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A Panamanian Mothers Day bouquet for Mom

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Some wild, some horticulturally improved, some gone feral

photos by Eric Jackson
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Lerner, Serious reflections as we end 2022

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Rabbi Lerner
Rabbi Michael Lerner. Archive photo by B Hartford J Strong – Wikimedia.

Ongoing traumas of our times

by Rabbi Michael Lerner – Tikkun

Trauma impacts nearly everyone in capitalist societies. This truth was at the heart of what we discovered at the Institute for Labor and Mental Health. It led us to create Tikkun as a vehicle to inform people about ongoing traumas and their impact on all of us. This trauma convinces people that nothing visionary is possible and that everyone just cares for themselves and hence can’t be trusted to support you. In addition, everyone is taught the mythology that we live in a meritocracy. From these fallacies, we derive the absurd notion that our pains, disorders, struggles, insecurities, and failures to achieve our dreams (whether in our bodies, our minds, our intellects, our hearts, our spirits, or our economic status) are our own fault.

This generates self-blaming which intensifies the trauma most children experience growing up with parents and caretakers who themselves carry trauma from their work world or from simply living in a world filled with brutal wars, torture, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, fear and hatred of transsexual people, hatred of people with different religions, skin colors, or nationalities. And if all this was not enough to create trauma, there is also the reasonable fear of nuclear war and the certainty of increasing destruction of the life support system of our planet Earth.

No wonder, then, that traumatized people turn to drugs, alcohol, hoarding of resources, crime, and organizations and political parties that assure them that they are worthy of dignity and respect. This search for affirmation of one’s humanity is often available in right-wing religious and political communities, even though it is at the expense of the humanity of others. Hence we are seeing a political party increasingly taken over by religious fanatics, and by people who advocate eliminating fundamental human rights contained in the US Constitution.

In addition to supporting a vigorous social justice agenda to uphold and expand fundamental human rights, we also need a huge new empathic movement promoting a vision of a society based on love, generosity, caring for each other, and caring for the earth. People need to feel cared for, that they matter, and that they deserve respect. Tikkun has been working for decades to help build a movement that gives equal attention to people’s needs for respect and recognition as we do to advocating for people’s material needs and human rights.

Why? Because it is impossible to win the expansion of human rights and redistribution of wealth without people feeling genuinely cared for and respected by a progressive movement. Sadly, many people do not experience that in progressive circles and/or the way those movements are portrayed in the media.

For people to feel safe in advocating for a significant transformation of society, they need to feel part of a movement that genuinely cares about them. This care needs to manifest in the daily lived experiences of the social change movements and not only with humane policies. You can learn more about how to do this and what it would look like by reading my book Revolutionary Love.

 

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Solomon, Joe Biden’s primary schedule

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SC
The DNC should not be allowed to get away with this.

Biden’s push for SC primary start is a clear effort to sabotage progressive gains within the Democratic Party

by Norman Solomon – Common Dreams

President Joe Biden has directed the Democratic National Committee to reduce the danger that progressives might effectively challenge him in the 2024 presidential primaries. That’s a key goal of his instructions to the DNC last week, when Biden insisted on dislodging New Hampshire—the longtime first-in-the-nation primary state where he received just 8 percent of the vote and finished fifth in the 2020 Democratic primary. No wonder Biden wants to replace New Hampshire with South Carolina, where he was the big primary winner.

The White House and mainstream journalists have echoed each other to assert that Biden would face no serious challenge to renomination if he runs again. But his blatant intrusion into the DNC’s process for setting the primary calendar is a sign of anxiety about potential obstacles to winning renomination.

Unlike all other states under consideration for early primaries, South Carolina is not a battleground state. Everyone knows that the Democratic ticket won’t come close to winning in deep-red South Carolina in 2024. But that state—which Biden obviously sees as vital to his renomination—has a party apparatus dominated by Biden’s powerful corporatist ally, Congressman James Clyburn.

The Biden plan to reorder the 2024 schedule “includes a subtle but effective ploy to minimize the chances that he’d face a left-wing challenger in the primaries if the 80-year-old president, as expected, seeks a second term,” centrist Walter Shapiro wrote approvingly in The New Republic. “More than that, Biden has created a template beyond 2024 to lessen the odds that future versions of Bernie Sanders will get liftoff in the early Democratic primaries.”

But serious public discussion from candidates with a range of outlooks is badly needed in the process of selecting the presidential nominee. From health care, extreme economic inequality, labor rights and racial justice to military spending, foreign policy and the climate emergency, voters in Democratic primaries need to hear crucial issues debated.

The current prevailing attitudes are retrograde. While Democratic politicians and pundits weigh in on whether Biden should run for president again, his party’s voters are presumed to be little more than spectators. But the decision on whether Biden will be the nominee in 2024 shouldn’t be his alone. A party that has been emphasizing the importance of democracy should not be so eager to short-circuit it in the presidential nominating process.

Very few congressional Democrats have been willing to publicly depart from the party line that Biden would be a fine standard-bearer. The few dissenting voices among them are usually furtive. The New York Times reported after the midterm election that a House Democrat—speaking “on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing the White House”—said that “Biden’s numbers were ‘a huge drag’ on Democratic candidates, who won in spite of the president not thanks to him.”

Fears of antagonizing the White House have sealed Democratic officeholders inside a bubble that carries them away from the party’s grassroots base. This fall began with most Democratic voters not wanting Biden to be the party’s nominee next time. Even amid post-midterms euphoria among Democrats, they are now evenly split on the question. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and other party leaders remain frozen in place, rarely casting any doubt on the wisdom of renominating this president.

The disconnect from the party’s base is in sync with a refusal to acknowledge the facts indicating that Biden at the top of the ticket would be an albatross around the necks of Democratic candidates in 2024. While voters are evenly divided between the two major parties, Biden’s public-approval deficit has exceeded 10 percent almost all of this year. Nine out of 10 young adults—a key cohort for Democratic prospects—don’t want him to run for re-election. In midterm exit polling, two-thirds of voters said they didn’t want Biden to run. Yet, when asked about those survey results, the president fell back on “watch me” bravado.

We’re told that smoke-filled rooms are a thing of the past in national politics. But when a president wants to run for re-election, the anticipated mode is not much better. Looking ahead, the only way to inject participatory democracy into the Democrats’ nominating process for 2024 is to insist that the nomination should be earned with the party’s voters, not bestowed from on high.

If President Biden decides to seek the Democratic nomination, as now seems likely, credible primary challengers could enliven an otherwise stultifying process, making it robust instead of a bust. The corrosive effects of stagnated assumptions should be held up to disinfecting sunlight. New ideas should be discussed rather than suppressed.

Conventional wisdom insists that a president has the divine political right to be the party’s nominee for a second term. But a president is not a party’s king, and he has no automatic right to renomination.

Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” (2006) and “Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State” (2007).

 

 

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Al Jazeera is taking the Abu Akleh case to the International Criminal Court

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Shireen
London protesters remember slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The network for which she worked said the journalist’s killing was part of a “wider attack on Al Jazeera, and journalists in Palestine.” Wikimedia photo by Alisdare Hickson.

Revealing new evidence in Abu Akleh’s killing, Al Jazeera sues Israeli forces at ICC

by Julia Conley – Common Dreams

Following an investigation that Al Jazeera said uncovered new evidence regarding the fatal shooting of Palestinian-America journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May, the international news network said Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against Israeli military forces at the International Criminal Court.

The investigation reportedly showed that Abu Akleh and her colleagues “were directly fired at by the Israeli occupation forces” when they were covering a raid by the forces in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on May 11.

“The claim by the Israeli authorities that Shireen was killed by mistake in an exchange of fire is completely unfounded,” said Al Jazeera.

Rodney Dixon, a lawyer for the network, told reporters that the ICC should identify the individuals responsible for Abu Akleh’s killing.

“The rulings of the International Criminal Court stipulate that those responsible be investigated and held accountable,” said Dixon. “Otherwise, they bear the same responsibility as if they were the ones who opened fire.”

The legal filing comes weeks after Israeli officials said they would not cooperate with an FBI investigation into the death of Abu Akleh, who was wearing a vest and helmet identifying her as a member of the press when she was shot in the head.

Israel has said it conducted an investigation which found the origin of the bullet that killed the veteran Al Jazeera journalist could not be determined because it was too damaged, suggesting that Palestinian forces could have fired the bullet.

Other investigations—including a U.S.-led forensic and ballistic probe and one by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights—found that Israeli forces may have unintentionally fired the weapon that killed Abu Akleh, while an independent investigation by Forensic Architecture in the U.K. and the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq concluded that Israel Defense Forces had intentionally killed the journalist.

Dixon said the ICC should consider the lawsuit “in the context of a wider attack on Al Jazeera, and journalists in Palestine,” referring to the bombing of a building that housed Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices in May 2021.

“It’s not a single incident, it’s a killing that is part of a wider pattern that the prosecution should be investigating to identify those who are responsible for the killing, and to bring charges against them,” said Dixon.

 

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Jackson, Not nearly so soothing as Marvin Gaye could be…

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wuzzup

Rude questions and insolent answers from the editor

by Eric Jackson

What’s going on? Other than that question setting off a Marvin Gaye song in the writer’s head? Look at the mainstream media, or at the social media, and the situation becomes murky at a glance, especially for those unfamiliar with patterns and practices.

In the corporate mainstream media, we see the usual partisan crossfire of accusations and rabiblanco-sponsored economic dogma. The thing is, our economy is broken in ways that such cant won’t – and can’t – readily explain. Any explanation of inflation given by the pharmaceutical importers’ cartel, or by the telecom firms, or by any business group under their leadership or strong influence tends to be an outrageous lie.

The tabloids run their usual fare of necro-porn, and because it’s the holiday season there really is a lot more garden variety crime – the muggings, the stores getting robbed, the home invasions, the break-ins and so on. Also low-rent rape, a crime of violence and assertion of power far more than a crime of sexual perversion, at the lower end of the socio-economic scale a matter of men without power trying to assert power by force or by enticement of the young. Also the domestic violence, usually also assertions of power by relatively powerless men. If it’s gory or depraved enough, it’s the stuff of headlines. That those media who report this and note that the kids who witnessed it are “unharmed” is a professional scandal in journalism.

Because of the weak economy that has affected reporters’ numbers and travel budgets, in that field we are especially dependent on police and prosecutor press releases and photos. The Panama News was early to the trend, but more and more the better editors will just ignore the law enforcement trophy pictures of all the drugs that have been seized. The War on Drugs is a loser all the way around and any pretense that it’s being won is dishonest. People know that, and the pretense otherwise may lead to institutional access to various Panamanian or US government figures, but on the other hand detracts from the medium’s credibility.

‘Tis the season – when people are looking toward other things like Mothers Day, Christmas and New Years, and NOT paying attention to what public officials are doing. It’s much worse in Panama than in the USA, not only due to different arrays of holidays but also because there are more different sorts of observers in the bigger country.

On the public policy front, to which this writer pays the most attention, it’s nefarious but banal, the old games played against an economy that hasn’t been this bad since Noriega sanctions times, and without the simplistic “Noriega goes” exit formula of back then. There really isn’t one person or party whose removal solves the regional and global web of problems that entangle Panama.

That President Cortizo is ill, perhaps terminally, offers no ray of hope for those sick enough to look for that. The man is a moderating influence on most of the worst things in his party, among his allies and in the political caste. But the moderation is no longer so vigorous as it was at the beginning of his term. Does he make it through the year and a half or so left before the next shift comes it? I would expect that. Does he leave the reins to his vice president for a most unusual back-to-back succession of his party? I expect that Vice President Carrizo will rig the PRD to give him the 2024 nomination – and the general election voters, who have seen him as acting head of state, won’t agree to his assumption of the presidential sash in his own right. (It’s way too early, and there are too many variables, but I would not be surprised to see the 2024 race polarize between the fascist Zulay Rodríguez and the moderate Ricardo Lombana, even if the polls keep telling us that Ricky Martinelli is the heavy favorite.)

What’s going on here is a political caste intent on a hardcore looting spree before the voters get a chance to remove a lot of its members, greedy business elites in their eternal quests to corner and monopolize markets, outrageous gouging and all of the usual moderating influences weakened.

Might the National Assembly, this coming July, pick someone other than a guy who wants to lower the standards for getting a medical license in order to favor a family member? The PRD might decide that a wise thing to do, but it’s not going to alter the predatory nature of the incumbent coalition. Might Cambio Democratico oust the corporate lawyer in favor of the sticky fingered legislator and an alliance with Martinelli? Likely so, but watch them dissolve into infighting if Martinelli is sent to prison and out of the race. Is there a comeback for Arnulfismo? In alliance with whom? Watch the Partido Popular, MOLIRENA and the other small players look for a likely winner and ride with that candidate, no matter any principles that could be involved.

BUT FOR NOW, people aren’t paying attention. So a PRD deputy’s cousin gets dibs on providing fuel to cruise ships at a government port on the Atlantic Side. So a cruise ship comes into Amador and the government workers who are paid to serve it are totally unprepared, even to deploy the ramp. Likewise, those who got their sanitation jobs through the PRD don’t pick up the garbage and rats proliferate in the city. Likewise all these low-quality road repairs. San Miguelito has been deducting for Seguro Social from its city workers’ paychecks but not paying the money into the Social Security Fund? The Comptroller General sees nothing. The son of the budget director of the Colon Free Zone is nailed as an alleged drug kingpin in Dubai and accused of organizing the loading of drug cargoes in Colon? Of no concern, and HOW DARE anyone make the connection or ask any question. Martinelli, Varela and a lot of alleged accomplices looking toward trials for Odebrecht graft next year? Martinelli has the advantage of dubiously obtained media to screech about how he’s being persecuted and to threaten anyone who criticizes him. Yadda yadda yadda – Panama has been looted big-time and so many journalists are paid to report nothing, or to report just the other faction’s infractions.

HOWEVER, the debt crisis is here and very real. I could go down the litany. Better to recall what set off the June and July disturbances. It was that teachers in the public schools had not been paid.

The abuses have escalated to the point that working people can’t afford them anymore, and those special interest folks who think that they have bought the political caste and expect them to deliver are not budging.

Working people can’t stand the way they are being squeezed? That’s rather ordinary. But when cruise ship operators and international bankers get squeezed? There comes the opportunity for fascist demagoguery, but Panama can be put onto certain lists and scratched off of others, much to the detriment of folks who had nothing to do with causing these listings or de-listings.

Regardless of any and all infamy, the regional economy is just slow. Shipping is a troubled industry in flux. The South American countries for which our duty-free zones act as wholesaling and warehousing districts aren’t buying as much.

What we hear from the elites and allied media is that what we really need to do is cut taxes on the rich. BUT WAIT – they’re not paying significant taxes anyway. THEIR Plan B is to squeeze the standards of living of working people again.

Now that crypto is crashing, maybe they’ll come up with another magic bullet. Anything but adjusting Panamanian society’s glaring economic inequalities.

At least the legislature isn’t in session until January. But smash and grab season is six or eight months early this cycle. Keep an eye out, and not just for the maleantes down the street.

 

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Report: Corporate capture of global biodiversity efforts ahead of summit

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Bush dog
The bush dog,  Speothos venaticus, is a canine found in Central and South America, including in Panama. The species is nocturnal and elusive. It’s believed, from camera trap evidence, that we have more of these that we used to think that we did. They are still endangered here. Wikimedia photo by W. C. Wozencraft, taken at the Prague Zoo.

“Solutions” carefully crafted to do nothing

by Jessica Corbett — Common Dreams

With the next United Nations Biodiversity Conference set to kick off in Canada this week, a report out Monday details how corporate interests have attempted to influence efforts to protect the variety of life on Earth amid rampant species loss.

After a long-delayed and mostly virtual meeting in Kunming, China last year to work on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), nearly 20,000 delegates are headed to Montreal for the second part of COP15, which will bring together countries party to a multilateral treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) report, titled The Nature of Business: Corporate Influence Over the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Biodiversity Framework, “explores how business interests have tried to shape the recent course of the work” of the 20-year-old treaty and, “in many cases, have succeeded in doing so.”

While the publication focuses specifically on the development of the new framework—widely regarded as a Paris climate agreement for nature—the group’s analysis notes that “the context is the broader and longer span of business influence over the CBD, especially since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 where the CBD was open for signature.”

“To achieve their desired results,” the report explains, “corporations have used a variety of tactics and strategies to influence the CBD processes, including the following: direct party lobbying; targeting individual delegations or becoming part of them; installing direct contacts in the CBD Secretariat; making use of revolving doors; co-opting civil society, academia, and think tanks; funding U.N. activities; the distortion of language and concepts; and public-private partnerships.”

Pointing to such activities, Nele Marien, FOEI’s Forests and Biodiversity program coordinator, declared Monday that “corporate influence goes deep into the heart of the CBD.”

Taking aim at fossil fuel and mining giants, she said that “one strategy in particular stands out: The formation of purpose-built lobby coalitions allowing many corporations, such as BP or Vale, to present themselves as part of the solution and advocates for sustainability with green-sounding names. However, their ‘solutions’ are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment.”

The report points to offsetting, self-certification, self-regulation, and “nature-based solutions” as examples of measures that give the impression of action without any impactful changes.

“There is a fundamental conflict of interest,” Marien stressed. “Corporations are the most prominent contributors to biodiversity loss, ecosystem destruction, and human rights violations. Addressing corporate capture of the CBD is a precondition for saving biodiversity. The U.N. and its member states must resist corporate pressure and ​​the CBD must reclaim its authority to regulate business.”

Fellow FOEI program coordinator Isaac Rojas argued that “putting corporations in their place would allow peoples-led solutions to biodiversity loss to regain momentum.”

“Indigenous peoples and local communities protect 80% of existing biodiversity, often by defending it with their lives,” he said. “Conserving biodiversity goes along with taking IPLCs and their human and land tenure rights seriously.”

However, the current draft framework has critics concerned, with FOEI warning that it “increasingly bears the strong hallmarks of lobbying by business interests.”

The report also highlights that “it is difficult to disentangle what has resulted specifically from corporate lobbying from what certain parties might have desired anyway, given their strong disposition towards ‘nonregulation,’ voluntary action, market mechanisms, private sector implementation, and weak or nonexistent monitoring, reporting, and corporate accountability.”

“Businesses in many countries are ‘pushing at doors’ that are already permanently open to them,” the document continues. “The picture is further obscured by the collaboration of most of the major corporate lobbying groups with certain international conservation organizations. The lobbying of these groups has converged and merged around many issues.”

“But the consequences are clear: The GBF lacks the ‘transformational’ measures required by the biodiversity crisis,” the report adds. “The chance for a global agreement that is able to address the underlying drivers of biodiversity, transform economic sectors, initiate measures to reduce consumption, and hold corporations to account, seems to be lost.”

Given FOEI’s findings and fears, the group offers reforms for the entire U.N. system and the CBD.

Recommendations for the broader system include resisting pressure to give corporate interests a privileged position in negotiations, excluding business representatives from national delegations, increasing transparency around lobbying and existing links to the private sector, ending all partnerships with corporations and trade associations, establishing a code of conduct for U.N. officials, and monitoring the impact of companies on people and the planet.

As for the biodiversity convention, the report asserts that “rightsholders should have a voice regarding policies that affect the territories and ecosystems they live in,” and “corporations should not be part of decision-making processes and should not have a vote.”

The biodiversity conference this week comes on the heels of the COP27 climate summit that wrapped up in Egypt last month—which critics called “another terrible failure” given that the final agreement did not include language about phasing out all fossil fuels, which scientists say is necessary to prevent the worst impacts of rising temperatures.

One of the public demands going into COP15 comes from over 650 scientists—who, in a new letter to world leaders, push for an end to burning trees for energy.

“Ensuring energy security is a major societal challenge, but the answer is not to burn our precious forests. Calling this ‘green energy’ is misleading and risks accelerating the global biodiversity crisis,” Alexandre Antonelli, a lead author of the letter and director of science at the U.K.’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, told The Guardian Monday.

Combating industry claims about the practice, the letter concludes that “if the global community endeavors to protect 30% of land and seas for nature by 2030, it must also commit to ending reliance on biomass energy. The best thing for the climate and biodiversity is to leave forests standing—and biomass energy does the opposite.”

The 30×30 target referenced in the letter is a top priority for several countries going into the Chinese-hosted conference, as Carbon Brief noted last week, introducing an online tool tracking who wants what at the event.

“But China has not invited world leaders to Montreal, sparking fears that the political momentum needed to produce an ambitious outcome will be lacking at the summit,” the outlet reported. “Slow progress on the GBF at preparatory talks in Geneva and Nairobi has also raised concerns among observers, scientists, and politicians.”

 

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Bernal, Disturbing numbers

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One of the things that is not well enumerated in the Panamanian economy is the state of its informal sector. The bean counters like to pretend that it, and those who work in it, don’t count – whenever they can get away with that. Archive photo by Eric Jackson. 

Raw reality smashes people in the face with disturbing numbers

by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.

The end of the year is approaching and national problems are increasing, far from diminishing. The country resembles a drifting ship that is leaking, in addition to not having a captain and crew with the ability to successfully bring it to a port.

During the last three years, government propaganda hasn’t ceased to misinform about the real situation of our country at all levels. Government authoritarianism, with its mix of populism and demagogy, has been disrupting the fragile existing institutions and weakening the pillars and functioning of the worn-out state institutions.

These disquieting figures – not to say disturbing – will also bring a lot of social unrest. For now, let’s list some of them:

  • Public debt amounted to $43.175.31 million (as of June 30, 2022)
  • Pending debt interest payments for December added up to $597.73 million ($467.79 million for foreign debt interest payment and $129.94 million for national debt interest payment).
  • The interest on the debt between January and September of this year is estimated at $1.3698 billion, and more than $3.5 billion in 2024 and 2026. (see La Prensa, December 2, 2022)
  • The general budget of the government for 2023 reaches the sum of $27.579 billion (Law 336 of November 14, 2022).
  • The projected budget deficit is $2.184 billion.
  • 1.1 million Panamanians live in poverty, while half a million live in extreme poverty, out of a population estimated at 4.3 million (see Annual Report on Poverty and Extreme Poverty-Panama).
    353,412 Panamanians earn less than $600 per month, while 166,475 earn $1,500 per month. (National Institute of Statistics and Census)
  • According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) between August 2012 and April 2022, the population of productive age (over 15 years), grew by 632,940 people. However, today there are 59,252 fewer formal private salaried workers, but 249,633 more informal ones. (René Quevedo in La Prensa Financial Tuesday, November 29, 2022).
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The official numbers don’t list failing informal businesses, but you can see them all around.
Archive photo by Eric Jackson.

 

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Editorials: A bit of progress; and Right-wing thugs

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Visible progress, after all these years. Hematology patients and staff are moving into the long-delayed Ciudad de Salud hospital complex, still under construction. Seguro Social photo.

At least SOMETHING to show

The country and metro area NEEDED a new hospital complex. The Ciudad de Salud, however, was within that generally acknowledged need a series of wrong answers.

There was the idea in Ricky Martinelli times that a new complex would be part of an overall privatization scheme in which primarily Venezuelan doctors, nurses and technicians would be brought in to smash the public health care workers’ unions and there would be a new complex oriented toward medical tourism by bringing in rich gringo tourists. Those ideas were crushed for the time being, but the Ciudad de Salud ambled on in its zombie walk.

There was the eternally thuggish public construction contracting game, with all of its graft, bid rigging and litigation as built-in expectations.

Things were delayed by new budget priorities, or new favoritism, or new administrations coming in to find empty coffers, with each change of government.

It’s not that Nito has significantly cleaned up any of those acts, but he has overseen gears going back into motion. We have at least this to show for all the money, and the promise of more.

 

Traffic jam as residents flee Moore County, North Carolina after neofascist terrorists caused a massive wintertime power outage by attacking the power grid there.

The civil war that Republicans want

They published photos of themselves, their spouses and their children toting guns as a political statement. They ran TV ads of themselves firing assault rifles. They’ve been running a nonstop defamation campaign against the LGBTQ communities. They put the Proud Boys into influential positions in the Miami area Republican Party. They laughed about a brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi’s home and husband. They attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to nullify the 2020 US presidential election. They stole a massive cache of public documents, some of them including the identities of vulnerable US agents overseas. They sent armed vigilantes to intimidate people at ballot drop boxes in Arizona. They’re jamming up the courts as best they can. They have called for the suspension of the US Constitution, so that without any procedure they can replace the elected US president with Donald Trump as dictator.

And now they have attacked the power grid in a North Carolina county, because they hate queers and wanted to shut down a drag show.

It didn’t work. Americans can’t and won’t let it work.

Is it an unfair generalization to say “Republicans?” Was it, in 1945, an unfair generalization to say “Nazis?”

Actual conservatives, those who would like to conserve something – like, say, the United States of America as a constitutional republic with democratic institutions – would do well to leave the Republican Party behind.

People and businesses resist the terrorist attack.
…and the show went on in the dark.

 

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Bell Hooks speaking at the New School in 2014.
Wikimedia photo by Alex Lozupone (Tduk)

No insurgent intellectual, no dissenting critical voice in this society escapes the pressure to conform…we are all vulnerable. We can all be had, co-opted, bought. There is no special grace that rescues any of us. There is only a constant struggle.

Bell Hooks

Bear in mind…

Ignorant men don’t know what good they hold in their hands until they’ve flung it away.

Sophocles

Write what should not be forgotten.

Isabel Allende

It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.

René Descartes

 

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Biden, Changing the presidential primary lineup

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GA runoff
Line for early voting in the 2022 Georgia US Senate runoff. Photo from Rachel Aragon’s Twitter feed.

Reflect the overall diversity of our party and our nation

by Joe Biden
joe on primaries

 

Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

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¿Wappin? Hold onto The Dream! / ¡Aférrate al Sueño!

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Christine Perfect
The late Christine McVie. Photo 2019 by Ralph_PH.

A Friday mix, some translated
Una mezcla de viernes, algunos traducidos

Christine McVie – Got A Hold On Me
https://youtu.be/Xg1t-fqhbf8

Junior Murvin’s Wailers – Rototom Sunsplash 2015
https://youtu.be/eVy7CpwcQiY

Bratty – Quédate
https://youtu.be/wnb689upngA

Bruce Springsteen – Follow That Dream
https://youtu.be/dac_PqCINA8

Rubén Blades & Jerry García – Muevete
https://youtu.be/ZWfYew3s_Nw

Zahara – Phendula
https://youtu.be/MU6oHf9oxTw

Susana Baca – Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
https://youtu.be/7WiGD2vOqDk

Irene Cara – What a Feeling
https://youtu.be/ba309hHIrwI

Of Monsters And Men – Wolves Without Teeth
https://youtu.be/qC2iNAhcm98

John Coltrane – Blue Train
https://youtu.be/HT_Zs5FKDZE

Paul McCartney – Tug of War
https://youtu.be/HlKaGm06Mn8

Florence + the Machine – Flow Festival 2022
https://youtu.be/ykHppfi-Nxc

Roger Waters – Two Suns in the Sunset
https://youtu.be/9wlisCoX6Nk

 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

Para defendernos de los piratas informáticos, los trolls organizados y otros actos de vandalismo en línea, la función de comentarios de nuestro sitio web está desactivada. En cambio, ven a nuestra página de Facebook para unirte a la discusión.  

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