Monthly Archives: April 2019

Under Neoliberal Capitalism Anybody Can Become Homeless

Rebecca Twigg, who’s one of the greatest female cyclists in history, is now homeless and living on the streets of Seattle. The tragic irony of this story lies in the fact that what made her a great cyclist in the 1980s inevitably made her homeless in the 2010s. In a sense. Rebecca Twigg has always been homeless, ever since her mother kicked her out of the house at age 16. Riding a bike was the one place she felt centered, where she belonged. Now she’s lost that.

Thanks to Jeff Bezos, Seattle is now a hypergentrified city. I lived on an off in the University District in the 1990s. I was an alienated misfit working low paid menial jobs like Alaskan fish gutter and Starbucks barista. Back then, however, while it was already expensive to buy a house, it was easy to rent a cheap apartment in one of the more marginal areas of the city. Had the Seattle of the 1990s been the Seattle of the 2010s, I probably would have been living on the streets just like Rebecca Twigg.

The Seattle-raised athlete went on to become one of the most famous American cyclists in the ’80s and ’90s, winning six world championships and medaling in two Olympics. She appeared on cycling magazine covers, in sponsor ads and in features in Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair.

But then, in 1996, she left the team abruptly during the Olympics and the next year, retired from cycling. She re-entered the workforce. It didn’t work out.

“Once you’ve done something that feels like you’re born to do it, it’s hard to find anything that’s that good of a fit,” Twigg says today. “Anything else that feels that way.”

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/olympic-medal-winning-cyclist-rebecca-twigg-is-homeless-in-seattle/

 

Mumia Abu-Jamal wins right to re-open appeals — Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement

I personally don’t think either Mumia or Peltier (or Julian Assange) is ever going to see the light of day again. But this is good news nonetheless.

The Most Revolutionary Act

https://bit.ly/2GfK0VC

Community activists and leaders from the Philadelphia region will hold a news conference 12 noon, Thursday, April 18 at the Octavius V. Catto Statue on the south side of Philadelphia City Hall to discuss today’s decision by District Attorney Larry Krasner to finally relent to Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker’s ground-breaking decision which gives political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal the right to reopen his appeals.

By rescinding his appeal, Krasner has removed a major hurdle for Abu-Jamal to eventually be released after 37 years in prison. This is a significant development in Abu-Jamal’s quest for freedom.

Public pressure on Krasner’s office to do the right thing and rescind the appeal gained momentum in early February when Yale Law School students publicly withdrew their invitation to Krasner to deliver a keynote address to their Rebellious Lawyering (Reb/Law) conference. In Philadelphia, activists often confronted Krasner whenever he spoke in public…

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On the Antisemitic Underpinnings of the Russiagate Hysteria

Yasha Levine writes about the similarities between American liberal Russophobia and classical antisemitism.

with its blood-drenched “Judeo-Bolshevik Lite” aesthetic and hints about other diabolical Russian conspiracies to control the world, Time sure wasn’t going for subtlety: Sure, that plot was a dud, but the liberal global order shouldn’t let its guard down just yet. There are other plans afoot, ones more expansive and possibly even more evil!

https://yasha.substack.com/p/court-russians-and-soviet-emigres

Anti-Slavic bigotry is “respectable” in the United States. I’ve had “woke” liberals tell Polish jokes right to my face. But what Levine points out about “Russiagate” is beyond simple ethnic/class bias and ventures into out and out fascism.

How ironic that the “liberal” opposition to a fascist and white supremacist like Trump often takes on such bigoted and white supremacist dimensions.

Notre Dame Burns Down

The great cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, one of the most iconic buildings in the world, is on fire. They’ll probably be able to save part of it, but the whole building looks critically damaged. The cause appears to have been an accident during restoration work.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47941794

The real issue seems to have been poor coordination between the French government and the Catholic Church on upkeep and renovations. The cathedral was in pretty bad shape even before the fire. Were the renovations rushed and  badly planned? It seems obvious.

Under France’s strict secular laws, the government owns the cathedral, and the Catholic archdiocese of Paris uses it permanently for free. The priests for years believed the government should pay for repairs, since it owned the building. But under the terms of the government’s agreement, the archdiocese is responsible for Notre Dame’s upkeep, with the Ministry of Culture giving it about €2 million ($2.28 million) a year for that purpose. Staff say that money covers only basic repairs, far short of what is needed. Without a serious injection of cash, some believe, the building will not be safe for visitors in the future. Now the archdiocese is seeking help to save Notre Dame from yielding to the ravages of time.

http://time.com/4876087/notre-dame-cathedral-is-crumbling/

Ironically, in 1871 during the Paris Commune, the communards were going to destroy the great cathedral as a symbol of Catholic reaction but they decided against it.

Fortunately, the Committee of Public Safety immediately ordered that Notre Dame be evacuated. It survived. The Archbishop of Paris was not so lucky. On 24 May, with government forces closing in on the city hall, the Communard police chief ordered the aged Archbishop and other clerical hostages before a firing squad. Failing to kill him with two volleys, the firing squad administered the coup de grace with their bayonets.

https://www.clausewitz.com/readings/Jacobsen-TheWarOfTheCommune14.htm

What atheistical communist revolution failed to achieve, capitalist neglect and poorly thought out safety regulations finally accomplished.

I wonder how lucky Snowden feels now that he never made it to Ecuador?

Because the Ecuadorian government is about to turn Julian Assange over to US torturers.

Julian Assange is to be ‘kicked out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London within hours and arrested’ claim Wikileaks.

Wikileaks made the claim about its founder in a tweet and quoted a high-level Ecuadorean government source.

It also said that Quito has an agreement with the UK to arrest him.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6888435/Julian-Assange-kicked-Ecuadorian-embassy-HOURS-arrested-says-WikiLeaks.html

Who Taught The Saudis How to Slice and Dice Jamal Khashoggi Alive?

Would you believe me if I told you “we” (“we” being defined as “Americans”) did?

Of course you would.

Several of the Saudi agents who were involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul last year had received training in the United States, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Post columnist David Ignatius said US and Saudi sources told him that the training occurred before the killing “as part of ongoing liaison” between the US and Saudi Arabia, but that it has since been halted.

https://www.dw.com/en/khashoggi-killers-received-training-in-the-united-states-report/a-48131611?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

We should be putting those “crippling sanctions” on Saudi Arabia (and ourselves) any day now.