Tag Archives: whistleblowers

TIME wusses out yet once again

This is the cover of the TIME magazine dated December 23, 2013.

TIME magazine’s having named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” for 2013 is much like the magazine’s unimaginative choice of Barack Obama for last year’s “Person of the Year.” And like Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was, Pope Francis’ “Person of the Year” win is premature — it was based upon his rhetoric rather than upon his actual actions. (Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama now proclaims that he’s “really good at killing people.”)

On equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, for instance, Pope Francis talks about love and compassion, but has maintained that under his papacy the Catholick church’s official stance on non-heterosexuality and non-heterosexuals has not budged a millimeter: The church still opposes same-sex marriage and still maintains that while same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, ever acting upon it is.

So this is the message to us non-heterosexuals from the Catholick church: We love and accept you, non-heterosexuals! Just don’t ever act upon your perversion! And don’t expect to ever get married in one of our churches!

Don’t expect to be employed by the Catholick church, either. The Catholick church recently even fired a long-time high school teacher in Philadelphia because he announced that he was going to marry his same-sex partner, and in October the church fired a lesbian high school teacher in Arkansas after she had married her same-sex partner.

This is the love that Jesus Christ taught?

The Catholick church also still staunchly opposes not only abortion, but even simple birth control, despite the obvious pain and suffering that overpopulation causes, including poverty, starvation and child abuse, and the obvious destruction to the planet that human overpopulation causes.

But no — Pope Francis, like Barack Obama, sure can give a good speech, so, like Barack Obama has been (twice), Pope Francis is TIME’s “Person of the Year.”

And just like being president of the U.S. pretty much means that you’re going to be named TIME’s “Person of the Year” one to even three times, being pope means that there’s a good chance that you’ll be named “Person of the Year.”

Pope Francis is the third pope to be named “Person of the Year” since TIME began the designation in 1927. Since 1927 there have been eight popes, including Francis, but one of those eight popes died after little more than a month after he became pope, so if you are pope, your chances of becoming TIME’s “Person of the Year” are about 50-50.

I don’t know — it seems to me that being president of the U.S. or pope is enough of a reward; TIME has to reward you, too?

TIME magazine proclaims Pope Francis to be “the people’s pope” and notes of Francis that “The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”

As I have written, because Francis was born to Italian parents in Argentina, in my book he’s still pretty much yet another Italian pope — not a “non-European pope,” except only technically — and maybe he is “poised to transform” the backasswards Catholick church, but so was Obama poised in 2009 to be a U.S. president for peace.

Have we really devolved to the point that we’re rewarding people for what they could or might do, instead of for what they actually have done?

My choice for “Person of the Year,” hands down, as I wrote, was whistleblower and patriot Edward Snowden, who, given the fact that he doesn’t have the power base that a pope or a president has, in exposing the illegal, unethical and unconstitutional mass spying that the U.S. government has been perpetrating for some years now at home and abroad, has been much more courageous than has Pope Francis, and probably has done much greater good for many more people than Francis ever will do during his entire papacy, however long it lasts. (Yes, I factor in the overpopulation and its attendant harm that Francis still advocates, and that’s a big fucking negative.)

But TIME wussed out and went with the easier and lazier choice of Pope Francis, and put Edward Snowden at second place, and put same-sex-marriage warrior Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit brought about the U.S. Supreme Court’s killing of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (a.k.a. DOMA) as unconstitutional — (arguably) the high court’s first step in prohibiting the prohibition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, since to prohibit it is indeed unconstitutional — at third place.

I’d say that two out of three isn’t bad, but Pope Francis didn’t belong even in the top three. I don’t know that he’d have made even my top 10.

TIME screwed Snowden of his rightful first place, and the rest of us along with him. As usual, the powers that be, such as the Catholick church, remain on top, while we, the people, as usual, remain second-class citizens, if that.

I guess we’re just lucky that TIME didn’t name Miley Cyrus its “Person of the Year.”

That, apparently, was the best that we could hope for from the wonderful people at TIME.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Patriot Ed Snowden evokes Nuremberg in his ongoing fight for freedom

Snowden wants Russia asylum, lawmaker says

Associated Press image

American patriot Edward Snowden during a press conference at a Moscow airport today stated that he has been following “the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: ‘Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.'” Amen. The U.S. government does not own us. We own it. Ultimately, all of us, every single human being, is a citizen of the world — and not the property of any one nation. (The full transcript of Snowden’s remarks of today are below; I recommend that you read every word.)

I was just asking to be rescued from the ocean of freedom in which I’m drowning (U-S-A! U-S-A!), but I’m still drowning in all of that freedom!

Very apparently, the elites in D.C., who stopped representing our interests long, long ago, believe that they have the right to restrict our right to travel freely.

To me, the right to travel freely — until and unless one has been demonstrated in a fair trial in a court of law to pose an actual (and not a hypothetical) threat to others — is a universal human right, and if we bash certain other nations for restricting their citizens’ right to travel freely (and we do), then we’re fucking hypocrites (as usual) when we do the same.

To wit: The Repugnican-Tea-Party-controlled U.S. House of Representatives — and remember, these very same wingnuts claim that they’re all about “freedom” — apparently want to put further restrictions on American citizens’ right to travel to Cuba.

The pro-capitalist/pro-feudalism wingnuts hate the anti-capitalist Cuba, you see, and they want the continued monetary support of Cuban Americans, the majority of whom (like Florida’s Marco Rubio and Texas’ Ted Cruz) are wingnuts, so, to keep the tiny minority of Americans who are of Cuban descent happy and to keep their campaign contributions (well, their bribes) flowing, the wingnuts want to tell us Americans which nations we may visit and which nations we may not.

Where Cuba is concerned, this is for purely political/ideological reasons, and therefore it is a blatant violation of our human rights. We Americans essentially are to be political prisoners of the right wing. Yes, to me, restricting someone’s free travel is in same league as false imprisonment: You are unjustly restricting someone’s freedom of movement from one place to another.

This isn’t just a Repugnican Tea Party thing.

American patriot Edward Snowden’s latest pronouncement (which he made during a press conference in Russia today) is that (as we already knew) the U.S. government is doing its damnedest to keep him virtually imprisoned in Russia. Snowden has asked for temporary asylum in Russia while he figures out how to travel to one of the Latin American nations, including Venezuela, that have offered him permanent asylum.

Snowden should be able to travel anywhere on the planet, but the U.S. government, the biggest bully on the planet, has been strong-arming weaker nations into preventing Snowden from flying over their airspace; these weakers nations fear that if they don’t succumb tot he U.S. government’s demands, the U.S. government will retaliate against them.

That’s called bullying, and bullying comes from a space of cowardice, not of strength. A strong nation doesn’t need to violate a single individual’s human rights. We say this all the time of individuals: If you have nothing to hide, then what are you worried about? I say the same thing to the treasonous elites of the U.S. government: If you have no wrongdoing to hide, then why the hell are you working so hard to persecute Edward Snowden?

It’s obvious that Snowden can’t get a fair trial in the U.S., not when the American “justice” system is controlled by the same treasonous elites who want his head on a silver platter. Therefore, because he is the victim of political persecution, his application for political asylum in another nation is apt.

While the treasonous elites in D.C. more or less have stopped calling Snowden a “traitor,” they’re still doing what they can to snare him, and if we allow them to persecute him, then we are enabling them to expand their net until one day, sooner rather than later, any of us commoners who have embarrassed and/or pissed off the treasonous elites can be branded as “traitors” — not because we actually harmed the nation in any way, of course, but only because we dared to cross our overlords.

Of course, perhaps the reason that the treasonous elites in D.C. more or less have stopped calling Snowden a “traitor” — aside from the fact that such pronouncements have demonstrated already that he cannot get a fair trial in the U.S. — is that Snowden’s status as a “traitor” is the minority view.

While the results of the Quinnipiac University poll of more than 2,000 registered voters nationwide that was taken from June 28 through July 8 admittedly are a bit schizophrenic, the answer to at least one of the questions seems fairly clear. That question was “Do you regard Edward Snowden — the national security consultant who released information to the media about the phone-scanning program [that’s not exactly all of it, but whatever ] — as more of a traitor, or more of a whistleblower?”

Only 34 percent of the poll respondents were willing to brand Snowden a “traitor,” while 55 percent deemed him a “whistleblower,” and 11 percent (for some reason) were “unsure.”

So entrapped are they in their Big Bubble of Privilege that the treasonous elites in D.C. from both of the duopolistic, pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate parties casually pronounced Snowden a “traitor,” when only about a third of the Americans whose interests these elites actually claim to represent agree with that assessment, while more than half of them — of us — disagree with that assessment. (Can you say “Out of fucking touch”?)

It seems to me that the elites in D.C. need to tread with caution. Maybe, just maybe, Americans are waking up to the fact that it’s our over-privileged overlords, and not young patriots like Edward Snowden, who are the real traitors who are doing the real damage to this nation and to the rest of the world.

P.S. Thus far Edward Snowden’s legal defense fund through the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has raised more than $37,000. I’ve given $30 thus far; if you wish, you can contribute here (be sure to give to the “PCCC Strategic Fund”).

Here is the transcript of Snowden’s remarks of today:

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance.

While the U.S. Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell U.S. secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression.

The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the [United Nations] asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee.

These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum.

As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Two ways you can help patriot Edward Snowden right now

Updated below

U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen in this still image taken from a video during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong

Reuters image

Repugnican Tea Party Speaker of the House John Boehner has called 29-year-old National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden (pictured above) a “traitor.”

This is not all that surprising, coming from an alcoholic fascist like Boehner, whose treasonous, far-right-wing party’s only wish is to preserve the status quo. (Actually, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want to take us back to the Dark Ages, but, at the minimum, they want to keep us trapped where we are; they seek to block all progress in the United States of America, and to a large degree, they succeed.)

Edward Snowden is a defender of the U.S. Constitution — specifically, Americans’ Fourth-Amendment right to privacy.

But in the down-the-rabbit-hole United States of America, where freedom and democracy died long, long ago, the actually treasonous criminals are let off scot-fucking-free while those who report the treasonous criminals’ criminal and treasonous activity, like Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, are made into the “criminals.” They’re called by the hypocritically treasonous powers that be “traitors,” even.

(If Snowden is a “traitor,” gee, maybe he’s a “terrorist,” too! Maybe there’s a killer drone hunting him down as I type this sentence!)

Today, the power-mad, democracy-hating, Constitution-violating traitors in Washington go after patriots like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. (I’d call Julian Assange a patriot, but he’s Australian… Still, he’s a lover of actual freedom and actual democracy and he rejects the faux freedom and the faux democracy that the plutocrats and their servants in D.C. claim are the real thing.)

Tomorrow, the fascists in D.C. come for the rest of us.

There are two simple things that you can do right now to help Edward Snowden:

  • One, you can contribute to his legal defense fund, which the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has set up. You can do that here. (If you decide to donate to Snowden’s legal defense fund via the PCCC, be sure to donate to the “PCCC Strategic Fund” that is shown on the webpage.) I’ve given $10 to Snowden’s legal defense fund and I probably will give more.
  • Two, you can sign the petition on the White House’s website to encourage President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden. The petition is available here. (You’ll have to register with the website if you’re not already registered; registration is simple.) When I signed the petition this morning, almost half of the necessary 100,000 signatures necessary for the White House to consider the petition had been collected.

And use your sphere of influence, of course.

Doing these things is better that doing nothing. They’re something.

We need to alter the sociopolitical environment that even makes it possible for an actually treasonous fascist like John Boehner to call a courageous patriot like Edward Snowden a “traitor.”

P.S. I have to note that it’s pretty fucking stupid for the Repugnican Tea Party, which is hurting among youthful voters, to attack the 29-year-old Snowden like this.

I don’t expect the Obama administration, which has depended upon youthful voters, to attack Snowden nearly as viciously, but it will be interesting to see how the Obama administration decides to proceed with Snowden.

Update: To be fair and balanced, I will point you to this Associated Press news story that I just read in which “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has referred to Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing as “an act of treason.”

Oh, sure, the right-wing Feinstein is the chair of the Senate “intelligence” committee, but she’s also a millionaire, one of the plutocrats who benefit from the unconstitutional vast spying upon Americans.

Feinstein also voted for the Vietraq War — from which her husband, Richard Blum, a war profiteer, just happened to make millions of dollars.

With “friends” like these, who needs the fucking Repugnicans?

(If memory serves, I voted for the fascistic Feinstein in 2000, being new to California and not knowing any better; however, I didn’t vote for her in 2006 or in 2012, and I never would cast a vote for her again. She’s one of the many examples one could point to in order to demonstrate that the average American’s interests are not represented in D.C. )

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Repugnican slayer Allred is all right

Sharon Bialek, left, a Chicago-area woman, prepares to addresses a news conference at the Friars Club, with her attorney Gloria Allred, in New York,  Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Bialek accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of making an unwanted sexual advance against her more than a decade ago, saying she wanted to provide "a face and a voice" to support other accusers who have so far remained anonymous. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Associated Press photo

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, right, appears with Sharon Bialek at a press conference today in New York City. Bialek, a former employee of the National Restaurant Association, claims that in 1997 then-association head Herman Cain, who now wants to be president of the United States of America, blatantly, physically sexually harassed her and linked her acquiescence to his sexual advances to her employment.

For a Repugnican campaign, a press conference by California attorney Gloria Allred is worse than a visit by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I like Gloria Allred.

Sure, she might be a sleazy lawyer, but the woman gets results.

In September 2010, shortly before California’s 2010 gubernatorial election, Allred held a press conference with a tearful Nicky Diaz Santillan, the former undocumented housekeeper and nanny of billionaire Repugnican gubernatorial candidate Nutmeg Whitman. Megalomaniac Whitman dumped Santillan after nine years of service because Whitman thought that having an undocumented housekeeper would harm her gubernatorial campaign, Allred alleged.

Despite that fact that Megalomaniac spent more than $140 million of her own funds in the gubernatorial race, breaking all previous records for self-funded political campaigns in U.S. history, Nutmeg lost the November 2010 gubernatorial election to her Democratic challenger Jerry Brown by 13 percentage points.

Sure, Nutmeg had other things against her: being a Repugnican in a blue state; spending millions and millions to the point that it was apparent to California’s voters that she was trying to buy the governorship (which was offensive to those of us California voters who have been victims of the post-BushCheneyCorp economy); using her deep, deep pockets to overexpose herself to the voters, who grew tired of All Meg All the Time; and, let’s face it, she’s not only physically unattractive (which shouldn’t matter in a political race, but so often does), but she comes across as wooden and cold.

But Allred was one of the nails in Nutmeg’s political coffin. Allred helped to complete the picture of Nutmeg as another Cruella de Vil, and not only the state’s Latino voters had a problem with Nutmeg’s reported cruel, politically motivated dumping of her long-time housekeeper and nanny, but the state’s anti-brown-skinned-people wingnuts (yes, we have plenty of those here in California) had a problem with the fact that Nutmeg had employed an “illegal” in the first place.

Now, Gloria Allred has polished off Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain.

To date we have not one, not two, not three, but four women who have reported that they were sexually harassed by Herman Cain.

At a press conference with Allred in New York City today, Sharon Bialek, a registered Repugnican of the Chicago area, reported that in 1997 she was sexually harassed by Cain, who, she claims, put his hand under her skirt and went for her genitalia. She reported that when she protested, Cain retorted, “You want a job, right?”

We now have a face to put to the allegations of Cain’s serial sexual harassment. It’s not just an abstraction anymore.

Cain cannot politically survive this.

If Bialek were lying, Cain could sue her for defamation. But she probably isn’t, so I don’t expect him to.

Now, as was the case with Nutmeg’s numerous other negatives, Gropegate isn’t Herman Cain’s only problem. His lack of political experience — he’s never held a single elected political office — and his buffoonery (including his abject ignorance of foreign affairs and his penchant for spontaneously breaking out in song), while not a problem for the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards, would have killed him in the general election anyway, had he ever made it that far.

But it’s nice to see the Repugnican Tea Party’s favorite go down in flames early anyway. Rick Perry comes across not only as another George W. Bush, but as a publicly drunken George W. Bush. The “tea party” dipshits are stuck with Mitt Romney, from what I can tell, and I know, I know, that Mike Huckabee flagellates himself frequently for having jumped out of the race so early.

Cain’s destruction — his very apparent self-destruction, let me add — is a victory not only for us wingnut slayers, but for feminists. Sexual. Harassment. Is. Not. OK. And it’s not OK to shame and blame the victims of sexual harassment.

And this phenomenon in which the accused wrongdoers want us to focus on who leaked the wrongdoing instead of focusing upon the wrongdoing itself (which we have seen in the WikiLeaks case as well) — yeah, that fucking shit has to fucking stop, too.

If wrongdoing has taken place, it doesn’t fucking matter who leaked it.

Those who bring wrongdoing to light deserve medals, not scorn or retaliation or punishment. Let’s reserve that for the wrongdoers. 

In the meantime, it’s time for Herman “Black Walnut” Cain to sing his swan song.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized