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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 26,766

About Me

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

Journal Archives

Mayan People’s Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

Mayan People’s Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala
Written by Christin Sandberg
Thursday, 11 September 2014 11:23

All photos by Josue Navarro

GUATEMALA - On September 4th, after ten days of widespread street protests against the biotech giant Monsanto’s expansion into Guatemalan territory, groups of indigenous people joined by social movements, trade unions and farmer and women’s organizations won a victory when congress finally repealed the legislation that had been approved in June.

The demonstrations were concentrated outside the Congress and Constitutional Court in Guatemala City during more than a week, and coincided with several Mayan communities and organizations defending food sovereignty through court injunctions in order to stop the Congress and the President, Otto Perez Molina, from letting the new law on protection of plant varieties, known as the “Monsanto Law”, take effect.

On September 2, the Mayan communities of Sololá, a mountainous region 125 kilometers west from the capital, took to the streets and blocked several main roads. At this time a list of how individual congressmen had voted on the approval of the legislation in June was circulating.

When Congress convened on September 4, Mayan people were waiting outside for a response in favor of their movement, demanding a complete cancellation of the law –something very rarely seen in Guatemala. But this time they proved not to have marched in vain. After some battles between the presidential Patriotic Party (PP) and the Renewed Democratic Liberty Party (LIDER), the Congress finally decided not to review the legislation, but cancel it ...

More here: http://upsidedownworld.org/main/guatemala-archives-33/5042-mayan-peoples-movement-defeats-monsanto-law-in-guatemala

Contigency Plans: Reagan’s FEMA Administrator Giuffrida

Contingency Plans
by Matthew Cunningham-Cook
In a never-before-released thesis, Reagan’s FEMA administrator advocates the potential internment of millions of blacks in concentration camps.

“ views really aren’t that offensive, despite what some of the articles on the web have said,” says the US Army War College spokeswoman, an officer of lieutenant colonel rank, unsolicited, over the phone.

I had asked for a copy of former FEMA administrator Louis Giuffrida‘s 1970 thesis, “National Survival—Racial Imperative.” My request for the paper via Interlibrary Loan had been denied. I had called every number I could find to figure out why.

“ is actually against racial prejudice,” the spokeswoman continued. “It just is trying to figure out, that when the system breaks down, like Ferguson, what the Army’s response should be.”

I hadn’t mentioned Ferguson.

After filing a FOIA request, I finally got my hands on the thesis. Giuffrida’s paper, written at the US Army War College, is a pseudophilosophical, historical analysis of the origins of racial prejudice that then offers a proposal: the establishment of concentration camps to imprison potentially millions of black Americans in the event of a revolutionary uprising in the United States ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/09/contingency-plans/

Jesus was a Marxist

Reza Aslan Blasts 'Prosperity Gospel' Preachers: Jesus Was 'As Close To Marxism As It Gets'
HuffPost Live | By Ryan Buxton

Posted: 09/08/2014 6:10 pm EDT Updated: 09/08/2014 6:59 pm EDT

Religious scholar Reza Aslan has news for "prosperity preachers" like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes: Jesus was pretty much a Marxist.

Aslan spoke out against the message of Osteen and Jakes, who he called "charlatans" at the 2014 Indian Summer Festival, where Aslan expressed his viewpoint bluntly: "The argument of the prosperity gospel, if I can put it flippantly, is that Jesus wants you to drive a Bentley."

During a conversation with HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Monday, Aslan explained that the prosperity gospel -- which recently got Victoria Osteen into hot water for its message that God wants his followers to prosper in life, including financially -- takes the Bible's metaphor about "what you give will be returned to you tenfold" and interprets it literally. That doesn't sit well with Aslan, whose book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth explores the historical roots of Jesus as a revolutionary figure.

"If there's one thing you can really zero in on when it comes to Jesus' preachings -- I mean the historical Jesus -- was his absolute hatred of wealth," Aslan said. "This wasn't a man who was neutral about it. Jesus wasn't about equality. His preaching wasn't that the rich and the poor should meet in the middle. That's not what he preached. What he preached was that those who have wealth, that wealth will be taken away. Those who are poor, they shall be the inheritors of the earth."

More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/reza-aslan-jesus-marxist_n_5786932.html

Happy Labor Day from the Socialist Progressives Group -

Students at the Barricades

by Christy Thornton ~ 8.28.14
Around the country, graduate students aren’t just unionizing — they are reforming the conservative, top-down unions they’ve joined.

Last December, NYU graduate student employees won recognition for our union, GSOC-UAW, from the university administration. With an overwhelming 98.4% of votes cast in favor of the union, NYU became — for the second time — the first private university in the country to recognize the rights of its graduate student employees to collective representation.

After more than fifteen years of organizing, NYU’s graduate student workers had won a major victory, and the voluntary recognition of the union by the administration had the potential to set a new kind of precedent for other graduate student organizing campaigns around the country. But recognition was the start of a new round of struggle: one around what kind of a contract we could win, and what kind of union GSOC would be.

In July, a group of bargaining committee members — graduate students elected by their peers to represent us in our negotiations with the NYU administration — released a statement highlighting the “concessionary strategy, demobilization of our membership, and opacity of the bargaining process” on the part of UAW staff that they had witnessed over the course of the previous semester ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/08/students-at-the-barricades/

Immigrants reshape Houston, America’s most diverse metropolis

Oil men give way to imams in this hot urban sprawl of 6 million – black, white, Hispanic and Asian

August 27, 2014 6:00AM ET
by E. Tammy Kim @etammykim

HOUSTON — On Wright Road, near the cellphone parking lot at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, sits an enormous rectangular warehouse and parking lot stippled taxicab yellow. Sedans and SUVs imprinted with the blocky names of car companies line up headlight to taillight in countless rows. Drivers of every nationality, age and background — nearly all men — wait hours to be dispatched to the airport terminal with the promise of a $53 fare.

They huddle around TVs, lift weights, gossip, pray and eat in a rundown concrete shelter that once served as a detention facility and is now Houston’s main taxi depot. There’s a circle of North Africans watching Arabic-language news, a lively pingpong game, a chess match and a lone Pakistani leaning back in a plush armchair. In the only air-conditioned part of the structure, not far from the two food trucks parked outside, drivers nuke their lunches in microwaves stacked on the floor, and part-time students read and surf the Web.

Ebrahim Ulu, an affable, round-faced man with a broken gait, begins a sultry 14-hour shift in July. A teacher and public-health worker in Ethiopia, he went to Houston in 2007 on a diversity visa, a certain number of which go to countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. “For six months, I slept in the car in order to buy a car and bring my family from Africa,” he said. Life today is much improved: After a long day of driving and waiting for customers, he returns home to his two young children and pregnant wife. He owns the car he drives but must lease the right to operate a taxi in the form of a costly $170-per-week medallion.

The burden of having to rent the medallion from a middleman moved Ulu and his fellow drivers to form an unofficial union, the United Houstonian Taxi Drivers Association, in 2011. It’s the eighth organizing effort that Sam Arnick, a 63-year-old African-American driver, has seen in his long career as a Houston cabby. “In the past we had 10 different ethnic groups out there. They didn’t trust each other, so we got representatives,” he said ...

Much more here: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/26/immigrants-reshapehoustonamericasmostdiversemetropolis.html

Chris Delphin, left, a Houston native, sits with his fiancé, Roy Brooks, outside their Montrose bungalow. In recent years, Delphin said, he has “noticed a lot more interracial couples like us.” E. Tammy Kim / Al Jazeera America

N.R.A. Opposes Raising Minimum Uzi Age to Ten

Disclaimer: relax, it's satire (although admittedly it's hard to tell these days)

Andy Borowitz
Wednesday, August 27 at 5:30pm (Facebook)

N.R.A. Opposes Raising Minimum Uzi Age to Ten

WASHINGTON - The National Rifle Association came out strongly on Wednesday against calls for raising the minimum age for firing an Uzi to ten. The N.R.A. chief Wayne LaPierre said that taking Uzis out of the hands of Americans under ten was "a perilous first step" towards depriving all citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed gun rights. "History teaches us that when a government wants to take away people's guns, first they take semiautomatic weapons away from children," he said.

French Communists: “Relaunch the Counter-Offensive After the Holidays”

“Relaunch the Counter-Offensive After the Holidays”

Translated Sunday 24 August 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

The activists of the French Communist Party are seizing the initiative all summer long to prepare the ground for the counter-attack in September. Selling the Fête de l’Humanité sticker is a way to make contacts.

No break during the summer for the left in preparing for the return from holidays. “Do you know the Fête de l’Humanité?” This is the question asked by the communists, who are increasing their efforts to sell the sticker, the well-known support voucher which allows one to attend the festival. The goal is to broaden dissidence with the greatest possible number of citizens at La Courneuve on September 12, 13 and 14, and to show that it is possible to change the course of events.

In Paris on July 23, activists met at Stalingrad square to inform the people strolling to Paris-Plage. “With the law on immigration, we can see that the Fête will be a key moment for relaunching the counter-offensive after the holidays,” explains Elie. Sticker sales have their importance: “We have to send in the money as quickly as possible so that the Fête can be prepared in the best possible circumstances,” emphasizes Emilie, after a young woman buys two stickers from her. The activist hopes that in September “everyone will be rested and we’ll be able to start again on a good foundation,” referring to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s July 22 statement.

“To be useful to all, to re-establish contact and solidarity among people” ...

More here - http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/spip.php?article2521

Inspiration - 52 Powerful Photos Of Women Who Changed History Forever

I don't know if this is "politics, issues, and current events" but the women depicted do make me feel more positive about some of the current events we are now experiencing. I hope you will all enjoy this article - it is full of inspiring photos with captions. These women have changed history forever by being strong, brave, and human, regardless of society’s expectations for them.

A Muslim woman covers the yellow star of her Jewish neighbour with her veil to protect her from prosecution. Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia.

Kathrine Switzer becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, despite attempts by the marathon organizer to stop her.

Afghan women at a public library before the Taliban seized power.

Many more here: http://news.distractify.com/people/powerful-photos-of-women/?v=1

Scenes from a City in Revolt

Scenes from a city in revolt
August 19, 2014

The streets of Ferguson, Mo., are filled--with the gut-wrenching reminders of a young life ended by police; with militarized law enforcement lashing out with still more violence; with ordinary people raising their voices to demand justice for Mike Brown and all the victims of racism and the police. Here, SocialistWorker.org reporter Eric Ruder tells the story of the struggle with photos from a visit to Ferguson ...

Many powerful photos in this article: http://socialistworker.org/2014/08/19/scenes-from-a-city-in-revolt

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