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Emergency Action! Protest To Show Solidarity With Striking Georgia State Inmates!

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Submitted by kennyyates on Wed, 12/15/2010 – 3:05pm.

Friday December 17, 2010
11:30am – 1:00pm
Richmond, Virginia Courthouse
701 E. Broad St.

To endorse this action please visit:
[ https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&pli=1&formkey=dHVBcXNrOFBIUmExM19TMVN4Z2daOEE6MQ#gid=0 ]

“A threat to justice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr

Not unlike the prisoners in the United States, the working class, without an organized Union, lose their rights granted to them by the U.S. Constitution. The moment you clock in, you are subject to the will of the employer, losing your individuality and status as a free human being. We immediately enter the realm of second class citizens, which should not be tolerated by any moral human being. Understanding that our second class status as a worker isn’t far removed from that of the prisoner, the Richmond Industrial Workers of the World feel it is within our responsibility as fellow workers, to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Georgia state prison system, and echo their demands to retain their dignity and status as human beings:

“These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry (or in this case ‘industrial complex’), or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one, an injury to all.” – Industrial Workers of the World Preamble

The hereby undersigned stand in solidarity with the striking inmates in the Georgia State prison system. We urge the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) to recognize and respect the rights and demands set forth in the press release by the organized prisoners, and cease the brutal repression of their collective voice.

To endorse this action please follow this link!
[ https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&pli=1&formkey=dHVBcXNrOFBIUmExM19TMVN4Z2daOEE6MQ#gid=0 ]

Support The Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History!

On Thursday morning, December 9, 2010, thousands of Georgia prisoners refused to work, stopped all other activities and locked themselves down in their cells in a peaceful protest for their human rights. The ‘December 9 Strike’ became the biggest prisoner protest in the history of the United States.

Thousands of men, from Augusta, Baldwin, Hancock, Hays, Macon, Smith and Telfair State Prisons, among others, initiated this strike to press the Georgia Department of Corrections (“DOC”) to stop treating them like animals and slaves and institute programs that address their basic human rights. They set forth the following demands:

·A LIVING WAGE FOR WORK: In violation of the 13thAmendment to the Constitution prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, the DOC demands prisoners work for free.

·EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: For the great majority of prisoners, the DOC denies all opportunities for education beyond the GED, despite the benefit to both prisoners and society.

·DECENT HEALTH CARE: In violation of the 8thAmendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, the DOC denies adequate medical care to prisoners, charges excessive fees for the most minimal care and is responsible for extraordinary pain and suffering.

·AN END TO CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: In further violation of the 8thAmendment, the DOC is responsible for cruel prisoner punishments for minor infractions of rules.

·DECENT LIVING CONDITIONS: Georgia prisoners are confined in over-crowded, substandard conditions, with little heat in winter and oppressive heat in summer.

·NUTRITIONAL MEALS: Vegetables and fruit are in short supply in DOC facilities while starches and fatty foods are plentiful.

·VOCATIONAL AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:The DOC has stripped its facilities of all opportunities for skills training, self-improvement and proper exercise.

·ACCESS TO FAMILIES: The DOC has disconnected thousands of prisoners from their families by imposing excessive telephone charges and innumerable barriers to visitation.

·JUST PAROLE DECISIONS: The Parole Board capriciously and regularly denies parole to the majority of prisoners despite evidence of eligibility.

Despite that the prisoners’ protest remained non-violent, the Department of Corrections (DOC) violently attempted to force the men back to work—claiming it was “lawful” to order prisoners to work without pay, in defiance of the 13th Amendment’s abolition of slavery. In Augusta State Prison, six or seven inmates were brutally ripped from their cells by CERT Team guards and beaten, resulting in broken ribs for several men, one man beaten beyond recognition. This brutality continues there. At Telfair, the Tactical Squad trashed all the property in inmate cells. At Macon State, the Tactical Squad has menaced the men for two days, removing some to the “hole,” and the warden ordered the heat and hot water turned off. Still, today, men at Macon, Smith, Augusta, Hays and Telfair State Prisons say they are committed to continuing the strike. Inmate leaders, representing blacks, Hispanics, whites, Muslims, Rastafarians, Christians, have stated the men will stay down until their demands are addressed. One issuing this statement:

“…Brothers, we have accomplished a major step in our struggle…We must continue what we have started…The only way to achieve our goals is to continue with our peaceful sit-down…I ask each and every one of my Brothers in this struggle to continue the fight. ON MONDAY MORNING, WHEN THE DOORS OPEN, CLOSE THEM.DO NOT GO TO WORK. They cannot do anything to us that they haven’t already done at one time or another. Brothers, DON’T GIVE UP NOW. Make them come to the table. Be strong. DO NOT MAKE MONEY FOR THE STATE THAT THEY IN TURN USE TO KEEP US AS SLAVES….”

When the strike began, prisoner leaders issued the following call: “No more slavery. Injustice in one place is injustice to all. Inform your family to support our cause. Lock down for liberty!”

Please take a moment and call the following prison systems and declare your support for the striking inmates!

Georgia Department of Corrections (478) 992-5246

Macon State Prison (978) 472-3900
Hays State Prison (706) 857-0400
Telfair State Prison (229) 868-7721
Baldwin State Prison (478) 445-5218
Valdosta State Prison (229) 333-7900
Smith State Prison (912) 654-5000

For more information on the ‘December 9 Strike’ please contact the following designated representatives:

Elaine Brown, 404-542-1211, sistaelaine@gmail.com;
Valerie Porter, 229-931-5348, lashan123@att.net;
Faye Sanders, 478-550-7046, reshelias@yahoo.com

For more information please contact:
Richmond Industrial Workers of the World • 804.496.1568 • richmondiww@gmail.com

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Industrial Workers of the World
General Headquarters
PO Box 180195, Chicago, IL 60618, USA
tel: (773) 857-1090
Email – ghq [at] iww.org
Website – www [at] iww.org

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AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

By Joe Bageant
Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

Teabags One explanation might be the effect of 40 years of deep fried industrial chicken pulp, and 44 ounce Big Gulp soft drinks. Another might be pop culture, which is not culture at all of course, but marketing. Or we could blame it on digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

But a more reasonable explanation is that, (A) we don’t even know we are doing it, and (B) we cling to institutions dedicated to making sure we never find out.

As William Edwards Deming famously demonstrated, no system can understand itself, and why it does what it does, including the American social system. Not knowing shit about why your society does what it makes for a pretty nasty case of existential unease. So we create institutions whose function is to pretend to know, which makes everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it also makes the savviest among us — those elites who run the institutions — very rich, or safe from the vicissitudes that buffet the rest of us.

Directly or indirectly, they understand that the real function of American social institutions is to justify, rationalize and hide the true purpose of cultural behavior from the lumpenproletariat, and to shape that behavior to the benefit of the institution’s members. “Hey, they’re a lump. Whaddya expect us to do?”

Doubting readers may consider America’s health institutions, the insurance corporations, hospital chains, physicians’ lobbies. Between them they have established a perfectly legal right to clip you and me for thousands of dollars at their own discretion. That we so rabidly defend their right to gouge us, given all the information available in the digital age, mystifies the world.

Two hundred years ago no one would have thought sheer volume of available facts in the digital information age would produce informed Americans. Founders of the republic, steeped in the Enlightenment as they were, and believers in an informed citizenry being vital to freedom and democracy, would be delirious with joy at the prospect. Imagine Jefferson and Franklin high on Google.

The fatal assumption was that Americans would choose to think and learn, instead of cherry picking the blogs and TV channels to reinforce their particular branded choice cultural ignorance, consumer, scientific or political, but especially political. Tom and Ben could never have guessed we would chase prepackaged spectacle, junk science, and titillating rumor such as death panels, Obama as a socialist Muslim and Biblical proof that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs around Eden. In a nation that equates democracy with everyman’s right to an opinion, no matter how ridiculous, this was probably inevitable. After all, dumb people choose dumb stuff. That’s why they are called dumb.

But throw in sixty years of television’s mind puddling effects, and you end up with 24 million Americans watching Bristol Palin thrashing around on Dancing with the Stars, then watch her being interviewed with all seriousness on the networks as major news. The inescapable conclusion of half of heartland America is that her mama must certainly be presidential material, even if Bristol cannot dance. It ain’t a pretty picture out there in Chattanooga and Keokuk.

The other half, the liberal half, concludes that Bristol’s bad dancing is part of her spawn-of-the-Devil mama’s plan to take over the country, and make millions in the process, not to mention make Tina Fey and Jon Stewart richer than they already are. That’s a tall order for a squirrel brained woman who recently asked a black president to “refutiate” the NAACP (though I kinda like refutiate, myself). Cultural stupidity accounts for virtually every aspect of Sarah Palin, both as a person and a political icon. Which, come to think of it, may be a pretty good reason not to “misunderstimate” her. After all, we’re still talking about her in both political camps. And the woman OWNS the Huffington Post, fer Christsake. Not to mention a franchise on cultural ignorance.

Cultural stupidity might not be so bad, were it not self-reproducing and viral, and prone to place stupid people in charge. All of us have, at some point, looked at a boss and asked ourselves how such a numb-nuts could end up in charge of the joint.

In my own field, the book biz, the top hucksters in sales and marketing, car salesman with degrees, are put in charge of publishing the national literature. Similarly, ex-Pentagon generals segue from killing brown babies in Iraq into university presidents and CEOs. Conversely, business leaders such as Donald Rumsfeld who fancy themselves as battlefield commanders and imagine their employees as troops to be “deployed,” find themselves happily farting behind Pentagon desks. On the strength of having mistaken Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as a business text, they get selected by equally delusional national leaders to make actual war on behalf of the rest of us.

But the most widespread damage is done at more mundane operational levels of the American empire, by clones of the over promoted asshole in the corner office where you work. At least one study demonstrated that random selection for corporate promotions offset the effect significantly. Research again confirms what is common knowledge around every workplace water cooler in the country.

Save my spot in the gulag, I’m off to Wal-Mart

Cultural ignorance of one sort or another is sustained and nurtured in all societies to some degree, because the majority gains material benefit from maintaining it. Americans, for example, reap huge on-the-ground benefits from cultural ignorance — especially the middle class Babbitry — from cultural ignorance generated by American hyper-capitalism in the form of junk affluence.

Purposeful ignorance allows us to enjoy cheaper commodities produced through slave labor, both foreign, and increasingly, domestic, and yet “thank god for his bounty” in the nation’s churches without a trace of guilt or irony. It allows strong arm theft of weaker nations’ resources and goods, to say nothing of the destructiveness of late stage capitalism — using up exhausting every planetary resource that sustains human life.

The American defense, on those rare occasions when one is offered, runs roughly, “Well you commie bastard, I ain’t ever seen a sweatshop and I got no Asian kids chained in the basement. So I’ve got what the guvment calls plausible deniability. Go fuck yerself!”

Uh, don’t look now, but the banksters own your ass, your country has become a work gulag/police state and the most of the world hates you.

Such a thriving American intellectual climate enables capitalist elites to withhold and ration vital resources like health care simply by auctioning it off to the richest. Americans fail to grasp this because the most important fact (that a helluva lot of folks can’t afford to bid, and therefore get to die early) never gets equal play with capitalist political propaganda, to wit, that if we give free medical attention to low income cleft palate babies, a wave of Leninism will seize the nation. That is cultural ignorance. We breathe the stuff every day of our lives.

But when Americans too poor to buy health care nevertheless vote to retain the corporate auction process, that is cultural stupidity.

(Let us now pause to clutch our hair in our fists and scream AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!)

Like the old song says, “Them that don’t know don’t know they don’t know.” I venture to say that even if they did, they would not know why. Primary truths elude us because of the junk affluence and propaganda. We get buried under a deluge of commodities that suggest we are all rich, or at least richer than most of the world. A mountain range of cheap shoes, cars, iPods, ridiculous amounts of available foodstuffs, and the entire spectacle of engorgement defines, and is enforced as, “quality of life” under materialistic commodities capitalism. The goods we have in our clutches trump the philosophical, or even the most practical considerations. “I may die early eating unidentified beef byproducts soaked in waste chemicals, but I’ll die owning a 65-inch HDTV and a new five speed automatic Dodge Durango with a 5.7 L Hemi V8 under the hood!”

Even the threat of toasting planetary life is not enough to shake Americans loose from this disconnect. As Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Guy R. McPherson points out, “79.6% of respondents to a Scientific American poll are unwilling to forgo even a single penny to forestall the risk of catastrophic climate change. Scientific American readers undoubtedly are better informed than the general populace. And yet they won’t pay a thing to avoid extinction of our species. Kinda makes you warm and fuzzy all over, doesn’t it?”

Let us pray the next generation is a tad sharper.

Taser the tots

The “American Lifestyle,” increasingly suspect as it is these days, is heavily soldiered and policed in the name of keeping we self-defined lotus eaters safe and secure from a jealous outside world. Which according to cultural consensus is a world that is at this very moment is stuffing its under drawers with explosives and buying plane tickets to Moline. Cultural ignorance dictates that the best way to stop foreign terrorists flying into the country is by humiliating American citizens flying out of the country. Go ahead, grope me, X-ray my dick and for god sake don’t let anyone bring a large bottle of shampoo on board. In an obedient, authority worshipping police state, physical insult and surveillance are proof of safety.

It’s profitable too, and not just for scanner manufacturers. The brouhaha over body scanners and crotch groping provide media with titillating fuel for ratings, thereby driving up TV advertising rates, which is passed on in the price of products we buy. So we pay to be insulted, have the hell scared out of us, and to unknowingly have our behavior shaped. Under American style capitalism, this mobius strip of cultural ignorance is called a win-win situation for everybody.

This also conveniently distracts us from the everyday human insult we practice on one another, as a result of state manufactured cultural misinformation — fear. Ten years of orange alerts and post 9/11 fear mongering have led us to draw some paradoxical cultural conclusions.

Let us briefly careen off into one of these paradoxes. For instance, that we can taser our way to domestic security and tranquility. Yes, it’s ugly business, but tasing the citizenry must be done. And besides, in these days of high unemployment, it’s a paycheck for somebody — usually, the guy who sat behind us in grade school happily eating chalk.

With taser packing police officers in thousands of schools, even grade schools (a weird enough cultural statement to begin with — needless to say, the resulting deaths and injuries of school kids have personal injury lawyers shouting eureka and contemplating new recreational sail craft moored at Martha’s Vineyard. Such are the rewards of righteous works through cult-ig.

In any case, the chance at a juicy lawsuit is accepted as a satisfactory offset to any screaming and writing in our school hallways. What are 50,000 volts and a little nerve damage, compared to a shot at paying off the credit cards, upgrading the family ride, and maybe remodeling the kitchen too?

But we gotta stick to the subject of cultural ignorance here, mainly because I wrote the title first and am determined to maintain some illusion of a theme here, or at least bullshit the reader into thinking that I have.

Soooo . . .

It can be safely said that cultural ignorance consists of the rational, sensible questions that never get asked. But it also includes the weird ones that are. For instance, one of the questions asked regarding tasering school kids is: What is the allowable weight range of a child to be tased? (Taser manufacturers say 60 pounds.) Somehow, by this geezer’s prehistoric reasoning, that sounds like the wrong question, not to mention one that by its nature leads us away from the cultural truth.

The truth is that we live in a society which sanctions semi-electrocution of its own children on the grounds that it is not fatal, and therefore not true electrocution. It springs from the same streak of cultural cruelty that deems semi-drowning by water boarding not to be torture because it is seldom fatal.

This is not to be uncharitable to American communities willing to pony up tax money for school tasers. They’ve amply demonstrated their affectionate commitment to their children by bringing creationism and pizza-for-breakfast into the schools. But there remains the question, “What kind of community comes up with the idea of tasering its own children?”

The information racketeers

It is the job of our combined institutions to manage cultural information so as to deny the harmful aspects of the rackets they protect through legislation and promote through institutional research. That’s why research shows that cell phone microwaves cause long term memory loss in rats, but do not harm people. Evidently, we are of different, more bullet proof mammalian material.

Our hyper capitalist system, through command of our research, media and political institutions, expands upon and disseminates only that information which generates money and transactions. It avoids, neglects or spins the hell out of information that does not. And if none of those work, the info is exiled to some corner of cyberspace such as Daily Kos, where it cannot change the status quo, yet can be ballyhooed as proof of our national freedom of expression. Here come the rotten eggs from the Internet liberals.

Cyberspace by nature feels very big from the inside, and its affinity groups, seeing themselves in aggregate and in mutual self reference, imagine their role bigger and more effective than it is. From within the highly directed, technologically administrated, marketed-to and propagandized rat cage called America, this is all but impossible to comprehend. Especially when corporate owned media tells us it is.

Take the world recent shaking WikiLeak’s “revelations” of Washington’s petty misery and drivel, which are scarcely revelations, just more extensive details about what we all already knew. Come on now, is it a revelation that Karzai and his entire government is a nest of fraudulent double-crossing thieves? Or that the US is duplicitous? Or that Angela Merkel is dull? The main revelation in the WikiLeaks affair was the U.S. government’s response — which was to bring US freedom of speech policy firmly in line with China’s. Millions of us in cyber ghettoes saw it coming, but our alarm warnings were shouted inside a cyberspace vacuum bell jar.

Bear in mind that I am writing this from outside the US borders and media environment, where people watch the WikiLeaks story unfold more in amusement than anything else.

The WikiLeaks affair is surely seismic to those whose asses ride on the elite diplomatic intrigues. But in the big picture it will not change the way the top lizards in global politics, money and war have done business since the feudal age — which is to say with arrogant disregard for the rest of us. Theirs is an ancient system of human dominance that only shifts names and methodologies over the centuries. Two years from now, little will have changed in the old, old story of the powerful few over the powerless many. In this overarching drama, Obama, Hillary and Julian Assange are passing players. Watching the sweaty, fetid machinations of our overlords with such passionate involvement only keeps us from seeing the big picture — that they are the players and we are the pawns.

Still, I for one am in favor of giving Assange the Médaille militaire, the Noble Prize, 15 virgins in paradise and a billion in cash as a reward for his courage in doing damned well the only significant thing that can be done at this time — momentarily fucking up government control of information. But “potentially stimulating a new age of U.S. government transparency,” (BBC) it ain’t.”

Which brings us to back to the question of cultural ignorance. For ten points, why was Julian Assange forced to do what the world press was supposed to be doing in the first place?

Bulletin: PayPal has caved to government pressure to pull WikiLeak’s PayPal account for contributions. However, the feds generously let PayPal keep its porn and prostitution clients.

The transparency scam

It is a form of cultural ignorance to believe that at some point or other, we were more in charge and that our government was somehow more transparent in the past. Societies declining into obsolescence understandably resist looking forward, and hang onto their past mythologies. Consequently, both liberals and conservatives in America feed on myths of political action which died in Vietnam. The results are ludicrous. Tea Partiers attempt to emulate the 1960s protest gatherings by staging rallies sponsored by the richest beneficiaries of the status quo. For the average TP participant, the goal, near as I can tell, is to “start a new American Revolution,” by wearing foodstuffs, screaming, threatening, and voting for nitwits. Media pundits proclaim the Tea Party “a historic populist movement.”

Neither populist, nor authentic movement, the Tea Party may yet prove historic, however, by seriously fucking things up more than they already are. Spun entirely from manufactured spectacle (and thus void of cohesive political philosophy or internal logic), the Tea Party lurches across the political landscape bellowing at the cameras and collecting the victims of cultural ignorance in sort of a medieval idiots crusade. But to the American public, seeing the Tea Party on television is proof enough of relevancy and significance. After all, stuff doesn’t get on TV unless it’s important.

Progressives also fancy a revolution, one in which they participate through the Internet petitions, and media events such as the risk free Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity, where no one risked even missing an episode of Tremaine. Seeing people like themselves on television was proof fighting the good fight. The Stewart rally was nonetheless culturally historic; we will never see a larger public display of post modern irony congratulating itself.

In the historical view, cultural ignorance is more than the absence of knowledge. It is also the result of long term cultural and political struggle. Since the industrial revolution, the struggle has been between capital and workers. Capital won in America and spread its successful tactics worldwide. Now we watch global capitalism wreck the world and attempt to stay ahead of that wreckage clutching its profits. A subservient world kneels before it, praying that planet destroying jobs will fall their way. Will unrestrained global capitalism, with all the power and momentum on its side and motivated purely by machinelike harvesting of profits, reduce the faceless masses in its path to slavery? Does a duck shit in a pond?

Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon. With typical American gunpoint optimism, we’ve convinced ourselves we’re in an airplane. A few smarter kids in the back whisper about hijacking and turning the bus around. But the security cop riding shotgun just strokes his taser and smiles. Not that yours truly has the ass to take on the security surveillance state. Hell no. I jumped out the window when the bus shot past Mexico.

What America needs is some balls

GOP honcho Mitch O’Connell says what America needs is for Republicans to finish beating the snot out of Obama, and strengthen the already rich by eliminating taxes for them and shifting the burden onto us. Obama says America needs to find bipartisan cooperation with the party of ruthlessness. Elton John says that America needs more compassion (Thanks, we never noticed).

What America really needs is a wall-to-wall people’s insurrection, preferably based on force and fear of force, the only thing oligarchs understand. And even then the odds are not good. The oligarchs have all the legal power, police, jails and prisons, surveillance and firepower. Not to mention a docile populace.

Shy of open insurrection, a nationwide refusal to pay income taxes would certainly shake things up. But broader America is happy in the sense they know happiness as an undisturbed regimen of toil, stress and commodity consumption. Despite the way it looks in the news, most Americans remain untouched by foreclosure, bankruptcy and unemployment. So risking loss of their work-buy-sleep cycle in an insurrection looks to be sheer lunacy to them. Like cows, they are kept comfortable in the pure animal sense to be milked for profit. Animal comfort kills all thoughts of revolution. Hell, half of mankind would be thrilled with the average American’s present material situation.

And besides, revolutionary history does not exist for Americans. The 20th Century’s successful revolutions in Russia, Germany, Mexico, China, and Cuba are wired into our minds as history’s evil failures, because all but one were Marxist. (The only successful non-Marxist revolution of the 20th Century was Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution).

So if we are talking change through revolt, we’re necessarily talking about deconditioning because the thing we fear already has a life deep in our own consciousness. Deconditioning from cultural ignorance is at the heart of any insurrectionary politics.

Deconditioning also involves risk and suffering. But it is transformative, freeing the self from helplessness and fear. It unleashes the fifth freedom, the right to an autonomous consciousness. That makes deconditioning about as individual and personal act as is possible. Maybe the only genuine individual act.

Once unencumbered by self-induced and manufactured cultural ignorance, it becomes clear that politics worldwide is entirely about money, power and national mythology, with or without some degree of human rights. America still has all of the above to one degree or another. Yet for all practical purposes, such as advancing the freedom and the well being of its own people, the American republic has collapsed.

Of course, there is still money to be made by the already rich. So the million or so people who own the country and the government use their control to convince us that there is no collapse, just economic and political problems that need to be solved. Naturally, they are willing to do that for us. Consequently, the economy is discussed in political terms, because the government is the only body with the power to legislate, and therefore render the will of the owning class into law.

But politics and money are never going to fill what is essentially a public vacuum that is moral, philosophical and spiritual. (The latter was instantly recognized by fundamentalist Christians, disfigured by cultural ignorance, as they may be.) Not many ordinary Americans talk about this vacuum. The required spiritual and philosophical language has been successfully purged by newspeak, popular culture, a human regimentation process masquerading as a national educational system, and the ruthlessness of everyday competition, which leaves no time to contemplate anything.

Still, the void, the meaninglessness of ordinary work and the emptiness of daily life scares thinking citizens shitless, with its many unspeakables, spy cams, security state pronouncements, citizens being economically disappeared, and general back-of-the-mind unease. Capitalism’s faceless machinery has colonized our very souls. If the political was not personal to begin with, it’s personal now.

Some Americans believe we can collectively triumph over the monolith we presently fear and worship. Others believe the best we can do is to find the personal strength to endure and go forward on lonely inner plains of the self.

Doing either will take inner moral, spiritual and intellectual liberation. It all depends on where you choose to fight your battle. Or if you even choose to fight it. But one thing is certain. The only way out is in.

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When Interpol Cares about Sexual Assault

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Posted by lauraflanders at 2:57 pm
December 7, 2010
comments6 COMMENTS

Julian Assange turned himself in Tuesday — he’s been arrested and is being held without bail in London ahead of a hearing on extradition to Sweden. The head of the “stateless” news-leak organization WikiLeaks is accused of sexual assault –and let’s be clear, he should face the charges. But since when is Interpol [the investigative arm of the International Criminal Court at The Hague] so vigilant about violence against women? If women’s security is suddenly Interpol’s priority — that’s big news!

Tell it to hundreds of women in US jails and immigration detention centers — who charge that they can’t get justice against accused rapists — or women in the US military (two of out three of whom allege they’ve experienced assault.) In Haiti hundreds of unprosecuted cases of rape in refugee camps could use some of Interpol’s attention.

To come back to earth… It seems we only care about women’s bodies when there’s a political point to be proved. Feminist lawyers had to fight for years for the Criminal Court to take rape in Bosnia and Congo seriously. Feminist journalists wrote for years about the treatment of women under the Taliban, but it wasn’t until they needed to sell a war that US politicians cared -– and invaded.

Years later, Assange’s organization ever-so-inconveniently leaked thousands of Afghan war logs and diplomatic cables about that war, and women’s bodies are again the pretext for action.

So yes, if Assange is accused of assault, he should face charges. So should football players (professional and college), politicians, film directors, and everyday Joes.

But until some of those others start getting scooped up by Interpol and extradited, let’s not pretend that this is the dawning of a brave new era in sexual assault prosecution, shall we?

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and be our friend on Facebook.

Laura is a long-time journalist, author and media activist. She wrote the New York Times bestseller Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species and Blue Grit: Making Impossible, Improbable, and Inspirational Political Change in America. Before founding GRITtv, she started up and hosted “Your Call” on public radio KALW in San Francisco and RadioNation on Air America Radio. She is also a regular contributor to The Nation magazine and the Huffington Post. Flanders was founding director of the Women’s Desk at the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) and for more than 10 years she produced and hosted CounterSpin, FAIR’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Laura is a regular commentator on MSNBC’s The Ed Show where she has become the go-to source for reliable, progressive analysis of the day’s top stories. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named her one of ten “Media Heroes” of 1994 and she was recently awarded a NY Moves “Power Woman of the Year.”

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Assange Accuser Worked with US-Funded, CIA-Tied Anti-Castro Group

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

By Kirk James Murphy

December 5, 2010 – …Julian Assange’s chief accuser in Sweden has a significant history of work with anti-Castro groups, at least one of which is US funded and openly supported by a former CIA agent convicted in the mass murder of seventy three Cubans on an airliner he was involved in blowing up.Anna Ardin (the official complainant) is often described by the media as a “leftist”. She has ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes (see here and here) in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba.

From Oslo, Professor Michael Seltzer points out that this periodical is the product of a well-financed anti-Castro organization in Sweden. He further notes that the group is connected with Union Liberal Cubana led by Carlos Alberto Montaner whose CIA ties were exposed here…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=72533

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Mental Ghettos Weaken the US

December 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Joel S. Hirschhorn

So many intelligent Americans believe, say and do stupid things.  When a large fraction of the population is like this, a nation rots from the inside and succumbs to external forces.

I have always searched for the simplest yet best ways to explain what I see as a multi-decade decline of every aspect of the United States, especially its political system and government.  I keep coming back to the inescapable logic that a large fraction of Americans, regardless of their education, economic status and political alignment, must suffer from delusion.  This delusion produces denial about hugely important subjects and issues.

Like a law of physics, this combination makes people seem incredibly stupid to others disagreeing with their positions.  Stupid, because they are unable to accept facts and truths that conflict with their views.

This special kind of stupidity is independent of inherent intelligence.  In this case brain power is overpowered by psychological deficiency, namely self-delusion.

This delusion is not genetically produced, but is a result of external influences, notably political, government, media and corporate propaganda intentionally designed to produce delusional beliefs and thinking.  Who does this?  All sorts of commercial and political interests.  The result is a series of biases and blocks, such as cognitive dissonance, to objective facts and information that creates denial about very important conditions affecting the planet, the nation and individuals.  People afflicted with this deadly combination appear stupid to those outside their mental ghetto that they gladly inhabit, along with similarly afflicted people.

National unity breaks down with countless mental ghettos that span economic, political and geographic boundaries.

Conservatives see liberals as stupid and vice versa.  Democrats see Tea Party adherents (who only support Republican candidates) as stupid and vice versa.  Those seeing climate change and global warming as serious phenomena posing real threats see deniers as stupid.  People who give a high priority to tax cuts that mainly benefit the rich and superrich seem stupid to those who recognize that the wealthiest Americans have hijacked the US economy, as shown by endless statistics that reveal their preferential financial benefits.  Those who reject religions think the religious stupid.  People who shun social networking sites see those addicted to them as stupid.  Growing numbers of obese people seem stupid to those eating healthy and exercising regularly to maintain healthy weights.

A prime example of a mental ghetto is the collection of radical, terrorist Muslims sharing hate and violence and blocking out teachings from authentic Muslims about peace and love.

You surely can think of classes of people who seem stupid, because of a particular belief or viewpoint rather than across-the-board limited intelligence.  With conversations that have nothing to do with their position (or maybe several), you would likely think of them as reasonably intelligent and smart, not stupid.  In other words, stupidity is often topic or issue specific.

Here are two examples of what I call psychological stupidity with their powerful implications for understanding why the nation is seen on the wrong track by so many Americans who cannot unite behind solutions.

There is no mystery why the top 20 percent of the population in terms of wealth votes for Republicans, but they are not enough to win elections.  What makes far less sense is why many more middle class Americans vote for Republicans.  They seem stupid in voting against their own economic interests because Republicans pursue policies that preferentially reward the richest Americans.  This behavior can only be explained by the success of Republican propaganda (mainly trickle down prosperity), lies and deceptions that instill a set of biases and beliefs that enable Republicans to win elections.  A prime example is obtaining broad support for keeping taxes on really rich people low.

On the other side, are millions of people who vote for Democrats because they have been sold rhetoric about reforming the government system, as if Democrats are not also in the pockets of a number of special interests that will not accept truly needed deep reforms.  Why have we not seen President Obama pursue punishment of many people and companies in the banking, mortgage and financial sectors that caused the economic meltdown?  He had received huge campaign contributions from them and then surrounded himself with cabinet officials and advisors from them.  Otherwise intelligent people vote for Democrats because of their psychological stupidity based on false promises of change and reform that they have succumbed to.

Psychological stupidity has become a kind of cultural epidemic that no one is addressing, so it just gets worse.  It invites manipulation and the continuing corrosion and corruption of government.  The rich and powerful know how to take advantage of this stupidity, obtaining government policies and programs they want, selling products and services that consumers do not really benefit from, and grabbing more of the nation’s wealth.

Those afflicted with psychological stupidity are also likely to exhibit moral superiority, making it even more difficult to have intelligent and productive conversations with them.  Such arrogance strengthens their defenses against facts and information that conflicts with their cherished views.  The answer:  Associate with others having exactly the same views and only get information from like-minded media sources, creating mental ghettos (such as the Tea Party and Fox News) that others can take political or commercial advantage of (Republicans and companies selling gold).

Self-deception is the widespread legal narcotic lubricating the slide of American society into the toilet that other once great nations ended up in.  Maybe this old Arab proverb warrants respect: People who lie to others have merely hidden away the truth, but people who lie to themselves have forgotten where they put it.

 

Which mental ghettos do you belong to?

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]


 

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Local Injuns Ordered to Stay Away From Thanksgiving Festivities

December 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Local Holiday Action Alert

Angry Arrested Indian - Freehold, Iowa CountyFreehold, Iowa – Each year local savages in our God-fearing community insist on playing a role in our historical retelling of the true story of Thanksgiving at Landover Baptist Church. Each year, by the grace of God, they are turned down, told to back away, and arrested, if need be. “Before anyone starts in,” Pastor Deacon Fred tells the media,  “Let’s make it clear that that we hold no hatred toward the Injun people, even though they committed hate crimes against the wonderful Christian folks who founded our country.  As decent Christians, we love them dearly, convenience permitting.

Quite frankly, it is Injun sin that we hate. We hate alcohol, drug use, foul language, loitering, cheating, stealing, lying, gambling, horseplay, lewd attire, the flinging of feces, misuse of leather goods, jewelry on men, and and long hair on men who don’t kill themselves for our sins. If we were to let Injuns into our festivities, and onto our properties, it would be like welcoming the Devil into Heaven.  It is nothing against the Injun people. It is against who they are and what they promote as a people. Our Godly church will not taint our respectable Christian image with such an obvious and abhorrent association. Praise the sweet and living name of our precious savior, Jesus Christ! Amen!”

Downtown Freehold and areas near the Landover Baptist Church are Iowa state and private Baptist properties. Injuns have crawled out of their trailers and casinos, high on dope, and drunk on moonshine. They stay drunk all year and sober up for one day, Thanksgiving, and assume lily-white Christian folks will have pity on their wretched souls, and roll out the red carpet. They lay on our streets and sidewalks in protest. They lobby for a demonic presence at our local Thanksgiving Play, they insist on being invited, even though they are unsaved, like their Satan-worshipping ancestors.

“Landover Baptist’s Two Tons of Turkey and Trimmings Feast on the Lawn is a Godly event, for God’s people,” says Pastor Deacon Fred. “And these Injuns spread their germs and venomous lies to corrupt the minds of local youth.

The Gates of Landover BaptistPastor Deacon Fred presented this question to the town council recently, “Why would we want the descendants of a people who murdered the Godly Christian Pilgrims who came in peace to this country to have an equal seat at our table?”

In Freehold Iowa, each member of the town council is a saved, Bible Believing, God Fearing, sin hating, member of Landover Baptist Church. All citizens of Freehold Iowa, are members of Landover Baptist, except Marshall Denton, and Peggy Talbert, who have been locked up in county jail since 1963. Pastor noted, “American Indians are nothing more than ‘crooners,’ they are greedy gamblers, drunkards with a taste for Christian blood!

If we let them attend our Thanksgiving Day ceremonies and festivities, you mark my words! Our women will be raped, our men killed, our children kidnapped, and our churches and Christian homes burned—just as they did when our ancestors came to take this great land for God, over 361 years ago. Watch your scalp around these heathens!”

Two thousand drunk Injuns from the Satan worshipping Sioux, Apache, and Keekabul tribes, litter the streets of Downtown Freehold, Iowa and camp outside the main gates of Landover Baptist’s Corporate Church Headquarters. They mock and spit upon the faces of Godly Christians as they pass by, sometimes hacking up their rancid phlegm and cursing at churchgoers in a drunken rage!

“The Injuns are trying to conjure up their red-skinned master, Satan!” Says town sheriff, Alvin Hinkleworth.  “Their grimacing red faces frighten children and the elderly!” He says. “When it all comes down to it though, Injuns are always trying to put on a show to get a handout.  They will never be satisfied that the White Man who, with God’s grace, overpowered them, took pity on them and gave them a piece of the land we rightfully won by our own strength and the Lord’s own words.”

Landover Baptist Church and all surrounding Christian communities refuse to budge on persecution!  “Every November we go through the same thing with these drunken fools!” Says Pastor Deacon Fred. “I will say it again as I’ve said it countless times in the past! There will not be an Injun presence at our Baptist Thanksgiving Pilgrim Play, nor will there be any Injun costumes or dress worn by anyone.

“We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving the right way, God’s way!” We are going to celebrate this sacred day in the only way which is pleasing unto Jesus Christ and His followers! The demonic presence of those who killed our precious ancestors, is out of the question – in fact, it is absolutely ridiculous to anyone with an ounce of dignity and common sense!

These Injuns, or “Natives,” as they demand to be called, work to overthrow the Godly American system our forefathers set up  in this great land. They are trying to put Satan back into control, and we ain’t gonna let ‘em. I got one word for them Natives—Manifest Destiny!  Praise the sweet and precious name of the Lord, Jesus Christ!  Glory! Glory to God!

 Submitted by Luc Majno

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“Police State” episode of hit Ventura show covering FEMA camps pulled from air

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.prisonplanet.com/%E2%80%9Cpolice-state%E2%80%9D-episode-of-hit-ventura-show-covering-fema-camps-pulled-from-air.html

FRI, DEC. 3 11:25 AM CST — This is an update on the now-confirmed bizarre cancellation of the “Police State” FEMA camp episode from TruTV’s schedule, which is apparently due to background pressure.

Alex Jones, a consultant to the show who appears in “Police State”, noticed three weeks ago that the episode was scheduled to air before the then-newest episode on Fridays at 10 PM EST / 9 PM CST. Alex knew that encore episodes were consistently replayed over-and-over prior to brand new Friday premiere episodes, so red flags went up when it did not re-air like all the others. Now that more inconsistencies have been documented, Alex made some phone calls to get to the bottom of the matter.

This morning, Alex spoke with Gov. Jesse Ventura and discovered that he was fully aware of the fact that “Police State” had been pulled due to pressure from within the government. The former Minnesota governor and star of the show indicated that he’s not ready to make a full statement yet as he’s still investigating the details and talking with network execs. However, Ventura urged that people have a right as citizens to contact TruTV and let them know that they want to see it back on air.

Whatever the full cause of the behind-the-scenes pressure, it is clear that the government does not want audiences discussing FEMA camps and Fusion Centers or looking up H.R. 645, the bill named and read in the episode that authorizes FEMA emergency centers. Alex has done all he can to make sure the TruTV series is packed with hard-hitting facts and full of real, substantial issues. Though the show employs the dramatic techniques used through television, this is not the typical fluff. People had better understand that these are truly groundbreaking shows that are discussing damning evidence that the establishment doesn’t want sinking into the minds of a mainstream audience. Who knows if tonight’s water episode investigating lithium, uranium and fluoride being added to drinking water as a means of population control will itself even air or be replayed after the fact.

Lovers of liberty and supporters of Conspiracy Theory had better cue their DVRs and other recorders and save the episode for good, because with the censorship we’ve already seen, it is difficult to know how long this program will remain on air, or which episodes it will allow to repeat.

“Police State” episode of hit Ventura show covering FEMA camps pulled from air 10conspiracyAlex Jones, a consultant to TruTV’s Conspiracy Theory, can confirm that the controversial episode “Police State,” which dealt with FEMA camps and fusion centers, has been pulled from air and essentially “memory-holed” due to behind the scenes pressure.

In short, the series of inconsistencies with the re-airing and promotion for “Police State” posted by We Are Change and Federal Jack (below) is all true, and more. The episode was de-listed from TruTV’s website, bonus clips associated with the episode were removed from the website, its encore airings were canceled and it was not played during the recent Conspiracy Theory marathon. Alex cannot elaborate further without compromising his sources, but you have heard people associated with the show discussing on the radio how certain unnamed powerful people did not want this revealing episode to air, how shadowy figures have been caught rummaging through the trash of producers for the show, and beyond.

The producers and talent for Conspiracy Theory, including former Governor Jesse Ventura, have shown a lot of courage in making their series as hard hitting as possible. With certain powers-that-be unhappy with such a substantial program airing on cable TV, supporters should treasure what they have been able to get out thus far. The very future of the series could be in question, though certainly things are still up in the air at this point. If you appreciate the content that has been on Conspiracy Theory thus far, you should do everything you can to tell your friends and associates to tune in, and make sure these dynamic episodes are seen as widely as possible.

The “Great Lakes” episode, now known as the “Worldwide Water Conspiracy” airing tomorrow, Fri, Dec. 3 at 10 PM EST / 9 PM CST also was nearly not aired, but made the second season schedule in the end. Producers have told the Alex Jones Show that it has expanded in scope and now deals with a number of hardcore issues including uranium, lithium, fluoride and more being added to public water supplies. Never before has such information been seen on television.

Please tune in and support this great TV program. From TruTV:

http://vidrebel.wordpress.com

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