Sunday, May 31, 2009

Green rhetoric for greenbacks = greenhouse gas







Last years' political campaign managers marketed their products with the environmental green brand standard in industry, including even the weapons industry.  Most high profile, highly funded politicians' images now resemble that of oil giant British Petroleum, which rebranded itself as BP, Beyond Petroleum, with the bright yellow sun on a green background logo that now identifies every BP gas station all over the world. 

 Cross post, full text at Examiner.com

Friday, May 29, 2009

Imperial nuclear power






Corporations carelessly mined uranium on the Navajo
Nation and in other indigenous country as the U.S. built its 
 nuclear power, weapons, and war machine after World War II.

Cross post from Examiner.com.  Nuclear power is non-renewable, unsustainable, and, imperial power. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bus riders on the back of the stimulus bus


This is a cross post from Examiner.com, with more implications for the world outside the U.S. than might at first be apparent.   By favoring highways and bridges over public transit, Obama and the U.S. Congress have undermined their promise of hope and change for those Americans already impoverished by the neo-class war, of both Neoconservatives and Neoliberals, and encouraged America's ongoing profligate use of fossil fuels and production of greenhouse gases despite climate urgency.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Uranium poison in Navajoland


by Ann Garrison



The Navajo Nation land includes famously scenic mountains,
mesas and canyons spread over three states in the
Four Corners area. United States corporations mined
uranium all over Navajoland, without care for the Navajo
people after World War II, as it built its nuclear
power, weapons, and war machine.


This is a cross post of my own story, "Uranium mining and weapons poisoning on the Navajo Nation, on Examiner.com. I first encountered the toxic legacy of uranium mining in Navajoland, in the Southwestern United States, and it has since led me to study its consequences elsewhere, most of all in indigenous country in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Africa.

Earlier this month the Navajo Nation won a victory in a U.S. federal appeals court, which defended their ban on uranium mining, the only indigenous assertion of sovereignty of its kind.

Anyone who might be persuaded by the argument that nuclear power is a clean, green "solution" to global warming should consider the first step in the nuclear process and its consequence to indigenous peoples and their environments all over the world.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Nuclear Renaissance Man

Is it even conceivable that Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Mr. Olympia, Pumping Iron Champion, Terminator, and, Governor of California, would not become the nuclear power industry's most fervent advocate, and, the quintessential Nuclear Renaissance Man?   He says not only that nuclear power should be "part of mix," as most powerful politicans now do, but also, that it "has a great future."   And, he admits to being overcome with sorrow and envy, when visiting France, just knowing that that nation, unlike California, is running on 80% nuclear power.

Barack Obama is lying about the Reliable Replacement Nuclear Warhead


Barack Obama is lying about the Reliable Replacement Nuclear Warhead (RRW).  He says that it's not in his budget.

However, the RRW is in the $50 billion Pentagon "black budget," and this is Commander-in-Chief Obama's budget too.  

Cross post from Examiner.com, http://www.examiner.com/x-8257-SF-Energy-Policy-Examiner~y2009m5d20-Barack-Obama-is-lying-about-the-Reliable-Replacement-Nuclear-Warhead

Memorial Day Weekend at the Indy500; greenhouse gas, cars, stars & bars

Memorial Weekend Indy500 race, Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A.

I'd never realized what a celebration of militarism and military recruitment the Indy500 was till I watched the Tubecast today.   I'm starting to wonder if there's a celebration, sporting event, or town, in the U.S.A. that is not highly militarized.  Cross post from Examiner.com, http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-8257-SF-Energy-Policy-Examiner~y2009m5d24-Memorial-Day-Weekend-at-the-Indy500-greenhouse-gas-cars-stars--bars.

Barack Obama hasn't been to the mountaintop, not in Appalachia

by Ann Garrison

Cross-post of  "Barack Obama hasn't been to the mountaintop, not in Appalachia," from Examiner.com.

The U.S. Air Force is in the process of converting its engines to run on coal to liquid (CTL) fuel.  The U.S. military is the world's largest customer for CTL fuel, which it purchases from the Sasol Group,  the world's largest producer of synthetic fuel, based in South Africa .   CTL fuel produces twice the greenhouse gas that oil-based fuels produces.

The U.S. military is also the world's largest aingle consumer of fossil fuels, and, Pentagon planners hope that it will be operate on 50% coal-based fuels by 2016







Monday, May 18, 2009

World Congress on Art Deco Montreal


May 24-30 the World Congress on Art Deco will take place in Montreal. Allready newspapers in Canada have started publishing articles in anticipation of this important event. The Toronto Star published an article on Nine Floor Eaton's Restaurant. This story was picked up on twitter by Katerine Rollet, a famous restaurant blogger from Montreal. The Montreal Gazette writes about the history of Art Deco in Montreal and Sandra Cohen-Rose, who organizes the event describes the particularity of Art Deco in Montreal. The website "images Montreal" has an impressive list of Art Deco buildings on it's website. Pierre Chantelois, a blogger who has long been on my blogroll, lives in Montreal and recently started a blog about the beauty of Montreal. He is planning to blog about the event. In february I blogged about this event because I digg Art Deco. I also found this wonderfull flickr page on Art Deco in Montreal. I hope you digg Art Deco too. Write about the Art Deco Congress on your blog or comment here with links to pages that have pictures of Art Deco that we all would love to see.

Let me start by giving you the link to a blogpost on Art Deco in Brussels by Martina MacGreevy on the trendy blog from Brussels: "Plinth&Chintz". Apparently Belgium is celebrating this year it's independence from The Netherlands, and is organizing many activities and walks to celebrate it's architecture. Once you are tired of watching Horta's Art Deco creations in Brussels, you can still go down to the Congolese district Matongé, Ixxel, and eat some Kamundele or Kabry at Mpoko or another Congolese bar. Drink and dance till dawn, as one student at the Université Libre de Bruxelles writes on his blog. If you want to read more about the Congolese community in Belgium, this blog in French might help.
UPDATE: Montreal Gazette's Art Deco Gallery

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu testifies before US Senate Foreign Relations Committee about sexual violence in Congo

by Ann Garrison

On Wednesday, May 13, 2009, Eastern Congolese journalist and activist Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu spoke to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



I found this as painful to watch as most anyone would, but, as a citizen of the U.S.A., I also felt enormous tension knowing that Rwandan invaders committing these crimes in Eastern Congo have been trained by U.S. forces at a U.S. military base in Kigali, Rwanda, or, at the School of the Americas, or, at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) (formerly Africa Center for Security Studies), which is the equivalent of the School of the Americas for Africa, housed at National Defense University in Washington D.C.

I've written about the Congo War as well as I've been able to understand it, after years of study, here, and on the site of the "San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper," in "The holocaust in D.R. Congo; war for the sake of war itself."

Eén Europees asiel- en immigratiebeleid?

De VVD heeft op een partijbijéénkomst gepleit voor één immigratiebeleid. Hans van Baalen zei: "Een vrije markt betekent open grenzen. Dat vraagt om nauwe Europese samenwerking tussen politie en justitie. Dat vraagt om één Europees asiel- en immigratiebeleid''

Ik ben het van harte eens met Hans van Baalen als hij zegt dat de nauwe Europese samenwerking vraag om één immigratiebeleid. Van Baalen's partij heeft echter in de tweede kamer gestreefd naar wetgeving die steeds verder afwijk van de Europese norm op het gebied van immigratie voor familieleden van Europeanen. De VVD, maar ook PvdA en CDA, hebben wetgeving gemaakt die de mogelijkheid benut om de eigen onderdanen te discrmineren ten opzichte van migrerende werknemers in de EU. Daarbij zijn deze partijen bewust bezig fundamentele rechten van Europese burgers te schenden.

Het is dus onjuist als de VVD stelt één immigratiebeleid na te streven. Het enige wat de VVD met deze leus wil zeggen is dat de VVD immigranten als tweederangs burgers ziet. Daarmee inspelend op de xenophobe sentimenten die helaas ook in Nederland naar de oppervlakte gekomen zijn.

De realiteit is namelijk dat de EU op het gebied van migrerende werknemers een helder en éénduidig beleid HEEFT. Hans van Baalen heeft al die jaren dat hij in het parlement van Nederland zat juist gepleit voor discriminatie van de Nederlandse burger ten opzicht van de migrerende EU-werknemer. Daarmee heeft ook de VVD de fundamentel rechten en vrijheden van gemeenschapsonderdanen, zoals deze in het EU verdrag vastgelegd zijn, geschonden.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Microblogging on Akouaba from Brazza

A new startup has seen the light, Akouaba from Congo Brazzaville, as you can read on startupafrica. It works fine as far as I am concerned, try it and connect to me on akouaba. Let's take over Akouba!!

I recently learned that internet in Kinshasa now costs about $25, which can be pretty affordable for a lot of Congolese citizens. Anyone know the price of internet in Brazzaville? Once you got internet you can use Skype and call for free to your relatives in the diaspora.

If you have a link concerning Congo, just post it below. A friend sent me the link to http://www.pagewebcongo.com, a very usefull website.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nyiragongo Volcanco threatening Goma


UNHCR has reported 4 days ago on the volcanic activity near Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira near Goma. About 600.000 people are under threat, according to the UNHCR estimates. The volcanism blog wrote May 5th about the imminent eruption, specialists are convinced an eruption will happen anytime between now and two months. An American blogger From Congo who lives in Goma wrote today he is not panicing yet.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Citizenship: a dynamic policy vehicle in Europe

Next week the Migration Policy Institute organizes a symposium on "citizenship" Today it's Europe day and we are heading towards the European parliamentary elections. But we haven't heard much on "citizenship" from our Dutch politicians.

It's quite ironic that this conference is organized in Washington and not in Europe. Citizenship of the EU is considered problematic by most politicians in Europe. They don't know what to do with it, so they prefer to not even talk about it. We hear a lot of politicians mention the word "Europe" and defending national interest and stuff, or how Europe could benefit the economy if we had some coordination in the fight against the economic crisis.

But politicians stay silent when it comes to one of the central aspects of the EU treaty: citizenship. One of the reasons is probably that they don't consider citizenship at the core of the political debate within their own parties either. The buzzword has been "values" over the last decade. But globalisation is driving the issue of "citizenship" to the forefront at a very strong pace. Politicians in Europe have failed to notice or investigate this dynamic policy vehicle.

It's this lack of (a coherent) approach to citizenship that makes it possible for politicians on the far right, like Geert Wilders, to rise so high in the polls. I hope this symposium on "citizenship" organized by the Migration Policy Institute will open the door a new era. An era in which political parties help their consituencies to define their citizenship in a constructive and meaningfull way.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Keeping up with the Californians, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gavin Newsom

Eco Trend Setters: the Governator and the Goober'
I'm cross posting this, from Examiner.com, because of its focus on African social justice and environmental issues. Though it may seem far away, in California, the energy and transportation issues decided here, have a huge impact on the market for fossil fuels, uranium, and other minerals mined in Africa. The State of California is often estimated to be between the 5th and 10th largest economy in the world, apart from that of the United States.

Although Governator Arnold Schwarenegger and San Francico's Mayor Gavin Newsom, who now aspires to succeed him, are rapacious, and oblivious, energy imperialists, the City of San Francisco this week stood up against all the excess power production necessary to charge a huge American fleet of electric cars, by rejecting Mayor Newsom's proposed municipal mass transit fares. I received this report, near 9:00 P.M. last night, from the San Francisco Grteen Party:

"San Francisco's Budget & Finance Committee rejected the Municipal Transit Authority budget fare hike and sent the rejection to the full Board of Supes for approval, in a 4-1 vote at 8:51 P.M."

Small decisions far away, impact African and other communities all over the world. Although the fall in minerals prices, amidst worldwide recession, has caused hardship all over Africa, I have to think of a victory that will decrease demand for fossil fuels and uranium as a victory, and hope that the West transform itself into a collective will that could see the mutual value of investing in art, education, and basic housing,power, and clean water infrastructure in Africa, rather than dirty energy, and, geostrategic and precious minerals extraction in Africa.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Dancing the yes-we-can-can, and knitting, for peace


May 4, 2009

by Ann Garrison

I just came across Code Pink Women for Peace's “How Obama Welcomes Peace Activists,” a report about how nicely the Obama People treated them, on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, while they danced the "Yes we can-can for peace" in Washington D.C.

I've tried, several times since 01/20/2009, to explain to Code Pink activists, that Obama invaded D.R. Congo, with African proxy armies, on Inauguration Day, 01/20/2009, and, that the Congo War is the most lethal conflict in the world, and, that the U.S. military industrial complex could not manufacture for war without the geostrategic mineral wealth of D.R. Congo, the most resource rich nation on earth.


Code Pink's Jodie Evans told me, in response, that Code Pink is a small organization that has to prioritize its efforts for peace, and that feminist playright Eve Ensler is the expert they turn to on D.R. Congo.

But, to be fair to the goodhearted women of Code Pink, and, to the “beautiful, quilted cozy” that they've been knitting “to cover the fence in front of the White House to honor Mother's Day," May 10, 2009, they are far more conscious than most Americans, who, as Friends of the Congo Director Maurice Carney says, “can't even find Congo on a map.”                                                                     

And, they show signs of true geographical genius when compared to Republican heiress apparent Sarah Palin, who, during her 2008 vice presidential run, identified Africa as a country.



Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mary Carlin Yates in Kenya for AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command

Mary Carlin Yates, U.S. AFRICOM Deputy-to-the Commander for Civil-Military Activities.
http://www.africom.mil/yates.asp

On May 2, Africa Press Agency announced that Africom's Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, U.S. Africa Command Deputy-to-the-Commander for Civil-Military Activities was on her way to Kenya. Her visit follows the April 2oth Land Forces Symposium in Mombasa, Kenya, an annual huddle of military commanders from the U.S., the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, and, the April 28th huddle, the "first ever," between Kenyan DOD, Africom, and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa(CJTF-HOA) ---i.e., after more of the relentlessly dismal U.S. and European military maneuvering and strategizing in the Horn of Africa, a highly militarized zone used to prosecute the overt wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the covert war in Africa.

Nevertheless, and, despite Obama's promise to "halt the rise of piracy, let's hope that Yates is not in Kenya to plan another outright U.S. invasion of Somalia, as urged by former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton in April, after the U.S. Navy Seals executed three of the famous Somali Pirates and captured a fourth, sixteen-year-old Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, who now faces trial as an adult in the United States.

Kenya is so central to the success of Africom, that Yates may well be in a what-to-do huddle about Kenya's worrisome, ongoing instability.

What is Kenya, to the U.S.?

1) One of the U.S.A.'s closest military allies in Africa.

2) Somalia's southern coastal neighbor in the Horn of Africa . Seven Somali Pirates are now on trial in Kenya, in accordance with an agreement with the U.S.

3) One of the Northeast African nations within what once was the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), before the creation of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). It includes a naval base on the Kenyan coast, from which U.S. battleships can make their way into the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and, the Persian Gulf.

3) One of the "focus countries" of PEPFAR, the President's Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief
.

4) Home of the radioactive waste processing facility at Oloolua , even though Kenya does not have a nuclear power plant generating rad waste.

5) A predominantly agricultural country, exporting tea, coffee, flowers, and petroleum products, almost none of which go to the U.S., which values Kenya primarily for its geostrategic military significance. When Kenya is not in dangerous turmoil, tourism contributes most to its GDP, and half the population is engaged in subsistence farming.

6) Barack Obama's father's homeland:


Saturday, May 2, 2009

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom rides the big wave


I'm cross posting "San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom rides the big wave," (hot linked to headline above), to Colored Oponions because:

1) Wave energy is quite likely to become an issue in the Netherlands, where Colored Opinions makes his/its home, and,

2) San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is now running to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger as California's Governor Greenwash II, has unbounded political ambition, including visions of the post-Obama White House. And, he's not disqualified from running, as Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's Governor Greenwash I, is, by non-native birth.

3) Colored Opinions, the blog, is largely concerned with immigration, democracy, and, regionally, with Africa, and I've include this paragraph comparing big multinational corporate energy's colonization of the California Coast to its global, and more extreme, but still structurally similar colonization of Africa:

"WaveConnect would generate far more electricity than the 86,221 residents of Mendocino and 129,000 residents of Humboldt County could purchase or use. Most of the power would be purchased instead, by rate payers in power hungry, population dense, and, relatively rich, cities on the Southwest Regional Power Grid.

California's Mendocino and Humboldt Counties would thus become resource ransacked, environmentally assaulted, internal colonies, generating power for distant cities, and, profit for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Their role, within the domestic energy economy, would be similar to that of de facto colonies in Africa, which are, on a global, and, far more devastating scale, resource ransacked and environmentally assaulted.

Big energy most often colonizes Africa for fossil fuels and uranium, to generate power in the imperial nations, and profit for multinational energy corporations, including PG&E.

In 2003, PG&E generated a list of African nations as sources for new natural gas imports to the U.S., although, even two years, later, in 2005, only 20% of Angolans had electricity."