Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Musical Innerlube: Everlast - Stone In My Hand

Banned Documentary: Conspiracy of Silence


This is the best quality version of Conspiracy of Silence available on the Internet. The sound is greatly improved over the earlier version. This is a video made which delves deeply into the Franklin Cover Up and reveals what Congress basically had banned from you ever seeing. You will see how Congress tried to ban this video in the opening of the video.

Once Again, The Administration Vindictively Charges A Whistleblower As Being A Spy

If you torture a prisoner, you will not be held criminally liable, but if you blow the whistle on torture, you risk criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act.

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On the State of Press Freedom in Greece

From Reel News:

On Thursday, 5th April 2012, Marios Lolos, a photojournalist, was hit on the head by a police truncheon while covering a peaceful protest in response to the recent suicide of a 77 year-old man in protest to austerity measures. Marios Lolos sustained a brain injury and had to have surgery yesterday. We extend our best wishes to him and everyone else who has been injured and wish them the best for their recovery. Read more about the incident on Keep Talking Greece.

[ ... ]

On the same day, we witnessed journalist Nectarios Dargakis being arrested twice.



Marios Lolos is the president of the union of photojournalists in Greece, EFE issued a statement following the attacks on him and other journalists (see English version). The London Photographers branch of the NUJ has published a letter of support.

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May 1st: Remember Why We Fight


Be The Change You Wish To See In The World
http://wearechange.org

Only in Japan: Hotel Sheep


Here is today announced the grand opening of new hotels for the sheep Yugawara, in Kanagawa Prefecture. The "Hotel Sheep Guest House" sheep for Japan, all over the world, will be the location of the warm hospitality and fun time. This is the first hotel only for sheep - other animals are prohibited.

The afflicted definition of property in post-industrial capitalism

From Phantom Tollbooths By Peter Frase:

Though the internet and the digitization of the economy did not create the struggle over the property form, they have reopened the issue by problematizing exactly what property is and why we ought to respect it. Beneath its frontier rhetoric of individualism and autonomy, capitalism is founded on the exercise of state power to defend the institution of private property. Its model of generalized commodity exchange presupposes a novel world in which everything is parceled into discrete chunks and tagged with the name of its owner. This way of seeing things does not come automatically to human societies; constructing a world of private property entails both state violence and ideological propagandizing.

Respect for private property undergirds the atomized ethos of capitalism, what political scientist C.B. Macpherson called “possessive individualism.” This ethos insists that a person’s talents and achievements are due to their efforts alone and that their property is a just and natural consequence of those achievements. Yet the institution of property, and the individualism it licenses, has always been deeply contested. Most famously, the English enclosure acts passed mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries uprooted a long tradition of shared and common lands and turned them into the fenced-off domains of individual landlords. Such processes of turning a social commons into a private possession are more than just capitalism’s original sin; they recur again and again over the system’s history. That’s why David Harvey proposed that Marx’s term “primitive accumulation” be traded in for “accumulation by dispossession,” a strategy that the capitalist can return to again and again.

Today, critics of intellectual property speak about copyright law by making an analogy with the enclosure of the commons, regarding it as an unjust appropriation of our shared culture. Defenders of copyright, meanwhile, denounce file sharers and downloaders as parasites and pirates, depriving hard-working creators of their belongings and their livelihood. This fight recapitulates capitalism’s endemic struggle over property, but gives it a new form, as the property in question is an immaterial rather than a material good. Copyright holders and their advocates like to speak of unauthorized copying as “theft” of “intellectual property,” but both theft and property are concepts that apply to information in a metaphorical way at best. To take a physical object out of someone’s possession is clearly not equivalent to making a copy for oneself while leaving all other copies untouched. If the right of physical property grants the right to control a particular copy of an object — a particular pair of Nike shoes, for example — the right of intellectual property instantiates the far broader power to control all copies of an idea or a software program or a work of art. Whether this extension is valid and justified, and whether it should fall within the same legal and rhetorical purview that addresses physical property, is ultimately a matter of cultural norms and political struggle.

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ICC prosecutor under fire for refusal to examine Israeli war crimes in Gaza


The International Criminal Court has refused to investigate Israeli crimes against humanity allegedly committed during their invasion of Gaza in 2008. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has drawn worldwide condemnation for arbitrarily deciding that the ICC has no jurisdiction because Palestine is, in his words, "not a country".

Press TV's Ramin Mazaheri reports from Paris.

Leaked Video Shows US Contractors Randomly Killing Civilians


Employees of the US military contracting group Academi (formerly Xe, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide) are seen in new leaked video shooting their machine guns at random while driving through the streets of Baghdad, crashing into other cars and even running over a pedestrian without hesitation. Academi received a $250 million contract by the Obama administration to provide military services in Afghanistan.

Building A Modern Spy Center In Utah

Monsanto’s Roundup Altering the Physical Shape of Amphibians

From Mike Barrett, Activist Post

Monsanto’s Roundup, which is the most popular herbicide used today, has been found to ignite morphological changes in amphibians.

The research, conducted using tadpoles, found that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup are enough to cause two species of amphibians to actually change shape. This is the first research to show that herbicides can have such an effect on animals.

Setting up outdoor tanks closely resembling the environment of natural wetlands, study researcher Rick Relyea, University of Pittsburgh professor of biological sciences in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of Pitt’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, added 3 tadpoles to each tank and exposed them to a range of Roundup concentrations over a 3 week period. The cages also contained large predators, which naturally cause changes in tadpole morphology. These natural changes include a larger tail, due to chemical emissions.

While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size.

What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large.

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The Greatest Single Threat to Humanity: Fuel Pool Number 4

From The Fuel Pools of Fukushima: THE GREATEST SHORT-TERM THREAT TO HUMANITY by Washington's Blog [via Global Research]


We noted days after the Japanese earthquake that the biggest threat was from the spent fuel rods in the fuel pool at Fukushima unit number 4, and not from the reactors themselves. See this
and this.We noted in February:

Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima this year, and a 98% chance within the next 3 years.

Given that nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that an earthquake of 7.0 or larger could cause the entire fuel pool structure collapse, it is urgent that everything humanly possible is done to stabilize the structure housing the fuel pools at reactor number 4.

Tepco is doing some construction at the building … it is a race against time under very difficult circumstances, and hopefully Tepco will win.

As AP points out:

The structural integrity of the damaged Unit 4 reactor building has long been a major concern among experts because a collapse of its spent fuel cooling pool could cause a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns.

***

Gundersen (who used to build spent fuel pools) explains that there is no protection surrounding the radioactive fuel in the pools. He warns that – if the fuel pools at reactor 4 collapse due to an earthquake – people should get out of Japan, and residents of the West Coast of America and Canada should shut all of their windows and stay inside for a while.

The fuel pool number 4 is apparently not in great shape, and there have already been countless earthquakes near the Fukushima region since the 9.0 earthquake last March.

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Consumerism and its antisocial effects can be turned on -- or off

"We found that irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in wellbeing, including negative affect and social disengagement," says Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen. The study, conducted with colleagues Monika A. Bauer, James E. B. Wilkie, and Jung K. Kim, appears in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

In two of four experiments, university students were put in a materialistic frame of mind by tasks that exposed them to images of luxury goods or words mobilizing consumerist values (versus neutral scenes devoid of consumer products or words without such connotations). Completing questionnaires afterwards, those who looked at the pictures of cars, electronics, and jewelry rated themselves higher in depression and anxiety, less interested in social activities like parties, and more in solitary pursuits than the others. Those primed to materialism by exposure to certain words evinced more competitiveness and less desire to invest their time in pro-social activities like working for a good cause.

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“The most effective tactic… has been to turn the activists against each other”

From Will Potter, Green is the New Red

I guess the mass media have supported this kind of repression. How many importance did they have (or are having at the moment) in criminalizing activists? Did some paper, TV channel… show some form of criticism about it?

For the most part, journalists in the United States have failed to critically examine these tactics. I would argue that one of the reasons that “eco-terrorism” became such a threat is that mainstream journalists used this term without questioning the source. In recent months we have seen more and more criticism of laws like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, but for the most part these have not received much attention at all.

As you know, here in Spain some activists have been charged with animal liberation related stuff. They are (or were) all involved with legal campaigning. The comparison with the SHAC 7 or the Austrian activists case is inevitable. Do you think laws like the AETA can have some “copycat” laws in other countries?

Absolutely. Spain, Austria, Finland, and elsewhere are experience similar copycat prosecutions. The corporate-led campaigns to demonize animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists” have indeed become international in scope. I would argue that this is an example of how these tactics are not “state repression,” as leftists generally describe it, but “corporate repression.” The state may be carrying out these tactics, but only because corporations are seeking to protect their profits around the world.

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