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limpyhobbler's Journal
limpyhobbler's Journal
May 26, 2012

In my experience people who say they don't see race are deluding themselves.

I think you would have to deliberately chose to ignore race to somehow not see it. And if you ignore race, that means you are ignoring racism too, I think.

It's quite convenient to be colorblind all of a sudden after centuries of race-based theft and discrimination where all the benefits went to one race.

Now that people have stopped accepting that kind of theft and are pointing it out, trying to take back some of what was stolen, it's not at all surprising that some people in the dominant group want everyone to be colorblind.

Some other people sincerely want to be colorblind I guess, because they want to live out MLK's dream where people are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

It's a worthy goal and I respect people who take that attitude if they are sincere, but mostly I think it involves a heavy dose of self-delusion at best. At its worst the "colorblind" attitude ends up being one of the biggest enforcers of racism.

Is it ironic that not seeing race can make you a huge racist? Yeah, that's funny, but it's true. But not all the time. Just usually. Glad I could clear that up for everyone. You're welcome.

May 25, 2012

Revolutionary Doctors

Revolutionary Doctors: An Interview With Steve Brouwer (Video)

Since the creation of the Venezuelan health mission Barrio Adentro, thousands of Cuban medical professionals have provided quality health care for some of Venezuela's poorest communities. In Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba Are Changing the World’s Conception of Health Care (Monthly Review Press, 2011), author Steve Brouwer highlights the revolutionary health care practiced by Venezuela and Cuba. Brouwer lived in Venezuela in 2007-08 where he witnessed the results first hand. "In my little village of 700 people, there were nine young people going to medical school, in a tiny village in the foothills of the Andes," says Brouwer.

In the following interview with NACLA, Brouwer describes his new book and explains how this is more than just an experiment in medicine. "It's an ideal experience in showing how you create an active revolutionary alternative and how people, from the ground up, acquire the skills, the motivation, and the tutoring from mentors who know what they're doing, to be able to carry out building a new kind of society," says Brouwer.

source: http://www.nacla.org/news/2012/5/21/revolutionary-doctors-interview-steve-brouwer-video
May 25, 2012

The number for net worth is also striking.

Michael Moore said 400 people had greater net worth than the lower 60% of households.

So the bottom 60% of households possessed just $1.22 trillion of that $53.15 trillion, less than the Forbes 400.

(From his website March 7, 2011. He explains his math on there.)

I'm not sure how financial wealth is measured, or net worth for that matter. Either way it is very striking.
May 25, 2012

An International Movement for a Participatory Society?

By Carragh, Giulio, Joe, Conor from the Greater London Chapter of the International Organisation for a Participatory Society

How does one approach the creation of a new world in the face of such confusion, cynicism, ignorance and alienation? The left has failed at offering an effective, unified resistance to rampant neo-liberal capitalism. Weak from the many assaults from the establishment and the constant propaganda of the corporate media, the progressive/radical movements and organisations plod along fatigued from incessant external and internal conflict. The divided strands of radical individuals and groups don’t stand a chance against the clinical structure of the elite with all the apparatus of the state at their disposal. The Occupy movement has gone some way to refresh the left and offer new hope…the Thatcherite mantra There is No Alternative has never sounded so hollow in the face of people coming together with a common purpose to show how a different, more sane way of living can emerge from the most difficult of circumstances. In this respect, the Occupy movement has much in common with (and yet can learn a lot from) much of the destitute of the world who struggle as whole communities as a means of survival. In our materialistic Western society, we often forget or underestimate the value of mutual aid, respect and spiritual health. Our egos are trained to take over our minds and put the selfish, superficial needs of the individual above all else. Even those of us who keep our egos in check and battle the predatory values of capitalism, be it the conscientious political activist, caring social worker or the wise old neighbour next door, fall victim to self-indulgence occasionally.

How then do we overcome our own conditioning and move from an oppositional force on the margins of public discourse to a wider movement with majority support and participation? At the beginning of 2012, leading activists from all over the world (including Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, David Graeber and others) came together to attempt to answer this question and formed the interim committee of the International Organisation for a Participatory Society (IOPS). The core values of this new, ambitious organisation were agreed to be: Self-Management, Equity/Justice, Solidarity, Diversity, Ecological Stewardship and Internationalism. These values would determine the vision of the organisation which would treat the Political, Economical, Kinship and Community/Culture spheres as being of equal importance to one another as part of a philosophy of complementary holism. In other words, all aspects of life should be considered in offering a vision for participatory societies, forming a network spanning the local, national and international. Self-determination for all peoples, whether in Shrewsbury or Shanghai, Lagos or Los Angeles wouldn’t contradict cooperation between the local and global. A bottom-up structure would facilitate this network of individuals and communities, groups and projects, to form a truly participatory world where every person could reach their full potential

complete piece(it's short): http://theoccupiedtimes.co.uk/?p=4634
May 25, 2012

Tens of thousands of elephants likely killed last year, experts say

By Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com

Providing the grimmest count yet on Africa's wildlife crisis, the global body tracking endangered species reported Thursday that tens of thousands of elephants likely were slaughtered last year by poachers after their tusks. Rhinos, while fewer in number, also saw mass slaughter as poachers went after their horns.

Prices for both have skyrocketed due to demand in Asia, where tusks are used for ivory ornaments and horns as a traditional medicine.

The illegal trade is escalating and "pushing these species toward extinction," John Scanlon, secretary-general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, said in testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In the case of rhinos, just 25,000 of which are estimated left in the wild, extinction could come "during the lifetime of our children," he added.

complete piece: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/24/11864661-tens-of-thousands-of-elephants-likely-killed-last-year-experts-say
May 22, 2012

Welcome, Nato, to Chicago's police state

The Nato summit will come and go, but Mayor Emanuel has authorised a 'new normal' of militarised social control in Chicago

With Nato delegates arriving Saturday night, the City of Chicago has been turned into a police state. Courtesy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who several months ago began implementing new draconian anti-protest measures, Chicago has gone on security lockdown. Starting early Friday night, 18 May 2012, the Chicago Police Department began shutting down – prohibiting cars, bikes, and pedestrians – miles and miles of highways and roads in the heart of Chicago to create a security perimeter around downtown and McCormick Place (where the Nato summit is being held).

Eight-foot tall, anti-scale security fencing went up all over that perimeter and downtown, including Grant Park; and the Chicago police – as well as myriad other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the US secret service – were out in force on riot-geared horses, bikes, and patrols – batons at the ready. Philadelphia Police Department is sending over reinforcements to help out; Chicago has also asked for recruits from police departments in Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC. Meanwhile, F-16 warplanes "screamed through the skies as part of a pre-summit defense exercise" and helicopters hovered incessantly.

The Chicago Police Department has spent $1m in "riot-control equipment" in anticipation of the Nato summit. According to the Guardian, "The city of Chicago's procurement services website shows that in March [2012] $757,657 was spent on 8,513 'retro-fit kits' to be fitted to police helmets. In February [2012] 673 of the same kits, which include a face shield and ear and neck protectors, were purchased for $56,632." Plus, the Chicago Police Department will be deploying its two, new, expensive long-range acoustic device (LRAD) sound cannons – which it bought at $20,000 a pop. These are the type of devices that were used by the Pittsburgh police to deliver high-pitched alarm tones during the G20 summit meeting there in 2009.

Then, there is the "secret suburban Chicago" police control center where "officials from more than 40 different agencies sit side by side with a giant central screen before them," as reported by the Chicago Sun Times. From the multi-agency command center, all different types of federal, state and local law enforcement can "view live video feeds from security cameras that are already up and running throughout the city".

complete piece:

May 19, 2012

This country is starting to suck.


Police release some of 9 arrested in Bridgeport
No charges against those who've been let go


Police found books in the apartment that included one with selected writings by Karl Marx. The resident said police handcuffed him and his roommate, ignored their complaints the cuffs were too tight, repeatedly called them communists and used anti-gay slurs.

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