22 August 2016


Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green

Give CNN just a little credit. On Wednesday night, the cable network hosted a Town Hall featuring Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. In those 90 Prime Time minutes, Stein and Baraka presented a clearer picture of the realities and consequences of US foreign policy and militarism than we heard from Bernie Sanders in a year’s worth of speeches.

Americans who tuned in heard some things that are rarely mentioned in the mainstream media: a sober critique of the US’s malign relationship to the government of Israel, forthright calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the end of killer drone strikes, the closure of all 800-plus overseas military bases and an end to interventionist wars. The entire Town Hall session was the political equivalent of George Carlin’s the seven things you can’t say on TV.

The Green Team deftly navigated the treacherous shoals of Cuomo’s questions. For most of the night, Cuomo played the role of a Clinton troll, trying to trip up Stein and Baraka with quotes ripped out of context and stale slanders planted by Democratic Party operatives. Despite all evidence to the contrary, it seems that Ralph Nader will forever be blamed for costing Al Gore the 2000 election. So he zeroed in on Stein, asking her how she could sleep at night if, like Nader, she ended up tipping the election to Trump. Stein didn’t blink, saying: “I would have trouble sleeping at night if Trump was elected. I would also have trouble sleeping if Hillary Clinton was elected.”

Stein also easily swatted down the smear now being furiously spread by the Clintonoids that she is opposed to childhood vaccinations and that she is “anti-science.” It’s a ludicrous charge against a physician and one that has no basis in fact, as Stein forcefully demonstrated. Still, I hope this assault doesn’t discourage Stein and Baraka from at some point offering a critical analysis of the economic and political uses of science in the service of war and profit.

One of the chief purveyors of this bilge of misinformation is a previously obscure fellow named Robert Naiman, who runs a nearly invisible group called Just Foreign Policy. Naiman was caught red-handed (so to speak) when his junk mail made its way to the inbox of John Stauber, author of Toxic Sludge is Good for You and a leading expert on the politics of propaganda and disinformation. Stauber knows a smear when he sees one.

Here’s the text of the email Naiman circulated among his coterie of conflicted progressives at GameChangersSalon:

From: Robert Naiman
If you have a lot of Facebook friends, you may have recently noticed a high level of activity on your Facebook feed by Jill Stein acolytes.
If so, you may find the following links useful to throw them off their game. No warranty, express or implied. You don’t have to prove that Jill Stein is an anti-science conspiracy theorist. You just have to say, “There are unanswered questions about whether Jill Stein is an anti-science conspiracy theorist.”
There’s Nothing Green About Jill Stein’s Vaccine Stance
Jill Stein on vaccines: People have ‘real questions’
Jill Stein Promotes Homeopathy, Panders On Vaccines http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/07/jill-stein-promotes-homeopathy-panders-on-vaccines/
Jill Stein Worries Wi-Fi Is Dangerous For Kids
Robert Naiman
Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy
You’d think Jill Stein was a card-carrying member of the Flat Earth Society. In fact, Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, graduated from Harvard Medical School, practiced internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital for 25 years and taught medicine at Harvard Medical School. In other words, Stein is an unlikely suspect for ratting out a modern-day Galileo. The same cannot be said for the current Democratic administration whose vicious crackdown on whistleblowers, many of them scientists, has been part of a concerted and unrelenting campaign to snuff out internal dissent.

It so happens that Naiman, an alleged peace activist, is also the board president for the liberal website Truthout. Veteran readers of CounterPunch will recall Truthout from John Pilger’s acrid account of his head-on collision with their editors, who peevishly tried to cleanse his essay, “A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence,” of passages which might prove uncomfortable for the Democratic Party establishment.
In a nasty email exchange with longtime Green organizer Kevin Zeese, who is now co-director of Popular Resistance, a group which grew out of the Occupy movement, Naiman sunk even further into the slime and threatened to expose Jill Stein as “a Trotskyite cancer.”

On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Robert Naiman  wrote:
Oh, is today my day to be harassed by Green Party thugs?
I’ll make you a deal: call off your dogs and I won’t further expose Jill Stein as a Trokskyite cancer.
Robert Naiman
Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy
Slandering Stein and the Greens for being “Trotskyites” (or “Trokskyites,” in Naiman’s quaint verbiage) is as intellectually vapid as it is vile. Everyone knows that most of Leon’s former disciples in the US have long since morphed into neocons and thus can be spotted in Georgetown cafes polishing their resumés for slots on Hillary’s foreign policy team.

“Robert Naiman epitomizes the attitude of the paid, professional Democrat progressives attacking the Green Party and Jill Stein,” John Stauber told me. “These shills see no hypocrisy in embracing a candidate supported by Wall Street, the Koch brothers and the neoconservatives who with Hillary lied America into attacking Iraq.  So there it is, Hillary is his champion while a woman running on the most progressive platform in America is just a damned Communist.  Rather than back down when he himself was exposed, he doubled down with a smear befitting the worst of American politics. Naiman is not an aberration however; indeed, he embodies the funded progressive elite who since 2000 have become a front group for the Democrats liberal oligarchs such as George Soros and his Democracy Alliance.”

The hypocrisy of the Clintonoids is almost as audacious as their dissemination of lies about Jill Stein. Of course, their champion, the “pro-science” Hillary Clinton, ignores scientific facts and assessments whenever such considerations prove to be an even minor inconvenience to the headlong pursuit of her corporate agenda (cf, fracking).

“People may wonder why suddenly everyone was saying Jill Stein is anti-vax — now we know it was a coordinated campaign,” Zeese told me. “Obviously, it also happens in the media because all of a sudden multiple news outlets were reporting the same thing. Had Stein said something that all these media outlets saw and ‘reported’ on — no, she had not said anything anti-vax, but they were coordinated. It was a planned slander attack.”

Despite Clinton’s apparent lead in the polls, there’s a palpable sense of desperation in the air, as if her support is so soft that Hillary could sink another 10 points in the wake of one more email dump from Wikileaks or Guccifer 2.0. This explains why her surrogates are reaching so deeply into their bag of dirty tricks. The red-baiting of Stein and Baraka is a perfect expression of the Clinton machine’s political and moral bankruptcy.

21 August 2016


This item is from Mondoweiss on 20 AUGUST 2016:

Jill Stein defends BDS in CNN town hall

Wilson Dizard (on 19 August 2016)

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein on Wednesday night (17 AUGUST 2016) provided an alternative vision for US policy with Israel that questioned whether Washington was doing "Israel any favors" by dumping money into warfare and occupation.

Stein was answering a question at a CNN Green Party town hall from an audience member who wondered why Stein chose to "single out" Israel for a boycott even though Israel is  "a democratic ally to us".

"Why don't you do the same for other middle eastern states which are committing horrific crimes and abuses of people?" voter Maria Christina Garcia asked.

Stein's answer showed that terms like "democratically" don't amount to a hill of beans when that country is pursuing policies that violate human rights, and that the US under a Stein presidency will not ignore the rights violations of Saudi Arabia or Israel. The logic stems from an understanding that the US, in its pursuit of war in the middle east, has also violated human rights of others.

"We are turning over a new chapter in this, because we have been as guilty as any of our allies," she said.

"If we turned the White House into a Green House, our foreign policy will be based on international law and human rights, so when we say to Israel we will not continue to give you $8 million dollars a day when the Israeli army is occupying territory in Palestine," Stein said to applause.

"We're not going to do it for the Saudis either. Nor for that matter does Egypt get a free pass as well," she said.

"Have you advocated to boycott Saudi Arabia?" Garcia asked?

"Yes," Stein said, to further applause.

All of it was getting a bit too real for CNN  moderator Chris Cuomo. His brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a chief Clinton ally, has been a vocal opponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that Stein has (mondoweiss.net/2016/06/candidate-president-endorses/) shown sympathy towards. The effort aims to isolate Israel, as many worldwide did to South Africa during Apartheid, to try to force it to recognise the civil and human rights of Palestinians living under occupation and also Palestinian citizens of Israel.

"Another follow on this is that Israel is not Saudi Arabia or Egypt," Cuomo reminded the audience. "It certainly occupies a special alliance with the United States and supporters would argue faces an existential threat that others do not. Do you see Israel being a special ally and in a unique defensive position in that part of the world?"

Stein replied by saying she heself was Jewish and has family who live in Israel "part time."

"Well I happen to be of Jewish origins so yes I have a special connection to Israel.......I don't think we are doing Israel a favor by condoning a policy that makes Israel very insecure, that makes Israel then target of hostility from its neighbors."

Stein gave fellow Jewish American Sheldon Adelson, owner of the most read Israeli newspaper, as an example of someone meddling in Israeli affairs to the detriment of all involved.

"He's not even living there. I don't think that's good for someone to be influencing Israel's policy when they don't have to live with the consequences," Stein said of Adelson.

Cuomo fired back with a "yes or no" question about whether Israel has a special relationship to the US.

"I understand you have family relations there.........Do you believe they're a special ally, yes or no?"

It was a meaningless and childlike question from Cuomo, and it received an appropriately meaningless and pedantic answer.

"I believe all our allies are special allies. Israel and all of them. We are all members of the human family. I think we have responsibilities to everyone to create a world that works for all of us. And by sponsoring a very hostile military policy that violates international law, that doesn't do us any favors," she said.

"There are people in Israel who are really working for human rights, who are actually building community with the Palestinians. There are human rights groups that are building trust, building community and building confidence. These are the groups we need to be lifting up to create a middle east that's going to work."

Cuomo and Stein were asking questions that came from different universes, practically. Stein's assumptions were that human rights should guide American foreign policy, while Cuomo fixated on whether Stein appreciated the existential dread that Israelis have of Palestinians and their Arab neighbors. Cuomo asked her twice about how special is to the US, when she had already answered: Israel was not more or less special than any of our allies. It's also remarkable how easily Cuomo glossed over Stein's family ties to the country, and he own Jewishness, in questioning her policy position.

For average Stein voters, however, it appears the candidate's overall suspicion of militarism is the biggest draw.

Sherrie Gonzalez, a Brooklyn Bernie Sanders canvasser I met during the primaries, was an audience member at the town hall debate. She's planning on voting for Stein.

"It sounds like she just wants to stop funding death and respect human rights for everyone involved," Gonzalez told Mondoweiss.

Although she said she isn't an expert on Israel/Palestine affairs, Gonzalez said Stein's focus on cutting back military spending is what draws her to the candidate. That money, she feels, could better be spent at home and not financing Israel's occupation of Palestinian land, or Saudi Arabia's campaign against Yemen.

"For me, one of the most jarring points she made was about the number of military bases we have in comparison to the rest of the world. Like, take a guess as to how many bases the world has? It's 30 [total]. 30 for everyone else. Russia has the most at 8. We have 800. It costs us over $100 billion a year to fund these. We could cut them in half and have $50 billion available for things here like rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure or I don't know, a public [health care] option?"

"I agree so much with her that these interventions and coups cause more trouble than they solve and they account for something like 50% of the tax money I pay a year," Gonzalez said.

But how to unravel this irrational and byzantine system of alliances based on their level of specialness, as Cuomo calls it, remains a mystery. It's like Stein is walking into a big meeting of a neighbourhood mafia, and telling everybody they will no longer be dealing in protection rackets, nor will they be selling guns, drugs or people. Everyone is going to have to go legit!

There isn't space in this post for a full discussion of how this would happen, if it ever does. Gonzalez admits she doesn't have the answers, either.

"How do we dismantle our Mafia empire?" I asked Gonzalez.

"I guess the biggest issue with our current situation is that we've developed an economy around it," she said.

"Why is that a problem?"

"Because it's an economy of death and oppression."

Fair enough.

"I'm aware that just completely pulling out of situations can cause chaos but the outcome doesn't change whether we do it now or 20 years from now," she said. "I think if I had answers, I would be running for office. I vote for as minimal suffering as possible if I can help it."

About Wilson Dizard

Wilson Dizard is a freelance reporter and photojournalist covering politics, civil rights, drug policy and everything else. He lives in Brooklyn with his bicycle, camera and drum set.

14 August 2016


More Murder, Arrests and Torture: Israeli Response to Uprising in Palestine

Photo: Evan Lang - Shutterstock.com

Waleed was freezing. He was wearing only a thin t-shirt, and it was a cold March night earlier this year in his village of Awerta, which lies just outside Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank.

The soldiers had come for him at two o’clock in the morning. Abdullah, his younger brother, had been awake, and when he felt the soldiers’ heavy steps and heard their loud voices speaking Hebrew outside their home, he rushed upstairs to warn the rest of the family.

The element of surprise is an important tool in the home invasions the Israeli army conducts in the Occupied Territories. That is why the soldiers come at night. Most likely the residents will be sleeping, and they will not have time to hide whatever is they want to keep from the soldiers.

In this case the element of surprise had been lost, but it did not matter. This family had nothing to hide.
“You have one minute to open the door! Otherwise we will destroy your house!” shouted one of the soldiers, when he realized that someone in the house was awake.

For two hours the soldiers searched every inch of Waleed’s house, turning it upside down, creating a mess the family would spend the entire next day cleaning up. It was not clear what they were looking for, but in the end they did not find it.

“He has nothing to hide,” says Abdullah. “Ever since he was released from prison, all he does is work and study.”

But the Israelis did not agree with Abdullah’s assessment. They began screaming at Waleed, and his mother and sisters started to cry.

“A man, tall and huge, shouted at us. He said he would destroy every inch of this house.”

In the end, it did not matter what Waleed said or did, and eventually they took him away, in the middle of the night.
It is not clear whether the current uprising in the West Bank, which began with a rash of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks in October of 2015 constitutes a “Third Intifada”, but the Israelis are not taking any chances. They have responded with a crackdown reminiscent of their actions following the abduction of three teenaged settlers in June of 2014. On that occasion, blaming Hamas for the kidnappings, the Israeli army initiated an orgy of collective punishment on the population of the West Bank, which resulted in several Palestinian deaths, hundreds of arrests and the theft and/or destruction of millions of dollars of cash, property and valuables.

The Israeli response to this uprising has been even more extreme, and several new tools have emerged. A particularly egregious aspect of the army’s policy, which did not make an appearance in 2014, is its propensity to shoot to kill, even when such a measure is, by any objective standard, unnecessary. A well-known example is the case of a stabbing attack in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, in which a soldier shot and killed a Palestinian attacker who was lying motionless on the ground and clearly not posing a threat. The murder was captured on video, which is the only reason it received the publicity it did. Critics argue that this is not an isolated case, and that the army’s methods have resulted in a large number of deaths and injuries to innocent by-standers. According to the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA), 220 Palestinians have been killed in this cycle of violence. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, reports that 40 Israelis have lost their lives.

The rise in killings is not the only result of the Israelis’ increasing violence. There has also been a surge in the number of arrests and detentions. Abdullah claims the army’s threshold for selecting a Palestinian for arrest is now much lower than it was in the past.

“They feel they are losing control,” he says. “They will arrest anybody they think might be a threat, even if they haven’t done anything wrong.”
I first met Waleed in the summer of 2014 at a celebration at his house. The party was in honor of his release from prison, and it seemed like all of Awerta was there to welcome him home. There was dancing and music, and there were speeches. It was during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza that resulted in the deaths of 2131 Palestinians, including at least 1473 civilians, and many of the speeches were in solidarity with the people of Gaza. But that night was mostly about celebrating. And there was Waleed, wearing the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh around his shoulders, seemingly greeting each resident of Awerta individually, kissing them on the cheek four times and hugging them.

Four years earlier, at the age of eighteen, Waleed had received a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years for his membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Waleed had never been involved in the planning or engagement of violence, but that did not matter to the Israelis. He was a member of the PFLP, and that was enough.

And then, in the summer of 2014, having served 41 of his 42 months (perhaps receiving a month off for not actually having committed a crime), he was released. And all of Awerta was here to celebrate with him.
As I watched Waleed, Abdullah and their father, a fit-looking man in his fifties with close-cropped grey hair, sitting on the shoulders of their friends and dancing in front of an enormous Palestinian flag, I wondered about the atmosphere in the village. The mood was one of relief that Waleed had made it back in one piece, but there was also a sense of victory and defiance. It seemed that Waleed had vanquished the occupiers simply by returning to his village alive. They had tried to destroy him, but they had failed because he was too strong, and here he was, a hero, even stronger than before he had been taken away.
Even before the uprising that began last October, some of the statistics regarding the incarceration of Palestinians were staggering. According to the International Action Center, 40% of all Palestinian males have spent some time in prison. The conviction rate of Palestinian defendants in the West Bank is an unbelievable 99.74%.

But the situation has been worsening since the uprising began, as can be seen by examining any of a number of measures.

For example, Addameer, a Palestinian NGO, reports that 7000 political prisoners are currently being held by the Israelis, a number that is higher than it has been at any point during the last five years.

Another troubling trend is the increase in the application of administrative detention. Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli army to detain a prisoner indefinitely without charging him. While it is technically allowed by international law under narrowly defined circumstances, such as in a state of emergency, critics claim that the army’s rampant and sweeping application of the procedure does not fit the prescribed use and is therefore illegal, since it violates Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Probably Israel’s most well-known recent application of administrative detention involves Bilal Kayed, who received a fourteen-and-a-half year sentence in 2001 for his affiliation with the PFLP. His term ended in June of this year, but instead of releasing him, the authorities placed him in administrative detention, claiming only vaguely that he still constituted a threat. Kayed has since begun a hunger strike in an effort to secure his release, an action that as many as 300 of his fellow prisoners have joined in solidarity with him.

The use of administrative detention has risen sharply since the uprising began, as reported by the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. In the first half of 2016, a total of 1028 administrative detention orders, including 421 new ones, have been issued. If you include the period since October of 2015, the number of orders rises to a total of 1471. Since there are currently 750 Palestinian administrative detainees in custody, itself the largest such number since 2008, this shows the enormous escalation in the application of this method.

It is not merely that the number of arrests and incarcerations have increased, but also that the treatment of both suspected attackers and detainees has worsened. The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Committee found after an investigation that Israeli armed forces have committed numerous human rights violations during the last year, such as not allowing the wounded to receive medical care, torturing and abusing detainees and using police dogs to threaten and harass them. (The use of dogs is a practice the army had reportedly stopped employing against Palestinians after B’Tselem, an Israeli NGO, had exposed it in 2012.)
The arrest and incarceration of Palestinian children is also increasing at an alarming rate. Human Rights Watch indicated that the number of Palestinian children arrested by the Israelis has more than doubled since the start of the uprising. According to the Former Detainees Coalition, a total of 2,320 minors have been arrested in that time period. In April a spokesman for the Israeli Prison Service told the New York Times that the number of prisoners under the age of eighteen had more than doubled since October, rising from 170 to 430. In a particularly horrifying development, the number of very young children in custody has shot up, as evidenced by a report from The Electronic Intifada, which stated that at the end of December of 2015, there were 116 children between the ages of 12 and 15 in Israeli custody. This number represents an eleven-fold increase over 2014. The focus on children reaches all the way up to the highest levels of government. In November of 2015, the Knesset passed a law allowing longer sentences for children throwing stones and the disruption of social welfare payments to the families of those serving their sentences.

Israel has an abysmal record when it comes to the treatment of Palestinian child prisoners, which makes this trend of increasing numbers of Palestinian children in Israeli custody so alarming. A recent report issued by a coalition of several Palestinian prisoner organizations states that there has been an escalation in the abuse of child prisoners and detainees, such as “the use of torture, ill-treatment, and violation of the rights of the child, from the first moment of arrest, most frequently in the late hours of the night or early morning in violent military raids, or during their detention by `special units’…. Children are shackled hand and foot and blindfolded and taken for interrogation without parents or lawyers, often threatened interrogation, and forced to sign statements in Hebrew without understanding them. This comes in addition to the use of various methods of torture, including beating and kicking, and verbal and psychological abuse against children. They are then subjected to the military and civil courts of the occupation, and face unfair sentencing and financial penalties.”[1] A Human Rights Watch investigation concludes that “Palestinian children are treated in ways that would terrify and traumatize an adult.” Interrogations of children are often conducted with almost no regard for international norms. A study by Defence for Children International-Palestine obtained sworn testimonies of 429 children arrested between 2012 and 2015 and concluded that in 97% of the cases, the children were not informed that they had a right to have a lawyer present during their interrogation, and that 88% were not given a reason for their arrest. A similar study conducted by UNICEF stated that in over 80% of the cases, the children were subjected to physical violence. The NGO Military Court Watch reported in 2015 that only 3% of children had their parents present during their interrogation. According to the United Nations, the government has begun using administrative detention for children, a practice it had abandoned in East Jerusalem in 2000 and elsewhere in the West Bank in 2011.
The First Intifada of 1987-1993 led to the initiation of the failed Oslo peace process, while the consequences of the much more violent Second Intifada of 2000-2005 are more complicated. Also called the Al-Aqsa Intifada, it led to the fragmentation of the Palestinians and to the rightward shift of Israeli society, making the prospect for peace even more remote than it had been before the uprising. The current uprising is still ongoing, and it is much too soon to judge the effects it will have, but the Israelis have made their response to it clear. They will fight it by employing all the methods of repression they have been perfecting to enforce the Occupation since it began. Recently they have shown that they are willing to employ these methods at ever-increasing intensity.
Waleed has now been in the notorious Meggido prison for over five months, awaiting the determination of his fate. Abdullah tells me that he is not optimistic and that their lawyer has already told him to expect another prison sentence.

When I ask Abdullah what Waleed is being charged with, he answers with a short, mirthless laugh.
“There is no crime. The army says people were flying the PFLP flag at his celebration two years ago. That is enough. The lawyer says he has never seen anything like it.”

If it were not so tragic, the situation would be absurd. The Israeli army, the fourth most powerful army in the world, inventing a story to put an innocent man in prison. And this was this best scenario they could come up with?

Two weeks ago, Abdullah tells me, the interrogator in the case informed Waleed what he could expect in his immediate future.

“We will put you in prison regardless of the result of the investigation. Whatever you say, we will put you in prison. We want to keep you here, and we will find any reason.”

[1] http://samidoun.net/2016/07/june-2016-report-on-palestinian-prisoners-3412-arrested-in-the-first-half-of-2016/
Richard Hardigan is a university professor in the United States.

09 August 2016


South Africa has just had one of the most extraordinary elections in the short history of democracy from 1994.

When Nelson Mandela was elected to be president after the first democratic elections in April 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) had an enormous majority, winning with about 66 percent of the popular vote. Mandela was president for 5 years and did not seek another term of 5 years - very wisely - after 27 years in prison and already being over 70 years old.

However, one of Mandela's big mistakes - an error of judgement if ever there was one - was to anoint his successor in the form of the son of one of the main freedom fighters of the ANC, Govan Mbeki, and so his son Thabo Mbeki became the second president, leading South Africa down the path of AIDS denialism and thus being responsible for one of the world's worst HIV/AIDS affected states, from which, in 2016, it is slowly recovering.

After some years misleading South Africa, Mbeki was forced out of office and a temporary president appointed until a successor could be found to replace him. That successor was/is Jacob Zuma and the path to corruption has been steady and ongoing for at least the last 10 years. If it wasn't for the fact that South Africa has always been rich in diamonds, gold, steel, uranium, platinum and many other minerals which are in constant demand, South Africa would be in an even more parlous state than it is at the moment.

2016 saw national elections for local government areas across the country and the outcome has been a humiliating blow to the ANC, however the analysts try to disguise the results.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the EFF - the Economic Freedom Fighters - have reduced the overall vote throughout the country to its worst result so far - about 53 percent. The DA, which already held Cape Town, has now won control of Nelson Mandela Bay, which consists of an amalgamation of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and a few other areas. The DA may also have won Johannesburg and Tshwana, which is an amalgamation of Pretoria and surrounding districts. The DA may have to form a coalition with one or more of the minor parties, but the ANC headquarters are in Johannesburg and it is a devastating blow to their control and prestige.

There is - and has been for some time - a cry for Zuma to go - he owes millions of Rand by court order on illegal alterations to his palace in the country - Nkandla - but so far he is not budging.

One name put forward to replace him is that of Cyril Ramaphosa, previously head of COSATU, the main trade union controlling body in South Africa, But Ramaphosa has become a millionaire business man and mining magnate since leaving COSATU and he was, with Zuma, responsible for the massacre at Marikana, not that long ago.

There are other candidates for the position of president and Zuma and Ramaphosa are not two of them.

Just as in Australia after the recent federal elections on 2 July 2016, South Africa, since the 3 August 2016 Local Government Elections, is in for some interesting times.

Cyril Ramaphosa COSATU

03 August 2016



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Jill Stein Picks Long-Time CounterPuncher Ajamu Baraka as Her VP Running Mate

Green Party presumptive Presidential nominee Jill Stein has offered her vice-presidential bid to international human rights scholar and activist Ajamu Baraka.

“I am honored and excited to announce that my running mate in the 2016 presidential election will be Ajamu Baraka, activist, writer, intellectual and organizer with a powerful voice, vision, and lifelong commitment to building true political revolution,” Stein announced.

“Ajamu Baraka is a powerful, eloquent spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come – an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice. Ajamu’s life’s work has embodied the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Stein continued. “In this hour of unprecedented crisis, we are honored to lift up a unified movement for justice in the only national political party that is not held hostage by corporate money, lobbyists and super-PACs. We look forward to bringing this agenda for justice to the American people in the exciting race ahead.”

Ajamu Baraka is an internationally recognized human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Founding Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (until 2011) and Coordinator of the U.S. based “Black Left Unity Network’s” Committee on International Affairs, Baraka has served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA) and the National Center for Human Rights Education. He has served on the boards of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Africa Action; Latin American Caribbean Community Center; Diaspora Afrique; and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.

Baraka is a member of the Green Shadow Cabinet and an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. An editor and contributing columnist for Black Agenda Report, Baraka has appeared on and been covered in a wide-range of print, broadcast, and digital media outlets such as CNN, BBC, the Tavis Smiley Show, ABC’s World News Tonight, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Telemundo.

There had been earlier speculation that Stein would offer the spot to ex-Sanders surrogate and former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who had been unfairly spurned at last week’s Democratic National Convention for her principled criticism of the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Stein confirmed that talks had taken place between her and Turner, but that the conditions were not right for a combined run.

“In the process of vetting and selecting a VP, I was honored to talk with several inspired activists,” Stein said. “Among them, I especially appreciate Senator Turner’s willingness to have discussed the VP position. The fit just wasn’t right, as Senator Turner is still committed to try to save the soul of the Democratic Party. While we may not agree on whether that is possible, I respect her passion to fight for the people and wish her the best in her effort.”

Stein said she also discussed the position with author Chris Hedges, single payer activist and US Senate candidate Dr. Margaret Flowers (Green – Maryland), economic justice advocate and TPP opponent Kevin Zeese of PopularResistance.org, and Green Party activist and former Black Panther Party leader, Aaron Dixon.

Stein added that: “Our campaign is fully committed to the fight for a political revolution in a party with a demonstrated, unwavering commitment to that political revolution. We welcome the 60% of  Americans who want a principled alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. We are also happy to continue serving as a “plan B” safety net for discouraged reformers as they tire of the disempowering, uphill battle inside the Democratic Party that was so painfully on display at the Democratic National Convention.”

02 August 2016


Evita presents chapter 41:

Evita presents chapter 42:

Evita presents chapter 43:

Evita presents chapter 44:

Evita presents chapter 45:

Evita presents chapter 46:

Evita presents chapter 47:

Evita presents chapter 48

 Evita presents chapter 49:

Evita presents chapter 50:

Evita presents Chapter 51:


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
89 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 93-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm