Saturday, August 30, 2008

GOP breaks out the Jackboots for Peace Protesters at the RNC

The Republican convention hasn't even started yet and they've had at least 5 raids against students and protesters in MN/St Paul. A groups at the Convergence Space, including a 5 year old child, were made to lie on the floor face down and were handcuffed. The were only release if they agreed to be photographed.

In another raid, a Democracy Now journalist was held at gunpoint based on an incorrect warrant. The warrants were written so that simple things like nails, spray paint and iPods could be used as proof of criminal intent.

Just a bit ago, an Earth Justice bus, which is used for permaculture demonstrations, was confiscated and the passengers left on the side of the highway. Welcome to Bush's America, where hippie kids are treated like terrorists and Gestapo tactics are SOP.

Seriously, we need to get that son of a bitch out of our White House and restore some sanity to our law enforcement.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

6 Years too Long

via the

January 11, 2008 will mark six years since the first 20 prisoners arrived at Guantánamo Bay Cuba. Since then, 775 prisoners have passed through the gates and no trials have been completed.

As a symbol of freedom and democracy throughout the world, the United States must hold itself to our own high standards. When we resort to the use of torture, abuse, and indefinite detention we lower ourselves to the level of our enemies and defy the basic values that we hold dear. Guantánamo Bay has tarnished the reputation of the United States and makes a mockery of our core values. Six years on, it is time to call once and for all for the United States to CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO!

Stand with us on January 11th and let’s prove that those who would advocate for a lower standard are on the wrong side of the law... the wrong side of core American values... and the wrong side of history. Join me in signing the petition to Close Guantánamo and stand strong in support of justice.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

US slipping in life expectancy rankings

Yahoo! News

Michael Moore's recent movie SICKO cites a WHO (World Health Organization) statistic that the US ranks 37th among countries in terms of our health. This aticle presents a new study showing that we've slipped to 42nd.

From the article:

  • Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

    "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

  • Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.

    "It really reflects the social conditions in which African American women grow up and have children," said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health. "We haven't done anything to eliminate those disparities."

  • Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans. Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years.

  • Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But, he predicted, the U.S. won't move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.

    Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

    "Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States," Murray said. "The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does."

That infant mortality rate is absolutely shameful. What the hell are we doing to our babies? What are we thinking?!

It's time for America to wake up and realize that we're paying for the best, but most of us are living in Third World realities. We can't afford to wait until Bush vacates the White House.

There's a proposal in the House of Representatives right now for a single-payer, universal health care system. HR 676 would provide "Medicare for all" and it wouldn't require additional spending. Read about it here and here. It is absolutely possible to turn this around and there's no excuse for us to let these abominable conditions persist.

18,000 people die every year in America because of no health insurance. That's 6 9/11's every year that absolutely don't have to happen. Reps. John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Jim McDermott and Donna Christensen have paved the way for us - we just have to get it through Congress.

Michael Moore has a form set up to tell your Congressional representatives that you want this bill passed. Please go there now if you haven't already. It's time to end the Republican/Corporate war on Americans.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Black nooses hanging from the 'white' tree

Facing South:

Bill Quigley
Guest Contributor

In a small, still mostly segregated section of rural Louisiana, an all-white jury heard a series of white witnesses called by a white prosecutor testify in a courtroom overseen by a white judge in a trial of a fight at the local high school where a white student who had been making racial taunts was hit by black students.

The fight was the culmination of a series of racial incidents starting when whites responded to black students sitting under the "white tree" at their school by hanging three nooses from the tree. The white jury and white prosecutor and all white supporters of the white victim were all on one side of the courtroom. The black defendant, 17-year-old Mychal Bell, and his supporters were on the other.

The jury quickly convicted Bell of two felonies -- aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. Bell, who was a 16-year-old sophomore football star at the time he was arrested, faces up to 22 years in prison. Five other black youths await similar trials on attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy charges.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The rest of the story, which is being reported across the world in papers in China, France and England, is just as chilling.

I don't know whether to cry, scream or throw up. For the love of Goddess, who loves ALL of her children, please go read the rest of the story. The entire succession of events, and the fact that the whites are virtually unscathed while the black are being victimized by the entire system, including a prosecutor who told the black kids "that if they didn't stop making a fuss about this "innocent prank I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen." "

Apparently he's trying to do just that and it's working.

From the article:

People interested in supporting can contact:

The Jena 6 Defense Committee,
P.O. Box 2798
Jena, LA 71342

Friends of Justice
507 North Donley Ave.
Tulia, TX 79088,

ACLU of Louisiana
P.O. Box 56157
New Orleans, LA 70156 or 417-350-0536.

This is an urgent situation, so if you can send money, please do. If nothing else, join the ACLU because your dues go for things like this. This affects all of us, not just because the world is watching, but because none of us is free when shit like this can go down, and you know the Alberto's Justice Department won't do their jobs and stop this the way they should.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nathan Gardels: Davos Forum Confirms Powershift Away from US

The Huffington Post

This year's theme of a powershift completes a cycle that began in 2000 at the high moment of American triumphalism, before the bust and 9/11. For the first time in its history, an American president, Bill Clinton, addressed the WEF, descending on Davos, helicopters arroar and loudly echoing across the pristine ski valley, with practically the entire American cabinet in tow. I wrote then that "paradoxically, Clinton's presence codified the triumph of the American challenge the WEF was founded to resist." It was paradoxical because this annual gathering two hours up the mountain from Zurich had first been organized 30 years earlier under the name "European Management Seminar" as a way for Europe's business leaders to come together and figure out how to respond to what French author Jean -Jacques Servan Schreiber had called "the American challenge."

I wrote then, not wrongly but now far less true, that "clearly, globalization is an American-led phenomenon. Those gathered in Davos were in awe of a US economy in the midst of its longest expansion in history with full employment and low inflation thanks in good part to freer trade and advances in information technology.

"Industrial titans from Europe and Asia sat gaping as Microsoft's Bill Gates, AOL's Steve Case and Viacom's Sumner Redstone offered their version of how to make billions in the new economy. Sessions on the other great revolution underway in genetics were also dominated by Americans, from the scientists to the regulators.

"From so high up in the Alps you can see clearly all the way to the future. And the future, if this year's Davos meeting was any indication, will be undeniably American."

In the intervening years, Bush's unilateralism, the war in Iraq, the torture at Abu Ghraib, the warrantless wiretaps, the revelation of racism and inequality after Katrina and the aggressive religious right have all tarnished America's luster.

Bush wanted America to rule the world, but was too unaware of international relations to know that we already did. Then he went in a screwed it up to the point that it will take generations for America to recover, if we ever do.

Way to go, George.

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