Deep Medicine – Wellness in a very complex universe and web of life

November 5th, 2021

Inflamed; Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice, Rupa Marya & Raj Patel, 2021

Truly holistic health must contend with the elements that continue to make people unwell, locating the disease-causing entities in social structures and the grave misunderstandings that created them. Systems that position humans as supreme over the entire web of life, settler over Indigenous, a singular religion over all other-world views, male over female and nonbinary understandings of gender, white over every other shade of skin — these must be dismantled and composted. We must reimagine our wellness collectively, not simply as individuals or communities but in relation to all the entities that support the possibility of healthy lives. These relaionships, precisely because they are vital for health, are worthy of our care.
The problem is when inclusion becomes enclosure — when the radically transformative projects, theories, and futures led by Indigenous and poor people are sterilized by liberalism, and when the language and other signifiers of revolution are co-opted and incorporated into some giant soup of civil rights struggles…For those living in settler societies, the work of being in solidarity specifically with Indigenous-led movements is particularly critical. The collapse of ecological, social, and bodily health is an outcome of over six hundred years of cosmological warfare.
Forging new forms of solidarity is not easy. It requires abandoning colonial ties and creating new relations with other fugitives. Reconnecting relations that colonialism sundered is simultaneously a personal and political project. Colonialism reproduces itself through a hegemony that has been widely internalized. Transcending it won’t require just therapy, or antiracist book clubs, or some individual process of self-scrutiny. It will involve a collective journey to new forms of exchange and relations.


Yosemite Valley and Falls

The romance of the wilderness (the National Parks) was created through the erasure of the people who knew how to live sustainably in a specific place, often for thousands of years…Removing this taint (native inhabitants) on the landscape would have severe consequences not only for the people but for the entire ecosystem: the invention of the pristine wilderness inaugurated an era of catastrophic forest fires.

Inflammation is triggered when tissues and cells are damaged or threatened with damage. A complex and intricately coordinated response of the immune system, inflammation mobilizes resources to ultimately heal what has been injured. In a healthy, balanced system, once the mending has occurred, inflammation subsides. When the damage keeps coming, the repair cannot fully happen, leaving the inflammatory response running. A system of healing then turns into one that creates more harm.
As we explore inflammation in this book, we will sometime use the language of the body in analogy. So salmon are to rivers as hearts are to blood vessels. They both function as nutrient pumps in systems of circulation. We sometimes proceed by simile; dams are like vascular obstructions. We are not above metaphor. Trade routes for example, are colonialism’s arteries, moving people, capital goods, and diseases around the world system, and connecting bodies, societies, geographies, and ecologies. The metaphor helps us to show that inflammation is systemic and that the systems are linked. But we aren’t making a literary arguments so much as a medical one. The inflammation in your arteries and the inflammation of the planet are linked, and the causal connections are becoming increasingly clear; your physiological state is a reaction to social and environmental factors. Racial violence, economic precarity, industrial pollution, poor diet, and even the water you drink can inflame you.

The stories of interference in the ancient relationships between land, water, humans, and salmon demonstrates how interconnected these all are and how technological arrogance can crate downstream problems when we work to outsmart the ecologies we belong to. A disruption in one part of the web of life, within a few short decades, ends up eroding the vitality of the whole system. But the good news is that ecologically guided reparation starting at one point of the web can bring vitality back to the whole…And that ecological restoration must start with the people who were integrated into the ecology before colonialism, and who are still here working on these solutions.

The (Covid) pandemic revealed in stark terms the reality of how environmental and social injustice affects health, and also the deeper truth that under a colonial cosmology, many humans have been made disposable.

Unfortunately, we are rushing headlong into a crisis of colonial capitalism in which pollution deaths soar, driven by a climate crisis, like the Covid pandemic, in which a few profit greatly while billions suffer…Absent a serious diagnosis of the climate crisis and its impact on the exposome and our bodies, medicine will continue to treat the symptoms but will miss the opportunity for a cure.

Learning to listen must be the work of settlers on colonized land, of modern societies that treat the Earth as a thing to be exploited, and of health care workers, as we increasingly encounter existential threats from forest fires, pandemics, catastrophic floods, and global warming–all signs that we are critically out of balance.

Through his investments, (Bill) Gates owns 97,933 hectares (242,000 acres) of arable land, making him the largest farmland owner and occupant of stolen territory in the United States.

After the Bolivian coup to assure US extractive rights to lithium needed for his electric cars, Elon Musk tweated: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

Colonial capitalism suppresses the equitable distribution of resources, expending great energy–through extraction, border construction, incarceration, and the creation of supremacist cosmologies and institutions–to maintain a structure that prioritizes individuals over communities. Without the networking-capacity benefits of communities, society under colonial capitalism is more vulnerable to the shocks and failures of systems within systems, which we see with pandemics, raging wildfires, and stock market volatility.

Normally, pro-inflammatory activity is self limited, turning off once homeostasis is achieved. Sustained activation means that an inflammatory stimulus is chronic or the response simply fails to stop. When it continues unabated, it produces the inflammation that is a hallmark of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The planet, our own bodies, and our consciousness are wired for the care of others. But capitalist economic and social systems teach us to restrict the set of beings whom we’re prepared to recognize as people, and to suppress the urge to care, unless money might be made from it. They misdirect our attention and obfuscate our capacity to recognize one another, and the care we need.
Humans have broken the world. The air that renders neurological disease more likely has to be cleaned. Industrial agriculture has massively degraded the land, and it will take a profound shift in priorities to reverse the killing of the flora, fauna, and fungi beneath our feet. In the United States, as elsewhere in the world, waterways are being polluted by agriculture and fossil fuels, and the defenders of that water are being attacked.

Unlearning capitalist cosmology cannot be done alone, as a project of individual therapy. It is not about an individual decision to “be kind” or to “be antiracist.” Rather it’s about the solidarity of political communities, of networks of people, engaged in systemic change. A decolonial idea of care extends not just to other humans but to all relations in the web of life.


Water Protectors at Standing Rock

When I (Rupa) went to Standing Rock, I saw a glimpse of another way of being in community, which allowed us to reconnect to that pluripotency that has been broken by colonialism…It was as if time were standing still and we were back in the era of colonial conquest. I had already known this conceptually, but it was there that I really understood in every cell of my body that colonialism is an ongoing project that reproduces itself across generations. It never stopped. For the system to continue, its power relations must be re-created every day, and that re-creation occurs because individuals are coerced, voluntarily agree, or simply cannot imagine how not to participate in the rules set out before us.

U.S. Settler Colonialism, Fiscal Military State, Genocide, Mythical Histories

October 22nd, 2021

Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a history of Erasure and Exclusion, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, 2021

Tellingly, the first federal immigration law, which created the foundation for US immigration, was the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. It is crucial to recognize that when and how “immigration” as such began, it was based on overt, blatant racism and a policy of exclusion, and it has never lost that taint.

Settler Colonialism- Indigenous Erasure

Anishinabek historian Michael Witgen:

The United States imagines itself as a nation of immigrants…The United States aspired to be a settler colonial power, but the presence and persistence of Native people forced the republic to become a colonizer. The violence of settler colonial ideology is represented not only in the widespread dispossession of indigenous peoples but also in its attempt to affect their political, social, and cultural erasure…To imagine the United States as a nation of immigrants, devoid of an indigenous population, is not only a form of erasure, it is historically inaccurate. The United States was founded as, and continues to be, a nation of settler immigrants, locked into a struggle over the meaning of place and belonging with the Native nations of North America.


Hamilton the Musical – No slaves or freed slaves are portrayed

Alexander Hamilton – military man, slave owner and slave trader not an abolitionist

In the fall of 2020, a researcher at the Schuyler Mansion found evidence that had long been overlooked in letters and Hamilton’s own account books indicating that he not only bought and sold slaves but also personally owned slaves. The researcher, Jesse Serfilippi was unequivocal: “Not only did Alexander Hamilton enslave people, but his involvement in the institution of slavery was essential to his identity, both personally and professionally…It is vital that the myth of Hamilton as the ‘Abolitionist Founding Father’ end.

U.S. a Fiscal Military State

The United States was thus founded as the first constitutional capitalist state and an empire on conquered land, with capital in the form of slaves and land (real estate). It is crucial to understand that this was exceptional in the world at that time and has remained exceptional.


Generals George Washington and Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton argued that the federal military was too weak to overawe the “savages”. The expansionist states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York sought and gained federal protection of settler land claims. Hamilton and other Federalists invoked “savages” to justify a stronger federal state and a standing army. This elevated the dispossession of Indigenous peoples into a constitutional principal.

The Militia Act of 1792, the forerunner of the Insurrection Act of 1807, mandated a genocidal policy against the Indigenous nations of the Territory, allowing federal troops to eliminate the resistant communities in order the allow settler to occupy the land. The Militia Act was used two years later against Appalachian settlers in western Pennsylvania who were protesting an unfair tax on their distilleries. This was the sole work of Hamilton. Only with unlimited counter-insurgent war — destroying Indigenous towns, burning crops and food storage, driving inhabitants into peripheries as refugees–did the United States prevail, seizing most of present day Ohio. Military historian John Grenier writes, “For the first 200 years of our military heritage, then, Americans depended on arts of war that contemporary professional soldiers supposedly abhorred: razing and destroying enemy villages and fields; killing enemy women and children; raiding settlements for captives; intimidating and brutalizing enemy noncombatants; and assassinating enemy leaders…”

Settler Colonialism as Genocide

“Genocide” is a legal term with a precise definition, enshrined in the international treaty the United Nations Convention on the prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide…it went into effect in the United States only in 1988 when the US Congress finally ratified it…There is no statute of limitations…The statute is not retroactive, so the United States is not liable under the Genocide Convention before 1988.

Within the logic of settler colonialism, genocide was the inherent overall policy of the United States from its founding, but there are also specific documented policies of genocide on the part of US administrations that can be identified in a least live distinct periods:
(1) the Revolutionary War period through 1832 in the Ohio Country
(2) the 1930s Jacksonian era of forced removals
(3) the 1850s California gold-rush era in Northern California
(4) the Civil War and post-Civil War era (up to 1890)
(5) the 1950s termination and relocation period

Doctrine of Discovery Legal basis of Settler Colonialism Free-Soiler Imperialism

The shadow of genocide lies in the Doctrine of Discovery, which remains a fundamental law of the land in the United States, the legal framework that informs the US colonial system of controlling Indigenous nations…It (the Doctrine of Discovery) originated in a papal bull issued in 1452 that permitted the Portuguese monarchy to seize West Africa and enslave the inhabitants, the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade.

And yet, the United States has used the Discovery Doctrine to rationalize its colonial dominion over Indigenous peoples throughout its history, citing the Marshall court precedent as recently as 2005 in the US Supreme Court case of City of Sherrill v. Oneida Nation of Indians in denying the Oneida Nation land claim.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the unanimous decision.

“Free” Land Mostly Distributed to land speculators and large operators (railroads, etc.) not Families

The Federal land grants to the railroad barons–carved out of Indigenous territories–were not limited to the width of the railroad tracks, but rather formed a checkerboard of square-mile sections stretching for hundreds of miles on both sides of the right of way. This was land the railroads were free to sell to settlers in parcels for their own profit..As war profiteers, financiers, and industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan used these laws to amass wealth in the East, Leland Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker in the West grew rich from building railroads with cheap Chinese and Irish labor and eastern capital on land granted by the US government.

Self-Indigenization Psychosis The Last of the Mohicans – Daniel Boone Myth Hero


Irishman Daniel Day Lewis Stars in blockbuster movie The Last of the Mohicans


Daniel Boone TV Series

A deep psychosis inherent in US settler colonialism is revealed in settler self-indigenization. The phenomenon is not the same as the practice of “playing Indians,” which historian Philip Deloria brilliantly dissected, from the Boston Tea Party Indians to hobbyists dressing up like Indians to New Age Indians.

Dunbar-Ortiz is referring to James Fenimore Cooper’s writings, most particularly The Last of the Mohicans which was made into a blockbuster film in 1992, and the mythical legends surrounding the real world Daniel Boone 1734-1820.

Are Appalachian Scots-Irish Settlers (hillbillys) Indigenous?

Razid Khan:

The early American Republic saw the emergence of a white man’s republic, where implicit white identity gave way to the expansion of suffrage to non-property holding white males as a natural right, and the revocation of what suffrage existed for non-whites based on their racial character. The Scots-Irish were a major part of this cultural evolution, being as they were generally part of the broad non-slave holding class. They may not have had the wealth of lowland planters, but the Scots-Irish were part of the aristocracy of skin…It is true that Scots-Irish Americans are arguably among the more racist white ethnic group.

Rancher and Mormon Indigeneity – Little House on the Prairie

Settler self-indigenizing is not limited to Appalachia. Under the guise of “regional studies,”, descendants of Appalachians and other early settlers who migrated west and settled in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, may of whom trekked on to the valleys of California and the Pacific Northwest, also carry with them the sense of being the original people and often express an affinity for their versions of Indianness, being men who claim “to know Indians.” Another site is the intermountain west where white cattle barons dominate, many of them Mormon, who have their own indigenous origin story blessed by their God.

Capitalism requires cheap or free labor – Thirteenth Amendment Loophole – To the Carceral Landscape

However, the Thirteenth Amendment included an exception to freedom from servitude: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Continental Imperialism

John Quincy Adams in 1825:

The world should be familiar with the idea of considering our proper domain to be the continent of North America. From the time we became an independent people, it was as much a law of nature that this should become our pretension that the Mississippi should flow to the sea, Spain had possession of our southern border and Great Britain was upon our north. It was impossible that centuries should elapse without finding their territories annexed to the United States.

The United States is the only rich country that has a long border with a poor and formerly European-colonized country (Mexico), which provides a permanent reserve of surplus labor. And that border was imposed by an imperialist war.

Self-Indigenization of Italians

The oppressed masses of Italian immigrants would find the attachment to Columbus an avenue to acceptance. They realized that the accepted representation of Columbus as “first founder” of the United States served to connect being Catholic and being Italian with the very birth of the United States; therefore, Italian immigrants could present themselves as descendants of the original Italian founder, not so much as immigrants but returnees, as part of the origin story of the United States.

Exclusion, Inclusion, and Erasure

The self-indigenizing narrative of being first settlers or discovers, like the Hispanos of New Mexico, the Scots Irish of Appalachia, the Irish Catholics, the western US white ranchers, and the US states adopting Columbus as first founder, appears as a requirement for citizenship acceptance, erasing the still living, still colonized Indigenous nations, the majority of whom had been removed from the eastern United States where the European immigrants made their homes…Reliance on founding myths and pursuing whiteness were not options for Chinese immigrants who began arriving on the West Coast and in New York at the same time as the Southern and Eastern European Catholic and Jewish immigrants were populating the industrial centers of the east.

In 2014 Franciscan colonizer of California Junipero Serra was canonized as a saint at the protestant Washington National Cathedral. Pope Francis officiated with Obama in attendance. Serra had presided over one the most brutal genocides and erasures in US history.

Mahmood Mamdani writes, “If the race question marks the cutting edge of American reform the native question highlights the limits of that reform. The thrust of struggles has been to deracialize but not to decolonize. A deracialized America is still a settler society and a settler state.” Attempts to “include” Native peoples as victims of racism further camouflages settler colonialism. The US polity has been trying to rid itself of Indigenous nations since first settlement. Four hundred years later, multiculturalism is the mechanism for avoiding acknowledgement of settler colonialism. Mamdani correctly observes that the very existence of Indigenous nations “constitutes a claim on land and therefore a critic of settler sovereignty and an obstacle to the settler economy.”

Perhaps that is one reason so few US historians are willing to risk their careers by writing US history objectively. Even Howard Zinn’s 1980 book, A People’s History of the United States. remains eschewed by most professional historians…

See also anthropologist David Vine’s book The United States of War.

Afghanistan War $2.3 Trillion FUBAR

October 19th, 2021

The Afghanistan Papers, A Secret History of the the War, Craig Whitlock, 2021

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…it (this book) is an attempt to explain what went wrong and how three consecutive presidents and their administrations failed to tell the truth. All told, the Afghanistan Papers is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who played a direct part in the war. The Lessons Learned interviews, oral histories and Rumsfeld snowflakes comprise more than 10,000 pages of documents…(people) who know that the official version of the war being fed to the American people was untrue, or aggressively sanitized at best.

By 2002, few al-Qaeda followers remained in Afghanistan. Hundreds had been killed or captured, while the rest fled to Pakistan, Iran and other countries. The United States and its allies were left fighting the Taliban and other militants from the region — Uzbeks, Pakistanis, Chechens. So for the next two decades the war In Afghanistan was waged against people who had nothing to do with 9/11.

The problem was that the military had not run a counterinsurgency campaign since the Vietnam War. To figure out what to do, (David) Barno scrounged up three textbooks on counterrevolutionary warfare he had read as a West Point cadet more than twenty-five years earlier. “We had no U.S. military doctrine whatsoever at this point in time by which to guide us.”

“He (Pakistani ISI head Ashfaq Kayani) says, ‘You know, I know you think we’re hedging our bets. You’re right, we are because one day you’ll be gone again, it’ll be like Afghanistan the first time, you’ll be done with us, but we’re still going to be here because we can’t actually move the country. And the last thing we want with all our other problems is have turned the Taliban into a mortal enemy, so, yes, we’re hedging our bets.'”

The table of contents pretty much summarizes this important book

Part One: A False Taste of Victory, 2001–2002
Chapter One: A Muddled Mission
Chapter Two: “Who Are the Bad Guys?”
Chapter Three: The Nation-Building Project
Part Two: The Great Distraction, 2003–2005
Chapter Four: Afghanistan Becomes an Afterthought
Chapter Five: Raising an Army from the Ashes
Chapter Six: Islam for Dummies
Chapter Seven: Playing Both Sides
Part Three: The Taliban Comes Back, 2006–2008
Chapter Eight: Lies and Spin
Chapter Nine: An Incoherent Strategy
Chapter Ten: The Warlords
Chapter Eleven: A War on Opium
Part Four: Obama’s Overreach, 2009–2010
Chapter Twelve: Doubling Down
Chapter Thirteen: “A Dark Pit of Endless Money”
Chapter Fourteen: From Friend to Foe
Chapter Fifteen: Consumed by Corruption
Part Five: Things Fall Apart, 2011–2016
Chapter Sixteen: At War with the Truth
Chapter Seventeen: The Enemy Within
Chapter Eighteen: The Grand Illusion
Part Six: Stalemate, 2017–2021
Chapter Nineteen: Trump’s Turn
Chapter Twenty: The Narco-State
Chapter Twenty-One: Talking with the Taliban

An excellant prequel to this book is Steve Coll’s 2007 Ghost Wars account of how the CIA seeded this next conflict

We seem to have even forgotten how to be Imperialistic Extractive Capitalists by ignoring the vast endowment of natural resources in Afghanistan.

Far more value, however, lies with the country’s endowments of iron, copper, lithium, rare earth elements, cobalt, bauxite, mercury, uranium and chromium. While the total abundance of minerals is certainly vast, scientific understanding of these resources is still at an exploratory stage.Aug 31, 2021

An Anthropologist looks at U.S. forts, bases, lily-pads – endless wars and first strikes

October 7th, 2021

The United States of War, David Vine, 2020

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The U.S. military has waged war, engaged in combat, or otherwise employed its forces aggressively in foreign lands in all but eleven years of its existence.

Rather than being a book about battles, this book uses military bases as windows to understand the pattern of endless U.S. wars…These bases have expanded the boundaries of the United States, while keeping the country locked in a state of nearly continuous war that has largely served the economic and political interests of elites and left tens of millions dead, wounded, and displaced.

Beyond a way of warfare, this mode of total genocidal war (against native Americans) became important to the development of a distinct U.S. identity. This identity in turn has played some role in shaping later wars and the conduct of those wars, especially against peoples deemed to be supposedly racially inferior. “Successive generations of Americans, both soldiers and civilians, made the killing of Indian men, women, and children a defining element of their military tradition, and thereby part of a shared American identity.”

By the end of World War II…the United States would build and occupy some thirty thousand installations at two thousand base sites worldwide. While large numbers of bases would close at War’s end what remained was a global base network larger than any in human history…By war’s end, Roosevelt would oversee the largest expansion of bases, territory, and imperial power in U.S. History – arguably far exceeding the power of Jefferson’s purchase (Louisiana Territory).

Other “territories” (excepting the Philippines which was granted independence in 1946) remained colonies without democratic incorporated into the United States. They included Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Guantanamo Bay, and the Panama Canal Zone.

U.S. officials further used the nation’s unchallenged military superiority at the end of World War II to dictate much of the postwar international economic system, on which geoeconomic power would be based. New global institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations became important economic and political tools to open and dominate markets and maintain other countries in subordinate relationships.

“The United States did not abandon empire after the Second World War. Rather it reshuffled its imperial portfolio,…investing in military bases, tiny specks of semi-sovereignty strewn around the globe.”

Across history and geography the Chagossians and others displaced by U.S. Bases abroad are thus linked along a continuum of violence to the victims of war in Southeast Asia, Iraq, and Afghanistan; to Native American peoples displaced, dispossessed, and murdered; to Angolans and Mozambicans kept under Portuguese colonial rule for decades with U.S. Aid exchanged for Azores basing rights; to Indonesians slaughtered in a U.S. Supported genocide; to Cubans and Haitians and many others killed during dozens of U.S. Invasions in Latin America; to Guatemalans and Chileans tortured, assassinated, and disappeared during U.S. Based coups; to the enslavement, murder, and disenfranchisement of African-Americans over centuries; to attacks on immigrants and religious and sexual minorities in the United States; and to the poor in the United States whose bodies are so often ground up by the workings of everyday capitalism and the U.S. Wars they are so often sent to fight.

Continued Myths and Propaganda about the murder of Osama Bin Laden

September 12th, 2021

The Killing of Osama bin Laden, Seymour Hersh, 2016
– – – – – – – –

This spring (2016) I contacted (Asad) Durrani (former head of Pakistan’s ISI in the 1990s) and told him in detail what I had learned about the bin Laden assault from American sources; that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at Abbottabad compound since 2006; that (Army General) Kayani and (ISI head) Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the SEALS to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms; that the CIA dis not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the SEAL team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false

In August 2010 a former senior Pakistani ISI officer approached Jonathan Bank, then the CIA’s station chief at the US embassy in Islamabad. He offered to tell the CIA where to find bin Laden in return for the reward that Washington had offered in 2001…The walk-in passed the (polygraph) test.

The CIA needed to determine if bin Laden was really in the compound. Obama was informed in October, but was skeptical, wanting proof that bin Laden was in the compound. A Pakistani Army doctor by the name of Amir Aziz was treating bin Laden at the compound.

The (US) planners turned to Kayani and Pasha, who asked Aziz to obtain the (DNA) specimens…Aziz had been awarded with a share of the $25 million reward..because the DNA sample had showed conclusively that it was bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Pakistan agreed In January 2011 to cooperate on an operation if the US would come in lean and mean and kill bin Laden. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia insisted that bin Laden be killed because they did not want him interrogated by US authorities as he would have been able to implicate both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in having supported his activities. Pasha met with officials in Washington. The US agreed to increase assistance to the ISI and give Pakistan a free hand in Afghanistan as the US started withdrawing its forces.

Pasha and Kayani were promised that the deal would remain secret. Once the mission was carried out and bin Laden killed, the US would wait at least 7 days and then announce that bin Laden had been killed in a drone strike on the Afghan side of the Hindu Kush.

Obama instantly broke the agreement, announcing the raid and murder for political/electioneering purposes and setting in motion an incredible series of false, fabricated stories about the whole history of events, worthy of Lewis Carroll. The CIA has sealed most of the fabrications to keep the truth hidden from journalists and the public. That didn’t stop them from revealing classified material to the makers of the 2012 propaganda film “Zero Dark Thirty” who used the material to propagate false narratives in an amazing work of propaganda/fiction posing as a depiction of actual events. Much of this fictionalized account has survived to be repeated in the 2021 Netflix series Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror, Part 5.


– – – – “Stealth” Chinook Helicopters delivering tanks to battle

At the Abbottabad compound ISI guards were posted around the clock to keep watch over bin Laden and his wives and children. They were under orders to leave as soon as they heard the rotors of the US helicopters. The town was dark; the electricity supply had been cut off on the the orders of the ISI hours before the raid began. One of the Black Hawks crashed inside the walls of the compound, injuring many on board…The cockpit of the crashed Black Hawk, with its communications and navigational gear, had to be destroyed by concussion grenades, and this would create a series of explosions and a fire visible for miles. Two (giant) Chinook helicopters had flown from Afghanistan to a nearby Pakistani intelligence base to provide logistical support (like refueling the Black Hawks) and one of them was immediately dispatched to Abbottabad…The crash of the Black Hawk and the need to fly in a replacement were nerve racking and time-consuming setbacks, but the SEALs continued with their mission. There was no firefight as they moved into the compound; the ISI guards had gone…Instead…an ISI liaison officer flying with the SEALs guided them into the darkened house and up a staircase to bin Laden’s quarters…Aside from those that hit bin Laden, no other shots were fired.

The SEALS reported recovering a treasure trove of computers and documents from the compound.

“Why create the treasure trove story? The White House had to give the impression that bin Laden was still operationally important. Otherwise, why kill him? A cover story was created — that there was a network of couriers coming and going with memory sticks and instructions. All to show bin Laden remained important.”

Bin Laden was under arrest of the Pakistani ISI with Saudi Arabia providing financial support for the compound. Bin Laden was very ill and delusional by this time. The ISI gave the CIA all materials remaining in the compound when they razed it. bin Laden’s wives and children were not allowed to be interrogated by US authorities.


– – – – – The Mythical Burial of Osama bin Laden Aboard the USS Carl Vinson- Photos not Provided

“The (SEAL) squad came through the door and obliterated him.” There were no other arms in the compound. Once Obama broke the Pakistani agreement, the administration was left with a very long list of unexplained problems and questions, which journalists immediately started asking.
– How did you know bin Laden was in Abbottabad? Invent a non existent al Quaeda courier with a white car that you followed to the compound.
– How did you know he was an al Quaeda courier? Tortured him or someone else.
– How did you confirm that bin Laden was in the compound? Blame an innocent man, Dr. Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor that operates a well funded, independent medical operation that provides free Hepatitis B vaccinations, and claim that he was assigned to collect DNA samples from the bin Laden compound. This started a worldwide rumor that the CIA was funding fake vaccination programs. Afridi was accused of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
– What happened to the courier? The non existent courier was killed in the non existent Abbottabad firefight.
– What happened to bin Laden’s body? He was immediately buried at sea off the USS Carl Vinson. (Never happened but all records of the ship have been sealed by the CIA).
– Where are the photo proofs of death and burial? There aren’t any.
– Where is the body? Several SEALS later reported they had thrown bin Laden’s body parts out of the helicopter somewhere over the mountains and arrived in Afghanistan without a body. With the originally agreed story of death in a drone attack there would be no need for a body – in fact a body would pose problems for the original false story agreed between the US and Pakistan.

U.S. Constitutional Authorization of Militias / Vigilantes

September 1st, 2021

The Second, Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, Carol Anderson, 2021

“A well regulated Miltiia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (unless you are black).

The second Amendment was, thus, not some hallowed ground but rather a bribe paid again with Black bodies. It was the result of Madison’s determination to salve Patrick Henry’s obsession about Virginia’s vulnerability to slave revolts, seduce enough anti-Federalists to get the Constitution ratified, and stifle the demonstrated willingness of the South to scuttle the United States if slavery were not protected.

The role of the “well regulated militias” of interest to the South was “quelling domestic insurrections”.

It was obvious, whether North or South, that no militia was going to stop a foreign invasion. the (Revolutionary) war proved that beyond a reasonable doubt. What the militia could do rather well, however, as George Mason noted, was keep slave owners safe.

Throughout American history few have ever tried to differentiate between “a well regulated militia” and a mob of white vigilantes.

On Citizenship

As historian Martha S. Jones noted, “No single piece of congressional legislation was felt more…than the Naturalization Act of 1790.” That “whites only” barricade created a rightless, race contingent nether world for everyone else, including free Blacks.

The Haitian Revolution of 1791 which struck terror into the hearts of American slaveholders is covered in some detail. After the British and Spanish proved unable to put down the rebellion, Napoleon sent 20,000 of his best troops to restore order. The rebels carried out a scorched earth guerilla defense that left 80% of French troops dead on the island. The rebellion succeeded.

The High Price of Principal in Politics

September 1st, 2021

The Division of Light and Power, Dennis J. Kucinich, 2021

Tom J. Johnson, Founder of Muny Light Mayor Cleveland 1901-1909

I believe in public ownership of all public service monopolies for the same reason that I believe in the municipal ownership of waterworks, of parks, of schools. I believe in the municipal ownership of these monopolies because if you do not own them, they will in time own you. They will corrupt your politics, rule your institutions and finally destroy your liberties.


Boy Mayor Kucinich wife Sandy and arch rival Council president George Forbes <> <> <> Muni Plant 1941

This book is primarily an account of the long term efforts by interlocking private banks, private electric utilities, and corrupt politicians to privatize the 75 year old public Cleveland Electric company known as Muny for their own financial gains at the expense of the citizens of Cleveland and of the political efforts of Dennis Kucinich to stop them, ultimately resulting in Cleveland being forced into default on its various bonds and loans. Kucinich prevailed and Muny is not only still in operation, it is expanding and has saved the citizens of Cleveland hundreds of millions of dollars. In December of 1998, 19 years after the events chronicled in this book, Cleveland honored Kucinich for his role in saving Muny Electric.

Dennis Kucinich

Politics is inherently transactional. It is a process of give-and-take, and compromise. The distinction between normal politics and corrupt politics can therefore, be difficult to recognize. The line is crossed when the reward is personal to the office-holder – – private sector jobs for friends or relatives, contracts for personal business interests, admission to a desirable network of associates, support for a favorite charity, and well-timed campaign contributions can be inducements that cause an elected official to favor a private interest over the public interest. Corruption is much more than cash slipped under the table. Its forms are endless. This process is so endemic that it is actually accepted as “The System”. Every newly-elected office-holder, as I once was, must decide early on if he or she will participate in The System, or challenge it. Ignoring corruption or pretending it does not exit is not a real option, because acquiescing without trying to impede or stop it, you become complicit in facilitating it. Once elected, you must either join The System or fight it. I engaged The System energetically, and it cost me dearly. What is worse is that many others, whose only sin was helping me, also suffered…Was it worth it? Having finished the book, I now know the answer, I really had no choice, if I wanted to live an authentic life with integrity…I have no regrets.

At 562 pages this book, centering on Kucinich’s 1977-1979 term as Mayor of Cleveland when Cleveland was forced into default by the banks, is a surprisingly engrossing, suspenseful, page turner. If you question the soundness of Kucinich’s memory after 42 years, he includes 42 pages of end notes referencing massive qualities of supporting documentation. One could spend years going through this material.

Black Rebellion, Militarized Police Violence, and White Vigilantes

August 11th, 2021

America on Fire; The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960’s, Elizabeth Hinton, 2021
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There have been histories covering black rebellions since 1619 such as Missed Opportunities and Four hundred souls : a community history of African America, 1619-2019, as well as the New York Times published 1619 Project. This book is an American history from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the present. Hinton insists that the violent events covered here be called Rebellions and not riots or demonstrations or mob behavior.
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The militarization of the police:

(Police) Officers threw grenades filled with either chloroacetophenone (CN), the tear gas most commonly used to quell rebellion or 0-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS) or “super” tear gas… The chemical weapon (CS) proved effective in pursuing the Vietcong through underground bunkers and tunnels, and in putting down rebellions in black neighborhoods. The use of tear gas in US overseas interventions correlated directly with its use at home. by 1969, the Department of Justice had facilitated the low-cost sale of more than 70,000 gas masks to local law enforcement, along with other surplus military equipment including body armor, armored vehicles and (assault) rifles.

During the 1990s, the Taser was introduced to law enforcement use as an alternative to deadly force. As of 2011, more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States used the Taser. Police now routinely use rubber bullets and pepper spray adding to their “non-lethal” arsenals.

The rise of new white vigilante groups:

Ignoring the Mayor (Stenzel of Cairo Illinois), they formed the Committee of Ten Million The job of the vigilante group would be to carry out the heavy-handed response the Mayor seemed unwilling to delivery. Similar groups had been coming together since the civil rights movement first gained momentum in the 1950s. Unlike many of the lynch mobs that had terrorized Black communities from Reconstruction to the middle of the next century. these new white supremacist groups attracted a more genteel class. The founders of the Committee of Ten Million included Peyton Berbling, the wealthy, chain smoking, white haired lawyer in his early seventies who had served as district attorney and would return to the post in 1968. Larry Potts, the dapper pastor of Cairo Baptist Church; the prominent local businessman Tom Madra; the lumber dealer Bob Cunningham. Like the Citizen’s Councils of America that could be found across the South, the Committee of Ten Million used intimidation and violence to counter the freedom movement, relying not only on brute force but also their political and economic power.

In 1969 another white vigilante force emerged in York Pennsylvania.

In York and Cairo, Black people lived in the areas most susceptible to flooding, and those that didn’t make it into public housing lived in deteriorating tenements by white slum landlords. the mayors were unresponsive to ongoing demonstrations for jobs and better living conditions, and reluctant to solicit federal War on Poverty funds that might have helped to address these problems.

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White Flight
York and Cairo were distinguished by the close alliance between law enforcement and white power vigilante groups. York uprisings in the late 1960s were the most severe of the era. The Cairo rebellion lasted longer than any of the era. The white men in power both politically and economically saw no reason to change the institutions that systematically locked Black people out of jobs, decent housing, and educational opportunities. The extreme reactions of the white power groups effectively killed the town of Cairo, once a Mississippi river boat stop, today only 2,000 residents remain, 2/3 of them Black. In 1950 the population of Cairo was over 12,000. White flight was occurring all over America, particularly in smaller communities. The result of these policies was often white flight to the suburbs. Cairo was effectively dead and Harrisburg lost 22% of its population.

By 1970 the (Cairo United) Front had created a food distribution network with the Urban League and other sympathetic supporters in Chicago, who would send tons of canned goods, household items, clothing, and toys…The United Front offered Cairo residents free legal aid services and (limited) medical care. It established a day care center, a pig farm, a factory that made prefabricated housing, a women’s clothing store, and a grocery store all based on the principles of collective ownership…At the center of the United Front’s activities during the ongoing conflict in Cairo was its boycott of white merchants.

Reverend J.J.Cobb of Cairo: “The way we see it from where we stand, is that every time we strive to do something to help ourselves there are more policemen armed with guns, more ammunition is bought to put a stop to the drive to better the conditions of the Negro.”

Charles A. O’Brien, deputy attorney general of California issued a rare statement during a hearing in 1970:

A major key to conquering this problem is to stop making the policeman the scapegoat for all of societies ills. We cannot continue to solve all our problems by passing new criminal laws. The policeman today bears the brunt of the failures of government. Poverty, inequality, disease, ignorance, and the alienation of youth were not caused by the policeman, but he is the agent who most often comes face to face with these problems. He is the one who has to put the lid back on. We must demand that the other segments of government do more–social agencies, educational institutions, college administrators, public law offices. All of these other agencies on which we spend billions must be asked to do more, to bear more of the burden, to act more creatively, to assume more responsibly.


Policing schools and the school-to-prison pipeline.
One of the most profound and negative effects of this focus on law enforcement was sending police into the public schools instead of addressing the lack of Black and other minority teachers, the white biased curriculum, outright discrimination against Black students like preventing Black students from taking elected office or joining cheer leading teams.

Yet, in Harrisburg (Pennsylvania), Cairo, and across the country, officials at all levels ultimately pursued the punitive path. After the violence of the late 1960s and early 1970s, policymakers attempted to relieve police-community tensions by pacifying the over-policed and unruly community. The strategy of managing the problems caused by systemic racism with crime control measures left Harrisburg economically stagnant, segregated, and with a failing school system.

Local, state, and federal agencies had “joined a vicious circle of racial discrimination and economic depression.”

Miami 1980 The most violent Rebellion.
In 1980, the white Kulp brothers, newly arrived in Miami from Pennsylvania, with a girlfriend drove into the heart of Liberty City where both boys were killed after a brick shattered their windshield and their car crashed hitting a 75 year old man and pinning a young Black girl into a wall. Both brothers were killed by a mob of Black witnesses, but a Black taxi driver drove the white girlfriend out of Liberty City. Thus started the 1980 Miami rebellion, seemingly coming out of nowhere and yet the most violent seen since 1964.

…by the mid 1970s this (Blacks locked out of political power) had changed, with levels of Black political leadership resembling those of the Reconstruction era “seven magic years”…The formation of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971…Black elected officials began campaigns to bring job training programs, welfare provisions, health care, and social services to their constituents. It seemed that the Black freedom struggle had shifted from direct action to formal politics…But (in Miami) Black owned business spiraled into a sharp decline…Black residents owned 25 percent of all gas stations in Dade county in 1960. By 1979 that figure had dwindled to 9 percent, while Cuban and South and Central American-owned stations quadrupled from 12 to 48 percent. Between 1968 and 1979, Latinx applicants received $47.3 million (in SBA grants), or about 47 percent of the total SBA grants in Miami, while Black applicants were awarded a paltry $6.5 million.

The average income of Latinx owned businesses in places like Little Havana were double those of Black owned businesses. Then, in 1980, the Mariel BoatLift brought another 125,000 Cubans to the Miami area. Black jobs became even more scarce with this new influx of favored laborers. Between 1977 and 1981 another 70,000 Haitians arrived in Miami, after fleeing the dictatorship of Jean Claude Duvalier. They were treated even worse than existing Blacks already living in Miami. 90 percent of Federal relief sent to Miami after 1980 Black rebellion went to white, Cuban, and other Latin owners who opened businesses in non Black communities. President Carter sent $6 million to Miami for a job training program. Black participants never found work. The devastation to Liberty City and Overtown were so extensive that residents had to travel up to 30 miles to shop. Two years after the Rebellion 70 percent of residents were out of work. The acquittal by an all white jury of Officer Alvarez for killing a Black man in 1984 set off another conflagration in Liberty City, Overtown, and Coconut Grove. In 1989 a Colombian born officer Lozano killed a Black motorcyclist who then crashed killing his Black passenger setting off a four day rebellion in Overtown. Officer Lozano was convicted of manslaughter in 1990 but his conviction was overturned in 1991 because the original jurors were ruled to have voted for conviction because of the fear of setting off riots.

LA, Rodney King Rebellion, and the Gangs
The Rodney King beating in 1991 by four white police officers which was captured on video set off a five day rebellion killing more than 50 people and causing more than $1 Billion in property damage.
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in 1992 warring Crip and Blood gangs understood the rebellion not as a moment of wanton destruction, but as an opportunity to transform themselves and their community. By moving to end the violence, the gangs hoped to win political influence and to control scarce resources on their own terms.


Much of the impetus for this effort originated in the Amer-I-Can program, run by former NFL star Jim Brown. Most of the young men who would organized the truce in 1992 were trained in the program. With the Black Panthers and other radical organizations were no longer viewed as a major threat by the early 1970s, law enforcement turned its attention to street gangs, many of which had been operating for decades. In 1992, the reported number of gang related homicides in Los Angeles County peaked at 803, a 77 percent increase in four years. Two decades of police gang control measures had failed. The Reagan “War on Drugs” in 1984 lead to mass incarceration on a scale seen nowhere else in the world.

Yet as the 1992 rebellion raged and the city burned, members of the Crips and the Bloods in Watts set out to bring internal warfare to an end, and to face common external enemy–systemic racism, embodied most immediately by the police–as a united front.

On April 26 and 28 1992, gang treaties were agreed to and the next day the four officers who beat Rodney King on video walked free. What really got the gangs attention was the killing of a Black ninth grader by a Korean store owner over a $1.79 orange juice. Federal, state and local law enforcement saw the 1992 rebellion as an opportunity to target “gangs” and “illegal immigrants”, exactly the opposite of the Crips and Bloods vision of ending the violence.

When the rebellion started…,graffiti in Watts already announced the (Crips and Bloods) truce agreed to the day before. The uprising had the effect of cementing it. Unity parties in Imperial Courts and Nickerson Gardens went on as the surrounding areas burned. On May 3, the day before the rebellion ended, the Pirus Bloods in the Hacienda Village housing project entered the accord, meaning that there would be peace throughout Watts going forward.

Property damage was light and the police alone were responsible for the three deaths in Watts. The gangs proposed that unarmed gang members would be trained to accompany any police officer on duty in Watts in a program that would institutionalize the Black Panthers’ Community Alert Program of the 1960s. The treaty was still in effect in 1997 four years later.

Gang probation officer Jim Galipeau: “The only tragedy of the truce was that society needed to reward the gang members who created it, yet didn’t do a damn thing.”

The Bloods and the Crips had asked for a mere six million dollars to transform policing in South Central. “Give us the hammer and the nails, and we will rebuild the city” their 1992 proposal had begged.

About the only positive outcome, other than a dramatic drop in violence, was the creation of a gang intervention program where gang members were employed by the city to defuse violence.

Cincinnati and the Failed Federal and ACLU efforts to reform the police, and Cincinnati Gentrification
By 2000, white flight reversed into massive gentrification programs, most exemplified by booming white enterprises in Cincinnati. The inequality and social injustice of bad schools and lack of jobs created a tinder box that was lit by a police killing in 2001, resulting in a multi day rebellion. This time, the violence got the attention of Federal policy makers interested in police reform. The ACLU and the Cincinnati Black Front sued the Cincinnati police over the killing that set off the rebellion. A Collaborative Agreement was negotiated in 2002 and it was signed by the city one year after the start of the rebellion. Separately the Department of Justice entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the city and the Cincinnati Police Department. A federal monitor Saul Green, and a small team of Justice Department investigators would remain in Cincinnati for five years to assure that the Agreement was implemented and maintained. When the city failed to comply with the Agreement it was extended for another two years. In 2006 the police department effectively threw the Agreement out the window implementing “Operation Vortex” targeting areas where “gentrification” was planned and Blacks and other poor needed to be removed before “renovations” could start.
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Rebellions, both peaceful and violent happened across America throughout the Obama years.

Both strains of Black protest have served important purposes historically. Any success of the nonviolent, direct political action of the civil rights movement depended on the threat of violent, direct political action. As Martin Luther King Jr. himself recognized, the power of mass nonviolence arose in part from its capacity to suggest the coercive power of violent resistance should demands not be met.

Rebellions of 2020 were all started nonviolently and became violent only after police provocation or violence.

New Coalition based Rebellions start in 2020

Rebellions throughout America, from those in the 1960s to Cincinnati in 2001, mainly involved Black protestors, yet the most sustained collective violence in 2020 did not emanate from Black ghettos. In a reversal that would have been unthinkable not so long ago, it came from majority-white cities and suburban communities. Most of the looting in 2020 took place in upscale neighborhoods, and it targeted high-end retailers like Gucci and Tiffany&Co. on Rodeo Drive in Beverley Hills…Confrontations between protestors and police were most intense and protracted in cities like Portland and Seattle, among the whitest cities in America…An estimated 95 percent of counties where protests took place were majority white, and three-quarters of these counties were 75 percent white.

The 2020 demonstrations revealed that racial justice champions, environmental activists, LGBTQ-rights advocates, and labor unions appear to be stitching together a new coalition…In Cincinnati…,left wing activist groups now called for a redistribution and redirection of resources away from police departments and prison systems and toward programs that would improve mental health services, address climate change, and provide better housing, education, and job opportunities for all Americans…in 2020 some public officials and police officers participated in the demonstrations to express support for the anti-racist cause.

The American History of Missed Opportunities

August 2nd, 2021

From Here to Equality, Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, William A Darity jr & Kristen Mullen, 2020

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This important, well researched, and very readable book makes the case for reparations due to African Americans after more than 400 years of racially discriminatory, officially sanctioned policies in America. It is a history with an emphasis on turns not taken or taken wrongly and the impacts of these actions on the inequality of African American wealth and income. Much of their case for reparations rests on undeniable facts and statistics. And ultimately this is a story of unstoppable and unaccountable capitalism in search of cheap (or free) labor.

From 1619 to the 1660s, the majority of blacks in the colonies were contract servants not slaves. They could accumulate land, vote, testify in court, and mingle with whites as relative equals.

Black people overwhelmingly were the objects of enslavement. While there was an extended period of white immigrant indentured servitude during the colonial period, their numbers were dwarfed by coerced immigrants from the African continent. Even at the height of importation of white indentures, while 216,000 whites came to British North America as bonded laborers, 300,000 Africans were forcibly imported to the colonies. By the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the practice of white indentureship was in sharp decline. On the other hand, in 1790 there were close to 700,000 enslaved blacks in the United States, a number that grew to 4 million by the start of the Civil War.

For a very brief period during the colonial era, black and while laborers were treated equally and their wages and their punishments for comparable offenses were undifferentiated. County court records from the period reveal that some slaves owned personal property and were allowed to contract for their services; others were able to procure freedom for themselves and their families. In England throughout the sixteenth century, the status of “slave” was not a life sentence…nor was it determined by phenotype. But as the demand for manpower grew in the colonies, so too, did the legal strictures on enslaved people, transforming them comprehensively into human chattel devoid of individual rights…In addition to solving the colonial labor shortage problems, enslavement of Africans enabled European mercantilists policymakers–and British mercantilists in particular–to maintain a regime of low wages in the home economy. The exportation of too large a fraction of the domestic labor force would put upward pressure on the cost of hiring labor at home.

Black phenotype also made it easier to recognize and capture slaves if they escaped. White indentured laborers couldn’t be so easily identified.

A British High Court decision in 1772 de facto ended the practice of slavery in England proper. A major motivator in the American independence movement was fear that Slavery would end throughout the British dominion. Slave owner Thomas Jefferson could decry the slave trade, call for independence from England, and uphold slavery, all without irony.

The Declaration of Independence could have been a document of universal rights. To the extent that black people are construed as fully human, championing liberty and freedom for some…while condemning blacks to eternal servitude is problematic. Republicanism affirmed the ascendancy of the colonial aristocracy while maintaining a fine line of control over the masses of poor whites, providing opportunity for some of them to obtain land and own slaves while assuring even the most impoverished whites that they could exercise dominance over blacks.

At least a third of the signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. The Constitution of 1787 specified that the slave trade would end in 1808, though illegal slave trade continued. Elsewhere in the Americas, as independent nations came into existence, outlawing the slave trade and outlawing slavery went hand in hand. The Constitution required 2/3 of slave populations be counted for congressional apportionment and presidential elections and decreed 2 senators for each state. The Constitution has minority rule embedded within it. The mere existence of slaves as countable bodies allowed the slave states to control elections and enact slave protecting legislation like the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. They even invented the filibuster which today can block any majority Senate action with only 40 senators.

The American Revolution was fought, in large part, by a colonial elite to preserve their right to human property. The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) was fought, in large part, by the enslaved to liberate themselves from slavery.

Pease and Pease estimated that between 1830 and 1860 approximately 60,000 blacks left the south and resettled in the north, and an additional 20,000 to 40,000 blacks migrated to Canada. They estimated the number of blacks living in intentional black communities during the forty year period before the Civil War at 3,500 to 5,000 persons.

When Abraham Lincoln came into office, he hoped to end slavery through programs of compensated emancipation where slave owners would be paid compensation for the freeing of their slaves. Most slave owners preferred to hold on to their slave property to such an extent that Southern States seceded from the union, leading to the Civil War. Lincoln does not seem to have given much thought to what would happen to 4 million freed slaves other than the vague idea that they would migrate to Haiti or Liberia. A small number did migrate, but the vast majority wanted to be recognized as full citizens with all the privileges and rights of citizenship. To accomplish this goal they would need education, employment, the vote, and land.

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White supremacist Andrew Johnson of Tennessee became President on Lincoln’s assassination. He universally pardoned all Confederate participants allowing the southern elites to return to power and to reacquire property seized by the Union during the war. He thwarted all efforts to transfer or sell confiscated lands to blacks. The “seven magic years” of reconstruction saw some black voting rights in Republican controlled states. As southern democrats regained political control black voting rights all but disappeared. The withdrawal of Federal troops from the south left blacks without any protection since whites did everything they could to prevent blacks from arming themselves. Whites burned black schools and intimidated or killed any teachers in these schools. Johnson was impeached in 1868 but was not removed from office. Grant became President in 1869 but his lack of political skill and bad judgement continued the absence of Federal action in the southern states. A South Carolina Representative reported that 53,000 had been killed by white terrorists since the end of the war; 1766 on average each year. The white supremacist south began to rewrite history immediately after the end of the Civil War, coining the term the “Lost Cause” and erecting thousands of monuments to southern political and military “heroes”. They even incorporated the confederate battle flag into their new state flags. Once in power again, southern white Democratic leaders began enacting Black Codes to reestablish black slavery in all but name throughout the south. Whites again controlled most of the land for which they required “Labor”. Labor contracts were far worse than indentured servitude because the laborer could only escape the contract upon death. Blacks could be arrested at will to provide free labor. Union Col. Samuel Russell Thomas testified before Congress:
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Wherever I go– the street, the shop, the house, or the steamboat–I hear the people talk in such a way as to indicate that they are yet unable to conceive of the Negro as possessing any rights at all. Men who are honorable in their dealings with their white neighbors will cheat a Negro without feeling a single twinge of their honor. To kill a Negro they do not deem murder; to debauch a Negro woman they do not think fornication; to take property away from a Negro they do not consider robbery…they still have an ingrained feeling that the blacks at large belong to the whites at large, and whenever opportunity serves, they treat the colored people just as their profit, caprice or passion may dictate.

Federally owned land was (and still is) huge, with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 adding 827,00 square miles or 529 million acres. Land confiscated from the Confederacy during the Civil War made additional tracks of land available, approximately 850,000 acres. 40 acres and a mule would have required the Federal government to earmark 40 million acres for 1 million families of former slaves. This never happened. Between 1862 and 1934, the federal government granted 1.6 million homesteads and distributed 270 million acres. Most of the Confederate confiscated land was sold at auction to white, many northern, speculators. These new capitalist absentee landowners, needing farmers, instituted share cropping and “labor contracts” for poor farmers both white and black. A few blacks were able to acquire small blocks of land or houses.

By 1910 blacks had managed to amass 15 million acres with 218,000 owners or farmers. By 1997 black farm ownership had diminished to 2.7 million acres. “The land African Americans lost over the 20th century was taken in some form, and not sold freely.”

The disregard for black lives evidenced by antiblack riots, lynchings, neighborhood devastation, and inferior education in the process that Douglas Blackmon has called “black reenslavement”.

(Jennifer) Mueller provides evidence that the source of This transfer transfers to whites is in publicly provided assets, including 246 million acres of land, an area approximating that of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia combined. These occurred under the auspices of the Homestead Acts (1860s-1930s).

Blacks were largely excluded from the the benefits of the Homestead Acts; mere 4,000 to 5,500 African American claimants ever received federal land patents from the Southern Homestead Act enacted in 1866…white Southern Homestead Act claimants numbered around 28,000. Gifts of Southern Homestead and Homestead Act land enriched more that 1.6 million white families–both native born and immigrant. By the year 2000, the number of adult descendants of these original land grant recipients was 46 million people, about a quarter of the U.S. adult population.

At the end of WWII, the GI Bill guaranteed home, business, farm loans, and educational opportunities to returning veterans. Of 3,229 GI Bill related loans made in Mississippi in 1947, only two were offered to black veterans.

The article by Ta-Nehisi Coates in the June 2014 issue of the Atlantic resurrected the national conversation over reparations for black Americans. One of the most impressive aspects of Coate’s article is his insistence that the events and conditions during the antibellum period are far from the only basis for reparations.

This book is devoted heavily to documenting the damages done to blacks post Emancipation. Turning to details of reparations, the authors give a number of alternate ways that damages could be calculated with a number of these studies showing damages on the order of more than $17 trillion.

…since today’s differential in wealth captures the cumulative effects of racism on living black descendants of American slavery, we propose mobilizing national resources to eradicate the racial wealth gap. The magnitude of ongoing shortfalls in wealth for blacks vis-a-vis whites provides the most sensible foundation for the complete monetary portion of the bill for reparations.

To qualify for reparations, the authors suggest two criterion;

First, U. S. citizens would need to establish that they had at least one ancestor who was enslaved in the United States after the formation of the republic. Second, they would have to prove that they self-identified as “black” “Negro”, “Afro-American”, or “African American” at least twelve years before the enactment of the reparations program or the establishment of a congressional or presidential commission “to study and develop reparations for African Americans”.

How do you change the minds of millions of white supremacists whose fixed attitudes toward black people were described so well by Union Col. Samuel Russell Thomas? Must the U.S. wait til white supremacists are in such a minority as in South Africa that they can no longer control or defeat any efforts to address race based income and wealth inequality?

denial, disinformation, deflection, delayism, doomism

July 26th, 2021

The New Climate War: The Fight To Take Back Our Planet, Michael E. Mann, 2021

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Mann has devoted much of his professional life and focus in an effort to educate the public about climate change. His role model was Carl Sagan who had a remarkable ability to communicate complex science to ordinary people.
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Mann, Bradley and Hughes 1998 Hockey Stick Chart

How quickly are temperatures rising?

The true warming rate is about 0.2%C per decade. Since current warming stands at about 1.2%C, it would at current rates take a decade and a half to reach 1.5%C warming, and another two and a half decades to reach 2%C warming.

Without CO2 reductions, we would expect a rise of 1.5%C by 2035 and of 2%C by 2060.

Researchers believe renewables can be scaled up to meet 80% of global energy needs in ten years and 100% in thirty years. Clearly that last 20% which would include air travel and other hard to solve problems will take time and research.
Guardian’s Fiona Harvey:

investments amounting to trillions of dollars (estimated 1 to 4 trillion) in fossil fuels–coal mines, oil wells, power stations, conventional vehicles–will lose their value when the world moves decisively to a low-carbon economy. Fossil Fuel reserves and production facilities will become stranded assets, having absorbed capital but unable to be used to make a profit…If the bubble bursts suddenly, as it might, rather than gradually deflating over decades, then it could trigger a financial crisis.

Banks are already reducing their investments and many University endowments are pulling their funds out under pressure from their students.

Why look at non solutions when a solution is in hand. Solar costs about $50, wind $30-$40, and nuclear $100 per megawatt hour. Fossil fuels cost about $50. If fossil fuel subsidies were removed and a carbon tax were added to reflect the real cost of CO2 emissions, the cost of fossil fuels would rise dramatically.

One group of climate experts has in fact published a set of “concrete interventions to induce positive social tipping dynamics.” They propose as key ingredients, “removing fossil-fuel subsidies and incentivizing decentralized energy generation, building carbon neutral cities, divesting from assets linked to fossil fuels, revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels, strengthening climate education and engagement, and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information.

Air travel is often sited as a way to reduce CO2 but air travel accounts for about 3% of global carbon emissions. if everything is taken into account, travel by train can have an even higher carbon footprint than air travel.

We know that we can eliminate most CO2 emissions by converting to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, geothermal, etc. Those who wish to continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy often propose “non-solution solutions” as a deflection tactic.

DEFLECTION DELAYISM
The most common of these is “clean coal” using carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Global CCS Institute reports 51 facilities globally are under development. When fully deployed they would collectively capture nearly 100 million tons of C02 annually. We emit about 40 billion tons of CO2 annually so 100 million tons would represent about 0.25% of total emissions. It will take decades (which we don’t have) to determine the actual amount of CO2 that has been captured and stored successfully. Coal generators are rapidly being phased out. CCS is not a solution.

There has been much talk of geoengineering and Bill Gates has hired geoengineers to look into shooting reflective particles, sulfate aerosols into the stable upper part of the atmosphere. This is feasible and a muti-billionaire like Gates might even be able to try it without government assistance or approval. The big problem is “we don’t know what we don’t know.” Would Ozone layer destruction accelerate? Would polar ice melt faster? Would the sulfur falling back to earth result in catastrophic acid rain? If we don’t sustain the layer with continuous injections the earth’s temperature would rise suddenly. The danger here is not only from billionaires but from other countries that might attempt to solve their own problems without regard for the rest of the world. And we already have a known solution – renewable energy – so why even look at such a crazy unproven idea with huge unknown risks to the entire planet?

Reforestation sounds promising but at best, combined with modified agricultural practices, at absolute most 20 billion tons of CO2 could be captured or 50% of our current emissions. It would take decades to reach these levels of CO2 removal and meanwhile we would continue to increase emissions every year. We already have a real and proven solution, renewables, that can be implemented now so why focus on this. Reforestation and agricultural reform are important and should be undertaken but they are not a solution to our immediate CO2 problem.

Then there is the nuclear power option, forgetting the meltdowns at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Nuclear cost is double that of renewables. Mann suggests we leave existing nuclear plants operational since the investment has already been made until they are decommissioned at the end of their useful lives, hoping they continue to have access to adequate cooling water and avoid other accidents. Building new Nuclear plants would also take far too long to displace existing fossil fuels.

Much of this important book is dedicated to educating the public in the tactics developed by monopolistic companies whose products are harmful in attempts to convince the public otherwise. These tactics no doubt originated in the 19th Century but came to public awareness over the dangers of tobacco, plastic trash, chemicals like DDT, CFC refrigerant destroying the ozone layer, Roundup, etc., Fossil Fuels and CO2 levels, etc. The playbook was even attempted for COVID-19 because the pandemic posed a threat to companies wanting business as usual (Urging us to take one (die) for the sake of the economy). The successes of these campaigns is due to the enormous resources available to these companies, their willingness to sponsor fake research (Koch and Mercer), their control over messaging and media (Fox WSJ, the petrostates led by Russia and Saudi Arabia), and exploiting the ignorance of the public about science and research (disinformation). Who does the powerful global fossil fuel industry most fear? Greta Thunberg and the international climate youth movement. Mainstream media is notorious for failing to report on climate change. Young climate activists have succeed in making the front page of major newspapers around the world, something climate scientists have been unable to do. As Bob Dylan would say “The times they are a changin”.
Stephan Schmidt, former presidential campaign co-advisor to McCain tweeted about the COVID-19 campaign “The injury done to America and the public good by Fox News and the bevy of personalities from Limbaugh to Ingraham will be felt for many years in this country as we deal with the death and economic damage that didn’t have to be.”

The Coronavirus crisis, in fact, underscored the importance of government. The need for an organized and effective response to a crisis, after all, one of the fundamental reasons we have governments in the first place. Crises, whether in the near term like COVID-19 or in the long term like climate change, remind us that government has an obligation to protect the welfare of its citizens by providing aid, organizing an appropriate crisis response, alleviating economic disruption, and maintaining a functioning social safety net.

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The book includes discussions of social media and the role of bots and troll bots, artificially generated internet postings with the ability to automatically analyze real people’s postings and create artificial responses. So then bot sentinel is created that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to classify accounts and their postings as being the creation of bots and trollbots and to automatically generate a trollbot score for the likelihood that the the account is automated. This is not a fictional dystopian world. Users of social media are facing this mad world of bots where it may be impossible to know if you are having a conversation with a machine or a person. Imagine an entire discussion thread generated completely by warring bots with no actual human participation. Forget annoying automated phone calls. This is total out-of-control madness.