Archive for October, 2012
More Jobs moved from USA to China – Jesse Jackson Arrested During Civil Disobedience Workers ProtestPosted in Alternative Media, Big Business, Human Rights, Politics, Take Action on 10/25/2012 10:59 am by admin
Rev. Jesse Jackson Arrested During Workers Protest
10/24/12 11:19 PM ET EDT
FREEPORT, Ill. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been arrested in a group of protesting northern Illinois workers during an act of civil disobedience in Freeport.
Michael Peery, a spokesman for Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, tells The Associated Press that Jackson was taken into custody Wednesday with about a dozen workers. He is expected to be released later in the day.
Freeport police didn’t immediately have comment.
Sensata (sen-SAH’-tuh) Technologies is owned by Bain Capital and in the process of moving its Freeport manufacturing operations to China. That’ll cost Freeport 170 jobs.
Company officials say most of the plant’s revenues are generated in Asia, making the move a logical decision.
The civil rights leader has been among other high-profile supporters who’ve visited the workers. The Rev. Al Sharpton recently held a rally in Freeport.
Impossible Beats of New York
By Eugenia Twomey artsHub | Tuesday, October 23, 2012
It’s hard not to feel like you’ve stepped into a parallel dimension when entering Melbourne Festival’s Foxtel Festival Hub: part turn of the century fishing pier, part travelling circus, it’s entirely befitting of the carefully considered cacophony of sounds that New York resident Sxip Shirey delivered in his 70 minute Australian debut.
Shirey launched Thursday evening’s show with the transporting hypnotism of ‘I Live in New York City’. This immersive audio voyage delivered some fat Harlem hip hop, whispers of a secret Jewish orthodox cookie bakery, the unmistakable sirens of a New York City Police Department raid, and tricky accordion style harmonica loops. The crowd were hooked. Toes were tapping, heads were bopping and small smirks of delight were forming as the Einstein-like music man fiddled and fopped, jerked and jangled his plethora of trinkets.
He is undoubtedly part of an über-cool avant-garde posse of sound and story artists who digest the world aurally. Shirey likes to think of himself outside of the vanilla fold where, he told us in an impassioned diatribe, Gen X had been conservatively baking bland music for the last two decades. Instead, his brand of sounds mixes sophisticated composition and melody, exotic samples, and travels to Istanbul, jaunts in Montana and imagined escapades in Iceland. Most cleverly, Shirey’s music intuitively engages the mismatching of a trio of Irish tin whistles (expertly gaffered together), bullhorn harmonicas, wind-up music boxes, miniature hand bells, a glass bowl and marble, and his own beat box vocals – all of which blend in a unique sort of harmony.
A nice feature of this Hub performance was the appearance by festival favourite Mikel Simic, of Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentleman. The couple bromanced it up with an ode to the singing canary herself, Kylie, in a stripped back acoustic take of ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. It wasn’t without mistakes, but their brother-from-other-mother act and natural charisma held the attention and endearment of the audience well enough.
Shirey was a surprising delight. An orator, an opportunist and an exotic wildman who brought the large sounds of the world to an intimate performance space with flair and fun for one and all.
Rating: 3 ½ stars out of 5
Foxtel Festival Hub, Melbourne
11 – 27 October
Help Defuse Utah’s Tar-sands Carbon Bomb
Utah is ground zero for Alberta-style tar-sands strip mining in the United States.
More than 140,000 acres of Utah’s eastern highlands are already open to tar-sands strip mining, and regulators have permitted mining on nearly 6,000 acres near the Book Cliffs; only a difficult court battle stands in the way of mining on the first of those lands.
Tar-sands mining would do tremendous damage, decimating wildlands, destroying sage grouse habitat and depleting and polluting Colorado River water needed by endangered fish — as well as millions of people. Once it begins, mining could set in motion a wildly inefficient cycle of energy and water use, igniting a carbon bomb that will further dry the Colorado River, melt the Arctic and acidify our oceans.
Please take a moment today to send Gov. Herbert a letter urging that he abandon his disastrous tar-sands mining plans.
(NaturalNews) Genetically engineered wheat contains an enzyme suppressor that, when consumed by humans, could cause permanent liver failure (and death). That’s the warning issued today by molecular biologist Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury in Australia.
Heinemann has published an eye-opening report that details this warning and calls for rigorous scientific testing on animals before this crop is ever consumed by humans. The enzyme suppressor in the wheat, he says, might also attack a human enzyme that produces glycogen. Consumers who eat genetically modified wheat would end up contaminating their bodies with this enzyme-destroying wheat, causing their own livers to be unable to produce glycogen, a hormone molecule that helps the body regulate blood sugar metabolism. This, in turn, would lead to liver failure.
“What we found is that the molecules created in this wheat, intended to silence wheat genes, can match human genes, and through ingestion, these molecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes,” said Heinemann in a press conference on the threat of GM wheat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI7n_caiTvE).
“We found over 770 pages of potential matches between these two genes in wheat and the human genome,” he continued. “We found over a dozen matches that are extensive and identical, and sufficient to cause silencing in experimental systems. The findings are absolutely assured. There’s no doubt that these matches exist. …from this information, we know that it’s plausible there will be an adverse effect and therefore that’s why we’re calling for a particular battery of experiments to be done before humans eat this wheat.”
Professor Judy Carman, biochemist and director of the IHER, Flinders University, Adelaide, added: “If this silences the same sort of gene in us — as it silences in the wheat — then, well, children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five. And adults with this problem, just kind of get more and more sick, and more and more tired, until they get very very ill indeed.”
She continues, “Before this comes near any human feeding studies, you need to undertake thorough animal safety assessments, where you actually look to see if the animals get sick. So you need to see if this genetic modification survives digestion and gets into the bodies of the animals. You need to see what effect it has on them. You need to do proper long-term toxicology studies… you need to check for cancer, you need to see if there are any reproductive problems, and you need to check for allergies…”
CLARIFICATION: This note was added after initial publication to help clarify the status of GM wheat. Currently, GM wheat is not commercialized. It’s not yet found in everyday foods. But the GMO industry is trying to commercialize it while skipping any real safety testing and buying off regulators to declare it safe. GM corn, of course, is already widely used in foods, as is GM soy. But GM wheat is not yet in the food supply. If we don’t resist the domination of the biotech industry, however, it soon will be.
GMO pushers want you and your children to be the guinea pigs
As you consider this information, keep in mind that GMO pushers want you and your children to eat GMOs that have never been safety tested on anyone! You are simply supposed to believe in the safety of GMOs, like a cult followers, without any scientific evidence proving it.
In today’s corporate-run quack science agricultural system, YOU are the human guinea pigs. There is no science behind the safety of GMOs, and in fact the real science shows that GMOs cause infertility, sickness and disease in the animal tests that have been done. GMOs are a threat to humanity, and those who promote them are junk science villains who have sold their souls to the criminal biotechnology industry.
The GMO industry is so evil that it doesn’t even want you to know you’re eating GMOs! That’s why industry giants are funneling tens of millions of dollars into a scheme to try to defeat Proposition 37 in California (www.CArighttoknow.org) which would legally mandate the labeling of GMOs on food products.
Even popular brands that “sound” natural are actually fighting against GMO labeling: Kashi, Larabar, Cascadian Farm, R.W. Knudsen, Silk and other brands have all betrayed consumers and are now the subject of a global Natural News boycott.
Australian regulators sell out to Monsanto
In commenting on all this, Dr Brian John of GM-Free Cymru said:
“What we see here is yet another example of a GM wheat variety released into the environment without any proper assessment of health and safety issues. CSIRO and the Australian and New Zealand regulators have long had a strategy of promoting GM crops which nobody actually wants, with a degree of enthusiasm that verges on criminal negligence. We see a very similar scenario in the UK, where GM wheat is being grown at Rothamsted in spite of strong public opposition and in spite of zero market demand, just to satisfy the whims of politicians and multinational corporations. It is high time for this absurd and dangerous experiment with GM technology to be stopped in its tracks, since new evidence of harm to health and the environment now seems to be appearing on a weekly basis.” (http://gmwatch.org/latest-listing/51-2012/14181-gm-wheat-health-dange…)
See the background on CSIRO here:
It shows that CSIRO has financial ties to Monsanto and other biotech companies.
Read the expert scientific opinion reports
(Thanks due to GMwatch.org for this list.)
CSIRO = Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
FSANZ = Food Standards Australia New Zealand
OGTR = Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
Background on Jack Heinemann
I am a molecular biologist. I have been an academic at the University of Canterbury since 1994. Prior to that, I was employed by the US National Institutes of Health. My doctorate was conferred by the University of Oregon at Eugene (1989) and my Bachelor of Science (with honours) degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1985). I am involved in risk assessment research and participate in risk assessment through evaluation of assessments provided to regulatory bodies and through the development of international guidance documents for risk assessment. I have over 100 scholarly works published on the topic of molecular biology, genetics, risk assessment and other scientific matters within my expertise. I publish in leading international journals and my work has been recognised by prestigious professional organisations for its excellence.
Watch the Mike Adams video commentary on this breaking news story:
Watch the presentation of Jack Heinemann
Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were arrested after being denied entrance to the US presidential debatesPosted in Alternative Media, Big Business, Human Rights, No To War, Opinion, Politics, Take Action on 10/18/2012 09:25 am by admin
“Corporate-sponsored American politics have stifled true democracy,” says Cheri Honkala, Green Party vice-presidential candidate. “We really need the outside help” to ensure fair debates and return democracy to America, she told RT.
Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were arrested Tuesday after being denied entrance to the US presidential debates, despite being on 85 per cent of the ballots. “Democracy was taken away from us,” Honkala, told RT.
“Jill and I had decided to go before the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), we wanted to go in [to the debates], we’re on 85 per cent of the ballots in this country, and so we thought it should be up to the American people, so that they could listen to us and decide who they wanted to have as their president and their vice-president,” Honkala said.
The CPD was established in 1987 to monitor the presidential debates. CPD regulations stipulate that in order to be represented at the debate, a candidate must have at least 15 per cent support across five national polls and have the mathematical possibility to win the election. Tuesday’s debates were held by the CPD at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
“We’ve done our homework, it’s mathematically possible for Dr. Jill Stein and I to win the presidency, so we should be a part of the debates,” Honkala said.
However, despite being on 85 per cent of the ballots, Stein and Honkala were not invited to the big debate that took place Tuesday night.
“We thought it should be up to the American people, so that they could listen to us and decide who they wanted to have as their president and their vice-president.”
However, after being denied entry, Stein and Honkala were arrested for blocking traffic.
“We didn’t block traffic. We were at a stand-still because we were greeted by tons of officers who did not let us go in to the CPD, did not let us talk to somebody from the CPD.”
“We were then arrested by the police officers and then we were taken by secret service to a secret location and we were handcuffed to metal chairs for eight hours in a very cold warehouse,” she said.
“It just seemed like an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars. Homeland Security is continuing to be used to preempt the civil liberties of people here in this country.”
Mainstream media silence
Honkala told RT that she and Stein have been charged and will have to face trial for what they say is a fight to bring real democracy to America.
“We will have to face trial. We were charged with disorderly conduct. It became very clear to the both of us that this was very political and they wanted us to be silenced,” she said.
“Jill and I, we speak to the 99 per cent in this country. We have a program that’s about eliminating the student debt, it’s about taking money out of politics, it’s about making sure that everybody has access to a job; it’s about ending climate change and it’s about ‘greening’ America,” she told RT.
Mainstream media seems to have mostly turned a blind eye to the arrest of the US presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as to their party platform, as the airwaves continue to be dominated by the two-party system in America.
“We have a problem with a small number of corporations owning most of our major media outlets here in this country and we really need the outside help from different international media outlets to tell the real story of the American people. We are fighting for democracy here – it doesn’t exist. We do not have fair elections. We need elections monitors here and we need help from the international community,” she says.
Should the system change and Americans elect Green Party candidates, democracy would come to America, Honkala believes.
“Not only people in the US would benefit, but people throughout the entire world, because no longer we would have a foreign policy that would be about bombing and killing people in other parts of the world just for oil and for the 1 per cent [the wealthy few]. The international community would benefit as well from our foreign policy, which would be about other countries’ need to police their own countries, and work on their own democracies. We need to bring democracy back here to the United States, we need access to the media, and we need fair elections and debates.”
NYPD arresting veterans as they read the names of the dead
Video streaming by Ustream
As the war in Afghanistan drags through its eleventh year, discussion of U.S. occupation has been forgotten in election cycle discourse.
Yet in Fort Hood, Texas, a community of military veterans, soldiers, and allies who are unable to forget are organizing their community in response to the widespread trauma that underlies U.S. policies of endless war. Calling their campaign Operation Recovery, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and The Civilian-Soldier Alliance are working with Under the Hood Cafe and Outreach Center to demand service members’ right to heal.
Even as the U.S. military claims to draw down its forces, suicide rates among active duty service members and veterans continue to climb. According to the Army’s own studies, the year 2011 set a record for the highest number of Army suicides in military history. That same year also marked a spike in sexual assaults within the ranks of the military. While comparable studies of trauma in occupied populations do not exist, the death count in the “Global War on Terror” continues to rise, with over 12,000 Afghan civilians killed since 2006 and more than 185,000 Afghan civilians displaced in 2011 alone, marking a 45 percent jump from 2010.
War trauma is acutely felt at Fort Hood, the largest military base in the country that houses many soldiers on their way to and from war zones. The Army reported in 2010 that the base’s suicide rate was double the national average, and today the base’s sexual assault counselors and healthcare providers cannot meet the swelling need for help. Military communities have decided to take matters into their own hands by organizing within this sprawling military installation for the right to heal from war’s trauma and an end to the dehumanization and abuse that underwrites U.S.-led occupation.
Maggie Martin is a two-time Iraq War veteran and a Field Organizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War, currently based at Fort Hood. In this interview, Maggie discusses campaign strategy, talks about Fort Hood military communities, and explains how healing is a force against war.
Can you tell me what you and other IVAW members are doing at Fort Hood?
We’re here organizing an active duty outreach drive for Operation Recovery. We’re trying to get the word out about the work we’re doing at Fort Hood around the right to heal. We’re also collecting stories and information from soldiers here about the situation on the ground, particularly around issues of access to mental and physical healthcare.
People are experiencing things like stigma for trying to seek care. People are having profiles violated. Medical profiles are from doctors and healthcare workers to put restrictions on certain kinds of work for service members related to what they’re capable of due to their mental health status. Violating a profile means assigning service members work that is unsafe for them.
What kind of response have you been getting from active duty service members?
Most people who have experience with traumatic injuries are able to tell us some of the things that have been difficult for them around getting treatment. A lot of people are still afraid to get help because of stigma. There are also issues of unofficial punishment where there is not necessarily a paperwork trail but people are getting disrespected and treated badly for seeking care. This is not necessarily across the board – we’ve heard from some folks that their command and leadership are doing the right thing and really encouraging soldiers to get care and help. It is important that everyone get the care they need and deserve, and we are trying to figure out how to ensure that.
What is the focus of the campaign right now?
We’re trying to set up interviews, do house visits, and have one-on-one conversations with new members at the Under the Hood Cafe and Outreach Center, both IVAW members and potential members. This includes people who come to our ribs and rights events, as well as different trainings we put on, including Warrior Writers and G.I. rights trainings. We are trying to solidify people’s roles in the community and understand more about why they came into the community and why they’re interested in Operation Recovery as well as what they want to see for the future. Next Saturday, before I leave, we’re going to have a larger IVAW chapter meeting for the Fort Hood chapter and the Austin chapter that’s forming. We’ll invite potential members as well, both active duty and veterans. That should help us get a sense of where the community here wants to take the campaign and how they see themselves continuing as an area of operation for the campaign.
Have you found that talking about trauma is an effective starting place to relate to service members?
Yeah, it is. I think that our one-on-one conversations with people show us that the reason they came to Under the Hood is because of the injustices that are happening around service-members’ care, and they feel really betrayed that they have given so much and their comrades have given so much but can’t even get decent healthcare. It is an important issue to people. It is something that can be seen as a really blatant disregard for the dignity and respect of soldiers. With the reduction of the military, we are seeing so many more folks being forced out and not allowed to re-enlist. Many of them are people who have been deployed repeatedly and are now struggling with their own physical and mental health issues and are now being disregarded and discarded.
As a veteran, how does it feel to be organizing active duty service members at a massive military base like Fort Hood?
I think one thing that’s really interesting for me about going back to a military base is remembering where I was when I was in the military, what was important to me, what issues I thought about, and what power and control over my own life I thought I had, which was pretty much none when I was in. Going back, I feel like I know a lot more about how widespread the issues are that service members are facing. I know more about service members’ rights. I think it is really helpful to remember back to where I was and try to be a bridge for people to understand more or to explore their own ideas just by inviting them to Under the Hood Cafe and Outreach Center, asking questions, and making space. It’s also cool being able to organize around service members’ rights while not being in the military anymore because there is a lot more freedom and less fear of the military legal system.
How is Operation Recovery an anti-militarist campaign?
Militarism and dehumanization go hand in hand and really work off of each other. Operation Recovery is predicated on reclaiming our humanity through talking about human rights. I think that if people and soldiers see themselves as people worthy of dignity and respect and healthcare, then that’s a step in the direction away from the dehumanization that happens to soldiers in their training that is carried on to the work they do overseas.
That reminds me of this quote we used as a prompt for our Warrior Writers workshop yesterday from Thich Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk: ”Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again.” I think that the military is so separated from the rest of American culture, and people believe that the military is happy to participate in these things and that everything we engage in is for this greater just cause. The reason I joined IVAW is because I believe that it is powerful for people who have been immersed and participated in the military to counter the popular belief that the military is a separate group of heroic people carrying out the needs of our country. I think that soldiers speaking out creates a shift in the American consciousness.
How does the trauma that service members face relate to the trauma faced by those living under occupation?
I think that we see cycles of trauma repeat themselves within families and communities with service members here in the States. We know a lot less about this trauma in occupied countries because we are so separated from what is happening in occupied countries. People in the military aren’
t getting care, they’re struggling with drugs and alcohol and prescription drug abuse, they can’t sleep at night, they’re having nightmares and flashbacks, they have a hard time distinguishing when they’re safe and in danger. You add some hardcore weaponry to that equation, and it is pretty obvious this is a recipe for disaster.
What was Ft. Hood like under Fort Hood Commanding General Donal Campbell? General Campbell has been tapped for the role of new commander of U.S. Army Europe, which amounts to a promotion. Can you tell us a little about his track record so far?
General Campbell was a target of Operation Recovery because he was in control of such a large military installation that had been repeatedly deploying many soldiers since the early stages of the war. Soldiers at Fort Hood have been through a lot of serious combat, a lot of multiple deployments, and a lot of traumatic injuries. In 2010, this base had the highest suicide rate of any military installation. It is important for us to identify and hold accountable the military leaders who are responsible.
General Campbell recently held a Facebook “town hall” meeting that purportedly aimed to get feedback about base policy from the Fort Hood community. In reality, it seemed to be more about public relations than about how to help service members. We got a lot of political non-answers to tough questions we were asking. In response to questions highlighting lack of access to care for service members, General Campbell responded by telling people to contact his office if they are having problems. We really think that’s ridiculous. If someone gets turned down from help from their supervisor, if they get told they are weak and need to suck it up, they are not going to feel comfortable going to the post commander to ask for help. The town hall responses were disingenuous and lacked any concrete solutions or steps for improvements. We also know that one of the active duty service members we have been working with is being targeted and penalized by his command for demanding his right to heal at that Facebook town hall meeting.
What does General Campbell’s promotion say about the values of the U.S. military?
I think it shows that they want these tough leaders who are going to carry out orders and make hard decisions and be willing to put soldiers’ welfare second to the needs of the military. It shows that the military has no accountability to the community or even to the soldiers under their command, and the only way we’re going to be able to make a difference is to go to the people who control their promotions and cash flow.
What’s next for Operation Recovery?
We’re going to release an Appeal for Redress for service members’ and veterans’ right to heal. IVAW members and other veterans and service members across the country will be invited to sign on to the Appeal for Redress and engage with their congressional representatives. An Appeal for Redress is a protected form of communication for active duty service members to resolve an issue and seek redress through their congressional representatives. It is protected under the Military Whistle-Blower Protection Act that is supposed to keep service members safe from reprisals from command and leadership that they’re trying to address. We’re in the process of figuring out what we want to come out of this and what local campaigns will be happening under the larger umbrella of Operation Recovery. I think there will be specific demands for specific local targets. Our overall goal will be to put pressure on congressional representatives and build up to open hearings for service members and veterans to be able to share their stories about dealing with traumatic injuries in the military and VA system. The hope is that congress will put pressure or force military and VA to give proper care.
Why is this organizing relevant now?
I think it is crazy that we’re in the eleventh year of the war in Afghanistan, in a presidential election year, and the war is not even an issue in the presidential campaigns: it’s not even being discussed. Soldiers coming home from Afghanistan, and soldiers who have come home from Iraq, are starting to see mental health issues surface in their lives. More and more service members and veterans are dealing with the consequences of traumatic injuries, yet this issue is getting less and less coverage and spotlight in the political arena. We think it is really important to keep standing up for service members and let people know that the wars are not over for those who participated and for those who were and are occupied. We need to remember these things and learn from mistakes as we move into the future.
Sunday October 7
Trafalgar Square London
On the 11th anniversary of the start of the war on Afghanistan, Stop the War is organising a Naming of the Dead ceremony in Trafalgar Square, commemorating those killed — both Afghan civilians and British soldiers.
The protest will also demand that the British government end its involvement in an unjustifed and futile war now and bring all the troops home by Christmas.
The ceremony will be led by Joan Humphries, whose grandson was killed in Afghanistan. She will be joined by Paul Flynn MP, who was recently expelled from parliament for accusing the government of lying about Afghanistan
Also participating will be Mitra Quayoom from Afghans for Peace, actor Celia Mitchell, journalist Victoria Britain, Jeremy Corbyn MP, actor Miriam Margolyes, musician Dave Randall