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Tereza Coraggio

Third Paradigm is an out-of-the-box thinktank on community sovereignty and regenerative economics.

We look at how to take back our cities, farmland and water; our money, production and trade; our media, education and culture, our religion and even our God.

We present a people's history of the Bible and a parent's view on how to raise giving kids in a taking world.

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Past Shows


Resistance & Waves of Loving Kindness

September 25, 2009

3P-044 Show Information (includes MP3 download link)

Welcome to the 44th episode of Third Paradigm. Our title this week is Resistance Lite & Waves of Loving Kindness. We'll look the difference between the US and Latin America in response to the dramatic events in Honduras. At the end of their third month of being under siege by the military coup, President Zelaya has re-entered the country and taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy. We'll reveal more news on that, but first, I'd like to talk about the Congressional response to scandals in two organizations – ACORN and the military contractor, KBR.

On Thursday, Amy Goodman interviewed the CEO of ACORN, Bertha Lewis. The Senate had just voted 83 to 7 to bar the group from receiving federal funds, and the House Minority leader is calling on Obama to stop all Federal aid. The impetus for this moral outrage is some illegally-taken videos of instigators who repeatedly posed as a prostitute and a pimp in order to entrap ACORN employees into giving them tax advice. No official action was ever taken by ACORN.

The same episode of Democracy Now reports that a former employee of the war contractor KBR can pursue her case in open court. Jamie Leigh Jones sued KBR and its former parent company Halliburton, claiming she was drugged and gang-raped by co-workers in Baghdad. The company kept her in a shipping container without food or water for at least twenty-four hours after the crime took place, and may have kept her there indefinitely but for a sympathetic guard who loaned her his cell phone. She called her dad in Texas, who got his Representative, Ted Poe, to use State intervention to rescue her. For two years, neither Halliburton, the military, nor the justice system took any action to prosecute her attackers. Because of an employment contract created when Dick Cheney was Halliburton's CEO, Jones was told that her only recourse was mandatory binding arbitration with a judge chosen by Halliburton, with all procedures secret, and with no right to appeal. Finally this week, a three-judge panel ruled that Jones can have her case heard in a neutral courtroom.

So let me get this straight. An overloaded caseworker, who has seen worse things than you or I can ever imagine, gives tax advice to an undercover agent, posing as a pimp. This is under duress, unbeknownst to anyone else. Instead of asking why a sting operation was set up to entrap ACORN employees, and which banking interests funded it, the Senate freezes their money and calls on Obama to stop all federal funds. But a gang of KBR employees drugs and brutally rapes a woman, leaving her bruised, bleeding and with torn pectoral muscles. The company doctors say they can't find the results of her rape test because so many women employees are drugged and raped, and then the company locks her into a shipping crate where who knows what would have happened if the guard hadn't loaned her a cell phone. Why hasn't Representative Ted Poe, who knows the truth in this situation, called on Congress to freeze KBR and Halliburton's federal funding? What's wrong with this picture?

Before we go onto Honduras, let's calm down with a September Meditation from the Universal Unitarian Worship Materials and Having Come This Far by James Broughton.

September Meditation

I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.
I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.
I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.
I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers
the moon.
I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.
Perhaps that is the reason for our births — to be the memory for
Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.
Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
"What can you tell me about September?"

~ Burton D. Carley ~
From 1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection; contributed by Bob Freund

* * * * * * *

Having Come This Far

I've been through what my through was to be
I did what I could and couldn't
I was never sure how I would get there

I nourished an ardor for thresholds
for stepping stones and for ladders
I discovered detour and ditch

I swam in the high tides of greed
I built sandcastles to house my dreams
I survived the sunburns of love

No longer do I hunt for targets
I've climbed all the summits I need to
and I've eaten my share of lotus

Now I give praise and thanks
for what could not be avoided
and for every foolhardy choice

I cherish my wounds and their cures
and the sweet enervations of bliss
My book is an open life

I wave goodbye to the absolutes
and send my regards to infinity
I'd rather be blithe than correct

Until something transcendent turns up
I splash in my poetry puddle
and try to keep God amused.

~ James Broughton ~
From Packing Up For Paradise: New and Selected Poems 1946-1996

Now that we've splashed in the poetry puddle, let's return to the quagmire of Honduras, and the President whose brave and heroic return has made a big splash in it. Zelaya has walked for 15 hours, risking his life and freedom to re-enter Tegucigalpa and take refuge in the Brazilian embassy. Two people have been killed by the police, who shot live ammunition into the crowd gathered to protect him. In breaking news Friday, masked government agents sprayed toxic chemicals into the Embassy, causing nausea, nosebleeds, spitting and defecating blood, rapid heartbeat, skin irritation, headache, and dizziness among the 87 people there.

Courageously, First Lady Xiomara de Zelaya went to the roof to look at the machines they were using to spray the acid from neighboring buildings. She shouted, "Assassins, assassins," and they disconnected their apparatus. The 85 people accompanying the Zelayas say they won't desert them. If I ever have a granddaughter, I'm hoping she'll be named Xiomara.

Where's the Congressional outrage over this? In a blogpost called The Audacity of Action, Amy Goodman writes

"Zelaya's bold move occurs during a critical week, with world leaders gathering for the annual United Nations General Assembly, followed by the G-20 meeting of leaders and finance ministers in Pittsburgh. The Obama administration may be forced, finally, to join world opinion in decisively opposing the coup."

But at the G-20 meeting, Obama said,

"Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone."

Strange words for the only hold-out on climate change. Strange words for a country with a military base in spitting distance from Tegucigalpa. When I recovered from the sense of vertigo this inversion of reality induced I was led to wonder, will the ALBA countries wait forever to intervene militarily in Honduras? How many people will be killed, tortured, imprisoned, or disappeared before a continental peacekeeping force says, "Enough is enough." They already have Mercosur, Unasur, and Bancosur – how long before a Milisur is formed? To answer this question, I went to the underground Journosur – the Latin American blogpress to ask whether Latin America is as confused as we are about the use of the term "defense." Apparently, our government is composed of former football players who think it means a good offense. My Google search on Honduras came up with "Postcards from the Revolution," a blog by a New York-Caracas attorney named Eva Golinger. She's written The Chavez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela, Bush vs. Chavez: Washington's War on Venezuela, and most recently, Empire's Web: Encyclopedia of Interventionism and Subversion.

Since 2003, she's been using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain evidence of the US Government's efforts to destabilize progressive movements in Latin America. I figured she would know what's really going on with things like the San Jose agreement, which Hilary Clinton, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, and Michelle Bachelet of Chile are pushing with renewed vigor on Zelaya's return. Let's listen to what Eva Golinger has to say about it:

"The "San Jose Agreement" of 12 points... incorporated several of the requests of the coup regime into Arias' original proposal.

Specifically, point number one was changed from calling for President Zelaya's immediate return to power to become a call for a "government of unity and reconciliation" to be composed of members of the coup regime together with representatives from each political party. Zelaya would have been returned to the presidency, but with his hands completely tied. The proposal again called for amnesty for the coup regime, and, in an inference to the coup regime's allegations against President Zelaya, also called for amnesty to be granted to him as well. This factor clearly legitimates the coup regime's theories.

Another point incredibly called on the Zelaya government and supporters to refrain from convening a constitutional assembly, directly or indirectly, and in fact also ordered a refrain from even holding any kind of consultation, survey or opinion poll on any issue remotely related to constitutional form. This is absolutely outrageous because no government has the right to usurp the people's sovereign right to choose their form and model of government. This is not a right that can be transferred or taken away, it is inalienable.

Another point called for presidential elections to be held in October instead of November, and then again prohibited the people from protesting such elections, regardless of outcome or process, or engaging in any kind of civil disobedience, insurrection or any kind of manifestation of discontent regarding the political process in the country. That is also a completely outrageous and unacceptable usurpation of the people's innate right to protest and manifest their will."

She ends, "Zelaya is calling for insurrection in Honduras. Personally, I think that is the only way to resolve this situation with dignity." Comments on the article go further: "this time spend lots of money on defense among ALBA after this coup. Increase military spending 30 fold. Make sure that ALBA targets Colombia [and then] Panama. Don't be surprised if Peru doesn't jump at the chance either. But first strike at the coup, second take Colombia." Another says, "[The golpistas (coup-backers)] just gave people more reasons to be angry at them. We'll reclaim LA PATRIA of 7.5 million people soon." Marxist-Socialist encourages Eva, "Only those people who are really beating the bullets economically and who have nothing to lose but a whole world to win like Karl Marx said are the ones who are willing to revolt against this capitalist oligarchic system." Another writes, "people like this who simply wave away the armed struggle of the '80s as if it was all just some terrible, avoidable mistake, not only impugn the hard struggle and sacrifice of the participants of those struggles, but also give short shrift to the possibilities and realities of the present moment...If it comes to forces of arms here -- we must support the Honduran masses to the hilt." (source), (Spanish version)

Eva Golinger, named the Sweetheart of Venezuela by President Hugo Chávez, is a Venezuelan-American attorney from New York, living in Caracas, Venezuela since 2005...

Her first book, The Chávez Code, has been translated and published in five languages (English, Spanish, French, German and Italian) and is presently being made into a feature film. (source)

But this certainly isn't the American way. We mainstream the armed invasion and occupation of other countries, or the funding, training, and weaponization of paramilitaries by business interests. But we tell Zelaya any repercussions will be his fault if the people fight back. Should they wait for the US army base in Honduras to protect them from the coup? Why exactly do we have a military base there if not to protect the people? Perhaps it's to protect the coup leaders and business interests in case Latin America comes to the Hondurans' defense. We'll kill a few civilians, blame it on Venezuela, and use it as a pretense to launch another immoral war. And where are the US activists? Singing Kumbaya. I just got a note from five nonviolence groups to come hear a trauma healing and transformation delegate who's just returned from Honduras. She's documenting how nonviolent protests are being met with excessive force and violence. They're providing resources, training, and support in active nonviolence. Armed with this information, advocacy groups can pressure international power-holders for a diplomatic solution.

To illustrate the point, let's listen to Derrick Jensen with Star Wars: The Environmentalists Version.

[Star Wars – The Environmental Version]

That was Derrick Jensen. Frequent listeners know that his book, The Culture of Make-Believe, was my own wake-up call, an alarm buzzer I couldn't find the snooze button to turn off. When I asked another woman if she'd heard of Derrick Jensen, she said, "Oh, you mean my fantasy lover," which shows how sexy truth-telling can be. I wonder if Derrick ever thought he'd be the environmentalist pin-up boy.

The Star Wars Environmentalist video was directed by Franklin Lopez, who was born in Puerto Rico. His first breakthrough film was "Join the Resistance! Fall in Love!", followed by the post-Katrina video-remix, "George Bush Don't Like Black People"". His site, subMedia.TV was selected by Wired Magazine in the top ten video sites and he was hired to produce Democracy Now. His online news series, "It's the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine," is broadcast on the Dish Network and watched by tens of thousands of loyal fanatics. He's producing End:Civ as a crowd-funded film for $150,000. He doesn't accept money from foundations or corporations, but only from individuals or groups, who he'll acknowledge in the credits. The subtitle of End:Civ is Resist or Die.

So let's go back to Eva Golinger's Postcards from the Resistance. Another comment in the list references the US policy thinktank, the Council on Foreign Relations. They set out Washington's conditions for Zelaya through Kevin Casas-Zamora, Oscar Arias' second vice-president, who then became a fellow at the Council. In Casas' exact words:

"My sense of what the international community is demanding, and what is correct, is first of all that Zelaya should return to the presidency, though not necessarily to power. The presidency and power are two different things. Number two, he has to end his plans to amend the constitution, which won't be much of a problem. Number three, he has to put some distance between himself and Chavez. That's essential. Number four, there has to be some kind of power-sharing agreement, whereby Zelaya remains at the helm of the government but some other people chip-in in the main decisions that are to be made between now and the next election in November. Number five, there has to be some kind of amnesty, for lack of a better word, where everybody turns a blind eye on the pervasive illegal behavior of all the parties involved, because all of them have acted with illegal behavior and have acted with total disregard for the rule of law."

I have to confess a complete jealousy of Eva that she has such intelligent and thoughtful contributors. Even her critics seem to be on-topic, and debating strategy issues. By contrast, I recently posted an article to IndyBay about donors demanding that FRSC stand behind the independent news or refund their donations. You'd think that this would be relevant to a discussion board on independent media in Santa Cruz. Instead, they erased my post and replaced it with an article called "Bilingual Programming Under Fire: at FRSC, at KPFK, at WBAI and KPFT." My comments were forwarded to this thread, out of context. Rather than being pro-independent news, they've now been framed as anti-Latino. The most recent post reads:

get your tinfoil hats
by voice of smartness

For those of you engaged in debate with Teresa, I would highly advise a gander at her website.

  1. She is all about Teresa.
  2. She is a lunatic, to put it politely.
  3. She is an anti-semite who is trying to use ancient Jewish history to attack modern Jews and put all blame for Mideast conflict on them.

If not crazy, I definitely think the possibility that she is a provocateur should be considered. Her demand that donations be refunded is either the demand of a crazy person, or possibly a provocateurs attempt to destabilize FRSC. The pro-Palestinian movement is HEAVILY infiltrated by CIA, FBI, and other. Something to consider...

They reference episode #16 on Nasty Noah and the Patriarchs. I'd like to respond. I'm not using ancient Jewish history to attack modern Jews. If Noah really did rape his grandson Canaan, as Jewish scriptures lead me to conclude, I say, it's been 5000 years. Let's let bygones be bygones. I'd never visit the sins of the father on their great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren anyway. However, Noah's curse of Canaan for ratting him out continues to provide the ONLY justification for the land-grab from Canaan's descendents, the Palestinians. I'm holding modern Jews responsible for their own actions. They're using the word of a pedophile in ancient Jewish history to not hold themselves responsible because the pedophile speaks for God.

For Third Paradigm, this has been Tereza Coraggio. Thanks to Skidmark Bob for production, editing, and the videos and music in this week's show. And thanks to Mike Scirocco, you can view Star Wars: An Environmentalist Version embedded in the transcript with photos, links, and music videos. We go out with the band Muse and the song, Uprising.

Thanks for listening.