2007
03.19

The Tomato Man’s website

 

TomatoManandDaughter.com – here’s a new website I did for my heirloom tomato plant growing friends up in Tulsa

2007
03.10

 

DemocracyNow.org: Protests Sweep Latin America as Bush Begins Five-Nation Tour

Radio Habana Cuba: US President George Bush Encounters Hostile Demonstrators In Uruguay

Radio Habana Cuba: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Addresses Thousands of Supporters in Argentina

. . . He dismissed claims that his trip to Argentina and later Brazil, is aimed at counteracting Bush’s Latin American tour, and called the US leader a political cadaver.

The Venezuelan leader noted that for Bush to be able to speak about social justice, US troops must be immediately withdrawn from Iraq. He ridiculed the small amount of assistance the White House has brought with it to offer nations on the regional tour, recalling that the United States spent some 600 billion dollars on war and the military last year.

It appears that after seven years Bush has finally discovered there is poverty in Latin America, he quipped suggesting that if the US really wanted to help end poverty it could start by forgiving the region’s foreign debt and eliminating free trade policies.

I’m watching CNN right now and am so encouraged to see the massive protests happening at every one of Bush’s stops on his speaking tour of Latin America. (including 30,000 in Sao Paulo, Brasil!!!) Finally the people of Latin America are standing up together against the US and against oppressive economic policies. (of course, so many of their governmental leaders are still being lapdogs but maybe that will be changing soon)

2007
03.10

Muskogee Phoenix: Keeping Cherokee a living language — Tribal educators immerse children in their native tongue — This is such a good thing to see. While I think it is great for older folks to try to learn the language (I’ve been struggling with it off and on for years), I think the best hope for the language’s survival is for there to be more immersion programs for youth)

Muskogee Phoenix: The people speak — Nation shames itself with freedmen vote (a LTE written by myself) (see also this recent JMBzine post on the subject of the Cherokee’s mistreatment of the Freedmen

2007
03.07

 

This is an update to an earlier JMBzine post.

KTUL.com: Former Pastor Not Guilty Of Lewdness Charge

Washington Post/AP: Ex-Pastor Acquitted of Sex Charge

Gay.com: Pastor defends right to solicit men

Wikipedia.org: Lonnie Latham (I’ve done some editing on this story with the latest news on his acquittal)

2007
03.04

MSNBC: Cherokee Nation votes to expel ‘freedmen’ — Tribe revokes membership of an estimated 2,800 descendants of slaves

Muskogee Daily Phoenix: Cherokees vote out freedmen

2007
03.04

 

I just bought a really neat (and tiny and best of all CHEAP) portable shortwave radio receiver from Radio Shack which I’m really enjoying. I’ve listened to SW radio in the past but this is the first time I’ve owned a receiver with a digital frequency display which really makes tuning into a particular broadcast much easier.

So far my favorite channel to tune into is Radio Habana Cuba (click here for the English-language version of their website).

You can tune into their broadcasts at…

0100-0500 UTC: 6000 khz, 9820 khz (or 7-11 p.m. Central time)
0500-0700 UTC: 6000 khz, 6060 khz, 9550 khz (11 p.m.-1 a.m. Central time)

(Thanks to Cobalt Pet for this schedule.)

Also here’s one of the stories currently being discussed in today’s RHC news broadcast…

Radio Habana Cuba: Going Back in Time, U.S. Develops New Hydrogen Bomb

(Of course I understand that RHC is biased in favor of the Cuban government, but I think it is probably not much worse than we have in America where the corporate interests control what we hear.)

2007
03.03

Shame, shame, shame

 

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Children locked up — at a profit — Oped by Amy Goodman

“I want to be free. I want to go outside, and I want to go to school,” pleaded a 9-year-old boy, on the phone from prison. This prison wasn’t in some far-off country, some dictatorship where one would expect children to be locked up. He is imprisoned in the United States.

The boy, Kevin, is imprisoned in Taylor, Texas, at the T. Don Hutto Residential Facility. His parents are also locked up there. The tale of how this family became imprisoned is just one example of how broken our immigration policies are in this country. It is a tale of children left behind, of family values locked up, of your tax dollars at work. . .

On a plane back to Canada, a fellow passenger suffered a heart attack, requiring an unscheduled landing in Puerto Rico. Although they never had any intention of entering the U.S., because the plane touched down here, their passports were questioned and they were detained. The family was shipped off to Hutto. They have been there for more than three weeks.

Immigration detention places the family in a legal limbo that could leave them imprisoned indefinitely, perhaps only to be deported back to more torture in Iran.

This shameful practice of locking up children is bad enough. What’s worse is that it is being done for profit, by the Corrections Corporation of America. CCA is the largest publicly traded private prison operator in the U.S. CCA has close to 70 facilities scattered across the country, recent earnings of $1.33 billion and a gain in its stock-share price of 85 percent in the past year. Industry analysts gush at the profit potential promised by private prisons. Their commodity: human beings. . .

It is also worth noting that CCA runs many of Oklahoma’s private prisons.

I can’t help but feel ashamed of America when you read stories like this one.

2007
03.02

 

Mennonite Weekly Review: MCC delegation meets Iranian president

EHRAN, Iran — In the first meeting of its kind since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a delegation of 13 American religious leaders, including representatives of Mennonite Central Committee, met with the Iranian president in Iran on Feb. 24.

The meeting took place at the presidential residence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and included members of the president’s staff and the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs.

The meeting was part of a Feb. 17-25 peace delegation to Iran co-sponsored by MCC. The trip also included conferences with Iranian Muslim and Christian leaders, as well as with Iranian government officials. The delegation hoped to defuse tensions between Iran and the United States by encouraging more dialogue between the countries. . .

2007
03.02

 

Breitbart.com/AP: Group says Gore a Hypocrite Over Power Bill (thanks to Reagan for Rushmore for this link)

NewsOK.com: Roof of clay —Gore’s home not so green? (Editorial)

There are two things I want to address regarding Gore’s alleged hypocrisy.

1. The truth of a message does not depend on the truth of the messenger

The Declaration of Indepence contains this noble statement…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Founding Fathers took a brave stand to write these words, but you can’t help but also hear the rank hypocrisy of the statement. Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote these words owned slaves, as did many of the other Founders.

Yet, does the hypocrisy of the Founders negate the truth of the statement? I don’t think so.

If Al Gore is a hypocrite on this issue, does it negate the truth of his message? Not really. Hypocrisy might say something about the hypocrite but does not say anything about the message conveyed by the hypocrite.

2. Al Gore lives a “carbon-neutral” lifestyle, which is a step in the right direction.

Here’s an excerpt from the Breitbart article linked above…

. . . Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said: “Sometimes when people don’t like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it’s convenient to attack the messenger.”

Kreider said Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs.

Gore, who owns homes in Carthage, Tenn., and in the Washington area, has said he leads a “carbon-neutral lifestyle.” To balance out other carbon emissions, the Gores invest money in projects to reduce energy consumption, Kreider said.

There is no doubt that Al Gore consumes a lot of resources through his travels and his lifestyle, but it sounds to me that he does a good job of making amends for it. Could he do better? Yes. Should he do better? I would argue that he should.

The truth is that the Global Climate Crisis is a big problem. I think we all should do what we can to support positive change, but the reality is that if we choose to live in this culture and participate in the economic, social and political systems of this country, we are going to be compromised. I know that I struggle to live right and do a lousy job of it. I’m no different than Gore on this regard, and I don’t know anyone who does live out their values 100% of the time without making mistakes.

For those interested, here some links about Carbon offsets…

ClimateCrisis.net: Calculate your impact (also see NativeEnergy.com (the company that Gore purchases his offsets for air travel from)

Wikipedia.org: Carbon Offset

2007
03.02

Gore’s speech at OU

 

Yesterday I went with my friend Rena to see Al Gore speak at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. I was truly impressed, first by the incredibly warm reception he received from the crowd (press reports estimate that 7,000-9,000 attended, and OU President Boren said that the crowd was a record for hearing a speaker at OU, breaking past records for when Gorbechav and Margaret Thatcher spoke on campus) but secondly by the presentation itself. Gore did an excellent job of speaking about one of the most pressing issues of our time and also made a few adaptations to the presentation to address some of the specific ways that global warming will affect Oklahoma (his slides on the loss of soil moisture were particularly frightening).

For the most part though his presentation was a updated version of what you see in the movie An Inconvenient Truth

I also was very glad to see Gore praise the city of Norman for endorsing the Kyoto treaty (one of about 300 US cities to do so) and to praise the OU campus for their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

As for the crowd estimates, I think they may have been understated. The Lloyd Noble Center seating was packed for about 2/3 or more of capacity (they had to have three projector screens to allow the whole audience to see the presentation).

Here’s some of the press reports about the event…

Oklahoma Daily (OU student newspaper): Gore fills LNC

KOCO.com: Gore Speech Highlights OU Focus On Global Warming Debate

NormanTranscript.com:An evening with Al Gore

NewsOK.com: Former VP enthralls audience with speech — Al Gore’s remarks about global warming draw at least 7,000.

Newsok.com: Roof of clay —Gore’s home not so green? (Editorial) — I’ll address this in a separate post.

Newsok.com: Should Gore declare candidacy? (very disturbing to see how quickly the idea of civil debate goes out the window these days. Is it that people are lazy or just too stupid to actually discuss the substance of an issue without resorting to ad hominen attacks?)

KOKH.com/AP: Gore speech highlights OU focus on global warming debate