Bill Totten | 1 Jul 02:15 2010

[BillTottenWeblog] Energy Use in the US & Global Agri-Food Systems

Implications for Sustainable Agriculture

by Shirin Wertime (June 05 2010)

During the 20th century, access to cheap and abundant sources of
energy helped transform the world in countless ways. Extraction of
fossil fuels led to a massive expansion in economic growth and
agricultural production, and was one of the bases of a six-fold
increase in human population. Petroleum, the most sought after
fossil fuel, had the largest role in this transformation. Because
of its versatility and liquid form, oil is today the world's
primary transportation fuel (Heinberg 1) and leading source of
energy (Brown 27). Less than 200 years ago, however, all of the
planet's food energy was derived from the sun through
photosynthesis (Pimentel, Pimentel & Karpenstein-Machan 3) and
almost all work was done by human or animal muscle power (Heinberg
2). Practically all of our energy presently comes from
non-renewable resources whose stocks are being depleted at an
ever-faster rate.

The benefits we derive from oil are so numerous and of such great
convenience that we have built our entire way of life around its
use. Now we are entering a period of declining oil supplies and
rising prices that threaten not only food security for increasing
numbers of people globally, but also many aspects of political and
economic stability as well - a new phenomenon for a world that
became accustomed to growing supplies of oil and relatively stable
prices. Unless we begin quickly to a move away from fossil fuel
(Continue reading)

Gary Crethers | 1 Jul 02:20 2010

Anarchist-Communist Realities

Anarchist-Communist Realities and My DreamsJune 30th, 2010 
Regarding the Anarchists taking over the country, I don’t seriously think Anarchists would ever be able
to do such a thing. Anarchists have no plan, no strategy for taking power and nothing but vague notions as to
what to do after taking power. How could any serious minded citizen follow the leadership of a group that
has no place to take them? Anarchists promise paradise on earth, but they have no pathway to get there. They
talk about different ideal ways to structure a society, based on committees, consensus or at best a town
council. But they have no concrete proposals as to how to deal with the current set of problems we encounter
or do they? Perhaps we are simply looking in the wrong place.
Anarchists believe in a volunteer based society. But so do Libertarians. How do you maintain a sufficient
level of services when you have a totally volunteer society? The Libertarian answer is simply let the
market take care of it. If there is a need some bright entrepreneur with figure out how to provide that
service and make a profit at it. That is market capitalism. Privatize hospitals, utilities, road
maintenance, welfare for the poor, prisons, the military, you name it and it can be privatized. We have
seen quite a bit of that under the Carter/Bush deregulate and privatize presidencies.
What do Anarchists propose? Well we have coop bookstores and some coop groceries still exist. There is
“Food Not Bombs” a free food for the homeless program that serves a vegetarian meal to people on the
street once a week in various cities. There is the “Homes Not Jails” housing rights group in San
Francisco and Boston, that occupies abandoned buildings and lets homeless people squat in them. They do
secret and publicly notified occupations to advertise the plight of the homeless. More interesting is
the “Take Back the Land” based in Miami who occupy foreclosed homes. This group initially built Umoja
Village on public land with the help of local anarchists. It was burned down mysteriously 6 months later.
But these activities in the USA are small potatoes compared to the activity going on in Latin America and
South Africa.
Latin America has the liberated zone of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico where there has been a stand-off
with the Mexican Army since 1994. At this time the Zapatistas are more of a consciousness razing and
propaganda organization than an active military and political presence with some 32 villages under
their control in and around the Lacandon Forest. Their politics are reminiscent of the original
Zapatista Liberation Army with its slogans of Land & Liberty, they represent agrarian peasant and
indigenous peoples interests. In Mexico that is a big deal there are some 20 million Native Americans. But
although they now claim libertarian socialist goals, their founders were from a Maoist group based in
(Continue reading)

Bill Totten | 1 Jul 10:42 2010

[BillTottenWeblog] The Fate of the Internet

Decided in a Back Room

by Tim Karr (June 23 2010)

The Wall Street Journal just reported that the Federal Communications
Commission is holding "closed-door meetings" with industry to broker a
deal on Net Neutrality - the rule that lets users determine their own
Internet experience.

Given that the corporations at the table all profit from gaining control
over information, the outcome won't be pretty.

The meetings include a small group of industry lobbyists representing
the likes of AT&T, Verizon, the National Cable & Telecommunications
Association, and Google. They reportedly met for two-and-a-half hours on
Monday morning and will convene another meeting today. The goal
according to insiders is to "reach consensus" on rules of the road for
the Internet.

This is what a failed democracy looks like: After years of avid public
support for Net Neutrality - involving millions of people from across
the political spectrum - the federal regulator quietly huddles with
industry lobbyists to eliminate basic protections and serve Wall
Street's bottom line.

We've seen government cater to big business in the same ways, prior to
the BP oil disaster and the subprime mortgage meltdown.

(Continue reading)

Hunter Gray | 1 Jul 14:52 2010


If the present Russian Spy thing had occurred a half century ago, mainline media in this country would be
generating fear and hysteria on the scale of a Northern Arizona forest fire.  Now, of course, with the
"establishment" in both countries bent on mutually productive detente, it's being treated, at least by
the media, as an ineffectual joke.  On the other hand, if these people were Muslims, we'd be subjected to
days and weeks of dire "ooing and ahing" by the Fourth Estate and yet another repressive "terror control"
law initiated and implemented in the name of our security.

I've never been a great fan of Al Gore [I really don't  like most politicians] but I've seen him as a reasonably
"straight shooter," maybe even as prosaic a character as I.  So, with all due respect to the tabloid press,
I'm quite skeptical about this business of his inappropriately touching a lady.  From both Native and
Western perspectives, I'd see it all, even if it had actually happened, as his business and not that of the
media.  But, of course, I and many others grew up in a "simpler time" with our concerns, then and hopefully
now,  directed to more substantive challenges.  Don't mean to sound gross but, in this galloping
atmosphere of "political correctness," it probably won't be long before those of us who cuddle our
literal cats run the risk of -- well, allegations of something truly awful.  [I hasten to add that my Sky is spayed.]

Yours, Hunter

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk 
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´ 
and Ohkwari' 

Our Hunterbear website is now more than ten years old.
It contains a vast amount of social justice material -- including
grassroots activist organizing. Check out

Our very well organized and successful civil rights and anti-Klan campaigns
in the Eastern North Carolina Black-Belt counties -- including many of
our pertinent Hunterbear referral links:
(Continue reading)

Sid Shniad | 1 Jul 23:05 2010

An analysis of the G20 protest and the black bloc

 July 1, 2010
An analysis of the G20 protest and the black

The events at the G20 demonstration on Saturday have provoked a series of
responses already. This article is not meant to review the events of the day
itself but to look at the questions raised by the demonstrations.

Suffice to say the reaction of the police in arresting, detaining, and
brutalizing nearly 1,000 people in the largest mass arrests in Canadian
history exposes the serious attacks on civil liberties we face.

On Friday before the demonstration I was having a beer with a comrade in
Halifax and of course discussion turned to the G20, we both agreed that this
would be the perfect demonstration to go off without any property damage. If
at the end of the day tens of thousands marched, thousands did sit-ins by
the fence but the tactic of smashing windows was not employed then the
summit would be a defeat for Harper.

We drew this analysis based on the fact that every where you went there was
anger at the billion dollar price tag for security. At a time when thousands
are struggling to make ends meet and see the cost of the Summits as
exorbitant. Many, consciously or not, recognize that this money is being
spent to the architects of the crisis; protecting those who gave billions to
the bank while leaving workers and the poor to pay for it. Furthermore, in
the lead-up, there was a growing polarisation with many being angry or
frustrated with Harper’s attacks on civil liberties, on women’s rights, on
the climate, on the economy, and more.

To have had a day of mass demonstrations and militant but non- violent
(Continue reading)

Sid Shniad | 1 Jul 23:19 2010

The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud: Undercover Police engaged in Purposeful Provocation At Tax Payers' Expense

*The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud: Undercover Police engaged in Purposeful
*At Tax Payers' Expense*

by Terry Burrows

  Global Research <>, June 27, 2010

 Toronto is right now in the midst of a massive government / media
propaganda fraud. As events unfold, it is becoming increasingly clear that
the 'Black Bloc' are undercover police operatives engaged in purposeful
provocations to eclipse and invalidate legitimate G20 citizen protest by
starting a riot. Government agents have been caught doing this before in

*Montebello 2007 Riot Prevented - Identical Boots Exposed Undercover Police

At the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership’ meeting protests at Montebello
Quebec on August 20, 2007, a Quebec union leader caught and outed three
masked undercover Quebec Provincial Police operatives dressed as ‘black
bloc’ protestors about to start a riot by throwing rocks at the security
police. See the following videos documenting this event.

Stop SPP Protest - Union Leader stops provocateurs

(Continue reading)

Sid Shniad | 2 Jul 00:10 2010

Shake up in Guatemala after UN Commissioner Castresana resigns; Major Setback in Fight Against Corruption

*Shake up in Guatemala after UN Commissioner Castresana resigns*

Friday, 11 June 2010

Barbara Schieber

Guatemala City. The bombshell of Dr. Carlos Castresana´s resignation as head
of the United Nations Commission against Impunity, CICIG, in Guatemala hit
the country on Monday. During the Press Conference Castresana requested the
removal of newly appointed Attorney General, Conrad Reyes. Castresana
accused him of having a history of ties to organized crime including
connections with firms of lawyers that defend drug dealers and firms of
lawyers involved in illegal adoptions. Castresana explained that the
nomination of Conrad Reyes was the result of a pact among lawyers who are
part of organized crime, he urged President Alvaro Colom to replace Reyes.
He denounced a systematic campaign to discredit the work of CICIG and
himself, he had also received death threats.

Yesterday, evidence emerged that there was indeed a conspiracy designed to
undermine the work of the International Commission against Impunity, CICIG,
in relation to the investigation and apprehension of the intellectual
authors of the murder of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg. But there was also a
convergence of other sectors who where interested in undermining the work
and credibility of CICIG. They used the traditional methods of character
assassination that had been so successfully in the times of the internal
conflict. A whole list of journalist's was involved in this campaign.

Yesterday also, four decapitated heads where discovered in prominent places
(Continue reading)

Sid Shniad | 2 Jul 00:27 2010

CENTCOM thinks outside the box on Hamas and Hezbollah (Foreign Policy)


JULY 1, 2010
  Red Team CENTCOM thinks outside the box on Hamas and Hezbollah.  BY MARK
PERRY | JUNE 30, 2010

While it is anathema to broach the subject of engaging militant groups like
Hizballah* and Hamas in official Washington circles (to say nothing of
Israel), that is exactly what a team of senior intelligence officers at U.S.
Central Command -- CENTCOM -- has been doing. In a "Red Team" report issued
on May 7 and entitled "Managing Hizballah and Hamas," senior CENTCOM
intelligence officers question the current U.S. policy of isolating and
marginalizing the two movements. Instead, the Red Team recommends a mix of
strategies that would integrate the two organizations into their respective
political mainstreams. While a Red Team exercise is deliberately designed to
provide senior commanders with briefings and assumptions that challenge
accepted strategies, the report is at once provocative, controversial -- and
at odds with current U.S. policy.

Among its other findings, the five-page report calls for the integration of
Hizballah into the Lebanese Armed Forces, and Hamas into the Palestinian
security forces led by Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas. The Red Team's conclusion, expressed in the final sentence of
the executive summary, is perhaps its most controversial finding: "The U.S.
role of assistance to an *integrated* Lebanese defense force that includes
Hizballah; and the continued training of Palestinian security forces in a
Palestinian entity that *includes* Hamas in its government, would be more
effective than providing assistance to entities -- the government of Lebanon
(Continue reading)

Sid Shniad | 2 Jul 00:32 2010

The occupation is morally repugnant: Nicholas Kristoff in the NYT

[image: The New York Times] <>

 *June 30, 2010*
The Two Sides of a Barbed-Wire Fence By NICHOLAS D.

KARMEL, West Bank

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is widely acknowledged to be
unsustainable and costly to the country’s image. But one more blunt truth
must be acknowledged: the occupation is morally repugnant.

On one side of a barbed-wire fence here in the southern Hebron hills is the
Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir, where Palestinians live in ramshackle tents
and huts. They aren’t allowed to connect to the electrical grid, and Israel
won’t permit them to build homes, barns for their animals or even toilets.
When the villagers build permanent structures, the Israeli authorities come
and demolish them, according to villagers and Israeli human rights

On the other side of the barbed wire is the Jewish settlement of Karmel, a
lovely green oasis that looks like an American suburb. It has lush gardens,
kids riding bikes and air-conditioned homes. It also has a gleaming,
electrified poultry barn that it runs as a business.

Elad Orian, an Israeli human rights activist, nodded toward the poultry barn
and noted: “Those chickens get more electricity and water than all the
Palestinians around here.”
(Continue reading)

Sid Shniad | 2 Jul 00:48 2010

NGO Monitor and the Canadian government's Middle East policies
              July 1, 2010
Arab-Israeli group takes Canadian agency to court over terminated funding

Patrick Martin

Nazareth, Israel — An Arab-Israeli research group is taking the
International Development Research Centre to court, alleging the Canadian
Crown corporation cut off funding to the group under pressure from the
Israeli government.

Mada al-Carmel, a 10-year-old social research centre based in Haifa,
conducts research into Israel’s Arab minority. Two years ago, Mada received
a pair of three-year grants from the IDRC to study the marginalization of
women in Arab-Israeli society and the low level of political participation
by Arab Israelis.

In March, the IDRC terminated the grants, worth almost $800,000, in their
second year. The decision means a loss of 40 per cent of Mada’s income and a
serious blow to the organization’s reputation and credibility.

There was no indication of poor performance by Mada. Indeed, a March 3
letter from the IDRC states: “We wish to emphasize that this termination is
… by no means a reflection on the quality of the work being done by your

Nadim Rouhana, Mada’s founding director and a professor at Tufts University
in Boston, alleges that parties close to the Israeli government of Benjamin
(Continue reading)