This may be a shock to those who have heard me say, in some of me less than kindler, gentler moments, that Libertarians are Ayn Randian Regressives who more often that not parrot faux liberty talking points literally spoon fed them by some Koch Brothers inspired think tank, talking points that in fact serve as a pillar that upholds the empire of the ruling elite even as they espouse to tear it down. The truth is, however this view ignores the fact that on the surface, we agree on many issues- Libertarians and I. While the two party duopoly spins a narrative that wants us to believe that we are on opposite sides of a linear spectrum, outliers, freaks, a fringe minority, the fact is that those in all 3 branches of government represent a ruling class whose worldview and means of pursuing it are in fact the minority view, the radical, fringe view. The radical violent revolutionaries are already in power.
Joining Dennis on the show today to make sense of all this is Mnar Muhawesh. She is the founder, CEO and editor in chief of Mint Press News, and also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. Episode breakdown| As the world watches Iraq quickly descending into a failed state status under the brutal onslaught from fighters in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, pundits, representatives form congress and no doubt members of Barack Obama’s inner circle are wondering if it is not time to put together another coalition of the willing and re-engage the US Military in Iraq. Before you dust off your yellow ribbons to tie round your oak tree’s though, remember: in 2003 The United States invaded Iraq after lying to the world and the American people saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was connected to Al Qaeda- and therefore connected to the 9/11 attacks.
As you know, the movement for democracy and justice is sweeping the globe – from democracy revolutions to occupy protests, movements for the rights of workers, students, immigrants, women and Indigenous peoples; resistance to NSA spying, endless war, prison pipelines, tar sands, fracking, nuclear power, GMOs and more. The accelerating climate disaster – now predicted to dismantle civilization as we know it as soon as 2050 - intensifies all these struggles, and provides new urgency for collaboration and unified action. Clearly there is no time to lose. The Convergence calls for a solution as big as the crisis barreling down on us – an emergency green economic transformation, including full employment and living wages; 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030; universal free health care and education; food and housing security; an end to deportations and mass incarceration; economic and political democracy; demilitarization; ecosystem restoration and support for the rights of Mother Earth; and more. These goals will only be achieved by masses of people coming together in a unified movement, which is exactly what the Convergence is working towards!”
For this round of cuts and consolidations, a solidarity between students and faculty had been well established, and grew and flourished under the recognition that we had shared goals in preserving the University of Maine System, not only for their jobs, or for our quality of education, but for the broader benefit of society that a liberal arts education provides, in allowing all working class people to lift themselves up into an intellectual realm that had until only recently in human history been reserved for priests and nobility. A vote of no confidence was issued forth from the Faculty Senate, and Selma Botman resigned, only to be replaced by President Theo Kalikow, who has continued forth advancing the austerity agenda on the University of Southern Maine. Selma Botman, while vacating the seat of the President, was allowed by administrators to continued to draw her salary for the duration of her term, and was in fact hired back as a consultant, and paid an additional $300,000 to write a paper, putting her annual earnings well into the realm of the top 1%. As though to thumb their noses at the student protestors, Administrators gave themselves a raise of $20,000 and upwards.
Now that President Obama is proposing that the NSA end its bulk collection of data, it is time that Obama take this narrative to the next logical conclusion and offer a full and unconditional pardon to Edward Snowden. President Obama’s War on whistle blowers (he has charged eight individuals with Espionage, compared to only three under all previous presidents) needs to end. His recent proposal, even though it was forced by the courts, and to a large degree Mark Zuckerberg and the other titans of the tech world who warned that the U.S. government spying programs would hurt business, is still an admission that Edward Snowden’s actions were justified.
“Is Russia urging Quebec to secede from Canada so that the province can join a military alliance led by Moscow? Evidently not. That would be comparable, and yet mild compared to the recent U.S. gambit led by Victoria Nuland aimed at bringing Ukraine into the Western orbit. (…) Russia professes no hostile ideology, and only seeks normal relations with the West. What more can it do? It is up to Americans to come to their senses.” - Diana Johnstone, Counterpunch
Sean Bedlam (interviewed here) is a comedian, artist and activist based in Melbourne. An active member of Occupy Melbourne and other social justice campaigns, Sean states “activists in Australia are reaching out to people all over the world, particularly in America, because Australia is a client state of the United States (while at the same time) we are reaching out to the Indigenous people of Australia, the first nations, and that has become a burning central issue. Now, the powers that be know that if we are making contact with the powers that be around the world and if we are making contact with indigenous Australians, you’ve got an incredibly powerful network, and they don’t want the network to form."
We cling, no worse, we teach our children to invest in the false American Dream that if we only work a little harder, or go into more educational debt that we would be able to grasp the brass ring and wear proudly the label of American Middle class. That label would be made in Bangladesh, mind you, by a child working six days a week 16 hours a day and making 30 bucks a month but you would be proud to wear that middle class label just the same, and in doing so do you- we, I- not only endorse the conditions of poverty that, because of its very existence, defines the middle class, we insure that poverty will continue. We need new language, a new system based on equity and fairness and not on exploitation and oppression and until then I say fuck the middle class.
After two months of protestors in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has been ousted and yet, with support from Russia, remains defiant. As U.S Secretary of State offers aid to Ukraine, he managed to tell Face The Nation (with a straight face) ““You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.” As Glenn Greenwald, writing at The Intercept points out: The supremely sycophantic Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer – as he demanded to know how Russia would be punished – never once bothered Kerry (or his other Iraq-war-advocating guests, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius) by asking about any of that unpleasantness (is it hard at all for you to sermonize against invasions of sovereign countries given, you know, how often you yourself support them?)
The Robin Hood tax, a small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone. It is an idea whose impact can be felt globally as well.
In this week's Resistance Report week in we review stories from the week of action in the movement for social and economic justce. The Resistance Report covers: The Day We Fight Back Against The NSA: this Tuesday a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA's mass spying regime; Massive Resistance Building To Stop #KXL: over 200 events took place from coast to coast saying 'No KXL'; Did We Defeat the TPP?: A growing movement of movements to organize, educate, and resist the fast track authority; and What Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death Can Teach Us About Climate Change: Claiming the KXL will not have a negative impact on the environment is like Walter White saying heroin is as healthy as kale.
The Resistance Report Week in Review collects all of the Resistance Report segments from the previous week and rolls them into one big show.
When a massive chemical spill happens that contaminates the water supply and leaves over 300,00 people in West Virginia without water to drink, bathe or even brush their teeth - when a dangerous event that throws a whole area of the country into an existential crisis happens, one wants to believe that state and local officials in every part of the country are paying close attention to learn from this crisis to see to it that it be averted in their communities. I mean, there is no way that a corporation, Freedom Industries in this case, would be allowed to handle a toxic foaming agent used as part of the coal preparation processing unless their facility was in tiptop shape, unless the plant processing these toxic chemicals could have the adjective “good” ascribed to it.