|By: dakine01 Monday July 18, 2011 3:04 pm|
|By: djvjgrrl Saturday December 7, 2013 2:14 pm|
Six months after the protests began, Turkish film maker @GeziDoc is premiering episode 2 in his series on the uprisings that began in a tiny park in Istanbul and went on to inspire the world. The film contains both familiar and rare/never before seen footage shot from on the ground in and around Gezi and Taksim Square in late May and early June 2013. Join the filmmaker and other Gezi Activists for the screening and discussion in both English and Turkish tonight (Sat, Dec 7) at 6pm Eastern/3pm Western here:
Length: approx 2 hours Language: Footage in Turkish and English, with English subtitles. Bilingual Turkish Activists will be available in the chat for translation and to answer questions.
|By: David Swanson Saturday April 9, 2011 6:51 pm|
Recently I noticed a post on a social media site honoring Rosa Parks for her refusal to move out of her seat on a segregated bus. Someone commented underneath, that in fact another individual deserved credit for having done the same thing first. What happened next was entirely predictable. Post after post by various people brought out the names of all kinds of forerunners of Parks, pushing the date of the first brave resister to segregated buses back further and further — many decades — into the past.What we understand as the civil rights movement was successfully started after a great many failed attempts — by organizations as well as individuals. The same goes for the suffragette movement or the labor movement or the abolition of slavery. Even the Occupy movement was the umpteenth time a lot of activists had attempted such a thing, and chances are that eventually the Occupy movement will be seen as one in a long line of failed predecessors to something more successful.
I’ve been discussing with people whom I consider key organizers of such a project the possibility of a newly energized movement to abolish war. One thing we’re looking at, of course, is failed past attempts to do the same. Some of those attempts have been quite recent. Some are ongoing. How, we must ask ourselves, can we strengthen what’s already underway, learn from what’s been tried before, and create the spark that this time, at long last, after over a century’s preliminaries, catches fire?
Momentum for the abolition of war began to grow in the late 19th century, and then again, much more strongly, after World War I, in a different manner after World War II, again after the Cold War, and — just maybe — again right now. Arguably the 1920s and 1930s have seen the strongest popular sentiment for war abolition in the United States. We’re not at that level now. But we do have the advantage of being able to study the past 80 years of struggle. Of course, anti-war efforts have had great successes as well as failures, but war remains. And it doesn’t remain on the margins, like slavery. It remains, front and center, as the United States’ principal public program. Standing armies are so well accepted that most people aren’t sure what the phrase means. Wars are so common that most Americans cannot name all the nations their own is at war with.
A proposal on “Abolishing the War System” that I’ve just been reading (from Marcus Raskin at the Institute for Policy Studies) takes us back to 1992 and provides much useful material to draw on. Raskin’s preface and Brian D’Agostino’s introduction suggest that the moment in which they were writing was a particularly opportune moment for a campaign to abolish war. I’m sure they honestly believed it was. And I’m sure that it, in fact, was — even if there’s a tendency to find such a remark comical in retrospect. Strategic-minded people want to know why 2013 is such a moment, and they can be pointed toward many indicators: opinion polls, the rejection of the proposed missile attack on Syria, increased awareness of war propaganda, the diminishment of drone attacks, the ever-so-slight reduction in military spending, the possibility of peace in Colombia, the growing success of nonviolent conflict resolution, the growing and improving use of nonviolent movements for change, the existentially urgent need for a shifting of resources from destroying the planet to protecting it, the economic need to stop wasting trillions of dollars, the arrival of technologies that allow for instant international collaboration among war resisters, etc. But just as many indicators were available in 1992, albeit different ones, and nobody has developed the means for quantifying such things. However, here’s the key question, I think: If all of those predecessors to Rosa Parks hadn’t acted, would Rosa Parks have ever been Rosa Parks? If not, then isn’t the strategic time for a moral and necessary campaign always right now?
Raskin’s “Abolishing the War System” is not an argument to persuade anyone against war, not a plan for organizing a mass movement, not a system for reaching out to new constituencies or creating economic or political pressure against war. Raskin’s book is primarily a draft treaty that should be, but never has been, enacted. The treaty aims to take the United States and the world to an important part-way step, most of the way perhaps, toward war abolition. In compliance with this treaty, nations would maintain only “nonoffensive defense,” which is to say: air defense and border and coast guard forces, but not offensive weapons aimed at attacking other nations far from one’s own. Foreign bases would be gone. Aircraft carriers would be gone. Nuclear and chemical and biological weapons would be gone. Drones over distant lands would have been gone before they appeared. Cluster bombs would be done away with.
The argument for nonoffensive defense is, I think, fairly straightforward. Many wealthy nations spend under $100 billion each year on military defense — some of which nations fit major offensive weapons systems into that budget. The United States spends $1 trillion each year on military defense and (mostly) offense. The result is a broken budget, missed opportunities, and lots of catastrophic foreign wars. So, the case for cutting $900 billion from war spending each year in the U.S. is the case for fully funding schools, parks, green energy, and actual humanitarian aid. It is not the case for completely abolishing the military. If the United States were to be attacked it could defend itself in any manner it chose, including militarily.
But, someone might protest, why is it sufficient to shoot down planes when they reach our border? Isn’t it better to blow them up in their own country just before they head our way?
The direct answer to that question is that we’ve been trying that approach for three-quarters of a century and it hasn’t been working. It’s been generating enemies, not removing them. It’s been killing innocents, not imminent threats. We’ve become so open about this that the White House has redefined “imminent” to mean eventual and theoretical.
|By: Ohio Barbarian Saturday December 7, 2013 1:46 pm|
For the last couple of days, the corporate media has been a-gushing about Nelson Mandela, what a wonderful man he was, what an example for the ages he is, complete with a grotesquely pandering speech from the allegedly first Black Commander in Chief his own self, Barack Obama. I saw Colin Powell on one of the morning shows almost swooning as he described watching, “through the eyes of a soldier,” the white South African military chiefs escorting Mandela to the podium after he was elected President of South Africa.
I thought, “there’s something wrong here” because, when President Hugo Chavez, beloved by a clear majority of Venezuelans died, there were no such speeches from the likes of Obama, Powell, and others–hell! They didn’t even recognize the legitimate election of his successor! No American flags were lowered to half-mast to mourn Uncle Hugo.
So. I did some thinking and just a little researching, and found the answer rather quickly. The reason our financial aristocracy is mourning the death of Nelson Mandela is because they can no longer use this truly great man and patriot as a fig leaf to cover up what they are doing to the vast majority of the people of South Africa.
First, there’s this little jewel from a Trotskyite journalist over at the World Socialist Web Site. Mandela, no matter how heroically he suffered, gained power the way he did because the old apartheid government of South Africa saw the writing on the wall and knew they would lose the coming revolution and civil war. So they cut a deal. Intelligent of them, and kudos to the best aspects of Christianity put forward by Mandela himself, but in the end, Mandela and the African National Congress(ANC) either got hoodwinked or co-opted by the same people who had kept them under their jackboots for centuries.
Economically, little has changed. In fact, the working classes of South Africa have even a lesser share of the national wealth of that rich country now than they did under apartheid! A few Black South Africans, notably including Mandela’s own family, have raked it in. They got their cut, the old ruling class was largely left alone financially, and now it is Black men with guns in addition to white men with guns holding the South African working class down when they dare to object to abominable working conditions and demand to receive a greater share of the fruits of their own labor.
Then today, right here on FDL, Kevin Gosztola wrote an excellent post on the subject. From that post, the crux of the matter, IMO:
To the extent that Mandela allowed his principles and vision to be co-opted by capitalists of his country and permitted structures of economic apartheid to be maintained, he is an example to world leaders in power of how one can imprison a transformative organizer in the confines of their achieved compromises. Not willing to sacrifice what had been gained in terms of political rights for black Africans, the economic gains that could be made through the ANC’s Freedom Charter were largely abandoned after the constraints created by the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) were felt. (For more, see this chapter, “Democracy Born in Chains” by Naomi Klein from her book, The Shock Doctrine.)
Yeah, I read The Shock Doctrine, and found the chapter on South Africa one of the most depressing. The ANC leaders sold out their own people for their own personal gain. Much like union leaders in America and Europe have sold out their own people for their own personal gain for decades now.
It’s the old story. Capitalism, which celebrates greed as a virtue, uses the same to co-opt its opponents to its own purposes. It’s downright insidious. And there’s no clearer example of this than what has happened in South Africa. I don’t think Nelson Mandela himself ever wanted or intended this outcome for his country. I do think he got conned because he had the laudable goal of avoiding a very bloody civil war and the consequences thereof. I think he chose what he thought to be the lesser evil–the continuation of the capitalist system in South Africa–over what he thought to be the greater evil, a very nasty ethnic civil war.
A Hobson’s Choice if ever there was one.
I do not begrudge Nelson Mandela. I don’t even blame him for what has happened to his people. But I DO blame people like Obama and Dimon and Pelosi and Boehner and all the rest. There’s an important lesson here that should not be forgotten by Americans or Europeans or Chinese or anyone else who want to achieve true social and economic justice.
And that is: social and economic justice cannot be achieved so long as capitalism is allowed to survive. Period.
But now, in South Africa, the fig leaf of the Great Man, Nelson Mandela, is gone. Now, the financial aristocracy and their ANC toadies can no longer hide behind his example to justify their crimes. Now, the truth might be laid bare.
No wonder they’re mourning Mandela’s passing at the very ripe old age of 95.
And have a nice day.
If I could sing you a tune, I would, maybe with a few moves along the way, but we’ll have to remain in this little electronic prism for now, only now. Interesting to think that the only reason you can read this right now is the white background, defining the dark symbols of what we’ve been told is reading. How profound right? Ahh sure, there are many things which the cawing crow may sing about, but this one, somehow has me sticking around for awhile. Maybe not like the flurries going on outside, but I have time, for now, to sit and observe, continue to tell myself to meditate, leave the mind door open as I take in what I perceive to be “real.”
I know there’s something going on within me. I mean, something stirring, something shifting, something rousing, almost as if it’s in an opposite sleep cycle of the hibernating grizzly. I wonder if zoo bears sleep a lot, or if they’re chronically pissed because there’s this guy that enters through a rock and shovels grass at him everyday not allowing sleep that’s interwoven to DNA. Amazing to think that our ignorance and lack of care can allow zoos and aquariums to exist. I’ve always enjoyed the zoos, of course I was spoiled in San Diego, and I guess I had a kind of kid like approach to the wonder that was behind this thin veil, almost as if I could connect to something so raw, as if I was talking to a part of myself, asking myself, “Why do you keep yourself caged?” “How many more different fears will you continue to import and strap down, like a circus train going from town to town?” All the same fears and yet no difference in outlook, only the blur of the bars, the staleness of the food, and that time to sit and reflect, or not, just time to sit and be and look at all these weirdos peering in at me. If I could talk to kids, I would, “You want to see me alive, take me with you to the woods, set yourself free, forget all the ‘pay at the door’ stuff mantras.
Did you pay at the door to be born? Was there an agreement when you were kickin’ it in the womb that hey, you know, sure, I’ll put a down payment on my life because there is such a thing as a cost to live……makes sense. Or does it?
We craft this world around us to be able to learn our lessons and move on. I believe force is but an ignorant way to lay down all that you can be in a belief that someone else has a better idea for you, mainly, that you won’t figure it out in this lifetime, but you know what, you have quite a bit of time ahead of you, whether it’s in this body or the next, or the next, or the next.
It’s time we look at the bars. It’s time that we remember what it was like to live without these bars or these crazies peering into these cells that we’ve created. It’s time to understand exactly why we’re here and what we’re suppose to do. The answer, sure, can it be so simple as “within.” Is this world created to try and lure our attention, our awareness, away from that one simple fearful fact? Maybe we do have all the answers, maybe all the questions that we ask are not even striking at what it is to be human, nor what it is to type on this computer to you, a million miles away.
One thing is for certain. Looking out of our eyes we interpret what it is we want to see. I’d say we’ve done one helluva job at creating the most wonderful lesson upon this Earth that is forcing us to look within.
It all eventually leads in one direction, that is to say, back to the source where it all began. What if we were the one, the only one, that created this entire scenario of judgement and division, only to set forth at some given time, a fork in the road where we all agree on what it is to be not of this Earth, nor of this mind. To remember just what it was like at the moment we fell, and somehow we landed here, to pay, to pay someone else that is a part of ourselves, to live and learn and somewhere in between, to love.
Cheers to all of you out there that have found these black pixelated presentations upon a white screen. Imagine and dream beyond the little cage you have created, pull the door down without a fear, because to remember is to be one with all that ever was and all that will ever be.
All the love.
|By: Elliott Wednesday October 26, 2011 4:03 pm|
Today at 5pm PT, 2pm ET
Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution
Chat with Doug Fine about his new book, hosted by Phillip Munger (EdwardTeller).
The first in-depth look at the burgeoning legal cannabis industry and how the “new green economy” is shaping our country
The nation’s economy is in trouble, but there’s one cash crop that has the potential to turn it around: cannabis (also known as marijuana and hemp). According to Time, the legal medicinal cannabis economy already generates $200 million annually in taxable proceeds from a mere two hundred thousand registered medical users in just fourteen states. But, thanks to Nixon and the War on Drugs, cannabis is still synonymous with heroin on the federal level even though it has won mainstream acceptance nationwide.
ABC News reports that underground cannabis’s $35.8 billion annual revenues already exceed the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion). Considering the economic impact of Prohibition—and its repeal—Too High to Fail isn’t a commune-dweller’s utopian rant, it’s an objectively (if humorously) reported account of how one plant can drastically change the shape of our country, culturally, politically, and economically.
Too High to Fail covers everything from a brief history of hemp to an insider’s perspective on a growing season in Mendocino County, where cannabis drives 80 percent of the economy (to the tune of $6 billion annually). Investigative journalist Doug Fine follows one plant from seed to patient in the first American county to fully legalize and regulate cannabis farming. He profiles an issue of critical importance to lawmakers, media pundits, and ordinary Americans—whether or not they inhale. It’s a wild ride that includes swooping helicopters, college tuitions paid with cash, cannabis-friendly sheriffs, and never-before-gained access to the world of the emerging legitimate, taxpaying “ganjaprenneur.”
Doug Fine is the author of two previous books, Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man and Farewell, My Subaru (a Boston Globe bestseller). He has reported for The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, High Times, Outside, NPR, and U.S. News & World Report. He currently lives in New Mexico, where he relocated his family to research this book. (Penguin Books)
|By: Dennis Trainor Jr Saturday December 7, 2013 2:20 pm|
Reflecting on the death of Nelson Mandela, Jerome Ross, writing at Roar magazine states: “The only appropriate way to honor the legacy of the iconic freedom fighter is not to beatify the man but to take his struggle to its logical conclusion.”
The finality of death, combined with the human need for a neat linear narrative, will work against placing Mandela’s impact on a continuum. For, while it may be true that the arc of the moral universe is long, but bends towards justice – that bending is still not happening for too many in South Africa, and the world over.
Additional Stories covered in Resistance Report #14
Does A Globally Renowned Activist Have Ties To Global Intel Firm STRATFOR?
An interview with Carl Gibson, the co-founder of US UNCUT and co-author of the recently published story on Occupy.com that claims that a globally renowned activist whose claim to fame includes being one of the architects of the movement that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic has been collaborating with the intelligence firm Stratfor. Gibson and co-author Steve Horn’s conclusions are not without their critics. Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men authored a scathing rebuttal that labeled Horn and Gibson Yellow Journalists.
The Fight For 15
Fast Food workers walked off their jobs in over 100 cities on Thursday, demanding a living wage. The actions were part of a movement to seeking the right to form a union without retaliation and for a $15 an hour wage. Chanting “We can’t survive on $7.25” workers and their allies took to the streets.
What is Up With Iran?
Joel Northam examines the western power’s next formidable boogeyman, Iran. You’ve no doubt heard much about the Islamic State recently in the bourgeois media, as news of the historic P5 + 1 deal regarding Tehran’s nuclear program has made its way through the airwaves, being as it wasn’t that long ago that the west and Iran wouldn’t even share the same breathing space.
|By: Ruth Calvo Monday November 21, 2011 1:30 pm|
One treat that I could expect at the Christmas season was home made candy from family, and my favorite was the pralines. If you’ve never had them, you should try, at least once. They’re so much trouble, you’ll work off the extra pounds just doing this.
We used the southern pronunciation, so that the beginning sound was ‘prah’, not ‘pray’.
Candy-making isn’t something you do in hot months, and it takes a lot of cleaning up, but for kids’ holidays it’s a particularly nice way to celebrate.
These were brought over from France, where I am told they were a courting gift (aphrodisiacs?). In New Orleans, they became a pecan confection and milk was added.
- 1- 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup + 2 T. Half and Half cream
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients except the pecans and vanilla in a heavy saucepan.
Mixture will be thick. Stir until it comes to a boil, then turn heat down to a low boil. Stir occasionally and sparingly; spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn’t melted.
Cook until the mixture reaches 239 degrees with a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, bring it to the soft ball stage. I find that they do better just a few lines below 239 as they don’t harden quite so fast and make it easier to spoon into pralines.
Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and the pecans. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Spoon onto waxed paper to harden.
What usually happens is that by the time the mixture turns cloudy signaling that it is time to drop onto the waxed paper, it starts hardening too fast to drop correctly. You should then stir in about 1 – 2 tablespoons of warm water to thin the mixture. Don’t add too much – just enough to make the spoonfuls drop and settle in a “puddle”. You don’t want them to look like chunks of rocks.
If cooked to the correct temperature, it won’t take a minute to harden by stirring. If you don’t cook them long enough, they remain “sticky” and never become firm. They should be firm, yet creamy. If you don’t eat them all the first day <g>, wrap them individually and store them in an airtight container.
This was one of the gifts I used to request, and when we went anywhere in the south by car, required a stop at the Stuckey’s along the way. We had to have been very good, of course.
Candy is not easy to make, so why we have the expression ‘easy as candy’ is a bit of a puzzle. Maybe it relates to another saying, “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker’.
As you can probably tell from the directions, this will make a mess to clean up, so maybe you can use the sweets to bribe the rest of the family to reward you for the trouble you went to, by doing the mop up.