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from the New Yorker:

"A group of enterprising students at Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania, has some advice for the politically disaffected: If you find the media’s Iraq coverage unsatisfactory, pick up the phone. Don’t call the Times, or CNN, or Rupert Murdoch; call Baghdad. There are a couple of Iraqi phone books available on the Internet, and plenty of interesting people willing to share their stories directly, from six thousand miles away, many of them speaking decent English. When your phone bill starts to get out of hand, try downloading Skype, software that allows two people to talk free, from anywhere in the world, using computer microphones and a headset."
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Our Day Will Come - Whole Foods=Wal-Mart
Whole Foods Workers Unite

In a victory hailed as a milestone for retail workers across the cWhole Foods protestountry, workers at the Madison,Wisconsin Whole Foods voted to unionize in July 2002. Organizing around issues of respect, fair compensatio n, and a call for Whole Foods to live up to its own values, a small group of workers, committed to worker control and rank and file democracy, led and carried out the campaign. Although workers fought for card-check recognition, the company refused to recognize their union and forced them to go through an NLRB election. Despitea hostile anti-union campaign carried out by the company, workers voted 65-54 in favor of union representation, affiliating with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1444.

The workers’ victory was both a surprise and a major blow to a company that has made no secret of its hatred of unions. “Here's the way I like to think of it,” founder and CEO John Mackey once said. “The union is like having herpes. It doesn't kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover" (Business and Society Review, 6/22/92).
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mousemusings

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We Had Enough - No Concessions Demonstration at the Auto Show, January 8th | Critical Moment
I want to suggest that instead of walking to Personnel alone we join together and walk the streets of Detroit with Delphi workers. A demonstration is planned for the Auto Show in January. All the auto industry executives from around the world will be in town. Thousands of journalists will be there.

If enough of us take to the streets of Detroit the world will get the message that we’ve had enough. Delphi wants to shut plants in all the high wage countries �" here, England, Japan, Sweden, Germany �" and move our work to low wage places.
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Smart Mobs: New toys demonstrate poor cooperation dynamics:
What kinds of toys do new technologies enable? Short-range radio-based information sharing has unleashed... plush toys based on codependency. The Needies solicit and reward human contact, then turn ugly when they detect human attention to their compatriots.
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Clinton Jencks, 87; Organizer Who Led Mineworkers Strike Later Taught at San Diego State - Los Angeles Times
Clinton Jencks, 87; Organizer Who Led Mineworkers Strike Later Taught at San Diego State
By Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer

Union organizer Clinton Jencks, who led New Mexico mineworkers in a McCarthy-era strike chronicled in the classic 1953 motion picture "Salt of the Earth," has died. He was 87.

Jencks died Dec. 14 in San Diego of natural causes, according to his daughter, Linda O'Connell.

An organizer for a progressive union, Jencks led a 15-month strike begun in 1950 near Bayard, N.M., against Empire Zinc Co. by the Amalgamated Bayard District Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Local 890. The largely Latino strikers sought pay equal to that of white workers, improved safety conditions and healthcare — goals they eventually won with great effort.

When company officials obtained an injunction barring the men from picketing, their wives and children took their place. Arrested and jailed, the families made such a noisy clatter in the jail that a harried sheriff let them go.

Hollywood could not ignore such drama, and blacklisted producer Paul Jarrico, director Herbert Biberman and screenwriter Michael Wilson decided to make a movie about the conflict.

Because of the anti-Communist scare gripping Hollywood, the filmmakers had no financial backing and little professional help. They hired blacklisted actor Will Geer and Mexican actress Rosaura Revueltas, who was deported for her participation.

Otherwise, they had the Mexican American mineworkers and their families portray themselves. Jencks, a tall blond man called "El Palomino" by the Latinos, played Frank Barnes, a character based on him, and Jencks' first wife, Virginia, played Barnes' spouse, Ruth.

The movie is one of 400 selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry, and film historian Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide says: "This film is particularly impressive considering its history — made under difficult conditions (and on a shoestring), with many nonprofessional actors, by blacklisted filmmakers."

When the movie came out, it was certainly no box office success.

Under McCarthyism pressure from the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the Screen Actors Guild and the International Alliance of Theater and Stage Employees — not to mention a boycott led by Howard Hughes — the film was shut out of all but 13 theaters across the country.

Jencks, along with Revueltas and the filmmakers, suffered for the project. The labor organizer was convicted of perjury in El Paso in 1954 and sentenced to five years in prison. The charge stemmed from a requirement under the Taft-Hartley Act that union officials sign an affidavit swearing they were not members of the Communist Party — a document Jencks had signed in 1950.

Jencks said he signed the affidavit truthfully, but the federal government accused him of lying. It was relying on testimony by Henry Matusow, an aide to Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.). Matusow, who subsequently wrote the book "False Witness," later recanted his testimony, but the Texas judge ignored his turnabout.

In 1957, however, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Jencks' conviction in a landmark opinion that established the right of criminal defendants to obtain prior statements made to authorities by witnesses against them. The government opted not to retry Jencks rather than open its FBI files containing Matusow's statements.

Despite the court victory, Jencks was dogged by rumors of association with Communists and had trouble getting or keeping jobs.

He was working as a mechanic in Albany, Calif., in 1959 when the conservative Woodrow Wilson Foundation awarded him a graduate fellowship to UC Berkeley. The foundation said it had found no evidence that Jencks was then or had ever been a Communist.

After earning a doctorate in economics, Jencks taught at San Diego State from 1964 until his retirement in 1988.

A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., he served in the Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater throughout World War II. He later worked in a smelter near Denver, before he was sent to southern New Mexico as an organizer for the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers.

In addition to his daughter, Jencks is survived by his second wife, Muriel; three stepdaughters; and three grandchildren. His son, Clinton, died in 1995.
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Thanks Jackie
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we make money not art: Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts
The bears have to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food. Their long sea journeys leave them vulnerable to exhaustion, hypothermia or being swamped by waves. Four bear carcases were found floating in one month in a single patch of sea off the north coast of Alaska.
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we make money not art: Upcoming: Mobtagging Workshop
After a successful CrashCourse in August 2005, Mediamatic is organising a 2-day workshop on social tagging, or MOBTAGGING, a non-hierarchical method of structuring information by freely applying metadata to it (see Flickr and Del.icio.us).
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we make money not art: Dentists on the border Mexico / U.S.A.

"Dentimundo offers citizens of the U.S., a wealthy country where 42 million people do not have health benefits, help in finding affordable dental care just across the Mexican border."
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we make money not art: Britain first country to monitor every car journey
From 2006 Britain will be the first country where every journey by every car will be monitored.

Using a network of cameras that can read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.
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John Ryan's Weblog
Unionman, the principal officer of the Cleveland AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, writes on issues that affect our community -- and our labor movement. Join in the discussion.
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Seat of the Revolution - democratic clothes

"'The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry out is not a patriot but a traitor.' -- Mark Twain"
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Phil Jones comments: Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Have faith
Critics of Wikipedia sometimes act as though Wikipedia started as a giant, powerful information resource, which imposed these crazy anarchic practices on us.

But, of course, it started as a place for these crazy anarchic practices, and happened to grow into a giant, powerful information resource.

That's the striking result. Which seems to demand a response. Either we celebrate that it seems like giving people freedom can produce something that's not at all bad. And often surprisingly good.


Or we can go "conservative" and decide that the result is so dangerous that it turns out people shouldn't be given freedom to speak out and write in public. And that Wikipedia as it is, should somehow be closed down or otherwise changed into a moderated site?


There is a third response : to try to compete with wikipedia with an alternative, gated by experts.


But I'm not sure what other "solutions" people could be asking for?
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Class warfare continued: credit card minimum payments double | media girl (mediagirl.org)
Now that they've got everyone in a choke hold that nobody can get out of, two credit card companies (so far) have doubled their minimum payment requirements:
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Commie Curmudgeon: Strike!:
Too tired and overworked myself to write an adequate and coherent commentary on the NYC transit strike, but at least I have the energy to quote somebody else. Once in a while, I really do have to agree with the Trotskyists of the World Socialist Web Site, who are actually providing the best coverage of the topic that I can find right now. I’m going to quote my favorite paragraphs from the article The New York transit strike: A new stage in the class struggle (although I think the title overrates it somewhat – though this is pretty good as labor union strikes go these days). Of course, I have stopped the quote just short of the suggestion that we all help to build the Socialist Equality Party. I’m not so sure about that…but I like this:

The workers are in a powerful position. The MTA and the ruling establishment are unable to replace 34,000 workers and run the huge transit system with scab labor, as was done against the PATCO air traffic controllers. It cannot outsource public transportation or shift it to a low-wage haven. And the cost of the walkout to the city’s businesses is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars daily. The frenzied ultimatums and threats cannot conceal the weakness of the city’s and state’s position.
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Bob's Links and Rants: You can't fire me! I quit!
Governor Gropengrabber's hometown in Austria, Graz, was threatening to remove Ahnuld's name from the local soccer stadium because he approved the execution of Tookie Williams. Reacting like the calm, rational adult we all know him to be, Ahnuld insisted that they take his name off the stadium by the end of the year. Also, he revoked permission to use his name to promote the town. And he sent back a "ring of honor" they gave him in 1999.
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This is good...

Bateman365 Actual Excerpts From the President's Radio Address, December 17, 2005
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Peace Library �
The Peace Library is a an online index of Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding information related to the Sri Lanka peace process, developed and managed by non-profit web media company InfoShare. The Library contains research papers, reports, news and features from both local and international sources.

The aim of the Library is to organize information about Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding information online in a manner that makes it easily accessible and useful. Apart from electronic documents and multimedia content,the Library will soon make available indexes of important brick-and-mortar library resources from several key peacebuilding organizations in Sri Lanka.

Indexes are compiled manually by our research department to maintain relevance and accuracy. The content available via the Peace Library will be updated regularly and new features will be added to the platform in an ongoing basis.

The Peace Library uses the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails.
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Keep the picket signs away from the Detroit auto show-No one wins if show becomes a magnet for protest
The North American International Auto Show is a much needed bright spot for Metro Detroit. It's the opportunity for Detroit to show off for the national media, to brag a little about its products and its people.

Charity preview night is to Detroit what the Oscars ceremony is to Los Angeles.

But this year, it seems everyone with a grievance is making plans to bring their picket signs to Cobo Center to air their protests before the show's expected 1 million visitors.

United Auto Workers' groups from both Delphi Corp. and General Motors Corp. are threatening to picket the charity preview and the media and public show days. And even some disgruntled public radio listeners say they'll be in front of Cobo to protest changes in programming at WDET.

This is pointless. People go o the auto show for a feel-good experience, to get excited about a vast expanse of new cars and trucks. Michigan surely needs folks to feel that excitement.

There are better venues for the protesters. The UAW workers can take their signs and their shouts to the corporate headquarters, where the people making the decisions about their fate may actually hear them.

As for the radio listeners -- why not picket the radio station? Or better yet, why not simply choose a different channel, or take advantage of the unlimited offerings of satellite radio? Their demonstration seems rather silly.

The auto show should not become a magnet for malcontents. This year, particularly, it's important that visitors to the show come away with some sense of optimism about the future of this town and this industry.

Making them wade through picket signs will detract from that goal.


Think what these folks would be writing about if there were more continous distruption of "normal" daily life...

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Thanks John
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Seat of the Revolution - Voice or no voice
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” - Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, before committing suicide at the Nuremberg Trials
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JS Online: A union leader for the global economy
Junemann says more unions need to be like trade unions and provide skills training, apprenticeships and lifelong learning. By doing that, he sees unions appealing to independent contractors and groups of professional workers at small- and medium-sized businesses. He says more employers would be willing to work with unions to meet their work force needs.


Extrapolating further, we can imagine a workforce that is deciding what labor is important and which isn't. Deciding how the work is managed and how hard to push themselves to get it done.

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pretend on Flickr - Photo Sharing


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The mediocre state of modern activism - Common Monkeyflower
Sometimes it strikes me just how lame activism has become. A one-time event by a group of EMU social work students made the paper today for feeding a free hot meal to forty people in Ypsi. The article makes sure to note corporate donors Zoup and Starbucks for their donations. This is all praiseworthy, and nice to see happen.

However.

I'm reading the news in a break between sections of writing - the piece I just finished is about the Black Panthers' programs, which fed free breakfasts to thousands of Oakland schoolchildren daily for years, and occasional distributions of 10,000 bags of groceries. I'm kinda betting that this event in Ypsi had no political message attached to it, no, "So, why are these people hungry, anyways?" Or, at least, no such message well-stated enough and integral enough to the event to make the news.

But, hey. I've never organized an event to feed forty people once, so I have to look favorably on those who have, even if I have enough context to know how little good it's doing.
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Bitter Winter at NYU
Sexton's threat was greeted with much shock and outrage on the Greenwich Village campus. An editorial in the Washington Square News, a daily student newspaper, called it a "frighteningly blunt ultimatum." "The punishment that finally came down was far more extreme than I personally expected," said NYU physics professor Alan Sokal, who has supported the strikers. "It's totally unprecedented to say, Because you've been on strike for four weeks, you will therefore have the next semester--or two semesters--of your salary docked."
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Powers of Ten - Google Video
Pulse Productions
8 min 59 sec - Nov 27, 2005
pulseproductions.1accesshost.com

A film made for IBM to explore the effects or adding a zero.
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unbossed.com � Kleptocracy - Coming to an Environment Near You
Kleptocracy: not just government by theft; government by the institutionalization of theft.

Folks, the piggy bank is being raided - has been raided for years. We sort of know that Halliburton is getting special favors, cops looking the other way while it bilks us - the US taxpayers. It's gotten more blatant with the super-duper sweetheart contracts and special suspensions of laws since Hurricane Katrina, but really, it's just business as usual for this administration.
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Pieces of Gordon Hall are helping to save it Profits on walking sticks go toward purchase
Miller said he is glad that Gordon Hall, a Greek Revival mansion built in the 1840s, will be preserved, rather than demolished to make room for a housing or commercial development on 67 acres of choice land.

So far, he has made 28 walking sticks of oak from his own farm, with curved handles adorned with the Gordon Hall walnut pieces. He donated eight of them to the Dexter Area Historical Society, which has successfully bid to buy the property from U-M for $1.5 million. The local historical group is raising the money to close the deal early next year.
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Transport Workers Union Local 100 (AFL-CIO) --
WCBS-TV: Toussaint, TWU International About To Butt Heads?
Dec. 20-Toussaint and the Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union may soon find themselves fighting a battle on two fronts. That is, as long as they continue to strike despite the negative endorsement from their parent organization, TWU International.
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Transit Worker
Dec. 20 - With a one billion dollar surplus, a contract between the MTA and Transport Workers Union Local 100 should have been a no brainer. Sadly, that has not been the case.

Our contract expired on midnight Thursday. In an attempt to save mass transit and in deference to our riders, we postponed our deadline and attempted to continue talking to the MTA.
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detroitblog � Blog Archive � Paint It Black
That’s the thing about Ilitch - he restored the Fox Theater and did a beautiful job, but he owns many other old buildings in the area that he’s left abandoned for years, allowing them to rot, including the Fine Arts Building, the Adams theater, the United Artists Building, the Madison-Lenox Hotel (recently demolished after years of neglect), the Detroit Building, the Hotel Vermont and the Blenheim Apartments. That number pretty much outweighs his renovation of the Fox Theater. In fact, Ilitch owns more vacant buildings in the city than any other entity except the City itself.
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Oregonlive.com: Search
"Sometimes when you collaborate, you have to trust people more than you have any reason to do so," he said. "It works because most people are good."
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WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Participate.net, the inside perspective
Participate.net is where we take the awareness driven by the film one step further and translate it into direct action. Participate.net is our social action community where filmmakers, issue experts, activists and movie-goers come together to discuss the issues presented in our films and to do something about it. For each film, we partner with nonprofit organizations to provide relevant information and tools for direct action. We also reach out to issue experts and bloggers to contribute to the campaign blogs to spark discussion within the community.
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CBSNews.com: Blog
Over at CJR, Bryan Keefer offers a defense of Wikipedia. After weeks of controversy over its erroneous John Seigenthaler entry last month, Keefer says it’s all been overblown and the open-source encyclopedia has been a victim of a "schadenfreude"-driven MSM campaign. Keefer says Wiki represents the future:

“Part of the argument against Wikipedia rests on the idea that users aren't able to assess the credibility of the information they're reading. In truth, however, Internet users are getting smarter about figuring out whether to believe information they find online (or, for that matter, in major news outlets). Google is a big part of this trend. The search engine produces results based on how many sites link to a given page; the more links to a page, the higher the result. Those links are generated by human beings, who are presumably doing so because they think the information they're linking to is credible (or, at the very least, interesting).

Try dropping ‘Swiffer Wetjet’ into Google, for example. A rumor last year had it that the product, a floor cleaning system, was harmful to household pets. But the first Google results are pages debunking the myth, not propagating it. In other words, the more credible information has risen to the top.”

So the value of Wikipedia, and the Internet, is that the truth will rise to the top, eventually? I wonder, would Mr. Seigenthaler agree? And in spite of company assurance, how can you really be sure your "Swiffer Wetjet" isn't hurting Fluffy? Because Google says so?
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No, but in three short clicks, in a matter of a minute or two - I found this from the ASPCA, which I thought was credible enought for me.
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SoundTransit is social audio tripping - The Social Software Weblog - socialsoftware.weblogsinc.com

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Daniels: Laws deterred Colgate:
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels said yesterday that the state failed in its bid to keep the Colgate-Palmolive Co. toothpaste factory in Indiana because it doesn't have right-to-work legislation.
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red cedar.ca : blogging the collapse : Blog Archive : does struggle work?
judging from today’s provincial government announcement, on the heels of two near-general strikes - i would say it does.
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CounterRecruiter: “Bring in 10 people and you can earn $20,000"
From USA Today:

The Army National Guard, battling a falloff in recruiting, is offering troops a finder's fee for lining up new soldiers. The Guard Recruiter Assistant Program, launched this week in five states, offers National Guard members $1,000 for enlisting a recruit and another $1,000 when the prospect shows up for basic training. “Bring in 10 people and you can earn $20,000,” says Lt. Col. Mike Jones, deputy division chief for recruiting and retention at the National Guard Bureau.
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Amazon.com: Tell Me More: On the Fine Art of Listening: Books: Brenda Ueland,Cynthia Miller
Tell Me More
On the Fine Art of Listening
by Brenda Ueland

I want to write about the great and powerful things that listening is. And how we forget it. And how we don't listen to our children, or those we love. And least of all - which is so important too - to those we do not love. But we should. Because listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. Think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays.

This is the reason: When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life. You know how if a person laughs at your jokes you become funnier, and if he does not, every tiny little joke in you weakens up and dies. Well, that is the principle of it. It makes people happy and free when they are listened to. And if you are a listener, it is the secret of having a good time in society (because everybody around you becomes lively and interesting), of comforting people, of doing them good.

Who are the people, for example, to whom you go for advice? Not to the hard, practical ones who can tell you exactly what to do, but to the listeners: that is, the kindest, least censorious, least bossy people that you know. It is because pouring out your problem to them, you then know what to do about it yourself.

When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other. We are constantly being re-created. Now there are brilliant people who cannot listen much. They have no ingoing wires on their apparatus. They are entertaining, but exhausting, too. I think it is because these lecturers, these brilliant performers, by not giving us a chance to talk, do not let us express our thoughts and expand; and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. That is why, when someone has listened to you, you go home rested and lighthearted.

Now this little creative fountain is in us all. It is the spirit, or the intelligence, or the imagination - whatever you want to call it. If you are very tired, strained, have no solitude, run too many errands, talk to too many people, drink too many cocktails, this little fountain is muddied over and covered with a lot of debris. The result is you stop living from the center, the creative fountain, and you live from the periphery, from externals. That is, you go along on mere will power without imagination.

It is when people really listen to us, with quiet fascinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way.

I discovered all this about three years ago, and truly it made a revolutionary change in my life. Before that, when I went to a party I would think anxiously: "Now try hard. Be lively. Say bright things. Talk. Don't let down." And when tired, I would drink a lot of coffee to keep this up.

Now before going to a party, I just tell myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, _to be in their shoes when they talk_; to try to know them without my mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. No. My attitude is: "Tell me more. This person is showing me his soul. It is a little dry and meager and full of grinding talk just now, but presently he will begin to think, not just automatically to talk. He will show his true self. Then hew will be wonderfully alive."

Sometimes, of course, I cannot listen as well as others. But when I have this listening power, people crowd around and their heads keep turning to me as though irresistibly pulled. It is not because people are conceited and want to show off that people are drawn to me, the listener. It is because by listening I have started up their creative fountain. I do them good.

Now why does it do them good? I have a kind of mystical notion about this. I think it is only by expressing all that is inside that purer and purer streams come. It is so in writing. You are taught in school to put down on paper only bright things. Wrong. Pour out the dull things on paper too - you can tear them up afterward - for only then do the bright ones come. If you hold back the dull things, you are certain to hold back what is clear and beautiful and true and lively.

So it is with people who have not been listened to in the right way - with affection and a kind of jolly excitement. Their creative fountain has been blocked. Only superficial talk comes out - what is prissy or gushing or merely nervous. No one has called out of them, by wonderful listening, what is true and alive.

I think women have this listening facility more than men. It is not the fault of men. They lose it because of their long habit of striving in business, of self-assertion. And the more forceful men are, the less they can listen as they grow older. And that is why women in general are more fun than men, more restful and inspiriting.

Now this non-listening of able men is the cause of one of the saddest things in the world - the loneliness of fathers, of those quietly sad men who move among their grown children like remote ghosts. When my father was over 70, he was a fiery, humorous, admirable man, a scholar, a man of great force. But he was deep in the loneliness of old age and another generation. He was so fond of me. But he could not hear me - not one word I said, really. I was just an audience. I would walk around the lake with him on a beautiful afternoon and he would talk to me about Darwin and Huxley and Higher Criticism of the Bible.

"Yes, I see, I see," I kept saying and tried to keep pinned to it, but I was restive and bored. There was a feeling of helplessness because he could not hear what I had to say about it. When I spoke I found myself shouting, as one does to a foreigner, and in a kind of despair that he would not hear me. After the walk I would feel that I had worked off my duty and I was anxious to get him settled in his Morris chair, so that I could go out and have a livelier time with other people. And he would sigh and look after me absentmindedly with perplexed loneliness.

For years afterward I have thought with real suffering about my father's loneliness. Such a wonderful man, and reaching out to me and wanting to know me! But he could not. He could not listen. But now I think that if only I had known as much about listening as I do now, I could have bridged that chasm between us. To give an example:

Recently, a man I had not seen for 20 years wrote me: "I have a family of mature children. So did your father. They never saw him. Not in the days he was alive. Not in the days he was the deep and admirable man we now both now he was. That is man's life. When next you see me, you'll know just everything. Just your father all over again, trying to reach through, back to the world of those he loves."

Well, when I saw this man again, what had happened to him after 20 years? He was an unusually forceful man and had made a great deal of money. But he had lost his ability to listen. He talked rapidly and told wonderful stories and it was just fascinating to hear them. But when I spoke - restlessness: "Just hand me that, will you? ... Where is my pipe?" It was just habit. He read countless books and was eager to take in ideas, but he just could not listen to people.

Well, this is what I did/ I was more patient - I did not resist his non-listening talk as I did my father's. I listened and listened to him, not once pressing against him, even in thought, with my own self-assertion. I said to myself: "He has been under driving pressure for years. His family has grown to resist his talk. But now, by listening, I will pull it all out of him. He must talk freely and on and on. When he has been really listened to enough, he will grow tranquil. He will begin to want to hear me."

And he did, after a few days. he began asking me questions. And presently I was saying gently:
"You see, it has become hard for you to listen."

He stopped dead and stared at me. And it was because I had listened with such complete, absorbed, uncritical sympathy, without one flaw of boredom or impatience, that he now believed and trusted me, although he did not know this.

"Now talk," he said. "Tell me about that. tell me all about that."

Well, we walked back and forth across the lawn and I told him my ideas about it.

"You love your children, but probably don't let them in. Unless you listen, people are wizened in your presence, they become about a third of themselves. Unless you listen, you can't know anybody. Oh, you will know facts and what is in newspapers and all of history perhaps, but you will not know one single person. You know, I have come to think listening is love, that's what it really is."

Well, I don't think I would have written this article if my notions had not had such an extraordinary effect on this man. For he says they have changed his whole life. He wrote me that his children at once came closer; he was astonished to see what they are: how original, independent, courageous. His wife seemed really to care about him again, and they were actually talking about all kinds of things and making each other laugh.

For just as the tragedy of parents and children is not listening, so it is of husbands and wives. If they disagree they begin to shout louder and louder - if not actually, at least inwardly - hanging fiercely and deafly onto their own ideas, instead of listening and becoming quieter and quieter and more comprehending. But the most serious result of not listening is that worst thing in the world, boredom; for it is really the death of love. It seals people off from each other more than any other thing. I think that is why married people quarrel. It is to cut through the non-conduction and boredom. Because when feelings are hurt, they really begin to listen. At last their talk is a real exchange. But of course, they are just injuring their marriage forever.

Besides critical listening, there is another kind that is no good: passive, censorious listening. Sometimes husbands can be this kind of listener, a kind of ungenerous eavesdropper who mentally (or aloud) keeps saying as you talk: "Bunk...Bunk...Hokum."

Now, how to listen? It is harder than you think. I don't believe in critical listening, for that only puts a person in a straitjacket of hesitancy. He begins to choose his words solemnly or primly. His little inner fountain cannot spring. Critical listeners dry you up.

But creative listeners are those who want you to be recklessly yourself, even at your very worst, even vituperative, bad-tempered. They are laughing and just delighted with any manifestation of yourself, bad or good. For true listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don't love you just when you are nice; they love all of you.

In order to learn to listen, here are some suggestions: Try to learn tranquility, to live in the present a part of the time every day. Sometimes say to yourself: "Now. What is happening now? This friend is talking. I am quiet. There is endless time. I hear it, every word." Then suddenly you begin to hear not only what people are saying, but what they are trying to say, and you sense the whole truth about them. And you sense existence, not piecemeal, not this object and that, but as a translucent whole.

Then watch your self-assertiveness. And give it up. try not to drink too many cocktails to give up that nervous pressure that feels like energy and wit but may be neither. And remember that it is not enough just to _will_ to listen to people. One must _really_ listen. Only then does the magic begin.

Sometimes people cannot listen because they think that unless they are talking, they are socially of no account. There are those women of an old-fashioned ballroom training that insists there must be unceasing vivacity and gyrations of talk. But this is really a strain on people.

No. We should all know this: that listening, not talking, is the gifted and great role, and the imaginative role. And the true listener is much more beloved, magnetic than the talker, and he is more effective, and learns more and does more good. And so try listening. Listen to your wife, your husband, your father, your mother, your children, your friends; to those who love you and those who don't, to those who bore you, to your enemies. It will work a small miracle. And perhaps a great one.


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Software Only: Syndicate Conference: StructuredBlogging.org is officially launched
Marc Canter is on stage to announce the launch of StructuredBlogging.org, a non-profit initiative supporting the development and deployment of micro-formats in blog posts. The idea is pretty simple (but the implementation across all industry players is far from easy): as opposed to publishing a review of say, a movie, in a text format, a micro-format defines a number of fields that can be entered related to the movie: title, producer, director, actors, etc. Having information available in XML will make it much easier to intelligently extract elements of data to search, aggregate and syndicate. Specific plugins have been developed for WordPress and MovableType to make it easy to publish these formats through a blog. There are a couple of examples on the StructuredBlogging blog.
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we make money not art: Get ready for a new U.S. border fence

"Homeland Security plans to finish a job begun in 1996: building a 14-mile-long wall, 10 to 15 feet high and three layers deep, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the San Ysidro Mountains. So far, construction on the remaining three and a half miles was held up by environmentalists. U.S. officials claim that the triple fence is essential for protecting national security. According to environmentalists, 2,500 acres of federally protected wetlands near the border could be destroyed."
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URGENT SOLIDARITY APPEAL - Starbucks worker Joe Agins Jr. fired in NYC | Starbucks Union
Today, December 12, Joe Agins Jr. was fired by store manager Julian Warner at starbucks on 2nd and 9th in NYC. Julian made reference to an alleged verbal argument that had occurred inside a starbucks outside of Joe's work time. Joe has been a member of the union since July and one of the hardest working and most committed organizers.

Whenever a Wobbly needs support JOE has always been there, today JOE needs your help!

Call store manager Julian Warner at 2nd and 9th - 212-780-0027

Ask for an explanation for Starbuck's union discrimination and Demand that Joe Agins be rehired immediately.

Also, call Regional Vice President, James McDermet at 212-613-1280 ext. 2201 to express your disgust at the constant illegal anti-union activity of this company.
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Nice photo essay...

The Corpus Callosum: "I Don't Feel In A Bubble"

"US President George W Bush said on Monday that he does not live 'in a bubble' and that he is well aware of what is going on outside the White House, rejecting critics' claims that he is out of touch with public opinion."
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ChurchGal: brain food

"so there's this online discussion thursday about why religious women activists and feminists don't collaborate more, though our goals are often the same.

so, if you're really interested, then i guess you should check it out.

[via Faith Voices. never heard of 'em? me neither.]"
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mousemusings
“How can you possibly live on $15,000 a year,” says someone who lives on $40,000 a year. “How can you possibly ask that question,” says someone who lives on $800 a year. Why do people have such a wide range of values for how much money they think is necessary to get by on?
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DanceWithMe24: A plea for Mumia
Subject: Mumia Abu-Jamal: Important Ruling in Federal Appeal of Sentence

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued the most important decision affecting my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, since the lower federal court ruling in December 2001. An order was issued this morning that the court will accept for review the following issues, all of which are of enormous constitutional significance and go to the very essence of Mumia's right to a fair trial due process of law, and equal protection of the law under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

Claim 14: Whether appellant was denied his constitutional rights due to the prosecution’s trial summation.

Claim 16: Whether the Commonwealth’s use of peremptory challenges at trial violated appellant’s constitutional rights under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

Claim 29: Whether appellant was denied due process during post-conviction proceedings as a result of alleged judicial bias.

Claim 16 concerns the prosecutorial use of racism in jury selection. The record establishes beyond question that racism is a major thread that has run through this case since Mumia's 1981 arrest, and continues to today.

Claim 14 relates to the guilt phase. It includes the prosecutor's argument that if convicted Mumia would have "appeal after appeal." That comment effectively lessened the burden of the jurors, and turned the concept of reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence on its head.

Claim 29 is about the bias and incredible racism of Judge Albert Sabo, the trial judge. Unfortunately, it is limited to his conduct at the 1995 evidentiary (PCRA) hearing, rather than his monstrous behavior at trial. This restriction is because all of the prior attorneys mistakenly did not attack Sabo's misconduct at trial, an unfortunate oversight and mistake

The court has also issued a briefing schedule. The case is now on the fast track, as I have been predicting. The opening briefs are due to be filed by January 17, 2006.

Please post this e-mail on your web sites, and circulate it.

Today we achieved a great victory in the campaign to win a new trial and the eventual freedom of Mumia.

Your support, and activism, is badly needed and appreciated.

With best wishes,
Robert R. Bryan
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from the comments:HaloScan.com
If Americans buy American made products they will have fuller wallets to buy with. I also wonder aboutthe house bill the UAW is against. House Bill 2830 is causing a lot of commotion on Capitol Hill as well as a lot of stir from various unions. Many have not paid much attention to 2830, some think its another strain of the H5N1 bird flu, others think its just another tax bill they will be getting hit with. If you work in a unionized shop, or factory, you may want to dig a little deeper into the details of this bill that is going to the House of Representatives for approval, it could have a drastic affect on your livelihood.


The Pension Protection Act of 2005 (H.R.2830) is legislation that has resulted from Congress’s belief that the retirement security of American workers who are covered by defined benefit pension plans is seriously at risk. Congress feels that many of the pensions are under-funded because the pensions do not have enough money to pay all of the benefits they have promised. Congressmen have deferred to the recent United Airlines pension disaster as an example of the importance of this bill. Congress has also mentioned the Government Accountability Offices’ report that detailed the under-funding of the 100 largest defined benefit pension plans between 1995 and 2002.
Raymond B
VotesWagon.com
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Hammer of Truth � Attempting to Set the Record Straight: The Cory Maye Wiki
As anyone who has read my ranting lately will attest, I’m highly upset about the Cory Maye case. Since the mainstream media has so far neglected to cover the story (and I’m aware of several members of the MSM who know about the story), it is critical for citizen journalists to pick up the slack. Because of the nature of the way this particular story is unraveling across the blogosphere, there are a lot of innacuracies floating around.

What I’d like to do is to begin a maintainable narrative of the case containing as much factual accuracy as possible. Using Radley Balko’s original account as a starting point, I’d like to do the edits required to place the Cory Maye story on Wikipedia.
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Grinch Vote
They're asking us to cast votes for the grinch of the year.

But they offer only Verizon Wireless, Donald Rumsfeld, Wal-Mart, or . . .

. . . write in your own grinch.

How can we fail to hold any of the culprits responsible???

Announcing . . . CAPITALISM! a write-in campaign.

http://www.unionvoice.org/jobswithjustice/grinch05vote_a.html

Please forward to sympathetic working folk.


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Today is Dean Gray Tuesday | Downhill Battle
"Today is Dean Gray Tuesday, a protest against the continued corporate censorship of music.

Downhill Battle is participating in the protest by offering the full album for download. Download American Edit."
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Sketchy Thoughts: Schwarzenegger Doesn't Like Revolutionaries
The dedication of Williams’ book “Life in Prison” casts significant doubt on his personal redemption. This book was published in 1998, several years after Williams’ claimed redemptive experience. Specifically, the book is dedicated to “Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the countless other men, women, and youths who have to endure the hellish oppression of living behind bars.” The mix of individuals on this list is curious. Most have violent pasts and some have been convicted of committing heinous murders, including the killing of law enforcement.

But the inclusion of George Jackson on this list defies reason and is a significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems.
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Seat of the Revolution



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Global Voices Online: This Week in Palestinian Blogs: Remembering The Forgotten Faithful



It is a huge wall...

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Spero News | Report shows majority of people want unions
Even most liberals deny anti-union crime is widespread or that it's even a serious crime at all and anyways the folks doing it are such swell people, we can't expect us to like treat them like criminals, can we? If unions have been decimated in American workplaces, it's must really be their fault-- they must have been asking for it. You know, when you wear such pretty medical care and pension funds, employers are just being normal, red-blooded capitalists when they wipe out unions to get at them.

If you wonder why I get angry when folks say nice things about corporate criminal union busters like Wal-Mart, maybe you should read the new report by American Rights at Work which details the extent and severity of that corporate crime wave, a crime wave where tens of thousands of workers are victimized each year with stolen jobs and crushed lives.
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Labor Group Says Union Organizing Growing Riskier
Firings, humiliation, intimidation, bribes -- all tactics outlawed by national labor laws yet long used by companies trying to dissuade workers from organizing a union. And, according to a new study, these obstacles have grown worse in recent years, contributing directly to the decline in union density nationwide.
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karmalised: The Democracy of Apartheid
"Don't wave your purple-dyed finger at me and tell me you believe in democracy, until the 5.3 million Palestinian and 5.2 million Jewish residents of Palestine-Israel have an equal voice in deciding how they will live - together or apart - in the land they share."

Lawrence of Cyberia in Paging Natan Sharansky, referenced by Leila Khaled Mouammar in Privatizing Apartheid in Israel [ 11 December 2005 ZNet ], who links the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) to the takeover plans for the Negev and Galilee, another racist land grab that Israel hopes will be funded with U.S. tax dollars.
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The 05 Project: Glittermas - Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched?

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Diet Coke and Mentos reaction - Google Video
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russian climbing - Google Video

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UK Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Blog

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SouthWest Organizing Project:
During five hectic days in early November, I was part of a national delegation of some 40 organizers and activists from across the country – representing immigrant rights, environmental justice, faith, labor, Indigenous African American and other people of color community organizations, accompanied by community leaders from Louisiana, Mississippi, and neighboring states – that participated in a solidarity and justice tour of the Hurricane Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast region.

We went to meet with leaders and residents of devastated communities and began to dream together how to collectively overcome the severe challenges and obstacles the not-so natural disaster poses to achieving justice and healthy community in the Gulf region and country. And we were guided there by the profound belief that only through human and unconditional solidarity could a greater disaster be prevented.
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The Whispering Campaign: Knowledge Is Power! Pass It On!!
The Whispering Campaign gives you tools to help educate your friends and neighbors, without drawing too much attention to yourself.

Our mission: Find real journalism on the net and provide samples of it here, formatted for easy printing and distribution.
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Labor's movement - Los Angeles Times
THE REMARKABLE recent success of the Service Employees International Union in organizing more than 5,000 janitors in Houston constituted the largest victorious union organizing drive in the South in recent memory. For those of us who still believe in the importance of the union movement, it was a welcome sign of organized labor's much-needed revitalization after years of falling membership and declining influence.
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ypsi~dixit: Hideous Art Soon to Plague Ann Arbor
THE "PIGSKINS ON PARADE" DESIGNS ARE FLOODING IN.
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Mark Maynard - social darwinism, barak obama and syriana
George Clooney wants Barak Obama to run for President, and, given what the Senator’s been saying lately, I think he’d be my choice too… Here’s a clip from Reuters:

"Republicans controlling the federal government practice Social Darwinism, a discredited philosophy that in economics and politics calls for survival of the fittest, according to a Democratic U.S. senator.

Sen. Barak Obama of Illinois, a fast-rising Democratic star, told Florida party members that only a philosophy among Republicans of sink or swim explains why some Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans still live in cars while Republicans in Washington prepare next week to enact $70 billion in tax breaks…"
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Commie Curmudgeon: When Property Destruction is Treated the Same as Murder, That Is a Sign of a Truly Sick System
Free’s sentence seemed pretty extreme, even for state of the United States, as a response to eco-sabotage. However, in the current political climate, this situation isn’t even shocking anymore. The state has exploited the greatly increased fear of terrorism during the past few years to vilify militant eco-saboteurs as “terrorists.” Personally, I don’t think that property destruction is terrorism at all, especially when the property being destroyed is directly related to the issue being acted upon. Terrorism involves harm committed to people, usually the destruction of lives, usually the lives of people who have no direct connection to, or influence upon, the issues or injustices that (supposedly) motivated the terrorists. In other words, it involves physical violence committed against innocent human beings. This sort of game, as far as I’m concerned, is very different from the acts of eco-sabotage that our government is choosing to call "terrorism."
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The Corpus Callosum: Impeach Bush Sign, One of Many



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BlackBox Radio: Blackbox Radio for Dec 6th 2005
Newly declassified documents show that British diplomats in Jakarta and the Foreign Office lied about their knowledge of Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor and worked with the Unites States and Australia to cover up details of the atrocities committed by Jakarta's troops during the attack, writes the Guardian

According to a top secret 1975 telegram sent by the embassy, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listed East Timor high on his list of places the US would not get involved in, and the British decided to follow suit.

The documents detail how the British embassy in Jakarta and the Foreign Office lied about their knowledge of atrocities, particularly the killing of three Australian and two British newsmen in a house in the town of Balibo shortly before the main invasion. John Ford, the ambassador in Jakarta, said in a December 24th, 1975 telegram that, quote "If asked to comment on any stories of atrocities, I suggest we say that we have no information."

Relatives of the British journalists, Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters, were told they were killed in crossfire.

The invasion and brutal 25-year occupation of East Timor by Indonesian forces resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 Timorese. No member of the Indonesian military has ever been prosecuted.
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Living on Less
This essay from the Christian Science Monitor pissed me off for its stupidity. I hate conspiracy theories myself, but his author seems to think that all theories about how government power works are conspiracy theories. A conspiracy theory is flawed by definition because it is based on no actual facts or evidence, and it assumes that the powers behind it are colluding, actively working together in back room meetings to defraud the public: hence the term "conspiracy." But when a powerful group of individuals or constituencies have a common interest, there is no need for them to collude, or even communicate with each other. All they have to do is do their part to further their own interests, and the rest simply falls into place.
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DIYmedia.net News Archive: December 2005
Yesterday activists with Greenpeace launched a banner-deploying blimp at the international headquarters of Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, California. Supplementing this action was a microradio station broadcasting on 91.3 FM, which told nearby listeners to "contact HP CEO Mark Hurd" about the company's use of toxic chemicals in its products, when safer alternative raw materials abound. It's nice to see the onsite action-based broadcast model is alive and well.
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to the barricades

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mousemusings

From time to time, we hear various politicians refer to Iraq as "sovereign," a word that generally is taken to mean that the people of Iraq control their own political process. But recent events suggest that the sovereignty is nominal:
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karmalised: WalMart is Not Progressive - Neither are Democrats
freeman's written an especially good response to Karen DeCoster's objections to his criticisms of WalMart. I happened upon yet another WalMart related post via Mises' blog. It's an endorsement of Progressive Wal-Mart. Really. by Sebastian Mallaby [ 28 November 2005 Washington Post ]

Mallaby begins by asserting that WalMart is good for poor Americans because it provides cheaper goods. Kevin Carson revisits sweatshop apologists here.

I want to add that Cafe Hayek's introduction, "But then, having teed up the ball, Mallaby proceeds to drive it out of sight," to Mallaby's statements equating the Medicaid system to national healthcare (which follow), is idiotic. It's difficult to fathom a person of Mallaby's calibre (he worked 13 years for The Economist of London) would make the analogy unless he intended to pander to morons, although the possibility does exist that Mallaby is one himself.
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lol!

Human Iterations

"(Trading One False Idol For Another)

'I'm agnostic... I believe in the state.'

I'm sorry. No. Fuck you.

Gotdamned socialists. They're useful. But sometimes you just want to smack 'em upside the head."
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Blahsploitation ...
A fairly disasterous thing has happened politically in Brazil this week.

A parliamentary enquiry into the land reform movement has issued its report and recommendation to the government. The committee - hijacked by right-wing land-owners' representatives - has disregarded most of the original research and suggestions, and substituted a blanket condemnation of all squatter's movements and recommended that invasion be legally declared a form of "terrorism".
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Bob's Links and Rants: Still here! This hasn't happened...yet



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Beginners Guide to Securing a Pc
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Members for Democracy - FRONT PAGE
Things came to a head in 2004. In the spring of that year, Georgetti's daughter Sarah was hired as office manager. Much better compensated than the magazine's writers, Ms. Georgetti reportedly clashed with TCW's editor and with Salmi. In October 2004 Kay and, a group that Salmi describes as "a shady cabal of backers", took control of Victory Square Publishing. Kay fired Terminal City Weekly's editor and disabled Salmi's access to an electronic archive of all of the material he'd written for the magazine since 2001.
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rawblogXport:
Countering the war on workers - Joslyn N. Williams, The Common Denominator
It's not that Americans don't want unions. More than half of working Americans who don't already have a union say they'd join one tomorrow if given the chance. They know that unions mean good jobs, and good jobs mean strong communities.

The sad truth is that every 23 minutes in this country, a worker is illegally fired for exercising his or her human and constitutional right to form a union.
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ContingentWorkforce.Org
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another blog is possible � Blog Archive � Governor Gropeinator:
This is one of the funniest things I’ve seen online in some time, an old video of Governor Arnold in Rio. Warning: this video is not work friendly.
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ypsi~dixit: Sam Harris's Atheist Manifesto:
"Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle. The obvious must be observed and re-observed and argued for. This is a thankless job. It carries with it an aura of petulance and insensitivity. It is, moreover, a job that the atheist does not want."

"Only the atheist appreciates just how uncanny our situation is: Most of us believe in a God that is every bit as specious as the gods of Mount Olympus; no person, whatever his or her qualifications, can seek public office in the United States without pretending to be certain that such a God exists; and much of what passes for public policy in our country conforms to religious taboos and superstitions appropriate to a medieval theocracy. Our circumstance is abject, indefensible and terrifying. It would be hilarious if the stakes were not so high."

"It is perfectly absurd for religious moderates to suggest that a rational human being can believe in God simply because this belief makes him happy, relieves his fear of death or gives his life meaning. The absurdity becomes obvious the moment we swap the notion of God for some other consoling proposition: Imagine, for instance, that a man wants to believe that there is a diamond buried somewhere in his yard that is the size of a refrigerator. No doubt it would feel uncommonly good to believe this. Just imagine what would happen if he then followed the example of religious moderates and maintained this belief along pragmatic lines: When asked why he thinks that there is a diamond in his yard that is thousands of times larger than any yet discovered, he says things like, “This belief gives my life meaning,” or “My family and I enjoy digging for it on Sundays,” or “I wouldn’t want to live in a universe where there wasn’t a diamond buried in my backyard that is the size of a refrigerator.” Clearly these responses are inadequate. But they are worse than that. They are the responses of a madman or an idiot."
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Can the Democrats Win the Ground War at Home?
Dozens if not hundreds of activists who worked on last year's election are now running for local office, and the big institutional players like the labor and environmental movements continue to build power through grassroots organizing. "It wasn't a blip," says Robert Kraig, political director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Wisconsin. "It was part of something that's seriously going on, on the left."
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All Facts and Opinions: Remembering Lennon and Dancing on Dec. 8
On that day in 1980, I was working as a radio disc jockey in Louisville, KY. That night I went out to dinner with some friends; we had a great time. Upon our return to my Jeffersontown apartment, I flipped on the television to catch the Dolphins/Patriots game on "Monday Night Football." Two minutes after turning on the set, legendary commentator Howard Cosell announced some horrible news: John Lennon had been shot in New York City.


I was 13 at the time, didn't know much about the world, but was devasted. In the last few years have come to appreciate his work even more. Check out this .mov - Working Class Hero
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Jon Stahl’s Journal � Blog Archive � A big challenge: building new work habits for a networked world
But the biggest thing I’m learning from all of these experiments is how much there is to learn about how to work effectively in a complex network of poeple and information. And I’m realizing that progressive movements are going to need to invest a LOT more resources into teaching our people how to work effectively in this new kind of environment. It’s not obvious, it’s not intuitive, and while the tools are powerful, it takes some experience to wield them.
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>bt: Brain Terminal
In a world where the humiliations of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are considered torture
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For a Ruthless Critique of Activism… at poverty pays for the kingdom
One thing that has always surprised me about the activist community is it’s relative intollerence of outside opinions.

If the ends are not the problem with activism, then might it be the means? This may not seem like rocket science, but I think a point that is ubiqudously over looked.
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Flagrancy to Reason
eliminating the right to organize:

The report, conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Urban Economic Development (CUED) and commissioned by American Rights at Work, finds that:

* 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
* 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union.
* 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with bribery or favoritism.
* 82% of employers hire unionbusting consultants to fight organizing drives.
* 91% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with supervisors.

In 91 percent of the cases surveyed for the report, a majority of workers indicated that they wanted a union before the representation election process began. In several instances workers demonstrated more than 80 percent support for a union. However, after workers were exposed to employer unionbusting activity, only 31 percent of these campaigns resulted in union-represented workers.

I would note that legal reform isn't going to make the executive enforce the existing laws, let alone new ones.
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Beth's Blog
Mena Trott has posted the full text of her keynote from Les Blogs about civility in the blogging world. Go read it, but I think for those us who trying to educate nonprofits about blogging, we need her closing point in mind:

Fundamentally, our biggest goal should be bringing a new generation to weblogging.

If we want to bring a new generation to weblogging -- a goal that I've seen attendees here expressing -- we need to create an environment where people feel welcomed.
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Fruits of Our Labour: NYU Grad Student Strike Poster

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theboxtank: Wal-Mart Customers "Confused" At Whirl-Mart Action:
A Whirl-Mart consists of activists forming a train of empty carts and whirling around, not buying anything. "Most of the costumers were confused, but others dug it." said activist Connie Murillo. Other protesters reported getting thumbs ups and knowing smiles from Wal-Mart employees.
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theboxtank: Punks & Freaks Hit Wal-Mart For Dance Party:
"What happens when you take a gang of 25 punks, sceneagers and freaks to Wal-Mart for a dance party on the busiest shopping weekend of the year?"
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An International Peace Movement Building :: Let's Try Democracy :: David Swanson Dot Org
On Saturday, December 10, in London, England, leaders of the peace movement against the Iraq war from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Iraq will meet to strategize. There is hope that the tide has already turned against the occupation, and that a coordinated international effort will be able to mobilize sufficient public pressure to bring the war to a complete end.

If you can make it to London, sign up here: http://www.stopwar.org.uk

If you can't make it, I think I have an easy second-best course of action for you. One of the speakers at the opening session in London will be Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and at the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. Phyllis has just published a book called "Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the U.N. Defy U.S. Power."
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The idea of video made for people to be running with a torch for peace, each person sends in (prespecified format) to piece it together like the infinite flickr post from earlier...

Smart Mobs: Video characters in new torching movie:
A movie cobbled together on a new video game called The Movie is circulating on the Web. The Washington Post has an article today describing how “The film, called The French Democracy, is inspired by real-life events that led up to the riots” that recently enflamed France. The movie could be made quickly because video characters were substituted for real people.
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japser's blog: Celebration of colour:
A while ago the song and especially a hard to find video clip from Bjorks Who is it really touched me. The simplicity and absurdity of the bell covered costumes, the Islandic landscape, the song that was composed using only voices and bells all contributed to that feeling of enlightenment. I really admire Bjork for finding and working with the people who create such pieces of art.
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How would you change Flickr? - The Social Software Weblog - socialsoftware.weblogsinc.com
We had done a successful “How would you change…” feature series over on Engadget that TUAW also recently took up with the “You’re in charge…” series. The idea is, pick a gadget/application/web service and create a massively multiplayer wishlist for that thing. Seems like this could work well in SocialSoftwareLandia, so let’s see how it goes — How would you change Flickr? I’ll start with a few, then please throw your wishlist into the comments…


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AmericanEdit.org: Dean Gray Tuesday
Only 10 days after its release, the mash-up album American Edit, which pays tribute to the acclaimed Green Day album American Idiot through some of the best mash-up productions of 2005, was shut down reportedly after received a cease & desist order from Green Day's label, Warner records, despite the fact that it was released as an internet only release with no commercial gain for the team of mash-up artists involved. In fact, the only possible profit to be made from the release was a plea from the creators of the album (known only by the shared alias Dean Gray) for fans who enjoyed the creation to donate to one of three possible charities that Green Day have been known to support. Furthermore, the mash-up versions were such fantastic productions that they were truly a departure from the standard Green Day performances and would not compete for consumptive dollars.


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The infinite flickr | Uwe Hermann

The infinite flickr slideshow. Better than TV, and more... ehm... recursive?

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***R.H.D. BEARDED MIRACLES***:
I imagine that many of our other readers have noticed that it has all been downhill for Greenday since welcome to paradise, but how is it that their most overtly political album ever seems less relevant than ever? Even NOFX -- not necessarily the most political punk band out there (understatement) -- beat them to the punch with their latest album War on Errorism. But that's enough ranting about west-coast pop-punk for one day...

What is more important is the news from RHD ally Mark Dilley (witness his miracles here), who sent me a link this afternoon to THIS post, concerning a recent audio-video mashup of Greenday's American Idiot, which was immediately squashed by the abominable Warner Brothers.

But fans of recombinance (and freedom of information) have not missed the pattern: connecting this recent crushing of creativity with Dangermouse's by-now-legendary Grey Album, there is talk in the air of holding a day of civil disobedience, where websters (what the French ingeniously call "internauts") post the mashup for download, in defiance of Warner Brothers. Launch those P2P programs, and see what you can find!
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HCMC nurses agree to union representation
At a time of potentially sweeping changes at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), the hospital's registered nurses have decided to be represented by a union.

The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) announced Monday that federal labor officials have certified it to be the representative for the 1,018 registered nurses at the downtown Minneapolis hospital.
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ypsi~dixit: Underfunded National Parks System Begs for Corporate Sponsorship

Starving for funds, our national parks system is now actively seeking corporate sponsorship in order to remain open and functioning. NPR had a humorous take on this grim story, suggesting the "Lincoln-Mercury Memorial" and that Crater Lakes Park by sponsored by Clearasil. Put aside for a moment your revulsion that our own government is short-changing the vital national treasure that is our parks system, and think up some inventive sponsors for our various national parks. I've assembled a particularly suggestive list of parks, below, or you can browse the whole ginormous list.
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Mark Maynard - the liberal elitist got what was coming to him

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Skookum Talk:Harper, Bush Share Roots in Controversial Philosophy
FNB: Another interesting report on some of the specific ideological underpinnings of the Bush regime, and the efforts to export it's "revolution" elsewhere. For the wonderous B.C. on-line newspaper "The Tyee".


What do close advisors to Stephen Harper and George W. Bush have in common? They reflect to the disturbing teachings of Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who spawned the neoconservative movement.

Strauss, who died in 1973, believed in the inherent inequality of humanity. Most people, he famously taught, are too stupid to make informed decisions about their political affairs. Elite philosophers must decide on affairs of state for us.

In Washington, Straussians exert powerful influence from within the inner circle of the White House. In Canada, they roost, for now, in the so-called Calgary School, guiding Harper in framing his election strategies. What preoccupies Straussians in both places is the question of 'regime change.'"
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Fruits of Our Labour: Boycott for Peace

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Sketchy Thoughts: Did Rap Cause the Rebellion?



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freeculture5c: Warner Records censors American Edit

"American Edit" was an excellent remix album of Green Day's album "American Idiot," using a variety of materials including Bush quotes, the Mission Impossible theme, and The Who. Put together by three artists known collectively as "Dean Gray," the album was available on http://www.americanedit.net/ for free, with links to three charities that Green Day supports.
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mousemusings: oil change

The Participate community includes actors, filmmakers, issue experts, moviegoers, and activists from all over the world. They write blogs, share ideas, sign petitions, recruit new members, organize discussion groups, and take direct action. They are Participants in improving their lives, homes, schools, communities, and the world. The Participate community is you and people like you—it thrives on your ideas, your passion, and your actions.
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Bombs and Shields Stirking workers Seoul South Korea

Seoul, South Korea - Striking workers and angry farmers clashed with police in front of the National Assembly in Seoul. The workers recently began a nation-wide general strike calling for better conditions and more job security for temporary workers. The strike is being observed by only about 10% of the country's labor unions. The farmers have been demonstrating daily in opposition to new World Trade Organization (WTO) endorsed legislation that is expected to devastate small South Korean rice farmers.
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Wikimania05/Presentation-RB1 - Wikibooks
Extending Wikipedia into the Physical World
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WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Free Computer (At A Price)
Hong Kong company Asiatotal is set to release"iT" -- a computer intended to be given away for free to users in the up-and-coming parts of the developing world, starting this month with Brazil. Unlike the One Laptop Per Child project, it's not meant as a tool for education; the iT computer is very much meant as a way to connect users to retailers. In fact, the iT is in almost every respect the Bizarro-world opposite of the $100 Laptop -- and a provocative challenge to those who would bypass the market to bring information tools to the global poor.
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