Friday, November 30, 2012


Bradley Manning testifies on the conditions around his captivity, and as blogged earlier here.  Attorney Michael Ratner, adviser to both Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, conveys a gripping account in a courtroom yesterday so silent one could hear the proverbial pin drop (video below).


Via Boing Boing, AP reports military judge Col. Denise Lind has accepted Manning's terms for pleading guilty to eight charges, but has not yet formally accepted the pleas, and in what was previously reported as the equivalent of a plea bargain, and which could happen in December.

Democracy Now! also carries this in-depth exclusive interview with Julian Assange from yesterday.  Juan Gonzalez reports that, on Tuesday, the European Commission ruled that Visa did not break the European Union's anti-trust laws when they blocked credit card holders from donating to wikileaks.  As blogged earlier, Mr. Assange addressed reporters via video while still "holed up" in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where The New Jobs Are

A new study has found that 2/3rds of new jobs created in the U.S., or being created, only require a high school education or less.  "So," says Paul Jay, editor at Real News, "the idea that people are going to educate themselves out of unemployment and poverty doesn't seem to have a heck of a perspective. Jeanette Wicks Lin with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst discusses the researchers' findings.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Photographer:  ArunRath
Resilient protesters stand in the rain at Fort Meade Gate yesterday supporting Bradley Manning.

News released that Bradley Manning should be testifying today in the widely publicized army wikileaks case whereby the private whistleblower released documentation of American soldiers killing unarmed Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists.  His testimony will reportedly involve his treatment during captivity, arguing that his detainment has constituted illegal pretrial punishment, also including testimony by two military psychiatrists that recommendations for more humane conditions for the prisoner were disregarded.  The Guardian reports today that the former commander of Quantico Marine Base has now stated that he warned his Pentagon superiors that the base was not prepared to host Manning's long-term incarceration.  As blogged earlier, Bradley Manning is also attempting the equivalent of a plea bargain;  Salon reports,
If the motion judge chooses to accept the plea notice, Manning could plead guilty without accepting the government’s charge that he ‘aided the enemy’ or ‘exceeded authorized access’ on his computer. If the plea notice is accepted, Manning could thus avoid life in prison, even if found guilty. However, if the plea offer is not accepted,  prosecutors can still bring Manning to court martial on the very serious charges of aiding the enemy and misusing classified information.
More here from Huffington Post yesterday.

And here from RT.

From the wikileaks website, the disturbing video footage of civilian and journalist killings released by the army whistleblower, and shown below, including a shorter version, full version, and U.S. soldier Ethan McCord's eyewitness story

The group reports:
The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement".
Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.

More news emerged Wednesday identifying specific members of Congress behind the wikileaks financial blockade; Julian Assange decried these actions today from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and via video to reporters in Brussels.  In the footage below, he states that Wikileaks shall continue, though its rightful growth as a media organization has been wrongly compromised, and that these practices cannot be allowed to continue, as it sets a precedent for monopolies to exercise "financial death penalties" over organizations and companies "of political controversy."


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Education Is A Right

iNewp reports about 60,000 Quebec students demonstrating in Montreal, Thursday Nov. 22nd, and demanding free university educations for all.  

Following the students' impressive victory in obtaining a tuition hike rollback, Higher Education Minister Pierre Duchesne will reportedly be hosting a roundtable commission on financing Quebec universities, hailed as an "exciting development."

At the same time, news of university spending scandals are emerging, and while students at post-secondary college CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal voted by a 2/3rds majority to strike again - and in response to hundreds of charges against student strikers for various acts of civil disobedience during the massive walk-outs.

Among students charged (and now, also convicted) is a chief strike architect and the inspiring student leader Gabriel Nadeau-DuBois - for advocating "anarchy," encouraging "civil disobedience," and having “knowingly incited […] disobedience of the orders of the Court, including those of judge Jean-François Émond of May 2, 2012, thus committing a contempt of court.”  He could be sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of $50,000.  According to Life On The Left, it is the first time in history that a student leader has been convicted of contempt of court.

Mr. Nadeau-DuBois is appealing the court's decision.  In the video below, from 3 weeks prior, he responds to reporters in French and then English.  Via Life On The Left, a website called has been established to raise money for his defense, and at the time of this posting, reflects $103,000 dollars in donations.

Occupy Wall Street reports that student activists CLASSE have reformed their organization as the ASSÉ, "Association for a Solidaric Student Union." 

Video footage here of the Thursday march in Montreal from Global Montreal.

11/28/12 Editor's Note.  About 60,000 voted to strike, and an estimated 5,000 marched in Montreal.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Bottom 99%

Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops in The Bottom 99%.


People Before Things

Coast to coast, Occupy Wall Street reports 1,000 Black Friday protests at Walmart stores across 46 states.  Hundreds of workers acted up and walked off the job protesting low wages, lack of benefits, unfair treatment, illegal retaliation, and poverty. 

In Maryland, a mic check inside a Walmart:


Via OurWalmart, a commercial posted urging people not to shop at Walmart on Friday:


A Detroit (Dearborn) shopper discovers the Walmart strike and decides not to buy there, voicing her support to cameras from Occupy Detroit:

Also from Detroit (Dearborn), a Columbian GM worker protests in support of Walmart workers with his lips sewn shut in the youtube below.  As per Occupy Detroit:
Jorge Parra sewed his mouth shut Tuesday night. He is on a hunger strike against the abuses he and fellow workers in Columbia suffered at the hands of GM. There will be a solidarity rally downtown at the Renaissance Center building on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012.


From Towson, Maryland:

Oakland, California:

Portland, Oregon, and including focus on "dead peasant insurance":

Tucson, Arizona:

Dearborn, Michigan:


More here from Truthout.

11.27.2012 Update:

Secaucus, New Jersey from PeoplesVideo:


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Darker Side

Revisiting the darker side of the Affordable Care Act, blogged earlier this week, Dr. Oliver Fein of Physicians For A National Health Program, June 28, 2012, still front-page organization-posted, and following the Supreme Court's decision.  Though Thom Hartmann's guests this week discussed what "Americans can expect" as the legislation kicks in, many are still faced with the same old, same old "little or nothing."  And though Thom Hartmann's guests addressed progress particularly for women, many of the people discarded by the legislation and Supreme Court decision are, women.



Occupy Sandy invites more people to join the resistance.


5 A.M.

International Studies Professor Vijay Prashad examines the ceasefire agreement as of 5 A.M. yesterday in Gaza, and as the literal and proverbial smoke clears.

A few journalists look at the parallel media battles accommpanying this eight day siege now silent, i.e. the other kind of smoke. 

For example, here Tim Pool examines propaganda prior to the ceasefire on November 20th, including a tweeting battle exchanged between the IDF and Hamas, as well as the Anonymous hacker attacks on Israeli government sites.

In this 11/20/12 Real News broadcast, Lia Tarchanky reports from Israel on how Israeli media presents information to the public, withholding images of the Palestinian civilian carnage, for example.  Her broadcast includes Israeli television clips with English subtitles.

Looking back further, and in a November 2011 upload, Palestinian-Canadian poet and journalist Raeef Ziadah shares a poem, We Teach Life, Sir, about examining the conflict from the Palestinian perspective and from within the broader corporate media culture.

A November 22, 2012 upload and discussion with human rights attorney Michael Ratner about a practice known as "mowing the grass" - what he says is the case here - why he believes this is an issue about "oppressor and oppressed," and related casework with Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tell Me Why

Twelve year old Hadeel Shamallakh in Tell Me Why.

Affordable Care Act

Thom Hartmann hosts a discussion on what people can expect with the Affordable Care Act - How Obamacare Comes To America.  Guests include Ethan Rome with Healthcare for America Now, Ron Pollack with Families USA, and Karen Davenport with National Women's Law Center.

Part One:


Part Two:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not In My Name

On the situation in Gaza, diplomatic pressures mount for both sides to engage in a ceasefire;  meanwhile, Israel continues to prepare for a ground invasion while demonstrations grow in London where Jews also gather on both sides of the issue:


Saturday, November 17, 2012


Real News reports on international demonstrations against the Israeli government's bombing of civilians in Gaza.

In the U.S., Congress sprung quickly into bi-partisan action approving war as usual, with Minnesota Representative Keith Elison one of the only voices of sanity calling for a ceasefire.  "It's a devastated area already," he said, referring to Gaza, "It's only going to be made worse by this.  Innocent people are dying."

More here on Keith Elison's statements at Huffington Post.
“It’s a devastated area already,” he said. “It’s only going to be made worse by this. Innocent people are dying.

Read more:
“It’s a devastated area already,” he said. “It’s only going to be made worse by this. Innocent people are dying.

Read more:

Friday, November 16, 2012


Bad Indians, a poem by Ryan Red Corn of The 1491s.

Pu'eska Mountain

In a historic agreement, the Pechanga tribe of the Luiseño People in Riverside County, California, along with Granite Construction, have announced plans for the tribe to purchase 354 acres of land, and thereby settling a dispute since 2005 over the destruction of sacred Indian territory for mining.  

The tribe will pay the company 3 million dollars for the land and another 17.35 million dollars as part of the settlement.  In the agreement, Granite cannot own or operate a quarry within an area spanning 6 miles to the north and 3 miles to the south of the property through 2035.  The tribe has agreed to provide Granite input "regarding potential impacts to tribal historic and cultural resources at other potential aggregate sites outside of the restricted area that Granite may consider over the same 23-year period."

Granite Construction had planned operations at Pu'eska Mountain, what Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro describes as the "Luiseño Garden of Eden, Dome of the Rock and Wailing Wall."

Below, two newscasts from PE;  in the following, an overview with reporter Jeff Horseman who describes countless public hearings over the years, sometimes very emotional, over tribal, economic, and environmental issues, and matters concluding with some issues suspended, but decisively putting the question of the quarry to rest.

Below, a public statement by Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The People's Bailout

Livestream below for The People's Bailout scheduled for 8 P.M. EST, 5 P.M. Pacific, today - Thursday, 11.15.12.  A project of Occupy Wall Street's Strike Debt (blogged earlier starting here including video and links for further information through that post) the group is buying up and forgiving old debt in the ancient spirit of a rolling jubilee. 

Watch live streaming video from lepoissonrouge at

The telethon and variety show benefit at (le) Poisson Rouge (already sold out!), features, among others, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Janeanne Garofalo, Tunde Adebimbe of TV On The Radio, Liz Winstead, Frances Fox Piven, Max Silvestri, Hari Kondabolu, David Rees, The Yes Men, John Cameron Mitchell, Jeff Mangum, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, Climbing Poetree, The Invisible Army Of Defaulters, Healthcare For The 99%, and Occupy Faith. 

Tune in at your local time zone, share the news, tweet it around, pass on the embedding code and broadcast.  I believe you can donate here at Rolling Jubilee, but please check for yourself on that.  

More information below in a Democracy Now! interview with Pamela Brown of Occupy Student Debt and Strike Debt, one of the organizers for Rolling Jubilee.


People Get Ready

The late Eva Cassidy in People Get Ready.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Solidarity Against Austerity

As a general strike against austerity sweeps Europe, similar U.S. actions begin in Portland, Oregon, and in response to what some describe as the Obama administration's intent to (among other things) slash social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and social security.  

Extended coverage of the Portland rally:


Extended coverage of the Portland march:


A non-embeddable youtube here features highlights from the rally speakers and march, as well as "yellow jacket" confrontations when Portland police swoop in and start pepper spraying and clubbing non-violent protesters seen here. (If you want short versions.)

More here on the Portland demonstration from Truthout.

Occupy Wall Street on the General Strike in Europe here.

Place Of Sands

Citizen reporter video footage on the continuing humanitarian crisis in Rockaway where people are still asking FEMA for help.  Residents and activists discuss the situation.  

In this video, citizen-mobilized relief efforts targeting Rockaway and other neglected areas reorganize through a Brooklyn base.  More discussion of the situation.

Video from a Rockaway relief base, uploaded 11.10.12, the base donated by a business owner whose store was destroyed:

Ground zero, Occupy Rockaway, uploaded 11.9.12: 

According to wiki, '[..]"Rockaway" may have meant "place of sands" in the Munsee language of the Native American Lenape. Other spellings include Requarkie, Rechouwakie, Rechaweygh, Rechquaakie and Reckowacky.'

More updates and information here at Occupy Sandy Relief, including how to help.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rolling Jubilee

More in the news on Occupy Wall Street's Strike Debt resistance movement, an outgrowth of the protests that many feel is one of its most positive developments.  The group has started collecting donations to buy up debt and then forgive it, in the ancient spirit of a "rolling jubilee," a practice with biblical roots, in which debt was periodically forgiven.   

More blogging here on Strike Debt, including information on a publication released and available for free download, The Debt Resister's Manual.

RT discusses the Rolling Jubilee with Anastasia Churkina and Lauren Lyster:

And, journalist Thom Hartmann (who states that he has donated) interviews organizer Yates McGhee on The Big Picture:

The Portland Phoenix reports that you can tune in Thursday at to stream The People's Bailout, a variety show and telethon to bail out the people, for a change. 

Find Rolling Jubilee here on twitter.

More from Huffington Post and an announcement by Strike Debt in the youtube below.  The group explains how they can abolish 1 million dollars in debt if they can raise 50,000 dollars.  If they can raise more than that, they can abolish even more debt:

As per Mother Nature Network, the group has stated: 
“People shouldn’t have to go into debt for an education, because they need medical care, or to put food on the table during hard times. We shouldn’t have to pay endless interest to the 1 percent for basic necessities. Big banks and corporations walk away from their debts and leave taxpayers to pick up the tab. It’s time for a bailout of the people, by the people.”


Amiri Baraka and Rob Brown in Why's Wise.  Recorded February 2009 at The Sanctuary For Independent Media in Troy, N.Y.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Wage Peace

Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"Arlington West," August 2012, Santa Monica, California. "Arlington West" at Santa Monica Pier erected weekly by Veterans For Peace on Sundays, showing the American death toll caused by corporate militarism.

In some local pieces from around the country, and on Veteran's Day, Veterans For Peace protest the consequences of corporate militarism and the need to find alternatives to war.  Of course, the group is active in this endeavor throughout the year (see photos, for example, of Arlington West in California), and has also been visible in the Occupy Movement and the effort to free unjustly imprisoned veteran and whistle blower Bradley Manning who is currently attempting a plea bargain.  

Across the country, various Veterans For Peace chapters rang bells eleven times at eleven a.m.

In little Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about 50 veterans of several different wars went into the Old Brick Church on Market Street for speeches and special commemorations of Iowa soldiers who've died.

 Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"Death As Far As The Eye Can See," August 2012, Arlington West. American deaths from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with religious symbols showing soldiers of all faiths.  The graves stretch towards the vast ocean, visually blending into its endless reaches.

“For 94 years now, every decade we’re at war,” said Vietnam War veteran Steve Hanken, of Cedar Rapids.
Hanken, a member of Veterans for Peace, said the vast majority of people both inside and outside of Old Brick are not in favor of war, and the public has nothing to gain from it.
“Our people that go there don’t gain anything,” he said. “The only people that do gain from it are not putting their lives on the line for this process.”

Ed Flaherty, the President of Veterans For Peace, chapter 161, said that simply reminding people of the horrors of war isn’t enough, and that we “need to figure out new ways to wage peace.”  

The meeting was also attended by Marybeth Gardam, Cedar Rapids resident and the Iowa coordinator of Move To Amend, who spoke about reducing corporate influence on government by working to take away constitutional rights given to corporations, rights that were intended for people.  She said that the public no longer has say in how elections are run, how candidates are selected, and what government policies are implemented -- with those decisions being made, instead, by corporations.

This has a lot to do with why and how we are continuously at war.

The group passed a petition that has generated 200,000 online signatures and hopes to get 500,000 by next year.  The petition states:
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

 Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"Educational Board," August 2012, Arlington West.  Santa Monica beach goers view an educational board erected by Veterans For Peace on the devastating human consequences of corporate militarism.

 Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"Educational Board: U.S. Military Wounded," August 2012, Arlington West.  A closer look at the information viewed by Santa Monica beach goers in the earlier photo, and on U.S. military wounded.

Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"Educational Board:  Iraqi Civilians Wounded," August 2012, Arlington West.  Another close-up of the educational board erected by Veterans For Peace showing the devastating consequences of corporate militarism on Iraqi civilians.

In Auburn, Washington, Veterans For Peace were excluded from the Veteran's Day parade by city officials until they brought the city to court with the help of the A.C.L.U.  The court agreed that the group was excluded because of their views, upheld their free speech rights, and the group marched this year.

A local television piece:

Democracy Now! has a Veteran's Day series including this video here on medical issues faced by American veterans, and calls for more assistance for veterans dealing with combat wounds, including psychiatric disabilities.


DN is also carrying the Auburn ruling in its daily national wrap-up:


And more photos from Underdog's August visit to Arlington West -

 Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"Seven Suicides A Week," August 2012, Arlington West, Santa Monica Beach.  This portion of the weekly Arlington West commemoration educates the public on the high suicide rate in the military with our involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Symbolic grave markers show deaths due to suicide brought on by the extraordinary psychological stress of war.  A tombstone replica reads, "Military Suicides - 7 Every Week."

Courtesy of Underdog
Photographer:  Underdog
"How Many More?" August 2012, Arlington West.  An Arlington West perspective showing the American deaths for that past week alone in Afghanistan, with flag-draped coffins.  The installation includes grave markers with the Veterans For Peace logo and a sign that reads, "Four Of Our Military Killed Last Week ... How Many More?"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

American Poverty

Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornell West discuss the need to get American poverty back on the political agenda, and in the two youtubes below.  President Obama was elected in 2008 on an anti-poverty platform, but many feel that the Obama administration has completely dropped poverty as an issue.  Journalist Amy Goodman states,
This is especially striking at a time when one in six Americans is poor, with over 16 million children living in poverty. Poverty rates for blacks and Latinos are twice as high as the rates for whites. There is greater poverty among women than men, and the rate of women living in extreme poverty has reached record highs.
The guests also note that most Americans living in poverty are white, and Dr. West states that even Richard Nixon was to the left of Obama on healthcare and a guaranteed minimum income,  asserting,
[...] it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion—poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems—ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.

Part One:


Part Two: 

More blogging here on Winter In America and soaring yet ignored Census figures.  Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party repeatedly states that even 1 out of 2 Americans are poor or lower income heading into poverty, and both Dr. Stein and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party campaigned on WPA-style emergency hiring that would put tens of millions of employment-displaced Americans in real jobs.  Along with forgiving the student debt (now topping 1 trillion), and opening an improved Medicare with dental and vision to the whole country.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Star Spangled Banner

Talton M. Manning plays a sax request for The Star Spangled Banner in honor of Veteran's Day this Sunday.  Recorded by John Doucette on his iPhone in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk, Virginia.


Prohibition Ends

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Marijuana in the type known as cannibis sativa, 
and in a 6th century scientific manuscript  
known as the Vienna Dioscurides, and dated 512 AD.

Democracy Now! discussion here on the historic legislation in Washington State and Colorado legalizing marijuana, and voted in by large margins.  Now the issue is the Federal government.  

For Washington State, where the measure is projected to bring even billions in revenue over the next five years, the Seattle Times has this article, and more information here in a live chat that was held with Alison Holcomb from the Initiative 502 campaign.

Waxing nostalgic, a 1933 newsreel on the end of alcohol prohibition. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Progressive Mandate

Journalist John Nichols discusses why Obama's second term is an overwhelming victory and mandate for progressives. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fate Of The Nation

Courtesy of Huffington Post
Photographer:  Ari Berman/Twitter
Early voting line in Cleveland, Ohio.  Obama's Ohio win signaled reelection announcements, following a sweep through battleground swing states.

A big night on twitter as determined swing state voters toed long lines for hours, and Obama swept through the “up for grabs” portions of the electoral map.

Urgent retweets to various states were passed urging resilience as, at times, the difference in Florida, for example, was reported at little more than 600 people, then 16,000-20,000 votes as the count continued.  By about 8:15 P.M., Democracy Now! reported on their livestream that multiple news sources were identifying Obama as the clear winner, and following victory in Ohio.

The acceptance speech:

Exit polls showed voters blaming George Bush for the economy, ranked number one on voters’ minds, followed by health care, the deficit, then foreign policy.

In historic measures, Washington State and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana and same-sex marriage was legalized in Maine and Maryland, upheld in Washington State, and a proposed ban in Minnesota defeated.

Also a big night for women voters;  in Massuchusetts, long-time consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren beat poster child Scott Brown;  in Missouri, and on Republican turf, Democrat Claire McCaskill defeated rape-diminisher Tod Atkins;  in Indiana, Donnelly beat Mourdock - the one who said pregnancy from rape is something “God intended."

The Republicans maintained control of the House;  the Democrats, the Senate.

Congress will have at least 19 female senators, the largest number in American history, with McCaskill, Baldwin, and Elizabeth Warren in what were considered among the most competitive races, and critical to the Democratic Party’s ability to hold on to the Senate. 

In 2009, the United States was ranked 70th for Women In Government by the Inter-Parlimentary Union.  Rwanda ranks first, in that evaluation, followed by Sweden.

Below, a news coverage clip on Elizabeth Warren’s win: 

More here on the various elections around the country from Democracy Now!

Among progressive third party candidates, the Green Party is reporting results for Dr. Jill Stein here;  I am not seeing anything up yet for the Justice Party.  

You can also check local results for some areas at the County Auditor’s website, including information on how many votes still have to be counted, with links to breakdowns by precinct.

11/8/2012 Editor's Note:

The Green Party election results link originally provided was incorrect and has since been modified.  Please see state Secretary of State websites for the most current results on candidates. 

The total number of female Senators is now determined to be 20.