Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Voices From the Occupy Movement 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ten films that define the Occupy Movement

  1. The Yes Men Change the World
  2. War by Other Means - a prescient video about the IMF from 1993
  3. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
  4. The Corporation
  5. Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics
  6. Capitalism IS the Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity
  7. Inside Job
  8. Capitalism: A Love Story
  9. Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy
  10. Rise Like Lions: O.W.S. and the Seeds of Revolution
  11. The Secret of Oz (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

The Real News Network revaeals the truth via German TV

When we brutalize others, we brutalize ourselves.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Moyers: Why 'We The People' Must Triumph Over Corporate Power

By Bill Moyers, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Posted on December 11, 2011, Printed on December 14, 2011
(Editor's note: The following is the foreword to Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About Itby Jeffrey Clements, a new book from Berrett-Koehler Publishers.)

Rarely have so few imposed such damage on so many. When five conservative members of the Supreme Court handed for-profit corporations the right to secretly flood political campaigns with tidal waves of cash on the eve of an election, they moved America closer to outright plutocracy, where political power derived from wealth is devoted to the protection of wealth. It is now official: Just as they have adorned our athletic stadiums and multiple places of public assembly with their logos, corporations can officially put their brand on the government of the United States as well as the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the fifty states.  

The decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission giving “artificial entities” the same rights of “free speech” as living, breathing human beings will likely prove as infamous as the Dred Scott ruling of 1857 that opened the unsettled territories of the United States to slavery whether future inhabitants wanted it or not. It took a civil war and another hundred years of enforced segregation and deprivation before the effects of that ruling were finally exorcised from our laws. God spare us civil strife over the pernicious consequences of Citizens United, but unless citizens stand their ground, America will divide even more swiftly into winners and losers with little pity for the latter. Citizens United is but the latest battle in the class war waged for thirty years from the top down by the corporate and political right. Instead of creating a fair and level playing field for all, government would become the agent of the powerful and privileged. Public institutions, laws, and regulations, as well as the ideas, norms, and beliefs that aimed to protect the common good and helped create America’s iconic middle class, would become increasingly vulnerable. The Nobel Laureate economist Robert Solow succinctly summed up the results: “The redistribution of wealth in favor of the wealthy and of power in favor of the powerful.” In the wake of Citizens United, popular resistance is all that can prevent the richest economic interests in the country from buying the democratic process lock, stock, and barrel. 
America has a long record of conflict with corporations. Wealth acquired under capitalism is in and of itself no enemy to democracy, but wealth armed with political power — power to choke off opportunities for others to rise, power to subvert public purposes and deny public needs — is a proven danger to the “general welfare” proclaimed in the Preamble to the Constitution as one of the justifications for America’s existence. 
In its founding era, Alexander Hamilton created a financial system for our infant republic that mixed subsidies, tariffs, and a central bank to establish a viable economy and sound public credit. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson warned Americans to beware of the political ambitions of that system’s managerial class. Madison feared that the “spirit of speculation” would lead to “a government operating by corrupt influence, substituting the motive of private interest in place of public duty.” Jefferson hoped that “we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and [to] bid defiance to the laws of our country.” Radical ideas? Class warfare? The voters didn’t think so. In 1800, they made Jefferson the third president and then reelected him, and in 1808 they put Madison in the White House for the next eight years. 
Andrew Jackson, the overwhelming people’s choice of 1828, vetoed the rechartering of the Second Bank of the United States in the summer of 1832. Twenty percent of its stock was government-owned; the rest was held by private investors, some of them foreigners and all of them wealthy. Jackson argued that the bank’s official connections and size gave it unfair advantages over local competition. In his veto message, he said: “[This act] seems to be predicated on the erroneous idea that the present stockholders have a prescriptive right not only to the favor but to the bounty of Government. ... It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” Four months later, Jackson was easily reelected in a decisive victory over plutocracy. 
The predators roared back in the Gilded Age that followed the Civil War. Corruption born of the lust for money produced what one historian described as “the morals of a gashouse gang.” Judges, state legislators, the parties that selected them and the editors who supported them were purchased as easily as ale at the local pub. Lobbyists roamed the halls of Congress proffering gifts of cash, railroad passes, and fancy entertainments. The U.S. Senate became a “millionaires’ club.” With government on the auction block, the notion of the “general welfare” wound up on the trash heap; grotesque inequality and poverty festered under the gilding. Sound familiar? 
Then came a judicial earthquake. In 1886, a conservative Supreme Court conferred the divine gift of life on the Southern Pacific Railroad and by extension to all other corporations. The railroad was declared to be a “person,” protected by the recently enacted Fourteenth Amendment, which said that no person should be deprived of “life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Never mind that the amendment was enacted to protect the rights of freed slaves who were now U.S. citizens. Never mind that a corporation possessed neither a body to be kicked nor a soul to be damned (or saved!). The Court decided that it had the same rights of “personhood” as a walking, talking citizen and was entitled to enjoy every liberty protected by the Constitution that flesh-and-blood individuals could claim, even though it did not share their disadvantage of being mortal. It could move where it chose, buy any kind of property it chose, and select its directors and stockholders from anywhere it chose. Welcome to unregulated multinational conglomerates, although unforeseen at the time. Welcome to tax shelters, at home and offshore, and to subsidies galore, paid for by the taxes of unsuspecting working people. Corporations were endowed with the rights of “personhood” but exempted from the responsibilities of citizenship. 
That’s the doctrine picked up and dusted off by the John Roberts Court in its ruling on Citizens United. Ignoring a century of modifying precedent, the court gave our corporate sovereigns a “sky’s the limit” right to pour money into political campaigns for the purpose of influencing the outcome. And to do so without public disclosure. We might as well say farewell to the very idea of fair play. Farewell, too, to representative government “of, by, and for the people.” 
Unless “We, the People” — flesh-and-blood humans, outraged at the selling off of our government — fight back. 
It’s been done before. As my friend and longtime colleague, the historian Bernard Weisberger, wrote recently, the Supreme Court remained a procorporate conservative fortress for the next fifty years after the Southern Pacific decision. Decade after decade it struck down laws aimed to share power with the citizenry and to promote “the general welfare.” In 1895, it declared unconstitutional a measure providing for an income tax and gutted the Sherman Antitrust Act by finding a loophole for a sugar trust. In 1905, it killed a New York state law limiting working hours. In 1917, it did likewise to a prohibition against child labor. In 1923, it wiped out another law that set minimum wages for women. In 1935 and 1936, it struck down early New Deal recovery acts. 
But in the face of such discouragement, embattled citizens refused to give up. Into their hearts, wrote the progressive Kansas journalist William Allen White, “had come a sense that their civilization needed recasting, that the government had fallen into the hands of self-seekers, that a new relationship should be established between the haves and the have-nots.” Not content merely to wring their hands and cry “Woe is us,” everyday citizens researched the issues, organized public events to educate their neighbors, held rallies, made speeches, petitioned and canvassed, marched and exhorted. They would elect the twentieth-century governments that restored “the general welfare” as a pillar of American democracy, setting in place legally ordained minimum wages, maximum working hours, child labor laws, workmen’s safety and compensation laws, pure foods and safe drugs, Social Security and Medicare, and rules to promote competitive rather than monopolistic financial and business markets. 
The social contract that emerged from these victories is part and parcel of the “general welfare” to which the Founders had dedicated our Constitution. The corporate and political right seeks now to weaken and ultimately destroy it. Thanks to their ideological kin on the Supreme Court, they can attack the social contract using their abundant resources of wealth funneled — clandestinely — into political campaigns. During the fall elections of 2010, the first after the Citizens United decision, corporate front groups spent $126 million while hiding the identities of the donors, according to the Sunlight Foundation. The United States Chamber of Commerce, which touts itself as a “main street” grass-roots organization, draws most of its funds from about a hundred businesses, including such “main street” sources as BP, Exxon-Mobil, JPMorgan Chase, Massey Coal, Pfizer, Shell, Aetna, and Alcoa. The ink was hardly dry on the Citizens United decision when the Chamber organized a covertly funded front and fired volley after volley of missiles, in the form of political ads, into the 2010 campaigns, eventually spending approximately $75 million. Another corporate cover group — the Americans Action Network — spent over $26 million of undisclosed corporate money in six Senate races and 28 House of Representative elections. And “Crossroads GPS” seized on Citizens United to raise and spend at least $17 million that NBC News said came from “a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls,” all determined to water down the financial reforms designed to avoid a collapse of the financial system that their own greed and reckless speculation had helped bring on. As I write in the summer of 2011, the New York Times reports that efforts to thwart serious reforms are succeeding. The populist editor Jim Hightower concludes that today’s proponents of corporate plutocracy “have simply elevated money itself above votes, establishing cold, hard cash as the real coin of political power. The more you spend on politics, the bigger your voice is in government, making the vast vaults of billionaires and corporations far superior to the voices of mere voters.”
Against such odds, discouragement comes easily. But if the generations before us had given up, slaves would be waiting on our tables and picking our crops, women would be turned back at the voting booths, and it would be a crime for workers to organize. Like our forebears, we will not fix the broken promise of America — the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all our citizens, not just the powerful and privileged — if we throw in the proverbial towel. Surrendering to plutocracy is not an option. Confronting a moment in our history that is much like the one Lincoln faced — when “we can nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope on earth” — we must fight back against the forces that are pouring dirty money into the political system, turning it into a sewer. 
How to fight back is the message of this book. Jeffrey Clements saw corporate behavior up close during two stints as assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, litigating against the tobacco industry, enforcing fair trade practices, and leading more than one hundred attorneys and staff responsible for consumer and environmental protection, antitrust practices, and the oversight of health care, insurance, and financial services. He came away from the experience repeating to himself this indelible truth: “Corporations are not people.” Try it yourself: “Corporations are not people.” Again: “Corporations are not people.” You are now ready to join what Clements believes is the most promising way to counter Citizens United: a campaign for a constitutional amendment affirming that free speech and democracy are for people and that corporations are not people. Impossible? Not at all, says Clements. We have already amended the Constitution twenty-seven times. Amendment campaigns are how we have always made the promise of equality and liberty more real. Difficult? Of course; as Frederick Douglass taught us, power concedes nothing without a struggle. To contend with power, Clements and his colleague John Bonifaz founded Free Speech for People, a nationwide nonpartisan effort to overturn Citizens United and corporate rights doctrines that unduly leverage corporate economic power into political power. What Clements calls the People’s Rights Amendment could be our best hope to save the “great American experiment.” 
To find out why, read on, and as you read, keep in mind the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, who a century ago stood up to the mighty combines of wealth and power that were buying up our government and called on Americans of all persuasions to join him in opposing the “naked robbery” of the public’s trust: 
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.
Veteran journalist Bill Moyers is the host of the upcoming show “Moyers & Company,” premiering January 2012. More at
© 2011 Berrett-Koehler Publishers All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Occupy LA Arrest by Patrick Meighan

My name is Patrick Meighan.  I’m a husband, a father, a writer on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy” & a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.

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.

Patrick Meighan


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Torture Doesn't Work

Ali Soufan, FBI Agent, could have stopped 9/11, if the CIA wasn't run by sociopaths.
Watch The Interrogator on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.
How many times to we have to learn the lesson, evil begets evil. Torture does not get valuable information. You learn from your enemy not by destroying them, but by understanding their motivation, communicating with them, and showing them you are not who they believed you to be. The education goes both ways. We became our own enemy, our own CIA are the threat to our citizen's lives, treasure, and future. They took the wrong path, and will never accept accountability, nor reveal the truth, for transparency is destroys them. They work in shadow afraid of the light. Cowards.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Robert Reich: "The REAL Public Nuisance"

"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

Mario Savio: Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964

"...But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be - have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product! Don't mean - Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings!...There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964
Watch this video on Rachel Maddow to get the historical context.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Radical Fun

Watch live streaming video from fstv1 at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight

How to build a better mouse-trap, from a very clever Swiss engineer.
Note to self: don't use bombs to solve problems.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Best Among Us

by: Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed

An activist from the Occupy Wall Street movement is shown being arrested by police in New York on September 24, 2011. (Photo: Brennan Cavanaugh / Flickr)
There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.
To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher
Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.
The only word these corporations know is more. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies. 
Who the hell cares? If the stocks of ExxonMobil or the coal industry or Goldman Sachs are high, life is good. Profit. Profit. Profit. That is what they chant behind those metal barricades. They have their fangs deep into your necks. If you do not shake them off very, very soon they will kill you. And they will kill the ecosystem, dooming your children and your children’s children. They are too stupid and too blind to see that they will perish with the rest of us. So either you rise up and supplant them, either you dismantle the corporate state, for a world of sanity, a world where we no longer kneel before the absurd idea that the demands of financial markets should govern human behavior, or we are frog-marched toward self-annihilation. 
Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us.
Click here to access OCCUPY TOGETHER, a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St.
Click here to see a video of Chris Hedges at Occupy Wall Street.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why is Anonymous?

The Plan:
Phase 1) Assemble
Phase 2) Organize
Phase 3) Mobilize
Change Everything

Monday, September 26, 2011

Echelon 2 - Persona Management and Operation "Earnest Voice"

Echelon 2

CENTCOM is the United States Central Military Command. CENTCOM have been issuing solicitations for military contractors to provide surveillance, Persona Management, and attribution capabilities to the US Military since at least 2010, when the USAF called for intelligence contractors to bid on the production of persona management software to be run out of several Air Force bases maintained joinly with CENTCOM. The main CENTCOM operation involving the use of persona management seems to be known internally as Operation Earnest Voice. After the persona management issue came to light in February of 2011 after e-mails taken from HBGary were analyzed by journalists and Anonymous activists, Gen. Petraeus addressed Congress on the subject; the transcript is here.

"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

Ten Years Later: Will We Ever Hold Torturers Accountable?

by: Stephen F. Rohde, Truthout | Book Review

The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse
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.
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is a fitting opportunity to ask the urgent question: What has the US government done to human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law in the name of fighting terrorism?
In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the United States had a fundamental and historic choice. The US could remain true to its ideals, embrace international law and lead the world in condemning the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and bringing them to justice. Or the US could cast aside those ideals, demean international law as obsolete, unleash the shock and awe of aggressive military power, squander trillions of dollars making war profiteers wealthier and our economy poorer, abandon humane and constitutional limits on the treatment of detainees and simultaneously inflame Islamophobia at home and anti-Americanism around the world.
Tragically, the US compounded the tragedy of 9/11 by choosing the latter and that has made all the difference.
In a revealing new book, "The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse," Marjorie Cohn, law professor and pastpresident of the National Lawyers Guild, has collected 14 incisive and comprehensive essays which, taken together, serve as a detailed indictment of the Bush administration for its acts of commission and the Obama administration for its acts of omission.
Between December 2001 and January 2002, high-level Bush officials "crafted a common plan to violate customary and treaty-based international law concerning the treatment and interrogation of so-called terrorist and enemy combatant detainees and their supporters captured during the US war in Afghanistan," according to Jordan J. Paust, professor of international law at the University of Houston. Based on "a program of serial and cascading criminality devised and approved or facilitated by the inner circle of highest level officials and facilitated by several compliant lawyers in the Department of Justice, the White House and the CIA," Paust identities at least four grounds for criminal responsibility.
First, President George Bush, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could be prosecuted as "direct perpetrators of crimes" for issuing "authorizations, directives, findings, and orders to commit acts that constitute international crimes."
Secondly, any Bush official "who aids and abets torture has liability as a complicitor or aider and abettor before the fact, during the fact, or after the fact." Third, Bush officials could also be prosecuted for participation in a "joint criminal enterprise," recognized by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. And fourth, civilian or military leaders with de facto or de jure authority are liable for "dereliction of duty with respect to acts of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment engaged in by subordinates" or for failing to take corrective action.
Based on a thorough analysis of domestic and international law, Paust concludes that Bush officials and their lawyers authorized and implemented specific interrogation techniques on detainees which "manifestly and unavoidably constitute torture" including "waterboarding or a related inducement of suffocation, use of dogs to create intense fear, threatening to kill the detainee or family members and the cold cell or a related inducement of hypothermia."
Human Rights Watch reports that the interrogation and detention regime implemented by the US resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees. Cohn points out that it is now admitted that the CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times and Abu Zubaydah 83 times. Yet, last week, while promoting his new memoir "In My Time," Dick Cheney spoke openly to NBC News:
NBC: In your view, we should still be using enhanced interrogation?
Cheney: Yes.
NBC: No regrets?
Cheney: No regrets.
NBC: Should we still be waterboarding terror suspects?
Cheney: I would strongly support using it again if we had a high-value detainee and that was the only way we could get him to talk.
NBC: Even though so many people have condemned it, people call it torture; you think it should still be a tool?
Cheney: Yes.
In her article "America's 'Extraordinary Rendition' Program," Jane Mayer, author of the award-winning book "The Dark Side" (2008), cites Dan Coleman, an ex-FBI agent, who, for ten years until he retired in 2004, worked closely with the CIA. While Coleman used legal interrogation methods to forge relationships with detainees, securing admissible confessions that led to criminal convictions in the al-Qaeda US Embassy bombing cases in Kenya and Tanzania, he condemned the CIA because it "seemed to think it's operating under different rules, that it has extralegal abilities outside the US." At the CIA, torture had "become bureaucratized." The CIA would "render" prisoners to countries such a Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Jordan and (according to recent reports) Libya, which routinely engaged in torture.
In her article "The Law of Torture and Accountability of Lawyers Who Sanction It," Jeanne Mirer, an attorney and president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, carefully analyzes the prohibitions against torture found in Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 5 (2) of the American Convention on Human Rights, the Rome Statute which created the International Criminal Court, the US Army's Field Manual 34-52, Article 17 of the 1949 Third Geneva Convention, Article 32 and 283 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention and 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Based on these prohibitions, Mirer concludes that the legal memos written and approved by Bush attorneys John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and others "purposely or recklessly misconstrued and/or ignored jus cogens, customary and international law and various US treaty obligations and in so doing facilitated the torture of many detainees in US custody."
Philippe Sands in "Terrorists and Torturers" elaborates on the liability of Bush officials. Sands, a barrister and law professor in England, who was counsel for Human Rights Watch in the House of Lords in the case against Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, concludes that the Bush Torture Memos "ignored the plain language of the 1984 Convention against Torture and other treaties and rules which bound the United States."
In particular, Sands points out that the claim of Bush, Cheney, Yoo, and the others that "enhanced interrogation techniques," i.e. torture, were justified by the urgent necessity of protecting our national security from the threat of terrorism or, in Cheney's words, to get a high-value detainee "to talk," is expressly precluded by the key provision of the Convention against Torture that: "No exceptional circumstance whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."
Sands puts his conclusion bluntly. "It does not matter whether a person is a criminal, or a warrior combatant, or a lawful combatant or an unlawful combatant, or an al-Qaeda militant, or a private American contractor. He may not be tortured. He may not be subjected to other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment. If he is, then the perpetrator of such acts must be punished under the criminal law. And any person who threatens torture, or who is complicit or participates in torture, is also to be treated as a criminal. Complicity can include a commanding officer or a political official. It can include a prime minister or a president."
If this collection of authoritative and proficient essays does not convince every reader that key Bush officials and their lawyers should be prosecuted, it leaves no doubt that probable cause exists to justify the Justice Department opening a series of comprehensive investigations with ample resources and subpoena power to determine whether such crimes were committed and whether indictments should be issued.
As far as the editor of this impressive book is concerned, the Obama administration has no choice but to initiate those investigations immediately. Cohn points out that the Constitution requires President Obama to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'' When the United States ratified the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture, making them part of our domestic law, we agreed to punish those who violate their prohibitions. The Convention against Torture compels us to refer all torture cases for prosecution or to extradite the suspect to a country that will do so. The Geneva Conventions proclaim an "obligation" to bring those accused of torture or cruel treatment before our "own courts" and two federal statutes - the Torture Statute and the War Crimes Act - implement these obligations.
Can it be that on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, as we mourn those killed that day and the more than 6,230 Americans and 1,264 coalition forces later killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the millions of Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis killed, wounded and displaced, we will continue to defile the constitutional principles on which this country was founded - principles our young men and women were told they were sent to defend at any cost - by letting every former Bush officials accused of authorizing and inflicting torture to simply walk free, arrogantly boasting of their crimes and earning millions selling their memoirs?
President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and anyone who cares about restoring respect for the Rule of Law in America should first read "The United States and Torture" and then do the right thing.
A version of this article was originally published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
Creative Commons License

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Steal This Book: Top Secret America

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 ...
It's classified.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Banks Got Free Money From Fed

Friday, September 2, 2011

US Forces Commit Attrocities revealed by WikiLeaks

Strange this hasn't been picked up by any of the six media corporations in the USA? U.S. troops executed 10 civilians, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence. Autopsies showed that all the dead had been handcuffed and shot in the head, four women and five children, all 5 yrs or younger. U.S. officials denied anything inappropriate occurred.
"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

Lawrence Lessig Keynote on Citizens United Decision @ For the People Summit

More American people supported the British Empire at the time of the American Revolution than believe in the Congress of the USA today. There is a real difference between the Left and Right in America, but we have a common enemy ... Money. Money is a tool, and tools in themselves are not bad or good, but money in the wrong hands, money used badly, can and should be prevented. We must restore all political influence to the PEOPLE of the USA. Recognize the corruption in our democracy, and build a coalition for progress, and replace today's legal financial influence in our political system with a simple campaign finance system that uses YOUR money to fund YOUR Party, and eliminates any corporate influence in our political speech.

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.

Donald Vance on Torture and His Suit Against | NationofChange

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 in Afghanistan

TED talks about Afghanistan
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

Annable Park speaks to students from Wesleyan

The problem is we haven't reached the tipping point, and the powerful have control of the conversation. The youth don't know weather to joint the powerful or to start a revolution. They don't even understand the situation well enough to have an opinion. They need leadership and education, and they can't get it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

9500 Liberty

In a land of immigrants, the racism is always going to be here, the trick is to keep it out of our justice system. - MER
Watch 9500 LIBERTY


Perhaps it is time to take the influence of money out of politics?

Preview for PRICELE$$ from Habitat Media on Vimeo.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Zeitgeist Movement Activist and Orientation Guide

Join the Zeitgeist Movement
Download PDF document of the Zeitgeist Movement Guide.


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

Cheney, 9/11 and The New American Century

The question becomes, at what point do we hold accountable those responsible?
Larry Wilkerson on The Real News Network. On the POLITICS of FEAR and how to use crisis opportunities, the Project for a New American Century calls for a "NEW Pearl Harbor".

"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

War is Not About Truth, Justice and the American Way

The truth from a professional soldier on the Real News Network.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

War is a LIE - David Swanson

If you haven't talked to David Swanson or listened to his clear understanding of our current state and historical record, you are missing something. did a recent interview with Swanson about his books, and views on Obama and current issues.

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, writes for, creator of, Washington Director of, 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

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

Class Warfare VS. God's Work

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy

I dare you to watch this. Cowards turn away where strong men stay. UNDERSTAND!

Empathy should be the first requirement for public service.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Primary Dealer Credit Facility = $9-Trillion+

The Primary Dealer Credit Facility - according to CNN Money and ProPublica, the total extent of this UNDISCLOSED Federal Reserve 'Emergency' (no-interest) Loan program between May 2008 & 2009, was $9-Trillion, and although $7-trillion of the PRINCIPAL has been 'repaid', this represents an increase in the money supply of ~$90-T. Meaning the US$ is worth 1/3 less today than in '08. Has your salary, home equity, or the value of investments risen by 33% in the last three years? If so, you are a winner of this game. Also, the Banks gave bonuses as a result of this 'increase' in capital and lend the money to corporations at interest, creating debt of nothing, and that expense is passed on to the consumer as a cost of business. If they had failed to pay back these 'loans' the US Taxpayer would have been responsible, via an increase in US National Debt. (so much for pocket change of the $700-B TARP, and $800-B 'Stimulus')

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich Three-Going The Extra Mile

Napoleon Hill - Thank and Grow Rich Series - The Extra Mile = Free Labor

Monday, March 28, 2011

Avatars Wanted for Psychological Operation Earnest Voice

The latest front in the ongoing war against civil liberties and privacy rights is the Pentagon's interest in "persona management software." A euphemism for a suite of high-tech tools that equip an operative--military or corporate, take your pick--with multiple avatars or sock puppets, our latter day shadow warriors hope to achieve a leg up on their opponents in the "war of ideas" through stealthy propaganda campaigns rebranded as "information operations."

"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' 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."

-Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Montreal, he is a Contributing Editor with Cyrano's Journal Today. His articles can be read on Dissident VoiceThe Intelligence DailyPacific Free PressUncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global ResearchThe Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Global Classroom

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.

Watch this video twice.

Build a Global, One World Classroom.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fire and court-martial Lt. Gen. Caldwell for his illegal actions

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell ordered the use of “psychological operations” against Members of the United States Congress in order to secure more funding and troops for the war in Afghanistan and advance his own career. Lt. Col. Michael Holmes, head of an information operations unit in Afghanistan, told Rolling Stone, that his job is "to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave." Lt. Gen. Caldwell ordered his unit to replace al-Qaeda and the Taliban as his enemy and instead set their sights on the U.S. Congress.

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

Never Forget

Building 7 WTC 2001

Events - The San Diego County Community Coalition