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Gender: Female
Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 11,543

Journal Archives

The People's Sanctions

How Nelson Mandela and ordinary citizens from all over the world strong-armed corporations, changed US foreign policy and ended apartheid in South Africa.

A nation that is boycotted is a nation that is in sight of surrender. Apply this economic, peaceful, silent, deadly remedy and there will be no need for force.
—Woodrow Wilson, 1919

Are economic sanctions an effective alternative to the use of force in international relations? Scholars are divided on the issue. Many have questioned Wilson’s judgment.

Yet the passing of Nelson Mandela brings to mind one grassroots campaign for economic sanctions that brought down a ruthless racial minority government: The campaign for sanctions against South Africa.

The anti-apartheid movement was one of the first grassroots campaigns to use economic sanctions to depose a government. It is a remarkable example of how a small group of activists helped change the course of history.

Citizens all over the world—from employees of transnational corporations and account-holders in major banks to consumers, cities, states, colleges, and universities—divested funds from companies that did business with South Africa. The goal was to cut apartheid South Africa off from the rest of the world.

Full article: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20493-the-peoples-sanctions

The Gates Foundation's Hypocritical Investments

ExxonMobil, Walmart, and McDonald's are just a few of the companies that the mega-charity supports.

—By Alex Park and Jaeah Lee | Fri Dec. 6, 2013 3:00 AM GMT

"With an endowment larger than all but four of the world's largest hedge funds, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is easily one of the most powerful charities in the world. According to its website, the organization "works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives." So how do the investments of the foundation's $36 billion investing arm, the Gates Foundation Trust, match up to its mission? We dug into the group's recently released 2012 tax returns to find out."

"The Gates Foundation did not respond to requests for comment; however, its investment policy says the the trust's managers "consider other issues beyond corporate profits, including the values that drive the foundation's work."

"In its most recent annual report to investors, private prison company GEO group listed some risks to its bottom line, including "reductions in crime rates" that "could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences," along with immigration reform and the decriminalization of drugs. Military contractor DynCorp, meanwhile, has faced allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and even slavery from the Middle East to Eastern Europe."


Why the World Should Care About Honduras' Recent Election

By Mark Weisbrot

Source: The Guardian

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Election results are often contested, and that is one reason why governments sometimes invite official observer missions from inter-governmental bodies such as the Organization of American States (OAS) or European Union (EU). But there are times and places when these outside organizations don't provide much in the way of independent observation.

On Sunday, 24 November, Hondurans went to the polls to choose a new president, congress, and mayors. There were a lot of concerns about whether a free and fair election was possible in the climate of intimidation and violence(pdf) that prevailed in the country. As I noted before the vote, members of both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate had, in the prior six months, written to US Secretary of State John Kerry, expressing their concerns.

Their worst fears proved justified. During the weekend of the election, three Libre party activists were murdered. This has received little attention from the media, but imagine if 120 Democratic party organizers (scaling up for the population of the US) were assassinated in the course of a US presidential election – a fourth Libre party activist was murdered on 30 November. Libre is the party formed by Hondurans who opposed the 2009 military coup that ousted the democratically-elected, left-of-center President Mel Zelaya. Their presidential candidate was Xiomara Castro, who is married to Zelaya.

Both letters also expressed concern about the electoral process, and here, too, the result was beyond their worst scenarios. According to the official results, Xiomara Castro received 28.8% of the vote, behind the ruling National Party's 36.8%. Another newly formed opposition party, the Anti-Corruption party headed by Salvador Nasralla, received 13.5% in the official tally.

Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/why-the-world-should-care-about-honduras-recent-election-by-mark-weisbrot.html

Nelson Mandela: Canada helped lead international fight against apartheid

It was a time when Canada truly stood tall, spearheading a key international committee leading the fight against apartheid and giving moral and financial support to apartheid’s opponents on the ground.

By: Bill Schiller Foreign Affairs Reporter, Published on Fri Dec 06 2013

It was a time when Canada truly stood tall.

It spearheaded a key international committee leading the fight against apartheid.

It gave moral and financial support to apartheid’s opponents on the ground.

It gave its diplomats inside the country the freedom to take the fight wherever it saw fit — taking on tear gas, blasts from water cannon and threats of expulsion by South Africa’s racist regime.

Canada’s distinguished fight against apartheid should make every Canadian proud.

But that was then, former foreign minister Joe Clark reminded me recently. He doubts Canada would take such a stand now — not under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.

“I think the bottom line is that these were the kinds of issues that interested (then prime minister) Brian Mulroney and myself and Flora MacDonald and Ray Hnatyshyn,” says Clark.

“It’s not the kind of issue that engages the attention of the present government.”

Full story: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/12/06/nelson_mandela_canada_helped_lead_international_fight_against_apartheid.html

No kidding, Joe. Harper has got us down on our knees. Even our much loved peacekeeping forces renowned for doing good work all around the world are now just a part of the NATO strategy to protect corporate interests. Times have sure changed ...... can't wait until we get an actual intelligent, empathetic human being back as PM, not this corporate, ass-kissing shill.

Canada’s political fight against apartheid

The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 06 2013, 6:08 PM EST
Last updated Friday, Dec. 06 2013, 6:20 PM EST

Not long after Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison in February, 1990, he made an international victory tour, visiting countries that had supported the liberation struggle. Canada, a strong foe of apartheid, was one of the first places he visited.

In a very unusual move, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney invited Mr. Mandela to address a joint session of Parliament even though he was yet to become an elected head of state.

Mr. Mandela seized upon the occasion to declare that he was “deeply moved,” on behalf of those who had been “deemed sub-human” and “outcasts,” to speak in a place “whose existence is based on the recognition of the right of all the people to determine their destiny.”

Talking directly to Canadians, he said: “We are made better human beings by the fact that you have reached out from across the seas to say that we, too – the rebels, the fugitives, the prisoners – deserve to be heard.”

Full story: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/nelson-mandela/canadas-political-fight-against-apartheid/article15812626/

The Day Mandela Was Arrested, With A Little Help From the CIA

The Day Mandela Was Arrested, With A Little Help From the CIA

One of the great things about the late great Nelson Mandela is that he didn’t hold grudges.

How else could he have accepted normal relations with the CIA, which tipped off the white-supremacy regime to his whereabouts in 1962?

According to a 1990 Johannesburg Sunday Times newspaper account, a CIA agent by the name of Millard Shirley fingered Mandela for the apartheid regime’s secret police, allowing them to throw up a roadblock and capture him.

“Shirley had a high-ranking ‘deep throat,’ a Durban-based Indian, within South African Communist party ranks,” Gerard Ludi, a retired senior South African intelligence agent told the paper.


Ex-official: CIA Helped Jail Mandela

By Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, Cox News Service.

June 29, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "Chicago Tribune" ----- June 10, 1990 - WASHINGTON — For nearly 28 years the U.S. government has harbored an increasingly embarrassing secret: A CIA tip to South African intelligence agents led to the arrest that put black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela in prison for most of his adult life.

But now, with Mandela en route to the U.S. to a hero`s welcome, a former U.S. official has revealed that he has known of the CIA role since Mandela was seized by agents of the South African police special branch on Aug. 5, 1962.

The former official, now retired, said that within hours after Mandela`s arrest Paul Eckel, then a senior CIA operative, walked into his office and said approximately these words: ``We have turned Mandela over to the South African security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be. They have picked him up. It is one of our greatest coups.``


By DAVID JOHNSTON, Special to The New York Times
Published: June 10, 1990

The Central Intelligence Agency played an important role in the arrest in 1962 of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader who was jailed for nearly 28 years before his release four months ago, a news report says.

The intelligence service, using an agent inside the African National Congress, provided South African security officials with precise information about Mr. Mandela's activities that enabled the police to arrest him, said the account by the Cox News Service.

The report, scheduled for publication on Sunday, quoted an unidentified retired official who said that a senior C.I.A. officer told him shortly after Mr. Mandela's arrest: ''We have turned Mandela over to the South African Security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be.''

Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the agency, declined to comment on the news-service report. ''As a matter of policy, we do not discuss allegations of intelligence activities,'' he said.


I was unaware of this .... is it true?

Top MD Reveals Corruption in Health Care

Health Corruption
Top MD Reveals Corruption in Health Care

-- Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine on health corruption

"The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion) . Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself."

The Truth About the Drug Companies
By Marcia Angell, M.D.

10-Page Summary Exposes a Major Health Cover-up


For a two-page summary of the health cover-up, click here

Worst-Case Scenario for Oil Sands Industry Has Come to Life, Leaked Document Shows

By Katherine Bagley

Source: InsideClimate News

Friday, December 06, 2013

As environmentalists began ratcheting up pressure against Canada's tar sands three years ago, one of the world's biggest strategic consulting firms was tapped to help the North American oil industry figure out how to handle the mounting activism. The resulting document, published online by WikiLeaks, offers another window into how oil and gas companies have been scrambling to deal with unrelenting opposition to their growth plans.

The document identifies nearly two-dozen environmental organizations leading the anti-oil sands movement and puts them into four categories: radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists—with how-to's for managing each. It also reveals that the worst-case scenario presented to industry about the movement's growing influence seems to have come to life.

The December 2010 presentation by Strategic Forecasting,or Stratfor, a global intelligence firm based in Texas, mostly advised oil sands companies to ignore or limit reaction to the then-burgeoning tar sands opposition movement because "activists lack influence in politics." But there was a buried warning for industry under one scenario: Letting the movement grow unopposed may bring about "the most significant environmental campaign of the decade."

"This worst-case scenario is exactly what has happened," partly because opposition to tar sands development has expanded beyond nonprofit groups to include individual activists concerned about climate change, said Mark Gloegel, a senior investigator for Greenpeace. "The more people in America see Superstorm Sandys or tornadoes in Chicago, the more they are waking up and joining the fight."

Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/worst-case-scenario-for-oil-sands-industry-has-come-to-life-leaked-document-shows-by-katherine-bagley.html

Nelson Mandela’s First-Ever TV Interview (1961)

By Maria Popova

Source: Nelson Mandela’s First-Ever TV Interview (1961)

Friday, December 06, 2013

Note: This post was originally featured on our site in 2010. In light of the news that Nelson Mandela has passed away at age 95, we’re bringing this vintage clip back to the fore. Here you can see a young Mandela making history, and without perhaps realizing it, building the remarkable legacy that remains with us today.

In 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested on allegations of sabotage and other charges and sentenced to life in prison, where he spent 27 years before becoming South Africa’s first president elected in a fully democratic election. His story, among modern history’s most profoundly inspirational, is beautifully and poetically captured in Clint Eastwood’s 2009 gem, Invictus. But what Eastwood’s account leaves out are the events that preceded and led to Mandela’s arrest.

In May of 1961, a 42-year-old Mandela gave his first-ever interview to ITN reporter Brian Widlake as part of a longer ITN Roving Report program about Apartheid. At that point, the police are already hunting for Mandela, but Widlake pulls some strings and arranges to meet him in his hideout. When the reporter asks Mandela what Africans want, he promptly responds:

“The Africans require, want the franchise, the basis of One Man One Vote – they want political independence.”

But perhaps more interesting is the dialogue towards the end of the interview, where Mandela explores the complex relationship between peace and violence as protest and negotiation tactics. We’re left wondering whether his seemingly sudden shift from a completely peaceful campaign strategy up to that point towards considering violence as a possibility may be the product of South African police going after him with full force that week. Violence, it seems, does breed violence even in the best and noblest of us.


Johnny Clegg (With Nelson Mandela) - Asimbonanga - 1999 Fran

RIP, Mr. Mandela.

A Great Being - A Tribute to Nelson Mandela - Dr John Demartini


"When great beings reach their time of passing nearly the whole world comes to know. Such men and women of great stature and influence touch lives they have never even met and possibly could ever know. Their previous messages and deeds transform whole societies and their lasting images become indelible in the minds of billions around the world. Their character becomes a new standard and their countenance leaves monuments and statues as reminders for other future beings to know themselves authentically and dare to be true and share. In every century there are those that leave their mark, and those who up the world’s ante. In every decade there are those who blaze new trails of possibility for others in societies to grasp and mold."

"Nelson Mandela was one such man who socially, politically, and culturally shined his great light upon the world. He stood for endurance and fairness in his principles. He changed the course of history with his dignity and mild manners. The great missions, the great visions and great messages that beings such as he has displayed can’t help but initiate great respect and honor from those touched and transformed. His grandness is not to be mourned, but his everlasting presence to be recognized, respected and appreciated for centuries to come. For it is wise for his very essence to simply keep living on within all of us."

"From passive to activist and from prisoner to President one man became a legend in his lifetime though stationed in simplicity and limited in residence he moved the world. Nearly a century of living, but ultimately millenniums of presence, Nelson was contributive through the very core of his essence. It is time to reflect on his great accomplishments and revere his message. Let us all dig deeper into our own nature and find grace and poise since this one man’s direction was the purpose of freedom and presence not race."

"Our time has come to carry on the inspiration of this great being so we can marry all polarities and liberate our constraints. It is not about color or gender or creed, it is about power and presence and internal voids that must be freed. It is about vision and purpose now that the world can begin to see and be free, for inspirations and meaning give us our lives with pure deeds. I am thankful and ready to take on the new mission now. May we all go inside and draw out our own genius renown. Thank you Nelson Mandela for your courage and knowing I just sense that you would want us to give gratitude and honor your new presence and keep growing. As I look into the future and can see what lays ahead, a new way of viewing the world and living now that your message is spread. May the great beings before you and those that will eventually come to pass continue to guide us into the new millenniums as you and they have done in the past. Thank you Nelson Mandela for a vision so vast may we now all have the wisdom to transcend the past."

Dr John Demartini – www.DrDemartini.com

Under the Global Shadow of Big Brother, Journalism Must Light Up the Political Sky

By Norman Solomon

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Every new revelation about the global reach of the National Security Agency underscores that the extremism of the surveillance state has reached gargantuan proportions. The Washington Post just reported that the NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” Documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden have forced top officials in Washington to admit the indefensible while defending it. One of the main obstacles to further expansion of their Orwellian empire is real journalism.

Real journalism is “subversive” of deception that can’t stand the light of day. This is a huge problem for the Obama administration and the many surveillance-state flunkies of both parties in Congress. What they want is fake journalism, deferring to government storylines and respectful of authority even when it is illegitimate.

In motion now, on both sides of the Atlantic, are top-down efforts to quash real journalism when and how it matters most. In the two English-speaking countries that have done the most preaching to the world about “Western values” like freedom of the press, the governments led by President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are overseeing assaults on real journalism.

They’re striving to further normalize fake journalism -- largely confined to stenographic services for corporate power, war industries and surveillance agencies. A parallel goal is to harass, intimidate and destroy real journalism. The quest is to maximize the uninformed consent of the governed..............

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