BartBlog

September 15, 2018

Hail from the thieves: I.C.E freezes our money in Florida

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:39 pm

Good grief! For decades now, America has been the unwitting victim of various sleazy government contractors who shamelessly pick our pockets for all the valuables they can find there — using the time-honored ruse of distracting our attention with fears of “war” while they move in for the snatch. It’s like the Artful Dodger or even Fagan himself has seized control of America’s treasury. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2018/04/24/book-review-hellfire-club-jake-tapper-mccarthy-era-thriller/543899002/

Since 9-11, these shady pickpockets have upped their game to the point where it’s not even safe for Americans to carry a wallet on the subway any more. Since 9-11, we have been so royally fleeced by these so-called “war” contractors that you would think there was nothing even left to steal. But no. Apparently there is still a bit more moolah left to lift. Now these sleazy moochers have discovered an even newer and better way to slip their sneaky hands back into our pockets again. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50256.htm

Now ICE has come up with yet another evil scheme to snatch our purses and run — whatever little is left in them, that is. “Stop! Thief!” When our current climate catastrophe hit the eastern seaboard recently, it was soon discovered that ICE’s sticky fingers have stolen millions of dollars of our FEMA money and then used it to kidnap children instead of helping out disaster victims in North Carolina. Has ICE become the new Fagan? And has ICE, like Fagan, started running a new school for pickpockets too? It certainly looks that way, right? https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/52260-detention-of-migrant-children-has-skyrocketed-to-highest-levels-ever

We Americans appear to be the ultimate gullible marks, stuck on a crowded bus to nowhere while “war” profiteers and ICE profiteers easily dip into our pockets and steal our wallets — and with absolutely no fear of ever getting caught.

ICE contractors are now getting paid $750 per day per child for every single child that they can kidnap at the border. Hell, the kiddies could be staying in a five-star hotel for that price! https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/contractors-get-750-per-child-per-day-to-detain-migrants-somethings-wrong-here/2018/09/07/8ad78e1a-b1ea-11e8-8b53-50116768e499_story.html?utm_term=.f6a9dd58f1f1

According to a recent article in The Guardian, what we are getting for our $750 a day is definitely not The Ritz. “All day and night they listened to the wailing of hungry children. Here, in a freezing immigration detention facility somewhere in the Rio Grande valley of south Texas, adults and children alike were fainting from dehydration and lack of food. Sleep was almost impossible; the lights were left on, they had just a thin metallic sheet to protect against the cold and there was nothing to lie down on but the hard floor.”

Would you pay $750 a night for this ICE version of Oliver Twist’s orphanage? Ask your captors for “more, sir”? Give it a good review on Trip Advisor? Uh, no. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/12/us-immigration-detention-facilities?CMP=fb_gu

While I was in St. Petersburg last week, I took part in an anti-ICE demonstration against the owner of The Birchwood Inn. Its owner, Chuck Prather, claimed to be just a small businessman in a sweet Florida tourist town — and yet apparently he is currently renting out five (5) different buildings in the St. Pete area to ICE. Five of them. In a tourist town? Who the freak needs five (5) ICE buildings in St. Petersburg? It makes you stop and wonder, doesn’t it. There goes our money. Sticky fingers again.

Also at the anti-ICE demonstration, I learned about even more Dickensian behavior taking place at the US-Mexico border where apparently some Border Patrol officers hunt down and murder asylum-seekers for sport. The Ghost of Christmas Past is not gonna like that! https://www.facebook.com/Border-Patrol-Victims-Network-Red-de-Victimas-de-la-Patrulla-Fronteriza-452623394841164/

All this rash of pickpocket theft by various government contractors since 9-11 has made me truly stop and wonder just how much money is left in America right now for the rest of us. “What’s in your wallet?” Probably not much.

September 12, 2018

Guilty pleasure: How I actually liked visiting Flora-duh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:14 am

After hearing so much of this state’s bad press over the years regarding Jeb Bush, Rick Scott, Florida’s hellish foster-care system, the violent Trump rallies, the brutal murder of Trayvon Martin, the climate catastrophe and all the other horror tales about Flora-duh, I was totally dreading my trip to St. Petersburg — but still had to go there. Had an important book conference to attend at the historic Vinoy Hotel.

But guess what? I actually liked St. Petersburg. Everything there was so green and balmy and lush. They had great public transportation. The Cuban hot-pressed sandwiches were almost biblically delicious. I totally went off my health-food diet and ate Key Lime pie in an actual diner. I walked around in the swamps, er, wetlands. I got caught in the tail-end of Tropical Storm Gordon (not Gordon Ramsey, BTW, but it was definitely a bit like being in Hell’s kitchen). I visited two excellent libraries. I stayed in a trailer. I had a fabulous time and came home with an actual suntan and 40 pounds of free books!

I also talked with a social worker there who said that, yes, there was a problem with the foster-care system. “Some retirees supplement their income by taking in foster kids, receiving $500 a month from the state, feeding their wards on rice and beans and then pocketing the rest. And some of the charter schools here are atrocious too.” Okay. So those rumors are true.

But geez Louise. The beaches, the balmy night air around midnight, the kindness of strangers and the fact that everywhere you look you see tropically green plants smiling back at you. Just imagine what this place looked like before 1492!

PS: Another big reason that I had such a great time in Flora-duh is that I had just finished reading a rather scary article in Dissident Voice about how it is totally possible that the human race may become extinct as soon as 2026 — and that’s only eight years from now! So I’d better start trying to “live fast, die young”? Too late for that! But at least I will die knowing that I’d been to almost-paradise. https://abc.go.com/shows/bachelor-in-paradise

According to this article, “There is a group of courageous and prominent climate scientists who offer compelling climate science evidence that human beings, along with millions of other species, will be extinct by 2026 (and perhaps as early as 2021) in response to a projected 10 degree celsius increase in global temperatures above the pre-industrial level by that date.” https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/09/human-extinction-by-2026/

Oops.

PPS: And please be aware that the major Number One cause of climate catastrophe today is “war”. America’s war profiteers may not be dropping bombs on our own neighborhoods like they do on Syrian, Yemeni, Afghan and Palestinian neighborhoods — but nevertheless War Street is also murdering us too (only slower and with fewer Technicolor special effects). http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50217.htm

 

August 30, 2018

Happiness vs. greed: “Money won’t change you but…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 5:51 pm

Good grief, there certainly seems to be a whole lot of important Tibetan Buddhist lamas coming to visit NorCal these days. Perhaps they are here to show their compassion for us after all these horrible wildfires. In any case, Tenzin Lungtok, the seventh Ling Rinpoche, just gave a talk to the U.C. Berkeley community on the importance of happiness and compassion — and here’s my full report on the event (including my excellent commentary of course). Sorry that it’s so long but Ling Rinpoche had a lot of important stuff to say.

BTW, the seventh Ling Rinpoche is a direct reincarnation of the Dalai Lama’s senior tutor who died in 1983 — so this Ling Rinpoche is rather young, only 33 years old.

The very first thing he talked about was Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Shocker! “They live in conditions that are very poor, very wretched over there.” Yeah, they do — thanks to the USA, which caused all that misery in the first place. And even now, American war profiteers seem to be desperate to start even more new “wars” and to also keep the same old tired ones going. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50130.htm

“And in the United States itself there is no war,” Ling Rinpoche continued, “but there are many problems in the mind here, even among the wealthy.” Especially among the wealthy. Some of those guys are bat-dookie cray-cray!

“Is all this happening because of karma, and is thus unavoidable?” Apparently not. “In fact there are things we can do to change all this for the better — we can become patient, tolerant and satisfied with what we have. But here in America there is the problem of greed.” No shite, Sherlock.

“Attitudes like greed create problems, and because of these problems we simply don’t have minds that are capable of contentment.” Apparently kindness is the key to contentment. “And if we can’t find what we want by kindness, we may turn to lies and violence — and also to trying to keep others from getting what they want as well, in order to feel more superior to them.” Rinpoche may be on to something here. That does seem to be America’s main attitude right now. Our neighbors are homeless and dying of hunger? Hurray! Now we’re better than them.

“And because of greed, then we lie, we steal, we kill.” This is starting to sound very familiar as well. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too — that seems to be Washington’s main approach to governance in the last five decades. Or is it six? Or seven? I myself have devoted my life to protecting justice against greed. Greed is the main predator on justice? Why am I not surprised.

Then Rinpoche goes on to say that this all-about-me attitude basically sucks eggs. “It is a narrow way of thinking.” For sure. No future there.

“Fighting and arguing with others is a major part of this type of thinking. Naturally we all want happiness — there’s nothing wrong with that. But we don’t know what we need to do to be happy.” Yeah, well. Americans could begin by not financing the slaughter of babies in Syria, Gaza and Yemen. That would be a good start. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50137.htm

“We need to make our minds more open and expansive.” Snap! “Not just thinking about ourselves. We need to be more concerned with the world in general.” This is good stuff. But then, oops, my pen ran out of ink. New pen please! Hope I am getting this all down correctly.

“If our attitude is more open and expansive, we can stop problems and achieve far-reaching goals.” World peace would be a good goal, right? This is where you are spozed to nod your head up and down, America. But apparently not.

“If you have an expansive attitude, things go better.” Narrow thinking? Not good. “The results are always problems.” Just look at the swamp that America has created in Afghanistan — and Flint.

“A lack of contentment and blaming others is a large cause of our problems.” The immigrants did it! The Russians did it! Not. “If we learn to take responsibility for our own blame, problems can be solved. Otherwise our minds become distracted away from seeing what is actually good — distracted by greed and desire.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/family-detention-center-border_us_5b7c2673e4b0a5b1febf3abf

Then he talked about work. “People here do it for salaries, housing, cars, etc. They don’t even think about if they are actually enjoying their work.” How many Americans are stuck in yucky boring dead-end jobs? But I myself have a job that I like right now — I’m working on becoming a better person. And also trying to be more patient with jerks.

“Morality is good,” he continued. “Morality, concentration and wisdom.” Hmmm. Perhaps it is time for Americans to start choosing their leaders because they are wise. Nah. Never happen. But maybe it could….

“Technological development is not enough to enjoy a good life. Look at all the people in more developed countries who are not happy.” And also look at all those happy people in that technological desert Bhutan for instance, far happier than us. “Of course technology does help — but in a limited way. To obtain far-reaching advances, we really need to develop the qualities of the mind.” Xfinity and Apple won’t make us happy. Not really. Let’s place our bets on kindness instead.

“For example the kindness of our parents, our teachers and our friends have done more for us than technology.” We would never have even reached adulthood without their kindness. That type of kindness is even more better than gold-plated toilets and really fast cars. “Loving kindness is priceless.” And it’s harder to come by as well.

“There is too much violence, crime and war in the world. Whether you accept religion or not, loving kindness and compassion are important. Affection for others. With these tools, all the problems in our world could be solved. And we could all receive real, genuine happiness. No more problems in the world.” Boom. Done and dusted. Works for me.

“If you see something, if you see an injustice, do something. Of course we should protest if someone does something wrong — but not hate them. And we should feel even more compassion for people who lack kindness.” Because they are losers, duh!

“And if you have made mistakes in your life before? Then take that occasion to learn from them. And treat others as you would treat yourself.” Unlike what Christian hypocrites in Washington do today. “And be kind to yourself as well — but avoid self-cherishing because that only leads to anger.” Bottom line? “We depend on all others for our happiness.”

Then someone asked about what to do when comparing oneself unfavorably to all those beautiful people on TV? “Then just turn off the TV,” he said with a smile.

And during the Q&A that followed, I too couldn’t resist standing up. “I always make all my decisions based on whether or not what I was planning to do might benefit the most sentient beings. So thank you for coming here today because hearing your talk definitely benefited more sentient beings than if I had just sat home and watched TV.” He smiled at this too. “But my question is, what do you see happening in the future — say five or ten years from now?”

Ling Rinpoche answered that he was not a soothsayer or fortune teller but that the way to a better future is, “Don’t be attached to the results. Just do what you can, try to keep benefiting all — and then act!”

I was so impressed with this young guy who speaks like a wise old man that I grabbed up one of those traditional white offering scarves that you are supposed to give to lamas and ran after him to the elevator like some desperate Beatles fan from the ’60s. “Wait! Wait!” I cried. But the elevator closed in my face — but then me and my friend went off to buy tacos on Telegraph Avenue and got all greedy for guacamole.

PS: We also ran into a Palestinian friend of mine on the Avenue who told us that Israeli colonialists were now offering money to Palestinian Israelis in Jerusalem if they would move off to that hell-hole the “settlers” have now created on the West Bank. Hey, that’s way better than just straight-up murdering them, right? Although I do gotta admit that Palestinian Israelis living in the West Bank are a hecka lot vulnerable to getting murdered. Money won’t change that fact either. James Brown nailed it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GomjY2car6g

Perhaps Israeli colonialists are doing all this killing because they are not very happy? Too greedy? Perhaps they should switch to loving kindness instead!

 

August 23, 2018

I want to live in a world where innocence is valued…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:34 am

Frankly, it is clear as day to anyone with eyes to see that we currently live in an ugly monstrous world, one where greed, pollution, corruption, lies and cold hard murderous steel have become our top priories and most precious values. Must it always be this way? Will we ever live in a world like the Garden of Eden again?

Did we ever live there in the first place?

Yes.

And to clearly see what our lost world of innocence looks like, we don’t have to travel back to 18th-centruy Tahiti or to the ancient Black Hills of the Lakota before Custer — nothing like that. All we have to do is look at that happy smile on the face of the nearest well-loved toddler as she looks at our world with new, bright, shining, trusting eyes. We’ve all been like that once. We can all be like that again.

There is no reason on earth that the human race is required by law to devote all of its savings, material goods, slick justifications, hopes, desires and dreams to military hardware, prisons, land-grabs, power plays, earth pollution and being just plain all-out mean — when other alternatives clearly exist.

Think about it. Why must we freaking die in order to finally live in an idealized heaven instead of what we are currently doing — endlessly prolonging this power-mad grubby dishonorable war-mongering treacherous murderous Hell that we now call modern life? Why indeed — when there is clearly a precious lovely beautiful meaningful alternative.

We’ve lost our way. Is it too late to find it again? Good grief, I surely hope not.

PS: Where to begin to change our world for the better? Let’s start with the American military’s excellent example. “Thank you for your service.” Literally. Our military has it right — socialism for all! Free housing, free food, free medical care, early retirement, great pensions, free job training and free education. “Be the best you can be!”

Sure, you get shot at occasionally — but in the meantime? Socialism at its finest hour (with the exception of corporate welfare, of course — no one does socialism better than American corporations!)

 

Cold-hearted I.C.E gets its freak-out on (again)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:32 am

There I was, sitting in an immigration-hearing courtroom on Sansome Street — with my jaw dropped in shock. I’d arrived at the courtroom late, having been summarily distracted by the beauty of the San Francisco waterfront on my way over. The immigrant’s attorney had stood up to plead the immigrant’s case. But where the freak was the immigrant himself?

“I’m sorry,” said the judge. “Your client has just been shipped off to the I.C.E. processing center in Aurora, Colorado. He will not be here today.” Yikes! I just got back from there. The place is a dump. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu_LzFJ8kzA&feature=youtu.be

“Nobody informed me of that,” replied the surprised attorney. His jaw probably dropped too. The immigrant’s wife burst into tears. She was seven months pregnant, a high-risk pregnancy at that.

“I object to this sudden change of venue,” said the attorney — as well he should. We all did. The courtroom was packed with the immigrant’s supporters. Who knew that our guy had already been kidnapped without legal warning? Their jaws all dropped too.

The judge was sympathetic. “I am sympathetic,” he said. “I will continue working to bond your client out. I.C.E. has the authority to bond him out at any time or even to release him altogether — instead of just holding him in endless detention.” And making us taxpayers pay for it too. That’s just mean.

But why should I.C.E. do something low-life like that anyway? Apparently I.C.E. has been ordered from the top down to turn American immigrants’ lives into Living Hell — by any means that I.C.E. can dream up. So I.C.E is just obeying orders. And I.C.E. has really gotten its freak on behind it too.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/ice-withheld-deported-parents-apos-023644301.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb

So much for “Give me your tired, your poor…whatever.” Apparently America no longer needs anyone else with “a yearning to breathe free”. And, based upon their illegal actions since even before the Gulf of Tonkin lies and “fixing the intelligence” in Iraq, the American military-industrial complex no longer seems to need any of the rest of us to breathe free either. We are all being screwed.

_____________________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books. https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Stillwater/e/B00IW6O1RM

 

August 17, 2018

There’s no future in it: Why hatred is a big waste of time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:22 pm

I used to love to travel the world. The whole world was my oyster. I used to be a fabulous war correspondent who happily went off to dangerous military hot-spots like Afghanistan, Honduras, North Korea, Syria and Iraq. And then my 401K money ran out and that was that. It takes a lot of $$$$ to be an overseas war correspondent (unless of course one is willing to lie and in that case you can get hired on the spot by the New York Times).

So then I started justifying why I could only afford to travel around the USA by telling myself that I was heroically exploring the “Belly of the Beast” itself, the American colonialist beast that had actually brought us all these terrible “wars” in the first place — everything from that terrible massacre in the Philippines in 1901 up to and including those murderous flowers of death in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Juarez, Honduras, Palestine and Libya right now.

But I soon ran out of the money to be able to do even that and couldn’t even afford to travel to Vegas — let alone Boston or Honolulu. I really wanted to go to Brownsville for instance, to try to help the heart-broken, sick and possibly-dying babies who have been kidnapped by ICE along the Texas border — but even that seems just one bank account too far. Plus I never seem to win the lottery either.

And then a friend of mine told me about some ancient Native American ceremonies that frequently take place right around here, almost in my own back yard — and so I began to travel inward instead, with the help of a lot of drum-beating and lack of sleep to all hours. It was cheaper, closer to home and didn’t pollute the air.

So. What did I learn on my recent inward journeys? That if someone’s heart and soul is filled up with past hatreds, then there is no more room for any future wonderfulness.

By dwelling on racism and bias and sectarianism and political schisms and religious feuds and climate-change denial and sexism and “war” and all that other burdensome junk, then Americans have given away, thrown away, ditched, dumped and voluntarily sacrificed their own precious ability to focus on what comes ahead — and to make it better than what came before. More sparkle-ly, more productive, more user-friendly, more fun!

PS: I have just enough frequent-flyer miles left right now to get me to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the annual BoucherCon book conference there, starting on September 5. And I can also stay in a friend’s teardrop trailer — while gleefully contemplating all those free books being given away at the conference. https://www.bouchercon2018.com/

And I also will be crossing the Gandy Avenue causeway to Tampa in order to ask for an interview with Leonard Peltier’s legal team. Yes, Leonard is still being locked up in jail for crimes that he didn’t commit — been locked up for over 40 years now. But that’s American injustice for ya. Nixon may be dead but CONINTELPRO is still alive and well and rejoicing that Leonard is still trapped in a bleak high-security prison just outside of Tampa. https://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/

And I just checked out Peter Mattiessen’s book on Leonard from the Berkeley Public Library — you know, the book that the FBI spent eight long years in court trying to suppress its publication. Should be a very interesting read. https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Crazy-Horse-American-Movement/dp/0140144560

Florida, here I come. https://mvskokemedia.com/riding-for-peltier/

Reporting from Tampa and St. Petersburg might not be as glamorous as reporting from Yemen or Syria or Gaza but the protagonists are the same in both places — American colonialists and their sleazy blood-thirsty friends. Yuck!

August 8, 2018

Why sanctioning Iran is a stupid idea…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:40 pm

Every weekend I trudge down to the Berkeley flea market to get a deep-tissue massage from Dr. Zhu and his staff. Just 20 bucks. Best deal in the whole Bay Area. And while I was wandering around other stalls at the flea market afterward, I got to chit-chatting with some older guy regarding my latest favorite hot topic — cut-throat world banking and cold-hearted central banks..

“It’s not what you think,” said the old man. It isn’t? “No. There aren’t a whole bunch of huge central banks in the world. There is really only one — the hegemon super-bank. That’s the only central bank that really counts.” What? My wonderful Berkeley co-op credit union doesn’t count any more? Humph.

“Hundreds of years ago, top banksters met in Antwerp and decided that the most powerful country in the world should also be the site of the most powerful bank in the world — because said hegemon bank would be safest that way. And thus, after World War II, this super-bank was moved to the United States because everyone in the bankster mafia back then agreed that America was [literally] da bomb. Breton Woods and all that shite sealed the deal. http://www.g8.utoronto.ca/scholar/bailin/bailin2000.pdf

“But now, by mutual agreement, the world’s main hegemon super-bank has been moved again. It is now located in China.” Okay. If you say so.

Does that mean that, because it is no longer located here in America, that America no longer runs the world? Apparently China now runs the world? “Bingo!” And even American banksters are aware of this too?

“Absolutely. Top banksters here used to send their kids to Exetor or Andover and then on Harvard. Now they just hire Mandarin-speaking nannies, send their children to the University of Beijing and buy them fancy condos in Shanghai — hoping to catch some crumbs from the table of Rothchilds gone Asian.” Who knew? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14ZHRBfpeNg

“But in order for China to truly and completely run the world, two other things need to happen,” continued the old man. “Billions of other people need to recognize China’s new power — and billions of other people need to start dissing on America so that it will lose even more of its power.” Suppose I agree with you? Just suppose?

“The king is dead, long live the king, as the old saying goes. But that will only happen when America’s banking power is completely diminished.” And so? The guy was starting to lose me here — but only because the BBQ chicken three stalls over smelled really good.

“And so here is where the Trump administration comes in.” Hmmm…. “Think about it. Trump has systematically done everything he possibly can in the past two years to make the world hate America. He’s kidnapped (and/or murdered) babies, moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, slept with hookers, screwed the environment, nominated Bret Kavanaugh, advocated coat-hanger abortions, denounced the Paris climate accord and given racists and fanatics a cozy new home. But Trump was actually hired to do just that — and I gotta say that he’s doing a hecka good job at it too.” https://www.ibtimes.com/child-dead-after-ice-detention-center-stay-due-negligent-care-immigration-lawyer-2704521

But what about the nuclear deal with North Korea that Trump brokered? Didn’t the whole world love that? “China orchestrated that one completely. All Trump had to do was show up. They coulda just sent over a cardboard cut-out of Trump. Same effect. China wins.”

But what about Russia? “The whole world loves Russia right now because Russia does things that make sense. Putin is a hero. So by dissing Putin and constantly screaming their lungs out about this crazy RussiaGate fantasy, Americans just look like fools. Mission accomplished. Again.” Seriously? “Yep.” https://blackagendareport.com/bizarre-facebook-path-corporate-fascism

So how does all this current bankster-born hype apply to the Middle East? “Piece of cake. China finally stepped in regarding Syria and so sent a clear message to Israel, Britain and America that China was in charge of Syria now — and if America and friends didn’t like it, they would very soon be without any banks at all.” China can do that? “You bet your boots that it can.”

But what about all of America’s military might and nuclear arsenal? Does that not count for nothing? “That illusion would last about two seconds if China’s hegemon bank crossed the USA off its financial dance card. We Americans would be far too busy trying to get roofs over our heads and searching dumpsters for wilted lettuce to even think about funding a military complex.” https://www.codepink.org/26_killed_funded_by_blackrock

But what about Israel? “China’s interference in Syria has also sent a clear message to the Israelis too. Netanyahu and friends can either choose to get with the program or else keep their star hitched to the sinking American ship. I bet you anything that the Israelis will soon see the light. They are total opportunists, have no loyalties at all. They will kiss China’s butt in a nano-second now that they’ve seen the handwriting on the (wailing) wall. They don’t care about religion. They care only about being bitch to the current top dog.”

The same holds true for the Saudis, I bet. No matter how much oil they produce, they’d still better watch their backs. They think that they are Allah’s gift to the world? Not. Nobody likes them either and they are definitely not in either Allah’s or China’s good graces right now. Or mine. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-saudi-arabia-expelling-canadian-ambassador-freezing-trade-with-canada/

But what about Palestine? “Just you watch. Suddenly Israelis will start calling Palestinians their BFFs — if that’s what it takes to make China happy. Israelis will even start sucking up to Hamas and even start welcoming Freedom Flotillas to Gaza with open arms, serving their crews tea and bagels on deck.” https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/08/04/important-update-on-the-zionist-storming-of-the-gaza-freedom-flotilla-al-awda-by-doctor-on-board/freedom-for-gaza/

But what about all those sanctions on Iran? “That’s just a joke — a joke on America. Iran will simply turn to China for everything that it needs, making China even more powerful and leaving Europe bereft of cheap oil and America sucking its thumb. Just that one simple act by China in Syria has showed us all that.”

But what about all those Giants T-shirts that are being sold over there at the flea market stall next to the chicken? “Ha! Bad example. They too are all made in China!”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cHqL5P5gQU&t=7s

PS: Speaking of kidnapped babies, I recently picketed a humongous ICE “processing center” in Aurora, Colorado, where dozens of the parents of those 700-odd kidnapped babies are being concentrated into internment “camps” — a thousand miles away from their precious little ones.

And wanna know where so many of our income tax dollars are being kidnapped off to as well? At least the ones that haven’t already been kidnapped by banksters and war profiteers that is? Look no further. Our dollars are serving as ransom to pay for all those freaking ICE facilities all over America. Millions and millions of our very own income tax dollars went into building that gigantic monstrosity in Aurora. And I made this video to prove it too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu_LzFJ8kzA&t=60s

 

August 4, 2018

Madam Jane predicts: “You’re in the poorhouse now…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:10 pm

Madam Jane invited me over for high tea yesterday — even though she was on a gluten-free kick and the petit-fours were all made from almond flour. I ate them anyway. Not bad.

“In the future,” said Madam Jane, “things are going to be different.” Of course they will. It’s the freaking future. Duh.

“In the old days, cavemen mostly relied on weapons to defend their turf. In the future, however, only smart people will survive. But this is going to be a problem for America in the future. In the future America is going to be a nation of dumb-asses.” Oh.

“The most successful nations in the future will only be those who encourage the abilities of all of their citizens.” Well you surely can’t say that is true about America right now, a country that has systematically ground down the human potential of its Black people, Native Americans, women, Latinos and even poor White people — systematically ground that potential right into the dirt. Everything tangible and even intangible here has been systematically stolen, funneled, gambled, stripped, given up and/or handed over to America’s very top elite.

“A nation that eats its own cannot last,” continued Madam Jane. Oh hell. I don’t want to be anybody’s lunch.

“At this point in time it pretty much looks like America’s military power will rule the world forever — both at home and abroad. But that’s just silly.” Silly?

“It’s just plain silly to think that America’s Nazi-like domination will last forever. All people, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or even atheists, will simply get tired of being hit over the head and bossed around. Americans will ultimately end up going from being the world’s dominant boss-men to living in the world’s biggest poorhouse. You heard it here first.”

“Very interesting,” I replied. “Thank you for that amazing prediction. Are there any petit-fours left?”

_____________________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books.

https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Stillwater/e/B00IW6O1RM

 

Make friends with immigrants: You’re gonna need their help!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:07 pm

There I was, happily thinking that my life was safe and secure. I had a roof over my head, a car that (sort of) worked and lived within walking distance of a great public library. But then I got an e-mail in my inbox predicting the end of the (financial) world. Oh rats.

“Americans are over two hundred fifty TRILLION dollars in debt right now,” said the e-mail. “Our five largest banks own over 200 trillion dollars in derivatives but only have 20 trillion dollars in assets. That kind of financial shell game is dangerous. It can’t last. The greatest depression in history is heading our way. Hunker down and buy gold.” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-16/financial-weapons-mass-destruction-top-25-us-banks-have-222-trillion-dollars-derivat

Derivatives? Huh? I had always thought that foolish spending on barbaric “wars” would be the cause of America’s ruin. Who knew it would just be our very own greedy banks that would do us in, happily allowing our country to rot from the inside. https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/07/30/be-suspicious-of-everyone-who-habitually-defends-the-powerful-from-the-weak/

“So what else can I do to protect myself — seeing as how buying gold isn’t exactly an option for me right now?” I immediately e-mailed back.

“One good thing you can do immediately is to make friends with an immigrant.”

But why?

“Because immigrants and refugees know basic survival skills. You don’t. When the greatest financial catastrophe in history arrives, you are going to need immigrants and refugees far more than they are going to need you.”

Immigrants and refugees, fleeing from America’s cruel colonial realities in faraway places like Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen and in places closer to home like Mexico and Honduras, know how to survive when the going gets tough. Do we couch-potato Americans know how to survive and “make something out of nothing” too? Not so much. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/casualties-saudi-led-coalition-air-raids-hit-yemen-hodeidah-180802163441327.html

Hey, wait. That’s not entirely true. I know how to plant tomatoes. “Yeah but can you milk a cow, make candles and soap, entertain yourself without your SmartPhone or TV, cook without a microwave oven and build a house?” Er, no.

PS: I just got back from Aurora, Colorado, home of one of the largest and most totally scary I.C.E. “processing centers” in America. Three whole city blocks long and another whole city block wide — with no windows and only one door. On a cold, wet, rainy afternoon last week I kept my eye on this GEO-run prison-for-profit where dozens of the parents of ICE-kidnapped children are being held. Disgusting. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/06/21/detained-aurora-ice-immigration-parents/

“First we have a government that feels free to kidnap immigrant children and, when that works out so well for them — will they also feel free to kidnap our own children too?” That is the question that every decent American mom should be asking herself right now.

700 immigrant children are still separated from their families right now. Remember back when your own parents, grandparents or ancestors were immigrants too? Even my Cherokee ancestors were once immigrants here. Even Black slaves were (brutally involuntary) immigrants. For better or for worse, there would be no freaking America at all without immigrants. http://time.com/5350788/kids-separated-from-families-july-26-deadline/

PPS: Breaking news: An immigrant toddler just died — shortly after being released from an ICE kiddie jail — due to a serious respiratory infection that she had contacted there (and probably from a broken heart too). My first question is, “How many babies have died inside ICE kiddie jails — dead babies that we aren’t being told about?” https://www.ibtimes.com/child-dead-after-ice-detention-center-stay-due-negligent-care-immigration-lawyer-2704521

For more information on how you can help save our kidnapped children, here are some great websites with good ideas on where to start:

https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com/

https://solidaridadconlosninos.com/camps/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/solidaridadconlosninos/

 

July 21, 2018

Rosie the Riveter, public transit, climate change and YOU

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:37 pm

Last week I stayed up late two nights in a row while happily stepping into the vividly-described world of Betty Reid Soskin’s wonderful new memoir, “Sign My Name to Freedom”.  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sign-my-name-to-freedom-betty-reid-soskin/1125684317#/

The last several chapters in Soskin’s book tell us all about her work at the “Rosie the Riveter” Home Front National Park in Richmond CA, and her descriptions of the park and its museum are so enticing that I immediately ran right out there. I caught the bus — and public transportation dropped me off practically right at the museum’s front doorstep, even better than Uber. Plus I get my best reading done on public transit. Plus subways and buses are doing a lot toward preventing climate change from raging too far out of control too soon (please wait until after I die before allowing it to destroy the world!)

Another thing Soskin writes about in her book that thoroughly moved me were her descriptions of the amazingly unified cooperation between every single man, woman and child in America in order to “do the damn thing” and win World War II, making the world safe from German fascism (although unfortunately WW II didn’t manage to keep us safe from American fascism. Sigh.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRTttyZ-MDk

At the end of her book Soskin also points out that if Americans could so completely mobilize and commit themselves in the battle against Hitler, then surely we Americans can also completely mobilize and commit ourselves against an even greater danger — climate change. Think about that for a minute. But don’t think too long. Our last window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Now is the time to act. https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/american-cities-that-will-soon-be-under-water/ss-AAyRWxS?ocid=spartanntp

Like what happened all across America back in the 1940s, we all gotta sacrifice in the face of a huge common danger and act outside of our own individual self-interest in order to save the whole freaking human race.

According to climate-change expert Robert Hunziker, there are currently three (3) ecological monsters heading our way. “The three monsters are: (1) A State Shift in the biosphere [AKA a planetary tipping point from which there is no recovery]; (2) Human-caused greenhouse gases which alter the planet, disrupting the Holocene Era of 10,000 years of Goldilocks’ climate, not too hot, not too cold; and (3) Collapsing ecosystems 100% due to human footprint, inclusive of excessive toxic chemicals galore, worldwide.” https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/03/three-climatic-monsters-with-asteroid-impact/

But does all this horrific new information leave us with any hope for the human race at all? Yes it does — but only if we mount an immediate, all-out assault on extinction prevention. And, to quote Rosie the Riveter, “We can do it!” We just have to. There is no other rational choice.

PS: The number-one cause of climate change right now is “war”. Sorry guys but America, Israel, NATO and the Saudis need to hand over all their “war” toys to the scrap drive if the human race is ever to survive. https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/14/clinging-to-collusion-why-evidence-will-probably-never-be-produced-in-the-indictments-of-russian-agents/

And everyone in America seems to be working overtime to hype up the chances of “war”. All of FaceBook is currently blowing up with hatred of Russia. Hating Russia is not gonna save us. I already lived through the 1950s and do NOT want to do it again. Be careful what you wish for. McCarthyism sucked eggs. No one was “saved” by hating Russia then and it’s not gonna work now either.  http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-doesnt-make-sense-anymore/

Plus I also would prefer not to get fried like an egg on my own sidewalk by a Hot War with Russia, China and/or Iran either — just because some greedy warmongering idiots in the media know not what they do.

And let’s also consider all those “liberal” Americans who had the good sense to be horrified by that dangerously trumped-up 1950s Cold War and then horrified again by those pricey and wholly-invented 21st century “wars” on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Honduras, Ukraine and Afghanistan. Unbelievably, they too are falling for all of this new “hate Russia” crap. Perhaps they just can’t wait to get blown up and/or radiated to death by a thermonuclear “war” on Russia — but I can. Isn’t being seriously endangered by climate change scary enough? https://www.globalresearch.ca/immigration-western-wars-and-imperial-exploitation-uproot-millions/5645586

 

July 11, 2018

El Niño Perdido: Piecing together our government’s lies about lost children

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:23 pm

There’s a legend that is often told along the Texas-Mexico border. It’s called “El Niño Perdido,” a story about a lost and abused child — and it’s guaranteed to make you cry if you have any heart at all. Eventually this child became a folk saint in honor of his suffering. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpejsYhqN7M

There is also an old Hispanic legend about La Llorona, a ghostly mother who is perpetually forced to travel the world desperately searching for her lost children. Another version of this story has an evil La Llorona running around the countryside kidnapping hapless Latino children. Sound familiar? https://ghostcitytours.com/san-antonio/haunted-places/la-llorona/

But here in America we have a different legend about children, thanks to Walt Disney. “If you tell a lie, your nose will grow.” Seems like almost everyone in Washington DC these days should also have noses the length of redwood trees because almost every word out of their mouths is a lie — especially regarding the bloody and murderous “wars” on Syria, Yemen, Palestine, etc. But let’s just focus here on the lies told to us by I.C.E.

But before we chat about all these new lies they’ve been telling us recently, let’s take a look at one of their older ones. “Turns out that the kids being held in the Fairfield Detention Center in California are not newly-kidnapped children after all,” I was recently told by a friend. “No, the kids in that jail, mostly pre-teens and teenagers by now, have already been there without habeas corpus or without bail for over two years.” Wha? Isn’t that illegal? No wonder they are lying to us. Sounds like poor Rapunzel trapped in a tower to me.

Next lie. “We know where all the asylum-seekers’ babies are right now and can easily reunite them with their parents,” I.C.E.’s boss tells us. Pants on fire! All those babies have been deliberately misplaced, possibly forever. Wha? Shades of Red Riding Hood — only with the wolf winning out instead of the woodsman.

We misplace our glasses or misplace our car keys. No one misplaces babies — unless one is a wicked witch like the one that picked on poor Hansel and Gretel or the one that Dorothy dropped a house on. Or unless one is employed by I.C.E.

Next lie: “We can reunite all the babies with their parents by July 10.” So far, only four (4) babies have been reunited with their parents. No “happily ever after” involved here. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/can-the-trump-administration-solve-a-disaster-of-its-own-making/564872/

Next lie. “Those brats are here illegally.” And I.C.E.’s nose grows even longer. The rule of law in America states that if asylum-seekers can make it across our borders, they will be here legally. If a Canadian citizen crosses into America while trying to escape the horrors of poutine for instance, that Canadian is here legally. And so are all those poor sweet Hansels and Gretels that are fleeing American-supported dictators in Central America. https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/31/made_in_the_usa_the_real

Next lie. “Those children are all safe and sound.” Yeah. Sure. Tell that one to Jiminy Cricket. Oops. No. I forgot. I.C.E doesn’t have any conscience.

July 7, 2018

No joke: Getting serious about Syria

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:48 pm

Remember back to that very sad day when you finally found out that there wasn’t any Santa Claus? That everything your parents had ever told you about Santa Claus was a lie? And not only that, but then you also found out that millions of other kids in America, just like you, had been systematically lied to as well? And that the culture of an entire nation has colluded to make YOU believe in cute little elves and Mrs. Santa and chimneys and cookies after midnight and some happy workshop at the North Pole….

And then one day your mean older sister gleefully told you, “Guess what? It was all a big fat lie. There is no Santa. Sucker!”

And we Americans have also been systematically taken in by that other fantasy myth about what is happening in Syria right now as well. “That evil Assad! America is saving the world for democracy! Good guys always wear White Helmets!” I hate to be the one to burst your bubble for you — but none of that particular fairy tale is true either. And the really sad thing about all this myth-bedtime-story-lie about Syria that we’ve been coerced into believing is that we are no longer children. We are adults now. There is absolutely no excuse for us to still believe in Santa Claus — or to still believe that whatever they tell us on the six o’clock news about Syria is even anywhere near true. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/are-al-qaeda-affiliates-fighting-alongside-u-s-rebels-in-syrias-south/

“Mommy, please tell me that story again about Assad being a horrid boogieman in Syria — please, Mommy?” And so Mommy once again tells us just what we want to hear.

“Once upon a time…”

But the actually real truth is that the boogeyman in Syria is actually America. What a joke on us! Or at least it would be if the horrendous death toll in Syria doesn’t keep growing and rising every single hour of every single day — and not just on Christmas. https://www.mintpressnews.com/welcome-to-hadar-a-village-under-siege-by-syrian-rebels-and-israeli-forces-alike/244569/

“But Jane,” you might say, “have you any evidence?” Good grief yes! International news, social media, eye-witness accounts — all of that stuff practically screams out at us “There is no Santa!” And also that “Assad isn’t a dictator either. And Saudi Arabia and Israel are. And you’ve been had. And all this will cost you your future and your self-respect and you freaking belief in the Tooth Fairy too!” http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/06/21/yemen-u-s-involvement-in-uae-controlled-torture-and-detention-centres/

But no. Americans still insist on teaching their children to believe in Santa Claus. “What harm does it do?” No harm at all. Have fun with it — as long as we adults don’t start believing it too. And vast amounts of harm does accrue when we adults still keep believing that America’s “war” on Syria is anything but the sadistic, greedy and tragic misadventure that it actually is. https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/its-time-to-start-getting-enraged-at-what-western-imperialists-have-done-to-syria-a53529c7c0e7

It’s time for Americans to block up the Pentagon’s chemical-factory chimney and put Lockheed’s deadly milk and cookies away. And those are NOT benevolent Boeing reindeer out flying happily over sweet little Syria with sleighs loaded with Christmas presents for all. Those are American F16 bombers carrying billions of dollars worth of deadly “payloads”. Those are American chemical attacks. Those are tons of American weapons found in the hands of ISIS. Over six hundred Syrians are d-e-a-d because of this myth. https://www.rt.com/usa/431529-america-myths-lee-camp/

It is time to get serious about Syria.

PS: It is also time to get serious about America’s reality too. We are currently over TWENTY TRILLION DOLLARS in debt. That would equal enough $100 bills to wallpaper the entire state of Idaho — three inches deep. And at least a trillion of those mysteriously-disappearing dollars have been spent on deep-fat-frying Syrian babies and keeping ISIS afloat. Is this really the way that we want to squander America’s money? Really? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mus0zM0cC8w&feature=youtu.be

I’m truly surprised that hordes of Americans carrying torches and pitchforks haven’t descended on Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court already. But myths are powerful things — nothing to joke around with. And Americans have been totally hooked on this myth. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49689.htm

PPS: A friend of mine just drove me through the heart of the horrific California-Oregon border fire destruction. It looked like a war zone. And if this is what “war” looks like, then America needs to be more careful what it pays for in the Middle East.

Lindsey Graham just gave his same old tired rehashed doggerel speech in Syria that I heard him give in Iraq ten years ago — about how American forces need to stay in (fill in the blank) so that (add some cheesy reason here that involves weapons manufacturers and greed).

June 29, 2018

Kiddie jails: “Stop in the name of love…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:18 pm

In the entire history of the whole wide world, has any other country (besides the good old USA) ever before had the cruel and cold heartlessness to drag hundreds of sweet little human babies off to jail? What would Diana Ross have to say about this? “Think it ov-v-er…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPBkiBbO4_4

Has America just reached a new world-record low? But — oh — no — wait. Not exactly. The Nazis already did that. And didn’t some slavers on the Ivory Coast do it too? Does America really want to be in the same class as, say, Josef Stalin or Pol Pot or that Saudi Arabia guy who is always murdering Yemeni children for fun and profit? Or those evil Zionists who threw young Ahed Tamimi in jail? Apparently so. https://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-assault-against-yemens-children-the-war-you-havent-heard-about/5645513

“Baby baby I’m aware of where you go…” each time a child is jailed. Huddled on cold concrete floors without love or their parents. America goes to Hell in a hand-basket, that’s where. “Think it ov-v-er…”

So yesterday I went out to the West County Detention Center (the # 71 bus will deposit you right at its doorstep) to see what was up. Apparently plans are afoot to house immigrants inside of that structure or else in tents next to it. Didn’t see any immigrant babies. Didn’t see any tents. Didn’t see much of anything — except for a whole bunch of gigantic business warehouses located right down the street. Warehousing people right next to warehousing things? How appropriate is that?

But then I discovered that the detention facility abuts right up against the Pinole Regional Park — so I hiked around that for a while and took photos of what I could see of the detention center from the rear. Not much. http://richmondconfidential.org/2012/11/30/inside-the-west-county-jail/

I also learned that this whole area used to belong to the Ohlone Indians. How ironic is that! Now the Ohlone Native Americans are long gone — but they are about to be replaced with even more Native Americans. Lest we forget, most immigrants from Mexico and Honduras are Native Americans too. Shouldn’t they have first dibs to this land instead of having to sneak into it like thieves in the night? Shouldn’t the Ohlone and the Cheyenne and the Sioux also be protesting the cruel and unusual incarceration and torture of their brothers’ children? And, BTW, shouldn’t the rest of us be protesting this too? We are all our brothers’ keepers. “Send not for whom the bell tolls…”

And to quote Diana Ross again here, “Come see about me — see about your baby.” And The Supremes are also right on message when they sing about love. Love is so much more better than hate. Hell, love is better than anything.

But forget about love. This whole miserable ugly sewer-like stain and blot on the history of America is basically ALL ABOUT MONEY. If any of those cruelly-incarcerated immigrant families had been born with silver spoons in their mouths, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. They would have been flown to Washington in private jets and put up in the best hotels. They would have been feted by Congress and served state dinners at the White House using the good china — no matter what they have done. Members of M-13? Not a problem.

For example, both Netanyahu the Butcher of Gaza and that evil Saudi prince who murders babies in Yemen are treated like royalty in Washington. Why aren’t these hard-working decent immigrant families coming to America given the same treatment instead of having their children cruelly ripped away? Ha. In America today, the rich always get richer — and always at the expense of you and me. Always. It’s the law. Just ask the Supreme Court.

PS: If you too want to go “see about your baby” and caravan to one of the many detention centers in the United States that taxpayers are paying for instead of sending their kids to Harvard, there is information on how to do it at http://caravans4ninos.com.

Just form up a caravan, collect some stuffies and blankies for these sad and lonely children and off you go. And thanks. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/migrant-child-shelters/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.685ded562f2d

PPS: And the slogan on my favorite red T-shirt is still as true today as it was the first time I washed it, a decade ago. “Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World Peace in one generation!”

 

 

June 24, 2018

Border War: Mexico to break diplomatic ties with the US?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:31 pm

How do I know that all of the brutal atrocities now being perpetrated by America down at the US/Mexican border do indeed constitute a real authentic genuine war? That’s a no-brainer. Because there are whole bunches of American war-profiteers now lined up in Washington knee deep — with their hands already shoved deeply inside the federal piggy bank. And everyone knows that America can’t just stage a war unless there are war profiteers involved! It’s practically a law. https://www.thedailybeast.com/nonprofit-execs-rake-in-cash-from-child-detention-center-funding

We saw this happening before in all those wars-for-profit forced down the throats of Vietnam, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Guatemala, Honduras — even Gaza. To paraphrase Billy Idol, “With a greedy yell they shouted ‘More! More! More!’” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPwZaQfoIbU

So. If Latin American governments are going to maintain any self-respect at all, Mexico, Honduras and all those other countries south of the border that have been victims of American imperialism urgently need to sever diplomatic relations the US in protest until this dirty little “war” is over — and to throw out all those greedy American corporations who are making mucho profits down there too. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-stocks-prisons/prison-shares-rise-as-u-s-eyes-more-migrant-family-detention-space-idUSKBN1JI2YU

“Why did you even come here?” I recently asked one desperate immigrant who I ran into on the street while he was searching for shite jobs that no American would even want.

“I came here after the Gringos took everything I had — just like the Spaniard bastards before them did. I am only trying to take back what used to be mine before NAFTA, before the Alamo, even before the US seized Alta California.” Oh. https://www.usatoday.com/border-wall/story/us-trade-mexico-imports-tomatoes/585350001/

War profiteers are now raking in whole mountains of our tax dollars along the Mexican border. That’s blood money now used to house kidnapped babies that we could be using to fix our bridges and send our kids to college instead. https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/family-separation-explained-w521891

And as for the immigrants themselves? They don’t want to be here. Hell, it’s cold up here, housing costs are through the roof and nobody even speaks Spanish. They are only following the trail of their stolen wealth.

So let’s see if all those Latin American governments can finally go all machismo for a good cause this time — and shut down their embassies and consulates in protest of America’s dirty little border war-for-profit, its dirty little war on children.

PS: I myself was planning to join a caravan of cars going from Berkeley down to the Texas/Mexico border in order to protest this outrage against human decency — but it looks like I won’t have to go that far after all. Apparently the US Navy is planning to warehouse 45,000 immigrants over in Concord, CA, just a 20-minute BART train ride away from me. I can go protest in Concord and still be back home in time for dinner. https://patch.com/california/concord-ca/90-000-immigrants-could-be-housed-california-tent-cities

June 22, 2018

Two book reviews: One on apartheid & one on Jim Crow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:44 pm

I’m probably the very last person in Berkeley to read Isabel Wilkerson’s excellent book, “The Warmth of Other Suns”. And how do I know this? Because when I filed a hold-request for it at the Berkeley Public Library, I ended up being something like 60th in line for the next of 25 copies then out on loan. However, it was well worth the wait. https://www.amazon.com/Warmth-Other-Suns-Americas-Migration/dp/0679763880

Wilkerson’s book describes the insanely brutal Jim Crow practices that took place in the American South — and in such scary detail that it made me cry. Jim Crow policies were in several ways even worse than slavery. “But, Jane,” you might say, “nothing could have been worse than slavery in the Ole South.” Yes it could.

With slavery, at least slave owners were slightly constrained with regard to the physical damage they could do because of limitations inherently imposed on them by not wanting to damage their own property. With Jim Crow, however, there were no such constraints. Torture and lynchings were every-day occurrences in the “post-bellum” South — and they were common occurrences there for over 70 years. This book was chilling.

Then author Richard Hardigan asked me to review his new book, “The Other Side of the Wall,” which is about every-day life in Occupied Palestine for the last 70 years. And it was deja vu all over again. Jim Crow had apparently left the American South and moved over to Palestine. http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-photo-ban-article-1578539473

Hardigan’s book is a fascinating account of a heinous caste system in Palestine that is very similar to the heinous caste system in the American south under Jim Crow — and just as cruel too. And, much to my surprise, Hardigan’s book was also an intriguing page-turner — although, unlike Wilkerson’s book, no one yet knows how this story will end. However, reading these two books side by side at the same time, I was struck by the parallel similarities between how White Southerners had set up their caste system and Israeli neo-cons have set up theirs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2W3aG8uizA

PS: Sometimes referred to as the Negro Holocaust, untold numbers of lynchings took place in the American South before the Civil Rights movement tried to put a stop to this ghastly behavior. And in the Jewish Holocaust, approximately six million Jews were murdered.

Imagine what it would be like if the troubled souls of Negro Holocaust victims could look down on us today, only to discover that much of America is still almost as racist as ever.

And imagine what it would be like if the troubled souls of six million Jewish Holocaust victims could look down on Israel today, only to discover that Bibi Netanyahu and his neo-con friends are shamelessly using their six million brutal, torturous and genocidal deaths as a propaganda tool and lame excuse for inflicting those same brutal tortures and genocidal massacres on Palestinians.

 

June 18, 2018

NYC Book Expo: “Books are my only friends…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:23 pm

Six years ago, my three-year-old granddaughter Mena was spending the night with me. All evening long she had been wheezing, listless and pale. Finally at around 2:00 am, she practically crawled into my bedroom, coughing, choking and white as a sheet. “Gaia, I need to go to the hospital — now!” she said. I didn’t waste any time.

We were still in our nightgowns when the doctor told us, “Worst case of asthma I’ve ever seen. A few more minutes and she would have been dead! You saved her life.” No, I didn’t. Mena saved her own life. And since that day, I’ve always listened closely to everything she was telling me, just in case.

Later that month, Mena also told me, “Toys are my only friends.” What could I say to that? I told her the truth. “Sometimes I think that books are my only friends.” So when I recently went off to the Javits Center in New York City to attend the 2018 “Book Expo America” being held there — and walked into a whole giant building all filled with nothing but books, I couldn’t help but think that I had just entered a building filled with hundreds and hundreds of my very best friends.

Once the doors of the Book Expo opened, I immediately made my way down to Soho Crime’s exhibit booth and scored an advance-reader copy of the hilarious new Colin Cotterill book, “Don’t Eat Me” (and, yes, I did feel rather strange reading a book with a title like that on the subway — but well worth every stare). https://sohopress.com/soho-crime/

I also gleefully swept up five other murder-mystery books by some of my favorite Soho authors — Martin Limon, Timothy Hallinan, Mick Herron, Gina Apostol and James R. Benn. I love murder mysteries because, unlike in real life, justice is always done by the time we reach the last page. https://www.globalresearch.ca/drivers-behind-the-war-on-syria-and-the-impoverishment-of-us-all/5644381

The next evening Bernie Sanders spoke at the Book Expo. Gotta love Bernie. Good grief, how I wish he was in the White House right now instead of having to helplessly watch Trump’s yard sale of everything that is American. I voted for Bernie. The only thing that used to be wrong with Bernie was his tolerant policy toward Israeli neo-colonialist state-sponsored terrorism. But recently he has been wising up — as have the rest of Americans who actually keep up with the horrors happily inflicted onto the rest of the Middle East by neo-con Zionists.

How does that joke go? “We should make America name Israel as its 51st state,” someone recently suggested to Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Why should we do that?” answered Bibi. “Then we would only have two Senators in Washington. Right now we already have 50.” And yet people talk about Russia buying our elections? Donnie the Mole and Crooked Hilary could never have been bought off by Russia — because Israeli neo-cons already owned both of them body and soul. Humph.

While at the Book Expo, I also tried to get a few publishers interested in re-publishing my book “Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today’s Middle East”. https://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719

“But this book was written in 2007,” one publisher exclaimed.

“So what,” I replied. “It’s still totally right up-to-date. In the Middle East? Nothing has changed at all in the last decade. Americans, Israeli neo-cons and Saudis are still brutally slaughtering anything that moves.” Except that now they are getting even better at it. http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/11/u-s-backed-catastrophe-brewing-in-yemen/

And then I had lunch with my friend Dinky — who casually mentioned that her son had just won the Pulitzer Prize. “What!” Wow! And her son, James Forman Jr, also spoke at the Book Expo. And thus I was gently reminded that books weren’t my only friends. But books, however, will always remain my really really good friends. https://www.jamesformanjr.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books. https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Stillwater/e/B00IW6O1RM

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