Monday, October 14, 2019

Ecuador's revolting situation: Why that can't happen here

    Thank goodness for FaceTime.  Thank goodness for Skype.  And even Twitter, YouTube and Instagram aren't really all that bad if you want to get the real news about what is really going on in this world.

      My friend Gabriella just Skyped me from Quito, Ecuador.  "What the freak is going on down there," I asked her.  Ecuadorians have staged massive protests there for the last 14 days.

      "People here in my country are just sick and tired of being ripped off by international bankers, corrupt presidents and global corporations out to make a huge profit at our expense."  Hmmm.  Sounds like what is happening here in the USA too -- only with one big exception.  Salt-of-the-earth Americans never seem to mind getting ripped off. 

     All you gotta do here in my country is tell the American "common man" that he's just a victimized down-trodden victim of "latte-drinking liberals" and they will instantly allow you to commit any economic horror on them that you can think of -- fleece their paychecks, rob them blind, steal their homes and even turn their children into mindless numb robots and set their grandmothers afloat on icebergs. 

     Yet nobody here in America even seems to notice that they are being screwed royally by the neo-con country-club set -- let alone actually protest.  Not only that but America spends billions, trillions of dollars trying to defeat countries that oppose its shoddy American empire -- yet won't spend hardly a penny to help those truly in need such as women without access to healthcare in Alabama or victims of home repossession in Ohio or hurricane victims in Florida and Puerto Rico.

     "No one in Ecuador," said my friend, "ever trusts the local news -- which lies through its teeth, falsely reporting that all us thousands of protestors are taking to the streets in support of the corrupt president, the bankers and the IMF, not against them."

     Boy does that sound familiar.  Didn't something similar to that just happen in our own mainstream media with regard to protests in Venezuela, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Palestine, et cetera?  Where protestors in these countries all support the working class but the press here in America reports that the protesters are supporting banksters instead?  Or that banksters and crass invaders are actually the good guys?

      But, trust me, something like the current Ecuadorian protest won't ever happen here.  There will never be any mass protests by working-class heroes against corrupt banksters here.  Sometimes I think that America's working class is totally composed of masochists.

     "They are shooting rubber bullets at protestors," continued my friend, "aiming straight for their eyes.  The indigenous people are suffering the brunt of these attacks.  But still we keep protesting despite the danger because all of the people down here are really pissed off.  Correa was an exception, but now Moreno is trying to side with the IMF, choosing money over country.  We've seen far too many of our presidents just take the money and run."

     That happens here too.  George Bush for instance.  But nobody here in America never seems to remember or even to mind that we Americans are constantly being victimized and scalped by shady politicians, war-profiteers and banksters.  The Average Joe here just wants to have a beer with Bush or shake hands with Clinton or go to a Trump rally or fondly reminisce about Reagan or Obama.  Or even about Nixon!  Although nobody ever wanted to have a beer with Nixon.

      "We are stockpiling food here," said my new on-the-ground citizen-reporter in Quito.  "I have enough food for three days."  That sounds just like what recently happened in northern California when PG&E cut off electricity to 3,000,000 people -- and once again, even in NorCal, nobody seemed to object or to even mind.

     "What do you expect the results of all this will be?" I asked my friend.

     "There are negotiations going on now.  We're getting the 'austerity measures' ended.  All these protests are actually working!"  Good.  People power saves the day!  Banksters, carpetbaggers and grifters of Equator, be gone before someone drops a casa on you as well!

     Ah, if only we had that kind of people power here in the United States too.... 

     Every single working man and woman in all 50 of our so-called united states should be out on the picket lines supporting General Motors strikers.  But they are not.  Let's do something about that!


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Friday, October 11, 2019

Syria: Eating the Kurds -- and why

     What's with Donald Trump?  Is he really all that stupid?  Or just playing with us like a fox in the hen house?

     I recently went to a guest lecture at the University of Damascus, given by visiting Australian professor Tim Anderson.  There were approximately 600 students in attendance -- not counting the balcony seats. 

     Professor Anderson is an acknowledged expert on Syria.  "But I couldn't even get my books published in Australia."  Sounds typical.  Tell the truth and shame the media?  Never a safe idea.  Just ask Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

     "I don't believe that Trump is a stupid man," said the professor, "but the system is making him stupid.  There is a great deal of cynicism in Washington.  They say one thing and do another.  For instance, America funded and weaponized ISIS.  It's all documented."

     After the lecture, I found a tiny little ice cream shop in the Old Damascus souk and thought about what the professor had said -- in view of this latest Turkish invasion against Syrian Kurds.

     No, Trump isn't stupid.  While on the surface he appears to finally be doing the Christian thing and pulling American troops out of Syria where they never belonged in the first place.

     But Trump is acting stupidly -- like a fox, a fox in the hen house.  Not Christian at all.  And the Syrian Kurds are his chickens.  They were told that they weren't but they are.

     And Trump has just left the Kurdish hen house unlocked.

     And yet....  And yet Americans seem to actually hate Trump for endangering the Kurdish chickens, right?  But.  When your goal is to turn all of independent wonderful Syria into Kentucky Fried Chicken, then leaving the Kurdish hen house unlocked is the wily thing to do.  A Kurd is a Kurd, sure, but the bottom line is that a Syrian Kurd is still a Syrian.

     And Trump the Fox is set on having President Assad for his Sunday dinner.  How ironic.  Right after he and Melania get back from church.

     President Assad is a good guy who has been lied about and maligned by American media -- both Left and Right.  But it's hard for most Americans to see the president of Syria as a good guy when Trump's swamp in Washington can only see him as dinner.

     To paraphrase what else Professor Anderson said in his lecture, "If chickens ever want to stay safe, they need to stick together."  For Christ's sake, yes!

PS:  At the university president's reception, I was amazed and pleased when they served us Ferrero Rocher chocolates.  See?  The Syrian chickens have more in common with us American chickens than you would think.


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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Powering off:  PG&E just shot itself in the foot

     "But what am I going to do with all this spoiled chicken in my refrigerator -- and how in the freak can I watch TV?" 3,000,000 Californians are probably asking themselves this very question right now.  Ha.  Just get used to playing your own game of "Survivor".  Outwit, out play, outlast.

      And don't be surprised if a whole new bunch of babies are born nine months from now -- as people run out of things to do without their iPhones.

    But mainly, by playing Island of the Idols with 3,000,000 people's lives (probably as payback for when Californians accused PG&E of starting some of those deadly wildfires last year), PG&E has made it abundantly clear to the world that now would be a really excellent time to have solar power instead.

     To paraphrase the Pussycat Dolls, "Dontcha just wish you had solar power like me!?!"


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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Union Maid: My wonderful visit with President Assad

    The phone rang in my hotel room in Damascus the other day.  "Get yourself down to the lobby ASAP!" said someone, not sure who.  I dashed out the door, flew to the elevator, ran to the buffet table, grabbed up some tomatoes, feta cheese, hummus and tea.  I was ready for anything!

     And guess what I was ready for?  Get outta town!  Apparently President Assad himself was going to meet with us today -- trade-union representatives from all over the world.  Holy cow!  This is some heavy-duty shite.

     "He will shake your hand," said the person next to me.  "There will be high levels of security involved.  In fact, an Israeli drone could even blow us all up!"  What a hot story that would be for my blog -- except that it won't happen because a fortune-teller told me years ago that I'm not spozed to die for another nine years.

     I just hope that I don't blubber and drool.

     And then suddenly we were all on the move.  Out the front door of the conference center.  Herded through security screening.  Boarded onto a bus.  Driven down the mountainside to downtown Damascus.  Dropped off in front of Syria's answer to the White House West Wing.  Nice carpet.  "There he is!"

     And then here's me, actually shaking hands with President Assad.  "Thank you for saving Syria!" I exuded like some star-struck school-girl Beatles fan.  And then the President of Syria spoke to our group.

     "The conflicts here are unreal," he said.  "Not that they don't exist but they are unreal in that they don't express the real interests of the working people of the world's countries.  We here in Syria try to express the real interests of working people.  That's why I'm happy to meet with you today -- because skilled workers represent the veins and the arteries of every society.  If the working class is okay, the society is okay."  Except of course in America where they are treated like disposable peons and peasants.

      "War is the most important challenge for us now.  We're trying to express the interests of the Syrian people -- and for this we are paying a great price.  And all through the rest of the world as well, even including conflicts in Ukraine and the South China Sea, the same foundation is represented -- the conflict between workers and the wealthy.  All the wars are linked to this conflict.  All are interconnected." 

     Sad but true.  From Vietnam in the 1960s to Iraq, Ferguson, Venezuela, Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine, Detroit, Flint and Honduras today, working people are getting screwed by the wealthy.  Woodie Guthrie was right.,PRETTY-BOY-FLOYD,109236733.html

       "State presidents have become more like CEOs, working for corporations.  And if they don't pay the corporations, they will no longer be president.  In one night alone, 250 million dollars of weaponry was fired on Syria."  Who profited from that?  Trump had his marching orders for sure.  

     "And regarding France's President Macon?  The same thing happened.  He gave the order to attack Syria and suddenly he is a hero!  Elections are focused on financial interests alone.  In countries across the world, there have been campaigns to weaken trade unions -- so that the only ideology that remains is brutal globalization."  President Assad has been badly maligned by the Western media -- solely because he refused to go along with this program.

     "For every ten dollars in profit, one study said that eight dollars goes to the world's wealthy.  This is a great failure because workers are not partners.  CEOs get millions, hundreds of millions of dollars at the end of the year.  The gap between producers and owners has widened."  No one in their right mind can deny this.

     "In the 1970s, the workers' role in politics widened and they played a major role here in Syria.  And then we got sanctioned and blockaded.  We here in Syria have never been extremists.  But everybody else was going toward privatization throughout the world and conditions for workers elsewhere got worse and worse."

     1970s?  That reminds me.  I owe President Assad an apology.  I had believed that his father was a tyrant -- but here in Syria I've been schooled with the truth.  America hated Assad's father because Hafez Assad also supported the working class.  WTF?  Even I had fallen for that cheesy American propaganda.  Sorry about that.

     "We currently have a vibrant private sector here in Syria but the workers also have a big role.  We no longer have tourists or exports [due to America's proxy dirty "war" on Syria] but you can see that employees still get salaries.  Education is free here, and so is healthcare."  Wow!  I coulda had a free root canal on my sore tooth!

     "People die for their country here because they are partners in this country -- but we don't think this [proxy invasion] will end any time soon, however, due to globalization processes."  If some strong-arm entity invaded America, would Americans drop all their petty differences, unite together and fight against the invader?  Hard to say.  We've already let global corporations invade us -- gave up without a fight.  But the Syrian people obviously have all joined forces and fought back.  Good for them.

     "When workers become real partners in governing, then our work is done.  There are no conflicting interests when public interests become everyone's interests.  Terrorists and proxy terrorists will no longer exist."

     Then President Assad thanked us for visiting Syria during these difficult times.  "Any questions?  Please feel safe to speak freely."  What an opportunity!  But then a lot of trade-union reps blew it by not asking actual questions but just describing themselves or making pretty speeches using diplomatic protocol.  C'mon, guys!  Ask a freaking question!  President Assad is knowledgeable, friendly, amiable and approachable.  Don't pass up this magical chance!  Don't make me stand up and ask those questions myself!

      Finally the union rep from Germany asked a question.  "What about the international banking system?  How does Syria find a role outside of that?  Perhaps with the many other countries now being sanctioned?"  Good question, German guy.

     "We're working on it.  The United States is now also blockading itself."  Yep, that's us -- happily shooting ourselves in the foot by declaring economic war on so many other countries, spreading ourselves too thin by declaring yet another stupid "war" that, even though it is harming Syrians now, will in the long run hurt America more.  In the future, nobody on the entire planet is gonna want to "friend" America. 

     "Most of the products we used to import from America, we now import from other countries.  20 years ago we would have been in trouble -- but not now.  It is a whole different world.  A network of new relations and new systems.  Russia is working on a new banking system for instance.  With every country we trade with there is a different agreement with credit lines." 

     I've run worn out at least two ballpoint pens in the past 24 hours alone.  This is interesting stuff.

     More union reps spoke.  No more questions, however.  Mostly just  rhetorical stuff.  But then Max Blumenthal stepped up to the plate.  Oooh, this is gonna be good.  "Why has the Syrian military not hit back after all the Israeli attacks?"  Wow.  He actually went there.

     "There is a plan -- America, France, Israel, etc. have cost us almost 50% of our army.  We have done much but we still have significant steps.  We need more deterrent capabilities.  We did not have significant capabilities.  They had material and capabilities but we have a long-range plan."  Yeah what!  The American bullies picked on Syria just because they could -- but at great cost Syria has actually fought back.  American schoolyard bullies and their ISIS proxies weren't expecting that.  Humph.

      And an Iranian union rep finally came up with a good question too.  "What's happening in Idlib and what about sanctions?  How do you face sanctions?"

      "We will liberate every part of Syria," the president answered.  "The stages of our plan will continue to liberate us all.  As for the U.S. airstrikes, they said that they attacked al Qaeda but they actually made attacks against us.  Some Syrians have acted against their own country but most are highly patriotic.  We can talk about a real victory, however, only when we can make independent decisions -- but at this point the American financial powers are greater than in Europe so America is still the policy decider.  As for sanctions, the U.S. still has a monopoly on technology.  10% of Air Bus parts are American."

      Syrians clearly love Syria under President Assad.  For instance, over 390,000 Syrian refugees and some 1.3 million internally displaced persons have returned back home just since last year.  They don't want to hang out in Europe or Jordan or even Lebanon.  They want to be safely back home with President Assad.  They vote with their feet.

     "The next step should be restoring Syria's infrastructure.  We have a common vision.  We can't wait, can't change anything by criticism...."  I missed what President Assad said next because my translation transmitter just turned off.  New transmitter.  Problem solved.

     "Workers' unions are very active in Syria.  They act as advocates.  They are financially organized and cover all of the country even to the remotest village.  They have excellent pension plans and give workers vacations and healthcare." 

     In fact, before being cruelly invaded by American, Zionist and Saudi proxies, Syria was well on its way to being one of the most advanced countries in the world.  I read somewhere that before America and its terrorist proxies invaded it, Syria was ranked number ten worldwide in something or other.  Healthcare?  Education?  Good stuff like that. 

      Hell, the main reason that America demanded "regime change" in Syria seems to be that all those green-eyed monsters in DC simply got too jealous for their own good.  "What's mine is mine -- and what's yours is mine too."  It's okay for toddlers think like that -- but shouldn't we expect more from our national leaders?  Right now, President Assad is looking more and more like the kind of guy that we would like to have as a president.  Not an "evil dictator" at all, President Assad actually is the working-class hero that Trump pretends to be.

     And in another comparison, the U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering impeaching Donald Trump for some dumb-arse thing that he said in a phone call.  But what about all the horrible and barbaric murders he committed in Syria?  Or even his many deplorable crimes against America workers?  How come no one is impeaching him for that?   

PS:  While I was shaking hands with the honestly-elected President of Syria, someone took a photo of us.  So.  If anyone has a copy of said photo, pleeze let me know.  Gotta hang it on my wall.  Gotta put it on my FaceBook page!

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

My field trip to ancient Maaloula: Saint Martha vs. America, Zionists, Saudis & ISIS

     In his latest book, The Management of Savagery, Max Blumenthal gently reminds us of the obvious -- that savagery can never be managed.  Once you let the monster out of the bag, it can never be put back inside again.

     This truism is clearly obvious to even the dimmest bulbs on the porch -- unless of course you are either delusional or in charge of America's foreign policy.  "They may be monsters but they are our monsters."  I forget who said that.  Perhaps Osama bin Ladin's first American handler back in the good old mujaheddin days?

     "I want to go to Douma and Yarmouk today," I said to the desk clerk at my hotel in Damascus.  "How can I get there?  Take a taxi?"

      "You could -- but it would be expensive and take you over an hour each way.  But why would you even want to go there?"

     "To see the very place where the American media made up all those lies about President Assad using chemical weapons of course," I replied.

     "We have a tour bus leaving for Maaloula in a half-hour.  If you are desiring to see some war-torn ruins, that would be a good place to start."  Plus the tour bus was free.  Sure.  Sign me up.  I got onto the bus.

     "Maaloula is a rocky cliff-side town famous for its ancient Christian monasteries," said our tour's organizer.  "Legend has it that St. Martha herself retired there in 40 A.D.  Residents of Maaloula still speak Aramaic."  Geez Louise, this town is out in the middle of nowhere.  How did Saint Martha even manage to find the place?

     "During the proxy invasion of Syria, the Saudis, Americans and Zionists supported a gang of al-Qaeda-slash-ISIS 'rebels' who terrorized this town.  See that arched gate over there?  An ISIS suicide bomber blew it up first, and then ISIS berserkers rampaged throughout the city."

     Don't you just hate hypocrisy?  When elected officials in Washington constantly claim ad nausea to be morally holier-than-us just because they name-drop the God-word on TV all the time -- all the while secretly supporting al Qaeda and ISIS on the down-low?  That's totally un-Christian behavior. 

     But if Jesus ever had to make a choice between siding with Saint Martha and the Arab Christians of Maaloula or else siding with the heinous American, Saudi and Zionist criminals who support ISIS?  It's clearly a no-brainer who he would choose!  And all those phony American "Christians" who always continue to elect and re-elect butchers like Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump?  They ought to be ashamed of themselves.  And Jesus is clearly ashamed of them too.

     But I digress.

     As our brave little bus slowly drove up the steep narrow winding streets of Maaloula, we could still see what was left of various bombed-out homes, shops and holy places, still clinging precariously to the cliff walls.

     "Al Qaeda forces then asked their Saudi handlers what to do with the residents of Maaloula.  'Kill them all,' came the reply."  Even the U.S. media had a hard time pretending that these butchers were "rebels" and "freedom fighters" -- but even the New York Times managed to pull it off.  And NPR actually had the nerve to insinuate that these al-Qaeda-slash-ISIS "rebels" were actually saving some brutally kidnapped nuns, not holding them hostage.

     Our tour bus continued to wind its way up the steep hillside streets of Maaloula until we finally came to yet another bombed-out building on the mountaintop.  "This used to be a nice hotel for pilgrims," said our guide.

     The bombed-out hotel was made even sadder by the sight of the twisted steel of partially-destroyed playground equipment in front of it.  A mangled slide.  A broken teeter-totter.  Some metal springs that used to hold up bouncy plastic animals for kids to ride on -- you've seen stuff like that in almost every park in America.

     "I came here two years ago," said one of the tourists in our group.  "Much government-sponsored restoration work has been done on the monasteries and churches since then."

     And the pilgrims have also returned as well.  I counted eleven huge tour buses parked outside the Melkite church and another eight tour buses parked outside St. Martha's former monastery.  "If you rebuild it, they will come."

     But wait!  It's hot outside.  Is anyone selling ice cream in Maaloula?  Yes?

     Like Jesus resurrecting from the grave, this wonderful town is in the process of restoring itself.  Thank goodness that ISIS is gone!  The Saudis would never have let me eat ice cream.

     Managing savagery is an impossible task.  Americans need to finally realize that and stop arming and training all of their barbaric al-Qaeda-slash-ISIS savages.  But first things first.  How do you say "ice cream" in Aramaic?

PS:  I can never really take any of my fellow Americans' petty complaints about their lives seriously any more -- not after having seen all the pain and suffering that America's dirty proxy "war" on Syria has brought to Maaloula.

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Springsteen, Baez, Robeson & me: My five minutes of fame in Damascus

     The conference I'm attending in Damascus has been going on for over seven hours already.  Approximately 200 trade-union delegates from all over the world had arrived here in order to express solidarity with their fellow trade unions in Syria.

     However, unlike in America where corporate CEOs are the top guns and only teachers and nurses have enough cajones to go out on strike, workers' unions in Syria are totally helpful and alive.  For example, all of us delegates are staying in a massive four-star hotel whose usual purpose is to give hundreds of Syrian workers and their families a week-long all-expense-paid vacation destination.

     Can you even imagine Walmart doing anything like that for its workers?  Or Jeff Bezos?  Ha.

     I arrived at the conference hall early and grabbed a front row seat so I could see all the action.  "You can't sit there!" said another delegate who had also arrived early.  "You're not in a union!" 

     "The hell I'm not!" I exclaimed.  SAG-AFTRA, bitches.  Union Maid through and through.
     But then a nice Korean union representative said I could have a seat next to him, a nice South African union rep also volunteered a seat for me and a nice union rep from Belfast patted my hand.  Union solidarity forever!

      Seven hours of speeches later?  The conference hall was starting to empty out.  Only 50 or so delegates were left.  "It's time for you to make a speech, Jane."  Me?  Oh, okay.  I can do this!  Slouching hesitantly up to the podium and bravely looking the last remaining 30-odd delegates in the eye, I began to do my best -- and hoped that somehow it might be good enough.

     "I had some other kinda cheesy speech prepared to give here today about my own wonderful union," sez me, "but after seeing Damascus and talking with dozens of Syrians, I've changed my mind.  I want to talk about America instead -- and what, exactly, the Syrian people are actually up against.  And how heroic you all are to take an almost-hopeless stand against the American killing machine."

     So far so good.  No one has thrown me off the podium yet.  No rotten tomatoes.  I slogged on.

     "21 trillion dollars.  That's how much debt the American government is in right now.  It's as if you went out to buy a car.  A fancy car.  A Maserati, let us say.  And then you were told that no matter how much money you spend on this car, it doesn't matter.  Your credit card will never be maxed out.  Your Visa card will always be good."

     At that point some of the delegates had actually stopped leaving.  I cleared my throat and muscled on.

     "This is what the Syrian people are up against.  Bottomless wealth.  But.  It is a false wealth.  It is an illusion, a fantasy.  And yet the American people still cling to this unrealistic dreamland.  But.  America can't be a global invader, an international empire, the world's only superpower -- not based solely on play money and plastic.   America is just a house of cards."

    This speech is going on far too long.  I expect Vanna White to suddenly come across the stage and cut me off at any moment -- or Steve Harvey to slap his buzzer.   But Chris Harrison didn't come out to lead me tearfully away from the rose ceremony and so I continued.

     "Making your average American aware of the fact that he or she is standing on an economic cliff, about to tumble over?  That is the hard part for honest American journalists.  No one ever wants to be told that they are about to commit economic suicide.  But the bottom line here is that while economic sanctions do hurt Syria badly, please be aware that America is also sanctioning itself.  21 trillion dollars worth of sanctions.  For which America may never recover."

     Is this speech ever going to end?  Have I reached the five-minute mark yet?  What the freak am I going to say next?  And, even more important,  am I going to get shot for treason when I get home -- for pointing out that our American emperors have no clothes?

     "We Americans here in Damascus must return to the Belly of the Beast itself and try to make Americans there aware of this false illusion.  That has to be our next job.  And one thing that seems to work well in fighting fake news and false propaganda is to pick just one talking point and stick with it.  Such as 'President Assad has kept Syria from becoming another Libya'.  Sooner or later you will get your point across."  Or finally just give up.  But hopefully not.

     "Another technique that historic labor unions have used in the past to gain support for their cause has been to compose heart-wrenching songs such as The Ballad of Joe Hill.  When you get a chance later, please google Joan Baez, Paul Robeson or ever Bruce Springsteen's version of this song.  And here's my own version of it -- sorry in advance for singing off-key."

     And then it was time for my big finale.  Good grief, was I actually going to do this?  Make a fool of myself in front of the remaining 30-odd delegates?  The Korean guy had already left but the South African guy was still hanging in there.  Here goes nothing.  Break a leg!  And why not.  Syria has excellent free healthcare.
"I dreamed I saw the SAA [Syrian Arab Army] martyrs last night,
Alive as you or me.  Says I 'But guys you're eight years dead.'
"We never died, said they.
"We never died," said they.

"From Damascus in the south
To Iblib and Latak-e-aaa
Wherever workers organize
It's there you'll find the martyrs of the SAA
The martyrs of the SAA!"
     Ye cats!  People actually applauded!  "And the Oscar goes to...."  Oops, wrong dream.  I just hope that Joe Hill and The Boss might be proud.

PS:  I'm saving you the trouble of googling "Joe Hill".  Here are three different versions.  You can thank me later.

PPS:  Did you know that Dubai is currently going all out, no holds barred, spending billions and billions of dollars on its fabulous new "Dubai World Expo 2020" which starts this October -- and yet the UAE just voluntarily allied itself with America's rabid war-mongering regarding attacking Iran (always a bad idea -- just ask the Iraqis).

     How can Dubai possibly expect to lure people into visiting its Expo 2020 when the UAE seems determined to hold it in the middle of a freaking war zone???  It makes no sense at all -- but then nothing else that America, the Saudis, various European colonialists and/or the Zionists have done in the Middle East during the last 100-odd years has made any sense either.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Live from Damascus: Celebration time!

     After arriving at the Beirut airport on my way to Damascus for a conference of union representatives, I myself personally experienced just how much the Lebanese people totally hate and resent the presence of those pesky Zionists hovering around their southern border, always up to no good.

     "We've beaten them twice already -- and we can do it again," said the Lebanese guy standing behind me in line while we waited to go through passport control.  "They want to attack Iran?  Ha!  They can't even beat Lebanon!"  And that is so true. 

     After the Zionists sent a suicide drone to bomb Beirut recently, the Lebanese immediately did that eye-for-an-eye thing and returned fire on an Israeli military base.  "But the Israeli soldiers had all run away in fear!"  But I digress.  Let's get back to my passport-control story.

     "You've got an Israeli stamp in your passport!" the Lebanese TSA guy exclaimed -- and then started looking at me like I was some sort of Mossad agent.

     "No, wait," I replied.  "It says 'entry denied' on top of that first stamp.  See that second stamp?  I was banned from entering ZionistLand.  Honest!"

     "But you are an American citizen.  They are required by law to let you in."  One would think so -- after all the billions of dollars that American taxpayers donate to the Israeli killing machine very year.  But, no.  Didn't happen.  They'd stopped me at the border on my way to Bethlehem.  Rumor has it that Jesus had not been pleased.

     Then the TSA guy's supervisor examined my passport.  And then his supervisor's supervisor examined it too.  Multiple photocopies were made.  Tears were almost shed.  Finally I was let through.  Whew.

     After that, we drove off to Damascus and got stored in a four-star hotel until the conference here began.  And the next day I toured Old Damascus.  Narrow streets, friendly people, families out for a stroll in the warm night air -- eating pizza by the slice.

     And then I went off to a huge exhibition at the Damascus fairgrounds, attended by thousands of Syrians.  A grand affair.  Families and teenagers and cute little babies.  Bouncy houses.  Carnival rides.  Exhibits.  Even horses.  I entered a dance-off competition -- and almost won!  If I do say so myself, I can do a mean twerk.  But then some hip-hop dude beat me.  Humph.

     What's my point here?  It's as if all of Syria had been holding its breath for eight long miserable years.  Would President Assad protect them from the al Qaeda/ISIS "rebel" hordes?  Or would America's "humanitarian" coalition turn Syria into yet another sci-fi wasteland like Libya?

     But here in Damascus, on this wonderfully warm late-summer night, it was as if all of Syria was friendly and happy and celebrating with joy that Syrians were now safe to walk in the street at night and go to school and hold down jobs and just be normal again.  "Good job, President Assad."

PS:  The high cost of the American-slash-Zionist-slash-Saudi illegal invasion was brought graphically home to me at a border station between Lebanon and Syria.  A middle-class-looking couple entered the building, looking to get their passports stamped so they could finally return safely to their home in Syria.  A mother, a father, a nine-year-old daughter and a cute little six-month old baby.  Perfectly normal, right?  Wrong.

     The nine-year-old held her baby sister and looked down at the baby with a loving look on her face -- what was left of her face that is.  A lot of her face had been chewed off by napalm or white phosphorus, including most of her nose.

     And which countries that we know of routinely go around bombing children with white phosphorus?  Suddenly I was ashamed to be an American.  You would be too.

     This young girl, almost my own granddaughter's age, was trying very hard to be normal, a struggle that she would have for the rest of her life.  America, is creating all this horror really worth it?  Is oil all that important to the powers-that-be who now own our country?  Obama?  Bush?  Trump?  What if that had been one of your daughters instead?

PPS:  Geez Louise, how did all this horrible murder and slaughter happen to Syria the first place?  To the point where America actually hired al Qaeda and ISIS to bring "Democracy" to the Middle East?  Let me tell you.  In a word.  Propaganda.  We have all been seriously duped.

     Case in point?  The Economist.  Revered source of intellectual provenance, right?  The Economist would never lie to us, right?  And yet here is just one more torrid example of yellow journalism, taken straight from their website:  "True to his slogan, [President Assad] destroyed whole cities and gassed and starved his own people.  What rebels remain are holed up in Idlib province.  It, too, will soon fall.  Against all the odds, the monster has won."

     Uh, no.  President Assad didn't gas or starve anybody.  Americans, Zionists, Saudis and their proxy "rebels" aka ISIS and al Qaeda did all that.  Monster?  Tell that to the hundreds of Syrians I just walked among as they celebrated life at a wonderful family fair in Damascus.  The Economist would have a really hard time telling these Syrian front-row eye-witnesses  that their president is a monster.  

     Hell, these happy families probably wouldn't even be alive right now if America had actually conquered Syria.

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books.

Friday, August 30, 2019

American morality: It's about more than just saving fetuses, guys

      Books bring such pleasure into my life.  While reading, I get to spend major time with some of the greatest human beings who ever lived -- hours and hours with them.  I love books!

    But sometimes what these great authors have to say isn't always so pleasant.

     Currently I'm reading a book written back in 2005 -- but it could easily have been written today.  What's the Matter with Kansas, by Thomas Frank.  Absolutely nothing has changed in America since 2005.  The average American is still trying to do the moral thing -- and Wall Street and War Street have still managed to convince him or her that the truly moral thing to do is to hand over all our power and all our money to the global super-elites.  That's just weird.  Are Americans still that gullible and masochistic?  Apparently so.

     The author says that the average voter in America in 2005 cared more about eliminating women's reproductive choices than about healthcare, jobs, education or even life itself -- just as long as there are no more safe abortions.  And Americans still think that way.  Would I myself vote for some guy who only promises to halt legal abortions -- even if it means that I would die tomorrow of starvation, homelessness or lack of healthcare?  Hmmm.  No-brainer!  I love food and a comfortable bed far too much!

      But what happens to a fetus after it's born?  "Hey, that's someone else's problem."

     I'm also reading another book that was just recently published.  America is better than this: Trump's War Against Immigrant Families.  Its author, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, painstakingly details many of the horrors inflicted on kids kept in freezing-cold cages at our southern border.  "Inflicting trauma on children has become a political strategy."

     Americans are saving fetuses?  And then imprisoning, raping, endangering, traumatizing and torturing children?  Seriously?  Where's the disconnect here, America?  What is missing in America's morality?

     It's like going to church twice a week but ignoring everything that Jesus teaches us.

     It's like protecting embryos in their mothers' wombs but setting the Devil loose on them after they are born.

     It's like turning morality on its head.

PS:  I just heard Senator Merkley give a talk about his new book -- and he also signed my copy personally!  Now here is a man who has his moral priorities straight.  I highly recommend his book.  And reading it is probably the only way that I'm going to be able to spend several hours with a U.S. Senator too.

     I don't think I'll be reading Mitch McConnell's book any time soon, however.  I can already imagine what it would be about.  "I screwed the Senate.  I screwed the American people.  And I made a whole pile of money doing it too!  God bless Jesus and amen."

     At his book-signing event, Senator Merkley wrote in my copy, "Let's re-light Lady Liberty's torch!"  Yeah, duh.  And let's also re-light America's soul-crushing need for genuine morality.  Let's stop buying the snake oil.  Let's do whatever we can to stop America from kidnapping, imprisoning, torturing, raping and traumatizing little kids.


Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books.