June 12th: Remembering the Pulse Massacre

Two years ago the Supreme Court closed the Obergefell v. Hodges case in a 5-4 decision guaranteeing the right to marry to same-sex couples federally. It was a day of peak national pride for me. The federal government had really gotten something right and there was so much radiant joy, from the rainbow spotlights on the Obama White House to a gay coworker of mine whose face beamed as soon as the topic came up, to one of my friends here who put it perfectly, “Isn’t it just better when everyone is included?”.

A year later Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse Nightclub killing 49 and injuring 53 — the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history.  It strikes a demoralizing contrast to the previous year’s supreme court decision.  This wasn’t a random target. Mateen chose the Pulse because it was a gay club and there’s evidence to suggest that he struggled with unrealized or latent homosexuality, which is often expressed as fear or hatred towards homosexuals. This day is a reminder that homophobia is not victimless.

Remembering the Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Orlando Sentinel



Weekly Update

Middle East and North Africa

Cholera Death Toll Tops 849 in War-Torn Yemen as U.S. Backed Saudi Assault Continues, Democracy Now!

In Yemen, a civilian is dying nearly every hour from a massive cholera outbreak, as the ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign and naval blockade has devastated the country’s health, sanitation and water systems. The World Health Organization says the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has now reached 101,820 and continues to rise, accounting for 859 deaths. Yemen’s healthcare system is also on the verge of collapse as many hospitals have shut down because of the ongoing U.S.-backed Saudi war. Only 45 percent of Yemen’s hospitals are still operational.

Karbala suicide bombing: 30 killed in Iraq terror attack, Bethan McKernan, The Independent

At least 30 people have been killed in a suicide bombing south of Baghdad, Iraqi officials have said, in an attack claimed by Isis.

The female assailant blew herself up on Friday in Musayab, just east of the holy Shia city of Karbala, killing 30 civilians and wounding another 35.

U.S.-led Forces Accused of Using White Phosphorus in Syria and Iraq, Dan MacGuill, Snopes

On 8 June 2017, the citizen-journalist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently posted a video on Twitter showing what looks like white phosphorus munitions exploding over what the group said was a Raqqa neighborhood:






Today Trump lost in another ruling on his travel ban targeting majority Muslim countries in both the US Court of Appeals 4th and 9th circuits:

Trump Loses Travel Ban Ruling in Appeals Court, Adam Liptak, The New York Times

The two courts employed different reasoning to arrive at the same basic conclusion. The Fourth Circuit said the revised executive order violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion.

The Ninth Circuit, by contrast, rested its conclusions on statutory grounds. It said Mr. Trump had exceeded the authority Congress granted him in making national security judgments in the realm of immigration without adequate justification.

A story co-published by ProPublica and the New York Times investigates Trump’s son-in-law and go-to for peace in the Middle East Jared Kushner’s maltreatment of tenants.

The Beleagured Tenants of ‘Kushnerville’, Alec MacGillis, ProPublica

Tenants in more than a dozen Baltimore-area rental complexes complain about a property owner who they say leaves their homes in disrepair, humiliates late-paying renters and often sues them when they try to move out. Few of them know that their landlord is the president’s son-in-law.

Jeremy Corbyn

When Theresa May and the Tories called for a three-year-early snap election, they were polling well and looked to strengthen their hold on the House of Commons heading into Brexit negotiations. It didn’t turn out as planned. Despite being maligned by the neoliberal/Blairite faction of his own party, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led the party to a substantial victory Friday, taking enough seats to end the Conservative Party’s majority, resulting in a hung parliament.

Why Corbyn Won, Bhaskar Sunkara, Jacobin

Labour’s surge confirms what the Left has long argued: people like an honest defense of public goods. Labour’s manifesto was sweeping — its most socialist in decades. It was a straightforward document, calling for nationalization of key utilities, access to education, housing, and health services for all, and measures to redistribute income from corporations and the rich to ordinary people.

Jeremy Corbyn is Leading the Left out of the Wilderness and Toward Power, Mehdi Hassan, The Intercept

Corbyn has showed how it is possible for progressives to build a coalition between the young, people of color and cosmopolitan liberals on the one hand and, yes, those dreaded white working class communities on the other. It is a fiction to claim that leaders on the left must choose between them, or play one marginalized group off against another. White ex-UKIP voters in the north of the country returned to Labour last week in their hundreds of thousands.

Jeremy Corbyn (FULL) Interview on Andrew Marr (11/06/17 – BBC News









JPTV: The People’s Summit and the Premiere of the Nina Turner Show

People’s Summit:

Justice Visionaries and Visions of Justice







Ben Jealous — Former NAACP president running for governor in Maryland




And of course, Bernie Sanders was the headliner


Nina Turner Show premieres with Bernie Sanders







. . . thank you for scrolling