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Rosa Parks, Hail to Thee! by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
Wednesday, July 30. 2008

Montgomery, Alabama – The Troy University Rosa Parks Museum is located on the side of the old Empire Theatre where this courageous African-American woman declined to “move to the back of the bus” in 1955.

A visit to the museum honoring her and other civil rights champions is a sobering reminder of just how courageous such a refusal was in that very segregated South. Mrs. Parks was promptly arrested and thus was launched the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is credited with igniting the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s.

What most people do not know about Rosa Parks is that she was a trained civil rights worker who knew the significance of staying in her front seat and not giving it up to a white man. But she could not have predicted what happened after the police took her away.

Four days after she was arrested, the bus boycott started on December 5, 1955. A flyer distributed on that date by the Women’s Political Council of Montgomery noted the arrest of Mrs. Parks and two teenage “Negro” women—Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith—who earlier that year were arrested and fined for refusing to give up their seats.

The flyer went on to urge “every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial. Don’t ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday.” They stayed off in the thousands.

Since three-fourths of the Montgomery bus riders were “Negroes,” the growing boycott grew to become a serious economic drain on the bus company. As it grew, and as the accompanying street marches and demonstrations started, the national news media began to cover it and a young charismatic minister by the name of Martin Luther King.

Sam Cook was at the Museum during our visit. He had a scrapbook of old newspaper clippings and photographs from those heady days when he occasionally was a driver for Rev. King.

In addition to the Museum’s timelines of history, artifacts, documents and memorabilia—there is a replica of the public bus on which Mrs. Parks was sitting—there are classrooms and a library to enhance the serious educational purposes for today that the Museum’s staff espouses.

The new Children’s Wing conveys to youngsters that “things just don’t happen in history—people make things happen. Visitors come to realize that they, too, can make a difference just as Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon, Joanne Robinson, Fred Gray, Claudette Colvin, Georgia Gilmore and many others made a difference following in the footsteps of Dred Scott, Harriet Tubman, Homer Plessy and others who had gone before.”

Students today in Montgomery and other southern cities might wonder what all the fuss was about from white folk. The races mix easily in this city on buses, in stores, restaurants, cinemas, schools, hospitals and ballparks. Race, like class, still matters a great deal throughout the United States; but there has been undeniable progress.

The contemporary struggles for justice can learn from the ways the civil rights movement overcame a media boycott and moved hitherto immovable forces.

To be sure, it used the courts, and the streets with non-violent demonstrations. But never underestimate the personal story of an individual who heroically and selflessly takes on the Machine to spark the requisite rage and empathy that leads to larger and larger numbers of similarly situated people who swell the ranks of those demanding change or reform.

So powerful a model is this civil rights approach that when Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American youth counselor in Palestine’s West Bank tried to organize nonviolent civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation and repression, the Israeli government deported him in 1988 back to the United States. He proceeded to establish the group, Non-violence International, but he is still banned from Israel.

Commercial or labor strikes as a form of political protest received the ire of the Israelis. They would routinely break up strikes by cutting the locks on closed shops or welding doors shut and fining the shop owners.

In our country, we need the Rosa Parks of rebellion against gas and drug prices, home foreclosures, cruel prison conditions, huge up-front payments before entering hospitals, junk, obesity-illness-producing food, and breakdowns in municipal services.

Each historic, citizen-moving movement has its own style and personality. Granted, the mass media can be very picky indeed, as it has been with the soldiers who have refused to return to the unconstitutional, illegal war-occupation in Iraq. The heartfelt stories of these soldiers told at a recent “Winter Soldiers” gathering were not even covered by the New York Times or the television evening news. (But Amy Goodman did on Democracy Now!)

One must believe there is always a way to produce the human spark for a broader public morality and a deeper commitment to a more just society.

Rosa Parks, hail to thee!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo (includes links to Winter Soldier)

Protect our health and environment by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (GMO)

Legendary Folk Musician, Activist Utah Phillips, 1935-2008 + Direct Action (vid)

Israeli Fencebusters (video)

The Brief Origins of May Day by Eric Chase

Fasting for impeachment “The Southfield/12 Mile situation”

Protesting Power – War, Resistance & Law by Stephen Lendman (Boyle)

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

The All-Seeing Public Eye, Part 1: Why Isn’t Mainstream Media Enough? (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad

[Sorry the video and links are no longer available, Derek deleted his blog and youtube channel.]

by Derek Wallace

http://organicreform.blogspot.com

July 29, 2008

The main reason I stopped off back home in Los Angeles was to do a workshop on grassroots journalism at the 2008 L.A. Social Forum. I filmed it, edited it, chopped it up into its six separate parts and tossed it up on Youtube. Keep in mind this isn’t supposed to be some 3-minute viral piece to float around. It’s a longer, more in-depth examination of how camcorders, mobile phones and the internet allow US to be the media now. Ideally, it’s meant to show high school teachers and college professors what they’d be in store for if I came to do the workshop for their students (free of charge, of course).

So if you are in school, or are a member of the faculty, or know anyone who is, please pass it along to them! And if you have the time, feel free to take a look yourself and give some feedback.

Parts 2-6 on Derek’s blog: The All-Seeing Public Eye

The All-Seeing Public Eye, Part 1: Why Isn’t Mainstream Media Enough?

smartbombstudios

Workshop on grassroots journalism by Derek Wallace. Part 1 deals with why mainstream media is not, and never will be, enough. Topics covered include media consolidation & monopolies, corporate sponsorship, video news releases, fear-based tactics, sensationalism, lack of context for local viewers and political/religious biases.

The U.S. Economy and Bad Government Policies by Rodrigue Tremblay

Dandelion Salad

by Rodrigue Tremblay
Friday, August 1, 2008

“I think the [US financial] system is basically sound, I truly do.”

George W. Bush, July 15, 2008

“Since 1951, the budget of the Department of Defense each year exceeds the net profits of all U.S. corporations. So, in finance capital terms, that means that the management of that budget controls the largest single block of finance capital resources.”

Seymour Melman (1917–2004)

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), (September 1932)

Continue reading

The NYT: Making Nuclear Extermination Respectable

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. James Petras
Global Research
July 30, 2008

On July 18, 2008 The New York Times published an article by Israeli-Jewish historian, Professor Benny Morris, advocating an Israeli nuclear-genocidal attack on Iran with the likelihood of killing 70 million Iranians – 12 times the number of Jewish victims in the Nazi holocaust:

“Iran ’s leaders would do well to rethink their gamble and suspend their nuclear program. Barring this, the best they could hope for is that Israel ’s conventional air assault will destroy their nuclear facilities. To be sure, this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation. But the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland.”

Morris is a frequent lecturer and consultant to the Israeli political and military establishment and has unique access to Israeli strategic military planners. Morris’ advocacy and public support of the massive, brutal expulsion of all Palestinians is on public record. Yet his genocidal views have not precluded his receiving numerous academic awards. His writings and views are published in Israel ’s leading newspapers and journals. Morris’ views are not the idle ranting of a marginal psychopath, as witnessed by the recent publication of his latest op-ed article in the New York Times.

What does the publication by the New York Times of an article, which calls for the nuclear incineration of 70 million Iranians and the contamination of the better part of a billion people in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, tell us about US politics and culture? For it is the NYT, which informs the ‘educated classes’ in the US, its Sunday supplements, literary and editorial pages and which serves as the ‘moral conscience’ of important sectors of the cultural, economic and political elite.

The New York Times provides a certain respectability to mass murder, which Morris’ views otherwise would not possess if say, they were published in the neo-conservative weeklies or monthlies. The fact that the NYT considers the prospect of an Israeli mass extermination of millions of Iranians part of the policy debate in the Middle East reveals the degree to which Zionofascism has infected the ‘higher’ cultural and journalist circles of the United States. Truth to say, this is the logical outgrowth of the Times public endorsement of Israel ’s economic blockade to starve 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza ; the Times’ cover-up of Israeli-Zionist-AIPAC influence in launching the US invasion of Iraq leading to over one million murdered Iraqi citizens.

The Times sets the tone for the entire New York cultural scene, which privileges Israeli interests, to the point of assimilating into the US political discourse not only its routine violations of international law, but its threats, indeed promises, to scorch vast areas of the earth in pursuit of its regional supremacy. The willingness of the NYT to publish an Israeli genocide-ethnocide advocate tells us about the strength of the ties between a purportedly ‘liberal establishment’ pro-Israel publication and the totalitarian Israeli right: It is as if to say that for the liberal pro-Israel establishment, the nonJewish Nazis are off limits, but the views and policies of Judeo-fascists need careful consideration and possible implementation.

Morris’ New York Times ‘nuclear-extermination’ article did not provoke any opposition from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO) because, in its daily information bulletin, Daily Alert, it has frequently published articles by Israeli and US Zionists advocating an Israeli and/or US nuclear attack on Iran . In other words, Morris’ totalitarian views are part of the cultural matrix deeply embedded in the Zionist organizational networks and its extensive ‘reach’ in US cultural and political circles. What the Times did in publishing Morris’ lunacy has taken genocidal discourse out of the limited circulation of Zionist influentials and into the mainstream of millions of American readers.

Apart from a handful of writers (Gentile and Jewish) publishing in marginal web sites, there was no political or moral condemnation from the entire literary, political and journalistic world of this affront to our humanity. No attempt was made to link Morris’ totalitarian genocidal policies to Israel ’s public official threats and preparations for nuclear war. There is no anti-nuclear campaign led by our most influential public intellectuals to repudiate the state ( Israel ) and its public intellectuals who prepare a nuclear war with the potential to exterminate more than ten times the number of Jews slaughtered by the Nazis.

A nuclear incineration of the nation of Iran is the Israeli counterpart of Hitler’s gas chambers and ovens writ large. Extermination is the last stage of Zionism: Informed by the doctrine of rule the Middle East or ruin the air and land of the world. That is the explicit message of Benny Morris (and his official Israeli sponsors), who like Hitler, issues ultimatums to the Iranians, ‘surrender or be destroyed’ and who threatens the US, join us in bombing Iran or face a world ecological and economic catastrophe.

That Morris is utterly, starkly and clinically insane is beyond question. That the New York Times in publishing his genocidal ravings provides new signs of how power and wealth has contributed to the degeneration of Jewish intellectual and cultural life in the US . To comprehend the dimensions of this decay we need only compare the brilliant tragic-romantic German-Jewish writer, Walter Benjamin, desperately fleeing the advance of totalitarian Nazi terror to the Israeli-Jewish writer, Benny Morris’ criminal advocacy of Zionist nuclear terror published in the New York Times.

The question of Zionist power in America is not merely a question of a ‘lobby’ influencing Congressional and White House decisions concerning foreign aid to Israel . What is at stake today are the related questions of the advocacy of a nuclear war in which 70 million Iranians face extermination and the complicity of the US mass media in providing a platform, nay a certain political respectability for mass murder and global contamination. Unlike the Nazi past, we cannot claim, as the good Germans did, that ‘we did not know’ or ‘we weren’t notified’, because it was written by an eminent Israeli academic and was published in the New York Times.

Professor Petras latest book is Zionism, Militarism And the Decline of U.S Power (Clarity Press Atlanta ), August 2008

© Copyright James Petras, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9711

see

If Iran is Attacking It Might Really be Israel By Philip Giraldi

Plain Facts About Iran’s Military By Eric Margolis

Acts of War By Scott Ritter

Call on AP to retract false reporting on Iran

The possibility of a retaliatory attack by Iran on US bases in the region

Does a leopard change its spots? By William Bowles

Method In The Madness – Why They Want To Attack Iran

War, war, war or jaw, jaw, jaw? by William Bowles

NYT Op-Ed: Israel Will Attack Iran

Iran

Protect our health and environment by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (GMO)

Dandelion Salad

by Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Washington, Jul 30, 2008

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced three bills designed to protect consumers, defend farmers’ rights, and increase food safety yesterday. The bills collectively create a comprehensive framework to regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“We have a responsibility to put the public health and the environment before profits.  These bills spell out common sense precautions.”

The three bills are titled, respectively, H.R. 6636, The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, H.R. 6635, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act, and H.R. 6637, The Genetically Engineered Farmer Protection Act.

H.R. 6636, The Genetically Engineered Food Right To Know Act, would require mandatory labeling of all foods that contain or are produced with genetically modified material. A legal framework to ensure labeling accuracy without significant economic hardship would also be established.

H.R. 6635, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act, would require that genetically engineered foods follow a food safety review process to prevent contamination of food supplies by pharmaceutical and industrial crops. This Act would also require that the FDA screen all genetically engineered foods to ensure they are safe for human consumption.

H.R. 6637, The Genetically Engineered Farmer Protection Act, places liability from the impacts of genetically engineered organisms on the biotechnology companies that created the GMOs, and protects farmers from law suits by biotechnology companies

“We are eating genetically engineered foods every day. Farmers are sowing genetically engineered seeds every day.  Yet, we have never studied the long term effects of genetically modified organisms on our health, our children or our environment. Congress must take steps to maximize the benefit and minimize the risks of biotechnology.”

Congressman Kucinich has used his position as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy to examine food safety issues and the rights of farmers.  A Subcommittee hearing held by Rep. Kucinich in March examined the impact on farmers caused by contamination of conventional crops by genetically engineered plants significantly influenced these bills.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see (video)

Dennis Kucinich Responds to Nancy Pelosi’s Statements

Congress Probes How New Sports Stadiums Turn Public Money into Private Profit

Eaten Up By Ed Pilkington

Time for Action Against Monsanto By Siv O’Neall

Food

GMO

Monsanto

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Resignation Announcement

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

http://cspanjunkie.org/
July 30, 2007 C-SPAN

Defeated in Iraq? By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
07/30/08 “ICH”

Look for it at the pawn shops, the homeless shelters, and the growing number of empty sub-divisions

The United States did not invade Iraq to “stop the violence”. That was never the goal. So, it’s foolish to say that the surge achieved its objective. It hasn’t. Nor has the surge “created the space for a political solution”; another meaningless slogan regurgitated endlessly by the Bush troupe. The political agenda in Iraq has failed utterly. We know that because the Shiite-led government has asked the US to leave “as soon as possible” and for the Bush administration to set a “timetable for withdrawal”. Not a “time horizon” as the administration-spinmiesters like to say; a Timetable, which means a fixed time when the United States must leave. So, if the Iraqi government has asked the US to leave; where is the “political solution” the surge was supposed to create? There isn’t one. The mission has failed; it’s as plain as day. This is not an arguable point.

What the surge really proves is that ethnic cleansing works. Baghdad was a city of roughly 65% Sunnis. Now it is nearly 75% Shiites. Most of the million or so Iraqis who have been killed in the conflict, and most of the 4 million who are either internally displaced or have become refugees, are probably Sunnis. This is an important point and one that Americans should understand. The surge was created to disguise what was really taking place on the ground; ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. No one disputes this. The Sunnis have been effectively purged from the capital. That’s not a “political solution”. It is a war crime.

More important, the United States military has helped the Shiites win their war against the Sunnis. The Shiites control Baghdad now; the Sunnis will never get it back. That is why they are moving on to the next phase of their strategy, which is to demand that the foreign troops leave. So, at least in one respect the surge has worked; it has helped the Shiites and their allies in Tehran win the war. Bush has helped to strengthen Ahmadinejad. Was that the objective?

The Shiites have no experience running the government. That’s always been the Sunnis role dating back hundreds of years. That does not mean they are incapable of leadership, it simply means that the Bush administration decided to break with traditional imperial policy to pursue their colonial ambitions. Normally, imperial powers choose to remove just a few hundred of the top political leaders and leave the existing system in place so the society keeps functioning with as little disruption as possible.

Not Bush. Bush chose to raze the country to the ground; rip-apart the social fabric, destroy the critical infrastructure, and spread chaos far and wide. Now, as author Nir Rosen says, “Iraq no longer exists”. By conceding control of the government to the Shiites, Bush has not established democracy, but anarchy and sectarian hatred. The idea of creating a “Shiite Crescent” in the Middle East is part of a wacky theory cooked up in a Washington think-tank. Imagine if the Russians invaded the United States and decided that the quickest path to political stability was to wipe out the government, disband the bureaucracy, and appoint inexperienced people from the poorer sections of the inner-cities and barrios to run the country. This is the level of stupidity in the Bush administration. The strategy has cost the lives of over a million Iraqis. That’s a high price for stupidity.

There was never the slightest chance that the US would succeed in establishing strategic outposts in the heart of the Arab world. It was doomed from the get-go. The Bush administration points to the temporary lull in the violence as a sign of progress, but they are mistaken. They’re using the wrong yardstick. The Iraqi resistance has achieved what every guerrilla army hopes to achieve; they have undermined their enemy’s ability to wage war. The US is facing growing resistance to its imperial policies around the world, but it can’t address those problems because its army is tied down in Iraq. This is quickly becoming one of the main areas of disagreement in the 2008 political campaign. The world is drifting away from the United States and it isn’t coming back whether Obama or McCain are elected. The superpower model of global government is on its way out.

The real way to measure success or failure in Iraq is to look at the US fiscal budget which has suddenly skyrocketed to nearly $500 billion. This is mainly due to the exorbitant costs of prosecuting an open-ended conflict in the Middle East. The American consumer is not confused by the surge rhetoric; he knows we are losing. He’s not blind. He sees evidence of defeat every time he pulls up to a gas-pump. Tell me: Is $4 dollar per gallon gas a sign of victory or defeat? This isn’t rocket science.

Once again, the individual battles and skirmishes in Iraq are meaningless; what matters is that America’s ability to wage war has been greatly undermined. By the end of 2009, the troops will begin to withdraw or they will be left to fight with sling-shots and bows-and-arrows. The housing market is collapsing, the financial system is in meltdown phase, and the country is facing the greatest funding crisis in its 230 year history. Don’t look for proof of America’s defeat in Iraq. Look for it at home. Look for it at the pawn shops, the homeless shelters, and the growing number of empty sub-divisions which have turned into ghost towns. This is where one can see the true costs of the war; a war that was lost before the first bomb was dropped.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.