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kadaholo

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Member since: Wed Feb 17, 2016, 10:11 AM
Number of posts: 296

Journal Archives

Thousands Call on DNC to Oust 'Corporatist Tool' Wasserman Schultz

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Nadia Prupis

More than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to remove embattled chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has faced increasing criticism over her leadership of the party in the 2016 election cycle. The petition, organized by the grassroots group RootsAction.org, castigates Wasserman Schultz for what the group describes as an attempt to "minimize competition for her candidate Hillary Clinton" and for her actions in U.S. Congress as "a pro-militarist and corporatist tool of the high bidders."

"The head of one of the two big political parties in the United States is trying to choose its nominee by reducing input from voters," the petition states, charging that Wasserman Schultz blocked the Bernie Sanders campaign from accessing its own voter files. RootsAction.org co-founder Norman Solomon said Sunday, "Wasserman Schultz has become a key operative and symbol of aversion to democracy at the top of the Democratic Party. Her removal as chair of the national party is necessary—though certainly insufficient—to shift the momentum in a positive direction."

Co-founder Jeff Cohen added, "The results, thus far, have been bad from the perspective of Wasserman Schultz's own party, including domination of the media's extensive election coverage by the other big party." Cohen also noted that as polls continue to show that Sanders is the most formidable candidate against the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, the DNC may only be hurting itself by tamping down the Vermont senator's campaign.

"Another result has been reduced exposure for the Democratic candidate polling strongest against Republican rivals, Bernie Sanders," Cohen said.The petition circulates as top Democratic Party insiders reportedly continue to discuss whether Wasserman Schultz has become "too toxic" to remain as DNC chair—and whether she should be removed before this summer's nominating convention in Philadelphia. "There's a strong sentiment that the current situation is untenable and can only be fixed by her leaving," a senior Democratic aide told The Hill last week. "There's too much water under the bridge for her to be a neutral arbiter."

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/29/thousands-call-dnc-oust-corporatist-tool-wasserman-schultz



Petition: http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=11885

California Back in Big Oil's Crosshairs as Feds Quietly OK Offshore Fracking

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Nadia Prupis

Two federal agencies on Friday quietly finalized two reports, set for release next week, that found offshore fracking in California poses no "significant" risk to the environment—paving the way for oil and gas companies to resume the controversial extraction method in the Santa Barbara Channel and imperiling the region's wildlife in the process, opponents said. The announcement Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement puts an end to a court-ordered ban on offshore fracking in federal waters off the coast of California. The moratorium was put into place in January as part of a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which challenged the Obama administration's 'rubber-stamping' of offshore drilling activity without an environmental review.

Environmental activists warned on Friday that kicking off a new round of drilling in the area puts wildlife at risk from chemical-laden wastewater and said they would be willing to file another lawsuit to keep it from happening. "The Obama administration is once again putting California's beautiful coast in the oil industry's crosshairs," said Miyoko Sakashita, director of CBD's Oceans program. "Our beaches and wildlife face a renewed threat from fracking chemicals and oil spills. New legal action may be the only way to get federal officials to do their jobs and protect our ocean from offshore fracking."

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the environmental advocacy group Food & Water Watch, criticized President Barack Obama for "doubling down on fracking, instead of providing climate leadership and protecting our communities and our environment." "This move paves the way for offshore fracking permits that were previously frozen and the dumping of toxic wastewater directly into the Pacific Ocean where Californians swim, fish, and surf," Hauter said. The news comes a year after a pipeline rupture in Santa Barbara sent tens of thousands of gallons of crude spilling onto public beaches and into the Pacific Ocean. The operator of the pipeline, Plains All American, has a history of wreaking environmental havoc throughout Southern California and elsewhere.

And it also follows the recent signing of the historic deal reached in Paris last December to keep global temperature rise under 2°C, a goal that climate advocates say can only be reached by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and investing in renewal energy. "It's clear that Americans want an inspiring new vision for our energy system," Hauter said. "The president continues to indicate that he is not the person to fulfill that vision. It’s a vision that can only be achieved by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and moving swiftly to a system driven by energy efficiency and renewables."


Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/28/california-back-big-oils-crosshairs-feds-quietly-ok-offshore-fracking

Seizing Chance, Sanders Makes Bold Progressive Picks to Shape DNC Platform

Source: CommonDreams by Lauren McCauley, Staff Writer

Seizing on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) reluctant concession allowing him to appoint five members to the committee that writes the party platform, Bernie Sanders on Monday announced a suite of picks that included activists across the progressive sphere.

Sanders' appointees to the 15-member Platform Drafting Committee include: racial justice activist and scholar Dr. Cornel West, 350.org co-founder and noted environmentalist Bill McKibben, Native American activist Deborah Parker, Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and James Zogby, a pro-Palestinian scholar as well as founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI).

The announcement came roughly two weeks after Sanders sent a letter to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) accusing her of stacking the party's three standing committees, including the drafting committee, with "Clinton loyalists."

According to the Washington Post, party officials and the two Democratic candidates "worked out" a compromise "based on the number of popular votes each has received to date." Under the agreement, frontrunner Hillary Clinton would be allotted six members and Sanders five, while Wasserman Schultz will name four.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/23/seizing-chance-sanders-makes-bold-progressive-picks-shape-dnc-platform

U.S. Lifts Arms Ban on Old Foe Vietnam as Regional Tensions Simmer

Source: Reuters By MATT SPETALNICK

The United States announced an end to its embargo on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam on Monday, an historic step that draws a line under the two countries' old enmity and underscores their shared concerns about Beijing's growing military clout. The move came during President Barack Obama's first visit to Hanoi, which his welcoming hosts described as the arrival of a warm spring and a new chapter in relations between two countries that were at war four decades ago.

Obama, the third U.S. president to visit Vietnam since diplomatic relations were restored in 1995, has made a strategic 'rebalance' toward Asia a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Vietnam, a neighbor of China, is a key part of that strategy amid worries about Beijing's assertiveness and sovereignty claims to 80 percent of the South China Sea. The decision to lift the arms trade ban, which followed intense debate within the Obama administration, suggested such concerns outweighed arguments that Vietnam had not done enough to improve its human rights record and Washington would lose leverage for reforms.

Obama told a joint news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully and not by whoever "throws their weight around". But he insisted the arms embargo move was not linked to China.

"The decision to lift the ban was not based on China or any other considerations. It was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalization with Vietnam," he said. Obama later added his visit to a former foe showed "hearts can change and peace is possible". The sale of arms, Obama said, would depend on Vietnam's human rights commitments, and would be made on a case-by-case basis.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-obama-idUSKCN0YD050?il=0

'Everyday There's Resistance': Peaceful Pipeline Opponents Arrested at NY Protest

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Nika Knight

Twenty-one non-violent demonstrators were arrested in Peekskill, New York on Saturday in the latest attempt to stop construction of a controversial high-pressure methane gas pipeline planned to run through residential communities and near the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline is being constructed by Spectra, a company that was on Friday the subject of a DeSmog Blog exposé unveiling deep ties between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) head Cheryl LaFleur and Spectra executives.

"We are stopping the [...] pipeline construction today, to make everyone aware of our environmental and safety concerns about this project, and to show that our voices and opinions matter,” said Tina Volz-Bongar, a local Peekskill resident who took part in the peaceful demonstration, in a statement from the rally's organizers. Organizers described the protest on Saturday as a communal, peaceful event:

Today, hundreds of people stood together to protect the community from the harmful impacts of Spectra’s AIM Pipeline, which if completed will carry high-pressure methane gas through residential communities and within 105 feet of critical Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant safety structures. Neighbors, elected officials including Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina and Councilwoman Kathy Talbot, families, environmental advocates, and concerned New Yorkers marched from Blue Mountain Reservation to a metering and regulating station where Spectra Energy is currently drilling under Route 9; they peacefully shut down construction activities by standing together and preventing Spectra vehicles from entering or leaving the site. Police arrested 21 people.

Prominent environmentalist Bill McKibben praised the activists on Twitter... Public intellectual and author Naomi Klein voiced her approval for Saturday's action on social media: "Coming off the largest global mobilization against fossil fuels in history, there has never been a better moment to come together to reject the AIM pipeline—a project that has united New Yorkers and people across the Northeast not only in defense of their communities, but also around their vision for a just, renewable future."


Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/22/everyday-theres-resistance-peaceful-pipeline-opponents-arrested-ny-protest

Activists, Farmers, Indigenous People Rise Up to March Against Monsanto

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Nika Knight

Anti-corporate activists, organic farmers, Indigenous peoples, environmental groups and others took to the streets across six continents and over 400 cities on Saturday in a global grassroots march against bioengineering giant Monsanto.

"The fight against corporate control of our food is global," a food sovereignty campaigner with UK-based nonprofit Global Justice Now rallied the crowd marching in London.

The grassroots March Against Monstanto campaign began in 2013 as a coordinated movement to "take back the food supply." This year's march takes place amid allegations of collusion and industry rigging of the regulatory processes surrounding the company's toxic weedkiller Roundup and GMO crops in Europe and the United States.The campaign, based in the U.S., described why so many are fighting the chemical behemoth in a statement:

Monsanto has infiltrated various agencies within the United States government, and as a result both public health and the health of our environment has suffered greatly. Glyphosate, the cancer-linked herbicide that is an essential component in the expansion of GMO crops, is already being banned around the world over safety concerns. Here in the United States, glyphosate is consistently being discovered in everything from hospital feeding tubes and tampons to the breast milk of nursing mothers.


Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/21/activists-farmers-indigenous-people-rise-march-against-monsanto

A Shooting has been Reported Outside the White House, according to US Park Police.

Source: BBC


Police told ABC News that a Secret Service agent shot an armed man at a security checkpoint near the building.

The White House is on lockdown in response to the shooting. President Barack Obama was golfing in Maryland at the time.

The victim is being transported to a local hospital with critical injuries, authorities have said.

Vice President Joe Biden was in the White House at the time.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36348361

Navy Allowed to Kill/Injure Nearly 12 Million Whales, Dolphins, Other Marine Mammals in Pacific

Source: Truth-Out by Dahr Jamail

What if you were told the US Navy is legally permitted to harass, injure or kill nearly 12 million whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals across the North Pacific Ocean over a five-year period? It is true, and over one-quarter of every tax dollar you pay is helping to fund it.

A multistate, international citizen watchdog group called the West Coast Action Alliance (WCAA), tabulated numbers that came straight from the Navy's Northwest Training and Testing EIS (environmental impact statement) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Letters of Authorization for incidental "takes" of marine mammals issued by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service. "It is outrageous to think that humans have quantified all of the impacts their actions cause to the marine environment."
A "take" is a form of harm to an animal that ranges from harassment, to injury, and sometimes to death. Many wildlife conservationists see even "takes" that only cause behavior changes as injurious, because chronic harassment of animals that are feeding or breeding can end up harming, or even contributing to their deaths if they are driven out of habitats critical to their survival.

Karen Sullivan, a spokesperson for the WCAA, is a former endangered species biologist and assistant regional director at the US Fish and Wildlife Service; she is now retired. "The numbers are staggering," she told Truthout, speaking about the number of marine mammals the Navy is permitted to take. "When you realize the same individual animals can be harassed over and over again as they migrate to different areas, there is no mitigation that can make up for these losses except limiting the use of sonar and explosives where these animals are trying to live."

Yet the aforementioned staggering numbers are still lower-end estimates, as they do not include dozens of other military projects in the same areas, such as construction using underwater pile driving, and they only apply to marine mammals, not other species. According to the WCAA, the numbers "do not include takes to endangered and threatened seabirds, fish, sea turtles or terrestrial species impacted by Navy activities, using sonar, explosives, underwater and surface drones, sonobuoys, ships, submarines, aircraft, or troops training on 68 beaches and state parks in western Washington..." "The oceans are delicate and finite; we know now that there is a limit to what the seas can provide," Stolarcyk said. "Oceans are not blue deserts [devoid of life] and should not be treated as such; we must tread carefully, for the footprint we leave will be a lasting one."


Read more: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36037-the-us-navy-s-mass-destruction-of-marine-life

For Inspiring 'A New Agenda,' Naomi Klein Wins 2016 Sydney Peace Prize

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Deirdre Fulton

Citing her work "exposing the structural causes and responsibility for the climate crisis," the Sydney Peace Foundation has awarded its 2016 Peace Prize to author and activist Naomi Klein.

That work, said the jury, inspires people "to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality," and serves as a reminder "of the power of authentic democracy to achieve transformative change and justice."

Responding to the news, the 46-year-old author of This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo said she hoped the award would highlight the need for a "justice-based transition from fossil fuels, highlighting policies that dramatically lower emissions while creating huge numbers of jobs and battling systemic inequalities."

"It comes at a time when the impacts of the climate crisis are being acutely felt, from the devastating bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef to the horrific wildfires tearing across my own country," said Klein, who lives in Canada. "A great many people know in their hearts that now is the time for bold action..."

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/15/inspiring-new-agenda-naomi-klein-wins-2016-sydney-peace-prize

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2cqQA_zsKY

"I am his Hands. He is My Eyes."

"Enough slime this week. Now meet two men from the Chinese village of Yeli who have made the most of it. Jia Haixia is blind; his best friend Jia Wenqi lost his arms as a child. Since 2002, they have spent their days planting trees for the environment and for future generations. Despite their respective hardships, they say, "When we work together, two become one." At first, the village was skeptical the men could overcome what was "a wasteland." Today, their over 10,000 new trees guard the village "like green soldiers." "Planting trees has become an important mission of ours," says Haixia. "It may be hard financially, but we're so delighted spiritually." Humanity may yet prevail."


Video also at: http://www.commondreams.org/further/2016/05/13/i-am-his-hands-he-my-eyes
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