Saturday, November 24, 2012

Monsanto: The Genetic Battle video 3/3

Monsanto: Genetic Battle Video 2/3

Monsanto-The Genetic Battle video 1/3

What is an GMO: Video

More about GMOs, just to keep this in the front of your mind!

Max Keiser Report: Banks renting homes - Max Keiser: 'Colossal Collapse Coming!' [Ian Williams © KeiserReport]

Banks still have 0% interest rates, but still charge much more to the common person, other than the 1%. Banks are now renting the homes and raising the prices even though the incomes are going down and the lack of jobs.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday 2012-Wal Mart Time Lapse video

Fighting over phones at Wal Mart

This is really sad...I can't believe this

Confessions of a Wal Mart Hit Man Video

It is not only Wal Mart these days...

Where do the Homeless Sleep?

From Portland Rescue Mission posted from

Living without a home of your own is a devastating experience. But sleeping without a home is downright difficult. Some of these places receive media attention. Others may surprise you. But all of these overnight accommodations are completely unacceptable for regular human habitation.

1. Storage Units
Many have called storage units the modern-day cardboard box. Sure, they’re not ideal, but they’re dry, secure and beat the dangers of the street. And they offer a way for people to keep some of their belongings rather than abandon them or have them stolen.

2. Cars
Living out of a vehicle may seem like a bearable solution to losing one’s home. But when your home is on four wheels, it’s impossible to sit still. Each day, you must be on the go to evade authorities and the expensive citations for illegal parking or sleeping in a vehicle (Yes, there are ordinances against this.). You sleep with one eye open; you can never be perfectly at ease. And the nomadic lifestyle makes it difficult for homeless organizations to stay in touch to provide help.

3. Motels
Cheap motels became the newest thing in subsidized housing and the de facto shelter for families affected by the recession in 2009. For families, it’s an affordable alternative to shelter and safer than the streets. But with cramped rooms, unsafe conditions, and little space for cooking, it is far from a good alternative to safe, decent housing. And when money runs out, families are back on the street.

4. Tent Cities
Since the economy has been hurting, homeless encampments have sprung up in communities across the U.S. Some – like Sacramento, Providence, or Nickelsville – garner lots of media attention; others go quietly unnoticed. As diverse the residents and characteristics of these communities may be, they all have on thing in common: they are cloaked in controversy. Portland’s tent city is Dignity Village (

5. Parks
After walking all day or night, it’s tempting for a homeless man or woman to stretch out on the lawn or a bench for some rest. Parks are open to the public and a decent place to get a nap during the day. But sleeping in the park at night is usually interrupted by police asking offenders to move along.

6. Streets
While it may seem counter-intuitive that a homeless person would choose to stay on the streets rather than in a homeless shelter, there are understandable reasons for doing so. Shelters tend to attract people who are chronically homeless and addicted. This can be frightening to someone newly homeless or to those who struggle with mental illness or social phobias.

7. Foreclosed Houses
Across the country, hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes are boarded up, idle and empty. At the same time, homelessness has been on the rise and the need for decent affordable housing is as great as ever. It comes as no surprise that homeless men and women choose to become squatters in vacant homes.

8. Abandoned Buildings
Much like the situation with foreclosed homes, there’s no shortage of empty warehouses and other business buildings where homeless men and women take shelter.

9. Couches
When homelessness strikes, friends and relatives are often the first place of refuge. Homeless families and individuals sleep on couches, in garages/sheds and backyard tents. Although they are technically homeless, they are unseen and left uncounted in an official homeless census – until the hospitality wears out. Then, they end up on the street.

10. We Don’t Know
For all of those homeless individuals whose unfortunate living situations are documented, recorded, and broadcast to the public, there are hundreds more who remain anonymous. The methodology for finding and counting homeless people is imperfect; we simply do not find everyone.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ITF Delivers WalMart Warning November 2012


ITF delivers Walmart warning

21 November 2012

ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) ship inspectors have been visiting ships carrying Walmart cargoes this week to pass on warnings that the company may be experiencing industrial action in the run up to Christmas. The ITF is asking captains and companies working with Walmart to raise with it widespread concerns about the retail giant’s treatment of its US staff.

Industrial action is likely among Walmart workers on Friday November 23, which is known as  ‘Black Friday’, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.

The move by the global union federation is in support of five US organisations campaigning for justice for Walmart workers: Making Change at Walmart, OUR Walmart, UNI Global Union Walmart Alliance, Warehouse Workers United, and Warehouse Workers for Justice*. They charge the company with paying poverty wages and dragging down pay and work conditions.

ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton commented: “Walmart is a major customer of the shipping industry, and we feel it is important that transport companies – with whom we strive to build the same kind of collaborative industrial relations we would like to see Walmart embrace – are aware of potential industrial disruption.”

He continued: “We are seriously concerned by Walmart’s attitudes towards its workers. It has been widely reported that workers in its warehouse and retail operations have been subject to firings, threats to terminate employment, and reduced hours.”

The letter that has been delivered to ships this week by ITF inspectors says:

Dear Captain,
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a Global Union Federation of 780 transport trade unions who collectively represent over 4.6 million workers worldwide.

We wish to bring to your attention a serious matter regarding Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which has been reported to engage in unlawful retaliation against workers employed in their US retail and warehouse operations.

As Walmart cargo is carried by your company, you may wish to inform your management of these developments – particularly as there are reports of planned industrial disruptions in Walmart’s retail and warehouse operations in the upcoming Christmas holiday period. Your company may also be concerned about violations of labour rights and wish to raise this with Walmart.

Regarding the details of the matter, the ITF has learnt from its sister federation, UNI Global Union, that Walmart has retaliated against members of OUR Walmart, Warehouse Workers United, and Warehouse Workers for Justice when they have attempted to raise the following issues:

•    Freedom of association
•    Safe workplaces with safe equipment
•    Provision of a policy manual for every employee, equal enforcement of policy and no discrimination
•    Dependable and predictable work schedules
•    Provision of affordable healthcare
•    Wages and benefits that ensure that no employee has to rely on government assistance.

Reports show that workers raising these issues have been subject to unlawful firings, threats of employment termination, and reduced hours. These actions are thought to involve violations of both US law and ILO International Labour Standards. Walmart’s alleged retaliation also comes in the context of persistent wage and working hours violations. Since December 2008, the company has been involved in class action settlements and verdicts totaling US$1.18 billion (including a $187.6 claim currently under appeal).

The ITF is very concerned about the reported actions of Walmart against its workers. Walmart is a major customer of many companies across the shipping, ports, and contract logistics sectors, where numerous members of ITF affiliated unions work.

The ITF believes the positive industrial relations between employers and unions in many of these companies sets a standard to which Walmart should aspire.

We would therefore like to draw the attention of your company to this serious situation.

Thanking you in solidarity,

More information

Walmart is the largest company in the world. It has 2.2 million employees in 28 countries. Only the US Department of Defence and China’s People’s Liberation Army are bigger. Walmart has grown by driving down costs and working conditions, and is strongly anti-union. Former executive John Tate, an influential figure in the company’s history, said “labor unions are nothing but blood sucking parasites”.

Walmart workers in the US are fighting for a fair deal. Retail and warehouse workers are demanding the right to collectively organise, fair wages, and affordable health care. The US remains the largest part of Walmart’s business, with 1.4 million workers.

This is the first large scale union organising by workers in Walmart’s history. In September there were strikes in Walmart warehouse operations in Los Angeles and Chicago. And October saw the first ever strikes in US Walmart stores, with workers in 28 stores walking out in protest over their conditions and unfair labour practices.

About the ITF
The ITF is a global union federation representing around four and a half million transport workers worldwide. Unions – currently 708 from 154 countries – affiliate to the ITF, which is able to carry their interests into the global arena.

Related Articles:
WalMart Stirs Concern over Compensation System
Wal Mart Blips List

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dec 3rd 2012 - Petition Free and Open Internet

Meetings are happening behind closed doors that take away our freedom of speech and when they take away our freedoms, they take away the right to gather peacefully to voice our concerns, they take away our rights to communicate with those in other parts of the world.  They take away our rights to knowledge, to take actions and to be a democracy.

Please, Please, Please take the few minutes and click on the link understand what is at stake and to sign this important request:

Pakistani view on Palestine

Editor: Sir Zafrulla Khan on Palestine

Now that Israeli slaughter is underway yet again, it is an appropriate moment for Pakistanis to show solidarity with Palestinians by recalling what Sir Zafrulla Khan – the author of thePakistan Resolution – had to say about the “partition” of Palestine in the year of the Nakbah. Lamentably, due to the predicament of our own country under the second amendment, Sir Zafrulla Khan (KCSI, 1893 – 1985, our first foreign minister, representative at the UN, judge at the ICJ and of course the Pakistan Resolution’s draftsman), an adherent of the reformist Ahmadi Muslim community, would be considered a “non-Muslim”.
Yet the perversion of the meaning of the word “Muslim” to appease the mullahstreet is incapable of denting Sir Zafrulla’s arguments in support of Palestinians. It remains very much the case that Sir Zafrulla wrote Palestine in the U.N.O. as aMusalman. Of that there is no doubt. Equally, he wrote to expose the truth about what happened in the UN.  But in the context of our own country, no doubt much to his torment, Sir Zafrulla also lived to see his (and Mr Jinnah’s) dream of asecular Pakistan being destroyed.
Our focus today, however, is not the vile state of the law in Pakistan. (But we nonetheless urge our politicians to repeal all non-secular enactments immediately.) Rather, we seek to show solidarity with the people of Palestine who are again being slaughtered by the Israelis: the latest attacks in Gaza have already claimed 67 lives (including pregnant women and more than a dozen children) and no doubt many more innocents will perish under Israel’s merciless and random attacks.
Sir Zafrulla’s seminal 1948 account of how things went in the UN in respect of the problem of Palestine is strikingly similar to later analyses by western journalists and Palestinian activists (see for example David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, 1977; Sari Nusseibeh, Once Upon A Country, 2003)Land grabbing was the issue at the heart of the problem. And it was facilitated by Jewish immigration. The Palestinians were not the “problem” and the Jews were the “terrorists”: Lord Moyne’s  assassination by Lehi in 1944the bombing of the King David Hotel by Irgun in 1946 and Count Bernadotte’s murder by Lehi in 1948 (headed by none other than Yitzhak Shamir, who went on to become Israel’s prime minister) confirm this fact.  So not much has changed. And although the British, who bear the responsibility of creating the conflict, would no longer call the Israelis “terrorists”, had he still been alive Sir Zafrulla would continue to call them just that. What else can a professional army intentionally bombing a civilian population be called?
Clearly, the approach is not working and the people firing the rockets remain unaffected by “Operation Pillar of Defence.” We have heard so much from the White House about the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime. But why, even in the face of repeated slaughter of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military, is the Palestine issue always on the backburner?
Perhaps we can find some answers by returning to Sir Zafrulla’s monograph. His point of departure was the British pledge regarding Arab independence after the First World War: in exchange, of course, for Arab support against OttomanTurkey. Observing the betrayal of this promise through the Balfour Declaration  – set out in a 2nd November 1917 letter from Arthur Balfour, the then British foreign secretary, to Walter Rothschild – Sir Zafrulla remarked that “thereafter the Jewish immigration into Palestine started and the struggle between the Jews and the Arabs began.”
Equally, Sir Zafrulla also thought that His Majesty’s Government’s commitment to establishing in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people was a bad idea because the civil and religious rights of the Palestinian people (reduced by the stroke of Balfour’s pen to the “existing non-Jewish communities”!) would never be upheld. When the British finally promised to limit Jewish immigration to 75,000 people (between 1939 – 1949), president Roosevelt wrecked the settlement (achieved by Ernest Bevin) by demanding a mandatory entry of 100,000 Jews into Palestine.
So “an agreed settlement” to the problem was “prevented” by the Americans. “In the meantime”, explains Sir Zafrulla, “Great Britain was getting sick of the whole business.” Special sessions of the UN General Assembly followed and two reports were produced by 11 members of the UN which visited Palestine. The two reports – the “majority” and the “minority” report(s) – put forward solutions on the grounds of a partition of Palestine or a federal state with two units, one Arab and the other Jewish. While the Arabs refused to accept either report, “the Jews declared that they were prepared to accept the majority scheme.”
Subsequently, Sir Zafrulla observed two trends in the General Assembly. One in favour of the majority report which would mean that the Arabs would be in-charge because they outnumbered the Jews: in those days, the population of Palestine was 2,000,000; composed of 1,300,000 Arabs and 700,000 Jews. The two “solutions” were a unitary state with safeguards for minorities (minority report) or a partition with economic union (majority report).
The two proposals were committed to the two sub-committees of the Committee on Palestine. Sir Zafrulla, was elected as the chairman of sub-committee two and the Polish delegate headed sub-committee one. Sir Zafrulla’s sub-committee concluded that the UN “had no legal or juristic authority to partition Palestine.” Most delegates agreed that this was the true position in law and everyone agreeed that the problem could have been resolved “very easily” by Britain. But, as the mandatory member, she conveniently maintained:
Whatever solution the Assembly adopts, we ourselves will not support either partition or any other solution that may be suggested unless it is a solution which the Arabs and Jews are both willing to accept.
When the question “are you willing to help in what this scheme visualises?” was asked, Britain’s reply was “no; we won’t. Whatever you suggest will have to be done by the U.N.O.” Moreover, “the ultimate British attitude was”:
Upto the date on which we terminate the mandate – and we shall decide that date – we shall not share authority for the administration of Palestine with anybody else. We shall be the sole authority as the responsibility is ours and it is our troops that have to keep and maintain law and order. From the date of the termination of the mandate upto the date of the evacuation of our troops from Palestine, we shall be responsible for law and order only in our military camps to which we shall have withdrawn our troops. With regard to the rest of our country, we shall not be responsible and we shall withdraw our troops from Palestine at the latest by the 1st of August 1948. (They have since announced that they will terminate the mandate in May 1948.)
The proposals of the special committee sent to Palestine by the General Assembly desperately tried to mitigate the humanitarian dilemmas posed by the hasty British departure. Despite some attempts to stay partition (to search for a better solution) by the French and the rejection of it altogether by the Columbians, Sir Zafarulla recorded that the Americans were able to coerce a majority in favour of partition. The Haitian delegate – “there were actually tears in his eyes and he said: I have announced that we shall vote against partition and I have now received instructions to vote for partition” – was made to change his country’s vote because “pressure was being put on some delegations to vote in favour of partition against their will.”
As a Musalman, Sir Zafrulla knew that partition – “a very sad decision” – was the worst option and that the Nakbah was its inevitable consequence. He ended his monograph by noting that “most delegations, even some those that had voted in favour of it, were very unhappy.”
With the above in mind it is obvious that in addition to the Israelis, the Americans and British have a lot of blood on their hands. Maybe, to make amends, they can wash some of it off now by restraining Israel from attacking civilian populations and killing innocent women, children and non-combatants/journalists. It is high time the west, which is responsible for creating an absolutely horrific predicament for the Palestinians, held Israel accountable for its crimes rather than hiding behind Hamas’s skirt and, following Sir Zafrulla, we urge America’s president Obama to stop supporting the wholesale slaughter of innocent Palestinians by backing Israel’s murderous ways.

Monday, November 19, 2012

500 Egyptians protest in support of Gaza يديو

19 November 2012

At the break of dawn over 500 Egyptians stood in support of Gaza it is not clear exactly where this occurred, in Gaza or at the border.

Gaza Video- strike on journalist building (18 Nov 2012)

RT's Arabic-language sister channel — Rusiya Al-Yaum — was struck by the Israeli forces in Gaza Strip in the early hours of November 18, approximately at 01.30 am local time. RT's reporter Saed Suerki and cameraman Mustafa Al-Bayati were not injured as they had left the building one hour before the attack. The channel's media center was located at the top level of the 11-floor building among other media offices.

Israel targets Hamas compound 19 november 2012

Israeli missiles hit the headquarters of the Palestinian National Security Forces. The air strike caused a huge explosion, leaving one building in flames. Elsewhere in Gaza City on Monday, an air strike leveled two houses belonging to a single family, killing at least 11 civilians, including four children and toddlers.  This was before, Anderson Cooper did his report on CNN.

Bomb explodes near Anderson Cooper while reporting

Yesterday the Israelis bombed a building that housed international media reporters and a bomb exploded while Anderson Cooper was reporting.

RanaGaza Audio 19 November 2012

Gaza Sounds on 19 November at 3:50 am
Ambulance sirens, drones

Gaza Sounds on 19 November at 3:35am
You can hear the drones flying around.  This is in the middle of the night.  Now imagine trying to sleep with this wondering if the bombs will fall on your home while you try to sleep.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

rana Gaza 18 November 2012

Climbing the Ladder in Bethlehem

17 November 2012

Reading and posting on the situation in Gaza has brought back some of my photojournalist memory.
Because this started as a blog in search for an identity, I decided to add this bit to it.  I rarely get personal about anything in my blog.  Maybe that is not such a good thing, how is anyone going to understand life after reporting war?

I have continued to "search for my identity" as the time flickers by.  I have seen some women find their new "nitch" after a divorce feeling left stranded in the middle of a blowing desert staring at the wind blowing the dust around them. 

I left "my war" the Palestinian/Israeli...conflict...war and the desert wind still blows.  Although I really try to find that new "nitch", I just can't seem to find.  In the end, life just passes by and I look back after leaving the war trying this thing or that and writing in this blog, but it just is not the same.  I don't feel a "purpose" or I have not been working in my place of calling.  There is a sure emptiness and a void without the cause of advocacy, generating voice, telling the stories that are very important for mankind and human beings to know about and trying to get them to "care".  Leaving the war, was like a divorce.  A divorce from the people the place, the food and the land.  A divorce from the cause and leaving in the middle.  It was a divorce from a way of life that I knew it, that I learned after my own real life divorce.  It was and to me is the same.

I ask myself every day how do the women who have to start over do it?  I have been in the same boat.  Divorced, older and starting over.  

This is what I have observed:

  1. The women remain strong.  It seems that they plow through whatever obstacle that is before while their eyes continue to glare forward.  Never to look left or right at the past or the future.
  2. They possess determination to plow through the new road, up and down the hills and valleys.  
  3. They put all of their energy into one thing, that thing of focus and the goal.
  4. They seem to never give up.
I remember when I was covering a story in Bethlehem after a 40 day incursion of the Israeli's Defense Force (IDF).  This was a time in history where the IDF surrounded almost all of the West Bank towns and imposed curfews, turned off water, shut down the electricity and buzzed the streets with bulldozers, tanks, jeeps and guns.  They also would take over peoples homes on the high ground to create lookout posts as places to shoot from if they saw any movement in the streets.

The time was horrible and it was dangerous for journalists as well.  So, I waited until they were pulling out and I went in to see the damage.  I interviewed a woman who was what I would call "held hostage" for 40 days.  Her home was right across from the Nativity Church, where they say that Jesus was born.  She lived on the top floor.  I spoke with her and she was lucky that the soldiers that were in her home were decent...or shall I say more decent than others had experienced.

One soldier gave her a cake before they left as a good-bye.  She had not realized the reality of her situation by the time I spoke with her it is called hostage syndrome.  It was only a few hours after the IDF left.  She was more concerned about giving me some cake, some tea and showing me her panoramic view of Bethlehem from the roof.

In politeness, I had some cake and tea then went to see the panoramic view.  We walked outside onto her veranda and she pointed to a frail ladder and then looked up.  I quickly realized that she wanted me to climb that ladder to see the view.  I became nervous for my own safety, not of bullets but from falling down that ladder.

She looked at me and shook her head and started climbing.  This woman was about 70 years old remind you.  I watched her step right onto the first rung and climb up that ladder, she had no frets, no fear and no second thought.  What she had was determination.  I said to myself , "If she can do it, then I can do it, I mean she is twice as old as I am!"

At that moment, I saw her strength that seemed boundless and fearless solid like a deeply planted stone bound into the earth.  It was then that I had deep respect for the women who had to suffer in wars under horrible conditions and remained very strong.  

It was that moment that I decided that I too needed to be strong and then remain strong.  There are other stories of the "women of war" who emulate both strength and gentleness. These woman of war taught me something very valuable; that we too can be like the woman who climbed the ladder.  

As outsiders of war zones and conflict, we should remember those who are living in conflict, like those in Gaza and not give up the fight to change the mind of the political leaders and citizens who do not understand.  We should keep going until the end.