Return of the Quickies: The Important News Edition

So I went on blog break and being neurotic, I wrote more than a week’s worth of posts to cover it. I’m back now, though weary. So let’s get it on:

The Quicklist

  • guns don’t kill people, cops kill people Police officers in the Sean Bell case were acquitted making this like the 1 billionth time police officers have shot and killed an unarmed black person in N. America for the crime of being black and gotten away with it. Al Sharpton (who I normally ignore, especially after the Dunbar Village madness) called for a shutdown of NYC. I would appreciate suggestions on how we can hold the police accountable since the oversight committees and the courts seem to always fail. I lived in one community where they circulated pictures of police who had shot or beaten unarmed and/or innocent poc but that had little impact on the police themselves. I have police who read this blog, can you tell us your perception of the number of people in the force trying to hold people accountable and engage in non-racist, non-sexist, non-homophobic policing?
  • Teachers teach people – There was a teleconference on teaching about racism this past week.
  • Of Rice and Men Haiti had a series of food riots last week that went all the way to the steps of the capital. Their riots are just one of many nations peoples reacting to the rising cost of staples and shortages including the recently announced global rice shortage. Rice shortages have hit: Africa, Australia, and Asia. Interestingly, rice and corn were among the first staples to be genetically engineered and monsanto’s use of them in places like India led to the crop reduction and destruction of huge numbers of small farmers. And some people are starting to question the connection and point to corporate responsibility (and here I was thinking I was being paranoid). Rice is also a staple in most poor and brown people’s diets around the world. (the price of rice has gone up 41% in the last year)
  • Indigenous people weigh in, again – Speaking of the global food crisis and its link to the environment, 3000 indigenous peoples are currently attending the 7th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples to demand their voices be heard with regards to climate change, environmental racism, and the impact on their lives. There are some interesting case studies and stats from the International Work Groups Conference in February on Indigenous People and Climate Change as well.
  • and then someone stops them – 20 year-old Felicitas Martinez and 24 year-old Teresa Bautista, zapatista journalists from the Triqui indigenous community, were killed when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle. Three others were wounded including a 3 year old child. They were headed to a meeting on Oaxaca security.
  • Those silly teens keep having sex – Lawmakers in Iowa may have finally clued in that abstinence only sex-ed programs DO NOT WORK. Spurred on by a last month’s CDC report that 1 in 4 teen girls in the U.S. has an STD (omg) has prompted lawmakers to consider only funding comprehensive sex-ed programs.
  • racism silences some; others just keep yammering – WOC Bloggers have been shutting down their sites and taking silent blog breaks across the feminist blogosphere as a result of ongoing racism this is the list I have: BFP (gone), Black Amazon (left this weekend), Sylvia (extended leave), AngryBW – intermittent break, and me (canned posts – silent break still possible). Several also disavowed feminism . . . no similar exodus has occurred at other large feminist blogs so that the balance of voices seems to be decidedly more unbalanced.
  • Consumer-Liberals proving politics go beyond your wallet – The latest reason consumption models are just as bad on the left as they are on the right: soybean production is helping speed the depletion of the Amazon rainforest. Brazil is the largest exporter of soybeans in the world. Soybeans and cattle both take a considerable amount of land to raise. Brazil is getting that extra land by chopping down the rainforest for farm land. Ask your grocery if your brand of soy products comes from sustainable farms.
  • Congress proves to be more rational than the blogosphere (just this once) – In a historic move, Congress passed a genetic non-discrimination bill that should help millions get and keep health insurance despite genetic predisposition toward any diseases. Even Bush said he would sign on (ie not veto).
  • A little prayer – Reno continues to suffer major earthquakes that started back in February and have caused almost $1 million worth of damage. Though most post-Feb have been little quakes UNLV warns bigger ones are coming. My thoughts are with you.
  • Global Solidarity says your security or mine to Bush – The “Three Amigos Summit,” free trade talks amongst Bush, Calderon, and Harper happened last week and was met with activists from Mexico, New Orleans, and Canada’s People’s Summit (this is to google b/c the page was hacked earlier today and is down). Among the discussions sponsored by NOLA residents expecting to have their environmental and economic concerns addressed was the Bio Liberty program. Bio Libterty trains veterans and organizers to harvest green fuel and use it to help power the machines necessary to clear lots, particularly in the lower 9th ward. They represent a grassroots green movement that not only provides important training but stops the land stealing practice of charging lower 9th families fines each day for not clearing their land, and then taking their land when the fines reach the value of the property. They also help build flood/hurricane resistant green houses! In so doing, they also provide jobs for returning veterans to help them stay on their feet.

  • y more Bush no puede dejarnos atrás – This talk and play, opened the alternative discussion and directly questioned the idea of constructing security as an immigration issue where the immigrant is the criminal.

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