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Showing posts from November, 2007

Blog Voices This Week 11/24/07

I'm going to move away from my normal content this week. I know this means that I risk two things: first of all, buhdy might get mad that I'm not posting what I was originally asked to write about and secondly, I will make the title of this series meaningless to my content. I must admit that I'm much more nervous about the later.

But my motivation this week comes from a series that Nezua has done over at "The Unapologetic Mexican" titled Let's Have Nexus. I think the content of this series fits very nicely with the goals of Docudharma in that he is stepping above the current fray and trying to find patterns that can help us change direction. He's also trying to find common ground as a way to build coalition across different interest groups, which I think is the struggle of our times.

I'll focus on the first post that introduces the topic and then highlight the main themes in the subsequent four posts. My task here is to give you enough of a flavor of wh…

Another US Land-Grab from Indigenous People Happening Right Now!

From the blog Intercontinental Cry, here is a letter from Margo Tamez asking for help for the people of El Calaboz, Texas as the Border Patrol, Army Corp of Engineers, and NSA harrass them to give up their ancestral lands in order for the border fence to be built.

Subject: Emergency in el Calaboz, Lipan Apache & Basque-Indigena North American Land Title Holders!!!

Dear relatives,
I wish I was writing under better circumstances, but I must be fast and direct.

My mother and elders of El Calaboz, since July have been the targets of numerous threats and harassments by the Border Patrol, Army Corps of Engineers, NSA, and the U.S. related to the proposed building of a fence on their levee.

Since July, they have been the targets of numerous telephone calls, unexpected and uninvited visits on their lands, informing them that they will have to relinquish parts of their land grant holdings to the border fence buildup. The NSA demands that elders give up their lands to build the levee, and furthe…

The myth of consumption

Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for the meeting of your eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to loose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even.

Daniel Berrigan

I read this quote for the first time this morning in an amazing diary by Hillary Rettig and OPOL titled Giving Thanks for Progressive Activists and its been on my mind all day. I've been thinking alot about the myriad of myths that we respond to almost automatically without much awareness. When we read a quote like that, it resonates deeply. We know it is truth. And yet the myth that getting more for ourselves will somehow make us happy is how we tend to live our lives.

We've all had the experience of giving something meaningful to someone in need - be it emotional or physical. And we know that it brings a sense of happine…

Blog Voices This Week 11/17/07

From the Boston Globe this week: Blog is Beautiful: People of color challenge mainstream views online:

These intellectual challenges to mainstream and other viewpoints are some of the opinions Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander-American, and black bloggers are exposing on a growing number of sites focused on social, political, and cultural issues. The sometimes facetiously named blogs range from Angry Asian Man to The Angry Black Woman. Readers can find Latino viewpoints at Guanabee, The Unapologetic Mexican, or Latino Pundit. Those interested in information from an Asian angle head to Ultrabrown, Zuky, or Sepia Mutiny. Sites created by blacks include The Field Negro, Too Sense, and Resist Racism.... These sites - many of which launched in the past year, although a few are older - have become places where people of color gather to refine ideas or form thoughts about race relations, racial inequities, and the role pop culture has in exacerbating stereotypes. The writers often bring attentio…

Lessons Learned

As I mentioned last week, my friend and co-worker Pakou Hang lost her bid to unseat an incumbent on the City Council. I had a chance to talk to her yesterday about the election and she is pretty devastated. But the disappointment is not so much in the fact that she lost, but how it happened. Pakou managed her campaign the old fashioned way - true grassroots organizing. For an election that only produced about 5,000 votes total, she had over 400 volunteers on the ground working to get out the word and the vote. This was extremely encouraging in that just a few weeks before the election, no one had seen or heard much from her opponent, the incumbent.

But just a week before the election, things began to look a little more dark. You see, her opponent had two significant groups in his camp: the city's police federation and the local Chamber of Commerce. We're talking money and muscle. The first sign of what these folks had planned was a radio ad that broke just days before the elect…

Blog Voices This Week 11/10/07

I don't think that I'll usually have a theme for this weekly essay. But I recently saw a video in my travels around the net that inspired one for this edition. The video was made by Sudy at A Womyn's Ecdysis:



There is a movement underway on these blogs. And today, I'd like to give you just a small taste of some of its power.

But before we go to specifics, Mandolin at Alas! A Blog has done some remarkable work to give us a glimpse of this movement's breadth. There's really no way to summarize this piece, just go take a look and thank Mandolin for the amazing amount of time and love it took to do this.

By now I hope you're seeing that the theme for this week is the diversity in the feminist blogosphere. So I'd like to start with a story that was widely covered this week by women of color, but not so much by the MSM and progressive blogs. Donna, over at "The Silence of Our Friends" talks about it in her piece Virgins, Whores, and the Sliding Scale o…

Multipolarity: An End to US Hegemony??

I posted this a few months ago at Everybody Comes from Somewhere. Lately I've been thinking it sums up the only place I see much hope these days.

A few months ago I ran across this quote from Glen Ford on The Black Agenda Report:
There's a term going around in the corporate media called, "multi-polarity." It's really a euphemism, designed to describe the death of white supremacy over the planet. It's been a long time coming - more than five centuries, since the European invasion of the rest of the continents began, resulting in the death of untold millions of people. Whole civilizations were wiped away, to make way for a northern European global sphere of influence. Now that era is coming to an end.<...>
China, India, Brazil and South Africa have joined in a political and economic compact to resist the domination of the United States and Europe. The political-economy of capitalism dictates that these nations must be dealt with. The social realities of the …

Keep an eye on Pakou!!

I've been pretty busy this week with not much time to write. But I have to say that this morning, I'm really disappointed with one of the City Council Ward Elections that took place yesterday in St. Paul. My friend and co-worker Pakou Hang lost her bid to unseat an incumbent 46% to 54%.

Pakou, however, is one of those young people that will change the world. She is full of life, enthusiasm and energy. At the same time, she has a HUGE heart, is incredibly smart and one of the most organized people I've ever met. For today, she will not be serving on the St. Paul City Council - but look out world - Pakou is coming!!

And to my friend Pakou: Rest today. But we'll be looking for you tomorrow when its time to get back to changing the world - one little corner at a time.

This one's for you, because it so beautifully sums up what you're all about:

Remember

James at Mahatma X Files reminds us that today is the 402 anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot that was the inspiration for the movie (and earlier graphic novel) "V for Vendetta." I found this to be one of the most powerful movies I've seen in a long time because it speaks to the heart of what I think is going wrong in our culture today...the ascendency of fear as a driving force.

I'd like to join James in remembering the words of the character "V" in the film that are so poignant for our times today:



How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your pa…

Blog Voices This Week 11/4/07

When I first found blogs in 2003, they were a place I felt at home and not so alone as our country beat the war drums and went on to "re-elect" (??) this criminal administration. I needed a sense of community to shore up my sanity and found it in some of the larger Democratic and progressive blogs.

Then came flame wars and I found myself detached from any particular community. But I still felt like there was something here in this land of blogtopia that I wasn't ready to give up. So I started to venture out to some of the smaller blogs - especially those written by people who looked and lived differently from me - and found a whole new world. I sometimes feel like the globe is at my fingertips and all I have to do is sit on my couch with this screen in front of me to explore it all. That works for me - given that I've always leaned more towards the couch-potato kind of challenge.

So in this weekly series I'm planning to do, I'll take you along with me and try t…

Cuttest Halloween Costume Ever!!

Meet my grandneice Bella the Lobster