BartBlog

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

June 13, 2018

Fathers Day: America’s grim tradition of stealing children from their parents continues…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:36 pm

America’s current moral decline and decay can easily be traced back through its barbaric treatment of children.

First there were those nasty “boarding schools” for the thousands of terrified Native American children who were dragged screaming away from their helpless parents.

Then there were those ghastly slave markets that ruthlessly dragged young children away from their mothers and heartlessly sold them into wretched lives of hard labor and chains.

And now Americans are at it again — dragging young children away from their undocumented Latino parents and shoving these human babies into cages as if they were animals in a zoo.

Not exactly a good way to celebrate Fathers Day, America. What’s with that?

PS: America’s foreign policy, however, appears to more closely resemble King Herod rather than Oliver Twist. With the possible exception of paying for those infamous Israeli neo-colonialists’ prison camps for Palestinian children, America’s foreign policy tends more toward Herod’s “slaughter of the innocents” in places like Syria, Central Africa, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Yemen, Vietnam, etc.

Am I being too hard on America here — or not hard enough. Either we are decent and moral people — or we are not.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________

 

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

June 6, 2018

There’s a Whole Foods in Harlem now…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:46 pm

I was raised in the suburbs. Back in the Boomer days, suburbs were spozed to be wonderful places where residents could relax, enjoy nature and be happy. Funny how it didn’t work out that way. My father commuted to his job Monday through Friday, was gone from 6:00 in the morning to 8:00 at night and also worked a second job on weekends to pay off our suburban mortgage. So much for smelling the flowers. And my college-educated mother was bored out of her freaking mind with her life there as chief maid, cook, bottle-washer and nanny to her mostly-absent husband and two ungrateful brats. Ah, white flight.

There are clearly a whole lot of advantages to living in a city.

However, for Black people who were forced to live in cramped city slums, who had no access to decent employment or education and who were the targeted customers of their drug-dealing CIA sales reps, urban life was a nightmare. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4U1ozz7nM8

“Wanna change places?” bored suburban commuters and housewives suddenly started asking Black people. “We’ll take back Harlem and you can go enjoy the wonders of nature by living in a tent under a bridge.”

Can you believe it? First Black people were forced into Harlem because nobody else wanted it. Red-lining, slumlords and all that. Crappy schools. Unemployment. Bigotry. 80% of the housing stock in Harlem was under-code and sucked eggs. “But those are genuine brownstones!” the Yuppies and Techies suddenly cried — and suddenly their race for real estate in Harlem was on.

Black people originally came to Harlem in desperate flight from the extreme brutality of Southern Jim Crow. Seeking their freedom in New York City, they soon discovered that they were living in a concentration camp instead.

Back in those days Harlem may not have been surrounded by barbed wire like Manzanar or Auschwitz or Gaza, but the iron fist of American social norms (not to mention the New York PD’s iron fist) kept Black people trapped there just the same. And so they did the best that they could and made this new Harlem concentration camp their home — “made something out of nothing”. But now they don’t even have that.

I just got back from a walking tour of Harlem. In Harlem today, signs reading “Condo for Sale” are now a common sight. There is even a freaking Whole Foods located right there on the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 125th Street. So much for white flight. Goodbye Harlem. It’s now called Central Park North.

And when brownstones in Harlem are sold for several million dollars each, who gets all that money? Does it go to the Black grandmother who had religiously paid her rent every month for the last 50 years? Even though her landlord never made any repairs and yet charged her double the amount that White people were paying for the same sized unit elsewhere in Manhattan?

Or do those millions of dollars go to the slumlord who had already made more profit on each brownstone than is morally possible? What would your educated guess be?

June 3, 2018

Meeting the Buddha for lunch in New York City

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:47 pm

For some unknown reason, I’ve only been able to do a half-fast for Ramadan this year. Here’s me, barely limping along without food until mid-afternoon, never quite making it to sundown. My bad. But I’m doing the best that I can — in solidarity with the millions of tortured, vilified, starving and endangered people in Gaza, Bethlehem, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc.

On Sunday I broke my fast with a nice bowl of rice pudding at Barney Greengrass’s famous kosher restaurant on the Upper West Side, an area that many former Israelis have immigrated into lately (apparently one in six Israelis no longer live in Israel and have been voting against Netanyahu with their feet).

On Monday I broke my fast in Harlem, eating shrimp and grits at that iconic luncheonette founded by “Sylvia, the Queen of Soul Food” — followed by a quick trip to the Apollo theater to buy an iconic T-shirt and reminisce on the good old days when I used to buy a seat in the second balcony every Saturday night for only a dollar and change.

On Tuesday I broke my fast with some kosher rice pudding from B&H Dairy — after a morning spent at the historic Riverside Church. Long story. Here’s the abridged version. The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa is the latest reincarnation of a long line of Karmapas going back almost to the Buddha himself. This Karmapa talked to us about compassion, the highest form of human emotion. And right then and there, in the 26th pew on the left, I had a sudden enlightening realization — that most of our leaders in Washington are totally lacking the compassion gene and will probably be reborn as toads. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/nyregion/bh-dairy-in-the-east-village-reopens-after-months-of-red-tape.html

So. After this powerful experience with the Buddha, I’m now starting to wonder exactly who I will be having lunch with next. Mohammad, Abraham, Jesus? I’m sure that each one of them would all serve up a nice hot dish of compassion too.

The moral here? Human beings today are starving for compassion — not for wealth or power. And they are certainly not starving for more “war”. We have totally grossed out on all that shite already.

And I betcha anything that Jesus would never want America to spend a trillion dollars on some stupid 2000-mile-long border wall — and that Abraham would never want America to spend a trillion dollars on some stupid Wall in Palestine either. And surely Mohammad would never want those freaky-weird spoiled-brat princes in Saudi Arabia to join with America in spending a trillion dollars slaughtering Muslims in Yemen and Syria either.

May 25, 2018

Thoughts on taking the re-eye to New York City tomorrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:29 pm

When I used to have a steady job at the law office, I could always travel in style — flying to places, using major airlines and even staying in actual hotels. Those days are long gone.

These days it’s all about taking the Greyhound or the MegaBus or using cheapo airlines that don’t allow luggage, and sleeping on couches. But still. It gets me there. Use it or lose it. Anything to get to New York.

On this trip I’m going to do some new things while I’m there — stay in Harlem, follow the trail of the Harlem Renaissance, relive my youth spent in the second balcony of the Apollo Theater and, hopefully, eat at the Red Rooster.

But I’m also going to do some things that are the same — attend the grand BookExpo America at the Javits Center, eat borsch and rice pudding at B&H Dairy on the Lower East Side and take a bus past the United nations building, giving it the one-finger salute for its role in enabling all those NATO/American/Saudi/Israeli brutal, inhumane and criminal massacres in the Middle East to go on and on and on and on and on. http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Events/An-Evening-with-Senator-Bernie-Sanders/

At the BookExpo, I’m gonna once again attempt to peddle my four wonderful books to the publishers and attendees there. “Librarians! Listen up!” I’ve just finished re-reading my first book, “Bring your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today’s Middle East” — and it’s as funny and accurate and crucially important today as it was back in 2007. https://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Yes, all of that shite that I wrote about back then is still going on today — and from Afghanistan to Gaza, America is still the biggest problem in the Middle East. And we Americans are still sleeping on couches and pinches pennies to pay for it too.

And New York City is still well worth a trip on the red-eye.

 

May 18, 2018

Rwanda & Israel: “Off with their feet!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:22 pm
     Back in Rwanda in 1995, when the Hutus used machetes to hack off the feet of the Tutsis, the whole world was stunned and shocked by these brutal acts of total barbarity.  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/06/rwanda-genocide_n_5084747.html
 
     Yet when Israeli snipers recently used high-powered rifles to fire expanding bullets into the legs of nonviolent protesters in Gaza, the whole world seems to be defending the Israelis.  “Hamas made us do it,” the Israelis cry.  https://www.facebook.com/NowThisPolitics/videos/2053443944687085/
 
     The Hutus are condemned as being barbaric.  The Israelis get away with it because they claim to have God on their side.
 
     Either way, the results are the same.  Thousands of Tutsis had their feet cut off — and now thousands of Gazans also face having amputated feet.

     Isn’t it amazing what a little propaganda can do.

May 15, 2018

1948: How Jews brought the Nazis with them to Palestine

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 5:09 pm

Last week I attended an Al Awda conference in Long Beach and (mostly) had a wonderful time. Rode down there on the MegaBus, stopped in Burbank to visit Central Casting, was taken to dinner by friends and toured the historic Queen Mary — but then, once at the conference itself, we all got down to the sad business of listening to 70 years’ worth of Palestinian horror stories.

Right off the bat, we were shown a documentary film entitled “1948: Creation & Catastrophe”. It was scary. I’m still in shock. At the beginning of this film, we watched many happy images of European Jews arriving in Palestine — but these joyful scenes were soon followed by many brutal and horrific images of these same European Jews doing the exact same thing to Palestinians that the Nazis had done unto them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuLPhGBPq38

“Throw your son into the oven,” one Jewish soldier screamed at a Palestinian father, a baker.

“I cannot,” said the father. And so the Jewish soldiers threw the son into the flames themselves — and then threw the father in after him for good measure.

Over 500 Palestinian villages were gutted and destroyed — even worse in scope than the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The Jews arrived in overcrowded boats. The Palestinians left on overcrowded boats. The similarities were not lost on the film’s viewers. And the UN jumped into the mix too. Instead of splitting Palestine equally between Jews and Palestinians, the UN gave the European Jews all the good areas and herded the Palestinians into the scrubs. The Jews got Haifa and Tel Aviv. The Palestinians got the Negev desert.

What else can I say? The documentary showed us the faces of thousands of Palestinian refugees being driven from their homes (that is, the Palestinians that were not slaughtered). “Down all the roads they came…” carrying their babies and only taking the clothes on their backs. And these roadsides were littered with the corpses of dead babies.

So much for erasing the tainted memories of the Holocaust inflicted on European Jews by the Nazis. Now these very same Jews were deliberately creating a Palestinian Holocaust. Watching this film, I suddenly realized that the Nazis too had come to Palestine. The Jews hadn’t escaped the Nazis after all. The Nazis too had come to Palestine — hidden in the souls of the surviving European Jews.

And now, 70 long miserable years later, there seem to be hardly any Jews left in Israel today. “But how can that be,” you might ask. Because most Israelis appear to have turned into the same fascist types like their leaders Netanyahu and Lieberman — who will do anything for power and money. So much for Moses and the Torah.

PS: Israeli neo-colonialists today are clearly biting off far more than they can chew — attacks on Syria, attacks on Lebanon, attacks on Gaza, attacks on Jenin, Nablus, Hebron, Ni’lin and Bethlehem. Nuclear weaponry, torture centers, gigantic jails, night raids. Imagine if Israelis had used all that $$$ for good. Imagine if they finally stopped behaving like Nazis. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/killing-gaza/

Am I being anti-Semitic here? Hell, no. I’m just being pro-justice. Old-school Jewish prophets such as Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah and even Moses all warned us that justice is really really really important, right? So were all of these great prophets being anti-Semitic when they said this? Hardly. And neither am I.

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May 8, 2018

Mothers Day: Nobody told me that childbirth would hurt so much

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:43 pm

Now that Mothers Day is almost upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about the fine art of giving birth — and now have reached one seminal conclusion based on both experience and scientific research. “There is no way that it’s not gonna hurt.” Take myself for example.

Baby # 1: I was so totally naive before going into labor. Was at a late-night party in Greenwich Village (and unsuccessfully trying to chat with Bob Dylan) when my stomach suddenly started getting really bad menstrual cramps. Huh? I’m nine months pregnant. I’m not spozed to be having cramps! So I street-hiked off to the Women’s’ Infirmary, suffered through two hours of intense labor, fought off major attempts to give me anesthetics, screamed a lot and then gave birth to a girl.

Baby # 2: Moved back to California, got pregnant again, went into labor, finally recognized the symptoms, couldn’t find a ride to the hospital and ended up persuading my speed-freak neighbors to give me a lift. Why not. They were gonna be up all night anyway. Once at the hospital, I started screaming and hollering once again. The nurses told me to shut up. They were old-school. Two hours later, out popped another baby girl.

Baby # 3: While suffering from stage-nine pregnancy and looking as big as a house, I moved all my stuff into a new apartment in Berkeley, finished unpacking the last box, gave a deep sigh of relief — and went into labor. “Another girl?” I asked. When they told me it wasn’t, this unexpected announcement surprised me so much that I actually asked the nurse, “If it’s not a girl, then what could it be?”

“It’s a boy!” she replied. Who knew.

Baby #4: I was finally beginning to realize where babies come from — but too late. “You need a C-section,” stated the doctor. Over my dead body! “That can be arranged.” But I somehow managed to fight off the obstetrical team (literally) and three hours later yet another baby girl popped out — butt first.

And as my children grew up, I tried my very hardest to be a good mother. I really did. I honestly did. Must have done something right. I guess. Years later, all four of my adult children are alive and doing well. But how do other women manage to be so good at motherhood and take to it like a duck to water instead of almost drowning? Hats off to you. I salute you on Mothers Day. Good job!

And I have also discovered another way that childbirth can really hurt. As the British phrase it, I’d given birth to “One heir and three spares” — thinking that surely at least one of the four will come visit me when I finally get carted off to the rest home? But this is never to be. Just as I’m starting to get old, boring, needy and poor, they’ve all thought up some cheesy reason or other to bail. All that childbirth pain for nothing! Rats. Not even any Mothers Day cards for me. I warned you. I told you that childbirth hurt.

But still and all, I’m definitely not the worst mother in the world. I never gave birth to or raised any babies that grew up to be monsters. None of my kids have blown up the World Trade Center, covered up the plot to murder JFK or were personally responsible for the slaughter of over a million human beings in the Middle East! At least I’m not Barbara Bush.

PS: Will be spending Mothers Day in Long Beach of all places. Am going there to attend the Al Awda conference on Palestine http://al-awda.org/conference13/

What is happening in Gaza right now is totally painful too. And insanely criminal as well. In the past four weeks, Israeli snipers using high-powered rifles have deliberately succeeded in knee-capping and/or maiming approximately 7,000 non-violent Palestinian protesters. That’s just gotta hurt. If anyone needs some five-star mothering right now, it’s those poor wretched Palestinian rebels. Mothers Day in Gaza is gonna be painful for sure. Oy vey! https://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2018/05/horror-movie-in-gaza-theyre-eating-our.html

May 4, 2018

Horror movie in Gaza: “They’re eating our brains with a spoon!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 7:58 pm

Americans really do love to watch classic old horror movies. Perhaps that is why they continue to let all those grim slaughters in the Middle East go on for so long.

For instance, it’s just like watching “Silence of the Lambs” in Gaza right now — where 100 highly-trained and sadistic Israeli snipers are happily picking off nonviolent protesters there one by one. Hannibal Lector himself couldn’t be doing a better job.

Syria has become yet another horror-movie classic — one where no one suspects those innocent-looking Americans of being the creepy guys supplying ISIS with chain saws. That great scene where a massive invasion of evil ISIS villains crosses the desert in Toyotas? No way that Americans could have avoided spotting all that spooky road dust on their Google satellite apps. “They’re coming! Hide in the basement!” Bad idea.

Afghanistan? Who first gave those Taliban wannabe-Freddy Kruegers their claw hands in the first place? It was America. “Charlie Wilson’s War” is the ultimate horror flick.

Yemen? Thanks to America and Saudi Arabia working together like the BFF zombies they are, Yemen is starting to look exactly like where they filmed that final scene in “Night of the Living Dead”. The monsters just keep on coming and coming and coming.

And how about that unarmed and vulnerable teenager Libya? Why the freak did Qaddafi stay alone in that cabin in the woods overnight when he knew that blood-sucking NATO was on the prowl? And now Iran is about to make that same mistake. Run for your life, Iran! America has a bloody hatchet — and knows how to use it too.

The only trouble with this classic-horror-film analogy is that, while Freddy and Hannibal are fun to watch on TV late at night, American hatchet murders and chain-saw-like dismemberments are real — and Americans have become experts on how to create millions of extremely life-like corpses. Or at least ones that used to be alive.

_____________________________
 
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
 

May 2, 2018

War-crime trials: An excellent alternative to “war”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:53 pm

“Odor in the court! The judge is eating beans!” But something else also stinks about the American justice system — mainly that, for many of us, there is very little justice here. True justice is only achieved when laws are applied equally to all Americans. It is only after judicial equality is achieved that we can claim to be a civilized nation living under the all-important Rule of Law. Otherwise our courts are just merely farting around.

And this very same definition of justice also applies on an international level as well.

Since World War II, America has been given free reign to commit the most atrocious war crimes since Stalin, Hitler and Genghis Khan — and yet no international court of law has even attempted to stop the USA from committing these war crimes or even to slap its hand or give it a time-out. Murdering thousands of Christians at Sunday prayer at a church in Nagasaki, spreading Agent Orange all over Vietnam and carpet-bombing Cambodia? Not to mention the horrors of “wars” and proxy “wars” in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Honduras, Ukraine, Haiti, Yemen, etc. that violate almost every Geneva Convention there is. War-Crimes R Us. https://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/09/the-very-un-christian-nagasaki-bomb/

“He gassed his own people,” Americans were constantly told regarding Saddam Hussein. Huh? Saddam hardly didn’t even eat beans. And yet America has been gassing its own people since 1776 — from Wounded Knee and the New Orleans slave markets to Selma, Waco, Baltimore and beyond. That’s hypocrisy. That’s hubris. That’s cutting the cheese. But let’s move on.

Suppose Saddam Hussein had been brought before The Hague for judgment instead of Americans just assuming he was guilty enough to justify the slaughter a million Iraqis? Just think of the five or ten trillion $$$ we would have saved. https://www.icc-cpi.int/pages/situations.aspx

And then there’s Israel, the Saudis and the FUK-US coalition (France the United Kingdom and the US) who are still enthusiastically committing war crimes in the Middle East every single day — even as we speak. If only the world would put them on trial at The Hague instead of letting them murder and slaughter like Jack the Ripper on a rampage, then just think of all the money we would save there too. To paraphrase John Donne, “Send not to know for whom the gas was passed. It was FUK-US.” http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/05/02/in-honour-of-the-syrian-arab-army-and-allies-war-on-terror/

And think of this also — if all these American super-villain war criminals and their allies were caught and jailed, then we wouldn’t need to be scared in our beds every night, terrified that the world is a terrifying place. Why? Because it wouldn’t be. The bad guys would all be in jail.

Plus we could easily put all of our kids through college with the trillions of dollars we will have saved. Just think of The Hague as one gigantic 401-K.

We could also sleep better at night knowing that our country was not out there in Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Haiti, Yemen, Gaza, etc. committing war crimes and venting jockey-bombs in our name.

You get the idea, right?

Now go do something about it.

 

April 28, 2018

Paying the bills: Not giving our government credit for all that it spends

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:52 pm

My go-phone just died. “Maybe you forgot to charge it?” asked a friend. No. I just forgot to pay my freaking phone bill at the first of the month.

If you don’t pay your bills, you get cut off. Everyone knows that. It’s the law. Literally. And this law not only just applies to ordinary people like you and me, it also applies to our government as well. Duh.

And the first of the month is once again starting to roll around for you and for me — and also for the United States of America too.

Who is going to foot the bill for all those thousands of ICE raids that we hear so much about on TV?

Who is going to write out that big check for America’s half-baked and squalid “war on terror” and all those other phony, invented (and totally pricey) other “wars” that Washington delights in? http://thesaker.is/saker-book-review-pokemon-in-ukraine-tactical-war-game-introduction-manual/

Who will keep the lights on in our expensive and elaborate prison system?

Who is going to have to tighten their belts in order to pay for the Border Wall? https://www.unz.com/article/the-border-fetish/

Who will have to bite the bullet financially in order to pay for the Afghanistan fiasco? Israel’s sick apartheid regime? All those cute (and very expensive) little acronyms for oppressive operations abroad such as the CIA, AFRICOM, NATO, FUK-US, SOUTHCOM, PACOM, US-AID and SOCOM? And also for all those cute (and very expensive) little acronyms for oppressive operations here at home such as the NSA, SWAT, DEA, DHS, SEC, ATF and FDA? https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB216/app1.pdf

Who will be stuck with trying to pay all these bills when the first of the month finally rolls around for the USA as well as for us? It will be you and me that will be stuck with trying to fend off the repo man after America goes bankrupt. https://patch.com/california/lajolla/californias-largest-employer

America is not spending its money wisely. And who the hell do you think is going to get stiffed for the tab?

During World War II, Americans all voluntarily tightened their belts in order to pay for what they thought was a good use of their money — but in America today most of us are involuntarily tightening our belts. But why? So that the the rich can get richer of course. Yet all we get out of it is to lose our homes, lose our futures and get even more stinking “wars” shoved down our throats.

PS: A border Wall and an ICE machine have only proved to be wasteful and stop-gap solutions to a very real problem. It’s time to do the math correctly for a change. Immigrants come up here from Latin America because their lives down there have been made a living hell. So. If you don’t want them to come here, stop screwing up their lives down there. Boom. End of problem. They’d probably rather stay down there anyway, given a choice.

PPS: While recently re-reading my (most excellent) book recounting my experiences as an embedded journalist during the “war” on Iraq, I was (sort of) surprised to see Mike Pence’s name jump out on the page. Back in 2007, he and John McCain held a press conference in the Green Zone that I had attended, wherein Pence happily offered us poor benighted reporters an inside glimpse on how to be a truly shady war hawk. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2007/04/letters-from-iraq-me-light-brigade-john.html

Who knew back in 2007 that this war-drum-pounding little piece of shite would someday become America’s vice-president and even help us spend approximately ten billion dollars in just one night on the illegal and criminal bombing of Syria. Guess Pence just couldn’t get enough of Shock and Awe — and was willing to tell the exact same lies to see it all happen again.

Still and all, ten billion dollars woulda gone a hecka long way toward paying off my go-phone bill.

That’s my pop, off to war
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