Monday, February 5, 2024

Thirty Pieces of Blood-Stained Silver


Thirty Pieces of Blood-Stained Silver

by C.A. Matthews

If I could regain those two hours I’d gladly take them back and do something useful with them, like clean out my cat’s litter box. But there’s no time machine invented yet that can return those wasted minutes of our lives, so we simply have to live and learn from them.
You may ask what is worse than cleaning out my cat’s stinky litter box. I’ll warn you first to hold your nose. It was an event quite odorous. In fact, it stunk to high heavens. Since it involves untrustworthy politicians, that revelation should come as no real surprise to those who are wise to the ways of politics. You’re use to dealing with foul individuals who, by comparison, make mucking out a horse barn a genuine pleasure.

If you go
back a couple of weeks and re-read my plaintive cry to the Toledo City Council (TCC) to pass a ceasefire in Gaza resolution (How Much Is A Child’s Life Worth?), you’ll get a feel of what the mood was like when I and a hundred or so fellow activists showed up at the city council meeting on January 31 in anticipation of better news on the matter. I don’t think any of us expected this level of betrayal and sheer heartlessness that awaited us. Many of us had journeyed the day previous to the Tower of Sauron—I mean, One Government Center—a foreboding white skyscraper in downtown Toledo, to give short statements to the council in support of a vote on the ceasefire resolution that had been tabled two weeks previously.

Trusting that our statements of January 30 would be given proper consideration by our elected representatives, we thought we’d be making our case for the ceasefire resolution before most of the council members. To our chagrin, only three council members (and possibly a fourth who snuck in very late in the proceedings to grab something off her place on the dais and then escaped) were actually present. Still, we were making our statements for the record and being video-recorded so that the “absent members” would have a chance to listen to what we said at their leisure.

We were told to return the next day (January 31) for a city council meeting where the ceasefire measure could be untabled and voted upon. At the very least it was implied that a more productive discussion would take place on the matter so the public could understand what the hold up was among the twelve city council members. It’s not like council hadn’t had time to consider the ceasefire resolution before—it was first introduced in November 2023. Think of how many thousands of people have been murdered in Gaza by IDF forces in the three months following its introduction, some of whom were relatives of Toledo area residents.

Toledo, Ohio, has one of the largest concentrations of Arab Americans in the US, so it’s no secret that many Toledo voters aren’t at all happy with their city council members right now. And who can blame them? All they are asking for is a yes vote on a ceasefire in Gaza resolution that numerous other cities in the US have already passed. They want to know if their elected representatives care about them and their extended families, care enough to give them a simple yes vote on the proposed ceasefire resolution.

But it was not meant to be. Our trust in the fairness and compassion of our elected officials was misplaced.

The stench of partisan politics has gassed out all hope that Toledo will ever become a city to pass a ceasefire resolution in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Toledo City Council smells as fragrant as a cow barn after a particularly nasty infection has swept through the herd, giving the cows all explosive bouts of diarrhea. And if you’ve ever walked through a cow barn when the herd is feeling well and taken in a big breath of air then… I don’t have to describe to you how much worse that stench is when they’re sick.

by Mark Taylor -- deMOCKracy.Ink
The first stinky warning sign of betrayal we should have smelled at the January 31 council meeting was the return of its “absent members”. I found it notable that none of the African American council members had been in attendance the day before when the public was allowed to give their statements, and it’s probably even more notable that all of the absent council members, Black or White, are Democrats. The connection between that neoliberal party and the organization run by Mr. Smith* (not his real name), mentioned in my article two weeks ago, cannot be underestimated. The writing of large checks for politicians’ campaign war chests is a great motivator and predictor of their behavior. These council members’ conduct prove no exception to that rule.

After several photo ops and some cursory council business, the comment section of the meeting began. The proposer of the ceasefire resolution did not untable the measure for a vote. Instead, he gave an impassioned speech in its defense and pleaded with his fellow council members to consider the tremendous lost of life in Gaza and the family members of Palestinians living in the city. The audience took to its feet as one and gave him a rousing standing ovation for his remarks.

And that was the end of discussion for the ceasefire resolution. 

 The two other members who had attended the statement-giving meeting made some brief mentions of the citizens who gave statements, but that was it. One of these two made a negative comment about how a certain “red line” had been crossed in the public statement giving. It seems you cannot tell a Toledo City Council member to imagine what it would be like to lose all his loved ones when a bomb is dropped on their home. Mentioning such an everyday occurrence in Gaza just isn’t polite conversation, and he was thoroughly miffed. To quote famous neoliberal AOC: “Your words are violence! (And you need to be censored.)”

The majority “absent members” made zero comments about the public statements. Apparently they had neither the time nor the desire to watch the video or read the transcript. Instead, they spoke on inconsequential matters in their allotted time, mostly of a personal nature that made no sense whatsoever. They drone on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on… You get the picture? When the clock turned six pm. there came a rushed, “No more comments? Council adjourned!” from the council president and a loud gavel knock. They all stood at once and rushed toward the council members’ exit behind the dais.

We were told to attend the second city council meeting because we would hear more about what the hold up was on the voting for the ceasefire resolution. Of course since what was promised didn’t happen, the shitty behavior of the majority of members didn’t sit too well with the audience. Chants of “Shame on you!” began almost immediately. “We will remember in November!” could be heard as well. Obviously the small number of “yes votes” on council must have decided not to untable the ceasefire resolution (once again) because they feared the power to vote the resolution down of the “absent members” along with Mr. “I’m-scared-of-women-wearing-head-scarves-telling-me-to-imagine-what-it’s-like-lose-all-your-family-to-an-Israeli-bomb”. Once again the Arab American population of Toledo has been betrayed by their elected officials, left out in the cold and with little comfort.

The stinkiest aspect of all this isn’t simply that a good portion of Toledo City Council is on the take to Zionists who write big checks to fill their campaign war chests. (You can see just how easily TCC members can be bribed in this article. There’s a pattern here.) No, it’s much stinkier than that. It’s the fact that human beings—especially little children—are dying under horrific circumstances in Gaza and elsewhere in the Occupied Territories right now, and these “faithful party members” of the so-calledDemocratic” Party will spit in the eye of their constituents and refuse to even allow a vote on a symbolic ceasefire resolution.

These “absent of empathy” council members can’t even bring themselves to acknowledge that there’s a ceasefire resolution on the table. They can’t even acknowledge the suffering of their constituents who are concerned about their loved ones’ health and safety in Gaza. They won’t even listen to the public statements—particularly those made by their Arab American constituents. They can’t wait to rush out the door to get away from the jeers and the vocal condemnations they received because of their cowardice.

Can you think of any more shittier behavior than that? Can you imagine the betrayal you’d feel if you had voted for these council members in hopes that they’d actually represent you?

In my life, I’ve walked through a cow barn, a horse barn, a pig farm and a chicken house, and I’ve changed millions of baby diapers and I’ve emptied my cat’s litter box at least a thousand times—and even I can’t think of anything smellier, more disgusting, or more foul than these Toledo City Council Members’ behavior toward their constituents in regards to this ceasefire in Gaza resolution.

by Mark Taylor -- deMOCKracy.Ink
The Democrats are so hung up at pleasing “Butcher Biden” in Washington DC that even your local Dems—the ones you might actually see in a grocery store checkout line or attend church with—don’t acknowledge there’s a genocide going on in Gaza. You’d think they’d act somewhat more conciliatory toward Arab American voters in Toledo after the ICJ’s recent ruling of a “plausible genocide”, but they can’t even bring themselves to get off their high horses to acknowledge their Arab American constituents actually exist and have lost loved ones to Israeli bombing.

What should we make of all this shittiness expressed toward us by neoliberals in office?

For certain, now isn’t the time to back down on the protests, the emails, the phone calls, the letters to the editor, and the rambling blogs (like this one). Now is the time to continue exposing the stinky bastards in office and reveal their crappy attitudes to the world. If you feel so moved, please write an email to the members of the Toledo City Council and tell them what you think about their behavior recently. Two of them have since “moved up” into cushy city government jobs, but they were on council long enough and knew what their constituents expected of them. They chose to ignored their Arab American constituents and their suffering family members in Palestine.

Now is the time to muck out the proverbial stable, dump the nasty litter box of politicians, and toss them all into the compost pile of history. Now is the time to support alternative party candidates who will treat all citizens equally and with compassion.

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss—all for a mere thirty pieces of silver. Our neoliberal electeds would sell us all out for a mere fraction of that price, eagerly grabbing at the blood-stained silver coins without hesitation. It’s time we nailed them to a cross and make sure they never rise again.

Related Articles and Other Interesting Links 

Three former Toledo City councilmembers sentenced for taking bribes for votes

As Palestinians Continue to Die, the History of Their Betrayal by the “Free World” Tells Us Why

As Civilians Starve in Gaza, Israelis Block Humanitarian Aid Convoy for Third Day

US and UK also committing genocide crimes in Gaza: Former UN official

US Is Underwriting Israel’s Crimes — Americans Can No Longer Claim Ignorance

Far-right organizations aid White House in bogus antisemitism investigations of universities

Democrats Are Demented Genocidal War Sluts

Five Things Liberals Say To Avoid Taking A Real Position On Gaza

Israel Bombed Belgian Aid Office in Gaza After Nation Refused to Halt UNRWA Funding

We're expected to believe a UN aid agency is worse than the IDF
The West: Guilty of Genocide

Inside The Israel Lobby’s New $90 Million War Chest

Biden Says The US "Does Not Seek Conflict In The Middle East" While Actively Dropping Bombs There
UAW members vote on resolution calling leadership to rescind Biden endorsement

After Historic Strike, UAW Bureaucrats Sit By as Stellantis Lays Off Hundreds of Workers

Climate change has killed 4 million people since 2000 — and that’s an underestimate

It’s Not ‘Inflation’ — We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. 
Decisions 2024 (Interviews with Jill Stein and Cornel West)

Sabby Sabs: Kamala Bans Muslims From Vegas Event (clip)
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  1. Those councilors are all supposedly 'democratic,' yet they don't take the slightest notice of public demands. They think they can brush it off, and rely on dumb-as-sheep party voters to get them through another election cycle without worrying about troublesome things such as genocide. If not, they can take an appointed position and move up the ladder, all untouched by public concerns. The system is so rigged in their favor it'll take a seismic shift to break it - and I think that's coming.

    1. Here’s to that “earthquake of awakening” to take these sociopaths out of office soon!


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