Tag Archives: 2012

Woody Guthrie: American Hero (Democracy Now Nov, 23, 2012)

Woody Guthrie at 100: Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Will Kaufman Honor the “Dust Bowl Troubadour”, via http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2012/11/23

Commemorations are being held across the country this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the country’s greatest songwriters, Woody Guthrie. Born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs, including, “This Land Is Your Land,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Do Re Mi” and “The Ranger’s Command.” While Guthrie is best remembered as a musician, he also had a deeply political side. At the height of McCarthyism, Guthrie spoke out for labor and civil rights and against fascism. In this one-hour special, you will hear interviews and music from folk singer Pete Seeger, the British musician Billy Bragg, and the historian Will Kaufman, author of the new book, “Woody Guthrie, American Radical.”

“Woody’s original songs, the songs that he wrote back in the 1930s … with these images of people losing their houses to the banks, of gamblers on the stock markets making millions, when ordinary working people can’t afford to make ends meet, and of people dying for want of proper free healthcare, you know, this song could have been written anytime in the last five years, really, in the United States of America,” says Bragg, who has long been inspired by Guthrie.

Guthrie’s most famous song, “This Land Is Your Land,” was written in 1940 in response to Kate Smith’s “God Bless America.” “Woody saw [‘God Bless America’] as a strident, jingoistic, complacent, tub-thumping anthem to American greatness,” Kaufman says. “And now, he had just come from the Dust Bowl. He’d just come from the barbed-wire gates of California’s Eden there. He’d seen the Hoovervilles. He’d seen the bread lines. He’d seen labor activists getting their heads busted. And so, he’s thinking, what — God bless — what America, you know, is Kate Smith singing of?” In 2009, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen performed “This Land Is Your Land” for the inauguration of President Obama. [includes rush transcript]

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Colorado Public Television Presents 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out

Watch 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out on PBS. See more from KBDI.

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To President Obama: The 2nd Amendment is about fighting tyranny, not hunting deer

By MIKE  @ http://non-intervention.com/| Published: AUGUST 1, 2012

Soon after the Denver shootings, President Obama said it was time to put stricter gun-control measures in place. With the failure of Attorney General Holder’s “Fast and Furious” ploy to void the 2nd Amendment, it seems Obama thought he might capitalize on the Denver shootings to further damage the Constitution. The negative public reaction to his words, however, sent Obama backtracking, and senior Democrats like Senator Reid and Representative Pelosi quickly made public remarks to bury the issue — for now.

Before moving on, it is worth noting that Obama said gun laws must be changed but only in a way that protected Americans’ cherished tradition of hunting. Well, hunting game is not the central concern of the 2nd Amendment. What is central is that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of Americans to be armed in case they decide there is a need, in Jefferson’s words, “to alter or to abolish [the government]” and “to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

In creating the 2nd Amendment, the Founders — through James Madison‘s pen — took their cue from the British Bill of Rights (1689) which recognized that an unarmed populace could not protect its rights, liberty, and economic welfare against a king backed by a standing army, and so it allowed for an armed populace. The Founders also recalled that when London cracked down on New England’s resistance to the Crown, one of British General Thomas Gates’ first moves was to try to seize the munitions and ordnance the colonists had stockpiled around Boston. One reason for the British Army’s ill-fated expedition to Lexington and Concord in April, 1775, for example, was to capture the colonists’ stores of cannon, muskets, and munitions.

Even before Jefferson’s declaration, therefore, what in today’s parlance is called “gun control” was seen by Americans for what it was and is, a policy instituted by an oppressive government that fears its population and therefore aims at ensuring that citizens cannot arm to resist its will. The 2nd Amendment is meant, in part, to make sure that if the federal government created by the Constitution turns oppressive, Americans will have arms with which to defend their liberties and welfare.

And this right is much more important today than it was when the 2nd Amendment was drafted because the federal government has over time deliberately and probably unconstitutionally eradicated the 2nd Amendment’s other anti-oppression provision, the one that made sure the several state governments had well-regulated — that is, well-trained — militias at their command. The state militias were of course meant to assist the U.S. government’s standing army in case of foreign attack or domestic insurrection, but they also were meant to defend the states and their populations if the federal government used its standing army to willfully violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, or acted in a manner harmful to the peoples’ security, economic welfare, and/or their society’s social cohesion.

Except for Alexander Hamilton and a few other of the Founders, both Federalists and Anti-Federalists were very wary of — indeed, many hated — the idea of maintaining a strong standing army in time of peace, seeing it as an all-too-easy-to-use tool of would-be tyrants. The 2nd Amendment took cognizance of this historically genuine danger and established two hedges against it, an armed citizenry and effective state militias. The much stronger hedge — state militias — is long gone, and only the weaker hedge of an armed citizenry remains. And there seems nothing outrageous about the idea that, as the 2nd Amendment allowed citizens to be ready to resist federal-government oppression by matching it musket-for-musket in the 1790s, today’s citizens ought to be free to face the same potential threat of tyranny assault rifle-for-assault rifle.

Now, in response to the foregoing, I am sure President Obama and other recent presidents, their administrations, and their media shills would argue there is no chance of the federal government ever acting in a manner so oppressive to the liberty and welfare of Americans that the latter would decide to take up arms against it. And they may well be right. I hope they are.

But just for the sake of argument, let us imagine a future circumstance — far off and wildly unlikely though it may be — in which the federal government did violate the Constitution, threaten the destruction of the U.S. economy, tore the fabric of American society, and made the American political system a cesspool of financial corruption. And to add to the unreality of our scenario, let us further imagine that these actions are much more substantively threatening than those which motivated the Founding Fathers to rebel against Britain and those that led to the creation of the Confederate States of America and a civil war.

Just imagine, for example,

–1.) That a single unelected federal bureaucrat issues a mandate that clearly violates the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom for more than 70 million American Catholics, Jews, and Muslims.

–2.) That multiple U.S. presidents take the United States to war without the formal declaration of war irrefutably demanded by the U.S. Constitution, and then intentionally fail to win the wars they start and so kill thousands of America‘s solider-children for nothing.

–3.) That the federal government each year reaches into its citizens’ pockets and takes between $40 and $50 billion dollars and then gives it to foreigners, even in times when 25-percent of America’s youngsters are malnourished, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed, and the country’s critical infrastructure is crumbling.

–4.) That senior elected officials in both parties, as well as senior federal bureaucrats constantly leak highly classified intelligence information to advance their partisan interests and thereby knowingly undermine U.S. national security.

–5.) That presidents and attorney generals from both parties pick and choose what laws they will enforce, in direct and flagrant violation of the oath to execute all laws that the Constitution mandates they swear on taking office.

–6.) That a long list of presidential administrations under both parties refuse to enforce laws designed to control U.S. borders, thereby knowingly compromising U.S. security and causing several U.S. states to have their economies damaged and social fabric weakened. In addition, imagine that those federal administrations also take legal action to prevent state governors from defending their populations.

–7.) That the Congress and the Senate regularly and knowingly act to bankrupt and destroy such essential national institutions as the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Post Office by siphoning off their funds for other pet or less-important projects.

–8.) That cabinet members and would-be cabinet members who do not file income tax returns, leak classified intelligence information, mislead Congress, and knowingly hire illegal aliens are never prosecuted.

–9.) That the federal government so overspends the public treasury that the national debt can never be repaid, and that in funding the debt it also compromises U.S. independence and citizens’ economic well-being via massive borrowing from malign foreign powers and by exacting half-a-year’s wages from each American taxpayer.

–10.) That the unaccountable U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Constitution in a way that makes the nation’s political system a cesspool of financial corruption, endorses the murder of more than 50 million-plus unborn U.S. citizens, and empowers the federal government to wage unrelenting war on religion, especially on Christianity.

–11.) That the federal government’s executive and legislative branches permit multiple lobbies to act as agents of foreign powers to corrupt our political system; to influence our foreign policy in a manner destructive of U.S. security and leading to war; and then protects them by not making them register as agents of foreign powers and by passing “hate-speech laws” — the latter a clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

12.) That the federal education department ensures the school curriculum taught to U.S. children negatively distorts U.S. history, denigrates the Founding Fathers, and keeps students ignorant of the meaning and purposes of the country’s founding documents — such as the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

While it is hard, nay, nearly impossible to imagine that even one — let alone all — of these severely oppressive and destructive actions could be deliberately perpetrated by the federal government, we each learn over the course of a lifetime never to say never. And if the sorry day ever dawns when one or more of the above depredations occur, I would suggest Americans might well think about taking recourse to the arms guaranteed them by the 2nd Amendment, arms with which to defend their liberty, economic welfare, national independence, and their Constitution’s viability.

And who knows what the future will bring, some of the foregoing hard-to-imagine actions may not be all so far fetched. If one or more came to pass, I suppose the 2nd Amendment would be the last, best resort for Americans after, as Jefferson recommended, a patient and prolonged effort to peacefully undo the oppressive measures imposed on them. “Prudence, indeed,” Jefferson wrote, “will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

At day’s end, then, the 2nd Amendment exists to permit American citizens to perform the “duty” Jefferson describes by resisting and defeating with arms a federal government that knowingly produces a “train of abuses and usurpations” that is designed “to reduce them under absolute Despotism.” The 2nd Amendment should not be altered or diluted a whit, but should stand, as the Founders intended, as a stark reminder to all elected federal officials and their bureaucrats that, in extremis, the 2nd Amendment ensures that Americans have the right and the means with which to hunt down and remove those who use the federal government to oppress them.

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U.S. EDUCATION SPENDING AND PERFORMANCE VS. THE WORLD

via http://mat.usc.edu/u-s-education-versus-the-world-infographic/

…this infographic that compares the United States’ education spend and performance versus eleven countries.  The U.S. is the clear leader in total annual spending, but ranks 9th in Science performance and 10th in Math.

U.S. Education versus the World via Master of Arts in Teaching at USC

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Transit of Venus : to cross the face of the sun on Tuesday June 5, 2012

Cooperation

Bird Flies During Transit Of Venus
June 8, 2004 file photo shows the transit of Venus, which occurs when the planet Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun, is pictured in Hong Kong. Venus will cross the face of the sun on Tuesday June 5, 2012, a sight that will be visible from parts of Earth. This is the last transit for more than 100 years. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu,File)

Click for more on Quetzalcoatl and the Oneness Celebration

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Humankind faces huge solar storms

Reuters / Nasa

Reuters / Nasa

via RT http://www.rt.com/news/solar-activity-earth-health-709/

Get ready for some solar action as Earth heads into a period of increased solar activity with a peak in flares predicted for 2013. Scientists say the number of solar storms will be the highest for a decade.

The Sun is on the ascendant phase of its 11-year cycle, with the peak due in February 2013.

“Now the sun has entered a new phase of its active state. The peak of this phase will occur in 2012 and in the following years. And today explosions and solar flares are occuring more often,” Yury Zaitsev, analyst at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Space Research, told Interfax news agency.

This solar maximum, will be less powerful than the previous one in 2000 and one of the weakest since 1928, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center predicted.

“In 2000 there were far more geomagnetic storms than expected in this and coming years.  And not only in quantity but also in power,” said Sergey Gaydash, the head of Russia’s Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation.

Though weak, it can still pose threats to communication lines, with predictions that a strong solar storm could cause between $1 and 2 trillion in damages.

The increased solar activity and following higher Geomagnetic Activity (GMA) could possibly have a significant influence on those suffering from heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.

The idea that the magnetic storms have an influence on health has been confirmed by the statistical and clinical studies, said Zaitsev.

It will also way cause major fluctuations in the Sun’s magnetic field, and an increase in the number of sunspots, coronal mass ejections, and solar flares, which often happen shortly after the peak.

Experts suggest taking simple preventive measures during big flares – satellites should be put offline, power grids and communication networks be shielded against electromagnetic radiation.

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Cancer Risk Assessment Needed? Sampling the Pacific for Signs of Fukushima : Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Keep in mind that radiation is the cause of free radicals that damage genetic materials and cells, cancer kill more people than all war. According to the WHOIn the year 2000, malignant tumours were responsible for 12 per cent of the nearly 56 million deaths worldwide from all causes. In many countries, more than a quarter of deaths are attributable to cancer.

via Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sampling the Pacific for Signs of Fukushima : Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Sampling the Pacific for Signs of Fukushima

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Relations Office

media@whoi.edu

April 2, 2012

(508) 289-3340

An international research team is reporting the results of a research cruise they organized to study the amount, spread, and impacts of radiation released into the ocean from the tsunami-crippled reactors in Fukushima, Japan. The group of 17 researchers and technicians from eight institutions spent 15 days at sea in June 2011 studying ocean currents, and sampling water and marine organisms up to the edge of the exclusion zone around the reactors.

“What this means for the marine environment of the Northwest Pacific over the long term is something that we need to keep our eyes on,” said Buesseler.

 

 

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The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation and scientific research around the world and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation’s Science Program aims to make a significant impact on the development of provocative, transformative scientific research, and increase knowledge in emerging fields. For more information, please visitwww.moore.org.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu.

Originally published: April 2, 2012 ON http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=3622&cid=133509

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