Archive | Politics

Insider: Palin Failed to Lead on Oil and Gas Safety in Alaska

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: djeo, auburnxc)

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: djeo, auburnxc)

There have been several recent oil spills and other environmental problems linked to the oil/gas production industry in Alaska. On December 23, a tugboat hit the Bligh Reef, the same reef struck by the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago. The recent grounding may have caused as much as 33,500 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into Prince William Sound.

The Prince William Sound tug spill followed several other recent environmental incidents on the oil production and delivery system that crosses the state to bring oil from the nation’s largest oil complex to Alaska and the Lower 48. On November 28, there was a spill at a refinery in the town of North Pole. On November 29, there was a large spill at an oil field on Alaska’s North Slope that further underscored British Petroleum’s failure to conduct its work in an environmentally sound manner, among other contamination problems.

All elements of Alaska’s North Slope oil system have been hit in recent weeks, this in the wake of the ongoing book tour by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Palin, who continues to promote herself as a politician who mirrors the needs of her constituents, has touted the tour of her book, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” as that of an old-fashioned bus tour, largely across Midwestern states. However, it has been revealed that while Palin has ordered her staff to take the bus, she has flown from event to event in a private jet.

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Tracking the Sound of Revolution

Review
(Photo: Junkyard Empire)

(Photo: Junkyard Empire)

The band Junkyard Empire does not differentiate among music, message and life.

Political Affairs magazine said, “A jazz version of Rage Against the Machine, Minnesota-based Junkyard Empire blends jazz instrumentals, hip hop, and socially conscious lyrics to create a fresh sound … this new Midwestern band has something to say.”

The title track of their new CD Rebellion Politik, declares:

They lure us in stores to keep us all poor
Ignoring the cure for what’s at the core
Explore the floor of the third world poor
Creating the wars for mineral ore

Lead vocalist/rapper Brian Lozenski, whose stage name is MC Brihanu says, “Music and art should represent life. My life revolves around social justice and trying to make a better world for my children. Therefore my music reflects that. I don’t think every piece of art and music needs to be explicitly political, but there needs to be an accurate reflection of people’s lives. Most of the mainstream music we hear today is purposefully not political. That is a political act in itself because corporate media does not want its consumers to think critically and challenge the status quo.” They are a band endorsed by Noam Chomsky.

Christopher Cox, founder of the band, tells Truthout the name evolved in this way:

“I originally proposed the name ‘Refuse Empire’ which was clearly anti-imperialist, but also an ecological statement. The US is an empire of refuse, since the American Empire is based on everything being expendable, quick, throwaway … including capitalism itself, which never leads to long-term good, it only leads to short-term ‘good,’ and that’s a short-term good only for a small group of people. So building an empire on junk is not good for anyone for the long term.” The name then morphed into Junkyard Empire from there. Continue Reading →

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Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire

And Ten Steps to Take to Do So

By Chalmers Johnson
from TomDispatch.com

However ambitious President Barack Obama’s domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.

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Kill the Indian. Save the Man.

Natives with spears block the highway during a barricade at the entrance to Yurimaguas city, in the Amazon region of northern Peru, June 11, 2009. Peru's Congress on Wednesday suspended two land-use laws that sparked clashes in which 60 people were killed last week, but indigenous people opposed to development in the Amazon jungle vowed to keep protesting. Indigenous groups and trade unions called today for a general strike in Peru to pressure the government to scrap the laws and they vowed to continue demonstrations despite Wednesday's vote, which did not define how long the suspension would last. Photo: Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Natives with spears block the highway during a barricade at the entrance to Yurimaguas city, in the Amazon region of northern Peru, June 11, 2009. Peru's Congress on Wednesday suspended two land-use laws that sparked clashes in which 60 people were killed last week, but indigenous people opposed to development in the Amazon jungle vowed to keep protesting. Photo: Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Manifest Destiny

In 1845, an American columnist, John O’Sullivan, writing about the proposed annexation of Texas, claimed that it was America’s “manifest destiny to overspread the continent.” Later in the same year, referring to the ongoing dispute with Great Britain over Oregon, he wrote that the United States had the right to claim “the whole of Oregon.”

And that claim is by the right of our Manifest Destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent that Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.

The westward expansion did not originate with O’Sullivan’s theory. In 1803, the United States acquired 23 percent of its existing territory through the Louisiana Purchase. Seeing land as a source of political power, the government began to actively pursue aggressive expansion of its territories through the 19th century. The idea of Manifest Destiny was one component of the process which captured the popular imagination. This was further fueled by the discovery of gold and other minerals in the West attracting Easterners acting on their conviction in their right and duty to expand.

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