Oct12

Happy Genocide Day

Posted by Dave on 10/12/09  ~  Posted in: Social Justice Ravings  ~  1 feedback »

Happy Genocide Day, or, as popularly known, Columbus Day.

It always amazes me that this country celebrates a man who discovered land that had already been discovered, and then enacted mass extermination of the existing people on the "new" land:

In 1493, when Columbus returned to the Hispaniola, he quickly implemented policies of slavery and mass extermination of the Taino population of the Caribbean. Within three years, five million were dead. Las Casas, the primary historian of the Columbian era, writes of many accounts of the horrors that the Spanish colonists inflicted upon the indigenous population: hanging them en mass, hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed, and other horrid cruelties.

And we have a holiday for this man?

Do you think if I "discover" a land that already has been discovered, and commit genocide against those already living there, would I get a holiday named after me?

Sep25

The Truth about the Lies about ACORN

Posted by Dave on 09/25/09  ~  Posted in: Social Justice Ravings  ~  2 feedbacks »

Sep10

Debating

Posted by Dave on 09/10/09  ~  Posted in: Blog Ravings  ~  Send feedback »

I am debating getting back in to this blogging thing. Perhaps.

And I have added my thesis to the "papers" section if you are interested.

Jul04

4th of July thoughts

Posted by Dave on 07/04/09  ~  Posted in: Patriotism and the Nation State  ~  Send feedback »

I had thoughts of musing on the 4th of July (which I have done previous, on fireworks, on other random writings, and on Howard Zinn and flags). Until I read this from Blake. Which is much better than what I have would have said.

So it read it over there.

Jun24

I don't like the White Sox. At all. But this is cool:

A plea for help

Konerko and Thome have made a rare public appeal on behalf of Children's Home and Aid, asking the Illinois legislature to reject a proposed $461 million cut in aid to the Department of Children and Family Services. Konerko and Thome have worked for the last three years to promote foster care and adoption.

In an op-ed letter, they say the state's proposed ''Doomsday'' budget would make the outlook for needy children ''dismal,'' cutting foster-parent aid by 50 percent and triple caseloads for Children's Home and Aid.

''The main thing is, Jim and I never feel what we do on a baseball field should influence people, but this is one issue that if I can, I want to put our focus on it,'' Konerko said. ''In this case, if we can influence it and reach as many people as we can, it's the right thing to do. We've already seen the good results [of the agency's work].''

Thome said there was no question about making the public plea.

''Our wives are heavily involved in this as well,'' he said. ''We don't talk about it a lot, but you do things in your heart, and this is close to our hearts.''

Illinois, and specifically Illinois' safety net, is facing possibly its worst crisis in its history. Social services are facing HUGE, devastating cuts, upwards of 75% of the current fiscal year budget. This would mean that thousands of families would lose access to affordable child care. Thousands of seniors and people with disabilities would lose access to home care services, forcing them into nursing homes. Thousands of individuals struggling with addiction would no longer get help. Thousands needed help for sexual assault and abuse will have nowhere to go. You can read more here.

Why? Because Illinois' politicians do not have the guts to do the right thing and raise taxes in order to save these services. Everyone in Springfield knows that a tax increase is necessary - Republican and Democrat alike. Yet they refuse to take that hard vote.

I am proud to be one of over 5,000 people who visited the capitol yesterday, urging legislators to raise my taxes. Yes, I wrote that correctly.

Raise my taxes.

Illinois cannot afford to do otherwise.

Jun10

Holocaust Museum Shooting

Posted by Dave on 06/10/09  ~  Posted in: Race Ravings  ~  Send feedback »

James W. von Brunn made a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC today, attempting to kill as many people as possible, it appears.

This man believed some scary, scary stuff, some of which, for now, can be viewed here:
Hitler's Worst Mistake: He didn't gas the Jews (also in a screen shot at TPM).

Here is his "bio" from TPM:

In 1981 Von Brunn attempted to place the treasonous Federal Reserve Board of Governors under legal, non-violent, citizens arrest. He was tried in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court; convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal. He served 6.5 years in federal prison. (Read about von Brunn's "Federal Reserve Caper" HERE.) He is now an artist and author and lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

UPDATE: TPM has a profile on the shooter. END UPDATE

And people wonder why we still talk about race issues in this country?

Racism is, unfortunately, alive and well here in America.

Thankfully this scumbag did not accomplish his mission. Unfortunately this scumbag did kill one individual. See update III.

UPDATE II: Hmm... so this is the second far-right terrorist attack in the last couple of weeks. And people complained about the Department on Homeland Security talking about far-right extremism?

UPDATE III: Here is his disgusting website.

UPDATE IV: CNN is reporting that the guard that was shot has died.

May22

Liberty University and the Democrats

Posted by Dave on 05/22/09  ~  Posted in: Religious Right  ~  Send feedback »

Fundamentalist Christian university teaches students how to hate their enemies:

Liberty University has revoked its recognition of the campus Democratic Party club, saying we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by the university....

May20

Being busy at work and spending my time at home with my beautiful daughter means very little time for blogging. Oh well.

But here are two completely unrelated stories that you should read:

  • Treasures Lost to Time :

    Shaquille ONeal, already a basketball legend, was speaking in his soft, husky voice about men with names like Woody Sauldsberry, Cleo Hill and Ben Jobe.

    "Some of these guys, Id never heard of in my life," he said. "So I guarantee you the younger players have never heard of them." ...

  • The Ugly Truth Behind Organic Food:

    The organic labeling standards do nothing to denote how farms treat their workers. Is your organic food a humanitarian nightmare?

May06

How Not to Join a Union

Posted by Dave on 05/06/09  ~  Posted in: Labor  ~  Send feedback »

May03

Happy Birthday Pete Seeger

Posted by Dave on 05/03/09  ~  Posted in: Action  ~  Send feedback »

May01

Happy May Day!

Posted by Dave on 05/01/09  ~  Posted in: Immigration  ~  Send feedback »

It was a beautiful day for a march...

Apr10

Good Friday - Prince: The Cross

Posted by Dave on 04/10/09  ~  Posted in: Sunday Worship  ~  Send feedback »

The Cross, from Prince:

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don't cry, he is coming
Don't die without knowing the cross
Ghettos 2 the left of us
Flowers 2 the right
There'll be bread 4 all of us
If we can just bear the cross

Sweet song of salvation
A pregnant mother sings
She lives in starvation
Her children need all that she brings

We all have our problems
Some BIG, some are small
Soon all of our problems
Will be taken by the cross

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don't cry 4 he is coming
Don't die without knowing the cross

Ghettos 2 the left of us
Flowers 2 the right
There'll be bread 4 all, y'all
If we can just, just bear the cross, yeah

We all have our problems
Some are BIG, some are small
Soon all of our problems, y'all
Will be taken by the cross

The cross

The cross

Apr08

Unifying Unions

Posted by Dave on 04/08/09  ~  Posted in: Labor  ~  1 feedback »

Woh... this is really, really big - Unifying Unions:

Today, the American labor movement proclaimed its intention to come back together -- helped, of course, by the fact that Democrats now control both Congress and the White House and are bent on enacting universal health insurance and, perhaps, some legislation that would make it easier for workers to join unions. After meetings in Maryland this week, the presidents of the two federations and of the nation's 12 largest unions -- including the National Education Association, which heretofore has not belonged to any labor federation -- announced the formation of the National Labor Coordinating Committee, an interim body that could pave the way for labor's reunification by forming a new federation with roughly 16 million members.

This could be the best thing that has happened to the labor movement in decades.

Of course, it could also turn into a complete and utter nightmare.

Either way, it is huge news.

Apr02

Deep thought: Whitey video?

Posted by Dave on 04/02/09  ~  Posted in: Barack Obama  ~  Send feedback »

Remember when there were rumors on the racist right that there was some secret video that would be released of Michelle Obama making racist statements?

Those were fun days...

Apr02

Quote of the Day

Posted by Dave on 04/02/09  ~  Posted in: Barack Obama  ~  Send feedback »

From the European press, on Obama (emphasis added):

Am I saying that he was a bore? Oh dear. I find that I possibly am.

But in a good way, arguably. He came across as a president who would consult and think thrice before bombing the smithereens out of a foreign capital.

Mar31

Happy Cesar Chavez Day!

Posted by Dave on 03/31/09  ~  Posted in: Social Justice Ravings, Labor  ~  Send feedback »

We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.

Today is the birthday of Cesar Chavez (for more background, go here).

Chavez is a man who played a HUGE role in organizing migrant farm workers (mostly in California) in order to have a unified voice against the abusive practices of the farm owners, and served for many years as the President of the United Farm Workers (UFW). Chavez started just like so many others - as a son of farm workers who then became a farm worker himself. He began to get involved in community organizing and quickly saw the need to organize his fellow farm workers.

He also was a man who not only stressed social and economic justice for farm workers, but he also stressed the absolute need for non-violent actions against the bosses rather than using violent means.

Here are some quotes:

You know, if people are not pacifists, it's not their fault. It's because society puts them in that spot. You've got to change it. You don't just change a man - you've got to change his environment as you do it.

...People think non-violence is really weak and non-militant. These are misconceptions that people have because they don't understand what non-violence means. Non-violence takes more guts, if I can put it bluntly, than violence. Most violence acts are accomplished by getting the opponent off guard, and it doesn't take that much character, I think, if one wants to do it.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community...Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Chavez was a man of principle. He was a man who was willing to embrace the struggle of justice, and embrace non-violent means to get to a point of justice.

If Chavez was still living today, I think he would be a bit disappointed. Disappointed that so many of his fellow migrant workers are still in awful conditions. Disappointed that we have yet to get to a point of just immigration policies. Disappointed that while progress was made, that there is still a long, long way to go.

But regardless of the disappointment, Cesar Chavez is a man who made a difference. He made a difference for thousands of farm workers and more generally, thousands, if not millions, of migrant workers around the country.

Mar30

PBS on JWJ's James Thindwa

Posted by Dave on 03/30/09  ~  Posted in: Social Justice Ravings, Labor  ~  Send feedback »

Take a look at PBS' Bill Moyers Journal profile of Chicago community organizer James Thindwa. Thindwa is the executive director of Chicago Jobs with Justice.

You can watch an excerpt below:

Mar18

BREAKING: NM Abolishes the Death Penalty!!

Posted by Dave on 03/18/09  ~  Posted in: Capital Punishment  ~  Send feedback »

Governor Richardson has signed the legislation abolishing the death penalty in New Mexico!!!!!

From Death Penalty Focus:

Today marks an extraordinary day in the fight to abolish the death penalty.

Legislation abolishing New Mexico's death penalty has been signed by the Governor! The bill replaces capital punishment with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
...
This victory in New Mexico brings us one huge step closer to eliminating the death penalty once and for all.

PLEASE THANK GOVERNOR RICHARDSON FOR DOING THE COURAGEOUS THING-- FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING AND SIGNING H.B. 285 TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY.

SEND THANK YOU NOTES TO:

Honorable Bill Richardson
Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 476-2200
For email, visit:http://www.governor.state.nm.us/emailchoice.php?mm=6

New Mexico becomes the 15th state to abolish the death penalty, and the second state since 1976.

You can read more at the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty.

Mar17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Posted by Dave on 03/17/09  ~  Posted in: Random Ravings, Barack Obama  ~  Send feedback »

Mar17

Detroit's Beautiful, Horrible Decline

Posted by Dave on 03/17/09  ~  Posted in: Poverty  ~  Send feedback »

Mar16

Call Governor Richardson NOW!

Posted by Dave on 03/16/09  ~  Posted in: Capital Punishment  ~  Send feedback »

From the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty:

On Friday, March 13, 2009, The New Mexico Senate voted 24-18 to repeal the death penalty in New Mexico and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. House Bill 285 passed the House last month and now goes to Gov. Bill Richardson for his signature.

Governor Richardson's office has set up a hotline to receive the opinions of New Mexicans (and anyone else!) on the issue. That number is 505-476-2225. Those wishing to weigh in via e-mail can do so through the governor's web site at: http://www.governor.state.nm.us and clicking on "Contact the Governor."

"This is an extremely difficult issue that deserved the serious and thoughtful debate it received in the Legislature," Richardson said in a prepared statement. "I have met with many people and will continue to consider all sides of the issue before making a decision."

Please take action RIGHT NOW to urge Governor Richardson to sign the Death Penalty Repeal bill whether you live in New Mexico, or anywhere else! IF you know people who live in New Mexico, please forward this and urge them to take this action immediately.

Mar13

New Mexico legislature votes to repeal the death penalty:

The state legislature voted today to repeal the death penalty, meaning New Mexico could become the 15th US state not to have capital punishment if the governor signs the bill into law.

Governor Richardson still needs to sign it, which, unfortunately, is not a sure thing.

But this is a huge step... and places New Mexico one step away from abolishing the awful practice of killing to show that killing is wrong!

Mar09

Can My Boss Do that?

Posted by Dave on 03/09/09  ~  Posted in: Labor  ~  Send feedback »

A wonderful site, from Interfaith Worker Justice: Can My Boss Do That?

Mar09

Savannah Grace Lowitzki!

Posted by Dave on 03/09/09  ~  Posted in: Baby Ravings  ~  1 feedback »

DSC02315

Most of you already know this, but for those who do not, Baby Lowitzki has arrived!

Savannah Grace Lowitzki was born Saturday morning at 6:53, weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 19 inches.

And, of course, she is stunningly beautiful, just like her mother.

Mom and baby are doing wonderfully well, and we should be heading home this morning.

You can see more pics at BabyLowitzki.com.

Mar04

Comments...

Posted by Dave on 03/04/09  ~  Posted in: Blog Ravings  ~  3 feedbacks »

I currently have the site set so that I can moderate comments. This is simply to deal with an annoying individual commenter that is not welcome here, as he does not appear willing to deal with 1) facts, 2) not making blatantly false personal attacks, and 3) the comment policy.

I will do my best to approve all comments as soon as possible.

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