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Stopping Trans Canada’s Keystone XL Pipeline--Activism from the Trees and on the Ground

By Ann Wright

It seems as though most Americans don’t know that the Obama administration has backed off its commitment to stop a Canadian oil firm from bringing dangerous and toxic tar sands from the fields in Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in Texas.  But in East Texas, the farm lands and forests have been seized for the Canadian company through eminent domain and are already being destroyed for the foreign pipeline.

Yesterday, October 24, Leslie Harris of Dallas, Texas and I visited the “boys” in the trees, the great activists who have been living in the trees along the Trans Canada Keystone XL pipeline that is carving a terrible scar in the countryside of East Texas.  Earlier in the day we had been meeting with dozens of Tar Sands Blockade (TSB) activists who are preparing campaigns in East Texas and Houston to challenge the XL pipeline.

Activism in the Air

Late Senator Arlen Specter Spoke in Support of Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Much is rightly made of the ‘maverick’ character of former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in obituaries and other media coverage since his recent death.

That maverick streak certainly animated Specter’s December 2010 Farewell Speech from the Senate where he criticized the lack of civility currently rampant in that body plus assailed both political parties for perpetuating legislative gridlock and abuses of Senate rules.

Children under Attack in Pakistan and Afghanistan

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

Six children were attacked in Afghanistan and Pakistan this past week. Three of them, teenaged girls on a school bus in Peshawar, in the tribal region of western Pakistan, were shot and gravely wounded by two Taliban gunmen who were after Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old girl who has been bravely demanding the right of girls to an education. After taking a bullet to the head, and facing further death threats, she has been moved to a specialty hospital in Britain. Her two wounded classmates are being treated in Pakistan.


New Book for Ages 6 to 10: Tube World

http://davidswanson.org/tubeworld

New Book for Ages 6 to 10: Tube World

Tube World is the first children's book by David Swanson, author of several nonfiction adult books. The illustrations for Tube World are by Shane Burke.

Parents: Have your kids been tired in the morning?  Have you found wet bathing suits in their beds?  Do they know things about far-away places that you didn’t teach them and they didn’t learn in school?  Do children visiting your town from halfway around the world always seem to be friends with your kids, and to only be around during certain hours of the day?  You won’t believe the explanation, but your kids might grin and wink at each other if you read it to them.

Kids: Did you know the center of the Earth was hollow?  Do you know the words that can take you there, if you’re under the covers in your swimming suit and prepared for the trip?  Can you imagine traveling anywhere in the world where there’s a swimming pool — and being home again in time for breakfast?  If you haven’t been to Tube World yet, this book will tell you the secrets you need to know.  And it will tell you about some children who discovered Tube World and used it to make the whole world a better place.

Buy the PDF, EPUB (iPad, Nook, etc.), or MOBI (Kindle) from Ebookit.

The paperback has been published in two versions, one with slightly better color, slightly better paper, and a dramatically higher price.

Buy the standard paperback from Amazon,

(If you order from Amazon it will ship right away even if Amazon says it won't ship for weeks; it is print-on-demand.)

Buy the premium paperback from Amazon,

Your local independent bookstore can order the book through Ingram.

Anyone can order the book in bulk at the lowest possible price right here.

Buy PDF, Audio, EPUB, or Kindle for $8 right here:

http://davidswanson.org/tubeworld

Advance Praise for Tube World:

“This book will make you laugh till water comes out your ears!”--Wesley

“This story is super flibba garibbidy schmibbadie libbidie awesome, mostly!”--Travis

“The best part is we saved 2,000 islands and pretty much the whole world in our swimming suits!”--Hallie

About Shane Burke:
Shane Burke lives in Denver Colorado and has been drawing and painting since he could hold a pencil. He took private art lessons when he was young and began winning awards and contests by the age of seven. His first big commission came at age nine when he created artwork for a billboard near his home town of Tracy California. His greatest influences came from his grandfather and elementary school teachers. He loved watching his grandfather paint landscapes and wanted to be just like him. Shane is a creative day dreamer and at complete peace when putting ink to paper.  You can see more of Shane's work at www.beezink.com

Shooting to Kill Immigrants on the Mexican Border: WTF? A Border Agent Fired First at Immigrant Smugglers?

 

By Dave Lindorff


Sometimes it takes a small tragedy to call attention to expose a much bigger one.


The small tragedy happened when Nicholas Ivey, a US Border Patrol agent, was shot dead on a dark night in rough terrain along the border with Mexico in Arizona, a state that has been obsessing about illegal border crossers coming into the US from Mexico seeking jobs.

Top 10 Astonishing Police Brutality Videos Caught on Surveillance Cameras

 

By Clint Henderson


The internet is full of videos exposing police officers' use of excessive physical force when trying to apprehend or detain "potential criminals". Every year in fact there seems to be an increase in YouTube video uploads, video views, and news stories depicting this type of injustice.

But the Police State Marches On: Protestors Win in 2004 RNC Protest Mass Arrest Case in NYC

 

By Dave Lindorff


On the morning of the big march through midtown Manhattan on the opening day of the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004, I and a few friends were having breakfast at a little coffee shop near 96th Street on the Upper West Side. We had a few homemade signs and were clearly headed for a political action. Across from us were three New York City cops, carrying riot helmets, having their breakfast. They were clearly headed to the same place we were.

The US is still Executing Teens and Locking Kids Up for Life

 

By Dave Lindorff


The United States never misses an opportunity to castigate other countries for “uncivilized” behavior, and certainly there is enough of that to go around almost anywhere you look in the world. But there’s plenty of it here in the U.S. too.


The US is the World's Biggest War-Monger

 

By Dave Lindorff


There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”


The Birthday of Occupy

 

By Charles M. Young


Is there anything less threatening than a morbidly obese cop on motor scooter?


U.S. Veterans Urge Canada to Let War Resister Stay

OPEN LETTER TO THE CANADIAN PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT

Dear Canadians,

We are writing you on behalf of thousands of military veterans in the United States who believe that Kimberly Rivera and her family should be allowed to remain in Canada.

As a U.S. soldier, Kimberly Rivera spent six months in Iraq where she witnessed the injustice caused by illegal U.S. war. Home on leave in the U.S., she decided that she could not in good conscience continue to be part of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Kimberly Rivera drove to Canada hoping to find a safe haven for herself, her husband, and their two young children.

Since arriving in Canada five years ago, the Riveras have had two more children, who are Canadian citizens by virtue of being born in Canada. How tragic it will be if these children are deported to the U.S. and then separated from their mother, who would be court-martialed and imprisoned.

Veterans For Peace includes members who fought in the Vietnam War, and also veterans who refused to go to Vietnam and found a safe haven in Canada.

We are extremely grateful to the Canadian people for providing us with sanctuary, along with so much understanding, love and care. Thirty thousand Americans who immigrated to Canada during the Vietnam War are now Canadian citizens who have led productive lives in the arts, academia, media, business and law.

We also want to thank the many Canadians who have supported our young men and women who did not want to return to the carnage of war in Iraq. According to polls, two-thirds of the Canadian people believe that U.S. war resisters should be allowed to remain in Canada. We are very grateful to the community groups, churches, unions, and Members of Parliament who have given so much support to these young people of conscience.

According to the UN Handbook on Refugees, soldiers who refuse to fight in wars that are widely condemned by the international community should be considered as refugees. Unfortunately, the Immigration and Refugee Board in Canada has yet to grant asylum to a single person who refused to kill in the war against Iraq, a war that has most certainly been condemned by peoples and nations around the globe.

Surely there are humanitarian grounds that the Canadian government might invoke to keep Kimberly Rivera and other Iraq and Afghanistan war resisters from being deported to certain imprisonment in the United States.

Veterans For Peace believes that nobody who conscientiously refuses to be part of war should be punished. At our recent national convention, we called on the U.S. government to grant an unconditional amnesty to all war resisters. We will be working toward this goal in the coming months. In the meantime, we call upon the Canadian government to show compassion for these courageous conscientious objectors.

Please do not deport Kimberly Rivera and her four young children to the U.S., where she will face persecution and imprisonment, and her children will experience the trauma of separation from their mother.

The mission of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war altogether. We believe that this goal can be realized and must be realized if human civilization is to survive. Those powerful people who pursue wars of mass destruction are the ones who should be punished, not the poor people we are forced to fight wars for the one percent.

We hope the Canadian government will do its best to represent the will of the peace-loving Canadian people. Please let Kimberly Rivera stay. You will be glad that you did.

Sincerely for Peace,

Leah Bolger, President
Gerry Condon, Board of Directors
Veterans For Peace

We need diplomacy, not sabre-rattling, says Canada's largest peace group



The decision by the Harper government to sever diplomatic ties with Iran and to expel all Iranian diplomats from Canada is a dangerous and unwanted escalation of the current crisis. The Canadian Peace Alliance condemns this decision and calls on the government of Canada to normalize relations and to call for a peaceful and negotiated settlement.

This is not the first time that the government of Canada has led the drive to war with Iran. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated publicly that Iran is the "greatest threat to world peace." The severing of diplomatic ties shows that, in fact, the Harper government is the real threat to peace and stability.

"The global community is calling for negotiation and dialogue to avert war," said Sid Lacombe, coordinator of the Canadian Peace Alliance. "Keeping diplomatic channels open for that discussion is an absolute prerequisite to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Harper government has just told the world that they don't care for peace and are instead paving the way to war."

Iranian-Canadians also spoke out against the decision to sever ties.

"We are worried that these actions by the Harper government are a sign of imminent attack," said Niaz Salimi, president of the Iranian Canadian Community Council. "We are opposed to any actions which brings us closer to war."

A war with Iran would cause untold civilian deaths and could escalate into a much larger regional conflict. There is no credible evidence that Iran is using nuclear technology to create a weapon, yet the Canadian public is being asked, once again, to put its faith in fictitious claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction. The fact that no weapons were ever found in Iraq - and that the evidence of such a program was deliberately fabricated - renders any accusations against Iran extremely questionable.

This October 6th, Canadians will demonstrate their opposition to the possibility of war against Iran by joining anti-war events across Canada.
For more information, visit http://www.acp-cpa.ca.

It's Not Just the LAPD: The Big Lie About Police Brutality is That it's Not Rampant

 

By Dave Lindorff


Police brutality is in the news, thanks to the widespread availability of amateur video.

We've seen scene after scene of police beating the crap out of, and even shooting and killing unarmed or minimally dangrous students, women, old men and crazy people, many of them after they have been handcuffed and checked for weapons.

Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?

 

By John Grant

 

The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.

 

-Ofer Grosbard

Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process

 

Americans have an Israel problem.

 

A Shift in the Zeitgeist? Hitchhiker Finds Drivers Suddenly More Willing to Give a Lift

 

By Dave Lindorff


Sometimes a journalist just has to go with the story, even if it’s going all wrong. 


The Secret Scheme To Sabotage Abu-Jamal's Appeal Rights

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Mumia Abu-Jamal, the internationally recognized American political prisoner, thwarted a Philadelphia judge’s secretive court order that could have eliminated his future appeal rights when he filed a last- minute motion on August 23rd challenging that order sentencing him to life-without-parole.

Democracies Don't Start Wars, But Fake Democracies Sure Do!

 

 

By Dave Lindorff


We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”


Blackwater Illegally Training Canadians to Kill Better

Canadian troops and police were trained for two years by the international security contractor formerly known as Blackwater without the permission of the U.S. State Department.

The revelation is contained in U.S. federal court records, unsealed in North Carolina as part of a $7.5-million settlement of criminal charges against the company now called Academi LLC.

READ THE REST AT GLOBE AND MAIL.

Voter ID Laws Expose GOP Vote Fraud Scheme

 

By Linn Washington


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, the same conservative Republican who recently cut 70,000 from receiving their meager welfare payments in order to cut government costs, is ready to spend millions of bucks to implement a voter suppression scheme that evidence indicates is a blatant partisan measure designed to help Mitt Romney gain a presidential election victory.

Bible Belt Report: Culled Kept Pols Picking on Cowpokes' Museum

 

By Mike Caddell


Wichita -- One of four Wichita museums is facing a $100,000 cutback in funding which may force its closure.  It is called “Cowtown,” a tribute to the glory days of white settler expansion and of cattle.  A distant cry is heard from the editorial board of the city’s single daily newspaper, the Wichita Eagle, which ran an opinion piece by Peter Brownlee, titled:  “Why pick on Cowtown?” 


Friendly Peaceful Canada Actually the Worst Place on Earth?

By Douglas Ou-ee-ii-jay-ii Jack

OH - CANADA

As a Canadian, I would like to propose that Canada is a much larger belligerent aggressor per capita in the world than media, the public and organizations like the United Nations recognize. Canada's silent role as a (perhaps 'the') major world leader in living off of the trade proceeds of war, death, injury and destruction, remains outside public consciousness. Canada and the USA seem to act as indivisible twins of death, yet Canada hides behind a media-military-industrial-complex which continues to portray Canada as a 'pacifist' nation.

FSRN Interview: Student movement in Mexico sparks debate ahead of Sunday’s Presidential election

Today, voters in Mexico head to the polls in a presidential election that has been shaken up in the last few weeks by student-led protests that are challenging the front-runner status of Enrique Peña Nieto. A victory for Peña Nieto, the candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, would mark a return to the executive office by the political party that dominated Mexican politics for more than 70 years. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City and candidate in 2006, is also running and, according to polls, is considered the second place contender.

For more, we’re joined by FSRN reporter Shannon Young. She’s been following the race and joins us from Oaxaca.

Listen to FSRN's interview here.

The Vietnam War and the Struggle For Truth

 

By John Grant


Vietnam, a story of virtually unmitigated disasters that we have inflicted on ourselves and even more on others.

           -Bernard Brodie, 1973
 

A.P. Scare Report: A 'Brutal' Socialist Future Facing France

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

Reading, watching and listening to the mainstream media in America, it gets harder and harder to tell the difference between journalism and rank propaganda. Consider the coverage of the French parliamentary election currently underway.

 

Most Americans who read newspapers probably learned about this via the Associated Press report that went out on the weekend for Monday’s papers (AP is the de facto “foreign correspondent” for almost every newspaper in America now that all but a few papers have eliminated their foreign reporting staffs). It stated that recently elected Socialist President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party “stands positioned to take control of the lower house of parliament.” 

 

From the Land of No-Poetry

 

By Gary Lindorff

 

Welcome to the Land of No-poetry.

If I succeed in writing this poem

No one will understand me.

It will be like talking backwards.

It will be like autism.

 

There is no music here,

Except what you buy.

 

The weather is predictable.

Frogs are two-headed or one-legged

But it doesn’t mean anything.

Up means up, down means down.

A Killer In the White House

 

By John Grant


“No, Charlotte, I’m the jury now. I sentence you to death.”
The roar of the .45 shook the room. Charlotte staggered back a step.
“How c-could you?” she gasped.
“It was easy.”
- Mickey Spillane, I, The Jury


Hot, Repressive and Locked in an Internet War: A Grim Vision of America’s and the World’s Future

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

My wife and I live on a 2.3-acre plot of forested land in a pre-Revolutionary house with a run-down old barn. When we first moved here, there was a rather large set of grassy areas, one in front of the house, another behind the kitchen, a large field in the back, behind the barn, a smaller lawn in front of the barn, and a hidden glen, as well as an island of grass in the middle of a circular gravel driveway. 

 

Why Activists in the US and Around the World Should be Learning from Montreal Student Strikers

 

Photo Credit: Sarah Jaffe

On Wednesday night in Montreal, we shared a long dinner with student organizers, discussing everything from police tactics in Montreal and New York to the necessity of an anti-racist and anti-colonial framework for our movements. Our hosts noticed that, around the time that the nightly 8:30 p.m. march was supposed to begin, we were getting nervous about missing it. They laughed and said, “Don’t worry, it will go on until 2 a.m.” Or at least they normally do.

By midnight, after peacefully and joyfully marching through the city for hours, the police charged our march of about 4,000 people with batons and pepper spray. In a moment the scene became one of chaos and confusion. Many in the crowd turned around and ran, but there were police behind us, too, coming straight at us with their batons out as people were pepper sprayed and thrown to the ground. Eventually, we found our way out of the melée and asked our Canadian comrade what had happened to provoke the police. “Nothing,” she answered. “They just got tired of us.”

READ THE REST.

This Memorial Day Let’s Start Caring for Our Nation’s Veterans: No More Ducking the Real Cost of US Wars!

 

By Dave Lindorff


Whether he ever said it or not, I’m going to borrow from a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln and alter it a bit to say: “American politicians must love war veterans -- they keep making so many more of them.”


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