from the grassroots to the planetary

Monthly Archives: January 2012


The Empire Bites Back
As Klaus Schwab, founder and host of the World Economic Forum, the 40-year-old gathering of global elites now being held in Davos, Switzerland puts it, “We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual…capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us.” [ see: Davos elites to seek reforms of ‘outdated’ capitalism ]

As the economic, military and geopolitical underpinnings of American global dominance begin to look as rickety as the delapidated U.S. infrastructure, ruling elites are understandably jumpy and defensive.

Frog Pot Politcs
The true face of the national security state with its permanent war economy is increasingly unmasked both domestically and internationally. Banker-backed ‘austerity’ demands, mounting public dissent, escalating severe crackdowns – that’s the pattern. The ‘Patriot Act,’ the NDAA and now the proposed ‘Enemy Expatriation Act,’ authored by Joe Lieberman (that smiling man on the left above).

The late, great Chalmers Johnson identified the three main common characteristics of a withering empire as: Military Over-extension, Corruption and Unreformability. Sound familiar? [ You can view our popular interviews with Prof. Johnson here and here. ]

When a system like ours is fibrillating – ‘far from equilibrium,’ as systems scientists say – that’s when seemingly small actions, that would otherwise be ineffectual, can have the greatest impact, nudging the system in another evolutionary direction.

The heat is being turned up in the frog pot. Will us frogs wake up in time? These posts should help us smell the coffee. These developments in the U.S. threaten to have serious planet-wide impacts, that’s why they’re part of the planetarian perspective.

The NDAA: Just one more link in the chain of tyranny‬

With the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act into law, more Americans than ever before are wondering how the country could have descended so quickly into a police state. Far from a unique or isolated act, however, the NDAA is just the latest entry in a long list of steps toward the codification of outright martial law.
Find out more about the history of this agenda in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder.

How Congress Has Signed Its Own Arrest Warrants in the NDAA Citizen Arrest Act
by Naomi Wolf

I never thought I would have to write this: but—incredibly—Congress has now passed the National Defense Appropriations Act, with Section 1021, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The section is so loosely worded that any American citizen could be held without due process. The language of this bill can be read to assure Americans that they can challenge their detention — but most people do not realize what this means: at Guantanamo and in other military prisons, one’s lawyer’s calls are monitored, witnesses for one’s defense are not allowed to testify, and one can be forced into nudity and isolation. Incredibly, ninety-three Senators voted to support this bill and now most of Congress: a roster of names that will live in infamy in the history of our nation, and never be expunged from the dark column of the history books…

New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction
Stephen D. Foster Jr.

First, Congress considered the National Defense Authorization Act, sections of which gave the President the authority to use the military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans without trial or charge. The language was revised because of strong condemnation from the American people. But now a new bill has emerged that poses yet another threat to the American citizenry.
Congress is considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA). This bill would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship without being convicted of being “hostile” against the United States. In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for “engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.” Legally, the term “hostilities” means any conflict subject to the laws of war but considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, any action could be labeled as supporting terrorism. Since the Occupy movement began, conservatives have been trying to paint the protesters as terrorists.

The new law would change a part of US Code 1481 which can be read in full here. Compare 3166 to 1481 and the change is small.

The US is a Police State
– by Prof. John McMurtry – 2011-11-09
According to Andrew Kolin, a police state is unlimited state power of armed force freely discharged without citizen right to stop it. What is featured in this account are the laws and directives which empower the police state norms.

Global Research Editor’s Note

This article by Professor McMurtry had been commissioned by an academic  journal called New Politics. 

Upon receiving Professor McMurtry’s text, the editorial board decided to reject it: “We are sorry to inform you that the Editorial Board finds it inappropriate”.

  
Review of Andrew Kolin, State Power and Democracy (2011), New York: St. Martin’s Press/Palgrave Macmillan, 248 pp.
Many readers may have thought the U.S. is “like a police state” – – think of the security dress down of everyone boarding a flight within the U.S. sphere of control. Political scientist Andrew Kolin goes far beyond hasty analogue. He argues with rich factual substantiation that the U.S is a police state all the way down – not only since the stolen elections and war state of George Bush Jr., but before and since in a cumulative throughline of bureaucratized despotism across borders.

Documented examples are reported in detail from 1950 on to disclose a record that is as systematic in suppressing public dissent as its client dictatorships elsewhere – albeit far more successfully kept out of public and scholarly attention. Since the electoral contests of, by and for the rich in America are proclaimed as “the leader of the Free World” in the ad-vehicle media many still watch and read…
…The sustaining concern of this work, however, is not to define ordering principles, but to track the bureaucratic trails of legally terrorist offices, directives, and channels. The result is a detailed history of the inner workings of the U.S. state which exposes the legal suppression of democratic speech and action (omitting the use of laws against harmless non-pharmaceuticals as lettres de cachet to imprison the poor and the rebellious by the millions). Beneath continuous  corporate-state and media proclamation of America’s freedoms and simultaneous academic fear to expose the lines of despotism, this work largely succeeds in providing the procedural workings of the U.S. police state building both before, and dramatically after, the turning point of 9-11….

U.S. Police State in Formation from the Revolution through Reagan to Bush-Obama
Kolin goes back to the U.S. state’s foundation to find the dictatorial impulse. “The truth of the matter”, he says, “is that after the American Revolution there was thinking among economic and democratic elites that America had become too democratic, especially as mass democracy was expressing itself on the state level”(p. 3) – a view better known since a Rockefeller-founded Trilateral Commission Report made it famous centuries later.

The U.S. state is in these ways structured not only towards total force and control. It is, more deeply, programmed to liquidate what serves the lives of people so as to grow transnational corporate profit for the few. Always however, there is a pretext of a demonic enemy that people are being protected from – “communism”, “subversives”, “Islamic militants”, “terrorists”, “violence-threatening protestors”, all with no criteria. Most warred upon by the U.S. state are societies’ social life support systems – including public water, electricity, health and living subsidies….

Totalitarianism: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Latest Chapter In the Road towards “Police State USA”

by Sherwood Ross

“I believe,” warned James Madison in a speech to the Virginia Convention on June 16, 1788, “there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

Surely, this is the story behind the New Year’s Eve, 2011, signing by President Obama of the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA). While they were merry-making and tootling horns, NDAA stripped Americans of the last vestiges of their liberties. Now that President Obama can order the military to arrest and imprison you indefinitely on suspicion without trial, your First Amendment rights of speech, press, assembly, and petition have no meaning. Who are you going to assemble with from your jail cell?

NDAA is only the most recent chapter in a creeping totalitarian horror story going back decades….

When Power is Unaccountable – Why the NDAA is Unconstitutional
by BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – Counterpunch

Each year, Congress authorizes the budget of the Department of Defense through a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA of 2012, however, is unlike any previous ones. This year’s legislation contains highly controversial provisions that empower the Armed Forces to engage in civilian law enforcement and to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, as well as other rights guaranteed by the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, for terror suspects apprehended on U.S. soil. The final version of the bill passed the House on December 14, the Senate the following day (ironically, the 220th birthday of the Bill of Rights). It was signed into law by President Obama on New Year’s Eve. With his signature, for the first time since the Internal Security Act of 1950 and the dark days of the McCarthy era that followed, our government has codified the power of indefinite detention into law.

This pernicious law poses one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in our nation’s history.


THE INAUGURATION OF POLICE STATE USA 2012. Obama Signs the “National Defense Authorization Act ” 
by Michel Chossudovsky

…”Democratic Dictatorship” in America

The “National Defense Authorization Act ” (H.R. 1540) repeals the US Constitution. While the facade of democracy prevails, supported by media propaganda, the American republic is fractured. The tendency is towards the establishment of a totalitarian State, a military government dressed in civilian clothes.

The passage of  NDAA is intimately related to Washington’s global military agenda. The military pursuit of Worldwide hegemony also requires the “Militarization of the Homeland”, namely the demise of the American Republic….

…To say that January 1st 2012 is “A Sad Day for America” is a gross understatement.

The signing of NDAA (HR 1540) into law is tantamount to the militarization of law enforcement, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Inauguration in 2012 of Police State USA.

As in Weimar Germany, fundamental rights and freedoms are repealed under the pretext that democracy is threatened and must be protected.

The NDAA is “Obama’s New Year’s Gift” to the American People. …
The President Who Signed Indefinite Detention Without Charge or Trial Into Law
by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”

Happy New Year: Don’t Bother Asking for an Attorney When You’re Detained
by Gale Courey Toensing
The headlines said it all. The Huffington Post teaser shouted: HAPPY NEW YEAR: YOU CAN NOW BE DETAINED INDEFINITELY while Infowars proclaimed a more sedate: Happy New Year: Obama Signs NDAA, Indefinite Detention Now Law of the Land.

The NDAA is the $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act that President Obama signed into law on New Year’s Eve. In addition to funding the United States’ ongoing wars and the 900 military bases it maintains in 130 countries, the bill provides for the U.S. president to have draconian worldwide authority to have the military seize anyone suspected of “terrorism” or providing aid to terrorists or “associated forces” anywhere in the world, including U.S. citizens on American soil, and detain them without charge or trial indefinitely. “It’s a little New Year’s present to our constitutional republic,”

Alex Jones says angrily in a YouTube video. Obama Signs Martial Law Bill: NDAA Now Law‬

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The Spratly Islands lie in an area thought to be rich in oil and gas. The region also has vital shipping routes


How Did Our Oil Get Under Their Sea?
As the escalating planet-wide wars for the last dwindling drops of the world’s oil proceed, one of the areas under growing dispute is the area the Philippine Government refers to as the West Philippine Sea, and China insists should be called the South China Sea. Other nearby countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia have dogs in that fight, too, with the U.S. lurking in the background. A recent CNAS (Center for a New American Security) study argued that ‘the South China Sea is an “epicenter” in terms of globalization and geopolitics, and it will determine whether the US can preserve its dominant role in the Asia-Pacific region.’ The root of the dispute is that the region contains vital shipping routes and is thought to hold as much as 213 billion barrels of oil.

That’s the background of this video report sent to us by longtime friend, EON Advisory Board Member and Philippine legislator Dr. Walden Bello. A BBC print report on the visit follows below.

KALAYAAN: Peace and Sovereignty Mission to the West Philippine Sea July 2011
To bolster the Philippine claim over its territories in the West Philippine Sea, Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao led the first-ever civilian mission to Pag-asa Island, Municipality of Kalayaan in the Spratly Archipelago. Joining the team were Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, Kalayaan Mayor Jun Bito-onon, Palawan Governor Baham Mitra, AFP Western Command Commander Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, and a group of journalists. The mission followed reports of China’s aggression against Filipino fishermen in the region, and reports of their attempt to construct infrastructure that would establish their dominance over Philippine territories.


South China Sea dispute: Philippine MPs visit Spratlys BBC

A group of Philippine politicians has visited a disputed island in the South China Sea, reigniting a row with China.

The politicians landed on Pagasa island, the only island in the Spratlys chain populated by Filipinos, and sang the national anthem with residents.

The island is also claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam as part of a wider dispute in the South China Sea.

China has already said that the politicians’ visit could harm relations between Beijing and Manila.

Landing on Pagasa island, congressman Walden Bello said the visit was a historic moment and declared the island “Philippine territory”.

Philippine congressman Walden Bello made a fiery speech on the island


“We come in peace, we support a diplomatic solution. But let there be no doubt in any foreign power’s mind that if they dare to eject us from Pagasa… Filipinos will not take that sitting down,” he said.

Before the trip, the Chinese embassy in Manila said it served no purpose “but to undermine peace and stability in the region and sabotage the China-Philippines relationship”.

The BBC’s Kate McGeown in Manila says that while the two countries’ governments are exchanging a war of words, the island’s residents are getting on with their lives.

Locals told reporters they often wave at their Chinese neighbours while out fishing, and even barter for cigarettes, our correspondent adds.

Handout from Kalayaan district government showing Pagasa island Pagasa has an airstrip, a small town hall and about 300 Filipinos

Pagasa, also known as Tithu island, lies about 480km (300 miles) west of the western Philippine province of Palawan.

Philippine legislator Walden Bello speaks at a press conference in Manila on July 18, 2011, to announce plans by lawmakers to make a special visit to the Spratly islands in order to assert the country’s claim to the outcroppings amid rising tensions with China over the area. Philippine congressman Walden Bello made a fiery speech on the island

It has an airstrip, a military base and a small town hall, and is occupied by about 60 civilians.

Tension in the South China Sea has been ramped up this year, with frequent spats and diplomatic rows – particularly between Vietnam and China.

The regional political bloc Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) is currently meeting in Indonesia in a summit likely to be dominated by the South China Seas issue.

Asean diplomats on Wednesday said they had reached an agreement with China on new guidelines aimed at solving the dispute.

But analysts said the guidelines did nothing to solve the underlying tensions and did not tackle sovereignty issues directly.

The Spratly Islands lie in an area thought to be rich in oil and gas. The region also has vital shipping routes

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President Obama flanked by a phalanx of Pentagon war makers - the face of the Permanent War Economy.

[ Updated 1-19-2012 ]
Mr. O’s X on the NDAA is Final Nail in Civil Rights Coffin
So much for the efficacy of preemptive Nobel Peace Prizes.

On the eve of 2012 New Years Day – with shockingly little media or public outrage – Peace Prize Laureate Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizing the U.S. military’s kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial of anybody anywhere in the world…including U.S. citizens.

Though he issued a ‘signing statement’ stating his intention to exempt U.S. citizens, future presidents – like, say, any of the knaves, frauds and crazies on the current GOP campaign trail – will not be bound by it.

NDAA's leading backers, Senators Levin and McCain.

‘Yes I Can’ Means ‘No You Can’t’
Mr. Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office has turned his campaign slogan ‘Yes We Can!’ – which his strategists cynically stole from the United Farm Workers’ historic ‘Si Se Puede!’ – inside out and upside down.

‘Yes’ to unlimited banker bailouts. ‘Yes’ to no prosecutions for past war crimes, domestic spying, torture or massive financial frauds.
‘Yes’ to keeping Guantanamo open. ‘Yes’ to massive family-shattering immigrant deportations (exceeding GWB’s record). ‘Yes’ to the permanent war economy. ‘Yes’ to escalating drone strikes on wedding parties and funerals worldwide. ‘Yes’ to a ‘nuclear renaissance’ with federal loan guarantees and the cover-up of Fukushima’s radioactive fallout in the U.S.. ‘Yes’ to bombing Libya. ‘Yes’ (as the first African-American president) to the continuing deployment of the U.S. Africa Command -also known as AFRICOM – to secure for American corporations access to the continent’s remaining resources. ‘Yes’ to saber rattling targeting China and Iran. The list goes on and on. Pick your own slate of favorites.

And now, ‘Yes’ to universal abduction, extraordinary rendition and ‘disappearance’ authority for the U.S. military over all residents of Planet Earth. The final assertion of Full Spectrum Dominance and Global Hegemony. Feel more free and secure now?


If you want to get a sense of what this kind of policy already means for African American residents of Harlem, see Stop-and-Frisk As a Weapon of Gentrification, a radio commentary by Glen Ford at Black Agenda Reports.
“There is ample anecdotal evidence that the relentless pressures of stop-and-frisk have substantially contributed to the mass exile of Blacks from New York.”

ICE raids and massive Hispanic immigrant deportations under Obama are another sobering example.

In this blog edition…
This edition offers links that explore these issues and ends with a video clip of third party presidential candidate Rocky Anderson.

The following comment seems to set the appropriate analytical tone:
The GOP is pleased that Romney is willing to take one for the team and go up against the first politician to amass a billion dollar campaign war chest. Romney will help Obama win another term, assuring that the GOP gets more regressive legislation passed than any GOP president could ever hope to. The added bonus is that the GOP won’t take the heat from the voters, thereby keeping control of both houses of Congress during Obama’s second term. This will in turn give Obama cover to push even more regressive legislation through. No political machine in the history of humankind has ever worked so efficiently to transfer wealth from the 99% to the 1%. As Warren Buffet observed, “my side is winning the class war”. By the time Obama’s second inaugural is held one year from tomorrow you can bet your last nickle that the class war will have been won by the 1%.

Posted by raydelcamino
Jan 19 2012 – 4:51pm as a comment on
Romney Loses his Cool with Occupier ‘America’s Right and You’re Wrong’

Chris Hedges Sues Obama Admin Over Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Approved in NDAA
Democracy Now

www.democracynow.org – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces. “It is clearly unconstitutional,” Hedges says of the bill. “It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing.”

2012’s Civil Liberties Apocalypse Has Already Happened
by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis – Common Dreams

In case you missed it, President Barack Obama has signed a death knell for the Bill of Rights. It’s a hell of a way to begin a year many believe will mark the end of the world.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) makes a mockery of our basic civil liberties. It shreds the intent of the Founders to establish a nation where essential rights are protected. It puts us all at risk for arbitrary, indefinite incarceration with no real rights to recourse.

The Act authorizes a $626 billion dollar defense budget (which does not include the CIA, special ops, various black box items, etc). Obama’s signing statement says it does address counterterrorism at home and abroad as well as Defense Department modernization, health care costs and more.

But it also includes Sections 1021 and 1022, bitterly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, among many others. The New York Times urged Obama to veto the bill because of them. The UK-based Guardian said NDAA 2012 allows allows for indefinite detention of US citizens “without trial [of] American terrorism subjects arrested on U.S. soil, who could then be shipped to Guantanamo Bay.” The Kansas City Star was equally blunt, stating that the NDAA is “trampling the bill of rights in defense’s name.”

Section 1021 reasserts the President’s authority to use the military to detain any person “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” It also includes the military’s power to detain anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the U.S. or its coalition allies under the law of war. Despite widespread public pressure, Obama did not veto the bill. In his signing statement he said: “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.” Read more

Why I’m Suing Barack Obama
by Chris Hedges – TruthDig.org

Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties. Read more.

10 Reasons the US is No Longer the Land of the Free
by Jonathan Turley

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

Does US Senate Commit Treason with NDAA Bill?
January 1, 2012 5:45 am
by Jeanine Molloff – UK Progressive

December 1st, 2011, the US Senate accomplished the unthinkable–with the nearly unanimous passage of the National Defense Authorization Bill of 2012–they committed treason. Written and planned in secret by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the newly minted NDAA contains three sections which collectively sanctions indefinite detention of alleged terrorists or ‘terrorist sympathizers’–anywhere in the world including the US– and designates the military the duty to arrest, imprison and interrogate without benefit of counsel,’ accused civilians here on Main Street. Ironically, the abuse of civilian Iraqis by our military and by military contractors is coming to a locale near you. Theoretically, armed squads of US soldiers might be knocking on your door in the dead of night to take away Auntie Mame for her alleged ‘terrorist’ activities—at the ACLU. This bill potentially allows for the blatant political prosecutions of any dissenter using the military as a bully club to instill deep fear in any who dare to question our government’s motives.

No proof of wrongdoing is required and those accused are denied the due process right of trial by their peers, or the services of an attorney– and are subsequently relegated to the ‘military commissions justice system.’ As a result–the accused are reduced to the status of ‘unlawful enemy combatant,’ and are subject to the following actions: ‘extraordinary rendition’, ‘enhanced interrogation’ procedures, ‘indefinite detention to possibly a life sentence, and ‘presidential assigned extermination of target’ . These powers are then ‘given’ to the President to use at will, fully codified in law,while requiring in reality no proof other than presidential whim.

It is at this juncture that I find the timing of this bill suspicious–coinciding with the exponential growth of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the recent implosion of both EU and US economies, the emerging body of proof documenting Wall Street’s enormous crimes, and the Super Committee threat to cut military funding. It almost looks like the robber barons of Wall Street ‘circling the wagons’ in a fit of legislative revenge against the rabble, namely you and I.

Obama pledges to exempt Americans from indefinite detention law
By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, December 31, 2011

…The provision was just one part of a massive $662 billion defense spending authorization that funds the military, penalizes Iran’s central bank and freezes military aid to Pakistan, among other things.

The president’s opponents in Congress, including some Democrats, attached the indefinite detention provision to force the administration to either accept a much heavier load of terrorism suspects, many who would be heading to the Guantanamo Bay military prison, or veto the bill and stand accused of opposing funds for the troops.

President Obama issued a veto threat after a provision was added that required all terrorism suspects be automatically rendered into military custody — a fundamental change to the criminal justice system that members of the administration warned could stymie other agencies or put investigations at risk.

Obama agreed to sign it after language was left in the bill that allows the administration to dedicate terror prisoners to civilian courts instead of military custody. In its final form, the bill stipulates that all terrorism suspects are to be handled by the military unless the administration decides otherwise and explains its reasoning to Congress.

Obama Prepares to Authorize Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens for First Time Since McCarthy Era–Glenn Greenwald on NDAA

President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law – ACLU
December 31, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA, but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill.

“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

Published on Sunday, January 1, 2012 by CommonDreams.org
The Delusional Assumptions of Capitalism
by Doug Harvey

One of the more delusional aspects of capitalism is the idea that if one pursues the acquisition of private wealth with abandon, that this is somehow automatically “good” for human society.

Third party candidate Rocky Anderson: Corporate interests control U.S. government

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A panel discusses wind energy in Pt. Reyes, CA.

What’s ‘Appropriate Scale’ for Wind Generation?
In the aftermath of the failed Durban Climate Summit and the absence of responsible international governmental action on carbon emission reduction, citizens at the local and regional levels are considering ways to step into the breach. Generation of electricity with giant industrial wind turbines is being widely considered.

Industrial wind power advocates tend to deny, ignore or poo-poo the issues raised by those who point to potentially serious negative impacts of the technology on wildlife, property values, environment and human health, To the credit of its sponsors, this meeting aimed to look at all sides of the question. We apologize for the delay in getting it posted, but the issue is not going away any time soon.

[Scroll down for Forum videos.]

Evidence of Harms
EON’s investigation of this issue – and of so-called ‘smart grid’ issues overall – leads us to believe that unbridled enthusiasm for industrial-scale, corporately controlled, centralized wind installations is a Big Mistake, joining the ranks of other green-washed false solutions like the claims that nuclear energy, ‘clean’ coal and fracking are necessary to save the planet.

Wind development as a renewable energy source should be possible, but only if it is appropriate scale, locally controlled, and environmental and health concerns are resolved.

We agree with Magda Havas and David Colling who say in their recent article in the Bulletin of Science and Society, “Wind Turbines Make Waves: Why Some Residents Near Wind Turbines Become Ill,” “With a growing interest in renewable forms of energy, the technology has to be not only energy efficient but also human friendly.”

Abstract: “People who live near wind turbines complain of symptoms that include some combination of the following: difficulty sleeping, fatigue, depression, irritability, aggressiveness, cognitive dysfunction, chest pain/pressure, headaches, joint pain, skin irritations, nausea, dizziness, tinnitus, and stress. These symptoms have been attributed to the pressure (sound) waves that wind turbines generate in the form of noise and infrasound. However, wind turbines also generate electromagnetic waves in the form of poor power quality (dirty electricity) and ground current, and these can adversely affect those who are electrically hypersensitive. Indeed, the symptoms mentioned above are consistent with electrohypersensitivity. Sensitivity to both sound and electromagnetic waves differs among individuals and may explain why not everyone in the same home experiences similar effects. Ways to mitigate the adverse health effects of wind turbines are presented.”

Wind in Marin
Since the County of Marin is amending its Local Coastal Program (LCP) for West Marin to allow industrial wind turbines as a permitted use on the coast, folks need as much information about industrial wind turbines they can find to be able to make informed decisions.

Here is an excerpt from a recent Vermont news story:
“…[A]ll wind turbine ordinances should hold developers responsible for a full-price (pre-turbine) buyout of any family whose lives are ruined by turbines — to prod developers to follow realistic health-based rules and prevent the extreme economic loss of home abandonment.”

Electrosensitive people, (who’ve been injured by overexposure to RF and electromagnetic pollution) may have allies in the victims and scientists involved in “Wind Turbine Syndrome,’ which includes sleep deprivation, ringing in ears, and incredible headaches.

“It’s like living in a microwave oven,” … People hear a ringing in their ears, lose sleep, and suffer headaches, …. the residents’ blood pressure went so high that they needed medication to reduce it.

Wind companies use ‘gag clauses’ – ”which “forbid people who receive payments from wind companies, or who have lost legal challenges, from saying anything negative about the turbines or developer.”

Other gag clauses include…
“Grantor grants and conveys to Grantee a non-exclusive easement, right and entitlement on, over, across and under the Property to permit the Wind Farm or any component thereof to impact view or visual effects from the Property; to cause vibration; to cause electromagnetic and frequency interference; to cast shadows (including, without limitation, any from the turbines and moving blades) onto the Property; to interfere with television, radio or satellite reception; or to emit noise or sounds caused by the construction or operation of the Wind Farm.”

Check out the full article from Vermont’s Chronicle, “Low-frequency sound, stray voltage, are suspects in ill effects of wind turbines.”

Citizens discuss the pros and cons of wind power, Pt. Reyes, CA.

Local Volts Wind Forum
The pros and cons of industrial scale, centralized, corporately-owned wind generation in contrast to small scale, locally distributed, publicly-owned wind power are discussed in this community forum held in Pt. Reyes, CA., Oct. 19, 2011.

 

The panel, moderated by author Peter Azmus of Pathfinder Communications, included: Dawn Weisz, Marin Energy Authority; Dave Willard, Sage Renewables; Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity; Helen Kozoriz, West Marin/Sonoma Coastal Advocates; Bernie Stephan, Sustainable Marin; Judd Howell, American Wildlife Institute; and Ed Mainland, Sierra Club California.

Panelist Helen Kozoriz, West Marin/Sonoma Coastal Advocates

Co-Sponsors: Environmental Forum of Marin; Marin Conservation League; Sierra Club’s Marin Group; Sustainable Marin; Transition West Marin; SF Bay Area Chapter Women of Wind Energy.
Local Volts Wind Forum – Pt. 1

Panel Presentations

LocalVolts Wind Forum Pt. 2

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