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Jewish Voices for Peace…

On occasion this blog,, posts articles by authors that I believe are informative and of interest to my readership. The following article by Barry Sheppard, an American correspondent for Australia’s Green Left Weekly, is one of those exceptional posts…
Barry is a Revolutionary Socialist and was a central leader of the US Socialist Workers Party [SWP] for most of his 28-yr membership.
He’s authored the definitive history of the SWP, The Party: The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, A Political Memoir, Volume 1: The Sixties, and Volume 2: Interregnum, Decline and Collapse, 1973-1988.

JVPoccupy-001Opposition to Israeli Policies Growing Among Jewish Americans,”  By Barry Sheppard (25Sept’15):

For most of its existence since 1948, Israel has had the support of most Jews in the U.S. There were dissident voices, to be sure, especially among Jewish members of socialist and communist organizations.
The radicalization of young people in the 1960s witnessed a layer of young Jews questioning Israeli policies toward Palestinians, and Israel’s support of apartheid South Africa and the U.S. Vietnam war as anti-imperialist consciousness grew.
But the generalization that most Jewish people in the U.S. continued to support Israel remained true.

Dr. Publico note: Imagine for a moment that all black people in the US were forcibly walled into ghettos; all of their commerce w/the outside world controlled by the military; punishments for ANY resistance included indefinite detention w/out charge and blowing up their family’s homes and being forbidden to rebuild; and the imprisoned population being quite literally declared a free-fire zone w/routine massive collective punishment. Well, I think you get the idea

That is beginning to change, on different levels. This is important; because U.S. imperialism’s military and economic support of Israel is key to the maintenance of the Jewish-supremacist [Zionist] state. As more American Jews speak out in opposition to Israeli policies, that can have an impact.

The emergence and growth of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is an important indicator. As they proclaim, “We represent a growing portion of Jewish Americans. Israel claims to be acting in the name of the Jewish people, so we are compelled to make sure the world knows that many Jews are opposed to their actions.
UK2014There are often attempts to silence critics of Israel by conflating legitimate criticism with anti-Semitism. Israel is a state, not a person. Everyone has the right to criticize unjust actions of a state.”

JVP was started by three undergraduate students at UC Berkeley in 1996. It grew gradually, and by 2007 its members decided to expand into a national org of mostly volunteer activists, funded by grassroots supporters in order to be more effective.

Two early members were Cindy Shamban and Marge Sussman. Cindy explains, “I got involved after I moved to San Francisco in 1978. I decided it was time to educate myself on the issues, that I could no longer remain ignorant…. Through readings and discussions I joined an organization called Jewish Alliance Against Zionism.”

Anti-Sem-001Marge adds, “I remember around that time we were at a Jewish feminist conference in San Francisco, and we were targeted with all the ‘you’re a self-hater’ attacks. And there was no support at all. It was just taboo. Everything was open for debate at that conference – except Israeli policies toward Palestinians!” They began working with JVP around 2001. “It was a small group that met in living rooms,” Cindy notes.

After going national, the group grew, as the truth about Israeli policies became more widely known. The Israeli war against the people of Gaza in 2008-2009 with its heavy loss of life and massive destruction opened many eyes, as did the attacks on ships with humanitarian supplies bound for Gaza to break the Israeli blockade.

IDFthugs-001JVP has really taken off in the last 3-yrs, increasing its full-time paid staff to 28. After last year’s even more massive and destructive of life and property in the renewed all-out war against Gaza, and the 2015 Israeli election in which Netanyahu announced there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch and that he considered even Arab citizens of Israel to be the enemy, JVP membership has tripled. It now has over 60 activist chapters and over 200,000 online supporters. Plans to expand membership and staff in 2016 are in the works.

One aspect of JVP’s work is coalition building, including with Arab, Iranian, Muslim and Christian organizations. When a diverse coalition of Palestinian civil society orgs called for an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in 2005, JVP increased its involvement in many boycott and divestment campaigns.

Israeli apartheid wall w/camera and remote gun-mount...

Israeli apartheid wall w/camera and remote gun-mount…

BDS is demanding that the occupation be ended and the Wall torn down; end discrimination of Palestinian citizens of Israel; and to “respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinians to return to their homes.” Supporting BDS in action and not just words sets JVP apart from most other Jewish peace groups.

Another thing that puts JVP in the vanguard among Jewish groups is its assertion that “We believe that a just and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only happen through acknowledgement of the Nakba of 1947-9, which led to the creation of millions of Palestinian refugees,” referring to the term that means “catastrophe” in Arabic.

Concerning a solution to the conflict, JVP says, “We support any solution that is consistent with the full rights of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews, whether one bi-national state, two states, or some other solution. It is up to Israelis and Palestinians to reach a mutually agreed upon solution. However, we also believe it is our obligation to offer honest analysis about the diminishing likelihood of a two-state solution given decades of Israeli settlement expansion and the current Israeli leadership’s open resolve to block the creation of a Palestinian state.”

GazaChild-001About the right of return of Palestinians, JVP says that it “supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right of people to return to their countries. Peace will only be possible when Israel acknowledges the Palestinian refugees’ right of return and negotiates a mutually agreed, just solution based on principles established in international law including return, compensation and/or resettlement.”

With such positions, it is no wonder that supporters of the Jewish-supremacist state attack JVP, as they do all who criticize Israel. The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) are among the most vocal.

As far back as 2010, the ADL singled out JVP, noting its work on campuses. It said, “Jewish Voice for Peace is the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States. Despite the neutral tone of its name … JVP counts among its objectives an end to U.S. aid for Israel (because of Israel’s ‘repressive policies’) and the success of boycott and divestment campaigns against Israel.”
RealRabbis-001The gist of the ADL attack was that JVP acted as a “shield” against Israel’s assertion that BDS is anti-Semitic. In their view, JVP members are “self-hating” Jews who function as part of an anti-Semitic movement.

Another indication of many American Jews breaking with unconditional support to Israeli policies has been bitter divisions over the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program. “Debate on Iran Fiercely Splits American Jews,” was a headline in the New York Times.
The article talked about sharp discussions in Jewish congregations and organizational meetings. This even extended to attacks on Jewish members of Congress who supported the deal, including that they were “kapos” – Jewish [“police”] collaborators with the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto and elsewhere.

Letter from Albert Einstein, 1948...

Einstein Letter… (Click on image to enlarge…)

AIPAC, the Israeli lobby with very deep pockets, spent tens of $millions in efforts to kill the Iran deal, an effort which ultimately failed. The NY Times noted that this signaled a diminution in the power of the lobby. Polls indicate that only a minority of American Jews, especially among the younger generation, opposed the deal.

The difference between Obama’s Washington and the Israeli gov’t over the Iran deal was real. Obama wanted to pull back from a confrontation with Iran that could lead to war, while Netanyahu wanted to step up that confrontation in the hopes of attacking Iran.

The whole issue of Iran’s nuclear program was presented in hyped and false terms by both U.S. neo-cons and Israel, posing an Iranian bomb as a present and inevitable threat. Noam Chomsky has pointed to a CIA analysis, which said that even if Iran developed nuclear weapons, they would function as a deterrent [as have nukes to date].
The image of the U.S., with its vast nuclear armaments, the country that started the atomic arms race and the only country ever to use such weapons against not one but two cities, quaking in fear of Iran, is ridiculous.

Israel is armed to the teeth with hundreds of nuclear weapons [poised on ballistic missiles and submarines covering the entire Middle East and Southern Europe]. Any offensive use of a nuclear weapon by Iran would lead to its immediate vaporization.

What the US and Israel fear is such a deterrent, which could tend to constrain their own military aggressions in the region, as Chomsky’s expressed.

The division between the US and Israel over the Iran deal, doesn’t mean any change in Washington’s support of Israel. Indeed, Obama indicated renewed and extended military and financial backing of the imperialist [colonial-settler] outpost in the Middle East.

Special thanks to Barry Sheppard for this excellent commentary
Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), September 2015…

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Drug Prohibition—101…

(NOTICE: Partial nudity…)

If you’re looking for the most accurate, complete and useful information on cannabis (marijuana/hemp), you’ll want to acquire Jack Herer’s book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes (1985+). Much of it can also be digested in Herer’s 1-hr video of the same name.

Meanwhile, in this article I’ll touch upon certain significant elements related to prohibition … its demonization and criminalization. I will also relate briefly my own experiences and expertise as to both its use and distribution…

Despite a growing number of states legalizing marijuana, the drug remains a federal Schedule I Narcotic (declaring it as having no socio-medical value).  The federal gov’t and 27 states at this writing still prohibit its growth, possession and distribution.

The prohibition of cannabis/hemp in the US did not occur naturally thru a negative impact on society, nor did it descend in due course from our inherited puritanical morals. Quite contrary. It was deliberately created as a corporatist enterprise and this is part of that story…

The most recent drug war stats at reveal that 693,482 souls in the US alone (2013, the latest complete stats) were arrested for marijuana violations (88% for possession). Some 40,000 remain in state and federal prisons.

The general terms for the plant in its many forms and uses is cannabis or hemp. The Mexican expression for its use as a psychoactive intoxicant, marijuana (Mary Jane), became popular after the Mexican Revolution, circa the 1920s.

ReeferStates-002La Cucaracha,” was a Mexican children’s song w/a catchy tune about a crazy cockroach that had to have his “marijuana.” It became popular with revolutionists who surreptitiously whistled or hummed the tune as a means to identify each other…

While it seems silly, it was no different than the American Revolutionary song, “Yankee Doodle,” that started off as a Brit drinking tune mocking the colonists.

Cannabis originated in Central and South Asia. It was one of humankind’s earliest agricultural crops going back some 10,000-yrs.
Usage evolved over time that included woven fabric-cloth, housing, cordage, canvas, lighting oil, food oil, consumptive protein, paper, incense, psychotropics (religious) and medicinal extracts.

Ninety per cent of all ship’s sails from before the Phoenicians (500 BCE) into the late 19th Century were made from hemp. (The Dutch term for “canvas” is a derivation of cannabis.) In addition to sails, hemp also produced ropes, nets, flags, shrouds, and oakum (sealant).
Hemp canvas was a superior medium for Van Gogh, Gainsborough, Rembrandt and others. Clearly, the durability and superiority of such use has lasted for centuries.

IllusHemp-001For thousands of yrs, the best paints and varnishes were made from hempseed oil. Until 1800, it was also the most consumed lighting oil in the world. After about 1870, it became second to whale oil in the US and spread from there. Were we all (including the whales) better off?
Thereafter, petro-chemicals (plastics and synthetic fibers) and fossil fuels controlled the industry (aided and abetted by politicians on the take and the laws they enacted).

For at least 3,000-yrs, marijuana extracts were commonly used as accepted medicines. Further, hempseed can be pressed into vegetable oil, which contains the highest amounts of essential fatty acids in the plant kingdom.
Hempseed is, in fact, a food source for human nutrition and can be ground into cakes, breads and casseroles.

One acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber as 4-acres of trees and can easily replace all particle board and other mass-industry items, including most paper and cardboard products.

It’s superior, cheaper and more replenishable than wood pulp. However, in our early colonization and western development of the nation, virgin forests extended beyond the horizon. Profiteers reckoned, why grow hemp when the environment provided “free” resources?

As with mines, railroads and other industries, private corporatists were able to have their political cadre legislate free access and even ownership to these natural properties.

Chinese character for Hemp...

Chinese character for Hemp…

Presidents Washington, Jefferson and others grew Hemp as a major cash crop. It was so important to the colonial economy that hemp cultivation was mandatory in many areas. During certain critical periods in revolutionary America, you could be jailed for NOT growing hemp. From 1631 into the 1800s, hemp was legal tender ($$) and could be used to pay one’s taxes.

Hemp was a critical product in early America because it included 80% of all textiles and fabrics. Hemp—depending on seed/plant growing density–is actually softer than cotton w/3-times the tensile strength and durability. Up until the 1830s, Irish and Italian linen were produced from the ubiquitous hemp plant.

During World War-II, the US alone produced 42,000 tons of hemp for the war effort (Russia produced 400,000 tons in the same period). This included being a critical component in the manufacture of dynamite.

However, the prohibition of hemp in all of its forms in the 1930s was deemed worthy of one of the greatest merchantile-profiteering schemes in history.

Demonization is a perfectly apt metaphor for how a small but powerful ruling elite can convince people to go completely contrary to their own interests and condemn a product as the spawn of a racist, nativist threat in their lives.

Anslinger-001William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) owned a vast media empire.  Hearst also owned forests and their products as well as petroleum properties. Among his holdings included over 1,000,000 acres of prime ranch-land in Mexico and Hearst fancied that he could eventually rule that entire nation.

Practically single-handedly, Hearst created and nurtured the Spanish-American War of 1898. He was a friend to Spanish-American dictators who he believed could best serve his business interests.

Revolutionaries Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza threatened both his property and his relations w/the Mexican dictator, Porfirio Diaz. After the 1910-20 success of the Mexican Revolution and his forced sale of those vast estates back to the gov’t, Hearst developed an abiding racist/nativist hatred for all things Mexican.

ReefMad-001From this genesis was born a corporatist alliance.  The major players were: Wm. Randolph Hearst; the DuPonts and their patented processes for making plastics from oil and coal, and paper from wood pulp; Andrew Mellon (Mellon Bank), DuPont’s chief financial backer; and Harry J. Anslinger, Mellon’s nephew-in-law and Director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs (1930-’62).

His media empire and their gov’t/legislation manufactured a connection in the public mind (a specialty of the Hearst media empire, like Murdoch/Fox “news” today) between “marijuana” (cannabis/hemp) and a racist/nativist threat on white Christian women and society by sex-crazed black and Mexican drug addicts.   Thus “Reefer Madness” was born.

Over the course of the War on Drugs, over 40 million drug arrests have been made since 1971 alone. (In Mexico, there are an estimated 50,000 annual deaths attributed to the drug war related to control of the US export market.) This distorted and manufactured drug market exists almost solely thru the creation of prohibition.

Prohibition…goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite for legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes…. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our gov’t was founded.” Abraham Lincoln.


NewWorld OrderMy own experiences w/drugs spanned a period from 1966 thru ’83. I started w/reefer, which I bought from black co-workers in our Detroit factory job.  Small match-boxes of leaf, seeds and stems mulched in a blender went for $15, lids (tobacco tins) for $25.

Uppers and downers were always ubiquitous in the student market, but I only tried them a few times. Didn’t like chasing the corps d’escalier

Reefer made me too self-conscious/anxious, so I rarely indulged after about ’72. I had my summer of ’68 on several LSD and ‘sroom trips, but they were more clinical affairs w/guides (w/Dr. Robin Barraco) than just seeking stoned pleasure-highs. Way too long (8-hrs+) and intense for normal use.

Cocaine, however, was another trip altogether. (Albeit, my personal use became abusive and didn’t extend beyond ’73.)

Associated w/the Wayne State U, Detroit crowd (which I attended on the GI Bill from 1968), I was introduced to the white, middle-class market. A whole different ball game. Reefer was sold by weight, not volume. Far better quality control. Seeds and stems were mostly removed and a “lid”–usually an ounce in a baggie–went for $30 bucks-or-so. (while market supply tended to drive down prices, rising quality also made it rise.)

CopTrue - Copy-001In accord w/the usual profit-market drives, those who had better sources were able to get together the moneys from a variety of aquaintances and purchase larger quantities. After distributing the retail shares, what was left over became one’s own wholesale share and profit.

This grew exponentially. By the summer of ’71 I was dealing in hundreds of pounds.This also expanded my exposure to more clientele than just mainly my fellow students and the political activist scene to include professionals, including musicians, professors, doctors and others.

All this was a sporadic occasional sideline to my normal life. I’ve never been sociopathically driven in any quest for personal wealth. In ’73, after spending much of 3-yrs back-and-forth trips for journalism and political tourism in the Middle East, East Africa, etc., I became a criminal/civil investigator for area law firms in Detroit. (That lasted from 1973-thru-’89). I also acquired the skill of flying (land and sea).

As I occasionally took advantage of opportunities (drug clients were among my casework) and moved up the wholesale ladder, I discovered an appetite in my customers (and sources) for other drugs … in particular cocaine. And some market realities…

While pounds of reefer were flipping (wholesale units) for around $130, a kilo of coke (2.2 lbs.) went for $50,000 back then.  That’s over $265,000 in today’s money! ONE KILO!  (Today, 2015, a kilo of coke in Detroit runs around $30,000.)

Trip to the Coca Museo, La Paz, Bolivia...

Trip to the Coca Museo, La Paz, Bolivia…

My professional clientele also soared to include lawyers, police, prosecutors, judges, politicians and others (all part of my social milieu).

While there were certainly those around w/pathological compulsions, for the most part those folks had relatively solid social-safety nets.

The vast majority of customers, as w/alcohol, did not develop addictions; they partied down on their off-time in alternative social life-styles.

I’ve written elsewhere of my being belatedly charged in 1989 w/cocaine conspiracy, ironically in a former client’s case of which I was not involved.

For my refusal to plea bargain or “cooperate”  in return for a free walk (rat out all my previous associates and clients), I went to trial and got 25+yrs in federal prison (I served a total of 24, including 20 inside). The links are here, so I won’t burden this article further on that subject.

NewDigs...-1Part of what the feds would have loved to have me tell them (and become a CI, Confidential Informant), is the fact that none of my drug dealings and certain other activities were in a personal vacuum.

Throughout the movement, in virtually every org, is a “security officer,” whose duties may include vetting and or commanding “underground fund-raising ops” of otherwise illicit activities…’nuff said. We keep such activities separate except for certain leader-liaisons. (They usually don’t invite discussions of details…just the bottom line, so to speak.)

Think of “Mission Impossible.” Once you assume the assignment, you accept being on your own (in so far as involvement in movement-liability). We’re not unique; in fact we basically copied the existing franchise of any variety of gov’t agencies, major financial orgs, etc.

In other words, “Should you or any one of your team be caught or exposed, the [leader/org] will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”

Nixon’s Halderman and Ehlichman; Reagan’s Col. Oliver North, Admiral Poindexter and MacFarland; and Bush-Cheney’s Scooter Libby, etc., all performed illicit tasks for their leaders/orgs that they understood were NEVER to be accredited directly beyond them.

While North testified to Congress, he stated that while he was following what he believed the President wanted, he never received any orders from him to do so, nor did the President have any knowledge of which North was aware of his actions (dealing arms and drugs to finance the Contras). I recall almost falling off my chair when I watched the televised testimony. “Damn! There it is… Exactly what we did!”

There WERE benefits...

Missions weren’t ALL Impossible…

In our case, after the DEA/CIA popularized the crack market circa 1983, it altered the cultural/political market of cocaine completely. The movement was now faced w/a mass of Black, Hispanic and poor who were being devastated by the drug in its crack form.

As w/reefer, there was a difference in the marketing of coke between the more affluent vs. poor communities. The middle and upper classes generally purchased powder cocaine at, say, gram weights for about $100, which they snorted.

With crack, poor communities could purchase $5, $10 and $20 rocks (volume measure), which they smoked. The latter high/rush was far more instantaneous, powerful and psychologically addicting.

Ironic.  Neo-con cadre of the gov’t found a means to get the poorest communities of America to pay for their war! If you think about it, we always have, but this was a way around the public Treasury w/the added benefit of stuffing their personal pockets.

As profitable and ubiquitous as the market was, the movement could no longer tolerate any underground fund-raising on the backs of such a socio-political reality. All quasi-sanctioned movement activities involving coke ceased after 1983.

Imagine my surprise when some six years later the gov’t decides to prosecute me…  But not having any testimony or evidence [and Bush Sr. signed an order forbidding the DEA and CIA to testify at my trial…for either side], the local state-thugs in Detroit simply inserted me into one their then-current cases, sold the farm [gave free rides to those who agreed to testi-lie] and Voila! 25-yrs in prison.

ReeferGuardTruth be told, there were plenty of ups and downs behind and beyond the razor-wire…

Given my conviction (only some 3% of prisoners refuse all deals and elect to go to trial), draconian sentence, non-violent, first-offender and clear political elements to my case, I tended to enjoy high status among both prisoners and many staff.

I usually had a top, well-paid clerical position to prison supervisors (they could clearly trust me, ironic, huh?).  After 16-yrs behind the walls, I was first sent to Maxwell AFB, AL, where I was a dog-trainer, and later to Pensacola NAS, FL, where I was sent to a Naval Officers school for haz-mat training and assigned my own crew as supervisor. Life’s a bitch

(Of course it’s still a big piece of my life…  Ahh, well. It ain’t like I didn’t know it wasn’t part of the package, eh?)

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), September 2015…

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Melvin Purvis: The Man that Hoover Never Was…

Readers of this American Tribune blog (now over 425 indexed articles) will never confuse my political position in the ongoing class-war struggle. Here I present a short-profile of G-Man Melvis Purvis as he relates to J. Edgar Hoover…arguable one of the most hypocritical and successful racketeers in American history.

NewWorld OrderSometimes, the best way to see the face of perfidy is in the reflection of how they treat others especially their own when they run contrary to the “force” program

In addition to my work and avid interest as a journalist, criminal/civil investigator, having a PsyD in (Forensic) Psychology, political activism and extensive prison experience, I’ve been a member of CSICOP for the past 25-yrs. Personally, I think there’s a lot of value in knowing the truth…
The Committee of Skeptical Inquiry and Claims of the Paranormal is an org to “promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.”
One of their recent investigations, published in their magazine, Skeptical Inquirer (July/August 2015), is “Dillinger’s Ghost and Hoover’s Vendetta against G-Man Purvis.”

I believe that Melvin Purvis’s story is important for two reasons. First, the real facts presented here are news to me. Like most, I grew up w/the propaganda that Purvis was this larger-than-life G-Man leading the gov’t charge against arch-criminals … darker-side Robin Hoods. I never knew the full story.
Second, Purvis’s role and how he was treated adds to our knowledge of one of the greatest class criminals: John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972), a rank hypocrite and blackmailer of the first order.

John Herbert Dillinger, 1903-1934...

John Herbert Dillinger, 1903-1934…

In addition to the irony of Hoover’s creating one of the first-class investigative agencies in the world—the FBI—we’ll never know the full body-count of how many lives Hoover has also destroyed in his quest to seize and maintain his personal power–the directorship of the agency he largely created.

I’ve been privileged to know a good number of quite extraordinary police, prosecutors, judges, politicians and intelligence agents who have endeavored to serve the ideals of American democracy with remarkable social responsibility and sacrifice. But, by and large, they do not run the show…

As a former officer on the St Louis PD recently opined, “On any given day, in any police dept in the nation, 15% of officers will do the right thing, 15% will abuse their authority, and the remaining 70% could go either way depending on whom they are working with.”

As it turns out, one of those who did the right thing was a Special Agent of the FBI, Melvin Horace Purvis II (1903-1960). Purvis was everything that his boss, J. Edgar Hoover was not.
The public generally knows Purvis as the famous G-Man who got John Dillinger and “Pretty Boy” Floyd. But as is usual with Hollywood fiction, Purvis was a bit more complex.

Melvin Purvis

Melvin Horace Purvis II, 1903-1960…

Melvin was a diminutive 5’9” at 140 pounds, and a practicing attorney when he joined the FBI in 1927. Turns out he was remarkably prescient and clever. He soon rose to take charge of the Bureau office in Chicago in 1932. He captured more ranking criminals than any other agent in the history of the FBI.

Described by the press as “Nervous Purvis” because the writer saw his  cigar visibly shake when he lit it for the Dillinger take-down. Purvis freely admitted that his nervous system is not built for physical confrontation. “I never led a raid without [quite nervous] apprehension.” Adding, “A sense of responsibility is often an effective substitute for [faux] courage.”

Hoover, a particularly vain glory-seeker, “steamed at the attention given Purvis” and “seethed with jealousy.” Out of public view, Hoover demoted Purvis and maneuvered to sideline him with demeaning assignments. Hoover even re-wrote the official FBI version of Melvin’s exploits excluding any mention of Purvis.

Melvin Purvis was effectively forced to resign from the FBI in 1935. While pretending to be friendly, Hoover continued his not-so-secret vendetta against Purvis, spreading false rumors, blocking his appointment to the federal bench, and undermining Hollywood offers (if they wanted FBI access, they had little choice).
(Despite all this invective, during World War-II Purvis did succeed in being appointed a colonel to the Military Intelligence Division.)

Purvis’s office manager in the Chicago FBI Bureau, Mrs. Doris Rogers (1910-2011), summed up Hoover’s vendetta against the great G-man: “It is the story of a man whose meanness and smallness led him to destroy another man. It is a calumny of the worst order, and there is no way to recall it without raging against it.”

John Edgar Hoover,

John Edgar Hoover-1895-1972…

J. Edgar Hoover had styled his name after one of his personal heroes, A. Mitchell Palmer, a former US Attorney General. Palmer is best known for his “Palmer Raids” during the “Red Scare” of the post-Bolshevik (1917+) period.

Hoover was the Justice Dept clerk in charge of organizing those raids.  Hoover was born in 1895 and raised in Washington, DC. He lived w/his mother until her death in 1938 when he was 40.

Hoover had a Masters degree in Law. In college he praised the earlier work of Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), a believer in Victorian morality, anti-abortion, the subjugation of women and creating anti-contraception and chastity laws.

Hoover went on to become an arch-racist, anti-communist, closet-residing homophobe. Hoover had never himself made a single arrest of a suspect, nor served in the military. Embarrassed before a Senate committee hearing, he ordered his agents to inform and include him if and when they were ready to arrest Public Enemy #1, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis.
They did so in 1936. Although the arrest went down without incident with Hoover remaining safely out of harm’s way, he rewrote his own fictitious heroic involvement. Having virtual control of the media (and controlled all media “leaks”) Hoover could always count on rewriting history.

Hoover & his lover, 1939...

Hoover & his lover, 1939…

All of this is rather ironic (and hypocritical) given that Hoover was believed to be a mulatto who passed for white. He was also known as a cross-dressing closet-queen whose life-long sex-partner, Clyde Tolson, Hoover appointed as his deputy-director of the FBI.

(Hoover went on to lead the FBI for 48-yrs until his death in 1972. Tolson reportedly cleaned out all his secret files, which then disappeared. Hoover’s will left the vast bulk of his estate and home to Tolson.)

It was also well known, especially among veteran journalists and politicians, that Hoover maintained his directorship of the FBI because he essentially blackmailed legislators, including American presidents.

According to President Harry S. Truman, Hoover had transformed the FBI into his private secret police force. Truman stated, “We want no Gestapo or secret police. [The FBI] are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail … congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”
Lyndon Johnson referred to a question regarding replacing Hoover, “I’d rather have him IN the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.” Richard Nixon was recorded as stating in 1971 that he didn’t fire Hoover because he feared reprisals.

There’s a socio-political lesson in here somewhere…

JusticeLawOne of my own personal systemic beliefs—contrary to many of my comrades and the static academic gilding referring to the capitalist system as an “ideology”—is that much of this lauded “private enterprise” is quite simply a criminal conspiracy.

Ideology, like much of the actual practice of religionists, is merely the clothing that hides or excuses their personal and joint criminal behavior for profit, privilege and power.

The schmuck that hands a teller a note and steals a $thousand-or-so is deemed a “criminal,” while the financial officer who loots and impoverishes thousands of citizens of their pensions for his share-holders is … what? A business man?

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), September 2015…

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All of us of a certain age have our own histories and remembrances of the 1960s. We came into the Movement w/our personal baggage and encountered one of this nation’s–indeed, the world’s–most significant Cultural Revolutions. We were changed forever. The Fifth Estate newspaper was/is an integral a part of that…

Fifth Estate Logo ("I Will Not Serve.")...

Fifth Estate Logo (“I Will Not Serve”)…

The events that bring me to this Reunion coincided with the creation of the Fifth Estate newspaper back in November 1965 by Harvey Ovshinsky, 17 and Peter Werbe, 25.

The Fifth Estate–published for the past 50-yrs–is arguably the longest running alternative newspaper in America. My own association and occasional contributions w/the paper spans 49 of those years. By no means could I have predicted or foreseen that eventuality

We all come from somewhere… Fifty-yrs ago, Sunday, September 19th, 1965, I arrived in Detroit on an old paddle-wheel steamer w/a calliope playing “Bye Bye Blackbird.”

(Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration… it was really on a Trailways bus fresh off of a Tennessee chain-gang.)

I was a 23-yr-old vet of the 101st Airborne Division and a civil rights activist. That service carried me through Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee during that quaint period of 1959-65, a century after America’s bloodiest war.

ChainGangs-001One morning in mid-September of ’65, I’m recovering in the “hole” from injuries on one of the South’s most notorious rock-quarry, chain-gangs at Nashville’s Davidson County Workhouse.
(I was amused later when I saw the movie Cool Hand Luke, Hollywood’s version of a chain-gang. Where I served my time, Luke would have had to practically be a trustee to get assigned to road-gang work.)
The next morning I’m arriving on a Trailways in Detroit. The final instructions I was issued as they removed my chains was, “This is your last warnin’, Yankee Boy. Don’t step your nigger-loving ass south of the Mason-Dixon agin!

In a very real sense, I was quite fortunate. A couple of my last “free” experiences in the South was in the summer of ’63…

After I narrowly escaped the Klan in Chattanooga, I had a couple of hairy incidents in Mississippi. Waiting in jail for the promised “Midnight Surprise,” the police gave us a witching-hour escort to the state-line and a warning to stay out of Mississippi or, “Next time, it’ll be your last ride.”
The following summer of ’64, I was on a chain-gang, so I missed Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner’s fate in that same Mississippi location. And later still, Viola Liuzzo’s murder by the Klan in Alabama. And those are only the publicized cases of the terror inflicted by the Klan and Southern Jim Crow justice

The DCEWV, Sinclair's White Panthers and the Fifth Estate offices, Lodge & Warren, Detroit, circa 1968...

1967: DCEWV, Sinclair’s White Panthers and the Fifth Estate offices, Lodge & Warren, Detroit…

Being a Bronx and Long Island boy, I would normally have returned up that way. But a friend from Detroit paid my way out of that debtor’s imprisonment and forwarded a bus ticket. They were happy to get rid of me. I was somewhat surprised and happy to survive. That was a bonus.

(Years later when I attended a NALI convention in Nashville as a criminal/civil investigator, I spoke w/the keynote speaker, the Sheriff, about expunging that “criminal record.” After checking, he told me, “I remember your case, Medvecky. You caused the Workhouse to be put under federal receivership and the rock-quarry gang to be shut down. But don’t worry, all those civil rights-related cases were scrubbed off the books. Never happened.“)

Lobsinger (ctr.) w/Detroit police Red Squad commander, circa '67...

Lobsinger (ctr.) w/Detroit police Red Squad commander, circa ’67…

Lest one think that I was a flaming radical, far from it… I was raised by my Rosie-the-Riveter mother and her partner where both had worked in the Liberty Shipyards in Rhode Island during World War-II (until women were kicked out in favor of the returning men). Thereafter, for the rest of their lives, they worked as waitresses and supermarket clerks.


Post-attack by Breakthrough/DPD Red Squad. Werbe, Dena Clamage and friend...

Peter Werbe, Dena Clamage & friend after a ’66 attack by Breakthrough…

At best, I was a liberal, albeit w/a rudimentary class and feminist consciousness.

My mother’s politics were comprised in her statement to me when I was about 6-yrs-old (listening to the Truman-Dewey presidential campaign of ’48 on the radio … no TVs back then), “Republicans are the rich folks; Democrats are the rest of us.

I discovered down South, after the Army, that I had a talent for direct sales (door-to-door encyclopedias). While the average worker in the South earned between $25-and-$50/wk (no unions down there), I was pulling down an easy $500/week (that’s $4,000 in today’s money)!
My problem was an incident involving one of my clients. It made me face the fact that, economically, I was a predator. I walked away and vowed to never again prey upon poor working people. I guess that helped set me up for my later socio-political conversion experience.

1968: Plum Street Fifth Estate...

1968: Plum Street Fifth Estate…

In Detroit I lucked into a factory job as a skilled inspector in the aerospace industry. While I only had a 9th grade education and an Army GED, I wasn’t stupid.
It turned out that the UAW chapter at that factory was Local #212, one of the most radical in the nation. Several of those workers turned out to be “radicals” and socialists who back in the ’30s and ’40s had helped build the unions.
One of them especially, Frere Vallie, had become a left-oppositionist to Stalin’s state-capitalist form of “communism” back in the ‘30s and was, in fact, scheduled to rotate down to Mexico as a body guard for Leon Trotsky when the Old Man was murdered by one of Joe Stalin’s agents in 1940.
Like many socialists, Fred joined the military in WW-II, fought in the Pacific with distinction and earned his sergeant stripes. After the war, Fred and a group of other sergeants led the “Bring the Boys Home Now!” movement.

(The gov’t wanted to delay any homecoming in order to employ the troops to reestablish the former colonies of the allies [including Vichy France in Vietnam] and impose new controls over those of the former Axis. The radical sergeant’s group were having none of that.
(They agitated, caused massive troop refusals, and were locked up in Hawaii. The Soviet Union may have been an ally during the war, but the US gov’t/corporate combine had other plans after the war.)

1968: Harvey Ovshinsky, Plum Street office...

1968: Harvey Ovshinsky, Plum Street office…

Another of those sergeants was Emile Mazey. The convention of the AFl-CIO threatened a national general strike if Mazey wasn’t returned (he had been elected their secr-treasurer) along w/all the troops. The gov’t relented. (The “no strike” pledge of the unions had ended w/the war.)
Another Local #212 activist was Ernest Mazey, Emile’s brother, who was also the Detroit Director of the Detroit ACLU. Over the course of my first year in Detroit, I had a first-class education in Marxism and political history … revolutionary activism would soon follow.

While I was a general supporter of the War in Vietnam when I came to Detroit (I didn’t make the connection between the capitalist system and these events until my Local #212 period), in the summer of ’66 it all came together.

(I recall walking out of downtown Hudson’s w/my girlfriend early in ’66 and being surprised by several hundred people “marching” w/signs against the war. It was led–or so I thought–by a group of guys carrying a large banner reading: “This is a Communist Parade!” My attitude, I recall, was disgust. But I was also impressed by the fact that all of the marchers were ordinary-looking people, families w/children.

1967: Werbe post-attack by National Guard during the Detroit Rebellion.

1967: Werbe post-attack by National Guard during the Detroit Rebellion.

(I was to later learn that the front banner was in fact Donald Lobsinger’s proto-fascist group, Breakthrough! usurping the front of the anti-war demo. As the Movement radicalized, they were never again able to pull such stunts.)

I joined the Detroit Committee to End the War in Vietnam (DCEWV) and was soon elected its chairman. I also joined the YSA and the SWP and co-founded the Detroit Veterans Against the War (VAW; which supported returning vets’ creation of the VVAW).

Anyways, all that gives one a flavor of who I am and where I was coming from. The Fifth Estate family is comprised of a vast assortment of experiences … this is only one.

Over time, I transitioned thru many politically-associated incarnations–WSU’s South End daily newspaper, Middle East journalist, criminal/civil investigator, federal prisoner and a PsyD in Forensic Psych–but the Fifth Estate newspaper always remained an anchor. Still is…

One of the most important things to always remember–I constantly remind myself–is that WE ALL ORIGINALLY COME FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE. Never fail to reach across and offer that bridge to someone else…

The 50th Anniversary of the Fifth Estate is being celebrated over a period of time and venues. Remaining open schedules include an Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Avenue, You Can’t Print That! 50 Years of The Fifth Estate, Friday, September 11, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016.

FifthEstate-001The opening MOCAD reception will be held on Thursday, September 10, from 5-7 pm. On Saturday, September 12, 1 pm: “Art as a Social Force” Artists represented in the exhibition discuss their work and its display in the Fifth Estate.

Also at the MOCAD, September 19th, 3-5 pm, will be The Fifth Estate’s 50 Years of Radical Journalism, Commentary & Critique:  A Panel & Conversation.  MOCAD will host a Fifth Estate staff reunion at 5-7 pm.

Ongoing: Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward, “Start the Presses: 50 years of the Fifth Estate open to the public during museum hours. Runs to August 2016. Free.

A dance/party/concert celebration will be at the HopCat (Canfield at Woodward), September 19th, 8:30-10 pm, featuring Detroit’s Layabouts. BE THERE … I WILL

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), September 2015…


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Male-Female Conflict–101…

I present this commentary in order to give my readership (blog, Facebook, wherever) a general reference to what I’m talking about when I address issues involving the myriad varieties of female repression throughout the world (50% of the human species). As a revolutionary socialist and a male feminist, I have an additional responsibility to employ my cultural “privileges” in a manner that best serves ALL of humanity (or wallow in denial, reactionary guilt and/or self-pity).

CarterWomen-001Any normal person would have to wonder, “Where does all this gender conflict come from? Why are women in general and in extremis repressed…and worse? Or, is there even a “source”?

Is it just natural to sexual dimorphism (the bio-natural differences between men and women) for males to dominate as misogynists and conservatives believe?
Personally, I think there are historical antecedents to this apparent struggle for and against equality over and above our obvious physical differences, but it’s certainly not a necessary consequence.

For a general overview, briefly, I believe that one needs to start with humanity’s Paleolithic beginnings, say, from some 100,000-to-10,000-yrs-ago.
As an avid historian—including anthropology and archaeology—I’ve followed research that early human habitation sites (home & hearth) document the presence primarily of females, children and old/inform males. In other words, women ruled the roost. Where were the healthy adult males?

These sites also document the preponderance of female fertility totems and a diet of some 90+% being local vegetation and small animals. One can include in this observation the fact that much of the early cave-art was also created by females (given finger-fluting evidence).
FingerFlutingOne might reasonably presume that the males bonded together in hunting, fighting and the pursuit of non-related females. (Yup, a scientific basis for the promiscuity of males-seeking sexual “variety.”)
Big game provided a very small part of the overall family diet according to middens and other “trash-mounds” evidence. In any event, healthy males were largely absent from home chores and responsibilities (as is often the case today).

The fly in the ointment came about some 10,000+yrs-ago when men were forced by socially-evolving circumstances back into home/family-based living.
The factors that dictated this change were probably increased populations, decreased open hunting grounds and large game animals, and threats from other population groups. This probably also coincided w/the development of agriculture, herding and other changes.
One of the major power-role relationships that women previously had pretty much to themselves included both the general rule of home-life (as well as the labor and responsibilities) and control over the spiritual life of the family.

This objective creation of generally monogamous families—males asserting and usurping property rights over females and their children—set up a perpetual conflict for power that echoes down through history to this very day. We witness the vast variety of its forms throughout human culture.
A significant aspect of that competition is manifested in human spiritual life. Males could hardly leave that power to females and still claim ultimate rule, so their own form of ancient, open hunt/sky male-ancestral myths and worship came to dominate the family, the tribe and the evolving state.

Relatives-1Interestingly, it seems to have assumed the exact opposite of female spirituality; an all-powerful male sky-daddy that rules over the entire cosmos.
In fact, as synthesized in its current form only some 4,000+yrs-ago by Abram from ancient Sumer, his supreme male deity does not even require the presence of a female partner.

He alone existed thru eternity, “created” man in his own image (as claimed, of course, by male authors), belatedly created a female helpmate from the man … ad absurdum.
The cultic partners derived from this religion (Christianity and Islam, today comprising over 55% of the Earth’s religions), carry on this tradition into even further male-focus absurdities (one being the “immaculate conception” of Jesus, another being either 72 virgins awaiting male heroes in heaven or a 72-yr-old virgin…I couldn’t quite translate which. Besides, I always wondered what the women get out of it?).

Gradually, female spirituality, deities and beliefs were repressed and, when necessary to male rule, literally burned at the stake.
Where does all this lead? In a nutshell, what we witness today on Earth is an ongoing partnership of these male religious beliefs serving the male predatory power struggle for total dominion of the human race increasingly concentrated to fewer and fewer; the logical consequence of socio-economic parasitism.

SuperNova-001In simple terms: Every struggle has its logical conclusion. Either these vanishingly fewer males will self-destruct, humanity will assume social consciousness and responsibility, or it will be the common ruination of the planet (at least for our species).
I suspect our alien comrades observing from other points throughout the Galactic Cosmos are taking bets on the latter… On the other hand, I’ve always wondered if at least some of those “supernovas” we witness out there aren’t in fact, localized evidence of cosmic justice over other similarly predatory species?

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), July 2015…


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By Way of Deception–Racist Nationalism…

The science of anthropology teaches that there’s only one human race. There is no ethnic group on Earth that is naturally inferior or superior to any other. We’re all one species, one race … one human family.

Eilat, south-most point of Israel/Palestine...

Eilat, south-most point of Israel/Palestine…

This is the first short-story that I’ve published on this blog site. If I were writing a prophetic near-futuristic poli-sci tale—fiction of course–it might go something like this ….

“By way of deception, thou shalt do war.” The motto of Israel’s secret service: MOSSAD (1949).

President Barack Hussein Obama, First Lady Michelle and the girls, Malia Ann and Natasha, stepped out of  Air Force One into the bright Negev sunshine just north of Eilat, the south-most city of Israel. The President’s retinue included Secretary of State John Kerry and his heiress-wife, Teresa Heinz. It was the Ides of March, 2016.
After a brief reception with Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, who soon returned to Jerusalem, the President’s group made the short hop to the resort city where they were greeted by receptions that included the nearby states of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Absent was any delegation of the native Palestinian population.

Queen Rania & Michelle Obama...

Queen Rania & Michelle Obama…

The First Lady and Teresa bonded quickly with Rania, the Palestinian Queen of Jordan and the Egyptian singer-actress, Yousra. All were internationally active in support for progressive causes. They were the delight of the women attached to the various delegations.
All was not sun & flowers. The President was well aware of tension between his Secret Service detail and Israel’s security forces. In one publicized instance described as a “drunken brawl” by the media, several American agents in a pre-visit security detail were involved in a rhubarb at a nightclub with their Mossad “hosts.” One was hospitalized.
As a result, the number of agents on the arriving presidential detail and the weapons they could carry were limited.
After two days in Eilat, the President and his entourage moved on to Jerusalem before traveling to Amman, Riyadh and Cairo on their way back home.
Obama, despite his usual compromising personality, asserted his intent to briefly visit a Palestinian delegation in East Jerusalem—the disputed capital of the proposed Palestinian State coming up for a vote in the UN General Assembly. Another point of friction with the Israeli gov’t.
The US had used its veto power in the United Nations more than forty-one times in shielding Israel from international protocols and sanctions. The President indicated his decision to “consider” the coming discussions.
US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro, met the President at a residence in Talpiot, a suburb of Jerusalem. Obama was already irritated with his Ambassador. He didn’t appreciate Shapiro adding his voice to politic against any Palestinian consideration in the UN–“It’s purely an Israeli/Palestinian matter to negotiate, Mr. President.”–and for trying get the President to cancel his plans to visit that delegation in East Jerusalem.
Obama mentioned the penchant for the Israelis to lapse into Hebrew w/each other in their discussions with him, despite the fact that they clearly all spoke excellent English (“several as their first language“). “More than once they ‘lost’ my translator as we moved from one site to another,” Obama said.
Shapiro, who had been partly raised and educated in Israel, explained that he had never had that problem, but that he could therefore be an asset in their travels.
After further discussion with Shapiro regarding Israel’s denial of visas to select Americans traveling to Israel–namely those of Palestinian heritage or intent to travel to the Occupied Territories–while demanding open unlimited travel in the US for themselves, was met by the Ambassador again arguing on behalf of the Israelis of their need for security. “It’s not an equality issue, Mr. President, I assure you.”
The President advised the Secretary of State, John Kerry, Shapiro’s boss, that he didn’t require the services of the American Ambassador.
On the visit to East Jerusalem, Obama was surprised at the number of Jewish settlers walking the Palestinian streets strapped with pistols and automatic rifles. They were easily identified by their yarmulkes, peyot hair curls and/or fringed-shirt tzitzis. He was told that upwards of 25% of these settlers were in fact, dual-citizen Americans; many of the rest were from Europe.
The settlers studied the small caravan with open curiosity and some made obscene gestures. A few even called out, “Fuck you, Obama!” He was glad he left Michelle and the girls back at the Talpiot compound to shop for souvenirs.
Palestinians they passed barely glanced up as the caravan passed. He noticed that they walked into the street when passing groups of settlers. This was in stark contrast to the President’s visits to Arab nations where he witnessed the open and enthusiastic curiosity of the public.
Colonial SettlersAt one point, the caravan was held up when a group of teen settlers were taking kicks at an old Palestinian woman with a broken box of some sort around her neck and chasing her down the street. Nearby Israeli traffic police (security?) ignored the scene.
As they passed the group, Obama could see that her box had contained fresh figs she was apparently selling. The young settlers were stomping them.
The small 4-car US caravan, bracketed by Israeli security vehicles, soon pulled up to a 2-story building surrounded by high walls topped by broken glass embedded in cement. They were greeted at the front gate to the courtyard by a small delegation of Palestinian officials. The President saw no internal security other than his own. The Israelis remained outside. Kerry and Teresa accompanied the President.
Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira was born and raised in Mozambique to Portuguese parents, and attended school in South Africa where she engaged in anti-apartheid activism. She later became a UN translator and spoke fluent English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. No shrinking violet.
News of the American President’s visit to East Jerusalem spread quickly. The settlers were not shy. One of those present was Arthur Nisman from Philadelphia, where Netanyahu himself had lived as a youth and graduated from High School.
As many Jewish-American immigrants to Israel adopted Hebrew names, Nisman took the first name of Shlomo. It was short for Solomon, the ancient king of Israel. Nisman was a racist-nationalist who enthusiastically participated in settler raids on Palestinian farmers throughout the West Bank.
Shlomo believed that Palestinians are a stupid and stubborn people, not being cleansed fast enough from the holy land of ancient Israel.
Shlomo’s personal hero was Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a boyhood friend of Rabbi Meir Kahana, founder of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), an FBI-listed terrorist group.
Goldstein immigrated to Israel from Brooklyn in 1983 and became a settler in Hebron while also serving in the IDF as a medical officer. He gained notoriety for refusing to treat Arabs, even those Druze allies of Israel serving in the IDF.
In his own personal reenactment of the Purim story, February 25, 1994, Dr. Goldstein, Shlomo recalled, walked into a mosque in his IDF officer’s uniform at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and opened fire on the Palestinian parishioners.
He murdered 29 Palestinians, wounding 125. The Israeli Army then killed another 25 who protested in the following days. Goldstein would probably have been surprised to find that it was likely that those he killed had more Jewish DNA than he did. Not that he would have cared; pathological racism is immune to coherent logic.
At Goldstein’s funeral, Rabbi Yaakov Perrin claimed that even one million Arabs were “not worth a Jewish fingernail.” Celebrations were held across Israel, especially throughout the settlement territories.
As the American group was getting ready to return, Kerry and Teresa were escorted to a lead US vehicle first. Obama and his security detail started to walk to the third car, noting the settler crowd and waved, flashing his patent smile.
It all happened so fast that everyone was taken by surprise… Shlomo Nisman stepped forward and fired full-auto on the president and his detail. The crowd scattered while Secret Service agents drew their pistols firing back. Within a half-a-minute, the president and his party, along with Nisman, lay motionless. Two other settlers lay wounded in the street.
As the first two cars w/the Kerrys sped from the scene per protocol, Kerry heard two final shots, but w/Teresa they were pressed down on the seat under his Secret Service agent.

Settler occupiers...

Settler occupiers…

Within moments, the Prime Minister became aware of the basic facts. Ordering an alert of the reserves to secure the area, he soon learned that the two wounded settlers, dual American-Israeli citizens, had identified Shlomo Nisman as the assassin. He was advised that “in the confusion” a couple of his security agents had also fired on the President’s detail.
Netanyahu ordered the special forces unit of the Sayeret Matkal , his former military unit since elevated to state-security functions, to close off the entire site. This included securing the Palestinian compound and w/the IDF, expel all Palestinians within a 3-block area.
The Army, backed by volunteer settler reserves, carried out these orders with enthusiasm. The bodies of President Obama and his detail, along w/the settler wounded, were taken to an IDF medical center. Within several hours, they along w/his family, the Kerrys and surviving detail, were back on Air Force One and left Israel.
When Air Force One landed back at National Airport outside of Washington, DC, it was met by the newly sworn-in President, Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr.
The Israeli Ambassador, Ron Dermer, was one of the first to meet w/the new President back at the White House, expressing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s condolences and that every effort was being made to get to the bottom of what had occurred.
Dermer reported preliminary results that a Palestinian from the compound just visited by the President was the assassin. In addition to the already known dead of the President’s detail, two American-Israeli settlers had also not survived their wounds.
Unfortunately, Dermer added, “There were no survivors in the compound after they violently resisted repeated peaceful attempts to question them.
“Per Israeli protocol in dealing with terrorists, the compound was in the process of being bulldozed and the area being turned into an Israeli-American Memorial Peace Park in honor of the former president.”
Dermer also forwarded the Prime Minister’s hope that “the special bond between Israel and America would continue under the new president, admired as a special friend to Israel.”
After the Ambassador left, Biden’s former communications director and senior adviser to President Obama, long-term journalist Shailagh Murray, now newly appointed as Chief-of-Staff, could clearly see that Biden was livid.
When the President asked, she replied, “Ron Dermer was born and raised in Miami Beach…what some Israelis refer to as ‘Tel Aviv West.’ Both his father and brother became mayors there.
“Dermer became a Republican, helped write Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, and was later part of the mob-lawyer-crowd that shut down the vote-tally in Florida, arguably helping ‘select’ Bush for President in 2000 and again in 2004.
“Dermer got active in Israeli politics, moved there and became a dual citizen. When he was appointed to the Israeli embassy as an economic envoy, he had to give up his American citizenship.”
A summary was also compiled of raw info archived from a variety of sources on the history of Revisionist Zionism, the ruling force and leadership in Israeli politics, she handing the full report to the President.

USS Liberty, June 1967...

USS Liberty, June 1967…

“This includes a top-secret internal report by the US Joint Chiefs of Israel’s sustained attack on the USS Liberty during the Six-Day War in ’67 killing 34 American sailors and wounding 174 others. The military has never forgotten.
“There’s also a CIA compilation of their wars, practically all pre-emptive; attacks of attrition on the Palestinians since before 1948; the 22-yr occupation of Lebanon; their active collaboration in the massacre at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps; and others.
“Sir,” she hesitated to emphasize its apparent critical importance, “there is also a sealed report—For POTUS Eyes Only—of the ‘suicide’ attacks on the US Marine compound, the Embassy and the French compounds in Beirut during the Israeli occupations.
“And a compilation of their spying on the US—including secret debriefings of Jonathan Pollard and others–theft of US atomic weapons intel, plutonium and acquisition of ballistic missiles and the subs to deliver them.”
East Jerusalem was out of control. The people who’ve been expelled from the blocks around the assassination attracted droves of settlers who soon looted and occupied their homes. This led to a growing mass exodus from the entire district, indeed, spreading throughout all of East Jerusalem.
Netanyahu expected the Palestinians to panic; he’d seen it before. How proud father would have been—a former leader in the ultra-right nationalist Revisionist Zionists, he thought. I couldn’t have asked for a better result had I planned it!

Remains of Allenby Bridge, 1967...

Remains of Allenby Bridge, 1967…

To the assembled group of his Intel and military cadre, “Let’s not have another ‘Allenby Bridge’ problem. I want all the checkpoints and the Jordan Bridge wide open for one-way travel…out!
“I want a full call-up of the reserves. This is a serious threat,” and opportunity, he thought. “Complete the readiness of the tank corps in the Golan, and have the Air Force update targets in Southern Lebanon and Syria.
“Also bring open targeting on northern Gaza as a counter to Hamas rockets.”
“Sir,” replied the liaison, “they’re all quiet on the southern front. No rockets are being fired.”
Netanyahu glared at the officer, “They will … or would you prefer to wait ‘til it’s too late?”
“Forget the ‘mowing the lawn’ strategy. We have the opportunity here, minimally, to rid ourselves of these Arabusim once and for all. I want the combined naval, army and air forces to start targeting Gaza exclusively on their north, district by district, driving the population south.
“Egypt will keep the Rafah Crossing into the Sinai desert open, so the general population can escape destruction. Let the UN provide for them.
IsraeliMascr-001“We need total destruction of each district as you drive the population south. This will prevent any return and clear the field for our own construction from Tel Aviv south all the way to the Egyptian-Sinai border once and for all.”
Netanyahu chose to ignore the growing massive involvement of many of the 500,000 settlers in attacks on Palestinian farms and towns throughout the West Bank.
He knew that at some point he might be politically sacrificed himself, as had numerous heroes before him. But he also knew that whoever assumed leadership would never retreat from most of the “facts” he was creating. So be it.
The senior Secret Service agent from the first car in the President’s caravan, after being debriefed, met w/the President. Notwithstanding his 27-yrs in the Service, he was in no mood to mince his words, “Mr. President, pardon my French. I wouldn’t believe a goddamn thing any of those motherfuckers say!” Biden was not offended.
Preliminary results of autopsies at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center revealed that apparently “examinations” had already been hastily conducted which destroyed any ability to configure entrance from exit wounds on the bodies. Further, all bullets or fragments were missing as well as part of President Obama’s skull and part of his brain. They doubted that they would ever come to any firm forensic conclusions.
President Barack Hussein Obama was hardly cold in the ground as events in the Middle East continued to spiral into further chaos. The president’s funeral, starkly reminiscent of JFK’s 53-yrs earlier–even Michelle’s stoic visage w/her children–occupied much of the world’s attention.
An estimated three million people lined the funeral procession from the Capitol, to the White House, to the Lincoln Memorial where a multi-denominational service was held, and then across the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetery. It was an unusually warm and sunny day.
The leaders of over 100 nations attended, many marching behind the new President and the former President’s family. Israel had sent its Ambassador, Ron Dermer, who had his security detail elbow him to the front of the dignitary’s procession.
Meanwhile, reports came in that Israel had launched increased air attacks against Iranian forces combating ISIS terror groups throughout Syria and Iraq. Sources reported that the Israelis and Saudis were actively arming select ISIS forces with modern, advanced weaponry.
President Biden was giving some thought beyond his remaining ten months in office. He and his PhD/teacher wife and chief political backer, Jill Tracy Jacobs, discussed the upcoming Democratic Convention the week of July 25th in Philadelphia.
While Hillary Clinton was assured the nomination, that was before these current events. He had four months to change the political landscape. They also discussed his uniquely free hand in that time to deal with the world’s most intractable problem…Israel.
“Besides,” they discussed, “in November I’ll be 74. Even if I get the nomination and win the election, would I really want to spend the next four or eight years pissing into the wind if I didn’t make an immediate course-correction while I have this singular opportunity?”
They discussed a number of the major problems—including the Republican Congress—and possible solutions…

Tehran, Iran...

Tehran, Iran…

Clearly, Israel was not wasting a moment. Before anyone could react—as the world was pausing for the funeral of the American President—they were redrawing the map of the Middle East, politically and physically.
The media was busy with news of the people in Gaza being driven into the Sinai; the city and the strip being methodically leveled block by block. Many areas of the West Bank population were also under attack, adding to the more than two million Palestinian refugees already in Jordan, as well as another 700,000 Syrian refugees.
Biden noted John Kerry in the Situation Room, his tie loose, sleeves rolled up … looking frazzled. Both Kerry and Teresa had already met at length with the President. Biden and Jill were grateful to have a first-hand account of the final hours in Jerusalem.
Turning to the ongoing news, Kerry said, “In Gaza the UN’s reporting a significant loss of personnel … journalists, social, educational and medical workers are reported being specifically targeted. Israeli snipers are targeting women and children apparently to panic them and ‘encourage’ them to leave.
“President Sisi in Egypt says he initially cooperated w/the Israelis, but he says he had no idea they intended to drive some 1.8 million people into his territory. This is a humanitarian disaster in the making.
“Netanyahu has put the entire nation on full alert, activating all the reserves and opening all fronts. The only reported defensive response has been limited rocket and mortar fire.
“King Hussein of Jordan has warned the Prime Minister that if he continues to attack or allow attacks on the West Bank population driving them across the Jordon River, he will recognize Palestinian resistance and provide them with defensive aid. He’s withdrawn his air attacks on ISIS in Syria and has placed his Air Force on full domestic alert.
“Israel threatened that if Jordan interferes in any way whatsoever; their military forces will be ‘annihilated,’ including their ‘political infrastructure’ … his precise words, Mr. President.”
Biden had a stunned look, at which Kerry passed him the hard-copies of the NSA messages, so arrogant in their tone; the ones to the Jordanian king were actually communicated in the clear … in English.
Netanyahu called together the leaders of his intelligence staff, which included Mossad, responsible for foreign intelligence collection and covert action; Shin Bet, internal state security; and Aman, military intelligence. Mossad traditionally reports directly to the Prime Minister.
Feeling comfortable with having replaced many of the former members and leaders with ultra-nationalist settler-recruits, he was freer to speak candidly.
PalIsrael-001“Gentlemen, I don’t know how long this opportunity will last, or how much we may have to eventually give back to secure these gains, but today we ‘make facts.’”
Netanyahu knew of the Faustian Bargains that his Zionist forbears had to make with Italian and German fascism and others before them and since in order to survive and advance the cause of Eretz Yisrael.
Now—under his watch and no small active manipulations—the growing war between the Sunni Saudis and Shi’a Iran—Arab vs. Aryan—with a host of others caught in the middle, are the perfect storm. “Now is the time to pull Iran’s teeth before they are even a shadow of a threat.”
They got down to discussing the immediate tactical problems of the conflict. Of course, some of the pieces on the board remained unspoken. The groundwork was laid for the next major gamble … it was now or never, at least in my lifetime, thought Netanyahu.
President Biden’s Chief-of-Staff walked into the Oval Office out-of-breath, informing him that there was a “red-alert” in the Situation Room. They hurried down to the basement of the West Wing.
President Hassan Rouhani’s aircraft, returning to Iran from the American funeral, was missing for some hours w/its last known position over the Southeastern Anatolia Mountains in Turkey. One of the media monitors displayed an area just north of the Syrian border in Turkey not far from the Iranian border.
Biden ordered Kerry and his relevant military commanders to offer the Turks whatever assistance they might request. Biden thought, He wouldn’t be that mad, would he? It was what they were all thinking.
All Biden could think of was how the moderate President of Iran was the key ingredient in maintaining the previous year’s nuclear peace deal, which was being upheld by all parties despite Israel’s incessant threats.
While he studied the scant available information, the rest of the monitors were full of NSA intel regarding Israel’s ongoing operations. There was nothing standing in the way of their relentless advance.
The following morning, there was a news flash on the CNN monitor that caught everyone’s attention. CNN had cut into a broadcast by the Al Arabiya news network in Turkey showing one of their correspondents confirming the downing, apparently by military action, of Iran Air flight, Airbus A-320 with all on board killed, an estimated 110 crew and passengers.

Abdallah Schleifer...

Abdallah Schleifer…

“The flight,” intoned correspondent Abdallah Schleifer with a mountainous backdrop, “is known to have been carrying Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and virtually his entire gov’t staff returning from President Barack Obama’s funeral.
“Indications from Turkish investigators and personal sources are that the aircraft appears to have been hit with a surface-to-air missile. There were no other aircraft reported in the area.”
Schleifer, thought Biden, that’s an unusual name for an Arab correspondent
As if on cue, one of the NSA personnel handed the President a file brief. Biden saw that it had Schleifer’s name. Scanning it, he saw that the correspondent was considered the Dean of the American press-corps in the Middle East.
Born Marc Schleifer (80) to a Jewish family on Long Island and a convert and scholar of Sufi Islam.  He’s a prominent Middle East expert, former NBC Cairo Bureau chief, and a professor emeritus of TV and print journalism at the American University in Cairo. The president passed the file to Kerry.
Under the circumstances, the President increased the alert status of all Embassy, military and Intel services in the region.
This news reinforced the President’s determination to establish a full executive and military command profile at this moment or lose the opportunity.
Win, lose or draw—regardless of the upcoming political circumstances–he had no intention of letting this play out of his control or allowing the reactive profile of the past 7-yrs of the Administration under Obama prevail on his watch … however long that might be.
President Biden returned to the Oval Office to meet his next guests, the leaders of the House and Senate, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
The President decided to ride with his gut. Born in the autumn of ’42, at 73-yrs-old and 45-yrs in electoral politics, he was in no mood to continue the political game, at least not by the rules he’s inherited.
He had a brief conversation w/his chief-of-staff that included some pre-arrangements for the visit. She was surprised and not totally clear on his intent, but trusted his instincts. He told her, “Sometimes,  first you gotta get their attention.”
Boehner and McConnell, waiting in the Oval Office ante-room, were in high spirits. As far as they were concerned, the “house-nigger” was gone and his “lawn-jockey,” Biden, soon would be. The epithet they had adopted was referring to him as a “mindless union thug.” Biden, in fact, had that in mind…
Just before being shown into the Oval Office they were surprised to see the Attorney General and a group of Secret Service agents enter the ante-room, several armed in full combat gear. Boehner leaned over and snickered to McConnell, “Maybe they’re here to arrest Biden.” That drew a snort from Mitch.
When they entered the Oval Office, they hesitantly shook hands and took a seat on the couch opposite the President. Biden poured them a drink of Mitch’s home-state Kentucky Bourbon. His chief-of-staff stood nearby. Without much preamble, President Biden asked, “Do you guys know who Jonathan Pollard is?”
Surprised and looking at each other, Boehner put down his drink, cleared his throat and answered, “He’s an American Jewish patriot who helped Israel survive against the A-rabs.”
Leaning forward, the president smiled and said, “He’s a traitor.” Boehner reached for his drink, a wry smile creasing his face.
In a lightning move, Biden smacked the drink across the room; some of the bourbon splashing in Boehner’s crimson face. Their surprise could not be more complete. They were frozen. He had their complete attention.
Having served in the Senate for six terms and President of the Senate for another 7-yrs, Biden knew how it all worked … where all the bodies were buried, so to speak. Some of it was bluff, but most was certain knowledge.
The President continued in a clear, measured tone, “There’s plenty of evidence of criminal conduct to charge you with serious felonies … perhaps even treason.” The President’s pause was pregnant with physical threat.
“The Attorney General and other sources, including your Israeli contacts, have exposed your criminality. Sharing secret information with a foreign power and engaging in the sabotage of a variety of US gov’t projects and international negotiations is treason. Did they also pay you?” Biden knew he had at least half-guessed on the mark.
Sensing the change in their attitude and fear taking root, President Biden reached forward as Boehner flinched. Ms. Murray set another glass on the table and Biden poured more bourbon. “Drink,” he ordered.
“Fortunately for you, it’s not in the interest of the nation to fully reveal this perfidy…unless you force my hand. I’m going to give you the opportunity to serve your elective constituency and the Constitutional democracy you’ve sworn to defend … your choice.”
When they relaxed a bit with some liquid courage, Biden explained how they were going to negotiate the next few months. He later explained to Murray that their fear and hate was a distinct improvement over their contempt.
Biden wasn’t worried about them. They’re conservatives–sunshine patriots— when it comes to their own skins and losing their privileges of wealth and political power, they’re abject cowards.
As circumstances continued to unravel, the Secretary of State, military and Intel chiefs filed into and out of the Oval Office. Information disseminated, options heard, orders given. Jill Biden acted as a host between the kitchen alcove and outer office, and Shailagh Murray managed the parade of personnel and files comprising a seamless presentation for the President.
At one point the room was cleared for Kerry, the NSA and the CIA chiefs. “Mr. President,” said Kerry, “we have a fortunate development. We have what we believe is solid internal intelligence from Netanyahu’s inner circle. Major Chaim Lesoff. He came to us at the Embassy in Turkey when President Rouhani’s aircraft went down. We’ve confirmed his status and his information has proven out.”
Handing the President a file, Kerry continued to summarize it. “He’s a dual American-Israeli citizen, a major in the IDF and works in Shin Bet, their military intelligence. We’re flying him back on a military jet as we speak.”
Biden read the summary and glanced thru the brief. “And you believe this? He’s not a double?”
“Yes, Sir, we do… We didn’t bring this to you until we’re all agreed. The material is confirmed. Given your earlier instructions, we’ve positioned our Intel and reactive forces for your maximum execution.”
Pointing to the “Background” tab, Kerry continued, “His great uncle was an officer trained at the Betar Naval Academy, a Jewish naval training school established in Italy in 1934 by the Revisionist Zionist movement when they were allied with Benito Mussolini.

Dolphin“The Naval Academy trained Zionist cadets from all over Europe and produced a number of the future commanders of the Israeli Navy. Lesoff’s father was also one. Netanyahu is the son of the personal secretary to the leader of the Revisionist Zionists, Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
“Lesoff himself was born in Philadelphia where his father was a grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. When they moved back to Israel, the family lived on a kibbutz. More than merely serving the nation of Israel, Revisionists consider themselves to be the elite of the state … in fact, its creators.
“After school, Chaim joined the IDF as an officer and worked in the Arab Affairs Department of Shin Bet, responsible primarily for Palestinian-related counter-terrorism activities in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Given his similar background with Netanyahu, he moved up the ladder to his inner circle.”
Anticipating the President’s query, Kerry added, “He also considers himself an American, Mr. President,” said Kerry. “He’s an idealist. Given his knowledge of Israel’s Revisionist—ultra-racial nationalist history–for him the last straw was the assassination of President Obama and subsequent events.”
At this point, with a gesture by Kerry, the CIA Director stepped forward and handed the President a brief simply labeled “The Assassination.”
“This is what we’ve preliminarily pieced together, Sir, from what little we know … so far,” said the Director. Reading it, Biden’s face grew crimson.
“There is one other matter, Sir,” said Kerry, “which goes to the Major’s credibility. Apparently he gave the information of the attack on President Rouhani’s aircraft to the Embassy before it was shot down.”
The President blinked and swallowed hard … “And…?”
“I’m afraid the Ambassador was still stateside, Sir, after the funeral. There was no senior official to act on it other than passing the info on to the State Department. By then, it was a done deed. The Israelis chose their timing well.”
“And the Iranians?”
“They have all of their forces on full call-up and alert, Mr. President. We can only guess on their intent…”
“And Israel … in addition to everything else they’re up to?”
On cue, the NSA chief handed the President a brief entitled “Iran: Israel’s Solution.”

Click on image to enlarge...

Click on image to enlarge…

“Using the guidance info in part from Major Lesoff, we’re aware of the full status alert of the Israeli ballistic missiles carrying atomic warheads and they also have three of their nuclear-equipped submarines off the coast of Iran. All of these systems are targeted on Iran. Their other subs are off the coasts of Egypt and Turkey.
“The ranges of their missiles cover the entire Middle East and southern Europe. All this is well known in the military/Intel community.
“Major Lesoff advises that these systems will be initiated once a certain provocation is achieved. He assures us that it’s already in the works, but specifically what it is he doesn’t know.
“It will be provided by Israel’s security services or special contractors—even Palestinian informants they’ve recruited from their constant detainees and arrests–if it isn’t forthcoming from Iran.
“The hard targets in Iran—already set—will be all of their nuclear facilities and the ‘Command & Control’ centers of several major cities and naval ports.”
Taking all this in, the President asked, “What’re your best guesstiments on the schedule here?”
Kerry answered, “That’s dependent on this provocation situation. I’d guess, and Major Lesoff agrees, it’ll be some form of direct attack by Iran against an Israeli target, or one to appear so.”
“Mr. President, we have pretty clear intel as to what’s going on. There’s a group of ‘militia’ up in NE Syria that is now attributed as the source of the missile that shot down the Iranian Airbus. They’re quite mobile. When we targeted them—apparently they identify themselves as ISIS, that’s the flag they fly—both the Israelis and Saudis opposed the action w/out explanation.
“Kurdish intel says the group is receiving air-drops of various munitions from unidentified aircraft. The Turks, who straddle the area, deny the aircraft are theirs despite flying thru their territory, yet refuse any comment or knowledge of the situation.
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer was shown into the Oval Office. He opted to bring an assistant whom he introduced as an economic envoy, but was known to be the senior security agent in the Israeli Embassy.
Dermer was surprised to see a number of others in the room, including the Secretary of State, Biden’s Chief of Staff, and the senior officials of the military and Intel agencies.
But most especially, Dermer noticed, was the presence of the Republican leaders of the House and Senate, Biden’s and Kerry’s wives, and Major Chaim Lesoff in full uniform who was instantly recognized by Dermer’s associate. He made a soto voce comment to Dermer in Hebrew.

As pre-planned, Kerry’s assistant stepped forward and replied in Hebrew, “Do you speak English?” When he answered in the affirmative, she added, again in Hebrew, “If you don’t have the common courtesy to speak English in front of the President, you can turn around and get your ass out of here. Understand?”
He did, and was all the more embarrassed that this metaphorical slap in the face came from an exceptionally beautiful, petite woman.
Having their attention, the President signaled his NSA Director. Glancing at a thick file in his hand, he summarized. “We have unimpeachable evidence and confirmation that the gov’t of Israel has lied about the assassination of our President and his security detail, has falsely accused the Palestinians and covered up the crime.
“Your gov’t has created hundreds of thousands of victims in your ongoing military aggression and attacked other sovereign nations without due cause; embarked upon a massive crime against humanity in the expulsion of Gaza and West Bank Palestinians from their homes and lands; conspired in the murders and downing of the Airbus with the Iranian President on board; and even now are conspiring to attack Iran itself with atomic weapons that you’ve acquired and amassed in violation of international law.”
Ambassador Dermer was beyond speech. Secretary of State John Kerry took a page being handed to him by the President’s Chief-of-Staff. Handing it to Dermer, he said, “This is an Executive Order signed by the President ‘declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Israel.’
“In addition to the elements just cited by the Director, we’re well aware of your own personal perfidy in relation to soliciting felonious and treasonous conduct by Americans against their gov’t. You’re forthwith ordered to leave the United States within eight hours and your diplomatic and visa credentials are revoked, permanently. Thereafter, an international arrest warrant will be issued.
“The American Ambassador in Tel Aviv and his staff have been recalled from Israel. Your own staff are herewith confined to the Israeli compound … until they can leave.
“Dual-citizenship between the US and Israel is suspended. Americans who remain in Israeli serving in the military and other forces of that state will be subject to being considered as ‘enemy combatants.’”
“At this point, President Biden stepped forward and handed Dermer a file folder. Accenting the contempt that Dermer often employed against the Obama Administration, Biden said, “MISTER Dermer, you will communicate to the gov’t you serve that they will stand down from all their offensive military actions; return to the 1967 lines that this nation and the United Nations of the world agreed upon in Resolution 242; and cease and withdraw all settlements currently occupying the Palestinian Territories.
“Should Israel engage in any further unprovoked attacks we will consider it an act of war and will take all necessary measures to neutralize such forces.
“Your missiles and submarines will stand down and return to base. All nuclear weapons will be decommissioned per international protocols and the current agreements between this nation, Europe, Russia and China.
“Until further review, all trade and economic relations between the US and Israel are suspended, as well as all funds by Israel in the US being frozen. Such funds, as well as those earmarked by Congress for Israel will be withheld pending the adjudication of American and international courts regarding all crimes and victim restitution. I’m sure you’re familiar with that process.
“Subject to further review, all organizations within the United States who currently send funds to Israel for any reason whatsoever will be considered agents of a foreign power and fully subject to the appropriate laws, including taxation, criminal prosecution and forfeiture of assets.
“And finally, Mr. Dermer, you may advise your gov’t that we consider them to be a criminal enterprise. As such, we urge the Prime Minister and his staff to resign and that President Rivlin consider setting a date for early democratic elections. Any questions?
Pausing but without waiting for a reply, President Biden concluded, “Good. Now get out of my office and out of the country that once nurtured you.”
Entering the ante-room didn’t end the nightmare for Dermer. They were escorted out of the building by Secret Service agents.
As if on cue, a formation of combat jets overflew the White House screaming at low altitude. They were escorted back to the Israeli Embassy by a phalanx of Homeland Security vehicles using their sirens. The phone and security lines were soon burning the airwaves between the Embassy and Jerusalem … and of course, the NSA was listening to every word of it.

Fifty-gallon oil drums burning files were busy in the back courtyard of the Embassy sending black plumes of smoke over the neighborhood.
Israeli security and military forces were soon made aware of a radically different picture off their coasts and in the air. There were a significant number of warships from the US, several European nations and Russia. Chinese and other nations had their ships and aircraft off the coasts of Iran searching for Israeli submarines.
Upon contacting the irregular forces they operated in Northern Syria, the Prime Minister found that US/coalition aircraft were amassing sorties searching for any sign of their operation. Egypt ordered the Israeli Embassy in Cairo closed and were on full alert in the Sinai. The Saudis also closed their Embassy and refused all over-flight permission for Israeli aircraft.
Benjamin Netanyahu was quite mad enough to order the final launch. Every ethnic group on Earth has such psychopathic predators. Usually, they don’t arise to such powers…
Izzy Dinur was the Katsa—case officer—for the paramilitary Mossad group secretly positioned in northeastern Syria. They had successfully shot down the Iranian Airbus w/a ground-to-air missile and now they were prepared to launch a ground-to-ground missile equipped w/a low-yield tactical nuke warhead.
While no one expected the Airbus shooting, the warnings from Center and simultaneous increased air surveillance, including Hellfire-equipped drones, was keeping everybody on super alert.
His men urged that they move closer to the Iraq border and thus closer to their target, Iran. The area that far away from the Syrian fighting had far less surveillance.
Quneitra-001What they didn’t know—only Izzy knew—was that the target wasn’t Iran, but the UN compound of Quneitra, on the border with Israel. He couldn’t change the launch site w/out drastic changes in targeting; he had no one with that skill.
They had planned that Quneitra would give Israel a plausible excuse for a retaliatory strike against Iran, assuming one wasn’t otherwise forthcoming. Izzy was hoping he got the chance to launch. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a significant part of history…even if they could never reveal their hand in the fact.
But this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, thought Izzy. He would be glad to get back to his settlement home near Ramallah. From the news he was hearing, his growing family would be able to expand their holdings…the Palestinians were fleeing.
Izzy was only awaiting the final order…
Another hand-picked settler, the lead naval commander of the Dolphin-class Israeli three-sub task-force off Iran’s southern coast was also getting more nervous. While they were positioned in total silence awaiting the final order, they were also aware of the hunting attack-subs, ships and aircraft dropping listening gear.
All war is Deception.” SUN TZU (500 BCE)

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD) April 2015…

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Malcolm X: Revolutionary Legacy…

In 1965, I was a 22-yr-old prisoner at Nashville’s Davidson County Workhouse, at the time one of the South’s most notorious and brutal rock-quarry, chain-gangs.  In the eyes of the KKK post-Confederacy, as a NY-Yankee w/a “communist” (Slovak) name and being a Civil Rights activist, I had been bestowed with honorary “niggerfication.”

Fairly accurate; but we had full chains...hands, waist & feet...

Fairly accurate; but we had full chains…hands, waist & feet…

I was on my 4th incarceration of an original 4-month sentence for “Hi-Batry.” What some in the South refer to as “Snatching shit from a flying goose’s ass.” (In the North, we simply call it “Made up shit.”)
I had been held for extradition to TN in the Broward County Jail, FL, for 4-months (not counted), in the Nashville City jail for another 4-months (not counted), then the “real” 4-months at hard labor, all on a misdemeanor. (A felony charge would have required a trial w/ a lawyer and evidence of some crimethis was before “Miranda.”)
But then there was the matter of some $600 in “court fees.” In much of the South, after you do your original sentence,that’s worked off at $2/day, also at hard labor. So lord knows if or when I was gonna ever get out…as far as I knew.
(Later at WSU in Detroit, AmerGovt-101, I learned that “debtors prisons” was one of the items eliminated by the American Revolution. Obviously ain’t a damn one of those freshmen or the instructors ever actually lived in the Confederacy.)
Anyways… I recall February 21st very well. I learned that Malcolm X had been murdered in NYC. At the time I figured he had it coming because all I knew was what the state and it’s corp-media told me. I didn’t yet have a revolutionary socialist consciousness…
I identified w/Martin Luther King and non-violent, civil-disobedience. But that was starting to wear real thin. When I finally did get back north, after a whole lot more brutality that I somehow survived–and learned who Malcolm really was, what he really spoke to–well…I’ve tried real hard to never be fooled since.   -Nick Medvecky

Barry Sheppard

Barry Sheppard

The article below was sent to me by Barry Sheppard, a fellow comrade I served with in the Young Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Workers Party. It was published in the Saturday, March 7th, 2015 Green Left Weekly in Australia.

Barry knows a lot more than me about Malcolm than I do… I’m honored to re-publish it here w/edits for space.
February 21 marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, one of the greatest leaders of the Black liberation movement of the 1960s.

Lenin once wrote, “During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander.
“After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the consolation of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it.”

Malcolm X...

Malcolm X…

This can be seen in how the NY Times editorialized Malcolm X the day after the assassination: “He was a case history, as well as an extraordinary and twisted man, turning many true gifts to evil purpose ….” [In effect, they say] He was responsible for his own death.

But in the decades since, the Times and other ruling class voices have sought to “canonize” Malcolm. Roads and schools and other institutions have been named after him. The government even issued a postage stamp in his honor. All the while seeking to blunt and vulgarize his revolutionary message. Liberals, both Black and white, have sought to portray him as a mere pro-capitalist liberal like themselves.

Malcolm first rose to prominence as a leader of the Nation of Islam, popularly known as the Black Muslims. This was originally a relatively small religious cult, which Malcolm helped transform into a powerful organization.

It was [also] a movement that inspired a new generation in the 1950s and ‘60s with its message of militant Black Nationalism, which struck a chord especially in the ghettos of the North, while the civil rights movement was centered in the apartheid (legal segregation) South.

While Malcolm would break with the Nation at the end of 1963 and early ‘64, and chart a new course going way beyond his earlier teachings, key aspects of what he espoused while a leader of the Black Muslims he continued to hold until his death. These can be briefly partially summarized:

Birmingham, AL, May 1963.

Birmingham, AL, May 1963.

*Blacks cannot get their freedom except by fighting for it;
*The U.S. government is a racist government and is not going to grant freedom;
*Gradualism, the program of the liberals, white and Black, is not the road to equality;
*The Black mis-leaders must be exposed and opposed;
*Blacks must rely on themselves and control their own struggle;
*Blacks must determine their own strategy and tactics;
*Blacks must select their own leaders;
*Blacks have the right to armed self-defense against racist violence.

It was this last position that led the Times and liberals to slander Malcolm as an advocate of violence.

DixieJusticeShortly before the historic 1963 March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs, one of the high points of the Southern struggle was a march as big or bigger in Detroit, a center of Black Nationalism.

It was in this context that tensions arose in the Nation of Islam. By their militant stance, the Black Muslims helped push other black organizations to the left. This was their positive contribution. But they were on the sidelines of the struggle, not participants.
Among the younger members of the Nation, there were signs of a desire to get into the battle, to pass from propaganda to action. This is what led to Malcolm’s split with the Black Muslims.
The basic factor behind the split was the growth of militancy and mass action in the Black community, and the different ways in which the two main tendencies in the Black Muslims wanted to respond to the masses knocking on the doors of their mosques.

Malcolm X broke with the Nation’s leader, Elijah Muhammad, and turned his attention to the broad Black struggle. Malcolm would later say, “I feel like a man who has been asleep somewhat and under someone else’s control. I feel that what I am thinking and saying now is for myself. Before it was for and by the guidance of Elijah Muhammad. Now I think with my own mind.”

So began a new stage in Malcolm’s life, his all-too-brief last year that saw him grow [exponentially]. He traveled internationally that last year and met revolutionists from many countries and all races.
He also discovered that true Islam views all races alike. As a consequence, he threw overboard the whole Black Muslim mythology about superior and inferior races and its doctrine about inherent evil and degeneracy in a white skin.
Repudiating racism in all its forms, he resolved to judge people and movements on the basis of their deeds, not skin color. Deeds, not words.

Malcolm meeting Fidel...

Malcolm meeting Fidel…

Malcolm set about to build a new movement of Blacks on an entirely different basis than religion, while he himself remained a Muslim. It would welcome all Blacks [and others] who wanted to struggle, regardless of religion, philosophy or other differences.
This new organization was called the Organization of African American Unity (OAAU). The name was taken from the Organization of African Unity, reflecting his identification with the colonial revolution then in full swing in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This identification with the struggle of all the oppressed was in his speeches while he was in the Nation, but became sharper in his last year, influenced by his international travels.
The gov’t was alarmed by this campaign to win support internationally in order to bring the US to trial in the UN for its racist oppression.
At the same time, his denunciation of US imperialism, which also began while he was a Black Muslim, became stronger. He was especially eloquent in his denunciation of the US record in the murder of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, the war in Vietnam, the attacks against Cuba and Chinese revolutions, etc. He sought to position the struggle of US Blacks in the worldwide upsurge of the peoples of color.

One of a million confrontations...

One of a million confrontations…

Finally, there was Malcolm’s development throughout his last year towards anti-capitalism and socialism.
One thread of his thought was a result of his international travels. He began to emphasize that in the countries he visited which were recently freed from colonialism; it seemed they were turning against capitalism and toward socialism.
Another was his deepening relation to the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialist Alliance.

The SWP, under the influence of the positions taken by the Communist International in Lenin’s time, recognized that Blacks in the US suffered under a form of national oppression.
That was reinforced in discussions with Leon Trotsky [former co-leader w/Lenin] during his final exile in Mexico. The SWP at its founding convention in 1938, adopted a resolution that recognized this national oppression and the progressive nature of Black Nationalism as a reaction to it.

The YSA/SWP embraced the new upsurge of Black nationalism in the early 1960s. In its 1963 convention, the SWP noted that Black Nationalism and socialism “are not only compatible but complimentary forces that should be welded closely in thought and action.”

We took note of the militant speeches by Malcolm X when he was still in the Nation. The SWP newspaper, The Militant, covered these speeches, often reprinting Malcolm’s own words, in a positive manner.
Malcolm took note of this and of the fact that The Militant defended the democratic rights of the Black Muslims when they were under gov’t attack. He would buy the paper when it was sold outside his meetings.

We perceived the importance of Malcolm’s break with the Nation, and his new course. Shortly after, in April 1964, Malcolm agreed to speak at a large meeting organized by the SWP’s Militant Labor Forum on the topic of “The Black Revolution.”
One aspect of this speech was his strong opposition to Blacks supporting the Democratic Party, a theme he developed throughout his last year. He repeatedly cautioned against falling for the ploy of supporting the “fox” – the Democrats – out of revulsion for the “wolf” — the Republicans.

He spoke again at the Forum in May, 1964, at a meeting organized to counter a scare about a “Harlem Hate Gang” – a thinly veiled attack on the OAAU organized by the capitalist press.

Militant Labor Forum, NYC, 1964...

Militant Labor Forum, NYC, 1964…

In this meeting he said of US capitalism, “It’s impossible for a chicken to produce a duck egg…it can only produce according to what it was constructed to produce. The system in this country cannot produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system period…. If ever a chicken did produce a duck egg, I’m quite sure you would say it was certainly a revolutionary chicken!

In January 1965 Malcolm again spoke at the Militant Labor Forum.  After that meeting, I asked Malcolm if he would agree to be interviewed for the Young Socialist newspaper, of which I was the editor. He agreed and did so shortly before his assassination.

One quote from that interview in answer to his view of the worldwide struggle between capitalism and socialism, was: “It is impossible for capitalism to survive … it is only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”
A Marxist might object that capitalism will not collapse by itself but must be overthrown. But Malcolm’s is certainly not a pro-capitalist statement.

King in Chicago, 1966...

King in Chicago, 1966…

A few years later, Martin Luther King began to come to the same anti-capitalist conclusions. From different starting points, these two giants began to converge. [King in turn was assassinated in April 1968.]

In addition to Barry Sheppard’s own The Party: The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, A Political Memoir, Volume 1: The Sixties, for excellent info about Malcolm X’s views, see these books published by Pathfinder Press:
Malcolm X Speaks; By any Means Necessary; Malcolm X Talks to Young People; Malcolm X on Afro-American History; Malcolm X: The Last Speeches; The Last Year Of Malcolm X; The Evolution of a Revolutionary; and The Assassination of Malcolm X.

Dr. Publico: As for the prematurely claimed post-racial society, I’m afraid the demise of Jim Crow has been greatly exaggerated… The Union won the military conflict in 1865; the South won the political victory in 1877.

A century later that battle was still being fought with Malcolm and Martin among a multitude paying the forever-debt. And today in 2015?

Where there used to be eleven Confederate States, today there are effectively 33…

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), March 2015…

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The Day Israel Attacked Detroit…

Sometimes Truth must be dressed in a manner that the observer can recognize
A political organization that is founded upon the belief that virtually everyone on the planet is a potential natural enemy out to destroy them, is ultimately capable of anything. Mix some religion into it and they even claim Gott ist mit uns

Gulag Gaza...

Gulag Gaza…

Thus today—after 120-yrs in existence–Zionists seek separation and total independent power as the most weaponized, renegade nuclear state on the planet.

Even Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) has no deterrence to such an insane belief system. In fact…one can assume it.
This reality turns all negotiations for peace and justice on its head. First of all, the express goal of Zionism obviates any “Palestine” on the same land, or even the inclusion of “others” in any democratic sense. “Making facts” is a strategy that replaces any meaningful “negotiations.”
Second, the most logical reason in current talks to prevent Iran from any ability to acquire nuclear weapons is not because of the threat it might pose to Israel, but the threat that Zionism poses to Iran…and the rest of us.

Where to start
When a chain of actions and reactions stretch far back, choosing where to start may seem arbitrary. In this report, the temporal chain is quite clear.

BibiButch-001On May 15th, 2014, two protesting Palestinian youths were murdered by the IDF and Border Police. Three days after the release of the autopsy findings on June 9th establishing their murder, three Israeli teenagers were abducted in apparent retaliation and murdered.
Despite evidence later found that Israeli intel knew the relative location of the youths and that they had been almost surely killed, Israel launched 369 attacks throughout the West Bank of Palestine, destroying homes, killing 11, wounding 51, and arresting between 350-and-600 “suspects.”
On the morning of July 2nd, a 16-year-old Palestinian youth was abducted by settlers walking home in Jerusalem, beaten and burned alive. Hamas, opened up w/a salvo of “rockets.” Out of a total of 4,564 rockets and mortars (according to Israeli stats) randomly fired at areas around them over 7-wks, 224 hit occupied areas resulting in a total of 6 civilian deaths, and 66 attacking IDF soldiers.

IsraeliMascr-001It started for real when the Israeli Army, Navy and Air Force surrounded Detroit, like Gaza, a city of just 140 square miles. The city is a semi-circle that borders on the waterfront and stretches to 8 Mile Road.

From time to time, the inmates get uppity and resist their oppressionThe Israelis laughingly refer to their military incursions as “mowing the lawn.” This “landscaping” is designed as a reprisal on the population that any and all resistance will be met with merciless collective punishment. Roughly, a thousand-fold response in Zionism’s calculus.

The top leadership of Israel cut their canines in the American education and business systems. A significant vanguard of the Israeli apartheid, colonial-settler drive to annex Palestinian territory are dual American-Israeli citizens (most of the rest are Euro-Israeli). Just as racism is endemic to conservative American politics, in Israel this concept openly holds that Palestinians (and Arabs in general) are nothing more than “sand-niggers.”

IsraelDet-001The first Israeli Air Force jets came screaming in out of the eastern sun dropping bombs and firing missiles leveling whole areas up the main drag, destroying buildings, infrastructure and vehicles to make open travel nearly impossible.

Along w/the Navy and Army, this opening blast has the universal psychological effect of creating a “war-zone” mentality for the aggressors and their corp-media. City Airport was already leveled and gov’t Caterpillars had scoured its runways.

Navy gunboats rocketed the waterfront, destroying all the port facilities and in at least one instance using children playing on the beach areas for “walking precision” rocket practice.

(An NBC reporter covered the event, but when the Israelis complained, the corp-media pulled him out and replaced him with one more pliable to “proper” reporting. Aggressors don’t really mind the knowledge getting to the public…in fact, they prefer it, it’s part of their terror-strategy.  They just don’t want it officially documented.)

Gaza "rocket" batteries...

Gaza “rocket” batteries…

Army tank artillery had their turn. Many of these events were witnessed by crowds of cheering settlers and others with beer, barbeque and lawn-chairs situated on surrounding hilltops.  Snipers and spotters surrounded the City. During the day, children on roof-tops were often a documented target. “Future terrorists.”

Establishing artillery-fire zeroed in on buildings and other stationary targets. Once zeroed-in, they wait for security and medical personnel to show up and hit it again. There were several instances, documented by journalists and UN personnel, where parents gather who came to pick up their children from the UN schools. Boom! A big score!

GazaFence-001The city is known as the largest outdoor prison ghetto-gulag in the world. With 1.7 million citizens, 2/3rds who are refugees housed in UN agency schools and encampments. The city is surrounded by a high concrete wall–far higher than the former Berlin Wall–with gun-towers and a deep free-fire kill-zone all the way around.
There are several crossing points, all controlled by the Israeli military. Any and all travel, food, medicine, construction materials, etc., is prohibited except by occasional gov’t whim. Several unarmed peace flotillas previously tried to travel there, but were turned back by the Israeli Navy…in at least one case attacked w/a number of activists killed.
All funds donated to the city are confiscated by the gov’t and doled out, if at all, as the Israelis see fit.  I could bore the reader be reciting the next seven weeks that the city was attacked and parts of it occupied by the Army. But a brief catalogue of the final stats should suffice…

GazaB+A-001For sure, there was some token resistance from the elected officials of the city. In fact, the gov’t had warned the population to not elect them or there would be consequences. These are the consequences.
No one questions the ability of the gov’t to utterly wipe the city and its population off the map, much as a previous aggressor did to the Warsaw Ghetto. But then that would be a bit too obvious and might invoke more criticism and opposition.

The gov’t specifically targeted this elected org (Hamas) and all of the city’s infrastructure, including the police, militia, engineers, teachers, medical workers and their vehicles.
The Israelis targeted and destroyed hospitals, schools, the water-works, the power facilities, factories, media centers (killing 17 journalists), stadiums, churches, over 7,000 homes (89,000 seriously damaged), apartment buildings, 237 municipal sites and 1,914 so-called Command & Control centers.
The UN cited stats that the Israeli Army fired a total of 16,507 artillery and tank shells (each of far greater yield than any of the “rockets and mortars” fired by city resistance), a total of 5,830 missiles in 4,028 Air Force sorties, and the Navy an additional 3,494 shells for a total of some 10,000 tons of ordinance.

A total of 520,000 citizens were “displaced” with 2,205 citizens killed of which 1,483 were civilians (513 children), over 10,000 wounded with many losing limbs, eyesight and more.

OH, WAIT A MO…MY BAD…Israel DIDN’T attack Detroit…it was only GAZA after all. But, not to worry…all the stats remain the same…

Gaza6Aug'14-001This story and its reality should be a warning to all of the capacity of all racist nationalisms–Zionism in this case–to delude itself and project its own mirror image on others to sanction hate and mass murder as an acceptable, socially responsible ideology.

Israel’s Zionists simply embodied Euro-American colonial lessons, as well as those from their fascist collaborations in World War-II, and gussied them up in different costumes. Come right down to it… Same old, same old…

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), February 2015…

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“Truckers” & the Counter-Culture…

Today, Sunday, January 25th, a reunion is being hosted in Detroit (Farmington Hills) marking some 47+yrs of the Truckers. This is the name that has evolved from a large group of counter-culturalists who at one time or another came together as Boone’s Farm, the Keep on Truckin’ Coop (KOTC) and Big Rapids Distribution Company (BRDC).  (HA! I just learned the Reunion was yesterday, the 24th!!)

While many experiences since 1968 have involved such associations, the format of this article cannot represent more than a brief overview. Nevertheless, I thought I’d post a few personal thoughts and remembrances on my blog site for those who may be interested…

Only a few truckers here '74, but the same vibe (click on image...)

Only a few truckers here ’74, but the same vibe (click on image…)

There’s always been a counter-culture in human society. America’s no exception. In fact, it’s axiomatic that those who opposed the mainstream during our colonial period led to the American Revolution.
One-third opposed as conservatives loyal to the British Crown and its licensed profiteers, and the remaining third did their best to stand on the sidelines. Of course, after the Revolution practically everyone was a Patriot all along.

It’s no accident of history that cultural revolutionists also opposed those crimes against humanity that drove colonialism: Indentured servitude, the theft of a “new” land, the genocide of the Native populations and African slavery.
Their opposition also led to the Civil War in order to complete the promise of the Revolution, freedom for all. But the Confederacy retained political power and has today spread their Jim Crow racist perfidy and predatory conservative rule from 11 to 33 states. Clearly, the Revolution is far from finished…

Examples of other Euro-American counter-cultures include Romanticism (1790–1840), Bohemianism (1850–1910), and the Beat Generation (1944–1964).

A few more, 1978.

A few more, 1978.

Even the earlier Salem Witch Trials (1692) can be perceived as a counter-revolt by Christian-male rule against counter-cultural women who were seeking equal status in society as business owners and operators, mid-wives, medical herbalists, and those who refused to “stay in their place.”

The propertied elite and financial manipulators assumed the helm of the Revolution and today continue their goals for total political and social power. At this moment, a mere 85 individuals on the planet own as much wealth as 3.5 billion others–half the planet. Some think that’s progress…
Rather ironic, since the Earth freely provides all natural resources and working class labor is what converts it into wealth. My opinion is much the same as many of the “Founding Fathers”: Who needs the (then-aristocratic) socio-political rule of worthless parasites? Does not the creative genius of producing humankind possess the attributes to rule itself?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARaised in Rhode Island, NYC and Long Island, at 17 I joined the Army (1959) and served stateside in the 101st Airborne Division. Married to a Nashville girl, I worked and was active in the Civil Rights Movement throughout the Old South. After a year on a chain-gang (and my wife having moved on), I moved North to Detroit in 1965.
I became a Quality Control specialist in the aerospace industry (Detroit’s UAW Local 212). That’s where my political education became refined by 1940’s union and military veteran activists.
I joined the YSA/SWP, was elected to the chairmanship of the DCEWV and co-founder of the Veterans Against the War. After 1967, when masses of vets started returning from the war in Vietnam, we helped in the creation of the VVAW.
In 1968 I was accepted to Wayne State University, which I attended on the GI Bill. (Over many years and other universities, I’ve completed a BS, a Masters and a Doctorate, all in Psychology [PsyD].  I had the potential opportunity to complete an internship thru WSU and the Detroit VA, but at my age and not seeking a clinical practice, I didn’t take it.)

David DennisSalineTo my knowledge, the beginning of the Truckers was in 1968/’69 when an ad was put in WSU’s student daily, the South End, calling for anyone interested in starting a Boone’s Farm Commune. This First Family moved into a house just east of the campus and later to the near west side.
In addition to an initial communal lifestyle and progressive political activism, it also evolved into a business distributing alternative comics, magazines and newspapers of the “underground press” and more. Buildings and trucks were eventually acquired and the business grew.
One of the central figures from the beginning in the ongoing developments of the Truckers was James Rowland Kennedy. Jim was always my main contact w/the Truckers.
Mass demonstrations in Detroit and across the nation brought together disparate elements and issues under the umbrella we all came together on: opposition to the war in Vietnam. This inter-association further radicalized our essential unity of purpose.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn addition to attending WSU, 1968 was also the year that I left the YSA/SWP and focused my politics with John Watson, Editor-in-Chief of the South End  and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. This was a period of great activity on a number of fronts, including the SDS and the formation of the Weathermen.

As Managing Editor of the South End, my January ’69 front-page editorial for secular democracy in Israel-Palestine, created a firestorm of political reaction by both the right and even many liberals. (Israel remains virtually sanctified by the historical usurpation of Judaism by political Zionism.)

That led to my traveling to the Middle East as a guest of the Jewish Agency in Israel and the Palestinian Liberation org, Al Fatah, in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. I also returned in 1970 and ’71 as a free-lance journalist for a variety of newspapers, including the Fifth Estate and the Detroit and London (Ontario) Free Press.

By then, the Truckers had a commune over on Avery and I lived around the corner on Commonwealth, a few blocks west of Wayne campus.
In May of 1970, after the murders of four students at Kent State during a protest of the US invasion of Cambodia, universities across the nation exploded, including WSU.

My sister Jennifer 16 + Les Camionneurs '84

My sister Jennifer 16 + Les Camionneurs ’84

A small group of us (students and faculty) called for a rally on Wayne campus and some 5,000 students and faculty responded. During the protest, an ultra-left group trashed the Engineering bldg and even stoned several classrooms at State Hall.
We called for a strike of the university and after a meet w/President Keast and campus security (and the very real potential for more violent reactions), we were given a free hand and organized our own security force, successfully keeping the provocation of campus and Detroit police off campus.
All of the local radicals, including Kennedy and the Truckers were active during those 10-days of protest. The campus, instead of being closed on strike, was open for classes (adding Viet Nam to their discussions) as the Indochina Institute. We had a democratic assembly, which met daily in DeRoy Auditorium. We fed some 5,000 activists daily on campus during those 10-days, and helped rally information and support at all of the local factories and high schools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother commune around the corner from the Truckers, Open City, got the franchise to provide food and health services for the Goose Lake International Music Festival held August 7–9, 1970 in Leoni Township, MI. An estimated 200,000 attended. I worked w/Open City during that event.

In late 1970, after returning from a Middle East trip, I moved into the KOTC commune over on Avery. The only room available was a second-floor closet big enough to fit a single mattress, but it was cozy.

After some months I moved to an apartment over Yono’s Market at 3rd and Hancock on Wayne’s Campus. I was active in co-directing the League’s film division, Black Star Productions, w/my then partner, Linda Novenski, as well as securing, editing and distributing a number of Palestinian films we had secured from Italy and the Middle East.

We also worked w/the NY Newsreel crew that came into town to shoot the League’s “Finally Got the News” documentary. The NY Newsreel crew formed another commune on the campus’s near west side for a couple of years during that period.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor a period in the 1971-73 time-frame, I was also active in the development of the campus drug scene. From at least 1966 on, when I experienced reefer thru my contacts at work, the use of reefer, coke, LSD, etc., became part of the campus cultural scene.
Its distribution progressed from several pooling their money in order for one to purchase a lid from a contact, to whomever had the best contacts finding a lucrative enterprise in the business. By ’72 I was handling a hundred pounds or more at a time.
As w/a number of other “underground” enterprises, such fund-raising became a significant aspect of the campus, commune, political scene, but almost always handled discreetly by certain members of the groups. Since drugs were an endemic part of the campus political scene, it made perfect sense to keep the profits w/in that community.
Given the counter-culture/political nature of the groups, as we came into contact w/others from across the country (and internationally, for that matter), such operations were directed to those persons who enjoyed a certain “security” acumen.

This universality of illicit drugs and the resulting profits included right-wingers and gov’t security/intel ops in their own endeavors. Later, during the early ‘80s and Reagan’s Contra-War against Nicaragua, Congressional Iran-Contra Hearings and certain media exposed the CIA’s dealings w/illicit weapons and crack cocaine in order to fund the war that Congress had refused to finance.

CIA contractors imported cocaine into a number of urban black communities, which was then converted to crack for smoking and an instant high. Given this marketing ploy, coke became available to these poor communities as $5, $10 and $20 rocks.Crack was far more devastating to poor communities. Those of us on the left were politically required to cease that business after 1983.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 1973, I was busy w/a number of political activities. Coleman Young was elected to political power in Detroit. I worked as a campaign coordinator for Attorney Sheldon Halpern’s run for a judgeship and thereafter worked for him as an investigator for much of the next 17-yrs.

My partner in the drug trade, Paul Gribling and I traveled to East Africa, Colombia and other locales. One of the NY Newsreel guys was busted in Canada for importing hashish from Afghanistan (of which my responsibility was getting it into Detroit), and we had to effect an op to rescue that comrade. (Abbie Hoffman was a help in that one.)

In that period, the KOTC had moved their commune to Big Rapids, MI, and became the BRDC. I never visited there myself. I was also somewhat active w/Jack Forrest and the White Panthers across the Lodge Freeway from my Hancock apt.

For a period in 1977-78 I worked as a Trucker out of the BRDC warehouse on the SW side and the riverfront in Detroit after they moved back to Detroit. By then, the core Trucker membership had evolved from a commune into a coop with each family having their own residence.
In ’77, after flying three of the Truckers to Chicago for meets w/the Levy alternative distribution group there, Kennedy introduced me to a friend of his who was active in the coke trade. He needed a pilot to make discreet runs to the Florida Keys and back. After a few of those runs, Bobby A. was attracted to the ease of flying, became a pilot himself and purchased a Piper Aztec.

I later dabbled again in the coke trade, but by ’83 with the CIA/DEA competition and the devastating impart on the Black and poor communities, I quit the drug trade altogether.

(Kind of ironic, given that by ’85 I was fully back into criminal defense investigation work, the feds indicted me for cocaine conspiracy in ’89 and I was given the choice of “cooperation” or trial. They wanted the names and history of my former activities. I chose the latter and got 25-yrs in prison.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile the relative short format of this blog leaves out far more than I’ve put in, I hope the links provide anyone interested w/more info.  I currently live some 4-hrs north of Detroit in Grayling, MI, the Heart of the North Country.
Given this all-too-brief and tangential taste of Trucker lore, perhaps someone w/time, energy and real knowledge  (Michael? Lee Ann?) would like to pursue a far more complete history of the subject?

I would only add that any Truckers who wish to make corrections and/or additions to this article, by all means feel free to do so by contacting me. Updates are quite simple.

So, all-in-all, my time and association with and as a Trucker was quite an adventure.

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), January 2015…

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The discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI by Betty Medsger (2014, Alfred A. Knoph). The following is a guest-review by Raff Ellis:

Journalist/Author Betty Medsger

Journalist/Author Betty Medsger

On March 8, 1971, a small group of amateur burglars broke into the Media, PA, FBI office and emptied their file cabinets. The story of the perpetrators behind the burglary had remained hidden from public view for nearly 40 years.

Quite unexpectedly, two of the participants blurted out their involvement to author Betty Medsger during a routine social encounter. The couple who confessed to the crime hadn’t intended to make this admission for it was a secret they and their six cohorts had vowed to take to their graves. Medsger was shocked, and the revelation sent her on a mission to interview others who were involved, convince them to go public, and to tell their story in an engrossing book she titled, The Burglary.

Author Medsger uses the burglary as a springboard to discuss not only the excesses of the FBI, but also the CIA and NSA. Along the way she examines the lack of intelligence agency oversight by fawning presidents and a permissive Congress.

FBIburglary-001Her conclusion is that the Media heist became the sine qua non for all the ensuing investigations of the FBI—an unbridled, de facto “secret police” force.

The later demythologizing of Hoover and his gang has left a lingering aroma of suspicion surrounding any governmental sanctioned spying on its citizenry.

Although this concern waxes and wanes with a largely apathetic public, it was given a significant boost in attention by the recent Snowden disclosures.
The strength of the book lies in its compilation of a series of historical events in one volume so readers can see the linkages between them and how a complete lack of control left an unscrupulous J. Edgar Hoover free to become the unchallenged dictator of American law enforcement.

Hoover is shown not only to be a racist and a devious lawbreaking rationalizer, but also one dedicated to self-indulgent prejudices. His personal views mandated who would be investigated, continually spied upon, and/or have their homes broken into and personal possessions seized.

His predilection for seeing Communist inspiration in every protest movement–be it anti-war, civil rights, or freedom of speech–guided his activities long after such a “menace” had disappeared. At the end there were more FBI agents and informers posing as Commies than there were actual members of the party.
FBIemperor-002To most Americans the revelation of illegal secret activities would seem incredulous given the public’s innate trust of the government and its vaunted FBI. Faith in that institution had been cultivated and taken for granted for many years, aided and abetted by Hoover’s masterful PR campaign.

Surely the FBI, the premier arm of the American justice system, wouldn’t disregard or break the law, would they? Surely Hoover, the director of this feared and revered agency, wouldn’t disregard orders and twist interpretations of laws to allow him to continue illegal activities, would he?

Once the Media files began leaking to the public, first by the Washington Post—where author Medsger was then employed, Hoover went into full court press mode. He tried to intimidate newspaper publishers to not reveal any of the purloined FBI files by implying they would be violating the law and would therefore be prosecuted. He also employed his secret army of spies, many of whom actually worked at newspapers, to help plug the leaks.

The panicked director even went so far as suggesting to Congressional friends that a law be passed that would make it illegal to possess or make public these stolen documents. Washington Post Publisher, Katherine Graham, made the heroic decision to break the story despite the rest of the Fourth Estate’s initial timidity about taking on the FBI.

Prior to the break-in, whenever questions arose about his agency’s activities, Hoover would slyly let his superiors—and anyone else who had notions about investigating him or his fiefdom—know that other damning information in his possession would also have to be revealed. Hoover’s death a year after the Media break-in rendered this ploy ineffective. It is assumed that his blackmail files were destroyed by his secretary to protect her revered boss’ reputation.

But the real story is about the group of amateur burglars themselves who, regardless of the specter of serious prison time, chose to go ahead with their audacious mission in the hope they could prove that the FBI was illegally spying on their anti-war activities. Not only were they genuinely surprised at the contents of the burgled treasure trove but also in retrospect that the mighty FBI was never able to find out who they were.

Hoover with life-partner, Clyde Tolson.

Hoover with life-partner, Clyde Tolson.

For all its flaunted “always get their man” mantra, the agency was revealed most often to be an inefficient, bungling group of Inspector Clouseaus. Despite Hoover regularly dedicating 40% of his budget to domestic spying, the Bureau never was credited with uncovering any terrorism plots.

The most disheartening conclusions that one draws from this book is how, even after all the revelations, the FBI remains imbued with a culture that resists oversight and obfuscates investigations into their activities. Their actions seem aimed at not only protecting the legacy of its long-deceased director, but also to preserve its freedom to restrict the freedom of others.

The book also points out how the Obama administration has not only refused to dismantle or repeal any of the post 9-11 directives that permit First and Fourth Amendment violations of its citizenry, it has sought to increase them.

In fact the government has outright lied about the nature and depth of domestic spying and stepped up the prosecution of whistleblowers. It is doubly discouraging when one considers that Obama is the first president with a Constitutional Law background.

Criticisms of this book pertain to the organization and amount of repetition that one has to endure. The author seems to believe that if something is worth saying once, it is worth saying two or three times. Nonetheless, the material contained in this work is well worth the time needed to consume the nearly 600 pages it occupies.

Excerpts should definitely be used in civics classes at all levels of our educational system. It is sobering, and well worth remembering, that the revelations made two generations ago required a criminal act to bring a secretive, law-violating judicial arm of the government to heel.

Raff Ellis & Antar...

Raff Ellis & Antar…

It is important to continually reaffirm that unconstitutional governmental excesses and lawlessness remain a threat to our guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom from illegal search and seizure. These principles are more at risk in the current atmosphere of fear, which is accepted by much of the passive or frightened public.

The clear message of this book is, “Please wake up and don’t let this happen again.

The reviewer, Raff Ellis, can be found at Raff is an acquaintance of several years and is himself the author of Kisses from a Distance (2007), Dam Foolishness (2011) and The Bishop’s Curse (2014).  He’s a former computer industry business executive and lives w/his family in Orlando, FL.

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD) January 2015…