Saturday, March 22, 2003

Why marching matters.
Following the war so I don't have to.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

(via Body and Soul)

Our enormous country is really a tiny principality, in which our leaders loom gigantically large in the quiet green landscape. Here in our country, our sky is actually not a sky, it's a specially designed impenetrable dome, and inside it we're calmed by soothing music and soothing voices. Every morning we're given our New York Times, which teaches us to see our leaders "as people." Our newspaper helps us to get to know our leaders, their quirks, their personalities, helps us really to identify with them. I understand their problems, what they're trying to do, how difficult it is. And I share a life with them--at least I share the essential things: a climate sweetened by electricity, warm in winter, cool in summer; armchairs, bathrobes, well-made boots, pleasant restaurants. Just like our leaders, I like the old songs of Frank Sinatra, I like Julia Roberts, I like driving quietly through the fall foliage in New England, I like lemon meringue pie and banana splits. Our leaders share my life, and they've made my life. I have my life because of them. Can that be denied? Is my life of pasta and pastries and books and movies not based on the United States being the mighty nation they insist it should be?

and more dissent...
The Last Great American Orator

"Today I weep for my country," Mr. Byrd, said, in his latest floor speech against the war. "I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of a strong yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed."...

..."When did we become a nation that ignores and berates our friends and calls them irrelevant?" he asked. "When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might?"

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

One more reason I need to switch to Apple.

Apparently my post on Free Trade wasn't sufficiently clear. I don't support the WTO at all and here are some excellent reasons why. I merely meant that the biggest mistake that anti-globalization protesters make is failing to mention that there are progressive humanitarian alternatives to the WTO.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

It's Tinfoil Hat time, boys and girls.

Seriously, though, this story got quashed hellaquick. I have a couple of questions.

1) Who did make the forgeries?
2) Why don't we seem to care?
3) Is this something worth pursuing?

My gut tells me that if they don't want us to know than we probably should look into this.
Number 9, baby.

You wanna feel better? Michael Savage is down to #28.
More than 10 percent of Chicago public high school students participate in Junior ROTC, a class designed, taught and partly paid for by the U.S. military, according to Chicago Public Schools data. Ninety-three percent of the junior cadets are black or Latino.

My 2 lbs. of organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee has just been shipped.

Fair Trade is a really obvious solution to the really big problem of exploitation and the global economy. especially for a caffeine addict with somewhat upscale tastes and a social conscience.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade connects producers and consumers in more equitable, more meaningful and more sustainable ways. Fair Trade is based on seven principles as quoted by the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), the largest association of fair trade organizations.

Fair Wages --Paying fair wages does not necessarily mean that products cost the consumer more. Since Fair Trade Organizations bypass exploitative middlemen and work directly with producers, they are able to cut costs and return a greater percentage of the retail price to the producers.

Cooperative Workplaces-- Fair Trade Organizations work primarily with small businesses, worker owned and democratically run cooperatives and associations that bring significant benefits to workers and their communities.

Consumer Education --Fair Trade Organizations educate consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and healthy working conditions.

Environmental Sustainability-- Fair Trade Organizations encourage producers to engage in environmentally friendly practices which manage and use local resources sustainably.

Financial and Technical Support -- Small-scale farmers and artisans in the developing world lack access to affordable financing, impeding their profitability. FTF members that buy products directly from producers often provide financial assistance either through direct loans, prepayment or by linking producers with sources of financing.

Respect for Cultural Identity --Fair Trade Organizations encourage the production and development of products based on producers' cultural traditions adapted for Western markets.

Public Accountability-- FTF members' finances, management policies, and business practices are open to the public and monitoring by the Fair Trade Federation.

I don't know much about the WTO or the people who protest it, but I think to simply be against World Trade is stupid and futile. For one thing many countries desperately need the money that could be pontentially brought in through trade. For another, it doesn't hold companies accountable.

One thing I've noticed is that whenever we liberals make a stink about how much this government is beginning to resemble a totalitarian regime, we are immediately accused of paranoia, hysteria, typical "tinfoil hat" stuff.

February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van
der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag)
building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and
reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief
action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler
was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed
around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."

...We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent
warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating
devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and
awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book
"Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.

Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin
Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the German
democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German
corporations and his policy of using war as a tool to keep power: "fas-cism
(fbsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the
extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business
leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Monday, March 17, 2003

...Go on and tell yourself again there are no secrets
Go on and tell yourself that you don't want to know
It's best that you believe that you don't hear the footsteps
That follow you around no matter where you go
Maybe you were thinkin' that it didn't matter
Maybe you believed nobody else would care
But once you've added every little lie together
You finally find the truth was always waiting there...
-Steve Earle, "Conspiracy Theory"
I've taken my Kerry links off because I'm feeling very uncertain right now of how I feel about him. I'll be honest; I'll support any Democrat that has a chance of beating Bush. But the Democrats need a good kick in the rear. Except for Dean, they don't take the anti-war stance seriously and they need to differentiate themselves from Bush by showiing they actually are listening to the people.
To watch or not to watch. I should have learned my lesson from the press conference fiasco a couple of weeks ago. I doubt it will hurt much. I can't possibly be more upset than I am now.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Okay, so adding comments is totally wishful thinking on my part but hopefully the few friends who check in will post some pity messages for me. Anyway, enjoy!