Sunday, April 30, 2006

Still one of my heros ~ Howard Zinn!

Ever since I read "A People's History of the United States" Howard Zinn has been admired by me for telling the truth, sometimes when very few others were doing so.

An article today:

War on Iraq: Removing America's Blinders
by Howard Zinn~ The Progressive ~ April 24, 2006
If Americans were more aware of how often our leaders have lied in order to wage war, would anyone have believed this president's justifications for attacking Iraq?
Click here to read the article ~ opens in new window.

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More stories on Alternet by Howard Zinn ~ Click here to get to the page that links to them ~ opens in new window.

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And for more information on Howard Zinn in Wikipedia, click here to read the article ~ opens in new window.

May Day ~ tommorrow May 1st

Tomorrow is May Day and a national boycott is planned.

Here are articles I recommend:

Why I Will Boycott on May 1
by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández ~ AlterNet. ~ April 28, 2006.
I will stand with my immigrant sisters and brothers because I value their contribution to America, and because their work makes my privilege possible.
Click here to read the whole article ~ opens in new window.

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No Justice, No Work ~ Immigrants tap May Day's radical roots
by Sarah Ferguson ~ The Villliage Voice ~ April 28th, 2006
It has been called "A Day Without Immigrants."
"The Great American Boycott."
And down in Mexico: "Nothing Gringo."
Click here to read the whole article ~ opens in new window.

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For some background history on May Day in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, click here ~ opens in new window.

Cover the Uninsured Week ~ May 1-7 2006

Alec and I don't have health insurance. We work on contract and also are
self-employed. He had open heart surgery in 2002. I have epilepsy (adult onset starting in 1998 and I was just recently diagnosed with diabetes and high cholesterol. So we are private pay on everything - doctors, medicine, hospital stays etc.

During May 1-7, 2006 thousands of activities will take place across the United States to tell Congress that health coverage for Americans must be their top priority.

Alec and I are planning to go to the May 5th "2006 Gala Celebration Breakfast" in Lacey Washington (right next to Olympia.)

To see the Cover the Uninsured website including news and events that may be planned in your community, click here ~ opens in new window.

song ~ "Holy Dirt" by Steve Schalchlin

With me mentioning the new songs of war and politics by Neil Young and by Pink with The Indigo Girls I want to share this one too. My friend Steve Scalchlin wrote in his online diary, Living in the Bonusround: "Musical Insurgency" (dated December 18-20, 2004).

In an entry called The World of The Song (opens in new window) he wrote:
I think I might have mentioned a new song called "Holy Dirt." I wrote on our last cruise on this really great Yamaha grand. On the very last day, I invited these two really cool people, a young couple I might have mentioned before, into the Commodore Club so that I could play it for an audience for the first time to get a response.

When I finished the song, they literally could not move. We had an incredibly intense moment and it led to some heavy conversation because the song has a religio-political point of view about the irony of how when people designate something as "holy" -- whether it's land or an object or a person -- other people end up dead. It's like human nature is prone to worshipping and valuing their possesion of things more than they value life.

A simple thought, maybe. Debatable, maybe. But I think entirely relevant at a time when Holy Wars are going on all around us.
and click here) to watch "Holy Dirt." on Steve's blog. (opens in new window)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

welcome Linus!

email from Noel this morning:
There is a new member of the family. I finally got around to adopting a cat. His name is Linus. He’s 2 years old and he’s currently adjusting to his new home by hiding in the closet.

I’ve attached a picture.

article: Neil Young's Songs of Impeachment

By Jan Frel, AlterNet
April 28, 2006
With Neil Young and Pearl Jam releasing devastating anti-Bush albums in the coming weeks, it looks like rock has rejuvenated its protest past.
read to article ~ opens in new window

Thursday, April 27, 2006

miscellany -- a mixture of various things you want to post on?

Hi everyone.

This is a good place for other things -- perhaps your comments in response to my website or things you want to share.

Gabi

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"Dear Mr. President" by Pink and The The Indigo Girls

Here is a great new song for our times "Dear Mr. President" by Pink ~ sung live with the Indigo Girls on Pink's new album, I'm Not Dead.

See the online video of the song in concert here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eDJ3cuXKV4&eurl=

and read the lyrics here:
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pink/dearmrpresident.html

Neil Young "Living With War"

In the past Neil Young supported Mr. Bush. He is now against the war, speaking out and will be releasing a new album Living With War next week .

NEIL YOUNG - Living With War
http://livingwithwar.blogspot.com

Interview with him on youtube streaming video online:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7utryGZ25dg

and an article:
http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=205780

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A letter to Jay Leno

This letter came to me through a PFLAG email list I am on. The man who wrote it is Jeff Whitty, the author of the Tony Award-winning Broadway play "Avenue Q." He wants this to go around the globe and back so by all means post it on your websites and email it to everyone you know. It's about time we all take a stand on stopping this destructive type of humor.
Dear Mr. Leno,

My name is Jeff Whitty. I live in New York City. I’m a playwright and the author of "Avenue Q", which is a musical currently running on Broadway.

I've been watching your show a bit, and I'd like to make an observation:

When you think of gay people, it's funny. They're funny folks. They wear leather. They like Judy Garland. They like disco music. They're sort of like Stepin Fetchit as channeled by Richard Simmons.

Gay people, to you, are great material.

Mr. Leno, let me share with you my view of gay people:

When I think of gay people, I think of the gay news anchor who took a tire iron to the head several times when he was vacationing in St. Maarten's. I think of my friend who was visiting Hamburger Mary's, a gay restaurant in Las Vegas, when a bigot threw a smoke bomb filled with toxic chemicals into the restaurant, leaving the staff and gay clientele coughing, puking, and running in terror.

I think of visiting my gay friends at their house in the country, sitting outside for dinner, and hearing, within hundreds of feet of where we sat, taunting voices yelling "Faggots." I think of hugging my boyfriend goodbye for the day on 8th Avenue in Manhattan, and being mocked and taunted by passing high school students.

When I think of gay people, I think of suicide. I think of a countless list of people who took their own lives because the world was so toxically hostile to them. Because of the deathly climate of the closet, we will never be able to count them. You think gay people are great material. I think of a silent holocaust that continues to this day. I think of a silent holocaust that is perpetuated by people like you, who seek to minimize us and make fun of us and who I suspect really, fundamentally wish we would just go away.

When I think of gay people, I think of a brave group that has made tremendous contributions to society, in arts, letters, science, philosophy, and politics. I think of some of the most hilarious people I know. I think of a group that has served as a cultural guardian for an ungrateful and ignorant America.

I think of a group of people who have undergone a brave act of inventing themselves. Every single out-of-the-closet gay person has had to say, "I am not part of mainstream society." Mr. Leno, that takes bigger balls than stepping out in front of TV-watching America every night. I daresay I suspect it takes bigger balls to come out of the closet than any thing you have ever done in your life.

I know you know gay people, Mr. Leno. Are they just jokes to you, to be snickered at behind their backs? Despite the angry tenor of my letter, I suspect you're a better man than that. I don't bother writing letters to the "God Hates Fags" people, or Donald Wildmon, or the Pope. But I think you can do better. I know it's "The Tonight Show," not a White House press conference, but you reach a lot of people.

I caught your show when you had a tired mockery of "Brokeback Mountain," involving something about a horse done up in what you consider a "gay" way. Man, that's dated. I turned the television off and felt pretty fucking depressed. And now I understand your gay-baiting jokes have continued.

Mr. Leno, I have a sense of humor. It's my livelihood. And being gay has many hilarious aspects to it -- none of which, I suspect, you understand. I'm tired of people like you. When I think of gay people, I think of centuries of suffering. I think of really, really good people who've been gravely mistreated for a long time now.

You've got to cut it out, Jay.

Sincerely,
Jeff Whitty New York, NY

Immigration Reform, Scary times and Welcome to my Blog

There is a quote by actor-comedian George Lopez in the April 24th, 2006 article Stars don’t come out for this fight about USA immigration reform:
“I agree with them (Hispanic advocates) in saying we should get involved,” Lopez told The Associated Press. “I think the thing that frightens Hollywood right now is it’s such a powder keg they’re afraid of getting burned, as public figures.”
That really spoke to me. We live in scary times. I hear about so much with so many people on so many issues -- some I am more involved with and some less. I know I can't do it all but I try to keep up with a lot and started this blog as a way to share some of those things and my thoughts on them with you. (I promise it won't be all scary hard stuff. I do have a sense of humor thank goodness, and will share good stuff and people too.)

The article reminded me of when the House Un-American Activities Committee did it before in what became known as the "Hollywood Blacklist." It hit close to home because while my father was never exactly blacklisted that I know of, he was a Marxist & a member of the Communist Party in the 1950's. I was told years later by my mother that our house was watched and that a friend of the family who was a pilot from England was questioned once at the airport about who he had seen while a guest at our home. And the FBI approached a company he was working for and tried to get him fired because of his politics.

This is from a Wikipedia Encyclopedia article: House Un-American Activities Committee
Later the committee held nine days of hearings into alleged Communist propaganda in the Hollywood motion picture industry. After conviction on contempt of Congress charges for refusal to answer some questions posed by committee members, the "Hollywood Ten" were "blacklisted" by the industry. Eventually, more than 300 artists—including directors, radio commentators, actors and screenwriters—were boycotted by the studios. Some, like Charlie Chaplin, left the country to find work. Others wrote under pseudonyms or the names of colleagues.
(also see the Wikipedia article on Joseph McCarthy)

Back to scary times and to my family. How could this sweet man I called my dad be a 'bad man"? Why were we hiding under chairs in school incase "the commies" bombed us? That was the man I loved!

I sure don't have all the answers about how to handle immigration but I believe that a lot of the issue is racism and classism.

Quoting Leonard Peltier
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.
So welcome to my blog and please make comments.
Gabi