February 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm (culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, journalism, life, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: "Wandering Ghosts", Book, Civilians, crimes, current events, Democracy Now, ethics, Geneva Convention, history, human life, interview, Kill Anything That Moves, miitary, My Lai, National Archives, news, Nick Turse, policy, politics, publishing, review, values, video, Vietnam, war
Recently I shared with some friendlies that I was reading Nick Turse’s Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam. So far only one friendly has responded to my friendly email and that was basically to share the information that they had already read some of the many books on the Vietnam War–hence, implying that they weren’t interested in reading another tome. So I thought, yes, why indeed would anyone whose has attempted to make some sense out of a seemingly senseless waste of lives want to read Turse’s latest book? Why? I believe the answer involves the Vietnamese Civilians all too often callously dismissed as Casualties of War. Damn this sounds familiar. Care to insert Afghanistan Casualties of War? Iraqi Casualties of War? Pick any war and couple it with casualties. Civilians as totally expendable human resources is not a new concept. It’s been around a very long time. By the way, if you think this doesn’t pertain to you in any way, shape or form, please do think again. Why? Because unless you are part of the military forces you are indeed a civilian to be treated with absolute contempt by those with no regard for the tenets of the Geneva Convention–that nice little old-fashioned little agreement about how to treat people during any modern war. Somehow I doubt the Geneva Convention agreement is part of either a drone’s programming or of the human charting its course. It certainly has no value to those who send soldiers to wars. Hmm. Might it be helpful to consider the military forces at work in Vietnam as precursors to current drones? Perhaps. But there are serious limitations to drones conducting military strikes as drones are incapable of rape and torture. At least I think they are –so far. Have no doubt that some computer programmer somewhere is hard at work solving these drone limitations. Too bad that creative brainpower isn’t invested in something like combating pollution.
Now back to Turse’s tome which is all about the standard operating procedure of murder, rape and torture of Vietnamese civilians whose “hearts and minds” were supposedly being saved from the communist menace. Why read this book?
In Vietnam, where the “lives” of the deceased are believed to be inextricably intertwined with those of the living, it is thought that those who die a “bad death” may be forced to suffer as “wandering ghosts,” trapped in a limbo between our world and the land of the dead. In this shadow land, they forever reexperience the violence that ended their lives, unable to attain peace until the living truly acknowledge them and the fate they suffered.3 The idea of such wandering ghosts is an unfamiliar one for most Americans, but we should not be too quick to dismiss it. The crimes committed in American’s name in Vietnam were our “bad death,” and they have never been adequately faced. As a result, they continue to haunt our society in profound and complex ways. (p. 261)
Turse makes the case that it’s high time Americans quit turning a blind eye to the dark side of our history in war, politics and business. It’s time we all took a long hard straight on look at the military industrial complex that strives to rule the world with an iron fist. With knowledge, however nasty and unpleasant it may be, comes power. There’s a very important war emerging in the world involving everyone on the Earth. It helps to know one’s enemy. The enemy has left quite a few revealing footprints. Some of them lay in the history of the war waged on the children, women and men of Vietnam. There are older footprints, newer ones and ones currently underway. What will it take for “us” to change how we view casualties of war–and war itself? What will it take for “us” to refuse to play the game of murder, rape, torture of our fellow human beings just because some power-hungry egomaniacs demand we play? Don’t forget “we” are all totally expendable–our sons, husbands, wives, daughters, mothers, fathers, all our relations are absolutely of no account in the war games.
So yes, read Nick Turse’s book – and learn why the Winter Soldiers threw their medals at Congress. It’s not a fun read. It’s not enjoyable. It’s not a “feel good” book. It is an important book.
Democracy Now! www.democracynow.org
Written transcript of interview http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/15/kill_anything_that_moves_new_book
Geneva Convention http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions
January 19, 2013 at 5:21 am (culture, education, ethics, history, life, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: Book, Democracy Now, ethics, history, human nature, interview, Kill Anything That Moves, Nick Turse, politics, publishing, video, Vietnam, war, Writing
I confess I’m not really wanting to read Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam, because it sounds like a truly horrific book, yet I feel a sense of obligation to read Nick Turse’s work. Truth needs telling. Just from watching Democracy Now!’s interview of Nick Turse it’s pretty clear this is about the dark side of human nature and that’s not pleasant ever to encounter. Too often we think of war being an arena in which everything is allowed. Why is that? Why is it permissible for people to commit horrible transgressions against other human beings–women, men, children–during a state of war? Suicide is condemned in many cultures. To take control of one’s fate and decide whether or not one wishes to continue living is generally frowned upon. Yet–it is acceptable to kill OTHERS–just not yourself. Why is it “Okay” to kill other people during war or at other times? Why is it okay to rape and torture other people during war? Turse’s book delves into the atrocity as norm character of the Vietnam War. I fear it reveals a great deal about human nature that we’d rather turn a blind eye to. Yes, it’s been a long time since Vietnam. But there are ongoing wars. Has the conduct of war changed? Somehow I doubt it. I’m waiting for the time when some politicans declare war and everyone refuses to fight, thereby putting an end to the insanity.
Nick Turse site http://www.nickturse.com/books.html
Democracy Now! www.democracynow.org
Review forthcoming after I get my not so eager hands on Turse’s tome. If anyone out there has already read the book–no fear of spoilers–feel free to hold forth on it via the comments.
January 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, life, Native Americans, Poland, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Black Hills, Bloomberg Businessweek, Caldicott, Clement, Democracy Now, Dewey-Burdock, Dine, extraction, Helen, If You Love This Planet, Lakota, Lena Morgan, Marie Curie, mining, Native Americans, Navajo, Powertech, Richard, South Dakota, Uranium, videos
Sorry for such a narrow focus, but my curiosity about Powertech knows no boundaries. I can’t quite figure out why anyone would want to deal with uranium extraction in any manner. Oh yes the nuclear power industry and the nuclear weapons industry and some other poor sods who think nuclear energy is so sweet even though there’s NO way to clean up its toxic waste. Well, I so need to get past this uranium compulsion so I’m just going to drop the “dots” here and let the lines be what they are–visible or invisible to any inquiring minds. When I find some wonderful visual that connects it all, like the water cycle illustration, I will gleefully share it. Haven’t found one for uranium mining/extraction–yet. There’s got to be one out there somewhere. Do share if you have a link to one. For now your ears may have to take the lead. So many “dots” and only so much brainspace for juggling them all. Whose got a pencil/pen for lines between dots? Reading and listening necessary for inking–unless you’re following in Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize winning footsteps.
Trivia tidbit, Marie Curie’s cookbook and scientific papers are radioactive-per Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie . Working on the cutting edge of science at her time, Curie had no foreknowledge of the health dangers connected with radioactive materials.
Bloomberg Businessweek information source http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=35789868&ticker=PWE:CN
Yes, Mr. Richard F. Clement is a very busy fellow. But don’t worry about him being overworked and underpaid at $249,500 (stock options included) per year as of 2011. Clement is a long time fan of uranium mining according to his profile on the Bloomberg Businessweek page. He likes mining uranium in the United States for Powertech, a company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. (wave!). Mr. Clements has been playing with uranium in the USA (and Australia) since about 1967 as far as I can currently tell from his profile. Yep, he served Mobil Oil for starters as operations manager for uranium exploration in the USA. I wonder if he explored the uranium mines that some Navajo are rather concerned about in regard to health issues? Who knows? I’m sure Richard F. Clement Jr. knows for sure. But I don’t think he’s going to tell me. Maybe Uranium Resources in New Mexico can clarify this point? Probably could–but not likely to do so.
On Powertech’s website potential health issues regarding radioactive isotopes are downplayed to make uranium mining seem safe:
- Uranium and its decay products primarily emit alpha particles that have little ability to penetrate through membranes, such as skin or even paper. Lower levels of both beta and gamma radiation also are emitted.
- Long-term studies of regions with uranium recovery show no increased risk of cancer mortality from living nearby such facilities.
Powertech’s thinking is outlined here http://www.powertechuranium.com/i/pdf/Powertech_Sept_2012_Presentation.pdf
If uranium extraction/recovery is harmless as Powertech wants folks to think, then I am a Great White Shark.
OOPS! Am not! Bummers.
More from Clement’s profile on Bloomberg Businessweek:
“He [Clement] served as a Senior Vice President of Exploration of Uranium Resources from 1983 to 1996 and subsequently as President of Uranium Resource’s New Mexico subsidiary, Hydro Resources Inc., until 1999 where he oversaw the securing of all necessary mining permits for ISL development of Hydro Resource’s uranium deposits.”
Obviously Mr. Clement has moved on in search of fresher uranium pastures in South Dakota and Wyoming per the Dewey-Burdock Project, Powder River Basin, Centennial and other proposed mining projects.
Lena Morgan describes “divide and conquer” uranium mine developer’s style –along with some other interesting tidbits to the tune of tailings waste. The other fellows’ comments ought to give anyone pause.
Video from Democracy Now!
More information fun about uranium mining from If You Love This Planet with Dr. Helen Caldicott –Medical Effects of Uranium Mining on Population & Native Peoples. This program is well worth your listening time because of all the information it presents.
Powertech Exposed: http://www.powertechexposed.com/
Power Uranium Corporation, Advancing Towards Uranium Production http://www.powertechuranium.com/s/Home.asp
If Mr. Clement Jr has his way see what’s in store for Dewey-Burdock, Centennial, Powder River Basin, Aladdin and Dewey Terrace in South Dakota and Wyoming http://www.powertechuranium.com/i/pdf/Powertech_Sept_2012_Presentation.pdf
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission http://www.nrc.gov/
Locations of Uranium Recovery Sites http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/decommissioning/uranium/index.html
re: Uranium Recovery http://www.nrc.gov/materials/uranium-recovery.html
re: Tribal Protocol Manual http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/state-tribal/tpm.html
Uranium information http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/radionuclides/uranium.html
November 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm (culture, entertainment, humor, journalism, life, music, play, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: 90.1 fm, alternative music, alternative news, auction, bioneers, blues, chamber, community, Democracy Now, entertainment, folk, fundraiser, indie, jazz, Kansas City, KKFI, L.A.Theatre Works, live music, Missouri, music, Native American, Native Spirit, news, party, radio, rockabilly, streaming online, The John McKenna Band, Two Headed Cow
Hey, whose up for some Two Headed Cow? That’s music not milk, folks. FYI, KKFI streams online at www.kkfi.org so you can listen to everything from Democracy Now! to JAZZ while surfing the cyberspace seas. If you’re a fan of jazz, blues, indie, folk, Latino, chamber –as in chamber music not chamber-pot, yes, that’s right, KKFI plays chamber music–rockabilly, Native Spirit, alternative news, Sprouts, L.A. Theatre Works, Bioneers, and just about anything else that it’s possible to shake a musical — or grass-roots–stick at, then there’s plenty to discover at 90.1 FM KKFI Community Radio Like You’ve Never Heard It Before. Yes, I’m willing to bet that this radio is not the usual airwaves ear fare. There’s no corporate influence yanking KKFI’s 100,000 watts and online streaming. This is radio that people support with their pennies, dimes and dollars. It’s not a fluke. It’s 20 something years young and still growing. If you’re already wired for sound then what’s stopping you from engaging? But to get the Live Two Headed Cow and The John McKenna party gig I think you need to haul azz to Kansas City today. Enjoy.
Bidding on the KKFI Holiday Online Internet Auction begins Friday, November 30th. Think of it! No crowds, no driving, no nasty weather, no checkout lines…PLUS you get great unique gifts at bargain prices (the bidding starts 1/3 of the retail value).
This will be the BIGGEST and BEST KKFI Holiday Auction! This year, we have over 300 gifts to bid on, including…
- Auto Service: Winterize your car
- Auto servicing, including five oil changes, tire rotation and more
- Introductory Airplane Flying Lessons
- Full body massage
- CD Extravaganza (over 100 CDs by local and national blues, rock, folk, jazz, reggae artists…many autographed)
- Books (autographed by Amy Goodman, Chuck Haddix, more)
- Restaurant Gift Certificates
- Home cooked Mexican meal for six
- Music lessons (blues harp lessons by Levee Town’s Jimmie Meade, more)
- Home made baked goods for your holiday party
- Eight hours handyman work
- Live theater tickets (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Coterie Theater,
- Knucklehead Concert Tickets, Folly Theater Concert Tickets, Gem Theater Concert Tickets
You can also show your support by donating goods and/or services to the KKFI Holiday Auction. For example, maybe there are treasures in your basement or attic that you no longer need; or you can offer to bake a cake or pie; or offer your skills as a painter to paint a room or do a pedicure.
If you are interested in donating goods or services to the holiday online auction, contact Bill Clause, KKFI Special Events Coordinator, (816) 994-7869 or email BillC@kkfi.org.
KKFI Holiday Party Features Barbecue, Liquid Refreshments, and Live Music by The John McKenna Band and Two Headed Cow
It’s the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is over and before long, it’s Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and, oh yeah, Chrsitmas. TIME TO PARTY!
KKFI’s holiday party begins at 6pm at KKFI Studios. 39th & Main, KCMO, with barbecue and drinks, followed by LIVE music featuring Two Headed Cow and The John McKenna Band.
Holiday shopping Alert:
New CDs for Sale!
What do the bands Two Headed Cow and The John McKenna Band have in common? In addition to playing great music, both bands have new CDs for sale.
Tickets: $5 Door (barbecue, drinks and CDs extra)
May 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm (creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, history, humor, journalism, life, politics, random, Writing)
Tags: atomic bomb, Bill 78, blogs, books, businesses, Canada, Charest, class size, culture, Democracy Now, Educated, education, Frye, grades, history, imagination, Issues, journalism, liberal, life, Montreal, news, Northrop, opinion, people, poltics, protests, Quebec, random, red square, school closings, schools, science fiction, students, teaching, tests, textbooks, tuition, uniforms, V for Vendetta, Writing
Now one hundred days of protest is some serious field trip out of classroom mental work– and this exercise in the freedom to speak one’s mind with one’s feet apparently will not end with the conclusion of the course term. in Quebec. Apparently Canadian students enjoy their affordable education so much they’re willing to fight for it with zeal and determination. Bill 78 is an effort to shut down the student strike protests against the 75 % hikes in tuition. Bill 78 in effect demands that people submit to the dictates of the state and refrain from protesting en mass or face serious fines (1,000 to 25,000 dollars) and arrest. Wearing a mask could get you 10 years in prison. OOOOO what do the elected official fear from the mask wearers? Damn that film V for Vendetta for its mask wearing protestors for popularizing those masks which scares the hell out of totalitarians. Every effort to ban and il-legalize the masks serves as a red flag marker as to who is who on the battlefield for mind control. Some Canadians I’ve chatted with recently declare Bill 78 is the death knoll for Premier Jean Charest and his ’liberal’ party. Take note–these days the world ‘liberal’ has vastly different meanings depending on where, who, when–it’s all about context.
If you’re wondering what’s with the red square — little red felt squares are worn by the students and their supporters in Quebec. Yes, I am in solidarity with anyone who believes quality education should be available to everyone. I would like ALL education to be ‘free of charge’ because the mind is the most vital frontier and no one should be denied the opportunity to learn–ever. Can you imagine a world in which our monetary and other ‘resources’ are focused on education that enables humans to actualize their imaginative creative intellectual potential –instead of focused on making war, engaging in genocide and destruction of anyone some folks consider a threat to their bastions of power and control? I suspect if we’d been enabling the flourishing of the mind we might not have sown the seeds of our destruction via the pollution of our own habitat. Or at least I hope we would not have done so. One never knows what course intellectual freedom might embark upon. Hell, some of the great scientific minds created the atom bomb–and enabled it to be ‘used.’ So, yes, I admit there are such dilemmas. Yet, if there’d not been a military industrial complex running rampant then the course of human history would be —-???? We don’t quite know do we? Plenty of Science Fiction authors have explored alternative realities. I suspect this is one reason the genre threatens mainstream fiction writers — because it explores more than the status quo of possibilities and pushes the imagination into uncharted waters.
A few fundamental basics regarding quality education to consider. Oh yes, all of this comes from experiencing what ‘works’ in a teaching environment. This is NOT speculation:
Optimum student class size–14 students. This is not a secret number. It’s been shown that a student teacher ratio of 14 to 1 produces major benefits.
No standardized tests. They’re just money makers for the corporate testing business and serve no other purpose than to generate profits. They’re useless for gauging real mastery of material. Ability to properly employ and discuss material in useful and creative ways reveals having learned a subject.
No corporate produced textbooks. The textbook industry is another huge money-maker that enables mass indoctrination and manipulation of information. Guess why Americans don’t know much about HISTORY beyond what someone decided they ought to know to stay malleable.
No useless grades. Grades do little more than serve as carrots on sticks. Children have been paid to get good grades in research studies. The little student research rats behave just as one might expect–they produce only as long as they’re PAID. No more funding and they cease putting forth effort for grades. That reveals nothing good about carrots or the educational system that fails to incline children to be invested in their own learning.
As for uniforms–who gives a damn what you’re wearing if you’re not engaged in the act of discovery. Uniforms might ease some social issues in some contexts but they cannot improve a child’s learning experience. Some parents like uniforms because of how easy they make “clothing issues”. Well, if clothing issues are the main concern something is seriously skewed at the core. Uniforms are just another money-maker for those businesses that produce them.
Discovered a common thread here regarding the involvement of ‘Business’ in education? Business has NO place in education. It does not foster engagement in the act of discovery. Businesses exist for profit margins and selling products–NOT for fostering the critical thinking skills of human beings.
As for “teachers” in education. It’s a tough job these days to be a teacher anywhere. The pedagogy for classrooms has clearly failed under the current system of operations in the public sector. Education is not a ‘service’ industry where just punching a time clock is enough. People’s minds are not like car parts on conveyor belts waiting for assembly. Lecturing to the ’drones’ does nothing but leave all children behind–far far behind. To teach is to lay aside ego and engage people – not all of whom one ‘likes’– in order to educate their imaginations so that they are active participants in the world rather than factory robots. This is not easy nor for the faint of heart. “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” No shit.
Information regarding Bill 78 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_78
Visit Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/ for coverage of the student protests. They had a good feature piece today (Friday May 25, 2012). http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/25/maple_spring_nearly_1_000_arrested
The Educated Imagination website dedicated to Northrop Frye http://fryeblog.blog.lib.mcmaster.ca/ O my, Frye was a Canadian?? Hehehe, see this post is ‘connected’ …..
And Northrop Frye, The Educated Imagination http://northropfrye-theeducatedimagination.blogspot.com/
Nothing is perfect–but there are much better ways to educate than are currently employed en mass in the United States. I think some Americans have figured out enough to know that closing 60 schools in Philadelphia is not a great idea. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/25/whos_killing_philly_public_schools_daniel
How is your imagination today? Please do share your thoughts if you’re so inclined. No rulers for knuckle bashing nor ink pens held at the ready for grammar put downs in this blogcasa comment section. Anyone have a positive educational experience to share? Hmm? Horror stories also are ‘welcome’. Is your school under siege? Are you a teacher wondering what the hell has gone so horribly wrong? Are you a lucky teacher in a great supportive environment with eager students?
March 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, journalism, life, nature, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: alternative press, auction, Bidder 70, business, climate change, Congress, DeChristopher, defence, Democracy Now, Economy, education, email, environment, ethics, Goodell, Herlong, history, illegal, independent media, Issues, journalism, land, law, legal, life, nature, news, Oil, Orwell, Peaceful, people, political prisoner, politics, prison, privacy, protest, random, Rolling Stone, Tim, Uprising
It’s been a strange morning here where spring has apparently sprung right into summer: herons nesting in residential area, magnolia blooms come and gone, rose bushes budding and balmy warm winds. It seems things are just a wee bit out of sync in the natural scheme of things. But one early morning email made it even stranger because of the news it carried regarding environmental activist Tim DeChristopher being placed in solitary confinement via the demand of an unidentifed US congressman. Apparently one of DeChristopher’s emails disturbed the mental health of some congressman because of content regarding some financial matters discussed regarding a contributor to his own legal fund. Now why does a US congressman get to request the solitary confinement of a political prisoner in a minimum security prison based on the content of their email concerning the business practices of a contributor to his defence fund? Why has this elected US congressman remained unidentified? Who is this person? What right do they have to dictate the practices of a prison in California regarding a low risk prisoner? Why does Tim DeChristopher’s concerns about who funds his legal defence concern any US congressman? Who gave any congressman the right to wield political influence in such a manner? Whose money is behind this harassment of DeChristopher? What is the incognito congressperson soo threatened by in Tim DeChristopher’s email? Personally I have no specific answers. But–as this seems to center on a discussion of business practices, values, a legal defence and the only thing respected in the USA aka MONEY– my imagination is having a free-for-all this morning with this news. Btw, this little chess move on the prison political game board was covered by Democracy Now! in headlines for March 28, 2012. I suspect the alternative press may begin racketballing the item as soon as they get their heads out of their symbolic hoodies over the senseless murder of young Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Now, since I’ve been following Tim DeChristopher’s journey ever since learning about his gig as Bidder 70 at an illegal land auction of oil and gas leases—wait–there’s that special special word ‘oil’–oops—yes, DeChristopher upset the oil carts of some oil people by throwing a monkey wrench in their plans to acquire public lands on the cheap during an illegal federal auction. Do I really need to write anything more? Hmm? Do I?
Yes I do. I need to share the request of Peaceful Uprising asking for support for Tim DeChristopher to be removed from solitary confinement. What is going on in America? For more information about Tim DeChrisptopher aka Bidder 70 http://www.peacefuluprising.org/tim-dechristopher
and Peaceful Uprising visit http://www.peacefuluprising.org/
Also see Democracy Now!’s coverage of DeChristopher www.democracynow.org
President Obama is earnestly ignoring number 9 on Jeff Goodell’s Rolling Stone list of “10 things to do for the environment”–”pardon Tim DeChristopher.”
Apparently putting Tim DeChrisptoher in prison for protecting America’s environment from illegal oil development leases is not enough for some people. They want in him in solitary confinement to further restrict his communication with the rest of the world beyond Herlong Prison. Why?
Oh the tea kettle is whistling–time for a chat with George Orwell.
The following is copied directly from Peaceful Uprising:
In response to Tim’s transfer into isolated confinement, we’re asking you to please take a few moments to call the following contacts (or whomever you have time to call from this list) and ask that:
“Tim DeChristopher inmate #16156-081 be immediately removed from the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and placed back in the Minimum Security Camp at FCI Herlong.”
If you’d like to say more, here are a few key talking points we suggest:
- Moving Tim DeChristopher to SHU based on the complaint of an unidentified Congressman doesn’t make sense. Why is Congress intervening in one inmates detention status, anyway?
- Keeping inmates in isolated confinement for an indefinite amount of time awaiting a hearing is not humane and is not acceptable.
- *FOR CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS* If they are your congressperson, tell them about the situation, [read here] and ask them if they know who ordered the transfer, and that you’d like them to take a look into it and get back to you promptly. Ask them why Congress is taking such an interest in the emails of one inmate. Tell them that Tim is a nonviolent offender who was wrongly charged and convicted to begin with, and was placed in a minimum security camp because he posed no threat to anyone. If you have time, mention that an oil and gas company owned by William Koch was recently found to have conspired to defeat a BLM oil and gas lease auction, but was merely fined, while Tim sits in isolated confinement after being charged with two felonies. If you call Jason Chaffetz, ask him to launch an investigation in his oversight committee.
Richard B. Ives, WARDEN
Eloisa DeBruler, Public Information Officer
BOP Central Office
Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and
Homeland Security Congressional Members:
PRIORITY CONGRESSIONAL CALLS:
Jim Sensenbrenner, WI, Chairman of Subcommittee
Louie Gohmert, TX, Vice Chairman of Subcommittee
Jason Chaffetz, UT
|Bob Goodlatte, VA
|Sandy Adams, FL
|Dan Lundgren, CA
|Mark Amodei, NV
|Randy Forbes, VA
(202) 225 – 6365
|Bobbi Scott, VA
|Ted Poe, TX
|Steve Cohen, TN
|Timothy Griffin, AK
|Hank Johnson, GA
|Tom Marino, PA
|Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico
|Trey Gowdy, SC
|Judi Chu, CA
|Ted Deutch, FL
|Shelia Jackson Lee, TX
|Michael Quigley, IL
Are you worried yet? I am.
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! http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/18/debating_tucson_school_districts_book_ban 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 http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/white-house-caves-veto-threat
Montanans launch recall of senators who approved NDAA http://salem-news.com/articles/december252011/ndaa-recall.php
Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/2011/12/19/obama_prepares_to_authorize_indefinite_detention
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.
October 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm (creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, humor, Independent film, journalism, life, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Amy Goodman, culture, democracy, Democracy Now, education, ethics, Free Press, history, independent, journalism, Koudous, life, media, news, Nicole, now, politics, press, Salazar, settlement, Sharif, speech, talk, video
Yes, folks there is GOOD news for a change on what has lately been a bleak dark landscape of a justice system suffering the pollution of Tar Sands ilk deluxe. Consider the recent execution of Troy Davis and you get my meaning pronto–unless you’ve been hiding under a rock waiting from some rain to end the abnormal drought affecting your homestead. Oh yeah, climate change is real and it has not yet begun to kick our collective butts like no other bite back of Mother Nature so far. How adaptable are you? Okay, on to the GOOD news–Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous->THE REPORTER IN EGYPT– and Nicole Salazar have won a settlement in a federal lawsuit against Minneapolis, St. Paul and, yes, the Secret Service for unlawful arrest of the Press.
Why does this rock? Because if you haven’t noticed the freedom of the press has been a ghostly shadow of late in the US of A. If it weren’t for independent media and journalists one could argue that there’s not a shred of reputable uncorrupted by corporate interests press left living and breathing in America. Journalists around the world are being killed in record numbers. I have yet to comprehend the condemnation and targeting of Al Jazeera News for so long. Oh I take that back, I DO comprehend it–Al Jazeera does what American Mainstream Media often fails to do these days–REPORT THE NEWS. OOPs that’s not fashionable these days for the comfort of The One Percent. Good reporting gives the 99% information and information leads to communication and independent thinking and that leads to NEW IDEAS. Hot damn, The ONE Percent certainly does not want the feudal serfs of the 99% thinking independently. The One Percent certainly do NOT want the 99% knowing what the profit driven agenda has done to people around the world and in the USA. The One Percent does NOT want the still pre-occupied by Dancing with the Stars audience to be distracted by non corporate sponsored Reality. Let’s sell tickets? Hmm, shall we? Why not? Sell tickets to those still with their brainpans stuck in the idiot creating boxes to the greatest show on Earth–the HUMAN EVOLUTION. Yea, the human evolution that is currently underway around the world from Occupy Wall Street to the streets of Bolivia. The world is changing. The tipping point is approaching. We have deadly serious choices to make if we are to survive as a species on Earth. Some of you have heard this from me several times already. Sorry if it sounds like I’m beating a dead horse. I’m trying to beat a live drum.
So–this win for Democracy Now! is good news because it validates the right to a press corp to be free from arrest for covering events that The One Percent are not fond of having spread through their serfdoms. Considering everything going on now from Occupying Wall Street–and beyond–to Protesting the Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline–a FREE, unimpeded working Press is urgently NEEDED. Especially here in America where many serfs haven’t yet realized their place in the Feudal system that the Corporate Personhoods have been steadily creating. Do we really want to wake up in the world of Orwell’s 1984?
I don’t. Do you?
Yes, it’s worth YOUR time to hear Amy Goodman Speak Truth. Information is POWER!
For the Press conference at Liberty and Broadway, Liberty Park in NYC visit www.democracynow.org
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