American History is a history of white Europeans slaughtering, colonizing and enslaving people of color.
The Europeans came here and stole the land from people they committed genocide upon.
Fuck the Pilgrims and their even nastier cousins the Puritans. Better they had perished instead of thrived.
As a child I was taught beautiful lies about them along with the beautiful lies about the missionaries and horrible lies about the First People.
My first doubts came when I was in second or third grade and bought a book that I had saved for months to buy about American Indians and their arts, crafts and way of living.
Suddenly the Saturday matinee cowboy movies stopped making sense. I stopped seeing the cowboys as the good guys and started rooting for the Indians.
Even though they actually taught us history in school in the 1950s and 1960s, the history was of the wonderful achievements of white men.
It was only by digging and reading other accounts that I started learning what the late historian Howard Zinn called “The People’s History”.
I grew up Left, because the Left cared more about the people who were being oppressed than the oppressor.
In 1969 I was living in Berkeley, in a commune near San Pablo and Ashby Avenues. We have an activist feast that year.
We took up a collection of blankets and other things for the Indians, who had just taken over Alcatraz Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. That weekend we went to a demonstration in a show of support.
I started learning more about the crimes the white man had committed upon the Native Peoples. The Trail of Tears. Wounded Knee. The butchery of Columbus. The slaughter of the Pawtuxet and the Pequot.
But that isn’t the history the powerful want us to know about. It doesn’t suit the myth of America the peaceful all wonderful land of freedom and equality.
Think about that might interfere with our watching the macho worshiping brainwash of Thanksgiving day propaganda and football.
Questioning what we are told might cause us to sleep in tomorrow, thereby saving much more money than we would shopping.
We might ask is it all about greed and connect the greed with the history of genocide…
November 22, 2011 — As people across Turtle Island look towards the global wave of protests against the austerity agenda, the memory of the 2010 G20 protests in Toronto looms large as both inspiration and caution. We are seventeen people accused by the state of planning to disrupt the leaders summit – the prosecutors call us the G20 Main Conspiracy Group.
This alleged conspiracy is absurd. We were never all part of any one group, we didn’t all organize together, and our political backgrounds are all different. Some of us met for the first time in jail. What we do have in common is that we, like many others, are passionate about creating communities of resistance.
Separately and together, we work with movements against colonialism, capitalism, borders, patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, hetero/cis-normativity, and environmental destruction. These are movements for radical change, and they represent real alternatives to existing power structures. It is for this reason that we were targeted by the state.
Although these conspiracy charges have been a big part of our daily reality for the past year and a half, we have been slow in speaking out collectively. This is partly because of the restrictive bail conditions that were placed on us, including non-association with our co-accused and many of our close allies. In addition, those of us who did speak out have been subjected to a campaign of intimidation and harassment by the police and prosecutors. We are writing now because we have decided to resolve our charges to bring this spectacle to an end.
The state’s strategy after the G20 has been to cast a wide net over those who mobilized against the summit (over 1, 000 detained and over 300 charged) and then to single out those they perceived to be leaders. Being accused of conspiracy is a surreal, bureaucratic nightmare that few political organizers have experienced in this country, but unfortunately it is becoming more common. We can’t say with any certainty if what we did was in fact an illegal conspiracy. Ultimately though, whether or not our organizing fits into the hypocritical and oppressive confines of the law isn’t what’s important. This is a political prosecution. The government made a political decision to spend millions of dollars to surveil and infiltrate anarchist, Indigenous solidarity, and migrant justice organizing over several years. After that kind of investment, what sort of justice are we to expect?
Complete Statement at: http://conspiretoresist.wordpress.com/
From Reader Supported News: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/289-134/8530-pre-war-propaganda-mounting-on-iran
By Seymour Hersh, Democracy Now!
22 November 11
Propaganda used ahead of Iraq War is now being reused over Iran’s nuke program.
While the United States, Britain and Canada are planning to announce a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran’s oil and petrochemical industry today, longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh questions the growing consensus on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. International pressure has been mounting on Iran since the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency revealed in a report the “possible military dimensions” to Iran’s nuclear activities, citing “credible” evidence that “indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” In his latest article for The New Yorker blog, titled “Iran and the IAEA,” Hersh argues the recent report is a “political document,” not a scientific study. “They [JSOC] found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization,” Hersh says. “In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities to build the bomb. This is simply a fact.”
From The Ottawa Citizen: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/spikes+cent+after+eating+canned+soup+Study/5751216/story.html
November 23, 2011
WASHINGTON – People who ate canned soup for five days straight saw their urinary levels of the chemical bisphenol A spike 1,200 per cent compared to those who ate fresh soup, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
The randomized study, described as “one of the first to quantify BPA levels in humans after ingestion of canned foods,” was done by Harvard University researchers and appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s November 23 issue.
“We’ve known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase the amount of BPA in your body,” said lead author Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.
“This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use.”
The chemical BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animal studies at levels of 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight and higher, though it remains uncertain if the same effects cross over to humans, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Court records refer to him simply, as Victim One. Outside of a four-and-a-half page section about him in the grand jury indictment of ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, little else has been discussed about him publicly.
Last week, his mother (whom I will refer to as “Mother One”) removed him from Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, Pa., where he was a senior and an all-star athlete. In an interview conducted last week, she explained why she pulled him from the school.
“They were not helpful,” Mother One said of the school’s administrators. “They wanted me to go home and forget about it.”
Mother One also alleges that since the Sandusky scandal erupted, fellow students and the high school’s football coach (who also serves as assistant principal) have all targeted her son with verbal attacks and threats of violence.
She also claims that the school’s principal tried to convince her and her son not to report their allegations against Sandusky to the police, and that as recently as this month, refused to treat threats of violence against her son by other students as credible.
Central Mountain High’s principal, Karen Probst, and its football coach, Steve Turchetta, did not return phone calls seeking comment about Mother One’s complaints.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/23-2
Remember that awkward silence that fell across the nation back in ’94 when Bill Clinton’s surgeon general used the M-word?
Jocelyn Elders, speaking at an AIDS conference at the U.N. about reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease, said that masturbation “is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”
Clinton, rather than defend frank, honest talk about sexuality at the national level and condemn its opposite, caved under the weight of the gasps and titters and fired Elders, explaining that the outspoken surgeon general’s comments reflected “differences with Administration policy and my own convictions.” Differences on masturbation? A couple years later, the Monica scandal erupted and things were a little clearer — oh yeah, this is how we talk about sex in America.
Are we a serious nation or what?
What passes for sexual openness is mostly commercial exploitation. In reality, sex is still in the closet as a subject of serious national discussion, despite all the complications associated with it. Sex scandals are a media staple, of course, but in recent weeks we’ve been rocked by a new wave of sex abuse scandals — rape scandals — the dark, disturbing power of which, as always, lies in the likelihood that there are a lot more revelations and accusations still to come, more authority figures’ reputations to be shattered, more honor-steeped traditions to be exposed as hollow.
When sex is hidden in the shadows — when it’s something you can’t talk about (but you can brag about) — it easily becomes one more tool of domination, wrapped in an unspeakable shame that preserves its secrecy. The crime of rape is the crime of predation, the crime of “I own you.” And it is an institutional failure first — on college campuses, in the U.S. military — as evinced by breaking news stories reporting not merely allegations of sexual molestation over a long period of time, but of their quiet cover-up by those in charge, granting de facto impunity to the victimizers. The pattern is always the same.
By fascinating coincidence, two recent developments highlighting the endemic problem of sexual abuse in the U.S. military are in the news just as the child-molestation scandal in college sports programs and other macho domains has begun to widen.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/23-2
By Joshua L. Weinstein at TheWrap
Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:18am EST
Women and girls were sexualized in the top 100 grossing movies of 2009, a new study by University of Southern California researchers shows.
The study says also reports that women continue to be under-represented behind the camera, accounting for only 3.6 percent of directors, 13.5 percent of writers and 21.6 percent of producers in 2009, according to the study.
“The landscape of cinematic content is … grossly imbalanced,” the study, by Stacy L. Smith (left), Marc Choueiti and Stephanie Gall, of the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism, concludes. “Females are not only infrequent, but they are also stereotyped and sexualized in popular motion picture content.”
The study says that “clearly, females are not as valued as males on screen, behind-the-camera or as consumers of motion picture content.”
According to the study, 13-to-20-year-old females are as likely as 21-to-29-year-old women to be shown wearing sexually revealing clothing or to be partially nude; 33.8 percent were shown in what the study considered “sexy” clothing; and 28.2 percent were shown with exposed skin in the cleavage, midriff or upper thigh.
Continue reading at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/23/idUS150890172120111123
From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/11/college-student-debt-occupy
By Kiera Butler
Wed Nov. 23, 2011
College students have, to some extent, always been poor and hungry. But in the past few years, undergrads’ plight has become truly dire. It’s not hard to see why the Occupy Wall Street movement has struck a chord on campuses.
Just check out these stats: Unemployment among college grads is twice what it was in 2007. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for 16-24-year-olds is twice the national average; grads under 25 are twice as likely to lack a job than their older peers. The New York Times reports that just half of students who graduated in 2010 had a job in the spring of 2011, and even those who did get jobs were often way overqualified:
An analysis by The New York Times of Labor Department data about college graduates aged 25 to 34 found that the number of these workers employed in food service, restaurants and bars had risen 17 percent in 2009 from 2008, though the sample size was small. There were similar or bigger employment increases at gas stations and fuel dealers, food and alcohol stores, and taxi and limousine services.
Earlier this week, students from an OWS offshoot called Occuppy Student Debt pledged to refuse to pay back their student loans. Some of the members of the group have shared their stories on the group’s site. Here’s one entitled “Suckit Sallie”:
I was one of those kids who always pushed hard and dreamed big. I skipped a grade, was in all the right AP classes, one of 2 or 3 black student on the honor roll, and went out of state for college @ 17 and had no doubts I would make it in life. I used the government and Sallie Mae to make it through grad school within 6 years, and expected to be somewhere way different than where I am now…..
Continue reading at: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/11/college-student-debt-occupy
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/23
I’ve noticed a meme beginning to fester among liberal insiders who are positing that the Occupy Wall Street movement is starting to “distract” the citizenry from the wicked machinations of Republicans of the legislative class.
The OWS movement is not a distraction from—but serves as an alternative to—the disingenuous theatrics staged by the political hacks of this faux republic. Conversely, movement members have grasped that it is the hollow grandstanding–the modus operandi of the present U.S. political system itself–that serves as distraction from the realities of the day.
Those drawn to the OWS movement realize this: Vast sums of money are required to get the attention of and gain influence over the entrenched class of self-serving political insiders who hustle their wares in Washington, D.C.
Year after year, election cycle after election cycle, Washington’s political class has revealed whose interests it serves. Accordingly, let the 1% and their political operatives continue on their present myopic, self-serving, society-decimating course: By doing so, they will just bring more outraged people into the streets and hasten their own undoing.
Yet, because arrogant power, girded by duplicity and ruthlessly maintained, does not yield without a fight, we should expect more of the following:
Stories are circulating that Clark, Lytle, Geduldig & Cranford, a well-connected Washington lobbying firm, with ties to the financial industry, have floated a $850,000 plan to pillory Occupy Wall Street. This should not come as a surprise. Living in a society dominated by the power of massive corporations, and the inequitable wealth these self-perpetuating organizations have at their disposal, we will be relentlessly subjected to the narratives they generate.
“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” — Steve Biko
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/23
By Michelle Chen
November 23, 2011
In the wake of the Congressional Supercommittee’s collapse, we finally have consensus on both sides of the aisle: the lawmakers orchestrating the partisan drama are, behind the scenes, happy to collaborate on destroying economic security for all but the wealthiest Americans.
Though the debt hysteria made good political theater, the main immediate impact on the budget is simply to prolong the sense of doom hovering over struggling households. The budget problem those families face isn’t some theoretical future debt crisis but the possibility of losing unemployment checks when a year-end legislative deadline hits.
Federally funded unemployment benefits, which conservatives dismiss as a fluffy cushion for shiftless poor, have been a lifeline for some 17 million Americans in the past three years. In addition to helping individual households pay their bills, the benefits have had a ripple effect on cities and towns battered by an anemic job market, “contributing nearly $180 billion in hard cash to those communities struggling with severe unemployment,” according to a report issued in October by the National Employment Law Project.
In January alone, 1.8 million workers who currently receive federal unemployment insurance or would have begun to receive it will be cut off if Congress does not renew the program before it expires on December 31st…. Nearly 650,000 workers in 33 states and the District of Columbia will face an immediate “hard” cut‐off of their benefits in January, after struggling to find work and pay their bills for over a year in most cases. There is no phase-out allowing these workers to collect the remainder of their final 13 to 20 weeks of benefits.
Those numbers of course didn’t get much airtime as Supercommittee lawmakers grandstanded by slinging around proposed cuts to social programs and tax breaks for the rich. But if deficit-obsessed lawmakers actually examined the impact of unmployment insurance and other endangered assistance programs, they might start to understand how poverty and inequality is entrenched in America today.