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(4 in•ter•pre•ta•tions | de•ci•pher )

[27 Dec 2008|08:42pm]

I have an ethical question:

I just dropped out of college after a truly shitty semester.  I was studying sociology and anthropology - lots of talk about social justice and corporate/governmental abuses.  lots of marxist/feminist criticism.  I was also on a full scholarship, and often rather disgusted by being forced to live in the middle of a suburban consumerist area.  I'm planning to move to the pacific northwest rather than stay in the bible belt.  (other queer vegetarians are in rather short supply here...some community would be nice.)

is it justifiable to go into debt to return to school?  I'm thinking I'm probably going to apply to The Evergreen State College after I'm eligable for in-state tuition - to study ecology/biology (probably ethnobotany in grad school, or palynology - both relevent to climate change/anti-globalism sorts of work), probably with some sort of focus in sustainable agriculture and/or conservation.  I figure I could put that to use in an intentional community setting, or in activism/advocacy if I ever chose to return to academia.  is it worth being forced to compromise by getting a paying job to pay off the loans.  it would obligate me to pay taxes and probably participate in the consumer economy at least a little for several years.  if I ditched school and didn't have loans I wouldn't have to worry about money so much as food and shelter (and I think finding alternative means of providing them is very important), so it sort of feels like I have a choice between gaining useful expertise by living in the belly of the beast for a decade longer, or going and WWOOFing or joining a commune or something and learning more direct, hands on ways to change things myself.  I think hard science is one of the few places the existing hierarchy can positively contribute to social change...especially in the environmental arena.

does participating in "the system" in order to get an education constitute a moral compromise?  does the practical benefit that a scientific background could bring to movements for change outweigh the necessary financial participation in the inertia of a corrupt and violent economic system?

is it our responsibility to reject unfair advantages (like educational oppurtunities) as long as our brothers and sisters don't have them?  or is it a greater sin for well-intentioned, well-informed people to reject the oppurtunities they could use to make change?  I both better than most at academics (which is not a virtue, just a fact), and better at academics than anything else I can do.  it plays to all my natural strengths, and I really don't know what I would do otherwise.

I can't tell if I really want to go back to school because I think it's the best way to equip myself to help the world, or if I'm just saying that because I'm too much of a pussy to really reject my place in a culture of exploitation.  is school justified from a radical perspective, or am I just trying to justify to myself remaining bourgeois?

(1 in•ter•pre•ta•tion | de•ci•pher )

[04 Jan 2008|05:26pm]

Wear orange next Friday (Jan. 11) to protest the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba! I'm short on time right now, but I saw this, and it sounds like a great, very easy way to show public opposition to illegally detaining and torturing people.

x-posted to peoplerepublic 

( de•ci•pher )

petition for free nation wide vote on the SPP [08 Nov 2007|04:53pm]

Join the Canadian Action Party in demanding that before the next election "Prime Minister Stephen Harper ask the Canadian people if they want a Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) with the United States and Mexico. This is far too important to the future of Canada to be left to an unrepresentative Parliament and must be put to the People in a referendum!


( de•ci•pher )

[09 Oct 2007|10:49pm]



( de•ci•pher )

[08 Oct 2007|02:15pm]

Read this:
UK 2017: under surveillance

What do you think? At first, this sort of seems unbelievable. But it could very well happen, even sooner than we think. What do we do about this? That is the biggest question I struggle with when it comes to human rights and politics. What do we do about this? Any thoughts?

(4 in•ter•pre•ta•tions | de•ci•pher )

Bhopal and Dow [02 Oct 2007|12:26am]

I hope I'm not re-posting something, but I suppose it is more than worth it to post twice... or 3 times for that matter. Please pass these along.

I want you to watch this:

Be amazed by how effective this is on a global scale. This ad campaign makes you feel good about Humanity, The World, and The Environment.

After you watch that short video, click on this: http://www.bhopal.net/masks.html

and for a brief explanation, if not familiar with the incidents at Bhopal, you can look at these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_Disaster


It saddens me to know that people are buying into this crap. People are brainwashed. But you all know this already.

(x-posted on AdBusters)

( de•ci•pher )

[08 Sep 2007|10:01am]





There is a call for a national GENERAL STRIKE on 9-11, promoting No Work, No School, Buy Nothing…to protest: the endless war, torture, surveillance, lies & tyranny.  (Check out www.strike911.org )

(1 in•ter•pre•ta•tion | de•ci•pher )

LISTEN UP! [15 Aug 2007|06:21pm]
 LISTEN UP! I know you've been reading bulletins and stuff about Darfur and I know most of you HAVE NOT helped out! Why? Darfur is a country in Africa where hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are bing TORTURED, RAPED, and KILLED for no reason! And you can help stop this coilence! This survey seriously asked THREE questions that you can answer as little or as much as you want. The count is just over 7500 right now, and we need to get 10,000 surveys done by TOMORROW! Would it kill you to take TWO minutes of your time to help innocent people who are being tortured and killed every day? Can you really sit back and think 'that doesn't matter, I don't care, it doesn't affect me' and sleep at night? HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people are being killed in Darfur and YOU can help! And you think it doesn't affect you? How do you know that one day this genocide won't escape the borders of Darfur? How do you know that we won't experience another Holocaust? How do you know? How can you be sure? You know you can be sure? FILL OUT THIS SMALL THREE QUESTION SURVEY TODAY! ALl you have to do it go to this URL http://www.lifenets.net/dev/?q=node/15&refid=973 and fill it out. You don't need to sign up for anything. You won't get a million emails. You will however get a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind.

Repost that URL everywhere you can think to put it. EVERYWHERE. Let as many people know as possible! We need LOTS more surverys filled out by TOMORROW! Take my name out of this and repost this, I don't care! Find my other bulletins explaining more aout it and repost that too!

Do what you know is right.


Repost that URL everywhere you can think to put it. EVERYWHERE. Let as many people know as possible! We need LOTS more surveys filled out by TOMORROW!

( de•ci•pher )

Let us never forget [06 Aug 2007|03:51pm]

Published on Monday, August 6, 2007 by CommonDreams.org

Hiroshima Remembered—and Forgotten

by Olga Bonfiglio

Keyoko was there during the bombing of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945. At 8:15 a.m. just before the glass of her house shattered into tiny pieces, her baby started screaming. Shards of glass covered her scalp. Keyoko looked out the window and saw the mushroom cloud hanging in the air over the city. She went outside her house looking for relatives among the piles of bodies and animal carcasses killed by the intense, radioactive heat, she saw buildings and concrete streets with vaporized shadows of human figures etched on them. People were running around begging for water.

* * * * *

“Little Boy” had been dropped from the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that flew over Hiroshima. Upon impact, the bomb generated an enormous amount of air pressure and heat and a significant amount of radiation (gamma rays and neutrons). A strong wind generated by the bomb destroyed most of the houses and buildings within a 1.5-mile radius. When the wind reached the mountains, it ricocheted and again hit the people in the city center. By the end of the year 140,000 civilians were dead. Another 60,000 people eventually died from the bomb’s effects. Three days later a second bomb, “Fat Man,” was dropped on Nagasaki resulting in the deaths of approximately 70,000 people by year’s end. On August 15, Japanese Emperor Hirohito surrendered.<lj-cut>

* * * * *

Howard served in the Army during the Korean War. He is convinced that dropping the bomb on Hiroshima “was the right thing to do” because the war cost the lives of many Japanese and American GIs.
Today, Howard is concerned about North Korea’s nuclear capability. “If we can’t negotiate with them, they’ll attack South Korea.” He also recognizes that North Korea is more of a threat to the United States than the Arab countries. “I fear more for my family and not myself. I could cope, but I don’t want something drastic to happen to them.”
September 11 shocked Howard. Hearing about the lost lives made him very upset, especially since it happened on U.S. soil. Nevertheless, Howard is tired of hearing about 9/11 because he doesn’t think it compares at all to the trauma the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor caused.
“I lost a friend at Pearl Harbor and it still hurts,” he says.

* * * * *

Sister Barbara taught English in Hiroshima 1974-1994. As a volunteer at the A-Bomb Hospital where the 1945 bomb victims were still being treated, she saw people who were still badly scarred and some who were blinded or made deaf.
“The hospital patients changed my whole attitude toward life,” says Sister Barbara, who grew up during World War II and was “gung ho” to win it. “But I could see how war affected people’s lives.” Sister Barbara used to go to the Hiroshima Peace Museum every August even though it made her physically ill.
“It hurts you inside,” says Sister Barbara. “You realize that people are human beings and that something terrible happened to them.”
For Sister Barbara, the atomic bomb no longer means the end of a terrible war. Instead she understands that it has become a mechanism that allows one people to hold tremendous destructive power over another people.
“I’ve seen the results of atomic weapons,” she says. “It’s enough to make you ask: why did it have to happen?”

* * * * *

Every August 6 the city of Hiroshima holds memorial ceremonies to remember those who died from the bomb. Tens of thousands of people attend. The memorial ceremony begins with a march from the Peace Cathedral to the Cenotaph, the central monument of the whole complex and the site of the stone coffin that holds the Register of A-Bomb Victims. During the ceremony the name of each victim is read. At night the city holds a lantern float on the river and people buy candles for every family member lost to the bomb attack. Peacemakers all over the world have adopted the lantern float as a memorial of this day in their towns and cities. They insert prayers, thoughts and messages of peace in their lanterns.

* * * * *

The Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima provides a tangible record of the grim reality of that day and about the powerful impact that weapons of mass destruction can have on a city. The first half of the museum gives visitors a sense of life before the bombing; it showcases children’s toys, books and magazines as well as a model of the city before the bombing. The second half of the museum holds shocking wax figures of the victims: their clothes burned right off of them, their skin hanging in strips like tattered rags, flesh burned raw and sometimes exposed down to the bone, eye sockets gouged out.

Many pregnant women delivered deformed babies and women who carried eight-week-old fetuses bore children with smaller heads and lower intelligence. Children were also muted, that is, their bodies stopped growing. As a result, many young women exposed to the radiation vowed never to marry or to have children because they feared what they might produce. The message of the museum is “Ban nuclear weapons and make peace in the world.” Unfortunately, the world has not seen fit to heed this message. Here is an accounting of the nuclear weapons stockpiles in the world, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and published in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

Country - (Number of Warheads) - Year of First Test
United States - (9,960 (5,735 active)) -1945
Russia - (16,000 (5,830 active)) -1949
United Kingdom - (200) - 1952
France - (350) - 1960
- (130) - 1964
India - (70-120) - 1974
Pakistan - (30-52) - 1998
North Korea - (1-10) - 2006
Israel - (75-200) - undeclared

Olga Bonfiglio is a professor at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and author of Heroes of a Different Stripe: How One Town Responded to the War in Iraq. She has written for several national magazines on the subjects of social justice and religion. Her website is www.OlgaBonfiglio.com. Contact her at olgabonfiglio@yahoo.com</lj-cut>

(3 in•ter•pre•ta•tions | de•ci•pher )

x-posted a little [29 May 2007|09:54am]

I hope this is relevant... 

I am very interested in the "green" discourse, in sustainability, veganism, garabge-related problems, renewable energy, consumerism/consumer studies... all very fascinating topics to me. 

I am currently working on my thesis and  have decided to focus on the rise of the "green discourse". I am a political science and communications major  writing from a critical theory standpoint.

In my thesis, I would like to explore the renewed concern for the environment and how it stands in relation to the mainstream discourses of just some months ago that celebrated convenience and a "disposable" mentality. Can anyone point me in the direction of some good sources/links/communities I can look at? I am going to focus on blatant examples of cause-marketing like the RED campagin of course, but if anyone knows a magazine or website (or other) with content that is relevant for this research and could point me to it I would really appreciate it.

Stuff like:
- anything with the word "green" in it, particularly in relation to consumers, shopping, environmental protection
-  other content on marketing, environemental responsability and "green consumerism" that you find outrageous or perfectly reasonable
- Any new initative like Al Gore's Live Earth concert that combine entertainment with the "green" discourse
(I am doing content analysis)


(2 in•ter•pre•ta•tions | de•ci•pher )

Urgent update from Greensburg, KS [xposted] [19 May 2007|07:38pm]

Tornado Ravaged Greensburg, Kansas:
Kansas Mutual Aid Relief Workers forced out of city by police
Saturday May 19, 2007
by Dave Strano
Read more...Collapse )

(1 in•ter•pre•ta•tion | de•ci•pher )

[06 Mar 2007|09:22am]


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( de•ci•pher )

[06 Mar 2007|09:22am]


(1 in•ter•pre•ta•tion | de•ci•pher )

x-posted to ecofeminism [13 Feb 2007|07:28am]

Hello Friends of the Appalachian Mountains,

Mountain Justice Spring Break (MJSB) March 10-18, in Charleston, WV is about a month away and things are rolling along! We are very excited that this event is going to be monumental in continuing to build the student environmental justice network in WV and around Appalachia. MJSB promotes educating folks about the socio-economic and environmental abuses of the coal industry, resistance through community organizing, and working in solidarity with grassroots struggles for justice.


Quick Recap of What the Week is going to Entail:
-Workshops on the devastating issues caused by Mountaintop Removal (MTR) coal mining, and skills building for growing an accountable movement against MTR.
-Community Service projects around Charleston to help support some of the awesome initiatives going on in the capitol that support equality in the area.
-Documentary Film Fest hosted by Appalshop, including films about the beauty of Appalachian culture and the industry forces that continue to threaten it.
-Mountain Justice Music Festival filling the air and your soul with songs of labor struggle, opposition to MTR, and the strength of Appalachia's people.
-Coordinated Direct Actions (accompanied with trainings) to express dissent and stress the necessity to stop MTR right now.

What you can do to Help Out:
-Help us raise money! Consider donating if you have the spare change, reaching out to organizations in your community who may be able to help, or hosting a fundraising event for MJSB.

-Help us do outreach to get more and more folks out to MJSB. Forward this email, our outreach letter, brochure, and posters (attached and available on the website) to organizations or individuals that may beinterested in coming to and/or promoting MJSB.

For more, check out our website at:

-Register, and get any friends or fellow comrades who are coming to register so we can send out the necessary information you'll need in the upcoming weeks, and we'll have an idea of just how many people we need to lay the groundwork for.

Thank you for your time, support and solidarity, We'll be sending out updates over the next few weeks so you can be prepared for MJSB!

-The MJSB Planning Collective-

( de•ci•pher )

Call Congress [19 Jan 2007|08:42pm]

Dear Activists: Lynn Woolsey’s bill HR 508, see below, has just been introduced in the House. Grijalva is one of the original 24 co-sponsors, but Gabby Giffords is not yet a co-sponsor. Please call Grijalva’s office to thank him. AND please encourage Gabby to sign on, too! Toll-free to DC: 1-800-614-2803 (That is the # to call any member of the House of Representives)

A Fully Funded 6-Month Withdrawal Plan

by Lynn Woolsey http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0117-29.htm Read more...Collapse )

( de•ci•pher )

Critical questions for London companies [15 Jan 2007|05:40pm]

Hi all,

We're going to London for a week with school for some company visits.
The companies we're visiting are:

KBC Financial Products
Lloyd's insurance market
Financial Times

We're supposed to ask questions on those visits, and I prefer to ask some critical questions. So, my question to you: any ideas as to what critical questions I could ask these companies? Anything you want to know about them? (If anyone is really interested, I'll post the answers I get - if not, I won't bore you all with it.)

Thanks in advance!

( de•ci•pher )

new law enforcement database privacy invasion [30 Dec 2006|03:07pm]

Justice Dept. Database Stirs Privacy FearsCollapse )

( de•ci•pher )

Ten Things to Remember: Anti-Racist Strategies for White Student Radicals [22 Dec 2006|11:30am]

good article. you can substitute "white" for whatever privileged group you belong to (male, straight, middle class, etc.).

read and forwardCollapse )

( de•ci•pher )

girls gone wildly stupid! [03 Dec 2006|05:13pm]

girls gone wildly stupid!
wtf is with all this girls gone wild bullshit... makes me angry. here u have this barley legal girls who often are liquored up and coaxed into doing things for the camera, and then there are the girls who want their 15 seconds of fame and think its fun to show yet another pair of boobs to a video camera. these people have made a brand name out of this cheap behaviour, and people buy this shit. wow girl on girl kissing, in the sense of the stereotypical male fantasy, girls just doing it all for the camera. i've heard of teen girls who have ambitions to be on girls gone wild... greaaat. Maybe if we show some skin, the boys will like us and we can be famous! Yet again i can hear the wheels of feminism turning backwards (more and more each day) . The only reason this sort of behaviour is allowed and continuing becuz we are allowing it to as people, theres the sells and the takers, and if it was breed out of them to do/use/buy into this shite, then it wouldn't be around.

Boo about it: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture" by Ariel Levy.

other: some good anti porn argument faq's" http://www.oneangrygirl.net/antiporn.html

(7 in•ter•pre•ta•tions | de•ci•pher )

[12 Nov 2006|01:03pm]


Christianity was flawed to begin with.  It is a single idea (discipleship of Jesus) that has evolved over time to suit the needs of believers; to claim that the old way was flawed but that the new way is not doesn't work.  No new stuff has come along, and the old stuff (the Bible, etc.) has to be dismissed most of the time (Skeptic's Annotated Bible).

Some writers dismiss atheism as a social trend.  They say that atheism didn't grow out of logic, but was a reaction to blah blah blah.  Therefore, they would have you think, atheism is outmoded.

Regardless who is an atheist or what reasons they have, I can still arrive at the conclusion that there is no God without the aid of other atheists.  A Christian couldn't do that without other Christians.  Atheism is not merely a social trend--it's an idea independent of society.  Atheism can sprout in any culture; a specific religion, like Christianity, cannot.

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