Monday, May 31, 2010

Emergency Action Against Israel's Latest Murders -- Tomorrow, Tuesday, 6/1/10

Event: Emergency Action Start: 6/1/2010 4:30PM

Description:we will meet at 4:30 at Westlake Mall and march to Federal Bldg. at 2nd & Marion. Join us to protest Israel's cold-blooded murder of aid workers.


Seattle Folklife Stands By the People Who Stand By Palestine


Monday May 31
1:00 pm

5th Avenue and Broad St, Seattle Center near the Experience Music Project.

We'll have some signs and banners, and/or bring your own.

(Possible bannering over I-5 later afternoon -- stay tuned for that also.)

call the State Department 202-647-4000 202-647-4000.

Call on the White House to call off its meeting with Netanyahu next week
White House switchboard (202) 456-1414 (202) 456-1414
Also US Embassy in Tel Aviv = Ambassador Cunningham,


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reminder: The Day of 1000 Drums -- Tacoma, Tomorrow, May 30


Day of 1000 Drums
May 30th Gathering in Tacoma to restore Native American name to Mt. Rainier

Drummers, musical performers and Native American activist speakers will share their talents in support of restoring Native American names to sacred sites. The Day of 1000 Drums is planned for Sunday May 30th 11am to 4pm at the Portland Avenue Park in Tacoma, is free and open to the public. The day will be filled with keynote, celebrity, spiritual, and Elder speakers, accompanied by musical appearances of many award winning native recording artists. Scheduled so far are recording artists PureFe and Keith Secola, Annie Humphrys, and Derek Miller, Comedian Charlie Hill, activist and poet John Trudell, Native Elders Isadore Tom, and Billy Frank.

Organizing the event in an effort to restore hundreds of original American Indian names to their rightful and respected sacred places and sites is Robert Satiacum, Puyallup Tribe member and son of controversial Native American activist Chief Bob Satiacum. The day will be filled with keynote, celebrity, spiritual, and Elder speakers, accompanied by musical appearances of many award winning native recording artists. The event will be formatted potlatch style, with special attention given to the Elder’s and children’s well being and care. “It’s important to show case our people’s regard to our traditions and care for the land, as well as for one another, and keeping that promise to our Creator”, Satiacum stated.

The Day of 1000 Drums event focus primarily on “Mt. Rainier” a name chosen by explorer Captain George Vancover to honor a British Admiral. For thousands of years the mountain was known as Ti’Swaq’, Tacobet and Takhoma by the various indigenous communities and language groups fed by the mountains many glaciers. Satiacum has posted a web site: and is enlisting groups and individuals to be part of the Restore Native Names Alliance.

“First seemed impossible as was landing on the moon, or the United States having a Black President, but since its inception, the effort has gained momentum from a lot of unexpected support, as well as expected support.” Commented Satiacum, adding: “Many efforts have been made in the past, then abandoned. But we are still here. Ti’Swaq’ is a sacred place. We don’t expect the powers that decide what names go on a map will come around to our way of thinking right away. But someone needs to get the word out there – to educate and challenge the way we view our Mother Earth. That is what the Restore Native Names Alliance is about”

Satiacum say’s the idea came on a day of reflection during a break of doing research when listening to the recordings of a local tribe trying to re-establish its identity. “That afternoon I was looking over “Chubalip”, Commencement Bay, staring at Ti’Swaq’, and thought about singing a healing song to our ancestral spirits and the mountain, but thought I was only one pitiful voice. But then I thought about how it would be heartfelt to our Ancestors and the mountain if thousands of their grandchildren were to offer up a prayer song to let them know they are not forgotten and we are still here.” He adds, “by that night it was apparent that this had to happen, it would be a song heard from Seattle to Yakama, but felt around the World.”

There will be a portion of the event for other tribal and indigenous groups to show their support and come to the stage to present their support by tying an Eagle feather to the Eagle headed staff, which will be taken to the summit the following weekend. On the 7th of June, Robert Satiacum is planned to summit the peak, guided by the International Mountaineers Group. Once there, the staff will be planted, only to be removed once the name is rightfully restored.

Other web sites by Robert Satiacum and Cedar Media:,,, and

For more information or to support this effort, visit or email 253.224.4888.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Immigration Check Point -- Shocking!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Requiem for the Gulf (the World?)

No Doubt Now -- Chomsky Is "Supporter of Israel" -- Min. 4

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reminder: Vigil for Palestine @ Folklife Festival, Saturday May 29

Saturday, May 29


Seattle Center- 5th Ave N. & Broad St.

(near the space needle)


Amin Odeh

"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nakba Posters from Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residence and Refugee Rights

Posters from the Badil Awda Nakba Competition

To see more posters, go here:

Gaza Friends on the Flotilla to Gaza

We will soon have a new page added to our website called You
will be able to follow us as we journey to Gaza over the next two weeks. You
can watch our own 'video reports' twice a day, reports from the boats and from
Gaza. Everything on the page is connected to make it easier for you to access
TWITTER, Facebook, YouTube and FLICKR. Watch for it in the next day or so.

For the update on the boats, the Turkish passenger ship left yesterday from
Istanbul to the next port to pick up more passengers. The Irish/Malaysian ship,
the MV Rachel Corrie, is on her way to the Mediterranean. The Greek/Swedish
cargo ship, the passenger boat from the European Campaign and the Free Gaza
passenger boats are ready to leave Greece this week.

We will all meet in international waters off the coast of Gaza, turn and steam
into Gaza City port sometime between May 28 and June 1 depending on the

The Israelis are nervous.
The Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to Gaza to the diaspora are
The internationals are determined.
The boats are ready.
The world waits.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Why the U.S. and Israel Are Such Good Friends" -- Labeled Satire, But If You Ask Me...

Many Americans wonder why we continue to give Israel 3 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars every year instead of spending those billions on our own needy. Many Americans wonder why we give Israel billions more in bunker-busting bombs, Apache attack helicopters armed with TOW missiles, and other such advanced weapons. Many Americans wonder why we always thwart UN resolutions against Israel's actions even when those actions unambiguously violate international law. In short, many Americans wonder why the U.S. and Israel are such inseparably good friends.

Why? Because the U.S. and Israel have so much in common. Who in the U.S. doesn't love knishes or latkes? The U.S. and Israel are two peas in a pod.

Both nations worship the AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee), which functions as a heavenly messenger between two very good friends. Israel tells the AIPAC exactly what it wants and the AIPAC tells members of Congress to grant it unquestioned (if they'd like to keep their jobs).

Both nations obviously share the same deep moral values. For example, both agree on the moral way to take out a terrorist cleric in a wheelchair (TOW missile launched from an Apache helicopter, duh!). It wouldn't be right to walk up and shoot a cripple in the head (sincere apologies to those within 50 feet of the wheelchair).

Both nations demonize "terrorists" who use suicide bombers (not just to kill, but to terrorize). Sure, the U.S. and Israel often recklessly kill innocent people (hey, shit happens), but they don't stoop to terror (apparently being stalked by Apache helicopters or Predator drones that can blow you away any second, before you can even detect them, has a soothing effect on one's mind).

But the most significant thing the U.S. and Israel have in common (what binds them like brothers) is the way both nations were created. The U.S. and Israel followed a strikingly similar path in establishing their respective nations.

A little history

The major problem establishing both the U.S. and Israel as nations was what to do with the indigenous people. So it was only natural for Israel to go to its new friend, the U.S., and ask, "How did you handle your indigenous people? Since we share the same deep moral values, we want to treat our indigenous people the same way." Realizing they had so much in common, the two nations became fast friends.

The first thing needed to establish a nation is land. Unfortunately for both the U. S. and Israel, the land they needed was already occupied by people who had lived on and worked that land for centuries. But fortunately for both emerging nations, neither the Native Americans nor the Palestinians were particularly well armed.

At first, both the U.S. and Israel tried to politely reason with their respective indigenous people. Both nations said something like, "Yes, you've worked this land for many centuries and consider it your home, but could you please pack up your shit and move someplace else because we need your land." How much more polite and reasonable can a request be?

In both cases, the indigenous people were clearly informed that God had given us their land. You'd think any reasonable Palestinian would say, "Oh, God gave you this land, why didn't you say so, just let me take a last look at the fields I've worked all my life, and at the olive groves my great, great grandfather planted, and I'm out of here."

But instead (just like the stubborn Native Americans) the Palestinians got all pissy and indignant (just because Israel was blatantly stealing their land using military force). Clearly, some ethnic groups are just a little too sensitive. Just like the stubborn Native Americans, many Palestinians had the chutzpah to actually resist being violently thrown off their land. Amazing! Reasoning with such people is obviously futile.

The U.S. then suggested Israel might bring the Palestinians to their senses by massacring a few of their villages (this tactic had often proved a convincing argument for Native Americans stubbornly occupying U.S. land). Unfortunately, many Palestinians still refused to leave (and those who did leave hold a grudge to this day). Amazing! Reasoning with such people is obviously futile.

Both the U.S. and Israel eventually forced hundreds of thousands of indigenous people off land they'd occupied for centuries. Both nations conceded "sovereign" territories for the displaced natives, but almost immediately began violently stealing that land too.

Both nations encouraged illegal settlements on these "sovereign" territories, inexorably forcing many indigenous people to struggle in squalor on worthless, arid land. Those who dared to resist were labeled "savages" by the U.S. and "terrorists" by Israel (of course, exterminating "savages" and "terrorists" is perfectly moral).

Why are the U.S. and Israel such good friends? Obviously the U.S. and Israel share the same deep moral values. What better basis for a close friendship than sharing the same deep moral values?

Carmen Yarrusso lives on a river in a small town in New Hampshire and often writes about uncomfortable truths.

The Man Who "Shoed" Bush -- Real News

More at The Real News

Montana & Idaho Citizens Fighting State Support for Canada's Tar Sands Devleopment -- Dahr Jamail

The mining of the tar sands, being as much solid as they are liquid, requires great effort. The easiest method is strip mining, though some newer mines heat and dilute the bitumen underground to make it flow easier. Once removed from the ground, bitumen is too viscous to flow through pipelines as conventional crude does, thus, it is next converted into synthetic oil to aid transport. These processes can use huge quantities of water and require so much electricity that one tar sand mine has considered building a nuclear power plant to power the mine itself.

"For Montana, the successful development of this shipping corridor is synonymous with Montana complacency in the destruction of Alberta and the impact that continued mining has on climate change," Stocks added about the role the shipping corridor would play toward contributing to climate change. "In Montana, further climate change means more beetle killed forests, fewer glaciers, reduced springtime stream flow and more extensive fires in summer. Agricultural lands already feel the impact of drought and our forests feel the impact of warmer winters. It doesn't matter what industry you belong to in our state, climate change is all inclusive."

Research shows that tar sands mining causes an extraordinary and often permanent, detriment to the environment. Air monitoring near Fort McMurray, Alberta, for example, has recorded excessive levels of toxic hydrogen sulfide, as well as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matters.

U.S. Playing Dangerous Games with Iran Nuclear Program

via Pulse Media

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reminder: Vigil for Palestine- End the Israeli Occupation. Saturday, May 22

Please forward to your list....

Saturday, May 22

Noon-2:00 pm

Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine


Monday, May 17, 2010

Roger Cohen Says There is "Economic Detente" between Israel and Palestine

Salam Fayyad has fixed everything (oh, except for some of the pesky checkpoints!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

All that You Have Done to Our People is Registered in Notebooks...

Yesterday to remember the Nakba, we gathered in Westlake Park amidst tents representing some of the hundreds of villages destroyed when Israel was planted on top of Palestine. We heard music and poetry inspired by the incredible resilience of the Palestinian people and spoke with many visitors to the display. Thanks to all who made this event on the 62nd year of the ongoing catastrophe possible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Obama Seeks $205 Million ‘special assistance’ for Israel Iron Dome System (On Top of The Other Billions U.S. Gives)
The budgetary difficulty that has been delaying Israel’s armament with the anti-missile defense system Iron Dome has apparently been resolved. The Pentagon has issued a message to Israel’s Defense Ministry that U.S. President Barack Obama has approved the transfer of special assistance totaling $205 million for the purchase of more than ten Iron Dome batteries.

The Iron Dome missile defense system aced a test run in January, an event that convinced senior defense officials that the defense system was on its way to becoming operational and that it will be able to effectively protect against short-range missiles, such as Katyushas and Qassams, which often hit Israeli settlements.

Produced by Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Iron Dome uses small radar-guided missiles to blow up rockets with ranges of between 5 kilometers and 70 kilometer, as well as mortar bombs, in mid-air.

However, the plan was not allotted an adequate budget. The Israel Defense Forces ducked away from funding the project with its budget, explaining that offensive readiness was a higher priority, and the Defense Ministry has been looking for other budgetary avenues. Among other things, Israel has struck a deal with an unnamed eastern Asian country (Singapore, according to a recent report in a French magazine) to participate in the funding of future phases in the project.

Israel has recently raised the possibility that the U.S. assist in funding the project by transferring a sum of money beyond the U.S. annual defense assistance. The request was reviewed closely during Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s last visit to Washington earlier this month, and during talks between Barak and Obama and other senior American defense officials.

Its development was spurred by the 2006 Lebanon war and the Gaza Strip war a year ago. In both cases, Israeli towns within reach of short-range rockets were in some respects defenseless.

“The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to support the production of Israel’s short range rocket defense system called Iron Dome,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Two Iron Dome batteries are under construction, an Israeli defense official said in February. Designed to be towed by vehicle, they will be available for any Israeli front at a few hours’ notice.

Bryan Whitman, Pentagon spokesman, said it was the first direct US investment in the Iron Dome system. “This funding will expand what they can produce and deploy, and how quickly they’re able to do it,” he said. The decision was made to pour funds into the system after US officials observed tests last fall, officials said.

The money comes on top of annual US assistance to Israel.

According to the State Department, US military aid to Israel in 2009 totaled $2.55 billion. This will increase to $3 billion in 2012, and will total $3.15 billion a year from 2013 to 2018.

"Lost: Home" By Kristina Kai-ming Lim

From the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation website, about the artist:

ABOUT THIS PIECE: In “Lost: home” I created snapshots of dispossession. As a metaphor for memory, I tried to reconstruct a fractured past through individual images that as a whole became a picture of what was lost: home. The Nakba is the catastrophe of losing one’s home: a place of love and family, of land and harvests, of history and ancestors. I created six images that work together in both color and rhythm: the people foremost, the mohair colored hills of the land, the fruit trees, the doors of homes, the locks that are keeping the Palestinans out, and the memories from the past. One of the images is of a woman looking into the darkness between two chained doors; she is looking back on her past and through the doors at what is lost. Another image is that of an aged padlock, resembling physically what it means to leave your ancestral home, locked shut. No longer an open door to family and friends it is instead desolate and empty. One image is of a raised hand holding the key to a home left in the Nakba: the head is clothed in a kaffiya making the individual anonymous and everyone who holds a key, the hand is raised in strength, and the individual walks beneath olive branches, for peace. Another image is of oranges, the fruit harvested off the land of many Palestinians dispossessed in this catastrophe. The final two images depict history and the land itself: the yellow hills of Palestine and the refugees walking away from their homeland and to the camps, with the possessions they could carry and their loved ones beside them. In these images, I hope to portray the beauty of what once was, the sadness and strength of the Palestinians, and the memory of home, now lost.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Kristina Kai-ming Lim is a painter, working in oils, watercolors, and silk. Her art is a response to the world as she sees it: one where there is beauty in the resilience of humankind and creation as an answer to oppression. Kristina was born in Berkeley, California in 1981 and works there today as union organizer. She is currently working on a children’s book about Palestine.

"On my way to Athens" by Gilad Atzmon
Next week I am going to be traveling between Istanbul, Athens and Nicosia. I will be giving concerts and talks in support of the coming Free Gaza flotilla. In the last few days, I gave many interviews to Greek papers. Here is one. I guess that it sums up many of my thoughts about Israel, Zionism, Jewish identity, Palestine, Gaza and the Free Gaza mission.

Q. Where were you born and where did you spend your early years?

GA: I was born in Israel in 1963. It took me many years before I realized that the place I was born in was in fact occupied Palestine.

Q. Musician, author, activist, philosopher – which of these identities suits you most?

GA: I am a Jazz musician. In ideal terms I would love to see myself as a person who reinvents himself on a daily basis. This is obviously a wet fantasy, a task almost impossible to achieve. But it is something to aspire to. I am academically trained as a philosopher and believe that German philosophy sets the right framework for an articulate, ideological, ethical and universal thinking. I am also an author yet I do not regard myself as an activist. I have never understood what activism stands for. I may as well mention that I am not interested in politics but rather in meaning and implications of political activity and political thinking.

Q: Why do you oppose your Jewish and Israeli identity?

GA: I do not oppose Jewish or Israeli identity. I oppose any possible form of Jewish politics and indeed any identity politics. The reason is simple. Since Jewish identity is racially orientated, every permutation of Jewish politics is racist to the bone and I am obviously against racism. In fact, Israel and Zionism was originally an attempt to rescue the Jew from racist politics and racial political orientation. Zionism invented the Jewish nation. (or: Jews as a nation). Early Zionists attempted to present the Jews as a people amongst other people instead of a distinct race. This idea looked fine on paper, yet, the reality of the Jewish state proves that Israel is the most radical form of Jewish chauvinism. The Israeli legal system is totally discriminatory toward non Jews. Israeli policies are no different form Nazi racial laws.

Q: What was it that hurt you so much as to state publicly that you fight the Israeli in you? Don’t you feel that this is a harsh statement to make? A statement that shows anger?

GA: Yes I am indeed angry. Watching 1.5 million Palestinians being starved in Gaza makes me angry. Watching the IDF throw bombs and white phosphorous on elders, women and children who seek shelter in an UNRA compound makes me angry. Watching the Israeli air force flatten Lebanon in 2006 made me angry. Watching the holy land get sliced by a gigantic separation wall makes me angry. Transforming Palestine into a Jewish bunker makes me angry. Meeting dispossessed Palestinian refugees who cannot even visit their land makes me very angry. Realising that 1.5 million Iraqis lost their life because of a Zionist global war designed by Ziocon Wolfowitz makes me furious. Zionists advocating the Killing of Muslims in the name of moral interventionism freaks me out. Watching AIPAC promote more wars and violence makes my blood boil.

Q: Don’t Israelis or Jews have the right for a national homeland, a safe homeland that is?

GA: Strictly speaking the answer is NO. If the Jews ever had a right for a national home, they lost this right a long time ago. As we know Zionism celebrated the Jewish national revival at the expense of the Palestinian people.

Would you allow a bunch of Italian lunatics to invade your home in Athens just because they are convinced that your dwelling was once part of the Roman Empire? They could claim that your home was a property of their Roman forefathers. Clearly, Italians wouldn’t get away with it, but Zionists did, at least for a while.

There is no right for a racist state that celebrates its tribal symptoms at the expense of others. There is no room for Israel amongst the nations.

Q: What concessions have to be made for Palestinians to live free and prosper?

GA: Pretty simple. Israel must become a state of its citizens. At the moment a Jew in Brooklyn enjoys more rights in Palestine than a Palestinian who was born on the land.

Q: Why should Israelis cut down on armaments? Is it not the case that the increase in military equipment is due to their sentiment of insecurity, as they are surrounded by Arabs?

GA: It doesn’t matter anymore whether Israel cuts down on armaments. Israel’s defeat is inevitable. In 2006 the entire Israeli military was humiliated by a small paramilitary organization namely the Hezbollah. In 2009 Israel didn’t achieve any of its military objectives in spite of the massive deployment of IDF units and the collective punishment of civilians by using extreme military measures against civilians including WMDs. The Israelis employ more and more force, they entangle themselves in more and more colossal war crimes, the legitimacy of the Jewish State is a matter for historians. The doomed fate of Israel is written on the wall.

Do you believe that Jewish people still feel unwanted, even though so many decades have passed since the Holocaust?

GA: It is hard for me to talk about Jewish people, for I do not know all Jews. However, Jewish politicians always emphasize the fear of anti Semitism. All forms of Jewish politics present different methods of raising barriers between Jews and others, Zionism is there to separate the Jew from the Goy, the Bund (Jewish socialists) is also there to separate the Jew from the working class, the Jewish left is there to set a tribe of chosen people amongst peace lovers.

Q: Could Israelis and Palestinians live in peace?

GA: Not in a million years. The notion of peace and reconciliation are foreign to the Israeli ideology, politics and Identity. When an Israeli says Shalom, they do not mean peace, they actually mean ‘security for the Jews’. This self-centric mode was identified by Christ 2000 years ago. Love your neighbour and turn the other cheek was Jesus’ lesson. Israel on the other hand seeks collective gratification through revenge. According to the Jerusalem post 94% of Israeli Jews supported the 2009 IDF air raids against Palestinian civilians. There is no way to describe the fact above other than as an extreme form of lethal tribal barbarism.

For Israelis to live in peace, a metamorphic shift of consciousness is needed instead of a political shift.

In what way can the “Ship to Gaza” help resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict?

GA: It is not there to resolve the conflict. It is there to first of all: Bring necessary aid to the people of Gaza. Secondly: It is there to raise media and public awareness of the ongoing colossal Israeli war crimes against humanity.

I would add that since the Palestinians are at the forefront of the war against modern evil. The Free Gaza is not just a humanitarian effort, it is actually a call from humanity, it is there to remind us all what humanism stands for.

Q: You are the founder of the “Orient House Ensemble”. What is it mainly about?

GA: Initially I wanted to Palestinise some Jewish tunes. I naively believed that if we play Israeli and Jewish tunes about homecoming implementing Arabic scales, Jews and Israelis may open their heart to the Palestinian cause. In fact some Jews and Israelis have followed our line of thinking. However, many people in the UK and around the world realized what we tried to achieve. Our message wasn’t a break through in Israel but we found many attentive ears around the world. We are playing together for almost 10 years. We do not have any plans to stop.

Q: How can the Greek people stand up against the imminent new reality?

GA: I travel all over the world and I can reassure you that the Greeks are at the very forefront of supporting Palestine. To oppose Israel is an ethical priority. All we have to do is to say what we believe and not to shy away from saying it loudly and proudly.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

AP IMPACT: US Drug War Has Met None of Its Goals


After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.

Even U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes the strategy hasn't worked.

"In the grand scheme, it has not been successful," Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified."

This week President Obama promised to "reduce drug use and the great damage it causes" with a new national policy that he said treats drug use more as a public health issue and focuses on prevention and treatment.

Nevertheless, his administration has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels both in dollars and in percentage terms; this year, they account for $10 billion of his $15.5 billion drug-control budget.

Kerlikowske, who coordinates all federal anti-drug policies, says it will take time for the spending to match the rhetoric.

"Nothing happens overnight," he said. "We've never worked the drug problem holistically. We'll arrest the drug dealer, but we leave the addiction."

His predecessor, John P. Walters, takes issue with that.

Walters insists society would be far worse today if there had been no War on Drugs. Drug abuse peaked nationally in 1979 and, despite fluctuations, remains below those levels, he says. Judging the drug war is complicated: Records indicate marijuana and prescription drug abuse are climbing, while cocaine use is way down. Seizures are up, but so is availability.

"To say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven't made any difference is ridiculous," Walters said. "It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people involved in law enforcment, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided."


In 1970, hippies were smoking pot and dropping acid. Soldiers were coming home from Vietnam hooked on heroin. Embattled President Richard M. Nixon seized on a new war he thought he could win.

"This nation faces a major crisis in terms of the increasing use of drugs, particularly among our young people," Nixon said as he signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The following year, he said: "Public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive."

His first drug-fighting budget was $100 million. Now it's $15.1 billion, 31 times Nixon's amount even when adjusted for inflation.

Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:

- $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico - and the violence along with it.

- $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"-style messages to America's youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.

- $49 billion for law enforcement along America's borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.

- $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

- $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.

At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse - "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" - cost the United States $215 billion a year.

Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

"Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Voices of Palestine Picketed Zionist Sen. Adam Kline for You :) You're Welcome!

A sparsely attended campaign kick-off for Washington State Senator Adam Kline was made more lively by an informational picket objecting to the senator's co-sponsorship of a resolution congratulating Israel as an "ally" in the war on terror right after the Gaza Massacre of 2008-9. A few local Democratic party heavyweights were in attendance, getting our message that the people of Washington do not appreciate pro-Zionist activity by anyone, but especially STATE senators.

Here is the leaflet we gave out:


On January 21, 2009, as the result of a vicious 3-week Israeli attack, the people of the open air prison known as Gaza were literally crawling from under the rubble of their bombed-out homes, mourning and burying over 1400 dead, including 313 children. Live white phosphorus was still burning people's flesh and ill-equipped hospital personnel were trying to treat numerous patients without the appropriate medical supplies.

On January 21, 2009, Senator Adam Kline and his handful of co-sponsors in the Washington State Legislature were pushing through a resolution congratulating Israel on its birthday. The timing for these wishes was pointed and not to be misconstrued. The U.S. and Israel, says Sen. Kline's resolution, share "an interest in democracy and basic human rights." But we are also "together standing at the forefront of a new kind of war, a war against terror." For that, Senator Kline's resolution says, Israel deserves "continued and unwavering support from the United States." SENATE RESOLUTION 8602 By Senators Zarelli, Delvin, Kline ... The resolution was forwarded to Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama, together with the President and Prime Minister of Israel.

With this resolution, Senator Kline portrayed the people of Washington as the sort who would not question the use of white phosphorus bombs dropped from F-16s on unarmed men, women and children as long as it is Israel, our "ally" in the war on terror, who has done the bombing.
"Unwavering support" for Israel also means support for everyday state terrorism: a 62-year military occupation, population transfer, outright theft of land and water resources, imprisonment without charges for thousands, the humiliation of checkpoints, a massive separation wall slashing through Palestinian territory, and the imprisonment and blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza.

Please consider what Senator Kline has done in your name before you give him your support.

Voices of Palestine

[Nuclear Whistle-blower] Vanunu Returns To Prison And The End Of Israel's Nuclear Ambiguity -- Eileen Fleming

Update: when i sent a message of support, i got back almost immediately a gibberish email. i'm sure the israeli state has control of vanunu's computer, so be warned if you do send a message via his website. linda j.


Do Something:

Send Vanunu a message of support through his website @

Reach for nuclear disarmament @

On May 11, 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Mordechai Vanunu, will "serve a three-month jail sentence handed to him by Jerusalem District Court and not community service. " [1]

The 'justices' refused Vanunu's offer to do community service in occupied east Jerusalem, because they do not view that side of town to be a part of their community.

On April 30, 2007, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, convicted Vanunu on 14 [out of 21] counts of violating a court order prohibiting him from speaking to foreign journalists in 2004. Vanunu was also convicted for traveling the four miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem when he hoped to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Church of the Nativity, his first Christmas after being released from 18 years in jail [most of it in solitary] on April 21, 2004.

On July 2, 2007, Israel sentenced Vanunu to six more months in jail for speaking to foreign media in 2004.

On September 23, 2008, the Jerusalem District Court reduced Vanunu's sentence to three months, "In light of (Vanunu's) ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country's security in jeopardy." [2]

On December 21, 2009, Uzi Eilam, an Israeli scientist, Tel Aviv University chemistry professor, former worker at Israel's Dimona reactor, former member of Israeli parliament, and the former head of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission told PRESS TV that Vanunu "served the regime because his revelations helped Tel Aviv intimidate others...I've always believed he should be let go. I don't think he has significant knowledge to reveal (about Dimona) now. "

On May 10, 2010, Uzi Even, spoke on Israeli army radio:

"The policy of nuclear ambiguity, by which we fool only ourselves and nobody else, is not good for us any more. It was good, effective and successful for close to 40 years, but over 40 years many things changed and now I am telling you clearly, this policy is no longer in our interest." [3]

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Born in Gaza -- Israel's Blockade Kills Sick People Too -- Absolutely Heartbreaking

Proximity Mloximity -- Will at Kabobfest
I was just wondering, is there anyone in the world who believes the Israel-Palestinian ‘proximity talks’ being mediated by the United States will amount to anything positive at all?

First of all, such shuttle diplomacy is really the United States doing the negotiating, as it mediates between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It is completely US-initiated, with the PA lagging behind and Israel being dragged into this charade even further behind. The PA-fantasy of an engaged United States that pressures Israel to make major concessions on the central issues — Palestinian sovereignty and real borders — still appears leagues away. And they can only participate cynically because they expect nothing worth pinning any political capital on, yet hope to show that both, they were willing while Israel was not, and that they somehow actually represented the Palestinian people. It’s a farcical balance given the fundamental bias the U.S. exhibits towards Israel.

While any negotiations between any occupier and occupied tend to be absurd, when they do not entail any down-side to failure by the occupier, any cost for failure, they are especially pointless. Given that no Palestinian movement for freedom or international solidarity campaign have really forced Israel to negotiate, expecting anything via talks is purely wishful thinking. And the United States does not have the will or internal cohesion (in terms of domestic politics), to really get Israel to shed its colonial ambitions.

This is one reason that the two-state solution, for all the hype it is given, is really political fantasy. Even if the serious political will did evolve among Americans and Israelis, there would be no guarantees that Israel would really permit Palestinian sovereignty, especially not while so many Israelis consider the West Bank their’s and would violate Palestinian sovereignty at the threat of the drop of a hat.

The best and most realistic option is an integrated one state since there already is one state in place, and it is expanding its control over and presence in the occupied territories. While Israelis will tend to fear this more than two states, it is the most practicable in terms of something Palestinians can struggle for since it then becomes about equality under the law. This is a stronger moral claim and is ultimately harder to refute than is the collective claim of territory-based, real national sovereignty — an impossibility next to a belligerent Israel.

It is time the Palestinians shed the nation-state dream, one I should add has hardly been good to Egyptians, Lebanese and Iraqis, for example. We can celebrate being Palestinian, have our culture and even fly our flag without having a Palestinian dictator and cabinet. Our best hopes for the future lie in democracy, and no state existing to satisfy the security of another — especially the current Israeli police state — can be a democracy. The Palestinian fight for democracy in one state would be joined by true Israeli democrats, and the Jewish state would instead be a state of its citizens.

We are coming to a place where the ideal solution is also the most practical. And all that stands in the way are some corrupt or unimaginative politicians and outdated policies. This new direction forward must come from the ground up.

Monday, May 10, 2010

PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND- Join us for a vigil and a display in remembrance...

Join us for a vigil and a display in remembrance of Palestine: 62 years of ethnic cleansing and resistance.


An outdoor installation/display that will cover Westlake Plaza, visually suggesting both a refugee camp of tents and a cemetary for the 500 Palestinian villages destroyed 1947-49. All the village names will be on the markers, along with references to other key events such as the massacres at Tantura and Deir Yassin, the recent assault on Gaza, and the ongoing settlement movement and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory.

12-4 pm
Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine

(The weekly SAVE GAZA VIGIL will take place as part of this event, so come stand with us as usual.)

Presented by Palestine Solidarity Committee and Voices of Palestine


Amin Odeh

"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone"

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Farewell to Lena Horne -- Proud Black Woman & Singer

''I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become,'' Horne once said. ''I'm me, and I'm like nobody else.''

Horne was only 2 when her grandmother, a prominent member of the Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, enrolled her in the NAACP. But she avoided activism until 1945 when she was entertaining at an Army base and saw German prisoners of war sitting up front while black American soldiers were consigned to the rear.

That pivotal moment channeled her anger into something useful.

She got involved in various social and political organizations and -- along with her friendship with Paul Robeson -- got her name onto blacklists during the red-hunting McCarthy era.

By the 1960s, Horne was one of the most visible celebrities in the civil rights movement, once throwing a lamp at a customer who made a racial slur in a Beverly Hills restaurant and in 1963 joining 250,000 others in the March on Washington when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ''I Have a Dream'' speech. Horne also spoke at a rally that same year with another civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, just days before his assassination.

It was also in the mid-'60s that she put out an autobiography, ''Lena,'' with author Richard Schickel.

The next decade brought her first to a low point, then to a fresh burst of artistry.

She had married MGM music director Lennie Hayton, a white man, in Paris in 1947 after her first overseas engagements in France and England. An earlier marriage to Louis J. Jones had ended in divorce in 1944 after producing daughter Gail and a son, Teddy.

In the 2009 biography ''Stormy Weather,'' author James Gavin recounts that when Horne was asked by a lover why she'd married a white man, she replied: ''To get even with him.''

Her father, her son and her husband, Hayton, all died in 1970-71, and the grief-stricken singer secluded herself, refusing to perform or even see anyone but her closest friends. One of them, comedian Alan King, took months persuading her to return to the stage, with results that surprised her.

''I looked out and saw a family of brothers and sisters,'' she said. ''It was a long time, but when it came I truly began to live.''

And she discovered that time had mellowed her bitterness.

''I wouldn't trade my life for anything,'' she said, ''because being black made me understand.''

Hey Elton! by John Greyson -- A Brilliant BDS Call

HEY ELTON from John Greyson on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

"What If BP Was A Human Being?" -- Bruce A. Dixon


You don't have to look too long and hard to understand why a flesh and blood BP would need aliases. The objective of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was to monopolize the rich oil resources of what is now Iran. Among the many illegal acts it committed toward that end was a £5,000 bribe to future British PM Winston Churchill back in 1923 to lobby for its interests. A secular nationalist and democratically elected Iranian government kicked BP out in the early 1950s. BP turned its lobbying to Washington DC, and in 1953, helped persuade the US to overthrow the Democratic Iranian government and installed its puppet, the Shah, popularly known as the Crowned Cannibal. The Shah, in the course of killing millions and stealing billions, invited BP back, and it stayed until 1979, when the Shah was overthrown.

In a century of doing business, BP has been implicated in bribery of public officials, grand theft, fomenting unjust wars, of murder, torture, fraud, stock swindling, plunder, environmental destruction, and money laundering in and between scores of countries on every continent except Antarctica. If BP were a person it would be a career criminal, a pathological liar and an international serial killer with a rap sheet several times the size of the Chicago Yellow Pages.

Given his (we're reasonably sure a human BP would not be a woman) global reach and proclivity to corrupt public officials around the world, and past record, BP the human being would be a flight risk. He would be indicted for murder, or at least negligent homicide in the deaths of the last eleven oil workers to die when its rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. US law doesn't have death penalties for corporations, but the federal government, and most or all of the first wave of Gulf Coast states where the oil slick wil wash all have capital punishment for people. We're talking Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

The assets of corporations are protected against lawsuits of all kinds. BP and other oil industry giants long ago paid for the insertion of provisions into the US federal code that limit their liability in the case of oil spills to a mere $75 million dollars. But there are no limits on the liability that individually held wealth can incur. A human BP, even though 120 years old and immensely wealthy, could see all his assets around the world frozen, would be imprisoned without bail, and might be on trial for his life.

But of course the real BP is a corporation, and death penalties, like laws in general are for humans, not corporations.

In the single instance of the blown rig at Deepwater Horizon, BP had a deal with the US federal government that excused it from safety inspections and payment of any royalties, and subcontracted the building and operation of the rig to Halliburton, Cameron and other corporations. If they too were human beings like our hypothetical human BP, we could add “conspiracy to commit” and “conspiracy to conceal” in front of all the previously mentioned offenses, and the lot of them along with many of their accessories and co-conspirators in governments here and abroad could be rounded up. And all this is for only the latest series of crimes connected to a single industrial disaster.

When it suits their purposes, employees and mouthpieces of various transnational firms hasten to assure us that “corporations are people, too.” In a sense this is certainly true. Despite what some bible thumping fundamentalists will tell you, corporations were not ordained by the Almighty. Corporations are legal fictions. They are artificial shields under which we agree to allow a handful of extremely wealthy people to rule over the rest us, and plunder the planet and its people at will, just as centuries ago most of the humans who mattered agreed that kings, queens and nobly born, the “people of quality” had the god given right to ride roughshod over humanity.

Ultimately, people woke up, rose up, and revoked those privileges. How long will it be before we revoke the lawless privileges of corporations, before we limit their immunity, curtail their immortality, and rein in their immorality?. How long can we, and the planet on which we depend for life itself, wait? Is there ever a line that cannot be crossed? Where is it? What will it take?

Reminder: Vigil for Palestine- End the Israeli Occupation. Saturday, May 8

Please forward to your list....

Saturday, May 8

Noon-2:00 pm

Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine


Amin Odeh

"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone"

ISHR: “11 Palestinians Killed, 285 Kidnapped In April" -- Saed Bannoura

The International Solidarity for Human Rights Foundation (ISHR) issued a report on Monday revealing that Israeli soldiers killed in April eleven Palestinians, including two children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Six were killed in the West Bank and five in the Gaza Strip.

In Tubas, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, two sisters ages five and six, were killed after a speeding military jeep rammed a tractor they were riding with their family.

In Ramallah, a 21-year-old young woman identified as Samar Radwan, 21, was killed in a hit-and-run accident carried out by a Jewish settler.

Resident Mohammad Oleyyat, 62, died of a heart attack after being forced to wait at the Al Hamra roadblock, near Tubas. He carried French citizenship and was visiting relatives in Tubas.

Furthermore, detainee Raed Abu Hammad, 27, from Al Ezariyya town east of Jerusalem, died while in solitary confinement at the Be’er Shiva Israeli prison. He was in solitary confinement for 18 months.

In Beit Awwa, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, soldiers assassinated Ali Imsail Sweity, 45, after surrounding his home and demolishing it while he was inside. He was a member of the Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas movement and topped Israel’s wanted list for several years.

Furthermore, Israeli soldiers killed five Palestinians in different attacks and invasions targeting the Gaza Strip.

Residents Marwan Al Jarba, 25, Wael Abu Jalala and a third unidentified resident were killed in armed clashes with Israeli troops invading Jabalia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. They were members of the Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad.

Resident Mohammad Salim, 24, from Al Shujaeyya, was killed in an Israeli shelling, while resident Ahmad Salem, 19, also from Al Shujaeyya was shot and killed after the army opened fire at a nonviolent protest against the so-called "security belt" Israel is enforcing in Gaza.

The ISHR stated that soldiers kidnapped 285 residents in April during different invasion and attacks, and escalated their violations against the residents and their property in occupied East Jerusalem as dozens were kidnapped during protests against settlements in Silwan town and in the Old City.

Among the kidnapped were 26 children and two women identified as lawyer Shereen Isawy, 29, from Jerusalem and Halima Shawamra, 58, from Doura near Hebron.

Isawy was kidnapped at a roadblock while returning from the headquarters of the International Workers Movement for the Defense of Children, in Sheikh Saad neighborhood in East Jerusalem. She is active in defending human rights and the rights of the detainees.

Shawamra, 58, was kidnapped in Doura and was taken as a hostage after the army broke into her home in an attempt to push her "wanted" son to surrender.

Also in April, soldiers and Israeli policemen kidnapped dozens of Palestinian workers in Israel for entering and working in the country without "valid permits".

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"I Refuse to be Complicit" - Dina Elmuti

To anyone out there suffering and struggling, keep your head up high and remember: do not fear the winds of adversity; a kite rises against the wind rather than with it.

So, I sit here thinking about the lives of Latifa and Fidaa -- two women not much younger than myself who lost their lives before they really began. I think about the countless others whose names and stories I don't know and may never know, and I can't help but feel hideously entitled and favored compared to them, as if my life here were regarded with so much more value and worth than theirs. I can't help but view my struggle [with cancer] as being so minute compared to theirs, and I can't escape that overwhelming sense of guilt I feel for not being able to do more. I cannot and will never be able to fathom why I am able to receive the medicines and treatments necessary to help me with such ease, while those suffering, like Latifa, Fidaa, and countless others imprisoned in Gaza, were not even given the simple chance of fighting for their lives. Are their lives really viewed so worthless? Do they not feel joy, fear, and pain the same way that you or I would? I ask those who are reading this, those of you familiar and those of you who may not be so familiar with Palestinian struggle, to take a moment to reflect and imagine how you would feel if you were in their shoes.

All political jargon and minutiae aside, I ask you to just think about their situation from an unadulterated, humanitarian point of view. Can you begin to imagine what it would it feel like to just wait to die from a treatable illness? How would you react, if you were to have the grim thought of losing your battle at any moment due to unjust, bureaucratic measures, always in the back of your mind? For so many in Gaza, receiving a diagnosis of cancer, heart problems, or any other serious medical emergency is essentially a death sentence inflicted upon them by "the only democracy in the Middle East." Perhaps those who continue to believe that Israel is indeed such a "democracy" can help me answer a question that has been gnawing at my conscience for years now: why are the lives of those suffering over there, under occupation and in silence, not deemed as valuable as our lives over here?

At times, I find myself unable to fully digest all that's happened in such a short amount of time. I left there a person who took a lot for granted, someone who complained about so much in life quite unwarrantedly. Today, I sit here writing to you as a completely changed person.

My last image from Aida, forever embedded in my memory, may be of a simple pastime in Palestine, but it is one that speaks volumes in terms of embodying the resilient and innovative spirit of the Palestinian people. A group of young boys flew kites in the afternoon breeze -- some were colorful, some were plain, some were in the shape of animals or superheroes, and some were ingeniously made out of old garbage bags tied to string. That zeal and zest for life are what continue to amaze me about the Palestinian people, particularly those living under siege and occupation in Palestine. Despite all the pain, suffering, and hardships thrown their way on a daily basis, whether in the West Bank or Gaza, they continue to manage to find a way to make the very best of their situation, never pitying themselves or asking for charity.

Today, I write to you as a survivor. I am one of the lucky ones, and I will never forget that. I am a Palestinian who was not denied rights because I don't live under siege or occupation. That revolting reality has never and will never fade from my conscience.

So, to any and all facing struggles, here and abroad, I'd just like to remind you to never give up, nor to ever be bullied into silence. I, for one, will not and cannot remain silent when so much injustice continues to take place before my eyes. That is why I write today. My silence makes me complicit in war crimes, and I simply refuse to be a culprit. Such sheer injustice and depravity cannot and will not be condoned any longer, and I will do my very best to make sure my voice is heard, even in its limited volume. To anyone out there suffering and struggling, keep your head up high and remember: do not fear the winds of adversity; a kite rises against the wind rather than with it.

Crazy Life by Toad the Wet Sprocket [For Leonard Peltier]

"You'll Pry My Car Out Of My Cold-Dead Hands" -- Cindy Sheehan
The scope of the tragedy of the undersea oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico is shocking. Please don’t call it a “spill” the gash in our Mother Earth is literally hemorrhaging oily death-blood.

British Petroleum, the company who owns the offshore well, gave “liberally” to candidates in the 2008 election cycle, with the largest donor receiving $71,000 for his campaign—Barack Obama.

We should scream bloody-murder about BP and boycott them straight to bankruptcy. Additionally, the company that everyone on the “left” loves to hate: Halliburton probably shares a majority of the blame for this catastrophe of biblical proportions, too.

BP and Halliburton should be forced to pay for the clean up and all the future disaster, but will their tools in Congress make them do that? Will the courts force them to pay for their crimes against the planet? Has Exxon had to pay fairly for its crimes when the Valdez crashed and burned in Alaska? It’s been over 21 years since that calamity and Exxon has paid only two-billion in cleanup and a paltry one-billion for damages—a figure that was slashed by a District Court and the Supremely Corporatist court from the original five-billion dollar award. And the cleanup and adverse affects from the Valdez disaster continue until today.

This world is addicted to the death-blood of fossil fuels. Big wars and little wars are being waged all over the world for this “black gold.” Here in the U.S it’s no different, and probably even worse than other parts of the world.

I don’t own a car myself, but each one of us uses fossil fuel products to some extent or another. Fossil fuels can be found in everything from paper to clothing—and the ubiquitous plastic that is found everywhere and in almost manufactured thing.

You know one of the major reasons we are addicted to war in this country is because we are addicted to petroleum. Our cars are precious (Freudian?) extensions of ourselves and their use is encouraged by the relative cheapness of gas—the average price for a gallon of gas is about 50 cents lower than a gallon of milk.

We can sign petitions to demand that offshore drilling leases be terminated or not granted, but the oil companies own our government in large part. What can we do besides taking the profoundly simple and effortless step of signing a petition? We can become more responsible for this planet and the future of ALL life on it.

No matter how much, or little, petroleum is in our life, we can reduce that figure. Here are some steps that we can take—I remember some of these from the “energy crisis” during the Carter Administration.











11) Sell your Dino-Car.

Even though we are propagandized through the media and Madison Avenue, most of us are not wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporations, yet.

These steps will take a little more effort than signing a petition, or calling your Congress criminal, but these steps are urgent to overcome the stranglehold Big Oil has on our government and our lives.

The U.S. Military Industrial Complex is the world’s number one user of fossil fuel and our efforts can but make a tiny dent—but as I like to say: “How does one eat an elephant?”

One bite at a time.