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Humanity Versus a Corrupt State: Coups and Cash Machines in Rio de Janeiro

Humanity Versus a Corrupt State: 

Coups and Cash Machines in Rio de Janeiro


By John Grant

 

Irish launch of the Stop Killer Robots Campaign

The mechanisation of killing is marching on. The dream of the controllers is to replace "human" riot police or soldiers with "Robo Cops". No need to take into account any "sentient" uncertainties. The activist organisation AFRI (Action from Ireland) is starting an awareness campaign. Here is their announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

Irish launch of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

 

Irish School of Ecumenics -Loyola Institute building (facing rubgy pitch)

Listen to Connect The Dots

Monday morning  at 7-8AM  tune in (KPFK 90.7 fm) 

                                  or log on: http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd

Lila Garrett’s  CONNECT THE DOTS.  Guests include:

 

Three leaders in the fight to save our democracy:

 

David Swanson in a short powerful rant on the new movement of we-the-people between April 4th and July 4th

 

Alan Grayson, got more progressive amendments passed last year than any other Congressperson. His reelection is heavily targeted by the Koch Bros. as his actions  to protect everything from Soc Sec to an end to drone warfare continues.

 

Robert Weissman President of Public Citizen, leader in the fight to stop the 1% & the Supreme Ct. from highjacking our elections by repealing Citizens United in which the Supreme Ct. gave corporations the right to buy our elections with unlimited funds.  And now in the  McCutchen Decision  the Supreme Ct is considering giving mega wealthy individuals the same right.  

 

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)

KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;

99.5 China Lake

Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.

Link to my program page

http://www.kpfk.org/index.php/programs/67-connect-the-dots-with-lila-garrett

Link to my podcasts

http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd

Each show is online for three months.

The Time For Obama To Pardon Snowden Is Now

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Now that President Obama is proposing that the NSA end its bulk collection of data, it is time that Obama take this narrative to the next logical conclusion and offer a full and unconditional pardon to Edward Snowden.

Help Our Friend John Judge

Many of you know the dedicated peace and justice activist John Judge. He has had a stroke and is in the hospital in need of help.

1)  You can send him a card at COPA's address (P.O. Box 772, Washington, DC, 20044), or at George Washington University Hospital, Room 461, 900 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC, 20037. 
 
2)  You can donate to help us pay his rent and expenses, or to help us pay for additional therapy, by sending a check to COPA's post office address above.  The check should be made payable to Marilyn Tenenoff, since John can't sign his name. 
 
3)  You can follow this link to and contribute to John Judge's Recovery online:  http://www.gofundme.com/7c7h2g

What Do World's Two Biggest Dangers Have in Common?

Anyone who cares about our natural environment should be marking with great sadness the centenary of World War I. Beyond the incredible destruction in European battlefields, the intense harvesting of forests, and the new focus on the fossil fuels of the Middle East, the Great War was the Chemists' War. Poison gas became a weapon -- one that would be used against many forms of life.

Insecticides were developed alongside nerve gases and from byproducts of explosives.  World War II -- the sequel made almost inevitable by the manner of ending the first one -- produced, among other things, nuclear bombs, DDT, and a common language for discussing both -- not to mention airplanes for delivering both.

War propagandists made killing easier by depicting foreign people as bugs. Insecticide marketers made buying their poisons patriotic by using war language to describe the "annihilation" of "invading" insects (never mind who was actually here first). DDT was made available for public purchase five days before the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.  On the first anniversary of the bomb, a full-page photograph of a mushroom cloud appeared in an advertisement for DDT.

War and environmental destruction don't just overlap in how they're thought and talked about.  They don't just promote each other through mutually reinforcing notions of machismo and domination.  The connection is much deeper and more direct. War and preparations for war, including weapons testing, are themselves among the greatest destroyers of our environment.  The U.S. military is a leading consumer of fossil fuels. From March 2003 to December 2007 the war on Iraq alone released more CO2 than 60% of all nations.

Rarely do we appreciate the extent to which wars are fought for control over resources the consumption of which will destroy us.  Even more rarely do we appreciate the extent to which that consumption is driven by wars.  The Confederate Army marched up toward Gettysburg in search of food to fuel itself.  (Sherman burned the South, as he killed the Buffalo, to cause starvation -- while the North exploited its land to fuel the war.)  The British Navy sought control of oil first as a fuel for the ships of the British Navy, not for some other purpose.  The Nazis went east, among several other reasons, for forests with which to fuel their war.  The deforestation of the tropics that took off during World War II only accelerated during the permanent state of war that followed.

Wars in recent years have rendered large areas uninhabitable and generated tens of millions of refugees. Perhaps the most deadly weapons left behind by wars are land mines and cluster bombs. Tens of millions of them are estimated to be lying around on the earth. The Soviet and U.S. occupations of Afghanistan have destroyed or damaged thousands of villages and sources of water. The Taliban has illegally traded timber to Pakistan, resulting in significant deforestation. U.S. bombs and refugees in need of firewood have added to the damage. Afghanistan's forests are almost gone. Most of the migratory birds that used to pass through Afghanistan no longer do so. Its air and water have been poisoned with explosives and rocket propellants.

The United States fights its wars and even tests its weapons far from its shores, but remains pockmarked by environmental disaster areas and superfund sites created by its military.  The environmental crisis has taken on enormous proportions, dramatically overshadowing the manufactured dangers that lie in Hillary Clinton's contention that Vladimir Putin is a new Hitler or the common pretense in Washington, D.C., that Iran is building nukes or that killing people with drones is making us safer rather than more hated. And yet, each year, the EPA spends $622 million trying to figure out how to produce power without oil, while the military spends hundreds of billions of dollars burning oil in wars fought to control the oil supplies. The million dollars spent to keep each soldier in a foreign occupation for a year could create 20 green energy jobs at $50,000 each. The $1 trillion spent by the United States on militarism each year, and the $1 trillion spent by the rest of the world combined, could fund a conversion to sustainable living beyond most of our wildest dreams. Even 10% of it could.

When World War I ended, not only did a huge peace movement develop, but it was allied with a wildlife conservation  movement.  These days, those two movements appear divided and conquered.  Once in a blue moon their paths cross, as environmental groups are persuaded to oppose a particular seizure of land or military base construction, as has happened in recent months with the movements to prevent the U.S. and South Korea from building a huge naval base on Jeju Island, and to prevent the U.S. Marine Corps from turning Pagan Island in the Northern Marianas into a bombing range.  But try asking a well-funded environmental group to push for a transfer of public resources from militarism to clean energy or conservation and you might as well be trying to tackle a cloud of poison gas.

I'm pleased to be part of a movement just begun at WorldBeyondWar.org, already with people taking part in 57 nations, that seeks to replace our massive investment in war with a massive investment in actual defense of the earth.  I have a suspicion that big environmental organizations would find great support for this plan were they to survey their members.

There Is A Deeper Wave Than This

A wave of action is coming on April 4th, the date they killed MLK, the date Cindy Sheehan lost her son, the date cherry blossoms and resisters to fascism begin to show after an endless winter of many, many years.  Take a look at https://waveofaction.org

Electing a different president six years ago was not a partial step, a failed attempt, a warm-up round. It was a halftime show of circus clowns and cheerleaders.  The partial step, the failed attempt, the warm up, the ground work, the base of experience and training and testing was Occupy.

And what's happened since?  We've learned more about how close Occupy came to shifting the balance. We've learned more about how scared the bankers and the warmongers and their servants in the unconstitutional police-state acronym crowd were (the FBI-DHS-CIA-NSA-SOBs).  We've learned about the plans in Houston to murder Occupiers.  We've learned about the infiltration, the instigation, the expropriation.  We've looked back at the counterproductive results of tolerating a bit of violence on the side of justice and peace.  We've marveled at the mistake of calling violence inclusiveness and tolerance.  We've wondered at the humor, heroism, and effectiveness of nonviolent creative action.

The movement has grown, indoors, online, and off the radar.  It's developed strategies for taking on debt and homelessness and war.  Awareness has grown, education has spread, and ideas have sunk in. People now know that we can't lift up the poor without pulling down the plutocrats.  It's understood that we can have democracy or billionaires, not both.  The notion of shifting priorities is even making headway; behind the screaming of "no cuts!" and "less spending!" there's a steady, rising voice -- ebbing and flowing like the ocean -- insisting that we can move the money from the military and the oil corporations and the bankers to green energy and schools and trains and parks and actual aid to everyone on earth, with plenty of tax cuts to spare. 

"The country is broke" is understood as a lie on the scale of "the Defense Department makes us safer" or "the marketplace benefits us all" or "this weather is part of normal cycles" or "the corporate media is independent of the government" or "the government is independent of the corporations." 

When public pressure stopped missiles into Syria in September the educational work of years and years was paying off.  When public pressure helped stop new sanctions and war momentum against Iran in February, a new pattern was developing.  When Obama began this week at least pretending to turn against the NSA he'd been defending for months, a crack opened up in a wall of unaccountable abuses.  Opportunities are opening up all around us. Students are taking on Israeli crimes.  Towns are taking on fossil fuel fanaticism.  Parents on taking on corporate-educationism. 

A new Occupy should have crowds of DiFi masks (the one person Senator Dianne Feinstein objects to spying on). A new Occupy should hold joint events in the United States and Russia demanding peace from both governments, nuclear disarmament, and investment of those nuclear dollars in defense against real threats, like climate change, disease, and guns. 

Things are not getting better.  The earth is dying.  Weapons sales are skyrocketing.  Russia and China are being groomed as new enemies.  Real healthcare reform remains almost incomprehensible to millions who need it.  Pay Day loans are growing at the rate that prison terms for profiteers ought to be.  But resistance to the downward slide is growing as well.  Whistleblowers are appearing. Courage is catching and spreading.  States are setting up conversion and transition plans.  Obamahopium is wearing off without Hillareoin taking hold.

If there was ever a moment to put survival and well-being ahead of politeness and obedience, this is that moment.  The weather is right.  The climate is right.  The experience is fresh, but the participants rested.  April 4th is opening day.  Will you throw out the first pitch in your town? Will you do it now? Will you re-occupy everything and never give it back? Find an event, create an event, or enliven an event near you or far from you: https://waveofaction.org

This is not for show this time.  This is not to send a message.  This is not to make a few friends.  This is to make millions of friends.  This is to change the course of our culture.  This is the big leagues.  Rest up.  Get ready.  Know your power.

http://youtu.be/uXZistami3c

NO U.S./NATO Intervention in Ukraine.

The rapidly developing situation in Ukraine is, most of all, a clash between predatory super-powers over the prize that is the highly developed society and economy, both industrially and agriculturally productive.  Thanks for your comments last week, ranging from "you don't know what you are talking about," to "thanks so much for clarifying what's going on in Ukraine."

Does The U.S. Want War With Russia?

Two weeks ago, when Liz Wahl quit her post as an RT host live on air claiming that she could not be part of a network that was “funded by the Russian Government” and was set on “whitewashing the crimes of Putin.” Ms. Wahl then immediately went on a tour of all the 3 mainstream corporate outlets where she seemed to be auditioning for a role on a news show where she could whitewash the blowback inducing homicidal bull in a cultural religious and geopolitical china shop of U.S. foreign policy that I like to call Manifest Destiny’s Child.

Newly-appointed lawyer for Wikileaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning to discuss upcoming appeals

What: Panel presentation with legal counsel Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward. They will be joined by NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake.
When: Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 7:00pm
Where: Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Recently selected to represent WikiLeaks whistle-blower PVT Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning during appeals, well-known civil rights attorney Nancy Hollander will participate in a panel discussion on the topics of government whistle-blowing and Manning’s upcoming appeals, during which she’ll answer questions from the press. The National Law Journal named Hollander one of the nation’s top 50 women litigators in 2001. She is preparing now to represent Manning in the US Army Court of Appeals, federal court, and possibly even the Supreme Court.


The panel, which is sponsored by the Georgetown University Law Center chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, will take place at the university’s easily accessible Capitol Hill location. Hollander will be joined by law partner Vincent Ward, and former National Security Administration (NSA) official Thomas Drake, who stood trial after blowing the whistle on illegal wire-tapping, fraud and abuse. Manning's appeals are expected to touch on issues of illegal pretrial punishment, government secrecy, executive overreach, and more.

 

The Chelsea Manning Support Network will also be in attendance at the event to give a brief overview of our ongoing efforts to support Manning in the face of her gender transition, college education and legal appeals.

Background: Manning, a 22-year-old Army Specialist stationed in Baghdad at the time of her arrest in May 2010, released hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks. Manning explained to the court in a February 28, 2013, statement that she did so in order to spark debate and reforms regarding U.S. foreign policy, specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was acquitted of “Aiding the Enemy,” but found guilty of several counts of Espionage, Computer Fraud, and Federal Theft, for which she was sentenced to 35 years in prison. On August 22, 2014, Manning came out publicly as transgender. She is now seeking to change her name legally from “Bradley Edward Manning” to “Chelsea Elizabeth Manning” and to receive Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). She is excited to begin her legal appeals.

The Chelsea Manning Support Network will continue to be responsible for 100% of Manning’s legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by over 22,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.4 million in Manning’s defense.

What Comes After Capitalism?

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

What comes after Capitalism? Identifying the correct answer to that question, one I do not pretend to know, in addition to facing the fact that the question is a life or death one- on a global scale, is a basic requirement for the life, liberty, and happiness of the human race.

Obama’s Drones Made Simple

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Before the 2012 election, Obama told John Stewart of The Daily Show: “one of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.”
In a development that will shock nobody, no such legal architecture has been put in place to "reign in" Obama or any future POTUS.

"We Are Not Your Soldiers"

We Are Not Your Soldiers visited two NYC high schools last month – one a mini-school in Manhattan, part of a larger high school campus, and the other a transfer high school in Brooklyn. John Burns, a recent veteran, spoke at both.The students had been well-prepared for the visits and had many questions to ask. Some were more concerned about the broader political questions and others, a number of whom are actively considering enlisting, wanted to get information about the real deal, what joining the military actually entails – from someone who has been there, done that. 

Out of Occupy, a New Populist Political Party Forms

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Carl Gibson, co-founder of U.S. Uncut, is joining with other Occupy Wall Street organizers to launch a new populist political party. While more details (including the name of the party and the identities of other key organizers) will be available when the group launches on March 20, the party will be explicitly anti-capitalist.

Obama on Between Two Ferns: Did He Get Across To The Young ‘Invincibles’?

 Originally posted on PopularResistance.org http://youtu.be/T71dBQ-FyAA) It is hard not to give Barack Obama points for his recent appearance on Between two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. In genuinely disarming post-hipster fashion, the President was transparent about his reasons for appearing on the program. "I would not be here if I did not have something to plug, Zack,” the president informed his expertly inept host. And plug away he did, in a direct appeal to reach younger citizens to sign up at healthcare.gov. Young people do not want to pay for health insurance.

Zimmerman, At Gun Show, Wonders Why World Is Mad With Him

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

George Zimmerman, singing autographs at a gun show in Orlando, Florida over the weekend, wondered why people are angry with him.

Here is one possible answer:

Here is the thing, George, people know that it is not an aberration for a wanna be cop like you to patrol a neighborhood with a loaded gun and, upon seeing an African American kid whom you did not recognize, assume that kid was a threat, and then tail that kid with your itchy finger on the trigger of your loaded gun and initiate and then escalate a situation that resulted in that unarmed kid murdered and killed by you, Georgie.

Testimony: Record 36% of North Dakota Fracked Gas Was Flared in December

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The recent March 6 House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing titled "Benefits of and Challenges to Energy Access in the 21st Century: Fuel Supply and Infrastructure" never had over 100 online viewers watching the livestream at any point in time. And it unfolded in an essentially empty room. 

Is Minimum Wage Another Distraction? Let's talk Basic Income, Shall We?

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

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.

An Open Letter To The Middle Class (spoiler alert: F*ck You)

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Dear Middle Class:

Fuck you.

Perhaps I should back up a bit and try that again.

One of the most frustrating things for me on those occasions when I get suckered into listening to the mainstream media is the lamentation and hand wringing over the shrinking middle class.

While I don’t have any money in the bank and the only assets I have are a computer a video camera and a rusty old mountain bike, most people would look at where I live and where my children go to school and label me squarely in the middle class.

I usually accept that label.

VIDEO: Class, Race, and War - Resistance Report One-Hour Pilot

Viewer support keeps this going. Fund with a one time donation or click here to become a monthly sustainer of Acronym TV Host Dennis Trainor, Jr. navigates a lively panel discussion with Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today), and Joel Northam (Resistance Report contributor). Special guests also include Mychal Denzel Smith (The Nation), Kateryna Ruban (expert in Ukraine and Russian history), and Cheri Honkala (Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign).

Bring the Making Peace Exhibit to Your Country, City, Town

 
 
Targeting the general public and especially young people, Making Peace essentially explains what key elements are necessary to create a 'Sustainable Peace', while paying tribute to the people who — all over the planet — devote their time, energy and resources to the cause of peace and how these persons and organizations have shaped and influenced the course of the 20th century. www.makingpeace.org
 
The exhibition was curated by Ashley Woods (formerly with Magnum Photos) and produced by the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the largest peace federation in the world and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1910). www.ipb.org
 
In the words of Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, President of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and former Director-General of UNESCO: 
 

"this is an extraordinarily powerful exhibition that pays tribute to a century of peace making and a wide range of peacemakers across the globe. At the same time it serves as a call to action for ordinary citizens to become involved in peace activities of all kinds, and in so doing to promote a global culture of peace"

 
To learn more and to bring Making Peace to your town, contact ashley@makingpeace.org
 
See the inauguration in Geneva: 
 

Feb. 26,2014; A Day of Outrage & Remembrance for Trayvon Martin & Jordan Davis

Hoodies Up!
Targets Up!
Fists Raised!
We’re Standing Up!
No More Murder of Black Youth!

Agent Orange Awareness Campaign

 A Catherine Karnow Project
 
The importance of this project: 

As a National Geographic photographer, I have covered many humanitarian injustices, but my heart is in Vietnam.

Through my photography work with the Ford Foundation I became aware of current humanitarian issues associated with Agent Orange.  We all remember the harmful effects of Agent Orange during the time of the Vietnam War.  Most people are not aware, though, of the ongoing devastation visited on the offspring of those exposed to the chemicals.  

There are two reasons why children born today are afflicted with life-altering deformity and disease.  First: despite the end of the war and the years of friendly relations between the US and Vietnam, there has never been a systematic cleanup of the affected regions.  Neither the chemical companies involved, nor the US government nor the Vietnamese government have remediated the areas so devastated by the US Army.  The chemicals still in place continue to impact individual lives.  Second: though few people are aware of this, Agent Orange, horrifyingly, carries a genetic legacy.  Those affected by Agent Orange pass their genetic injury to their children.  Those children and their grandchildren are born with physical deformity, are born barren and/or are born with devastating cancers.  

Imagine if this were occurring in the U.S.  There would be a call for justice, for compensation, for remediation. 

That the US government is responsible for this devastation, and that US companies are directly involved, creates an imperative for action.  That the victims are far away and out of sight should not translate into inaction on the part of the US government.


 
How you can help:

We would like to ask you to join us in an Agent Orange Awareness Campaign to get the word out about this tragic problem.  We propose to use powerful, emotional and sensitive photography and video content to tell this story in a devastatingly immediate way.  We plan to tell this story to policy makers and thought leaders in the U.S., Europe and at the UN. 

We are calling upon my father's former friends to lend their names and stature to the campaign, and are honored that journalist Peter Arnett is a partner.  We are establishing collaborations with media organizations and influential exhibition spaces in order to get our content to as many people as possible.

The Urgency:

April 2015 will mark the 40 year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.  This anniversary will provide an ideal moment to call the world's attention to the lingering effects of the war and of Agent Orange on the families, communities, and the economy of Vietnam.

We have until March 4th to reach our goal of $27K. If we do not raise $27K, all donations are returned, and we get no funding at all.
 
Every contribution helps.  Please donate today at:
May we count on you to visit this link and give what you can spare? More importantly, will you please share this letter with your friends, colleagues, and influential people, so that we can meet our fund raising goals and begin to tackle this devastating legacy of the Vietnam War?
 
Thank you so very much.
 
Warmly,
Catherine
 
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Redact This! An Interactive eBook: Artists Against Torture

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