Thursday, February 26, 2015

Watch a Guy (Chris Hau) Shred His Guitar While Surfing

www.youtube.com









by Chad Childers February 26, 2015 4:09 PM

www.pinterest.com
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, someone delivers a video you never knew you wanted to see. In this case, Chris Hau combines two of his passions — surfing and playing guitar — into one impressive GoPro clip. 

We’ve seen amazing guitar work with people playing with their teeth, behind their head and even with their feet, but Hau pulls off an amazing balancing act of keeping himself standing with the waves undulating below his surfboard while not really missing a lick on his Telecaster. 

It’s safe to say he’s double shredding and doing so with a smile on his face throughout. As Hau states in the video above, “It’s hard trying to do the song while surfing. There’s so many different parts of your brain trying to work at the same time.” 

Congrats to Chris Hau on pulling off the “double shred.” Your turn, guitar players. What’s the next impressive feat you’ve got up your sleeve?

http://loudwire.com/guy-shreds-guitar-while-surfing/
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9BnQylSW3k
 
'Totally RAD, Rock On Chris!!!!'

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill











www.newyorker.com
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Obama offered no indication of whether he'll eventually issue a permit for the pipeline, whose construction has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate about environmental policy and climate change. Instead, Obama sought to reassert his authority to make the decision himself, rebuffing GOP lawmakers who will control both the House and Senate for the remainder of the president's term.

"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said in a brief notice delivered to the Senate. "But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people."

Obama vetoed the bill in private with no fanfare, in contrast to the televised ceremony Republican leaders staged earlier this month when they signed the bill and sent it to the president. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans were "not even close" to giving up the fight and derided the veto as a "national embarrassment."


www.theblaze.com
The move sends the politically charged issue back to Congress, where Republicans haven't shown they can muster the two-thirds majority in both chambers needed to override Obama's veto. North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, the bill's chief GOP sponsor, said Republicans are about four votes short in the Senate and need about 11 more in the House.

Although the veto is Obama's first since Republicans took control on Capitol Hill, it was not likely to be the last. GOP lawmakers are lining up legislation rolling back Obama's actions on health care, immigration and financial regulation that Obama has promised to similarly reject.

"He's looking at this as showing he still can be king of the hill, because we don't have the votes to override," Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a vocal opponent of Obama's climate change agenda, said in an interview. "If he vetoed this, he's going to veto many others that are out there."


www.bloomberg.com
First proposed more than six years ago, the Keystone XL pipeline project has sat in limbo ever since, awaiting a permit required by the federal government because it would cross an international boundary. The pipeline would connect Canada's tar sands with refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast that specialize in processing heavy crude oil.

Republicans and the energy industry say the $8 billion project would create jobs, spur growth and increase America's independence from Mideast energy sources. Democrats and environmental groups have sought to make the pipeline a poster child for the type of dirty energy sources they say are exacerbating global warming.

For his part, Obama says his administration is still weighing the pipeline's merits, and he has repeatedly threatened to veto any attempts by lawmakers to make the decision for him.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lpyqui4FRk
 

www.keloland.com
Environmental groups said they were confident Obama's veto was a prelude to a full rejection of the pipeline. But TransCanada, the company proposing the pipeline, said it "remains fully committed" to building. And the Canadian government said it was not a matter of if, but when.

The GOP-controlled House passed the bill earlier in February on a 270-152 vote, following weeks of debate and tweaks in the Senate to insert language stating that climate change is real and not a hoax. Republican leaders in Congress delayed sending the bill to the White House until they returned from a weeklong recess, ensuring they would be on hand to denounce the president when he vetoed the bill.

The veto forced Republicans, still reveling in their dramatic gains in the midterm elections, to confront the limitations of being unable to turn their ideas into law without the president's consent - despite the fact they now control both chambers of Congress.


www.truthrevolt.org
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate would start the process to try to override Obama's veto by March 3. Republicans were also considering inserting Keystone into other critical legislation dealing with energy, spending or infrastructure that Obama would be less likely to veto, said Hoeven.

Obama last wielded his veto power in October 2010, nixing a relatively mundane bill dealing with recognition of documents notarized out of state. With the Keystone bill, Obama's veto count stands at just three - far fewer than most of his predecessors. Yet his veto threats have been piling up rapidly since Republicans took full control of Congress, numbering more than a dozen so far this year.


www.myheritage.org
The president has said he won't approve Keystone if it's found to significantly increase U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. A State Department analysis found that the tar sands would be developed one way or another, meaning construction of the pipeline wouldn't necessarily affect emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month called for that analysis to be revisited, arguing that a drop in oil prices may have altered the equation.

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/02/24/defying-gop-obama-vetoes-keystone-xl-pipeline-bill/21146258/?icid=maing-grid7|aol20-ns|dl1|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D618440



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl7ps178ZNY
 
'Well... So where are we??? The Rethugs have pretended a new Jobs Bill never existed, and now complaining about a pipeline they say will create jobs, and for who??? Perhaps the many undocumented who will never ask for a Raise or Healthcare, only to fill the pockets of those who spent the most on buying their Elections to begin with??? Fuck Yeah Barack, Kick these Shady Bastards when they are Down, they do not represent the American People by any Means!!!!'
 
 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

10 Ways To Fight The Corporatocracy

by Bruce E. Levine, Alternet.org
 

Many Americans know that the United States is not a democracy but a “corporatocracy,” in which we are ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite and corporate-collaborator government officials. However, the truth of such tyranny is not enough to set most of us free to take action. Too many of us have become pacified by corporatocracy-created institutions and culture.

Some activists insist that this political passivity problem is caused by Americans’ ignorance due to corporate media propaganda, and others claim that political passivity is caused by the inability to organize due to a lack of money. However, polls show that on the important issues of our day – from senseless wars, to Wall Street bailouts, to corporate tax-dodging, to health insurance rip-offs – the majority of Americans are not ignorant to the reality that they are being screwed. And American history is replete with organizational examples – from the Underground Railroad, to the Great Populist Revolt, to the Flint sit-down strike, to large wildcat strikes a generation ago – of successful rebels who had little money but lots of guts and solidarity. 

The elite spend their lives stockpiling money and have the financial clout to bribe, divide and conquer the rest of us. The only way to overcome the power of money is with the power of courage and solidarity. When we regain our guts and solidarity, we can then more wisely select from – and implement – time-honored strategies and tactics that oppressed peoples have long used to defeat the elite. So, how do we regain our guts and solidarity?

1. Create the Cultural and Psychological “Building Blocks” for Democratic Movements
 
Historian Lawrence Goodwyn has studied democratic movements such as Solidarity in Poland, and he has written extensively about the populist movement in the United States that occurred during the end of the 19th century (what he calls “the largest democratic mass movement in American history”). Goodwyn concludes that democratic movements are initiated by people who are neither resigned to the status quo nor intimidated by established powers. For Goodwyn, the cultural and psychological building blocks of democratic movements are individual self-respect and collective self-confidence. Without individual self-respect, we do not believe that we are worthy of power or capable of utilizing power wisely, and we accept as our role being a subject of power. Without collective self-confidence, we do not believe that we can succeed in wresting away power from our rulers.

Thus, it is the job of all of us – from parents, to students, to teachers, to journalists, to clergy, to psychologists, to artists and EVERYBODY who gives a damn about genuine democracy – to create individual self-respect and collective self-confidence. 

2. Confront and Transform ALL Institutions that Have Destroyed Individual Self-Respect and Collective Self-Confidence
 
In “Get Up, Stand Up, ” I detail 12 major institutional and cultural areas that have broken people’s sprit of resistance, and all are “battlefields for democracy” in which we can fight to regain our individual self-respect and collective self confidence:
•    Television
•    Isolation and bureaucratization
•    “Fundamentalist consumerism” and advertising/propaganda
•    Student loan debt and indentured servitude
•    Surveillance
•    The decline of unions/solidarity among working people
•    Greed and a “money-centric” culture
•    Fear-based schools that teach obedience
•    Psychopathologizing noncompliance
•    Elitism via professional training
•    The corporate media
•    The US electoral system

As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “All our things are right and wrong together. The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.” 

3. Side Each Day in Every Way With Anti-Authoritarians
 
We can recover our self-respect and strength by regaining our integrity. This process requires a personal transformation to overcome our sense of powerlessness and fight for what we believe in. Integrity includes acts of courage resisting all illegitimate authorities. We must recognize that in virtually every aspect of our life in every day, we can either be on the side of authoritarianism and the corporatocracy or on the side of anti-authoritarianism and democracy. Specifically, we can question the legitimacy of government, media, religious, educational and other authorities in our lives, and if we establish that an authority is not legitimate, we can resist it. And we can support others who are resisting illegitimate authorities. A huge part of solidarity comes from supporting others who are resisting the illegitimate authorities in their lives. Walt Whitman had it right: “Resist much, obey little. Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved.” 

4. Regain Morale by Thinking More Critically About Our Critical Thinking
 
While we need critical thinking to effectively question and challenge illegitimate authority – and to wisely select the best strategies and tactics to defeat the elite – critical thinking can reveal some ugly truths about reality, which can result in defeatism. Thus, critical thinkers must also think critically about their defeatism, and realize that it can cripple the will and destroy motivation, thus perpetuating the status quo. William James (1842–1910), the psychologist, philosopher, and occasional political activist (member of the Anti-Imperialist League who, during the Spanish-American War, said, “God damn the US for its vile conduct in the Philippine Isles!”) had a history of pessimism and severe depression, which helped fuel some of his greatest wisdom on how to overcome immobilization. James, a critical thinker, had little stomach for what we now call “positive thinking,” but he also came to understand how losing belief in a possible outcome can guarantee its defeat. Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937), an Italian political theorist and Marxist activist who was imprisoned by Mussolini, came to the same conclusions. Gramsci’s phrase “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” has inspired many critical thinkers, including Noam Chomsky, to maintain their efforts in the face of difficult challenges. 

5. Restore Courage in Young People
 
The corporatocracy has not only decimated America’s labor union movement, it has almost totally broken the spirit of resistance among young Americans – an even more frightening achievement. Historically, young people without family responsibilities have felt most freed up to challenge illegitimate authority. But America’s education system creates fear, shame and debt – all killers of the spirit of resistance. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and standardized testing tyranny results in the kind of fear that crushes curiosity, critical thinking and the capacity to constructively resist illegitimate authority. Rebel teachers, parents, and students – in a variety of overt and covert ways – have already stopped complying with corporatocracy schooling. We must also stop shaming intelligent young people who reject college, and we must instead recreate an economy that respects all kinds of intelligence and education. While the corporatocracy exploits student loan debt to both rake in easy money and break young people’s spirit of resistance, the rest of us need to rebel against student loan debt and indentured servitude. And parents and mental health professionals need to stop behavior-modifying and medicating young people who are resisting illegitimate authority. 

6. Focus on Democracy Battlefields Where the Corporate Elite Don’t Have Such a Large Financial Advantage
 
The emphasis of many activists is on electoral politics, but the elite have a huge advantage in this battlefield, where money controls the US electoral process. By focusing exclusively on electoral politics at the expense of everything else, we: (1) give away power when we focus only on getting leaders elected and become dependent on them; (2) buy into the elite notion that democracy is all about elections; (3) lose sight of the fact that democracy means having influence over all aspects of our lives; and (4) forget that if we have no power in our workplace, in our education and in all our institutions, then there will never be democracy worthy of the name. Thus, we should focus our fight more on the daily institutions we experience. As Wendell Berry said, “If you can control a people’s economy, you don’t need to worry about its politics; its politics have become irrelevant.”

7. Heal from “Corporatocracy Abuse” and “Battered People’s Syndrome” to Gain Strength
 
Activists routinely become frustrated when truths about lies, victimization and oppression don’t set people free to take action. But when we human beings eat crap for too long, we gradually lose our self-respect to the point that we become psychologically too weak to take action. Many Americans are embarrassed to accept that, after years of corporatocracy subjugation, we have developed “battered people’s syndrome” and what Bob Marley called “mental slavery.” To emancipate ourselves and others, we must:
•    Move out of denial and accept that we are a subjugated people.
•    Admit that we have bought into many lies. There is a dignity, humility, and strength in facing the fact that, while we may have once bought into some lies, we no longer do so.
•    Forgive ourselves and others for accepting the abuser’s lies. Remember the liars  we face are often quite good at lying.
•    Maintain a sense of humor. Victims of horrific abuse, including those in  concentration camps and slave plantations, have discovered that pain can either  immobilize us or be transformed by humor into energy.
•    Stop beating ourselves up for having been in an abusive relationship. The energy  we have is better spent on healing and then working to change the abusive system;  this provides more energy, and when we use this energy to provide respect and  confidence for others, everybody gets energized. 

8. Unite Populists by Rejecting Corporate Media’s Political Divisions
 
The corporate media routinely divides Americans as “liberals,” “conservatives” and “moderates,” a useful division for the corporatocracy, because no matter which of these groups is the current electoral winner, the corporatocracy retains power. In order to defeat the corporatocracy, it’s more useful to divide people in terms of authoritarians versus anti-authoritarians, elitists versus populists and corporatists versus anticorporatists. Both left anti-authoritarians and libertarian anti-authoritarians passionately oppose current US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Wall Street bailout, the PATRIOT Act, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the so-called “war on drugs” and several other corporatocracy policies. There are differences between anti-authoritarians but, as Ralph Nader and Ron Paul have together recently publicly discussed, we can form coalitions and alliances on these important power-money issues. One example of an anti-authoritarian democratic movement (which I am involved in) is the mental health treatment reform movement, comprised of left anti-authoritarians and libertarians. We all share distrust of Big Pharma and contempt for pseudoscience, and we believe that people deserve truly informed choice regarding treatment. We respect Erich Fromm, the democratic-socialist psychoanalyst, along with Thomas Szasz, the libertarian psychiatrist, both passionate anti-authoritarians who have confronted mental health professionals for using dogma to coerce people. 

9. Unite “Comfortable Anti-Authoritarians” and “Afflicted Anti-Authoritarians
 
This “comfortable-afflicted” continuum is based on the magnitude of pain that one has simply getting through the day. The term comfortable anti-authoritarian is not a pejorative one, but refers to those anti-authoritarians lucky enough to have decent paying and maybe even meaningful jobs, or platforms through which their voices are heard or social supports in their lives. Many of these comfortable anti-authoritarians may know that there are millions of Americans working mindless jobs in order to hold on to their health insurance, or hustling two low-wage jobs to pay college loans, rent and a car payment, or who may be unable to find even a poorly paying, mindless job and are instead helplessly watching eviction or foreclosure and bankruptcy close in on them. However, unless these comfortable anti-authoritarians have once been part of that afflicted class – and remember what it feels like – they may not be able to fully respect the afflicted’s emotional state. The afflicted need to recognize that human beings often become passive because they are overwhelmed by pain (not because they are ignorant, stupid, or lazy), and in order to function at all, they often shut down or distract themselves from this pain. Some comfortable anti-authoritarians assume that people’s inactions are caused by ignorance. This not only sounds and smells like elitism, it creates resentment for many in the afflicted class who lack the energy to be engaged in any activism. Respect, resources and anything that concretely reduces their level of pain is likely to be far more energizing than a scolding lecture. That’s the lesson of many democratic movements, including the Great Populist Revolt. 

10. Do Not Let Debate Divide Anti-Authoritarians
 
Spirited debate is what democracy is all about, but when debate turns to mutual antipathy and divides anti-authoritarians, it plays into the hands of the elite. One such divide among anti-elitists is over the magnitude of change that should be worked for and celebrated. On one extreme are people who think that anything is better than nothing at all. At the other extreme are people who reject any incremental change and hold out for total transformation. We can better unite by asking these questions: Does the change increase individual self-respect and collective self-confidence, and increase one’s energy level to pursue even greater democracy? Or does it feel like a sellout that decreases individual self-respect and collective self-confidence, and de-energizes us? Utilizing the criteria of increased self-respect and collective self-confidence, those of us who believe in genuine democracy can more constructively debate whether the change is going to increase strength to gain democracy or is going to take the steam out of a democratic movement. Respecting both sides of this debate makes for greater solidarity and better decisions. 

To summarize, democracy will not be won without guts and solidarity. Risk-free green actions – such as shopping from independents, buying local, recycling, composting, consuming less, not watching television and so on – can certainly help counter a dehumanizing world. However, revolutions that truly transform fundamental power inequities and enable us to feel like men and women rather than children and slaves require risk, guts and solidarity.