Note: This was really meant for my personal blog, but there is some political economy in here, so I can put it up here too. I will be finishing the thing about China, no matter how terrible it will be, soon.
RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from peace activists in the USA, Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A seminarian contributed this chapter about learning to love her enemies. Because of her activism, she prefers to remain anonymous.
To celebrate Armed Forces Day the military base near my seminary held an open house, a public relations extravaganza to improve their image and boost recruiting. They invited the public in for a marching band parade, a precision flying show, and a sky diving demonstration. They even offered free lemonade and cookies.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, which, it is commonly held, changed the world.
The impact of the attacks is not in doubt. Just keeping to western and central Asia: Afghanistan is barely surviving, Iraq has been devastated and Pakistan is edging closer to a disaster that could be catastrophic.
This is the face of state terror against civilians in the US and British-backed Gulf oil kingdom of Bahrain – the latest victim a boy shot dead by police. But there will be no call by Washington or London for a Libya-style NATO intervention to protect human rights here. No call for regime change. No call for an international crimes tribunal.
Fourteen-year-old Ali Jawad Al Shaikh died on 31 August when Saudi-backed Bahraini riot police fired a tear gas canister at the youth from close range. On the day that was supposed to be a celebratory end to Ramadan – Eid al Fitr – people across Bahrain were shocked by yet another “brutal slaughter of innocents” by the regime and the stoic silence of its Western backers. Continue reading →
Happy Labor Day! This is your third opportunity as President to go beyond your past tepid Labor Day proclamations.
You could convey to 150 million workers that you’re going to start doing something about your 2008 campaign promises to labor. Recall that you clearly promised to press for a $9.50 federal minimum wage by 2011. Arguing that having millions of Walmart type workers make the leap from the present $7.25 per hour will pump nearly $200 billion in consumer demand for our recessionary economy.
In spite of Mark Twain’s assertion, “There are liars, Damn Liars and then there are Statisticians,” sometimes numbers can tell and paint a very bleak and vivid picture. Current life expectancy for the average 65-year-old is twenty years; In 2008, 35 million Americans were over age 65; By 2030 85 million Americans will be over age 65, and The Fastest growing segment of the population is those over 85. In his monumental, extremely important and timely book, Alone and Invisible No More (Chelsea Green Publishing 2011), Allan S. Teel, MD, a Maine Family Practice physician with a sub-specialization in geriatrics, uses facts like the above to underly the importance of the message he conveys: The Baby Boom generation currently reaching retirement age is a “Gray Tsunami” threatening to bankrupt and swamp an already overburdened medical system unless changes are made.
I don’t believe the official story of 9/11 because I know the official story of 9/11!
During the past 10 years I have not met a single individual who, after doing research on the subject, switched from questioning the official narrative of the events of 9/11/2001 to believing the official narrative of those events.. It is always the other way around. Why do you think that is? There are good reasons for this, and I will try to explain this phenomenon right now.
Image by Mohammad A. Hamama, A reflected version! via Flickr
Here we go again. The cheering crowds. The deposed dictator. The encomiums to freedom and liberty. The American military as savior. You would think we would have learned in Afghanistan or Iraq. But I guess not. I am waiting for a trucked-in crowd to rejoice as a Gadhafi statue is toppled and Barack Obama lands on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit to announce “Mission Accomplished.” Continue reading →