Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Activists' digest of awfulness

By Carol Gee

Blogging is an activist tactic that many of use to try to make a difference in the world. Activists also write letters to the editors of newspapers, call the offices of government officials and even take to the streets. We want something to change, because there is something awfully wrong happening. And activists often work together for change. The blogosphere does this through exchanging e-mails, as well as posting to blogs. I get regular e-mails from my fellow blogger friends "betmo," of life's journey, and "Dan'l," who writes The Future was Yesterday.

*from betmo --

FYI, Republicans & Big Business-- Blogger "betmo" often titles the subject of the e-mail, "fyi." This link came in on 6/26/08: from, the story discusses some awful campaign tactics by Republicans. It reads, "Justice for Sale: How Big Tobacco and the GOP teamed up to crush Democrats in the South." On 7/8/08 betmo asked, "huh?" The headline read: "JOHN MCCAIN’S WIFE HIDING WAR PROFITS, UNTAXED OFF-SHORE ACCOUNTS? Federal agents: Cindy McCain’s full tax returns will show war profits, pre-9/11 insider trading, secret off-shore accounts linked to 1241 Class C Nevada corporation payoffs and bribes." It is awful that voters might let John McCain (through his wife) get away with this. And make no mistake, Senator McCain is no different than George W. Bush.

FYI, the FBI -- The Bush Republicans have held the White House for far too long for many reasons, not the least of which is their massive assault on Fourth Amendment civil liberties privacy protection. On 7/5/08: KDFA, News Channel 10, Amarillo, TX reveals that the "FBI Could Investigate You." And there does not need to be much of any excuse. "Strains of Wagner!" is what came to betmo's mind about this awful news. On 7/9/08: betmo warned, "and so it begins." Secrecy News headlined, "FBI Headquarters Not Cleared for Classified Intelligence," the atory continues to reveal that federal standards for secure classified storage cannot be met by the FBI. In a related linked story, the FBI said that this does not mean that classified information is not secure.

Fyi, Under Republicans -- 7/16/08's McClatchy Newspapers headline reveals that "Results are in: California's San Joaquin Valley is the worst." To quote: "Poverty, poor health and plenty of school dropouts have put the San Joaquin Valley's 20th Congressional District dead last in a new national scorecard that ranks the overall well-being of residents."

FYI: interesting site -- Pattrice Jone’s Bravebirds.Org, 7/8/08. This is an interesting view of the values surrounding not eating meat. I am not a vegetarian, so please understand that I will not be marching on this subject. Not that I ever march, actually. I write. I am including several of the paragraphs that betmo sent me. To quote:

In this passage, Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer gets right to the heart of the connection between violence against animals and violence among people: the principle that might makes right. Even people who are pacifist in every other aspect of life will condone violence against animals with no better justification than “because we want to and we can.”

Killing in self-defense is one thing; killing for pleasure is another. As every happy vegan demonstrates, people do not need to eat meat to be healthy. As long as one has access to other sources of protein, then one cannot claim to be killing in self-defense when one eats meat.

When we torture and kill animals so that we can have snack foods, we are doing something to the body of a non-consenting creature in order to obtain pleasure for ourselves. The same dynamic is involved in the sexual abuse of children. In both cases, the wishes of the victim are ignored while the desires of the perpetrator are paramount. In both cases, the only “justification” is that might makes right.

A different, more subtle, form of child abuse occurs every time a child’s natural empathy for animals is supressed by parents or care givers who demand that the child eat meat. When the crying child who does not want to eat a cow or a pig is forced to swallow those tears along with the dinner, real damage is done. Psychologist Alice Miller has shown that children who have been taught not to feel empathy grow up to be adults who can follow the orders of Nazis. Thus, in forcing children to participate in violence against animals, parents endanger not only their children but the world.”

When will we see the unity of oppression, see how the treatment of animals is mimicked by the inhuman treatment of so-called human beings. The brutality visited upon animals by kindergarten sadists always finds expression through domestic battery, child abuse, police brutality and war. And those kindergarten sadists aren’t born - they are made, produced, cultivated, nurtured and rolled off of the cultural assembly line. When will we see that when all life is respected, all life is respected and when some lives are not respected…Abu Ghraib’s happen, Holocausts happen, slavery happens, reservations happen, incarcerations, rapes and torture happens.
**From "Dan'l" --

Surprise Surprise - NOT! on 7/12/08. This is like a lot of other awful stories about Cheney and also about Halliburton. To quote waronyou:

According to journalist Jason Leopold, sources at former Cheney company Halliburton allege that, as recently as January of 2005, Halliburton sold key components for a nuclear reactor to an Iranian oil development company. Leopold says his Halliburton sources have intimate knowledge of the business dealings of both Halliburton and Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran's largest private oil

Don't be surprised when this happens -- As of this moment I am exercising free speech, lawfully. I feel that it would be awful to enlist ISP's as policing agents for the unlawful theft of intellectual property. That is the job of law enforcement. According to ABC News, 7/4/08: "This is a well disguised step...":

closer to what the video and music industry really want - to hold ISP's accountable for files sent by users. Ultimately, this could easily result in the Web and it's contents being controlled by Corporations and Courts, which has been a Republican dream since the web came to be."

Or when this awful thing happens -- To close, betmo sent me this. The story says that "corporados want to completely monetize the internet." The story begins with an awful situation in Canada, but the scenario is entirely possible in the USA. Hold on to your hats folks. The free Internet is continually under threat.

(Cross-posted 7/17/08 at South by Southwest. Sorry for the delay. I am still on the road.)

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