Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hundreds of herbal products to be outlawed across EU in early 2011...


(NaturalNews) The global effort to outlaw herbs, vitamins and supplements is well under way, and in just four months, hundreds of herbal products will be criminalized in the UK and across the EU. It's all part of an EU directive passed in 2004 which erects "disproportionate" barriers against herbal remedies by requiring them to be "licensed" before they can be sold.

It's called the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD), Directive 2004/24/EC.

The licensing requirements, however, were intentionally designed to make sure that virtually no herbs could ever meet them. It costs from $125,000 to $180,000 to license a single herb with the EU, and since herbs cannot be patented and don't have the monopolistic pricing found in pharmaceuticals, there's simply not enough profit margin in most herbs to justify such huge expenditures from any one company.

But that's sort of the point. Governments of the world have been conspiring with the pharmaceutical industry for decades to destroy the competition by outlawing nutritional supplements, herbal remedies and many other forms of natural medicine.

They really are coming for your natural medicine

Some people in the USA are still skeptical that this could ever happen in the "land of the free," yet it's happening in Europe right now, and the U.S. is probably not far behind. In just four months, health food stores in the UK will be stripped bare of these suddenly "illegal" herbs, and the many millions of people who have come to depend on them as a safe, natural and non-invasive form of medicine will be forced to pursue pharmaceuticals instead of herbs.

And that's also the point. By driving these products off the shelves, governments know they will simultaneously herd people into doctors' offices where they will be prescribed medications that benefit the wealthy corporations that keep politicians in office (in every western nation).

It may also drive people to acquire herbs from sources that have poor quality controls. As Dr Rob Verkerk of the Alliance For Natural Health said in an Independent article, "Thousands of people across Europe rely on herbal medicines to improve their quality of life. They don't take them because they are sick - they take them to keep healthy. If these medicines are taken off the market, people will try and find them elsewhere, such as from the internet, where there is a genuine risk they will get low quality products, that either don't work or are adulterated." (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...)

You must beg the King for permission

The MHRA (UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) has received 166 applications for herbal product licensing and has granted 78 so far. Do you see how this works? Now you must be "granted" a license in order to exercise your Natural Law right to engage in the free commerce of Mother Nature's plants. Big Government has stolen from European citizens their natural rights and is now condemning many of them to suffering or even death as a result.

That's how governments always work in the end: They expand their power at the expense of your freedom. The centralize control over your life while maximizing the profits of the powerful corporations that keep them in business. You're watching it happen right now across Europe, and if we don't put a stop to this, it will soon happen in the United States as well. It's already under way, in fact, with the FDA's outlawing of scientifically-validated free speech about nutritional supplements. There's also a war under way on raw milk, and need I even mention the decades-long war being waged against medical marijuana?

Which herbs are under threat of being banned

Here are some of the hundreds of herbs that are about to be banned across Europe:

• Ashwagandha
• Cascara Sagrada
• Pau D'Arco
• Skullcap
• Horny Goat Weed

... and hundreds more, especially Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas.

Sign the petition

Efforts are under way in Europe to try to reverse this highly destructive directive. You can sign this petition at: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/...

Also, the European office of the Alliance for Natural Health is working diligently to attempt to protect health freedom for EU citizens: http://www.anh-europe.org

They could really use your support right now if you're considering an end-of-year donation of some kind. Health freedom is worth defending, and as we're seeing right now, if we don't take a stand against this, we will all lose our access to natural remedies, vitamins, supplements and perhaps even naturopathic medicine.

There really is a global conspiracy to force you to take pharmaceuticals and surrender your body to conventional medicine. Governments around the world absolutely do not want you to have free choice about how to treat your own health, because "choice" implies that you, like literally billions of other people across the planet, might not choose to poison yourself with conventional medicine's deadly drugs.

More sources of articles to read

http://www.gaia-health.com/articles...

http://www.anh-europe.org/node/3113

http://www.consumersforhealthchoice.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/030873_EU_directive_medicinal_herbs.html#ixzz19dSqPVSX



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I was directed to this video by an email from Code Pink...




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

We're in the middle of celebrating our version of Kwanzaa...

Some days we're doing much more observance than others but the sentiment is there, nonetheless. It's been great. An excellent alternative to this society's xmas greed christianity obsession. So quiet and not hysterically performative around here. Just all of us spending a lot of time together. That works.



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Dr. Gabor Maté on the stress-disease connection, addiction, attention deficit disorder and the destruction of american childhood...



Democracy Now! special with the Canadian physician and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté. From disease to addiction, parenting to attention deficit disorder, Dr. Maté’s work focuses on the centrality of early childhood experiences to the development of the brain, and how those experiences can impact everything from behavioral patterns to physical and mental illness. While the relationship between emotional stress and disease, and mental and physical health more broadly, is often considered controversial within medical orthodoxy, Dr. Maté argues too many doctors seem to have forgotten what was once a commonplace assumption, that emotions are deeply implicated in both the development of illness, addictions and disorders, and in their healing. [includes rush transcript]






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

I've never heard of Dr. Binayak Sen or of the Naxalites...




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

happy belated or not so belated holidays...



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

One young feminist is demanding that some of the feminist higher ups reign in naomi (rape apologist) wolfe...

it's funny how slow people are.

i said didn't trust obamarama. i asked people to not believe him. i asked them to not vote for him.
what did they do?
they listened to him. they trusted him. they believed in (what he said was) his vision.
they voted for him.
now he's screwing all of them slowly to a wall on behalf of wall street and the military.

but i remember further back than rock star super white house with the final two democratic contestants hilary and obamarama with all their spin doctored lies, manufactured lies, hidden agendas now fully publicly making their true allegiances known...
i remember back to when naomi wolfe or her stoopid ass (white) beauty myth first came on the scene.

i remember thinking that her words never fit me as a black woman. they never had any weight or significance. her words felt limited. her analysis was limited and flat.

when she came on the scene, so white, so young, so perky, so straight looking and EVERYone sat up and paid attenion...

I was like...nah...the mainstream media like her too much. they feel too comfortable with her. they think she puts a new face on feminism that counteracts the old second wave image that wasn't so pop culture and media friendly. she was a friendly, engaging, pouty lipped accessible, white hottie girl feminist who didn't yell, who wore a bra, who had long hair, who smiled and engaged courteously.
that's what i figured was happening.

i never fixated on her way back then. i never read even one of her books. ie never counted her as one of my feminist influences. i never checked to see what she was saying about any feminist issue.

so, when i read through the reading of other feminist's writings that referenced her response to the allegations of rape leveled against julian assange, i sort of went: "okay. so that's what she's saying. yahh..."

i mean, i wasn't horrified.
i didn't feel deeply betrayed.
i didn't feel the need to go tweet her or to go search her blog.
i didn't bother to excise her from my sidebar list of kewl feminists to watch out for...because she wasn't there to begin with.

i know that for many wimmin, she was big ting. i can't feel their pain. but i do understand that what she has done is a strategically located land mine. a big bad.

i've been carrying on over on facebook and here on this blog about how julian assange's silence will have the effect of dividing those of us who have supported him. for so
many of us, that kind of openness, that kind of transparency isn't just something we demand from the governments who attempt to dominate us, it's something we expect from everyone we want to respect, everyone we want to love, everyone we want to take seriously. it is life blood.

it is right across the board. not just for them but not for us.

it's for everyone. we expect it of everyone and define our allegiances by who can do it and who can't. erm...that we should really be an i. :) i move that way. i believe that. i expect that of anyone who expects my support and attention.

i do.

so i watch and wait and still support his work. his work still has credibility for me. it's just that his silence and avoidance shifts whether i can take him seriously as a person who is maturing, accountable, trustworthy and striving to do what's right across the board.

we need to know.

i need to know.

i don't believe in the invisible all powerful white man in the sky who does miracles no one can empirically trace back to him. so why would i take julian assange's complete lack of culpability on faith when i'm not getting the whole story about what happened?

sigh...messy rubbing of genitals. it fucks up everything. :(


and this is where naomi wolfe with her attack of the wimmin entered and muddied the already completely messed up terrain, coming down on the side of those who called into question the wimmin rather than the man.

i've been so worried about the pro-wikileaks forces being divided that i didn't think about the fact that this will wreak completely utter havoc inside feminist communities that have already sustained so much damage via so many different kinds of internal wars of ideology and belief in blogland but more importantly in real time for decades.

feminism is a fractured, multi-faceted tree with so many different branches heading off in this direction and that. i'm not a fan of all branches. some i find a bit too simple, others i find a bit too judgemental, others still i find a bit too zealous and religious, unwittingly linked to right wing factions via beliefs about things such as sex work, porn and bdsm.

but still...
the beauty of the creature...
it's ability to energetically and creatively sprout hydra heads in such awesome multiplicity...
i mean...i have to admit that i tend to stay away from most of the heads cuz they bite and i have been bitten. hehehe :)
but i do love to watch from a distance. i do take pleasure in the amazing intellectual, personal and political force it takes to manifest a completely new branch of feminism...from a distance.

but naomi wolfe...
naomi wolfe...
she's not manifesting a new branch of feminism. even for someone like me who tends to be irreverent and not do as she's told and not pay attention to the feminist high command, it's horrifying to watch naomi hack away at one of the most basic tenets of feminism that all of us (even the unaffiliated ones like me) believe in and hold to be true - a woman who says she's been raped must always be met with belief.

she must ALWAYS be met with belief.

it might come out after closer investigation, after a closer look at what she's said that she's lying. that happens. wimmin have lied about being raped for their own reasons. so it might end up that what she said happened was very different than what happened.

but STILL, until we're sure or as sure as we can be after examining what might either be a deluge of facts or an utter paucity of material and witnesses, we never, EVER start out by disbelieving her.

automatically disbelieving a woman who says she has been raped is NOT what should happen.

and this is where naomi wolfe had the ballz, the utter gall to start out. wow. she started out by not believing the women involved.

she could have started out by meeting with the wimmin, hearing their stories, listening to them carefully with an analytical ear, peering at them with an emotionally intelligent gaze and promised them to get to the bottom of what had happened in a way that would offer them dignity and support.

then she could have met with julian assange and carefully interviewing him, asking him difficult questions about his choices and movements.

after that, she could have compared the information all the parties gave, read what they said for meaning but also paying attention to what was not said, to nuance offered by facial expression and body language.

she wasn't supposed to start off by writing an article attacking the wimmin. that was just plain wrong. that was about as unfeminist as it comes.

okay...
i don't have much more to write about this.
i just wanted to point out that a young white blogland feminist has written an open letter to some of the white feminist higher ups requesting that naomi be censured. i think this is a good course of action. i think that someone has to take some leadership here and ask naomi to be accountable for her actions.

but i should add here that in my experience feminist real time and in blogland, although we all trace our evolution and lineage back through time through to very similar places, are rarely willing to be accountable.

i've had numerous run ins with feminists, usually fairly well known and well liked, who refused to be accountable for their own fucked up actions, who when challenged by me, actually put together vigilante posses of feminists who liked and respected them to ride out and attack, rather than stand accountable.

it's true. big feminists, feminists with cred who are all over everyone's blog sidebar, who have links in the hundreds or thousands, who have book deals in the works, who are just biding their time until they get tenure, don't like to be accountable. they want to keep things looking neat even if the process of making things look neat causes casualties. even if it divides us. even if it means that they end up behaving in ways that are completely unethical. at least they managed to save face. at least their vaulted reputations as warriors on the side of truth and justice remain intact.

so, i'm not holding out a lot of hope that the old ones will even bother to get themselves involved in this shit storm, although this is exactly where they need to be. and i'm definitely not of the mind that naomi wolfe will allow them to say shit about her actions even if they do decide to attempt to speak with her critically about her choice of approach.

sigh...
nonetheless, here's the letter...

Dear Second and Third Wave Feminists With Publicly Recognizable Names

Some of you, maybe only feminists know who you are, or those who care to crack a book or two. Lots of you have names that have penetrated the mainstream to such a degree that, when mentioned, most people are liable to know that you’ve got something to do with ladies, possibly even the f-word.

You don’t all agree on everything. Who does? Feminism has never been a monolith. We understand this, though the general public is still catching up. But, because your names are known, your words carry a lot of weight, become the assumed standpoint of all feminists. Almost all of you know that already. It’s why you do what you do — to speak for those who can’t speak, or won’t be heard if they do; to shake up the homogeneous, monochrome chamber of voices to which we’ve all become accustomed; to let others know that there are people out there fighting for them, that they, too, can fight.

You’re also human. You have flaws, and stubborn privileges, and blind spots. You have bad days. You may not have asked to become a mouthpiece for a movement, and cannot always bear up under the immense pressure to speak for more people than yourself — indeed, more people than you have likely ever seen with your own eyes. You may only allow yourself to be a mouthpiece because you know you are good at it while others aren’t, and from each according to their own ability, and all that. No one person is obligated to stand up for all the causes, take the right stance every time, and discuss only that which others have deemed important. Even those who are willing to try to do this sometimes cannot do it all the time.

I am asking you to do it this once.

I do not stand with Naomi Wolf.

I’d like to know if you do.

You are feminists who have fought a long, hard fight. We who are here today — young, in a changed world (though not changed enough), navigating the same old issues and ones you could never have imagined — came here on your shoulders, on your uplifted hands. We know you did the good work to awaken many of us. We know you continue in this. “Young” feminists and “old” feminists may not see eye to eye on many issues, but do believe there is never a moment that young feminists do not know that we are here because of you.

I am speaking as one of the young ones. I grew up calling myself a feminist, but I didn’t understand what that actually meant for a long time. I was lucky enough to go to college, and there, I was lucky enough to learn about the paths that had been beaten down before me. I learned the history of women’s rights, and of the women and men who demanded them, unequivocally. And, too, I learned that we are not monolith. I learned about the “waves”, splits across generations only recognized after-the-fact, created by an evolution in technology, terminology, and tactics. Much of this seemed only natural, and necessary; the world changes rapidly, and there is no movement that can hold doggedly steady as it spins. Some of this seemed shameful; the world changes rapidly, and there is no movement without members who are aggressively terrified of what they do not know and do not control. It was all educational. I could understand the path woven from then to now, why splits had occurred, why “waves” happened, and what they looked like from a distance, as a young person who considers these matters “history.”

That is a form of privilege itself — to view what has come before me as settled history, instead of an active struggle. It’s not a privilege I can shed solely through education, or listening; to end this privilege, I must be willing to wait for age and perspective. That’s not easy. I’m sure you remember.

I believe I have gained some age, and some perspective. I believe I have enough to say that the division between “old” feminists and “young” feminists, between the “third wave” and the fourth, or fifth, is not going to come about solely because of technology, or solely because of intersectionality, or solely because of any given divisive issue. I believe it is going to come because of a refusal to view our work — the work of those of my age and my perspective — as real work. A refusal to view our protests as real protests. A refusal to view our theory as real theory. All young feminists can acknowledge the work undertaken to bring us here today, despite our youth, despite our inexperience; it would hearten me to know that the old guard can acknowledge that we have taken up the torch, and continued forging ahead. It would hearten me to know that the age and perspective I will hopefully gain will include the ability to listen to the young, and take them seriously.

“No means no” took us a long way. To put it simply, but not inaccurately, it took us from a world where no meant yes. That is an incredible gain. But “no means no” has taken us as far as it can. Namely, it has taken us to “yes means yes.” It has taken us to a place where we can recognize, create theory, create terminology, and openly discuss the idea that sexual violence and sexual abuse can happen without a “no” as well as with one. We believe that requiring a “no” is not good enough, not a high enough standard. We require a “yes.”

“No means no” gave a voice to the abused, the raped, the victimized. It created a phrase to describe a phenomenon that men and women knew existed, but were unable to describe in a way that society as a whole took seriously. But it did not end the war on our bodies. It did not end the terrorism that makes us second-guess our clothing, map out our return home, walk with chaperones. It did not end the lifelong aftershocks of guilt and shame, wondering why we let them in, why we trusted them, why we kissed them. It did not lower the statistics that mock our hope that we have justice, or equality. The enemy adapted. The enemy always has. If no means no, why, then, ways will be found to keep us from speaking. Ways will be found to make it seem as if we have said “yes,” or not said “no” enough, or in the right tone of voice, or with the proper inflection, or at the right time. No means no, but only if you are not afraid to say it. No means no, but only if you keep saying it, for a lifetime, hoping it will work before the situation escalates. No means no, but only if you never give up saying it because you are tired, you are hungry, you are frightened, you are alone, you are intimidated, you are convinced that this will happen anyway, and will only get worse for you the longer you go on saying “no.”

We need more than “no means no.”

We have already begun creating the framework for this. There is a great conversation happening across the place the new guard has gathered to share, to organize, to strategize: the internet. We are creating theory. We are creating terminology. We are creating tactics. We are attempting to penetrate social consciousness, as you once did, until we can live in a world where we do not exist in a perpetual state of sexual availability, where we are not solely responsible as the gatekeepers of sex and rape. We are trying to create a world where all people are responsible for ensuring that sex is wanted, sex is safe, sex is sane. We are trying to create a world where the responsibility for stopping rape does not lie with the person who is being raped. And, too, we are trying to create a world where the responsibility for defining rape does not lie with the person being raped.

For many of us, that is what saying “no” during a frightening sexual encounter means; if our partner does not care if we want sex, if our partner does not care how we want sex, if our partner does not care if we are in pain or pleasure, if our partner does not care if we feel safe, if our partner does not care that we are moving away from them, if our partner does not care that we are trying to get to the door, then our partner will not care if we say “no,” and we will be raped. This is not difficult math for us to calculate. The only further calculation is how bad our rape is going to be, how long it will last, and how badly we will be injured. So as long as we keep our mouths shut, it will not be rape, and we will not be victims, and this will be over much sooner. If we say no, it will become rape, because “no” is what creates rape, “no” is what defines consent, not the lack of a “yes”. We are responsible for taking what could just be “bad sex,” over quickly and without too much pain, and turning it into “rape,” because we are responsible for saying “no” and our partners are not responsible for seeking an enthusiastic, mutual “yes.”

The people intent upon raping us know that “no means no” as much as we do. The people intent upon raping us do not want to think of this as a rape, do not want to think of themselves as rapists, do not want to allow the possibility of facing consequences for raping us. They will do everything within their power to make that “no” unbelievable or invisible. Perhaps they will try to make us eventually say “yes,” though we have said “no” twenty times. Perhaps they will threaten consequences that do not amount to force, but amount to our partner threatening consequences, and the implication that they are willing to threaten, to punish, to hurt us to acquire our defeat is not lost upon us. Perhaps they will yell, and cry, and scream. Perhaps they will pretend they did not hear us. Perhaps they will pretend they thought we only meant “no” to this and not that. Perhaps they will ask us to coffee later, or text us sweetly in the morning, or tuck us in afterward, and if we do not scream and cry and flee to the police in a shamble, this will be proof that our “no” could not have been such a “no,” because victims do not have coffee with their rapists, and rapists do not kiss their victims kindly. Or, perhaps, they will hurt us, escalate the rape into something that is now (thanks to your work) more commonly conceived as a rape. We do not wish to go through that. We do not wish to be beaten, threatened, choked, or made to bleed internally as the price for knowing it is not our fault. We will say “yes” rather than go through that. We will say “yes” when we know it is coming to that, and we will do that whether or not we have gained that knowledge through acts or words that are defined as rape in a court of law. We will do that because that is how human beings survive attacks. They do not wait for them to get worse. They do not wait until the legal threshold of allowable violence has been passed. We do this because we must adapt to survive, because we are smart and we are strong and we know that living through this with fewer scars is worth more than the bare glimmer of justice years of harassment from now; we do not do this because we are moral children who do not know better.

We are not trivializing rape by saying this is an attack upon us, anymore than it made rape trivial to believe, during your battle for this, that a “no” was all that was needed to create rape rather than a vicious, deadly beating by a stranger, or a loaded gun to the head. We believe there is no way that rape can be trivialized. We do not believe there is ever a time or a place or a situation in which rape is trivial. We want to live in a world where the wrongness of rape can never be called into question, never be made less, no matter what fool thing is said or done by others. We want to live in a world where “trivializing rape” is no longer a phrase bandied about so easily, because it will be an oxymoron. We want to live in a world where this phrase is recognized for what it is: a silencing tactic when victims become inconvenient.

Here is my fear.

I fear that, a generation from now, there will be a new history for the new generation. It will say that the fourth, fifth, sixth wave of feminism broke away because the second and third wave did not believe that a “yes” was necessary for sex. It will say that we broke away because one wave believed rape could be trivialized, and another did not.

I will be ashamed to be a part of the history of feminism, if that is to be our origin. I will have to question strongly if “feminism” is worthwhile as an organizing principle, if “feminism” can also mean that a “yes” after twenty “no”s is good enough, and that if zie didn’t want it, zie should have kept saying “no” until zhe accepted it (whenever that would be) or raped hir with an escalated degree of force (as that is the price zhe must pay if zhe wishes to be blameless).

I know there are those who do not call themselves “feminists,” not because they don’t understand feminism, but because they understand it too well. I know there are those who distrust me when I say I am a feminist, because to them, that means I may dismiss their experiences with race, with class, with disability, with gender ambiguity, with trans-ness, with a host of other issues that feminism has failed routinely. They distrust me because “feminism” means I may do more than actively dismiss, but shout them down, exclude them, call them the enemy, require they give up what they need to be safe, to be sane, to have dignity and basic human rights, so that they can fight my battle. They distrust me because “feminism” means I may shrug when a people who are not part of a feminist “cause” are being trampled and oppressed, because they are not convenient, or feminist enough, for my concerns, because their freedom gains me nothing. They distrust me because “feminism” means I may quit as soon as my own interests are met, as soon as my own comfort level is reached, as soon as I have toppled my own oppressor and taken their place. I struggle every day to hold on to my own label of feminism, because I do not think the people who distrust feminism are wrong. I think they are keeping me honest, if I am willing to let them.

I do not want, a generation from now, to find that the new wave has dropped the label “feminist” because it became synonymous with defiant rape apologism, because it damaged more people than it served. If I ever stop calling myself a feminist, I want it to be because I found something better, not because feminism got worse.

So here is what I am asking of you.

I ask that you denounce Naomi Wolf’s comments on Assange’s rape charges.

I ask that you denounce that “no means no” is all there is to rape.

I ask that you acknowledge that “yes means yes” is now a part of the feminist lexicon, wherever it might go, however it might evolve from here.

I ask that you acknowledge that “enthusiastic consent” is a theory highly worth pursuing.

I ask you to do this because you have names that people recognize as part of feminism. So does Naomi Wolf. And now we are all experiencing, en masse, the old phenomenon: “I know somebody who is a feminist, and they think this is fine.” A big-name feminist has said, publicly, that initiating sex with a partner who is asleep is not rape. That ripping a woman’s clothes off is not a force, is not a threat, is not violence, has no bearing upon the context of safety. That political targets are incapable of raping, because there can be no reason for them to be accused that is not politically motivated. This has given permission to all those who believe the same to tell us that we are wrong. The new guard, we know each other’s names, but the general public doesn’t know us very well yet. We do not have the weight of years of revolution behind us. When Naomi Wolf says that sleeping women can be raped legally, this becomes public knowledge. When we say, “yes means yes,” the general public does not hear, and the general public does not care. They can now point to Naomi Wolf and say, “You are wrong. You are not feminism. She is. And she says I can do this to you, and you can’t do anything about it.”

You have names. You have voices. Please give us somebody else to point to when we are told that we can be raped in the ways Naomi Wolf has decreed are acceptable. Please let us know that we are not on our own, that we have not already broken away, and did not hear the crack until Naomi Wolf “agreed to disagree” about our bodily autonomy, our safety. Please let us know that, with one arrogant statement, feminists cannot really erase the rapes that have been experienced by countless survivors. Please let us know that you hear us, that you believe we are feminism, too. Please do not let Naomi Wolf become the voice of what is rape, because rapists were listening when she spoke, and judges, and juries, and future victims who will spend their lives believing it was their fault, and they are always saying “yes” if they are not shouting “no.”

Ella Baker said, “You must believe in young people, because they have the courage where we fail.” I believed her when I first read that, at 21. I believed in those words, and I believed that it was worth delving deeper into feminism, believed it was worth dropping the naive belief that all our battles had been fought and solved, that the slogans then were all we needed now. I still believe that. I would like to think you believe it, believe that we have something of worth to add, that we are onto new paths and new battles, that we can be trusted to keep going when you cannot.

Ella Baker also said, “There is also the danger in our culture that because a person is called upon to give public statements and is acclaimed by the establishment, such a person gets to the point of believing that he is the movement.” Surely the public seems to believe this. Do not let Naomi Wolf be the face of our movement. Do not let her define what rape is, and what it isn’t, based on her belief in one man’s guilt or innocence. Do not let her statements on rape and consent go by without comment; I believe you know, through your own battles and sometimes demoralizing work, that silence signals agreement, that silence isolates, permeates, and eventually prevails, if uncontested by those with the power and the will. If you do not speak up now, I will have trouble believing you do not agree; certainly, so will those who are far less interested, far less dedicated, and far less informed about feminism than I am.

I would like to feel that I am part of an evolving movement of which I can be proud. It does not have to be perfect. But it has to be growing. It cannot be stagnant. I do not wish to grow older and point to a time at which I broke with feminism, because it was not interested in preserving my body from attack. Because it was not different enough from that which it opposed.

Please. Say something. We are talking as much as we can. We are pushing as hard as we can. We are doing our part. We would like to feel your hands holding us up, your shoulders beneath us once more.

Germaine Greer, please say something.

Gloria Steinem, please say something.

Susan Brownmiller, please say something.

Readers, please add to this list.


there aren't any white feminists I'd like to add to her list. i don't read or pay attention to any of them. they never spoke for me. they never spoke to me. i do, however, hope that they will speak to naomi wolfe about the terrible damaging significance of what she's done.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

I came across this while doing a search for feminist blogs that were not known to me...

I'm glad I did...

#MooreandMe: And Then He Came Down

Last night, I did something I hadn’t done in a very long time. I took a long, hot bath. I just laid there, and I started to feel how tired I was, and I started to feel less tense. And then I got up, and I went to my bedroom, and I laid down next to my boyfriend and my dog Hektor, who will insistently not act like a dog and sleep in a doggie bed or at the foot of the bed, he demands respect, damn it, he absolutely must sleep directly between you and the other person with his face right in your face, and I fell instantly asleep. I wasn’t distracted by sadness or anger or despair or tension, I wasn’t feeling awful for the first time in a long time, and so, I let the dog find a comfortable space next to me (FACE RIGHT IN YOUR FACE, FACE RIGHT IN YOUR FAAAACE), and I had a good night’s sleep. For the first time in a week.

Because I could do that, sort of. Because we won one. I’ll tell you why I’m certain we won it, a little later — the evidence may surprise you — but you might know part of it. The part where, in the last, final push of #MooreandMe, we turned all our hope and support and need for genuinely progressive media that takes rape claims seriously and does not smear or enable harm to women who report rape on to Rachel Maddow, and asked her to end #MooreandMe. And she got on her show, and she said this:

The timing could not be more suspicious. The man accused says he’s being pursued for political reasons. But even if you’re suspicious about the timing, there are two women who went to the police with what are essentially date-rape charges against this guy.

This doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker.

Can your suspicion about the forces arrayed against Julian Assange and Wikileaks — your suspicion about the timing and pursuit of these charges — coexist with respect for the women making these accusations against him and with a commitment to take rape allegations seriously, even when the person accused is someone that for other reasons you like?

Yes. You undoubtedly can. We’ve all been doing it for well over a week; #MooreandMe was only the most evident and obvious and loud manifestation of that commitment. But can you get a beloved progressive media figure say it on TV? You couldn’t, before #MooreandMe. You simply couldn’t. Maddow hadn’t screwed up on this story before, it’s true. But last night, she said, with great seriousness, that respecting those women and taking those charges seriously was important. And when her team posted it, to @MaddowBlog and the Maddow Blog, they specifically credited #MooreandMe.

And then Michael Moore came on. And the first question Rachel Maddow asked him, the first one she asked him, was about this. That the story had “blown up in a lot of directions.” It had blown up, and had reached out to Rachel Maddow, in one specific direction, and I can’t for the life of me see why she wouldn’t mention us on-air, but, OK. She asked him; she mentioned us, if not by name. And that’s the point at which Michael Moore said this:

Every woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted or raped has to be, must be, taken seriously. Those charges have to be investigated to the fullest extent possible. For too long, and too many women have been abused in our society, because they were not listened to, and they just got shoved aside… The older people here remember how it used to be. It’s not that much better now, it got a little better, because of the women’s movement made that happen.

And no, Michael Moore: It is not that much better now. It is, indisputably, not that much better. Naomi Wolf went on TV and told every viewer there that it isn’t rape if the victim is unconscious, that penetrating an unconscious woman is “consensual”: It’s not that much better. Those two women’s names were outed, to over 900,000 people, by you and by Keith Olbermann, and attached to a derogatory smear by a Holocaust denier and WikiLeaks representative on little to no evidence, because you support WikiLeaks and treated those two women as expendable in so doing: It’s not that much better. I got a message from a woman that the pro-Assange group, pro-WikiLeaks group she’s allied with, is posting messages that these women are liars and Assange is innocent, on its Facebook group, and that she’s being attacked for standing up to them: It’s not that much better. I got forwarded a link to an actual product that is being sold, an e-card featuring a drawing of a traumatized-looking woman huddled in a shower, reading “Congratulations! You just got bad touched”: It’s not that much better. A woman who was part of the protest told me that a message reading, in part, that she was “a cum-guzzling super slut wannabe hasbian dyke that is angry with the world because no matter how many times she flashed her uneven nigger breasts no man would ever touch her” was posted to streamofwikileaks.tumblr.com: It is not that much better. A man told me he had to stop protesting, had to stop posting #MooreandMe, because the harassment had gotten too intense, and “they have my home address and have explicitly threatened me and my wife,” and then he was such a goddamned good person that he actually apologized: It’s not that much better. Many of my friends, people I know and have worked with and respect, have come forward to tell me that they, too, are survivors, the absolute epidemic of rape and sexual assault that we face in this society has become that much clearer to me, the list of women I know who are also rape survivors has become much, much longer since I posted it on Saturday: It is not, it is indisputably not, that much better.

the rest is here...



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Continued persecution of anti-war activists by FBI...




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

WikiLeaks cables reveal u.s. sought to retaliate against europe over monsanto gm crops...



U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the Bush administration drew up ways to retaliate against Europe for refusing to use genetically modified seeds. In 2007, then-U.S. ambassador to France Craig Stapleton was concerned about France’s decision to ban cultivation of genetically modified corn produced by biotech giant Monsanto. He also warned that a new French environmental review standard could spread anti-biotech policy across Europe. We speak with Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology. [includes rush transcript]



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Checking in with Julian Assange...



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Capitalism is not in crisis...

capitalism IS the crisis...

is a documentary film about radical politics in Canada and the United States in the age of neoliberal austerity. Beginning with the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, this film examines radical politics and features original interviews with prominent thinkers such as Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Richard J.F. Day, Imre Szeman, David McNally, Leo Panitch, Gary Kinsman, Heather Gautney, Dana Williams, Peter Gelderloos, Sedef Arat-Koc, Ajamu Nangwaya, Wayne Price, Alex Khasnabish, Max Haiven, Mohamed Jean Veneuse, and more!

Capitalism Is The Crisis from Common Cause on Vimeo.



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Gunshot wounds and evictions: taking advantage of the wikileaks whiteout...

this was originally posted on intercontinental cry...

With the world's media focused on Wikileaks--and activists still working though the COP16 Summit in Cancun--governments have been seizing the opportunity to lash out at Indigenous Peoples, carrying out mass evictions and violent police offensives without anybody even noticing.

Leading up to the COP16 Summit in Cancun, on November 23, 2010, the Toba Qom indigenous community of La Primavera was brutally repressed by more than 100 heavily armed police officers in northeastern Argentina, leaving three people dead, one person in a coma and nearly two dozen injured. The Toba were holding a protest over the government's plans to build a new University on their ancestral territory without their consent.

Six days after the Toba were attacked, according to Kichwa leaders from the Amazon province of Napo, Ecuadorian soldiers entered the Kichwa Tzawata community "to evacuate them" for a new a mining project. Modesto Alvarado, a representative from the community, recently said that 63 soldiers entered the community to make way for the return of the Merendon Mining Corporation, which exited the region in 2007. The government claims that it had no knowledge of the eviction.

Since the company left, said Alvarado, the Kichwa have been carrying out a "resistance struggle" to make sure the company never returns, because, he said, it dumped "cyanide, mercury and chemicals like that in the rivers." Alvarado added that, "children and women got sores on their bodies, they got burns on their bodies."

Then, on December 3, Chilean troops opened fire on the unarmed RapaNui People with pellets and tear gas, injuring 21 people. Two people had to be taken to the hospital because of the severity of their injuries.

The unexpected attack came after months of relative peace on the island of Rapanui (Easter Island) where several families have been attempting to reclaim some of their ancestral territory. The following video was uploaded to YouTube the same day of the attack.





Three days later, the Peruvian National Police opened fire on Campesinos near the Andean city of Huaraz in the Department of Ancash, Peru. After allegedly being attacked with "sticks and stones" the PNP began firing at the Campesinos with tear gas and live ammunition. A total of five people were seriously injured in the attack. One person, a student named Willy Cadillo Vergara, later died from his injuries.

The PNP's decision to open fire sparked major local protests with the Campesinos demanding a full investigation into the death of Vergara. They also demanded formal talks with the government over a new local mining project which the earlier, peaceful protest was aimed at. After the second set of protests began, the government sent 140 members of DINOES to the area. You may recall, DINOES, Peru's National Police special forces, was at the centre of the Bagua conflict in June 2009. Fortunately, on Sunday, Dec 12, the leaders of the protest agreed to call things off for 5 days to give the government a chance to respond to their demands.

Amidst this ongoing turmoil, on December 9, Radio Free Asia reported that the Chinese Government is preparing to displace up to 4,000 Tibetans from their lands for a new hydro dam in Lhundrub county, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). In recent months, China has become increasingly belligerent towards the Tibetan people, which means it may be just a matter of time before they make their move. According to local sources, “The Chinese have already built houses exclusively for the Chinese soldiers who have arrived to work on the dam.”

The following day, December 10, it was reported that the Anuak, Indigenous Peoples of the Gambella region in Ethiopia, are themselves being evicted from their lands to make way for foreign investors. Though it has been barely noticed in the west, the evictions have already been taking place for several months. And with fertile agricultural land now a "favoured commodity" for investors, there's little chance that the evictions will abate any time soon.

The next day, a Nukak Leader from the Guaviare Department of Colombia reported that FARC, the so-called "Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia," evicted the Nukak from their territories in the Amazon. Speaking at a Senate commission for human rights and international observers in San José, the Nukak Leader, Nuka Joaquin, explained that FARC simply invaded their lands for no apparent reason. The Nukak, are now living in a field near San Jose del Guaviare.

Unlike the other governments in this briefing, the Colombian government has actually been supporting the Nukak, even though it's like salt on the wound. The Nukak want to go back home, but the government only seems willing to provide them city food, which is completely foreign to the Nukak.

Finally, in the Sarawak region of Borneo, the Penan just discovered that the rainforest to which they were planning to relocate, is being actively cleared for oil palm plantations. As reported by Aliran, "[1,000] Penan are being forced to move by the Sarawak state government to allow the billion-dollar Murum dam project to go ahead."

Discussing the situation, Alung Ju, headman of Long Singu, said, "This is the most difficult time, the most challenging. Before the timber company came to our land life was much better. We lived peacefully in our land. Now we’re going to be moved off our land and we are really worried what will happen to us if the government is successful."

Throughout the course of 2010, governments and paramilitary groups have routinely assaulted indigenous peoples, but never with such an alarming frequency as what's taken place in the last few weeks. There has undoubtedly been more incidents, but they have not been made public. Of all the incidents listed here, only one--the Chilean government's attack on the RapaNui--has received any serious amount of media coverage.

It's a telling fact that speaks well to the abysmal state of the world's media. Whether it's Reuters and CNN, the dreaded FoxNews, or the Utne reader and Common Dreams, there is a consistent failure of journalists and editors to provide "actually fair and balanced" news. It's a failure that we shouldn't take lightly given that media has such an obvious effect on politics--that is, on the issues it reports on and the issues it does not.

Sometimes that effect makes all the difference in the world, as we saw in June 2009, when DINOES opened fire on the Awajun and Wampis Peoples. "Bagua" quickly became one of the most widely-reported government-led attacks on an indigenous population in the history of mass media.

Leading up to that conflict, thousands of indigenous peoples across the Peruvian Amazon were leading a "general strike" to demand the repeal of legislative decrees that threatened to strip away their land rights. After 56 days of protest, on June 5, DINOES staged a violent raid on the Awajun and Wampis on a road outside of Bagua. When the dust settled, 34 people were dead.

Because of the incredible amount of media coverage this attack received, there was a massive public outcry; in fact, it's safe to say that there was more international solidarity for Indigenous Peoples in Peru than there was for the rest of the world's Indigenous population combined in 2008 or 2009 and beyond. As a direct result of that pressure, the Peruvian government had no choice but to concede to the essential demands of the Awajun and Wampis.

It's certainly not realistic to expect the same kind of critical outpour for every single incident that arises. But at the same time, roughly 90% of what's happening to Indigenous Peoples isn't getting any coverage at all, beyond a few mentions on a few more websites. All of the incidents listed here speak to this, but there are others.

It's as if these attacks just slip into a blackhole, leaving the population that is being displaced, kidnapped, raped, shot and/or murdered to carry the burden on their own. Perhaps that's way it's supposed to be, in this increasingly-colonized world? That the innocent should suffer for the privileged few that couldn't care less, while the majority spends their time trying to make ends meet and avoiding what's really happening?

In any case, it's interesting to note that Wikileaks once found itself in that same blackhole. It wasn't until Julian Assange and friends made a strategic alliance with several key news agencies did they manage to get serious coverage on what sources had revealed to them. And now? For a better or worse, the blackhole has been turned inside out.

It's doubtful Indigenous Peoples will ever get to make the same alliances as Wikileaks. We'll just have to find our own way to turn things inside out. Nevertheless, Wikileaks has set a mighty example for bloggers and journalists, like the Bagua conflict in 2009, about the importance of transparency, the responsibilities of media and the value of being informed.

A fair and responsible media can make the difference between life and death--just as a distracted media can make room for governments and paramilitary groups to carry out barbarous acts without anybody noticing.




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Byrone Sonne was picked up one week before the G20 occupation...

It's been six months. He's been held without bail and without being charged.

http://podcasts.tvo.org/searchengine/audio/800865_48k.mp3


if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

To stop others from doing the same or even worse (meaning better)...

the us government is making a brutally draconian example out of him. good work obamarama.







Supporters call for end to inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media:
Mike Gogulski
Bradley Manning Support Network
+1-202-640-4388
press@bradleymanning.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Quantico, VA, December 22, 2010 – After trying other avenues of recourse, the Bradley Manning Support Network is urging supporters to engage in direct protest in order to halt the punitive conditions of the soldier’s detention. Bradley Manning, 23, has been held in solitary confinement in military jails since his arrest in late May on allegations that he passed classified material to WikiLeaks.

In the wake of an investigative report last week by Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com giving evidence that Manning was subject to “detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries”, Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, published an article at his website on Saturday entitled “A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning”. Coombs details the maximum custody conditions that Manning is subject to at the Quantico Confinement Facility and highlights an additional set of restrictions imposed upon him under a Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order.

Usually enforced only through a detainee’s first week at a confinement facility, the standing POI order has severely limited Manning's access to exercise, daylight and human contact for the past five months, despite calls from military psychologists to lift the order and the extra restrictions imposed.

Despite not having been convicted of any crime or even yet formally indicted, the confinement regime Manning lives under includes pronounced social isolation and a complete lack of opportunities for meaningful exercise. Additionally, Manning’s sleep is regularly interrupted. Coombs writes: “The guards are required to check on Manning every five minutes [...] At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.”

Denver Nicks writes in The Daily Beast that “[Manning’s] attorney […] says the extended isolation — now more than seven months of solitary confinement — is weighing on his client’s psyche. […] Both Coombs and Manning’s psychologist, Coombs says, are sure Manning is mentally healthy, that there is no evidence he’s a threat to himself, and shouldn’t be held in such severe conditions under the artifice of his own protection.”

In an article to be published at Firedoglake.com later today, David House, a friend of Manning’s who visits him regularly at Quantico, says that Manning “has not been outside or into the brig yard for either recreation or exercise in four full weeks. He related that visits to the outdoors have been infrequent and sporadic for the past several months.”

Bradley Manning Support Network founder Mike Gogulski stated that “the Marine Brig is using injury prevention as a vehicle to inflict extreme pre-trial punishment on Bradley Manning. These conditions are not unheard-of during an inmate’s first week at a military jail, but when applied continuously for months and with no end in sight they amount to a form of torture.”

The Bradley Manning Support Network calls upon Quantico base commander COL Daniel Choike and brig commanding officer CWO4 James Averhart to put an end to these inhumane, degrading conditions. Additionally, the Network encourages supporters to phone COL Choike at +1-703-784-2707 or write to him at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to fax CWO4 Averhart at +1-703-784-4242 or write to him at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, to demand that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody.

# # #

References:

“The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention”, Glenn Greenwald, 15 December 2010, http://www.salon.com/news/wikileaks/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/14/manning

“A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning”, David E. Coombs, 18 December 2010, http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2010/12/typical-day-for-pfc-bradley-manning.html

“Bradley Manning’s Life Behind Bars”, Denver Nicks, 17 December 2010, http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-17/bradley-manning-wikileaks-alleged-sources-life-in-prison/

Bradley Manning Support Network, http://www.bradleymanning.org/


if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Support WikiLeaks...

As journalists, activists, artists, scholars and citizens, we condemn the array of threats and attacks on the journalist organization WikiLeaks. After the website's decision, in collaboration with several international media organizations, to publish hundreds of classified State Department diplomatic cables, many pundits, commentators and prominent U.S. politicians have called for harsh actions to be taken to shut down WikiLeaks' operations.

Major corporations like Amazon.com, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have acted to disrupt the group's ability to publish. U.S. legal authorities and others have repeatedly suggested, without providing any evidence, that WikiLeaks' posting of government secrets is a form of criminal behavior--or that at the very least, such activity should be made illegal. "To the extent there are gaps in our laws," Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed (11/29/10), "we will move to close those gaps."

Throughout this episode, journalists and prominent media outlets have largely refrained from defending WikiLeaks' rights to publish material of considerable news value and obvious public interest. It appears that these media organizations are hesitant to stand up for this particular media outlet's free speech rights because they find the supposed political motivations behind WikiLeaks' revelations objectionable.

But the test for one's commitment to freedom of the press is not whether one agrees with what a media outlet publishes or the manner in which it is published. WikiLeaks is certainly not beyond criticism. But the overarching consideration should be the freedom to publish in a democratic society--including the freedom to publish material that a particular government would prefer be kept secret. When government officials and media outlets declare that attacks on a particular media organization are justified, it sends an unmistakably chilling message about the rights of anyone to publish material that might rattle or offend established powers.

We hereby stand in support of the WikiLeaks media organization, and condemn the attacks on their freedom as an attack on journalistic freedoms for all.

******

Daniel Ellsberg
Noam Chomsky
Glenn Greenwald (Salon)
Barbara Ehrenreich
Arundhati Roy (author)
Medea Benjamin (Code Pink)
Tom Morello (musician)
John Nichols (The Nation)
Craig Brown (CommonDreams)
Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report)
DeeDee Halleck (Waves of Change, Deep Dish Network)
Norman Solomon (author, War Made Easy)
Tom Hayden
Fatima Bhutto (author)
Viggo Mortensen (actor)
Don Rojas (Free Speech TV)
Robert McChesney
Edward S. Herman (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
Sam Husseini
Jeff Cohen (Park Center for Independent Media)
Joel Bleifuss (In These Times)
Maya Schenwar (Truthout)
Greg Ruggiero (City Lights)
Thom Hartmann
Ben Ehrenreich
Robin Andersen (Fordham University)
Anthony Arnove (author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal)
Robert Naiman (Just Foreign Policy)
Dan Gillmor (Salon)
Michael Albert (Z Magazine)
Kate Murphy (The Nation)
Michelangelo Signorile (Sirius XM)
Lisa Lynch (Concordia University)
Rory O'Connor (Media Is a Plural)
Aaron Swartz
Peter Rothberg (The Nation)
Doug Henwood (Left Business Observer)
Barry Crimmins
Bill Fletcher, Jr (Blackcommentator.com)
Bob Harris (writer)
Jonathan Schwarz (A Tiny Revolution)
Alex Kane
Susan Ohanian
Jamie McClelland (May First/People Link)
Alfredo Lopez (May First/People Link)
Antonia Zerbisias (Toronto Star)
Mark Crispin Miller (NYU)
Jonathan Tasini
Antony Loewenstein
David Swanson
Jim Hightower
Laura Flanders
Tom Tomorrow
Don Hazen (AlterNet)


sign here...


if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Remember the bees..? How we're losing the bees...?




I came across this on the fire collective's site...





New Wikileak: EPA Complicit in Decimation of Honeybee Population

By Jimmy Mengel

The humble honey bee is getting its fair share of buzz this year — which doesn't bode particularly well for the species, or American agriculture as a whole.

The most recent revelations involve leaked government documents, regulatory malfeasance, and scientific censorship. To mix an insect metaphor, it's quite a tangled web...

Since 2006, serious decimation of the North American bee population has taken place. Termed “colony collapse disorder,” millions of worker bees have mysteriously disappeared from their colonies, largely confounding the scientific community.

Blame has volleyed from viruses to fungi to cell phone radiation...

But a suspect has emerged as enemy number one: Bayer's pesticide clothianidin.

Clothianidin is widely used on America's corn crops in addition to other ubiquitous crops like canola, soy, and sugar beets.

Leaked EPA documents have detailed the regulatory agency's allowance of clothianidin to maneuver its way through regulatory channels in the face of scientists' warning and flawed studies.

According to these documents provided to beekeeper Tom Theobald, the EPA was aware of the pesticide's dangers way back in 2003; but the EPA granted Bayer a "conditional" approval that allowed them to start using the pesticide.

This conditional approval was contingent on a field study of the pesticide to be carried out in the future. When that study was finally undertaken, many scientists agreed that it was flawed and quite stacked in Bayer's favor.

Here's the EPA's timeline, courtesy of the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA).*

*The italicized portions are from the EPA memos:

February 2003: EPA calls for life cycle study prior to registration & for strong labeling language.

Considering the toxicity profile and reported incidents of other neonicotinoids, the proposed seed treatment with clothianidin has the potential for toxic risk to honey bees, as well as other pollinators. As a result of this concern, EFED is asking for additional chronic testing on bee hive activity...

There doesn't seem to be any confusion there; the EPA's scientists had specific toxicity concerns and requested a study to address them.

But just a few months later, they had a change of heart...

April 2003: EPA allows “conditional registration” contingent upon the field study.

Ok, so instead of waiting to see whether the study demonstrated the toxic effects that EPA scientists were worried about, they gave Bayer a conditional approval to go ahead and start selling the pesticide to farmers — who were then free to use it despite the safety concerns.

But the agency did suggest Bayer include the following warning label:

This compound is toxic to honey bees. The persistence of residues and the expression of clothianidin in nectar and pollen suggests the possibility of chronic toxic risk to honey bee larvae and the eventual stability of the hive.

A warning label?

Somehow I don't think the bees get a chance to read that label before slurping poisonous nectar from the corn fields...

In any case, the EPA still requests the field study be completed.

March 2004: Bayer gets an extension, EPA agrees to study design changes.

The EPA grants the extension so Bayer can finally conduct the study, though Bayer requests a few key changes:

  • The study will be done in Canada, not the United States; and
  • The study will focus on canola, not the corn EPA scientists had initially demanded.

These changes are what really damage the study's credibility among critics. Because according to Grist, there are three major issues here:

  1. Corn produces much more pollen than does canola;
  2. Its pollen is more attractive to honey bees; and
  3. Canola is a minor crop in the United States, while corn is the single most widely planted crop.

Add to that the fact that the study's control fields were only 250 meters from the pesticide field — making it likely that bees foraged on both fields, skewing data.

November 2007: EPA finally reviews the field study, finds it “acceptable.”

The EPA had indeed found Bayer's flawed study acceptable and went so far as to call it "scientifically sound"; but oddly enough, the organization did not release the study for public scrutiny...

Only after the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a Freedom of Information Act request — and eventually sued — was it made publicly available.

Despite the aforementioned problems with the study, the EPA decided to promote clothianidin from conditional to full approval. That distinction prompted Bayer to seek approval for clothianidin's use on both cotton and mustard.

It was during this attempt that EPA's Environmental Fate and Effects Division voiced concerns about the field study in the memo that was made available to beekeeper Theobald. Here's a piece of what they had to say:

Clothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis.

Information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides suggest the potential for long term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.

The memo goes on to cite the problems with the Bayer study, which brings us up to date.

November 2010: EPA downgrades the field study upon which the conditional registration was granted from “acceptable” to “supplemental”; a new study is needed.

So now that the EPA recognizes the need for a new study, they'll be revoking the original approval and stopping clothianidin use, right?

Fat chance. The EPA has said clothianidin will indeed keep its approval rating and continue to blanket corn crops all across the U.S. this spring.

And there's little wonder why. The pesticide is a cash cow.

Bayer raked in over $250 million from it last year alone. The EPA is helping them maintain that profit margin despite the risks.

Considering bees are absolutely crucial to our agriculture, allowing Bayer to continue selling clothianidin in the face of these warnings is simply irresponsible.

France, Italy and Germany have all banned its use. It's time we do the same.

"This is the critical winter for the beekeeping industry. I don't think we can survive," Theobald said in a recent interview.

He also noted the honey crop this year is the smallest he's ever seen...

"If the beekeeping industry collapses, it jeopardizes a third of American agriculture."

And that would sting more than just the beekeepers.

Be Well,

Jimmy





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Obama, you might think you're being really smart, really pulling the wool over everyone's eyes...

BUT, moron...
some people are still able to see your movements clearly. some people are still able to ask intelligent questions and come up with their own intelligently politicized answers.
The soldier, Dan Choi, is very subtly advertising on behalf of the military, sitting as a complicit queer of colour, offering the military's acceptance, money, privilege and might to the dispossessed...if they just sign up to fight on behalf of an ethically bankrupt military.

As Sycamore says: Celebrating the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell only makes progressive movements in the US complicit with American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Video from the people at World Can't Wait...





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A film about the recent history of abortion and the struggle to protect it as a right...




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

who will listen to these child/youth ambassadors?

the world governments are irresponsibly focusing on the now, thereby leaving children/youth, turned adults to deal with a destroyed future earth and to absorb the impact of problems manifested in their lives that come as a direct result of decisions made in the now. decisions about climate change should actually be defined/led by our children/youth.




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

On the 1st day of christmas my true love gave to me...

UN Guards beating up Reuters Photographer at Cancun Climate Talks...




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mamas inside the panopticon...

Defiant Hearts - Birth and the Prison Industrial Complex


if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

John Pilger: Global Support for WikiLeaks is "Rebellion" Against U.S. Militarism, Secrecy...






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

The amerikkkan government is attempting to criminalize sharing the truth...







if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

South Africa: Declare 'Corrective Rape' a Hate-Crime...

"Corrective Rape" is a term used to describe when a male rapes a lesbian with the aim of 'turning' her heterosexual!

This heinous crime is prolific in South Africa, especially in the "townships".

Most of the victims are tortured, grievously assaulted and sometimes murdered! They are also prone to getting HIV/AIDS from the assault, and many of them commit suicide as a result of the "corrective rape"!

The South African government and justice system are failing the victims of Corrective Rape by letting the perpetrators out on ridiculously low bail, and taking literally years to bring the court-cases to a conclusion. In the meantime the victims have to live with seeing and being taunted and threatened by their rapists every day, as do those who help the victims!

In the last 10 years:
*31 lesbian women have been murdered because of their sexuality
*More than 10 lesbians a week are raped or gang raped in Cape Town alone
*150 women are raped every day in South Africa
*For every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa, 24 walk free

Despite all this, hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation are not recognised by South African law!

We call on the South African government to declare "Corrective Rape" a Hate-Crime that is punishable by the harshest sentences!


Petition Text reads as follows

Minister Radebe: Declare "Corrective Rape" a Hate-Crime

Dear Minister of Justice Radebe,

I am an activist for an NGO called Luleki Sizwe in the Cape Town township of Gugulethu, and I am currently covering and supporting the criminal proceedings of a victim of corrective-rape, Millicent Gaika.

Millicent was raped, beaten and strangled for five hours by Andile Ngoza in order to "turn her straight". Please check lulekisizwe.wordpress.com for the full story.

Millicent and her friends were walking home after visiting another friend. The man, whom she said she had known for a number of years and who had never objected to her sexuality before, asked her for a cigarette. She stayed to smoke with him, and followed him into his room when he refused to pass the cigarette to her.

According to her he then locked the door and started hitting her while she tried to fight back.

“He pulled off my clothes and pushed me down on the bed. He was holding me down, strangling me with the wire and pushing his hands hard onto my neck.” She added that he threatened to kill her and throw her body in the river. “I thought I was gonna die."

He kept saying to her, “I know you are a lesbian. You are not a man. You think you are, but I am going to show you are a woman. I’m gonna make you pregnant you are going to carry a baby for me.”

Millie went on to say “I really hate myself right now – Andile has killed me big time. I really hate men, honestly! Why me, why me?”

Mr Minister, since that time the court-case has been postponed numerous times, and Andile is out on bail, roaming the same streets where Millie lives. This has forced her to go into hiding as the courtcase has again been postponed to February 2011.

On 16 November, 2010 Ndumie Funda, the founder of Luleki Sizwe, had a run-in with Andile Ngcoza, the man who raped Millicent Gaika. He is forbidden to enter Gugulethu as part of his bail conditions, but has constantly broken those conditions and threatened Ndumie various times. This time Ndumie called the police and he was arrested, but Andile was back on the streets within a day or two - on R60 bail!

Since his release he has asked family and friends to attack Ndumie Funda. He has constantly harassed her and made threats against her life and against her partner! This has forced Ndumie to go into hiding, which in turn has a devastating effect on the women she is helping... another corrective-rape victim, Bulelwa, committed suicide last week because she could not get help, as Ndumie feared for her own life and could not help Bulelwa. Ndumie is about the only help most of these young women have!

Sir, we have just entered the period of "16 Days of Activism against Woman & Child Abuse" with much fanfare about what the government is going to do, yet the same government is doing nothing about corrective rape, of which it is aware!

According to the South African Constitution, everyone has the same rights, yet the Government is not protecting lesbian women before they are raped by publicly taking a stand against Corrective Rape, and the Justice System is failing the victims of Corrective Rape by not offering them protection, by allowing these violent criminals out on ridiculously low bail and by refusing the friends, family or Press into the court-room during the trial, where the victim is forced to face her rapist/attacker on her own and re-live her terrible experience...

Sir I entreat you on bended knees to:

1) Please take up our cause, publicly decry corrective rape, and lobby for it to be classified as a hate-crime with the harshest of sentences.
2) Investigate why Andile Ncoza was let out on bail, after being caught in the act and held by neighbors until the police arrived.
3) Investigate why he was let out on R60 bail again, after contravening his conditions of bail and threatening Millicent Gaika, her family, and Ndumie Funda and her partner

We all look forward to your response.



there was a photo of a Black South African woman accompanying the text but i decided not to repost it. i see enough pics of victimized, traumatized, damanged and dominated Black people in need everyday online. i hate the ways that people are constantly talking about how much we need their white racist help. it feels masturbatory to me. i think the news about what is happening needs to get out but i don't think i need to reproduce the suffering of the woman depicted in the photo i saw in order to get the message out.

source page is here...



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.