January 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm (culture, education, ethics, history, Independent film, journalism, life, photography, politics, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: Bloomberg, cultre, dog, education, events, Greece, history, independent, Issues, journalism, life, livestreams, Mayor, media, Melbourne, news, Oakland, Occupy, people, police, politics, protest, random, riot dog, videos
Since the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement the police have emerged in a certain negative light around the world. From Athens to New York City to Melbourne and beyond Police have faced off with protestors in ways that have nothing to do with the images commonly seen on American crime drama television shows. Some have a penchant for pepper spray, others for smashing people into the ground, and some for teargas. It’s been ugly in Oakland, Boston, New York, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, London, Liverpool and other cities around the world. If you haven’t seen the police in action then blame your mainstream television stations and newspapers. Much can be found on youtube and on the sites of the occupy camps. Oakland now has a weekly Saturday night protest against police brutality. Get the feeling something has gone a bit wrong somewhere along the line? When did the police become the private army of the mayor of New York City–or any city? Who do the police now protect and serve? Here are just a few examples of police actions which were originally seen live via livestreams online—yes, livestreams not via your television screens.
Bloomberg “I have my own private army in the NYPD which is the seventh biggest army in the world.” Olbermann segment.
Now famous Pepper Spray at UC Davis
Occupy Oakland’s media site
Occupy Oakland’s information site
January 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm (creative writing, culture, education, ethics, history, humor, Indigenous People, journalism, life, Native Americans, politics, publishing, random, Writing)
Tags: Americans, AZ, ban, books, culture, Democracy Now, education, history, Huppenthal, Issues, life, Martinez, Mexican, news, opinion, politics, publishing, random, rant, Tucson, Writing
By now you’ve probably heard something about the action by John Huppenthal, the superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona to shut down the Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson School District. If not, there’s plenty of coverage online for getting up to speed fast, including a ‘debate’ on Democracy Now!
between Huppenthal and Richard Martinez, the lawyer for students and teachers who wish to retain the Mexican Studies Program. You’ll probably want to supplement this coverage but it is good for seeing and hearing John Huppenthal speak for himself ‘live.’ Make sure whatever you toss at his mug on your computer monitor is easily cleaned off the screen and keyboard. Dry spit balls might be a good choice. O damn, my bias is showing, isn’t it? Well, I’m not a supposedly neutral reporter so who gives a spit.
Let’s kickoff with a quote by John Huppenthal (source: Democracy Now! link):
“If all you’re teaching these students is one viewpoint, one dimension, we can readily see that it’s not an accurate history, it’s not an education at all. It’s not teaching these kids to think critically,” Huppenthal says, “but instead it’s an indoctrination.”
Well, excuse me, but is this not precisely what has been done in American schools across the country with every corporate produced history textbook imposed upon every teacher and student in America ever since the school textbook industry got its biased fingers into the realm of education? Now the Mexican American Studies Program in Tucson challenges that corporate textbook industry indoctrination and guess what, the oppressors act with more oppression to impose their perspective again. Is that not what this action in Tucson amounts to? It it not more oppression? It this not totalitarianism in action? John Huppenthal wants his brand of indoctrination in full force in Tucson–and he’s not alone. Apparently he’d got buds who write laws to suit his ends. Yeah, a new law is what Huppenthal is using to get rid of the Mexican American Studies Program that has been running for 13 years. Isn’t that nifty? Don’t like something so write a ‘law’ against it. What a way to USE the system, Mr Huppenthanl. Oh and Huppenthal also employed blackmail to get the school district to comply–do what The Huppenthal demands or lose millions. Wow, what incredible lessons the Mexican American students are learning with every move The Huppenthal makes. Seriously, this is priceless instruction in how oppressors operate. Who needs a textbook when there’s The Huppenthal making headlines around the world with his assault on the Mexican America Studies Program? As for instruction in Oppression–well, when books are removed from school courses and school libraries because they’re deemed ‘illegal’ what more could you ask for regarding direct instruction in how the oppressors attempt to control information? Guess where I’m going with this next? Yeah, forbidden fruits are the sweetest are they not?
Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Right Movement by Arturo Rosales
Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
500 Hundred Years of Chicano History in Pictures by Elizabeth Martinez
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Dr. Rodolfo Acuna
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years ed by Bill Bigelow
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Read these books and discover what John Huppenthanl fears, besides Karl Marx. I was a tad baffled by The Tempest at first, but then it came to me–exile, dissent, oppression etc. Yeah, can’t have that play giving anyone IDEAS now can we? O Will, what sensitive fingers you had on the pulse of the people . . .. If real freedom of the mind is important then we need to find ways to support the students and teachers of the Tucson School District and their Mexican American Studies Program. One way would be to donate the funds that they’d be penalized by NOT suspending the program. Hence taking the ‘teeth’ out of The Huppenthal’s blackmail. Alas I do not have millions to make such a gift. Nor, I suspect does anyone reading this spit ball counter-attack. What we can do is READ the books being denied the students of the Tucson School District and thereby educate ourselves about their history. By doing so we stand in solidarity against The Huppenthals everywhere. Today its Mexican Americans. Yesterday the Japanese were sent to interment camps in the USA. In 1492 Columbus began the rape of the New World. The perspective of the oppressed is not pleasant to step into–but it’s part of the reality of America and should not be denied.
January 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm (creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, history, humor, journalism, life, poetry, politics, random, Writing)
Tags: Bill of Rights, blogs, chat, creative writing, culture, Democracy Now, funeral, Greenwald, history, humor, independent, language, life, livestream, media, Nashville, NDAA, news, Occupy, people, politics, random, satire, video, words, Writing
Hello everyone to whom I’ve been AWOL for so long. Just have been pre-occupied with streams of Occupy online and other things offline. Hope everyone is well and is surviving whatever winter is throwing your way weatherwise. It’s COLD here but nothing to complain about. Looking forward to visiting many blogcasas very soon. Something that came up in a recent occupy livestream chat was the lack of comprehension of word ‘play’ on the part of many Americans. Apparently our educational system offers NO appreciation of the finer points of the English language and hence our sense of humor is stunted by our lack of appreciation for clever turns of phrases. Some of you poets will probably beg to differ on this account. But–believe me it is a valid a concern time and time again in many occupy chats where random segments of the global population consort daily. Some humor simply does not come across well in text. Others fail to comprehend multiple meanings of words. And there are many forms of self-expression from individual communities that take time and patience to decipher. This goes beyond the texting genre. Though that also comes into play in the chat stream in various incarnations. Best thing to do when at a loss is to ask for definitions–some are obvious, some bewildering and others very enlightening and useful. It’s an ongoing exercise in communication on a global level. So–when I use the word “wicked” to herald the new year –I have a variety of meanings and associations with “wicked” that vary from slang to formal dictionary traditional meanings–very cool and wonderful to downright evil. While hoping 2012 is indeed a wonderful and exciting new year for everyone in all the possible positive ways this is tempered with the awareness of the president signing the National Defence Authorization Act on New Years Eve when many people were paying NO attention to this potentially evil little legislative ‘delight’. So–while every ‘new’ year brims with creative positive potential it also brims with all sorts of new negative hatchings as well. And so it goes…..
For the moment–Chocolate truffles for everyone! But don’t you dare fall asleep under the table this new year or there may be hell to pay……. Mic Check!
Links regarding NDAA:
A piece by Mother Jones
Montanans launch recall of senators who approved NDAA
Doing an internet search of NDAA ought to bring you up to speed fairly quickly. You might want to have your favorite libations or comfort foods handy while discovering what’s happened.