Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Hope Blogging

First things first: Click here to see how you can help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. While doing so, bear this in mind:

Tucked into the House Republican continuing resolution are provisions cutting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the National Weather Service, as well as humanitarian and foreign aid.

Then, click here to tell the New York Times to apologize for its utterly grotesque reporting on an 11-year-old victim of gang-rape.

Last, please click here to contribute to the recall effort in Wisconsin.

Apropos of which, Wisconsin high school students are planning a walkout, and calling for students in other states to join them.

Wisconsin Students in Solidarity is asking for the nationwide walkout to happen this Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. local time. Less than 12 hours after being formed, the Facebook event, Nationwide Student Walkout, has almost 2,000 "attendees" from across the country and student-led copycat groups and events are springing up on the social media hub.

And other activists are targeting Scott Walker's campaign contributors:

The blowback from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s union-busting crusade has only just begun—and it may soon hit the governor where it really hurts: in the deep pockets of his biggest donors. Workers have begun organizing a “Move Your Money Campaign” against M&I Bank, whose employees are among his chief financial backers....

On Thursday morning, several hundred protestors surrounded an M&I Bank across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol shouting “You Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out.” International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311 President Joe Conway, Jr., told me two union members marched in and pulled a combined $192,000 dollars out of the bank. “Hopefully this sends a message to the bank,” says Conway. “We wanted to illustrate how serious our threat is by having just two of our members pull their money out. “ The union said it plans to escalate actions and will soon begin handing out flyers at protests asking people to move their money.

Meanwhile, Seattle food safety attorney Bill Marler is calling on law firms to support public unions:

Marler is using social media to encourage other law firms to show support for public union employees in Wisconsin. Marler is closing his law firm early Friday as a gesture of solidarity and as a protest against the state's efforts to reduce collective bargaining power for Wisconsin public union employees....

“I believe we owe a debt to the union employees who keep our society moving,” said Marler. “Times are economically challenging, but it’s short sided and socially unconscionable to so greatly devalue the work of those who fix our roads, drive our buses, and, not to mention, educate our children.

And Iraq Veterans Against the War is planning a solidarity march:
Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on all veterans and peace organizations to mobilize to Madison, Wisconsin on March 19th, the 8th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, to stand in solidarity with workers organizing for their rights....

As military veterans, we call on our brothers and sisters in the Wisconsin National Guard to refuse and resist any mobilization orders. We believe military service members are public employees. It is dishonorable to suggest that military personnel should be deployed against teachers, health care providers, firefighters, police officers, and other government employees, many of whom are serving in the National Guard. The Wisconsin National Guard was sent in to repress workers fighting for the eight hour workday over a century ago. It is vital that our brothers and sisters know they have a choice and can fall on the right side of history this time by standing with the working people of Wisconsin.
In New Hampshire, organized protesters derailed a Republican attempt to deny voting rights to college students:
The New Hampshire House Elections Committee shot down an attempt to screw students out of the right to vote in their campus towns. Students, who have been organizing against this travesty since it was introduced in January, deserve full credit for their protests and letter-writing campaigns.
In tangentially related news, young Americans have sex.

Illinois has abolished the death penalty:
Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Senate Bill 3539, ending Illinois' dysfunctional and broken death penalty system. The measure ends an embarrassing history in Illinois, during which 20 men sentenced to death have been exonerated and released from the state's death row....

After more than a decade of struggle, after 20 exonerations, after all the work and toil, today the death penalty system in Illinois has been eliminated. It is a good day for justice.
In Virginia, plans for the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline have been suspended:

This is great news for clean energy advocates—as the proposed PATH is a $2 billion proposal to build a 275-mile long 765-kV transmission line starting at the John Amos coal-fired power plant in West Virginia, which would go through West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Denver is using water fees for forest restoration:
Like many cities around the world, Denver gets its drinking water from rivers and reservoirs, which in turn get their water from forests. Many of those forests, however, are in trouble – thanks to funding cuts, climate change, and a horde of opportunistic beetles. That puts the city's water supply at risk as well, so Denver teamed up with the U.S. Forest Service to funnel money it collects from water fees into forest restoration. And it's not the only city to do so.
I'm skeptical about this scheme, but I can't help admiring its scale:
This eye-popping Hydra Tower aims to solve the hydrogen conundrum in the most logical awesome way possible -- by harnessing bolts of lighting to smash molecules of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The spire's sinuous exoskeleton is made from graphene, a carbon super-material that is 200 times stronger than steel and highly conductive to heat and electricity - the better to channel incredible amounts of energy straight from the sky.
Anti-Qaddafi protesters have seized his son's London mansion:
Calling itself Topple the Tyrants, a U.K. group has taken control of Muammar Gaddafi progeny Saif Al Islam Gaddafi's multimillion-pound mansion in Hampstead, London, a tony Inner London suburb. The activists now occupy the property and have taken to the 17-room home's roof with a Libyan rebel flag and several anti-Gaddafi banners. They also have a spokesperson who's talking to reporters: "We didn't trust the British government to properly seize the Gaddafi regime's corrupt assets, so we took matters into our own hands."
In the Philippines, women are marching for reproductive health care reform:
More than 6,000 women gathered near the House of Representatives building to urge lawmakers to pass the bill aimed at giving poor women more access to artificial birth control and better maternal health care.

Elizabeth Angsioco, chairwoman of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, said the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill would help prevent the deaths of 11 women daily from complications from pregnancy or child birth.
Why we fight: The Jane Austen Drinking Game (via Feministing). The Appalachian Trail. Up, up and away. Tourist photography maps. And the thrilling exploits of people seeking peace of mind through psychoanalysis:

Nineteenth-century travel albums (via Peacay). Terra Nullis. Photos by Vanessa Winship. Photos by Irina Werning. Illustrated newspaper supplements. And the Powerhouse Museum's International Women's Day set:

Nine eyes. Anamorphic writing. The Gerd Arntz Web Archive. Grassroots aerial mapping. The Maras Salt Mine. Lifecycle of the Common Jezebel. And Talinn's North Corridor.

Here's a song, too:

(Photo at top: "Rouages" by Germaine Krull, circa 1929.)


chris said...

Thank you.
Now back to the time vortex of 9eyes.

Anonymous said...

Love the song; signed the petition.

Anonymous said...

Qaddafi's son's mansion in "Hampstead, a tony Inner London suburb?". Huh? Hampstead was a suburb of London back when Keats lived there. It is now part of London itself. It's not a suburb-it's fully urb, baby. Given how the English build (low rise, almost every house with a garden where possible) it's excusable for denizens of, say, Manhattan or Shanghai to think that basically all of London is a 'suburb' but tha don't make it so.