Archive for January, 2012

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13 Questions

A social justice quiz: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/30/a-social-justice-quiz/

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“Each year, on 30 November, Aksum is aroused from its sleep. Tens of thousands of Ethiopians, wrapped in their white pilgrimage attire, or gabis, converge on Aksum to celebrate one of Ethiopia’s holiest days, Mariam Zion, or Mary of Zion. They focus their attention on a modest shrine that is actually part of a cluster of churches all dedicated to her. Surrounded by a simple iron fence, and guarded by a solitary monk who alone has access to its contents, the chapel houses Ethiopia’s greatest treasure, the Ark of the Covenant.

Mariam Zion commemorates this African nation’s Judaic heritage and its Christian faith: Ethiopians believe the Ark of the Covenant, which enshrines the Ten Commandments, has been in Ethiopia since their first king, Menelik, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, took the Ark from Jerusalem. Others have suggested it came after 587 B.C., when references to the Ark disappear from Scripture after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. Mariam Zion therefore celebrates God’s presence in the Ten Commandments and honors Mary as the New Ark.

Legend or fact, Ethiopians take seriously what the Ark and Mary both represent: vessels in which the presence of God, the God of the Old and New Testaments, dwells.”

More, from One: http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=3223&pagetypeID=4&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1

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No to War

 Here is a list of marches and protests to fight against the upcoming war with Iran. All will be held on the national day of action of February 4th.
1.     NYC, NY 1pm North end of Times Square – Duffy Square.  March to the US & Israeli missions to UN.
2.     Albany NY noon, Wolf Road & Central Ave, March 1pm to mall recruiting station.
3.     Buffalo, NY 3pm at City Hall Square, then marching.
4.     Saratoga, NY Noon at Broadway by Post Office, Weekly Vigil Site.
5.     Milwaukee, WI Noon  at East Capitol Dr. Bridge just east of Capitol Ave & Humbold Blvd.
6.     Green Bay, WI Noon at Lambeau Field.
7.     Boston, MA 1pm Tremont & Park St, March to Israeli consulate &Copley Square
8.     Los Angeles, CA 2 pm Westwood Fed Building, next to UCLA campus.
9.     Los Angeles, CA Noon, Wilshire & Western Metro Stop.
10.  San Francisco, CA, Noon Powell & Market, BART Plaza
11.  Truckee, CA Noon, Donner Pass Rd/ Highway 89
12.  Baltimore, MD. Fri, Feb 3 at 5pm rush hour McKelvin Sq, Pratt & Light Street.
13.  Minneapolis, MN 3 pm at 3rd St & Cedar Avenue South.
14.  Des Moines IA teach-in AFSC office 42nd and Grand.
15.  Tampa, FL, Noon-2pm March on McDill AFB CentComm, rally at Gandy Bivd. & Dale Mabry Highway
16.  Detroit MI 2pm Grand Circus Park – Woodward Ave at Adams.
17.  Richmond VA, Noon, Federal Building.
18.  Norfolk, VA 1pm City Hall Ave at Saint Paul Blvd.
19.  Seattle, WA 1:30 Westlake Center, March to Military processing center.
20.  Raleigh, NC 2pm Federal Building, New Bern Ave
21.  Kochville MI 12 noon Bay Rd & Tittabawassee Rd
22.  Chicago, IL Noon, Federal Plaza
23.  Washington DC Noon, Lafayette Square, White House
24.  Harrisburg, PA Noon, State Capitol Steps, 3rd Street Side at North & Walnut
25.  Philadelphia PA Noon 5th & Market, Independence Hall.
26.  Phoenix, AZ, 2pm Cesar Chavez Plaza, 200 W Washington.
27.  Tucson, AZ 6pmUnitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22 St.
28.  Nashville TN 2pm, Nashville Legislative Plaza 6th Ave & Deaderick St.
29.  Atlanta, GA 4:30 – 5:30pm, CNN Center, Marietta & Centennial Olympic Park.
30.  Des Moines, IA 1pm Civic Center, Nollen Plaza,
31.  Coachella Valley, CA — Location and Time: TBA
32.  Salt Lake City, UT, 3 PM at the Downtown Federal Building at 125 South State Street
33.  Rochester, NY, at the Public Market on North Union St., 11AM to Noon
Ireland at Shannon Air Base, forward base for NATO, 
Bangaldesh capital Dacca rally and march; 
India message of actions in several cities including Calcutta. 
Vancouver Canada: Picket and rally in front of US consulate, downtown, 3-6pm
Oslo, Norway: Location-TBA
Group in Iran called House of Latin America, is contacting groups internationally and urging activity in several countries. 

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Farmers Against Monsanto


From the Food Democracy blog:
On January 31, family farmers will take part in the first phase of a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed, which contaminates organic and non-GMO farmer’s crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.
In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. Please join us in standing up for family farmers everywhere against Monsanto’s abusive seed monopoly.



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America’s 6 Million

“As the United States officially ended the war in Iraq last month, President Obama spoke eloquently at Fort Bragg, N.C., lauding troops for “your patriotism, your commitment to fulfill your mission, your abiding commitment to one another,” and offering words of grief for the nearly 4,500 members of the U.S. armed forces who died in Iraq. He did not, however, mention the sacrifices of the Iraqi people.

This inattention to civilian deaths in America’s wars isn’t unique to Iraq. There’s little evidence that the American public gives much thought to the people who live in the nations where our military interventions take place. Think about the memorials on the Mall honoring American sacrifices in Korea and Vietnam. These are powerful, sacred spots, but neither mentions the people of those countries who perished in the conflicts.

The major wars the United States has fought since the surrender of Japan in 1945 — in Korea, Indochina, Iraq and Afghanistan — have produced colossal carnage. For most of them, we do not have an accurate sense of how many people died, but a conservative estimate is at least 6 million civilians and soldiers.”

More, from The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-we-ignore-the-civilians-killed-in-american-wars/2011/12/05/gIQALCO4eP_story.html

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“On the night of his triumph in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich boldly announced: “The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky.” Barack Obama did once work in a Chicago project inspired by Alinsky, the legendary community organizer who died in 1972. But, in its essence, this was classic demagoguery: connect a name that, at least to a crowd of Southern Republicans, sounds rather alien—and certainly not Christian—with a president whom many conservatives already suspect of being an un-American, anti-religious socialist.

Because Newt is reputed to know a great deal about the past, even those who don’t admire him may give credence to the former Speaker’s claim that Alinsky was a dangerous leftist whose doctrine lies at the root of all that is wrong in the country—and in the White House. In fact, it shows, yet again, that the skillful demagogue is a lousy historian.

Saul Alinsky often called himself a radical, but his career as a community organizer had thoroughly traditional foundations in grassroots democracy and institutional religion. Indeed, it was built with the active support and resources of key figures in the Roman Catholic Church. (The same faith, incidentally, to which Newt converted in 2009, joining his wife Callista, who grew up Catholic in Wisconsin.)”

More, from Michael Kazin:http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/100030/gingrich-alinsky-saul-newt-catholic-carolina

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Rotten Apple

“President Barack Obama blew a kiss to Apple in the State of the Union speech, praising the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, the late Steve Jobs, as the cameras panned to his widow in the audience.

Obama’s timing couldn’t be weirder. In the last month, Apple has released a damning audit which found that almost 100 of Apple’s supplier factories force more than half their workers to exceed a 60-hour week. The company announced responsibility for aluminum dust explosions in Chinese supplier factories that killed four workers and injured 77. Hundreds more in China have been injured cleaning iPad screens with a chemical that causes nerve damage.”


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