Monday, December 28, 2015

Police State USA

                                                    From The Ramparts
                                                 Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                     Police State USA

            "For numerous decades the United States has engaged in both high intensive and low intensive counterinsurgency and counterterrorism wars around the globe. But now in the twenty-first century all those same black ops wars have come home to roost right here in the land of the not-so-free. To police state USA all American citizens are the potential enemy. It’s also fair to say that the police in countless jails and prisons have unlawfully beaten and killed thousands of US citizens while in police custody over the years. Sadly, this form of murder in covert black sites where inmates are literally tortured to death takes police state brutality and slaughter to a whole new unprecedented level. And of course those of color and poor are most often the victims. Two years ago it was reported that a black man is killed by police every 28 hours. And with the deaths spiking last year, it’s more apt to be closer to every 24 hours now." Totalitarian Rule in America: False Flags, Secret Prisons, Extrajudicial Assassinations, Media Censorship, The Rounding Up of Alleged “Terrorists” by Joachim Hagopian

            Three weeks ago I had the pleasure of serving as a moderator for a panel discussion on the Chicago City police  Homan Square detention site where over seven thousand mostly Black and Brown people were illegally detained, often beaten, tortured and held incommunicado from their family and attorneys for days and weeks at a time. The panel consisted of former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Catherine Austin Fitts a former Wall Street investment banker managing partner for Dillion Reed, former Assistant Secretary for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and myself. You can listen to the audio of the discussion on my Soundcloud Internet radio program Akoben which stream at and/or my Digital Underground  On Demand Internet radio program on the Harambee Radio Network click the On Demand Icon and go to 12-20-2015 The Digital Underground Solari Report Catherine Austin Fitts.  We had a robust discussion on the implications of Homan Square and the escalating police state.
            The sad part about this it took a British newspaper The Guardian to do a multi-month investigative report on Homan Square before people in Chicago and the US even became aware this type of third world, banana republic police state brutality was going on! That has to be one of the top censored stories of 2015!
            Thanks to the distractions and diversions of the corporate mind control apparatus most of us sleep walk through life failing to see what is going on before us or worse pretending not to know what is going on around us.  But many of us know in our heart of hearts the US has always been a paramilitary police state for Native Americans, Africans in America and other people of color. This is a crucial element in this nation's ongoing history of violence, racism/xenophobia and domination that was inextricably woven into the fabric and sinew of both our consciousness and the socio-political reality.
            Every day we hear more and more reports about police shooting white folks, police and federal agents raiding white homes dressed in storm trooper outfits using lethal force on the wrong people the elderly and babies and taking their property via ever escalating "civil asset forfeiture" programs where the feds, state, county and local municipality can confiscate (steal) your property without ever officially charging you with a crime or any wrong doing!!
            That's right in the so called land of the free home of the brave, land of "civil rights" and the sacrosanct notion of property rights, now the state can steal your stuff without cause! And Philadelphia under a Black mayor, Black police commissioner and sheriff  is one of the most egregious cities when it comes to taking our stuff.
            "Under Pennsylvania state law, civil forfeiture depends on preponderance of the evidence. This is a weaker burden of proof than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard used for criminal cases. Little wonder the state earned a D from the Institute for Justice in Policing for Profit, a survey of civil asset forfeiture laws. Some cities in the Keystone State abuse civil forfeiture more than others. City Paper compared Philadelphia County, the largest county in the state, with Allegheny County, which is the second-largest and includes Pittsburgh. Allegheny County had around 200 civil forfeiture cases since 2008. But in just 2011 alone Philadelphia County had 6,500. Incredibly, the City Paper notes that “Los Angeles County, with a population more than six-and-a-half times Philadelphia’s, also successfully sued to keep just $1.2 million in seized assets,” i.e., a fifth of what Philadelphia County seized.
            Nationwide the statistics are even more egregious. "Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly$4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals." Police Civil Asset Forfeitures Exceed All Burglaries in 2014  Investment Watch Nov. 17, 2015
            The United States always has been a armed police state for Black folks but now it is turning on the average white family which is why they are buying guns and stocking up on ammunition. White fear of government gun bans and confiscation is responsible for a massive uptick in gun sales.  "Gun sales have more than doubled in a decade, to about 15 million in 2013 from about seven million in 2002. More firearms are sold to residents in the United States than in any other country, according to Jurgen Brauer, a professor at Georgia Regents University. These estimates undercount total sales because they omit some purchases in states that do not require background checks for private sales. They also exclude permits that allow people in some states to buy multiple guns with a single background check. The increase is mostly due to higher sales of handguns, which are typically bought for self-defense. Two of the fastest-growing segments of the market are women and gun owners with concealed carry permits." What Drives Gun Sales: Terrorism, Politics, and Calls for Restrictions by GREGOR AISCH and JOSH KELLER DEC. 10, 2015
            The ruling class tries to keep us comatose, fearful and docile lest we wake up, rise up and take action against the decadent and crumbling social order. But their plans are backfiring on them as more and more people in the US confess they are more afraid of their government than external terrorist threats. Which is why gun sales are at an all time high with white citizens looking at the police with a distrustful eye. They wonder why the police need all this military equipment when crime is down and why the heavy handed responses to natural disasters, shootings and demonstrations?
            The ruling class propagates a self-serving narrative that the police and military are the good guys holding up American exceptionalism and they are above reproach. But the reality says otherwise.  "But besides direct contradictions to the logic behind institutional myths of heroic cops and dangerous bad guys, what are the implications of this FBI report? First, that police are schizophrenic in their belief that they are in danger (this fear is proven in the recent Ferguson protests and presence of the National Guard). The overzealous militarization of local cops is enough to prove that they might as well be hiding under blankies from the American populace in spite of the fact that violent crime has been dropping for decades. However, considering how well cops are armed and how efficiently the justice system protects them from prosecution for their crimes, they prove to be paranoid. 27 police officers in a country with over 300 million people died last year. Law enforcement deaths-by-murder are included in the 49,851 “assaults” against officers, which means that .05 (half a percent) died as a result of alleged attacks. Crime against cops has dropped to a 50 year low. It’s more dangerous to drive a car than be a cop (this is bolstered by the fact that the number of cops who died in car accidents almost equals the total number of cops murdered 23 to 27). Second, militarization is working for the police. It is not working for the rest of us. Though there is little reliable, official data about the number of people police kill every year, tenuous reports claim it is around 400. This is already almost 15 times more than police who are intentionally killed. However, the 400 figure is a result of 17,000 local police agencies being allowed to self-report. The numbers could be far higher." FBI Report Accidently Exposes the Severity of the Police State
            Illegal detentions, physical abuse, asset forfeiture abuse and theft are tips of the iceberg. The US is a police state and has always been one because the European colonists had to keep a weary eye on the indigenous people whose lands they were stealing, the European convicts and indentured servants they were abusing and working to death and the Africans they imported to do the dirty work to enrich the trading companies and later the rich land owners.
            Modern America is a fascist police security state where ordinary citizens are spied upon, targeted for government revenue generating campaigns (like in Ferguson and Philadelphia), where growing numbers of local debtors prisons abound and a national gulag system are used for social control where free or cheap prison labor is used to enrich the state and corporations who run the prisons and prisoner labor manufactures various corporate products. Welcome to Police State USA.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Things We Need To Know

                                               From The Ramparts
                                               Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                              Things We Need To Know

            "The Catholic Encyclopedia states that no-one knows the true date of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Roman Sun God’s birthday was December 25. This celebrated the lengthening daylight which begins on December 21 – the Winter Solstice or beginning of winter. The Christians, seeking to convert believers in the sun god, chose that date for the birth of Christ."

            Many of us will be hustling and running around like chickens with their heads cut off to prepare for a "holiday" we really don't know anything about. Too many folks will  go into debt, paying hard earned money for items designed and manufactured to last only a few years like your flat screen TV's, video games and other consumer products. It's ironic so much emphasis is placed on material goods and things these days, that the purported message of the holiday, the "reason for the season" as some say, is blocked from our consciousness. The "Christmas holiday" at least in the US has devolved into a phenomenon of crass materialism, mindless consumerism motivated by Madison Avenue advertisers to create a profitable retail shopping season that begins earlier and earlier as the corporations scheme, plot and connive to get us to spend our money on their products.
            At the root of this "holiday" is the supposed birth of Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah, the redeemer of the world. The truth of the matter is no one knows the exact date when Yeshua bar Joseph (Jesus is the Latin variation of the name Yeshua or Joshua) was born. Neither the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church nor any of the various Protestant versions including the King James translation state the exact day Yeshua was born.  Little is really known about the time of year it happened or exactly where it occured because the Bible itself (or at least in the King James translation the writers) differ on the details and happenings surrounding Yeshua's birth.
             In a scholarly and well researched book by Marcello Craveri entitled The Life of Jesus  many of the discrepancies and contradictions amongst the Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth are  examined. For example in Chapter Three entitled The Gospel of The Nativity Craveri says,  "Luke tells us that in the year in which Jesus was born, an event of major importance occurred in Palestine: a census of the entire population ordered by Cyrenius the Roman governor of e province of Syria of which Palestine was a dependency. Matthew however reports that at this time Herod was king. The two accounts are not difficult to check. The only census of Palestine known to history was ordered by Publius Sulpicius Quirinus (whom Luke calls Cyrenius) but it took place in A.D.  6 and 7-that is six or seven years after the date generally accepted for the birth of Jesus. Therefore the Nativity would have to be re-dated as has been proposed by among others H.J. Holzman. This creates serious problems, however since the date of birth would no longer agree with the other dates supplied by he Gospels (baptism, death etc); or else the life of Jesus which is traditionally considered to have covered at least htirty years would be reduced to barely twenty-three or twenty-four.
            The Christian exegetes to avoid putting Luke in error, have been constrained to postulate another census, earlier than that of  Quirinus. But no historical evidence confirms this and Luke himself says explicitly that the census to which he refers was the first in Palestine: 'And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria' Other translations 'this census was the first of those taken under Cyrenius' or 'this was the census that was taken before Quirinius became governor of Syria'- suggested by M. J. Lagrange and others are tendentious          and false" from The Life of Jesus by  Marcello Craveri translated by Charles Lam Markmann Grove Press Inc New York page pages 33-34
           This is just one of many inconsistencies and inaccuracies Craveri points out throughout his book. The other important fact we need to realize is December 25 held great significance in ancient times because it was directly related to the Sun, Sun gods and astronomy/astrology. "As with Easter, the early Christians did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, the first Christmas was celebrated in Rome in the fourth century. It’s not surprising, then, that everything surrounding Christmas has its roots in paganism and astrology. The list of sun gods throughout history is very long. The list above is hardly exhaustive. Why were all these sun gods born on December 25 after an immaculate conception? Again, we must look to an astronomic phenomenon as an explanation. December 25 is the winter solstice. The winter solstice is the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun). During the winter solstice, the, the sun remains at 23 degrees/27 minutes from the South Pole. Because the North Pole is facing away from the sun, it takes six months for full day light to reach it. Yet, it takes three days and three nights for the southern tip of the Earth to pass the sun and move toward the vernal equinox. To Earthbound eyes peering at the sky from the northern hemisphere, it seems as if the sun is dead because even at its zenith, it is very low and the days are very short and dark. This is what the women were weeping over in the Bible (Ezekiel 8:14-15), the death of Tammuz, a Babylonian/Sumerian/Mesopotamian sun god. After three days the sun begins to rise higher in the sky each day. At that time, the constellation Virgo (not to be confused with the sign Virgo) is at its brightest, so the sun appears to be born from a virgin. See the similarities between the Egyptian nativity scene and the constellation. This constellation was seen all over the world and is the reason why so many sun gods are born of a virgin."
            For an in depth examination of these and other truths about ancient Sun gods/saviors read Black Historian John G Jackson's Christianity Before Christ. I am not sharing this information to debunk anyone's religion, undermine your theology, dogmas or embarrass anyone. I am sharing this information so you know humans have thought about the universe, the nature of existence, our place in it, our destiny and the deeper implications of "reality" for thousands of years.
           Throughout human history unscrupulous men and women have high jacked the deep philosophy/cosmology of the ancients and appropriated them for their own aggrandizement. Kings, wanna be rulers and potentates have used ancient wisdom and teachings to exalt themselves and their agenda over the masses. For example many of the Roman Emperors and early Catholic Church founders' motives were more secular, worldly and megalomaniacal than history suggests. They met in secret in informal and official councils, synods and used conspiratorial deliberations to forge a way to further their agenda and control the masses, propagate an orthodoxy and establish themselves as the leaders and overseers of their work. "In times of greater toleration, Christian leaders felt sufficiently secure to hold councils governing their see or metropolitan area. None of the councils of this period gathered representatives from all the Christian churches, or even from those throughout the Roman Empire. Only of a few are the written acts preserved. Most are known only from accounts in works of church historians and other writers. These include: the Council of Rome of 155, the Council of Rome of 193, the Council of Ephesus of 193 the Council of Carthage of 251,the Council of Iconium of 258, the Council of Antioch of 264, the Council of Arabia of 246–247, the Council of Elvira of 306, the Council of Carthage of 311, the Synod of Neo-Caesarea of c. 314, the Council of Ancyra of 314, the Council of Arles of 314. Such councils began to appear only in the middle of the 2nd century, at first at local level, but from 175 onward they involved several communities together, with such activity particularly marked in Italy and Asia Minor. At the end of that century, it became the practice to inform other communities of the decisions taken at such assemblies. In the 3rd century, the meetings began to be held at regular intervals, a custom that appeared first in the Roman province of Africa. In the second half of that century, councils were held at Antioch that gathered representatives of Christianity throughout the Middle East, from the Black Sea to Egypt. These were a prelude to the holding of the first assembly of all bishops, the First Council of Nicaea, the event that marked the end of the period of the ancient pre-ecumenical councils.
            The above list does not include all the subsequent councils, synods and meetings from the Council of  Nicaea onward some of which are recognized by Rome, the Greek Orthodox Church and later Protestant denominations while others are not. Unfortunately oceans of blood have been shed over the various doctrines and dogmas as well as who would be the leader, head and Chief Mucketty Muck of the "Kingdom of God on Earth".
            Again I am not sharing this to discredit anyone's religion. I am sharing the truth and providing food for thought to make you think and reason for  yourself.
             Only a fool believes the universe created itself out of nothing. There has to be a creator and a sustaining force out of which everything else emanated and evolved. I share our ancient African ancestors thinking that the CREATOR is unseen, intangible, it is an all  powerful SPIRIT/INTELLIGENCE/ENERGY/CONSCIOUSNESS that infuses and embeds itself into all creation, thus it is intimately linked and involved in all creation. When Aboriginal people attempted to explain this concept to the Johnny Come Lately Caucasians they weren't able to comprehend it. The benighted Europeans irreverently called in pantheism. Being without spiritual insight/wisdom the Aryans thought it was non-sense because to them it defied their five physical sense orientation of reality.
            When our ancestors tried to explain to whites how our rulers were priestly servant leaders, the whites could not grasp that either.  The wandering, marauding invaders coveted the way our people gave deference to Aboriginal Elders, Chiefs, Kings and Queens and the whites envied the jewelry, regalia and adornment they saw our leaders wearing not knowing its true symbolism, significance or meaning. So they blindly copied it but without knowing it's deeper meaning.
            As the corporate mind control apparatus lies and hypes our emotions to promote ever more wars to enrich the military industrial complex and the 1%, let us be more discerning about the various doctrines, dogmas and "traditions" the elites use to manipulate and control us. Give yourself the gift of an open mind this season!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Spike Lee's Chi-raq

                                                 From The Ramparts
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                  Spike Lee's Chi-raq

            "Some people are getting it twisted and thinking Chi-raq is a comedy. Don't get it twisted, Chi-raq is not a comedy , Chi-raq is a satire and there is a difference between humor and comedy. In no way shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-raq. In no way, shape or form are we making light of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence. So people don't get it twisted, don't get it twisted, this film is about serious business. And there are many films that we can look at in the history of American cinema that treated very serious subject matter that had humor in them. There's an old statement 'I've got to laugh to keep from crying. Well I think that is apropos with Chi-raq don't get it twisted." Spike Lee filmmaker and director of Chi-raq

            I recommend you see Spike Lee's latest joint, Chi-raq. It is typical Spike Lee, he takes a subject, in this case Black on Black fratricide, and examines it from a multitude of angles using satire to bring his message home. Lee's film takes place in Chicago in a Southside section of the city that calls itself Chi-raq because it has devolved into a war zone where the whole neighborhood is caught between warring factions of two gangs the Spartans and Trojans.
            The ongoing war is taking a heavy toll on both the gang members and the community. The victims of the violence are both civilians and gang bangers. Civilians are shot dead and several gang bangers on both sides are crippled and maimed for life.  In Lee's film, a young girl is murdered when she gets caught in a cross fire between the Trojans and Spartans. Her mother played by Jennifer Holiday is devastated by her daughter's death. But Holiday's character is not the only parent suffering from the loss of their child's life. The senseless killings are a ravaging plague on the whole community.
            In the beginning of the film we see Samuel L. Jackson dressed to the gills, dapper like a modern day hustler/pimp/preacher playing the role of Dolmedes the narrator who sets the stage for the action by explaining the Greek origin of satire as social commentary.  In the ancient Greek play Lysistrata, the women deliberately withhold sex in a desperate means of protest and social change forcing the men to end the Peloponnesian War. In the film Chi-raq an actual modern version of this tactic used by Liberian women to prompt the end of the second Liberian Civil War from April 2003 to December 2003  is the model the films female characters use to put an end to the violence and killing that is ravaging their neighborhood.
            Samuel L. Jackson's character Dolmedes reappears throughout the film to give his take on what is to come and offer poetic commentary on the action of the females led by Lysistrata played by Teyonah Parris.  While the film is humorous and funny it is not a comedy. Lee uses what the Liberian women did to bring peace to their war torn country as the premise for a solution to ending the violence in Chicago; and by extension other cities and towns in America. Spike Lee pulls it off in a truly genius way using a dialog of constant rhyme (poetry),  dark toned camera shots and imagery to paint a gruesome picture of how poverty, violence, hopelessness and despair have set the tone and tenor of the neighborhood.
             Nick Cannon's character looks like Tupac Shakur. I don't know if this was intentional, knowing Spike Lee it probably was. Cannon's character whose "government name" is Demetrius is a dope smoking rapper and Spartan gang leader who goes by the name Chiraq. Wesley Snipes' character Cyclops is Chiraq's nemesis. He plays a one eyed gangsta, the head of the rival gang Trojans. While his character is a killer he is subject to a lot of one eyed jokes and disses by his own crew. The two gangs Trojans and Spartans (harking back to the Greek Peloponnesian War and the play Lysistrata) have a long running war that is taking a heavy toll on the entire neighborhood leaving too many innocent bystanders including babies in the cross fire.
            As usual Lee mixes numerous sub-plots: gang violence, poverty, social dysfunction, "culture", politics, apathy and powerlessness, activism and hope all brilliantly juxtaposed and blended within the parameters of violence, sex, economic class, emotional pain, personal and collective redemption.
             Lee is not a linear film maker so you'll have to pay close attention not only to the dialogue which is mostly in rhyme, but also remain alert to catch all the messages and subtle images in the scenery, subplots and personalities of the characters major and small. If you are not attentive you'll miss something and there is so much to see in this film you will probably have to watch it several times to get it all.
            Spike Lee's movies and documentaries always have a unique point of view, they make you think and ponder the subjects he presents. Chi-raq is no different. Early in the film one couple in the theater got up and left. Those of us who stayed to the end applauded when the film was over. If you are looking for mindless escapism Chi-raq is not the film for you. Chi-raq is a deep film, it examines a pervasive problem in our community but with the audacity to imagine that it can be solved.
            The film is not soapy or campy in any way.  It looks at the hood shows the carbuncles, the dirt, pain and pathology but also offers the potential for radical change. Angela Bassett's Miss Helen character is the catalyst who sparks the sex strike. After another young child is killed in the neighborhood, Nick Cannon's girlfriend Lysistrata played by Teyonah Parris house is firebombed by the rival gang. She becomes homeless and she seeks temporary refuge in the home of Angela Bassett's character who used to live in the Cabrini Green housing project, she lost her daughter to a drive by shooting but now lives in a nice home and is the neighborhood intellectual and moral compass.
             She takes Teyonah Parris' character in and lectures her about her relationship with Cannon character Chiraq. Bassett's home is filled with books and she encourages Parris to read while simultaneously pressing her to do something to stop the violence.
            I'm not going to share any more of the film's  plot or its twists and turns; I just encourage you to go see it.  While it is very funny at times it also tackles a myriad of serious and devastating problems in our community the least of which are: indifference, passivity, fear and learned helplessness.
            Spike Lee uses the medium of film to spark debate and action to solve very real problems devastating Black America! Chi-raq is a powerful film, one that does not shy away from tough subjects but it is done well in a way that makes you think outside the proverbial box for solutions; as far fetched as the one proposed by Lee.
            The interesting thing about Chi-raq is, the solution proposed in Lee's film is not new, it has actually been tried and it worked!