Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.


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Billionaire Banker Bandit Likely to Become Next Commerce Secretary

Billionaire Banker Bandit Likely to Become Next Commerce Secretary.

A parade of media reports this week name Penny Pritzker as Obama’s prime choice for Secretary of Commerce. No longer will criminal bankers have to lobby the administration – because now they’ll have one of their own in the Cabinet.

We never heard of this guy Barack Obama until 2004. Less than three years before taking the presidency, he was in the Illinois state senate, a swamp of scammers, backhanders, and party machine tools – not a stellar launch pad for the White House. And then, one day, state Sen. Barack Obama was visited by his fairy godmother. Her name is Penny Pritzker.

Penny’s from Heaven?

Pritzger’s net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago.

Superior was the first of the deregulated go-go banks to go bust – at the time, the costliest failure ever. US taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Superior’s depositors lost millions and poor folk in Sen. Obama’s South Side district lost their homes.

Penny did not like paying $460 million. No, not one bit. What she needed was someone to give her Hope and Change. She hoped someone would change the banking regulators so she could get away with this crap.

This article is based on the New York Times bestseller: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, by Greg Palast with comics by Ted Rall. Available for a donation to Truthout.org.

Pritzker introduced Obama, the neophyte state senator, to the Ladies Who Lunch (that’s really what they call themselves) on Chicago’s Gold Coast. Obama got lunch, gold and better – an introduction to Robert Rubin. Rubin is a former Secretary of the Treasury, former chairman of Goldman Sachs and, when Robert met Barry, co-chairman of Citibank. Even atheists recognized Rubin as the Supreme Deity of Wall Street.

Rubin opened the doors to finance industry vaults for Obama. Extraordinarily for a Democrat, Obama in 2008 raised three times as much from bankers as his Republican opponent.

So what did Citibank’s Rubin get for showering Obama with gold? Obama agreed to take care of Rubin’s poodles, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. They became Obama’s first cabinet picks: Summers as Economics Czar and Geithner as his czarina, Secretary of the Treasury.

Geithner and Summers were the gents who, under Treasury Secretary Rubin, designed the deregulation of banking. In effect, they had decriminalized the kind of financial flim-flammery that brought the planet to its knees while bringing Rubin, Pritzker and the banksters loads of lucre.

So, in 2008, Summers and Geithner were put back in the saddle – Obama’s horse but Rubin’s saddle.

Rubin received more than $100 million from Citigroup, the gargantuan commercial bank/investment bank/casino created by deregulation. It is worth a mention that Rubin’s centi-million-dollar payoff went unchallenged by Citi’s new owner, the US Treasury, which had put up more than a trillion dollars in loans and guarantees to pull Rubin’s creature out of bankruptcy.

Rubin rocked, but Penny was pissed off.

Pritzker had taken this state senator/community organizer from the ghetto, made him a US Senator, then, as Obama’s campaign finance chairwoman, raised a mind-blowing three-quarters of a billion dollars to make him president.

In return, in 2008, Obama decided to make his patron Penny the Secretary of Commerce. But then, in November 2008, just as Obama was about to submit her nomination to Congress, a bunch of Pritzker’s victims marched on Washington. They were not from her busted bank, but unhappy workers from the lucrative nursing homes that her family owns through a string of complex offshore trusts. Obama slammed the door on Penny pronto.

In the 2012 campaign, Obama, to his credit, kept the door shut on Pritzker, reducing her to hosting an election fundraiser at her Gold Coast digs, which she had to bill as a Goldman Sachs PAC event. This marks possibly the first time anyone has used Goldman Sachs as a PR cover.

To Read the whole story-with links and cartoons please go to

Billionaire Banker Bandit Likely to Become Next Commerce Secretary.

Even tho I know this is how politics currently works I am so disappointed to read this about a President I admire.

I would like to ignore it, or discount it, but Truthout is not a source known for cheap shots, publishing unfounded or conspiracy theory based unsupported info.

The question is, will he keep playing along if there is pressure to act with integrity? Will he risk the ire of the billionaires to do what he said (and I believe firmly he meant!) that he got into office to do-which is work FOR the PEOPLE?

The only way we find out is by applying as much of that pressure as we can muster, keep praying and watch how it goes.

He did say he wanted us to watch what he does and call him on it if he does stuff that is not what he said, not what we elected him to do-and for sure helping these oligarch’s increase and maintain their power is NOT what we worked our butts off to get him elected to do!


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Native Rights Emergency in Canada RIGHT NOW- Bill C-428 (Please Share widely!)

I just received the text below in an email from my friend Harrison Friesen, who is a Native activist in Canada. I am going to do some research on C-428 and post articles as soon as I can. WordPress seems to hate my computer as it refuses to load 90% of the time so it may take me a bit to get things posted. Please feel free to share this, I think we are going to need some help and solidarity from people all over, both in Canada and other countries.
It appears to me that the cabal in their cornered rat phase are simply stepping up and making more obvious and severe all the horrid things they already do-so doing their utmost to disenfranchise and harm Native peoples is no surprise. It can’t be allowed to go forward tho-so please do whatever you can by sharing info, emailing leaders, protesting, praying etc and I will post more info as soon as I am able.

“The Harper Govt’s attempt to extinguish first nations rights is part of a plan not only to take away what our people have today but also what belongs to our children in the future.. If this bill C-428 passes the XL pipeline and the Enbridge pipeline will go through without hesitation and so will Bill C 45.
They will destroy the lands and poison the waters that belong to our children and our grandchildren..Under Bill C-428 without our treaties we can no longer fight as a first nation. We will become municipalities and will no longer have our reserves.. Those reserves that are not ready for self governence today will be most effected.. The people in those communites will suffer as their own people will have no choice but to head to urban cities to surive. Therefore breaking the circle that keeps us alive..

The threat is so serious that own Chiefs yesterday tried to storm the Parliament building in Ottawa… In the past I have stood amongst warriors and I have participated in blockades, occupations, stand offs and many protests across this country.. I have seen the fucking fear in their eyes first hand and I have seen them retreat right in front of me.. They are not invincible..
Today we must fight and make stand like no other in our history.. I myself am not afraid to be imprisoned or to give my life to defend our nations, mother earth or the future of my children and grandchildren.. We are about to be wiped out!! And in the words of sitting bull, if we are going to die, we are going defending our rights. What happened in Oka in 1990 will be nothing compared to what is about to take place. Creator protect us all.” Harrison Friesen December 5, 2012


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An Open Letter to President Obama …from Michael Moore

An Open Letter to President Obama …from Michael Moore
Monday, November 19th, 2012

Dear President Obama:

Good luck on your journeys overseas this week, and congratulations on decisively winning your second term as our president! The first time you won four years ago, most of us couldn’t contain our joy and found ourselves literally in tears over your victory.

This time, it was more like breathing a huge sigh of relief. But, like the smooth guy you are, you scored the highest percentage of the vote of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson, and you racked up the most votes for a Democratic president in the history of the United States (the only one to receive more votes than you was … you, in ’08!). You are the first Democrat to get more than 50% of the vote twice in a row since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This was truly another historic election and I would like to take a few minutes of your time to respectfully ask that your second term not resemble your first term.

It’s not that you didn’t get anything done. You got A LOT done. But there are some very huge issues that have been left unresolved and, dammit, we need you to get some fight in you. Wall Street and the uber-rich have been conducting a bloody class war for over 30 years and it’s about time they were stopped.

I know it is not in your nature to be aggressive or confrontational. But, please, Barack – DO NOT listen to the pundits who are telling you to make the “grand compromise” or move to the “center” (FYI – you’re already there). Your fellow citizens have spoken and we have rejected the crazed ideology of this Republican Party and we insist that you forcefully proceed in bringing about profound change that will improve the lives of the 99%. We’re done hoping. We want real change. And, if we can’t get it in the second term of a great and good man like you, then really – what’s the use? Why are we even bothering? Yes, we’re that discouraged and disenchanted.

At your first post-election press conference last Wednesday you were on fire. The way you went all “Taxi Driver” on McCain and company (“You talkin’ to me?”) was so brilliant and breathtaking I had to play it back a dozen times just to maintain the contact high. Jesus, that look – for a second I thought laser beams would be shooting out of your eyes! MORE OF THAT!! PLEASE!!

In the weeks after your first election you celebrated by hiring the Goldman Sachs boys and Wall Street darlings to run our economy. Talk about a buzzkill that I never fully recovered from. Please – not this time. This time take a stand for all the rest of us – and if you do, tens of millions of us will not only have your back, we will swoop down on Congress in a force so large they won’t know what hit them (that’s right, McConnell – you’re on the retirement list we’ve put together for 2014).

BUT – first you have to do the job we elected you to do. You have to take your massive 126-electoral vote margin and just go for it.

Here are my suggestions:

1. DRIVE THE RICH RIGHT OFF THEIR FISCAL CLIFF. The “fiscal cliff” is a ruse, an invention by the Right and the rich, to try and keep their huge tax breaks. On December 31, let ALL the tax cuts expire. Then, on January 1, put forth a bill that restores the tax cuts for 98% of the public. I dare the Republicans to vote against that! They can’t and they won’t. As for the spending cuts, the 2011 agreement states that, for every domestic program dollar the Republicans want to cut, a Pentagon dollar must also be cut. See, you are a genius! No way will the Right vote against the masters of war. And if by some chance they do, you can immediately put forth legislation to restore all the programs we, the majority, approve of. And for God’s sake, man – declare Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid untouchable. They’re not bankrupt or anywhere near it. If the rich paid the same percentage of Social Security tax on their entire income – the same exact rate everyone else pays – then there will suddenly be enough money in Social Security to last til at least the year 2080!

2. END ALL THE WARS NOW. Do not continue the war in Afghanistan (a thoroughly losing proposition if ever there was one) for two full more years! Why should one single more person have to die FOR NO REASON? Stop it. You know it’s wrong. Bin Laden’s dead, al Qaeda is decimated and the Afghans have to work out their own problems. Also, end the drone strikes and other covert military activities you are conducting in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Colombia and God knows where else. You think history is going to remember the United States as a great democracy? No, they’re going to think of us as a nation that became addicted to war. They’ll call us warlords. They’ll say that in the 21st century America was so in need of oil that we’d kill anyone to get it. You know that’s where this is going. This has to stop. Now.

3. END THE DRUG WAR. It is not only an abysmal failure, it has returned us to the days of slavery. We have locked up millions of African-Americans and Latinos and now fund a private prison-industrial complex that makes billions for a few lucky rich people. There are other ways to deal with the drugs that do cause harm – ways built around a sense of decency and compassion. We look like a bunch of sadistic racists. Stop it.

4. DECLARE A MORATORIUM ON HOME FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS. Millions of people are facing homelessness because of a crooked system enacted by the major banks and Wall Street firms. Put a pause on this and take 12 months to work out a different way (like, restructuring families’ mortgages to reflect the true worth of their homes).

5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. You already know this one. The public is sick of it. Now’s the time to act.

6. EXPAND OBAMACARE. Your health care law doesn’t cover everyone. It is a cash cow for the insurance industry. Push for a single-payer system – Medicare for All – and include dentistry and mental health. This is the single biggest thing you could do to reduce the country’s deficit.

7. RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL. You must put back all the rigid controls on Wall Street that Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes removed – or else we face the possibility of another, much worse, crash. If they break the law, prosecute them the way you currently go after whistleblowers and medical marijuana dispensaries.

8. REDUCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. No 22-year-old should have to enter the real world already in a virtual debtors’ prison. This is cruel and no other democracy does this like we do. You were right to eliminate the banks as the profit-gouging lenders, but now you have to bring us back to the days when you and I were of college age and a good education cost us little or next to nothing. A few less wars would go a long to way to being able to afford this.

9. FREE BRADLEY MANNING. End the persecution and prosecution of an American hero. Bush and Cheney lied to a nation to convince us to go to war. Manning allegedly hacked the war criminals’ files and then shared them with the American public (and the world) so that we could learn the truth about Iraq and Afghanistan. Our history is full of such people who “break the law” for the greater good of humanity. Army Specialist Bradley Manning deserves a medal, not prison.

10. ASK US TO DO SOMETHING. One thing is clear: none of the above is going to happen if you don’t immediately mobilize the 63,500,000 who voted for you (and the other 40 million who are for you but didn’t vote). You can’t go this alone. You need an army of everyday Americans who will fight alongside you to make this a more just and peaceful nation. In your 2008 campaign, you were a pioneer in using social media to win the election. Over 15 million of us gave you our cell numbers or email addresses so you could send us texts and emails telling us what needed to be done to win the election. Then, as soon as you won, it was as if you hit the delete button. We never heard from you again. (Until this past year when you kept texting us to send you $25. Inspiring.) Whoever your internet and social media people were should have been given their own office in the West Wing – and we should have heard from you. Constantly. Need a bill passed? Text us and we will mobilize! The Republicans are filibustering? We can stop them! They won’t approve your choice for Secretary of State? We’ll see about that! You say you were a community organizer. Please – start acting like one.

The next four years can be one of those presidential terms that changed the course of America. I’m sure you will want to be judged on how you stood up for us, restored the middle class, ended the s***ting on the poor and made us a friend to the rest of the world instead of a threat. You can do this. We can do it with you. All that stands in the way is your understandable desire to sing “Kumbaya” with the Republicans. Don’t waste your breath. Their professed love of America is negated by their profound hatred of you. Don’t waste a minute on them. Fix the sad mess we’re in. Go back and read this month’s election results. We’re with you.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@MichaelMoore.com
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com


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White House.Gov Petition for Palestine

Please sign this petition and post it everywhere, share it with everyone you can.
It is an absolute travesty that my President who I voted for and worked to elect would continue the grotesque and ridiculous “Negroponte Doctrine” of supporting and blocking criticism of Israel’s actions at the UN no matter WHAT they do.
Are we Israeli’s or Americans? Why should we OBEY a foreign government at all much less when they are committing obvious and obscene human rights violations?
There was apparently a peace accord being worked on behind the scenes between the Palestinian Hamas leader who was murdered the other day and some faction of the Israeli government.
It is sick that the faction in power is more invested in power than in PEACE for ALL citizens there, Israeli and Palestinian. The PEOPLE are suffering on both sides, and it is up to US in the USA to stop the support that allows the nutjobs in power there to keep the suffering going. Without Obama’s backing Netanyahu cannot keep this up.
PLEASE sign this and share it widely!

http://wh.gov/XBvd

we petition the obama administration to:
Demand Israel end its attacks on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian territories
Israel is attack Gaza and killing innocent people everyday. This needs to end now. America we cannot stand for this!

Created: Nov 15, 2012

Signatures needed by December 15, 2012 to reach goal of 25,000
24,410
Total signatures on this petition
590
http://wh.gov/XBvd


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Demonizing the Enemy: Four Myths about Iran which need to be Debunked

For original article please click link below

Demonizing the Enemy: Four Myths about Iran which need to be Debunked
By Kourosh Ziabari
Global Research, November 10, 2012
Region: Middle East & North Africa
In-depth Report: IRAN: THE NEXT WAR?

It’s not my words, but I’ve learnt it from tens of foreign tourists, journalists and academicians who have traveled to Iran in the recent years, that Iran is the most misrepresented and misunderstood country in the world.

In a concerted and mischievous attempt, the world’s mainstream media have started to pull out all the stops in order to portray Iran a dangerous, abnormal, weird and horrible country which is seeking to develop nuclear weapons in order to annihilate Israel. Iranians are brazenly depicted as fanatics, terrorists and uncivilized people and the whole Iran is shown as an out-of-the-way desert in which no trace of civilization, urban life and modernity can be found.

Demonizing and isolating Iran can be seen as part of a comprehensive and multifaceted campaign of ostracizing and vilifying the Muslim world which has been intensified since the 9/11 attacks which were blamed on the Muslims and set in motion the Global War on Terror.

Before coming to Iran, every foreign tourist fears that he might be killed, or at least arrested as a spy. They perceive Iran in terms of the stereotypes and clichés which the mainstream media present to them, and many of them are even unaware of the fact that Iranians are the same Persians who lived in the Ancient Persia for more than 7,500 years.

There are some famous myths about Iran which many people across the world have come to believe, and I would like to rebuff them here as best as I can:

1- Iranians are terrorists

If we interpret and translate “terrorism” as an act of coercing, terrorizing or killing innocent people with the objective of spreading horror or showing off prowess and influence, Iran cannot be called a terrorist or even a state sponsor of terrorism as the ardent enemies of Iran maintain. The last time that Iran invaded and attacked a sovereign nation dates back to 1738, when the Afsharid king Nadir Shah invaded India. This means that for the past 274 years, Iran has been a pacifist country which has never harmed or harassed other countries, even its neighbors, despite the fact that many of its neighbors have been constantly provoking and intriguing it confrontationally.

Compare this fact with the ceaseless, bloody wars which the United States has been involved in. Since its independence in 1776, the United States has been engaged in more than 50 military expeditions. In his groundbreaking 2011 book “The Deaths of Others”, American public intellectual and Executive Director and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s Center for International Studies John Tirman discusses in details the casualties caused by the U.S. wars throughout the past three centuries. Unlike many of us who don’t dare to question the inattentiveness of the U.S. public and mainstream media to the civilian casualties of the wars Uncle Sam wages, Tirman documents in detail “the fate of civilians in the America’s wars.” Tirman admits in his book that between six and seven million people were killed in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq wars alone, the majority of whom were innocent civilians. We don’t need to be a history expert to figure out how many unarmed civilians, including women and children, died in the military expeditions of the U.S. around the world. In an inclusive study carried out by James A. Lucas, published on Counter Currents in 2007, the civilian casualties of the U.S. wars were documented elaborately.

“The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan,” he writes.

Just imagine for a moment that it were Iran that had destroyed and claimed the lives of several millions of innocent citizens in tens of wars and attacks on other countries. What would have happened? So, who does really deserve the title of “state sponsor of terrorism?” Is it that being killed at the hands of an American soldier is an honor? Is it that the U.S. has the right to wipe out thousands of lives at will, without being held responsible?

2- Iranians are uncivilized

Many of those who think of Iran as an uncivilized and uncultured country are simply unaware of the realities of Iran’s impressive and ancient culture, civilization. Iran is the oldest country in the world in terms of formation date. The first urban settlements in Ancient Persia date back to 4,000 BC, and it’s widely believed that the first Persian Empire was established in 3,200 BC. The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran were found in the Kashafrud and Ganj Par sites in the Lower Paleolithic age, that is, around 300,000 years ago.

The Middle East’s largest museum of Paleolithic Age artifacts is located in the Iranian city of Kermanshah. The world’s oldest artificial water reservoirs are located in Iran. Iran is the world’s number one producer and exporter of hand-made carpets, which is an inseparable constituent of Persian culture. The world’s largest collection of imperial jewels belongs to Iran. Iranian architecture is one of the hallmarks of Islamic architecture and tens of magnificent ancient mosques, caravanserais, churches, bridges and palaces which can be found all around Iran testify to the fact that Iranian architecture is an unparalleled legacy which doesn’t have any competitor in the world.

Iranians have historically made invaluable and priceless contributions to world culture, science, economy and lifestyle. It might be interesting for you to know that the first bricks to be used in architectural designs were made by Iranians. The earliest ziggurat was constructed in Iran in the Sialk historical site. Around 5,000 BC, Iranians were the first people to invent Tar (lute) which subsequently lead to the development of guitar. The world’s first declaration of human rights was compiled in Iran by Cyrus the Great from 576 to 529 BC in what is today known as the Cyrus Cylinder which is being kept in the British Museum. The world’s first Yakhchal (ancient refrigerator) was designed in Iran in around 400 BC. According to archaeological findings, Iranians invented the first batteries which they supposedly used for electroplating. Iranian scientist Rhazes was the first scholar in the world who introduced the systematic use of alcohol in Medicine in around 846 AD. The Canon of Medicine which is seen as one of the most fundamental and foundational manuals in the history of modern medicine was written by Iranian scientist Avicenna almost one thousand years ago.

But let’s forget about all of the cultural and scientific breakthroughs and achievements of Iranians throughout the course of history. What makes Iranian people different from the other nations and gives them a unique and matchless identity is their sense of civility, courtesy and modesty. You can never find in Iranian movies and films that kind of violence and aggressiveness which is rampant in the American movies. The daily conversations of Iranians with each other are resplendent with proverbs, poetry and literary connotations. Compliment to the women, the elderly and children, is part of Iranian lifestyle and culture. Modesty and humility is a virtue among Iranians, while in many Western countries, the more assertive and forceful you are, the more acceptable you will be. These are things which many people don’t know about Iran.

3- The Iranian government represses the women

The dogma that Iran is not a safe place for women and that the Iranian government represses and suppresses the women is believed by many people around the world, and the reason is the malicious machinations of the mainstream media. There’s no shred of evidence to verify this claim, while there’s a plethora of evidence confirming the opposite.

While the women in Saudi Arabia, a stalwart ally of the United States, don’t have the right to vote in elections or drive cars, Iranian women run the universities, scientific institutes and even governmental positions. Iran’s health minister, Dr. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, is a woman. Iran’s vice president in charge of science and research affairs is a woman. For many years, the head of Iran’s department of environment was a woman, namely Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar. According to Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, 60% of the newly enrolled students of Iranian universities in 2012 were female. I don’t know what criteria do the opponents of Iranian government need to base their judgment of the state of Iranian women on. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian Parliament (Majlis) has had several female MPs each term. If the number of female MPs has not equaled that of the male MPs, it is not because the government has imposed a certain restriction. It’s simply because the people have not voted for them! I think in some cases, the government has been even more lenient to the women than to the men. It’s an unwritten international custom that women, like the men, will be recruited to attend military service, but in Iran, the women are exempted from conscription, because the government thinks it might be harmful to them. So, can anybody tell me please, in what ways does the Iranian government repress the women?

4- Iran is developing nuclear weapons

Yes; there has been a huge controversy over Iran’s nuclear program, but I think those who have created such a hullabaloo have hardly forgotten the fact that Iran’s nuclear program was initiated by the U.S. government in 1950s in the framework of the Atoms for Peace program by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. At that time, Iran was still a U.S. ally, and thus entitled to develop nuclear energy. Now that Iran is not the staunch ally of the United States, it should not be granted the right to have nuclear energy, even for peaceful purposes. Just think about the depth of the hypocrisy!

Those who pretend that Iran intends to create nuclear weapons don’t have any evidence to validate their claim. It’s again the black propaganda of the mainstream media that induces the people to think this way. Despite the fact that Iran is under four rounds of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and different types of sanctions by the United States and its allies, no report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could provide credible evidence and document that Iran’s nuclear program has a military dimension. Even the 2010 National Intelligence Estimate report affirmed that Iran does not have an intention to build nuclear weapons. So, I can’t really understand why do the United States and its European allies are so much adamantly insisting that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and should be stopped.

The sanctions which the United States and EU have imposed on Iran are taking a heavy toll on the ordinary Iranian citizens. The citizens are denied access to medicine, foodstuff, humanitarian goods and other basic commodities as a result of the sanctions. The value of Iranian currency (rial) has depreciated incredibly and the businessmen are facing serious problems importing goods from other countries. Foreign travelling has become unbelievably difficult due to the skyrocketing hike in the air travel expenses and also since the foreign embassies in Iran have created serious obstacles in issuing visas for Iranian citizens.

This is an unspeakable collective punishment of Iranians for a crime they have never committed.

There are many other myths about Iran and daily life in Iran which need to be exposed to the people around the world; however, I discussed some of the most egregious ones here. Those who have realized the realities of Iran will laugh at and ridicule the falsehood and misinformation which the propaganda machinery of the West fabricates about Iran. Maybe the best example of the dedication and commitment of an American citizen to the “real” Iran is incarnated in Prof. Richard Nelson Frye, the American Iranologist of the Harvard University who asked the Iranian president a few years ago to be allowed to be buried near the ancient Iranian city of Isfahan after his death.

Let’s put out of your mind the propaganda and media hype about Iran. You can know this misunderstood country only when you throw away the preconceptions and dedicate a few weeks to travel to the world’s oldest civilization and see with your own eyes what you cannot ever see or find on Fox News, CNN, BBC, Washington Post and New York Times.

Copyright © Kourosh Ziabari, Global Research, 2012
http://www.globalresearch.ca/demonizing-the-enemy-four-myths-about-iran-which-need-to-be-debunked/5311327


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Bill McKibben’s Math: Climate Change Hits Home (in a 22-City Tour) by Phil Aroneanu — YES! Magazine

Bill McKibben’s Math: Climate Change Hits Home (in a 22-City Tour) by Phil Aroneanu — YES! Magazine.

Bill McKibben’s Math: Climate Change Hits Home (in a 22-City Tour)
It shouldn’t take a hurricane to blow open the debate about climate change. But Sandy might help 350.org prove what’s at stake in a nationwide campaign to divest university endowments from the fossil fuel industry.
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by Phil Aroneanu
posted Nov 05, 2012

Flooded Bridge photo by Barry Yanowitz

Photo by Barry Yanowitz.

Phil Aroneanu is an organizer with 350.org

For two hours last Monday night, New York City got pummeled by Hurricane Sandy, along with much of the New Jersey and Connecticut coast. The windows started bowing and rattling with every gust, and rain pelted the glass sideways. Nobody was on the streets.

Sitting in our third-floor apartment in Brooklyn, my wife and I pretended to read our books and traded nervous looks each time a gust shook the hatch that leads up to our roof. I’d been following the reports closely, so I knew we weren’t in danger of getting flooded. But like many people around the world, I was glued to the white glow of my smartphone as my Twitter feed flooded with images of rising waters on the Jersey shore and in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Sitting in my apartment last week, it felt like all the work I had done over the past few years had come to naught—we’d failed in our mission of, and this was the beginning of the end.

That night, I finally understood what many of my friends in Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and countless other places on the planet must feel each time a massive typhoon or record flooding hits. Climate change finally hit home for me: I was experiencing it in my own house and on my own skin.

For the first time since 2009, when the United States Senate voted down an ill-fated climate bill, politicians seem to be connecting the dots between extreme weather and climate change. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo broke the election-year silence around the issue in a press conference just 36 hours after the storm passed, and Mayor Bloomberg trumpeted President Obama’s climate credentials in an endorsement the next day.

Times Square photo by 350.org

As Hurricane Sandy barrels down on the East Coast, a group of activists with 350.org unfurls a giant parachute banner.

Photo courtesy of 350.org.

“Climate change is a reality,” Cuomo said. “Extreme weather is a reality. It is a reality that we are vulnerable.”

It shouldn’t take a hurricane to blow open the debate about climate change. But sometimes—especially in politics—reality needs to bust in at gale force to push back the millions of dollars that fossil fuel companies have spent in a 20-year effort to strongarm, threaten, and lobby politicians to stay quiet about climate.

And yet, sitting in my apartment last week, I wasn’t thinking about climate science or politics. I was emotional: tired, raw, and defeated. It felt like all the work I had done with my colleagues at 350.org over the past few years had come to naught—we’d failed in our mission of warning the globe about climate catastrophe, and this was the beginning of the end. How could we possibly fight the fossil fuel companies who insist on dumping carbon into the atmosphere, blocking progress on clean energy, and warming the planet, when we’re busy recovering from the second “once-in-a-lifetime” storm in just two years?

As I watched people in my neighborhood pick themselves up, clear trash and branches off the sidewalks in front of their houses, and get back to work, my fatigue gave way to the fighting spirit that New Yorkers showed after 9/11—I was angry. Righteously angry.

It’s that fighting spirit that we’re bringing to Do the Math, 350.org’s 22-city tour that connects the dots between climate change, politics, and the fossil fuel industry.

taxicabs hurricane sandy by Dave S-555.jpg
What Climate-Driven Hurricane Sandy Teaches about Cooperation
It’s 3 a.m. and the wind’s howling. Do you know your neighbors?

In an effort to silence action on climate change, coal, oil, and gas companies have dumped more than $153 million into the 2012 presidential election alone. That’s a cynical move, as these companies already possess reserves of oil, gas, and coal that, if burned, would release five times the amount of carbon that the planet’s atmosphere can safely hold. It’s clear that the fossil fuel industry has become a rogue force—its business model is predicated on burning up the planet, and it consistently frustrates progress on clean energy.

In each of the 22 cities, 350.org and a whole crew of partners will kick off a campaign to divest University endowments from any stocks, bonds, and funds that include fossil fuel companies. It will echo the divestment effort of the 1980s that brought South Africa’s apartheid government to its knees. Student activists across the country are already sounding the alarm on fossil fuel investments, making the case that a Sandy-like future is no future at all. Folks from East Texas to the Pacific Northwest to New England are leaning into local and regional fossil fuel infrastructure campaigns, fighting tar sands pipelines and coal ports.

Fossil fuel companies have already increased the world’s temperature by one degree, and Hurricane Sandy, along with the wildfires, droughts, record heat, and floods of 2012, is the result. It’s time to fight back.

Phil Aroneanu wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. In, 2007 he co-founded the Step It Up campaign with a small group of students and author/activist Bill McKibben. In 2008, the group built on the success of Step It Up to launch the innovative 350.org. Phil currently serves as campaign director of 350.org.


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Tomorrow …a letter from Michael Moore

Tomorrow …a letter from Michael Moore

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Friends,

Tomorrow, the bankers and corporate chiefs are planning an historic victory party. With the election of Mitt Romney, their takeover of American democracy would be complete.

They thought they had accomplished that four years ago when they backed Barack Obama (he received more money from Wall Street than McCain; Goldman Sachs was his #1 private contributor). And even though he never put a single one of them of any consequence in jail and never signed any bill that would truly stop their out-of-control greed; and even though he placed two of Wall Street’s favorite operatives – Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers – in charge of the Treasury and economic policy; and even though he let them use bailout money – our money – to give themselves lavish bonuses after they wrecked our economy; and even though he didn’t go for a single-payer health care system and made sure that under “Obamacare” no insurance company would be fined more than $100 a day for denying a person with a pre-existing condition (thus removing many of the teeth the new law had); and even though he let them keep their Bush tax cut for another four years – yes, even after doing all of that for the wealthiest 1%, it still wasn’t enough for them, so they decided to turn on him in a vicious way. They decided that they could literally buy an election and toss him to the curb. Why? Because he enacted a little “reform.” Because he wants them to pay just a tiny bit more in taxes. Because, deep down, they know what we know deep down – that Barack Obama, if given a second term, is going to put the brakes on them. They know that Barack Obama will appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United. And they know that next time they crash our economy, some of them will, hopefully, be going to jail.

And they believe they can stop him tomorrow by having bamboozled enough of those “47%”, those moochers, to vote for one of their own – Mitt Romney. A man who, like them, believes big business should have no restraints. A man who pays next to nothing in taxes. A man who has destroyed the livings of thousands of working Americans. A man who hides his money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands and won’t show us what’s on his tax returns for the past decade.

This is who they want elected president tomorrow – and if this happens, their goal of complete corporate control of the three branches of government will be complete.

Trust me, if they succeed, we may never get it back.

There were two things in the news these past couple weeks that unfortunately got little attention. But these two stories say it all about the America we will have unless these people are stopped.

One was a story in The Nation that exposed how Romney, while publicly opposing the auto company bailout, secretly got in on the action with his Wall Street donors – and made over $15 million, a 4,000% return on his investment (which he hid in a blind trust in his wife’s name) by buying up the Delphi auto parts company, the former Delco/AC Spark Plug division of GM where my dad worked. He then – get this – grabbed billions in bailout cash to “transform” it from bankrupt to a “viable business.” Except what he really did was slash retiree pensions, shut down 24 U.S. factories, and ship all 25,200 union jobs to China. You’d think he’d keep quiet about Delphi – but no, he’s got his supporters running ads in Ohio blaming Barack Obama for terminating the Delphi pensions – I kid you not. (When I opposed the Iraq War, Romneyites and the like called me a “traitor”; when Romney does this traitorous act destroying jobs and sending them to China, his reward, in addition to the millions he pocketed, may be the presidency tomorrow.)

The other story was a bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature that would allow businesses to take the state income taxes they withhold from their employees’ paychecks and KEEP THE MONEY FOR THEMSELVES! That’s right. Your taxes that you pay to the state won’t go to the state anymore – they’ll just go right into the pockets of your bosses. I was stunned to find out that other states are already doing this as an “incentive” to lure or keep businesses in their states. Let’s be clear what this is about: the final merging that’s taking place between the corporate and political power structures, coming together as one, and making the workers (serfs) pay tribute to their employer (the overlord). Welcome to the New Feudalism.

So tomorrow it’s High Noon in the USA, a literal showdown on the Main Streets of America between the rich and everyone else. The 1% truly believe they can defeat the 99%. As the conservative commentator Stephen Moore (who sits on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal) said, “Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy. I’m not even a big believer in democracy.” Citibank, in an internal memo, said that the only thing that stands in the way of the plutocrats is, well, elections: “[T]he rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash…Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfrachisement remains as was – one person, one vote…[W]e are keeping a close eye on developments.”

We have the chance tomorrow to defeat them. They’re counting on us not even showing up. The line in the sand has been drawn. Please do whatever you can today and tomorrow to get everyone you know to the polls – especially any relatives or friends in swing states. Even if you don’t live in a swing state, you need to make a loud statement that you won’t let this happen. And you need to take the House away from the Republicans so some work in Washington can get done.

To volunteer to walk precincts and get out the vote near where you live, go here. Or make calls to swing state voters. And don’t forget that I need each of you to convince just one non-voter to vote tomorrow so that we can deliver the million-vote margin that could make all the difference.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Now go act as if your democracy depended on it – because it does.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@MichaelMoore.com
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com


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Obama Must Use Military to Ensure a Free and Fair Election

Obama Must Use Military to Ensure a Free and Fair Election
November 4, 2012
http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/obama-must-use-military-to-ensure-a-free-and-fair-election

Editor’s note: if you agree with this note, please call your local and national media and ask them to report on this appeal to Obama. They can speak to Tikkun staff at 510-644-1200.

Obama Must Use Military to Ensure a Free and Fair Election
By Jonathan Klate

Witnessing this presidential election drama is like a nightmare in which a catastrophic multi-car collision on a fog shrouded, rain-slicked interstate is developing in slow motion. You see it from above, the helicopter view. The cars begin to skid and spin slowly out of control, hurtling towards each other, the inevitable crunches of steel and cascades of splintered glass anticipated. You are powerless to stop it. And, what is worse, in the surreal dreamscape, you are also a passenger in one of the cars.

Newly enacted rules regarding who may vote, when they may register, what sort of never before required ID will be required and who faces discouraging obstacles in obtaining it, how underserved will be certain voting precincts resulting in lines and waits so long as to effectively disenfranchise many hoping to vote, and challenges to citizens rights by vigilante mobs are widely forecast to compromise and potentially cast doubt upon the outcome of this election.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, featuring some of the most prestigious scholars in the field of voting rights, reports that the breakdown of those without government issued photo ID includes 6 million seniors, 5.5 million African Americans, 8.1 million Hispanics, 4.5 million eighteen- to twenty-four-year olds, and 15 percent of voters with household income under $35,000 a year.

There’s some double-counting due to group overlap, but the net result is that some five million voters are losing their civil rights, overwhelmingly in twelve “battleground” states.

This is compounded greatly by the purges in Florida, Ohio, and elsewhere of likely Democratic voters. And all of this comes before the actual voting and counting which is itself egregiously suspect due to privately owned, coded, and operated electronic voting machines by companies without federal oversight including notoriously those in Ohio where the election may well be decided by an outfit in which the son of candidate Romney has an influential financial interest.

Things are so ominous that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy observers from its human rights office around the country on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places and efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.

All signs indicate that the election will be dramatically close and likely come down to a contest between Democratic turnout efforts and Republican suppressive action, according these corrupting factors the potential to be decisive. Obama’s strategy seems to be winning with enough of a margin to render cheating too problematic for the opposition to overcome his actual advantage. But, with current polls projecting a photo finish, this is a dubious game plan.

If the election process is compromised the only mechanism for remedial action will be in the courts and the only venue with sufficient authority to mandate adherence to a decision determining the outcome will be the Supreme Court. The justices perpetrated one of the grand travesties of American judicial history in 2000, and the right is lawyered up and ready to bring the fight across all of the swing states and to the Supremes in the event of disputed outcomes. If they do it again, will Obama deem it his solemn responsibility to enforce a blatantly political, extra-Constitutional decision, acquiescing meekly as did Gore and our president at the time, Bill Clinton? One is compelled to imagine that he would.

Thus Obama must pre-empt such an eventuality and use every mode and method of power at his command to guarantee the right of every citizen to vote wherever it is deemed to be threatened, whether by jurisdictional authority or by vigilante activism.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent the 101st Airborne into Little Rock when the governor of that state refused to enforce the rights of all Americans to attend school together. It was the right thing to do then and similar action is required now. After the election devolves into dispute will be too late.

Here is the kind of speech I would hope to hear President Obama deliver, and the sooner the better.

“My Fellow Americans, When you elected me as your president, I placed my hand upon the Holy Bible, and I swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Nothing is more fundamental to our nation and its constitution than the right to vote.

Brave Americans have fought and died through the centuries and are doing so today to guarantee the right to free and fair elections in far flung places around our world, so important to us as a people is this principle, not just for ourselves, but for everyone.

Nobody should be able to vote who does not qualify to do so according to the Constitution of the United States of America. Fortunately, this has rarely happened. In our long national history, however, many people, whole classes of people, have been denied this right. We must ensure that those days of disenfranchisement of our citizenry never return.

Everybody who does qualify and wants to vote must not have that right compromised, hindered, threatened or violated; not by any state or municipal authority; not by accidental misapplication of constitutional law; not by inadequate facilities or personnel; not due to discriminatory difficulties in accessing polling places that privilege one group of voters over another; and certainly not by the intimidation of vigilante mobs. Furthermore, the counting of votes must be done without the slightest suspicion of discrepancy. This is how we determine the will of the people.

In my view, the obstruction or intimidation of one single American from exercising their right to vote must be regarded as akin to terrorism, and must be prevented from occurring anywhere.

In order to uphold and defend the constitutionally guaranteed right to vote I will, as your president and Commander-in-Chief, utilize any and all powers of our federal government to observe, monitor, and – when and if necessary – enforce this right if it is in the process of being infringed. Monitors, backed by any required presence of federal authority, will be sent to any jurisdiction where information suggests infringement may occur, according to information gathered by the Department of Justice.

We will rely upon local law enforcement to do its job in every jurisdiction. We will reinforce this presence, should in our judgment it be required, by the armed forces of the United States of America to guarantee the absolute integrity of our democracy as the foundation stone of our liberty and as a model for the world. In this way, we will ensure that our government truly still is and evermore will be of the people, by the people, and for the people, so help us almighty God.”

The presence of armed forces would underscore the serious nature of the threats to democracy posed by the tactics of disenfranchisement being deployed by those determined to wrest the presidency from Barack Obama by any means necessary. Is it radical? Of course. Is there another way? The petitions flying around the web urging the Department of Justice to “Do something!” are exercises in futility. And it must be emphasized again, once the election is stolen there will be no effective recourse. The theft must be prevented.

The troops would serve as observers and peace keepers to ensure that there is no intimidation of voters such as that which is promised by vigilante groups issuing “citizen challenges” to, for example, voters of color, in swing states. Local law enforcement cannot be relied upon to adequately prevent this particularly if these intimidators turn out to number in the thousands as they threaten to. Vigilantes would be monitored, controlled, and prevented from harassing citizens. Also, violence could erupt between the challengers and those challenged which could disrupt voting by perhaps even leading to riots at some polling places. This would be welcomed by the vigilantes since disruption of voting by any means required is the point. So federal troops would be charged with ensuring public safety by preventing such confrontational escalation.

In precincts with inadequate numbers of voting facilities yielding long lines and waits of many hours, the military could keep those polls open until all who wish to vote have done so.

Technicians would be deployed to monitor voting machines to ensure recording and counting is properly supervised, and they would be protected in turn and enabled to do their job by the military.

The precincts selected for deployment would be only in those swing state districts where justice department intelligence strongly suggests that violations of civil right are likely to occur.

If the deployment of the military seems ill advised, I would ask, what is the alternative? Is refraining from such a radical course worth the subversion of the election and the commandeering of the White House in what would amount to a bloodless coupe; or, depending upon one’s interpretation of the 2000 debacle, another coupe?

Recommending military presence in our streets does not make me happy. One can imagine what a Romney administration might do with such a president. But then, the imagination of that possibility, achieved through obstruction of the voting process to obscure the will of the majority of those who intend to vote and have their votes counted, is the ironic impetus animating this suggestion.

Jonathan Klate is a frequent contributor to Tikkun magazine.

http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/obama-must-use-military-to-ensure-a-free-and-fair-election


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Shame the haters: Why I back Obama

The blog this comes from is at the link at the bottom of this post. I am having trouble with my internet connection so I apologize for not making this post properly but I wanted to the article to be available. The blog is excellent, and has links to a lot of other very interesting writer’s blogs.
For all the talk about the liberal media, the media is and has long been, controlled by the 1%
(just 4 corporations own about 97% of the media in the US including radio, tv, newspapers and magazines)
So it has been easy for them to create a false narrative about our President by repeating the same lies over and over until people think they are true(ala Orwell’s 1984). So please read and share these articles that set the record straight on the actual facts about what President Obama has done. And don’t forget to vote!;-)
Shame the haters: Why I back Obama
1 Nov 2012 Author: Van Jones
Have you ever worked at a job where somebody was actively trying to sabotage you? Do you remember what that feels like?

Well, that has been President Obama’s experience from Day One. As African Americans, we have a special sensitivity to situations where folks are unfairly set up to fail. We shouldn’t allow such tactics to determine the outcome of a national election.

This is especially true in the president’s case. Obama’s performance has been extraordinary in both foreign and domestic policy, but he has gotten almost zero credit for truly historic achievements.

ON THE ECONOMY: The U.S. economy is growing at a rate of about 2 percent, according to the most recent Commerce Department report. In the abstract, that might seem like not much to cheer about. But what we are comparing that 2 percent rate of growth to?

Let’s look at the rest of the industrialized world. Japan is SHRINKING at a rate of about 2 percent, as is all of industrial Europe. In fact, the USA is the only industrialized power that’s growing — in the entire world. Developing countries like China, which is growing at about 6%, are a century behind us. Much of their growth comes from doing things we did long ago, like building roads, sewers and cities.

A Republican president might be hailed as an economic genius by beating all of our industrial competitors by 4% in terms of GDP, despite the economic pain that the country is going through. Instead, Obama is castigated. Instead of praise and respect, he is continually attacked by his Republican colleagues in government.

ON FOREIGN POLICY: No recent U.S. president could do what President Obama has done: He convinced China and Russia to side with us against Iran. Thanks to his leadership, Iran is fully isolated. It is being strangled by crippling economic sanctions, even by Iran’s friends and key allies. This represents a huge diplomatic and foreign policy success by Obama. But again, he’s gotten zero credit from Republicans and even from the mainstream media.

Let’s look at Libya. On the one hand, George W. Bush bankrupted the federal government and cost America tens of thousands of lives trying to bring about regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, Obama helped bring about regime change in Libya without a single military casualty. It is the height of hypocrisy for Republicans to continue to politicize the death of a brave American diplomat, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, without acknowledging first the incredible success that the president achieved by avoiding any American loss of life in Libya up until that point.

No president should be expected to achieve even half of what President Obama has been able to achieve with zero support and actively daily obstruction from the rival political party. He has faced an unprecedented level of sabotage by the Republican Party — at a time when the nation is in the middle of two wars, the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, and faces a range of challenges across the globe. It is unconscionable.

Voters should be abandoning the Republicans in droves and rallying to this president’s side.

I see this as a moral question. Imagine a lifeguard trying to save lives in the wake of a tsunami. Now picture that lifeguard being undermined by people who are hoping more people drown, just so they can get the lifeguard’s job.

This is what we are faced with. Whatever frustrations any of us have had with this president (and I have had plenty), Americans of all colors have a duty to reject the politics of obstruction and give him four more years to complete the mission.

Everyone has had to face down a jealous, destructive “hater” at work. Next week, we have the chance to send a clear message to haters and saboteurs everywhere: this kind of behavior is unacceptable, and it will not be rewarded on the national stage.

Van Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times Best Sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond. Van is currently a CNN Contributor.

http://www.jackandjillpolitics.com/2012/11/shame-the-haters-why-i-back-obama/