The truth, not right wing obfuscation and lies.

2006-12-14

Banned....Saved

Harry Potter will stay on the shelves in Georgia. In an article by Greb Bluestein, we learn that “The Georgia Board of Education voted Thursday to uphold a local school board's decision to leave Harry Potter books on library shelves despite a mother's objections.

“The board members voted without discussion to back the Gwinnett County school board's decision to deny Laura Mallory's request to remove the best-selling books.

Mallory, who has three children in elementary school, has worked for more than a year to ban the books from Gwinnett schools, claiming the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft.

"It's mainstreaming witchcraft in a subtle and deceptive manner, in a children-friendly format," said Mallory, who is considering a legal challenge of the board's ruling. "The kind of stuff in these books — murder and greed and violence. Why do they have to read them in school?"

Gwinnett school officials have argued that the books are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination. Banning all books with references to witchcraft would mean classics such as "Macbeth" and "Cinderella" would have to go, they said.

According to the American Library Association. “There have been more than 8,700 attempts since the American Library Association (ALA) began electronically compiling and publishing information on book challenges in 1990.”

Not a Matter for Left of Right

The actions of the so-called Janjaweed in Darfur, Sudan have been moving in and out of the headlines, depending on the whims of the mainstream press. The slaughter, starvation, sacking of villages and rapes continue.

Now teaching and writing in the United States, Tanure Ojaide, a fine poet from Nigeria often writes about some of the problems in Nigeria, but in this poem he turns to the Darfur region of Sudan…”To the Janjaweed.” A portion of the poem follows:

“may djinns you invoke in your despoliation
testify against you in the final judgment

may you be victim of your blood thirst
and wander without relief from paradise

may the fire seeds you sow in Darfur
consume you and your damned bands. . .”


2006-12-13

Why Wear a Watch?

It’s wasteful to buy a watch if you own a cell-phone. Think about the energy costs that go into the making of a watch. And cell-phones automatically keep the correct time.

On the other hand, (a pun) it’s kind of difficult to surreptitiously check the time with a cell phone. And worse while you’re talking on the phone.

2006-12-12

Right (Correct) Ideas About Art

Michael Somoroff, whose Illumination I, is now at the Rothko Chapel, has the right idea about art. In a long interview in Per Contra, he talks not only about that work, but also about his philosophy. For example, “Art serves to bring us closer to one another, allows for the expression of deep emotions when words fail us. This in turn promotes the evolution of the self by creating a condition of social integration, a point of existential comparison, a consensus that paradoxically demands individuation. This process serves as experiential bonding. The greater the resulting social network, the closer we come to the ultimate state of truth—Being.”

Art critic Donald Kuspit writes about Somoroff’s work in the same issue, “A New Sacred Space: Michael Somoroff’s Illumination I.”

2006-12-11

Art Takes a Stand

Lynn Hershman Leeson, new media artist and film maker, takes a stand -- again.

In her interview in Per Contra she explores a number of significant issues that have been themes in her art. She explains her connection with the Critical Art Ensemble.

"LHL: Although I’ve been in exhibitions with Critical Art Ensemble, what really linked me to it was the injustice, intolerance, ignorance, and consequently the growing and pervasive culture of fear that was moving into our lives, all of our lives. To not speak up about it is, to me to be part of the system."

This is no time to be silent.

2006-06-29

Why we need to elect Democrats in November

Problems like gay bashing, civil rights and voting accuracy rely on the courts. Why? Because the courts were set up to check the wild tyranny of the majority in congress. They're looking to pass ammendments on everything.

It won't be long before they pass ammendments outlawing breathing. So we need good courts. Here's an example:

"LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas cannot ban homosexuals from becoming foster parents because there is no link between their sexual orientation and a child's well-being, the state's high court ruled Thursday.

The court agreed with a lower court judge that the state's child welfare board had improperly tried to regulate public morality. The ban also violated the separation of powers doctrine, the justices said."

Elect the Republicans and this goes bye bye, way too fast.

2006-06-26

Big Money Buys Out Vermont's Political Debate

We should all be so lucky as to own a piece of a Senator, or Governor. Ya, I know, "We all do, they represent us." I'm still looking for the one who represents me. But the good old supreme court, who have successfully screwed up everything over the last couple of years (thank you Mr. President), have just raised the price tag for Effective free speech.

From The AP on MSNBC:

"WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Vermont’s limits on contributions and spending in political campaigns are too low and improperly hinder the ability of candidates to raise money and speak to voters." My emphasis

Last time I checked, it was free to speak to me.

2006-06-23

Nasty side effect of energy problems: Mine Workers Getting Killed.

Just as it always goes, the little guys are getting crushed under the weight of our out of control energy consumption. A new story in AP shows how another mine blast has taken a toll.

Trying to keep up with demand that's increased after oil prices shot up, coal miners are being pushed to their limits by coal companies. Ever need a good reason to have government in control of energy supply and distribution? This is it. Capitalism run amok is killing people. One mine explosion at a time.