Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Drug Wars: Stop the Bloody 'Reefer Madness'

Marijuana Initiative Challenges

Costly, Bloody Drug War

In support of California's initiative to legalize marijuana

By Tom Hayden

Progressive America Rising via Huffington Post

I support the November ballot initiative because our country's long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.

People are dying.

Nearly 30,000 people have been killed around our southern border since the Mexican government, with massive American support, escalated its wars against the cartels in 2006.
There were over 112,000 drug overdose deaths in the US between 1999 and 2005 alone.

And the drug consumption continues. It's an unwinnable war.

California leads America and America leads the world in mass incarceration. Nearly 25 percent of the world's inmates are locked up in American institutions, the largest percentage of them on drug-related offenses. In 1980, there were some 40,000 Americans in prison on drug charges, today there are an estimated 500,000 at any given time.
It's an unaffordable war as well.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck Magic Trick: Anti-Racism is Racism


Glenn Beck
Wrong on Darwin:

How Evolution Affirms
the Oneness of Humankind

By Michael Zimmerman
Progressive American Rising via Huffington Post

The fact that Glenn Beck often doesn't know what he's talking about is certainly not news. But the fact that he has a large audience who believes much of the garbage he spews means that the first point can't simply be ignored.

Beck just accused Charles Darwin of being "the father of modern-day racism." And, in so doing, he mangled every fact imaginable. Not to worry, though; since the facts don't matter to Beck, he was able to support his ongoing dislike of Darwin, a dislike well evidenced by his 2007 statement that "Darwin is the uber-liberals' god. Darwin, I believe actually, to the uber-liberal, is just the way -- he's just the device to erase God."
To many of the rest of us, however, the facts do matter -- and they tell a very different story from what Beck wants us to believe.

Let's look at what Darwin himself had to say. In 1871 in The Descent of Man, Darwin wrote the following, hardly the words of a racist:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rightwing Media's Unrelenting Racism

Why Doesn't the Media Have the Guts to

Attack Fox News' Hate-Filled Witch Hunts?

By Eric Boehlert
Progressive America Rising via Media Matters for America

One month after launching a jaw-dropping campaign of racial discord and warning of a looming, Obama-led "race war," Fox News and the far-right media have turned the page of the hate hymnal and embraced a new enemy: Muslims.

Yes, the bigotry is off the charts. Yes, the purposeful misinformation is almost too plentiful to catalog. And yes, once the again the mainstream press remains mostly mum about the upsetting spectacle being played out for all to see.

The so-called "debate" in the press about the proposed Islamic center for downtown Manhattan is not a serious one. Just like the 'debate' in the press about racism and Shirley Sherrod was not serious. And just like the 'debate' in the press about Michelle Obama's vacation was not serious.  They're not debates. They're hate-based witch hunts sponsored by the right wing, and reporters and pundits ought to have the guts to point that fact out.

When is the press going to acknowledge that the rules have changed, and these naked smear campaigns being launched by Fox News and the far-right press have no precedent in our politics and, more importantly, they're changing the way our news agenda is being set?


Friday, August 20, 2010

Iraq War Ending? The Real Story Is Being Hidden

US Combat Ends in Iraq,

But Will Iraq 'Invite' US to Stay?


By Tom Hayden

Progressive America Rising

While the Obama administration struggles to keep its pledge to end the Iraq war, a behind-the-scenes plan is developing in which the Baghdad regime “invites” the American military to stay.

Managing the withdrawal of combat troops was a significant achievement for Obama. But while media attention focused this week on the last American combat brigade rolling out of Iraq, US diplomat Ryan Crocker was predicting that if the Iraqis “come to us later on this year requesting that we jointly relook at the post-2011 period, it is going to be in our strategic interest to be responsive.” [NYT, Aug. 19]

That means troops and bases, keeping a US strategic outpost in the Middle East. Otherwise, according to some Pentagon sources, the Iraq war will have been in vain.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Afghanistan: The Main Battle Now Is To Control Minds at Home

Why WikiLeaks Won’t Stop the War

By Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky's ZSpace Page / ZSpace
Aug 12, 2010 - The War Logs—a six-year archive of classified military documents about the war in Afghanistan, released on the Internet by the organization WikiLeaks—documents a grim struggle becoming grimmer, from the U.S. perspective. And for the Afghans, a mounting horror.
The War Logs, however valuable, may contribute to the unfortunate and prevailing doctrine that wars are wrong only if they aren’t successful—rather like the Nazis felt after Stalingrad.
Last month came the fiasco of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, forced to retire as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and replaced by his superior, Gen. David H. Petraeus.
A plausible consequence is a relaxation of the rules of engagement so that it becomes easier to kill civilians, and an extension of the war well into the future as Petraeus uses his clout in Congress to achieve this result.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Albany Conference Outcome: New Peace Agenda for Upcoming Months

Peace Movement Adopts

New Comprehensive Strategy

By David Swanson


Last month 700 leading peace activists from around the United States met and strategized in Albany, N.Y. ( http://nationalpeaceconference.org ). They discussed, debated, and voted for a comprehensive new plan for the coming months. The plan includes a new focus and some promising proposals for building a coalition that includes the labor movement, civil rights groups, students, and other sectors of the activist world that have an interest in ending wars and/or shifting our financial resources from wars to where they're actually needed. The full plan, including a preface, is available online.

The plan includes endorsements and commitments to participate in events planned for Detroit on August 28th, and Washington, D.C., on August 28th and October 2nd, as well as a national day of actions led by students on October 7th, and a week of anti-war actions around the country marking the start of Year 10 in Afghanistan on October 7-16. Dates to put on your calendar now for 2011 include mid-March nationally coordinated teach-ins to mark the eighth year of the Iraq War and to prepare for bi-coastal spring demonstrations the following month, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles mobilizations on April 9, 2011, and blocking of ports on May Day.

Here is the full list of actions agreed upon:

1.The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have invited peace organizations to endorse and participate in a campaign for Jobs, Justice, and Peace. We endorse this campaign and plan to be a part of it. On August 28, 2010, in Detroit, we will march on the anniversary of that day in 1963 when Walter Reuther, president of UAW, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders joined with hundreds of thousands of Americans for the March on Washington. In Detroit, prior to the March on Washington, 125,000 marchers participated in the Freedom Walk led by Dr. King. At the march, King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech for the first time before sharing it with the world in Washington. This year, a massive march has been called for October 2 in Washington. We will begin to build momentum again in Detroit on August 28th. We also endorse the August 28, 2010 Reclaim the Dream Rally and March called by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network to begin at 11 a.m.. at Dunbar High School, 1301 New Jersey Avenue Northwest.


My Zimbio Add to Technorati Favorites Locations of visitors to this page EatonWeb Blog Directory