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When Questlove of The Roots chose to introduce Michele Bachmann's appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with a few chords from punk band Fishbone's "Lyin' Ass Bitch," he was going for an easy joke. But true Fishbone fans, while elated that the fading, three-decade-old band was experiencing a pop cultural revival (and new dowloads) were also aware that "Lyin' Ass Bitch" was one of the less political songs of an extremely political band.
Born in the late seventies when its members were still in high school in the San Fernando Valley, Fishbone always crossed boundaries. They were a black punk band that incorporated rock, funk, reggae, and ska. Many have noted the irony that an African American band that influenced white musicians like Gwen Stefani, Flea, and even Kurt Cobain is now virtually unknown, while its proteges have surpassed it. (This is the topic of a new documentary on the band called Everyday Sunshine that I plan on seeing.) Fishbone was alt rock before the term existed. Questlove and his bandmates would be among the first to acknowledge the debt they owe to Fishbone, with whom they have toured.
A first person account of the Nov 14th raid on Occupy Oakland on November 14...
We expected a raid that night, most likely just before dawn. So after concluding our General Assembly of the evening, the Events Committee announced an emergency dance party, calling it "The Occupocalypse."
In response to the Occupy Movement and its perceived threat to the status quo, Congress will vote next week on Senate Bill 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, to explicitly create a police state. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will "basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield" and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial "American citizen or not." Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), also declared that the bill is needed because "America is part of the battlefield." Write your Senator NOW!
Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would remove the harmful provisions from the bill and in their place, mandate a process for Congress to use an orderly process to consider whether any detention legislation is needed.
Write to your Senators now at:
link to www.blacklistednews.com
The Occupy Movement couldn't have come along at a worse time, from the viewpoint of the Democrats. Election season is just getting started and Occupy has thrown a giant wrench into the political machinery. Some labor leaders too are sensing "politics as usual" shifting under their feet; the "get out the vote" for the Democrats may elicit blank stares from the rank and file.
Occupy has the potential to create earthquakes within the labor movement and labor's relationship to the Democrats, if it approaches the subject intelligently. This seismic shift could permanently change politics in the United States, much for the better. Many commentators have noted that the Occupy Movement can be only poison for the Democrats. Unlike the Republicans, who benefited from the corporate sponsored far-right Tea Party, the Democrats have no intention of moving - or even flirting - with an independent movement to its left. Long before the corporate Presidency of Bill Clinton, the Democrats have moved only to the right, with the leftist talk reserved strictly for election campaigns. This evolution is now to the point where President Obama stands to the right of President and arch-Conservative Richard Nixon on most economic and social issues. Times have certainly changed.
Proposal for a Coordinated West Coast Port Shutdown, Passed With Unanimous Consensus by vote of the Occupy Oakland General Assembly 11/18/2012: In response to coordinated attacks on the occupations and attacks on workers across the nation:
Occupy Oakland calls for the blockade and disruption of the economic apparatus of the 1% with a coordinated shutdown of ports on the entire West Coast on December 12th. The 1% has disrupted the lives of longshoremen and port truckers and the workers who create their wealth, just as coordinated nationwide police attacks have turned our cities into battlegrounds in an effort to disrupt our Occupy movement.
We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port. Our eyes are on the continued union-busting and attacks on organized labor, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington by the EGT. Already, Occupy Los Angeles has passed a resolution to carry out a port action on the Port Of Los Angeles on December 12th, to shut down SSA terminals, which are owned by Goldman Sachs.
A collection of videos taken from the multi-day event "Earth At Risk" - Occupy Oakland and UC Berkeley, November 2011.
I believe that Chris Hedges (part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002) was also interviewed at the UC Berkeley event. If anyone can find a link to a video of this, or other videos from the same event series, please post in the comments section. Thank you.
When the Occupy Portland encampment began on October 8th, we at KBOO knew that we would be very involved in reporting on the movement - the issues, the constituency involved, the bottom-up civic activism displayed by the camp's ad-hoc organizers all spoke directly to KBOO's long-established values of peace, justice, democracy, human rights, multiculturalism, freedom of expression and social change.
But I don't think any of us realized at the time just how entrenched our reporting would become.
Recently it has come to my attention that the global Occupations are being blamed for the disorderly behavior that is taking place at many of our protest sites. This is understandable, given that the power structure is hell bent on discrediting us by any means at their disposal. It is also laughable.
The problems we are facing were not created by us, but we deign to shed light on them and so we are blamed for them. The truth is, every person at our protest is there because the system is broken. If there were no occupations, the number of people experiencing homelessness would remain unchanged. If there were no occupations, there would remain on American streets over a million runaway youth.
The Occupy Portland website has gone out of its way time and time again to vilify anarchists and anyone else who dares to be so insolent as to promote or practice basic self-defense. How can we combat this fear-mongering and divisiveness?
For example, in a recent article on the website about how the media team really, really insists that the occupation adhere to their particular brand of 'non-violence,' they denounced the very idea that they might be appealing to such known trouble-makers as anarchists as a means of bolstering defense for the occupation. The implications are as obvious as they are offensive, especially considering, as many have pointed out, that much of the occupation is built on firmly anarchistic foundations, and that anarchists have played crucial roles in organizing and maintaining the occupation.
For a well written piece on how Occupy Oakland draws from anarchist inspiration, as does our own occupation, see here:
The Mayor is announcing that he will evict the occupation using force this Saturday. Let the Mayor know that he doesn't get to decide what happens here - the 99% do!
The violence being threatened against the occupation is the same violence used to evict people from their homes, the same violence used to drive out the poor and working class through the process of gentrification, the same violence that is used daily by the city and police to protect the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%. The fear mongering that has been occurring over the past week has been intentional, to alienate the occupation from it's supporters.
This Saturday, we need everyone who supports the right of the occupiers to exist, who opposes police violence, everyone who thinks that this moment in time is too important to give up on - we need all of you at the occupation on Saturday night. They hope to control us through fear - through fear of violence, fear of arrest. We must say that we will not be afraid anymore. That we will not be bullied into submission. For everyone who supports freedom and self-determination, this is your moment to act in defense of those values. All out to the occupation this Saturday! These moments don't happen often, this may be our last opportunity to come together as a people and challenge the powers that be - we can't let it go without a fight.
Long live the Portland Commune!
This article appeared earlier today on Blueoregon.com. I deeply appreciate their help getting out the word. And huge props to Mary Rose Lenore Eng and Joe Walsh, The Lone Vet, who are doing so much to raise awareness on this sorry episode in the annals of Portland State University & Oregon Health & Science University.
How can OHSU operate a renowned torture treatment center on one hand, and sponsor a local event featuring a former high government official who reportedly authorized torture on the other?
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools receiving federal funding MUST release students' personal information to military recruiters if they are to continue to receive funding. Students may opt-out of this military database at the beginning of the school year. "They'll know where you live.... They'll have your phone number.... They'll come to your door ... if you let them. Military recruiters, by strict authority of the No Child Left Behind Act, must be given the names, addresses and phone numbers of all high school students each year. Want to keep your privacy? You can be removed from the list of names by 'opting-out.'" The Full Picture, San Francisco, California
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Think it could only happen in Red China? Think again.
If you're not familiar with www.archive.org you should go there and look around. Every resource you can imagine for free.
I just went over to the Gresham Branch of Multnomah Library and tried to get on www.archive.org like I've been doing for years and got the message that the site was blocked by their "Commercial Filter".
NO. I did not forget to the check the NO FILTERING on login (Which should not have mattered anyway). Brought it to the librarian's attention, a pretty computer literate man, and showed him the problem. He was stumped and got his supervisor and she was stumped also. The said they would look into the problem. We will see what we will see and I will let you know the results later.
My concern was that if there is anywhere left for freedom and speech and information, it's archive.org. I told the librarians that they too should be concerned and suggested take a look at archive.org when they go home and see if they can think of a reason for it being blocked.
Environmentalism is the defining issue of our times. The ecological crisis is touching all of our lives. The environmental movement is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the forces of industry; at stake is the planet that gives us life.
Sycophantic environmentalists regularly dismiss the ELF as "ineffective" in the capitalist press. An odd invective indeed given that if we have different goals we are going to have different ideas of what "effective" means... The first guideline is "to inflict maximum economic damage to those who profit from the destruction and exploitation of the environment." This is the essence of ELF strategy, to force their targets to perform a cost benefit analysis, in which the target arrives at the decision that they should stop what they are doing because it is more expensive to continue than it would be profitable.
The ELF's greatest strength is that it cannot be physically destroyed, in past years the US government has had a certain amount of success in finding and imprisoning ELF soldiers. But ultimately it doesn't matter if they catch all members of the ELF because the group is not so much an organization as it is the living embodiment of an idea (the use of sabotage in defense of the Earth) and ideas cannot be jailed or killed.
Joe Hill "labor organizer, musician, song writer, revolutionary" was executed in 1915 by the state of Utah for a crime that many believe he did not commit. Now there's proof.
Big Bill Haywood used to call revolutionary industrial unionism, the organizing philosophy of the Industrial Workers of the World, "socialism with its working clothes on." Writing for the "International Socialist Review" from his prison cell, Joe Hill offered an example of such hands-on belief. Hill had recently arrived in Utah from the docks of California where many of the jobs were temporary. Therefore it was "to the interest of the workers 'to make the job last' as long as possible," Hill wrote in his article, "How to Make Work for the Unemployed."
June 2nd: To the indigenous peoples and peoples of the world. To the struggles built from below and whose origin is to the left, committed to the emblematic changes to which we are all dedicated and are a fundamental part of changing the world. To the women and men of this country who carry the world on their backs, the weight of a history plagued by injustice imposed by power. To those who dream of a great homeland, free and without any more blood, with which the poorest always pay, we who have decided to march to liberate our peoples at the cost of our lives, so that tomorrow our history has a future.
Our land, as in all of our continent called America, has been filled with innocent blood... Today, as they force us to mobilize in a caravan and they want to impose on us a destiny that is not ours, we have decided to renounce this path of death, we built the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala and we reassert it in order to give our families and people an alternative way of life...Therefore, today our intention to recover our community, the MARCH OF THE COLOR OF BLOOD is the cry of our peoples... JUSTICE FOR ALL OUR DEAD! JUSTICE FOR OUR PEOPLES! Jail Antonio Cruz Garcia and his paramilitaries!
For the autonomy of the Triqui people!
It's time to put the discussion of our national priorities and federal budget on track and that will require some perspective.
Witnessing the drama unfold as to whether the government will shut down or whether Congress will break the current gridlock is like watching clowns at a circus engaged in a water balloon fight.
Michele Bachmann actually said something useful in an interview I watched today on MSNBC. [...]
The Tea Party claims its candidates were charged by those who elected them to cut $100 billion from current fiscal year spending. Somehow that has been reduced to $61 billion and now the debate is where the reductions should be made. Republicans have made it clear they are across the board for cutting anything which is beneficial to middle and working class citizens. I won't bother even going into all of the programs they have demonized over the years and have on their hit list. Everyone already knows.
The point is that in the two weeks Congress has been bickering over the $61 billion, the country has borrowed three times that just to keep afloat. Let me add that in those two weeks $48 billion of that total borrowing was just interest, i. e. debt service on the debt.
Something is seriously wrong here.
A clear analysis of major problems in Mayor Sam Adams' JTTF proposal.
The draft JTTF resolution does a very good job trying to balance the interests of FBI with local interests in the abstract given that proposal choses to entangle the PPB with the JTTF once again. It is a really tremendous first effort and shows its roots in the diversity, creativity and populism of Portland and the Mayor's office. Certainly, a proposal not to coordinate with the JTTF except to receive information would be the more wise choice for safety and privacy of our citizens. Notwithstanding the poor choice to engage with the JTTF at all, there are several fatal flaws in the proposal as it stands which will ultimately fail again to protect the civil rights and liberties of Portland and Oregon citizens. Unfortunately, the proposal in its current form amounts to a return to business as usual for the PPB and JTTF. This draft is just the a kinder, gentler Old Emperor in new clothes that are not so transparent.
How do we escape a system that's tearing up the world? We say `no', and do things differently
"These are days of rage. Rage in the Arab world, of course, but also on the streets of Athens, Dublin, Rome, Paris, Madrid, and now a loud clamourous rage on the streets of London.
An age of crisis is an age of frustrated hopes, frustrated life. We want to go to university but it is too expensive. We need good healthcare, but we cannot pay for it. We need homes, and we can see homes standing empty, but they are not for us. Or, for the millions of people who are starving: we want to eat, we can see that there is plenty of food for everyone, but something stands between us and the food - money, or the lack of it.
And so we rage. We rage all the more because we do not know what to do with our rage, and how to use our rage to make the world a different place..."
to read John Holloway's article "Today's march is a challenge to the rule of money" published in: The Guardian UK, March 26, 2011, click on