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Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday News on Life, History, and Justice.

The Innocent Project is doing amazing work in helping falsely convicted people to leave prison. Joseph Sledge now can move on with his life. It is a shame that the judicial system has regularly imprisoned innocent men and women. This is why social activism is very important, because social activism is a key action in helping human beings. Joseph Sledge is definitely owed an apology. We will continue to stand up for justice. The Ebola crisis in Africa proves conclusively that austerity doesn’t work. Medical research, funds for infrastructure, and international cooperation are actions that can combat epidemics. I am glad that new Ebola cases have declined massively, but the authorities released this vaccine months after so many thousands of black Brothers and black Sisters have died in West Africa. That is a real shame. I do commend the authentic, compassionate international authorities and the African heroes who have helped people suffering with Ebola. Cuba should be given great credit as well in sending doctors, equipment, medicine, and infrastructure as a way for people to help others. It is important to oppose imperialism and to support the Africans who are standing up for the liberation of Africa. Many workers (throughout America) are also protesting McDonalds & other corporations for its wage and benefits policies. These workers, who are fighting for a living wage and workers’ rights, should be commended. There is no excuse and there is no justification for racial discrimination, sexism, and harassment. Human beings should be treated with dignity and with respect. So, the former McDonald employees have every right to sue. We will wait and see if the lawsuits will be successful or not. The life of Ernie Banks is part of our history and our culture. He loved baseball and he loved his family greatly. His contributions to the MLB are excellent. We should learn about the Negro Leagues too. The Negro League baseball players had an amazing amount of strength, talent, and authenticity. He will be missed. RIP Ernie Banks.

There is the Christmas truce of WWI. It has been over 100 years since it occurred on December 24, 1914. This was one of the most poignant, important events of WWI. It has been called Weihnachtsfrieden in Germany and Trêve de Noël in France. The Christmas truce was when there was a spontaneous ceasefire all across the Western front that stretched 440 miles from the border of Switzerland to the North Sea. This was very extraordinary, because there was the jingoist reaction shown by all of the belligerent powers (like Germany, France, Russia, and Britain) to justify their recourse to war just months before, starting on July 28, 1914. There were British and German troops meeting in no man’s land during the unofficial truce. There is one picture of British troops from the Northumberland Hussars, 7th Division, Bridoux-Rouge Banc Sector). Just before this truce, German imperialism invaded Belgium and Luxembourg. The German military then went south across the border into France. The Germans wanted to have a quick victory over its opponents on the Western Front. The Germans wanted to defeat Britain and France in six weeks before going into Russia. British and French imperialism were thrown on the defensive, because of the initially rapid German advance. They soon stabilize the front and mobilize the resources of their colonial empire. They also created a crippling naval blockade on food supplies to starve the German population. By December 1914, there was a stalemate. There were thousands of men in the trenches. The trenches were rat infested, wet, bloody, and cold. The war was still going. These horrible conditions caused a number of unofficial truces to exist. It started on Christmas Eve where about 100,000 soldiers along the Western front laid down their arms. They fraternized in no-man’s land between the lines of trenches. Many of them (for 48 hours or more) sang carols, exchanged cigarettes, food like chocolates, and personal mementos. There are plenty of photographs showing British and German troops along the soldiers’ letters home are witness to the event. On December 26, 1914, German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and the British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment met in no man’s land. The Christmas truce was not totally universal. There was slaughter among many sectors. On December 24, 1914, that the first German bomb struck on British soil, in Dover. In some instances, the lull in hostilities lasted only hours—just long enough to enable the retrieval and burial of the corpses lying in the freezing and desolate wasteland. Some said that a friendly football match occurred among British and German troops. This truce represented how strong the anti-war sentiment was during WWI. Many people refused to fight, created unofficial truce, munities, strikes, and peace protests. Corporal Adolf Hitler of the 16th Bavarians opposed such truces. “Such things should not happen in wartime. Have you Germans no sense of honour left at all?” he complained. Within days, the German, British and French High Commands served anti-fraternization orders, carrying the heaviest penalties. The Christmas truce was a courageous display of opposition to the brutality of war. We can learn the lesson that this truce represented the need for us to fight for world peace which we all seek. The Christmas truce was a great act of humanity.

We can never forget about the fifth year anniversary of the terrible Earthquake in Haiti. After 5 years, there have been massive protests against the UN occupation of Haiti. Some people want the departure of the neoliberal Haitian President Michel Martelly (he once eulogized the ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier or Baby Doc) and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Laurent Lamothe finally resigned in December of 2014. The U.S. regularly supported leaders in Haiti who were not necessarily for the interests of the Haitian people. Structural problems have to be addressed in Haiti. We know that token international aid has been used as a capitalist, imperial tool to keep the South captive to the North’s bad neoliberal policies. The South need true development. Bill Clinton and Bush Jr. among others were involved with the funds sent to Haiti. NGOs and USAID used funds to serve U.S. interests. Much of the funds helped to benefit the rich and business people of the West. Clinton’s CIRH or the Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti has done little to radically reconstruct Haiti in a revolutionary fashion. Approximately 80% of the aid money dedicated to developing countries ended up in the coffers of businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the donor countries. Far from helping, this dynamic only creates a relationship of dependency hampering, even preventing the “recipient” country from developing the very structures which could liberate it from this colonial relationship. The structural adjustment programs have failed since they focused on massive privatization, local economies were destroyed, and other problems have existed. In other words, local economies were damaged as a way for to cause U.S. imports of rice, poultry, etc. to flood the Haitian market. Haitian sugar, rice, and chicken crops were once protected. Big multinational corporations have huge influence in Haitian resources too. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti or the MINUSTAH still is occupying Haiti territory. The MINUSTAH was established June 1st, 2004 after a coup d’état led by the United States, France and Canada which removed from office the democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide, leader of the most popular political party, Fanmi Lavalas. Fanmi Lavalas, which has largely dominated in both elections it participated in, was banned from the 2010 election. The 2010 election was “won” by the U.S.’ favored candidate Michel Martelly. MINUSTAH has suppressed the human rights of the political party Fanmi Lavalas. Their or the MINUSTAH's other human rights abuses include rape (of Haitian men, women, and children), the spreading of cholera, extrajudicial murder, and the repression of other peaceful political protests. The private contractor DynCorp trains the Haitian police. Much of the aid money has been used to build up luxury hotels, which is a disgrace when over 1 million Haitians are homeless. So, the Haitian people in 2015 are fighting for independence, liberation, democratic governance, and sovereignty. Political and economic democracy is what the Haitians are fighting for. The lives of Black Haitians matter.

American Sniper is a controversial film. Debates exist all of the time about it. The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and its screenplay was established by Jason Hall. The movie was about the story of the famous sniper Chris Kyle. He is known as reputedly the deadliest marksman in the history of the U.S. military with about 255 kills. The Pentagon has confirmed 160 kills. The movie is highly pro-war despite the anti-war views of Eastwood. The movie shows Kyle’s multiple duties in Iraq and how he suffers emotionally. It is a story that deals with xenophobic revenge and violence especially after 9/11. The movie shows a scene where Kyle defends his younger brother against a bully when his younger brother is being beaten by a bully. Later that evening, Kyle’s father explains to his sons that there are three types of people in the world. These people are the sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs. He explains that predatory wolves are responsible for all the “evil” in the world and it is the job of sheep dogs, who are “blessed with aggression,” to protect the sheep who cannot take care of themselves. This statement from his father serves as a theme in the American Sniper movie. The movie presents the narrative that U.S. is under attack from “evildoers,” so ultra-right and pro-military fanaticism is needed in the world. We know that imperialism has plundered the Middle East for over 100 years. The U.S. has been the source of aggression in many of the events of the Middle East. Western imperialists are the wolf in sheep dog’s clothing (with a bad disguise at that). So, the movie doesn’t show the complex nature of war or the horrendous cycle of capitalist imperialism. Bradley Cooper is the actor who plays Kyle. Kyle becomes a rodeo cowboy in Texas. When he watches the 1998 bombing attacks on U.S. embassies, he is angry and joins the Navy. He becomes a Navy Seal and a sharpshooter. Kyle meets and falls in love with Taya (who is played by Sienna Miller). Kyle and Taya look at the September 11 attacks on television and Kyle is again overcome with anger. Kyle soon goes into Iraq. He is involved in 4 tours. After each tour, he struggles to settle down in civilian life even when he has a son and a daughter. Memories haunt him and he want to protect his fellow soldiers in Iraq. He is a sniper in Fallujah which has been destroyed. Arabic people in the film are portrayed in a negative light regardless if they are fighters or regular men, women, and children. The word "savages" are used to describe them throughout the film. Eastwood omits that the U.S. support and financed Islamic fundamentalists and many Islamic terrorists for decades. The movie shows the paranoid view that Muslims threatens San Diego or New York. Kyle kills women and children. Reactionary forces are exploiting this controversial film to promote the illegal, neocolonial invasion, and occupation of Iraq.

The establishment is heavily involved with the establishment religious circles of the world. They try to make religious bodies to not make tough stands on controversial issues or compromise core convictions in order to be “politically correct” or submit to the interests of the establishment. One example is that the establishment promotes the evil Vietnam War. Many churches opposed it courageously and others supported it under the banner of jingoistic patriotism. Another example is that Council of Foreign Relations promotes globalization and many members of the establishment church like Rick Warren are CFR members. There are prosperity gospel religious leaders who promote materialism, corporate glamorization, and commercialism when we have millions of poor people struggling in America alone. In other words, spiritual enlightenment and economic justice are more important than massive material abundance.We know about many elitists who not only advocate global government (which I don’t support), but are actively involved in the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group (which are groups who want more global integration). One of the easiest organizations that the establishment uses to try to manipulate religious people is the Council on National Policy or the CNP. The CNP has connections to the John Birch Society and the CNP is used as a way to control the conservative wing of the religious establishment. Famous CNP members include Tim LaHaye, Nelson Hunt, Howard Philips, etc. They receive corporate backing as well. So, we have to expose not only globalist extremists, but controlled opposition who seek to exploit God for profit literally. We have to be obedient to righteousness. That means that we have every right to not call a grown man Holy Father and we have the right to fight against racial discrimination and economic oppression.

By Timothy

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