Poor People's Campaign


Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, headed by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, will be holding an assembly on 18 June this year in Washington DC. They came to Philadelphia to inspire people and to spread the word.

Dead civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha were examined by pathologists and coroners who found flechettes in their bodies. Flechettes are tiny knives, a few centimeters long, that are spread by the shells fired by tanks or field guns. They're useful in combat because they can hit entrenched soldiers. Trenches are usually dug in such a way that they're only narrowly open on top, so the little metal darts will do a more effective job in hitting the soldiers than a plain old explosion will. Problem in Bucha was that they were used on unprotected civilians, causing agonizing deaths to people who had no protection against the tiny darts. The use of flechettes has inspired a book Deadly Metal Rain: The Legality of Flechette Weapons in International Law. For various technical resons, they are not illegal, but they are certainly very vicious and inhumane weapons.

Canada has concluded that Russia is carrying out "genocide" in Ukraine.

initial assebly
Our assembly began as pretty small.

Russians have taken most of the city of Mariupol, the exception is the Azovstal steel plant. It has underground shelers and is reinforced enough to withstand a nuclear bomb. There are about 100k cvilians plus a few thousand soldiers there. Conditions are unsanitary and food was stocked there before the invasion, but it's unclear what the food supply is like at the moment. Russia has said it will allow civilians to escape, but Pavlo Kyrylenko, Governor of the Eastern region of Donetsk, says that "Russia had 'not once' observed agreements reached on establishing humanitarian corridors. Russia has said Ukraine is to blame for the failure of talks on safe corridors." Also, Russians are insisting that a civilian evacuations must be coupled with a surrender by the soldiers.

Also, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said:

“We now have credible information that a Russian military unit operating in the vicinity of Donetsk executed Ukrainians who were attempting to surrender, rather than take them into custody.”

Surrendering does not mean survival.


Someone forwaded me a video of a lecture by a fellow who knows that he's putting forth a minority view, that the reason that Russia invaded Ukraine was because it was NATO's fault for aggessively expanding. As I pointed out here, this completely leaves out the Eastern Europe perspective. It's no mysteru why the fellow is in the minority, he can't explain why the nations between NATO and Russia all voluntarily took the side of NATO. That's because NATO, and/or the EU, offers a modern economy that isn't dependent on any one factor. What does Russsia offer? They have an authoritarian, one might even say fascist, government, that depends wholly on extracting fossil fuels. Join the EU, you connnect with a modern economy that's pursuing wind, solar and other alternative energy sources as well as making cultural and economic progress in many other areas.

As to the notion that Russia is run by serious politicians who are skilled in appealing to foreign countries, that is, who can give counries positive reasons for backing them, let's look at Finland and Sweden. Before the Russia's invasion of Ukraine, both counries were perfectly happy being neutral. Now they've both expressed a strong desire to join NATO. Public sentiment for joining NATO has risen from 20-30% before the invasion to over 80% now. What has Russia's response been? Is Russia offering any positvie incentives to remain neutral?  The piece doesn't mention any positive reasons being offered, just sword-rattling, gangster-style threats that they has better remain neutral...or else!


Good Lord!

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Kyiv today. This was his second stop on his diplomatic mission. The first was Moscow to meet with Putin. While Guterres was in Kyiv today Russia attacked using cruise missiles.

This is the diplomatic approach of a gangster!

Also, the Ukrainian World news bureau says:

Russia officially authorizes robbing Ukrainian farmers. Krasnoyarsk legislators permit "expropriation of the surpluss of last year's and this year's harvests of Kherson oblast farmers". -- very similar to during Stalin's "requisitions" of food which caused 1932-33 Holodomor


In Ukraine's South, evidence mounts that Russian troops have been robbing farmers and agriculture companies of their equipment and crops...

And Russia is putting Ukrainians into concentration camps, though they're calling them by the term "filtraion camps." Russia claims that these camps are for housing POWs, but the great majority of the inmates so far are civilins.

Any good news on the Ukrainian front? Yes, time works to favor one side or the other. It was thought previously that time favored Russia. That's no longer the case. Ukraine has many tens of thousands of soldiers training and familiarizing themselves with tactics and equipment. In a while, they'll be able to field whole new, completely equipped divisions.

On the other side:

The U.K. Ministry of Defense..., in their evaluation, Russia had been forced to redeploy troops who were “depleted and disparate” after their experience in the failed Battle of Kyiv.

This means that Russia doesn't have anything else in their ready reseves they can call up. They also have supply problems:

Russia still isn’t getting ammo, fuel, and even food to the places where they are needed.

Problem is, Russia has the same problem that the younger George Bush ran into in 2005. As we might recall, there was no national draft even though the war in Iraq was going very poorly. The Russian Army has hit a wall and can't accomplish much more with what they've got on hand. On the other hand,

And will Putin really admit they are losing the war. Winners in a “special military operation” don’t need more troops. Sure, he’ll blame NATO, but “we’re losing, send me your sons” will be a tough sell.

As Ukraine is defending itself against an attack, they've had no difficulty mobilizng their population.

The Non-Commissioned Officer/Petty Officer layer of US and European armies and navies is something  that's long been part of their traditions. Ukraine has been brought into this tradition since 2014 and as much as Russia might like to import it for its own armed services, this is the sort of reform that takes years to carry out. Maybe after Russia loses this current war and then spends years in reform efforts, they can have NCOs as well, but for the short term, there's very little they can do other than to use lots of artillery and then advance in large numbers, an enourmouslt expensive way to fight.


Video of march

So what's the Poor People's Campaign (PPC) concerned with? We're doing okay on the economy, employment grew from 57.9% of the population in April 2021 to 60.1% in February 2022. Unemployment is 3.6% as of March 2022, the US got down to that level in 2019, but the time it got that low beforehand was 1969. Nevertheless, inflation has been a problem. It dropped sharply in the early 1980s and remained reasonably stable from about 2% to 5% until this January, after which it climbed up to 8.5%. Senator Elizabeth Warren and her NPR host together blame "corporations ... making huge profits."

One thought has been that cutting back on Biden's Build Back Better agenda might help to ease inflationary pressure. Talking Points Memo takes a look and puts inflation into context. No, cutting back on Biden's ambitious agenda won't do anything to slow inflation. The PPC has taken the very strong position that the sort-of, wishy-washy, sometimes Democrat Joe Manchin is wrong and that the country needs to move full speed ahead on the Build Back Better agenda!

Also, the country had two reconstruction periods, one right after the Civil War and one in the 1960s. PPC believes it's time for a Third Reconstruction Period! Let's deal with poverty and low wages!


So for six years, we had a president who was too thin-skinned to take a joke and then COVID-19. Biden showed up, along with The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, and told a set of jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner (alternative name: Nerdprom).

“Republicans seem to support one fella, some guy named Brandon,” Biden joked, alluding to the utterly asinine “Let’s go Brandon” chant championed by some conservatives. “I’m happy for him. He’s having a good year.”

Joe Kahn replaced Dean Baquet as the Executive Editor at the NY Times. Reviews on Kahn are pretty "meh." As The Who sang in Won't Get Fooled Again, "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss." One of the stories that was left by the side of the road to die was that about Jared Kushner getting $2 billion for an investment fund.

The owner of Tesla cars and a billionaires-in-space member, Elon Musk, is trying to purchase Twitter. Investment bankers and mergers-and-aquisitions people don't thnk it's a smart move. His basic philosophy seems to be that if the First Amendment allows it, then it's okay to be on Twitter. Problem is, porno and spam and all sorts of threatening, harassing speech is A-OK by the First Amendment but not by the standards of social media.