Looking at the photo’s of Montreal at 100 days, Tokyo for noNukes, Mexico after the bought election, continued strength of the Indignatos in Spain, the empowered youth of Chile.
Then I think of America, and how disappointing it is were not doing that.
As this blog tries to cover protest news from social movements around the world, I think about that very often.
But America is at the heart of the empire, arguably America is even the totality of the empire, but I think that’s a bit too nationalistic of a perspective because power structures in the west are larger and broader than just America.
At the very least though, America is the military force of the empire, and we house many of the greatest hoarders of wealth in the world. We’ll be the last to catch fire in a serious way because once we do, we can create an incredible challenge for and pose a huge threat to the dominant class in society. I guess for that reason, although I’m always disappointed with America, I would have to say that right now I’m more hopeful than anything else.
it will happen :) every act we do and put out there for people to see builds awareness and stirs people to act (even if they don’t right away) For everyone tuned in to the massive changes happening now around the globe, hope is our right and every story of people rising up confirms the simple observation that radical global change is inevitable
I really encourage everyone to watch this(!): Glenn Greenwald (with the passion, competence and moral clarity that define his public persona) blows the whistle on the corruption saturating the US ‘national security’ apparatus.
Out of everything we know the US government actively does—from assassinating US citizens and innocents to harassing anyone who dares to expose the truth about its activities—the destruction of American privacy and of citizens’ protections against government intrusion makes the following eminently clear:
the Obama administration, the national legislature, the attendant bureaucracies, and sadly much of the federal judicial system-are so seeped in corruption, so disgustingly inept at protecting even the most primitive norms of human justice, that any rational human being must conclude that she has nothing of worth invested in the system—and that she has everything to gain from seeing its complete destruction.
Revolution is now: it starts in your heart, it starts by looking at all humans as your brothers and sisters (including the poor brown ones ‘all the way over there’), it starts by releasing cognitive dissonance and committing yourself to seeking out and believing only the truth, and releasing the fear of calling out the lies even when they come from the cool, well spoken Important Faces of The Government. It starts by taking seriously the suffering of all those who suffer, and committing yourself to fighting for a world where an injury to one is an injury to all.
For every depraved idiot still set on knowledgeably voting for Obama in the upcoming “election”: here is a white person suffering under the cruelty of the current regime, here is the pathological response supporters of an American hero get from the police state. Moral monstrosity is the only fucking thing history will remember of this era.
Army admits to investigating Breanna Manning supporters
July 09, 2012
The US Army has confirmed that they are investigating the Bradley Manning Support Network, an international activism group that advocates on behalf of the imprisoned accused whistleblower.
A letter from the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) dated May 18, 2012 has been published to the Web in which Susan Cugler, the director of the Army’s Crime Records Center, responds to a Freedom of Information Act request for information pertaining to any internal files which may involve the Bradley Manning Support Network.
“A search of the USACIDC file indexes revealed that an active investigating is in process with an underdetermined completion date,” acknowledges Cugler. The memorandum just about ends there, however, with the Army refraining from revealing any more details into the advocacy group that backs the accused whistleblower who is alleged to have distributed classified materials to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks site.
The Army invokes specific subsections of the Freedom of Information Act to brush off the FOIA request, essentially freeing itself from releasing any details of their investigation on the grounds that the release“could reasonably be expected to endanger [the] life or physical safety” of those discussed in the military’s files.
Manning, a 24-year-old private first class with the US Army, has been behind bars for nearly 800 days without trial. Military prosecutors have charged PFC Manning with aiding the enemy due to the alleged leaking of classified materials, a charge that could send him to prison for life if he is convicted. Her attorneys are in the midst of a heated legal debate to hear the government’s accusations, fighting on behalf of the soldier that the materials she is accused of releasing did not have any detrimental implications for national security. Last week, attorneys for Manning were awarded permission to view some of the military’s documents that they intend to use against the soldier.
from last night’s weekly casseroles march. we are getting bigger, louder, and more principled. this summer is off to a great start; NYPD, get ready for some anarchy!
also, the single greatest moment of my life happened in the middle of this march. we were stopped at an intersection and everyone closed in tight and began dancing, banging on pots and pans, and chanting “A! ANTI! ANTICAPITALISTA!” as loudly as possible. there is no feeling greater than solidarity and its celebration.
BIG PHOTOSETS FOREVER FOR THEY ARE MUCH HARDER TO IGNORE / a lot of these don’t have hi-res versions available, but i still want to post them
This was not an exaggeration. The government ignored the issue of HIV/AIDS for years before anything was done. Gay and Queer communities had to form their own clinics because no government agencies cared for them. Back then, being diagnosed was equivalent to a death sentence or extreme debt and poor quality of life/a significantly shortened lifespan.
Things got so desperate that people literally had “Die-Ins”— in contemporary usage this refers to masses of people simulating death in order to protest something (like the War in Iraq). In this case, however, fatally sick people would literally lie down in public places and protest with what little energy they had left until they died. There is some footage of a church Die-In in the documentary Beyond Stonewall. The middle image here of that person’s jacket is not an extreme political statement; it’s what people had to do because they had no other options.
Truly, this is one of the -most- overlooked social crises of the contemporary era. I didn’t have any idea of how bad it was until I heard a harrowing account from an individual who lived through it all. I’d much appreciate anyone who could recommend the best literature on this (scholarly or otherwise).
…but that would make the DEA’s obvious lies….more obvious….
“Currently,17 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. In the second half of 2012, seven more states will decide, either in the state legislature or via ballot initiatives, whether they will join them in legalizing the use of marijuana, in whole or in part. Recent polling shows that 3/4 of Americans support the right to use state-sanctioned medical marijuana. Support for full marijuana legalization is at an all-time high of 50%.”
At last week’s inaugural conference of the New Economics Institute, Gar Alperovitz was optimistic about the future. Stagnation, stalemate and decay is paradoxically a moment of opportunity, when ideas can become important, he said.
“We may actually have a possibility of a process building over time to lay down the foundations, institutionally, culturally and as a movement, that overcomes – and does so in our time in history. But the price is decades of your life: those are the chips that you have to lay on your table if you want to reform the system. But what I see is that there are a lot of people getting ready to throw the chips onto the table.”
Barack Obama is a racist, mass-murdering, child-mutilating, corporation pleasing, authoritarian war criminal who deserves to be no where but beside an excellent attorney at The Hague and I will -never- politically support or vote for him.
To participate in the current US ‘electoral’ process by voting (D) or (R) for what ever reason is to ritually grant legitimacy to an illegitimate government that runs on the blood and exploitation of millions of disenfranchised human beings.
I am not exempt in my obligation to agitate for nonviolent revolution and total and complete democratic reform. In this way I join my sisters across the globe who are fighting for the same. Americans have been taught by the people of e.g. Iran or Egypt or Bahrain what it means to be responsible political agents concerned for the welfare of their nation.
This morning I would like to use as a subject from which to preach: “The Drum Major Instinct.” “The Drum Major Instinct.” And our text for the morning is taken from a very familiar passage in the tenth chapter as recorded by Saint Mark. Beginning with the thirty-fifth verse of that chapter, we read these words:
“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him saying, ‘Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And he said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ And they said unto him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ And they said unto him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.’” And then Jesus goes on toward the end of that passage to say, “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”
The setting is clear. James and John are making a specific request of the master. They had dreamed, as most of the Hebrews dreamed, of a coming king of Israel who would set Jerusalem free and establish his kingdom on Mount Zion, and in righteousness rule the world. And they thought of Jesus as this kind of king. And they were thinking of that day when Jesus would reign supreme as this new king of Israel. And they were saying, “Now when you establish your kingdom, let one of us sit on the right hand and the other on the left hand of your throne.”
Now very quickly, we would automatically condemn James and John, and we would say they were selfish. Why would they make such a selfish request? But before we condemn them too quickly, let us look calmly and honestly at ourselves, and we will discover that we too have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance. That same desire for attention, that same desire to be first. Of course, the other disciples got mad with James and John, and you could understand why, but we must understand that we have some of the same James and John qualities. And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life.
And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse. Sigmund Freud used to contend that sex was the dominant impulse, and Adler came with a new argument saying that this quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life, this drum major instinct.
And you know, we begin early to ask life to put us first. Our first cry as a baby was a bid for attention. And all through childhood the drum major impulse or instinct is a major obsession. Children ask life to grant them first place. They are a little bundle of ego. And they have innately the drum major instinct.
Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it. Now if you don’t believe that, you just go on living life, and you will discover very soon that you like to be praised. Everybody likes it, as a matter of fact. And somehow this warm glow we feel when we are praised or when our name is in print is something of the vitamin A to our ego. Nobody is unhappy when they are praised, even if they know they don’t deserve it and even if they don’t believe it. The only unhappy people about praise is when that praise is going too much toward somebody else. But everybody likes to be praised because of this real drum major instinct.
…Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who’s in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man’s inhumanity to man.
….And not only does this thing go into the racial struggle, it goes into the struggle between nations. And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. And if something doesn’t happen to stop this trend, I’m sorely afraid that we won’t be here to talk about Jesus Christ and about God and about brotherhood too many more years. If somebody doesn’t bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody’s going to make the mistake through our senseless blunderings of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere. And then another one is going to drop. And don’t let anybody fool you, this can happen within a matter of seconds. They have twenty-megaton bombs in Russia right now that can destroy a city as big as New York in three seconds, with everybody wiped away, and every building. And we can do the same thing to Russia and China.
But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. “I must be first.” “I must be supreme.” “Our nation must rule the world.” And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.
God didn’t call America to do what she’s doing in the world now.God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam.
And we are criminals in that war.
We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it.
And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.
But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, “Don’t play with me.” He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, “Don’t play with me, Israel. Don’t play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I’m God. And if you don’t stop your reckless course, I’ll rise up and break the backbone of your power.” And that can happen to America.
Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening.
And we have perverted the drum major instinct.
But let me rush on to my conclusion, because I want you to see what Jesus was really saying. What was the answer that Jesus gave these men? It’s very interesting. One would have thought that Jesus would have condemned them. One would have thought that Jesus would have said, “You are out of your place. You are selfish. Why would you raise such a question?”
But that isn’t what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, “Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you’re going to be my disciple, you must be.” But he reordered priorities. And he said, “Yes, don’t give up this instinct. It’s a good instinct if you use it right. It’s a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do.”
And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, “Now brethren, I can’t give you greatness. And really, I can’t make you first.” This is what Jesus said to James and John. “You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared.”
And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.
……Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is it that I would want said?” And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.
I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth……