Saturday, April 19, 2014

May Day celebration in Wichita

In early 1886 unions throughout the country fought for an eight hour work day. Work days could be 10 to 12 hours a day. By 1889 the various unions had won the fight for an eight hour day and a holiday had been established to celebrate this labor victory. Since that time workers around the world celebrate May 1 as an expression of their international solidarity and shared political aspirations for the freedom of working people.
In Wichita, Kansas the Peace & Social Justice Center will celebrate this holiday and its history with speeches, stories, music and a pot luck dinner. The event will be on May 1, from 5 pm to 7:30 pm, at 1407 N. Topeka, Wichita, KS. This 
May Day celebration has been a tradition for the PSJ Center for several years now.
This holiday is celebrated the world over in many different ways. They include marches and events by labor organizations as well as communist, anarchist and socialist parties. Many older people will remember the military marches held on May Day in the Soviet Union. But what most people didn’t realize is that the holiday started here in the US.
Our government was not content to let the May 1 labor holiday to be celebrated along with Marxists and anarchists, so they changed it to the present day fall holiday we now know as Labor Day. May 1 was turned into Law Day. So the holiday that US labor unions inspired has been turned into a simple celebration of work, with none of the history of the sacrifices and struggles of workers for a just work place.

Monday, March 31, 2014

MoveOn rally—Wichitans for Medicaid expansion

Carrying signs that said; “Brownback- Expand Medicaid;” “Honk if you want the GOP to stop blocking Medicaid expansion” and “Healthcare bills are #1 reason for bankruptcy,” protesters held a rally at Old Town Square, in Wichita, Saturday at noon.
“The main message is that money is going to states who accept the Medicaid expansion (federal) funds,” said Jan Swartzendruber, Regional Organizer “Our citizens are funding other states for Medicaid (called KanCare here in Kansas) expansion,”
The rally was organized by a local chapter of MoveOn. About 50 people took part in the rally, along 2nd Street. Swartzendruber explained that Kansas citizens are paying federal taxes that go to funding Medicaid Expansion program, a part of The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, in the states that have agreed to take the funding. Governor Brownback has refused to take the money, because he and other Republicans are so determined to derail Obamacare, they are willing to penalize their own citizens.
“We are holding rallies in Wichita, Topeka and Overland Park,” Swartzendruber said. She added that those towns have local chapters of MoveOn. In Wichita the protesters stood along 2nd Street while cars passed them.
MoveOn members handed out pamphlets about another related issue an amendment to the Prompt Pay bill for KanCare, HB2552. It says that the governor cannot expand Medicaid unless the Republican controlled house and senate approve of it. The new amendment is obviously designed to allow the senate and house to block the next governor from enacting the president’s healthcare reforms. Pols are showing that the Democratic Governor Candidate Paul Davis may beat Sam Brownback in upcoming elections. Republicans in this state are desperate to continue to block healthcare reform and continue to keep those who presently can’t afford healthcare from getting it.
MoveOn members handed out pamphlets that said 77,000 Kansans are without healthcare and cannot get KanCare. These are the people who would benefit from expanding KanCare.
Kansas Republicans, as with Republicans across the country, are doing everything they can to sink the Affordable Care Act. People are beginning to see the benefits of this new act and groups such as MovOn are now trying to let our politicians know they don’t want obstructionists to stop those who need health care from getting it.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Communist Party Philippines chief, 6 other top communist execs nabbed

This is breaking important news. We will have to see if these arrests will have a big impact on the “people’s war” in the Philippines.

This is from the Kasama Project;

by Nikko Dizon
MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Saturday night confirmed the arrest of Benito Tiamzon, chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) in Cebu province.
Tiamzon was arrested with his wife Wilma and five other members of the central committee of the CPP-NPA.
Wilma Tiamzon is the secretary general of the CPP-NPA.
“This is a report given to me by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). Yes, [arrested were] Benito and Wilma Tiamzon,” Gazmin told the Inquirer by phone.
The arrest of the Tiamzons happened exactly a week before the 45th anniversary of the CPP-NPA on March 29.
Gazmin said the Tiamzons were undergoing “tactical interrogation.”
A few days ago, President Benigno Aquino said that a “big fish” would soon be arrested that would surprise everybody.
Asked if the President was referring to the Tiamzons, Gazmin said: “I don’t know. I guess so. They are a big fish.”

For the rest click here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Good by Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps may be gone, but his reputation lives on. It is easy to ridicule Phelps and portraying him as this evil monster. He was a pain in the rear and extremely obnoxious when he picketed funerals. Almost no one liked that except his band of followers and loonies.
He was probably Kansas most famous personality, next to Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz. He was also the equivalent of a circus freak. People enjoyed hating him, but he was not a real threat to anyone. Despite stepping on flags and blaming homosexuals for 9/11, there are far more sophisticated politicians who have been in place who could have done some real damage to our society. Phelps was more of a distraction. While were all focused on Phelps as a villain, real Republicans in our Kansas House, 
overwhelmingly tried to pass an anti-gay segregation bill recently. The bill was killed in the Senate. But it should have never been passed in the first place. And it would have had terrible consequences on the state if this bill had passed.
Phelps is a nuisance and he offends people. But the Kansas Republican Representatives actually threatened gay people much more than Phelps ever did.
According to 
Yahoo News;
“By the time you saw one of his outrageous and hate-filled signs — "You're Going to Hell" was among the more benign — you were already doomed.
Tall, thin and increasingly spectral as he aged, the Rev. Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, a small congregation made up almost entirely of his extended family, tested the boundaries of the free speech guarantees by violating accepted societal standards for decency in their unapologetic assault on gays and lesbians. In the process, some believe he even helped the cause of gay rights by serving as such a provocative symbol of intolerance.”

Some of us will miss Fred with all his crazy shenanigans. Some gays may want to dance on his grave. The rest of us are just hoping his hate filled messages will slowly fade away.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kansas Bill Seeks to Legalize Police Misconduct

This proposed bill is flat out fascism. Rarely do our elected legislators try and pass a bill so blatantly opposed to the rights of the citizens of Kansas. This bill would prevent anyone from reporting abuse. Wichita already has a self policing system were no police officer has ever been found guilty of wrong doing. Internal investigations are just a formality. The police can do no wrong. Now they want to punish people who file complaints. Few people can afford to risk a felony conviction for reporting something that the police are just going to rubber stamp. Kansas politicians have little respect for the rights of common citizens, but this bill is ludicrous.  
 -សតិវ អតុ
by Michael Shatz
March 18, 201
The Kansas House Standing Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice has introduced a bill that will require private citizens who file complaints against police officers to sign an affidavit, acknowledging that if their allegations are proven false, they can be charged with perjury, which is a felony charge.
Furthermore, this bill prohibits a Kansas law enforcement agency from opening an investigation into a complaint if another law enforcement agency has already investigated the complaint and found in favor of the officer.
In other words, this bill would allow police departments to arrest the people who file complaints against police officers. In Wichita, Kansas, complaints are almost always dismissed, by the Wichita Police Department, so, according to this bill and its vague wording, the WPD, could now go arrest the people who file complaints against their officers.
People in Wichita are already afraid to file complaints against the WPD, because the department has a well-known reputation for retaliating against those who do, and this bill would render such retaliation legal. Furthermore, the bill clearly prevents an outside agency, such as the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, from opening an investigation into an allegation that the WPD has already ruled upon.

For the rest click here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New park about vets—not freedom

Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner;
Wichita is now home to a new Operation Freedom Memorial. It is a monument that has the names of those who have fallen in the latest wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week Anita Dixon, who lost her son, U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Parker, in 2005 Iraq, told The Wichita Eagle that it is honorable that these soldiers will have a park right next to the park that is dedicated to all out other wars, World War I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam and now the new ones.
I don’t have a problem with putting something up to honor soldiers, but the new park has the name “Freedom” in it and those wars have nothing to do with freedom. Our freedom is not affected by those wars at all. Attacks against our freedom come mostly from misguided politicians who want to constantly pass new laws that restrict what we can do.
As for freedom I believe these wars are a matter of supporting the new American Empire. A few years ago some politicians and conservative think tanks came out with the idea of an American Century. It is a characterization of the 20th century as being largely dominated by the United States in political, economic, and cultural terms. It is comparable to the description of the 19th Century as Britain's Imperial Century. This requires US control of the world's oil resources. The United States' influence grew throughout the 20th century, but became especially dominant after the end of World War II, when there were two main superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. After the fall of the USSR in 1991, the United States became the world's only superpower.
Wikipedia give the term hyperpower to the US Empire. Others have called it the most powerful superpower since the Roman Empire.
The Wichita Eagle had a line that claimed; “The monument memorializes Kansans who have died in the fight against terrorism.” That is wrong also. Al-Qaeda has been pushed out of Afghanistan and yet the US has been there over 10 years, propping up a puppet government. They have been fighting the Taliban who have nothing to do, presently, with the war on terrorism.
This and almost all of our wars and foreign policy are aimed at expanding and shoring up support for an expanding U.S. empire. The latest wars are all based on a lies. They keep telling people that our sons and daughters are fighting for freedom and the “war on terrorism” when it just isn’t true. The war on terrorism is being handled from the US. The FBI and intelligence people are not in Iraq, Afghanistan or here at home in the U.S. Terrorists are either in the US already or in Yemen and Syria (fighting along US backed rebels). Iraq was never a hotbed of terrorists and is not now, even though a few al Qaeda fighters have taken advantage of the turmoil the US created there to carve out a place for themselves.
As for freedom and for al Qaeda wanting to take away our freedom, Osama bin Laden said “If it’s freedom we hate, why didn’t we attack Sweden.” Obviously he noticed they have more freedom in Sweden than in the U.S. Osama’s main goal is just to get the US and other Western countries out of the Middle-east. 
This park sits next to Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Veterans Parkway. The cost of the new park was about $225,000,
Wichita has always been a pro-military town. People here worship the military they way the worship gun ownership. But it is phony to lead people on to support the efforts of people who may really think they are fighting for these things when it just isn’t true.
Pix from

Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day—Notes on

We all like St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick was probably an ass hole. He supposedly ran the snakes out of Ireland, but there really never were any snakes there. He may have run the various pagan religions out, which is probably how he got to be a saint. He lived about the fifth century. There have been intense political struggles there during the last century. They also had the armed struggle of the IRA.

While most people celebrate with green shamrocks, the better symbol is the starry plough (see picture below). 

John Lennon & Yoko Ono - the Luck of the Irish