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The Brown/Garner Killings are about a Larger State of Official Terror

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me

Pastor Martin Niemoller, speaking about Nazi Germany

 

 

First, they’ve come for the people of color.

 

America’s police forces increasingly serve as a a private corporate army, beyond the reach of the law.

 

But our nation is distracted by race.  And millions of white Americans are under the illusion that what was done to Michael Brown and Eric Garner can’t happen to them.

 

These un-prosecuted killings of African-American men go way beyond racial prejudice.

 

They are the calling card of an Orwellian state:

 

America’s founders established grand juries to protect citizens from frivolous prosecution.  But today’s corporate state has twisted the system to protect killer police from public scrutiny, putting them above the law.

 

 

The ultimate message is clear:  police can kill American citizens without cause and face no public trial.  (Steven Rosenfeld lays out the details at Alternet http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/10-ways-system-rigged-protect-cops-who-kill )

 

The current focus is on skin color.  Thankfully, Americans throughout the US have risen up in protest, demanding social justice and an end to racism.

 

But the larger issue is a police apparatus now inflicting random terror in service of a corporate state that has mutated far beyond public control.

 

We are still being assaulted by a cynical 40-year drug war used to disenfranchise and violate the basic rights of millions of Americans with no real recourse.

 

In the name of that drug war, and the one on terror, police randomly confiscate (steal) billions in cash from citizens of all races, in direct violation of the Bill of Rights and any sense of a real legal system.  Police departments use these officially sanctioned armed robberies to help fund heavy war-time weaponry also coming to them as “surplus” from the federal military.

 

Citizens of color, the young, the poor and the elderly are being systematically stripped of the right to vote by a modern electronic Jim Crow.  The dominance of a corporate one-party system is furthered by the use of privately-owed, easily-rigged electronic voting machines.   .

 

The NSA and other official agencies are spying on us without restraint.

 

Our ability to communicate through an open, neutral internet is also under attack.  Meanwhile a San Diego rapper with no record of violence has been charged with multiple “crimes” based on his lyrics.  As anger with America’s billionaire elite spreads, we can certainly expect the counter-attacks on open speech to escalate.

That the victims of these latest police killings are most often men of color is tragic.  It also gives the corporate media the perfect distraction behind which to hide the root problem.

 

Throughout our history, race has been the reliably lethal facade for all sorts of political repression.  It’s the hate-filled poison perfectly designed to divide and distract us.

 

The sickness is real enough.  But the ultimate cancer we face is the rise of an all-powerful corporate state and its iron grip on a violent, unaccountable private army licensed to kill—no matter what the race or cause—while knowing that the once-sacred right to a public trial does not apply to them.  Should the attacks on the internet succeed, we’ll also be hearing less and less about them.

 

Thus we are all in the shoes of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.  Those who think themselves somehow above it all by virtue of race or class are simply not paying attention.

 

Unless we rise up to secure social justice and our basic legal rights, we’re all just a single cop away from being as dead as the very latest victim of official violence… at any time, for no reason, with no recourse.

 

—————–

HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org along with SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH.  His upcoming book is THE SPIRAL OF US HISTORY.

 

Can We Ever Recover from the Murder of John Kennedy?

 

Can We Ever Recover from the Murder of John Kennedy?

The images we ingest never cease to shape us.

Just 51 years ago, the head of a profoundly gifted young man was blown apart.

A few months earlier he’d given a speech that promised a new dawn.

He reached out to our enemies. He talked of going to the moon, of technological breakthrough and human promise. And he stopped the radioactive madness of atmospheric Bomb testing, a reason many of us are alive today.

It’s easy to idealize John Kennedy.

jfk

We still debate what he might have done in Vietnam.

But since the war did escalate, and we know the horrible costs to us all, then the possibility that he might have gotten us out gnaws at our soul.

So does not being sure about who actually killed him.

And then there’s the horror of the moment itself. A fellow human, blown apart before our eyes.

It hurts to think about it. To write about it. How can sorrow not reign in our hearts over this terrible human image that so deeply  defines us?

As a nation, we still feel the murder of Abraham Lincoln. Having won a Constitutional Amendment to end slavery, he was the only one to smooth the transition from civil war to progressive peace. We still pay for losing him.

And for the image of a good man, seated happily in a theater, next to his wife … as a time for healing is unbearably shattered by a bullet to the head.

Russia never really recovered after Alexander II, a rare reformist czar, was murdered in 1881 while moving his nation toward a democratic constitution.

Michael Collins was a violent Irish revolutionary who turned to peace amidst a horrendous civil war.

Could he have ended it? All we know is the Troubles dragged on a ghastly seven decades after he was shot.

Mahatma Gandhi led the world’s first successful nonviolent anti-imperial campaign, then fasted nearly to the death to help halt a Hindu-Muslim civil war.

Then he was shot. And what is the outcome?

Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin were also murdered. And what’s come since?

In America … Medgar Evers and Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy … and then John Lennon.

Around the world, names we don’t know. Faces we haven’t seen. Social movements crushed, freedoms lost, good people killed (too often by our own government) deadening the soul.

And who is next? Does all this mean activists of great heart and artists for social change inevitably court a death sentence?

It’s long been clear, for a wide variety of reasons, that we cannot rely on “great leaders” to save our world for us.

But can our minds and souls ever recover from such horrible images repeatedly rammed into our brains?

Lynn Stuart Parramore has written with brilliance at AlterNet about the traumas we all face in today’s America.

In their wake, we are being poisoned by a ghastly, malignant class of zombie corporations somehow granted human rights and no human responsibilities.

They have gutted the Democratic Party and seized our government.

Their cancer is of injustice, cynicism, pollution and war.

Avoidable poverty, racism for the hell of it, a gutted democracy, eco-suicide for private profit, perpetual war for its own sake … they all metastasize to feed the corporate tumor.

Another election has been bought, rigged, stolen and lynched. The internet is endangered. Likewise our civil liberties.

So do we turn our heads “until the darkness goes”?

Or do we face the unthinkable head-on, and refuse to blink (except momentarily—we all need a break from time to time) at what we see?

Somehow we have survived since John Kennedy was killed. Kids have been born … and so have social movements … along with many surprising twists of fate.

We are winning a culture war barely begun in 1963.

Silent Spring had just been published. An avid sailor, we don’t know how JFK might have interacted with a nascent environmental movement.

But born it was. A half-century later, Solartopian technologies are poised to green-power our economy. We have the means to survive in harmony with our Mother Earth.

But can we muster the political power to cure our corporate cancer?

Richard Nixon has come and gone. So have Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Now “Hope and Change” join them in the compost of history. They came too cheap. They meant too little.

Apparently we have more lessons to learn, more inner strength to build.

Departed friend, whoever you might have become, whatever you might have done, you have left us no choice.

The better angels of our souls now demand that we ask not what our planet can do for us …

HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org, along with SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. In 1960, he saw John Kennedy speak on the steps of the Ohio statehouse.

How the GOP Bought, Rigged, Stole & Lynched the 2014 Election

How the GOP Bought, Rigged, Stole and Lynched the 2014 Election

 

By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman

 

Freepress.org/Solartopia.org

 

first in a series

 

 

Since the Bush-Cheney-Rove theft of the 2000 election in Florida, the right of millions of American citizens to vote and have that vote counted has been under constant assault.

 

In 2014, that systematic disenfranchisement may well have delivered the US Senate to the Republican Party. If nothing significant is done about it by 2016, we can expect the GOP to take the White House and much more.

 

The primary victims of this GOP-led purge have been young, elderly, poor and citizens of color who tend to vote Democratic. The denial of their votes has changed the face of our government, and is deepening corporate control of our lives and planet.

 

There’s no doubt the Democrats have alienated their core constituency and given millions of their former supporters little reason to vote. Perpetual war, blank checks for mega-banks, stiffing the working poor while giving away the planet to the rich—-these are all part of the malaise.

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Our political landscape is currently defined by corporate personhood and its gutting of the Democratic Party.

 

Part of that is the destruction of our electoral rights, and the refusal of the Democrats to even face the issue, let alone do something about it. Our voting system is, to put it mildly, bought and rigged, further feeding the deadening sense of public futility and frustration.

 

As the GOP moves toward total control of our governance—the media, the internet, the Supreme Court, the Congress, local government and, in 2016, the presidency—our future depends on knowing the nuts and bolts of how the destruction of our democracy proceeds, and what we can do to stop it.

 

In this year’s takeover of the US Senate and many statehouses, barely more than a third of the eligible citizenry was credited with having voted. Official vote counts gave the GOP a consistent “bonus” of about 5% over pre-election polls. In the US Senate race in North Carolina and the Governor’s race in Florida, that margin clearly gave the Republicans their victories, and probably did the same in many other close races.

 

The GOP’s Jim Crow disenfranchisement campaign has outright robbed millions of citizens of their right to vote. It’s deliberately created an air of confusion and doubt that’s further suppressed the turnout.

 

Greg Palast, for example, has reported extensively on the Kansas-based “cross-check” technique, used in 28 states, where Republican secretaries of state denied voting rights based on arbitrary judgements that allowed them to eliminate several million potential Democratic voters. (Greg will discuss this on the Solartopia Show at prn.fm Tuesday, 11/11, 5pm EST; the show will be archived for later listening).

 

Deliberate (and often illegal) disinformation campaigns, destruction of voter registration forms, outright intimidation, repressive photo ID requirements and other suppression techniques made things worse. It’s by design, not accident, that America’s voter turnout is ranked 120th among all nations.

 

In evaluating the actual vote count, manipulation of untrackable electronic voting machines must also be accounted for.

 

Over the years, Bev Harris, Brad Friedman, Jon Simon, Richard Charney and many others have added vital research leading to the inevitable conclusion that the 2014 election—like 2000 and 2004—was essentially bought, rigged, stolen and lynched.

 

We do not believe the Republican Party legitimately won the US Senate or many of the statehouses they’ve been granted, any more than George W. Bush should have been handed the White House in 2000 and 2004.

 

Unless we finally face the core issues of election protection, history could repeat itself in 2016 as both tragedy and farce.

 

Because the dust is still settling, many of the specifics about 2014 remain hidden. In the coming weeks we’ll present as much of the evidence as we can gather.

 

In the meantime, we welcome President Obama’s new statements supporting net neutrality. There’s no more important foundation for what shreds of democracy remain to us than the ability to freely communicate. Handing control of the internet to mega-corporations, as proposed by the current (Democratic) head of the Federal Communications Commission, would be catastrophic. As with reclaiming our elections, our future on this planet demands an open global highway for unfettered communication. We must do everything we can to preserve and expand it.

 

We also congratulate US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for proposing that election day become a national holiday. After the 2004 debacle, we proposed a four-day election holiday to cover the first Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday in November. (The Constitution requires that voting happen the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November). This four-day stretch would help enshrine access to our election process as the sacred ritual it should be.

 

We also propose universal automatic voter registration, universal hand-counted paper ballots, abolition of the Electoral College, and a massive reform of the role of money in politics.

 

We hope Sen. Sanders’ initial proposal opens the door to a bottom-up remake of our electoral system. Without it, our democracy is nothing more than a hollow shell.

 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore how that shell was cracked yet again in 2014.

 

All indicators are that it could be be definitively crushed in two years if we don’t act now.

 

to be continued….

 

———–

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored six books on election protection, which are at www.freepress.org, along with Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US is at www.solartopia.org, along with his SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH.

An Election—and a Nation—Lost in Vietnam & Afghanistan

An Election—and a Nation—Lost in Afghanistan & Vietnam

By Harvey Wasserman

 

The GOP/corporate coup d’etat is nearly complete.

The Republicans now control the major media, the Supreme Court, the Congress and soon the presidency.

Think Jeb Bush in 2016.

All throughout America, right down to the local level, buried in a tsunami of cash and corruption, our public servants are being morphed into corporate operatives.

Our electoral apparatus is thoroughly compromised by oceans of dirty money, Jim Crow registration traps, rigged electronic voting machines, gerrymandering, corrupt secretaries of state.

The internet may be next. Above all, if there is one thing that could save us a shred of democracy, it’s preserving net neutrality. This fight could in fact outweigh all the others, and may be decided soon. Whatever depression you may now feel, shake it off to wage this battle. If we now lose the ability to freely communicate, we are in the deepest hole of all.

The roots of this corporate coup reach where they always do when empires collapse—useless, cancerous, debilitating, endless imperial war.

Lyndon Johnson lit the fuse in March, 1965. He had a chance to get us out of Vietnam. For many complex reasons—none of them sane—he escalated. He never recovered, and neither has our nation.

In 1967-8, an aroused generation marched for peace at the Pentagon, Chicago and elsewhere. We were accused of shattering the Democratic Party. But in fact we forced Johnson to negotiate a pre-election truce that might have saved the presidency for Hubert Humphrey.

As we all now know, that truce was treasonously sabotaged by Richard Nixon, in league with Henry Kissinger. LBJ knew what had been done, but said nothing. Had he trusted the American public with that knowledge, Nixon would have been gone long before Watergate, the war might have ended far sooner, the Democratic Party might still have meant something.

Instead, the party and the rest of us became prisoners of imperial war, captives of the corporations that profit from it.

From Watergate all we got was a punchless, corporate Jimmy Carter.

And from a dozen hellish years of Reagan-Bush, we got a showy, corporate Bill Clinton…and not a single substantial social reform. But the corporations got NAFTA, gutted social welfare, soaring college tuitions, abolition of New Deal safeguards against Wall Street greed, and much more.

They also got the death of the Fairness Doctrine from Reagan, and then a 1996 telecommunications act from Clinton that gave them full control of the major media. The age of Fox “News” was born in double-think.

Meanwhile Al Gore and John Kerry allowed the corporations to gut our electoral system. Gore won in 2000, saw the election stolen in Florida, and—like LBJ with Nixon’s treason—said not a word. It was absurdly easier to blame Ralph Nader for Gore’s blithe discard than to buckle down and fight for an election protection apparatus to preserve the vote so many had fought and died to win.

Kerry won in 2004, saw the election stolen in Ohio, and repeated Gore’s meek, mute skulk to oblivion. The Democrats let a corporate Jim Crow gut the registration process, deny millions of Americans their vote, install a national network of easily flippable electronic voting machines…and they said nothing.

Along the way the Supreme Court was handed to the corporations. Soon enough, they would open the floodgates.

But from the ashes of the Iraq war and the horrors of Bush 2, enough public power remained in 2008 to finally put an African-American in the White House. With his apparent opposition to the Iraq War, and loads of rhetoric about hope and change, Barak Obama won a mandate to heal the wounds inflicted by yet another Bush corporate presidency.

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In analyzing this latest electoral debacle, our Orwellian corporate bloviators avoid like the plague any mention of corporate money or imperial war.

But like LBJ in Vietnam…Afghanistan and Obama’s other wars have gutted his presidency and all he might have been. They’ve drained our shrunken moral and financial resources. They’ve turned yet another Democratic harbinger of hope into feeble corporate cannon fodder. They’ve battered and alienated yet another generation of the progressive core.

Thus the GOP has been enthroned by a half-century of Democrats who’ve helped drag us into endless war, ignored our electoral rights and sold their souls—and the nation’s—to a zombie army of corporate operatives.

The money power has ruled this nation before. This time it means a whole new level of all-out war against social justice, our basic rights, our ability to live in harmony with our Mother Earth.

Beset by a whole new level of global disaster, we have no choice but to find some completely new answers. Our survival depends on it.

It will take all our creative and activist juices. Nothing is clear except that it won’t be easy.

And that no matter which corporate party tries to lead us there, the path to the promised land does not go through the deadly quicksand of imperial war, empty rhetoric or corrupted elections.

If we’re to get there at all, a whole new way must be found.

HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org, as is his SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH.

12 Ways Jim Crow is Winning in 2014

by Bob Fitrakis

and Harvey Wasserman

Jim Crow is already the big winner in this year’s election.

The corporate elite needs him to gouge the planet, wage perpetual imperial war and rule the rest of us.

So the voting rights of millions of student, elderly, black, Hispanic and other citizens are being lynched.

Which may now decide control of the US Senate, many state legislatures…and the White House in 2016.

The corporate-Christian right has long used the drug war to disenfranchise millions of citizens of youth and color. Gay and reproductive rights, feminism and the politics of hate have mobilized Christian crusaders to flood the polls for the GOP.

But we have turned the corner on the culture war. With the winding down of marijuana prohibition, widespread gay rights victories and more, Republicans now need the outright destruction of democracy itself to win an election:

1. The Corporate Cash Tsunami: The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allows gargantuan sums of corporate money to shape this election. It’s now the norm for unlimited cash to buy air time, fake “news” reports, billboards, phony astro-turf campaigns, and key election officials in charge of counting the ballots.

2. Killing Voter Registration: With a wide range of tactics, corporate/GOP functionaries are restricting access to the polls. In Ohio and elsewhere millions of citizens have been stripped of their voter registration rights, almost all in dense-packed urban areas that lean heavily Democratic. “Golden Days” when voters can both register and vote have been eliminated. Voter registration organizations like ACORN have been destroyed and strict restraints have been placed on others, all with the focused agenda of making it increasingly difficult for grassroots, non-millionaire citizens to vote.

3. Denying and Destroying Absentee Ballots: More than 40,000 absentee ballots are now “missing” in Georgia, as they were in Ohio 2004. Georgia’s critical US Senate race may well be decided by fewer votes than were “lost” in the mail, and we expect parallel outcomes elsewhere.

4. New Poll Taxes: Despite the 24th Amendment abolishing the poll tax, voter ID and other requirements put targeted restrictions on who can vote. Citizens registered at the same address for decades are being turned away at the polls. At least 500,000 Texas voters may be disenfranchised by ID laws aimed at students, the elderly and people of color, more than enough to turn most key elections in the state, including the widely watched governor’s race.

5. Discriminatory ID Demands: Student IDs are being rejected in Texas and elsewhere, with the obvious impact of denying young people the vote. Gun owners’ permits are being accepted as valid voter ID.

6. Electronic Vote Theft: Easily manipulated electronic voting machines were key to Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 victories for George W. Bush. They have spread far and wide. The easy electronic flipping of entire elections has obvious appeal to hugely funded corporate players throughout the US.

7. Suppressing Electronic Dialog: But the Democratic Party generally refuses to even discuss electronic vote theft, apparently fearful the mere dialog will scare away voters. The Daily Kos website has banned numerous election protection bloggers (us included), apparently for just that reason. But without hand-counted paper ballots, anti-corporate campaigns are mere exercises in futility.

8. Bought Democrats: Democrats also depend on corporate money and regularly vote pro-corporate. As with Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, they walk away from elections they legitimately won, and refuse to fight for the basic rights of their core supporters to safely vote and have those votes counted, even if it means their own defeat

9. Buying Rigged Legislatures: Numerous key states have been gerrymandered to guarantee GOP majorities no matter what the states’ citizens want. Ohio’s strong popular Democratic majority is “represented” by an overwhelmingly GOP state legislature. And 12 out of Ohio’s 16 US representatives are Republican. Throughout the US, corporate money is buying parallel GOP control of legislatures and Congressional delegations in states with Democratic majorities.

10. Buying the US Senate: With unlimited cash, Jim Crow attacks on registration and voting, electronic vote theft and much more, the corporate GOP is on the brink of taking over the US Senate. Even if they only come

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close, corporate billionaires can count on Democratic timidity and easily purchased swing votes.

11. Assaulting Local Activists: In Ohio, the conservative governor John Kasich has a “hit list” of anti-fracking activists. Pennsylvania state police and the FBI have put environmental activists in terrorism pamphlets. Wherever a governor or mayor or town council or grassroots activist group has risen to block corporate theft, a heavily funded coup d’etat ensues. In Richmond, California, Chevron is spending millions to remove a mayor and town council that have been trying to bring a local refinery to heel. Wherever corporate interests are threatened, huge sums of cash now pour in to rid local governments of grassroots citizens and legitimate regulators. On the local, state and federal levels, public servants are everywhere being replaced by corporate flunkies.

12. Killing Hope: The corporate media regularly denies, ignores and marginalizes election integrity activists and campaign finance reformers. The for-profit punditocracy continually declares the “popular support” for their bought politicians, as they will again should the GOP sweep on Tuesday. (Think 1980, when network bloviator George Will declared a “sea change” for Ronald Reagan while hiding his role as a paid Reagan operative). Now and forever, expect the usual corporate wind bags to proclaim great “grassroots victories” for corporate flunkies as they buy, steal and lynch their way into the new Gilded Age.

Through it all, the activist community must maintain our balance—and our levity. The new Dark Age of Robber Baron excess will only last forever if we fold our tents, ignore the problem and fail to fight for our core beliefs.

Despite the temporary triumphs of corporate personhood, it’s the human survival instinct that must bat last.

——————————————-
Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis have co-authored numerous books on election protection, which are at www.freepress.org, where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES can be found. Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org.

 

How We Win on Climate Change

‘New Orleans: The Seas Are Rising And So Are We.’ (Common Dreams: CC BY-SA 3.0 US)

Okay, so we had this historic march a little while ago.

It was….

…joyous, beautiful, exhilarating, inspiring, life-confirming…and in many ways turning point.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, we can see that it will change things for a long time to come.

It proved to ourselves and the world that we have a huge, diverse, broad-based movement. And that we can put aside our differences and all get along when we have to.

We are our species’ ever-evolving immune system. We are the survival instinct that must defeat the corporate profit motive.

We are also part of a mighty activist stream that’s campaigned for peace, civil rights, social justice, workers’ rights, women’s rights, gay pride, election protection, No Nukes and so much more.

We’ve endured the circular firing squad and want it abolished.

Our hard-earned commitment to non-violence allows for a calm internal space and the great power that emerges from it. So in a diverse movement of good people with very strong opinions, we are learning to cut each other plenty of slack.

But how do we now build on this? What do we do next?

Politically, we operate at two essential levels: the local, and the global.

And to stay functional, we need: net neutrality, corporate accountability, election protection, social justice, peace.

1. Local organizing is our ultimate source of power.

The green movement has the great luxury of tangible targets. The King CONG corporations (Coal, Oil, Nukes, Gas) need actual land on which to do their dirty work. So we can fight them inch-by-inch, at the source.

We can count the number of nukes Nixon wanted to build (1000) and how many we stopped or shut (about 900 in the US; far more worldwide).

We can name scores of reactors that didn’t get built, did get cancelled, are now being shut, will soon be stopped.

There are also mines undrilled, mountaintops not removed, oil rigs not pumping, fracking wells cancelled, polluting factories greenly altered, and much more we’ve beaten quietly, on the ground.

There are also solar panels on rooftops, windmills generating power, electric cars in the pipeline, recycling programs in place, consumption reduced, the overall vision of a green-powered Solartopia becoming ever more tangible.

In this movement, “what can I do?” always has a ready answer: fight the polluter next door. Pick one and shut it down!

So after our joy walk in New York, we return to our letter writing, phone calling, neighborhood speeches, strategy meetings, classroom educating, town council lobbying, around the corner picket lines, civil disobedience, finance-sabotaging, office seeking, rate withholding, fund raising, dog-that-corrupt-politician work.

Some of these fights we may seem to lose, at least for the time being. But it’s never over til we quit, which our survival instinct won’t let us do. A polluter once opened can always be shut if we never give up.

So at the grassroots, we are the individual immune cells that fight toxic industrial poisons and cancerous trash at the source. That’s the revolution that’s not televised.

2. But our planet as a whole is now infected with a lethal mega-virus—the global corporation, a metastasized cancer that usurps human rights but shuns human responsibilities.

A toxic tumor that demands just one thing: a constant flow of dollars, don’t ask how.

If it can make an extra dime by killing the planet, it’s bound to do just that.

Big gatherings to fight this menace can be risky, divisive, diverting and expensive. They can come and go without apparent impact.

But they can also be amazingly effective, often in ways that are hard to see.

Last century, mass strikes built the labor movement. They withstood violent corporate/government assaults. Without them, we would have no unions.

In 1932 a “Bonus Army” was attacked by by Herbert Hoover. Two marchers were killed. It seemed a dismal failure. But it opened the door to the New Deal.

During World War 2 the mere threat of a mass march by labor leader A. Philip Randolph extracted major civil rights concessions from a reluctant Franklin Roosevelt.

Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” march changed civil rights forever.

LBJ and then Richard Nixon scorned the anti-war gatherings. But both were forced to resign, and Nixon (NEVER forget this!) said those marches stopped him from nuking Vietnam.

Civil disobedience at Seabrook, Diablo Canyon and other reactors prompted a flood of cancellations, and opened the door to Solartopia, a green-powered Earth.

Ronald Reagan scorned the millions who marched to freeze nuke weapons, but somehow went eight years without using one.

Bush/Cheney “ignored” 15 million marchers and attacked Iraq. But what more would they have done had we not marched?

Now millions have gathered against global warming. And the day after, Barack Obama attacked Syria.

Did we fail? Should we march again soon, this time with massive civil disobedience?

3. As we work this through, there are inter-related issues we can’t avoid:

NET NEUTRALITY defines the core nervous system of what’s left of global democracy. The corporations want it killed. This demands everyone’s immediate attention.

CORPORATE PERSONHOOD must die by Constitutional Amendment.

ELECTION PROTECTION demands universal hand-counted paper ballots, an end to Jim Crow vote theft and a ban on the corporate billions that poison what’s left of our democracy.

SOCIAL JUSTICE, including workplace democracy and a universal living wage, means we can all live and work with integrity, no matter our diverse religions, race, gender, sexual preference, etc. Poverty is an unsustainable form of planet-killing pollution.

PEACE means ending the suicidal idiocy of permanent imperial war.

All these difficult issues are essential to the health of our species. We don’t get to a green-powered Earth without bringing them with us.

4. For each of us there’s also a deep internal dimension to this work. Being an activist is itself a great leap of faith. It can have a long list of personal costs.

But the rewards—spiritual, of the heart, in terms of inner peace—can be incomparable.

If undertaken in good faith, and with success, the ability to do movement work can be one of life’s great gifts. Amazing joy can come with saving our only home.

After all, we are seven billion sentient beings, thinking and breathing together, inseparable from each other and the planet that gives us life.

One way or another, our Mother Earth lets us know how to undo the damage done by our baser instincts. Our greatest test now is to cure the cancer of the global corporation.

To fight it, we might listen to our gut instincts, accept what we’re good at doing, heed our natural passions, respect our comfort zones, heal in concert with our fellow citizen who are struggling to do the same. As the good Dr. Spock once told the young mothers of a new generation, “you know more than you think you know.”

No victory is too small to count, no polluter is too big to beat.

As we saw on this march, and in so much else we do, when we fly with non-violence and consensus, our living planet gives us generous margins.

So the specifics of our next moves are up for a good, healthy debate. But we all know we have no

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choice but to win.

And that as we work our newfound power toward joyful agreement, and a peaceful trust in the will of our species to survive, we cannot fail.

Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.progressiveradionetwork.com, and he edits www.nukefree.org. Harvey Wasserman’s History of the US and Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth are at www.harveywasserman.com along with Passions of the PotSmoking Patriots by “Thomas Paine.” He and Bob Fitrakis have co-authored four books on election protection, including How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election, at www.freepress.org.

When Solartopia Transcends King CONG (with new poster)

A green-powered future is our only hope.

A planet run by King CONG—Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas—cannot be sustained.

But to get beyond it, our Solartopian vision must embrace more than just a technological transformation. It also demands social, political and spiritual transcendence.solartopia.jpg

From Fukushima to global warming, from frackingto the Gulf disaster(s), it’s clear the fossil/nuclear industry is hard-wired to kill

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us all. Its only motivating force is profit; our biological survival has no part in the equation.

Thankfully, renewable energy has achieved technological critical mass. Green power is cheaper, cleaner, safer, more reliable, more job-producing and more secure. Despite a furious fossil/nuke push-back, the multi-trillion-dollar transition to a green-powered economy is well underway. Photovoltaic cells alone will be the biggest industry in human history.

Likewise, our food supply cannot be sustained with chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, monoculture, industrial meat and genetic modification. The switch to organic, sustainable agriculture is essential to our survival.

But this vital transformation in food and energy will not happen in a vacuum. We can prove the economic, ecological and public health rationale for a Solartopian transition.

But we can’t win without a cultural and political transformation.

That starts with the empowerment of women. Nature-based societies are matriarchal. And only when women are guaranteed equal education, pay and control of their reproductive rights will the human population come into balance with the planet’s ability to support us.

We must also cure the corporate virus that’s killing us all. Our economic and political system is being devoured by a Frankenstein monster whose only imperative is to make money. It claims human rights but has no human or ecological responsibilities. Until the engines of our economy are made accountable to us and the planet, we have no chance of survival.

The corporate monster’s primary assault mechanism is war, the continual slaughter of humans and the Earth. War’s only predictable long-term outcome is massive corporate profit and a destroyed planet. It is the ultimate divide-and-conquer strategy of a terminal cancer.

Sustaining our life also means all humans must be fed (which can be done globally at a fraction the cost of war), housed, clothed, educated and healthy. Without social justice, Solartopia is a meaningless dream.

And there’s only one way to get there—with true democracy, which cannot be had while corporations own and operate our government. Big money must be banned from our elections, which can only happen with universal voter registration and hand-counted paper ballots.

We also need a neutral internet, free of corporate control, a global nervous system by which our evolving consciousness can freely communicate.

As a species we can count great strides in cultural awareness and social ecology. But in the material world we run a dead heat with mutant fossil/nuke technologies and the vampire corporations now draining the life out of us and our planet.

In the long run, our human survival instinct must transcend the corporate profit motive.

There are those who say it’s hopeless, and that the battle is already lost.

But for the rest

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of us, for our kids and grandkids, not to mention our own good times, let’s just say we’ll see you in Solartopia …

GORGEOUS GLOBAL MARCH SHOWS HOW TO WIN ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The most hopeful, diverse, photogenic, energizing and often hilarious march I’ve joined

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in 52 years of activism—and one of the biggest, at 310,000 strong—has delivered a simple message: we can and will rid the planet of fossil fuels and nuclear power, we will do it at the grassroots, it will be demanding and difficult to say the least, but it will have its moments of great fun.

With our lives and planet on the line, our species has responded.

Ostensibly, this march was in part meant to influence policy makers. That just goes with the territory.

But in fact what it showed was an amazingly broad-based, diverse, savvy, imaginative and very often off-beat movement with a deep devotion to persistence and cause, and a great flair for fun.

For when push comes to shove—and it has—our Solartopian future will be won one victory at a time.

Oh….yes, yes, yes….we will try to influence the policy-makers. The UN, the Obama Administration, the bought and rented Congress, the usual suspects.

But we won’t be begging. It needs to be the other way around.

Because what must happen most of all is organizing from the grassroots against

each and every polluting power plant, unwanted permit, errant funding scheme, stomach-turning bribe, planet-killing frack well, soon-to-melt reactor, and much much more.

Winning this fight for global survival will be done not with one great triumph over corporate hypocrisy and greed.

Instead it’ll require death by a million cuts, with countless small victories won day-to-day at the unseen grassroots. As the man said, this revolution will not be televised.

Manhattan’s flagship march was joined by sibling demonstrations throughout the world. By all counts millions of concerned citizens came out to say, loud and clear, that the debate is over:

Climate chaos is a clear and present danger.

It’s caused by “King CONG”—Coal, Oil, Nukes and Gas.

The

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corporations who threaten us all must be reorganized and held accountable. Corporate greed is no way to power an economy. Corporate personhood is an unsustainable myth. The corporate profit motive is at war with our survival.

But renewable energy, community-owned and operated, can and will green-power our Earth cleanly and cheaply, bringing jobs, prosperity, ecological balance and, in concert, peace and social justice, without which no green transition is sustainable.

The corporate profit motive is at war with our survival.And it will come to us on the wings of focused local campaigns against each and every polluting project, one at a time, through the grueling, endless hard work of an aroused and focused citizenry.

The magic of today’s New York minute was its upbeat diversity, sheer brilliance and relentless charm. A cross between a political rally and a month at Mardi Gras. There were floats, synchronized dances, outrageous slogans, chants, songs, costumes, marching bands, hugs, parents with their kids, and one very sweaty guy in a gorilla suit.

Above all, there was joy…which means optimism…which means we believe we can win….which is the best indicator we will.

This was a march of the regular citizenry, many come a very long way, at great discomfort and expense, deep into the process of being community organizers, intervenors, plaintiffs, civil disobedients, fundraisers, impromptu speakers, letter writers, and whatever else we might need to us get through this awful corporate disease.

The people I saw, interviewed and rode in on the bus with (from central Ohio; I got the last seat) are working locally while thinking globally. They are our species’ planetary immune system.

This march said we are now a mature movement with a great sense of mission, diversity and self.

We know what the problem is.

We know who the perpetrators are.

We know what the solutions are, and that they work.

Will it be enough?

Time will tell. We must, as always, fight like hell. It will be hard, to say the least.

But please, along the way, let’s have many more marches like this one.

Let’s Bury King CONG at the People’s Climate March

Let’s Bury King C.O.N.G. at People’s Climate March Harvey Wasserman | EcoWatch.com Above all, the worldwide People’s Climate March on Sept. 21 must bury King C.O.N.G.: Coal, Oil, Nukes and Gas. Which also means abolishing corporate personhood and saving the internet. The fossil/nuclear corporations have been given human rights but no human responsibilities. They’re about to gut our most crucial means of communication. They’re programmed to do just one thing: make money. If they can profit from killing us all, they will. Ironically, we now have the technological power to get to Solartopia—a socially just, green-powered planet. But our political, economic and industrial institutions answer to Big Money, not to us or the Earth. On Sept. 21 some of us will carry to the UN a petition with more than 150,000 signatures, demanding that Fukushima be

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turned over to a global authority. This petition was personally delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon last Nov. 7. We’ve never gotten a response. Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power makes huge profits from the “clean-up” at Fukushima. It’s turned much of the labor force over to organized crime. And more than 300 tons of radioactive liquid still pour into the Pacific every day, while downwind children suffer a 40-times-normal thyroid cancer rate. A powerful new insider report says another

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Fukushima could easily occur at California’s Diablo Canyon, surrounded by FIVE known earthquake faults. Similar dangers plague other reactors worldwide. Nuclear power makes global warming worse. So do coal, oil and gas. March organizer Bill McKibben says fracked gas is just as bad for global warming as coal. Oil is even worse. But we’re in the midst of a great revolution. Solartopian technologies—solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, ocean thermal, sustainable bio-fuels, mass transit, increased efficiency—are all plunging in price and soaring in efficiency. They can completely green-power our Earth. They can allow individuals and communities to control our energy supply, democratizing our society. But they can’t come without transforming the corporation. As long as our chief economic engine has no mandate but to make money, dominates our political system, claims legal personhood and is not held accountable for the damage it does, our species is doomed. Congress is now debating a constitutional amendment to strip corporations of their illegitimate, illegal personhood. This must happen to save our democracy and our eco-systems. But the debate appears virtually nowhere in the corporate media … …Except for the internet, which the Federal Communications Commission may soon gut

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bykilling net neutrality. Without a free and open internet, and without ending corporate personhood, our efforts to stop King C.O.N.G. and save our ability to live on this planet will go nowhere. So as we march to stop climate

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contemplate divestiture campaigns, as we demand a global take-over at Fukushima, as we work to win a Solartopian future … we must see the whole picture. The corporate beast that’s killing us all draws its power from a lethal mutation with no basis in law or sanity. Without a free and open internet to bring it down, our struggle to survive is in serious jeopardy. We can win. But to do so we must preserve net neutrality, transform the corporation and bury King C.O.N.G. in the Solartopian compost heap. Harvey Wasserman edits www.nukefree.org and wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, where King C.O.N.G. made its literary debut, at last brought to visual life by Gail Payne .

Mitsuhei Murata: To Prevent Fukushima from Causing the Ultimate Global Catastrophe

THE HONORABLE MITSUHEI MURATA HAS PRESENTED US WITH THE FOLLOWING LETTER ON FUKUSHIMA. WE ARE HONORED TO PUBLISH IT AT SOLARTOPIA.ORG August 23, 2014 To prevent Fukushima from causing the ultimate global catastrophe. Mitsuhei Murata Former Ambassador to Switzerland Executive Director, Japan Society for Global System and Ethics (Preface) Fukushima constitutes a global security issue. Fukashima is out of control and the situation at the site is dangerously worsening. The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Company(Tepco) have lost credibility both at home and abroad. Nearly 3 and half years after the Accident, Japan is at a loss how best to cope with the current situation. The crisis of Japan as a nation is being tackled with as a crisis of the management of Tepco ! The drastic change of the present faulty system is urgently needed by dint of powerful international cooperation. The time limit has been attained. Global security issue Fukushima has shown that the presence of nuclear reactors itself constitute a security problem, because, if the cooling system of the pool containing used fuel rods gets out of order for more than 3 days, a meltdown could start. This applies to more than 440 nuclear reactors in the world. There is no doubt that Fukushima constitutes a global security issue. Suffice it to say that we can only pray that no mega earthquake happens at the site to cause the collapse of the unit 4 reactor that could lead to a global catastrophe. You will be surprised to know how precarious Japan’s future is, in view of the fatal defects of the current system under the leadership of the government and Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO). . The basic nuclear law does not prescribe clearly where lies the responsibility of assuring the safety of the population. The restart of nuclear reactors is being delayed by the surfacing of this basic problem. After the Accident, a new nuclear regulatory commission was created to secure its independence from the Ministries concerned. Recently, such rules as that of no return for the staff of the secretariat, are being neglected. The members of the commission are no longer chosen from those having no prior link with electric companies. The Commission has publicly denied its responsibility as regards the safety of the residents. It is criticized by the public for concentrating its efforts to realize the restart of nuclear reactors. Under such circumstances, how can nuclear security be assured ? There is no guarantee that another severe accident will not take place. The next one could be much more destructive. We should remember that, only 20 percent of Fukushima’s airborne radiation leases blew inland, while 80 percent streamed out to sea. If the wind had blown in the opposite direction, Tokyo would have been evacuated. The problem of contaminated water The problem of contaminated water has no solution in sight. The situation is worsening. Decommissioning the plant will be impossible until Tepco surmounts the contaminated water crisis. The plant’s water-treatment facility, which can remove all radioactive nuclides except tritium, has been suspended several times and remains problematic. It has been confirmed that the recently completed bypass that reroutes clean groundwater directly into the Pacific, and underground wells does not contribute to reducing the flow of ground water into the sea. The attempt to freeze the water in the trenches has been unsuccessful. The water inside the trenches isn’t freezing properly because it is circulating inside at higher speeds than the groundwater. The groundwater bypass project to reduce the inflow of the groundwater into the reactors underground has not worked. The amount of the inflow of groundwater from the mountain side is so enormous. The groundwater is thus massively contaminated. Reliable experts estimate that the daily inflow of contaminated water into the sea amounts to 1000 tons, of which 600 is groundwater. In addition to this, frequent torrential rain falls wash away into the sea radiogenic materials heavily accumulated at the site. To make the matter worse, global warming seems to have brought about the climate change in Japan. Local downpours of rain causing landslides or mudslides are now so frequent. The latest typhoon has given rise to more than 90 victimes in Hiroshima. Enormous amount of rain washes away radioactive materials of numerous hot spots at the site into the sea. A year ago, when Tepco removed the debris and rubble of the unit 3, the wind scattered radiogenic materials all around. According to

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Tepco, the amount of radiation amounted to 400million becquerels. Some experts suspect the number is diminished by 10 times. As it enters a critical phase of the Fukushima Daiichi clean-up, Tepco is contending with low morale among employees, about 3,000 of whom have quit or taken early retirement since the March 2011 disaster. Many have turned their back on nuclear power to take better-paid, less stressful jobs in other parts of the energy industry. The serious problems of procuring workers and financial resources would be decisively affected by Tokyo Olympic Games that will mobilize a great deal of labor and funds. Effects of Fukushima crossing the Pacific Ocean Last January, a renowned peace pacifist sent me an article she had received from someone in California. It refers to a paper attributed to be a “Russian Ministry of Defense Report”. The following excerpt deserves serious attention. “With experts now estimating that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined, and with new reports stating that dangerous radiation levels have been detected in snows found in Texas, Colorado and Missouri, this report warns the US, indeed, is going to face the severest consequences of this historic,

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and seemingly unstoppable, nuclear disaster. And not just to human beings either is this nuclear disaster unfolding either, this report grimly warns, but also to all biological systems as new reports coming from the United States western coastal areas are now detailing the mass deaths of seals, sea lions, polar bears, bald eagles, sea stars, turtles, king and sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines due to Fukushima radiation.” The report also points out that large amounts of fish, seaweeds, and everything in ocean has been already been polluted, and that these products are the main danger for mankind as they can end up being eaten by people on a massive scale. What is stated above certainly needs serious verification. In this connection, a survey is being made by an American expert on the consequences of Fukushima being suffered by the West Coast of the United States. It is said that “NATURE” is to publish it next autumn. Its impact will be great. This report further writes that two “low-level” underground atomic explosions occurred in the Fukushima disaster zone on 31 December,

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2013, the first measuring 5.1 magnitude in intensity, followed by a smaller 3.6 magnitude explosion moments later. When I read it, I just shivered. Fortunately, I could immediately clarify the situation, by contacting the responsible director of the relevant Ministry. It was earthquakes that had happened nearby, but not at the site, and that, on 31 December, no accident had taken place. If not, it would have been a too shocking news. Japan is laboring under the consequences of the Accident never experienced by humanity. It is now obvious that Japan is seriously in need of an international help. You can see how vulnerable is Tokyo Olympic Games, being prepared, ignoring the deteriorating situation at the Fukushima Daiichi. New international system A new international system is needed to minimize the consequences of nuclear accidents. Fukushima is revealing the limitations of a government facing a national crisis, its longevity being but of a few years. Nuclear accidents have shown the necessity of coping with their consequences quasi- permanently. By dint of procrastination, the government of a country where a severe nuclear accident has broken out, could avert the crucial duty to make maximum efforts to cope with the accident by an operation of diversion with the collaboration of the media. I would like to urge the international community to take up this new problem. Since Fukushima is a global security issue, we need a new system to cope with it. We need a special international system that that obliges governments to carry out certain prescribed duties. I would like to propose the following two minimum requirements. 1. To make maximum efforts to bring the consequences of the accident under control. 2. To concretize international cooperation to mobilize human wisdom on the widest possible scope. Conclusion It is the responsibility of the international community to prevent Fukushima from causing the ultimate global catastrophe. The Japanese current system of coping with the consequences of Fukushima is faulty and needs a drastic change. Japan is in need of international solidarity and powerful international cooperation.

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