Thursday, July 31, 2008

World In My Eyes

mp3 * Let me take you on a trip Around the world and back And you won't have to move You just sit still Now let your mind do the walking And let my body do the talking Let me show you the world in my eyes I'll take you to the highest mountain To the depths of the deepest sea And we won't need a map, believe me Now let my body do the moving And let my hands do the soothing Let me show you the world in my eyes That's all there is Nothing more than you can feel now That's all there is Let me put you on a ship On a long, long trip Your lips close to my lips All the islands in the ocean All the heavens in the motion Let me show you the world in my eyes That's all there is Nothing more than you can touch now That's all there is Let me show you the world in my eyes *

"Love and Gratitude to Water" ceremony


Alone With Everybody, Charles Bukowski

the flesh covers the bone and they put a mind in there and sometimes a soul, and the women break vases against the walls and the men drink too much and nobody finds the one but keep looking crawling in and out of beds. flesh covers the bone and the flesh searches for more than flesh. there's no chance at all: we are all trapped by a singular fate. nobody ever finds the one. the city dumps fill the junkyards fill the madhouses fill the hospitals fill the graveyards fill nothing else fills.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anarchists propose $50 million deal on convention

A group of anarchists says it will drop its plans to disrupt the Democratic National Convention if Denver invests a $50 million federal grant in the community rather than spend it on security. The group Unconventional Denver wants the city to spend the $50 million intended for security for the convention on health care and other needs. If the city agrees, the anarchists say they’ll call off their protests. Otherwise, Tim Simons says members of the group plan to “physically stand in the way of what’s going to happen.” He says the group is protesting what it sees as the Democratic Party’s support of big business rather than meeting people’s basic needs. ...

A movement begins: Vote 'no' on Election Day

WASHINGTON – Both major-party presidential candidates should be rejected at the polls this November, writes Joseph Farah, founder and editor of the largest independent news source on the Internet in an unusual new book hitting bookstores nationwide in three weeks and available now exclusively through WND's online store. "None of the Above" is the first book of its kind in modern U.S. history – calling for Americans to send a message to the Democratic and Republican parties that they will not vote for candidates who do not honor and uphold the principles of the Constitution. Farah believes 2008 could be transformed into a history-making year in American politics if his book inspires millions to take up his challenge. ...


Anarchist's Wife Trailer

video The Anarchist's wife in IMDB.

Atari Teenage Riot - Revolution Action (Banned Version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkb3r9filcM

A Girl Among the Anarchists

[Thanks to *TLL* for this post]

by Isabel Meredith


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fidel Castro Stresses Hugo Chavez Virtues

Havana, Jul 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro stressed the figure of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose investment program is impressive. In his Tuesday Cubadebate website article entitled "Chavez" Message," Fidel Castro stated, "Never before, quite possibly, has more attention been paid to the most deeply felt wishes and pressing needs of people. We’re already seeing some results." "He returned from his trip to Europe on Friday. He was away for only four days. Flying west, he arrived at Caracas at 11 at night, at sunrise in Madrid, the point of departure. The call from Venezuela came in early on Saturday. I was told he wanted to speak to me over the phone that day. I replied that I could speak to him at 1:45 in the afternoon," he noted. "Chavez," he stressed, "was calm, pensive and satisfied with his tour. We shared views on the prices of foodstuffs, oil and raw materials, needed investments, the dollar’s devaluation, inflation, recession, imperialist swindles and plundering, mistakes made by our adversaries, the risk of nuclear war, the system’s insurmountable problems and other issues which require no secrecy. Nevertheless, I use this means of communication only exceptionally." "We exchanged comments and news. He didn’t say one word about the wonderful message he wrote on the occasion of the 26th of July celebrations, in which he analyzed my denunciation entitled “Machiavelli’s Strategy”. I received it that same Saturday at night. Chavez is the embodiment of Bolivar’s ideas. Our one-hour conversation, back in the days of the Liberator, would have spanned months and his 4-day European tour at least 2 years," Fidel Castro said. Prensa Latina is posting below the full text of Fidel Castro"s reflection. REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL CHAVEZ’ MESSAGE (Source: CubaDebate) He returned from his trip to Europe on Friday. He was away for only four days. Flying west, he arrived at Caracas at 11 at night, at sunrise in Madrid, the point of departure. The call from Venezuela came in early on Saturday. I was told he wanted to speak to me over the phone that day. I replied that I could speak to him at 1:45 in the afternoon. I had enough time to jot down 25 points, of the sort one can speak of over an international phone line, knowing the enemy is listening in, some of which had been tackled by the Venezuelan president himself before the press. Chavez was calm, pensive and satisfied with his tour. We shared views on the prices of foodstuffs, oil and raw materials, needed investments, the dollar’s devaluation, inflation, recession, imperialist swindles and plundering, mistakes made by our adversaries, the risk of nuclear war, the system’s insurmountable problems and other issues which require no secrecy. Nevertheless, I use this means of communication only exceptionally. We exchanged comments and news. He didn’t say one word about the wonderful message he wrote on the occasion of the 26th of July celebrations, in which he analyzed my denunciation entitled “Machiavelli’s Strategy”. I received it that same Saturday at night. Chaves is the embodiment of Bolivar’s ideas. Our one-hour conversation, back in the days of the Liberator, would have spanned months and his 4-day European tour at least 2 years. Yesterday, I listened to his remarks on the Alo Presidente program. His investment program is impressive. Never before, quite possibly, has more attention been paid to the most deeply felt wishes and pressing needs of people. We’re already seeing some results. When I turned on the television at night, Chavez was in the midst of a crowd that was cheering on the female softball team playing the final game of the cup against Cuba. The Venezuelan team won, one to zero. And, to top it all, this was a ‘no hit, no run’ match. The eyes of the young and handsome Venezuelan pitcher almost popped out of her head when the magnitude of her feat dawned on her following the last out. In the middle of the exuberant team that was leaping with joy on the infield next to the box, Chavez was hugging and kissing the players. Were we not internationalist in spirit, this would have been reason to be depressed. But, after thinking about it a few seconds, I was happy for him and Venezuela. What a man! How can he keep at it like that after so much effort? Today is his birthday. Raul and I sent him a painting which shows Che emerging from the earth, as envisaged by a painter from Cuba’s westernmost province. It is a striking piece. I shall have this reflection reach him early tomorrow. Fidel Castro Ruz July 28, 2008 11:30 a.m

WarIsForSuckers.com

http://warisforsuckers.com/videos.php UPDATED DAILY AT 2:11am EST-- OVER 2000 VIDEOS -- WAR IS FOR SUCKERS -- recklessly speculative comedy

Monday, July 28, 2008

Johnny Depp enters Alice In Wonderland as Mad Hatter

After playing a pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean series, versatile Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is set to play the Mad Hatter in the film version of Alice in Wonderland.

Thesun.co.uk reports the movie will be shot in 3D and Depp teams up with his friend and collaborator, director Tim Burton. The two have worked together on six movies.

A source said: "Burton has had designs on Alice In Wonderland since before he was famous. He has a knack for turning what seem like stories for just kids into gripping, spooky fables loved just as much by adults. He's held out on doing Alice till he got a big enough budget. Now this film is financed by Disney so money won't be a problem."

Unknown actress Mia Wasikowska will play Alice. Production will start next year and the release is planned for the summer of 2010.


Media Marginalization of “Third” Parties

Interview with Mickey Z.

There has been a plethora of articles and commentary in progressivist media focused on the Democratic Party — considered left of the Republican Party (but clearly, for a non-American observer, a right-wing party and not a left-wing party). Yet some progressives in the media — forgetful of the Bill Clinton era — continue to push for the effete strategy of lesser evilism that no matter how terrible the Democratic presidential candidate of the corporate political duopoly is s/he would not be as bad as the Republican presidential candidate. Other progressives point out that the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, is clearly aligned with corporatism and imperialism.

Despite all this, the progressivist media has excluded or severely marginalized progressivist “third” party candidates.

If there is any credence to the aphorism “any publicity is good publicity,” then Obama has reaped the benefits while progressivist candidates have been disadvantaged by independent/progressivist media.

To get a thoughtful analysis on lesser evilism and American “democracy,” I turned to Astoria, New York-based author Mickey Z., whose most recent offering is CPR for Dummies (Think: Henry Miller meets Bukowski and Vonnegut at Sunday Mass).

Kim Petersen: What is it about the political milieu in the United States that fosters lesser evilism?

Mickey Z.: I guess it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book (insert Eliot Spitzer joke here). You know: good cop, bad cop. Settle for less pain instead of demanding more pleasure. To delve a little deeper and risk armchair psychology, I’d say that when the “far left” engages in its despicable Anybody-But-Bush style delusion, it perhaps reveals their fear and unwillingness, re: radical change.

KP: Are the political duopoly and corporate media still so persuasive?

MZ: Well, ask yourself this: Why does every major newspaper and TV news show have a business section, but not a labor section? They cover automobiles, not bicycles. If the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops, it’s “Stop the presses.” But if the infant mortality rate rises, it questionable if it’ll even make the papers. If you created a blueprint for an apparatus that erased critical thought, there’s none more efficient than our (sic) corporate media.

KP: Obama exposes his regressivism with statements such as the recent: “But the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.” This he said in Berlin on the heels of departing the greatest wall-building project since dynastic China.

MZ: Well, there’s “our” walls (“our” being the US, UK, and Israel) and then you have “their” walls, Kim. We only build walls when left with absolutely no choice. We really don’t want to. Really… we don’t. I mean it. We’re the good guys. I can prove it: It says so in our history books.

KP: Why do you think it is that even the independent media excludes or marginalizes “third” party candidates and focuses so preponderantly on Barack Obama?

MZ: It’s just so distracting to focus on more than two things at once. The media are us. The press is made up humans shaped by the same hypocritical and destructive culture as the rest of us. All of us lunatics trying to navigate the Space Age with Stone Age brains. If believing that Obama is living proof that American democracy works keeps things simple, then it’s just so much easier to believe that. More subtly, the unspoken reality is that those who look beyond the accepted parameters of discussion are excluded from all the (alleged) fun.

KP: Sometimes the focus is support for Obama since he is supposedly less evil than John McCain, or it can even be about revealing Obama’s lack of progressivism. But the focus is on Obama and not the progressivist candidates out there. Given that Obama presents himself as a thoroughly unattractive presidential candidate for many progressives, why does one seldom encounter articles on more attractive presidential candidates in the independent media?

MZ: Ah, now we get to the dirty little secret of the so-called Left. A big chunk of them just wanna fit in. They wanna win… even if it means incredible compromise. Then there’s some of them that are happiest when bitching and moaning and complaining. Give them a cartoon character to hate like Cheney or Guiliani and they’re pacified. So once again in 2008, the independent (sic) press will buy the line of bullshit being sold by a corporate Democrat (sorry, I’m being redundant) and, by proxy, support the status quo and the subsequent global nightmare.

KP: Even if Obama were an appealing candidate for progressives, he would still be entrenched in the corporate political duopoly. Is a “third” party the answer to steering the United States away from the policies of the corporate duopoly? Is party politics even the way to go?

MZ: Corporate America could buy the Green Party as easily as it owns the Democrats and Republicans… but this isn’t a preordained theology or force of nature. The planet is fucked primarily due to decisions made by humans. If different choices had been made in the past, it’s very likely we’d have had different outcomes. If we start making different decisions now, there just might be enough time to create new outcomes. It’s not about party politics or religion or the system or terrorism or any other fairy tale… it’s about human beings changing their god damned minds and rejecting what has nearly destroyed us — and every other living — so far.

KP: What is the most effective strategy for ditching lesser evilism?

MZ: I don’t know… but I’m guessing it begins with us in the privileged West waking the fuck up and taking drastic action as soon as possible.

KP: Lastly, is going for a “third” party a viable strategy? Or is participating in a rigged electoral system anathema?

MZ: In 2004, there were 202,746,417 eligible voters, but only 122,293,332 hit the polling booths. More than 80 million more Americans could have voted while George W. Bush won with 62,040,610 votes. Imagine if even 20% of those 80 million voted for Nader or McKinney in 2008 — if for no other reason than to demonstrate that what they (we) want isn’t on the menu. Sixteen million protest votes? In America? Hey, it’s at least a tiny step in the right direction… unless of course, they figure out a way to disappear all those votes. Oh well… never mind.

  • If you are in Astoria on August 7, hear more from Mickey Z. on the 2008 election, the state of activism in America, cell phones, gorillas, Gwen Stefani, and much more at the Waltz-Astoria Café.

  • Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Out of the Mouths of a Thousand Birds, by Hafiz

    Listen - Listen more carefully to what is around you Right now. In my world There are the bells from the clanks Of the morning milk drums, And a wagon wheel outside my window Just hit a bump Which turned into an ecstatic chorus Of the Beloved's Name. There is the Prayer Call Rising up like the sun Out of the mouths of a thousand birds. There is an astonishing vastness Of movement and Life Emanating sound and light From my folded hands And my even quieter simple being and heart. My dear, Is it true that your mind Is sometimes like a battering Ram Running all through the city, Shouting so madly inside and out About the ten thousand things That do not matter? Hafiz, too, For many years beat his head in youth And thought himself at a great distance, Far from an armistice With God. But that is why this scarred old pilgrim Has now become such a sweet rare vintage Who weeps and sings for you. O listen - Listen more carefully To what is inside of you right now. In my world All that remains is the wondrous call to Dance and prayer Rising up like a thousand suns Out of the mouth of a Single bird. ~ Hafiz ~ (The Subject Tonight is Love -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

    Moore-Alexander Seeks PFP Presidential, V.P. Nomination

    Stewart A. Alexander Vice Presidential Nominee Socialist Party USA Candidate for V.P. Nomination Peace and Freedom Party July 27, 2008 It was October 19, 2007 that Brian P. Moore and Stewart A. Alexander met for the first time at the National Convention of Socialist Party USA; in St Louis, Missouri. Less than three days later, the two men were joined together as presidential running mates representing the Socialist Party USA, and joint partners to lead in the socialist movement nationwide. During the convention, Brian Moore was nominated for President and Stewart Alexander was nominated for Vice President. With less than a week before the State Convention of the Peace and Freedom Party, both Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander are hoping to capture the nomination for president and vice president of the California socialist party; to expand the party’s mission and socialist agenda nationwide. There are three other presidential candidates besides Brian Moore that will be attending the convention in Sacramento, California; they are Ralph Nader, Gloria La Riva, and Cynthia McKinney. The hope of all four candidates will be to secure the party’s nomination for president. The Peace and Freedom Party of California, founded in 1967, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. As stated in the party’s platform, the party is organized toward a world mission where cooperation replaces competition, where all people are well fed, clothed and housed; where all women and men have equal status; where all individuals may freely endeavor to fulfill their own talents and desires; a world of freedom and peace where every community retains its cultural integrity and lives with all others in harmony. Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander believe the mission of the Peace and Freedom Party and Socialist Party USA are closely related and both socialist parties have worked for decades to protect the rights of working people; for better conditions in employment and better wages, affordable health care for all, affordable housing, and better benefits for seniors. Within the past three years, millions of working people have seen a steady decline in living standards; the Peace and Freedom Party is offering short term and long term solutions in a capitalist system that continues to fail working people. Short term, Peace and Freedom Party wants the minimum wage double and index to the cost of living, the party is calling for the guaranteed right of all workers to organize and strike, and equal pay for equal work and for work of comparable worth. The PFP is also calling for a guaranteed dignified income for those who cannot work, and a Universal Basic Income that will alleviate poverty and homelessness. Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander fully support the position of Peace and Freedom Party to tax the income and assets of the rich to meet human needs. Alexander says, “Under capitalism, the income of the workers is taxed to meet the needs of the capitalist ruling class; as we now see with the bail out of big banks, financial institutions, private investors and big corporations.” Both socialist parties are calling for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically-controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks. The Moore/Alexander campaign fully supports the position of the Peace and Freedom Party and Socialist Party USA regarding international trade agreements. The PFP Platform states, “International trade agreements must guarantee the protection of workers and the environment in all participating countries; abolish NAFTA, GATT and the World Trade Organization (WTO).” Similar to the platform of the Peace and Freedom Party, the platform of Socialist Party USA “demands the immediate withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and oppose the creation of a widened Free Trade Area of the Americas.” Alexander says, “The trade agreements that are now in existence in the U.S. are assuring that this nation will continue to lose jobs abroad and will leave working people without work, here in the U.S. and in their own countries. These agreements will force the emigration of millions across the U.S. boarders for food, clothing and housing while robbing millions of working people from having the ability to maintain a decent standard of living in their own countries.” Most of the national opinion polls are indicating that the economy is the number one concern with most voters, and the economy is a top campaign issue for Moore and Alexander; however, the number one concern of the Moore /Alexander campaign is ending the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and ending U.S. imperialism. Moore and Alexander have been strong opponent to the illegal war and invasion and both candidates are strongly opposed to the ongoing U.S. threats against the Iran government. Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander believe their campaign is offering the socialist parties a national voice to speak on the many issues that are presently affecting working people. During a time when the Democrats and Republicans, Barack Obama and John McCain, have failed to address the needs of working people, Moore and Alexander firmly believe it is time for working people to take control and responsibility of their lives and their communities. The 2008 General Election will become a turning point in American politics and will reshape the political landscape for third party candidates. The up-coming election is another turning point for the socialist parties and socialists candidates such as Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander; it has been more than 100 years since Eugene Debs first entered the race for president as a socialist candidate at the beginning of the 20th Century. The State Convention for Peace and Freedom Party will convene on Saturday, August 2 and 3 at the Hawthorn Suites, 321 Bercut Drive, Sacramento California. At the convention Brian Moore, Gloria La Riva, Ralph Nader, and Cynthia McKinney will be seeking the Peace and Freedom Party’s presidential nomination. A debate among the four presidential candidates will be at the same location on Friday, August 1 at 7 p.m. For more information search the Web of: Stewart A. Alexander; Independent Voters Rejecting Democrats and Republicans. http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/ http://labs.daylife.com/journalist/stewart_a._alexander http://StewartAlexanderCares.com http://www.vote-socialist.org/ http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/ http://www.sp-usa.org/ http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/pres08.htm http://www.politics1.com/p2008.htm

    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    S'malice

    The music video for my song 'Alice', an electronic piece of which 90% is composed using sounds recorded from the Disney film 'Alice In Wonderland'. Download the full song in 128kbps MP3 format here: http://www.last.fm/music/Pogo/_/Alice Alice, mp3 Alice Turns 150 CAROLL’S PHILOSPHY: LANGAUGE & CONTINGENCY IN ALICE IN WONDERLAND

    Colombia party leader arrested

    The leader of one of Colombia's major political parties has been arrested on suspicion of having ties to right-wing paramilitaries. Carlos Garcia, a senator and head of the National Unity party, which holds the most seats in the senate, was arrested in the city of Santa Marta, the chief prosecutor's office said on Friday. Garcia is the 31st politician to be arrested over links between paramilitaries and politicians. Thirty other members of congress, most of them from parties that support Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's president, are under investigation over links to right-wing armed groups formed in the 1980s. The paramilitaries have been condemned by human rights groups for the killings of trade unionists and political activists and their involvement in the drug trade. In May, Uribe extradited 14 senior paramilitary leaders to stand trial in the United States on drug trafficking charges. "The accusation against the senator is that he used paramilitaries to help win elections and consolidate power in his home province of Tolima," a spokesman for Colombia's attorney general's office told the Reuters news agency. Uribe re-election Garcia is the second senior member of a party closely tied to Uribe to be arrested in the so-called parapolitics scandal. In April, authorities arrested Mario Uribe, a former senator, second cousin and confidante of the president, over his alleged links to paramilitary groups. Garcia had been promoting efforts to allow Uribe to run for a third term in 2010. Uribe, the United States' closest ally in Latin America, is leaving open the option of running again in 2010, and polls suggest he will win with ease. But Colombia's scandal-hit congress will first need to approve a referendum vote on whether to amend the constitution to allow him to seek an unprecedented third term. The law has already been changed once to allow his 2006 re-election.

    U.S.–Mexico NAFTA Transportation Agreement Imperiled

    The governing idea behind NAFTA is to remove trade restrictions so as to encourage the free-flow of goods and services across the North American continent. Along the U.S. – Mexican border, however, the reality is that the ground transportation of such goods remains highly congested and drawn out. Long-haul trucks from Mexico are restricted from operating in the U.S. except within designated commercial zones located in border-cities such as San Diego, El Paso and Brownsville. At these sites, the contents of a truck must be unloaded and transferred onto a domestic carrier in order to continue to their final destination. Authorities estimate that this obvious kink in the supply chain costs U.S. consumers $400 million a year.

    Children's Rhymes, by Langston Hughes

    By what sends the white kids I ain't sent: I know I can't be President. What don't bug them white kids sure bugs me: We know everybody ain't free. Lies written down for white folks ain't for us a-tall: Liberty And Justice-- Huh!--For All?

    Angry Cindy Sheehan exits Judiciary hearing

    At several points in Friday’s Judiciary Committee sort-of-almost-not-really impeachment hearing, members of the audience erupted in applause after one of the dozen-plus witnesses delivered a particularly incendiary indictment of President Bush. The committee’s Republicans were none too amused by these displays, and they whined several times that such outbursts were inappropriate. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the committee’s ranking member, at one point asked Chairman John Conyers to clear the hearing room after one particularly rousing ovation from Code Pink activists. They were responding as author Vincent Bugliosi outlined his case that the Justice Department should bring first degree murder charges against the president for illegally invading Iraq. Conyers decided not to boot the boisterous activists from the room, but he did remind the entire audience to refrain from any demonstrations of approval or disapproval of the proceedings. Less than an hour later, Bugliosi, a former Los Angeles County prosecutor who recently wrote The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, fired up the crowd again. “By taking this nation into war on a lie, all of the killings of American soldiers in Iraq became unlawful killings, and therefore murders,” Bugliosi said. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan had been sitting in the crowd, and she shouted, “Thank you Vince.” Conyers seemed flustered, reminding Sheehan and others that some “members are urging me to take more action than merely reminding our audience,” before trying to move on to the next witness. “I urge you to take action,” said Sheehan, who is among the most visible activists pushing for impeachment. After losing her son in the Iraq war, Sheehan became famous for her roadside vigil outside Bush’s Crawford ranch in the summer of 2005, and she has mounted a long-shot bid to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in this year’s election. “OK then, Sheehan, you’re out,” Conyers said, but the northern California native was already on her way out the door. “I’m going,” she said. “Good-bye.” This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast July 25, 2008. * Seven years after the attacks of 9/11, a global awakening has taken place, the likes of which the world has never seen. As the corporate-controlled media dwindles into extinction, a new breed of journalists and activists has emerged. Click here to watch 9/11 Chronicles Part One: Truth Rising online in high quality now! *

    Main Core: New Evidence Reveals Top Secret Government Database Used in Bush Spy Program

    Salon.com has published new details about a top secret government database that might be at the heart of the Bush administration’s domestic spying operations. The database is known as “Main Core.” It reportedly collects and stores vast amounts of personal and financial data about millions of Americans. Some former US officials believe that “Main Core” may have been used by the National Security Agency to determine who to spy on in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. We speak with author and investigative journalist, Tim Shorrock. [includes transcript] Listen

    Peace and Freedom Party state meeting and nominating convention

    by Norma Harrison The regular state meeting of the Party, including now, the nominating convention will be held 1-3Aug2008 at 321 Bercut Dr. , Sacramento, Ca. All supportive and interested people are invited to join us. http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    What is behind the struggle in Colombia?

    Friday, July 25, 2008 By: Gloria La Riva Revolutionary movements battle U.S.-backed repression Colombian trade unionists and peasant leaders continue to be gunned down in record numbers by a death-squad government that is armed and financed by the Bush administration. More trade unionists are assassinated every year in Colombia than anywhere else in the world. The FARC is waging a struggle against Colombia's ruling class and their U.S. backers.

    These facts are never reported in the U.S. corporate owned media. Such bastions of "free speech" could not care less about the epidemic of killings against progressive workers and small farmers. Instead, all concern and sympathy is being drummed up for the individuals who were taken prisoner by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP, or simply FARC). In the 1980s, when the FARC laid down its weapons and entered the political process to "peacefully" compete with the U.S.-backed political parties representing the ultra-rich landowners and capitalists, government-backed death squads murdered more than 5,000 of their members. Since 2000, the U.S. government has spent more than $5 billion on Plan Colombia to exterminate the revolutionary movement. Bombings, assassinations and every other conceivable tactic have been used against those resisting imperialism and capitalism. Now the imperialists’ operatives in the CIA and their Colombian puppets are organizing a worldwide campaign against "violence" and "hostage taking." The hypocrisy is so great that few parallels come to mind. Hitler organized a war crimes trial in 1942 that found French socialists guilty and, consequently, blamed them for "starting" World War II. Their punishment was their immediate dispatch to German concentration camps. ‘Rescuing hostages’: the hidden story The timing of "Operation Jaque"—the July 2 "rescue" of French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other prisoners held by the FARC—was designed to bolster Colombian president Álvaro Uribe's war against the country's progressive forces and to possibly win him a third (unconstitutional) term for that war. It was soon exposed as a set-up. Instead of a "brilliant Colombian military operation" that supposedly proved the end of the FARC, it was unmasked as a staged event to disrupt and destroy the active negotiations that were underway between FARC negotiators and Swiss and French emissaries to free Betancourt and others. The groundwork for negotiations was being established because the FARC has also sought the liberation of its members in an exchange of prisoners. Many FARC members are enduring extremely long sentences in U.S. and Colombian prisons after kangaroo trials on bogus charges of terrorism and narcotrafficking. In the thousands of media stories extolling Betancourt's release, scarcely a word has been uttered about the existence of imprisoned FARC guerrillas. On July 15, Alfonso Cano, the FARC's new leader, issued his first statement since taking over after the death of legendary founder Manuel Marulanda. Cano said in part, "We will insist for as many times as necessary our willingness to achieve a humanitarian accord that fixes clear and obligatory rules for both parties with respect to the civilian population, and above all, to prioritize the freedom of our extradited comrades Sonia, Simon, Ivan Vargas and of all the prisoners of war of both sides." Cano mentions Simon Trinidad, the nom de guerre of FARC member Ricardo Palmera Pinera. On Jan. 28, Trinidad was sentenced in Washington D.C.'s federal court to 60 years imprisonment in the United States. He is in prison as the result of a false conspiracy conviction linking him to the kidnapping of the three U.S. mercenaries who were just freed with Betancourt. The mercenary contractors were shot down in 2002 while flying military reconnaissance planes over FARC-controlled territory. Conspiracy is a charge that needs no real evidence for conviction. Interestingly, the maximum prison sentence in Colombia used to be 40 years, but it was extended after its penal code was modified under the direction and funding of the United States Agency for International Development. Class struggle in Colombia The most fundamental issue in Colombia's struggle is hidden by the media and denied by the U.S. and Colombian governments: There are two sides in Colombia's struggle representing irreconcilable classes—that of owners and that of dispossessed, of oppressors and of oppressed. Colombian President Álvaro Uribe is leading a U.S.-backed campaign to exterminate left-wing forces.

    This is the real reason the U.S. and Colombian governments have done everything possible to thwart such a prisoner exchange from taking place in Colombia. Despite numerous FARC proposals for a peace settlement and prisoner releases, Uribe and Washington have deliberately sabotaged them. For U.S. imperialism, agreeing to a prisoner exchange would be a de facto recognition of the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) as legitimate military armies. The United States is not interested in negotiations. Its objective is the wiping out of the opposition, armed and unarmed, at all cost. All the crocodile tears cried by U.S. government officials and Uribe over the fate of prisoners held by the FARC belie the fact that the real danger to the prisoners has come from U.S.-Colombian military operations, including the mass bombing of FARC encampments and other lightning attacks. One such military raid was carried out in June 2007 on a FARC camp with a goal similar to "Operation Jaque." It was meant to boost Uribe's presidency and make crystal clear that the U.S. and Colombian perspective of "no concessions, no negotiations under any circumstances" with the FARC, except for purposes of deceit. Twelve members of Colombia's congress had been taken prisoner by the FARC. While negotiations were ongoing for their release, on June 18, 2007, a SWAT team of CIA, British and Israeli mercenaries and the Colombian army stormed the FARC jungle camp. Eleven of the congress members were killed. FARC spokesperson Rodrigo Granda explained Uribe's intention in the raid in an October 2007 interview: "What has to be said about the deaths of the 11 congressmen is that it was undoubtedly a meticulously prepared plan, both politically and militarily, and also in terms of propaganda. "Uribe's government began its plan by talking about the possibility of releasing a number of FARC-EP prisoners for whom no one had made any request, because we had sought a bilateral humanitarian exchange of prisoners between the FARC-EP and the government. ... This, in my view, had to do with the preparations for action on a large scale in the Colombian mountains [the June raid]. "The intended blow was that, if this special force appeared to have successfully freed the 12 congressional representatives, Uribe would have kept in prison those he was supposedly attempting to free and embarked on a political campaign at home and abroad claiming that direct interventions would henceforth be the most appropriate way to secure the release of those being held by the FARC-EP, thereby ruling out the feasibility of humanitarian exchange or any possibility of dialogue." In November 2007, renewed negotiations for a prisoner exchange were at first agreed to by Uribe, who approved of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's role as a mediator along with liberal Colombian senator Piedad Cordobas. Prominent individuals held by the FARC were set for release. At the last minute, however, Uribe abruptly called off the talks and accused Chávez of violating the ground rules by engaging in a telephone conversation with a Colombian general. This was a spurious accusation, yet the official relations between both countries almost came to a breaking point. Chávez has accused the U.S. government of having intervened to put a sudden stop to the talks. Despite Uribe's sabotage of the talks, the FARC unilaterally released two prisoners on Jan. 10: Clara Rojas, Betancourt's campaign manager in her 2002 presidential bid; and Consuelo González. On Jan. 31, four more civilians were released by the FARC to Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez in yet another unilateral gesture. Days later, Uribe's answer was, "We will exterminate the FARC." On March 1, the Colombian military conducted an attack at dawn on a FARC encampment a few miles inside Ecuador's territory along Colombia's southern border. The aerial bombing, which violated Ecuadorian airspace, lasted several hours. The assault killed almost all 20 encampment occupants, including four Mexican university students who had just arrived hours before to express their solidarity with the FARC. Raúl Reyes, the FARC's number two leader and actual ground commander, was executed in the mop-up operation after the bombing ended. The military intelligence and logistics were provided by the United States. Days later, another top FARC commander, Iván Rios, who had a million-dollar bounty placed on his head, was betrayed and executed by a member of his battalion. High-priced bounties have been issued against key FARC leaders. If it were still not clear to all those who follow developments in Colombia that the intent of the United States and the Colombian bourgeoisies is the brutal elimination of the FARC and ELN, Uribe stated it explicitly on July 9. Still flush with his "rescue" victory, Uribe announced a renewed military offensive against the ELN. According to the July 10 edition of Mexico’s La Jornada, "[T]he Colombian president Alvaro Uribe ordered the military forces to launch an offensive against the Army of National Liberation (ELN), the second most important guerrilla in the country, in particular to locate and capture their maximum leaders …" Organized resistance The FARC's methods as a revolutionary guerrilla force in wartime are not the cause of the violence in Colombia. It is the necessary outcome of a class war that was intensified in the late 1940s by U.S. imperialism and the Colombian oligarchy and that has never let up. With state power in their hands, U.S. imperialism and Colombia's comprador bourgeoisie have employed the most ruthless means to vanquish all opposition movements, armed or unarmed, including the trade unions. The fascist paramilitary forces, armed and supplied by the United States, have ferociously tortured and murdered workers and peasants trying to resist the aggressive free-trade and neoliberal policies of Bogota and Washington. The FARC and the ELN were born as a means of defense and survival for the peasants and working class against the state terror that was unleashed on the population in the 1940s. A turning point was in 1948, when the popular presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, from the left wing of the Liberal Party, was assassinated. The violence that broke out between the Conservative Party and Liberal Party supporters, known as the "Bogotazo," soon became the ruling class's justification for an unending war against Colombia's peasants. Colombian peasants had first begun to organize cooperatives and small units of self-defense to protect themselves against large landowners from the 1930s to the 1950s. These peasant organizations grew in size and influence by the 1960s. Throughout Latin America, movements of workers and peasants were gaining in organization and strength, many inspired by the Cuban Revolution of 1959. In response, the U.S. government pumped millions of dollars of military assistance to repress numerous popular movements. The 1960s and 1970s brought a wave of state terror and dictatorship throughout Latin America, with military coups directed and financed by U.S. imperialism, from Chile to Argentina, Bolivia to Brazil, and Haiti to Venezuela. A Marxist understanding of violence Literally hundreds of thousands of people across the continent were murdered in the U.S.-backed reign of terror. It is against this state violence that the rise of the revolutionary armed forces in Colombia must be understood. Funeral for Javier Suarez, a Colombian labor leader killed by right-wing paramilitaries, May 2000 Marxism, as a scientific method of assessing and giving direction to the class struggle, has a very particular view of violence. Marxism rejects the vile hypocrisy of the capitalist bosses and landowners who have always maintained their systems of slavery and exploitation by resort to the most extreme methods of violence. The rule over society by a tiny handful of the population would be impossible without the employment of repression. "Democratic" methods are fine, but only as long as the masses of the exploited remain meek. As soon as the oppressed take up arms to defend their organizations and their communities from the organized violence of the capitalist state, which is frequently supplemented by extra-judicial death squads, the corporate media condemns them as "terrorists." Unlike pacifism, Marxism is distinguished by its understanding that the armies of the capitalist state inevitably employ methods of violence, including outright war, assassination, prisoner and hostage taking, spying, covert operations, and other instruments of terrorism. The goal of these methods is not to kill all of their opponents. Only a relatively small number of opponents are killed in any war, be it a class war or one directed against targeted governments. The goal is to break the will of those who are still alive by inflicting sufficient casualties and widespread terror so that resistance appears futile. Pacifists denounce the violence of the oppressor state and those who resist it through armed struggle with equal fervor. Marxists, like all progressive people, do not "like violence." They would much prefer a non-violent end to the miseries of capitalist exploitation. But wringing one's hands about violence "from both sides" does not contribute in the slightest to arresting the violence of the oppressor state once the ruling class feels its interests are threatened. It is not possible for bourgeois pacifism to cite one example in history where a small exploiter class gave up its control over the economy and the political order without unleashing the fiercest, most violent war against the class forces that sought a new society. Colombia: a pivot in imperialist strategy For more than six decades, Colombia has been the anchor for U.S. imperialism in Latin America. Washington is intent on maintaining the oligarchy in power for its own means on the continent. By waging ruthless violence against the oppressed who have organized for economic and social betterment, Colombia's ruling class has been able to expand its wealth tremendously. It has also created the repressive environment necessary for greater U.S. exploitation. Today, the economic situation in Colombia is staggering. The country suffers the highest unemployment rate in Latin America, exceeding 15 percent in seven major cities. Over half of those who do work are based in the informal economy of street vending or living from scavenging in dumps; 54 percent of the population lives on only $1 to $2 a day. The richest 5 percent of Colombia’s population owns 90 percent of all property and almost 60 percent of peasants struggle to survive on less than 3 percent of the country’s land. Homelessness is estimated at almost 10 million out of a population of 44 million—the highest in the continent. To keep such an impoverished population down, Colombia's police, military and, by extension, paramilitary forces have received billions of dollars in U.S. military aid through the Plan Colombia and Plan Patriota programs of the United States. From 2000 to 2006, $5 billion were given to Colombia, 80 percent of it in the form of military aid. FARC leaders who were directly involved in negotiations over prisoner exchanges are being targeted for assassination or arrested and railroaded into U.S. prisons. All opposition activists, even those who do not employ armed resistance to the state terror, have been heavily targeted. That thousands of trade unionists have been slaughtered in recent years for peaceful, unarmed labor actions and for defending workers' rights strongly negates the argument that peace can be achieved by the FARC first surrendering their arms. The paramilitary death squads have particularly targeted trade unionists with the complicity of the government. Between 1986 and 2002, according to an AFL-CIO 2006 study, more than 3,000 labor leaders were assassinated in Colombia. Only five cases ended in a successful prosecution. The state terror against aboveground and legally recognized organizations and their members is not a thing of the past. Located in the northeast of the South American continent, Colombia shares extensive borders with Venezuela and Ecuador, whose governments are engaged in a radical societal transformation. Some leaders, including Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez, have called for the FARC to lay down its arms in order to initiate a peace process. History and on-the-ground reality in Colombia shows the reason for the revolutionary forces to maintain its arms and organization. Again, it is not a fetish for armed struggle; it is an estimate of reality that leads to basic calculations about strategy and tactics. In 1984, it was the FARC that agreed to a peace settlement with Colombian president Belisario Betancur. The FARC was instrumental in establishing the Patriotic Union (UP), an aboveground and legal political party created for electoral purposes. Despite the FARC’s efforts at peaceful forms of struggle, a bloodbath ensued in which paramilitary death squads murdered over 5,000 militants of the UP. Colombian struggle in international context With 60 years of state terror and violence, Colombia has seemed impenetrable by the phenomenon of the Latin American masses in motion, demanding dramatic change after the "lost decades" in the 1980s and 1990s. Those times were characterized by economic surrender to the U.S. imperialism. More than 200,000 Colombians take to the streets to protest paramilitary violence, March 6. But in fact, there has been a growing consciousness and mobilization among many sectors in Colombia in recent months. They do not receive much notice in the international press. Recently, more than 200,000 people marched in Bogotá demanding an end to death squad violence. And a major scandal involving Uribe's links to the paramilitary and narcotraffickers resulted in his lowest public ratings since he became president. There is also an ongoing investigation of the more than 70 members of Colombia's Congress—with direct links to the death squads—who used their offices to help re-elect Uribe for his second four-year term in 2006. The euphoria created among large sectors of Colombia by Operation Jaque, calling for a possible third presidential run for Uribe—despite the unconstitutionality of a third term—is bound to be short-lived. The country’s inescapable economic and social crisis will not be. Proclaiming victory over the guerrilla forces after a series of recent setbacks for the FARC will not resolve Colombia’s crisis for the vast majority of the people. Nor will it end the inextinguishable need to organize, mobilize and fight back with the means necessary for the people’s victory. The FARC, like any workers’ or peasants’ organization that is involved in a protracted conflict, may seek to fight at the same time as it engages in negotiations and diplomacy. Only the revolutionary organization can determine the usefulness of negotiations with a state that seeks to exterminate them. Ultimately, an estimate of the relationship of forces is required, which is dictated not only by the internal domestic situation but by an approximation of complex international factors as well. Any movement for change in Latin America has arrayed against it not only the forces of domestic counterrevolution, but also the vast interventionist instrument of U.S. imperialism. The Pentagon, CIA and the complex of transnational media corporations are working day and night to discredit and destroy the revolutionary forces. For people outside of Colombia, and especially for those of us living in the United States, our work must intensify to expose the macabre role of our own ruling class. Exposing Plan Colombia and extending real solidarity with the workers and farmers who are being viciously attacked because they dare to stand up for a better world are the top priorities. Castigating and lecturing those who are being hunted down by imperialism and by its legal and extra-legal death squads is no solution at all to the enduring crisis in Colombia.


    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    ...4 My Friend Fernando...


    Ulises Ruiz in Oaxaca - MURDERER

    Shown clandestinamente Tombs of the murderer During the 2006-2007 by by APPO Thursday, Jul 24 2008, 11:27 a.m. Is beginning to appear clandestine graves the murderers by the regime of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO) IN 2006 - 2007, during the uprising of the People of Oaxaca claiming the dismissal of this criminal. To the People of Oaxaca To the people of Mexico The peoples of the world They begin to appear clandestine graves of those killed by the regime of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO) in 2006 - 2007, during the uprising of the people of Oaxaca claimed the dismissal of this criminal. 8 The exhumation of bodies in one of these clandestine graves in the pantheon Garden, 2 children and 6 adults, evidence so forceful policy of state terrorism and the criminal paramiltarismo Ulises Ruiz developed to try to contain the dissatisfaction of Oaxacans , For all crimes, human rights violations and other atrocities that this murderer has been committed against the people, authorities and organizations since its imposition as governor of Oaxaca. The exhumations were reported by authorities in the municipality of the state capital, noting as an operator of this dirty work clandestine burial, the cousin of Ulises Ruiz called himself Romeo Ruiz Garcia, and show just the tip of the iceberg of the number killed since in the complaint also states that this same cousin is looking to accommodate 200 more bodies. This information strengthens and confirms many of the investigations carried out by agencies of great seriousness and professionalism as an observer The International Commission For Human Rights CIODH, who have already submitted, in both Mexico and the European Parliament, two reports on violations committed by Governments against the resistance of the people of Oaxaca during 2006-2007. The clandestine graves are a blunt test to start a day of national and international denunciation on all crimes committed, and demand punishment for the criminal Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the presentation of the missing and the immediate and unconditional release of those still in prison . The mass graves are under fascist dictatorships, and that is what is put into evidence the state and federal governments. Taking all these evidences suggest: 1. Convene an assembly of the APPO to be genuinely representative, where they form a broad commission, after analysing and discussing whether it is appropriate or not go to a negotiating table without being mobilized or be exerting pressure to ensure a genuine demands policies the people of Oaxaca. 2. While reaching the date of this assembly, develop a national campaign is international denouncing the existence of clandestine graves. 3. Convene human rights organizations nationally and internationally, to take up this case and forming groups that come to investigate, specifically, the issue of missing persons and clandestine graves. 4. That the unique demands of the APPO remain: • Departure immediate Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, to ensure a thorough investigation and impartial investigations into the missing and clandestine graves. • Freedom and immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners of Oaxaca, because the mere fact that they have been charged under the government of a criminal and violator of human rights, is evidence of manipulation that made laws to indict. • Presentation of all missing. • Cancellation of all orders for apprehension politically motivated, released during the criminal regime of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. • Punishment to all government officials involved in crimes against humanity, repression and violation of human rights. Particularly those involved in mass graves and torture.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    Death of Free Internet is Imminent: Canada Will Become Test Case

    Contributed by blackandred on Wed, 2008-07-23 02:11. By Kevin Parkinson; July 20, 2008 - Global Research

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9627

    In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world...and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet. The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community. The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet. And mostly, it's good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved. However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don't count. Take the recent case in Canada with the behemoths, Telus and Rogers rolling out a charge for text messaging without any warning to the public. It was an arrogant and risky move for the telecommunications giants because it backfired. People actually used Internet technology to deliver a loud and clear message to these companies and that was to scrap the extra charge. The people used the power of the Internet against the big boys and the little guys won. However, the issue of text messaging is just a tiny blip on the radar screens of Telus and another company, Bell Canada, the two largest Internet Service Providers (ISP'S) in Canada. Our country is being used as a test case to drastically change the delivery of Internet service forever. The change will be so radical that it has the potential to send us back to the horse and buggy days of information sharing and access. In the upcoming weeks watch for a report in Time Magazine that will attempt to smooth over the rough edges of a diabolical plot by Bell Canada and Telus, to begin charging per site fees on most Internet sites. The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point. From my browsing (on the currently free Internet) I have discovered that the 'demise' of the free Internet is slated for 2010 in Canada, and two years later around the world. Canada is seen [as] a good choice to implement such shameful and sinister changes, since Canadians are viewed as being laissez fair, politically uninformed and an easy target. The corporate marauders will iron out the wrinkles in Canada and then spring the new, castrated version of the Internet on the rest of the world, probably with little fanfare, except for some dire warnings about the 'evil' of the Internet (free) and the CEO's spouting about 'safety and security'. These buzzwords usually work pretty well. What will the Internet look like in Canada in 2010? I suspect that the ISP's will provide a "package" program as companies like Cogeco currently do. Customers will pay for a series of websites as they do now for their television stations. Television stations will be available on-line as part of these packages, which will make the networks happy since they have lost much of the younger market which are surfing and chatting on their computers in the evening. However, as is the case with cable television now, if you choose something that is not part of the package, you know what happens. You pay extra. And this is where the Internet (free) as we know it will suffer almost immediate, economic strangulation. Thousands and thousands of Internet sites will not be part of the package so users will have to pay extra to visit those sites! In just an hour or two it is possible to easily visit 20-30 sites or more while looking for information. Just imagine how high these costs will be. At present, the world condemns China because that country restricts certain websites. "They are undemocratic; they are removing people's freedom; they don't respect individual rights; they are censoring information,” are some of the comments we hear. But what Bell Canada and Telus have planned for Canadians is much worse than that. They are planning the death of the Internet (free) as we know it, and I expect they'll be hardly a whimper from Canadians. It's all part of the corporate plan for a New World Order and virtually a masterstroke that will lead to the creation of billions and billions of dollars of corporate profit at the expense of the working and middle classes. There are so many other implications as a result of these changes, far too many to elaborate on here. Be aware that we will all lose our privacy because all websites will be tracked as part of the billing procedure, and we will be literally cut off from 90% of the information that we can access today. The little guys on the Net will fall like flies; Bloggers and small website operators will die a quick death because people will not pay to go to their sites and read their pages. Ironically, the only medium that can save us is the one we are trying to save- the Internet (free). This article will be posted on my Blog: www.realitycheck.typepad.com and I encourage people and groups to learn more about this issue. Canadians can keep the Internet free just as they kept text messaging free. Don't wait for the federal politicians. They will do nothing to help us. I would welcome a letter to the editor of the Standard Freeholder from a spokesperson from Bell Canada or Telus telling me that I am absolutely wrong in what I have written, and that no such changes to the Internet are being planned, and that access to Internet sites will remain FREE in the years to come. In the meantime, I encourage all of you to write to the media, ask questions, phone the radio station, phone a friend, or think of something else to prevent what appears to me to be inevitable. Maintaining Internet (free) access is the only way we have a chance at combatting the global corporate takeover, the North American Union, and a long list of other deadly deeds that the elite in society have planned for us. Yesterday was too late in trying to protect our rights and freedoms. We must now redouble our efforts in order to give our children and grandchildren a fighting chance in the future. Author's website: http://realitycheck.typepad.com/

    Death of the Internet

    Contributed by blackandred on Wed, 2008-07-23 02:11. By Kevin Parkinson - July 20, 2008 Canada Will Become Test Case By Kevin Parkinson; July 20, 2008 - Global Research

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9627

    In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world...and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet. The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community. The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet. And mostly, it's good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved. However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don't count. Take the recent case in Canada with the behemoths, Telus and Rogers rolling out a charge for text messaging without any warning to the public. It was an arrogant and risky move for the telecommunications giants because it backfired. People actually used Internet technology to deliver a loud and clear message to these companies and that was to scrap the extra charge. The people used the power of the Internet against the big boys and the little guys won. However, the issue of text messaging is just a tiny blip on the radar screens of Telus and another company, Bell Canada, the two largest Internet Service Providers (ISP'S) in Canada. Our country is being used as a test case to drastically change the delivery of Internet service forever. The change will be so radical that it has the potential to send us back to the horse and buggy days of information sharing and access. In the upcoming weeks watch for a report in Time Magazine that will attempt to smooth over the rough edges of a diabolical plot by Bell Canada and Telus, to begin charging per site fees on most Internet sites. The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point. From my browsing (on the currently free Internet) I have discovered that the 'demise' of the free Internet is slated for 2010 in Canada, and two years later around the world. Canada is seen [as] a good choice to implement such shameful and sinister changes, since Canadians are viewed as being laissez fair, politically uninformed and an easy target. The corporate marauders will iron out the wrinkles in Canada and then spring the new, castrated version of the Internet on the rest of the world, probably with little fanfare, except for some dire warnings about the 'evil' of the Internet (free) and the CEO's spouting about 'safety and security'. These buzzwords usually work pretty well. What will the Internet look like in Canada in 2010? I suspect that the ISP's will provide a "package" program as companies like Cogeco currently do. Customers will pay for a series of websites as they do now for their television stations. Television stations will be available on-line as part of these packages, which will make the networks happy since they have lost much of the younger market which are surfing and chatting on their computers in the evening. However, as is the case with cable television now, if you choose something that is not part of the package, you know what happens. You pay extra. And this is where the Internet (free) as we know it will suffer almost immediate, economic strangulation. Thousands and thousands of Internet sites will not be part of the package so users will have to pay extra to visit those sites! In just an hour or two it is possible to easily visit 20-30 sites or more while looking for information. Just imagine how high these costs will be. At present, the world condemns China because that country restricts certain websites. "They are undemocratic; they are removing people's freedom; they don't respect individual rights; they are censoring information,” are some of the comments we hear. But what Bell Canada and Telus have planned for Canadians is much worse than that. They are planning the death of the Internet (free) as we know it, and I expect they'll be hardly a whimper from Canadians. It's all part of the corporate plan for a New World Order and virtually a masterstroke that will lead to the creation of billions and billions of dollars of corporate profit at the expense of the working and middle classes. There are so many other implications as a result of these changes, far too many to elaborate on here. Be aware that we will all lose our privacy because all websites will be tracked as part of the billing procedure, and we will be literally cut off from 90% of the information that we can access today. The little guys on the Net will fall like flies; Bloggers and small website operators will die a quick death because people will not pay to go to their sites and read their pages. Ironically, the only medium that can save us is the one we are trying to save- the Internet (free). This article will be posted on my Blog: www.realitycheck.typepad.com and I encourage people and groups to learn more about this issue. Canadians can keep the Internet free just as they kept text messaging free. Don't wait for the federal politicians. They will do nothing to help us. I would welcome a letter to the editor of the Standard Freeholder from a spokesperson from Bell Canada or Telus telling me that I am absolutely wrong in what I have written, and that no such changes to the Internet are being planned, and that access to Internet sites will remain FREE in the years to come. In the meantime, I encourage all of you to write to the media, ask questions, phone the radio station, phone a friend, or think of something else to prevent what appears to me to be inevitable. Maintaining Internet (free) access is the only way we have a chance at combatting the global corporate takeover, the North American Union, and a long list of other deadly deeds that the elite in society have planned for us. Yesterday was too late in trying to protect our rights and freedoms. We must now redouble our efforts in order to give our children and grandchildren a fighting chance in the future. Author's website: http://realitycheck.typepad.com/

    Reality Check: The Democrats are the Real Problem

    [Thanks to Thespian Lipstick Lesbian for this link] by Mike Whitney / July 23rd, 2008 Obama’s candidacy is over; kaput. He’s already stated that he has no intention of stopping the war, so he has disqualified himself. That’s his prerogative; no one put a gun to his head. His op-ed in Monday’s New York Times just removes any lingering doubt about the matter. What Obama proposes is moving the central theater of operation from Iraq to Afghanistan. Big deal. Why is it more acceptable to kill a man who is fighting for his country in Afghanistan than in Iraq? It’s not; which is why Obama must be defeated and the equivocating Democratic Party must be jettisoned altogether. The Democrats are a party of blood just like the Republicans, they’re just more discreet about it. That’s why people who are serious about ending the war have to support candidates outside the two-party charade. The Democrat/Republican duopoly will not deliver the goods; it’s as simple as that. The point is to stop the killing, not to provide blind support for smooth-talking politicos who try to mask their real intentions. Obama made his choice, now he can suffer the consequences. Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example of what the Democrats are all about. Just look at the way she brushed aside the people who got her elected. They mean nothing to her. In a matter of months, the “San Francisco liberal” has achieved what former-Speaker of the House Hastert could only dream of; she’s driven the Congress’ public approval ratings into single digits for the first time in history making her the worst speaker of all time. She rubber-stamped the FISA bill, concealed what she knew about the CIA’s global torture programs, and vowed to stop any public effort to hold the administration accountable for its war crimes. (No impeachment) She has betrayed her most ardent supporters and single-handedly transformed an already-emasculated congress into a purely ceremonial body incapable of doing the people’s work. At least Bush never betrayed any of his supporters. Never. Pelosi is worse than Bush, much worse. And yet, liberals still insist that we should vote the Democratic ticket. In your dreams! What leftist or progressive is not totally fed-up with the Democrats cagey “bait-and-switch” hypocrisy? Voting the Democratic ticket is not a sign of “hope”, it’s a sign of being a schmuck. The Democrats have done nothing to stop the war and will do nothing to stop the war. The Obama candidacy is merely a way to replace one group of genocidal maniacs with another. Who needs a charismatic, flannel-mouth glamour boy to lead us into battle when a senile fogy with “anger management” issues will do just fine. Voters of conscience should reject that choice altogether. Just as they should reject the “lesser of two evils” theory which does not apply when ordinance is being dumped daily on innocent civilians. It has to stop. Obama is not an antiwar candidate that is merely a fiction maintained by his public relations team. In fact, he wants to beef up the military with 65,000 additional ground forces and 27,000 more marines. He’s also stated that he will add “two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan” and encourage NATO to make “greater contributions — with fewer restrictions.” In his op-ed he boasted, “As president, I will make the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.” He also added this ominous warning: “The greatest threat to that security lies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where terrorists train and insurgents strike into Afghanistan. We cannot tolerate a terrorist sanctuary, and as president, I won’t. We need a stronger and sustained partnership between Afghanistan, Pakistan and NATO to secure the border, to take out terrorist camps and to crack down on cross-border insurgents. We need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones in the Afghan border region. And we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights.” Obama supporters should take their candidate at his word. What he is proposing is a dramatic escalation and expansion of the war into another sovereign country. How is this consistent with the demands of his base or the millions of Americans who believe that Obama represents real change. It’s time for a reality check; the Democrats are the real problem not the Republicans. If the path to peace requires crushing the Democratic Party and its blood-thirsty candidates; so be it. The main thing is to stop the killing. If Obama won’t do it; we’ll find someone who will.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Oh..nothing...

    To escape, Daedalus built wings for himself and Icarus, fashioned with feathers held together with wax. Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, as it would melt his wings, and not too close to the sea, as it would dampen them and make it hard to fly. *

    Daedalus and Icarus mosaic

    Daedalus and Icarus When King Minos of Crete decided to keep alive a magnificent bull that Poseidon had given him for sacrifice, the sea god punished him by having Minos's wife Pasiphae (seated at left in the mosaic) fall in love with the bull. To satisfy her desire, the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (second from right and far right, respectively) built her a hollow cow in which she could hide and mate with the bull. Their coupling produced the half-man, half-bull Minotaur, which was shut away in the maze-like Labyrinth (upper right). Later, when Minos had Daedalus and Icarus shut up in the Labyrinth, they escaped using wings fixed to their bodies with wax. Daedalus safely reached Sicily, but Icarus, exulting in his new-found abilities, flew too close to the sun; the wax melted and he fell to his death in the sea.


    Gandhi - The Anarchist

    GANDHI ON GOVERNMENT Government control gives rise to fraud, suppression of Truth, intensification of the black market and artificial scarcity. Above all, it unmans the people and deprives them of initiative, it undoes the teaching of self-help...I look upon an increase in the power of the State with the greatest fear because, although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality which lies at the heart of all progress...Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest....We find the general work of mankind is being carried on from day to day be the mass of people acting as if by instinct....If they were instinctively violent the world would end in no time...It is when the mass mind is unnaturally influenced by wicked men that the mass of mankind commit violence. But they forget it as they commit it because they return to their peaceful nature immediately the evil influence of the directing mind has been removed....A government that is evil has no room for good men and women except in its prisons. http://www.whatwouldgandhido.net/ * Was Gandhi an Anarchist? Visionary promoted decentralized, direct democracy as key to peace; power resides in the individual and in self-rule By Josh Fattal (View Original) Anarchy is about abolishing hierarchy. According to the original, Greek meaning of the word, Anarchy stands to create a world where there is no separation between the rulers and the ruled--a place where everyone rules themselves. (An-archy in Greek means without rulers.) An anarchic vision of society is nonviolent, self-managed and non-hierarchical, and Anarchist thinkers hold dear to the ideal of democracy--rule by the people. They suggest political confederations of local organizations; a "commune of communes" was how the 19th century Parisians Anarchists articulated it. Anarchists seek to dissolve power instead of seize it. Therefore, they seek a social revolution instead of a political one. The social revolution throws into question all aspects of social life including family organization, schooling, religion, crime and punishment, technology, political organization, patriarchy, environmental concerns as well as others. Anarchists are identified "as enemies of the State," because they do oppose the existence of a hierarchical, top-down State.

    Mohandas Gandhi opposed the State. The State is the military, police, prisons, courts, tax collectors, and bureaucrats. He saw the State as concentrated violence. "The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence." Gandhi recognized that the State claims to serve the nation, but he realized that this was a fallacy. "While apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, [the State] does the greatest harm to mankind."1

    According to Dr. Dhawan, Gandhi was a philosophical Anarchist because he believed that the "[the greatest good of all] can be realized only in the classless, stateless democracy."2 While Gandhi advocated democracy, he differentiated between direct democracy and western democracy. Commenting on the parliamentary system, Gandhi says, "If India copies England, it is my firm conviction that she will be ruined. Parliaments are merely emblems of slavery."3 He had no more appetite for majority democracy of America, "It is a superstition and an ungodly thing to believe that an act of a majority binds a minority."4 By centralizing power, western democracies feed into violence. Thus, he thought decentralization was the key to world peace.

    *

    Towards a non-violent society: a position paper on anarchism, social change and Food Not Bombs by Chris Crass Gandhi writes of Tolstoy in his autobiography, "It was forty years ago, when I was passing through a severe crisis of skepticism and doubt that I came across Tolstoy's book, The Kingdom of God is Within You, and was deeply impressed by it. I was at that time a believer in violence. Its reading cured me of my skepticism and made me a firm believer in ahimsa(non-violence)... He was the greatest apostle of non-violence that the present age has produced".

    Anarchist ideas also influenced Gandhi's ideas about the future society. In the book Gandhi Today, Mark Shepard explains, "India could become strong and healthy, Gandhi insisted, only by revitalizing its villages, where over four-fifths of its people lived - a figure that still applies today. He envisioned a society of strong villages, each one politically autonomous and economically self-reliant. In fact, Gandhi may be this century's greatest proponent of decentralism - basing economic and political power at the local level."

    After Gandhi was assassinated, the person who was known as "Gandhi's spiritual heir", Vinoba Bhave led several major campaigns to reclaim land for the poor. In 1951 Bhave and the many workers from Sarva Seva Sangh (Society for the Service of All), started the Bhoodon (land gift) movement. Many felt that Bhave was a saint in the Hindu tradition, and so when he began walking across the country asking for acres of land from landowners, he received land gifts, which were then given to the poor. One and one third million acres, according to Shepard, were actual reclaimed by the poor (far more than had been managed by the land reform programs of India's government). Bhave was involved with other projects and campaigns to bring about the "non-violent revolution". Bhave was an anarchist.


    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Great Episode of History Detectives

    Atocha Spanish Silver; Lucy Parsons Book; Ernie Pyle's Typewriter Decoding a strange mark on a bar of silver retrieved from the Atocha; a book that may have belonged to anarchist Lucy Parsons; a typewriter of World War II journalist Ernie Pyle.

    First All-Women-of-Color Presidential Ticket in US History:

    Green Party Nominee Cynthia McKinney and Running Mate Rosa Clemente on War, Democracy and Hip Hop The Green Party made history last week when it nominated the first all-women-of-color presidential ticket in US history. Former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was the first African American woman elected to Congress in Georgia, won the Green Party's nomination last Monday. She named longtime community organizer, journalist and former director of the Hip Hop Caucus, Rosa Clemente, as her running mate earlier this month. They both join us for a wide-ranging discussion on the 2008 race, the media, the impact of the hip hop generation and more. Listen/Watch/Read http://www.democracynow.org/2008/7/21/first_all_women_of_color_presidential

    Betancourt in plea to Farc rebels

    Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Bogota
    The recently freed French-Colombian politician, Ingrid Betancourt, has urged her former captors, the Marxist Farc rebels, to release all hostages. Ms Betancourt was leading a rally in the French capital, Paris - one in a series of global demonstrations calling for an end to kidnapping and for peace. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Colombia, some holding photographs of missing loved ones. The Farc has waged a 44-year civil war there and still holds 700 captives. Up to 2,000 more people are believed to be held by the ELN (National Liberation Army), another left-wing rebel group, in remote jungle and mountain camps. Freedom call In Paris, thousands gathered near the Eiffel Tower to hear Ms Betancourt, who was freed in a daring military rescue earlier this month after six years in captivity. She read out a list of names of those still held by the Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and called for their release. "We want freedom for everyone," Ms Betancourt said in Spanish, amid applause and chants from the crowd of "Libertad", or Freedom. Her speech was also broadcast in Colombia, where independence day celebrations became a mass national appeal for an end to hostage-taking and for peace moves between the government and the Farc. Colombian pop star Shakira opened events in the Amazonian town of Leticia by singing the national anthem, flanked by President Alvaro Uribe and visiting dignitaries. Mr Uribe pledged to work for the release of all hostages. He offered "a commitment to those who have lost their freedom so that they may regain it, a message of commitment to the new generations so that the homeland will allow them to live happily". Marches took place in most of the country's more than 1,000 municipalities, with the biggest turnout in the capital, Bogota. The BBC's Jeremy McDermott, who is in the Colombian capital, described huge crowds of people dressed in white t-shirts - the colour of peace - shouting "Libertad! Libertad!". But he says the question is whether the rebels of the Farc group are going to listen. 'Impervious' A previous demonstration in February this year saw almost a million people take to the streets in Bogota alone. After the successful rescue of 15 hostages earlier this month from the Farc, the best-known of whom was Ms Betancourt, the turnout was expected to be even greater, although there are no official figures. Our correspondent says the Farc appear to be impervious to cries for an end to kidnapping, let alone an end to the 44-year civil conflict. Earlier this week, they kidnapped 10 people travelling down the Atrato River in the western province of Choco. While being badly hit by government offensives and a series of recent setbacks, there has been no softening of their position. Yet even the Farc will have to pay attention to not just Colombia but cries from more than 40 countries to end the kidnapping and violence, our correspondent says.

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