Saturday, November 18, 2017

Skywriting Dicks: Pentagon Climate Crimes Are No Joke

U.S. warplanes have been menacing the people of Afghanistan for more than 16 years now.

As a thought experiment, I decided to imagine that I lived under the threat of bombs raining down on my family from U.S. airplanes. Say, in Somalia.

I could live in any one of dozens of countries for this to be my reality. Not Canada, though, which borders Washington State and was treated to this expensive, polluting display of sophomoric scrawl by a U.S. Navy warplane earlier this week:

In my thought experiment I tried to imagine how a grandmother in Somalia or Afghanistan might view this picture of boys just having fun.

In the era of #metoo and the sexual predator in chief, what is my own context for viewing this costly image?

Corporate media works hard to avoid meaningful context, simply reprinting the bland lies of the Pentagon's pr department. Most ran the news with a headline referencing "obscene" images. But what is the real obscenity hiding in plain sight here?

Media outlet SF Gate's coverage of the prank included footage of the Blue Angels stunt team practicing over San Francisco in advance of their upcoming show there.

The Blue Angels are a carbon belching nightmare

(At our expense. As we learned from the Panama and now the Paradise Papers, rich people don't pay taxes. As a public school teacher, my tax rate is around 30%.)

Here in Maine, they literally burn napalm as part of the "entertainment". Those watching do so no doubt in the context of having watched thousands of fires kindled in cinema for their viewing enjoying. (Hollywood has a pretty gruesome carbon footprint, too.)

The thing is, you may be able to evade taxation, but the cost of climate chaos falls upon rich and poor alike.

Climate justice organizers know that low income communities suffer more from the toxicity of late stage capitalism. 

"Pentagon Planet" by Anthony Freda

But we're all here on the same planet, buffeted by hurricanes and scorched by forest fires.

Whether skywriting or scoping out their next civilian bombing targets, the U.S. military is filling the atomosphere with more greenhouse gas than any organization in the world.

But if you search for information about the Pentagon and air pollution, what Google will let you find are articles about planning for the impact of climate change on coastal military bases. Or about the U.S. Navy greening itself, which is a bigger joke than a dick in the sky, for sure.

Our corporate masters can manage information and cheat inquiring minds of the truth, but ultimately they can't fool Mother Nature. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cult Of Violence Prevails In The Waning Days Of U.S. Empire

A child places flowers at a memorial for victims of a mass shooting in Texas this month. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
There are so many mass shootings and other attacks these days it is nearly impossible to keep up with them. Northern California? Yikes, my family lives there. Lower Manhattan? Yikes, my family works there. Las Vegas? We've all been there. And so forth.

What does the accelerating pace of these attacks even mean? Some say they signify a nation built on genocide and institutionalized violence in the form of slavery. What hope is there for a people with such bad collective karma?

Australia is a similar nation, one founded on European colonists practicing land theft and virulently racist subjugation of traditional groups. Many argue that Oz does not suffer from the same epidemic of mass murder because of a successful gun control initiative that bought back weapons and melted them down beginning in 1996.


Others say they signify our nation occupying and bombing hundreds of other nations around the globe, at vast expense, while its own citizens literally starve, freeze or go without adequate medical care unto death.

Social observers differ over which is the cause and which is the effect: the national religion of organized sports delivers millions of viewers for lavish, psychologically crafty advertising to lure the broke generations into enlisting in the military. Veterans are well-represented among mass shooters, nearly all of whom are white, all of whom are male, and many of whom are known domestic abusers.

Of course, not all veterans continue to worship in the cult of violence. (Link to Support Veterans RESIST Hate video on facebook, embedded below.)

What do the various targets of domestic mass murder have in common? Churches, concerts, schools and bike paths seem to offer a simply a large group of people to attack in one easy location.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. As the U.S. dangles the prospect of nuclear annihilation over the tiny nation of North Korea -- a  nation whose elders still remember the bloodbath of the Cold War era -- it cannot escape its own death wish. 

Who will die today, unremarked by corporate media, a "blug splat" killed by drone operators attacking Somalia from Nevada? 

Who will die tomorrow? Who can stop our descent into madness?

If you are in Maine, join us at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard where nuclear-capable warships are built to menace the world. Each Saturday during Advent (December 2, 9, 16 and 23) peaceworkers will be present at the noon shift change, calling on weapons workers to rethink their choices and join the movement for conversion.

There is no actual reason why BIW needs to build weapons systems in order to provide employment for the surrounding area. U.S. factories could still produce things that support life and that people actually need; war profiteers need not apply.

Also consider joining the support team of the Aegis 9. We were arrested at the BIW shipyard last year and charged with criminal trespass as we stood outside the gates with messages calling for a nonviolent path forward. Our jury selection date was postponed this month and moved to January 4 at 8:30am in West Bath District Court.

Converting U.S. industrial capacity to building sustainable energy solutions is a path forward. Continuing to build and export weapons of mass destruction will only accelerate our death spiral.