February 19, 2011 archive

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Starry Starry Night

Looking through DOD photos of soldiers on guard in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, I kept asking myself…

What are they guarding, in the middle of nowhere?

AFGHANISTAN/

What are they guarding?

Nothing

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

And these articles-

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Did America Conspire to Cover Up a Genocide in the Congo?

Last week, Bernard Ntaganda was sentenced  to four years imprisonment for “endangering state security” and “harboring ethnic divisionism.”  The former charge is all too familiar to human rights activists and is little different from similar politically-motivated prosecutions across the globe.  The crime of “divisionism,” however, codified as “sectarianism” under Rwandese law, is relatively unique.  The closest parallels to these laws are probably most familiar to Americans as “hate speech” laws common to Europe, but prohibited by the First Amendment in the United States.  

   International human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have concluded that Mr. Ntaganda was almost certainly targeted for his opposition to the regime of President Paul Kagame.  President Kagame is not well known in the United States, but he owes his prominence to the role he played in ending the 1994 Rwandan genocide as leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, or RPF.  The sanitized version of this story was distributed to American audiences briefly in the award winning film Hotel Rwanda.  Unfortunately, the politcally correct version omits several important facts, omissions that help explain the current political climate in Rwanda and the slide toward authoritarianism on the part of Kagame and the rest of the political leadership.

Injustice at Every Turn — Part VI: Public Accommodation



Scarlet Letter

Injustice at Every Turn (pdf) is a 122-page report of data gathered in 2008 by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality concerning quality of life issues for transgender people living in this country.

Transgender and gender non-conforming people experience grave abuses when accessing everyday goods and essential services, from retail stores and buses to police and court systems. From disrespect and refusal of service to harassment and violence, this mistreatment in so many settings contributes to severe social marginalization and safety risk.

Previous “turns” have covered the basic data about who transpeople living in America are in Who we are — by the numbers, Part I: Education, Part II: Employment, Part III: Health Care, Part IV: Family and Part V: Housing

Still to come are the analysis of the data on identification documents and police and incarceration.

Solidarity With Wisconsin’s Union Workers

I haven’t forgotten. And I’m here to remind you about unions.  And union members.  Here’s Pete Seeger:

Yes, I know. I lament that union membership is now so small.  And that union power is at an all time low. I regret that so few workers are organized in the US, and I am aggrieved by the constant libels unions endure: for example, that the auto industry needed to be bailed out because of its union workers, not because of an overpaid, greedy management as dumb as a sack of hammers.  The dominant narrative is that the unions and not the capitalists have caused the problems in the economy. So the unions and not the bankers should make changes. And that the unions are unattractive. That they are fossils. What a joke. What utter nonsense.  

The Atomized Empire

I ain’t no roads scholar but I know which one we’re driving down. And that perdish’un don’t mean no prude. I also know I would have been doomed to repeat history, had it not been for my gift of writing microscopic crib sheets. But I do know all those Economic Rhodies soon coming to their eternal Perdition may not be just History repeating herself.

You cannot Atomize us anymore.



Photobucket

A great film

One mother’s day, my mother insisted that I watch a movie.  She has never done this before or since.  The movie is called Paper Clips, it’s out on DVD, and I urge everyone to see it. It’s about the holocaust, it’s about a small town in Tennessee, it’s about changing people and changing the world.

Why am I recommended a film on Docudharma? This isn’t a site about film, after all.  There are two big reasons: First, I am coming to think of myself as part of this community, and to count some as friends.  My friends should see this movie.  Second, although it isn’t totally obvious, this is exactly a Docudharma kind of film.

Before I go into a little detail, I will say that the movie, while uplifting overall, does deal with a lot of horrible information.  It’s a disturbing film.  It’s a good kind of disturbing, but I think that it might not be right for kids younger than about 10, and even older ones will need guidance with it, particularly if they do not know about the holocaust.

Paper Clips is about the Holocaust; but not really.  It’s not really a film about Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, it’s a film about Tennessee in the 1990s.  It’s not really a film about the genocide of millions of people, it’s about learning.  It’s not really about hate, it’s about hope.  It’s about changing the world.  And isn’t that what Docudharma is about?

OK, some details, without (I hope) spoiling it.  In 1998, in Whitwell, Tennessee (a small, all-white, all-Protestant town near Chattanooga) the high school principal decided that the kids should learn about some different people.  She decided that the school would study the holocaust.  They started off with not much idea of what to do.  Few of the teachers knew much.  One of the teachers admits to having been rather prejudiced.  The kids got the idea to try to collect a paper clip for every Jew who died in the camps.  This is their story.

Go see it.

It’s inspiring.

Solidarity With Wisconsin’s Union Workers

I haven’t forgotten. And I’m here to remind you about unions.  And union members.  Here’s Pete Seeger:

Yes, I know. I lament that union membership is now so small.  And that union power is at an all time low. I regret that so few workers are organized in the US, and I am aggrieved by the constant libels unions endure: for example, that the auto industry needed to be bailed out because of its union workers, not because of an overpaid, greedy management as dumb as a sack of hammers.  The dominant narrative is that the unions and not the capitalists have caused the problems in the economy. So the unions and not the bankers should make changes. And that the unions are unattractive. That they are fossils. What a joke. What utter nonsense.  

Veterans: WRONG Direction for Funding {once again}

<——- Remember these? They were a big joke and joy for a group still calling themselves republicans and happened as the Country were sending Military Troops into war once again, wars that still continue, and never a real apology for their joke. I’ll bet some of them still have some handy to be used and laughed about when their need arises to do so as they wave the flag and condemn others who don’t agree with them. Oh and while they seem to get joy about Soldiers being wounded in our wars and awarded the “Purple Heart” these were pointed directly at a brother In-Country Vietnam Navy Veteran, my tour there, as a Navy GunnersMate 3rd, was my last year of my four ’70-’71.

Or how about the many forms of these ——->

Till they quickly blew off the SUV’s and other vehicles never to be replaced, only ones you’ll see now are the very rare bumper stickers that only weather will remove after they fade out to much effort needed to remove by the owners.

Or who can forget these ——–><——–, that any who wore suits, especially representatives hired by the people, if they didn’t wear were called unpatriotic, unsupportive of our soldiers and veterans, even enemy sympathisers and much more, why the FOX couldn’t stop supposedly reporting on these traders of the U.S. and {non}Americans.

In the previous election did anyone hear any mention by the so called great movement of royally pissed off americans, corporate sponsored and corporate media hyped, still, TEA Party and their many talking heads as to any Demands for Finally ‘Sacrificing’ as Soldiers are still sent into two conflicts, their families waiting for their return, and those who survive come back as Veterans of their Military Service to the Country. I didn’t, all I heard once again were ‘tax cuts’ which every time I’ve heard these last some forty years, as a Veterans Advocate and Activist, says the Country doesn’t want to pony up for the results of it’s Wars and our brother and sister veterans will continue facing an underfunded Veterans Administration and be in constant catch up mode which in the long run constantly costs more to give what is owed and promised. One of the results of that around the country, contributing to as well is the collapsed economy from failed economic and business practices the past thirty years, has been the cutting back or shutting down of local Veterans offices that help the millions of Veterans coop with the system and the paperwork etc. needed to get that promised help as it took the past four years to finally start not only catching up with what wasn’t done but bring the VA into the 21st century.

Six In The Morning

Bullets Over Dialog That’s How Despots Operate  

After Egypt’s revolution, the people have lost their fear  

They didn’t run away. They faced the bullets head-on’

 


“Massacre – it’s a massacre,” the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh.

A few feet away, six nurses were fighting for the life of a pale-faced, bearded man with blood oozing out of his chest. “I have to take him to theatre now,” a doctor screamed. “There is no time – he’s dying!”

Others were closer to death. One poor youth – 18, 19 years old, perhaps – had a terrible head wound, a bullet hole in the leg and a bloody mess on his chest.

Late Night Karaoke

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