Monday, September 26, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell on Police Brutality at Occupy Wall Street

from the last word with lawrence o'donnell 09/26/2011

full clips of the clash between demonstrators at occupy wall street and the police.

apparently, the cop who pepper sprayed the girl in the video is Deputy Inspector Anthony V. Bologna.

those "peace" officers who stand idly by while innocent people are being mistreated, give their tacit consent to the violence being perpetrated by their fellow cops. they are therefore just as guilty as those who commit these heinous acts.

even if we grant that the "few bad apples" who carry out the clubbing, pepper spraying and roughing up of individuals are not the majority of those who make up the police force, the number of officers who allow this kind of brutality to take place by not stepping in to prevent it, surely are, as this video demonstrates, the vast majority.

it is the responsibility of the police to protect people from those who would cause them harm, but when it is the police who are doing the harming (sanctioned by the state and the courts), where are the people to turn?

calling all cops who still have a conscience and a sense of moral justice...come out, come out wherever you are! protect and serve. stand up for what is right! stand up for the democratic principles which make your nation great! the people demand it, and more importantly, honesty, integrity and a world where all have a right to exist without fear of exploitation, oppression and having their voices and interests silenced demands it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Alberta Government...Wolf Killers

There are a number of factors contributing to the declining woodland caribou populations in Canada. David Suzuki has summed up the dire situation in his piece entitled, Woodland caribou are at a crossroads, where he spells out the need to take action now to protect these beautiful animals.

A not insignificant player in the decreasing numbers of woodland caribou is none other guessed it, the tar sands operation in northeastern Alberta. Just another example of how this poisonous project is destroying our natural world.

Now, in order to protect some of the caribou, the government of Alberta has come up with a most brilliant plan where it "has spent more than $1 million poisoning wolves with strychnine and shooting them from the air."

Out-rageous! How dare they spend my tax dollars on this inhumane, barbaric and vicious program. It makes me utterly ashamed to be a Canadian when I hear of such an idiotic and cruel activity like this taking place.

Do people even give a damn though? In an article from the Edmonton Journal, Senseless Slaughter of Wolves, dated June 11, 2011, veteran wolf biologist Lu Carbyn, who has written and edited several books on wolves is quoted as saying,
More and more, it seems, people are drifting away from the natural world. Part of it is due to urbanization. Part of it may be due to the fact that the new generation has found other ways of entertaining themselves. But I think that the connection we have to the natural world is weakening.
It's not just people who live on this planet you know. We seriously need to come to the realization that we share it with many other creatures who have just as much of a right to exist on it as we do. But then sharing the earth isn't really paramount on most people's minds right now, is it? Especially when it comes to nonhuman animals and especially it would seem, rich, white people. No one gives a damn about indigenous communities and no one gives a damn about nonhuman animals, unless they can be exploited to make a buck or two.

Let me digress a bit and give you just one example, and trust me there are many, of the arrant lack of consideration given to the native communities in this bigoted province. On April 28, 2006, there was a problem at the Syncrude tar sands operation where a toxic cloud of ammonia was released (and in all likelihood, other nasty chemicals as well). The winds that day blew it north to the Cree community of Fort MacKay. The gas entered into the school's ventilation system where as a result, many of the children suffered from nausea, eye irritation, headaches and several had to be rushed to the hospital.

Syncrude said, "Oops", and claimed to fix the problem. The provincial government did nothing.

Weeks later, another noxious cloud was released, but this time the wind carried it south to Fort McMurray. Oh, oh, I hear there's lots of white people there...WITH MONEY! When the people of Fort McMurray complained, the government sent in mobile units which detected high levels of ammonia. MLA Guy Boutilier ordered the plant shut down. The cloud dispersed and thankfully no one was seriously harmed.

But hang on, how come when the people of Fort MacKay complained of the exact same thing nothing was done? Oh, I see, because they're just a bunch of indigent Indians and nobody gives a fuck about them. Well thank you for clearing that up government of Alberta (fuckin' rednecks!).

When natural systems begin to collapse all around us, that means that sentient, feeling, living, breathing individual creatures are dieing. They are being killed, either directly, in the case of this ridiculous Alberta government wolf murdering program (or another pride of Canada, the seal hunt), or because of habitat destruction, due to mega projects like the rotten tar sands.

All in the name of jobs and the economy. Jobs, economy, jobs, economy, so goes the mantra, as we wander like zombies eating up everything in our path. Sure, the economy is important, but good God man, so is the natural world! Is it so difficult to behave in such a manner where we actually pause to consider the interests of all those who will be affected by our actions, including wildlife, before we decide to act?

"It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it", someone once said. Bullshit! What kind of sociopathic approach is that? "Well, here I am working at the tar sands driving a big dump truck responsible for raping the earth, but Goddammit am I ever good at what I do." It's absolutely what we do that matters. Our actions have consequences, and when those actions hurt or kill others we have a moral obligation to stop what we're doing and change our conduct. Then find a more ethical way to make a living.

As more and more people decide to have more and more babies there is less and less space on this world for everyone. Not only for us but for our nonhuman animal kin as well. And in the battle for space on this planet, it's the animals who lose, time after time after time. People just can't seem to divest themselves of that vile biblical refrain,
Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 
What a crock of shit. What a tremendously ignorant and arrogant way of looking at the natural world, and people still believe that garbage...even many atheists. And oh how we have heeded those words. It's what drives our precious economy. Exploit, destroy, get government off our back so there's no regulation, use up, move on.

And the band played on.

Here is the story from the Edmonton Journal Senseless slaughter of wolves June 11, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Noam Chomsky on Why Republicans Want to Destroy Social Security

from democracy now 9/13/2011

But I think, myself, that there’s a more subtle reason why they’re opposed to it, and I think it’s rather similar to the reason for the effort to pretty much dismantle the public education system. Social Security is based on a principle. It’s based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat. And that’s a notion you have to drive out of people’s heads. The idea of solidarity, sympathy, mutual support, that’s doctrinally dangerous. The preferred doctrines are just care about yourself, don’t care about anyone else. That’s a very good way to trap and control people. And the very idea that we’re in it together, that we care about each other, that we have responsibility for one another, that’s sort of frightening to those who want a society which is dominated by power, authority, wealth, in which people are passive and obedient. And I suspect—I don’t know how to measure it exactly, but I think that that’s a considerable part of the drive on the part of small, privileged sectors to undermine a very efficient, very effective system on which a large part of the population relies, actually relies more than ever, because wealth, personal wealth, was very much tied up in the housing market. That was people’s personal wealth. Well, OK, that, quite predictably, totally collapsed. People aren’t destitute by the standards of, say, slums in India or southern Africa, but very—suffering severely. And they have nothing else to rely on, but what they—the, really, pittance that they’re getting from Social Security. To take that away would be just disastrous.