Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Joseph Stiglitz: On "The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future"; On Occupy Wall Street & Why U.S.-Europe Austerity Will Only Weaken Economic Recovery; On Ways to Lessen Inequality in the United States

Democracy Now

Joseph Stiglitz on "The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future"

Several months before Occupy Wall Street, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%," an article for Vanity Fair. He returns to the subject in his new book looking at how inequality is now greater in the United States than any other industrialized nation. He notes that the six heirs of the Wal-Mart fortune command wealth equivalent to the entire bottom 30 percent of American society. "It’s a comment both on how well off the top are and how poor the bottom are," Stiglitz says. "It’s really emblematic of the divide that has gotten much worse in our society." On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that pay for the top CEOs on Wall Street increased by more than 20 percent last year. Meanwhile, census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty or could be classified as low-income. "United States is the country in the world with the highest level of inequality [of the advanced industrial countries], and it’s getting worse," Stiglitz says. "What’s even more disturbing is we’ve [also] become the country with the least equality of opportunity."

Joseph Stiglitz on Occupy Wall Street & Why U.S.-Europe Austerity Will Only Weaken Economic Recovery

As European leaders scramble to address the sovereign debt crisis, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues the austerity measures pushed by Germany, the United States and international creditors are only "going to make the countries weaker and weaker." If European economies contract, Stiglitz predicts that "our economy is going to go down further into the hole. ... Those policies then increase the probability of our weak economy tipping over into recession." Stiglitz’s new book is "The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future."

Part 3: Joseph Stiglitz on Ways to Lessen Inequality in the United States

In an extended interview about his new book, The Price of Inequality, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz offers several recommendations for a reform agenda. "Traditional economics said we could only get more equality if we pay a price. We have to weaken our economy in one way or another," Stiglitz says. "But my book shows that that’s wrong, that we can have more equality, stronger economy, more growth, greater efficiency. There’s not a conflict; the two actually go together."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

On the Media: Hacking Without Hacking

Hacking without Hacking
On the Media

This week, a man named David Nosal was convicted under a federal hacking statute called The Computer Fraud and Abuse act of hacking and stealing trade secrets, even though he never actually broke into a computer. The CFAA is the same law under which activist Aaron Swartz was prosecuted. How is it possible to convict someone of hacking without them ever, you know, hacking? Way back in September, 2011, we talked to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Marcia Hoffmann about how this law's vague wording has given prosecutors broad license to go after almost anyone in front of a computer. It's even been used in the past to charge people with violating terms of service. When's the last time you read one of those? Many legal scholars say that even Stephen Colbert and Bill Clinton ran afoul of the law when Clinton let Colbert author the first tweet from his Twitter account.

To Listen to the Interview

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Todd Gitlin: Is the Press Too Big to Fail

Is the Press Too Big to Fail?
by Todd Gitlin

Everyone knows this story, though fewer and fewer read it on paper. There are barely enough pages left to wrap fish. The second paper in town has shut down. Sometimes the daily delivers only three days a week. Advertising long ago started fleeing to Craigslist and Internet points south. Subscriptions are dwindling. Online versions don’t bring in much ad revenue. Who can avoid the obvious, if little covered question: Is the press too big to fail? Or was it failing long before it began to falter financially?

In the previous century, there was a brief Golden Age of American journalism, though what glittered like gold leaf sometimes turned out to be tinsel. Then came regression to the mean. Since 2000, we have seen the titans of the news presuming that Bush was the victor over Gore, hustling us into war with Iraq, obscuring climate change, and turning blind eyes to derivatives, mortgage-based securities, collateralized debt obligations, and the other flimsy creations with which a vast, showy, ramshackle international financial house of cards was built. When you think about the crisis of journalism, including the loss of advertising and the shriveled newsrooms—there were fewer newsroom employees in 2010 than in 1978, when records were first kept—also think of anesthetized watchdogs snoring on Wall Street while the Arctic ice cap melts.

Deserting readers mean broken business models. Per household circulation of daily American newspapers has been declining steadily for sixty years, since long before the Internet arrived. It’s gone from 1.24 papers per household in 1950 to 0.37 per household in 2010. To get the sports scores, your horoscope, or the crossword puzzle, the casual reader no longer needs even to glance at a whole paper, and so is less likely to brush up against actual—even superficial—news. Never mind that the small-r republican model on which the United States was founded presupposed that some critical mass of citizens would spend a critical mass of their time figuring out what’s what and forming judgments accordingly.

Don’t be fooled, though, by any inflated talk about the early days of American journalism. In the beginning, there was no Golden Age. To be sure, a remark Thomas Jefferson made in 1787 is often quoted admiringly (especially in newspapers): “If it were left to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.”

Protected by the First Amendment, however, the press of the early republic was unbridled, scurrilous, vicious, and flagrantly partisan. In 1807, then-President Jefferson, with much more experience under his belt, wrote, “The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

Two Golden Decades

If there was a Golden Age for the American press, it came in a two-decade period during the Cold War, when total per capita daily newspaper circulation kept rising, even as television scooped up eyeballs and eardrums. Admittedly, most of the time, even then, elites in Washington or elsewhere enjoyed the journalistic glad hand. Still, from 1954 to 1974, some watchdogs did bark. Civil rights coverage, for example, did help bring down white supremacy, while Vietnam and Watergate reportage helped topple two sitting presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Of course, press watchdogs also licked the hands of the perpetrators when Washington overthrew democratic governments in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and when it helped out in Chile in 1973. As for Vietnam, it wasn’t as simple a tale of journalistic triumph as we now imagine. For years, in manifold ways, reporters deferred to official positions on the war’s “progress,” so much so that today their reports read like sheaves of Pentagon press releases. Typically, all but one source quoted in New York Times coverage of the 1964 Tonkin Gulf incidents, which precipitated a major U.S. escalation of the war, were White House, Pentagon, and State Department officials (and they were lying). In the war’s early years, at least one network, NBC, even asked the Pentagon to institute censorship.

Nonetheless, the sense that the war was an unjustifiable grind grew, especially after the Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive of January-February 1968, startling the U.S. military, Washington officials, and journalists alike. When, in 1969, Seymour Hersh reported for the tiny Dispatch News Service that a unit from the Americal Division had slaughtered hundreds of Vietnamese civilians in a village named My Lai, his story went mainstream.

To Read the Rest

Joseph Kishore: Questions mount about Boston bombers’ links to US intelligence agencies

Questions mount about Boston bombers’ links to US intelligence agencies
By Joseph Kishore
World Socialist Web Site

Information coming to light about the background of the Boston Marathon bombings raises many questions about the relationship of US intelligence agencies to the alleged bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

It is now clear that the older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a police shootout in the early morning hours of April 19, was well known to both the FBI and the CIA.

The following account can be pieced together from what has emerged so far:

After first denying any knowledge of Tsarnaev, the FBI has now admitted that it received a request in March 2011 from Russia to investigate him, due to Russia’s concerns that he might be connected with terrorist organizations active in Chechnya and the Caucasus region. He was added to the Treasury Enforcement and Communication System database to monitor past and future flight travel. The FBI claims that it found no relevant information on Tamerlan and reported this to Russia.

This was not the end of the matter, however. Six months later, in late September 2011, the Russian government contacted the CIA with a similar request, evidently unsatisfied with the FBI’s response.

The CIA requested that Tamerlan’s name be put on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database, maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center. TIDE is the US government’s central database on alleged “international terrorists,” from which other US intelligence databases are compiled, including the FBI’s “no-fly” list.

According to a US government official cited by ABC News, the CIA also “shared the information with the appropriate federal departments and agencies specifying that Tsarnaev may be of interest to them.”

In January 2012, less than four months later, Tsarnaev was able to get on a plane to southern Russia. According to US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, this meant that the TIDE database was “pinged,” alerting the US Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, the Secret Service and other agencies, of his movement.

Yet Tsarnaev was able to return to the United States in July 2012 without incident.

Little has been said so far about what Tsarnaev did on his trip. However, according to a report on NBC News, “A police official source in Makhachkala, Dagestan… [said] that the Russian internal security service reached out to the FBI last November [2012] with some questions about Tamerlan, and handed over a copy of case file on him.

“During routine surveillance of an individual known to be involved in the militant Islamic underground movement, the police witnessed Tamerlan meet the latter at a Salafi mosque in Makhachkala, the police official said. It was one of six times in total that surveillance officials witnessed Tsarnaev meeting this militant at the same mosque, according to the police official.

“The militant contact later disappeared, the police official said, but so did Tsarnaev before investigators had a chance to speak with him. The FBI never responded, according to the Dagestani police official.”

In other words, the FBI was warned about Tsarnaev both before and after his trip to Russia in the first half of 2012. The most recent warning was received only six months before the Boston bombings.

This account is supported by statements of Senator Richard Burr, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. After secret hearings held Tuesday, Burr told reporters that there were “multiple contacts” between the US and Russia over Tsarnaev, including “at least once since October 2011”—i.e., after the request submitted to the CIA in September 2011.

The government and media are scrambling to contain exposure of the significance of these revelations. The hearings conducted by Congress are being held behind closed doors, outside of the sight of the American people.

The new narrative that is being developed to explain the extraordinary facts that have emerged is simply not credible. According to government officials, “balls were dropped” and there was a failure to “connect the dots.” If dots were not connected, who failed to connect them?

As in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, there is an effort to ensure that absolutely no one is held accountable. There is a reason for this. If anyone was held responsible, they would seek to defend themselves, and that would lead to further questions that officials are eager to avoid.

The government seems particularly anxious to conclude that the two Tsarnaev brothers acted entirely on they own, a claim that is belied by the facts that have come out about Tamerlan so far. The convenience of this claim is that it directs attention away from examining the connections of these two individuals, including their relations with US intelligence agencies.

To Read the Rest

Words/Concepts for Critical Citizens: Ongoing Archive

Culture (Archive)

Detribalization (Ryan/Jetha)

Hegemony (Archive)

Ideology (Archive)

Idiot (Benton)

May Day (Archive)

Neoliberalism (Archive)

Oikos (Benton)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Democracy Now: Steubenville High School Coach Given 2-Year Extension

Steubenville High School Coach Given 2-Year Extension
Democracy Now

The coach of the pair of Ohio high school football players convicted last month of raping a 16-year-old girl has had his contract renewed for two more years. The two players were convicted of sexually assaulting the victim, who witnesses testified was too drunk to move or speak. The case sparked a national controversy following the emergence of images and social media postings from the night of the assault, including one picture of the defendants holding the victim over a basement floor. Steubenville football coach Reno Saccoccia was given a contract extension despite allegations he helped cover up the allegations and failed to report the case to authorities. He is among those who could come under further scrutiny when a grand jury convenes later this month.

The World Is a Battlefield: Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and Obama’s Expanding Drone Attacks

The World Is a Battlefield: Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and Obama’s Expanding Drone Attacks
Democracy Now

As the Senate holds its first-ever public hearing on drones and targeted killings, we turn the second part of our interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield." Scahill charts the expanding covert wars operated by the CIA and JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, in countries from Somalia to Pakistan. "I called it 'Dirty Wars' because, particularly in this administration, in the Obama administration, I think a lot of people are being led to believe that there is such a thing as a clean war," Scahill says. He goes on to discuss secret operations in Africa, the targeting of U.S. citizens in Yemen and the key role WikiLeaks played in researching the book. He also reveals imprisoned whistleblower Bradley Manning once tipped him off to a story about the private security company Blackwater. Scahill is the national security correspondent for The Nation magazine and longtime Democracy Now! correspondent. For the past several years, Scahill has been working on the "Dirty Wars" film and book project, which was published on Tuesday. The film, directed by Rick Rowley, will be released in theaters in June.

To Watch the Interview

More Resources:

Official website and trailer for the documentary

Arcade: Neon Bible

Monday, April 22, 2013

Aftermath of the Explosion at the Boston Marathon: Questions and Commentary

[MB: ongoing collection of reports/commentaries]

Matthew Rothschild: Five Questions in Wake of Boston Bombings (The Progressive)

Michel Chossudovsky: The “Chechen Connection”, Al Qaeda and the Boston Marathon Bombings

Glenn Greenwald: on Boston Marathon Arrest: Will We Deny Constitutional Rights in the Name of Fear? (Democracy Now)

Ali Abunimah -- Obama’s rush to judgment: Was the Boston bombing really a “terrorist” act? (Electronic Intifada)

Peter Hart -- How the Media Defined "Terrorism" this Week: Journalists pushed for a certain story while covering the Boston bombing (FAIR TV)

Boston Bombing Suspects' Aunt ID's Naked/Alive Detainee as Slain Nephew - FBI Lies (Films For Action)

Police perform house-to-house raids in Watertown MA (Posted on YouTube: hasn't been proved or disproved -- if you have more information about this video, leave it in the comment section b3low this post)

Paige Lavender: Greg Ball, New York State Senator, On Boston Suspect: 'Who Wouldn't Use Torture On This Punk'? (The Huffinton Post)

Meredith Bennett-Smith: Ted Nugent Suggests Hanging Boston Bombing Suspect, Says Justice System 'A Joke'

Edward Hammond: Food giant Nestlé claims to have invented stomach soothing use of habbat al-barakah (Nigella sativa)

Food giant Nestlé claims to have invented stomach soothing use of habbat al-barakah (Nigella sativa)
by Edward Hammond
Convention on Biological Diversity

The world’s largest food company, Nestlé, is seeking a patent on the use of Nigella sativa to prevent food allergies, claiming the plant seed and extract when they are used as a food ingredient or drug. Commonly known as habbat al-barakah in Arabic, and frequently called “black seed”, “black cumin” or “fennel flower” in English,1 Nigella sativa is an ancient food and medicinal crop. The Swiss giant’s claims appear invalid, as traditional uses of Nigella sativa clearly anticipate Nestlé’s patent application, and developing country scholarship has already validated these traditional uses and further described, in contemporary scientific terms, the very medicinal properties of black seed that Nestlé seeks to claim as its own “invention”.

Black Seed

The date and location of domestication of Nigella sativa is not clearly established, but the plant was certainly under wide cultivation more than 3000 years ago, when it was placed in the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamun. Historical evidence also shows contemporaneous, or earlier, black seed cultivation in Jordan and Iraq. In addition, wild types of Nigella sativa grow in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, suggesting domestication may have originally occurred there.2

In ancient times, Nigella sativa cultivation ranged at least from North Africa across the Middle East and into South Asia, where the plant has also been used in traditional medicine for 1000 years or more. Today, black seed is sown in its traditional range as well as in more southerly parts of Africa, in Europe, and elsewhere in the world.

Because black seed is widely cultivated, unlike some medicinal plants, obtaining plant seeds is very easy. The Nestlé Nigella sativa story is instead about how traditional knowledge has been appropriated. Thus, although the case is unlike biopiracy cases that involve illegal access to rare or endemic plants, it shares a common theme of many of those cases: corporations claiming traditional knowledge as their own in patent applications.

To Access the Rest of the Report

Word for Critical Citizens #8: idiot


idios - Ancient Greek word for someone who is ignorant of civil or public affairs, unable to effectively participate or engage in the public sphere, thus, not a citizen as they would require full participation and/or at least the ability to formulate arguments about issues of concern. An ancient Greek citizen would despise someone like this as worse than useless..........

I'm well aware of the problems of Ancient Greek conceptions of who should be able (or was able to) participate in society and that should be recognized as a problem in the origins of this word.

However, for modern audiences, it seems to be useful for describing people who formulate opinions solely on what they feel/believe without any attempt to engage/learn with/from others experiences/perspectives/cultures/beliefs/research

idios kosmos - referred to one isolated in their own world (rather than being a part of a shared world that engaged with others' perceived realities) -- what we would consider solipsism

We should consider the political origins of the word idiot as something that reflects a person's willingness/ability to engage with their society, as opposed to its later nightmarish appropriation as a designation/classification of the genetically unfit (see eugenics).

PS: feel free to suggest other words that might be better.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Glenn Greenwald: What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter?

What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter? The Obama DOJ says it intends to question the Boston bombing suspect "extensively" without first Mirandizing him
by Glenn Greenwald
The Guardian


It's certainly possible to object to Graham's arguments on pragmatic grounds, by advocating that Tsarnaev should be eventually Mirandized and tried in a federal court because it will be more beneficial to the government if that is done. But for anyone who supports the general Obama "war on terror" approach or specifically his claimed power to target even US citizens for execution without charges, it's impossible to object to Graham's arguments on principled or theoretical grounds. Once you endorse the "whole-globe-is-a-battlefield" theory, then there's no principled way to exclude US soil. If (as supporters of Obama's terrorism policies must argue), the "battlefield" is anywhere an accused terrorist is found and they can be detained or killed without charges, then that necessarily includes terrorists on US soil (or, as Graham put it, using one of the creepiest slogans imaginable: "the homeland is the battlefield").

Recall, in fact, that the Democratic-led Senate enacted the 2011 NDAA, which was then signed into law by President Obama, that codified the power of indefinite detention even of US citizens on US soil accused of terrorism (that's what led a federal court to enjoin the law on the grounds of unconstitutionality). It is true that Obama said that, as a matter of policy, he would not exercise these powers against US citizens on US soil, but that's simply a pragmatic choice that can be changed at any time. The theory of the NDAA is the same theory as Graham yesterday invoked, which in turn is the same theory animating the Obama "war on terror": the US is "at war" with The Terrorists, and anyone who takes up arms against the US and tries to kill Americans are "combatants" who can be denied basic rights. Watching Democrats mock Graham, while supporting Obama's policies based on the same theory, is truly surreal.

Finally, consider how radically Obama's "war on terror" has altered political opinion. As noted, even the narrow "public safety" exception to Miranda was the work of mostly right-wing Supreme Court justices who long hated Miranda. For that reason, it was loathed by liberals, including Thurgood Marshall, who viewed it as a stealth attempt to destroy Miranda. Yet now, the Obama administration has radically expanded even that once-controversial exception by claiming the power to question suspects without Miranda warnings far beyond what even those conservative justices recognized (as the Obama DOJ put it: "There may be exceptional cases in which, although all relevant public safety questions have been asked, agents nonetheless conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary").

Now, the cheers for this erosion of Miranda are led not by right-wing Supreme Court justices such as William Rehnquist (who wrote the opinion in Quarles), but by MSNBC pundits like former Obama campaign media aide Joy Reid, who - immediately upon the DOJ's announcement - instantly became a newly minted Miranda expert in order to loudly defend the DOJ's actions. MSNBC's featured "terrorism expert" Roger Cressey - who, unbeknownst to MSNBC viewers, is actually an executive with the intelligence contractor Booz Allen - also praised the DOJ's decision not to Mirandize the accused bomber (if you want instant, reflexive support for the US government's police and military powers, MSNBC is the place to turn these days).

Leave aside how misleading and misinformed this defense is: the DOJ's policy, as documented, is to go well beyond that 1984 "public safety" exception and the DOJ clearly intends to do so here. It's just so telling how this doctrine, in the age of Obama, has been transformed from hated right-wing assault on Miranda rights to something liberals now celebrate and defend even in its warped and expanded version as embraced by the Obama DOJ. Just 30 years ago, Quarles was viewed as William Rehnquist's pernicious first blow against Miranda; now, it's heralded by MSNBC Democrats as good, just and necessary for our safety, even in its new extremist rendition. That's the process by which long-standing liberal views of basic civil liberties, as well core Constitutional guarantees, continue to be diluted under President Obama in the name of terrorism. Just compare the scathing denunciation of this Miranda exception by Marshall, Brennan and Stevens to the MSNBC cheers for it in its enlarged form.

Needless to say, Tsarnaev is probably the single most hated figure in America now. As a result, as Bazelon noted, not many people will care what is done to him, just like few people care what happens to the accused terrorists at Guantanamo, or Bagram, or in Yemen and Pakistan. But that's always how rights are abridged: by targeting the most marginalized group or most hated individual in the first instance, based on the expectation that nobody will object because of how marginalized or hated they are. Once those rights violations are acquiesced to in the first instance, then they become institutionalized forever, and there is no basis for objecting once they are applied to others, as they inevitably will be (in the case of the War on Terror powers: as they already are being applied to others). As Bazelon concludes:

"No one is crying over the rights of the young man who is accused of killing innocent people, helping his brother set off bombs that were loaded to maim, and terrorizing Boston Thursday night and Friday. But the next time you read about an abusive interrogation, or a wrongful conviction that resulted from a false confession, think about why we have Miranda in the first place. It's to stop law enforcement authorities from committing abuses. Because when they can make their own rules, sometime, somewhere, they inevitably will."

Leave aside the fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of nothing and is thus entitled to a presumption of innocence. The reason to care what happens to him is because how he is treated creates precedent for what the US government is empowered to do, including to US citizens on US soil. When you cheer for the erosion of his rights, you're cheering for the erosion of your own.


To Read the Entire Column

Cleo Likes David Graeber's New Book The Democracy Project

Cleo sitting on David Graeber's The Democracy Project (Photo by Laura) on the desk in our library -- notice how hard she is concentrating, she claims that I am wasting my time reading these books when all one has to do is absorb them..............

Friday, April 19, 2013

Jimmy's Fruit Salsa

[MB: my cousin's recipe, I guestimate and use up quantities in my fridge as I see fit ;)]

2 Oranges (skinned and chopped)

1/2 cup Jicama (peeled and chopped)

1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

1-2 jalapenos (chopped)

1 1/2 mango (chopped)

1/2 cup sweet red bell pepper (chopped)

1/2 cup red onion (chopped)

juice and pulp of 2-3 limes

salt to taste, cover, refrigerate at least an hour

The Wind-Up Girl (Paolo Bacigalupi, 2009)

The Windup GirlThe Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that come along at a certain moment in time and presents a finely tuned presentation of where we may be heading as a global society. For lack of imagination this could be defined as eco-punk, with its vision of a future ecological catastrophes, isolationist societies seeking to resist predatory multinational agri-businesses, gene-rippers mucking with DNA of living creatures creating wonders and pestilence, calorie-men combing the globe to seek out local seed banks, and the creation of new people that might present a new possibility for life on earth or be the final stake in its heart. The story takes place in Thailand and Bacigalupi is great at bringing to life the society and the competing interests. A powerful story and great reading experience all the way through to the last page!

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Will Potter: Indiana Bill Would Make It Illegal to Expose Factory Farms, Clearcutting and Fracking

Indiana Bill Would Make It Illegal to Expose Factory Farms, Clearcutting and Fracking
by Will Potter
Green is the New Red

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal to photograph or videotape things like factory farming, clear-cutting forests, mining, and fracking.

You read that correctly. Under Indiana’s SB 0373, anyone who sets foot on corporate property in order to document environmental, animal welfare, and health violations of these industries would face criminal penalties.

The bill has already passed the Senate, and is on track to pass the full House. It is part of a wave of similar legislation introduced across the country that have been dubbed “ag-gag” bills. [Here's a detailed look at ag-gag efforts nationally.] But Indiana is poised to become the first state to pass an ag-gag bill this year.

This ag-gag trend is the brainchild of the Big Ag industry, working with the American Legislative Exchange Council. What’s especially troubling about Indiana’s bill, though, is that it extends far beyond factory farms to the timber, mining, and manufacturing industries.

The text of the bill lists “agricultural operations” such as “crops,” “livestock,” “poultry,” horticultural products,” and “growing timber.” It also lists “industrial operations,” which is pretty much everything connected to industry: the “manufacture of a product from other products, “transformation of a material from one form to another,” “mining of a material and related mine activities,” or “storage or disposition of a product or material.”

If that’s not bad enough, the bill also targets:

* Workers and whistleblowers — the bill places a 48-hour requirement on anyone reporting criminal activity, which makes it impossible to document a pattern of abuse.

* Journalists — the bill places special emphasis on anyone who “distributes, disseminates, or transfers the image, photograph, video recording, or motion picture,” and specifically targets those who distribute this materials to the press. The Hoosier State Press Association has spoken against it.

The bill includes a clause that says there’s an exemption if an individual had reason to believe there was illegal activity, AND they turn the photographs or video over to law enforcement within 48 hours. As I noted above, this time constraint makes it impossible to document a pattern of criminal activity. More importantly, the bill actually says the investigator can not “distribute or disseminate the photograph, recording, or motion picture to a person that is not a law enforcement officer or an agency with regulatory oversight of the industrial or agricultural operation.”

To Read the Rest and Access More Information

Tim Wise -- Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness

Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness
by Tim Wise


White privilege is knowing that if the bomber turns out to be white, he or she will be viewed as an exception to an otherwise non-white rule, an aberration, an anomaly, and that he or she will be able to join the ranks of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph and Joe Stack and George Metesky and Byron De La Beckwith and Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton and Herman Frank Cash and Robert Chambliss and James von Brunn and Robert Mathews and David Lane and Michael F. Griffin and Paul Hill and John Salvi and James Kopp and Luke Helder and James David Adkisson and Scott Roeder and Shelley Shannon and Dennis Mahon and Wade Michael Page and Byron Williams and Kevin Harpham and William Krar and Judith Bruey and Edward Feltus and Raymond Kirk Dillard and Adam Lynn Cunningham and Bonnell Hughes and Randall Garrett Cole and James Ray McElroy and Michael Gorbey and Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and Frederick Thomas and Paul Ross Evans and Matt Goldsby and Jimmy Simmons and Kathy Simmons and Kaye Wiggins and Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe and David McMenemy and Bobby Joe Rogers and Francis Grady and Demetrius Van Crocker and Floyd Raymond Looker, among the pantheon of white people who engage in (or have plotted) politically motivated violence meant to terrorize and kill, but whose actions result in the assumption of absolutely nothing about white people generally, or white Christians in particular.

And white privilege is being able to know nothing about the crimes committed by most of the terrorists listed above — indeed, never to have so much as heard most of their names — let alone to make assumptions about the role that their racial or ethnic identity may have played in their crimes.

White privilege is knowing that if the Boston bomber turns out to be white, we will not be asked to denounce him or her, so as to prove our own loyalties to the common national good. It is knowing that the next time a cop sees one of us standing on the sidewalk cheering on runners in a marathon, that cop will say exactly nothing to us as a result.

White privilege is knowing that if you are a white student from Nebraska — as opposed to, say, a student from Saudi Arabia — that no one, and I mean no one would think it important to detain and question you in the wake of a bombing such as the one at the Boston Marathon.

And white privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Belfast. And if he’s an Italian American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.


To Read the Entire Commentary and to Access Background Information

Anup Shah: Global Financial Crisis

Global Financial Crisis
by Anup Shah
Global Issues

The global financial crisis, brewing for a while, really started to show its effects in the middle of 2007 and into 2008. Around the world stock markets have fallen, large financial institutions have collapsed or been bought out, and governments in even the wealthiest nations have had to come up with rescue packages to bail out their financial systems.

On the one hand many people are concerned that those responsible for the financial problems are the ones being bailed out, while on the other hand, a global financial meltdown will affect the livelihoods of almost everyone in an increasingly inter-connected world. The problem could have been avoided, if ideologues supporting the current economics models weren’t so vocal, influential and inconsiderate of others’ viewpoints and concerns.

This article provides an overview of the crisis with links for further, more detailed, coverage at the end.

This web page has the following sub-sections:

A crisis so severe, the world financial system is affected
Securitization and the subprime crisis
Creating more risk by trying to manage risk
The scale of the crisis: trillions in taxpayer bailouts
A crisis so severe, those responsible are bailed out
A crisis so severe, the rest suffer too
The financial crisis and wealthy countries
A crisis signaling the decline of US’s superpower status?
Europe and the financial crisis
Structural Adjustment for Industrialized Nations
Focusing on debt instead of the economy
Austerity as ideological opportunity
Austerity without economic growth = backwards development
Lost decade?
The financial crisis and the developing world
Asia and the financial crisis
Africa and the financial crisis
Latin America and the financial crisis
A crisis in context
A crisis of poverty for much of humanity
A global food crisis affecting the poorest the most
Human rights conditions made worse by the crisis
Poor nations will get less financing for development
Odious third world debt has remained for decades; Banks and military get money easily
A crisis that need not have happened
Dealing with recession
Developing world saving the West?
Rethinking the international financial system?
Reforming international banking and finance?
Reforming International Trade and the WTO
Reforming the Bretton Woods Institutions (IMF and World Bank)?
Reform and Resistance
Rich countries resist meaningful reform
Rethinking economics?
More information

To Read the Resources Included In This Mapping of the Issue

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Earth First! Newswire: Odd Alliance of Anarchists, Farmers Takes on French Gov’t in Occupy-style Airport Battle

Odd Alliance of Anarchists, Farmers Takes on French Gov’t in Occupy-style Airport Battle
Earth First! Newswire

They hurl sticks, stones and gasoline bombs. They have spent brutal winter months fortifying muddy encampments. And now they’re ready to ramp up their fight against the prime minister and his pet project — a massive new airport in western France.

An unlikely alliance of anarchists and beret-wearing farmers is creating a headache for President Francois Hollande’s beleaguered government by mounting an escalating Occupy Wall Street-style battle that has delayed construction on the ambitious airport near the city of Nantes for months. The conflict has flared anew at a particularly tricky time for the Socialist government, amid a growing scandal over tax-dodging revelations that forced the budget minister to resign, and ever-worsening news about the French economy.

A protest held over the weekend is likely to trigger a new round of demonstrations like those that drew thousands of protesters to the remote woodlands of Brittany in the fall. In those earlier protests, heavily armored riot police battled young anarchists and farmers, causing injuries on both sides. On Monday, similar clashes erupted, with three demonstrators injured, according to the radicals’ website.

The fight has brought together odd bedfellows: Local farmers who represent traditional French conservative values are collaborating with anarchists, radical eco-feminists and drifters from around Europe — who see the anti-airport movement as a flashpoint against globalization and capitalism. Environmentalists and the far-left Green Party also oppose the airport, arguing that it will bring pollution.

The clash has been particularly damaging for Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Nantes’ longtime mayor and the airport’s highest-profile champion. He and the project’s supporters say the airport will attract business at a time when France sorely needs an economic boost and job creation. The Aeroport du Grand Ouest is intended to replace the existing Nantes Atlantique airport, with runways able to handle larger aircraft such as the A380 superjumbo and room to expand from 4.5 million passengers a year at the open to 9 million in the longer term.

With an approval rating at historic lows, Ayrault’s leverage to push through the project is shrinking. Meanwhile the opponents’ threat to remobilize is leading to new fears of violent clashes.

Protesters have spent months illegally occupying the site of the planned Notre-Dame-Des-Landes airport, which is set to start operating in 2017. In November, more than 500 riot police tried to remove thousands of squatters in the wooded area near this village 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Nantes. Protesters responded by hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails. Police fired back with tear gas in clashes that dominated the national news.

For the farmers, it’s all about protecting the land.

“This will be a runway,” says Sylvain Fresneau, gesturing toward the two-story house built by his grandfather and the dairy farm that has been in his family for five generations.

Fresneau and his cousin Dominique are among the local farmers who are holding out, refusing to sell up and clear off the land where they have lived and worked their entire lives. Sylvain’s 88 cows produce 550,000 liters (580,000 quarts) of milk a year. “Since January,” Fresneau says, “we are squatters and so are the cows.”

While some local farmers have accepted buyouts from Vinci, the giant construction firm that was selected to build and run the airport, the Fresneaus and many of their neighbors have fought the project for years.

“It’s not a question of money,” Sylvain Fresneau says. “You can’t put a price on five generations of peasants. It’s my duty not to accept that money from any builder.”

He says his 80-year-old father was one of the first to resist the airport project when the idea surfaced 40 years ago. Long-mothballed, the airport plan gained fresh impetus when Ayrault’s Socialist Party came to power nationally in the late 1990s. The plan then wound its way through a slow and torturously complex process of studies, commissions and advisory committees.

Although Sylvain Fresneau claims the farmers “could make one call and block Nantes with our tractors in half a day,” the reality is that the farmers alone could not have delayed the project as long as they have without help from a surprising quarter: the mainly 20-something radicals who call themselves “ZADists.”

To Read the Rest

Democracy Now: After Obama Shuns Probe, Bipartisan Panel Finds "Indisputable" Evidence U.S. Tortured Under Bush

After Obama Shuns Probe, Bipartisan Panel Finds "Indisputable" Evidence U.S. Tortured Under Bush
Democracy Now

An independent bipartisan task force has concluded that it is "indisputable" the United States engaged in torture and the George W. Bush administration bore responsibility. The 11-member Task Force on Detainee Treatment was convened by The Constitution Project after President Obama chose not to support a national commission to investigate the counterterrorism programs. It was co-chaired by Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas, NRA consultant and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. The report concludes that never before in U.S. history had there been "the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody." While the report focused largely on the Bush administration after 9/11, it also criticizes a lack of transparency under Obama. We speak with Laura Pitter, counterterrorism adviser at Human Rights Watch.

To Watch the Episode

Unwelcome Guests #637: Tariq Ali and Gal Alperovitz - The Preliminaries Of A Vision (Of A World We Might Want)

#637 - The Preliminaries Of A Vision (Of A World We Might Want)
Unwelcome Guests

What world would you like to live in? Would it have politicians of businesses? Are you, as David Graeber noted, like so many others whose life has been shaped by capitalism, struggling to think about viable alternative futures? This week we present a pair of speakers who may help. First, it's "The Rotten Heart of Europe", a talk from Tariq Ali. He retells the development of European political union, which didn't used to be synonymous with submission to USA. This focuses mostly on understanding the status quo in Europe. Only since Margaret Thatcher and the entrenchment of neoliberal doctrine in the European integration project, has real independence from Washington become effectively lost. His talk considers into the second hour. I trimmed the end of the talk and all the Q & A in order to leave time for our second speaker. Fifteen minutes into our second hour, we hear Gar Alperovitz from October 2012 speaking in Seattle on "America Beyond Capitalism". Echoing Chris Hedges, Alperovitz highlights the death of the liberal institutions in USA - particularly organized labor - in the late 20th century as a key point of systemic failure. Highlighting the feudal disparity in wealth in USA (an elite of around 400 being comparable in financial terms to the bottom 180 million) he suggests that the increasing hardship of the majority of Americans has been spurring them on to innovate. How to begin decentralizing the ownership of wealth, he asks? And by way of answer notes that many such separate projects are underway, which he argues should be viewed as a response to the pain of the systemic crisis faced by American citizens. He reports a flourishing of cooperatives and worked owned businesses in areas such as urban gardening and solar power. Twenty US States, he says, are seeking to set up a state bank such as the State Bank Of North Dakota, while other states are seeking a single-payer health system.

To Listen to the Episode

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tom Engelhardt: The Enemy-Industrial Complex

The Enemy-Industrial Complex: How to Turn a World Lacking in Enemies into the Most Threatening Place in the Universe
By Tom Engelhardt

The communist enemy, with the “world’s fourth largest military,” has been trundling missiles around and threatening the United States with nuclear obliteration. Guam, Hawaii, Washington: all, it claims, are targetable. The coverage in the media has been hair-raising. The U.S. is rushing an untested missile defense system to Guam, deploying missile-interceptor ships off the South Korean coast, sending “nuclear capable” B-2 Stealth bombers thousands of miles on mock bombing runs, pressuring China, and conducting large-scale war games with its South Korean ally.

Only one small problem: there is as yet little evidence that the enemy with a few nuclear weapons facing off (rhetorically at least) against an American arsenal of 4,650 of them has the ability to miniaturize and mount even one on a missile, no less deliver it accurately, nor does it have a missile capable of reaching Hawaii or Washington, and I wouldn't count on Guam either.

It also happens to be a desperate country, one possibly without enough fuel to fly a modern air force, whose people, on average, are inches shorter than their southern neighbors thanks to decades of intermittent famine and malnutrition, and who are ruled by a bizarre three-generational family cult. If that other communist, Karl Marx, hadn’t once famously written that history repeats itself “first as tragedy, then as farce,” we would have had to invent the phrase for this very moment.

In the previous century, there were two devastating global wars, which left significant parts of the planet in ruins. There was also a "cold war" between two superpowers locked in a system of mutual assured destruction (aptly acronymed as MAD) whose nuclear arsenals were capable of destroying the planet many times over. Had you woken up any morning in the years between December 7, 1941, and December 26, 1991, and been told that the leading international candidate for America's Public Enemy Number One was Kim Jong-un’s ramshackle, comic-opera regime in North Korea, you might have gotten down on your hands and knees and sent thanks to pagan gods.

The same would be true for the other candidates for that number one position since September 11, 2001: the original al-Qaeda (largely decimated), al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula located in poverty-stricken areas of poverty-stricken Yemen, the Taliban in poverty-stricken Afghanistan, unnamed jihadis scattered across poverty-stricken areas of North Africa, or Iran, another rickety regional power run by not particularly adept theocrats.

All these years, we’ve been launching wars and pursuing a “global war on terror." We’ve poured money into national security as if there were no tomorrow. From our police to our borders, we’ve up-armored everywhere. We constantly hear about “threats” to us and to the “homeland.” And yet, when you knock on the door marked “Enemy,” there’s seldom anyone home.

Few in this country have found this striking. Few seem to notice any disjuncture between the enemy-ridden, threatening, and deeply dangerous world we have been preparing ourselves for (and fighting in) this last decade-plus and the world as it actually is, even those who lived through significant parts of the last anxiety-producing, bloody century.

You know that feeling when you wake up and realize you’ve had the same recurrent nightmare yet again? Sometimes, there’s an equivalent in waking life, and here’s mine: every now and then, as I read about the next move in the spreading war on terror, the next drone assassination, the next ratcheting up of the surveillance game, the next expansion of the secrecy that envelops our government, the next set of expensive actions taken to guard us -- all of this justified by the enormous threats and dangers that we face -- I think to myself: Where’s the enemy? And then I wonder: Just what kind of a dream is this that we’re dreaming?

A Door Marked “Enemy” and No One Home

Let’s admit it: enemies can have their uses. And let’s admit as well that it’s in the interest of some in our country that we be seen as surrounded by constant and imminent dangers on an enemy-filled planet. Let’s also admit that the world is and always will be a dangerous place in all sorts of ways.

Still, in American terms, the bloodlettings, the devastations of this new century and the last years of the previous one have been remarkably minimal or distant; some of the worst, as in the multi-country war over the Congo with its more than five million dead have passed us by entirely; some, even when we launched them, have essentially been imperial frontier conflicts, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, or interventions of little cost (to us) as in Libya, or frontier patrolling operations as in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Northern Africa. (It was no mistake that, when Washington launched its special operations raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan, to get Osama bin Laden, it was given the code name “Geronimo” and the message from the SEAL team recording his death was “Geronimo-E KIA” or “enemy killed in action.”)

And let’s admit as well that, in the wake of those wars and operations, Americans now have more enemies, more angry, embittered people who would like to do us harm than on September 10, 2001. Let’s accept that somewhere out there are people who, as George W. Bush once liked to say, “hate us" and what we stand for. (I leave just what we actually stand for to you, for the moment.)

So let’s consider those enemies briefly. Is there a major state, for instance, that falls into this category, like any of the great warring imperial European powers from the sixteenth century on, or Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II, or the Soviet Union of the Cold War era? Of course not.

There was admittedly a period when, in order to pump up what we faced in the world, analogies to World War II and the Cold War were rife. There was, for instance, George W. Bush’s famed rhetorical construct, the Axis of Evil (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea), patterned by his speechwriter on the German-Italian-Japanese “axis” of World War II. It was, of course, a joke construct, if reality was your yardstick. Iraq and Iran were then enemies. (Only in the wake of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq have they become friends and allies.) And North Korea had nothing whatsoever to do with either of them. Similarly, the American occupation of Iraq was once regularly compared to the U.S. occupations of Germany and Japan, just as Saddam Hussein had long been presented as a modern Hitler.

In addition, al-Qaeda-style Islamists were regularly referred to as Islamofascists, while certain military and neocon types with a desire to turn the war on terror into a successor to the Cold War took to calling it “the long war,” or even “World War IV.” But all of this was so wildly out of whack that it simply faded away.

As for who’s behind that door marked “Enemy,” if you opened it, what would you find? As a start, scattered hundreds or, as the years have gone by, thousands of jihadis, mostly in the poorest backlands of the planet and with little ability to do anything to the United States. Next, there were a few minority insurgencies, including the Taliban and allied forces in Afghanistan and separate Sunni and Shia ones in Iraq. There also have been tiny numbers of wannabe Islamic terrorists in the U.S. (once you take away the string of FBI sting operations that have regularly turned hopeless slackers and lost teenagers into the most dangerous of fantasy Muslim plotters). And then, of course, there are those two relatively hapless regional powers, Iran and North Korea, whose bark far exceeds their potential bite.

To Read the Rest of the Commentary

Peter Ludlow: Hacktivists as Gadflies

Hacktivists as Gadflies
By Peter Ludlow

Around 400 B.C., Socrates was brought to trial on charges of corrupting the youth of Athens and “impiety.” Presumably, however, people believed then as we do now, that Socrates’ real crime was being too clever and, not insignificantly, a royal pain to those in power or, as Plato put it, a gadfly. Just as a gadfly is an insect that could sting a horse and prod it into action, so too could Socrates sting the state. He challenged the moral values of his contemporaries and refused to go along with unjust demands of tyrants, often obstructing their plans when he could. Socrates thought his service to Athens should have earned him free dinners for life. He was given a cup of hemlock instead.

We have had gadflies among us ever since, but one contemporary breed in particular has come in for a rough time of late: the “hacktivist.” While none have yet been forced to drink hemlock, the state has come down on them with remarkable force. This is in large measure evidence of how poignant, and troubling, their message has been.

Hacktivists, roughly speaking, are individuals who redeploy and repurpose technology for social causes. In this sense they are different from garden-variety hackers out to enrich only themselves. People like Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates began their careers as hackers — they repurposed technology, but without any particular political agenda. In the case of Mr. Jobs and Mr. Wozniak, they built and sold “blue boxes,” devices that allowed users to defraud the phone company. Today, of course, these people are establishment heroes, and the contrast between their almost exalted state and the scorn being heaped upon hacktivists is instructive.

For some reason, it seems that the government considers hackers who are out to line their pockets less of a threat than those who are trying to make a political point. Consider the case of Andrew Auernheimer, better known as “Weev.” When Weev discovered in 2010 that AT&T had left private information about its customers vulnerable on the Internet, he and a colleague wrote a script to access it. Technically, he did not “hack” anything; he merely executed a simple version of what Google Web crawlers do every second of every day — sequentially walk through public URLs and extract the content. When he got the information (the e-mail addresses of 114,000 iPad users, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel, then the White House chief of staff), Weev did not try to profit from it; he notified the blog Gawker of the security hole.

For this service Weev might have asked for free dinners for life, but instead he was recently sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of more than $73,000 in damages to AT&T to cover the cost of notifying its customers of its own security failure.

When the federal judge Susan Wigenton sentenced Weev on March 18, she described him with prose that could have been lifted from the prosecutor Meletus in Plato’s “Apology.” “You consider yourself a hero of sorts,” she said, and noted that Weev’s “special skills” in computer coding called for a more draconian sentence. I was reminded of a line from an essay written in 1986 by a hacker called the Mentor: “My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.”

When offered the chance to speak, Weev, like Socrates, did not back down: “I don’t come here today to ask for forgiveness. I’m here to tell this court, if it has any foresight at all, that it should be thinking about what it can do to make amends to me for the harm and the violence that has been inflicted upon my life.”

He then went on to heap scorn upon the law being used to put him away — the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the same law that prosecutors used to go after the 26-year-old Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January.

The law, as interpreted by the prosecutors, makes it a felony to use a computer system for “unintended” applications, or even violate a terms-of-service agreement. That would theoretically make a felon out of anyone who lied about their age or weight on Match.com.

To Read the Rest of the Commentary

Martin Luther King, Jr.: 50th Anniversary of "Letter From a Birmingham Jail"

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]"
via African Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania

April 16, 1963

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

To Read the Rest

More Resources:

Lisa Ann Williamson: Celebrate ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’ (Teaching Tolerance)

"AUDIO: Martin Luther King Junior 'Letter From Birmingham Jail' (Southern Poverty Law Center)

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute

'Letter From Birmingham Jail' A worldwide Celebration (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Unwelcome Guests #616: The Secret, Silent Poisoning (Nuclear Victims in Peace and War)

Episode #616 - The Secret, Silent Poisoning (Nuclear Victims in Peace and War)
Unwelcome Guests

67 years after the fateful dropping of the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, we hear how those are only two best known of many nuclear bombs dropped in the pacific by USA. We hear from Holly Barker, author of "From Nuclear Weapons to Nuclear Energy: The U.S., The Marshall Islands and Japan". She gives us a presentation entitled 'Secrecy and Silence in the Post-Tsunami Pacific', which tells the disturbing story of the Marshall Islanders, whose small numbers and remote location lead to their choice as targets for US military research into the effects of exposure to radiation on human health.

Then we hear a lightly edited short speech by Chris Busby, which continues into our second hour. He proposes to get the nuclear industry shut down by citing recent research findings about the dangers of nuclear radiation. Noting that the UK cancer registries keep epidemiological data secret from the public, Busby reports that his grassroots epidemiological research suggests that the risk model currently used underestimates the threats to human health by a factor of 400.

Then we hear an interview with M.T. Silvia, who produced the film 'Atomic Mom' about her mum, who carried out research on the health effects of radiation for the US Navy. The interview details her mum's job and how it affected her personally, as well as looking at the larger picture of how American culture embraced and celebrated all things nuclear.

We conclude with a few brief excerpts of an audio production of Thomas Merton's anti-poem Original Child Bomb on the events surrounding the dropping of nuclear weapons on Japan.

To Listen to the Episode

Monday, April 15, 2013

Explosions at the Boston Marathon: Resources

[MB: will update as relevant reports come out.]

Video of the Explosions at the Boston Marathon

Michael Benton:

My sympathies are with the victims (and their loved ones) of the Boston Marathon bombing. Unfortunately some of our hysteria-stoking media organizations have viewed this an opportunity to incite collective hatred -- do not allow yourself to be manipulated by fear-mongerers.

The Thinking Atheist:

Horrific scenes out of Boston where two explosions have ripped through crowds watching the Boston Marathon and a third explosion occurred at the JFK library.

That's the latest so far. It's important to keep a couple of things in mind:

1) Some news reports are bound to be inaccurate as journalists race to be first to report on various aspects of the story and, to them, being first takes priority over accuracy

2) We have no way of knowing at the moment who was behind the attacks nor do we know their motivation. For that matter, at the moment authorities are not using the term bomb.

our thoughts are with those in Boston and with your family members and loved ones who are suffering the impact of these events.

- Meg

Central Oklahoma Black/Red Alliance (COBRA)

Okay, emergency mode. For those of us far from a disaster that means: don't spread rumors.

Don't trust all news sources equally--the NY Post has already been dissed for claiming a suspect is in custody.
(It also reports 12 dead while the NYT, BBC, etc. report only 2 fatalies.)

Vet information. We don't actually need to instantly know what's going on, however intensely we want to, and it is better to wait for the sifting than to throw more junk info on the conflagration of excitement and confusion.

Also, remember the victims of bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan today too; if you think Boston was bad, try years of days like today. Think about Syria.


Talking Points Memo -- Boston Police: No Arrests Have Been Made In Marathon Bombing (UPDATE)

Hemant Mehta: On Twitter, the ‘Godless’ Are Already to Blame for the Boston Marathon Bombing (Friendly Atheist)

Tasneem Raja -- The Man in the Cowboy Hat: Meet Carlos Arredondo, a Hero of the Boston Bombings (Mother Jones)

Asawin Suebsaeng: What We Know About the Boston Marathon Explosions (Mother Jones)

Boston Marathon a "Horrifying Scene" After Twin Blasts Kill 3 and Leave Scores Maimed, Wounded (Democracy Now)

Peace Activist Carlos Arredondo Hailed as Hero for Aid to Boston Marathon Bombing Victims (Democracy Now)

Michael Gibson and Charles P. Pierce - "Like a War Scene": From the Streets to Hospitals, Citizens Rushed to Help Bombing Victims (Democracy Now)

Sportswriter Dave Zirin: Prayers For the People in Boston, Baghdad and Mogadishu (Democracy Now)

Earth First News: The Boston Marathon and U.S. Drone Attacks: a Tale of Two Terrorisms (Earth First News)

Andy Kroll -- Question Everything You Hear About the Boston Marathon Bombing: From Oklahoma City to 9/11 to Newtown, the aftermath of major tragedies is rife with misinformation (Mother Jones)

Christina Coleman: Trayvon Martin's Parents Send Message To Family of Martin Richard (Global Grind)

Paul Haven: US foe Cuba sends condolences for marathon attack (The Miami Herald)

Andreas Germanos: Following Boston Tragedy, Calls to Unite, Calls for Peace (Common Dreams)

Alex Kane: 5 People Hijacking Boston Bombing to Push Their Nasty Politics (AlterNet)

Here is the Boston Police Department's official statement on Facebook regarding their capture of the 2nd suspect (the first suspect was killed) -- it is very telling in its hyping of "terror" and their warped sense of "justice" (has there already been a trial?):
"Boston Police Department (Official): CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."

Journalist Allison Kilkenny notes that: "RT @ABC No Miranda warning will be given to suspect, public safety exception is being invokved for limited and focused interrogation"

Democracy Now: Testimony, Recordings at Trial Reveal the Racial Biases and Arrest Quotas Behind NYPD’s Stop & Frisk

Testimony, Recordings at Trial Reveal the Racial Biases and Arrest Quotas Behind NYPD’s Stop & Frisk
Democracy Now

A historic trial is underway challenging the New York City Police Department’s controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy as unconstitutional and unfairly targeting people of color. Recent data shows the vast majority of the five million people stopped and frisked by the NYPD over the past decade are African American or Latino, with nearly 90 percent neither ticketed nor arrested. We play secretly recorded police tapes heard in the courtroom and speak to three guests: Sunita Patel, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel on the stop-and-frisk federal class action lawsuit; Nicholas Peart, a Harlem resident who testified last month about his multiple experiences being stopped and frisked; and Ryan Devereaux, a journalist covering the trial for The Guardian and The Nation.

To Watch the Episode

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Taxi to the Dark Side (USA: Alex Gibney, 2007)

Taxi to the Dark Side (USA: Alex Gibney, 2007: 106 mins)

Aradillas, Aaron and Matt Zoller Seitz. "5 on 24: A Five Part Video Essay on the Real Time Action Series. Moving Image Source (May 18, 2010)

Dunn, Timothy. "Torture, Terrorism, and 24: What Would Jack Bauer Do?." Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics Through Popular Culture." ed. Joseph Foy. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2008: 171-184. [Available in BCTC Library JK 31 H85 2008]

Fletcher, Phoebe. “Fucking Americans”: Postmodern Nationalisms in the Contemporary Splatter Film #18 (December 2009)

Gosztola, Kevin. "Obama Employs Bush Administration Tactic, Blocks Photos." Open Salon (May 14, 2009)

Hilden, Julie. "Free Speech and the Concept of "Torture Porn": Why are Critics So Hostile to Hostel II?" Find Law (July 16, 2007)

Kleinhans, Chuck. "Imagining Torture." Jump Cut #51 (Spring 2009)

Kleinhans, Chuck, John Hess and Julia Lesage. "The Last Word: Torture and the National Imagination." #50 (Summer 2008)

Lesage, Julie. "Torture Documentaries." Jump Cut #51 (Spring 2009)

Murray, Gabrielle. "Images of Torture, Images of Terror: Post 9/11 and the Escalation of Screen Violence." Monash University Film and TV Studies (Podcast of a Lecture: March 20, 2008)

Rosler, Martha. "A Simple Case for Torture." Jump Cut #51 (Spring 2009)

Torture (Archive on Dialogic: The culture and politics of "torture.")

Democracy Now: On 45th Anniversary of His Death, Martin Luther King Jr. on the Power of Media and the Horror of War

On 45th Anniversary of His Death, Martin Luther King Jr. on the Power of Media and the Horror of War
Democracy Now

Forty-five years ago ..., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King was in Memphis to march with sanitation workers demanding a better wage. We air part of a speech he gave to the National Association of Radio Announcers the previous year in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King spoke about the power of the media and the horrors of war in Vietnam.

To Watch/Listen

Democracy Now: Rinku Sen - Drop the I-Word: In Victory for Advocates, Associated Press Stops Using Phrase "Illegal Immigrant"

Drop the I-Word: In Victory for Advocates, Associated Press Stops Using Phrase "Illegal Immigrant"
Democracy Now

The Associated Press has dropped the phrase "illegal immigrant" from its popular stylebook, a move welcomed by immigrant advocates who argue the term is a dehumanizing slur. The influential AP Stylebook is the definitive guide for reporters and editors both within the news cooperative and beyond. We’re joined by Rinku Sen, publisher of Colorlines.com and president of the Applied Research Center, which launched the the "Drop the I-Word" campaign in 2010 in order to remove the term "illegals" from everyday use and public discourse.

To Watch the Episode

Democracy Now: Christine Hong - New Era of Nuclear-Armed North Korea Forces U.S. to Reconsider War Games at Regime’s Door

New Era of Nuclear-Armed North Korea Forces U.S. to Reconsider War Games at Regime’s Door
Democracy Now

As North Korea threatens to launch a nuclear attack on the United States, the Obama administration is quietly expressing concern its own recent actions may have been too provocative and could inadvertently trigger a deeper crisis. We discuss the latest on North Korea and tensions in the region with Christine Hong, assistant professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute. She has spent time in North Korea, including a visit to the country as part of a North American peace delegation.

To Watch the Episode

Waltz With Bashir (Israel/France/Germany/USA/Finland/Switzerland/Belgium/Australia: Ari Folman, 2008)

Waltz With Bashir (Israel/France/Germany/USA/Finland/Switzerland/Belgium/Australia: Ari Folman, 2008: 90 Mins)

Baker, Nicholson, et al. "Autobiography/Biography: Narrating the Self." Philoctetes (December 13, 2008)

Fainaru, Dan. "A Changing Landscape." International Film Guide: 2009. London: Wallflower Press, 2009: 53-63. [Available in BCTC Library PN1993.3 I544 2009]

Folman, Ari. "Waltz with Bashir." Worldview (January 23, 2009)

Hallinan, Chris. "The Lebanon Border: "Uniquely" Dangerous." Foreign Policy in Focus (September 1, 2010)

Kamiya, Gary. "What Waltz With Bashir can teach us about Gaza: The stunning new Israeli film reveals painful parallels between one of Israel's darkest moments and the current conflict." Salon (January 13, 2009)

Polonsky, David, et al. Waltz with Bashir: The Art Director’s Cut at War. Open Source (April 17, 2009)

Rozenkrantz, Jonathan. "Colourful Claims: towards a theory of animated documentary." Film International (May 6, 2011)

Democracy Now: Norman Finkelstein on What Gandhi Says About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage

Norman Finkelstein on What Gandhi Says About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage
Democracy Now

After an exhaustive study of Mahatma Gandhi’s works, scholar and activist Norman Finkelstein has written a new book about the principles of nonviolent resistance from the Indian struggle for independence to Tahrir Square and Zuccotti Park. He says Gandhi found "nothing more despicable than cowardice," and argued that nonviolence does not mean running away from danger. In fact, Gandhi argued that fighting a war with weapons takes less courage than nonviolent resistance in which "you’re supposed to march into the line of fire, smilingly and cheerfully, and get yourself blown to bits." Finkelstein’s new book is titled What Gandhi Says: About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage.

To Watch the Interview

Standard Operating Procedure (USA: Errol Morris, 2008)

Standard Operating Procedure (USA: Errol Morris, 2008: 116 mins)

Andrews, David. "Reframing Standard Operating Procedure: Errol Morris and the creative treatment of Abu Ghraib." Jump Cut #52 (Summer 2010)

Aradillas, Aaron and Matt Zoller Seitz. "5 on 24: A Five Part Video Essay on the Real Time Action Series. Moving Image Source (May 18, 2010)

Burris, Gregory A. "Shocked and Awed?: Hostel and the Spectacle of Self-Mutilation." Cine-Action #80 (2010)

Butler, Judith. "Torture and the Ethics of Photography." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space #25 (2007): 951 - 966.

Cockrell, Eddie. "Directors of the Year: Errol Morris." International Film Guide: 2005. ed. Daniel Rosenthal. Los Angeles: Silman James Press, 2005: 24-31.

Dunn, Timothy. "Torture, Terrorism, and 24: What Would Jack Bauer Do?." Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics Through Popular Culture." ed. Joseph Foy. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2008: 171-184. [Available in BCTC Library JK 31 H85 2008]

Fletcher, Phoebe. “Fucking Americans”: Postmodern Nationalisms in the Contemporary Splatter Film #18 (December 2009)

Hilden, Julie. "Free Speech and the Concept of "Torture Porn": Why are Critics So Hostile to Hostel II?" Find Law (July 16, 2007)

Kleinhans, Chuck. "Imagining Torture." Jump Cut #51 (Spring 2009)

Kleinhans, Chuck, John Hess and Julia Lesage. "The Last Word: Torture and the National Imagination." #50 (Summer 2008)

Lesage, Julie. "Torture Documentaries." Jump Cut #51 (Spring 2009)

Murray, Gabrielle. "Images of Torture, Images of Terror: Post 9/11 and the Escalation of Screen Violence." Monash University Film and TV Studies (Podcast of a Lecture: March 20, 2008)

Nichols, Bill. "Feelings of revulsion and the limits of academic discourse." Jump Cut #52 (Summer 2010)

Rosler, Martha. "A Simple Case for Torture." Jump Cut #51 (Spring 2009)

Torture (Archive on Dialogic: The culture and politics of "torture.")

Williams, Linda. "“Cluster Fuck”: The Forcible Frame in Errol Morris’s Standard Operating Procedure." Jump Cut #52 (Summer 2010)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Journalist/Prisoner


Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Wikipedia: Mumia Abu-Jamal

Abu-Jamal News: Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Prison Radio

The New York Times: Mumia Abu-Jamal

Democracy Now: Mumia Abu-Jamal

Resources by/about Mumia Abu-Jamal:

Abu-Jamal, Mumia. "Empire of Fear." (Audio posted on YouTube: May 9, 2006)

---. "Martin: In Memory and In Life." Huffington Post (April 8, 2013)

---. "The Occupation." Prison Radio (October 27, 2011)

---. "Racism Without Racists." Prison Radio (March 5, 2012)

---. "The United States Is Fast Becoming One of the Biggest Open-Air Prisons on Earth" Democracy Now (February 1, 2013)

---. "What Do They Want." Prison Radio (November 11, 2011)

Abu-Jamal, Mumia and Michael Parenti. "Created Unequal (Law, Money and Mumia Abu-Jamal)." Unwelcome Guests #6 (April 12, 2000)

Fernández, Johanna and Dave Lindorff. "As Competing Films Offer Differing Views on Faulkner Killing, New Evidence Suggests Key Witnesses Lied at Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Trial." Democracy Now (September 22, 2010)

Hanrahan, Noelle and Stephen Vittoria. "Long Distance Revolutionary: Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Journey from Black Panthers to Prison Journalist." Democracy Now (February 1, 2013)

Hedges, Chris. "The Unsilenced Voice of a ‘Long-Distance Revolutionary’." TruthDig (December 9, 2012)

In Prison My Whole Life (UK/USA: Marc Evans, 2007: 90 mins)

Taylor, Mark Lewis. "Why Freedom for Abu-Jamal Makes Even More Sense Now." Philadelphia Inquirer (Originally published in December 11,2011; reposted on his website on February 20, 2013)

Vittoria, Stephen. "Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal." Law and Disorder Radio (February 18, 2013)

Free Speech Radio News: Obama budget cuts social safety net for vulnerable groups, lowers some corporate taxes; Family of slain teen in Mexico call for investigation into Border Patrol shooting, release of video; In Indian-administered Kashmir, police’s use of pepper gas criticized for recent deaths; Mumia Abu-Jamal on the War of Words

Free Speech Radio News for April 10, 2013

Thousands rally in DC for immigration reform
Chicago gun control advocate wins special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.
Russia formally charges first NGO for not registering as a foreign agent
Advocates worry new free trade deal will signal end for cheap medication in India


Obama budget cuts social safety net for vulnerable groups, lowers some corporate taxes

President Barack Obama submitted his 2014 budget to Congress today. It includes measures to raise the minimum wage, fund preschool for low-income children, and invest in high-speed rail. It pays for this, in part, by raising taxes on the wealthy and ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies. But some economists and progressive lawmakers are speaking out against the package, saying it fails to address other corporate tax breaks that are contributing to US debt. Critics also say cuts to the social safety net will hurt the economy and the most vulnerable individuals in the country. On Capitol Hill, FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has more.

Family of slain teen in Mexico call for investigation into Border Patrol shooting, release of video

Today, in the US-Mexico border city of Nogales, demonstrators joined the family of a 16-year-old boy shot and killed by US Border Patrol agents last year. In October 2012, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was killed in a shooting at the border. Arizona police and Border Patrol said they were responding to a 911 call around 11:30 pm at night. But autopsy reports cited by the boy’s attorney showed that seven of the eight bullets fired entered Jose Antonio from behind, indicating that he may have been fired on while he was laying on the ground. An eyewitness also described Jose Antonio being struck by bullets while walking down the street, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The killing brings up the use of lethal force and other abuses by Border Patrol agents. Testimony began Tuesday in San Diego for the trial of Border Patrol Agent Luis Fonseca, accused of kneeing and choking a man into unconsciousness in 2011 at a border patrol station. A series of lawsuits filed in March by immigrants held by Border Patrol agents in Texas outline other abuses, including being forced to sit in freezing holding cells for days at a time. For more, we’re joined by Hannah Hafter, abuse documentation coordinator with No More Deaths, she’s one of the organizers of today’s event and joins us from Tucson.

In Indian-administered Kashmir, police’s use of pepper gas criticized for recent deaths

In Indian-administered Kashmir today, police clashed with public health workers in Srinagar. Police used batons to disperse hundreds of protesting workers, according to Kashmir Media Service and local media. Twenty were taken into police custody. The workers are demanding daily wages and pay to be dispersed regularly. They said they will launch more protests next week. The harsh response from police has recently come under criticism. Human rights advocates are raising concerns about their use of pepper gas on protesters, which can affect entire neighborhoods where it is used. Three deaths have been attributed to the use of pepper gas in recent months, all ordinary residents affected inside their homes. From Srinagar, FSRN's Shahnawaz Khan has the story.

Mumia Abu-Jamal on the War of Words

As war rhetoric continues in the Asia region and across the world, Mumia Abu-Jamal comments on "the war of words" in the current political climate.