July 31, 2014

What criminals we have leading us to Armageddon

How could any human being justify the murder of 325 Palestinian children? What kind of monsters wrap the cloak of religion around them and proclaim this to be God's will?

Israel, like Nazi Germany, will define the depths of the human spirit for all future generations. And unlike Germany, Israel is a creation of the US, which is just now hurrying more munitions and missiles to the Israel Defense Force. Mustn't be a pause in the Genocide.

Living in the Empire is much worse than watching the slaughter from somewhere else. There isn't a hour that goes by that I don't remind myself that it is my country committing such butchery. All my life I have watched the carnage caused by America in the name of profit. What criminals we have leading us to Armageddon.

July 25, 2014

Time to clean house

GUEST: Lawrence S. Wittner, award-winning American historian, writer, and activist for peace and social justice, talks about how American colleges and universities are increasingly being run on a business model.

We were able to get Larry on the line this time, and the wait was worth it (hope he thinks too). We got to talk about his book, and delve into the "savage capitalism" that has descended on most colleges in the US.

The adjuncts do the teaching, the students do the paying and the profits go to million dollar salaries for the big shots who run the place. Not only that, but large corporations are invited in take advantage of university research as well as to qualify for huge tax breaks from our government. Look at Cuomo's juicy plans for bringing in "partners" for the SUNY system. Millions in tax breaks for GE, a pittance for the adjuncts, and billions of debt for students. 

We have named our website ClassWars, in part because the mainstream media will not point out trends like the privatization of public services. The NY Times is owned and operated by the very wealthy and their dominant corporations (just take a peek at their board of directors). It is not in the interests of the elite of America to have the vast majority understand the swindles being perpetrated on them. 

At least we are not being slaughtered by a racist, fascist theocracy as are the Palestinians. Maybe if we can get out from under corporate dominance, we can also free our government from its subservience to the Israeli lobby. Time to clean house (and the Senate too).

Vast majority of workers may go postal

GUEST: Jay Galione, documentary filmmaker, talks about his new film, “Gone Postal: The Documentary to Save the People's Post Office,” produced by Sheila Dvorak.

Jay came to our studio for the interview, always a pleasure. We talked about his father's life in the US Post Office, and how the public service that he loved betrayed him.

It is a familiar story. The corporatization of all our public services is well underway, and the results are staggeringly bad. Teachers have to say specific words to their students for each lesson being taught and there is no deviation allowed. Postal workers have to work faster and faster as the sorting machines are speeded up. Workers become what the rich elite have always wanted them to be, unthinking robots on a production line.

The intellectual discourse of the very wealthy is just that limited. To them ("philanthropists" like Bill Gates and the Walton Family), life should be nothing but regimentation for the working class. There is no public good; there is no humanity.

The captains of capital in the 21st century are only half human. Privatizing everything is their goal, despite the suffering and chaos it brings to those who don't have millions in the stock market. They only understand profit and are even blind to the environmental catastrophe descending upon them.

Someday, the vast majority of workers may go postal, simply because there will be no other choice.

July 13, 2014

See "Buffalo Nation," and then work for social justice

GUEST: Leslye Abbey, activist and filmmaker, will talk about her latest documentary, "Buffalo Nation: The Children Are Crying” that will be screening on Friday, July 11 at 2:30 PM at the Long Island International Film Expo.

It is amazing how some people devote their lives to a cause that few others even think about. The genocide of the native tribes over the last several hundred years is so obvious, and yet few people spend very long thinking about it. As Leslye puts it, "If you have visited a reservation, then you know."

Leslye has spent several years of her life helping Americans do the next best thing, visiting a reservation through the lens of her film camera. Like the graphic novel "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" by Chris Hedges and Je Sacco, the portrayal of the Pine Ridge Reservation is unsparing. But should art be sparing of a country that locked its original inhabitants up in cages to wither away and die?

I asked Leslye whether the plight of the Palestinians was similar to the plight of Native American peoples. Without a moment's hesitation, she answered, "Exactly." Genocide looks the same wherever it occurs, be it in the Middle East or in our back yard. The saddest part is that the United States is intimately involved with both genocides. Our government is funding and supporting the elimination of the Palestinians in much the same way as it did the Trail of Tears.  

Self awareness comes first. See "Buffalo Nation," and then work for social justice.

July 4, 2014

Could such a peace come to Palestine?

Guest: Fred talks about the troubles in Northern Ireland, and Gary talks about the Marist College vote for an adjunct teachers' union. Our guest, Lawrence Wittner did call in, but we had an equipment malfunction and could not get him on the air (sorry, Larry). We will reschedule.

The Northern Irish understand Palestine like few other people. Their ancestors lived through hundreds of years of a brutal apartheid. 

The Britain invaded Ireland in the Sixteen Hundreds and proceeded to colonize it with religious sects and minorities it didn't want at home, particularly the Presbyterians. Most Irish in the US can trace their heritage to one of the consequences of that occupation, a genocidal famine that killed a million Irish and drove another million to the New World.

By 1922, the Irish had freed themselves of British occupation. That is, all but the northern counties where Presbyterians held a majority. Life for the minority Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland remained grim, with religious based discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and British funded death squads. 

Only when the English people at home tired of the slaughter was a peace between the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland possible. A treaty, brokered by the US in 1998, eliminated all forms of religious discrimination in Northern Ireland and insured human rights for every citizen. In fact, religion was completely separated from the state and all forms of apartheid made illegal. 

This summer, the city of Derry enjoyed a music festival that included both Catholics and Protestants participating equally. Although many of the physical walls between communities still exist, there was a feeling of hope in the Irish music being played on almost every street corner. 

Could such a peace come to Palestine? The citizens of the US are becoming increasingly tired of supporting the blatantly racist regime of Israel. Now that Jewish settlements in the West Bank have made a two state solution impossible, it is time for Americans to insist on an end to all apartheid in Palestine.