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This Week the Ashland, Oregon city council proclaimed Independent Media week in Ashland. What's there...Rogue IMC, Low-powered FM community radio, SOU media center...etc
It's been almost 6 months since the passage of Measaure 37. Now is the time to minimize the harm done.
Oregon has a 30-year legacy of using land use planning to protect farmland, neighborhoods, and natural resources from uncontrolled sprawl. It's been good for Oregon's economy, good for our neighborhoods, good for the environment, and has protected Oregon's family farms.
Measure 37 was a call for fair compensation to landowners particularly harmed by land use planning. It was not a vote for unrestrained sprawl on farmland or abandoning environmental protections. And it should not be used as an excuse to eliminate the safeguards that have kept Oregon a great place to live.
[ Onward Oregon ]
I attended a lecture tonight at the UW-Madison campus by Christian theologian David Ray Griffin. This is the author of "The New Pearl Harbor — Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11". His most recent book is "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions". The title speaks for itself.
The lecture this evening was reported to be the first of its kind — the first time a formal lecture has challenged the official 9/11 story. In addition, it was being recorded for broadcast on C-SPAN! The lecture was entitled "9/11 and the American Empire: How Should Religious People Respond?" He started off with some definitions of "religious people" (apparently Christianity isn't the only religion), and "American Empire" — the conservatives would have you believe America is the world's first "benign" empire, but I think the point is pretty debatable. Then he gets into the heart of the lecture with a discussion of 9/11.
The selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope is bad news for the liberal currents within global Catholicism. Unless Benedict XVI (as Ratzinger has named himself as Pope) executes a 360 degree turn from his past, those who are developing and practicing so-called "dissident" movements within the Church will find little-to-no traction for official support or recognition from the Vatican.
Especially unsupported, in all likelihood, will be Liberation Theology. This is disappointing, since Liberation Theology is a philosophy that is action-oriented in its advocacy of the poor and its opposition to Capitalism, and which could inspire admiration not only among non-Catholics but even non-Christians (to say nothing of its many Catholic adherents).
Despite the frequent slurs common on this website and within Left circles in general, the world's billion-plus "Christians" cannot be painted with a broad brush as univerally close-minded, conservative, and authoritarian. In the Catholic spectrum, Liberation Theology offers a radical political analysis and prescribes a life based on fundamental change of The System and The Self. Unfortunately, Ratzinger's record reveals his contempt for such concepts.
A short history of the Popes named BenedictI was curious as to the symbolic meaning of the term Benedict, and the following is the result of my research. It would appear that the meaning of 'Benedict' is further consolidation and centralization of power in the office of the Papacy, a continuation of the right wing extremism and authoritarianism characteristic of the previous Pope, and perhaps even an implied threat against any more Priests out there who might be involved in sexual scandals.
There really isn't much to be said for Pope's named 'Benedict', the majority of them being rapists, murderers, and drunks, in the tradition that characterized the Papacy up until the time of reformation. Given the sordid reputations of Pope's named Benedict, this leads one to conclude that the inspiration for Cardinal Ratzinger's choice of a name could only have been Benedict XIV, whose policies on Papal authority bear a notable similarity to the policies of the previosu Pope, John Paul II. Certainly no one would want to be associated with or named after any of the other Pope's called 'Benedict', as you can tell by considering the following short biography of a collection of rascals.
Eight of us (and two children) showed up with huge peace banners and flags. A light wind in the dampness made it rather cold in the morning until the sun showed up more after noon. Rep. Jim Moeller of the 49th District came out and talked to each of us. Two of the group did speeches recognizing the power legislators have to keep our nation on track. While we were on the front steps, we realized most people were going out the back entrance. Before heading home, we stopped in downtown Oly to fill our appetites for food. Even though we were a small group, it left me with a big feeling of fulfillment that we worked for peace. original callout
Recently, I've been discussing with friends the prospects for Life After Cheap Petroleum. It's surreal sometimes to see the way we all go about our lives as if there were no end to the Potemkin Village fossil fuel economy we've built ourselves. Sometimes, talking about the very real reality of resource depletion, you'd think you were talking about UFOs or something.
What follows is a series of private emails, as well as some closing thoughts of my own, prompted by this discussion, and some resources I've found that people may find timely.
(3:40 am 4/18/2005) Biscuit forest defense activists erected a multi-layered blockade at Fiddler Timber Sale in the Siskiyou National Forest (again) to continue the fight against the logging of the Biscuit Fire Area. This is the most extensive blockade established yet in the battle for the Biscuit. Around 3:30am today (April 18), the first log truck of the day encountered six defenders with their arms locked into colorfully-painted 1,200 pound concrete-filled barrels. Directly behind the barrels, a traverse line was tied across the road, anchoring a line supporting a bipod 120 feet further back. This set-up effectively block[ed] the road into the timber sale in three seperate places.
Today's Conscientious Objector and the Draft workshop was a reeling success! About 30 teens and numerous adults shared pizza and refreshments while they learned some pointers on filing as a coscientious objector. Kay Ellison of Vancouver for Peace led the 2-hour session. Cindy Fisher did initial "ice-breaker" games and John G. of the War Resisters' League in Portland explained some requirements.
The difference between being a pacifist and a conscientious objector was explained. A pacifist will not use violence, even to protect themself, while a C.O. is conscientious opposed to all war. Two identical forms were distributed, one for those from religious-based communities, and the other based purely on one's conscience. The form is to be submitted and mailed, along with a copy to oneself. It was recommended to mail it certified, signature receipt requested. One could also give an attorney their copy and/or put it in a safe box.
According to The Oregonian, TriMet's citizens advisory board is concerned about crime and fare evasion outside the area in downtown Portland Fareless Square, a hallmark of downtown Portland's transit hub since 1975, may be headed for major modification -- or elimination -- because of concerns about security and fare evasion.
Since the 1970s, TriMet's "Fareless Square" has been a revolutionary hallmark in public policy, preventing traffic jams and reducing parking nightmares in central city. This system is directly responsible for a livable and pedestrian-centered downtown.
Thirty activists from Eugene-Springfield forcefully protested the war in front of the main mail drop-off point for last minute Lane County tax filers. About five thousand cars with eight thousand people passed by our group at an average of 5 mph as we stood lined up for nearly six hours along their path, holding graphic images of the injured casualties of the war: children, men, women, and soldiers, bearing messages like, "Your tax dollars paid for this," or "It's our money, stop the war."
It was Friday night, the absolute last time that people had an opportunity to file their tax forms without penalty. We surmised that their state of mind was not given to favorable feelings toward the federal government at that time. We also had done solid preparation by having three different parties do reconnaissance at the scene beforehand, and by contacting the Springfield Police Captain in charge, Rick Lewis. We were assured of their cooperation, and we reassured them of our cooperation in keeping the scene safe for motorists and pedestrians. We thought this was an especially good idea since we were pretty much all of the pedestrians.
more images: The Posters
On Saturday night, Judy and I saw and heard the currently notorious Ward Churchill speak at Reed College. At first this was supposed to be a big public event that charged admission but the Reed power elite were somewhat frightened off and the evening was turned into a free student -- teachers only event. Judy and I got in via a special "guest list." Churchill became famous because he wrote some harsh and extreme things right after 9/11 that were interesting, challenging but definitely on the insensitive side.
His basic thesis is that the US acts like a global bully, brute killer and exploiter and that it has done this since its founding. America was cruising for a bruising and inevitably on 9/11, its chickens came home to roost. The right wing turned Ward into a super villain and demanded he be fired from his teaching post, he became an official member of its most hated list. Actually Ward's ideas aren't all that original, they are kind of a mix of historian W.A. Williams, Tragedy of American diplomacy and the Weather Underground's Prairie Fire. For him, it was all a matter of bad timing. I wasn't sure how I felt about the guy, till I head him speak.
Now, I like him. He seems kindly and he has a genuine sense of humor. His speaking style reminds me of another likable guy, Panther cofounder Bobby Seale. Churchill is a fine, even elegant speaker with something vital and important to say. He presents his position logically and factually and then, unlike the cowardly George Bush, he verbally and humorously takes on all comers. The audience of 500 rewarded him, at times, with thunderous applause. Strength to you Ward Churchill and carry on.
AUDIO: download and listen to the full speech I download full speech and question/answer session I Interview with Churchill after speech by local independent journalist
BACKGROUND: Ward Churchill Under Attack (from indymedia.org)
These are two audio files taken from a presentation given on February 3, 2005, at the First Unitarian Church, by Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Representative from Oregon's 3rd District, and Mark Weisbrot, Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington D.C. Mark is also co-author of "Social Security: the Phony Crisis" published by University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Earl [Blumenauer began] his power point presentation with a picture of Ida May Fuller, the first U.S. citizen to receive a Social Security check, on January 31, 1940... [and delved] into changes proposed by the Bush administration, and demonstrating how these changes will not help retirees, but actually make things worse. Then Mark Weisbrot [began]... by stating the System is not in trouble. "The truth is, according to the numbers that President Bush is using, the System can pay all the promised benefits for the next 37 years... [and outlined the] "tricks that have been used," [stating that] "... they inflate the health care costs. 'they say, look what's going to happen to Social Security and Medicare in 50 years, and that is indeed as you saw, (in Blumenauer's presentation) explosive, if you put Medicare on there. But Medicare is a separate program, so that has nothing to do with Social Security, and has very little to do with the aging of the population. It has everything to do with the fact that our health care costs are out of control. In the United States we spend nearly twice as much as the other developed countries do on health care and we still leave about 47 million people uninsured. That's the real problem.'" [ Read More ] [ PhilosopherSeed.org | Future of Social Security - on cable access | More PIMC articles on Social Security ]
My power bill was gigantic this month. More than $100. I couldn't believe it. It's just been going up up up, no matter what I try to do to save energy. And I know I'm using less energy than I was using last year. So I called the utility company, and was told, "off the record," that yes, it does have to do with Enron. We're paying extremely high prices for power, in effect, to bail out the industry after the Enron scam.
Apparently, it's legal! Tell me how this works? Why is Kenneth Lay living in a mansion while I bail out an industry that allowed him to suck my hard earned money, which I need to support my family, right out of my pockets? And why are we now sitting in the stands just watching, while industry officials and politicians wrangle over who they will sell our power company to now that Enron is bankrupt? These utilities are no longer theirs to sell. This is OUR energy. We bailed their asses out, that makes them OUR power companies now. No, we don't have to buy anything from those corrupt pigs. And no, they don't get to sell them to anyone else. PGE is not theirs to sell anymore, it's OURS. We paid for it, fair and square. [ Read More ] [ Do something useful: Oregon Public Power Coalition | More PIMC articles on Enron ]
The local chapter of the War Resisters League and friends held signs to passing drivers, walkers and bicyclists on the Burnside Bridge Friday morning.
Taxpayers in the U.S. are paying over $1 billion dollars a day to the military. This averages out to $10 for each household every day to the I.R.S. for defense.
If the United States military expense in Afghanistan and Iraq were included, the U.S. taxpayers are paying over $1 billion a day more than any other countries' citizens in the world are paying for their military. This includes Russia, China, Germany, India...
As has been reported in the local media and pdx indy media a Mr Giusto [Multnomah County Sheriff] has pushed the idea that potental terrorists are using the fareless zone of Stumptown. So how did he come to this conclusion? And what is this country leading to?
Well apparently removing a fareless square would give "code enforcement" officers an increase way to harrass those individuals unwanted by the upper classes and unwanted by those that submit to the corporate complience of society marching to outward police state. Any police officer complying to such silliness should be relabeled as "code enforcement" and put down their badges in shame...
So who are the terrorists riding our buses? Arabs? Muslims? Sikhs (because they wear turbans)? Maybe those teens? Maybe hippies? Maybe the homeless? Maybe the black clad anarchists? Maybe black people? Maybe Mexicans? Since the US has decided that E.L.F. and A.L.F. are terrorists I guess Mr Bernie Giusto would chose them first.
background: [ loss of fareless square? ]
Yesterday I discovered that Portland State University is having its 3rd annual "emerging student leaders conference" sponsored by Starbucks at 9:30 am, April 16th at the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom. On the full color, 11x 17 inch, laminated poster, under the list of sponsors, the sponsor name of Starbucks preceded the name of "The Student Affairs Dean of Student office" and the "Student Orientation Programs." Is this the way that PSU is orientating new students? By teaching them to accept 'emerging student leadership' sponsorships from the world's worst multinational corporations?
The conference is ironically titled, from a quote by Malcom Gladwell from his new book: "How Little Things Make A Difference." When you type in "Malcolm Gladwell" and the word "starbucks" into google the first thing that comes up is a review which describes how Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book full of praise for the business practices of Starbucks.
Your actions do make a difference! Boycott the Starbucks emerging Student Leaders conference and attend a different event on the same day that makes a real difference!
Trees older than our country are currently being logged again in the Scott and Salmon Watersheds of the Klamath National Forest. Following a two-year lull in which environmentalists had successfully stopped old-growth logging in the Klamath, and in which the Forest Service had begun to focus less-controversial small diameter thinning projects, ancient forests are once again being logged at the 2,640-acre Jack Timber Sale.
"The Forest Service is not only ignoring scientist that say old-grwoth logging must stop in the Klamath River to save salmon, but they are cutting old growth next to the Scott and Salmon Rivers and on Russian Wilderness trailheads and are saying they cutting are small trees." said Regina Chichizola with the Klamath Forest Aliance.
Following the massive salmon die-off in the Klamath in 2002 due to reduced river flows and high water temperatures, resistance to Forest Service old-growth logging in critical habitat for salmon has greatly increased.
A groups of lively protesters entered the Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham WA yesterday to raise awareness around Victoria Secret's contribution to forest destruction.
"It was a short lived but lively protest at the mall today" says Missy Hope and Bellingham resident who left work to participate. "It is so important that Victoria Secret knows that we are opposed to their role in endangered forest destruction and that we will continue to act out until they commit to using 50% post consumer content in their catalogs." The group was dressed in flashy lingerie when they delivered a letter to the manager stating that "89% of Americans want companies to be socially responsible." Carrying a banner reading "Catalogs = Clearcuts" and singing songs drew not only the attention of in store shoppers and passersby, but also the security guards that quickly escorted the group out of the mall.
This week the City of Gresham facilitated a positive and productive meeting between residents and developers to review the scope required for the Wal-Mart traffic study. Fifteen community members met with Kittelson, Pacland and City staff to address traffic concerns including local schools, pedestrians on Springwater Trail, neighborhood short-cuts, Fire Station 73, and the 2-lane bridge south of Safeway. The meeting resulted in an expanded study scope to address those issues. The City has requested a list of "hot-spots" from members, due Friday, to include in the final scoping requirements. Please forward any questions or concerns regarding traffic issues in your area. The City now estimates 3-4 weeks before the traffic study is complete and the review period will begin.
NOT ANOTHER WAL-MART RALLY! Saturday, April 16 from 11am - 1pm. Past street-corner rallies have been very effective at raising public awareness, gathering signatures to our petition, and selling yard signs. This weekend we will target the intersection at 182nd & Powell, and will meet in the Shari's parking lot. We are seeking volunteers to come for at least one hour and help picket the site and wave at traffic. T-shirts are now available and will be offered at a discount to rally participants!
[ Gresham First ]
Those people wearing purple during the noon hour Wednesday on Siskiyou Boulivard in front of Southern Oregon University's Churchill Hall were university workers, members of SEIU, the Service Employees International Union. It was a cold brisk day and the 30 or 35 folks who skipped lunch to assemble were not there for their health.
They were out there for their healthcare!
State workers all over Oregon are under attack. The employer is not satisfied with this pay freeze of the last two years, and now in current bargaining wants state workers to start paying towards health care premiums, too!
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