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Archive for March 2011

The Awakening – As Defined by Mildred Aristide

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[UPDATE Below: Article by Juan Cole]

One of the best definitions I’ve heard to date was expressed by Mildred Aristide in her interview with Amy Goodman March 22, 2011. You can hear the complete interview on Democracy Now website. Of interest was how Haiti was comparing to what was sweeping across North Africa and how that related to the Haitian people’s struggle for legitimacy as a free people. Here is what she said:

AMY GOODMAN: So, two U.S-backed coups, 1991 and 2004, and now the U.S.—well, President Obama calling President Zuma to say, “Do not fly the Aristides home to Haiti.”

MILDRED ARISTIDE: I think—again, I think it’s—it’s an inability, maybe, by the American political process to understand the kind of relation that Titide has with the Haitian people, and it doesn’t fit within the kind of policy frameworks that perhaps they have of—and so, it’s an unwillingness to see beyond that. I’ll attribute it to that. And, you know, in the meanwhile—

AMY GOODMAN: Explain a little more what you mean.

MILDRED ARISTIDE: Well, I think that—I think that the United States and a lot of those western European countries see politics a certain way, and I think that they have no right to impose that on other peoples. And, you know, if I’m rattling, I’ll rattle, I’ll continue.

But I attended, just the week before we left South Africa, at UNISA—there is a very, very important African lawyer, economist and really a profound thinker from Uganda, Professor Dani Nabudere. And he—and I had met him when I first came to South Africa, and he spoke at UNISA just the week before we left. And he was talking about what was happening now in Egypt and what happened in Tunisia and talking about the people’s revolutions, he said. And one of things that he said, and it really struck me, and I wrote a note in my notebook, he said that, for him, in his perception, is that the people—and I think it was in response to a question. They were saying, you know, “What’s the next step in terms of organizing this resistance that has been happening in Tunisia and in Egypt, for example?” And he said, for him, what was evolving—and he described it as an evolution in what the people are demanding and are requesting of the state—it’s beyond “We want a democratically elected government.” It’s beyond “We want a transparent government. We want elections every four years.” It’s a demand for a new kind of relationship with the state, a human relationship with the state. And it’s a humification—and I think he even used that—or rendering the state as a human being and saying, “We want a state that understands us, that feels us, that has a heart.” And he used terms that one would use between two people. And he said, “That’s what the people are demanding.” So it goes beyond electoral democracy. It goes beyond notions of transparency, which are on paper. And that’s what the people are demanding. [Emphasis added]

And I thought—I said, “You know, that’s what Haitians have been asserting for a long time. It’s a changed notion of state.” And so, I think that that’s one of the elements that led to, you know, the repeated elections of Lavalas. So, it’s not—and that falls outside the rubric or the framework of what the U.S. sees as what is electoral democracy and what qualifies as electoral democracy. So I found a lot of resonance in his explanation of this new kind of human relationship with the state.

And I would—and taking that further, and what Haitians have been saying, especially since the earthquake, in terms of what—you know, this tragic situation that they face and what they were demanding—and I think acknowledging that, you know, the rebuilding—or the building, I should say—could not happen, will not happen, in, as we’ve seen, six months or a year, but it’s a sense of seeing across from you a human face that is understanding, that has a heart, that is empathetic in the most profound sense with what is being experienced, notwithstanding an inability to provide immediate services. And I think that that’s—we’re approaching our destination. And I think that that’s something that Titide has always offered in all of the roles that he’s played—as a priest, as an educator, when he was president, and now as he will return to education and continue to be a person that always [inaudible].

A “new notion of state.” The old notion has nearly destroyed this earth and seriously put in jeopardy the human race. The young people are stepping up and asserting their right to claim life and to inherit this earth. Will the Universe respect their claim?

[UPDATE :: Wednesday, March 23, 2011]

Informed Comment by Juan Cole also speaks about this “Awakening.”  Its the Popular Sovereignty, Stupid. He looks at this phenomena from a more American perspective – probably what this country is trying to impose on these people while their movement is still young and immature. Problem is, the older generation and those that support them are not going away peacefully. Just look at Egypt. Voting, modified Constitution, same kind of American-style Democracy retaining the Old Guard and their corrupt policies. A worthy read.

–Joe

[Source]

Ralph Nader and Russian Roulette

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Democracy Now’s Juan Gonzales interview today, Friday, March 18, 2011:

“Why are We Playing Russian Roulette with the American People?”: Longtime Nuclear Critic Ralph Nader Advocates Phasing Out Nuclear Power Industry

RALPH NADER: The Japanese disaster has ended whatever nuclear renaissance is being considered here in the United States. The problem is that people have got to get more involved, because the government and the industry will defend nuclear power in the United States to the last mutation. They are representing a closed, monetized mind that does not have options for revision, which true science should provide for. Secretary Chu, Energy Secretary, has refused for two years to meet with the leading critics of nuclear power, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, Friends of the Earth and other groups. He has met with nuclear business interests regularly, and he has written articles touting nuclear power.

What we’re seeing here is 110 or so operating nuclear plants in the United States, many of them aging, many of them infected with corrosion, faulty pipes, leaky pumps and combustible materials. These have been documented by data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission assembled by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Indian Point, for example, is a plant that presents undue risks, in the opinion of the Union of Concerned Scientists, to millions of people in the New York City greater area. And it is unevacuable if there’s an accident. You’re never going to evacuate a population of millions of people, whether it’s around San Onofre or Diablo Canyon in Southern California or Indian Point or Davis-Besse near Toledo and Detroit or any of the other endangered nuclear plants.

Why are we playing Russian roulette with the American people for nuclear plants whose principal objective is simply to boil water and produce steam? This is technological insanity. It presents national security problems, for every nuclear plant is a prime target. It affects our civil liberties. It endangers our workers. It is an industry that cannot be financed by Wall Street because it’s too risky. Wall Street demands 100 percent taxpayer guarantees for any nuclear plant.

So I suggest that people listening and watching this program to pick up the phone and dial the White House comment number, which is (202) 456-1111, (202) 456-1111, and demand the following: that there be public hearings in every area where there’s a nuclear plant, so the people can see for themselves what the hazards are, what the risks are, how farcical the evacuation plans are, how costly nuclear power is, and how it can be replaced by energy efficiency, by solar energy, different kinds of solar energy, by cogeneration, as Amory Lovins and many others, Peter Bradford, have pointed out.

We must no longer license any new nuclear plants. We should shut down the ones like Indian Point. How many people know that Hillary Clinton, as senator, and Andrew Cuomo, as attorney general, demanded that Indian Point be shut down? That doesn’t matter to the monetized minds in Washington, D.C. We also should prepare a plan where, apart from the aging plants, which should be shut down, and apart from the earthquake-risk plants—should be shut down—for the phase-out of the entire industry. We’re going to be left with radioactive waste for hundreds of thousands of years, for which there is no permanent repository. This is institutional insanity, and I urge the people in this country to wake up before they experience what is now going on in northern Japan: uninhabitable territory, thousands dead, hundreds of thousands at risk of cancer, enormous economic loss. And for what?

Link furnished by MacLeod Cartoons: One account of their heroism is here.  [Source]

–Joe

Obama Backs the Abuse of PFC Bradley Manning – MacLeod Cartoon

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Glenn Greenwald on Bradley Manning.

The Face of HOPE!

–Joe

[Source]

Written by Joe Blow

March 16, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

American Disgrace – MacLeod Cartoon

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Two Heads Are Better Than One – MacLeod Cartoon

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One Rule for Them, Another Rule for Us

 

Western Hypocrisy About Middle Ease

[Click picture to enlarge.]
For more MacLeod Cartoons.

–Joe

Supreme Court Affirms “Rule of Law”

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Supreme Court allows military funeral anti-gay protests

(Reuters) – The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that members of a fundamentalist church have a free-speech right to hold anti-gay protests at military funerals to promote their view that God hates America for tolerating homosexuality.

Read the complete article.


Personal responsibility is something that applies to everyone, even those that voluntarily go to war.

–Joe

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