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December 30, 2008

Boat Carrying Cynthia McKinney being Attacked by Isreali Navy

From the Free Gaza Movement:

(This is the sixth boat that the Free Gaza movement has sent to Gaza ... in a symbolic effort to end the seige of Gaza. These are small boats, and they do not cross into Israeli waters at all. This Israeli attack on the boat, which occured in international waters, cannot be described as 'self defence' by any stretch of delusional imagination. CNN has report on this--it helps that one CNN reporter is on board-- : http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/12/29/penhaul.gaza.bpr.boat.cnn )

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/12/2008123071013463603.html

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URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.

There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.

It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
mediasar@mod.gov.il


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.

TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THE ISRAELI NAVY FROM ENDANGERING THE DIGNITY AND ITS PASSENGERS!

Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain
Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years, beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while at school and has been part of the sea ever since. He's a certified yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza.

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate
Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist. He has served as a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in August.

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah
Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Australia) Renee Bowyer
Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist. She will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly
Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou
Ekaterini is a well-known and respected freelance journalist in Cyprus. She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj
Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the human rights section at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin
Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr. Mohamed Issa
Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi
Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist. He will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi
Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist. She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul
Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogotá, Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking news around the world utilizing CNN's new laptop-based 'Digital Newsgathering' system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing conflict.

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker
Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP
Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.


November 8, 2008

Obama Grabs Headlines

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Look at all these cover stories from http://obama2008.s3.amazonaws.com/headlines.html

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November 5, 2008

"It's A New Day" by Jeff Chang

Throughout the north side of Pittsburgh, one of the city's three major Black districts, they lined up before dawn, hundreds deep in the 47-degree weather as if they were waiting for history to be made. Even after the polling places opened into an instant crawl, they kept coming.

And they kept coming all day.

One of them was a 19-year old named Loric Frye. Frye was a Pennsylvanian, and because of that, he was a key voter in the presidential election. Senator John McCain had staked his strategy on winning the state, hoping to steal it from Senator Barack Obama in his comeback bid.

But Frye was far from the kind of clean-scrubbed, neatly partisan first-time voter Republicans would ever think to appeal to or CNN would ever bother to interview.

Frye was a young brother in oversized pants. His young son was at home and his girlfriend was pregnant with their daughter. He had no high-school diploma. He had no fancy title. Frye was, no, still is in the process of putting it all together.

If you went strictly by the stats, he wasn't even supposed to have found his way into the voting booth yesterday. And truth be told, he almost didn't.

He admits that up until this year, politics didn't interest him. Barack got his attention. But the person who really turned him around was a man named Paradise Gray, a legendary hip-hop promoter and activist, who got Frye work as a community organizer doing voter outreach.

Frye spent the year canvassing, registering and door-knocking with Khari Mosley and the League of Young Voters. He started to feel deeply invested in the election and the political process. He spent the last few weeks doing get-out-the-vote work. All politics remains local. All transformations begin
with the personal.

So Loric Frye was excited to cast his first ballot yesterday.

But when he showed up with his voter registration card, he was told he "wasn't qualified", he said. "Something about it was illegal."

At first he thought it was the fact that he had been arrested once. But he had never been convicted or charged. He called Mosley and Gray. They came and took him down to the Board of Elections. There, Frye discovered that there were 6 registration forms in his name. Faced with conflicting information, including different social security numbers, some clerk had decided to qualify him.

It was true that he had moved twice since filling out his first form. When you're young and you're trying to get yourself together, that kind of thing happens. But he was so hyped to vote he made sure to re-register his new address every time that he moved.

When the Board of Elections official pulled out the other three forms, Frye could see that they were fakes. The registering agents were from ACORN. They had apparently used his name, invented addresses, and forged his signature 3 more times. The irony of the ACORN voter fraud case is that, in the few instances that it did impact real people, it didn't affect McCain supporters, it affected the poor people most fired up to vote for Obama.

When dawn had broken, a massive national effort at election protection got underway, born of the nightmares from the disputed 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. It was aided in part by web 2.0 tools. A fraudulent text message and a hacker-produced email at George Washington University that urged Obama voters to show up on Wednesday were both exposed via the internet.

In battleground states like Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, the highest voter turnout in almost a century led to worries about a lack of ballots and slow lines. At South Carolina State University, a historically Black college, dozens of students were told that their polling places had changed. Student activists and the NAACP organized buses to get 32 students to the correct locations, but worried that at least 50 more were discouraged from voting.

Even Republicans circulated a memo detailing voting irregularities. Most of the incidents rose nowhere near the level of the kinds of voter suppression that Democrats faced in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004. In fact, the first listed on the memo, an accusation of intimidation by alleged members of the New Black Panther Party at a polling place in North Philadelphia, was little more than a hilarious televised encounter between a Fox News reporter and a Black poll-watcher that seemed as if it was scripted for The Boondocks.

Republicans also explored allegations of double-voting by students in Georgia and media in Kansas who may have voted both in person and through absentee ballots, unfilled absentee ballot requests in New Mexico, missing military absentee ballots in Virginia, and calls in Pennsylvania with fake polling
information.

But hours later, all this seemed moot.

As soon as the polls closed in California, all of the networks called a landslide victory for Barack Obama. The margin was nowhere near close. In the popular vote, Obama beat McCain by nearly 6 million.

Over 90% of African Americans voted in record numbers for Obama. But he also won among women, split the white working class, and picked up a much larger number of white male voters than John Kerry had in 2004. Obama's electoral college tally corresponded to his margin of victory among young people, Asian Americans, and Latinos: 2-1.

The election of the first biracial African American president in the history of the U.S. set off ecstatic celebrations all across the country. Twitter's server stopped for a few minutes, overloaded by messages. In Oakland, Berkeley, and Seattle, people poured into the streets and instant block parties sprung up as if it was the Bronx in the summer of '77. Crowds marched cheering to the White House. They filled Times Square as if it was New Year's Eve. They came 1 million strong into Grant Park to hear Obama deliver his victory speech, the very place where the Democratic Party collapsed in police riots 40 years ago.

For a small group of people in Pittsburgh, the victory began earlier that day, when an elections official restored Frye's right to vote and handed him a ballot. For Mosley, the League's National Political Director, a longtime community organizer and a veteran of the 2004 battle, it was a gratifying moment.

"The biggest thing I've seen today is the number of young African Americans from the hood that have never voted—teenage parents, the formerly incarcerated, just an incredible number of people voting," he said. "We're really seeing a sea change. The college students have been voting. Now we're seeing a movement among those who never did go to college. That could be monumental not only on the local level but the national level."

"Man, I'm happy as hell I get to vote," Frye told Mosley. "I'm just so happy to get my voice heard."

The victory would not just belong to Barack Obama, but to Loric Frye. "I'm hoping for change," Frye said. "I know it ain't gon' come today or tomorrow, but I'm hoping for change. I'm pushing for change."

http://blogs.vibe.com/jeffchang/2008/11/its-a-new-day/

September 23, 2008

Go Farheen and her MSP Troop 12119!


Watch CBS Videos Online

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TT and I retired from the Girl Scouts last year, but we support Farkeen and the girls!

September 10, 2008

What the ???: Palin Edition

From FEMINISTING.com:

While Mayor, Sarah Palin Charged Rape Victims for their Own Justice

Multiple readers clued us into the latest incredibly disappointing fact about Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin: under her mayoral leadership in Wasilla, Alaska, rape victims were charged for their own rape kits. Op-Edna explains:

A rape kit is a sexual assault forensic evidence kit, used to collect DNA that can be used in criminal proceedings to assist in the conviction of those who commit sex crimes. The kit is performed as soon as possible after a sexual assault or attack has been committed. It is usually humiliating and uncomfortable for the victim-imagine enduring that and then paying $1200 just so that the criminal who assaulted you might be caught.

Let's put this into perspective. One of the services that almost every American (with the exception of a few hardcore Libertarians, I suppose) agree that our government should provide is policing and investigation into crime, especially of a violent nature. Rape, one of the most difficult to prosecute, disproportionately affects women--young women, in fact. If Palin wants to play fierce mother hen in her stump speeches, I suggest she explain how it is that she wouldn't do everything in her mayoral power to make sure that rapists be caught and prosected.

What adds insult to injury here is her stance on abortion for rape victims. So, not only did she neglect to support women who were raped in getting the evidence they needed to get justice, but she doesn't believe they should have the right to choose what happens with their bodies after they've endured such violation.

and Sarah Palin action figures [WTF!?]. They are action figures, not dolls, so boys will play with them?

See here.

and yet more good "fun":

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From Mikhaela Reid

September 7, 2008

Don't we already have enough of "big bro"?

From today's Strib: New aerial photo system develops into government tool

Improved technology giving bird's-eye photos of every inch of property is saving money for cities and counties in a variety of ways.

The technology is being used by a growing number of counties and cities looking to save time and money. Assessors, for example, can view properties without ever leaving their desks.

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Thanks Pictometry!

September 1, 2008

blogs i'm watching [rnc protest coverage]

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August 27, 2008

Not Cool [it's already starting]

From today's STRIB:

The incident comes on the heels of a recently adopted city resolution stating police may confiscate video cameras only during events such as protests if needed for evidence or if the person with the camera has been arrested.

Last DNC in LA, the police didn't bother to take my camera, they just shot it with rubber bullets. I survived with a little bruising and blood, it didn't.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
RNC 2008 ADVICE: TRAVEL IN PACKS (everyone armed w/cameras and at least one person with fast feet)

July 19, 2007

Inside / Outside / In Between

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Download pdf of the article here

B-Girl Be Press - Vita*MN

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June 14, 2007

I'm a Minnesota Artist

Visit mnartists.org to see the profile: by Marya Morstad of KFAI's "Art Matters".

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March 18, 2007

I Couldn't Resist...

I was browsing the UThink blog system (checking blogs with most entries, most comments, and recent posts to the system) and found this gem on this blog:

February 19, 2007

Girl Directs "The Condom Project"

OAKLAND - ANGELICA LUNA-ACOSTA remembers drifting to sleep during the "cheesy" sex education videos she and her classmates had to watch in fifth grade.

Few eyelids will be drooping this afternoon during the premiere of a student-made film, "The Condom Project."

Read on...

Listen to her interview HERE

April 26, 2006

Racism Alive and All Too Well

reading cnn.com came across story about this game:

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in the game you shoot mexican nationalists, drug dealers, and breeders (yes, pregnant women running across the border with children). comes with lots of blood and racial slurs, too. all in the name of "fun".

on this aryan kkk site you can play this and other ofensive games like these (all flash based):

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see for yourself (sorry, you have to hit their site to do it).

the media is beginning to cover the story, which is good, but how many will really support the MAY 1st actions? if you are in minneapolis, get RALLY INFO HERE.

* * * SUPPORT A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS * * * MAY 1st