Burmese prisoners ‘executed after cyclone hit’ + No help reaching Myanmar survivors (vids) + Where to donate

Dandelion Salad

By Sebastien Berger, Graham Jenkins and Stephen Adams
http://www.telegraph.co.uk
9:35AM BST May 7, 2008

Thirty-six prisoners were shot dead at a notorious Burmese prison after Cyclone Nargis ripped through the country, it has been claimed.

Soldiers and riot police opened fire at Insein Prison in Rangoon, the capital of Burma, or Myanmar, after inmates there rioted, according to reports.

The facility, which houses many political prisoners who oppose the country’s military junta, has been described by former inmates as “the darkest hell-hole in Burma”.

The chilling report came after the Burmese authorities raised the estimate of the dead and missing to more than 60,000.

It is feared that the secretive regime’s paranoia has hampered the flow of aid which has now started flowing into the country.

…continued

h/t: Mike Price Integrity Now

***

No help reaching Myanmar survivors

AlJazeeraEnglish

Across Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta region, survivors are in desperate need of food, water and shelter.

The first United Nations aid flights have started arriving in Myanmar – but supplies are still to reach many of the victims, as Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Myanmar reports.

***

Village at the heart of Myanmar disaster

One of Al Jazeera’s correspondents in Myanmar has managed to reach the area worst-hit by Cyclone Nargis and hear for the first time eye-witness accounts of the true scale of the disaster.

This report is from a remote village at the heart of the Irrawaddy delta.

For her own safety, we are not naming our correspondent.

***

Burma-cant-wait says these are orgs that can get aid to the Burmese:

World Vision (US: 1-800-777-5777)

h/t: Malcolm

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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Death toll soars in Myanmar cyclone + survivors’ long wait for aid

Countdown: CSI: Clinton Campaign + Bushed + Obama Looking Forward

Dandelion Salad

I’ll add more vids when they become available. ~ Lo

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

May 07, 2008
MSNBC Keith Olbermann

CSI: Clinton Campaign

BUSHED! FIXING THE 2008 ELECTION-GATE!

duckofprey

Rachel Maddow on Obama Looking Forward

More at http://www.MaddowFans.com

Rachel Maddow discusses Sen. Barack Obama’s North Carolina primary victory speech on Tuesday. Can he beat Sen. John McCain in the general election? Aired 5/7/08.

videocafeblog

Worst Person

And the winner is….E.D. Hill. Runners up Rush Limbaugh and The Pasco County School district.

see

Bill Moyers on the 2008 Elections, the Rev. Wright Controversy, the Media, Vietnam

Dems to pick nominee after November election by R J Shulman (satire)

IN & NC Primary Results 05.06.08 (early returns)

Olbermann: Ferraro Special Comment + How To Delegate + Geraldine Furorro

Bush rejected as Wal-Mart greeter by R J Shulman (satire)

Robert

by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post
May 7, 2008

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas – Wal-Mart announced today that it will reject George W. Bush’s application to become a store greeter after his term as President has expired. “We can’t afford to besmirch our good name,” said Clyde Biggins, a Wal-Mart executive, “by hiring a greeter with such a low approval rating.”

“We don’t want to have a situation where a customer comes in with a defective toaster they got at our small kitchen appliances section,” said Margie Hinckley, a Wal-Mart Manager, “only to have the greeter decide to tell this customer to make a preemptive strike on women’s lingerie. Besides, we need someone to be there at the door and not have them wander off at the drop of a hat to clear brush around the store parking lot.” “I don’t think we could accommodate his vacation schedule,” said another Wal-Mart official, “anyone else taking that much time off would be fired.”

In a related story, Dick Cheney’s bid to become a ticket taker at the Frontier Six Movie Theatre in Cheyenne, Wyoming was also rejected. “Not all of our patrons come to this theater to see a horror show,” said manager Jerry Rowland, “and they don’t need no ticket taker to give them a coronary.”

“Do we love the Earth enough to save it?” Global Greens Congress 2008

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to
Bruce

Bruce’s Blog post

May 7, 2008

Brazil Trip Report

This report covers the period of April 29 – May 5 as I traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil to speak at the Global Greens Congress.

This was the second such Global Greens (GG) event and was attended by hundreds of people from 88 countries. There were 21 African countries represented at the conference.

My speaking invitation came from U.S. Green Party member Julia Willebrand whom I met while speaking in New York City last August. She arranged, with some difficulty I learned, to have me speak on a plenary panel and specifically asked me to address the impacts of militarism on climate change.

I took the bus to Boston, the train to New York, and then flew to Sao Paulo from there. Fellow Mainer, and long-time Green Party stalwart John Rensenbrink was on the same plane and we roomed together in a downtown Sao Paulo hotel. The plane trip was about 10 hours long and only 1/3 of the seats were full so we each got to stretch out across three empty seats during the flight.

The conference was largely focused on climate change and the stories from around the world were heart breaking. A Peruvian Green talked about the “extinction by human intervention” in the Amazon where 20% of the reptiles, 20% of the birds, and 34% of the fish are now gone.

A Mongolian Green told a tragic story about how gold mining is poisoning the water, killing nature, creating sickness for the people and causing 50% of the forests to be lost. He urged us to boycott gold. Easy one for me.

Several Africans told similar stories about desertification on the continent, lakes drying up, fisherman having no livelihood and moving to the big cities where poverty and disease await them. Wild animals are disappearing. (And now the U.S. has created the new military command called AfriCom to be used to help take their oil.)

Brazilian cars run on alcohol made from sugar cane – another story about agricultural land feeding cars rather than people. (Just like in the U.S. where corn production is now more profitable for ethanol than for food.)

As I made this trip, food was big in the news. Rising gasoline prices have dramatically impacted the price of the global food supply. Climate change has had enormous impact on food production as we see the cost of food rising by 40% in 2007 and 80% in 2008. Protests around the world, just in recent days, are a foretelling of the future.

Brazilian Green Fabio Feldmann, a member of the parliament, told the audience that needed changes must come from political action. “We need new governance models,” he said. Feldmann also reminded us that the U.S. had not signed the Biodiversity Convention in 1992 because the pharmaceutical industry opposed it. I wrote “death culture” in my notes as he spoke.

I was the only one to speak about militarism and the connection to the environment and climate change. I was very surprised by this. The fact is that all the speakers made dramatic appeals for immediate and massive structural change and investment in green technologies and conservation if we are to save the Mother Earth. How, I asked in my plenary presentation, can we effectively deal with climate change if we allow a new expensive and destabilizing arms race in space to happen? We must convert the global war machine immediately and use those resources, now wasted on endless war, for the needed investments to deal with climate change. I suggested that the proposed 21-point Declaration that would be approved on the last day of the Congress needed to include calls for the prevention of an arms race in outer space and conversion of the military industrial complex. As I finished my talk I was given a rousing applause by the several hundred people in the audience.

One U.S. Green delegate approached me and asked me to write down the specific language I thought should go into the final Declaration, which I immediately did. He made sure it was formally introduced into the process. Sadly, the final document made no reference to either point.

It is quite clear that the German Greens, European Greens, and Australian Greens run the Global Greens movement because they are the regions that had the most electoral success over the years. I heard from several U.S. delegates that they have been told by the German Greens that the U.S. Green Party is too “radical.”

One telling panel was called “Between Government Responsibilities and Fundamental Opposition.” This session addressed the question “What changes occur if Greens engage in parliaments and governments? Does this affect the relationship between Green parties and social movements and how do we deal with conflicts between ‘ethics of conviction’ and an ‘ethics of responsibility’?” In other words, once in power should Greens go along to get along? Or should they stick their neck out on “controversial” issues?

A Green member of parliament from the Czech Republic, that is now in power as part of a coalition with their right-wing government, talked about how taking cautious steps was important if one hoped to remain in power to do the “good works” required to deal with climate change. Surprisingly she never mentioned the current controversy and enormous challenges facing the Czech Green Party as they now hold the deciding votes which will determine whether or not their parliament supports the planned U.S. deployment of a Star Wars radar base in their country. I later learned from another Czech Green member that out of their six Green members of parliament, two of them are likely to support the radar, which will likely be the winning margin for Bush in an evenly divided government.

A member of the European Greens told me that they had recently met and wanted to pass a strong region-wide resolution against the proposed deployment of the U.S. radar in the Czech Republic. He said one of the Czech Greens, who will likely support the radar, insisted that the resolution be weakened to say that if NATO supports it then it would be acceptable. Apparently this amended resolution was passed.

Reinhard Buetikofer, Co-President of the German Greens, while addressing this issue of cooperation with more conservative power blocs, argued that military intervention to support “human rights” was necessary and thus should not be ruled out. “What would we do if another Adolf Hitler was to come along?” he asked. We have one today I thought to myself – his name is George W. Bush. Are we all doing enough to stop his program of empire building and endless war, I wondered?

The German Greens, once in power but now out of the ruling coalition, have experienced this “dilemma” first-hand. Their party supported the U.S. attack and invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. A year or so later I was speaking at a conference in Southern Germany and was on a panel with a German Green Party leader. In the Q & A many peace activists in the audience were furious with the Greens for having supported the U.S. invasion. The German Greens fell out of power in 2005.

One truly inspiring moment at the Congress was watching a video of the speech by Ingrid Betancourt from Columbia at the last Global Greens Congress that was held in 2001 in Australia. Ingrid is a politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist. She was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2002 while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green, after she decided to campaign in an area of high guerrilla presence in spite of warnings not to do so. She is still being held hostage by the FARC.

In her 2001 speech Ingrid called the global economic machine a “system of self destruction.” “The first thing we must defeat is our own skepticism,” she said. Her call to relentlessly organize and remain passionate moved the audience of Greens once again.

In a crowd this large, from so many nations, one can imagine that many different views existed about how best to proceed. Several people really hit the mark for me. Rebecca Harms, a German member of parliament, said, “The movement has to be a participatory democracy if we hope to show the people of the world how things can change.”

A Green from Greece said, “We are a global movement but be careful because power corrupts.”

Haidar El Ali from Senegal touched me deeply when he said, “Love and faith will save us, not politicians. We need to reach the hearts of the people. Do we love the Earth enough to save it?”

One evening while eating dinner one of the Greens from Mongolia, a businessman, was sitting at a nearby table. He congratulated me on my talk and told me that at first he was “shocked” that I was being publicly critical of my government. He said that he believed it best to work with existing governments and not to be publicly critical of them. But he then went on to tell me that he learned a lot from my speech and appreciated it by the end. I told him that I thought democracy meant that citizens, and political leaders, should challenge their governments when they know they have gone wrong.

Many other Greens from places like Sweden, Canada, Japan, Dominican Republic, Holland, Hungary, New Zealand, Belgium, Norway, Portugal, Africa, and the U.S. gave me strong positive feedback after my plenary speech. Several asked me to send them the text of my talk so they could pass it around in their country.

I was extremely grateful to have been invited to speak before such an important conference and such wonderful people who are doing the good work to help protect all life on this beautiful planet. The question of political parties and power, how they should work and compromise with existing power structures, is an important topic to debate. But in the end it is equally important to create new alternative political formations that give voice to the important issues of our time. The tensions over power and compromise will always be with us.

In the end, I come away reminding myself that I am an activist first and I am certain that my job is to stand strong for what I know must be done if we are to survive on this spinning satellite we call Earth. I need not worry about negotiating this point or that. My job is to speak for all life, to represent those who cannot speak. My task is to remain steady during those moments when those in power seem most intractable. My role is to tell it like I see it and let the chips fall where they may.

That I shall continue to do as long as I draw breath on my mother planet.

Bill Moyers on the 2008 Elections, the Rev. Wright Controversy, the Media, Vietnam

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Democracy Now!

May 7, 2008

Broadcasting Legend Bill Moyers on the 2008 Elections, the Rev. Wright Controversy, the Media, Vietnam and More

Legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers helped organize the Peace Corps and served under President Johnson before going on to a distinguished career in journalism that continues today with the PBS series Bill Moyers Journal. His latest book, just published, is Moyers on Democracy. Moyers joins us to talk about the 2008 elections, the media and war. He addresses the controversy over Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. It was nearly two weeks ago on Bill Moyers Journal where Wright first spoke out since his criticism of US government policies became a major issue in the 2008 Democratic presidential race.

Listen/Watch/Read
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/5/7/broadcasting_legend_bill_moyers_on

***

IWantDemocracyNow

see

Bill Moyers Journal: Essay on Jeremiah Wright (video)

Bill Moyers Journal: Reverend Jeremiah Wright (videos)

Haiti: occupation and resistance

Dandelion Salad

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
http://www.socialistworker.co.uk
6 May 2008

Peter Hallward spoke to Socialist Worker’s Anindya Bhattacharyya about oppression, food riots and the growing struggle against neoliberalism

The Caribbean country of Haiti has long been a centre of resistance to imperialism and slavery. It was the first black slave colony to rise up and overthrow its overlords, with a revolt led by Toussaint L’Ouverture beginning in 1791. The country declared itself an independent republic in 1804.

More recently Haiti has been in the news because of a series of food riots that rocked the country last month. These were triggered by rises of more than 50 percent in the price of imported food staples over the past year.

But there was another political dimension to these protests. Haiti’s former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a US-backed coup in 2004, and the country has been occupied by thousands of United Nations (UN) “peace-keeping” troops ever since.

A new government was elected in 2006, led by Aristide’s former prime minister René Préval. But the US and the UN have prevented any attempts to dismantle the neoliberal economic policies that have been imposed on Haiti since the mid-1980s, with disastrous consequences.

Peter Hallward is the author of Damming The Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment, a new book that exposes how the Haitian elite and their foreign allies have conspired to keep down the popular movement of Haiti’s poor that has struggled for decades against exploitation and repression.

He spoke to Socialist Worker about the reasons behind the current unrest – and what the future might hold for one of the world’s forgotten neoliberal occupations.

“The food situation in Haiti is a political disaster, not a fact of nature,” says Peter. “Without damaging interference from abroad, and with genuine investment in local agriculture and the environment, Haiti would be perfectly capable of feeding itself.

“In the early 1980s – before the neoliberal economic plan took over – the country was self-sufficient in rice, the main staple food. In 1985 Haiti imported just 7,000 tonnes of rice from the US. Today that figure stands at around 300,000 tonnes a year.

“The collapse of domestic rice production was the result of a very deliberate policy. Neoliberalism impoverished local food producers and forced them into becoming a rural ‘sub-proletariat’ of agricultural labourers, or else drove them into the growing urban slums and sweatshops.

Slums

“This process of people being pushed off the land and into urban slums began in the 1980s. That’s when you see the sweatshops emerging, with workers typically involved in light assembly work producing baseballs, T-shirts, US army uniforms and so on.

“Over the past 30 years wages in Haiti have fallen through the floor. The minimum wage is now about $1.75 a day, just a fifth of what it was in 1980 in real terms. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to earn a wage.

“Only a tiny number of people in Haiti are formally employed – fewer than 1 percent of the workforce. Everyone else lives through subsistence farming, by scrounging around in the informal economy or by surviving off money sent from relatives working abroad.”

But Peter stresses that ordinary people have met this process of impoverishment with resistance. In particular, the Lavalas movement emerged from the country’s slums in the 1980s, partly inspired by Catholic liberation theology.

In 1986 popular protests overthrew the hated dictatorship of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. The army stepped in to take direct control, and tried to suppress the growing mobilisation by killing hundreds of people. But four years later the movement brought Aristide to power. He was a radical priest whose powerful, simple language spoke directly to the experiences of the poor.

Aristide’s movement was pledged to use non-violent methods, but the rulers of Haiti have shown no such qualms, being only too willing to use murderous force to hold down resistance.

“The Haitian ruling class is a very small minority of the population,” says Peter. “But it is very well armed. There are around 220,000 guns in Haiti and the great majority protect wealthy families and their businesses.

“In the past the elite used the army and paramilitaries to keep workers in check and make sure they didn’t unionise.

But that couldn’t stop the protest movement from growing. By the late 1980s direct repression threatened to create a backlash that the elite couldn’t contain any more.”

Democracy

Ever since then, he adds, the elite’s focus has moved towards accepting a degree of formal democracy while tying the hands of politicians in order to force them into accepting neoliberal economic policies that benefit the rich while keeping the masses in grinding poverty.

This strategy has led to permanent instability in the country. Aristide won the presidency in 1990, but was deposed by the elite in a military coup a year later. He was eventually returned to power in 1994, and shortly thereafter disbanded Haiti’s hated armed forces.

Aristide was re-elected in 2000 with a huge majority. With Lavalas in control of both houses of parliament, and without the army standing in its way, Aristide’s government was finally in a position to push through significant political changes. But his enemies, both in Haiti and abroad, responded with a destabilisation campaign that led to the 2004 coup.

The country has been under UN occupation ever since. It is becoming increasingly dependent on NGOs and other international bodies for survival. Today around 70 percent of Haiti’s revenues come from foreign aid.

“I don’t know of any comparable situation where UN troops police a resentful local population, obliging them to accept a completely illegal and unjustifiable coup,” says Peter.

“They are called ‘peace-keepers’ – but there was no war there! Instead there was a political crime, perpetrated by the very same countries who sent the UN in to police the consequences. The hypocrisy is extraordinary.”

The situation has some parallels elsewhere in the world, adds Peter: “The way popular resistance is contained and overpowered in Haiti is similar to the situation in the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli blockade has deprived the elected Hamas government of revenues and made the population dependent on aid.

“Both in Palestine and in Haiti the people have been forced to pay a high price for electing the ‘wrong’ government.”

The UN operation in Haiti is led by Brazilian troops. “Its official acronym is Minustah, but some Haitians have taken to calling the troops ‘touristas’, since they seem to accomplish so little,” says Peter.

‘They drive around the cities in armoured personnel carriers, pointing guns at people who are starving, while doing nothing to address either the political or the economic situation. It’s no wonder that the people who mobilised recently against the intolerable price of food denounced the UN occupation as well.”

So how organised were the recent food riots? And could they form the nucleus of a renewed radical political movement in Haiti?

“I’d characterise the recent protests as a limited and tentative political uprising,” says Peter.

“It’s too early to say where it might lead. Political anger is clearly very genuine and widespread, but there’s a lack of coordinated leadership and direction.

“Aristide’s organisation was suppressed and several key figures remain in exile. Some prominent Lavalas politicians, meanwhile, seem to have turned their back on the popular movement.

“In the absence of clear national leadership, the protests have been organised informally by local groups.

“Most people are desperately poor – according to International Monetary Fund figures in 2006 some 55 percent of households live on $0.44 a day or less. And then prices have almost doubled in just six months.

“People are really up against it, with no prospect of a decent future in sight. Some of the recent demonstrators told reporters ‘We’d rather die facing bullets than die of hunger’.”

Meanwhile the machinations of the elite and their imperial allies continue. “This is something that complicates the picture,” says Peter. “There’s good reason to think that some members of Haiti’s elite are trying to manipulate the popular mobilisation for political change and use it for their own advantage.”

In particular, there is a group of senators linked to a right wing veteran of Haiti’s security forces, Youri Latortue, that wants to restore the army and reverse some of the gains made by the popular movement. It is widely believed they took advantage of the recent unrest in order to force Préval’s prime minister Jacques-Édouard Alexis out of office.

“Latortue and his allies have been trying to undermine Alexis for the last year and a half. These guys have very little popular support – but they have the resources and connections that allow them to cause a certain amount of havoc.

“So during the recent riots, a group of people trashed the Air France building but didn’t ransack a supermarket owned by an ally of Latortue. It was a good way to arouse concerns about anarchy and imminent chaos, but a strange thing to do in the middle of a ‘food riot’.

“They might be trying to provoke the government into making a forceful response. The consequent unrest could clear the way for a strongman to emerge. But it could also set the stage for a very different outcome – the renewal of a disciplined popular movement, and the return of Aristide.

“The neoliberal plan is now discredited beyond repair. But the elite and their foreign backers continue to offer little more than a version of business as usual – grotesque inequalities of wealth, mass unemployment, ridiculously low wages, total destitution in the countryside.

“When popular unrest threatens to boil over, they send in the army or its equivalent. If things keep going this way the question will start to look very simple – starvation or revolution.”

© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

see

Haiti: Damning the Flood, Part II by Stephen Lendman

Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide & the Politics of Containment

We Must Democratize Our Economic Institutions by Manila Ryce

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
Wednesday, May 7th, 2008
The Largest Minority

The Real News – We Must Democratize Our Economic Institutions

Senior Editor Paul Jay sits down with economist Leo Panitch to discuss participatory economics. In a truly democratic society, democracy isn’t simply limited to the political process but is incorporated into every aspect of daily life. Workers must essentially own the means of production because capitalism is fundamentally opposed to democracy. Anything less than real socialism in America will equal the collapse of our country, not to mention our environment. For more info on democratizing society, check out the forum on Participatory Society for the 21st Century.

Continue reading

Philippe Sands: Beyond the Torture Debate (video)

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NewAmericaFoundation

On May 6th the American Strategy Program hosted an event with Philippe Sands, Professor of International Law at University College London and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colon Powell. Mr. Sands was in DC to testify to the House Judiciary Committee about the findings in his new book, Torture Team, which examines the legal implications of the Bush administration’s policy of torture. Col. Wilkerson was on hand for commentary on the subject. The event was moderated by Patrick Doherty, deputy director of the American Strategy program.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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more videos by: New America Foundation

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The Green Light: Attorney Philippe Sands Follows the Bush Admin Torture Trail

John Yoo-4th Amendment-Torture

Torture

It’s the End of the World #32 (video)

Dandelion Salad

stimulator

This Week:

1. Haiti Riots
2. Bushanol
3. Oil Crash – Plane Crash – Food Crash
4. Beer Batter
6. Lucious Substitue Drink
7. It’s Not a Compound
8. Matewan
9. Randy Rowland

Continue reading

Mosaic News – 5/6/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Unrest in Kuwait’s Parliamentary Elections,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Hezbollah Establishes Own Communications System,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Fuel Prices Anger Egyptians,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Leader of Young Mujahedeen Killed in Somalia,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Released Guantanamo Prisoners Jailed in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Long Island Man Implicates Olmert,” IBA TV, Israel
“Israel Closes West Bank for 60th Anniversary,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Palestinians & Isaelis Close to Borders Agreement,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“American Contractors Used Torture at Abu Ghraib,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

An Experiment in Back Yard Sustainability For Renters (video)

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peakmoment on Mar 11, 2007

Peak Moment 51: Tour Scott McGuire’s “White Sage Gardens” in the back yard of his rental home — a demonstration site for suburban sustainability. He ponders, “How might a household produce and preserve a significant portion of its own food supply?” Composting, a water-conserving greenhouse, and seed-saving are all facets of this beautiful work in progress. [www.whitesagegardens.com]

Continue reading

The Rise and Fall of Blackwater in Potrero (video)

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AlternateFocus

Residents of the small town of Potrero joined with environmentalists, peace activists, veterans groups, immigrant rights groups, and others to stop the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide from building a training facility in their town. This is the story of their fight and ultimate defeat of Blackwater. Featuring interviews with residents of Potrero both for and against Blackwater, including Jan Hedlun, and Gordon Hammers; as well as Blackwater’s VP Brian Bonfiglio; Jeremy Scahill, the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army; and leading activists, including Raymond Lutz of Citizens Oversight Committee, Carol Jahnkow of the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, Enrique Morones of Border Angels, and Jeanette Hartman of the Sierra Club. Producer: Andy Trimlett

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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see

Blackwater in Potrero (video)

Blackwater

Death toll soars in Myanmar cyclone + survivors’ long wait for aid

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MegaNewsbreak

The death toll continues to rise from the impact of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

Meanwhile survivors are struggling to find food and clean water as aid agencies await clearance from the government.

Due to security concerns we cannot name our correspondent reporting from inside Myanmar.

Continue reading

US Navy resurrects Fourth Fleet to police Latin America

Dandelion Salad

By Humberto Santana
http://www.wsws.org
7 May 2008

Washington announced at the end of last month that it is resurrecting the long-ago moth-balled Fourth Fleet to reassert US power in the Caribbean and Latin America. Created at the time of World War II to combat German submarines attacking merchant shipping convoys in the South Atlantic, the Fourth Fleet was seen as no longer necessary after the Second World War and was disbanded in 1950.

The Pentagon’s a statement on the revival of the fleet gave a far vaguer indication of its new duties, saying it would “conduct varying missions including a range of contingency operations, counter narco-terrorism, and theater security cooperation activities.”

“Rear Admiral James Stevenson, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, said the re-establishment of the Fourth Fleet will send a message to the entire region, not just Venezuela,” AHN news reported.

…continued

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.

Could we organise things without money? (2005)

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by Pik Smeet
From the Socialist Standard
April 2005

How would common ownership and democratic control work in practice? Without a price mechanism some critics do not understand how signals can pass from the user to the producer or how decisions about  production can be made. Yet such non-market systems already exist even within capitalism and a study of  these can give useful insights into the practical operation of a socialist production and distribution system.

What distinguishes the Socialist Party from the leftists is that when we talk of common ownership we do not just include the means of production, but also, specifically, call for the common and democratic control of the means of distribution. Equal access to the common store without requirement of exchange or payment is one of the things we consider to be the hallmark of genuine socialism. After all, you cannot buy something you already own. To people living in a society where everything has a price, where access to any aspect of our society from necessities to leisure and culture comes with a price tag, such a system seems alien, or possibly even naively utopian. Clever apologists of gross inequality and privilege even try to claim that it is categorically impossible to organise provision of any good or service without the vital signals of monetary exchange or market haggling. Continue reading