Solar Cooking (video)

Dandelion Salad

replaced video

NationalGeographic

A stove powered by the sun is making a big difference in impoverished countries.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Solar Cooking“, posted with vodpod

***

DecentralizedTommy

Mr. Grandinetti’s oven can be made for about $21 dollars and here’s the kicker: he is giving it away. He doesn’t want to sell the plans, he wants a company to take it and mass produce it for third world countries so that forests won’t need to be cut down for things like cooking fires. A noble idea indeed. It will be interesting to see if any company, anywhere steps up and takes him up on his offer.

John Grandinetti is a solar contractor out of Honolulu, and the owner of Grand Solar Inc. This isn’t his first foray into the solar cooking/pasteurization field. He also has created similar devices for the purpose of pasteurizing water in the late 90’s for third world installations in Tanzania and Guatemala. http://solarcooking.org/safewater2.htm

see

Food on Dandelion Salad

The Militarization of American Police By Steven Greenhut

Bookmark and Share

Dandelion Salad

By Steven Greenhut
http://www.fee.org
March 2008

Steven Greenhut (sgreenhut@ocregister.com) is senior editorial writer and a columnist for the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, California.

In the summer of 2006 a frail, troubled 18-year-old girl named Ashley MacDonald ran through a nearly empty Huntington Beach, California, city park in the early morning holding a small knife. An onlooker called the police and soon two large male officers showed up. They shot the girl to death with 18 bullets, claiming she had lunged toward them and put their lives in danger. It was just another day for law enforcement in suburban Orange County, where—despite low crime rates—police have become increasingly aggressive and militaristic.

The MacDonald killing sparked an unusual amount of public outrage. This shooting, in particular, was hard to grasp. An empty park and a tiny teenager hardly make for a life-threatening situation for the officers. Couldn’t they just have backed away and used nonlethal alternatives such as pepper spray? The police admitted that they were readying a beanbag gun in the parking lot when the officers claimed that “time ran out.”

Angry that anyone would question their “split-second decisions,” the law enforcement “community” said it was wrong to jump to conclusions before the details of the investigation were complete. The sheriff defended the police publicly before any investigation even started, so he apparently was jumping to conclusions, but never mind. The consensus: calm down and wait for the department to see what happened.

…continued

h/t: www.fff.org

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.

Iraq Veterans Against The War Testify To Congress

Dandelion Salad

C-SPAN
May 15, 2008

Iraq War Veterans Accounts

Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War talked about their experiences in Iraq. Among the topics they addressed were hardships experienced by military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, equipment and combat conditions, as well as the quality of mental health issues.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?205390-1/iraq-war-veterans-accounts

GOP strategy: we’re the party of small change (satire)

by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
May 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – Senator Barack Obama has leapt to the forefront of the Democratic party with a message of change. Not to be let behind, the Republicans have announced their new strategy, which is to call themselves “the party of small change.” “If McCain and other Republicans are elected,” said Clint Marlowe of the RNC, “there will be a small change to give multi-millionaires a little more of a tax break, a small change to allow for a little more enhanced interrogation of enemy combatants and plenty of small change for the American people because that’s all they’ll have left in their pocket after we’re through with them.”

Continue reading

Big Brother: Illegally Spy on Americans … Win Fabulous Prizes!

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, May 17, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

Fingered by whistleblower’s Mark Klein and Babak Pasdar for their role in illegally spying on Americans, AT&T and Verizon were awarded a major contract by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington Technology reports.

According to David Hubler and Alice Lipowicz,

Verizon Business will perform the lion’s share of the work on the Homeland Security Department’s OneNet telecommunications contract with support from AT&T Government Solutions.

The OneNet award, under the General Services Administration’s Networx Universal contract vehicle, has a maximum value of $970 million through March 2017, DHS spokesman Larry Orluskie said. (“Verizon to Lead DHS OneNet Award,” Washington Technology, May 15, 2008)

Carolyn Duffy Marsan avers,

“The Department of Homeland Security is looking for a partner to help them build, manage and secure their global network for…22 agencies,” says Marlin Forbes, regional vice president for Verizon Business’ Federal Defense & International Services. “There’s a huge legacy…from what they were doing in the past as separate agencies before they were part of DHS. We think this deal goes right to Verizon’s sweet spot.” (“Verizon snares $678 million federal network deal,” IDG News Service, May 15, 2008)

“Sweet spot,” indeed! That’s a lot of boodle however you slice it, for trampling on our civil liberties. But no matter, since the House seems poised to pass “compromise” legislation that would grant “limited immunity” (read, “get-out-of-jail-free cards”) to enterprising telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon.

Under cover of granting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the power to determine whether anti-surveillance cases can go forward, the House undoubtedly will join their Senate colleagues in gutting constitutional guarantees not to be spied upon by “outsourced” corporate spooks in league with the national security state.

It’s a “win-win” all around–for lobby-ensnared congressional leaders, the Bush administration and scandal-averse telecom executives–given that it’s right-wing Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bushist sycophant, who gets to pick who sits on the secret FISA court. Sounds like another “slam dunk” defense of civil liberties by “opposition” Democrats.

In March, AT&T won a $20 million contract for DHS’ Customs and Border Protection agency. Under terms of the 10-year deal, AT&T “will be the primary provider of network voice services to Customs and Border Protection’s 47,000 employees around the country,” Washington Technology explains.

Meanwhile, under terms of the closed-door deal with Verizon, the dodgy wireless carrier that “partnered” with the FBI on its illegal data-sucking “Quantico circuit,” Verizon Business will “help combine the multiple, separate WANs at DHS’ 22 agencies into one common, secure IP network,” and “manage and secure more than 5,000 agency sites worldwide and create a Security Operations Center for DHS,” Hubler and Lipowicz report.

And considering all the hard work DHS does to “secure the homeland,” safeguarding America’s borders from “threats” posed by poverty-stricken migrants escaping one or another “free trade” deal struck by the Clinton or Bush administrations, it sounds like money well spent. Unless that is, you’re an “illegal” immigrant on the receiving end of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “professionalism.”

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. government “has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country, according to medical records, internal documents and interviews with people who have been drugged.”

That’s right, the state’s forced use of antipsychotic drugs on defenseless people unable to resist their deportation was repeated some 250 times, explained Post reporters who examined ICE records and court depositions in their excellent, though highly-disturbing report.

According to psychoanalyst Stephen Soldz,

These drugs, especially Haldol are extremely powerful and are almost never utilized in individuals not diagnosed as actively psychotic. They can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if first administered in high doses and can disorient an individual for days. … The use of drugs by ICE is, unfortunately, part of a pattern by the Bush administration of the misuse of the health professions for non-therapeutic purposes. I and others have written extensively about the role of psychologists in aiding national security interrogations, interrogations that often cross the line into torture. … It is beginning to look as if there is a pattern of inappropriate use of psychopharmacological agents for overcoming resistances of various types. (Stephen Soldz, “Involuntary Drugging of Detainees,” CounterPunch, May 16, 2008)

Needless to say, AT&T and Verizon Business care not a whit for the incalculable harm done in the name of the American people by their DHS “partners” (in crime).

These days, corporate America’s “little Eichmanns” may not have many trains to “run on time,” but from Guantanamo Bay to an ICE holding cell, and from the NSA’s “Terrorist Surveillance Program” to the FBI’s “Quantico circuit” one can easily discern the same seamless web of corporatist greed and corruption.

After all, $970 million buys a great deal of complicity–and silence.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9011

see

Glenn Greenwald: No Retroactive Immunity (video)

Domestic Spying

Ted Kennedy taken to hospital

Dandelion Salad

Sorry the video is no longer available.

Aquaflyer

May 17, 2008

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

.

***

Ted Kennedy rushed to hospital

by Mark Tran
guardian.co.uk,
Saturday May 17 2008

Senator Edward Kennedy, one of America’s last unashamedly liberal politicians, was rushed to hospital today, reportedly suffering from “stroke-like” symptoms.

Kennedy, 76, was rushed from the Kennedy compound at Hyannisport, Massachusetts, where the family holidays, to Cape Cod Hospital at 9am local time (2pm BST), a hospital spokesman told Reuters. He was then airlifted to a Boston hospital, the spokesman said.

CNN reported that Kennedy, who recently angered the Clintons by throwing his support behind Barack Obama for the presidential elections in November, was taken to the hospital on Cape God with symptoms of a stroke, citing an unnamed prominent local Democratic politician.

…continued

***

Edward Kennedy taken to hospital

news.bbc.co.uk
18:25 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 19:25 UK

US Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy is resting and undergoing tests in a Boston hospital after experiencing what his office says was a “seizure”.

Mr Kennedy, 76, had been rushed from his family compound at Hyannisport to Cape Cod Hospital before being flown to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Earlier reports said he was suffering stroke-like symptoms.

The youngest brother of assassinated President John F Kennedy, he is one of the best-known Democratic politicians.

He has been an active supporter of Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for US president.

…continued

h/t: Mary

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.

On Defiance of the System by Michael Kwiatkowski

Dandelion Salad

by Michael Kwiatkowski
The Smirking Chimp
May 16, 2008

If the electoral disaster of 2004 should have taught us anything, it’s that our votes are wasted when cast for those candidates who represent the status quo and refuse to fight it. How many of you regret throwing your ballots away on John Kerry? How many of you did so, knowing in your hearts that you would much rather have voted for someone else, because you felt it was more important to try to oust the shrub than to vote your beliefs?

I did the same thing. I had voted for Dennis Kucinich in the primary, and I knew Kerry didn’t have the stones to win in spite of the inevitable vote fraud the Bush-Cheney campaign was pulling off, but I cast my November ballot for John Kerry anyway. I admit, I screwed up that year. I had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, a protest vote, because I believed then as I do now, that the only fundamental difference between the two major political parties today is one of competence. The GOP is inept at, well, everything except committing crimes and getting away with them. The Democrats are surprisingly effective at everything except committing crimes and getting away with them. That’s all.

I watched, growing up, as the party of the New Deal abandoned all pretense of remaining true to its principles to join the corporate-conservative DLC in embracing Republican policies. By 2000 I had had enough. I would no longer vote along party lines. Although a registered Democrat, if I thought a Green or a non-aligned progressive could do the job, I voted for that person. So, full of defiance, I cast my ballot for Ralph Nader in 2000.

…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.

see

The Audacity of Revolution VS The Hope of Chumps by Manila Ryce (video)

Ralph Nader posts

Nader for President 2008

Anarchism Interview By Howard Zinn and Ziga Vodovnik

Dandelion Salad

By Howard Zinn and Ziga Vodovnik
http://www.zmag.org
May 13, 2008

History shows that whenever people have been living under tyranny, people would rebel against that.

Ziga Vodovnik: From the 1980s onwards we are witnessing the process of economic globalization getting stronger day after day. Many on the Left are now caught between a “dilemma” – either to work to reinforce the sovereignty of nation-states as a defensive barrier against the control of foreign and global capital; or to strive towards a non-national alternative to the present form of globalization and that is equally global. What’s your opinion about this?

Howard Zinn: I am an anarchist, and according to anarchist principles nation states become obstacles to a true humanistic globalization. In a certain sense the movement towards globalization where capitalists are trying to leap over nation state barriers, creates a kind of opportunity for movement to ignore national barriers, and to bring people together globally, across national lines in opposition to globalization of capital, to create globalization of people, opposed to traditional notion of globalization. In other words to use globalization – it is nothing wrong with idea of globalization – in a way that bypasses national boundaries and of course that there is not involved corporate control of the economic decisions that are made about people all over the world.

ZV: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon once wrote that: “Freedom is the mother, not the daughter of order.” Where do you see life after or beyond (nation) states?

HZ: Beyond the nation states? (laughter) I think what lies beyond the nation states is a world without national boundaries, but also with people organized. But not organized as nations, but people organized as groups, as collectives, without national and any kind of boundaries. Without any kind of borders, passports, visas. None of that! Of collectives of different sizes, depending on the function of the collective, having contacts with one another. You cannot have self-sufficient little collectives, because these collectives have different resources available to them. This is something anarchist theory has not worked out and maybe cannot possibly work out in advance, because it would have to work itself out in practice.

…continued

***

Updated: May 22, 2008

Howard Zinn: Anarchism Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word

By Ziga Vodovnik
ICH 05/22/08
CounterPunch
May 12, 2008

Howard Zinn, 85, is a Professor Emeritus of political science at Boston University. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1922 to a poor immigrant family. He realized early in his youth that the promise of the “American Dream”, that will come true to all hard-working and diligent people, is just that — a promise and a dream. During World War II he joined US Air Force and served as a bombardier in the “European Theatre.” This proved to be a formative experience that only strengthened his convictions that there is no such thing as a just war. It also revealed, once again, the real face of the socio-economic order, where the suffering and sacrifice of the ordinary people is always used only to higher the profits of the privileged few.

Although Zinn spent his youthful years helping his parents support the family by working in the shipyards, he started with studies at Columbia University after WWII, where he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in 1958. Later he was appointed as a chairman of the department of history and social sciences at Spelman College, an all-black women’s college in Atlanta, GA, where he actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement.

From the onset of the Vietnam War he was active within the emerging anti-war movement, and in the following years only stepped up his involvement in movements aspiring towards another, better world. Zinn is the author of more than 20 books, including A People’s History of the United States that is “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those who have been exploited politically and economically and whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories” (Library Journal).

Zinn’s most recent book is entitled A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, and is a fascinating collection of essays that Zinn wrote in the last couple of years. Beloved radical historian is still lecturing across the US and around the world, and is, with active participation and support of various progressive social movements continuing his struggle for free and just society.

Ziga Vodovnik: From the 1980s onwards we are witnessing the process of economic globalization getting stronger day after day. Many on the Left are now caught between a “dilemma” — either to work to reinforce the sovereignty of nation-states as a defensive barrier against the control of foreign and global capital; or to strive towards a non-national alternative to the present form of globalization and that is equally global. What’s your opinion about this?

Howard Zinn: I am an anarchist, and according to anarchist principles nation states become obstacles to a true humanistic globalization. In a certain sense the movement towards globalization where capitalists are trying to leap over nation state barriers, creates a kind of opportunity for movement to ignore national barriers, and to bring people together globally, across national lines in opposition to globalization of capital, to create globalization of people, opposed to traditional notion of globalization. In other words to use globalization — it is nothing wrong with idea of globalization — in a way that bypasses national boundaries and of course that there is not involved corporate control of the economic decisions that are made about people all over the world.

Ziga Vodovnik: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon once wrote that: “Freedom is the mother, not the daughter of order.” Where do you see life after or beyond (nation) states?

Howard Zinn: Beyond the nation states? (laughter) I think what lies beyond the nation states is a world without national boundaries, but also with people organized. But not organized as nations, but people organized as groups, as collectives, without national and any kind of boundaries. Without any kind of borders, passports, visas. None of that! Of collectives of different sizes, depending on the function of the collective, having contacts with one another. You cannot have self-sufficient little collectives, because these collectives have different resources available to them. This is something anarchist theory has not worked out and maybe cannot possibly work out in advance, because it would have to work itself out in practice.

Ziga Vodovnik: Do you think that a change can be achieved through institutionalized party politics, or only through alternative means — with disobedience, building parallel frameworks, establishing alternative media, etc.

Howard Zinn: If you work through the existing structures you are going to be corrupted. By working through political system that poisons the atmosphere, even the progressive organizations, you can see it even now in the US, where people on the “Left” are all caught in the electoral campaign and get into fierce arguments about should we support this third party candidate or that third party candidate. This is a sort of little piece of evidence that suggests that when you get into working through electoral politics you begin to corrupt your ideals. So I think a way to behave is to think not in terms of representative government, not in terms of voting, not in terms of electoral politics, but thinking in terms of organizing social movements, organizing in the work place, organizing in the neighborhood, organizing collectives that can become strong enough to eventually take over — first to become strong enough to resist what has been done to them by authority, and second, later, to become strong enough to actually take over the institutions.

Ziga Vodovnik: One personal question. Do you go to the polls? Do you vote?

Howard Zinn: I do. Sometimes, not always. It depends. But I believe that it is preferable sometimes to have one candidate rather another candidate, while you understand that that is not the solution. Sometimes the lesser evil is not so lesser, so you want to ignore that, and you either do not vote or vote for third party as a protest against the party system. Sometimes the difference between two candidates is an important one in the immediate sense, and then I believe trying to get somebody into office, who is a little better, who is less dangerous, is understandable. But never forgetting that no matter who gets into office, the crucial question is not who is in office, but what kind of social movement do you have. Because we have seen historically that if you have a powerful social movement, it doesn’t matter who is in office. Whoever is in office, they could be Republican or Democrat, if you have a powerful social movement, the person in office will have to yield, will have to in some ways respect the power of social movements.

We saw this in the 1960s. Richard Nixon was not the lesser evil, he was the greater evil, but in his administration the war was finally brought to an end, because he had to deal with the power of the anti-war movement as well as the power of the Vietnamese movement. I will vote, but always with a caution that voting is not crucial, and organizing is the important thing.

When some people ask me about voting, they would say will you support this candidate or that candidate? I say: “I will support this candidate for one minute that I am in the voting booth. At that moment I will support A versus B, but before I am going to the voting booth, and after I leave the voting booth, I am going to concentrate on organizing people and not organizing electoral campaign.”

Ziga Vodovnik: Anarchism is in this respect rightly opposing representative democracy since it is still form of tyranny — tyranny of majority. They object to the notion of majority vote, noting that the views of the majority do not always coincide with the morally right one. Thoreau once wrote that we have an obligation to act according to the dictates of our conscience, even if the latter goes against the majority opinion or the laws of the society. Do you agree with this?

Howard Zinn: Absolutely. Rousseau once said, if I am part of a group of 100 people, do 99 people have the right to sentence me to death, just because they are majority? No, majorities can be wrong, majorities can overrule rights of minorities. If majorities ruled, we could still have slavery. 80% of the population once enslaved 20% of the population. While run by majority rule that is OK. That is a very flawed notion of what democracy is. Democracy has to take into account several things — proportionate requirements of people, not just needs of the majority, but also needs of the minority. And also has to take into account that majority, especially in societies where the media manipulates public opinion, can be totally wrong and evil. So yes, people have to act according to conscience and not by majority vote.

Ziga Vodovnik: Where do you see the historical origins of anarchism in the United States?

Howard Zinn: One of the problems with dealing with anarchism is that there are many people whose ideas are anarchist, but who do not necessarily call themselves anarchists. The word was first used by Proudhon in the middle of the 19th century, but actually there were anarchist ideas that proceeded Proudhon, those in Europe and also in the United States. For instance, there are some ideas of Thomas Paine, who was not an anarchist, who would not call himself an anarchist, but he was suspicious of government. Also Henry David Thoreau. He does not know the word anarchism, and does not use the word anarchism, but Thoreau’s ideas are very close to anarchism. He is very hostile to all forms of government. If we trace origins of anarchism in the United States, then probably Thoreau is the closest you can come to an early American anarchist. You do not really encounter anarchism until after the Civil War, when you have European anarchists, especially German anarchists, coming to the United States. They actually begin to organize. The first time that anarchism has an organized force and becomes publicly known in the United States is in Chicago at the time of Haymarket Affair.

Ziga Vodovnik: Where do you see the main inspiration of contemporary anarchism in the United States? What is your opinion about the Transcendentalism — i.e., Henry D. Thoreau, Ralph W. Emerson, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, et al. — as an inspiration in this perspective?

Howard Zinn: Well, the Transcendentalism is, we might say, an early form of anarchism. The Transcendentalists also did not call themselves anarchists, but there are anarchist ideas in their thinking and in their literature. In many ways Herman Melville shows some of those anarchist ideas. They were all suspicious of authority. We might say that the Transcendentalism played a role in creating an atmosphere of skepticism towards authority, towards government. Unfortunately, today there is no real organized anarchist movement in the United States. There are many important groups or collectives that call themselves anarchist, but they are small. I remember that in 1960s there was an anarchist collective here in Boston that consisted of fifteen (sic!) people, but then they split. But in 1960s the idea of anarchism became more important in connection with the movements of 1960s.

Ziga Vodovnik: Most of the creative energy for radical politics is nowadays coming from anarchism, but only few of the people involved in the movement actually call themselves “anarchists.” Where do you see the main reason for this? Are activists ashamed to identify themselves with this intellectual tradition, or rather they are true to the commitment that real emancipation needs emancipation from any label?

Howard Zinn: The term anarchism has become associated with two phenomena with which real anarchists don’t want to associate themselves with. One is violence, and the other is disorder or chaos. The popular conception of anarchism is on the one hand bomb-throwing and terrorism, and on the other hand no rules, no regulations, no discipline, everybody does what they want, confusion, etc. That is why there is a reluctance to use the term anarchism. But actually the ideas of anarchism are incorporated in the way the movements of the 1960s began to think.

I think that probably the best manifestation of that was in the civil rights movement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — SNCC. SNCC without knowing about anarchism as philosophy embodied the characteristics of anarchism. They were decentralized. Other civil rights organizations, for example Seven Christian Leadership Conference, were centralized organizations with a leader — Martin Luther King. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were based in New York, and also had some kind of centralized organization. SNCC, on the other hand, was totally decentralized. It had what they called field secretaries, who worked in little towns all over the South, with great deal of autonomy. They had an office in Atlanta, Georgia, but the office was not a strong centralized authority. The people who were working out in the field — in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi — they were very much on their own. They were working together with local people, with grassroots people. And so there is no one leader for SNCC, and also great suspicion of government.

They could not depend on government to help them, to support them, even though the government of the time, in the early 1960s, was considered to be progressive, liberal. John F. Kennedy especially. But they looked at John F. Kennedy, they saw how he behaved. John F. Kennedy was not supporting the Southern movement for equal rights for Black people. He was appointing the segregationists judges in the South, he was allowing southern segregationists to do whatever they wanted to do. So SNCC was decentralized, anti-government, without leadership, but they did not have a vision of a future society like the anarchists. They were not thinking long term, they were not asking what kind of society shall we have in the future. They were really concentrated on immediate problem of racial segregation. But their attitude, the way they worked, the way they were organized, was along, you might say, anarchist lines.

Ziga Vodovnik: Do you thing that pejorative (mis)usage of the word anarchism is direct consequence of the fact that the ideas that people can be free, was and is very frightening to those in power?

Howard Zinn: No doubt! No doubt that anarchist ideas are frightening to those in power. People in power can tolerate liberal ideas. They can tolerate ideas that call for reforms, but they cannot tolerate the idea that there will be no state, no central authority. So it is very important for them to ridicule the idea of anarchism to create this impression of anarchism as violent and chaotic. It is useful for them, yes.

Ziga Vodovnik: In theoretical political science we can analytically identify two main conceptions of anarchism — a so-called collectivist anarchism limited to Europe, and on another hand individualist anarchism limited to US. Do you agree with this analytical separation?

Howard Zinn: To me this is an artificial separation. As so often happens analysts can make things easier for themselves, like to create categories and fit movements into categories, but I don’t think you can do that. Here in the United States, sure there have been people who believed in individualist anarchism, but in the United States have also been organized anarchists of Chicago in 1880s or SNCC. I guess in both instances, in Europe and in the United States, you find both manifestations, except that maybe in Europe the idea of anarcho-syndicalism become stronger in Europe than in the US. While in the US you have the IWW, which is an anarcho-syndicalist organization and certainly not in keeping with individualist anarchism.

Ziga Vodovnik: What is your opinion about the “dilemma” of means — revolution versus social and cultural evolution?

Howard Zinn: I think here are several different questions. One of them is the issue of violence, and I think here anarchists have disagreed. Here in the US you find a disagreement, and you can find this disagreement within one person. Emma Goldman, you might say she brought anarchism, after she was dead, to the forefront in the US in the 1960s, when she suddenly became an important figure. But Emma Goldman was in favor of the assassination of Henry Clay Frick, but then she decided that this is not the way. Her friend and comrade, Alexander Berkman, he did not give up totally the idea of violence. On the other hand, you have people who were anarchistic in way like Tolstoy and also Gandhi, who believed in nonviolence.

There is one central characteristic of anarchism on the matter of means, and that central principle is a principle of direct action — of not going through the forms that the society offers you, of representative government, of voting, of legislation, but directly taking power. In case of trade unions, in case of anarcho-syndicalism, it means workers going on strike, and not just that, but actually also taking hold of industries in which they work and managing them. What is direct action? In the South when black people were organizing against racial segregation, they did not wait for the government to give them a signal, or to go through the courts, to file lawsuits, wait for Congress to pass the legislation. They took direct action; they went into restaurants, were sitting down there and wouldn’t move. They got on those buses and acted out the situation that they wanted to exist.

Of course, strike is always a form of direct action. With the strike, too, you are not asking government to make things easier for you by passing legislation, you are taking a direct action against the employer. I would say, as far as means go, the idea of direct action against the evil that you want to overcome is a kind of common denominator for anarchist ideas, anarchist movements. I still think one of the most important principles of anarchism is that you cannot separate means and ends. And that is, if your end is egalitarian society you have to use egalitarian means, if your end is non-violent society without war, you cannot use war to achieve your end. I think anarchism requires means and ends to be in line with one another. I think this is in fact one of the distinguishing characteristics of anarchism.

Ziga Vodovnik: On one occasion Noam Chomsky has been asked about his specific vision of anarchist society and about his very detailed plan to get there. He answered that “we can not figure out what problems are going to arise unless you experiment with them.” Do you also have a feeling that many left intellectuals are loosing too much energy with their theoretical disputes about the proper means and ends, to even start “experimenting” in practice?

Howard Zinn: I think it is worth presenting ideas, like Michael Albert did with Parecon for instance, even though if you maintain flexibility. We cannot create blueprint for future society now, but I think it is good to think about that. I think it is good to have in mind a goal. It is constructive, it is helpful, it is healthy, to think about what future society might be like, because then it guides you somewhat what you are doing today, but only so long as this discussions about future society don’t become obstacles to working towards this future society. Otherwise you can spend discussing this utopian possibility versus that utopian possibility, and in the mean time you are not acting in a way that would bring you closer to that.

Ziga Vodovnik: In your People’s History of the United States you show us that our freedom, rights, environmental standards, etc., have never been given to us from the wealthy and influential few, but have always been fought out by ordinary people — with civil disobedience. What should be in this respect our first steps toward another, better world?

Howard Zinn: I think our first step is to organize ourselves and protest against existing order — against war, against economic and sexual exploitation, against racism, etc. But to organize ourselves in such a way that means correspond to the ends, and to organize ourselves in such a way as to create the kind of human relationship that should exist in future society. That would mean to organize ourselves without centralized authority, without charismatic leader, in a way that represents in miniature the ideal of the future egalitarian society. So that even if you don’t win some victory tomorrow or next year in the meantime you have created a model. You have acted out how future society should be and you created immediate satisfaction, even if you have not achieved your ultimate goal.

Ziga Vodovnik: What is your opinion about different attempts to scientifically prove Bakunin’s ontological assumption that human beings have “instinct for freedom,” not just will but also biological need?

Howard Zinn: Actually I believe in this idea, but I think that you cannot have biological evidence for this. You would have to find a gene for freedom? No. I think the other possible way is to go by history of human behavior. History of human behavior shows this desire for freedom, shows that whenever people have been living under tyranny, people would rebel against that.

Ziga Vodovnik is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, where his teaching and research is focused on anarchist theory/praxis and social movements in the Americas. His new book Anarchy of Everyday Life — Notes on Anarchism and its Forgotten Confluences will be released in late 2008.

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

Challenging Authority: The Role of Social Movements

Election Madness By Howard Zinn

Anarchism

Chomsky on Michael Ware’s claim of bloodbath in Iraq if US withdraws

Dandelion Salad

by Noam Chomsky
http://www.zcommunications.org
May 16, 2008

Below is an exchange that took place in the ZNet Sustainer Forums where Noam interacts with the forum users. The question posed to Noam is further below in this blog post. Here is Noam’s response to the question.

Noam Chomsky: I doubt that Ware has anything like the direct experience in Iraq of Nir Rosen, Patrick Cockburn, and the few other journalists who actually know the country well. But put that aside.

Continue reading

Iran: People Like Us + Cat Stevens: Peace Train

Dandelion Salad

KMHGrey
Added: February 04, 2007

The music is “Trois Morceauxaprès des hymnes byzantins: II” by Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos from the album “Chants, Hymns & Dances” on the ECM label.

Five of the wonderful photographs used in this video are by Hamed Saber and are used with full respect of his rights. You can view more of Hamed’s photos at: http://www.flickr.com/people/hamed/

More from the film maker at http://www.tohellwithculture.blogspot…

Continue reading

Nakba: Debate with Benny Morris, Saree Makdisi and Norman Finkelstein

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
May 16, 2008

As Israelis Celebrate Independence and Palestinians Mark the “Nakba,” a Debate with Benny Morris, Saree Makdisi and Norman Finkelstein

Sixty years since the creation of Israel and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, we host a debate on the legacy of 1948 and the possibility of a just future for both Israelis and Palestinians with three guests: Benny Morris, seen as one of the most important Israeli historians of the 1948 war and after; Saree Makdisi, UCLA professor and author of Palestine Inside Out; and Norman Finkelstein, author of several books, including Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and Beyond Chutzpah.

Real Video Stream

Real Audio Stream

MP3 Download

transcript

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

***

A BIG debate on Israel/Palestine Nakba

IWantDemocracyNow

see

Israel at 60: No Remorse after all these Years by Jonathan Cook + video

The REAL News Network: Pakistan + al-Nakba

Conflict in Lebanon: Cell Phone Civil War + Israel & Nabka

Hip-Hop to Convey the Frustrations, Hopes of a Dispossessed People + DAM: Born Here

Israeli Fencebusters (video)

5,000 Sign Petition Supporting Dialogue with Hamas (action alert)

A Human Rights Crime By Jimmy Carter

Carter: Include Hamas in peace bid + video