Monday, June 30, 2008

From Alvin Baltrop's Pier Photographs
THE QUEER ISSUE It's best to begin at the edge. Gay urban photography has a fleeting yet reliably revelatory home at those places where water laps up against land. On the East Coast, from 1975 through 1986, Alvin Baltrop explored the Hudson River side of Manhattan, capturing black-and-white visions of sex, murder, and architecture by cruising the piers as a peer rather than as an exploitative outsider. On the West Coast, during the '50s and '60s, Denny Denfield used Baker Beach and its nearby wooded areas to invent an Adam-only Eden best glimpsed solo through 3-D. And around the same time in Montreal, Alan B. Stone was hiding in a shed, looking through a shutter at the dock-working men and sunbathing boys who populated the city's port. In the zone known as the city's historical heart, his camera cautiously hinted at desires that could lead to prison time. Curated by David Deitcher, the SF Camerawork exhibition "Alan B.
Stone and the Senses of Place" proves Stone's photographic versatility ranged from a low-key form of William Klein–like typographic artistry to extremely subversive pastoral romanticism — in commissioned Boy Scout photos — to the candid portraiture of the beefcake genre. Such a showcase isn't Deitcher's intent, though — he's structured the show (and written about it, in an autobiographical essay) to foreground a specifically gay vision and experience of Montreal from a time when men were arrested and publicly vilified in newsprint for being homosexual.
Stone provides the nuanced vision; Deitcher identifies its facets and identifies with it. His analysis of Montreal through Stone's camera takes on special resonance when placed next to Douglas Crimp's look at post-Stonewall New York through Baltrop's camera in a February 2008 Artforum piece.
The difference between the liberated time of Baltrop and the closeted era of Stone is evident in their views of waterfront lazy sunbathers. Perhaps the brightest — in tone and in quality of light — of the Baltrop photos showcased in Artforum (also on view at gazes from a few hundred feet away at a half-dozen naked men as they soak up the sun, converse, and dangle their feet off the edge of a pier. The gay-lib visibility inherent to the men's affectionate nudity is doubly emphasized by Baltrop's distanced yet full-frontal perspective. In contrast, Stone's 1954 photo Untitled (Lachine Canal) glimpses the back of a boy in a swimsuit seated at the Port of Montreal's shoreline — the identity of his solitary subject remains poignantly invisible to the photographer, who, as Deitcher notes, was stricken with arthritis at an early age.
There's a similar echo to a pair of photos — one by Stone, one by Baltrop — that depict men standing at the sunlit thresholds of waterfront warehouses. Stone's 1954 Untitled (Dock Workers, Port of Montreal) is a furtive from-behind vision of a shirtless, assumedly heterosexual dockworker. One image from Baltrop's "Pier Photographs, 1975-1986" glances at a shirtless man, also from ...
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Mobile Phones Change Birds' Tune

Many wild birds are able to imitate the simple ringtones of mobile telephones, German ornithologists report, underscoring the influence of humans on the evolution of birds. These birds can "sing up to 78 different phrases, and many of the simplest telephone ringtones coincide with them," ornithologist Matthias Werner, of the government's bird protection agency, told Tierramérica.

Go Your Own Way: Gnosis And The Fractal Spiral


You have to work on yourself before you can really get anywhere. No one can do it for you. The magical codex and the dimensional escape hatch remain firmly out of reach for now. The flame will burn those who are unable to hold it safely in their hands. The universe insists, most adamantly, that we learn how to do it all by ourselves. Gnosis, spiritual attainment, esoteric wisdom. Whatever you want to call it. No cheating, no looking at your friend's paper, no plagiarising - you must do your own thing in your own way. Otherwise, we are compelled to repeat the same tests over and over again, through multiple lifetimes, until we finally figure it out. So you have to do the homework. Sharpen your blade. Keep moving. Fortunately, there is no time limit and everyone’s ascendant path is custom-built for their own unique growth pattern. Spiritually, it’s a win-win situation.

To help penetrate the all-pervading mists of the illusion, one must first acknowledge that consciousness is not the accidental and purposeless by-product of the human condition. The perceived world that we appear to be locked inside, like the silver ball in a pinball machine, is wholly a construct of consciousness. The pinball constructs the machine around itself. Whilst a testing notion for even the most elastic of modern philosophical minds, it has been known for aeons by the ancient mystical traditions and experienced directly by the indigenous shamanic cultures of every continent. Now, it is being evoked again as a progressive scientific theory in quantum physics. It is not new information we are bringing to mind, not by any means. It is better described as a remembrance.

Consciousness is a transcendental music with which we can attune, conduct and create. The spiritually synchronized mind instinctively discerns this. Consciousness flows through all things. It follows that consciousness itself does not originate in the brain of the individual. It is at root, a non-local force. The quantum and holographic traces of this have been unfolding for some time now, most intriguingly in the works of Gebser, Bohm, Pribram and Laszlo. The personal experience of consciousness is better conceived of as a tunnel, or an uplink, to the akashic field (aka the universal field, vacuum field, noosphere etc) which is dynamically connected to everything and everywhere. Perhaps the field is composed of the same subspace luminous filaments that Castaneda’s mythical figure of Don Juan spoke of so enigmatically; these being the fractal structures of consciousness itself, elaborately extending themselves across the multiverse, articulating every conceivable resolution. Our thoughts, feelings and articulations are unique expressions [configurations] of the field. Our imaginal thoughtforms sculpt its physical and psychic manifestations.

Subspace And Not-Thinking

Consciousness operates in a field which is not bound by the restrictions of third density conditions (time & space). Consequently, it may seamlessly reach into higher dimensions/fractal resolutions and potentially innumerable parallel universes, as indicated in superstring theory and m-theory. This is how telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance and similar extra sensory perception phenomena function, by jumping into the subspace field and observing any point along it, instantly and completely. Travel without movement. The coherence vector or signal quality is the difference between a faint intuition of something (I think my Aunty Barbara might call this evening) and a full-on vision (a 25ft meteorite will land in my back garden tomorrow at 9:45am and destroy the lawnmower). To maximize signal fidelity, to get the most accurate information, the mind must be trained to quieten the perpetual internal dialogue, the chatter of the brain.

Thinking is brain churn. Knowing is field connection. Whilst deductive reasoning is practical for information processing, it can stand in the way of the coherent field connection necessary to attain wisdom. Many deep mystical experiences encountered in different planes of consciousness are so state specific that they cannot easily be brought back into the third density for adequate expression using the modern linguistic symbol set. Articulation is not always necessary for total comprehension. Standard ‘remote viewing’ technique (the psychic ability to gather information about a distant or unseen target) teaches the student not to think. The collective consciousness within the field knows everything already. It can communicate any information about anything right into your head at supraluminal speeds. So why are some able to remote view and others not? Impulsive brain chatter obscures the incoming data, like static on a TV screen. We need to learn to step out of the way. Meditation brings insight into the thinking process, helping to smooth it out and sometimes stop it altogether, allowing deeper perceptions to be received. Toltec shamanism teaches the apprentice the procedure of ‘stopping the world’ as a means of placing false egoic thinking aside in order to perceive the world shamanically, or if you prefer, to establish a stable uplink to the field.

Interfacing with reality is more instructive than purely theorizing about it. We have long since reached the saturation point of the narrow scientific method with its reliance on separation, measurement and reductionism. Such materialist inferences, no matter how scrupulous, are at odds with the holistic multidisciplinary attitude required for actual conscious evolution. They only obstruct efforts to perceive beyond the particulate cloak of Maya. The primacy of felt experience is consistently more edifying and meaningful than the smug abstractions of ‘scientism’ (the belief that scientific principles are essential to all other disciplines, including philosophical, mystical, spiritual and humanist interpretations of life). The Control System sponsors scientism by overexposing various trenchant physicists, atheists and parapsychologists who all exhibit some form of spiritual devolution. As smart and kooky as some of them are, they lack the psychic integrity and spiritual humility that is so palpable in those who truly walk the path.

Small Is Beautiful

Far from being the exotic anthropological oddity it was once depicted as, shamanism is the original spiritual experience of all indigenous peoples. Present in the savannas of Africa, the jungles of the Amazon, the plains of America, the mountains of Asia and the forests of Europe, shamanism was an integral mystical practice of deep esoteric and spiritual importance to both individuals and communities. Thus it remained, organically ascendant, up until a few thousand years ago when the personal, sovereign right to a spiritual connection with the divine was removed from daily life. This was achieved by hijacking and co-opting all systems of transcendence into the dark canopy of organized religion. The fake priesthood. They took what they liked, pruned the liberating and inspiring bits and threw the rest away. Anyone who sought to practice their own mysticism or dared to resurrect the old ways was executed. Many such religious crusades were prosecuted against ancient spiritual and shamanic practices, campaigns that today would fall under the technical terminology of genocide.

If you trace the origins of the major monotheistic organized religions back far enough, it becomes clear that they were never designed to help the individual grow and develop. They were there to control land, dictate moral and social norms and separate the common man from his divine heritage. Higher consciousness, personal freedom and spiritual communion, far from being the core elements of their basic mystical teachings, were concepts firmly discouraged by the various priest castes. In their place, the disempowering qualities of submission, victimhood, repression and guilt became the preferred tenets of worshipful compliance.

Most who walk the path have long since discarded the unnecessary restraints of organized religion. There are many good people who still operate within the conventions and structures of Christianity, in particular, and that is of course, their prerogative. However, it doesn’t take much research into alternative history and the ancient indigenous chronicles to discover that the sacred texts that form the backbone of today’s megareligions are merely distorted versions of much earlier and authentic methods of spiritual practice. Despite the artful stage-managed resurgence of religious fundamentalism in both the east and west, the crude pious repressions of the Control System are beginning to lose their grip. People are realizing that they can anoint themselves as their own special representative on earth (who else could they be?) and their own personal channel to the holy spirit.

Fractal Dreams

In ‘The Art Of Dreaming’, Carlos Castaneda wrote, "Don Juan contended that our world, which we believe to be unique and absolute, is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. He asserted that even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute and engulfing as our own world is. Believing that our energetic conditioning is correctable, don Juan stated that sorcerers of ancient times developed a set of practices designed to recondition our energetic capabilities to perceive. They called this set of practices the art of dreaming." When I first read that in 1994, two things sprang to mind. (i) How don Juan was absolutely spot on, and (ii) rather fittingly, how the process of unfolding the onion layers of reality can indeed bring tears to your eyes.

The ‘cluster of consecutive worlds’ is a fractal model. The essential pattern of creation is encoded into everything, all the way down the line, from galaxies to cauliflowers. It helps to examine fractal formations in nature to properly appreciate their properties. I have collated some useful illustrations of fractal geometry in the attached picture (click for large version).

The geometry and mathematics of fractal forms has been studied since the 17th century (in modern history that is) but their complexity and infinite recursive depth made progress slow. The arrival of computers in the 1970’s made things much simpler. Rapid processing, sophisticated graphics and software modelling enabled researchers to explore the depth of fractals to a level never seen before. Researchers categorize fractal generation into three different classes: (1) Escape-time Fractals; Mandelbrot set, Julia set, Nova fractal, (2) Iterated Function Systems; Cantor set, Koch snowflake, Sierpinski carpet and (3) Random Fractals. In random fractals, we see dendritic fractals demonstrate the fundamental natural property of diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA). DLA is best illustrated in the physical manifestations of fern growth, ice crystals, tree branch growth and electrical discharges. See the aforementioned montage image for examples.

Observing the nautilus shell, we encounter the living embodiment of the Fibonacci sequence of numbers 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597 2584 4181 6765. So important to sacred geometry, Egyptology and the ancient mystery cults. For those who may have discarded their high school mathematics (understandably in most cases), the Fibonacci sequence establishes the first number as 0 and the second number as 1. Each subsequent number is equal to the sum of the previous two numbers.

The sequence presents itself in nature in the branching of trees, the structure of pineapples, artichoke flowering, uncurling ferns, the arrangement of pine cones and the spiralling florets in the head of a sunflower (see image). Stunningly beautiful.

The recursive, self-iterative nature of fractals, clearly visible in the Mandelbrot and Koch snowflake, begin to speak to the higher consciousness and express some of the underlying structures of reality. The fractal holography of the universe imprints the design of itself into each individual component, each creative lego brick. All elements are coded with the entire universal design project. The ancient druidic respect for the oak tree and the acorn were symbols of this core understanding. As then, so now, such meditations lead to a fuller comprehension of the sacred mysteries of creation. Our art is to project into higher and deeper resolutions of the fractal spiral, gathering gnosis and wisdom as spiritual gravitation compels the ascendant homeward journey.

Our life is the journey. We illustrate it with our unique and miraculous stories. Our learning helps to improve the coherence and the elegance of the fractal. Our capacity for consciousness determines how deep we can go. I sense that each lifetime, each self, each frequency of being, emanates fractally from a larger, grander structure, from where our higher self guides us and loves us. Perhaps even these ultra conscious entities are expressions of an even more sublime intelligence. Gazing at the head of the sunflower, it certainly feels that way.


First illustration, “Oversoul” by Alex Grey

Sunday, June 29, 2008

OIL: New Global Energy Order Emerging

by Humberto Márquez ... U.S. economist Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics, wrote earlier this month that "Only new patterns of consumption and production -- a new economic model -- can address that most fundamental resource problem. "Two factors set off today's crisis: the Iraq war contributed to the run up in oil prices, including through increased instability in the Middle East, the low cost provider of oil, while biofuels have meant that food and energy markets are increasingly integrated," he added. "America’s subsidies for corn-based ethanol contribute more to the coffers of ethanol producers than they do to curtailing global warming," he complained, after arguing that "rich countries must reduce, if not eliminate, distortional agriculture and energy policies, and help those in the poorest countries improve their capacity to produce food." For poor countries, the steady rise in oil prices has taken on nightmare proportions. At the start of the Jeddah meeting, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah suggested that OPEC create a one billion dollar fund to compensate poor countries for the rising price of oil. The situation in Latin America was illustrated by Dominican Finance Minister Vicente Bengoa, who said that "in 2004, the oil bill was covered by the remittances sent home from Dominicans abroad, with 560 million dollars left over, while this year remittances are expected to run to 1.9 billion dollars, compared to an oil bill of 4.5 billion." The big oil companies, in the meantime, are raking in tens of billions of dollars each. With these profits, said Poleo, global capital is financing its positioning with regard to the shifts occurring in the global energy scenario. The price bubble continues to swell, to the benefit of these interests, although analysts like Alexander Green, investment director at the Oxford Club, a private, international network of investors, say oil prices will inevitably come down. "Yes, speculative fever has gripped the oil market. This bull is likely to end up just like those in the ring in Mexico City. Current oil prices are simply unsustainable," Green wrote recently.

The Quantum Apocalypse

NAFTA and the Elephant in the Room

By Laura Carlsen It's rare for the junior partners of NAFTA—Mexico and Canada—to have a chance to sit down and discuss regional integration without the dominating influence of the United States. Even when they do, of course, the U.S. is the elephant in the room. The University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico hosted a conference recently on the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) from the Canadian and Mexican perspective. Although most of the presentations were from academics, businessmen or government officials, our panel on civil society participation set me to reflecting on the long personal and political history of the nearly 15-year-old NAFTA and its offspring, the SPP. When negotiations on the free trade agreement with Mexico began in 1991, we had little idea of how a North American Free Trade Agreement would affect the country. But Canada had already been through it all. The U.S.-Mexico agreement sought to extend many of the terms of the 1989 U.S.-Canada agreement and patch them into a regional agreement. In the early nineties, it was clear that NAFTA represented a huge step forward in locking in the kinds of structural adjustment programs from the IMF and World Bank that had devastated sectors of the economy, and that it formed part of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari's project to extend the neoliberal economic model of trade liberalization and export-orientation, privatization, and withdrawal of the state from social programs and economic regulation. But we didn't know the specifics of what to expect and the whole process was being carried out in backrooms hermetically sealed to citizen participation. I felt like kind of a double agent at the time. I was working as a journalist and editor at Business Mexico, the magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, and had also been working with a Mexican non-governmental organization in communications and women's projects. The dual perspective was fascinating, to say the least. The mood in the Chamber of Commerce was one of euphoria, while the citizen movements felt a sense of impending doom. I had trouble reconciling the opposite scenarios being presented until I realized that it wasn't so much that one was right and one was wrong, but that the gap between the winners and losers in Mexico's economy was about to get much, much wider. At the magazine I began to specialize in stories about sectors that would suffer under the agreement, mainly smallscale agriculture and micro-industry oriented toward the domestic market. There was no real argument from promoters about the lack of "competitiveness" of these sectors—the argument was that these workers would be re-employed in new export-oriented, internationally financed industries. In the face of predictions of massive job loss, they blithely assumed that the market and high growth rates would work it all out. For U.S. businesses in Mexico, the greater mobility of capital and investor incentives in NAFTA presented a bright new day with nary a cloud in sight. Meanwhile, small farmers organizations couldn't believe they were being asked to compete with subsidized products from the world's largest exporter. Independent unions thought the trade-off between more maquiladora jobs, and downward pressure on wages and job security due to international competition between workers was sure to be a bum deal in the long term. Mexican trade activists decided on a two-part strategy: 1) demand information on the negotiations and 2) call the Canadians. Canadian citizen groups had developed excellent critiques of the FTA from labor and agriculture perspectives and analyzed the way the agreement could affect the social safety net. Although the two countries had very different political and economic contexts, these studies and the experience helped Mexicans to begin to project outcomes. Later, U.S. groups joined the networks as well. There was very little chance of influencing the negotiations, but the groups did manage to get more public information released. This was the birth of trinational networks that, with ups and downs, have continued to work together to oppose aspects of NAFTA and the SPP to this day. It hasn't been an easy process and mistakes have been made. Canadian and U.S. labor unions at first viewed Mexican workers not as allies but as unfair competition as their factories moved South. It wasn't until they began to see the conditions of the Mexican workers and analyze corporate strategies of pitting workers against workers that real solidarity and understanding set in. Mexican farmers thought U.S. and Canadian family farmers were closer to wealthy hacienda owners than to them, with their large expanses of land and fancy equipment. It wasn't until they heard the stories about the thousands of families going bankrupt and losing their farms and the control of agribusiness over all aspects of agriculture that they understood that they shared a struggle against an international system stacked against them. It was, as always, the human contact that broke the barriers. NAFTA set into motion a series of trinational meetings. If at first, the networks were joined by their victimhood, and they later began to share a vision of changing their respective economies in ways that supported rather than marginalized them. Over the past year the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and other organizations have sponsored a couple of major meetings to take a look at what we've learned from NAFTA and the fight against corporate-led globalization. It gives me no great satisfaction to report that some of the most pessimistic predictions we made—the displacement of small farmers, lower than expected growth rates, the growing divide between the rich and the poor—have come true. And although many of us did not believe NAFTA would solve the immigration problem as its promoters predicted, few imagined the huge increase that occurred. We've also seen that despite advances, the challenges to our networks today are greater than ever. The extension of NAFTA into security issues under the SPP—in the logic of the Bush National Security Strategy—poses unprecedented dangers to Canadian and Mexican sovereignty. There is no better example of that than the recent Merida Initiative that fundamentally changes the nature of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. The focus on geopolitical goals over human security, and the imposition of U.S. foreign policy objectives on Mexico will have lasting and likely destabilizing effects as Mexico takes on the militarized vision of confronting public security challenges. The hegemonic policies of the U.S. government have made it easier in some ways for Canadians and Mexicans to talk about regional integration than U.S. citizens. Both feel threatened in many of the same ways, particularly by the pressure coming from the U.S. government within SPP and other channels over access to natural resources in their territories. U.S. groups face more difficult obstacles explaining and organizing on their turf, due to misinformation and the climate of fear manipulated to support government actions. Nonetheless, there is no question that we've come a long way. Polls in Canada and the United States show a majority believes NAFTA has not benefited their country. U.S. democratic presidential candidates demanded review and possible renegotiation of the agreement, and 200,000 Mexican farmers marched in the streets demanding renegotiation of the agricultural chapter. The relationships and networks built early on have grown as the trade agreement has filtered into the general public and generated widespread criticism of its effects on society in all three nations. Reflecting on these meetings, I think perhaps the biggest challenge now to our networks is not to centralize the struggle and the critique but to understand our differences. We have a pretty good understanding of the architecture built by NAFTA and added onto in the SPP. We need to continue to work together to analyze its foundations and mainstays. But we, the peoples of three nations, find ourselves in different rooms. Each must decide on priorities and national strategies to reform policies, relieve suffering and build alternative structures. It will be the confluence of these strategies from citizens of sovereign nations that enable us to join together and stop the way the SPP and its handful of corporate executives have imposed regional integration from the top down. Laura Carlsen (lcarlsen(a) is Director of the Americas Policy Program at in Mexico City.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fermin Rocker...

son of anarchist writer Rudolf Rocker, once sold a painting to rock star Mick Jagger...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Boing Boing - Top 10 TED Talks

Here are the top 10 most-viewed TED Talk videos from June 2006 to May 2008)

Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight

Jeff Han's touchscreen foreshadows the iPhone and more

David Gallo shows underwater astonishments

Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth

Arthur Benjamin does "mathemagic"

Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen

Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do

Al Gore on averting a climate crisis

Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks

You can also watch the Top 10 TED talks highlights video.

Oaxacan teachers reach agreement with their union and local government

Sección 22, the radical Oaxacan section of the Latin American education workers' union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores en la Educación (SNTE), has finally signed deals with both the SNTE hierarchy and Oaxacan local government. However, the strike will continue until this weekend.

The strike (previously reported on Libcom here and here), a contrast of almost blanket support from union members and almost blanket condemnation from the rest of the state, will however continue until this Sunday, five days longer than originally planned, and today, another regional section took over the maintenance of the plantón (encampment) in Ciudad de Oaxaca's main plaza.

The SNTE executive bowed to the Oaxacan local's demands of new union elections within the state this coming September, a core demand of the strike in the context of the national union leadership's breaking of the 2006 strike in Oaxaca in the midst of a statewide revolt. In order to undermine the authority of Sección 22, the SNTE went as far as to form a rival local in Oaxaca, Sección 59. The hierarchy also agreed to hitherto return to them 90% of their dues

While the local government acceeded to the majority of their demands, the most immediately impressive of which being the (supposed) release of "all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Oaxaca and the cancellation of all arrest orders on movement members". The government claims this has been enacted in the form of their discontinued interest in some 250 individuals, but even a cursory glance at the track record of law enforcement agencies within the state creates doubts about their sincerity.

Also within the agreement is an undertaking by the local government to do the following:

-$500 million pesos' (around £24.5 million) investment in infrastructure and equipment for Oaxacan schools, including new kitchens and provisions to provide school breakfasts (school starts and finishes early in Mexico), new uniforms, shoes, amongst other things

-the return to Sección 22 of 108 schools "occupied" by Sección 59 (or rather, "a committee to oversee the regularisation of services in schools affected by conflict")

-an increase in the annual compensation of teachers for their personal contributions to the maintenance of school supplies

-an increase in the number of state scholarships for sons of education workers

-an increase in funding for programmes for homeless children and orphans

-more investment in medical centres in rural areas

-more availability of loans and accommodation for education workers (government programmes often offer both to young state workers in order to keep public services [nearly] afloat)

-the recognition of Sección 22 as the sole representation of Oaxacan state education workers (as opposed to Sección 59)

Most of the budget increases will be at a lower rate than the strikers demanded, according to the common practice of barter in industrial disputes. The local's demands of the removal of Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, the incredibly unpopular state governor, and the shelving of the ISSSTE law (which intends to break up state pensions provisions) were also unsurprisingly successful.

However, the striking workers have won a great many gains in their workplace, and have once again demonstrated to their critics - who claim that their annual strike damages the education of their pupils - that industrial action is the only way to improve their working conditions. Moreover, the fractured Sección 59, whose leader today was forced to deny that its members have struck at all, now sound somewhat irrelevant in their pious proclamations about "being concerned with the children's quality of education".

Now talk moves onto the future of this unstable, poor and desperately unhappy region, and a propaganda campaign has started in earnest against Sección 22 in the wake of their forcing of the local authority's hands. One prominent local government minister told journalists that the agreement demonstrates that Sección 22 "will never have to strike again", in an attempt to jettison the almost 30 year old tradition of a yearly work stoppage.

Meanwhile the local itself is accused of corruption, with the disappearance of $5 million pesos (around £245,000) of money set aside by the union for reconstruction work in the main plaza of Ciudad de Oaxaca following the unrest of 2006.

Context of 'Early 1976: US Intelligence Finds Pakistan Has ‘Crash Program’ to Build Nuclear Bomb'

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Print Art and Revolution in Mexico

Although Mexico’s contribution to social-movement murals is well documented, much less is known about Mexico’s activist graphic arts history. Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969) was a printmaker and activist in numerous political and artistic groups, but he reached his incandescent peak as founding member and de-facto leader of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (variously translated as Popular Graphic Arts Workshop or People’s Graphic Art Workshop, TGP). It is a resounding tragedy that the TGP, one of the most significant loci of mid-20th century social movement printmaking, is virtually unknown in the United States. This is only partly explained by the usual disability of Anglocentrism; the deeper roots have to do with academia’s discomfort with political activism and with the general lack of scholarship in this country about political printmaking. Deborah Caplow’s excellent book goes a long way toward informing us about the explosive combination of art, artists, politics, and printmaking in Mexico during the mid-1900s. More than any previous work, Caplow’s book explains Méndez in the context of his time, analyzed through the organizations in which he participated and the other artists with whom he collaborated. By Lincoln Cushing, Art Historian

Review of a book by: Deborah Caplow, Leopoldo Méndez: Revolutionary Art and the Mexican Print. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007.

Although Mexico’s contribution to social-movement murals is well documented, much less is known about Mexico’s activist graphic arts history. Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969) was a printmaker and activist in numerous political and artistic groups, but he reached his incandescent peak as founding member and de-facto leader of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (variously translated as Popular Graphic Arts Workshop or People’s Graphic Art Workshop, TGP). It is a resounding tragedy that the TGP, one of the most significant loci of mid-20th century social movement printmaking, is virtually unknown in the United States. This is only partly explained by the usual disability of Anglocentrism; the deeper roots have to do with academia’s discomfort with political activism and with the general lack of scholarship in this country about political printmaking. Deborah Caplow’s excellent book goes a long way toward informing us about the explosive combination of art, artists, politics, and printmaking in Mexico during the mid-1900s. More than any previous work, Caplow’s book explains Méndez in the context of his time, analyzed through the organizations in which he participated and the other artists with whom he collaborated.

Mexico has a long history of printmaking in the service of social change, largely credited to the seminal work of José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), who was a printmaker and social critic during the Mexican Revolution. The TGP was founded in late 1937 after the collapse of the four-year-old Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR, Revolutionary Writers’ and Artists’ League). It brought together a dedicated cadre of political activists who happened to express themselves as printmakers. They worked collaboratively, issued editions as both fine-art prints for raising funds and free or cheap street posters for propaganda, and engaged in strategic acts of support for progressive candidates and issues. Although they occasionally generated lithographs, screenprints, and other media, their trademark expression was through linocuts –one or two color relief prints created from hand cut linoleum mounted on blocks. Prints were generally single sheet items, although some works are quite large for this medium (35 x 90 cm) and some were printed as two sheets and pasted together into one large poster.

Read the rest of the story here as a PDF

A Contra Corriente (article originally published in this journal)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just in case you're interested..

Other Channels Drunvalo Melchizedek Earth Changes Tranceformers Gaia Links Gaia Theory Oceans General Truth Space and Motion World Wide Renaissance Saving Remnant Coastal Post Newspaper New Age Portals to Other Worlds Spiritual Psychic Art Alien Shift From: Links section...

Six Arrested in Front of Schwarzenegger's Office during Anti-War Protest Today!

by Dan Bacher
The California Highway Patrol arrested six anti-war activists at a demonstration opposing the war in Iraq today about 12:15 p.m. at the State Capitol near Governor Schwarzenegger's office.
VERY URGENT NEWS ADVISORY Thursday, June 26, 2008 Contact: Paulette Cuilla 916/956-8678 or Maggie Coulter 916/456-1420 **NOTE: Video of arrests available via an independent videographer** SIX ARRESTED in front of SCHWARZENEGGER'S OFFICE DURING ANTI-WAR PROTEST TODAY SACRAMENTO – Six people were arrested at a demonstration opposing the war in Iraq TODAY/THURSDAY about 12:15 p.m. at the State Capitol near Gov. Schwarzenegger's office. The California Highway Patrol charged the activists with several misdemeanors, including allegedly demonstrating without a permit and illegally entering the Capitol, and released them. The demonstrators have a July 23 court date. The arrests took place following a "Freeze-In for Peace," where about two dozen people participated in a demonstration that required them to freeze in place for five minutes. Similar "freeze-in" actions for peace are popping up all over the country. "This is absolutely linked the budget deficit mess in California. Our share of the war in Iraq is $67 billion," said Maggie Coulter, one of those arrested. "In fact, just spending the money for these officers to arrest peaceful demonstrators doing little more than what happens in a legislative hearing is also a waste of taxpayers' money," she added.

Catching up with Evo Morales in Bolivia...

Bolivian region rejects US anti-drug aid in favor of Venezuelan aid - June 25th Coca growers in Bolivia's Chapare province said Wednesday that they will suspend projects financed by the U.S. government aid agency and instead seek funding from Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez. Leaders in the key coca-growing region accused the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, of using its aid to undermine leftist President Evo Morales, who rose to prominence as leader of the coca growers union. "We want USAID to go. If USAID leaves, we will have aid from Venezuela, which is unconditioned and in solidarity," Chapare coca leader Julio Salazar told The Associated Press by telephone. Venezuela already is a major financial backer of Bolivia. USAID gave US$87 million in aid to Bolivia in 2007, including US$11.9 million to Chapare, mostly for road building and projects to help farmers to grow alternatives to coca. Asterio Romero, vice president of Chapare's main coca-growing group, said growers on Tuesday agreed to cancel the USAID's operations in the region and gave it until Thursday to leave. A U.S. Embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, said the embassy would not comment because it has not yet been officially informed by the coca growers. Coca leaves are the main ingredient in cocaine, but they also have traditional, medicinal and religious uses among South America's Andean people. Morales has accused the aid agency of financing his opponents, including groups promoting regional autonomy from his government. Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Tuesday he wasn't familiar with the coca-growers' decision but said his government wants to make U.S. aid to Bolivia more "transparent." *** Bolivia denies expulsion of USAID revenge tactic he Bolivian government denied Thursday that Bolivian coca growers' decision to expel the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a revenge tactic, news reaching here said. The coca growers in Chapare Province of Bolivia's Cochabamba province said Wednesday they will expel USAID from Bolivian territory. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca told the press that USAID is not the first institution that were asked to leave the country and there is no need to worry about. "I haven't got precise information on the work USAID is performing in Chapare. It is said they were helping groups that are against the changing process, but that will be clarified later," Choquehuanca said. He said this is an independent decision made by the coca growers and it does not represent the foreign policy of the Bolivian government. "The coca growing companions have their reasons for taking the action. There is no need for too much worry. This is not a serious issue that could affect the ties between the U.S. and Bolivia," Choquehuanca said. He admitted, however, that these kind of incidents "don't help constructive ties" with the U.S. Choquehuanca said many other agreements singed with the U.S. will be implemented to the end despite the coca growers' decision. More than 85 million U.S. dollars were channeled into Bolivia in 2007 through USAID programs which began providing aid from the U.S. government in 1960. It has programs in 31 cities of Cochabamba, encouraging the growing of banana, palmetto, pineapple and papaya, alternatives to coca, which is the principal ingredient for cocaine. Source:Xinhua *** Bolivia's autonomy-seeking province declares 78.8-percent approval The Provincial Electoral Court (CDE) of Tarija in southern Bolivia said Thursday that 78.8 percent of the electors voted in favor of autonomy for the province in Sunday's referendum. According to the CDE, there were 79,424 "yes" votes against 21,396 "no" ones, with a turnout of 62 percent, news from La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, reported. The gas-rich Tarija is seeking autonomy from the central government of President Evo Morales, along with the provinces of Pando, Beni and Santa Cruz governed by the opposition, moves considered by the central government as separative. In Santa Cruz, the first province to launch an autonomous referendum, 85.6 percent of voters supported its autonomy bid, while Beni registered 79.5-percent approval and Pando 81.9 percent. Bolivians will also vote on Aug. 10 to decide whether President Evo Morales, Vice President Alvaro Garcia and nine regional governors will remain in their posts.

Adopt-an-Activist - Berkeley July 15th - ROCK THE BOAT

HITTING BERKELEY JULY 15, 2008: WORLD CAN'T WAIT youth activists Rock the Boat! World Can't Wait youth organizers are heading to Berkeley, CA to make this a summer of resistance by creating such an intense orange uprising that it will reverberate across the nation! Working collectively with other young people committed to repudiating the Bush program, they will contribute to reshaping the political landscape by focusing on making breakthroughs in stopping the military recruiters and working to fire, disbar and prosecute John Yoo, infamous author of the "torture memos". These summer plans are a crucial part of forging a new generation of leaders that refuse to be bound by "the politics of the possible" and mobilizing others to bring to a halt the whole Bush program that is still setting the terms for official politics today. More on the project This summer, with your financial support, World Can't Wait youth activists will work on making clear: the Bush Regime or any other administration has no right to recruit, invade and occupy. They are wrong to torture, justify it, and lie about it. Several youth are ready to go make history. Your generous contribution today will make it happen! Jamilah Hoffman has lived in Texas her entire life though she now considers herself to be a citizen of the world. It was Hurricane Katrina and the Bush regime's criminal actions which caused her to question the role of government in the lives of its people. Jamilah asked herself at the time, "What's the point of having a government if they can't rescue people from their roofs?" After hearing an ad on Air America Radio about World Can't Wait and mobilizing for November 2, 2005, Jamilah has been active with the Houston chapter of World Can't Wait and focusing on the youth of her community.

Whether it's sleeping in the median of a street in a New Orleans housing project, fighting dehydration at the Coachella Valley Music Festival, or walking the dusty streets of Jackson, Mississippi, Jamilah wants to be active in the struggle to rid the world of the disaster of the Bush regime. She'll be attending The University of Houston this fall where she will be working on a double major in Spanish and Journalism. Meet some others of the youth activists up for adoption! When you adopt an activist you will receive personal updates and photos from the youth organizers.

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

World Can't Wait - - 866.973.4463 - 305 W. Broadway #185, NY, NY 10013

Here's some simple ways you can help create a summer of resistance: Adopt-an-Activist donations: $50 sponsors a youth organizer in Berkeley, CA for one week $100 provides outreach materials for one youth activist $250 allows the youth to rent space for movie showings and meetings for six weeks $500 covers round trip airfare to send one person to Berkeley. $750 provides 20,000 full-color postcards for the fire, disbar, and prosecute John Yoo campaign $1,000 covers the cost of a passenger van to take youth to the DNC or donate your frequent flier miles or Amtrak rewards

or extend your hospitality by allowing activists to stay with you in Berkeley or Denver, whether at your primary residence or a second home e-mail

or send gift cards (major credit cards or national food chains) directly to these courageous activist to defray the cost of food and gas.

Support World Can't Wait with monthly pledges throughout the summer

Spread the word here with an easy email. Tell all your friends, family, and co-workers to join you in adopting an activist.

What the Government Knows About Cannabis and Cancer – and Isn't Telling You

by Paul Armentano

Senator Ted Kennedy is putting forward a brave face following his recent surgery but the sad reality remains. Even with successful surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy treatment, gliomas – a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that strikes approximately 10,000 Americans annually – tragically claim the lives of 75 percent of its victims within two years and virtually all within five years.

But what if there was an alternative treatment for gliomas that could selectively target the cancer while leaving healthy cells intact? And what if federal bureaucrats were aware of this treatment, but deliberately withheld this information from the public?

Sadly, the questions posed above are not entirely hypothetical. Let me explain.

In 2007, I reviewed over 150 published preclinical and clinical studies assessing the therapeutic potential of marijuana and several of its active compounds, known as cannabinoids. I summarized these numerous studies in a book, now in its third edition, entitled Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature. (NORML Foundation, 2008) One chapter in this book, which summarized the findings of more than 30 separate trials and literature reviews, was dedicated to the use of cannabinoids as potential anti-cancer agents, particularly in the treatment of gliomas.

Not familiar with this scientific research? Your government is.

In fact, the first experiment documenting pot's potent anti-cancer effects took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest federal bureaucrats. The results of that study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that marijuana's primary psychoactive component, THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."

Despite these favorable preliminary findings (eventually published the following year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute), U.S. government officials refused to authorize any follow-up research until conducting a similar – though secret – preclinical trial in the mid-1990s. That study, conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program to the tune of $2 million, concluded that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods had greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls.

However, rather than publicize their findings, the U.S. government shelved the results, which only became public after a draft copy of its findings were leaked to the medical journal AIDS Treatment News, which in turn forwarded the story to the national media.

In the years since the completion of the National Toxicology trial, the U.S. government has yet to authorize a single additional study examining the drug's potential anti-cancer properties. (Federal permission is necessary in order to conduct clinical research on marijuana because of its illegal status as a schedule I controlled substance.)

Fortunately, in the past 10 years scientists overseas have generously picked up where U.S. researchers so abruptly left off, reporting that cannabinoids can halt the spread of numerous cancer cells – including prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and brain cancer. (An excellent paper summarizing much of this research, "Cannabinoids for Cancer Treatment: Progress and Promise," appears in the January 2008 edition of the journal Cancer Research.) A 2006 patient trial published in the British Journal of Cancer even reported that the intracranial administration of THC was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation in humans with advanced glioblastoma.

Writing earlier this year in the scientific journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Italian researchers reiterated, "(C)annabinoids have displayed a great potency in reducing glioma tumor growth. (They) appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of nontransformed counterparts." Not one mainstream media outlet reported their findings. Perhaps now they'll pay better attention.

What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past 34 years had U.S. government officials chosen to advance – rather than suppress – clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis? It's a shame we have to speculate; it's even more tragic that the families of Senator Kennedy and thousands of others must suffer while we do.

June 26, 2008

Paul Armentano [send him mail] is the senior policy analyst for NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. He is the author of "Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature" (2007, NORML Foundation).

Urgent! Leonard needs a diabetes test kit now!

You may recall that Leonard suffers from diabetes. To date, his diabetes has been managed by diet but this is difficult to do when the prison won't give Leonard a test kit by which to monitor his blood glucose level. Two weeks ago, I wrote to the warden at Lewisburg asking that Leonard be given a diabetes test kit. I even offered to purchase an approved kit if the prison cannot provide one. I haven't received a response from the warden. Leonard Peltier Update June 26th, 2008 - MEDICAL ALERT !!! Thu, 26 Jun 2008 Urgent! Leonard needs a diabetes test kit now!

[Thanks to Annette for this link]

George Orwell's famous 1938 account of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War, from his point of view as a volunteer in the POUM militia. Though the POUM were socialists, he wrote "as far as my purely personal preferences went I would have liked to join the Anarchists." His vivid descriptions of classless anarchist Barcelona following the revolution and terrorised Stalinist Barcelona after the counter-revolution are a timeless reminder that a 'revolutionary state' is a contradiction in terms. Chapter 01 Chapter 02 Chapter 03 Chapter 04 Chapter 05 Chapter 06 Chapter 07 Chapter 08 Chapter 09 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14

The Coming Catastrophe?, by David DeBatto

The finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking Iran Global Research Editor's note We bring to the attention of our readers David DeBatto's scenario as to what might occur if one of the several contingency plans to attack Iran, with the participation of Israel and NATO, were to be carried out. While one may disagree with certain elements of detail of the author's text, the thrust of this analysis must be taken seriously. "Israel has said a strike on Iran will be "unavoidable" if the Islamic regime continues to press ahead with alleged plans for building an atom-bomb." (London Daily Telegraph, 6/11/2008) "Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany joined President Bush on Wednesday in calling for further sanctions against Iran if it does not suspend its uranium enrichment program." Mr. Bush stressed again that "all options are on the table," which would include military force. (New York Times, 6/11/2008) We are fast approaching the final six months of the Bush administration. The quagmire in Iraq is in its sixth painful year with no real end in sight and the forgotten war in Afghanistan is well into its seventh year. The "dead enders" and other armed factions are still alive and well in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan again controls most of that country. Gas prices have now reached an average of $4.00 a gallon nationally and several analysts predict the price will rise to $5.00-$6.00 dollars per gallon at the pump by Labor Day. This, despite assurances by some major supporters of the decision to invade Iraq that the Iraq war "will pay for itself" (Paul Wolfowitz) or that we will see "$20.00 per barrel" oil prices if we invade Iraq (Rupert Murdoch). One thing the Pentagon routinely does (and does very well) is conduct war games. Top brass there are constantly developing strategies for conducting any number of theoretical missions based on real or perceived threats to our national security or vital interests. This was also done prior to the invasion of Iraq, but the Bush administration chose not to listen to the dire warnings about that mission given to him by Pentagon leaders, or for that matter, by his own senior intelligence officials. Nevertheless, war gaming is in full swing again right now with the bullseye just to the right of our current mess – Iran. It’s no secret that the U.S. is currently putting the finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking Iranian nuclear and military facilities. With our ground forces stretched to the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan, none of the most likely scenarios involve a ground invasion. Not that this administration wouldn’t prefer to march into the seat of Shiite Islam behind a solid, moving line of M1 Abrams tanks and proclaim the country for democracy. The fact is that even the President knows we can’t pull that off any more so he and the neo-cons will have to settle for Shock and Awe Lite. If we invade Iran this year it will be done using hundreds of sorties by carrier based aircraft already stationed in the Persian Gulf and from land based aircraft located in Iraq and Qatar. They will strike the known nuclear facilities located in and around Tehran and the rest of the country as well as bases containing major units of the Iranian military, anti-aircraft installations and units of the Revolutionary Guard (a separate and potent Iranian para-military organization). Will this military action stop Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons? Probably not. It will probably not even destroy all of their nuclear research facilities, the most sensitive of which are known to be underground, protected by tons of earth and reinforced concrete and steel designed to survive almost all attacks using conventional munitions. The Iranian military and Revolutionary Guard will most likely survive as well, although they will suffer significant casualties and major bases and command centers will undoubtedly be destroyed. However, since Iran has both a functioning Air Force, Navy (including submarines) and modern anti-aircraft capabilities, U.S. fighter-bombers will suffer casualties as well. This will not be a "Cake Walk" as with the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003 when the Iraqi Army simply melted away and the Iraqi Air Force never even launched a single aircraft. Not even close. If the United States attacks Iran either this summer or this fall, the American people had better be prepared for a shock that may perhaps be even greater to the national psyche (and economy) than 9/11. First of all, there will be significant U.S. casualties in the initial invasion. American jets will be shot down and the American pilots who are not killed will be taken prisoner - including female pilots. Iranian Yakhonts 26, Sunburn 22 and Exocet missiles will seek out and strike U.S. naval battle groups bottled up in the narrow waters of the Persian Gulf with very deadly results. American sailors will be killed and U.S. ships will be badly damaged and perhaps sunk. We may even witness the first attack on an American Aircraft carrier since World War II. That’s just the opening act. Israel (who had thus far stayed out of the fray by letting the U.S. military do the heavy lifting) is attacked by Hezbollah in a coordinated and large scale effort. Widespread and grisly casualties effectively paralyze the nation, a notion once thought impossible. Iran’s newest ally in the region, Syria, then unleashes a barrage of over 200 Scud B, C and D missiles at Israel, each armed with VX gas. Since all of Israel is within range of these Russian built weapons, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and virtually all major civilian centers and several military bases are struck, often with a result of massive casualties. The Israeli Air Force orders all three squadrons of their F-16I Sufa fighter/bombers into the air with orders to bomb Tehran and as many military and nuclear bases as they can before they are either shot down or run out of fuel. It is a one way trip for some of these pilots. Their ancient homeland lies in ruins. Many have family that is already dead or dying. They do not wait for permission from Washington, DC or U.S. regional military commanders. The Israeli aircraft are carrying the majority of their country’s nuclear arsenal under their wings. Just after the first waves of U.S. bombers cross into Iranian airspace, the Iranian Navy, using shore based missiles and small, fast attack craft sinks several oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, sealing off the Persian Gulf and all its oil from the rest of the world. They then mine the area, making it difficult and even deadly for American minesweepers to clear the straits. Whatever is left of the Iranian Navy and Air Force harasses our Navy as it attempts minesweeping operations. More U.S casualties. The day after the invasion Wall Street (and to a lesser extent, Tokyo, London and Frankfurt) acts as it always does in an international crisis – irrational speculative and spot buying reaches fever pitch and sends the cost of oil skyrocketing. In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iran, the price of oil goes to $200.00 - $300.00 dollars a barrel on the open market. If the war is not resolved in a few weeks, that price could rise even higher. This will send the price of gasoline at the pump in this country to $8.00-$10.00 per gallon immediately and subsequently to even higher unthinkable levels. If that happens, this country shuts down. Most Americans are not be able to afford gas to go to work. Truckers pull their big rigs to the side of the road and simply walk away. Food, medicine and other critical products are not be brought to stores. Gas and electricity (what is left of the short supply) are too expensive for most people to afford. Children, the sick and elderly die from lack of air-conditioned homes and hospitals in the summer. Children, the sick and elderly die in the winter for lack of heat. There are food riots across the country. A barter system takes the place of currency and credit as the economy dissolves and banks close or limit withdrawals. Civil unrest builds. The police are unable to contain the violence and are themselves victims of the same crisis as the rest of the population. Civilian rule dissolves and Martial Law is declared under provisions approved under the Patriot Act. Regular U.S. Army and Marine troops patrol the streets. The federal government apparatus is moved to an unknown but secure location. The United States descends into chaos and becomes a third world country. Its time as the lone superpower is over. It doesn’t get any worse than this. Then the first Israeli bomber drops its nuclear payload on Tehran. David DeBatto is a former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent, Iraqi war veteran and co-author the "CI" series from Warner Books and the upcoming "Counter to Intelligence" from Praeger Security International. Global Research Articles by David DeBatto

George W. Bush (aka FUCKTARD) in 1999: Let States Decide Medical Marijuana Laws

Posted by Anthony Gregory at June 22, 2008 07:49 PM

I distinctly remembered that Bush said something back during his first presidential campaign about leaving medical marijuana laws up to the states. After Clinton's horrendous crackdowns in California, I recall thinking Bush's stance on this, along with his "humble" foreign policy promises, was a reason I quietly rooted for him against Gore. I imagined on civil liberties and war, as well as economics, he'd be slightly less bad. And here it is,in Washington Post article from 1999: "Campaigning in Seattle on Saturday, Bush answered questions about medical marijuana laws by saying, 'I believe each state can choose that decision as they so choose.'"

Of course, we know President Bush has raided marijuana dispensaries in violation of the 10th Amendment. While I do believe federalism is an improvement, and the correct Constitutional position on these issues, I must admit I am somewhat more skeptical of "states rights" conservatives than I used to be – they almost always end up favoring centralizing power in the end, whether we're talking about some of the anti-Union hypocrites who sought federal protection of slavery and then centralism within the Confederacy, or today's politicians who never seem to apply federalism consistently, especially once they have federal power.

(I do still believe anarchism and libertarianism generally imply decentralism, however, but libertarian decentralists tend to be much sounder all around, including on federalism, than conservative decentralists.)

Alley Cat Allies Demands Investigation of Richmond TV Station

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2008 Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, or 240-482-1984 FRANCIE ISRAELI, or 202-737-8400 ALLEY CAT ALLIES DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF RICHMOND TV STATION Cites reports that local Fox station hired company to bulldoze outdoor cats BETHESDA – Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s advocate for stray and feral cats, today called for an investigation after eyewitnesses reported a colony of cats living in and around the property of a Richmond television station had been bulldozed. “We are told that Richmond WRLH Channel 35, and its owner, Sinclair Media Group, contracted with a local pest control company to have the cats trapped and killed, and that another company was hired to bulldoze the area where the cats lived, all over the vehement objections of local animal protection organizations,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “We are also told that some of the cats may have been killed at the site.” “If this is true, then we call for an investigation of WRLH and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Plowing through cats with bulldozers is clear-cut animal cruelty, and should not be tolerated in civil society,” Robinson said. She noted that the cats had been living at the site for a long time, and most had been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The colony was being cared for by local volunteers, and properties neighboring the Fox station reportedly had no concerns about the cats. Robinson also noted that that the station and its owner were offered nonlethal alternatives by several organizations, including the Richmond SPCA, but were not persuaded. “Humane cat repellants are readily available, and the station could have used any number of these to keep cats away from areas where they are not wanted,” said Robinson. “Today’s tragic situation could easily have been avoided.” “It is still unclear whether what happened today is illegal, but we will be working with the local authorities and animal organizations to ensure there is a thorough investigation,” Robinson said. “In the meantime, the cats have been frightened and displaced and their home has been destroyed.” # # # About Alley Cat Allies Alley Cat Allies is dedicated to ending the killing of cats and leading the movement for their humane care. Their web site is ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ related news article : Cats Killed Outside Local TV Station WRIC, VA - June 25, 2008

You want to be a lesser race or use your brain?

From the Alex Jones Show:


Stemmers, Part I

Published by cyrano2


“Simply one of the many biocidal glories of NAFTA…not long after American companies started plopping their most toxic operations just across the border to capitalize on such as lax Mexican environmental laws, a shocking spike in the number of babies born without a brain (anencephalic) became a legacy of the massive industrial pollution.”

By Rand Clifford


Bodies of evidence by the millions make the dumbing-down of Americans the most successful federal program of all time…. Not that a great challenge has been surmounted, nor much of a fight put up, nor any bounds of day-to-day comfort grossly exceeded; insidious is the motif. With shrewd play on human emotion—especially and always fear—people can be manipulated into consistently acting against their best interests, for the best interests of money-hung manipulators. By and large, the dumbed-down believe outrageous lies that defy all evidence if the lies are packaged and repeated appropriately. The official story of 9/11 for example, or its diabolical spawn, the war on terror—would these have any chance at all in a nation of alert and thoughtful people?

America propaganda…into the bouillabaisse of lies, stir in well-crafted bogeymen, along with heaping portions of distraction, envy, selfishness—and double-up on aversion to being different (who wants to be “the turd in the punch bowl” by controverting what we are officially supposed to believe?) In such a context, the term stemmer transcends sheer comic relief, into a realm of sobering relevance threatening to become terminal.

A man called Whizzer in the novel CASTLING, first published in 1995, identifies stemmers as a blight metastasizing among the American people under careful nurture at highest levels of government. A self-described Professor of Social Science, Whizzer deliciously merges charisma with science, employing experiments in human behavior to prove his theories.

Many people keen to America’s profound intelligence deficit cling to solid theories of a chemical dumbing-down…from fluoridation of public water supplies, to aerial spraying (chemtrails), to ubiquitous bisphenol-A plastics, to heavy metal contamination, to the enormous prevalence in our foods of neurotoxins such as MSG (in its many nefarious manifestations), and aspartame, on and on…. But, Whizzer’s extensive research supports his theory of atrophy…the simple, “use it—or lose it”. His theory of stemmers:

“It all has to do with how much of your brain is functioning,” he insists. “Scientific evidence is very clear that about all you really need to survive is a brain stem…your reptile brain.”

Whizzer’s research into stemmers grew from babies born without a brain down along the Rio Grande, such as in Brownsville, Texas. Simply one of the many biocidal glories of NAFTA…not long after American companies started plopping their most toxic operations just across the border to capitalize on such as lax Mexican environmental laws, a shocking spike in the number of babies born without a brain (anencephalic) became a legacy of the massive industrial pollution. Some of the babies born with only a brain stem are still able to live indefinitely with proper care. Enter Whizzer’s trademark comic relief: “But then again,” he says, “maybe nature’s just saying ‘Hey, you wouldn’t use the thing anyway. You’d be better off not lugging around all that waterlogged tissue.’ Yep, looks to me like the hand of evolution at work. Maybe we’re seeing the emergence of a new subspecies. Homo Sapiens Americanus Sans Cerebrum.” Note: Whizzer’s penchant for humor never fouls his fundamental science; his strict adherence to the scientific method puts to shame anything we now must categorize as “Bush science”, or, The Official Stuff. (Please see: Only One kind of science

At a huge kegger wrapping up an annual tournament involving American and Canadian softball teams, Whizzer delivers a monologue regarding stemmers that captivates the crowd (he also uses “The Party” to run a key experiment to expose major differences in “gut-reaction” aggression between Canadians, and Americans; except for the border, these people are virtual neighbors).

Basics of Whizzer’s stemmer theory, in his own words: “The Rio Grande is a sewer and toxic cauldron. But that’s not the point. The point is a lot of babies born nearby have only a brain stem, but they can survive, sometimes for years and years…. Yeah, way way back, millions of years before they invented Canadian bacon or 4X4s, our ancestors had little more than a brain stem. The reptile brain. Over the years, cerebral cortex grew on top of the stem ‘cause they started puttin’ together a lot of abstract thoughts, and figuring out how to make life less of a bugger…how to get a little comfort. They worked hell outa those brains and like a muscle the brains kept growing and growing…. And that’s why now we lug around these big bone casings we call skulls—to protect all that brain mass we inherited. Well, down at the heart of all that grey matter lies the ol’ brain stem—all anyone really needs to survive. With it you can still eat, drink, sleep, reproduce, and fight…which brings us to my theory…. The human brain has stopped evolving. The human brain is currently devolving back toward stemhood, and fast. Proliferation of consumerism, of gadgets and celebrities, spectator sports and lottery, television, mega-religion, fast food, smart bombs, drive-by violence, main stream propaganda and the coolness of being stupid, just to name a few—they’re causing the bulk of Americans to slough their brains. Who needs all that gray matter? Around here we call those obviously running on little or no more than brain stem…we call them stemmers. Basically, they’re lizards in sheep’s clothing….”

In Part II: Stemmers, and the future of The American Experiment. Bilderberg, The Council On Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission…with the Nation so poised for martial law to usher in the New World Order, is there even time to identify America’s intellectual nadir for public evaluation of solutions, or will “My Pet Goat” herald our oblivion after all?

Rand Clifford is a writer living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink. Rand’s novels CASTLING, TIMING, VOICES OF VIRES, and PRIEST LAKE CATHEDRAL are published by StarChief Press:

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