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Member since: Sun Feb 6, 2011, 08:14 AM
Number of posts: 3,862

Journal Archives

Flint Water Crisis: Rally at the Capitol

Gov. Rick Snyder is giving his State of the State speech and we need to demand answers and hold him accountable for the Flint Water Crisis. This rally is being organized by a coalition of groups and organizations.

Tuesday, January 19th - 5:30-7:30 pm
Arrive at the Lansing City Hall Courtyard (124 W Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48933) at 5 p.m.

Rally to begin after a press conference with Flint families and advocates. Dress warm! Bring signs and noisemakers. There will be a warming center near the Capitol at the Central United Methodist Church (215 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933).


Flint Bus & Carpool Location:
Teamsters Local 332
1502 South Dort Hwy
Flint, MI 48503
Bus 1 (seats 55)
Depart: 4PM
Bus 2 (seats 47)
Depart: 4:45PM
Return: 8:30PM-9:00PM

Detroit Bus & Carpool Location:
2727 Second Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Depart: 3:30PM (seats 47)
Return: 10:00PM

More information coming soon.


(any du'ers going?)

Socialist Response to State of the Union 2016 - councilwoman Kshama Sawant

Sisters and Brothers,
Obama’s final State of the Union was filled with optimism for the future of the United States.
I share this confidence, but for very different reasons.
My confidence is based NOT on big corporations or the prosperity of Wall Street and its billionaires.
It is based instead on the immense potential power of American workers, of the 99%, to fight for a better society against the Billionaire Class, whose limitless greed threatens our society and our planet.
I have hope because of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has broken the silence on systemic racism, mass incarceration, and police brutality.
I draw inspiration from the growing movement in Chicago demanding Mayor 1%, Rahm Emanuel, resign. This mayor, who was previously Obama’s Chief of Staff, has fought viciously over his tenure to do the greatest possible damage to unions and to public education.


Ruqia Hassan: the woman who was killed for telling the truth about Isis

The 30-year-old Kurdish woman from Raqqa risked her life by openly criticising the regime on Facebook. Her friends, family and fellow activists remember her determination to tell the world the grim truth about life in Syria.

She posted under the name Nissan Ibrahim, and her Facebook page became a form of resistance that allowed her to expose the miserable conditions of the city, whose inhabitants are under attack from all sides; trapped by Isis’s vicious rule on the ground, pummelled by attacks from Assad’s regime, and hit from above with airstrikes by Russian and coalition forces.

In 2014, Raqqa was conquered by Isis – and declared the capital of the so-called caliphate. Now foreign fighters and Isis supporters were flocking to the city – and for the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped inside, it became a prison.

Under Isis, the atmosphere became stifling. “Everything changed. Women couldn’t go out without being covered in black abayas and niqabs – even their hands,” Alwany says. “All the shops had to close at prayer times. If you disobeyed the rules, the punishments were serious – you could be whipped, arrested or fined. I was the only woman working full time in the hospital, but they made it impossible for me.”

Sadistic executions, including crucifixions, took place on the city’s main roundabout. Cigarettes, music and, for women, travelling without a male guardian were outlawed. Schools were closed, and walls painted black. “Now it is so bad no one is even allowed to leave the city without permission,” Alwany says. “There are two options for the people who stay behind: try to avoid Isis, which makes life impossible, or give them your loyalty – just to survive.”

Hassan's criticisms grew fiercer. “Every day they ban ban ban ...” she wrote, mockingly. “I am waiting for the day that they finally permit something.” With journalists unable to access the city, documenting events in Raqqa was growing more important.

Her cousin Abdullah also spoke to her. “She told me that she doesn’t care if Isis take her life,” he says. “[She said] that life is worthless without freedom and without dignity.”

Abdullah says he hopes his cousin will be an inspiration. “She taught many people a lesson they would never forget. She taught us not to fear the tyrant ... I’m sure we will have many other Ruqias from now.”


Rest in Power, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Marxist scholar, historian, and comrade.

Here is an excerpt from her piece in Against the Current, 1987:

"Socialism will be the first social form since the advent of class society whose reproduction as a social system is endangered rather than enhanced by relations and ideologies of domination and oppression... For at least these reasons, I conclude that the struggle for socialism, as the most potentially comprehensive emancipatory project we have, is central to the struggle for human emancipation and hence that class politics is the primary means of advancing, and uniting, the various emancipatory struggles."


"Revisiting the Cult of the Supreme Being"

"The tradition of Spinoza, Rousseau, and Robespierre provides a promising alternative for positive conceptions of the good in civic life.

Instead of the liberal doctrine of the separation between church and state, these figures promoted the institutionalization of a secular morality to strengthen popular sovereignty and combat injustice. They all addressed oppression and social alienation in contrast to the elitist “New Atheist” approach of directly attacking the religious beliefs of the poor and the marginalized as a political solution."


Questions about fostering...

I thought about it.
since my last cat died (Nov '14) I have been cat-less, first time in my 68 years.
I can not afford the vet. fees.
so I looked into fostering.
I found a local agency which pays not only the vet bills, but even the food, for a fostered pet.
I'd like to hear about peoples' experiences fostering.

I am afraid of getting attached.

What is the average length of stay?

any other feed-back appreciated.


Remembering Middle East photographer Tom Hurndall who died on January 13th 2004

From Guardian in 2012:

"Tom Hurndall was a peace activist and an aspiring photojournalist. His photographs, alongside his journals, bear witness to the often terrible, sometimes uplifting, events he saw and experienced while living among families in Iraq, in a refugee camp in Jordan, and in the Gaza Strip. It was there on 11 April 2003 that he was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier while attempting to rescue a child who had been pinned down by gunfire. He died nine months later in hospital in London. He was 22.

It is difficult, then, to look dispassionately at the photographs in The Only House Left Standing: The Middle East Journals of Tom Hurndall, which is published by Trolley Books (2012). They are a mixture of reportage and citizen journalism of the most intense kind; a visual record of struggle and conflict left by someone who comes across as extraordinarily committed and fearless. As his writings show, though, Hurndall grappled with his fear every day. He travelled to Baghdad in 2003, one of a group of "human shields" who arrived just before the invasion by American and British troops, determined to protest the war in the most direct and dangerous way. In a series of articles emailed to Manchester Metropolitan University's student magazine, Pulp, he wrote honestly and without self-pity about his constant doubts and creeping fears. One sentence stands out: "When a man must lie to himself to do what he knows he should, that is when you know he is terrified."


"the most sustained fraud in modern journalism.”

You have probably already have heard of Stephen Glass, who "peddled deception" since 1998.
I just came across him again in a bizarre letter he wrote to Harper's Magazine this month admitting his fabrications (again).
The letter, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/01/letters-841/, goes over in great detail - page, paragraph and sentence - his fabrications in the article published in Harpers, Feb 1998, "Prophets and Losses".

As a result of the letter, Harper's Magazine retracted the 1998 article - the first retraction in its 165-year history. The retraction notes that at least 5,647 of the 7,902 words in the article were based on untruths.

Why did Glass write the letter?
and why now?

Speculation was that he was "making a clear breast of it", bec. he wanted to apply for a California law license!
He would make a great lawyer.
(he was denied admission to Cal bar.)

weird ...

coffee intoxication

I'm posting this for your interest, it may affect others.
I've known for a long time that I am sensitive to caffeine. esp. sine I got older (I'm 68)
Recently I began meditating, and I noticed that drinking coffee increases my anger and irritability, even one cup or 2.
So I've been cutting back.
Keeping it generally to bet. one and 2 cups. (of weak instant)- spaced out over a few hours.
and that is usually ok.

Yesterday I got it into my head to clean up apt, and decided to drug myself with 3 strong cups of coffee drunk in a short time.
it really worked.
I worked on my task from 9 am to 3 pm, with little break and no food.

This morning I woke up and felt like I had a hang-over.
It wasn't actually unpleasant, but it was weird, and i didn't feel "like myself".

So I realize it was the coffee and today, am drinking a lot of water and tea (and no coffee). and will walk later, as one source said exercise helps to get it out of body.
another sources recommends vit c. Another source recommends 32 oz of water in TEN minutes, which I think would make me throw up.

I'm pretty sure no permanent damage done, and I will never do it again --
but it is something I never experienced before.
(except when drinking alcohol.)

any thots on therapists keeping notes on the patient?

I visited a therapist about 10 times.
each time she took copious notes, which made me uneasy, but I didn't say anything.
I did note that she keeps them in a big, bulging briefcase, presumably with all the other patients notes.
I am no longer going to see her.
I want to ask her to destroy her notes on me.
Of course I can't confirm she will, even if she agrees.

But if she doesn't agree, I'd like to know my options.
seems to me I am within my rights.

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