Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Progressive Points: Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes 5.4% surtax on millionaires

In Around the web on March 11, 2011 at 7:00 am

From METEOR BLADES
Daily Kos

[Let's get behind this with emails, letters and phone calls. ~DS]

As he promised earlier this week, Sen. Bernie Sanders put some teeth into the “shared sacrifice” argument Thursday by introducing the Emergency Deficit Reduction Act. It would impose a 5.4 percent surcharge on Americans whose annual incomes exceed a milliion dollars. That, he says, would raise in the neighborhood of $50 billion. The bill would also get rid of tax breaks for oil and gas companies to the tune of $3.5 billion. This comes close to the $61 billion that House Republicans (and some Democrats) have decided to chop from programs in education, environmental regulation, heating subsidies for the poor, Planned Parenthood, nutrition, the Peace Corps and others. Says Sanders:

The American people get it. They understand you can’t move toward deficit reduction just by cutting programs that working families, the middle class, low-income people desperately need in order to survive in the midst of this terrible recession. They understand that serious, responsible deficit reduction requires shared sacrifice.

More Tax the Millionaires…

We can thank the Right Wing Greed-Heads for putting the ‘Movement’ back into the Progressive Movement

In Around the web on March 10, 2011 at 7:00 am

From MIKE LUX
Progressive Strategies

The great battles of this turbulent era will keep going on for years to come. The ideologues who want no check whatsoever on the power of big business have declared war on the middle class, and want no one to get in their way. Governors like Scott Walker and John Kasich will brook no compromise in trying to destroy unions. Right-wing politicians who have long wanted to do away with Social Security and Medicare and pretty much all safety nets for the poor are getting more and more brazen: Speaker Boehner made clear last week his plans to go after Social Security and Medicare sooner rather than later. And it is not just economics: the extremists are coming after not just a woman’s right to choose, but even birth control itself with their attempts to shut down family planning funding.

The good news is that, as I wrote in the Washington Post this weekend, these attacks on the things we hold dear are putting the “movement” back in the labor movement (and the women’s movement, and the progressive movement). We are going to march and demonstrate, we are going to recall Wisconsin legislators and, once a year has passed, the Governor. We will win a citizen’s veto ballot initiative fight in Ohio. More Greed-Heads…

The future is organic, love it or lump it

In Around the web on March 10, 2011 at 6:56 am


From DR. E. ANN CLARK
Energy Bulletin

Post-oil realities will advantage small-scale, organic, locally-sourced, seasonal, and minimally processed food, just as cheap oil selected for bigness, resource-based production, globalization, and processing/packaging/refrigeration.

INTRODUCTION
Organic will be the conventional agriculture of the future, not because of wishful thinking or because it is the right thing to do, or because of some universal truth revealed from on high.

You don’t need to be a utopian to see the agricultural landscape of the future dominated by organic practitioners – whether in the city or in the country – if you stop to ask yourself …why are we not organic now?

How did we get to where we are now, and not just in farming but in the entire agri-food system?

How did we evolve an agri-food system so centered on specialization, consolidation, and globalization? What drove us to an agri-food system that reportedly consumes 19% of the national energy budget – but only 7 of the 19% are used on the farm, with the remaining 12% incurred by post-farmgate transport, processing, More Organic Future…

The Suicide of the Republican Party

In Around the web on March 10, 2011 at 6:22 am


From KEITH OLBERMANN
FOK News Channel

Still having never learned to be calm, retract their claws, and sit around and act rationally in a situation that calls for panic, Wisconsin’s Republicans and their Corporate Puppeteers tonight guaranteed themselves an unprecedented and disastrous recall next January.

More over, they also guaranteed themselves that any cloak of stealth under which they have operated in their attacks on teachers, firefighters, policemen, unions, and the settled law of collective bargaining, has been stripped away. If you pass a supposedly urgent “budget repair” bill with key budget components cut from it, you forfeit the fiction that you are doing anything remedial, anything essential, anything except a naked power grab on behalf of corporations who will get the money stolen from organized labor – civic or private.

And further, when you accomplish all this by parliamentary trick – after your national party has spent two years and more decrying Congressional reconciliation – when you deny the minority the right to participate in the outcome whether by compromise or protest, you cut through the cacophony of political-speak in this country and you transmit your sneering indifference towards democracy to ordinary citizens who do not normally pay attention.

More Repugs…

Progressive Points: An Open Letter To My Conservative Family And Friends

In Around the web on March 9, 2011 at 7:08 am


From DOUG REED
Solidarity Wisconsin
Thanks to Joe Wildman

Dear Friends and Family Who Lean Politically To The Right,

First and foremost, I love you. The bonds of family and friendship are stronger than the wedge that any politician can drive between us. In these divisive times, I think it’s important that we keep telling each other that.

The Declaration Of Independence begins with these words: “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another… a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

You may have noticed that my Facebook page has gone all-Wisconsin-politics-all-the-time. If you haven’t already hidden me from your news feed, I feel that a decent respect for the opinions of my friends and family requires that I should declare the causes why I am throwing myself into the fight against this bill.

My politics are proudly liberal, but I strive to keep them from being knee-jerk Democratic party talking points. I have thrown my impassioned opposition More Recall Scott Walker…

Bruce Patterson: Mendocino Stories

In Around Mendo Island, Guest Posts on March 9, 2011 at 6:52 am

From BRUCE ‘PAT’ PATTERSON
Anderson Valley

A while back in the nearby woods a large gaggle of wild turkeys started raising a ruckus to the high heavens. A veritable convention of agitated gobblers, it was, them being in their tribal mood. By and by a bunch of the turkeys came running out the tree line, hopped the pasture fence and started circling in the grass, not so noisy now that they’d switched over to dancing. One Tom turkey froze, puffed himself up like a balloon, shuddered to make himself a teensy bit bigger by getting his chest feathers to stand on end, then fanned his tail feathers, curled his neck and broke into a skittering little soft-shoe, his movements dainty. “Lookee here,” he was saying, “ain’t I something?”

Self-expression is everywhere in nature, everything from the rocks on up tells a story, and each story is inextricably woven into all. We are the creatures of our earthly surroundings, and Delta Blues rose out of the rhythms of stoop labor and sweltering sun; Jazz mimics the sounds of the city, Bluegrass the songbirds, creeks and breezes. If a writer writes about the desert, his or her prose will be spare; writing about the jungle, florid, the sea, in ebbs and flows reflecting the lack of solid ground underfoot. The creator is made manifest in creation and self-expression, whether animal or human, is meaningful to the extent it is social. Art for art’s sake? How about More Bruce Patterson…

How to Feed the World’s Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture

In Around the web, Industrial Agriculture on March 9, 2011 at 6:27 am

From ALTERNET
Thanks to Janie Sheppard

A new report from the UN advises ditching corporate-controlled and chemically intensive farming in favor of agroecology

There are a billion hungry people in the world and that number could rise as food insecurity increases along with population growth, economic fallout and environmental crises. But a roadmap to defeating hunger exists, if we can follow the course — and that course involves ditching corporate-controlled, chemical-intensive farming.

“To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available. And today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production in regions where the hungry live,” says Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Agroecology is more or less what many Americans would simply call “organic agriculture,” although important nuances separate the two terms.

Used successfully by peasant farmers worldwide, agroecology applies ecology to agriculture in order to optimize long-term food production, requiring few purchased inputs More Agroecology…

Progressive Points: Tax Breaks vs. Budget Cuts

In Around the web on March 8, 2011 at 8:26 am

From DONNA COOPER
American Progress

House leaders are unfortunately restricting their proposed budget cuts for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 to nonsecurity discretionary spending in an attempt to tame a $1.3 trillion deficit. This approach is especially shortsighted since the Federal Treasury loses twice as much revenue due to tax breaks than Congress appropriates on all nonsecurity discretionary spending.

The chart below compares the 10 safety-net programs slated for deep cuts with the cost of the tax breaks that should also be considered for reduction or elimination to bring the budget into balance. The column on the left is a list of safety-net programs that have already been targets of the House leadership’s budget ax. The column on the right is the cost to specified tax breaks.

Most Americans would be surprised to learn that tax breaks are not on the table during any budget negotiations. In fact, Congress has the Congressional Budget Office prepare an official spending estimate for the cost of all programs or their expansions. Meanwhile, Congress enacts and continues tax breaks without any requirement that the cost of tax breaks be calculated and shared with members before a vote.

That’s why, over the last 16 years, the cost to the Treasury of the mortgage interest tax deduction, for example, doubled from $48 billion in 1995 to nearly $100 billion this year and no one made a peep about getting control of this loss in revenue. The stunning growth in this tax break is unchecked and unquestioned. More Progressive Points…

Progressive Points: The Astonishing Stupidity of Not Raising Taxes on the Rich When Budgets Are Tight

In Around the web on March 8, 2011 at 7:58 am


From LARRY BEINHART
Alternet

[There is nothing more telling about our former Republic than when the facts argue conclusively for a direction that favors the people, and the polls show agreement by a majority of the people, yet our representatives make decisions against us. This, of course, argues for non-violent revolution as the only course left. However, the Right may now have gone way too far and aroused the dumbed-down populace  to a fateful populism that overthrows them at the ballot box. One can still hope... ~DS]

History shows that when spending is cut — in the name of balancing the budget — recessions immediately follow.

The current economy is routinely and universally referred to as the worst recession since the Great Depression.

It makes sense, therefore, to look back at government tax and spending policies during the Depression and what the results were.

1932 — Hoover raises the top tax rate from to 25 to 63 percent.

More Progressive Points…

Frankenfish spook Northwest lawmakers

In !ACTION CENTER! on March 8, 2011 at 7:42 am

[We should ask Congressman Thompson, Senator's Boxer & Feinstein to support Senator Murray on this important issue. Washington, D.C. U.S. Congress toll free  (1866) 220-0044. ~Rosalind Peterson]

From McClatchy Newspapers
Thanks to Rosalind Peterson
Redwood Valley

Fearing for the wild salmon industry in the Northwest, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state wants to stop the Food and Drug Administration from making a quick decision on whether to approve genetically modified Atlantic salmon for human consumption.

Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska says that Congress can’t allow “these alien fish to infect our stocks.”

Murray and Young are part of a growing bipartisan coalition on Capitol Hill that’s out to stop a Massachusetts biotechnology company from winning federal approval to sell its fast-growing fish, which critics are calling “Frankenfish.”

“I’m very concerned this is being rushed through with massive potential for negative ramifications,” Murray said. More Frankenfish…

Michael Moore: America Is NOT Broke

In Around the web on March 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm

From MICHAEL MOORE

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic — and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it. More Moore…

Take Action Ukiah! Save Our Post Office!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on March 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

The historic Ukiah Post Office built in 1936 by the Work Projects Administration

Why We Can Win

The Ukiah post office has been the heart of downtown for 74 years. On Feb. 23, the United States Postal Service told the city that it wants to abandon this beautiful building and move all services to the annex on Orchard Avenue.

This proposal comes from the USPS district, which has to hear public comment at a meeting, respond to it, and justify the decision to higher management. Any decision can be appealed.

Many towns have been successful in defending their post offices. If the Ukiah community stands together, we can prevent this terrible blow to the city because:

It’s bad business. USPS intends to spend at least $360,000 to remodel the annex as a replacement, instead of keeping the downtown post office in good repair. Without the convenient downtown location, USPS will lose business and it hasn’t made a coherent explanation of why there would be any operational savings.

They’re hiding documents. USPS refuses to release its closure study and survey of the downtown building, while it claims a preposterous cost to make repairs to it.

It’s a historic building. USPS is required to protect historic resources, not needlessly abandon them and try to sell them off.

JOIN THE FIGHT. Let us know at Save@UkiahPostOffice.com if you would like to be notified of upcoming meetings, including the PUBLIC FORUM to be held soon where USPS officials will hear your comments.

To give your feedback TODAY, write Rosemarie Fernandez, District Manager, USPS, 1300 Evans Avenue, San Francisco CA 94124 or call her at 415-550-5001. [copy your letter to Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20590]

www.UkiahPostOffice.com – Facebook: Save The Ukiah Post Office 280 N. Oak St., Ukiah
~~

Racketeer Rabbit Republicans

In Around the web on March 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm


From KEITH OLBERMANN
FOK News Channel

All of human existence may divide equally into only two distinct and important times: those times when reality reminds you slightly of something you once saw in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and those times when reality reminds you a lot of something you saw once in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

In the 1946 Looney Tune “Racketeer Rabbit,” Bugs interrupts an Edward G. Robinson character dividing up loot with a Peter Lorre character. As ever, the rabbit knows how to get all the dough.

Bugs (in nightcap): What’s up, Doc?

Rocky: One for you (hands him a bill, denomination unknown)

Bugs (in derby): How ’bout me, Boss?

Rocky: Oh yeah. One for you (hands him more cash)

Bugs (in top hat): And me, Boss?

Rocky: One for you (hands him still more cash)

Bugs (in straw hat): And me, Boss.

Rocky: One for you (hands him more cash)

Bugs (in soft hat rolled back): And me, Boss?

More Keith Olbermann…

Take Action! GMO Seed Identification

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on March 5, 2011 at 9:21 am

From eHow

[Please contact me if you know other means and sources of GMO testing. Keeping our local seed strains clean is urgent. ~DS]

Local food growers who specialize in producing organic produce and home gardeners who want to avoid growing GMO crops in their backyard gardens have limited resources to identify whether a seed stock contains genetically modified organisms (GMO). There are three basic methods available.

Buy From Trusted Vendors

Many seed sellers sell certified GMO-free seed stock. One of the most comprehensive directories of companies that sell non-GMO seeds is the Southern Organic Resource Guide, which lists companies across the country. While this guide does not endorse the companies it lists, it states that it has made an effort to compile a listing of organic seed sources to assist organic producers and encourages growers to visit the respective companies’ websites.

Similarly, local co-ops that produce organic vegetables may also have “known non-GMO” seed sellers that are local to you.

ELISA Testing

ELISA protein antibody test strips offer relatively rapid turnaround times to determine whether a grain lot is non-GMO. However, their use is limited. The strips test for particular chemical and protein signatures More Seeds…

Will Parrish: Sovereignty, Not Localization

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Mendo Island Transition, Will Parrish on March 5, 2011 at 8:33 am

From WILL PARRISH
Laytonville

The most exciting aspect of Mendocino County’s civic life is the popularity of efforts geared toward creating a more ecologically-sane, human-scale economic system.  These activities commonly fall under the rubric of “economic localization.”  The basic idea is that people living in a given geographic area should produce what they use for themselves, rather than depend on purely self-interested corporations and wealthy absentee land owners to furnish these things for them.

In recent years, Mendocino County’s far-flung assortment of activities that are consciously geared toward achieving this end has been growing in breadth and depth.  The majority of efforts by localization activists encompass the areas of food cultivation and distribution (e.g., locally owned organic farms and farmers’ markets), transportation (e.g., Cars Are Evil), energy production (e.g., solar panel installations at private residences), and education about the tenuous state of the global economy.

One strong measure of California North Coast’s emergence as a national localization hub is the regional prevalence of sharing organic, open-pollinated heirloom seeds and seed saving.  Heirloom seeds are those handed down by families and tribes over generations.

Earlier this month, I participated in annual seed exchanges in both Boonville and Laytonville, which gatherings featured a broad assortment of seeds that local people cultivated in their organic gardens, ranging from Zapatista Blue Corn to chili peppers from Sri Lanka.  At the Anderson Valley Seed More WIll Parrish…

Todd Walton: Poets and Artists and…

In Around Mendo Island, Books, Guest Posts on March 4, 2011 at 8:28 am

From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTable.com
Mendocino

“The poet’s only responsibility is to write fresh lines.” Charles Olson

With all due respect to the organization known as Poets & Writers, I have always felt that if there’s no poetry in the writing, who needs it? Oh, I suppose a Chemistry textbook needn’t be rife with lovely language, but in the best of worlds all writing would be touched by the writer’s experience of having read and appreciated great poetry and beautifully crafted prose.

I sold my first short story for actual dollars when I was twenty-five. The year was 1974 and the buyer was Cosmopolitan magazine. This was at the very end of the era when that historic magazine along with a few dozen other large-circulation magazines in America still published fiction. Eventually I would sell stories to teen magazines and men’s magazines, along with several more to Cosmo, as my agent called that trashy mag, but I assure you I wrote all my stories with The New Yorker and Esquire in mind. Alas, those lofty literary realms were off limits to the unwashed likes of me. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as I am wont to do.

That first story I sold was about a black female prizefighter who, through a series of bizarre events, gets a shot at fighting a top-ranked male welterweight boxer. More Todd Walton…

James Houle: A Revolt From Neo-Liberalism?

In Around Mendo Island, James Houle on March 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

From JAMES HOULE
Obama-Watch.com
Redwood Valley

The Arab Revolt

What are the common features of all eight Arab countries that are now in open revolt against their governments? Lack of democratic governments, heavy dependence upon the US for military assistance, and dedication to the Neo-Liberalism that has made their ruling classes rich and the majority of their citizens impoverished. From Morocco to Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan, we find four kings, four autocrats, no free elections, no middle class and rampant corruption. The wealthy class in each of these eight has been enriched through the economic system called “neoliberalism” that the United States, the UK, the EU, the World Bank and the IMF have promoted over the past half century. While outright thievery of public funds by the royal family has played a role in some cases, more often than not it has been by allowing free and unregulated trade, and monopolization of commerce by a favored few, that the wealthy and well-placed have come to hold all the wealth.

Abu Atris, writing in Al Jazeera English, 02/24/11 describes this as “a conflation of politics and business under the guise of privatization – less a violation of the system than business as usual. Mubarrak’s Egypt is the quintessential neoliberal state.” David Harvey, the English geographer and lecturer More Jim Houle…

Scott Cratty: Our Local Farmers Need Us Now

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on March 4, 2011 at 7:53 am

Paula and Adam give us a 1-minute tour of their farm

From SCOTT CRATTY and MICHAEL FOLEY
Ukiah and Willits

[Includes a farmer's rant about soil and food below... DS]

Friends of the Farmers’ Market,

Greetings.  Been taking some time off from the farmers’ market this Winter? It seems that many in the Ukiah area have.

Attendance at our local farmers’ markets is down sharply relative to the last two seasons, both in Ukiah and in Willits.

Below this note you will find “A Self-Interested, Public-Spirited Appeal” for your support. It is was written by Willits market manager Michael Foley. Some of the specifics are about Willits, but the concepts conveyed apply equally well to Ukiah. The points about pricing at the winter farmers’ market mirror the analysis in a recent Press Democrat article you can find here.

If you can attend this Saturday (9:30 to noon starting at the corner of Clay and School Streets), it should be a nice market. Ukiah Greens will be back, possibly Green Uprising Farm as well.  Spring Hill Cheese has been back as well.  Plus we will be trying out a new musical group, Lazy Rebel.  They promise to deliver “positive acoustic from the heart.”

More Local Farmers…

Profiteering Madness. Adult Supervision Required.

In Around the web on March 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

From MICHAEL PARENTI
Common Dreams
Thanks to Dan Hamburg

[As usual, Parenti tells it straight…will we act before the bus plunges into the ravine?-DH]

Profit Pathology and Disposable Planet

Some years ago in New England, a group of environmentalists asked a corporate executive how his company (a paper mill) could justify dumping its raw industrial effluent into a nearby river. The river—which had taken Mother Nature centuries to create–was used for drinking water, fishing, boating, and swimming. In just a few years, the paper mill had turned it into a highly toxic open sewer.

The executive shrugged and said that river dumping was the most cost-effective way of removing the mill’s wastes If the company had to absorb the additional expense of having to clean up after itself, it might not be able to maintain its competitive edge and would then have to go out of business or move to a cheaper labor market, resulting in a loss of jobs for the local economy.

Free Market Über Alles

It was a familiar argument: the company had no choice. It was compelled to act that way in a competitive market. The mill was not in the business of protecting the environment More Profiteering Madness…

How the Rich Screwed the Rest of Us

In Around the web on March 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

From RICHARD D. WOLFF
Truthout

[This article deserves to be dinner table conversation.  What we are experiencing in the US, consistent with the historical behavior of empires, is a very successful organized criminal scam by a few to swindle the rest of us, dispossess us of any thing worth stealing (the mortgage fraud alone has impoverished millions) and so reduce us to basic survival concerns that we are even more easily disposed than in the past.  That is the whole US political narrative, and any attempt to divert peoples attention from this grand criminal enterprise is an effort, conscious or unconscious, to further enable the theft.  The US was a very rich country and there is still blood to be drained.  It begins to look, in these dark days, that the crime wave will continue until the country is bled white and dies a humiliating death. ~Herb Ruhs, Boonville]

How the rich screwed the rest of us: The astonishing story of the last few decades is a massive redistribution of wealth, as the rich have shifted the tax burden.

Over the last half-century, the richest Americans have shifted the burden of the federal individual income tax off themselves and onto everybody else. The three convenient and accurate Wikipedia graphs below show the details. The first graph compares the official tax rates More How The Rich Screwed Us…

US Uncut: How to Build a Progressive Tea Party

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on March 3, 2011 at 7:00 am

(Click Post Title Above To Enlarge)

From JOHANN HARI
The Nation

Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind. Enraged citizens gather in every city, week after week—to demand the government finally regulate the behavior of corporations and the superrich, and force them to start paying taxes. The protesters shut down the shops and offices of the companies that have most aggressively ripped off the country. The swelling movement is made up of everyone from teenagers to pensioners. They surround branches of the banks that caused this crash and force them to close, with banners saying, You Caused This Crisis. Now YOU Pay.

As people see their fellow citizens acting in self-defense, these tax-the-rich protests spread to even the most conservative parts of the country. It becomes the most-discussed subject on Twitter. Even right-wing media outlets, sensing a startling effect on the public mood, begin to praise the uprising, and dig up damning facts on the tax dodgers.

Instead of the fake populism of the Tea Party, there is a movement based on real populism. More Progressive Tea Party…

US UNCUT Debuts with Nationwide Protests Against Corporate Tax Dodgers

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on March 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

From CHUCK COLLINS
Alternet

Do You Pay Your Taxes?  Bank of America Doesn’t

In 2009 and 2010, according to their SEC K-10 report, filed on Friday, Bank of America paid no taxes. Meanwhile, the federal government and many state governments, facing large budget shortfalls, are cutting services and benefits that help the poor and middle class. For many people, that just doesn’t add up.

On Saturday Feb 26th, many of those people took to the streets in cities across the country to protest corporate tax dodging. In more than 50 cities, those protests focused on Bank of America.

Local activists protested inside and outside of Bank of America branches, conducting teach-ins about corporate tax avoidance and theatrical “bail-ins.”  They stopped passers-by to ask, “Do you pay your taxes? Bank of America doesn’t.”

In Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, protests forced the early closure of major bank branches. The San Fransisco protesters presented bank tellers with fake checks, made out from Bank of America to “The United States of America, c/o Tax-Paying Citizens.”

More Corporate Tax Dodgers…

Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Around the web on March 2, 2011 at 7:18 am

From TRANSITION CULTURE

[...] So, over to the US. Congratulations to Transition Cheltenham, which is Transition US’s 78th official initiative…exciting news! Transition Centre County recently held discussions about how rising oil prices would affect their community, so have a look and see what they think the impacts would be. Transition Town Hope is holding a movie series, while Transition Town Manchester has shared their ideas for some future projects including a River Walk displaying art that celebrates nature, a hazelnut tree planting project and their regular organic potluck…yum! The group will also be selling hazel nut trees to plant in the local area following on from their successful fruit tree project last year. They again plan to sell 350 trees to highlight the need to reduce atmospheric CO2 content to 350 parts per million if we are to maintain the earth’s current climate.

Transition Town Nashville recently held a local food movement webcast that brought together 20 high-profile speakers from the local food and slow food movements to discuss the importance of redefining the way we grow and prepare our food, so it would be great to know what the outcomes were. Transition Salt Spring together with a few other More Transition…

Hey John Pearson: Save The Ukiah Post Office! We were here! Where the hell were you?

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on March 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Letter to the Editors (AVA,UDJ)

In his Letter to the Editor (UDJ 3/1/11 – see below), John Pearson writes: “I am amazed that so many people would put so much energy into keeping an old building [Ukiah downtown Post Office] in place… Perhaps if these same people would have put these same energies to use we would still have a manufacturing base here in the valley that paid living wages instead of low paying entry wage jobs we now have… Where were they when Masonite was getting ready to close?”

Well, we were right here, John!… desperately protesting the massacre of our forests so we could save them to produce sustainable manufacturing jobs for the long term. We were here protesting the poisoning of our community by Masonite, asking them to clean up their act. Instead, corporate loggers and sawmills ignored our warnings that they were killing future jobs and ruining their welcome. We were right. The jobs are now gone because the forest was raped and ruined. Where the hell were you? More Ukiah Post Office…

Senator Bernie Sanders: There is a war being waged by some of the most powerful and wealthiest people against the Middle Class in this country

In Around the web, Aw, ya selfish greedy bastards ya on March 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

~

From BERNIE SANDERS

Many of the nation’s billionaires are on the warpath, they want more, more, more… their greed has no end… and apparently there is very little concern for our country or for the people of this country who get in the way of the accumulation of more and more wealth and more and more power.

Mr. President, in the year 2007 the top 1% of all income earners in the United States made 23.5% More Bernie Sanders…

Fear or Defiance? Destroy or Build? Cower or Flower? We Have Choices. Choose!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Dave Smith on March 1, 2011 at 8:09 am


More Choices…

The Peace/Antiwar Movement has been right all along

In Around the web on March 1, 2011 at 6:18 am


From JOHN GRANT
This Can’t Be Happening

It’s considered unsportsmanlike to say, “We told you so.” But since all’s fair in love and war and we’re definitely at war, it’s fair to say the peace movement has been right about the whole sordid reality of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That may sound audacious or ridiculous to some, especially to those knee-jerks who love to ridicule the peace movement while knowing nothing about what it really stands for.

It’s important to note here, that the peace/antiwar movement doesn’t have quite as extensive a public relations and propaganda program as that employed by the military and its supporters in the federal government and the mainstream media.

For instance, the peace movement doesn’t have well-funded, highly-trained Psy-Ops Teams such as Rolling Stone has shown the military has. So no one is able to brainwash US Congress members into cutting the military budget and de-funding the wars.

The peace movement also tends to be concerned about the poor, long-term ecological sustainability issues, improving education, creating jobs and figuring out affordable health care for all Americans, More Peace Movement…

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