Patricia and I will be giving a book talk in Ontario – very exciting! Come join us – open to the public! Our anthology is being offered to the entire community as part of a Summer Reads Program! Click link to read more: Two Worlds
The Internet hacking collective known as Anonymous has declared “Operation Blitzkrieg” against neo-Nazi and other hate group websites in 2012, inflicting unprecedented damage on many of the sites and releasing an avalanche of personal information about supporters.
There’s been a clear uptick in Anonymous activities since last fall, an FBI spokesman told the Intelligence Report. And the amorphous international group is attracting more participants, adds Josh Shaul, chief technology officer at Application Security, Inc., a New York database security software firm. “You see more posts and more people involved than ever,” reports Shaul, who studies Internet message boards where hacking plans are hatched by the group and its spinoffs.
Following an online warning last year that Operation Blitzkrieg would target neo-Nazi groups, a raft of actions just since January attests to this new direction.
One of the most significant websites disabled in February was Stormfront.org, the first and largest white nationalist site in the world with a claimed 240,000 registered members. Run by former Ku Klux Klan leader Don Black, the multi-language, Florida-based forum teems with hateful propaganda about blacks, non-white immigrants, LGBT people and, above all, Jews. LulzFinancial, widely believed to be a spinoff of Anonymous, took credit for the attack on Stormfront.
Although the site was back up within a few days, many of its supporters may have lost their own anonymity: Anonymous revealed personal information of alleged members, publishing it all online and potentially scaring many away from this cyber-hive of hatred now that their personal invisibility can no longer be guaranteed.
In case participants didn’t get the message, a Stormfront regular warned online that if any supporter uses a real name, address or credit card number, “then you’ve handed the information over to them. You should be making donations with pre-paid debit cards only. … You guys are being trolled, HARD and some jew [sic] somewhere is laughing his butt off.”
Westboro Baptist Church Protesters
It wasn’t the first time so-called hacktivists have attacked Westboro. In an incident last year that still lives on YouTube, Westboro Church member Shirley Phelps-Roper and a man identified as affiliated with Anonymous were interviewed by syndicated radio and TV talk show host David Pakman. After Phelps-Roper defiantly denied that the group could shut off Westboro’s message, the Anonymous participant said, “I have a surprise for you, Shirley.” He then took down the group’s websites during the show, substituting a message from Anonymous, and Pakman confirmed the site defacement on-air.
In another attack on the hate front this year, Anonymous disabled the websites of the American Third Position (A3P), a California-based white supremacist group that aims to deport non-white immigrants and return the U.S. to white rule. It also hit sites owned by A3P presidential candidate Merlin Miller and James Kelso, the group’s webmaster, including Kelso’s WhiteNewsNow hate site.
Again, the release of private information about people who would generally much prefer to stay anonymous appeared more damaging than the temporary takedowns of sites. Anonymous published several thousand personal E-mails along with personal details of site visitors, their names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as forum messages.
In a mischievous kicker, Anonymous hacked the credit card of Kelso, who once worked for former KKK leader David Duke; under the Banner “Good Night, White Pride,” the group claimed online that it had used Kelso’s card to buy sex toys and make a donation to the anti-racist Anti-Defamation League. The ADL confirmed receipt of the donation. But in an E-mail to the Report, an ADL spokesman added: “While we understand that Anonymous was trying to be ‘thoughtful’ and arguably creative in sending ADL a donation, we do not support or encourage hacking and do not feel comfortable accepting the fruits of their illegal activity. We will return the donation.”
Anonymous seemed to delight in mocking A3P’s public persona as a relatively dignified hate group, what with leaders such as corporate attorney William D. Johnson and Kevin MacDonald, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach. In their online statement about the A3P hack, Anonymous spokesmen declared: “Although they try hard to maintain a professional public image to camouflage their vile racism, we’re now airing all their dirty laundry all over the internet.”
In other attacks on the far-right earlier this year, the hacktivist collective shut down the Web page of the Westland, Mich.-based American Nazi Party and 15 websites associated with the National Democratic Party (NDP), the major neofascist party in Germany. It also made public the identity of NDP supporters and donors, and dumped a huge trove of internal NDP E-mails onto the Internet.
At the same time that it hit neo-Nazi sites hard in 2012, Anonymous has hacked into a number of government and law enforcement Web pages. It has shut down, for brief periods, pages of the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, among other agencies. In a daring act that generated worldwide publicity, the anarchist collective hacked into a February conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which investigators discussed two teenagers allegedly tied to Anonymous; the group posted a recording of the call online.
Most of the government hacks were meant to protest investigations of cyber-attacks and the prosecution of website owners practicing illegal Internet file-sharing. For example, in what it dubbed “Operation Payback,” the group retaliated against the Department of Justice for shutting down Megaupload, the massive file-sharing site. On the same day it hacked the Department of Justice last January, Anonymous also brought down websites of several groups lobbying for anti-piracy legislation: the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry of America and Universal Music.
Although they disagree with one another on myriad issues, Anonymous participants share an unwavering commitment to the free flow of information online, says Gabriella Coleman, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University in Montreal. Coleman, an anthropologist, has spent the last four years studying Anonymous, interacting for countless hours in the group’s online channels and, she says, building relationships with the planners and doers. It’s impossible to tell exactly how many are in the group, as participation is fluid, she notes in a January article about the collective published by the online magazine, Triple Canopy. Coleman likens Anonymous to “a hydra … comprising numerous different networks and working groups that are often at odds with one another.” Without offering any alternate agenda, the group seems to have “tapped into a deep disenchantment with the political status quo,” suggests Coleman.
In addition to abhorrence of hate groups and Internet proprietary rights, Anonymous actions this year showed sympathy for immigrants and strong support for the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
A February takedown of Alabama government and law enforcement sites was a retaliatory strike against the brutal anti-immigrant law passed by that state. The law authorizes police to demand citizenship papers from adults, requires schools to check the immigration status of children and parents, and criminalizes certain business transactions with the undocumented.
Following an earlier hack, Anonymous in January released reams of private information—names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card data—of members of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, which is a union. Anonymous leaders said they did so in retaliation for purportedly grisly prison conditions in the state and alleged police brutality during OWS protests.
The hacktivist group played a key role in spearheading and publicizing OWS protests last fall, notes Daryle Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project, a left-wing, anti-racist group. With its massive outreach on Twitter and in chat rooms, along with a dramatic video, Anonymous adopted the original call to street action from Adbusters, a little known, Vancouver-based magazine that set off the Occupy movement, and spread it worldwide. Anonymous participants also showed up en masse at many OWS sites wearing their signature Guy Fawkes masks.
What amazes so many is how such a shadowy, leaderless collective can manage to hack the CIA or a neo-Nazi site. The answer lies in a combination of vast outreach and cyber-sophistication—but not as much sophistication as you might think, says Josh Shaul, the Internet security expert.
The group’s “digital sit-ins”—temporarily shutting down countless Web pages in “denial of service” attacks — are very easy to bring off if many people have downloaded free software available on the Internet that allows them to cede control of their computer to another computer user. Participants active on Anonymous forums can, with a click, volunteer their computers to use in targeting certain websites during an attack. Other users, though, may be tricked into downloading the software, urged to click on something appealing, for example; they’re recruited by “bot farmers” who, in effect, go out into cyberspace to find people and then take control of their computers for a targeted attack. During a coordinated website attack, all of these users (willingly or not) call up the same website, bombarding it with requests to get in, and the website crashes. “If you’ve got the outreach, it’s devilishly simple and inexpensive,” says Shaul. “It’s really about having the guts to use the software this way.” Although Anonymous runs an online hacking school, most of its takedowns require more cyber “foot soldiers” than tech geniuses, Shaul explains. The big database dumps that release all kinds of personal information do require more skill, he adds, and fewer Anons are at this high level of tech savvy.
The recent upsurge in publicity sparked by Anonymous’ increasing activities can sometimes leave the impression that the group sprouted suddenly out of nowhere. But its beginnings can be traced to a computer message board called 4Chan, created in 2003 by 15-year-old Christopher Poole in his suburban New York bedroom. People began to post photos and messages on his topic forums; since no name is required, many posted as “Anonymous.” The site grew rapidly, buzzing with funny videos, adolescent “gotcha” pranks and raunchy language. Eventually, discussions turned toward politics, which ushered in the current era of Anonymous actions.
With its staunch opposition to government secrecy, the group also has lashed out against opponents of WikiLeaks, the free-speech website that has published millions of leaked government documents. In December 2010, Anons launched “Operation Payback” by hacking PayPal, MasterCard and Visa because the companies refused to process donations to WikiLeaks.
The PayPal site defacement led to the largest FBI crackdown on alleged Anonymous hackers so far. Last July, 16 were arrested in the U.S., mostly for the PayPal action. Another five were arrested in March with the aid of an FBI informant, an alleged hacker with the Anonymous spinoff, LulzSec, who helped authorities gather evidence in return for a plea bargain. There also have been other arrests in the U.S., as well as Europe and South America.
The arrests have driven many Anonymous participants even further underground, onto obscure websites and into varied offshoot groups, experts say. Participants are tough to find, as they often work out of pirated servers, some overseas. But the FBI says it has a vigorous investigation under way. “It’s taken a fair amount of FBI resources over the last year,” a spokesman says.
Nobody knows exactly where Anonymous will strike next since participants embrace no single agenda but instead endorse the cybernetic civil disobedience they consider justified in the face of allegedly corrupt institutions. In a dramatic new documentary on the group, one supporter compares Anons to the all-American hero Huckleberry Finn, who resigned himself to jail and burning in hell rather than turn in his friend Jim, a slave. Another participant complains that credit card companies will process donations to the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church but not to WikiLeaks, a subverter of government secrecy. The documentary, “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists,” debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January. Los Angeles filmmaker Brian Knappenberger hopes to take it into wider distribution this year.
So far, the hacktivists’ actions have been relatively limited, though by no means trivial. Striking terror into groups and people who fear great damage may be its greatest “achievement” so far, suggests Shaul. For example, he and a co-author had a book deal with a major publisher that wanted the story of Anonymous. Shaul worked on it for many months, but, he says, the publisher cancelled the deal last Christmas Eve “for fear they’d be ruined. They were frightened that Anonymous would digitally rape and pillage their organization.”
He thinks Anons haven’t been particularly bad people but sees potential danger if they’re used in the future by malevolent tech wizards “to do stuff that’s a lot worse”—taking down a city’s power or water system, or State Department hacks that critically injure the U.S. Shaul is not alone in such fears. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, has warned in White House meetings that Anonymous hackers may be able to cause a limited power outage within a couple of years, according to a Wall Street Journal report this February. Anonymous participants, however, called the report false fear-mongering.
NATO warned in a report last summer that Anons could hack into sensitive government, military and corporate files. (Shortly after the report became public, Anonymous hacked NATO.) And in January, FBI director Robert Mueller predicted that cyber attacks will become the No. 1 threat to the country, surpassing terrorism. His testimony before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee was affirmed by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, who said non-state hackers are becoming more active. Clapper singled out Anonymous and its spinoff, LulzSec.
Anonymous message board conversations and video warnings suggest a possible big release of secret government and corporate Web data in the fall of 2012 before Dec. 21, the date when the Mayan calendar ends and, some claim, the world along with it. Maybe it’s bluff, maybe not. But for those who’ve already suffered the attentions of Anonymous—in particular, cyber-Nazis who dread seeing their names and associations made public—the threat is already real enough.
“[T]he fallout from this is going to be tremendous,” one Stormfronter wrote after media reports about Canadian members having their identities made public, and “a lot of people are going to lose jobs.” Added another: “I tell you what mate if ANY telephone numbers that have been passed between my friends via my PM [private message] system start to get any threats there will be hell to pay.”
Some extremists were more optimistic. “Let’s see them get a WN [white nationalist] website with high security,” scoffed one Stormfront poster. But he or she may have been showing a little more bravado than justified.
“They did,” retorted “Sigfrid.” “People don’t seem to understand. People with great hacker abilities can get into any website. As I’ve stated before, if they can get into high security websites anywhere, like Microsoft, government websites, security websites, and even the FBI, CIA and the NSA, they can get into anything.”
Evelyn Schlatter contributed to this article
10 Things to Know About ‘The Red Road’ and Star Jason Momoa
The Red Road is a fictional TV drama, that premiered Feb. 27 on Sundance TV, that tells the story of a Native American tribe on the New York-New Jersey border and its uneasy relationship with the nearby town of Walpole, New Jersey. In recent weeks, the show has sparked a lot of buzz among potential viewers and in Indian country, for at least two reasons: It’s a show about the lives Native Americans set in the contemporary era (rather than a historical one), and its star, Jason Momoa, most famous for Game of Thrones, is suddenly one of those Actors You Need to Know.
Here’s a guide that will give you some useful background on the story and a crash course in Momoa 101.
[I watched the first episode early and I can tell you – it’s definitely GREAT, full of suspense and you won’t be able to stop wanting more…My friend Gary Farmer is playing the Tribal Chairman… Lara/Trace]
Now working as an assistant manager at a luggage store, Shyima Hall hopes to go back to school and become an ICE agent.
– Feb. 24 edition of People Magazine
An Egyptian human trafficking victim enslaved as a girl in southern California wrote an autobiography that details her ordeal and subsequent life in the U.S. after being rescued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and the local police department.
Shyima Hall shares details from her book, “Hidden Girl,” which was published last month, in this week’s edition of People Magazine.
She dedicates the book to HSI Supervisory Special Agent Mark Abend “for helping me navigate life in the United States, for his assistance in helping me raise awareness of basic human rights, and for his dedication to end slavery in our world,” she writes in the book.
Abend calls it the proudest moment of his career, he said, because of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles the 24-year-old Hall has overcome throughout her life.
“I’ve never seen someone that very well could have had a broken spirit, stand up and say ‘I’m not taking this,’ and become such an example of strength to others,” Abend said.
Hall was sold by her family into slavery in Egypt when she was 10 years old. The Egyptian couple who enslaved her moved to Irvine, Calif., and smuggled Hall with them.
She spent two years living in squalor while caring for her new family around the clock with no pay, until HSI special agents and Irvine police officers rescued her after receiving an anonymous tip.
“This was a shining example of how the work we do at ICE helps families,” Abend said.
He has stayed in touch with Hall through the years, the relationship providing a sense of stability for her as she built her life in the U.S., he said. She aims to become an ICE special agent because of how the agency helped free her from slavery, she told Abend.
“There is so much she has done and still so much she wants to do, she is so full of life,” Abend said.
She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011.
What the Modern World Owes Slavery (It’s More Than Back Wages)
The Huffington Post
February 24, 2014
By Greg Grandin, Professor of History, NYU
Many in the United States were outraged by the remarks of conservative evangelical preacher Pat Robertson, who blamed Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake on Haitians for selling their souls to Satan. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble — as many as 300,000 died — when Robertson went on TV and gave his viewing audience a little history lesson: the Haitians had been “under the heel of the French” but they “got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.'”
A supremely callous example of right-wing idiocy? Absolutely. Yet in his own kooky way, Robertson was also onto something. Haitians did, in fact, swear a pact with the devil for their freedom. Only Beelzebub arrived smelling not of sulfur, but of Parisian cologne.
Haitian slaves began to throw off the “heel of the French” in 1791, when they rose up and, after bitter years of fighting, eventually declared themselves free. Their French masters, however, refused to accept Haitian independence. The island, after all, had been an extremely profitable sugar producer, and so Paris offered Haiti a choice: compensate slave owners for lost property — their slaves (that is, themselves) — or face its imperial wrath. The fledgling nation was forced to finance this payout with usurious loans from French banks. As late as 1940, 80% of the government budget was still going to service this debt.
In This State: Historian finds imprecise end to slavery in Vermont
February 23, 2014
Vermonters have long prided themselves on their state’s enlightened stance on race relations. The fact that the first state constitution in 1777 prohibited slavery is often cited as evidence that Vermont led the nation in establishing universal human rights.
But a new book by a University of Vermont history professor makes it clear that Vermont should stop patting itself on the back.
“The Problem of Slavery in Early Vermont, 1777-1810” by professor Harvey Amani Whitfield challenges one of Vermont’s most firmly held myths: that slavery was ended here in 1777. The book, published by the Vermont Historical Society this month, documents the inescapable truth that racism and even slavery were much a part of this state’s formative years, and lasted well after 1777.
Saturday, 12 October 2013—4-7p.m At the Longhouse, 4705 West Marginal Way SW, Seattle, WA
The Duwamish Tribe in association with PoetsWest will host a program of poetry and storytelling by Native Americans. Other local tribes are invited to participate in this inaugural event. An open mic will follow featured readers for those who have poems dealing with the indigenous peoples. The program will be recorded for radio and TV.
Representatives from the Duwamish Tribe’s heritage group “Singing Feet” will share traditional Duwamish teachings through story and song. TilibSedeb (Singing-Feet), the Duwamish tribe’s language and culture group was recently honored as a recipient a 2012 Mayor’s Arts Awards from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. In January 2009, the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center was opened to promote and share the heritage of Chief Seattle’s Duwamish Tribe–Seattle’s First People and only native tribe. Duwamish tribal leadership continues unbroken since Chief Seattle. Cecile Hansen is the great, great, great, grand-niece of Chief Seattle and has served as the Chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribe for 37 years. The Longhouse provides a home for the Duwamish people and visible place to declare, “We are still here.” Like traditional potlatch houses, it is a gathering place to which the Duwamish can invite guests.
Is a talented and self-taught Native flutist creating his music not from notes, but from spirit within so each performance is unique and special. He plays a variety of native flutes and shares their stories as well as stories of his rich ethnic heritage. Listen to the sounds of eagle, running river, nature and spirit in the flute’s song.
Comes from a rich heritage of Cherokee, Miami, Irish and English ancestry and grew up among factory workers. He earned a teaching degree in English, Education and Sociology from Ball State University in 1969. Over the next thirty years he worked as a teacher, a carpenter, blues musician and freelance writer. He attended graduate school at the University of Arkansas, St. Edward’s University, East Texas State University and Indiana University. He won the Seattle’s Grand Slam in 1995. He has written three chapbooks, Nail and Other Hardworking Poems, Junkyard Dogz, Injunz and published an anthology Children Remember Their Fathers. His poetry, fiction and reviews have been published in numerous journals. Hubbard has recently served as vice president of the board of directors for the Washington Poets Association. He currently serves on the editorial staff of two magazines: Raven Chronicles and Cartier Street Review.
Philip Red Eagle
Philip H. Red Eagle is a born and raised Northwest writer, artist, metal smith and carver. He is the author of Red Earth: A Vietnam Warrior’s Journey; styled in mythical realism and now in 2nd Edition (saltpublishing.com). He is also the originator and a cofounder of The Raven Chronicles: A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word (1991-Present), currently based in Seattle. Philip is an “occasional poet” who, these days, spends most of his time working with Tribal Journeys, a cultural movement using the canoe as a vessel for cultural renewal.
J. Glenn Evans
Part Cherokee, native of Oklahoma, founder of PoetsWest and Activists for a Better World, hosts PoetsWest at KSER 90.7FM, a nationally-syndicated weekly radio show. Evans is author of a book of poetry, Window in the Sky, and three chapbooks, Buffalo Tracks, Deadly Mistress and Seattle Poems. Author of three novels, Broker Jim, Zeke’s Revenge and Wayfarers, numerous political essays, several local community histories including a history of Seattle’s Pike Place Market and he has been published in many literary journals. A former stockbroker-investment banker, Evans has lived in Seattle since 1960, worked in a lumber mill, operated a mining company and co-produced a movie, Christmas Mountain, with Mark Miller, and co-starring Slim Pickens.
Following the poetry and storytelling the movie on Princess Angeline
and the history of the Duwamish Tribe will be shown along with a tour of the Longhouse. Authentic Fry bread will be available for sale along with selected free refreshments. Free event, but more info and tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/481431!
If Congress truly represented the American people, you would award Bradley Manning the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery against the enemy within. He is a true American hero who risked his life and possible life imprisonment for making the American people aware of criminal acts and war crimes committed in their names.
Yet you have allowed the military that is subject to your control because it is you and you alone who appropriate the funds for their existence and continued operation, to demonize, torture and prosecute this young patriot who made the American people aware of crimes committed in their names.
There has been no outrage on your part for the crimes and criminal acts exposed by Bradley Manning. Instead of investigating the crimes and prosecuting the criminals, you have allowed military and executive branch to make a scapegoat of this young patriot instead of going after the real criminals within our government and military.
Each of you has sworn an oath to defend our Constitution. If you, who are supposed to represent the American people, allow the military and executive branch of this nation to execute or imprison this young patriot, then 10 million Americans should storm his place of imprisonment and demand his release and compensation for his unjust detention and torture. We recall the rebuke made by Joseph Welch in the 1950s to Senator McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” We say: “Has the United States Government lost its humanity?”
Like Socrates who stood firm against a corrupt government, Bradley Manning’s name will live on long after you, holed up in your citadel of corrupted wealth, have all been forgotten.
J. Glenn Evans and Barbara Evans
Copyleft 2013 J. Glenn Evans
(Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)
J. Glenn Evans Former card-carrying Republican and stockbroker-investment banker. Part Cherokee and native of Oklahoma. Earned a BS in Business from East Central University (Ada, OK). Has lived in Seattle since 1960. Worked in a lumber mill, operated a mining company and co-produced a movie, Christmas Mountain, with Mark Miller starring Slim Pickens. Award-wining poet and founder of PoetsWest and Activists for a Better World, hosts PoetsWest at KSER 90.7FM, a syndicated weekly radio show through Pacifica’s AudioPort.org. Author of four books of poetry: Buffalo Tracks, Deadly Mistress, Window in the Sky, Seattle Poems, two novels, Broker Jim and Zeke’s Revenge, essay book, Uncommon Common Sense and several local community histories including Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Widely published in literary journals. Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
- ‘I Am Bradley Manning’: Celebrities Line Up For Video Supporting Embattled Military Whistleblower (mediaite.com)
- Download BRADLEY MANNING’S WAR for Free (mikedaisey.blogspot.com)
A Conversation with Idle No More’s Leanne Simpson
Leanne Simpson collecting wild rice.
In December 2012, the Indigenous protests known as Idle No More exploded onto the Canadian political scene, with huge round dances taking place in shopping malls, busy intersections, and public spaces across North America, as well as solidarity actions as far away as New Zealand and Gaza. Though sparked by a series of legislative attacks on indigenous sovereignty and environmental protections by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, the movement quickly became about much more: Canada’s ongoing colonial policies, a transformative vision of decolonization, and the possibilities for a genuine alliance between natives and non-natives, one capable of re-imagining nationhood.
Throughout all this, Idle No More had no official leaders or spokespeople. But it did lift up the voices of a few artists and academics whose words and images spoke to the movement’s deep aspirations. One of those voices belonged to Leanne Simpson, a multi-talented Mississauga Nishnaabeg writer of poetry, essays, spoken-word pieces, short stories, academic papers, and anthologies. Simpson’s books, including Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Protection and Resurgence of Indigenous Nations and Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence, have influenced a new generation of native activists.
At the height of the protests, her essay, Aambe! Maajaadaa! (What #IdleNoMore Means to Me) spread like wildfire on social media and became one of the movement’s central texts. In it she writes: “I support #idlenomore because I believe that we have to stand up anytime our nation’s land base is threatened—whether it is legislation, deforestation, mining prospecting, condo development, pipelines, tar sands or golf courses. I stand up anytime our nation’s land base in threatened because everything we have of meaning comes from the land—our political systems, our intellectual systems, our health care, food security, language and our spiritual sustenance and our moral fortitude.”
On February 15, 2013, I sat down with Leanne Simpson in Toronto to talk about decolonization, ecocide, climate change, and how to turn an uprising into a “punctuated transformation.”
READ THE INTERVIEW: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/06
LET’S GET ABOARD
By J. Glenn Evans
Now that most of us have voted or will have done so shortly, what comes next? You may not have gotten aboard for this election, but let’s grab the future. Most likely, unless we do something ourselves, there won’t be any change but more of the same downhill ride with the two 1% parties. Many people hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils, thinking they had little choice but to do so. But, we truly do have an alternative if we will unite and accept the responsibility for changing things.
The people selected by the two major parties and put in power by our rigged election system are not going to change anything except make things worse until they feel threatened. If this happens, they will throw us a few crumbs until things settle down, then it’s back to the same old business of doing the bidding of the 1%.
Our politicians have the power, right now, to take the money out of the elections, to limit the amount of money and time spent on elections, and even to make the elections public-financed. They could require the broadcast companies to devote 20% of their broadcast time 30 days before the elections as a royalty due the citizens for the free use of our airwaves. This time would be for the free and equal use of candidates running for office. They could enact a fair tax code and close the loopholes that benefit only the 1%. But as long as big money is involved in our politics, these changes won’t happen.
As long as they are able to deny the vote to many of our citizens, the 1% rule, and we have lost the sovereignty of the people. This loss of citizen sovereignty is why we all need to get aboard. We must unite and organize to make the changes that will save our nation and reclaim our democracy from the claws of the predatory 1%. Let’s all get aboard and make it happen. When they utilize their money to rule us that is when we say “NO MORE.”
Rocky Anderson of the new Justice Party is the rising star to lead and help us rebuild a new United States of America that we can once again be proud of. Join the Justice Party and let’s fill up our Senate, House of Representatives, the state houses, and local community offices with real patriots who will support the American people. Then let’s put Rocky Anderson in the White House in 2016. Let’s start talking and acting like WE MEAN BUSINESS.
Copyleft 2012 J. Glenn Evans (Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)
We Highly recommend these links: TO HELP REGAIN OUR DEMOCRACY
VoteSawant | A Voice for the 99% Taking on the establishment if you are in Washington State
CHANGE UNLESS YOU WANT AN EQUALIZATION TAX
by J. Glenn Evans
Look, folks, I’m happy that you are comfortable and do not have to worry about your daily bread about which so many millions of our fellow humans must be concerned. I do not envy your wealth and don’t want to take it for myself. But when you use your wealth to take control of our government of the people and for the people, when you control the airwaves to dumb down our people, monopolize the banks and our industrial operations, lock up our prisoners in privatized institutions for profit, pollute our environment, ignore global warming that may destroy all life, create wars to enhance your wealth and destroy our youth, take away the social network for the poor and keep them ignorant by allowing our educational institutions to atrophy, then you step on all our toes and the world cries out for an equalization tax.
Unless you rein in the greeds among you who are creating so much havoc, tying up all the vital resources and enslaving the people of the world, corrupting our governments and institutions to enhance their wealth even further, then it’s time that we the people of the world take action and create an equalization tax that takes into common ownership all wealth that exceeds $10 million per any single individual and $100 million under the control of any single institution. The resources of this planet are here for the benefit of all life, not only for a few greedy grabbers. Why should one person be allowed accumulate enough for a thousand lifetimes while thousands of their fellow citizens go hungry and unsheltered.
So fess up, back down or face the ultimate consequences. Unfortunately, those in control often see no need for change until they are in sight of the guillotine and then it is too late. No one wants to see another French Revolution, where a lot of innocent people on all sides suffer. Those who hold the reins of power will, unfortunately, kill a lot of people by use of their technology, police and armies, but the jig will be up for them when the police and soldiers in the army realize that they have taken an oath to defend our Constitution and they are part of the 99% and not the 1%. It is time for a re-examination of our institutions and make the necessary changes to bring about social and economic justice for all. Every single adult of sound mind must be given an unhampered vote and anyone or group who tampers with this right must be brought to justice.
Copyleft 2012 J. Glenn Evans (Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)
By J. Glenn Evans
Let’s show Wall Street, CEOs of mega-corporation, the international banksters and their lapdogs the Democrat and Republican Parties just who are the real bosses in this country. Both the Democratic and the Republican Parties smugly rest assured knowing that you will vote for one party or the other because they have set the stage to keep all others out. Each party knows they will have their turn, because the same 1% control both parties. They have become the two-headed corporate party. Because the same groups control our state legislatures, they have been able to create obstacles limiting ballot access to newly formed parties and essentially disenfranchise many of our citizens by their rules and regulations. Using the corporate media and celebrative distractions they have been able to put many of our citizens to sleep as to what has really been happening in our country.
WE THE PEOPLE should knock them off their smug pedestals by not voting Democrat or Republican. The Democratic Party knows that you will vote for them as the lesser of two evils, so they don’t need to listen to you. Voting for the lesser of two evils has become an addiction that allows both parties to control you. Vote for progressive independents, third party candidates or write in the third party candidate’s names if he or she is not listed on the ballot of your state. In fact, in my opinion, a vote for any other party, or progressive independent that denies a vote to these two rogue parties is an act of true patriotism.
Rocky Anderson of the Justice party, running for president along with his vice president running mate, Luis Rodriguez, are in my opinion, the best candidates running for those offices. Rocky Anderson, while serving two terms in the executive position of mayor of Salt Lake City, reduced the city’s pollution by 30 percent. He also has a proven record of standing up for human rights and protection of the environment, so critical in these days of climate change. Both Rocky and Luis have records of standing up for justice for all. I encourage you to check the links below to see how they stand on the critical issues that WE THE PEOPLE are concerned about and how we can regain our Democracy. Show the Democratic and Republican duopolies that WE THE PEOPLE are the true bosses of this country and show them the door.
Copyleft 2012 J. Glenn Evans (Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)
J. Glenn Evans: Poet, novelist, historian and political activist, Seattle resident since 1960, author of Peoples’ Manifesto, The Hour is Late, numerous other political essays and Little History of Pike Place Market, several local histories, two novels: Broker Jim and Zeke’s Revenge and four books of poetry: Window in the Sky, Seattle Poems, Buffalo Tracks, and Deadly Mistress. Part Cherokee, native of Oklahoma and graduate of Wewoka High School and East Central University, OK. Produces and hosts a weekly radio show of poetry and stories made available to nonprofit radio stations worldwide through Pacifica’s AudioPort. JGE2@poetswest.com: www.poetswest.com
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THISE LINKS AS A HELP REGAIN OUR DEMOCRACY— J. Glenn Evans
- Click here to see who really stands with you at voterocky.org.
- An Alternative to the Duopoly
- The National Initiative for Democracy
- Let’s take our government back
A warm wind blows
Across the prairies
Up the mountains
Through the valleys
Among the towers
The farther it goes
The warmer it gets
Until it ignites a spark
That builds an eternal flame
In the hearts of those who cherish
For all peoples
Of this land and the world
We’re the Justice Party
We’re running Rocky Anderson
For president and in the next election
We’ll run senators representatives
In states counties and cities
The naysayers say
You won’t hurt our
Democrats and Republicans
We’re the 1% we’ll outspend you
With our corporate and banker money
But they gave us Homeland Security
They gave us the Patriot Act
They gave us the NDAA
They trashed our Constitution
Yeah, we remember all that
We are the 99%
We cherish our Constitution
We cherish our liberties
We cherish our freedoms
We cherish justice for all
By J. Glenn Evans Copyleft 2012 (Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)
Background information on the new Justice Party: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Activists for a Better World in Seattle WA
23 September 2011
J. Glenn Evans
September 21, 2011 was a sad day in America and for the world. The leaders of the state of Georgia, the US Supreme Court and the President of the United States all had the power to declare a stay of execution until a determination of the guilt or innocence of Troy Davis could be made. Much evidence existed that this man was innocent when seven of the witnesses recanted their previous testimony against him, stating that they had been under police duress. It is a sad state of affairs when government leaders fail to act to save the life of a person where there was reasonable doubt of his guilt, even when thousands of people all over the world including many prominent former government officials pleaded for his life. Such leaders by their failure to act in prevention of a state murder forfeit their worthiness to serve in a responsible position in a free country. The citizens at the next election should replace them and that includes those with the power of impeachment of the Supreme Court for their failure to act in the prevention of this state criminal act. Let us not forget Troy Davis and let him be buried and forgotten. Remember him on Election Day and each September 21st when our nations honor was tarnished.
J. Glenn Evans
Copyleft 2011 J. Glenn Evans
Vision: Van Jones At Power Shift 2011: ‘While They’re Stuck On Stupid In DC, Your Generation Is Rising’
In a passionate keynote address, green jobs leader Van Jones exhorted the 10,000 youth climate activists at the Power Shift conference in Washington DC to “shift the power” and lead the clean power revolution. He argued that both parties need to be held accountable for their failures, and that activists must explain that the climate movement isn’t just about “hippie power” but that it is a vision of liberty and justice for all. Van Jones had harsh words for the national political establishment. “You have to be wise enough to hold both parties to high standards,” he said: While they’re stuck on stupid in DC, your generation is rising. Van Jones also discussed President Barack Obama, who hired him as a green jobs adviser but then let him go after Jones’ politics and person came under a relentless barrage from Fox News’ Glenn Beck. Jones argued that President Obama is like the friend who has the potential to be an A-plus student, but is only getting C’s and D’s. Jones told the assembled youth from campuses around the nation they can be a “hero for making sure your friend gets an A-plus on his presidency.” Van Jones described how we have a civilization “fueled by death” — fossil fuels from plants and animals that died millions of years ago: We pull out of the ground death. We burn death in our power plants. Why do we get shocked when we get death in our sky as
global warming, death in our oceans as oil spills, death in our children’s lungs as asthma and cancer? The strongest moments of his speech came when he discussed America’s basic principles, in the context of arguing with “your uncle Joe” who watches Fox News at the Thanksgiving table. “Don’t you believe in liberty?” Van asked. “Shouldn’t we have the right as Americans to be energy producers?” he asked. “Shouldn’t we have the right and liberty to be free from energy companies who dictate how much we pay, what air we breathe?” Coal and oil companies try to divide us with cultural stereotypes and political ideology, when a green economy is actually the truly American economy: The stereotype is that solar power is just hippie power. But it’s also cowboy power, farmer power, rancher power, and Appalachian mountain power!
Van Jones addressed the Tea Party movement that sees him as a “terrorist” and “communist.” “I’m glad our sisters and brothers in the Tea Party are talking about liberty,” he said. However, he said,
they’re missing something important. The Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t just talk about liberty being integral to our nation: The Pledge of Allegiance says liberty and justice for all!
With his voiced raised to the diverse crowd, Van Jones said “justice for all” includes justice for minorities, justice for women, justice for gays, and justice for the poor. “Shift the power!” Van Jones concluded to thunderous applause.
It will take more than rebranding to make tar sands oil “ethical”
Alberta tar sands contribute to about five per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions
Ripping a page — or the cover — from fellow Conservative and former tobacco industry lobbyist Ezra Levant’s book, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his new environment minister, Peter Kent, have taken to referring to the product of the Alberta tar sands as ethical oil.
The Prime Minister and Mr. Levant go back a long way. It was Mr. Levant who reluctantly stepped aside as the Alliance candidate in Calgary Southwest so that Mr. Harper could run in a by-election there in 2002. But the “ethical oil” argument they promote has holes as big as the ones in the ground around Fort McMurray.
To start, the logic is faulty. Just because a country or society is considered “ethical” does not mean everything it produces or exports is ethical. If we are going to delve into the ethics of the issue, we must look at the ethics of energy overall. That means considering the impacts of various energy systems on people and the environment.
Here, the science is troubling. It shows that the Alberta tar sands contribute to about five per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and are the country’s fastest growing source of emissions. To date, they have disturbed 600 square kilometres of boreal forest with little or no chance of true reclamation, use enormous amounts of water, and pollute the surrounding air and water.
This past summer, an independent, peer-reviewed scientific study showed that toxic byproducts from the tar sands extraction industry are poisoning the Athabasca River, putting downstream First Nations communities and the fish they eat at risk. Health studies show these First Nations communities already have elevated rare cancers associated with exposure to such toxins.
If this is the most “ethical” source of oil we can find, we need to ask other questions about the moral purity of our intensively processed bitumen. For example, if we sell the oil to countries with poor human-rights records, like China, does that affect the product’s “ethical” nature? And how “ethical” are the companies operating in the tar sands; for example, Exxon Mobil, well-known sponsor of climate-change disinformation campaigns; BP, responsible for last year’s massive oily disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; or PetroChina? There’s also the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on our children and grandchildren, which to me is an intergenerational crime.
In this light, wouldn’t energy from technologies or sources that limit the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and that have a minimal environmental and health impacts be far more ethical than fossil fuels? And, from an economic perspective, wouldn’t these more ethical technologies or fuel sources be doubly attractive to foreign buyers if they came from an “ethical” country like Canada?
As award-winning Alberta author Andrew Nikiforuk has argued, with proper development, the tar sands could help provide Canada with the oil and money we need to shift to a low-carbon economy. But major changes are needed. Environmental regulation and monitoring must be strengthened. Pollution and related health problems must be addressed. More of the revenue must go to Canadians rather than fossil fuel companies. And a national carbon tax would help us move from oil to less-polluting energy sources.
The problem is, no matter what Ezra Levant and his friends in government say, oil has never been about “ethics”. It has always been about money. Those who argue the case for “ethical oil” should work to ensure that our energy needs are met in a truly ethical way, now and into the future. In the end, the only truly ethical solution is to phase out oil. The black eye that tar sands oil is sporting can’t be remedied with meaningless phrases such as “ethical oil”.
To be seen as truly ethical when it comes to energy policy, Canada must slow down tar sands development, clean up the environmental problems, implement a national carbon tax, improve the regulatory and monitoring regime, and make sure that Canadians are reaping their fair share of the revenues. We must also start taking clean energy seriously. Rather than subsidizing the tar sands and all the fossil fuel industry through massive tax breaks, we should be investing in energy technologies that will benefit our health, economy, and climate.
It might also help if Canada’s environment minister spent more time protecting the environment rather than appeasing the oil industry and its apologists.