Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Issue of Engage

Issue 4 (February 2007)of Engage's Journal is available on-line. Engage is a British-based group which "challenges contemporary antisemitism. Contemporary antisemitism nearly always appears using the language of anti-Zionism. 'Anti-racist' anti-Zionism is often reckless about creating an ideological foundation for, and licensing, more openly antisemitic discourses and movements."

Engage's Journal is for rigorous, academic and political writing on antisemitism. There is also a very fine blog or Forum for shorter, topical comments.

Making Emotional Sense of the Proposed Boycotts against Israeli Academics and Intellectuals - Catherine B. Silver

The Left and the Holocaust - David Rich

Dealing with Anti-Semitism in Britain - Shalom Lappin

Cure worse than the disease: academic boycott of Israel in the light of the academic boycott of South Africa - Mira Vogel

The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: The Far Right, the Far Left and the Middle East – Michael Ezra

The Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council: Good or Bad for Australian Jewry? - Philip Mendes

Globalization & Antisemitism: Muslim Judeophobia in Europe - Avram Hein

Snapback gig

A friend from work plays guitar and sings in a local rock band "Snapback." They're playing a gig on Thursday. I may drop by after the labor fed meetings.

Snapback has a myspace page.

And a YouTube video

and a self-produced CD, Purgatory, which sounds pretty good.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Nikkia Tells Why We Need the Employee Free Act

The Employee Free Choice Act is the most important piece of labor legislation to come down the pike in many a year. Heck, it's the most important piece of human rights legislation in decades. Millions of workers are exploited and denied dignity and a voice on the job because of broken labor laws that effectively deny workers the right to organize.

Here's a neat, short (less than 3 minutes) video from the AFL-CIO NOW blog. Nikkia Parrish a ballet dancer explains why the EFCA is so important.

City comes down on blight protestors

This is ridiculous. The city of Wichita allows a homeowner in a minority, working class area to keep what can only be described as an junky eyesore for years and when a community group out of desperation holds a protest at the city manager's house and leave a letter and 11 posters, the city brings criminal charges.

According to the Wichita Eagle

4 headed to court over protest at Kolb's house

Four members of the nonprofit Sunflower Community Action group will appear
in court next week on misdemeanor criminal charges stemming from a December
protest at Wichita City Manager George Kolb's house.

City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf filed the charges, which include criminal
trespassing and illegal dumping, Dec. 9. The group left 11 poster-board signs
and a letter addressed to Kolb at his home after the protest.

At least 15 Sunflower members -- upset about illegal dumping at a house
in central-northeast Wichita at 10th and Volutsia -- staged the protest Dec. 9
at Kolb's house in the 13500 block of East Buckskin Court, near Harry and 127th
Street East.

Kolb was not home at the time.

The charges are pretty serious.

An illegal dumping conviction carries a mandatory fine between $240 and $1,000 and a potential prison sentence of up to 12 months, Rebenstorf said. A trespassing conviction carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail....

And who believes this comment from city attorney Gary Rebenstorf:

"If it happened at anybody else's house, we would have followed the same procedure."
The city manager have declined to prosecute this case. He's a highly-paid public servant and if he can't take the heat of a few posters being left on his front porch, then he's probably in the wrong line of work.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Social Europe

I've just discovered the website for Social Europe; the Journal of the European Left. There's lots of important and interesting stuff here.

This is how the describe their mission

1) 'Social Europe' is the first electronic quarterly journal addressing the left in the whole of Europe. At the same time, it aims to be a place for its basic principle discussions. Social Europe considers the Party of European Socialists (PES) and its member parties as its political homeland.

2) The primary aim of 'Social Europe' is to provide the opportunities for direct exchange of ideas between social democrats and socialists from all countries of the continent. In order to achieve this objective across language and cultural barriers, between Helsinki and Athens, Riga and Lisbon, we use the English language. However, we also aspire to publish all articles in their original language and support, as far as possible, the translation into further langugages. By doing so we want to contribute to a new form of European public realm - a public realm that grows and is shaped from the bottom up driven by citizens.

The Autumn 2006 issue features Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz' article on 'Social Justice and Global Trade'.

Back issues can be found here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tiahrt, Brownback, and the 'family"

Jeff Sharlet blogging on Talk to Action discusses the deceptively-titled National Day of Prayer and the mysterious, religious-political group that runs it. Known as the "family" it operates behind the secenes, admires and emulates the organizing tactics of Lenin and Hitler, and recruits some truly vile people.

Both Todd Tiahrt and Sam Brownback are members of the "family."

In 2003, Sharlet wrote an article for The Atlantic on his experience with the family. Tiahrt is featured prominently in it.

The day I worked at C Street I ran into Doug Coe, who was tutoring Todd Tiahrt, a Republican congressman from Kansas. A friendly, plainspoken man with a bright, lazy smile, Coe has worked for the Family since 1959, soon after he graduated from college, and has led it since 1969.

Tiahrt was a short shot glass of a man, two parts flawless hair and one part teeth. He wanted to know the best way "for the Christian to win the race with the Muslim." The Muslim, he said, has too many babies, while Americans kill too many of theirs.

Doug agreed this could be a problem. But he was more concerned that the focus on labels like "Christian" might get in the way of the congressman's prayers. Religion distracts people from Jesus, Doug said, and allows them to isolate Christ's will from their work in the world.

"People separate it out," he warned Tiahrt. "'Oh, okay, I got religion, that's private.' As if Jesus doesn't know anything about building highways, or Social Security. We gotta take Jesus out of the religious wrapping."

"All right, how do we do that?" Tiahrt asked.

"A covenant," Doug answered. The congressman half-smiled, as if caught between confessing his ignorance and pretending he knew what Doug was talking about. "Like the Mafia," Doug clarified. "Look at the strength of their bonds." He made a fist and held it before Tiahrt's face. Tiahrt nodded, squinting. "See, for them it's honor," Doug said. "For us, it's Jesus."

Coe listed other men who had changed the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their "brothers": "Look at Hitler," he said. "Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden." The Family, of course, possessed a weapon those leaders lacked: the "total Jesus" of a brotherhood in Christ.

"That's what you get with a covenant," said Coe. "Jesus plus nothing."

Sharlet's Rolling Stone profile of Brownback also discusses the family.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Know My Bible

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

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