Chicago police clash with Nato summit protesters

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/21/chicago-police-nato-summit-protesters

Arrests and injuries as thousands march on downtown area of the city, where 51 world leaders are meeting


guardian.co.uk, Monday 21 May 2012

The main anti-war march at the Chicago Nato summit was marred by clashes between police and protesters, with several people injured and 45 arrests.

Thousands of people marched towards McCormick Place in the downtown area of the city, where 51 world leaders are meeting for the two-day summit.

However, the demonstration on Sunday ended in ugly scenes as police used batons to control the crowd. The violence came as a fifth person was charged with terrorism-related offences in in relation to alleged plots to disrupt the summit.

Sunday’s demonstration was the largest anti-war protest so far, after days of marches and protests in the city centre.

Gathering at Grant Park, thousands of protesters set off south towards the site of the summit, led by around 20 Iraq veterans against the war.

Arriving two blocks west of McCormick Place, the veterans, including Scott Olsen, the protester injured in Occupy Oakland demonstrations in October, staged a symbolic “returning” of their medals, tossing them in the direction of the sprawling conference space.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/21/chicago-police-nato-summit-protesters

Under Industry Pressure, USDA Works to Speed Approval of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Crops

From Truth Out: http://www.truth-out.org/under-industry-pressure-usda-works-speed-approval-monsantos-genetically-engineered-crops/1323453319

by: Mike Ludwig
Monday 12 December 2011

For years, biotech agriculture opponents have accused regulators of working too closely with big biotech firms when deregulating genetically engineered (GE) crops. Now, their worst fears could be coming true: under a new two-year pilot program at the USDA, regulators are training the world’s biggest biotech firms, including Monsanto, BASF and Syngenta, to conduct environmental reviews of their own transgenic seed products as part of the government’s deregulation process.

This would eliminate a critical level of oversight for the production of GE crops. Regulators are also testing new cost-sharing agreements that allow biotech firms to help pay private contractors to prepare mandatory environmental statements on GE plants the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering deregulating.

The USDA launched the pilot project in April and, in November, the USDA announced vague plans to “streamline” the deregulation petition process for GE organisms. A USDA spokesperson said the streamlining effort is not part of the pilot project, but both efforts appear to address a backlog of pending GE crop deregulation petitions that has angered big biotech firms seeking to rollout new products.

Documents obtained by Truthout under a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that biotech companies, lawmakers and industry groups have put mounting pressure on the USDA in recent years to speed up the petition process, limit environmental impact assessments and approve more GE crops. One group went as far as sending USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack a timeline of GE soybean development that reads like a deregulation wish list. [Click here and here to download and read some of the documents released to Truthout.]

Continue reading at:    http://www.truth-out.org/under-industry-pressure-usda-works-speed-approval-monsantos-genetically-engineered-crops/1323453319

Posted in Activism, Anti-Globalization, Ecology, Food, Globalization, International. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Under Industry Pressure, USDA Works to Speed Approval of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Crops

Are Muslims Replacing Queers as America’s New Scapegoat?

Thought for the day and maybe forever:  “The left wing and progressives have always stood for inclusion and equality. The right wing and conservatives have always stood for exclusion and elitism/inequality.”

I’m an Atheist and therefore freedom of religion is important to me since the very concept implicitly includes the freedom to not believe.

I was a child in the “good old days” of the 1950s which were good only if you were white, right and well to do and what we described as WASP.

To be queer was so outre as to be sufficient reason to be driven from small town America to seek ones life in the ghettos around America where we could find a modicum of acceptance among “liberal and sophisticated people” described as artistic.  Indeed queer was considered so taboo that they describe LGBT/TQ kids as “sensitive” rather than as queer.

Racism and anti-Semitism were alive and well and anyone who said either were wrong was a “Goddamned Red”.

They also had choice name for people whose ethnic back grounds didn’t conform to the WASP ideal were were being programmed to think of being “normal”.

It was a time when using racial and ethnic slurs was widely accepted.  People who argued for politeness of language were not being “politically correct”, they were “Goddamned Reds”.

The charge of  “Political Correctness” has been cut loose from its founding root in the left wing communities where it was used as ironic chastisement for people who were getting carried away with their own superior level of consciousness.  When it used by right wing it is an euphemistic way of calling someone a “Goddamned Red”.

But heaven forbid one point out to the right wing that their ideology bears a great deal more resemblance to something found in Nazism than in the US Constitution.

They wrap themselves in the flag and wave a Bible in your face while wiping their asses with the Constitution.  In the world according to the right wing the US is a “Christian Nation” and the Constitution only has one amendment, the Second Amendment.

I was a child of the 1950 but I came of age in the 1960s.  Oh wasn’t that a time?  To be young and radical meant hearing everyone’s call for equality and social justice.  It didn’t much matter to those of us who read Steinbeck’s Grapes Of Wrath as high school students and were so moved as to take Tom Joad’s soliloquy to heart.

Whenever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Whenever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there . . . . I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’-I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build-why, I’ll be there.

From Wikipedia:

At the time of publication, Steinbeck’s novel “was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event. It was publicly banned and burned by citizens, it was debated on national radio hook-ups; but above all, it was read.” [5] Steinbeck scholar John Timmerman sums up the book’s impact: “The Grapes of Wrath may well be the most thoroughly discussed novel – in criticism, reviews, and college classrooms – of twentieth century American literature.” Part of its impact stemmed from its passionate depiction of the plight of the poor, and in fact, many of Steinbeck’s contemporaries attacked his social and political views. Bryan Cordyack writes, “Steinbeck was attacked as a propagandist and a socialist from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. The most fervent of these attacks came from the Associated Farmers of California; they were displeased with the book’s depiction of California farmers’ attitudes and conduct toward the migrants. They denounced the book as a ‘pack of lies’ and labeled it ‘communist propaganda’.[6] However, although Steinbeck was accused of exaggeration of the camp conditions to make a political point, in fact he had done the opposite, underplaying the conditions that he well knew were worse than the novel describes[7] because he felt exact description would have gotten in the way of his story. Furthermore, there are several references to socialist politics and questions which appear in the John Ford film of 1940 which do not appear in the novel, which is less political in its terminology and interests.

I’m watching the hysteria being whipped up by the right wing and the cowardly acquiescence of so many in the Democratic Party who seem more concerned with acting like good Germans by not rocking the boat and I think this is how something like the Third Reich happened.

People were too afraid to say, “No, this is wrong.  Too afraid to not join the lynching mob.”

Yesterday I quoted  Pastor Martin Niemöller . Last night Tina and I went to see Jr. John and the Lower 911. In one of their songs they inserted a song I used to sing on special occasion when I faced the thugs in blue with their clubs and Mace, “I shall not, I shall not be moved, Just like a tree standing by the water, I shall not be moved..”

I wasn’t Black, yet I stood for African American Civil Rights.

They were never going to draft me, yet I opposed the draft.

I was not a Native American yet I supported AIM

I was not a Chicano migrant farm worker, yet I supported the United Farm Workers

I am not Muslim (Indeed I find their religion among the most misogynistic of all religions and abhorrent on many levels),, yet I support their constitutional right to freedom to practice their beliefs.

The scapegoating of Muslims and blaming the entire world of people who practice Islam for the acts of 18 people who committed 9/11 is ugly, stupid and ridiculous.

Let them have their cultural center and their equal rights.

The memory of LGBT/TQ people having to fight various city halls for the rights to open and maintain our community and cultural centers is to fresh for me to join the lynching mob.

It appears as though beating up on Muslim people has become the new sport of the right, replacing LGBT/TQ bashing.  Or perhaps it has just momentarily supplanted it.

It is all the same hatred that is the stock and trade of the right wing.  Do not be fooled if it puts on a different mask.

Posted in Equal Treatment, Fascism, Free Speech, Human Rights, International, Religion, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Are Muslims Replacing Queers as America’s New Scapegoat?

Argentina legalizes gay marriage in historic vote

[But of course the Christo-fascist Catholic Church  of Pedophilia has its knickers in a twist.  Time for the institution of Catholicism with its homophobia, misogyny and support for right wing dictators and royals.]
From 365 Gay
By The Associated Press
07.15.2010 8:50am EDT

(Buenos Aires) Argentina legalized same-sex marriage Thursday, becoming the first country in Latin America to grant gays and lesbians all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings to heterosexual couples.
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After a marathon debate, 33 lawmakers voted in favor, 27 were against it and 3 abstained in Argentina’s Senate in a vote that ended after 4 a.m. Since the lower house already approved it, and President Cristina Fernandez is a strong supporter, it now becomes law as soon as it is published in the official bulletin.

The law is sure to bring a wave of marriages by gays and lesbians who have increasingly found Buenos Aires to be more accepting than many other places in the region.

The approval came despite a concerted campaign by the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups, which drew 60,000 people to march on Congress and urged parents in churches and schools to work against passage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.365gay.com/news/argentina-legalizes-gay-marriage-in-historic-vote/

Posted in Catholic Church, Christo-Fascism, Equal Treatment, Gay Liberation, Human Rights, International, Lesbian, Religion, Same Sex Marriage. Comments Off on Argentina legalizes gay marriage in historic vote

Pope’s immunity to prosecution may be challenged in Britain

By The Associated Press
Sunday, April 4th, 2010 — 5:29 pm

Protests are growing against Pope Benedict XVI’s planned trip to Britain, where some lawyers question whether the Vatican’s implicit statehood status should shield the pope from prosecution over sex crimes by pedophile priests.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Downing Street’s web site against the pope’s 4-day visit to England and Scotland in September, which will cost U.K. taxpayers an estimated 15 million pounds ($22.5 million). The campaign has gained momentum as more Catholic sex abuse scandals have swept across Europe.

Continue reading at: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0404/popes-immunity-prosecution-challenged-britain/

Posted in Catholic Church, Hate Crimes, Homophobia, International, Male Privilege, Misogyny, Pedophilia. Comments Off on Pope’s immunity to prosecution may be challenged in Britain

Documents suggest Pope Pius XII more concerned about Soviets than Nazis

From the World Jewish Congress

02 February 2010

Two Italian researchers have found previously unknown correspondence about a meeting held in November 1944 between Pope Pius XII and the British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis D’Arcy Osborne. According to the papers, kept in the British National Archives in London, Osborne told the Catholic pontiff that the British government wanted him to issue a public appeal on behalf of the 400,000 Hungarian Jews who were being deported to the Nazi death camps at the time. However, Pius said that he was under pressure to condemn alleged abuses perpetrated by the Soviets against Catholic civilians in Poland and in the Baltic countries. Osborne reportedly told the pope that he had seen no evidence that the Russians had committed any such atrocities, and that even if they had, they could not be compared to the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis.

Continue reading at:  http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/main/showNews/id/8862

Random Musings on being the out Liberal Feminist

Some times it is tough being an out Liberal Feminist.

Like when people expect me to think Obama represents me or that I think the Democrats are doing a good job.

When I in fact think that there really isn’t much difference between Democrats and Republican when it comes to representing the common people.  Tonight Obama is expected to announce a freeze on spending for all programs except the War Machine.  Is that any different than the Bush approach of tax cuts and borrowing money to feed the Moloch of the war Machine?

Here is Obama, the first African American President and he is more right wing than Eisenhower.  Hell Ike was a flaming liberal in comparison.

I know, I know I listen to Keith and Rachel as well as  XM Radio Thom Hartman, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller.  I hear all about all the good things Obama has done, supposedly.

Except even with an overwhelming majority in both the House and Senate our party of the so called left, our party that is supposed to represent progressive values hasn’t done shit.  The Republicans got more of their agenda through a Democratic majority Congress for the last 40 years than Obama has.

Two years ago I said “Hope is for dopes. I want programs not platitudes.”  I was a Hillary supporter.  I’m tired of the presidency requiring a dick as a major qualification.  As far as I am concerned having a dick and being a platitude spouting smooth talker was the only qualifications Obama had.  We rightly label Sarah Palin as unqualified because she is just a media creation and we should have done the same to Obama.

But more over this guy kissed up to Rick Warren and The Family, a bunch of religious zealots who are test marketing capital punishment for gays in Uganda.  He professed an admiration for Ronald Reagan, the President who started us on the road to out sourced Free Market hell.

So tonight Obama is planning on announcing he will adopt another part of the Republican agenda of shrinking funding for programs that actually benefit the American people.  But not the military.  After World War I General Smeadly Butler wrote a book titled “War is a Racket“,  As President, General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us to “Beware of the military industrial complex.

We were supposed to believe Obama was different and would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But we are still there, still murdering people with our outrageously expensive war toys, still torturing, still maiming in the name of freedom.

and I’m not really a liberal because liberals are way to complacent and wishy washy to say, “Not In My Name!”

Posted in Anarchism, Economic Issues, Employment, Feminist, Health Care, International, Questioning Authority, Social Justice, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Random Musings on being the out Liberal Feminist