Biden Blasted Over Upcoming Modi Summit - The Monday AM Quickie 6/19/23

On this Juneteenth I hope we start to see emancipation as an ongoing process more than a pinpoint in history. - Corey

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Human Rights Activists Are Feeling Pessimistic

Politico sent a reporter to the annual Oslo Freedom Forum and found that dissidents and human rights campaigners from around the world gathered there are "running short on hope amid the rise of increasingly nimble, tech-savvy adversaries."

"The state of the modern human rights movement is rather dire," said Ramy Yaacoub, who works on Middle East issues for the Open Society Foundations, a grant-making network founded by liberal billionaire financier George Soros. "Back in the day, human rights groups were ahead of the curve. But autocratic regimes have learned from that. They're investing in their tactics, and they're coordinating." ...
If activists fail to find new methods, they say, dictators are likely to grow even more emboldened.

Many advocates say new thinking is needed if human rights campaigners are to keep up with ever-more sophisticated techniques of tyranny deployed by autocratic governments. The world's nominal democracies are no great help, being concerned with their own economic interests before human rights. What's more, the war in Ukraine "has become an excuse for Western leaders to go easy on abusive governments elsewhere in the world" -- and the same goes for great power rivalries such as the U.S. competition with China.

HuffPost reports that human rights groups are livid about the fascist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's coming visit to Washington, D.C. next week. Modi, who was banned from the U.S. in 2005 for supporting anti-Muslim pogroms as chief minister of Gujarat, has overseen a rise in Hindu nationalist sentiment as prime minister, undermined the rights of religious minorities, and cracked down on press freedom. But nevertheless, "Biden is hoping to secure a package for India to buy dozens of U.S.-made armed drones worth billions of dollars in an effort to strengthen U.S.-India ties amid China's growing influence." Who really here, and at what cost?

In related news, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres says in a new paper that two other major postwar institutions, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, have benefited rich countries at the expense of poor ones and need reform.

"Some governments are being forced to choose between making debt repayments or defaulting in order to pay public sector workers — possibly ruining their credit rating for years to come," Guterres said, adding that "Africa now spends more on debt service costs than on health care."

It's only taken one generation for the head of the UN to adopt the talking points of a turn-of-the-millennium anti-globalization protester, so there may be some cause for optimism in all this.

2024 Watch: AFL-CIO Hosts Biden in Philly

  • Biden Kicks Off Campaign with Labor Rally "If the investment bankers of this country went on strike tomorrow, no one would notice," Joe Biden said Saturday in Pennsylvania, calling himself "the most pro-union president in American history." via the Guardian.
  • DeSantis Is Out of Touch with His Own Generation The floundering fascist Florida Gov.'s campaign is emphasizing his youth, but most voters in his age bracket disagree with him on big issues such as abortion, climate change, and racial justice. via the New York Times.
  • Republicans Could Lose North Carolina if Trump Wins Nomination Biden's campaign is "hoping to take advantage of the same demographic changes that turned Virginia into a Democratic state 15 years ago and let Biden win Georgia in 2020." via HuffPost.
  • Election Unlikely to Fix Government Legitimacy Crisis With Trump's criminality looming over everything, experts see "a gloomy prospect for restoring a thriving democracy" in next year's presidential election. via the Washington Post.

Mass Shootings in Multiple States Leave 4 Dead

Four people were killed and dozens injured in Sunday night shootings in Illinois, Missouri and Washington State, NBC News reports.

At least one person was killed with 19 more injured at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Illinois, a southwest suburb of Chicago...
The shooting came hours after two people were killed and three injured near the the Beyond Wonderland electronic dance music festival [at the Gorge] in Washington State. ...
Another deadly shooting took place just after 1 a.m. in St. Louis, Missouri. One person was killed and 9 others injured.

There have been at least 307 mass shootings in the U.S. this year.


  • Uganda Terrorists Kill 41 in Assault on Private Boarding School The Defense Ministry blamed the Allied Democratic Forces, a militant group allied with the Islamic State, for Friday night's attack near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. via the New York Times.
  • Israel's Netanyahu Plans to Move Ahead with Judicial Coup This Week "Protest leaders said they were ready for another round of demonstrations that would make sure 'every attempt to harm Israel's democratic justice system will fail.'" via the Associated Press.
  • China Agrees to High-Level Diplomatic Visit to U.S. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing for more than seven hours yesterday, will reciprocate with a future visit to Washington, D.C. via the Washingto Post.
  • Teamsters Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize UPS Strike "If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hard-working members deserve, UPS will be striking itself," union president Sean O'Brien said. via Vice News.


49 percent

That's how many Americans in a recent survey said political violence was "always," "frequently," or "occasionally" acceptable if "leaders from the party in power disobey the laws while prosecuting their political opponents who disobey the same laws." However, per the Washington Post, approximately two-thirds of respondents said they would "'never' support activities 'like killing, injuring, harassing, or doxxing ordinary people with whom they disagree politically."


6/19: Happy Juneteenth! Sam and Emma speak to Imani Perry, professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, to discuss the history and legacy of Juneteenth, as well as the importance of its becoming a federal holiday.


What Is Juneteenth?

It's interesting to hear it discussed as a "'day of' work," not off work.

Free Speech Fraud Elon Musk Caught Aiding India's Censorship

Emma talks to Intercept reporter Murtaza Hussain.


"How difficult is it to deceive the public? I would say, as a former insider, one becomes aware: It's not difficult to deceive them."

-- Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, speaking to the writer Norman Solomon about how hard it is to inform the American public about the ugly realities of empire. Ellsberg died on Friday of pancreatic cancer at age 92.

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