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by CTuttle

AIPAC, Bibi, Biden And Occupy

4:56 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

At today’s AIPAC conference…

Biden, Netanyahu set tone on Iran for Obama visit to Israel

…Joe Biden insisted on Monday that President Barack Obama was not bluffing about using force to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions if all else fails, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a “credible military threat” against Tehran.

Seeking to reassure Israel and its U.S. supporters just weeks before Obama visits the Jewish state, Biden cautioned that all options, including sanctions and diplomacy, must be exhausted to ensure that the international community will be supportive if military action is deemed necessary.

But Netanyahu, speaking moments later via satellite from Jerusalem, used his address to America’s largest pro-Israel lobby to underscore Israeli impatience with U.S. strategy on Iran, a message that could foreshadow his talks with Obama.

“Words alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions must be coupled with a clear and credible military threat if diplomacy and sanctions fail,” Netanyahu said to loud cheers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington…

After his speech, Biden met with DM Ehud Barak…!

Now, in today’s Guardian, Glennzilla had this most excellent guest posting…

Why we must resist Netanyahu and the hawks’ reckless push for war on Iran

Now, just as diplomacy is yielding results, has never been a better time to ignore the lobbying of Israel’s prime minister for war

“If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, this could presage catastrophic consequences, not only for my country, and not only for the Middle East, but for all mankind … the deadline for attaining this goal is getting extremely close.”

The above quote – from a speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to a joint session of the United States Congress – is notable not only for its sense of urgency and dire threat, but also for the date on which the speech was given: 10 July 1996. That was far from the first time Netanyahu had sounded the alarm for the need to take drastic action against a purportedly imminent Iranian nuclear weapon: in a 1992 address to the Israeli Knesset, he declared, “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb” – an assertion he repeated without irony in 1995, when, in his book Fighting Terrorism, he again predicted full Iranian nuclear weapons capability within “three to five years”.

This past Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared his belief that ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations were futile and represented merely an effort by Iran to “buy time” to develop a nuclear weapon. Coming from an individual with nearly 20 years of public statements consistently citing the purported imminence of such a weapon, this is a questionable statement to say the least. But given the present atmosphere of heightened tension surrounding this issue, such comments are particularly dangerous and revealing…

MJ Rosenberg had penned another must-read today…

Hebron Is The Occupation

I wonder if all these Democratic politicians who attend the AIPAC pander-fest ever think about the occupation. Has any of them ever been to Hebron?

They should go to Hebron, a major city on the occupied West Bank — one that successive Israeli governments have said Israel will hold on to no matter what. It won’t change their political calculations. They kiss up to AIPAC to for campaign contributions but at least they will know what they are defending in the name of political expediency.

No, I don’t urge Republicans like Ted Cruz, John McCain or Lindsey Graham to go. They wouldn’t see anything wrong with it anyway. In fact, they would love it. Nor the likes of New York Democrats like Chuck Schumer or Kristen Gillibrand who never give the Middle East a thought; they are on AAP, AIPAC Automatic Pilot. I’m talking about the Dick Durbins, Carl Levins, Al Frankens, Tammy Baldwins and the Elizabeth Warrens who actually allow themselves to feel compassion and, if they were honest, rage.

I have visited Hebron a half-dozen times, once as part of an official U.S. government to monitor Palestinian elections. Much of what follows comes from a report I wrote back in 2006 but, note, the situation has only deteriorated…

And to further punctuate the point, just today… “You cannot come on this bus.”

Now, this just blew me away, today, like a tsunami…

Colonizer as Lender: Free Palestine, Occupy Wall Street, Strike Debt
By Folks in Strike Debt and Occupy Wall St.

Right in the place where empire was scheming to do its worst, a tent went up—and then another, and then a village. A new community was born there, an act of resistance as well as a nurturing space for eating and sleeping and living. People talked and prayed together. There was an explosion of hope in the midst of hopelessness. But before long the empire had enough. It sent in its army of militarized police, and the village was destroyed.

This is the story of Occupy Wall Street’s Liberty Square in the fall of 2011, yes. But it is also what happened earlier this year in the West Bank. The village of Bab al-Shams, whose name means “Gate of the Sun,” appeared early in the morning on January 11. Two days later, in the dark of night, Israeli soldiers tore it down…

Occupy Everywhere…!

by CTuttle

Occupy Lei Day

6:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

On May Day, which is known as Lei Day here in the Isles, Occupy Hilo hosted a potluck picnic/signwaving event in solidarity with OWS’s May Day effort. At the height of our festivities, we had fielded about 20 enthusiastic sign wavers.

We did score some political points when we had to compete with Mufi Hannemann’s (Hawaii’s 2nd CD, Mazie’s current seat) campaign crew on our left (the small group of red shirts in the last segment of my YouTube), and then Mazie Hirono’s campaign crew (US Senate, Akaka’s seat) on our right (you can barely discern them in my clip), Occupy Hilo blew them both out of the water with the sheer number of honks and shakas we were receiving! After about 45 mins, the Mufi crew packed it in! I think they were also miffed that we’d already Occupied the prime Real Estate, we did get some honks and shakas from the departing Mufi supporters…! It was awesome…!

Now, I’ve been somewhat derelict in my reporting of Occupy Hilo’s numerous recent activities, that have been garnering a lot of headline-grabbing reporting from our local press, which is surprising, since both our local rags(Hilo and Kona) are owned wholly by the overt right wing Stephens Media Group. For instance, April 25′s headline was Geothermal concerns vented, followed up the next day, with another frontpage article; Geothermal safety mulled. Now, imagine my surprise when I saw this pic of me, yesterday morning… Occupy HELCO protest… I’m infamous now, literally, (with my name listed first) with that 1/4 page sized pic being posted right next to the daily ‘Citizens Arrested and Charged’ listing, on page A8…!

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo Occupies Helco

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I would like to think that if we hadn’t had such a deluge on Wednesday, we would’ve had an even larger turnout…! I shot that video during the lulls in the storm…!

Now, I would like to point out what prompted Occupy Hilo to occupy Helco…

…Occupy HELCO is a peaceful non-violent protest sponsored by Occupy Hilo to draw attention to local changes needed to provide abundant clean, affordable, reliable, renewable energy to our community at the lowest cost, and to show support and solidarity for a national day of action, #F29.

You might think HELCO is in the business of providing energy, but a closer look would inform you that its primary function is to provide PROFITS to its parent company, Hawaii Electric Industries, (HEI) and its shareholders. Selling electricity, charging fees for connections to the grid, and charging customers for expansions to the grid are the MEANS by which HELCO generates profits for its owners. HELCO recently complained that too many people were connecting solar electric panels to the grid and reducing its profits below levels it had planned, so it was going to have to raise rates, (HELCO Customers already pay the highest utility rates in the US, at 4x the average US cost for electricity.) Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo Gets Busy…

10:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo in solidarity for the West Coast Port action

As an active participant in my small, local Occupy, I would like to opine on some of the trials and tribulations experienced in trying to get an actual Occupy off the ground, and, also highlight the amazing efforts being exerted by even such a small entity, both on the National level and at the Local level…!

At the local level, we’re tackling two immediate problems that have arisen lately, the first is stopping the shenanigans being played out in the latest gerrymandering efforts by two County Council incumbents, and then in stopping a draconian bill to impose criminal and/or hefty financial fines to local home builders for deviating from the County Code! Fines of up to a $1,000 a day, for each day of non-compliance…! Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo’s 3rd General Assembly

8:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

The third time is always the charm…!

Occupy Hilo has finally set a hard date and site, to truly Occupy the public space…!

Despite a slightly smaller crowd than the prior GA’s, and, absent a few key leaders, Occupy Hilo still accomplished a whole lot last night. It was fascinating to participate in such an open and democratic process that truly does listen to all comers. Being a small Occupy, we’ve adopted the more informal ‘Social Circle’ methodology, rather than the traditional #ows pattern…! Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Ruminations on Occupy Hilo And Occupy Everywhere

7:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I featured that TRNN clip to highlight a point I’d like to make about all the Occupies, from my perspective. Of which, there’s no one single entity behind each of the Occupies! Be it, Moveon, SEIU, AFSCME, Veterans for Peace, etc., not a single one of those groups could be considered the primary driver behind each and every Occupy…! But, all our efforts should be united, since we’re all part of the 99%…!

Here in Hilo, we have members from many of those same entities, and are all contributing to the same effort. Over the past week, since the last General Assembly (Mon.), many members have participated in three seperate events, sponsored by three very different entities. Thursday, we had a rally on UH-Hilo’s library lanai and marched through many of the classrooms in protest of student loan debt and tuition hikes, sponsored by the UHH Political Science Club, I should add, the subsequent march wasn’t approved of by the administration…! Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo’s Second GA

7:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

First, I’d like to point out that Occupy Hilo is the first Occupy in Hawai’i to have a LiveStream account, if you’re so inclined you’ll see my ugly mug make a few appearances during both of the GA’s, I’m so ugly ya won’t have any problem figuring it out…!

Now, Occupy Hilo’s 2nd GA officially kicked off with a moment of silence for all of our fallen comrades at the many other Occupies, in particular, Scott Olsen and others. Unbeknownst to us at the time, the NYPD was already geared up and about to raze Liberty Park… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo’s First General Assembly

2:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Last night, (Nov. 7th) sleepy little Hilo town held it’s very first General Assembly, we’d basically followed the #OWS general assembly pattern. We had held a preliminary meet up on the previous Fri. night to hash out the agenda, timeline, and, identified the individuals for the key roles, namely, the facilitator, stacker, timekeeper, and, the recorder. I had volunteered to be the stacker, and I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it flowed without much call for ‘stacking’, considering there were only 45 of us to stack…!

It was an eclectic mix in ages, that was basically split evenly between the old school, Nam era protestors, and, the young, chomping at the bit, college students! There were only a handful of ‘tweeners like myself…! We also had a good number of Vets, from Nam on, and our biggest gripe was the illegal Wars…! Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

The Destitute Need to be Embraced by The Occupys

8:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(H/T walkinboots)

Folks, we all are Occupying the same blue orb…! Why on earth am I hearing this noise from OWS, at ground zero mind ya…? Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders…

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day…

Say what…? “professional homeless” Some Career choice, eh…? Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Occupy Hilo Makes Some Noise

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Yesterday, I was finally able to participate in an OWS event, for even my sleepy little hollow, in the middle of nowhere, made some noise! Now, to be fair, Occupy Hilo has already made some noise in solidarity of OWS, but sadly, I was stuck on top of Mauna Kea stargazing during their previous events…!

For instance, last Saturday, they had a great little turnout… Occupy Hilo joins nation in show of support… The better half had later told me there was easily a couple hundred marching through Downtown Hilo…!

I’d arrived about 15 mins early and was delighted to see the main organizers were well organized and had a large contingent of signs on hand…! I had my own… ‘We are the 99% – #OccupyWallStreetRead the rest of this entry →