Archive for March, 2011

End Wars Now – Paul

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

(If you strike me down, my libertarian fiscal policies will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.)

Representative Ron Paul appeared on Face the Nation this Sunday, demanding that President Obama end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan immediately.

When asked “What can President Obama do to move America in the right direction?” Paul promptly replied “End the wars now. We have no clear objective in either war, it’s time to call both wars a loss and walk away- as a country we’ll save trillions of dollars and American lives.”

Paul echoed these thoughts in with his call to “End the Libyan War!“, decrying the US intervention to be unconstitutional as well as a reckless waste of resources. Paul:

Let’s be clear: this is a US act of war on Libya. This misadventure has already cost us hundreds of millions of dollars and we can be sure the final price tag will be several times higher.

As civilian victims of the US-led coalition bombing continue to add up, it is getting difficult to determine whether the problem we are creating on the ground is worse than the one we were trying to solve.

We must end our participation in any attack on Libya immediately.

It is imperative for themselves and for the world that the American public reclaim their lost power and pull back the reins on a war machine that is already running amok.

Squeaky Wheels Get More Grease

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

“We are tired of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate elites having such a disproportionate amount of influence and power, and the only way we can deal with organized greed at the top is with organized people power below.”Cornell West

Just like esteemed Professor West says, the best way to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people is with cooperation and coordination from millions of engaged individuals.

This is why it is so important that we collectively demand more from the establishment. We may not get everything we ask for, but the mere act of asking makes it likely that we’ll get more than if we don’t say anything at all.

Just look what has been happening with all the uprisings across the Middle East. Fearful of revolutions spreading to their own countries, several Arab leaders have pledged huge sums to help appease their populations.

How effective these payoffs will be remains to be seen. But one thing is certain – if there were no revolutions and uprisings, these billion dollar kick-backs would have never even been on the table.

The louder our voice, the more the system should reflect the will of the people. When populations are empowered, mega-institutions, like corporations and banks, will no longer be free to steal trillions from the public.

This is precisely what happened in the Netherlands this week. Upset with the big bonuses the financial sector gave themselves after being bailed out by the public, Dutch citizens took to Twitter and Facebook and mobilized a successful uprising. Now, politicians have voted to implement a 100% retrospective tax, effectively eliminating all the banker’s bonuses. Booyah!

When humans work together, there is nothing we cannot do. We can reclaim our systems from the corruption caused by a few powerful interests. We can ensure democracy throughout all levels of government. We can make our world everthing we know it can be.

All it takes is for you to take action. Speak out, tweet, Facebook. Get involved in the movement. Join up with millions of like-minded individuals and embrace people power to get everything you want from the establishment.

End the Wars NOW – Kucinich

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

(Another powerful speech from one of the most progressive politicians in the US.)

Ohio Congressman and freedom fighter Dennis Kucinich has been speaking out against America’s military industrial complex, saying:

In this budget alone, we would have spent 113 billion dollars on this war. You want to cut off waste, let’s get out of Afghanistan. Otherwise, there is no end in sight. We are going to be there until at least 2020. And, that’s going to cost us at least another trillion dollars.

Where are we going to get that money from? Are we gonna cut social security, health care, and funds for education? Are we ready to give up our entire domestic agenda so that we can continue on the path of a war?

Kucinich is also an esteemed member of the “Say No to Escalation in Libya” coalition, urging his fellow congresspeople to ban federal funding of the U.S. military action in Libya. “We need to move now to cut off funds,” says Kucinich, “while most of the action is being done in the air and at sea.”

Change the Media, Change the World

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

If you are in or around the Boston area, be sure to check out the National Conference for Media Reform’s 2011. Registration closes this Friday, for what is sure to be a stimulating event. Prominent speakers include Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Craiglists’ Craig Newmark.

An informed public is a crucial part of a functioning democracy. The mainstream media, as the predominant source for all of our new information, should be considered a vital resource for our well-being, and the integrity of this resource needs to be ensured.

Movement’s like those of the NCMR face an uphill battle against powerful corporations and influential lobbyists. But as awareness of the importance of a free press grows, so too will the support needed to reform the media.

A Call to Awaken

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Alan Strachan put up a nice piece over at Common Dreams, summoning his fellow citizens to move from trance to moral outrage, as the powers that be continually strip wealth and freedom from the population.

The Mega-Rich have declared war against ordinary Americans:

Although current circumstances have not been labeled as such, we are in another Civil War. This time it is not the North against the South. This time it is the Mega-Rich against ordinary Americans.

It is the Mega-Rich who have declared and are waging this war. To do so they have bought politicians from both political parties, in order to change laws and regulations, so that they are free to do as they wish. And what they wish is to make as much money as possible and to increase their power in every way possible, even when that means sending ordinary Americans into poverty, destroying the environment, and gutting democracy. They will stop at nothing, and they take no responsibility for the terrible consequences of their greed.

Make no mistake about it: the Mega-Rich have been getting what they want, and the US government has been enabling them to do so…. Now it is inescapably clear that Democrats as well as Republicans are firmly entrenched in policies that undermine democracy and line the pockets of the Mega-Rich and their corporations.

Strachan concludes that it is time for regular people to rise up and reclaim power:

To passively wait for someone to save us – hoping for a political leader who speaks about and acts upon [our values] — is naïve and ineffectual. We, the People – you, and I – have the power to lead. We must lead our leaders, and show them the way. It is up to us to restore democracy.

When the wealthy and powerful go too far – as they always will if we allow them to – it is up to the People to restore the moral order, to restore democracy. It is up to us to remind our “leaders” – who are supposed to be “public servants,” not corporate lackeys – that “democracy” is People power. Not Mega-Rich power, but People power.

Strachan’s sentiments are shared by many, myself included. I first recognized the power of unity to balance the world’s inequalities at least six years ago, as the many benefits of solidarity amongst humanity were highlighted in the “Global Unity” section of my first book (which is available online). Here’s a sample:

Everyone stands to gain from a united world. A world of peace means we live with less fear and a higher quality of life. Global unity will also help to secure our children’s future and the survival of our species.

Not only will global unity benefit everyone directly, it represents an opportunity to do something that has never before been done on earth – we could unite on a global scale. Global unity will be an accomplishment we can all be proud of.

In a world where nations cooperate, we will no longer have to fear foreign invasion or nuclear annihilation. With global unity, we also get the personal security that comes from knowing that if either ourselves or a loved one becomes sick or injured, the world is more able to help.

Another benefit of global unity will be an increase to nearly everyone’s economic situation – which means more money! We will be able to take control of our world’s wealth and divert the profits of humanity’s labour into social services, like health care and education, which are investments into our future.

The first surplus of wealth comes from the trillions of dollars spent on military budgets. With no one left to fight, the world’s war machine can be dismantled, which is something everyone should want, if not for themselves, then for their family.

Since writing these words, my thoughts have evolved. Now, not only do I see global unity as a great thing, I actually believe it is coming and will arrive within a few short years!

Over the past decade, our world has come together more than throughout the rest of human history combined. 10 short years, and we’re more interconnect than ever before! Now, just imagine how tight-knit we’ll all be in just a few more years, once more people get connected and become engaged netizens.

This transformation will be incredible! When humans work together, there’s nothing we can’t do. And when we work together on a global scale, well, it puts amazing things – like creating world peace and ending starvation – squarely within our reach.

Saying No to Escalation in Libya

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

There’s been an uproar in the blogosphere about strictly limiting the scope of the intervention in Libya. And by uproar, I mean yesterday’s post on this very blog.

The piece is written with a sense of urgency, as I’d only just recognized the foul stench of the military complex trying to sink its corrupt claws deeper into Libyan soil. The gist of post was states how we need yank back on the war machine’s leash right now, because if we don’t, we might find ourselves wondering how to get out of Libya a decade from now.

But let me expand upon these thoughts.

Speaking out against escalation in Libya doesn’t mean abandoning support for the innocent civilians. There is no doubt that preventing a massacre is indeed a high priority, but this bid to save lives should not provide the pretense for another long, drawn out war.

And, considering how another years-long, blood-soaked money pit is precisely what the war industry desires most, we would do well to make sure this newest armed conflict doesn’t run away on us.

So that’s why we should say no to escalation right now – to strike a preemptive blow against an entity that will take a mile when given an inch.

Hey look, the war machine is at it again!

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

(War… what is it good for? Transferring billions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of a handful of people and perpetuating an unjust system of exploitation around the globe, uh-huh yeah!)

A week ago today, the United Nations security council voted to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Finally some welcome help for all of the protesters being massacred in the Middle East. No more flying overhead means no more Libyan warplanes bombing civilians, right?

But installing a no-fly zone means securing enemy anti-aircraft positions. And that takes offensive action, meaning civilians will be killed in the bid to protect civilians.

US military brass must have been delighted when France opted to initiate the battle, giving the US the opportunity to enact a strategy that was perhaps planned months in advance.

Journalists have been criticized for failing to ask enough questions in the lead up to the Iraq war. So many justifications for the invasion – weapons of mass destruction, 9/11 links – turned out to be false.

For this latest military endeavor in Libya, there wasn’t even time for debate. They just up and started another open-ended conflict! Out of no where, missiles were flying, and we find ourselves where we are today – on the brink of another potentially disastrous quagmire.

Gaddafi sure makes a great villain, doesn’t he? Despite all the military muscle being thrown at him, just watch. Somehow the evil dictator will magically stay alive to serve as the head of another monster the world’s military can protect us from.

Don’t doubt for a second that the war-profiteers won’t escalate this conflict as far and as fast as they can. Military spokespeople are claiming ground troops will not be deployed, but that doesn’t matter. For security’s sake, they wouldn’t announce an occupation until it had already begun.

We cannot let the military industrial complex do it to us again. Yank back on the war machine’s leash before it’s too late. Sound the drumbeats of peace now. Say no to escalation in Libya!

Lambasting the Libyan Intervention

Friday, March 25th, 2011

(Canadians aren’t the only ones with ‘no-confidence‘ heads of state.)

Nearly a week into the world’s latest military endeavor in Libya, and there is no shortage of criticism.

Brendan O’Neill with Spiked takes aim at the clueless leadership opting for intervention:

The grotesque competition between Britain, France and America to see who can fire the most missiles at Libya confirms the emergence of a new form of Western militarism.

This is not the return of the politics of Empire or a re-flourishing of Western colonialism in north Africa, as some have claimed. Rather it is the barbarism of buffoons….

In the rubble of various compounds and airfields in Libya, we can spy the incoherence of the Western political elites, and their elevation of the reckless, narcissistic politics of short-term gain over anything resembling a strategy or aim.

George Galloway has been speaking out against the double standards of the invading forces, saying:

There are more innocent protesters being gunned down in Yemen but no one would dream of invading or imposing a no-fly zone on Yemen because Yemen doesn’t have oil.

It is so transparently an attempt to protect western companies massive investments in Libya that it’s discredited in the Arab world.

Galloway’s thoughts are echoed by radio host Stephen Lendman, who says that, unlike with Bahrain or Yemen, Libya’s corrupt dictator isn’t on favorable terms with the US, leaving it free to be attacked. Lendman also claims the “naked aggression” we see today was “actually planned many months in advance.”

If what Lendman is saying is true, then Americans (and the world) fell for the same old trick, hook line and sinker. Pretty soon, occupying forces will be sent in. Huge fortunes will be wasted. Countless innocent lives stand to be lost.

Dammit! The US Military Industrial Complex now has a brand new war to perpetuate indefinitely, and I didn’t even see it coming.

A Great Awakening

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

The whole world is waking up! The Internet is bringing us together, for the first time ever. This great social revolution is shifting power back into the hands of earth’s entire population, helping to foster a more just global civilization.

Here’s the content from the above video, just in case you want to read along:

A great awakening is taking place all across the world, and the implications from this transformation give great reasons to be overwhelmed with optimism.

The minds of humankind are becoming intertwined like never before, helping to foment a new global consciousness. With our world growing self-aware, we are increasingly able to feel what others are feeling and react accordingly.

On top of this, a merging of the middles has been manifesting. If we ignore the extremists who line the fringes of any group, we can see how the bulk of every community is made up of moderates, and these moderates, no matter where they come from, can non-violently co-exist with moderates from anywhere else.

With the Internet paving the path, these billions of regular people from all around the world can now amass into the most dominant force on the planet.

Revolutions in the Middle East. Corporate and government secrets exposed online. Anonymous groups fighting for freedom. All of these are just a taste of what a united and empowered population can do.

Solidarity amongst humanity will shift priorities to people and planet instead of the sole pursuit of short term profits. Working together, the world’s people can overpower today’s oligarchies, like corporations and governments, and supersede global institutions like the WTO or the World Bank.

As the balance of power shifts back into the hands of the people, authorities will be held accountable to the public, and newfound transparency in the system will ensure democratic governance around the globe.

With our common humanity revealed, we can continue to scale back our senseless defense budgets and channel these trillions of dollars into constructive ends.

We truly are on the brink of finally achieving what generations have dreamed of: ushering in a world without institutionalized war or extreme poverty. Amazing things are already well within our reach and the future is unlimited.

Dare to dream.

Einstein Nukes Capitalism

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

(“And with zis final X in ze top corner, herr Oppenheimer, ze game is mine!”)

Albert Einstein was renowned for his contributions to the realm of theoretical physics, but he didn’t shy away from philosophizing about issues beyond his forte. In his 1949 essay called “Why Socialism?“, Einstein highlights some of the key faults with unfettered capitalism, namely, the way the super-rich often hold all the chips, and use their power to undermine democracy.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones.

The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society.This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.

The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

While these eloquent words certainly make sense, the problems pointed out by the great theorist are not unique to capitalism. These same issues – concentration of power at the top, corruption within politics, and control over the media – can be found within any economic system.

Granted, a system like socialism, that promotes social services, builds communities, and offers safety nets, can seem like a viable solution, but it too can fall victim to corruption and propaganda.

See, whatever label we give to our system, be it socialism, capitalism, or whatever, is not as important as having a society full of engaged individuals with empowered minds. When the power is distributed amongst the people, and not just concentrated with those at the top, the system caters more to the will of the people.

Fortunately for our generation, technology is providing the path for humankind to grow empowered and unite on unprecedented levels. We’re in the process of doing away with the old oligarchies and ultimately ushering in a more just global civilization. Power to the people!