Last week's Grammy Awards certainly generated plenty of chatter, what with all of the surprising winners (Esperanza Spalding, Lady Antebellum), veteran performances (Bob Dylan, Sir Mick Jagger) and more than a few upsets (Justin Bieber, Eminem).
Then there was Lady Gaga's egg-regious entrance.
Meanwhile, across the pond the British Academy Film Awards (a.k.a. the BAFTAS) made it clear that The King’s Speech was the favorite going into the upcoming Academy Awards.
Food Works for Middle Way House sits opposite of the Boys and Girls Club across Third Street Park in the former Coca-Cola building. Blueberry and melon plants fill the patches of land around the recently opened kitchen. A rooftop garden with solar cells rests atop the childcare center next door.
The area exudes a sense of growth -- from the locally grown produce used in the kitchen’s recipes to the women working inside the store.
“My goal is to work with a woman and get her regular and stable hours,” said Donna Storm, the kitchen’s business and operations manager.
Citizens Action Coalition
On Feb. 16, the Citizens Action Coalition called on the Daniels administration to release e-mails and documents that CAC requested months ago. The e-mails pertain to the recently signed contract between the Indiana Finance Authority and Leucadia Corporation to force construction of a substitute natural gas (SNG) plant in Rockport, Ind.
Kerwin Olson, program director for CAC, said, "The Daniels administration continues to deny or sit on information requests that intend to shed light on this questionable contract. Transparency of this transaction is essential as Hoosier homes and businesses are being coerced by the power of the state to become involuntary investors in a highly speculative venture. The reality is that this deal requires the public to invest for 30 years in unregistered, derivative securities to enable the production of overpriced SNG."
The U.S. military, especially the CIA, is relying increasingly on unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones,” to conduct both surveillance and bombing in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Indiana is home to multiple sites of manufacturing, testing and support of drones and drone technology. Purdue University is involved, as are several Indiana companies.
In Bloomington at 7 p.m. on March 2, Quigley will outline those Indiana connections and the legal and moral concerns over aerial robotic attacks. He will also discuss the growing resistance to drone warfare. The talk will take place in room 1B of the public library, and its title is, “Indiana Drones: Robotic Warfare in the Heartland.”
Having read a few of Peter Dale Scott’s earlier books, I was looking forward to his new work, American War Machine. I was not disappointed. Published by Roman & Littlefield in late 2010, this book examines a wide-ranging number of covert U.S. operations since World War II and, among other things, demonstrates that many of these operations were intimately connected with, and dependent on, illicit drug trafficking.
Scott previously defined concepts such as deep events, deep politics and the deep state to refer to covert mechanisms that facilitate the strategies of the politically minded rich, a group otherwise referred to as the overworld. Deep events, which Scott defines as those that are “systematically ignored or falsified in the mainstream media and public consciousness,” can be seen as sharing certain features, such as cover-up of evidence and irresoluble controversy over what happened.
I found myself on the other side of the journalistic equation this past week, when the Indiana Daily Student published a front-page story about my work on autism and the environment, including links between vaccines and the pervasive developmental disorder.
The story drew the expected shrill and vitriolic reaction from vaccine industry defenders, none of whom identify themselves by name. The comments section attracted more than three dozen responses from some of the highest profile actors in the national debate. What follows is my response to the fallout.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said Lord Acton, the 19th century British historian. This statement describes best dictatorships where power is lodged in the hands of one person, usually a deified Pharaoh. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is one.
When Mubarak assumed power in 1981 after the assassination of Anwar El Sadat, he was particularly keen to announce that he hated corruption, loathed despotism and encouraged hard work. Good start, it really sounded promising. However, after 30 years in office, before his resignation on Feb. 11, the man’s family’s fortune is estimated as potentially $70 billion. He was willingly surrounded by a handful of the most corrupt businesspersons in the country, if not in the world; tipped off by the most-hated, steel industry monopolizer, cold-blooded vote-rigger Ahmed Ezz; and was shelled by an evilly sophisticated, brutally repressive, extremely unpopular police force.
Citizens Action Coalition
The Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) has called for the immediate withdrawal of Senate Bill 251. The legislation, according to the CAC, would, for all practical purposes, eliminate ratepayer protections under the law and provide monopoly electric utilities the means for unlimited profits on the backs of their captive ratepayers and the Indiana economy.
Grant Smith, CAC's Executive Director, said, "Utility companies have tried for years to pass similar provisions. Those bills were ultimately rejected due to their negative impact on homeowners and businesses; the bulk of the Indiana economy. Senators Gard, Merritt, Hershman and Boots must think that excessively high, unaffordable utility bills are good for the economy. They have adopted in SB 251 the monopoly utility agenda hook, line, and sinker. There is absolutely no balancing act here.'"
The “green scare” is in full swing, with COINTELPRO-style targeting of environmental and animal rights activists. The green scare, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, is “the repression of environmental activists by designating them as terrorists.”
The challenge for activists is to peacefully protest and avoid criminalization of their dissent. Nowhere is that situation more evident than in the case of two I-69 protestors, Hugh Farrell and Gina “Tiga” Wertz. After a nonviolent protest Wertz was charged with intimidation, a class A misdemeanor, two counts; conversion (unauthorized use of someone else's property), a class A misdemeanor, two counts; and corrupt business influence (racketeering), a class C felony. Her bond was set at $10,000.
Kathyrn Shaw fiddled with her hands as she waited for her ride at the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) office. She had missed her appointment for the Energy Assistance Program earlier in the week and called Thursday morning to make another. They told her to come in later that day.
"When I lost all my income, I realized I needed to use the program," she said. "I was on disability for about 10 years."
Shaw took off her right-hand glove to reveal shaking fingers -- disabling rheumatoid arthritis.