Border and Community Vigilantism

Stephen Lendman

"All Americans were once immigrants. It's high time newcomers were embraced like early arrivals in colonial times. They were welcomed and helped, not spurned the way Latinos and other people of color are today. It's a sad testimony to today's America, repressive at home and belligerent abroad against people who "aren't like us." Imagine the difference under leaders like them."

Founded by long-time human rights activist/former baseball executive Enrique Morones in 1986, Border tries to save lives by

"stop(ping) unnecessary deaths of individuals traveling through the Imperial Valley desert (and mountain) areas....surrounding San Diego County, as well (locations) around the" US-Mexican border.

Extreme heat and cold conditions take lives. Desert summer temperatures reach 127 degrees so water is crucial to survive. Volunteers provide it throughout the spring and summer months, in violation of US law. In fall and winter, life-saving stations are maintained in mountain areas, providing warm clothes, food, and water.

A recent article covered Obama's immigration agenda, accessed through this link.

It discussed the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) recent report on repressive immigrant policing. It accused Washington and growing numbers of states of running "a brutal system of immigration control and policing that criminalizes immigration status, normalizes the forcible separation of families, destabilizes communities and workplaces, and fuels widespread civil rights violations."

It also fuels racial discrimination and hate violence against anyone perceived to be foreign, especially people of color, notably from south of the border. They risk cruel and unusual punishment, even death, NNIRR reporting at least two migrant fatalities daily, and for every body found "at least ten others are believed to have disappeared."

Police State Terror in Bahrain

Stephen Lendman

A wounded Bahraini demonstrator is treated in Manama. Photo-
graph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Last summer sporadic protests began. By mid-February, major ones erupted. Demonstrators held firm against King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa's regime. Repression and several deaths were reported from live fire.

Anti-government protesters occupied Manama's Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain's equivalent of Cairo's Tahrir Square. They demanded democratic elections, ending sectarian discrimination favoring Sunnis over Shias, equitable distribution of the country's oil wealth, and resignation of the king's uncle, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, prime minister since 1971. They also want political prisoners released and state terror ended.

For weeks, many thousands defied government demands, braving police attacks with tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, and disappearances.

On February 14, Canada's National Post writer Peter Goodspeed headlined, "Trouble in tiny Bahrain carries big implications," saying:

If Bahrain becomes democratic, people throughout the region will be inspired to demand it. As a result, "the ramifications for US foreign policy could be severe. Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet," the Pentagon "station(ing) 15 warships, including an aircraft battle group, in the very heart of the Persian Gulf."

"The island state off the coast of Saudi Arabia provides Washington with a perfect base from which it can protect the (region's) flow of oil, keep an eye on Iran and support pro-Western monarchies against potential threats."

On March 14, fearing uprisings against their own regimes, over 1,500 Saudi Arabia-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military and police security forces invaded Bahrain guns blazing. They attacked peaceful protesters, arrested opposition leaders and activists, occupied the country, denied wounded men and women medical treatment, and imposed police state control in support of the hated monarchy.

Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking?

Ellen Brown
The Web of Debt

"So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both – and water as well."

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government.

Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:

I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.

Alex Newman wrote in the New American:

In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”

Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, “Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.”

Leopold Kohr. Gentle Messenger of Community, Fellowship and Celebration

Vincent Di Stefano

Our times are not entirely graced by an abundance of wisdom in those who would rule. We are all now engulfed in the consequences of decisions made in the offices of politician-economists, investment bankers and corporate technocrats.

The rule of philosopher-kings remains a distant ideal that periodically resurfaces from the time it was first given voice by Socrates and Plato in the fifth century BCE. It found some expression in the Chakravartin king Ashoka who renounced war and conquest while at the height of his powers in third century BCE India. And it was thwarted in the attempts of the noble-hearted Boethius to reform the decadent politics of a corroded Roman empire during the sixth century CE.

Regardless, we are where we are, and it is probably useful to continue to actively seek out those rare and occasional carriers of the wisdom that would guide us towards a more equitable world, a more peaceful world, and a more sustainable world than that which we presently inhabit.

Leopold Kohr was professor of economics and public administration at a number of universities in North America, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom from the early 1940s to the 1970s. As a younger man, he spent time in Spain as a journalist, sharing an office with Ernest Hemingway, and a friendship and many conversations with Eric Blair, who was later to publish his own writings under the pen name of George Orwell. Even then, Kohr's sharp pen thrust at the Fascism of Franco, the Nazism of Hitler, and the Communism of Stalin.

Shocked by the destruction occurring in Europe at the hands of the great powers of the time, he began to focus his thoughts and marshal his powers of concentration in 1941. Over the next ten years, he gave them form in a manuscript entitled The Breakdown of Nations, which was completed in 1951. Throughout that time, Kohr lectured in economics at the University of Toronto and contributed occasional editorials to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

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