Tag Archives: democracy

Gary Webb: An American Hero

2012WEBBBy Volaar

Eight years ago, December 10, 2004, respected and award-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb was murdered by a conspiracy of an apathetic citizenry, corporate malfeasance and government corruption.  The Sacramento County coroner, Robert Lyons, publically, if hastily, characterized the gunshot wounds in Gary Webb’s head three times before finally ruling the double-gunshot wound to Webb’s face a “suicide,” noting the use of a .38 caliber revolver, the presence of a suicide note and Webb’s close friend and ex-wife, Sue Bell, claiming that Gary, “had been depressed about being unable to obtain employment from another major newspaper for some time.” The San Jose Mercury News, on orders from “on high,” had terminated Gary Webb’s career progression after they claimed they had discovered errors in trivial matters of fact in his career-capping exposé, “A Dark Alliance” (ADA). Continue reading

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Leonard Cohen: Democracy Is Coming to the USA

By Leonard Cohen

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Voter Suppression and My Situation

Rachel Maddow: Voter Suppression in 2011
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

13 December 2011

Dearest Rachel Maddow. . .

As I write I listen to you speak of poll taxes and voter suppression. I wish to share my story in respect to my personal reality and the fear that I live with. Decades before the Barack Obama long-form birth certificate, I realized my own fear. Unlike the persons in your account, I am not a senior citizen. I am a permanent resident of the United States and have been for all of my life. While I have never crossed a border into another country, I have great apprehension for what might occur.

May I provide a bit of background? For the last six years, I have lived in the State of Florida. I trust that the Florida situation, and thus mine, is familiar for more than a few. Millions of Americans have found, or will discover, circumstances have changed. The opportunity to cast a ballot, early, easily, or to merely to be part of the electoral process is no longer theirs. Continue reading

The ‘People’s Microphone’

By Pablo Ouziel
The Peoples Voice

With the current ‘Audacity of Hope’ entering its terminal phase, Americans engaged in social movement activity are finally catching up with their brothers and sisters in other parts of the World.  What took a long time to flourish – despite the numerous calls from academics and activists from within the United States and from outside of its shores – has finally erupted into what is rapidly becoming the turning point in the relationship between people and markets (and people and government), at the heart of America’s unstable empire.

Wall street is now occupied and global indignation against plutocratic rule has reached its climax, it has come face to face with its source.

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Common Sense in a Coma

By Robert C. Koehler

“Then there is the issue of how the Afghans will be able to pay for their greatly enlarged police and military, which by some estimates will require $10 billion a year to sustain come 2014 — 10 times the Afghan government’s annual tax revenues.”

Of all the ironic absurdities and preposterous twists in the war on — I mean the war to promote — terror, this quote from the New York Times back in April, which I came upon as I was researching something called the Strategic Partnership Declaration between the United States and Afghanistan, felt the most like a mugging.

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The Sky Is Weeping

By Robert C. Koehler

When our lives are torn open, when the worst possible thing happens, what we have, finally, are our roses and our courage.

“I chose to stay in Oslo the entire week. It has felt like the most natural thing to do. I have never experienced any place any time in my life with such a complete absence of aggression. It feels like the city itself has gone into a peaceful place.”

Is this possible? My sense is that Norway’s reaction to its tragedy transcends much of the media coverage about it, obsessed as the media are with big-headline drama, who did it, who will pay. But something the headlines can’t capture seems to be going on in this small country, some determination among the people, above and beyond any political agenda, to stand — though wounded, though shattered by grief — for their highest values.

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The Wisdom of the People – the Populist Rationale

By Michael Collins

The citizens of the United States have excellent judgment. They have shown it consistently over time. When that judgment shifts briefly allowing a failed policy, it is a result of the vilest forms of propaganda by a small clique of liars. (Image: PS-OV-ART)

The people were right about the invasion of Iraq

We know that the plan to invade Iraq began just days after Inauguration Day, 2001. The opportunity to launch the most disastrous and costly military effort in our history came on 9/11. The destruction of the World Trade Center towers and attack on the Pentagon became the pretext for war. The manipulators launched their fraudulent storyline in earnest with confidence that they would get their war.

But in December of 2002, the public wasn’t buying it. The people didn’t have access to all of the information. They knew one thing for sure — the invasion was a very bad idea unless Iraq posed an imminent threat to the country with weapons of mass destruction. An in depth Los Angeles Times public opinion poll asked this question:
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Atheists Anonymous

By Volaar

When I read Jesse Beach’s essay on AA and theism I smiled a big smile.

I smiled not because I am an atheist or agnostic, but because I am an atheist/theist/agnostic spirit-jester who doesn’t give a damn about labels, snapshots or philosophical underpinnings when it comes to the issue of getting sober and staying that way. Continue reading

On the ground in Libya: ‘NATO is destroying our country’

NATO bombs Benghazi, Libya

COTO BREAKING NEWS: Eyewitness account describes the evidence that NATO’s invasion of Libya constitutes multiple war crimes. This is a military coup which the Libyans will resist for as long as they live.  For more info, see Lindauer’s recent piece, Going Rogue: NATO War Crimes in Libya.

By Joanna Moriarty

TRIPOLI:  We have so much documentation that it make your head spin. We spoke with 250 rebels who were released by the Tribal Leaders with the blessings of Ghadafi, the stories they tell of the atrocities that they did are horrifying we have them on tape. We also have many rebels that are documented admitting all the atrocities that they themselves committed. But, here is one truth that is irrefutable – the 2000 tribes of Libya are the actual government here, if anyone does not know this then they do not know Libya.

These tribal leaders released 150 rebel prisoners 3 weeks ago, 10 days later another 250 were released. There were about 20 foreigners that witnessed this magnificent show of forgiveness, we have this on tape. There is another release of 200 prisoners in these coming days.

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Honduras Freedom Ride: Video of Zelaya’s Return

By Lisa Sullivan
School of the Americas Watch

This past Saturday, Fr. Roy Bourgeois and I accompanied President Manuel Zelaya back to his native Honduras, almost two years after a military coup led by SOA graduates removed him from his country at gunpoint. The short flight
we took with him, from Managua to Tegucigalpa, was a journey packed with laughter, tears, songs, nerves, hugs, and decades of history.

Above all, this was an epic Latin American journey, a brief Latin American freedom ride of sorts. It was a moment to display to a world that does not often look this way, a loosely woven cloth of Latin American sovereignty and integration. As the only U.S. citizens invited to be part of a small group of international accompaniment, Roy and I felt extraordinarily privileged to be sharing this moment with our Latin American sisters and brothers.

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Cindy Sheehan on Venezuela, Honduras and CELAC

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was formed February 2010 to exclude the US and Canada which control the OAS (Organization of American States), and will be formally launched on July 5, 2011. ~Ed.

“Yankees, go Home!”

By Cindy Sheehan

“Nobody messes with Venezuela. Venezuela must be respected.”
Rafael Ramirez, Venezuelan Energy Minister

I am in Caracas, Vz today (May 29th–Casey’s birthday)—a country I love and a people that I support with all my heart in their struggle against US imperialism and corporate interests so they can make their own lives better.

Nine of us came from the US to support the people of Venezuela in rejecting the US economic sanctions that were imposed by the State Departments because, apparently, Venezuela sent two shipments of oil product to Iran.

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Ignorant Certainty

By Robert C. Koehler

Now that the end of the world didn’t happen, I can’t stop thinking about it. What chutzpah, what a diminished worldview, not simply to make such a prediction, but — even more incomprehensible, to my relentlessly self-questioning mind — to know you’ll be among the saved.

In 1011, a guy like Harold Camping would probably have been able to generate more panic than bemusement. A millennium later, with science taught in the public schools and all, we have a little more collective resistance to such thundering certainty leaping from highway billboards. I confess, however, to feeling a deep, reptilian tug last Friday morning, as I saw the sign — SAVE THIS DATE, MAY 21, 2011, CHRIST IS COMING — while driving through eastern Wisconsin. Yikes, that’s tomorrow.

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Resurrection and the Sociopath

Rand, Hickman and Greenspan: United in Common Purpose

By Volaar

Last year about this time I found myself steeped in a post-graduate rhetorical analysis of the front pages of the website Stormfront.org and two Patriot Movement sites.  The details of contemporary rhetorical analysis go beyond the mere study of words, so I won’t bore you.   But the “a-ha” moment I received at the end of my qualitative analysis is worth mentioning, at some point, in light of all the ballyhoo surrounding the latest remake of Ayn Rand’s last novel, Atlas Shrugged, and Rand’s many “contributions” to the neo-conservative movement of the post-industrial, post-modern United States of America. Continue reading

Michigan declares ‘Financial Martial Law’

Under the law whole cities or school districts could be eliminated without any public participation or oversight, and amendments designed to provide minimal safeguards and public involvement were voted down.

By Elspeth Reeve
National Journal

Michigan’s legislature has passed a bill declaring “financial martial law,” as one legislator put it, which allows the state to appoint emergency managers who can break union contracts in school districts and cities having money trouble, Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein reports. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Al Pscholka, says the hope is that financial managers can stage an intervention before municipalities are so underwater there are few options to balance the books. The managers will also have the power to nullify elected councils and boards, or dissolve whole cities or school districts without a public vote. Gov. Rick Snyder will likely sign the bill soon.

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Story of Citizens United vs FEC (Video)

By Annie Leonard
Story of Stuff Project

Season Two launched on March 1st with The Story of Citizens United v. FEC, an exploration of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy.

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Clinton, Biden Betray Obama Over Egypt; Kerry Likely To Take State Department

by Volaar

Washington insiders are chattering about Hillary Clinton’s duplicity in dealing with Obama and Mubarak’s long-time CIA friend, Frank Wisner.  Apparently, Hillary was offering support to Wisner as if the President supported her policy.  However, Obama’s several phone calls to the Middle East explaining his political stand on Egypt suggest otherwise. Continue reading

What Bertrand Russell May Have Missed

By Volaar

A thought occurred to me yesterday just as Father Richard Rohr was reformulating truth in terms of Hellenistic (Greek) Thought versus the kind of thoughts that Jesus of Nazareth was allegedly spinning out of whole cloth with regards to the “holy trinity.” 

Here are the three principles of Greek Thought that underpin all of western “civilization”:

1)      A = A (principle of identity)

2)      A != !A (principle of noncontradiction)

3)      A or !A = unary truth (principle of the excluded third)

Russell goes on to suggest that, “nothing can both be and not be,” and “everything must either be or not be.” Continue reading

America’s Strategic Repression of the ‘Arab Awakening’

By Andrew Gavin Marshall
Global Research

Taking the position that everything is organized from on high in the corridors of power is a flawed analysis, as is taking the position that America was caught entirely unaware.  We must not see this as an either-or development, but rather a congruence of over-lapping and inter-twining developments. American strategic objectives are aimed at ultimately repressing and co-opting the organic revolutionary uprisings in the Arab world. For the past six years or so, America has been developing and starting to implement a strategy to manage the ‘Arab Awakening’ by promoting “democratization” in a process of “evolution, not revolution.” The need to ‘control’ the ‘Global Political Awakening’ is the most prescient problem in American foreign policy. However, the evolution was evidently not fast enough for the people living under the Arab regimes, and revolution is in the air, writes Andrew Gavin Marshall.

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A Truth More Powerful than an Army

Dear readers, for those of you who live near Appleton, Wisconsin, I will be reading from my book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 Philip Lane (just south of East Calumet Street), on Sunday, 2-13, at 6:30 p.m.

By Robert C. Koehler

It was just a routine murder.

Last June, police accosted a young man at an Internet café in the city of Alexandria.  He had just filmed their drug deal, or he simply refused to show them his ID.  Whatever the provocation — accounts vary — they slammed his head against the table, dragged him outside as he screamed, beat him viciously for 20 minutes.  That was that.  You can pick up the body later.

In a thug society, power is as power does. And in Egypt, power flowed from the top — from, indeed, beyond the top.  It flowed from the superpower that had been a cornucopia of military aid, nearly $2 billion a year, to President Hosni Mubarak for the last 30 years.  In return, Mubarak had to be a useful friend to that superpower: open his prisons for secret torture operations, acquiesce to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and, of course, keep the oil flowing from Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, his only obligation was to stay in power, and he did so with a simple and basic brutality.  Do what we say or we’ll kill you.

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Tahrir Square breaks into song; plus the video that started the Egyptian Revolution

Aljazeera.net Feb 4, 2011
11:36pm Amid cries for Mubarak’s immediate departure, demonstators – led by a guitarist off camera – break into song during the “Friday of Departure”. Al Jazeera cannot verify the authenticity of any Youtube videos.

Translation: Let’s make Mubarak hear our voices. We all, one hand, requested one thing, leave leave leave … Down Down Hosni Mubarak, Down Down Hosni Mubarak … The people want to dismantle the regime …. He is to go, we are not going … He is to go, we won’t leave … We all, one hand, ask one thing, leave leave.

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