Skip to main content


Rage and rebellion across the Islamic world

I must confess that I have my own views of the Muslim world. Like most countries they want self-determination. That is the process by which a country determines its own statehood and forms its own allegiances and government. Self-determination is an idea that can't killed with bombs or bullets or autocratic leaders.

Robin Wright

Robin Wright talks with Charlie Rose about the Islamic world
Source: Robin Wright

Al McCoy


Al McCoy talks about how empires are maintained, why the U.S. empire is in decline, and what the consequences might be depending on how we respond to that decline. Al McCoy is a professor of history at the University of Wisconson–Madison, and author of 'Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines and the Rise of the Surveillance State,'
Source: TomCast for April 24, 2011: SubordiNations

Robin Wright talked about the recent Middle East uprisings and she responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.
Source: Rock The Casbah

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

Fighting Global Poverty With Science

Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo is a Professor of Economics at MIT and is a recipient of the MacArthur genius award and many other awards. She has co-authored the book, POOR ECONOMICS: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. She was interviewed by Terrence McNally, a journalist and radio host.

Source: Q&A: ESTHER DUFLO, Author

Scott Horton

Scott Horton Interviews The Other Scott Horton

The Other Scott Horton is an international human rights lawyer and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine. They discuss the spreading of American ideas through education instead of with bombs. Also they talk about why a one-world government is not a realistic possibility.

Source: Scott Horton Interviews The Other Scott Horton

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!
By David Swanson

The Declaration of Independence is best remembered as a declaration of war, a war declared on the grounds that we wanted our own flag. The sheer stupidity and anachronism of the idea serves to discourage any thoughts about why Canada didn't need a bloody war, whether the U.S. war benefitted people outside the new aristocracy to whom power was transferred, what bothered Frederick Douglas so much about a day celebrating "independence," or what the Declaration of Independence actually said.

When you read the Declaration of Independence, it turns out to be an indictment of King George III for various abuses of power. And those abuses of power look fairly similar to abuses of power we happily permit U.S. presidents to engage in today, either as regards the people of this nation or the people of territories and nations that our military occupies today in a manner uncomfortably resembling Britain's rule over the 13 colonies.

Or perhaps I should say, a large portion of us take turns being happy or outraged depending on the political party with which the current president is identified.

Kucinich Defends Women, Infant Children Food Program

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today took to the House floor to defend the food program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in need, citing our history of a compassionate nation.

"When I was hungry, you gave me food. You didn't give me war. You didn't give me a tax break; you didn't give me an oil depletion allowance. When I was hungry, you gave me food."

Unraveling Privilege, Power and Difference with Allan Johnson

Does hidden white privilege exist? Allan Johnson provides an alternative way of thinking about issues of privilege by examining what keeps us from seeing our own privilege and how that privilege harms others.

After 30 years of college teaching, Allan G. Johnson now devotes himself entirely to writing and public speaking. He has worked with more than 200 schools and organizations in 36 states.
Source: Leading From Where You Are: Unraveling Privilege, Power and Difference with Allan Johnson

Music includes Earth Anthem, All the Pretty Little Horses, Cisco Houston, Mariachi Tamazula-Alma Llanera, the day they caught Saddam Hussein, We'll Meet Again

Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I Have a Go to War?!"

"The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to end it must be ours."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking of Vietnam.

This week the Pentagon sank to a new low: claiming that Dr. King would "understand" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. King's legacy is clear: he opposed war and other violence and condemned war as "an enemy of the poor."

Dishonorable Obama, Congress & Media Don’t Give a Serious God-Damn About Massive & Gratuitous Poverty and Violence

Meet the Press hosted apologists for Obama and corporatists everywhere. Defense of tax cuts for the rich the topic this time. Opportunities for disgust and disdain against those purist ideology-lefties a/k/a more "hippie punching," of course was enjoyed by all. All but one, Anthony Weiner, who was the token liberal sounding one this week (to be piled on). Mikey Bloomberg was blunt that liberal complainers need to “suck it up!” And, oh yes, he wants a subway series. (Yeah, let’s talk about what’s important, boys.)

There was no mention of Bernie Sanders’ passionate proaction in the Senate. Of course not. A lightning fast mention at the end about the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. No mention of her ideals, however. The most compelling thing I heard was Anthony Weiner say his back of an envelope math calculations revealed that with the compromise (HAH!) tax cut plan, 38% of the cash would go to 3% of the people. Why would this matter to David Gregory or anyone else on the show?

In desperation I googled to find profound truth-telling to bottom-dwelling power and I did. Each quoted passage calls out the cravenness of Obama, Congress and/or the media.

From Allen L. Roland:

It’s time to stop wishful thinking and realize that President Obama has no interest in fulfilling the progressive agenda he rode to election in 2008. Let’s get something straight ~ Obama answers to Wall Street and the financial elite and is already much more concerned about his re-election than his incredibly expensive failed War or Occupation of Afghanistan, the sorry state of our economy, the 17% unemployment rate and his recent vote of no confidence in the 2010 mid-term election.

Obama lives in an Oval office bubble which deflects all criticism or self analysis and replaces it with infuriating self righteousness and defensive attacks on his progressive base or those who don’t agree with him. But the hard reality is that Obama was chosen by the financial elite and answers primarily to Wall Street ~ liberals and middle class be damned!

Obama & Congress Indifferent to Growth of Hunger ("Except Insatiable Hunger of Rich for More Wealth")

Patrick Martin writes:

In a society which took seriously the value of human life and the future of its children, the spectacle of 50 million people at risk of hunger, including 17 million children, would be a social emergency. Given that the United States once boasted of its ability to feed the planet, the indifference to the growth of hunger at home is a national scandal.

But in the America of 2010, the news about hunger was relegated to small items on the inside pages of newspapers (A21 in the Washington Post, nothing in the New York Times), and failed to make a splash on the evening news broadcasts, more concerned with the engagement of Britain’s Prince William.

Did you know that extension of unemployment benefits this year was partly funded by cutting the food stamp program? This is outrageous. This is generally not known.

According to Patrick Martin a new report from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture reveals 50 million Americans exist under the poverty line and were too poor to buy adequate food last year. That is approximately 17.4 million families. More than a third of these households, with over one million children, were forced to skip meals.

Since 2006 “food insecure” households that require food stamps have tripled.

The Suburbanization of Poverty

On Page 75 is the profile of Sacramento. There are a handful of good statistics including how much the poverty rate has increased in the suburbs. The profile is pasted below.


The Suburbanization of Poverty: Trends in Metropolitan America, 2000–2008

Metro Area Profile for Sacramento-Roseville, CA

The primary city or cities in the Sacramento-Roseville, CA metro area include: Sacramento, Roseville

The surrounding suburbs include: El Dorado County, Placer County, Sacramento County, Yolo County


* In 2008, 80,898 people in the primary city lived below of the poverty level ($21,834 for a family of four), compared to 166,702 poor in the surrounding suburbs. This represents no change for the city compared to 2000, and a significant increase for the suburbs.

Wellstone Progressive Dems CDP Platform Meeting

Building a Progressive California Democratic Party Platform

The Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento (PDA) held a meeting on Saturday, Jan. 9th to discuss improvements to the CA Democratic Party (CDP) Platform. All area Progressive Democrats were invited by Wellstone President Tamie Dramer and Political Affairs Chair Chris Niehaus to help shape the Party's Platform. CDP Platform Committee member Christine Thomas started off with a brief overview of the committee. CDP Progressive Caucus Chair (and PDA NorCal co-coordinator) Karen Bernal spoke about the need for Progressives in California to change the Party and how we can use our numbers to improve our platform. The room overflowed with attendees that took on issues such as Health Care, the Environment, Energy, Labor, Economic Justice, Poverty Elimination, Education & Criminal Justice.

Safe Ground Kick-off March

Safe Ground
Kick-off March

Bring Signs - We will march from
Loaves & Fishes (Delaney Center)
1321 North C Street
to City Hall 9th and I Streets.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 29 • 1pm


Elderly Homeless gentlemen beaten last night

From Tamie Dramer:

Hello all,

I went to the Safe Ground outpost this afternoon to bring the homeless pioneers a hot lunch of fried potatoes and chorizo and tortillas. I signed in and at first all seemed lovely and peaceful as usual. And It was- for the most part, except a Bee reporter was there, which always causes a little buzz, ...And then I saw them...

Two 60+ year old little old men with their heads hanging down. They were sitting side by side in cast off dining room chairs with sad swollen cut up faces. Not the kind of sad disfigured faces of your average homeless man who's face is ravaged by time, sun and living on the streets. No. These faces were ravaged by the fists of three young healthy and probably housed adults for kicks and giggles. Their faces were black and blue with their eyes swollen shut and blood from fresh cuts on their lips and the split open skin on their eyebrows. They were jumped last night on the streets of Sacramento while searching for a place to bed down for the night. It's the kind of thing that when you least expect it, hits you in the gut- like they must've been, and instantly the tears come and the rage boils up, and knowing that there's nothing you can do- no matter how many meals you cook, no matter how many days you spend trying to convince people that there needs to be a safe place for homeless people to be able sleep at night, -that there's nothing you can do to protect these little old men right now from the horrifying cruelty of people who think the homeless are less than human. It makes you feel as hopeless as these poor old men.

Attorney provides downtown Sacramento site for homeless camp

Attorney provides downtown Sacramento site for homeless camp
By Cynthia Hubert - - Published: Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009 - 12:00 am | Page 3B

A Sacramento attorney who has championed the rights of homeless people is opening his private property to campers who need a place to sleep at night.

Mark Merin, who for years has challenged the city's and county's treatment of the homeless, is leasing a parcel of land in downtown Sacramento to an association of people seeking to establish a legal "safe ground" campsite. Three advocacy organizations are leading the "safe ground" effort.

Empty Bowls Fundraiser

From River City Community Services...

Support Empty Bowls, Our Most Important Fundraiser (and “Friend Raiser”) of the Year!

Empty Bowls has become a beloved tradition for hundreds of people who help fight hunger by attending, volunteering or sponsoring this fun and affordable event. But this year’s event – to be held Tuesday, March 10th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Masonic Temple, 1123 J Street – has a new level of urgency since almost 50 percent more people are coming to River City Community Services for emergency food assistance, compared to two years ago.

Tickets are now on sale through this website. Last year the event did sell out, so you’re urged to get your tickets early! For a list of retail locations that will have tickets, click here.

For a donation of $25, attendees enjoy a delicious soup luncheon prepared by area restaurants, and take home a handmade bowl made by students and artists from throughout the region. The bowls serve as a powerful reminder of the many empty bowls in the Sacramento community. Flyer for Empty Bowls (jpg)

Here’s how you can help support Empty Bowls:



Host: Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee
Loaves & Fishes
Friendship Park
Sacramento, CA 95812 US
View Map
When: Tuesday, December 23, 1:00PM
Phone: 916-442-2156

Come MARCH & RALLY in support of the people of Sacramento who live outdoors in this cold weather! The homeless are seeking a safe and legal place to stay. Join us to show solidarity for the need of a stable place for people to pitch their tents-with port-a-potties and garbage service. All people need housing, and such a place would provide the bare minimum emergency space to erect tents- a human right that has been denied to the poorest among us for much too long! The March begins at Loaves and Fishes at 1pm and will end with a rally at Cesar Chavez Park at 2pm. Stand up and speak out! For more information please visit: We hope to see you there! ---The Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee and your friends at the Sacramento Housing Alliance