January 29, 2014

Obama out Orwelled Orwell | Lee Camp Interview

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Barack Obama may as well have delivered his 5th State of the Union address to and for the Superstate Oceania, the fictional empire mired in perpetual war from George Orwell’s 1984.

No, Obama did not come directly out and tell us that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength so much as he embodied those ideas in a nuanced, measured performance that inspired the political pundits like Chris Matthews to wax poetic like a Theatre critic praising an aging stage actor who was able to find the old magic one last time.

Lee Camp and I discuss the (actual) state of the union, Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy as it relates to jobs, corporate profits and the climate crisis, and how blindly “supporting for the troops” is unhealthy for children and all other living things.

Lee Camp (bio)
Lee is comedian, writer, and activist. He is the host of the popular Moment of Clarity, which is now a video series, a book, and a full show. His stand up comedy has garnered praise from who’s who of comedians and activists alike.

Obama, inequality, climate change, climate crisis, wars, militarism, video, Lee Camp, SOTU, State of the Union, Orwell, War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, Lee Camp, Lee Camp interview, Moment of clarity, Acronym TV, Resistance Report, Popular Resistance, Dennis Trainor Jr

The Shriveling State of the Union by Ben Manski

The Republicans are right when they they point to America’s 25+ million jobless and ask whether the President is serious in proposing job training as his primary remedy. The Democrats are right when they respond that the Republicans have proposed no real jobs alternatives of their own.

Five years after Obama’s historic mandate, the conditions of the great mass of Americans remains intolerable. And yet to hear his fifth State of Union address, an uninformed listener might think America’s problems are limited and manageable.

The reason for this dissonance is that this State of the Union was not delivered by the man elected in the mandate of 2008. This State of the Union might as well have been given by a robot, or an actor, or a media spokesperson. In fact, a media spokesman is what this President of the United States has long since become. His is a voice that modulates the reality experienced by an ever more disconnected political establishment for a polity that grows smaller by the year.

In this shriveled State of the Union, natural gas is a gateway to energy independence and climate justice. In this reality, student debt is to be solved with counseling and unemployment to be addressed with job training. In this United States, poverty can be overcome by a president who appeals to corporate executives to raise workers wages. In this America, equal pay for equal work is a promise the White House intends to fulfill before the next Clinton takes to the campaign trail.

So few are fooled by this State of the Union because so many have been betrayed by those who sat in that congressional chamber the other night. When the President introduces a man horribly maimed after ten tours in Afghanistan, Washington wants us to understand that their plan requires our continued sacrifice. And they are right that it does.

There are policy alternatives with support outside of Washington and Wall Street. One is the Green New Deal brought forward by Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala in their 2012 presidential campaign. Putting 25 million people to work and reconstructing the economy from the bottom up . . . that is a significant alternative. And it would mean a different State of the Union delivered by and for a much larger section of the American people.

~ Ben Manski is Senior Advisor to the President of the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States.

SEE ALSO: http://greenshadowcabinet.us/statements/shriveling-state-union

3 Changes that would fix the broken money system.

Elected Socialist Kshama Sawant responds to the #SOTU

January 28, 2014

VIDEO: 2014 State of The Union (minus the Corporate Influence)

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Note: In some alternative universe, not only am I the speechwriter for President Obama, but I’ve actually convinced him to deliver the following as the 2014 State of the Union. – Dennis Trainor, Jr.


Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, fellow citizens- 60 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his annual State of the Union Address to the Nation as a Fireside Chat from the White House in which he outlined a proposed second bill of rights that would to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known.

The power elite have been guiding this country in a direction in the exact opposite of the spirit behind that second bill of rights ever since. It is because of this- the outsized influence of a few rich people and multi-national corporations that I must report to you that the state of our Union is in tatters, and if allowed to continue on its present trajectory, presents an existential threat to human life both at home and abroad and to the only habitat that human life has ever existed on: planet earth.

Tonight, I’m announcing that I will issue an executive order that will raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.

Most people on the right will take their cue form mister tan and spray sitting behind me and frown, arms folded, and most people on the left stand and applaud like a bunch of fan girls at an anime convention, but both sides of the isle know this: if those of us in service to the power elite (and if you got elected, about 98% are in that group) don’t at least make an attempt to keep up the illusion of the American Dream, then the whole House of Cards could come down.


Count how many times the phrase “middle class” gets uttered in the state of the union. The truth is, when you aspire to or have a attained the label of American middle class know that – first, the label itself was probably made in Bangladesh, and more importantly, the existence of a middle class, which by definition requires a poor class is, in the richest country in the world, immoral.


So we will do this $10.10 an hour thing, and not only will we NOT jail Jamie Dimon, but we will secretly admire him for getting a raise while serving as a CEO of a company that had to shell out more in legal settlements that the GDP of several continents combined, and just like the magic show that wowed you as a kid the don’t watch the left hand watch the show hand and wham bam thank you sir the neoliberal hungy hungry hippo machine gobbles up all the marbles and leaves the rest of us begging for crumbs like some bit player in a Dickensian pageant.

Speaking of Dickens!

It is time to admit we lost the industrial revolution. The lifestyle it has created, which we now think of as non-negotiable of a the middle class lifestyle that the $10.10 is supposed to help more of us attain, are generating increasing ratios of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to the point where even US Navy scientists are predicting an ice free arctic summer by 2016.

So- ice won’t reflect sun; the Arctic Ocean will absorb the suns rays, warming things up in a way that will alter jet streams and maps. Do you know the last time we had an ice-free arctic summer? Never before in human history. I could tell you all to start composting and stop buying plastic water bottles but the truth is the greatest climate polluter is the US military.

Yes, the 600 hundred pound homicidal blowback inducing elephant in the room. The thing is, overreaching is part of our DNA as Americans. As an infant country, we expanded through a brutal campaign of genocide we condone in our high school history curriculum with the phrase Manifest Destiny.  All these years later, Manifest Destiny has grown up and given birth to a child.


Manifest Destiny’s Child.

This child still governs our foreign policy decisions, it serves as the justification for the over 700 military bases we keep around the world. It serves as the justification for extrajudicial drone killings in countries that have not declared war on us and pose not threat to us. It serves as the justification for the massive spy agencies that we need to protect us.

Ask yourself this, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress and viewers playing along at home: how much resources do the Swiss have to expend on protecting themselves from terrorists? Is there such a thing as an anti Swiss terrorist network?

Chew on that.

Manifest Destiny’s Child is a threat to all living things, and must be euthanized immediately.

It is customary to close with “God Bless these United States”, but in the interest of fairness we will minimize the role of man made all knowing creators of the Universe and his influence over our affairs and say simply, peace.


State of the Union, Barack Obama, Minimum wage, $10.10, Executive order

January 27, 2014

Legalize Democracy | full documentary 

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Legalize Democracy is a documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. (American Autumn: an Occudoc) about the movement to amend -- why it is needed, and how you can get involved, placing the response to corporate coup of our government in the context of the growing Democracy movement emerging right here and right now.



Combining interviews with Move To Amend’s national leadership team, with archival footage, and dynamic animated time lines that tell the stories of the Supreme Court cases that shaped the doctrine of "corporate personhood", the rights guaranteed by amendments fought for by people's movements, and the intersection of law and culture that codified and created discrimination based on race.

Move To Amend
Formed in September 2009, Move to Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests.

We are calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.
Dennis Trainor, Jr. (director) is a writer, director and new media activist. He directed the critically acclaimed documentary the Occupy Wall Street movement, American Autumn: an Occudoc (“calm and smart, offsetting its stridency with discussion, music, even humor, while issuing a call to arms.”- New York Times ; “as well made as any Hollywood blockbuster.”- MichaelMoore.com ). Currently, her serves as the producer and host of The Resistance Report, which can be seen daily at PopularResistance.org .

His work has been featured on many outlets including Truth Out, Huffington Post, Op-Ed News, Fire Dog Lake, The Real News Network, and many others.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.


Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.


Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake


Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo


Original score


Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten


Additional Camera
Arthur Louis


Executive Producers
Pamela Brown
Daniel Lee
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Egberto Willies


Legalize Democracy, Amend the Constitution, Corporate Personhood, Money is not free speech, Move To Amend, Democracy movement, Dennis Trainor Jr. Documentary, full documentary, political protest,

January 24, 2014

Open Letter to The 85 Richest People on The Planet (cc: Kevin O’Leary) VIDEO

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Responding to the Oxfam report that concluded that the world's 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, self appointed spokesperson for the global elite, and celebrity Judge on the reality show The Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary,applauded the news, stating that is  “fantastic news (…) the motivation everybody needs (…) it inspires everyone to want to be like the 1%” and scoffing at the idea of “re-distribution of wealth” stated, “ I celebrate Capitalism.”

His remarks inspire this open letter to the 85 Richest People In The World.


Dear 85 Richest People In The World,

Thank you for your time.

I’m well aware that time, in your world, is money. Given that one member of your peer group, Warren Buffett, made $37 million per day in 2013, breaking down to a mind blowing $1.5 million an hour, I image the value of the 5 minutes or so you are granting me now, depending on where you rank in your elite group of 85, is somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000.

So thank you. It means a lot.

We know that some of Mr. Buffett’s public statement’s show the possibility for a worldview, even among the rarefied air of your little 85 club, can be a little more compassionate and nuanced that the remarks of Mr. O’Leary.

In the interest of time, I’ll respond to Mr. O’Leary’s outlandish remarks in three broad areas: equity, sustainability, and wealth redistribution.


Mr. O’Leary dismisses the notion of wealth redistribution. Here in the United States, we live in one of the most unequal countries in the world, when measured in terms of wealth inequity. Are we to believe that this well documented and growing wealth divide is a random force of nature? A statistical glitch? Because you deserve it? Or is it possible, that billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller had it right in a television interview called the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program:


“[T]he biggest redistribution of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich ever. … I mean, maybe this trickle-down monetary policy that gives money to billionaires and hopefully we go spend it is going to work. But it hasn’t worked for five years.”


Given this, help me understand how the global elite differs from pirates?


Kevin O’Leary sells us the lie that if we all just fight hard to get up to the top, we could be in your little club. Is it really your opinion that you all really work harder than the rest of us in a manner quantifiable to the skewed amount of wealth you have amassed? Can Mark Zuckerberg, or Sergei Brin any one of the Walton’s work much harder than an 11 year old kid who work 14 hour shifts in some rat infested tin shed of a factory in Bangladesh making the clothes that find their way onto the backs of every 11 year old American kid who wants to grow up to be the next Zuckerberg? You clearly cannot answer yes in good conscience. The system that requires millions of poor people working 70 hours a week to feed the fire of constant economic growth is, for this reason and scores more, not only unfair, but morally unjustifiable.


The furnace that feeds the global Corporate capitalist system is also, I think you might have heard, heating up the planet. The human species, according to 98% of climate scientists are in dire straights. Imagine yourself strapped to a conveyor belt moving slowly towards a giant band saw, while the forces of darkness are shoving cyanide coated in fruit flavored mentos down your throat and chasing it with diet coke. You see, capitalism and carbon dioxide are a lot like mentos and diet coke. The main difference is that the latter gives you viral videos; the former is accelerating the extinction of the human species.

Fear not, you notorious 85, though you are now recognized for the pirates that you are, no one I know is demanding that you walk the plank. What we do demand, however, is a system that is sustainable, and equitable that does in fact re-distribute much of the wealth you have stolen from us.

I look forward to you response. You can reach me on twitter.

Income Disparity, Kevin O'Leary Income Inequality, Kevin O’Leary Shark Tank, Open Letter, Income Inequality, Economic Inequality, Income Inequality, Oxfam, Oxfam Report, Kevin O’Leary, Resistance Report, Acronym TV, Video

January 23, 2014

Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org


This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.

While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.

2013 Gallup poll showed that “52 percent of Americans support access to legal abortions under certain circumstances, with 26 percent holding it should always be legal and 20 percent in favor of an outright ban.” Those numbers have shifted little in a generation.

However, as Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy, points out Reproductive rights are in a state of emergency.

2013 was another record year of assault on abortion and birth control:
In 2013 alone, 22 states passed 70 new restrictions including late abortion bans which defy Supreme Court precedent, unwarranted doctor and clinic regulations, limits on medication abortion and bans on insurance coverage.

FIVE states have only ONE abortion clinic and in 2013 more clinics were forced to shutdown abortion services including almost one-third of clinics in Texas alone. 97% of rural counties have no abortion provider.

A homegrown American Christian-fascist movement of anti-abortion fanatics continues to threaten and harass doctors and patients outside clinics across the country.”

Sunsara Taylor is the interview guest on this edition of The Resistance Report.

Sunsara writes for Revolution Newspaper and is an initiator of the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women at StopPatriarchy.org

Abortion, Reproductive rights, Pro-choice, pro-life, Protest, Christian, Abortion providers, late term abortions, abortion on demand, Sunsara Taylor, Interview, Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV, Popular Resistance, Resistance Report, Stop Patriarchy,

January 22, 2014

Students Rally To Topple The TPP

Students Rally To Topple The TPP

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org


Click here to stop Fast Track of the TPP: http://www.stopfasttrack.com

Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would be impossible to get it signed. The Obama administration is going to great lengths to make sure that people do not know what is in the TPP before it gets signed into law, and have made “fast tracking” the TPP bill a top priority.

January 22nd marks the beginning of a ten-day push by groups who work on a wide variety of issues to stop Congress from granting the President Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The push culminates in an Intercontinental Day of Action against the TPP onJan 31- with events and actions being planned all around the world.

The TPP has been called NAFTA on Steroids, and if you hate the concept of corporate personhood, consider that from leaked chapters of the TPP text we know that if the TPP passes, we will all be getting used to the phrase corporate nationhood.


Signatories to the TPP, which now include the US, most of the Pacific rim countries, in addition to Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, and Canada will agree that trade a binding tribunal made up of 3 corporate judges will settle dispute and supersede, for example, the US Constitution.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret pact between the EU and the US known as Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment. However, BBC is reporting that the European commission is slamming on the brakes and has “launched a three-month public consultation on the proposed investment rules for firms, responding to fears that they could give big firms too much power to block unfavorable government policies.”

Joining me to discuss the growing movement to halt fast track and topple the TPP is Stuart Sidle.

Stuart is a senior at Reed College in Portland Oregon where he is engaged with environmental justice activities and serves on the national steering committee for the United Students for Fair Trade, a grassroots network of students and youth working in solidarity with cooperative communities and workers to promote fair trade principles and models.

Here is what you can do:

1. Call your members of Congress – go to StopFastTrack.org and use the simple tools there to contact your members.

2. Share this with your community by copying and sending this link: CLICK HERE.

3. Visit FlushtheTPP.org to join or create local actions. January 31 is an Intercontinental Day of Action.

Together, we can and will stop the TPP. It has already been delayed. But this month, the President is putting increased pressure on members of Congress to give him Fast Track. He may succeed if we don’t raise our voices too.


fast track, tpp, Obama, stop the tpp, topple the tpp, flush the tpp, trade agreement, nafta on steroids, 

January 21, 2014

To Dump Citizens United, We Need To Legalize Democracy [video]

Originally posted at AcronymTV

This is an excerpt from the documentary, Legalize Democracy.

The premiere of the full documentary will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) Tuesday, January 21, 2014- and all throughout the week

Check here for full listing, including how to watch live on the web.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake

Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo

Original score

Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten

Additional Camera
Arthur Louis

Executive Producers
Pamela Brown
Daniel Lee
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Egberto Willies

Move To Amend, Move To Amend Documentary, Legalize Democracy, Corporate Personhood, Corporate Speech, Money As Speech, Campaign Finance, Citizens United, Supreme Court, Video, Democracy movement, Dennis Trainor Jr, Goldi Guerra, Aj Russo, Paul Westlake, Messiah Rhodes, Arthur Louis, Pamela Brown, Daniel Lee, Egberto Willies, Tom Hutten

January 20, 2014

If MLK Were Alive Today ... [video]

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org


Among the most common refrains one might hear on or around Martin Luther King, Jr. day is "If Martin Luther King, Jr were alive today he would …" and here the speaker or author would no doubt insert evidence that the great civil rights leader would be leading the charge for whatever campaign or cause most inspires the speaker/ author.

No one can say what King would be doing or saying if government agencies at the local, state and federal level (including the FBI and CIA with an assist from a Mafia henchman) had not conspired to murder him.

They did, however. At least according to the verdict of a 1999 civil suit that had 70 witnesses testify over the course of the 4-week trial.

That many of us have never heard of this trial, but seem to have acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of the toothpaste preferences of American Idol contestants, a belief that there is a substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans, and/or the ability to TWERK is all by design.

So then, what is the conspiracy and what is the truth?

The truth is, Martin Luther King, Jr. was just 39 at the time of his death. He has been dead longer than he was alive.  As we spend MLK day browsing the catalogue of the inspiring quotes and actions that MLK left behind and wondering the big "what if" don't forget that you are alive today.

Furthermore, it is very likely that there is no one conspiring to kill you; not government agencies, mobsters or dull racist fools like James Earl Ray.

When you assess the world you live in and the inequities that are so interwoven within the systems that carry us throughout the average day, what are you going to do about them? Some things have not changed since Martin Luther King's death. The United States is now, as it was when he said it, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.

Racism, while it takes on a different form now than it did in the 1960s, is still a major force that shapes our culture, our economy and our relationships. Ask yourself if George Zimmerman would be free is we truly lived in a post racist society.

Poverty is now as it was then connected to race, and the wealth divide between the rich and the poor has been growing since Ronald Regan reluctantly signed the bill creating the federal holiday to honor the man who would certainly be fighting for an increased minimum wage to $15 an hour, and fighting to shut down Guantánamo Bay prison, and bring the troops home from all corners of the world and he would certainly be Occupying Wall Street...

I did it, didn’t I? I went and told you what King would be doing were he alive today because I think it is what you should be doing if you were alive today.

Many of you, of coarse, are not alive. The life has been sucked from you by the television and the Internet and a system that certainly does not want you to dream the way Martin Luther King, Jr did. For the rest of you who are in fact alive, know we should not mistake non-violence with deference or passivity. What King said, in his watershed speech Beyond Vietnam, A Time To Break The Silence, bears revisiting:
"Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism."  
The night before he was killed, he had this to say:
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! And so I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!”
We don't know if the glimpse he claimed to get from the mountaintop of the promised land looked anything like the world we have today. Yes we have an African American President, but we also have 400 people in this country whose net worth is equal to the entire African- American population, and those 400 people are not shamed- they need not hide, but rather they grace the cover of magazines are held up as success stories and not as beneficiaries of a crime, if not criminals themselves. We also have a security and surveillance state that see you when you sleep and knows when you're awake because decades of being the greatest purveyor of violence in the world has generated so much fear of the potential blow back we have coming to us that we are prepared to give away liberty in the pursuit of a perception of security.

If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, what would he do about this world?

We have no way of knowing for sure.

You, however, are alive. What will you do?

Martin Luther King Jr, MLK, Dream, non-violence, Martin Luther King Jr quotes, MLK speeches, Race, Racist, Oppression, Acronym TV, Resistance Report, Popular Resistance,

January 17, 2014

We Need A Democracy Movement To Fix This Shit

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org>


As the late populist and journalist Molly Ivins once said: “It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
Extending those liberties and constitutional protections to corporations is antithetical to the principles of Democracy. While the Supreme Court has been slowly granting rights of persons to corporation for over 100 years, the phrase “Corporate Personhood” entered the popular lexicon soon after the January 21, 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Case.

The group Move To Amend saw the Citizens United decision coming, and formed in the fall of 2009.

When I began working with  Move To Amend on the documentary we ended up calling Legalize Democracy (which will premiere on Free Speech TV January 21st at 9pm), I was outraged by this concept, still newly minted in my brain, of corporate personhood.

I mean, when corporations are f*cking people the fact is that corporations are going to f*ck people.

Excuse my French.

Growing up in these United States of America, we were taught that we had hit the “where-were-you-born?” lotto jackpot; that the United States of America was operating with the greatest form of government in the world. After all,  if “We the people” rule and our government failed to serve the greater good, well, then our representative form of democracy enabled us to simply vote in representatives who would act in our better interests.


That seems great in theory, but in practice it is a lie.

At the time of Constitution was ratified, “we the people”, did not include the overwhelming majority of the PEOPLE.

We the people did not include women.

It did not include men who did not own property.

It did not include the Native population, who were living on the land we call the United States long before the founding fathers committed genocide against them and justified it under the perverse notion we still teach our schoolchildren called Manifest Destiny.

It would not, until very recently, include the people brought here in shackles, and upon whose backs the wealth and power of this nation were built.


In fact, “we the people”, when this country was founded only meant about 5% of the population.


For these reasons, and more, I believe that we need a Democracy Movement to fix this shit!, and that is what Move To Amend is: a single campaign within a larger  Democracy movement. Our work won’t end after we bring about an amendment to the constitution that clearly states that corporations are not people and that money does not equal political speech.

That is just one step – a very big step I’ll admit- but still just one step in the big D Democracy movement march.

Join us.

Move To Amend, Citizens United, Legalize Democracy, Overturn Citizens United, Amend the constitution,

January 16, 2014

The Chemical Spill in West Virginia Will Happen Again (Here's Why)

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org


When a massive chemical spill happens that contaminates the water supply and leaves over 300,00 people in West Virginia without water to drink, bathe or even brush their teeth -  when a dangerous event that throws a whole area of the country into an existential crisis happens, one wants to believe that state and local officials in every part of the country are paying close attention to learn from this crisis to see to it that it be averted in their communities. I mean, there is no way that a corporation, Freedom Industries in this case, would be allowed to handle a toxic foaming agent used as part of the coal preparation processing unless their facility was in tiptop shape, unless the plant processing these toxic chemicals could have the adjective “good” ascribed to it.

Should it surprise us then, that Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper, speaking to VOA News declared, “the condition of the plant was not good. The danger was known to the previous owner, and the danger was known to the current owner.”

This is America, where choosing between corporate profits or the needs of the people are a simple choice, one that gets made over and over again: profits trump people.

In an area also knows as “Chemical valley” this is third major chemical accident in the region  in the last five years, and as the toxic chemicals dilute themselves in the river and as more and more voices of authority tell people that their water is safe, those safety assessments will be made, according to Robert Reich’s recent article entitled Fear Is Why Workers in Red States Vote Against Their Economic Self-Interest, “partly because the government's calculation for safe levels is based on a single study by the manufacturer of the toxic chemical, which was never published, and partly because the West Virginia American Water Company, which supplies the drinking water, is a for-profit corporation that may not want to highlight any lingering danger.”

The title and content of the Reich article implies that the political will of the people may actually align with the will of the toxic spewing corporations in this case because, well, it all boils down to Jobs.

Maya Nye, president of People Concerned About Chemical Safety, a citizen's group formed after a 2008 explosion and fire killed workers at West Virginia's Bayer Crop Science plant in the state, as she explained to the New York Times: "We are so desperate for jobs in West Virginia we don't want to do anything that pushes industry out."

This might explain, according to Reich, “why Republican officials who have been casting their votes against unions, against expanding Medicaid, against raising the minimum wage, against extended unemployment insurance, and against jobs bills that would put people to work, continue to be elected and re-elected. They obviously have the support of corporate patrons who want to keep unemployment high and workers insecure because a pliant working class helps their bottom lines. But they also, paradoxically, get the votes of many workers who are clinging so desperately to their jobs that they're afraid of change and too cowed to make a ruckus.”

If rocking the boat and causing a ruckus can be defined by voting for Democrats, let us take a quick look  at President Hope and Change as an example. Obama openly pursues an all of the above energy policy that is expediting the process of climate change that will make human life on earth uninhabitable; his administration has pushed for fast track authority to ram the Trojan horse of a trade deal that is so much more of a trade deal known as the Trans Pacific Partnership through congress without public debate that would, not only gut jobs, it would make our nation’s laws subservient to the terms and conditions of an agreement hammered out by the global elite, and advisors multi national corporations.

If getting on that train is Reich’s idea of making a ruckus, than I fear we will require a whole new thesaurus to come up with the language that will get the human species in general and occupants of the Unites States specifically safely off the runaway roller coaster that is propelling us towards greater inequity, increased environmental destruction and increased corporate profit at the expense of the people. The Democrats and the Republicans both have their hands on the same wheel, their feet on the same pedal.

A ruckus simply won’t cut it.

West Virginia, Chemical Spill,  Drinking water, Toxic Chemicals, Food and Water, Water crisis, chemical spill, Freedom Industries, Resistance Report,

January 15, 2014

4 Reasons to Hold George W. Bush Accountable for War Crimes

Originally Posted at AcronymTv

I am not sure what it says about our culture when six figure speaker fees are awarded to War Criminals, but that is what happened in New York City on Monday, January 13 when George W. Bush took a break from his retirement and rigorous painting schedule and took his Texas swagger on stage as the keynote speaker at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show.

Outside, about 30 protesters, armed with art from We Will Not Be Silent's word project tried to draw attention to the fact one of the worlds most infamous war criminals was inside, plying his Texas charm instead of spending time in a jail cell where he belongs.

The small number of protesters was disappointing and begs the question, should we simply let bygones be bygones?

We do, after all, have a new President who has, in many ways, escalated the blow back inducing homicidal bull in a cultural, religious and geopolitical china shop of a foreign policy pursued under Bush. In light of this fact, we would do well to ask ourselves if the limited resources of the greater activist community would be better spent on activities other than trying to hold W to account. I feel strongly that we should continue to hold Bush accountable, and 4 reasons why are outlined in this video.

I’m sure you could help me add to this list.

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January 14, 2014

The Campaign To End All War

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

In this interview with David Swanson, we discuss a campaign, still in its planning stages, to eliminate “the institution of war as an acceptable enterprise for the human species.” Visiting the website WorldBeyongWar.org, one is prompted to sign a simple two sentence  pledge that reads:

"I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace."

Here is a sample of quotes from notable early signatories to the pledge:

"I support this proposal and agree with this great and important initiative to abolish militarism and war.  I will continue to speak out for an end to the institution of militarism and war and for institutions built on international law and human rights and nonviolent conflict resolution." — Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

"As a 29 year veteran of the US Army/Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel and having served as a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigning in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war, I firmly believe war does not resolve political issues.  We must work diligently to force the governments of our nations to use diplomacy, not weapons." —Ann Wright

"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it." — Noam Chomsky

"It is so inspiring to see a new group coming together not to focus on a particular war or weapons system, but on all war--everywhere. And it's great to have such beautifully crafted arguments about why war is not inevitable and how war contributes to so many other global ills. This coalition is worthy of Martin Luther King's call to end violence and instead put our energies and resources into 'life-affirming activities.' Bravo!" —Medea Benjamin

"Militarism is the world's biggest problem...morally, socially, economically, and environmentally." —Ward Reilly

"Creating a world beyond war may be the noblest endeavor we can work on. Can you imagine what future generations will think if we succeed? We will leave them a world where trillions of dollars are not wasted annually on weapons and war, where tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands are no longer slaughtered in unnecessary wars. Surely we can imagine solving conflicts between nations in a more mature way; we can imagine the human race evolving to a higher consciousness that no longer requires war. We can imagine a world without war, now we have to work toward such a world. It will be a global challenge, uniting the world to accomplish this great new reality." —Kevin Zeese, PopularResistance.org

"War is a lie. War is a racket. War is hell. War is waste. War is a crime. War is terrorism. War is not the answer." —Coleen Rowley

"War destroys. War obliterates. War is ruination. And war begets more war. After thousands of years of experience proving this, and reams of literature and countless works of art exposing it, when are people going to learn?" —Lisa Simeone

"War is a barbaric tool of the war profiteers and Empires who employ them. War pits young people from the working class against other similarly poor, or disadvantaged humans, for nothing but the greed of the few. Only we the people can make war obsolete by not participating in the profound crimes of the profiteers and other war mongers." —Cindy Sheehan


Our guest on the show today was David Swanson.
David Swanson is working to end all war at http://WorldBeyondWar.org  His books include: War No More: The Case for Abolition (2013), War Is A Lie(2010), When the World Outlawed War (2011), and The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012).  He is the host of  Talk Nation Radio. He has been a journalist, activist, organizer, educator, and agitator.  Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011.  Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org  Swanson also works on the communications committee of Veterans For Peace, of which he is an associate (non-veteran) member. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

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January 2, 2014

The Wealthy Are All Dependent On The Poor

The wealthy, the "independent" are actually the most DEPENDENT members of society. But we are all dependent on one another.

So what does that have to do with labor unions, indigenous people, and the environment?