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Monday, August 31, 2015

Permanent People's Tribunal Against Imperialist War and NATO

Translated from Spanish by Google;

Posted by Jose Luis Forneo

The wars undertaken or funded by imperialism have caused over 16 million deaths since the end of World War II, of which 9 million in the last two decades, with 90% of civilian casualties.

Civilian victims of what the imperialists criminal called "war on terror" are 30 times more than the victims of terrorism itself, and currently there are over 50 million displaced by these conflicts.

The so-called "Western Coalition" led by the United States, and organized around its armed wing, the NATO military organization, is the main culprit of these figures. Next fall the biggest military maneuvers in the history of NATO, as evidence of the complicity of the Spanish government with the imperialist war and its crimes against the peoples will be held in Spain.

On this occasion, it will convene in Madrid a new session of the Permanent People's Tribunal Against Imperialist War and NATO, as a crime against peace and humanity must be without trial, and to call her by her real name of murderers and terrorists that direct and perpetrate what propaganda usually sold with a mean and vile cynicism as "humanitarian wars"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fentanyl is deadly— but don't trade our freedom for safety

There's a new drug causing havoc, acetyl fentanyl mixed with heroin. It is killing people — and as usual politicians, those who lack any vision, intuition or the ability to grasp social change stick to the same old solutions and of course, those old solutions just done work.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills was recently interviewed by NPR radio. She gave the same old answer to the problems with the out-dated "war on drugs."
She told NPR that prosecutors should seek the ability to make felony charges in fentanyl cases. She wants that both to push users to roll over on their friends and dealers and also forcing them into rehab.

"We want to have a significant sentence hanging over them, Mills says, "so that we can encourage them — force them, if you will — into treatment."

There is no question this is a dangerous mixture. Fentanyl is almost 100 times as strong as heroin. It's affects are supposed to be similar. The average addict could likely handle a grain or more of pure heroin. The problem is that they usually shoot up street heroin, up to a gram at a time because heroin gets cut with other powders from one drug dealer to the next to stretch it out. The average gram of street heroin is about 2 to 10 percent pure.  The fentalyn is being added by street dealers to boost their drug and make their customers satisfied so they will buy more. But a fentalyn high can be as much as a few grains of salt. It just takes a little too much of it to kill a person.
But new federal penalties are not inline with movements to stop the ridiculous jailing of people for petty drug charges. Such a movement has been going on in Wichita:

"The real problem is that locking up users of marijuana has filled our jails, and that has put a heavy tax burden on our society. It should be clear to everyone by now that we are locking people up for petty reasons.

The group JENI (Jobs and Education-Not Incarceration) and the Peace and Social Justice Center worked for months to gather the needed signatures to put this issue on the ballot in Wichita. They are concerned about mass incarceration and are looking for ways to reduce it. Keeping marijuana users out of prisons is a good first step".

Also there is the problem of freedom of choice.[1] We can decide what people actually do, but do we have the right to force them to change their minds?
Such tactics rarely work . There is evidence that drug treatment works, but mostly with people who WANT to get off drugs. If a person likes those drugs or feels a need to self medicate, they will only go on to using them again. From -សតិវ អតុ:

Our founding fathers called for “the pursuit of happiness.” And yet those who want certain drugs that may help them to feel better are denied by a puritan society that believes prayer and religion should be the only kind of self medication. The founding fathers’ words are simply ignored. We live in a “one-size fits all” society that believes we must all live the same, believe the same, act the same and live in a restricted environment where our life style choices are heavily controlled.

There is a the simple case that those who really want to self medicate with narcotics, for what ever reason, have the right to refuse treatment. They should not be forced into something they really don't want.
And there is the moral argument that those who fail treatment and get a felony conviction, they will not find work when they are released and they may end up permanently ruined.
We need to focus on reducing mass incarceration and protecting our freedoms. Drug laws lead to fascism.
Canada is experimenting with supplying addicts with prescription heroin. That is a different approach and one I feel is better than filling our jails with people who really aren't criminals. Also we don't need to recreate people in the state's own image and likeness.
So the bottom line is—yes fentanyl is a dangerous drug. But oppose taking our freedom away from us.

[1] Steve Otto, Can You Pass the Acid Test, (Publishamerica, Baltimore), 2007, pp. 10-11.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy

Carter is telling us what we already know. Our democracy is a sham and an oligarchy. As others as myself have pointed out the problems with US democracy are:

-In our system it is that wealthy people who can buy influence policy and elections while less wealthy and poor can only vote. They can work on a candidates campaign, but it is the wealthy who have the ability to influence the issues. Others, with out means, find they have no influence over the issues and are left only to vote yes or no on someone else's defined issues.

-The US Supreme Court, especially in the decision Citizens United V. The Federal Election Commission, has constantly ruled against any curbs on corporate spending in our election process. By kicking out any campaign financing laws and declaring that corporations are people, the courts reshuffled the playing field leaving corporate giants to spend millions against individuals who may not have any money to spend on influencing elections. In a real democracy no one would be allowed to spend money trying to influence public policy. This creates a corporate oligarchy.

-Our news media is biased and acts as the "gatekeeper." They decide what is considered news. They decide (and always cover the two parties) which parties get to take part in debates and who gets news coverage. This leaves a corporate sponsored news media to pick and chose who the public can take seriously in an election. The news media has more affect on political ideas than the people they are supposed to be informing and serving. They make it look like Marxist people don't even exist anymore.

-The two political parties, Democrats and Republicans, are sewn into the system. They get nearly all the news coverage and they are the only parties to have local, state and national primaries that serve the two parties and those parties only. They are able to keep out ideas that they consider outside the mainstream. That would preclude any kind of Marxism. The two parties are designed to prevent really big changes, even when the people want them.

-Large families, such as the Bush family (George H.W. and George W. for example) are tied to their own business interest and yet they also have a lot of political power. As with the Roosevelts and the Kennedys, such families often dominate the entire country as if they were dukes or earls.

- សតិវ​ អតុ

On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheondecision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:
It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell."
He was then cut off by the program, though that statement by Carter should have been the start of the program, not its end. (And the program didn't end with an invitation for him to return to discuss this crucial matter in depth -- something for which he's qualified.)
So, was this former president's provocative allegation merely his opinion? Or was it actually lots more than that? It was lots more than that.
Only a single empirical study has actually been done in the social sciences regarding whether the historical record shows that the United States has been, during the survey's period, which in that case was between 1981 and 2002, a democracy (a nation whose leaders represent the public-at-large), or instead an aristocracy (or 'oligarchy') -- a nation in which only the desires of the richest citizens end up being reflected in governmental actions. This study was titled "Testing Theories of American Politics,"and it was published by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page in the journalPerspectives on Politics, issued by the American Political Science Association in September 2014. I had summarized it earlier, on April 14, 2014, while the article was still awaiting its publication.
The headline of my summary-article was "U.S. Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy Says Scientific Study." I reported:
The clear finding is that the U.S. is an oligarchy, no democratic country, at all. American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it's pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation's 'news' media).
I then quoted the authors' own summary: "The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
The scientific study closed by saying: "In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes." A few other tolerably clear sentences managed to make their ways into this well-researched, but, sadly, atrociously written, paper, such as: "The preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of 'affluent' citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do." In other words, they found: The rich rule the U.S.
Their study investigated specifically "1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002 in which a national survey of the general public asked a favor/oppose question about a proposed policy change," and then the policy-follow-ups, of whether or not the polled public preferences had been turned into polices, or, alternatively, whether the relevant corporate-lobbied positions had instead become public policy on the given matter, irrespective of what the public had wanted concerning it.
The study period, 1981-2002, covered the wake of the landmark 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Buckley v. Valeo, which had started the aristocratic assault on American democracy, and which seminal (and bipartisan) pro-aristocratic court decision is described as follows by wikipedia:
[It] struck down on First Amendment grounds several provisions in the 1974 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act. The most prominent portions of the case struck down limits on spending in campaigns, but upheld the provision limiting the size of individual contributions to campaigns. The Court also narrowed, and then upheld, the Act's disclosure provisions, and struck down (on separation of powers grounds) the make-up of the Federal Election Commission, which as written allowed Congress to directly appoint members of the Commission, an executive agency.
Basically, the Buckley decision, and subsequent (increasingly partisan Republican) Supreme Court decisions, have allowed aristocrats to buy and control politicians.
Already, the major 'news' media were owned and controlled by the aristocracy, and 'freedom of the press' was really just freedom of aristocrats to control the 'news' -- to frame public issues in the ways the owners want. The media managers who are appointed by those owners select, in turn, the editors who, in their turn, hire only reporters who produce the propaganda that's within the acceptable range for the owners, to be 'the news' as the public comes to know it.
For the rest click here.

Of the earliest writings on Democracy we have the Greeks. Pericles was one of the earliest politicians to give pro-democracy speeches. Democracy came from words that mean "the people rule." Today that can't really be said.

From a speech by Pericles:

"Our form of government is called a democracy because..."
      "... Our form of does not imitate the laws of neighboring states. On the contrary, we are rather a model to others. Our form of government is called a democracy because its administration is in the hands, not of a few, but of the whole people. In the settling of private disputes, everyone is equal before the law. Election to public office is made on the basis of ability, not on the basis of membership to a particular class. No man is kept out of public office by the obscurity of his social standing because of his poverty, as long as he wishes to be of service to the state. And not only in our public life are we free and open, but a sense of freedom regulates our day-to-day life with each other. We do not flare up in anger at our neighbor if he does what he likes. And we do not show the kind of silent disapproval that causes pain in others, even though it is not a direct accusation. In our private affairs, then, we are tolerant and avoid giving offense. But in public affairs, we take great care not to break law because of the deep respect we have for them. We give obedience to the men who hold public office from year to year. And we pay special regard to those laws that are for the protection of the oppressed and to all the unwritten laws that we know bring disgrace upon the transgressor when they are broken.
      "Let me add another point. We have had the good sense to provide for our spirits more opportunities for relaxation from hard work than other people. Throughout the year, there are dramatic and athletic contests and religious festivals. In our homes we find beauty and good taste, and the delight we find every day in and this drives away our cares. And because of the greatness of our city, all kinds of imports flow in to us from all over the world. It is just as natural for us to enjoy the good products of other nations as it is to enjoy the things that we produce ourselves.
      "The way we live differs in another respect from that of our enemies. Our city is open to all the world. We have never had any aliens' laws to exclude anyone from finding our or seeking anything here, nor any secrets of the city that an enemy might find out about and use to his advantage. For our security, we rely not on defensive arrangements or secrecy but on the courage that springs from our souls, when we are called into action. As for education, the enemy subjects their children from their earliest boyhood to the most laborious training in manly courage. We, with our unrestricted way of life, are just as ready to face the dangers as they are. And here is the proof. The Spartans never invade Attica using only their own troops, but they bring along all their allies. But when we attack a nearby city, we usually win by ourselves even though we fight on enemy soil against men who defend their own homes. No enemy, in fact, has even engaged our total military power because our practice is constantly to attend to the needs of our navy, as well as to send our troops on many land excursions. Yet, if our enemies engage one division of our forces and defeat it, they boast that they have beaten our entire army, and if they are defeated they say that they lost to our whole army. So it is not painful discipline that makes us go out to meet danger, but our easy confidence. Our natural bravery springs from our way of life, not from the compulsion of laws. Also we do not spend our time anticipating the sufferings that are still in the future, and when the test is upon us, we show ourselves no less brave than those who are continually preparing themselves for battle. Athens deserves to be admired for these qualities and for others as well......

For the rest click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Visiting High Schools and Colleges with “We Are Not Your Soldiers” campaign

From World Can’t Wait:

World Can't Wait has a lot to say about the ongoing crimes of the U.S. government, and the complete lack of accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out by "our" government. And we're going to school about it.

This is a call-out to those of you who are educators and students...”

Many students will be returning with an increased consciousness of the systemic injustices towards people of color in this country. That awareness, while important in its own right, should be built on to include recognizing the injustices of empire and the U.S. military in particular. And why it is neither in their interests nor those of the people of the world for them to enlist.

We would like to work with you to develop a customized presentation to your class(es) by a recent Iraq-era veteran who will forthrightly explain his own experiences, engage in discussion with the students and answer their questions. You can watch excerpts from some recent presentations in Spring 2015 at
For Southern California and NYC area: We can also arrange for a Viet Nam war resister who spent 19 months in prison, to give a historical and personal presentation. This can be done either by the resister or as a joint presentation with the recent veteran.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

India- Maoist pamphlet warns Ministers, oil company of possible actions to come

-Neither and none can stop people's war in India! - unify the energies for international support! International Committee to Support the People's War in India (ICSPWI)

The Viplava Karmika Samkhya (VPS) of the CPI (Maoist) has sent a pamphlet to a newspaper office in Nalgonda warning the management of Oil Country Tubular Limited (OCTL) located at Narketpally, Ministers T. Harish Rao and Nayani Narasimha Reddy and Nakrekal MLA Vemula Veeresham on the issue of “removing about 500 employees from the company”. Signed by VPS Secretary Azad, the two-page pamphlet alleged that the TRS government had colluded with management of the OCTL.
According to the pamphlet, the management had been exploiting the workers for e 30 years without following basic labour laws such as payment of minimum wages and holidays. The VPS alleged the OCTL had not even allowed the workers to form trade unions in the industry. About 25 officers working in six departments, belonging to high castes, were harassing the workers, the pamphlet said. When some workers had formed a trade union, the management had removed about 500 workers from the duties nine months ago, the pamphlet said. These workers had staged protest a number of times during these nine months and also met the Nakrekal MLA, the Irrigation Minister and the Home Minister, but they had refused to intervene in the matter, it said.
The pamphlet warned Executive Chairman of OCTL Kamineni Suryanarayana and manager Venubabu saying that they would get the punishment of what the exploiters of workers had been given in the past. The VPS asked the newspaper to highlight “secret understanding of the TRS with industrialists from Andhra”. The pamphlet asked the management and the TRS leaders to be prepared to face the punishment in public court. The VPS called upon people to respond on the injustice done to poor workers. ‘The management had been exploiting workers for 30 years without following basic labour laws such as payment of minimum wages and holidays’

Maoists kill ‘informer’ in Jamui district 

From Munger: 

Maoists beheaded a police informer near the upgraded middle school in village Charaiyan under Charkapathar police station area of Sono block on the Sono-Khaira road in Jamui district on Wednesday. Handwritten posters with the message, ‘Saar kalam kar diya gaya. Jan adalat ka yahi faisla hai police ki mukhbiri karne ke liye’ (has been beheaded. The jan adalat took this decision for a police informer), were strewn around the body. Police said the man, in his 30s and in half pant and vest, was beheaded with a sharp-edged weapon.

But the police could not identify the body till evening. The crime was committed to create terror in the area dominated by Naxalites. Jamui SP Jayant Kant said the deceased was an active member of the Maoist group. He was punished for bungling some amount collected by him, according to reliable information available with the police. The SP said the Maoists were concealing the fact and playing blame game against the police by throwing posters around the body which was sent to sadar hospital, Jamui, for postmortem.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


From Revolutionary Praxis/ Maoist_Revolution; 

The Arab Spring raised hopes for the emergence of new progressive and revolutionary  forces in the countries stretching from North Africa through to Iran.  Such hopes have 
long since been dashed.  Rather, the fall and decline of despotic but relatively secular 
regimes in places such as TunisiaLibyaSyria and Iraq has been accompanied by a sharp rise in 
Islamic fundamentalism, vicious rivalry between Sunnis and Shias and persecution of non-Muslims by Muslims.  
Fresh imperialist incursions into these countries have only served to intensify internal 
conflicts and feed the forces of religious reaction.  Millions of people are fleeing the 
chaos which has come about in their homelands,

So what needs to be done?  It is absolutely necessary to form a People’s Liberation Army of the 
Middle East. Once there were strong communist movements in many of the 
countries of this region and still there remain millions of people of communist 
sympathies.  The great majority of the people in these countries want neither the secular 
fascism of regimes such as that of Assad in Syria nor the religious fascism of ISIL (Islamic State) 
and other Muslim fundamentalist groups.  It is the duty of communists both within and 
outside of the Middle East to provide the lead in forming a progressive, liberation force.

A People’s Liberation Army of the Middle East would:

  • Recruit personnel from among both women and men and from all ethnic and national groups in the region.
  • Oppose all reactionary forces in these countries.

  • Resist imperialist incursions into these countries.

  • Uphold freedom of religious expression and worship provided that this does not infringe on basic civil liberties.

  • Form alliances with progressive elements in these countries.

  • Take up the highest form of political struggle, the armed struggle.

  • Aim to establish broad-based, popular regimes of the new democratic type.

It is the duty of Maoists to take the lead in struggling to establish the PLA of the Middle East.

One spark can light a prairie fire!

-Revolutionary Praxis 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Use the Bernie campaign for education - not condemnation

On the actual left there has been stiff opposition to supporting the Bernie Sanders campaign for president. The arguments goes that Bernie is not a real Marxist and never said he was. Most of us realize that Bernie will not make serious differences in the system, the system has plenty of mechanics in place to make sure that doesn't happen.
Most of us know that elections are rigged so no real Marxist can really get elected and if they do, the system will wear them down until they give up on their rebellion (see Salvador Allende)
There is also the argument that the Democratic Party is a bourgeoisie party and nothing will change that. But at the same time, no president can get elected without being in one of the two parties. There are also serious problems with some of Bernie's issues, such as his support for Israel.
I am suggesting that the Bernie Sanders campaign gives us a chance to both educate about socialism and challenge the bourgeoisie's talking heads that suggest that socialism is dead.
Also we can't just ignore issues and positions that hinder or effect how working people's lives. We would be negligent if we allow their lives to deteriorate because of some right-wing experiment that the bourgeoisie decided would be fun to impose on working people. We see that now with Tea Party Republicans who are out to destroy the US infrastructure and any and all programs that bring relief to either working people or the poor.
We do need to work for a revolution and Bernie will never be part of that. But in the short run we can use the campaign to try and educate people. A lot of people are supporting him and over looking the "s" word; socialism. We need to reach out to people to let them know they don't have to fear the "s" word and take it one step further; don't fear the "c" word either. It is the bourgeoisie that needs to fear the words such as socialism and not the common worker.
Here are a few examples of arguments I have seen on Facebook about the Bernie campaign:

John Stephenson If self proclaimed marxist communists aren't going to build a socialist movement and are going to be Democrats, who the heck is going to build a socialist movement? Claiming that socialism is impossible isn't actually a pro Bernie argument, it's even more pessimistic than our position.

Alexander Bergbacka In return, he'll continue wage slavery, Imperialistic wars, Zionism, the wars of ethnic cleansing currently waged on people of colour, etc.

Alexander Bergbacka Absolutely. We *must* educate those drawn to Sanders about *real* socialism, but make no mistake, he is an enemy of the highest order, like all Social Democrats.

Jacob Monrean
 Consider how electing a self-described socialist could change the conversation about socialism and capitalism. It makes perfect sense for a Marxist to support Bernie. Marx was more pragmatic than some of you hard-liners like to believe.

Doug Greene No one here is saying that you shouldn't talk to or engage with Sanders' supporters, that's great. They need to be educated since a lot of them don't know better. But that is different than providing material support to the Democrats - giving them money, organizing for them, etc. That is direct support for the enemy and no socialist can do that without crossing the line.

-There has been sufficient discussion on the pros and cons of supporting the Bernie Campaign. I don't think any of us really want to support the Democrats. But some of us want to take advantage of this campaign for symbolic and educational reasons.

- សតិវ អតុ

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

FBI sting/ possible ISIS fighters fooled/ parents roll over on their kids

In the FBI's latest sting, catching a young couple who planned to spend their honey moon in the Islamic State (ISIS). Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, and Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 20, conspired to get married, so that they could travel to Turkey and ultimately Syria, under the guise of the trip being their honeymoon.
But the real question is: did they really plan this from the start or was this an FBI sting in which they were enticed?
And lets not forget that the Middle-east is full of mercenaries from the US, mostly fighting with the Kurds. Our government doesn't mind US citizens fighting among foreign armies as long as they are allies. That is probably why past Prez. Ronald Reagan let US mercenaries fight along the Nicaraguan Contras or the military of South Africa.
Also, while this was described as a terrorist incident, it really wasn't. They never planned to plant a bomb where it could kill innocent civilians. They were planning to take part in actual combat where their opponents would be armed.
In an article called "New faces of terror," by CBS News, the said; "The young people joining violent terrorist organizations -- like ISIS and al-Shabab -- hail from all different walks of life and are very rarely what you'd expect."
 But notice they use the term "violent terrorist organizations." Well ISIS has taken part in its share of violent acts, but not that much different from the strafing and bombing from both the US and such client states as Saudi Arabia.
It has been reported in the news that the parents of these too young people have been cooperating with the FBI and authorities. That makes me wonder if these parents realize the FBI will use anything and everything to see that these two young people never see day light again. They will not help the parents or their kids. They are out to score brownie points with political hacks and their backers who want to see any and all opposition to the great US empire destroyed and destroyed completely.
So for all the talk of family values from the right-wing politicians, mostly Republican, we can see how hollow that really is. Most people have more faith in their government than their own children.

- សតិវ អតុ

Wichita Police say clinic bomber had no intentions of attacking the facility

This article sounds suspicious. If this guy was a Moslem, he would have been arrested and have would never seen the light if day. This guy said he was looking for a job. If that is correct, then it isn't deliberate terrorism. Sooner or later a member of the anti-abortion community (calling themselves "pro-life") will try something like this and we will see if the police treat them as if they were any other kind of  terrorist.
- សតិវ អតុ

From KWCH;
Wichita Police respond to explosive device at South Wind Women's Clinic
UPDATE: A 19-year-old man is in custody after police say he brought an explosive device into South Winds Women's Center Monday afternoon.
WPD spokesman Lt. James Espinoza says Moises Trevizo had no intent to set off the explosive and he was not trying to damage the facility.
For the rest click here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Julian Bond, not so well known civil rights leaders dies

Another famous civil rights leaders has died, Julian Bond. He was a civil rights leader and anti-Vietnam War activists. He was a lifelong champion of civil rights and a chairman of the N.A.A.C.P. He was a leader in theStudent Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a major organization for the advancement of civil rights, especially in the southern US.
សតិវ អតុ

More can be found at The New York Times and USA Today.