November 27, 2013

Going Postal To Save The United States Post Office

Originally posted at AcronymTV

If you had a great job that paid really well, but your health insurance benefits from that job had to be paid in full for 75 years into the future, it wouldn’t matter how much you got paid because you would always be broke and in debt.

The same thing is happening to the United States Postal Service.

The USPS is NOT in trouble. Despite the doom and gloom trumpeted by the corporate media, the post office actually posted $700 million in operation profits in the last four years.

The USPS is certainly in a crisis, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the post office’s facilities, online commerce or employee salaries. It should come as a surprise to nobody that the USPS’s dire financial situation is a direct result of the callousness and shortsightedness of Congress. Luckily, there’s a way we can all help the post office generate more revenue while simultaneously bleeding the banks dry one envelope at a time. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

The reason the U.S. Postal Service is running at constant losses and having to shutter offices around the country is a direct result of the Postal Reform and Accountability Act (PRAA) of 2006. The bill was passed by the same lame duck Congress that got their asses handed to them in the 2006 mid-term elections, amidst a wave of populist anti-war anger that mobilized millions of voters to throw the war hawks out of Congress.

November 26, 2013

[music] Pastel Sound Explosion

Okay okay, so normally, I use this space to promote other bands that I like.

This time, I'm going to promote one of my own bands. I hope you dig it.

Don't Mess With The Lady Parts of Texas Women

Originally posted at AcronymTV

In the United Sates, One out of every three women has had an abortion. If you are a women living in Texas, that state has passed hundreds of laws in the last several years that strip a women’s right to privacy, limit access to abortion and shame women into thinking that their choice about what to do with their bodies is wrong.

As Cecil Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, put it:

“We've heard stories from women who have taken 400-mile bus rides to get an abortion several towns away; heartbreaking accounts of folks who are trying desperately to raise the money to leave the state and travel somewhere they know they'll be able to access their constitutional right. Anecdotally, we're seeing signs that more than anything else, women are simply delaying having the procedure. Some of those women may be holding out hope that a court will rule, or an elected official will step in; others are just plain out of options. History shows us that in this situation, we all have reason to fear that some women will take matters into their own hands and resort to desperate, possibly unsafe measures.”

Recently, Lizz Winstead and Sarah Silverman decided to do something about the war for female reproductive rights and served as co-hosts of the  “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose” telethon, which raised over 50 thousand dollars to benefit groups that provide funding for women seeking abortions, including  The Lilith Fund for Reproductive EquityFund Texas WomenTexas Equal Access Fund, and the Whole Woman’s Texas Action Fund.

Katie Klabusich who was a producer of the event along with Winstead, is our guest interview guest in this segment to discuss the war on Women.

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A message from Students and Parents to Bill DiBlasio

November 22, 2013

Racist PB&J? (Alternate Title: Shitty White People Playing Dumb)

Apparently, about a year ago, the Portland Tribune ran an article about a Portland, OR elementary school that was taking some specific measures to help teachers be more sensitive to the needs of children of color. One of the things that was mentioned as an example of "subtle racism" was a classroom activity involving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Instead of explaining what the activity was or why it would be considered racially charged, the author, Jennifer Anderson, decided to just throw that in there without context and then include a bunch of decontextualized quotes from the principal, Verenice Gutierrez, to make her sound kind of anti-white and crazy.

So, here's the thing. Apparently, a fairly popular writing activity/assessment is to have students describe, in as much detail as possible, how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Gutierrez pointed out that some of the schools students are first generation immigrants, and most countries outside the US don't eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The activity is supposed to involve taking something that all of the kids know how to do and have them describe how to do it. If you've never eaten a PB&J sandwich because your parents never make them at home, you're not going to be able to explain how to make one. This is an activity that has an unnecessary obstacle built in for kids with different cultural backgrounds. Some people are arguing that that doesn't have anything to do with race or ethnicity, because it's a cultural difference, and that would be true if we were talking about a classroom with a bunch of recent immigrants from Europe, in which case the activity would probably be modified pretty quickly because white European kids don't have the same stigmatized expectations attached to them. When Mexican or Somalian kids fail, it's assumed to be caused by something else, not bad teaching - it's a crappy, baseless assumption, but you know that there are people, even well meaning people, who think that way. We're talking about something that all of the white kids in the class can do, and likely some of the non-white children can also do, but the ONLY ones who are adversely affected are children of color. For something to be racist, it doesn't have to affect EVERY SINGLE PERSON of that race. It is racist because it exclusively disadvantages children who are not white.

Anderson also speculates that the school is running a drumming class going on during lunch periods that is exclusively available to black and Latino boys. The basis that it is discriminatory apparently came from an anonymous letter saying that girls and children of other races had tried to sign up but were not allowed to join. It's hard to piece together what's going on there, since the original article is so poorly written, but what's most likely going on is that it's an intervention for at-risk students, as group drumming lessons have lead to positive outcomes for kids with behavioral issues. Considering the fact that 65% of the student body at the school in the article is black or Latino, there is only space for 30 students in the class, and girls at the elementary school level are known to have less behavioral issues, it doesn't seem unbelievable that  the kids who need the class the most happen to be black and Latino boys. Anderson wrote a year ago that a teacher had reported this drumming group to the ACLU, who apparently decided not to pick up the case. Considering the fact that the ACLU takes discrimination pretty seriously, I'd wager that if they don't think this drumming class is a problem, it probably isn't one.

Predictably, a bunch of shitty white people are working themselves into a frenzy over this whole thing. The article somehow resurfaced over the past couple of days and people are responding as though it is recent news. They're storming the school's Facebook page to give reactionary 1-star reviews and idiotic commentary is spreading like wildfire across conservative outlets. Particularly offensive to these shitty white people is the fact that Gutierrez made several references to white privilege, or in other words, she pressed the panic button for shitty white people collectives across the US. Somehow, there are people who live in the US, the same US that I do, and claim not to have noticed the fact that some things are a little easier here for white people than they are for almost everyone else. More specifically, white culture is the dominant culture in the US, so when little white kids go to school, they're likely to encounter lessons and expectations that were designed by people who share their cultural background. It's not always intentionally discriminatory, it's just the way things happen. That makes a difference. It doesn't mean that no white person has ever had a hard time with shit (duh) or that no person of color has ever had an easy time with shit (obviously that happens sometimes too). It just means that most of our institutions are designed with white people in mind. It's an advantage: one that isn't earned, isn't based on merit, and isn't based on general ability or intelligence.

So when that teacher at that school decided to use the PB&J activity, their white privilege prevented them from being aware of the fact that it was an activity that wouldn't make sense to some of the students. They likely had not had the experience of being in a classroom where things that were expected to be "universal" knowledge were not part of their personal background. Things that are problems for people who are outside the dominant culture are invisible to members within the dominant culture (until someone brings them to light). That doesn't mean that the teacher is a racist bigot or anything like that. But it does mean that being informed and aware about that privilege will make the teacher more sensitive to the needs of students with different cultural backgrounds. Why would that possibly be a bad thing? If you don't want to level out the playing field to help disadvantaged kids succeed, there's something broken in your brain and I don't know what to tell you.

This is why efforts for "equality" shouldn't always involve treating everyone exactly the same way. As an analogy, let's say you and all your friends are going to a movie that starts at 8pm. Your friends all have the evening off, so they decide to meet up for dinner beforehand and then walk to the theater together. You have to work until 7:30pm, so you can't join them for dinner. Let's say your friends demanded that you need to be treated "equally" and insisted that after you get out of work, you have to go to the same restaurant and eat dinner and then walk to the theater alone. You're going to be really late to the movie (or maybe even miss it altogether). Would that demand make any kind of sense? Of course not. Assuming your friends aren't totally unhinged, they'd have no problem with you just driving straight to the theater from work and maybe buying a hot dog at the concession stand or something. Because it isn't a contest. Because it doesn't hurt them for you to be on time for the movie. Because it's more fun for everybody when you all get there on time.

There's nothing wrong with making exceptions so that the system works for everybody.
It doesn't hurt anyone to use an example other than peanut butter sandwiches in writing class.
Unless your definition of "hurt" is that you and your kids don't get an unfair advantage anymore. If that's your working definition, I have some advice for you: suck it up.

November 21, 2013

Has Walmart Finally Crossed The Line?

Originally posted at AcronymTV

There is a nagging trend towards treating workers humanly, including paying them a living wage, that has the Walmart Public Relations department working overtime to alter the public perception that the company is not a blood sucking tick on the face of humanity.

Think of it this way: If corporations truly are people, then Walmart is Ebenezer Scrooge. Ok, so Scrooge is a work of fiction, you got me – but I want this to be a story filled with hope. Perhaps the Walton heirs will receive visitation from a trio of ghosts and emerge from their paranormal experience with a world-view where they are so repulsed by the fact that their obscene wealth is built and predicated on the suffering and poverty of the people they call Associates. - and the corporate welfare they receive to the tune of $900,000 a year per Wal-Mart super store in the form of government assistance to the Wal-Mart Associates whose wages are so low that qualify for these programs.

The straw that could break the camels back, however, is the story emerging from Ohio, which many websites are qualifying with the disclaimer: NOT AN ONION STORY where containers at a Walmart store are marked with signs asking for donations for employees .

Jen Steer, writing at notes:  “These bins in an employee-only area of the Atlantic Boulevard store are labeled “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” A worker at the store took photos of the setup and sent them to OUR Walmart, a group that pushes for higher wages and respectful conditions for Walmart employees.”

Associates soliciting donations for other associates so that those who have a job at the Company that generates more revenue that any other company in the world can have a Thanksgiving meal before they report to their shift on black Friday, which actually begins at 6PM on Thanksgiving day-  this has to be the final straw, yes?

When you add this latest flack to the already well documented illegal anti-union tactics, violation of child labor laws, forcing workers to work off the clock without pay, forcing suppliers to deliver goods at a price point that incentivizes factory conditions with no emergency exits where brown people living in a far off lands get burnt alive while sewing clothes that we can then wrap so daintily in tissue paper and boxes and festive holiday wrapping papers and ribbons and bows all tucked under the Christmas tree with sugar plums and cheer in a never ending cycle of consumption that has delivered wealth to the six Walton heirs that exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40% of Americans – all of this can no longer be called living better, can it?

Fighting Tar Sands In New England | Asher Platts | Resistance Report Segment

Originally posted at AcronymTV

ExxonMobil plans to build a toxin-spewing export terminal on the shores of Casco Bay in Maine.

According to
“Such a terminal would allow the flow of millions of gallons of Canadian tar sands to be transported through the region, putting our planet, our local waterways, and community health at unacceptable risk.
All evidence indicates that ExxonMobil – the majority owner of the PMPL - wants to pump toxic tar sands oil through New England and South Portland is now a crucial battle line in the fight to stop them.
In addition to the climate change risks of tar sands oil production, additional local impacts – with or without with a spill or rupture – would be devastating.

As the CCSP says firmly, "The threats that tar sands pose to our environment, health, water supply and air quality are simply unacceptable." “

Asher Platts files this report, which includes an interview with Bob Klotz of

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George Zimmerman & Interlinked Oppressions

I am so angry right now, I am actually considering deleting the photo off the top of this post because I can’t stand looking at this awful human being’s disgusting face. As many of you know, George Zimmerman, the dude most famously known for murdering an unarmed black teenager and getting away with it, is in trouble with the law again. Shocking, right?

This time, it’s for violence against his (hopefully now ex) girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, who called 911 after he smashed a glass coffee table and pointed a shotgun at her. Those of you who are big fans of his will be happy to know that he has already posted bail and is back in society! Originally, bail was set at $4900, but was raised to $9000 after the judge became aware of another allegation: that he had tried to choke Scheibe a week ago. In spite of all the horrifying information available about this situation, the judge initially was going to clear the newly bailed out Zimmerman to drop by Scheibe’s address to pick up belongings he had left there. Thank god, someone with capacity for rational human thought convinced the judge that this was a really bad, really dangerous idea and the decision was reversed.

How many times is this shit going to play out before the justice system decides to get real and protect society from Zimmerman? I’ve seen some snarky comments online already about how Zimmerman ended up in jail this time because this time his victim is white. While being white in the US is obviously a position of privilege, we need to bear in mind that he’s already out on bail and he also has, at this point, got a LONG and DETAILED history of victimizing women while remaining essentially untouchable. Just as far as known reports go, we have this awful case, just a couple of weeks ago he nailed a bulls-eye filled with bullet holes to the side of his estranged wife’s parents’ house (this is after he punched her dad and stabbed her iPad with a knife, for those of you keeping track at home), he has been accused of molesting at least two women for over a decade, and he stalked and assaulted his former fiance in 2005.

And EACH TIME, he pulls the same morally bankrupt, downright sociopathic, absolutely delirious excuse: he tears down the victims’ credibility, frames them as hysterical liars, and pretends that THEY VICTIMIZED HIM. In the most recent conflict, he made a 911 call after the police had already showed up at Scheibe’s apartment (in response to her initial call), wherein he refused to open the door to the cops that were already there and told the dispatcher that his “pregnant” girlfriend had gone “crazy”.  Oh, by the way, Scheibe is not pregant. Similarly, Zimmerman spun a wild yarn about ex-fiance, Veronica Zuazo, saying that the true story behind the stalking allegations was that she had called him because he was coincidentally “in her neighborhood” and that she had instigated physical violence against him because he wouldn’t spend the night at her apartment.  In fact, he filed a counter-claim against her and they both ended up with equal punishments: a restraining order against each other and a one year bar against possessing firearms. This really isn’t a he said/she said thing if totally unrelated women independently keep making the same claims about him over and over again.

Similarly, Zimmerman painted Trayvon Martin as the aggressor in their totally unnecessary encounter that lead to Martin’s death. Never mind the fact that acquaintances and colleagues of Zimmerman’s have stated openly that Zimmerman and his family are super racist and that he has an explosive temper. Or the fact that over the span of the previous 8 years, Zimmerman had made nearly 50 batshit calls to his local police department, often to report the “suspicious activity” of people of color, including a “suspicious” black child estimated to be 7-9 years old. Despite self-identifying as Hispanic, Zimmerman also has no qualms about making bigoted statements about Mexicans, so while he is also technically a person of color, he clearly sees himself as being set apart from them.

Let’s be clear here: these are only the things we know about. Considering how wildly under reported crimes like sexual assault/abuse and domestic violence are, the fact that Zimmerman has this much easily accessible public dirt on him should probably have everyone worried about all the awful things he’s likely done without getting caught. Shellie Zimmerman has described her estranged husband as seeing himself as being invincible and above the law, which sounds delusional until one considers the fact that it’s actually kind of true. How many times is Zimmerman going to waltz through the criminal justice system before we take his guns away for good and figure out a way to get him to stop committing acts of violence against marginalized people?

This isn’t just about Zimmerman being racist (which he is) or a misogynist (which he is), it’s about a person repeatedly exercising his social power to victimize members of oppressed groups.  We live in a culture where having plenty of money and being socially/politically well-connected delivers near-immunity from being held accountable for bad behavior – especially if that bad behavior is targeted at our society’s undesirables, especially the poor, women, sexual and gender minorities and people of color (multiply that effect by orders of magnitude when those categories overlap).

George Zimmerman is a shining example of why we need coalitions, alliances, and intersectional goals. While we all feel the effects of inequality differently and to varying degrees, it’s more important to address who does have power rather than who doesn’t. Making a few things better for one group is not going to cut it. The powerful are the ones who benefit from infighting between the disempowered: as we stand divided, we stand conquered. Dismantling institutions like white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, and class privilege is a big job – one that will take all of us. As long as any of us are being beaten, raped, murdered, starved, humiliated, or degraded because of our ascribed statuses, our identities, it affects us all. Or, in the immortal words of MLK Jr., whose eloquence and bravery I could never approach: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

So, let’s start talking. What does justice look like and how are we going to get it?

(cross-posted at Feminist Nonfiction)

November 20, 2013

How to play Botswana style guitar (sort of)

How my guitar is strung:


How Ronnie's guitar is strung:


I don't explain this clearly in the video, but I tuned my B string down a tritone to F, rather than tuning my top E string up a half step to F, putting my voicings down an octave from how Ronnie plays in the video.


Climate Change Fail

Originally posted at AcronymTV

In what should be another colossal embarrassment for the United States- recently leaked internal documents show how little our government is prepared to take responsibility for the damage done by climate change, the negative effects of which are caused by our hyper capitalist culture of consumption without consequence.

Nithin Sethi, writing at the reports:

“In an internal briefing paper prepared for its diplomats across the world ahead of the Warsaw climate negotiations, which The Hindu has accessed, the U.S. has opposed the setting up of a separate process on ‘loss and damage’, pushed primarily for the role of private investments and finance in providing the promised money to the poor countries to adapt to climate change and have a 2015 climate agreement where no country is forced to take higher emission reduction pledges than the ones they initially volunteer. It also informed its diplomats to keep pushing the line with other countries that the U.S. was doing enough domestically on the climate change front and these were priorities for President Barack Obama and John Kerry.”

There are two things at play here. One is setting limits and playing a chess game over who will pay for the climate change damage that will come – and disproportionally affect less developed countries that have not the means to defend themselves from human induced climate change or contribute to the conditions that will harm or kill them The other thing at play, the Giant Pink Elephant in the room that our world leaders can’t seem to deal with is the reality, as outlined in a study by the Global Carbon Project, of a 4 or 6 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures that could mark a significant and perhaps final chapter in the story of our species.

Get this image on a shirt, yo!

November 19, 2013

Who Killed JFK, and WHY? 50 Years of Questions Yields A New Answer

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

With the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination upon us, it will be hard to avoid watching the Zapruder film and debating with your friends and in online forums like the comment section of this video, who killed President John F. Kennedy, and why?

The fact is that JFK’s assassination started a brutal trend. In the five-year period between 1963 and 1968, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy were all killed.

Whether or not you believe they were killed by men with ear pieces and black suits who knew 17 different languages and 17 different forms of kung fu taking orders from an actual organization of men shrouded in cigar smoke and oak walls and single malt whiskey making the calls or some other confluence of events is immaterial.

However it came to pass, the results are the same.

The results of those four leaders of American progressive politics being killed in such a short amount of time is that Americans collectively put our tails between their legs, our heads down, and we did what we were told.

So now, when we pick our heads up for air and look around what do we see?

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MSNBC “Leaning Forward” To Promote Fracking

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

With the knowledge that the day is coming when the digital side of media consumption will outpace the cable television side of the business, Cable news stations are scrambling to carve out space in the digital realm. MSNBC, for example, recently unveiled a completely redesigned website. The site prioritizes focused user interaction over exposure to a wide range of topics- with only 10 stories on the main page at any given time. MSNBC executive editor Phil Griffin said “We are the platform for the Lean Forward, progressive community. We hope it benefits television, but it will be in and of itself its own medium.”

The Lean Forward Brand for cable TV was pushed on us with a series of 30 second spots wherein the MSNBC personalities would speak to us from the heart about what makes them progressive, the ultimate objective of coarse, was to increase our trust in those personalities, and in turn, what they say.

Joining me today to discuss the implications of Native advertising is Steve Horn. Steve is a Madison, WI-based Research Fellow for DeSmogBlog and a freelance investigative journalist. His writing has appeared in multiple publications, including The Guardian (UK), AlterNet, The Nation, Truth-Out, CounterPunch, and many other publications.

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November 18, 2013

Jeremy Hammond: Political Prisoner

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Jeremy Hammond, speaking to Guardian reporter Ed Pilkington just one day before he was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 10 years for exposing the spying of StratFor, a private corporate spying firm that often works with US intelligence agencies said:

“I knew when I started out with Anonymous that being put in jail and having a lengthy sentence was a possibility. Given the nature of the targets I was going after I knew I would upset a lot of powerful people.”

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was packed on with supporters, journalists and activists who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.

In his sentencing statement, Hammond said:

“The acts of civil disobedience and direct action that I am being sentenced for today are in line with the principles of community and equality that have guided my life. I hacked into dozens of high profile corporations and government institutions, understanding very clearly that what I was doing was against the law, and that my actions could land me back in federal prison. But I felt that I had an obligation to use my skills to expose and confront injustice—and to bring the truth to light.

Could I have achieved the same goals through legal means? I have tried everything from voting petitions to peaceful protest and have found that those in power do not want the truth to be exposed. When we speak truth to power we are ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst. We are confronting a power structure that does not respect its own system of checks and balances, never mind the rights of it’s own citizens or the international community.”

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Anti-drone Summit Seeks “Drone Strike Transparency Bill”

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Representatives from some of the parts of the world where US drones kill descended on Washington DC for the largest ever anti-drone summit. Code Pink, The Nation Magazine and the Georgetown chapter of the National Lawyers Guild served as host for the two-day summit.

As Majore Cohn, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, writes:

"Members of a delegation from Yemen provided examples of the devastation drones have wrought in their communities. Faisal bin Ali Jaber is an engineer. For some time, one of his relatives had been giving public lectures criticizing drone attacks. In August 2012, family and friends were celebrating the marriage of Jaber's son. After the wedding, a drone struck Jaber's relative, killing him instantly. Jaber lost a brother-in-law who was a known opponent of al Qaeda, and a 21-year-old nephew in the attack."

The summit began with a rally at the White House to say hello to Barack, I have a drone Obama, and then a march to the headquarters of Drone manufacturer General Atomics where activists staged a die in. Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of Code Pink and key organizer of the Summit said:

"We re-enacted what it is like when drones terrorize a community, We handed General Atomics a letter saying we have seen first-hand the destruction they have caused in Yemen and Pakistan. We encouraged them to stop making things that hurt people. We told them that if they feel remorse, they are welcome to give compensation to victims."

The summit will lead into a day of anti-drone lobbying on the hill Monday, where one of the biggest pushes will be for the passage of a drone strike transparency bill, which would require the Obama administration to report on civilians killed by drone strikes.

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November 13, 2013

WikiLeaks Leaks Controversial Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Documents

(I work for AcronymTV now! Please become a patron, and support DAILY content like this.)

Originally posted at AcronymTV

The TPP is a Trojan horse that seeks to usher in a backroom secret sweetheart deal for the global elite, and President Barack Obama wants the deal fast-tracked through Congress. That effort was dealt a serious blow on Wednesday, when WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property rights chapter. According to the WikiLeaks press release:

“The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.”

Remember NAFTA?

Remember the concept of Corporate Personhood from the Citizens United case?

The TPP combines all of the worst elements of NAFTA and Citizens United, shoots them up with steroids, sprinkles in a speedball and codifies these principles into a trade agreement that is in fact much more than a trade agreement.

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November 12, 2013

Super Typhoon Haiyan and the Climate Change Link

Originally posted at AcronymTV

(I work for AcronymTV now! Please become a patron, and support DAILY content like this.)

The scale of death and destruction is hard to wrap your head around. Several days after Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines, we still do not have a full picture of the scale of death and destruction that lay in its wake.

Estimates put the number of dead in the city of Tacloban alone at 10,000, and scores of survivors in that city are now in desperate need of food, clean water and shelter.

Trying to make sense of the disaster, many are quick to point to the man-made causes for the increase of violent weather events, like the scene that played out on Piers Morgan recently wherein Mark Hertsgaard berated Morgan for allowing a "climate denier" to speak on live television. CNN’s Morgan held his ground, insisting it is only fair to allow both sides of the debate to be aired.

The problem with this “debate” is that when 97% of climate scientists assert that climate change is linked to human behavior, and then there should no more be “two sides” to this debate than there are two sides to a debate concerning creationism vs. evolution.

If there truly are two sides to the argument, lets have a fair debate. Consider the following scenarios:

Scenario A: Climate activists and hippie tree huggers are spending their paltry little budgets in a global conspiracy with 97% of the worlds climate scientists to trick you into changing civilizations unsustainable consumption without consequence way of life?


Scenario B: Exxon, BP, Chevron and others are spending their and bottomless budgets bribing anyone with their hand out to create misleading ad campaign of the covert overt and embedded variety to protect and expand their profits, limit their future criminal liability.

What say you, scenario A, or B? Discuss.

November 11, 2013

Abortion Providers Are Heroes: In Defense of Abortion On Demand and Without Apology

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

The war on female reproductive rights in the United States came into sharp focus this past week in Texas, where a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed the state to block women from getting services from one-third of abortion providers. In response, reproductive health care providers took the to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Associate Justice Antonin Scalia denied an emergency request to stay the appeals court’s ruling, asking the state to file a response by November 12. And in Jackson Mississippi last week, the last abortion clinic in that state, The Women’s Health organization, was under siege from a group called Operation Save America.

Today, we speak with Sunsara Taylor of, who just returned from Jackson defending the Women’s Health organization from the anti-choice group Operation Save America, described by as a "extreme, violence inciting, women-hating Christian fascist organization."

The Grassroots Effort To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use In Portland, Maine | Asher Platts

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

Asher Platts, known to many of you through his work as the Punk Patriot, joins the Resistance Report team to give us the story behind the story of how grassroots – no pun- organizing helped bring legalized Marijuana to Maine.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of the Portland Green Independent Party Committee, and the Maine Green Independent Party, Portland Maine became the first city on the east coast to legalize marijuana for recreational use. It is now legal, in the city of Portland, for adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use.

November 9, 2013

Fukushima: The Beginning of The End Of Nuclear Power | Resistance Report #12

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

The hear no evil see no evil attitude of mainstream media outlets here in the United States about the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan does not obscure the fact that, in the attempt mitigate future catastrophic damage, the global community is faced with challenges unique in the history of humankind. Members of the Green Shadow Cabinet traveled to the UN on Thursday to deliver a petition signed by 150,000 citizens of the world demanding that the government of Japan transfer responsibility for the Fukushima reactor site to an international engineering firm overseen by a civil society panel and an international group of nuclear experts. Additionally, the petition demanded that the global media be permitted around-the-clock access to accurate information throughout the entire process of removal of the spent fuel rods so that the international community can be informed of any risks to its health.

Also covered this week’s episode of the Resistance Report:

Abortion Providers Are Heroes (segment starts at 8:01) - An Interview with Sunsara Taylor of, who just returned from Jackson, Mississippi where the last abortion clinic in that state was under siege from the anti-choice group Operation Save America, described by as a “extreme, violence inciting, women-hating Christian fascist organization.”

Lessons From Occupying Hurricane Sandy (segment starts at 17:05) Pamela Brown’s report on those who had spent time occupying Zuccotti park as part of the Occupy wall street and then turned their energy towards providing mutual aid to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

A Grassroots Effort to Make Grass Legal in Maine (segment starts at 23:05) Asher Platts, known to many of you through his work as the Punk Patriot, joins the Resistance Report team to give us the story behind the story of how grassroots – no pun- organizing help bring legalized Marijuana to Maine.

What Is The Main Obstacle To Change? (segment starts at 26:19) Lee Camp, inspired by Tarak Kauff, breaks down what is perhaps the largest obstacle to systemic change.

The Dynastic Hillary Bandwagon – Bad for America

By Ralph Nader

The Hillary Clinton for President in 2016 bandwagon has started very early and with a purpose. The idea is to get large numbers of endorsers, so that no Democratic Primary competitors dare make a move. These supporters include Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), financier George Soros and Ready for Hillary, a super PAC mobilizing with great specificity (already in Iowa).

Given this early bird launch, it is important to raise the pressing question:

Does the future of our country benefit from Hillary, another Clinton, another politician almost indistinguishable from Barack Obama’s militaristic, corporatist policies garnished by big money donors from Wall Street and other plutocratic canyons?

There is no doubt the Clintons are syrupy political charmers, beguiling many naïve Democrats who have long been vulnerable to a practiced set of comforting words or phrases camouflaging contrary deeds.

Everybody knows that Hillary is for women, children and education. She says so every day. But Democrats and others can’t get the Clintons even to support a $10.50 federal minimum wage that would almost equal the 1968 minimum wage, inflation-adjusted, and would raise the wages of 30 million workers mired in the gap between the present minimum wage of $7.25 and $10.50 an hour. It just so happens that almost two-thirds of these Americans are women, many of them single moms struggling to support their impoverished children. Nearly a million of these workers labor for Walmart, on whose Board of Directors Hillary Clinton once sat. Words hide the deeds.

As a Senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary had to start proving that women, just like the macho men, can be belligerent and never see a weapons system and its use that they didn’t like. Never did she demonstrate any ongoing interest in debloating the massive, wasteful, duplicative military budget so as to free up big monies for domestic public works programs or other necessities.

As Senator she also admitted that she didn’t have time to read a critical National Intelligence Estimate Report, which had caveats that might have dissuaded her from voting with George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003. War-mongering and wars of Empire never bothered her then or now. Just a few weeks ago, she was photographed giving the recidivist war criminal, Republican Henry Kissinger, a big, smiling hug at a public event. It’s all part of the bi-partisan image she is cultivating under the opportunistic banner of “cooperation.” (For more information, read the New York Times’ Collateral Damage and Nixon and Kissinger’s Forgotten Shame, or Seymour Hersh’s The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House.)

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton accelerated the Department’s militarization, belting far more war-like, threatening assertions toward governments of developing countries than did the Secretaries of Defense. She loved to give speeches on “force projection,” the latest synonym for “the Empire,” and “the pivot” toward East Asia and against the asserted looming threat of China. Taking due note, the Chinese generals demanded larger budgets.

The Secretary of State’s highest duty is diplomacy. Not for her. Despite her heavy travelling, she made little or no effort to get the government to sign onto the numerous international treaties which already had over a hundred nations as signatories. These include stronger climate change agreements and, as Human Rights Watch reports, unratified treaties “relating to children, women, persons with disabilities, torture, enforced disappearance and the use of anti-personal landmines and cluster munitions.” These tasks bore her.

Much more exciting was military action. Against the wishes of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, she pulled Barack Obama into the Libyan war. There were consequences. Libya is now in militia chaos, having spilled over into Mali, but without Gaddafi, its overthrown dictator who had disarmed and was making peace with western nations and oil companies.

As a Yale Law School graduate, she was not in the least bothered that the attack on Libya occurred without any Congressional declaration, authorization or appropriation of funds – a classic Madisonian definition of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors.

Like Bill Clinton, she is an unabashed cheerleader for corporate globalization under NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and the proposed sovereignty-stripping, anti-worker Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. Secretary of State Clinton, in the words of trade expert Jamie Love, “put the hammer to India when the government took steps to grant compulsory licenses on cancer drug patents” by not requiring life-saving compulsory license of expensive drugs so that low-income people and their children could have access to more affordable medication.

Even regarding the easy clampdown on waste and fraud, Hillary Clinton fired Peter Van Buren, a 24-year-Foreign Service Officer, who exposed such waste and mismanagement by corporate contractors in Iraq. (For more information, see

Foreshadowing this season’s headlines, former Secretary of State Clinton ordered U.S. officials to spy on top UN diplomats including Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, and those from the United Kingdom. She ordered her emissaries around the world to obtain DNA data, iris scans and fingerprints along with credit card and frequent flier numbers. Not only was this a clear violation of the 1946 UN convention, but after admitting what happened she didn’t even make a public apology to the affected parties.

Under her watch, the advice and status of the Department’s foreign service officers and aid workers were marginalized in favor of the militarists – and not only in Iraq.

Many Wall Streeters like Hillary Clinton. Expecting their ample contributions, and socializing with their business barons, it is not surprising that Hillary Clinton avoids going after the crooked casino capitalism that collapsed the economy, drained investors, pensions, jobs and taxpayer bailouts. Hillary Clinton is a far cry from the stalwart Senator Elizabeth Warren on this towering pattern of unaccountable corporate abuse.

The surreal world of Hillary Clinton is giving $200,000 speeches, collecting prestigious awards she does not deserve, including one from the American Bar Association, and basking in the glory of her admirers while appropriately blasting the Republicans for their “War on Women” – the safe refrain of her forthcoming campaign.

It is true that the Republican madheads make it easy for any Democratic candidate to judge themselves by the cruel, rabid, ravaging Republicans. But, is that the kind of choice our country deserves?

A Clinton Coronation two years or more before the 2016 elections will stifle any broader choice of competitive primary candidates and more important a more progressive agenda supported by a majority of the American people.

Full Medicare for all, cracking down on corporate abuses, a fairer tax system, a broad public works program, a living wage, access to justice and citizen empowerment, clean election practices, and pulling back on the expensive, boomeranging Empire to come home to America’s necessities and legitimate hopes are some examples of what the people want.

Maybe the sugarcoating is starting to wear. Columnist Frank Bruni, writing in the New York Times (Hillary in 2016? Not so Fast), reports her polls are starting to slump. Apparently, as Bruni suggests, she’s being seen as part of the old Washington crowd that voters are souring on.

As I wrote to Hillary Clinton in early summer 2008, when calls were made by Obama partisans for her to drop out, no one should be told not to run. That’s everyone’s First Amendment right. However, not voting for her is the prudent decision.

November 4, 2013

[Music] Jaw Gems

I can't believe the sounds that Jaw Gems make come from Portland Maine.

It feels like they wrote this album on the observation deck of that space station in "Space Odysey 2001"
Check out track 3, Baleen.

Also, don't forget to vote tomorrow, Nov 5th. Local government stuff affects your life more directly than federal government stuff. So take the reins bucko.