for UN membership as a full member — in one of two ways.

It could be either painful and violent, if Israel continues to enjoy international immunity and is allowed to finalize by sheer brutal force its mapping of post-Oslo Palestine. Or it could end in a revolutionary and much more peaceful way with the gradual replacement of the old fabrications with solid new truths about peace and reconciliation for Palestine. Or perhaps the first scenario is an unfortunate precondition for the second. Time will tell.

A substitute dictionary for Zionism

In ancient times, the dead were buried with their beloved artifacts and belongings. This coming funeral will probably follow a similar ritual. The most important item to go six feet under is the dictionary of illusion and deception and its famous entries such as “the peace process,” “the only democracy in the Middle East,” “a peace-loving nation,” “parity and reciprocity” and a “humane solution to the refugee problem.”

The substitute dictionary has been in the making for many years describing Zionism as colonialism, Israel as an apartheid state and the Nakba as ethnic cleansing. It will be much easier to put it into common use after September.

The maps of the dead solution will also be lying next to the body. The cartography that diminished Palestine into one tenth of its historical self, and which was presented as a map of peace, will hopefully be gone forever.

There is no need to prepare an alternative map. Since 1967, the geography of the conflict has never changed in reality, while it kept constantly transforming in the discourse of liberal Zionist politicians, journalists and academics, who still enjoy today a widespread international backing.

Palestine was always the land between the river and the sea. It still is. Its changing fortunes are characterized not by geography but by demography. The settler movement that came there in the late 19th century now accounts for half of the population and controls the other half through a matrix of racist ideologies and apartheid policies.

Peace is not a demographic change, nor a redrawing of maps: it is the elimination of these ideologies and policies. Who knows — it may be easier now than ever before to do this.

Exposing Israel’s protest movement

The funeral will expose the fallacy of the present Israeli mass protest movement, while at the same time highlight its positive potential. For seven weeks, mostly middle class Israeli Jews have protested in huge numbers against their government’s social and economic policies.

In order to keep the protest as large a movement as possible, its leaders and coordinators do not dare to mention occupation, colonization or apartheid. The sources of evil for everything, they claim, are the brutal capitalist policies of the government.

On a certain level they have a point. These policies disabled the master race of Israel from fully and equally enjoying the fruits of Palestine’s colonization and dispossession. But a fairer division of the spoils will not ensure normal life for either Jews or Palestinians; only the end to looting and pillage will.

And yet they also showed skepticism and distrust in what their media and politicians tell them about the socio-economic reality; it may open the way for a better understanding of the lies they were fed about the “conflict” and their “national security” over so many years.

The funeral should energize us all to follow the same distribution of labor as before. Palestinians urgently need to solve the issue of representation. The progressive Jewish forces in the world have to be more intensively recruited to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and other solidarity campaigns.

Intifada at the proms

The recent disruption of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at the prestigious BBC Proms in London shocked the gentle Israelis more than any genocidal event in their own history.

But more than anything else, as reported by senior Israeli journalists who were there, they were flabbergasted by the presence of so many Jews among the protesters. These very journalists kept depicting in the past the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and BDS activists as terrorist groups and extremists of the worst kind. They believed their own reports. To its credit, the mini-intifada at the Royal Albert Hall at least confused them.

Putting one state into political action

In Palestine itself the time has come to move the discourse of one state into political action and maybe adopt the new dictionary. The dispossession is everywhere and therefore the repossession and reconciliation have to occur everywhere.

If the relationship between Jews and Palestinians is to be reformulated on a just and democratic basis, one can accept neither the old buried map of the two-state solution nor its logic of partition. This also means that the sacred distinction made between Jewish settlements near Haifa and those near Nablus should be put in the grave as well.

The distinction should be made between those Jews who are willing to discuss a reformulation of the relationship, change of regime and equal status and those who are not, regardless of where they live now. There are surprising phenomena in this respect if one studies well the human and political fabric of 2011 historic Palestine, ruled as it is by the Israeli regime: the willingness for a dialogue is sometimes more evident beyond the 1967 line rather than inside it.

The dialogue from within for a change of regime, the question of representation and the BDS movement are all part and parcel of the same effort to bring justice and peace to Palestine. What we will bury — hopefully — in September was one of the major obstacles in the way to realizing this vision.

The author of numerous books, Ilan Pappe is Professor of History and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows reflect on anniversary

Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Reflects on 10th Anniversary of Attacks

The members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows are grateful for the expressions of remembrance and concern being offered on the 10th anniversary of the events which took the lives of our loved ones. On this day we ask those who feel compassion for our loss to expand their compassion to include others who continue to experience loss ten years later: innocent families in Afghanistan and Iraq experiencing the loss of their loved ones and displacement from their communities as the result of war and political strife; Muslim-Americans subjected to bias and violence at home; those denied the protections of our Constitution and law, whether in Guantanamo or in our own country; those suffering from job loss and economic dislocation related to the cost of war and rising military budgets; and those who have seen their civil iberties and freedoms exchanged for the false promise of security.

The lesson of 9/11 is that we live in a connected world. We rise or fall together. As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” On this 10th anniversary, let us honor those we lost by recognizing our kinship with people all over the world, and affirming the values and principles that will guarantee peaceful tomorrows for everyone.

Sahil Bhatia/David Lerner, Riptide Communications, (212)260-5000,
Andrea LeBlanc,

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thoughts on "Ten Years After"

I have been studiously avoiding all the self-satisfied & politically indulgent media coverage of "Ten Years Since 9/11." But perhaps some personal thoughts are appropriate:

I was here & saw much of it on TV.

Andrew was safely out-of-town, starting college in Ithacca. There were many references to 9/11 @ his graduation four years later.

Ann was working near Wall Street @ the time & therefore not far from the World Trade Center. If my memory serves she had to walk home from work that day, since there were no vehicles moving people. Fortunately at the time her knees were in better shape.

My main memory is of the wonderful deli across the street from our house. It was owned by two Lebanese brothers. It was one of our favorite neighborhood places. It is no more, because a few days after 9/11 (in somewhat of a preview of our response as a nation) it was fire-bombed by one or more "patriotic Americans." Thinking safety the better part of valor they never tried to reopen. When I walk by the old deli location, I often think about the brothers, & hope they are doing well, (It has since morphed into a porn video store).

Now back to trying to avoid "Ten years after."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Nov. 5: New York City Labor Chorus 20th Anniversary Concert

In the immediate aftermath of Labor Day, it seems like a great time to inform (or remind) anyone reading this that the New York City Labor Chorus will celebrate its 20th anniversary @ Town Hall on Nov. 5th., 8PM
Tickets $25.00, Seniors $15.00

As most of you know, Ann has been a Chorus member virtually from its beginning & went with the Chorus on its recent trip to Cuba.

There are 1,500 seats in Town Hall (123 West 43St) & we plan to fill every one of them. That will not be possible without you. The tickets are now available. In addition to organizing as many people as you can to be there Nov. 5th, the Chorus would appreciate any ideas you may have for promoting the concert.

I can be reached through Facebook or

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sept. 15: Rally & March to UN for Palestinian Sovereignty

Rally and March to the United Nations for Palestinian Sovereignty

Thursday, September 15,
4:30 pm: Gather at Times Square
5:30 pm: March to Grand Central and the U.N.

Palestinians Tell the World: Sovereignty Means Securing ALL Our Rights!
Palestinians and their supporters everywhere are mobilizing to remind the world of their right to self-determination.
In New York we are marching to the United Nations because the world's attention is focused on the vote on Palestinian statehood scheduled to take place soon.

For over six decades, the U.N. has approved numerous resolutions promising Palestinians their basic rights, none of which has been implemented.

We come to the U.N. to demand:
-Sovereignty, Equality, and the
-Right of Return for Palestinians NOW!
-End All U.S. Aid to Israel!
-End the Occupation!
-Support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions!

For more information, email
event on Facebook

Sponsored by the Palestine U.N. Solidarity Coalition

Endorsed by: Abna'a Albalad Center for the Right of Return-Damascus, Syria, Action for a Progressive Pakistan, Adalah-NY, Al-Awda NY,, American Iranian Friendship Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, Arab American Union Members Council, BAYAN-USA, Bergen County Green Party, Coalition for Palestinian Rights (Minneapolis), CODE PINK-NYC, Concerned Families of Westchester, Delaware Valley Veterans For America, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Existence is Resistance, Fight Imperialism Stand Together, Harlem Fightback Against War at Home & Abroad, Freedom Socialist Party, International Action Center, ICAHD-USA, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, International League of People's Struggle-NY LOC, International Socialist Organization, Jewish Voices for Peace-Westchester, Jews Say No!, Labor for Palestine, May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights, Middle East Crisis Response, New York City Labor Against the War, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, Northeast Al Quds Day Committee, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, Progressive Democrats of America, Radical Women,, Socialist Action, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Temple U., SJP NYU, Union of Palestinian Women Committees-Palestine, United National Antiwar Coalition, US Palestinian Community Network, Veterans for Peace, War Resisters League, WESPAC, West Queens Greens, Women Against Military Madness: Mideast Committee (Minneapolis), Women in Black Union Square, Workers World Party

Saturday, September 03, 2011

What the right-wing really thinks: "Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American"

The Arizona attorney-general has challenged the 1965 Voting Rights Act The Voting Rights Act very simply prohibits states from enacting laws that prevent people from voting based on race. In other words Arizona Republicans want to go back to the pre-Civil Rights movement America. This strategy began with the totally bogus destruction of ACORN and has escalated to this day.

This article by right-wing propagandist Matthew Vadum lays out their deeply racist ideology. But remember it's really about winning. Stopping anyone from voting who disagrees with them. In other words, "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."

I don't know what's "American" and "UnAmerican" in the 21st century, but I do know the right wing violates any pretensions to democracy Americans seem to hold.

"Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American" by Matthew Vadum