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    Tuesday
    Jan302018

    The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King – Lingering Questions and Lines that Won’t Be Crossed

    Then, Martin was killed on April 4, 1968, but not by a gunshot wound that was fired from the bushes.  He was hit by a bullet fired by the best shot on the Memphis police force name Frank Strausser, who still is alive, who had lunch with me, but he wouldn’t eat…  And then the final straw:  Martin King was not killed by that bullet but he was seriously wounded, gravely wounded, and might have died but he was alive on the operating table in the emergency room when the head of neurosurgery, Dr. Breen Bland, came in with two men in suits and said to the operating working team: “Stop working on that nigger and let him die, and now get out of here.”  And he threw them all out of the room.  And as they were leaving the room the surgical nurse, who is the last one out, heard them gather up some spit in their mouths - that caught her attention.  She turned around and she saw the three men spit on the body of Martin King, and then she saw Dr. Bland take a pillow and suffocate him - put it over his face and deny him life at that point.  So Martin King was killed in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital, though he might have died from the bullet wound, but he was still alive at that point in time. 

                                                                                                                                -Dr. William Francis Pepper, Attorney for the family of Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

     

    Several years ago I came across a collection of audio files of the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  After listening to these speeches (some over and over again), I realized that what I had been taught in school and thought I knew about the philosophies, spiritual beliefs, and political positions of Dr. King were but a small fraction of his overall perspectives.  The audio files provided thorough insight into the mind of Reverend King, whose message of brotherhood, love, and freedom was much more revolutionary (e.g. Beyond Vietnam), visionary, and imperative that I had previously known.  I tried to distribute these speeches and sermons by burning them as MP3 files onto discs and giving them away, as well as uploading them to make available as Google Drive files available for public download.  While I still listen to the files of Dr. King, somewhere along the way I lost my vigor to disseminate his message.  (I had also come across other audio files of men I respect, and had tried to distribute those as well.  I would joke to my friends that sometimes I’d be driving along in my car and would imagine that Alan Watts, Carl Sagan, Ron Paul, and Dr. Martin Luther King were in my car too, and we’d all just be goofing around.)

    The result of listening to all those speeches and sermons was that I developed a deep reverence for Martin Luther King, Jr.  Like many people, I came to respect him and wished that he would had never had been assassinated (if he were still alive he would be 86 years-old today).  Like many people, I did some cursory research into his assassination and learned out that the official story – that a lone gunman, James Earl Ray, was solely responsible for the death of Martin Luther King – had some holes in it, but that any attempt to bring the probable truth of this matter (that men in agencies of the American government killed him) to light was hopeless.

    Then last week I was driving to work and listening to Guns and Butter, a radio program on the ever-important publically-funded radio station KPFA.  The program, called Political Assassinations and the Criminal Justice System, featured a lecture that Dr. King’s family attorney had given at a conference last year.  The attorney, Dr. William F. Pepper, represented Dr. King’s family in the 1999 King v. Jowers trial, a wrongful death civil action which lasted for four weeks, and at the end of which the jury found that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat, and that Jowers and government agencies assassinated Dr. King.  After the trail, the wife of MLK, Coretta Scott King, said:

    There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court's unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a swift verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation. The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law.

    In the lecture, Dr. Pepper (author of The Plot to Kill King) describes what he believes occurred after Dr. King was shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel and thereafter taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis.  Instead of doctors failing to successfully resuscitate Dr. King after having opened his chest, which is the official story, Dr. Pepper contends that Martin Luther King’s operation was interrupted by the head of neurosurgery, Dr. Breen Bland, who entered the room with two men in suits.  Dr. Pepper describes the death of MLK as such:

    And then the final straw:  Martin King was not killed by that bullet but he was seriously wounded, gravely wounded,  and might have died but he was alive on the operating table in the emergency room when the head of neurosurgery,  Dr. Breen Bland, came in with two men in suits and said to the operating working team, “Stop working on that nigger and let him die, and now get out of here.”  And he threw them all out of the room.  And as they were leaving the room the surgical nurse, who is the last one out, heard them gather up some spit in their mouths - that caught her attention.  She turned around and she saw the three men spit on the body of Martin King, and then she saw Dr. Bland take a pillow and suffocate him - put it over his face and deny him life at that point.  So Martin King with killed in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Hospital, though he might have died from the bullet wound, but he was still alive at that point in time.

    I realize that it’s heresy to question our government and mainstream media opinions in this day and age, and I recognize the dangerous slide toward irrationality exhibited by those that wholeheartedly give themselves over to conspiracy theories, so I won’t go down a road that I’m unfamiliar with and call bullshit on the government’s version of MLK’s assassination until I learn more about it.  Yet, if there was a conspiracy, Dr. Pepper give his two-cents as to how and why American news networks may have swept it under the rug:

    Carl Bernstein… back in 78’ did a Rolling Stone piece which indicated that the publishing might of the Central Intelligence Agency will make sure that these cases are not brought forward, they are not heard.  So that is the reality on the media side.  It’s not just mainstream media, it’s progressive media as well.  Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, people like Noam Chomsky will not deal with these political assassinations, neither will they deal, of course, with 9/11 to the extent that they should deal with them, they just simply don’t.  And why is that?  Well, funding comes from the Ford Foundation, which has been a CIA channel for a very long time, or Bill Moyers’ entity.  And there’s a line that they don’t cross, and they won’t cross.  I’ve come to believe that these are not bad people because a lot of the stuff they put out there that is stuff the American people should know about, and it’s good and it’s useful…

    In addition to listening to the Guns and Butter lecture linked above, I would encourage you to listen to this 'Corbett Report' interview with Willaim F. Pepper:

     

    Thursday
    Apr062017

    Ron Paul on Individual Liberty vs. Centralized Control 

    Heres a little compilation I made from the March 31, 2017 Ron Paul Liberty Report, titled: Myth-Busters: Please Jean-Claude...Break Up The U.S.!

     

    Here's the link and summary from the original Livestream:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVvyu...

    EU President Jean-Claude Juncker issued a threat to President Trump. He said he would push for Ohio and Texas to split from the rest of America if Trump didn't change his tune and become more supportive of the EU. Libertarians have two words for Junker: "Yes, please!" Ron Paul talks the decentralization of power versus globalist tyranny on today's Myth-Busters!

    Tuesday
    Nov082016

    Obama's Legacy as Hypocrite-In-Chief

                Against the advice of my doctor, I often listen to the news (which should just be called the lies) while I’m at work and am frequently infuriated by the propaganda and lies told by politicians and rebroadcast by presumably neutral networks such as PBS, the BBC, and KQED (an NPR-member radio station which claims it is publically-funded yet accepts donations from corporations that sometimes underwrite their stories, and whose news reports are much different than KPFA – a truly independent and respectable Berkeley-based listener-funded radio station).  Yet nonetheless I listen in attempt to gain an understanding of the bullshit the average American is subjected to and to then arm myself with additional information (either omitted from or twisted by mainstream media news stories) from independent media sources in order to counter (however unpersuasively) the perspective held by people that I sometimes talk to about the news.   Last Tuesday, I heard a particularly egregious and hypocritical remark from our President who was on the campaign trail for Hillary, and in his criticism of Trump (neither of whom I will be voting for), Obama said:

    If you disrespect the Constitution by threatening to shut down the press when it doesn’t say things you like or threaten to throw your opponent in jail or discriminate against people of different faiths… if you do that before you are elected, then what are you gonna do when you have actual power to do those things?

                One problem inherent in Obama’s statement is his “when you have actual power to do those things” line. While I would prefer not to put words in the President’s mouth, I will in attempt to paraphrase what I interpret his message to be, in which seems he seems to be saying: “what would Donald Trump do if he were to become president and thus granted the power to do the aforementioned things (shut down the press, discriminate against others)?”  Obama seems to suggest that when the president holds a position of power they presented with an opportunity to violate the law and get away with it because they are, well, in power.  True, the president of the United States is elected a position of power, but this doesn’t give them the green light to abuse that power, which president Obama has done repeatedly, including in the exact ways that he is accusing Trump of potentially doing. 


    Obama's drone strikes have killed at least 176 children in Pakistan alone.

                In his two terms in office, President Obama has overseen eight consecutive years of continual war in the Middle East.  Instead of prosecuting former Bush administration officials (whom were the progenitors of this chaos) for war crimes, he kept key appointments and advisors onboard, thus the wars continued and expanded.  Like Hillary Clinton, he is a professional liar whom genuflects to the war machine, approving the greatest weapons sales in history to Saudi Arabia – a country run by a regime that treats women and homosexuals as horribly as the dogs abused in that country –  while pretending to fight for women’s and LGBT rights at home.   This man who pushes for the TPP and TTIP speaks of press freedom whilst running an administration that has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all previous presidents combined.  He has condoned the NSA surveillance state and the militarization of domestic police forces.   You have to hand him, for Obama is the greatest politician in modern history (I realized that we were faced with a choice: McCain or Obama, but there were also third party alternatives), for he still maintains a great deal of support from people who would call themselves “progressive” (a testament to the propaganda success of the neoliberal establishment) and whom call to nominate his wife as a future presidential candidate. 


    U.S-backed Saudi "double tap" airstrike on a funeral hall in Sanaa.

            He speaks of respect for the Constitution after having waged unconstitutional wars against Libya and putting boots on the ground in Syria, after boosting the troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan (steps the Obama administration justified and authorized by the 15-year-old Bush-era “War Powers Act”), and operating numerous drone strike campaigns throughout the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.  Despite bombing twice as many countries as Bush, having a “kill list,” and signing off on drone strikes which have killed hundreds of innocent people (one of whom was a 16-year-old American citizen), Obama went on the win the Nobel Peace Prize (if he thought he didn’t deserve then why not refuse it?).  He speaks of discrimination as the head of an Empire perpetuating war against millions of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen and allying itself with some of the most discriminatory regimes on the planet: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Bahrain, and Qatar.  Obama speaks out against throwing people in jail while his administration has viciously prosecuted Chelsea Manning and other whistle-blowers whilst condoning coups in Honduras, Egypt, and, and Ukraine.   Yes, Trump is a man who has fascism written all over his face, but Obama has proven than he is no better.  For him to claim that Trump will take actions that undermine the Constitution and harm innocent lives while he himself has done precisely that is a hypocritical, arrogant, and manipulative attempt to whitewash his record which is stained with blood and tarnished by lies. 

    Image from Adbusters.


    Monday
    Oct032016

    U.S Government and Mainstream Media Lies, the White Helmets, Dark Souls

    Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.

                                                                                                                                             -Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam

     

              What follows are three very distressing and informative video reports (the latter two of which contain highly disturbing footage apparently featuring CIA-trained Syrian rebels prior to the moment they decapitate a twelve-year-old boy, and the White Helmets arriving at a scene of an execution immediately after it has occurred – their timing incredulously incredible, or their involvement staged, or, more likely, pre-agreed upon) that attempt to examine the origins, tactics, and funding sources of the White Helmets.   Western media regularly extols the bravery of the White Helmets, and while it may be true that members of this organization are indeed brave and its origins were once noble, the videos below make a compelling case that their leadership is sectarian, that some of their members are armed and rub shoulders with the jihadi terrorist organization the al-Nusra Front, and that they have been founded in part by western mercenary firms. Contrary to their website claims that they do not accept any money from governments or corporations so as to remain independent, in April of this year the deputy spokesperson of USAID admitted that USAID has provided the White Helmets with $23 million dollars, and journalist Vanessa Beeley believes that a conservative estimate of their combined funding from the US, UK, Japan, Denmark, Holland, and Germany is $100 million. 

             While the lies and actions of White Helmets may play a small role in the greater conflict that is the Syrian Civil War (which has become a proxy war between the U.S and Russia), the truth of their motives and operations is important in relation to the mainstream media and government officials and agencies whom regularly invoke the necessity for military intervention in Syria in order to end the terror of the Assad regime.   What does is say if the mainstream media, Netflix, and sadly, The Intercept and many respectable NGOs are toeing the line of the United States and NATO narrative on the White Helmets, convincing us that they should be considered respectable recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize and that their alleged humanitarian work highlights the brutality of a regime that kills its own people, when in reality it appears that western militaristic agencies are fueling, funding, and supporting this very same organization which is affiliated with Islamic fanatics and whose members kill innocent people in Syria?   This may be a stretch, but to me it means that they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes and drag us into an insane and irrecoverable conflict.   This is total and absolute insanity, and if we don’t start paying attention to what our government is doing and begin taking action to stop them, then not only will the conflict in Syria rage on into further ruin, but it will be a mere footnote in the greater war which shall erupt from this one and likely envelope millions more into the flames. 

     

     

     

     

     

    Friday
    Jun242016

    Despotism and the War on Values

    The following article about was written by Divided Core contributor, advisor, and board member, the illustrious VG, freedom fighter extraordinaire. 

    We must undertake the struggle in all parts of the world, wherever we may be, because we have no other spare or replacement planet.  We have only this one, and we have to take action.

                                                                                                                                                        -Berta Cáceres, 1971-2016

              Despotism is absolute power which governs without the rule of law, absolutely. Sometimes to better understand a concept or term it helps to apply it to oneself or to one's own identity. This way we may better be able to empathize with the world to which we apply it. In light of the American political process (some call democracy) that has just completed its first round of the general election year 2016 I suggest we apply it to our own political identity. Yes, Donald Trump is undoubtedly a despot who likes to play by his own rules, or at least try. The fact that most republicans gulp down a choke at the thought of supporting him reveals his brutish repulsiveness, but let's put Chump aside.

    Image from Adbusters.


    Hilary Clinton has just powered her way to the democratic nomination using every insider scheme imaginable to defeat Bernie Sanders' much more honest and insurgent campaign. Funny how that word insurgent is used to describe the Sanders effort. File that one for later, for now we will return to Clinton. In addition to owning the DNC and the corporate media she rode the merits of being a woman to the nomination. I empathize with the Mother Earth that there has not yet been a woman president.  Those two words next to each other look bizarre, but isn't voting for someone because she is a woman just as backwards as voting for someone just because he isn't? Is Clarence Thomas a great Supreme Court Justice who stands up for Civil Rights just because he is black?

    Clinton's record on foreign policy and campaign conduct is contemptible and despotic. She is a hawk and a crony. Her Clinton Foundation accepts donations from SAUDI ARABIA (Gee, weren't they pretty close to the Bushes too)? Why do these issues matter? We live in beautiful Sonoma County. Organic this, that and the other are abundant. People from all over the world pay out the nose to stay in a spare room and enjoy rural suburbia.



    Foreign policy and campaign conduct are the most important issues before us because they reveal the most about how a candidate is going to engage with the world. Wake up baby boomers!!! Indeed we live in a globalized world that is based on a system of exploitation and consumption. Everyone is hoping that Hilary's koolaide is as good as Bill's. The nineties, the great tech boom of money, minivans and ME.



    No Clinton is not a solution. She is the establishment. She has it so well oiled and lubed. Get ready for the TPP, fracking off California's coast, and more anemic obamacare, while in the background we continue invading places and slaughtering thousands of people we are told we should fear and in the process bankrupt our country and destroy the planet (the military uses 40% of fossil fuel consumption in the United States).



    What are our values? A value is a principle which a person considers important in life. Most people say family, freedom, peace, health, fairness, and honesty when asked about their values. How are these values being reflected in the American political process?

    I have heard dozens people say they support and respect everything that Sanders has talked about, but in the end they voted for Clinton because she was going to be the winner and that she needs momentum to defeat Trump. This is a very conservative approach and reflective of an American obsession with winning and competition. Voting the perceived lesser of two evils does not work, is is how America degraded in the first place. What are we conserving? Vast economic inequality and environmental degradation? Corporate oligarchy and racial injustice? Clinton's legacy is part of the problem not the solution.

    We are suffering from an American culture that is despotic and it is waging a war on our values. Clinton is the perfect reflection of our illness. From one side of her mouth she talks about the importance of environmental, economic, racial and social justice, but from the other side she advocates the structures that allow the continuation of the current paradigm.

    Americans are addicted to unbridled consumption, which necessitates the exploitation of someone or someplace (hence the support for Clinton's policies). We hear the calls for reform, but we don't listen. We see the writing on the wall, but we don't understand. Why is every month this year the hottest ever recorded? Why are people gunning down innocent people, 50 at a time, in a night club? We need to remind ourselves of our values and strive for them. It's hard and humbling, but we are not all kings and queens. Vote your conscience!! We may take a large step back before taking larger steps forward, but at least we won't be taking continual leaps deeper and deeper into the abyss.

    Berta Cáceres, Honduran environmental activist murdered in her home by armed gunmen in March, 2016.  R.I.P.   (Image from: Remezcla)