Ditching Harman: Sinking Centrist "Democrats" in 2010

A Progressive Challenge to Jane Harman
by Norman Solomon
There are many reasons progressives will mobilize behind the campaign of Marcy Winograd, who announced on Monday that she'll challenge incumbent Congresswoman Jane Harman in the 2010 Democratic primary. Some will speak of Harman's pro-war record. Some will recall her support for warrantless wiretapping, followed by her irony-free indignation when it turned out that NSA snoops had taped her own phone conversations.
 
Rep. Jane Harman (D-California)
 
Some will recount Harman's long public silence after being briefed on torture by the US government. And then there's the extensive evidence that Representative Harman has gone over the top to do the bidding of the Israeli government and some of its most extreme supporters in the United States.

But what may be most significant about Winograd's race to unseat Harman in 2010 is that it reflects - and is likely to help nurture - a growing maturity among progressives around the country, who are tired of merely complaining about centrist Democrats in Congress. Many progressives are getting a clear take-home message: Let's stop griping about lousy members of Congress and start defeating them.
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Mothers for Real Mother's Day

Roses and Guns for Mother's Day: Codepink confronts a military hardware exhibition in Washington on Mother's Day
by TRNN
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
 
Mothers’ Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870
Julia Ward Howe
Boston, 1870
 
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PTSD: Unfit for Fighting

Unfit for Combat
by Dahr Jamail  | t r u t h o u t
This Monday at 2 PM Baghdad time, a US soldier gunned down five fellow soldiers at a stress-counseling center at a US base in Baghdad. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a news conference at the Pentagon that the shootings occurred in a place where "individuals were seeking help."
 
Admiral Mullen added, "It does speak to me, though, about the need for us to redouble our efforts, the concern in terms of dealing with the stress... It also speaks to the issue of multiple deployments."

Commenting on the incident in nearly parallel terms, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the Pentagon needs to redouble its efforts to relieve stress caused by repeated deployments in war zones that is further exacerbated by limited time at home in between deployments.

The condition described by Mullen and Gates is what veteran health experts often refer to as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
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B.C.'s "Scientific" Grizzly Bear Slaughter

"Control kills" of grizzlies out of control on central coast
by Raincoast
A disturbing number of grizzly bears are being shot as so-called "control kills" in the Bella Coola valley on the central coast. Records obtained from the provincial Ministry of Environment show that a total of 18 grizzlies were killed as "problem bears" over the course of 2007 and 2008.

The majority of these grizzlies are being destroyed as a result of human behavior - primarily, a failure to secure bear attractants. For example, one local resident left a tub of salmon on his deck and then killed a female grizzly and her two cubs when they tried to eat the fish. Another resident, who was "not into removing" the apples from his tree, killed a grizzly for feeding on the fruit.
 
"Raincoast Conservation and Get Bear Smart Society are calling on the BC government to reform the existing laws under the Wildlife Act that address the issue of bear attractants to actually make them enforceable. With sufficient government funding for conservation enforcement and bear smart education, as well as a dose of common sense, control kills might become a rare occurrence in the Bella Coola valley and numerous other communities as well," said Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Damien Gillis, Jon Elmer, Janine Bandcroft May 11, 2009

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week: Damien Gillis of the Save Our Rivers Society on the B.C. Liberal's controversial Run of Rivers program; Jon Elmer on claims made by Canada's Green Party leader of Iran supplying Hamas with Depleted Uranium weapons during the 22 day assault against Gaza; and Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft bringing us the latest newz from Victoria's streetz.
 
 
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
   
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What the Herbalist Ordered

Just What the Herbalist Ordered
by Mickey Z.
In 21st century America, the health care industry is dominated by pharmaceuticals. According to a 2003 report called “Death by Medicine,” by Drs. Gary Null, Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio, and Dorothy Smith, 783,936 people in the United States die every year from conventional medicine mistakes. Of those deaths, roughly 106,000 were from prescription drugs although—due to under-reported cases of adverse drug reactions—that number may actually be as high as 200,000.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug while one in six takes three or more. As reported by TruthOut.org, an analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs than by cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines combined. To make things a little more dramatic: Statistically speaking, prescription drugs are 16,400% more deadly than terrorists.

And that’s not counting the pharmaceuticals that find their way into our drinking water. A 2008 investigation discovered prescription drugs in the water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas—supplies that provide water to 41 million people. In Philadelphia, for example, 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts were discovered in treated drinking water. These included medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems.
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Afghanistan Atrocities Galore: Obama Bombs 'Em Real Good

Tales of Yankee Power: Inevitable Atrocities of the Terror War
by Chris Floyd
Patrick Cockburn reports that the death count is rising from this week's American airstrike on an Afghan village compound where women, children and elderly men were taking shelter from a battle several miles away;  Afghan officials now say that almost 150 civilians were killed.
 
One of the few survivors pictured.
 
What's more, it turns out that the attack was not a single, mistaken shot, but part of a sustained bombing campaign, lasting for hours, in which three villages were "pounded to pieces."
 
From The Independent:

Shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government", thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.

The riot started when people from three villages struck by US bombers in the early hours of Tuesday, brought 15 newly-discovered bodies in a truck to the house of the provincial governor. As the crowd pressed forward in Farah, police opened fire, wounding four protesters....

As usual, the Americans, while expressing "deep regret," tried to blame the atrocity on someone else, but were, as usual, belied by the evidence:

The protest in Farah City is the latest sign of a strong Afghan reaction against US air attacks in which explosions inflict massive damage on mud-brick houses that provide little protection against bomb blasts. A claim by American officials, which was repeated by the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates yesterday in Kabul, that the Taliban might have killed people with grenades because they did not pay an opium tax is not supported by any eyewitnesses and is disproved by pictures of deep bomb craters, one of which is filled with water...
Pictures of the aftermath of the attack show people standing beside the remains of a relative which often only looks like a muddy pile of torn meat. One elderly white bearded man, said by neighbours to have lost 30 members of his family, squats despairingly beside a body that has been torn into shreds. Among the few wounded to stay alive is a child with a badly burned face.
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The Cove Movie

The Cove Movie
In the 1960's, Richard O'Barry was the world’s leading authority on dolphin training, working on the set of the popular television program Flipper. Day in and day out, O'Barry kept the dolphins working and television audiences smiling.
 
But one day, that all came to a tragic end. THE COVE, directed by Louie Psihoyos, tells the amazing true story of how Psihoyos, O'Barry and an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate a hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret.
 
The mysteries they uncovered were only the tip of the iceberg.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Cove, an intelligent/action/adventure/Ocean’s Eleven-like horror film wrapped
around a tale of redemption and ultimate revenge – oh, and it’s a documentary.
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Jane Goodall and Robert Bateman urge British Columbia to End Trophy Hunting of Bears

Growing International Support Demands Protection for the Bears of the Great Bear Rainforest
by Pacific Wild
World renowned primatologist, environmentalist and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall and internationally acclaimed artist Robert Bateman have joined the growing list of globally recognized voices calling for an end to the trophy hunting of bears in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest.

“People from around the world believed that B.C. had protected the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Dr. Goodall. “To learn now that the B.C. government continues to allow the sport hunt of grizzly bears, and even the rare coastal black bear that carries the recessive gene that allows the Spirit bear to exist, is shocking.”
 

Dr. Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace, went on to say in a video interview being released today on-line by the conservation group Pacific Wild,

"I support Coastal First Nations’ efforts to protect the bears in their traditional territories. I have always found sport or trophy hunting hard to understand.”
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B.C. Poll: Endorsement from the Wild Lands

Endorsement from the Wild Lands
by Ingmar Lee
Hi all; I'm so utterly disgusted with electoral politics in BC, and am aghast that anyone could even think of voting NDP or Liberal, or even worse, advocate for either. I'm also disgusted by the Green Party, which should focus on consolidating its core constituency, which is all of us, instead of dumbing down its message to cater to the mediocre environmental illiterates of the middle-class, and the perpetuation of BAU. The BC Green Party will always get more-or-less 15% of the vote no matter what they say, so why don't they articulate the environmental high-bar and advocate unflinchingly, radically for the real Green progress that is required?

We should just accept the fact that the horrible, farcical, corrupt political system that we are stuck with will never, ever be a vehicle through which the massive change that is required in this world can be effected, and therefore environmental, human-rights, poverty activists should accept that their campaigns will just have to work around the system.
 
We're in an all-out global emergency and we do not have time for all this BS. Many of us live as outcasts, or even outlaws from BAU [business as usual] anyway, and I believe that environmentalists have a responsibility to self-sufficiency and should work independent from the corporate-dominated "official" system.
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Clinton Pleased with Rebranded War on Terror as Collateral Count Grows

Killing Them Softly with Air Strikes
by TRNN
Still another US air strike killing dozens of civilians in Afghanistan, still another promise by the Pentagon to "investigate", while in Washington President Obama hosts the AfPak summit with "Af" Hamid Karzai" and "Pak" Ali Zardari. Obama's surge in Afghanistan will ensure a steady supply of "collateral damage", even though sane military voices condemn "democracy at gunpoint" and Taliban "tacticians" mock Gen. David Petraeus' counterinsurgency tactics. The Bush "war on terror" has been rebranded as "overseas contingency operations" (OCO) by the Obama administration. Pepe Escobar argues everything remains the same, but with a new twist: Washington selling OCO in AfPak to US public opinion not as an American war - but as a Pakistani war.
 
 
Pepe Escobar on how the rebranded "war on terror" is being sold as a PAKISTANI war
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Eco-Capitalism and the Great Pacific Trash Vortex

Life Among the Eco-Capitalists: A Revolution Takes Hold in New Jersey
by Sander Hicks - AlterNet
Somewhere between California and Hawaii is a big plastic trash dump floating in the ocean. Twice the size of Texas, it's known as the "Pacific Trash Vortex."  

Spiral-shaped currents concentrate thousands of acres of non-biodegradable plastic waste. Birds and fish that get tangled up in the mass die with stomachs full of plastic. High-speed, high-tech modern life is not exactly working in sync with Mother Earth here. Maybe that's why the global ecosystem is on the verge of collapse. But don't get bummed out! The Pacific Trash Vortex is one of the many things that inspires Tom Szaky (pronounced "Zackie"). He's the scruffy 30-year-old CEO and founder of America's most kick-ass green company.

TerraCycle makes good-looking products out of garbage. It sells hip messenger bags made out of printed vinyl salvaged from billboards, with a neat seatbelt clasp. It keeps millions of nonrecyclable Oreo wrappers out of landfills by making them into 30,000 kites, which are then sold to Wal-Mart, of all places. Someone can do something with all that plastic.
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