What Are You Most Afraid Of?

"The 2016 race is transcendentally bizarre," writes Maureen Dowd for The New York Times. "We have two near-nominees with the highest unfavorables at this point in the race of any in modern history. We seem to have a majority of voters in both parties who are driven by the desire to vote against the other candidate, rather than for their own."

My greatest fear is that endorsement of the political platforms of any of these contenders to the American throne condemns prospects for a better world for the rest of humanity.

In "Who is Barack Obama Really?" Dennis Loo argues for a People's Choice:

When we vote for candidates from either Party we are not deciding whom we like better. We are legitimating what those candidates do and stand for. When and if you cast a vote for Obama you [were] saying that you are okay with what he has done - his presidential kill list, his drone attacks, his refusal to prosecute torturers, his perpetuating of torture and places like Guantanamo, his suspension of habeas corpus, due process, and the rule of law, his vengeful attacks on whistleblowers, his mass incarceration and mass deportations, his failure to address global warming, his failure to defend women's abortion rights...

You're saying that you endorse this because you are not refusing to delegitimate it by publicly refusing to vote in their elections charade. This is the message you are sending. Is that the message you want to send?

The above excerpt from an article written in 2012 is more relevant than ever, and should resonate with people of conscience who struggle with "what to do?" in today's electoral miasma:

The way you change political policies is by movements that influence how people think. You don't do this through voting. You do this through impacting public opinion. And the ways of doing that are various, including participating and helping to organize protests and speaking out through your body, your voice and/or through your pen/keyboard and where you donate your time, energy and money.

Join World Can't Wait when the war parties convene July 2016.

Update: Sergeant Justin Erb, 45, has been identified as the officer who fired a single shot May 19 that killed 29-year-old Jessica Williams Nelson 

About 100 mourners marched from Third and Palou to the Bayview police station Friday night to honor the latest victim of trigger-happy cops.

"Her name is Jessica Williams, and she did not deserve the fate that was dealt her by the State," writes Dan Moshenberg at womeninandbeyond.org

Jessica's "street mom" Jennifer Williams, whose last name Jessica adopted, said "She was a strong and talented woman, and a little bit bossy. There's no reason for her to die the way she did. It's senseless."

"No one deserves that fate, and no one deserves that treatment," added Moshenberg. "Jessica Williams is the name of `urban redevelopment' and skyrocketing real estate markets. Jessica Williams is the name of militarized and uncontrolled policing, witch-hunting, all in the name of zero tolerance and urban revitalization. Jessica Williams, 29 years old, Black, female, was sitting in a stationary car when she was killed." 

Jessica's five children are being raised by a sister.

From 2000 to today, San Francisco police officers have been involved in 95 shootings. Forty have been fatal.
In response to a rash of "officer involved shootings", San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proposes... to add to the arsenal of lethal SFPD weapons! How many times must we say NO? 

Hundreds of deaths. Zero oversight. Tasers were supposed to curb the use of deadly force - so why have over 500 people died from Taser-related injuries since?

Film Screening: "Killing Them Safely"
Tuesday May 31, 6:30pm 
Roxie Theater
3117 - 16th Street, San Francisco
At a time when questions about police methods are at the forefront of the national dialogue, Killing Them Safely brings together archival footage and eye-opening interviews with experts on both sides of the debate.
Following the screening, filmmaker Nick Berardini and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi will address questions around San Francisco Police Commission plans to outfit SFPD officers with Tasers.
Co-Sponsors: ACLU Northern California, Public Defenders Racial Justice Committee, Coalition on Homelessness, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, National Lawyers Guild-SF, 48 Hills, OccupySF Action Council

Jessica Williams: Say Her Name

revised May 21, 8 pm 

Jessica Williams was 29, unarmed, the latest victim of an unchecked killing spree by San Francisco police officers that could no longer be accommodated with "reform" platitudes from city administrators.

"[Police] Chief Suhr's departure, which comes days after he pledged not to resign, is the latest in a series of exits of big-city police chiefs who have come under intense pressure during the past year after public anger over the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers," write NY Times correspondents Thomas Fuller and Timothy Williams. More on that here.

"I'm happy Chief Suhr was fired," posts Davey Cook at Vanishingsf.  "At the same time I'm angry as hell a unarmed Black woman was shot and killed ... I wanna know her name.. We wanna know her name? Who was the officer who shot her? They said it was a sergeant.. Was this the same sergeant who was the subject of this article where two officers were deemed snitches??

"With regards to the new 'acting' chief, he's brother named Toney Chaplin.. He's been on the force for 26 years.. I just heard him on KCBS talking about SFPD needs tasers so they wont go around shooting people.. That's total BS..

"SFPD doesn't need tasers, it needs people on the force who aren't sending racist text messages. It needs officers who aren't going around calling officers who are whistle blowers 'snitches'. It needs officers who don't show up to police commission meetings and try and act like Nazi storm troopers in an attempt to intimidate people seeking justice...

"It needs officers who have genuine love and respect for all of SF's citizens and see themselves as a part of the community, not above it.."

No Migrant Crisis,

but rather "a crisis of global injustice caused by war, poverty, and inequality," says Global Justice Now.

Iraq-War-640x350.jpg"Framing the increased flow of people fleeing war and poverty as a 'migrant crisis' misses the point. It assumes that it is the arrival of these people, rather than the situations they are trying to escape, that is the problem. This is why it is necessary to see the migrant crisis for what it is - just one symptom of a number of global crises taking place now...

"ISIS would not be controlling large swathes of Iraq and Syria had it not been for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The unwillingness of European countries to welcome the victims of conflicts which they have fueled is nothing short of hypocrisy."

Some Legacy

San Francisco City Hall has been on high alert this week, with what Supervisor John Avalos calls a "military presence" to suppress protest of an epidemic of murder by police. Instead of holding officers accountable, Mayor Lee has allocated sizable funds for additional weapons of intimidation. 

"What good will all of these reforms and new policies do if we have a climate in the department where officers can violate the existing rules and nothing happens?" asks 48hills reporter Tim Redmond.

Mayor Lee faces questions on police violence -- and has no real answers
Lt Gen McFarland now orders air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from U.S. Central Command.

Blood On Our Hands author Nicolas J. S. Davies warns that we are witnessing the beginning of a joint U.S.-Iraqi massacre in Mosul: "although Al Qaeda and Islamic State have proven adept at manipulating U.S. leaders into ever-escalating cycles of violence, the jihadis cannot directly order American pilots to bomb civilians. Only our leaders can do that, making them morally and legally responsible for these crimes, just as Islamic State's leaders are responsible for theirs."

Presidential candidates enjoin constituents to share culpability in endless wars for empire. NO! We will not endorse criminal acts against humanity with tactical voting. Crimes are crimes, no matter who enables them.

No License to Murder

How many times must we say NO to Tasers? The last thing we need are additional weapons for police to employ against the people they are supposed to protect.  

Abandoned in 2013 after decade-long populist resistance, the plan to equip police with "Conducted Energy Devices" (Tasers) has been revived by police chief Greg Suhr under presumption of "less-lethal" methods of law enforcement -- the chief shamelessly argues that the execution of Mario Woods by police last December might thus have been avoided.

"Far from seeing the police as a source of help and protection, many Americans feel the same way about them as people living under corrupt authoritarian regimes feel about their police or armies," writes USF professor Rebecca Gordon. "They see them as an occupying force, not there to protect and serve but to frighten and extort."

The myth that Tasers save lives is a lie. The advocacy group Truth Not Tasers has documented over 900 deaths from them since 2004. The risk of injury restricts use of Tasers in police training. The U.S. military Electronic Control Weapon Guideline warns against controlled application to personnel as well, causing lawyer Aram James to ask why, knowing the danger, would they want to use it on unarmed citizens in uncontrolled street situations.   

"It's unfathomable to me to think that adding another weapon to an arsenal of a Police Department that is out of control is going to solve our problems; it's not," San Francisco resident Nancy Reiko Kato told commissioners. "The problem is with the policies that allow police to draw their weapons on unarmed people."

WE Won't Go

A message from Courage to Resist:

On April 27th, a congressional committee voted to extend the draft to women as well as men. The vote, held by the House Armed Service committee, attached an amendment to a "must-pass" annual military spending authorization bill (HR 4909).

America on Steroids

31C54EF900000578-3472373-image-a-5_1456925740080.jpg"Trump's 'vision for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American'. The trouble is, many of these hypothetical future nightmares are very much of the present -- if in a lesser or more polite form," op-eds Janine Jackson, OtherWords. "The novelty of Trump's dystopian ideas [get] too much credit."

Deliberation over "what's good for the U.S." holds the welfare of billions of people in the balance. A post at Quora notes "A lot of Americans tend to approach questions like minimum wage, Islam, etc by only thinking about how it affects the people within the borders. Self improvement is unsustainable with the rest of the world left behind." 

Put Humanity and the Planet First - The World Can't Wait. 

Donald Trump, Interrupted

la-na-trump-gop-california-20160429-003.jpg"Surrounded by Secret Service agents, the New York developer clambered over a concrete barrier and entered the hotel through a back door," Michael Finnegan, Javier Panzar and Seema Mehta described Trump's arrival at the California GOP Convention yesterday.  

"When the president and his key officials look at the drone program, they undoubtedly don't 'see' women and children," writes Pratap Chatterjee in an article for TomDispatch. "Instead, they are caught up in a Hollywood-style vision of imminent danger from terrorists and of the kind of salvation that a missile launched from thousands of miles away provides. It is undoubtedly thanks to just this thought process, already deeply embedded in the American way of war, that not a single candidate for president in 2016 has rejected the drone program."

"I just want people to know that not everybody is a freaking terrorist and we need to just get out of that mindset," says one of at least a dozen whistleblowers who have stepped forward. More witnesses are expected to join them in the near future.  
May 28, San Francisco, 11 am to 1 pm 
David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg
San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street 

May 28, Marin County, 4 to 6 pm
David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon
Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera

May 29, Oakland, 3 to 4 pm 
David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan
Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila)

May 29, Berkeley, 7 to 9 pm
David Swanson with Cindy Sheehan
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar Street at Bonita

San Francisco Will Not Be Silent

World Can't Wait urges you to resist the culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance behind mayor Ed Lee's brutal assault on San Francisco's homeless population. 

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr held a town hall meeting this afternoon to "update" latest developments in the fatal police shooting of 45-year-old Luis Gongora, whose death on April 7 has been plagued by controversy after numerous witnesses disputed police accounts of the incident.

Photo: Laborers International Union building in San Francisco's Mission District Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner 

A Yucatec Mayan, Luis is survived by his brothers Jose and Carlos Gongora Pat and his cousin Luis Pot Pat, his only family members in the United States, and his spouse, three grown children and his elderly parents, all in Yucatan, Mexico. The Gongora Pat family extends their gratitude to the outpouring of love and support.

"The new information on the shooting did not appease the crowd, which broke out into chants of 'Fire chief Suhr'," reads an account in The Guardian. "The shooting has prompted outrage and heartbreak among friends and neighbors of Gongora - who describe him as harmless and nonviolent - and among San Franciscans who see the shooting as just the latest assault on the homeless and poor by a city that is increasingly unaffordable to all but the wealthy." 

Protest of this latest murder by police continues tonight at a Police Commission meeting, San Francisco City Hall.

Bernie's failure to confront this specific, crucial power of the "billionaire class" isn't a "blind spot" of his politics, since imperialism is like a tank parked in your living room, too big to ignore. By consciously allying with this imperialist-section of the establishment, Sanders has exposed himself as a push over, whenever the imperialists decide it's push comes to shove over war.
"Twenty-five anti-drone activists from all over the nation were arrested for blocking the roadway at the entrance of Creech Air Force base forty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas on March 31 and April 1," reports David Kupfer at The Progressive. 

"Earlier in the week, a symposium called 'Inside Drone Warfare' was held at the University of Las Vegas' School of Law. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace and Knowdrones.com, the event focused on the impacts on whistleblowers and on families of civilians killed by overseas airstrikes from remotely piloted aircraft controlled by operators at Creech Air Force Base and other military installations in the United States."

image001.jpgProtesters marched throughout the Mission in response to Thursday's SFPD shooting death of a homeless man. While officers claim that José Luis Gongora charged at them with a kitchen knife, and that they fired in self defense, The Guardian, the Chronicle, and NBC Bay Area are all reporting that multiple witnesses contradict police claims and insist that Gongora neither charged at officers nor was he holding a weapon when police opened fire. Over one hundred people marched to the 19th and Shotwell Street site of the shooting before continuing on to the SFPD Mission Station on Valencia at 17th Street-- photo by Liam MC. 

Notes From a 'Perfectionist'

"When 'Berniebros' attack it can be disturbing," notes Paul Street. "It's been a bracing experience to be told by older white male leftists that I (no spring chicken myself) am some kind of 'ultra-radical purist' attached to 'abstract notions of perfection' (just a few of the charges I've gotten from Sanders supporters via e-mail) because I have refused to align myself with a United States Democratic Party presidential candidate - Bernie Sanders - who:

*Calls Edward Snowden a criminal and Hugo Chavez (a social democrat) a 'dead communist dictator'.

*Embraces Barack Obama's arch-terrorist drone war.

*Falsely claims to have been independent of the Democratic Party prior to the current presidential campaign.

*Supports the reckless U.S. provocation of Russia in Eastern Europe.

*Calls for the arch-reactionary and fundamentalist Islam-sponsoring state of Saudi Arabia to step up its already mass-murderous military role in the Middle East

*Helped rationalize Israel's criminal mass killings of Palestinian children in Gaza (over the opposition of properly nauseated peace activists in his home town of Burlington, Vermont).

*Backed the Clinton administration's criminal and unnecessary bombing of Serbia.

*Has worked to undermine third party politics in Vermont.

*Called police to arrest activists occupying his Burlington, Vermont Congressional office to protest 'Bomber Bernie' Serbia policy.

*Called police (when Sanders was Burlington's mayor and at the leftmost stage of his political career) to arrest peace activists occupying an industrial plant owned by the leading, blood-soaked military contractor General Electric.

*Pushed and voted for the mass-murderous and wasteful F-35 jet program (a classic Pentagon boondoggle) because it meant 'jobs for Vermont'.

*Calls the racist British imperialist Winston Churchill (who embraced the racist gassing of Arabs) his favorite non-American leader in world history (he could at least have said Nelson Mandela).

*Backs the standardized testing mania that has wreaked such terrible havoc on schools and children.

*Dilutes the radical tradition, mocking his purported hero Eugene Debs by (among other things) calling himself a socialist while embracing private, for-profit ownership of the means of production and distribution.

*Voted for the racist-mass-incarcerationist 1994 federal crime bill - a reactionary $30 billion measure that 'created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces' (Michelle Alexander).

*Fails to call for the giant rollback of the United States' gargantuan 'defense' (Empire) budget his progressive domestic social agenda requires.

*Leaves the Pentagon system almost completely without criticism when asked how he would pay for good things like single-payer health insurance.

*Says that we should learn from Denmark and other significantly social-democratic Scandinavian countries without bothering to note that those nations have tiny military budgets.

*Has repeatedly referred to the cynical corporatist and arch-imperial war hawk Hillary Clinton as his 'good friend'.

*Dismisses Black calls for reparations as 'divisive', as though centuries of slavery, segregation, discrimination, ghettoization, and stigmatization aren't worthy of any specific acknowledgement or remedy (Michelle Alexander).

*Absurdly refers to the arch-corporatist and ridiculously complicated Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as a good first step on the path to single payer (to Medicare for All).

*Aligns himself with the National Rifle Association against the parents of children murdered by an assault weapon-wielding maniac in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

*Fails to advance a serious and substantive attack on the longstanding racism, corporate-neoliberalism, and imperialism of the Clintons, thereby calling into question the sincerity and resoluteness of his claim to represent a left-progressive challenge to the long rightward drift of the Democratic party.

*Repeatedly and absurdly suggests that the U.S. wasn't a corporate- and high finance-ruled plutocracy until the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision.

*Badly over-focuses on plutocratic campaign funding (a very real anti-democratic problem, of course) as the source of the nation's ongoing subservience to big capital.

*Fails to exploit Hillary Clinton's very real e-mail and Benghazi scandals, leaving them to the Republican right and questioning thereby the seriousness of his declared goal of capturing the Democratic nomination.

*Promises in advance to back the 'eventual Democratic Party presidential nominee' (Hillary) without conditions, without demanding anything as the price of his Lesser Evilist loyalty."

"It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama," adds John Pilger in another post, "As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies - just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about 'hope'... 

"In the US, Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she's nominated. He, too, has voted for America's use of violence against countries when he thinks it's 'right'. He says Obama has done 'a great job'... 

"Where are those who will shatter the silence?"

"Reform" Is In the Air...

What we Need is Visible Opposition to U.S. War for Empire from people living in this country.  

Millions of Americans reproach their government for failure to secure access to basic necessities -- housing, education and healthcare -- for a purposeful life. Fundamental dynamics of the capitalist economic system have created a desperate situation for growing numbers of the dispossessed, across the globe. 

Presidential candidates from all parties promise a bigger piece of the proverbial American pie. But redistribution of imperial spoils, to whatever extent that would even be possible in the United States, would placate privileged recipients at unconscionable cost to humanity. 
The search for a "kinder" capitalism is fraught with contradiction: a system of privation is inequitable by definition. It requires deliberate obfuscation of the terms of engagement -- socialized production vs private appropriation -- and a presumption of innocence to the forces employed to secure U.S. hegemony.

Take President Obama's weapon of choice. It's hard to imagine a more brutal vehicle for extrajudiciary executions than unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). "Targeted killings through drones are war crimes," writes Daniele Archibugi, a director at the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and professor of innovation, governance and public policy at Birkbeck College. "The first thing to do is a direct appeal to the individuals that are using drones. These individuals should be clearly informed that they are committing war crimes for which they may be individually responsible." 

Photo: assembling a predator drone out of the box in about two hours, 2012. Wikicommons/ Sgt.Ken Scar. Public domain.   

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, CIA drone strikes in Afghanistan have killed between 1,300 and 1,800 people, at least 61 of them civilians. In Pakistan, as many as 4,000 people have been killed in drone strikes, between 420 and 965 of them civilians. And in Yemen, more than 500 people have been killed by U.S. drones, with 65 to 101 of them civilians.

Presidential candidates promise more of the same. World Can't Wait continues the struggle to STOP THE CRIMES OF YOUR GOVERNMENT, undeterred by electoral politics, with mass education and resistance in the streets. Your support is essential to guarantee a visible challenge to business-as-usual.

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