The link above goes to an editorial in The Olympian on October 24th. I have worked with children in and out of schools for the past 40 years and I completely agree with the corruption that goes on at all levels. I graduated from the T.E.S.C. teaching program in 1986, after having taught pre-school, worked with behavioral problem kids (boys & girls) in the public schools and mental health after-school programs for 14 years. When I attended the Evergreen program, which was conducted by the University of Puget Sound on the T.E.S.C. campus (due to no accredited teachers at Evergreen at the time), I made the decision, based on several experiences, never to teach in the public school system ever. I found it degrading to children and adults. Teachers complained constantaly about abuse heaped on them by administrators up and down the hierarchy. Children were abused by adults both physically and emotionally (some in my presence) and those in supposed authority did nothing except call me on the carpet for making waves.
I find the whole business of eduction is not for educating human beings to be human beings but to fit into the corporate structure of how the United States has become a corporate surrogate at all levels. And business is the right word because our current system stems from the industrialization age in which workers were required for factories as the rich needed fodder for their mills and other exploits of humanity; hence the bell and whistle schedule in the schools which got people ready for the bell and whistle routine of the mills and industries later in life. Ever notice how going to the bathroom got to be such a monitored issue in school. Ever notice how monitored going to the bathroom is as a worker. Coincidence?
"They're fighting for our freedoms." That's one chant. As though saying it over and over and over will make it true. I have yet to get an answer from the chanters to the question, "What freedoms are they fighting for?"
Those of us who speak out against the foreign (or domestic) policies our politicians create out of whole cloth are called lots of names - traitors, unpatriotic, protestors, liberals, unamerican, ___________ (fill in the blank). There is absolutely nothing wrong with being against hate. We even have hate laws to add on if a crime is especially heinous. Yet when hate rises to the national level of invasion of another country it seems to be not only tolerated but even blessed by someone's version of some god somewhere. It's as though we haven't gotten past the superstitious phase of offering up sacrafices in order to get into heaven. What's the thought - Maybe if we kill enough non-believers Jesus will greet us at the pearly gates?
The rebuttal arguments become farcical in the side-stepping, red-herring, way they are applied to this conversation. I can't just say I'm against the use of illegal force, whether at the local or national level, without at least one comment about some hypothetical, "Well, what if it was your mother being held captive?" Or equally as silly, "If you don't like it here, why don't you leave.". Nothing about the issue.
So, corporations are now people. Seems another politician is caught lying every week. The rich get tax breaks. Fox News continues to spew garbage. And lots of people get to behave like idiots.
Someone, please. Anyone. What freedoms are we missing out on?
Tonight: Washington Public Campaigns and the Olympia chapter of Move to Amend sponsor a film showing followed by an open discussion of the Citizens United v. FEC decision. It's at Traditions Cafe, and it starts at 7pm. More information below the fold.
The Story of Stuff Project has a new video about the decision to allow corporations to make direct contributions to political campaigns.
Here it is:
The big buzz is NATIONAL SECURITY. OK, I hear that. Uh, but what does it mean?
Well, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotamayor says we have to choose between freedom of speech (aka, WIKILEAKS) and National Security. So I guess we have to decide if we want to know what our government officials are doing [supposedly] in the name of the people - us - or do we want them to keep it all a secret? Let me think on that for a minute......
Keeping what a secret? Well, for example, are our U.S. soldiers killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan? Do you really want to know that? Would it just make your day that much brighter to know that, yes, they are! Can't you just trust your neighborhood politician to let you know that they are keeping you safe from some Afghani whose daughter was just raped by a vengeful marine, or whose unarmed son was just shot by a passing patrol. That same Afghani might just want to board some plane, fly over here and cruise the streets of, let's say, Cinncinati and start yelling "Americans, stay in your own God damn country."
So, those governing this country need to keep things secret in order to protect us, you and me, from people they have pissed off in some other country around the world. And that, my friends, is National Security.
PS - As our C.I.A. & F.B.I. agents jokingly say, "If we told you the secrets, we would have to kill you." Now it's up to you. Do you really want to know? I'm still thinking........
There were dozens of May Day demonstrations yesterday in cities all over the USA. The New York Times has a story about the relatively high turn-out compared to some other recent demonstrations.
I went to Seattle and marched along with about 10,000 other people, on a route that was about 5 miles, from Judkins Park to Memorial Stadium. The purpose of the march was to demonstrate for immigrant and worker rights, and to protest racist policies. The march was large, there were enough people to solidly fill in the whole of four-lane city streets for a length of about 3/4 of a mile - about 12 or so city blocks.
I was quoted in a Seattle Times article about the demonstration by Christine Clarridge (link).
"It's racist, when you get down to it," said Robert Whitlock, of Olympia, one of Saturday's marchers. "I'm here to demonstrate in support of immigrant rights, worker rights and to protest racist policies."Here are some photos:
Slideshow (31 photos) below the fold:
Tacoma, WA - People came from near and far (Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia, and Portland) for a protest rally against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. The detention center is run for-profit, by The GEO Group Inc. According to the description on company's website:
GEO(NYSE: GGI) is an industry leader and pioneer in the privatization of correctional facilities throughout the world and is the largest publicly traded company engaged solely in the business of managing correctional and detention facilities. The company offers a comprehensive range of prison and correctional related services to federal, state, local and overseas government agencies.Meanwhile, many people have complained about abuse in the prison, where many individuals (the facility has capacity for over 1,000,) whom have not even been accused of committing any crimes, have been inhumanely detained for months, and in some cases for years, at a time1.
There is more to this story, much, much more. One participant in today's rally called the ICE facility "Guantanamo Northwest". Perhaps that was an exaggeration - but what the conditions are really like inside the prison are not well known to most people.
Another participant informed the assembled rallyers that prisoners in the facility are given pills to keep them calm.
Again, there is much, much more to this story. And certainly it is important to connect the issue of immigration and violations of human rights, with abusive international policies of socio-economic and political dominance and exploitation.
Update: Members of Olympia based groups such as the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (OMJP), Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO), Evergreen Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano Aztlan (MECHA), Bridges Not Walls (BNW), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and Evergreen Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) were instrumental in organizing and participating in the rally.
Other groups, such as One America and The Tacoma/Pierce County Progressive Roundtable were also instrumental in making this event happen.
[updated with segment from Democracy Now! and an additional comment.]
Regarding the discussion about Capitol Lake, it seems to me that the lake is unnatural and environmentally destructive. It seems to make sense that the correct way forward - the way that it ecologically correct (and therefore in the long-run also economically correct and socially just) - is to restore function to the natural estuarine ecosystem.
I think it's understandable, considering how industrialization has divorced us, as a society, from the natural world, how it would be difficult to imagine living - to imagine life - in an environment that comes complete within healthy ecosystems, to imagine life in a stable and productive ecosystem, an ecosystem that is teeming with life. It's a real contradiction with our present reality of ecological disease; at one time this area teemed with wildlife. For my part, I believe that to restore ecological health, vibrancy and vitality is an ideal to strive for.
Democracy Now! video below]
The following is a three part video series containing a speech by Mari Margil about law, environmental protection and regulation, and corporate power. After the videos there is an excerpt from and a link to a related article by Mari Margil from Yes! Magazine.
Video Description: The associate director of the Community Environmental Defense Fund (CELDF) describes the inspiring, groundbreaking work she and CELDF are doing to recognize Rights of Nature in law in both the U.S. and Ecuador, which recently became the worlds first nation to enshrine such rights in its constitution.
Mari Margil Part 1 (of 3)
Interview by CS Song on KPFA, Pacifica Radio's Against the Grain, with Stuart Archer, author of Army of the Republic:
In Stuart Archer Cohen's novel The Army of the Republic, unbridled privatization spurs grassroots activists and underground militants to directly confront the power of the State. Cohen talks about organizing, revolution, corporate power, and other issues addressed in his book. Also, Gordon Edelstein directs Athol Fugard's Coming Home at Berkeley Rep.
I post this because in relation to the conversation that has occurred about imperialism and American society on the post about the Army Recruiting Station Protest.
On a side note, the opening lines of the first film in the series reminds me of the Lorax. Here's a description of the video series by the maker:
"This series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy." - Adam Curtis
Ralph Nader is scheduled to appear on the Bill Maher show on HBO tonight. Also scheduled to appear is Chris Rock! Sounds like it will be a good show.
Corporations are "stealing all the money." - Chicago Alderman Mays Gilliam (played by Chris Rock)
Head of State: That ain't right!
Nader says no to bailouts for Wall Street crooks.