Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Human Rights of Migrants and Their Families Protection, Not Violation


On 4 December 2000, the General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day (resolution 55/93). On that day, in 1990, the Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (resolution 45/158).

Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations are invited to observe International Migrants Day through the dissemination of information on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, and through the sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure their protection.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Janvieve Williams Comrie, 404 610 2807

The Human Rights of Migrants and Their Families
Protection, Not Violation

The problems faced by migrant workers and their families in the United States, both documented and undocumented, have become more acute the past several years. One of the nations most vulnerable populations, migrants have little or no representation in government and are often scapegoated in times of insecurity. The current economic crisis has created conditions that are ripe for exploitation and abuse; hate crimes and discrimination against communities perceived as immigrant are on the rise. On International Migrants Day, the US Human Rights Network calls upon federal, state and local governments and agencies across the U.S. to recognize, uphold and protect the human rights of migrants and their families. Recent studies estimate that about 36 million foreign nationals reside in the U.S., as many as 20 million of whom are undocumented. Though research consistently shows that migrants provide a net economic benefit to their communities, demagogues have pursued a campaign of fear and loathing against them, blaming migrants for a host of social ills. Officials have done their bidding by passing restrictive and punitive policies and laws that often violate international human rights standards.

Migrants and their families have been increasingly denied access to basic human services, including housing, health care and education. Migrant workers who attempt to enforce wage and other employment laws or form unions have been targeted for harassment, including arrest and raids by immigration authorities. The longstanding exploitation of migrant laborers, especially farmworkers, continues unabated. As borders have become militarized, migrant communities have been subject to racial profiling in the form of arbitrary stops and searches. Families have been torn apart by inflexible immigration policies and procedures. There is ample evidence of poor and inhumane conditions in immigrant detention facilities, including overcrowding, lack of legal counsel, and the denial of access to life-saving medical care.

Moreover, laws and policies affecting migrants vary wildly from state to state and community to community, creating an inconsistent and confusing tangle with no moral or philosophical foundation. It is time for a new administration and Congress to to adopt immigration laws, policies and programs that use a human rights perspective. The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, adopted by the United Nations in 1990 but not yet ratified by the U.S., offers a roadmap for a new approach, one that federal, state and local officials would do well to employ.

Advocacy groups and migrant communities themselves have been partnering to end these and other human rights abuses, but their voices have been largely ignored in an irrational climate. The observation of International Migrants Day compels everyone involved in the advancement of human rights throughout the world to speak out in support of the rights of migrants and their families in the U.S., and to insist that the fundamental rights guaranteed to all people apply equally to the most marginalized and powerless regardless of their economic or political status. To do anything less is to be complicit in their plight.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the human rights of migrants, Read Press Release on his visit to the United States

Committee on Migrant Workers

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congrats to the New Pres.

The following is of two parts. First, an important press release from Human Rights First. If any of you are formally connected to tjhe pres, and have any questions you may Krista Minteer regarding this press release. The second is my own message to President Barack Obama. which can be found at

For Immediate Release: November 5, 2008
Krista Minteer (212) 845-5207

HRF Calls on President Elect Obama to Make Restoring U.S. Commitment to Human Rights a Top Priority

New York, NY - The new administration will have its work cut out to restore the United States to a position of leadership in promoting and defending human rights, said a leading human rights group.

"The erosion of human rights protections in the United States in the aftermath of September 11th has had a profound impact on human rights standards around the world," said Elisa Massimino, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights First. "We urge President-elect Obama promptly to turn the page on the policies of torture and other abuse that have deprived the United States of its ability to lead on human rights for the past seven years."

In the course of his campaign, President-elect Obama called for an end to the Bush administration's policies sanctioning official cruelty, rendition, and prolonged detention without charge or trial. He has committed to closing the Guantanamo detention camp and reviewing the cases of the prisoners held there. During the primary season, President-Elect Obama met with a group of retired senior military leaders, convened by Human Rights First, to discuss the role of the next Commander in Chief in ensuring that interrogation and prisoner treatment policies are consistent with the welfare of the military and with American laws, values and interests.

Human Rights First has issued two blueprints for the next administration to chart a return to the rule of law, each setting forth a detailed, multi-stage strategy for addressing some of the most pressing human issues President-elect Obama will face. The two blueprints, How to Close Guantanamo and How to End Torture and Other Cruelty, are the first in a planned series, which will also take on issues such as private security contractors and Iraqi refugees.

"Vice President Cheney once attempted to justify the Bush administration's blatant disregard for the rule of law as 'the new normal.' The Obama administration must act decisively to prove that prognosis wrong" Massimino said. "The world will be watching what we do."

I want to congratualate you for a job well done. You have inspired people to make a change. It is my hope and prayer that you will be able to fulfill the promise and the trust the voters have made by electing you to be the 44th president of the United States. You were right in your acceptance speech about the nedd for unity and bipartisanship. One more thing though, for when you step up to that podium, you will be raising your hand and making a pact with the people to defend and protect the constitution. I encourage you to think deeply about that pledge and that promise. We need our rights to be restored and the constitution once again needs to be a living document, not some dead weight museum item to be admired by historian and school children. When you take that pledge, among the first thing to do in your agenda is to re-examine akk the changes that have been made in tha last 8 years and find ways to make it possible to live and feel like a free american. You may feel it neccesary to dismiss my writing this, because I did not click on being registered voter. There is reason, why I have not been a registered voter. I have felt most of my life as being excluded as a citizen, and more like a flying Dutchman. I was born of both American and Okinawan parents. Most all of my family live in Okinawa, while both my parents are dead in this country. I have a half brother whom I barely know - as we have been seperated all of our lives. His father was a n American Marine, but because we could not prove that hhis father was an American. So he was forced to live in poverty in Okinawa during it's reconstruction. Many Okinawans feel that Okinawa has been unjustly 'occupied' by the U.S. and desire the U.S. bases be closed. So I want to add in these last days before you decide to close this web site, my own feelings, hopes and desire.

A New Hope and Promise.
By Rev.Robert Mills - Nov 5th, 2008 at 10:59 am EST

So now you are President, the first African American to be elected to office. I just remember not too long ago, so many saying it was not possible for this to happen. So for me, it is a wonderful event and rekinders in me some new renewed hope after such a long period of time, when it seemed we were going going down the dangerosu path of autocracy.

I am still convinced that there is a hidden 'aristocracy' running things and that real change will be extremely difficult and will not come about except through revolution. I am a Gandhist, and belive with my whole being that non-violence is the means to bring about this revolution. The civil rights movement inaugurated by Marin Luther King was a significant part of this revolution. But he was the vopice, and those who boycotted buses, those who sat down in coffee shops and refuse to move, and thosew who demanded the integration of the schools, the many who went on drives through the south and some aqho sacrificed even their liveshave to be counted. This inspired the hispanics, the Asians and many others to fight for civil liberties and to clarify what the Founding Fathers meant in their vision for democracy and freedom.

So once again, I say to you President Barack Obama... when you stand on tha podium to accept the nomination as President of this great country, think deeply upon the outh of office and especially the part about defending the constitution. Many of our charished freedoms and rights have been seemingly made frivolous by changesi so called security laws instituted by the previousadminsitration. The Constitution and the bill of rights needs to be renewed and restored to being the highest law of the land.

The next thing need to be attended to, is to return our trops, and restore funding to the many innovative community efforts to end homelessness and poverty. This country is the nmost powerful one in the world and has the enough welath to be shared and to help the poor uplift themselves if given the chance, This means we need a better health care infrastructure, a better way to deliver transportation to those who cannot afford having a car, a better way to empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty. This not only means restoring Welfare programs, but also provide more opportunities for the small business and for the housing industry. The war in the middle East has drained many of these resources and have put us in debt for perhaps the next two generation. So the elderly needs to be assured economic security and future genearations should not have to worry about whether they will be secured after working all of their lives.

These are jsut a few of the things that has to be considered in the coming weeks and months. And it is hoped that by your first State of the Union address that you can say confidently that we are now on the right path to strengthen America and to seek an end to poverty and homelessness, and that All Americans can be positive of a secure future.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Global crisis equals global revolution

If you cross reference these three articles, and then take in account President Bush making the observation today that we are 'in a serious financial situation' - Is it no wonder then, should a widespread revolt? You cannot create a stop gap solution with a welfare program for the rich.

If you cross reference these three articles, and then take in account President Bush making the observation today that we are 'in a serious financial situation' - Is it no wonder then, should a widespread revolt? You cannot create a stop gap solution with a welfare program for the rich. []

The right wing, conservative Bush agenda is basically aiming to entrench the rich into an elitist 'boys club' cult who want the entire global community to be dependent upon them. It is the encroachment of fascism, and the masses need to hit the street and show these cronies of Bushites we ain't taking no more.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Full Moon Festival in Okinawa

Haisai Gusuyo...Greetings Everyone,

Every year, community organizers in Okinawa hold at least one Mangetsu
Matsuri (Full-Moon Festival) that consists of a mixed arts festival all
centered around the theme of peace and demilitarization.
This year they will be hosting another festival on the beach at Henoko
Bay- the site of the highly contested military port construction on
pristine reef and breeding grounds of endangered species, as community
proclamation of their wishes for peace and disarmament. In the past,
some festivals have been held simultaneously in conjunction with peace
organizers in Korea, rallying around similar themes of peace,
demilitarization and celebration of life through the expression of the
arts. The time is now for peacemakers in Hawai`i to join in this
collective humanity aspiration for world peace and the demilitarization
of our various social systems.

Some peaceseeking local Uchinanchu (Okinawans) will be gathering this
Sunday, October 12 around 7pm in Manoa at a private residence to be
filmed sharing messages of solidarity between Hawai`i and Okinawa, and
our collective aspirations for peace and demilitarization. It is our
hope to organize a joint Full-Moon festival in O`ahu in the near
future. However this year, due to a lack of immediate time and
resources, we will be sending a "video postcard" to be shown at next
month's Mangetsu Matsuri in Henoko, Okinawa. If you would like to take
part in this effort and share a short message of solidarity with the
people of Okinawa, you are welcome to share in this impromtu filming.
Please respond to this email ( or call: pete @782-0023.

Yuimaaru/Laulima/ Solidarity,

For some background, full-moon watching is an old tradition in Okinawa,
when people would gather to socialize and admire the beauty of the
full-moon during complimentary seasons. These festivals are founded on
tradition, but extended to the humbling awareness that we human beings
regardless of geography live under the same moon, a metaphor for our
interdependence and the primacy of our relations- and collective
survival. The spirit of the festival is building international
solidarity towards our collective humanity and needs for social justice
to achieve peace and true human security.

Full Moon Festival in Okinawa

Haisai Gusuyo...Greetings Everyone,

Every year, community organizers in Okinawa hold at least one Mangetsu
Matsuri (Full-Moon Festival) that consists of a mixed arts festival all
centered around the theme of peace and demilitarization.
This year they will be hosting another festival on the beach at Henoko
Bay- the site of the highly contested military port construction on
pristine reef and breeding grounds of endangered species, as community
proclamation of their wishes for peace and disarmament. In the past,
some festivals have been held simultaneously in conjunction with peace
organizers in Korea, rallying around similar themes of peace,
demilitarization and celebration of life through the expression of the
arts. The time is now for peacemakers in Hawai`i to join in this
collective humanity aspiration for world peace and the demilitarization
of our various social systems.

Some peaceseeking local Uchinanchu (Okinawans) will be gathering this
Sunday, October 12 around 7pm in Manoa at a private residence to be
filmed sharing messages of solidarity between Hawai`i and Okinawa, and
our collective aspirations for peace and demilitarization. It is our
hope to organize a joint Full-Moon festival in O`ahu in the near
future. However this year, due to a lack of immediate time and
resources, we will be sending a "video postcard" to be shown at next
month's Mangetsu Matsuri in Henoko, Okinawa. If you would like to take
part in this effort and share a short message of solidarity with the
people of Okinawa, you are welcome to share in this impromtu filming.
Please respond to this email ( or call: pete @782-0023.

Yuimaaru/Laulima/ Solidarity,

For some background, full-moon watching is an old tradition in Okinawa,
when people would gather to socialize and admire the beauty of the
full-moon during complimentary seasons. These festivals are founded on
tradition, but extended to the humbling awareness that we human beings
regardless of geography live under the same moon, a metaphor for our
interdependence and the primacy of our relations- and collective
survival. The spirit of the festival is building international
solidarity towards our collective humanity and needs for social justice
to achieve peace and true human security.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

War and Nationalism

August 25, 2008 2:00pm

Soldiers, veterans, military families, state lawmakers will use DNC to announce major change in war powers debate

WHAT: Press Conference: “Bring the Guard Home: It’s the law.”
WHERE: Colorado State Capitol Building, 200 E Colfax Ave., Denver
WHEN: MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM

(Denver) — As the eyes of the world turn to Denver, soldiers, military families, veterans, and pro-democracy organizers released details today of a Denver press conference with a simple message: Democratic state legislators are prepared to act where Congress has so far failed to act, and to end National Guard deployments to Iraq. The DNCC Bring the Guard Home! press conference this Monday will be the first truly national press event in a series of events held recently in New York (8/17/8), New Jersey (7/4/8), Pennsylvania (8/9/8), and Vermont (8/3/8), all of which are home to active Guard defederalization efforts.

The Bring the Guard Home! campaign is a major national effort to end deployments of the National Guard to Iraq. Led by military families and veterans, citizens from across the country are working with state legislators in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin to pass Guard defederalization legislation. Similar campaigns are now beginning in a half-dozen other states.

Organizations endorsing and promoting the national Bring the Guard Home! campaign now include Iraq Veterans Against the War, Cities for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, Military Families Speak Out, CODEPINK, Women Legislator’s Lobby, Peace Action, Courage to Resist, U.S. Labor Against the War, Progressive Democrats of America, AfterDowningStreet, and Women’s Action for New Directions, all working with the national pro-democracy group, Liberty Tree.

Additional Information:

Nationalism Vs. Patriotism
Written by Richard Marcus

George Orwell wrote that nationalism was one of the worst enemies of peace. He defined nationalism as the feeling that your way of life, country, or ethnic group were superior to others. These types of feelings lead a group to attempt to impose their morality on any given situation. When those standards were not met, more often then not, war would result.

In contrast he stated that patriotism was the feeling of admiration for a way of life etc. and the willingness to defend it against attack. The obvious difference between the two is that while patriotism is a passive attitude, nationalism is aggressive by nature.

Orwell was writing this during the years just prior to World War Two when nationalism in Europe was running rampant. Not only was Hitler stoking the fires in Germany, but Mussolini was taming the savages of Ethiopia, and Stalin had just finished Russiafying the Ukraine and was contemplating "reclaiming" Finland.

Since the end of World War Two nationalism has escalated beyond what Orwell's worst nightmares could have visualised. The first wave began with the dissolution of the colonial empires through out the developing world. As they retreated they left behind cesspools of ethnic tensions.

In some countries it had been official policy to play the race card as a means of keeping unrest in check. By creating conditions where it seemed one group was favoured over another, especially a minority over a majority, resentments were built up to the boiling point. As far as the colonial masters were concerned as long as they were fighting each other they won't come after us.

From one country to the next as independence was achieved nationalistic violence was the rule rather then exception. In India Hindu leaders like Gandhi who pleaded for restraint were murdered by extremists of their own faith. In Israel terrorist groups from both sides set bombs and attacked civilians in order to solidify their claims to territory.

But it was with the big two that most of drama became centred upon. The U.S.S.R. under Stalin did a quick land grab after the end of the war simply by refusing to leave the countries that they had "liberated" from the Germans. On their side the United States began their policy of propping up a variety of dictatorships under the guise of preventing the spread of communism.

It's debateable whether these initial actions were driven more by "real politick" then nationalism, one side trying to limit the other sides power and influence more then an expansion and imposition of a way of life. But in the end the justifications for actions began to take on the sound of nationalistic fervour whatever the original intent.

American governments began wrapping themselves in the flag of protectors of freedom and democracy under more and more spurious circumstances. Meanwhile the Soviets claims of liberation from the chains of capitalism and oppression became harder to swallow during the post Stalin revelations of mass murders and famine.

Nationalism has a history in both countries as far back as their beginnings. Under the Tsars the Russian empire was just as expansionistic as the Soviets stretching their sphere of influence from the Balkans to the near east. In the U. S. it was first implemented as policy in 1810 with the Monroe Doctrine, which lay claim to the whole western hemisphere as being under American influence.

In both countries these policies continue unabated till this day. Chile, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, and Cuba for the U.S. and Chechnya and Afghanistan for the Russians are all recent examples of hemispheric control exerted by both nations. Of course with the collapse of communism the influence of Russia has waned and that of America has increased.

The fall of communism combined with the death of Marshall Tito gave the world another fine example of nationalism in action. As Yugoslavia fell back into it's divergent states majority ethic groups began to "cleanse" their territories of minority presences. Once again proving that nationalism knows no boundaries or is exclusive to any one race the cities and country sides of the former Yugoslavia became killing fields. Serbian killed Croatian, Croatian killed Muslim, Muslim killed Croatians and Serbians, Albanians and Macedonians killed each other and so on in a vicious circle of hate.

To claim moral superiority or believe that one way of life is superior to another is to pay disservice to the notion of diversity. How can one genuinely respect another's beliefs if you feel inherently better then they are just because of an accident of birth? It's one thing to take pride in who you are and what you believe in. It's another altogether to think that yours is the only way.

This attitude has led to the extermination of whole nations of indigenous peoples throughout the world. Vibrant and living cultures that could have contributed thinkers and ideas were cut off because "they were not like us". Through literal and cultural genocide our world is being homogenised to a point that will soon reach no return if we are not careful.

Look at Orwell's definitions of nationalism and patriotism again. Think about the differences. Which do you think would contribute to a better world?

Eric Arthur Blair was an English journalist, political essayist and novelist, who wrote under the pseudonym George Orwell.
His writing is marked by concise descriptions of social conditions and events and a contempt for all types of authority. He is most famous for two novels critical of totalitarianism, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, a satire of Stalinism.
Now playing: Rhapsody of Fire - Silent Dream
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Roots in Okinawa

"The US military has been stationed in Okinawa since 1945, occupying almost 20% of the main island where 1.36 million people live. In the fierce "Battle of Okinawa" at the end of WWII, 25% of the population died. When Okinawans who had been displaced by the battle returned after the war, they found their lands taken by the US military.

During the Korean War in the 1950s, Okinawa functioned as an outpost. Women working in bars around the bases faced brutal violence, rape, and murder by soldiers. During the Vietnam War, when all US soldiers finished their last training in Okinawa before deployment in Vietnam, many women, especially those in the sex industry, were raped and killed. Many who were assaulted were deeply traumatized and severely suffer to this day.

US soldiers' sexual crimes know no national boundaries. On November 1, 2005, a woman was raped by a US Marine while three others looked on. The four Marines belonged to a unit stationed in Okinawa, but were at Subic Bay participating in a joint "war-on-terror" exercise with the Philippines military. On December 4, 2006, only one of them, Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, was convicted in Philippines court, while the others were acquitted and immediately returned to Okinawa. Smith may face 20 to 40 years of imprisonment, though he has since been returned to US custody and many doubt that he will serve his sentence.

In a similar case in Okinawa in June 2001, the sentence was only three years, demonstrating a clear contrast between the criminal justice systems of Japan and the Philippines regarding sexual crimes. In fact, the US government has agreed to turn suspects over to Japanese authorities in cases of rape because of the light sentences for sexual crimes in Japan."

- Suzuyo Takazato - "Outposts of Violence: Sixty Years of Women's Activism Against US Military Bases"

Suzuyo Takazato is co-founder of the activist group Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence.

From a regular newsletter I receive via email, published by Pete Shimazaki (doktor). I had learned of the death of a relative of mine:

"I leave you with the words of an Okinawan elder and non-violent resistance encampment that he told some Okinawan-Americans from Hawai`i during the 2006 Uchinanchu Taikai before he unfortunately passed away last year: "Tell the diasporic Uchinanchu (Okinawans) that if we lose Henoko (to the military), we'll have lost Okinawa (as a whole)."(Mr. Kinjo to Dr. Joyce Chinen)."

I have known of the aforementioned struggle of Henoko, since my last return to Okinawa in 1995; when meeting most all of my relatives (including my half brother. Mr Kinjo words strike my heart, even though I am by blood only partially Okinawan - I, nonetheless consider myself as a part of 'the diasporic uchinanchu', having many relatives in Okinawa. Both of these issues have a profound and deep influence as to why I am so radical in my stand with human rights and peace. My brother in Okinawa was one of the consequences of the terrible way Okinawan women were treated by much of the military there. He is not with me in this country, which he has full rights to be here, but because a US Marine sergeant who lives in San Diego refuses to admit being the father - my brother was not granted the right to live here. So for 50 years we have been separated. We should have been together as a family. Even our mother is gone. She, after seemingly failing to bring her first son to America, committed suicide when I was only 2 years old. No U.S official nor red Cross official notified my family in Okinawa that she was dead. They learned of her death when after my father died, my American grandmother had to tell them some 12 years later. MY Okinawan family thought she was angry with them because her letters stopped and they did not know why for those 12 years. When I returned to Okinawa in 1995, I was shown where my mother grew up and lived, and was shown the letters she had written. Some of these letters were read to me by cousin. I* am 52 years old, and my brother is in his late 50's, I am not sure. But when I met him for the most part, the first time in my life. He told me in Japanese, that he remembered holding me, his little brother who was about to leave to America with mother and father. To this day, it pains me deeply that we are such a wide distance apart, not only by the Pacific Ocean but by language and culture. When we saw each other at the airport in Okinawa, we embraced each other, my Okinawan grandmother spoke, saying the lost son has returned.

Now that I am 52, completely settled in the language and culture of America, will I ever return to Okinawa? Will I ever be able to get to know more about my brother and the rest of the family? At this point, such seems like such an impossibility. I do not have the money, I still cannot speak the language, neither Japanese nor the Okinawan dialect. I am very ill with diabetes and other complications, and may not survive the coming decade. Much of my family has died, and many still have never met me. For many years I have identified with the fable of the Flying Dutch man who in exile could never really find a country to settle in and be a part of. But I need so much to share this with whomever can listen and become sensitive to us who were as much the victims of war as those who were actually killed in war.

I walked the streets of Naha, where I was born, and the village where my mother was born and raised. I traveled from one end of Okinawa to the other. I so much wanted to stay, but was not able to. The Japanese government was not ready to let me. So now, here I am, a member of the diasporic uchinanchu, dreaming of the impossible.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

House votes for Bush impeachment

Thu, 12 Jun 2008 02:20:59

The US House of Representative, Washington
The US House of Representatives has voted to send articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush to the Judiciary Committee.§ionid=3510203

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cyberb764: Creeping Fascism continues to influence congress

Cyberb764: Creeping Fascism continues to influence congress

Cyberb764: Legal Issues by Mike Masnick Wed, Jul 9th 2008 10:44am

Cyberb764: Mike Masnick Wed, Jul 9th 2008 3:27pm

Creeping Fascism continues to influence congress

As we seek to stop the big telco's from stealing the internet from us, let us keep in mind that if we fail in this campaign, we will see more of our rights being removed from us and given over to the big corporations and the centralized government. Such is the nature of fascism and the greater beast of the military industrial complex.

Senate Sells Out The Country: Approves Telco Immunity
from the sickening dept
by Mike Masnick

Wed, Jul 9th 2008 3:27pm

Well so much for the attempts to filibuster and block telco immunity from being approved. The Senate has granted the telcos immunity with a 69 to 28 vote, effectively handing the President a "get out of jail free" card to not just protect the telcos, but to hide any evidence that the administration's warrantless wiretapping program may have been illegal. This is a total capitulation, and goes against every concept of checks and balances our government was established under... more at

Big phone and cable companies are trying to eliminate Net Neutrality, the principle that protects our ability go where we want and do what we choose online.

More than 1.5 million supporters are fighting to keep the Internet free and open for everyone.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My recovered web site is

I have completed the recovery and transfer of my web site. It is still being developed and I have not created all of the pages I want to have, it is live and ready to be read. Please visit, and send any comments you may have to It has been down for about a year, and I did not have a backup of the original. So I have had to recreate the whole web site from scratch (including the original design lay-out and content). I will be having new content and a totally new design, with emphasis on spirituality and political action, human rights and technology. The present web site was designed using the Sea Monkey Composer ( and Scream HTML editor (

You can visit my web site at

For those who love music, I do have a LastFM widget embedded on the first page, where visitors can see what music I am listening to, and go to Last FM and if they are not members already,they can sign up. This widget allows you to play music while examining the front page. Later on, I will be having a page dedicated to music and music news.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Logos Institute of Spiritual Humanism

The Logos Institute of Spiritual Humanism is an online community of
seekers, activists and all those who have been considered outside the
mainstream areas of spirituality and religion. I welcome again all
those who have already become members. Feel free to contribute by posting
messages, uploading files, and photos and links.

Those who are looking for a spiritual home, please join, and make your
contributions and help make this a vibrant community.

In time, we may grow as a community and as individuals. THrough sharing
we can grow, even at moments of disagreement and conflict.

To make this work, all individuals who join should participate and
share. Please feel free to use this group to promote the spiritual
perspective of Spiritual Humanism. Be advise though, that this group
is established for sharing and dialog. Violence, bigotry, racism,
sexism, and all manner of other prejudice will not be tolerated.
Otherwise it is an open community.

Friday, June 27, 2008

ZoneEdit - great service for free

As I searched for a solution to get my own website online, and how I might be able to retrieve my domain name before it expired, I came across this service which is free. It is called ZoneEdit at

If you already have a domain name which is not being hosted, you can get it back online with this service for free. Yesterday I signed up for it and redirected the domain namew server from my former hosting service. If you do not already have a domain, they also have links to really cheap services to get one. In 72 hours I will be live again with Cyberb Solutions. the url will be Within minutes of signing up I was able to retrieve my mail as well which was Before this discovery, I was using Microsoft Live Office, and I thought I had lost this email address forever and everyone I made contact with. Now it is back and I will be able to use my business cards again.

So if you want to create your own website for music or sharing, or just your own fan page, give this a try. Go to, you will have fun making your own web site. Contact me if you would like to have a little help with this.
My new website will be live within 72 hours:Cyberb Solutions.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Notes on Socialism and Anarchism

Socialism Has Never Been Tried

When It Is Tried It Must Be Established Globally

World Socialism Can Only Be Brought About Democratically
We begin with these three points because they are vital to any kind of an understanding of what we mean by socialism.

We reject the idea that socialism has been tried in countries sometimes referred to as socialist. Look below at our definition of socialism and ask yourself if this in any way describes the state capitalist, police states of modern China and Cuba or the old regimes in Russia and eastern Europe, or the past and present "social-democratic" governments in many countries.

We reject the idea of socialism in one country. National socialism equals non-socialism. The capitalist system is global and so must the system which will replace it.

We reject the idea that people can be led into socialism. Socialism will not be established by good leaders or battling armies, but by thinking men, women and children. There can be no socialism without socialists.

So what does Socialism mean then?

That's a straight question, so here's a straight answer.

Socialism means a global system of social organization based on:

Common Ownership: All the productive wealth of the world will belong to all the people of the world. No more transnational corporations or small businesses and therefore nobody will own the world. It will be possessed by all of its inhabitants.

Democratic Control By All: Who will run socialist society? We all will. There will be no more government and governed. People will make decisions freely in their communities, in regions and globally. With the existing means of information technology and mass communication this is all possible.

Production For Use: Instead of producing goods and services for sale and profit, the sole reason for production will be to satisfy needs and desires.

Free Access: A society in which everyone owns everything, decides everything and only produces anything because it is useful will be one in which all will have free access to what is produced. Money will cease to have any function. People will not work for wages or salaries, but to give what they can and take what they need.


There is probably more rubbish talked about anarchism than any other political idea. Actually, it has nothing to do with a belief in chaos, death and destruction. Anarchists do not normally carry bombs, nor do they ascribe any virtue to beating up old ladies.

It is no accident that the sinister image of the mad anarchist is so accepted. The State, the press and all the assorted authoritarian types, use every means at their disposal to present anarchy as an unthinkable state of carnage and chaos. We can expect little else from power-mongers who would have no power to monger if we had our way. They have to believe that authority and obedience are essential in order to justify their own crimes to themselves. The TV, press and films all preach obedience, and when anarchy is mentioned at all, it is presented as mindless destruction.

There is nothing complicated or threatening about anarchism, except the fearsome arguments it can get you into. Such as the one about the chaos there would be if everyone did just what they wanted. But we have chaos already don't we? Millions are out of work, whilst others do too much boring, repetitive labour. People starve at the same time as food is being dumped into the sea to keep prices up. Our air is choked by the fumes from cars that contain only one person. The list of crazy, chaotic things that happen is endless.

Even the good' things that the State does are actually harmful. The Health Service, for example, patches us up just like an industrial repair shop which in a sense it is. It serves to make us dependent on the State and, worst of all, it buys us off cheaply. It prevents us from creating the genuine, self-managed Health Service we need, geared to our needs not theirs.

Within anarchism there are many different but related ideas. There are complete systems of anarchist political theory going by names like federalism, mutualism, individualism, syndicalism, anarchist-communism, anarcha-feminism, situationism, and so on.

Traditionally, anarchists believe that the main problem with the world is that it is divided into masters and `wage slaves'. If we could get rid of the bosses and run industry ourselves, for the benefit of our own needs not theirs, it would clearly make a big improvement and would transform every area of life.

There are, however, some anarchists who believe the working class is so used to being enslaved that some other route to revolution will have to be found.

... there is a concern for the rights of the individual running through anarchism. There is no point in all our activities and theorising if it is not eventually going to make life better for individuals like you and me.

Unlike marxists and other fake socialists, we believe in at least trying to live out our principles in everyday life. If you believe in equality you should treat people as equals as far as you can. An anarchist would be less likely to forgive Marx's ill treatment of his servants and his wife than a marxist would!

The ways people treat each other add up to make society as a whole. In an insane society like this one, people treat each other badly.

Direct action can be used to change the conditions of houses, streets, schools, hospitals, and other amenities. Such reforms have, in themselves, little to contribute towards building an anarchist society, but making people aware of the potential of direct action is important. At best such actions foster feelings of community spirit and promote self organisation. They raise politic l consciousness. At worst they lead to feelings of hopelessness and complete disillusionment with the human race. These feelings may drag you to political suicide. Such `has-beens' are to be seen in many Labour Party gatherings.

What sort of actions are we talking about? Well if you're short of a house, then consider squatting. It by-passes the authorities in charge of housing and challenges property relations. It effectively demonstrates the disgrace of empty houses side by side with homelessness. Unfortunately, popular prejudice hinders squatting from obtaining the wider support necessary for real change.

The community life of the street can be improved by festivals, street theatre, and so on. Of course this sort of thing can have its drawbacks too, unless you're the sort of anarchist that's into Lady Di and her mates!

Anarchists have participated in and often dreamt up all sorts of self-help schemes. These include making better use of land, labour swapping schemes, consumer product sharing schemes. Again these encourage independence and demonstrate that alternative forms of economic exchange are viable. Beware paid community workers wishing to professionalise the idea and destroy its real benefits by making it part of the system.

For more detailed consideration of anarchist theory, we have provided a booklist for further reading. We have listed areas of activity and outlined the anarchist approach. We have made no attempt to indicate which types of activity are most likely to lead to a non-authoritarian future. From Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Anarchy
(But Were Afraid To Ask)

By: The Anarchist Media Group

Also check this out:

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. - Sinclair Lewis (1935)

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. - Noam Chomsky

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. - Noam Chomsky

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated over, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither right, nor knowledge, nor virtue. - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime. - Max Stirner

You can't fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up. - George Carlin

Thursday, June 19, 2008

RIDER ALERT! State budget cuts $19 million from AC Transit

The (Ca.) state budget under consideration in Sacramento includes cuts of $19 million in AC Transit operating funds, starting July 1. With fuel costs skyrocketing, these budget cuts will mean a huge funding shortfall, leading to both fare increases and service reductions. Statewide, the proposed budget would slash $1.4 billion from public transit.

AC Transit is fighting to reverse these cuts, but the Governor needs to hear the voices of bus riders and other concerned members of the East Bay community! Please call the Governor to tell him that AC Transit cannot afford to lose this funding. Let him know how important bus service is for you, your friends and family, and the community at large.

A phone call is the most effective, but a faxed letter or online comment is good, too. Thank you for your help!

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
(916) 445-2841 (phone)
(916) 558-3160 (fax)

For more information on the transit budget crisis, visit or

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From National Coalition of Homeless

House Releases Draft 302(b) Allocations
Last Friday, June 13, the House Appropriations Committee released draft 302(b) allocations for the fiscal year (FY) 2009 appropriations process, which set the overall funding levels for each of the 13 appropriations subcommittees. After the 302(b) allocations are finalized, each subcommittee will take its overall total and distribute it among the various programs. Under the draft allocations, the Transportation-HUD Subcommittee, which funds homelessness and low-income housing programs, will receive $55 billion for FY 09, which is $6.2 billion greater than what was enacted in FY 08 and $4.4 billion greater than the President's request.

House to Hold Hearing on Section 811 Bill
This Friday, June 20, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity of the House Financial Services Committee, will hold a hearing on H.R. 5772, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2008. The bill, which was introduced in April by Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IN), would make a number of changes to the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. The hearing is scheduled for 10 AM in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building, and a list of witnesses has not yet been announced

Monday, June 16, 2008

Democracy Alert: Support the TRADE Act

Democracy Alert:
Support the TRADE Act

Global Trade Watch

What's happening:
After years of fighting against expansion of the failed NAFTA/ WTO model, we're thrilled to announce a new trade bill we can all be for.

The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, cosponsored by fair trade champions Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), was introduced on June 4, 2008 with over 50 House and Senate original cosponsors! This landmark legislation sets forth in concrete, detailed terms a progressive vision for good trade agreements in the future and criteria to renegotiate existing failed pacts like NAFTA and the WTO.

Fifteen years of the NAFTA/WTO model has led to massive job loss, downward pressure on wages and the loss of nearly 300,000 family farms. It's given broad, expansive new rights to foreign corporations to challenge our environmental and public health standards and flooded the U.S. with unsafe imported food and products. And it has devastated developing nations, where millions of family farmers have been forced off their land, and where poverty, despair and desperation-driven mass migrations have grown.

The TRADE Act lays out in detail a new path forward for U.S. trade policy to achieve societal goals such as good jobs, safe food and promotion of basic human rights, healthy communities and environmental protection.

What you can do:
We now need as many representatives and senators as possible to publicly support this bill by signing on as cosponsors. Write your members of Congress now and urge them to cosponsor the TRADE Act!

To use the Global Trade Watch contact form, click here:

For more information:
Available here:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Help San Francisco Poor

PROTEST Mayor's proposed budget

Location: The Bellaire Tower building- 1101 Green Street, at Leavenworth Street

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 11, 6:00 pm.

What: Street Theatre, Dinner, and more


Mayor Newsom released a budget that will terminate critical health and human services, while pumping up salaries for police by 25% and adding many new high paid patronage positions into his own administration.

Some highlights of the devastating impact of the budget include:

1) Closure OF Ella Hill Hutch shelter serving up to 100 people every night in the Western Addition.

2) Closure of Caduceus Outreach Services, a mental health treatment and wrap around support program for severely disabled homeless adults with co-existing addictive disorders.


4) Almost total elimination (66% cut) of SRO Families United program for families with dependent children living in hotels.

5) Cut of 22% of residential substance abuse and mental health treatment programs budgets.

a. Removal of support from Conard supportive housing program for severe psychiatric disabilities.

b. Closure of Cortland Acute Diversion Unit for individuals in psychiatric crisis.

c. Loss of 13 out of 28 community based medically supported detox beds - serving 350 people a year.

6) Cut of 30% to all outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment

7) Almost total elimination of STOP treatment program.


Brought to you by the People's Budget Collaborative - working for a fair city budget for poor people in SF

To learn more about our work, and to get the latest scoop on the politics of poverty in SF, go to the Street Sheet blog:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Impeach Bush

Congressman Kucinich has laid out an extensive indictment of the president. Read them slowly, let them all sink in and then take action to bring this bad dream to its proper ending ~ Impeachment.

Here is the index of article titles:

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders

The full text of the articles is available at:

Here's a video of Kucinich beginning his presentation on the floor:

What you can do:

Email your Representatives to support Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment

Call your Representative at 202-224-3121

Call your favorite talk shows and tell everyone who supports impeachment to sign the petition at

Saturday, May 24, 2008

need help

I am in the process of transfering my original website to the domain host Melbournb IT services from Microsoft small business services, as I cannot afford the charges incurred from Microsoft. The hosting services are 14.00 per monthper month. I really could use some help in this. I need to cover a few months. As far as the domain name it is is paid for to 3/23/2009. So of someone could help me out, please send to my PayPal account whatever amount you would like to contribute.

I have a pending disability claim, so at the moment I have no fuhnds to do this, but want to be able provide IT and internet consulting services by way of the internet - so need to be able to preserve exisitng domain name rather than starting new with added charges and fees. This will be a way for me to supplement income. I would like to be able to cover this fee of $14 oer month for at least 6 months. And if possible renew my domain name for at least one more year ($35.00). So what I need in total is $119.00.

Cyberb Solutions website will provide news about the most current technology and online business applications and enhancements,help topics and discussion boards. It will also bea contact point for my clients as they subscribe to services which will be provided through this web site. And by providing this, I can keep my email address - of which I will lose if I cannot make this transition and all current contacts will be lost and this will make it impossible to recreate.

If you can help with this, any assistance you provide will be counted as a subscription if you so choose and which I will place you on my business contact list for notices of updates and news. I will also offer to you online technical assistance if you need such. This you can take advantage of, if when you send me whatever amount you choose, information and details of what kind of technical problems you want me to troubleshoot.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Help Guatemalan Defenders Uncover the Past

On May 19 Fredy Peccerelli received an email that said that he would be killed and his wife would be raped, murdered, and sent to him in pieces. Peccerelli is a renowned forensic anthropologist who leads exhumations of mass graves. The scientific evidence he and his team uncover could enable the prosecution of those responsible for hundreds of massacres committed during Guatemala's armed conflict.

Days earlier Judge Eduardo Cojulun also received death threats. He had just sent a report to the government stating that there was sufficient evidence for these crimes to be prosecuted in Guatemala.

The Guatemalan government must now act to stop the intimidation of human rights defenders seeking accountability for past mass atrocities.

Please send a letter to the Guatemalan government to urge that it:

* Investigate the death threats and prosecute those responsible.
* Review and strengthen protection to Peccerelli, Judge Cojulun, and others who have received threats.

Learn More About This Case>> Go to httP;;//

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Burma Ranger Report

(This message is being sent directly from a relief team in the field.)

In 2002, the Burma Army chased a group of villagers in Dooplaya District, central Karen State. They caught up to them at night and killed 12 people, 8 of whom were children. We and other organizations reported on this massacre and went to provide relief to others in the area who were also under attack. During the mission we removed the bullet from an eight-year-old boy, Wilbur Htoo, who had survived the massacre by hiding under the dead body of his grandmother and then running away once the Burma Army had gone. His sister, Naw Tha Ku, was severely wounded in the arm, but also escaped along with their father, Saw Ko Nu.

We are now in the same area six years later and while the people have not given up, (as described in our earlier report of churches being burned and rebuilt), there is still heartbreak here. Four months ago, on Christmas Day 2007, a Burma Army patrol shot at Saw Ko Nu, the father that escaped the massacre in 2002, while he was fishing near his orchard. He managed to run away. Above him on a hillside rice field was his 13-year-old son Wilbur Htoo and 25-year-old nephew, Saw No Maw. After escaping the shooting, the father kept running and hearing no more shooting thought that the son and nephew who were about 500 yards away on higher ground, had escaped. But when they didn't turn up later, the father went looking for them. He found their burned bodies in the rice field they had been working. When he looked at them, he saw that they had not been shot, but had been captured and tortured to death. Their tendons on their ankles were cut open, they were disemboweled and throats cut. Their bodies were set on fire but only partially burned. A local FBR relief team already sent the story of this killing out earlier, but now we arrived and wanted to document it further and also hold a memorial service for the two that were killed. When we talked to the father, we were hurt in our hearts to learn that he had already lost his wife and three of his children in the 2002 massacre and now he had just lost his son, his nephew and had an injured daughter.We were shocked to learn that his son was the same Wilbur Htoo who had survived the massacre in 2002 but now had been tortured to death. We also met with the wife, Naw Moo Dah, 22 of the dead nephew. She had a nine month old baby who became sick and died two days after her husband was killed, so she is now alone.

The father said he would take us to close to where Wilbur Htoo and his nephew had been killed but he could not bear to go to the exact spot. We took a small team and went with him and as we got close to the killing ground he began to talk about his son. We passed through an orchard they had both been working on and he pointed out the fruit trees his son had helped to tend as well as the field house they had built together. After passing through the orchard we had to climb a hill to where the rice field was. At that point he decided he would go with us all the way. In the rice field we found the partially buried remains of his nephew and the place his son was buried. When he saw them, the father began to shake and call his son's name. I held him in my arms and he began to cry. All I could do was pray and try to comfort him. After he had composed himself he went down to the site of his son's remains and began to call for his son, talk to his son and talk to God, saying, "Oh my son, my son, I tried my best for you. I planned many good things for you, but now you have no chance to enjoy them. Oh, my son, my son. Oh God. Oh my son, my son, you go ahead and wait for me." And then he stood up and said, "Oh God, Oh God, if you don't help me I can't continue on."

One of the team members talked with the father while the rest of us reburied the nephew and covered his remains. We then gathered together with the father and held a memorial for the two who had been killed. We prayed, sang the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" and said The Lord's Prayer together. All this time the father, joined us in silence. But when we closed with the song, "Hear Our Prayer, O Lord," he joined in and sang with us. We asked for the justice of God, and that God would bless this ground. The father turned to us and nodded his head, as if to say, "It is finished."

We know this is a wound that will never leave him. I told him that I have three children myself and I think I would be crying and in pain my whole life if I lost them. We also told him that we believe that his son and family are safe in God's hands and that one day we will be reunited. Now we are still on this earth and we have our duty to do what is right and good and to love each other. As we walked down the hill it seemed to me that he felt satisfied that we had together done the best we could do.

We want to thank all of you who stand with the people of Burma in the midst of these atrocities. We ask you to pray and to think about what we can do together to help make Burma a better place and in the meantime how can we comfort and help people like this man who has lost most of his family.

Thank you and God Bless you,
A Relief Team Leader
Dooplaya District, Karen State, Burma

The Free Burma Ranger’s (FBR) mission is to provide hope, help and love to internally displaced people inside Burma, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Using a network of indigenous field teams, FBR reports on human rights abuses, casualties and the humanitarian needs of people who are under the oppression of the Burma Army. FBR provides medical, spiritual and educational resources for IDP communities as they struggle to survive Burmese military attacks.

For more information, please visit

Monday, April 14, 2008

From: Delia Maria

Carry the Torch of Freedom

A question did the rounds on the net recently. Is it justified to disrupt the Olympic torch relay? Being a peace activist and having supported so many peoples' struggles in my city, at first I polled yes. As the countdown to the Delhi torch rally came nearer, sportsmen, Indian officials, Chinese officials, US officials, the Dalai Lama and a host of other stakeholders in the Olympics began to express different views on the event, I began to ponder on the question more seriously.

With a few hours to go before the torch enters my country, my answer changed to no; I decided to support carrying of the torch! I was happy that the Indian government decided not to ban any protests in spite of pressure from the Chinese government. Also, that our government has decided against use of Chinese security along the rally route. Protest is a democratic right of every human being so long as it is done non-violently. Protesters the world over has used every opportunity to highlight their cause. The Tibetan refugees in India and abroad are no different. What better way for them to protest than during the Beijing Olympics which is an international event having massive media coverage and being hosted by the same Chinese government who has exiled them from their land. Many questions arise along with the carrying of the torch and the right to protest.

The question of a Free Tibet now being led mostly by the Dalai Lama and his followers. We all know that Tibetan Buddhism contains elements of feudalism; the large land holdings of the monasteries and the undisputed rule of the Lamas over the peasantry for centuries. Will a free Tibet be democratic? Or will it be like Nepal and Bhutan were till recently? Will theorcratic dictatorship replace Chinese dictatorship? Gandhi had often worried that the white sahib not be replaced with the brown sahib after Indian independence. Buddhism teaches enlightenment and freedom from the samsara of birth and death. What would freedom mean to a people fighting for their homeland within this cosmology? If one needs to be free within as Buddhism teaches, then of what consequence is a homeland, here or anywhere? Of what consequence is an identity, cultural or national? Of what consequence is a self when Buddhism teaches selflessness?

Unfortunately,like all religions, the mass of followers are put in a contradiction, in a divide and a split between this world and the next. In the Tibetan struggle for freedom, why not relegate religion to the private domain and make freedom of the homeland a separate issue. Then the world would not be so shocked to see marooned robed monks throwing stones in public spaces to help their fellowmen's cause. In Sri Lanka and other countries of S.E Asia, we had similar violence of the robed men whilst preaching non-violence and compassion year-in and year-out to their believers. Which takes us next to the question of the Olympics and China. The Olympics does not belong to any government but to the people of the world, especially the sports men and sports women who participate in them with a spirit of brotherhood and healthy competition. From childhood we are drilled with values of free competition which when extended to adulthood meant the free competition of the capitalist market place. We soon discovered that free competition is an abstraction. Domination, corruption, abuse of law, war, are our daily fare. In today's world, if there is any semblance of free competition, any place where at least some rules are observed, it may be sometimes found on the sports field. In spite of the political maneuverings of sports committees, the profit interests of big corporates, the political blunderings of governments, the consumerist attitudes of the general public, the unethical practices of some sportsmen, let the games play on!

I continue to support the Tibetan refugees in their quest for political freedom and their land. Let the protests be creative and non-violent. When the Olympic torch enters India on the 17th April, Tibetans hold your own torch of freedom high. Run with it on a parallel route through the streets of Delhi and on the streets of other Indian cities. Let it carry the message of freedom to the whole world. It will light other torches, those of people who are fighting for freedom everywhere. This country of ours is your home too to live in with freedom and dignity. After all as Buddhism says, the real freedom is being here and now, not in some distant past or unknown future.

Delia Maria Friends of the Gandhi Museum Pune

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Revolution of the heart

Music has alwas been a steadfast front line means of expressing what the heart seeks, especially during turbalent times of change in our world. Often it is resisted with a passion by the atatus qua while other times it is the leading edge of the change. But because the heart is is the deepest symbol of what we are thinking, feeling, and desiring, the interior change we may be experiencing is best expressed by art and music specifically. So when humanity is at the crossroads of social upheaval and (r)evoolution, is it no wonder music is one of the main vehicles to mobilize and agitate change?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wikidot Platform Released as Open Source under Affero GPLv3 license

31 January 2007: Wikidot Inc., developer of the popular platform has freed the code for its flagship product under the new GNU Affero GPLv3 license. The company has freed both its current Wikidot product, and the new Wikidot/2.0 product under development.
Wikidot Inc. founder and General Manager Michal Frackowiak explains, "our users want access to the code, and we want our users to get involved in the project. We believe that freeing our software is great for our community, and great for our business." The Affero license gives users the right to modify, share, and even resell improvements to the code. Michal explains, "it's like the GPLv3 but also requires service providers who extend our Wikidot code to share their improvements". is growing popular with smart users who use its wiki functionality to build creative sites, quickly. Pieter Hintjens, founder of iMatix Corporation and CEO of Wikidot Inc., explains, "it used to take weeks to build a website. With Wikidot my team can make new rich sites in a matter of hours. It's all about doing more with less."
Through pure word-of-mouth, Wikidot now ranks as one of the most popular wikifarms, and is growing at the rate of 500 users a day. Michal Frackowiak concludes, "we deliver a quality product and a very reliable service. Our users are our best sales people."
Software is available free of charge to everyone at
About Wikidot Inc.
Wikidot Inc. is a privately-held corporation based in Delaware, US, with an operating office in Poland. The firm was founded in 2007 by founder Michal Frackowiak and a group of private investors. For more information see
About offers users the ability to create websites using 'wiki' technology as used in Wikipedia and other products. offers freedom from advertising, and free hosting for its users' websites. The company makes revenues from opt-in advertising and add-on services.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A consortium of experts

I am organizing a consortium of experts from a variety of web, networking and marketing technologies. A catalogue of services will be built and based upon my consultation with clients, various options can be submitted from the client to choose from. This catalogue of services will a standard offering from my consultation services and will be made available to clients visiting my website at if you would like to become part of this project or if you would like to start a group here, contact me at

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Radical Change...

You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. -- Buckminster Fuller

But how do we build a new model? As individuals? ???

It cannot be done by individuals alone, but must be started by the individual by the way they choose to live. A collective consciousness needs to be forged through sharing of ideas, a sharing of lifestyle change, and a sharing of love. The New Testament Church demonstrated it can be done, but there has to be a return to the communist model they used, where all things were shared and no one was in need. Jesus' statement that we are to love one another even as he has loved us, can be compared with Karl Marx' maxim To each according to their need, from each according to their ability.

The biggest obstacle lay within us, we must find a way to uproot, greed, selfishness and hatred - transform these instictual based drives with higher soul powers which promote altruism, sharing, kindness and being empathic towards one another. The powers of the soul lay within the spirit which makes up humanity as a whole. It really escapes definiton or categorizes, as t is a power we have barely come to know. Some have been able to use in tremendous ways such as the many mystics, saints and gifted psychics have demonstrated in the past.

Meditiaton and discipline are requrements of this interior change, but this should and must be transfigured to the way we live as well. The The masters of Christian meditiation, and the desert fathers and mothers pratice an even deeper form of meditation through contemplation. Contemplation is when the soul merges perfectly with this spirit and with God. It must be be putin daily practice. In the Eastern traditions, this is called Dharma. The noble goals of selflessness or 'no-mind' or mindfulness does stop with the individual ,as if these were forms of escapism. No, instead they are practices which if properly nurtured increases wisdom , charity and a ggreater sensitivity to suffering - which in turn produces a greater desire for social justice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Music, the Cosmos and life

22 Jan 2008,

Way back in high school. one of my music teachers described music as the resolution between dissonance and harmony, as between noise and silence. If a musical work does not include periods of silence balanced between sound and noise, it cannot be expressive of the ideas which a composer may be trying to express.

The cosmos is much like that, if we are to believe the astrophysics and the the physics of chaos theory.

It only follows then, that all life is an act of balancing, and human life which is conscious of itself must find ways to 'intentionality' of balance. The dissonance in ones life, the various mishaps, misfortunes, and grief seeks after resolution which is more than a biological function of survival. Consciousness is able to transcend the baser instincts of survival. Life, instinct and consciousness progresses into a harmonizing whole.

Monday, January 21, 2008

US Military Escalation in Pakistan Gets Underway

Date: January 7, 2008

Tom Hayden, Liberty Tree Board of Advisors

The US government is considering direct military intervention in the tribal areas of
Pakistan, risking an escalated conflict with Pashtun nationalism in the name of crushing
al Qaeda. An essay in last week's Washington Post, a front page story in today's New
York Times and reports from the Real News Network all confirm that a decision to
intervene is near. The Times confirms that as many as 50 American personnel, whether
special forces or CIA, already operate clandestinely inside the Pakistani border.

Democrats have called no hearings nor raised significant voices of opposition to the
unfolding plan. In New Hampshire last night, Sen. Barack Obama repeated his endorsement
of unilateral US military intervention in Pakistan if "actionable intelligence" exists.
His Democratic rivals did not dissent.

The consequences of the possible escalation are extremely unpredictable. The alleged
al-Qaeda militants are embedded in complex tribal networks in a remote mountainous area.
Military action could inflict severe casualties and damage to these traditional
communities and inflame anti-American sentiment across Muslim Pakistan. It might
accelerate the disintegration of the US-backed Musharraf dictatorship which currently
possesses nuclear weapons. Musharraf and the Pakistani military have steadfastly opposed
direct American intervention for the past five years.

Speculation is rife that US support for the ill-fated return of Benezir Bhutto to
Pakistan was based partly on an understanding that she would endorse and legitimize an
expanded US presence in her country. If neither the American embassy nor the Musharraf
regime could save her from death at a public event, it is unclear how successful American
special forces will be in the wilds of South Waziristan.

There is virtually no public discussion of the implications of American support for a
military dictatorship that imprisons Pakistani lawyers while harboring anti-US jihadists.
Instead of enforcing the existing Leahy Amendment [1997] which bans military assistance
to human rights violators, the US has spent approximately $10 billion in five years
supporting the Musharraf regime, alienating a majority of Pakistanis, and lending
credence to the claims of Muslim extremists. Having contributed to, or at least failing
to have prevented Pakistan's fall into chaos, "senior officials" quoted by the Times
now are blaming al-Qaeda for plotting all along to achieve "the big prize, creating chaos
in Pakistan itself."

It is ironic that Democrats like Obama, whose campaign was built around questioning the
intelligence justifying the Iraq War would now be arguing for a preventive war in a
sovereign country if evidence gathered by intelligence sources is merely "actionable."

The further irony is that the "war on terrorism" is escalating without meaningful
discussion or dissent in the midst of the most open and democratic of American processes,
the presidential debates.

Congressional hearings and questioning by the presidential candidates might stall,
circumscribe or prevent the escalation. An alternative policy of reducing US military
assistance to Pakistan and demanding the full restoration of civil liberties there, while
seeking diplomatic de-escalation in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Palestine is
being ignored in the march towards a wider quagmire.

More info:

TOM HAYDEN is the author of Ending the War in Iraq [2007], and a member of the Liberty
Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution's Board of Advisers.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Reprinted from Street Spirit

We Accuse the U.S. Government of Causing a Homeless Epidemic
A national study is released proving the link between federal housing cuts and the huge rise in homelessness
by Joanna Letz

Without Housing is a new report issued by the Western Regional Advocacy Project. The cover painting by Art Hazelwood vividly shows the steep rise in homelessness.

In front of the Federal Building in San Francisco, we assembled. Banners waving in the wind declared: "Stop the criminalization of homelessness. Being poor is not a crime. Housing justice for all!"

On November 14, in front of the Federal Building, the Western Regional Advocacy Project's report, "Without Housing," was publicly released. The report was released in seven cities across the country, including Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The speakers, who came from a Bay Area-wide coalition of poverty justice organizers including The Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency and the American Friends Service Committee, reiterated the need for systemic change to end homelessness. The report includes many harsh statistics on the cuts in federal funding for affordable housing and its direct connection to the rise in homelessness all over the nation

WRAP's new report is a call to action by a group of people who are directly affected by federal and local policies on poverty and homelessness, and who are taking charge to affect those policies. As Paul Boden, executive director of WRAP, said, "The report is meant to be used as an organizing and training tool."

Boden described how WRAP was formed and its vision for the report. "WRAP was formed by many organizations and individuals coming together out of frustration, and out of a commitment to social justice," he said. "We are folks who come from the streets. We are bright and talented, and we don't need people's charity. The government blames us for being homeless and for being poor. If the government doesn't respond to you, the government is wrong. The government should be serving us. And what is happening, is the rich are getting richer while homeless folks and poor folks -- we get life-skills training. We can train each other. We need to pull the weed out by the roots. Do our own message."

The report documents federal funding for affordable housing over the past 25 years; and it looks at the cuts in funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as rural affordable housing administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The government and people in positions of power benefit from a system of myth-making. WRAP's report highlights some of these myths and the ways they are causing more homelessness. One of the myths the report calls out is the fiction that poor and homeless people are the ones to blame for their situations.

The report states, "Public policy debates and media representations rarely address the systemic causes of homelessness; instead they often portray homelessness as a problem with homeless individuals."

The housing shortage is a systematic problem that is forcing more and more people onto the streets. WRAP's report focuses "primarily on what we consider to be one of the most important - if not the most important - factor in explaining why so many families, single adults, and youth are homeless in the United States today: the cutbacks to and eventual near elimination of the federal government's commitment to building, maintaining, and subsidizing affordable housing."

"The report should be retitled, 'I accuse the federal government,'" Terry Messman, editor of Street Spirit, declared to the crowd. "I indict this nation. Gilbert Estrada died on the streets of Berkeley less than three weeks ago. I indict this country for leaving Gilbert Estrada to die without housing, and for leaving children and elders on the street. I accuse the federal government of allowing thousands of people to remain homeless in the Bay Area.

"There is massive homelessness, and billions of dollars in housing cutbacks is a direct act of theft. This government lets people die on the streets. Homelessness and deaths will continue until we get affordable housing. I accuse!"

According to an Urban Institute study, as many as 3.5 million people, including 1.35 million children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year.

However, one of the main points of the WRAP report is that federal policy has directed large numbers of dollars into counting and categorizing the numbers of homeless people. This is money that would be better spent on actual housing -- and, to add insult to injury, we don't even have real numbers.

For example, according to HUD and ICH, there are currently 600,000 homeless persons nationwide, yet the Department of Education has identified 600,000 homeless students just in our public schools

The WRAP report exposes the lack of federal money being put into affordable housing. The report is an accusation and testament of the failure of the federal government to recognize homelessness, and its denial of the issue. The report is a testament to resistance, as it exposes the government for the wrongs being committed against poor and homeless people.

As the U.S. government continues to send warplanes to Iraq in the name of democracy and human rights, people in this country are still demanding that democracy and human rights be recognized here.

The WRAP report shows the drastic reduction of federal money going towards housing, and compares that to the billions spent on the military. One "Future Fleet" Destroyer cost the federal government $3.3 billion, which is more than all 2005 capital expenses for public housing.

As the report states, "There is no lack of resources to ensure universal housing; what is lacking is the political will to undertake this task." On November 14, the speakers demanded that the human right to housing be recognized.

Wanda Remmers from Housing Rights, Inc. said, "Housing is assumed to be a human right. But in our country it is not a legal right. The government is ignoring their responsibility to make sure everyone has a home. People in this country have a right to housing.

"Government policies are ignoring people's rights to housing. The government is replacing low-income housing with rich people's housing and forced evictions. Internationally, this is a crime. The right to housing should be real. We can make that happen."

Sara Short from the Housing Rights Committee gave the perspective of how federal housing cutbacks are impacting cities across the nation. She said, "There is a big, big emergency. In 2006, HUD's funding was cut. In Philadelphia, HUD is threatening to lay off 300 to 500 people. In Salt Lake City, they are disposing of HUD units altogether. Crime issues are on the rise in public housing. When staff is cut, security goes, repair maintenance goes. In San Francisco, four million dollars were cut from HUD itself."

Her voice cried above the tall shadow of the Federal Building. She continued to call out government officials, saying, "Homelessness still exists, despite what politicians say. Congress can fix this. This might be a brighter day. Nancy Pelosi is in a greater position. But I have yet to hear her talk of housing. Bernie Sanders is in a good position, stepping up with new legislation with the Housing Trust Fund Bill. We have some good advocates. But we need to make them better."

Rep. Pelosi was supposed to speak at the press conference, but did not show up.

Laure McElroy, Joseph Bolden and Lisa Gray-Garcia (Tiny), poverty scholars from Poor Magazine, began their comments with a chant excerpted from the welfareQUEENS play:
"Criminals of Poverty
Welfare wanna punish we
Media they lie on we
Struggle with punitive poli-ceeeeees."

Then, one by one they responded to the WRAP findings. Tiny, co-editor of POOR Magazine and author of the upcoming memoir, Criminal of Poverty; Growing up Homeless in America, called out to the looming federal tower we huddled beneath. She said, "Due to the massive cuts to housing and housing subsidies that this study has uncovered, coupled with extremely harmful welfare deform legislation, and the growing corporatization of U.S. cities, a growing number of American families and individuals are being housed in another kind of shelter: jail. Contrary to corporate, media-based mythologies, it is much cheaper to build housing for poor people than warehouse them in jail."

Laure, digital resister, welfareQUEEN and POOR staff writer continued, "Like the WRAP study, poverty scholars at POOR have long been studying the root causes of poverty, homelessness and racism in America -- with shocking results. Homeless people weren't born that way, we aren't a lost tribe of people walking the earth. We used to be housed, we used to be homeful and then we were unhoused and destabilized due to several factors -- one of the main ones being that our housing, poor people's housing, suffered severe cuts."

"So we came up with a solution," Tiny continued where Laure left off. "The Homefulness Project -- a multigenerational, multicultural, sweat-equity co-housing project for homeless families which includes an on-site school, a cafe and community space. And it gives the one thing to homeless families that separates them from homefulness: equity. But ours is just an example of several real answers to housing cuts that poverty scholars and advocates are creating every day. So, politicians busily making up policies for more harmful cuts and criminalizing legislation, listen to the poverty scholars, listen to the hard data found in this study, listen to us about our solutions."

Next, we were all led in a chant by Juan Prada, emcee for the event and director of the Coalition on Homelessness. He chanted: "What do we want? Housing Justice! When do we want it? Now!"

The WRAP report will continue to be an accusation and a call for action until the federal government addresses its responsibility to provide affordable housing and to address the root causes of homelessness.

Julie Leadbetter from the Housing Justice Coalition said, "It's not enough. Not enough, putting poor folks in SROs (Single Room Occupancy hotels) and getting rid of services for poor folks. Not enough. Join with other cities to tell the federal government that even what San Francisco can do is not enough. We need more housing available."

Let this be a call to action on the part of politicians in both federal and local governments. The report comes from people who have lived on the streets. Let this report be a reminder that, in the United States of America, people are still struggling for democracy and for basic human rights, including the right to be housed.

Joanna Letz is a Poverty and Media Justice intern at POOR.
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