* CHOMSKY: OCCUPY MOVEMENT ” HAS CREATED SOMETHING THAT REALLY DIDN’T EXIST” IN US – SOLIDARITY
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Noam Chomsky says the Occupy movement has helped rebuild class solidarity and communities of mutual support on a level unseen since the time of the Great Depression. “The Occupy movement spontaneously created something that doesn’t really exist in the country: Communities of mutual support, cooperation, open spaces for discussion … people doing things and helping each other,” Chomsky says. “That’s very much missing. There [has been] massive propaganda going on for a century, that you really shouldn’t care about anyone else, just yourself … To rebuild [class solidarity] — even in small pieces of society — can become very important, can change the conception of how society ought to function.” Chomsky also gives his assessment of President Obama, whom he says has attacked civil liberties in a way that “goes beyond George W. Bush.”
* PEACE VERSUS WAR: HEAVY-HANDED TACTICS TO CURB NATO PROTESTERS
By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO
‘US will use heavy-handed tactics to curb NATO protesters’
Thousands of peaceful anti-war protesters are expected to face off with armed riot police and sound cannons at the May NATO Summit to be held in Chicago.
Press TV has interviewed Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO in Chicago, about ‘overkill’ preparations by the authorities to counter expected massive popular peaceful demonstrations opposing the upcoming summit of NATO. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: I’d like to get your opinion first of all on the military-style tactics that will be deployed to confront protesters as anti-riot police continue to amass equipment in the days to come.
Rozoff: Yes, you’re raising a good point. We have to keep in mind the nature of the summit that’s going to occur in Chicago on May 20th and 21st. […]
* MOSSAD TRAINED POLICE CURB US PROTESTS
Mossad Trained Police Curb US Protests
* RICK ROZOFF CHRONICLES NATO’s ‘ENDLESS WARS’
By Curtis Balck, NewsTips
By hosting a self-proclaimed “nuclear alliance” like NATO, Chicago is violating the spirit if not the letter of the city’s status as a nuclear free zone, passed unanimously by the City Council in 1986 and signed by Mayor Harold Washington, says Rick Rozoff.
It’s one of dozens of points that came up in several wide-ranging talks with Rozoff, a Chicagoan who for 13 years has edited the Stop NATO blog, almost certainly the most comprehensive source for news and critical analysis of the alliance in the world.
On Thursday, Rozoff and a representative of Iraq Veterans Against the War will take the anti-NATO position in a debate with former Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns and NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary James Appathurai at the Pritzker Military Library. […]
* GREECE TO HOLD NEW ELECTIONS
Announcement follows politicians’ failure to form a coalition government despite several rounds of talks
Greece will hold a new election after politicians failed to form a government, nine days following an inconclusive vote, prolonging a political crisis that pushes it closer to bankruptcy and exit from the euro.
After a third day of failed talks with political leaders on Tuesday, a spokesman for President Karolos Papoulias said the process of seeking a compromise had been declared a failure and a new vote must be held.
He did not immediately give the date for the new vote, but elections rules suggest it will be in mid-June. A caretaker government would be formed on Wednesday, the spokesman said. […]
* MERKEL DEALT HEAVY BLOW IN GERMAN VOTE
Centre-left-led coalition consolidates control of Germany’s most populous state as support for chancellor’s party falls.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have suffered a heavy defeat in regional elections in Germany’s most populous state.
According to preliminary results, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.9 per cent of the vote in North Rhine-Westphalia, a western German state of more than 13 million people, and looked set to form a coalition with the Greens.
Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) saw their support slide to just 26.3 per cent, down from nearly 35 per cent in 2010, in a state that includes the cities of Cologne and Duesseldorf and the industrial Ruhr region.
“This is not a good evening for Merkel,” Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University, said. […]
* PATTERNS OF AD DECEPTION
Source: Moyers and Company
FlackCheck.org identifies below 12 recurrent deceptive techniques used in political ads so far in the 2012 campaign season. Keep these in mind when a campaign ad appears on your television screen. And if you’re skeptical of what you see, visit factcheck.org, politifact.com or the Washington Post’s Fact Checker for a truth-audit.
1. Deceptive Audio
The sounds that we hear both contextualize what we see and cue our emotional responses. Consider the impact of a patriotic song, a cheering crowd or a mother’s lullaby. Now replace those sounds with clashing cymbals, a jeering crowd or the cries of a terrified child. By strategically inserting sound, political ad makers manipulate our responses to pictures, particularly those of their favorite candidate and his or her opponent.
Example: ‘Laughing,’ a web video by Governor Jon Huntsman (R), uses deceptive audio to make it appear that Governor Mitt Romney (R) is laughing at his own record.
2. Deceptive Dramatization
The use of dramatized scenes in ads can be a potent tool of deception. Audiences recall pictures more readily than words, and pictures tied to a dramatic narrative have a special power. Because political ad makers know that reporters are less likely to call out inferences invited by visuals, they often construct scripts containing accurate words but misleading imagery.
Example: ‘America the Beautiful,’ a web video by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, uses deceptive dramatization to attack the healthcare plan proposed by Paul Ryan (R). […]
READ and VIDEOS @ http://billmoyers.com/content/patterns-of-ad-deception/
* COLONIZED BY CORPORATIONS
Don’t waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate — just enough to register your obstruction and defiance — and then get back out onto the street. That is where the question of real power is being decided.
By Chris Hedges, OpEdNews
In Robert E. Gamer’s book “The Developing Nations” is a chapter called “Why Men Do Not Revolt.” In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced. They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the “patron-client” networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. “The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups,” he writes.
Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability — keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits — ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game.
A change of power does not require the election of a Mitt Romney or a Barack Obama or a Democratic majority in Congress, or an attempt to reform the system or electing progressive candidates, but rather a destruction of corporate domination of the political process — Gamer’s “patron-client” networks. It requires the establishment of new mechanisms of governance to distribute wealth and protect resources, to curtail corporate power, to cope with the destruction of the ecosystem and to foster the common good. But we must first recognize ourselves as colonial subjects. We must accept that we have no effective voice in the way we are governed. We must accept the hollowness of electoral politics, the futility of our political theater, and we must destroy the corporate structure itself. […]
* CHARTER SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION IS USING TAXPAYER MONEY TO SUPPORT ALEC’s RADICAL AGENDA
By Zaid Jilani, Republic Report
[…] The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a powerful corporate front group that works to pass Big Business-written laws in state legislatures. Following the outcry over the group pushing “Stand Your Ground” laws, at least fifteen major corporations, foundations, and other organizations have decided to end their funding commitments to ALEC. […]
[…] I called NACSA to confirm that they still maintain their membership in ALEC. This is the response a NACSA official gave me:
>NACSA’s goal is to advance excellence in charter schools; we promote high standards, fair treatment of students, public transparency, and fiscal responsibility by charter schools. To that end, NACSA works with a variety of policymakers and organizations on both sides of the aisle to address charter school issues. NACSA has worked with Democrats for Education Reform, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Aspen Institute, ALEC, and the National Governors Association, among many others, to impact charter school policy and practice.
I followed up to ask if NACSA was currently an ALEC member. NACSA gave me no response. NACSA’s coordination with the group proves that taxpayer money is being used to finance ALEC’s radical agenda. Everything from funding voter suppression laws to crushing unions. In light of this revelation, NACSA should seriously reconsider its membership in ALEC. And if NACSA chooses to stay a part of ALEC, the school districts and state departments of education should seriously reconsider their membership in the organization. […]
* URBAN REVOLUTION IS COMING
By Max Rivlin-Nadler, Salon
From Paris in 1871 to Prague in 1968 to Cairo in 2011 and eventually the streets of New York City, cities have long been a hotbed of radical movements. Over the decades, urban protests have been spurred by everything from unemployment and food shortages to privatization and corruption. But were they also caused by the geography of the cities themselves? The question has particular resonance this week, as Occupy prepares for a series of large May 1 protests in cities around the country.
Geographer and social theorist David Harvey, the distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and one of the 20 most cited humanities scholars of all time, has spent his career exploring how cities organize themselves, and when they do, what their achievements are. His new book, “Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution,” dissects the effects of free-market financial policy on urban life, the crippling debt of middle- and low-income Americans and how runaway development has destroyed a common space for all city dwellers.
Beginning with the question, How do we organize a whole city? Harvey looks at how the current credit crisis had its root in urban development, and how this development has made any political organizing in American cities virtually impossible in the past 20 years. Harvey is at the forefront of the movement for “the right to the city,” the idea that citizens should have a say in how their cities are developed and organized. Drawing inspiration from the Paris Commune of 1871, where the entire city of Paris overthrew the aristocracy to seize power, Harvey outlines where cities have organized, or could or should organize, themselves in more sane, inclusive ways.
Salon spoke with Harvey about Occupy Wall Street, the destructiveness of Bloomberg’s development of New York City, and making the city more after our heart’s desire. […]
* CHILE SUPREME COURT HALTS PATAGONIA DAM PROJECT
Chile’s supreme court has halted construction on the Rio Cuervo hydroelectric project in the country’s remote and pristine Patagonia region, after accepting an appeal from environmental groups.
Source: CIREM Foundation
The court’s decision on Friday ran counter to a recommendation by a regional environmental review commission to give the green light to the project, developed by a joint venture of Australia’s Origin Energy and Xstrata Copper.
The Rio Cuervo project is part of a larger plan to build three dams with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts in the area around Aysen.
Environmental groups filed a petition against the scheme, saying it will wreak havoc in the region’s unspoiled wilderness.
Chile’s high court accepted the appeal and ruled the environmental review board had ignored a recommendation from the national geology and mining service to reject a soil survey done by the joint venture, known as Energia Austral.
The court ordered that a new soil survey be carried out before a new vote on approval of the project. […]
* URGENT WARNING: FUKUSHIMA ESTIMATE OF SITUATION
Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine (US Army ret) Personal Fukushima Estimate of Situation.
* DR. BUSBY: SCIENTIFIC AND CITIZEN FORUM ON RADIATION 12.05.2012 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Scientific and citizen forum on radiation Dr. Busby 12.05.2012 Geneva, Switzerland.
* WATER LEAKING FROM NO. 1 REACTOR, COMPLICATING SHUTDOWN
By Yoko Kubuta and Scott DiSavino, Reuters
One of the reactors at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has a hole in its main vessel following a meltdown of fuel rods, leading to a leakage of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday.
The disclosure by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) (9501.T) is the latest indication that the disaster was worse than previously disclosed, making it more difficult to stabilize the plant.
The discovery of the leak provides new insight into the sequence of events that triggered a partial meltdown of the uranium fuel in the No. 1 reactor at Fukushima after the plant was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, officials said.
The battle to bring Fukushima under control has been complicated by repeated leaks of radioactive water, threatening both the Pacific Ocean and nearby groundwater. […]