One of my fellow citizens is being extradited to your country to serve 5 years in maximum prison for selling the seeds of a certain plant species... After a 30 day tour, we saw a major tearful goodbye at the courthouse... http://anar.zone.free.fr/illu/marc_emery.jpg
The Cannabis Sativa industry in my Province annually grosses over a billion dollars, literally. Over 80% of this goes to gangs like the 'Hells Angels' due to our own fucked up botanical prohibition laws. However, what Marc has done, selling seeds, is hardly a crime here. However, he also sold some seeds medicinally over the border, to ill Americans. (Something that happens often within your own borders.) Your government is asking that he serve 5 years in a prison where repetitious violent criminal offenders serve less time. His crime: selling the seeds of a plant. To this day, there is not one person who can stand up and say, 'What Marc Emery has done has hurt me.' On the contrary, he is a bookstore owning businessman who has provided the ill in Vancouver with medicinal house calls. The rapists in the prison he'll go to will serve less time, as he's being made an example of. This is how terrified and frail your dominator government is: They can't even handle medicine.
I can tell you that people in my community are fucking pissed. (To the point of gun ownership, and a hatred towards the U.S.' patriarchal dominion that is unprecedented...) People are fucking PISSED about this.
It's an echo of a few years ago, when the majority (over 80% of the people in my province) voted for full decriminalization of Cannabis Sativa. Our then Prime Minister, Chrétien, though 'Liberal,' had to bend our government over to the USA when your government actively threatened annexation and trade restrictions if we decriminalized. Many of us sought MORE than decriminalization, more that legalization! We sought LEGITIMATION, an open cultural admittance that yes, Cannabis is a gateway drug. But not in the way the patriarchal dominators spin it - It is a gateway drug because it serves as a cognitive doorway to realms of imagination, in addition to being a catalyst for memetic introspection.
I'm no journalist, I've too many morals, but I can objectively report that people in my community are asking, "How many stoner Americans are going to take their hands out of the bag of cheetoes, get off the couch, and write their congresswomen about this...!?"
I am even shocked to see our main provincial papers so biased! People are fucking outraged!
The 'Vancouver Sun' article - "Marc Emery's sentence reeks of injustice and mocks our sovereignty."
Mathematician Donald Saari last week criticized ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting), which will be used this November in Minneapolis municipal elections.
He prefers a method known as the Borda Count, in which voters also rank candidates in order of choice, but their first choice receives a certain number of points, their second choice a smaller number of points, and so on.
Professor Saari is not alone in favoring a particular voting method. Princeton's Eric Maskin zealously advocates Condorcet voting. NYU's Steven Brams promotes approval voting, and so on. That scholars fail to agree on the meaning of the same facts reflects the truth that there is no "perfect" voting system.
There is no objective means to weigh competing values in areas such as rewarding breadth of support or core support, or the balance between upholding majority rule and achieving consensus.
Most politically engaged reformers focus on instant runoff voting (IRV) instead of other alternatives, because it improves the status quo in ways that are easy to see and is more reflective of voters' expectations of fairness.
Political and civic leaders like President Obama, Sen. John McCain, consumer advocate Ralph Nader and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota agree on the value of IRV. Compared to plurality voting, IRV diminishes the "spoiler" impact of third party and independent candidates. Compared to traditional two-round runoffs, IRV saves taxpayer dollars, reduces the influence of money in politics and maximizes turnout.
IRV also nicely balances the value of first choice support with the value of broad support. Plurality voting rewards only core support.
In contrast, the Borda Count tilts toward rewarding broad support by allowing votes to count for more than one candidate at a time. As a result, Borda can elect candidates who might come in dead last in our current system, but be many voters' second or third choice.
Borda also could defeat a candidate who under today's rules would earn an absolute majority of 51 percent of the vote. Many voters would react skeptically to such results.
Worse, Borda makes it easy for voters to game elections. Nicolaus Tideman, author of "Collective Decisions and Voting," includes Borda in his list of voting methods that "have defects that are so serious as to disqualify them from consideration." The system's inventor, Jean-Charles de Borda himself, stated that the system should be used only for situations where voters are disinterested judges.
Consider Borda and a famous example of the "spoiler dynamic," the 2000 presidential election in which Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat Al Gore by 537 votes in the halted Florida recount, even as more than 97,488 people voted for Green Party nominee Ralph Nader. Given that more Nader backers supported Gore than Bush, it's clear that under instant runoff voting, Gore would have won Florida and the presidency.
But there's no way to know what would have happened with Borda. With Borda, ranking a second choice counts directly against the chances of your first choice. Some Bush voters might tactically have ranked Nader and other independent candidates ahead of Gore. If more Gore voters honestly chose to rank Bush as one of their top choices, then Bush would have won simply due to his voters engaging in better tactical voting.
Instant runoff voting avoids this problem because your ballot never counts for more than one candidate at a time. Unlike Borda and most other alternative voting methods, ranking additional choices never hurts your first choice. As with every voting method, there are cases where candidates might benefit from insincere voting, but with IRV such situations are too convoluted to be an effective tactic.
That IRV has fair results and isn't prone to gaming explains its successful track record in thousands of hotly contested elections -- from nearly a century of elections for Australia's House of Representatives to decades of elections in Irish presidential races. Professor Saari's examples of its theoretical flaws may interest fellow mathematicians, but they are irrelevant for those wanting to improve American democracy.
Rob Richie is executive director of FairVote, a national nonprofit organization that says it works "to transform our elections to achieve universal access to participation, a full spectrum of meaningful ballot choices and majority rule with fair representation for all."
1. Henry David Thoreau: "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
Thoreau's eco-cred is well established but this line sums things up as succinctly as any HDT ever uttered. The average size of an American home three decades ago was 1,000 square feet. Today: 2,400 square feet. So, not only do our oversized abodes need an extreme makeover, so do our eco-systems if we want what Thoreau calls a "tolerable planet."
2. Carl Sagan: "The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition."
As they say in South Florida: bingo. Whether we like it or not, humans are merely part of a larger eco-system. If we sought harmony instead of control, we'd be shaping a far more inspiring planetary legacy. What greater goal could anyone ever have than to leave the planet better off than how we found it?
3. Rachel Carson: "It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself."
Every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Sinister enough for ya?
Nancy R. Cohen/Getty Images
4. William Shakespeare: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
While the Bard was not talking green here, another way to read this quote is to line it up alongside these lyrics from Sting: "We share the biology regardless of ideology."
5. Vandana Shiva: "Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates."
A healthy eco-system cannot exist within the current economic culture. Growth, in this sense, is inherently anti-nature.
6. Edward Abbey: "Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris."
Every time we flick on a light switch, we play a role in valley fills, strip mining, coal ash, and more. The good news is we can do something about it.
7. David Suzuki: "We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit."
Sort of a variation on the Titanic/deck chair line, Suzuki is merely trying to return our gaze to the big picture.
8. Bob Marley: "The bad people trying to make the world worse never take a day off, so why should I?"
The green life is both a full-time commitmentand a labor of love. Stick with it.
9. Arundhati Roy: "To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget."
(Media-Newswire.com) - Nine years have passed, but many Democrats are still sore at Ralph Nader for his maverick candidacy in the 2000 election that many believe was the reason George W. Bush beat Al Gore.But new research from a marketing professor in the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business suggests that while that claim is true, it also suggests that Nader's candidacy actually helped Gore. "Many people would have come in supporting Nader but eventually voted for Gore, and that might not have happened if Nader had never entered the race," said William Hedgcock, assistant professor of marketing at UI. Hedgcock's findings were recently published in the Journal of Marketing Research. His paper, "Could Ralph Nader's Entrance and Exit Have Helped Al Gore?" was co-authored with Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota and Haipeng Chen of Texas A&M University.In an experiment, Hedgock showed one group of test subjects two hypothetical candidates -- A and B, standing in for Bush and Gore -- and asked them to select one after providing a sample of political attributes of each. In the two-way race, Bush's stand-in won 81 percent of the vote while Gore's received 19 percent.Another test group was shown three candidates, with a third candidate, C, to represent Nader. In the three-way race, Nader's proxy won 72 percent, Bush 28 percent and Gore didn't get a single vote.Finally, the subjects in the second group were told that the Nader candidate was no longer available and were asked to select from the Bush or Gore stand-ins. This time, Gore received 39 percent and Bush received 61 percent.How did Gore's share of the vote go from zero to 39 percent in the second group, even though nothing happened beyond a third candidate dropping out? Hedgcock said it's called the principle of self-identification. That's when undecided people make a decision about something, whether it's a political candidate or a brand of soda, and identify with that decision. When their original choice becomes unavailable, they select an alternative option with the most similar attributes."Selecting Nader defines a person, it makes those people think of themselves as that kind of a person, so when you can't make that choice anymore, you go to the next closest Nader type," Hedgcock. "In the 2000 election, that was Gore."As a result, the Gore proxy went from 19 percent in a two-way race to 39 percent after Nader joined and then dropped out, or a 20-percentage point increase in vote count.He said the experiment showed that in 2000, there was no guarantee that Gore would have won the votes of Nader's supporters had Nader never entered the race. He said many people who voted for Gore or Nader might have voted for Bush without a Nader candidacy. In that case, he said Nader's presence on the ballot might have helped make the election closer than it would have otherwise been.During the 2000 campaign, many Democratic leaders actively wooed Nader voters and asked him to quit the race so as not hurt Gore's chances in what was shaping up to be a close race. Hedgcock's experiment suggests the party leaders were right, and Gore would have received the votes of most of Nader's supporters. Hedgcock said the self-identification results were confirmed when he and Rao ran the same experiment using consumer goods, such as beer and vacations, rather than political candidates.Hedgcock said his research applies to undecided voters who claimed no party or ideological affiliation and who could have voted for either Bush or Gore in a two-man race. Most political scientists put that number at only about 20 percent, but in a close race like the 2000 election, only a few votes made the difference.STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 ( office ), 319-541-8434 ( cell ), email@example.com
There is a scene in “Othello” when the Moor is so consumed by jealousy and rage that he loses the eloquence and poetry that make him the most articulate man in Venice. He turns to the audience, shortly before he murders Desdemona, and sputters, “Goats and monkeys!” Othello fell prey to wild self-delusion and unchecked rage, and his words became captive to hollow clichés. The debasement of language, which Shakespeare understood was a prelude to violence, is the curse of modernity. We have stopped communicating, even with ourselves. And the consequences will be as extreme as in the Shakespearean tragedy.
Those who seek to dominate our behavior first seek to dominate our speech. They seek to obscure meaning. They make war on language. And the English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language. The graffiti on the mud walls of Gaza that calls for holy war or the crude rants of Islamic militants are expressed in a simplified, impoverished form of Arabic. This is not the classical language of 1,500 years of science, poetry and philosophy. It is an argot of clichés, distorted Quranic verses and slogans. This Arabic is no more comprehensible to the literate in the Arab world than the carnival barking that pollutes our airwaves is comprehensible to our literate classes. The reduction of popular discourse to banalities, exacerbated by the elite’s retreat into obscure, specialized jargon, creates internal walls that thwart real communication. This breakdown in language makes reflection and debate impossible. It transforms foreign cultures, which we lack the capacity to investigate, into reversed images of ourselves. If we represent virtue, progress and justice, as our clichés constantly assure us, then the Arabs, or the Iranians, or anyone else we deem hostile, represent evil, backwardness and injustice. An impoverished language solidifies a binary world and renders us children with weapons.
How do you respond to “Islam is the solution” or “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior”? How do you converse with someone who justifies the war in Iraq—as Christopher Hitchens does—with the tautology that we have to “kill them over there so they do not kill us over here”? Those who speak in these thought-terminating clichés banish rational discussion. Their minds are shut. They sputter and rant like a demented Othello. The paucity of public discourse in our culture, even among those deemed to be public intellectuals, is matched by the paucity of public discourse in the Arab world.
This emptiness of language is a gift to demagogues and the corporations that saturate the landscape with manipulated images and the idiom of mass culture. Manufactured phrases inflame passions and distort reality. The collective chants, jargon and epithets permit people to surrender their moral autonomy to the heady excitement of the crowd. “The crowd doesn’t have to know,” Mussolini often said. “It must believe. ... If only we can give them faith that mountains can be moved, they will accept the illusion that mountains are moveable, and thus an illusion may become reality.” Always, he said, be “electric and explosive.” Belief can triumph over knowledge. Emotion can vanquish thought. Our demagogues distort the Bible and the Constitution, while their demagogues distort the Quran, or any other foundational document deemed to be sacred, fueling self-exaltation and hatred at the expense of understanding. The more illiterate a society becomes, the more power those who speak in this corrupted form of speech amass, the more music and images replace words and thought. We are cursed not by a cultural divide but by mutual cultural self-destruction.
The educated elites in the Arab world are now as alienated as the educated elites in the United States. To speak with a vocabulary that the illiterate or semiliterate do not immediately grasp is to be ostracized, distrusted and often ridiculed. It is to impart knowledge, which fosters doubt. And doubt in calcified societies, which prefer to speak in the absolute metaphors of war and science, is a form of heresy. It was not accidental that the founding biblical myth saw the deliverer of knowledge as evil and the loss of innocence as a catastrophe. “This probably had less to do with religion than with the standard desire of those in authority to control those who are not,” John Ralston Saul wrote. “And control of the Western species of the human race seems to turn upon language.”
The infantile slogans that are used to make sense of the world express, whether in tea party rallies or in Gaza street demonstrations, a very real alienation, yearning and rage. These clichés, hollow to the literate, are electric with power to those for whom these words are the only currency in which they can express anguish and despair. And as the economy worsens, as war in the Middle East and elsewhere continues, as our corporate state strips us of power and reduces us to serfs, expect this rage, and the demented language used to give it voice, to grow.
The Arabic of the Quran is as poetic as the intricate theology of Islam. It is nuanced and difficult to master. But the language of the Quran has been debased in the slums and poor villages across the Middle East by the words and phrases of political Islam. This process is no different from what has taken place with Christianity in the United States. Our mainstream churches have been as complacent in fighting heretics as have the mainstream mosques and religious scholars in the Middle East. Demented forms of Christianity and Islam have largely supplanted genuine and more open forms of religious expression. And they have done so because liberal elites were cowed into silence.
Corruptions of Islamic terms and passages are as numerous in the militants’ ideology as in the ideology of the Christian right. The word jihad for the militants means the impunity to kill, kidnap, hijack and bomb anyone they see as an infidel, including children and other Muslims. Jihad, however, does not always mean holy war, or even war, in the Quran. According to Islamic tradition, the “great jihad” is the battle within one’s self to live in accord with God’s will. A jihad, for the prophet Muhammad, is often the struggle to achieve inner-worldly asceticism, in accord with his call “to command the good and forbid evil with the heart, the tongue and the hand.” And the Quran condemns the use of violence to propagate the faith. “There is no compulsion in religion,” it states. The Quran also denounces forced piety and conversion as insincere. Calls to martyrdom, presented by militants as a direct path toward eternal life, conveniently eschew the Quran’s rigid ban on suicide. But theological nuance is beside the point for zealots. The fantasies peddled by the Christian right, from the Rapture, which is not in the Bible, to the belief that Jesus, who was a pacifist, would bless wars in the Middle East, injects our own version of sanctified slogans into the vernacular.
Our crisis is a crisis of language. Victor Klemperer in his book “Lingua Tertii Imperii” noted that the distortion of language by the Nazis was vital in creating fascist culture. He was repeatedly perplexed by how the masses, even those who opposed the Nazis, willingly ingested the linguistic poison the Nazis used to perpetuate collective self-delusion. “Words may be little doses of arsenic,” he wrote. “They are consumed without being noticed; they seem at first to have no effect, but after a while, indeed, the effect is there.”
Chris Hedges is the author of “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”
AP / Mohammed Ballas
A Palestinian boy aims a toy gun as he stands next to a mural of militants in the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp. The Arabic graffiti reads: “Many people held weapons but few used them against their enemies.”
The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become. What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did.
Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people away, stop daily life and quash our constitutional rights.
For days, downtown Pittsburgh, home to the G20, was a turned into a militarized people-free ghost town. Sirens screamed day and night. Helicopters crisscrossed the skies. Gunboats sat in the rivers. The skies were defended by Air Force jets. Streets were barricaded by huge cement blocks and fencing. Bridges were closed with National Guard across the entrances. Public transportation was stopped downtown. Amtrak train service was suspended for days.
In many areas, there were armed police every 100 feet. Businesses closed. Schools closed. Tens of thousands were unable to work.
Four thousand police were on duty plus 2500 National Guard plus Coast Guard and Air Force and dozens of other security agencies. A thousand volunteers from other police forces were sworn in to help out.
Police were dressed in battle gear, bulky black ninja turtle outfits: helmets with clear visors, strapped on body armor, shin guards, big boots, batons, and long guns.
In addition to helicopters, the police had hundreds of cars and motorcycles , armored vehicles, monster trucks, small electric go-karts. There were even passenger vans screaming through town so stuffed with heavily armed ninja turtles that the side and rear doors remained open.
No terrorists showed up at the G20.
Since no terrorists showed up, those in charge of the heavily armed security forces chose to deploy their forces around those who were protesting.
Not everyone is delighted that 20 countries control 80% of the world’s resources. Several thousand of them chose to express their displeasure by protesting.
Unfortunately, the officials in charge thought that it was more important to create a militarized people-free zone around the G20 people than to allow freedom of speech, freedom of assembly or the freedom to protest.
It took a lawsuit by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU to get any major protest permitted anywhere near downtown Pittsburgh. Even then, the police “forgot” what was permitted and turned people away from areas of town. Hundreds of police also harassed a bus of people who were giving away free food — repeatedly detaining the bus and searching it and its passengers without warrants.
Then a group of young people decided that they did not need a permit to express their human and constitutional rights to freedom. They announced they were going to hold their own gathering at a city park and go down the deserted city streets to protest the G20. Maybe 200 of these young people were self-described anarchists, dressed in black, many with bandanas across their faces. The police warned everyone these people were very scary. My cab driver said the anarchist spokesperson looked like Harry Potter in a black hoodie. The anarchists were joined in the park by hundreds of other activists of all ages, ultimately one thousand strong, all insisting on exercising their right to protest.
This drove the authorities crazy.
Battle dressed ninja turtles showed up at the park and formed a line across one entrance. Helicopters buzzed overhead. Armored vehicles gathered.
The crowd surged out of the park and up a side street yelling, chanting, drumming, and holding signs. As they exited the park, everyone passed an ice cream truck that was playing “It’s a small world after all.” Indeed.
Any remaining doubts about the militarization of the police were dispelled shortly after the crowd left the park. A few blocks away the police unveiled their latest high tech anti-protestor toy. It was mounted on the back of a huge black truck. The Pittsburgh-Gazette described it as Long Range Acoustic Device designed to break up crowds with piercing noise. Similar devices have been used in Fallujah, Mosul and Basra Iraq. The police backed the truck up, told people not to go any further down the street and then blasted them with piercing noise.
The crowd then moved to other streets. Now they were being tracked by helicopters. The police repeatedly tried to block them from re-grouping ultimately firing tear gas into the crowd injuring hundreds including people in the residential neighborhood where the police decided to confront the marchers. I was treated to some of the tear gas myself and I found the Pittsburgh brand to be spiced with a hint of kelbasa. Fortunately, I was handed some paper towels soaked in apple cider vinegar which helped fight the tears and cough a bit. Who would have thought?
After the large group broke and ran from the tear gas, smaller groups went into commercial neighborhoods and broke glass at a bank and a couple of other businesses. The police chased and the glass breakers ran. And the police chased and the people ran. For a few hours.
By day the police were menacing, but at night they lost their cool. Around a park by the University of Pittsburgh the ninja turtles pushed and shoved and beat and arrested not just protestors but people passing by. One young woman reported she and her friend watched Grey’s Anatomy and were on their way back to their dorm when they were cornered by police. One was bruised by police baton and her friend was arrested. Police shot tear gas, pepper spray, smoke canisters, and rubber bullets. They pushed with big plastic shields and struck with batons.
The biggest march was Friday. Thousands of people from Pittsburgh and other places protested the G20. Since the court had ruled on this march, the police did not confront the marchers. Ninja turtled police showed up in formation sometimes and the helicopters hovered but no confrontations occurred.
Again Friday night, riot clad police fought with students outside of the University of Pittsburgh. To what end was just as unclear as the night before.
Ultimately about 200 were arrested, mostly in clashes with the police around the University.
The G20 leaders left by helicopter and limousine.
Pittsburgh now belongs again to the people of Pittsburgh. The cement barricades were removed, the fences were taken down, the bridges and roads were opened. The gunboats packed up and left. The police packed away their ninja turtle outfits and tear gas and rubber bullets. They don’t look like military commandos anymore. No more gunboats on the river. No more sirens all the time. No more armored vehicles and ear splitting machines used in Iraq. On Monday the businesses will open and kids will have to go back to school. Civil society has returned.
It is now probably even safe to exercise constitutional rights in Pittsburgh once again.
A Colombian hitman recently disclosed to the Venezuelan government that over 2,500 paramilitary fighters are in the country, each chasing a $25 million bounty on the life of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, according to Arab news network Al Jazeera.
The man, who is reportedly in the custody of Venezuelan officials, said the bounty was offered by Manuel Rosales, Chavez’s most prominent political foe, during a secret meeting 10 years ago.
Rosales allegedly said “that he would give $25 million to kill [Chavez], but that he himself would not give the money directly,” the man said, as translated by Al Jazeera.
Rosales fled into Peru in April after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He protested in the media, calling the corruption charges a political lynching.
“Right now, there are two thousand, five hundred paramilitaries from Colombia inside Venezuela with one objective: with the objective of taking down Chavez, with the objective of destabilizing him” a translator says on the video.
The network was unable to obtain comment from Rosales, and the Venezuela attorney general’s office would not confirm nor deny the veracity of the man’s claims.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, speaking to a South American newspaper recently, claimed the United States may have been involved in an attempted overthrow of Chavez’s regime.
“I think there is no doubt that in 2002, the United States had at the very least full knowledge about the coup, and could even have been directly involved,” he told El Tiempo last week.
Carter told El Tiempo that he believed Chavez was elected in a “fair” vote in 1999, had carried out necessary reforms for Venezuela and ensured that “those who are traditionally excluded are able to get a larger share of the national wealth.”
But he also said he was worried by the Venezuelan leader’s drift towards “authoritarianism.”
In August, Colombian officials announced a deal with the United States that will allow U.S. troops to be stationed at Colombian military bases, which will serve as a hub for remote surveillance in the region. Their mission will allegedly use advanced Predator drone technology to aid in fighting the drug trade and to combat terrorism, according to published reports in August.
In Venezuela, officials bristled at the news. Chavez warned: “The winds of war [are] beginning to blow.”
Chavez has already accused Colombian troops of making an incursion over the border and regional tensions are running high.
This video is from Al Jazeera English, broadcast Sept. 26, 2009.
Truths and Other Truths
A Comparison of Channelings From Spirit Guides
By Linda Pendleton
Are you among the eighty-two percent of Americans who believe in an afterlife? In recent times, the numbers have been increasing for those who believe they have had communication from a loved one on the Other Side.
And what about angels and spirit guides? Nearly seventy percent of Americans believe in the existence of angels as messengers of God, and nearly half believe they have their own guardian angels or angels. Are you aware of your angel or guide? If so, do you communicate or receive signs from them?
It would seem the religious/spiritual instinct is innate within humankind, as though a template for the experience had been programmed into our genetic structures that govern human expression. Within the innate religious or spiritual instinct are experiences that might be classified as miraculous. But, are many of the events or experiences actually miracles or no more than ordinary occurrences?
Reports of extraordinary and astonishing events attributed to a supreme being or a divine power will be found in virtually every world religion, every culture, and probably within every human mind from primitive times right up into the modern age. Many cultures do not regard miracles or paranormal events as anything extraordinary but merely the natural workings of a natural world. Most cultures who share that idea have well-formulated spiritual beliefs that have been carried forward from generation to generation, throughout history, and many of these cultures have evolved highly sophisticated belief systems.
When one reads the history of cultures, it is very apparent that there has always been a “knowing” within mankind that evolves into understandings that we are, indeed, spiritual beings and that life does not end with the death of the physical body. Mankind has always looked to the heavens in a search for answers. I have often wondered why that is and the answer I have come up with is, no matter our religious upbringing or belief system, we have an innate knowledge within, a knowledge that we are much more than a physical body having a life experience. We are temporarily using a physical body for an ongoing spiritual life.
So in taking those ideas of an innate spiritual connection it should appear absolutely normal for one to have communication with the Other Side, with angels, spirit guides, and loved ones who have left this physical dimension.
Channeling spirit is the receiving of messages from the Other Side – the spirit world, through the various classic psychic avenues such has mediumship, trance-channeling, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and intuition. The receiver is an open line, a conduit, similar to what one could consider an open telephone line or radio receiver. Although channeling or mediumship has always been with us, in recent years it has gained more attention through various movies, literature, and television shows, featuring psychic mediums such as John Edward, James Van Praagh, Char Margolis, Rosemary Altea, and others.
Shirley MacLaine was one who helped to get the idea of mediumship, past lives, and even UFO phenomena out of the “psychic closet” and into the mainstream with her book, Out On a Limb, the resulting movie and other books, and her many television appearances. Even though there were often overdone jokes about her spiritual experiences, it did open the “closet” door, and for many, it was a “new” look at what was possible—and within the norm of the human experience.
We all have intuition, and for some it is more pronounced, such as it might be with the aforementioned psychic mediums. But all of us have the capability of communicating in various ways with those on the Other Side. Sometimes, all it takes is trusting in our intuition and being open to the possibility of contact.
I’ve put together a collection of quotations from various spirit guides through their channels/mediums. It is very noticeable how they “ring” of similar ideas, wisdom, and truths.
Probably of these listed spirit guides or the mediums who work with them, it would be Edgar Cayce who probably stands out as the most profound and the “clearest connection” to information coming from the Other Side.
I have noticed that many people either began or enhanced their spiritual journey by reading the fascinating story of Edgar Cayce and his psychic gift, There is a River, The Story of Edgar Cayce written by Thomas Sugrue, and published more than sixty years ago.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., best-selling author and frequent guest on Oprah, had this to say about Cayce: "The story of Edgar Cayce has inspired me from the time I was 12 years old. As one of the first well-studied medical intuitives, his work and his life helped blaze the path for the future of medicine."
Not only did he blaze the path of future medicine, but he gave understanding and acceptance of mediumship, and also of reincarnation, as his readings focused very much on past lives. And with his work in that area, and several other books written about him, he awakened America to reincarnationist thought.
Truths and Other Truths
A Comparison of Channelings From Spirit Guides
By Linda Pendleton
“The Three Principles: Loving Allowance for all things to be in their own time and place, beginning with yourself. Increased Communication with all of life everywhere and with respect. Self Responsibility, for you are the eternal creator, never the victim.” –Spirit Guide, Dr. Peebles
"For, each soul enters with a mission . . . we all have a mission to perform.” –Mediumship of Edgar Cayce
“Each of us has the opportunity to consciously decide who we wish to become as well as how long it's going to take us to get there.”–Mediumship of Edgar Cayce
“Mankind is growing beyond many of its leaders in willingness to find alternate solutions, alternates to war that is. Meaningful understanding between polarized religious systems and compassion has become imperative. And, bridges between the modern world and the third world countries must be built: in education, technology, science, delegating food sharing without (economic) financial motivation, and finally medical sharing that is sincerely caring for one's fellow man.” –Spirit Guide Gilgamesh of the Understanding Ones, Shawn Randall
"A journey into the NEW is always a journey into more of YOU."–Spirit Guide Torah, Shawn Randall
"Process is simply the amount of time for some reason you deem it necessary to take until you finally give yourself permission to see the obvious." –Spirit Guide Bashar, Darryl Anka
“Create the effect of being happy, and you will attract into your lives all of the causes to support the happiness you have created...just because you want to. And just because you say so. Because you are the creators of your reality, there doesn’t need to be any other why or how. What you say goes!” –Spirit Guide Bashar, Darryl Anka
“You have free will, and you can create any reality you desire; that is being made in the image of God. Act as such and you will have heaven on your Earth–guaranteed.” –Spirit Guide Bashar, Darryl Anka
“Nothing can match or even come near the miracle of who you truly are. Let this be the mantra of your life. A Being of Indescribable wonder has, has again, become a bearer of the Light on Earth. Let nothing dissuade you from this truth.” –Spirit Guide Emmanuel, Pat Rodegast
“Come home to your Selves. The journey is no more than a breath in time, no more than a heartbeat in distance.” –Spirit Guide Emmanuel, Pat Rodegast
“Every moment of your life you are offered the opportunity to choose–love or fear, to tread the earth or to soar the heavens.” –Spirit Guide Emmanuel, Pat Rodegast
"You must learn to listen to the voice of the inner self and work with it." –Spirit Guide Seth, Jane Roberts
"You create your reality according to your beliefs and expectations, therefore you should examine these carefully. If you do not like some aspect of your world, then examine your own expectations." –Spirit Guide Seth, Jane Roberts
“Choice is focused intent, and as such, it is critical to changing intent and thus the function and form of energy. It is critical to changing action and image. Choice is essential to all learning.” –Spirit Guide Lazaris, Jach Pursel
“In order to understand that you carry with you only an illusion of separation, to reach that spiritual truth, you have to first allow yourself to love God and then to love yourself. Only then, when you are comfortable with the truth of that love, can you then reach out to life around you.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Linda Pendleton
“Never be afraid. The greatest enemy of humanity is fear. Be confident in the love and wisdom of God, and remember if you go into shadow, darkness will not touch you if you are radiating light.” –Spirit Guide White Eagle, Grace Cooke
“Three things: You ask; the Universe gives; you let in. That's all there is to it. And if you're not living it, it's not because you're not asking. You are. And it's not because the Universe is not yielding. It is. It's because you are not in the receiving mode.” –Spirit Guide Abraham, Esther Hicks
“We are here to remind you that pain and fear are not the only methods of growth; that you can more elegantly grow through joy and love. . . that you can create your own reality . . . that there is a God/Goddess/All That Is who loves you, who knows your name. . . and that you love good enough.” –Spirit Guide Lazaris, Jach Pursel
“No longer technicians, you are the masterful magicians of the current and future age, the masterful magicians of the mysteries and the mysticism. And this is the dawning of your day. It is time to find your voice and then to lift that voice, heroic, lyrical, or celestial, so that you can be heard...so that your world can hear you. It is time to rise to the new dawn. Oh, we love you; we love you so.” –Spirit Guide Lazaris, Jach Pursel
“Humanity is gradually moving beyond the narrow concept of isolationism and secular ‘religion’ into the expanded and cohesive truth of spirituality whereby you turn inward and connect to your own Divine Source for Creator truth and universal laws to guide you, instead of turning to someone you think is more knowledgeable and powerful than you.” –Archangel Michael, Ronna Herman
“What gives you your Divine essence is that you have the freedom to embrace and experience whatever thoughts you desire. And that divine essence, called free will, is love. It is the gift of love from God to each of you. Each of you has the divine essence of will so that you have the freedom to create uniquely whatever ideal you envision through thought.” –Spirit Guide Ramatha, J.Z. Knight
“You did not come to earth to become perfect. You came to the earth to stop condemning yourself for not being perfect.”–Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Athena Demetrios
“There's no higher energy or power on Earth than you. There's no higher power or energy in the Universe than what exists and flows through you in a divine way.” –Spirit Guide Kryon, Lee Carroll
“You are never separate dear ones from the source of love, abundance, and joy. It is an illusion that you could ever be separated from your angels or God. You are like drops of water in an ocean, part of something so much greater and yet individual as well.” –The Angels, Ann Albers
“If one believes that he alone creates his life, all his experiences, his thoughts, his actions—and reactions—and takes full responsibility for that, then he can never be a victim. Fear, resentment, anger and hate fall away like the petals of a daisy caught up in the wind.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Linda Pendleton
“The entire universe is a loving and living experience of divine thought...a fabric that is intermeshed with all things.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Thomas Jacobson, To Dance With Angels by Don and Linda Pendleton
“Allow your fear, if only for a moment. Acknowledge the fear that the terrorists have created in you, and move through it, and then let it go, and know that there is nothing to fear. As you move within your own mind, and move to understand that separation is the factor that motivates fear, then you can recognize that you are never alone, and are never the victim, unless you choose to be a victim.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Linda Pendleton
“As you welcome change, as the creator that you are, you have the ability to move with that change in whatever way you wish. If you deny it, you will have pain. You will feel victimized, helpless. But if you embrace it then you have the opportunity to have a creative dance with it. And in that creative dance you can mold it, fashion it, to your own liking. If you want it to be an opportunity for new experiences, so be it. If you want it to be adventurous, so be it. If you want it to be mysterious, so be it. And if you want it to be denied, so be it. It is your ballet slippers that move across the stage, it is your melody that is strummed on the musical instruments, and it is your audience who experiences your song and dance. You are the choreographer, the composer, the arranger, the director. It is your show and you decide how you want to present it. But might I suggest, dear friends, that you hold no expectations of how others will receive it—just present it with an open mind and loving heart. And present it with joy!” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Linda Pendleton
“Peace and healing will come when you take action to diminish the illusion of separation within the self. Only then.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Linda Pendleton
“Find something to feel good about and get out of the way, and allow the cells to receive what they’ve been asking for. That is the key to healing.” –Spirit Guide Abraham, Esther Hicks
“You can’t fill up anyone else’s cup until yours is runneth over.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Summer Bacon
“You are spirit. The real you, the consciousness, is spirit. As you strengthen this realization through meditation and worship of your Creator your spirit will begin to dominate the physical atoms, until your body becomes irradiated with life, and every particle obeys the direction of spirit, the real you.” –Spirit Guide White Eagle, Grace Cook
“You are Beings who intend to come forth and to continue to expand and grow and change. What is the perfect age? “Well, it is the age where I finally understand my freedom, and I finally understand that I am free to create, and it’s the age that I am at my most beautiful.’ And we say, by whose standard? In other words, who gets to decide the perfect age? And we say, rather than determining what the perfect age is, why not decide what the perfect state of being is–and then discover that you can find the perfect state of being at any age.” –Spirit Guide Abraham, Esther Hicks
“Pain is a divine messenger. Your soul calls upon pain to help you locate your resistance to this and to that.” –Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles, Athena Demetrios
"Your thoughts are powerful creators, and your words are even more powerful than your thoughts, but your actions are more powerful than your words or your thoughts." –Spirit Guide Abraham, Esther Hicks
“To increase your connection to your guide, you can consciously think of your guide or your guide’s name. You need not do more that [than] this to bring your guide’s light and love to you. You can also learn to call in your guide for brief moments by closing your eyes and asking for guidance and getting simple yes or no impressions instantly. You can do this whether you are standing in the grocery store line, driving your car or walking down the street. You can bring the essence of your connection to your guide through at any given time for however long you want–be it thirty seconds or three minutes. This type of connection does not need to be a lengthy one.” –Spirit Guides Orin and DaBen, Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer
“Every decision you make—every decision—is not a decision about what to do. It’s about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do.” –Spirit Guide “God,” Neale Donald Walsch
“Death is only passing through God's other door.”–Edgar Cayce
"There is no death, there is only change." Spirit Guide Dr. Peebles
From: http://missangellcain-abstractions.blogspot.comThis insightful woman claimed to have been possessed by a being named Seth. Through Jane's body, Seth discusses the nature of humanity and how we can find peace and contentment in our lives...
A musical tribute to two great men of science. Carl Sagan and his cosmologist companion Stephen Hawking present: A Glorious Dawn - Cosmos remixed. Almost all samples and footage taken from Carl Sagan's Cosmos and Stephen Hawking's Universe series. Lyrics:[Sagan]If you wish to make an apple pie from scratchYou must first invent the universeSpace is filled with a network of wormholesYou might emerge somewhere else in spaceSome when-else in timeThe sky calls to usIf we do not destroy ourselvesWe will one day venture to the starsA still more glorious dawn awaitsNot a sunrise, but a galaxy riseA morning filled with 400 billion sunsThe rising of the milky wayThe Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truthsOf exquisite interrelationshipsOf the awesome machinery of natureI believe our future depends powerfullyOn how well we understand this cosmosIn which we float like a mote of dustIn the morning skyBut the brain does much more than just recollectIt inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzesit generates abstractionsThe simplest thought like the concept of the number oneHas an elaborate logical underpinningThe brain has it's own languageFor testing the structure and consistency of the world[Hawking]For thousands of yearsPeople have wondered about the universeDid it stretch out foreverOr was there a limitFrom the big bang to black holesFrom dark matter to a possible big crunchOur image of the universe todayIs full of strange sounding ideas[Sagan}How lucky we are to live in this timeThe first moment in human historyWhen we are in fact visiting other worldsThe surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic oceanRecently we've waded a little way outAnd the water seems inviting
With the greatest understanding and compassion, let me mention that Western medicine is in its way one of the most uncivilized hypnotic devices. The most educated Western doctors will look with utter dismay and horror at the thought of a chicken being sacrificed in a primitive witch doctor’s hut, and yet will consider it quite scientific and inevitable that a woman sacrifice two breasts to cancer. The doctors will simply see no other way out, and unfortunately neither will the patient.
A modern Western physician – granted with the greatest discomfiture – will inform his patient that he is about to die, impressing upon him that his situation is hopeless, and yet will react with scorn and loathing when he reads that a voodoo practitioner has put a curse upon some innocent victim.
In your time, medical men, again with great superiority, look at primitive cultures and harshly judge the villagers they think are held in the sway of witch doctors or voodooism; and yet through advertisement and organization, YOUR doctors impress upon each individual in your culture that you must have a physical examination every six months or you will get cancer; that you must have medical insurance because you WILL become ill.
In many instances, therefore, modern physicians are inadequate witch doctors who have forgotten their craft – hypnotists who no longer believe in the power of healing, and whose suggestions bring about other diseases which are diagnosed in advance.
You are told what to look for; you are as cursed – far more – as any native in a tiny village, only you lose breasts, appendixes, and other portions of your anatomy. The doctors follow their own ideas, of course, and in that system they see themselves as completely justified – as humane.
In the medical field, as in no other, you are faced directly with the full impact of your beliefs, for doctors are not the healthiest, but the least healthy. They fall prey to the beliefs to which they so heartily subscribe. Their concentration is upon disease, not health.
This is an excerpt from the Nature of Personal Reality, channelled by Jane Roberts
Costa Rica renamed its justice ministry the Ministry of Justice and Peace on September 14, 2009, an act in a long line of peaceful government initiatives that includes abolishing the army in 1948 and peace education in schools. Here, children from two public schools in Costa Rica dressed up, sketched and wrote down their wishes and thoughts about peace in conjunction with a CISV International program in 2006.
On Monday, September 14, the Costa Rican legislature passed a law changing the name of the country’s justice ministry to the Ministry of Justice and Peace, making the department the first of its kind in Latin America and only the third in the world.
Costa Rica’s justice ministry was created to oversee the country’s penitentiary systems and supervise research on criminal behavior, but had no responsibility for crime prevention. A 1998 executive decree addressed this lapse by creating the National Directorate for the Prevention of Crime. The recent legislation takes crime prevention in a new direction, replacing the old directorate with the newly formed Directorate for the Promotion of Peace and the Peaceful Coexistence of Citizens.
“While we talk about prevention of violence, we are experiencing its effects every day. Changing the language and speaking about ‘promotion of peace’ lead[s] us to the roots of the problem,” states the legislation.
The ministry will take on new responsibilities, including peace promotion, violence prevention (for example, by targeting a recent increase of juvenile offenders), and an emphasis on conflict resolution.
Days after the official creation of its Ministry of Justice and Peace, Costa Rica hosted an international summit for others working to create similar ministries. The Dalai Lama wrote a letter endorsing the summit:
“Peace is not something which exists independently of us, any more than war does. Those who are responsible for creating and keeping the peace are members of our own human family, the society that we as individuals participate in and help to create. Peace in the world thus depends on there being peace in the hearts of individuals. Peace based merely on political considerations or prompted by other compulsions will only be temporary and superficial.”
“With this change in name, the focus on prevention of violence has been shifted to promotion of peace,” says Kelly Isola of the Rasur Foundation, the Costa Rican nongovernmental organization that proposed the law in 2005. Having a department of peace, she said, will enable Costa Rica “to benefit from international experiences, which demonstrate that a culture of peace has positive effects in the reduction of violence and crime.”
Although campaigns for peace-oriented government departments are underway in 32 countries, including the United States, only Nepal and the Solomon Islands have similar ministries.
“This Ministry was not born out of war and conflict, but rather through the commitment to a culture of peace,” Isola says. “Costa Rica has a long history of being aligned with peace.”
The country’s tradition of peace-oriented firsts dates back to 1877, when President Tomás Guardia abolished the death penalty. In 1948, Costa Rica became the first country to formally abolish its armed forces; the Constitution still forbids a standing military. President Oscar Arias won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership on the Esquipulas II Peace Accords, which promoted regional reconciliation, democratization, free elections, and arms control in Central America. In 1997, Costa Rica passed a law requiring that peace education be offered in every school and created a place for peaceful conflict resolution in the legal system, which endorses mediation.
In 2004, the National Directorate of Alternative Conflict Resolution was created, and two years later the National Commission for the Prevention of Violence and Promotion of Social Peace was established. The newly overhauled Ministry of Justice and Peace will work with both.
Legislation for the new law was passed just in time for the fourth annual Global Alliance Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace, held in Costa Rica September 17-21. The Global Alliance comprises organizations, citizens, and government officials from 35 countries, who work together to establish governmental structures that support a culture of peace.
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - The Guantanamo war crimes court has become "a headless chicken" that still operates under the old rules even as the Obama administration issues new ones, the lawyer for an accused Saudi boat-bomb plotter said on Wednesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to shut down the Guantanamo detention camp for terrorism suspects by January 22, and his administration has said it will decide by November 16 whether to move the 10 pending prosecutions into the regular U.S. courts or try them in revised tribunals.
The Obama administration also is pushing legislation in Congress that would stop the military tribunals from using evidence obtained through brutality.
But a military judge in Guantanamo refused on Wednesday to drop the charges against Saudi prisoner Ahmed al Darbi, a case that defense lawyer Ramzi Kassem said was built on confessions obtained through torture.
"Either the Obama administration is duplicitously saying one thing to the public and the media and doing another here or, you know, Guantanamo and the military commissions are like a headless chicken that just keeps on moving after it's been decapitated," Kassem told journalists after the hearing.
The chief prosecutor, Navy Captain John Murphy, called the comparison unfair and said, "Our mission is to operate under the current law."
Torture-derived evidence is banned but the current law permits the use of coerced statements in some cases. The judge, Army Colonel Jim Pohl, scheduled a January hearing to decide whether 119 statements al Darbi gave interrogators can be used at his trial -- if his trial goes forward.
Obama first asked the military to freeze the Guantanamo trials in January, then his administration sought further delays through mid-November to decide whether and how to continue with the prosecutions.
Despite the freeze, military judges have convened three tribunal sessions to try to resolve pretrial motions, and more are planned in October. They say that does not violate Obama's order since they are not holding trials or filing new charges.
DEFENSE ALLEGES TORTURE
Al Darbi, 34, is charged with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, and he faces life in prison if convicted.
The charges allege he bought a boat and global positioning devices and shopped for crewmen as part of an unrealized plot to ram an explosives-laden boat into an unidentified ship in the Strait of Hormuz. He is also accused of teaching at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and meeting Osama bin Laden there.
Al Darbi has said his boat was used only to ferry sheep across the strait. The defense says the case rests on confessions al Darbi gave after U.S. troops strung him up by his arms, beat him, blasted loud music at him, deprived him of sleep and threatened to rape him while he was held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
Prosecutor Frank Rangoussis said there is ample evidence beyond al Darbi's own words, including corroborating witnesses, but he did not elaborate.
Al Darbi was captured in Azerbaijan in 2002 and has been held at Guantanamo since 2003.
"They've had seven years to assess the evidence against Mr. al Darbi," said Kassem, the defense lawyer. "They should either fish or cut bait."
The judge refused his request to drop the charges, and granted a prosecution request to freeze the case until after the November 16 decision by the administration.
Thanks to Duke University, you can now access a digital archive of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. Eventually, this collection will feature close to 12,000 digitized commercials, and it will let you see how America’s traditional brands (IBM, Maxwell House, American Express, Avis, etc) evolved through the medium of mainstream commercial television. You can learn more about this collection called Adviews with this introductory video or via the Adviews website, and you can watch the vintage commercials through iTunes. (Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to access these clips via other means. Sorry about that.) Via @LibrarySecrets.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has made a dramatic return to his country nearly three months after the military coup that forced him into exile. On Monday, Zelaya reappeared in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, taking refuge in the Brazilian embassy. Speaking from the embassy’s roof, Zelaya said he had arrived after a lengthy trip, traveling sometimes by foot to avoid detection.
PRESIDENT MANUEL ZELAYA: [translated] I had to travel for fifteen hours, sometimes walking, other times marching in different areas in the middle of the night, because I wanted to celebrate the country’s independence day with the Honduran people. Those who believe that governing was something easy have made a mistake. To govern is something serious. Governing requires talent, dedication and love for the people.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Zelaya wouldn’t provide specifics, but it’s unlikely he could have returned without help from elements of the Honduran military or intelligence services. That prospect could signify a further setback for the Honduran coup regime, which has relied on military support to defy internal unrest and global isolation.
The head of the coup regime, Roberto Micheletti, initially dismissed reports of Zelaya’s return as, quote, “media terrorism.” But as thousands of Zelaya supporters descended on the Brazilian embassy, Micheletti imposed a national curfew and took to the airwaves. Flanked by his cabinet and top military leaders, Micheletti called on Brazil to hand over Zelaya for arrest.
ROBERTO MICHELETTI: [translated] It is not clear why Mr. Zelaya has returned to Honduras at this time. Only he knows this. But I cannot reach another conclusion other than he is here to continue hampering the celebrations of our elections next November 29th, as he has done so far, as well as his followers, for a few weeks now.
I made a call to the government of Brazil so that they respect the judicial order against Mr. Zelaya and hand him over to the authorities of Honduras. The state of Honduras is committed to respecting the rights of Mr. Zelaya to the mentioned process. The eyes of the world are placed on Brazil and also on Honduras. Let’s not allow passions of a few stain the reputation and image of our people.
AMY GOODMAN: Zelaya’s supporters are reportedly planning to march on the palace later today. Here in the US, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged both sides to engage in dialogue.
HILLARY CLINTON: It’s imperative that dialogue begin, that there be a channel of communication between President Zelaya and the de facto regime in Honduras. And it’s also imperative that the return of President Zelaya does not lead to any conflict or violence, but instead that everyone act in a peaceful way to try to find some common ground. Once again, the Costa Ricans will be using their good offices to try to encourage that to occur.
AMY GOODMAN: Clinton was speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where she met with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. After the meeting, Arias said he’d be willing to travel to Honduras to resume his efforts at brokering a negotiated solution.
PRESIDENT OSCAR ARIAS: I think this is the best—the best opportunity, the best time, now that Zelaya is back in his country, for the two parties to sign the San José accord. It’s all we have on the table. There is no B plan. And when we wrote this San José accord, it was after listening to everybody. We took suggestions from each of the parties.
I would be willing to go, but if both sides—if both parties ask me to—to go to Tegucigalpa, I certainly would be more than pleased to go and see what I can do.
AMY GOODMAN: The Nobel Peace laureate, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.
We now go directly to the Brazilian embassy, inside, in Tegucigalpa to Andres Conteris, who works with us at Democracy Now! and on the Program on the Americas director for Nonviolence International.
We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Andres. What’s happening right now?
ANDRES CONTERIS: Amy, good to talk with you.
About forty minutes ago, there was a very violent removal by the military and police of over 500 protesters who were outside the embassy dancing and rejoicing and celebrating all night. I was able to see them in their incredible, incredible spirit of jubilation as they expressed that since the news arrived that President Zelaya was returning to the country. Then, about forty minutes ago, there was a massive, massive tear gas attack and a violent removal of all of the over 500 people in front of the embassy.
I’m inside the embassy with about 150 people who are inside. There was no direct attack against the embassy itself, but the tear gas did enter, and it affected every single one of us inside the embassy. I’m now in the room where the President slept, and I’m with the First Lady nearby. Everyone, everyone was affected by this tear gas attack. But fortunately, there are no permanent injuries. We’re not aware of any injuries, but I’m sure there were many of those who were protesting and celebrating outside the embassy.
AMY GOODMAN: Andres, can you tell us how did President Zelaya return to Honduras?
ANDRES CONTERIS: Reports are, Amy—and he was asked directly, and he answered in a very general way, but the reports are that he flew from Nicaragua to El Salvador and then reached the border there at a place called El Amatillo and there entered into the trunk of a car and crossed about fifty—I’m sorry, about twenty police barricades and was never detected. He drove straight to—his driver took him straight to the Brazilian embassy.
Initial reports were that the President was in Honduras and that he was at the United Nations headquarters. So the initial rally of celebration went there to the United Nations. There were thousands and thousands of people there rejoicing. And then the word came that he was at the Brazilian embassy. And then we transferred that celebration here.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And Andres, why did the Brazilians take him in, have him have refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa?
ANDRES CONTERIS: It’s very clear that Brazil has been a very strong advocate of President Zelaya during this entire crisis. And because of the power and the symbolism of the strength of South America and Brazil being the strongest and largest of those countries, it’s clear that I think President Zelaya decided that this was the place that it was best to come to. And when he arrived, they of course opened the doors. The Brazilian authorities report that they did not know ahead of time that he was coming here, but he was welcomed when he came. And his family was reunited here in the embassy for the first time after eighty-six days of being separated.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And the President—the head of the coup regime, Roberto Micheletti, has continued his call for Zelaya’s arrest. What does President Zelaya say right now about that?
ANDRES CONTERIS: President Zelaya speaks very positively, in a very reconciling mode. He does not even take seriously what coup regime leader Micheletti is saying. Micheletti is saying that there’s a jail space waiting for President Zelaya. However, President Zelaya is really focusing on the way to truly resolve this crisis by seeking mediation.
Today, it’s hopefully expected that Mr. Insulza, the head of the OAS, will arrive. However, they have closed the airports, and it’s not certain if they will allow the plane to land with Mr. Insulza from the OAS.
AMY GOODMAN: Andres Conteris is speaking to us from inside the embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Brazilian embassy. Roberto Micheletti says that he wants Brazil to hand over the ousted president. Andres, is there a response from Zelaya on that request?
ANDRES CONTERIS: In terms of that request, no, there was no direct response. It’s really treating this coup regime as a nonentity, so much as possible, and not recognizing their authority. Many who were in the streets heard about the curfew that was imposed at 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon and held—and was enforced all night, and they did not respond to it, because they believe that President Zelaya is the one president, and he is the only one who can give an order for a curfew. And so, they continued to celebrate in the streets.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Andres is joining us from inside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. We’re also joined from Washington, DC by Mark Weisbrot. He’s co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and president of Just Foreign Policy. He’s written extensively on the Honduran crisis and is a longtime analyst of Latin American affairs.
Mark, could you explain the significance of Zelaya’s return, particularly coming on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly?
MARK WEISBROT: Yes. Well, I think it will make a big difference. You know, there’s been a big gap from the beginning, since the coup on June 28th. There’s been a big gap between the United States and the rest of the world on this situation. You know, the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, they all said right away that they wanted an immediate and unconditional return of the elected president, Zelaya. And the United States has never really said that. In fact, the Arias accords put all kinds of conditions on his return, including incorporating the people who led the coup into his government and moving the elections forward. And in fact, as Andres mentioned, you know, Brazil has been a strong supporter of Zelaya, and the foreign minister of Brazil said a couple months ago—he complained to Hillary Clinton that these conditions were placed in the Arias agreement, that, you know, this was not what the Organization of American States wanted or the United Nations or anyone else. So he said this publicly. And so, there’s always been this big gap, but the administration has been able to paper it over, because there hasn’t been much attention on Honduras.
And so, now, with the General Assembly and the attention focused by Zelaya’s dramatic return, Obama is going to have to choose sides more than they have in the past. They’ve been very—this administration has been very ambivalent. They’ve gone back and forth, you know, between saying that, you know, he should be restored and then saying really almost the opposite. And on August 4th, they sent a letter, for example, to President Lugar [Senator Lugar], where they backed off quite a bit from supporting Zelaya.
And, you know, Zelaya has been here six times since he was overthrown, here in Washington, and President Obama has not met with him once, even though he’s gotten requests from people who are very close friends and allies of his and Democratic members of Congress.
And so, these are the kind of signals, mixed signals, that this government has sent to the leaders of the coup, and that has strengthened their resolve all the way along. And they’re very stubborn right now, for example. It’s going to take a lot more pressure to get them out of there, a lot more, both international and domestic, from within the United States. There’s going to have to be a lot more pressure on the Obama administration to actually force them to leave.
AMY GOODMAN: And exactly what could the Obama administration do if it was committed to preserving the democratically elected leader Zelaya? What is the relationship the US has with Honduras?
MARK WEISBROT: Oh, there’s quite a bit more they could do. First of all, on August 11th, sixteen members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and asking them to freeze the assets of the coup leaders, and even the government—they can also freeze their assets. You know, when Aristide, President Aristide of Haiti, was overthrown the first time, George Bush, the first, actually froze some of the assets of the dictatorship and gave it to the government in exile, to President Aristide. And this was, you know, a Republican president who actually—that government actually supported the—or was involved in the coup initially. And so, this is—so this is a minimum they could do.
They could—you know, they could put all kinds of pressure that they haven’t put. And again, you see our Secretary of State, she’s trying to say, well, both sides should do this, both sides—she even said last night that she supported the curfew that this government has put, you know, on people to prevent them from peacefully assembling. And so, this is the kind of thing.
And, you know, there has not been one word from this administration about the human—the massive human rights violations committed by this dictatorship, the thousands of arbitrary arrests and detentions, the beatings. People have been shot and actually killed at demonstrations. These human rights abuses have been denounced by Human Rights Watch, by Amnesty International, by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States, by Honduran human rights groups, by Europe. And nothing—nothing—has come out of this administration. I think that really says a lot. That tells you how much this government has not wanted to undermine the dictatorship in Honduras. That’s what’s going to have to change. And I think there’s going to be more international pressure, and hopefully domestic pressure, as well, to change that.
AMY GOODMAN: Mark Weisbrot, to the surprise of the coup regime, Zelaya’s return to Honduras, he’s now in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. But if he were in New York and wanted to speak, address the UN General Assembly, what would happen at the United Nations? Who would they recognize?
MARK WEISBROT: Well, they would recognize him, and he would get enormous support. And that was, I’m sure, his other plan: if he hadn’t gone back to Honduras, he would have spoken there. But this, I think, is much more powerful. I mean, that would have gotten maybe, you know, a few lines here and there in the news. This now forces it to the world attention. You’re going to see a lot of support in the United Nations and from various heads of state for Zelaya, a lot more pressure—and here in Congress, too, by the way.
And if your viewers want to do anything, they can contact their members of Congress, and they—you know, there’s another letter going to come from members of Congress stating that Zelaya should return. And also, you know, the School of the Americas Watch has asked for people to write to and call the State Department. So, you know, there’s going to be more and more pressure on them.
And the question is, you know, will they really do what needs to be done to get rid of this government? Because the government there still has their friends here. You know, you had Lanny Davis on the show. They have influential people. They have the Republicans, and they have, you know, a lot of interest in this government, including the military, wants to keep their base there, you know? And there’s all these forces here that don’t really want Zelaya to go back, or if they’re willing to have him go back, they don’t want him to go back as a victor. You know, that’s another thing that they’re very worried about, that he comes off winning, and their friends in the government, in the de facto regime, end up losing. So, again, it’s going to take a lot of pressure, but that pressure has definitely gone up quite a bit with Zelaya’s return.
AMY GOODMAN: Mark Weisbrot, I want to go back to Andres in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. Andres Conteris, who’s with Democracy Now! en Español, Democracy Now! in Spanish, he is right near the President now, who’s talking with reporters. Andres, describe what’s happening.
ANDRES CONTERIS: Yes, Amy, I’m right here with the President, and he is speaking. I’m going to let you hear his voice and try to interpret a little bit.
[translating President Zelaya] He “will obligate this dictatorship to enter into dialogue with us. Just the way that they attacked my house and they brutally kidnapped me, this is the way that they are attacking us now even today.”
The President is taking a drink of water now, and we’re going to ask him a question. It’s not possible to get a question in right now, but we will just listen to his response to other questions.
AMY GOODMAN: Andres Conteris is asking President Zelaya a question.
ANDRES CONTERIS: [translating President Zelaya] “That the US should respond and respect the OAS charter. The United States should call for a meeting, an emergency meeting, of the United Nations Security Council. The United States should take every type of trade sanction measure in order to pressure this regime now in power in Honduras.”
That’s the questions I was able to ask Mr. President.
AMY GOODMAN: Andres Conteris, thanks so much for being with us. We will continue to follow this story, bring you more on this tomorrow.
Again, the latest news is that the President, the democratically elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, has returned to Honduras after three months, not exactly clear how he made it over the border, but he said he walked, he traveled, not clear who aided him in this, and then ended up within the Brazilian embassy. The coup regime leader, Roberto Micheletti, is demanding of Brazil to turn over Zelaya so that he can arrest him.
Andres Conteris, with Nonviolence International and Democracy Now! en Español, is standing next to the President right now in the Brazilian embassy.