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Bradley Manning verdict due today: Represents direct government attack on democracy, our right to know

(and, of course, a continuation of brutal repression of one brave person.)

Tweets also compiled and posted on Facebook:

Our desperately fearful government seeks to pile more punishment on a brave truthteller. Hit the streets.

Bradley Manning exposed war crimes – US military murders of reporters and first responders in Iraq – and faces a life sentence today.

leading indicator of state of society & economy

from Kanawha county.

Businessman facing home foreclosure commits suicide

Sponsor’s death shocks Little League community

if our media understood or allowed themselves to see context, this would be used to talk about the need for economic justice and institutional compassion for a solid week at minimum.

Originally via badly titled

Mayans march in Chiapas for Democracy, Liberty, and Justice

The world didn't end today, but no Mayan ever (ever) said that it would. As Daniel Feder wrote: "Actual Mayans had other plans for today.... 6,000 EZLN members marching in complete silence into five Chiapas cities, in an action organized in secret that took the country by surprise."

Mayans march in silence and black masks, five across and hundreds deep, through Ocosingo, Chiapas streets
Photo by Raul Vera. Marcha Zapatista, Ocosingo, Chiapas.

More detail from Narco News:

Election 2012 excess thoughts

My girlfriend went to sleep so you all in the general world will have the remainder of my post-election musings foisted upon you.

If Drugs Were Legal, My Friend Would Be Alive Today

If drugs were legal, my friend Andrew would not have died Sunday night.

This was not my first reaction. My first reaction was unfocused rage (which itself seems to be a coping method when faced with overwhelming sadness).

Figuring out the real story is part of life, just to get over the indignity of being lied to all the time

"I don’t really do research in order to write. Finding out about things, figuring out the real story—what you call research—is part of life now for some of us. Mostly just to get over the indignity of living in a pool of propaganda, of being lied to all the time, if nothing else."

-- Arundhati Roy,

(hat tip to Shreya Sanghani)

Good overview of the racist drug war

Catch 22, the 87 e-mail edition

Catch 22: If your e-mail inbox is not acting as your TODO stack, it would not matter that it has 87 e-mails in it. But if it weren't acting as your TODO list, it wouldn't have 87 e-mails in it.

Every Exchange a Willing Exchange

[very disorganized and the tangents need to be re-planted elsewhere but there's good stuff here]

An unabashed Milton Friedman acolyte made the point (a quotation?) that as long as exchanges are freely made between people, the net benefit has to be positive by definition.

Yes-- exactly-- but-- and there is a huge but-- there's little practical difference between a force-coerced exchange and an economic-coerced exchange. Indeed, it's the history and present of inequality to use force to back up the imposition of economic injustice.

Need a better word than organizer or activist

We prefer organizer, because it implies effective action, doing work over the long haul, while activist has negative connotations in the sense of ineffective or sporadic action.

But everyone can't be an organizer, or not only an organizer, and some people clearly take action.

Used "amazing community activist, organizer, hope-for-humanity" for Kaveri.

Guess that works.

TODO: Link to Kasey's wonderful organizer and activist relationship essay (both are needed).

Really, DemandProgress? Isn't running television ads in Washington D.C. a way to try to influence

Now the fight moves on to the Senate. After blocking its passage last week, the House voted to extend the PATRIOT Act last night -- but we can still win this in the Senate.

Thank you, to those who have already donated to help us get our ad on TV. It is ready to be aired in Washington, DC -- but we still need help.

If you haven't had a chance to donate yet, would you click here to view the ad, and consider chipping in $10 to help us get it on TV? Every $50 we raise will let us air it one additional time.

In praise of the newly elected Republican congressman who are refusing government-paid health care

I'm sure all these people are much better off than the median American, but this is an honorable, principled action, period. Whatever their ideological reasons, they are throwing in their lot with the people, and this should be respected.

A movement or revolution is in the details

Nothing more powerful than being part of a movement @ghonim shows us when freed after Egyptian state kidnapping. Watch:

Some takeaways from Wael Ghonim's post-release interview

The people putting in the work to organize the protests that Mubarak must go:

  • planned for non-violence
  • planned for doing no property damage
  • planned for cleaning up trash in the areas they occupied
  • They tried to plan for no one getting hurt, too.

Sincere honor

I never was able to figure out why we saw flags at half-mast in Massachusetts on December 8, on the last leg of our return drive home from visiting the family compound in West Virginia.

The best i can tell is our fair commonwealth chose to honor Pearl Harbor Day (which was the day before) in the most sincere way possible— by failing to see it coming.

Lines to use in any conversation and in religious contexts

Dan and Sarah have both been asked, on learning that they celebrate Chanukah (and so by assumption not Christmas), "Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"

If i ever get asked that, i plan to answer:
Yes i celebrate Thanksgiving, but i do not celebrate Columbus Day.

And this is one i thought of while mom was trying to get off a charity solicitation call, and can be used almost any time:
This conversation has come to a successful conclusion.

And if anything at all religious comes up, i plan to say:
That offends me; I'm part atheist.

Checking one's sources: Principled Opponents of Israeli Occupation Did Not Promote Jenin Massacre Claim; Bad Media Did

The world media and the British press in particular (plenty of articles if you search for Jenin massacre myth) did a terrible job demonizing Israel for things that mostly did not happen, with all the newspapers seeming to interview the same guy somehow, during the attack on Jenin that was part of the re-occupation of the West Bank.

Who benefits from education reform? The tax credit fueling charter schools

In short, education reform is a good cause. Experimentation is good -- and some of the best charter schools today have experimented in what could be valuable ways. But the push, coming from Wall Street and the extremely wealthy, for this specific form of charter schools, for this specific way of funding them [a thirty-nine percent New Markets tax credit from the federal government], is part of both short-term and long-term drives for profit that will accrue to the wealthiest while weakening the middle class.

Cornocopia Institute finds corporate organic food is bad. Go local!

Andrea telling me:

Cornucopia Institute

monitor places that claim they are organic
released their findings
haven't read it, heard it on FSRN, but it doesn't look pretty - the big chains claiming organic stuff

Michael Pollan was saying another tactic they use, and then for the last two weeks, they open up the barn– and at that point the chickens don't leave

Strategically reducing the resources of the enemies of justice

We need to wage war strategically against the institutions at war with our rights to justice and liberty. An obvious case study for interests sharply and actively at odds with our common interest, that is getting some ink recently, is the brothers who currently own Koch Industries. (To be fair, the Koches are much more on the attack against economic and environmental justice than the more common perceptions of liberty; in the foundations they fund, at least, there's some internally coherent commitment to libertarian principles.)

Broccoli and navy bean pasta

Spaghetti rigati, al dente
1 Onion, chopped
2 heads Brocolli, sliced for the stems and long divided florets for the rest
Pureed/ground/extremely finely chopped carrot (a failed attempt at juicing carrots, rescued by this recipe)
Fresh jalepeño and that small long skinny orange pepper.
Can of navy beans (used Goya easy-open 15 ounce).

Stems go in first, at the same time as the onions, in a wok in a little bit of olive oil.

Add some salt. Some celery seed. A little poultry seasoning (coriander, mostly).

Start the pasta.