Archive for » May, 2011 «

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Ashes to Ashes; Stardust to Stardust…

Well, gosh oh gee whiz.  We’re all still here.  The world didn’t end May 21st.  Unfortunately, so are all the raptors.   I was looking forward to some peace and quiet on the planet…

But not to despair.  Ol’ Harold Camping assures the faithful that May 21st was an “invisible judgment day”; it happened, it’s just that the faithless don’t have a clue.  In any event, he insists, October 21st will be the end of the world!  Count on it. more…

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Social Revolution Sans Culottes…

You’d think that after more than 10,000 yrs of social evolution that people would get the idea that with great wealth and power comes great responsibility.

(Click image to enlarge...)

You wouldn’t know it by examining the current crop of super-parasites riding the back of the dog-eat-dog corporatist system.
Maybe when the masters-of-the-universe like the Koch Bros can’t show their faces in public for fear of being spit upon or worse, then it will dawn on them what they’ve lost: Humanity. more…

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The Supreme Court & Running Dogs…

Attorney Kenneth Cockrel Sr., whom I occasionally worked with as a political activist and Criminal Defense Investigator (CDI), once called a Detroit judge—publicly, on TV—“a lawless, racist, rogue bandit, thief, pirate, honky dog fool.”  Little’s changed…

The Gang of Five...

Cockrel went on to be elected to the Detroit Common Council and would have become mayor had he not died at 50 of a heart attack in 1989.  (In fact, his son did briefly become mayor.) more…

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Vincent Bugliosi & The God Question…

One of the more interesting and refreshing essays that I’ve read recently is by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of Charlie Manson and 105 other felony trials, losing only one.

Serving all denominations…

Vince has become quite a prolific writer.  His most famous book is Helter Skelter (1974), on the Manson Family prosecution.  He also wrote Outrage: the Five Reasons O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder (1996). more…

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Jim Crow & Freedom Riders…

At (now 73) I’ve traveled much of the Americas—North, South and Central—the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  And for my class and political tenacity (or as some prefer: stubbornness), I’ve spent more than a total of 23-yrs in jails and prisons around the planet.

If you support the establishment of Constitutional Democratic Socialism and actively participate in that future…you will do time … assuming you survive.

In all of that travel and circumstances, I’ve encountered two horrific and systemic examples of racist hate and violence: the American Old South and Colonial-Settler Israel.

(One might reasonably opine, especially given that many of the leaders and emigrants to Israel are American and American-educated, that our early colonial history of native genocide and African slavery is the running template for Zionist Eretz Yisrael since before it’s establishment in 1948.)

(When I originally wrote this in 2011, it was) the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.  Well over half of the US and the world today were not even born yet back in 1961. For them, I suppose it’s all just ancient history.  For me, it was yesterday.

more…

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Norway’s New Prison–Humanity vs. Corporatism…

We arrived at FCI Ray Brook (Lake Placid, NY) federal prison in a driving snow storm in the winter of 1990-91.  Not unusual for the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics.

After a year in Detroit’s Wayne County Jail and the holding facilities at FCI Milan, MI, Ray Brook (RBK) was my first officially designated prison to begin serving a 25-yr sentence for a cocaine conspiracy of which I was never a member.

By the time convictees actually reach their “home” prison in gulag America, it can feel like a great relief.  The jails, holding tanks, and transfer procedures are that draconian.

Filing off the bus wearing only slippers, elastic pants and T-shirts, we were relieved of our heavy burden of chains and cuffs. more…

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Family, Labor & State…

A few thoughts from behind the razor-wire in answer to some of my more conservative, navel-gazing friends…This includes the role of woman.

I agree with the concept of individuality and the idea of earned opportunity as one of the driving forces in social evolution.  Unfortunately, so is war, slavery, murder, theft, fraud, greed, racism, nativism, misogyny and other patent evils.

Not really so long ago…

As prisoners in the largest mass gulag in the world, we have a rather naked view of this reality.  It might be a good idea to ponder alternative views as to what’s going on…

Ever since humans came out of the proverbial caves and established constructed dwellings and extended family organization, there’s been a myriad of tensions between the individual in our vast variety and social empowerment. more…

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Open Letter to Terrorists…

Back in ’65 at 23, when I was released from one of the South’s most brutal and notorious rock-quarry, chain-gangs, I was put on the first bus going north.   I got a factory job, earned enough money to pay a friend out, and he moved with me back to Detroit.

PA State Police & Klan, 1928...

   David had issues.  He was so abused as a child that it was inevitable he would either end up in prison or, if he was able to avoid a criminal record, become a cop (the brutal type).  He often came back to our apartment having been in a fight.

   One night, he explained, he had gone to Shooter’s Bar next door, had a beer, and didn’t like the way people looked at him.  After loudly telling everyone that he was going to beat all their asses, they promptly beat his.

   I came up with an idea.  I gave him a piece of chalk and told him to keep it in his pocket.

   “What for?” he asked.

   “Well, the next time you get this urge to start a fight, draw a line down the center of the bar and tell those on the other side that you’re gonna kick only their asses.  Chances are, half the bar will ignore you!” more…

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Gitmo–Folie de Beaucoup…

As the United States continues to occupy the eastern end of Cuba, it maintains the Guantanamo Navy/Marine base in-perpetuity.  This includes numerous perpetual prisoners as “enemy combatants” in violation of all constitutional and international law.

A good beginning...

   If indeed these men–and children–are appropriately accused of being combatants in our wars against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the Taliban’s Afghanistan, or as religious terrorists of Al Queda, then place them in POW camps as required by the Geneva Conventions, or charge them by law and bring them to trial. more…

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Psych-Time & Culture…

Osama bin Laden’s apparent demise is as good a reason as any other to revisit my own experiences with this generation’s most horrific terror attack:  9/11/2001.

NYPD air-view 9/11…

As I wrote in a previous article on this site, I was working in the UNICOR prison factory at the FCI Jesup, Georgia, when the crime occurred.

After lunch and returning to my housing unity, I was met by three prison lieutenants, escorted to the Segregated Housing Unit (SHU; the “hole”), and held incommunicado for the next 50 days.  I knew practically nothing of what had happened. more…