Darth Vader Welcomes Modi to Death Star: Says Gujarat was Model for Galactic Empire

PM Narendra Modi of India is continuing his trips to foreign lands and arrived in the Galactic Empire, the first Indian Prime Minister to do so.

Earlier today, Darth Vader welcomed PM Narendra Modi to the Death Star. Modi inspected a Guard of Honor consisting of a regiment of Storm Troopers wearing Saffron body armor. Modi was also presented with a Light Saber which uses a laser that emits in the 56″ Saffron wavelength. Modi in turn presented Darth Vader with a traditional Hindu sword.
Darth Vader congratulated the PM on his election and hoped that Modi would discard the Constitution entirely instead of chipping away at it slowly. Vader said that the Galactic Empire (GE) had drawn inspiration from Gujarat and the two regimes had much to learn from each other. Modi congratulated Darth Vader on the design of the Death Star and noted that ancient Hindu Vedic scientists had in fact launched several “Mrutyu Taras” before Bharat was invaded by Muslims and Christians.

The two leaders held talks which varied from comparing the size of their chests to bilateral trade in weapons. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed under which a contingent of Storm Troopers will train a newly formed elite regiment of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh recruits to be known simply as the SS (Saffron Stormtroopers). In return India will transfer highly complex Vedic technologies to the Galactic Empire.

Modi also promised the seizing of agricultural land, for GE corporations to set up manufacturing plants and also a GE military base to protect trade routes from terrorism. The two leaders have also instructed their militaries to conduct joint anti-terrorism exercises.

To promote education, Dina Nath Batra of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan will visit and train, up and coming teachers of the Empire.

Before his departure Modi was entertained with the destruction of a Class 4 Moon which Modi said reminded him of the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat.

Modi also held brief talks with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu who also happened to be visiting the Galactic Empire.

(Correction: Modi’s press secretary issued a statement saying that Modi did not say “pogrom” and that he was referring to the “program” known variously as the “Smiling Buddha” or Operation Shakti which launched Hindu nationalism into the nuclear age in 1998.)

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Convenient omissions – the Economist way

It is pretty clear at this time that the Western press can pass anything off as commentary. This is generally taken to mean expert opinion and analysis. Take a look at this Economist article, entitled ‘The lesson from Turkey’. The subtitle is ‘Islamist parties that follow the rules should be allowed to win elections’.

I did not know that candidates in free and fair elections were ‘allowed to win’! But what would I know about free and fair elections. I live in the United States after all. The second thing I did not know about elections was this whole thing about rules. Whose rules, may I ask, should be followed? Is that why Hamas was not ‘allowed to win’ after it had won? Did it follow the wrong rules?

The article then goes on to talk about Iran. The Iranians didn’t take very kindly to Shah Reza’s (Shah Reza was installed by the British in 1921) reforms especially those aimed at ‘forcibly reducing the force of Islam’.

The article makes no mention (of course) of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution that culminated in 1906, in the adoption of a Parliamentary monarchy and a Constitution modeled on the Belgian constitution. This was at least a decade before Shah Reza’s supposed reforms. One wonders whose reforms they really were.

The article then fast forwards us to 1979 which is just ‘one less effectual Shah later’ because nothing could possibly happen in half a century that could be of any significance.

But we should really pause and discover what happens in the blur of fast forwarded history and what ‘less effectual’ Shah’s are capable of doing.

1951 – Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh is elected Prime Minister in the Iranian parliament by a vote of 79-12

Soon after this, Mossadegh announces the nationalization of the Anglo Iranian Oil Company (now of course know as British Petroleum).

1953 – Mossadegh is deposed in a coup organized by the CIA (Operation Ajax) at the behest of the British. They were not pleased that they had lost oil concessions due to expire in 1993. They had also convinced Eisenhower that Mossadegh would not be a bulwark against Communism.

1953 – Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the ‘less effectual Shah’ is installed as the rightful leader of Iran.

1953 – 1979 – The puppet Shah regime wreaks havoc with human rights and political dissent and unleashes the Savak (Iranian secret police) on the Shah’s subjects.

Presumably the ‘less effectual Shah’ played by the rules and so was allowed to stay in power.

This is a typical example of how the corporate media omits inconvenient historical fact in order to propagate myths. An uncritical reading of this article would only serve to reinforce stereotypes of ‘Islamist’ parties, Middle Eastern unwillingness to reform by reducing the impact of Islam and so on. But the corporate media is able to get away with this precisely because they have reinforced the myth that the corporate media is honest and critical and therefore it’s readers do not need to analyze further but can accept these commentaries as fact.

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A Eulogy for All Victims of US Terrorism

President Obama delivered a eulogy for the victims of white terrorism in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 26, 2015. What could have been a beautiful, heartfelt and sincere moment of grief, ended in yet another tragedy. We found Obama suddenly forgetting his humanity, turning to petty patriotism, and concluding by asking god to “continue to shed his grace on the United States of America.”

What has been forgotten in the midst of this terrible tragedy, and in the rightful outrage about the Confederate flag, is that Dylann Roof is a product of the violent, racist and hyper-capitalist United States of America. The victims of racist, white terrorism in Charleston are equally, if not more, victims of the terrorism of the modern, capitalist US state. The socio-economic, political, cultural and psychological conditions that created Dylann Roof were not created in isolation by his parents. They were carefully and intentionally crafted, over decades, by the US state on behalf of capital in the latter’s endless, depraved and violent search for cheap resources and labour, and markets with perennially indebted consumers. The easy availability of guns is just one of the conditions, courtesy of the US state, that were necessary for Dylann Roof to carry out his terrorist attack.

And the US state on which Obama wishes the grace of some god, routinely visits rape, torture and death on innocent foreigners, also on behalf of capital. There is no difference in being killed by a racist, white American in South Carolina, being tortured by an indoctrinated CIA private contractor in Guantanamo, being blown to bits by a missile launched from a US warship, or turning a wedding into a funeral with a drone attack. The capitalist US state is the killer.

But maybe Obama was invoking a different god. The capitalist god that the US has always worshipped, sheds grace down from invisible drones, F-16s and cruise missiles with an equally despicable flag, the “Stars and Stripes”, emblazoned on them. Sometimes this god sheds grace by taking away food stamps or taking away homes and medical care, or by giving permission to pollute, frack and drill.

And while that kind of grace produces shock and awe, there is nothing amazing about it.

And in our outrage at the dastardly and routine murder of thousands of black men and women, and girls and boys, at the hands of the US state, we cannot afford to forget that hundreds of thousands of people around the world are also routinely murdered by the US state.

Because if we can afford to forget, we’ll be left hoping that someone will sing “Amazing Grace” at our own eulogies, after we’ve killed every living thing on the rest of the planet.

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Capitol Punishment

Politicians love death and violence and American politicians are no exception. Violence of course does not mean simply physical harm, as MLK pointed out. American politicians have a propensity to inflict violence on the poor, other races, other nationalities, those who subscribe to other ideologies or worship other gods i.e. not the one that continues to bless America and who tends to speak to Republican leadership. In the past decade (and apparently for eons to come), as part of  the”War on Terror”, or as the financial industry likes to call it “Heady Days for Makers of Weapons“, death and violence have been inflicted mainly on Iraqis and Afghans. But for decades before the “War on Terror” started,  American politicians were covertly destroying fledgling secular democracies through coups d’etat or by imposing Friedman’ian “structural adjustment programs” designed by unscrupulous academics at the IMF, through proxy dictators like Pinochet. So having waged war both overtly and covertly for a century, American politicians had almost run out of people to destroy. In a grotesque interpretation of Gandhi’s dictum, “We must be the change we want to see in the world”, American politicians have finally turned their gaze on those of their own people that they haven’t already destroyed. It is now the turn of the membership of the last remaining frayed strands of labor struggle in the US – the public unions. This punishment is being meted out from the state capitols by the newly anointed Republican governors in various states. The mid-West, however, has taken center stage. In Wisconsin, Michigan and other states, Republican governors are stripping collective bargaining rights and essential public services under the guise of austerity measures. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin budget for instance includes $900 million in cuts to public schools, a 24% cut in aid to counties, a 9% cut in aid to cities and a $500 million cut to Medicaid. On the other hand he also want $82 million in tax cuts in addition to the $114 million that were already given away to businesses! It’s the same old story – gifts for the elites, violence for the downtrodden. In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage even wants to remove a pro-labor mural from the State’s Labor Department because it is not in keeping with the Labor Department’s “pro-business” priorities!
There is only one way to make sense of all this and it is perfectly “rational”. It all hinges on the fact that America is a “Christian” nation, the fact that corporations are natural persons and the fact that CEOs, like Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, are “doing god’s work“. God has recreated himself in the image of the American CEO because executives had started to usurp His authority. Churches are run like corporations and CEO’s have assumed god-like stature and powers in the past few decades. Executives can move mountains, change the course of rivers, “save the world” and throw millions into poverty. The reward for this is, presumably, access to the pearly gates. For the rest of us there’s only capitol punishment.
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McDervaes, Urban McSteading – I’m Hatin’ It

America thrives on mythology. We love inventing and believing myths about ourselves. America is exceptional we crow from our SUVs while our kids, in the middle seat, watch a Caucasian looking Aladdin win the heart of a burka-less, stylized, Oriental Jasmine copyrighted by Disney. We love democracy and freedom, we bray, while watching video feeds of Pakistani civilians, our allies in the War on Terror, being blown to shreds by drones. And we love free markets, we trumpet, as we watch the Paulson’s and Geitner’s making terse speeches about their equally terse three-page letters demanding that patriotic Americans mortgage their future to the tune of $700 billion to save Lloyd Blankfein’s lifestyle. And that’s just the neo-liberals and the American “right”.
On the alleged left, we have the Dervaes family from Pasadena, who have staked their claim on the supposedly sparsely populated wasteland of urban homesteading. You see they invented urban homesteading (in 1985 apparently) and therefore are the rightful guardians of all things to do with urban homesteading. In it’s infinite wisdom, the PTO of course granted them the trademark. In addition to procuring copyrights, the Dervaes’ shamelessly sent letters asking people to not use the term “urban homesteading” because you see it is their “intellectual property”. This is in keeping with the great American free market tradition of Myriad Pharmaceuticals’ IP rights on certain breast cancer genes, Monsanto deserving money from farmers whose land has been contaminated with GM canola and McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”. You see Myriad discovered the breast cancer gene just as Columbus discovered the “New World” and then successive waves of Europeans discovered that there was no one there! And Monsanto discovered RR Canola in Percy Schmeiser’s farm. And McDonald’s discovered that the American people are “lovin’ it”!
The Dervaes are simply shameless “free-market” loving capitalists. Their myth is that they “invented” urban homesteading – “they defined its current, specific application“. They could have chosen to use the Creative Commons license to secure and share their knowledge but in McDervaes’ian fashion they chose to go free market on the community.
Unfortunately the world is a changin’. The world doesn’t believe in myths any more. I believe that the McDervaes have a trademark on urban homesteading as much as I believe that Twitter and Facebook led to democracy in Egypt. I am willing to grant that the Dervaes deserve a copyright on Urban McSteading. But a trademark on urban homesteading? I’m Hatin’ It! And from now on this is how I will be writing it – 

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