Creating a better world through words and images

Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons

Sorry, but my wife and I have been sick for two weeks, and coincidentally, we’ve run out of patience with our neighborhood’s year-round mortar exploding “Ernest T. Bass.” His nighttime hobby terrorizes traumatized adults (including war zone survivors/veterans), infants, and pets alike — including two of the sweetest dogs we’ve ever known, Izzy and Darwin, generously shared by our awesome neighbors.

The last thing any of us needs is more suburban yokels detonating things in the vicinity of our otherwise tranquil “Bay Area Mayberry” home. Where we raise bees and grow tomatoes. And sleep… once we stop coughing.

In days gone by, I celebrated this holiday by screening the film “Gandhi” — for myself and whoever else I could entice to see it with me. Because, I figured, there’s more than one way to liberate a nation… and Ben Kingsley is simply fantastic in the title role. To this day, I find the film inspirational.

[BOOYAH FOR NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE! Nonviolent resistance liberated India from British colonial rule and ended Apartheid in South Africa. And it helped the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. notch real victories… until the Southern Strategy/New Jim Crow backlash in the 1970s-90s… and the 2013 evisceration of the Voting Rights Act… following Wall Street’s larcenous plunder of African-American households’ wealth, wiping out black families’ post-Civil Rights Era gains.]

This year, I’ve decided to mark Independence Day with a celebration of the free press.

Specifically, I’d like to honor one of the finest journalists America has ever produced: JEREMY SCAHILL, the award-winning co-founder of The Intercept and author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” and “Dirty Wars,” among other acclaimed books.

Scahill’s recent report is so good that it’s forced me to accept that SOME ELEMENTS OF RUSSIAGATE ARE BASED IN FACT:

Although I’ve been a vocal RussiaGate skeptic — seeing far more debunked stories than evidence, to date — Jeremy Scahill’s report has introduced me to a legitimate, official Russia-Trump campaign link, dating as far back as the August 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, with Donald Trump, Jr., in attendance. Along with Erik Prince, America’s preeminent mercenary warlord.

Although I maintain that RussiaGate is primarily a propaganda campaign and a distraction, I have to admit that Scahill has apparently found an actual Trump-Moscow connection.

That said, Scahill’s report also confirms my hunch that the NEOCON AGENDA — ultimately targeting Iran — is the real center of gravity in this geopolitical tangle.

As this and other reports reveal, advancing the neocon agenda seems to be the ONLY major issue that the Trump folks had to talk about with the Russians, before and after the election.

Mind you, self-censoring corporate journalists will do all they can to keep Israel, the Saudis, UAE, and especially the neocons OUT of their breathless, error-riddled “Russia, Russia, Russia!” coverage; their stock in trade is xenophobic neo-McCarthyism, that which conditions the American people toward accepting war, even a World War.


Ask Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Syria…

(Ask anyone. We’re famous for our bombing.)

Exposing the grimy, genocidal underside of American foreign policy is the last thing the corporate MSM is interested in doing.

But Jeremy Scahill doesn’t push narratives, he uncovers truths. History will get this right, even as the majority tune into FoxNews and MSNBC for partisan programming.

Oddball that I am, this is just my way of saying… HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Because, the way I see it, freedom is also for celebrating independent thinking. And independent journalism.

Not just for waking up sick people and scaring pets.


Other Jeremy Scahill highlights of recent years:

Scahill on Canadian news during the Obama presidency:

Scahill predicting the future in 2013:

… which, believe it or not, doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with Iran — but everything to do with Saudi Arabia’s regional ambitions.

As reported by Whitney Webb at MintPress News, the United Nations now estimates that 18.4 MILLION Yemenis are at risk of starvation by the end of this year:

“During a briefing last Friday, the UN warned that millions more Yemeni civilians are expected to starve to death before year’s end as a result of a blockade imposed on the country by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The Saudis’ unsuccessful bid to quash the Houthi-led resistance movement against Western and Saudi imperialism in Yemen has already claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and transformed the country into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since the war began in 2015…”

IF ONLY Donald Trump would Tweet something ignorant and obnoxious about this hellish nightmare, initiated by GWB and dramatically expanded by President Obama. Then (and only then?) mainstream Americans might begin to register the ongoing genocide in Yemen, committed by Washington’s Wahhabi “besties” — with the weapons, logistical support, and diplomatic cover our nation has been providing for years.

If the United Nations is right, and nothing is done to prevent this atrocity, we’re talking about an event on the scale of the Holocaust… and yet our media has been virtually silent as the mass-killing and blockade of Yemen continues.

Who are we? Why does the rest of the world fear us?

Maybe it’s because the United States, which enjoyed sole superpower status in the world for decades, has projected its military across the globe and is responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings under Trump’s three predecessors alone.

It could also be because we’re responsible, more than any other nation on Earth, for the Sixth Mass Extinction event and ongoing collapse of the oceans and climate.

(How is it, again, that Americans haven’t outdone the Nazis? Who, exactly, do we think we are — because I guarantee you that’s not how we’re going down in the history books.)

Screw FoxNews’ apologetics and Laura Ingraham with her nonsense about Trump’s “summer camps” for child refugees.


According to Race Forward (The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, founded in 2002) — and reported by McClatchy News Service (the only news organization that treated Bush’s “Iraq WMD” claims with skepticism and got their coverage right): In 2011 alone, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SEPARATED OVER 5,100 CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS trying to emigrate to the U.S. — and put parents in for-profit detention centers and their children in cages.

Is Trump an abhorrent cretin? Certainly. And his brand of politics is dangerous… albeit nothing new (the Southern Strategy has been around since Nixon, and was not one whit kinder or gentler than Trump’s demagoguery has been, least of all when practiced by “law and order” Democrats like the Clintons; see “The New Jim Crow” for more on that question).

Does Trump represent a dramatic change from his predecessors?

Yes and no.

With regard to immigration, Trump tweaked Obama’s draconian policy, making it even worse.

But the fact that it is Trump doing it makes millions of Americans finally take note of the ongoing horrors taking place at our border:


(It’s his one value: his presence helps organize resistance to that which has been ongoing for decades, worsening with every presidency.)

In the height of irony, Donald Trump’s election has actually helped immigrants and refugees fleeing violence.*

How so?

Because Trump’s election has finally drawn attention to the millions of people whose nightmarish travails would otherwise be completely ignored by the mainstream.

*         *         *

To be clear, my stance on the 2016 NON-CHOICE (proven genocidal warmonger vs KKK favorite) has never been about liking Trump.

It has always been about my concern for the millions of victims of our neo-fascist, surveillance-state government.

With Trump’s election, mainstream Americans are FINALLY aware of their existence and their plight.

The primary danger of this phenomenon is that some hypocritical partisans will make the mistake of associating such policies with Trump and Trump alone, sparing our monstrous system… which will get right back to business the moment Trump is gone and the “left” goes back to sleep.

That’s exactly what the corporate media — that endless source of propaganda, war, and division — is incessantly encouraging us to do.


* In most cases, these refugees are fleeing violence that the U.S. and its thuggish allies have brought to their homelands, under the auspices of the “War on Drugs” and “Global War on Terror.”

I recently saw the following Tweet from Stu Cameron (007 fan) on Facebook, spread by a group calling itself the “Teanderthal Party” — because implying that conservatives are less evolved than the rest of us is what the mainstream “left” has been reduced to.

How the center-left has moved 2016 Trump voters... further to the right (by refusing to talk to them and treating them like a "basket of deplorables")

My response to Stu (with his misogynistic hero icon) is as follows:

In truth, I’ve seen nothing but changed minds from the Trump supporters I know.

In 2016, most Trump voters I know supported him tepidly, with many qualifications. Almost apologetically, really. They didn’t want me to think that they endorsed his stupid racism and demagoguery. Most felt it necessary to explain that they were really voting against the neocon agenda, media-controlling primary-rigging corruption, and corporate fascism (middle class-cratering, slavery-permitting “trade” pacts and Wall Street plunder) — represented so perfectly by the establishment candidate.


* With RussiaGate lunacy (empowering the neocon agenda, swallowing whole their “Iraq WMD” exceeding propaganda)…

* With endless hate pouring out of the left, focused on Trump’s hair, makeup, weight, age, family…

* With homophobic memes about Trump’s “boyfriend” Putin, exposing the left as utter hypocrites…

Our Tweet-fixated, personality politics has turned most of these establishment-abandoned folks into GENUINE TRUMP FANS… which they never were before.

Mainstream hate, mostly hypocritical and reactionary, has made Trump their working class “hero” — even as he’s increasingly giving the neocons and Wall Street everything they want, even as Trump’s tax cut plunders their future hopes…

(Which these center-right victims of neoliberalism really haven’t figured out yet.)

It’s identical to the way that the center-left rallied around President Obama, even as he was assiduously rescuing the Bush/Cheney/Wall Street agenda and putting it on steroids…

We rallied around Obama mostly as a reaction to the unhinged, reactionary hatred of conservatives — because supporting Obama sure as hell had nothing to do with his policy agenda, which was all we’d ever fought against when it was coming from the Heritage Foundation and Republicans.

It’s an enormously sad clusterfuck of a situation. The mainstream “left” has gone back on itself completely, calling Trump a “traitor” for speaking of rapprochement with Russia, even denigrating Trump’s efforts at diplomacy with North Korea…

I never thought I’d see the mainstream left behaving exactly like the deranged right of the 1990s and 2000s. But here we are.

This is precisely how divide and conquer works.

And it’s a tragedy for liberals, who with their empty histrionics have done nothing but discredit themselves and serve the interests of their worst enemies, including Trump.

When you consider, also, the way the left has refused to take the Democratic Party to task for moving to Trump’s right and rigging one election after another — refused to demand much needed reform from the party that lost to a reality TV sideshow ignoramus…

We’ve all but guaranteed Trump’s reelection.

Hugo Chavez helped birth a political revolution in Venezuela that has lifted millions out of extreme poverty and given voice to the voiceless, especially minorities and the indigenous. His party drastically reduced infant mortality in Venezuela and educated millions, making Venezuela one of the most literate nations in the Global South, with over 97% literacy for men and women (with women slightly ahead of men, at 97.21%, per UNESCO).

(And those two examples only begin to hint at the legion of reforms and democratization that Chavez initiated.)

His political rivals, representing Venezuela’s entrenched oligarchy (Washington’s clients) repeatedly mocked Chavez as a “monkey” and worse, alluding to his mixed-race, African heritage.

These are the Trump-like figures the U.S. has long supported in Venezuela and South America, generally — those of “pure” European ancestry, willing to be corrupted by foreign interests. Because when it comes to politics, despotic racists are Washington’s favorite South Americans, keen to privatize their nations’ resources on behalf of Western corporations… and Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

Do you, too, support these nation plundering, Trump-like figures?

Did you support the military dictatorship in Honduras that murdered environmentalist and indigenous rights activist, Berta Cáceres?

(Because our last president sure did, blessing their coup and isolating the U.S. within the Organization of American States, which had vehemently denounced it.)

Having pulled his country out of utter chaos, Hugo Chavez was overwhelmingly reelected, time and again, in the most transparent, internationally-monitored elections going. Following his untimely and suspicious death (suggesting poisoning, a la Yasser Arafat), Chavez’s successor, Nicholas Maduro, has also been elected repeatedly, as overseen and verified by international monitors.

Former President Jimmy Carter once called Venezuela’s election process “the best in the world.”

(If only my country would conduct its elections in such a transparent, democratic, and open manner! And not just plot, at home and abroad, to overthrow those who win them…)


Artificial shortages and U.S.-imposed sanctions have nearly broken the society — but not the will of the people. The vast majority of the Venezuelan people refuse to be intimidated by the terrorism and rampant criminality underwritten by Washington.

Even so, many have had to flee their homes. Some will undoubtedly be coming our way. To our border. As immigrants seeking asylum from political terrorism bankrolled by wealthy, racist elites.

U.S. presidents have long supported the Trump-like oligarchs in Venezuela and their violent coup attempts — as in 2002, when Chavez was hauled off by armed thugs, threatening to kill him. The people of Venezuela reversed that coup attempt, which had the fingerprints of the Bush administration all over it (including those of convicted Iran-Contra figures like Elliot Abrams and Otto Reich, who spoke to the coup plotters over a dozen times in the days leading up to their putsch, as was reported in The New York Times).

But Washington’s support for autocratic, racist, humanity-starving regimes is unrelenting.

Now that Trump is in the White House, WON’T YOU PLEASE GIVE A DAMN?

After the 2016 election result, Noam Chomsky called Trump’s conciliatory posture toward Russia “the one ray of light in this gloom.”

America’s preeminent intellectual also noted that the Democrats and corporate media aren’t having any of Trump’s “fairly reasonable” talk of rapprochement with Russia. And he excoriated the Dems for aggressively demanding that Trump adopt a more warlike posture toward Russia.

Over nothing.

Over election hacking claims that are “laughable,” in Chomsky’s words.

(Laughable and unsupported by evidence, at this late date.)

And now, advocating a restored G8 Summit — with Russia readmitted to the group of world leaders — this stupid, repugnant SOB, Trump, persists in his saber-sheathing, trying to pull the world back from the precipice of a world war initiated by his immediate predecessors.

Donald Trump’s deep flaws and repugnant personal traits aside, he IS pushing for peace — here and there, feebly, but persistently — even as he makes various concessions to the warmongers and neocons (just as President Obama did, under enormous institutional pressure to do so, betraying his best instincts).

Rather than supporting Trump’s one sensible impulse — his oft-stated, apparently sincere desire to pull back from a global conflagration — liberal hypocrites may now invoke unsupported “RussiaGate” claims and let their disapprobation flow.

Because divide and conquer works.

Because there’s no such thing as principled opposition anymore.

It’s all about “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys.”

Talk about stupid.