30 September 2007
The last few years have seen two things: growing awareness of this movement (such as Jesus Camp and Michelle Goldberg's fascinating book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism) and the movement itself.
The aspect of Christian nationalism that makes it so terrifying is that if it succeeds it would completely do away with our basic freedoms and rights. Freedom of religion would be gone, women's rights would go down the drain, along with so much more that we currently take for granted.
Although many people consider them extremists (which they are) and don't think that they'll ever actually succeed in politics, I feel that they are a major threat. Children are being brainwashed into Jesus-loving zombies whose only goals are to spread their religion among the god-hating heathens. For example, read this post from Feministe: Onward Christian Soldiers.
The idea of Christian nationalism and what would happen if they take power in this country has terrified me for years. What are your takes on this?
28 September 2007
A few samples:
Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict hotter temps will cause a 40 percent drop in California's avocado production over the next 40 years.
"The World Health Organization has identified more than 30 new or resurgent diseases in the last three decades, the sort of explosion some experts say has not happened since the Industrial Revolution brought masses of people together in cities." Why? Global warming "is fueling the spread of epidemics in areas unprepared for the diseases" when mosquitoes, ticks, mice and other carriers are surviving warmer winters and expanding their range, bringing health threats with them."
A recent study done by the International Institute for Strategic Studies has likened the international security effects of global warming to those caused by nuclear war.
Have any of you experienced something similar, or what are your thoughts about paying so much for quick delivery?
27 September 2007
There are three steps that we want.
The first step is to reduce all commodity prices, fuel prices, rice and cooking oil prices immediately.
The second step – release all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and all detainees arrested during ongoing demonstrations over the fuel price hike.
The third step – enter a dialogue with pro-democracy forces for national reconciliation immediately, to resolve the crisis and difficulties facing and suffered by the people.
Leaders condemn Myanmar Crackdown
Shots fired at Burmese protesters
UN sends envoy to meet generals
Burma protests follow night raids
Police raid Myanmar monasteries
UN urges restraint on Burma junta
Myanmar monks' three demands
Myanmar's media in exile
send me whatever you have
Eyewitness: Rangoon protests
Who are Burma's monks?
Nine killed in Burmese crackdown
Burma protesters defy crackdown
Accounts from inside Burma
This is one of the many reasons America needs universal health care. I hope this gets a lot of attention in the mainstream media.
26 September 2007
Is anyone really surprised at this? The only reason Giuliani is even being considered for the presidency is because he made some nifty talks after 9/11. Of course he's going to exploit it.
25 September 2007
They... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned... They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... They would make fine servants... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
I know this was written in a completely different era from our own, but still.
Donald K. Allen
John Taylor Bowles
Jon A Greenspon
Don J. Grundmann
Bob W. Hargis
Thomas J. Kozee Jr
David J. Masters
Charles T. Maxham
James H. Mccall
Wayne Allyn Root
As I wrote this list, I liked the order. So I'm pretty sure it's going to be in that exact order, unless any of the potential candidates decide to run. Because there's so many names there, don't expect me to finish anytime soon. As I finish profiling each candidate I'll post the results. I'm glad to have the opportunity to practice my non-bias. I hope everyone enjoys the next couple months of posts! (psst - Don't worry - I won't stop doing regular posts)
In my opinion, yes. He should have the right to speak to the public, whether or not his comments or beliefs are controversial. The university also should be able to invite anyone they like to give a speech to the students. After all, it really is educational. If I'd been a student at Columbia, I definitely would of gone. In my Intro to Political Science class yesterday, my professor asked us if we would of allowed Adolf Hitler the same opportunity. And my answer is still the same: yes. The free exchange of ideas is very important educationally and politically. By allowing these people to present themselves and their ideas in a democratic context gives the American people a chance to expose themselves to other opinions and cultures. It's very important that we never close our minds to anything.
I want to say a few other things here, stuff that I talked about in my Active Citizenship class this morning. The first thing is something my teacher first brought up: the man who introduced Ahmadinejad made a point of insulting him. Ms. Guise (my prof) made a great point when she likened this to inviting someone to your house and then ripping them apart. I understand that most Americans disagree with Ahmadinejad's postitions, but should we be that mean to him? Also, I heard someone interviewed on the news say that New Yorkers should make it their priority to make his time in this country miserable. What does that say about America? It certainly makes it easy to see why so many people in the world despise us.
What do you think?
People in general buy things they can't afford. They're influenced by the glittering consumerism they see everywhere; on TV, in the fancy neighborhood, around their peers. Most people want that huge house on the hill whether they can actually pay for it or not. They might assume that they'll get that huge raise that's rumored, or that it'll all work out. But, in actuality, it doesn't. A lot of people end up having to sell the house and their new car, declare bankruptcy, or find a new way to pay for their things.
The simplest solution is the hardest for most people: voluntary minimalism. You don't need all that junk to make you happy. And you don't have to keep up with your neighbors. If you want a house, buy one that you can afford. You'll probably be happier in a house you can actually continue to live in rather than in one you have to leave because you can no longer afford it.
Anyway, here's the article: The Empire of Dept
24 September 2007
Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism
Are C-sections Killing Women?
Krugman: Politics in Black and White
Merkel angers China on Dalai Lama
Multiple Studies Reveal Dire Meltdown in Arctic
New equations of living just out...
Coverage of Burma:
Burma March Largest in 20 Years
Nuns in Burma anti-junta rallies
Microeconomics presents us with some basic knowledge of supply and demand based on scarcity. Scarcity is the main idea of economics; we can only produce as much as our resources allow us to. As my professor told us the very first day, there is no free lunch. It might be free to you, but resources have gone into the production of that lunch. Opportunity cost is defined as "the amount of other products that must be forgone or sacrificed to produce a unit of a product" (Microeconomics, McConnel, Bree). Thus, those resources used to make that soy burger could have been used to make something else.
One aspect of the topic that we only recently covered in class is absolute and comparable advantage. This had an impact on me, as this is something that we can use in many aspects of our lives. Absolute advantage is when you are the best at something; you have an absolute advantage over everyone else. A comparable advantage is when one person is "less bad" at something than someone else.
No matter how hard I try, I can't think of a way to explain this than how my professor, Dr. Miller, explained it. He used the example of two people stranded on a deserted island; one's a jock and the other is a fisherman. There are two tasks that need to be done on the island to ensure their survival: collecting fresh water from the stream on the middle of the island, and collecting enough fish to survive. If each person were to try to survive on their own, they would ultimately get just enough to live. However, if they opened trade between them, they could each live more comfortably. The fisherman could spend his time catching fish, while the jock ran back and forth from the stream.
But what about a different scenario? Imagine that the fisherman is replaced by nerd that has no absolute advantage over the jock? Should the jock still trade with him. The answer is yes. Even though the jock is better at both fishing and fetching water, the nerd might be less bad at fishing than collecting fresh water. They would both increase what little resources they have by the jock continuing to get the water, and the jock fishing. Sure, they'd eat less, but they'd still have more than if they were on their own.
Dr. Miller's example clearly illuminates how important this topic is. Although the above situation is hypothetical, we can use absolute and comparable advantages, along with other factors of microeconomics, in our everyday lives to make ourselves more successful.
23 September 2007
"You may ask, Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path? You are quite right in calling for negotiations. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.... My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is a historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.... We know from painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." - Martin Luther King Jr.
22 September 2007
The site that I first encountered was the Animal Rescue site, which covers so much more than just feeding shelter animals. You can also support the protection of the rainforest, free mammograms, literacy, health care, and ending hunger. Click to give.
Care2 has a similar page. Here you can click for the rain forest, seals, oceans, big cats, primates, children, pets, ending violence, and ending breast cancer. And it's all on one page to make it even more convenient. Care2 Click to Donate.
Another site I'm grouping in this category is GoodSearch. It's not actually a click to give site, but it's a search engine that donates to an organization that you specify every time you use it. It's powered by Yahoo!, and it's nowhere near as expansive as Google, but is that really more important than giving to a great cause - for nothing on your part? GoodSearch.