Supreme court continues evil immigration policy

Hard working immigrants had hope that parents who are undocumented but who have children born in the United States would be able to receive a permit to work lawfully and a social security number and officially contribute to the economy just as they now do unofficially and often in fear of deportation.

In the Nineteenth century the Supreme Court would rule against native Americans because those savages did not make productive use of the land so allowed the white man to take that land away from those who had so long honored it.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton made a “compromise” deal to get NAFTA passed by drastically modifying immigration policy to make it much harder for undocumented workers to obtain a path to citizenship, requiring them to demonstrate “extreme hardship” in order to legally stay in this country. It is not considered extreme hardship to force a father or mother to be removed from their children or force the children to leave the only country they have known and go to a distant land where hardship is what prompted their parents to come to the United States to begin with.

So this Supreme Court is just following in that long march of those who dominate over those who often do the hardest and least paid work in our economy. Shame on the Supreme Court justices who voted to once again stymie human progress.

An article at Politico covers the story in some detail

Dennis G. Allard
Santa Monica, CA
June 23, 2016

I am still Charlie — Je suis toujours Charlie

January 7, 2016 marks the one year anniversary of the attack by Islamist extremists on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. I noticed little or no mention in the so-called alternative American press about that horrible event of one year past. Not by Democracy Now nor by KPFK’s Sojourner Truth program. I recall when it happened that the U.S. Left displayed ignorance about Charlie Hebdo, not to the point of justifying the attack on Charlie Hebdo but questioning the magazine’s choice to use blunt satire about Mohammed and in some cases calling the magazine racist.

That ignorance was ignorance by omission, ignoring the simple fact that Charlie Hebdo satirizes all religion. But Charlie Hebdo supports the rights of immigrants including Muslim immigrants. The editor St├ęphane Charbonnier, aka “Charb”, who was killed by the terrorists, was an outspoken atheist but also a strong supporter of immigrant rights. For example he opposed law in France that bans Muslim women from wearing the veil. Here is quote from an interview with Charb: “Of 1058 numbers, there are only three covers on Islam. Every week we defend the undocumented, many of whom are Muslims, we fight against racism and discrimination, it is for the right to vote for immigrants … And as a personal note, I was against the law against wearing the veil. But the media never talk about Charlie Hebdo for these positions, which are more in favor of Muslims.”. Here is the full inteview with Charb (in French).

In some broadcasts by the left after the attack, such as on Lila Garrett’s show Connect the Dots, Charlie Hebdo was referred to as being racist, an ironically false statement. I attempted to educate Lila to that effect in this email exchange

So, on this anniversary of that tragedy, we should honor the unbridled voice of Charlie Hebdo and all brave journalists who satirize all that deserves satire, and that includes all religions.

Here is a sample of images of past front pages of Charlie Hebdo, showing the diversity of sarcasm towards all who deserve sarcasm: (click here to open an enlarged view of these images)
Charlie Hebdo front pages

Progressives Plan Festival of Complaints and Questions

Radical progressives are promoting a national Festival of Complaints & Questions (FOCQ) to culminate in a conference to be held at the Washington Monument…where a select group of renowned progressive favorites will announce their top five complaints. The featured Complainers will include Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Keith Oberman, Amy Goodman, and Thom Hartmann to list only a few!

The whole event is to focus on major Complaints and Questions that Leftists have been asking for some 50 years and more. The point of the event is to crystallize the most common complaints and questions and then determine if progressives want to take their complaints and questions to the next ‘level’, i.e. ‘actually doing something’.

Talk in progressive circles is that complaining and questioning are wonderful activities in and of themselves but that ‘real’ actions are just not that much fun. One organizer put it best when he said, “I’m Jewish and complaining is a rite of passage in my culture.” Another participant chimed in that he liked to ‘question authority’ which, he declared, ’empowered’ him. When asked what to be empowered meant, he proudly displayed the T-Shirt and bumper sticker he had recently bought.

Others point to the Wall Street protests of a few years ago, the ‘Occupy Movement’ which spread throughout the country and was responsible for much yelling, screaming, chanting, drumming, singing and such. The creation of the ‘human’ microphone during this protest was probably the most significant success story in recent progressive history (that, and hand signals for ‘yes, no & maybe’…not to mention, selecting the ‘gender you most identify with’).

The Occupy Movement’s genius was to move the progressive movement forward by denying that organization, strategy, demands and an agenda were relevant or important. Instead, positive vibrations and new-age thinking have revolutionized progressive politics by focusing on elevating consciousness through experiential means especially via music and art. Ultimately, the goal is to make everybody ‘feel’ that they have accomplished something before they return to work or college.

This is what is termed protest as therapy. When you protest, you feel good. And when you feel good, all humankind benefits, somehow. And the benefits inspire real change. No one quite understands why or how but many believe it to be true. They point to quantum physics which posits that change could occur in another dimension closely related to ours. Some progressives even think that this ‘dimensional-effect’ (as they refer to it) may help reincarnated souls in the astral world. Other radicals believe that manifesting change can be accomplished through telekinesis and that ‘action’ is all but an obsolete notion. Their focus is on ‘manifested reality change’ utilizing the universal mind.

Chomsky, Moore, Oberman and Goodman will be hawking their books and each will have a signing where participants can pay just $50 for signed copy along with a T-Shirt, bumper sticker, and a personalized coffee cup with the acronym FOCQ printed on one side and a somewhat angry face on the other. The cups will come in several colors with a wide selection of faces (representing the gender, ethnicity & sexual orientation) added for the personal touch. (Pre-orders can be made in advance so that those who can’t make the event can pretend they did).

Already, FOCQ has commitments from 100,000 persons who plan to get to Washington using ‘any means necessary’ including cars, buses, planes, helicopters, boats, yachts, bicycles with a few declaring they would canoe or kayak in from New York. Balloonists, sky-divers and others planning to ‘drop-in’ might be subjected to destruction by the Pentagon’s missile defense system (all aerial fanatics are so forewarned that any complaints about bias should be directed to the Pentagon’s Q &A on their website where all questions from radicals, progressives and other terrorists are taken seriously).

Participants are being asked for a donation of $25 to cover the expenses for Mr. Oberman who demanded to be put up in a penthouse and to have personal assistants to help him choose a wardrobe, cook his food, and provide him with a limousine driver. The rest of the money will be directed to paying for security and covering lawsuits that it is anticipated will be filed by some of the more revengeful radical complainers.

Several famed bands and singers have already thought about committing to the festival including the Crosby, Stills and Nash, Joan Baez, Paul Simon and Cher. But at this time, there is no actual confirmation that any will show up. ‘It all depends on their schedules,’ said one spokesperson, noting that age also may be a factor. Some younger bands have also promised to think about it. The theme of all songs performed will be, of course, Complaints & Questions.

New-Age psychologists as well as Tarot Card Readers will be available for ‘insight’ sessions to be offered to participants who can have their chakras examined and futures distilled. Those suffering from CCD (compulsive complaining disorders) will have access to shamans, green algae, or personal trainers to work with alleviating tension and stress. Workshops on formulating complaints and clarifying questions will be offered on a ‘need-priority’ system under the aegis of an elite group of cosmic communicators to be flown in from various UFO sites around the globe.

All those planning to attend are being asked to write down five complaints and five questions which will be dropped into two giant jars to be created by a group of progressive artists in time for the event. Mimes, dancers and actors will then enact performances based on the complaint or question selected from the jars during the week-long festival. Already, several dozen dance and acting groups have responded. The national mime association has not been heard from as of yet.

Planners have developed a schedule of all events, presentations, speeches, etc. and the information will be made available online at Special attention has been given to the design of the site and other materials which will be emblazoned with many different complaints and questions symbolic of progressive criticism from all over the country.

Members of the progressive movement can go on online to the site and vote for theirfavorite complaint and question. The most popular ones will be stenciled on bannerssurrounding the Washington monument and choirs will chant these select choices inpolyphonic choruses during bathroom breaks at all events or performances.

Complaints and Questions about anything should be directed to National FOCQ Headquarters. Contact

The Arab Spring has turned into Winter

I feel like a fool when I look back three years to my opinion on the so-called revolution in Libya in 2011. I was somewhat cautious and realistic that the road ahead would not be easy for Arabs who seek “democracy”. But I admit I did not foresee what has happened. Libya has now descended into what amounts to tribal warfare with no new strong man for the U.S. to support.

Yet I shold have foreseen it. It’s what the U.S. always needs. It’s not democracy that helps U.S. interests, it’s power, the power of foreign oligarchies. It’s a strong man.

Like in Iraq where the criminal Maliki was and still is supported by U.S. power and where apparently naive John Kerry, crudely paraphrased, recently stated that he was surprised by how many people don’t like Maliki.

Or in Egypt, where the Egyptian military oligarchy, unhindered and, in fact, supported by the U.S. and amazingly unquestioned by the U.S. main stream media, serves as a recent lesson. The open letter to Obama from leading Arab scholars says it all. The U.S. will ignore this letter and continue to support the Egyptian dictatorship, also supported by Israel, in order to prop up Israel and prevent true democracy from taking place in Egypt. But why?

We’ve had so many lessons. I use “we” tongue in cheek. Whenever you hear someone saying “we”, that is a bad habit of referring to the United States as if it were a unified whole with unified interests. It is not. It is an oligarchy, a plutocracy, controlled by very small numbers of very wealthy people while the masses, including immigrants and foreign labor, do the work to create American wealth that gets distributed to the one per cent.

Back to our lessons of the not so distant past… Mossadegh was assassinated in 1952 with the help of MI6 and the CIA after he committed the sin of nationalizing the oil industry in Iran. We saw what that got “us”, the ruthless shah followed by religious extremists who have become our favorite foes in the region. Democratically elected Arbenz in 1954 Guatemala was ousted with direct assistance of the U.S. Guatemala to this day lives in a legacy of military oligarchy. Similarly, democratically elected Allende had to be removed, and the dictator Pinochet supported, after that socialist bastard Allende and his democratically elected government had the temerity to nationalize our copper mines. I mean just because the copper mines are in Chile does not mean “we” (Anaconda Copper) don’t own them! And after the Vietnam Holocaust where the U.S. killed two million Vietnamese, even after the U.S. lost the war to those valiant Vietnamese, the U.S.-controlled banking system kept a boycott on banking with Vietnam for a couple more decades. Let’s not forget the Sandinistas who wanted to educate the poor and give them land so had to be fought via the illegal support of the Contras, who were in fact terrorists supported by “our” tax dollars. And that list is far from complete. We’re real nice guys, us AMERICANS. We’re so damned right in everything “we” do.

Yet, in the long run, I remain optimistic. Democracies are now emerging in South America thanks to popular revolutions and elections in Bolvia, in Venezuela, in Uruguay, in Ecuador, in Argentina, and even in Chile, which recently cut ties with the apartheid state of Israel.

“They” don’t need “us”. Unlike the advice ofThom Hartmann, a liberal who I do respect, to “give more aid to the governments of Hondurus and El Salvador and Guatemala” [in order to help them help their populace and avoid the need for the recent mass exodus of children to the U.S. border], I have an alternative suggestion. Don’t disrupt the political revolutions that are taking place there. Don’t support the ouster of Zelaya in Honduras. Instead, let the democratic socialist movements alone. Where Mossadegh and Allende and Zelaya would have perhaps succeeded were it not for our interventions against them, if we let the democratic socialist forces prosper, it may end up being they that will show us the way for our own ills here at home.

The Arab Spring was real. That Arab Spring is past, but, as with the cycle of the seasons, the Winter of today will pass and the Spring will return. It is the inevitable march of history and what is right.

Dennis Allard
Santa Moncia
July 28, 2014

Harvest of Empire – the story of Latino immigrants

To understand how European and U.S. empire and imperialism has lead to the immigration of Latinos into the United States, read Harvest of Empire (introduction and excerpts) by Juan Gonzalez .

If you are interested in and concerned by the recent surge in immigrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border, you will be interested in reading this book. And you will find that the true history may not be what you thought it was.

You can hear Juan Gonzalez most days on radio where he co-hosts Democracy Now which airs on many radio and internet stations. Democrary Now airs on the KPFK FM Los Angeles radio stream at 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM each week day morning.

Dennis Allard
Santa Monica
July 25, 2014

U.S. Military contractors engaged in de facto Human Trafficking

I find this latest report of human tafficking by U.S. military contractors in cahoots with local so-called subcontractors to obtain workers for U.S. bases to be so annoying I had to mirror the Democracy Now/Al Jazeera report here as my small part in spreading the truth.

The U.S. military industrial complex has no soul.

Some facts about Venuezula from TheRealNews

Ironically, the very measures that Venezuela has taken to empower the poor have contributed to a confrontation with the world oligarchy.

I just discovered, which published this report and analysis of Latin American democracy in action. [I promise you’ll like this — Ed.]

Old forces are at play In the post-Hugo Chavez period in Venezuela.

Albert Einstein was a socialist

Einstein Chalk Many of my liberal friends defend Capitalism, believe that “Hugo Chavez was a dictator”, and think that the radio station I listen to, KPFK, is a bunch of wacko leftists. At times, it makes me question my own beliefs. Am I really wrong in believing in socialism? So it was with a kind of relief when I discovered a fact that makes me feel content and even justified in having my so-called radical views. The fact I discovered is not by itself a reason to believe what I believe. It has taken me a life time to come to my beliefs and I realize how hard it is to change ones beliefs or the beliefs of others. But this fact I discovered somehow made me feel like I no longer have to defend myself to the liberals or the conservatives or the libertarian fundamentalist masses. The fact I discovered is that Albert Einstein was a socialist. I had not known that. Somehow, I felt soothed. If Albert Einstein, one of history’s most accurate thinkers, came to the same views I hold, I can walk a little taller, on surer footing. Einstein outlined his views in his article Why Socialism. Everyone who cares about the current economic crisis should read that article.

Socialism is a dirty word in America. Albert Einstein favored a society in which “the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion”. To some, especially the libertarian fundamentalists, that is a formula for control by government. I disagree. Einstein did not make precise the mechanism by which society owns or plans. I propose a definition of socialism that is consistent with Einstein’s goals for socialism but at first sight sounds as if it contradicts long standing beliefs about what socialism means. Namely, I propose that socialism is a way for more people to own more private property and have more control over their lives.

What is happening in the U.S. and world economy at the outset of the 21st century is that fewer people are owning and controlling the economy. That is Capitalism. A few people own and control, well, pretty much everything.

Is the only alternative to this skewed system of power one in which the government has more control? I think not.

What if, instead, more people owned the land they lived on (were no longer renters), owned more of the company they worked for (so the company was no longer owned by a few large share holders), and people shared ownership of commercial properties and voted on rent levels so that small businesses could thrive instead of enriching land lords of commercial properties? I am proposing that Socialism can be and is compatible with private property ownership. The difference with Capitalism is that under Socialism, as I am proposing, more people both individually and collectively own more things, not less things.

In other words, I acknowledge that “money is power”, to use a well worn phrase. I acknowledge that the structure of society is based on ownership. I do not attempt to deny that structural reality. Under some kind of fantasy “communism” that reality might change but we are not talking about “communism”, we are talking about a form of “socialism”. The socialism I am proposing does not attempt to overturn the structural fact of ownership. Instead, the form of socialism I propose is one that has as the goal to create a more equitable society with broader ownership.

This is not to say that socialism does not involve aspects of a planned economy with major government participation and control. Actually, in our Capitalist economy the government already engages in massive control, the details of which I will not try to enumerate here. So, socialists, unlike libertarian fundamentalists but like most practical Capitalists, are aware that government is both necessary and ultimately a good thing if done right. Socialists stress that there are issues beyond the control of jungle Capitalism that require democratic government planning and tax-based programs (social security, medicare, unemployment, the space program, the military, FDA, etc.).

The move I am proposing for the zeitgeist of socialism is to embrace the notion of private ownership where the ownership is spread to more people, not to fewer. The hard part is, of course, how to achieve this. The answer will not be just to increase taxes, although very progressive taxation is not harmful as shown by the booming US economy post World War II during the 1950s to the 1970s when tax rates on high income was much higher than it is today. The answer will involve major restructuring of laws towards increasing ownership of businesses by workers, strongly limiting rent on principal residences and facilitating purchase of primary residences in lieu of renting, concession models and other means for citizens of a city to take public ownership of commercial property, and nationalization of commodity services such as banks and insurance, removing those from for-profit-for-the-few mode. The people should own the banks and the insurance companies and elect high paid competent individuals to perform administration of those vital services. Measures such as these would take one or two generations to put into effect and most likely will require a new popular party to place them on a party platform. The Republicans and Democrats are not going to do this any time soon, although a venerable Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, did attempt to point the country in this direction back in 1944 when he proposed his Second Bill of Rights. When will be begin to follow FDR’s and Albert Einstein’s advice?

A good place to read about how to achieve socialism is Democracy at Work.

Dennis Allard
Santa Monica
January 12, 2014

No Rent and Distributed Ownership

Today’s morning thought is inspired by an interview of Russell Brand by Jeremy Paxman on the BCC Newsnight program.

I agree with Russel Brand. But. Brand and others on the left who have enough fame to be interviewed by the media need to be more effective in delivering their message.


Brand wants to reduce economic inequality in society. But interviewer Jeremy Paxman asks a good question… What *is* the solution?

Brand’s humorous response offers no solution. He mentions raising taxes and refers to some vague “alternative political systems” that “should not ignore the needs of the people”.

Russel, get a clue. People cannot guess what changes are needed and most of them are not going to go off and read some book that explains it to them. Here you are, on the air on BBC, the YouTube video has been viewed ten million times, and you offer no platform, no agenda, no specific ideas.

Paxman asks you what your solution would be like.

You respond by saying what it “won’t be like”.

You mention raising taxes and some vague idea about corporations being more responsible.

Ten million views wasted (except you are funny and entertaining so that’s good).

Let me be constructive and ask you to consider some concrete ideas that you and others on the left could promote, explicitly, when offered such opportunities.

To start, we need a platform based on FDR’s Second Bill of Rights. FDR proposed that in his State of the Union address on January 11, 1944!

Let’s get even more radical. I propose the following three changes to society:

(1) Everyone should own part of the company they work for and not just be wage slaves. By law the company should be owned in part by workers who work for the company.

(2) Ban rent on primary residences. Everyone should own their primary residence. The word “Lord” in “Land Lord” comes from feudalism. Let’s get to a point where we no longer have any Lords.

(3) Transform commercial rent to local government owned franchises. There would still be rent but it would be controlled by the local citizenry and benefit the local citizenry rather than a small class of commercial land owners.

Now that is a concrete platform. Please Russel, get some concrete proposals out there on the air. If not these, then something else, but something.

We should add a fourth item to the platform:

(4) Create a national bank owned by the populace. This bank would fund mortgages so that profits from mortgages go back to the populace rather than to to the oligarchy.

The above proposals are “socialist” you ask? You thought socialists are for government owning everything, right? No, not right. Socialists are for more people owning things, not fewer people owning things. In particular people should have significant ownership in their work place and homes.

You don’t get to an equitable society via charity and the welfare state (although those are necessary temporary measures). No, you get to an equitable society by acknowledging that the “free” market is a place where those with land and money are the ones who are free. Hence the need to shift land and money to more people.

It would not be easy to implement these concepts since implementing them means a transfer of ownership from a small minority to a large majority. That will take time, creativity, and true democracy. The concepts apply to commercial property as well as to homes. Why should a small business owner have to pay rent to a land lord who sucks money out of the economy? Although these ideas are easy to state they will be very hard to implement. But these ideas should at least be on the table.

Returning to the Jeremy Paxon interview of Russell Brand, I think Brand made one general point and two concrete points. The general one is that things are totally screwed up and need to change (there “will” be a revolution). That is obvious and has been stated by many over decades and centuries. The concrete points were the proposal to raise taxes and the observation that the Occupy movement made economic disparity a topic of public discussion. I would argue that is the only thing achieved so far by the Occupy Movement.

As for raising taxes, that does not solve the problem, which is distribution of ownership. One often hears about the screwed distribution of wealth. What does that mean? It means ownership. Ownership of land and of the work place.

We live in a “free market”, which is free to the extent you have power and you have power to the extent you have wealth. The market is free to those who have enough money and power to participate in it. Until more people have more power, i.e. ownership of society, the free market is a useless excuse for the status quo.

Of course we should use taxes (perhaps without need to raise them) to help people and not engage in military conquest. And we should keep the welfare state as a measure of last resort. But we still have a welfare state. How to change that? I encourage pundits such as Brand to bring in the concept of more distributed ownership into their talking points.

Another issue is the banks. Won’t we still all be paying the banks? Yes, so another thing we need to do is nationalize the banks, a topic for future discussion.

In these ways, by distributing ownership, wealth and power in society will belong to more people rather than fewer. It sounds simple and idealistic but it also rings true.

Dennis Allard
Santa Monica
October 27, 2013