Dismantling the propaganda matrix. Empowering a community of social, economic and political justice.


Monday, December 24, 2007


This blog has now moved to Circle of 13.

Please adjust bookmarks and newsreaders accordingly.

Thank you


Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea

As narrated by legendary counterculture filmmaker John Waters, there was time when the Salton Sea, tucked into the southeast corner of California was known as the Riviera of the West, a haven for jetsetters and vacationers. Originally created by accident, it's now one of the country's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Still, a hardy few have hung on there, hoping for help to come along and restore the lake to its former glory. Congressman Sonny Bono himself was once dedicated to saving the lake, until he went skiing one day. Eccentrics abound in this surreal landscape: the naked guy who waves to passing RVs; the man who built his own holy mountain; beer-loving Hungarian Hunky Daddy; the guys who plan to get rich someday when this virtual sewer becomes a Riviera again. Hair-raising and hilarious, part history lesson, part cautionary tale and part portrait of one of the strangest communities you've ever seen, this is the American Dream gone as stinky as a dead carp.


Nat'l Lawyers Guild voted for impeachment of Bush, Cheney

5 Nov 2007 

Washington, D.C. The National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously and enthusiastically for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney at its national convention in Washington, DC. The resolution lists more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America."

The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.

The resolution calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office.

The full text of the resolution Below

Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:
1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street
http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to
justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333
and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635

2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter

3. committed crimes against humanity in their conduct of the occupation of Iraq in which they
killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and created millions of
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1892888,00.html and http://edition.cnn.com/2

4. killed over 3700 American soldiers and severely wounded nearly 30,000 more in the pursuit of
an illegal, immoral, and unjust occupation of Iraq. While Bush and Cheney have stated no
truthful noble cause for the war, one of the central purposes appears to be to take control of Iraq's
immense oil reserves to financially benefit private corporate interests. See Bush's benchmark
listing fact sheet released the same day Bush announced the "surge" that expressly called on the
Iraq parliament to "enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment . . . "
3.html and http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/56672/;

5. committed further crimes against peace by threatening Iran in violation of the UN Charter, as
described in House resolution H. Res. 333
query/z?c110:H.RES.333: and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6649053.stm;

6. detained thousands of prisoners without charges and without providing the ability to confront
their accusers at a fair trial

7. condoned the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the US anti-torture
statute of 1994, the US War Crimes Act of 1996, and the oath of
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/05/24/usint8614.htm and
http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/Regions/Americas/United-States-of-Ameri... and
Bush's refusal to faithfully execute the laws prohibiting torture and his declaration on February 7,2002 that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo set the stage for torture there
http://hrw.org/reports/2004/usa0604/2.htm. The Rumsfeld approved Guantanamo torture techniques were then imported to Iraq in August 2003, where the International Committee of the Red Cross found "systemic" mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in
several facilities and where the Schlesinger Report confirmed in August 2004 that abuses were
"widespread" and "serious both in number and in effect," and that there is both "institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels;"

8. approved at least two different illegal electronic surveillance programs of American citizens
without a warrant in violation of the fourth amendment and in violation of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and repeatedly lied to the American people by stating that
no surveillance was taking place without a court order. The first program includes intercepting
phone and email conversations without warrants and was exposed by the NY Times on December
16, 2005
http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/CPC/NYT_15cnd-program.html. After that program
was exposed Bush said the program was carefully targeted to just include international calls and
suspected members of Al Qaeda. Then, the second program was exposed by USA Today on May
11, 2006. It provides a wholesale attack on the fourth amendment by recording call identification
information of tens of millions of purely domestic calls as well as international calls

9. attacked basic human rights protections in the constitution including habeas corpus, fifth
amendment freedom from loss of life, liberty and property without due process of law, eighth
amendment freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and fourth amendment freedom from
unreasonable search and seizure;

10. attacked the separation of powers in an effort to consolidate power in the executive;

11. attacked the messenger who revealed that Bush "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi
threat." Just as Nixon retaliated against former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg, according to papers filed in court by special
prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in April 2006, there was "concerted action" by "multiple people in
the White House" to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" former Ambassador Joseph
Wilson for his July 6, 2003 NY Times op ed piece
dec0&ei=5007 that ripped the cover off of Bush's false assertions in his 2003 state of the union
address that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Africa for building a nuclear bomb. In
retaliation, and to silence other would-be critics, the White House collected information about
Wilson and disclosed to reporters that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert agent in the CIA
counterinsurgency division, putting her life, and the lives of her contacts, at risk in violation of a US law protecting intelligence personnel (The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman);

12. as the sole person under the Federal Stafford Act with responsibility and authority to issue
emergency orders to mobilize the military and any federal resources needed to aid and assist in a
disaster (see Failure of Initiative, February 2006 report of the House Select Bipartisan
Committee to investigate the Preparations for and the Response to Hurricane Katrina
http://katrina.house.gov/), Bush failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, violated the public trust, and demonstrated reckless and inexcusable indifference to human life before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Bush knew but did not act until too late, and then he lied about it on national TV.

Footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 demonstrate that Bush was personally told well in advance of the "unprecedented strength" of the hurricane, the "devastating damage expected," and that "water shortages will make human suffering
incredible," according to highly accurate predictions by the National Weather Service. The
Associated Press reported that "in dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster
officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck
that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm
rescuers, according to confidential video footage,"

Yet Bush failed to muster resources to evacuate residents in advance and failed to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina hit. Then three days later Bush told Good Morning America, "I don't think that anybody anticipated a breach of the levees." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/
content/article/2006/03/02/AR2006030202130.html In years before the storm
Bush demonstrated inexcusable criminal negligence and violated the public trust by cutting the
budget for hurricane defense, though the high probability of the breaching of the levees and the
enormous risk to human life from a major hurricane hitting New Orleans were predicted and well
known for years before the hurricane hit

13. failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed by issuing signing statements
that claim the authority to disobey laws based on the president's own interpretation of their
constitutionality, and then by taking action in violation of these laws, including the US law
making torture a crime, laws regarding Congressional oversight that require providing
information to Congress, laws regarding domestic spying, laws regarding civil liberties, and laws
strengthening whistle blower protection, thereby expanding the president's own power by
stepping into the legislative and judicial functions at the expense of Congress and the
courts, upsetting the balance among the three branches of government, and moving us away from
the rule of law toward vastly increased executive
aws/ and http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/03/24/bush_shuns_patriot...

14. converted the Justice Department into an arm of the Republican Party by firing meritorious
federal prosecutors who refused to base decisions on whom to prosecute on political
considerations--to help Republicans win election, an offense James Madison discussed in a
speech to the Senate on June 17, 1789, in which Madison said, "The danger then consists merely in
this, the president can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be continued in it. What will be the motives which the president can feel for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to prevent it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this house, before the senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust."

15. condoned criminal conduct and obstructed justice by commuting the sentence of convicted
perjurer Scooter Libby to keep him silent and to demonstrate that Bush and Cheney will not
allow high officials in the administration to be held accountable for their criminal acts;

16. obstructed congressional investigations of these and other acts by the administration by
defying subpoenas from Senate and House committees seeking documents and testimony under
oath by administration officials and former administration officials; and
Whereas the constitution requires the president to take the following oath of office:

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States;"

and Whereas the constitution provides that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed;" and Whereas the constitution mandates that "the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of,Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors;" and
Whereas impeachment was so important to our founding fathers that it is mentioned six times in
five different sections of the constitution; and Whereas George Mason, a primary author of the Constitution, said that impeachment was the single most important part of the entire document. "Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice?"
http://gunstonhall.org/georgemason/constitution.html July 20, 1787; and Whereas "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a term of art that means a serious abuse of power, whether or not it is also a crime, that endangers our constitutional system of government, or an abuse of public trust.

(See Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment: Report of the House Judiciary Committee, 1974, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/
politics/special/clinton/stories/watergatedoc_3.htm, articles by Elizabeth Holzman who
served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon in
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060130/holtzman; and http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070212&s=holtzman, and the book, The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman)

Whereas each of the above listed acts meets or exceeds that standard; and Whereas impeachment is the only constitutional method to protect Americans from a president intent on abusing power, violating the constitution, violating the laws, and breaching public trust; and
Whereas Bush and Cheney threaten further crimes, including launching a war of aggression
against Iran, and whereas sufficient time remains in their term of office for them to commit those crimes so allowing either or both of them to remain in office for that remaining time will
facilitate these crimes, and whereas pretexts for attacking Iran have been issued, as described by a former CIA Middle East field officer and current Time Magazine columnist

and Whereas failing to hold Bush and Cheney accountable not only condones their crimes but facilitates a future president committing similar or greater crimes; and Whereas members of Congress swear an oath to "support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and no part of this oath permits exception for partisan advantage, the next election, political expediency, whether it is distracting from other issues, or how much time they have left in office;

and Whereas failure by Congress to initiate the one remedy--impeachment--provided by our
founding fathers to protect the constitution from such serious abuses has put that constitution, the rule of law, civil liberties, our democratic form of government, the separation of powers, the lives of our men and women in uniform, and the lives of countless civilians at severe risk; and Whereas citizen pressure led the Vermont State Senate and 87 cities and towns around the
nation to pass impeachment resolutions; and Whereas a poll conducted by
http://www.americanresearchgroup.com on July 5, 2007 found that 54% of American adults want the US House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney while only 40% oppose, and whereas the poll also found that 45% are in favor of the same thing for President George W. Bush while 46% oppose; and Whereas in view Congress' ongoing complicity with the war, the torture, the lies, the warrantless wiretapping, and the imprisonment without trial, and its failure to protect rights and civil liberties, it is up to the people themselves to defend the constitution and our civil liberties by building larger grassroots movements, including a movement for impeachment; Therefore be it resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America;

and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will establish an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members to coordinate action by the NLG in support of impeachment, to work with national and grassroots impeachment organizations, and to provide legal assistance for those efforts to strengthen the national campaign for impeachment;

and Be it further resolved that the NLG Impeachment Committee will help organize and coordinate
events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to
initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office
without further delay; and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on NLG members to ask their respective member of Congress to support H. Res. 333 to impeach Cheney and to introduce or support other impeachment resolutions; and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office without further delay;

and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will forward a copy of this resolution to the Speaker and the Clerk of the US House of Representatives, to Representative John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to the various state and federal bar associations, to other peace and justice organizations, and to the news media.
Implementation: By the NLG Impeachment Committee established by this resolution, by
interested local chapters, and by national officers. Submitted by: James Marc Leas,

The resolution cosponsors are:
Audrey Bomse, Marjorie Cohn, Laura Safer Espinoza, John Wheat Gibson , Eileen Hansen,
Larry Hildes, Jim Klimaski, Jordan Kushner, Jim Lafferty, James Marc Leas, Kerry McLean,
Bill Monning, Dorinda Moreno, Michael Ratner, Susan Scott, Jennifer Van Bergen, Aaron
Varhola, Karen Weill



Fernanda Pivano and the Beat generation

24 Dec 2007
“Fernanda Pivano e la Beat generation – Mostra di fotografie e memorie” is the title of this collection of photos on display in Verona from 1st December last to 2nd February 2008, at the Modern Section of the Biblioteca Civica in the centre of Verona, on the corner of via Cappello (at number 23 is the home of Giulietta Capuleti, a place of continuous pilgrimage to this day) and vicolo San Sebastiano.

The exhibition was set up by the Verona City Council for Culture with the help of Biblioteca Riccardo e Fernanda Pivano - Fondazione Benetton studi e ricerche and the Verona Centro Internazionale di Fotografia Scavi Scaligeri.
45 photos are on display, in two sections: in the first one there are 30 black and white pictures taken as far back as 1948 by Ettore Sottsass – Pivano’s husband – some on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of “On the road”.
In the second section, there are 10 photos of the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who then became the publisher of the Beat movement, taken from the Conz Archive in Verona and 5 photos of Pivano taken between 2002 and 2005 by Walter Pescara, the photographer and curator of the collection.
Then there is a special section dedicated to autographed books, documents and papers that relate mainly to Hernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
This exhibition is noteworthy because, among other things, it allows young people to learn about the Beat movement that their “all and now” generation feeds on.
A generation that is considered “as voracious as it is unknowing” by Pescara, who denounces the fact that all too often in schools the Fifties are barely mentioned.
However, Pescara also says, “that climate of holier-than-thou conformism and prohibitionism that existed at the time has been eroded in the West thanks to those poets, writers and musicians: opinions that went against the tide, that dissociated themselves from the ideas shared by most"; these are words that echo those of the poet Gregory Corso: “Beat is whoever breaks away from the established line in order to follow the line of his destiny”.
And the faces of those pacifist-revolutionaries are all there, often with Fernanda Pivano: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Hemingway, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Rudolf Nureyev, Bob Dylan, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Gary Snyder, Julian Beck, Judith Malina.

The collection that celebrates two important anniversaries of the two fathers of the movement, Kerouac and Ginsberg, is on display among the shelves and the computers of the renewed artistic and high tech version of the Library.
In fact, 2007 is the 50th anniversary of the Beat Bible: On the road, written in 1951 on a roll of teleprinter paper and published in New York in 1957 by Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books, while the author of Howl, a scandalous book published in 1956 by the same publishing house, who was taken to court for it the following year, died ten years ago.
The group was kept together by an extraordinary woman: Fernanda Pivano, 90 last July, famous above all for being Hemingway's translator, who also inspired Kerouac himself when he wrote the great new American novel.
Of the over 40 translations from across the ocean, Italy owes Pivano the Antologia di Spoon River by Edgar Lee Master, paraphrased to music by Fabrizio De Andrè, and the made-in-Usa classics: from Faulkner to Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom she met personally in order to grasp their essence.
Finally, the event is enriched by a series of fringe appointments, such as the screening of a video on the Beat Generation and a theatre performance on Kerouac.
~ Link ~

Santa's crimes against humanity


Lakota group pushes for new nation

By Faith Bremner
Argus Leader Washington Bureau
20 Dec 2007
WASHINGTON - A group of "freedom-loving" Lakota activists announced a plan Wednesday for their people to withdraw from treaties their forefathers signed with the U.S. government.

Headed by leaders of the American Indian Movement, including activist, actor and Porcupine resident Russell Means, the group dropped in on the State Department and the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa this week seeking recognition for their effort to form a free and independent Lakota nation. The group plans to visit more embassies in the coming months.

The new nation is needed because Indians have been "dismissed" by the United States and are tired of living under a colonial apartheid system, Means said during a news conference held at Plymouth Congregational Church in northeast Washington. He was accompanied by a bodyguard and three other Lakota activists - Gary Rowland, Duane Martin and Phyllis Young, all of South Dakota.

"I want to emphasize, we do not represent the collaborators, the Vichy Indians and those tribal governments set up by the United States of America to ensure our poverty, to ensure the theft of our land and resources," Means said, comparing elected tribal governments to Nazi collaborators in France during World War II.

Rodney Bordeaux, chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said his community has no desire to join the breakaway nation. Means and his group, which call themselves the Lakota Freedom Delegation, have never officially pitched their views to the Rosebud community, Bordeaux said.

"Our position on that is we need to uphold the treaties, and we're constantly reminding Congress of that message," Bordeaux said. "We're pushing to maintain and to keep the treaties there because they're the basis of our relationship with the federal government."


Nation's proposals

Members of the new nation would not pay any taxes, and leaders would be informally chosen by community elders, Means said. Non-Indians could continue to live in the new nation's territory, which would consist of the western parts of North and South Dakota and Nebraska and eastern parts of Wyoming and Montana. The new government would issue its own passports and drivers licenses, Means said.

"Our withdrawal (from the treaties) is fully thought out," Means said, referring to peace treaties the Lakota people signed with the government in 1851 and 1868. "We were mandated by our elders in 1974 to do two things. First, to establish relationships with the international community... and the second mandate, of course, was to reestablish our independence."

Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman, who attended the press conference out of solidarity, said he takes the Lakotas' declaration of independence seriously.

"We are here because the demands of indigenous people of America are our demands," Guzman said. "We have sent all the documents they presented to the embassy to our ministry of foreign affairs in Bolivia and they'll analyze everything."

~ Link ~


The Reiki Sangha

Reiki (ray-kee): universal life force healing energy (light-work, energy-work)
Sangha: sanskrit for community.

The Reiki Sangha is a community of energy-workers
bound by a strong sense of altruism to help heal the world.