Wednesday, September 28, 2005

News and Frozen Stawberries..So Sweet, So Cold

Right-o, first with the news. Israel has been stepping up its campaign against the people of palestine with fresh air attacks, although I suppose that's not really news. Mind you, when the palestinians rise up in self-defence, I imagine it will make the headlines. Our good pals Jon Elmer and Valerie Zinc have been reporting from the frontlines. In somecases they have been the only western journalists on the scene. Here are some of their first hand accounts as reported in the New Standard:

1/4 Former Gaza General Eludes UK War Crimes Charge
by Jon Elmer

British agents allowed to slip through their fingers the man who oversaw the destruction of Palestinian homes and o
rdered a bombing that killed 14
noncombatants in 2003.

2/4 Investigation: Five Palestinians Killed in Tul Karm Raid Noncombatants
by Jon Elmer

An investigation into an August 24 raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Tul Karm has found that all five Palestinians killed in the incident were unarmed noncombatants and were not senior Islamic Jihad "terrorists," as the army had originally claimed.

3/4 Israeli Army Continues Use of Palestinians as Human Shields
by Jon Elmer

In direct violation of both domestic and international law, the Israeli military continues to use Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect soldiers during military operations in the occupied Palestinian territories

4/4 Israeli Terror Compensation Rules Treat Jew’s Victims Differently
by Jon Elmer

Arab victims of last month’s terrorist attack on a bus in northern Israel will not be eligible for the same compensation as Jewish victims of Palestinian attacks because the perpetrator - a Jewish Israeli soldier - was not considered a member of a group hostile to the state of Israel.

Speaking of the Middle East, I was pretty happy the british Empire will be withdrawing its illegal occupation in May. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw an article on the front page of the new zealand herald that said that the united $tates army fires 250,000 rounds of ammunition for every civilian (if they were rebels they would have to be treated as such under the Geneva Convention) they kill. Now I'll be the first to admit that I don't know very much about the mechanics of militaries in general, much less how many supplies they go through, but 250,000 per person? Just like in the movies I suppose... just like on tv...

Anti-war activists in the u$ have followed up their demonstration of 100,000 with some good ol' fashioned civil disobedience. Even the vanguard of the proletariat: Cindy Sheehan was arrested with many others (note the officers of the peace) in front of the WHITE house. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this photo of the black bloc in front of the WHITE house, I think the banners were great!

Moving on from the WHITE house to one of it's residents, condi rice was expressing concern that more had to be done to prepare for haiti's presidential and legislative elections in November. The part I don't get is, if condi gives a rat's ass (sorry mom) about democracy in haiti, then why didn't she speak up when the united states and canada overthrew democratically elected jean bertrand aristeed 1 2 in a political coup and puppet government that continues to this day?

Anna Hunter, if you're reading this we're trying to get a hold of stay by your phone and wait for our call.. :)

Eabha has learned how to take garbage/compost and put it in the bin under the sink! We're really keen to rent out her cleaning services in the neighbourhood, but we're afraid she's gonna organize a radical union like these french guys here. Honestly, this is the CRAZIEST labour/direct-action I have heard about in a G8 country in a long time...Solidarity! For more information about worker takeovers, check out this documentary by Naomi Klein: The Take

Emily is preparing various wares for a few music festivals comming up. She's also working on getting a few more needles to tattoo a few more folks before we leave. Speaking of Emily and her great artwork, 'member one of those empty blog promises from a while back? Right, the one about one of her best art pieces I've seen so far? O.K, the photo isn't the greatest, and we'll update it on our first sunny day, but this indian ink and water painting and drawing can be found on EMILY'S ART BLOG.

Well, by my count I still have four essays and many, many forms to fill out before we go to Waikato and surrounding areas this weekend. Until next time...where's morgan?

Use The Force,
John D

Danny Vegas feeds Eabha a frozen strawberry.. JD Posted by Picasa

Eabha reacts to being photographed with a partial "Squinty Face".. JD Posted by Picasa

Sussing out the living room with the frozen strawberry.. JD Posted by Picasa

In we go.. JD Posted by Picasa

MMMM Frozen strawberry.. JD Posted by Picasa

Emily and Danny Vegas and Eabha with her frozen strawberry (what was left of it).. JD Posted by Picasa

Eabha hands the leftovers to Mama.. JD Posted by Picasa

Emily was making leek soup and stir fry. It was very good. That stuff all over the stove was some cocoa that I had make earlier. It boiled over.. JD Posted by Picasa

This was the cocoa in question....sooooo good.. JD Posted by Picasa

If you're going to get cocoa/chocolate producs; make sure to get them "FAIR TRADE". This way slavery won't be promoted by our consumerism!.. The cocoa workers in ghana will certainly appreciate it.. JD Posted by Picasa

This guy is our security feature. He always hangs out on the other side of the curtain in the living room window. He usually has that mask on. She is made out of paper machee. He sometimes wears hats and wigs, leather jackets and shirts, sometimes scarves as well. She is the Mrs. Potatoe head of clothes left around the living room.. JD Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

Shortest Post Ever...

Expect a much bigger post in a few short days, but it the meantime..

Hurricane Rita was clearly a close call. Oil refineries aside, it would seem as though there were very few contingency plans for the poor.

Speaking of poverty. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada had their housing/poverty demonstration. Updates can be found HERE. Sorry to hear that Halifax police were up to their usual tricks with the targeted arrest of outspoken social justice activist, Anna Hunter (more than a good friend as well).

The anti-war rally here in Auckland was quite good. A bank that has profited from the carnage was effectively shut down for several hours. The turnout in wa$hington was hopeful. For a HILARIOUS collection of right-wing nuts that showed up to counter-protest and display their marginalization, CLICK HERE.

So long for now, despite being on break we have a WHOLE LOT to do!

Eabha and Dadad at the pool. Dadad was having more fun that he was letting on.. Em Posted by Picasa

Going Down.. Em Posted by Picasa

Down.. Em Posted by Picasa

Where's Dadad?.. Em Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

RITA: Deja Vu, Or Has Nothing Changed?

Hello all. It's been a whole week (whew!) since the last update, but I'm compensating with a comprehensive post. To begin, with let's point out that two major storms and the third busiest hurricane season on record is a TOTAL COINCIDENCE, it has nothing to do with climate change (a socialist/liberal green agenda conspiracy theory). Unless of course you were to ask Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution which advises the british government, or you could read the article on him HERE.

"If this makes the climate loonies in the States realize we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation," - Sir John Lawton.

So that might be your deja vu, but the racism and classism hasn't changed since the native american genocide or Katrina so it isn't suprising to be already reading articles like this one: Tears, Anger As Some Try To Flee And Many Poor Are Stuck.

You don't need a hurricane (even a Rubin Carter Hurricane) to know that white supremacy is still alive and well in the united states (as it is most everywhere in the world). Just look at corporate media's coverage of two murders, of two men, of the same age, on the same night! But to consider the white supremacy on a global scale, one need only consider corporate media's coverage of these climate change disasters with ones that take place in poor countries without the infrastructure to cope.

americans (or at least their renegade "leaders"), although slow to grasp the concept of climate change, have (well over half have) come to terms with one reality. Apparently over half now believe they will lose the war. Hey, I thought it was over already!

Well, a labour coalition has won in new zealand again for the 3rd (record breaking term). The labour/green coalition outcome which won by a VERY narrow margin, reflects a polarisation of electoral politics that can be seen in many parts of the world including canada, the united states, germany, france... I'm sure there's more. My theory? I think that the amount of people who feel voting produces meaningful change is less and less, this fact is reflected in a declining voter turnout in many countries. Most people who would be inclined to vote progressively don't vote, as a result of this reality the victorious side gets in by a narrow margin . Now I'm among a small minority of anarchist who vote. But I vote as a tactic, and like signing petitions (another tactic), I think it is a very minimal contribution to democracy. Really it's a symbolic gesture to select one set of ruling elites over another. In many cases like the united states the difference between the two ruling elite parties is so minute they are barely distinguishable, but it doesn't matter of course if your brother has his hand in the election "counting" process. That being said, when the dark side does get in, the consequences are sever and real to those at the bottom of our social pyramid (the poor, women, non-whites, the environment..), and that's why I vote.

I got some good feedback about the Christianity and anarchism links in the last post, so I'm going to add them to the bottom of the link field, along with the links for December 12th 2012. I think an interesting debate might be brewing in the comments section at the end of two posts back. What do you think, was Jesus white, black or who cares?

I'm really excited about the two week break that has just begun. I have a lot of bureaucratic things to get done, and four assignments, but we plan to get the heck out of this city for at least a little while. When the two weeks are done, I'm back to university for six more weeks and that's it!

One last thing I'll mention before I go, Eabha has come up with a new face expression. You've seen "Crazy Face", and "Scrunchy Face" is the profile photo. Now we'd like you to meet "Squinty Face". Squinty face is something Eabha picked up from us, when we squint at her to scruintinise and encourage self-reflection for her behavior. To our surprise a week ago she did it back to three of us at the same time. Now Eabha does "Squinty Face" on request: "Eabha give *Person's Name* some squinty face".. And out comes this scowl through squinty eyes with the slightest of head shakes, slowly from side to side. The face brings howls of hysterical laughter and squeals of delight, which Eabha absolutely revels in. I'll have you know, she still does "Crazy Face" and "Scrunchy Face" on request!

Well I'd better scoot, there's an international protest against the continued war/occupation/quagmire in Iraq in a few hours.. You can see the first photo of "Squinty Face" in the fourth photograph of Eabha in her stroller bellow (7th photo can't miss it, trust me)..

Bella Chow,

John D

Eabha takes in the view from her stroller.. JD Posted by Picasa

Flower.. Em Posted by Picasa

Flowers.. Em Posted by Picasa

Bird on a branch. Click on the photo for greater detail.. Em Posted by Picasa