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Cops Killing Kids Has Got to Stop!!

Offing unarmed adults is bad enough

 

Kameron Prescott is dead — the latest in a horrific string of children killed by America’s fearful and quick-to-shoot law enforcement professionals.

Six-year-old Kameron, who was shot in Bexar County outside San Antonio, Texas, wasn’t killed like Tamir Rice in Cleveland, who was mowed down by a police officer within seconds of his arrival on the scene as the boy sat peacefully on a bench in a park pavilion holding a toy gun. Kameron wasn’t deliberately shot. He was just “collateral damage” in America’s militarized police war on the public — killed inadvertently by a deputy’s bullet which had missed its intended target (an unarmed woman), instead penetrating the flimsy wall of the trailer and the soft abdomen of the little kid who was playing peacefully by himself inside.

The reason given for Kameron having his all too brief life cut brutally short was because some deputy “feared for his life.” What the shooter presumably feared was 30-year-old Amanda Jones, whom he had been reportedly chasing for two hours through the woods and a deep stream after having interrupted her allegedly trying to break into a car. According to news reports, halfway through the long pursuit, Jones had been found by police hiding in a closet in a mobile home she had broken into to. They claimed she had “brandished a gun,” though inexplicably, she had managed to escape them and run off again.

Six-year-old Kameron Prescott, killed by Texas sheriff's deputies (photo courtesy Shertz-Cibolo-Universal City Unified Schools)Six-year-old Kameron Prescott, killed by Texas sheriff's deputies (photo posted by the Shertz-Cibolo-Universal City Unified School District). A GoFundMe
campaign has been set up to raise money for Kameron's funeral costs. So far, $18,000 has been raised.

 

When the Bexar County sheriff’s deputies — four of them by then — finally caught up with her, Jones was standing on the porch of young Kameron’s trailer. At that point, whether she in fact had ever actually had a gun at all, there is no indication that she had a gun in her hand. But no matter, the four deputies on the scene all reportedly opened up on her with their service revolvers and also with a rifle. They managed, among them, to kill her, but they also missed her in their panicky fusillade, and one of those errant bullets pierced the trailer and killed the little boy inside. No gun was found on the scene, which raises the question: Why did they shoot the woman? We’re to believe that four burly sheriff’s deputies — no doubt wearing body armor — couldn’t subdue an unarmed young woman? Frankly, the fact that she didn't have a gun in hand when shot suggests to me that the real reason she was murdered was because the cops who had been chasing her were amped up on adrenalin and probably were angry too, at having had to run after her for two hours, so they took her out.

There were reportedly two adults — grandparents according to one report, unrelated to Jones — also inside the trailer who had better luck than little Kameron. They were not hit by any stray bullets, but I’m sure their hearts were broken.

Poor, Abused Honduras; Groped Again

A Case of Imperial Misconduct

 
Mr. Hernández and his allies control the much-protested ballot-counting process, the election oversight commission, the army — which under Honduran law moves the ballots — and all appeals processes.
                                             - U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D) Illinois

 
Poor Honduras.

The word honduras means depth or profundity in Spanish. It’s also the name of one of the most abused nations in the Western Hemisphere. Its citizens are largely poor and overwhelmed by a state of corruption historically linked with the much more sophisticated and wealthy network of corruption that overwhelms the citizenry of the United States. The November 26 election for president of Honduras was the latest chapter in this sad historic reality.

Honduras is now embroiled in street protests following an election count that stinks like three-day old fish in the sun. President Juan Orlando Hernandez was running for a second term, despite an apparently un-amendable Constitutional provision that precludes a second term. Former sportscaster and TV game-show host Salvador Nasralla ran against Hernandez, who was favored to win. The Organization of American States says the election count was seriously flawed and it’s pushing for a new vote. Here’s how the count went: The day after the election, it was announced Nasralla led the vote count by five percentage points, which suggested a real upset. A third candidate for president conceded Nasralla was the winner. At that point, the election tribunal suddenly stopped communicating with the public. After a hiatus, the next communication was to declare Hernandez the winner by one-and-a-half percentage points. Immediately, the nation erupted in protests that led to fatalities. Knowing how important the United States is to Honduras, Nasralla flew to the US to consult with friends and the OAS. The OAS publicly called for a new election.

Removed President Manuel Zelaya, the incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez and Salvador NasrallaRemoved President Manuel Zelaya, the incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez and Salvador Nasralla

The Big Lie that is Behind the Trump/GOP Tax Bill

Absent union pressure, the bosses will never raise wages

 

There is a Big Lie underlying the $1.5-trillion Trump/Republican Congressional tax bill. That lie — the kind that is so brazen its purveyors hope it will simply be accepted as truth — is that when corporations get their big tax break, they will pass much of it on to workers in the form of higher wages, and perhaps to consumers in the form of lower prices.

How do I know it’s a Big Lie? Basic economics and history.

Let’s take care of the consumer economics argument first. Prices in the US, at least in those parts of the economy that are still competitive, are based on the law of supply and demand. Anyone selling a product or service will charge a price that maximizes profits, and that price is determined by buyer demand. Up and down the chain from suppliers to manufacturers to distributors to retailers, this system works itself into the final product offered to consumers. At no point in that chain does management say, “Hey, we’re paying lower taxes this year. We should cut the price on our widgets and pass the benefits along.” Why would they? They’ve already learned what customers are willing to pay for their widgets, and know the magic point where a higher price starts to reduce demand to the point that it is counter-productive, and they’ve also learned how much cutting the price will increase sales and where further cuts just mean selling the same number of widgets but at a lower price. And those two boundary points don’t change just because taxes — a cost of doing business — get lower. Far better to pocket that extra money for the benefit of management or for the shareholders.

Striking Amazon workers (only a strong militant labor movement has ever made bosses raise wages)Striking Amazon workers (only a strong militant labor movement has ever made bosses raise wages)
 

But what about wages? There’s this faery tale being told by Republicans and by President Trump (a businessman known for being tight-assed when it comes to paying staff, and even for stiffing people whenever possible, besides for "grabbing pussy" when available) that if businesses got a big tax break, they’d use at least some of it to offer their employees higher wages.

Does anyone really believe that? If that were the case, why would the corporate world and outfits like the US Chamber of Commerce be fighting tooth and nail as they have been against every effort in cities and states across the country, and in Congress, to raise in the pathetic $7.25/hour minimum wage (a wage that has not gone up since back in 2009 at the depths of the Great Recession!)? The truth is corporate America loves the starvation level of the minimum wage because they use various taxpayer-funded welfare programs — Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Food Stamps, WIC and the like — to actually subsidize their workforce for them so they don’t need to offer workers a living wage.

Finding myself twice as old as my son

 
 
I am 66, he 33.
This will never happen again.

He is catching up with me.
If he lives to be 1000

And I am still alive,
I will be 1033.

By that time
California will be a desert.

But we will sit in an old growth forest
In what used to be Alberta

And we will talk about things
That would only interest 1000-year-old men.

Not health, because
We would have mastered the health-thing.

No, we will talk about dreams
And yogurt and colors.

Also, we won’t be using words
But whistles, like the birds

Who will, I like to imagine, flourish
After the Climate Crash of 2053.

I will smile and look into his craggy face
And he will see how much I love him.

And I will see his love for me.
I really like having an old soul!

It makes it easy to see beyond
And feel OK with the possibility that

Things may not get better
For a long, long time.
 
--Gary Lindorff

Net Neutrality Has Been Ended by the Trump FCC, But You Can Help Combat the Dangerous Impact For Sites Like This

A call to our readers

 

Dear readers of ThisCantBeHappening!:

Despite the best efforts of grass-roots organizers to defend the principle of net neutrality, an ideologically driven Federal Communications Commission, now led by a majority of Trump appointees, has voted to end the rule guaranteeing equal access to the internet for all websites and users. Even worse, as the McCarthy Era-style witch-hunt claiming a vast conspiracy by Russia to "undermine faith in American democracy" continues, the huge oligopolistic internet companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others that control the web are working to actually censor what appears on it, and to limit the searchability of sites like this one.

We cannot point to hard evidence of this, but can say that since this kind of campaign began, our daily hits have fallen by 50%. Coincidence? We doubt it. Other progressive websites large and small are reporting similar impact on their readership.

Attacks on the free flow of news and information are overt, like the Trump administration's latest order to ban certain words and concepts in federal reports and studies, like: fetus, science-based, evidence-based, transgender, diversity, vulnerable and entitlemens. But attacks are also being done in secret, both by the government and by powerful private companies.

This is a request for you, our readers, to help us fight back by spreading the word on your own about this site. In a few days, hopefully, we will be adding buttons at the end of our stories that will allow you to easily use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Stumbleupon and other social media vehicles to promote stories that you think are important to people you think should be reading them. This will get around the problem of people not being able to find them through simple searches.

In the meantime, please note that once you click on any story on the homepage of ThisCantBeHappening!, there is at the bottom of each page of any story the icon of an envelope with the words: "send by email." By clicking on that icon, you are brought to a page that allows you to list three email addresses at a time (per hour!), separated by commas, and to send a short message explaining why you are forwarding the link to the story.

Please do this everytime you read a ThisCantBeHappening! article you appreciate. The more people you alert to our work, the more our readership will grow, despite the growing threat of censorship.

Stupidity and Blindness Have Destroyed Whatever Democracy the US Ever Had

Republicans and Democrats are the problem

 

Okay, somebody has to say this, so it might as well be me.

The American political system exists as it is because of two reasons:

1. The majority of Republican voters are either incredibly ignorant or are simply incredibly selfish, and

2. The majority of Democratic voters are so blinded by their fear of Republicans that they will vote for the most puerile, manipulative, deceitful, greedy and/or feckless candidates, as long as they are Democrats, and will re-elect them even after having been betrayed by them time and time again.

There, I’ve said it.

Reason number one is why we currently have Donald Trump for president. The man cannot hold a train of thought for the ten or 15 seconds it takes to express it or to type it into a Tweet, lies so often I don’t think he even knows when he’s doing it half the time, and has no moral core. And yet a solid third or more of American voters think he’s just great. And even though all his policies are damaging the very people — the poor, forgotten white working class — that he likes to highlight as being his main concern, those people, who are now at risk of losing their subsidized health insurance available under Obamacare, their Medicaid, their Supplemental Security Income checks (available to the disabled and to children and young single parents left in need by the death of a working parent/spouse) and the protection against predatory lenders afforded by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), continue to back him, and will likely vote for him in 2020.

Reason number two is why, despite proof that the Democratic Party leadership and its pre-annointed 2016 presidential candidate preference Hillary Clinton, worked hand-in-glove to steal the nomination from Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and his tens of millions of supporters last year, and despite the knowledge that that same corrupt leadership is hard at work now blocking progressive efforts to democratize the next Democratic primary, and to run real progressives as candidates for House and Senate in 2018 instead of more of the same corporatist hacks, Democratic voters will submissively cave in as always and vote for those same lackluster and corrupted corporatists, either handing wins to Republican opponents, or electing/re-electing ineffective, self-aggrandizing hacks.

The Pentagon, world's largest office building, surrounded by parking lots for the warmakersThe Pentagon, world's largest office building, surrounded by parking lots for the warmakers
 

The Shadow of Smuts on Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

Trump's Destructive Decision on US Embassy move

 
Protest art in the Orange Farm settlement of South Africa circa 2014. LBWPhotoProtest art in the Orange Farm settlement of South Africa circa 2014. LBWPhoto
 
U.S. President Donald Trump and Jan Smuts, a former prime minister of South Africa are politicians from two different eras who share two things in common.

Actions by Trump and Smuts, while separated by several decades, prompt many people in America and South Africa respectively to use the same word to describe each leader: racist.

And, Trump, like Smuts, has acted decisively on behalf of Israel.

Trump has created a “racially hostile climate” the President of America’s oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, noted recently.

The actions of Smuts and other white supremacist leaders in South Africa over a century ago triggered the creation of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1912, three years after the formation of the NAACP in America. A long-time leader of the ANC was Nelson Mandela, the legendary activist/statesman.

Recently President Trump smashed decades of American policy with his declaration that recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In the early 20th Century Jan Smuts played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for the creation of Israel.

Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem received applause in Israel by top governmental officials and citizens alike. Trump received Israeli accolades despite the fact that a few months ago Trump publicly praised Israel hating Neo-Nazis after that rampage by racists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump proclaimed his declaration was “the right thing to do” irrespective of the fact that it flouts international law that has opposed Israeli occupation of Jerusalem since 1967. Trump said his declaration was simply a “recognition of reality.” Trump critics point out the ‘reality’ of Israel’s control of Jerusalem is tied to decades of the U.S. providing Israel with military aid, financial support and diplomatic backing that strengthened Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Time to Organize a Mass Movement in Defense of Social Security and Medicare for All

Call to (locked) arms

 

Now that it looks like President Trump and the Republican Congress will succeed in ramming through the most regressive tax bill (not “reform” bill as the media keep slipping into calling it) in the history of the income tax, it’s time to gear up for the real battle — a battle that calls for not more lame Soros-funded, Democratic Party-led “resistance,” but rather a deadly serious mass movement to defend and expand Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what remains of federal welfare assistance.

The Republicans have made it clear that their claim that this tax bill, in slashing taxes on corporations and the rich, will “pay for itself” through supposed higher economic growth is bogus and that the real goal is to, as conservative strategist Grover Norquist once put it, “to shrink government down to the size that we can drown it in the bathtub.”

But make no mistake, the Republicans aren’t talking about shrinking the biggest drain on the federal budget — the military — which consumes 54% of each year’s discretionary budget. No, they’re talking about cutting social spending, or in other words the key elements still left from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal (the Social Security program) and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society (Medicare and Medicaid).

This campaign will be based upon a lie which the corporate media tend to repeat uncritically: that Social Security is “bankrupt” and more importantly that it is the main cause of the nation’s $20-trillion deficit (soon to be a $21.5-trillion or higher deficit after the new tax law works its magic). In fact, Social Security benefits are, always have always been and will through 2019 continue to be fully funded by payments made into the program by past and current workers’ FICA payroll taxes. The program has over its 81-year history contributed exactly nothing to the federal deficit. Rather, that deficit is the result primarily of the nation’s massive military budget and endless series of wars and cold wars since the end of World War II, as well as to a gutless Congress that continually adds to to the red ink by refusing to fully fund government programs, preferring to borrow and push the costs onto future generations. (Truth to tell, Congress has since World War II cravenly used borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund to finance US wars without having to raise income taxes to pay for them.)

The strategy for going after what Republicans scornfully (and Democrats ignorantly and lazily) deride as “entitlements” such as Social Security and Medicaid, are actually earned benefits that workers have, over their lifetimes, paid for with taxes taken from both their paychecks and from their employers, is to claim that the government just can’t afford these programs anymore.

XX

Sad Truth

 
We’re not going to get rid of Trump
because Trump is an archetype.
Trump was already here
long before we voted him into office.
He was more like a transparent pink bear
but he was here,
filling up tons of space,
being bombastic
throwing his weight around,
baiting us in dreams that we repressed,
letting us know there were big holes in our dystopia,
the Benighted States of America.
He, or his aura, were around
swimming across the screen of everyday.
Long before the Republican Party
made him magically appear in the flesh
he was a big floater in our eye.
(But this floater is a bitch, man!)
And you know what the doctor says
when you get a floater?
“You’ll get used to it.”
And aren’t we? Getting used to being bullied,
lied to? Used? Impotent?
Used to living on the edge,
used to feeling ashamed
used to being shocked by our own sheepishness.
Emergency after emergency after emergency!
The pink bear, the annoying floater,
call it Trump, or whatever you want.
Call it the new reality show of shows,
call it the ubiquitous traveling circus,
the new all-day all-night show.
Call it the last act in the theater of fools
where there is no curtain
and no exits, and there is some guy
shouting “Fire!” ”Fire!”
And everyone looks straight ahead with knitted brows.
But relax, it’s just a dream.
It’s just a poem.
It’s just another daydaydaydayday. . . .
 
 
--Gary Lindorff

The US Government Requirement that RT-TV Register as a ‘Foreign Agent’ is a Threat to Our Press Freedom

Suddenly, I’m a ‘Russian agent’

 

For a number of years now, I have been periodically interviewed as a source or a commentator on news programs and as an occasional panel participant on RT TV, the Russian government-funded English-language television station. For the past year, I’ve been paid a small amount for my work.

Effective Monday, November 13, something changed, though. RT suddenly became a “registered foreign agent.” The Russian government-funded news service, which has its headquarters in Washington, with bureaus in several other US cities, filed the required papers under protest — the only foreign news service operating here that is required to do so — and said it intends to sue. Russia is also retaliating and will be requiring some US news organizations operating in Russia, including Voice of America, to similarly register as foreign agents.

This means that as of two weeks ago, I have been working, at least on a minimal basis of perhaps one short 5-10-minute interview per week, for a “foreign agent.”

The US government, a lot of heavy-breathing members of Congress, and the bulk of the corporate media in the US at this point are suggesting that journalists like me are at best “useful idiots” helping to promote Russian propaganda in the US — propaganda that our government claims is designed to sow discord among the citizenry and to undermine support for American democracy. Why, RT has been accused of such heinous behavior, according to former National Security Director James Clapper, as “promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system, our alleged hypocrisy about human rights, etc.”

Scary stuff, huh? Clapper, during a Congressional hearing into Russian evil-doing in the US, even accused RT of airing debates by third-party presidential candidates during the 2016 campaign — something the corporate media for years has dutifully refused to do in what I guess they consider a patriotic defense of our two-party system.

XX

Pathetic as the case against RT may be, I’ve been the butt of jokes by liberal friends who say that I’m a “Russian agent” because they’ve bought the spurious argument that Russia “hacked” the US election and delivered us a Trump presidency. I wonder though, how many such Americans have ever actually watched RT-TV. I suspect it’s very few. First off, it’s not that easy to see it on your TV, since most cable and fiber-optic television bundlers leave it out of their packages, as they also leave out the Al Jazeera English Channel option, in response to pressure from the government. If they did watch it — which you can and should do at least to check it out at RT-America and at RT.com (the international edition) — they would find shows hosted not by Russians, but by American journalists, many of them well known names like Larry King, Ed Schultz, Jesse Ventura and Chris Hedges. A number of these people are working for RT because they were either sacked by US media outlets, like Schultz at MSNBC or had a planned program cancelled like Ventura, also at MSNBC, or left in disgust like Chris Hedges, a veteran war reporter for the NY Times.

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Fightin' Cock FlyerFightin' Cock Flyer

Listen as Chuck, John, Dave and Linn Join Prairie Radical Mike Caddell of the Fightin' Cock Flyer on Radio Free Kansas

Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

Donate $50 to ThisCantBeHappening.net and get a free signed copy, postage paid, of Dave's classic tome The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's Press, 2006). Just click on the cover image to go to the Paypal payment page, make your payment, and send a note to Dave calling his attention to the payment, and giving your mail address and the name you want the inscription addressed to.

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by Dr. Radut