Monday, August 04, 2014

Monday News during early August of 2014

We know that Israel has intensified the slaughter in Gaza after the ceasefire collapsed. The 72 hour ceasefire has collapsed. There have been at least 140 Palestinians killed on Friday. The total death toll is over 1,600 Palestinians and most of the dead are civilians. There have been at least 8,000 people wounded since Israel launched its attacks on Gaza on July 8. Israel accuses Hamas or the ruling party in Gaza of breaching the ceasefire agreement. Just two hours after it came into effect, the Israeli military seized on a clash with Palestinian militants, which two Israeli soldiers were killed and one possibly captured, to declare that the truce was over. Washington has funded and aided the Israeli government in continuing the military assault. There have been discussions among many sides in Egypt. There has been a 16,000 reservist call up to boost Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip. Most Gazan residents are trapped in the territory. It is surrounded by gates and areas where few Gazans can escape. The ceasefire was jointly announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday to give “innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence” and to allow “the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured and restocking food supplies.” Soon, the Israeli military renewed its operations with even greater ferocity. Under the terms of the ceasefire, Israel and Hamas agreed to end all offensive operations at 8 a.m. local time. For Israel, that meant its troops on the ground could continue to destroy tunnels, but only those that were behind their defensive lines and led into Israel. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Thursday that the military would completely destroy Hamas’s tunnel networks “with or without a cease-fire.” Israel claimed that Hamas killed 2 Israeli soldiers and captured an officer. Hamas has denied these charges. According to Gaza Health Ministry official Ashraf al-Kidra, at least 70 Palestinians were killed and 440 wounded in Israeli attacks on Friday in the Rafah area. The dead include a paramedic killed when an Israeli tank shell hit the ambulance in which he was travelling. Another 70 Palestinians were killed elsewhere in Gaza. The White House supports the Israeli efforts unconditionally. Moreover, the US Senate unanimously voted $225 million in emergency funds for Israel to bolster its Iron Dome anti-missile system. Rockets have been coming to Israel and Gaza. Israeli atrocities against a civilian population have been excessive. Vital infrastructure in Gaza has been destroyed. In a statement to the UN Security Council on Thursday, Valerie Amos, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, detailed Israeli attacks on more than 103 UN facilities, including a school on Wednesday that killed 19 people and injured more than 100. Much of the Gaza Strip has less than two hours electricity a day and medicine and safe water are increasingly scarce. The UN estimates that more than 400,000 people of a population of 1.8 million have been displaced from their homes, with about half staying with relatives and a quarter of a million in shelters run by local government. Israeli civilians experiencing death should never be justified either. Any innocent human life whether they are Israeli or Palestinian should be respected. The White House not only Israel has responsibility in the destruction of Gaza infrastructure and the death of innocent civilians in Gaza (which constitute overt war crimes).

This is certainly a historic event since it’s the first time that an American citizen has been brought into an American hospital, who has the Ebola virus. First, I hope that all precautions are made in the Atlanta hospital. In that way, human beings can use the proper means to assist the man with a serious condition. I see that the man is walking and he is covered all over with specialized clothing. He should be monitored constantly because of the obvious reason. I hope that he does get better including all of the other victims of ebola. Unfortunately, a lot of people have died by the disease. We all send our prayers and our condolences to the families and friends of those who passed away from ebola. I don’t believe in fear mongering, but it is a historical fact that many evil people have used diseases to harm innocent human life before. Strong preparedness, compassion, and activism are needed in dealing with the ebola crisis going on in the Motherland. The ebola epidemic in the Motherland proves the need for us to address poverty in Africa. More than 1,300 cases exist so far and at least 729 people (including several health care workers) have unfortunately died. Many of the outbreaks have occurred in rural locations where poverty is found. There have been outbreaks in wild animal populations and then it spread to humans via hunting or via domestic animals. Ebolas is very contagious. Transmission deals with direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone infected, so the spread of the disease can be minimized through basic sanitation and medical quarantine. The current outbreak has spread into Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. It started from February and it is still going on. This outbreak has a relatively low mortality rate as compared to earlier epidemics, whose mortality has been at 64 percent as estimated by the World Health Organization. In some outbreaks, as high as 90 percent of those who were infected have died. There is no cure for the Ebola virus, but if the symptoms are managed, then the mortality rate can be lowered. Liberia has closed most of its border crossings, closed its schools, and placed nonessential government workers on compulsory 30 day leave. Sierra Leone has accounted a state of emergency. There are quarantines of affected areas. Public fatherings are restricted there. Two prominent African doctors, Samuel Brisbane of Liberia and Sheik Umar Khan of Sierra Leone, have died during this epidemic, and a number of other health care workers have also succumbed to the disease. One issue is that Sierra Leone has over 6 million people, but it has fewer than 200 doctors in its whole public health sector. Guinea has just 1 doctor for every 10,000 people; the worldwide average is 13 for every 10,000. There is massive poverty, lack of sanitation, and a lack of infrastructure that has allowed ebola to spread so rapidly. Many Liberians lack access to running water. West Africa has a lot of raw materials. The problem is that imperialist Western powers are exploiting the mineral wealth of Africa to benefit their own interests not the people of Africa. Guinea is the world’s second largest producer of bauxite and Sierra Leone is famous for its diamonds. Rio Tino and Swiss Bank UBS want new mines in the Guinean Simadou Mountains. So, we see that the people of Africa need a stronger infrastructure, assistance, and compassion not imperialism.

I respect both points of view on this issue. People from both sides of this issue want children to be safe from violence and crime. This new curfew policy is an expansion of the existing Baltimore curfew law, because Baltimore already has a curfew policy. Many officers believe that the enforcement of an expansion of the existing curfew policy will be very intensive. There are more than 2,400 homeless youth in Baltimore. Not to mention that there are many laws that address the safety of children, but it is correct to say that more should be done to help children. 7:30 am. is a time when many students are walking around trying to go to school in many areas of America by themselves in numerous cases. I have no issue with those wanting alternatives in handling this issue. For example, the Baltimore's Homeless Persons Representation Project (a great nonprofit organization) is promoting an alternative plan that addresses the curfew issue in the great city of Baltimore. Any policy should both address civil liberties matters and it ought to make sure that children are protected. There are other forms of information about this debate too. Many courts nationwide have struck down certain curfews as unconstitutional including far less extreme proposals being considered in Baltimore. Under the new proposals, the police can obtain “school or other valid identification” or a carry your papers law for anyone who looks young. There should be structural changes in Baltimore. A curfew can never solve all of the issues in Baltimore. Therefore, there should be more wise investments in the city and the addressing of structural problems like institutional racism, poverty, etc. This curfew law is among the strictest in the nation. This law can also bring many innocent kids, who need help, into constant conflict with the police. The measure does include exemptions for kids traveling to or from certain approved activities, such as a school event or a job. Yet, the kids must prove that to the police officer. When Scott proposed the law last year, the Sun noted that "Gun violence in Baltimore involving juveniles has been on a steep decline in recent years, though there has been an uptick in 2013....Police arrest data show that juvenile arrests for aggravated assault, drug abuse violations and larceny—the three largest categories—are all down this year compared with the same time last year, though robberies are up 65 percent and stolen car arrests are up 52 percent." Meanwhile, "Of the five youths killed this year in city street violence, only one would have been considered in violation of curfew at the time her killing occurred." Therefore, I respect both sides on this issue.

A lot of people already knew that the U.S. tortured human beings. We, as black people, have been tortured from the days of the Maafa to when our people have suffered police brutality in the 21st century. Innocent Americans have been tortured by evil people in America for long centuries. We are the living representation of victims of torture by many Western, nefarious entities. The CIA has been proven to be a terrorist organization. It has used torture, it has used the rigging of elections in numerous countries, and it has been involved in forming numerous coups (that ended democratically elected governments to be replaced with reactionary regimes). There is no justification for the errors done by the CIA or by the Western elites at all. Scholars, civil libertarian activists, Phds, and other experts have documented the CIA’s torture programs and its mistakes. This is common knowledge. The most important thing is for people to condemn imperialism and to establish a more rational, progressive foreign policy. All human life should be treated with fairness. The President Barack Obama has admitted that the CIA tortured prisoners at secret rendition prisons. CIA Director John Brennan has been criticized too. “We tortured some folks,” Obama declared almost casually. He then proceeded to excuse and refuse to call for the torturers to be prosecuted. The President said that Brennan will continue to have his full confidence. There has been the release of a CIA inspector general’s report. The report exposed the CIA chief as a brazen liar. Brennan had denounced claims by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, of illegal and unconstitutional CIA spying on the committee staff, which was investigating the CIA torture program carried out during the administration of George W. Bush. The inspector general’s report admitted that the spying had taken place. The CIA’s surveillance of the Senate represents the unchecked power of organizations like the CIA and other intelligence including military agencies. Members of the CIA who spied on the Senate and who used secret torture programs are going off scot free. This represents the disintegration of American democracy and the growth of the police state agenda. For a long time, Washington has used means to cover up their own crimes. Even the President Barack Obama admitted that, “In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.” American imperialism has cased torture, imperialist wars, and deaths of millions in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. This reactionary display of abuse is evil. The West supported the murderous regimes of Pinochet in Chile, the Shah in Iran, the Saudi monarchs, and the Egyptian generals now. Both parties were informed about the CIA rendition sites globally. Many CIA torturers are no prosecuted while whistleblowers of White House crimes are regularly prosecuted. The American people are not responsible for torture by the CIA, or for drone missile assassinations, imperialist wars and other crimes committed by the US military-intelligence apparatus. The American people do not control the machinery of violence and repression headquartered in Washington. The CIA targeting the American population is truly a crime indeed.

In this generation, people know more about societal issues. There have been still sexist stereotypes of women and some trying to force all families to be a nuclear family where the woman stays home and the husband works outside of home alone. Now, we see that reactionaries have attacked the social safety net and the working class living standards as well. Human beings have the right to leave unhappy marriages, to combine work and family, and to have control over their own human autonomy. The reality is that a traditional family has never existed in a specific format throughout human history. Families are diverse. Only 9 percent of people today live in the traditional nuclear family of two married parents with a wage-earning father and full-time mother. One issue involving families deals with poverty. Many families live in poverty, lack health insurance, and experience oppressive working conditions. Many poor women have been demonized. The Reagan and Clinton years cut welfare. Between 2000 and 2002, unemployment for single mothers rose by 2 percentage points. And while 50 percent of those leaving welfare obtained jobs in the stronger economy of 1999, only 42 percent of those leaving welfare in 2002 found employment. During this period, child poverty has risen while welfare rolls have declined. This means that more and more women and their children are being left behind while poverty, unemployment, and low wages are rising. Eric Garner was unjustly murdered. I do believe that De Blasio should meet directly with the communities of New York City where such incidents have taken place. He should speak with the victim’s families and other victims’ families of police brutality as well. He should allow the people to vent their concerns to him and De Blasio ought to act in a stronger fashion to condemn this injustice. If the federal government brings up charges, then he ought to work with them in a righteous fashion. The medical report has classified Eric Garner’s death as a homicide. De Blasio portrays himself as a fighting progressive. He has the opportunity to act like one. I express my total sympathizes to the family and friends of Eric Garner.

By Timothy

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