This is how the one percent celebrate the earth

A Prose Poem Editorial by Sanjay Verma

Why is Dow responsible for the situation?
No one disputes the fact that Dow bought Union Carbide after the disaster occurred.
But when Dow purchased Union Carbide, it took on liability for the Bhopal tragedy.
It would be terribly convenient for Dow and other massive corporations
if the slate was wiped clean when a company was purchased.

But Dow didn’t just buy the profit sheet,
the shares and the expertise from Union Carbide.
They also bought their legacy,
the environmental tragedy ofBhopal
and the responsibility for it.

Dow must ensure that the site is cleaned up,
the victims finally get true justice and proper compensation.
If a company could escape liability for its malpractices
by arranging a merger or takeover,
then companies would be able to abuse human rights
and damage the environment with impunity. 

Poet’s note:

What happened inBhopal?

OnDecember 2-3, 1984, as the people of the central Indian town ofBhopalslept, an explosion caused over 40 tons of a deadly toxic gas, methyl isocyanate (MIC), and other gases from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant. The company executives could have warned the public, but instead they chose not to sound the emergency alarm bell in town.

The event occurred in the early hours of the morning ofDec 3rd 1984, at approximately12:30 a.m.By2am, most of the MIC had been dispersed over an area of 25 miles (40km), and the first deaths were reported to the police by3am. By morning, there had been 1,000 reported deaths, some as far as 5 miles (8 km) from the plant. 90,000 patients were seen in local hospitals and clinics within the first 24 hours, and in total, about 200,000 people suffered acute effects of the leak.

The preventableBhopaldisaster has claimed over 20,000 lives, and it is not over yet because members of the community continue to suffer from chronic health problems, cancer and birth defects.

How has Dow responded?

Dow claims that it is not responsible for the 1984Bhopalgas tragedy in any way. Despite that, they hired the same public relations firm that worked to tell people tobacco didn’t cause cancer, and that Foxconn hired to repair its public image around working conditions in Apple factories inChina.

Union Carbide paid $470 million in compensation to existing victims in 1989, amounting to less than $500 per victim whether they were blinded by the gas, developed terminal cancer from exposure, or suffered debilitating birth defects. To date, neither Union Carbide nor Dow has paid to clean up the site, and they have refused to even decommission the factory after the accident.

http://sumofus.org/campaigns/london-olympics/

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Defending human rights is not anti-Semitism.

A Rant by RootsAction

To understand the gist of the case against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, consider this statement that just came from Rep. Juan Vargas: “Questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.”

At RootsAction, we fundamentally disagree. Questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is not only acceptable — from the standpoint of human rights, it is essential.

https://rootsaction.org/

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A Banner

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

The jury’s asleep, the hologram
Hangs tickets on itself.

I want to ingest your mind
And set it
Free-walking.
Given the chance,
I want to return
Civilisation
To its civilians as
A mechanical golden glove
Counts us out
In a series
Of zeroes…
Indeed

I wish to be
The last to pass
Before
The dice, in turn,
Turns against
Its thrower.

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Why “all lives matter” communicates to Black people that their lives don’t

Here is the link to the site: https://news.yahoo.com/why-lives-matter-communicates-black-133751766.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=1_04

Please look at the comments.

Here’s my take:

I’m sorry, didn’t anyone read this essay. It made it clear that as long as people of color are disregarded, their lives do not matter. No one said anything against the police. No one was anti-white. No one said black lives matter more. The entire essay only said one thing: As long as black lives can be disregarded, their lives do not matter. Therefore, black lives matter as much as everyone else’s life.

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DOWSING

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

One blade of grass
will weather all seasons,
trawl a spider’s thread
through the Chimera wound
as D-Day approaches.

Listen. Do you hear the crib
shrieking empty
in the holster
of the wind? That’s
convergence!

One blade of grass – flexible,
covets the key
to antiquity
and stays
the discus thrower.

Not of this era – passers-by mistake
transparency for rubble.

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IRIS ORACLE [from Diary Of A Tear-cutter]

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

The dirty linen’s tumbled after
That last cursed war:
My crest fallen uncle can’t come back.

I’ve trekked from the shores of
San Remo, past cathedrals
That reek of Christian pitying…

To Valenza – where thirteen shrews
Wail in their eventide black
Beneath seven stars
Forming the shape of the plough

To find one stone commemorates you
Giuseppe, partisan shot
By German and provisionals of Italian militia.

‘And only my own kind will kill me,’ *
Sang a brother
Facing another diabolical accord.

Surely this is where grief spins
Its curtain calling
Among the fur trees:
The ritual of diametrical deceit.

Who’s fallen? Never our national astronomer
Nor the ragged pennant
Restored along with the invaders.

I taste the bitterness of sulphur
No scythe
Can cut clean

– And we begin to curse together.
We who’ve unbridled the blood lore
Still holding Valhalla proud.

[* a line from a poem by Osip Mandelstam]

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Would he say this about white people?

African Americans ‘probably ought to be’ shot more by police, a top Tulsa officer said
NBC News

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum on Wednesday blasted one of his police department’s top commanders after the officer denied there’s systemic racism in law enforcement, then said African Americans “probably ought to be” shot more.

Tulsa Chief of Police Wendell Franklin, the first African American to hold that position, on Thursday also denounced the incendiary comments made by Major Travis Yates.

https://news.yahoo.com/african-americans-probably-ought-shot-194500793.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=1_04

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Police fracture 75 year old man’s skull when one of them pushes him down, other policeman is ordered not to help the man, the police lie about it, President Trump backs the police story, etc. etc. etc.

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1932

A Short Story by DC Diamondopolous

Pa decided to join the Bonus Expeditionary Force. After dropping Ma and the youngsters off at Uncle Vernon’s, he let me ride the rails with him from our home in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, all the way to the Washington Freight Yard.

Pa and thousands of other veterans were demanding their bonus pay—the money they could have earned if they hadn’t gone off to fight for their country in the Great War. No man wanted to wait until 1945 to get paid, not while his family was starving. That’s why we came to Anacostia Flats, a swampy, muddy area along the Anacostia River across from the Capitol where we could see the dome. Ankle-deep in mud, Pa and I built our shanty along with forty-three thousand, counting wives and children—the biggest Hooverville ever, named after the president who no one seemed to like.

When the bank people came to take our farm, Pa rushed out of the house with a shotgun and fired over their heads, scaring me and Joey. Ma cried. The twins howled and clung to her flour-sack dress. Pa cursed the politicians, said they were just bumping gums when it came to veterans’ bonus pay.

We made our shack out of materials from the nearby dump site—old lumber, packing boxes, and scrap tin. Pa and I worked shoulder to shoulder. He started calling me Tom instead of Tommy.

Other veterans were scattered around Washington in deserted billets, but Camp Marks was the heartland. We built a real city with streets, latrines, a barber shop, a lending library where I spent most of my time, and a boxing ring, where Pa liked to spar.

For breakfast and dinner, everyone ate a stew made of potatoes, onions, and hotdogs. We lived on Pennsylvania Road, a place I called home.

Next door was a colored man from Harrisburg and his son Cornelius.

Pa said two things made a man equal—fighting for your country and taking care of your family—so it appeared, ‘cause everyone got along. Pa said the newspapers lied, wanting to cause trouble, saying the races couldn’t mix, and that communists were infiltrating the camp. How could that be when everyone had to show their service certificate?

One day, Pa and I walked to the top of the bluff where we looked over the entire encampment. From poles and shanties, hundreds of American flags rippled in the breeze, showing how much we loved our country.

That night we took our meal back to our shack. Pa gulped his down and said, “War makes rich men richer. Remember that, son, before you go off to be a pawn in a rich man’s game.” I didn’t eat much after that. Pa’s anger and bitterness filled my belly instead.

A few days after we settled in, we walked to the Capitol where the House of Representatives took a vote on the Bonus Bill. Pa and I wore white shirts and bib overalls, wool caps—hot for June, but that’s what we had, being farmers and all. Other men dressed in wrinkled suits and worn fedoras. The tall columns dwarfed the people on the steps. Veterans sang, “America,” the air itself charged with hope.

When the organizer, Mr. Waters, came out and said the House passed the bill, I never heard such whooping and hollering. Tears ran down Pa’s cheeks. Hats twirled in the air, cheering going on for near half an hour. We had money and could go home.

But when we headed back, Pa said, “Son, this is just one hurdle, the Senate has to pass the bill and that’ll be harder.”

“Why?”

“More Republicans in the Senate.”

What seemed whacky to me was how something so sensible, like paying people their due, had to be voted on in the first place.

That night sleep came in jerks.

Two days after the House passed the bill, we went to the Capitol for the Senate vote. Veterans held signs reading, No Pay We Stay, Give Us Our Bonus Or Give Us A Job.

Pa’s fists stretched the holes in the pockets of his overalls, his jaw working back and forth. I could feel him wanting to get into the ring while we waited. He took off his cap and looked to the heavens.

Pa’s bonus money went down in the Senate. He said it was like the crash of ‘29 all over again.

I was too old to take his hand, but I let him take mine.

“We’re staying on son, until justice is done.”

Some folks left. But many stayed, with more coming from out west to join in the protest.

Toward the end of July, Hoover demanded that all veterans go home, but most had no home to go to.

On July 28, thousands of us walked to the Capitol. Food was becoming scarce at Camp Marks, so everyone looked gaunt, but we were righteous in our cause, and that gave us strength.

Police walloped the protesters with their billyclubs. We broke through their line and ran. Gun shots fired. Women screamed. It turned into a riot, and then I saw the U.S. Army marching toward us.

There was infantry, soldiers on horseback, tanks. They were coming to rescue us. Overjoyed, I cheered along with Pa and everyone else. The army aimed their rifles. Sunlight glinted off the tips of their bayonets. But then—

. . . they were charging at us!

Bile roared in my stomach. They hurled gas grenades. People scattered.

I hacked, snot poured from my nose. I experienced Pa’s pain from being gassed in the war.

Veterans threw rocks at the army.

I shuddered, knowing my father could be killed by his own.

We ran toward the flats.

But what we were running to suddenly rose up in flames—the shanties, the library, all of Anacostia Flats.

Pa put his arm around my shoulder while we watched our city burn. I held back tears, wanting to be strong for my father.

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A Fable for the Bees

A Poem by Anon ymous

Paint me the Agent Orange sky. 
I want to remember the fable of the bees.
You told it to me the weekend we lived
with the monks; told me we had to make
love quietly but it was ferocious; as if it
were our last time on earth. When we over-
heard the woman next door praying rosary,
we stifled laughs, hands over mouths;
comfortable in our sin. Then you pinned
my arms to the bed, kissed me hard;
whispered the story. Please. Paint it.
I want to feel the blood buzz; the flutter
of your dress in summer, the exploding of Monsanto.

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