Cheri Honkala of the Poor Peoples Economic Campaign and Vice President of the Green Shadow Cabinet joins the host Dennis Trainor, Jr. and the Resistance Report panel (Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today) and Joel Northam (Acronym TV Contributor) – to discuss the jobs crisis in the United States, the perpetually underemployed, and the impact of a raise in the minimum wage versus a policy that guaranteed an income for all.
The Robin Hood tax, a small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone. It is an idea whose impact can be felt globally as well.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande reiterated their support for the tax, announcing that they’d like to see the tax implemented before European Parliament elections in late May. And it is not just Germany and France. Nine other countries are also on board. Notably absent from supporting the Robin Hood Tax are the United States and the UK.
A star-studded video produced by the RobinHoodTax.org, imagines a future 10 years after the passage of the Robin Hood Tax. Robinhoodtax.org is made up of :
A Nobel Prize-winning economists, former US Vice Presidents and founders of Microsoft.
We are Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director, the UN’s Secretary General and the Archbishop of Capetown.
We are union members, nurses, small business owners, community organizers, faith leaders, AIDS activists, environmentalists, movie stars and musicians, and we are part of a global movement of more than 220 million people in 25 countries who are fighting for a Robin Hood Tax – a small tax on Wall Street trades.
We are a force to be reckoned with, and we are demanding justice.
Today on the Resistance Report, an interview with Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com.
Two recent stories that shed new light on how the Obama administration utilizes drones in the war on terror came to light yesterday. First, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, via their new venture First Look revealed that:
According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.
In a related story, the Associated Press reported on the “case of an American citizen and suspected member of al-Qaida who is allegedly planning attacks on U.S. targets overseas underscores the complexities of President Barack Obama’s new stricter targeting guidelines for the use of deadly drones.”
The AP was complying with a White House Request not to release the country where this American Citizen was located because this country, which the Los Angeles Times later revealed to be Pakistan, was not friendly to US Military intervention and the administration claimed that publishing the name of the country could “interrupt ongoing counter terrorism operations.“
Barack Obama may as well have delivered his 5th State of the Union address to and for the Superstate Oceania, the fictional empire mired in perpetual war from George Orwell’s 1984.
No, Obama did not come directly out and tell us that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength so much as he embodied those ideas in a nuanced, measured performance that inspired the political pundits like Chris Matthews to wax poetic like a theatre critic praising an aging stage actor who was able to find the old magic one last time.
Lee Camp and I discuss the (actual) state of the union, Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy as it relates to jobs, corporate profits and the climate crisis, and how blindly “supporting for the troops” is unhealthy for children and all other living things.
Lee Camp (bio)
Lee is comedian, writer, and activist. He is the host of the popular Moment of Clarity, which is now a video series, a book, and a full show. His stand-up comedy has garnered praise from a who’s who of comedians and activists alike.
This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.
While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.
A 2013 Gallup poll showed that “52 percent of Americans support access to legal abortions under certain circumstances, with 26 percent holding it should always be legal and 20 percent in favor of an outright ban.” Those numbers have shifted little in a generation.
However, as Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy, points out Reproductive rights are in a state of emergency.
2013 was another record year of assault on abortion and birth control:
In 2013 alone, 22 states passed 70 new restrictions including late abortion bans which defy Supreme Court precedent, unwarranted doctor and clinic regulations, limits on medication abortion and bans on insurance coverage.
FIVE states have only ONE abortion clinic and in 2013 more clinics were forced to shutdown abortion services including almost one-third of clinics in Texas alone. 97% of rural counties have no abortion provider.
A homegrown American Christian-fascist movement of anti-abortion fanatics continues to threaten and harass doctors and patients outside clinics across the country.”
Among the most common refrains one might hear on or around Martin Luther King, Jr. day is ”If Martin Luther King, Jr were alive today he would …” and here the speaker or author would no doubt insert evidence that the great civil rights leader would be leading the charge for whatever campaign or cause most inspires the speaker/ author.
They did, however. At least according to the verdict of a 1999 civil suit that had 70 witnesses testify over the course of the 4-week trial.
That many of us have never heard of this trial, but seem to have acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of the toothpaste preferences of American Idol contestants, a belief that there is a substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans, and/or the ability to TWERK is all by design.
So then, what is the conspiracy and what is the truth?
The truth is, Martin Luther King, Jr. was just 39 at the time of his death. He has been dead longer than he was alive. As we spend MLK day browsing the catalogue of the inspiring quotes and actions that MLK left behind and wondering the big “what if” don’t forget that you are alive today.
Furthermore, it is very likely that there is no one conspiring to kill you; not government agencies, mobsters or dull racist fools like James Earl Ray.
When you assess the world you live in and the inequities that are so interwoven within the systems that carry us throughout the average day, what are you going to do about them? Some things have not changed since Martin Luther King’s death. The United States is now, as it was when he said it, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.
Racism, while it takes on a different form now than it did in the 1960s, is still a major force that shapes our culture, our economy and our relationships. Ask yourself if George Zimmerman would be free is we truly lived in a post-racist society.
Poverty is now as it was then connected to race, and the wealth divide between the rich and the poor has been growing since Ronald Regan reluctantly signed the bill creating the federal holiday to honor the man who would certainly be fighting for an increased minimum wage to $15 an hour, and fighting to shut down Guantánamo Bay prison, and bring the troops home from all corners of the world and he would certainly be Occupying Wall Street…
I did it, didn’t I? I went and told you what King would be doing were he alive today because I think it is what you should be doing if you were alive today.
Many of you, of coarse, are not alive. The life has been sucked from you by the television and the Internet and a system that certainly does not want you to dream the way Martin Luther King, Jr did. For the rest of you who are in fact alive, know we should not mistake non-violence with deference or passivity. What King said, in his watershed speech Beyond Vietnam, A Time To Break The Silence, bears revisiting:
I am not sure what it says about our culture when six figure speaker fees are awarded to War Criminals, but that is what happened in New York City on Monday, January 13 when George W. Bush took a break from his retirement and rigorous painting schedule and took his Texas swagger on stage as the keynote speaker at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show.
Outside, about 30 protesters, armed with art from We Will Not Be Silent’s word project tried to draw attention to the fact one of the worlds most infamous war criminals was inside, plying his Texas charm instead of spending time in a jail cell where he belongs.
The small number of protesters was disappointing and begs the question, should we simply let bygones be bygones?
We do, after all, have a new President who has, in many ways, escalated the blow back inducing homicidal bull in a cultural, religious and geopolitical china shop of a foreign policy pursued under Bush. In light of this fact, we would do well to ask ourselves if the limited resources of the greater activist community would be better spent on activities other than trying to hold W to account. I feel strongly that we should continue to hold Bush accountable, and 4 reasons why are outlined in this video.
In this interview with David Swanson, we discuss a campaign, still in its planning stages, to eliminate “the institution of war as an acceptable enterprise for the human species.” Visiting the website WorldBeyongWar.org, one is prompted to sign a simple two sentence pledge that reads:
I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace.
Here is a sample of quotes from notable early signatories to the pledge:
I support this proposal and agree with this great and important initiative to abolish militarism and war. I will continue to speak out for an end to the institution of militarism and war and for institutions built on international law and human rights and nonviolent conflict resolution. — Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
As a 29 year veteran of the US Army/Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel and having served as a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigning in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war, I firmly believe war does not resolve political issues. We must work diligently to force the governments of our nations to use diplomacy, not weapons. —Ann Wright
Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it. — Noam Chomsky
It is so inspiring to see a new group coming together not to focus on a particular war or weapons system, but on all war–everywhere. And it’s great to have such beautifully crafted arguments about why war is not inevitable and how war contributes to so many other global ills. This coalition is worthy of Martin Luther King’s call to end violence and instead put our energies and resources into ‘life-affirming activities.’ Bravo! —Medea Benjamin
Militarism is the world’s biggest problem…morally, socially, economically, and environmentally. —Ward Reilly
Creating a world beyond war may be the noblest endeavor we can work on. Can you imagine what future generations will think if we succeed? We will leave them a world where trillions of dollars are not wasted annually on weapons and war, where tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands are no longer slaughtered in unnecessary wars. Surely we can imagine solving conflicts between nations in a more mature way; we can imagine the human race evolving to a higher consciousness that no longer requires war. We can imagine a world without war, now we have to work toward such a world. It will be a global challenge, uniting the world to accomplish this great new reality. —Kevin Zeese, PopularResistance.org
War is a lie. War is a racket. War is hell. War is waste. War is a crime. War is terrorism. War is not the answer. —Coleen Rowley
War destroys. War obliterates. War is ruination. And war begets more war. After thousands of years of experience proving this, and reams of literature and countless works of art exposing it, when are people going to learn? —Lisa Simeone
War is a barbaric tool of the war profiteers and Empires who employ them. War pits young people from the working class against other similarly poor, or disadvantaged humans, for nothing but the greed of the few. Only we the people can make war obsolete by not participating in the profound crimes of the profiteers and other war mongers. —Cindy Sheehan
In 2013, The Resistance Report served as an antidote to the hear-no-evil see no evil attitude of mainstream media outlets here in the United States about the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan. In the attempt mitigate future catastrophic damage; the global community is faced with challenges unique in the history of humankind.
While The Resistance Report launched this year on July 29, 2013, and so our review of Resistance Reports is but a half year old, but there is still enough Manning, Snowden, Greenwald, Keystone X-L protests, Stop the TPP Protests, Dream Defenders, Fast Food Strikers, Hunger Strikers, and neo-liberal shenanigans to jam pack this 60 minute year in review.
I want to thank all of the viewers and supporters and people who watch and share these videos with friends and your social networks. 2013 has been a great year for the Resistance, and 2014 is looking even brighter. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
The hear no evil see no evil attitude of mainstream media outlets here in the United States about the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan does not obscure the fact that, in the attempt to mitigate future catastrophic damage, the global community is faced with challenges unique in the history of humankind. Members of the Green Shadow Cabinet traveled to the UN on Thursday to deliver a petition signed by 150,000 citizens of the world demanding that the government of Japan transfer responsibility for the Fukushima reactor site to an international engineering firm overseen by a civil society panel and an international group of nuclear experts. Additionally, the petition demanded that the global media be permitted around-the-clock access to accurate information throughout the entire process of removal of the spent fuel rods so that the international community can be informed of any risks to its health.
Also covered in this week’s episode of the Resistance Report:
Abortion Providers Are Heroes (segment starts at 8:01) – An Interview with Sunsara Taylor of StopPatriarchy.org, who just returned from Jackson, Mississippi where the last abortion clinic in that state was under siege from the anti-choice group Operation Save America, described by StopPatriarchy.org as an “extreme, violence inciting, women-hating Christian fascist organization.”
Lessons From Occupying Hurricane Sandy (segment starts at 17:05) Pamela Brown’s report on those who had spent time occupying Zuccotti park as part of the Occupy Wall Street and then turned their energy towards providing mutual aid to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
A Grassroots Effort to Make Grass Legal in Maine (segment starts at 23:05) Asher Platts, known to many of you through his work as the Punk Patriot, joins the Resistance Report team to give us the story behind the story of how grassroots – no pun – organizing helped bring legalized Marijuana to Maine.
What Is The Main Obstacle To Change? (segment starts at 26:19) Lee Camp, inspired by Tarak Kauff, breaks down what is perhaps the largest obstacle to systemic change.
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