Sunday, April 29, 2012

Open Letter to the World / cc: US Government and Media

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Gabrielle Price.  I am a soon to be 45 year old mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and lastly: a music/film nerd and world-loving, photographer/news analyst from the Midwest of the United States.

Greetings to all sentient beings of the planet.  

I've met quite a few enlightened people throughout my journey on this big blue marble, especially through my current work as a news analyst.  Many I have viewed, heard or read throughout my time here which have made this life quite worth the daily muddling through.  Many are no longer with us, I am sad to say.  Then again, considering the state of the world as it stands today, they're much better off than a lot of us.

There is a phrase from one of my favorite films that we all come to recognize in time, upon viewing the film or not, "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."

I'm here to talk to you about that timeline -- because it grows increasingly short for all sentient beings when we ignore the dire consequences of the actions of very few.  Right now, it is the failure to act that concerns me -- and my hope is that this letter inspires everyone who reads it, to do the opposite.  I invite people to translate this letter to other languages -- I would if I were able and if there were time.

This is not about occupy, politics, money, resource wars, prestige, power or patriotism.  None of these things matter in light of what has happened in Japan -- a situation that continues to deteriorate and that all sentient beings should focus their attention on, reporting and sharing the findings of and working with every last breath in their bodies to try to remedy with every means necessary.

This is not a drill.

As much as I would like to report that US media is covering this issue or that the US government is actively working towards helping with a solution -- I am unable to do this with complete confidence.  I do hope to hear from someone that can raise that confidence.  I am aware of one US senator who has traveled to Japan to assess the damage to Fukushima's reactors and he has, from my understanding, begun the work of creating a task force to help aid with the shut down of these nuclear facilities.  Most importantly, Reactor 4, which is the biggest domino that would start a chain reaction the world has never seen before.

Never.  And several scientists claim that a collapse of reactor 4, without intervention to try to shut it down, would lead to the destruction of all life on Earth.

No joke.  This is not a drill.

I'm here to ask everyone who reads this to take up the cause of contacting every public official, politician, statesman, clergyman, serviceman, news outlet they can think of -- begin a petition to the highest officials to begin the process of shutting these reactors down.  Understand that any person who physically works to close these reactors will likely die from exposure -- and that the majority of the people living in Japan have not been told the truth about their own exposure.  Want to be a hero?  Good.  Read on.

Time grows shorter for us all if we fail to act because of hubris, or politeness or even greed.  Those responsible will likely never be held accountable -- and that has to be okay with us right now -- as long as we ACT to stop this catastrophic event from taking place.

This cannot be fixed with greenwashing.  This cannot be fixed with a vote.  This can only be fixed by mankind's ability to seize a moment in the history of the world to do the right thing by his fellowman and all the creatures of the planet -- and the planet itself.

To those in government and media who hesitate to act or heed the warnings of science -- know this:  There will be nothing left to buy or sell.  There will be nothing left of political parties, gala events or jet setting.  There will be nothing left of your resource wars.  There will be nothing left for your children or their grandchildren.  There will be nothing left to grow healthy food or even genetically modified food upon -- nothing left to drink to satiate your thirst.  There will be nothing left to vote for, nothing left to create, nothing left to aspire to, nothing left of your plans and no one left to make you famous.  Nothing left of your empire of dirt.

To those who feel there will be no use in trying -- know this:  There will be no more music, art or dancing.  There will be no more comedy shows or ironic discussions over coffee.  There will be no more aspirations or shooting for stars.  There will be no more sports broadcasts, roaring crowds, rock n' roll or annoying memes.  No sunsets, sunrises or paintings of either.  There will be no more first kisses, first loves, first cars, first tattoos, first marriages, first children, first steps, first times...or do-overs.

There will be nothing left.

UNLESS we ACT to help our fellow sentient beings in Japan to close these reactors down.  It may be a first chance for the world to come together and be heroes -- and save the day.  

It is either this or wait for a political leader or leaders to step up and become heroic for the first time.  But I'm not waiting on mother nature to push pause on earthquakes, hurricanes or tsunamis anymore than I will bite my tongue until a real leader with courage steps up.  That hasn't worked for me yet, how about you?

Everything else going on in the world right now takes a backseat.  Everything.  If we get through this, we'll be able to deal with the rest later...and those things will be a cakewalk in comparison.  I have two nieces to watch grow up and a daughter whose art could set the animation world on it's ear.  Two books to finish, several to write and I just started learning film editing -- not to mention I love music and beer -- and first kisses.  I'm not going to let the greed and hubris of a handful of people ruin the entire planet with their EPIC stupidity.  Are you?  

SO CARPE DIEM on this.  Suit up or shut up, Neo.  To the Batcave!  Make calls, write letters, make art, show up.  For the love of all that is right and good ~ be a hero.  What do you have to lose?

UPDATE: Please sign this petition to the President of the United States, 
UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, US Ambassador to the UN
and US Senator Wydon

Data and action links below

Today's Fukushima news & action links:
The Reality in Fukushima
Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in US
Fukushima Reactor 4 ~ MUST WATCH
Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the U.S.
Dr. Helen Caldicott: If Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 collapses I am evacuating my family from Boston (VIDEO)

Nuclear Expert: All it takes is coolant to stop circulating at Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 for extensive fuel damage to occur — Doesn’t have to leak, crack, or fall for fuel to overheat
The first petition is to US government to send help to Japan immediately. Almost 14 months to handle this alone is too long. They need and deserve our help. An international team of the best and brightest scientists who might know how to resolve this situation needs to be summoned to Japan at once to help. 
The White House, Senators Boxer and Feinstein are still receiveing these signatures and it is helping to keep the issue on their radar.  Sign it.
Other orgs, outlets, celebrities, officials are being contacted by TRC and I will be
tagging and annoying all US government entities and press online through available social media.   I invite you to join me in annoying the hell out of people until something is done.
I will update this blog frequently with news regarding Fukushima.
Email with additional links/sources you would like to see here.
TRC will no longer be sharing news on anything but this -- and working solely toward contacting those who can help mankind avert the biggest disaster in recorded history.  
Nothing else matters, Superfriends.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Keiser Report 281 / Fire! Economy, Revolving doors & May Day Origins

submitted by Gabrielle Price

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert discuss how shouting 'fire!' in a crowded economy may be the only thing left to save us from our unpayable debts and, failing that, Barack Obama's 'revolving door' could be another GDP booster. In the second half of the show Max talks to David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, about weaponized debt and the origins of May Day.


The Shift Is Coming - Part II / What Can I Do?

A TRC series by Gabrielle Price

At the end of Part I, I left readers with this suggestion: "Begin by embracing the reality that we are no longer passengers on this ship, we are all crew.  Prepare to roll up your sleeves."

It has been some time since I worked on this series.  The first part came so easily that it practically wrote itself.  A wonderful thing for a writer [or any craft, for that matter] is to be 'in the zone.'  Lately, or at least since the first installment, that zone had escaped me due to personal circumstances at home.  The loss of a family matriarch, my 90 year old grandmother had passed away the same week my daughter moved further away from home.  There was quite a lot of female/mother energies shifting.

They still are.  Shifting is happening in big ways for many because no one is immune to change. This is the law of nature.  Pure physics -- which isn't always kind to us two-legged, supposedly evolved, mammals when we aren't prepared for certain eventualities.  Then again, no amount of preparation can truly prepare us for inevitable changes, except perhaps for the Buddhist practice of detachment.  There is a healthy way to do this that does not involve becoming an automaton.  Many 'self-help' Westerners who practice believe that once they have healed their own suffering, that this is the intellectual end goal of enlightenment -- far from it. Only detachment from ego [a spiritual death, or a grieving experience that makes us examine our own death] serves to connect us with our heart, our compassion with ourselves and others. This can end indifference to the suffering of other beings around the world once we see our sameness in their suffering -- suffering often far worse than any untraveled Westerner could imagine.

Once that understanding is reached, the revelations begin to surface that much of that suffering is a direct result of our ego attachments.  That our consumer society creates suffering.  Not only for ourselves, but other peoples, countries and the planet.  The wheel of life.  In Buddhist art, the whole of the wheel is held in the grip of Mara, the demon of illusion -- the source of all suffering or Samsara.  Attachment to ego illusions like money, status or power [or in Buddhist texts: desire, aversion, and ignorance].

I found a recent piece I want to share about this very subject -- especially the artwork, which I found genius and amazing in its simplicity to explain this teaching.  I present Uncle Samsara:
Please click to full view this amazing Americosmos mandala.
Earth day, every day
I began writing this on Earth Day.  A Sunday.  They should have happened as often as Sundays or better yet, every day.  We will soon not have much choice in the matter with all the shifts happening now.  If we intend on celebrating an annual occurrence of this day in future.

To those who would automatically jump to an image of Al Gore in your mind's eye -- you have been seduced by the Lord of Illusion -- Uncle Samsara.   The earth itself is far more important to listen to -- her language is science.  It takes priority over whether some political figure's feelings are hurt or by some egoistic notion of what a corporation wants people greenwashed to believe.  Their attachment is to illusion that causes infinite suffering and they can no longer be believed or we choose to perpetuate more suffering.  It is as simple as that.

Only reality -- pure physics -- should be focused upon.  The bad news: because money has been the driving force behind the fact that we have not focused on the science alone -- we're about 40 years too late for a monetary and energy resource-based solution to her suffering. Science [the language of earth] tells us we are also past peak oil which means it is more expensive to obtain now than ever before.  Remember it takes energy to produce and build.

Do you still believe the economy can be fixed based on the continued illusion of 'infinite growth'?  If so, I invite you to take a closer look at the mandala above to see where you may fit into this wheel of American life.  Though, in the minds of many awakened beings, it is more a bubble.

Now -- remove money and oil from the wheel entirely and look again.  What happens to your place on the wheel?  What happens to the wheel itself?  How does that make you feel? 

Believe it or not, no matter how confusing or painful that scenario seems, that is the good news for the planet.  It can be great news for us if we are prepared to practice some spiritual tough love and get real with ourselves.  It's time for radical detachment.  Soon we will not have the option of 'practicing' for it.

The best example I can give is to introduce you to a person who took that leap, Professor Guy McPherson.

Walking away from Uncle Samsara

*Going Back to the Land in the Age of Entitlement / by Guy McPherson
The threat of rapidly increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, coupled with ongoing human-driven extinction of Earth’s nonhuman species, strongly suggest it is no longer just the living planet we should be concerned about.  Instead, we should be deeply concerned about the near-term future of Homo sapiens.  A moral question arises: As an individual, what is each of us going to do about it?
My response as a 49-year-old, tenured, full professor was to resign my position and go back to the land, where my wife and I share, with another family, an off-the-grid (i.e., not connected to public utilities) dwelling and I try to inspire others to change their lives to become more supportive of life on Earth.  The reasons for changing my lifestyle reflect my core beliefs.  I no longer contribute to an empire built on an industrial economy based on consumerism, and thus resist imperialism (i.e., the dominant paradigm, which is characterized by oppression and hierarchy), or live in a city, which is not supported by my moral imperatives.  As an academic, I could not devote enough time to my messages to people of the world’s industrialized nations about the consequences of addiction to fossil fuels.  Because I am increasingly self-sufficient, I can extend my life for a few years beyond completion of the ongoing, human-induced economic and environmental collapse.  
In Power Politics, Arundhati Roy (2001) wrote, “The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out.  There’s no innocence.  Either way, you’re accountable.”
I recognize my own accountability for a system that depends for its survival on destruction.  I do not want to bring torture and suffering to humans and other animals, so I opted out of a system that requires for its persistence never-ending economic growth and therefore extraction-based abuse of the world’s lands and waters.  I do not want to destroy the living planet so that a few humans can continue to live comfortably at the expense of every other culture and species.  I do not want to be responsible for extinguishing habitat for humans on Earth.  The political, economic, military, and cultural effects of the United States epitomize imperialism because the United States occupies the world to serve its perceived needs. Dropping out of the American empire, which requires obedience at home and oppression abroad in the name of economic growth, is a legitimate first step toward resisting imperialism, and it is legal.
After taking that first step away from industrial culture, the next steps were not any easier.  If the industrial economy is killing us, other species, and future prospects of human life on Earth—and abundant evidence indicates it is (Jensen 2006)—do I have an obligation to work toward the termination of the industrial economy?  What actions are necessary to terminate it?  Should I risk imprisonment, torture, and premature death in an attempt to resist the dominant paradigm and save the living planet for future generations of humans?  In other words, the impetus for my wholesale change in lifestyle arose when I asked myself what is the moral imperative regarding how I live?
The moral imperative is needed because the modern world essentially requires one to live immorally.  There is no doubt that a society that enslaves, tortures, and kills people and abuses the lands and waters needed for the survival of our species and others is immoral, yet these actions are produced with stunning efficiency by the world’s industrial economy, as epitomized by American empire.  Most people know that Big Energy poisons our water, Big Ag controls our food supply, Big Pharma controls the behavior of our children, Wall Street controls the flow of money, Big Ad controls the messages we receive every day, and the criminally rich get richer through exploitation of an immoral system.  This is how America works.  And, through it all, we think we live moral lives in the land of the free. 
Cities arose coincident with the world’s first civilizations thousands of years ago, and they allowed—and still allow—humans in industrial regions to extract water and food from other areas in exchange for garbage and pollution.  As such, cities represent the apex of empire and the least durable set of living arrangements.  My moral compass drove me away from Tucson, Arizona, a city of a million people that is typical of all that is wrong with cities and the American empire.
It is relatively easy to make a moral case in favor of exploiting the lands and waters myriad other species need to survive.  We merely need to convince ourselves that we are not really part of nature.  In doing so we swim in an ocean of cultural denial, awash in cognitive dissonance.  It is more difficult to make a moral case in favor of the ongoing destruction of Earth’s bounty, when we and future generations need a living planet to survive.   How do we justify unconstrained economic growth in the name of baubles that cost the lives of plants and animals (including humans)?  In destroying the living planet and all hope for future humans to occupy the planet, we are not behaving morally.  We have become so thoroughly disconnected from the land and our neighbors and so complacent that we no longer recognize moral behavior that leads to societal well-being and individual happiness.
In contrast to western civilization in general and the industrial economy in particular, I think a system is right and even just if it treats people alike and allows them to live free from the bonds of culture, politics, and a monetary system developed and implemented by others. The first 2 million years of the human experience come immediately to mind.  During this period, tribal humans were unshackled by cultural, political, and financial bonds. 
My response to a transient and immoral set of living arrangements is focused on self-reliance and introspection.  On our property, in the southwestern United States, which we share with another family, we secure our water outside the municipal system.  We work hard to secure our food without having to rely on grocery stores.  We maintain body temperature without using fossil fuels for heating and cooling.  And, we are investing heavily in our human and nonhuman neighbors.  Our nonhuman neighbors are the animals and plants, soil and water that we protect and honor as we do our human neighbors.  We attempt to safeguard them from the ravages of war and from an economy built on war.  We make every effort to live outside the industrial economy and within the real world of honest work and play, simple pleasures, and recognition of the consequences of our daily actions.  By our example, we are demonstrating how society can be restructured so that children and other humans will understand and value the origins of food and life.
My former employer did not find my messages about global climate change and energy decline nearly as important as growth of the industrial economy that allowed the institution to grow.  Leaving the university allowed me to leave the need for self-censorship behind.  My writing and presentations describe the nature of our predicaments and include evidence that only complete collapse of the industrial economy will prevent the runaway effects of greenhouse gases from destroying habitat for our species on Earth (Garrett 2009).  This is the good news associated with economic collapse.  Mitigating the effects of our dependence on fossil fuels—global climate change and reduced availability of energy resources—will require enormous courage, compassion, creativity, inspiration, and motivation.  We also need to recognize that it is too late for societal-level solutions and that we need practical, local solutions.  Local solutions must be based on a realistic set of assumptions about climate and energy, and my overall message centers on the moral, philosophical, and pragmatic aspects of mitigating the effects of industrial activities.
Personal survival was the least important reason I fled an empire in decline.  A reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions of at least 80% represents the single remaining hope to save the living planet on which we depend.  Such a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases will require termination of the industrial economy (Garrett 2009).  This will bring an end to the Age of Entitlement and draw us inexorably nearer to the Age of Consequences.  Because it spells the end of fuel at filling stations, food at grocery stores, and water coming out of municipal taps, termination of the industrial economy represents a significant threat to many people immersed in the industrial economy.  Although every civilization always hovers on the brink of chaos, history suggests empires do not break up suddenly; they dissolve gradually.  The demise of the American empire has been under way for many years, as evidenced by a decade of negative economic growth in the United States.  The last superpower, the Soviet Union, did not take a decade to fall (Orlov 2008), and the inexpensive crude oil required to sustain the industrial economy has been largely exhausted now that we have passed the peak in world extraction of conventional crude oil (Deffeyes 2005).
When I walked away from my city-based university position, I could barely distinguish between a screwdriver and a zucchini, which provides ample evidence about my building skills and my gardening abilities.  Now, though, I have hammered, drilled, sawed, plumbed, tiled, and constructed, as well as grown in ways I could not have imagined 2 years ago.  As I develop these skills further, I may be able to add a few years to my life when the ongoing economic collapse is complete.  More importantly, however, I am resisting the dominant paradigm because I can no longer live as part of an immoral system and look at my face in the mirror.  I walked away from prestige, money, and career in response to the moral question: As an individual, what is each of us going to do about it?  Will you join me?
Direct action meets direct inaction
At this point in the history of mankind, we may feel as if we don't have choices while the system continues to crumble -- but we do.  The best choice that some people can make for the planet we live on is to withdraw consent from the very system that claims to be democratic and build our own democracies locally.  Many people are occupying lifeboats outside the system.  Communities you can help to pioneer, be active within and begin making plans to prepare for energy depletion.  The old skills will be the best skills -- 'state of the art' technology simply cannot not follow us where we are going but we have enough low tech to apply it to old ways that were never outdated.  We simply have more around us that can be reused and re-purposed than was ever available during the days of the Great Depression.  There are ways to deal and heal that are constructive, educational, nurturing and harmonious with our natural world.  Permaculture farming alternatives, food co-ops, biking communities, rainwater catchment systems, alternative therapies and medicinals, ecovillages...

My grandmother survived the Great Depression.  One of the greatest gifts she ever gave me was stories about that time in history.  Will we survive the next one?  Only if we take the direct action of preparing for its arrival while actively fighting for clean air, water and soil that this system is hellbent to destroy for a buck, along with the rest of the planet.  The direct inaction -- or radical detachment -- is withdrawing consent from the failed system that is spiraling out of control like an addict or a wounded animal.  Our concerns are with the future -- not short term but long term -- further down the road than the "two term" concerns displayed by our shortsighted 'leaders' playing kick the can with corporations while we all lay awake nights concerned about the future of our families, children and grandchildren.

After hearing Guy speak on Earth Day and realizing I was not alone with this moral code -- this level of commitment to see something better for the natural world rather than civilization's ego dictates -- the Americosmos mandala appeared at once very small to me -- and Uncle Samsara quite pitiful in the long, colorful history of the great wheel of life.

And I laughed in spite of myself.

For the first time I understood this Zen proverb with the greatest clarity I had ever known:
"Let go or be dragged."

Will you join me?

*Conservation Biology, Vol 25, No. 5, 855–57 / 2011 Society for Conservation Biology
Professor Emeritus, Guy McPherson has lectured locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  You can find his work online at Nature Bats Last.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keiser Report / Episode 278 Holographic Economy

submitted by Gabrielle Price

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert discuss Dr Bernanke's hologram and his real tsunami of money. In the second half of the show Max talks to Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot about copyright, Anonymous and free speech and the armed government goons sent to shakedown grannies.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Karma Kodak Moment 4/20/12

submitted by Gabrielle Price

You can't buy a better door stop for that price.

Perhaps this is her karma for banning books?

OWS Week 4/19/12 - Occupy Marines, Occupy Wisconsin, Jesse Jackson Jr., May Day

This episode of the show looks at the US veterans' contribution to the 99ers and their participation in the movement.

It contains an exclusive statement from Occupy Marines made by both active duty and off duty soldiers. It also contains a review of the week actions including the Bank of America protests and arrests in New York and Washington.

The final segment includes preparations for the Mayday protests in which more than 40 Occupy groups are getting ready to take part in alongside dozens of workers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Keiser Report / Episode 277 w/Rolling Stone's Matt Tiabbi

submitted by Gabrielle Price

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert discuss huddles and cuddles with the Goombahs of Wall Street and the technical violations that cannot be called by name. In the second half of the show Max talks to Rolling Stone journalist, Matt Taibbi, about the Wall Street mafia, their small and big time rackets and the process of writing these crime stories for a wide audience.

US Supreme Court's Sotomayor agrees : Organizations are not people

submitted by Gabrielle Price 
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations cannot be sued for the torture under the Torture Victim Protection Act.
The decision came in the case of Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and became a U.S. citizen. In 1995, while on a visit to his home village on the West Bank, he was taken into custody by Palestinian Authority intelligence officers; in the following days, he was allegedly imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The U.S. State Department issued a report classifying Rahim's death as an extra-judicial killing, while in the custody of the Palestinian Authority.
Rahim's American family, filed suit against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes lawsuits against "individuals" who commit acts of torture. The family argued that Congress intended the word "individual" to cover organizations.
But Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the court, rejected that argument as "unpersuasive."
"No one, we hazard to guess, refers in normal parlance to an organization as an 'individual,'" Sotomayor said, and there was no indication that Congress intended otherwise.
Hmm, so organizations [i.e. corporations] are NOT individuals, Judge Sotomayor?  You might want to tell Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney this bit of news -- as well as the very well organized movement called Move to Amend, oh, and several states, including more recently Vermont who have already moved to amend the constitution which states that corporations are indeed, considered individuals.
The notorious 1886 case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad is just one in a long series of Supreme Court cases that entrenched "corporate personhood" in law. Justices since have struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these "rights," corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.
The American people roundly reject this archaic notion and we are glad to hear that Judge Sotomayor agrees with us -- or does she?  This is a mixed message and one that must be clarified by working to overturn one of the oldest Supreme Court rulings.  One that clearly only serves to marginalize the rights of We The People, including the soldiers who take a blood oath to protect the Constitution -- NOT CORPORATIONS OR ORGANIZATIONS.

This is dangerous territory -- not only does this archaic law state that corporations are people, giving the 1% free reign to spend and lobby for their own interests, now according to Judge Sotomayor, a corporation could torture a REAL individual.  And the Supreme Court just gave them a 'get out of jail free card' for doing so.

Keep this in mind when you think of the banks and corporations who have built the prison industrial complex and indefinite detention under the NDAA.  George Orwell is speaking to us from the grave -- and we had better listen -- and make our elected officials listen when the people say, "WE will not compromise."

OCCUPY the Move to Amend movement that is growing across the country -- sign the petition, then start a ballot initiative in your state before November if your state has not yet done so.

Find the rest of the NPR article here: Organizations Can't Be Sued For Torture, High Court Rules

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The World Tomorrow / Episode One

submitted by Gabrielle Price

Before you watch this first installment of RT's The World Tomorrow with Julian Assange, I would like to share with all our readers - globally - what the response was to this show with the following excerpt by one of the largest US [and once esteemed] publications.

"It’s like the Voice of America, only with more money and a zesty anti-American slant.  A few correspondents can sound at times like Boris and Natasha of “Rocky & Bullwinkle” fame.  Basically, it’s an improbable platform for a man who poses as a radical left-wing whistleblower and free-speech frondeur battling the superpowers that be."  Feel free to read the rest of NYT's drivel here.

For the savvy TRC readers who know that NYT is a US propaganda rag -- we present the first episode of Julian Assange's "The World Tomorrow" -- in hopes of a better one.  As for us in US independent and citizen media: please know that the work you do is worth 10 NYTimes, now that it has behaved like a butthurt crybaby for the world to see.  It is losing it's credibility -- like Hillary Clinton and the US 'war on information'.  [Coincidentally, RT was one of several outlets on Hillary's blacklist.  I'm doubly pleased to share it.]

Just like banned books -- the best and most enlightening information is always banned information.  The US media being butthurt is just the bonus.  We'll continue to share the best alternative news sources we can find at TRC because the people deserve better.  WE deserve choices, not a corporate cacophony of squawking parrots and their plastic info bimbos. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Surveillance cameras capture incredible tornado damage

submitted by Gabrielle Price

Having grown up in the Midwest and knowing how to prepare for severe weather and tornadoes was part and parcel of the Midwest experience.  But with the effects of severe climate change in the past few years, the frequency and the strength of these storms has been alarming to say the least.

This surveillance camera footage shows several angles of the destruction from one of a reported 95 tornadoes in the Plains region of the United States.  In all my years as a photographer and former storm chaser -- I've never seen footage like this.  I had to post it.

Please help those who are affected by these storms by looking up any of the cities listed below the video.
I'm quite certain there will be a lot of Red Cross and local aid organizations set up to help since our Federal Government is ill equipped to handle this kind of destruction -- the economy is tanking under their watch while denying climate science to boot.  Mother nature is in charge now.  Heed her warnings when weather services issue them.

[Footage stops at 6:50 where the camera remains stuck.]

Tornado producing storms ravaged parts of the Plains Saturday and Saturday night, killing at least five people and leaving behind incredible destruction.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, more than 95 tornadoes were reported from Oklahoma through Kansas, Nebraska and southern Iowa on Saturday.

The deadliest of the tornadoes ravaged the town of Woodward, OK, where at least five people were killed and 30 injured.

The tornado ripped through the northwest side of the city, destroying or damaging dozens of homes.

Another tornado tore through the southern portion of Wichita, KS, causing significant damage but no major injuries.

Wichita, Mid-Continent Airport recorded a wind gust of 84 mph just after the control tower evacuated.

Damage was recorded at the Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems plants. Six buildings at Spirit Aerosystems were heavily damaged while four others had major damage.

According to the Kansas City Star, damage in the Wichita area is estimated at as much as $283 million.

A tornado ripped through the town of Thurman, IA, Saturday evening, destroying around 75 percent of the town.

Amazingly, no major injuries were reported, but the remainder of the town is without power and has been evacuated until further notice.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Refreshment / Thought ~ by Walt Whitman

Of persons arrived at high positions, ceremonies, wealth,
scholarships, and the like:
(To me all that those persons have arrived at
sinks away from them, except as it results to their
bodies and souls,
So that often to me they appear gaunt and naked,
And often to me each one of them mocks the others, and mocks
himself or herself,
And of each one the core of life, namely happiness, is full 
of the rotten excrement of maggots,
And often to me those men and women pass unwittingly
the true realities of life, and go toward false realities,
And often to me they are alive after what custom has served them,
but nothing more,
And often to me they are sad, hasty, unwaked sonnambules
walking the dusk.)

from Leaves of Grass, 1891-92 Edition

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Is What Democracy Looks Like / Iceland Debt Jubilee

submitted by Gabrielle Price

I don't have to wonder why we don't hear about this in the US mainstream media. ~ GP

The government of Iceland has forgiven the mortgage debt for much of its population. This nation chose a very different way of stopping the crisis from the rest of European countries. It decided to hear the requests of the population and to put politicians and bankers on the bench of the accused three years after their financial excesses would sink one of the most prosperous economies in 2008.

Pay It Forward Through Music / Hell Bent by Kenna

submitted by Gabrielle Price

I started a music project back in 2008 called The Road Home.  Our motto was 'pay it forward through music' - which I aimed to do for two national music charities.  The economy took its toll on my grassroots project and it has been on the backburner, waiting to be reborn with the net radio station along with The Refreshment Center - News You Can Use broadcasts.

Music and the arts alone have their own profound messages to be paid forward and as a lover and music appreciator I want to continue to do that where I can.  So I present this wonderful song by Kenna, "Hell Bent" - with one of the more amazing videos I've ever seen that shows so well how our infinite growth society has bought and sold our happiness.  

Hold on to your bliss.  We have a long way to go yet.

Kenna - Hell Bent by Kenna

If you would like TRC to reach it's goal of providing "News You Can Use" as well as "Paying It Forward Through Music" - please consider a Paypal gift or a purchase in our Lobby or Photo Gallery.  Thank you.

Sacred Economics - A Short Film

submitted by Gabrielle Price

Thursday, April 12, 2012

OWS Week 4/11/12, Occupy DC/DC Now, Chicago Spring, Florida protests

Press TV's new program; 'OWS Week' highlights 7 days of the protest movement's happenings as viewed from American protesters' eyes. 

The program also examines the wide range of social issues addressed by the 'occupy' movement in the US. 

This episode of the show covers a range of actions across America. They included the Occupy DC/DC Now; a protest march in Washington against student fee hikes.  

Thousands of 99ers joined the transit Union workers in 20 US cities including New York and Boston. 

The Chicago Spring rallies against social, economic and political injustices were called to "educate, inspire and unite." 

And in Tampa Florida protests hit the "State of the City 2012" mayoral address against the coming Republican National Convention and the draconian laws proposed for the event.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Disaster Capitalism Isn't Racist ~ It Hates Everybody

The current capitalist mindset is that many want to believe that 'business as usual' is a good thing, growth without regulation is a good thing -- but at what moral cost?  Not just outwardly but our own moral code.

We are all learning that a lot of rich people are unethical -- but the dots not getting connected in this day of 'free market/disaster capitalism' is that people become rich by BEING unethical.  This system makes more by destroying, robbing, defrauding and marginalizing everyone. Me, you, your wife, husband, daughter, son...and it will be far, far worse for their kids if we ignore it. No matter what color you are.

There is no honor to be salvaged from this system.  Americans need to break ties in this co-dependent relationship with an abuser.  And stop defending it and apologizing for it because it DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU.  I know it comes back and says nice things but that's what abusers do -- lulling you into a false sense of security before it snatches your pension, your healthcare, or takes your house.  No matter what color you are.

And by defending the abuser, it has made a society not just financially but morally bankrupt.  Ready to sell our own souls, sell out our own neighbors, wives/mothers/sisters, our children to be what?  Part of the 1%?  Part of a cacophony of paid parrots?  What are we, trained monkeys pulling levers for an 'atta boy' moment of fleeting bottom-feeding jocularity?  Or are we really as delusional as Steinbeck described -- a country of 'temporarily embarrassed millionaires' -- no matter what color we are?

What happened to standing tall and proud of being from this country?  I'll tell you what happened -- our backs are hunched over trying to prop up a free market dead corpse with a flag in its hand.  It's not one man's fault.  It is the entire system -- the entire two-party corporate  Frankenstein that we've created has run loose through our country, our media, our workplace, our environment, our homes -- I have seen people who have been neighbors for decades that can barely talk to each other today.  Even people of the same color.

I personally think that many good people, both religious and secular are embarrassed by the Uncle Sam monster -- the giant, lumbering, senile, oil addict that we no longer invite to parties or conversation -- we pity it because we want it to stop stealing and molesting and abusing -- we still love it because of what it once represented in us.  Now a shell of it's former self, it is having a nervous breakdown -- it's time to move forward and quit encouraging the pity party.

People make a rule in some cases to refrain from speaking about politics and religion altogether before gathering -- just to avoid the ugliness of discourse that seems to be rehashed every week of perpetual campaigning.  Aren't we sick of it?  Aren't we better than those political poo-flinging, rich dolts who have their speeches written FOR them?  The people who gather with this rule in place are able to enjoy themselves -- but the system doesn't want us to behave civilly with one another.  It prefers we abuse each other the way it abuses us.  No matter what color we are.

NOW they have us arguing with each other about basic things that we all should have learned in kindergarten!  Media asking us to believe that the law doesn't work for all Americans -- only white ones?  I mean, C'MON!  An American is an American.  Soldiers of all colors, creeds and denominations fight for ALL OF US.  No matter what color, creed or denomination YOU are, they take an oath to defend YOUR constitutional rights -- not to defend politicians and media who would demean any soldier of color [and sex, I might add], so why ARE YOU participating in such UnAmerican hooey?!

If you say you support our troops -- does that mean only some of them?  Only black soldiers or white soldiers?  Does that mean you only think that some parts of the Constitution apply or are worth dying for?  I can't imagine any soldier taking a half-assed oath like that when it means possible loss of life, not just the liberty it affords us ALL to enjoy.  The only reason media spews the poison it spews is because they do it from on high, from a place of moneyed safety.  The owners of this system laugh while they watch us scramble and pick each other apart like pawns in some sick Roman game.  Mainstream media has offended and dishonored the place that was given to them by the Constitution.  They are paid poo flinging monkeys, just like politicians.  NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THEY ARE.

Why would you spew their garbage?  You aren't paid to do the bidding of the 1%, are you?

So I ask, what if Zimmerman had shot a different man in a hoodie -- a black soldier home from leave?  Do you still think he would have 'stood down' when the cops told him 'not to pursue'?  No, because it is the hoodie that would have kept his identity hidden from view -- it could have been anyone under that hoodie.  Zimmerman knew he was black...what other reason was given by him to pursue?

So, would we be talking about whether an unarmed soldier had problems in school, or if he looked like Michael Jackson compared to a different profile pic he didn't like maybe?  We've all taken bad ID pics -- a few of mine don't look a damn thing like me.  

I saw the video of Zimmerman being brought in.  He claimed his nose was broken.  He lied.
Ask anyone who has had their nose broken or has seen one.  His shirt would have been soaked with blood and he would have been taken to a hospital.

I mean, really, if you want to nitpick about non-issues and avoid the larger picture -- that an UNARMED YOUNG AMERICAN DIED -- and think those non-issues have bearing on any actual critical investigation -- you're either A) a fucking racist or B) you are brainwashed by watching racist propaganda.

Here's the kicker -- no one can tell those things apart.  

We're better than this system -- we are NOT the system.  We are not robots or borgs, so please stop behaving like you don't have a bit of sense to call your own -- because you DO. 

I used to think the worst curse word in the English language was cunt.  Right now, it pains me to think that word is too good for Americans -- we lack the depth and the warmth that word implies.  I no longer have pity for the The Uncle Sam monster or his old, pruned-faced, Jim Crow cheerleaders that should have retired after the cold war ended.

Yes.  The cold war is over.  Uncle Sam is still addicted to that, too.  If you get between him and the last of the oil that is running out, question his actions or exercise your right to free assembly -- he'll bully you and call you a terrorist.  He's a dangerous, senile junkie who has been strung out by the 1%.  He might even throw you in jail or shoot you if you piss him off.  I don't know if he can be rehabilitated...but I do know that if Americans don't get their collective shit together, he will take us all off a cliff with him.  No matter what color we are.

Disaster capitalism is an equal opportunity abuser.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who Am I To Farm? Excerpt from The Permaculture Handbook

"The emergence of garden farms is at hand. Under the pressure of necessity as unemployment rippled through the economy, millions of North Americans turned to gardening or expanded their gardens in 2009 as evidenced by a 40% increase in vegetable seed sales.  Urban homesteading is spawning its own literature as energy descent forces more and more households to adapt in place.  With income constrained and energy and materials shortages looming, the only resources capable of filling the gap in livelihood are imagination, information, and knowledge, in particular a deeper understanding of the material cycles and energy flows of nature.  For that understanding, we look to permaculture, a language derived from the patterns of the world around us." 

Read more about Peter's new book just uploaded at Permaculture Activist. 

Who Am I to Farm?
by Peter Bane
from issue #82, GROWING STAPLE CROPS • NOVEMBER 2011, excerpted from Peter's new book: The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country.

Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse

via Rolling Stone -- Matt Tiabbi / The Tiabblog

[Sounds like Matt is wide awake now.  I am relieved.  Welcome to the Obama Hangover Cafe, buddy.  We're glad to have you. ~ Gabrielle]

"Boy, do I feel like an idiot.  I've been out there on radio and TV in the last few months saying that I thought there was a chance Barack Obama was listening to the popular anger against Wall Street that drove the Occupy movement, that decisions like putting a for-real law enforcement guy like New York AG Eric Schneiderman in charge of a mortgage fraud task force meant he was at least willing to pay lip service to public outrage against the banks.

Then the JOBS Act happened.

The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market."

Read more: Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

Monday, April 9, 2012

Obama Administration Silencing Pakistani Drone-Strike Lawyer

via Common Dreams

By refusing to grant Shahzad Akbar a visa to speak at the Summit, the Obama administration is further silencing discussion about the impact of its targeted killing program on people in Pakistan and around the world.” -- Leili Kashani, Center for Constitutional Rights

“The Obama administration has already launched six times as many drone strikes as the Bush administration in Pakistan alone, killing hundreds of innocent people and devastating families,” said Leili Kashani, Advocacy Program Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights, one of Summit sponsors. 

Time Warp: Seventies Protest Film, "The Way The Eagle Sh*ts"

[...I fucking love the internet. ~ Gabrielle]

As the OWS movement has helped move the national dialogue to income inequality, corporate power, and economic justice with its chant of "We are the 99%," we received a request from an old acquaintance of Marc's father, Al Levin, who remembered a short film he did back in the mid Seventies, "THE WAY THE EAGLE SHITS."

He wondered if we could get him a copy of the film so he could show it to his local OCCUPY movement. He felt Al's political rant was prescient and more timely now than ever. 

Here it is, Al Levin's "THE WAY THE EAGLE SHITS - pass it on.