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If Columbus were alive today would he be rebuked for conquest and genocide?

If Christopher Columbus were alive today, I'm positive the murderous opportunist would be the toast of parties hosted by Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, and the many other ignoble perpetrators of conquest, genocide, theft, torture, and crimes against humanity, who today parade their war crimes unchallenged and unpunished. That's something of the point of protesting Columbus Day, in particular, the WHY NOW.

Collaborators, rats and pigs

I found this unsigned flier in Denver, a collage of the American eagle, globe in mouth, and Stars & Stripes over US misdeeds, clockwise from top left: race lynching, branding slaves, blindfolded Iraqi detainees, combatant corpse desecration, Hiroshima, torture of Viet Cong, My Lai, Columbus' mass burning of Taíno Indians, Filipino insurgents executed in trenches, the gruesome trophy pic, etc, framing this succinct condemnation: "The US military, intelligence operatives, and police are traitors to humanity. Those who work with them, those who friend them, and those who sleep with them are collaborators. They are rats and pigs."

Labadee: Royal Caribbean’s Neo Haiti

Former President Bill Clinton is heading to Haiti, again. As UN special envoy to Haiti, he paid a visit last year as a guest of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship line to promote their tourist facility at La'Badie. Said CEO Adam Goldstein: "Labadee is just a great example of the way that things can work in a very positive way in this country." Are those new ways or old? The secured compound, laying under the protection of the old French colonial capitol, greets 7,000 cruise passengers a week, even this week, many of whom don't know they're in "Haiti," on an old slave plantation, or what may have been the crucible of real Islamic rebel voodoo! I didn't know about the private resort of Labadee, but my attention was drawn in December to the announcement of the launch of The Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever devised. It was leaving the shipyards of Finland, having to pass under a Danish suspension bridge at low tide, so titanic was she. I took note because the headline announced her maiden destination to be Haiti, an odd place I thought, to be ostentatious. The spotlight which the recent earthquake has brought on the poverty in Haiti had me wondering if all seventeen decks of the Oasis of the Seas were gawking at the suffering masses awaiting aid in Port-au-Prince. Not a chance. The Oasis, and Royal Caribbean's fleet of floating carbon boots harbor at a secluded oasis which the cruise line rents from Haiti. Its income represents the largest portion of Haiti's tourism revenue. If you thought President Obama's offer of $100 Million was stingy, you can calculate Royal Caribbean's avarice on one hand. The tragic earthquake hasn't interrupted the cruises. It this tragedy has an upside, it's that some vacationers are expressing less facility stuffing down a burger knowing most Haitians await relief. Haiti receives $6 for each tourist who disembarks to zip-line, buy trinkets from licensed vendors, and sun on Christoper Columbus Beach. They're told it was his old stomping ground --which actually can be said of Hispaniola's entire northern coastline. Likewise the same is true about the slave plantations which, from the port of Cap Francois, provided 40% of Europe's sugar and 60% of its coffee. Today Haiti is renowned as the poorest land in the Western Hemisphere. The verdant lands of La Partie Du Nord --of Les Grand Blancs-- are separated from the Haitian population by a mountainous Massif, and in the case of Labadee, with barbed wire. Royal Caribbean boasts that its operations are critical to the Haitian economy. It employs hundreds, but contrast that with what the coast could provide if it wasn't privatized. The resort draws from a cheap labor pool of an unlimited mass of Haitians who are kept with no other options but to hope they can replace the couple hundred employees confined to the cruise line compound. And yes, the cruise itineraries avoid mention of Haiti, attributing Labadee as a "private island" of

Columbus fall from grace not predicted by Mayan Long Count Calendar

For centuries, we've had only engravings to depict the Christopher Columbus discovery of the New World. With the moving pictures of today (a growing number in color according to IMdB), you'd think by now one or two would have caught the real Admiral Cristóbal Colón in blood-red technicolor, terrorizing his new minions with cruel Spanish steel. Today is still celebrated by the US as Columbus Day. Elsewhere, October 10 is designated International Indigenous Peoples Day. Accounts in Mexico say the Maya predicted the European invasion which was to plunge the Americas into eternal darkness. They foretold when, 1492 and how, bearded white men delivering uncompromising savagery. Based on the accuracy of this prediction, supposedly, many now have begun to scrutinize another pre-Columbian calculation, the end of the world in the year 2012. It's odd we accept an unflattering characterization of our scourge, without embracing our inheritance and ongoing role. The villains were our ancestors. We are our fathers. It's not just the Italian Americans who cling to the heroic myth of Christopher Columbus. Every white immigrant, and let's be fair, the hispanic are white too, has an interest in soft-pedalling over the Columbus genocides. The European program of enslavement and pillage continues on these continents today, even as the North American colony serves as platform for the exploitation of all the developing worlds. Every Anglo-Iberian is complicit in extorting indigenous peoples of their well-being and heritage. It would probably be no exaggeration to say that the modern equivalent is not far removed from forcing native populations to slave for gold on pain of dismemberment. Columbus's men grilled the Indians slowly over spits, or cut off both hands so victims couldn't staunch their own bleeding. Today's conquistadors on Capitalism's wild frontiers use much the same methods. To re-frame Spain's discovery with a genocidal agenda is to understand how the competing French and English enterprises redoubled the brutality. Western expansion was invasion. Manifest Destiny was promised land rationalization. Settlements were occupation, and are occupation. To see Columbus in his true horror is to see today's Indian reservations for what they are, concentration camps for the last embers of the American insurgency. We Anglos and Iberians are inheritors of stolen destinies. Lives stolen 500 years ago and futures we are stealing still. Meanwhile, Westerners distract their consciences with THE END IS NIGH prophesies. Has there been a lifetime since creation when mankind didn't fear the end of the world? In recent decades it wasn't the Rapture, it wasn't Y2K, so now it's the end of the Mayan Calendar, whose schedule of events ends in 2012. New Age astrologists have pinpointed a specific date, December 21, 2012. Really. To me that date bears a suspicious resemblance to the symmetric time events which thrill digital watch wearers. December 21 is of course the Day After the end of time, the unknowable vacuum which follows the end: 12-20-2012. On a metric calendar, that's 20.12.2012. Spooky.

In the dawning of the year 517 A.C.

Like in “After Columbus” or “Apocalypse Came” or “Anti-Cherokee” or “Aw, Crap! There’s not Any Chance of getting A Check in the mail today!” So there was a pow-wow the other day of First Nations peoples, downtown. Actually there’s been quite a few and I haven’t attended a single one. Right now I’m waking up, the last thing I did before crawling into the ol’ cot at some ungodly Pre-dawn hour was download a Beginner Course in speaking Cherokee. Because if I do attend a pow-wow I at least want to be able to say “good morning” in an American language. On the website for it, (I’ll post the address later) there was a short beginning on Cherokee written history. Which the teacher Sikawi aka Sequoia developed and published in 1821. The “alphabet” for writing Cherokee. A syllabary would be closer to the right word, it’s 86 characters that represent the phonemes of the Muskogeean languages. And as it turns out, the majority of the other American Indian languages can be written thus. I’ve been embarrassed for decades now that I don’t speak any of my heritage. I don’t speak Gaelic nor do I speak Cherokee. I know more words in German and Korean than I do Cherokee, and I can’t carry on an intelligent conversation in either of those languages. Turns out I’m not alone in that. When Sikawi wrote the syllabary there were only 10% of the Cherokee Nation who didn’t speak Cherokee fluently. Today that’s exactly reversed. Oh, yeah, it’s Columbus Day. Just another chance to reflect on the utter arrogance of a group of nations far away deciding that their way of life was so very superior that they have not only a Right but a Holy Duty to impose it on everybody everywhere. To put it into more perspective, three nations, Portugal, Italy and Spain call Columbus their son. Spain and Portugal were duking it out on a regular basis on the subject of which one was the True Leader of the Crusades. Which were, and are, still active. Never officially ended. Neither did the Inquisition. Europe was closer then to Children’s Crusade than we are to the Pilgrims. They were reaping the harvest of those evil sowings that included introducing a new species of Rat to Europe, along with Bubonic Plague, through the careful mis-management of the Trade Routes they had established during the Crusades. The majority of Europeans were living in such utter squalor, that the etiquette of the man walking on the outside of the sidewalk was developed, because people tossed their garbage and emptied their chamber pots into the gutter of the streets. The man walking on the outside would thus be in a position to open his cloak whenever a wagon went by, so the filth of the street would be deflected from getting all over the Damsel Faire. Also the custom of men’s shirts and coats buttoning with the flap on the left and the buttons on the right… so a man could unbutton a couple, with

Re-enacting and Celebrating Genocide… Just Like Skokie…

As immortalized in the classic Film "The Blues Brothers" where a group of dim-wits put on Historically Authentic Military Uniforms (of the SchutzStaffel) and marched through a largely Jewish suburb of Chicago. So, on Territory Days, can those of us who are of Indian descent expect to see these guys celebrating the American Genocide? Now, I KNOW somebody will point out that there are still American Indians alive today. And say that therefore the Genocide and the attempted full-on Extermination of AMERICANS never happened. Like the Smallpox Blankets, or herding the Indians onto the U.S. version of the Warsaw Ghetto, the mass slaughter of the American Bison (Buffalo, TaTonka...) encouraged and enforced by the U.S. Army in a policy to starve out the plains tribes. Colonels Custer and Chivington both making the statement that killing the women and children was necessary because "nits make lice" and killing off the men without slaughtering the women and children would be a waste of time, you have to kill the Breeders. And in a way, they're almost right. The bastards FAILED... we're still here in spite of the Mass Murders. By the same token, if they want to judge the U.S. Genocide as "false" on those grounds they would have to judge the Nazi Genocide as "false" And they can dress up and pretend to be the perpetrators of the Racist Murders and laugh and joke and pretend that it was somehow righteous... But there will be some, especially ME right here, right now.... Who will call you on it, and remind you that such displays are like these... Might I remind gently that the largest actions the Klan has staged in the past three decades have been attempts to terrorize Native Americans and Immigrants by putting on Period Costumes And marching through the towns, villages and neighborhoods where we live. Like Old Colorado City... where I personally live. Have a Nice Skokie/Selma/Birmingham...

Churchill and his curiously vile detractors

DENVER- There's an interesting sideshow at the Churchill v CU case having to do with a cadre of unsavory Ward Churchill online critics. What they are writing is hardly interesting but their unceasing doggedness, repeating only ad hominem attacks, leads one to wonder who they are and what horse do they have, in not only this race, but in Churchill's ongoing activism. These are the same voices which heckled the DNC organizers, AIM, and the contra-Columbus actions. It's a little circle of shit-knitters, who cross-link or repost each other's comments from Blogspot blogs Drunkablog, Slapstick Politics, People's Press Collective, and riding point on the Churchill Trial, Pirate Ballerina. These are Little Green Football variety ditto-heads, and I hardly mean to draw attention to them, but their relentless character assassination seems to wag the local media dogs, and one might as well look into that. Meaning, more in a bit. Churchill amused the courtroom audience by illustrating his sarcastic use of quotation marks, as one might refer to the Rocky Mountain News as a "newspaper." It's not enough to conclude Professor Churchill has enemies. There are Native American casino owners who might be threatened by Churchill's revisiting of the past, there are rivals for Churchill's influence in the American Indian Movement. Obviously there are historians eager to retread what they've invested in the Master Narrative. Curiously, there are Zionists who are vehemently opposed to the discussion Churchill wants to provoke. And I suppose there are stupid white males who will stand for no diminishment of God Blessed America. These bloggers are the latter "Right Wing" variety obviously, and bring nothing to the table but personal attacks. But what sustains them, tasked as they appear to be, to hound Ward Churchill on a daily basis, year after year? There are players both on the national scene, and locally, who I consider complete bastards who merit every rebuke possible, but that doesn't mean I dedicate my every utterance when they so much as visit the bathroom.

Costa Rica a prototypical Western Democracy

PUERTO JIMINEZ, CR- Touring Costa Rica has been interesting. Considering the turmoil of Central America, it may be a shining example of a functional Capitalist Democracy. It´s got a healthy middle class and a relatively contented populace. Can it offer a lesson to its strife torn neighbors? Sure. Get rid of the Indios. Citizens of the "Rich Coast" pride themselves on being light skinned, owing to a Spanish heritage of course. They´re the descendants of settlers, mixed some with labor imports from the Caribbean. But the indigenous people are gone. Which makes for scarce land redistribution demands. When Columbus first came to Costa Rica, there were 400,000 inhabitants. When they saw that the Spaniards were enslaving whoever they conquered, the tribes hid in the mountains. As a result, Costa wasn´t properly subjugated like elsewhere. The Spanish didn´t want land that didn´t come with ready slave labor. But hiding didn´t save the indians. As the Spanish settled the land, the original population dwindled, to 10%, then 2% within 200 years. They are, as Randy Newman sang it: "Gone, real gone." There is an inspiring history to Costa Rica´s present relatively egalitarian government, and I´m going to write more about some of their laudable leaders. But I have to argue that CR smacks of US artifice. And lo, even as I cringe at the camo themed souvenir caps that remind me of the Contras, it turns out Oliver North operated his Contra army and drug smuggling operation out of an airfield in northern Costa Rica. There´s a surfing destination near there called Ollie´s Point, named after the would be filibuster himself. Those apolitical surfer fucks. (It is hard to surpress disdain for the hard-recreating American asses despoiling CR toilet paper. I cannot bear their vibes of inutile indifference.) So the Costa Ricans are less Central Americans than good old Americans. And that never meant Native American.

Wal-mart drives its chariot of predatory commerce over bones of Civil War dead

WAL-MART wants to build a Virginia super-center on the edge of the memorial site of one of the most consequential battles of the Civil War. The Wilderness marked the first engagement between Generals Lee and Grant, ignited a forest fire which the soldiers fought through, and left 24,000 dead and wounded. Now 253 historians have joined in asking Wal-mart to reconsider. Mr. Lee Scott, President and CEO Walmart Stores, Inc. 702 SW 8th Street Bentonville, Arkansas 72716-8611 Dear Mr. Scott: I urge you in the strongest possible terms to pursue alternate building locations for the Walmart Supercenter proposed in Orange County, Virginia. The site currently under consideration lies within the historic boundary of the Wilderness Battlefield and only one quarter mile from the current boundary of the Wilderness Battlefield unit of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The Battle of the Wilderness was among the most significant engagements of the Civil War. It marked the first time legendary generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant faced off against one another on the field of battle. During two days of desperate conflict in a harsh, unforgiving landscape tangled with underbrush, 4,000 Americans lost their lives and nearly 20,000 were wounded. The proposed location will greatly increase traffic through the area and encourage further development to encroach upon and spoil the battlefield. This, in turn, will seriously degrade the experience for the many tens of thousands of heritage tourists who visit this National Park every year. The Wilderness Battlefield is easily the biggest tourist attraction in Orange County, with visitors coming from around the world to experience its serenity and contemplate its history and significance. As a historian, I feel strongly that the Wilderness Battlefield is a unique historic and cultural treasure deserving careful stewardship. Currently only approximately 20 percent of the battlefield is protected by the National Park Service. If built, this Walmart would seriously undermine ongoing efforts to see more of this historic land preserved and deny future generations the opportunity to wander a landscape that has, until now, remained largely unchanged since 1864. The Wilderness is an indelible part of our history, its very ground hallowed by the American blood spilled there, and it cannot be moved. Surely Walmart can identify a site that would meet its needs without changing the very character of the battlefield. There are many places in central Virginia to build a commercial development, but there is only one Wilderness Battlefield. Please respect our great nation's history and move your store farther away from this historic site and National Park. Signed, * Terrie Aamodt, Walla Walla University * Edward D. Abrahams, Silver Spring, Md. * Sean P. Adams, University of Florida * Garry Adelman, History Associates, Inc. * Nicholas Aieta, the Marlborough School, West Springfield, Mass. * A.J. Aiseirithe, Washington, D.C. * James Anderson, Ashburn, Va. * Adam Arenson, University of Texas * Jonathan M. Atkins, Berry College

Denver Columbus Day Parade wants to kick indigenous ass

DENVER- Does it look like the COLUMBUS DAY PARADE organizers are practically begging for a comeuppance? Here comes the US cavalry of the American Indian Wars to finish the job Columbus began. On Columbus Day, the anniversary which has now become a teaching moment about revisiting the Columbus myth, about the holocaust unleashed by the European discovery, conquest and enslavement of North America, isn't it rather odd to CALL IN THE CALVARY? I MEAN, a celebration of Italian Americans is one thing. Is Christopher Columbus the only hero they can muster? Why not the Pope? I'm all for diverting Americans from the stereotype of the Sicilian American Sopranos legacy. But make it about pizza, not the frigging conquest of the American West. Columbus' own diaries confess his exploitive inhumane designs in Hispaniola. White man western expansion was no less genocidal. Who should be celebrating that? This squad looks like they're reenacting Colonel Chivington and his raiders freshly back from the Sand Creek Massacre. Perhaps they are retracing the victory lap the soldiers rode in Denver, festooned with the body parts of their victims, women and children, they exhibited as trophies of their victorious raid on the Indian encampment at Sand Creek. How fitting that for the modern day route, the western revelers drive Hummers. The glorification of the military is not coincidental, nor perhaps is the celebration of the uneducated. Do YOU, for example, count Winston Churchill's WWII England among your ancestors? Here is the invitation to the 2008 parade: "On Saturday October 11, 2008, at 10:00AM, we will celebrate the American National Holiday which commemorates Columbus' contribution to the formation of this great nation. It will also remind each one of us of the blood, sweat and tears our ancestors shed so that we might live and enjoy our lives in the land of the free." These are the Denver organizers' own photos of the 2007 parade. In the next you can catch an unedited glimpse of a protester. And what other can that be but a reactionary scowl? Here's what those opposed to the Columbus commemoration are putting together. 1. RACE, RESISTANCE AND THE COLUMBIAN LEGACY Join nationally-known activist Glenn Spagnuolo, co-founder of Re-create 68, for a night of education and dialogue about race in America and resistance to the Columbian Legacy! When: 5pm Thursday, October 9, 2008 Where: CU Boulder Campus, Hale Hall Room 240 2. Columbus Day Resistance March and Rally The annual protest of the Columbus Day Holiday and the racism that it embodies will begin with a march from Four Winds that ends at the Capitol Building followed by a rally for a better future. When: March starts at 8 am, Rally at 9am, Saturday, October 11 Where: Start of March is at Four Winds at 5th and Bannock in Denver 3. People's Council Following the Columbus Day resistance, people will be gathering to organize a new alliance locally that can act as a national vehicle for radicals. Bring your thoughts and cooperative energy. Please come and represent

OBSESSION: anti-Islamic documentary is 2006 Zionist election year propaganda

COLORADO SPRINGS- If you're not going to watch the propaganda on CNN/FOX/"24" they'll bring it to you! Inserted in this morning's Gazette was OBSESSION: RADICAL ISLAM'S WAR AGAINST THE WEST, a DVD distributed by The Clarion Fund and promoted by Alan Dershowitz. Why a free copy of a 2006 crockumentary now? This "non-partisan organization devoted to educating the public about national security issues" wants us to check out www.radicalislam.org because "it's our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November." And the DVD insert went to newspapers in SWING STATES! The DVD wrapper features a blurb by Michael Medved, the pro-war Zionist cloaked as mild-mannered film critic. Says Medved, "Obsession is one of the most powerful, expertly crafted and undeniably important films I've seen this year..." No mention that the year was 2006, and the made-for-a-previous-US-election quasi-documentary has already been widely debunked as racist propaganda. An executive producer of "24" intones: "... required viewing for everyone." Oh, and of course Edmund Burke's helpful nudge: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Bad enough that this insert went to the Gazette's 100k readership, it also went out with the newspapers below. This is more than the FREEDOM COMMUNICATION chain, it includes the NYT and the WSJ. Do you detect a Swing-State pattern where Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia predominate? Paid Advertising Supplement to: Akron Beacon, Altoona Mirror, Ann Arbor News, Blade, Bucks Co. Courier Times, Centennial Citizen, Chronicle of Higher Education, Cincinnati Enquirer, Claremont Review, Clovis News Journal, Columbus Dispatch, Daily Camera, Daily Commercial, Daily Nonpareil, Dayton Daily News, Denver Post, Des Moines Register, Detroit Free Press, Erie Times-News, Examiner, Flint Journal, Florida Times-Union, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Ft. Lauderdale El Sentinel, Ft. Meyers News Press, Gazette, Grand Rapids Press, Greeley Tribune, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Hobbs News-Sun, Iowa City Press Citizen, Janesville Gazette, Journal News, Journal Times, La Crosse Tribune, Lansing State Journal, Las Vegas Review-Journal/Sun, Miami-El Nuevo Herald, Miami Herald, Middletown Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Morning Call, Morning Journal, Nevada Appeal, New Appeal, New Hampshire Union Leader, News-Leader, New York Times, Ocala Star Banner, Orlando Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Patriot-News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Portsmouth Herald, Quad-City Times, Reading Eagle, Reno Gazette-Journal, Repository, Rio Rancho Observer, Sioux City Journal, South Bend Tribune, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times, Sun-Gazette, Tallahassee Democrat, Tampa Tribune, Toledo Blade, Tribune, Tribune-Review, Vindicator, Virginian-Pilot, Wall Street Journal, World Jewish Digest. The Blue states of Iowa, New York and Wisconsin seem also to have been targeted... I've got a few documentaries to recommend for everyone. In particular Colorado Springs. First, how about FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO about the means American Fundamentalist Churches sow division and hatred between peoples. Its climax is set in the Springs, but no local commercial movie theater will dare screen the film. It did visit Colorado College, so we'll have more to report on the film and its director later. FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO -Trailer Next, a recent investigation

Would Palin just be Cheney’s secretary?

One has to wonder, just what kind of dirt Cheney has on the Democratic leadership, to make them cower so. It must be good, to make Reid and Pelosi into such obedient lapdogs.   Sarah "Cheney" Palin refuses to testify in ethics investigation against her, demands it be called off. Two-face Biden says Obama administration might seek criminal charges against Bush administration, then the next day (on Fox News) claims it's not true, and he "doesn't know where such talk is coming from." John McCain's fellow POW says he is not fit to be President. Video: Palin addresses 2008 secessionist party convention. She's so dumb, she actually thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance (it was written in 1892), and that they put "under God" in there, to boot! (that part was added in th 1950s). If you think the mayor of Columbus is over-qualified to be President, Palin's just right! You really gotta wonder if McCain is just plain senile. The only campaign argument he had was that Obama wasn't qualified, now he doesn't dare use that one again. Excerpts from Thomas McCullock's notes Sept 4, thomasmc.com.

Where’s the independence on Independence Day?

The Fourth of July is celebrated as America's 'Independence Day' but where's the independence? Sure, you're free to get drunk, barbecue up some meat product on the grill, shoot fireworks off dangerously, and run your mouth about why one just supposedly has to vote for McCain or Obama, BUT... Yes, but where's the independence in Independence Day? If you have low expectations don't worry about it OK? But some of us do think about it some and we're still working on obtaining Independence for ourselves, our families, and our communities. There's really little to celebrate yet. Look, Independence Day was a flawed day from the very beginning, and just like our many other very flawed national holidays like 'Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, etc., it just lacks real substance big time. Can't you sense that? The Fourth of July is just a very shallow celebration, with the flag waving and all. Americans do not have independence. No, we have no more independence than a group of serfs under the King once did. We are merely blinder and more ignorant than the serfs were, it seems. We live in a top down authoritarian society, and our lives are ordered around to the most minuscule detail. The not so hidden hand of authoritarianism is everywhere, and it tells us how to think, and what to do. Many of the more daft of us don't see it much though. We're too busy earning the bread, shopping for bread, and shitting to notice how society is actually arranged. We don't quite know why so many of us are miserable? We see the guns, we see the orders, we see the lack of respect, but many of us just can't seem to figure anything out. So some go to church, some take dope, some just smoke their cigarettes. Some sell Mary Kay, some sell real estate, some sell Amway, or do Ebay. Some play the lottery, some play Bingo, some shoplift for their gambling instead. Indian Casino anybody? All this supposedly is a sign of liberty and independence, according to the pundits! Watch TV, play public radio on KRCC... you'll see what I am saying. They'll do their puff pieces about the Fourth. But seriously? Where's the independence on Independence Day? I don't see it. It's just not there.

Stop the War in Iraq and BTTHN

Open National Conference to Stop the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now Cleveland, Ohio, June 28-29, 2008 National Assembly Endorser List (Partial Listing) ( * = organization or position for identification only) 1. Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace* 2. Howard Zinn, Author, Historian, Social Critic, Political Scientist, Playwright 3. U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) 4. Veterans for Peace 5. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Utah Chapter 6. National Lawyers Guild 7. North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor (Formerly Cleveland AFL-CIO) 8. Donna Dewitt, President, South Carolina AFL-CIO* 9. Navy Petty Officer Jonathan W. Hutto, Author of "Anti-War Soldier" and Co-Founder of Appeal For Redress* 10. Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Los Angeles, CA 11. Progressive Democrats of America 12. A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) 13. The Iraq Moratorium 14. United Teachers Los Angeles 15. Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (NOAC) 16. Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General 17. Green Party of Ohio 18. Progressive Action, a coalition of the Duluth Central Labor Body, Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, and the Duluth Area Green Party 19. Scott Ritter 20. Anti-War Committee of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh, PA 21. Colia Lafayette Clark, Chair, Richard Wright Centennial Committee, Philadelphia, PA 22. Ohio State Council UNITE HERE 23. Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice – the Cleveland Branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom 24. Chris Silvera, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 808*, Long Island, NY 25. Cleveland Peace Action 26. Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Palo Alto, CA 27. Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition (STWC) 28. John W. Braxton, Co-President, American Federation of Teachers Local 2026*; Faculty and Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia* 29. Eduardo Rosario, Executive Board, NY City Chapter – Labor Council for Latin American Advancement* 30. RI Mobilization Committee to Stop War and Occupation 31. Steve Early, Member, National Writers Union/UAW*, Labor Journalist 32. Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace 33. Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee 34. Cynthia McKinney, Former Congresswoman from Georgia 35. Allen Cholger, United Steelworkers Union Staff Representative*, Southfield, MI 36. Malcolm Suber, Reconstruction Activist; 2007 City Council Candidate in New Orleans, LA 37. Greg Coleridge, Coordinator, Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition; Economic Justice & Empowerment Program Director, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee 38. Marilyn Levin, Member, Coordinating Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace; Founder, Middle East Crisis Coalition 39. Jeff Mackler, Founder, Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice, San Francisco, CA 40. Jerry Gordon, former National Co-Coordinator of the Vietnam-era National Peace Action Coalition (NPAC); Member, U.S. Labor Against the War Steering Committee, Cleveland, OH 41. Barbara Lubin, Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance 42. Jamilla El-Shafei, Kennebunkport, Maine, (the Kennebunkport Peace Department) 43. Mumia Abu-Jamal 44. Alan Netland, President of the Duluth Central Labor Body and AFSCME Local 66* 45. Will Rhodes, Chair, Minnesota 8th Congressional District, Green Party; Steering Committee of the Duluth Area Green Party 46. Leonard Weinglass, Attorney for the Cuban Five 47. Gail Schoenfelder, Co-Chair, Clayton-Jackson-McGee Memorial; Board Member of the Duluth League of Women Voters* 48. California Peace and Freedom Party 49. Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network 50. Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice of Northern Utah 51. Alan Benjamin, Member, Executive Board, San Francisco Labor Council; Member, National Steering Committee, U.S. Labor Against the War 52. Rev. Dr.

David Rovics on death of Utah Phillips

Utah Phillips died Friday. Friends have circulated a May 14th letter he'd sent. The Salt Lake Tribune reprinted a great interview from 2005. And fellow performer David Rovics forwarded this remembrance: I was watching my baby daughter sleep in her carseat outside of the Sacramento airport about ten hours ago when I noticed a missed call from Brendan Phillips. He's in a band called Fast Rattler with several friends of mine, two of whom live in my new hometown of Portland, Oregon, one of whom needed a ride home from the Greyhound station. I called back, and soon thereafter heard the news from Brendan that his father had died the night before in his sleep, when his heart stopped beating. I wouldn't want to elevate anybody to inappropriately high heights, but for me, Utah Phillips was a legend. I first became familiar with the Utah Phillips phenomenon in the late 80's, when I was in my early twenties, working part-time as a prep cook at Morningtown in Seattle. I had recently read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and had been particularly enthralled by the early 20th Century section, the stories of the Industrial Workers of the World. So it was with great interest that I first discovered a greasy cassette there in the kitchen by the stereo, Utah Phillips Sings the Songs and Tells the Stories of the Industrial Workers of the World. As a young radical, I had heard lots about the 1960's. There were (and are) plenty of veterans of the struggles of the 60's alive and well today. But the wildly tumultuous era of the first two decades of the 20th century is now (and pretty well was then) a thing entirely of history, with no one living anymore to tell the stories. And while long after the 60's there will be millions of hours of audio and video recorded for posterity, of the massive turn-of-the-century movement of the industrial working class there will be virtually none of that. To hear Utah tell the stories of the strikes and the free speech fights, recounting hilariously the day-to-day tribulations of life in the hobo jungles and logging camps, singing about the humanity of historical figures such as Big Bill Haywood, Joe Hill or Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, was to bring alive an era that at that point only seemed to exist on paper, not in the reality of the senses. But Utah didn't feel like someone who was just telling stories from a bygone era -- it was more like he was a bridge to that era. Hearing these songs and stories brought to life by him, I became infected by the idea that if people just knew this history in all its beauty and grandeur, they would find the same hope for humanity and for the possibility for radical social change that I had just found through Utah. Thus, I became a Wobbly singer, too. I began to stand on a

Recreate-68 versus the City of Denver

The Denver Post only covered half the story of the RECREATE-68 event today, the half calculated to best represent the city in anticipation of hosting the Olympics of the political realm. Councilman Charlie Brown spoke of needing to emulate the Athens 2004 security model.

The Democratic Party’s war on the Iraqi people

The War's over, the Democratic Party is back in power! Are you waiting to hear this big celebration come November? Then you are politically delusional, if not even politically lobotomized, too. These wars without end are from the Democratic Party, by the Democratic Party, and are caused by too many idiot, liberal minded people supporting the Democratic Party throughout their entire lives. Let's review some... ---------------------------------- ... I am willing to make a bet to anyone here that we care more about the Iraqi people than Saddam Hussein does. — U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, CNN Town Hall Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, February 18, 1998 We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? — Lesley Stahl on UN sanctions against Iraq, 60 Minutes, May 12, 1996 I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it. — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright replying ------------------------------------- So begins Rahul Mahajan's commentary in the journal, Freedom Daily. He rehashes the history of the Clinton/ Gore war on Iraq previous to Bush's occupation of that country, seemingly for all the people with the memory scan length of mice. Yes, the Iraq War is a product of the United Nations, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the previous leadership of most of the European countries. It is greatly frustrating to me, and many others, to have to work to end this war with Democratic Party supporters monopolizing control of all the so-called 'peace organizations'. If you guys are so much for Peace, then stop voting for a party that isn't! That's right. The Democratic Party continues to exercise control over the minds of most of the Antiwar Movement's supporters, and it keeps this war from being ended now. We need organizations for Peace to be run without these brakes on it from liberal Democrats pretending to be saintly people, as they do all the time. They are not saints, but obstacles to getting it done. Stop the Democratic Party's war on the Iraqi people, and get control back from the local 'peace' organizations run by paid office staff, and controlled by Democratic Party manipulated folk and clergy.

Fidel Castro’s US public relations problem

Aww, it's positively time to tune out the radio. Fidel Castro is stepping down and the Cuban malcontents, the would be scouts for capitalism, the agents of our banks and special interests, the progeny of corrupt Batistas run out in 1959, who cloak themselves as dissidents or oppressed civil rights activists, are jockeying to get in their last digs. Fidel Castro's PR problem is that the megaphone is in the hands of a corporate press intent on reclaiming the communist redistribution of wealth from its people. Cuba Libre [of the US] may not ultimately survive Castro's retirement and death, but our own people's revolution would be better served to celebrate the accomplishment he represents. Fidel Castro liberated Cuba from the largest predatory power on Earth, and kept its claws at bay for going on 50 years. He didn't do it like Gandhi, he wasn't given the opportunity like Mandela. Castro repossessed the Cuban haciendas at gunpoint, with the same violent determination the Spaniards and Americans had shown in putting down every populist grievance since Christopher Columbus. If the sinister quality of America's imperialism is new to you, have a talk with any immigrant up from the south. Those Americans have been fighting the US for over a century. Indigenous populations of the Americas suffered for 400 years to throw off their Spanish occupiers, and no sooner were they succeeding when the USA stepped in to preserve the inequitable colonial power structure. US military (.mil) archives abound with accounts of US interventions throughout Central and South America to protect US business interests there, in the name of halting Communism. In Cuba, like nowhere else, Fidel Castro beat them.

St Patricks Day denoument chronicled

Council must prevent parade pandemonium John Weiss INDY editorial, Dec 6 Largest US Civil Disobedience Movement Underway AfterDowningStreet.org, Dec 6 Ousted protesters unsure of trying luck at St. Patty's parade ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec 1 City attorney says prosecution is 'not in the public interest' CS GAZETTE, Nov 29 St. Paddy's Day Two off the hook CS INDEPENDENT, Nov 29 City Drops Charges Against Last of St Patrick's Day Protesters KRCC, Nov 28 The St. Patrick's Day Two -After a mistrial, the city decides to retry just a pair CS INDEPENDENT, Oct 4 Two of St. Patty's Day Seven Could Be Retried -Charges dropped for all except Fineron and Verlo CS INDEPENDENT, Sept 27 UPDATE: The Gazette article is still among the top commented. Here's a string of the initial comments, in chronological order: hmmmmm wrote: Well this proves that if you break the law, and they did, and complain and whine enough then you can get off. Very disappointed in our DA on this one. quote “When you consider dragging an old woman across the street and not lifting her up, it’s really hard to see how that’s doing nothing wrong,” Verlo said. end quote. When this "old woman" refuses to get up and follow police orders, Yes they did nothing wrong. It's called the law, and they broke it. 11/28/2007 7:44 PM MST on Gazette.com csaction wrote: No part of this trial was ever in the public's interest and the city prosecutors were the last to see that. Some of the police used excessive force and that ruined their case. The parade rules weren't applied to everyone equally, and that ruined their case. You aren't guilty of obstructing the street when the police throw you down in the street. Explaining that you have a permit to march, just like the year before, is NOT failure to disperse. Allowing every politico in town to make a political statement EXCEPT those with a message of peace, is NOT equal protection under the law. The strangest part of the city's position, other than the obvious lame claim that they could get a conviction but decided not to, is Ms. Kelly's apparent distrust of the legal system: "everything the police did was justified and there was probable cause for an arrest, but getting a conviction is another story". It is NOT another story IF the police did nothing wrong and there WAS probable cause for an arrest, and that's ALL been decided by a jury of their peers when they couldn't prove their case to 6 people in this town. Is she suggesting that the jury system is wrong or that we, the people, are too stupid to see that the police and city are always right, no matter what they do? Does she think we can't sit on a jury and decide the ruling based on the evidence, and get it right? The jury already got it right and the city wanted to intimidate the remaining 2 people with the threat of a trial, until the last minute, to stop them from suing for the police brutality, already proven to a jury. 11/28/2007 7:49 PM MST on

Attila Day for Hungarian-Americans

What if one day immigrants from Mongolia seeking respect for their heritage decide to have Americans celebrate Genghis Khan, the irrepressible explorer, if also despoiler, and would-be conqueror of what they thought to be the heathen west, Europe, us?   Are you sure Chris Columbus merits a national holiday, let alone a parade? What fictional account of his life are you clinging to? Let it go. Italian Americans want to celebrate their national holiday in peace, and hold their parade. Never mind who is offended by the celebration of the man who unleashed genocide on Native America. Columbus didn't just bring the Spaniards, or plague. He brought slavery and genocide. He promised his financial backers that he would return with gold and slaves. He subjugated every Arawak he encountered and commanded them to return with gold. If they didn't, he had both their hands cut off. Hard to apply a tourniquet with no hands, so they would bleed to death, as examples. The rest were hunted, burnt or fed to dogs. No indigenous peoples survived the European invasion. So Columbia is a country, Columbus a popular town name. It would be hard to undo those. But Columbus needn't be a holiday and for damn sure he doesn't need a parade. Is Columbus the only Italian that Italian-Americans can dignify with a parade?! Irish Americans sought to counter the anti-immigrant anti-Irish-Catholic sentiment prevalent over the turn of the century. They established St Patrick's Day and held parades as sort of coming-out Irish-pride events. It worked, soon "everyone was Irish" and Americans were funding the IRA against our traditional enemy, the English. Are Italian Americans trying to counter the bad rap they get for the Godfather and the Sopranos with a pride parade of their own? And Christopher Columbus is the best they can do? Give it up. Haiti is still suffering in the hell of its 15th Century invaders.

Immigrants are our friends, not our enemies

Immigrant workers are our allies, not our enemies is a talk given by Garrett Brown of the Maquiladora Health and Safety Network that packs a lot of facts in it. One fact he mentions is that more than 1/2 of Mexicans are living on $3 or less a day income. Do you really want to have the government tracking these immigrants down like they were mere dogs, and not human beings like you and your family are? Also of note, is that 1 hour south of Douglas, Arizona, an American owned mine is out once again trying to destroy the miner's union located there in a small Mexican town. The town where the mine is located is called Cananea, Sonora. Below is some info about this, and once can also check out the film called Cananea, too, for some historical reference and background to this union struggle. ....................................... From: Garrett Brown (received today) Dear Colleagues: I am writing to see if anyone is, or knows of any, Spanish-speaking occupational physician, occupational nurse or industrial hygienist who would be available for a 4-day trip to Cananea, Mexico (just south of the Arizona border) over the Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 5-8, 2007). We are trying to put together a volunteer team, all expenses paid but no fees, to conduct limited medical screenings and IH-related interviews of some of the 1,300 copper miners who have been on strike for 7 weeks against the giant Grupo Mexico conglomerate at the historic Cananea mine where the 1910 Mexican Revolution began. The key demands of the strike are over workplace health and safety, and the decision of Grupo Mexico to close the miners company-paid health clinic. Grupo Mexico has vowed to break the union in Cananea -- which would be a historic defeat -- as well as impose its demands on the workers. The strike is being strongly supported by the United Steel Workers (USW) union in the United States in a heartening display of international solidarity. The goal of the US team, which will partner with Mexican health workers in Cananea, will be document as thoroughly as possible in a short time the health problems experienced by both retired and active miners; and to collect information on the working conditions in the Cananea facility. The medical team will conduct the medical evaluations and the IH team will conduct interviews with the workers. A report will be issued following the visit to provide information to the public in both Mexico and the United States about the working conditions that provoked the strike and the needs of the miners. Further details of the timing (not completely confirmed at this writing) will be available in the next several days. If you -- or anyone you know -- are potentially available for this emergency, short-term but very important project, please contact Garrett Brown at gdbrown@igc.org In solidarity, Garrett Brown Coordinator, Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network

Fall film music tour schedule

Brent's going to be taking all of his animated films on tour this fall! Here are the dates- more are being added- but this is the idea. We hope you can get out to one of these shows:   August 11- Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum August 15- LA- The Silent Movie Theatre August 16- Las Vegas August 17- Phoenix- Modified Arts Sept. 7- NYC- Rooftop Films (with The Quavers) These are all with Sin Ropas playing a set of their songs and helping out on Brent's films: Sept. 18- Baltimore- Metro Gallery Sept. 19- DC- Warehouse Next Door Sept. 20- NYC- Knitting Factory Sept. 21- Philadelphia Sept. 22- Pittsburgh- SPACE Gallery Sept. 24- Cleveland- Beachland Ballroom Sept. 26- Athens, OH- Union Arts Sept. 27- Columbus, OH- Sept. 28- Indianapolis- Big Car Sept. 29- Chicago- Gene Siskel Center- as part of the Empty Bottle and the UK music periodical the Wire's Adventures in Modern Music Festival Oct. 3- Memphis- Memphis Media Co-op Oct. 5- Birmingham- The Bottle Tree Oct. 6- Mobile, AL- Satori Sound Oct. 8- Tallahassee, FL- The Atlantic Oct. 10- Brooklyn, NY- BAM's "Next Wave Festival" (just Brent solo performing Carlin live) Oct. 11- Gainesville, FL- San Marco Theatre Oct. 13- Knoxville, TN- The Pilot Light Oct. 14- Asheville, NC- The Grey Eagle Nov. 2- Charlottesville, VA- VA Film Festival

SOA Coverage

The annual protest against the School of Americas, US military counterinsurgency school of how-to in the arts and ways of torture, is winding down today. It is a sure thing that the instruction there is being used right at this moment in Oaxaca, Mexico. The obtuse refusal of most Americans to confront his issue of what the US government does abroad clandestinely, is part and parcel of what led to 9/11, and the subsequent idiocy that is the current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Why just a few days ago, I was pedantically told by a Colorado Springs city councilman that Mexico was a sovereign country and that our government didn't control what happens down there. He also went on to tell me that there was no torture used inside US prisons, too! And to inform me that what he called getting tough with US military held captives was different than actually torturing them. I think it save to say that our local Colorado Springs political leadership is on an even par with the spiritual leadership of Ted Haggard and brethen. To see some coverage in the US press of the SOA protests, go to the multimedia coverage by Columbus, Georgia's newspaper

Tree rings for skeptics of science

Whenever there is talk about the age of mankind, or the solar system, or the universe, a friend of mine delights in adding, "IN THEORY." If the calculations denote an earthly past beyond the scale of a Creationist's 7,000 year model, my friend considers it theoretical. Someone might be addressing dinosaurs or geology or the Big Bang, speaking in terms of MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO, and my friend will chime "in theory!" She'll turn to me and justify her footnote by asking "how do they know?" In truth, I don't know. I don't understand carbon dating or astronomy or quantum physics. I don't disbelieve, I just can't explain. I give her argument the credit of the electron-vs.-electron-microscope paradox. How can we know what an electron looks like if we can only see it with an electron microscope, which we invented with the anticipation of knowing how to look at an electron? Something like that. Yes, scientists tend to get the results they anticipate. We attended Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH the other day, about Global Warming, and researchers were charting climate changes by analyzing core samples taken from polar ice. We are able to sample ice which dates back 800,000 years apparently. "In theory" my companion added. "Apparently" I concurred, having no idea how ice was dated/carbon-dated. Later in the program a scientist likened the layers of ice to the rings of a tree trunk. You can see the seasons of passing years in the grain of the wood. You can see when there might have been a forest fire, or years when the weather might have been different. Individual layers of ice in the core samples represented similar changes in the environment. The composition of the ice trapped whatever mixture of gases comprised each year's atmosphere. You can see each year's climate as layers of ice formed over the last. Then I remembered visiting Muir Woods in California and marveling at a cross-section of a tree trunk upon which scholars had marked various milestones in history. Columbus, the Battle of Hastings, the year 0 A.D., et al. Some living Grand Sequoias are as old as 3,000 years. I can understand tree rings, and I can understand ice layers. It's science we can see with our own eyes. Now I know where I can see 800,000 years of it. If my Christian friend wants to presuppose that God created the polar ice caps with 793,000 years of climate history already embedded in the ice, fair enough. But allow scientists the latitude to seek the lessons the Earth might have to teach us from its most distant "past." Certainly God intended us to perceive it that way. 2. The crux of this issue is of course the denial of global warming. There's a strange correlation between those who refute man's influence on the climate, and religion, excuse me, anti-science. If they're end-timer Christians who are really just rooting for the end of the world, let them admit it and step out of the way. If they're

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