Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
F8 TSA ...I would rather walk ...than get on my knees ~joe anybody
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Surrendering Our Civil Liberties (at the airports)
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS

Surrendering Our Civil Liberties

By: Jon
December 4, 2010


The TSA: taking away our freedoms to ‘protect’ us from ‘threats’ [GALLO/GETTY]

 

Cindy Sheehan
12/4/2010

As a very frequent flyer, I have wanted to write about the abuses of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) for years now. To tell the truth, since I am such a frequent flyer and often recognised by individual TSA employees, I was a little timid about this because I did not want flying to become an even bigger hassle and more invasive than it already is. But the recent brouhaha over the Chertoff-O-Scanners has given me the courage in numbers to be able to write about my experiences.

The first thing that bugs me is how complacent my fellow travellers are about the civil rights abuses we endure to be able to take the airplane seats we pay hundreds of dollars for. The second we click ‘purchase’ on the airline’s website, we are treated as though we are guilty just for wanting to go from point A to B by plane. This goes against our constitutional right of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Every time a TSA operative asks me if he or she can “take a look in my bag,” I say: “Sure, if you can show me a warrant.” I cannot say how many times a fellow traveller has proclaimed: “It’s for your own safety!”

Speaking of “it’s for your own safety”, who can forget Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who allegedly tried to detonate explosives on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2002? That incident is the reason why in the US we have to take our shoes off and put them through the x-ray machine. But did you know that the US is the only country that forces flyers to do this? Reid is a citizen of the UK and was flying from France, but if one flies in either of these countries, or anywhere else for that matter, it is not common practice to remove your shoes. So why are planes not dropping from the skies all over the world? Well, because this has nothing to do with our “safety”. Shoe removal and shoe throwing are the same act of disrespect and intimidation unless one is entering a Japanese home or walking on holy ground.

I think the next opportunity for abuse that came from on high to us already weary and grouchy flyers, was when some nebulous plot was discovered in the UK to blow up planes by carrying explosive liquids on board. We were never shown any hardcore proof that our shampoo would blow up an airplane if it was in a four ounce bottle, but that the offending liquid in a 3.5 ounce bottle, safely ensconced in a Ziploc bag, would be okay. I was actually on my way to the airport with a backpack full of naughty liquids when I heard about this one on the radio. I had to throw away about $80 worth of toiletries and make-up and wait in excessively long lines since the glorified minimum wage workers of the TSA were not too sure how to handle this latest threat to our “freedom and safety” – except, of course, to do what they always do and take away more of our freedoms to “protect” us from “threats”.

Shortly after the liquids scare, we could not even take liquids on airplanes that we had purchased after passing through security. There were huge bins at every gate to take away our coffee, water, lotions. I was sitting at the gate in one airport (I do not remember which one) drinking a cup of coffee when a TSA supervisor told me that I would have to finish the coffee before I boarded.

I responded: "Why? Can you show me the store where I can purchase bomb-making material past security?" He replied: "You never know ma'am." And, me being me, I said: "Really? What kind of airport do you run where anyone can purchase explosives past security?" At which point, the big-TSA-man gave me a look that said: "Lady, you better shut up if you don't want a body-cavity search." The other passengers were giving me surreptitious thumbs' up, but I do not think many people would go as far as I did in my conversation with the TSA-man, who looked very confused that someone was challenging him.

Over a barrel

Even before the dreaded "underwear bomber" made all of this additional screening possible, I used to kid with the audiences that I spoke to that it was a good thing that the "shoe bomber" was not a "bra bomber," as we ladies who wear those undergarments would then have to disrobe at the security line and put our brassieres through the x-ray machine. But my "joke" has now come into being in an even more horrid way than even I could have predicted. We do not have to take our underwear off to go through airport checkpoints, but, in many airports, we are forced to go through the Chertoff-O-Scanners which show a fully nude image to the TSA operatives and have been proven not to thwart the chemical agents that the "underwear bomber" hid in his Fruit-of-the-Looms.

Today I saw a CNN poll that said 58 per cent of Americans do not like the new procedure. However, in all of the corporate media discussions about the scanners, no one talks about how Michael Chertoff, the former national security advisor, represents a company called Rapiscan that is profiting from every machine that is installed in airports. There is even talk about Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, putting them in malls, schools, subways, train stations - and I am waiting to be told that we have to put a home version at our front doors.

I always refuse to go through the scanners and am then subjected to the "feel up". We have heard that toddlers, elderly people and those with medical problems have been violated by the TSA voyeurs. Each fresh incident produces a brief flash of outrage, but many people do not even know about the scanner/feel up.

A couple of weeks ago, I was running very late for a flight that was leaving out of SFO, my home airport. I was literally running for my gate and dreading the dance that I do every time with the TSA there:

Me: "I refuse to go through that machine."
TSA: "Why?"
Me: "It is my right to opt-out."
TSA: "It is also our right to ask you why you are opting-out."
Me: "Because it is a violation of my human dignity and civil rights and I don't want you all to see me naked."
TSA: "Female screening!" (As they yell for someone to come and grope me with gusto, and "someone" always happily obliges).

I do not like the groping any more than I like the molestation of the scanners - one feels dirty and violated and super-wary of future travel. However, the police state knows it has us over a barrel, so the least we can do is to protest loudly while it is happening.

Anyway, on this day, I noticed that the TSA was waving some passengers though the lane with the scanner and sending some through the normal metal detector. I was relieved to be waved through the lane without the scanner, but the woman behind me, upon noticing that her boyfriend was sent to the lane with the scanner, asked: "Why didn't I have to go through that?" I told her: "You're lucky, they can see you naked when you go through it." Unbelievably, she responded: "Why didn't they want to see me naked?" She was not kidding, but I just shook my head, gathered my stuff and ran to my gate.

The point to these stories is that we can only have our rights taken away from us with our consent. There is a famous Benjamin Franklin saying that was often quoted when Bush was president that rings ever truer during the Obama regime: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." We are becoming a nation of lemmings running to the sea with the abandon of those that would rather plunge to our deaths than think for ourselves.

While I was writing this, the FBI "uncovered" another "terrorist" plot where a Somali-American allegedly tried to detonate a bomb at a "Christmas event" in Portland, Oregon. Mark my words, the monstrous state will either ban "Christmas events" or institute mandatory travelling Chertoff-O-Scanners to be able to put us into an even deeper state of fear. Where would a "terrorist plot" have the most devastating affect? I cannot think of a more fitting one than a "Christmas event" in very progressive Portland, Oregon.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Specialist Casey A. Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Since then, she has been an activist for peace and human rights. She has published five books, has her own Internet radio show, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. You can learn more about Cindy at Peace of the Action.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Full article poted here --> aljazeera.net


Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 15 December 2010 1:04 PM PST
Monday, 13 December 2010
WikiLeaks and the (sic) Espionage Act
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: WikiLeaks could be vulnerable to Espionage Act
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20025430-281.html?tag=nl.e703

 CNET: WikiLeaks could be vulnerable to Espionage Act

If WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is indicted by the U.S. government for disseminating classified information, as even his own lawyer now expects, his defense is likely to face long legal odds.

The 1917 Espionage Act, enacted by the U.S. Congress during World War I, has been a mainstay of national security prosecutions ever since. And it's been upheld as constitutional by every court that has examined whether its invocation in a criminal prosecution complies with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.

A CNET review of Espionage Act cases shows that judges have generally favored the government and, in a 1985 case, even allowed an extraterritorial prosecution of a non-U.S. citizen. In the 1978 case of U.S. v. Dedeyan, the Fourth Circuit upheld the Act against arguments that it was vague and overly broad. A year later, in U.S. v. Boyce, the Ninth Circuit ruled it was "constitutionally sufficient." "We find no uncertainty in this statute which deprives a person of the ability to predetermine whether a contemplated action is criminal under the provisions of this law," the U.S.

Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1941. "The language employed appears sufficiently definite to apprise the public of prohibited activities and is consonant with due process." The Pentagon's criminal investigation of WikiLeaks--especially Assange, its frontman and spokesman--began over the summer after the Web site published thousands of military dispatches from Afghanistan.

By August, the FBI had been drawn in, and after last month's recent leaks of confidential Iraq and State Department communications, Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the probe is ongoing.

Some of the more hawkish members of Congress have egged him on. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the incoming head of the House Intelligence Committee, asked Holder to charge Assange under the Espionage Act, as did Senate Intelligence Committee chiefs Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kit Bond (R-Miss.). Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) has been publicly wondering why an indictment and extradition "hasn't happened yet."

It's true that prosecuting Assange, who is in a London facing an extradition hearing tomorrow on unrelated charges lodged in Sweden, is engaging in something that's closer to informational activism and not what most people would think of as spying. The actual text of the Espionage Act, 18 USC 793(e), is nevertheless breathtakingly broad.

It says that anyone who has "unauthorized possession" of documents "relating to the national defense" and publishes them, believing they "could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation," is guilty of a federal felony. (This is narrower than a version proposed by President Wilson, which would have given the executive branch the power to censor information "of such character that it is or might be useful to the enemy.") On Fox News over the weekend, Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey called the law "an oldie but goodie."

He said that there's no question in his mind that a prosecution against Assange, an Australian citizen, could proceed "because the First Amendment doesn't protect speech that causes certain prescribed--certain defined injury."

In the 1971 Pentagon Papers case, a 6-3 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a prior restraint prohibiting the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing classified documents on the Vietnam war. But even the justices in the majority acknowledged at the time that criminal prosecutions after publication would still be possible.

"If a criminal prosecution is instituted, it will be the responsibility of the courts to decide the applicability of the criminal law under which the charge is brought," wrote Justice Potter Stewart. And Justice Byron White added that the drafters of the Espionage Act "appeared to have little doubt that newspapers would be subject to criminal prosecution if they insisted on publishing information of the type Congress had itself determined should not be revealed."

Rep. King told Fox Business News over the weekend that Assange could be prosecuted because "the Pentagon Papers case was limited to prior restraint" before publication. The full contours of what limits the First Amendment places on the Espionage Act have never been outlined by a court. In part, that's likely because the Justice Department has not been eager to learn the answer: no criminal charges were lodged against either newspaper in the Pentagon Papers case.

And prosecutions since then have typically targeted leakers, not publishers or journalists. This is hardly a universal view.

Civil libertarians have already taken up the defense of WikiLeaks' First Amendment rights. White collar defense attorney Baruch Weiss suggests any prosecution of Assange "will not be easy."

Writer Naomi Wolf has even called for Americans to "rise up and insist on repeal of the Espionage Act." A review of Espionage Act cases shows that judges have tended to chip away at obstacles for government prosecutors. In a 2007 conspiracy case, for instance, a court ruled that the Justice Department did not need to prove that the information disclosed was closely held and damaging to national security. In July 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled there did not have to be "bad intent" for someone to be convicted of disclosing information covered by the Espionage Act.

What was important, the court concluded, was "the conscious choice to communicate covered information." (Assange would presumably claim to be acting out of the best of intentions; his an op-ed in The Australian last week said WikiLeaks is "fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.") Nearly six decades ago, in what may have been the most famous Cold War prosecution, the Second Circuit allowed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to be executed. "We think the statute valid under the First Amendment," the court concluded. "The communication to a foreign government of secret material connected with the national defense can by no far-fetched reasoning be included within the area of First Amendment protected free speech."

Even an unsuccessful attempt to pass on "national defense" information is illegal. In the 1958 U.S. v. Abel case, the Second Circuit acknowledged "there is no evidence" that the defendant and his co-conspirators "ever succeeded in gathering or in transmitting any unlawful information."

But "the conspirators' lack of success, if indeed they were unsuccessful, does not lessen the criminality of their activities." The phrase "information relating to the national defense" isn't actually defined in the Espionage Act.

A federal judge in Connecticut, however, ruled last year in U.S. v. Abu-Jihaad that it was a "generic concept of broad connotations, referring to the military and naval establishments and the related activities of national preparedness," as long as the information was reasonably accurate and it was intended to be kept secret.

WikiLeaks has disclosed more than 75,000 confidential files related to the war in Afghanistan, nearly 400,000 classified documents from Iraq, and about 1,300 of 250,000 State Department cables so far. Perhaps the closest legal parallel with WikiLeaks arose when two employees of the AIPAC pro-Israel lobbying group were charged with violating the Espionage Act.

They weren't government employees themselves -- they were more akin to WikiLeaks, or the media, because they obtained sensitive information through a leak. (The Obama administration dropped the case last year.) "Both common sense and the relevant precedent point persuasively to the conclusion that the government can punish those outside of the government for the unauthorized receipt and deliberate retransmission of information relating to the national defense," Judge T.S. Ellis wrote in 2006 in the AIPAC case.

He noted that with the lone exception of Justice Hugo Black, eight of the Pentagon Papers justices indicated "that they would have upheld a criminal prosecution of the newspapers." .

 Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20025430-281.html#ixzz181JWBjUk

 


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:10 AM PST
Monday, 6 December 2010
Advise form the folks who "know the economy" for these troubling times
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Being Self-Reliant in this Age of Turmoil - The Daily Reckoning
Topic: Economy and Labor
The Daily Reckoning Presents
How to Be Self-Reliant in the Age of Turmoil
 
Simon Black
We have entered what I call the Age of Turmoil, a time that is marked by rapid change and fluctuating crises. The old system of debt and consumption that gave us great salaries, generous benefits, stock market and housing appreciation, and a high standard of living is gone forever.

What's happening right now is a major sea change: the game is being reset, and the rules are being rewritten.

I'm not being pessimistic, and this is not a cause for fear. We shouldn't be afraid of the Age of Turmoil, but rather prepare for it by becoming more self-reliant. Those who are prepared will survive, thrive, and be well-positioned for the enormous opportunities that await.

Conversely, those who cling to their faith in the old system, desperately hoping for a return to the carefree days of the past, will have their lives turned upside down.

This is because all the major elements of the old system - our political process, our money and financial institutions, the job market, police forces, etc. - only function as long as the system is operating normally.

Think about how things work under the old system - people are effectively given pre-packaged options for the major decisions in their lives. Do you want to be a doctor? Follow this career template. A pilot? Follow that one. Investing your money? Select from these mutual funds.

I call these "limiting choices," and they are a staple tradition in our modern society. Our realities are defined by people and regulations which govern our thinking, restrict our options, and constrain our creativity.

When you walk into a bank, for example, no one is going to sit down with you and say, "Hey I think you should protect yourself from a depreciating currency, let's talk about gold allocation and taking some options in the renminbi."

No, instead you get two limiting choices that are jammed down the throats of millions of customers: the generic savings account, or the generic checking account.

Even the political process is full of limiting choices. How many times have you gone to the polls and been forced to decide between two equally vapid, insipid candidates? In the end, you vote for the limiting choice who is "less bad," the lesser of two evils.

These limiting choices work just fine as long as the system is functioning properly...they're efficient and help maintain order. Human nature is such that most people abdicate the power of choice in their lives, and limiting choices provide basic direction, making it easy to follow the herd.

The trouble is, limiting choices are not designed to help you survive when the system collapses.

Limiting choices like the standard career template of racking up huge university debt, or investing in index funds, or holding cash in a savings account, or relying on social security, etc. were all successful tactics over the last 20 years. In the Age of Turmoil, they've become destructive.

As soon as confidence cracks and the system starts to fail, everything unwinds...and people whose realities are defined by limiting choices will have their lives turned upside down.

The way out, the way to survive and thrive in this turmoil, is to reject limiting choices and define your own reality through what I call universal choice. In fact, I consider "defining your reality" to be the first pillar in achieving self-reliance in the Age of Turmoil.

This entails being actively engaged in the major problems and decisions we face in life, and developing the independent mindset to design our own paths from an entire universe of possibilities, not just limiting choices.

Planting multiple flags is a great example of cultivating this independence and defining your own reality. Instead of the limiting banking choices provided by your hometown bank, you can open a foreign bank account in alternative currencies, or store gold in a private vault overseas.

Instead of the limiting investment choices provided by your broker for standard blue chip stocks and index funds that have yielded negative returns for a decade, you can invest in alternative assets like foreign companies or international real estate based on out of the box trends that you identify.

Instead of limiting career choices provided by the guidance counselor that will result in massive student loan debt and little else, you can learn valuable skills that solve people's problems, or head to thriving economies overseas looking for more interesting opportunities and adventures.

The key theme in defining your reality is to think creatively beyond the limiting choices that the old establishment puts in front of you. In fact, when you consider many of the world's greatest historical figures, the main factor they all shared was a common rejection of limiting choices.

People like the Wright Brothers, Gandhi, Bill Gates, and Ayn Rand all dismissed convention and defined their realities based on possibilities that they conceived. I'm absolutely convinced that the greatest outcomes await those who can take this step.

Regards,

Simon Black,
for The Daily Reckoning

Joel's Note: Mr. Black describes himself as an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler and, perhaps most importantly, a free man.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:42 PM PST
Saturday, 4 December 2010
TOGA AFRICA SOLIDARITY - Joe Anybody in Washington DC 3/25/10
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Toga Solidarity against a regime that has opressed and used violence for over 43 years in Toga West Africa
Topic: PROTEST!

Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:29 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 4 December 2010 2:30 PM PST
Lots of hidden ways we are taxed to support offensive wars
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: War and Taxes, stop the high treason, Congress never declared war.
Topic: WAR

Hello Z3 Readers the email below I received this morning, and am sharing the insight with you all - it was written by a Veteran For Peace Chapter 72 member. I am eager to share it. ~joe


No apology necessary. It's a good rant.
 
I am reminded that there are a lot of hidden ways we are taxed to support offensive wars
that have never been officially declared.
 
Allowing Sears to jack up its prices and lower its dividends to shareholders for the purpose
of paying reservists is just another form of war tax.
 
If Congress does not actually declare a war there should not be one. If a war is declared by
Congress it should be paid for out of current government revenues not by borrowing from China
or shifting costs to the patrons of Sears.
 
Those who never serve in uniform cannot understand what it actually means, namely taking an
oath to protect the Consititution from all enemies foreign and domestic. The Constitution is very
clear in providing a deterrent to offensive wars by requiring an actual declaration by Congress
and this requires Congress to provide the means by which the war is to  be paid for. There cannot
be tax cuts during war time or any form of shifting the burden onto consumers or shareholders.
Unless there is a declaration of war by Congress there should never be the mobilization of the
reserves let alone consecutive overseas duty assignments that leave our domestic services
such as the police, fire department, hospitals, and schools understaffed due to inappropriate
offensive deployment of the active duty forces and the reserves.
 
According to the Constitution it is all about defense. If Congress wants to go after pirates on the
high seas or make a marque of reprisal that needs to be done in a manner that commits the
necessary means at the time such Congressional powers are exercised. There should never be
shielding of the rich supporters of the Republican Party from the actual costs of war or the
exercise of other defensive measures. To insist on such shielding is actually a form of
high treason in a time of war and the Republicans need to be held accountable for this
unpatriotic practice and recognized as domestic enemies of the Constitution.
 
                                               Respectfully yours,
 
                                                 Howard Welsh


Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:00 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 4 December 2010 2:34 PM PST
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Pat-downs by TSA at --> Bus Stops? <-- VIPER
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: Liberty - Police Stae - Searches - Homeland Security Wants You
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS

Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:00 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 12:31 PM PST
Monday, 29 November 2010
HOPE is ...and HOPE is not ...
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Hope is not trusting in the ultimate goodness of Barack Obama, who, like Herod of old, sold out his people.
Topic: HUMANITY

By Chris Hedges   11/30/10

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hope_in_the_21st_century_20101128/

Real Hope Is About Doing Something

 


 

On Dec. 16 I will join Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and several military veteran activists outside the White House to protest the futile and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail. Hope, from now on, will look like this.

Hope is not trusting in the ultimate goodness of Barack Obama, who, like Herod of old, sold out his people. It is not having a positive attitude or pretending that happy thoughts and false optimism will make the world better. Hope is not about chanting packaged campaign slogans or trusting in the better nature of the Democratic Party. Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil or the government.

Hope does not mean we will halt the firing in Afghanistan of the next Hellfire missile, whose explosive blast sucks the oxygen out of the air and leaves the dead, including children, scattered like limp rag dolls on the ground. Hope does not mean we will reform Wall Street swindlers and speculators, or halt the pillaging of our economy as we print $600 billion in new money with the desperation of all collapsing states. Hope does not mean that the nation’s ministers and rabbis, who know the words of the great Hebrew prophets, will leave their houses of worship to practice the religious beliefs they preach. Most clerics like fine, abstract words about justice and full collection plates, but know little of real hope.

Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. They become, in their passivity, agents of injustice. If the enemies of hope are finally victorious, the poison of violence will become not only the language of power but the language of opposition. And those who resist with nonviolence are in times like these the thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration.

Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and the more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope’s power and it is why it can never finally be defeated. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face. Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey.

W.H. Auden wrote:

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in the cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money. The powerful protect their own. They divide the world into the damned and the blessed, the patriots and the enemy, the rich and the poor. They insist that extinguishing lives in foreign wars or in our prison complexes is a form of human progress. They cannot see that the suffering of a child in Gaza or a child in the blighted pockets of Washington, D.C., diminishes and impoverishes us all. They are deaf, dumb and blind to hope. Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. Hope to Wall Street bankers and politicians, to the masters of war and commerce, is not practical. It is gibberish. It means nothing.

I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot assure you that thousands will converge on Lafayette Park in solidarity. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. I cannot say that anyone in Congress or the White House, anyone in the boardrooms of the corporations that cannibalize our nation, will be moved by pity to act for the common good. I cannot tell you these wars will end or the hungry will be fed. I cannot say that justice will roll down like a mighty wave and restore our nation to sanity. But I can say this: If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. If all we accomplish is to assure a grieving mother in Baghdad or Afghanistan, a young man or woman crippled physically and emotionally by the hammer blows of war, that he or she is not alone, our resistance will be successful. Hope cannot be sustained if it cannot be seen.

Any act of rebellion, any physical defiance of those who make war, of those who perpetuate corporate greed and are responsible for state crimes, anything that seeks to draw the good to the good, nourishes our souls and holds out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others. Hope affirms that which we must affirm. And every act that imparts hope is a victory in itself.

Also from Auden:

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

 

Chris Hedges is Truthdig columnist and a senior fellow at The Nation Institute.

His newest book is “Death of the Liberal Class.”

More information on the Dec. 16 protest can be found at www.stopthesewars.org.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:41 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 12:32 PM PST
Saturday, 27 November 2010
TSA - New Jersey Legislators Take on the TSA
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: TSA - Gets a push back from New Jersey Legislators
Topic: TSA

THIS IS WRONG 

 

Meanwhile Justice
(below)
kicks in
 (slighly)

 TSA FAILURE
- New Jersey Legislators Take on the TSA

This is what a revolution looks like . Next we need these representative to start getting fluoride, aspartame and mercury out of our kids bodies !
Here is the online TSA petition http://www.wnd.com/airportscreening

Please visit the original video to support them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H9HNE...

 

Portland Oregon 11/24/10 PDX - TSA protest:

3 Videos are posted here from the PORTLAND protest

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2010/11/403926.shtml


Posted by Joe Anybody at 4:16 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 2:13 PM PST
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Plowshares and Trident Nukes - 5 protester activist are in the courtroom
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Disarm Now Plowshares were in court again (Nov 2010)
Topic: WAR


   1. Disarm Now Plowshares: Motions to Dismiss DENIED!
      (posted on VFP ch 72 email server: Malcolm Chaddock)

11.23.10

----------------------------------------------------------------------


 Friends,



The Disarm Now Plowshares were in court again; this time for the pre-trial
conference in which a most important issue ? the motions to dismiss their
case ? was argued.



All five Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants - Bill ?Bix? Bichsel, SJ, Susan
Crane, Lynne Greenwald, Steve Kelly, SJ, and Anne Montgomery, RSCJ ? were
present for the proceedings in Judge Benjamin Settle?s courtroom at the U.S.
District Court, Tacoma, Washington on November 22, 2010.



Susan Crane began the defendant?s testimony; the following are some of her
key points.



?Our action on Nov. 2, the testimony of Ramsey Clark, the motions we filed,
make clear that we are *concerned about the trident nuclear warheads*??



?The trident nuclear weapons system is illegal and immoral. It?s a system
preparing for the mass murder of innocent civilians that will affect
generations to come.?



?As loving human beings, we have a responsibility, right and duty to use
nonviolent actions to prevent the trident nuclear weapons system from
operating.?



Crane went on to invoke the heart of the Plowshares vision and its vital
importance in addressing Trident (and nuclear weapons) that constitute the
taproot of violence in our nation (and the world).



?On Nov. 2, 2009, we *remembered t*he words of the prophet *Isaiah,* who had
a vision of beating swords into plowshares??convert weapons of war into
something useful for human life.  *It is our firm understanding that these
Trident nuclear weapons are illegal under national and international* law,
as well as the teachings of our faith, and general humanitarian law and
conscience.?



Crane worked to build the defense case for applying the necessity defense;
that ?the indisputable facts of Trident are hard to face, but we can?t deny
that it is in preparation for the use of nuclear weapons.?  Understanding
that there is ?imminent harm? from the manufacture, deployment and
preparation for the use of Trident, the Disarm Now Plowshares acted out of
conscience, and moral and legal duty.  ?The harm we created (cut fence) is
minor in comparison with the harm of a nuclear explosion.?



Anne Montgomery spoke to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark?s previous
testimony in this case before she moved on to discussing her first
Plowshares action, King of Prussia in 1980.  She remembered thinking at that
time that, ?If someone had a gun in his or her hand, I would have to knock
it out of that hand.?  She stated that they cut the fences because there was
no other way in; no criminal intent.  Montgomery also stressed that they
have tried all other means to bring light to these weapons, and had to do
this Plowshares action because the public is ignorant of the existence of
the weapons.  ?We were willing to give our own blood to avoid shedding the
blood of others.?



In reference to the justification defense, Montgomery quoted Judge Spaeth
from a concurrent opinion in the Superior Court in Pennsylvania in a 1983
appeal of the Plowshares Eight trial.



?Accordingly, whenever a defendant pleads justification, the court should
ask, ?What higher value than the value of literal compliance with the law is
defendant asserting??  The trial court failed to ask this question.  Apparently
in its eyes *no* higher value is implicated in this case.  And for the
dissent, this case is to be decided as we would decide a case involving ?the
theft and destruction of guns or explosives by altruistic and well-meaning
citizens who sincerely believe that guns or explosives possess the potential
to kill at sometime in the future.?  But appellants are not pleading the
danger arising from ?guns or explosives;? they are pleading the danger
arising from nuclear missiles.  One who does not understand that danger does
not understand appellants? plea.?



?Appellants do not assert that their action would *avoid* nuclear war (what
a grandiose and unlikely idea!).  Instead, at least so far as I can tell
from the record, their belief was that their action, in combination with the
actions of others, might accelerate a political process ultimately leading
to the abandonment of nuclear missiles.  And that belief, I submit, should
not be dismissed as ?unreasonable as a matter of law.?  A jury might ? or
might not ? find it unreasonable as a matter of fact.  But that is for a
jury to say, not for a court.?



Although not referred to in today?s proceedings, the following text from the
closing argument for the Plowshares Eight appeal (referenced above) is most
powerful, and sums up the reality of the peril of nuclear weapons.



?The people in the Pentagon offices and their counterparts in the Kremlin
where the questions of coping with war injuries are dealt with must be
having a hard time these days, looking ahead as they must to the possibility
of thermonuclear war.  Any sensible analyst in such an office would be
tempted to scratch off all the expense items related to surgical care of the
irradiated, burned, and blasted, the men, women, and children with empty
bone marrows and vaporized skin.  What conceivable benefit can come from
sinking money in hospitals subject to instant combustion, only capable of
salvaging, at their intact best, a few hundred victims who will be lying out
there in the hundreds of thousands?  There exists no medical technology that
can cope with the certain outcome of just one small, neat, so-called
tactical bomb exploded over a battlefield.  As for the problem raised by a
single large bomb dropped on New York City or Moscow, with the dead and
dying in the millions, what would medical technology be good for?  As the
saying goes, forget it.  Think of something else.  Get a computer running
somewhere in a cave, to estimate the likely numbers of the lucky dead.  L.
Thomas, *On Medicine and the Bomb*, reprinted in L. Thomas, *Late Night
Thoughts on Listening to Mahler?s Ninth Symphony*.   Nor is the peril
confined to those who will be ?irradiate, burned, and blasted.?  It extends
much farther, to our survival as a species.  If only a small fraction of the
nuclear missiles now able to be fired, either by us or by the Soviet Union,
are fired, a ?dark nuclear winter? will occur: a cloud of debris will block
off our sunlight; temperatures will plunge; and our death by freezing of
starvation will follow.  Scientists have identified a 100 megaton explosion
as the ?nuclear war threshold? that once crossed will lead to such a global
catastrophe.  See ?After Atomic War: Doom in the Dark,? Phil. Enquirer,
November 1, 1983.  It is in the light of this peril that the reasonableness
of appellants? belief must be judged.?



Steve Kelly then summed up the legal case.  He stated that U.S. voluntary
participation in international law is well established, and that Ramsey
Clark clearly established this fact in his earlier testimony.  Kelly also
cited the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on the Legality of
the Threat or Use of Nuclear weapons.



Constitutionally, the laws are clear that the threat of use of nuclear
weapons is unlawful, and the presence of Trident (which targets civilian
populations) is grossly unlawful.  He further stated that the conditions of
necessity have been met; the defendants were not trying to change the law,
but were ?trying to block any intended threat or use of those weapons,? and
they did in fact successfully do so; the base was locked down and no work
was done on the warheads for up to 11 hours that day.



Earlier in the proceedings Crane stated (in justifying the Plowshares
action) that over many years people have tried many, many other avenues,
including fasting, vigils, war tax resistance and demonstrations, to bring
the government?s attention to this issue, but they have still been ignored.
The prosecution later declared that the Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants
had taken the lazy path; ?Going to Bangor is easy,? stated the prosecutor.  He
further stated that the hard thing is engaging in the democratic process,
using speech, etc.



William Bichsel responded to the prosecution?s statement, saying that they
engaged in nonviolent action to turn these weapons (symbolically) into
plowshares, and inform the public about the presence of these weapons so
that the democratic process could be fulfilled.  After 40 years of using
every method conceivable, any reasonable person would consider these actions
reasonable and necessary.  Bichsel also spoke to the traditions that have
been so important and effective over a long period of time; that the
defendants are standing in the tradition of people like Harriet Tubman and
Rosa Parks, and are schooled in the nonviolence of Martin Luther King, Jr.




Following the testimony, Judge Settle denied both motions to dismiss, and
stated that although he understands that the defendants ?are acting out of
conscience,? that does not apply here since the court is supposed to uphold
the Constitution.  It must therefore follow, by precedent, that the
Nuremburg Principles and necessity defense are not applicable in this case.



When Crane responded that all five co-defendants ?feel we are entitled to a
full defense,? Judge Settle replied that court is bound by precedent, and
that the defendants can appeal should there be a conviction.  Case closed???



The Disarm Now Plowshares five trial begins at 9:00 AM on December 7, 2010.
Although the government has essentially denied the defendants any reasonable
defense, the five are prepared to forge ahead with joyful hearts.  Let all
who believe in extinguishing the violent fire of nuclear weapons before it
erupts support these courageous individuals who are fully prepared to give
up their freedoms for this just cause.



There are many opportunities to support Disarm Now Plowshares.  In addition
to coming to the court to witness the trial and join in vigils outside the
courthouse, there will be evening programs in Tacoma beginning on Monday
(December 6) and continuing each evening of the trial.  These will be
opportunities to meet the members of Disarm Now, hear speakers, and enjoy
music, food and fellowship.



On Monday evening, December 6, Angie Zelter will be the main speaker.  Zelter,
a peace, human rights and environmental campaigner, has written several
books, including "Trident on Trial - the case for people's disarmament."



On Tuesday evening, December 7, Colonel Ann Wright, is the main
speaker.  Wright,
who served in the U.S. Army and Foreign Service, resigned on the eve of the
U.S. invasion of Iraq, stating that without the authorization of the UN
Security Council, the invasion and occupation of a Muslim, Arab, oil-rich
country would be a violation of international law.  Most recently, she was
on the May, 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was attacked by the Israeli
military.



There are other speakers not yet confirmed, and all the event information
will be posted on the Disarm Now Plowshares ?Events? page at
http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/events/  as they are confirmed.



Read the Disarm Now Plowshares Blog at
http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/  for ongoing reflections leading
up to trial and daily reports during the trial.



Finally, please spread the word about Disarm Now Plowshares and their
courageous act of resistance so that everyone may learn of these immoral and
illegal weapons of mass destruction (Trident) and their duty, as citizens,
to speak out against them.



Peace to All,



Leonard



Contact:  Leonard Eiger, 425-445-2190, subversivepeacemaking@comcast.net

               Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

               16159 Clear Creek Road NW Poulsbo, WA 98370



Further information (and updates on events) on Disarm Now Plowshares is
available at http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com/.



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Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:24 AM PST
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Grassroots Organizing - 11 Rules for Radicals written in 1971
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE
 
 Rules for Radicals


In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote an entertaining classic on grassroots organizing titled Rules for Radicals. Those who prefer cooperative tactics describe the book as out-of-date. Nevertheless, it provides some of the best advice on confrontational tactics. Alinsky begins this way:
What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.

His “rules” derive from many successful campaigns where he helped poor people fighting power and privilege

For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting what is wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it. The two are linked. If people feel they don’t have the power to change a bad situation, they stop thinking about it.

According to Alinsky, the organizer — especially a paid organizer from outside — must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a bad situation. Alinsky would say, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization.”

Through a process combining hope and resentment, the organizer tries to create a “mass army” that brings in as many recruits as possible from local organizations, churches, services groups, labor unions, corner gangs, and individuals.

Alinsky provides a collection of rules to guide the process. But he emphasizes these rules must be translated into real-life tactics that are fluid and responsive to the situation at hand.

Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people.
The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”

Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.

Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”

Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.

Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”

Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”


http://vcn.bc.ca/citizens-handbook/rules.html


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:06 PM PST

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