Sunday, July 13, 2014

They are us, we are them

(Olympia, WA USA – May 16, 2012)– The verdict in the civil lawsuit against the State of Israel for the killing of peace activist Rachel Corrie more than nine years ago will be announced August 28, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. at the Haifa District Court.

Members of the Corrie family, including Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, and her sister, Sarah Corrie Simpson, plan to return to Israel in advance of the hearing and be present when the verdict is read.

A child talks to the world

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is a Canadian environmental activist, speaker, television host and author. She has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility. She graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.Sc. in ecology and evolutionary biology. She is married and lives with her husband and child in Haida Gwaii (off the coast of BC, Canada).

They are us, we are them

Everyday, more and more people become aware of Rachel's work in Palestine and the positivity she left behind. Her parents have tirelessly been working for the last 7 years to bring justice for the shocking and disgraceful behaviour shown by the Israeli and American governments regarding Rachel's death. I sincerely hope you will help Rachel, her parents and supporters by spreading this video and learning more about her. Please visit the Rachel Corrie Foundation



the Disposition Matrix

July 11, 2014

Just a few weeks ago, during a commencement address to West Point's graduating cadets, President Obama spoke to the importance of greater transparency “about both the basis of our counter-terrorism actions and the manner in which they are carried out.”
President Obama also made similar comments about drone transparency last year, but the Obama administration hasn't yet matched the president's words with action by publicly disclosing meaningful information about its targeted operations and its use of drone strikes.
The U.S. secret drone war is damaging our reputation abroad and arguably inspiring new terrorists instead of thwarting them. Human rights and civil rights groups have uncovered evidence of hundreds of civilian deaths unreported by the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.1,2 Our government must be transparent about whom it is targeting with drones, and why, in order to shed light on whether or not the U.S. government is violating international law.
Even CIA Director John Brennan has said, the United States “need[s] to acknowledge publicly” any mistaken killings and should “make public the overall numbers of civilian deaths resulting from U.S. strikes targeting al-Qa’ida.”
With the Obama administration currently considering the use of drone strikes in Iraq, which would undoubtedly lead to civilian casualties, now is the perfect time to demand transparency on the civilians killed by previous U.S. drone strikes abroad.
The public has an inalienable right to know whom their government is targeting and at what collateral cost. Now is the time to have a national conversation about the U.S. drone strike program and to demand far greater transparency from the Obama administration.
Thank you for your support.
Rick Rosenthal, CREDO Activist
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  1. "Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes," ProPublica, February 5, 2013
  2. "The Toll Of 5 Years Of Drone Strikes: 2,400 Dead," Huffington Post, January 23, 2014

(The Atlantic) -Two new reports issued this week by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch detailed dozens of civilian deaths caused by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Classified documents obtained by the Washington Post suggest that CIA officials who carry out the strikes make little effort to track civilian deaths.
“There is a lot more pressure building” on President Barack Obama, Sarah Holewinski, head of the Center for Civilians in Conflict, a group pushing for greater transparency in drone strikes, told me this week. “He’s going to have to look at these legal questions.”

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Peak Food

Peak food: The U.N.'s Food Price Index reached a new high in February 2011, exacerbating poverty in developing countries and creating potential for civil unrest. "Peak water" entered the popular lexicon in 2010, after two scientists classified threats to human use of rivers and underground aquifers, and to ecological stability. Peak coffee, peak chocolate, peak rare earth metals, peak travel have all followed suit. It's "peak" season.
Two simple trends are driving these concerns. The world has more people than ever, and more of those people than ever are breaking out of abject poverty and competing in a global market for goods and resources.
The human population passed 7 billion last year, and the U.N. projects it will top 9.3 billion by 2050. Most of the growth is occurring in Asia, where the population is on track to balloon 40 percent, to 8 billion, by midcentury.
An even bigger human accomplishment, and cause for worry, is the rise of the middle class. It's expected to nearly triple in the next two decades, to 4.9 billion people in 2030 from 1.8 billion today, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. The Global Footprint Network, which developed a resource-accounting tool for countries, puts it this way: At current consumption rates, we'll need two Earths by 2030.

Are We About to Hit Peak Fertilizer?

By Occupy Monsanto

This article, Are We About to Hit Peak Fertilizer?, is syndicated from and is reposted here with permission. (

Everyone knows about how the advent of artificial fertilizers and pest controls altered the face of agriculture around the world during the Green Revolution more than half a century ago. And while few people are fully ignorant of the damage done to the environment through the use of these synthetic pesticides (and fertilizers), not many people have given much any thought to what will happen when we run out of these vital resources; which is nearing much faster than you might have guessed.

pro-gun laws; where can't we carry them?

June 29, 2014 9:11 p.m. ET

ATLANTA—Bars, houses of worship, and other public establishments are wrestling with what to do about a new law in Georgia that starting on Tuesday dramatically will expand gun-permit holders' right to carry weapons where people congregate.

The law allows licensed gun owners to bring weapons to bars and houses of worship, unless forbidden by proprietors. Legally-owned guns also are allowed in unrestricted areas of airports and government buildings, and may be carried at schools and in colleges if permitted by officials.

Several other states allow guns in bars or churches, but Georgia's "Safe Carry Protection Act," which passed the state legislature overwhelmingly earlier this year, is unusual in that it expanded gun rights in multiple places with one omnibus law.

This is horrifying: According to multiple news outlets, a Target employee found a loaded handgun in the toy aisle of a store in South Carolina.

When you're shopping at Target, you shouldn't have to worry about someone parading around with a semiautomatic rifle, or whether your kid is going to find a loaded handgun while looking at toys.

More than 115,000 people have already signed the petition to Target asking for gun sense policies to protect customers and employees from gun violence -- and over the next two days volunteers are going to be delivering these petitions all across the country.

Gun extremists armed with semiautomatic rifles have walked into Target locations around the country, weapons out and loaded, making sure customers saw their guns.
It’s often legal to do this, because many states have weak laws that allow people to openly carry around loaded weapons without any permits, training, or background checks. That means it’s up to companies themselves to protect their customers when the law won’t. Yet according to the Wall Street Journal, Target doesn’t have any policies to stop people from carrying weapons in its stores:
Target, which boasts on its website that between 80% and 90% of its customers are women, has no restrictions on customers carrying guns in its stores.
Chipotle, Starbucks, Chili’s, Sonic Drive-In, and Jack in the Box have already responded to petitions from moms and other gun sense supporters asking the stores not to allow guns. Now it’s up to Target to protect families who shop in its stores..

Sign the petition

Concealed weapon law tossed by fed appeals court

Published February 13, 2014Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California's concealed weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

By a 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California was wrong to require applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

"The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense," Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote for the majority.

Friday, July 4, 2014

She is Malala

In a young age, Malala had earned the respect and support of the world. On October 09, 2012, the taliban shot her in the head while she rode home on a bus. In attempting to obliterate Malala’s words, the Taliban instead, just amplified her message far beyond the Swat Valley, calling attention to the justice of her cause in every corner of the world. During that incident, when Malala was about to be shot, the Taliban asked “Which one is Malala?” Now the whole world knows which one is Malala.

Born on the 12th of July 1997, Malala was given her first name after a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan, Malalai of Maiwand. Her last name, Yousafzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation that is predominant in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she lived with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens.

Malala was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner, and an educational activist himself, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School. She once stated to an interviewer that she would like to become a doctor, though later her father encouraged her to become a politician instead. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed.

Malala started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008, when her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club.

"How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" Malala asked her audience in a speech covered by newspapers and television channels throughout the region.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban is a thought provoking book.

Malala spoke with telling affection about her home country, and about the Pakistani people’s desire for prosperity, dignity and peace. Of the Taliban, whose threats against her continue, she expressed only the prayer that their children, all of their children, will have access to a real education as well. Mixed with the courage in her words, there is both personal humility and profound confidence; with passion in her voice, she summons everyone to unleash the power of young minds; to fight back against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism; and to know in our hearts that – again, in her words – “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

“Education is the only solution,” she declares, adding that, with sufficient bravery and respect for one another “No one can stop us.”

The first thing that impressed me was the universality of the story. The specifics are different but there is a parallel between Pakistan, The US, and the Taliban, and Mexico, The US, and the drug cartels.

The origin of the Taliban can be traced to the CIA, The grandfather of the modern Mexican drug cartels was Nassar Haro, a director of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad.  According to Peter Dale Scott, the Dirección Federal de Seguridad was in part a CIA creation, and “the CIA’s closest government allies were for years in the DFS”. DFS badges, “handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual ‘license to traffic.’” Scott says that “The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nassar (or Nazar) Haro, a CIA asset.

The Pakistani government makes a show of fighting the Taliban, harassing the populace, while high ranking generals regularly have  lunch with the Taliban leadership. The Mexican government makes a show of fighting the Drug Cartels while high ranking government officials regularly have lunch with the Cartles leadership.

But the main message is that Malala is just a regular, tough hard driven, teenage girl. She describes how when in Abu Dabi, she started to panic  just at the look of Arabic men filling the street, and how she calmed herself by recalling that she already came back from the dead. If she can fight for her rights, could we?