“Our government is conducting a war against drugs, is it? Let them go after petroleum. Talk about a destructive high! You put some of this stuff in your car and you can go a hundred miles an hour, run over the neighbor’s dog, and tear the atmosphere to smithereens. Hey, as long as we are stuck with being homo sapiens, why mess around? Let’s wreck the whole joint. Anybody got an atomic bomb? Who doesn’t have an atomic bomb nowadays?”—Kurt Vonnegut (via cultureofresistance)
Canadian politicians are being secretly aided by the highest levels of the British government in their attempts to ward off European penalties on the use of oil from Canada’s highly polluting tar sands.
The Guardian reported on Sunday that documents obtained under a freedom of information request show that at least fifteen high-level meetings over the issue have taken place since September, including a personal discussion between the British and Canadian prime ministers.
Following that meeting, British Energy Minister Charles Hendry told the Canadian high commissioner, “We would value continued discussion with you on how we can progress discussions in Brussels.” Hendry’s office also asked the Canadians if they had “any suggestions as to what we might do, given the politics in Brussels.”
As explained by The Guardian, “The European proposal is to designate transport fuel from tar sands as resulting in 22% more greenhouse gas emissions than that from conventional fuels. This would make suppliers, who have to reduce the emissions from their fuels by 10% by 2020, very reluctant to include it in their fuel mix. It would also set an unwelcome precedent for Canada by officially labeling fuel from tar sands as dirtier.”
Extraction of oil from the tar sands is highly controversial in the United States, and Friends of the Earth has released emails which it claims demonstrate complicity between TransCanada and U.S. State Department officials, who “acted as though they were on the same team as TransCanada, rather than meeting their obligation to be independent regulators.” The Obama administration recently announced that it will postpone any decision on the construction of a pipeline to carry oil from Canada to Texas until next year’ election.
However, these new revelations are likely to prove far more embarrassing for the British government than anything which has yet surfaced in the U.S. Environmentalist Bill McKibben, who was arrested last summer in a protest against the pipeline, even sugests that “the U.K. seems to have emerged as Canada’s partner in crime, leaning on Brussels to let this crud across the borders.”
“Don’t be deceived when they tell you things are better now. Even if there’s no poverty to be seen because the poverty’s been hidden. Even if you ever got more wages and could afford to buy more of these new and useless goods which industries foist on you, and even if it seems to you that you never had so much - that is only the slogan of those who still have much more than you. Don’t be taken in when they paternally pat you on the shoulder and say that there’s no inequality worth speaking of and no more reason to fight - because if you believe them they will be completely in charge, in their marble homes and granite banks, from which they rob the people of the world under the pretence of bringing them culture. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them they’ll send you out to protect their gold in wars whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can, with a flick of the finger, tear a million of you to pieces.”—Words written by Jean-Paul Marat in the latter part of the 18th century, but they are still so true that they could have been written today. Marat (1743-1793) was a physician, political scientist, journalist and one of the more radical leaders of the French Revolution. (via)
A federal district court in Manhattan yesterday entered a historic ruling that reveals new facts about Iran’s support of al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled yesterday that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.
Now how convenient is that? The US people will literally buy any story their lying government gives them.
“This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts. Those that receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership.”—Spock, “The Cloud Minders”, Star Trek (via cultureofresistance)
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has kept files on activists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and recommended prosecuting them as terrorists, according to a new document uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act.
This new information comes as the Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as unconstitutional because its vague wording has had a chilling effect on political activism. This document adds to the evidence demonstrating that the AETA goes far beyond property destruction, as its supporters claim.
The 2003 FBI file details the work of several animal rights activists who used undercover investigation to document repeated animal welfare violations. The FBI special agent who authored the report said they “illegally entered buildings owned by [redacted] Farm… and videotaped conditions of animals.”
The animal activists caused “economic loss” to businesses, the FBI says. And they also openly rescued several animals from the abusive conditions. This was not done covertly in the style of underground groups like the Animal Liberation Front — it was an act of non-violent civil disobedience and, as the FBI agent notes, the activists distributed press releases and conducted media interviews taking responsibility for their actions.
This year’s National Defense Authorization Act passed quickly through the Senate and as expected President Obama signed the bill. 86 Senators in a bipartisan move, signed off on this controversial bill, which opens the door to invasive acts against Americans. Almost everyone has felt the effect of Anonymous’ presence online and off and now, the 86 Senators will feel their ubiquitous presence as well.
The collective activist group just released a massive dump of information, which begins with, ”Robert J. Portman is a Republican Senator from the state of Ohio. He has made himself a target as an advocate of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), but we are truly disturbed by the ludicrous $272,853 he received from special interest groups supporting the NDAA bill that authorizes the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. Robert J. Portman, we plan to make an example of you.”
Also included in the dump are Twitter accounts for each Senator who use the social site. Feel free to tweet your grievances:
In addition, look over the information, which includes, home phone numbers, cell numbers, family members, addresses, websites, contributors, promises made, promises broken, as well as a ton of other interesting tidbits – go see for yourself before SOPA gets pissed off.
To give credit where credit is due, a faction of Anonymous (or cell) were the geniuses behind this revealing dump of information on our hypocritical politicians. You can follow them on Twitter and/or here as well as here.
Shell International spilled 13,000 gallons of oil and drilling fluids into the Gulf on Sunday while drilling an exploratory well near the site of last year’s Deepwater Horizon accident, according to a federal report on the spill.
The area where the well was being drilled is about 20 miles from the site of the BP oil spill. Shell is working in water more than 7,000 feet deep. The well was being drilled by the Deepwater Nautilus, according to federal records. That rig is owned and operated by Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig.
While a report Shell filed Monday morning with the National Response Center states that the company spilled 7,560 gallons of oil and 5,829 gallons of synthetic drilling fluids, company spokesperson Kelly op de Weegh said late Monday afternoon that no oil was spilled.
“Our modern Western culture only recognizes the first of these, freedom of desires. It then worships such a freedom by enshrining it at the forefront of national constitutions and bills of human rights. One can say that the underlying creed of most Western democracies is to protect their people’s freedom to realize their desires, as far as this is possible. It is remarkable that in such countries people do not feel very free. The second kind of freedom, freedom from desires, is celebrated only in some religious communities. It celebrates contentment, peace that is free from desires.”—Ajahn Brahm (Opening the Door of Your Heart)
There are two approaches to the problem of men assaulting women. One of them is in a line by Andrea Dworkin, “My prayer for women of the twenty-first century: harden your hearts and learn to kill.” Women need to learn self-defense, and they need to form self-defense organizations, and they need to be feminists. And men must make their allegiance to women absolute. They must have a zero-tolerance policy for the abuse of women.
The same is true for race-based hate crimes. As the economic system collapses, those whose entitlement has put them at the top of the heap are going to start blaming everyone else (witness the Tea Party, for example). As Nietzsche wrote, “One does not hate what one can despise.” And so long as your entitlement is in place and so long as your entitlement isn’t threatened, you can despise those whom you’re exploiting. But as soon as that entitlement is threatened, that contempt turns over into outright hatred and violence. As civilization collapses, we will see an increase in male-pattern violence. We will see an increase in violence against those who resist. We will see an increase in violence against people of color. We are already seeing this.
My answer for people of color is, learn to defend yourself and form self-defense organizations. And the job of white allies is to make our allegiance to the victims of white oppression absolute.
There have been many resistance movements who have formed self-defense organizations and their own police forces. The IRA acted as neighborhood police, the Spanish Anarchists organized their own police force in some of the bigger cities, and we will talk about the Gulabi Gang in Chapter 13. We need something similar. We need to form self-defense organizations to defend those humans and non-humans who are assaulted and violated. Those assaults will continue to happen until we stop them.
To be clear, civilization is not the same as society. Civilization is a specific, hierarchical organization based on “power over.” Dismantling civilization, taking down that power structure, does not mean the end of all social order. It should ultimately mean more justice, more local control, more democracy, and more human rights, not less.