Sunday, December 10, 2017

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's November 26, 2017 Letter

U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Australian PM Howard at Feb. 2003 press conference

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.
"November 26, 2017

"Dear Comrades,

“The end of the year and Christmas, with the inevitable hype to buy more ‘stuff’, a ritual commercialized binge with precious little good will, but especially tough for those living on the margins. And not too flash for the rest of us if we have a conscience.Barely a day goes by without news of the latest religious-based outrage or ‘natural’ calamity hitting the poorest and most vulnerable.

“I couldn’t face a ‘normal’ Christmas this year so what’s left of our family is going to a pub. I reckon it’s a good idea for all activists to switch off for a few days to give our overwrought minds and bodies a break, spending time with family and friends and a drink (or two) to talk frankly and nut out what we can do. As George Orwell said: ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’ And spare a coin for those with nowhere to live.

“There’s certainly plenty to get cranky about, both at home and abroad. How disgraceful that war criminal John Howard is on the record for regretting nothing about his time as PM, even for his part in the destruction of Iraq, whereas ex-British PM Gordon Brown at least has the grace to claim that Britain had been ‘hoodwinked’ and ‘duped’ by the yanks into joining that despicable war, especially by that monstrous former defense chief Donald Rumsfeld.

“A recently released secret US intelligence report has cast doubts of ‘WMD claims’ as if we didn’t already know. Many Brits now believe that Blair should be prosecuted as a war criminal for his role in the catastrophe, but no-one here suggests the same for Howard, which doesn’t say much for us. There was one dissenting voice against the WMD claim, Dr David Kelly, and look what happened to him.

“Dr Kelly had worked as a senior weapons inspector at the British Ministry of Defense and knew a great deal about Iraq’s weapons systems. He voiced his concerns to the BBC anonymously, stating that the intelligence was being manipulated, but his cover was blown as the source of its report. In July 2003, the 59-year-old British expert was found dead in a lonely wooded area in Oxfordshire. ‘Suicide’ officialdom claimed. ‘In a pig’s ear’, was the public response, backed up by the ambos who were first on the scene and stated categorically that Dr Kelly had not been killed where he was found. He’d been murdered in another place.

“While Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey are trying to revamp peace negotiations, the US prefers war in its quest for greater global dominance. Pentagon chieftain James Mattis stated that US military forces would be ‘digging in further on Syrian territory’ and was furious when Turkey disclosed that the Yankees already have 13 military bases there. The yanks are also scaling up their presence in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a regional buildup with ominous signs that Saudi Arabia and Israel are ramping up hostility towards Iran and Lebanon, rather like chucking a lighted match into a petrol tank.

“Washington’s most recent hit list of high priority enemies to attack, weaken and overthrow are predictable - Russia (too powerful), China (too powerful), North Korea (has a bomb), Venezuela (too independent), Iran (too independent), Syria (want to corral it), Cuba (too independent) and Lebanon - with ‘lower level’ adversaries Bolivia (too independent) and Nicaragua (too independent) on the waiting list. But the US can carry on all it likes about Russia’s evil ways and its ‘interference in America’s internal affairs’, but it cannot counter Russia’s influence in the Middle East nor its expanding trade with Asia, especially China. Yemen, Cuba, Lebanon, Bolivia and Syria are more vulnerable.

“The US can push for a total Saudi victory over the devastated, starving, cholera-stricken people of Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country where an appalling humanitarian crisis is taking place. While not dropping bombs and organizing an invasion like it has in Iraq and Syria, the US is complicit in Yemen’s destruction by providing intelligence, weaponry and political and military support to Saudi Arabia. Around 40,000 Yemeni children have already died this year as a result of severe acute malnutrition with 130 children dying each day. Where is the international outrage?
“It is always with relief that I turn to Cuba, despite my concerns about its future with nutcase Trump in the White House, but it seems to be doing OK. According to a report in Cuba Libre, there is widespread restoration projects taking place in my beloved Old Havana along with major works along the Malecon.

“Since the late 1990s, neighborhoods have spawned new small businesses, barbershops and auto repairs, food stalls, street vendors, along with the inevitable bars and restaurants, with some ambivalence about the impact all these individual enterprises are having on the Cuban psyche. A nudging of social inequality resulting from the increased income for some in a socialist cultural economy that shares public resources with everyone. Although I was pleased to read that all small businesses have to be licensed, with a primary requirement that each venture must provide a social service to their local neighborhood. In every case, the applicant must meet with local reps to discuss and agree on what projects will be provided, which will then be monitored by the local CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution).

“Despite some changes and severe limits on resources, Cuba’s streets are clean and kids are happy, a nation where Cubans ‘work together, laugh together and dance together’ while continuing to enjoy free health care, free education, no rent and affordable public transport and with music and art in abundance and available to all. That’s my sort of society. Viva Cuba!

“In this madhouse, especially over Christmas, take extra care on our crazy overcrowded roads…

“Joan Coxsedge”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Al-Thani Family's Qatar History Revisited: Part 5

As the 2017 World Almanac and Book of Facts noted, "military ties" of the U.S. government with the Al-Thani absolute monarchical government in Qatar "have been expanding" and "Camp As-Sayliyah, a base near Doha" in Qatar, "served as a command center for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 2003." In addition, "a 10-year defense cooperation agreement" between the Democratic Obama administration and the Al-Thani regime was signed on December 10, 2013. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of Qatar during the last few hundred years. For example:    

A high percentage of the people who live and work in Qatar have, historically, been foreign nationals rather than full Qatari citizens. As Rosemarie Said Zahlan noted in her 1979 book, The Creation of Qatar:

"Almost half of the population of Qatar immediately prior to the oil era were foreigners--Baharians,Iranians and Africans...The population, which stood at approximately 28,000 in 1939, had probably fallen to 25,000 during the years of World War II...In 1939 roughly half the population lived in Doha, the capital city...Roughly 39 percent of the entire (Qatari) 1939 were foreigners. Of these, 6,000 were Negroes who had been originally slaves; rather than leave Qatar, they continued to live there...The number of Persians who settled in Qatar grew in the 1920s, and by 1939 there were an estimated 5,000 living in Qatar."

By 1977, 64 percent of Qatar's population were foreign national workers, a majority of whom were non-Arab foreigners, including 25,000 foreign workers from Pakistan. In 1970, 83 percent of all workers in Qatari were foreign workers.  According to the 2012 book by Georgia State University Professor of History Allen Fromherz, Qatar: A Modern History:

"...Qatar's now at around 1.7 million, more than 80 per cent of which consists of expatriate workers from around the world, servants and employees of the relatively small...Qatari population of around 225,000...

"In 2009 there were more than 1.2 million males in Qatar compared with some 350,000 females. Most of these males are single...or married men who have left their families...Similarly, non-Qatari females are also predominantly single when in Qatar...The influx of expatriate labor only really began in Qatar in the late 1960s. By the late 1970s, however, the numbers were rapidly increasing...

"...Around 7 out of 8 workers were non-Qatari in 2007. Most laborers are men in their twenties and thirties from South Asia. The number of women brought to Qatar as expatriate workers is much lower...There were only about 30,000 Qataris in the early 1960s...Qatari labor sponsorship law...requires all non-Qataris to be sponsored by a Qatari citizens, who has control over their status, visa, conditions, salary, and potential expulsion..."

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

UK's `Guardian' Newspaper: Sponsored By U.S. Power Elite's Ford Foundation?

Most people in the UK and USA don't think that super-rich families in the USA should be able to avoid paying their fair share of taxes by setting up "non-profit" multi-billion dollar foundations like the Ford Foundation, which obtain funds for their "charitable grants" by investing in for-profit hedge funds and transnational corporations that still exploit workers and consumers around the globe in the 21st-century.

Yet UK newspapers like the Guardian don't seem eager to post many articles that expose how the U.S. super-rich families obtained their money historically, how "philanthropic" foundations avoid paying a fair share of taxes or how U.S. foundations have, historically, acted as political manipulation tools of the U.S. power elite, to help prevent the growth of political movements that would end the economic exploitation of workers and consumers by transnational corporations, foundations and the plutocratic super-rich. One reason might be because the Ford Foundation gave a $300,000 "charitable grant" to help subsidize the Guardian media enterprise in 2017. And the Ford Foundation is not the only U.S. power elite foundation that's now helping to bankroll the Guardian media group in 2017. As the Guardian noted in its August 28, 2017 press release:

"The Guardian today announces the public launch of, a new nonprofit... Set up by the Scott Trust, will raise funds from individuals and foundations...In its first months of operation, has secured more than $1m in grants which include:

"Skoll Foundation funding...; and a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation...

"The Guardian’s longest-standing philanthropic partners include:

"Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding...; Ford Foundation support...Rockefeller Foundation support...; Knight Foundation funding... for the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab

" is chaired by John Paton, founder and former CEO of Digital First Media and a member of the GMG Board of Directors....It is run by Rachel White, president of, who is also the Guardian’s global EVP of philanthropic and strategic partnerships...."

Monday, November 20, 2017

Is Poland's Capitalist Economic System Failing To Benefit Polish Workers In 21st Century?

Polish working-class people in the 21st-century have apparently not gained much prosperity within Poland from the post-late1980s re-establishment of a capitalist economic system in Poland. As a Bloomberg Business Week article of May , 2014, for example, observed:

"...Pay and benefits in Poland average 10.4 EU (euros) compared with 42.6 EU (euros) in Germany. Poland is home to 5 of the continent's 20-poorest regions. Unemployment nationwide is 13.5 percent...More than 1 million earn less than 5 Zloty ($1.66) an hour.

"At least 25 million young Poles have left during the decade...About a half-million Poles left the country last year [in 2013], the most since the exodus after Poles became EU citizens and were free to move and work in member states..."

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Al-Thani Family's Qatar History Revisited: Part 4

As the 2017 World Almanac and Book of Facts noted, "military ties" of the U.S. government with the Al-Thani absolute monarchical government in Qatar "have been expanding" and "Camp As-Sayliyah, a base near Doha" in Qatar, "served as a command center for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 2003." In addition, "a 10-year defense cooperation agreement" between the Democratic Obama administration and the Al-Thani regime was signed on December 10, 2013. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of Qatar during the last few hundred years. For example:   

By the 1940s, the Al-Thani family in Qatar no longer was able to enrich itself by exporting pearls to foreign markets. As Rosemarie Said Zahlan's book The Creation of Qatar observed:

"The was dealt a crippling blow, from which it never recovered, in the 1930s. The international economic depression of 1929, which apparently decreased the demand for luxury items, coincided with introduction into world markets of the Japanese cultured pearl..."

But by granting UK imperialism's Anglo-Persian Oil Company [APOC] a concession in 1935 to exploit and profit from Qatar's then-undeveloped oil resources, the Al-Thani family member who held Qatar's emir position between  1913 and 1948, Abdullah Al-Thani, was able to more greatly enrich the Al-Thani family; as oil began to be discovered and then exported from Qatar after World War II. As Georgia State University Professor of History Allen Fromherz noted in Qatar: A Modern History, by the end of World War II: 

"The entire population of Qatar had fallen to 16,000. Entire villages that had survived for centuries were depopulated as tribes emigrated en masse to neighboring, more prosperous shores. In 1944 only 6,000 fishermen were engaged in the pearl harvest as opposed to 60,000 some 20 years before...

"...The 1916 treaty with Abdullah allowed the Anglo-Persian Oil Company [APOC] and the British government to make exclusive claims to potential oil deposits in Qatar. As the pearl industry declined in the 1920s Sheikh Abdullah...was eager to sign an oil agreement with APOC that would allow him to consolidate his position...By 1935...he finally signed the oil concession with APOC...Abdullah received a large payment of 400,000 Indian rupees upon signature of the agreement, with a further 150,000 to be paid to him personally each year. This amount was increased to $300,000 Indian rupees after the sixth year...A political agreement was also signed, securing British control over oil operations in Qatar and increasing British interference in Qatar's internal affairs. Shortly after the concession was signed by APOC, the company was transformed into an affiliate of the Iraq Petroleum Company, similarly controlled by the British, and renamed Petroleum Development Qatar Ltd., the predecessor to Qatar Petroleum..."

(end of part 4)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Al-Thani Family's Qatar History Revisited: Part 3

As the 2017 World Almanac and Book of Facts noted, "military ties" of the U.S. government with the Al-Thani absolute monarchical government in Qatar "have been expanding" and "Camp As-Sayliyah, a base near Doha" in Qatar, "served as a command center for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 2003." In addition, "a 10-year defense cooperation agreement" between the Democratic Obama administration and the Al-Thani regime was signed on December 10, 2013. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of Qatar during the last few hundred years. For example

Between 1913 and 1971, Qatar was a colony alone of UK imperialism, within which Al-Thani family members like Abdullah Al-Thani (1913-1948), Ali Al-Thani (1948-1960) and Ahmad Al-Thani (1960-1972) governed as absolute monarchs in support of British  imperialist special economic interests in Qatar. As the 1979 book The Creation of Qatar by Rosemarie Said Zahlan recalled, in the July 19, 1913 Anglo-Turkish Convention, Turkey's "Ottoman Empire renounced all rights to Qatar, thus formally ending their occupation of that country" and "in 1915 the Ottoman's abandoned Doha," Qatar. As a result, "the field" for solo colonial rule of Qatar, utilizing Al-Thani family members as its puppets, "was now open for Britain. A treaty between the UK imperialist government's political representative in Qatar, Percy Cox, and Abdullah Al-Thani was then signed on November 3, 1916, which stated:

"...I, Shaikh' Abdullah, further understand that I will not have relations nor correspond with, nor receive the agents of any other Power without the consent of the High British Government...I also declare that, without the consent of the High British Government, I will not grant pearl-fishing concessions, or any other monopolies, concessions, or cable landing rights, to anyone whomsoever...I undertake to allow the establishment of a British Post Office and a Telegraph installation anywhere in my territory..."

And according to the same book:

"Once the Turkish presence on the eastern coast of Arabia had been removed by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, Britain could pursue a more forceful policy in Qatar...In March 1926 he [Abdullah Al-Thani] granted an option to the D'Arcy Exploration Company, a subsidiary of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company [APOC)..."

(end of part 3)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Al-Thani Family's Qatar History Revisited: Part 2

As the 2017 World Almanac and Book of Facts noted, "military ties" of the U.S. government with the Al-Thani absolute monarchical government in Qatar "have been expanding" and "Camp As-Sayliyah, a base near Doha" in Qatar, "served as a command center for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 2003." In addition, "a 10-year defense cooperation agreement" between the Democratic Obama administration and the Al-Thani regime was signed on December 10, 2013. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of Qatar during the last few hundred years. For example:

During the pre-World War II historical era of the Al-Thani family's absolute monarchical rule in Qatar, when only the export of pearls was then Qatar's chief money-making export business operation, many of the people who lived in Qatar were slaves of East African family background; and slavery continued to exist in Qatar as late as the 1950s. As Georgia State University Professor of History Allen Fromherz noted in his 2012 book Qatar: A Modern History, "little discussed in Qatar today, slavery existed in Qatar well into the twentieth century" and "it was not until the 1950s that all slaves were manumitted..." In her 1979 book, The Creation of Qatar, Rosemarie Said Zahlan also recalled: 

"...Another large segment of the population were the negroes, descendants of the slaves who had been brought to the Gulf from East Africa during the 19th-century. Over the years, one-third of them had been able to buy their own manumission, primarily through their work in pearling. The rest remained enslaved until the middle of the present [20th] century...Today [in 1979] they are...considered as Qataris...Qatar had an extremely scanty supply of fresh water and consequently could not rely on even a subsistence level of agriculture. The only resource was the sea. It was from the sea that Qataris made their living, exporting their one precious commodity, the pearl.

"The pearling industry was the pivotal point of the economic and social structure of Qatar...The ruler levied a tax on the pearl ships, which, together with customs duties, formed the basis of his revenue...The entire male population probably left the main towns for the pearling banks during the season...

"...Qatar had a large African-population, two-thirds of whom were slaves...Almost half of the pearling population of Qatar were negroes, either slaves or former slaves; it is clear, therefore, that without this substantial addition to the population, the pearling fleet and its products would have been considerably less. Although household slaves also existed, their exact number is difficult to ascertain because they gradually became a part of the families they worked for...

(end of part 2)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Al-Thani Family's Qatar History Revisited: Part 1

As the 2017 World Almanac and Book of Facts noted, "military ties" of the U.S. government with the Al-Thani absolute monarchical government in Qatar "have been expanding" and "Camp As-Sayliyah, a base near Doha" in Qatar, "served as a command center for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 2003." In addition, "a 10-year defense cooperation agreement" between the Democratic Obama administration and the Al-Thani regime was signed on December 10, 2013. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of Qatar during the last few hundred years. For example:

Were it not for the support it received, historically, from the UK imperialist and Ottoman Turkish imperialist governments after 1860, the Al-Thani family might have not become the family which has monopolized political and economic power within Qatar since the late 19th-century. As Georgia State University Professor of History Allen J. Fromherz's 2012 book, Qatar: A Modern History recalled:

"...It could be said that the current power of Al-Thani family...has no fundamental historical precedent outside of British interference...The British and Ottoman powers...were interested in legitimizing Al-Thani rule and ignoring or sidelining the rival claims of other tribes..Qatar is ruled by Al-Thani family...This was not always the case...The power of Al-Thani of Qatar is relatively young. The treaty of 1868 between Muhammad bin Thani and Britain...was the first formal recognition of a Sheikh of Qatar. Until the central prominence of Al-Thani had been established by the treaty the Qatar Peninsula lacked a cohesive independent centre...There was simply no known tradition of monarchy or dynastic successor in Qatar before the treaty of 1868 between Muhammad bin Thani and the British Colonel Pelly...

"Before Muhammad bin Thani consolidated his position in the 1850s, several other tribes and prominent men were the leaders of Bidas (Doha). As even the British acknowledged in several reports, Al-Thani were not always considered the representatives of Qatar...Al Thani did not, according to [Assistant to the India Viceroy Lord Curzon J.] Lorimer, have a deep historic claim to power...Indeed, if authority in Qatar were determined simply by which tribe had been there the longest continuously, power would legitimately not be vested in Al-Thani but in Al-Musallam...The ancestor of the current Emir did not arrive in Qatar from the Jabrin Oasis, and subsequently from Kuwait, until the 1750s...

"The power of Al-Thani would not have been nearly as solidified by the end of the 19th century had it not been for Ottoman interference...It was the British Empire that had first recognized Muhammad bin Thani as the leader of Qatar..."

When the UK imperialist government replaced the Ottoman Turkish imperialist government as the dominant imperial power in the Persian Gulf region during World War I, its 1916 Anglo-Qatari Treaty more tightly consolidated the Al-Thani family's political and economic power within Qatar. As the same book also noted:

"...The Anglo-Qatari Treaty...effectively made Al-Thani the sole legal distributor of arms, thereby giving them sole authority over the weapons and means of warfare...The consolidation in the hands of the Sheikh of the right to purchase weapons substantially bolstered his position...The fourth Article virtually hands over all of Qatar's foreign policy to the British government..."

And according to Qatar: A Modern History,  the Al-Thani monarchical dynasty member who was Oatar's emir in 1916, Sheikh Abdallah was, "given the title of Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the British Empire;" while "the 1916 treaty with Abdallah" also "allowed the Anglo-Persian Oil Company [APOC] and the British government to," not surprisingly, "make exclusive claims to potential oil deposits in Qatar."

(end of part 1)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Did Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama Wage Drone War Illegally As U.S. President?

In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committed awarded a "Nobel Peace Prize" worth over $900,000 to a  Democratic Party politician named Barack Obama. Yet during the 8 years that Obama occupied the U.S. power elite's White House oval office in Washington, D.C. he apparently ordered or sanctioned drone war attacks on people in foreign countries that sometimes killed civilians. As a New York Times national security correspondent named Mark Mazzetti recalled in his 2013 book The Way Of The Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth:

"...America has pursued its enemies using killer robots and special-operation troops...The foundations of the secret wars were laid by a conservative Republican president and embraced by a liberal Democratic one who became enamored of what he had inherited. President Barack Obama came to see it as an alternative to the messy, costly wars...It has...turned the American president into the final arbiter of whether specific people in far-off lands live or die...It is now easier for the United States to carry out killing operations at the ends of the earth than at any other time in its history...

"...Obama's desire to manage aspects of the targeted-killing program directly from the White House gave [former CIA official John] Brennan a role unique in the history of American government: one part executioner, one part chief confessor to the president, one part public spokesman sent out to justify the Obama doctrine of killing off...enemies in remote parts of the world...Obama, Brennan, and other senior members of the new administration would come to rely on targeted killing...No prominent member of President Obama's own party had criticized drone strikes...The meetings over two days at Langley were the first sign that President Obama planned to rely on the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command in ways that not even George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had...

"...During his first year in office, President Obama ordered a review of the roughly one dozen cover-action programs that CIA was carrying out at the time, from the drone strikes to a campaign to sabotage Iran's nuclear work...The summer 2009 meetings effectively rubber-stamped all of the CIA's secret ventures...By the time a `principals committee' meeting was scheduled for the fall, when President Obama's top national security advisers would make final decisions on the covert-action programs, not one of them was under consideration for cancellation...The Obama administration approved every one of the covert-action programs that had been handed down by President Bush...

"Even as the Obama administration discussed the future of the CIA's covert-action programs, there was no thought about ending the targeted-killing efforts. In the early months of the administration, National Security Adviser James Jones led a project to compile a centralized `kill list'...The American strikes in Yemen would claim more civilian casualties than...operatives affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula.

"The first American strike came on December 17, 2009...Obama approved the operation. The next day...several Tomahawk cruise missiles slammed into the desert camp in Abyan...Wideos taken by locals at the camp revealed missile fragments with American markings and also proved that the Tomahawk missiles had been topped with cluster bombs...Most of the dead were civilians, and bloody images of dead women and children went viral on YouTube...

"The CIA had approval from the White House to carry out missile strikes in Pakistan even when CIA targeters weren't certain about exactly who it was they were killing...In an area of known militant activity, all military-aged males were considered to be enemy fighters. Therefore, anyone who was killed in a drone strike there was categorized as a `combatant.'...On March 17, 2011...CIA drones attacked a tribal council meeting in the village of Datta Khey, in North Waziristan, killing dozens of men...Just as lawyers for President Bush had redefined torture to permit extreme interrogations by the CIA and the military, so had lawyers for President Obama given...secret agencies latitude to carry out extensive killing operations...

"Throughout the...presidential election season of 2012, President Obama frequently alluded to targeted killings as a sign of his toughness...Targeted killings have made the CIA the indispensable agency for the Obama administration..."

Friday, October 27, 2017

Did `Non-Profit' MacArthur Foundation Profit From NYC Gentrification-Co-op-Condominium Conversion In 1980s?

The Chicago-based 'non-profit" MacArthur "Genius Grant" Foundation apparently made a lot of money, historically, during the 1980's from the gentrification process in Manhattan and the conversion of apartment building rental units into co-op or condominium units in Manhattan, Queens and Great Neck. As The Assassination Of New York by Robert Fitch recalled in 1993:

"One of the biggest industries in the city had been throwing people out of their apartments--`condo conversion' it was called...The MacArthur involved. A team from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation converted thousands of apartments in the boom years. MacArthur managed to unload its total inventory in 1985 for about $500 MILLION..."

Among the apartment buildings converted into co-ops or condominiums by the "non-profit" and "philanthropic" MacArthur Foundation's real estate deal were "the eight buildings of Lincoln Towers, on the West Side between 66th and 70th streets; nine other buildings in Manhattan, mainly in the East 66s and 70s, and two properties outside Manhattan--Silver Towers apartments in Kew Gardens, Queens, and Great Neck Terrace in Great Neck, Long Island." (New York Times 6/13/93).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

MacArthur "Genius Grant" Foundation's Historical Harry Helmsley Real Estate Connection Revisited

"A consortium closed on the purchase of the development from the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation, which had been the partner in the complex with the late Harry B. Helmsley. The price was $215 million..."

--The New York Times on December 28, 1997

Every year the Chicago-based "non-profit" and tax-exempt MacArthur Foundation board of directors commits itself to transferring $625,000 over a 5-year period to each individual "MacArthur Fellow" who is undemocratically nominated by secret nominators and recommended by secret selection committee members to receive an individual "genius grant."

Yet although the MacArthur Foundation--whose current assets exceed $6.4 billion--claims to be a "non-profit" organization, much of its "genius grant" money apparently was derived from the real estate industry profits it obtained as a result of owning the Fresh Meadows Development's rental apartment complex in Queens, in partnership with the now-deceased billionaire Harry Helmsley, until 1995.

Over 10,000 New York City tenants lived in the 3,287 rental units of the 140-building Fresh Meadows apartment complex that Billionaire John D. MacArthur and Helmsley bought in October 1972; and between 1972 and 1995 MacArthur or the MacArthur Foundation--that assumed control of an estimated $1 billion of John D. MacArthur's assets following his death in January 1978--  owned 40 percent of the Fresh Meadows Development, before the MacArthur Foundation increased its ownership to 100 percent between 1995 and 1997, by purchasing Helmsley's 60 percent stake. Then, by selling its 100 percent ownership stake to the Witkoff Group, the Insignia Financial Group and the Federal Realty Investment Trust in December 1997, the "non-profit" MacArthur Foundation was apparently able to obtain an additional $215 million to add to its total assets in the late 1990's.

After John D. MacArthur and Helmsley bought the real estate in October 1972, maintenance services declined, elevators became defective, air-conditioning fees and snow removal complaints increased and a tenants association was formed which organized rent strikes and filed lawsuits against the MacArthur-Helmsley partnership. In his 1989 book, The Ultra Rich: How Much Is Too Much?, Vance Packard noted that "New York realtor and billionaire Harry Helmsley called real estate attractive because `You don't have to do anything. You just have to sit. The values go up.'"

When the MacArthur "Genius Grant" Foundation jointly-owned the Fresh Meadows apartment complex with Harry Helmsley, its Fresh Meadows real estate managers apparently historically discriminated against African-American applicants. As Palace Coup: The Inside Story of Harry and Leona Helmsley by Michael Moss recalled in 1989:

"...One Fresh Meadows case in particular stood out. It was brought by the NAACP, and the issue was racial discrimination...The suit, filed in 1983, had some biting affidavits...Valerie Stroud, a police officer, testified...`It was my understanding that...Fresh Meadows did not rent to Black people.'

"Helmsley and the NAACP avoided a costly trial by agreeing to a settlement that both prohibited Helmsley from refusing to rent on the basis of race and required him to take a number of steps to encourage minorities to apply. A year later the NAACP was back in court, accusing Helmsley of violating the agreement by trying to convert the apartments into co-ops. Helmsley again settled the matter...The Open Housing Center, a non-profit citizens group monitoring Fresh Meadows, estimated that the number of Black families rose from less than one percent..."

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's September 24, 2017 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.
“September 24, 2017

“Dear Comrades

“I want to thank everyone who supported me during this difficult time. Cedric died on Sunday September 10. After a difficult year health-wise, he’d been in hospital for almost three weeks fighting yet another infection, perhaps multiple infections, and been given hefty doses of antibiotics and subjected to numerous tests, but it became clear he wasn’t responding, so we faced the heartbreaking decision of removing all life support and letting him die in peace.

“We sent him off in great style, celebrating his life at the Unitarian Church. It was warm and personal and a fitting tribute to this man who was my soul mate. We had been married for 64 years. I’m so thankful he didn’t end up in a nursing home.

“But life goes on. And while the world stands on the brink, with devastation and loss of life across the Caribbean and Mexico, Trump made his debut speech before the United Nations General Assembly, a 40-minute rant attacking socialism and communism and ‘rogue states’ Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. He openly threatened to wipe North Korea off the face of the earth, a nation that can barely feed its people and yet has to defend itself against an onslaught of Western hostility, ferocious UN sanctions and ongoing US/South Korean war games.

“America’s historical destruction of North Korea and today’s ongoing threats should be considered in the context of the living memory of its older generation. Pyongyang, a city of half-a-million people before 1950, at the end of hostilities had only two buildings left intact.

“Trump’s UN tirade was tailored for Americans who were born yesterday. It will go down in history as a marker of the final collapse of a terminally corrupt and rotten regime where any pretense of global co-operation has gone. And yet our local media hacks felt it was more important to treat his words with amusement and then headline a stupid story about a Tasmanian who shoved Abbott in the guts.

“But Trump is merely a ventriloquists’ dummy who read from a teleprompter transmitting to Americans words written by the Generals, all of them a distortion of historical fact. In a sane world, UN delegates should have handcuffed Trump and hauled him before a criminal court and shouted him down or walked out instead of listening to his litany of lies.

“The US has become the 4th Reich and we question whether the world can survive its brutal foreign policy. To our great shame, Australia supported his psychopathic threats, already up to our neck in America’s war crimes around the world. No wonder we’re on the skids. Amongst the world leaders, there was one who almost exceeded Trump in its mendacity and malignancy. Benjamin Netanyahu. For Israel’s leader, lying has become a creed.

“Robert Fisk honed in on Trump’s warped view of WW2 pointing out that it was Russia that bore the brunt of Hitler’s Wehrmacht and it was Russia’s destruction of Hitler’s military power that broke the Nazis. And it was Stalin who’d been pleading for a Second Front for two years. When Hitler marched into Poland and Norway and Holland and Belgium and Luxembourg and then France and threatened to invade Britain, the United States enjoyed a profitable period of neutrality - as it did for most of WW1 - until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, more than two years after WW2 began. We should also remember that it was Hitler who then declared war on the US, not the other way round.

“John Pilger writes about a heavily publicized recent TV series on ‘The Vietnam War’ shown on America’s highly corporatized PBS network (the ’P’ stands for Pentagon and Petroleum) directed by Lynn Novick and Ken Burns, experts at whitewashing the crimes of US imperialism. Their biggest backer, the Bank of America.

“The title itself is absurd. The Vietnamese called it ‘The American War’ which broadens the geographic lens to include Laos and Cambodia, when the world’s most powerful military empire invaded and assaulted a small peasant nation and its neighbors for more than a decade, spraying millions of tons of Agent Orange on to forests and crops ravaging and poisoning a once bountiful land, and frying human beings with napalm. No mention of Vietnamese dead, only Americans, justifying one of the great crimes of the 20th century, all too familiar to those who observe the close relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon and the CIA (with 70 years of high crimes under its belt).

“The rewriting of history never stops and the blood never dries, it seems, with the bloodthirsty invader purged of guilt, legitimizing subsequent wars of aggression. As Pilger writes: ‘The true scandal is the insidious assumption of power by sinister warmaking vested interests for which no American voted’…an historic shift of power in Washington.

"But where are the angry people? Where are the protests? Bishop Desmond Tutu put it this way. ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’

“Joan Coxsedge”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Does Cambridge's Draper Laboratory's Work For Trump's Pentagon Violate Nuremberg Accords and International Law?

According to Principle VI of the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunals, “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances” are “crimes against peace.” And according to Principle VII of the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunals, “complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

Yet at 555 Technology Square in the “Warmakers’ Republic of Cambridge” some of the folks at the “non-profit” Draper Laboratory who have apparently been personally enriching themselves by working for the U.S. military-industrial-university complex’s “permanent war machine” in the 21st-century are still being allowed by the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” to now do weapons technology development work for the Trump administration’s Pentagon in 2017—even if such war preparation research violates international law and helps prepare the Pentagon for a possible Trump administration military attack on North Korea.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Who Rules "Warmarkers' Republic of Cambridge"'s Draper Laboratory?

Sitting next to Scowcroft Group Principal Franklin Miller on the “non-profit” Draper Laboratory board of directors in recent years have been folks like the following people:

John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Emeritus Richard Roca, who was paid $45,000 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Escalade Inc. Chairman of the Board, G-III Apparel Group Director and Oppenheimer & Co. Managing Director Richard D. White, who was paid $40,824 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Former Lockheed Martin Space Systems Executive Vice-President and CommScope Holdings, Visteon and Tetra Tech Inc. corporate board member Joanne Maguire, who was paid $39,628 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Former Lockheed Martin Vice-President and former Aerospace Corporation CEO and current OSI Systems Director William Ballhaus, Jr., who was paid $37,000 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer, former Fidelity Investments Vice-President and General Counsel and BlackRock Equity-Bonds Funds Director Lena Goldberg, who was paid $33,895 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

MIT Professor and Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology CEO/Director Daniel Hastings, who’s also a trustee of the Aerospace Corporation that “operates a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force” which provides “engineering and acquisition management support as well as objective technical analyses and assessments to the Air Force,” according to the Aerospace Corporation’s website. And between June 2015 and July 2016, Aerospace Corporation Trustee and MIT Professor Hastings was paid $31,500 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors.

Former Central Intelligence Agency Operative and former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd, who was paid $7,625 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors;

Flybridge Captal Partners General Partner David Arnoff, of the Boston and New York-based speculation/venture capital investment firm, who was paid $6,125 between June 2015 and July 2016 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors; and

Lt. General Frank Kearney, a former Deputy Combatant Commander for United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) who “served in operational and command assignments at every level with combat tours in Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan” and “commanded all Theater Special Operations forces in the middle-east including OIF and OEF from March 2005 to June 2007”, according to the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point’s website, before setting up his own “consulting” company, Inside-Solutions-LLC, of which he is president. And between June 2015 and July 2016, Lt. General (Ret.) and Inside-Solutions President Kearney was paid $6,125 for sitting on Draper Laboratory’s board of directors. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cambridge's Draper Laboratory's Brent Scowcroft/Scowcroft Group Connection

Coincidentally, the Draper Laboratory Chairman of the Board since October 2013--a “Principal” of former Kissinger Associates Vice-Chairman Brent Scowcroft’s Scowcroft Group named Franklin Miller---previously worked “twenty-two years in the Department of Defense…and four years as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush” before joining The Cohen Group of former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen for five years, according to The Scowcroft Group’s website. And between June 2015 and July 2016, Scowcroft Group Principal Miller was paid $71,625 for being Draper Laboratory’s board chairman, according to Draper Laboratory’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing.

Besides being Draper Laboratory’s chairman of the board, Scowcroft Group Principal Miller—who “provides clients both strategic and tactical advice on defense”—has also, coincidentally, been a member of the Defense Policy Board, the U.S. Strategic Command Advisory Group and the Council on Foreign Relations. And in addition, he has, coincidentally, sat on the board of directors of EADS North America (a subsidiary of Airbus Group that profits from its Pentagon war and homeland security government contracts), the Sandia Corporation (which develops more modern nuclear weapons for the Pentagon) and the Atlantic Council of the United States (whose board of directors and international advisory chairman emeritus is, coincidentally, Scowcroft Group President and Principal Brent Scowcroft).

After joining former Nixon Administration Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s for-profit Kissinger Associates “consulting”/influence-peddling firm in 1982, Draper Laboratory board chairman Miller’s business partner at the Scowcroft Group, Brent Scowcroft, was hired by the government of Kuwait’s Kuwait Petroleum Corporation [KPC] to sit alongside Ali Jabar Al Ali Al-Sabah on the board of directors of KPC’s U.S. subsidiary at that time, Santa Fe International; and Scowcroft sat on the Kuwait government’s Santa Fe International corporate board in 1984, 1985 and 1986, according to Poor’s & Standard’s Register of Corporations. Yet in the early 1990’s the former director of Kuwait’s major U.S. subsidiary at that time—Scrowcroft Group President Scowcroft—was allowed to sit in a White House office as then-President H.W. Bush I’s National Security Affairs advisor. As the Scowcroft Group “consulting”/influence-peddling firm’s website notes:

“As President of The Scowcroft Group…Brent Scowcroft provides clients with unparalleled strategic advice and assistance…Brent Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. In this capacity, he advised and assisted a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global joint venture opportunities…His…twenty-nine-year military career…included… Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Military Assistant to President Nixon….Out of uniform, General Scowcroft...formerly served as the Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board...”

And not surprisingly, when the Iraqi troops of the now-executed Saddam Hussein marched into Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, it was the presentation of Scowcroft-- the former member of the corporate board of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s Santa Fe International U.S. subsidiary-- -- at a National Security Council meeting on Aug. 3, 1990, “that made clear what the stakes were, crystallized people’s thinking and galvanized support for a strong response” to the Iraqi military occupation of Kuwait, according to a Feb. 2, 1991 New York Times article;  and, at this meeting, “Scowcroft stated that..he believed the United States had to be willing to use force” and “that Saddam had to be toppled…covertly through the CIA, and be unclear to the world,” according to Bob Woodard’s 1991 book The Commanders. But after the United States began “to use force” in Iraq in January 1991,  U.S. military forces apparently killed around 100,000 Iraqis people in the 1991 Gulf War to restore Al-Sabah family monarchical rule in Kuwait, while at least 849 U.S. troops were either killed or wounded in the same war; and during the next 10 years more than 9,600 of the U.S. soldiers involved in the first Gulf War, who “were often required to enter radioactive battlefields unprotected and were never warned of the dangers of Depleted Uranium” weapons, reportedly also died, according to Project Censored’s Censored 2004 book.

Coincidentally, Draper Laboratory Chairman Miller’s 91-year-old Scowcroft Group business partner also currently is a “Strategy Partner” at Torch Hill Investment Partners, whose for-profit investment portfolio includes stock in Zephyr Photonics, which “is a US-based…photonics company that is focused on providing solutions to the Department of Defense, aerospace, and intelligence markets” that “has developed its unique technology over 60 contracts from US Government agencies…and defense prime contractors,” according to the Torch Hill Investment Partners website. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

`New York City Refugee' folk song lyrics

A folk song about how real estate developers, landlords, and their political allies gentrified New York City after 1971; and created a native New Yorker refugee population.


I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
But then I became
A New York City refugee.

The millionaires came
From all over the globe
And bought up Manhattan
And drove me from my home.

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
And when forced out of Brooklyn
Became a New York City refugee.

They gentrified Brooklyn
And part of the Bronx
They co-oped Manhattan
And Queens apartments.

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
On Staten Island I lived
But now I'm a New York City refugee.

Landlords and their lawyers
De-controlled rents
And with Wall Street developers
Ripped-off their tenants.

I was born in the Bronx
And I grew up in Queens
Many native New Yorkers
Are now New York City refugees.

But on the Lower East Side
These words are now heard:
"New York City refugees
Have the right to return!"

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Is Cambridge's Draper Laboratory Profiteering From War Research?

According to the tax-exempt and “non-profit” Draper Laboratory Form 990 financial filing for 2015, between June 27, 2015 and July 1, 2016 the Strategic Systems weapons technology development program of Draper Laboratory earned over $67 million more in revenues from its contract work than what it spent to do the contract work; between June 2015 and July 2016, Draper Laboratory’s Strategic Systems program’s revenues exceeded $445 million, while the Strategic Systems program’s expenses were only just under $378 million. Draper Laboratory’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing also noted that its Strategic Systems program has “been responsible for all of the U.S. Navy’s strategic guidance systems and are currently extending MK6 system life to 2042 through an extensive modernization effort that utilizes common processor and other key technical innovations to improve reliability and system performance” and has “also developed the guidance system for the air force peacekeeper ICBM.”

The National Security and Space program of the “non-profit” Draper Laboratory also earned more from its contract work than what it spent to do the work. Between June 2015 and July 2016, for example, Draper Laboratory’s National Security and Space program revenues of over $158 million exceeded its expenses of over $139 million by $19 million.  And Draper Laboratory’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing described the weapons technology development work of its National Security and Space program in the following way:

“Draper delivers national security systems and combat solutions as a highly valued government partner and design agent for our sponsors’ most difficult problems. We provide trusted, reliable mantime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), extreme miniature solutions for precision engagement, highly accurate guided aerial delivery, soldier-centered solutions, secure electronic and communications, and early intercept guidance for missile defense engagements. We help our sponsors to clarify their requirements, establish government owned designs and create system prototypes…”

From all of its sources of revenues between June 2015 and July 2016 (including income from dividends on the corporate stock it owns, for example), Draper Laboratory’s total revenues were over $676 million; which exceeded its total expenses (that included $1 million spent on lobbying) of over $639 million by nearly $37 million, although Draper Laboratory claims to be a “non-profit” organization. And during the same period, the value of Draper Laboratory’s net assets increased from over $364 million to over $379 million. In addition, between October 2014 and September 2016 the annual dollar amount of Pentagon weapons technology development contracts awarded Draper Laboratory increased from $273 million to $360 million, making it the 73rd-largest recipient of U.S. war research contracts in 2017.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Is Cambridge's Draper Laboratory Developing Weapons For Trump's War Machine?

Most people who live in Cambridge, Massachusetts don’t think that weapons technology development and “precision targeting”-related work for the Trump administration’s Pentagon war machine should be done in the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” in 2017. Yet in the “Warmakers’ Republic of Cambridge,” near MIT, Draper Laboratory is doing weapons technology development and “precision” targeting”-related work for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency—while Trump and his Secretary of Defense, former General Dynamics board member, James Mattis, threaten to issue orders for a war against people in North Korea. As a Sept. 7, 2017 Draper Laboratory press release, titled “Draper Awarded $36.M for Guidance, Navigation & Control Technology,” stated:

“The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded Draper a $36.9 million contract to perform technical and analytical services in support of the Agency’s efforts to evaluate, maturate, integrate and test guidance, navigation and control technologies.

“Under the contract, Draper will focus its work on sensors, modeling and simulation, radiation hardening, survivability, precision targeting and missile avionics development. The work will primarily be performed in Huntsville, Alabama and Cambridge, Massachusetts….”

According to the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency website, “North Korea has expanded the size and sophistication of its ballistic missile forces — from close-range ballistic missiles to ICBMs — and  has conducted an unprecedented level of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches since 2016,” but “Missile defenses can provide a permanent presence in a region and discourage adversaries…”

In the “Warmakers’ Republic of Cambridge,” nuclear war weapons technology development work, for the Trump administration’s and UK Tory government’s nuclear-armed missile-launching Trident submarines, is also being done in 2017 at Draper Laboratory. As Trump and Mattis’s Department of Defense noted in a Jan. 26, 2017 press release, “Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. is being awarded a $53,530,167 million fixed-price-incentive, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Trident (D5) MK 6 guidance system production," and the $53.5 million nuclear war preparation contract “includes failure verification, test, repair and recertification of inertial measurement units, electronic assemblies, and electronic modules." According to a Jan. 27, 2017 Sputnik news article:

“The Trident D-5 is a three-stage, solid-fueled submarine-launched intercontinental-range ballistic missile…It is…deployed on the US Navy's Ohio and newer Columbia class nuclear missile submarines.

“Work will be performed in the US states of Minnesota, Florida and Massachusetts…US Navy funds in the amount of $45,663,167 million and UK funds of $7,867,000 are being released for the award….”

Draper Laboratory is also doing U.S. Army weapons technology development work in Cambridge for the Trump administration’s Pentagon war machine in 2017. As a March 7, 2017 Draper Laboratory website press release, titled “Draper Joins Teams Awarded U.S. Army Contract for Defense of Space, Missile, Ground and High Altitude,” noted:

“…Draper plans to help…provide rapid response to immediate warfighter requirements to the U.S. Army. Draper has been selected to join several teams of defense contractors that will design, develop, demonstrate and integrate products and systems focused on the development of space, high altitude and missile defense and ground system capabilities, enabling warfighters to effectively support their mission….Draper’s contribution will be in support of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command’s (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration, or D3I, Domain 1 program….Under the D3I Domain 1 contract, Draper brings capabilities to the contract teams in mission-critical areas including space systems, integrated air and missile defense, avionics, surveillance, reconnaissance and guidance, navigation and control (GN&C). Draper’s contract work will primarily be performed in Huntsville, Alabama and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Draper has supported the U.S. military’s strategic mission for more than 60 years. For the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Draper has developed image navigation for precision guidance of munitions even when GPS is not available. In addition to working with navigation systems, Draper has assisted the Army with projects including cybersecurity, technology protection and miniature cryptography for high stress environments. Draper and the Army have also worked together on a vision-aided navigation system that addresses current limitations, including cloud cover, which degrades the system’s ability to correlate vision sensor inputs with satellite imagery.”

A May 19, 2016 press release of the Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey-based U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center’s website provided some additional details on the kind of weapons technology development work Draper Laboratory has been doing for RDECOM in recent years:

“Picatinny Arsenal engineers are among a group of researchers developing image navigation that would be used for precision guidance of munitions even when GPS is not available. The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, is leading the development of image-navigation techniques for precision-guided munitions.

“With image navigation, a target can be identified on any type of digital map, which along with its metadata, can be loaded into the munition-guidance processor….Other partners involved in the research are from Draper Labs, Army Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory and the Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center. Using the reference image, along with the image the munition sees, the munition can determine where it is and what course corrections are needed to precisely guide it to the desired aim point.

"`This technology has the potential to be a game-changer for how precision munitions are employed in various contested environments on the future battlefield,’ said [Christopher] Stout [the ARDEC project officer for Affordable Precsion Technologies]…

“The developing technology is designed to mitigate the current reliance on GPS for precision munitions and achieve the potential to transition to future increments of Excalibur, High Explosive Guided Mortar, or HEGM, and other future precision munitions.

“Ensuring the survivability of cameras and optics under the `high G’ shock of gun shock launch is being done by using ARDEC's modeling and simulation capabilities...ARDEC and Draper Labs are working closely to develop this simulation environment capable of virtually assessing system performance across all terrain and weather scenarios…”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

`Simon Legree Killed Tom' folk song lyrics

A protest folk song whose lyrics tell the story of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 19th-century anti-slavery protest novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," that was written after re-reading Stowe's novel in 2005.


Simon Legree killed Tom
When Tom did not inform
Simon Legree was master
But Slavery was wrong.

Tom lived in Kentucky
Where he sang religious songs
He worked hard for Mr. Shelby
Whose Kindness made Tom feel secure
But Shelby owed some money
To a greedy slave trader
So he sold him his slaves Tom
And Eliza and her kid. (chorus)

Eliza and her child
Ran away in the night
Crossed the Ohio River
By walking across on ice
But Tom was taken South
And forced to leave his wife
Yet another kindly master
Put hope back in Tom's life. (chorus)

Then Tom's master was stabbed
While breaking up a tavern brawl
To Tom he had promised freedom
Yet failed to sign all the forms
So when the master died
His cruel wife now sold Tom
At an auction in the slave market
Where mothers and children sobbed. (chorus)

Tom's new master was brutal
His name was Simon Legree
Ex-slaves were his overseers
And they whipped without mercy
In the field of the plantation
Picking cotton seven days a week
No time to read his Bible
Tom felt the worst kind of slavery. (chorus)

Simon Legree tried to make Tom
Become a person less saintly
By beating Tom all the time
To get him to renounce his beliefs
But Tom would not sell his soul
And when Legree's slave women escaped
Legree said "Tell me where they hide
Or a slave's death is your fate." (chorus)