Wednesday, January 28, 2015

14 Reasons to vote Anyone-But-Emanuel (Rahm linksheet)

IL Supreme Court's newest justice, Mary Jane Theis, and Rahm Emanuel lived on the same block in East Ravenswood:
Cook County clerk David Orr ticks off #MayorRahm by asking him to open the books on TIFs—because that's unreasonable.

A community activist uncovered a sneaky way #MayorRahm keeps #TIF money flowing.
Emanuel cuts millions which would have gone to schools to build a hotel and sports arena. All but 3 Alderman OK it.

Emanuel sets a good example only stealing $267 million from Chicago's children and not Swisher blunts.
Rahm Emanuel, new chief of staff, "indicated his support of President Bush's position on Iraq"

RedEye Chicago:
"For a lot of people, this [bus] is a critical lifeline," Pawar said. Buses and trains did become less crowded last year as ridership dipped.... The No. 11 route lost 706,000 rides after the service cut, CTA data show.
Rahm's declaration of full-scale immunity for torturers and war criminals on behalf of Obama:

“Whether we're talking about Scott Walker or Rahm Emanuel, it's the same thing."
Rahm Emanuel's "scare tactics are not the answer" Chicago Firefighters Union (Desmogblog)

Rahm Emanuel "threatens to put 350 union custodians out of work"
Reuters must-read on how Rahm Emanuel's battle against teachers is part of a larger class war waged by the rich

an aggressive supporter of the Iraq War

Rahm Emanuel's "total focus seems to be on the business community" AFSCME

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cartoonist unions and Saudi Arabian feminism

With Charlie Hebdo in the news as a stalwart of freedom, maybe it can be helpful to look at what cartoonists in the US had to suffer in the past. When "sneaky" cartoonists in Hollywood began to organize for fair pay and contracts, one thing management did to discourage this was talk about their workplace as a unique paradise. They were their buddies, not the no-good Commies who wanted to destroy the "family atmosphere" where they "felt themselves the aristocracy of their profession, with Uncle Walt the benevolent master over all." Any benefits required gratitude to the boss "for plowing profits back into upgrading the studio's working conditions and paying for drawing teachers" -- and if you didn't like it, he would snitch on you to the government, and the army too.

Feminism in Saudi Arabia, according to the leading activist Wajeha al-Huwaider is not making much headway for this same, simple propaganda tactic.

Many people are brainwashed to believe ours is a “special” society—that’s why we have laws that are un-Islamic but accepted, like preventing women from driving. However, thanks to the Internet, young women and men have a place to express themselves and develop their individuality. They’re more open-minded than their elders, and that will shape Saudi society in the future.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We have to stop picking and choosing favorable terrorists

The shock of the terrorist attack on French journalists has generated different responses, some pretty childish, opportunist but also some principled and encouraging. I'm happy to see people like Asad AbuKhalil and Noam Chomsky hold up examples of behavior where the US enthusiastically crushes nonviolent actors. (Not only does this comparison remind me of my responsibility to reflect on my own influence, but it prevents me from feeling that one must accept this kind of violence of Al-Qaeda organizations simply because I don't like the greedy elites in this country. Bad is bad, no matter who does it.) Others have bravely written thoughtful defenses of freedom of speech using Islamic principles, and even analyses of the context of religious symbols in a society that marginalizes people, despite being mocked as sympathizers.

I tried to look up the political network of the terrorist Kouchi brothers who committed the attack. A query.nytimes search revealed they were influenced by a then-22 year old Algerian-connected preacher named Thamer Bouchnak. (NYTIMES 2005). Craig Smith writes he was "benefiting from his aura as the brother-in-law of Yousef Zemmouri, a member of an Algerian terrorist organization, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, who was deported in 1998."

As I researched this group it reminded me a lot of the Hamas/PLO split, where the targeting of PLO members resulted in the strengthening of more Islamist politics.

The split in Islamist Algerian bombers occurred during the Bush Administration's aggressive war in Iraq, not by chance. In a book by Frank Peter and Rafael Ortega, the leader of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, Abu Musab Abd al-Wadud "rejects the idea that his organization means nothing but a change in name." The change, according to Peter and Ortega (GOOGLE BOOK PREVIEW), "coincided with al-Qaeda's adoption of a brand new strategy at the end of 2003, following the American invasion of Iraq." One of his priorities was to see a "widened" approach in "the movement's activities to other countries in the region.". This revision was opposed by the regional Salafist Hassan al-Khattab, and he lost "not because of the strength of the organization" but because there was no other choice. In fact,  Hassan Al Khattab's branch was "dismantled by the Moroccan police at the end of July 2006."(BOOK EXCERPT)

It's important to remember Morocco has been under US-backed dictatorship because of a political calculation during Reagan's first war on terror, similar to the calculation of Obama's humanitarian imperialism. Obama has said before he will welcome peaceful responses, what he called an "unclenched fist" yet has campaigned on punishing the petition to the ICC by the Palestinians, has bombed the Libyan state transmitters, and fanned the flames of war in Syria, Yemen and beyond, because of commercial and strategic interests. The terror attacks, to all those concerned with ending them, should bring to focus the attempt to pick and choose proper terrorist bullies because they support US policies. But unlike the cultural writers I mentioned, there is no thoughtfulness in discussing counter-terror policies.

Outside of a rant here and there, there can be little doubt we will repeat the tragic crimes in Syria that we have in Iraq. This is having a result. France and the United States have taken a Mafia-like approach. President Obama has declared he will "hunt down" the terrorists, and France is continuing to send its Navy to Syria.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The worst prediction ever

Now, I ask my noble friend, who takes up the cause of the Arabs, and who seems to think that their material well-being is going to be diminished under the new system, how he thinks that the existing population of Palestine, of whom he has—very rightly from his point of view—constituted himself the advocate in this House, is going to be effective unless and until you get capitalists to invest their money in developing the resources of this small country—small in area, though great in memories—which, according to all the information we possess, might carry a population far bigger—I will not venture to give figures, but far bigger—than that which it now supports. But it can only do so, I believe, if you can draw upon the enthusiasm of the Jewish communities throughout the world. As soon as all this Mandate question is finally settled, as soon as all the existing legal difficulties have been got over, they will, I believe, come forward and freely help in the development of a Jewish Home.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

When politicians raid the public's money it's always sold as creating jobs

Obama said the same thing when he sold billions in weapons to Saudi Arabia.
"I am confident the tour will further strengthen our efforts for a proposed project that will create the largest aquaculture farm in North America. The project is projected to create 426 jobs with the potential to grow to nearly 2,000 jobs in the future. We have partnered with Virginia Tech's Corporate Research Center and an Israeli company that owns and operates these types of facilities around the world."
(SWVA Today)