January 21, 2018

Before apartheid Israel comes to define America

GUEST: Dr. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, talks about his most recent report, "Historical Landmarks in the Hundred Years' War on Palestine."

The shame that is Israel has been around for 100 years. Defining characteristics include racism, apartheid, and colonialism. So what are the chances that the United States, which has never acknowledged its own genocide of Native Americans nor the criminality of slavery and Jim Crow, will ever recognize or take responsibility for the oppression of millions of Palestinians? 

That is the central question that surrounds all genocides, and Palestine is no exception. However terribly Israel treats its five million subjugated people, it is the United States that makes it all possible. The Israeli colony is just part of an empire that few in this country even acknowledge

Dr. Khalidi looks at the long picture. Israel cannot forever be an apartheid state. The world has progressed too far to allow something like that to happen. The Palestinian people are immensely resourceful and they aren't leaving. Israel will have to resort to a Nazi like Holocaust to get rid of them. If that were to happen, the United States will have become a fascist state, the Third Reich of the twenty first century. 

The battle is here at home; apartheid Israel must be stopped before it comes to define America.

January 13, 2018

Protectors of peace


Take my blood. Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely. 
Send them to the world, To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded. 
And let them bear the guilty burden, before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden, before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the "protectors of peace." 

-Jumah al Dossari, who was brutally tortured, sexually assaulted, and held three and a half years in solitary confinement. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 with no charges against him.

January 12, 2018

Vets are the canaries in the coal mine

GUEST: Ken Churchill, creator of the American Homeless Land Model campaign to set aside public land for citizens and US veterans without shelter, will talk about some of his recent successes in small towns across the country.

Good ideas about helping our nation's homeless population are hard to find. There are so many people without any resources, especially in our major cities. America has become accustomed to seeing them, as we have become accustomed to so many other of our society's failures.

Ken's idea is to grant them land where they can build small homes for themselves and create functioning communities. It is worth a try, of course. Like Occupy however, these communities will have some basic problems. The homeless are often mentally ill, and not able to function in a working system. Many times homeless people are also addicted, further complicating life in such an encampment. 

Perhaps Occupy would have run its course, if it hadn't been violently dismantled by Obama and the fascist police he unleashed. We just don't know how resistance communities do over the long haul.

Maybe the problem isn't just a lack of buildable land. The distribution of wealth within our society is the most unequal of any developed country in the world. Perhaps the fault lies in the fact that marginalized people are often the ones fighting the empire's wars. When they return home, they don't have the skills or the contacts to keep them off the streets. In addition, vets are often traumatized by their experiences killing civilians in the Third World to protect US profits. Depression and addiction often follow. 

So is it the $700 billion we spend on war each year that puts tens of thousands of vets on the street? If our country gave them what it did returning vets in 1945, homelessness would be much less on an issue. Moreover, if our country decided to return to being a democracy, perhaps the rest would follow.  We have an empire, controlled by greedy billionaires who have learned how to squeeze the last bit of money from those in our country who are not filth rich. Maybe homeless vets are the canaries in the coal mine.

January 8, 2018

Rainbow Race

GUEST: Rivera Sun, author of The Dandelion Insurrection and other novels, cohost of Love and Revolution Radio, and trainer in nonviolent campaigns, talks about applying Gandhi's ideas to the fight for Net Neutrality. 
Love (and Revolution) Radio

Rivera Sun offered our listeners some interesting alternatives to the two corporate party rule that we have now. One party gives the corporations all they want, while mouthing support for the working class. The other party gives corporation all they want, while using racism to stir up support from its white, Christian base.

Corporations are very happy, as are the people who own them. The 1% got close to 80% of the huge tax breaks just passed, meaning that so many of the programs that benefit middle America will be cut or done away with. Think Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, healthcare for tens of millions.

All the Democrats in power can talk about is the Russian conspiracy. That's just fine for their corporate backers. In fact, the system works very well for the billionaires, while the rest of us get robbed.

Enter people like Rivera Sun, whose ideas go back to the 1960's. Establish resistance communities, create movements that defy the corporate parties, and don't be afraid to think big. We are all coming to realize that the system we have now is not only grossly unfair, but is suicidal for our very future on this earth. Time to think big, and join the resistance. At this point, what do we have to lose?

I did this program in a snowstorm. The radio studio at Vassar College was empty. It was just me and the blizzard winds I could see from the third floor window. It made me think about the many ideas for social justice. Our species is endlessly creative. In the dead of winter, we can think about the birth of a new social movement that puts humanity above greed and violence. We will evolve in time to save our Rainbow Race.

One blue sky above us
One ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round
Who could ask for more
And because I love you
I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race
It's too soon to die.
- Pete Seeger

January 5, 2018

In memory of Pia Alexander

In memory of our dear friend and fellow activist, Pia Alexander, who passed away this week. From your trip to the deep South during the Civil Rights Era to your journey to Cairo as part of the 2009 Gaza Freedom March, you always stood up for those who were being oppressed. You were never afraid to speak truth, nor to portray truth in your art. 

You will always be with us ... Presente.