Bulletin N° 808






“Battleship Potemkin”

This 1925 Soviet silent film was directed by Sergei Eisenstein. It presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905,
when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers in solidarity with the First Russian Revolution.







1 July 2018

Grenoble, France




Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


Holding the empire together has become more and more problematic. The necessary force used to delay the debacle is the private profit motive, which is an amalgam of Fear and Greed – a « ‘they’ will do it to us, if we don’t do it to them first » genre of logic.


That this metaphysics spells disaster for everyone is hardly deniable; only to some people the looming disaster appears as “irrelevant.” Caught in their own bubble of delusion, the world’s ruling classes keep doing the same thing, even when it is obvious to the rest of us that their actions are ultimately self-destructive – both on a human level and on the level of their own true class interests. But the fact that capitalists are alienated from their real class interests - having replaced a concern for political “legitimacy” with ruthless “rapport de force” - is no excuse for the rest of us to be isolated and divorced from our own class consciousness and revolutionary zeal. Following remote-controlled leaders who blindly advocate that “the ends justify the means” has not taken us very far. Instead, the crystallization of an “organic leadership” on both local and national levels is necessary to produce the Map that will help us navigate our way out of this cruel wilderness, called “The Capitalist Debacle” . . . . For this to happen, we must put aside all “Virtual Realities” and be willing to step into the everyday material reality that surrounds us and that makes up our lives. And to accomplish this step, we need role models and creative alliances that can inspire us to take the initiative to act.



The 22 items below reflect the security-control fetish that has taken over capitalist investments and serves to promote despair and submission among the most oppressed of us. Such divisive tactics are not new and resistance on the part of civil society is an important part of human history, from which we can learn what has worked in the past and what has been futile and, above all, Why!




Francis Feeley

Professor emeritus of American Studies

University Grenoble-Alpes

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego






Harvard Research Scholar Explains How America Created

Al-Qaeda & The ISIS Terror Group


by Arjun Walia


It’s truly amazing how much the consciousness of the planet has changed within the past 5 years alone, and it’s not just happening within one topic, but in several different areas ranging from health to geopolitics and everything in-between.

People are really starting to wake up and see through the mass amounts of propaganda and lies we are continuously fed via the mainstream media, with regards to global events and other major areas that surround all aspects of humanity.





Did Israel Inspire Trump’s Family Separation Policy?



by Ramzy Baroud


This past May, the United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced the government’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy at US border crossings. It was a matter of weeks before the new policy began yielding tragic outcomes. Those attempting to unlawfully cross into the US were subject to federal criminal prosecution, while their children were taken away by federal authorities, which placed them in cage-like facilities.

Expectedly, the policy caused outrage and was eventually reversed. However, many of those who have chastised the administration of President Donald Trump seem willfully ignorant of the fact that Israel has been carrying out far worse practices against Palestinians.

In fact, many within the American ruling classes, whether Republicans or Democrats, have been captivated with the Israeli model for decades. For years, US pundits have praised, not just Israel’s supposed democracy, but also its security apparatus as an example to be emulated. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, a renewed US love affair with Israel’s security tactics blossomed, where Tel Aviv raked billions of American taxpayers’ dollars in the name of helping secure US borders against perceived threats.

A new, even more appalling chapter in the ongoing cooperation was penned soon after newly-elected Trump declared his plan to build a ‘great’ wall at the US-Mexico border. Even before Israeli companies jumped on the chance to build Trump’s wall, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted approvingly of Trump’s “great idea”, claiming that Israel’s own wall has been a “great success” for it “has stopped all illegal immigration.”





Why Palestine Matters


by Sheldon Richman

Why does Palestine matter? It’s a question I ask myself nearly every day. Another way to put it is, “Is the devotion of major attention to the plight of the Palestinians an obsession worthy of suspicion or an appropriate response to a grave historic and continuing injustice?
No one will be surprised when I reply that major attention is an appropriate response. Palestine matters and should matter. I will try to explain why.

First, perhaps most basically, the sheer cruelty — the scope of the violation of human, i.e., natural individual, rights — of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians warrants the concern of all who favor freedom and other (classical) liberal values: justice, social cooperation, free exchange, and peace.

Let’s start with the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, says front and center on its website: “Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations.” No one who sheds the blinders of the Official Narrative can help but feel pain over the institutional barriers to normal life, not to mention the literal destruction of life, that are regular features of Israel’s rule in the West Bank (with nearly 3 million Palestinians), East Jerusalem (over 300,000), and Gaza Strip (nearly 2 million). It is no exaggeration to describe the system as an instance of apartheid, which is the word used by Israeli human-rights organizations and former government officials. (Then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin used the word in a warning as far back is 1976. So did Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, when he was out of office after the 1967 war.)





From: "IAK Blog" <contact@ifamericansknew.org>
Sent: Thursday, 21 June, 2018
Subject: Gaza victims' stories, UN resolution on excessive force, US ambassador blocks scrutiny of Israel, and more...


Latest stories from the If Americans Knew blog. View this in your browser


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Double Action Alert! Please help Palestinians in 2 ways today
Action Alert! Tell your legislator to say NO to Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism, and to attend congressional briefing on mistreatment of Palestinian children. Read the rest of this entry



Prince William’s itinerary puts Jerusalem in ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’
From Jewish Telegraphic Agency, JTA. Prince William’s itinerary for his upcoming visit to Israel includes a visit to Jerusalem “in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” He was asked to “correct” the item. Read the rest of this entry



Did Israeli ambassador dictate the AIPAC speech Jared Kushner wrote for Trump?
By Alyssa Fisher, The Forward. From Emily Jane Fox’s “Born Trump”: DT’s 2016 AIPAC speech was stolen from Ron Dermer in a phone call w/ Jared Kushner. Trump was literally a mouthpiece for Israel.
Read the rest of this entry



France prevents Gaza-bound flotilla from docking in Seine
From Press TV. Police in France have prevented two boats from a Gaza Strip-bound flotilla from docking in Seine River, despite subjecting the vessels to extensive searches in advance.  Read the rest of this entry



Whose Wars?
By Philip Giraldi, The Unz Report. US foreign policy is no longer about our interests; we’re being prepped to do Israel’s bidding in Syria, then Iran. Well done, Jewish power & Israel-centric lobbies & media outlets. Read the rest of this entry



Trump ambassador blocks scrutiny of Israel
By Nahal Toosi, Politico. Donald Trump’s envoy to Jerusalem rejects criticism of Israel’s policies and resisted efforts to apply Leahy Law – limitations on funding to human rights violators.  Read the rest of this entry


Abudullah is one of a great cloud of witnesses
By Kathryn Shihadah, Palestine Home. Abdullah, 13, lost a leg to an Israeli sniper bullet. He’s not a cute kid who had a tragic accident. His story is the horror that Gaza has become for nearly every family. Read the rest of this entry



‘Imminent’ U.S. Withdrawal From UN’s Main Human Rights Body, Source Says
From Reuters, Ha’aretz. An unnamed source indicates that the US’ threatened departure from the UNHRC is “imminent.” For a year Nikki Haley has claimed the body has a “chronic anti-Israel bias.”  Read the rest of this entry



Muslim Leader’s Interfaith Award Rescinded After Pro-Israel Activist Pressure
By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept. New Anti-Semitism: interfaith award rescinded from Muslim activist because she had tweeted statements that were critical of Israel. Read the rest of this entry



Understanding Jewish Power
By Philip Giraldi, The Unz Report. Israel has manipulated the US into many foreign policy missteps – thanks to “Jewish power,” & its control over much of media & politics. The Israeli narrative thus dominates. Read the rest of this entry



UN Condemns Israel’s ‘Excessive Use of Force’ in Gaza, Rejects Amendment Denouncing Hamas
By Amir Tibon and Reuters, Ha’aretz. Nikki Haley yet again stands nearly alone against world opinion: the UN resolution condemning Israel passed, amendment condemning Hamas failed to pass.  Read the rest of this entry


IsraelPalestineNews.org IfAmericansKnew.org   
contact@ifamericansknew.org  •  202-631-4060












UN chief Antonio Guterres: Gaza 'on brink of war'



In report sent to UN Security Council before Tuesday meeting, UN condemns Israeli use of force against Palestinians.





From: "Alison Weir, If Americans Knew" <contact@ifamericansknew.org>
Sent: Saturday, 30 June, 2018
Subject: Support the Gaza Women's March July 3 - solidarity flyer to post & distribute!


Gaza women are asking for solidarity for their July 3 March - post & distribute this flyer. View this email in your browser

What every American needs to know about Israel-Palestine

Dear Francis,

On July 3rd, the women of Gaza will be marching for their rights against Israeli violence and oppression. They are asking for women's groups and everyone to take solidarity actions in support. Since many supporters may not be able to organize an event, we've created a downloadable flyer that you can print out and post in your home or car window and distribute widely -- perhaps at today's events!

Please go to our blog post about this, where you can download the flyer.

We hope you'll distribute this widely -- It's essential that Americans learn about Gaza and that we support the women's call for solidarity.

You may wish to also download this factsheet, and print it on the other side so that people will learn even more....

(If you have ideas for different wording for the flyer email us, and if we have time we might be able to produce a few additional options for people to choose from... if so, we'll post them on the blog post, so check back periodically.)

As always, thank you for your crucial support!

Alison Weir

p.s. See our other materials – cards, bumperstickers, brochures, posters, etc – here.


LINKS to donate to the Gaza nurses:


paypal account


IfAmericansKnew.org  IAK News & Analysis Blog
Israel-Palestine Timeline  Against Our Better Judgment


To invite Alison Weir to give a presentation, write here.
Order educational materials about Israel-Palestine on our 
website (or write here).

MAILING ADDRESS If Americans Knew, 5694 Mission Center Rd, Ste 602-710, San Diego, CA 92108 
PHONE 202-631-4060 EMAIL contact@ifamericansknew.org





The Electronic Intifada


Wednesday, 20 June 2018





The Powell Memo: A Call-to-Arms for Corporations

'Winner-Take-All Politics' Book jacket



In this excerpt from Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, authors Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson explain the significance of the Powell Memorandum, a call-to-arms for American corporations written by Virginia lawyer (and future U.S. Supreme Court justice) Lewis Powell to a neighbor working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


In the fall of 1972, the venerable National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) made a surprising announcement: It planned to move its main offices from New York to Washington, D.C. As its chief, Burt Raynes, observed:

We have been in New York since before the turn of the century, because we regarded this city as the center of business and industry. But the thing that affects business most today is government. The interrelationship of business with business is no longer so important as the interrelationship of business with government. In the last several years, that has become very apparent to us.[1]

To be more precise, what had become very apparent to the business community was that it was getting its clock cleaned. Used to having broad sway, employers faced a series of surprising defeats in the 1960s and early 1970s. As we have seen, these defeats continued unabated when Richard Nixon won the White House. Despite electoral setbacks, the liberalism of the Great Society had surprising political momentum. “From 1969 to 1972,” as the political scientist David Vogel summarizes in one of the best books on the political role of business, “virtually the entire American business community experienced a series of political setbacks without parallel in the postwar period.” In particular, Washington undertook a vast expansion of its regulatory power, introducing tough and extensive restrictions and requirements on business in areas from the environment to occupational safety to consumer protection.[2]

In corporate circles, this pronounced and sustained shift was met with disbelief and then alarm. By 1971, future Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell felt compelled to assert, in a memo that was to help galvanize business circles, that the “American economic system is under broad attack.” This attack, Powell maintained, required mobilization for political combat: “Business must learn the lesson . . . that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination—without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.” Moreover, Powell stressed, the critical ingredient for success would be organization: “Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”[3]





Mugger Mick Mulvaney—Trump’s Sadist-in-Chief


by Ralph Nader


Mr. Mulvaney’s title seems uninterestingly bureaucratic—director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). But as Trump’s chief hatchet man extraordinaire, Mugger Mick Mulvaney is easily one of the cruelest, most vicious presidential henchman in modern American history. From his powerful perch next door to the White House, he is carving a bloody trail against tens of millions of Americans who are poor, disabled, frail, and elderly. He has gone after defenseless children and injured or sick patients with little or no access to health care.

It is difficult to exaggerate the relentless, savage delight that this former Congressman from South Carolina—handpicked for Trump by the brutish, oil funded Heritage Foundation—takes in attacking the most vulnerable members of our society.

A human wrecking ball, Mugger Mick has pushed to eliminate the Meals-on-Wheels assistance for isolated elderly, to increase rents for poor tenants, to severely gut SNAP (food stamps) and nutritious food standards, and to diminish Medicaid. In addition the Trump administration wants to impose work requirements in Medicaid as a condition of eligibility. Many adult Medicaid recipients are already working. Where will the new jobs come from? Those who want to work but can’t find jobs are not Mr. Mulvaney’s concern.

His hellish agenda, undertaken on behalf of his plutocratic rulers, is comprehensive. He wants to smash consumer, environmental, and workplace health and safety standards. To Mugger Mick, killing and disabling Americans doesn’t even qualify as collateral damage. To Mulvaney’s fevered, psychopathic mind, eliminating Americans’ health and safety protections is worth it if it means “efficiency” and less spending of tax dollars (more on that lie later).

He even would plunge a dagger into Social Security and Medicare. President Trump has the political sense to restrain Mugger Mick from this attack on the elderly. However, biding his time, Mulvaney has led the campaign for the enacted corporate and wealthy tax cuts that are already swelling the forthcoming massive deficits. Mulvaney wants to use the deficit to persuade Trump eventually to butcher these two pillars of our society’s foresight and compassion for seniors.





From: "Mark Crispin Miller"
Sent: Thursday, 21 June, 2018
Subject: [MCM] Patriotism is the opiate of "We the People"



Why Are the Poor Patriotic?



by David Swanson


We should be very grateful to Francesco Duina for his new book, Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country. He begins with the following dilemma. The poor in the United States are in many ways worse off than in other wealthy countries, but they are more patriotic than are the poor in those other countries and even more patriotic than are wealthier people in their own country. Their country is (among wealthy countries) tops in inequality, and bottoms in social support, and yet they overwhelmingly believe that the United States is “fundamentally better than other countries.” Why?


Duina didn’t try to puzzle this one out for himself. He went out and surveyed patriotic poor people in Alabama and Montana. He found variations between those two places, such as people loving the government for helping them a little bit and people loving the government for not helping them at all. He found variations between men and women and racial groups, but mostly he found intense patriotism built around identical myths and phrases.


I think it’s worth pointing out that wealthier Americans are only slightly less patriotic than poor Americans, and that the moral question of why one should love an institution that creates great suffering for others is identical to that of why one should love an institution that creates great suffering for oneself (and that the greatest suffering the United States government creates is outside the United States). I suspect that much of what Duina found among the poor could be found in some variation among the less poor.


Duina is very respectful of everyone he spoke with, and very academic in his prose. But he quotes enough of his interviewees’ statements to make it quite clear, I think, that their patriotism is largely a willfully delusional religious faith based on ignorance of and avoidance of facts. Just as the less wealthy are a bit more religious, they are also a bit more patriotic, and they draw no clear line between the two. Duina reports that many of the people he spoke with assured him that God favored the United States above all other nations. One man even explained his own and others’ extreme patriotism as a religious need to believe in something when struggling, something to provide “dignity.” There is, of course, a parallel to U.S. racism, as many poor white Americans for centuries have clung to the notion that at least they are better than non-whites. The belief that at least one is better than non-Americans is widespread across every demographic.


Duina notes that even for those struggling most desperately a belief that all is right and just with the system around them can be easier on the mind than recognizing injustice. If people were better off, paradoxically, their patriotism might decrease. Patriotism also declines as education increases. And it seems likely to decline as particular types of information and attitudes are conveyed. Just as people have been found to favor bombing a nation in inverse proportion to their ability to correctly locate it on a map, I suspect people would be marginally less likely to believe the United States treats them better than a Scandinavian country would if they knew facts about Scandinavian countries. They currently decidedly do not.


Duina quotes people who assured him that every Swede flees Sweden as soon as they’ve completed their free college education, that Canada may have healthcare but is a dictatorship, that in Germany or Russia they’ll cut off your hand or your tongue, that in communist Japan they’ll cut off your head for speaking against the president, etc. Can all of these beliefs, all in the same direction (that of disparaging other nations) be innocent errors? One man assures Duina that other nations are inferior because they engage in public executions, and then advocates for public executions in the United States. A number of people declare the United States superior because it has freedom of religion, and then reject the idea that any non-Christian can ever be U.S. president. Homeless people assure him that the United States is the quintessential land of opportunity.

Many speak of “freedom,” and in many cases they mean the freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights, but in others they mean the freedom to walk or drive. They contrast this freedom to move about with dictatorships, despite having little or no experience with dictatorships, although it seems best contrasted with something poor Americans are likely to have a lot more familiarity with: mass incarceration.


The belief that wars on foreign nations benefit their victims and are acts of generosity seems nearly universal, and foreign nations are often disparaged for having wars present (with no apparent awareness that many of those wars involve the U.S. military which is funded with millions of times the funding that would be required to eliminate poverty in the United States). One man believes that Vietnam is still divided in half like Korea. Another believes the president of Iraq invited the United States to attack it. Another simply takes pride in the United States having “the best military.” When asked about the U.S. flag, many immediately express pride in “freedom” and “wars.” A few libertarians expressed support for bringing troops home, blaming other nations for their unwillingness to be civilized — including those of the Middle East, which has “never been civilized.”


There is similar strong support for the incredibly destructive proliferation of guns in the United States as something that makes the United States superior.

One fault attributed to other countries is taking children away from parents, yet one assumes that at least some who condemn that practice have found a way to excuse it or not become aware of it in recent news from the United States.


One of the more common faults, though, is chopping people’s heads off. This seems such a common view of what is wrong with foreign countries, that I almost wonder if U.S. support for Saudi Arabia is in part motivated by such an effective means of keeping the U.S. population sedated.


Somehow, the U.S. public has been persuaded to always compare the United States with poor countries, including countries where the U.S. government supports brutal dictators or imposes economic suffering, and never with wealthy countries. The very existence of countries that are worse off, and from which immigrants flee to the United States is generally taken as proof of Greatest Nation on Earth status, even though other wealthy nations are better off and more desired by immigrants.

The results include a passive public willing to absorb huge injustices, a public willing to follow politicians who promise to screw them but to do so patriotically, a public supportive of wars and dismissive of international law and cooperation, and a public willing to reject advances in healthcare or gun laws or climate policies or education systems if they are made in other countries.


This book tells us more about where Trump came from than the past 18 months of cable news, but Trump is the least of it.


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.


Support David’s work.

from the archives:

Howard Zinn: The Myth of American Exceptionalism

Memorial Day Myths by David Swanson

The Early Christians and the Military by Roman A. Montero

David Swanson: How American Exceptionalism Is Exploited to Justify War + How Suzy Hansen Lost Her U.S. Exceptionalism

David Swanson: Debunking the Myth of American Exceptionalism + The Day DC Was Bombed

Chris Hedges: Home Grown Hatred–Anger and Alienation in the US (2009)

Put Away The Flags by Howard Zinn

Where Is Your Loyalty?

Chris Hedges: We’ve Decapitated More Civilians Than ISIS Ever Has

Michael Parenti: Superpatriotism (1988)


This entry was posted in Politics, Imperialism, Christianity, Anti-war, Religion, Racism, Poverty, Book Reviews and tagged American Exceptionalism, Book or Film Reviews or Excerpts on Dandelion Salad, Patriotism, David Swanson, Francesco Duina. Bookmark the permalink.





The Two Superpowers: Who Really Controls the Two Countries?


by Paul Craig Roberts


Among the ruling interests in the US, one interest even more powerful than the Israel Lobby—the Deep State of the military/security complex— there is enormous fear that an uncontrollable President Trump at the upcoming Putin/Trump summit will make an agreement that will bring to an end the demonizing of Russia that serves to protect the enormous budget and power of the military-security complex.

You can see the Deep State’s fear in the editorials that the Deep State handed to the Washington Post (June 29) and New York Times (June 29), two of the Deep State’s megaphones, but no longer believed by the vast majority of the American people.  The two editorials share the same points and phrases.  They repeat the disproven lies about Russia as if blatant, obvious lies are hard facts.

Both accuse President Trump of “kowtowing to the Kremlin.”  Kowtowing, of course, is not a Donald Trump characteristic.  But once again fact doesn’t get in the way of the propaganda spewed by the WaPo and NYT, two megaphones of Deep State lies





The Soldier’s Tale


by Chris Hedges


The troops live under
The cannon’s thunder
From Sind to Cooch Behar
Moving from place to place
When they come face to face
With a different breed of fellow
Whose skins are black or yellow
They quick as winking chop him into
Beefsteak tartar

—“The Cannon Song” from “The Threepenny Opera”


The soldier’s tale is as old as war. It is told and then forgotten. There are always young men and women ardent for glory, seduced by the power to inflict violence and naive enough to die for the merchants of death. The soldier’s tale is the same, war after war, generation after generation. It is Spenser Rapone’s turn now. The second lieutenant was given an “other than honorable” discharge June 18 after an Army investigation determined that he “went online to promote a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers” and thereby had engaged in “conduct unbecoming an officer.” Rapone laid bare the lie, although the lie often seems unassailable. We must honor those like him who have the moral courage to speak the truth about war, even if the tidal waves of patriotic propaganda that flood the culture overwhelm the voices of the just.





San Diego Free Press

Grassroots News & Progressive Views



Immigration and Family Separation: 9 Facts vs. Fiction

June 27, 2018 by At Large Leave a Comment

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Credit: Byron Morton





Immigration and Family Separation: 9 Facts vs. Fiction

by Michelle Martin, PhD Cal State Fullerton / Reposted from Facebook


Have you heard that children were separated from their parents under Obama & Clinton? Then, you need a little Facts vs Myths lesson. Michelle Martin, PhD Cal State Fullerton summed up the most important FACTS:


There is so much misinformation out there about the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy that requires criminal prosecution, which then warrants the separating of parents and children at the border. Before responding to a post defending this policy, please do your research…As a professor at a local Cal State, I research and write about these issues, so here, I’ll make it easier for you:


Myth: This is not a new policy and was practiced under Obama and Clinton. – FALSE.

The policy to separate parents and children is new and was instituted on April 6, 2018. It was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration, approved by Trump, and adopted by Sessions. Prior administrations detained migrant families, but didn’t have a practice of forcibly separating parents from their children unless the adults were deemed unfit. https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1049751/download?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Myth: This is the only way to deter undocumented immigration. – FALSE.

Annual trends show that arrests for undocumented entry are at a 46 year low, and undocumented crossings dropped in 2007, with a net loss (more people leaving than arriving). Deportations have increased steadily though (spiking in 1996 and more recently), because several laws that were passed since 1996 have made it legally more difficult to gain legal status for people already here, and thus increased their deportations (I address this later under the myth that it’s the Democrats’ fault).

What we mostly have now are people crossing the border illegally because they’ve already been hired by a US company, or because they are seeking political asylum. Economic migrants come to this country because our country has kept the demand going. But again, many of these people impacted by Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy appear to be political asylum-seekers. https://www.npr.org/2017/12/05/568546381/arrests-for-illegal-border-crossings-hit-46-year-low

Myth: Most of the people coming across the border are just trying to take advantage of our country by taking our jobs. – FALSE. Most of the parents who have been impacted by Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy have presented themselves as political asylum-seekers at a U.S. port-of-entry, from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Rather than processing their claims, they have been taken into custody on the spot and had their children ripped from their arms. The ACLU alleges that this practice violates the Asylum Act, and the UN asserts that it violates the UN Treaty on the State of Refugees, one of the few treaties the US has ratified.  This is an illegal act on the part of the United States government, not to mention morally and ethically reprehensible. https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/21/us/meatpackers-profits-hinge-on-pool-of-immigrant-labor.html

Myth: We’re a country that respects the Rule of Law, and if people break the law, this is what they get. – FALSE.

We are a country that has an above-ground system of immigration and an underground system. Our government (under both parties) has always been aware that US companies recruit workers in the poorest parts of Mexico for cheap labor, and ICE (and its predecessor INS) has looked the other way because this underground economy benefits our country to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Thus, even though the majority of people crossing the border now are asylum-seekers, those who are economic migrants (migrant workers) likely have been recruited here to do jobs Americans will not do. https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Opinion/2016/10/26/Donald-Trumps-wall-ignores-the-economic-logic-of-undocumented-immigrant-labor/2621477498203/

Myth: The children have to be separated from their parents because their parents must be arrested and it would be cruel to put children in jail with their parents. – FALSE.

First, in the case of economic migrants crossing the border illegally, criminal prosecution has not been the legal norm, and families have been kept together at all cost. Also, crossing the border without documentation is a typically a misdemeanor not requiring arrest, but rather a civil proceeding.  Additionally, parents who have been detained have historically been detained with their children in ICE “family residential centers,” again, for civil processing. The Trump administration’s shift in policy is for political purposes only, not legal ones. See p. 18: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ms-l-v-ice-plaintiffs-opposition-defendants-motion-dismiss-doc-56

Myth: We have rampant fraud in our asylum process the proof of which is the significant increase we have in the number of people applying for asylum. – FALSE.

The increase in asylum seekers is a direct result of the increase in civil conflict and violence across the globe. While some people may believe that we shouldn’t allow any refugees into our country because “it’s not our problem,” neither our current asylum law, nor our ideological foundation as a country support such an isolationist approach.

There is very little evidence to support Sessions’ claim that abuse of our asylum-seeking policies is rampant. Also, what Sessions failed to mention is that the majority of asylum seekers are from China, not South of the border. Here is a very fair and balanced assessment of his statements: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/oct/19/jeff-sessions/jeff-sessions-claim-about-asylum-system-fraudulent/

Myth: The Democrats caused this, “it’s their law.” – FALSE.

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats caused this, the Trump administration did (although the Republicans could fix this today, and have refused). I believe what this myth refers to is the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which were both passed under Clinton in 1996. These laws essentially made unauthorized entry into the US a crime (typically a misdemeanor for first-time offenders), but under both Republicans and Democrats, these cases were handled through civil deportation proceedings, not a criminal proceeding, which did not require separation. And again, even in cases where detainment was required, families were always kept together in family residential centers, unless the parents were deemed unfit (as mentioned above).

Thus, Trump’s assertion that he hates this policy but has no choice but to separate the parents from their children, because the Democrats “gave us this law” is false and nothing more than propaganda designed to compel negotiation on bad policy. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-democrats-us-border-migrant-families-children-parents-mexico-separate-a8401521.html

Myth: The parents and children will be reunited shortly, once the parents’ court cases are finalized. – FALSE.

Criminal court is a vastly different beast than civil court proceedings. Also, the children are being processed as unaccompanied minors (“unaccompanied alien children”), which typically means they are sent into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). Under normal circumstances when a child enters the country without his or her parent, ORR attempts to locate a family member within a few weeks, and the child is then released to a family member, or if a family member cannot be located, the child is placed in a residential center (anywhere in the country), or in some cases, foster care.

Prior to Trump’s new policy, ORR was operating at 95 percent capacity, and they simply cannot effectively manage the influx of 2000+ children, some as young as 4 months. Also, keep in mind, these are not unaccompanied minor children, they have parents. There is great legal ambiguity on how and even whether the parents will get their children back because we are in uncharted territory right now. According to the ACLU lawsuit (see below), there is currently no easy vehicle for reuniting parents with their children. Additionally, according to a May 2018 report, numerous cases of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were found to have occurred in these residential centers. https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-obtains-documents-showing-widespread-abuse-child-immigrants-us-custody

Myth: This policy is legal. – LIKELY FALSE.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on May 6, 2018, and a recent court ruling denied the government’s motion to dismiss the suit. The judge deciding the case stated that the Trump Administration policy is “brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency.” The case is moving forward because it was deemed to have legal merit. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-07/aclu-suit-over-child-separations-at-border-may-proceed-judge





From: Groucho Marx
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2018
Subject: Thank You...Byron: A few more...photos San Diego's' Families Stay Together March 6-23-18



Thank you for your kind words. If the images are useful then please feel free to publish them (Photo Credit: Byron Morton)

Have fun while out of town with your wife.

I tossed in a few more images from the "Families Stay Together" march.

There were a lot of young people present.

Stay well, do good work and keep in touch.




Natives purify San Diego Streets













From: Groucho Marx

Sent: Monday, June 25, 2018
Subject: Byron: A few photos San Diego's' Families Stay Together March 6-23-18


Well, what a day!

I thought you'd be interested in a few photos from the Families Stay Together march 6-23-18.

It was well represented with people from all walks of life.

For me, the iconic photo, the first one of the Latina girl with the "Abolish Colonial Laws" sign, stands out.

She has a determined stare and the sign references history.

The mysterious out of frame hand seals the image for me. It becomes an emotional representation of current events.





















The Saker: “No 5th Column in the Kremlin? Think again!”



Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review


Following the re-appointment of Medvedev and his more or less reshuffled government, the public opinion in Russia and abroad was split on whether this was a good sign of continuity and unity amongst the Russian leadership or whether this was a confirmation that there was a 5th column inside the Kremlin working against President Putin and trying to impose neo-liberal and pro-western policies on the Russian people. Today I want to take a quick look at what is taking place inside Russia because I believe that the Russian foreign policy is still predominantly controlled by what I call the “Eurasian Sovereignists” and that to detect the activities of the “Atlantic Integrationist” types we need to look at what is taking place inside Russia.





Edward Snowden describes Russian government as corrupt










The Most Important Surveillance Story You Will Ever See For Years Just Went Online



by Arjun Walia




Ukraine Behind the Curtain


by Louis Proyect


For most people on the left, knowledge of the Ukraine is limited to a few well-trodden factoids. Victorian Nuland made a phone call that led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government and its replacement through a pro-EU, pro-NATO coup. The coup relied on a combination of neo-Nazi violence and false flag incidents to succeed. Once in power, the anti-Communist government and its rightwing supporters began tearing down statues of Lenin. And all of this could have been anticipated because Stephen Bandera collaborated with the Nazis during WWII.

This micro-narrative eliminated the need to understand the country’s history or the economic contradictions internal to the country that have led to chronic instability ever since it became independent in 1991. For those who want to dig beneath the surface, there are two new books by Ukrainian scholars that put the country’s ongoing turmoil into perspective. Stephen Velychenko’sPainting Imperialism and Nationalism Red: The Ukrainian Marxist Critique of Russian Communist Rule in Ukraine 1918-1925” points out in painful detail how an emancipatory project in 1917 led to the preservation of Czarist type domination but in the name of proletarian internationalism. Put succinctly, if you want to know why Lenin statues (that never should have been erected in the first place per Lenin’s aversion to idolatry) were torn down, Velychenko’s book is a good place to start. As for Euromaidan and its consequences, Yuliya Yurchenko’s Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict is the very first attempt to apply a Marxist analysis to Ukraine’s chronic oligarchic rule. Despite her support for Euromaidan, Yurchenko makes the case that it was hijacked by a wing of the ruling class that sought to preserve its narrow profit-seeking goals by exploiting nationalist resentments.





Anthony Kennedy and the Court of Lost Resort



by Jeffrey St. Clair


These occasions don’t come round all that often, so we should pause for moment amid the daily traumas of Trumptime to celebrate the departure of Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court. With Kennedy’s exit, the high bench will finally be cleansed of the last remnant of Reaganism, a judicial contagion that has gnawed away at the legal foundations of the Republic for the past 37 years, since Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to replace Potter Stewart in the summer of 1981. Over eight years, Reagan remade the federal judiciary from top to bottom by appointing 383 judges, more than any other president.

O’Connor’s elevation to the bench was followed by Reagan’s decision to enthrone the austere William Rehnquist as Chief Justice in 1986, followed four days later by the nomination of fire-breathing Anton Scalia to the slot vacated by Warren Burger.

When center-right justice Lewis Powell, author of the notorious Powell Memoranda that charted a corporate counter-attack against the regulatory state, stepped down in the summer of 1987, Reagan nominated Robert Bork, the bearded conservative who served as Nixon’s executionor in the Saturday Night Massacre. But Bork’s nomination was, well, Borked, by an uppity senate which was, after six years, finally beginning to push back against Reagan with Teddy Kennedy leading the charge. Next Reagan turned to the wonkish Douglas Ginsburg. a former Harvard Law professor whom Reagan had just a few months earlier appointed to the federal court in the District of Columbia. Ginsburg was outed by NPR’s legal bloodhound Nina Totenberg for having smoked marijuana as a student and continuing to partake of the magic herb while teaching at Harvard. During the peak of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign, this admission was a fatal transgression for any judicial aspirant, though a few years later Clarence Thomas would ascend to the bench after having made a similar confession.

After suffering these rare setbacks, Reagan turned to one of his old legal hatchetmen from his days as governor of California, Anthony Kennedy. After the brutalizing of Bork for the uncloaked rapacity of his legal views, Kennedy kept his judicial philosophy pretty opaque during his confirmation hearings, which he sailed through after Al Gore, Joe Biden and Paul Simon all skipped the committee vote to pursue their reelection campaigns. Kennedy was branded a moderate, but soon proved to be as reactionary as Reagan. While Kennedy didn’t exhibit Bork’s zealotry or Ginsberg’s lofty–if at times flighty– intellect, he wasted little time in boring into the landmark rulings of the Warren Court, so reviled the new conservatives. Kennedy’s animus toward Warren was at least partly rooted in the contentious relationship between the former Chief Justice and Kennedy’s lawyer father, who had tangled with Warren during the justice’s term as governor of California.