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Petrodollar Warfare: The Common Thread Linking Venezuela and Iran

Iran has been calling the United States “The Great Satan” for a very long time. We have a short memory in the US, but the Iranians remember that we ENGINEERED the coup that removed the popular democratically elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the brutal dictatorship of the Shah.

They remember that we backed Iraq in the Iran/Iraq War, and we have been antagonistic since at least 1979 when the revolution captured our embassy.

The Iranian people, are actually pretty westernized. They are probably more sympathetic to us than they are to our government. But you don’t make friends by assassinating people.

War with Iran didn’t just happen overnight.

“The U.S. is able to dictate these econo-warfare policies through its disproportionate control of the world financial system. Iran has been sounding warnings about this strategy for some time and has been a vocal advocate of creating a new global financial system that will bypass U.S. control of the existing global financial system.

“Iran, though, is not the only country interested in such an arrangement. Russia, China, and Venezuela have all found themselves facing arbitrary economic penalties levied by the U.S. and have also taken steps to wean the world off the dollar and use alternative currencies to conduct business, a global trend that could seriously impact U.S. dominance over the world economy. But in order to understand where “King Dollar” is going, we have to understand where it came from.”

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Always Business… Never Personal

Jay Z is, first and foremost, a capitalist. He’s a business, man.

And as such, his social justice maneuvers are cloaked with the cape of Black capitalism.

Kaep was always a lone man standing on an island. The boycotts surrounding his unemployment only had teeth as long as no one crossed the picket line. Jay just crossed the picket line and stranded Kaep out on that island alone.

I picture Jay and Kaep playing out the scene from New Jack City…

Jay as Nino Brown: “It’s always business. Never personal.”

Kaep as G Money: “We all we got, man. Am I my brother’s keeper? AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?”

Jay/Nino: “Yes. I. Am.” [Squeezes trigger]

Gentrified Allies Eat Their Own

This is really sad. I have friends on both sides of this story, and as a former renter of a Detroit artist loft, I can truly sympathize.

Bridge Magazine: Thanks for making Detroit cool, artists. Here’s your eviction.

The old furniture showroom at 4731 Grand River in Detroit features a mural of sign language spelling the word “LOVE.” Since 2001, it served as an arts incubator. An ownership change prompted evictions last month.

The evictions follow a host of other studio spaces for artists – including the Russell Street Industrial Center – that have closed, sold or displaced artists, said Sintex a well-known Detroit graffiti artist who used to live and work in the Grand River incubator.

“The growth of Detroit has forced artists to definitely hustle more. Instead of everyone being in the city, they are spread out more, to suburbs like Hazel Park,” said Sintex, who was born Brian Glass.

“The days of finding studios in old industrial spaces [in Detroit] are long gone.” 

The new owner is seemingly the unlikeliest of evictors: Allied Media Projects, a nonprofit in Detroit dedicated to social change and “media for liberation,” according to its website. It took out a $2 million mortgage and plans to update the building to serve as its headquarters, along with other progressive nonprofits.

The goal is to use the building to “remediate the impact of gentrification at a minimum and resist the structures that perpetuate gentrification,” said its executive director, Jenny Lee.

The irony of a group fighting gentrification by committing one of its most brutal acts –  eviction – isn’t lost on Lee.

“It sucks that our vision has to come at the cost of artists who have used and loved that space,” Lee said. “There’s no way around it. It absolutely sucks.”

Along with the reality of gentrification, and the system’s upheaval of the very residents who created a desirable environment in the first place, is the tragedy that artists and creatives are not respected for the value they bring to a community. Creators like Sintex Graffiti are the breath and life of this community. Activists like Allied Media Projects have long worked to protect those very artists and the residents of this community.

In the end, the economics of gentrification can pit natural allies against each other in the ongoing struggle to survive.

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Progressive California Governor Changing The State’s Future

California Governor Gavin Newsom is on a mission it seems.

Just a few days ago, he issued an executive order apologizing on behalf of the state for its past violent treatment of its indigenous population. From The Hill:

In a historic move, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order apologizing on behalf of the state and its citizens for the past violence against Native Americans. “We can never undo the wrongs… but we can tell the truth.”

Telling the truth is a start indeed…

But he followed that up with a bold move forward. He placed a halt on all executions in his state. CBSNews.com: 

There are 737 inmates on death row in California – most of any state in the nation. But that could change now that Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took office in January, halted executions with an executive order.

“Just last year we had someone who was exonerated that spent 26 years on death row – joining the ranks of 164 human beings that have been exonerated, that have spent time on death row. It’s a racist system. You cannot deny that,” Newsom said Friday on “CBS This Morning.” “It’s a system that is perpetuating inequality. It’s a system that I cannot in good conscience support.”

He also makes some interesting remarks about the Green New Deal and about influence and privilege in the nation. 

“We’ve got to reflect on this in a much deeper way. It’s all about money. It’s all about money,” Newsom said. “Two-thirds of the folks in these positions of influence as administrators – their purpose, they’re literally judged on their basis of their connections and ability to raise money. But with that comes some expectation. People aren’t just benignly writing $100 million checks. They expect something more than just their name attached. They’re going to get a return phone call.”

He acknowledged it applies to politicians as well.

“Deeply true with anyone in positions of influence, and politicians are among them,” Newsom said.

Newsom has always been a progressive politician. I’m curious to watch how California leads the nation with him at the helm.

Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed To Be Adapted For TV

Fantastic story!!

“Drawn from the third book in the Patternmaster series (which actually kicked off the narrative in chronological terms), the story is one of love and hate, following two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-Colonial West Africa to the far, far future. Doro, a killer who uses his power to breed people like livestock, encounters Anyanwu, a healer who forces him to reassess his millennia of cruel behavior: for centuries, their personal battles change the course of our world as they struggle against the backdrop of time — master vs slave, man vs woman, killer vs healer.”

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Tom Morello: There’s Never Been a Time More Right for Rage Against the Machine Than Now

“If like you are missing a Rage Against the Machine element in the world, then form a band. What’s on your mind? It’s your time – do it. Don’t sit around waiting, you’re wasting life if you’re waiting for some bands to emerge from the shadows to save you, it’s your time to pick up a guitar or a turntable or whatever or Ableton or whatever it is, and have your say.” – Tom Morello

Read More HERE

© Nadir Omowale