Saturday, August 18, 2012

More crime from my area - Suspicious? You mean as in indecent exposure? Or as in, there is more to this story than meets the naked eye!


Suspicious?  You mean as in indecent exposure? Or as in, there simply MUST be more to this story than meets the naked eye!

A resident reported she awoke at 10:20 a.m. Aug. 13 and emerged into the hallway, where she saw a painting contractor working alone in another bedroom (This would be another bedroom in the place where she resided?  In the apartment she rented, or just in the building?. The contractor was only wearing a tool belt, sox and shoes (Kind of sounds like a Men At Work wanna be - don't we ALL house paint in the nude, wearing only a tool belt, sox, and shoes?). The resident did not make contact with the painter, but called her mother (Sacre Bleue! You mean to say the resident had to call her mother first, and NOT 9-1-1?  Mom, there is this naked man, wearing only a tool belt, sox and shoes in here painting the bedroom - what do you think? Care to come over and check "it" out?), who called 911. Officers asked the contractor to get dressed ("asked the contractor to get dressed?" you mean they didn't ORDER him to get dressed?  Seems the police are fairly, um, "understanding" there in Buffalo Grove, these days.) and the mother requested he leave the residence (so, just who in the hell hired this contractor? who gave him the key to get into the place?  maybe the daughter got all drunk the night before and talked him into it?  Good Lord in Heaven, such types of behavior gives painters AND contractors everywhere a bad name; I keep thinking there is more to this story than is being reported!), which he did (title for a new mystery novel:  The Compliant Exhibitionist).

Crime in my area, as reported by PATCH - the online news that deserves to be read by all of you!

Leaders Speak Out on Muslim Center Attack

Though a Morton Grove man was arrested, those who attend services at MEC are fearful of similar incidences; leader says services will go on normally with strong police presence.
By Melanie Santostefano
August 13, 2012

Though the physical damage is minimal after a Morton Grove man shot at the Muslim Education Center faciity (MEC) Friday night with an air pellet rifle, the damage to the psyche (yes, of course, they have been attacked IN THEIR HOUSE OF WORSHIP on Islam's holiest day of the week during Islam's holiest month ... if ever one ought to feel safe, it ought to be in a house of worship,  for a Christian, this is tantamount to having an air pellet rifle fired into Church, during a Sunday worship service during Advent) of those who attend services there has been severe.

No one was injured during the incident, which occurred as 500 people were inside the mosque attending Ramadan services  (except for the psychic scars, no one was injured -- NEVER underestimate the damage wrought by psychic scars, when it is fully revealed to one that one is nowhere safe from the everyday random violence that wreaks its path along our country's cities - case in point, I returned to my apartment on the far North side of Chicago one evening and discovered the door had been jimmied, and my wallet emptied of $400 in cash - which was damn lucky that is all they took, I had 1,000's of dollars of musical equipment all over the place; I never once again slept in that apartment, unless I was in pass out drunk mode, and eventually, within one month, would turn it over to a homeless former US army who served Viet Nam as a tunnel rat - I paid the rent and utilities for seven months for Eddie and his cousin; let me ASSURE you, such an event takes a toll, and you'll never know just what a toll until you watch the rest of the lives of those who experienced the event unfold).

"In the minds of our people, they are very scared; now when they arrive here they are running into the building as fast as they can, in fear," said Amanadullah Ansari, head of MEC operations (so, we bomb Muslim countries from on high with drones that are manned from 1,000's of miles away in the states, wreaking terror upon them in their own familial country; then our crazies, our hate-mongering, terrorist crazies attack with an air gun - which is much less lethal than a 2,000 or 5,000 pound bomb - NONETHELESS, it is the human psyche's reaction to the sense of violation, the sense of the loss of SAFE HARBOR that is greatest).

David Conrad, 51, was arrested Saturday and charged with three counts of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, which are Class X Felonies, in addition to one count of Criminal Damage to Property, a Class 4 Felony (burn mother fucker, burn).

Ansari said the problems with Conrad, who lives adjacent and east of the MEC, have been ongoing for years (what a surprise, it escalated; nobody did jack shit, and it escalated; what as surprise).

"This is not the first time we've had problems with him, since we applied for a permit for our school, he has been very vocal against us, he hates us," Ansari said.

Ansari said Conrad also has called police on numerous occasions complaining about attendees parked near his home on the street and noise made from shutting car doors (the police, of course, having been called, are required to show up, and listen to the complaint - did one of these "community servants" ever consider dropping a malicious mischief charge on the guy for filing frivolous complaints?  - nope, the cops, at least some of them, on some occaisions might have even tried to humor the guy, or expressed their support of him ... shit, he figured he was protected from above ... his hatred it from ignorance, of course, the well spring of all hatreds).

In addition to the mosque itself, there also is unease regarding the children attending the school connected to it (there is an especial FEAR - not mear unease, it is FEAR ... the entire ecumenical community of Morton Grove needs to come out in support of the Mosque, the members of the mosque, and the right to practice whatever religious beliefs people hold -- the CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RIGHT - and what continues to irk me all to pieces, are people who, when I tell them I AM A MUSLIM (albeit, not a very good one, nonetheless, I am VERY proud to be a part of this GREAT FAITH TRADITION, and am so blessed for having come to know  the brothers and sisters of my Ummah) and they start going off about how "God" and "Allah" are not the same entity ... IGNORANCE is not bliss - IGNORANCE is IGNORANCE -- bliss, well, there are many ways to attain it - and the study of the Koran is indeed one of these.

"As a former chairman of the school, I am concerned about the safety of all of the children, including my own daughter who is a student," Rizwan Kadir, a Glenview resident and member of the congregation.

Previous reports stated law enforcement was investigating the incident to determine if the incident was in fact a hate crime (of course, it was a hate crime; but again, it is also a crime of ignorance; ignorance and hatred going together like, wellk, peas in a pod, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc, etc). No information was included about that in a press release from Morton Grove Police Sunday.

"The words hate crime are strong words, do I feel that there is hate here, yes," Kadir said.

A bond hearing for Conrad will be held today (he sure as hell better get the same $250,000 that the child batterer in Park Ridge got), and his court date to face the charges against him is tenatively scheduled for Aug. 22.

The incident comes on the heels of a shooting in Oak Creek, WI. where seven people, including the shooter, were killed on Aug. 5  (copy cat - thank heavens, the guy probably was not legally allowed to own a fire arm).

Law enforcement officials deemed that attack an act of domestic terrorism.

"I am hopeful there will come a day when people who do not understand one another's beliefs can come together," Kadir said (indeed, this is a MOST teachable moment - and it is an opportunity - for an inter-faith series of lessons, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - for acknowledged leaders of these faiths to speak of those elements of each religion to are the same, or similar).
Ramadan continues through the end of this week, and Ansari said a strong police presence will remain at the mosque during services to protect attendees (how about also at the mosque to protect the students?).

Crimes in my area - as reported by the Northwest Suburban Daily Herald

A Park Ridge resident attacked and ripped the shorts off a 16-year-old girl on Aug. 15 around 5 p.m., Park Ridge police stated.

This ( 5 pm) qualifies as broad daylight.  An amazing thing to DO in broad daylight.

Anthony M. Nugent, 37, of Park Ridge, was charged with one count of aggravated battery, a class 3 felony. Nugent was also charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis.

Wondering if this cretin thinks he will be able to get away with using, "BUT I was higher than a kite," defense.  (Shure hopes not)

According to police, the victim was walking in the 900 block of Home Avenue. At that time, Nugent allegedly asked the girl what she was carrying. The victim responded that it was a musical instrument and continued walking, (this is why we teach our children not to talk to strangers - anybody with a sober brain KNOWS when a child is carrying a musical instrument - this guy either (a) did not have half a brain, or (b) was simply trying to put a warned child off her guard) aid. Nugent then followed the victim and allegedly began acting aggressively when the victim refused to show him her instrument (or maybe he will use the "kid brought in her own slef, not showing her musical instrument to a stranger, and all that" defense;  this guy is a MAJOR CREEP. Nugent then allegedly grabbed the victim and threw her to the ground. A struggle ensued between the two and Nugent grabbed at the victim’s shorts and "ripped them," according to police. Nugent then began spanking the victim's buttocks numerous times, (the more you read, the more upsetting this story becomes - WTF - this CREEP had to have done similar things in the past - he MUST have a record somewhere; what is he doing out of a psych ward or prison?) police said.

A witness driving by the incident stopped and called 911, (GOOD CITIZEN - congratulations - a victory for the cell phone - such victories are, to my mind, damn few and damn far between)which caused Nugent to flee the area, according to police. Officers from the Park Ridge Police Department, however, were able to quickly find and locate Nugent.

The victim suffered bruises and abrasions  (I suspect that young Nugent will not be enjoying his jail time - and I refuse to believe he won't be sent) , police said. Nugent is currently being held on a $250,000 bond (and a damn good thing - if this guy gets I-bonded out, he WILL do the same thing again - it will be a compulsion; plus, he has been caught, plus he ain't even BEGUN to consider the consequences {by the time he does, he will be VERY depressed, and some clever attorney might be able to get him off by reason of temporary insanity, and then he will voluntarily check in to some worthless piece of shit psych ward where they simply CANNOT get enough Medicade patients). His court date is not yet available at this time.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

If you review the language of the Republican primary season it is clear that the extreme right-wing of the republican party actually despises him

Romney and the Right:   They hate him...but they hate Obama more...

The African World,  By Bill Fletcher, Jr.   ---   BC Editorial Board

What is interesting about the relationship of the extreme political Right to Romney is that they actually hate him. This is not speculation. If you review the language of the Republican primary season it is clear that they actually despise him. They do not believe that he is a real conservative. They do not believe that he even has a belief system. Some of the so-called Christian elements do not trust his Mormonism. So, one could say that there is an alignment that should result in the extreme Right sitting out the election...

Except for one thing: they hate Obama even more.

Their attitude towards Romney is an alliance of convenience rather than an alliance of trust and respect

So, November 2012 is shaping up to be something similar to November 1968. The Goldwater Republicans at that time had no love for Richard Nixon. They saw him as much too soft. But Nixon was the candidate at the moment and the Right saw in Nixon cover in order to give them more time to move their agenda. They turned out to be quite successful, all things considered. Though the Watergate scandal got in their way, it did not block their road to power; it just delayed it.

Obama’s re-election would be difficult under the best of circumstances, but he is not facing the best of circumstances. Although he prevented total economic collapse, his overall program of responding to the economic crisis has been weak. His healthcare reform, while truly historic, was a vast compromise and even with that faces the possibility of being blown up by the Supreme Court. And internationally, though the US has largely withdrawn from Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues, to name only two locations. This has demoralized much of Obama’s base. What is worse is that that very same base was not mobilized by its leaders in the first two years of the Obama presidency to pressure the Administration.

Karl Rove, then, was quite correct in pointing out that the Romney road to victory, should it happen, is brought about through a demoralization of the Obama base. It is also the case that it comes through playing the race card and voter suppression tactics.

Romney is not the candidate that enthralls the Right

Yet it is the strategy of the political Right that is quite noteworthy. Their aim is to destroy the Obama presidency, but more importantly, to destroy the possibility of a two party system. While it is absolutely the case that Obama has done all he can do to save capitalism, and in that sense is nothing approaching a socialist, the political Right wants to remove obstacles to the extension and possible completion of their political agenda. Their attitude towards Romney, therefore, is an alliance of convenience rather than an alliance of trust and respect. He serves as their battering ram.

Therefore, do not rest any significant hope in a split on the Right because Romney is not the candidate that enthralls the Right (the way that the Right was taken with Ronald Reagan). All that the Right is concerned with at the moment is that Romney is not Obama. Editorial Board member, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfricaForum and co-author of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice (University of California Press), which examines the crisis of organized labor in the USA. Click here to contact Mr. Fletcher

Stare Kiejkuty, a village in northern Poland, houses the Polish intelligence training academy. On the grounds of the Polish intelligence-training academy and nicknamed “Markus Wolf” for the former East German spy chief, it’s the focal point for a top-secret probe that Polish prosecutors have launched into how their government tolerated rampant violations of international and Polish law.

Posted on Mon, Aug. 13, 2012

Poland peels back layers on CIA detention center


McClatchy Newspapers


Stare Kiejkuty, a village in northern Poland, houses the Polish intelligence training academy. It was here that the CIA took over the big old villa on the property, allegedly to torture Al Qaida suspects flown into a small airstrip nearby. On an idyllic lake surrounded by woods and a double row of mesh-and-razor-wire fences about 100 miles north of Warsaw, there stands a secluded villa that the CIA once used to interrogate — and allegedly torture —top al Qaida suspects.

On the grounds of the Polish intelligence-training academy and nicknamed “Markus Wolf” for the former East German spy chief, it’s the focal point for a top-secret probe that Polish prosecutors have launched into how their government tolerated rampant violations of international and Polish law.

If former officials are brought to trial, or if the classified files in the prosecutors’ offices are made public, the result will be revelations about an American anti-terrorism operation whose details U.S. officials are fighting to keep secret.

Already the prosecutor has charged Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, Poland’s former interior minister and intelligence chief, with unlawful detention and corporal punishment for allowing the CIA to operate at Stare Kiejkuty from December 2002 to September 2003.

And the prosecutor’s office has given victim status in the case to two men the U.S. is holding indefinitely at Guantánamo: Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi charged with orchestrating the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen, and Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed Hussein, a Palestinian better known as Abu Zubaydah who was described by the Bush administration as a key catch in the war on terror. Nashiri faces a possible death sentence; Abu Zubaydah, who’s been held for 10 years, hasn’t been charged.

Their status as victims comes from claims that they were kidnapped by U.S. authorities, brought to Poland illegally, tortured, then spirited from Poland to other detention centers without the legally required extradition proceedings.

The villa cannot be seen from the main road or spotted on Google Earth maps. At the request of Polish authorities, its location has been blurred, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

That’s what some parts of the Polish government would like to have happen to everything that took place here.

State prosecutors, however, seem motivated to bring the case to court. The Polish investigation is now in its fifth year, has twice been reassigned to new prosecutors and will run at least until mid-February, it was announced last week. It is, to date, the only criminal prosecution in the world related to the CIA’s so-called “black sites.”

The Obama administration has declined to investigate what happened at any of the sites, which included facilities in Thailand, Romania and Lithuania.

The prosecution is slow-going, but serious, according to Mikolaj Pietrzak, the Polish legal counsel for Guantánamo detainee Nashiri. The two prosecutors, Katarzyna Plonczyk and Janusz Sliwa, specialize in organized crime and counter-terrorism and are “very capable, very competent,” said Pietrzak, a former senior staffer of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. His costs are borne by the Open Society Institute Justice Initiative, a U.S. foundation.

“The prosecutor is working very robustly. It is a very broad and thorough investigation — which doesn’t mean it’s effective,” he said in Warsaw. “Everything . . . could have been done much, much quicker.”

The prosecution has interviewed 62 witnesses and compiled 20 volumes of material, the Helsinki Foundation said. Pietrzak has yet to see all the documents that have been collected in Nashiri’s case. He’s been allowed to see unclassified files in Krakow, but he’s had only fleeting access to the classified documents — under a previous prosecutor. But what he’s seen convinces him that his client was terribly mistreated in the villa.

“My analysis of those papers has removed any shred of doubt as to the accuracy of statements made in our application” for victim status, he said.

Some of what took place here is already known. According to eclassified U.S. documents, Nashiri was threatened with a mock execution by power drill and handgun early in his seven-month stay at Stare Kiejkuty. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded and subjected to other so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Other prisoners were very likely held here and treated in a way that Polish law prohibits.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the Pakistani man accused of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003, declassified Bush-era documents have revealed. That treatment came at a time he was probably in Poland, said Irmina Pacho, of the Helsinki Foundation’s “strategic litigation” program. But Mohammed is representing himself at Guantánamo, so there’s no way lawyers can plead for him here.

It’s difficult to gauge the likelihood that all facts will be made public.

The Polish political elite is clearly ambivalent about prosecuting former officials, and the U.S. government has stonewalled all known requests for assistance, Polish lawyers say.

At Guantánamo, the U.S. government has insisted that information about Nashiri’s treatment be kept secret. His Pentagon defense attorneys and a group of American news organizations are challenging the idea that Nashiri’s treatment must be considered “classified” and kept secret.

The military commission judge will consider the issue at Guantánamo next week during hearings in the 9/11 case. Poland’s president, Bronislaw Komorowski, called in May 2011 for a “thorough investigation” rather than excuses about “loyalty to an ally.” But four months later he refused to release his predecessor, Aleksander Kwasniewski, from his pledge to secrecy on state security matters when the prosecutor wanted to question him.

Kwasniewski, who in 2008 denied that there was ever a secret CIA prison in Poland, opposes the prosecution. In an interview with McClatchy, he said that if anyone were to be prosecuted, it should be Americans, not Poles. “Calling to account someone in Poland” for cooperating with the U.S. is “inappropriate,” he said.

Leszek Miller, the left-of-center prime minister at the time the CIA center was operating, has refused to comment on the secret prison. But Donald Tusk, the right-of-center current prime minister, talks tough. “This is not the 19th century, and this is not some Bantu-stan,” he said in late March, after Siemiatkowski was indicted. “This case has to be resolved. Let there be no doubt about that either in Poland or on the other side of the ocean.”

For Tusk, the moment of truth is nigh. Last month, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Poland to explain by Sept. 5 why Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah have been given victim status and to provide the court with all agreements that pertain to the setting up of what the court called “a secret CIA prison” on Polish territory.

Still, there’s much that’s unknown about what happened in the Markus Wolf villa: the role of outside contractors in the prison’s day-to-day operations, the discussions between intelligence agencies that led to the establishment of the prison and what the Poles received in return, if anything, for allowing the black site to operate.

Evidence emerges in bits and pieces, in newspaper reports, in cryptic utterances from the state prosecutor and in the revelations of Jozef Pinior, a member of the Polish Senate and the European Parliament, who’s the one senior politician who’s consistently championed the case. In June, he said he’d seen an order to build an iron cage and deliver it to the villa.

His newest anecdote about the CIA prison centered on a note he’d seen from Polish intelligence officials to CIA personnel at the intelligence compound. It urged them not to throw any more kielbasa or Polish sausage in the trash, lest people think that Muslims are being held at the Stare Kiejkuty villa. “It is a clear message for people in the village that people are being held there.”

Journalist Adam Krzykowski, who in 2009 discovered many of the flight

records and a computer hard disk that had eluded previous investigators, estimates that six to eight suspects, at most 11, were detained at Stare Kiejkuty. Altogether, there were seven special CIA flights to Szymany, an airport about 15 miles away, according to the flight records Krzykowski turned up, with the first arriving from Bangkok on Dec. 5, 2002, with seven passengers, and the last one out in September 2003 with five passengers. Ironically, it was an official visit to Poland by President George W. Bush in June 2003 that led to the closing of the villa. Bush’s thanks for Poland’s cooperation in the war on terrorism were “so profuse” that the Polish president, Kwasniewski, realized “something was not right,” Gazeta Wyborcza reported in June 2011. He ordered an investigation, and on learning that the CIA was flying suspects into Poland for interrogation, ordered the interrogation center closed.

Where the prosecution goes from here isn’t clear. Pietrzak, Nashiri’s Polish attorney, thinks the Tusk government wants to string out the process. “If they charge someone there will be an eruption,” he said.

But others think that however long it takes, the Polish investigation won’t go away.

“For better or worse, there have been too many leaks about what is going on inside that prosecution,” said Crofton Black, a senior investigator at the British prisoner advocacy group Reprieve. “Even if it weren’t very difficult to walk away at this stage, so many documents have been sent to or seen by the prosecutor, so much is in the public domain. The cat’s out of the bag now.”

Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg and McClatchy special correspondent Barbara Dziedzic contributed to this report.

© 2012 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

Read more here:

The list of things in Leviticus that call for death by stoning would take out not only gays and lesbians, but most everybody else as well. Then there’s that wonderful stuff about dashing out the brains of Philistine babies and exterminating the entire population of Canaan. Yet most Christians, outside of Fred Phelps’s bunch, don’t advocate this kind of stuff. And many Christians from the mainline denominations openly condemn it.

What the Elites Want

Promoting Authoritariansim


We hear a lot these days about Islam’s misogyny and cultural authoritarianism.. A good example is that idiot lawyer fighting construction of a mosque in Chattanooga, enthralling public hearings with juicy quotes he’s mined from the Quran.

Apparently he’s never read the Bible. The list of things in Leviticus that call for death by stoning would take out not only gays and lesbians, but most everybody else as well. Then there’s that wonderful stuff about dashing out the brains of Philistine babies and exterminating the entire population of Canaan. Yet most Christians, outside of Fred Phelps’s bunch, don’t advocate this kind of stuff. And many Christians from the mainline denominations openly condemn it.

So it’s obvious that the actual content of sacred texts means a lot less than the cultural evolution of their adherents. The texts themselves, arguably, are more the products than the sources of authoritarian culture.

In a college Middle Eastern history class, I read a historian (I can’t for the life of me track him down) who posited an “Irano-Mediterranean Oikoumene” with a shared culture of machismo and patriarchal domination of women. St. Paul’s admonition to women to cover their heads in church was entirely in keeping with this culture in Greece. In the classical Greece of Socrates, women commonly appeared in public in something very like a hijab; Aristophanes’ “Assembly of Women,” and the tradition that Socrates’ wife Xanthippe publicly henpecked him, were both considered especially comical against this cultural backdrop.

Most conservative cultural traditions concerning women in contemporary Islam are not mentioned in the Quran, but were found in the preexisting culture of the pagan Arabs. And many misogynistic pagan traditions that Islam condemned, like the exposure of female infants, reemerged among the Bedouin after Muhammad’s time. Muhammad himself was quite liberal toward women in his personal life, compared both to the preexisting pagan culture and later “Islamic” culture, with some women figuring prominently in the early Muslim community at Medina.

Islam was arguably evolving past its cultural authoritarianism earlier than Christianity. At its height, the medieval Islamic civilization was far more liberal and forward-looking than Christian Europe at the same time. This was brought to an end by the Mongol conquest of the Middle East. The Islamic world was set back by centuries, becoming pessimistic, authoritarian and inward-looking, and adopting a reactionary attitude toward Europe’s subsequent cultural progress.

Western imperialism played a similar role in the colonial world. Colonial regimes atomized or perverted local social institutions (as an example of perversion, look at what Hastings’ Permanent Settlement in Bengal, and similar policies later for all of India, did to property relations within the village commune). They decimated social capital and uprooted local institutions that might have provided the basis for evolution of a more liberal society. They deliberately drew colonial boundaries that cut across natural ethnic lines, promoting ethnic hostility as part of a divide-and-rule strategy (much of the Hutu-Tutsi hostility in Rwanda is traceable to such policies under Belgian rule). Much as in Russia, an authoritarian state led to the corruption and atrophy of civil society; and when that authoritarian state withdrew from the scene, it left a vacuum to be filled by military juntas and kleptocrats.

The bipolar superpower dynamic also contributed to greater political authoritarianism in much of the post-colonial Third World. Left-wing nationalist regimes, in the face of Western economic blockades, subversion and outright invasion, adopted garrison state cultures and developed closer ties with the Soviet bloc.

Take Cuba, for example. Although Castro had studied Marx and had a nondescript Marxist politics, he’d also studied the New Deal in prison and saw it as a model for post-revolutionary Cuban development. His 26 July Movement avoided close ties with the pro-Soviet and doctrinaire Marxist-Leninist PSP. After the Revolution, the new regime liquidated the PSP and pursued a fairly liberal economic agenda consisting of land reform and the encouragement of urban cooperatives. Orthodox Marxist-Leninists like Che Guevara formed a distinct subgroup within the 26 July Movement. Only after a full-blown US campaign of destabilization did Castro proclaim himself a Marxist-Leninist and align Cuba with the Soviet bloc.

In South Vietnam, Noam Chomsky has argued, the NLF (“Viet Cong”), while certainly engaging in authoritarian activities, was also a grass-roots populist movement with close ties to the local peasantry, engaged in many of the same kinds of local economic development and self-help activities as the Black Panthers in Oakland. The counter-insurgency campaign in the South eviscerated the NLF and the civil society it was embedded in, leaving a hollow shell for the North Vietnamese Army and the official Marxist-Leninists in Hanoi to take over.

In a sense these were both victories for the United States. The US government arguably has a conscious interest in promoting this kind of authoritarianism. From the standpoint of the American ruling elite, it was far preferable to have the anti-American Third World dominated by authoritarian regimes subject to discipline by the white male three-piece-suited bureaucrats in Moscow (the kind of people Nixon and Kissinger were quite sympatico with), than a liberal anti-American regime providing the demonstration effect of successful economic development outside the global capitalist system.

Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society and holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. He is a mutualist and individualist anarchist and the author of Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. He is also the author of articles in publications including The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty and a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, includingJust Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation, and his own Mutualist Blog.

No one can predict the future but we can work hard to shape the outcomes

Human Security for Global Security

Demilitarization is Not a Dirty Word


The political, social and economic changes we all face are serious. Some might call the state of the world today chaos. The ongoing, dramatic changes in technology and communications are other elements adding to uncertainty and the feelings of insecurity that people around the globe are confronting. No one can predict the future but we can work hard to shape the outcomes.

Clearly there are huge obstacles to creating a world of sustainable peace with justice, equality and an end to impunity. A world free of militarism, armaments and the arms trade in which human and other resources are focused on meeting the needs of humanity rather than fueling conflicts and war. A world of sustainable development that nurtures our planet instead of continuing to devastate the environment and threaten life on earth. This will not happen over night. But worrying about the future is not a strategy for shaping it.

My own work, beginning with protests against the Vietnam War, has been against weapons, war and militarism. It is based on an understanding that sustainable peace is not simply the absence of armed conflict. The absence of armed conflict provides the bare minimum for the possibility of constructing sustainable peace based on socio-economic justice and equality. And to accomplish that we must change the understanding of security.

For centuries security has been defined as “national security” – which essentially has meant assuring the security of those in power and the apparatus of the state. Defending the state requires military power based on nationalism and patriotism. “Us” against “them.” How else could armies be formed that send other people’s children off to fight battles for resources, territory and to project the power of the state?

Now, with globalization where all aspects of life are increasingly and more rapidly interconnected around the world, it is time to move away from state-centric security to security based on the individual – “human security” not “national security.” The human security framework understands “security” as directing policies and resources toward meeting the basic needs of the majority of people on the planet: providing decent housing, education, access to medical care, employment with dignity, protection of civil and human rights and governments that respond to the needs of citizens. It means creating a world where people live with freedom from want and freedom from fear.

One part of being able to create that world is reclaiming and reasserting the meaning of “world peace.” It isn’t meditation, a rainbow with a dove flying over it, or singing peace songs. Nonviolence is not inaction and building sustainable peace must be understood as hard work every single day. We must all be active participants in change for the good. It doesn’t matter what issues people choose to work on – it could be global warming, an end to militarism, an end to poverty, or HIV/Aids for example.

What matters is that we all work on issues we feel passionate about and that our actions are for the benefit of everyone. By doing that our combined efforts enhance human security. We also must talk about our work in the context of human security so that people become familiar with the concept and understand the various elements that contribute to promoting and protecting human security.

Another aspect of creating a world based on human security not national security is to tackle demilitarization and the glorification of violence head on. It is an abomination that with the current global economic shake-down, countries still managed to find billions of dollars for weapons and the military while at the same time they are cutting funds for education, health care, job training, social services –the elements of daily life that are the basis of human security.

Demilitarization is not a dirty word. Civil society and national nongovernmental organization should confront demilitarization in our own countries. At the same time we must collectively press regional bodies such as the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of American States, and so on for global demilitarization. We also have another means of collective action, which is Article 26 of the UN Charter – not that we have illusions about the ability of the UN to seriously work for demilitarization. But every country that joins the UN commits to fulfilling the articles of the charter and Article 26 states:

In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating…plans to be submitted to the members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.

In the more than six decades since the establishment of the UN, the Security Council has done absolutely nothing to fulfill its Article 26 obligation. But the member states of the UN have not done a thing to pressure the Security Council on Article 26 either.

Collectively, global civil society should begin actions to force the Security Council to “formulate plans” under Article 26 as soon as possible. Knowing that they will do everything in their formidable power to continue to ignore those obligations, global civil society should draw up its own plans and recommendations for demilitarization and how to use the resources resulting from demilitarization to enhance global human security. We can develop strategies and tactics around our plans and recommendations to pressure governments nationally, regionally and internationally to begin the process of demilitarization.

With demilitarization, the possibilities of positive change and human security in our world would be limitless. Humanity has the right to the real security of sustainable peace not the false “security” of militarism, armaments and war.

Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

The U.S. (in)justice system is an updated, more sophisticated continuation of repression and containment, and profiting off the misery of NewAfrikan/Black people.

The South is Risen

Old Jim Crow Thrives Inside Oregon Prisons


In her book, The New Jim Crow[1], legal scholar Michelle Alexander did a masterful job of exposing the U.S. criminal (in)justice system for what it is: namely, an updated, more sophisticated, continuation of repression and containment, and profiting off the misery, of New Afrikan/Black people. Her work, and that of other critical race writers like Tim Wise[2], counter the b.s. of those who pretend that Amerika is finally a race-neutral society.

In the eyes of most, and even of these writers, the overt old Jim Crow forms of racism and national oppression, e.g. government-enforced segregation such as “whites only” eating facilities, Blacks seated in the backs of buses, and so on, are practices of a bygone era. Even I thought as much. That is, until I found myself imprisoned within the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC).

The DOC with its ‘Enlightened’ Self

Even during the most blatant stages of U.S. racism, such as chattel slavery; or when lynching was the norm; or when Blacks were fleeing by the millions to cities of the North and West from the Klan, lynch mobs and desperate poverty of the old South; or when ‘zoot suits’ and Bebop jazz were the rave and symbolized our cultural resistance to the white supremacist status quo, military draft and financial exploitation of Black art and music; or when Blacks were being shot, billy-clubbed, tear-gassed, water-hosed by cops and bitten by their dogs for demanding equality; or when over 80% of urban Blacks supported the Black Panther Party, its community service programs and its resistance to police oppression, etc., whites were claiming racism didn’t exist, that racial tranquility was the order of the day, that Blacks were happy and content, and that those who said otherwise were just outside troublemakers out to upset racial ‘harmony’ or agents of enemy foreign governments.

So it was no surprise when ODOC officials assured me upon my arrival from the notoriously racist and abusive supermax prisons of Virginia (the old Confederate South) in February 2012, that theirs is a progressive prison system. They boasted that Oregon ranks in the top ten percentile of U.S. prisons for humane and enlightened treatment of its prisoners, while Virginia is in the lowest ten percentile for prison systems that abuse and mistreat prisoners.

I was of course skeptical. Twenty-two years in prison and a lifetime of living in capitalist Amerika taught me that self-promotional claims of officials work just like corporate advertising. They emphasize only the good and divert attention from the bad in their practices and products. And it’s purely opportunistic and lying advertising. Like the salesperson working for company A, so long as that company pays their bills they zealously promote its goods as superior in quality to rival Company B’s. But should they switch employers, then they will in turn promote Company B’s as the best merchandise.

So I wasn’t exactly shocked to discover in 2012, right in the ODOC and in a prison situated in Oregon’s capital city of Salem, the old Jim Crow was still being practiced almost perfectly in fact.

Back to Separate But Equal

On March 1, 2012 I was assigned to Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) in Salem.

The transition from Virginia to Oregon has been interesting to say the least. And not just because I was allowed in a general prison population after 17 years of solitary confinement.

The racial demographics in Oregon prisons are basically the reverse of Virginia’s, and most everywhere else in Amerika. In Virginia about two out of every twenty prisoners are white. The vast majority of Virginia’s prisoners are Black, although Blacks make up only about 20% of Virginia’s social population. In Oregon, however, only about two or three out of every twenty prisoners are Black. And Oregon’s Black incarceration ratio is still grossly disproportionate to that of whites. Bottom line, the vast majority of Oregon prisoners are white. Seeing all these white folks in prison was the first oddity that struck me on assignment to the ODOC.

The second oddity was finding old JIm Crow alive and well at OSP. And I’m told by all that OSP is the ODOC’s most ‘liberal’ men’s prison, with the most racially ‘tolerant’ staff. Other ODOC prisons “out east,” like Snake River, where their Security Housing Units are called “Cowboy Country,” where staff with attitudes like the Klan “do things their own way.” But here’s an example of what I found in OSP: a prisoner cafeteria right out of the Old South.

The prisoner chow hall seats several hundred prisoners, four to a table. It’s one large room with an equal number of tables on either side, divided by a walking aisle down the middle. At the rear are two food service windows where trays are prepared, one on the left side of the cafeteria, one on the right. To reach the service windows prisoners enter through one or the other of two doors situated at the front on the far left and far right sides of the cafeteria. They then proceed in straight lines along the right or left wall to the rear, and collect their tray, utensils, and food at the service window.

The serving lines, service windows, and seating arrangements are divided by race. Whites use the line food service window, and sit on the right side of the cafeteria. All other races use and sit on the left side; Blacks sit in the very back. Asians, Mexicans and Latinos and Native Americans sit in the middle. And up in the front where groups of guards stand nearby, is where sex-offenders sit — this shunned group is generally white. Food service staff and guards assign only white prisoners to work the serving windows on the right or white side, all others, including white outcasts, work the left or ‘colored’ side.

An Outsider Making Waves

When I first observed this arrangement, I thought instantly of George Jackson’s description in Soledad Brother[3] of the t.v. room in 1960s California prisons, where guards enforced segregated seating with whites up front and Blacks in the rear. And how when he dared to sit up front with the whites, he was jumped and guards punished only him as the troublemaker.

I too decided to defy this OSP seating arrangement, and leading by example, sat at a table near the front on the white side. And, consistent with Comrade George’s t.v. room experience, the Black prisoners all cast me nervous or fearful sidelong glances. The guards and white prisoners looked at me like I was crazy or a confused or lost child. Whites seated at the table quickly moved, leaving me to sit alone. Everyone obviously expected me to be jumped. Although I was prepared, nothing happened.

The next day, I went around the white serving line to ‘their’ serving window, and was this time intercepted by a white guard who told me if I sat on the white side again I’d be taken as trying to incite a riot and would be thrown in the hole. So I went and sat in the Black section looking to gauge the thinking and responses of other Blacks. They literally begged me not to sit on the white side again.

For days afterward I patiently questioned and challenged their thinking, pointing out among other things: 1) They are victims of government-enforced Jim Crow eating and seating arrangements exactly like in the Old South, which Rosa Parks, student sit-ins and others had defied; 2) Their attitudes were just like those of complacent ‘broken’ Blacks who “went along to get along,” fearing white backlash to defying Jim Crow segregation; 3) That the key challenges to Jim Crow were initiated by people from other places like me, such as Northern Black college students and white supporters — ‘Freedom Riders’ — who rode buses through the South defying segregated seating laws; 4) Just like in the Old South, OSP officials justify tolerating and enforcing segregated conditions and punishing those who defy them in the name of preventing white mob violence; and 5) The entire game of racial division plays right into the hands of the administration and guards who oppress everyone — that it is an old tactic taken from the Willie Lynch playbook of Divide and Rule.

Although most of them accepted the history lesson, they all resisted following its example. And to save face, they all pretended to be satisfied with sitting on ‘their’ side in the rear of the cafeteria. “We don’t want to sit with the whites anyway,” they proclaimed, but admitted not to be speaking for everyone. I pointed out also that they didn’t seem to want to sit with each other either, since they most frequently bickered and fought each other and there was no Black unity either. And oddly, whites frequently sit in the Black area without protest. I questioned this and what it said of them that even pedophiles and rapists got more considerate front row seating than them. I haven’t gotten a satisfactory rebuttal to either of these points yet.

And no OSP administrator, including the warden/superintendent can claim ignorance or plausible denial, since they all routinely sit or stand right in the cafeteria observing the meals.

We’re Not Racists!

Prison officials love to sermonize that prisoners must learn to accept responsibility for their actions. Woe unto them but did they practice what they preach. Perhaps they could be taken more seriously if they began their sermons with a confession in the tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Hi. I’m an Oregon prison official and I’m a bigot.” But these folks aren’t interested in curing themselves or their system Hypocrites ….

In fact, I’ve seldom seen as reflexive an angry response as when calling them on their racism. Some of the more ‘professional’ ones temper their reactions with strong silence, changing several shades of red, changing the subject, or simply changing places by charging me with being the racist for noticing racial issues at all. Whether they react, evade or deny, the responses are always defensive. And one only becomes defensive when one has something to protect or hide.

In most cases, when I’ve told guards and administrators here that they practice racism and jingoism, they react negatively. From threats to throw me in the hole to actually doing so, to angry blanket denials, to locking me in the cell as a threat to staff. The truth hurts I suppose. Truth also exposes what one wishes to deny. And denying the obvious in racial matters is an old Amerikan tradition. As old as Amerika itself, actually.

As Stan Goff, the white veteran and career U.S. Special Operations soldier, who exposed blatant Special Ops racism and exclusion of Blacks from their units, once observed, “White America will kill to preserve its lies.”[4] The Old South taught us that too.

So, no, Old South Jim Crow and the South didn’t fall. They just moved out West and merged with the New Jim Crow to become what Oregon officials call an enlightened and humane approach to prison administration. They definitely have Virginia beat! I was just shipped from a plantation run by wolves, to one run by foxes. Either way, as Malcolm X observed, I’m still in the doghouse. Only this time, with back row seats.

Kevin Rashid Johnson has spent most of his adult life in prison. He spent 17 years in solitary in Virginia, and has recently been transferred to Oregon.


[1] Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, NY, 2010)

[2] Tim Wise, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama (City Lights, Cal., 2009)

[3] George Jackson, Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson (Lawrence Hill Books, Chicago, 1970)

[4] Stan Goff, Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military In the New American Century (Soft Skull, NY, 2004)