Closing Thought–07Sep18

A few years ago one of the hottest stories in the news was the militarization of police departments across the country…..(not so much these days)…..I wrote a post about it last year……https://lobotero.com/2017/02/17/coming-of-a-police-state/

Since then the story has taken a backseat to the antics of Our Dear Leader but the militarization of police is still going on….the best question to ask is “with all this military equipment does it make the citizens safer”?  My thought is not really.

But I read an article that was posting on the Defense One website……

In the summer of 2014, unarmed protestors in Ferguson, Missouri were met with a startling and aggressive police response, and a national debate over the proper role of law enforcement in American communities—a dialogue we’ve initiated many times in our history, but never adequately resolved—reignited. For days, cable news networks saturated broadcasts with images of police in armored vehicles designed to withstand improvised explosive devices in Iraq, taking aim at civilians with high-powered rifles, clad in protective gear fit for a theater of war.

I wanted to understand why police had this equipment, why they used it, and what costs and benefits so-called “militarized policing” delivered. As a doctoral student in political science, I knew where to start—locating reliable data—but I didn’t know it would take me four years to assemble and analyze. This week, I published my findings: Militarized police units are deployed more often in black neighborhoods, even after controlling for local crime rates. And while militarized policing does not, on average, make either the public or police any safer, it may tarnish the reputation of police.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/08/what-i-learned-studying-militarized-policing/150774/

Half tracks used against protesters is what dictators do….not in a supposedly “democratic” America.

Welcome America the newest Banana Republic….and getting worse.

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50 Years Ago

Closing Thought–27Aug18

50 years ago this August history was being made the Dem Convention and the riots that followed…..the drama had everything needed to be a blockbuster…..love-hate, war-peace, old-new, etc…..

We’re taking another look back at the year 1968 this morning, remembering the political earthquake that was the Democratic National Convention. Chicago-born Scott Simon, of NPR, is our guide:

Worlds collided at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago: young and old, war and peace, law and order.

“The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching…”

“You can’t take that week in isolation,” said Bill Daley. “’68, one of the most dramatic and traumatic years in the nation’s history. And it kind of all rolled to Chicago, and you could feel it coming.”

Daley, who would become President Obama’s chief of staff, was a college student in 1968, and spent the convention at the side of his father, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/remembering-1968-chicagos-bloody-democratic-convention/

In 1968 I missed these protests for I was a bit preoccupied in Vietnam…..if I had been stateside I would have been there…

This for you younguns……

If you would like a more detailed account of those bloody days in American political history……

Our young needs to know these history of how a people took to the street to make a difference…yes it turned violent and it is a matter of opinion on who started the trouble…..

Drifting Away (From Peace)

As I typed the title my mind went back to my youth and the song……but those were happier times….in this case I am talking about peace…..my regulars know that while I study war I am an antiwar person and have been for 45 years….and in the process of research I read an article that did not necessarily surprise me……

With the Cold War ending in the early 1990s, some Western scholars predicted a more peaceful world with liberal democracy the only game in town. The findings of the Global Peace Index suggest otherwise.

The twelfth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) reports that the global level of peace deteriorated by 0.27 per cent last year. Europe and United States, the world’s most peaceful regions, recorded a decline in peacefulness for the third straight year. This is not merely a one-year decline. Rather, it’s part of a decade-long trend: global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.38 per cent since 2008.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-partisan think tank headquartered in Sydney, has been publishing yearly editions of GPI for the last 13 years. Covering 99.7 per cent of the world population, the index ranks 163 independent states and territories in three domains – safety and security in the society, involvement in ongoing conflicts, and militarization – according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators.

https://original.antiwar.com/Sajjad_Hussain/2018/08/07/drifting-away-from-peace/

The sad thing about our children growing up is that they are staring at another generation of war……and we should make goddamn sure that they do not have to travel the world looking for a fight……

On September 11 of this year, those who weren’t yet born at the time of the 9/11 attacks will finally be old enough to fight in the war on terror. In 2012, U.S. Marines killed Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks, yet American soldiers are still losing their lives overseas in the name of preventing terrorism against the United States—despite the fact that there hasn’t been another major attack on U.S. soil.

Now a new generation is set to join the conflict, even though the presence of our brave troops has actually increased the power and influence of terrorist groups—the very threat they meant to eradicate. It is time to rethink what has become the longest war in American history. We need to prevent the War on Terror from continuing forever so my generation doesn’t have to pay an even higher price.

https://theantimedia.com/young-people-fight-war-on-terror/

I ask myself how this country could allow a war/wars go on for 17 years with NO end in sight?  What happened to the antiwar movement that I was a part of for most of the 1970’s and into the 80’s?

Well there is one possible answer to my questions…..

It is time for a re-birth of the anti war mentality and only the young can do this…us old farts no longer have a part other than helping in direction for our wars are done and soon forgotten…the young will be facing these wars for another generation if they do not learn to speak up and demand and end.

The sad part is the number of  “war memorials” in our nation’s capital…..we take time to remember war but we learn nothing from those wars…..

Two articles in different weekend magazines have me thinking about America’s many wars. David Montgomery in last weekend’s Washington Post pondered the proliferation of war memorials in our nation’s capital. The second, an excerpt from C.J. Chivers’s new book in the latest New York Times magazine, details the experiences of an Army unit in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley.

Some of those killed in that desolate distant place will be remembered, indirectly at least, in a new Global War on Terrorism Memorial. Montgomery reports that President Donald Trump “signed legislation waiving the statutory 10-year post-war waiting period so planning could begin.” He continues:

https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/remembrance-of-war-as-warning/

Let The Revolution Begin

Is there anyone old enough to know what the SDS was?  Or who was Hayden, Hoffman, Rubin?

The year was 1968 and the university protest at Columbia…..this is where most of the turbulence of the 60’s and 70’s began….or so say some…..

The Columbia University Struggle of 1968, 50 years ago, was in fact a Struggle against Columbia University—as a ruling class slumlord, a racist gentrifier against the people of Harlem and Morningside Heights, and a genocidal war criminal carrying out weapons research against the People of Vietnam. It was one of the great miracles of the times that students who had been recruited to support The System turned against it and sided with the Black community and the people of Vietnam.

The Struggle against Columbia was carried out by The Movement—a Black United Front in Harlem including Harlem Tenants Association, Morningsiders United and Harlem CORE, the Students’ Afro-American Society and Black Students of Hamilton Hall, Students for a Democratic Society at Columbia, and national groups like Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, SDS, with support from the national civil rights and anti-war movements.

https://www.laprogressive.com/historic-1968-struggle-against-columbia-university/

Fifty years ago and this is what lit the fire of rebellion under my ass……I was in the military at the time but the need to help end the war I was fighting was deep felt.

We need students to step forward……there is a small beginning now with the high school students from Florida……we need for it to expand…..and soon.

But those were the days of an independent press that had to scratch for news not like today with the corporate control of the media…..the days of the SDS may be gone but they are not forgotten by hard core radicals like myself.

How Did The Slacker Generation Produce These?

Another Saturday and another weekend begins….

My daughter is what some call Generation X or what others call the Slacker Generation…..recently with the deaths in Florida the students have become activists and have been protesting for better gun laws…..but the question has come out…how did a generation of slackers produce these children dedicated to protest?

Read an article that has tackled this question……

I, for one, welcome our new teenage overlords. Over the past six weeks — since the February 14 mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida — the generation born in the 2000s has stepped up in new and extraordinary ways. They’ve participated in town halls, they’ve staged walkouts, they’ve marched and they’ve presented action plans for positive, sensible change. If, like me, you’re lucky enough to have teenagers in your life, the passion and and integrity of these adolescent leaders comes as no great surprise. The only real mystery is how the generation that was literally called “slacker” managed to become the parents of these badasses.

The prevailing image of my Gen-X peers is of mumbly, flannel-wearing whatevers. Our cultural influence appears limited to Smashing Pumpkins and the anguished early seasons of “The Real World.” We associate boomers with student protest. We associate millennials with innovation. We associate our own youth with zines and Chanel Vamp. And then we look at our own kids and are dazzled at how motivated they are in their energy and their ability to mobilize.

https://www.salon.com/2018/03/27/how-did-the-slacker-generation-get-these-activist-kids/

As an activist from days gone by…I am proud to see these children stepping up and demanding that society do something about all the deaths, especially deaths of children.

Grand kids of radicals….apparently radicalism is like male pattern baldness….it skips a generation.

Protests And Then Some

Just when you thought the students protests were over……look and there they were yesterday……

A day already painful for gun control activists became even more so Friday when the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre coincided with a shooting at a high school in Florida. One student at Ocala’s Forest High School suffered a non-life-threatening injury; the suspected shooter, identified as a male who is not a student at the school, was in custody, the Ocala Star Banner reports. It’s a scenario students across the country are already rallying against in coordinated walkouts Friday. More:

  • Origins:NPR reports Connecticut teenager Lane Murdock came up with the idea for the walkout upon learning of the deaths in Parkland, Fla. “I thought, originally, it would just be my school but, obviously, it’s grown,” the 16-year-old tells CNN. Students at more than 2,500 schools across the US were taking part. It grew out of this petition.
  • A test: The National School Walkout “will be a test for the staying power of this new wave of activism,” per Vox. Student leaders vow they won’t let fading headlines stop the movement
  • The goals: Unlike school walkouts earlier this year, this one is to last a full day, per the New York Times. One common theme: 13 seconds of silence to honor the 13 killed at Columbine. The walkout’s stated aims are to “hold elected officials accountable,” to advocate “solutions to gun violence,” and to promote political engagement.
  • Celebrity help: The Washington Post reports Robert DeNiro has penned a letter for students who need help getting out of class. “By bringing awareness of the tragic consequences of gun violence, and influencing out leaders to pass sensible gun laws, our communities and schools will become safer,” it reads.
  • Teacher remembers: At NPR, longtime Columbine teacher Paula Reed discusses the 1999 massacre, as well as this year’s school shooting in Parkland. “I came completely freakin’ unhinged,” she says of the Florida rampage. “It was too close to ours.”
  • ‘Enough’: Meanwhile, the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune has arranged the names of people killed on school campuses in the US in the last 20 years to spell “Enough.” “Please take the time to read these 223 names. Be sad. Be outraged,” it says.

The students refuse to do what Congress always does…….they refuse to rollover……..

These students refuse to go away.  Ignore these students at your own peril….these young people are becoming a force to be reckoned with….

Time for me to push away from the PC and do anything else….have a good day my friends…..chuq

Closing Thought–16Apr18

For about a 2 weeks the Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting on the border with Israel……massive non-violent protests by Palestinians…..and the MSM is doing their part to protect Israel by not reporting these protests….

The MSM will make it a headline if a Palestinian attacks an Israeli with a knife…..but NOTHING is reported about the Israelis arresting children some as young as 11 years old or the deaths of protesters for throwing a stone or the theft of land or the destruction of crops….none of this is worthy for the MSM.

One and only one journalist has stepped up and do what others are refusing to do…….

MSNBC news anchor Chris Hayes is receiving plaudits from human rights defenders and other progressive journalists after airing a segment on Wednesday night which offered a rare example of a major U.S. cable news outlet providing critical coverage of Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

While most network and cable news outlets have either ignored the story, or offered uncritical or equivocated coverage, of last Friday’s mass shooting of Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border by Israeli troops, Hayes’ segment included a harsh condemnation of the disproportionate, unjustifiable, and “unconscionable” use of force.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/05/msnbcs-chris-hayes-applauded-doing-what-few-prominent-us-journalists-do-report

MY hat is off to Chris Hayes and he has a new follower…..now he needs to do a critical report on the BDS and the banning of the action by some states……

More news that does not usually make it into the evening news…..

 Yaser Murtaja had often filmed from the sky, but he never lived to fulfill his dream of flying on an airplane through the clouds.

The young journalist shot drone images and video for Ain Media, a small Gaza-based news agency he started five years ago. Just two weeks ago, he posted an aerial photo of Gaza City’s port on Facebook. “I wish that the day would come to take this shot when I’m in the air and not on the ground,” he wrote. “My name is Yaser Murtaja. I’m 30 years old. I live in Gaza City. I’ve never traveled!”

It was one of his last posts.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/palestinian-journalist-in-vest-marked-press-shot-dead-by-israeli-troops-in-gaza/2018/04/07/ac57b524-3a30-11e8-8fd2-49fe3c675a89_story.html

It appears that protesting civilians need to be handled by missile firing drones…..

At least 21 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since they started Land Day protests last Friday — An Israeli air raid killed another Palestinian protester near the Gaza Strip‘s border on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said … The death brings the total number of Palestinians killed in the last week at 21. The mass protests, called “the Great March of Return”, were organised by civil society groups and supported by all political factions to call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. It marked the beginning of a six-week sit-in, starting on Land Day, an event that commemorates six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were shot dead by Israeli forces after protesting the government’s confiscation of large swaths of Palestinian land on March 30, 1976. The sit-in ends on May 15, or Nakba Day, which will commemorate 70 years since the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias from their villages and towns….
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/israeli-airstrike-kills-palestinian-gaza-border-180405114443912.html

It will be interesting what it will take for the media to actually cover news……