Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kevin Zeese this...


The evidence is now overwhelming. The United States government has facilitated the theft of trillions of dollars of national wealth and 99% of the US population no longer has political representation.
——-I: The Ongoing Theft of Trillions
——-II: Off-the-Books, Off-the-Record
——-III: Osama bin Bank of America
——-IV: New Mafia World Order
——-V: The Goldman Sachs Obama Illusion
——-VI: American Heroes Speak Out on the Financial Reform Ruse
——-VII: Economic Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMDs)
——-VIII: Hank “Pentagon Sachs” Paulson
——-IX: $5.4 Trillion a Year Bullion Market Ponzi Scheme
——-X: Ponzi Nation: Welcome to America, Sucker
——-XI: Economic Shock and Awe
——-XII: Time for a Second American Revolution - The 99% Movement
——-XIII: How You Can Get Involved

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Doubtful information on Zapatistas published in La Reforma

Mexico News and Analysis: March 22-28, 2010

Doubtful information on Zapatistas published in La Reforma

La Reforma, one of Mexico’s leading right wing newspapers closely linked to the Calderon administration, published a series of articles this weekend on the Zapatistas, supposedly based on an 83-page account provided by a former leader in the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). The articles included a photo of a thirty-something, bearded man who the informer claimed was Subcomandante Marcos. The articles also included the military structure of the EZLN, their financial sources, cellular telephone numbers of commanders, and a list of weapons.

From the beginning, the articles rang false. Why would a deserter from the EZLN command structure write an 83 page report and then turn it over to a newspaper? Even the language in the report sounds fabricated. It includes lines like, “The insurgents, known as guerrillas, can be found in the mountains and have high caliber weapons” (Los insurgentes, conocidos como guerrilleros, se encuentran en la montaña y portan armas largas de altos calibers).

The report claims the Juntas de Buen Gobierno receive substantial donations from Pais Vasco, though even the deserter is dubious in his assertions: “Foreign visitors, Italians and people from Pais Vasco supposedly delivered 150,000 Euros to the Autonomous Consejos. In recent days there are commentaries that they delivered 750,000 and later 350,000 Euros to the Junta de Buen Gobierno en La Garucha, where the most important encampment of the EZLN is established.” The report claims this is evidence of relations between the EZLN and the ETA, an organization that utilizes terrorism in its struggle for a homeland, despite the fact that the vast majority of residents of Pais Vasco reject the ETA’s violent tactics. Several years ago the Zapatistas offered to act as intermediaries between the ETA and the Spanish government, but the ETA rejected the offer out of hand, demanding that Marcos mind his own business. In any case, the claims sound ludicrous. Who could imagine a delivery of over a million Euros, presumably in cash, to a remote indigenous community in Chiapas?

The report appears to be planted by federal authorities, with several possible goals in mind. First, nearly everyone in Mexico is expecting “something” to happen in 2010, the centennial of the Revolution and the bi-centennial of Independence, under the leadership of the Zapatistas. The Calderon administration may be trying to deflate any new political initiative before it gets going. Second, Calderon may be trying to blur the differences between the EZLN, an army, and the Juntas de Buen Gobierno, civilian authorities. Over the years, the Zapatistas have carefully constructed a distinction between the two entities, in part to protect civilians from the kinds of attacks launched by the army and air force on indigenous communities during the first days of 1994. Third, Calderon may be laying the groundwork for expelling foreign supporters of the civilian Zapatista movement who relate directly with the Juntas de Buen Gobierno. The federal government may even be planning a replay of the 2007-2008 expulsions of foreign human rights observers, leaving hundreds of indigenous communities isolated from the world’s eyes and ears. Fourth, Calderon may be laying the groundwork for increased paramilitary attacks against Zapatista communities. Paramilitary activity has increased dramatically this year, with dozens of attacks against Zapatista communities or groups aligned with the Otra Campana by Opdicc and several right wing religious groups aligned with the Chiapas State government, police and local army troops. Fifth, this may be an effort to discredit a movement that has a great deal of moral authority throughout Mexico by linking the Zapatistas with a terrorist organization. Right wing politicians led by the PAN played their expected role in the unfolding drama by demanding an investigation of ETA-Zapatista links. And finally, the Calderon administration may be trying to draw attention away from its failed “war on drugs.” With dozens of assassinations every day, particularly along the northern border, this may be an effort to displace the attention of an increasingly restive public.

It is noteworthy that at least some major Mexican newspapers, including La Jornada, have ignored the reports in La Reforma, apparently finding the claims so dubious as to not be newsworthy.

The Mexico Solidarity Network sees an ominous, if ham-handed, warning in the Reforma articles. Any intelligent reader can see that the information is based on hearsay and rumor, the kind of “evidence” that historically has the fingerprints of federal intelligence agencies. Whatever the quality of the information, the fact that it was published in one of Mexico’s most widely distributed papers and picked up by media around the world with little skepticism leads us to believe that the Calderon administration may be planning something dramatic.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pharma Planning to Dump Experimental and Controversial Vaccines in Public Schools


The golden calf of public health was smashed in this recent flu season as many in the United States outright rejected the H1N1 vaccine. Pharmaceutical companies are now holding the bag, as millions of doses of the vaccine are rotting on shelves or being discarded as hazardous waste. Or are they? The manufacturer may find it more cost effective to dump them into the arms of our public school systems.

Parents would revolt if they knew that the pharmaceutical industry, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Centers for Disease Control have allocated millions of dollars in funding to establish vaccine clinics in the public schools. Pumping children with experimental vaccines in public school is about to be pursued as a matter of policy.
Denver Public Schools the Target Recently, a news article ( in the Denver Post highlighted two grants issued by the Centers for Disease Control totaling $1.6 million dollars to vaccinate students attending Denver Public Schools (

One grant ( funds an effort to establish a sustainable school-based vaccination program utilizing the yearly influenza and experimental H1N1 vaccine. The hope is to create a partnership between public health (Denver Health), school personnel (Denver Public Schools), and an entity (Kaiser Permanente) that would bill third party payers.

The second grant ( provides cash for vaccinating children with the newly approved diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap), meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), and human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV). The new vaccines for adolescents are among the most expensive vaccines ( recommended today for any age group.

Lead investigator of Denver In-School Immunization Project, Dr. Judith Shlay, of Denver Health, readily admits that if all goes well, plans are in place to implement school-base vaccine clinics ( ) nation-wide (a high level overview of this plan ( was presented to the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care by Dr. Shlay).
School Based Health Clinics As the Conduit The Denver In-School Immunization Project ( has long been in the works. It was paved in the late 1970s and early 1980s by incrementally creating School-Based Health Clinics (SCHC). In 1978, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a non-profit organization funded by the Pharmaceutical Company, Johnson and Johnson (, contributed $2.3 million dollars to the state of Colorado, ( making SBHCs a reality.

Illnesses such as ADD/ADHD, Cervical Cancer, diabetes, asthma, obesity, and learning disabilities were of little consequence in the '70s. However, these disabling syndromes and the medications aimed at treating them have all reached epidemic proportions and astronomically profitable sales.

In the past, parents have discovered challenging a school-based medical model can be extremely dangerous. In September, 2000, Ms. Patti Johnson, a former Colorado State education board member, testified before Federal Congress ( concerning Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). In the 1990s, the much-hyped drug, Ritalin, was maneuvered into public schools to address the growing epidemic of hyperactivity. Mrs. Johnson testimony was prophetic and foreshadowed a future scenario where parents could be charged with medical neglect if they refused to medicate their child per the school's request.
Vaccines for All School Children is the Goal If School Based Health Clinics are being used as the conduit to vaccinate children, the federally-funded Vaccines For Children (VFC) ( program and third party insurance coverage provide the finances. According to the grant approved by the CDC, the VFC program would provide "free" vaccines to an estimated forty percent of children in the United States who are not covered by third party insurance plans.

"The goal is for this (Denver In-School Immunization Project) to be a sustainable program that can immunize all children in the schools regardless of their insurance. And we need to see at the end of the day, when all the dust settles at the end of this school year, whether the amount that was reimbursed for all these different insurance companies, adds up to the amount of time and effort it took to actually have the clinic." (Emphasis added)

Dr. Matthew Daley
Evaluator of the Denver In-School Immunization Project
Kaiser Permanente
Colorado Public Radio Interview
February 17th, 2010

Put into context, the implications of the Denver In-School Immunization Project are enormous. We are speaking of a captured market for vaccine manufacturers (guaranteed purchase of vaccines), insurance companies (guaranteed rise in premiums), and government funding (VFC) all footed by taxpayer dollars. The total price per vaccinated adolescent in the private sector is approximately $500 ( That's a lot of cash.

What Does Pharma Know? Dr. Matthew Daley is very aware that a paltry 1/3rd of adolescents receive their yearly influenza vaccine, for example. In a semi-recent presentation, ( Dr. Daley shows obtaining parental consent is a barrier to mass vaccination in a school setting. Furthermore, the presentation suggests improved financial incentives for providing influenza vaccinations. Dr. Daley must be sharing his notes with RAND Corporation because it is almost the exact message RAND pitched to the pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi Pasteur.

In 2007, a study performed by RAND Corporation, funded by Sanofi Pasteur, investigated the most efficient way to vaccinate ( low-income adolescents. Nicole Lurie,( one authors of the white paper, is now an adviser to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Human Health Services (HHS). Mrs. Lurie has a long history of traversing the revolving door between private industry, government duties, and academic appointments (there is no difference from the former head of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, ( becoming President of Merck Pharmaceuticals Vaccine Division).

RAND's report identifies barriers that would obstruct "alternative vaccination campaigns," otherwise known as "in-school vaccination programs." The list of legal issues includes parental consent laws, absence of a reliable medical home (where an adolescent receives medical treatment such as a doctor's office), and access to vaccine registration information.

That's right, mom and dad. Your current ability to refuse vaccines, which is protected by most state laws, is considered a barrier to Pharmaceutical Interests!

*As a side note, many states are taking steps to move parents out of the way and allow public officials the right to vaccinate children, without parental consent. By example, legislation is being considered in New York that would give absolute authority to health professionals to vaccinate children under 18 years old without the parental consent. Another bill in New York ( seeks to mandate the controversial HPV vaccine (Gardasil) for school entry.

With Public Relations at the foreground, The RAND paper further recommends that Sanofi Pasteur create "Vaccine Champions" or "Registration Champions." Vaccine champions are "ardent supporters of a cause … They can bring about change by educating those around them and spurring others into action through local events, meetings, or publications." Coincidentally, non-profit organizations such as The Immunization Partnership are following lockstep with the RAND Corporation's group-think. It also has "Immunization Champions." (

If vaccines are mandated for public school attendance, and most likely they will be, you can bet that it won't matter whether the vaccine is experimental or not. With rising awareness of the chronic effects of mass vaccination, public skepticism and outcries will likely be countered with fear mongering ( by fanatical vaccine advocates and lobbying groups funded by Big Pharma interests. The only real way to protect the safety of our children is to fiercely safeguard state exemption laws that uphold parents' freedom to choose whether to vaccinate or not.

Yet, by blending society's Federal Educational Framework with a superficial medical model, vaccine proponents have a road map to overcome any damaging future resistance to experimental vaccines. Could it be any clearer that if left unchecked, the pharmaceutical industrial complex soon will be calling the shots instead of parents?

About the author: Jeffry John Aufderheide is the father of a child injured as a result of vaccination. As editor of the website he promotes well-educated pediatricians, informed consent, and full disclosure and accountability of adverse reactions to vaccines.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Turtle Power

From the wonderful blog: God Spotting, by Jenine

Terrifying turtles is not cool, I don't care if you are a couple of cute, white, nanny-schooled seven-year-old boys.

Relaxing in a public park after a long walk, I found myself forced to observe two tikes across the man-made mini-lake tormenting a turtle. Squealing with joy, Johnny repeatedly scooped one shell-dweller out of the protected depths and held her (him?) high above a cement-rimmed pond, then plunked her back down into several feet of water, again and again, while Cody cheered him on. Truly, I was proud of myself for directing my objections to their cruel circus not at the unapologetic ruffians, but toward the so-called caretakers, cooling their heels shore-side. One of two women yelled to the little dears "Don't pick up the turtles! They may bite you!" I may bite them, I thought, if it doesn't stop soon. Obviously, I would be planted on that bench like the lilies in the mud until order was restored.

After several stare-downs with the supervisors and their mop-top charges, the motley mob finally left the grounds, and we, the turtles and I, had a break from their idea of "entertainment." I stood long over the smoothing surface, a bird's-eye view of little leaf-like heads pointing above and below the ripples, doing the breaststroke freely about the pool once more . Yes, the loud and scary giants are gone, I assured.

Within a minute, one especially large turtle with a distinct, golden shell swam in a bee-line toward my feet. Upon inspection, I recognized her as the high-flying, unwilling acrobat from the spectacle earlier in the afternoon. I hesitated to move, not wishing to cause any further distress, but decided to kneel down for a closer look. She turned sideways, paddled in one spot a foot from my face, and gazed into my eyes with her own. Wise Lady T offered me a brief but tender, crinkled wink of her deep brown eye. Then, under the waterfall she dove, bobbing among the bubbles to her own song and dance, as she has, and will, for eons, with or without any help from me.

Aldous Huxley Warns Against Dictatorship in America

From: Dan

Warnings of dictatorship are nothing new in America. We have them now, and we’ve had them before, and we’ve even had them come from the intelligentsia at times. Above, Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World (get free text here), talks with Mike Wallace in 1958 — smack in the middle of the Cold War — about the major threats to American freedom. Who were the villains? Not elected representatives who passed laws with a majority in Congress. No, it was a different set of characters: overpopulation, bureaucracy, propaganda, drugs, advertising, and, yes, television. Part 1 of the interview appears above, and you can continue with Part 2, and Part 3. For more interviews from The Mike Wallace Interview (1957-1960), please revisit our earlier piece. You’ll find some more thought provoking interviews there (and lots of cigarette peddling).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

* This song is also known as "Adriatic Sea View" or "SeaView"*

This is probably one of the rarest songs you will ever hear. It was ONLY released on a promo tape that circulated in the Midlands in 1968..... ENJOY!!!

This song is different in the lineup from the other released Band of Joy. . The 2 songs released on Plant's 66 from Timbuktu, (Hey Joe and For What its Worth) have
Vocal - Plant, Drums - John Bonham, Guitar - Kevin Gammond, Organ - Chris Brown, Bass - Paul Lockie

The last line up of The Band Of Joy consisted of Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Hill and Mick Strode in 1968. John Hill was a great friend of Bonham, they were at school together, he was playing bass in a band called Uncle Joseph. Robert and John co-opted Hill and strode into the band to complete a tour of Scotland for the infamous promoter Duncan McKinnon.

The following is a recent letter from John Hill:

Hi, my name is John Hill.

You may or may not know that the very last line up of the Band of Joy consisted of Johny Bonham, Mick Strode, Rob Plant, and myself. We did a tour round Scotland and the north in 1968. This was for the infamous Duncan McKinnon "Drunken Duncan", a superb man with a wonderful warm heart. It was right after this that Robert went to London and whilst stopping with Alexis Corner he was put in touch with Jimmy Page. The rest as you know is history.

This didn't help me and my best mate Bonzo at the time as we were about to rehearse a new line-up consisting of John, myself, Reggie and Chrissy Jones and a keyboard player that John found from a Liverpool band - I think they were known as the Peeps ?. I went on to join a band called the Wellington Kitch Jump Band with Chris Brown on hammond. Chris is also ex Band of Joy from the more well known line-up. Anyway, Bonzo finally got the message after several telegrams and wisely got his ass down to London.

Oh yes - I am still playing in a band called the Notorious Brothers. Check it out sometime - maybe the Monday of the fill your head with rock festy.

All the best and keep on rockin - John

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mar 26th Women in Freemasonry lecture at OBSERVATORY


Women in Freemasonry lecture at OBSERVATORY - TOMORROW

Professor Susan L. Aberth's illustrated lecture on the history of women in Freemasonry is tomorrow evening at OBSERVATORY at 8pm. 
Phantasmaphile presents at OBSERVATORY:
Women in Freemasonry: An illustrated lecture by Professor Susan L. Aberth

Date: Friday, March 26th
Time: 8pm
Admission: $5

Although Masonic iconography is full of female representations, membership is forbidden to women. Established in 1850,The Order of the Eastern Star is a Masonic offshoot open to both men and women, although female members must have some familial affiliation to Freemasons and members do not have the same rites and privileges as Freemasonry itself.
Why is it that women are forbidden entry to Freemasonry? What exactly is The Order of the Eastern Star? What role do women play in the Independent Order of Oddfellows? How does French Masonry differ in regards to women? What is Co-Freemasonry and why is it growing in popularity? Utilizing rich visual material, this presentation will outline the history of women within the various fraternal orders and will also trace their occult affiliations with Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, The Order of the Golden Dawn and other secret societies.

Susan L. Aberth is Associate Professor of Art History at Bard College and is the author of Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy And Art.

You can get directions by clicking here. You can find out more about OBSERVATORY here, join our mailing list by clicking here, and join us on Facebook by clicking here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Open Letter to Democracy Now!, By SANDY MAYES

[I agree with her completely...]

No More Michael Moore


Dear Democracy Now!,

After giving myself the day to cool off, I just revisited Michael Moore's segment on today's show and find that I'm still as outraged over it as I was when I heard it this morning.

I have a hard time understanding why the Left in general, and Democracy Now! in particular, regards Michael Moore to be a credible or meaningful voice of progressive causes. This morning, he made some pretty strong yet obvious observations about the general state of things but, as usual, he didn't really add any new information or analysis. Not really anything any number of us might have been able to come up with.

If that alone is enough for people get a charge out of listening to him, I would normally have no particular beef with it. But when he launches in to an ugly, baseless, ad hominem rant, then I have a problem.

On the show today, Democracy Now! played a video clip of Moore and Bill Maher ambushing and humiliating Ralph Nader by kneeling in front of him and begging him to withdraw his candidacy for President on Maher's TV show in 2004.

One might have hoped that Moore would use this as an opportunity to publicly apologize for that shameful display. But instead he used it as a forum to further elevate himself as the True Grassroots Champion of the people. He is after all the Star of his own commercially successful “documentaries” and often appears on TV stating his opinions, while Ralph Nader, despite a lifetime of activism, and spearheading innumerable non-profit organizations, and exposing the corruption of our political process through his presidential campaigns is —according to Moore— merely a “poser” who “likes to hear himself talk.”

"And, you know, unlike Ralph, I guess maybe I’m not in this for just to say it so I can hear myself talk or to be some—or to take some poser position. And I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, but I don’t see him ever working with the grassroots or with the people or being in touch with the people in any way, shape or form.

"Ralph’s approach is, put his name on the ballot and run for office. Where are we as a result of that? I don’t—you know, I don’t see us anywhere other than in the same pitiful state we’ve been in for some time.”

By that flawed logic, considering the “pitiful state we’re in,” anything ANY of us has EVER done has been a complete waste of time – including Michael Moore.

Again, Moore’s rant against Nader was ugly, baseless ad hominem. And as is so often the case with Moore, it was self-serving, intellectually lazy, and reckless. There should be no place for that on Democracy Now! or anywhere in serious progressive media.


Sandy Mayes lives in Olympia, Washington.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Top 10 Books Written by Librarians

AbeBooks loves librarians. Librarians love AbeBooks. (And we think everyone else loves librarians too aside from the bean-counters who keep cutting their budgets.) This email salutes those great lovers of books, literacy and reading - the world’s librarian community - and we’re highlighting some wonderful books written by librarians themselves.

Who but a person surrounded by books could be better qualified to write? Many an author has been born and developed in the stacks. The list does not feature the following librarian/writers - John Braine, Lewis Carroll, Archibald MacLeish, Nancy Pearl, Kit Pearson, Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Okigbo, Marcel Proust, and Ina Coolbrith - but we could easily have included their books.

Top 10 Books Written by Librarians

The Less Deceived

The Less Deceived
Philip Larkin

The 1955 poetry collection that made his name - Larkin was a librarian at the University of Hull.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time
Madeleine L’Engle

Her 1962 sci-fi/fantasy classic (rejected by many publishers) - L’Engle worked as a librarian in New York.

The Aleph and Other Stories

The Aleph and Other Stories
Jorge Luis Borges

The Nobel Prize winner was a municipal librarian in Argentina - this 1949 collection is one of his best.

Little Big Man

Little Big Man
Thomas Berger

This 1964 novel became a movie in 1970. Berger worked as a librarian and journalist.
Star Man’s Son

Star Man’s Son
Alice Mary Norton

A post-apocalyptic tale from 1952 - Norton was a librarian in Cleveland and the Library of Congress.
Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses
Per Petterson

An ex-librarian AND bookseller, Petterson’s novel was one of the NY Times’ books of the year in 2007.
The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist
Anne Tyler

This former librarian won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1985 with this novel.
The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot

The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot
Angus Wilson

A librarian in the British Museum, Wilson’s 1958 novel won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
At Mrs Lippincote’s

At Mrs Lippincote’s
Elizabeth Taylor

Taylor was a governess, teacher and librarian - At Mrs Lippincotes was her debut novel in 1945.
Eagle in the Snow

Eagle in the Snow
Wallace Breem

Breem was a legal manuscripts librarian in London - a Roman General is the hero of this historical novel.
(PS - if you work as a librarian, please email your recommendation for the best book written by a fellow librarian to

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Forgive You, Dennis, By wagelaborer

When Dennis Kucinich caved to White House (insurance corporations) pressure, many progressives screamed with disappointment.

"Et tu, Dennis?"

I watched Democracy Now,with Dennis and Ralph Nader, and Ralph pointed out that so many people look up to Dennis as the great dissenter, and look to him to be the One who will save us.

But Dennis isn't going to do that. He's going along with Obama and the corporate plan, even though he knows it's wrong.

At first I thought that Obama got Dennis on Air Force One, and threatened him with death. But now I don't.

Watching Obama give his speech in Ohio, with thousands of people cheering his lies, and Dennis there to witness it, I think I know why Dennis caved.

Obama railed against the insurance companies, against greed, against profiteering on sick people. He even used his own mother's death as propaganda. It was like arobocallthatI received. And the crowd roared! The more he orated, the louder they roared. Someone called out "Vote yes!" And Obama turned to Dennis and said "Did you hear that?" And the crowd roared.

As Charles Krauthammer pointed out about Afghanistan, "the liberals get the speech, and the neocons get the policy". This could be Obama's Presidential motto. The sad part is that the liberals don't realize that they're only getting the speech.

So, I forgive you, Dennis.

Obama works the crowd to a populist frenzy in support of a corporate bailout. They are too stupid to stop cheering when he slides from attacking insurance company greed into giving insurance companies millions more customers and billions more dollars. The crowd is worked into a frenzy and pointed off a cliff, and they cheer as they pour over it.

What defense does Dennis have? The truth? The facts? Yeah, right. He can look to Ralph Nader to see what the Democrats can do to demonize an uncorrupt human being. The truth doesn't matter. The Democrats who voted for Bush (more than voted for Nader) are left undemonized, (just like the Blue Dogs who voted against the insurance enrichment bill are left untouched). Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, and the purging of Black voters in Florida is left untouched.

The Supreme Court coup is left untouched. Even the fact that Gore actually won the election is unmentioned!

And millions of idiot Democrats fall for it. The venom spewed by these unthinking puppets is vicious. Dennis Kucinich doesn't want to be a target. He knows that the Democratic elite will target him, and he knows that enough Democrats will be misled that he will lose his seat.

Raul Emmanuel was right when he said that progressives are f***ing retards. Not all of us, of course, but we have no voice compared to the Presidential bully pulpit and mass manipulation tactics.

At some point Obama learned that he can lie without consequence, just like Cheney learned that he could steal without consequence. Our Orwellian society is complete and the President can say Black is White (or in his case, White is Black), and the corporate media will amplify it and the liberal cheerleaders will wave their pom poms in support.

The Enlightenment experiment is long gone, and we live in a country which wages perpetual war for perpetual peace, with corporate subsidies in the name of "the people" and a President who never fails to end his speeches with religious ritual.

My main interests are in promoting a better world. As they say, it is possible. If we can feed, clothe and house people with fiat currency, we can do it without it. I am appalled at the carnage done in my name, and I want to stop it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Life is tough....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Open Video Coming to Wikipedia


Wikipedia is now opening the online encyclopedia to video, giving contributors a new way to convey information in a richer way. And they’re making a point of using video in an open format (Ogg Theora).

Among the confluence of factors coming together in 2010 are: 1) the growing awareness that video is the dominant medium of the web and that video can help make Wikipedia articles even richer; 2) the development of open source players and codecs (alternatives to Flash, Quicktime, Windows Media, and H.264, 3); the introduction of public browser tools—Firefox’s Firefogg extension, for example—for uploading and playing nonproprietary video formats; 4) the willingness of nonprofits like the Participatory Culture Foundation and the Open Video Alliance and for-profits like Kaltura and Intelligent Television to dedicate themselves to open video; and the provision of strategic funding from the Mozilla Foundation and Ford Foundation, among others, to support developers, programmers, and activists. 

As Wikipedia board member S. J. Klein explains in a recent Open Video Alliance video short, the day is fast coming where video will be as easy for users to write, edit, annotate, and remix as text is today. (You can find more details on the campaign here and here.)
What are the recommendations for video contributed to Wikipedia? They should be related to current articles, short and under 100 MB, free, and available to share and reuse (offered under a Creative Commons BY-SA or equivalent license). In coming weeks new videos are expected to proliferate and new strategies will be unfurled for working with educational repositories of legacy video.

This post was contributed by
Peter Kaufman, the CEO and president of Intelligent Television, who shares our passion for thoughtful media.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Anti-War, Pro-Peace Humans - Unity

On the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, thousands of people from across the United States on Saturday converged on Lafayette Square, opposite the White House in Washington DC. The rally then marched through downtown DC, halting en route at the premises of military contractor Halliburton, the Mortgage Bankers Association and The Washington Post offices.
While the protest drew a smaller crowd than the tens of thousands who marched during the final years of the Bush administration, the ANSWER coalition, the main organiser, said momentum was building due to disenchantment with President Obama's troop surge decision for Afghanistan. Other participating groups included Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and the National Council of Arab Americans and activists such as Ralph Nader and Cindy Sheehan.

In a statement the ANSWER coalition said,
“People from all over the country are organising to converge on Washington, D.C., and on the West Coast to demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Instead of war, we will demand funds so that every person can have a job, free and universal health care, decent schools, and affordable housing, said the coalition statement.
According to some reports the rally could prove to be significant as it was the “first massive, nationally coordinated effort to challenge U.S. foreign policy since President Obama took office.” Though the costs and scope of U.S. military engagements have expanded under Mr. Obama, the anti-war movement has thus far been largely silent since January 2008.

However with Saturday's protest march, the movement signalled that it had revived and was capable of challenging the Obama administration on its foreign policy strategies.
The ANSWER coalition said though “the enthusiasm and desire for change after eight years of the Bush regime was the dominant cause that led to election of a big Democratic Party majority in both Houses of Congress and the election of Barack Obama to the White House… [it was now] obvious to all that waiting for politicians to bring real change… is simply a prescription for passivity by progressives and an invitation to the array of corporate interests from military contractors to the banks, to big oil, to the health insurance giants that dominate the political life of the country.”

It is time to be back in the streets, the ANSWER 0statement added.

Saturday, March 20th, the 7th Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War

Join Peace Blimp Radio to listen to an all day marathon of great speakers and musical artists advocating an end to the U.S. wars of aggression in the Middle East.

Saturday’s show runs from 10am to 10pm. Guests will include include U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, U. S. Congressman Alan Grayson, Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, Former Head of the CIA’s Osama Bin Laden Unit Michael Scheuer, Best Selling Author Tom Woods, Best Selling Author Charles Goyette, Former Governor of NM Gary Johnson, Daily Paul founder Michael Nystrom, Antiwar Radio’s Scott Horton, Future of Freedom Foundation’s Jacob Hornberger, Radio Host Robert Scott Bell, Liberty Activist Vijay Boyapati, Author & BloggerDavid Swanson, Senior VP Campaign For Liberty Jesse Benton, Distorted Soul’s Nadir, Iraqi-American Peace Activist Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, AntiWar Radio’s Angela Keaton,  Kelly Jane Torrance – Literary Editor at American Conservative, Kevin Zeese of Voters For Peace, Tracey Harmon,Marketing Director of LOLA, Congressional Candidate and Iraq War VeteranAdam Kokesh (NM-3), Congressional Candidate John Dennis (CA-8), Congressional Candidate RJ Harris (OK-4), Congressional Candidate Jake Towne (PA-15) Gubernatorial Candidate Warren Redlich (NY) and more!
The radio marathon will be hosted by: Jack Hunter, Kurt Wallace, Wess Messamore, Rahn Skipper, Delia Lopez and John J. Sottilare
And don’t miss the Live performance by Nadir at 4:00pm

Full details at: Peace

Friday, March 19, 2010

"When you do a competent, aggressive job, it's something government can't tolerate."

Herb Denenberg, 80, longtime consumer advocate

Herbert S. Denenberg, 80, who transformed an obscure state office into a high-profile platform for consumer-advocacy and went on to become a local media legend, died Thursday at his home in Wayne.

Mr. Denenberg had not been ill and apparently suffered a heart attack, said his wife of almost 52 years, Naomi.

As Pennsylvania insurance commissioner in the early 1970s under the late former Gov. Milton J. Shapp, Denenberg helped revolutionize the auto-insurance industry by championing the "no fault" concept.

Mr. Denenberg became a household name for his firebrand approach and his various "shoppers' guides" - plain-English explanations of complicated insurance concepts.

With his signature oversize glasses on a face that always seemed too big for his diminutive body, Mr. Denenberg later became a fixture on local television. His acidic, animated reports and critiques skewered a wide variety of products and public issues. He was rewarded by winning 40 local Emmies.

"He wasn't afraid of taking on anybody, any politician, any company, any multinational," said Gov. Rendell. "He didn't care. If he thought things had to be changed he went after it with a vengeance."

Said activist Ralph Nader, a friend for over 40 years, "He was a great consumer advocate."

Nader said that he first came in contact with him in the late 1960s after reading an academic paper on insurance that Denenberg had written while a professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1960s. Nader said Denenberg clearly knew his subject and that he had ambitions beyond the academic press.

"He decided he wasn't just going to write for 100 specialists," he said. "He became a real hell-raiser. His was a hell-raising language, but his mind was a steel-trap academic mind. You rarely get a combination of the two.

"He helped expand the definition of what the public should expect from an insurance commissioner," said Nader.

Denenberg later was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission but left state government in 1975 after the legislature failed to confirm him as a permanent member of the commission. "I think I'm permanently disqualified for government service," Denenberg said at the time. "When you do a competent, aggressive job, it's something government can't tolerate."

"Here was a guy who was the system, protesting so effectively against it," recalled Inquirer reporter Howard S. Shapiro, author of a 1974 biography on Denenberg, How to Keep Them Honest. "That was remarkable."

After leaving Harrisburg, Denenberg began a new career as gadfly in 1975. For more than two decades he was a consumer reporter and commentator on Channel 10, covering subjects as varied as asbestos in schools to the questionable sanitary qualities of pretzels sold by street vendors.

"He really, really was one of a kind," said Ed Dress, his producer for 17 years. "When you were sick and tied of something, he was just getting started."

In 1984, the trade journal Adweek wrote, "If there were an award for best consumer reporter in the Northeast, WCAU's Herb Denenberg would take it in a walk."

After departing Channel 10 in 1998, Mr. Denenberg continued to write consumer columns for several newspapers, including the new version of the Philadelphia Bulletin.

Mr. Denenberg was born, fittingly, in the insurance capital of Omaha, Neb., in 1929. His Russian-born father and Romanian-born mother raised eight children. His father died when he was 12, said Naomi Denenberg, and young Herb helped take care of his siblings.

He once related that he had a life-changing experience while working at a meatpacking house in Omaha. "I was appalled at the filthy working conditions," he said. "You'd go into the company cafeteria and it was just unbelievable. ... The spoons were nicked all over and incredibly filthy. You'd go in there, there'd be slop on the floor and it was never cleaned up." He complained to his employers, who did nothing.

"The meatpacking house had a very profound impact on me. I remember saying to myself, 'I've really got to excel, I have to succeed. I have to be number one. I just can't run the risk of spending the rest of my life in a place like this meatpacking house.'"

After graduating from Omaha Central High, he attended the Universities of Nebraska and Chicago, received law degrees from Creighton and Harvard University and a PhD. from Penn.

While serving in the Army, his widow recalled, Denenberg also studied biology at Johns Hopkins University, where he had another life-changing experience.

One day the class was dissecting frogs, something for which the woman sitting across from him had no stomach. Herb Denenberg said he would do it for her.

That woman, Noami Glushakow, became Mrs. Herb Denenberg.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Denenberg is survived by two brothers, Dr. Michael and Norman, and a sister, Anne Feinberg.

He is predeceased by four brothers, Marshall, Warren Dr. Daniel, and Bernard.

Services will be private.

We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments, by Chris Hedges

Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: "We think we are the doctors. We are the disease." All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort.

These communities, if they retreat into a pure survivalist mode without linking themselves to the concentric circles of the wider community, the state and the planet, will become as morally and spiritually bankrupt as the corporate forces arrayed against us. All infrastructures we build, like the monasteries in the Middle Ages, should seek to keep alive the intellectual and artistic traditions that make a civil society, humanism and the common good possible. Access to parcels of agricultural land will be paramount. We will have to grasp, as the medieval monks did, that we cannot alter the larger culture around us, at least in the short term, but we may be able to retain the moral codes and culture for generations beyond ours. Resistance will be reduced to small, often imperceptible acts of defiance, as those who retained their integrity discovered in the long night of 20th-century fascism and communism.

We stand on the cusp of one of the bleakest periods in human history when the bright lights of a civilization blink out and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity. The elites have successfully convinced us that we no longer have the capacity to understand the revealed truths presented before us or to fight back against the chaos caused by economic and environmental catastrophe. As long as the mass of bewildered and frightened people, fed images that permit them to perpetually hallucinate, exist in this state of barbarism, they may periodically strike out with a blind fury against increased state repression, widespread poverty and food shortages. But they will lack the ability and self-confidence to challenge in big and small ways the structures of control. The fantasy of widespread popular revolts and mass movements breaking the hegemony of the corporate state is just that a fantasy.

My analysis comes close to the analysis of many anarchists. But there is a crucial difference. The anarchists do not understand the nature of violence. They grasp the extent of the rot in our cultural and political institutions, they know they must sever the tentacles of consumerism, but they naïvely believe that it can be countered with physical forms of resistance and acts of violence. There are debates within the anarchist movement such as those on the destruction of property but once you start using plastic explosives, innocent people get killed. And when anarchic violence begins to disrupt the mechanisms of governance, the power elite will use these acts, however minor, as an excuse to employ disproportionate and ruthless amounts of force against real and suspected agitators, only fueling the rage of the dispossessed.

I am not a pacifist. I know there are times, and even concede that this may eventually be one of them, when human beings are forced to respond to mounting repression with violence. I was in Sarajevo during the war in Bosnia. We knew precisely what the Serbian forces ringing the city would do to us if they broke through the defenses and trench system around the besieged city. We had the examples of the Drina Valley or the city of Vukovar, where about a third of the Muslim inhabitants had been killed and the rest herded into refugee or displacement camps. There are times when the only choice left is to pick up a weapon to defend your family, neighborhood and city. But those who proved most adept at defending Sarajevo invariably came from the criminal class. When they were not shooting at Serbian soldiers they were looting the apartments of ethnic Serbs in Sarajevo and often executing them, as well as terrorizing their fellow Muslims.

When you ingest the poison of violence, even in a just cause, it corrupts, deforms and perverts you. Violence is a drug, indeed it is the most potent narcotic known to humankind. Those most addicted to violence are those who have access to weapons and a penchant for force. And these killers rise to the surface of any armed movement and contaminate it with the intoxicating and seductive power that comes with the ability to destroy. I have seen it in war after war.

When you go down that road you end up pitting your monsters against their monsters. And the sensitive, the humane and the gentle, those who have a propensity to nurture and protect life, are marginalized and often killed. The romantic vision of war and violence is as prevalent among anarchists and the hard left as it is in the mainstream culture. Those who resist with force will not defeat the corporate state or sustain the cultural values that must be sustained if we are to have a future worth living.

From my many years as a war correspondent in El Salvador, Guatemala, Gaza and Bosnia, I have seen that armed resistance movements are always mutations of the violence that spawned them. I am not naïve enough to think I could have avoided these armed movements had I been a landless Salvadoran or Guatemalan peasant, a Palestinian in Gaza or a Muslim in Sarajevo, but this violent response to repression is and always will be tragic. It must be avoided, although not at the expense of our own survival.

Democracy, a system ideally designed to challenge the status quo, has been corrupted and tamed to slavishly serve the status quo. We have undergone, as John Ralston Saul writes, a coup d'état in slow motion. And the coup is over. They won. We lost. The abject failure of activists to push corporate, industrialized states toward serious environmental reform, to thwart imperial adventurism or to build a humane policy toward the masses of the world's poor stems from an inability to recognize the new realities of power. The paradigm of power has irrevocably altered and so must the paradigm of resistance alter.

Too many resistance movements continue to buy into the facade of electoral politics, parliaments, constitutions, bills of rights, lobbying and the appearance of a rational economy. The levers of power have become so contaminated that the needs and voices of citizens have become irrelevant. The election of Barack Obama was yet another triumph of propaganda over substance and a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by the mass media. We mistook style and ethnicity an advertising tactic pioneered by the United Colors of Benetton and Calvin Klein for progressive politics and genuine change. We confused how we were made to feel with knowledge.

But the goal, as with all brands, was to make passive consumers mistake a brand for an experience. Obama, now a global celebrity, is a brand. He had almost no experience besides two years in the senate, lacked any moral core and was sold as all things to all people. The Obama campaign was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008 and edged out runners-up Apple and Take it from the professionals. Brand Obama is a marketer's dream. President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertisers want because of how they can make you feel.

We live in a culture characterized by what Benjamin DeMott called "junk politics." Junk politics does not demand justice or the reparation of rights. It always personalizes issues rather than clarifying them. It eschews real debate for manufactured scandals, celebrity gossip and spectacles. It trumpets eternal optimism, endlessly praises our moral strength and character, and communicates in a feel-your-pain language. The result of junk politics is that nothing changes, "meaning zero interruption in the processes and practices that strengthen existing, interlocking systems of socioeconomic advantage."

The cultural belief that we can make things happen by thinking, by visualizing, by wanting them, by tapping into our inner strength or by understanding that we are truly exceptional is magical thinking. We can always make more money, meet new quotas, consume more products and advance our career if we have enough faith. This magical thinking, preached to us across the political spectrum by Oprah, sports celebrities, Hollywood, self-help gurus and Christian demagogues, is largely responsible for our economic and environmental collapse, since any Cassandra who saw it coming was dismissed as "negative."

This belief, which allows men and women to behave and act like little children, discredits legitimate concerns and anxieties. It exacerbates despair and passivity. It fosters a state of self-delusion. The purpose, structure and goals of the corporate state are never seriously questioned. To question, to engage in criticism of the corporate collective, is to be obstructive and negative. And it has perverted the way we view ourselves, our nation and the natural world. The new paradigm of power, coupled with its bizarre ideology of limitless progress and impossible happiness, has turned whole nations, including the United States, into monsters.

We can march in Copenhagen. We can join Bill McKibben's worldwide day of climate protests. We can compost in our backyards and hang our laundry out to dry. We can write letters to our elected officials and vote for Barack Obama, but the power elite is impervious to the charade of democratic participation. Power is in the hands of moral and intellectual trolls who are ruthlessly creating a system of neo-feudalism and killing the ecosystem that sustains the human species. And appealing to their better nature, or seeking to influence the internal levers of power, will no longer work.

We will not, especially in the United States, avoid our Götterdämmerung. Obama, like Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other heads of the industrialized nations, has proven as craven a tool of the corporate state as George W. Bush. Our democratic system has been transformed into what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin labels inverted totalitarianism. Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, a free press, parliamentary systems and constitutions while manipulating and corrupting internal levers to subvert and thwart democratic institutions. Political candidates are elected in popular votes by citizens but are ruled by armies of corporate lobbyists in Washington, Ottawa or other state capitals who author the legislation and get the legislators to pass it.

A corporate media controls nearly everything we read, watch or hear and imposes a bland uniformity of opinion. Mass culture, owned and disseminated by corporations, diverts us with trivia, spectacles and celebrity gossip. In classical totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. "Under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true," Wolin writes. "Economics dominates politics and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."

Inverted totalitarianism wields total power without resorting to cruder forms of control such as gulags, concentration camps or mass terror. It harnesses science and technology for its dark ends. It enforces ideological uniformity by using mass communication systems to instill profligate consumption as an inner compulsion and to substitute our illusions of ourselves for reality. It does not forcibly suppress dissidents, as long as those dissidents remain ineffectual. And as it diverts us it dismantles manufacturing bases, devastates communities, unleashes waves of human misery and ships jobs to countries where fascists and communists know how to keep workers in line. It does all this while waving the flag and mouthing patriotic slogans. "The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed," Wolin writes.

The practice and psychology of advertising, the rule of "market forces" in many arenas other than markets, the continuous technological advances that encourage elaborate fantasies (computer games, virtual avatars, space travel), the saturation by mass media and propaganda of every household and the takeover of the universities have rendered most of us hostages.

The rot of imperialism, which is always incompatible with democracy, has seen the military and arms manufacturers monopolize $1 trillion a year in defense-related spending in the United States even as the nation faces economic collapse. Imperialism always militarizes domestic politics. And this militarization, as Wolin notes, combines with the cultural fantasies of hero worship and tales of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, action measured in nanoseconds and a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility to sever huge segments of the population from reality.

Those who control the images control us. And while we have been entranced by the celluloid shadows on the walls of Plato's cave, these corporate forces, extolling the benefits of privatization, have effectively dismantled the institutions of social democracy (Social Security, unions, welfare, public health services and public housing) and rolled back the social and political ideals of the New Deal. The proponents of globalization and unregulated capitalism do not waste time analyzing other ideologies. They have an ideology, or rather a plan of action that is defended by an ideology, and slavishly follow it. We on the left have dozens of analyses of competing ideologies without any coherent plan of our own. This has left us floundering while corporate forces ruthlessly dismantle civil society.
We are living through one of civilization's great seismic reversals. The ideology of globalization, like all "inevitable" utopian visions, is being exposed as a fraud. The power elite, perplexed and confused, clings to the disastrous principles of globalization and its outdated language to mask the looming political and economic vacuum. The absurd idea that the marketplace alone should determine economic and political constructs led industrial nations to sacrifice other areas of human importance from working conditions, to taxation, to child labor, to hunger, to health and pollution on the altar of free trade. It left the world's poor worse off and the United States with the largest deficits which can never be repaid in human history.

The massive bailouts, stimulus packages, giveaways and short-term debt, along with imperial wars we can no longer afford, will leave the United States struggling to finance nearly $5 trillion in debt this year. This will require Washington to auction off about $96 billion in debt a week. Once China and the oil-rich states walk away from our debt, which one day has to happen, the Federal Reserve will become the buyer of last resort. The Fed has printed perhaps as much as two trillion new dollars in the last two years, and buying this much new debt will see it, in effect, print trillions more. This is when inflation, and most likely hyperinflation, will turn the dollar into junk. And at that point the entire system breaks down.

All traditional standards and beliefs are shattered in a severe economic crisis. The moral order is turned upside down. The honest and industrious are wiped out while the gangsters, profiteers and speculators walk away with millions. The elite will retreat, as Naomi Klein has written in The Shock Doctrine, into gated communities where they will have access to services, food, amenities and security denied to the rest of us.

We will begin a period in human history when there will be only masters and serfs. The corporate forces, which will seek to make an alliance with the radical Christian right and other extremists, will use fear, chaos, the rage at the ruling elites and the specter of left-wing dissent and terrorism to impose draconian controls to ruthlessly extinguish opposition movements. And while they do it, they will be waving the American flag, chanting patriotic slogans, promising law and order and clutching the Christian cross. Totalitarianism, George Orwell pointed out, is not so much an age of faith but an age of schizophrenia. "A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial," Orwell wrote. "That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud." Our elites have used fraud. Force is all they have left.

Our mediocre and bankrupt elite is desperately trying to save a system that cannot be saved. More importantly, they are trying to save themselves. All attempts to work within this decayed system and this class of power brokers will prove useless. And resistance must respond to the harsh new reality of a global, capitalist order that will cling to power through ever-mounting forms of brutal and overt repression. Once credit dries up for the average citizen, once massive joblessness creates a permanent and enraged underclass and the cheap manufactured goods that are the opiates of our commodity culture vanish, we will probably evolve into a system that more closely resembles classical totalitarianism. Cruder, more violent forms of repression will have to be employed as the softer mechanisms of control favored by inverted totalitarianism break down.

It is not accidental that the economic crisis will converge with the environmental crisis. In his book The Great Transformation (1944), Karl Polanyi laid out the devastating consequences the depressions, wars and totalitarianism that grow out of a so-called self-regulated free market. He grasped that "fascism, like socialism, was rooted in a market society that refused to function." He warned that a financial system always devolves, without heavy government control, into a Mafia capitalism and a Mafia political system which is a good description of our financial and political structure. A self-regulating market, Polanyi wrote, turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities, a situation that ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment. The free market's assumption that nature and human beings are objects whose worth is determined by the market allows each to be exploited for profit until exhaustion or collapse. A society that no longer recognizes that nature and human life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves until they die. This is what we are undergoing.

If we build self-contained structures, ones that do as little harm as possible to the environment, we can weather the coming collapse. This task will be accomplished through the existence of small, physical enclaves that have access to sustainable agriculture, are able to sever themselves as much as possible from commercial culture and can be largely self-sufficient. These communities will have to build walls against electronic propaganda and fear that will be pumped out over the airwaves. Canada will probably be a more hospitable place to do this than the United States, given America's strong undercurrent of violence. But in any country, those who survive will need isolated areas of land as well as distance from urban areas, which will see the food deserts in the inner cities, as well as savage violence, leach out across the urban landscape as produce and goods become prohibitively expensive and state repression becomes harsher and harsher.

The increasingly overt uses of force by the elites to maintain control should not end acts of resistance. Acts of resistance are moral acts. They begin because people of conscience understand the moral imperative to challenge systems of abuse and despotism. They should be carried out not because they are effective but because they are right. Those who begin these acts are always few in number and dismissed by those who hide their cowardice behind their cynicism. But resistance, however marginal, continues to affirm life in a world awash in death. It is the supreme act of faith, the highest form of spirituality and alone makes hope possible. Those who carried out great acts of resistance often sacrificed their security and comfort, often spent time in jail and in some cases were killed. They understood that to live in the fullest sense of the word, to exist as free and independent human beings, even under the darkest night of state repression, meant to defy injustice.

When the dissident Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was taken from his cell in a Nazi prison to the gallows, his last words were: "This is for me the end, but also the beginning." Bonhoeffer knew that most of the citizens in his nation were complicit through their silence in a vast enterprise of death. But however hopeless it appeared in the moment, he affirmed what we all must affirm. He did not avoid death. He did not, as a distinct individual, survive. But he understood that his resistance and even his death were acts of love. He fought and died for the sanctity of life. He gave, even to those who did not join him, another narrative, and his defiance ultimately condemned his executioners.

We must continue to resist, but do so now with the discomforting realization that significant change will probably never occur in our lifetime. This makes resistance harder. It shifts resistance from the tangible and the immediate to the amorphous and the indeterminate. 
But to give up acts of resistance is spiritual and intellectual death. It is to surrender to the dehumanizing ideology of totalitarian capitalism. Acts of resistance keep alive another narrative, sustain our integrity and empower others, who we may never meet, to stand up and carry the flame we pass to them. No act of resistance is useless, whether it is refusing to pay taxes, fighting for a Tobin tax, working to shift the neoclassical economics paradigm, revoking a corporate charter, holding global internet votes or using Twitter to catalyze a chain reaction of refusal against the neoliberal order. But we will have to resist and then find the faith that resistance is worthwhile, for we will not immediately alter the awful configuration of power. And in this long, long war a community to sustain us, emotionally and materially, will be the key to a life of defiance.

The philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote that the exclusive preoccupation with personal concerns and indifference to the suffering of others beyond the self-identified group is what ultimately made fascism and the Holocaust possible: "The inability to identify with others was unquestionably the most important psychological condition for the fact that something like Auschwitz could have occurred in the midst of more or less civilized and innocent people."

The indifference to the plight of others and the supreme elevation of the self is what the corporate state seeks to instill in us. It uses fear, as well as hedonism, to thwart human compassion. We will have to continue to battle the mechanisms of the dominant culture, if for no other reason than to preserve through small, even tiny acts, our common humanity. We will have to resist the temptation to fold in on ourselves and to ignore the cruelty outside our door. Hope endures in these often imperceptible acts of defiance. This defiance, this capacity to say no, is what the psychopathic forces in control of our power systems seek to eradicate. As long as we are willing to defy these forces we have a chance, if not for ourselves, then at least for those who follow.

As long as we defy these forces we remain alive. And for now this is the only victory possible.

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