Russian president Vladimir Putin signs law to label journalists as ‘foreign agents’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Russian president Vladimir Putin signs law to label journalists as ‘foreign agents’

Foreign agents, defined as involved in politics and receiving money from abroad, must register with the justice ministry, label publications with the tag and submit detailed paperwork or face fines.

WORLD Updated: Dec 03, 2019 06:23 IST

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Moscow
Russian legislation passed in 2012 already gave authorities the power to brand media organisations and NGOs as foreign agents, a term that has Soviet-era overtones.
Russian legislation passed in 2012 already gave authorities the power to brand media organisations and NGOs as foreign agents, a term that has Soviet-era overtones.(REUTERS FILE)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial law allowing independent journalists and bloggers to be labelled as “foreign agents”, a move that critics say will violate media freedom.

Russian legislation passed in 2012 already gave authorities the power to brand media organisations and NGOs as foreign agents, a term that has Soviet-era overtones. The new law, which now extends to individuals, will come into effect immediately, according to a document published on the Russian government website.

Foreign agents, defined as involved in politics and receiving money from abroad, must register with the justice ministry, label publications with the tag and submit detailed paperwork or face fines.

Nine human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, have expressed concern that the amendments may be aimed not only at journalists, but also at bloggers and internet users who benefit from scholarships, funding or revenues from a relevant media outlet.

NGOs said in a joint statement last month the law was “a further step to restrict free and independent media” and “a strong tool to silence opposition voices”.

Authors of the bill have said it is intended to “perfect” existing legislation on “foreign agents” that already covers NGOs and media organisations. Russia says it wants the law as a tit-for-tat mechanism if its journalists are defined as foreign agents in the West. Russia first passed legislation allowing media organisations to be slapped with the label in 2017, after Kremlin-funded RT television was declared a foreign agent in the United States. Russian opposition politician Alexi Navalny’s organisation has been branded a foreign agent, as has US-financed media outlet Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.

The term foreign agent was used negatively during the Stalinist era in the 1970s and 1980s for opponents accused of being paid by the West.

New York Times and Washington Post declare Kamala Harris doomed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

‘Flailing … teetering’: New York Times and Washington Post declare Kamala Harris doomed

Both the New York Times and Washington Post published stories arguing that Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign is on uneasy footing and nearing a collapse.

Harris, despite declaring her candidacy in front of over 20,000 people in January, has experienced a significant dip in the polls in recent months in part because voters still have questions about who she is and what she supports.

The Post reported, “As a result, her candidacy is now teetering, weighed down by indecision within her campaign, her limits as a candidate and dwindling funds that have forced her to retreat in some places at a moment she expected to be surging,” and labled her campaign “flailing.”

The Harris campaign recently laid off staffers to the ire of those left in the offices. Campaign manager Juan Rodriguez was pelted by questions from other members of the campaign following those layoffs earlier this month. Kelly Mehlenbacher, the Iowa operations director, roasted Rodriguez and Harris’s sister Maya, who’s also the campaign chairwoman, in her resignation letter. She has since joined the Bloomberg campaign.

The Times obtained Mehlenbacher’s resignation letter, in which she claimed, “This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” and added that, “With less than 90 days until Iowa we still do not have a real plan to win.”

They also reported that factions have been created within the Harris campaign and that she is no longer on good terms with Rodriguez. Rep. Marcia Fudge, who has endorsed Harris and is a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that while Harris is not absolved of responsibility, she needs to get rid of Rodriguez in order to regain her footing in the primary.

Palestinians Slam PA Ban on 59 Websites

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Palestinians Slam PA Ban on 59 Websites

Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 – 10:45
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the Fourth National Forum for the Fourth Industrial Revolution during the forum’s opening session in the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 9 2019. (Nasser Nasser/AP)
Ramallah- Asharq Al-Awsat
A Palestinian court decision to block access to 59 news websites and Facebook pages has drawn criticism and sparked widespread controversy, anger,x and growing calls for stopping the “gagging” policy.

In a rare move, Abbas’s government called on the attorney general to overturn the latest decision by Ramallah Magistrate’s Court.

Government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem said in a statement that the PA government urged administrators of social media pages and news sites to “follow professional and moral standards in publishing news and media items.”

He stressed the government’s respect for international conventions that guarantee the protection of freedoms and its strong respect for the independence of the judiciary and non-intervention in its affairs.

The decision was made at the request of the Palestinian prosecution.

In its petition to the court, The prosecution argued that the sites disseminate harmful content about the PA and its officials and are likely to be used to incite lawlessness.

The court’s decision was leaked after prosecutors sent it to Internet companies in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate held a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, a day after the news of the blockage was leaked.

Syndicate Head Naser Abu Baker called it a “black day” for the press in Palestine.

“The judiciary must protect freedom in Palestine,” he stated. “It should not restrict it.”

He said that the syndicate appealed against the decision and announced that it is against any previous agreements with the Public Prosecution.

“What is required now is for the court to cancel this decision and amend the law on cyber crimes with respect to freedom of information.”

Abu Baker described the decision to block websites as a blow to the government and its efforts to establish media freedoms.

In this context, Palestinian officials and factions rejected the “gagging” policy.

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, expressed dissatisfaction with the decision.

“Blocking access to websites or imposing other measures that prevent access to information or restrict freedom of expression are in complete contradiction with the Palestinian Basic Law,” she stressed in a statement.

 

Iran State Television Airs ‘Confession’ of Exiled Journalist

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Iran State Television Airs ‘Confession’ of Exiled Journalist

Wednesday, 16 October, 2019 – 11:45
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) march during an annual military parade (File photo: Reuters)
London – Asharq Al-Awsat
Iranian state television aired Monday footage showing Rouhollah Zam, editor-in-chief of the Paris-based Amadnews website, after he was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as part of a “complicated intelligence operation.”

A short video showed a man blindfolded and handcuffed to the back seat of a car, which the television claimed to be taken after Zam’s arrest, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

After that, the same man appeared sitting in an armchair next to the flags of Iran and IRGC.

The man identified himself as Zam and “the founder of Amadnews”, a Telegram channel that the Iranian authorities accuse of having played a major role in the protests that broke out in December 2017.

Zam said he regrets “what has happened in the past three or four years,” and admitted he was wrong to have trusted other governments, namely the French government.

In another clip, Zam does not appear to be handcuffed and avoided looking directly at the camera, indicating that it is not right to trust governments, especially governments that show they do not have good relations with Iran, including the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. He then apologized to the whole Iranian political regime, reported AFP.

The Revolutionary Guard announced Monday the arrest of Zam describing him as a “counter-revolutionary” who was directed by France’s intelligence service.

IRGC didn’t specify when or where Zam had been arrested. He had been reportedly living in exile in Paris.

Telegram shut down Amadnews which had around 1.4 million followers after Iranian authorities demanded the messaging application remove the account for inciting “violence.”

Amnesty International has repeatedly urged Iranian authorities to stop broadcasting “confessions” of suspects, saying they violate the “defendants’ rights.”

Legendary journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts dies at 75

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Legendary journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts dies at 75

Samantha Sergi/ABC News
WATCH The extraordinary career of Cokie Roberts

Renowned ABC News journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts has died at the age of 75.

Roberts won countless awards, including three Emmys, throughout her decades-long career. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. She was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008.

“We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness,” her family said in a statement.

Her death was due to complications from breast cancer.

Roberts, born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs, said she got the name “Cokie” from her older brother, who couldn’t pronounce Corinne and dubbed her Cokie instead. The name stuck with her ever since.

“Cokie Roberts will be dearly missed,” said James Goldston, president of ABC News. “Cokie’s kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists.”

Roberts was “a true pioneer for women in journalism,” Goldston said, “well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, D.C., countless news making interviews, and, notably, her unwavering support for generations of young women — and men — who would follow in her footsteps.”

She is survived by her husband, fellow journalist Steven Roberts, her children, Lee and Rebecca and her six grandchildren.

PHOTO: Cokie Roberts joined ABC News in 1988 and won the Edward R. Murrow Award and Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.Heidi Gutman/ABC
Cokie Roberts joined ABC News in 1988 and won the Edward R. Murrow Award and Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.more +

Roberts graduated from Wellesley College in 1964 with a degree in political science and began her career in radio as a foreign correspondent for CBS in the 1970’s and started covering Capitol Hill for National Public Radio in 1978, reporting on the Panama Canal Treaty.

She was assigned to Capitol Hill full-time in the early 1980’s, serving as the network’s congressional correspondent for more than a decade.

Roberts co-anchored ABC’s “This Week” with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002. She also served as political commentator, chief congressional analyst and a commentator for “This Week” during her three decades at ABC.

PHOTO: Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts anchor This Week on ABC, Jan. 23, 1997.Terry Ashe/ABC
Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts anchor “This Week” on ABC, Jan. 23, 1997.

Before joining ABC News in 1988, Roberts spent more than two decades at outlets including WNEW (1968), KNBC-TV (1974-77), CBS News (1974-1977) and NPR starting in 1978. She was also a correspondent for MacNeil-Lehrer News hour and a contributing senior news analyst for PBS.

Additionally, she wrote eight books, largely focusing on the role of women in American history, many of which were New York Times bestsellers.

She had recently acknowledged a struggle with her health.

“Over the summer, I have had some health issues which required treatment that caused weight loss. I am doing fine,” she said in a statement after the “This Week” appearance. “I very much appreciate the kind comments I have received and expect to be, as I have been, working away in the days and months to come, covering what promises to be a fascinating election. I am grateful to everyone who has been in touch and sent their well wishes. Thanks for caring.”

Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and was successfully treated. When she was diagnosed, she spoke about her longtime work urging women to get regular mammograms.

“Fortunately, in the course of my efforts to inform others about the disease, I learned about the benefits of early detection,” she said in a statement at the time, The Washington Post reported. “Now I am the beneficiary of that information.”

She told the Post that her cancer diagnosis didn’t give her a newfound perspective on life, because she already had one.

“I had a healthy perspective on life already,” she said to The Washington Post. “I have always cared more about family than my career. I lost my father at age 58 in a terrible accident and I lost my sister at age 51. So I didn’t need any extra perspective on life.”

During a Facebook Q&A in 2013, when asked what was the best part of her career, she said that her family has been “by far the best part” of her life.

“I’ve been blessed in my life with been a long and happy marriage that produced two wonderful children who have in turn each produced three spectacular grandchildren and that is by far the best part. In terms of career, I’ve been lucky to have many interesting jobs and loved most of them. The ability to develop expertise and then be able to use that knowledge in broadcasting is gratifying. And I find writing books particularly satisfying,” she wrote in her response to the Facebook question.

Roberts came from a political family: she was the daughter of (Thomas) Hale Boggs, the former Democratic House majority leader and representative from New Orleans. Her father was also a member of the Warren commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

PHOTO: Cokie Roberts conducts and interview at the University Club in Washington, Oct. 29, 2015.Samantha Sergi/ABC News
Cokie Roberts conducts and interview at the University Club in Washington, Oct. 29, 2015.

Hale Boggs died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972, and his wife – Roberts’ mother – Lindy Boggs was elected to fill her late husband’s congressional seat.

Lindy Boggs was later appointed to be the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Roberts’ siblings also took a liking to politics. Her older brother, Thomas Boggs Jr., was a lobbyist and her sister Barbara Boggs Sigmund was the former mayor of Princeton, New Jersey. Her younger brother, William, died as an infant, and her other two siblings have died as well.

In an interview earlier this year, Roberts noted that she was “the only person in my original nuclear family who didn’t run for Congress. Now, they didn’t win all of them – the only one that never lost an election was my mother.”

But she filled that void with her foray into journalism.

“I have always felt semi-guilty about it. But I’ve sort of assuaged my guilt by writing about it and feeling like I’m educating people about the government and how to be good voters and good citizens,” she told The Washington Post.

Roberts married journalist Steve Roberts in 1966, after meeting at a political event in Ohio four years earlier when they were both in college.

Steven Roberts worked as a reporter at The New York Times for many years, and in a 2017 interview, Cokie Roberts credited her husband as being “my mentor when I started off as a journalist.”

“I had always been a good writer, and so I started reporting and writing. He was a big help to me, and we did a lot together,” she said for an oral history project developed by the House of Representatives.

Steve Roberts said in a New York Times interview in 2017 that he was “bowled over” by his wife’s intellect.

        .&lid=view[Slideshow]” target=”_blank”>             

                                        PHOTO:                                                           

            

                SLIDESHOW: Cokie Roberts through the years             
        

“Marrying the right person is the single most important decision you’ll ever make in your life. Everything else is secondary. From the very beginning, I knew what an extraordinary person Cokie was,” Steve Roberts said in the Times article, which was published to celebrate their then-50 year union in 2017.

The pair got married under an apple tree in the backyard of her family’s home in Bethesda Maryland, and then-President Lyndon B. Johnson and first lady Lady Bird were among the 1,500 guests in attendance. The home stayed in the family, and was Cokie and Steve Roberts’ home at the time of her passing.

Full statement from the family of Cokie Roberts:

Her loving family announces the passing of journalist and author Cokie Roberts, due to complications from breast cancer, on September 17.

Born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on December 27, 1943, Cokie was – first and foremost – a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin and friend.

Cokie’s career as a journalist at National Public Radio and ABC News took her to the heights of her profession, and her success as an author on history and family put her on the best seller list.

But her values put family and relationships above all else.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, journalist, author and professor Steven V. Roberts, her children Lee Roberts and Rebecca Roberts, her grandchildren Regan, Hale and Cecilia Roberts and Claiborne, Jack and Roland Hartman, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She is also survived by friendships and by causes that she put her time, resources and energy into that are too numerous to count.

We would like to thank the staff at the National Institutes of Health for their dedication, expertise, work and incredible care for Cokie during her illness.

We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness.

We are hopeful that Cokie now goes to join her parents, former Members of Congress Hale and Lindy Boggs, her siblings Barbara, Tom and William, who predecease her, and her God.

Angela Davis To Be Honored By The National Women’s Hall Of Fame

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWS ONE)

 

Revolutionary activist and author Angela Davis has been instrumental in evoking social and political change. Just a year after it was announced that her collection of work would be added to Harvard University’s library, the Alabama native will now be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the University of California Santa Cruz reported.

UC Santa Cruz

@ucsc

👏👏👏 UC Santa Cruz emerita professor Angela Davis will be inducted into @WomenoftheHall alongside Gloria Allred, Sonia Sotomayor, Flossie Wong-Staal and more in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. https://go.ucsc.edu/2G62icM 

UCSC emerita professor Angela Davis to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, The National Women’s Hall of Fame will host a weekend in New York honoring the achievements of women in…

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The former UC Santa Cruz professor will be honored during the institution’s centennial celebration of the women’s suffrage movement. Davis—a former member of the Black Panther Party—has utilized her platform to spread awareness about racial inequality and mass incarceration. She also served as a member of the Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was jailed in the early 70s after for allegedly trying to help free imprisoned activist George Jackson. After being acquitted in 1972, Davis turned to education and lectured around the world about history and consciousness. She also penned ten books that were focused on feminism, race and incarceration.

“I would say that as our struggles mature, they produce new ideas, new issues and new terrain on which we engage in the quest for freedom,” she said in an interview with The Nation. “Like Nelson Mandela, we must be willing to embrace the long walk toward freedom.”

Davis will be inducted along with nine other influential women who dedicated their careers to the advancement of women and fighting for equal rights. Amongst the 2019 inductees are U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, scientist Flossie Wong-Staal, musician Laurie Spiegel, actress Jane Fonda, artist Rose O’Neill, former United States Representative Louise Slaughter, lawyer Sarah Deer and retired United States Air Force officer Nicole Malachowski. “We are pleased to add these American women to the ranks of inductees whose leadership and achievements have changed the course of American history,” Betty Bayer, President of The National Women’s Hall of Fame, said in a statement.

The institution—which was founded 50 years ago—is the country’s oldest organization that has been dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of women in different sectors. The induction ceremony is slated to take place on September 14.

SEE ALSO:

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20 PHOTOS

Do Black Lives Or Any Lives Really Matter In Today’s Society

Do Black Lives Or Any Lives Really Matter In Today’s Society

(I wrote this on September 26th of 2016)

Here in the States we see and hear of evil everyday on the different news feeds we have at our fingertips. Just this morning I heard of an active shooter in SW Houston Texas where a disgruntled lawyer went on a shooting spree wounding 9 people before the Police shot and killed him. As of the time of this report I do not know if the color of ones skin had anything to do with who was shot this morning or not. Just a couple of days ago an idiot shot and killed 5 people at a mall in Washington State. In that instance it appears to me that gender and the religious beliefs of the shooter had a huge role in those murders. Yet even when there are mass shootings here in the U.S. the mass media focuses most of its airtime whenever a Black person is killed by a Police Officer than on any other of these events. It seems that in our American Media there is always the effort to divide and take sides when this happens. I guess because hatred, racism, ignorance and criminal activities sell more papers and airtime.

 

Do I think that some Police Officers are racist and or just plain punks? Yes of course I do, I have lived 60 years here in the States and I have been eye-witness to such type of events several times. Do I believe that all Police Officers are racist or punks, no, not at all, that would be bias and quite stupid of me to think that. Yet it is my belief that some people do believe that about all Police Officers and if they do then I believe that they have become exactly what they hate, racist, hate filled punks themselves. Do I believe that the young Black man who was shot and killed by a Black plain clothed Police Officer in Charlotte North Carolina this past week was a racist act? No I don’t unless the Black Officer was a person who is bias against his own race. Also earlier this week there was another case of a young Black man being shot and killed by a White lady Police Officer in Tulsa Oklahoma. Do I believe that race had anything to do with this shooting? Yes I do. Each case of a Police shooting has to be analyzed separately. Every human case is different because the humans involved are different. The lady Officer in Tulsa has been charged with first degree manslaughter but the Officer in Charlotte has not been charged with anything, at least not yet. Personally I believed and still believe that the Officer in Tulsa should have been charged with second degree murder. I have known a lot of Officers in my life and I know that some do always carry a ‘throw down’ gun or a knife just in case they mess up and shoot an unarmed person they can throw down that weapon so that they don’t get charged with shooting an unarmed person. Is this what happened in Charlotte? By what I have seen on tapes and pictures, it looks to me like this might well be one of those throw down situations.

 

Race is a big issue on these shootings because of the media trying to sell airtime and news papers. There are far more people in this Country that are shot by Police Officers that are not black folks than the cases where they are Black folks. Yet we hear very little in the Nations media unless it is a Black person who got shot. The media and those ignorant enough to believe their bias hype could believe that Police Officers only shoot black people. There are plenty of cases though where I do believe the person’s skin color got them executed by a Police Officer like where that young Black kid was shot 16 or 17 times as he lay on the street in Chicago. In my opinion this is a case of first degree murder and the Cop should be charged with first degree murder and nothing less.

 

How much ruckus do you hear in the media when any other race of person is shot by an Officer when the one shot wasn’t Black? How about when a White person is shot by an Officer? Now, when was the last time there were any riots when a Hispanic, Indian or Asian person was shot by an Officer? America’s media play’s the race card mostly/only when it is a Black person who has been shot. Our society has been groomed to treat Black folks different in almost all issues. Some of these issues are good but many are toward the negative. Before the 1960’s all non White people were treated horribly not just the Black folks. It is true that the only ‘legal’ slaves in this Country were Black people but slavery ended more than 150 years ago. Most likely no one in our Country today has ever even known someone who was a ‘legal’ slave nor has anyone ever been one. Slavery of any kind is a sickening thing to even think about and it is nothing to ever joke about. Have you ever watched the movies Roots or Django? How about the TV program on WGN out of Chicago called Underground? If these situations don’t make you sick at your stomach, have you no morality?

 

This ‘movement’ here in America called ‘Black Lives Matter’ in my opinion is not much more than a racist movement of hate. Do Black lives matter? Absolutely they do, but so does every life, equally. Should it be okay for people in this Country to protest peacefully against the Government or against a Police Department’s? Yes, of course it should be okay for everyone in this Country to peacefully protest yet the word Peacefully is the key word. In Charlotte we have seen once again where folks, mostly Black folks have protested with violence and the Nations media has remained very quiet about it because if they spoke the truth they would be accused of being racist towards Black people. Think about it, people riot, burning vehicles, breaking into store and tractor trailers on the interstate and blocking off a major interstate and it is said by some that these rioters were simply ‘street cleaners’, how sickening! The media have created their own monster. The Black Race in this Country has been allowed to be racist in almost all venues. Think about these issues for a moment please. Here in this Country there are such things as the NAACP, the Black Miss America Pageant, the Negro College Fund, Black Colleges, Black Churches, Black Congressional Caucuses, Black Businessmen Associations, Black Lives Matter Movement and the list goes on and on. Now think about it, if there were such things as the National Association of White People, the White Miss America Pageant, the White Peoples College Fund, White Colleges and White Churches, White Congressional Caucuses, White Businessmen Associations, or the White Lives Matter Movements a huge amount of America’s Black folks would be livid, ranting and raving about how racist these groups are and how they had to be stopped from existing? The same thing would happen if there were Associations like this for Asian, Hispanic or Indian folks. There is a group of white folks that most everyone knows of called the KKK and rightfully so, most Americans have no use for their hatred. My question to everyone is, shouldn’t every single thing is this Country that is in any way race based be made illegal? Are they not all hate groups? Are they not all bias?

 

Racism is a huge problem in this country and racism does exist in some people in every race on the planet. Racism is simply another term for hatred of those who aren’t like us. I am a white guy by birth, I like everyone else ever born had no say so concerning my skin color when I came out of the womb. Skin color does not make me a good person or a bad person. My skin color had nothing to do with me being or not being a racist hate filled person, nor did it you. I have first hand experienced hate because of my white skin. This has happened many times from Black folks, Hispanic folks and from Indian folks. I have also experienced hatred from White people who were mad at me because I was daring to speak with a non-White. Now the question is, do Black Lives Matter? I think you know my answer by now so the question is to you, do Black Lives Matter, to you? The question is also to all of the Black folks reading this article today, are you a racist, do you hate any other race of people, or all the other people who are not Black? Hatred like racism is a disease of the mind and of the Soul. Everyone on this planet are brothers and Jesus made it plain that if we hate our brother without a cause (something they can’t help or do anything about, like skin color) then we are condemning our own selves to Hell. I’m just saying, racism is an individual personal thing, we choose to be or not to be. So now my last question to you is, what have you chosen to be?

(Humanity Poem) The Slavery Side Of Being Poor

THE SLAVERY SIDE OF BEING POOR

 

Slavery a Devils device to choke and subdue the weak and the poor

Breath, a life, hope, not at the end of The Boss Mans chains and rope

Captivity, chaining the feet to the rich mans dirt, no life, just work

Weak and the poor plow their fields, fight their wars, spill our blood

Least Humans united helps take the whip off of our Boss Mans side

 

Live under a bridge or find safety in a cardboard version of a tent

Get cozy with a fire barrel hopefully long enough to warm oneself

The few have so much while the much need to be held with a bit

Work dawn to dusk, make a little jingle live to see the sunrise again

Money, food, life, all gone so easy never sleep well don’t close both eyes

 

Humans need more to live for than looking for “The Light” when they die

Working both feet in the grave to support your family, give them a ray of life

Poor man is a dead man walking from conception till toes up in his grave

Mr. Franklin’s mean you have a roof overhead, power, food, A/C, and heat

Need no whips, we have Hollywood and DC to tell us all what to do and think

 

If the Media loves the Prez it’s amazing how good a dead economy can look

Two percent inflation, yet ten times that when you try to buy some food to cook

Trunk in The Office, amazing how cold a once heated economy can get crooked

Even when the world of The Lords is dim, still it’s brighter than under their whips

Poorest of the poor need a seat at life’s table or Humans won’t continue to be

 

 

Does President Putin Have Dreams Of Creating Russia Into The Proverbial 4th Reich

 

Today on the Google News that I use as my computer’s homepage I noticed an article about Russia retreating from the International Criminal Court (ICC) via the direction of President Putin. To be honest with you I was surprised to hear that they actually belonged to it. The reason I was surprised is because the United States does not belong to it and as far as I know, China doesn’t either. In my belief either every Nation on Earth should belong to it or no Nation should. For most of my adult lifetime (born in 1956) it has seemed that only African Nations and some Eastern European Nations have been accused under its jurisdiction. I am not a person that looks forward to a one World Nation situation even though I know it is coming. When the UN or the Hague speak of War Crimes a lot of us older folks think of Germany under Hitler yet they did not charge Japan’s Emperor Hirohito. We have used such Courts to convict and to hang ‘War Criminals’ like Saddam in Iraq and Generals in Serbia and deposed Presidential butchers throughout Africa but never a ‘Western-World’ Leader. So yes, I was surprised to hear that Russia was a consenting member of the ICC.

 

In the media here in the U.S. we have been hearing of ‘possible’ war crimes being committed in Syria by ISIS and other ‘Rebel’ groups as well as by the Government of Syria via their President Mr. Assad. We are also now hearing that ‘War Crimes’ may be being committed by the Russian Military under the leadership of President Putin. I guess this would be a real good reason for Mr. Putin to have Russia withdrawn from the umbrella of the ICC so that he and or his Generals cannot be arrested and brought before that court. Personally if I were him I would have done so a long time ago. Before any of my fellow Americans get all uppity with me on this issue you need to remember that we do not belong to the ICC either. If we did belong to it would former President George W. Bush, former VP Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld  not have all swung from their gallows long ago for their actions in Iraq?

 

Now to the main issue of this article concerning President Putin. It is my own personal belief that the American Media, Hollywood, and our idiotic Politicians created President Putin. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union these three groups of idiots constantly belittled Russia in every form and medium. They portrayed the Russian people as backward, lazy and stupid. They trounced on them without mercy as a vanquished enemy instead of a future friend and Ally. These idiots gloated over, stomped on and spit all over the National Pride of the people of Russia without mercy. President Putin when he came to power started to rebuild the integrity of the Russian Country and their people. In my belief he was exactly what the people of Russia needed at that time. The Communists Russian Government fell in 1989 for many good reasons, among them was how horribly they treated their own citizens. If the ‘West’ had only made fun of the flaws of the Communist system and not of the Russian people, Mr. Putin would still be hiding in his closet bowing to his KGB Uniform in private. Mr. Putin should have helped bring in a new level of friendship with the people of the U.S. but how do you make yourself grow closer to someone who is laughing at and mocking your people? The answer is, you don’t.

 

President Putin is a very wise human being and he is a very strong Leader yet it would have been better for the World as a whole if he had only served his first two terms as their President then retired to a villa on the Baltic. 2008, Georgia, a chance for Mr. Putin to regain some National pride for the Russian people. Question for you, how do the Leaders of Countries usually do this? The answer is through their military, a huge Nation goes to war with a little Nation and squashes it. Just my opinion but the former President of Georgia was acting like an idiot by flaunting issue differences in Mr. Putin’s face and he got himself and his country spanked. American politicians have done the same kind of things before like with Cuba in the Spanish-American War, Granada, and Panama. Mr. Putin has restored the pride of the people of Russia yet at the same time it appears he has fallen back into his KGB mindset.

 

President Putin has taken total control of all aspects of Russian Society and when any leader/government does this it always means that the people of their Country lose their freedoms, their lively hoods and sometimes, their lives. President Putin is making some grave mistakes in his dealings with Iran though not so much with his dealings with President Assad in Syria. Even though Mr. Putin’s Mother was a Christian it seems that her knowledge was not passed down to him. Syria under Mr. Assad was much more secular even though it was obvious that he was by no means a Saint, Iran on the other hand is all about the Islamic religion, they are a total different mindset. In Syria Russia has had a major Naval Base for several decades, they were already allies. To not realise that Mr. Putin would step in to help secure his Ally was very short-sighted of Western Leaders. With the selling of 10 billion dollars worth of military equipment to Iran Mr. Putin is giving a ruthless murderer that is up against Russia’s underbelly the weapons that he will sooner or later turn against the Russian people.

 

In my online dictionary I looked up the word ‘Reich’ to make sure of its definition before I used it in this title. The dictionary said that the word ‘Reich’ is from “old High German”. This should not surprise many of us as we have grown up hearing of Hitler and Germany’s 3rd Reich. Hitler considered the First Reich to be the Roman Empire and the Second was under Mr. Bismark during the 1880’s. He did not consider the German Government during World War One to be a ‘Reich’ as he considered it to be weak and not worthy of the title. Then of course Hitler thought his Germany would last a thousand years, he was only wrong by about 990 years. As far as English usage is concerned the dictionary says there was only one ‘Reich’ and it was the Germany of 1871-1945. Here is where I am tying Mr. Putin into the word and the world of “Reich”. The definition of ‘Reich’ is (Empire, Realm, Nation). I believe that President Putin, in his mind, is trying to return to a system of Communism/Czarism. Mr. Putin has made it clear that he is not one who believes in Democracy or Capitalism, but he does believe in Communism and the policies of the old KGB. His actions have proven without a doubt that he has no intention of ever letting go of power in Russia. I am sure he does not want to be known by the German word Führer which means ‘Leader, to lead’ so, maybe, will Mr. Putin decide to someday proclaim himself to be Czar Putin so that he can disperse of the need for future phony elections all together? Remember, ‘Reich’, the Nation/Empire of the ‘New’ Soviet Union under the Realm or Leadership of Czar Putin? I’m just saying, is it possible?

Are Black Folks Their Own Worse Enemy When It Comes To Interaction With Police?

 

I believe that I am just like most people here in the U.S. when it comes to police shootings, I am outraged and I am sick of them happening. Today we hear of another one in southern California in a suburb of San Diego where another unarmed black man was shot and killed by Officers. This morning photographs were shown of the event as it happened an in this case I have to back the Police Officers 100%. When a person reaches into their clothing and goes to a ‘shooter’ position and you, me or an Officer are only a few feet away directly in front of someone who did this you are going to shoot that person as fast as you can. You, me, or that Officer does not have any time in which to do anything except shoot or die. For anyone to say that the Officer should have waited to see what the man was going to do is either crazy or has a death wish of their own. Either that or maybe you are a mind reader who knew that the man didn’t just jerk a gun out on you. This is just one case of many though and I totally believe that all are not justified in use of ‘kill shots’ or of even any shots at all. Most all of us have seen videos lately of people being shot where it was obvious that either a stun gun or one non-lethal shot would have secured the situation without the use of ‘deadly force’.

 

One of the things that is badly hurting the relations with the Black folks in the U.S. and the different Police Departments is how the Media is portraying these events. If a person didn’t know any better it would be easy to believe that the only time a Police Officer ever pulls his weapon or fires it is if they are confronting a Black Person, usually a male. The Media in this Country needs to be much more professional in how they cover the news. What I mean by this is that the Media is not supposed to be in the business of ‘creating’ the news, they are supposed to be truthful, fair and honest but do you really believe that is how News Rooms behave? Many more non-Black folks are shot by Police Officers each year than Black folks are but when is the last time such shooting ever made the National Evening News? I am a person that tries to always honor the Uniform whenever possible but some times the person in the Uniform is a very low-class low intelligent person that should never ever be issued a Badge or a firearm. Just like %50 of all Doctors graduated in the bottom %50 of their class the same is so for Police Officers. These highly visible professions should be doing their best to never hire such people or when they realize they have hired them don’t protect them, fire them before they disgrace your profession! The case of the young man in Chicago where an Officer chased him down then shot him 16 or 17 times as he lay dead in the street is a good example of what I am speaking of. The Police Union gave him a job after the Mayor (who spent more than a year covering up the event to help protect his re-election campaign) fired him and the Union is paying this man’s legal bills and fighting to get him his job back. Where is the credibility of the Union, the Chicago Police Department and of the Mayor? To me, my belief is that there isn’t any in either of the three.

 

Now I am going to get more to the meat of this article and the meaning of the headline that I used for it today. Last evening I caught about two minutes of a news clip from Fox News where a middle-aged Black man was talking about these latest publicized shootings. I believe that the term he used a few times was “comply and stay alive.” He said that this was something that he was taught since he was a very young child and he is totally correct as far as I believe. I was a truck driver trainer for many years and one of the things I always stressed to the trainees was to be a wall flower, don’t do anything that will make the Police notice you. The reality is/was that if they notice you doing anything wrong you just gave them all the excuse they need to pull you over and if they pull you over it is going to cost you a lot of your paycheck. So, basically, don’t do anything stupid and hopefully they won’t choose you to pull over. These were grown men that I was training so you would hope that they would have some basic common sense if they did get pulled over and to not act like a macho ass because that will just cost you personally a lot more money, or worse. I preached to my son as he was growing up (he’s 23 now) that anytime that he was in the presence of a Police Officer to always treat the Officer with respect even if the Officer was acting like a punk-ass and even if the Officer that pulled you over for something that you did not do, don’t ever act like a punk-ass yourself. The reason is (as I told him) that every time you are in the presence of a Police Officer your financial life and your physical life are on the line so don’t act like a fool. There are some very ‘dirty’ Officers in our society but they have all of the power when you are in their presence, they have the power to fine you, beat you up or to shoot you dead so don’t act like a macho fool around them. Most Officers are good folks, some aren’t, so as ‘Dirty Harry’ said, “do you feel lucky punk?”

 

What we have noticed on almost every single video clip where these Black males have been shot by the Police the Black Male did everything that they should never ever be doing. As the man on Fox News said,”comply and stay alive.” When an Officer tells you to do something, do it, and don’t run your mouth at them even if you are right and the Officer is wrong, simply shut up. What we have all seen over and over again is where these Black males refused to do what they were told to do and in most cases concerning weapons or perceived weapons, they refused to drop them to the ground at once, as they were told to do. When an Officer tells you to drop whatever is in your hands even if you know it is not a weapon, it doesn’t mean that Officer knows that, so simply drop anything that is in your hands. If an Officer has a gun pointed at you then raise your empty hands up as high as you can so that they can know that you are not a threat to their lives. If you do happen to have a weapon on your body do not ever touch it but always tell the Officer where it is and let the Officer remove it from you. Always be very courteous with the Officer, do not act like a fool and end up dead on the ground, act like you have some sense. Viewing these videos of these Police shootings of Black males it honestly makes me wonder if the adults in Black families are having these common sense discussions with their children as they are growing up. Please folks, talk to your children so that they can grow up to be old men. Remember, it doesn’t matter if an Officer is right or wrong when you are in their presence, comply and stay alive, please!

Diana Qeblawi

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