Thursday, May 30, 2013


A livestream interview with Julian Assange, still unable to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.  Mr. Assange talks about internet activist Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning, and his own case with Wikileaks.  Bradley Manning goes on trial next week.  Yesterday, various news sources reported that Mr. Hammond plea bargained a ten year sentence - and in order to avoid a possible 30 year sentence because of overzealous prosecution.  He has already served 15 months with weeks in solitary confinement.  Mr. Hammond stated,
"Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack [private intelligence firm] Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right."


Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The Recipe Poetry Group in Engineering Poverty.  Recipe hails from the city of Ottawa with poets Emcee- E (Ian Keteku), OpenSecret (Ikenna Onyegbula), Poetic Speed (Komi Olafimihan) and Brandon Wint.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Monsanto Go Away

Occupy Wall Street reports 400 global marches scheduled for Saturday May 25th in 52 countries, 200 cities, and 47 states to shut down Monsanto.  Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to challenge Monsanto's bullying of small farmers, public policy influence, and GMO promotion.  Here is a march statement.  Below, video of Human performing Monsanto Go Away with Occupy Maui in December 2012. 

Rough Winds

Dr. Phillip Caper, founder of MaineAllCare, reports on rough winds ahead for the Affordable Care Act.  We do not wait with bated breath, so Maine hopes to follow in the footsteps of Vermont., here, an article in the Charlotte Business Journal by staff writer Jennifer Thomas.  She reports that North Carolina could save 18.7 billion dollars by adopting the single payer model for health care.  

Gerald Friedman, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, spoke last night at the Health Care Justice meeting in Charlotte.  
Friedman has drafted financing plans for single-payer health systems for Maryland, Massachusetts and the United States. If adopted, he estimates such a payment model could result in $2 trillion in savings nationwide over the next decade mainly by cutting administrative costs and controlling prescription drug prices.
Professor Friedman reported last night that health-care spending in North Carolina has risen more than 400 percent since 1990 while per capita income has barely doubled, resulting in increased pressure on family income.  Also, from 1960 to 2010, health care spending has risen from 7 to 39 percent of a family's take-home pay.

You can listen to a 3 part series of interviews with Professor Friedman here.

*Photo credit/Mother Jones/"Vermont passes single payer health care; the world doesn't end."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Poor People's March

Jaisal Noor reports on a two-day long march from Baltimore to the nation's capital marking the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's Poor People's March.  Demonstrators called for an end to poverty, high unemployment, austerity measures, and police brutality.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Janet Kuypers reads Poverty In AmericaMore Janet Kuypers reading here. 

American Poverty

A man competing
for American Ninja Warrior
said at one point
he was so poor
that he lived
out of his car.

He had a car?
I guess it all depends
on what you call poor.

Janet Kuypers, posted 5/23/2012

Friday, May 17, 2013

100th Day

Common Dreams reports that today marks the 100th day of the Guantánamo detainees' hunger strike, and amidst a "twitter storm" of facts and quotes attempting to bring greater awareness to the human rights violations involved.  The American military now recognizes that the number of prisoners participating in the hunger strike (also) surpasses 100 with a total of 166 detainees still in illegal captivity.

President Obama had stated in his interview with Jon Stewart back in October 2012 that he still wanted to close Guantánamo.  

Witness Against Torture is calling for 3 International Days of Action Against Guantánamo.  Protests include solidarity fasts, the delivery of a petition and White House "tweet-in"  - calling on the Obama administration to "keep your promise and close Guantanamo."  

Events are planned in New York City, Chicago, London, Sydney, Hawaii, Washington DC, Boston, Toledo, Ohio, and Amherst, Mass.

Below, The Hunger Strike Song.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


News from the Occupy Our Homes front.  In the last week in Atlanta, supporters held a candlelight vigil for retired police detective Jacqueline Barber who has been fighting cancer at the same time she has been fighting eviction by the banks.


And, the Stranger's Slog reports the Seattle Occupy offshoot, SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure And Eviction) now staging its first eviction blockade at the home of ironworker Jeremy Griffin who was ordered out by the banks by midnight last night.

Occupiers included 86 year old Dorli Rainey who was, to the nation's horror, peppered sprayed in the face by police in November.  In the following video, Dorli Rainey applauds Concord Elementary students who come outside to chant their support for the blockade.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

H.R. 676 National Call-In Day

Physicians For A National Health Program has sent E-Alerts announcing an H.R. 676 National Call-In Day scheduled for tomorrow.

The E-Alert reads:
This Wednesday, May 15, PNHP is participating in call-in day to Congress in support of H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. PNHP members and supporters are encouraged to call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask to be connected to your representative’s office, and urge him or her to become co-sponsor of Rep. John Conyers’ bill if they haven’t already signed on. (If they’ve already signed on, please thank them.) Other groups participating in the call-in day include Progressive Democrats of America, Healthcare-Now, National Nurses United, All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care – H.R. 676, and Labor Campaign for Single Payer, among others.
On the internet, I see a similar announcement here at yahoo groups from Health Care For All Philadelphia/PNHP .

So please call your representative and urge him or her to support this vitally important and historic legislation which would expand an improved Medicare to the country - providing a single payer quality health care system for all - and similar to the one in Canada.  You can find your representative at the U.S. House of Representatives website here, and you can also email them there.

Health care is a human right!

*Photo credit/Michigan Improved Medicare For All

Monday, May 13, 2013

Living Wages

Detroit fast food workers join a growing body of minimum wage employees demanding a living wage increase to $15.00 per hour.  Many are currently paid only 7.50 per hour.  At the "Fight For 15" protest in the video below, Reverend William Rideout II of All God's People Church in Detroit states, "We're trying to get the corporations to increase the wage to 15. dollars per hour.  They're in a two hundred billion dollar industry and they're giving their people peanuts, paying them minimum wage, and they can't afford to live off minimum wage and support their families, pay their bills, to survive.  They're not even giving them 40 hours a week.  They're giving them approximately between 15 and 30 hours a week - which is entirely too low to survive on.  They're living below poverty at this point." 


Saturday, May 11, 2013


Kevin Henry's The Boreal Forest Poem: Turned Art Format 11-12-2012.aviHe writes, "My depiction of greed taking place up in alberta's "tar-sands" epidemic. Poisoning Mother Earth is not an option."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ponca Trail Of Tears

Truthout reports on indigenous resistance strengthening in the Keystone XL pipeline battle.  In 2008, the ConocoPhillips refinery in Ponca City, Oklahoma released over 2,000 pounds of benzene into the atmosphere, a chemical known to cause leukemia, anemia and reduction in the size of women’s ovaries.  Ponca activist Casey Camp-Horinek (in the March 2013 video below) says, “Of the maybe 800 of us that live locally, we have averaged over the last five to seven years maybe one funeral a week.  Where we used to have dances every week, now most people are in mourning.”

The Ponca community is also sitting on top of "a spider web" of ConocoPhillips pipelines, some of which transport Canadian tar sands bitumen -  like the Enbridge Pegagus line that recently busted in Mayflower, Arkansas - and what would also come through TransCanada's Keystone XL if the project is completed. Describing the whole situation as a form of environmental genocide, Casey Camp-Horinek also shared,  “It will not only come through the original territory of the Ponca people [but] it will follow the Trail of Tears of the Ponca people from the 1800s.  As a Ponca woman these things are not far removed from us. My own grandfather, my mother’s father, was on this Trail of Tears of the Ponca.”

In the video below, both Casey Camp-Horinek and her brother, A.I.M. activist Carter Camp, who was at the 1973 Wounded Knee standoff, speak at the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance Camp on March 18, 2013 near Ponca City. 

Casey Camp-Horinek was also at the international treaty gathering, Protect the Sacred, traveling the route of the pipeline along with the Ponca Nation's Trail of Tears to Pickstown, South Dakota, where indigenous leaders from many nations rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.  Truthout reports that
the proposed route of the Keystone XL will cross hundreds of indigenous sacred spiritual sites and burial grounds, as well as two major sources of drinking water, the Ogallala aquifer and the Mni Wiconi water line for the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations.

*Photo credit/Travelok/ A statue of Ponca Chief Standing Bear in Standing Bear Park, Ponca City, Oklahoma, about 1,000 yards in front of the Conoco refinery.  Wikipedia reports that Chief Standing Bear successfully argued in U.S. District Court in an 1879 landmark civil rights case that Native Americans are "persons within the meaning of the law" and have the rights of citizenship.  In the same city sits a statue of oilman E.W. Marland, founder of Marland Oil - later Conoco - and who was elected to the House of Representatives, and also as an Oklahoma governor.  Steven Mufson with the Washington Post wrote in July 2012, after a visit to the area and meeting with historical author Joe Starita (I Am A Man - Chief Standing Bear's Journey For Justice),
The forced marches of Poncas and other Native American tribes are known as the “trails of tears” and I was struck by two maps in Joe’s book. One shows the Ponca lands in northern Nebraska; those lands sat alongside the Niobrara River, one of the key crossings for the Keystone XL pipeline. We drove over that river and photographed a family swimming and strolling on sand bars in the river. The second shows the Ponca Trail of Tears from May 16 to July 9, 1877. The trail – from the Niobrara over the Platte River through the town of Seward and crossing the Nebraska border near what today is Steele City — is almost identical to the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska and northern Kansas.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Operation Relentless

Humpback_whale_sfwSea Shepherd announces its 2013-14 Antarctic whale defence campaign, and its 10th, Operation RelentlessIn the last season, Operation Zero Tolerance sent the whalers home with less than a 10th of their quota, saving the lives of 932 whales.  During the last 9 seasons, the group has saved the lives of 4,500 whales, exposing "illegal Japanese whaling to the world."  At its youtube channel, Sea Shepherd states:
Hundreds of millions in debt, the industry cannot continue to sustain such huge financial losses.
Japan stated that the attempt to kill whales in the 5th "survey" district was completely abandoned due to "relentless interference by Sea Shepherd."
Sea Shepherd likes that kind of "relentless" accusation. We like being relentless in the pursuit of finally bring peace to the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.


*Photo credit/Save Our Whales/Sea Shepherd photo/September 21, 2007 post, "Sea Shepherd - Save Our Whales"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Arctic Ocean

Canada's possible Arctic Ocean route to deliver tar sands oil to Europe and Asia 

*Image credit/Mother Jones, posted by Julia Witty,

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Dr. Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese discuss the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the need for a single payer health care system - i.e. an improved Medicare for all.  Why are people with health insurance going bankrupt?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Day Protests

Overview of May Day protests around the world in the video below.  Marchers demanded an end to austerity practices, support of workers' rights, and immigration reform (in the U.S.).  Globally, eyes turned greatly on the deaths of Bangladeshi garment workers recently in the news and where the toll has now surpassed 400.


In the U.S. mainstream press, despite tens of thousands in the streets in major cities across the country, the event was largely ignored, with the exception of Seattle (where protesters clashed with police at the close of an otherwise peaceful day) and Washington D.C. (where May Day marchers marched into a confrontation with white supremacists in front of the White House).  

Radical Media also captured this protester-police confrontation both inside and outside a Gap store where the crowd very intensively chanted, "The workers united will never be defeated" and "Who do you protect? Who do you serve?"  Police arrested protesters inside the store.

In local Seattle news, The Stranger's Slog reported FBI agents in Seattle and Olympia showing up at homes, at least one school (Seattle University), a jogging area, and a non-profit serving "street-involved youth."  Not even attempting to "look Serpico" or "anarchist" - the two (domestic terrorism) officers were rumored as fairly cheesy (shall we say?) in style, asking if people wanted .. to talk about May Day.  Some Slog posters seemed to comment that they had arrested the wrong people.

The Slog had this comedic variation from a January 2013 Will Potter


Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Jacob Sam-La Rose live at Cúirt He reads five poems from Breaking Silence (Bloodaxe Books, 2011): Currency, Magnitude, an excerpt from Speechless, An Ordinary Prayer, and Rapture.