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RASHID HAS BEEN MOVED! EMERGENCY APPEAL!

Is leadership something to be feared? Can organizing people and making them aware of basic human rights EVER be a bad thing? What does it say about a prison system that dehumanizes those they say are to be rehabilitated? (Though the prison system’s idea of rehabilitation is more like brutally training people to obey). And what does it say about a society that treats people in such a despicable way?

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

6/23/17 Emergency Appeal
RASHID EMERGENCY

Supporters received word that Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, prisoner-organizer, artist and revolutionary, was picked up by Virginia officials and removed from Clements Unit on Thursday, June 23rd. He is no longer being held by Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Rashid is a very good organizer and was moved from Red Onion State Prison because of his influence and leadership. It seems now that Texas also could not handle his principled determination.

Thanks to so many people phoning Virginia Interstate Compact Supervisor Terry Glenn, we have found out that Rashid is now in Florida at a “reception facility.” However, we do not know where that is, if he can receive mail there, or where he will end up. We will keep you informed as we find out more.  In the meantime we are asking people to phone Mr. Terry Glenn back on Monday.

Rashid is Minister of Defense…

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HR 2990: Historic Bill to Abolish the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Act, deceptively passed under extremely shady circumstances by crooked bankers and politicians in the employ of John D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan in 1913, is one of the most oppressive pieces of legislation in U.S. history. Do your own research and be sure to use a variety of sources before assessing the validity of this stunning attack of economic terrorism by wealthy predators. The combination of manipulation by clever insiders and ignorant acceptance by obedient, dull-witted politicians is staggering by any standards. The true story would make an unbelievable movie.

I’m reminded of a famous quote by Mark Twain: “Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.”

Some of the most destructive events in our history have been perpetrated under the most amazing and astonishing circumstances – things that would seem impossible had they not been fully documented. Yet some still aren’t believed by many people because they have so much pride in their intelligence that they are terrified of looking foolish to fellow citizens. These people willingly join the ranks of coincidence theorists simply to avoid being categorized as conspiracy theorists. This is one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of the ruling class. They make sure enough “respected” and “intelligent” people ridicule certain versions of events that portray the duplicitous relationship between wealthy rulers and those temporarily in charge of government. Then, after repetitive indoctrination of the masses preaching the integrity of the infamous “captains of industry” we are expected to kiss their rings and worship at the altar of their sacred religion – Capitalism.

The Federal Reserve Act, passed in December 1913 and also known as “The Christmas Massacre”, is one of those rare times when millions have been duped and the consequences are that the people of the United States pay interest on our own currency to wealthy, private shareholders of a ruthless corporation that portrays itself as a government entity.

Wake up and help put an end to economic tyranny.

My version of the story of the creation of the Federal Reserve posted on this blog a few years ago:
https://ashiftinconsciousness.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/the-illusionists/

The Most Revolutionary Act

In 2011, to address the failed US recovery, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) introduced HR2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act. The bill proposed to abolish the Federal Reserve system and end the ability of private banks to create money out of thin air.* If the bill had passed, it could have instantly ended all federal deficits and debt, while simultaneously providing trillions of dollars for vital infrastructure and restoring funding to states and local authorities for education, hospitals, clinics, housing, police, libraries and other programs cut after the 2008 economic crash.

The late Stephen Zarlenga, founder of the American Monetary Institute and co-author of the bill, always found it ironic that in 2008-2099 the US Treasury “printed” between $3-15 trillion of new money (aka quantitative easing) – as HR2990 proposes. However instead of spending this government-created money into the economy as HR2990 specifies, they…

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So Strange…

Life is so strange. We have people in prison for decades whose minds are free to roam the universe and who appreciate the simplest truths and the natural beauty of the world.

Then, we have people whose bodies are free to go anywhere and experience virtually everything this world has to offer yet they choose to imprison their minds and souls in cages of fear and desire. They sell their integrity for comfort and convenience. Contentment, peace and balance seem to be nothing more than words in a dictionary to these people. So strange…

Peace and courage to all of the political prisoners still being held by the United States of Corporations simply for choosing to retain their strength and integrity and to stand up for justice instead of selling their souls for a piece of the pie…

Photos of a few high profile political prisoners.

And, let us not forgot those forced to escape the country or who were finally released after pressure from people and organizations…

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Why Don’t People Do That?

I was watching an episode of an old television show I enjoyed as a kid and heard a very interesting exchange between Eddie Corbett (portrayed by Brandon Cruz) and his father Tom Corbett (potrayed by Bill Bixby). It’s from the television series, “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”, which aired from 1969 to 1972. Other regulars on the show were Miyoshi Umeki, Kristina Holland and James Komack. A young Jodie Foster appeared in 5 episodes as Eddie’s friend, Joey.

The scene got me thinking about how we have a serious breakdown in morality here in the United States. Twisted, dysfunctional behavior is the norm. I don’t understand how so many in our society have allowed this to happen without raising questions about why. I know how it’s happened. I just can’t understand why more people don’t see it and attempt to do something about it. This mental and emotional illness is reflected in our television and movie choices. I’m not even going into details about what has caused what. Intellectual discussions about details can be distracting. But I am concerned when I see this type of behavior spill into serious parts of life. A morally bankrupt predator who had a dysfunctional television show (so I hear, I never saw it) with low intelligence and who shows clear evidence of being a sexual predator runs the executive branch of our government. This is scary.

The following exchange is something everyone in the United States should think about:

Eddie: “Do animals have elections?”

Mr. Corbett: “Uh, no, not that I’m aware of.”

Eddie: “Then, how do they pick the ones they want to be the leaders?”

Mr. Corbett: “Well, they don’t exactly pick ’em, sport. You see, animals just naturally follow the ones that are best suited. Usually, the wisest or the most courageous.”

Eddie: “Why don’t people do that?”

Mr. Corbett: “I don’t know.”

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John T. Meyers

John T. Meyers was a full-blooded Native American from the Cahuilla Tribe, raised on the Santa Rosa reservation in Southern California. Known as a “cultured and witty” individual, he attended Dartmouth, an ivy league school, but quit to pursue a career in something quite unorthodox for someone so intelligent: professional baseball.

“The biggest regret of my life was that I didn’t complete college. I had a scholarship and was doing well. But I guess baseball meant more to me at the time.”

Being athletically gifted allowed him to become a star in baseball, but it was his charismatic flair that made him something of a celebrity. He was an outstanding catcher for nine seasons, mostly with the N.Y. Giants and the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers). He also played a short time with the Boston Braves at the end of his playing days. His career would undoubtedly have been much longer if not for the fact that he didn’t play his first Major League baseball game until the age of 29.

He had knocked around in semi-pro baseball, mostly in California, until the N.Y. Giants purchased his contract from a minor league team located in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1908. Knowing he needed any advantage he could find to succeed in the big leagues (especially as a Native American in a blatantly racist society) he never allowed anyone in baseball to know his actual age. That is, until he reached the age of 65 and applied for social security.

He was a career .291 hitter and was purported to swing a “Big Stick”, a term that stuck with him throughout his career, but it was his fielding that set him apart. His superlative skills behind the plate were described as “supernatural” and inspired the nickname “Ironman.” (Predictably, he was also known as “Chief” during his career). He appeared in three World Series with the Giants (1911, 1912 & 1913) and in one with Brooklyn (1916) and made a respectable showing in MVP voting for three seasons.

He enjoyed a friendship of mutual respect with teammate and legendary Hall of Fame pitcher, Christy Mathewson. He caught more games for Mathewson than anyone else. They formed a formidable pitcher/catcher combination for 214 games.

“Mathewson was the perfect pitcher. He had an encyclopedic mind. He knew the strength and weakness of every batter.”

He also admired his manager while with the Giants, John McGraw, who he said did a lot to help change how baseball players were perceived by the general public in those early years.

“Back in the old days, ballplayers were considered rowdies and no decent hotels wanted them. And to make matters worse, Indians were looked upon as foreigners. Anyway, McGraw saw to it that we lived at the best hotels on the road and things started looking up. McGraw was tough, all right, but he fought for his players.”

Below are photos of Meyers with 2 Native American legends in the world of U.S. sports, Jim Thorpe, of the Sac and Fox Nation (popularly known as the world’s greatest athlete) and Charlie “Chief” Bender, of the Chippewa tribe and star of the Philadelphia Athletics for many years.

In 1972, he was posthumously inducted into to the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas.

Moving back to Southern California after his retirement from baseball, Meyers was a frequent guest of the California Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers at their home games. He preferred watching games on television, though. As a matter of fact, he watched nothing but baseball games and news programs on television.

Why?

He didn’t appreciate the way Native Americans were portrayed on television and despised the place they were given in U.S. history. In 1933, he was appointed chief of the Mission Indian Agency of Southern California. He wanted to help make a change in the way actual Americans were treated in their native land.

During his career, whenever the Giants or Dodgers were in Chicago, he would make his way over to Field Museum in Grant Park to enjoy his favorite painting, ‘Custer’s Last Stand.’

“It’s the only picture I ever saw where the Indian is given a square deal.”

Sources:

*The Sporting News, August 14, 1971
*californiaindianeducation.org
*Baseball Reference

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Impeach trump

We need to heal as a nation.

A lot of mistakes need to be taken care of. The first is to start an impeachment process. There are quite a few crimes to choose from. And we can move forward from there.

 

Yes, I know the large photo seems mean, but to be honest, I can’t help how I feel. I’ve tried to make peace with the results of the 2016 election and, while I’ve accepted that a despicable economic terrorist who’s also an admitted sexual predator resides in the White House, I can’t respect anyone who voted for him. I understand the hatred for Clinton and the frustration, but there’s no acceptable reason for this. None. I consider it a hate crime against all life on the planet. Laugh if you will, but I offer no apology. Hatred and stupidity can be very dangerous.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein

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Random Observations While Traversing This Insane Country

San Francisco: An interesting place with things to do. It’s known as a liberal, forward thinking city, but you better think twice if you believe you can avoid the perverted mania of Capitalism. You need a car here – not to get around, though, there’s plenty of mass transit. You need a car full of money to afford anything in this incredibly expensive city. Google and the infamous bio-tech companies have thrown the economy out of touch with normalcy and created a proliferation of homelessness here in the former hippie capital of the world. How bizarrely poetic in an Edgar Allen Poe sort of way…
An interesting side thought: the most difficult ticket to get here seems to be a ferry to Alcatrazz. What does that say about us as a society?

Oakland: The birthplace of the Black Panther Party in 1966, known as a place of anarchism and art (similar to the Lower East Side in my hometown). There’s still a hint of the old Oakland here: knowledgeable people with a desire to change the status quo, walls spray-painted with colorful political statements, Black Lives Matter and Immigrants Welcome Here signs all over the place. And a lot of places with a heavy feeling of desperation and surrendering to inevitable doom. There are also areas of gentrification which is assuredly an attempt by certain elements in the area to pacify the latent Capitalist tendencies, decrease civil disobedience and bring about a more obedient population.

I had an interesting conversation with a homeless man camped out near a BART station. I gave him money, but let him know I was more interested in giving him compassion. I told him that I’m not in an ideal financial situation myself right now and understand how he feels. I expressed sadness that so many people assume homeless people are drug addicts, criminals and losers without ambition. He told me a few stories of horrible treatment and cold indifference by ordinary, hard-working people who obey the dominant culture and thrive – the “good” people. And he mentioned that it’s gotten worse in recent months. Fortunately, he also told of generosity by people that was sufficient for him to get a motel room most nights for himself and his wife. While I was happy that he and his wife could sleep in a bed most nights, I couldn’t help thinking of how inefficient this is. (We’re constantly assaulted with talk of the importance of efficiency by corporate media). That same amount of money could provide them with a more comfortable full-time home and other essentials if collected in taxes in a compassionate society dedicated to providing life’s necessities for everyone. But, along came the 2016 election …

… and we took a sick, twisted turn into a more Fascist direction which shows a callousness for fellow citizens that probably even surprised some of the architects of the election. I doubt they honestly felt confident they could pull off such a stunt of obviously violent intentions. So, homelessness will continue to increase and the price of a human life will continue to decrease.

Emeryville, California: I call this town LipstickOnAPigville. It’s a worn out looking place along the interstate with factory buildings and hotels, obviously a stopover between the cities of San Francisco and Oakland for many years. Someone got the idea to give it a superficial makeover and turn it into a pre-fab Disneyesque shopping area with apartment complexes. The problem is that it’s a small, boring place where Greenwich Village rents are charged for apartments in old, poorly constructed buildings with infrastructure from the 1960s. Old vent fans and heating ducts that wake you at night, low budget plumbing, faucets that wobble, locks that break too often, laundry rooms with dryers that are hot some of the time, hallway carpeting that’s rarely vacuumed – everything seems to be given a quick fix, typical of scam artists. (Of course, I didn’t go inside every apartment, but still…)

The people in the office who answer phones and deal with prospective clients are basically pickpockets who would have sold snake oil in the late 19th century. A couple of tenants told me about them stretching the truth quite long. Hearing one of them speak one afternoon I wondered if he puts his smile on a night table before going to bed at night.

For my ride back east, I checked prices on alternatives to flying and received a good price to go with Amtrak. I liked the idea of seeing places around the country I’ve never seen before and had never before been on an Amtrak train.

Amtrak: Nice views and comfortable seats, but no access to the internet and the food, snacks and drinks are extremely limited. I only ate one meal in the dining car: a small breakfast of tasteless scrambled eggs; average tasting potatoes; an ordinary biscuit and weak, below average tasting coffee with artificial creamer for $12 plus an expected tip. The alternative to the dining car was the “cafe car” which is a tiny room crammed with pre-packaged hot dogs, cheeseburgers and sandwiches (all of which had pig and/or cow meat), a variety of chips, warm water and soda and weak coffee without actual milk or cream. There was an adjoining room with two tables. And the prices were obscene: $4.50 for a small bottle of WARM water and a tiny bag of popcorn that goes for 50 cents in a deli. Also, for those in the coach section, alcohol brought on board couldn’t be consumed, but alcohol purchased from Amtrak could be.

The highlight of the trip east was on the train from Chicago to New York. It was a cool conversation with a guy by the name of Claude, an old school dude from St. Louis who works out of Chicago. He ran the cafe car. We talked a while about music: throwing around names like Jimmy Nolan, Gil Scott-Heron, Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Santana, Public Enemy, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Brothers Johnson, Stanley Clarke, Bootsy Collins and Run DMC. Yeah, we talked a while and we both dig bass…

We also discussed the sad (in our opinions) transformation of television over the years from shows like Kung Fu, Sanford & Son, Barney Miller (great bass in the theme song) and Good Times to vampires, zombies and wildly popular shows glorifying serious dysfunction. Laughing with Claude for a half hour or so made the obscene prices of crappy food less painful.

I saw a lot of beautiful scenery in eastern California, part of Nevada and a bit of Utah.

Colorado: I saw incredible scenery – snow-capped mountains and impressive rock formations similar to New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. I knew about the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, but was surprised at the sensational red rock mountains. I didn’t know that type of scenery existed so far north. It was very enjoyable.

Denver: A mix of rain and snow and only 25 minutes at the train station made it difficult to see much or to enjoy the little I could see: a noisy, crowded bar that served food, an over-priced coffee shop with pre-packaged sandwiches and deli salads and two gift shops inside the station and a brewery and a few restaurants and bars outside the station.

This is a shot outside Denver while snow was falling (yes, crappy quality):

image

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa: Trees, farms, trucks, tractors, buildings shaped like hangars, trailers, a couple of baseball fields and a big U.S. flag

Chicago: There was steady rain for hours, the entire time I was there. I struck up a conversation with a cool local woman in the station. She agreed with my comments about the current political climate and about political correctness – enough to laugh heartily and give me a pound. I asked her if a restaurant I enjoyed my first time in Chicago was easy to get to. This friendly black woman said to me:

“Oh, that’s on the west side of town. YOU don’t want to go to that neighborhood alone. I don’t even go there alone. You know what I’m saying?”

I replied, “I went there with a couple of people my first visit to Chicago. I liked it. Great food.”

“And nothing happened to you? You must have been with Black people.”

“Uh, yeah, I was.”

A chuckle, then a serious expression and, again, with a hand on my arm, “Don’t go there by yourself.”

I was disappointed by the woman’s admonition. I was looking forward to a delicious meal at a place called McArthur’s I had eaten at years ago with a friend and a Chicago acquaintance we’d befriended in a hotel lobby.

Upon entering the waiting room at the station, I saw a sign that stated Amtrak offers free wi-fi to customers. I figured I’d look up directions to the restaurant anyway. Shit, it wasn’t even dark yet. However…

Terms and Conditions of Use
Amtrak assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment. Access and use of this system is restricted, monitored and recorded. By using Amtrak owned and supported computer systems I acknowledge that I [have read], am subject to, and bound by, all of Amtrak’s policies regarding computer usage, information security and records management and specifically Amtrak Policy 3.1.x Computer Security & Usage. I acknowledge that all Electronically Stored Information created or utilized through Amtrak’s computer systems are considered property of Amtrak and may only be used and distributed in accordance with Amtrak policies.
Disclaimer

I acknowledge that connecting to the Amtrak network through personal computer equipment is a privilege granted by Amtrak and that there is reduced expectation of privacy for such use and privilege. Abuse of such privileges may subject my personal computer equipment to legal holds and/or physical possession by Amtrak. Amtrak has a right but not a duty to monitor and access all electronic communications. Access or use of this system without authorization and/or in violation of Amtrak’s policies may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination, possible criminal prosecution and potential personal liability for your actions.

Agreement

By entering “I agree” below, you are entering into a binding agreement.

Wow. Just to temporarily use their wifi. Now, of course, only a delusional, paranoid conspiracy theorist would be concerned about giving up rights to privacy to be able to get online for a few minutes.

I ate at a nearby fast food coffee joint, went back to the station (drenched from the rain), took out a book and read until my train boarded.