Month: April 2010
Roberto Rodriguez talks about the new immigration law passed in Arizona
Ethan McCord talks about his time in Iraq serving in the US military
- Chernobyl Radiation Killed Nearly One Million People: New Book
- Iraq Election Chaos as 52 Candidates are Disqualified
- WellPoint routinely targets breast cancer patients
- David Duke Debunks Tea Party Racism (it may be worth reading the exchange in the comments section)
- Two-thirds of Americans support stricter financial regulations and William K. Black on Fraud
- Stephen Hawking Warns Over Making Contact with Aliens
Roberto Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the MA&RS department at the University of Arizona. He is a longtime-award-winning journalist/columnist who returned to school in 2003 in pursuit of a Master’s degree (2005) and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications (Jan. 2008) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Many of his awards have come about in the area of defense of the First Amendment and human rights. He returned as a result of a research interest that developed pursuant to his column writing concerning origins and migration stories of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. His current field of study is the examination of maize culture, migration, and the role of stories and oral traditions among Mexican and Central American peoples.
Quotes and Links:
“Arizona: This Is What Apartheid Looks Like. Those who think that there’s an immigration crisis in Arizona are correct, however, this is but part of the story. The truth is, a civilizational clash is being played out in the same state in which the state legislature questions the birthplace and legitimacy of President Barack Obama and where Sen. John McCain competes with Senate hopeful, J.D. Hayworth, to see who is the most anti-immigrant.
“It is also the same state that several years ago denied a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. and that today permits virtually anyone — on the basis of trumped-up fear — to carry concealed weapons anywhere.” http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/26-5
Ethan McCord is a former soldiers of the company documented in the video recently released by Wikileaks (Bravo Company 2-16), which shows U.S. soldiers killing civilians including a Reuters photographer and then shooting at people in a van attempting to rescue the wounded. See: http://wikileaks.org
Quotes and Links
He co-wrote, with Josh Steiber “An Open Letter of Reconciliation and Responsibility to the Iraqi People,” which states: “We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.
“There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.” See the full letter: http://www.LetterToIraq.com
“Some may think it’s all trigger-happy rednecks, or that it’s an ‘army of one’ but the military is made up of a lot of different people. Some love the life, others like me thought we were in it for a greater cause — and we were wrong. We realized that our job often was to out-terrorize the terrorists. But you shouldn’t really blame the soldiers, look to how soldiers are used and trained. Our chants during basic training include things like ‘I went to the playground where the children play, pulled out my machine gun and I began to spray — HA shoot!, shoot!, shoot!, shoot to kill!!'”Stieber was interviewed on Arab Voices (a show Mark Bebawi co-hosts). You can listen to that show here
Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation
Houston Community College – Central Campus Learning Hub, Room 101
1300 Holman Street Houston, Texas 77002
Wednesday May 5, 2010
In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month the Center for the Healing of Racism is presenting a video screening and facilitated discussion of Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation. This documentary recounts the final days and events surrounding the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii by which the independent nation became America’s 50th state. Act of War explores colonialism and the conquest of a Pacific Island nation by western missionaries and capitalists. It examines the circumstances surrounding the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian sovereignty in 1893, Hawaii’s subsequent U.S. annexation, and its impact from a native Hawaiian perspective. This film is a chilling account of an episode of United States history that has been largely forgotten by most mainland Americans. Produced by the Center for Hawaiian Studies, Haunani-Kay Trask and Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa.
The screening is free and open to the public (donations welcomed)
Registration is required by calling the Center’s office @ 713-520-8226 and leaving your name and contact information.
Antonia Juhasz and Bryan Parras talk about Chevron
Chep Berlet talks about Tea Partiers and the demonization of the political right
During the news segment several stories were mentioned that are worth looking into:
- A recent military report warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.
- Health insurers are starting to sell policies that largely bar consumers from receiving medical care at popular but expensive hospitals.
- Former Blackwater Officials Indicted on Federal Weapons Charges
- Goldman Sachs’ ‘Fraud’ Explained: How They Pulled Off The Alleged Scheme
Antonia Juhasz and Bryan Parras
Antonia Juhasz is the Director of the Chevron Program at Global Exchange. The Chevron Program links communities across California, the U.S. and the World to expose the true cost of Chevron and reign in the entire oil industry. She is joined tonight by Bryan Parras of Tejas Enviromental Justice Advocacy Service
Juhasz is the lead author and editor of The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report.
Chip Berlet is a senior analyst with Political Research Associates. He is a veteran freelance writer and photographer who specializes in investigating right-wing social movements, apocalyptic scapegoating and conspiracism, and authoritarianism. A PRA staffer since 1982, he has written, edited and co-authored numerous articles on right-wing activity and government repression for publications as varied as the Boston Globe, the New York Times, The Progressive, The Nation, The Humanist, and the St. Louis Journalism Review. Berlet edited Eyes Right! Challenging the Right-Wing Backlash, co-published by PRA and South End Press (1995), a popular primer on the right. He is also co-author, with Matthew N. Lyons, of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort published by Guilford Press (2000).
Taking Tea Partiers Seriously.
Cover story in February Progressive magazine by Chip Berlet.
Tonight’s Guests: Rick Rowley and John Steinbach
Richard Rowley joins Mark Bebawi for an interview about the July 2007 attack shown in a military video released last week by Wikileaks.
The leaked video shows Iraqis, including people working for Reuters, attacked — and then shows people in a van attempting to rescue the wounded being fired upon. See: http://wikileaks.org
Rick’s work can be seen at Big Noise Films – bignoisefilms.org
Rick has made four award winning feature documentaries with international theatrical distribution and dozens of short films and television pieces. He has reported from the front-lines of wars and the inside of social movements in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, Mali, Niger, East Timor and South Korea. His work has appeared on BBC, CBC, CNN International, Al Jazeera International, MBC, MTV, and Democracy Now. He has been awarded a Rockefeller Media Arts fellowship and a Jerome fellowship.
John Steinbach, activist educator and author, has written extensively about the environment and nuclear energy and weapons issues. His work has been published in Z Magazine, Resist, Covert Action Quarterly, Global Outlook and the Washington Peace Letter. With is wife, Louise Franklin-Ramirez, he authored the definitive map and database Deadly Radiation Hazards USA.
Steinbach joins Mark Bebawi to discuss his paper “Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal: Implications for the Middle East and the World.”
Quote: “It’s unfortunate that the administration has not invited Iran, North Korea and Syria to this conference, since it’s largely supposed
to be about preventing groups from getting nuclear material and the U.S. government has accused each of those countries in one way or another of at least being lax on the subject.
“We’ll likely never know the real reason for Netanyahu not coming to the conference, but one reason might be that the U.S. is saying it wants a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty and Israel is on record as being against such a treaty. Israel has the most opaque nuclear weapons program — estimates range from 80 to 500 nuclear weapons. Regardless of the size of its nuclear arsenal, Israel has enough sophisticated nuclear weapons and the delivery system to destroy every country in the Mideast and southwest Asia.
“Contrary to what many are claiming, both Egypt and Turkey have stated that they had no plans to raise the subject of Israel’s nuclear weapons at
this conference in Washington, though many nations are sure to raise the subject at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT] review conference in New York beginning May 1. It’s clearly Obama’s goal to come out of that conference focusing on Iran. The last NPT review conference ended in chaos when participating nations couldn’t even agree on an agenda.
“Israel and the U.S. have had this so-called ‘nuclear ambiguity’ agreement since Nixon and [Israeli Prime Minister Golda] Meir, which continues to this day — Obama was asked about Israel’s nuclear weapons by Helen Thomas and he refused to answer.”
Background: See the following recent interview with Helen Thomas, which includes video of her asking Obama about Mideast nuclear weapons at his first presidential news conference. Obama states he does not want to “speculate” if any nation in the Mideast has nuclear weapons. Thomas has not been called on by Obama since then. She states in this interview that if she is called on “I want to ask him if he ever found out whether anyone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons” but that she “doubts” she will be called upon again.
See Steinbach’s paper “Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal: Implications for the Middle
East and the World.”
He will be presenting the paper on Wednesday at the Institute for Policy http://www.hotsalsa.org/index.php?cid=1001360
Charles A. Bonner, a 30 year Civil Rights Trial Attorney, has litigated thousands of cases many dealing with child protection and safety issues, many similar to those of this exiciting, ground breaking book. He has written many articles and speeches, and has been featured in the award-winning film, “Whose Body, Whose Rights?” addressing the rights of children. He has a new book out called The Bracelet. See this News Release |
Robert Auerbach is Professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, Auerbach is author of the book “Deception and Abuse at the Fed.”
His book was the basis of Rep. Ron Paul’s recent questioning of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Paul, who introduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which has passed the House with over 300 co-sponsors, noted allegations that the Fed was involved with covering up some of the funding of the Watergate burglars as well as failing to effectively examine a small Italian bank through which the U.S. government sent Saddam Hussein funds in the 1980s. Paul also raised questions about the Fed’s disclosure policy. The Fed chairman immediately dismissed the allegations: “These specific allegations you’ve made I think are absolutely bizarre and I have absolutely no knowledge of anything remotely like what you just described. As far as the ten years [disclosure issue]: after five years, we produce transcript of every word said at the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] meetings.” See video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urkJ2WCQ5R0&feature=player_embedded#
Auerbach said: “The head of the Federal Reserve bureaucracy should become familiar with its dismal practices.
“First, consider the Fed’s cover-up of the source of the $6,300 in $100 bills found on the Watergate burglars when they were arrested at approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 17, 1972 after they had broken into the Watergate offices of the Democratic Party. Five days after the break-in, on June 22, 1972, at a board of directors’ meeting of officials at the Philadelphia Fed Bank, it was recorded in the minutes (shown on page 23 of my book) that false or misleading information had been provided to a reporter from the Washington Post about the $6,300. …
“The second subject brought up by Congressman Ron Paul is the exposure of faulty examinations by the Federal Reserve of a foreign bank in Atlanta, Georgia through which $5.5 billion was sent to Saddam Hussein that U.S. District Judge Ernest Tidwell found to have ‘clearly facilitated criminal conduct.'” Auerbach details allegations by Christopher Drogoul, a prosecuted official at the Italian bank in question, regarding the Fed’s flawed examination of his bank.
In terms of making information public, Auerbach notes: “The Fed voted in 1995 to destroy the source transcripts of its policy making committee that had been sent to National Archives and Records Administration.” Auerbach’s recent articles on the Fed include “Stop the Federal Reserve From Shredding Its Records.”
Auerbach said: “The bottom line is that the Fed is a very secretive organization that is largely run by the big banks it is supposed to be regulating. It should be opened up, not given more powers such as the new consumer protection agency.”
Background is available in a recent letter from Auerbach to Rep. Paul, at: http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/tx14_paul/Auerbach.shtml
Excerpts from Auerbach’s book, which features a section on Watergate, including letters from the late Sen. William Proxmire and others attempting get the Fed to cooperate with determining the funding of the Watergate burglary, are available at:
Auerbach notes in his introduction that Milton Friedman, who had been his academic adviser, had told Auerbach that he had been approached by an individual trying to get him to stop Auerbach from investigating the Fed when Auerbach worked in Congress. (Auerbach recounts that “Milton Friedman wanted me to know that he strongly objected to this call and I should continue my efforts.”)
Jo Comerford is executive director of the National Priorities Project, which analyzes budget choices. She said today: “In 2009, health received 20.1 cents of every tax dollar and interest payments on the national debt claimed an additional 13.6 cents, of which 5.4 cents was directed to interest on military-related debt. When 5.4 cents of military-related interest is added to the 26.5 cents dedicated to paying for core military-related spending, the total military allocation is 31.9 cents of each 2009 federal income tax dollar. Education received 2 cents; the combined category of environment, energy and science got 2.5 cents; and transportation and international affairs took 1.3 cents apiece.”
For an interactive chart and further background, see: http://nationalpriorities.org/taxday2010