LOOKING FOR LIFE BEYOND CABLE NEWS AND FINDING THAT RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both.
- Louis Brandeis
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
- Chinese Proverb
Well, look who came to dinner!
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Monthly Archives: April 2012
POSTED BY ORHAN
May Day is an international day of celebration to honor the labor movement. This year the Occupy movement has made a call for mass action—the May First General Strike (#M1GS): a day without the 99%. Over 115 US cities have organized in solidarity with this call to action.
A general strike is a way to build and demonstrate the power of the people. It’s a way to show this is a system that only exists because we allow it to. If we can withdraw from the system for one day we can use that day to build community and mutual aid. We can find inspiration and faith—not in any leaders or bosses but in each other and in ourselves.
If you are inspired by the day of action but don’t live near any organized events you can still take part. If you can’t strike, take the first step. We can work to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people little by little in our everyday lives.
Here are some examples to get you thinking:
- Move Your Money: If you haven’t already, May Day is as good as any to move your money out of a national, corporate bank into a local bank or credit union. Support your local community and break up the “too big to fail” Wall Street banks that threaten our economic system. Learn more about moving your money here: www.moveyourmoneyproject.org
- Have a Potluck: Share a meal with others and and talk about subsidized agriculture and factory farming or make a meal with friends to serve to local homeless people a la Food Not Bombs.
- Start a Personal/Community Garden: On May Day, start or pledge to start a personal or community garden. Growing our own food means independence from corporate farms. This is one more way to take your self out of a system bent on keeping us complacent.
- Have a Free Store/Fair: Get together and share your unwanted items with others. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You could be helping someone who was about to go out and buy a (fill in your item here) anyway.
- Ride your bike to work/carpool with friends: Ride your bike or arrange a carpool to work. When you do this you are lessening our country’s dependency on outdated, unclean energies.
- Screen a Movie: Invite your friends or neighbors over to watch a documentary. After, have a discussion about how it relates to your values or the ideas of Occupy. You can watch political documentaries online at the following links for free:
- Have a Skill Share: Give a free class to share your skills and knowledge. This could be as simple as giving a knitting demonstration or as complex as teaching someone a new language.
We have the power in our hands to change the course of our day to day realities if we are willing to participate and reach out to our neighbors and communities. In the words of Steven Biko, ”the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Big business should not be in control of us, we are the many and they are the few.
I lost my much-loved cousin Billy yesterday. He was one of the finest men I ever knew – someone who always did the right thing, no matter how hard. He was kind and loving and a lot of fun. Family meant everything to him. And he meant so much to us.
For some reason, I remembered this old post today and feel compelled to repost. Memories . . .
. . . whenever (which is often) FOX News is accused of faking their journalism, they get all weak with the vapors. At which point ‘media critics’, the ones still allowed on television anyway (I’m looking at you Howard Kurtz, the most ethically challenged of them all), remind their viewers and readers that MSNBC and CNN and some other elvis-forsaken entity do it too! After all. To be fair. You know.
Ever seen CNN do this?
“During a segment in which Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe ”attack dogs,” Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered . . .”
Here’s a screenshot from Fox & Friends – what Fox used is on the right; the original actual photos on the left.
So let us set the stage:
- Mitt Romney puts a canine on the roof of the car for a family trip
- a lot of people make fun of him for it
- which pisses off conservatives who now have to find an equivalent sin hidden in Obama’s murky past
- so they look and they look until finally someone thinks to read one of the president’s biographical books, and lo
- there they find the weapon. And they toss it back. And it is good.
Here it is:
In his book Dreams of My Father, Obama tells of being a six-year-old learning about a new and unfamiliar culture after his family’s move to Indonesia:
The children of farmers, servants and low-level bureaucrats had become my best friends, and together we ran the streets morning and night, hustling odd jobs, catching crickets, battling swift kites with razor-sharp lines — the loser watched his kite soar off with the wind, and knew that somewhere other children had formed a long, wobbly train, their heads toward the sky, waiting for their prize to land. With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share. That’s how things were, one long adventure, the bounty of a young boy’s life. …
Did you catch it? It’s in there all right. Obama ate your dog.
Google has disappeared the bestest little – and most convenient – weather widget ever, the one I’ve depended on for a few years. Now there’s only a link to a less informative source. That’s a very Microsofty thing to do – and not very customer friendly.
See, I’m very interested in the weather today and the teevee won’t do it (I continually miss the eight-minute mark on The Weather Channel). Down here, we’re in our 28th month of drought (barefoot caution: the grass will cut your feet), and today holds the possibility of up to an inch of rain. (The year-to-date normal should be 10.9 inches. We’ve had 3.4. Pretty much in keeping with the last few years.)
Rain rain don’t go away. (and damn teh google!)
In the 1950’s film Gigi, Maurice Chevalier (I know, you never heard of him)) strolled the boulevards of Paris singing: “Oh I’m so glad that I am not young anymore”.
None of us iz anymore.
Be kind to your planet.
From a recent homily by Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria (unfortunate name that):
[some governments] “tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches . . . Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care . . . In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”
So . . . comprehensive health care / ethic cleansing and genocide . . . not very different actually.
A bit past my time (and a day late). RIP Levon.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Katha Pollitt writing in the Nation about the Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney fracas:
But the brouhaha over Hilary Rosen’s injudicious remarks is not really about whether what stay-home mothers do is work. Because we know the answer to that: it depends. When performed by married women in their own homes, domestic labor is work—difficult, sacred, noble work. Ann says Mitt called it more important work than his own, which does make you wonder why he didn’t stay home with the boys himself. When performed for pay, however, this supremely important, difficult job becomes low-wage labor that almost anyone can do—teenagers, elderly women, even despised illegal immigrants. But here’s the real magic: when performed by low-income single mothers in their own homes, those same exact tasks—changing diapers, going to the playground and the store, making dinner, washing the dishes, giving a bath—are not only not work; they are idleness itself.
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Alan West, (R-from my embarrassed State of Florida) is on this weeks’ media menu (from which he will disappear until he says the next stupid thing). On CNN, he was asked about Ted Nugent’s comments (that would be the ones Nugent is ‘talking to’ the Secret Service about today):
“I don’t think the Motor City Madman has any ill will toward the President of United States of America.”
Here we are, again, and I am horrified, ashamed, embarrassed for my country. Our enemies won’t blame war-weary American soldiers. They’ll blame us – you and me.
The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan’s Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse’s severed legs.
A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.
Every one of these ghoulish acts committed by American troops are committed in our name.
How should they be punished? Dishonorable discharge? Military prison? Or shall they be charged with “providing aid and comfort to the enemy”- and tried for treason? What does a nation do to these men? How do we stop it?
I haven’t posted the duration lately; now seems appropriate. Today is the 171st day of the eleventh year of our war in Afghanistan.
LET ME ADD: In a comment below, JR reminds me of how damanged some of these troops are. He is right; I should have included that. Some are sent back two, three, four times . . . if their humanity freys at the edges, that’s on us too.
Here’s to you, ladies! Here’s to you.
(We’ll stay vigilant, Gramma. We’ll not let the American Taliban reverse the arc of history.)
No need to set up your death-by-cop, Ted. You have plenty of guns: just go ahead and instead of pointing yer weapon at a president (that’s what it sounds like you’d like to do) just turn it around and do yourself and save the rest of us the trouble.
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” Nugent said, according to a video posted on YouTube by the NRA. “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil America hated administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”
Yeah, sure, he’s talking about about the voting booth. Sure.
Vern Buchanan, my ethically-challenged Congressman, currently (actually I think this is the third time) under investigation by his tribe in the Congressional Ethics Committee, and previously investigated by Fed Election Commission and the FL AG, doesn’t need support from the little people.
A story in my paper this morning looks at funding so far for Vern and his challenger Keith Fitzgerald (go Keith go!).
First quarter funds:
- PACs: Vern 26.3%; Keith 17.9%
- “Other”: Vern 19.7%; Keith 0.3%
- Self: Vern 14.8%; Keith 0%
- Individuals: Vern 39.2%; Keith 81.7%
And Vern will win the prize. Count on it. USA! USA! USA!
Lessons in pandering at the NRA (or “how you too can jump the whole shark with just a single sentence”)
The right to bear arms comes from our creator, not our government,” Gingrich said. The NRA “has been too timid” in promoting its agenda beyond American borders. The Bill of Rights was not written only for Americans, he said. “It is a universal document.”
By the way, do you know the American citizenry has the 2nd highest rate of gun ownership in the world? Do you know who’s first? Yemen.
ALSO: thanks to friend Jane for directing me to this article in The New Yorker, a fascinating history of gun concealment laws and gun control in the US (pre modern NRA). I didn’t realize how different things were back when – even in Dodge!
The first thing the government of Dodge did when founding the city, in 1873, was pass a resolution that “any person or persons found carrying concealed weapons in the city of Dodge or violating the laws of the State shall be dealt with according to law.”
Another one in Texas 20 years later:
As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder”.
To the left is my first blog post – from 2009. It was an homage to Atrios and below is his first in 2002. Atrios was annonymous for the first years but was eventually revealed to be one Dr. Duncan Black, an economist in Philadelphia. From the first, he was the essential read in the lefty blogshpere. His pitch perfect (and utterly original) language inversions and his economy of words elevate him – in my lights – to Mark Twain and Will Rogers territory.
Today, he will post the winner (#1!!) in his top ten countdown to the Wanker of the Decade! Also today, I say to him congrats and thanks for a decade of delicious stuff.
(Wikipedia says the traditional gift for a Tenth Anniversary is tin/aluminum. Anyone know where I should send it?)
This photo from the Summit of the Americas will no doubt be titillating to viewers of FOX News tomorrow. (They’ve never been able to shut down those visions of Clintonish sugarplums dancing in their heads.) The randy Telegraph (UK) kicked off the next! big! thing! with this headline (this really is the headline):
Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?
That’s the headline; here’s the sin:
I conclude therefore that I am very very unbloggy.
(In other news, it’s reported that a member of the British House of Lords thinks Bush and Obama are bad guys and has offered a bounty of ten million pounds to get the two. Can it be worse? Yeah, he announced it during a visit to Pakistan. I must say that was quite bold of His Lordship.)
Florida just lifted a law requiring that women in prison be shackled during childbirth.
We shackled women during childbirth? Until 2012?
On Wednesday, the two Clinton fans who created last week’s internet sensation “Texts from Hillary” ended their enterprise with grace, acknowledging that jokes get old. Smart fellas. Earlier this week I posted one of them (the texts, not the fellas) – here’s my second favorite:
I’ve heard from a few readers that they’re not able to comment . . . if you’ve had the problem, please email me at my already hopelessly public address: firstname.lastname@example.org
My niece is a funny lady — just now on Facebook:
You know if women were in the Masters that hideous green jacket would be the first thing to go. That’s what they are really scared of. She’d just throw them out and pretend like housekeeping did it.
George Takei is inventive and prolific and endlessly entertaining on facebook, where he has a MILLION AND A HALF followers – because he brings us stuff like this: presenting the next big thing . . . The Imperial Walker.
Well, two of them anyway. McCain and Lieberman are on the ground again – smiling at Syrians, assuring them that our Presdient doesn’t know what he’s doing – and of course saying there’s no war they couldn’t love.
Lindsay had to wash his hair I think.