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Date: June 13, 2019

On 06-13-19 Today’s Rant Is: Slavery Was Not a Choice and Neither is This

“If this is not gender based slavery,

then what is it?”

Philip Drucker, Esq.

Hate takes many different shapes, sizes and forms. Its masks are legion but once removed they always reveal the same sulfurous concoction of fear, loathing, anger, rage and yes, evil. Hate is not difficult to spot. There’s always division, derision, derogation and desolation. An innocent, an enemy. Usually the righteous throwing of stones. Us and them. Inevitably, the differences among us become the excuse for otherwise baseless acts of retribution, often involving some sort of cleansing and most unfortunately the justification for violence.

Slavery didn’t end due to any monumental change in culture or attitude toward those who were not “like” us, but rather it was no longer legally tenable to treat our fellow human beings as anything other than what they were. Human. With the advent of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, no longer were slaves property, or at best 3/5th of a person. The newly freed slaves were deemed “persons” and hence entitled to all the benefits and protections afforded by US citizenship. The end of the US Civil War brought for many a birth into a new life of personhood and equality under our laws. We got that one right.

Hatred in the form of legislation has again raised one of its many hydra heads this time to strike at a target we all thought was safe from the degradation and consequences of slavery. I speak of Women and their anti-abortion legislation generated banishment (return?) to less than a full person legal status based on nothing more than their gender and ability to create life.

The recent wave of draconian, unconstitutional and inhumane anti-abortion laws reducing a woman with child, in some instances pregnant without her legal consent (rape and incest), to nothing more than property of the state. A vessel, a host, a baby machine not worthy of even consideration when she may have life-threatening complications. This in the name of protecting the rights of the unborn. Pitting mother against child in this manner is an abomination of all that is just and right. Where is the humanity?

These so-called “heartbeat” or “moment of conception” laws without any exception for rape or incest combined with giving parental rights to rapists and family members is indentured servitude for life based upon the illegal exploitation of the basic female human reproductive system. The woman’s unique gift of creativity becomes the source of her imprisonment, the loss of her individuality, the loss of economic autonomy resulting in abject servitude and submission to the will of another All without her consent. With the approval of government. If this is not gender based slavery, then what is it?

Constitutionally speaking, under the 10th Amendment the states were granted the “Police Power.” This power is best described as the ability to fulfill their duty and obligation to prepare and maintain the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. This spate of abhorrent laws attempt to redefine the moment of “person”, thereby allowing the unborn child full legal citizenship and its attendant rights at a far earlier stage. This, in and of itself, is not necessarily a problem. But what happens when the rights of the unborn supplant the rights of the living? What happens when the life of the mother is considered, in all instances, of less value than the yet-to-show-its-life as a separate entity is even viable? The implications are frightening.

On a more personal level, the thought of forcing a mother to watch her innocent, beautiful child born of rape or incest call a violent, degenerate criminal “daddy” sickens me. Yes, it does.

Come Together, and Give Peace A Chance, Too.

What’s ‘today’s’ 50-Year-old Issue – here featuring ‘The Bed-In’ in Montreal – have to do with our current 2019 reality? It’s a Double-Header ~ all wrapped up in those 2 song titles of this Throwback Thursday. (Ah… you hadn’t noticed?) And, I’ll say, too, that John Lennon is our central figure… as he wrote both of them.

First, I think it’s a given as to why “Give Peace a Chance” is still relevant – since it was first penned, it’s been a half-century of war without cessation. And, yet, the news of the day is that our own Administration is upping the ante – it’s fighting hard  to sell arms – 8 Billion+, as a matter of fact – with the newly raised old argument of ‘maintaining the ‘Balance of Power’ in order to prevent war’.

And, oh, yes… once the Executive Branch slaps Congress aside, it will need to (again, just like in the good old days) help out all those other countries we just put at a disadvantage. But, hey, it makes those cash registers ring, doesn’t it, Mr. Trump?
Pardon me for a moment, and let me slip in this fun fact:  in the 130 or so of these 50-Year-old Throwback Thursday Issues I’ve written since the 2016 Inauguration, I’ve not ever — not even once –  typed in that person’s name into this feature.  Does that seem odd?

Or not any more odd than the fact that Give Peace A Chance, recorded in early June ’69, was an undeniable anti-war anthem of immense popularity (hot on the Billboard Hot 100 when released in early July, sung that November by 500,000+ demonstrators on the Vietnam Memorial Day, rechartering in ’81, and making it to #1 with a Yoko Ono vocal in 2008) – ALL without ever saying that ugly 3-letter word.

Yeah, I, too, thought and did get away without pointing to the obvious  – but now it seems that not naming he who should be nameless is, essentially, pointless.  And maybe even dangerous, in that it’s important that we all recognize that this is not America’s native orientation, this is Trump’s. And it is he who has to be tossed before America is forced, by him, to take a step too far.

So let that song’s mainline hum away in your head and keep you on track,.  Let’s hope it keeps us all on track.

As to that other song – well, hey, it’s too much fun to miss – so I’m putting in the video link right now.  (You can go to it below.) But, first, how does it possibly relate to anything here, at all??  Well… there’s John – as mentioned previously – and Timothy (the ‘Timmy’ in GPAC) and our own, current, rush by just about everyone to run for Office.  In those days, Leary, too, had it in his head – he thought Cali was ready to have him as its Governor.

With a campaign slogan of “Come Together, join the  party.” he had John write it’s theme song!  So far, so good, right? Not quite.  He still had a date with the judge on another marijuana charge and – unbelievably – wasn’t keen on Lennon’s effort.  He turned it down, but it turned out OK – John eventually got out of bed, re-wrote, and re-purposed it. Now, too, an anthem on it’s own, here’s “Come Together” featuring its un-credited, but actual, co-writer (nope, Paul didn’t have a thing to do with this one). Enjoy – I know you know all the words 🙂

Is that all for this Issue? Heck, no.  After all, it is our largest to date ~ 72 pages divided into 3 parts. There’s our leading section of poli sci insights, this one reporting on the wide-spread Venice drug busts of John Does, a troubling coming-soon-to-us visit by the Subversive Activities Control Board, LACC campus politics, Chicanos busted by informers,  the conundrum of the 2 James earl Ray(s), the Guatemala situation, the winning ways of the GI Mutiny,  and the dangerous development of the women vs. the institution of marriage(!), and our ever-entertaining Letters to the Editor.

A section section is devoted to the art scene – what’s ‘playing’ and what can be thought about it all – by Gene Youngblood, Liza Williams, Paul Schrader, John Wilcock, Harlan Ellison, and others. The 3rd section, is our monthly Living Arts. In this one  you could find book reviews (i.e. Die Nigger Die by Rap Brown, reviewed by Earl Ofari, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution by John Womack, reviewed by Alex Apostolides, and many more by other writers you might not have thought worked for the LA Free Press), an article on the LA radio market, poetry, interviews with or pieces on artists of all genres (this edition – Ginsberg by Lawrence Lipton, and John Mayall interviewed by John Carpenter).  There’s even a serialization of an un-published book by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan!






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