Jul 052011

If the corruption of American politicians makes you sick, take heart: those in Brazil and other parts are not much better, as the condition is systemic and fully transnational.

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria. Rest in peace, comrades, you will be missed, and some day we will avenge you.

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife,  Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva,  were shot from ambush on May 24,  2011 near their home in Nova Ipixuna,  Para state,  Brazil.  “According to a local newspaper,  Diário do Pará, the couple had not had police protection despite getting frequent death threats because of their battle against illegal loggers and ranchers,” reported Guardian correspondent Tom Phillips from Rio de Janiero.  Their murders came six years after the similar assassination of U.S. nun Dorothy Stang and 23 years after the murder of rubber-tapper Chico Mendes,  who both also fought to protect Amazon habitat.  The da Silva killings came two days before the Brazilian House of Deputies voted 410-63 in favor of a bill to ease restrictions on logging in the Amazon region. Another anti-rainforest logging activist, Adelino Ramos,  was killed on May 29.  Altogether 1,150 rural activists have been killed in Brazil during the past 20 years,  reported Bradley Brooks of Associated Press.  “Of all those killings,  fewer than 100 cases have gone to court.  About 80 hired gunmen have been convicted.  Only 15 or so of the people who ordered killings faced charges.  And just one of them is known to be in prison,”  Brooks wrote. SOURCE: ANIMAL PEOPLE.

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Jul 052011

Mercy For Animals presents Farm to Fridge.
The Disturbing Truth Behind Meat Production
Intro by Patrice Greanville 

James Cromwell, with his co-star in the film classic, BABE.

MOST PEOPLE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO EATING ANIMALS. They have been brought up that way and rarely question the way their favorite animal foods get to the table. After all, food dishes based on animals are everywhere and they can be as pleasurable and addictive as sex or even powerful drugs. But the horrors of industrial animal farming have now reached diabolical proportions, and the price paid by billions of innocent creatures every day around the world, sacrificed on the altar of our moral laziness and addiction to culinary pleasure (that now can be easily met through excellent and much healthier substitutes*), demand that we at least examine in good faith the case for a switch to vegetarianism. In fact, lefties are as guilty as the rest in this regard, and in some cases more so, as many on the left follow an obsolete form of “human supremacism” that has no place in our time.  This recalcitrant posture is an affront to the moral integrity and compassion that should always be the distinguishing trait of a true progressive. What’s more, the pain and fear suffered by these creatures is only one of the compelling reasons to sit up and listen. Factory farms and fish farms are now the top environmental polluters in the world, and chief contributing factor to climate change, easily outstripping the impact of all forms of vehicular emissions from hydrocarbons. 

Narrated by Oscar-nominee James Cromwell, this powerful film takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration behind the closed doors of the nation’s largest industrial farms, hatcheries, and slaughter plants — revealing the often-unseen journey that animals make from Farm to Fridge. Continue reading »

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Jul 052011

Yes, he deserves credit for pushing gay marriage through. But New York’s governor is still paying far too much attention to the millionaires, and not enough to the masses.

By Eric Alterman

Andrew Cuomo: a Bill Clinton with an Italian surname?

If you take a look behind the dramatic, and in many respects thrilling New York State vote to legalize marriage for all people—gay or straight—one cannot help but conclude that it’s lucky my state is populated by a great many wealthy homosexuals. Because without them, basic human rights for gays—and pretty much every other victim of discrimination–would be at the mercy of the same forces that are destroying almost every other aspect of traditional liberalism in America.

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Jul 052011

July 4, 2011
By Chris Hedges
Crossposted with Truthdig

Illustration by Mr. Fish

The most important moral and intellectual voices within a disintegrating society are slowly discredited when their nonviolent protests and calls for justice cannot alter intransigent and corrupt systems of power. The repeated acts of peaceful civil disobedience, efforts at electoral and political reform and the fight to protect the rule of law are dismissed as useless by an embittered, dispossessed and betrayed public. The demagogues and hatemongers, the purveyors of violence, easily seduce enraged and bewildered masses in the final stages of collapse with false promises of vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. And, in the spiral downward, the good among us are reviled as naive and ineffectual fools. Continue reading »

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