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June Terpstra's photo.
 

My name is Dr. June Terpstra. This is my website for students every where.  I began teaching at Northwestern University in 1986 until 1993 and I have been teaching ever since at a variety of universities including CSU Global, Arizona State West, Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University and Loyola University Chicago. 

Concurrent with teaching in major universities in the USA, I developed and directed a shelter program for abused women and children, abuse prevention projects for elementary and high school students, a youth center in Chicago, and anti-discrimination programs for universities in Illinois and California.  My work as an advocate for justice and equity for all people led me to focus my teaching in Justice Studies and Criminal Justice for the past 15 years. 

I am presently teaching Justice Studies full time at Northeastern Illinois University where I teach courses such as Justice and Inequality, Law and Terrorism and Theories of Justice and Social Change.  I formally attended Governors State University in Illinois where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Language and Literature and a Masters of Arts in the Social Sciences.  I completed my doctoral degree at Loyola University Chicago in Social Science Research Methodology focusing on justice studies.  Global justice, race and ethnic relations, ethics and social justice have been the primary focus of my research, teaching and community advocacy and organizing!  Additionally, during the past 20 years I provided expert testimony in court cases;  participated in research projects in Greece, England, Belgium, Chicago, Atlanta and Rome, Italy,  and wrote for independent media outlets in the USA and Italy.  I have a lot of energy and enjoy keeping very active in both work and play.  I love to swim, practice yoga, travel, attend concerts, sing, and dance!  

I hope you find this website helpful.  DrT

“Stand by your Man”: The Hegemonic Harpies and World Domination

Hollow men final copy_0.preview
Artwork Jenny Starr

Hollow Women of the Hegemon Part II
by Dr June Terpstra

“Those who have crossed
with direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
remember us—if at all—not as lost
violent souls, but only
as the hollow men
The stuffed men.

… This is the way the world ends” ~“The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot

 

HOLLOW WOMEN OF THE HEGEMON PART II: ATROCITY ENABLING HARPIES

Dr June Terpstra: “This article is an update of the article I wrote in 2008 titled “Hollow Women of the Hegemon”.  It is about the hollow women, the stuffed women, who help the hollow men who are devoted to profit, power, plunder and pollution.  The word, hegemon, is used to identify the class, state or group with the most power that is responsible for the dissemination of dominant power group’s ideas, systems and practices that most benefit those in power and those who rule for them.

Since WWII the US government and it’s corporate elites reached the top position in the world.  Their ascendency was the result of being the most violent and aggressive military with the most weapons of mass destruction and hence The Hegemonic force in the world.  The most fundamental mission that the US Hegemon faces is how to maintain power.

Hegemonic power distribution across the globe historically and presently faces counter-hegemonic forces wanting sovereignty, redistributive and transformative social and economic change. For over 500 years this power base has been held by Euro-American white patriarchal capitalist men of a global ruling class that only allowed more men into the Hegemon.  The men of the Hegemon must constantly calculate and recalculate the power ratios and make projections of who to allow at their table, with the ultimate concern being how to preserve its dominant position at the least cost.

In this process they made deals with Saudi, African, Latin American and Asian men.  Men in power during the past century faced consistent pressure to include women to the Hegemon.  Once these men were convinced that there were economic and social gains to allowing women to the Hegemonic table they began the process by inviting their mothers, wives, daughters, mistresses, and friends to seats at the decision making table.

Next, in a deliberate conscious manner they allowed women into the secret services, militaries, academies and cultural centers to be groomed for power positions that would benefit existing power holders.  The Hegemon relies on submission to its rules by the other main actors to sustain its role of domination so who better than “Daddy’s Girls” to do some of the dirty work of maintaining the Hegemon.

Historically using coercion and deceptions to uphold the rules can alienate as well as intimidate so by putting a womanly face on oppression, they employed a cunning positive incentive toward those that are willing to behave in accordance with their rules for a piece of the swag.

These “First wave” women of the modern day Hegemon even adjusted the rules to include torture, rape and assassination of sovereign state leaders, the establishment of more prisons, rendition, illegal invasions and occupations, and sponsorship of new terrorist groups to deflect potential challenges.  These women did not flinch at using brutal force against those states and groups who were clearly unwilling to abide by hegemonic rules.

This article is still a call warning the people not to follow the women leaders who stand by their HegeMan. This is a call for women not to vote with their vaginas and believe the myth that women have essential characteristics that make them more nurturing, empathic, and non-violent.

This is a call for women and men who will stand to resist and defend the people against the tyrannical US, UK, EU, and Israeli governments posing as democracies. This is a call to us all to end the oppression of globalized militarized debt based economics that funds all wars, profiting from state terror while fomenting all states of terror.”

HIS-STORY IS HER-STORY

The interlocking directorate of male rulers who employed the modern “First Wave” women leaders, chose Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Corazon Aquino, Benazir Bhutto, Madeline Albright, Janet Reno, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton, because they were loyal daughters, wives, and sisters of the men of the Hegemon.

These early “mothers” reveled in their power fomenting economic terrorism against the poor, wars, invasions, and occupations for the Oligarchs. These early women in power were focused on power for themselves “in solidarity” with their men.

Thatcher Reagan
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: A Special Relationship

They neither represented the liberal feminists “ethic of care” or the revolutionary women’s demand for a radical reordering of society. Instead they joined the front lines in the agenda to, as Kissinger stated, “depopulate” the women, men and children of the planet, through their endless wars.

The war crimes of all these women are many but the highlights include Thatcher in the Falklands, Gandhi against the Muslims, Meir against the Palestinians, Aquino against Muslims and communists, Bhutto for Britain over the Pakistani people, Albright against Yugoslavia and Iraq, Janet Reno at Waco, Condoleezza Rice all over the globe, and Hilary Clinton in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, Bolivia and Honduras.

HARPIES OF WAR

collage harpies

Described by political analyst Pepe Escobar, as the Three Harpies of the war on Libya, Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice have made their bones and proven their loyalty to the Hegemon.  Media and educational systems include these and other women experts and representatives of legal and human rights organizations to appear publicly to criticize women’s oppression in Middle Eastern countries.

While ignoring the statistical realities of the obscene numbers of women raped, beaten and killed by men in the USA these “experts” are used to gain women’s support for war. As women in the USA support war under the guise of democracy and liberation a divisive diversion is wedged between women and men who are resisting hegemonic invasion and occupation.

Visible token women leaders clucking sanctimoniously over “women’s rights” as bombs are being dropped on their “sisters” are examples of Western feminist “success” stories within the hegemon; women such as Hillary Clinton, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, and Victoria Nuland.  An dishonorable mention goes to Michelle Obama who stands by her Hegeman as he drone bombs, assassinates and acts as Destroyer of Worlds for his masters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Amnesty International Campaign for “Womens Rights” in Afghanistan

THE HARPIE ROLL CALL

We begin with Hilary Clinton, Lady MacDeath, the recent star in the US theatre of macabre and absurd defamations of democracy in her bid for the presidency.  It’s important to note that the US Hegemon took a long time to allow a woman candidate for president while they did place some women in power in other nation-states.  However, in the first bout to run a woman candidate they chose a male for the current US president, a man of African and European-American ancestry, over their girl, Hillary.

Obama did well for the Hegemon for the past few years which accomplished what they intended, further divisions in an already divided and well conquered populace, economic policies favoring the rich, while they kept the neo-con war going under the tenure of neo-liberal Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State from 2009-2013.

Hillary did well as a former Secretary of State for the Hegemon by destroying Libya, and overseeing the murder and rape of Gaddafi while stealing Libya’s gold.  She is alleged to have lied about Benghazi.  She is presiding over massive voter fraud including the military not getting their votes counted in this election.  She is accused of using a secret private server with classified material to her activities.  She oversees the drones being operated in the US and in other countries.  She gave 123 Technologies $300 Million and right afterward let it declare bankruptcy so it could be sold to the Chinese.  This is the woman for whom many will vote.  I guess if you don’t mind millions of dead children, women and men to keep your “lib” on you will vote for her.

Her many scandals including covert ops in Honduras, ripping off Haiti in the recent crisis, Whitewater real-estate deal and her futures trading that brought her a quick $100,000, the Watergate committee, Vince Foster, commodity deals, the joke Iran Nuke deal, DOJ spying on the press, stealing White House furniture, using the State Department to interfere with an Inspector General Investigation on departmental sexual misconduct, and supporting her man when he lied about a blow-job and cheated on her, to name just a few.

Note that the Bilderberg group, the historical decision making place for the Hegemon has included Hillary Clinton is to the list of invitees. This news indicates that the powers that be have most likely decided to back Clinton for President.

Clinton Bilderberg
Hillary Clinton attends Bilderberg 2016

Hillary is the woman that the war criminal and overseer for starving the children of Iraq, Madeline Albright, says that all US women must support or else lose their feminist credentials.  The women liberals who believe she will protect their economic and reproductive rights will vote for her “with their vaginas” as commanded.  Many will also vote for her to maintain the Democratic Party, the neo-liberal wing of the Hegemon.

This will only perpetuate the problems we face and the only change it will bring is more war, more torture, more rape, more divisions, more state terrorism, and more economic decline for everyone not in power in the Hegemon.  My grand-daughters will be drafted because of her. #Never Hilary

Samantha Powers, a problem from hell for the 7-year-old African boy who was recently hit by her motorcade, was Obama’s pick for UN Ambassador and has been an efficient atrocity enabler by spinning human rights and women rights into mechanisms justifying narratives for hegemonic terrorism, invasions and occupations.

Described by journalist Tara McKelvey as the “femme fatale of the humanitarian-assistance world,” with the emphasis on fatal, her most notable accomplishment is her enabling of the Hegemon’s most ruthless perpetrators, primarily through her protection of Israel, the perpetrator of the Palestinian Holocaust. Described by White House foreign policy speechwriter Ben Rhodes as “the point person at the White House on all issues related to Israel at the UN,” Power routinely coordinated with the Israeli government to help protect its occupation of Palestinian territory.

It was a decidedly conventional task that began with her leading of the efforts to weaken the impact of the Goldstone Report that found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity during its assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. She then helped shield Israel from legal scrutiny after its commandos massacred 8 Turkish activists and one US citizen in international waters on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in 2010. Next, Power spearheaded the US strategy to undermine the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations. Power has yet to admit to the consequences of her role in enabling some of the worst atrocities ever committed against one of the world’s longest-suffering populations.

In Libya, where Power’s demand for military intervention influenced President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize force, the US flung open the floodgates of chaos, transforming a sovereign state into a destabilized battleground for local warlords and jihadists while the Hegemon grabbed the gold.

In Syria, meanwhile, where one of the greatest hegemonic manufactured atrocities of modern times continues to devour civilian lives, Power’s high-profile initiatives have done little more than generate publicity for herself and support the Hegemon’s profits and plunder whilst her motorcade speeds through African villages hitting children and running off to spin her cover story.

Samantha Power recently received the 2016 Kissinger Prize in Berlin. Power, who is lauded as some great human rights advocate, probably does more than any other public figure to harm the cause of global human rights.

samantha power hand

Susan Rice, Obama’s national security advisor, responsible for mass murders in Africa, by supporting policies that have led to the deaths of millions and the weakening of those nations’ sovereignty include: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), and Sudan, the two largest nations on the continent, before the break-up of Sudan in 2011. This has resulted in a permanent destabilization of the countries of the Great Lakes region and parts of the Horn of Africa.

In 1996 Rice, as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of African Affairs, supported the armies of Rwanda and Uganda to invade D.R.C. (then Zaire), and to install Laurent Kabila as its new President.  From 1997-1998 Rice returned from her first trip to the Great Lakes region as the newly installed Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.  In her role she agreed to have over 1 million Hutu refugees in UN camps inside the D.R.C. removed by the armies D.R.C. neighbors Uganda and Rwanda. Rice is quoted a saying that:

“Museveni [of Uganda] and Kagame [of Rwanda] agree that the basic problem in the Great Lakes is the danger of a resurgence of genocide [referring to the Rwandan Hutus who fled to the D.R.C. after Kagame took over Rwanda—LKF], and they know how to deal with that. The only thing we have to do is look the other way.

Rice’s “looking the other way” was followed by a decade of killing and the looting in the D.R.C. by armed groups supported by Rice’s chosen “leaders” in the region, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagama.

In 1998 Rice was instrumental in orchestrating the bombing of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Omdurman, Sudan, just outside of Khartoum, allegedly for producing chemical weapons that could be used in terrorist attacks on the United States. Not a shred of evidence was ever found to justify the al-Shifa attack.  Despite Rice’s repeating the lie that Sudan is the only state in Sub-Saharan Africa that posed a direct threat to U.S. national security interests, no evidence was ever been made public to corroborate that allegation.

In fact, the U.S. intelligence community has admitted that it has no such evidence, and has collaborated with its counterparts in Sudan in fighting terrorism.

Rice and power

Susan Rice is a good daughter of the Hegemon; her record of killing Africans is her badge of brutality, giving her a seat at the table of the Hegemon.

An up and coming Harpy, Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is in competition with Angela Merkel and Hilary Clinton for biggest liars award.  Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was purportedly the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while spinning the narrative for U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”

Victoria-Nuland
Victoria Nuland

Like her husband arch-neocon, Robert Kagan who co-founded the Project for the New American Century in 1998 around a demand for “regime change” in Iraq, a project that was accomplished in 2003 with President George W. Bush’s invasion for the Hegemon, she was overseer for a neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine that has been devastating for the people.  Nuland recited a litany of Big Lies about the “new Ukraine,” –Claiming it’s “building a peaceful, democratic, independent” nation is polar opposite truth.

She lied about Crimea “under illegal occupation” – ignoring near Crimean unanimity to reverse a historic mistake and rejoin Russia.  She turned truth on its head claiming that in eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage.  She has helped with ushering a new cold war with Russia saying, “This is a manufactured conflict controlled by the Kremlin, fueled by Russian tanks and heavy weapons; financed at Russian taxpayers’ expense and costing the lives of young Russians…” No evidence whatever shows Russian involvement. None exists except photos exposed as fakes but it is interesting to note that her statement fits the US perfectly!

Moving to the global stage a hegemonic homage must be made to the world’s most powerful woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who replaced Condoleezza Rice.  She reigns over a Germany who is once again a force to be reckoned with economically and militarily.  In fact, Germany just put troops on the ground in Syria with no concern for the sovereign Syrian government who do not want them there.

She was one of the staunchest supporters of the US war for Iraqi oil and spoils. Her unilateral decision to allow Israel to obtain a fleet of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft-built, Dolphin-class submarines costing $2 billion each, subsidized by the current German Government, gives the Israeli state a ‘second strike’ nuclear capability far in advance of that of either Britain, Germany or France and posing a potential threat to all European states.

Merkel face
Angela Merkel on the refugee crisis.

True to the Big Daddy USA Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a measure to bring fracking, the patents for which are owned mainly by American companies such as Dick Chaney’s Halliburton, into Germany. This is a prelude toward removing Europe from Russia’s energy-market, and bringing U.S. and European oil companies to dominate there instead.

A recent poll conducted by German web platform, Alles Schall und Rauch, asked more than 3,000 of its readers from Germany and 40 other countries to determine the world’s “liar of the year.”  More than 39 percent of those surveyed crowned the German chancellor with the “liar of the year” title.

park guen hye

Park Geun-hye, is literally South Korea’s daddy’s girl, daughter of Park Chung-hee who ruled the country with a repressive iron fist from 1961 to 1979. Her father came to power through a CIA sponsored military coup d état and his rule ended when his own Korean CIA director assassinated him.   President of South Korea since 2013 Korean President Park Geun-hye is the first female leader of her country with full support of the conservative party— an especially impressive accomplishment considering South Korea has the highest level of gender inequality in the developed world.

She is known for her inability to communicate with people spontaneously and her lack of empathy for difficult lives of grassroots populace because of her privileged position throughout her life.  As a good asset for CIA she tried to get North Korea to abandon their nuclear-weapons program by promising humanitarian aid and an investment in its industries, but to no avail. Park has flexed her muscles by testing missiles that can reach all of North Korea, but Kim Jong-un hasn’t blinked, and hasn’t quashed any nuclear ambitions. Park conforms, as the Hegemon instructs, to the recurring model of female political leader who is a daughter, a wife, or a sister of a powerful male leader.

Aung+San+Suu+Kyi+Secretary+State+Clinton+Makes+-RLni7J3nQml
Clinton’s trip to Myanmar 2011

Aung San Suu Ky, Myanmar, Islamaphobe and media darling, alleged asset of MI-6 and CIA recently was named State Councillor of Myanmar.  As the Constitution is designed to prevent her from becoming President, the Parliament created the new powerful position of State Councillor; a role similar to that of Prime Minister. She is also conveniently Minister of the President’s Office and Foreign Minister.

Her position as leader of the “Saffron Revolution” was sold as an ultra-liberal pro-democracy, progressive movement and was one of the West’s most successful neo-colonial creations to date, Aung San Suu Kyi, portrayed and revered as a modern day, secular “saint” of neo-liberalism and Western democratic values works hard to keep the Muslims in Myanmar down.

Her National League for Democracy (NLD) and her “Saffron” mobs, are fully funded, backed, protected by, and in absolute servile obedience to both US and British special interests.  A 2006 36-page document out of the “Burma Campaign UK” explicitly details the enormous amount of money and resources both the US government and its corporate-funded foundations have poured into her image and her “movement.”

The most telling information begins on page 14 of 36 of the report’s PDF file. Titled, “Failing the People of Burma?” the report enumerates the vast resources the West has invested in building a “pro-democracy” movement, and argues that even more support be given to initiate a “transition” in the oil and mineral rich Myanmar.

As is evidenced today, women’s participation in the military industrial complex is embedded in every way. Legislation for the draft submitted after 2001 and now again in 2016 with Hilary Clinton’s full support explicitly defines both men and women of the ages between 18 and 26 as “conscripted” for military service where they get to learn how to oversee and conduct torture in prisons like Abu-Ghraib in Iraq.

ECONOMIC TERRORISM

Big Daddy Hegemon’s national and global bean counters are also important powerful women of which to take note, Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, and Christine Legarde, head of the IMF— both the first women to hold these jobs.  They have been obedient daughters of the Hegemon bringing down those who dare to threaten the debt based usury rich capitalist economic system.

Janet Yellen is the guardian of the US capitalist economy heading up the Fed, a private central bank historically noted for running a scam operation designed to financially enslave the American people since 1913. She has done a “good” job for the bottom lines of wealth and power. In 2015, Yellen upheld the tradition of little to no oversight or auditing for the Fed. Yellen holds a position of immense power, and her decisions affect the entire country.

Christine Legarde, appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund in 2011, is the first woman to head the organization, which serves as the economic adviser and backstop for capitalist greed in 188 countries. Charged in 2008 with “negligence” by a French court over her role in a €403m sum handed over to a French businessman, LeGarde, is one of the Hegemon’s cleverest girls.

Along with the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the IMF under Lagarde has been preoccupied with complete economic slavery for Greece’s failing economy, which has generated $95 billion of debt that will specifically benefit Germany. Relations between the IMF and Athens, already strained after last year’s brinkmanship, have reached a new low.

Whether in media, education, government, or corporations, women play critical roles as leaders, managers and foot soldiers paving the way as role models for future obedient leaders and workers for the hegemon. As the hegemon minimally provides for the needs of its poorest women the illusion of equal opportunity and equity is fostered when a Hilary and an Angela take the stage together.

In the same pattern in which Fanon described the desire of the “native” for the white man’s power so do these women politicians desire the power of their masters that is the opposite of desiring liberty. Liberation and resistance means desiring freedom, it is struggle, and the struggle requires we build ties by nurturing the desire for liberty in each specific situation. The historical tragedies of torture and genocide now are commandeered by the “powerful” women allowed to act as overseers for the global masters.

Our failure to hesitate to stop these leaders has a price here and now. As more women and children are recruited by these women leaders more defenseless women and children will be tortured, shot and killed by our own daughters for the Hegemon. It is all part of the grand depopulation plan of the lords of war. All the hegemon’s boys and girls are to follow the “harsh arithmetic of pain,” whereby civilian casualties on both sides “play in their favour,” the favour of the ruling class that is.

Historically there have always been some women doing undercover dirty work but since WWII women in power have been paid agents and assets for the state and the corporations behind the state. With a clear political agenda they are caught up in the profits of imperialism. So total is the saturation of the hegemonic narrative in the minds of American and European women they almost never perceive it as problematic.  The neo-liberal woman wearing their $1200 Armani suits preach that it is only ‘normal” to want to “uncover” the women of the Muslim world and make them “free to be” to have “sex in the city”.

bbc take off hijab
BBC “Take off your Hijab” My Stealthy Freedom Campaign. Targeting Iran

People who are standing with the oppressed and for liberation need new rules, strategies and tactics to deal effectively and fairly with these dangerous realities of the new gender blind and colorblind imperialism. We cannot simply wait until the next generation of sons and daughters decide to follow Hillary or Angela’s demands for more cannon fodder. We must stop these leaders before they export their perverted propaganda, their sick and dangerous militaristic terrorism, their culture of death to children and grandchildren here so they do not spread it to the children and grandchildren over there.

We cannot simply wait until another son or daughter of people decide to follow the leader’s con jobs and deceptions. We must stop this madness of pre-emptive war games that the Judeo-Christian culture of death, male, female, GLBTQ, left, right, red or yellow, black or white, is spreading from sea to poisoned sea.

We must stop working to reform the Hegemon. The actual history of over 200 years of people in the US fighting for the rights of natives, slaves, immigrants, GLBTQ, the poor and women across race and class “from within” has produced 31 Flavors of overseers now called managers, supervisors, CEOs and politicians who support capitalist’s greed and cruelty. Those who are chosen to represent hegemony are chosen to maintain the wealth and power of those who already have it and if they do shake things up they will be removed.

So yes, one can get have the job of president and that president will be surrounded by a global cabal of war mongering supremacist oligarchs in a capitalist system who will insist on a great number of wars in countries that have oil, gold, water, minerals, gems, or are next door to China and Russia.

This same system will insist that women presidents legitimize the rape and assassination of leaders of sovereign states, invade and occupy sovereign nations, drone bomb potential innocents, spy on everyone, mass incarcerate its own people, while poisoning the food and the planet.

Every day that same President will hear repeatedly how great the threat is of Africans, Muslims, and of course, communists.   She will be told that migrants are scum, how the disobedient need to be smacked down and how dissenters need to be shot and most importantly that terrorists must be killed where ever they are with no regard for national sovereignty or rules of war.  There is no escaping the corrupt and cruel system that thrives on social and economic inequality and hegemonic brutality with the hollow women at the helm.

CONCLUSION

There are courageous women around the world that are educating, inspiring, agitating and organizing against greed, wars, invasions, occupations, environmental devastation, supremacy and patriarchy in the New World Order. You’ve probably never heard of them so I am honored to introduce a few of them to you.

These women represent the revolutionary women’s demand for a radical reordering of society towards real liberation and self-determination for all people.  They have been on the front lines in the agenda to save the people and the planet. They are brilliant and brave women from around the world, young and old fighting against oppression.  You have probably not heard of them because they do not work for the Hegemon.

Research their names and you will read, hear and feel their passion:  Leila Khalid, Assata Shakur, Harsha Walia, Amal Saad, Cynthia McKinney, Marwa Osman, Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Chris Geovanis, Suzella Palmer, Felicity Arbuthnot, Esther Stanford-Xosei, Ajanta Sinha Ghosh, Lah Tere, Mariela Castro, Alieda Guevarra, Rosa Clemente, Diana Berek, Heather Cottin, Lizzie Phelan, Cyrstal Vance Guerra, Rania Masri, Sarah Abdallah, Cheri Honkala, Kathleen Clever, Brooke Heagerty, Cindy Sheehan and many others around the world.

These women manifest revolution in protest, art, writing, teaching, brigades, seminars, video, radio, music, politics, community and care for others daily.  Be like these woman, demand a radical reordering of society towards real liberation and self-determination for all people.

Create the front lines to save the people and the planet. Be brilliant and brave in the fight against oppression and resist being conned by whatever flavor they offer to appease you. 

***

June Scorza Terpstra, Ph.D. is an activist educator and university lecturer in Justice Studies, Criminal Justice and Sociology. She has founded numerous programs for homeless, abused, youth and oppressed people in the USA. She is presently teaching courses on Law and Terrorism, Social Justice, Resistance, Criminology, and Juvenile Justice. She is a former Community Research Fellow and doctoral graduate of Loyola University Chicago.

 

 

Emancipatory Research in Domestic and Foreign Affairs
June Terpstra

07/19/16

A recent debate about my hypothesis that the photographer Spencer Tunick, and another of his nude photo shoots/protests, this time at the RNC, was a psy op Soros/CIA type sponsored event caused me to once again recognize that those of us studying manufactured uprisings cannot take short cuts when publicly discussing these events if we are sincere about educating others about our hypotheses and theories. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for something that can actually be tested. Here in my FB circle of friends (many who are journalists, academics, activists, writers, artists and students) we have explanations for world events that we identify as manufactured revolutions, hegemonic sponsored uprisings, and foundation supported activism that benefits the hegemon because they fit pattern and narratives of the Hegemon with which we are familiar. 

The word, hegemon, is used to identify the class, state or group with the most power that is responsible for the dissemination of dominant power group’s ideas, systems and practices that most benefit those in power and those who rule for them. The documented history and patterns of the Hegemon's secret services covert and overt operations around the world are well known in this circle but to those who are new to this information and have not studied these manipulations and machinations of what some call the "deep state" the narratives fall into the category of "conspiracy theory", a term purposely introduced to trivialize and discount those who study these operations. 

A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing. Certainly, a review of CIA history and US foreign and domestic affairs demonstrates the repeated and successful experiments manipulating the public away from fundamental economic and social change while manufacturing public consent for the security state, war and plunder. Simply denying the history of how hegemony is maintained through covert and overt operations based on reactionary liberal or conservative agenda-driven critiques is not skepticism--it is denial of the manner in which ruling classes have maintained wealth and power through-out history. True skeptics are open to scientific and historical evidence and are willing to evenly assess it.

There are times when the tendency to make a binary distinction between something that is true, as in the case of documented CIA and US sponsored interventions around the globe in an absolute sense and something that's false or a lie, as in the case of the "official story" of the 9/11 attacks. There is a tendency by some of us to easily make claims without the evidence to back the claims because we have seen the pattern and know the scripts used repeatedly through history. The pattern of these narratives and events demonstrates to us the continuum of evidence on which we build our understanding of the planned events being staged to maintain power in the hands of those who already have it and want more. However, we still must do our work in every case to substantiate our hypotheses with evidence. I see this happening currently regarding the recent coup in Turkey, the war against Syria, and the search to verify who is sponsoring groups such as the White Helmets and ISIS. Beginning with the question of "who benefits" from these groups and their actions and following the money is always the starting place but the first source documentation is still needed once we verify the connections. The mental shortcuts to make sense of the cacophony of information we are presented with every day should not allow us to get sloppy. Conversely, we must acknowledge the historical patterns, narratives, psychological operations and scripts used to manipulate and coerce the public past and present as valid supports in the process of gathering evidence against the Hegemon. 

The struggle does continue.

 

SHIFTING PARADIGMS

June Terpstra

5/4/16

Concepts of ethical duty are based on the ethical paradigms in which they reside. This means that "good" or "bad" consequences are defined according to the constructs of the belief system(s) that laid the foundation for the existing social structures/institutions. For example, the belief system/paradigm from which present day retributive models emerge in Western criminal justice systems are those that poses that the "greater good" is to punish the criminal towards goals of:

1. social control which conserves the power of those who already possess it in the most cost effective manner possible and profit from it when possible;

2. to protect those in power by preventing harm against individuals, with a special emphasis on protecting those individuals with the power and authority who provide a barrier between the powerful and the powerless;

3. to exact revenge on those who violate and threaten the balance of power in the society; and

4. to maintain the appearance of adhering to an ethic of human rights and a duty of care for a public who have been taught to believe in the importance of a democratic republic.

If you shift the paradigm to one of social/redistributive justice, or Indigenous justice, or transformative justice there are completely different conceptions of "the greater good." Within these systems the greater good means society's response must be immersed in the struggle for transforming society through action on behalf of the poor and oppressed, the colonized, the wounded and those suffering. Using the aforementioned paradigms, crime and harm is interpreted not primarily from an individual, private perspective, but from a social and economic perspective. Crime is not considered an individual, private, or merely personal reality. Crime is regarded as a social, historical fact, crime is the absence of social stewardship for people and planet, crime is the absence compassion and love in relationships among human beings. These paradigms view present-day economic and social constructs as criminal specifically because they are embedded systems of oppression and exploitation encompassing the majority of the world’s people. Within these paradigms the greater good is to resist and transform the crimes of oppression and exploitation to repair the imbalances of existing mechanisms of power and transform them to foster individuals who are members of a human community in charge of their history and who consistently shape history by questioning the consequences of their actions and activities they are producing as a society. 

The damages done by experiencing, seeing and knowing the cruelty perpetrated by human beings to one another creates gaping wounds and aching scars. Without a society and a way of living that promotes humane, restorative and transformative responses systemically, people do not heal. Justice as healing will never happen if we continue to attempt to survive in societies that have been constructed through cultures embracing wars which brutally promote imperialism, colonialism, fascism, neo-conservativism or neo-liberalism. We have ethical, social and cultural models for other ways of living and organizing ourselves as humans from the past and from people's visions articulated in theory for the future. Only by living out these visions in our daily relationships in communities with vastly different structures from the ones in which we exist now can we heal and grow. Until then, we are all dead men walking.

 

 STOP TRYING TO REFORM IT

Stop trying to reform it. Based on my research as a sociologist and over 40 years of my work experience creating a shelter for battered women and children, sexual abuse hot-lines, a university women's center, a child sexual abuse prevention program, a university anti-discrimination program, and an "at risk" youth center, I see little to no evidence that working within the system produces fundamental social or economic justice. The actual history of over 200 years of people in the US fighting for the rights of natives, slaves, immigrants, GLBT, the poor and women across race and class "from within" has produced 31 Flavors of overseers called managers, supervisors, CEOs and politicians who support capitalist's greed and cruelty. The ruling class or 1% or oligarchy or Deep State, what ever you want to call it, now uses 31 flavors of people to do their bidding be it a Black President or a white woman Secretary of State or a native Judge. Those who are chosen to represent hegemony are chosen to maintain the wealth and power of those who already have it and if they do shake things up they will be removed. So yes, one can get a job as a police officer and that officer will be surrounded by a whole white supremacist system and its representatives that will insist on a great number of arrests in poverty neighborhoods populated by people of color to feed the prison industrial complex and keep the poor under control. This same system will insist that that same officer arrests people with excessive force for drugs, debts, traffic violations, hanging around on streets corners with friends, not being obedient in school, and countless other non-violent offenses. Every day that same officer will hear repeatedly how savage African Americans are, how women deserve to be raped, how migrants are scum, how the disobedient need to be smacked down and how dissenters need to be shot, until he or she comes to join in the fascist fight for uncontested power and control over the people. This same scenario plays it self out in every facet of the the system. It really is not about well intended individuals, its about a corrupt and cruel system that thrives on social and economic inequality.  


June Terpstra, 2016
 

 

 

 12 diciembre 2014 - 09:06 PM

The Short Long List of US Hypocrisy
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Here are 13 of the biggest, most recent U.S. hypocritical statements and measures.

The Short Long List of US Hypocrisy

 

1. U.S. commits widespread torture, then sanctions Venezuela for “violence.” According to the report on CIA torture released this week, the U.S. tortured untrialed prisoners abroad with a range of gruesome methods. The next day, its congress passed sanctions on Venezuela for “violating the rights” of opposition supporters whose violence led to the death of at least 43 people.

 

2. U.S. imprisons, deports, and shoots the migrants it causes. US “free trade” agreements that disadvantage Mexican and Central American farmers in favor of U.S. profits, supporting coups such as the one in 2009 in Honduras, and decades of U.S. imperialism, have contributed to the conditions that lead migrants to flee to the U.S.

 

3. U.S. calls other countries “undemocratic,” while disenfranchising its own black, Latino, and poor citizens: Incredible inequality, unaffordable higher education and health care, a country run by transnational corporations, corrupt politicians, elections held while people are working, corporate funding for candidates, and many more issues challenge the U.S's claim to democracy. yet the government has the nerve to label countries like Venezuela and Cuba as undemocratic.

 

4. U.S. offers to help Mexican government find murderers of citizens, while U.S. police murder their own: Obama said on December 9, 2014, that the United States has “offered assistance” to Mexico “in tracking down exactly what happened, our forensic capabilities, our capacity to get to the bottom of exactly what happened." However nothing is being done about the multitude of police officers who have killed, some on film, U.S. citizens.

 

5. U.S. says nations should not develop nuclear weapons, has the world's largest active nuclear arsenal: The United States was one of the original signers of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which entered into force in 1970 to achieve nuclear disarmament, and holds other nations to this standard, while it has thelargest active stockpile in the world and its ally Israel does not have to sign the treaty.

 

6. U.S. claims nationalization of banks is socialism, gives billions to private banks: The U.S. government pumped in over US$250 billion into banks during the country’s economic crisis, but received nothing for it, with all of the money going back into the private hands that caused the crisis in the first place.

 

7. Militarized state for black protestors in Ferguson, military was MIA protestors in Ferguson, military was MIA when help was needed for black victims of Hurricane Katrina: While police and the National Guard response to the protests was swift and heavy handed, the response to Hurricane Katrina was chaotic and disorganized.

 

8. Invasion on false pretext is so “phony,” unless the U.S. does it: In 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lashed out at Russia's supposed involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine by stating, “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests … this is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. As a U.S. senator in 2002, Kerry voted in support of the invasion of Iraq, stating, “Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating agents and is capable of quickly producing weaponizing of a variety of such agents, including anthrax.” That turned out to be false.

 

9. U.S. funds Saudi Arabia government, but attempts to destabilize Venezuela: For the U.S. it’s good if Saudi Arabia beheads those guilty of non violent offenses, but bad if Venezuela tries in court those who plot to kill the president.

 

10. U.S rails against Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons despite using white phosphorus on Falluja: Obama threatened to launch a war against Bachar Al-Assad if the use of chemical weapons was proven, while U.S. troops admitted to using phosphorus during the assault on Fallujah in 2004.  

 

11. The U.S declares a “war on terror” after funding and supporting terrorism in Nicaragua in the 1980s: On September 20, 2001, nine days after the 9/11 terror attacks, former U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror.” However, in the early 1980s while his father served as vice president under former President Ronald Reagan, the CIA trained the Contras in Nicaragua in the "use of implicit and explicit terror" and in the "selective use of violence for propaganda effects" in an orchestrated terror campaign to undermine the country's Sandinista government. The International Court of Justice ruled in 1986 that the U.S violated international law and ordered Washington to pay reparations to the Central American nation.

 

12. US claims to be a "post-racial” society while targeting people according to their race: From New York City's "Stop-and-Frisk" practices to the recent surge in the deaths of Black people by police officers, racism still runs rampant across the country. 

13. Obama calls former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi a “tyrant” and Syria's President Bashar Assad a “dictator” and his government a “repressive regime” despite previously supporting those regimes: Never mind the fact that the United States under President George W. Bush renditioned terror suspects to these two countries, outsourcing torture to Gadaffi's and Assad's governments, as the recent U.S. Senate torture report reveals. They weren't such bad guys then.

 
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Listing of planned responses around the country to the Darren Wilson Grand Jury Announcement CLICK...
fergusonresponse.tumblr.com
 
 
 
 
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Law Now a Dead Letter
by June Terpstra 
9/24/14
 
Wars posed as a pursuit of humanitarian rescue, pre-emptive or preventative are now seen as different from wars fought for other purposes. They are legally, politically, and conceptually separate from wars of conquest even though that turns out to be precisely what they are, wars of conquest. The category of intervention remains fiercely contested in practice by those with being bombed and looted and those with a conscience of any kind. Once one examines what happens post invasion or target bombing one cannot deny that these are wars of conquest.  
 
Contemporary international law can be read as either allowing or forbidding international military intervention, and the legal uncertainty around humanitarian intervention is fundamental and irresolvable. Of course, who cares, or dares to take a stand against it when its the USA?  The legal community like to hedge their bets by saying that contradictory and plausible interpretations about the legality of any act of intervention exist simultaneously, and hence can not be eliminated. This pandering to empire results in a global reality where law is unimportant despite human rights rhetoric from one of the greatest violators of human rights, the USA.  Law and law-following are no longer credible contexts in the hands of states and unified bodies such as the UN and EU, deployed to influence the political context of their actions.  They can make up a story about imminent threat or humanitarian crisis and off they go to make more money for the military industrial complex while stealing the resources of the country with whom they interfere.  NATO, the UN, highly funded by US tax payers will do what ever the US dictates.  
 
The debate over the legality of intervention, the permanent war of terror, and imminent threats to a country's national security raises deep questions about international law and law generally as it is consistently manipulated by US/UK/EU and completely ignored by Israel. Can the statements of leaders modify the obligations contained in law and treaties? One may want to talk to the Indigenous people of the USA or Gaza about that given that treaties were and are consistently broken.  
 
The laws of war are now meaningless, unable to distinguish between compliance and noncompliance, and no longer politically powerful. The challenge for scholars is to explain how it is that any stated commitment to the rule of law coexists with this fundamental farce.  
 
 
 
 
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9/20/14
HUMAN RIGHTS by Kelvin Quiles  

 

I intend, within my writing, to show how the “positivity” of spreading the generalization of human liberties has led to many crimes against people all over the world. This need for safety is an ideal is rooted firmly grounded upon religious and political homogeneity. I will argue against it with examples (and using my own thoughts) by pointing out the origins of these concepts human rights and why they have not been applied in a just manner for all.

The concept of what we call human rights developed from the monotheistic religion of Christianity. The ideals it has imposed throughout its leaders, to “civilize” the world and how humans are subject to a version limited freedoms and rights. I can base on facts and the knowledge I have gained through this class and my years as a student that Christianity, itself as a political tool, has proven itself dangerous. The ideals of liberty comes from the belief in religious natural laws. These laws put Christians and their beliefs above everyone else in the world and I will use the following statement to prove how cruel it can and has become, “The Spanish conquistadores and colonists explicitly justified their activities in the Americas in terms of a religious mission to bring Christianity to the native peoples.” This thought eventually led to the enslavement of natives “because of their alleged barbarity while practicing a form of conquest, warfare, and slavery that reduced the indigenous population of Hispaniola from 250,000 to 15,000 in two decades of Spanish rule.” - (Kohn, Margaret: Colonialism) although it may sound as if I have a bias or hate against Christianity, I do not. I was born into a Christian family and never learned the ways it spread or the amount of blood it shed in the name of Christ until later in life.

Most Christians do not believe me when I tell them that their religion has become the aggressor, not the victim depicted in the bible. The lessons and history I’ve learned rocked the foundation of my beliefs at its very core, forever changing my perception of the religion I never questioned before. Christianity was founded by the world’s first imperial/colonial power; The Roman Empire. The same Roman Empire that killed Jesus, is the same one who morphed it into the destructive political tool it has become today.

Here is some background on Constantine (First Christian Emperor of Rome) provided by the Encyclopedia Britannica, “He not only initiated the evolution of the empire into a Christian state but also provided the impulse for a distinctively Christian culture that prepared the way for the growth of Byzantine and Western medieval culture.” Meaning he founded the church itself and with this power chose much of what text belonged in the bible’s New Testament. This history of Christianity is not fully known by Christiansand it is not only important to Christians but to history itself because what followed was, well let’s just say the Spaniards weren’t the first or the last to commit genocide in the name of religion. The following is from sigmachi.org, not a fan but it had the most detailed version of the saying and reference to what he supposedly saw, “According to legend, Constantine, before going into battle, saw a cross in the sky with the Greek words “en toutoi nika.” Derived from the Latin translation, “In Hoc Signo Vinces,” its meaning is, “In this sign you will conquer.”

As proven above modern thought and conceptions of Christianity derived from Rome whom main objective was to “conquer”. Going back in reference to the Britannica this was politically motivated. In order to expand his army, in order to conquer, he needed to bring in more recruits. “Yet to suggest that Constantine’s conversion was “politically motivated” means little in an age in which every Greek or Roman expected that political success followed from religious piety. The civil war itself fostered religious competition, each side enlisting its divine support, and it would be thought in no way unusual that Constantine should have sought divine help for his claim for power and divine justification for his acquisition of it.” – (Nicol, Donald MacGillivray. "Constantine I (Roman Emperor)." Encyclopedia).

 

The victim’s status for the Christian faith ended long ago. The Roman Empire even used it to expand. Of course when I attempted to share this information with any Christian friend or family member I was told that “the devil deceived me” and that I was “straying away from the faith”, this would be the typical response from a person who has yet to understand the complexities that thousands of years of human society has brought. Now we I understand where the Spanish got the idea of conquest. In fact one of our PowerPoints directly states this, “When Columbus sailed west in 1492 it was with the express understanding that he was authorized to "take possession" of any lands he "discovered" that were "not under the dominion of any Christian rulers". Also in our PowerPoints we can see what Columbus believed of the America’s native population.

In one of Columbus’ memoirs we can see his ignorance on full display, "They... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned.... They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane.... They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want." This is the form of natural liberty, safety, and survival that the Spanish envisioned for the native envisioned. The subjugation and enslavement of another culture in order to benefit its own. Capitalism under the guise of liberties, new ones the natives wouldn’t chose to begin with. The fallacy of freedom inspired by Christian rhetoric of being free of sin was used to conquer and exterminate cultures, much like freedom of the market is today’s excuse.

Natural Law, inspired by Christian doctrine, allowed for mass genocide. This was done for the sole purpose of expansion, so it’s not difficult to understand that the greed needed for explanation to excuse Spain’s once hidden barbaric actions (extermination and occupation) which leads us to hundreds of years later to this explanation by John Stuart Mill (a well-respected thinker in his time, and possibly still today?), “Savages do not have the capacity for self-government because of their excessive love of freedom. Serfs, slaves, and peasants in barbarous societies, on the other hand, may be so schooled in obedience that their capacity for rationality is stifled. Only commercial society produces the material and cultural conditions that enable individuals to realize their potential for freedom and self-government.” Also translated as, “if you’re not a Christian we will take your land and teach you to be “respectful.” Basic, easy to translate, and inherently devilish...

As stated in your power point, “The capitalist state reinforces white supremacy and racism.” This is true to this day in modern America were we have a Conquistador like mindset in the Middle East and the quote in the paragraph before this seems to fit these examples. The masses in the USA just eat up the propaganda of why we do things; i.e., “jealous of our freedom” comes to mind. Things like the following occur, “On Aug. 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page used a semiautomatic weapon to murder six people during an attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page’s connection to the white supremacist movement was well-documented: he had been a member of the neo-Nazi rock bands End Empathy and Definite Hate. Attorney General Eric Holder described the attack as “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred.” It was good to see the nation’s top cop acknowledge that terrorist acts can, in fact, involve white males murdering people of color.” -1(Henderson, Alex: 10 Worst Examples of Christian or Far-right Terrorism). A nation of conquerors has given the white supremacist a cause to kill abroad and at home, only because victims resemble who the country fights.

Also, it is worthy to note that the UN -as ineffective as it has been against American imperialism- has made statements that should make everyone question what is going on in the US. One reading I’d like to share contains info on how much religion is not as much of a freedom here in America. If you’re not a Christian your religion can’t be practiced, “Native Americans were driven off ancestral lands for centuries, denied access to holy sites and forced to attend government-run schools in an effort to "kill the Indian and save the man"; students were typically divorced from all aspects of tribal culture, including religion and language. The final prohibitions against practicing Native American religions were lifted in 1994. Native religious leaders continue to be surveilled by government agencies and tribes still frequently lose access to sacred sites because of urban and industrial development. A 1999 Special Report to the UN Commission on Human Rights noted that such losses were often the result of "an indifference and even hostility on the part of the various officials and other parties involved . . . with regard to the values and beliefs of the original inhabitants of the United States." Yet the Westboro Baptist church can say and worship as and travel to wherever they please, this according to the US Supreme court.

The Spaniards lost the colonization wars to the British, who in turn lost it to the Americans. I conclude this paper with a few not so simple questions. To whom or where do these human rights constructs apply to? What are we ultimately ready to do when the wars fought against every culture, race, and nation eventually catches up to us? Because almost every culture’s version of human rights is distinctive.

We have seen the reality of what happens to cultures when homogenous principles are applied and this pattern is clear throughout history; Rome ultimately fell, the Aztec nation fell to the Spaniards. The Aztecs were considered exceptional warriors but yet they fell. Reduction in world prominance/importance doesn’t just happen in cultures, but to religion as well. I do not know of any people who currently pray to the Greco-Roman gods. Do you?

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
foto di William J McInnis.
It's the System   

June Terpstra, Ph.D.  12/11/13

Moral education in the USA, if there can be said to be such as thing, forms a cognitive structure which generally promotes seeing things in specific ways that benefit elite, dominant groups and ideologies: white, Christian, male, private property, punishment, capitalism, militaristim, law and order, all are posed as norms in the dominant paradigm. Privileges are conferred through class, race, gender, and creed and are embedded in law, political policies, and practices. Liberal, meaning liberties based on law about the “equality of man” were spread and officially proclaimed yet rather than concretely weeding out notions of class, racial, creed, and gender superiority, the result was that the mechanisms of privilege became more complex yet more firmly entrenched. 

Those who are today’s heirs of this system may be a more diverse representation (31 flavors multi-culturalism) of men and women than in the past but still maintain a master-slave or Herrenvolk ethic. This can be seen in the neo-conservative theories of Leo Strauss and his adherents such as Dick Cheeney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice’s policies advocating torture and invasion and occupation. It can also be seen in the neo-liberal ideologies of Obama and Susan Powers advocating for imperialism through military interventionism outside of national and international law. Today’s leaders in the US and Europe perpetuate this system not only through their desire for privilege, their desire for what they feel is their “due,” but also their ideological stance of profit and power sucked from the labor and at the expense of the people, who are viewed as lesser mortals. 

The moral import of these class/race/gender/creed based constructs of the human person is clear--our moral education is structured to reflect the stratified ethic of these hierarchies. We are taught about love, equality, and the Golden Rule, while the policies and practices of keeping the people in their “places” through violence and social control by agents of the corporate state are the daily reality for the poor, people of color, migrants, working classes, and all those not adhering to the economic ideology of capitalism. While equality among members of the elites and their managers, be they black, white, or Saudi is based on their common and equal class superiority to all the subordinate classes, races, creeds, and genders there is a special emphasis to control those who question and struggle against imperialism, stratification, exploitation, invasion, occupation and incarceration. Those who fight against the elites and their governments experience isolation and accusations of being a terrorists. In current U.S. society-our values, our morals, and our self-conceptions-rests upon these hierarchies, which, through the generations, have become more and more firmly entrenched creating a cognitive dysfunction, a moral knowledge glitch and gap. Hence, a conscious reflection on the ways in which social, economic and military advantage fosters epistemic disadvantage in elites, their managers, agents, assets and enforcers gets us closer to the goal of attaining moral truth, self-determination, and social justice. 

Many critical criminologists pose that the US  criminal justice system was created in such a way to disadvantage, subdue, and control certain the poor, slaves, workers who would unionize and strike, immigrant groups, people of color, and the women in all of these groups.  Trends in every facet of criminal justice research concerning police, courts and corrections, provide evidence that the criminal justice system is doing exactly what it was designed to do - marginalize and control these populations. For example, although African Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population, they account for 29% of arrests, 38% of prisoners in state and federal facilities, 42% of death penalty cases, and 37% of executions (Snell, 2011). Research continues to highlight the racial disparities that infiltrate the criminal justice system. While often the recipient of differential treatment, subjective laws, and more punitive sentences, African Americans experience the wrath of the criminal justice system when they are the offenders of crimes. For the purposes of this discussion at this point I will focus on African Americans however it is important to note that research will demonstrate similar patterns with indigenous, working class fighting for rights, immigrants, etc..  The cases of Rodney King, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, and Lorenzo Collins are just a few contemporary examples of the continued examples of the devaluation of African Americans lives in the criminal justice system. Each of these cases involved an African American victim and a police offender. For these cases, the police offender was either acquitted of all charges or convicted of a much lesser charge. Further solidifying the belief that the lives of African Americans are not valued in the criminal justice system and as in the days of slavery, still targeted.

Most recently, the verdict in the case of Trayvon Martin reaffirmed the devalued status of African American life. The unarmed, 17-year old boy was racially profiled, shot and killed by an overzealous neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman who claimed self-defense. The offender's acquittal of all charges, by a predominately White jury, speaks to the historical denigration of African American life in both American society and the criminal justice system. It also reveals the implicit institutionalized racism, birthed from the racialized ideologies of the Antebellum period, which continue to manifest itself within the criminal justice system. The posthumous vilification of Trayvon Martin during the trial and the subsequent verdict parallels a historical trend of injustice afforded to African Americans within the criminal justice system. Furthermore, the verdict contradicts the notion that the system is broken, conversely, it affirms the system is operating the way it was designed to function, which is to suppress, subdue, and socially control African Americans, as opposed to protect and preserve their human rights. The system is not broken, it was never right in the first place, and until a substantive systematic change occurs, the criminal justice system will continue to be used by privileged agents as a means to marginalize African Americans and the other groups mentioned here.  

Punishment is one of the most dramatic manifestations of culture and ideology resulting in a continuum with state power and state terrorism implemented for social control on one end and restorative and rehabilitative humane responses to harm caused on the other. Whom a society punishes and how it punishes are key political questions as well as indicators of its character. There are concrete connections between punishment and politics domestically and globally that must be understood in the politicization and racialization of punishment through which the state dispenses its penal power. Punishment as it constitutes itself today expresses the basest desires for power through the rhetoric of vengeance using the pain of the victims of crime.  

While Singapore and the five countries with the highest prison populations are the US, China, Russia, Brazil and India emphasize punishment, Holland and Sweden Nordic countries are seeing crime rates drop and some are closing their prisons using restorative and rehabilitative justice models that emphasize the importance of human relationships within family, neighborhood, city and state. Prison numbers in Sweden, which have been falling by around 1% a year since 2004, dropped by 6% between 2011 and 2012.   In 2009, the Dutch justice ministry announced the planned closing of eight prisons in the Netherlands due to a declining crime rate which was expected to continue.  Now, in 2013, there are 19 prisons scheduled to be closed. This is caused, in part, by a continued decline in crime rates. Additionally, those who are convicted are choosing electronic tagging instead of incarceration. This allows people to go back to work and continue as productive members of society. It also saves about $50,000 per year per person (about $50 million saved per year for every 1000 people).

It may be difficult to conceive of a prison system that does not rely almost exclusively on punitive measures for people in the US, but rather attends to the rights and rehabilitation of inmates. In contrast to the American Prison System, the framework of the Nordic Prison System serves to rehabilitate inmates to directly address recidivism (Pratt, 2008). For example, while the largest Nordic prison houses approximately 350 inmates, the majority of these prisons are relatively small and house around 100 inmates (Pratt, 2008). The philosophy behind the limited prison size is to maintain several active prisons in many different parts of the country, allowing prisoners to reside in closer proximity to their family and home environment (Pratt, 2008). Consequently, Nordic prisoners can maintain their roots in their communities and family bonds, while receiving rehabilitation services within the prison walls.

The current view on the treatment of prisoners in the United States is that an increase in punishment yields a decrease in crime rates .  In reality, the U.S. crime and recidivism rate is higher than that of any other country (Langan & Levin, 2002; Mauer, 2003). Considering the relationship between individuals who are undereducated, unemployed, unwelcome and incarcerated, there seems to be an obvious need to reform the current social and economic systems . In contrast, other countries have models for prison systems that seem to be more effective at reducing recidivism and crime; most notably, Nordic prisons employ a philosophy of rehabilitation to decrease recidivism (Kjelsberg, et al., 2007). Consequently, the United States may possibly benefit from a decrease in recidivism by widely adopting features from the Nordic prison systems.

 The bottom line is all about the money in the USA.  Of that I have no doubt.  The privatization of the prison industry (corporate owned prisons funded with tax dollars) creates an entirely new industry in the USA which is dependent upon filling prisons cells to make a profit.  This is accompanied by the equally disturbing trend towards the use of extremely cheap prison labor forces who make more profits for private industries such as Starbucks and Victoria Secret. These trends prevent some of the outsourcing of jobs out of the country and into slave-labor markets in the USA so that corporations can make record-breaking profits. Of course, sustaining those profits will require a steady flow of prisoners, creating a self-sustaining system that, once built, is becoming a permanent part of the landscape. (McGowan, 1998)

Some of the country's largest and most profitable corporations use prison labor forces at wages up to 80% below the national minimum wage. Among those reportedly contracting to employ prisoners, either directly or through subsidiaries include: AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Costco, Dell Computers, Eddie Bauer, IBM, Business Machines, Micro-Soft, Starbucks, Texas instruments, TWA, US West, Nordstroms and Victoria Secrets. (Moore) In addition to the companies that directly manage America's prisons, many other firms are getting a piece of the private prison action: American Express, General Electric, Goldman Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch, and Smith Barney have made huge sums by underwriting prison construction with the sale of tax-exempt bonds. This was a thriving 2.3 billion dollar industry in the late 90’s and is far beyond that figure now. 

The economic bond between private prison corporations and congress exchanges campaign funds for state tax subsidies and legislation resulting in contractually obligated promises to fill prison beds as a common provision in a majority of America's private prison contracts.   According to a public records analysis released today by the advocacy group In the Public Interest,  the group reviewed more than 60 contracts between private prison companies and state and local governments across the country, and found language mentioning quotas for prisoners in nearly two-thirds of those analyzed.  Experts argue that such requirements create an incentive for policymakers to force judiciaries and law enforcers to focus on filling empty prison beds, as opposed to pursuing long-term policy changes, such as sentencing reform, decriminalization, rehabilitation, restorative justice programs that could significantly reduce prison populations. In short, many states are effectively obligated to continue to incarcerate people regardless of crime rates and public safety needs, or otherwise hand over taxpayer dollars in order to satisfy private profit-making companies.

Snell, T. L. (2013). Capital Punishment, 2011 Statistical Tables. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cp11st.pdf.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/11/sweden-closes-prisons-number-inmates-plummets

http://jcjusticecenter.com/2013/09/14/netherlands-closing-19-prisons-due-to-lack-of-criminals/

Pratt, J. (2008). Scandinavian exceptionalism in an era of penal excess. British Journal of Criminology, 48(3), 275-292. doi:101093/bjc/azm073

Langan, P. & Levin, D. (2002). Recidivism of prisoners released in 1994. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 15(1), 58-65.

Kjelsberg, E., Skoglund, T., & Rustad, A. (2007). Attitudes towards prisoners, as reported by prison inmates, prison employees and college students. BMC Public Health, 7, 771-779. doi:10.1186/1471- 2458-7-71

 

McGowan, D. 1998. Derailing Democracy.

 

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1/28/13
 
On the concept of Power Distance and Moral Imperialism
June Terpstra, Ph.D.
 
Power Distance is defined as a "dimension expressing the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The fundamental issue here is how a society handles inequalities among people. People in societies exhibiting a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In societies with low power distance, people strive to equalise the distribution of power and demand justification for inequalities of power."    The theorist, Dutch theorist Geert Hofstede uses China as an example a society with a large degree of power distance and "Democratic societies as examples of small power distance.  The perspective presented is a solid example of moral and cultural imperialism of the Western hegemonic class.  
 
Moral imperialism is expressed in attempts to impose moral standards from one particular culture, geopolitical region or culture onto other cultures,regions or countries.  Specifically, the Euro-American emphasis ideologically on individualism versus collectivism and capitalism versus socialism, could be labeled as complex methods of power distance to maintain hegemonic control of the ideological discourse posing individualism and capitalism as morally superior.  Critical theorists have generally focused their research and pedagogical efforts toward the ways in which class, race, gender, sexual orientations and systems of power influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. One common aim of critical methodologies identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage subordinated groups. Conceptions of objectivity criticized by activist researchers identify objectivity with a single point of view that dismisses all other points of view as false or biased. These claims of objectivity consistently benefit specific power holder interests. 
 
One of the most important and the most complex concepts that philosopher, Antonio Gramsci analyzed, is “hegemony.” The concept of hegemony is crucial to Gramsci’s theories. By ‘ideological hegemony’ Gramsci means the process whereby a dominant class contrives to retain political power by manipulating public opinion, creating what Gramsci refers to as the ‘popular consensus’ (Boyce 2003). Through its exploitation of religion, education and elements of popular national culture a ruling class can impose its world-view and have it come to be accepted as common sense (Boyce 2003). So total is the ‘hegemony’ established by bourgeois society over mind and spirit that it is almost never perceived as such at all. It strikes the mind as ‘normality’ (reification) (Boyce 2003).
 
My point is that rigid hierarchies made to appear as "democratic" are the larger and not the smaller of the power distance "offenders".  Researchers represent positions, ends, and interests as is evidenced in their individual articulations and actions in and out of the field.  Hofstede's use of his theory engages in the enterprise of legitimizing the power of the capitalist elite.  I am concerned at the manner in which power distance is masked in academic discourse.  
 
 In a book entitled Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies and the Entrepreneurial University, sociologists Sheila Slaughter and Larry Leslie analyze what they term the “global knowledge economy.” This economy is structured by rapidly proliferating partnerships between public universities and the corporate sector. In case studies of universities in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., Slaughter and Leslie demonstrate that public universities increasingly court corporate money to offset the loss of government block grants. This has occasioned a cataclysmic change in the way public universities operate. The faculty are no longer able to occupy the tenuous space between capital and labor they have held since the Industrial Revolution (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). Instead they are increasingly becoming direct participants in the market in order to fund their research. As a result, a new breed of academic player has been bred, “academic capitalists” or “state-subsidized entrepreneurs” who “act as capitalists from within the public sector” (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). They must compete in the public sector in order to make their areas of research or individual departments viable financial entities.   This results in academic institutional gatekeepers who provide an illusion of academic free inquiry while maintaining the status quo.
 
In thier work on "Rethinking Critical Theory", Kincheloe and McLaren state that the key to successful critical analysis involves (a) the ability to link the production of representation, images and signs of hypereality to power in the political economy; and, (b) the capacity, once this linkage is exposed and described to delineate highly complex effects of the reception of these images and signs on individuals located at various race, class, gender, and sexual coordinates in the web of reality (Kincheloe and McLaren 2000).  This is my intent with this post.  This is a favorite subject of mine so please forgive the length as I intend it to be worth the read.   
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JZqX0z3g5bE
 
Boyce, Mary. 2003 Teaching critically as an act of praxis and resistance. http://www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/Research/ejrot/Vol_3/Vol2articles/boyce.asp.
 
Slaughter, Sheila and Larry L. Leslie. 1997. Academic capitalism: Politic, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. CITY: Johns Hopkins University Press.
 
Kincheloe, Joe and Peter McLaren. 2000. Rethinking critical theory and qualitative research. In Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.