Sunday, October 27, 2013

Party at the NSA

YACHT with Marc Maron on guitar in Party at the NSA:

The lyrics via Brooklyn Vegan:

Did you read my mail again?
How do you find the time?
I lost my signal yesterday,
But it was never mine.
We don't need no privacy.
What do you want that for?
Don't you think it'll spoil our fun
If you let that whistle blow?
P-P-P-Party at the NSA,
Twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours a day!
There is a rainbow at the end of every P-R-I-S-M.
Be careful where you look today,
Careful what you share.
We're gonna make history.
But it won't know we're there.
The world looks stranger when you look
Through electronic eyes.
There's a place in the Beehive State
Where the network goes to die.
P-P-P-Party at the NSA,
Twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours a day!

Eiffel Tower

A Greenpeace activist scaled the Eiffel Tower, Saturday, bringing attention to the continued imprisonment of 30 Greenpeace activists in Russia, and following their September arrest during a protest against Arctic oil drilling.   In a couple of days, the French prime minister meets with President Putin and the organization would like him to press the Russian head of state for their release. Initial piracy charges have been reduced to "hooliganism" which still carries a potential 7 year prison sentence.  Two members of the group were present as journalists.

Euronews coverage:


Another view of the event:


Worldwide protests were held last week marking the activists' 30th day of captivity:


Various news sources report that thousands marched in Moscow on Sunday, October 27th, demanding the release of various political prisoners, including the Arctic 30 and Pussy Riot.

Thank You, Edward Snowden

Demonstarators carry signs at "Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance" march near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 26, 2013. (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

The Guardian reports that thousands gathered in Washington D.C. Saturday to protest NSA spying in an unusually diverse political alliance tweeted at #StopWatchingUs.  Protesters chanted, "Hey hey, ho ho, mass surveillance has got to go," and "They say wire tap? We say fight back!"  Groups included the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union, Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos, along with the right-wing Libertarian Party, FreedomWorks, and Young Americans for Liberty.

2012 libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson was among many notables speaking to the crowd on what was also the anniversary of the Patriot Act - and he called for its repeal.  

Many people carried signs reading, "We the People Oppose the Surveillance State - and say: Thank you, Edward Snowden!"  

Some video coverage below:

RT reports that organizers delivered 580,000 signatures in a petition to Congress calling for an investigation into NSA spying activities as well as reform of the Patriot Act.

U.S. Department of Justice ethics advisor Jesselyn Radack read a statement by Edward Snowden upon his request (from Russia where he now resides), and to a vocal and boisterously responsive crowd:


In the following Real News broadcast, an analysis of campaign contributions shows that the surveillance industry backs Democrats equally or more than Republicans:


*Photo credit/via RT, photographer: Jonathan Ernst, Reuters, protesters marching in Washington D.C. against NSA spying on October 26, 2013.


La Muerte, no sea orgullosa, aunque algunos le han llamado
Poderoso y terrible, usted no es;
Para ésos usted piensa derrocado,
No mueren, La Muerte pobre, ni con todo, es usted capaz de matarme.
De resto y de sueño, pero para sus cuadros sea,
Mucho placer;  entonces mucho más deben fluir,
Y pronto, nuestros mejores hombres van con usted,
Resto de huesos, y la entrega del alma.
Usted es un esclavo al sino, ocasión, reyes, y hombres desesperados,
Y estancia con el veneno, la guerra, y la enfermedad;
Y amapolas o encantos pueden hacernos sueño también,
Y mejore que su tacto; ¿tan porqué usted se hincha?
Un sueño corto más allá, despertamos eternamente,
Y la muerte estará no más;  La Muerte, usted morirá.

- apologías a John Donne 


Thinking of the upcoming Halloween and Day of the Dead, and with some thoughts on health care (among other issues), I'm posting this original modern translation by incadove0 (from English to Spanish) - John Donne's classic, Death Be Not Proud.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What America Deserves

Better late than never.  Via Physicians For A National Health Program, Huffington Post uploaded (yet another) health care focus from the man with a working mind - Jon Stewart, that is, in the following October 7th interview with secretary for health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius.  While discussing Obamacare (a.k.a. The Affordable Care Act or ACA), Mr. Stewart takes us on a beautiful giant step into the 21st century, saying:
[...] I honestly don’t understand why businesses wouldn’t jump at the chance to decouple health insurance from their responsibility, and why the government wouldn’t jump at the chance to create a single-payer system that simplifies this whole gobbledygook and creates the program that I think America deserves.
At which point, the audience breaks into wild applause and cheers - not surprising since single payer, or an improved Medicare expanded to the whole country, is supported by 65% of the public and most of the medical profession.

Part one:


Part two:


PNHP points out yet another interview on the ACA and the single payer alternative broadcast by Democracy Now! that same day -- an interview with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler who points out,
The computer glitches will get sorted out, but the complexity that caused the computer glitches is baked into “Obamacare.” The exchanges have to deal with millions of enrollees and doing income verification. They have to deal with thousands of private insurance plans. It’s a very complex system. And unfortunately, that complexity also contributes to high expense. The private insurance industry that’s offering the coverage through the plans has overhead costs that are about four times as high as traditional Medicare. And in addition, we’re going to have overhead of about 4 percent added to insurance overhead just for the exchanges. So it’s a complex system, a very expensive system, and when we see the way it’s performing, we understand why we need a simple single-payer system that could save about $400 billion on administrative simplification.

PHNP President Andrew Coates writes on October 10th:
These two big media events are part of a bigger picture that included a strong plug for single payer by Bill Maher on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” at least a half-dozen radio appearances around the country by PNHP leaders, and important commentaries in the print media and on the web, including an extraordinary piece published in Salon today titled “Republicans’ biggest misunderstanding about Obamacare” by Dr. Adam Gaffney,  “Single Payer, Period,” by Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein at The New York Times “Room for Debate” blog, an extended interview with Dr. Don McCanne at Truthdig, and a striking opinion piece titled “Health law's ailments can be cured by single-payer system” by Michael Hiltzik, a leading columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
Dr. Gordy Schiff’s recent article in JAMA titled “Crossing Boundaries – Violation or Obligation?” – underscores the perils that market-based health care poses for the practice of medicine, notably the physician-patient relationship. I heartily recommend this thought-provoking piece by our past president.

Also, Amy Goodman wrote this follow-up piece calling for a single payer health care system.

Yes, yes, yes - an improved Medicare, including dental and vision, expanded to the whole country is what America deserves.  Health care is a human right and should not be a commodity in a sane and civilized advanced nation.  This can be a lot simpler and easier than some may think.

*Photo credit/via Tikkun/photographer: janinsanfran, Creative Commons/"What happened to social justice in health care reform?"

Friday, October 25, 2013



Demonstrations planned for Saturday, October 26th, against NSA spying, and deliberately coinciding with the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act.  More here, along with the video below:


And this video uploaded September 26th:

Occupy Wall Street reports that the Stop Watching Us Coalition includes a politically diverse range of  more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies demanding that Congress investigate the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.  A full list of those groups here.  Thomas Drake and Daniel Choi are scheduled to speak at the Washington D.C. rally.

The demonstrations also come on the tail of a train eavesdropping incident in which activist Tom Maizzie tweeted the coincidentally overheard phone conversation of former NSA director and surveillance advocate Michael Hayden.  The tweets went viral and the story was picked up by numerous press outlets.

And, RT reports the NSA site suddenly offline Friday with Anonymous affiliates suggesting they may be responsible.

The Saturday protest is slated for Washington D.C. with satellite events reportedly planned for other parts of the country.  

Further information at #StopWatchingUs, along with mention of a Chicago rally.  Buses are planned from NYC and Philadelphia and carpools here.

Friday, October 18, 2013


View image on Twitter
via twitter @CreeClayton
Elsipogtog Mi'kmag First Nations and friends 
block gas company project on route 134 in New Brunswick

Protests have erupted across Canada following confrontations between Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and members of the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nations with Rexton, New Brunswick residents blockading a shale gas exploration project on route 134.

Peaceful marching on route 134 is shown in a video at this blog post with coverage of the October 7th Idle No More global day of actions.

Demonstrators report RCMP moved in on the basis of a court injunction (against the protest encampment, the injunction on behalf of SWN Resources Canada, a subsidiary of Texas based gas company SWN) with 60 drawn guns, dogs, and assault rifles, and in an operation that Head of the Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo is blasting for "extreme use of state force and control," saying that the peaceful protest on Elsipogtog First Nation was "disrupted through police and military intervention."

After peaceful protesters were arrested, including Elsipogtog Chief Aaaron Sock (shown in photo below) and council members, skirmishes broke out, with police using pepper spray and rubber bullets, and eventually, 6 police cars were set on fire.  A total of 40 protesters were reported arrested.  Numerous photos of events circulated rapidly on twitter including pictures of solidarity actions taking place across Canada and in the United States.  Some of them below, and more here:

View image on Twitter
 via twitter
Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock and others arrested

via twitter @Osmich
As this powerful photo circulated the internet, some commentators observed that First Nations communities are unable to obtain this much police action on the disappearances of hundreds of indigenous women, and yet, this militia was fully poised to take action on behalf of oil and gas against this First Nations woman with a feather.

Some more footage of the events which unfolded along with commentary and coverage from a highway 6 protest in solidarity with Elsipogtog:

October 17, 2013 - Six Nations shut down highway 6 in solidarity with Elsipogtog from TwoRowTimes on Vimeo.

Some coverage here around the controversy concerning shale gas and fracking.  A youtube below of drinking water shown to be contaminated with methane by gas drilling:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Walk the Line

Sarah Harmer and friends in Johnny Cash's Walk the Line at the October 6th Rock the Line concert against Enbridge Line 9 reversal project.  

More on the project in the news video below.

Last Hours

A full showing below of the new climate change documentary short Last Hours, narrated by Thom Hartmann and directed by Leila Conners.  Widely praised by a range of climate change activists mentioned at the end, the documentary is summed as showing "how much we have to learn from our planet's history concerning the potent threat of trapped methane."  More about the film here.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo calls Last Hours "a captivating, extremely compelling appeal meant to awaken politicians and business leaders to take climate change action and stop runaway, catastrophic climate change.  Few films have managed to capture the sense of urgency as well as Last Hours.  In the context of science telling us that emissions need to peak by 2015 and then come down, and with politicians doing little to reflect this urgency, this is a much needed asset for the climate movement.”


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples concluded his official fact-finding visit to Canada, October 7-15th, releasing this statement.  Professor James Anaya journeyed across Canada to examine the situation for First Nations peoples in light of international standards.  He visited Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Some tweets from the journey:

Further coverage here.
In Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, he met with Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam who said that they discussed the federal government's "unrelenting attacks on indigenous sovereignty and treaties."  She said she is waiting for the report to see if their meeting left an impression.

Here is some video footage via Winnepeg, Manitoba:


In his Oct. 15th statement, the U.N. Special Rapporteur told the press community that Canada faces a crisis with respect to the nation's indigenous communities, and that the nation "consistently ranks near the top among countries with respect to human development standards, and yet amidst this wealth and prosperity, aboriginal people live in conditions akin to those in countries that rank much lower and in which poverty abounds."
From on Oct. 7th:
The visit comes at an explosive time in Canada as pressure mounts by First Nations peoples against tar sands and other fossil fuel projects in western and central Canada and as demands grow for a national, public inquiry into the cases of more than 600 missing or murdered women across the country, most of whom are Aboriginal. The federal government is also refusing international pressure to convene such an inquiry.

In addition to Anaya's inquiry into the conditions of First Nations peoples, Canada is currently under investigation by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) over the responses of the federal government and federal and provincial judicial agencies to the murders and disappearances of more than 600 women across Canada in the past several decades.
Last February, Human Rights Watch issued a scathing report looking at the conduct of the RCMP in northern British Columbia regarding Aboriginal women, including how the force has investigated the cases of several dozen missing women along the 'Highway of Tears' connecting northern British Columbia to the small coastal city of Prince Rupert.
Professor Anaya will release an official report of his findings in September 2014.  He was appointed U.N. Special Rapporteur in 2008 and also teaches law at the University of Arizona.  He hails from the Apache and Purepecha tribes in the U.S., and his visit to Canada was reportedly stalled by the Canadian authorities for a year.

Some Canadian news station discussion with Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. 

Professor Anaya's journey kicked off on October 7th, the same day as Idle No More's global day of actions.  Further coverage of #Oct7Proclaim in the following news video:


Sunday, October 13, 2013


American Poet James EmmanuelAmerican poet James A. Emanuel recently passed away at the age of 92 in Paris after living in France for the last several decades.  He is widely considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, though one of the least known.  He taught at City College during the sixties, later accepting a teaching position overseas, and from there, although he traveled, remained in Europe and refused to return to the United States.  He invented a new form of poetry known as jazz haiku, or jazz-and-blues haiku, while also writing about racism and social injustice.  For example, he composed the following on Emmett Till:

I hear a whistling
Through the water.
Little Emmett
Won't be still.
He keeps floating
Round the darkness,
Edging through
The silent chill.
Tell me, please,
That bedtime story
Of the fairy
River Boy
Who swims forever,
Deep in treasures,
Necklaced in
A coral toy.

And this poem depicting the psychological effects of unemployment on people, For A Depressed Woman --

My friends do not know.
But what could my friends not know?
About what? What friends?

She sleeps late each day,
stifling each reason to rise,
choked into the quilt.

"I'll never find work."
She swallows this thought with pills,
finds tears in the glass.
In 2011, Joseph Langley posted a lesser known video conversation with James Emanuel (shown below at the bottom of the post) taped at James Emanuel's Paris home since 1986, a sixth floor walk-up in Montparnasse.  During the video, the poet discusses his life and work, and recites a couple of more poems.

In 2009, Professor Janet Hulstrand's CUNY class exchanged a correspondence interview with James Emanuel during her summer course, Paris Through the Eyes of Travelers.  When asked "Why is poetry important?" and "What is important about it?" the long-time poet and educator responded,
Poetry is important because reading it, and certainly writing it, brings the whole man and woman into activity, just as stretching and reaching are vital exercises in formally planned training. A person reading a new poem expects to encounter unusual combinations of familiar words; thus he has agreed to accept changes, however small—and hence however vast—in his being. Juggling the common sign at a railroad crossing, we could say that one change can hide another.  Jumping minor steps in similar processes, we might claim that reading or writing poetry could lead to revolutionary thought.  Dictators keep their eyes on libraries, and in our truly thoughtful moments we know why.
You can also read an in-depth James Emanuel interview here, and Nebraska NPR has an interview (he was born and raised in Nebraska), but an audio link doesn't appear to be available.  Some reviews here, here, and here.  Wiki reportedly has an extensive listing of James A. Emmanuel publications; articles about James Emanuel's life here in France Revisited - and by Janet Hulstrand when the poet turned 90, and here in Entrée to Black Paris, speaking with nephew James Smith, his last living relative on his mother's side.

*Photo credit/top, via Embassy of the United States, France, February 27, 2010,  “The African-American Expatriates, Yesterday and Today,” James Emanuel reading poetry at a Black History Month event hosted by the Cultural Affairs Office for the American Embassy at the NYU campus in Paris.


Via Progress Missouri, Jon Stewart (bless his heart and working mind) takes on those politicians resisting Medicaid expansion in their states. 

So when they say "We can't afford Medicaid," do they ever consider that it's really (that) the United States Of America can't afford them?

Hey, I've got a singular idea that's never been broached before* - if these lawmakers think Medicaid is such a bad program, why don't they just open up an improved Medicare by passing H.R. 676?  After all, numerous studies along with the Congressional Budget Office show that would be the most cost-effective way to provide quality health care to the whole country.  And that's what we all want, right?  Nah ...

*It's just supported by 65% of the American public, most of the medical profession, hundreds of labor and business groups, and all of the major women's rights organizations.  So pass single payer now and give health care for all a chance.

Simple Twist of Fate

Video footage out from Occupy Boston and the Oct 7th action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and express solidarity with Idle No More's global day of actions.  You get some behind the scenes perspective of organizing efforts, including how in the world that long black pipeline with a protest sign on it appears to float down the street.  Also, a very stirring moment as demonstrators proclaim themselves, one by one, as standing up against this dirty oil project.  Activists were prepared for up to 37 arrests while blocking the doors of the Tip O'Neill Federal Building.  In an interesting turn of events, however, no one was arrested, since no one was trying to get into the building due to the government shutdown.   Now that makes me think about Bob Dylan's song even though he was writing about a more personal relationship.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Southwestern Pizza 

deep-dish southwestern pizza with mixed sweet peppers & corn

One average size cast iron frying pan oiled with olive oil
A large spoon or spatula
A large knife or pizza cutter
A large mixing bowl
A measuring cup

You'll also need a clean cutting board or clean surface for rolling the dough out a little.  Also a small roller for this purpose - one that will preferably work in the cast iron fryer itself when you move the dough from the rolling surface to the pan.  I improvised, for example, with a clean vitamin container.

pizza dough

2 1/2 cups of white flour (bleached or unbleached)
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 teaspoons of double-acting baking powder (if it doesn't say "double acting," I'm sure it's still fine)

pizza topping

1-2 tablespoons tomato sauce 
A few handfuls of frozen mixed peppers 
2-3 handfuls of frozen sweet corn  
A few handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese


freshly ground black pepper, dry or fresh basil 

optional - kalamata or green olives


1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl, mix your pizza dough ingredients and knead in the bowl, anywhere from 1 to 2 to 3 minutes.

3.  Roll the dough out on a clean cutting board or surface until it is close to the size and shape of the cast iron frying pan.  Then place the dough in the cast iron frying pan and finish shaping it/rolling it out in the pan using the improvised "mini roller" (unless you have an actual mini roller).  With your fingers (clean hands, of course), shape the edges of the dough up around the frying pan so you have a bit of a "bowl effect" for holding the ingredients.

4.  Spread the tomato sauce on top.  Then spread around the frozen peppers, top with the sprinkling of corn, then the mozzarella cheese.  Finish off with your dry basil and fresh ground black pepper.  (If you are using the optional olives, you can put them on before or after the oven.)

6.  Place it in the oven for 25 minutes and remove promptly.  (Due to oven variations, you may want to check yours 5 minutes sooner or a little later, depending on how fast things cook where you are or with your particular oven.)

Et voila!  A lovely southwestern pizza with pizzazz!  Serve with a nice salad and a glass of wine (for the adults) and you have yourself a satisfying repast.  Enjoy!


There are countless variations with homemade pizza, including doughs, some of which I'll share again here at Sauk River ReviewYou can experiment with different cheeses (or none at all), real tomatoes, fresh herbs, spinach or other greens, meats, seafood, many other vegetables, and even fresh and dried fruits.  I'm also playing around with whole wheat varieties which I find a bit more challenging if you desire a lighter, fluffier result. 


It's been a long time since I posted a recipe, but what the hey.  Eventually, we'll have individualized posts at Sauk River Review so you can know who to blame and who to praise, depending on what they're writing about.

With attention this week on Idle No More, I was thinking about corn, which has been under a great deal of scrutiny these days, as far as global food politics are concerned, while corn is traditionally (and also) a sacred Native American cuisine. And with Thanksgiving around the corner, we remember how Native Americans taught the first Pilgrims how to grow corn and find food in order to survive the first harsh New England winters in a new land.

I wondered if sacred corn would combine well with homemade pizza, which I've been experimenting with.  I decided that it would, and combined with mixed sweet peppers, as these vegetables often work well together in other recipes, and peppers, of course, are popular additions to pizza in general.  Olives, optionally, also combine well with these flavors, including green varieties.

With pizza in general, I wanted to circumvent the processed frozen kinds many families purchase, often weekly, as an inexpensive, fast food meal, hopefully providing meal planners respite from time consuming kitchen preparations and clean-ups.  I wanted to see if it were possible to prepare homemade pizzas (a) easily and quickly, (b) economically, and (c) while keeping real nutritional needs in mind.  For while these processed pizzas may seem like the perfect solution on a busy week night, many of them contain a lot of unhealthy artificial additives, are extremely high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and offer very little by way of real nutrition.  

So I think people deserve better food.  If you've followed any other food posts here at Old Sauk River/Sauk River Review, it is my position that "luxury food," for the most part, is a non-sequitur.  Everyone has the right to eat healthy, affordable dishes as part of balanced meals that are not poisoned or destructive to human health.  

Looking at the google stats, it's been striking that one of Sauk River Review's more popular posts is the yam and white bean stew with leaks, something I developed over the years as a parent looking to provide economical and tasteful nutrition along with preparation conveniences. 

Although I like some frozen pizzas, I do find, for the most part, as you develop more discerning tastes, you still have to spend more money if you want to get a fresher and healthier frozen pizza.  So I wanted to learn how to make good pizza myself - and almost as easily and economically as sticking the frozen kind in a preheated oven.

In the process thus far, there have been a couple of books I looked at (but they're not paying me to review these books, so I won't bother telling you about it, at this point, at least) and I also looked at several pizza recipes on the internet.

I improvised with these various resources, and thus far, conjured this surprisingly pleasant and simple variation.

A critical factor was the absence of yeast, and not so much for the health factors some may cite, but because yeast is prohibitively expensive in many American households these days.  

So I wanted to make a pizza - a good pizza - without yeast.

I recommend you use a corn that honors the planet we share.

Hey, this could also be called "A Thanksgiving Pizza," couldn't it?  Peace, and happy pizza journeys!

*Image credits/top, via Wikipedia, Illustrator: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen, "English: Maize: (a) Lower part of the plant (b) top of plant with male inflorescense (c) middle of plant with female inflorescenses (d) ear/cob: (1) two pollen grains of a male inflorescense (3, 4) female flowers (5) female flowers with stigma (6) fruit bottom view (7) fruit side view (8) fruit cross-section views"/second, via Wikipedia, photographer: Evan-Amos, "A cast-iron pan,"/third, via Wikipedia, photographer: Chemee2, "Stored flour in the Czech Republic,"/fourth, via Wikipedia, photographer: Scott Bauer, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, "Cluster of tomatoes from Ho Farms in Kahuku, HI,"/fifth, via Sacred Earth, Corn, Zea mays - Poaceae/bottom, via Wikipedia, photographer: Spedona, "Corn tassel."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where There Is Love

Playing For Change in Where There Is Love.

Day of Actions

A group of aboriginal people with the Idle No More group sing during a demonstration on Oct. 7, 2013 in Dieppe Gardens in downtown Windsor to mark the 250th anniversary of the signing of the British Royal Proclamation and indigenous land rights. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Some pictures and photostreams from the day's events for Idle No More's global day of actions.   
"Today we gather in mass numbers all across turtle island in solidarity and unity for one common cause - to commemorate the Royal Proclamation of 1763 in which land rights and title promises were made to the original peoples of this land, On this day we assert our rights to self determination and land title as per the CDN constitution," said Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. "As First Peoples of this land we are standing up with our brothers and sisters all across the land; in unity we stand together and we say no more will we say yes yes to dirty oil, pipelines, tankers, and poisoned water!" 

Below, video of Chief Dan Wallace in Vancouver, BC:


Here is a march in New Brunswick on Highway 134:


Myka Burning in Edmonton:


Following, a powerful speaker in Victoria, BC where the largest climate conference in BC history concluded by joining with Idle No More.  Hundreds of youth attending Powershift BC collaborated with INM organizers and activists for a march and civil disobedience training at the British Columbia Legislature.


October 7th also marked the day that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, began his official UN visit to Canada (Oct. 7-15) to examine the human rights situation for indigenous peoples in Canada.  Following a press conference in Ottawa on October 15th, the Special Rapporteur will make public a report on the visit's findings in a presentation to the U.N. Human Rights Council in September, 2014.

*Photo credit/top, via The Windsor Star, photographer: Dan Janisse, Idle No More in Deippe Gardens in downtown Windsor, Ontario on October 7, 2013.

Monday, October 7, 2013


The video below, Honour Your Words is considered one of the most important pieces of independent media to be produced for Idle No More's global day of action, today, October 7th, 2013.  Over 50 Idle No More actions and events are planned for today targeting indigenous rights and environmental destruction via the Keystone XL pipeline. 


All supporters are invited to attend an event in their area or help out by using social media throughout the day to publicize these issues and this day of action.  Supporters are also invited to submit a video statement declaring their support for, or invitation to, #Oct7Proclaim.  

You can find an event closest to your location by scrolling down at the Idle No More site here.

See and listen to the range of beautiful video statements here.  Just a few examples of the many remarkable voices speaking out:

Francis McAdam Saysewahum

 Ta'Kaiya Blaney

Tantoo Cardinal 

Matthew Remle

Chief Ruben George

Vandana Shiva 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Basic Income, A New Human Right

Continuing with the Switzerland story and the ballot initiative for a guaranteed liveable income, see the video below from the European Citizen's Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income, Basic Income, A New Human Right: 

What is happening in Switzerland is part of a growing campaign throughout Europe, based on the view that UBI should be "universal, individual, unconditional, and high enough to ensure a dignified existence and participation in society." 

Also, some are wondering what 2,800. USD monthly pays for in Switzerland. More information on that here.  And a video news piece on the referendum (based on the Euro value reported, that's 474,495 USD you see being poured into the street):


Guaranteed Liveable Income

Switzerland considers giving everyone a basic income: A truck dumps five cent coins in the centre of the Federal Square during a an event organised by the Committee for the initiative "CHF 2,500 monthly for everyone" in Bern October 4, 2013.

Once again, Switzerland leads the developed world in demonstrating how civilized nations are supposed to live.  Via Reuters:
A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state, with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.
Organizers submitted more than the 100,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on Friday and tipped a truckload of 8 million five-rappen coins outside the parliament building in Berne, one for each person living in Switzerland.
Another high-minded Swiss proposal restricts monthly executive pay to no more than what the lowest paid employee earns in a year.  Now termed the 1:12 Initiative, that too quickly garnered the requisite signatures, and will now be voted on in November.

Reuters reports that the vote on a guaranteed liveable income will similarly be scheduled by the government, and in accordance with Swiss laws on popular referendums usually held several times a year in this forward-reaching nation.

Guaranteed income is not a new idea, though this appears to be the first time the proposed amount is a truly liveable figure available to every citizen and relative to the actual cost of living, and the first time it may soon be a reality.

The visionary Swiss inspire me so with their courageous and ethical economic standards, I'm reposting 1936 friend Felix, though again (from Mr. Napoleon to Mr. Nixon and to many others), he is by no means the first.

In the U.S. currently, the bottom 40% of the population reportedly has only 0.3% of the wealth, and the top 20% has 84%, with most Americans wishing to live in an economy that has a much more equal distribution of the proverbial pie.

Don't you think it's time we took our minds out of the mud, and started thinking and acting more like the Swiss?  Here they are peacefully signing petitions for an unconditional basic income while standing in line at a train station in Bern:


Coupled with the Swiss universal health care system, this referendum would sensibly abolish poverty and economic insecurity in their nation right away.

Yes, indeed, let's get on board that train.  Let's do that in the United States.

Photo credit/top, via MSN, photographer: Denis Balibouse, "A truck dumps five cent coins in the centre of the Federal Square during a an event organised by the Committee for the initiative 'CHF 2,500 monthly for everyone" in Bern October 4, 2013.'"  There is a coin for every single Swiss citizen, a symbolic gesture on behalf of a unconditional basic income for all./Bottom, via Irving in Rhetoric and Civil Life, U.S. poverty protester, "This sign does an excellent job of not only highlighting one issue but criticizing another."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NAFTA On Steroids

Large sign hanging from the top of Office of US Trade Representative by Anne Meador
An interview in the video below with Popular Resistance director Kevin Zeese, about the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and the anti-TPP demonstration seen here.  (Uploaded September 29, 2013.) 

"Whatever issue you're concerned about," says Mr. Zeese, "whether it's internet freedom, workers' rights, wages, the environment, health care, safety - consumer safety, all these issues will be adversely affected by the TPP.  It will become a corporate dominated economy - global economy - it's really a global corporate coup.  We should call it rigged trade - it's not free trade, it's rigged trade.  And we should stop letting that propaganda term of free trade out there.  It's rigged trade."   

More here:


Photo credit/top, via Popular Resistance, photographer: Anne Meador, protesters hang a large sign from the top of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.