FOR AMERICA'S LONG SUFFERING CITIZENS NOT ITS ROGUE ZIONIST CONTROLLED GOVERNMENT
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While Zionist Israel laughs all the way to the bank
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The Dunblane massacre was used to strip Brits of carrying guns and property theft went through the roof.
These bastards would have second thoughts if a double barrel was sitting behind the front door.
DO NOT BELIEVE DISARMING WILL PROTECT AMERICANS.
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In this powerful new video interview, retired detective John Baeza shines a light on the darkness of our
criminally unjust justice system. Before he was Ron Paul and Rand Paul's head of security, John Baeza was
a cop's cop. Coming from a family tradition of public servants, Baeza started his career as a corrections
officer in New York's infamous Sing Sing prison. He later became an undercover narcotics detective in Manhattan
during the height of the 80s crack craze. It was there that Baeza had a Road to Damascus experience: after almost
losing his life in an undercover drug buy, he realized the futility of the drug war and all victimless crime laws.
I recently sat down with Baeza, now retired from law enforcement, and an international private detective, author of
multiple scholarly papers on serial crimes and forensic science, and an expert consultant on cases involving police
procedure and potential misconduct, for one of the most harrowing stories I have encountered.
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Check out the masonic tie
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|Making America Great Through Exploitation, Servitude and Abuse
FULL ARTICLE HERE
America be ashamed be REALLY ashamed that this is what your vote leads to
NOT an American dream but a nightmare for many.
The public denunciation by thousands of women and a few men that they had been victims of sexual abuse by their economic bosses raises fundamental issues about the social relations of American capitalism.
The moral offenses are in essence economic and social crimes. Sexual abuse is only one aspect of the social dynamics facilitating the increase in inequality and concentration of wealth, which define the practices and values of the American political and economic system.
Billionaires and mega-millionaires are themselves the products of intense exploitation of tens of millions of isolated and unorganized wage and salaried workers. Capitalist exploitation is based on a rigid hierarchy with its private prerogatives, which enables the oligarchs to demand their feudal privileges, their seigniorial sexual predations.
US capitalism thrives on and requires unlimited power and the capacity to have the public treasury pay for its untrammeled pillage of land, labor, transport systems and technological development. Capitalist power, in the United States , has no counterpart; there are few if any countervailing forces to provide any balance.
Today, 93% of US private sector workers have no organized representation. Moreover, many of the 7% who are in unions are controlled and exploited by their corrupt union officials – in league with the bosses.
This concentration of power produces the ever deepening inequalities between the world of the billionaires and the millions of low-wage workers.
The much-celebrated technological innovations have been subsidized by the state and its educational and research institutions. Although these are financed by the tax-payers, the citizen-workers are marginalized by the technological changes, like robotics, that they originally funded. High tech innovations flourish because they concentrate power, profits and private privilege.
The hierarchical matrix of power and exploitation has led to the polarization of mortality rates and moral codes. For the working poor, the absence of competent health care has led to the massive use and abuse of prescription opioids and other addictive drugs. For the upper class, it has led to the flagrant physical and psychological abuse of vulnerable employees, especially, but not exclusively young working women. The prestigious bourgeois media blur the class polarization by constant reference to what they term ‘our shared traditional democratic values.’
The pervasive and growing vulnerability of workers of both sexes coincides with the incorporation of the latest technological innovations in production, distribution and promotion. This includes electronic and digital advances, artificial intelligence, robotics and extensive surveillance on workers, which incorporate high profits for the investors and long hours of demeaning monotonous work for those who manufacture and transport the ‘products’.
The proliferation of new technology has grown in direct relation with the abject debasement of labor and the marginalization and trivialization of workers. Amazon and Walmart approach trillions of dollars in revenue from mass consumption, even as the Chaplinesque speed-up of robotized humans race to fill the overnight delivery orders. The entertainment industry amuses the population across class lines with increasingly vulgar and violent offerings, while the moguls of film entertain themselves with their young workers – who are depersonalized and even raped.
The more egregious immorality exposes itself one time too often and is condemned, while the victims are temporality lionized for their courage to protest. The worst predators apologize, resign to their yachts and mansions and are replaced by new avatars with the same power and structures in place which had facilitated the abuse. Politicians rush to embrace the victims in a kind of political and media ‘Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy’ when one considers their own role as enablers of this dehumanization.
The problem is not merely corrupt and perverted individual miscreants: It is the hierarchy of inequality which produces and reproduces an endless supply of vulnerable workers to exploit and abuse.
The most advanced forms of entertainment thrive in an environment of absolute impunity in which the occasional exposé of abuse or corruption is hidden behind a monetary settlement. The courage of an individual victim able to secure public attention is a step forward, but will have greater significance if it is organized and linked to a massive challenging of the power of the bourgeois entertainment industry and the system of high tech exploitation. Sexual abuse of an individual in the workplace is just part of a chain that begins with exploitation of workers in general and can only be stopped through collective worker organization.
Can anyone say with a straight face that the US remains a nation of free and autonomous citizens? Servitude and moral degradation are the outcome of an atomized, impotent laboring class who may change one boss for another or one vulgar president for a moralizing hypocrite. We hope that the exposés will start something but without class conscious organizations we don’t know what will arise.
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I was listening to a YouTube video by Roy Potter yesterday and he said something that people need to be reminded of--- something simple, but important. You have to protect yourself. You cannot depend on the local Sheriff or the police forces or even the military. Protecting you is not their job anymore.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
There were a couple high profile cases back in the 1970’s that underscored this new reality in which it is no longer the job of the police to protect the public, and the courts came out in black and white and said so. If you are being robbed at gunpoint, a police officer can stand there and ignore the whole situation. Why? Because he is no longer employed in a truly public capacity.
He is working for a Municipal or Territorial corporation, under the same provisions as a security guard at Walmart. Even the Sheriffs no longer take proper public oaths of office. So this goes a long way toward explaining the lawlessness that infests the police and also the day to day experience of Joe Average American with the police.
These men are hired to enforce the “private law” and “public policies” of a British Crown corporation, not the Public Law owed to the people of this country. They are in fact acting as commercial mercenaries, whether they realize it or not. Like the Pinkerton Service, they are hired to protect the property interests of the corporations that employ them. If they also enforce the Public Law, that is merely their personal choice.
Sheriff Richard Mack went to the bother of nailing down the fact that is “okay” for these men to also enforce the Public Law, if they want to, by taking the matter all the way to the United States Supreme Court in Mack and Prinz v. USA, Inc.
The idea is that we have the option and obligation of enforcing the Public Law as individuals, so of course, the police --- acting in an individual capacity--- are allowed to do so, too. A guy out walking his dog who observes an armed robbery taking place has the same obligation as a uniformed police officer.
So, “our boys in blue” aren’t really our boys at all. The government corporations employ them in our names, but for their own benefit and purposes, not ours.
Same thing with the military and the National Guard.
This is part and parcel of the whole fraud scheme by which the vermin infesting our public buildings and driving around
in cars we paid for pretend that we are all “citizens” and therefore all obligated to serve them, instead of having them serve us.
Let me underline the fact that the Public Law is not being enforced and the police are no more obligated to assist you than Joe Next Door.
The Preppers and the Paranoids win again. Having a gun and being able and willing to use it isn’t merely an option anymore;
it is becoming more of a necessity every day.
This is no news to me, as I have watched to police sink into a gang mentality over the course of forty years, have watched the
court decisions exonerating them from responsibility come down, and know enough about the frauds being perpetuated upon the public
to know what to expect. But do you?
During the mid-1990’s a gigantic wildfire swept through our part of Alaska. More than 400 homes and buildings burned and 37,000 acres.
All the police and emergency responders and National Guard and FEMA swept in. Did they help? Not really.
They got in the way of local efforts to do things like evacuating disabled people and saving animals including pets and livestock.
They put barricades up on all the roads so nobody but them could move about freely. They shut down the electrical grid, which meant
that efforts to stop ground fires with bucket brigades and water hoses were forced to stop, except where people had enough foresight
to have generators and fuel supplies of their own.
We lost our house, but my husband’s art studio was saved by some old-fashioned Alaskans who had generators and fuel tanks and who
kept shoveling and hosing down the ground fires for four days in the midst of the melee. The hired help sat around, ate sandwiches
and cookies donated by the townspeople, and watched things burn. They were really good at that. They also watched while gangs
of thieves looted the homes of evacuees.
Later, we found out that the fire was started as a mop up back burn by firefighters. It was the DNR, helping us, again.
With such help, we should look for enemies.
This morning I was awakened by a desperate Mother whose child has been seized (kidnapped) by CPS in Arizona, one of the most
corrupt states in the corrupt union of “States of States”. It was no comfort to her to learn that she had unwittingly made
the STATE OF ARIZONA the guardian of her daughter when she signed the Birth Certificate information at the hospital, that she
would have to correct that, and that even if she hops through all the hoops, it may be too late because the vermin have already
engaged in action against her and her child.
The time to recant and haul rump out of THEIR jurisdiction is BEFORE they foreclose, BEFORE they seize your child, BEFORE
they address you the first time. Otherwise, if you wait, they can justify calling your retreat to your native birthright
political status “self-interested” and therefore invalid, which then allows them to ignore your claims.
Record your Certificate of Assumed Name and other paperwork claiming your assets and publishing your political status as a
non-citizen American national, so when THEY come looking to cause you trouble, you already know the answers and have the public
records established. You claim your DNA, your name, you lineage, everything about you and record the Deed under your
copyright © so that they have no ability to come back and say anything to you about your name, your estate, your child or anything else.
Be proactive about this. Protect yourself and your family. Don’t wake up like that young Mother in Arizona, with CPS grabbing your
child or the IRS grabbing your bank account. Rescind all Powers of Attorney, collapse/re-venue all Donor Trusts, and get yourself
on the board BEFORE these snakes come calling—it’s just common sense to protect yourself and your family.
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|The Monster in the Mirror… The US Network of Military Bases
FULL ARTICLE HERE
In 2007, the late Prof. Jules Dufour raised concerns about US global deployment of military personnel and its
network of military bases. The US views the world, he said, “as a vast territory to conquer, occupy and exploit.
” “Humanity is being controlled and enslaved” he argued by this network.
The US is dividing the world into geographic command units, like US Northcom or US Southcom, proved the US focus on global control.
Dufour mentions the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases (No Bases Network) as essential in
achieving a cohesive, coordinated front against US global control. The No Bases Network, born at the conference in Ecuador
(March 2007), was concerned about the expansion of US Network of bases, and specifically about the plan for renewal of
permission of the US Military base in Manta. Rafael Correa, then president of Ecuador, was invited and he expressed there
his decision to not renew permission for the base, a position that will be later included in Ecuador’s new Constitution,
approved by referendum in 2008, which specifically prohibits foreign military bases on Ecuador’s soil. The Manta base was
closed in September 2009.
This year the Conference of the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases will take place in Baltimore,
US (Jan. 12 to 14). It will have three keynote speakers: Mr. Ajamu Baraka, 2016 US Green Party candidate for vice president
and current President of the Black Alliance for Peace; Ms. Ann Wright, Retired US Army Colonel and leading member of Veterans
for Peace and CODEPINK; and, Mr. David Vine, Associate Professor of Anthropology, American University in Washington DC, and
author of the 2015 book “Base Nation. How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and The World.”
The conference can increase awareness about organizing for peace. Since 9/11 we live ongoing conflicts and today the menace
of war escalating into nuclear madness is higher and the US refuses to be rational provoking countries with nuclear capabilities
like North Korea -Korean War ended in 1953 with a truce, no peace agreement has been signed. Propaganda, irrational thinking
and permanent war seem acceptable, even normal. The US network of bases overseas has a life of its own and favor war rather
than diplomacy. Politicians show lack of maturity, even common sense while in the press there is growing obsession with North
Korea and Russia. Nuclear war means human annihilation; still, STRATCOM recommends irrationality and vindictiveness as proper
From Forts to Bases Overseas
“Since the end of WWII, the idea that our country should have a large collection of bases and hundreds of thousands of
troops permanently stationed overseas has been quasi religious dictum of US foreign and national security policy.” The
policy underlying such belief is called “forward strategy.” Prof. Vine argues that in the minds of policy makers the need
for overseas bases and troops is a given. They are expensive, up to 120 billion (Afghanistan and Iraq in 2012 raised the
costs to U$S 170 billion), taxpayers pay on average U$S 10-40 000 more per year to station a member of the military abroad
than in the US.
There are costs beyond financial too. The families of military personnel suffer separation and frequent moves; one in
3 service women are now assaulted (sexually) and a huge number of these assaults take place overseas. Outside base gates
there is prostitution relying on human trafficking, as in South Korea, and rapes against local population, as in Okinawa
(Japan). There is also widespread environmental damage. US bases are built by displacing local population, as in Greenland
and Diego Garcia; and they are 21 century colonialism, like Guam and Puerto Rico. US bases are often located in undemocratic
countries, like Qatar and Bahrain; some are connected to mafia organizations, like in Italy; and some are linked to torture
and imprisonment, like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graib.
The network of US bases facilitates wars that cost millions of lives. They contribute to increasing tensions, rather
than stabilize dangerous regions, and discourage diplomatic solutions to conflicts. The network maintains the US in a
state of permanent war, with an economy and government constantly preparing for battle. Notably, having bases and troops
overseas is rooted in US history of frontier forts, crucial for western expansion and overtaking of Native-American lands.
Fort Harmar was first (1785), soon others followed in what are Ohio and Indiana today.
Each fort helped waves of US settlers
move into Native American lands. In 1830 Andrew Jackson created the Indian Removal Policy forcing Natives to give up their
lands east of the Mississippi River; this was to be the “very western edge of civilization” and the “permanent Indian frontier,”
but soon after (1832-34) the Santa Fe and Oregon trails started and conquest continued. Expansion moved beyond, taking
Mexican land (California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and the Republic of Texas) and Oregon from Great Britain after 1846. By
1878 there was a network of 90 forts throughout the US.
Outside the US, bases emerged in Guantanamo (Cuba) and Panama. In 1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed an interest in getting
new island bases in the Caribbean and by the time the U.S. entered WWII there were new bases in 20 countries. Commercial and
military planning developed together; “Pan Am Airways secretly acquired basing right for the military throughout Latin America.
” Thus, new bases flourished in the war while Pan Am ensured for itself and US airlines a useful advantage when war ended. But,
the end of WWII favored the rights of people, requiring a more cautious approach in showing power. Installations and periodic
displays of “military might” ensured economic and political advantages for the US. It was a “global economic access without
In the 1980s under Carter there was build up in the Middle East. Later, the fall of the Soviet Union pressed the US to close about 60% of its bases bringing home 300 000 troops. But, in 1991 the Gulf War in Iraq, and in 2001-2003 the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, were excuse for renewing US overseas bases. Its format changed, “Little Americas” were substituted by smaller, strategic, and at times secretive sites called “Lily pads.” As forts worked in taking over Indian land, bases worked maintaining US power around the world. They are “the global cavalry of the 21C,” says Vine. As the number of giant Cold War-era bases shrunk, the smaller ones proliferated giving the US greater geographic scope.
Costly Strategy: Displacement, Toxic Environments, Democracy, People and Money
A good argument against US bases overseas is cost, including more than money. They do not favor stability or security, but undermine both, displace local populations at a high cost to them, cause environmental damage and favor alliances with dictators and the mafia contributing to spreading oppressive/repressive regimes rather than democracy. They favor prostitution, rape, the sexual abuse of women, a distorted view of masculinity and hurt US image abroad and people abroad and at home.
The “strategic island concept” was the basis for growth and required small islands with good anchorage (for airstrips)
and insulated from locals. The islands were under UK sovereignty and had to have “negligible” population. Chagos Islands
fit both criteria; Diego Garcia was approved as a site. Local population was deported in stages in 1973 in cargo ships,
most of them sleeping above guano (bird shit), and later abandoned on the docks of Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Some compare these conditions to conditions in slave ships. Chagossians are people of color who two years after their removal still lived in abject poverty; the Washington Post named them true victims of an “act of mass kidnapping.” Similar things happened to the indigenous population of the Bikini islands, the island Culebra in Puerto Rico and to Viequeños, displaced to the center of their island. The US Army is familiar with displacing indigenous people; it has done its share in the US for more than 100 years. Indigenous people at home ended also traumatized and impoverished.
Although the US military have been concerned about their environmental footprint, most bases cause profound environmental
damage and significant risk to humans and the natural environment because of their activities. Bases store weapons and
explosives containing toxic chemicals. There is pollution in the form of toxic leaks, accidental detonations and other accidents.
Their carbon footprint is large for the number of people living and working there. Bases use massive amounts of fuel, oil,
lubricants and other petroleum products for training and exercises, and war time activities are even worse.
Military bases are high consumers of heat, air conditioning and power. The US armed forces consume more oil everyday than
the entire country of Sweden.
Victim of Agent Orange
There is contamination in South Korea due to chemical, fuel and other toxic waste leaks and spills, and in some cases deliberate
burial from US bases. In Diego Garcia the US military destroyed the island´s reef with explosives removing tons of coral to build
a runway, thousands of trees were clear cut and Agent Orange was used to clear jungle foliage, and, US naval vessels dumped waste
and treated human sewage into the island protected coral lagoon for 30 years. In Okinawa 80 barrels containing dioxin and other
contaminants were discovered buried under a soccer field close to two schools while Agent Orange was stored and buried at the
base during the Vietnam War.
In Philippines, when the US military left in 1992, there was unexploded ordnance, asbestos, heavy
metals and leaking fuel tanks and dangerous pesticides. In Panamá there were 100 000 unexploded ordnance while mustard gas
bombs were found in San Jose. Places under colonial or semi colonial rule faced some of the worst environmental damages from
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|A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America
FULL ARTICLE HERE
The UN’s Philip Alston is an expert on deprivation – and he wants to know why 41m Americans are living in poverty
in a special two-week mission into the dark heart of the world’s richest nation.
THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM IS A MASSIVE PROPAGANDA CON AGAINST THE POOR
Los Angeles, California, 5 December
“You got a choice to make, man. You could go straight on to heaven. Or you could turn right, into that.”
We are in Los Angeles, in the heart of one of America’s wealthiest cities, and General Dogon, dressed in black, is our tour guide. Alongside him strolls another tall man, grey-haired and sprucely decked out in jeans and suit jacket. Professor Philip Alston is an Australian academic with a formal title: UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
General Dogon, himself a veteran of these Skid Row streets, strides along, stepping over a dead rat without comment and skirting round a body wrapped in a worn orange blanket lying on the sidewalk.
The two men carry on for block after block after block of tatty tents and improvised tarpaulin shelters. Men and women are gathered outside the structures, squatting or sleeping, some in groups, most alone like extras in a low-budget dystopian movie.
We come to an intersection, which is when General Dogon stops and presents his guest with the choice. He points straight ahead to the end of the street, where the glistening skyscrapers of downtown LA rise up in a promise of divine riches.
Then he turns to the right, revealing the “black power” tattoo on his neck, and leads our gaze back into Skid Row bang in the center of LA’s downtown. That way lies 50 blocks of concentrated human humiliation. A nightmare in plain view, in the city of dreams.
Alston turns right.
The tour comes at a critical moment for America and the world. It began on the day that Republicans in the US Senate voted for sweeping tax cuts that will deliver a bonanza for the super wealthy while in time raising taxes on many lower-income families. The changes will exacerbate wealth inequality that is already the most extreme in any industrialized nation, with three men – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet – owning as much as half of the entire American people.
A few days into the UN visit, Republican leaders took a giant leap further. They announced plans to slash key social programs in what amounts to an assault on the already threadbare welfare state.
“Look up! Look at those banks, the cranes, the luxury condos going up,” exclaimed General Dogon, who used to be homeless on Skid Row and now works as a local activist with Lacan. “Down here, there’s nothing. You see the tents back to back, there’s no place for folks to go.”
California made a suitable starting point for the UN visit. It epitomizes both the vast wealth generated in the tech boom for the 0.001%, and the resulting surge in housing costs that has sent homelessness soaring. Los Angeles, the city with by far the largest population of street dwellers in the country, is grappling with crisis numbers that increased 25% this past year to 55,000.
The safety net? It has too many holes in it for me
Robert Chambers, Los Angeles
Ressy Finley, 41, was busy sterilizing the white bucket she uses to slop out in her tent in which she has lived on and off for more than a decade. She keeps her living area, a mass of worn mattresses and blankets and a few motley possessions, as clean as she can in a losing battle against rats and cockroaches. She also endures waves of bed bugs, and has large welts on her shoulder to prove it.
She receives no formal income, and what she makes on recycling bottles and cans is no way enough to afford the average rents of $1,400 a month for a tiny one-bedroom. A friend brings her food every couple of days, the rest of the time she relies on nearby missions.
She cried twice in the course of our short conversation, once when she recalled how her infant son was taken from her arms by social workers because of her drug habit (he is now 14; she has never seen him again). The second time was when she alluded to the sexual abuse that set her as a child on the path towards drugs and homelessness.
Given all that, it’s remarkable how positive Finley remains. What does she think of the American Dream, the idea that everyone can make it if they try hard enough? She replies instantly: “I know I’m going to make it.”
A 41-year-old woman living on the sidewalk in Skid Row going to make it?
“Sure I will, so long as I keep the faith.”
What does “making it” mean to her?
“I want to be a writer, a poet, an entrepreneur, a therapist.”
Robert Chambers occupies the next patch of sidewalk along from Finley’s. He’s created an area around his tent out of wooden pallets, what passes in Skid Row for a cottage garden.
He has a sign up saying “Homeless Writers Coalition”, the name of a group he runs to give homeless people dignity against what he calls the “animalistic” aspects of their lives. He’s referring not least to the lack of public bathrooms that forces people to relieve themselves on the streets.
LA authorities have promised to provide more access to toilets, a critical issue given the deadly outbreak of Hepatitis A that began in San Diego and is spreading on the west coast claiming 21 lives mainly through lack of sanitation in homeless encampments. At night local parks and amenities are closed specifically to keep homeless people out.
Skid Row has had the use of nine toilets at night for 1,800 street-faring people. That’s a ratio well below that mandated by the UN in its camps for Syrian refugees.
“It’s inhuman actually, and eventually in the end you will acquire animalistic psychology,” Chambers said.
He has been living on the streets for almost a year, having violated his parole terms for drug possession and in turn being turfed out of his low-cost apartment. There’s no help for him now, he said, no question of “making it”.
“The safety net? It has too many holes in it for me.”
Of all the people who crossed paths with the UN monitor, Chambers was the most dismissive of the American Dream. “People don’t realize – it’s never getting better, there’s no recovery for people like us. I’m 67, I have a heart condition, I shouldn’t be out here. I might not be too much longer.”
That was a lot of bad karma to absorb on day one, and it rattled even as seasoned a student of hardship as Alston. As UN special rapporteur, he’s reported on dire poverty and its impact on human rights in Saudi Arabia and China among other places. But Skid Row?
“I was feeling pretty depressed,” he told the Guardian later. “The endless drumbeat of horror stories. At a certain point you do wonder what can anyone do about this, let alone me.”
And then he took a flight up to San Francisco, to the Tenderloin district where homeless people congregate, and walked into St Boniface church.
What he saw there was an analgesic for his soul.
About 70 homeless people were quietly sleeping in pews at the back of the church, as they are allowed to do every weekday morning, with worshippers praying harmoniously in front of them. The church welcomes them in as part of the Catholic concept of extending the helping hand.
“I found the church surprisingly uplifting,” Alston said. “It was such a simple scene and such an obvious idea. It struck me – Christianity, what the hell is it about if it’s not this?”
It was a rare drop of altruism on the west coast, competing against a sea of hostility. More than 500 anti-homeless laws have been passed in Californian cities in recent years. At a federal level, Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who Donald Trump appointed US housing secretary, is decimating government spending on affordable housing.
Perhaps the most telling detail: apart from St Boniface and its sister church, no other place of worship in San Francisco welcomes homeless people. In fact, many have begun, even at this season of goodwill, to lock their doors to all comers simply so as to exclude homeless people.
As Tiny Gray-Garcia, herself on the streets, described it to Alston, there is a prevailing attitude that she and her peers have to contend with every day. She called it the “violence of looking away”.
That cruel streak – the violence of looking away – has been a feature of American life since the nation’s founding. The casting off the yoke of overweening government (the British monarchy) came to be equated in the minds of many Americans with states’ rights and the individualistic idea of making it on your own – a view that is fine for those fortunate enough to do so, less happy if you’re born on the wrong side of the tracks.
Countering that has been the conviction that society must protect its own against the vagaries of hunger or unemployment that informed Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson. But in recent times the prevailing winds have blown strongly in the “you’re on your own, buddy” direction. Ronald Reagan set the trend with his 1980s tax cuts, followed by Bill Clinton, whose 1996 decision to scrap welfare payments for low-income families is still punishing millions of Americans.
The cumulative attack has left struggling families, including the 15 million children who are officially in poverty, with dramatically less support than in any other industrialized economy. Now they face perhaps the greatest threat of all.
As Alston himself has written in an essay on Trump’s populism and the aggressive challenge it poses to human rights: “These are extraordinarily dangerous times. Almost anything seems possible.”
Trump’s undermining of human rights, combined with the Republican threat to pare back welfare programs next year in order to pay for some of the tax cuts for the rich they are rushing through Congress, will hurt African Americans disproportionately.
Black people are 13% of the US population, but 23% of those officially in poverty and 39% of the homeless.
The racial element of America’s poverty crisis is seen nowhere more clearly than in the Deep South, where the open wounds of slavery continue to bleed. The UN special rapporteur chose as his next stop the “Black Belt,” the term that originally referred to the rich dark soil that exists in a band across Alabama but over time came to describe its majority African American population.
The link between soil type and demographics was not coincidental. Cotton was found to thrive in this fertile land, and that in turn spawned a trade in slaves to pick the crop. Their descendants still live in the Black Belt, still mired in poverty among the worst in the union.
You can trace the history of America’s shame, from slave times to the present day, in a set of simple graphs. The first shows the cotton-friendly soil of the Black Belt, then the slave population, followed by modern black residence and today’s extreme poverty – they all occupy the exact same half-moon across Alabama.
There are numerous ways you could parse the present parlous state of Alabama’s black community. Perhaps the starkest is the fact that in the Black Belt so many families still have no access to sanitation. Thousands of people continue to live among open sewers of the sort normally associated with the developing world.
The crisis was revealed by the Guardian earlier this year to have led to an ongoing endemic of hookworm, an intestinal parasite that is transmitted through human waste. It is found in Africa and South Asia, but had been assumed eradicated in the US years ago.
Yet here the worm still is, sucking the blood of poor people, in the home state of Trump’s US attorney general Jeff Sessions.
A disease of the developing world thriving in the world’s richest country.
The open sewerage problem is especially acute in Lowndes County, a majority black community that was an epicenter of the civil rights movement having been the setting of Martin Luther King’s Selma to Montgomery voting rights march in 1965.
Despite its proud history, Catherine Flowers estimates that 70% of households in the area either “straight pipe” their waste directly onto open ground, or have defective septic tanks incapable of dealing with heavy rains.
When her group, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (Acre), pressed local authorities to do something about it, officials invested $6m in extending waste treatment systems to primarily white-owned businesses while bypassing overwhelmingly black households.
“That’s a glaring example of injustice,” Flowers said. “People who cannot afford their own systems are left to their own devices while businesses who do have the money are given public services.”
Walter, a Lowndes County resident who asked not to give his last name for fear that his water supply would be cut off as a reprisal for speaking out, lives with the daily consequences of such public neglect. “You get a good hard rain and it backs up into the house.”
That’s a polite way of saying that sewage gurgles up into his kitchen sink, hand basin and bath, filling the house with a sickly-sweet stench.
What I see is the failure of society. I see a society that let that happen, that is not doing what it should
Given these circumstances, what does he think of the ideology that anyone can make it if they try?
“I suppose they could if they had the chance,” Walter said. He paused, then added: “Folks aren’t given the chance.”
Had he been born white, would his sewerage problems have been fixed by now?
After another pause, he said: “Not being racist, but yeah, they would.”
Round the back of Walter’s house the true iniquity of the situation reveals itself. The yard is laced with small channels running from neighboring houses along which dark liquid flows. It congregates in viscous pools directly underneath the mobile home in which Walter’s son, daughter-in-law and 16-year-old granddaughter live.
It is the ultimate image of the lot of Alabama’s impoverished rural black community. As American citizens they are as fully entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s just that they are surrounded by pools of excrement.
This week, the Black Belt bit back. On Tuesday a new line was added to that simple graphic, showing exactly the same half-moon across Alabama except this time it was not black but blue.
It depicted the army of African American voters who turned out against the odds to send Doug Jones to the US Senate, the first Democrat from Alabama to do so in a generation. It delivered a bloody nose to his opponent, the alleged child molester Roy Moore, and his puppetmasters Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.
It was arguably the most important expression of black political muscle in the region since King’s 1965 march. If the previous entries in the graphic could be labeled “soil”, “slavery” and “poverty”, this one should be captioned “empowerment”.
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