U.S. War Machine (part II)

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I was recently interviewed, along with folks like Cindy Sheehan, by Press TV. The topic was the permanent U.S. war economy.

See Part II of that show here!

Bhopal: 30 Years of Struggle and Survival (Interview with Reena Shadaan)

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Reena Shadaan: “It’s been three decades of mobilization against what is now the second biggest chemical corporation in the world and the Government of India. As the 30th anniversary approaches, much of the wider goals remain the same (assessment and clean-up of the site, holding the Dow Chemical Company accountable legally, etc.); however, many important successes have been won as well. For instance, after more than 10 years of mobilization on contaminated groundwater, the survivors’ groups succeeded in getting the government to supply clean water and infrastructure (taps) in the communities. That was a huge success. Just days ago, five Bhopali survivors were on indefinite, waterless hunger strike, and after five days, the Government of India conceded to their demands. The 30th anniversary is a reminder that nothing is won without struggle.”

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)

Choose Sides in the War Against Imagination

Go Play Outside!

New Ark Adventure Playground

Half of the students in the US of A who live within one mile of their school opt for an internal combustion engine as their method of transportation rather than putting one foot in front of another. This frightening factoid is indicative of a disturbing, unhealthy trend for American children.

“Pediatricians nowadays see fewer kids with broken bones from climbing trees and more children with longer-lasting repetitive-stress injuries, which are related to playing video games and typing at keyboards,” writes Sally Deneen at The Daily Green.

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, calls this “nature deficit disorder.” As a fourth-grader quoted in Louv’s book explains: “I like to play indoors better, because that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”

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Nature deficit disorder is obviously not a medical term; it’s more of a social trend. The term describes “the human costs of alienation from nature, among them diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illness.” We may be witnessing the first generation of Americans to grow up so completely out of balance with nature.

The result is kids who are distracted and de-conditioned. American children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours a day indoors using computers, video games, television, and MP3 players.

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day, “a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.”

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The NWF reports that children who regularly spend unstructured time outside play more creatively, have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems, and have greater respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment.

Climate Change: Know Your Enemy

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If every person in the U.S. made all the minor changes suggested by Al Gore in ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ carbon emissions would fall by only 22%.

Meanwhile, Exxon-Mobil – a company with sales (over $420 billion) that exceed the gross domestic product of 167 countries – emits 298 million tons of CO2 every year.

Cecily McMillan on Prisons, Profit, Protest, and Privilege

 

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MZ: Activists are often accused of only focusing on what’s wrong and indeed, the picture being painted here is bleak. What do you feel someone reading this article can start doing—right now—to make a difference on this issue?

CM: I think, first and foremost, a big thing any individual can right now, in this moment—take 30 seconds—is to reconfigure your mind away from the concept of “criminal.” People reading this might not want to accept that I am a violent felon because if they see me like that, it upsets their sense of security. So, as you read this, wrap your mind around the reality that I’m Cecily but I’m also a violent felon, I have a case number, I was convicted by a jury of my peers, and sent to Rikers where I lived and survived for two months. If you can know all that but still see me as a human being, then you have to do the same for everyone else.

Almost every other person in Rikers had a story just as twisted and fucked up as mine but it was a lot more normalized because of the color of their skin. What we all must do is see that whether or not someone is in jail, whether or not they committed a crime or were targeted by the police, they’re people. They’re people first. If we’re going to reorient this plutocracy back towards democracy then we have to view every single person in this country as a person with rights who deserves to be treated like a human being. 

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)

U.S. War Machine

2013pie

I was recently interviewed, along with folks like Cindy Sheehan, by Press TV. The topic was the permanent U.S. war economy.

See Part I of that show here!