Archive for September, 2011

Sue Terrorist Backers Today, War-Profiteers Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Insurer Lloyd’s of London filed a suit this month seeking $215 million claiming that al Qaeda was directly funded by Saudi groups who, in turn, should cover the costs for insurance claims paid out.

The suit was withdrawn today, with speculation it will be refiled in a friendlier court. That, or maybe Lloyd’s bank account just gained a few zeroes.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s the precedent that is most fascinating. If you can hold someone accountable for funding terrorism, then someone might be held liable for the most costly form of terrorism ever inflicted on humankind – war!

Take, as an example, the fear and suffering caused by America’s policy of long distance murder – using remote controlled planes to bomb anyone deemed to be a threat. Right now, the thousands upon thousands of innocent deaths are simply being dismissed as casualties of war.

But get some evidence together – like ‘MADE IN THE USA’ on a piece of shrapnel embedded in some child’s brain – and you’ve got yourself a lawsuit!

All it will take is for one of these international death-dealing corporations, like Boeing or BAE, to be shaken down for a few billion of their war-profits. Then, no doubt, countless other ambitious litigators will set their sites on all of the world’s major arms dealing giants.

It will be glorious! Like a class action suit – the Military Industrial Complex vs. the Human Race – and the result will take away one of the financial incentives behind the drive to war.

Go on with your lawsuit, Lloyd’s of London. You may end up striking a major blow for the peace movement.

Again, The World Comes Together in Protest

Monday, September 19th, 2011

September 17 marked the beginning of Project Occupy Wall St. – the open-ended mass demonstration taking place on New York’s Wall Street, aimed at raising awareness about the rise of corporatism and the looming threat of totalitarianism.

The populist movement has garnered international attention, evident in the hundreds of pizzas which were purchased for the activists by supporters from all around the world.

These outpourings of earth-encompassing solidarity are not unheard of.

During Egypt’s uprising, the world’s vigilantes helped Egyptians circumvent their Internet blackout.  Later on, Egyptian’s payed it forward, sending pizzas to demonstrators taking part in Wisconsin’s massive pro-union rallies.

Touching, I know. It inspires such hope in humankind. Perhaps the only way to evoke even more optimism is to imagine the future. How will these global acts of unified protest look within a few short years?

No doubt, through mass action on a planetary scale, seemingly impossible feats will become entirely doable. Powerhouses like the IMF, WTO, World Bank, and even the mother of them all – the military industrial complex -  can all be corralled, collared and held accountable to a united human race.

World peace and a more just civilization are in our future, and earth’s freedom fighters, like those in NYC, are helping make it happen.

Harper Plans to Veto Palestine’s Statehood Bid

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Next week, the UN is set to vote on the establishment of a recognized Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. While the vote would be mostly symbolic, Palestinians hope the elevated stature would give them more clout in future negotiations with Israel.

Israel opposes the move, worried that their illegally occupied Palestinian territories would now be officially illegal in the eyes of the International community. Should this happen, sanctions would likely be issued by a world that opposes Israel’s incessant human rights violations.

Ever the staunch supporter of Israel, the United States made clear their intentions to veto the upcoming vote. No surprise there.

But now Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his opposition to Palestine’s bid for UN recognition, saying “We view this unilateral action on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to be not helpful, and we will be opposing it at the United Nations.”

But why? What specifically does the Conservative government hope to gain by emulating the United States? Another economic recession? A war machine running out of control? A corporately controlled electoral system? Mounting animosity from the rest of the world?

The American Empire is in decline and Israel is finding itself all alone in the world. It is a mistake to hitch our wagon to these dying horses. Come next election, Canadians will hopefully show Stephen Harper and his Conservatives the error of their ways.

Empowered Women Bring Peace

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Women from a Filipino sewing cooperative ended armed clashes in neighboring villages by withholding marital relations from their husbands, reports the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. The success of the “sex strike” allowed trade roads to re-open, letting families continue rebuilding their communities.

The Filipino women’s success mirrors that of Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian mother helped end her nation’s 14-year long civil war. Sick of the suffering caused by the prolonged fighting, Gbowee united her fellow females and encouraged them to withhold sex until the fighting stopped. Eventually, Gbowee’s efforts played a major role in the signing of a comprehensive peace treaty, ushering in a lasting peace to their land.

Don’t trivialize the importance of empowered women collectively closing their legs. Anything that brings an end to violence is a great thing, even if it takes one blue ball at a time.

Take the Money Out of Building Weapons

Friday, September 16th, 2011

In Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain and many other nations, civilians are being violently subjugated by their governments. The western media will sometimes report on these quashed uprisings, but a pressing question usually remains unasked – where do these tyrants get their modern weaponry?

For the most part, the tools of dissident suppression – rifles, tanks, bombs and gunships – aren’t being made domestically. Instead, they’re being imported from any of the world’s international arms dealers, most of whom will transact with anyone that has the cash.

Of course, corner any of the corporations that build these weapons, or any of the politicians who deal with despots, and it is unlikely they will admit any wrongdoings. I mean, come on, who could possibly have conceived that an armor plated vehicle with bulletproof tires and a mounted Gatling gun might be used for human rights violations.

But why would you expect anything other than crooks and cronies running the arms business? When there is billions of dollars changing hands, you just know it’s going to attract all kinds of scumbags.

And that brings us to a simple solution to this problem. In fact, this idea has so much potential that it wouldn’t just prevent the Defense Industry from arming tyrants, it would actually eliminate one of the primary reasons we even have war on earth.

Enough building it up. Here’s the proposal:

A 100% tax on all profits earned from manufacturing the weapons of war.

BLAM! Take that, Military Industrial Complex. You can design and sell all the weapons you want, but don’t expect any more lucrative deals. Now we’ll see if “building democracy”, “fighting terrorists”, and “protecting civilians” is really all that important to the war-mongers when there’s far fewer profits to be made.

The Internet – Building Peace in a War Zone

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

One of the first steps in the peace building process is to open up the channels of communication. This is what social media has been doing in Afghanistan, bridging the gap between NATO forces and the Taliban.

Following a 20-hour Taliban-led assault on a NATO base in Kabul, the two adversaries turned their battle into a war of words via – what else – Twitter!

While what the two parties specifically discussed won’t garner any Nobel Peace prizes, the simple act of communicating is still a positive thing.  Just talking to someone can put a face on a formerly faceless foe. And anything that helps to re-humanize an enemy, even if only slightly, is another step towards resolving this conflict.

So keep venting on Twitter, guys. It’s far less costly than resorting to violence.

Israel to Forcefully Evict 30000 – Making Room for Settlements

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

With the looming threat of a UN recognized Palestinian state, Israel has to act quickly to violate as many human rights as they can before the International Community really slaps on the sanctions. That’s why they just approved a plan to relocate some 20,000 to 30,000 Bedouon into recognized settlements.

See, when you’re worried about the erosion of your own culture, it doesn’t matter if you cause it for someone else. By always being the victim, you have a catch-all excuse for any ethnic cleansing you may happen to cause.

The first to be relocated will be the approximately 2,400 Bedouin living in – surprise, surprise – an area east of Jerusalem, easing Israel’s plan to expand existing Jewish settlements. The mass eviction will eventually relocate the rest of the Bedouin living in other areas of the West Bank.

Wow. What a braindead idea, ripe for all kinds of immoral and illegal acts. Sure, the State of Israel is no stranger to committing atrocities. In fact, their entire nation was forged by forcing people from their homes.

But you’d think they would be content without their very own Trail of Tears.

Crowd Lifts Burning Car To Save Trapped Guy

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Check out this amazing footage! Watch as nearby witnesses, including construction workers and students, lift up a burning car while one of them pulls an unconscious man clear from the wreckage.

WOW! How awesome is that?!! Way to go, people!

It’s feats like these that give me such hope for our species. We’re already pretty great, and we’ve only just begun to tap our real potential. There is very little we will not be able to accomplish, especially when we work together.

Global poverty? A war machine run amok? Mere trifles when compared to the collective power of an interconnected and cooperating human race.

Yes, it’s true! A peaceful, prosperous planet is just around the corner!

NATO – Beheading Civilians and Supporting Jihadists?

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Libya’s Rebel Commander Abdel Hakim Belhaj – the one who led the Gaddafi-ousting coup in Tripoli -  has something of a questionable reputation. If he weren’t the head of the NATO-backed rebellion, he’d likely sit on one of America’s terrorist watch lists.

The former head of a jihad organization with ties to al Qaeda and the Taliban, Belhaj recently told the NY Times that he was tortured and imprisoned for 6 years by the CIA. Whoops! Well, no hard feelings, right?

Still, Belhaj’s bombshell pales compared to that dropped by Former US Congressman Walter Fauntroy, who claims to have witnessed NATO forces storming small villages late at night, beheading and butchering the residents in a campaign of fear.

These allegations surfaced yesterday, and the story has all but dematerialized, which makes it seem unfounded. Maybe Congressman Fauntroy is just getting his affairs in order before releasing the video he shot.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m positive the vast majority filling the ranks of NATO – and the military in general – are very good people. But NATO is just another face of the Military Industrial Complex. And this makes it something to be mistrusted and heavily scrutinized.

Consistently, wars are sold to the public for one reason or another – to protect civilians, to defeat terrorists, to ensure freedom – but they always end up being about money and power.

See, there’s tons of money in manufacturing the tools of war, and there’s plenty more moola to rebuild nations, so that’s reason enough for some business people to want to stir up the pot.

But armed conflict goes deeper.

For one, multinational corporations get to divvy up the juicy resources from the vanquished nations. They can also use the opportunity to privatize anything useful from the public commons. On top of this, the successful invaders get to pick the new leaders, like this Belhaj goon, who could end up selling out their own people to foreign interests.

Hey! Here’s an idea! Why not open up the war machine to transparency?

If what the defense industry people are doing is so entirely just, then let everyone see what happens in a war zone. Show us how much it’s costing, and what is being done on a day to day basis. Film the atrocities, and see if the public can stomach what is being done in their name.

No? Can’t do it? Well then, the whole stinking thing is a RACKET!!!

Inspirational Imagery of the Day

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Look! It’s an elephant enjoying a waterfall. How beautiful is that?

She’s living in the moment – something many of us don’t do often enough. Just relishing the wonderful splendor that surrounds us. Simply appreciating how there is so much beauty everywhere, in every thing.

It is awesome to be alive. Existence rules!