Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
- The Yes Men Change the World
- War by Other Means - a prescient video about the IMF from 1993
- Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
- The Corporation
- Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics
- Capitalism IS the Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity
- Inside Job
- Capitalism: A Love Story
- Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy
- Rise Like Lions: O.W.S. and the Seeds of Revolution
- The Secret of Oz
EFF.org (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
The Top 10 Films that Explain Why Occupy Wall St. Exists by Tim Hjersted is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Posted on December 11, 2011, Printed on December 14, 2011
It is not a partisan issue; it is more than a political issue; it is a great moral issue. If we condone political theft, if we do not resent the kinds of wrong and injustice that injuriously affect the whole nation, not merely our democratic form of government but our civilization itself cannot endure.
© 2011 Berrett-Koehler Publishers All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/153349/
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I was arrested at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning with 291 other people at Occupy LA. I was sitting in City Hall Park with a pillow, a blanket, and a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Being Peace” when 1,400 heavily-armed LAPD officers in paramilitary SWAT gear streamed in. I was in a group of about 50 peaceful protestors who sat Indian-style, arms interlocked, around a tent (the symbolic image of the Occupy movement). The LAPD officers encircled us, weapons drawn, while we chanted “We Are Peaceful” and “We Are Nonviolent” and “Join Us.”
As we sat there, encircled, a separate team of LAPD officers used knives to slice open every personal tent in the park. They forcibly removed anyone sleeping inside, and then yanked out and destroyed any personal property inside those tents, scattering the contents across the park. They then did the same with the communal property of the Occupy LA movement. For example, I watched as the LAPD destroyed a pop-up canopy tent that, until that moment, had been serving as Occupy LA’s First Aid and Wellness tent, in which volunteer health professionals gave free medical care to absolutely anyone who requested it. As it happens, my family had personally contributed that exact canopy tent to Occupy LA, at a cost of several hundred of my family’s dollars. As I watched, the LAPD sliced that canopy tent to shreds, broke the telescoping poles into pieces and scattered the detritus across the park. Note that these were the objects described in subsequent mainstream press reports as “30 tons of garbage” that was “abandoned” by Occupy LA: personal property forcibly stolen from us, destroyed in front of our eyes and then left for maintenance workers to dispose of while we were sent to prison.
When the LAPD finally began arresting those of us interlocked around the symbolic tent, we were all ordered by the LAPD to unlink from each other (in order to facilitate the arrests). Each seated, nonviolent protester beside me who refused to cooperate by unlinking his arms had the following done to him: an LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.
It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.
My hands were then zipcuffed very tightly behind my back, where they turned blue. I am now suffering nerve damage in my right thumb and palm.
I was put on a paddywagon with other nonviolent protestors and taken to a parking garage in Parker Center. They forced us to kneel on the hard pavement of that parking garage for seven straight hours with our hands still tightly zipcuffed behind our backs. Some began to pass out. One man rolled to the ground and vomited for a long, long time before falling unconscious. The LAPD officers watched and did nothing.
At 9 a.m. we were finally taken from the pavement into the station to be processed. The charge was sitting in the park after the police said not to. It’s a misdemeanor. Almost always, for a misdemeanor, the police just give you a ticket and let you go. It costs you a couple hundred dollars. Apparently, that’s what happened with most every other misdemeanor arrest in LA that day.
With us Occupy LA protestors, however, they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail. Almost none of the protesters could afford to bail themselves out. I’m lucky and I could afford it, except the LAPD spent all day refusing to actually *accept* the bail they set. If you were an accused murderer or a rapist in LAPD custody that day, you could bail yourself right out and be back on the street, no problem. But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.
I spent most of my day and night crammed into an eight-man jail cell, along with sixteen other Occupy LA protesters. My sleeping spot was on the floor next to the toilet.
Finally, at 2:30 the next morning, after twenty-five hours in custody, I was released on bail. But there were at least 200 Occupy LA protestors who couldn’t afford the bail. The LAPD chose to keep those peaceful, non-violent protesters in prison for two full days… the absolute legal maximum that the LAPD is allowed to detain someone on misdemeanor charges.
As a reminder, Antonio Villaraigosa has referred to all of this as “the LAPD’s finest hour.”
So that’s what happened to the 292 women and men were arrested last Wednesday. Now let’s talk about a man who was not arrested last Wednesday. He is former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince. Under Charles Prince, Citigroup was guilty of massive, coordinated securities fraud.
Citigroup spent years intentionally buying up every bad mortgage loan it could find, creating bad securities out of those bad loans and then selling shares in those bad securities to duped investors. And then they sometimes secretly bet *against* their *own* bad securities to make even more money. For one such bad Citigroup security, Citigroup executives were internally calling it, quote, “a collection of dogshit”. To investors, however, they called it, quote, “an attractive investment rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser”.
This is fraud, and it’s a felony, and the Charles Princes of the world spent several years doing it again and again: knowingly writing bad mortgages, and then packaging them into fraudulent securities which they then sold to suckers and then repeating the process. This is a big part of why your property values went up so fast. But then the bubble burst, and that’s why our economy is now shattered for a generation, and it’s also why your home is now underwater. Or at least mine is.
Anyway, if your retirement fund lost a decade’s-worth of gains overnight, this is why.
If your son’s middle school has added furlough days because the school district can’t afford to keep its doors open for a full school year, this is why.
If your daughter has come out of college with a degree only to discover that there are no jobs for her, this is why.
But back to Charles Prince. For his four years of in charge of massive, repeated fraud at Citigroup, he received fifty-three million dollars in salary and also received another ninety-four million dollars in stock holdings. What Charles Prince has *not* received is a pair of zipcuffs. The nerves in his thumb are fine. No cop has thrown Charles Prince into the pavement, face-first. Each and every peaceful, nonviolent Occupy LA protester arrested last week has has spent more time sleeping on a jail floor than every single Charles Prince on Wall Street, combined.
The more I think about that, the madder I get. What does it say about our country that nonviolent protesters are given the bottom of a police boot while those who steal hundreds of billions, do trillions worth of damage to our economy and shatter our social fabric for a generation are not only spared the zipcuffs but showered with rewards?
In any event, believe it or not, I’m really not angry that I got arrested. I chose to get arrested. And I’m not even angry that the mayor and the LAPD decided to give non-violent protestors like me a little extra shiv in jail (although I’m not especially grateful for it either).
I’m just really angry that every single Charles Prince wasn’t in jail with me.
Thank you for letting me share that anger with you today.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
"We don't have the money to influence politicians directly. We are not Wall Street, or big corporation that can now spend unlimited sums. We are the people and all we have is the ability to peacefully assemble, and make our voices be heard loudly and clearly.
You see, our democracy is increasingly being taken over by big money. And that's wrong. Demonstrating to take it back is the essence of free speech in a democratic society. We need to occupy our democracy." - Robert Reich, UC Berkley
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Friday 30 September 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Phase 1) Assemble
Phase 2) Organize
Phase 3) Mobilize
Monday, September 26, 2011
"Guernica: What other ways does the military spin American citizens and journalists?
Michael Hastings: The U.S. mission that trains Afghans is called NTM-A/CSTC-A, it’s an $11.6 million a year mission and their sole purpose is to train the Afghan army and police. But one of their major initiatives this year was getting all of their officers on Facebook. So the question is, Why are these people who are there to train the Afghans being pressured to be on Facebook? Again, it sounds benign until you realize that the military’s concern isn’t the Afghans, it’s convincing the American people that we should be in Afghanistan.
Guernica: How is being on Facebook supposed to accomplish that?
Michael Hastings: Soldiers can put up pictures and say “See how happy the Afghans are because of our presence here.” It’s a way to directly influence the American people using propaganda. But one of the absurdly comic things… I had this chart that listed the top 100 Facebook users in this one command. Over a two-month period they used ninety-nine days’ worth of Facebook and forty-five gigabytes—so much that the base’s network slowed down. This is all taxpayer-funded. And then you have this new program that they’re developing, which I didn’t get into in my story. A $200 million contract just got awarded to develop software to provide the Department of Defense with all these sock puppets who have fake Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Guernica: Explain that.
Michael Hastings: A new software is being developed so the psychological operations guys and the Pentagon’s strategic communications guys—and we don’t really know who’s running it—but this is all totally out in the open. It’s this new program that will allow them to have like ten fake Twitter accounts and ten Facebook accounts so you can pretend…
Guernica: So you’re saying people at the DOD will be creating phony users on Facebook and Twitter?
Michael Hastings: Exactly. It’s called Operation Earnest Voice. It’s incredible when you think of the power of this. Why not create ten fake Libyan Twitter users and then get one journalist to follow them. But the problem is, of course, it corrupts the entire process. One of the caveats is that [the DOD says] anything they write is going to be in a foreign language so it won’t affect Americans. But that doesn’t make any sense because: A) it can be translated pretty easily, and B) Americans also speak other languages."
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday 9 September 2011
edited by Marjorie Cohn
New York University Press
New York and London
"There is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account." - retired major general Antonio Taguba, investigated outrages at Abu Ghraib for the US Army.
This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
And You Wonder Why ...
We can't afford good schools,
We can't afford social security,
We can't afford medicare,
We can't afford ...
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
"The details revealed in the cable offer a valuable insight into how many of these house raids turn out. The raids, often carried out in the middle of the night, have become one of the primary strategies of the US war in Afghanistan, with tens of thousands orchestrated just in the last year."
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
We must wage a war against 'Fat-Cats'. We must convince a reluctant nation to wage that civil-war against the wealthy who believe themselves privileged of our nation ... so that this republic government of the People, by the People, for the People, does not perish from the earth.
In preparation to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Plan Peace with us! -- Monday, Aug 8th at 7pm - Church of the Brethren - 3850 Westgate Place, San Diego, CA 92105
Donald Vance on Torture and His Suit Against | NationofChange
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Rory Stewart: Time to end the war
Humility, begin from the position that our power, our knowledge, our ability, is limited. We need to engage in 40 countries, and think about it like MOUNTAIN RESCUE. Look for someone who knows the terrain. You can prepare, but preparation is limited. Two problems, those you can anticipate, and those you can't. The key is a guide. You need a guide who knows when to turn back. Intelligent risk takers weigh their risks and responsibilities.
"When 'failure is not an option', it makes failure invisible, inconceivable, and inevitable. If we limit ourselves to protection of civilians, and avoid the temptation of 'regime change', then with humility, honesty, and realistic expectations, we can achieve something that we can be proud of." - Rory Stewart, who walked across Afghanistan in 2002.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Watch 9500 LIBERTY
Monday, July 11, 2011
The Zeitgeist Movement is the activist arm of The Venus Project, which constitutes the life long work
of industrial designer and social engineer, Jacque Fresco. Jacque currently lives in Venus, Florida,
working closely with his associate, Roxanne Meadows. Now, let it be understood that Mr. Fresco will
be the first to tell you that his perspectives and developments are not entirely his own, but rather
uniquely derived from the evolution of scientific inquiry which has persevered since the dawn of
antiquity. Simply put, what The Venus Project represents and what The Zeitgeist Movement hence
condones, could be summarized as: ‘The application of The Scientific Method for social concern.’
Through the humane application of Science and Technology to social design and decision-making,
we have the means to transform our tribalistic, scarcity driven, corruption filled environment into
something exceedingly more organized, balanced, humane, sustainable and productive. To do so, we
have to understand who we are, where we are, what we have, what we want, and how we are going to
obtain our goals. Given the current state of affairs, many of which will be addressed in the first part
of this book, the reader should find that we not only need to move in another direction...we have to.
The current economic system is falling apart at an accelerating rate, with the prospect of worldwide
unemployment occurring on the largest scale ever seen. Simultaneously, we are courting the “point of
no return” in regard to the destruction of the environment.
Our current methods of social conduct have proven to have no chance in resolving the problems of
environmental destruction, human conflict, poverty, corruption and any other issue that reduces the
possibility of collective human sustainability on our planet. It is time we grow up as a species and
really examine what the true problems and solutions are, as uncomfortable, untraditional and foreign
as they might seem.
This work will first present the current economic problems we face, recognizing root causes,
consequences and inevitabilities, while then presenting solutions derived from an assessment of what
is actually relevant to life and society. Additionally, information will be provided as to how each one
of us can help in this challenge, presenting methods of communication and activism that will
hopefully speed up the process of transformation.
It is very important that those who begin this work pause for a moment and think about the
windows of perspective they have been indoctrinated into. Considering the current vastness of human
values and ideologies, coupled with the identification that grows over time with associations to a
particular train of thought, tradition or notion of reality, it can be difficult and even painful for a
person to revise or remove the cherished understandings which they have considered true for long
periods of time. This ‘ego’ association, coupled with the perpetual state of ‘limited knowledge’ each
one of us has, will be the biggest hurdle many will face when reading the information presented here.
It is time to broaden our loyalties and affiliations beyond the narrow confines of the marketplace,
tradition, and the nation-state to encompass the human species as a whole, along with the planetary
environment that supports us all. It is time we view the earth as an indivisible organic whole, a living
entity composed of countless forms of life, all brought together in a single community.
If nature has taught us only one thing, it is that the only constant is change. There is no such thing
as a Utopia. Therefore, in order for us to grow productively as a species, we need to become experts
at “changing our minds” about anything and everything. If you choose to approach this material with
a conscious attempt at being open minded and objective, we feel the ideas expressed here will realign
your vision of the world, yourself, and the future of our human family in a way that is the most
productive, humane and effective.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
"I don't think I've grown that cynical yet, perhaps someday I will. I don't attribute that much competence to any national security team, to be able to actually plan something like 9/11, or to anticipate it." - Larry Wilkerson
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
David Swanson is the co-author of "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush". He was press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, is co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, writes for WarIsACrime.org, creator of ConvictBushCheney.org, Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace, and a member of the legislative working group of United for Peace and Justice. To learn more about David Swanson go to http://davidswanson.org/
Also, you might want to listen to David Swanson's speech in San Diego from early 2010, and The Mike Copass Interview here.
Also check out his books:
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Empathy should be the first requirement for public service.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Napoleon Hill - Thank and Grow Rich Series - The Extra Mile = Free Labor
Monday, March 28, 2011
"the Director of National Intelligence revealed that the FY2010 budget for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) was $53.1 billion. And the Secretary of Defense revealed that the FY2010 budget for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) was $27.0 billion, the first time the MIP budget had been disclosed, for an aggregate total intelligence budget of $80.1 billion for FY 2010." (note: this is probably misinformation) This excludes of course, the CIA and Pentagon's black budget that hides a welter of top secret and above Special Access Programs under a dizzying array of code names and acronyms. In February, Wired disclosed that the black budget "appears to be about $56 billion, the same as last year," but this "may only be the tip of an iceberg of secret funds."
"Starting with fingerprints," The Raw Story disclosed, the center will function as "a global law enforcement database for the sharing of those biometric images." Once ramped-up "the system is slated to expand outward, eventually encompassing facial mapping and other advanced forms of computer-aided identification."
The transformation of the FBI into a political Department of Precrime is underscored by moves to gift state and local police agencies with electronic fingerprint scanners. Local cops would be "empowered to capture prints from any suspect, even if they haven't been arrested or convicted of a crime."
"In such a context," Stephen Graham cautions in Cities Under Siege, "Western security and military doctrine is being rapidly imagined in ways that dramatically blur the juridical and operational separation between policing, intelligence and the military; distinctions between war and peace; and those between local, national and global operations."
"emerging security policies are founded on the profiling of individuals, places, behaviours, associations, and groups."
According to a solicitation (RTB220610) found on the FedBizOpps.Gov web site, under the Orwellian tag "Freedom of Information Act Support," the Air Force is seeking software that "will allow 10 personas per user, replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly [sic] consistent."
We're informed that "individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries."
Creepily, "personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms. The service includes a user friendly application environment to maximize the user's situational awareness by displaying real-time local information."
Aiming for maximum opacity, the RFI demands that the licence "protects the identity of government agencies and enterprise organizations." An "enterprise organization" is a euphemism for a private contractor hired by the government to do its dirty work.
Blurring corporate lines of accountability even further, The Tech Herald revealed that Ntrepid may be nothing more than a "ghost corporation," a cut-out wholly owned and operated by Cubic Corporation. A San Diego-based firm describing itself as "a global leader in defense and transportation systems and services" that "is emerging as an international supplier of smart cards and RFID solutions," Cubic clocks in at No. 75 on Washington Technology's list of 2010 Top Government Contractors.
Chock-a-block with high-level connections to right-wing Republicans including Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter and Dan Coates, during the 2010 election cycle Cubic officers donated some $90,000 to Republican candidates, including $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and some $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org. With some $1 billion in 2009 revenue largely derived from the Defense Department, the company's "Cyber Solutions" division "provides specialized cyber security products and solutions for defense, intelligence and homeland security customers."
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I don't do this often, but this is a special case. When someone states the obvious truth, it cuts across all lines, and I must post it everywhere.
"If Issac Newton had done calculus videos on YouTube, I wouldn't have to. (assuming he was any good) - Salman Khan"Why do good students fail in our public schools?
Traditional Classroom Model penalizes you for experimentation and failure, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS?". Kids COMPETE with each other, but does not expect mastery.
Assign the lectures as homework, and do the homework in the classroom.
Pause, work at your own pace. Stay on that bicycle, experiment, failure is OK. Reward success, don't penalize failure. Allow students to COOPERATE, and you will see that your 'slow' students are just as smart as the 'gifted' kids.
But expect mastery.
Build a Global, One World Classroom.
Friday, February 25, 2011
This is a direct attack on the civilian leadership and oversight of our armed forces and there need to be immediate consequences for all of those involved.
ACT NOW: Tell President Obama to order Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to fire and court-martial Lt. Gen. Caldwell for his illegal actions.
General Caldwell’s Chief of Staff made it clear they intended to run a propaganda campaign against their own government when he issued – in writing – the order that “directly tasked” Lt. Col. Holmes with conducting an information operation campaign against all distinguished visitors. The order: “How do we get these guys to give us more people? What do I have to plant inside their heads?”
Investigations will be needed to root out the full extent of Caldwell’s actions, but the first step to ensuring civilian control over the military is to enforce the strictest consequences possible for this shameful episode.
Tell President Obama to defend civilian control of the military by ordering the Secretary of Defense to fire and court-martial Lt. Gen. Caldwell and hold him accountable for his crimes.
Thank you for working for peace,
Ryan, Tom, Daniel and the Win Without War team