July 29, 2014

Gaza Solidarity Grows as Israel Continues Massacre

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

“We are a diverse group of people who have come together against the Israeli occupation and against the massacre. However,” says Kash Nikazmrad, an organizer with Students for Justice in Palestine, “every massacre, every occupation, every act of colonialism always has a mechanism and a supporter. The supporter in this situation has been America.”

Nikazmrad is one of the organizers behind the Los Angeles “Stop The Massacre in Gaza” events.

Judging by the (in)action of Congress, it is hard to dispute Nikazmrad’s claims. When it comes to Israel and Gaza, there is unanimous agreement. As Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss sums up:

The Senate (July 17) unanimously passed a resolution backed by the Israel lobby group AIPAC expressing support for Israel’s attack on Gaza and saying not a word about Palestinian deaths.

The Hill says that the resolution passed “through a unanimous consent agreement.”

“The United States Senate is in Israel’s camp,” [South Carolina Senator Lindsey] Graham said on the Senate floor Thursday.

The resolution describes Palestinian attacks on Israel as “unprovoked” and says not a word about Palestinian deaths, but speaks of the survival of Israel in urging the dissolution of the unified Palestinian government:

Reaffirms the United States’ support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel…

Calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.

NJ Senator Cory Booker blamed Hamas for the violence:

“I strongly condemn the heinous attacks being perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israel. No country should have to live under a constant threat of aggression against its people, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as it defends itself against this shocking violence. My heart goes out to the citizens of Israel and the countless civilians in Gaza caught in this Hamas-initiated violence.”

MJ Rosenberg says it’s all about pro-Israel money, and that Senators have a double standard for US military actions and Israeli ones:

Note that even progressive saints Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown, and Bernie Sanders found nothing in this to object to. 

For the record, no U.S. military adventure has had the support of all hundred senators in decades. But, hey, this is Israel. And, more important, this is AIPAC. And cash.

Kash Nikazmrad of Students for Justice in Palestine, joins Dennis on Acronym TV to discuss the growing global resistance to the massacre in Gaza.

ny jews gaza1

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July 28, 2014

On Gaza, Israel, and Hamas: an Open Letter To Bill Maher

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Bill Maher should be praised for how efficiently he elucidated exactly what the Israel propaganda machine, with full support and cooperation of the United States government, would have us believe when he took to twitter and remarked: “Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her.”

In the same spirit of violating the rules of proportionality Israel violates in waging an asymmetrical war on Palestinians, I’ll counter Bill Maher’s tweet with an open letter.

Dearest Bill:

Like most men who find themselves in the admittedly unenviable position of having a woman trying to kill you I’ll wager that the amount of time you have spent searching your soul for her homicidal motive was not nearly as long as the time you spent cuddling her after you date raped her.

Now, I know what you are thinking Bill – rape is a serious accusation. After all, Hamas was dressed like Jodie Foster in The Accused and she let you pick up the tab at dinner and she was grinding you on the dance floor in between throwing back a half dozen martinis. You have witness who will testify to this in a court of law no less and so clearly, I mean, whose kidding who, right Billy boy: she wanted it. She all but asked for it.

Who could blame you, drunk as you were, for mistaking all the punching and kicking and biting Hamas was doing to you during foreplay as hitting the jackpot in finding such a kinky Saturday night sex partner. I mean, if you didn’t know better, filled as you were with the confidence that this girl Hamas was lucky to even be with you, you might think she were trying to defend herself.

Could that be possible?

Nah, you’ll tone down some of the rougher stuff and have a great story top tell around the Real Time water cooler, right? You may have had some doubts when the sound she made when you penetrated her, or um, occupied her as it were, sounded much more like the moans of a desperately resigned type than the mutual pleasure giving type, but you easily suppressed those thoughts when she passed out, you finished you business and left, top down on the convertible, cruising through the Hollywood Hills completely satisfied with yourself.

So I can imagine your shock Bill, when this crazy Hamas bitch, after she was released from the hospital, started telling people you raped her. I wonder if you can you imagine her shock Bill, when every authority she reported you to told her that- hmm, shoot girl- if the great Bill Maher takes you dancing and buys you drinks and picks up the tab at that trendy and exclusive new Asian fusion place where you can’t even get on the list if you are not a Tosh.O or Kobe Bryant or President Obama (I mean it is that exclusive) than you better be prepared to put out, because, well you owe him?

With no help from the legal authorities, Hamas tried to shame your good name in the press. And you can’t have that, right Bill? I mean, without a good name, what currency can men tread in? And so the world not only stood by, they supported you, as you rained down hellfire missiles provided to you as the only export of a fading global Imperial empire down on that Hamas bitch and everyone member of her family and zip code.

But like the ending to a bad zombie flick, here comes Hamas again, somehow stumbling towards you, shaking off the dust from the rubble and the blood splatter from her now deceased family members from her eyes and her sights are set right on you Bill. She looks crazy. And she wants to kill you. But you are stronger than her Bill, and so you hold her wrists until- in what is surely a compassionate gesture intended to shake Hamas to her senses until she sees and accepts her place in the world, you have to slap her. Not that you want to slap her, we know that Bill.

Slapping Hamas is, in your mind I’m sure, a chivalrous attempt to evoke a brat pack America, a bygone Sinatra and Kennedy era when women knew their place, dinner was on the table with the evening papers at six and real men occupied the space between the legs of any lucky girl they desired.

And because slapping her will never be enough, Bill, the world will stand by and condone, heck we will even help you pay for the cost of confining that crazy Hamas bitch and her ilk in the world’s largest open air prison, won’t we.

Because Bill, who can argue with that fact that you, and you alone, have the right to defend yourself?
bill-maher open letter


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July 25, 2014

How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Guantanamo Prison

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

An interview with Jason Leopold.

There are many crimes committed in the pursuit of, or as an accessory to, the crimes of US Foreign Policy. I’m not exactly sure where to rank the operation of Guantanamo Bay on that list, but consider these numbers, compiled by the Center for Constitutional Rights:

779 men and boys have been imprisoned at Guantánamo since January 2002. 100% of them are Muslim.

Of the 149 who remain there, 78 have been cleared for release for years but are still imprisoned. President Obama’s Task Force has designated 38 men for indefinite detention without charge or trial.

The longer the illegal prison remains open, the more accepting of its existence American citizens seem to be, at least according to Gallup poll conducted in the days after the release of Sgt. Bergdahl in exchange for 5 prisoners who were not on that list cleared for release. That poll revealed that 66% of Americans said the U.S. should not “close this prison and move some of the prisoners to U.S. prisons.” That is up from the 53% of Americans who said the same thing in July of 2007. Today, again, according to that latest Gallup poll, just 29% of Americans want the facility closed and the prisoners either released or transported to the U.S.

About the guest:
Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter covering Guantanamo, counterterrorism, national security, human rights, open government, and civil liberties. He's been called a "FOIA Terrorist" by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which includes successfully suing the FBI to force changes to Bureau FOIA practices.

atv Guantanomo

Guantanamo Prison, GITMO, Barack Obama, Shut Down Guantanamo, Jason Leopold, Hunger strike, Torture, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, Acronym TV, ATV, Dennis Trainor Jr,

July 14, 2014

A World Cup For The 1%

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

When Germany and Argentina square off in the Word Cup Final, the whole world will be watching the culmination of what may be the most exciting FIFA World Cup Tournament ever. What most people are unaware of, however, is the brutal conditions that FIFA creates to pull off the games.

atv FIFA go to hell

July 10, 2014

F**K FIFA: Why A Majority of Brazilians Think The World Cup is Bad For Brazil.

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

new Pew Poll finds shows that the “national mood in Brazil is grim following a year in which more than a million people have taken to the streets of major cities across the country to protest corruption, rising inflation and a lack of government investment in public services such as education, health care and public transportation, among other things.”

61% of Brazilians feel that hosting the World Cup is a “bad thing because it takes money away from public services” vs. just 34 percent who think it’s a “good thing because it creates jobs.” Thirty-nine percent say it will hurt Brazil’s international image, while only 35 percent think it will help.

In this episode of Acronym TV, Derek Poppert of Global Exchange talks with Dennis about his Re-Think The Cup series. In a recent piece from the series,FIFA: Return The Beauty To The Beautiful Game, Derek writes:

“So who wins the World Cup? While it may seem that decision is still getting played out in stadiums across Brazil, FIFA president Sepp Blatter is surely laughing from his luxury suite.

The winner had already been decided well before the first match even began. FIFA’s 4 billion dollars in untaxed revenue from the event is the trophy.

It appears to be of little interest to Mr. Blatter or other FIFA execs that this trophy has come on the backs of 200,000 low-income people beingforcefully evicted from their homes to make room for the event, 8 construction workers dying in the frenzied rush to erect stadiums on time, or 14 billion dollars in Brazilian taxpayer money being spent on the tournament in the face of poverty, inequality, and widespread social issues within Brazil.”

David Ziron, author of Brazil’s Dance With The Devilpoints out:
“In Brazil, site of the 2014 World Cup, the FIFA-driven push to build new stadiums at a breakneck pace has led to the deaths of nine construction workers. FIFA’s demands for security and infrastructure may end up displacing as many as 250,000 poor people, who live in the favelas surrounding Brazil’s urban centers. The cost of the games continues to tick upward, the latest figures climbing as high as $15 billion. Brazil’s own 1994 World Cup star, Romário, called the 2014 tournament “the biggest heist in the history of Brazil.”

The question becomes, then: Are sports on this scale a net positive or negative for human beings as a whole?

atv soccer fan

July 9, 2014

Limited Run of Shirts!

So as many long time followers know, I make t-shirts. I haven't for a little bit. But I'm trying to get back into that game.

The worst thing possible thing making t-shirts is to put effort and money into making multiple screens for what I think is a really great run of shirts, only to find out that nobody wants to buy them. Plus losing money is a really lousy way to make a living. Plus there's the small pile of shirts that I just have laying around now. What a waste!


So after thinking on it for a while, I decided that I would use crowd-funding to gauge whether or not these shirts were any good. So I'll make small batches of shirts, and then once the goal is met (or exceeded) everybody who wants a shirt can get a shirt.

And then when the project is over, I will clean the screens, and the shirt design will go away. So these shirts will be limited run. So if you like it, get it now, because I'm not making it again.

That will keep me busy constantly thinking of and making new designs, which is really the most fun part of screenprinting.

July 8, 2014

Why At Least one FIFA Player Should Protest The World Cup Final

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Imagine the impact if a player from one of the remaining FIFA semifinal World Cup teams (Germany, Brazil, The Netherlands, or Argentina) were to engage in an act of protest against FIFA for it’s Imperial practices that have literarily displaced at least 250,000 Brazilians? Imagine if Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller,Arjen Robben, or even the injured Neymar were to pull a John Carlos sometime during the semifinals or finals of the World Cup?

If any sports organization deserves to be protested, FIFA is it.  As Dave Ziron correctly pointed out, Luis Suárez May Bite, but FIFA Sucks Blood.

In this clip from Acronym TV with Dennis Trainor Jr – Derek Poppert of Global Exchange talks about his Re-Think The Cup series of articles and the potential impact a player from one of the remaining teams calling FIFA out.


July 7, 2014

A poem by a friend traveling in Israel

My friend Jacob Wartell is traveling in Israel right now. He wrote this and posted it on social media. Reposted here with permission.

Though I had forgotten,
I am still a servant of the angel of bread.
Two days before the Sabbath
I catch sourdough culture
In Uncle Charlie's kitchen
Just east of Tel Aviv.
I feed it rye and spelt,
Olives and rosemary.
My aunt, she prefers a gentle gluten.
Me, I'm smitten with olives
In flavor if not metaphor alone.

The whole country slows down
And we bless bread.
The whole country slows down,
Except for riots in Jerusalem,
City of rosemary.
Our olives are burned,
Burned body of Palestinian teen
Two nights ago.
Most think far right show
Of revenge.

City of rosemary.
Country of olives.
We all did a poor job separating the pits
From the flesh.
May the angels of bread and tears
Keep us from breaking our teeth on the fragments.

City of rosemary.
Country of olives.
I spend all day eating bread and fish with my cousins.
One of them, she carries a happy baby.
Still too young to take issue with history
Or appreciate what a miracle
A thick crust can be.

There are riots in the Arab towns.
The olive trees have been around
A long, long time.
They have known many angels,
Seen much suffering,
Enjoyed many Sabbaths here.

--Jacob Wartell

July 5, 2014

Art Killing Apathy Take on Money In Politics| Eleanor Goldfield Interview

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

watch the full show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNRoP9Hs0tU

Eleanor Goldfield is a creative activist and writer based in Los Angeles. She works with organizations to create digital content as well as live events to combine pop culture and politics - art killing apathy; her political hard rock band Rooftop Revolutionaries being a primary example of this. As a writer, she writes for several political publications on our corporatocratic government and all the issues stemming from that.

money out

Money in Politics, Money out voters in, Citizens United, Elections 2014, mid term elections 2014, MayDay PAC, Eleanor Goldfield, Art Killing Apathy, Acronym TV, ATV, Dennis Trainor Jr, Rooftop Revolutionaries

July 2, 2014

Dear Libertarians: The Radical Violent Revolutionaries Are Winning

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

This may be a shock to those who have heard me say, in some of me less than kindler, gentler moments, that Libertarians are Ayn Randian Regressives who more often that not parrot faux liberty talking points literally spoon fed them by some Koch Brothers inspired think tank, talking points that in fact serve as a pillar that upholds the empire of the ruling elite even as they espouse to tear it down. The truth is, however this view ignores the fact that on the surface, we agree on many issues- Libertarians and I.

While the two party duopoly spins a narrative that wants us to believe that we are on opposite sides of a linear spectrum, outliers, freaks, a fringe minority, the fact is that those in all 3 branches of government represent a ruling class whose worldview and means of pursuing it are in fact the minority view, the radical, fringe view. The radical violent revolutionaries are already in power. I’m not talking about Obama, or any other elected official; I’m speaking about the global corporate elite. The same force that is at work here in the US green lighting the pornographic expenditures on weapons and devices for war that make up the military industrial complex while claiming there is no money for education, health care or programs that would benefit the social good is also at work all over the world, notably right now in Brazil, where it is somehow justified to brutally displace entire poor communities in order to build multi billion dollar, FIFA quality soccer stadiums, and to pay for the armed brutal suppression of protestors outraged that in a country where 20% of people who live below the poverty line watch in horror as money is poured into the construction of a brand new soccer stadium in the Amazon that will only play host to 4 games and likely never be used again.

It is the global neoliberal agenda at work here in the US, that is responsible for the NDAA, the spying of the NSA, the threats to net neutrally, the list goes on and on. How to get free from the reign of violent radical revolutionaries who now rule our lives? My guest today, Adam Kokesh, has written a book that attempts to answer that question. Adam Kokesh did a tour in Fallujah, Iraq with the Marines in 2004 and came home to become an anti-war activist. He ran for Congress as a Republican, had a radio show, a TV show, and has gone to jail for his civil disobedience. He is the host of the ADAM VS THE MAN YouTube channel and podcast, and just released his first book, FREEDOM!
atv adam kokesh

American Revolutionaries | Acronym TV 009

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Adam Kokesh, who recently served four months in prison in connection with an Independence Day incident in which he videotaped himself loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza, near the White House, sits down with Dennis to discuss Libertarianism, performance art in protest, and the book he wrote in prison, Freedom.

In part 2 of the show, Eleanor Goldfield, the front woman of the band Rooftop Revolutionaries, joins Dennis to discuss the movement to get Money out of Politics, and her new venture Art Killing Apathy.

About the guests:

Adam Kokesh did a tour in Fallujah, Iraq with the Marines in 2004 and came home to become an anti-war activist. He ran for Congress as a Republican, had a radio show, a TV show, and has gone to jail for his civil disobedience. He is the host of the ADAM VS THE MAN YouTube channel and podcast, and just released his first book, FREEDOM!

Eleanor Goldfield is a creative activist and writer based in Los Angeles. She works with organizations to create digital content as well as live events to combine pop culture and politics - art killing apathy; her political hard rock band Rooftop Revolutionaries being a primary example of this.  As a writer, she writes for several political publications on our corporatocratic government and all the issues that stem from that.

atv adam and elanor