Our new Secretary of State is famous for asking,”How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” I guess Bush and Cheney never asked that question…
The Last Letter
Tomas Young | TruthDig.com | 20 Mar 13
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
Design is about solving problems. Here’s a good example. Around the world people still fetch water in buckets, carrying them long distances on their heads. This limits the amount they can carry and isn’t great on their spines. With a simple design like this even kids can move fifty gallons of eater and have fun doing it.
TriFilm Productions | YouTube | Apr 09
If you’re interested in helping make the Q-Drum available to more people, visit their website at http://www.qdrum.co.za/
The image below is taken from the Huffington Post website display. It is a graphic demonstration of the absurd, obscene debate going on in this country over the use of guns. If America was a land of sane, intelligent people this page would not exist. If America was a place where common sense and human decency prevailed this page would not exist. This page is an indictment of the country and it’s insane fixation with firearms. To paraphrase a famous and too often used political phrase… ‘Gun laws are not the problem. Guns are the problem.’
In a provocative new book, “The New Jim Crow”, law professor Michelle Alexander points to the disparity of how this nation has waged it so-called ‘War on Drugs’ and the resulting imbalance in the racial makeup of America’s prison system as evidence of a de-facto ‘Jim Crow’ policy toward non-whites in this country. There is no conspiracy afoot, no midnight meetings of hooded zealots. But the net effect of America’s drug laws and their enforcement is the disenfranchisement of a significant percentage of the non-white population of this country. In age of a black President and seeming colorblindness in all other aspects of our society this idea may rankle some who thought we had buried that hatchet a long time ago. But then, they’re not sitting in jail or dealing the consequences of their non-status as a drug felon…
Drug Policy as Race Policy: Best Seller Galvanizes the Debate
Jennifer Schuessler | NYTimes | 6 Mar 12
Garry McCarthy, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, did not expect to hear anything too startling when he appeared at a conference on drug policy organized last year by an African-American minister in Newark, where he was the police director.
Preventing people from voting is as old as voting itself. As long as humans have relied on public selection of their leaders they have tried to manipulate the available choices and the results. The latest iteration of this custom is the attempt by conservatives and republicans to make it difficult for people of color or people of lower income to get to the polls or to exercise their right to vote when they get there. In her book, The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander follows this process to its next stage, suggesting that America’s legal system is a modern manifestation of old laws and customs designed to disenfranchise blacks by making them ineligible to vote. Some thought slavery ended with Lincoln. Some thought racism ended with Martin Luther King. Old habits die hard…
The GOP and Voter Suppression
William Galston | The New Republic | 3 Aug 12
Republicans should not be surprised if voter laws becomes a major topic of debate this election season—they will be the ones responsible for making it so. Over the past two years, the GOP has made a concerted attempt in a number of states to tighten voter registration procedures, cut back on alternatives such as early voting, and—most controversially—require would-be voters to show state-issued photo IDs as proof of identity. Because there’s such little evidence that these changes are needed to eliminate widespread voter fraud, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that many Republican legislators want to discourage voting among groups—especially minorities and the poor—that cast their ballots mainly for Democrats.
If you have any interest at all in the subject of race in America you must watch and listen to this interview by Bill Moyers with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, head of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author of ‘The Condemnation of Blackness’, Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. I have never heard anyone talk so clearly and effectively about American history and the black experience. Listening to this man is like learning that you only have one eye and it’s been shut most of your life…
Confronting the Contradictions of America’s Past
Khalil Gibran Muhammad | Bill Moyers | 29 Jun 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, one of the world’s leading research facilities dedicated to the history of the African diaspora. Prior to joining the Schomburg Center in 2011, Dr. Muhammad was an assistant professor of history at Indiana University for five years. While there, he wrote the book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America, in which he explored the roots of the popular conception of black criminality in America. Mr. Muhammad is the great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, and son of Ozier Muhammad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer.
Every once in a while a public figure comes along that outshines all the others. Take Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, NJ. Aside from being an eloquent and compelling speaker, Booker is a certified hero. A couple of months ago he was in the news for rushing into a burning house and rescuing a neighbor trapped inside. He’s not a firefighter, he’s a politician. Recently he was asked for his views on the latest political hot potato, gay marriage. Listen to how he responds…
In this video about life in occupied East Jerusalem the narrator says that there are crazy people in all communities. They are not the problem. The real enemy is the state which sanctions such violence in the name of religion. This is an incredible documentary about the day to day lives of people living in the cauldron of Jerusalem and discovering that ‘enemy’ is a very subjective term. What emerges is the realization that the greatest enemy is ignorance and religious zealotry and the cynical complicity of politicians who use this hatred to divide people or destroy them. It’s encouraging to know that in spite of the government’s complicity (including ours) in this ‘new apartheid’, this policy and the state that sanctions it are doomed…
Sheikh Jarrah, My Neighbourhood
Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert-Jabi | Al Jazeera | Apr 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Sheikh Jarrah, My Neighbourhood follows the story of Mohammad al-Kurd, a Palestinian teenager growing up in the midst of a remarkable nonviolent struggle at the centre of one of the world’s most contested cities. At the age of 13, Mohammad was evicted, along with his family, from their home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah by Israeli settlers seeking to create a permanent Jewish presence in the area.