Archive | May 2013

Record High Student Debt And The Future of American Working Class

Much has been said about the fact that student loans have topped $1 trillion, nationally, surpassing credit card loans. But this figure is mentioned in corporate media as if it’s some abstract figure or quantity having no relevance to people’s lives. In the real world of people trying to make ends meet and survive, rather than the abstract world of the media as if they’re talking about the cosmos and alien life, student loans have turned into a way of enslaving those entering or trying to enter the “labor market(!)”, keeping them stuck with a debt most are ill equipped to pay back and sucking the last dime out of those who do manage to find work in a jobless growth, for the next 20 or 30 years of their lives. With $50,000 or even $100,000 in loans, college graduates start their productive years, not from zero, not from a clean slate, but from a deep hole they will have to try to climb out of for the rest of their lives, one illness, one loss of job and one family emergency from a financial ruin and devastation.

This “debt crisis”, as it’s come to be known, has exploded at the heels of the “subprime mortgage crisis” which resulted in millions losing their homes and banks making billions and whose economic effects have not yet subsided.

A new president gets elected in the height of the mortgage crisis and continues bailing out the banks and the new Attorney General proudly proclaims that banks may be too big too fail but not too big too jail, and so one person goes to jail for the economic havoc caused by pure and simple greed: a borrower who exaggerated his income on his loan application!

With wages stagnating and home prices rising, home buyers were convinced by “too big too fail” banks to undertake loans the banks knew they could not repay and those who already owned a home were lured into taking out loans against their homes to make up for stagnating incomes and rising healthcare and energy costs, resulting in the bursting of the bubble and banks walking away with all the billions they made while millions of people became homeless and jobless.

Our Attorney General didn’t see any wrongdoing and any reason to take action against those banks, but, maybe he would if they did something like money laundering and embezzlement of say over a trillion dollars? Multinational bank HSBC did exactly that last year and sure enough, Mr. Holder went after the law breaking bank and fined them the equivalent of their one month’s profit! But, don’t try that if you’re not a bank as you’ll likely spend the rest of your life in prison.

We see a similar scenario with credit card loans and now with student loans. Here, too, the “American dream” is being sold to students on a promissory note with their signature at the bottom. Those same “too big too fail” banks have shifted their attention to the sons and daughters of the working people and are branding them for life with lots of digits. With good paying jobs disappearing and unskilled jobs earning poverty wages, education seems the only way out – short of joining the military and killing people you don’t know and whose names you can’t pronounce. But, another trap has been set and millions are getting caught in it, by yet another scheme to fleece millions who are seen as nothing but subjects to exploit and make money off of.

As the class of the rich minority keeps hammering workers and further distances itself from the majority who are for ever left behind and struggling for the rest of their lives, always in, or at the edge of, poverty and in servitude and kept there, the upward mobility, the promised opportunity for moving up and achieving a comfortable and worry-free life, as advertised in “the American dream”, is no more for the vast majority, and the “freedom” in “pursuit of happiness” in the age of neo-slavery is as meaningful as it was for the slaves of a different kind and of a different time. The class mobility proclaimed by capitalism has, quietly and with surprising dexterity and adroitness, transformed into a quasi-caste system, solidifying and perpetuating class disparity and divergence. The relative comfort of a significant portion of the working class, with their proverbial color TV’s and cars and even a chance at home ownership of 50-60 years ago, is gone and is not coming back, absent of a major and ground shaking uprising and movement long overdue.

Inaccessible and unaffordable healthcare which keeps getting less and less affordable for tens of millions and keeps a gun on their heads, threatening to destroy their lives any moment, the affliction of unending and repressive student debt on the young, the scarcity of jobs and lowering of wages for those who do find it, cleanses what is left of the “middle class” and sweeps them into the lower echelons of the poor, with the powerful whip of almighty capital.

Under such conditions and future outlook and perpetual and profitable wars for Empire, the state finds itself with no choice, but to double down on its police power and incarcerations to protect its ruling class and the grotesque state of affairs they have created, sending whistle blowers like Bradley Manning to jail, stepping up surveillance of its citizens and even going after reporters.

Career advisors advise college grads to live with their parents, to compete with other college grads over jobs at the fast food industry and to not get sick! I say: forget that. Unto the streets! Let’s reclaim our future, out dignity and our freedom! Let’s stand up to greed, profiteering and oppression. Let’s show the Monsanto’s and J.P. Morgan’s and their lackeys in the White House and Congress that we won’t sit idly by while they destroy our lives, our food and our environment to make themselves richer. Only we the people can create a more just and livable world.Image

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Telling A Lie And A Truth In The Same Sentence

In a speech on Wednesday, Obama admitted that his drone attacks have killed civilians including children – hundreds of children, I should add. But, to be fair to the President, I refrain from saying “innocent children” because I have to admit we don’t know if those children were really innocent. According to US foreign policy, one must prove his or her innocence to avoid getting assassinated and frankly no one had ever proved those kids’ innocence. That’s the approach in deciding who’ll be blown to pieces: “suspected” Al Qaeda members and sympathizers and those who “plan” to attack “US interests” are all fair game and so are their families. Besides, they have reason to believe that at least some of those dark-skinned Muslim children, who lose fathers and uncles and other family members, will grow up to commit, or at least support, acts of terror against innocent US soldiers who mind their own business – in those foreign countries or neighboring countries (lots of neighboring countries with US troops to choose from).

Obama went on to suggest that “like all wars”, “war on terror” (a completely manufactured and bogus pretext for waging wars of imperial aggression in Asia, Middle East and Africa), should eventually come to an end, although, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Pentagon officials suggested the war on terror would continue for at least another 10 or even 20 years.

You have to give it to Obama. He’s something else. No wonder many of our genius liberals “love it when [they] wake up and Obama is president”. Who else can give such meaningless and meaningful speeches, at the same time? I’m reminded of a comedian I saw on a comedy show who said: TV commercials are amazing. They somehow manage to tell the truth and lie in the same sentence. Car dealers, for example, say: “come drive away a brand new car with no money down, and if you’ve got no credit, bad credit, delinquencies or bankruptcies it’s no problem, “on approved credit”. They lie for two minutes and then end it with a piece of truth: “on approved credit”.

Some pundits and “analysts” said his speech was significant and meant a change of direction. Rachel Maddow of Obama Worship Network, otherwise known as MSNBC, insisted “rhetoric is important”, when reminded that it was just that. It starts with rhetoric, she added!

Obama justified assassinating Anwar Al-Awlaki because he had issued a fatwa against the US and was planning to attack Americans and there was no opportunity to capture him, but he forgot to mention that no indictment was ever issued against him and no evidence was ever presented. He also forgot to mention three other US citizens who were also executed with US drones, including Al-Awlaki’s 16 year old son, Abdulrahman, which Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to on May 22, in a letter to Congress. When questioned about that assassination, Obama’s Press Secretary at the time, Robert Gibbs, who now is a frequent guest on news shows, including MSNBC, said that the 16 year old boy who was also a US citizen “should have had a more responsible father.”

Obama also suggested that the “Authorization to use military force” which was granted to the President on September 14, 2001, in the pro-war hysteria that had gripped the Congress after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, be shifted back to Congress, which according to the Constitution, is the body that’s supposed to make war and peace decisions. Even if we were to agree with the action of the Congress in 2001, the President – Bush or Obama – never really had the authority to wage all the wars, drone attacks, regime changes and assassinations that they both committed – especially Obama – under that authorization. This is what the relevant section said:
“(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

Obama, being a constitutional lawyer knows full well that he’s acting extra-judiciously and in violation of the Constitution. He just wants people to think that he gives a damn about the rule of law, while in reality, he doesn’t. He tells lies while at the same time tells a truth. His speech, if devoid of content, was amusing. Just as he did when he tried to justify secretly seizing phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors to scare off their sources who might report on government misconduct and atrocities, he seemed to be saying: “stop me before I commit more crimes”.

After his Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records causing irreparable harm to not only AP, but all news organizations who can potentially expose government wrongdoing, he said he’d be open to a federal “shield law”, which would protect journalists from government pressure to reveal their sources. In other words, he says: I did it because it wasn’t illegal. In his latest speech, he seemed to be asking Congress to take the authorization back because apparently he can’t help himself from killing people in the name of “war on terror”.

Zeke Johnson of Amnesty International USA said: “The Obama administration continues to claim authority to kill virtually anyone anywhere in the world under the ‘global battlefield’ legal theory and a radical redefinition of the concept of imminence.” Dixon Osburn of Human Rights First said: “the administration appears to be institutionalizing a problematic targeted killing policy without public debate on whether the rules are lawful or appropriate.”

Obama has clearly broken new ground in usurping special and dangerous authorities for the office of the Presidency – rights never given in the Constitution. And now he pleads ignorance and says that some of that authority should go back to Congress. If he honestly believed in what he preaches, why would he not only use that misplaced and misinterpreted authority, but go way beyond it for five years? That’s classic Obama. He claims to believe in government transparency, while leading one of the most secretive administrations ever. He claims to support government accountability, while his Justice Department goes after and punishes whistle blowers, and threatens reporters’ sources. He says Guantanamo should be closed, while refusing to use his authority to do it. He claims to champion the rule of law, while violating it, at the same time. And, as the comedian would say: he tells lies and truth in the same sentence.

The pretense of acting in accordance to the law is clearly just that: a pretense and a weak one at that. Nor is this anything new. For generations, US presidents have waged wars without regard to and with the full acquiescence of the Congress who refuses to hold the Executive Branch accountable, not to mention all the covert wars and acts of war waged by or with the help of the CIA and special ops. The fact is that the Executive Branch executes what the corporate Empire wants and the Congress is there to give the system legitimacy and a semblance of legality. The ruling corporate oligarchy, along with all government branches and the media it hires and owns, does what it wants for their enrichment. The rest is just for public deception.Image

Why Do They Hate Us?

“why do they hate us?”, some ask. Why do young men leave their home, travel thousands of miles, and come here to bomb and kill our people? That’s an understandable question and it has, I think, a reasonable answer. They hate because they’re indoctrinated and incited to hate by those who train and arm them and send them overseas to bomb and massacre innocent people. Those who direct these actions don’t call it terrorism, even though it clearly is.

I’m talking, of course, about the people in the Muslim world who can’t understand why Americans go to their countries and bomb and kill their people. They are right to ask why Americans hate them – much more than the Americans are justified to ask that.

In 2005, in Haditha, Iraq, several US marines massacred, execution style, 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including 7 children and 3 women. Among the victims was a toddler and a 76 year old man in wheelchair. Their action was not called terrorism and none of them served any jail time.

In 2007, an American Apache helicopter opened fire on a group of 12 Iraqi men, in Bagdad, including two Reuters reporters and killed 8 of them. When the survivors tried to help the wounded into a nearby van, another air strike killed the wounded and two more men. Then, they fired a hellfire missile on the van wounding a child and killing his father who was in the van. Reuters requested the footage under the Freedom of Information Act, but was denied. Then, in 2010, WikiLeaks published the footage, along with the video of a 2009 airstrike in Garani, Afghanistan, by a US B1 bomber, which killed up to 147 civilians (estimates vary from as low as 87), mostly children. These videos, along with other classified information and communication logs were obtained from Pfc. Bradley Manning who was the only one punished in relation to those atrocities, who’s been in military jail for over three years, on charges of espionage and aiding the enemy which carries the death penalty. No US soldier who has ever committed massacre of innocent people – and there have been many – no matter how cold blooded and no matter how monstrous the massacre, has ever been given any serious jail sentence. Only those who reveal atrocities get the death sentence or many years in prison, not those who commit those atrocities.

Last March, it happened again: this time 16 Afghan civilians were taken out of their beds in the middle of the night and executed. 9 of the victims were children. Only one soldier, Robert Bales, has been charged and will face court martial. It remains to be seen if he will face any jail time. After the incident, the US military quickly whisked him out of the country and returned him to the US, over the objections of the Afghan authorities who justifiably wanted to try him where the massacre took place. Wanting to try the killer where he committed the crime is not an Afghan tradition; it’s an internationally accepted practice, including and especially in the US. Would the US allow someone who massacres 24 Americans be taken out of the country? They actually do the opposite: they kidnap and bring to US, men who fight back or are thought to have fought back against American occupiers, and jail them indefinitely, including those who are known to have been kidnapped and imprisoned in error, without any respect or consideration for the sovereignty of the countries they were kidnapped from.

The dissimilarity between treatment of American terrorists and men of other backgrounds by the US does not stop there. Unlike the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed Boston Marathon, Bales was not called a terrorist, he wasn’t spoken as if he represented all Christians, his monstrous atrocity against 24 defenseless and innocent people, most of them children, was not attributed to his religion.to inflame hatred against over a billion people. He was given the chance to be represented by a lawyer from the time of his arrest and had the right to remain silent. He is also afforded excuses like stress, personal problems and depression in the media, and gets to plea insanity – luxuries terrorists who are not trained and armed by US Military are never allowed. The latter, along with their cooks, drivers, aids and innocent bystanders, are blindfolded and flown to Guantanamo Bay where they are water boarded and mistreated and kept in cages, indefinitely.

But, my main point – and my purpose from writing this – is not to answer the “why they hate us” question or to even point out the double standard and discrepancy in the labeling, attitude and treatment of perpetrators of bombings and massacres, depending on who they are. My main point is that there is a reason for such double standard and discrepancy. The disparate treatment serves a specific purpose, just as instilling racial and ethnic prejudice and hatred in soldiers serves a purpose – which of course is to incite them to kill without remorse or hesitation.

Calling bombings and massacres terrorism, regardless of who commits it, or conversely, calling both a criminal act committed by some deranged and crazy fanatics, without making a distinction between the two sides and without generalizations about certain people or religion, would annul and discredit the whole “war on terror”, which all wars of the Empire are now based and justified upon. Such de-categorization wound go against decades of systematic propaganda and brainwashing designed to garner support for their endless wars. Demonization of who are considered to be the enemy – whether it’s based on color, ethnicity or religion – makes people see others as not equal or worthy human beings and helps rally them behind their wars of imperial conquests. Just as soldiers are brainwashed by the military to make them fight better, so are the public by the media to prevent resistance to those wars. The inconsistency and unevenness is therefore purposeful and intentional and helps perpetuate wars, just as racism and racially induced hatred within the society has served to divide the people to better enable the ruling oligarchy to continue the rule of a small minority.

No one hates anyone by nature. What we all suffer from, regardless of our ethnic, religious or racial background, is millennia of conquests and wars and their blowback and consequences. We must all unite and stand in solidarity against the common enemy which is not any particular people, but world imperialism headed by the US.Image

The Making Of A Police State

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Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC (also known as OWN – Obama Worship Network) who invited to his show several of the Boston police involved in shoot out with the Boston Marathon bombers who ended up killing one of the brothers and wounding the other, couldn’t praise the cops enough, calling them heroes and raving about their courage and dedication.

There is a history of glorifying the police in this country by all mainstream media. Frequently, people are told about their heroism, service, self-sacrifice and commitment to public’s safety and protection.

But, you don’t have to be an African American or Hispanic living in one of many poor neighborhoods, or a political or labor or environmental activist who’s been involved in street protests to know that’s all a bunch of lies. Despite the fact that shows like “Cops” and other “Reality” TV programs that show cops in action are very selective as to which stories to broadcast, it’s hard to miss their violence, brutality, violation of people’s civil rights and warrior mentality. TV pundits talk about police shootings as if it’s some routine, ordinary act and part of their everyday job that they’re supposed to do. A show on True TV that shows police chases of drivers mentions nonchalantly police pointing their guns at and shooting at drivers who refuse to stop when ordered to do so. Some of these drivers may or may not be criminals, but, that’s not for police to determine. Their job is to make arrest, not to capture them dead or alive and not to execute them because they run. First of all, the punishment for refusing to stop is not death by firing squad and secondly, it’s not for them to issue that sentence.

Police in this country get military training and many are war veterans who return from killing people in foreign countries to join the urban equivalent of the military. Many of them are also racist. The history of Police racism and brutality against blacks is way too much to hide or revise by those who’d rather cleanse it from these ugly stains.

But, what was getting deliberately hidden from the public and not reported by news organizations for far too long was the fact that police brutality, including fatal shootings, were continuing on America’s streets against people of color and the poor, including defenseless homeless individuals pretty much unreported and unpublicized until the proliferation of video cameras which brought to public’s attention, at least some – a small percentage – of the police violence and repression going on in all major cities. Some of these incidents which finally made it into mainstream news, aside from their brutality, also provided a glimpse into some of the framing of innocent people going on which have sent far too many innocent people, especially young black men from poor families who can’t afford good lawyers, to prison, not to mention all those who are hauled to jail on minor drug charges. How else can you get one out of every 6 black men in jail?

That’s a far cry from how police officers who commit crimes are treated. Police officers are often either not charged with the crimes they commit or are routinely acquitted by carefully selected jury members at a carefully selected trial location. Often times, the trial site is moved to a part of town that’s heavily white when the misconduct took place in a black neighborhood. A favorite way for police departments to deal with police misconduct and violation of people’s rights is to transfer them to another precinct. It’s hardly a coincidence that that’s how the US military deals with their sexual predators and rapists. Instead of putting them in jail, they transfer them so they can assault and rape other women.

Not only are police often not held accountable for their misconduct, many laws are also written to protect them from citizens and make defending against their brutality difficult and risky. Resisting arrest as well as defending yourself against an officer who’s hitting you is a felony with mandatory jail time in most states.

None of this should come as a surprise since the police are the sworn defenders of the ruling 1%. As the gap between the rich and the poor widens and hunger and homelessness increases and more children are “left behind” and forced to drop out of school and get involved in crimes, the need to face and counter the poor on the streets, in order to defend the system and its beneficiaries, increases, and in parallel, so does the need to build even more prisons and put even more of the working class in them.

The police are the first line of defense against the suffering masses and the O’Donnells of the media know that. That’s why they keep glorifying them and calling them heroes and are willing to turn a blind eye on their crimes and misconduct. They are heroes alright – their heroes. And if there is ever a class conflict (how could there be not?), how could it not be displayed and reflected on the streets and neighborhoods where the poor live. That’s where the tires of the system hit the pavement and that’s where the coming battles will take place.

Why I Think Obama Is Worse Than Bush

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To put it simply, with Bush, everyone knew what to expect; we all knew what he stood for and what he was going to do. There was no misunderstanding or misjudgment. Obama was different, not in policy or class orientation, not on “War on terror”, or due process or civil rights, or government accountability and secrecy, or corporate welfare, or cozy relations with corporations or deregulation, or cutting spending on social programs that help the poor, or in giving tax breaks to the wealthy and not in bailing out banks, insurance companies and others, which as a whole and as a program and policy agenda makes him just as pro-war, pro-corporate oligarchy, pro-1% and anti-working class and anti-poor as the Bush-Cheney team, if not more. In fact, in some areas, he clearly outdid his predecessor, such as in punishing whistle blowers, grabbing power for the office of the presidency, extra-judicious assassinations, warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of citizens and drone attacks.

What is different about Obama is not his class orientation or allegiance, but appearance and form – not the content or substance of his program which is just as pro-war and pro-Wall Street as Bush, but in form. In fact, there has not been any president who has even tried to deviate from such pro-imperialist and pro-war policies, for generations.

Other politicians too have run on the promise of change – decades of war and squeezing the middle and lower classes, and politicians of both parties siding with the rich and powerful, has left the voting population yearning for change. That’s why running on the premise of change was nothing new when Obama adopted it in his 2007-2008 campaign. But, what was different about him which has made some political observers and analysts on the left to rightly call him “the more effective evil”, as a retort to the idea of “the lessor of two evils”, was the believability attached to him.

Arguably, the biggest part of the reason for this was that he was the first African American president and in that respect, he was part of a truly new development – a real change. But, what was lost on so many people among liberals and African Americans and others who embraced and welcomed this historic change was that the change, though significant as a historic event in overall race relations and as big a contrast as it was to the decades prior which only African Americans could fully and truly appreciate, was nevertheless, skin deep. Not only was it not a change in course or set of policies that would end or at least lessen the economic and racial injustices, his policies have been the continuation, and one could argue even intensification, of decades of attacks on working people which have resulted in widening the gap between the rich and poor and lowering of living standards of the poor majority, which includes the vast majority of African Americans, 90% of whom voted for him.

And even the superficial change in form and style was what the ruling class of wealthy wanted and needed, a form which ended up being a boon to them. Corporations, and especially the banks, had lost credibility among the people and another white male – Republican or Democrat – would seem too much like business as usual and status quo. Not that they conspired to find a fresh and new face to hide their old policies behind, but, when that new and fresh face did emerge serendipitously, they did not hesitate to embrace and take the most advantage of. The way this helped rather than hamper them is that that new charismatic face and new style, coupled with the historic development of a black president, hid, distracted from, protected and facilitated the continuation of their corporatist program.

As helpful this new face was to the corporations and their wealthy owners, by the same token and in the same measure, his presidency has been disastrous for working class. Poverty and hunger are at all-time high, while corporate profits are as high as ever. Hunger among children has risen from about 14% in 2009 to about 20%, and the new cuts, including those that are part of the Sequestration, are only making matters worse. The country is involved in several wars, while unemployment and incarceration of black youth on minor charges continues. Government oversight and regulation of corporations is nearly non-existent and is going through further cuts, while corporate welfare and tax loopholes continue. The environment is being ignored, education is getting unaffordable, student debt and homelessness is at all-time high and inmates in Guantanamo Bay prison camp who have been on hunger strike for over two months, including those who have been cleared for release and declared innocent, are being tortured twice a day by inserting a tube into their nose which goes to their stomach in order to force feed them and keep them alive. And all these that would have engendered some level of protest under Bush, go mostly unchallenged under Obama. And as if to aid with these state of affairs and this historic deception and fraud, the right-wing continues its racially motivated attacks on Obama which helps further galvanize support for him among African American and liberals, who continue to give him a free pass, despite everything.

The starting point for Dr. King to effect change was achieving racial equality and justice which could then lead up to dealing with economic justice which he started before he was assassinated. While there hasn’t been any improvement in racial affairs since the gains of the Civil Rights movement, there has been setback in the economic realm. But, how would another African American again start with the issue of racial injustice which still remains in need of change and attack the pressing issue of economic injustice which goes hand in hand with the former, when the first black president is in the White House? Not easy.

 

Tamarlain Tsarnaev’s Body

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Since he died of multiple gunshot wounds in a shoot out with Boston Police, on April 19, Tamarlain Tsarnaev’s family were unable to find a burial site that would take him, after three weeks of searching. They considered flying his body to Chechnya for burial where they’re originally from, but couldn’t afford the cost. They also considered cremating him and taking his ashes to bury there, although that’s against the Islamic customs, but feared the Russian Government wouldn’t allow it. Both brothers accused of the bombings were born in the US and are US citizens.

According to New York’s Daily News, Peter Stefan, of the Graham, Putney & Mahoney Funeral Parlors, contacted cemeteries in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey to find a cometary that would take him, to no avail.

Unlike two years ago, when the US Military dumped Osama Bin Laden’s body into the sea “as a respect to Islamic tradition that requires burial within 48 hours of death”, Tsarnaev’s body remained in police custody and there were no complaints in the Muslim world why it wasn’t buried or dropped into some sea within 48 hours.

After Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme publicly appealed for someone to take the body off their hands, Martha Mullen, a professional counselor from Richmond, Va., answered the call and helped make arrangements with Bilal Yasin El-Amin of The Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia which finally arranged the burial at the Islamic Center of Virginia and laid the body to rest, yesterday.

News organizations didn’t wonder why no one wanted the body to be buried in a cometary in their neighborhood. That was understood. They wondered why someone did finally step forward to help. They asked El-Amin to explain why his Islamic group helped make it possible. He referred to the group’s public statement on the matter, which reads: “We strongly disagree with his violent actions. But that does not release us from our obligation to return his body to the earth.” And, of course, they had to stress that they disagreed with his actions; otherwise, people might think arranging for his burial meant they agreed with him. An Islamic group helping bury the body of a Muslim terrorist: that’s asking for trouble. Mullen was asked that same question and she told the Associated Press: “Basically, because Jesus says love your enemies.” Thank God for Jesus for having taught that, which after three weeks, someone heeded that advice; otherwise, the corpse of a 26 year old would stay unburied in a “civilized” society in the 21st Century!

Tsarnaev’s widow, Katherine Russell, who was questioned by the police after her husband was killed, made sure she was completely disassociated from him by waiving her right to choose the spot. That freed her from further questioning, I suppose, which could be: “why did you choose a spot? Does that mean you supported what he did?”

Imam Ammar Amonette of the Islamic Center of Virginia where the body was finally buried tried to absolve his group, too. He said he had no idea Tsarnaev was being buried there and that they’re “furious” about it.

Their son, as misguided and brainwashed as he might have been and as horrible and monstrous his deed was, was still their son, who died a violent and painful death. Shouldn’t the parents be able to at least weep over their lost son’s body and bury him? Isn’t losing a son and having another in hospital awaiting execution hard enough for parents? Where is the compassion? And, this is a nation of mostly Christian people. That’s right. We’re not talking about barbaric, vindictive, uncivilized Muslims.

But, you know, the parents of other young, clean cut and good looking guys who have their entire future in front of them and choose to bomb public places and kill innocent people don’t have that problem. Their sons drop the bombs by making a few clicks of a joystick that control a drone, thousands of miles away from the bombing site. Those parents don’t have to disassociate themselves from their children and don’t have to look for a cometary that would agree to bury them.

 

Kidnappings In Cleveland

The news of kidnapping and imprisoning for over ten years three young women by a disgusting Ariel Castro (this scum is on Facebook) is absolutely sickening and maddening. But, what strikes me is that this low life predator also has a record of domestic violence against his ex wife who in 2005 got a protective order against him for breaking her nose, ribs and tooth and dislocating her shoulder, and according to her lawyer quoted by USA Today, frequently abducted his daughters whom he had no custody over and kept them from their mother. He challenged the protective order and when his wife’s attorney was unable to appear at a hearing, the judge dissolved the order in 2005. He had three young girls imprisoned in his house while brutalizing his ex wife and abducting his daughters!

I know protesters that have had more legal problems than he has, so far. There are people in jail for petty theft and possession of marijuana. So why is such a criminal left free to continue to enslave and abuse three young women in his house, for over ten years? He is the one who should be in prison for life with food forced down his nose, not men who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, kidnapped from their own countries by US military and flown to Guantanamo in shackles.

You can tell a lot about a society where wars and bombings and torturing innocent men get higher priority and resources than prevention of violence against women and punishing those who victimize them, including in – and especially in – the US military where prevails a culture of disinterest in and turning a blind eye on sexual attacks on women. A new Pentagon study found that just in 2012, there were 26,000 sexual attacks on women in US military. That’s over 70 sexual attacks on women soldiers by their male counterparts a day, an increase of 37% since 2010!

There are reports that perpetrators of these attacks that too often include violent rape are often transferred instead of being punished and even those who in rare cases are reprimanded do not spend a single day in jail. In fact, often, the victims are demonized, shamed, interrogated and questioned and told to forget and move on than the perpetrators are held to account. Say what you will, but, such outrageous number of cases do not happen without a corrupt culture from the very too on down.

And you still don’t think we need to turn the government on its freaking head and whip its ass?Image