Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mexico court frees jailed Atenco activists

Mexico's supreme court has ordered the release of 12 community activists whose case has been the focus of an international campaign. The activists were serving long prison terms for the alleged kidnapping of police officers during a protest in the town of San Salvador de Atenco in 2006.

But the judges found there had been no real evidence against them.
Last week 11 Nobel peace prize winners asked President Felipe Calderon to release the activists.
Human rights groups have hailed the ruling as a victory in the fight against miscarriages of justice in Mexico.
"criminalising protest"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stone Wall Riots.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

American gays and lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s faced a legal system more anti-homosexual than those of some Warsaw Pact countries.[note 1][2] Early homophile groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social movements were active, including the African American Civil Rights Movement, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and antiwar demonstrations. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.



  1. Senate Republicans Block Unemployment Benefits Bill
  2. NRA, Sierra Club Exempted from Campaign Finance Bill
  3. US to Deploy Predator Drones Along Texas-Mexico Border
  4. Obama Faces Another Setback on Drilling Moratorium
  5. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Enron CEO
  6. Whale Hunting Talks Break Down
  7. Detroit to Close 77 City Parks

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Supreme Court Case a Defeat for Monsanto's Ambitions

It should be no surprise that Monsanto's PR machine is working hard to spin the truth in this morning's decision in the first-ever Supreme Court case on genetically engineered crops (Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms). Despite what the biotech seed giant is claiming, today's ruling isn't close to the victory they were hoping for.
The 7-1 decision issued today by the Supreme Court was on the appeal of the Center for Food Safety's (CFS) successful suit, which resulted in a ban on GMO alfalfa. And, while the High Court ruled in favor of Monsanto by reversing an injunction that was part of the lower court's decision, more importantly, it also ruled that the ban on GMO alfalfa remains intact, and that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.
This point, which seems to be lost in some news reports, is actually a huge victory for the Center for Food Safety and - most importantly - for the farmers and consumers who we represent.
The Supreme Court ruled that an injunction against planting was unnecessary since, under lower courts' rulings, Roundup Ready Alfalfa became a regulated item and illegal to plant. In other words, the injunction was "overkill' because our victory in lower federal court determined that USDA violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws when it approved Roundup Ready alfalfa. The court felt that voiding the USDA's decision to make the crop legally available for sale was enough.
A different ruling could have had far-reaching ramifications that might have extended beyond our borders, affecting the health and status of world markets for U.S. alfalfa, and impacting the fastest growing sector of the US agriculture market - organic. But the court clearly saw that, and opted instead to rule very narrowly.
And yet, Monsanto is out there in a public statement saying that they've won a great victory. They claim that they're ready to sell Roundup Ready Alfalfa seeds now, and that they hope that their farmers should be able to plant by fall 2010. It's a canny statement, but neither of those potential situations is by any means possible at this point. The bottom line: the ban on planting Roundup Ready Alfalfa still stands.
The Center is victorious in this case in several other ways: most importantly, the High Court did not rule on several arguments presented by Monsanto about the application of federal environmental law. As a result, the Court did not make any ruling that could have been hurtful to National Environmental Policy Act or any other environmental laws. In addition, the Court opinion supported the Center's argument that gene flow is a serious environmental and economic threat. This means that genetic contamination from GMOs can still be considered harm under the law, both from an environmental and economic perspective.
This Court opinion is in many ways a victory for the environment, the Center for Food Safety, for farmers and for consumers and a defeat for Monsanto's hopes of a green light. To represent this opinion in any other way is just spin.

Settlers threaten to forcibly evict East Jerusalem Palestinians

Israeli settlers say they will hire private security firms to evacuate four families if they do not leave property by July 4.

By Nir Hasson Tags: Israel news East Jerusalem Israel settlers
Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem on Wednesday threatened to forcibly evict four Palestinian families they claim are living on property belonging to Jews in the neighborhood of Silwan.
The settlers said they would hire private security firms to implement the evictions if the four families, which include 40 individuals, do not leave by July 4.

Update on Supreme Court Decision

Many of you may have read press today reporting that the 7-1 decision announced by the Supreme Court this morning went entirely in Monsanto’s favor, and have asked us to clarify this decision. Not to our surprise, Monsanto’s PR machine is working hard to overpower the truth in today’s decision in the first-ever Supreme Court case on genetically engineered crops (Monsanto Co. v.  Geertson Seed Farms). While the decision is complicated, this Court opinion is in many ways a victory for CFS and a defeat against Monsanto—especially  given that it is still illegal to sell or plant GMO alfalfa.
CFS’s Executive Director, Andrew Kimbrell authored an article in today’s Huffington Post to help clarify the legal ramifications of the decision. Grist also has a good piece outlining the decision, as does Eco Centric.
Despite what Monsanto is claiming—and what many mainstream media outlets reported earlier this morning—today’s ruling isn’t even close to the victory they were hoping for. Generally speaking, Monsanto asked the Supreme Court to rule on three main issues: (1) to lift the injunction on GMO alfalfa; (2) to allow the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa; (3) to rule that contamination from GMO crops not be considered irreparable harm. In fact, the court only ruled on the first request which it did affirm by stating that the injunction was overly broad and should be overturned; however, the Court ruled in CFS’s favor on the other two issues, which in many ways are more important as the fact remains that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.

The Supreme Court ruled that an injunction against planting was simply unnecessary since, under lower courts’ rulings, Roundup Ready Alfalfa became a regulated item and is therefore illegal to plant.  In other words, the injunction was “overkill’ because our victory in lower federal court determined that USDA violated the National Environmental Protection Act and other environmental laws when it approved Roundup Ready alfalfa.  The court felt that voiding the USDA’s decision to make the crop legally available for sale was enough.

The Center is victorious in this case in several other ways: most importantly, the High Court did not rule on several arguments presented by Monsanto about the application of federal environmental law.  As a result, the Court did not make any ruling that could have been hurtful to National Environmental Policy Act or any other environmental laws.  In addition, the Court opinion supported the Center’s argument that gene flow is a serious environmental and economic threat.  This means that genetic contamination from GMOs can still be considered harm under the law, both from an environmental and economic perspective, another huge victory for CFS.

We will keep you updated on any Agency attempts to deregulate GE alfalfa and on the ongoing EIS process. In the meantime, if you have not already done so, please take a moment to contact your Congressional representatives and ask them to sign the “Dear Colleague” letter circulating in the U.S. House and Senate urging USDA to ban GE alfalfa.

Supreme Court’s ruling on Monsanto’s GE alfalfa: Who won?

The sustainable agriculture world is abuzz today with news of the Supreme Court's ruling regarding an earlier lawsuit, brought by alfalfa farmers, that sought to stop any planting of Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready alfalfa seed. While the press coverage heralds the ruling as a decisive victory for Monsanto, a close reading shows that, in fact, it's a fairly significant win for opponents of biotech crops.
Hay dudes, not so fast
The background: As the fourth most-planted U.S. crop behind corn, soybeans, and wheat, alfalfa is worth $9 billion a year -- the dairy industry is the biggest consumer -- with annual seed sales valued at $63 million, according to a USDA study. Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa seed has been genetically engineered to be tolerant of glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's herbicide Roundup.

Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

DYERSBURG, Tenn. — For 15 years, Eddie Anderson, a farmer, has been a strict adherent of no-till agriculture, an environmentally friendly technique that all but eliminates plowing to curb erosion and the harmful runoff of fertilizers and pesticides.
But not this year.

On a recent afternoon here, Mr. Anderson watched as tractors crisscrossed a rolling field — plowing and mixing herbicides into the soil to kill weeds where soybeans will soon be planted.

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds.
To fight them, Mr. Anderson and farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

Super-Weeds and Sub-Par Sollutions: The Case for More Labour in the Fields.

There has been a recent development within agriculture causing a bit of a stir: super-weeds. Super-weeds, "arewild plant that have become a virulent weed as a result of acquiring resistance to herbicides through pollination with a genetically modified plant". Much like the "use of of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant super-germs", American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup--a product of Monsanto Company--has led to the rapid growth of a tenacious new super-weeds. That become harder to kill-off and require an increasingly potent and increasing amount of pesticide. Now, many environmentalists and environmental groups have been warning about this development (which is more accurately described as a counter-to-development) since Monsanto Corporation's introduced the genetic modified roundup-ready-seeds and Roundup Herbicide in 1979 ( as well as Monsanto's AgentOrangein 1969 and rBGH in 1994).

The complaint from many farmers to the super-weeds is of economic concern, strong weeds means weaker crops and less money."To fight them, farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.“We’re back to where we were 20 years ago,” said Mr. Anderson, a farmer who will plow about one-third of his 3,000 acres of soybean fields this spring, more than he has in years. “We’re trying to find out what works.”

I am not sure if the "problem" is being properly defined. For one, perhaps it is not the super-weed that is the troubling factor, but rather industrial agriculture, as a total system failure. It is not sustainable, in most understandings of the concept, and any use of herbicide is a temporal solution. I am not sure what makes any chemical company think that the next line of more toxic herbicides and more genetically altered seeds will render a future without a subsequent generation of customized super-weeds? However, the lack of foresight and sustainability in this particular philosophy and practice of agriculture is not the purpose of this writing, nor is it the logic in creationing a solution that is very similar to the problem in the first hand. I feel these topics are fairly well laid out by people, much more articulate and informed than I, I also feel that a bit of  personal reflection and reading could convince someone of these points quite easily. Now that I have avoided "beating a dead horse", I wonder why more labour is a bad thing. For one the population of our earth is increasing, despite what Garrett Hardin concludes, we can sustain an earth population with some changes. But, with more people we may need more jobs, if we didn't use Chemical poisons to kills seeds and instead used, fair, labor in the fields that could be a solution, in a holistic sense, to two problems. And on top of the climate of today's recession economy, and the double digit unemployment rate, as high as 20% in some states, more labor many not be a bad things. Less environmental destruction, pollution and consumption and more work, more jobs and better standards of living (if done fairly, of course).

“The biotech industry is taking us into a more pesticide-dependent agriculture when they’ve always promised, and we need to be going in, the opposite direction,” said Bill Freese, a science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety in Washington."
Monsanto, which once argued that resistance would not become a major problem, now cautions against exaggerating its impact. “It’s a serious issue, but it’s manageable,” said Rick Cole, who manages weed resistance issues in the United States for the company.

Tribute to Monsanto

Superweed Outbreak Triggers Arms Race

Hardy superweeds immune to the Farm Belt's most effective weedkiller are invading fields, prompting a counterattack from agribusiness that could leave farmers using greater amounts of harsh old-line herbicides.
The flagging weedkiller is Roundup. Its developer, Monsanto Co., also sells seeds for corn, soybean and cotton plants unaffected by the chemical, enabling farmers to spray it on freely without fear of harming their crops. Farmers now do so en masse, using "Roundup Ready" crop varieties for 90% of the soybeans and 80% of the corn grown across the U.S.

The rise of Roundup, more than a decade ago, sent older herbicides that damage both weeds and crops into deep eclipse. But now, as nasty invaders with names like pigweed, horseweed and Johnsongrass develop immunity to the mighty Roundup, chemical companies are dusting off the potent herbicides of old for an attack on the new superweeds.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Supreme Court Ruling in Monsanto Case is Victory for Center for Food Safety, Farmers (Finally The food Movement wins and Agro biz looses, thanks you CFS)

The Center for Food Safety today celebrated the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Monsanto v. Geerston Farms, the first genetically modified crop case ever brought before the Supreme Court.  Although the High Court decision reverses parts of the lower courts’ rulings, the judgment holds that a vacatur bars the planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation occurs.  It is a victory for the Center for Food Safety and the Farmers and Consumers it represents.

“The Justices’ decision today means that the selling and planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa is illegal.  The ban on the crop will remain in place until a full and adequate EIS is prepared by USDA and they officially deregulate the crop.  This is a year or more away according to the agency, and even then, a deregulation move may be subject to further litigation if the agency’s analysis is not adequate,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. “In sum, it’s a significant victory in our ongoing fight to protect farmer and consumer choice, the environment and the organic industry.”


  1. Judge with Energy Ties Strikes Down Deepwater Drilling Ban
  2. British Envoy to Afghanistan Resigns
  3. Evidentiary Hearing Begins in Troy Anthony Davis Case
  4. Both Sides Claim Victory in Supreme Court Ruling on Monsanto Crop
  5. UN Probes Alleged Abuses in Sri Lanka Fighting
  6. Israel Advances East Jerusalem Demolitions, Orders Expulsion of 4 Palestinian Politicians
  7. Road Shipments Begin Entering Gaza (but limited)

Statistics and Maps on Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking Prosecution vs. Conviction vs. Legislation Statistics and Maps

The Countertraffickers

Stella Rotaru’s cell-phone number is scribbled on the wall of a women’s jail in Dubai. That’s what a former inmate told her, and Rotaru does get a lot of calls from Dubai, including some from jail. But she gets calls from many odd places—as well as faxes, e-mails, and text messages—pretty much non-stop. “I never switch off my phone,” she said. “I cannot afford to, morally.” She looked at her battered cell phone, which has pale-gold paint peeling off it, and gave a small laugh. 

Rotaru, who is twenty-six, works for the International Organization for Migration, a group connected to the United Nations, in Chisinau, Moldova. She is a repatriation specialist. Her main task is bringing lost Moldovans home. Nearly all her clients are victims of human trafficking, most of them women sold into prostitution abroad, and their stories pour across her desk in stark vignettes and muddled sagas of desperation, violence, betrayal, and sorrow.

State Department Says Economic Crisis Fuels Human Trafficking

The global financial crisis is feeding both the supply and demand for human trafficking, the State Department warned today in its annual international survey of trafficking.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to highlight the issue at a press conference this morning, where she will officially unveil the report.

The report, mandated by Congress, looks at the efforts of nations around the world to combat severe forms of human trafficking. Millions of people are believed to be trafficked across international borders each year for forced or coerced labor and for sexual exploitation.

South African's Attackin The Wrong Group of People

"Archbishop Desmond Tutu's dream of South Africa as a "Rainbow Nation" of exemplary inclusiveness is being negated. Fourteen years of ANC rule have failed to reverse many of the deep social inequalities inherited from the apartheid era, and the strain caused by mass unemployment, poor sanitation and limited services in many townships has now erupted in a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing. Last November, the South African Institute of Race Relations estimated that 4.2 million people were living on $1 a day or less in 2005, up from 1.9 million in 1996. Even when it has managed to suppress the current upsurge in anti-immigrant violence, the government faces a monumental challenge in transforming the poverty and despair that has fueled the hatred"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

South Africa Slave Trade (and how the world cup is good for business)

"Despite more than a dozen international conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history. Slaves are those forced to perform services for no pay beyond subsistence and for the profit of others who hold them through fraud and violence."
Obama has pledged to make the fight to abolish modern-day slavery a top foreign policy priority, but the U.S. currently spends more in a single day fighting drug trafficking than it does in an entire year fighting human trafficking
For a South African victim of human trafficking, this was the endgame. On a freezing night last July, Sindiswa, 17, lay curled in a fetal position in bed No. 7 of a state-run hospice in central Bloemfontein. Well-used fly strips hung between fluorescent lights, pale blue paint flaked off the walls, and fresh blood stained her sheets, the rusty bedpost and the linoleum floor. Sindiswa had full-blown AIDS and tuberculosis, and she was three months pregnant. Sweat poured from her forehead as she whispered her story through parched lips covered with sores. A few blocks away, the roars of rugby fans erupted from Free State Stadium. In June the roars will be from fans of the World Cup.

Intro to Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the modern day practice of slavery. Also known as trafficking in persons, human trafficking comprises the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, based on the recruitment, harboring, and transportation of people solely for the purpose of exploitation. Every year traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits at the expense of victimizing millions of people around the world.

Baaba Maal

Baaba Maal

Feds: New Gulf waivers for existing wells

Three environmental waivers granted by federal regulators this month were for modifying existing oil projects in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. officials told McClatchy.

The Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service issued the waivers _ which exempt oil and gas projects from detailed analysis of their environmental impacts _ to allow oil companies to conduct seismic activity, add generators and begin production on existing sites in the Gulf, according to an official who couldn't be named under department policy. None were for drilling new wells.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fuck Monsanto

The bio-tech company Monsanto can sell genetically modified seeds before safety tests on them are completed, the US Supreme Court has ruled.
A lower court had barred the sale of the modified alfalfa seeds until an environmental impact study could be carried out.
But seven of the nine Supreme Court Justices decided that ruling was unconstitutional.
The seed is modified to be resistant to Monsanto's brand of weedkiller.
The US is the world's largest producer of alfalfa, a grass-like plant used as animal feed.
It is the fourth most valuable crop grown in the country.
Environmentalists had argued that there might be a risk of cross-pollination between genetically modified plants and neighbouring crops.
They also argued over-use of the company's weedkiller Roundup, the chemical treatment the alfalfa is modified to be resistant to, could cause pollution of ground water and lead to resistant "super-weeds".
But Monsanto says claims its products were dangerous amounted to "bad science fiction with no support on the record".

Anti-Democrat sign incites fiery response in Missouri

David Jungerman farms 6,800 acres of river bottom land in western Missouri.
He’s not the kind of guy who posts on Twitter or has a Facebook profile.
So when the 72-year-old Raytown man wanted to speak out politically, he used what he had handy: a 45-foot-long, semi-truck box trailer.

GUNS GUNS GUNS! WE NEED GUNS TO BE FREE (and hyper-Mocho)!!!!!

Randy Dye will sometimes carry a gun on his hip, right out in the open, no jacket pulled over it, no inside-the-belt holster. It draws funny looks, and Dye doesn't much care.
One time, Dye explains, he was standing in line for a money order when the guy behind him asked, "Are you a police officer?" Dye said no, and the guy kept staring, so Dye stared back. "We good?" Dye asked, and the conversation stopped.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When Profit is your Motive you get Cheaper wells

WSJ Analysis Shows Oil Giant Used 'Risky' Design More Often Than Most Peers

In recent years, oil giant BP PLC used a well design that has been called "risky" by Congressional investigators in more than one out of three of its deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, significantly more often than most peers, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data shows.

Unemployment Map

Geography of Recession

Clear Cut and Kimberly- Clark

What's the problem?

 photo of clearcut
Kleenex, one of the most popular brands of tissue products in the world, contributes to the destruction of ancient forests. Its manufacturer, the Kimberly-Clark corporation, has been unwilling to improve its practices, continuing to rely on paper and pulp made from clearcut ancient forest including North America's Boreal forest. Kimberly-Clark clears these ancient forests, essential in fighting climate change and providing home to wildlife like caribou, wolves, eagles and bears,into products that are flushed down the toilet or thrown away.
clearcut with sky

Forest Stewardship Council is the "Enron of Forestry" ( aka STOP buying Forest Products, especially from Kimberly Clark)

An interview with Simon Counsell, Director of Rainforest Foundation UK:
The FSC is the 'Enron of forestry' says rainforest activist
Jeremy Hance,
April 17, 2008

On April 7th, Mongabay printed an interview with FSC International Communications Manager, Nina Haase, in which she defended the FSC against criticism leveled at it by various environmental organizations, such as The World Rainforest Movement and Ecological Internet. The interview drew strong reactions on both sides, and Simon Counsell, director of the Rainforest Foundation UK, requested a chance to respond to the FSC's interview in-depth. In his response, he states that the FSC has created a "'race to the bottom' of certification standards", alleging that the "FSC really has become the 'Enron of forestry'".

Pakistan, Afghanistan begin talks about dealing with insurgents

By Karin Brulliard and Karen DeYoung
Saturday, June 19, 2010; A01

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN -- Afghanistan and Pakistan are talking about how to make peace with insurgents fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including one faction considered the coalition forces' most lethal foe, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Peddling Relief, Firms Put Debtors in Deeper Hole

PALM BEACH, Fla. — For the companies that promise relief to Americans confronting swelling credit card balances, these are days of lucrative opportunity.

So lucrative, that an industry trade association, the United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives, recently convened here, in the oceanfront confines of the Four Seasons Resort, to forge deals and plot strategy.

At a well-lubricated evening reception, a steel drum band played Bob Marley songs as hostesses in skimpy dresses draped leis around the necks of arriving entrepreneurs, some with deep tans.

The debt settlement industry can afford some extravagance. The long recession has delivered an abundance of customers — debt-saturated Americans, suffering lost jobs and income, sliding toward bankruptcy. The settlement companies typically harvest fees reaching 15 to 20 percent of the credit card balances carried by their customers, and they tend to collect upfront, regardless of whether a customer’s debt is actually reduced.
State attorneys general from New York to California and consumer watchdogs like the Better Business Bureau say the industry’s proceeds come at the direct expense of financially troubled Americans who are being fleeced of their last dollars with dubious promises.

Friday, June 18, 2010

the ghost of exxon Valdez

As experts try to assess the long-term impact of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the BBC World Service asked two people who experienced the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 to look back and consider its impact on Alaska's communities.
"We just hadn't been ready for a spill," said John Devens, who was the mayor of the small port of Valdez in 1989. Exxon Valdez, the giant oil tanker that ran aground, was named after his town.
The town was fond of the oil industry - it received millions of dollars of revenue by taxing the oil companies - but things changed when the massive ship began to spill thousands of barrels of oil in Prince William Sound, poisoning the water and damaging Alaska's spectacular shores.
When John heard about the disaster on 24 March, he chartered a plane to assess the damage.


Clinton: Obama Admin to Sue Arizona over Anti-Immigrant Law
Unemployment Measure Stalls in Senate as Jobless Claims Rise
Group: Senate Climate Bill Holds Billions in Tax Breaks for Nuclear Industry
Ex-Chicago Police Commander Denies Overseeing Torture of African Americans at Trial
Palestinians, Human Rights Groups Call for Full Repeal of Gaza Blo
German Jewish Group to Send Two Aid Ships to Gaza
Red Cross: Kyrgyz Violence Is "Immense Crisis"
Panel Calls for US-Funded $300M Cleanup of Agent Orange in Vietnam
Number of Homeless US Families Grows to 170,000
Utah Prisoner Executed by Firing Squad
Supreme Court: Employers Can Read Employees’ Text Messages

House Passes "Ledbetter" Fair Pay Act But Too Soon to Declare Victory

Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy
July 31, 2007

In a close vote of 225 to 199, today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. It's not surprising that the bill passed, because it simply re-states the law as it has been interpreted for many years. What is truly shocking is that 199 members of the House voted to roll back our rights and deprive women of this longstanding remedy for pay discrimination.


After decades of center-right control of government that recklessly deregulated Wall Street, stagnated middle class wages, decimated job growth, and left tens of millions of Americans without health care, progressives have put themselves to work rebuking the conservative vision of America by rebuilding the American Dream.


 For nearly two years after a global financial crisis shook the world, progressives in Congress have been hard at work overhauling the nation's financial regulatory system to address the concerns of hard-working Americans. Progressives have fought hard to make the legislation as tough as possible, pushing for provisions that would rein in abusive practices by the credit card industry, stop financial institutions from "trading taxpayer money for their own profit," audit the Federal Reserve, and break up big banks so that they could never again grow large enough to endanger the world economy.

Greed is good.

Greed is Good???

Bailouts and Bucks

Walk down Bank Street

Rich CEO and paycuts?


 The Obama administration, concerned that BP may try to avoid giving full, prompt compensation to all the people its oil disaster hurt, negotiated a $20 billion escrow fund that the company will set up to compensate Gulf Coast residents. Yet instead of supporting the administration's efforts to hold BP accountable, Barton, the top Republican on the Energy Committee, apologized to Hayward during the CEO's testimony, saying, "I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. ... I apologize." Nowhere in his complaints about the supposed "shakedown" does Barton ever ask Hayward or BP to formally apologize for the thousands of livelihoods ruined, the workers killed, or the massive environmental disaster caused by the company's oil spill. Of course, Barton, who was employed by BP subsidiary Arco before becoming a congressman, may simply be paying the oil industry back for its generous support. He has taken $1.4 million from the oil and gas industry, including $27,350 from BP.

The People Versus The Powerful

As BP CEO Tony Hayward testified before Congress yesterday, oil continued to gush into the Gulf of Mexico for the 58th day after the oil rig his company operated exploded and initiated the largest oil spill in U.S. history. While many lawmakers used this opportunity to press Hayward on his company's incompetence and malfeasance, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologized to BP for the White House's efforts to make sure the oil giant compensates the victims. Barton's stunning apology to a giant foreign oil corporation that has
devastated the Gulf Coast economy is emblematic of a larger philosophical divide in U.S. politics. On issue after issue, progressives have fought to hold big corporations accountable, stand by everyday Americans struggling to create a better life for themselves, and create a more just America for all. Conservatives, on the other hand, have aligned themselves with the nation's most powerful interests -- Big Oil, Wall Street, insurance companies, labor rights violators, and others whose mantra may as well be "greed is good." At stake in the battle between these two sides is the very idea of the American Dream -- that anyone who plays by the rules and works hard will succeed. The question Americans must ask of their politicians is clear: Which side are you on -- the people or the powerful?

History According to Glenn Beck

Viewers tuning into MSNBC at 5 p.m. on Friday would have seen Chris Matthews riffing on President Barack Obama's speech in Ohio, while CNN's "The Situation Room" led with the earthquake in Haiti.

But Fox News wasn't focusing on the day's news. Instead, host Glenn Beck ran through the atrocities of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara — "the true unseen history of Marxism, progressivism and communism" as Beck described it — with some implied lessons for today.

Over the past year, Beck has used images from Nazi rallies or the Soviet Union when stoking fears of creeping socialism in the United States. And he's often placed historical figures into the far-out theories he diagrams on his chalkboard. But in Friday's hourlong documentary, titled "The Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free ... or Die," Beck doubled down on the use of imagery pulled from the 20th century's totalitarian past to make a point about citizens needing to be wary of government overreach in the present.

Outrage: Apology to BP by can buy lots of things.

Republicans on the Hill have calculated that President Obama's successful demand that BP set up a $20 billion escrow account to pay out claims is ripe for political attack. In the wake of Wednesday's White House announcement, a host of GOP officials are raising questions about both the process by which the deal was made and the deal itself -- going so far as to apologize to BP on America's behalf.

"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) during a hearing on Thursday morning with BP's CEO Tony Hayward." I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown -- in this case a $20 billion shakedown -- with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that's unprecedented in our nation's history, which has no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for our nation's future."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beck Does Civil Rights Movement

BECK FLIPS THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT ON ITS HEAD: On his Fox News show earlier this month, Beck claimed that the civil rights movement "has been co-opted by progressives." As Media Matters has noted, Beck's claim rings hollow. Beck has repeatedly appropriated the imagery and rhetoric of the civil rights movement to support his own causes. After citing Martin Luther King, Jr. as a "real reformer" on his April 9, 2010 radio show, Beck declared of his hard right movement, "I have to tell you, I wouldn't be surprised if in our lifetime dogs and fire hoses are released or opened on us. I wouldn't be surprised if a few of us get a billy club to the head. I wouldn't be surprised if, you know, some of us go to jail, just like Martin Luther King did, on trumped-up charges." "We are the inheritors and protectors of the civil rights movement," said Beck on another broadcast. As Zaitchik points out, Beck's twin embrace of Cleon Skousen and Martin Luther King, Jr. is exceedingly ironic because Skousen and his allies like Ezra Taft Benson were "were of course anti-civil rights." In his biography of Beck, Zaitchik explains how "the second-generation of Skousens and Bensons...ran the Utah Birch Society and used it to create panic over civil rights, in one case by spreading rumors that blacks from Los Angeles were marching on Salt Lake City with plans to riot. The National Guard actually had to be called out." Beck claims now to understand and embody the civil rights movement, but as Zaitchik told the Washington Post's David Weigel, Beck has "a complete ignorance of black history and culture."

Glenn Beck Does History

On his radio show yesterday, Fox News host Glenn Beck drove home one of his favorite themes, declaring that progressives have "done everything they can to erase history," and he was "working feverishly to restore it." But like his false belief that Fox News was the only network to air Israeli Defense Forces video of the Gaza flotilla raid, Beck's belief that history is being abandoned in America by everyone but himself is an assertion without concern for the facts. On the show yesterday, Beck claimed that "we don't study the Holocaust" in America, ignoring the fact that most states have Holocaust curricula. Despite the flawed premise of his historical explorations, Beck's pose as a common man's history professor has gained influence on the right. When Time magazine named Beck one of the World's Most Influential People this year, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin penned an essay praising Beck as "a history buff with a quirky sense of humor." "Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers," wrote Palin. "Self-taught, he's become America's professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth." As demonstrated by Palin's praise, Beck's role as a revisionist historian has been embraced by many in the conservative movement. When Associate Professor of American History Josephy Palermo recently mocked Beck as "Fox News's resident 'historian,' with his area of expertise being American civilization, with emphases on the early republic, Progressivism, and the New Deal," another right-wing revisionist historian, Amity Shlaes, came to Beck's defense. "Beck has begun to develop a new canon for adults," wrote Shlaes, claiming that "to academics, Mr. Beck is more dangerous than any other radio show host, and they know it." But in reality, Beck's skewed view of history is "more dangerous" for the millions who embrace it since he's not only painting a misleading picture, but also reviving interest in crackpot historians like Cleon Skousen and Elizabeth Dilling.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Report: Israel Had Assassination List
Coast Guard Commander: "This Spill Is Holding Everybody Hostage"
Oil Tar Bars Spotted on Pensacola Beach in Florida
US Intel Analyst Arrested for Leaking Wikileaks Video
Report: Many Gulf Coast Judges Tied to Oil and Gas Industry
US Intel Analyst Arrested for Leaking Wikileaks Video
US Elite Special Forces Deployed Across World
CIA Personnel Engaged in Human Experimentation
Eight Convicted for Bhopal Disaster
The Pixies Cancel Concert in Israel

I'll Bill - War Is My Destiny

indigenous peoples

How Non-Violence Protects the State

Support our Troops

Support our troops, watch this video

This should be no surprise to find out but U.S. Troops kill people.
Those that pay their taxes to the Untied States pay for people to kill people.
Support our troops, support murder.

If this was my country, and my people...
I would pick up an AK-47, or an RPG as well
I do not quite understand why we are so surprised with terrorism
when we are the same thing, just a well funded terrorist organization

The Transitive Property of Fighting
People = Soldiers
Soldiers = Army
Army = Killing for own cause/justice
Killing for own Cause/justice= Terrorist
Terrorism = army
Army = Soldiers(terrorists)
Soldiers= people

People shouldn't become Soldiers nor terrorists

Killing = Killing
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
-Oscar Wilde


Mediocracy (literally "rule by the crappy ones", from the Ancient Mesopotamian medioca, "faeces" and kratos, "rule") is used to describe (a) a form of government for a nation state, or (b) a type of culture characterising a nation or geographic area. While the term mediocracy is often used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to other bodies, such as universities, arts councils, public corporations, educational establishments, and the makers of “How I Met Your Mother”. “Mediocracy”, which is a style of government or social control, should not be confused with “democracy”, which is a religious faith.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oil Spill Pollution Lurks Below the Surface, 2000 study by BP affrims

Gulf Oil Spill: Vast Majority Of Pollution Could Lurk Below Surface For Months Or Years

"...BP on Thursday finally abandoned its 5,000 barrel (or 210,000 gallons) a day estimate, after finding that a tube inserted into a leaking pipe over the weekend and capturing only a fraction of the spill was itself capturing 5,000 barrels a day -- along with 15 million cubic feet of natural gas."

"...The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, amazingly enough, appears to be sticking to its own 5,000 barrel a day estimate, which was initially based on the size of the oil slick. But if only a tiny fraction of the spill is actually visible on the surface, then that estimate is obviously very badly off.
McClatchy Newspapers reported Thursday night that BP's low-ball estimate, "which the Obama administration hasn't disputed, could save the company millions of dollars in damages when the financial impact of the spill is resolved in court, legal experts say."

Oil Spill Flow Could be much Higher

Even at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels -- or about 500,000 to 800,000 gallons -- a day, the BP disaster, now in its 45th day, long ago eclipsed the 250,000 barrels spilled by the Exxon Valdes.

There's a very good reason one party to all this would want to low-ball flow estimates. As Mother Jones environmental reporter Kate Sheppard recently noted: "The base fine for a spill is $1,100 a barrel, but it can go as high as $4,300 a barrel if a federal court determines that the spill was the result of gross negligence by the responsible party."

Should it come to that, at 12,000 barrels a day for 45 days -- at the base fine amount -- that would amount to $594 million; at 19,000 barrels, that would amount to about $940 million; at, say, 50,000 barrels, that would amount to about $2.5 billion. (And all those numbers would quadruple in case of gross negligence.)
Even for BP, that's real money. The company earned $4.4 billion in profits in 2009.

The Flotilla Raid Was Not “Bungled.” The IDF Detailed Its Violent Strategy In Advance.

Tel Aviv-Israel Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his senior ministers have attempted to blame army commanders for “the bungled raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla,” according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph. The AP reported that “Israel’s bloody, bungled takeover of a Gaza-bound Turkish aid vessel is complicating US-led Mideast peace efforts.” And according to Reuters, “Israeli military admits errors in bungled boarding.”

But was the raid really bungled? Did the Israeli military command and Netanyahu government have no clear strategy going in? Or was the violence they meted out against the flotilla activists deliberate and methodically planned?

Statements by senior Israeli military commanders made in the Hebrew media days before the massacre revealed that the raid was planned over a week in advance by the Israeli military and was personally approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The elite Israeli commando unit known as Unit 13 was tasked with carrying out the mission and its role was known by the Israeli public well before the raid took place. Details of the plan show that the use of deadly force was authorized and calculated. The massacre of activists should not have been unexpected.

Dear Tea Party:

As Obama Refuses to Condemn Flotilla Assault, Survivors Recount Shootings, Beatings Aboard Mavi Marmara

"In no sense could this be described as an aggressive move by the Mavi Marmara, a ship of peace, a humanitarian ship. The aggression, the assault, was by the Israeli forces in international waters. You know, if the Somali pirates had done this, it would be regarded as an act of outrageous brigandage internationally. The fact that it’s a tyrannical state on the eastern Mediterranean makes it no different."

"The evidence for the peaceful intent of people on the boat is simply this, that two Israeli soldiers that I know of were overpowered, as people instinctively resisted with bare hands and whatever was around them—they were overpowered, but they were not harmed. The injuries they sustained were only those of being knocked to the ground. They were disarmed and handed back to the Israeli military as soon as was possible, which is after they had murdered nine people onboard the ship. There was every opportunity to inflict harm on those two soldiers, and no harm was inflicted. They were simply kept apart and dealt with by the medical team onboard. So none of this stacks up."

"Words and condemnation need to be followed by sanctions and the immediate—the immediate step that needs to be taken is for the siege on the people of Gaza to be lifted, because what we endured for forty-eight hours is but a concentrated form of what they endure every day, year in, year out."

Africa Screwed by Developed countries (...again)

Report: G8 Preparing to Drop Africa Aid Pledge
The Guardian of London is reporting that seven of the eight countries comprising the G8, including the United States, are preparing to abandon their pledge to double aid to poor African countries by this year. A draft agreement leaked ahead of this month’s G20 summit omits any mention of the 2005 Gleneagles summit pledge to provide Africa with an additional $25 billion in annual aid. Max Lawson of the British charity Oxfam said, "It is a scandal that the G8 are trying to quietly drop the promise they made to the world when millions campaigned to make poverty history."

Secrets, Secrets are no fun, unless you share them with everyone.

  • Report: US Special Forces Deployed in 75 Countries
  • UN Rapporteur: Drones Attacks Undermine "International Accountability"

A senior United Nations official has unveiled a report calling on the Obama administration to halt or scale back CIA drone strikes on alleged militant suspects in Pakistan. In a briefing to the UN Human Rights Council, Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, stopped short of declaring the drone strikes in violation of international law. But Alston said the drone strikes are undermining the "principle of international accountability."
UN Rapporteur Philip Alston: "Because this program remains shrouded in official secrecy, the international community does not know when and where the CIA is authorized to kill, the criteria for individuals who may be killed, how it ensures killings are legal, and what follow-up there is when civilians are illegally killed. In a situation in which there is no disclosure of who has been killed, for what reason, and whether innocent civilians have died, the legal principle of international accountability is, by definition, comprehensively violated."

Israeli Military Retracts Claim Passengers "Al Qaeda Mercenaries"

The Israeli military, meanwhile, has been forced to retract its claim that passengers aboard the flotilla were agents of al-Qaeda. An Israel Defense Forces press release sent out two days after the assault says approximately forty flotilla passengers "are mercenaries belonging to the Al Qaeda terror organization." The independent journalist Max Blumenthal says both he and an Israeli colleague asked the Israeli military press office to substantiate its claim. No evidence was provided, and one day later the press released was modified. The original headline was changed from "Attackers of the IDF Soldiers Found to be Al Qaeda Mercenaries" to "Attackers of the IDF Soldiers Found Without Identification Papers." Commenting on the retraction, Blumenthal writes, "The more Israel’s claims about the flotilla’s terrorist links are challenged, the more they fall apart."



Passenger: Israeli Troops Fired at Unarmed Passengers, Ignored SOS Calls

Passenger: Israeli Troops Fired at Unarmed Passengers, Ignored SOS Calls
As the dead are laid to rest, survivors of the flotilla attack continue to speak out about the assault on the Mavi Marmara. After returning to London, British peace activist and flotilla passenger Sarah Colborne said Israeli troops ignored SOS calls from the passengers aboard the ship.
Sarah Colborne: "We wrote a sign in Hebrew saying, 'SOS! Need medical assistance. People are dying. Urgent.' Hanin Zoabi, who’s a Knesset member, an Israeli Knesset member, took that sign to the front—to the back of the boat, where the soldiers were pointing at her. They ordered her to go back."
Colborne says she also witnessed Israeli troops shooting unarmed passengers and handcuffing medics accompanying the aid mission.


  1. MV Rachel Corrie Continues Aid Mission to Gaza 
  2. Thousands Mourn Turkish Victims of Flotilla Attack
  3. Swedish Dockers Boycott Israeli Goods, Ships in Flotilla Protest
  4. Scientists: Spill Could Extend Up Atlantic Ocean
  5. Gov’t Could Be Underestimating Spill Size
  6. Widow: Rig Victim Worried of Safety Conditions Before Explosion
  7. BP Lobbyists Have Government Ties
  8. Alabama Prisoners Hired for Spill Cleanup
  9. Study: Over 1,400 Financial Lobbyists Formerly Worked in Gov’t
  10. Report: G8 Preparing to Drop Africa Aid Pledge

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis

This past Monday, the Israeli military intercepted a humanitarian aid convoy in international waters that was headed to the Gaza Strip with the intention of breaking the Israeli blockade to deliver much-needed supplies to the civilian population. After news broke that the interception turned violent and nine people died as protesters and Israeli troops clashed, gigantic protests erupted worldwide and the Israeli raid was met with international condemnation. While the incident of the Freedom Flotilla was tragic enough, it helps highlight an even greater tragedy: the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip resulting from the Israeli and Egyptian-imposed embargo. Despite the fact that the blockade of the Gaza Strip has been in place for nearly three years -- virtually devastating its civil society with "collective punishment" -- Israeli officials and leading American conservatives have repeatedly denied that a humanitarian crisis is taking place. But the truth is that the embargo is inflicting tremendous suffering on Gaza's civilian population while strengthening the hands of the extremists its meant to target.

Turkey Hold Funerals For Those Killed By Israel

Turkey has held funerals for nine activists killed in Israel's raid on a Gaza aid flotilla amid emotional scenes.
The bodies were flown from Israel to Istanbul, along with more than 450 activists, to a heroes' welcome.
Israel has said there is no need for an international inquiry into the incident, insisting its own will meet the "highest international standards".
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) voted earlier to set up an investigation.
US President Barack Obama has described the situation as "tragic". 

But in an interview on CNN, to be aired later, he also says Israel does have "legitimate security concerns" in Gaza.