Puerto Rico: Students Shut Down University System



AMY GOODMAN: Before we move on to the Middle East, Juan, you did a very interesting column in the New York Daily News about what’s happening in Puerto Rico.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Yes. Well, this is now, Amy, the second major strike now, student strike, at the University of Puerto Rico in a year. Last spring, the students were out for over two months, one of the longest strikes in any U.S. territory, going back, I guess, to San Francisco State in California. And they were able to beat back the attempts of the university and of the government of Puerto Rico to impose sharply higher fees and privatization efforts. However, the governor then got the legislature, which he controls, to pack the board of trustees, put new members on the board of trustees, and then started again imposing a sharply higher fee on the students this year. They went on strike again. No one expected them to do it again.

students puerto rico

This has gone on now since early December, and it’s sort of climaxed. There have been arrests. The police have been occupying the campus now for two months. And then, last week, while the rest of the world was watching Egypt, the faculty went on strike in support of the students, the university employees went on strike. And then, on Friday, the president of the university resigned. And the governor, who was spending the weekend over at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, because he is a conservative Republican and pro-statehooder,  came back from Washington and announced that he was pulling the police out of the campus.



It’s still not clear how the strike will be resolved. But it is clear that here you have, as Congressman Gutiérrez said, the last remaining major colony of the United States, and the same kind of issues that young people are raising about their right to protest, their right to have a decent education, and their right to oppose what’s an increasingly authoritarian government in Puerto Rico is not being respected.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we will certainly continue to cover it, and it has been going on for quite some time with very little attention.



M A Y D A Y !

Eléctrica in the Desert


baltimorecrime-00d37f352c38ed5ca70351f46d5aaf23cd9a5bb5-s6-c10WHY ARE HUMAN BEINGS LIVING HERE?

THE OLD PLANTATION / Now THIS is a bad neighborhood.  Its residents should be stopped and frisked regularly, and door-to-door searches of every closet in every mansion should occur at frequent, random intervals.  WASP mansions  should get slave searches at twice that rate: you know, prior history and all that. / SMOKING GUN 2011









CHICAGO, 1935 – the first national convention of the Women’s Economic Council of  the famous African-American labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, led for decades by the remarkable Philip J. Randolph. His nimble political mind, and genius for large scale organizational leadership  helped shape the BSCP into a force to be reckoned with re national issues of race that extended far beyond the union.  Randolph delivered an ultimatum to the White House in the middle of WW II: either the US  take immediate steps  to integrate the nation’s armed forces, or he would call for a huge national protest to take up indefinite residence in the streets of the nation’s capitol. All too aware of  the hundreds of thousands  who could be on his doorstep virtually overnight, President Franklin D. Roosevelt literally  begged Randolph not to…

View original post 358 more words

We Call it Murder: The Empire’s War on the Border



About ten years ago, Homeland Security began creating a vast graveyard in a stretch of the Arizona desert’s most remote and rugged terrain. It did so by focusing so intensely on traditional migrant routes that people crossing from Mexico were forced further and further east. They had to cross where the routes were the roughest, where there are no water resources, no population centers to speak of, and where there are miles and miles to go before there is a ray of hope on the horizon.

Now, at least 7,000 human skeletons lie buried beneath those desert miles. And the U.S, government planned it that way.




What kind of lowlife scum does it take to so gleefully destroy and poison lifesaving water resources for desperate people traversing a desert?

  Claire Marie O'Brien  Claire Marie O’Brien

It takes a pool of Border Patrol applicants from small towns across the Southwest, in regions with skyrocketing unemployment, failed schools, loss of small farmers, a devastating methamphetamine epidemic, and infant mortality rates higher than those of most developing nations.

Keep pay low, stress high, racism rampant, and “investigations” of agent brutality a joke. Sit back and wait.

desert cross



One Day, Halfway Through The Genocide

By Amira Hass, Haaretz Newspaper

The goal of this unilateral war is to force the Palestinians to give up all their national demands in their homeland. Netanyahu wants escalation because experience so far has proved that the periods of calm after the bleeding return us not to the starting line, but rather to a new low in the Palestinian political system, and adds privileges to the Jews in Greater Israel.

Privileges are the chief factor that distorts our understanding of our reality, blinding us. Because of them, we fail to comprehend that even with weak, “present-absent” leadership, the Palestinian people — scattered in its Indian reservations — will not give up and will continue to find the strength necessary to resist our malicious mastership.


The Palestinians are fighting for their lives, in the full sense of the word. We Israeli Jews are fighting for our privilege as a nation of masters, in the full ugliness of the term.
That we notice there’s a war on only when Jews are murdered does not cancel out the fact that Palestinians are being killed all the time, and that all the time we are doing everything in our power to make their lives unbearable. Most of the time it is a unilateral war, waged by us, to get them to say “yes” to the master, thank you very much for keeping us alive in our reservations. When something in the war’s one-sidedness is disturbed, and Jews are murdered, then we pay attention.


kill/#sthash.ueG4CQRI.2OnjZ1Qx.dpufread more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.679129


IDF Soldiers Given License to Kill
 Gideon levy,  Haaretz Newspaper


IDF soldiers are called on to kill Palestinian children.  Nothing bad will happen to you, they are told, if you tear the body of a fleeing Palestinian teenager to shreds by firing three bullets at him from short range – your commanders and Yair Lapid will cheer you. Shoot the stone throwers with no fear, shoot anyone suspicious, as long as he is Palestinian.

The rules of engagement are updated accordingly. With the IDF  shamelessly issuing licenses to kill signed by the Military Advocate General, what is permitted to the Binyamin Division commander is now permitted to any soldier.

Thus, there is no longer any need to deceive the public with the farce of investigating soldiers charged with executing children.



See more at:  http://www.daysofpalestine.com/features/ israeli-army-giving-soldiers-license-

















Don’t get too excited. The breaking news is only that I decided to take down a recent post (Four Self-Portraits) and want the people who had commented on it to know that I did reply to each of them.

Sorry – I should have waited longer after replying before taking the post down

Rosaliene, Derrick, Valerie, Ellen, Sean Arthur, and Mike – Thank- youI! I’m pretty sure that I told each of you basically the same thing, ie, that an email to a state regulatory agency would be very helpful at this point. I haven’t tracked that email address down yet, but I have properly identified the agencies.

Thanks again for writing. I’m sorry for the confusion.

Sean Arthur, I got your email and I appreciate it, too. I’m writing back tomorrow.


Five Hundred Followers, or Claire’s Comedic Genius takes a Bow


Hallo, all! Have some cake.

I’ve been thinking – now that Electrica in the Desert has 500 followers, we could start a cult! I hadn’t given much thought to who would make the best leader, but – what? You say you want me? That’s one vote: I accept.

Bow down before me.

Hey, get back here, everyone! The doors are locked, so you might as well relax. I didn’t say it HAS to be a cult. Good grief, a minor proclivity for Divine Rights never hurt anyone.



Say, what about finance? For a modest $1,000 each, we’ll have $500,000 to invest. Just make your checks out to me – I might as well collect them now. I know people at a couple of Hedge Funds, and it will be a lot simpler if I handle everything. One less thing for you to worry about.

Me? A Communist? I don’t recall that information. Oh, but you do?Well, I’m not a real  communist anyway, more of a socialist-Marxist or prehaps a Marxist-socialist.


No,I don’t see any inconsistency there.

But you do, eh? Still?  Prehaps you’ve been reading too much Trotsky on a full stomach, then.  Ayn Rand, you say?

Oh my, is..I mean, is that still allowed?

I mean what I meant to say, yes of course, is that these are Cuban hedge funds with offices right in downtown Habana…yes, that does change things, doesn’t it?  Quite all right, then.

What’s that?

No I still have no names to provide. I don’t recall. I still don’t have that information.



Well, I see it’s getting late, so I’ll adjourn the meeting now. No need to decide right away. Only, do give some thought to joining a small, private army – what’s that? Why, mine of course. A force of 500 could be very effective, but small enough to conceal if one had the acreage…

What, all of you already say no?

I see. I wonder if I could trade you in to WordPress for 500 different followers.

You know, it isn’t nearly as much fun having 500 followers as I thought it would be. I remember the carefree days when there were only 499 of you as if it were yesterday.

Oh wait. That was yesterday.

Ah, that was a simpler time…


500 Follows!



Why is Rahm Emanuel still the mayor of Chicago?

 Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times, via Associated Press

CHICAGO — Racism has contributed to a long pattern of institutional failures by the Chicago Police Department in which officers have mistreated people, operated without sufficient oversight, and lost the trust of residents, a task force appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel has found.

The report, issued on Wednesday, was blistering, blunt and backed up by devastating statistics. Coincidentally, it was released as city leaders were installing a new, permanent superintendent for the Chicago Police Department.

“C.P.D.’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color,” the task force wrote. “Stopped without justification, verbally and physically abused, and in some instances arrested, and then detained without counsel — that is what we heard about over and over again.”


The report reinforces complaints made for decades by African-American residents who have said they were unfairly singled out by officers without justification on a regular basis, then ignored when they raised complaints.

It comes at a pivotal moment for the nation’s second-largest municipal police force, which is being criticized by residents and is under scrutiny from the Justice Department. And, coming from Mr. Emanuel’s own appointees, the findings intensify pressure on him and other Chicago leaders to make substantive, swift changes.


The report makes more than 100 specific recommendations for change, and task force members called on the mayor and the City Council to take action. After formally receiving the report, Mr. Emanuel had no immediate public reaction.

The task force amassed data that shows the extent to which African-Americans appear to have been disproportionately focused on by the police. In a city where whites, blacks and Hispanics each make up about one-third of the population, 74 percent of the 404 people shot by the Chicago police between 2008 and 2015 were black, the report said. Black people were the subjects in 72 percent of the thousands of investigative street stops that did not lead to arrests during the summer of 2014.


Continue reading the main story