Friday, October 07, 2011

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

On September 30, 2011, the New York City General Assembly, the decision-making body for the "Occupy Wall Street" protest, approved this statement of purpose:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On this day, the 10th ANNIVERSARY of 9/11, My Promise

On this day, the 10th ANNIVERSARY of 9/11, I promise:
  • to pay attention
  • to seek out the most trustworthy, courageous, fact-based journalism
  • to ask questions
  • to share what I find, online and in person, and
  • especially, to use all the skills I have to communicate with those who, on the surface, do not agree with me

I wholeheartedly encourage others to join me in this promise.

    Friday, September 09, 2011

    Comment for The Diane Rehm Show, September 9, 2011

    Regarding Rick Perry's remarks about climate science jeopardizing America's economy. . .

    On Tuesday, a caller from Texas on Talk of the Nation brought up the fact that natural gas fracking there has made the drought and fires much worse because the process has further depleted the water resources and left property owners with dry wells.

    It's another bad mark for fracking, and for the Governor's confused logic.

    Thursday, August 25, 2011


    Today, in a segment on Earthquake Update, Diane asked David Applegate, from the U.S. Geological Survey directly:

    "My question to you -- because we've talked a great deal on this program about hydraulic fracturing wherein water is injected along with chemicals into shale in order to release gas.  To what extent do you believe that hydraulic fracking could have played a role in this particular earthquake?"

    He replied:

    Well, for this particular earthquake, we're not aware of any specific activity in that area that would likely have been a trigger. But we have seen association elsewhere.
    For example, in Arkansas, we've had quite a swarm of earthquakes in this past year that folks at the Arkansas Geological Survey have been working on the linkage not to the fracking itself, where in a sense you're trying to find places where the rock is not broken up. And you're breaking it up, so you can generate lots of little earthquakes.
    But you don't have the kind of big structures or faults that would normally be a conduit that you would have used normally. But you're doing wastewater injection then, very high-pressure injection back into the ground. And there has -- there have been -- well, there are a number of famous cases of linkage there.

    Probably the most famous was the Rocky Mountain Arsenal out near Denver, back in the '60s, where they were doing high-pressure injection and managed to generate over a magnitude 5 earthquakes. I think the key thing here is, as this becomes a more common practice, is recognizing that people will be feeling earthquakes in places they're not used to.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011


    The White House was evacuated.  The major network offices in NYC shook.  It rippled up and down the east coast.  5.8.    Such a surprise.  One problem is that buildings in the area were not built to withstand earthquakes -- because, historically, earthquakes have not been a problem there.  The epicenter was Mineral, Virginia.

    Virginia is one of several states where the Appalachian Basin, with its valuable Marcellus Shale, a source of methane gas, crosses, along with West Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.  Multiple companies are FRACKING there.

    Meanwhile, in Trinidad, Colorado, on the same day, it was the largest earthquake in Colorado since 1967.  Trinidad is in the Raton Bason, where Natural Resources has its huge natural gas drilling -- FRACKING -- operations.

    With the natural gas industry aggressively fracking wherever they can, shouldn't these events -- coming as a complete surprise because earthquakes historically haven't happened like this -- be the signal to STOP FRACKING!!? 

    Poisoning the earth (and lying about it) is bad enough.  But shaking its mantle, which will continue to ripple out with more earthquakes, would be horrifically damaging -- even more so because the nuclear industry has also convinced those in charge that they, too, have a safe product.  Remember Japan?

    Please spread the word -- encourage the press to look into the quakes that have been associated with fracking, in Arkansas, Texas, England and more.  We cannot ignore this.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    KUER Radio West 8/22/11: Rick Perry and Conservative Christian Politics

    Thank you, Doug and Elaine, for addressing this issue.

    I found it scary in 2004 when I read in The Village Voice that Karl Rove, just before the 2003 Iraq invation, and in 2004 National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, and "Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs," Elliott Abrams, had brought in Apostolic leaders to advise George W. Bush on Middle East policy.

    Realizing then that the leader in the White House, the man in charge of the world's most powerful weapons, who was undermining the federal agencies that had previously protected Americans by defunding them and appointing corporate lobbyists to lead them. . . was aligned with those who seek THE RAPTURE.

    This is important -- the New Apostolic movement is ultimately about the Rapture. And the way to the Rapture is cataclysm. Aiming towards cataclysm is not good public policy. It's that simple.

    I recommend two links.

    For a Fact Sheet on those leaders involved in Rick Perry's prayer event, with their public statements and actions:

    For the 2004 Village Voice article on the Apostolics in Bush's White House:

    And, if you're interested, for what I wrote, and then said in a presentation at the Main Salt Lake City Library, in October 2004:

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Comment left on NPR Story

    This morning NPR's Morning Edition reported: AS FOCUS ON FRACKING SHARPENS, FUEL WORRIES GROW, with concerns from both sides (those who want to live, and those who want to make money).

    I commented as follows:

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    Question/Comment for The Diane Rehm Show, Domestic News Roundup, July 8, 2011

    Shouldn't we be talking about the man behind the Republican stubbornness -- GROVER NORQUIST

    Who elected him? 

    Here is a man who has professed the desire to make the government so small it can be flushed down the toilet, who has all kinds of dirty connections to Jack Abramoff -- and it is his pledge that most of the Republicans are loyal to -- not to the good of their constituents! 

    More light must be shown on this man behind the foolish stance the Republicans are holding.   Please discuss him.

    *** Note:  Comment was read on the air, and was soon followed by a caller also wanting to talk about Norquist.

    Friday, July 01, 2011

    Question/Comment for The Diane Rehm Show, International News Roundup, July 1, 2011

    The French legislature has just last night completed the vote to ban natural gas fracking in France.
    Earlier this month, fracking was halted in Blackpool, England after the British Geological Survey confirmed that two earthquakes in the area appear to be related to the hydraulic fracking.
    A recent study in Arkansas also links fracking to earthquakes, but the U.S. is slow to respond.
    Shouldn't we pay attention to what the international community is learning and doing about this?

    Question/Comment for The Diane Rehm Show, Domestic News Roundup, July 1, 2011

    As Wisconsin's anti-union law went into effect this week, we also learned of an alleged physical attack -- a "chokehold" -- by Wisconsin's newly re-elected Republican Supreme Court Justice David Prosser against fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, in front of other Justices and staff, which occurred just before the release of the Court's decision on the legality of this very law.

    Prosser is defending himself with a "she made me do it" excuse.

    Others are saying corporate money is taking "justice" out of the system and creating polarized sides.

    Please discuss this.

    Letter to Matt Pacenza, Policy Director at Heal Utah, July 1, 2011


    I left a message on your phone yesterday afternoon (Thursday 6/30) regarding the link between natural gas fracking and an increase in earthquakes, and the opportunity my daughter had that very morning to ask Congressman Matheson about his support for The Greater Natural Buttes Area Gas Development Project. I did get a call back a few minutes later, though I wasn’t sure if that was you (I apologize for not confirming that at the time).

    Anyway, I wanted to make sure you had the information I’ve found linking fracking and earthquakes, and the push to halt the fracking. There are currently two major hotspots on this topic (though I’m sure if I had more time to research I would find more): Arkansas and the UK.

    Here is one of the reports on the earthquakes in England:

    And here is the latest report on the fracking shut-down in Arkansas:

    So, here is the question my daughter, Eva TerraNova, presented to Congressman Matheson yesterday morning: 

    According to your website, you are in favor of the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s project to development 3000 natural gas wells in the Uintah Basin. While I understand this is good for the economy, the natural gas extraction known as fracking has recently been linked to an extraordinary increase in tremors and earthquakes. Because of this, there have been industry shut downs in Arkansas and Great Britain. The French Senate has passed a bill to stop fracking, and other governments are looking at this as well.

    Given the warnings we also regularly hear about the potential of a 7.0 earthquake here in the Wasatch Front, isn’t it foolish to risk bringing it on by bringing fracking into our state?
    When I called you, what I knew was that Matheson had said he didn’t know about the link between fracking and earthquakes and that he’d have to look into it. 
    Last night, I learned more about his reaction. Apparently he also tried to dodge the premise that he supported this natural gas project, to which Eva simply responded, “It’s on your website – I saw the press release just this morning.” [In fact, it’s right there on the front page of his official website.]

    So, the way I see it, this door has now been opened. 
    While I am aware that HEAL UTAH prefers to focus on promoting renewable energy, rather than attacking corporate pollution, I think the information coming out linking natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing and an increase in earthquakes is far too important to ignore. This goes beyond water contamination and cancer (though one would think that would be enough) --- this becomes a matter of risking an already-threatened major disastrous event in the Wasatch Front and elsewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

    Please help Utahns, and especially policy-makers, know what is at stake here.

    Thank you,

    Barbara Bellows-TerraNova



    After re-sending my email to Matt, and including HEAL UTAH's Executive Director, Christopher Thomas, I heard back from both, with thanks.

    Matt had a legitimate concern about something I said, and I'll let his words correct what I may have too simply represented, based on my conversation with Arthur Morris at HEAL UTAH:

    Allow me for a brief moment to question your assertion on your blog that "HEAL UTAH prefers to focus on promoting renewable energy, rather than attacking corporate pollution." With all due respect, a significant bulk of our group's resources is devoted specifically to battling EnergySolutions, and their never-ending efforts to bring greater and hotter quantities of nuclear waste to Utah. I attend hearings, file comments, submit challenges, lobby officials, urge members to get involved and all kinds of other grassroots organizing and advocacy -- all with the aim of "attacking corporate pollution." It is, honestly, what HEAL does and what we've done for more than a

    Also, just this week, NPR’s "This American Life" focused on a Pennsylvania community consumed by fracking:, and on Friday, NPR’s "All Things Considered" presented this story on the earthquakes in Arkansas:  I recommend listening to both stories, starting with "This American Life" and following up with the much shorter one at "All Things Considered". 

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Question/Comment for The Diane Rehm Show, News Roundup, June 10, 2011

    Please get past the taudry testosterone of Congressman Weiner and discuss the very important issue he was bringing to light at the time Andrew Breitbart posted the infamous photo: the latest extraordinary details of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s falsified Financial Disclosure Forms and the source of the $700,000 unreported income of Ginny Thomas. This is not old news – in fact, the recent release of Thomas’s Financial Disclosure Form for 2010 has helped establish a timeline for Mrs. Thomas Liberty Consulting organization that coincides with the infamous United Citizens v FEC initial hearing and benefits enormously from the Supreme Court Decision.

    Now THIS is what the press should be more aggressive on. And this is why an ongoing personal problem of Congressman Weiner was made public at that exact moment – to distract from this very serious conflict of interest and possible judicial insider trading, which had been hidden by Justice Thomas’s falsified Financial Disclose Forms.  Now this falsification is criminal (as it clearly states in bold capital letters on the forms), and and it is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who should resign.


    Sunday, March 13, 2011


    I've had enough -- and clearly now so has the world.

    As I write this, the headlines read "PARTIAL MELTDOWN" -- and that's in the mainstream press.

    At least one nuclear reactor in Japan is already in meltdown mode.  Yesterday morning started with news that the reactor had expoded the night before.  Should I believe them when they say that the explosion involved an outer structure and did not cause an increased release of radiation?

    The most important question that needs to be addressed immediately is: Are the actions of humans on this planet increasing earthquake activity?

    According to several news items last week, two natural gas companies in Arkansas have stopped their hydraulic fracturing while there is an investigation into the potential relationship between "fracking" and the extraordinary increase in earthquakes in Arkansas. (See the movie GASLAND.)

    WE MUST MAKE THE CONNECTION IF THIS IS TRUE - because every jolt to the tectonic plates ripples out and moves something somewhere else.
    Meanwhile, we must stop believing that anyone can honestly say that nuclear energy is safe.  Radioactivity is a power beyond our comprehension and the worst part about it is that lasts for millions of years - FAR BEYOND ANYTHING WE CAN PREDICT.


    Personally, I've never understood how corporate profiteers who propagandize while protecting toxic spew can ever look their children and grandchildren in the eye.

    So, again, enough.  I've had enough, and so has this planet.  We are all at risk, even the liars.

    It's bad enough to spread garbage in the air and water, but when the greedy powerful put radiating torches of death in boxes all over the planet and then start wiggling the tectonic plates, we must stop them. 

    They are stupid and dangerous to us all - even themselves, the damn fools.


    Meanwhile, The Washington Post/Bloomberg News has posted this"Japan's earthquake will boost global demand for natural gas".  Damn fools.

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    Governor Scott Walker Reveals the Republican Shift to Thuggery

    And The Deseret News captures the best portrait of me ever (Sunday, February 27).

    "And the award for costume design goes to. . ."