Wednesday, December 13, 2006 

Nearest Book Tag from Elaina

Elaina over at Trash Talks Back tagged me with a unique take on the whole blog-tagging phenomena. Here are the rules as laid out on 'Laina's blog: 1. Go to the nearest book in your reach and turn to page 123. 2. Go to the fifth sentence of the book. 3. Copy the next three sentences, then tag someone else.
Gregoire penned a pamphlet, Lettre au citoyens de couleur (Letter to the citizens of color), which was circulated throughout Saint Domingue and, many claimed, fomented the rebellion. Shortly after, as the French Revolution descended into the Terror, Gregoire played a key role in relations between Saint Domingue's revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture and the French government. Gregoire proposed the return of Catholic missionaries to the island; Toussaint, fearful that a threatened British invasion would result in the reenslavement of his followers, wrote Gregoire regularly for advice.

Source: Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass, Volume 2 (I work in a library, what'd you expect. It was either that or the Uniform Building Code, Volume 3)

Tagged: Jimmy Higgins, Modern Pitung, and Left Spot.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 

Repost: 3000 Dead by Christmas? Help People Take a Stand

I'm going to follow Sankofa Meets the Future author Ajamu's lead and repost an article from Jimmy Higgins Fire on the Mountain blog. Enjoy.

In the first week of December, 31 US troops died in Iraq, bringing the total to around 2,920. At the current rate, the 3,000 death will be reported sometime between Christmas and New Year's Eve. If not, it will happen in January for a certainty.

Suddenly the US death toll will be back on the front page and back on the evening news, however briefly, fueling the deep and growing anti-war sentiment among the people of this country. The Associated Press reported December 8 that its latest poll shows 71% of the country disapproving of Bush's handling of Iraq and 60% in favor of getting the troops out within six months!

The anti-war movement must develop and hone ways of tapping and harnessing this sentiment. Bush refuses point blank to listen to anyone but his "gut." The new Democratic majority in Congress, far from providing the leadership people elected them to give, shows nary a sign of fighting for an immediate end to the occupation.

That's the point of this post: armbands or pin-on ribbons, black for mourning with the number 3000 in white, will be a powerful statement of sorrow and of protest in the days after that grim milestone is reached.

If activists make these in the coming weeks, not just for their own use, but in quantity to distribute to everyday folks--in shopping districts, on campuses, in front of government buildings, at busy mass transit stops, wherever there are people in motion--many will be moved to have an armband or ribbon pinned on them. As they go about their daily routines, they will bear silent witness to the anger so many feel.

Across this country, small local groups have stood up bravely for the last four years to oppose the war, holding weekly vigils, showing anti-war films in living rooms, firehouses and church basements, writing letters to the editor, lobbying elected officials, supporting anti-war candidates. Now is a good time for them to expand that work among their neighbors, co-workers, fellow students.

Making and handing out ribbons or armbands to mourn the 3000th death is a model for the kind of outreach work that needs doing. Many who agree with us will never carry a picket sign, let alone get on a bus to DC or San Francisco. The activists among us need to develop activities they can engage in with a low threshold of entry, and often that small first step--voting in a local referendum around the war, signing a postcard to a Congressman, or wearing a black ribbon--will help folks think about themselves and their responsibility to help end the occupation in a different way.

If big coalitions and groups like United For Peace and Justice, US Labor Against the War and Peace Action, progressive Internet-based forces like and others get behind this push in coming days, the impact could be substantial.

Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 

Scissors PSA

I am starting to worry that US educators may have stop teaching children how to properly hand someone scissors in Kindergarten. My job forces me to interact with college-aged women and men, and out of the 3 or 4 dozen times I have handed students scissors this year not ONCE have they been given back to me handle-side-first. I'm only in my early-mid 20s, and I vividly remember being scolded for not employing proper scissor handling techniques!

Monday, December 04, 2006 


John beat me in congratulating Hugo Chavez for his sizable lead in voting returns for the Venezuelan presidential race (rougly 2 to 1) with the timely usage of what might just be the most fun chant I know of - "¡Uh, ah, Chavez no se va!"

US media coverage of the election is as unbiased as anyone would expect. Maintaining high levels of journalistic integrety, CNN lead their story with an apt describtion of Chavez as the "anti-American socialist Hugo Chavez." Jingoistic yellow journalism at its finest.

To quote Anti-Flag, "Remember, in times of conflict all for-profit media repeats the ruling party's information. Therefore all for-profit media becomes state-run."

Friday, December 01, 2006 

When it rains...

Another new-ish blog of note has got to be Sankofa Meets the Future. Adding two new links under the Compañer@s // Other Blogs heading in one day, I'm euphoric!


New blog on the scene

We have a new edition to the M-L corner of the blogosphere. Comradely greetings are extended to Jimmy Higgins over at Fire on the Mountain. Nice literary reference for the blog's title and everything. Although I cannot lay claim to having read the book (if anyone wants to send me a copy for a christmas present you'll find no complaints on my end), based on what I understand of the book's premise I think that this blog will have a special place amongst my favorites.

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