Editor’s Note: Prior to giving a series of talks in Texas later this week, the author offered the following op-ed to the Dallas Morning News and the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram. Both newspapers in George W. Bush’s home state turned it down.
Um, can I get a “no shit”?
A Show of Riveting, Diverse Photojournalism. From the UTNE reader
Water Negotiator Aaron Wolf Spreads Liquid Hope. For Sarah.
Forget Shorter Showers | Derrick Jensen | Orion Magazine. One of my favorite activist writers!
WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.
Dear Mr. President,
These are the things that upset me, they make me want to educate, organize, and fight against you and the people who will benefit from this decision. Don’t make me do it, it’s not too late. I’m still sitting down. I’ll give you a few months.
Si Se Puede,
Hope in the Dark – Feministing. Quotes from the book…pretty amazing:
War is easy to abhor, but it takes a serious passion to unravel the tangles of financial manipulations and to understand the pain of sweatshop workers or displaced farmers. And maybe this is what heroism looks like nowadays: occasionally high-profile heroism in public but mostly just painstaking mastery of arcane policy, stubborn perseverance year after year for a cause, empathy with those who remain unseen, and outrage channeled into dedication.What’s missing…is an ability to recognize a situation in which you are traveling and not arrived, in which you have cause both to celebrate and to fight, in which the world is always being made and is never finished.
A better world, yes; a perfect world, never.
Baghdad survives now as a city defined not by its thousands of years of history, but rather segregation brought on by policies of deliberate ethnic cleansing. The city is now a checkerboard of neighborhoods walled off from one another by giant concrete-block dividers installed by American troops in an effort to keep Iraqis from killing one another, a phenomenon born from ethnic and religious differences which have violently come to a head in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Once we get beyond the pageantry and spectacle of the deception that is taking place in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities “formerly” occupied by U.S. troops, the pretense of progress is difficult to sustain.
Sarah Palin Shout-Out:
Truthdig – Reports – Don’t Cry for Me, Alaska. What can you say about a public official who ridicules those who would take the “quitter’s way out”—as she faces reporters to announce that she’s quitting?